by Warren B. Smith
In his 2006 book The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth That Could Change Everything, alternative emerging church figure Brian McLaren proposes that Christians adopt new metaphors that the church can use to introduce the world to Jesus–a new user-friendly language to more effectively communicate with the prevailing culture of a “postmodern” world. The first new metaphor that McLaren suggests is the old Robert Schuller metaphor, “God’s Dream.” McLaren tries to link this Schuller concept to Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech rather than attributing it to Schuller. McLaren explains:
For all these reasons, “the dream of God” strikes me as a beautiful way to translate the message of the kingdom of God for hearers today. It is, of course, the language evoked by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. His dream was God’s dream, and that accounted for its amazing power.1
It is significant to note that using the Schuller “God’s Dream” metaphor and then linking it with Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement and King’s “I have a Dream” speech are what many church and New Age leaders are presently doing. It is part of the emerging “merging” process going on. New Age leaders are linking the New Age Peace Plan–what they are now calling their “civil rights movement for the soul”2–to the same Martin Luther King “I have a Dream” speech.
[New Age leader] Marianne Williamson’s Peace Alliance–formerly the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders–even has a poster with Martin Luther King’s [and Gandhi’s] picture featured on their website. The poster proclaims that “One Dream Can Change Everything.”3 As described in Deceived on Purpose, Marianne Williamson’s New Age colleague Wayne Dyer has made it clear that the “One Dream” that can change everything is “God’s Dream”:
Who is the ultimate dreamer? Call it as you will: God, higher consciousness, Krishna, Spirit, whatever pleases you. . . .
One dream, one dreamer, billions of embodied characters acting out that one dream . . . Your true essence is that you are part and parcel of the one big dream.4
This is the quintessential message that is available from all the spiritual masters . . . You, the dreamer . . . God, the dreamer.5
I assure you that when you truly know that there is only one dream and that you are connected to everyone in that dream, you begin to think and act as if you are connected to it all, rather than attached to your separateness.6
Linking “God’s Dream” with Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech is a clever device that touches a deep emotional pocket within most people. This, in turn, opens them up spiritually to whatever teaching is being pushed–such as “we are all one” because God is “in” everything. This whole Schuller “God’s Dream”/Martin Luther King/”I have a Dream” device is being used to create a false sense of togetherness and unity–to bring everyone together psychologically and spiritually as “One.”
An Internet search could find no instance of Martin Luther King ever using the term “God’s Dream.” It is Robert Schuller–not Martin Luther King–who has popularized the term “God’s Dream” over the years. It is no wonder that Marianne Williamson’s colleague Neale Donald Walsch is so eager to describe Schuller as an “extraordinary minister” and someone who could help create a bridge between the church and the New Age with his God “in” everyone “God’s Dream” theology of self-esteem. In Self-Esteem: The New Reformation–the 1982 book that obviously inspired both Rick Warren and Neale Donald Walsch–Schuller wrote:
Tremendous human energy is needed to walk God’s walk, work God’s work, fulfill God’s will, and complete his dream for our self-esteem.7
Saddleback Men’s Ministry
If there is any doubt about Rick Warren and Saddleback’s continued use of the Robert Schuller term “God’s Dream,” simply read Saddleback men’s pastor Kenny Luck’s 2007 book–Dream: Have You Caught God’s Vision? and his accompanying Dream Workbook. Both books use the term “God’s Dream” throughout their texts. In Dream, Kenny Luck sounds a lot like Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale when he concludes the foreword by writing–“Dreaming big with you.” Here is a brief sampling of that Saddleback pastor’s use of the term “Godâ€™s Dream”:
God’s dream for us is dangerously attractive, inviting, and controversial.8
My prayer is that as you, and several of your friends, grapple with the content of this workbook, God’s dream for your life will erupt for His glory and the advancement of the cause of Christ. Our world desperately needs men living out the dreams God has burned into their hearts.9
God’s dream for you is a heaven–owned vision of greatness, a God’s man image built upon that of the God-Man.10
God’s dream is to see you reach that summit.11
Five years after Rick Warren introduced his P.E.A.C.E. Plan as “God’s Dream For You–And The World!,” Robert Schuller’s metaphor continues to be emphasized by a wide cross-section of church and New Age leaders. Even Oprah Winfrey is using the term.12
The Spiritual Trap
Using the term “God’s Dream” and other overlapping transformational language, Rick Warren’s ever-evolving Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is in the process of semantically merging with the PEACE Plan of the New Age/New Spirituality. “God’s Dream” has become the “Pied Piper” Field of Dreams rallying cry for a deceptive world peace plan that purports to establish the kingdom of God here on earth through humanitarian effort and global good works.
