Some of you may remember when Pastor Rick Warren hosted a “Presidential Forum” for the 2008 Presidential candidates. He will be conducting the same type of interview process once again this month. Tentatively, the dates for the forum will be sometime during the week of August 20th.
This time the panel will include Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. When the Pastor was asked to explain the purpose for hosting such an event, Pastor Warren responded, “To promote social civility so that people with major disagreements can talk without beating each other up.”
The format will be similar to the 2008 forum when Pastor Warren would interview one candidate while the other candidate remained off camera, off site, and out of earshot. Then the pastor would have the candidate he just interviewed enter into isolation while providing the rival candidate his opportunity at center stage.
I believe Pastor Warren needs to walk carefully as he dabbles in this political arena. There is a story about Billy and Ruth Graham that I enjoy retelling:
The Grahams were attending a formal dinner at the White House one year when Billy was asked a question that would have clearly landed him as a Republican or Democrat. The story goes that before he could respond, Ruth kicked him under the table. The maneuver achieved its objective by distracting Billy from answering the question. During the drive home, Billy asked his wife why she kicked him. Ruth responded to the effect that God has a bigger plan for Billy than politics. By publicly choosing one side over the other, Billy would have risked isolating the love of Jesus towards half of the nation.
Sound words of advice from a wise woman…