Rick Warren: Tolerance of Gay Marriage Does Not Equal Approval

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Rick Warren explained his views on homosexuality and gay marriage on CBS This Morning.

Rick Warren, author and pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California, went on CBS This Morning to promote the 10th anniversary of his book, The Purpose Driven Life, and ended up discussing his views on homosexuals and gay marriage. Warren said Jess was tolerant of all views but did not approve of them all, an attitude he adopts himself.

“Gay marriage is a very personal question,” Warren explained. “I have biblical views regarding what marriage is about. I am not in favor of redefining marriage, I’m not. It’s not illegal to have a gay relationship, so it’s not a big issue to me.”

“I don’t happen to believe in everything that my gay friends believe, but when they want to end AIDS, I’m a co-belligerent with them. We have given millions of dollars to fight AIDS from around the world, and we have worked with both gays and straights. I can work with an atheist, I can work with a Mormon, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew — and that’s one of the issues we have to work on.”

“The problem is that ‘tolerant’ has changed its meaning. It used to mean ‘I may disagree with you completely, but I will treat you with respect.’ Today, tolerant means – ‘you must approve of everything I do.’ There’s a difference between tolerance and approval. Jesus accepted everyone no matter who they were. He doesn’t approve of everything I do, or you do, or anybody else does either. You can be accepting without being approving.”

To read more of the interview, click here.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.schillaci1 Ben Schillaci

    Good afternoon Rick, Rick i do Not know you only what I heard and the show you put on cbs. The women introduced you as the most influenced person, the only time I ever seen you was when you were chosen to pray for Obama. The man used you, Rick just like he uses a lot of other people. Now getting to your comments, about being tolerant toward sin,

    didn’t Jesus say to the Jews you are of the devil, how come he did not tolerate them and Jesus was the one who was going to die for them, are you trying to be Jesus on earth?you talk of love, Gods love are we not suppose to live in the love of God and not to Be Jesus. Were is tolerant mentioned in the Bible. Are you being political correct if so where is that in the bible?Did Jesus work with every one? If so please show it to me, the talk is homosexuals, what is sin Rick, I do not go around accusing people but if I am to engage in a conversation with a lesbian or gay man I would tell them they are wrong with there life style. than introduce them to Jesus Christ if they accept him Great if not at least some one told them of Christ. Ben

    • Robin Healey

      He isn’t saying be tolerant of sin… he is saying be tolerant of sinners…. and the Word says that ALL are sinners (for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory).

  • Drummie

    The toilerance that has been shown in the past is part of the reason we have the demand for approval now. We tolerated without confronting. When a Church or Pastor teaches and preaches a watered down Gospel, they invite more problems. If we can not call a sin a sin, then we are not being true to Christ. I have found nothing in the Bible that tells me I should cosign with my accptance any sin. We are all sinners but we are all called to repentance. Maintaining a homosexual lifestyle or attempting gay “marriage” is the exact opposite of repentance. How can I say that I am loving my neighbor when I do not point out that the average life expectency of a gay man actively engaged in homosexual behavior is about twenty years shorter than his heterosexual counterpart? The gay community does not want to hear that. It seems that they along with many other liberals are psychologically incapable of accepting responsability for their actions or even admitting that there is a problem. I am not saying mistreat anyone, but I must speak Truth as I know it.

    • Cindy Cruz Spoo

      excellent post Drummie…you are spot on.

    • Scott Dossett

      Your last phrase is an interesting one: “I must speak truth as I know it.” Therefore others must speak the truth as they know it also. If you can allow both sides to have their say and do so respectfully and with love and let it go, so be it.

      But let me suggest a question, why don’t you feel the same need to get up in the pulpit and tell people that the average life expectancy of an obese person is about a decade shorter? The last time I heard a sermon on gluttony, it was from an obese man in the pulpit who clearly showed no intentions of changing his own dietary plans… and who faithfully followed up on those plans to do nothing about it. But nobody called him out of his position for it (Prov 23:2, 28:7). Should they have demanded acts befitting repentance? Should they have disciplined him? You may say, “At least he was willing to admit it was sin.” But vocalizing repentance and exercising repentance are not the same thing. Which do you demand? Which is worse, to acknowledge sin and do it anyway or to commit a “sin” genuinely believing that it isn’t sin? If both are equally sinful, then you’re going to have to call approximately a third of the church into repentance and discipline (“Two-thirds of US adults are overweight or obese. See Food Research and Action Center). If we’re going to talk about it, let’s talk honestly about it.

