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Rick Warren Saddleback Church Covers Up Extremist Ideology

The controversy over the plan to have right wing preacher Rick Warren give an official religious invocation to introduce Barack Obama’s Inauguration just grew another kink. It seems that Rick Warren’s church, the Saddleback Church, is engaged in a coverup designed to hide Rick Warren’s extremist ideology.

Soon after it was announced that its leader, Rick Warren, would be giving an invocation at the Inauguration, the Saddleback Church began taking down parts of its web site in an attempt to prevent people from seeing the kind of weird ideas that the church actually preaches. For example, on December 16th, the Saddleback Church web site had a page of questions and answers about its beliefs. Here’s what it looked like then:

rick warren ideology pre-deletion

rick warren ideology pre-deletion

Here’s what that same page looks like now:

rick warren censored questions

Why the coverup if, as Rick Warren claims, truth is eternal? If Rick Warren is happy to preach these weird ideas to people at his church, then how come he isn’t willing to share them all with the rest of us? Come on, preacher Warren – let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! Truth is eternal, online. I discovered this coverup by looking at Google’s cache, and now, thanks to that, I’ve been able to save the page as a PDF, which you can see for yourself here. I’ve put it on the server, where Rick Warren won’t be able to make it disappear.

What really tickles me is that this page is the Saddleback Church’s page of frequently asked questions. It’s right there in the name of the file: faqs_saddleback.asp – FAQs stands for frequently asked questions. But now, this page has been erased. What does that tell us about how Rick Warren and the Saddleback Church feel about questions?

Apparently, there are no frequently asked questions at the Saddleback Church. It’s not the kind of church where questions are appreciated. Rather, it seems that when church members bring up questions, they’re erased.

Actually, its not just the questions that are deleted from the Saddleback Church web site. Rick Warren’s answers to the questions are deleted too. Amongst those answers are the following nuggets:

– If you’re in debt, you shouldn’t stop giving money to the Saddleback Church, because you’re more likely to get out of debt if you give Rick Warren money.
– Stopping embryonic stem cell research is more important than curing grave and fatal illnesses. Rick Warren urges his followers to “speak out against overzealous stem cell research, even though you know it slows down the process of finding a possible cure for someone you love.”
– Jews should convert to Christianity, because the only sin for which we can go to Hell is “rejecting God’s saving solution in his son Jesus Christ.”
– Homosexuality is a sin, and so the Saddleback Church won’t accept homosexual couples as members. Church members ought to confront homosexuals and tell them that they’re sinners.
– Belief in evolution and belief in the Bible are incompatible.
– God gave human beings dominion over dinosaurs, which were around at the birth of human civilization – “Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time.”
– Plesiosaurs might not be extinct at all.

But this isn’t all – there’s a lot more to Rick Warren and Saddleback Church than just this one web page. A further search for other coverup materials seems to be called for.

19 thoughts on “Rick Warren Saddleback Church Covers Up Extremist Ideology”

  1. Paliban Mom says:

    I reviewed Saddleback’s FAQ, J, and I think I’m missing something.

    I don’t see any radical theology here. I see only the statements of an honest, Bible-believing Christian. Everything is consistent with God’s Word.

    If you don’t like God’s Word, J, then your issue is with God, not with Rick Warren.

    Let’s review your examples: Tithing is a sacrifice of what God gave us, to return it to His work. Since, under Christian belief, all good (er, and all evil) things come from God, returning to Him is more important than paying off the credit card bills we irresponsibly ran up. Why should God do without His new Porsche because we are irresponsible?

    Embryonic stem cell research: Abortion is murder. While God assigns no value to an infant for the first 30 days of its life (Leviticus 27:6), He doesn’t give permission to kill it before it’s born and you can assess the quality of the product.

    Jews converting? The only way to Heaven is through Jesus. Any Christian will tell you that. How is that radical?

    Homosexuality IS a sin. God says so in the Bible, repeatedly. Some of the relevant verses are even quoted in the FAQ. How, again, is this “radical”? It’s Christian doctrine.

    Evolution: Microevolution (within a species) happens every day; macroevolution is, in fact, incompatible with 6-day Creationism. Again, not “radical” at all.

