I’ve had time to think and process Warren’s response regarding disciplining Rupert Murdoch.
I think his response is tragic. The fact that is being lost on everyone is that we are ultimately talking about the eternal salvation of Rupert Murdoch. I don’t want Murdoch to face God’s wrath on Judgement Day. I don’t want Murdoch to perish for eternity in the fires of hell and neither does Jesus Christ.
Warren’s response can be summed up this way, “Murdoch isn’t a member of Saddleback church therefore it would be inappropriate for me to discipline him.”
This is a a dodge and a bad one at that. It is well documented that Rick Warren has claimed to be Murdoch’s pastor. This was a claim that Warren made, not Murdoch.
What Rick Warren seems to be forgetting here is that he has a profound opportunity to show the LOVE of Jesus Christ to Rupert Murdoch by disciplining him.
Warren has spent so much time flying around the world telling everyone how important it is to ‘do the Bible’ and show the love of Christ by feeding the poor and taking on global giants, that he has forgotten that discipline is another way which pastors are called to ‘do the Bible’. Discipline provides pastors with a rare and special opportunity to show the love of Christ to those under their pastoral care.
Here is what the scriptures say:
1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Notice that this verse clearly says that the Lord disciplines us so that we may NOT be condemned along with the world. This is a very loving and positive aspect to discipline.
Hebrews 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every sn whom he receives.”
Again, notice that the Lord disciplines those HE LOVES. We don’t like to be disciplined and disciplining someone is never easy and never fun. But this passage tells us that discipline is a loving act on God’s part towards his children.
Rick Warren needs to show the full spectrum of Christ’s love to Rupert Murdoch, a man whom he is pastoring.
Contrary to what Warren’s defenders have said, it is absolutely fitting and appropriate for Warren to discipline Murdoch, call him to repentance, and publicly call for him to dismantle his pornography empire.
This is literally THE MOST loving thing that Warren could do for Murdoch.
If Murdoch repents of his sins and receives Christ’s forgiveness then he will not be condemned with the rest of the world. He will be forever grateful to Rick Warren for showing him Christ’s love by disciplining him.
But, if Warren doesn’t show Christ’s love to Murdoch by disciplining him and Murdoch is judged to hell, he will FOREVER be asking the question, “Why didn’t Rick Warren show me Christ’s love by disciplining me? How come my pastor didn’t love me enough to call me to repentance?”