Eugene Cho

obama and mccain at quest church?

Obama and McCain to appear at Quest Church?  No.  Well, I tried or would have tried.

I would have called them but I wouldn’t know where to start like where to find their personal phone numbers.  I would have texted, emailed, twittered, sent smoke signals, and even a personal hand written letter but let’s be honest, they wouldn’t have responded.  But, it appears that some dude named Rick Warren – a local pastor of a small church in Southern California and the author of an obscure book called Purpose Driven something – beat me to the punch and actually had their phone numbers, called them, chatted it up with them, invited them, and they accepted.

“I just got to thinking, you know what? These guys have never been together on the same stage, it would be a neat way to cap the primary season before they both go to the conventions and things go dark for a couple of weeks,” he said. “I’ve known both the guys for a long time, they’re both friends of mine, and I knew them before they ran for office, so I just called them up.”

Okay, I usually don’t get all that envious of these big time pastors but I need to ‘fess up here and say that I was feeling pretty envious after I read this article below in the New York Times.  Talk about influence!

Question:  What do you think about this?  Pretty cool, no?  If you had the influence and connection to invite ONE person [currently alive] to your home, church, or community, who would it be? 

My answer:  I’d bring in Bono.  A good chat in the afternoon and a rockin’ concert in the evening. 

It has taken a man of God, perhaps, to do what nobody else has been able to do since the general election season began: Get Barack Obama and John McCain together on the same stage before their party conventions later this summer.

The Rev. Rick Warren has persuaded the candidates to attend a forum at his Saddleback Church, in Lake Forest, Calif., on Aug. 16. In an interview, Mr. Warren said over the weekend that the presidential candidates would appear together for a moment but that he would interview them in succession at his megachurch.

Word of the forum came as a leading conservative Christian, James C. Dobson, signaled that he might reverse his position and endorse Mr. McCain, The Associated Press reported.

“I never thought I would hear myself saying this,” Mr. Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family, said for radio broadcast on Monday. “While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might.”

The forum still falls short of the kind of face-to-face, town-hall-style debates that Mr. McCain, of Arizona, has called for this summer before formal debates scheduled for this fall.

Mr. Warren, the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” said he had called each man personally to invite him to his event, which will focus on how they make decisions and on some of Mr. Warren’s main areas of focus, like AIDS, poverty and the environment.

“I just got to thinking, you know what? These guys have never been together on the same stage, it would be a neat way to cap the primary season before they both go to the conventions and things go dark for a couple of weeks,” he said. “I’ve known both the guys for a long time, they’re both friends of mine, and I knew them before they ran for office, so I just called them up.”

He said that both had readily agreed, perhaps reflecting how each candidate is courting the evangelical audience to whom Mr. Warren ministers.

Mr. Warren’s event will have as a co-sponsor Faith in Public Life, the multidenominational religious group that held the Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., in April, featuring Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Pennsylvania during their primary fight. Mr. Warren said he would devise his questions with input from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders associated with the group.

“Since I’m their friend, I’m not going to give them any gotcha questions,” Mr. Warren said, adding that a typical query would be, “What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make, and how did you make it?”

Mr. Warren said he would have Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama, of Illinois, appear on stage together momentarily at the event, though, he added, he would also “see if they want to get a little personal time behind the scenes.”

Filed under: politics, religion, , ,

15 Responses

  1. atomcat says:

    Christianity is evil according to Al Gore and the Green movement.
    The green movement is based on Gaia the pagan earth goddess.
    That is why McGuinty tried to remove the Lord’s prayer from the Ont. legislature. It is also the reason for the attempt to remove God from the national anthem.

    One world govt. requires a one world religion.

    The churches have been led to believe the green movement is godly, it’s exactly the opposite.

    Canadians need to wake up and wake up fast.

    Please read The Green Agenda found on the page bar of my blog.
    It is the best I have found on the subject.
    Read the words of the men that would rule the world and remove the Christian faith.
    Please-read The Green Agenda.

    Enjoy your day-very interesting times ahead

    If you are involved in the church I would like to be in touch.

    Ron

  2. eugenecho says:

    okay.

    not the first comment i had in mind.

  3. lacey says:

    i read your blog often though i usually never comment. too bad i didn’t beat #1 to the punch. random.

    i find it interesting to see how much flip-flopping dobson is doing… he isn’t much different from the politicians, it seems!

