Wednesday, October 12, 2005


here's a couple quotes from an article I read from the August 22,2005 issue of TIME magazine while i was waiting in the doctor's office with my son. Below is a link to the whole article...
Warren of Rwanda

"In fact, their bond now extends well beyond prayerful embrace. Kagame has committed his government to cooperation in a five-to-seven-year self-sufficiency project staffed by Rwandan volunteers but initiated, advised and at least partly funded by Warren's network of "purpose-driven churches." Warren talks of turning Rwanda into "the first purpose-driven nation."

"Warren says he was "looking for a small country where we could actually work on a national model," and Kagame, impressed by The Purpose-Driven Life, volunteered Rwanda in March."

"...Scott Moreau, a professor of missiology at Wheaton College in Illinois: "I've never heard of this level of cooperation in the last 100 years between any megachurch, mission agency or even a denomination and a national government.""

Something about this story makes me angry. I guess I can't help seeing how taking the "Purpose-Driven Whatever" to use as a nations operating system is really quite arrogant. I'm sure it could be argued that Warren sees this as a ways of serving out of his area of strength. But i cannot possibly see how this is anything more than 'glorified' colonialism - and it's sick. Twisted how a minister from California can think that he can absorb the nuance of this bizzarely disfunctional and complex nation into his cookie cutter methodology which he developed as a church growth model.
Let me see the 5 purposes of RWANDA are ???? somebody is on grass man this is just too far. What's next surveying Harry and Mary Nigerian to see what they want in a country so we can make it for them? Come on.
OUCH! God spare us the embarassment. Please!


YootguyMark said...

So Rick Warren developes a model, which is a word you don't like, for life. I guess for life, I went through 40 days of purpose found it interesting in itself, and now wants to use it in a place that needs major help.
We talk about Christ being the hope for our world. Here is a country willing to accept the teaching of Christ to run their country and you say it shouldn't happen. I am a bit confused. I understand that this is Warrens program and he has designed and it is interesting to have a whole country follow it but what is wrong with basic foundational Christian beliefs and understanding running a country??

simple thinker

Incoming... said...

not simple at all
Of course it would be stupid to wipe off the whole purpose driven stuff by the comments i've made here but that really is not my contention. What gets me is the arrogance of someone who thinks a system will address the complexities of a tortured country like Rwanda. I hope that that is clear. The other question i might ask you to consider is whether the Purpose Driven principles are really foundational Christian beliefs...
that is a different question than whether or not these principles are effective in changing our lives. I'm just not sure i would be able to say that Warrens stuff is foundational...

Clinton said...

Kagame's endorsement .... now that's one I'd hang on my wall (if only to throw darts at)

Incoming... said...

yeah what is your take on this one Clinton - what with you having been there and all...

Freezer said...

I find this article a bit disturbing as well. I would be truly impressed by any country that would submit to the authority of scripture and openly seek God's face in decisions. If the desire is to lead a country on God's authority then go for it - not on Rick Warrens Purpose-driven principles. Here's an idea change the name of the country to Warrenland. It will just be a matter of time until they are "warring" again.

YootguyMark said...

I understand you "humor" Pat!! I guess the opportunity to be prideful and have a big head over a country wanting to use the priciples form your book are there. I have seen Warren speak and not sure if that is there. I have also read 40 Days and thought the basic principle were from the Bible. I am not sure Warren would ever say these ideas in the book are his. I have heard him give the "glory" to God.

peace out

Clinton said...

My take .... hmmm, that's asking a lot. There are so many facets to this thing. I'm sorry I can't talk about issues of this nature regarding Rwanda without touching on some of, what I see as, the pertinent history. Let's start with Paul Kagame, definitely a man of purpose. I'm just not sure that his purpose lines up with Rick Warren's purpose. Kagame was one of the founders and later the commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The RPF was a Tutsi militia established in Uganda of exiled Rwandan Tutsi. Having served in Musevini's 'National Resistance Army', and assisted him in coming to power in Uganda, Musevini backed the formation of the RPF with the intent of taking power in Rwanda when the presence of 'foreigners' in his military became a source of public criticism.

The RPF, known primarily in the west for having ousted the genocidal interhamwe in Rwanda, began border skirmishes and invasions into Rwanda well in advance of the '94 genocide attempt. I believe the earliest invasion, although it failed, was in 1990. This in spite of the Rwandan government in the mid 80's inviting all expatriot Rwandans to return to Rwanda to live as equal citizens, offering amnesty to any who had political ties to the previous governing powers. (*at this time many Tutsi returned to take up residence in Rwanda however the majority declined the offer saying they would come back when they could govern the country) (I could share anecdotal accounts showing the depth of the Tutsi prejudice against the Hutus and their attitude that not only is it their right to govern but their responsibility to do so).

In light of this, it is a little easier to understand the non-regenerated mind coming to the conclusion that if 12 - 15 percent of the population are going to refuse to co-exist in peace a final solution may well exist which will once and for all bring peace to a nation.

This is the part Paul Kagame plays in the '94 Rwandan Holocaust. It has been said that the victor has the luxury of writing history and that surely is the case in Rwanda. The RPF not only won the field battles but possibly more importantly won the media battle. In the eyes of the West they were the saviours of Rwanda. While that may in a sense be true, the question I keep coming back to is, 'were they also the demons which brought Rwanda to the place where it needed their salvation?'

Acts of violence and bloodletting can not only be attributed to the Hutus but also to Kagame and his people ... even well after the war had ended. It was not uncommon to hear of accounts, as late as latter '95 and early '96, where soldiers showed up at the door of someone suspected of acivities unsympathetic with the Tutsi government and being summarily executed on their doorstep.

I share this to show that Kagame is a man of purpose, and a man committed to achieving his purpose. I wonder if Rick Warren has done his homework and knows whom he is getting cozy with.

Rick Warren and Purpose Driven .... I read the article you linked to, Dale. I must say that it raises a lot of flags in my mind (most are red).

- When a pastor's/church's primary focus is social change I cannot but wonder what spirit is behind their mission. I believe that the 'world' becomes a 'better' place when we introduce people to Christ and teach them to walk in His ways. I'm always concerned when people try to change the world with the premise that the change will draw people to Christ.

- I've lived with and worked with these people (Rwandan) and dealt with this government first hand on numerous issues. I've seen them respond individually and governmentally to 'foreigners' who came to Rwanda to show them how to do things the correct way. As we, they do not appreciate being told that they've been doing everything wrong for generations and now need the benevolent 'foreigner' to show them the way.

- Kagame may well be impressed with Warren's model and have a desire to see it put into practice in Rwanda. I don't know the man's heart and mind so I cannot say this isn't the case. I am familiar with this government however and I know that they not only want but need the foreign capital that Warren's organization brings. I hope that Warren is aware that once that capital is in Rwanda, be it assests or capital in the financial institutions, should Warren's purpose conflict with Kagame's purpose those assets will be used to bring about Kagame's purpose and there will be nothing Mr. Warren can do about that.

I'll stop now and I apologize for the length of this.

Incoming... said...

no i appreciate it from a first hand point of view
we have understand the complexity of this situation and I have no question that Warren is well-intentioned. When we crusade with the Jesus banner flying high we take on a totally different responsibility. But Jesus to be usually is way more subversive than that...