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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[…]

Rick Warren makes the case for religious freedom.

Question: How do you reconcile tolerance and evangelizing?


Rick Warren: Well evangelizing means I think everybody needs what I’ve got. If you really practice your religion, then you’d believe that too, okay? In other words if your religion isn’t good enough for everybody, why isn’t it, okay?

And as I said, I don’t believe in coercion. I don’t believe in pressure. I certainly don’t believe in making it a theocracy or voting a religion in.

Everywhere you have a religion controlling the government, the religion dies. Look at Europe. All the churches are dead in Europe – most of them – because of the church; the church of Lutheranism in Germany, and Anglicans in England and things like that.

So I see no contradiction; I think I’ve got something everybody needs, and I still treat people with respect if they don’t accept it. As I said earlier, God gives me the freedom to choose what I’m going to believe. So I give everybody else the freedom to choose what they believe.


Recorded on: December 11, 2007