Rick Warren is an evangelical leader, best-selling author, and founding and senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Along with his wife, Kay, Warren founded Saddleback in 1980 with just a single family to fill the pews. Today the church has a 120-acre campus, 22,000 weekly attendees, and has provided spiritual guidance and source material to over 400,000 ministers worldwide.
He also leads the Purpose Driven Network of churches, a global coalition of congregations in 162 countries. More than 400,000 ministers and priests have been trained worldwide, and almost 157,000 church leaders subscribe to the Ministry ToolBox, his weekly newsletter. His previous book, The Purpose Driven Church is listed in “100 Christian Books That Changed the 20th Century.” Forbes magazine called it "the best book on entrepreneurship, management, and leadership in print.”
Warren received his BA from California Baptist College, his MA from the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry from the Fuller Theological Seminary. Warren has recently taken on several issues previously ignore by the evangelical community; he is the most prominent signatory of the "Evangelical Climate Initiative," and is the co-founder and co-director (with his wife) of The Global PEACE Fund, which fights poverty, disease, and illiteracy. Warren has spoken at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the African Union, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Question: Are you worried about the prospect of a Mormon president?
Rick Warren: America was founded by Judeo-Christian beliefs. But we are a pluralistic society. We do not believe in separation of faith and politics. We do believe in separation of church and state.
Those are two different issues. You cannot separate faith and politics, because faith is simply a worldview. You have a Christian worldview, or you have a dozen different Christian worldviews. Or you have a dozen different Jewish worldviews. Or a dozen different Muslim worldviews, okay? Not all Muslims are alike. Not all secularists are alike. All humanists are not alike, and that’s the worldview.
So nobody can say, “Well I’m not going to let my worldview affect my decisions.” Of course it will. A secularist will let his secular worldview influence his decision. So it’s simply ingenuous and not honest to say that my faith or my worldview will not affect my leadership. It will.
And when you vote for a candidate, you’re voting for their worldview also. Now the thing about America is, nobody wins all the time. I think that’s a good thing, you know? And the fact is, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. And it works on the area of if I got my way all the time, well then I’m sure I’d get it wrong on some stuff. And so the checks and balances are a good thing.
Recorded on: December 11, 2007