      By the way, how about we acknowledge that the way a homosexual person lives out their lifestyle determines much about these and other health factors. How about we acknowledge that much of the problem comes from homosexual promiscuity, not simply their sexual “orientation”? Here’s what the International Journal of Epidemiology said about their own study on homosexuality (8-21 years shorter, btw): “Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor.”

  • Ryan

    God does not force people into obedience neither does He stop anyone from sin. I think God is often tolerating my sin but I know His tolerance is in no way approval. I look at it this way, I must treat other the way God treats me, whether it be forgiveness or tolerating with disapproval of their sin that may bother me the way God tolerates with disapproval of my sin. It is God’s Spirit in me that convicts me of sin and drives me to change. It it up to God’s Spirit to do the same for others. All I can possibly do is to encourage people to do right without condemnation. That’s how God deals with me… continual encouragment. If I fall, He picks me up, brushes me off, gentally points me in the right direction and keeps me going.

    • Dan

      Ultimately God won’t tolerate unrepentant sinners. They will go to hell. God offers love and acceptance through the blood of Jesus Christ to all who repent but unrepentant sinners will not be accepted or “tolerated”. Our job is to show Gods love to people and share the Gospel but it is not loving to let them think that they can live however they want without consequences.

      • joan

        God is already working on that because no doubt in my mind that Rick Warren prays about that very issue.

  • http://twitter.com/talmadgekyzer Talmadge Kyzer

    Rick I am sorry that you think you can
    stand there and for whatever reason thinks that you can change Gods laws with
    your words. It cannot be done and you know it. A sin is a sin and it shall be
    judged as a sin. Neither your words nor my words can change that. God has set
    up the laws and we shall be judged by his laws. When he said the slothful and
    the drunkard shall not see the kingdom of God, they shall not see the kingdom
    of God because he spoke the law. It shall not be changed. When he said that it
    was an abomination to him for a man to be with a man or a woman to be with a
    woman then that law cannot be changed and it shall be judged as he has spoken
    the words. I am sorry that you would lead people to believe that they can sin
    and their sins will not be judged. God will not be tolerant, He shall enforce
    the laws that he spoke and judge accordingly:

    In loving
    respect for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Randy Kyzer

    • Kirby

      Hi Randy
      I completely agree with you, God’s laws can not be changed – sin is sin. But if we are going to look at what God is saying let’s look at what else he said. John 3:17 says God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. If we look at Jesus life and how he related to sinners – he met with them, ate with them and showed the Father’s love and compassion . That is what draws all men to Him. The problem that we have created as Christians is that we like to categorize sin. We think things like lying… are little trivial sins that don’t mean much but things like adultery… are the big sins and look out – you could go to hell for that. If we look at Matthew 5:21 we clearly see God showing that- as you say, sin is sin, it is all the same there is no big or small.So even just calling someone a fool puts us in danger of Hell fire. So we even as Christians are just like the homosexuals and the adulterers as far as sin is concerned because as much as we try not to – we all still sin at some point. The only difference for Christians is that we have received God’s love and with that forgiveness for our sins. It is out of the love that we then have for God that we choose to try and live His ways. We are forgiven when we get it wrong but with that forgiveness we are supposed to show love to all others who have not yet found God’s love. We are supposed to help bring the lost in. I don’t know about you but I have never won friends or even found people who are willing to listen long to me if I just stand there judging them and telling them how bad they are. There are enough people in the world to do that. As a Christian though if I can show God’s love and friendship then I earn a place to be able to speak into their life, to share with them how God has changed me and how he has made a difference in my life. As the old saying goes ” we just need to catch the fish, God will clean them.” I do also feel the need to remind you that Matthew 7 from verse 1 says ” Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2. For in the same way you judge others, you too will be judged and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. In these end days God is pouring out His love and with that love He is drawing mankind to himself. As Christians we should be doing the same – you don’t have to agree with it or condone it and neither do I – but if we show love first maybe we might make more of a difference. You finished off respect for my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and absolutely we respect Him but He is also our Father and He wants that good Father / child love relationship with us as well. I pray for you that you come to know His love more and more.

      • Dan

        You better read the book of James and I John if you think “Christians are just like homosexuals and the adulterers as far as sin is concerned”. If a Christians life is characterized by sin , there is reason to doubt the sincerity of their conversion. Also, if you read a little farther in Matthew 7 maybe you will have better understanding of the context. You won’t be able to comply with verse 6 without making a judgement. The point is that we need to live what we claim to believe and be fair in our “judgements”. Yes, if we practice homosexuality, then we are in no position to tell others not to do it. If I tell someone that drunk driving is wrong then I will rightly be judged as wrong if I do it.

