Rick Warren Expresses Regret Over Making Video Supporting Biblical Marriage; Family Group Concerned

A pro-family group is calling into question recent statements made by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church in California, surrounding his regret over creating a video in 2008 that expressed his support for Biblical marriage.

During a recent interview with Marc Lamont Hill of the Huffington Post, Warren sought to clarify matters pertaining to his creation of a video years ago in which he stated that those who follow the Bible should support California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative. He had been accused of lying months after releasing the video for stating during an interview on Larry King Live that “[d]uring the whole Proposition 8 thing, I … never once issued a statement, never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop. 8 was going.”

“People say that I campaigned for Proposition 8. The meaning of the word ‘campaign’ means two different things,” Warren told Hill. “To me, that means that you go out and you speak at rallies, you do advertisements for it and stuff like that.”

“I never made a single statement on Prop. 8 until the week before, and in my own church, some members said, ‘Where do we stand on this?'” he explained. “[So], I released a video to my members. It was posted all over like it was an advertisement.”

Hill commented that Warren is a well-known pastor, and that he should be aware that any statement he makes will likely be distributed to the public.

“It might be disingenuous to say that you have a church of 20,000 people, and you have a book that 32 million people have read and 60 million have accessed,” Hill said. “To say that ‘I was just giving a message’ –“

“You know what? You’re exactly right, Marc, and I learned a lesson from that,” Warren replied. “And I learned that anything I say now privately is now public. And I actually learned from that mistake of going, ‘Oh, wait a minute, everybody took that like I was pontificating to the whole world.'”

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Hill then asked Warren if he could do it all over again, if he would still have created the video.

“I would not have,” Warren replied. “I would not have made that statement. I wanted to talk to my own people as a duty, because as a shepherd, I’m responsible for those who put themselves under my care. I’m not responsible for everybody else. I am responsible for the people who choose to be under my care and ask me a question.”

“So, I’ve had to look at how do I communicate to my people in a way that doesn’t look like I’m pontificating to the entire world,” he added.

Following Warren’s explanation, some are expressing concern, including Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. LaBarbera told Christian News Network that Warren’s comments made him appear as if he was ashamed to publicly stand for the Biblical definition of marriage.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality

“[Warren] regrets that the statement got out wider than his church. To me, that’s incredible because he should be happy that he had influence outside of his church to the whole body of Christ in California — indeed, to people all over the state voting on the issue who look to him for guidance,” he said. “And so, that troubles me that he even says now that he wouldn’t make that video. … That’s saying that he does not want to be a leader on the homosexual ‘marriage’ issue.”

LaBarbera stated that he believes many pastors are becoming inward and exclusive about their beliefs, when they should be using their influence outside of the four walls of the church.

“[Warren] used the word ‘pontificate.’ You’re not pontificating. You’re putting your voice out there as a spiritual and moral leader, and that’s what pastors need to do,” he said. “They need to get outside of this mindset that I’m only allowed to talk to my church.”

“The question is, are Christian leaders self-segregating on the moral issues because they’re under the gun of the pro-gay culture?” LaBarbera asked.

He stated that the fear of man should never be an excuse to run from the Christian responsibility of publicly standing for truth.

“The homosexual activist never agonizes and says, ‘Wow, I don’t think I should talk beyond my group of homosexual activists,'” LaBarbera explained. “They’re pontificating all the time. They’re telling us what to think. They’re telling us that we’re bigots if we are against homosexuality, or even if we’re against same-sex ‘marriage’ now, they call you a bigot or a hatemonger or a homophobe.”

“I get the fact that [Warren] is under the gun by the homosexual lobby. We all get it,” he continued. “The homosexual lobby is aggressive and loud and vocal, and they want him to shut up about homosexuality being a sin, and they want him to conform to their ideology, but he can’t.”

LaBarbera stated that just like Warren is unashamed to proclaim the need to be involved in humanitarian work, he should likewise make use of his platform to uphold God’s definition of marriage.

“I just wish he would stop backtracking and seeming embarrassed about helping to protect marriage,” he said. “He doesn’t have any qualms about preaching to everybody in the world the need to have compassion for people with AIDS, and he’s right about that. But, he also in the same way [should] be outspoken and non-defensive about helping to protect the historic definition of marriage.”

As previously reported, Warren also came under fire for other comments made during the Huffington Post interview, during which he stated that homosexual behavior “might be” a sin, and that he believes homosexuals will go to Heaven if they “accept Christ.”

Rick Warren’s office did not return calls for comment by press time.

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  • Billy Edwards

    What does it take to make it to heaven? My actions or Christ’s work?

    • KenS

      Christ’s work

    • wandakate

      BILLY EDWARDS: BOTH of them. JESUS said, “If you love me, keep my commandments”. Don’t tell me they were done away with at the cross, that is a line like no other line. GOD is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Also what about your faith? Is that all you need, just faith and GOD’s grace. Your faith without your works is DEAD!!! How many “IF” words and “OBEY” words are in the Bible? Hundreds of them in the old and the new…so don’t be deceived.

      • QuestGirl

        WANDAKATE: Thanks for sharing. Warren uses the Living translation. That was my clue when he first came on the scene 10+ years ago.

