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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[…]

The answer here is training.

Question: Should we leave Africa alone?


Rick Warren: The answer to Africa, and the answer to any developing country, is training. At the fundamental line, whether the problem is spiritual emptiness, or corruption, or poverty, disease, or literacy, the answer to every one of them starts with training. A trained person will figure out how to raise the money. A trained person will figure out how to sustain a project. A trained person will figure out how to use existing resources. It’s all about training.

And so we have to train people in healthcare; train people in job creation.

Instead of wealth redistribution, which I don’t believe in, I believe in wealth creation. That’s what America was built on. It’s what China is doing. Wealth creation in China has passed all the other places like Cuba where they’re just trying to distribute it. It doesn’t work that way.

Here’s the difference; and I have a fundamental conviction about this. Capitalism only works if underneath it there is a moral foundation of Judaism and Christianity. Because it is the ethics of Judaism and Christianity – Judeo-Christian ethics – that keeps capitalism from becoming simply greed. If there is no moral commitment that says, “Hey, you got to take care of your employees. And you’ve got to treat people fairly, pay ‘em a fair wage,” and these kind of things, those are the kinds of things that made America great.

When you take capitalism and you impose it on a country without that moral underpinning being strong, well you have what happened in Russia as the __________ took over. And there was the mob.

And basically you have capitalism, and all of a sudden you had enormous corruption because the underpinning wasn’t there to stop that corruption. And the corrupt communists were replaced by corrupt capitalists in many, many places. So it has to start in the heart.


Recorded on: December 11, 2007