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Saddleback Church Defends Rick Warren Against 'Inappropriate' Charges

( [email protected] ) May 21, 2007 12:11 PM EDT

LONDON – Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. has responded to a number of charges against its founding pastor, Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren, for not disciplining global media executive Rupert Murdoch over his alleged ownership and expansion of pornographic channels in Europe.

Chris Rosebrough, head of the Calif.-based Christian Accountability Network, was one of a number of Christians who earlier this month said that Warren should “call Murdoch to repentance and/or put him out of the church.”

“If Pastor Warren does not act swiftly and call on Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp, to dismantle his porn distribution network, then the credibility of the Christian message will be compromised around the globe,” said Rosebrough, in a released statement.

In response, David Chrzan, chief of staff at Saddleback Church, pointed out that Murdoch, who resides in Manhattan, was not a member of the Southern California megachurch and that he had never even attended a service there.

Chrzan said that any attempt on the part of Warren “to exercise biblical authority he doesn’t have would be presumptuous and inappropriate.”

He added that the “Purpose Driven” pastor had the God-given responsibility to speak to personal and societal needs and the biblical mandate to discipline Saddleback Church members.

“But with regard to his 'obligations' to admonish Mr. Murdoch, he has no jurisdiction over him,” the Saddleback leader stated.

“Even if Mr. Murdoch were a member of Saddleback, any spiritual counsel would be private and personal – not public,” he added.

According to London-based magazine The Business, Murdoch has been secretly building a stable of wholly-owned pornographic channels for his BSkyB subsidiary. The British publication claims that BSkyB now owns and operates its own pornographic channels – the 18+ Movies selection – after years of hosting third-party content only.

Christian Post reporter Eric Young in New York contributed to this article.