    Humans/Dinosaurs: If all creatures were created at the same time, then humans and dinosaurs lived together. Anyone who believes the Bible must also believe this . . . unless they wish to declare the Bible false.

    Plesiosaurs: Have you seen everything on earth? Giant squids were considered a fairy tale until a few years ago. The Loch Ness Monster and Champy (Lake Champlain) may actually exist, for all we know. Who are you to say they don’t?

    I can’t say why Saddleback took down its FAQ; possibly it needed some updates. But I don’t see anything inconsistent with any Bible-believing Christian church’s beliefs . . . and a desperate need on your part to find a conspiracy where none exists.

    Oh, and thank you for posting the FAQ. I may need to add a Part 2 to my “What’s Right about Rick Warren”!

    1. J. Clifford says:

      First of all, Paliban, very large numbers of Americans – including many Christians – do NOT agree with you that the Bible is the word of God.

      Second, the idea that dinosaurs were on Earth at the same time as humans, and that humans had dominion over dinosaurs is not in the Bible. Neither is anything about stem cell research – or anything having to do with stem cells, or for that matter, any cells, or fertilization of egg by sperm. Neither is abortion.

      The Bible can be interpreted as saying that homosexuality is a sin, but it also says that eating lobster is a sin. It would be extremist to try to force everyone in America not to eat lobster. So, in the same way, is it extremist to try to force everyone in America to obey Rick Warren’s anti-homosexual preoccupation.

      You’re actually arguing in favor of plesiosaurs not being extinct, Paliban. That pretty much proves the point right there.

      Yes, the Bible may say that there was a creation of animals by God, but it also describes a “firmament”. Do you believe in that too? Most Christians do not.

      Rick Warren is no moderate. He’s an extremist who is out of touch with mainstream culture and scientific reality, and he’s using his power to work against the freedoms guaranteed us by the Constitution.

      1. Paliban Mom says:

        Jim –

        You say: “very large numbers of Americans – including many Christians – do NOT agree with you that the Bible is the word of God.”

        Then they are not Christians. The only way to know God is through His Word. If you don’t believe the Bible, then you are no Christian. You’re making up your very own god to suit yourself.

        You said: “Second, the idea that dinosaurs were on Earth at the same time as humans, and that humans had dominion over dinosaurs is not in the Bible. ”

        Look up “behemoth” and “leviathan” and “dragon” in the Bible (KJV). Sorry, they’re there. And since all Creation happened within 6 days, humans had dominion over dinosaurs.

        You wrote: “Neither is anything about stem cell research – or anything having to do with stem cells, or for that matter, any cells, or fertilization of egg by sperm. Neither is abortion. ”

        Commandment not to murdering innocents IS in the Bible. You don’t get embryonic stem cells without murdering an unborn child.

        “The Bible can be interpreted as saying that homosexuality is a sin,”

        No, it says it directly. No need to “interpret”. It also says that the punishment is death by stoning.

        “It would be extremist to try to force everyone in America not to eat lobster.”

        Not really, not in a Christian nation. Did you know that 76% of Americans identify as Christian? Of course, only about 16% of those actually bother with the Bible (a growing number, research it for yourself).

        “You’re actually arguing in favor of plesiosaurs not being extinct, Paliban. That pretty much proves the point right there.”

        No, I’m arguing that you cannot know what is or is not in the oceans. I didn’t argue that plesiosaurs are or are not extinct, and neither did Warren. You put those words in his mouth and in mine. For shame!

        “Rick Warren is no moderate. He’s an extremist ”

        I never claimed Rick Warren was a moderate! He’s a Christian who (largely) follows the Bible. According to you, following the one book which defines one’s religion is “extremism”. I suppose you’d like to see all such “extremists” locked up, eh? Bibles burned as “hate speech”?

        I’m glad YOU and the other thought police aren’t running the nation! It’s hard enough for Christians to practice their religion in peace, with people like you showing your “Liberal tolerance” — that is, agreeing and fully supporting any position, no matter how bizarre, as long as it completely agrees with your own.

      2. gregg powers says:

        it does not matter what Americans agree to. There are lots of Americans that believe in UFO’s. The truth is the truth and will never change…..

