Archive for the ‘Rick Warren’ Category
To Lighthouse Trails:
Well now that Chuck [Smith] has passed away . . . I just noticed that the main Calvary Chapel bookstore has just recently listed Warrens Daniel Plan and Journal for sale. (Click here.)
LTRP note: This is troublesome that the main Calvary Chapel bookstore has added The Daniel Plan. This will send out a message to Calvary Chapel pastors and congregants that Rick Warren’s message is acceptable, when in fact, the Daniel Plan was created using three doctors who are all advocates of eastern-style meditation. The reason we believe the reader above said “now that Chuck has passed away” is because in 2006, Chuck Smith made a public announcement rejecting the Purpose Driven Movement.
Please refer to our recent article, Rick Warren’s New Book, The Daniel Plan, Receives Media Blitz—But Book Does Double-Speak on Eastern-Style Meditation” regarding the Daniel Plan book. Also check out some of our articles on The Daniel Plan’s three meditation-promoting doctors:
Dear Light House Trails:
First, can I thank you for the excellent maintenance of keeping your finger on the pulse of the New Age and emergent Christianity. This is a critical issue that has been of serious concern for me since the early 1990s.
I am quite amazed that the process that is occurring in the traditional churches I saw happening in the Pentecostal church back in the 1990s . Almost like a trial run.
I wish to make comment on “How To Find a Good Bible Believing Church” on page 15 of your Research Journal.
My personal experience in searching for a biblical church is one of deceit and deception.
After attending one church a number of times, I wrote (a congregational) explaining the danger of the existentialist message preached and the dangers associated with Rick Warren.
I lovingly hand bound the letter as a book made 4 other copies for the elders in the church.
Never even got a response. He has a regular spot on the Christian radio station in my local area. (A Christian radio station that plays more worldly music than Christian. They argue that non Christians will listen to it and happen to hear a Christian message and be saved. I reason the opposite, that short of good Christian input these days, a young Christian turns to a Christian radio station expecting to hear Christian music, even though that is a topic in itself, and come across worldly music only to fall in love with godless bands and seek further worldly music and be drawn away from the faith instead.) A Christian Radio station tempting Christians into ungodliness.
I wrote to another church I visited (Baptist) who claimed they were not into Rick Warren, only to hear the entire message as a complete Warrenesk theology, speaking about the new missiology, the influences that surrounded Warren. Even quoting his favourite scriptures. The only thing that was neglected in the message was Rick Warren’s name. It was only that I had previously done the research on Warren and the Purpose Driven Life in the previous letter mentioned, that I could hear Rick Warren speaking from the pulpit.
The songs were also concerning. They were singing new songs I have never heard before which were very troubling to my spirit as one of them was about the New World Order coming.
So my family and I returned to our other congregation _________________.
Again they sell Rick Warren’s book in the back, and I kept hearing more and more echoes of his influence. Some years before the New Minister, the church underwent 40 Days of Purpose, which I was not involved in.
It got to the point where I had to write a letter to the minister as well about a sermon an assistant minister in the church preached and how much of it was using Purpose Driven Philosophy and numerous “techniques” to recruit to their cause. Deception concealing non Christian sources by refraining from referencing them and letting the quote stand as truth when they were from Hindu’s.
I did get a decent response back explaining the minister was not fond of Rick Warren and were aware of the deceptions of mysticism are entering the church. That the minister’s sermon was discussed in Bible study groups and it was considered as seriously flawed and that the church only came short of publicly reprimanding him because he has only been preaching for a year. They admitted they had Warren’s book up the back but did not go to the extent of saying they would remove them.
Again it feels like the whole church environment is nothing but politics. Say what you need to to avoid difficulties and get to the next phase of change so to speak.
I think the advice given in “How To Find a Good Bible Church” was good but at the end of the day, if we do not understand the topic at hand we are prone to deception because we cannot trust anyone to admit anything. It is about getting people in the door these days, not the telling the truth.
