The Rev. Rick Warren, who received a lot of negative attention when President-elect Barack Obama asked him to offer the prayer at his inauguration tomorrow, was back in the limelight over the weekend after offering worship space to conservative Anglican churches that have broken from the Episcopal Church and subsequently been evicted. After the Orange Register reported on Warren’s “lifeline” to homeless Anglican congregations, which apparently was made mistakenly made public by a reporter at Christianity Today, Warren spoke with the reporter about his intentions:
“In our first 13 years as a congregation, Saddleback was forced to use 79 different meeting places, so we understand the difficulty of finding space. So, as standard procedure, anytime an evangelical congregation loses its place to meet, we offer them space, out of gratitude, to the churches that helped us before we got our own building.
“It’s just one of many quiet ways we support the Body of Christ behind the scenes. Without any press, we’ve helped 5 other denominations plant new churches in the Saddleback Valley. We never view other congregations as competition, but as team members in the Great Commission. Helping other congregations is consistent with my calling, and 30 year track record, of serving, encouraging, and championing other pastors.”
You may recall that these congregations left the Episcopal Church over the church’s liberal stance on homosexuality. Not coincidentally, Warren’s belief that homosexual behavior goes outside God’s will was the main lightning rod for liberals who couldn’t believe Obama’s invitation.