Rick Warren: Purpose-Driven Pornography?, a press release from my friend Chris Rosebrough that concerns Southern Baptist Pastor Rick Warren and Rupert Murdoch, is certainly a most disturbing piece of information. Rosebrough, who heads up the Christian Accountability Network, was also on Crosstalk the other day with Ingrid Schlueter to discuss this very important issue that I am bringing further into the light here at Apprising Ministries.

In an article called “Revealed: Murdoch’s growing adult television empire” in the online magazine The Business we are told:

RUPERT Murdoch, the born-again Christian who chairs media giant News Corporation, has been secretly building a stable of wholly-owned pornographic channels for his BSkyB subsidiary. The Business has learnt that BSkyB now owns and operates its own pornographic channels – the 18+ Movies selection – after years of hosting third-party content only. (Online source)

So Rosebrough is exactly right when he tells the Christian Newswire:

Rupert Murdoch is a born-again Christian and Rick Warren claims to be his pastor. As a Christian, Murdoch is committing an egregious sin by owning, expanding and profiting from pornographic channels and Rick Warren, as his pastor, has a Biblical duty to call Murdoch to repentance and/or put him out of the church. (Online source)

This really is nothing new as in December of 2006 Agape Press ran an Feature article by Ed Vitagliano called “Porn Profits Surge on Main Street” where he quotes Gail Dines, professor of American Studies at Boston’s Wheelock College, who tells us:

“[Rupert Murdoch’s] News Corp. is a major owner of DirecTV, which sells more pornographic films than [Hustler magazine founder and porn film producer Larry] Flynt,” Dines explained. “In 2000, the New York Times reported that nearly $200 million a year is spent by the 8.7 million subscribers to DirecTV. Among News Corp.’s other media holdings are the Fox broadcasting and cable TV networks, Twentieth Century Fox, the New York Post, and TV Guide. Welcome to synergy: Murdoch also owns HarperCollins, which published pornography star Jenna Jameson’s best-selling book How To Make Love Like A Porn Star.” (Online source)

And not only is Murdoch profiting from “best-selling books” by porn stars and pornographic TV channels but as Rosebrough’s A Little Leaven website also shows Rupert Murdoch has been profiting from peddling titillating soft-core porn for years as well with The Sun long notorious for the nudity of its infamous “Page 3”:

They say is picture is worth a thousand words. We hate having to post these pictures but they show the problem better than we can ever say it.

The picture on the left is a screen shot taken from The Sun. This is a tabloid printed in the UK that also happens to be owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. (Online source)

As one who is a pastor-teacher myself, I would never knowingly allow sin to go on undisciplined by anyone associated with the flock for which Christ has made me an under-shepherd. So the question we need to ask now would be: Is Rick Warren personally responsible for Rupert Murdoch? He is because he claims to be Murdoch’s pastor. The Orange County Examiner informs us in November of 2006 that:

Warren says he is pastor to Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. subsidiary publishes “The Purpose-Driven Life” but also publishes tabloid newspapers featuring topless women.

“I don’t have to agree with 100 percent of what another person does in order to work with them on the 20 percent that we do agree on,” Warren says.

That pragmatic attitude has paid off. Murdoch was among the first to support the PEACE plan, donating $2 million. (Online source, emphasis mine)

So now we can see that Rick Warren already at least knew about Murdoch’s newspaper which features soft core porn, however, apparently he chose to ignore that 80 per cent in sin and focus on “the 20 percent” that equaled $2 million. And claiming to be Murdoch’s pastor is not an isolated event either. According to a piece entitled “New Yorker article on the ministry of Rick Warren by Malcolm Gladwell,” which “originally appeared in The New Yorker magazine on Sept. 12, 2005,” and then was also reprinted in Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox, Warren himself tells us again that he is Murdoch’s pastor and not only that but Murdoch also published his book:

“I had dinner with Jack Welch last Sunday night,” he said. "He came to church, and we had dinner. I’ve been kind of mentoring him on his spiritual journey. And he said to me, ‘Rick, you are the biggest thinker I have ever met in my life. The only other person I know who thinks globally like you is Rupert Murdoch.’ And I said, ‘That’s interesting. I’m Rupert’s pastor! Rupert published my book!’" Then he tilted back his head and gave one of those big Rick Warren laughs. (Online source)

This is very important because we have now seen from Warren himself that he feels he is indeed Rupert Murdoch’s pastor. This does two things; since one does not pastor an unbeliever, Warren must believe that Murdoch is a Christian, which then means as his pastor Warren is also personally accountable for Murdoch. And there’s no chance to mistake this, or that Warren was somehow misquoted, because apparently he was so pleased with The New Yorker article that Warren asked to have it republished at his own Ministry Toolbox website.

So now that we have established Warren’s pastoral responsibility for Murdoch the next question would be: What does Pastor Rick Warren have to say about dealing with people in sin within his ministry. Well over at Rick Warren’s Ministry Podcast “Pastor Rick” posted a piece dated 5/01/07 called “What Happens When a Staff Member Falls” where Warren informs us:

Sin is to be confessed only as widely as it affects others. Private sin requires only private confession to God. Personal sin that involves others requires interpersonal confession to the people involved. Public sins (those that affect a large group of people in our congregation) regrettably must be dealt with publicly as a warning to others. (Online source, emphasis mine)

One would certainly have to think that “owning and expanding a network of pornographic channels in Europe” has to qualify as “public sins.” And then in that piece at the Podcast website Warren also states correctly that:

The Bible says that those who teach are held to a greater public accountability because of their visibility to those they teach. (James 3:1, 1 Tim. 5:20). (Online source)

Since Rupert Murdoch’s flagrant and obvious “public sins” have now been brought before the Church, and because Warren is a pastor-teacher who is very well known to the public himself, then Warren simply must deal with Murdoch publicly “as a warning to others.” Rick Warren can’t have his cake and eat it too; Warren can’t just name-drop that he is Murdoch’s pastor in the good times and then not step up to that role in disciplining Murdoch, when claiming to be a born again Christian, he is openly committing transgressions that are bringing shame to the Name of Jesus Christ.

As Warren himself has said, people like Murdoch have to be held to a greater “public accountability” because of “their visibility.” And this is exactly why Rick Warren must now publicly rebuke Rupert Murdoch for his Purpose Driven pornography.