  • Jason Millican

    Rick Warren believes his video was a “private” message to 20,000 people, and not a “public” statement. This would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. Maranatha.

    • David Aspden

      Agreed – is he really that dense?

      • QuestGirl

        No, but I bet he thinks we are…

  • O. J.

    Even if Rick made a video supporting Biblical marriage and then regrets it later, what then is he preaching now? Is he therefore no longer supporting Biblical marriage? If Rick does not support Biblical marriage any longer, it is therefore doubtful if actually he is preparing his flock for heaven, eternity with Christ. In that case, he need to repent and become truly born again. A genuine servant of God must be willing to stand for God and His Word even when it hurts.

    • wachabe

      Now the Bible is very clear, Jesus says “if you are ashamed about me BEFORE men I will be ashamed of you BEFORE my FATHER; MARRIAGE is the epitome of our relationship with Jesus and we dare profane it with our FEELINGS and RIGHTS? God is NOT a Democrat or a Republican, HE IS KING, and HIS WORD is FINAL, WHATS WRONG WITH YOU GUYS, JUST BECAUSE YOUR POCKETS ARE LINED UP WITH currency YOU THINK YOU CAN NEGOTIATE YOUR WAY TO HEAVEN?

      try dying and please come back tell us which currency works there….i am 100% sure it ain’t the dollar….

  • jennylynn

    Rick Warren = Wolf
    The Submerging Church (Official DVD Trailer)

  • jmichael39

    Whether Warren is a ‘wolf’ or a biblically-centered pastor, is not shown in this article. His statements here, taken in their context, simply show that he would not want to make statements like he did in that video for anyone but those under his direct ministry. He says he doesn’t want to ‘pontificate’ for anyone else. The one problem I have with that is that by doing livestreaming preaching and writing books and traveling around the globe to preach and planting churches everywhere he IS putting himself in a position to ‘pontificate’ the millions, as the interviewer so rightly pointed out. So, yes, he DOES have to be careful what he allows himself to be recorded as saying when what he wants to say is specifically supposed to be for a target audience. But, NO, he cannot avoid taking a stand on issues like this. People will not allow him to.

  • Jeff Tilley

    Apostate. Case closed.

  • OldArkie

    It seems he does not support God’s Word on this issue, so sad with the influence he has. Lot of times the big boys will go soft & turn against God’s truths while trying to please the world.

    • wandakate

      OLDARKIE: If you love the world, the love of the FATHER is not in you. We can’t be for GOD and agree with man at the same time. JESUS said, I wish you were cold or hot but because you are luke warm I will spew you out of my mouth (will not have anything to do with you-as in you make me sick being that way).
      He knows it’s not GOD’s will for same sex partnerships or unions, He well knows that. To go along with it is turning against GOD’s word.

      • OldArkie

        And that’s what he is trying to do, please the world.

  • Conservative seer

    Is he ashamed of speaking the truth? , wow, he needs to stand up for righteousness

  • Nancy Sternberg

    He doesn’t dare speak against it. Might lose his support. I would not buy his book, there is nothing helpful in it.

  • susandaytoday

    Sounds like you just said I am not my brothers keeper? Its not only the people directly under your care its the body of Christ. Where is the truthful leadership?

  • alnga

    Moral courage is lacking in pulpits all over this country. If you tune into me on some air wave presentation you will hear me say exactly what I would say here and any where I happen to be. The truth isn’t determined by the audience the truth is determined by the word of God. The Spirit of God resides in all believers and the spirit will lead you through the truth and it’s applicability in your life.

  • Plcc07777

    I can’t put a finger on it, but for some reason, I just don’t trust Rick Warren.

    • wandakate

      PICC07777: Good thing, as we are not to trust man, but we are to trust GOD…Man will fail us, GOD will never fail us.

      • Plcc07777

        Are you saying there is not a man you trust?
        If that’s what you’re saying I pity you.

  • QuestGirl

    Why am I not surprised ? When I see Scripture referencing the Living Bible, I run fast and far to my KJV. The Living is of a satanic nature if ever there was one.

  • Bill Tree

    I support Biblical marriage and homosexual behavior is sin and they will burn in hell. Its not a might but it is sin Mr. Rich Warren. If you support such behavior you will have a place in hell with them when you die. Whose report will you believe God or man? I believe the Bible over anything man has to say. Queers you have lost the battle and you will see hell sooner than you think. Queers you are not a family but a child of the devil. Christian stand up for the Word of God He will fight for you and no man can stop Him.

  • RocketRod

    This is clearly a slanted article intended to provoke volatile responses, particularly from right wing militant fundamentalists and Warren haters. It doesn’t have enough facts to deal with the matter. The issues at hand (i.e. pastoring one’s flock vs. making public pronouncements for example) are clearly misconstrued in order not to give Warren any benefit of the doubt. I am not a defender or a fan of Warren but I am a fan of fair journalism and I think this is a biased interpretation of what happened and suits the needs of the Christian News. I get so tired of the biased reporting of ultra conservatives and I am, by most outsiders’ estimate, an ultra conservative. We make others look bad and we make ourselves look bad in the name of “truth.” Disappointing.

  • Joel Rivera

    First Chrislam and now this. Warren should step down if he’s not willing to step up to the plate to proclaim truth outside of his church.