  2. dave says:

    J. Clifford,

    You are much too smart than to use the shellfish arguement as it pertains to homosexuality.

    A causual Google Search will point you to many sites which give an explaination as to what God was talking about when he called eating shellfish an “abomination”. Different Hebrew word, different context, different circumstances, ect..

    And again, I must ask….what freedoms are being taken away by religious leaders like Rick Warren?

  3. J. Clifford says:

    Uh-huh. And there aren’t any such contextual rationalizations for the other “abomination” that Rick Warren is so strangely obsessed with? Sure, buddy, sure. Aren’t you too smart to use such a hollow, backwards argument?

    Again you must ask about freedoms? Must again I explain? There’s an essential bulwark to freedom in the Constitution that guarantees people equal protection under the law – Rick Warren stands against that. Rick Warren also stands against the First Amendment and the main body of the Constitution, which declare unconstitutional any religious test for religious office and outlaw any government establishment of religion.

    Maybe you’ve been hanging out in Rick Warren’s plesiosaur sanctuary a bit too much, Dave.

    1. Paliban Mom says:

      Ah, again you resort to ridicule. I should know better than to expect more from you, Jim.

      All true Christians stand against removal of the Constitution and replacement of it with God’s Law, the Bible.

      I suppose you’ll call all of the Christian Reconstruction movement “extremist” now, because they don’t agree with your secularist, anti-God worldview?

  4. dave says:

    All those words, and yet you still didn’t answer the question.

    What “specific” freedom has been taken away from you?

    And no, the “abomination” or uncleaness concerning shellfish spoken of in Leviticus is refering to the dietary instructions placed upon the Children of Isreal as they left Eygpet and moved into the desert.They were being instructed to be careful of what they ate. No “unclean” foods, or foods that could potentially be harmful to them, were supposed to be eaten.Someone as smart as you would surely realized what would happen to crabs left out in the desert sun.

    The “abomination” of homosexuality refered to in Leviticus is the Hebrew word “ebhah” which is more severe. We are told later in the Bible that it is ok to eat unclean foods, we are never told it is ok to practice homsexuality. In fact Romans tells us that it is a practice worthy of death, and no J. Clifford, it doen’t mean it’s ok to kill those who practice homosexuality, it is refering to the judgement of God in the final times.

    And before you start on your childish rantings, I don’t belong to a church. I don’t go to a church.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Well, Dave, I do belong to a church, and I do go to church – every week, and sometimes during the week too. Yet, I’m one of those people who is damned to Hell, according to Rick Warren, because I don’t believe in God.

      No, it’s not a contradiction, Dave. Think. Think.

      I certainly referred to specific freedoms Dave. Do you need me to spell it out to you, Dave? I don’t think so. I think you’re just playing dumb. But okay, I’ll play.

      Equality under the law, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is a freedom – freedom from inequality. Don’t tell me freedom from inequality is not in the Constitution. It is. Main body. Read it.

      Freedom from religious tests for public office – how about that one? Yes, we’re guaranteed freedom from religious tests for public office by the Constitution. Main body. Read it.

      Freedom of religion is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution, and Rick Warren is attacking that like Bill Clinton on a Big Mac.

      Dave, don’t try to play Bible games on me. You know darned well that Jesus mocked the laws of the Old Testament. Jesus said that those laws, including the law against homosexuality, aren’t really very important in the big scheme of things. Oh, but that doesn’t count? Jesus doesn’t count?

      In the end, who cares? If your imagination can’t get any bigger than a book finished before the development of flushing toilets, I don’t think you deserve to be taken seriously. That’s just my opinion, of course. Take yourself seriously if you really want to, Dave.

  5. dave says:


    Sure makes it easy to when arguemnts when you can make stuff up.

    I must have missed that mocking against homosexuality.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Dave, I didn’t make anything up. What did I make up?

      I suppose, Dave, that you don’t have anything to say, that you can’t refute what I’ve said.

      It must be hard for you, trying to ignore the fact that Rick Warren, who preaches that he’s got the ultimate truth about everything at his Saddleback Church, is now trying to hide the crazy stuff he’s been telling his followers.

