Posts Tagged ‘bruce wilkinson’

“God’s Dream” – From the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling – A Deceptive Scheme

By Warren B. Smith

Consistent with many other New Age implications contained in her channeled messages, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” introduces the New Age idea of “God’s Dream” in Jesus Calling when he states:

I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach.1

In Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, the January 6th message/devotion is titled—and has “Jesus” telling the children—“Dare to Dream My Dream.”2

“God’s Dream” is a Deceptive Scheme
The term “God’s Dream” is yet another part of the overlapping New Age language streaming into the church. God’s Dream is a vague, loosely defined New Age metaphor that attempts to unify different religions and faith groups in an unbiblical effort to attain world peace. However, the true Jesus Christ warned that deception and the coming of Antichrist—not a “God’s Dream” peace movement—will be what actually precedes His ultimate and glorious return (Matthew 24:3-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5). The prophet Daniel warned that Antichrist will “destroy wonderfully” and “by peace he shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:24-25). In the future, what may appear to be a “wonderful” worldwide revival and a “wonderful” world peace will actually be a false revival and a false peace—the kind of peace that Daniel said will be associated with the coming of Antichrist, not the true Christ.

God's Dream for your life by Rick Warren

From https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1597-gods-dream-for-your-life/day/1

The New Age concept of God’s Dream was introduced at least as far back as 1916 by New Age theosophists in their Theosophical Path Magazine.3 Since then, it has been used by numerous New Age sympathizers that include Oprah Winfrey,4 Wayne Dyer,5 former United Nations Indian guru Sri Chinmoy,6 and African bishop Desmond Tutu.7 The concept of God’s Dream was introduced into the church in the 1970s by former Crystal Cathedral pastor Robert Schuller8 and later adopted by Rick Warren,9 Brian McLaren,10 Joel Osteen,11 Bruce Wilkinson,12 Leonard Sweet,13 and many other Christian figures. The overlap factor is very apparent when comparing statements made by Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen, and Sarah Young’s “Jesus” :

Oprah Winfrey: God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself.14

Joel Osteen: God’s dream for your life is so much bigger than your own.15

Sarah Young’s “Jesus”: Dream your biggest, most incredible dream—and then know that I am able to do far more than that, far more than you can ever ask or imagine. Allow Me to fill your mind with My dreams for you.16

Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, and Leonard Sweet all used the God’s Dream metaphor to stress the urgency of achieving world peace—but at what compromised New Age cost?

Rick Warren: This weekend, I’ll begin a series of five messages on God’s dream to use you globally—to literally use YOU to help change the world! I’ll unvail our Global P.E.A.C.E. plan, and how God has uniquely prepared you for this moment of destiny.17

Brian McLaren: That in itself is an act of peacemaking, because we’re seeking to align our wills with God’s will, our dreams with God’s dream.18

Leonard Sweet: The time to save God’s Dream is now. The People to save God’s Dream are you.19

“God’s Dream” is a False Dream
“God’s Dream” may seem to be inspirational and have a godly feel to it, but there is nothing in Scripture to even hint, much less substantiate, the New Age concept of God’s Dream. God doesn’t dream in any way, shape, manner, or form. God’s Dream is definitely one of those crossover terms also found in Jesus Calling like “co-creation” and “divine alchemy” that attempt to “shift” everything into a New Age context and toward the universal acceptance of a New Age/New Worldview. Sarah Young’s “Jesus” plays right into this clever conditioning when he introduces the concept of God’s Dream in Jesus Calling and in no less than three of Sarah Young’s other books.20 The prophet Jeremiah warned about those who prophesy and present false dreams like God’s Dream:

Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:32)

Note: Because so many Christian leaders have adopted the concept of God’s Dream, it has become a popularly accepted “Christian” term and is now virtually indistinguishable from its New Age origins.

(This is an excerpt from Warren B. Smith’s booklet The New Age Implications of Jesus Calling.)

