Rick Warren found himself in a hotbed of controversy when he accepted President Obama's invitation to pray at the inauguration in January.
Several gay and liberal activists decried the choice because Warren opposes same-sex marriage, even though the California megachurch pastor's recent activism has been focused more on poverty reduction and HIV/AIDS around the world. In fact, Warren spent some time on the phone this week with Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame, to talk about the 15th anniversary of the country's genocide.
Since the inauguration, Warren has declined to do interviews with the media, but he spoke with Christianity Today on Tuesday about the backlash from that invitation, his newly launched magazine, and how the economy is affecting his church's global outreach.
Easter is coming up this Sunday. What do you plan to preach on?
This is a very significant Easter for us because I started Saddleback 30 years ago. I held the first Easter service in 1980, when 205 people showed up at a high school. Now, 30 years later, I'll be doing 14 services starting on Thursday, and we'll have somewhere between 45,000 and 50,000 people. We're getting ready to start a series called, "Making sense of life's biggest mysteries."
You told Larry King last night, "During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop. 8 was going." But just before the election, you filmed a video for your congregation and said, "If you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8."
What I was trying to say is, those who obviously opposed my viewpoint on the biblical definition or the historical definition of marriage ...