    • Robin Healey

      Pastor Warren isn’t saying that he believes he can change “God’s laws”… he’s saying that it isn’t up to us to judge… it is up to us to love… and he’s right! First… the Word tells us to judge not, let ye be judged. Second… Jesus removed the requirement of having to follow the Law in order to please God and established justification by faith through grace. What we have been given (if we choose to accept it) is a gift out of God’s mercy and grace… completely undeserved and not anything that can be earned. Yes homosexuality is a sin… but so is lying, stealing, swearing, cheating, being rude to others, being prideful, overeating, etc…. We have ALL sinned and fallen short…. including me… and including you. Sin is sin… God is no respecter of men. Praise God for the hope we have in Jesus Christ! Otherwise… we’d all be doomed!

      • Peter Mahoney

        What you say is truth… albeit incomplete and left that way leads to antinomianism… something worse than legalism (its opposite). Jesus didn’t die on a bloody cross so that we can “go on sinning”. We have been set free, yes… but we are not “free” in the American sense of the word. We are freed from sin and death, but we remain slaves… slaves unto righteousness. Jesus’ own words, “If you love me, obey my commandments.”

        Yes all sin is sin… and we need not elevate one sin over another. That said, God does speak to sexual sin specifically. Romans 1:18-32 says, “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

  • Aussie Padre

    Hey guys, how about you watch the movie/doco. “Father of lights”.
    Try to see the Father as a loving Father.
    Yes, He hates sin, that is why Jesus died on the cross.
    Jesus would show Love to Gays, Adulterers and Fornicators, show them that the Father Loves them;
    Then say follow Me and sin no more.
    That’s right! Shows the Love of the One who sent Him. First.
    Then He would show that He alone is Whorthy to be followed. Second.
    Then when the sinner is saved by Grace and make a true heart confession. Third.
    They then can start the journey to Salvation with the Holy Spirit. Fourth.
    All I can say to you all, is do the best you are called to do and let God be God.

  • Cindy Cruz Spoo

    He is trying to be “relevant” which is basically watered down christianity (in my opinion). I am a life coach,minister, pastoral counselor. It got me when he said:
    “I don’t happen to believe in everything that my gay friends believe, but when they want to end AIDS, I’m a co-belligerent with them. We have given millions of dollars to fight AIDS from around the world, and we have worked with both gays and straights. I can work with an atheist, I can work with a Mormon, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew — and that’s one of the issues we have to work on.”

    Does he not understand that we need to get to the root:SIN? How can we possibly give of ourselves to work with these other religions/groups when we don’t all have the same Creator in mind??? He wants to unite but you can’t when Jesus came to bring a sword for this very thing! They need to understand that they are under the curse that has created things such as AIDS and until they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior from these very things that we will not be like minded and one. UUGGHH!

    • Steven Leapley

      Cindy, show me in the Bible where Jesus is bringing a sword to the world?

      • Peter Mahoney

        Just to good to pass up… and Cindy please forgive me for “stealing your thunder”, but I just can’t resist to respond… Steven, please read from Matthew 10.34-39.

        “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

        Doesn’t exactly fit the mold of Jesus we’ve created for ourselves, but it is the Jesus of the Bible.

        • Jed

          Hate to burst your bubble but the “sword” is His Gospels, and the word of God..Heb 4.12

          • Peter Mahoney

            I would agree, or at least only in part. I would stipulate that the “Gospel” or good news is all of God’s Word… Genesis to Revelation… and cannot be limited to a “Roman Road” or “ABC” presentation as good as those things might be. We cannot limit our understanding of “Gospel” to the 4 books of the Bible that make up the front end of the NT.

            Now, if we’re talking literal swords (i.e. actual blades) you’ve got to go to the “Christophany” in Joshua to capture that. The sword Cindy was speaking… at least from my perspective, is the word of God. When God’s Word (the Gospel) is embraced adn lived out, peace with God is a result. Conflict with the world, the lost, and with nominal Christians will also be a reality.