Endnotes:

1. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 6.
2. Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids (Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson, 2010), p. 7.
3. Katherine Tingley, Editor, Theosophical Path Magazine, Volume X, February 1916, p. 159.
4. Ann Oldenburg, “The Divine Miss Winfrey” (USA Today, May 10, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-10-oprah_x.htm).
5.Wayne Dyer, You’ll See it When You Believe It: The Way to Your Personal Transformation (New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins, First Quill Ed., 2001), p. 108.
6. Sri Chinmoy; late resident Indian guru at the United Nations (http://www.yogaofsrichinmoy.com/god_the_author_all_good/mangod).
7. Desmond Tutu, “Archbishop Desmond Tutu Speech” (March 18, 2004, Bender Arena at American University)
8. Robert H. Schuller, Your Church Has Real Possibilities (Glendale, CA: Regal Books Division, G/L Publications, 1974), pp. 176-179.
9. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church e-mail, October 27, 2003, “GOD’S DREAM FOR YOU—AND THE WORLD!”; Warren Smith, Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2004), pp. 131-142.
10. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything (Nashville, TN: W. Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2006), p. 161.
11. Joel Osteen, “God’s Dream for Your Life”—Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 28 July Monday” (http://devotion.wedaretobelieve.com/2014/07/gods-dream-for-your-life-joel-osteen.html).
12. Bruce Wilkinson, The Dream Giver (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2003), p. 77.
13. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), p. 34.
14. Ann Oldenburg, “The Divine Miss Winfrey” (USA Today, May 10, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-10-oprah_x.htm).
15. Joel Osteen, “God’s Dream for Your Life-Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 28 July Monday,”
16. Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids, op. cit. p. 7.
17. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church e-mail, October 27, 2003, “GOD’S DREAM FOR YOU—AND THE WORLD!”; op. cit.
18. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, op cit., p. 161.
19. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 34.
20. Sarah Young, Dear Jesus: Seeking His Light in Your Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007), pp. 68-69; Sarah Young: Jesus Lives: Seeing His Love in Your Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009), p. 124; Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids, op. cit., p. 7.

 

Revealing Quotes by Influential Contemplatives

These revealing quotes are from well-known figures who have significantly influenced the religious landscape in today’s culture. Sadly, they have helped to mislead millions with their promotion of contemplative prayer (a mystical, panentheistic-rooted practice).

Shalem Prayer Institute
“This mystical stream [contemplative prayer and other monastic traditions] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality.”—Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend, p. 18.

Gerald May/Brother Lawrence
“. . . a little phrase that Love inspires,” letting a word, phrase or image repeat itself quietly deep inside us as we go through our daily activities.”—Gerald May, quoting Brother Lawrence – “Contemplative Spiritual Formation: Going Deeper”

Rick Warren
“With practice, you can develop the habit of praying silent ‘breath prayers'” – Rick Warren, from his book, The Purpose Driven Life (p. 299)

“[U]se ‘breath prayers’ throughout the day, as many Christians have done for centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath.”—Rick Warren,
Purpose Driven Life, p. 89.

Ken Blanchard
“Does Buddha have anything to offer non-Buddhists in the workplace? My answer is a wholehearted, ‘Yes.’—Ken Blanchard, co-author of the One Minute Manager, from the foreword and front cover of What Would Buddha Do in the Workplace?

Bruce Wilkinson
“We have promoted an unbiblical message that becoming born-again is the answer to everything. It’s not. It changes your eternity, but it doesn’t change your sexual behavior, for instance. The gospel does not always have the answer for modern-day dilemmas.” – JOY! magazine, the South African counterpart to Charisma, in April 2004

From Youth Specialties
“I built myself a prayer room—a tiny sanctuary in a basement closet filled with books on spiritual disciplines, contemplative prayer, and Christian mysticism. In that space I lit candles, burned incense, hung rosaries, and listened to tapes of Benedictine monks. I meditated for hours on words, images, and sounds. I reached the point of being able to achieve alpha brain patterns…”—Mike Perschon, Youth Specialties Magazine, December 2004

“Choose a sacred word or phrase. Consistently use the same word throughout the prayer. Begin silently to repeat your sacred word or phrase.” – Mark Yaconelli, Youth Specialties National Pastor’s Convention (source)

Charisma Magazine
“Spiritual ecstasy. The third phase of contemplative prayer … a supernatural trance state …” – Charisma magazine, Oct. 2004

Brennan Manning
“Contemplative prayer is nothing other than coming into consciousness of what is already there.” – Brennan Manning, Signature of Jesus, p. 197

Larry Crabb
“Brennan (Manning) is my friend, walking ahead of me on the path toward home. As I watch him from behind, I am drawn to more closely follow on the path…” – Larry Crabb, endorsement of Abba’s Child (source)

Henri Nouwen
“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” – Sabbatical Journey (the last book Nouwen wrote), p. 51, hardcover edition

“The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart.” – Way of the Heart, p. 81.