In the Glorious name of Salvation
Shawn (not real name)
Rick Warren’s New Book, The Daniel Plan, Receives Media Blitz—But Book Does Double-Speak on Eastern-Style Meditation
On Sunday, December 1st, 32 million homes (and 63 million readers)1 in America received the following issue of Parade newspaper-insert magazine:
The subtitle on the cover of this issue of the “most widely read magazine in America”2 reads: Rick Warren—One of America’s most influential pastors delivers a life-changing message on the connection between getting healthy and doing good. You’ll find Rick Warren showing up in quite a few other places of late as his new book, The Daniel Plan (based on his Daniel Plan diet plan), hit the streets on December 3rd.
The Parade article boasts of the “collectively dropped 250,000 pounds” the Saddleback congregation has lost since it began The Daniel Plan. The article also says that they did this with the help of three doctors: Dr. Amen, Dr. Hyman, and Dr. Oz. The article doesn’t, however, talk about what else the Saddleback dieters have lost—which would be any semblance of spiritual discernment that they might have previously had. That might sound like an overly-strong and critical statement to those who don’t have all the facts, but as we have reported on for nearly three years now, Rick Warren, unfortunately, compromised the spiritual well-being of his congregation when he teamed up with Amen, Hyman, and Oz, all of whom are eastern-style meditation advocates.
If you have read any of our coverage on The Daniel Plan, you will understand exactly what we mean. Here is a list of some of the stories we’ve done on Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan:
Now what about Rick Warren’s new book, The Daniel Plan released by the publisher of Warren’s other books, Zondervan (the book is co-authored by Warren, Dr. Amen, and Dr. Hyman? For untold reasons, Dr. Oz is not one of the authors of the book, although he is mentioned in the book. There’s no doubt that Oz is the strongest public adherent for New Age practices, and perhaps Warren decided he was too much of a high profile New Ager to include in the book. But keep in mind that Amen and Hymen are not too far behind. Amen promotes tantric sex, and Hyman is connected to a shamanic organization called FourWinds (“where modern science meets ancient wisdom“). So excluding Oz from Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan book isn’t very impressive.
One has several buying options that Zondervan has provided: The Daniel Plan book (Kindle and hardcover), The Daniel Plan Journal (Kindle and hardcover), The Daniel Plan Study Guide (Kindle and Paperback), The Daniel Plan DVD Study, The Daniel Plan Cookbook (due out in April 2014, written by Warren, Hyman, and Amen), The Daniel Plan Study Guide with DVD, The Daniel Plan Church Campaign Kit (due out 12/23/13), an mp3 and CD Daniel Plan, and the Spanish edition El Plan Daniel: 40 Dias Hacia Una Vida Mas Saludable.
There are a number of things we could say about The Daniel Plan book (such as Warren’s use of The Message “Bible“), and perhaps we will at another juncture in time. But what we want to point to presently, we find is extremely important. As is so often the case with Rick Warren (and other Christian leaders in today’s world), he has spoken out of both sides of his mouth in The Daniel Plan with regard to meditation. First, early in the book, Warren makes a strong statement against mantra-style meditation. He says:
In many ways, biblical meditation is the exact opposite of eastern or New Age meditation, which is about emptying your mind and repeating a single word or mantra. In contrast, biblical meditation means taking a verse of the Bible, such as a promise or a command or a story, and seriously pondering its meaning. You think through the implications for and application of God’s truth to your life. This is the kind of meditation that David referred to when he repeatedly said, “I meditate on your Word day and night” (see Psalm 1: 2; 119: 148, etc.). (Kindle Locations 842-850)
Anyone reading that would think the author of this paragraph was clearly against eastern-style meditation and contemplative prayer (which is the repeating of a word or phrase to enter a “silent” state of mind). When we read this paragraph from the book, we grew very suspicious because Rick Warren has been promoting eastern-style meditation authors for years (such as his endorsement and promotion of Gary Thomas and his book Sacred Pathways, in which Thomas says the following:
It is particularly difficult to describe this type of prayer in writing, as it is best taught in person. In general however, centering prayer works like this: Choose a word (Jesus or Father, for example) as a focus for contemplative prayer. Repeat the word silently in your mind for a set amount of time (say, twenty minutes) until your heart seems to be repeating the word by itself, just as naturally and involuntarily as breathing.(p. 185)
Repeating a word or phrase for twenty minutes is classic transcendental meditation. Sacred Pathways is currently on the Saddleback website listed as a recommended book by Kay Warren (a multitude of other books by contemplatives (e.g., Nouwen, Manning, Foster, Willard, Calhoun, Yancey, Ortberg) are in that same resource section of the website).