  4. Megan says:

    I really wasn’t surprised by Dobson at all. In my admittedly cynical opinion concerning that man, I’v thought for some time that he has sold out to politicians and will do whatever they want so long as they keep the issues of abortion and gay marriage at the front of the “values” issues and keep putting money in his pocket. So when he says he “never thought I’d say this,” I’m pretty sure he’s lying through his teeth. He knew he’d say it from the time McCain became the republican nominee.

  5. rexhamilton says:

    After reading in TIME last week about Nelson Mandella and his principle of leadership, I think he would be my person of choice. Good question….

  6. Tyler says:

    It is sad to me that this whole thing has NOTHING to do with Dobson yet the NYT feels the need to throw in some quotes from him. Pretty soon they’ll figure out most people could careless about what he says.

  7. eugenecho says:

    honestly, i didn’t even think twice about dobson because like tyler said, it has nothing to do with dobson.

    anyway, i might take my answer back and suggest “kim jong il” as our guest. i’d love to have a heart to heart chat with the man. it’s been widely written that his grandfather was a devout christian. i’m curious what happened…

  8. Matt says:

    yeah, let’s move on from Dobson, cuz it sounds like most folks reading here aren’t too sold on him.
    I think Rick is frickin crazy influential, and for him to be able to get them on the stage together is freakin crazy. nobody could do it, except him, and yeah, that’s pretty cool. What a treat for that congregation. I wonder how many visitors (non-christian visitors) they’ll have that weekend. that’s freakin awesome.
    If I could get someone….I dunno. I figure I’d want someone guided by God, someone local, and someone who could share something about normal struggles. Not sure who that would be though.

  9. Ryan says:

    Eugene, your first option is mine. I can’t think of anyone besides Bono I’d like to have in church – forget evening concert, how about morning worship? After Bono, Bishop Tutu comes to mind. Ok, then maybe Oprah and Bob Dylan. I’ll stop there.

  10. Will says:

    Eugene, I love the idea of the Bono invite. I say go for it, get the ball rollin’ for an event this time next year. You two have many of the same ministry concerns. I think it would work. Sounds like a vision (from God) to me.

  11. Cobus says:

    I’m not American, so maybe I don’t understand, but isn’t the question: “how do you make decisions?” a trick question when asked in an evangelical audience? Isn’t the answer supposed to include “I pray about it”, and if it doesn’t, then you fail?

  12. strider333 says:

    Interesting staging…as for Dobson, he’s irrelevant…

  13. Aaron says:

    Part of me thinks it is good to welcome them into the church… and its good to get them both on the stage. It is good to hear them both out and make a informed decision. The other part of me questions the deceit, the special interests, and the marketing/manipulation by the candidates.

    I think the problem lies more deeply with the idea of government as a redemptive power… as a force of the Church. That we have a “Christian” government and are a “Christian” nation. Without eliminating the ability of God to use government, God established the Church to do His work. I guess I do not think the Church should seek His work through government, but rather BE the Church and do His work!

    For example, who can feed the hungry? Who can take care of the elderly (social security, not for long)? Who can bring hope? I think the answer, “the government” is a cop out for the Church! I am not saying the government needs to stay out of it… but I am saying the government is not the answer. The Church should step in! The Church needs to be the answer.

    As for my choice for entertainment… I can’t choose.

  14. Jael says:

    If I could invite anyone I wanted to church, it would be Rick Warren. I would ask him how much time he has personally spent with both Obama and McCain. I doubt very much he is “friends” with either. I would ask Rick why he is promoting the PEACE plan which is anti-biblical in it’s philosophy. I would ask Rick why he is pretending to be a Baptist minister when what he promotes in his Purpose Driven Church conferences are anti-biblical. I would ask Rick if he shares with his congregation that he pays $30,000 to join the Davos World Economic Summit which is actually paid from his “reverse tithe” which doesn’t go back into the church but goes into his Purpose Driven Church Foundation which supports his travels around the world to promote himself. I would ask Rick just what happened in his mind that he has decided to steer away from God. Is it the money? The Fame? The power?

  15. […] those who do not know, Rick Warren is hosting a forum for Obama and McCain at his church. I’m still not sure how I feel about […]

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People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
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She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

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Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

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