Calling BS on Rick Warren’s Quote

Probably by now you have seen this Rick Warren quote floating around on Facebook:

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

I know it is being examined more, meaning Warren’s context is becoming clear (and it is currently being used out of context by most people using it). With apologies to Rick Warren, I want to look at the current use of the quote by most people on Facebook and not his original intention for it.

Most people are currently using it to say that they are being unfairly labeled as bigoted or homophobic just because they disagree with marriage equality. They are innocently and lovingly standing beside their convictions and are getting demonized for doing so.

I have to call BS.

I have met very few Christians that just stop with “disagreeing with a person’s lifestyle.” Even if that were so, they don’t even understand how using the word “lifestyle” is offensive to, well… anyone you apply it to. Would you like to be referred to as someone living a “heterosexual lifestyle”? Would you like your whole life defined by what you do in the bedroom?  Because people so love being minimized to one aspect of their being.

Where else could this minimization come from? Fear and/or hate. Sorry to play the honest blunt card.

But if that was where most Christians stopped, I would still understand the use of the Warren quote out of sheer ignorance of how hurtful your words are. But they don’t stop there. They stay silent while gay students commit suicide because they don’t want to be seen as “affirming the gay lifestyle.” I even know a Christian that wouldn’t stand up for a heterosexual effeminate boy because they could still get “lumped in with gays.” They say they love all people but then mock “Liberals” about their “gay agendas” with words that would piss Jesus off. And I can’t count the number of times a Christian has told me privately how saddened or disgusted they are when they see a gay couple holding hands.

This is all just “disagreeing”?

BS I say. BS.

The church has bought into the lie that we can be complete buttwipes behind people’s backs as long as we say we love them in public… but don’t actually DO anything to show that we love. And then when we get busted we whine and post stuff like the Rick Warren quote out of context to blow a smokescreen over our own sin.

metamodern-faith-avatarIf Jesus was standing in the flesh in front of you right now and you told him “I don’t fear or hate people that are different that are gay” – would he agree with you or rebuke you? The New Testament is full of stories about people that tried to justify themselves as “good” to Jesus, only to find themselves the receiving end of a loving rebuke.

7 thoughts on “Calling BS on Rick Warren’s Quote

  1. I’m Christian with gay family members. I do not agree with their “lifestyle” but you can bet your ass I love them. Do not pretend to know what people truly feel deep down. Your “calling B.S.” is just ignorant.

    • Well, Liberal Christian…. your comment proves my point more than disproves it. You also kind of self-defeat yourself with that last sentence. If I can’t know what people really feel inside based on their actions, then you can’t know what all I know based on my posts. So you can no more call me ignorant than I can call BS based on that logic. But I disagree that we can’t know what a person really feels. The Bible is pretty adamant that our love and inner feelings will be manifest in our actions. If you say mean hurtful things, well… out of the overflow of the heart and all. Love is not just something we feel inside. It is how we feel PLUS how we treat others, how we listen, how we respect (even though we might disagree), how we act, the words we use, etc, etc. It’s not this simple thing we make it out to be in public: “you do or don’t love.”

      But ultimately, you missed my point if you think this whole post is about whether or not people who say they love really do or not. I didn’t contrast it as either/or. I called BS on it being “just disagreeing.” It’s not that – it is usually more. It may be love at some level, but the hurtful, hateful feelings are there, too. If not, then where is the hurtful, hateful language coming from? So you say you love them but use disrespectful stereotyping language for them? Can you see where that just doesn’t add up to many people? Until we get this as the church, we will continue to be written off as irrelevant by people how don’t see the logic there. Disrespect may not equal hate, but to most people it doesn’t equal love, either. What good is our love if we always communicate it wrong?

      • What is agreeing or disagreeing with a lifestyle? That is such a meaningless proposition. What? Just that you wouldn’t choose it for yourself? Or that you really think they should burn in hell. Everyone stop using that phrase!

  2. I never pretended to know what you know. I said you cannot know what people feel inside and to say otherwise is ridiculous. A persons actions do not always reflect their true feelings, I’m sure you know this as it is human nature to do or say things we later regret. And as far as hate/fear go….common now. so anyone who disagrees with let’s say is because they fear and or have hate in them? No. I may have misinterpreted what u said in some ways but the truth here is anyone can have love for someone even if they vehemently disagree with choices the person makes throughout their life. People can disagree and not have a hateful /hurtful thought in their head. I have never had a bad thought about my family member. No fear,hate, disgust, Only caring thoughts. I’ll say it again I show and give NOTHING but love to my gay family member and that will never change, regardless if I am against his “lifestyle” .So am I one in a million? I don’t think so. I believe many people, not the majority though, give a bad name to Christians because they do project hate or fear and disgust. I hope that in my lifetime this is not a problem for either side.

    • I would encourage you to see if your gay family members would be willing to write you a latter of recommendation for how loving you are to them despite disagreeing with their sexuality. Not a comment here, but an actual letter that you can keep with you. I have challenged a few people with this and they usually come back shocked to find out that all the “love” they thought they had really wasn’t coming across that way, and that their gay family members were just begin nice to them because they didn’t want to get in an argument or whatever.

      If you really loved them, for instance, you would not ever use the word “lifestyle” to describe them. That is very hurtful to someone that is gay, no matter how you use it. But go and Google how the Church as a whole has treated the gay community. A majority of it is hateful. If what you say about yourself is true, you wouldn’t be one in a million… you would be one in a billion. The majority of Christians are acting very hurtful and even hateful to gays. You can even find Christian politicians writing articles on why they “ought” to have gays ( Go do a search on it – you will find thousands of examples of actual hate towards gays. Start adding up the numbers and you will see that it is not just a small problem of a small minority.

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