Friday, August 15, 2008

A Purpose Driven Campaign: Obama and McCain Square Off (Or Show Off) for Evangelicals Everywhere!

No, it's not another one of Cher's Final Tours. It's a megachurch.


Sorry. I was in megachurch mode and thinking about tomorrow, when Obama and McCain duke it out at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in California (O.C. to be sure).
At first, it seems that Warren's church is the perfect place to entice evangelicals who don't quite espouse John Hagee's odd logic about Israel, Rod Parsley's militaristic prose, or Jeremiah Wright's liberation theology: Warren is called the "Jimmy Buffet of evangelical preachers." He is the author of the 20-million bestseller book "The Purpose Driven Life." He is also one helluva powerful man.

Here are some facts about Saddleback Church (as per Bob Lanham's The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right):
  • Collected $7 million in cash on one Sunday.
  • Bar codes are assigned to babies checked in to the nursery to avoid losing them.
  • Has an estimated three thousand church-based small groups.
  • Provides several service styles, including gospel, guitar-driven, and even "hula and island-style."
  • Has a 120-acre campus, three hundred employees, and over sixty daughter churches.
With Warren's laid back style, this might just be the perfect venue for Obama and McCain. But as with all things religious, you have to look beneath the bright-colored Hawaiian shirt to see a little Christofascism at work: Warren preaches that only until the entire world experiences The Word will Jesus Christ come. It's the End Times with a softer touch; however, it can be very hard when it comes to matters of sin: (On natural disasters)
"The Bible teaches that since sin entered the world, way back with the very first human beings, we have lived in an imperfect, broken planet, and that causes hurricanes and tornadoes."
Warren is also something of a biblical inerrantist. That, of course, warns us that hellfire is closer to everyone than we think. He may even be a bit of a Reconstructionist. Who knows?

Just a thought.