As the topic of religion has once again thrust itself into the national spotlight leading up to the 2012 presidential election, megachurch Pastor Rick Warren warned his church on Sunday to consider four anti-Christian worldviews that are creeping into American culture when they go to the polls in November: materialism, hedonism, individualism and collectivism/socialism, the Christian Post reports.
"People who don't know God make government god," Warren said about socialism to thousands of people at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. "The highest thing they can think of to make the world a better place is not the church, it's not God, it's government."
He continued: "What I've discovered is this: politics is the religion of people who don't know God...They treat it as everything. Again, there's nothing wrong with politics; it's just not the savior."
Warren also told Christians not to "apologize" for voting for the candidate that shares their worldview, saying the three "non-negotiables"are life, sex and marriage, according to the Post.
"You don't need to apologize for voting for a Christian worldview which stands up for the sanctity of life, the sanctity of sex and the sanctity of marriage. You don't need to apologize for that because everybody votes what they believe," Warren explained.
Christians may disagree with others on issues like the economy and health care reform, but Warren said believers have to be courageous and protect the unborn, traditional marriage and view sex as a holy gift from God.
"If you call yourself a Christian, you need to line up with what God says is the original intent of all three of these things," he preached.
Warren is not a Republican. He's a registered independent and says he will never endorse a candidate for president. However, he encouraged all Christians to make their decisions based on the knowledge found in the Bible because it is only thing that "will never lie to you."
Warren's sermon, coming shortly after the end of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, was extra politically charged on Sunday. He told Saddleback Church members to review the official party platforms of both the Democrats and Republicans to determine which party will make decisions based on the principles of Christianity and the Bible.
The Christian Post provides a little insight on the stark differences between the Democratic and GOP platforms:
Both political parties released vastly different platforms. The GOP platform supports the sanctity of human life and traditional marriage and includes stronger anti-pornography language. Democrats, meanwhile, support "a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion," and, for the first time ever, same-sex marriage in their platform.
"'Well, I like that guy' – that's a stupid reason to vote for somebody," Warren said in his sermon. "You need to know their worldview. Read their platforms. And then vote your worldview."
But Warren told his congregation he knows the Christian faith and its principals are not exactly popular in some circles and is under attack across the globe, adding that the sanctity of life, sex and marriage are "three aspects of the Christian worldview that are hated by this world."
"Most Christians clam up and shut up because they're afraid to even stand up," he added.
Warren recently cancelled plans to host a forum with both President Obama and his GOP rival Mitt Romney in August, due to what he called a lack of civility from both campaigns.
"If ever there was a message that you need in today's culture, God would say this to you about your faith – don't be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent," the pastor said. "Everybody else is telling you their worldview. Why should Christians cower in cowardice?"