... for which you will have to go here to find the PDF shot of the Saddleback FAQ page before Warren had it revised after Barack Obama's invitation.
(Go here if you'd like to see how Saddleback has sanitized this page.)
Here's a selection:
Of course, today there are not as great a number of Jewish believers in Jesus as we would expect. If they are God’s chosen people, why aren’t more choosing faith in him? The Bible tells us in Romans 11 that there will be a day when this will change – a day when there will be a great revival of faith in God through Jesus among the Jewish people. Obviously, this is a day that we, as believers in Christ, want to pray for!
The Bible tells in Genesis 1 that God made the world in seven days, and that he made all of the animals on the fifth day and the sixth day. All of the animals were created at the same time, so they all walked the earth at the same time. I know that the pictures we all grew up with in the movies were that dinosaurs roamed a lifeless, volcanic planet. Remember these are just pictures drawn by someone today! The Bible's picture is that dinosaurs and man lived together on the earth, an earth that was filled with vegetation and beauty.
What happened to the dinosaurs? The scientific record lets us know that they obviously became extinct through some kind of cataclysmic event on the earth. Many scientists theorize that this may have been an asteroid striking the earth, while many Christians wonder if this event could have been the worldwide flood in Noah's day. No one can know for certain what this event was.
Although it cannot be stated with certainty, it appears that dinosaurs may have actually been mentioned in the Bible. The Bible uses names like "behemoth" and "tannin." Behemoth means kingly, gigantic beasts. Tannin is a term that includes dragon-like animals and the great sea creatures such as whales, giant squid, and marine reptiles like the plesiosaurs that may have become extinct. The Bible's best description of a dinosaur-like animal is in Job chapter 40. We don't know for certain if these are actually dinosaurs or are some other large creatures that became extinct.
This should not sound so strange. After all, God tells us that he created all the land animals on the sixth day of creation, the same day that he created mankind. Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. There was never a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. From the very beginning of creation, God gave man dominion over all that was made, even over the dinosaurs.
When I was a new believer in Christ, I had some very strong feelings about the issue of evolution. Much as you have expressed, I believed that evolution and the account of the Bible about creation could exist along side of each other very well. I just didn't see what the big argument was all about. I had some friends who had been studying the Bible much longer than I had who saw it differently. But they didn't push me or argue with me, they simply challenged me to take some time to look into the facts and study the issues carefully. I'll always appreciate them for that, because this was an issue that I had to really think through. Eventually, I came to the conclusion, through my study of the Bible and science, that the two positions of evolution and creation just could not fit together. There are some real problems with the idea that God created through evolution.
I would encourage you to take some time to study this issue. I found that, although I'd understood the science side of the equation, I needed to take some more time to read what the Bible really had to say about this subject. Not having taken the time to really read the Bible, I was very ignorant about what it had to say. Let me give you one example. I discovered that the problem of sin, as addressed in the Bible, was much more serious than I had previously thought. When I realized that the world was clearly a perfect place as God created it, and that this perfection was ruined by the sinful choice of Adam and Eve, it really
started me thinking. Did the Bible teach evolution or did it teach the creation of a first man and woman named Adam and Evem If we evolved, which human being would have made the choice that brought sin into this world? If Adam and Eve were just allegorical pictures, why did the New Testament place some much importance upon them as responsible and real individuals? Since God clearly says that it is our sin that brought death into our world, how could there have been death for billions of years before the arrival of the first man who sinned on the earth? As I asked questions about this issue and studied what the Bible had to say, I found it to be one of the greatest times of learning in my life as a new believer. My prayer is that you will have this same experience!
On Why Good People Die:
The reason is simple -sin is present in our world. It doesn't always have to be my sin that causes me to suffer. The sins of others can bring suffering into my life. Also, just the fact that I live in a sinful world where things aren't perfect and natural disasters happen and sickness like cancer occurs causes even good people to suffer.
On other religious beliefs:
When we talk about people of other beliefs who have sincerity about them to the point that they are envied for their resolve and their belief, we wonder how they could be wrong. The truth is, it's obvious to all of us that you can be sincerely wrong. We know that we can be sincerely wrong about something like the law of gravity. It's a scientific fact that, if you try to deny it and step out of a second story window, you will find yourself falling to the ground. When it comes to the issue of religion and belief in God, it's tempting to think that our sincerity might be enough. But just as there are physical laws in the universe, there are also spiritual laws. Just as there are physical facts, there are also spiritual facts. It is a spiritual fact that God sent his son Jesus Christ to this earth. If sincerity were enough to get us back into a relationship with God, he wouldn't have needed to send his son. If other religions were the way to God, it would have been cruel and unnecessary for God to send his son to suffer and die for us. It would have been much better for him to use one of these other means to reach him. The truth is a spiritual law is at work here. We are separated from God, and we don't have the strength and power on our own to get back to him. That is why he had to send a Savior.
The Bible very clearly says that homosexuality is a sin.
I've heard it asked, "Isn't being homosexual something that a person is physically born with?" First of all, there are absolutely no facts to support this claim. From time to time studies have been reported in the news that seemed to indicate this, but every one of these studies has proven to be wrong. Secondly, even if some physical difference were discovered, it would be no excuse for sin. We know that some people can develop a stronger physical addiction to alcohol than others, but that's obviously no excuse for living an alcoholic lifestyle.
Finally, a word about being judgmental. It's not judgmental to say that what the Bible calls a sin is a sin, that's just telling the truth. Not being willing to talk to someone caught up in sin, or not believing that they can be forgiven, or thinking that you are not just as much in need of Jesus as they are ... that's being judgmental.
Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one’s life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church. That does not mean they cannot attend church – we hope they do! God’s Word has the power to change our lives.
In the famous last words category: As Obama is leading the US government back to science....
And somewhere Waldo is laughing, or crying.... [h/t]