Eu conheço o Pastor da Posse do Obama

January 21, 2009

Em 2001 e 2002, Deus me deu uma rica oportunidade: Ser treinado e conhecer pessoalmente o Pr. Rick Warren da Saddleback Church. Desde então, assumi o compromisso de viver dentro da Visão de Igrejas com Propósitos.
Na foto abaixo, eu e Rick em Saddleback Church na California


In Prayer, Warren Calls for Tolerance

WASHINGTON — The Rev. Rick Warren, by invoking the name of Jesus as he’s known in several faiths, heralded the historic presidency Tuesday of an African-American man elected by Americans of multiple races, ethnicities and cultures.

Mr. Warren, one of the country’s most prominent evangelical ministers, referred to Jesus in Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish and English in his inauguration prayer, and added: “Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.”

View Full ImageRev. Rick Warren delivered the invocation Tuesday during President Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Warren’s prayer not only asked for blessings for Barack Obama and his family, but emphasized tolerance and forgiveness — urging his countrymen to overcome their disagreements and to unite behind their mutual goals, with humility and civility.

“When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us,” he said. “When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the Earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.”

Mr. Warren made his blessing distinctly Christian by mentioning his saviour, Jesus, a departure from previous more-ecumenical inaugural prayers delivered by the Rev. Billy Graham. But Mr. Warren gave his words a multi-faith hue by invoking the Christian figure as he is referred to in other faiths.

Mr. Warren seemed eager to put aside the last few weeks, and perhaps the last several years, of conflict that has pitted conservatives and liberals over thorny social issues.

For some, it was an unexpected olive branch offered by a man who had offended part of President Obama’s base when he lent his support to a winning California proposition that banned gay marriage. Mr. Warren’s comments after he was chosen by Mr. Obama did little to salve the hurt. He even seemed to equate relations between gays to illegal acts such as incest.

Mr. Warren’s words, preceding the oaths of office, drew a mixed reaction from the millions watching. There were some hisses from the crowd gathered at the Newseum, a museum of the newspaper industry, one attendee said. Others said they thought Mr. Warren had managed to ease some of the hurt triggered by his selection.

Dottie Hall, a former public-school principal from Austin, Texas, said that the choice of Mr. Warren was a “little tragic at first,” but that he “ended up doing OK.” She said she hoped the new president might teach Mr. Warren something about “equality for all.”

Some Christians said they were struck by Mr. Warren’s references to other faiths. Invoking other religions shows “he is appreciative of, or at least courteous to, people who don’t share his particular faith,” says William Martin, senior fellow at the Baker Institute at Rice University, and a biographer of the Rev. Graham, the evangelical leader who offered blessings at several inaugurations. “He is trying to be as inclusive as he can be.”

Said another Graham biographer, David Aikman, Mr. Warren’s words “signal to the evangelical community that at least in some areas, Obama is genuine about being a post-partisan president, and that he is not going to engage in the culture wars.”

The founder of one of the country’s biggest churches, Mr. Warren has emerged through books, television appearances, pastoral programs and even a column in Ladies’ Home Journal as the leading spokesman for evangelical Christianity in America today. The popularity of his 2002 bestseller, “The Purpose Driven Life,” with roughly 30 million copies in print, made Mr. Warren influential in Protestant and Catholic churches and homes world-wide. (Mr. Warren’s publisher, Zondervan, is a subsidiary of News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal.)

In a folksy style, he focused on helping suburbanites overcome marital, career and financial troubles. In recent years, he has poured money and energy into laying the groundwork for church communities in African countries to help families with AIDS.

In his various roles, he has been skewered by people on the left and right. Mr. Warren has been vilified by the most theologically conservative, fundamentalist Christians, who think his biblical interpretations are inaccurate, and who question his commitment to the literal interpretation of the Bible. He has also been criticized for not focusing his energies on stopping abortion. His invitation to then-Sen. Obama to his church’s AIDS summit in 2006 prompted a slew of criticism because of the senator’s pro-choice beliefs.

Mr. Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., is theologically conservative, having been ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention. He has consistently courted politicians on both the left and the right, inviting both Sens. Obama and John McCain during the heat of the campaign to televised interviews at his church.

His personal politics aren’t easily grasped. He favored banning gay marriage in California’s recent proposition vote. But he has been in the vanguard of a movement among baby boomer evangelicals to separate themselves from the religious right. These Christian pastors and academics, believing their mission is far broader than opposing abortion and same-sex marriage, have argued that the country should help the environment, fight AIDS and end poverty and torture. Many of these more progressive Christians voted for Mr. Obama.

Randall Balmer, a historian who has written about the religious lives of presidents, said he believes that “Rick Warren is far closer in style in and substance to Billy Graham” than to Mr. Graham’s son, Franklin, who was criticized after President George W. Bush’s first inauguration for offering a distinctly Christian prayer.


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