And, as we pointed out above, Warren’s very own three Daniel Plan doctors are teachers of meditation, and in fact, the Saddleback Daniel Plan website has, on different occasions, promoted New Age type meditation. See our article that gives one example: “Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Accelerates – Tells Followers to Practice 4-7-8 Hinduistic Meditation.”
This is why it is very strange that Warren gives a warning about meditation in his Daniel Plan book. A little later in The Daniel Plan, the confusion begins. Warren says:
Decades of research have shown that prayer calms stress and enhances brain function. Dr. Andrew Newberg at Thomas Jefferson University used brain SPECT imaging to study the neurobiology of prayer and meditation in those that dedicated time to those disciplines regularly. He found distinctive changes in brain activity as the mind went into a prayerful or meditative state.2837).
When one hears talk of how prayer and meditation help to calm stress, this is almost always referring to the practice of meditation wherein the participant either repeats a word or a phrase or focuses on an object or the breath. In this particular case in The Daniel Plan, the paragraph above is footnoted to the following:
Barbara Bradley Hagerty, “Prayer May Reshape Your Brain … And Your Reality,” NPR, 20 May 2009. http:// www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104310443 D. S. Khalsa, D. G. Amen, A. Newberg, et al., “Kirtan kriya meditation and high resolution brain SPECT imaging,” accepted by Nuclear Medicine Communications, June 2010. Andrew Newberg, “The Effect of Meditation on the Brain Activity,” AndrewNewberg.com, http:// www.andrewnewberg.com/ research.asp (Kindle Locations 5240-5244).
One of the things this footnote material references is “kirtan kriya meditation” (i.e., sa-ta-na-ma meditation). Stand Up For the Truth radio has an article titled “WARNING: Kundalini Yoga’s ‘Highest Mantra Meditation.’” The article states that “one [ meditation practice] coming onto the scene is being touted as the greatest Kundalini Yoga Meditation, called Kirtan Kriya.” The article explains the various steps in kirtan kriya meditation, which are the typical steps in any form of eastern meditation.
Remember, the purpose of eastern-style meditation is for one to find his divine true self (the God within). We believe that when one practices meditation and goes into altered states, he or she encounters demonic or familiar spirits in these altered states, which, yes, have the ability to give them “benefits” (at least for a while). After all, Satan is an angel of light and his minions are ministers of righteousness—they can come across as good. But what one eventually gets is a complete spiritual makeover and a new set of spiritual beliefs. These new beliefs are interspiritual and panentheistic—thus the antithesis of what the Bible presents.
Right after this section of The Daniel Plan, where kritan kriya meditation is footnoted, Warren states:
Besides growing your relationship with God and building a foundation for spiritual health, prayer offers many health and stress-relief benefits. Physicians Larry Dossey (Healing Words), Dale Matthews (The Faith Factor), and others have written books outlining the scientific evidence of the medical benefits of prayer and other meditation. Some of these benefits include reduced feelings of stress, lower cholesterol levels, improved sleep, reduced anxiety and depression, fewer headaches, relaxed muscles, and longer life spans. (Kindle Locations 2853-2858).
