Rick Warren and His Tweet (plus Sunday Reflection)

  • Let’s be Radical
  • being invitational doesn’t end with the sermon series. we need to be invitational every day of our lives
  • Evangelizing doesn’t have to be this awful thing we often perceive it to be. it can be done in a loving and caring way. we don’t have to use signs or bullhorns or tracts or be aggressive or forceful or intrude, etc. don’t let the stereotypes prevent us from sharing the Good News
  • the BLOCK PARTY was amazing. thank you for all the people who got this party up and running and all the people who attended and invited friends to come
  • we served about 700 hot dogs to our friends, neighbors and family. wow. that’s a lot of hot dogs.
  • great games,  great music by all our musicians, great fellowship. it was just a great way to let the community know that we are here and that we’re not that weird.
  • I’m  not 15 anymore. Hurt my butt going down the water slide. Learned my lesson.

On to the post:Some time last week, Rick Warren tweeted something that got a lot of people up in arms. He deleted the tweet after the “mayhem” it caused on his twitter feed and the Christian blogosphere.

Here’s what he tweeted:

I challenge any church in America to match the spiritual maturity, godliness & commitment of any 500 members of Saddleback

And here were some responses to that tweet: (taken from here)

“Christianity is not about who’s better than who–NONE ARE GOOD!! all deserve the wrath of God in hell”

“dude this is the most immature thing I’ve ever heard from someone I respect so much. What is this, jr high”

“Churches everywhere are waiting for an apology from @RickWarren.”

“Rick either needs to get someone to filter his tweets or he needs to fire the person who’s doing his tweeting”

“Besides the sheer arrogance of it all, one thing which struck out the most was the utter man-centeredness of this tweet.”

“I would delete the challenge. Sounds too much like “pride.” Media will run with it brother.”

I had discussions here and there with people, such as my wife, my senior pastor, my friends.. and some agreed with what the people were saying about Rick Warren.
Now, I’m sure if Rick Warren had more than 140 characters to say what was on his mind, perhaps people would have been more clear on his intent. Here’s what he wrote in response:

Paul COMPARED the Macedonia church’s commitment to Corinth’s & challenged them to MATCH it 2 Cor. 8:1-8. Wise teaching tool

After a weekend of mulling this non-issue over, I don’t think I agree with many tweeters who blasted Rick Warren. Honestly, I was a bit annoyed that I thought about this as much as I did, because, like I said, it’s a non-issue.
Now, I get that his tweet can come off as arrogant and prideful, but my wife said “how many of those tweets do you think were out of jealousy and envy?” Perhaps there was a sense of that in people’s heart.

But here’s what I’m thinking.
There’s a small verse in the Bible that challenges me every time I read it. Which is probably why I find myself sort of avoiding that verse. (ha).
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Cor. 11:1)
Had Paul lived today, and was a pastor of a mega church, and tweeted that, what would be the response of fellow Christian tweeters?

That verse is challenging to me, because I can’t say that. I want to get to a point where I’ll be able to say follow my example… but for the most part it’s, please do as I say not as I do.

I’m proud of my church. I’m proud of our staff. I’m proud of the work our members do. I’m super proud of my youth. They just bring a smile to my face and heart. And I don’t have any qualms of saying, hey, our youth are one of the best UMC youth in the Cal-Pac Conference. I don’t have a problem of saying,” hey our church is doing real great things in our community, come check out what we’re doing” to our other UM church in the conference. Is that egotistical and arrogant?

Saddleback is doing great things in their community. They are reaching out to many people in the name of Christ. I know some of our churches in our conference can follow suit. All of our churches (even the mega ones) can stand to do MORE.
I saw Rick’s tweet a challenge to do more. And maybe I’m the only one that read it that way.

But, I think we should all strive to live in such a way that we can confidently (and humbly) say, “Follow my (our) example as I (we) follow the example of Christ”

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