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MCDONALD'S IS THEIR KIND OF PLACE:  It was all smiles for Rick Warren, Ronald McDonald, and Peter Drucker at the grand opening of the first Purpose Driven McDonald’s Church in Rwanda, Africa, which is billed as a prototype facility to implement Warren’s global PEACE Plan. A record-breaking crowd of Rwandans turned out for the historic event, mostly to see the “three white guys,” before warring tribal factions began pelting each other with Chicken McNuggets and rioting in the streets.

Ronald McDonald Joins Rick Warren's PEACE Plan

by Durwood Cumbey, August 2005
In a move that sent shockwaves throughout the evangelical and fast-food industries, Rick Warren announced Sunday from his Saddleback pulpit that beloved hamburger entrepreneur Ronald McDonald has “signed on” to help with Warren’s global PEACE Plan. “Ron’s progressive vision has been a great inspiration to me and Kay,” said Warren, “and we are just thrilled to have this clown helping us lead the Church into the Second Reformation.”

PEACE is the acronym that stands for Warren’s five-point global plan to: Plant churches, Equip leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation. According to Warren, McDonald has the perfect leadership experience to help Christians tackle these five objectives because the hamburger chain has already successfully completed most of these biblical goals. Explained Warren, “Not only has Ron planted a franchise on almost every street corner in the world, but he has also trained millions of teenage geeks to be shift leaders, given affordable Value Meals to the poor, created the Ronald McDonald House for sick kids, and educated millions of Americans on the dangers of a high-fat diet. What’s not to like about this guy? He even dresses funnier than me.”

Some within the evangelical community, however, think such an association with McDonald has many serious ramifications. “Call me legalistic,” said Amos Peete of Watchlight Discernment Ministry, “but maybe the Church would be better served by NOT being led by a profit-driven clown. I mean, we already have Benny Hinn out there, don’t we?”

Among other criticisms by Peete is McDonald’s past associations with Hamburglar, a known criminal, and Grimace, who after leaving McDonaldland discovered his Christ-consciousness and became a Transcendental Meditation guru in Van Nuys, California. Added Peete with a sigh, “Ronald McDonald’s only qualification is marketing Happy Meals with a smile. Good grief, he’s like Joel Osteen with orange hair.”

Richard Abanes, author of Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him and a Saddleback member, was quick to defend his pastor’s new partnership. “I am very disheartened by the vitriolic reaction by certain ‘holier-than-thou’ Christians who would question Rick’s decision to bring in a clown to help him lead the 21st century Church. Until one of these Pharisaical critics can show me ONE Bible verse that says that a clown CAN’T be a church leader, then I think they better just trust the judgment of famous Christians like Rick and myself who have successfully proven their faith through Saddleback’s growth and our best-selling books.”

When asked if McDonald was even a Christian, Abanes scoffed. “Why would he want to help out Rick if he wasn’t a Christian? What possible advantage would a business savvy clown gain by attaching himself to a wildly successful phenomenon like the Purpose Driven church that is trying to globalize? Really, people, give Rick Warren a little credit for knowing whether Ron is a wolf in size 24 shoes or not.”

Though preliminary details are sketchy, the Saddleback-McDonald’s partnership, as orchestrated by Warren’s mentor Peter Drucker, will include the strategic placement of McDonald franchises in several Purpose Driven churches in Third World countries, along with a plan to replace the AIDS epidemic in South Africa with the more manageable “Big Mac Attack” by 2010.

Not to be outdone, Bill Hybels has asked the Burger King to speak at the next Willow Creek Leadership Summit in 2006. A dejected Hybels explained, “We wanted Bozo, but he was booked for a Bar Mitzvah that day.”