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Tony Blair, David Harris, and Rick Warren at the annual meeting
of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2008.

We’ve all read the stories about how the economic collapse has left no institution or business untouched. Rick Warren, a close friend of business management and leadership guru Peter Drucker, and his Saddleback Church of 22,000 members are no exception.

A couple of days before the end of 2009, Warren sent an “urgent letter” to his church members trying to raise $900,000 before the end of the calendar year:

“With 10% of our church family out of work due to the recession, our expenses in caring for our community in 2009 rose dramatically while our income stagnated. Still, with wise management, we’ve stayed close to our budget all year. Then… this last weekend the bottom dropped out.

On the last weekend of 2009, our total offerings were less than half of what we normally receive - leaving us $900,000 in the red for the year, unless you help make up the difference today and tomorrow.”

The response: more than $2.4 million in donations from thousands of folks from te megachurch in southern California.


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8 Comments

This is totally amazing. I guess people really do "give back to their Souce" which means most of us do not beleive the government is our source, education is not our source nor is most of the other things that make our lives easier and more comfortable every day. People seem to "believe" in Rick Warren and the Saddleback church, which, is not a bad thing, but it definitely is interesting to note how quickly we can come to the "rescue" of things we would miss most.

I don't know how to articulate this, yet, but this story repulses me.

Did these donations only come from church members or did it come from outsiders who either genuinely care about Warren & Saddleback's work, or perceive that Warren stands for something they like & gave for that reason? Although the initial appeal was to church members, it's been reported enough that people who are not members knew about the issue.

I don't share Warren's religious views, but if members of the congregation have that kind of commitment to their church, good for them. I would be more concerned if the money largely came from the unholy political/religious alliance that does things like use Psalm 109 to pray for Obama's death. As best I can tell, Warren isn't in favor of that kind of behavior, but he has spent enough time with those who are that way that it's a worry.

It is disturbing to me that Rick Warren has called Saddleback's well publicized stewardship rebound a "miracle". What is a miracle exactly? Is it that God answers our prayers? Gives us money when our bank account has dried up? What is it when that does not happen? My congregation has a budget deficit and a huge mortgage and we are grounded in social outreach to the least of these ... can we get a miracle like Rick's too?
At the end of the movie "Saving Private Ryan"- many soldiers are dead and Private Ryan will be saved ; and Tom Hanks is lying mortally wounded - his last words to Ryan were "Earn it".
A good message to all us.

From the outset, (that is: a long time ago), and from the 'outside', (that is from outside the USA), the worrying thing 'about America' has been a subtle fear that the country's history of tent-revival preacherism would reawaken in modern times and start influencing rational discourse and the body politic. When a radical American preacher sits at the table in Davos, that time has come. THAT is Elizabeth's (below) unarticulated repulsion! It is also mine. We should indeed also be fearful, because as the world's most muscle bound military power American, Americans, need all their rational wits about them.

From the outset, (that is: a long time ago), and from the 'outside', (that is from outside the USA), the worrying thing 'about America' has been a subtle fear that the country's history of tent-revival preacherism would reawaken in modern times and start influencing rational discourse and the body politic. When a radical preacher sits at the table in Davos that time has come. THAT is Elizabeth's (below) unarticulated repulsion. It is also mine. Because, aqs the world's most musclebound military power, the USA must have its rational wits about it.

From the outset, (that is: a long time ago), and from the 'outside', (that is from outside the USA), the worrying thing 'about America' has been a subtle fear that the country's history of tent-revival preacherism would reawaken in modern times and start influencing rational discourse and the body politic. When a radical preacher sits at the table in Davos that time has come. THAT is Elizabeth's (below) unarticulated repulsion. It is also mine. Because, aqs the world's most musclebound military power, the USA must have its rational wits about it.

From the outset, (that is: a long time ago), and from the 'outside', (that is from outside the USA), the worrying thing 'about America' has been a subtle fear that the country's history of tent-revival preacherism would reawaken in modern times and start influencing rational discourse and the body politic. When a radical preacher sits at the table in Davos that time has come. THAT is Elizabeth's (below) unarticulated repulsion. It is also mine. Because, aqs the world's most musclebound military power, the USA must have its rational wits about it.