Statement Regarding The Global Summit on AIDS at Saddleback
by Sandy Simpson, 12/06/06
This is just my brief statement on the Summit held by Rick Warren at
his Saddleback church which included the following speakers:
Bill and Melinda Gates, The Gates Foundation; Bono, The ONE Campaign; Senator Bill Frist, United States senator, Tennessee; Robert Redfield, M.D., The Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Edward Green, Ph.D., Harvard University anthropologist and AIDS prevention authority; Christian Pitter, M.D., Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Paul Cimoch, M.D., Center for Special Immunology; Innocent Nyaruhirira, M.D., Ministry of Health, minister of state in charge of HIV/AIDS and other epidemics, Rwanda; Irene Khethi Mngadi, Director of HIV/AIDS, Department of Social Development, South Africa; Derek Spencer, M.S., C.R.N.P., Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, JACQUES Initiative; Robb Sheneberger, M.D., Assistant professor, senior medical technical advisor, Southern Africa University of Maryland Institute of Human Virology, Zambian Cell; Becky Kuhn, M.D., Adult & Pediatric AIDS Clinic, Long Beach, Calif.; Scott Santibanez, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., Associate director for partnerships with faith-based/community organizations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Anita Asiimwe, M.D., Director, TRAC Treatment & Research AIDS Center, Rwanda; Richard E. Stearns, President, World Vision; Wess Stafford, President, Compassion International; Franklin Graham, President and C.E.O., Samaritan's Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Sammy Mah, C.E.O and president, World Relief; Richard Feachem, Executive director, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; Rolando Figueroa, F.A.C.O.G., Regional technical advisor, health, water and sanitation, Catholic Relief Services, San Salvador, El Salvador; Mary Davis Fisher, Special representative for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); Deborah Dortzbach, International director, HIV/AIDS programs, World Relief; Laura van Vuuren, Training and education specialist, Northwest Medical Teams (Int., Inc.); Ambassador Mark Dybul, United States global AIDS coordinator; Senator Barack Obama, United States senator, Illinois; Senator Sam Brownback, United States senator, Kansas; Kent Hill, Assistant administrator of the Bureau for Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development; Terri Hasdorff, Director, Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives, U.S. Agency for International Development; Chad Hayward, Senior advisor, Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, U.S. Agency for International Development; Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, Rwandan Episcopal Church; Bishop Charles E. Blake, Pastor, West Angeles Church of God in Christ, Los Angeles, Calif.; founder and C.E.O., Save Africa’s Children; John Ortberg, Teaching pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, Calif.; Eugene F. Rivers, III, Pastor, Azusa Christian Community, Boston; John Benn, Senior pastor, First City Baptist Church, East London, South Africa; Luis Cortés, Jr., President, Nueva Esperanza and Esperanza USA; Dennis Rainey, President, FamilyLife; Clifford L. Penner, Ph.D., Clinical psychologist, Penner and Associates; Joyce J. Penner, R.N., M.N., Clinical nurse specialist, Penner and Associates; Chad Thompson, Author, Loving Homosexuals the Way Jesus Would; Dale Hanson Bourke, President, PDI; author, The Skeptics Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis: Tough Questions, Direct Answers; John Forbes, Founder, AGAPE, Inc. International (A Global AIDS Perspective Enterprise); Francis Karemera, HIV/AIDS coordinator, HOPE Transformation Anglican Church, Rwanda; Paul Pennington, Director, FamilyLife's Hope for Orphans; Bruce Sonnenberg, President, He Intends Victory; Carol Wagstaff, Living Stones Ministries; Tim Wilkins, Cross Ministry; Rick and Barb Wise, Youth prevention specialists, Wise Choices; Rick and Kay Warren, Founders, Saddleback Church and Saddleback Church's HIV/AIDS Initiative; Elizabeth Styffe, R.N., M.N., Director, HIV/AIDS Initiative; Mike Constantz, Pastor, Missions and Global P.E.A.C.E Plan; Skip Lanfried, Pastor, North America P.E.A.C.E. Plan; Tommy Hilliker, Pastor of pastoral care; Craig Jutila, Pastor, children's ministry; Brad Baker, Pastor, CRAVE ministry; John Baker, Pastor and founder of Celebrate Recovery; Shaun Blakeney, Pastor, high school ministry. (http://www.purposedriven.com/en-US/HIVAIDSCommunity/GlobalConference/2006Conference/Speakers/2006_AIDS_Summit.htm)
An impressive list, to be sure. The problem is, the root of the HIV/AIDS problem was not discussed as it would have been in any biblical church. HIV/AIDS is only a branch of the problem. If you want to "solve" the problem of HIV/AIDS you cannot just address it from a medical/financial/logistics perspective. It is a human sin problem. The root problem is the sin of sexual immorality. What should have been done by an alleged "Christian" church hosting a conference like this would be to get these people in one place and then lay the truth on them ... that AIDS is a direct result of sin against God. But that would have been politically incorrect. So the truth about AIDS was never discussed at this conference, nor will it be in future conferences of this type. When you hide the truth in order to build political bridges, you are effectively lying. The problem of HIV/AIDS stands as a judgment from God on those who will not obey Him by abstaining from immoral sexual contacts of all kinds, including homosexual (which is what caused this in the first place) and heterosexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage. If you want to know what God says on this matter, look at these verses:
1 Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Acts 15:29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
Gal. 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Jude 1:7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, for which they were destroyed, was particularly the sin of homosexuality.
Gen. 19:4-7 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom— both young and old— surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing.The fact is that men have ababdoned the God who made them and to Whom they will answer in the final judgment.
Rom. 1:25-32 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator— who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.I am going to be very blunt here. For a man, who is tauted by Time Magazine and most people in Christendom as being the #1 "evangelical", not explain that the vast majority of those who have AIDS (not including AIDS babies and those who contract it without sexual contact) who are involved in sexual immorality are going to hell is not only unloving, it is a denial of the reason we are here as witnesses for Christ. It is a wonder to me that so few have brought this issue to the forefront in rebuking Warren. Yes, he is a braggart who needs to stop making claims of solving the world's problems. Yes, he is lying when he claims he has no interest in politics. Yes, his P.E.A.C.E. Plan is exactly what the UN has been promoting. But where are those who decry the fact that there was no mention of the root problem of sexual sin in the "solution" presented a Saddleback to the crisis of HIV/AIDS?