Ruth Haley Barton
“Ask for a simple prayer to express your willingness to meet God in the silence … a simple statement …such as “Here I am.” … Help yourself return to your original intent by repeating the prayer that you have chosen.” – Discipleship Journal, Vol. 113 1999

John Michael Talbot
“I began practicing meditation, specifically breath prayer, once again. I integrated the use of Tai Chi and yoga.” – John Michael Talbot, Interview with Christianity Today 10/22/2001

Shakti Gawain
“Its [visualization] effect is to dissolve our internal barriers to natural harmony and self realization.” – Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization, p. 6.

Richard Foster
“[Y]ou and I may have strong opinions on double predestination, supralapsarianism, and biblical inerrancy, but these should not be considered evangelical essentials.” – Streams of Living Water, Kindle location 3914

Matthew Fox
“We need to become aware of the Cosmic Christ, which means recognizing that every being has within it the light of Christ.” – Steve Turner interviewing Matthew Fox, “Natural Mystic?” (Nine O Clock Service, March 1995)

“Everyone is born a mystic and a lover who experiences the unity of things and all are called to keep this mystic or lover of life alive.” (source)

Beth Moore
“[I]f we are not still before Him [God], we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There’s got to be a stillness.” – from the Be Still DVD, an infomercial for contemplative prayer (source)

Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul
“What works for me is a combination of disciplines: I do yoga, tai chi which is a Chinese martial art and three kinds of meditation—vipasana, transcendental and mantra (sound) meditation.” – from Choosing to be Happy

Thomas Merton
“Isn’t it a pity that people are going into LSD to have spiritual experiences, when we have a tradition in the Church [contemplative prayer] which no one knows anything about?” (source)

M. Basil Pennington
“When we go to the center of our being and pass through that center into the very center of God we get in immediate touch with this divine creating energy … that the divine energy may have the freedom to forward the evolution of consciousness in us and through us, as a part of the whole, in the whole of the creation.” – An Invitation to Centering Prayer

Thomas Keating
“My acquaintance with eastern methods of meditation has convinced me that … there are ways of calming the mind in the spiritual disciplines of both the east and the west [and] many serious seekers of truth study the eastern religions.” – Open Mind, Open Heart, p. 29

Pope John Paul
“Pick out a word or two. Tell your children to sit quietly and repeat the word in their heads—not thinking about the word, just repeating it.” – Everyday Catholic newsletter, Nov. 2001

The Emerging Church
“The first time I introduced this, the kids came in, and I had a candle going and a little incense burning and some Gregorian chant music on the CD player” – Tony Jones, from interview with editor Jeff Bailey, Cutting Edge magazine, pp. 15-22.

“Some of the values of the emerging church are an emphasis on emotions, global outlook, a rise in the use of arts, and a rise in mysticism and spirituality.”—Josh Reich, Youth Specialties, “Creating Worship Gatherings for the Emerging Church” 

“We’re rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life.”– Rob Bell, “The Emergent Mystique,” Christianity Today, Nov. 1, 2004

Christian and New Age Leaders Together in Post-911 Book

By Warren Smith

The first time I encountered Rick Warren was in the spring of 2002, in a book titled From the Ashes: A Spiritual Response to the Attack on America. The book was a collection of articles written by a wide variety of “spiritual leaders” and “extraordinary citizens” published in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Proceeds from the book were to go to the families of the 9/11 victims. I remember being intrigued by the fact that Christian leaders found themselves included in a book that also featured many familiar New Age leaders. Articles by Billy Graham, Bruce Wilkinson, Charles Colson, Max Lucado, Bill Hybels, Jerry Jenkins, Bishop T.D. Jakes and others were side by side with articles written by prominent New Age leaders like Neale Donald Walsch, the Dalai Lama and Starhawk the witch. I was not familiar with the man simply listed as “Pastor Rick Warren.”

