Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rick Warren’s Pastoral Gaffe

You have to feel a little sorry for Rick Warren. The success of his Saddleback presidential candidate forum was remarkable. But, it faded in importance with the nomination of Gov. Sarah Palin. She turned the race upside down. She’s an evangelical. So, wouldn’t it be great if Pastor Warren could connect with her?

In a radio interview Warren was asked what question he would ask Gov. Palin if he had the chance. Here’s what Andy Barr reports:
On a Los Angeles radio show, co-host Kathryn Milofsky asked Warren what one question he would direct at Palin if he was able to have her sit down for a forum like the one he hosted last month with John McCain and Barack Obama at his Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.

"Well actually she called me yesterday," Warren said. "The question I asked her was 'how can I pray for you?'"

Warren said that Palin then "asked me to send her some bible verses on how do you deal with the unfair, unjust attacks and the mean-spirited criticism that comes in."

Unfortunately, the implication of Pastor Warren’s remarks was that Palin was upset by the criticism she was receiving and, unable to find counsel nearer to home, called Warren (sometimes called "America's pastor") to ask him for advice on how to “deal with the unfair, unjust attacks and the mean-spirited criticism that comes in.”

Well, it turns out that Warren called Palin first, and she was just returning his call. Andy Barr continues:

Palin's camp calls to say that the Alaska Gov. was returning Warren's call. According [to] a Palin spokeswoman, Warren called her on Saturday September 6 and she returned his call on Monday September 8. The Monday phone call is when the above conversation described by Warren took place.

It was a nice pastoral gesture for Warren to call and ask Palin how he could pray for her. But, it was on the edge of pastoral ethics for him to then tell a radio audience what she said in response.

Thumbs up for Gov. Palin on asking a serious spiritual question that relates directly to political life. Thumbs down for Pastor Warren treating it as a publicity garnering opportunity.


OregonGuy said...

Good catch.

Humility is its own reward. Here's an example of how that works.

terrance said...

Good observation. You're right it does show Gov. Palin's humility in being willing to ask for counsel.