      • Jed

        Revelation 19.15

    • joan

      God has his plan and you aren’t nec privy to that plan. You cannot point a finger at Rick Warren and make a snap judgement about his motives just because they don’t align with your rigid views. He will produce a lot more fruit than you my friend because of his style. And isn’t that what everyone wants — to bring people to Christ? I can assure you that your negative assumptions are not helpful at all and quite possibly a hindrance. sincerely, Joan
      Oh and about getting to the root of sin? please…. what a waste of time . Sin is part of everyone’s life isn’t it? Isn’t that why we needed a Savior? I truly believe the emphasis should be on supporting each other and working on our own personal issues instead of worrying about everyone else’s issues more than your own. Take the log out of your own eye. You need to trust that GOD is already working in those people’s lives you are so concerned about. Remember that God has a plan right? So let his plan unfold as it should and quit trying to control it. Give it up to God because He knows what He is doing right?

      • Cindy Cruz Spoo

        Yes, Joan, these articles sometime bring out the very best in us-NOT. People tend to follow what feels good instead of truth because truth can be so harsh. Jesus atleast understood where His power came from and even when Peter and the other apostles didnt understand the plan, Jesus went about His fathers business. Yes, Rick Warren will lead others to Jesus as He knows Him and he does it in a psychological, attraction all way. I really am not against Rick Warren, heck, he is the next best thing since Billy Graham. The humanitarian effort is appealing but we all don’t serve the same Creator.

    • joan

      Cindy, you make Chuck Warren sound like he is not a Christian at all when you refer to him having a different Creator. It is impossible that every denomination will ever be in complete agreement on how to win souls or interpret every line in the Bible the same way and the list goes on.. So you can beat you head against the wall or you can focus on your own issues and give the rest to God to take care of.

  • Gamaliel Garcia

    In my humble opinion, arguments such as those posted shows the current condition of our heart as the Church, it is true that Jesus called out the sin of the Pharisees. But that was because they thought they had no sin and used their knowledge of the law to consider themselves better than others and condemn them. That was the entire premise of Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Publican praying in Luke 18.
    Jesus also stated that if we break one portion of the law we are guilty of breaking ALL of the law. So, that makes us as guilty as the homosexual, the murderer, the slanderer, the thief, the drunkard, the liar, etc. we are guilty of it all. Let’s think about that the next time we have the urge to point the finger.
    Besides, the Pharisees ( the religious community who knew the Law of Gid very well and claimed to be following Gid’s will) blamed Jesus of not being genuine because He hung with thieves and prostitutes. Hmmm…

  • Iēsous’ mathēteuō

    What happened to my post from last night?

    Interesting that you would put up opinions, philosophy, but not the Word of God.(Col.2)

  • Sharon

    Remember God DESTROYED Sodom and Gomorrah because of HOMOSEXUALITY!!!!!!! Laying up with a man & man, woman & woman is SODOMY!!!!!!! AN ABOMINATION unto God!!!!!!! I do LOVE you guys, but your lifestyle stinks!!!!!!! Please pray and ask God to help you to change, or else you all gonna die and go to HELL!!!! Read Genesis 19. & Romans 1:24-32. Be blessed.

  • Jed

    The sin of homosexuality goes against the very Creation of God…in the beginning God Created man and woman, male and female (Genesis) to procreate the human race and all species to fill the earth…that is His master plan…anything that goes against God’s very Creation is especially abominable to the Creator…homosexuality is also filthy and disease causing, which is another dimension of it… and Sharon you are right..God destroyed a city and the remaining homosexual residents…when he pronounces judgement on western societies it will be very very severe indeed, for those practicing homosexuality/ sodomy (anal intercourse), and those condoning and accept this terrible perversion…but thats why Revelation is in the Bible….and as Jesus said “wide is the way that leads to destruction, narrow is the way that leaders to Salvation, few shall find it”…..with the unfolding of the end times as Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24 and Revelation..the end is in sight…be ready!

  • YeeHa!

    This article has a typo (error) in the first paragraph .. The Word “Jess” should say: “Jesus”.. Pretty important to fix this.. :)

  • davidbr

    Homosexuality is a moral decision. So to posit a “gay gene” means there must be a moral gene. LOL. God does not create beings who are physically incapable of obeying Him. That goes right back to Adam’s “blame God” ploy in the garden: “The woman YOU put here with me – she gave me some fruit.” Rick tries to play it from both sides when he acknowledges a “gay gene”, yet suggests the person is responsible for obeying God.

  • jerome

    I’m concerned that he is talking in circles. Rick Warren is compromising too much and using alot of words, but is saying nothing. He seems to be spineless and he is not using the opportunity to make stand
    Jerome Mcpherson

  • partyhopper

    Yes we can tolerate without approving. Without this attribute, the door will open again for religious and ther wars.