On Monday night, Rick Warren, the famous pastor of Saddleback Church in California and author of The Purpose Driven Life, hosted an event exclusively for the black members of Saddleback Church.
Earlier this week, Allie Stuckey, who needs to come work for Not the Bee, made an awesome Twitter thread about the incompatibility of Critical Race Theory and the church. If you haven't already read it you should really check it out. This is an example of the poison of Critical Race Theory infecting a MAJOR American church.
The announcement for the service came last Friday and the event took place on Monday night, the 14th. The announcement is filled with the language you would see in a social justice warrior's social media feed, mixed with "church talk" and a Bible verse meant to signal the great virtue of Saddleback's leadership.
Before we take a closer look at this announcement and the obvious implications, I think we need to establish something a little bit broader, and that is this:
SEGREGATION IS BAD!
IT IS RACIST!
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's look at some specifics.
We don't want to be a church that just talks about love, that just studies love, that just defines love, that just prays about love. It's not enough to just say we love people. We have to show love.
This line is essentially a rebuke of platitudes with, you guessed it, the use of another platitude "We have to show love" the implication being that, until this moment there was not enough true love being shown to all members of the church. So right off the bat, accuse your church of being hypocrites and racists. But in a soft, gentle, and purpose-driven way.
I can't wait to share with you my vision for next year, and how we're going to continue loving and serving people who are in pain. But right now, before the year is over, we're starting with our Black brothers and sisters.
So if you are an African American and/or Black member of Saddleback (and spouses, no matter your ethnicity), you are invited to a special Zoom gathering...
The best way to actually SHOW love appears to be singling out one group and specifically designating them as an oppressed group "who are in pain." I'm going to have to find the verse about showing love by reinforcing a victim mentality. I'm sure that's in the Bible somewhere.
Picking back up with the announcement.
...you are invited to a special Zoom gathering Monday night December 14, at 6:00 PM with me, Pastor Anthony Miller, and Dr. Anita Phillips, racial-trauma expert and host of the In the Light podcast. Our worship team has also arranged a one-of-a-kind gospel experience. We want this to be a safe space for our Black brothers and sisters to heal and be fed mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by their church family heading into the new year.
The event features Rick Warren, one of Saddleback's Communication Pastors, and a "racial-trauma expert." So this should be a real healing experience. Because, as we all know, the best way to bring racial reconciliation within the church is probably to hold race-segregated events. This one includes a "one-of-a-kind gospel experience" which I guess means the music is specifically curated for the black-only audience? I'm sure that was totally racially sensitive.
Lastly, we get to the favorite phrase of the college-educated social justice warriors, "We want this to be a safe space for our Black brothers and sisters" (notice how Black is always capitalized, in accordance with the latest woke grammar rules).
The implication here is really the most offensive of all. What is it that makes this event a "safe space"? Obviously, it's the absence of white people. Rick Warren, intentionally or not, in this announcement is saying "you have reason to feel unsafe in the presence of your brothers and sisters in Christ."
What an insulting and offensive thing to say!
As a Christian, you already have a safe space. It's called The Church.
Actions like this purposefully divide the church, literally segregating the church based on race. This action elevates race as a factor that's more important than being a believer in the same church.
Warren and Saddleback need to remember the words found in Galatians 3:28 - "There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus."
We are all one in Christ Jesus.
Let's not bring re-racialization into the church.