This piece of news was brought to my recent attention by Phil Yu's Angry Asian Man's well-known blog about Pastor Rick Warren's attitude in response to strong criticisms for posting the Red Army image to his Facebook profile.
From my perspective, Warren's initial response did not seem to show that he could keep a calm composure to criticisms in situations like these. For someone so well-revered in the Christian community, he allowed his ego to get the best of him in the moment. So at first, I didn't do well in taking the time to actually stop and think about HOW he should respond in a cordial & apologetic way instead of first reacting the way he did in his Facebook & Twitter posts.
|Here is a screen shot from Kathy Khang of what Pastor Rick Warren had up on his public Facebook profile earlier.|
I don't excuse his behavior at all, but to me, his initial reaction of trying to defend himself initially gave me these impressions of him.
So even though Warren's Saddleback Church of followers place him on such a high pedestal, in reality, Warren is just a normal human being like anyone & everyone else. After all, in Romans 3:23, it says that "ALL fall short of the glory of God." So Warren is not immune to this Bible verse.
However, if Pastor Warren did not choose to listen at all, I would think, "So be it. He will only continue to make enemies of those he doe not intend to make enemies with by not regarding their thoughts & feelings." So if he were to have continued using terminologies and images of Asians or any other race to get his messages and points across, that would have definitely been a bad no-no. As a leader who is so well-regarded in the Christian communities, people like him need to be educated in cultural sensitivities and matters such as these so he does not continue to step on anymore toes. (But then again, sometimes it's just too difficult to not step on anyone's toes sometimes. People will criticize no matter what you say.)
Although Pastor Rick Warren is really going through a lot of grief from the death of his son, I'm actually glad that he eventually apologized & didn't let his ego get the best of him in this matter. As a leader of the Christian community in Orange County, CA, he needed to keep his composure, let go of his ego to write an apologetic in response to Sam Tsang's blog. I also like how Sam's attitude about what Warren is going through right now. It still is a tough time for the Warrens right now. Their youngest child only left them in April 2013, which has only been half a year since! Sam Tsang has compassion for the Warrens, and so do I.
However, if I have to deal with the arrogant & condescending attitude of leaders, I honestly don't want to work with or for them. I'll let them do their own thing. I don't want to be a part of their cause to help them uplift their reputation if they can't appreciate what I have tried to do for them. I will not let them use me to put their name on my work that I put my heart into. I will not be taken advantage of.
- Sam Tsang's 9.24.13 Blog: On Accepting Pastor Rick Warren’s Apology: the Yellow Man’s Burden
- Sam Tsang's 9.23.13 Blog: Rick Warren, Cultural Sensitivity, and Mission
- Kathy Khang's 9.24.13 Reaction: Dear Pastor Rick Warren, I Think You Don’t Get It
- Phil Yu's Angry Asian Man 9.24.13 Reaction: Dear Pastor Rick Warren, I Think You Don’t Get It / Guest Post by Kathy Khang