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Can a pastor get some peace? LA Times reports on Warren’s Christmas Eve sermon

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 30, 2008 | 4:07 pm

So it’s come to this for the Rev. Rick Warren, and the once exceptional Los Angeles Times: Southern California’s waning news leader, which today devoted two inches to the butchering of 189 Congo villagers, assigned not one but two reporters to find out what Warren was going to preach about on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t that interesting:

Warren told the 3,100 people who packed the church’s cavernous worship center about some plans that had not turned out as anticipated. “President-elect Obama’s plans for a noncontroversial inauguration—right out the door,” he said, drawing a round of applause from the congregation.

The prominent minister also delivered a sobering message for Christmas.

“You may be going through a change in plans right now,” he said. “You hadn’t expected to be laid off or to be financially tight right now. And when that happens, you’re asking, ‘Why me, why now?’

“Jesus said you don’t understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later. That’s the . . . thing you have to learn when God changes your plan. You have to learn to trust him.”

The article goes on to mention what Warren said the previous weekend at the annual conference of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which I reported on last Tuesday.

I know the pastor—the author of “The Purpose-Driven Life” and a rising voice in politics, evangelical and beyond—generated controversy when President-elect Barack Obama asked him to say the prayer at the Jan. 20 inauguration, and I know that the media is still suffering from its Jeremiah Wright hangover and the absence of Sarah Palin, but Warren isn’t Wright and Obama’s selection really wasn’t as surprising as some want to portray it.

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