But “God’s Dream,” as described by its proponents cannot and will not succeed. It is not a case of “if you build it, he will come.”13 While humanity is to always do its best in meeting human and environmental needs, the kingdom of God will not be established by humanity imagining and creating world peace by invoking a Schulleresque New Age “God’s Dreamâ€ PEACE Plan. The kingdom of God comes just as prophesied in the Bible–through the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ–the real Jesus Christ–not the false Christ of a deceived and apostate church. Not the false Christ of a New Age/New Spirituality.
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)
Who’s Talking About “God’s Dream”?
Now–find God’s dream for your life and go all out for it!14–Robert Schuller
On October 18-19 , I shared God’s dream for our church locally. On October [27-28], Bruce Wilkinson shared God’s dream for us individually. 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 unveil our Global P.E.A.C.E. plan, and how God has uniquely prepared you for this moment of destiny.15–Rick Warren
When you begin to create the life of your dreams–or maybe better stated, when you begin to live the life that God dreams for you–you take responsibility to prepare for the future.16–Erwin McManus
You have been handcrafted by God to accomplish a part of His Big Dream for the world.17–Bruce Wilkinson
The end of war begins with people who believe that another world is possible and that another empire has already interrupted time and space and is taking over this earth with the dreams of God.18–Shane Claiborne
The time to save God’s Dream is now. The people to save God’s Dream are you.19–Leonard Sweet
That in itself is an act of peacemaking, because weâ€™re seeking to align our wills with God’s will, our dreams with God’s dream.20–Brian McLaren
New Age/New Spirituality Leaders
Just start on your journey upward, inward and forward-upward to see God’s Dream, inward to possess God’s Dream, forward to become God’s Dream. This Dream is the Dream of absolute Fulfillment.21–Sri Chinmoy
God says, “Please, please help me realize this dream.” And some of God’s best collaborators are the young, because you dream. You dream God’s dream.22–Desmond Tutu
God’s dream still remains unfulfilled. It was not fulfilled 2,000 years ago, or in the home of any religious leader or any American home, and today the Unification Church is here to pledge to fulfill that dream. We don’t want to confine that fulfillment to our Church, but to expand it all over the world. Wouldn’t that be the Kingdom of God on earth?23–Sun Myung Moon
Who is the ultimate dreamer? Call it as you will: God, higher consciousness, Krishna, spirit, whatever pleases you . . . One dream, one dreamer, billions of embodied characters acting out that one dream . . . Your true essence is that you are part and parcel of the one big dream.24–Wayne Dyer
I live inside God’s dream for me. I don’t try to tell God what I’m supposed to do . . . God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself.25–Oprah Winfrey
(from A “Wonderful” Deception by Warren Smith (2009), taken from chapter 8)
1. 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. 142.
2. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God,: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2004), p. 262.
3. See: http://www.thepeacealliance.org.
4. Wayne Dyer, You’ll See It When You Believe It: The Way to Your Personal Transformation (New York, NY: HarperCollins, First Quill Ed., 2001), p. 108.
5. Ibid., p. 109.
6. Ibid., p. 110.
7. Robert Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 112.
8. Kenny Luck, Dream: Have You Caught God’s Vision? (Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2007), p. 146.
9. Luck, Dream Workbook: Have You Caught God’s Vision?, pp. 5-6.
10. Ibid., p. 17.
11. Ibid., p. 142.
12. Ann Oldenburg, “The Divine Miss Winfrey,” (USA Today, May 10, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-10-oprah_x.htm).
13. Quote from movie Field of Dreams, 1989, Universal City Studios, Inc.
14. Robert Schuller, Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 2005), p. 36.
15. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church e-mail, October 27, 2003, GOD’S DREAM FOR YOUâ€”AND THE WORLD! (see chapter 12, Deceived on Purpose).
16. Erwin McManus, Wide Awake: The Future is Waiting For You (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2008), p. 179.
17. Bruce Wilkinson, The Dream Giver (Sister, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc, 2003), p. 77.
18. Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), p. 307.
19. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), p. 34.
20. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, op. cit., p. 161.
21. Sri Chinmoy (late resident Indian guru at the United Nations, http://www.yogaofsrichinmoy.com/god_the_author_of_all_good/mangod).
22. Desmond Tutu, “Archbishop Desmond Tutu Speech” (March 18, 2004, Bender Arena at American University, http://www1.media.american.edu/speeches/desmondtutu.htm).
23. Sun Myung Moon Speaks on New Morning of Glory (January 22, 1978, http://www.unification.net/1978/780122.html; information courtesy of Discernment Ministries, “A Global Kingdom Dream,” http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/discernment/8-5-dream-peace.htm).
24. Wayne Dyer, You’ll See it When You Believe It, op. cit., p. 96.
25. Ann Oldenburg, “The Divine Miss Winfrey,” op. cit.