US evangelical spits tacks over Rick Warren’s ‘confusing’ ecumenical Pope Tweet

US evangelical spits tacks over Rick Warren’s ‘confusing’ ecumenical Pope Tweet

WHEN the old dudes in fancy frocks gathered in the Vatican recently to choose their new Pope, America’s “most famous pastor” Rick Warren, of the Saddleback mega-church in California, enjoined his followers on Twitter, numbering over 900,000, to:

Join me today in fasting and prayer for the 115 Cardinals seeking God’s Will in a new leader.

Pastor Rick Warren is accused of 'confusing' evangelicals

Pastor Rick Warren is accused of ‘confusing’ evangelicals

Well, this turned out to be a prayer too far for Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries of Dallas, Texas, who told Christian News Network that he was particularly disappointed by Warren’s comment.

I’m very concerned because what this does is it confuses the average evangelical. Right now, the Body of Christ doesn’t know whether to evangelize Roman Catholics or to join hands with them to go out and evangelize the world, [and] it’s because of people like Rick Warrren who either don’t know how exclusive the Gospel of grace is, or he’s not aware of the false and fatal Gospel of the Roman Catholic religion.


Gendron, a former Roman Catholic, added:

Ultimately, it’s a real tragedy. It’s unfortunate because we have a ministry that is dedicated to equipping and encouraging the Body of Christ to reach out to Roman Catholics, and it’s because of people like Rick Warren and other highly visible evangelicals that are signing unity accords with Roman Catholics … that we are getting friendly fire from the evangelical Church.

Gendron believes that many evangelicals are wrongfully being led to believe that Roman Catholicism is “a valid expression of Christianity.” He advised that it is also unbiblical for Warren to assert that it is “God’s will” that there be a pope in the first place.

It goes against the Bible. It goes against Scriptural authority. In Matthew, Jesus said [not to] be like the Gentiles, which have a hierarchical structure to rule over people, and when you look at the Bible, the authority is Christ and His word.

Every evangelical church is to submit to the authority of Christ and His word, and the leadership of each church is made up of deacons and elders. In fact, Peter, who Catholics believe to be the first pope, declared himself to be a fellow elder. He never once  referred to himself as the head of the church, nor did he ever in Scripture have the authority to rule over anybody. He submitted to the Scriptures.

Gendron then urged his fellow fundies to regard shenanigans within the Catholic Church as an “evangelistic opportunity”.

I would encourage [readers] to use this as a platform to engage Catholics with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is much confusion among Roman Catholics now. They’ve lost their leader. There are scandals that are spread wide throughout the world — not only the sex scandals, but also the Vatican bank scandal. … Catholics are fed up with what’s going on and they’re looking for other options.

I would encourage Christians to [reach out to] Roman Catholics and point them to the true head of the Church — the Lord Jesus Christ. Catholics must repent of everything they’re doing to save themselves, and put all of their hope and all of their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever.

Nearly twelve hours after releasing his call to prayer and fasting, Warren posted a cryptic message on Twitter, declaring:

Not everything that is different is demonic. Learn to appreciate differences. Obviously God loves variety!

It is not known whether Warren’s Tweet related to his previous post.

One of Warren’s Twitter followers was just as appalled as Gedron, and asked after the first Tweet:

Mr Warren, what would the point be? Let’s pray for the heretics [to] tone down on their heresy?

Meanwhile, a very English spat has broken out over the remains of King Richard III, who died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. His bones were found under the tarmac of a Leicester car park.

A campaign calling for the monarch to be reburied in York began after it emerged he would be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. When York Minster agreed that Leicester should get the bones, it began receiving “abusive” letters, and the police were brought in to investigate.

The  controversy took a fresh turn when Dr John Ashdown-Hill, from Colchester, was reported as saying yesterday that King Richard would want a Catholic burial.richardgrave

Ashdown-Hill, according to this report, claims Richard was:

A very religious man. There is a lot of evidence that Richard III had a very serious personal faith.

But he conceded it was impossible to know what Richard III would have made of plans for burial at a non-Catholic site at York or Leicester.

Leicester Cathedral acting dean Barry Naylor said:

It is normal practice that if a body is exhumed it is re-interred in the nearest consecrated grounds. I can assure people there will be the finest of liturgy and we will be very happy to incorporate elements from Catholic tradition and perhaps Latin plain chant in the services that take place.

Leicester Cathedral is doing its utmost to ensure that Richard is re-interred with honour and respect here at the heart of our city of Leicester.

He added that the cathedral had prepared a brief for its architects and more on the plans for Richard III’s tomb was expected in July.

