Rick Warren, Cultural Sensitivity, and Mission

This post saddened me. Perhaps, it’s because I’ve recently become aware of the cultural ignorance around and witin me. I see glimmers of insensitivity, racism, and prejudice in unexpected places, and often stemming from unintentional places. However, I think this post spoke to me in a much deeper way. Recently, I’ve been very frustrated by pastors/Christians/people of faith swinging from one extreme to the other: They either refuse to acknowledge their imperfections, or use their imperfections as an excuse to not attempt to live by a Holy standard. Grace is a powerful thing…it is the reason we can acknowledge those parts of us that hurt and bring pain to ourselves and others. It is also the very thing that when you realize the Grace you have been offered you want to live a life that brings glory to The One that offered it.

I’m truly sorry for the hurt this imperfect act caused, but I am more sorry for my brother and sisters who refused to acknowledge that hurt or attempted to understand it. I’m sorry that we are tolerating poor actions, behavior, thoughts, comments…sin.

My prayer, starting with myself, is that we start acknowledging our imperfections. We start apologizing and making amends when we hurt others. We begin to desire to understand the people and culture around us. And we begin to love those people with the same grace we’ve been offered, in order to bring glory to The One who offered it in the first place.

Engage the Pews

This blog is about a picture on Rick Warren’s Facebook which features a Red Guard young woman posing.  The picture is typical of a ballet that became immensely popular during the Cultural Revolution period, with a woman depicted similarly in this video at around the 3rd minute.  The ballet was the prototype artistic expression stipulated by the Chinese government during the Cultural Revolution.

The caption on Facebook reads, “The typical attitude of Saddleback Staff as they start work each day.”

When called by a number of people to recant his statement, he wrote the following response:

People often miss irony on the Internet.  It’s a joke, people.  If you take this seriously, you really shouldn’t be following me. Did you know that, using Hebrew ironic humor, Jesus inserted certain laugh lines – jokes – in the Sermon on the Mount? The self-righteous miss them all while the disciples were undoubtedly…

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