      The cover’s off this coverup, Dave. If you were a member of that church, how would it make you feel to see your own preacher trying to hide his own statements just so that he could gain political power?

  6. dave says:


    You’re ranting at the wrong guy. I really don’t give a crap what Rick Warren’s Church believes in. I read about 4 or 5 that I don’t agree with from the get go.

    First,I responded to your statement about the shellfish. You will not win an arguement with me concerning homosexuality using that quote. I know what it is talking about. You can not compare the two.

    Second, I don’t spend all my time on this blog. Occasionally I will read a few articles. I’m sorry I missed where you listed all the freedoms you felt were under attack. But, freedom from inequality doen’t include behavior. You have all the same rights as I do. Religious tests for office..I’m certainly against that, but I hardly equate Rick Warren mentioning that he wouldn’d vote for a athiest as a religous test.

    Thirdly, you made up the stuff about Jesus mocking the Old Testament, on the contrary, he said he came to fulfil the law. The big picture you refered to is I’m presumming where he said to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” or maybe “love thy neighbor as thyself”. Either way, he told us to follow his comandmants if we wanted to enter into his Kingdom. Galations is pretty specific about what kind of person can’t come in.I try my best not to fall into the categories, sometimes I still do. That’s where forgiveness comes in.

    And a book before toilets. Wow, that’s bold. If the author is God, which I believe it is, why not try to understand it?

    1. Paliban Mom says:

      Because “many Americans, even some (so-called/nominal/false) Christians” don’t believe the Bible, Dave, so Jim says you must be an extremist if you don’t agree with what the Hellbound majority says.

      Heck, even President Bush denied the Bible recently! I’m surprised Jim wasn’t all over that one!

      For your convenience:

  7. rick of NM says:

    I think all of you are missing the point. This article concerns this “Church” pulling down some of its information from its site, in my opinion to appease everybody. I went to this site and many of its links no longer work. I do know that Mr. Warren has in public on TV compared Gays to pedophiles and rapists. Whether you agree or disagree with him really makes NO difference. Whether you agree that being Gay is an abomination or not makes NO difference. What this article is asking is WHY? Why would Warren take down information from his site if he didnt have something to hide? OBVIOUSLY He DOES. So those of you that are good God fearing Christians must also see there is something afoot. Isnt a truth untold still a LIE? If Warren hadnt been brought out into the light as it were, would his site have been modified? I understand that Warren has been villified by the Gay community and with this act of concealment and his statements on TV maybe it is deserved. Or should we just consider Warren to be a politician that is cloaked in hipocrasy. Thats my opinion of him. Instead of standing by his ideals he has lowered himself to that lower than a “lobster”. He has given me acid indigestion as it were. Anything he says is now suspect.

    1. J. Clifford says:

      I agree with you, kind of, Rick. I don’t think that being a politician is necessarily a “lower” position to be in, but I do think that Rick Warren has shown, with this cover up, the decision to switch from being a preacher to being a politician who uses the guise of being a preacher in order to gain power for himself.

  8. david biritz says:

    To PalibanMom and others who share her unfortunate inability to think properly as an adult in 2008: There are things that are impossible, always have been, always will be (1) no animal can be killed then somehow reanimated three days later, (2) a human can not be cured of ANY illness, chronic, terminal, etc. by simply having been touched by another person’s hand regardless of how known or prominent the person attatched to said hand may or may not be, (3) magic, as attributed to jesus in the bible, is NOT REAL, (4) when we die THAT’S IT-no spirit eminates from the cadaver-you just decompose, putrify and rot, nothing more, nothing less. You gullible, simple minded believers in lies, bullshit and the people promoting impossabilities need to pull your heads out of the sand or your asses in which they currently reside and set your hopefully capable brain free to experience the REAL WORLD where you can learn and reach YOUR OWN conclusions of things you are clearly unfamiliar, fearful & IGNORANT of!