Larry Dossey happens to be listed in our new Booklet Tract by Chris Lawson titled A Directory of Authors (Three NOT Recommended Lists) under the New Age Authors section. The names listed under that section are all advocates and/or teachers of mantra style meditation (the earmark of New Age). When Dossey “and others” write about meditation, they are talking about outright New Age meditation (even if they don’t call it “New Age”). So while Rick Warren gives a warning earlier in his book about mantra meditation, he basically mocks his own warning later in the book by pointing readers to someone like Larry Dossey and kritan kriya meditation. He doesn’t only mock his own warning—he dismisses it as well as leaving the reader to think that his warning is not that important but just a side-step opinion (take it or leave it—there’s better stuff to come). One thing we have learned about Rick Warren over the past decade is he is a pastor of confusion. In one venue, he will say one thing, and in another venue, he’ll say the complete opposite. His double-minded speaking has left for many an open door for spiritual deception.
In the Parade magazine article, it has a photo of Rick Warren and six other Saddleback members who have participated in The Daniel Plan diet. Of those seven pictured, it states: “[T]hey’re all believers in the faith-based, holistic wellness program Warren outlines in his new book, The Daniel Plan.” And you can be sure that with the highly successful marketing techniques that Zondervan and Warren have frequently used, millions of others will be believers in The Daniel Plan too.
Request for Help: Our Church is Becoming Involved with “Spiritual Direction” and Spiritual Director International
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I am writing to you to in the hope you might be able to give me information about Spiritual Direction as our Church is becoming involved with it. As a Spiritual Director this person is a member of The Australian Network of Spiritual Directors (ANSD) and of Spiritual Directors International (SDI). After reading the brochure I am concerned about the direction it may lead us as it talks about contemplative reflection and interconnectedness of all things and also seeks to encourage ecumenism and inter faith dialogue etc.
Hoping you might be able to help me with this. Thank you for all the work you are doing in warning Christians about the many deceptions we can encounter. Keep up the good work that God has entrusted you to do. __________
Basically, the term “spiritual direction” is part of the contemplative prayer movement. Contemplative teachers say that one must have a “spiritual director” to “teach” or guide him or her how to enter into the silence of contemplative prayer. The spiritual director will provide books and resources by contemplative authors and direct his or her student on how to implement these authors’ spiritual practices. Ruth Haley Barton, a contemplative advocate who teaches thousands of pastors and Christian leaders about spiritual formation said this about her own spiritual director:
I sought out a spiritual director, someone well versed in the ways of the soul . . . eventually this wise woman said to me, . . . “What you need is stillness and silence so that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear.” . . . I decided to accept this invitation to move beyond my addiction to words.1 (emphasis added)
As for Spiritual Directors International (SDI), we consider them the leading association for spiritual directors in the world. Ray Yungen discusses SDI in his book, A Time of Departing:
To underscore the scope and reach of the contemplative prayer movement let’s look at the numbers put out by an organization called Spiritual Directors International (SDI). On their website this group gives ample evidence of what their practices are. In one national conference, the following was presented:
“This workshop offers an opportunity to study and experience the [spiritual] director’s role in a person’s move into the beginning and early stages of contemplative prayer, silence, and openness to new sorts of praying.”
One of the objectives of SDI is “Tending the holy around the world and across traditions.” A 2008 membership list showed 652 Episcopalians, 239 Presbyterians, 239 Methodists, 175 Lutherans, and a whopping 2,386 Roman Catholics; counting another forty or so “traditions,” the total was 6648. To show the nature of just what they mean by “across traditions,” the list included Buddhist, Gnostic Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Siddha Yoga, and even Pagan/Wiccan.2 [Today, the figure is 10,000 spiritual directors.]
On the SDI website, it states the following:
[SDI] has become one of the most significant and forward looking ecumenical and multi-faith spiritual organizations in the world today. (emphasis added)
It’s important to understand that “muliti-faith” and spiritual direction (contemplative spirituality) go hand in hand. As we have stated in the past, the “fruit” of contemplative prayer is interspirituality.
