Rick Warren Gets His New Year’s Wish

Rick Warren

Over the weekend we learned that Pastor Rick Warren got his $900,000 bailout from his flock — and then some. From the Orange County Register’s Erika I Ritchie on December 31st:

In what Pastor Rick Warren called radical giving, Saddleback Church members not only heeded his call to quickly raise $900,000 but exceeded it by at least $1.5 million.

A packed church erupted today in applause and cheers when Warren made the announcement at the 4:30 p.m. service. By New Year’s Eve, church members brought $2.4 million to the church, a tally that does not include mailed donations, Warren said.

The money will go toward the church’s ministries, including feeding more than 2,000 families, helping orphans and supporting bible studies and small group ministries.

Warren addressed some of the criticisms associated with media reports in recent days, suggesting that many are unaware of how a church operates. He also added that his letter was directed at the Saddleback Church members.

“I knew critics and pundits would misunderstand this,” he said. “We have never asked outsiders to give to the church.”

It must be wonderful to ask for, and receive, unlimited funding to do with as you please without any oversight or control. While Warren did ask only “insiders” to give, I am reminded of Tammy Faye Bakker and her tearful pleas for money for the PTL ministry run by her and her husband Jim Bakker.

Here is a clip of Jim Bakker’s New Year’s eve 1986 plea for money to support their ministry, including their plans for a “Crystal Palace” to be built at their Heritage USA compound.