20 June 2012

Rick Warren Warns Saddleback Staff Who Not to Tweet

Apprising Ministries has reportedly received the following email.

Of course, few would argue with the fact that vulgar accounts should be blocked and reported. What is interesting is the example Warren provides. From all appearances, John Downey's Twitter account is far from threatening. And now, with the publication of this email, it seems that Mr. Downey has gained a few new followers.

**UPDATE 20 JUNE 8:30 pm**
Rick Warren has responded to the original posting of this email here.

**UPDATE 21 JUNE 9:20 am**
John Downey has responded to the original email sent by Rick Warren. Read John's response here.

19 comments:

  1. Certainly not a Warren fan at all, but I don't see anything particularly draconian about what he is asking. It's just sensible being a high-profile ministry. I purge my "followers" and any automatic added "followings" on a regular basis simply for the reason Warren states: I don't want porn companies seen as "following" me. Gives folks the wrong impression of who I am.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Fred. I completely understand your point, and I agree with what you're saying. I suppose what I found interesting was the example Warren used.

      Delete
    2. It is a bit odd, for sure, but there could be a reason for it. What that would be right off hand, I don't know. Again, I've taken Warren to task for a number of things, especially his use of New Age gurus to promote his Daniel Diet scheme. I guess I don't see a need to pig pile when there is nothing significant to pig pile on.

      If you know what I mean.

      Delete
    3. I hear your point. There certainly is no shortage of things said or done by Warren that warrant greater concern and coverage. Right or wrong, I suppose I thought it worth sharing for the reasons stated above. Consider it a bit of mild midweek amusement.

      Now, the Daniel Plan and the promotion of men like Amen and Oz, yes, that is a far greater issue, and of far more danger and concern to the church (and thus, I've covered that in the past as well).

      So yes, I do know what you mean. :)

      Delete
    4. Well, I think I respectfully disagree with Fred. Yes, there are many issues to deal with and many others to ignore. This issue, however is representative of one of the main issues today: hyper-authoritarianism in pastors, and pastors who through their un-biblical behavior scatter the sheep and shear the flock. The flavor and tone of the twitter directive used the words "worthless" to describe twitter accounts, accounts that have real people behind them. Every person on this earth is made as a reflection of God. If they are saved, they are holy and sanctified just like Pastor Warren. If they are not saved, they cannot help what they do and say. It is extremely instructive to view Mr Warren's reaction to criticism and comment on a pastor who says these people are worthless. At the very least, they are not worthless to their mothers or wives or family.

      As for the atheists, ditto above. And as for the "anti Saddleback" folks, as a pastor it is natural he would want to protect the name of His church but more important to protect the name of Jesus by following Jesus commands as a pastor. Calling people worthless because they criticize your church is not displaying a pastor's heart, in my opinion. Issuing a directive so your staff won't be seen as accidentally being linked with a person critical of your church is intrusive and controlling, in my opinion again.

      Using Mr Downey as the poster child example is also less than sanctifying behavior and less than discerning. Mr Downey is a brother in Christ. Mr Warren is supposed to be an example to his flock, and pointing fingers to a guy whose worst trait was apparently ticking off the pastor is not only not a pastor's heart but mean-spirited.

      I could say much more about why this is important information, but suffice to end with the fact that I believe it is important for us to have some push-back here to let the younger or more naive brethren, and the atheists, know what is expected in a pastor and what is NOT acceptable.

      Delete
  2. I think a gentle reminder now and then about following and unfollowing and blocking is a good thing. I think using appropriately embedded, in-context verses as the basis for a reminder is also good. I see that unfortunately Mr Warren chose not to go that route, but instead dictatorially commanded the church staff first and used some verses as an afterthought.

    Mr Warren said, "Here's what I want you to do" ??? On the one hand I can see a gently pastoral reminder about being mindful of our behavior, on the other, directing a staff's personal life and choices is a stretch for me. I also didn't appreciate the basis for unfollowing: "anti-Saddleback?" How does one define that? The entire world is anti-church, do how does one decide where the line shoudl be drawn? And shouldn't that decision be left up to the person?

    I also wonder how they became aware of this as an issue. Is someone in some Saddleback office somewhere checking on it all? That seems Big Brother-ish to me. :(

    Of course I agree that a person should note who they are following and who is following them. Profane, blasphemous or crass accounts should not be followed or tolerated. But there again it should come as a reminder, not a decree.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As I stated on fb the term "anti saddleback" sounds a bit cultish. So if someone disagrees with you are they not Christians? This automatically means they have NOTHING noteworthy to say? I just looked at this gentleman's twitter feed...I didn't see anything alarming. How does iron sharpen iron if we AVOID all who disagree with us? It would be one thing if you were being harassed or someone was being crass etc...clearly not the case though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. On the one hand I agree with you all who have said you don't have a problem with this. It is good advice for church staff (which are employees of the church) to not have them following bad people.

    BUT, the problem is this... under Warren's own rules here, all Christians would have to stop following HIM! Because who Christians follow IS A WITNESS TO OTHERS!! And if you follow an apostate, that's a bad witness!

    He also tells them to unfollow any ANTI-CHRISTIANS. Again, we'd have to unfollow him!