A Christianity Today article, “Got Your Spiritual Director Yet?,” confirmed two things, one that spiritual direction is contemplative, and two that it is on its way to becoming an integral part of evangelical Christianity. The article explains that popular Christian author Larry Crabb changed his views. Once a believer in psychology he switched to spiritual direction. He is just one of many who have done this.
The article credits contemplatives (mystics) such as John Cassian and Ignatius of Loyola for getting spiritual direction into the church and suggests that we can learn more about it from Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, and Dallas Willard. As Rick Warren stated in his book, The Purpose Driven Church, Foster and Willard are key players in the Spiritual Formation movement, but while Warren says that this movement is a “valid message for the church”3 that has “given the body of Christ a wake-up call,”4 we say it is a terrible seduction for the church.
Incidentally, SDI is listed in our “50 Top Organizations With a Significant Role in Bringing Contemplative Spirituality to the Church”; needless to say, we strongly recommend a church not become involved with it or with “spiritual direction” i.e., contemplative spirituality.
To further illustrate our concerns, SDI has a book titled Tending the Holy: Spiritual Direction Across the Traditions. When it says “across the traditions,” it means across all the world’s religious traditions. The book is filled with quotes by and references to mystics from the world’s largest religions (e.g., Swami Muktananda, Swami Rama, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Sri Chinmoy, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi). Thus “tending the holy” infers that the holy (or God) is in all the various religions (i.e., interspirituality), even ones that reject the preaching of the Cross.
For those wanting to get involved with the spiritual formation movement (i.e., contemplative, spiritual direction), consider the “direction” you will actually be going. Not toward biblical Christianity and the Jesus of the Bible but rather toward an ecumenical, interfaith spirituality that excludes salvation which comes solely through the sacrifice on the Cross made by Jesus Christ. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This SDI poster for an event taking place in 2014 says it all.
We are reminded of a June 2013 article we did titled “Concerns Grow as Moody Presses Forward Down Contemplative Path, ” where it reports how Moody’s radio host Anita Lustrea graduated with a 2-year degree in Spiritual Direction recently from the Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. One of the teachers for the Christos 2-year certificate program is Joann Nesser, who is a member of Spiritual Directors International and served on the SDI Coordinating Council for 6 of the early formative years. (source) In looking at the photos above of the interspiritual line up of speakers for the SDI 2014 conference, one cannot help wonder if these are the faces of the “new” Christianity that has surfaced and looks like it is here to stay.
1. Ruth Haley Barton, “Beyond Words”(Discipleship Journal, Issue #113, September/October, 1999, http://www. navpress.com/EPubs/DisplayArticle/1/1.113.13.html, p. 35.
2. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails, 2nd ed. 2006), p. 41; information taken from the Spiritual Directors International website—”Demographics of our Learning Community.”
3. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), p. 127.
Podcast by Chris Lawson and Ray Yungen: Warning About New Age Influences in Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan
Recorded: Oct 18, 2013 / Released: Oct 21, 2013
Chris Lawson and Ray Yungen discuss the serious compromise of Rick Warren allowing New Age doctors and various Alternative Health (New Age) practices on his Saddleback Church ‘Daniel Plan’ website. The dangers of “occultism” and the sympathies of Warren’s New Age doctors (leaders/advisers) are discussed in detail, as is The Daniel Plan website promotion of the “4-7-8 Breath Technique,” a method that comes directly from yogic literature and is used by “occultists” to enter Altered States of Consciousness.
