The headline read, " Skepticism mounts over tonight's Rick Warren presidential forum" and I wanted to be sick. How many times do we Christians have to look foolish in front of the world before we wake up?
My first thought when I heard about Rick Warren's plan to get the candidates together was "Wow! Look at what we can do if we come together. We can get the politicians to talk to us an one another." I applauded Rick Warren for the gumption to even try this. He rose above the fray and put aside his own priorities for the good of all us.
I guess that putting Christianity in a positive light isn't enough for some people. We sound more like spoiled brats if we can't have our cake and eat it too. I didn't vote for John Kerry because I didn't agree with his politics or faith stances, but he did have one thing right. When you are in the public realm, you have to take in consideration the rights, feelings and sensitivities of all the citizens.
The truth is that there is no perfect candidate that will please everyone in America today. When you are more conservative, it is even harder to find someone who you can get behind 100%. But someone is going to be elected. It is our job to choose the best person. So when someone like rick Warren, who has built credibility in the general populace, steps forward and gets both candidates to agree to talk to him before the American public we ought to stand up and applaud it. We know he is not going to embarrass them. But he will raise some of our concerns and we may just learn something.
The sad state of our national religious life is that no matter what anyone does, a whole crowd will raise up and try to discredit them. I guess it is the Baptist in me, but I say any time we get someone of faith to do something positive, we all should stand up and applaud. Instead we try to pull them down and find fault. It reminds me a lot of what happened when a guy from Nazareth started talking about god in Galilee and the surrounding towns. The religious conservatives rose up and denounced him and eventually oversaw his crucifixion.
To paraphrase an old saying, "Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it." If we don't embrace each other when one of our own steps up, then no one is ever going to take us seriously. So I say "go Rick Warren. May God bless what you are trying to do."