Huffington Post — Etheridge writes of her experience and impression of Rick Warren (excerpt) followed by commentary by Mark Dinsmore:
Posted December 22, 2008 | 05:10 PM (EST)
"…I hadn’t heard of Pastor Rick Warren before all of this. When I heard the news, in its neat little sound bite form that we are so accustomed to, it painted the picture for me. This Pastor Rick must surely be one hate spouting, money grabbing, bad hair televangelist like all the others. He probably has his own gay little secret bathroom stall somewhere, you know. One more hater working up his congregation to hate the gays, comparing us to pedophiles and those who commit incest, blah blah blah. Same ‘ole thing. Would I be boycotting the inauguration? Would we be marching again?
"Well, I have to tell you my friends, the universe has a sense of humor and indeed works in mysterious ways. As I was winding down the promotion for my Christmas album I had one more stop last night. I’d agreed to play a song I’d written with my friend Salman Ahmed, a Sufi Muslim from Pakistan. The song is called "Ring The Bells," and it’s a call for peace and unity in our world. We were going to perform our song for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group of Muslim Americans that tries to raise awareness in this country, and the world, about the majority of good, loving, Muslims.
"I was honored, considering some in the Muslim religion consider singing to be against God, while other Muslim countries have harsh penalties, even death for homosexuals. I felt it was a very brave gesture for them to make. I received a call the day before to inform me of the keynote speaker that night… Pastor Rick Warren. I was stunned. My fight or flight instinct took over, should I cancel? Then a calm voice inside me said, "Are you really about peace or not?"
"I told my manager to reach out to Pastor Warren and say "In the spirit of unity I would like to talk to him." They gave him my phone number. On the day of the conference I received a call from Pastor Rick, and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn’t sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher. He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn’t want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife’s struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine.
"When we met later that night, he entered the room with open arms and an open heart. We agreed to build bridges to the future…."
Rick Warren’s "surprising" warmth and compassion are commendable, as many who profess Christ have not demonstrated the love of Christ to a lost and dying world. However, he appears too quick to build bridges not based in Truth.
What most in the media do not tell you, and what most individuals surprisingly do not take time to pause and consider, is the simple fact that without a definitive moral standard (an absolute), the embrace of homosexual "rights" opens the door for sexual relations and experimentation of any kind, at any age, with any number of humans and/or creatures, as long as it is "consensual." If the latter truth sounds too extreme, even for "free thinking" individuals, here is the unshakable logic: Without a pure source and origin of morality, man is free to choose what he feels is right for him, or for her. There is therefore no authority (no God) to "dictate" what is right and what is wrong; what is sinful and what is sacred; what is pure and what is profane.
Sexual "freedom" such as lesbianism—however "safe," attractive, or desirable it may seem to some—is a practice that, even if monogamous, produces no offspring and can only "breed" further deviation from God’s loving design in Genesis 2:24, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
But mankind’s justification for the legalization of any form of sexual deviancy (from the design God established) is like that of the time-tested reasoning from a six-year old child being corrected by his or her parent:
"But I’m not hurting anything!"
[Except, as an adult, you may be hurting yourself, your spouse, your family, your children—and if you are a professing Christian, you are symbolically "crucifying again" the Lord Jesus Christ (who bought you with his own blood and life) and are trampling on his grace that paid for your sin.]
Indeed, this justification of rebellion against authority is identical to the Wiccan "rede" (creed) which is a religious belief that humanity is free to "do what thou wilt, an’ harm none." Both of these examples help us understand the Scripture passage that troubles some and shocks others:
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry" (1 Samuel 15:23).
This is the undeniable root of the "gay rights" movement; for if they were only interested in "faithful, monogamous, homosexual relations" then gays and lesbians would quickly "devolve" and cease to exist within a single generation. (An obvious reason is that no reproduction could occur; but another is that even by the principles Darwin embraced, only the "fittest" survive; and sexual disease and poor health is endemic to homosexuality.)
Therefore, their key to "survival" is dependent upon trampling down "traditional" (biblical) morality and by introducing children to sexual exploration at an early age. In this way, gays and lesbians guarantee a fresh crop of willing subjects for what becomes a kind of "vampiristic" existence…loyal to their kind, protecting their own "family," while simultaneously luring others into the fold. In faithful conformity to the Darwinian premise of Nature "red in tooth and claw"—a foundation that "scientifically" rejects a Creator to whom they would otherwise be accountable—the gay and lesbian community is forced to "draw blood" (of fresh victims as well as enemies) in order to survive.
While this at first may seem to be a grotesque and morbid misrepresentation of the media’s portrayal of "tender and loving" gays and lesbians, consider the popular fascination with forbidden love in the blockbuster film, "Twilight," in which a teenage girl is irresistibly drawn into a dangerous romance (in spite of certain lethal consequences) with a "principled" 200-year-old vampire who appears in the form of a handsome and mysterious young man. The cover illustration on the bestselling book (on which the movie is based) speaks a thousand words…
Pale arms stretch out of velvet darkness, cradled hands delicately extending an attractive red apple in classic reference to the forbidden fruit offered to Eve in the Garden of Eden.
In the same way, the "beautiful side of evil" is presented by those who champion the "rights" of gays and lesbians to marry one another. Just as Eve was seduced by the Serpent, who brilliantly lured her with "lust of the flesh" and "lust of the eyes" and "the pride of life" (even extending to her the promise of eternal life and divine enlightenment) it is no accident that many lesbians are drawn into spiritual deception in the form of Wicca or goddess worship that exalts the divine feminine; this is even a growing trend in the professing evangelical church.