Understanding the Occultic Nature of Tantric Sex (The Practice Promoted by Dr. Amen – Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Doctor)
The Bible says we live in a “crooked and perverse” world and that as believers we are to “shine as lights in the world”(Philippians 2:15). The closer we move toward the “end of the age” (Matthew 24), the darker and more perverse the world becomes. Global peace plans, inter-faith movements, emergent spiritualities, and other carnal-induced plots will not help the world’s woes. Jesus said, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46). As the world moves further away from Jesus Christ, the darkness only grows. A person can never escape that darkness without Jesus Christ living in him or her . . . all these other attempts are futile.
The New Age movement has now permeated all areas of our society: the business world, healthcare, education, religion, and entertainment. Virtually nothing has been untouched by the tentacles of this occultic, meditation-driven spirituality, and it has entered the Christian church through contemplative prayer (i.e., spiritual formation). But there is another area that mysticism has united with … and that is the sexual realm. The marriage of the two is referred to as tantra (or tantric sex), and before you stop reading this article, thinking “What has sex got to do with exposing contemplative and the New Age?” we must tell you will all soberness, this mystical sexuality is growing faster by the day, and it may affect the lives of countless Christians. Why? Because Christianity at large is going in a mystical direction, thanks to Christian leaders and organizations who continue promoting contemplative spirituality; and within the realms of these mystical states that are being induced, many will be introduced to tantra.
We decided to write this article on tantra after a Christian woman contacted us and told us (after seeing tantra mentioned in a description of For Many Shall Come in My Name) that her Christian husband (who is in leadership in a large Christian organization) was being enticed with tantric sex.
Ray Yungen explains about tantra and its relevance today:
Tantra is the name of the ancient Hindu sacred texts that contain certain rituals and secrets. Some deal with taking the energies brought forth in meditation through the chakras and combining them with love-making to enhance sexual experiences.
Once completely off-limits to the masses of humanity, tantra, like all other New Age methodologies, is now starting to gain increasing popularity. A google search on the Internet shows 6,600,000 entries for the word tantra! This union of sexuality and Eastern spirituality is a perfect example to illustrate just how much the New Age has permeated our society as it has affected even the most intimate areas of people’s lives.
The potential to impact a very great number of people, especially men, was brought out in an article by a sex worker who incorporates “Tantric Bodywork” into her services. She paints a very sad portrait of the dynamics of the “enormous sex industry” in which millions of stressed and unhappy men seek out “erotic release” from women who are just as unhappy and stressed as their clients. She observes that there is a “culturally rampant phenomenon that spouses are disconnected from each other.”
To remedy this tragic interplay of exploitation, she has turned to Tantric Union to give her clients what she feels is not just sex but “union with the divine.” After she read a book called Women of the Light: The New Sacred Prostitute, she turned her erotic business
into a “temple.” Of this temple, she says it is:
…dedicated to being a haven of the sacred, a home for the embodiment of spirit, filled with altars, sacred objects, plants, art, dreamy sensual music, blissful scents. My space is home to Quan Yin [a Buddhist goddess], crystals blessed by the Entities of John of God [a Brazilian spirit channeler].
Now the “multitudes of men” who come to her get much more than they bargained for. In the past, wives and girlfriends needed only to worry about sexually transmitted diseases from cheating husbands and boyfriends, but now their men may instead bring home spiritual entities!
Most readers might think that tantra is something exceedingly obscure that would never attract average people. But the movie industry thinks otherwise. In a 2003 movie, Hollywood Homicide (starring Harrison Ford, one of the industry’s leading men), viewers were presented with a brief snippet of tantric sex in one scene where fellow police officers opened the locker of Ford’s rookie detective partner and out falls a book (which the camera focuses on) about tantra, revealing the side-kick’s spiritual/sexual affinities (incidentally, he also teaches yoga in the film). (For Many Shall Come in My Name, 2nd ed., pp. 115-116)
If Christians begin to incorporate their contemplative proclivities with their sexual lives (a “Christian” version of tantric sex), the results will be devastating, and we predict sexual perversion will be more rampant than ever. Why? Because if the altered states of consciousness are truly demonic realms (as we believe they are) then tantric sex is another venue of the hidden darkness of which Jesus spoke.
