I came across this article online at CNN.com.,“Church most powerful weapon against HIV/AIDS, “describing Rev. Rick Warren intervention efforts against HIV/AIDS in Africa. Unfortunately, I do not know much about him other than he’s the founder and pastor at Saddleback Church and he wrote The Purpose Driven Life as the article points out. I have however seen him on national news programs but rarely gave him an audience longer than a few seconds. Disclaimer: (I am skeptical of him and his cohorts.)
HIV/AIDS affect millions globally and Warren’s crusade to combat the disease is chronicled with his interventions efforts (e.g., HIV testing, Christian volunteers, stewardship) in the article. Pastor Rick Warren, I contend is a Christian believer of non-marital sex and disproves of the usage of condoms. Albeit an important defense to HIV infections (Condoms) is not promoted anywhere in the article: This is not an oversight by Pastor Warren.
Rick Warren’s efforts are highly susceptible to his religious beliefs and those sentiments are not all covered in this essay. I question one who does not mention condoms as a defense against the HIV/AIDS infection. Blacks globally are overrepresented in AIDS infection and one easily becomes mislead by these covert operations. The article provides what appears as a noble cause, (I doubt it); Rick Warren is not qualified to help the HIV/AIDS epidemic if condoms are off the table. His efforts are paramount to telling people not to use smoke detectors and provide intervention efforts after their homes have burned down. He is driven in the wrong direction.
Condoms can help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS infections. This is not new to Warren but premarital sex goes against his faith and this trumps reason, facts, or common sense. The African American’s church community serves a similar public doctrine as Warren. Nevertheless, their congregations are saturated with LGBT parishioners as well as pastors, deacons, and first ladies are Gay and Lesbians. Nevertheless, the charade in the Black community about their highly intolerance of LGBT life styles is laughable. In other words, they choose like Warren to imagine premarital sex does not occur by church members. Really, have you checked the never married single mother’s rates attending Black churches?
If condoms can help prevent HIV/AIDS infections, why would any reasonable person not recommend them? Oh, I forgot pastors like Warren are allergic to reason and common sense. What a pity?
The Invisible Dragon
Note: I have more Christian friends than a mega church could shake a stick at. My friends and I share and read books. We share books not as an attempt of conversion to either faith or philosophy but spiritual growth. Hence some books receive a succinct written appraisal because of their indelible impression on the Dragon. Such a book is below.
Og Mandino, (1968) “The Greatest Salesman on Earth.” Overview: Jay Redmond dutifully sworn to inform me of Christian genres did so with best-selling author Og Mandino’s book “Greatest Salesman in the World”. Why, the forewarning? Because we do not trade books so heavily slanted that any message of worth is drowned out by ideology or mythology. This is not to say religious books make me scurry but some attempt to covert by text. I’m not a big fan of these books and pleasingly Jay takes this heed.
In fact, before Jay dropped it on my desk, I could honestly say, never heard of it. Jay’s an avid reader as well as philological gent, a light-skinned African-American fellow drenched in thought. He informed me of the mission, “read this book, I think you’ll enjoy it”. This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds, damn that Jay. Spoiler Alert!!! Greatest Salesman on Earth (1968) is not about last month’s quarterly reports.
Hafld: Teach Me
The date did not bother me (1968) concerning contextual relevance. The Tao and Bible are much older; the Buddha, a tired elder, long should have retired. What the book has in common with these books and philosophical thinking patterns is the art of the parable. The story sets in Jerusalem in about the time before Christ’s birth, when the young man Hafld wishes and learns the secrets of success.
The educational tutelage came from one of the wealthiest men at that time. The well-off elder was repeating the gesture he himself requested and received long ago, “the secret of success”. The story reveals ten scrolls handed down to Hafld, these lessons of principles necessary to build one to self-actualization. Without giving much if anything away, the scrolls provide lessons to change one’s circumstances through a change of consciousness.
The story inside the story is a powerful plug for Christians; as such reading the book in its entirety will be a great revelation. Greatest Salesman on Earth is a nice story of self-identity building and remaining faithful to one’s beliefs.
Og Mandino’s “Greatest Salesman in the World” has sold over 14 million copies. There are some helpful, empowering tools in the classic. However, my reaction to the book was lukewarm mainly because the anecdotes were familiar to my schema. This book would be more advantageous to a person just beginning their journey, such as the main character Hifld.
In addition, the book offers great insights and then produces thoughts that baffled me, as such, “Experience is comparable to fashion; an action that provoked successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow, only principles endure (pp42).”
Principles become experience when applied in real life situations. It is similar to hope, it only becomes hope when actions are secured, or “when the rubber hits the road”.
This book favors individuals who desire external guidance in the beginning of their journey.
Next Book Review
Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success