I discovered From the Ashes just after writing Reinventing Jesus Christ [now titled False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?]. In my 2002 book, I had updated readers on significant recent New Age activity. I was concerned because Christian leaders were doing so little to warn believers about a New Age movement that had reinvented itself and was now referring to its teachings as the “new gospel” and the “New Spirituality.” I found it particularly interesting that in From the Ashes Christian leaders not only found themselves in the company of top New Age leaders, they were now being directly challenged by some of these same New Age people.

New Age leader Neale Donald Walsch’s article appeared just pages from Bishop T.D. Jakes’ opening article. In his article, Walsch challenged religious leaders everywhere, including Rick Warren, Billy Graham, and every Christian leader in the book, in light of the events of September 11th to accept and preach the “new gospel” that “We are all one.” After erroneously claiming that the Bible supports the idea that “We are all one,” Walsch wrote:

We must change ourselves. We must change the beliefs upon which our behaviors are based. We must create a different reality, build a new society….We must do so with new spiritual truths. We must preach a new gospel, its healing message summarized in two sentences:

We are all one.

Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.

This 15-word message, delivered from every lectern and pulpit, from every rostrum and platform, could change everything overnight. I challenge every priest, every minister, every rabbi and religious cleric to preach this.1

I remember reading this and realizing how brazen the New Age was getting, and how deceptively appealing the idea of “Oneness” must sound to a terrified humanity still wondering when the next disaster might strike. What a clever way to present New Age teachings to a vulnerable world. But I was also thinking what a great opportunity it was for Christian leaders—particularly in this book—to contend for the faith by exposing the New Age teachings that were behind Walsch’s seemingly “positive” exhortation.

In Walsch’s best-selling Conversations with God books, in which he purports to have actual “conversations with God,” Walsch’s “God” specifically defines what he means by the “new gospel” teaching that “We are all One.” “God” tells Walsch:

God is creation.2

You are the Creator and the Created.3

You are already a God. You simply do not know it.4

You are One with everyone and everything in the Universe—including God.5

There is only One of Us. You and I are One.6

If the Christian leaders in From the Ashes contended for the faith by responding to Walsch’s New Age challenge, they could use the situation to delineate the significant differences between New Age teachings and the teachings of biblical Christianity. It was a unique opportunity for church leaders to expound upon the fact that God is not inherently “at One” with His creation and that man is not divine. They could explain that the Bible makes it very clear that humanity’s only “Oneness” with God, and with each other, is through the person of Jesus Christ when we repent of our sins and choose to accept Him as our Lord and Savior.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28; emphasis added)

Walsch’s public challenge was a great opportunity for these Christian leaders to contend for the faith. But other than one lone pastor in Iowa,7 I am not aware of anyone else publicly responding to Walsch’s challenge.

Today, Walsch and other New Age leaders have accelerated their challenge to the Church by declaring that “God” has a 5-Step “PEACE Plan” to ultimately save the world through the establishment of a “New Spirituality.” Part of this “New Spirituality” demands that Christians abandon their belief in Jesus Christ as their exclusive Lord and Savior. In a recent best-selling Walsch book, his New Age “God” has now openly declared, “The era of the Single Savior is over.”8

But even with all of these open threats and challenges to biblical Christianity, most Christian leaders today continue to generally ignore almost anything having to do with New Age teachers and teachings. Over the last decade, as New Age teachings exploded in popularity, church leaders suddenly became very quiet about the New Age. Perhaps distracted by church growth concerns and tracking what they considered to be the latest “moves of God,” church leaders seemed to be missing the latest moves of our spiritual Adversary. Excited about all of the “great” things they felt God was doing, they had become ignorant of what our Adversary was doing. (from Deceived on Purpose, chapter 1)

Notes

1. Beliefnet Editors, From the Ashes: A Spiritual Response to the Attack on America (USA: Rodale Inc., 2001), p. 21.
2. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 1 (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995, 1996), p. 198.
3. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 3 (Charlottesville, Va: Hampton Roads Publishing, Inc., 1998), p. 350.
4. Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 1,  p. 202.
5. Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 2,  p. 173.
6. Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: an uncommon dialogue (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999), p. 23.
7. Bill Randles, “An Open Letter to Neale Donald Walsch,” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/NealeDonaldWalsch.html
8. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.

 


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