These assertions may sound absurd and far-fetched to some readers, but evidence of the truth of this does exist. For instance, Henri Nouwen (who, along with Thomas Merton, is one of the top icons of the contemplative prayer movement), in his last book before he died, The Sabbatical Journey, favorably revealed how he listened to audio tapes on the seven chakras which is the basis for tantric sex (p. 20). Also in Nouwen’s book, he makes mention of his encounter with a mystic named Andrew Harvey, whom Nouwen referred to as his soul friend (spiritual mentor) and how much Harvey’s mysticism had touched him (p. 149). And yet Harvey’s mysticism also includes the tantric element. In a conference (The International Conference on Sacred Sexuality) Harvey led a workshop called “Sexual Liberation, Tantra, and Sacred Activism” in which Harvey “will show that sexual liberation and Tantra are vital parts of the Divine Mother’s plan for the birth of a new humanity, since they make possible a profound and ecstatic contact with what Andrew calls Divine Eros – a tender passionate dynamic love-connection. True Tantric sexuality gives its’ practitioners access to extraordinary and unified energies which will form the base of a commitment to Sacred Activism.”
As believers who are to “shine as lights in the world,” we must flee the deeds of darkness and “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.” We cannot do this in our own strength, but Jesus Christ living inside us will enable us through His mercy and grace: “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
“Many people have unwittingly become New Agers by simply seeking to improve their physical and mental health through meditation.” - Ray Yungen
Two and a half years ago, Lighthouse Trails first reported on Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan health program. That initial article titled “Rick Warren’s New Health and Wellness Initiative Could Have Profound Repercussions on Many,” said that Rick Warren was launching a “Decade of Destiny,” that would include focusing on health issues. Our article pointed out that the three doctors, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman, whom Rick Warren had partnered with to help develop the Daniel Plan, were all strong advocates of eastern meditation and the philosophies that go with that. Consider the following three statements, one for each of the Daniel Plan doctors:
1. Dr. Amen is a proponent of tantric sex (the combining of sexual activity with mystical practices), which is probably the most extreme form of meditation.
2. In Dr. Hymen’s book, TheUltramind Solution, Hyman emphasizes meditation, saying that it doesn’t matter what religion one has to benefit from it (p. 322). Dr. Hyman suggests that “Mindful meditation is a powerful well-researched tool, developed by Buddhists” (p. 384).
3. In January 2010, Dr. Oz brought a Reiki master onto his show to demonstrate Reiki and then ended the show saying, “try Reiki” as the #1 “Oz’s Order.” It would make sense that Dr. Oz would tell his viewers to try Reiki – his wife is a Reiki practitioner.
If one needs more evidence to understand what these three doctors believe in and teach, see the article links below under Related Material. After seeing the evidence, there can really be no doubt that Dr. Hymen, Dr. Amen, and Dr. Oz each have a strongly devoted affinity to the practice of entering altered states of consciousness through meditation in order to attain to what is known as the “higher self” (i.e., the divinity within every person).
So a fair question to ask is just how much of this New Age spirituality has rubbed off onto Rick Warren and the Daniel Plan? Well, we think quite a bit has. We would like to offer a convincing example. On September 26th, on the Daniel Plan website (owned and operated by Saddleback Church), an article titled “How to Manage Your Stress in 76 Seconds” was posted. The information below should be read and watched with discernment and in no wise is an endorsement from Lighthouse Trails. On the contrary, the practice we refer to below, if practiced, could potentially lead to dangerous Kundalini experiences. But we find it necessary to post this information because this is the direction that much of the church is heading right now. Our urgency to warn outweighs our hesitation to post this. People’s lives and souls are at stake.
