'This Week' Transcript: Pastor Rick Warren

Pastor Rick Warren is interviewed on 'This Week.'

ByABC News
April 5, 2012, 1:41 PM

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2012— -- TAPPER: Good morning everyone, Happy Easter and Happy Passover. George Stephanopoulos has a well deserved morning off. All year long we've seen a renewed discussion of the role religion plays in our lives from the campaign trail.


SANTORUM: They say people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up.


TAPPER: Go the gridiron.

TEBOW: You know when I'm praying before games and during games and when I get on the knee and what's become Tebowing is, you know, I'm asking the Lord for strength, whether I win, whether I lose, whether I'm the hero or the ghost.


TAPPER: And so on this holiday morning, we begin with a conversation about faith in America with Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. The church he founded in Lake Forest, California now has 200 outposts around the globe and his book, "The Purpose Driven Life" has sold 30 million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages. He may be the nation's and world's most famous and influential pastor.

Pastor Rick, thanks so much for joining us and happy Easter.

R. WARREN: And happy Passover to you.

TAPPER: You Easter Sunday sermon is titled "Trusting in God When You Don't Feel Like Trusting Him." When have you felt skeptical? When have you had difficulty trusting God?

R. WARREN: Well I think a lot of times God takes away your feelings so you have to depend on faith. And faith is kind of like a tide. It rolls in and rolls out. You keep on going. When you're going through hell, you keep going.

TAPPER: How do you counsel people to trust God when they see horrible things happening...

R. WARREN: Yeah.

TAPPER: ...to good people?

R. WARREN: Yeah. A lot of people worry about this question, why is there evil in the world? Why does God allow evil? To me that's not the issue. The issue is, why is there good? It's easy to explain away evil. We have a free choice and our greatest blessing is also our greatest curse because I don't always make good choices. Other people make bad choices, I make bad choices and sometimes we hurt other people. But in spite of that, we can find comfort, we can find strength. We don't always find answers. Explanations don't comfort. What comforts is the presence of God, not the explanation of God.

TAPPER: The economy has been a very difficult thing for a lot of your parishioners, a lot of...

R. WARREN: Yeah.

TAPPER: ...people throughout the country. How do you council parishioners who come to you, congregants who come to you struggling to make ends meet?

R. WARREN: Regardless of all the problems that we see out there, I think they all have at the root a spiritual cause. And we have overspent -- the biggest problem for -- for all of our economic problems is our inability to delay gratification. I want it and I want it now. And I'm going to buy it even if I can't afford it. And not only have people done that, the government has done it.

TAPPER: The government has certainly done that. They're are big debates here in California and nationally about how to solve the problems of the deficit, how to solve the problem of -- of spending much more than we take in. Some are using religion to make their arguments. President Obama recently said this.