Of course, Rick Warren is right on this point, which he was quick to affirm to Etheridge: not all homosexuals are pedophiles and predators. God knows there are plenty of those—both in thought and deed—among the heterosexual population and sadly, even in the professing church (Paul’s rebukes to the Corinthians are much needed today!) But what the media carefully (and deceptively) hides from its news broadcasts are the parades of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders (GLBTs) that fill the streets of the "Folsom Street Fair" in San Francisco, or the Southern Decadence Festival or "DecaFest" in New Orleans), in which lewdness, public nudity, acts of sodomy and other deviant acts are performed in broad daylight—with the full blessing and protection of elected officials and civil servants standing by.
[I wish that this were not true, but for the first time in our nation's history, many of the same men and women who proudly and defiantly engage in public acts of nudity, masturbation, and oral and anal sex at these festivals are being championed by a president-elect. At the invitation of Barrack Hussein Obama, members of these GLBT marching bands will perform in his inaugural parade. Also by invitation, Rick Warren will be praying a "blessing" upon Obama and his administration during the scheduled invocation.]
So while Etheridge and other pop icons join the media parade for homosexual "rights" under the banner of beauty and compassion and peace and tolerance, the truth of the matter is that advocates for sexual "freedom" seek not just the "right" to engage in the perversions of their choice, but they seek to bring about the extinction of biblical morality, because it is the only barrier of conscience to a sexual "open season" in which there are no rules. The creed for an increasing majority of those indoctrinated into homosexuality evolves along a predictable path, transforming from "do what thou wilt, an’ harm none" into the Satanist’s creed of "do what thou wilt, this be the whole of the law."
This is why, quite simply, that giving a "blessing" upon homosexual marriage opens the lid on Pandora’s box—after which, quite literally, "all hell breaks loose."
Certainly this is at least one aspect of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in our time: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive [vulnerable] women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" –2 Timothy 3:1-7.
Describing the homosexual "life cycle" (ironic, considering that it leads to death) in this way is understandably offensive to those in bondage who believe they have found freedom. But the bottom line with Etheridge and millions more chained to this life "style" is simple: They have chosen to reject the hope and light and life of Christ himself, who freely paid the penalty for sin for all humanity. This is the unfortunate reality that plagues those who seek to justify and defend a homosexual lifestyle in rebellion against their Creator and God, who "sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17).
It is interesting that Etheridge titles her album after "Christmas" at all, considering her denunciation and rejection of Christ as light of the world. But as communicated by the album cover, her purpose seems to be that of replacing "the Reason for the season" with "a new thought" (as the album is subtitled); a "new life" and "new light" based not in Scripture, but on the synergistic efforts of mankind to "think peace" and make it happen. This view, of course, is mind-science occultism and a doctrine of demons being re-painted and re-packaged for a New "re-purposed" World Order.
The darkened cross formed by the window panes in her album cover image seems to communicate a view of religion as icy-cold and dead, while the peace symbol appears to illustrate warmth and the promise of life—formed not by God’s breath, but by humanity’s efforts to redeem itself and "see through a glass darkly" on its own terms. Indeed, man-made religious tradition is lifeless, and it is against such antichrist bondage that Etheridge struggles, yet in her quest for liberty through lesbianism and Islamic Sufism (her 9th album is titled "The Awakening"), she has "exchanged the truth of God for a lie" and rejected the free gift of God, which is Christ, the Lord.
As with most if not all singer-songwriters, a careful reading of her song titles and recordings would likely chronicle her life and spiritual journey, but the stanzas of "The Universe Listened" (off her album, "The Awakening") seems to paint a picture of the mind-science principle popularized as "The Law of Attraction" as well as her testimony of "illumination" through New Spirituality:
We do our best, we stay in step, as time goes maching by; but there’s something wrong; we don’t start living until we almost die; oh yeah, yeah, yeah, and the Universe listens…I made a deal, hearts to steal; they will know my name; I’ll pay the price, any price; just give me the fame; oh yeah, yeah, yeah, and the Universe listened…teach me how; show me now, this light has taken me; I’m not ashamed help me explain this awakening; yeah, yeah, yeah, and the Universe listened…"
After years of doing battle with the "standard" demons of depression, rejection, fame, fortune, and "induced" guilt over forbidden (lesbian) love—and courageously overcoming cancer along the way—Melissa believes that she has "found her angels, found her spirit, found her soul," through a "light" that has "taken her" and removed her shame.
Grievously, it appears that she has, like Eve long ago, encountered an "angel of light" that has given her false assurance of her self-worth and self-determination; but it isn’t "The Universe" before whom Melissa will bow at the end of her days on Earth.
Why do so many continue to fall for the same ancient lie?
It’s really pretty simple: the Serpent’s seduction of mankind, by which Satan aims to seal humanity’s fate, is not best accomplished by exposing its dark and twisted innards, but by appearing as the forbidden fruit did to Eve: attractive for food and "desirable to make one wise" (Genesis 3:6). But clearly, despite the most beautiful wrapping our popular culture can present, the hidden fruit of the gay and lesbian lifestyle is rotten to the core; and no matter how good it may "taste" to those who partake, it remains an abomination to our Creator.
As God’s Word warns: "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man (or woman), but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 16:26).
We do pray that Melissa Etheridge’s misconceptions of the true Gospel (including those communicated by professing Christians behaving in an ungodly or unloving manner) would be corrected, and that Rick Warren would indeed take this opportunity to present his new friend not with his popular social gospel of ecumenical compromise and good works with people of "all faiths," but with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ which alone has power to accomplish what Melissa seeks:
"Remove the dark, peel [her] heart, [and] make her body [and soul] whole."