    1. Pareidolius says:

      Well put David, but sadly, the magical thinkers won’t change their minds from the outside-in, only from the inside-out. I once believed in equally stupid magical beings and powers. I wanted them to be real, I wanted an afterlife, I wanted to be reincarnated. I was afraid and affronted by the idea of ceasing to exist. Ironically it was the death of my wonderful sister and her total acceptance of it that opened my mind and heart to atheism. After she told me she was dying she looked at me and said “hey, shit happens”. Some five weeks later we were talking about life and she said “You know, I didn’t deserve cancer, nobody does. I didn’t do anything wrong. Hell, the dinosaurs didn’t do anything wrong. I’m glad there’s no meaning out there, only in here” she said pointing to her heart. “If you love, you can’t do this wrong”, those were her last words to me before she passed away the following day. Magical thinking leads to dogma, which creates True Believers, and only a True Believer will pull the trigger.

  9. mocam says:

    “- Homosexuality is a sin, and so the Saddleback Church won’t accept homosexual couples as members. Church members ought to confront homosexuals and tell them that they’re sinners.”
    ~~~ Rick Warren’s position above and in PDF file

    “Homosexuality IS a sin. God says so in the Bible, repeatedly. Some of the relevant verses are even quoted in the FAQ. How, again, is this “radical”? It’s Christian doctrine”
    ~~~ Paliban Mom response

    Christian doctrine is that ALL have fallen short of the glory of God. ALL are sinners.

    Without hashing the finer points of context, lobster, dietary law, Hebrew word meaning, and the like, I confine my observation to this curiosity…..

    homosexuality is a sin and Saddleback forbids membership to those who do this sin.

    Why this one sin?
    Why not forbid membership to ALL who sin, and any sin there is?

    Who picks and chooses “acceptable sinners” for membership?

    The radical in all of this discussion is NOT Rick Warren. The radical is Jesus Christ.

    Jesus radically sought to save ALL sinners.
    Christians have a propensity to marginalize whoever they choose to marginalize by making certain sins paramount…..a MOST unChristian thing to do, btw.

    Sick people go to hospitals to get well.
    Sinners go to Jesus to get forgiven.

    If the homosexual is sinning per the Bible, and Jesus is the cure to sin, why would any pastor want sinners excluded from His influence at salvation?

    Sometimes, I think homosexuals are closer to Jesus Christ than the pew warmers who attack sinners,….all the while being sinners too, but employing different sins.

    Abortion is a sin. It is murder.
    So why are not women who have had abortions forbidden membership?

    Speaking of divorce, lying, theft, malice, prejudice, our Thanksgiving gluttony each year, lust, adultery, fornication up the yin yang by the entire country, pride, shunning, foul language like “God hates fags”, and millions more sins, how can anyone be a member at Saddleback, when the criteria of sin excludes you?

    Sin qualifies you to come to Christ.
    It NEVER excludes.
    He died for this very thing.
    He did not come and get crucified for saints, he died for sinners. Sin puts them in hell. Jesus paid the bill and said “Walk in to heaven with me, I paid”.
    Even the thief on the cross knew that.

    “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
    ~~~ Mohandas Ghandi

    This is how outsiders and nonbelievers see Christians.
    It behooves Christians to not let Christ see them this way, or his cry to you will be:
    “Get away from me! I NEVER knew you”.

    When they say “Lord! Lord! Let us in!”, he slams the door to heaven shut.

    They call him Lord. Those are BELIEVERS being shut out of heaven. NOT unbelievers.

    Those who shut anyone out of any Christian Church, yet cry out “Lord”, can hang on to their Saddleback One Card and forfeit the admission to heaven.

    You are walking on perilous ground to pick and choose sins for punishment, and sins acceptable for church entry. I would not want to be Warren on judgement day if he truly believes he can determine church membership by allowing some sinners and excluding others due to sin of choice….homo, abort, stem cell, whatever.

    I am a believer in Jesus Christ and I also believe we need to imitate Jesus better than we have,
    by treating all children of God…..we are all made by the same God….as brothers and sisters.

    Cut the family feud and forgive one another.

  10. kathy says:

    Hi, are you still around? I’m wondering if there is anything out there about Saddleback intimidating those who may question their preaching? Or about the church using violence against those who disagree? A friend of mine was beaten very very badly by security guards as the church for asking a question in a class she took there. This must happen more than once. Do you know how I could find information on things like that? Thanks very much. Kathy

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