The Saddleback article on September 26th is written by Dr. Joel Kahn, who tells readers to practice a technique called the 4-7-8 relaxation breathing sequence. First giving the usual instruction for meditation to sit up straight, Kahn then proceeds to give the steps for this breathing exercise with a sequence of breath in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. The rest of Kahn’s article tells readers of the benefits of doing this relaxation exercise. But let’s take a look at a video by another advocate of the exact same method – the 4-7-8 sequence – that gives more detail and explanation. As we stated a minute ago, because this is the direction the church at large is heading through the contemplative prayer (i.e., spiritual formation) movement (and the Daniel Plan movement), we are compelled to show this with the hope it will unveil the true nature of this and other forms of meditation.
The video below is by a man named Dr. Andrew Weil, a highly respected meditation proponent. He received his medical degree from Harvard University and is the Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona. Dr. Weil is not a fringe personality. (If you cannot see this video below, click here. Our report continues below this video with some vital information.
How interesting that Dr. Weil, clearly an “expert” in the field of meditation, admits that all breathing techniques (including those used in Yoga) come from India (i.e., Hinduism). Lighthouse Trails has been trying to tell Christian leaders that for 11 years now! And contemplative prayer is in the same category as “breath” prayers, and both are spiritually dangerous. Ray Yungen elaborates:
When we compare meditation techniques used in stress reduction with the type of meditation used in New Age spirituality, it is easy to see these practices as basically the same. Both methods use either the breathing technique or mantra exercises to still the mind. Unknown to most people, a blank mind in a meditative state is all that is necessary for contact with a spirit guide.
An example of this is found in John Randolph Price, founder of the Quartus Foundation and initiate of the December 31 World Healing Day Meditation. Price became involved in New Age metaphysics through just such a meditative encounter. He reveals:
“Back when I was in the business world, the American Management Association put out a little book on meditation, which indicated that meditation was a way to attain peace of mind and reduce stress in a corporate environment. So I decided I’d try it . . . I discovered how to come into a new sphere of consciousness. Consciousness actually shifts, and you move into a realm you may not have even known existed.”1
As one meditation teacher explains:
“It is more than a stress reducer. It is the vehicle all religions use to impart the esoteric knowledge of their own mystical tradition.”2
Thus, many people have unwittingly become New Agers by simply seeking to improve their physical and mental health through meditation. Two examples on this issue are comments made by two authors who honor the higher self view of man, Joan Borysenko and Ann Wise. Borysenko, a medical doctor, revealed:
“I originally took up secular meditation for its medical benefits and in time discovered its deeper psychological and spiritual benefits.”3
Ann Wise, who works in the corporate field to improve decision-making abilities for business people, makes an identical observation:
“Those who initially participate in this work purely for enhancements to their productivity in the corporate world are often startled and pleased by what one VP called “the value and inevitable focus on spirituality that evolved from the work.” . . . I often find that individuals who began brainwave training [meditation] for a specific, objective purpose also become quickly interested and involved in seeking higher levels of spiritual consciousness.”4 (from A Time of Departing, pp. 98-100)
What this means is that the people at Saddleback and the people who are participating in the Daniel Plan have been introduced to a meditation practice that can potentially turn them into New Agers! And remember, in the New Age, there is no room for the Cross at Calvary because the higher self takes the place of a need for a Savior.
Incidentally, some people may think that the term “spirituality” means Christianity, but that is not it. When the term spirituality is used, it is referring to the idea that God is in everyone (ie., the higher self).
September 26 2013 isn’t the first time the Daniel Plan website brought in the 4-7-8 meditation technique. It was introduced to the Daniel Plan on October 14th 2012,
One more thing you should know – on December 3rd, Rick Warren’s new book, The Daniel Plan, will be released. The co-authors of this book are Dr. Hymen and Dr. Amen. As we stated earlier, Dr. Amen is an advocate of tantric sex; and Dr. Hymen is connected to a shamanic organization called FourWinds (“where modern science meets ancient wisdom“).
By all appearances and logic, it looks like Rick Warren is going full speed toward the New Age/New Spirituality with the throttle fully engaged.
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