Hat tip: Agent Cormac (dem bones report)

38 responses to “US evangelical spits tacks over Rick Warren’s ‘confusing’ ecumenical Pope Tweet”

  1. barriejohn says:

    I think a bit of fastng would do Rick Warren good.

    He’s not the first evangelical to get hmself in hot water over his acceptance of Roman Catholics. Many would find the following spat almost incomprehensible, but I knew a lot of Christians here in Great Britain who would have nothing to do with Billy Graham because of this issue:

  2. Daz says:

    Could someone remind me, please, how religion is a force of peace, good will and unification? I seem to have lost the memo.

  3. Stephen Mynett says:

    A catholic burial, a catholic burial, my kingdom for a catholic burial. I always sensed the Bard had got something not quite right in that play.

  4. JohnMWhite says:

    The Catholics do have a point here, it seems rather unfair to insist on a ‘Christian’ burial for the guy but then deliberately not bother to pick the brand of Christianity he was by far most likely to have subscribed to. If you’re going to believe in the magic of consecrated ground, surely you would understand that not all consecration is the same, so the idea that the nearest church will do is disingenuous at best.

    Of course they completely undermine their point by being abusive about it, but that’s Christian authoritarianism for you. The idea that evangelicals are whining about Catholics having a hierarchy contains enough irony to constipate a blue whale.

    I find it interesting that the likes of Rick Warren seem to be embracing Catholicism now. The rank and file still seem to remember being raised not to trust them and to consider them not even Christian, but the leadership is trying to change that culture, most likely because the Catholic church is a necessary ally whose enemies match those of the evangelical right wing. The Republican party hasn’t been afraid to embrace Catholics like Ryan and Santorum, and they’ve had the Bishops’ Conference carrying water for them in their quest to wreck health care reform, bar women from being able to control their own bodies and make gay people lonely and miserable. I wonder if the hatred for Obama, women and gays will be trumped by long-standing anti-Catholic sentiment in some parts of their base.

  5. barriejohn says:

    JMW: The Republicans even went so far as to hold their noses and endorse a MORMON!

  6. JohnMWhite says:

    Not without a bit of a fight, but yes, you’re right. A Mormon with a Catholic VP. That is quite telling about where the battle lines are being drawn, but also demonstrates something about how utterly unelectable even mainstream Republican players are. Gingrich, Santorum, Cain, Palin et al were less palatable to the mob than Mitt Romney, despite their anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-progress bona fides. Romney was put in the awkward position of having to appear moderate and extremist at the same time, and Ryan was happy to pick up some of the extremist slack with his utterly vicious economic policy that demonstrated not an ounce of Christian charity.

    Obviously these guys lost, but they lost because Democrat voters turned up. They did not appear to turn off many of those still voting Republican. As far as demographics are concerned, the result was pretty much what was expected. Now what is the party going to do? It can’t go a little left for fear of angering its base, but it can’t go right or stay still because it simply cannot win enough votes nationally. I see the effort to court the Catholic vote as part of their answer. If I recall correctly, the majority of Catholics voted for Obama. Unfortunately I think this is still a miscalculation – a large section of the US Catholic population is Hispanic, so the Republicans’ xenophobic immigration policy isn’t going to help, plus American Catholics tend not to give a toss what the Vatican says, so appealing to them on homosexuality and contraception isn’t likely to win converts.

    This is the mistake Republicans continually make – they assume that everybody believes in authoritarian dogma like they do. They all signed up to Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, and they assume everybody on their ‘side’ is singing from the same hymn sheet. They forget that you can be Catholic without being homophobic, misogynistic or even a paedophile. Not a very good Catholic, I’ll grant you, but Americans like to do things on their terms.

  7. barriejohn says:

    American Catholics tend not to give a toss what the Vatican says…

    You could have said “New World Catholics” there. Strange to see one of them heading the church now – a bit like making the most rebellious sixth-former head of school to spike his guns maybe!

  8. Bubblecar says:

    Most historians seem to concur that Richard III almost certainly murdered his juvenile nephews, amongst the usual regal crimes, so why should he be “re-interred with honour and respect”? Stick his bones in a museum. In fact, disinter all the other dead monarchs and put them in museums, too. You could shove Henry VIII’s skeleton in his surviving suit of armour and mount him on a skeleton horse. The remains of Elizabeth I would look good & ghostly in one of those elaborate frill-necked dresses.

  9. JohnMWhite says:

    @barriejohn – From what I’ve heard and read, South American Catholics still take direction from Rome. Mexicans too. It’s really only Canada and the US where they seem to largely go their own way.

