The Lord in His providence saw fit for me to be included in a statement protesting “The Global Summit on AIDS & the Church” at Saddleback Church that Rick Warren hosted in conjunction with World Aids Day December 1.

Today senior pastor Dr. Wiley Drake Sr. of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, CA., who is also 2nd Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, held a press conference to further explain why we would not support the Global AIDS conference hosted by Rick Warren.

In speaking with Dr. Drake on the phone he said that due to a serious fire in the nearby vicinity media coverage was not what he hoped it might have been. However Dr. Drake did say he was still able to read statements from those of us who couldn’t be there in person to the people and media who did attend.

Below is my statement regarding Rick Warren’s shameful adventure called “The Global Summit on Aids & the Church”:

As a Southern Baptist pastor myself I welcome this opportunity to do what I can to set the record straight as to what the true Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is supposed to be doing while we are in this world. The central issue with “The Global Summit on AIDS & the Church,” which was hosted by Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church, is that by partnering with men like Senator Barack Obama, who support the murdering of innocent children through abortion, is that Warren has violated the Biblical command of 2 Corinthians 6:14 – “Do not be bound together with unbelievers.”

Please understand that we are not saying that those suffering with the dreaded disease of AIDS are not important or unloved. The issue for the Christian Church is actually quite simple: Who is Jesus Christ? Our answer as Christians is that He is our Creator, God Himself come into His Own world. And what we must do as Christians is what He has told us to do. This is summed up in John 20:21 where Christ says – “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” So we ask, “What was it the Father sent Jesus to do?” The answer is found in Matthew 18:11 as the Master tells us He came – “to save that which was lost.”

This is the true message of the Christian Church. The incredible offer of the forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection from the dead, the gift of life forever with God in Heaven, and salvation from an eternity in conscious torment in a literal place Jesus Himself called Hell. This is the only cure there is for the problems of this world. And yet it was reported that Obama said that in the Third World condoms needed to be parceled out because promoting abstinence was not enough and Rick Warren joined in the applause. Later Warren is reported to have said he was willing to be a co-belligerent with “anybody” in order to fight AIDS.

This is not the example we would expect from one of the most recognized Christians in the world. Of course the Christian Church has always understood the importance of making the world a better place for their fellow man. One need only look at the history of this nation to see the thousands of humanitarian outreaches, schools and hospitals that were begun by Bible believing Christians like myself. But A.W. Tozer put it well when he said of people like Rick Warren: “It is not the man who spends his time in the crowd and merely reflects the opinion, spirit and attainment of men who most benefits the world, but the man who listens to and speaks of things that have their birth beyond and far above the street.”

But instead of doing what God has asked the Christian Church in America to do, we have instead turned to social causes: such as this AIDS issue, global warming, stamping out poverty, etc. as her primary mission. Take for example “An open letter to pastors across the country,” signed by among others, social activist Tony Campolo. Campolo is good friends with Brian McLaren of the Emergent Church and both men are considered evangelicals while openly denying the inerrancy and final authority of the Bible. This letter hits the root of the problem within the evangelical community when in support of Rick Warren’s involvement in World Aids Day this letter says, “We [as Christians] are called to the ministry of reconciliation and the liberation of all people, spiritually and socially.”

No, we are not here for “the liberation of all people” socially. This is what is known as liberation theology and it is part of what Dr. Walter Martin, himself Southern Baptist minister, once called “The Cult of Liberal Theology.” I was largely trained under the ministry of the late Dr. Martin who was a renowned authority in religious cults having their origin in the United States. What we are seeing with Rick Warren now is a rebirth of the old social gospel of liberal theology and not only is the Christian Church paying the price but so is our society when God does not send His Spirit Who is the only One Who can really convert anybody.

In his message “Wear The Image of Christ” Charles Haddon Spurgeon reminds us that, “Peter, in his sermon to the household of Cornelius, said of our Lord that He ‘went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” This is what has been forgotten by the American Christian Church: God was with Christ. And so today I exhort the Body of Christ to return to her primary mission in prayerful hope that God will once again be with us. That God will be with us just as He was with Jesus Christ and will once again smile upon this nation because only in His power can the Christian Church ever even think of benefiting this world no matter how noble a social cause may seem.

Rev. Ken Silva
Apprising Ministries