MANILA, Philippines - Unfazed by his latest scandal regarding gay marriage, Manny Pacquiao has turned into a "Bible-quoting maniac", in the words of American evangelical Pastor Rick Warren.
Warren, author of the best-selling book "Purpose Driven Life" and founder of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, visited the Filipino champion last week during one of his training sessions at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood and after interviewing the fighter and his wife Jinkee, conducted a Bible study and prayed with the couple.
The pastor described Pacquiao as a "purpose-driven boxer" and noted that "his huge heart for God energizes his heart for everything else - his family, his country, his sport, the street kids, and all his fans.”
Manny says believing and praying is not enough
In an excerpt of the interview released by the Saddleback Church, the congressman said that he and Jinkee "had a lot of of troubles before in the past, but we survived because of the words (sic) of God we put in the center."
Pacquiao added that "believing and praying is not enough" and the pastor agreed with him and commented that "it is not enough to hear the Word of God, you have to do it, you have to apply it; you have to act on it, you have to practice it."
"It's all in action, we have to do it. We believe in prayer, but we have to uprise (sic) ourselves," said the Filipino boxer.
Manny, who on Sunday, June 10, will defend his WBO welterweight title against American Tim Bradley, said in the interview that he believes "100 %" he is going to win.
"But how can I win if I don't train?" he stressed, and explained: "It's the same with the Word of God, you have to apply it in yourself."
Warren amazed by Pacquiao's knowledge of the Bible
The pastor seemed to by truly impressed with Pacquiao's command of scripture.
"What most people don’t know about Manny is that he has more of the Bible memorized than many pastors do. He not only quotes the Bible from memory; he applies it to his life," he said.
Warren elaborated that what he loves most about Pacquiao is that "in spite of his fame and wealth, he is training for this fight in a typical inner city gym, surrounded by the kinds of kids he used to be with on the streets of Manila."
"Rather than training in some exclusive, over-priced and air-conditioned celebrity gym in Beverly Hills, he is modeling his workout for kids who also dream of one day living a better life," concluded the pastor.
Influential in the United States
Pastor Warren is the chief pastor and founder of the Saddleback Church, the 8th largest church in the United States with an average weekly attendance of almost 20,000 followers and an overall support base of over 120,000 people and more than 300 ministries.
He is also the author of bestselling book The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold over 30 million copies and has been translated into more than 100 languages.
During the 2008 American presidential election, the pastor hosted the Civil Forum on The Presidency at his church with both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama.
Warren is firmly against abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and, like Pacquiao, same-sex marriage. - Rappler.com
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