  10. jay says:

    My wife suggested going Soloman and splitting the bones between two sites. It’s still better than a parking lot.

  11. ZombieHunter says:

    I can’t hear or read the word “ecumenical” without being reminded of that Father Ted episode where they try and tame jack while the three bishops come to visit.


    And I suppose bible bashers of all denominations are entering into this seige mentality due to “the rising tide of secularism” and probably hate us atheists and freethinkers more than catholics hate protestants or baptists hate catholics, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Hell even the KKK let catholics join now 😛

  12. jay says:

    We atheists have our levels of ‘purity’ also. It almost maps into this same schism.

    I am reminded of the strong difference of opinion between scientists who argue that science does not rule out religion (Eugenie Scott–National Center for Science Education, or even the AAAS position that science and religion are not incompatible) vs people like biologist Jerry Coyne ( and Richard Dawkins who are sharply critical of that position, arguing flat out that science leaves room for only the blandest and most brain dead of religion.

    Now I’m of the strongly anti-religion position, but I can see images of my own position in these guys who are criticizing Warren.

  13. Buffy says:

    I do so love watching them eat each other alive.

  14. barriejohn says:

    JMW: You may be right, though I had the impression that they were more independent in mind, especially in their political views. The RCC is certainly thriving in the region, as this article demonstrates:

  15. barriejohn says:

    ZombieHunter: Spot on. They’re shitting themselves over their loss of influence, especially amongst the younger/internet generation, which augurs very badly for the future. They’ll shack up with almost anyone in their efforts to “stem the tide of secularism”.

  16. barriejohn says:

    I see that the BBC is giving blanket coverage to events in Rome again this morning!

    Speaking of alliances between fundamentalists and Catholics (Bush and Blair), this is well worth watching, and very disturbing:

    Blair still claims that he did the right thing!

  17. AgentCormac says:


    According to Hitch, Blair did do the right thing.

  18. barriejohn says:

    I am aware of Christopher Hitchens’s views about the Iraq War. Why haven’t we overthrown the Saudi rulers, as they are financing Islamic extremism all over the world?

  19. Groover says:

    @ Bubblecar…I agree. Why the deference to the “royals” who killed, stole and pillaged their wealth and influence through force? Much the same as established religions. They were and are in bed with one another. A plague on their houses and I include Mrs Windsor and her gibbering idiot offspring.

  20. chrsbol says:

    A lot of ring kissing on the beeb this a.m. If it runs over and impacts on bargain hunt, somebody is going to know about it. Some twat translating one load of shite into another load. Yes I know there’s an on/off button!

  21. barriejohn says:

    My eighty-nine-year-old mother is watching the BBC News Channel and shouting “We want news! We want news!” at the screen. I’m expecting her to start waving her stick at them, Granny Giles style, soon. BBC One has been given over to this nonsense for the rest of the morning. We have heard how Joseph was a “humble” man (ring any bells?) and is the protector of the church (news to me) just as he lovingly protected Mary and Jesus. He was attentive to God’s commands, and taught Jesus his trade in this workshop at Nazareth. He wore yellow socks and couldn’t stand Marmite. How Mary laughed! All of this you can read for yourself in the Gospels. (I am reminded of an hilarious Peanuts cartoon where one of the girls – Sally, I think – was trying to “read between the lines” in her book.) “He’s making it up as he goes along!”

    Chrsbol: Yes – he was presented with the fisherman’s ring!!

  22. bettydavis says:

    just stuff richard back under the tarmac- by all accounts he was a nasty piece of work.

  23. Daz says:

    My telly has remained off this morning; and thus I have attained inner peace and harmony, or some such semi-religious state of denial that the problems of the world exist.

    Barriejohn, my small collection of Giles cartoon annuals is one of my most treasured possessions, so I can picture exactly what you mean!

    OT, but this is a close contest: who would you think more honest in their reporting, the Daily Mail or the Christian Institute?

    Well, the Mail ran as story on a man who alleged that he’d been denied work because he’s a christian (Link) and managed, at least (though right at the end, where most of its readers won’t notice them), to include the denial:

    The hotel’s co-owner, Mike Carter, said Ms Parker denied saying she or other members of staff were atheists who could not work with Christians, and claimed there were Christians already working at the hotel.

    He said the religious beliefs of employees were not the business of the hotel’s managers, and the marketing job had been awarded to another, more experienced, candidate.

    The CI, on the other hand, somehow seem to have ‘forgotten’ to mention that denial in their story.