    It does begin to sound hyper paranoid and cult-like when he says not to follow any anit-saddleback people! Yep, he sure wouldn't want their minds getting exposed to any Biblical TRUTH!

    And wouldn't you love to see that list of names people shouldn't be following? I wonder how many real Christians are on that list? I bet a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ...by the way, after reading his email a few more times a few thoughts come to mind. I think he wrote the email so his people would stop following the anti-saddleback people. I think that was the ONLY purpose of this email. He mentioned other things like people who are crude or atheists, etc. just to cover his real intentions. Because the one example of a person he specifically mentioned isn't any of those things.

    Notice the John Downey guy (who I just followed - hope I don't get in trouble!), he's not crude at all and he's not an atheist. But in Warren's book he's worthless because he's anti-saddleback. When Warren says "mean-spirited" in this email, that's obviously code for "anti-saddleback".

    He offered to send the names of accounts you shouldn't be following, and if we could see that list I bet it would confirm my suspicion that this is all about his anti-saddleback paranoia. I bet it's made up mostly of anti-saddleback people with a few crude atheists thrown in for good measure.

    Notice also how he divides the world into "us and them". Something I thought was a no-no among his kind. Can you imagine if a certain group of Christians started saying another group of Christians weren't really Christian. He'd be lecturing us all day about how divisive we're being, dividing the world into us and them - but that's exactly what he's doing here. Ironic coming from the man who readily unites with Muslims and ATHEISTS on his P.E.A.C.E plan! But boy - attack him and then you become part of the one group it's okay to exclude and attack.

    He mentions atheists and later calls all these people "worthless"! Jesus told us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us, but Warren seems to be saying curse those who curse us... and cast them into twitter hell... with one easy click of your mouse! So much for - no judgments! Hey, I thought we weren't supposed to judge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Jonathan. Good comment. This whole thing (and the representative attitude it promotes) simply makes my heart break. Please pray for your pastors and leaders, people. It is such a dangerous time for them to be at the forefront in this daily increasing battle against the kingdom of darkness. They need protection, love, encouragement and most importantly prayer protection so they don't slide down the same hill Mr Warren is apparently sliding..

      Delete
    2. Great thoughts, Jonathan, thank you. You articulated many of the same thoughts I had when reading this email.

      Delete
  6. "The Friendly Atheist's" blog response to the Saddleback Twitter ban. I would actually have to agree. And, his response makes the Mr Warren debacle all the more heartbreaking :(

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/06/20/rick-warren-tells-staff-not-to-follow-atheists-on-twitter/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, why would any Pastor have to tell his people what to do with their twitter? They can't think for themselves? This all just strikes me as leaders stepping over their boundaries. The scope of the authority is limited to the area of the authority given to them by God and not beyond that authority.

    I take it as a way of controlling people. Now we have church nannies who take care of their congregation because people don't know how??

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is @REALjdowney and my response to Pastor Warren can be found on my blog here: http://wp.me/p1Lbxy-e4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, John. I read your response this morning and was just about to update this post with the link. Thanks for beating me to it!

      Delete
  9. And the Purpose Driven Jaggernaut rolls on!!! And over anyone who gets in the way. PD IS a cult and Rick Warren is the Cult Master.

    One of the characteristics of a false prophet/teacher or in this case false pastor, is their inability to accept or even listen to criticism. Reactions vary from the James Mickey-D catapult in the parking lot, to Driscoll's "church" discipline of removing his detractors (physically if necessary). Warren's approach is much more subtle. His seemingly calm and reasoned response makes the listener think that he is taking the high road. He comes across as one who love his enemies and cares for his sheep. He is probably the most skillful and practiced deceiver of out time. If he were truly a man of God as he claims to be his concern would be that his people might be tempted to follow one who would lead them away from the Gospel and the Lord Jesus. But his concern is for Saddleback, his PEACE plan, Daniel plan and whatever the next installment will be in his quest to keep people from the Gospel, Jesus Christ, and salvation.

    Any and all true men (pastor, teacher, etc.) of God will tell those who listen that they welcome and want criticism if they err from Scripture. And that they want to be shown in the Scriptures, not by someone's personal idea of right from wrong, what they said that was wrong and what the Scriptures say is correct. They will revere the Scriptures as the only and final authority in all matters of human life and eternal life. As a pastor, they will guard their people from false doctrine and false teachers by instructing them from the Scriptures. Their concern will be for the spiritual well-being of those being taught and not growing a church to a five figure membership with an eight figure budget. For the real man of God it is Jesus Christ: first, last, and foremost. For the false prophet it is anything but Jesus Christ. Judge for yourself where RW stands: true or false. Judge righteous judgment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ....not to mention, "ricky" would come out to the bridge and talk to me if he had the faith of a "mustard seed"....his cult members come out to talk about how he influenced the woman that i let adopt my grandson not let him see me any longer as i am a heretic....but no sign of "ricky" other than racing passed me in his green Bronco.....

      Delete
  10. My problem with Rick is his involvement with inter-faith council. Rick.. I do not want to sound judgmental but you are so fake..

    ReplyDelete

Please keep it pithy (in other words, if your comment is long enough to be its own blog post, don't bother), pertinent (please don't go off-topic), and respectful (to the author, to the other readers, and to the subject of the post). If you can't do that, your comment will not be posted.

If you haven't already, please read the Comment Policy in its entirety.