  24. Daz says:

    Oops! bad wording; they mention the denial—but in a section titled “brazen,” the rest of whose contents consist of quotes treating the allegations as complete fact, and saying it shows a trend of of such attitudes.

  25. barriejohn says:

    Daz: I noticed that as well. Are the CI naive? (Rhetorical question.) Another case down the pan then!

    I have an enormous collection of Giles Annuals. You used to be able to buy them for about 50p in charity shops, but they have cottoned on to how valuable they are now. Like Charlie Brown and his friends, those people really live to me!

  26. sailor1031 says:

    “Most historians seem to concur that Richard III almost certainly murdered his juvenile nephews, amongst the usual regal crimes,…”

    There is another widely held view that Richard did no such thing. He, in fact, had a better claim to the throne than his nephews and had no need to get them out of the way. Best hypothesis, since there is little or no evidence, is that they represented a threat to Henry Tudor since they did have a claim to the throne while Henry Tudor had only an exceedingly tenuous claim through his wife.

    As for burying Richard at Leicester Cathedral – seems appropriate if they can’t leave him under the parking lot. St Martin’s dates to the late eleventh or early twelfth century even though it wasn’t a cathedral then. And a catholic ceremony? well there wasn’t any other kind of christianity in western europe back then bar a few heretics – and RCC Inc was making short work of them!

  27. Broga says:

    Years ago I had the misfortune to work with a evangelical Christian. He was always leaving leaflets on our desks, pestering us to attend a meeting to “share my witness” and insisting that he had experienced miracles. Work came a poor second to his need to evangelise. He was also incompetent.

  28. remigius says:

    sailor1031. I concur. I think it highly unlikely, given all the circumstances, that Richard was responsible for the demise of the princes.

  29. barriejohn says:

    There was talk of the princes’ murder well before Henry Tudor arrived upon the scene. If they were still alive, why did Richard not produce them as evidence of his innocence?

  30. barriejohn says:

    Richard was obviously a Catholic. What are we suposed to do: dig up all the pre-Reformation monarchs and rebury them on RC premises?

  31. Stephen Mynett says:

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest Richard III’s claim to the throne was genuine, notably that his brother Edward was a bastard and that Richard represent the pure bloodline, something very important to royal types.

    I will try to locate some of the stuff I have on it but the reasoning for the bloodline is based around the christening/baptism of the two brothers. Edward, who did not look like his father, was given a fairly low key christening and the timing of birth suggests his father could not have been around at time of conception.

    Richard was given a full state christening, the sort usually used for the heir to the throne.

    As for the princes, they stood in his way, especially as Henry Tudor was a cunning politician and would have used them well. The thought among some historians is that Richard did have the princes killed but that was a normal thing for a royal to do, especially then, and although immoral by our standards not something they would question.

    A side issue, analysis of a couple of Richard’s portraits show they were doctored to make him look much worse.

  32. David Anderson says:

    Ah, Richard the third, or, as he was known to my history class, Richard the turd and then, Dick the shit. Shakespeare has a lot to answer for.

    barriejohn; Hope Ken is getting better, but you never know when these things might flare up again.

  33. barriejohn says:

    D Anderson: We are now on Fusidic Acid – guaranteed to kill 99.9% of all known Kens. We shall see – they are very persistent!

  34. barriejohn says:

    It doesn’t surprise me one little bit that “Horrible Histories” are so popular. One of my favourite stories as a boy concerned William Collingbourne, whom we were (somewhat errroneously)informed was executed for writing an amusing rhyme about Richard III*:

    The Catte, the Ratte and Lovell our dogge rulyth all Englande under a hogge.

    He was also supposed to have said “Oh, Lord Jesus, yet more trouble” as his heart was removed, all grist to the mill of a schoolboy!

    (*Condemned, no doubt, by Ye Lord Leveson and his Investigaters of Defamatory Rimes.)

  35. Matt Westwood says:

    Good grief, this is a popular thread and no mistake.

    I was minded of an observation I made some while back: The monotheists are collectively powerful and mad enough to take over the entire world and make it impossible for antitheists, anarchists, pagans, pantheists, wiccans, etc. to survive – but fortunately this will never happen as they are too busy fighting amongst themselves.

    For example: the funniest thing ever is whenever there’s a high-profile insultation of Mo’-ham-‘ead in the media, scores of muslims are killed in the resulting riots – by each other’s hands.

    In the words of Nelson Muntz: “Haa-ha!”

  36. barriejohn says:

    Matt: Scores died today on the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Shias killed by Sunnis. All Muslims, all Iraqis!

    Excuse me, are you the Judean People’s Front?

    Fuck off! We’re the People’s Front of Judea.