A Lighthouse Trails Commentary
This week marks the Launch of the New York City Leadership Center. This is a inter-religious venture that is being supported by some of the country’s most prolific Christian figures including Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Greg Laurie, Ken Blanchard, Bob Buford and Frances Hesselbein (representing the late Peter Drucker). The new Leadership Center hopes to “see the redemption of [their] communities through leaders leading together.”
1 The Leadership Center website states:
The New York City Leadership Center (NYCLC) has been planted by Concerts of Prayer Greater New York to encourage, unify, and support faith leaders throughout the New York metropolitan area and beyond. We believe the redemption of our communities will be realized through effective leadership, coupled with the powerful embrace of united prayer.
Underlying the Center’s focus on helping the needy, the uneducated, etc., is the new spirituality that is being propagated today and carries the philosophy of emerging and contemplative spiritualities.
Ken Blanchard, a proponent of mysticism, sits on the Advisory Board and will have significant influence in this new organization. Rick Warren is a major “evangelist” for both contemplative and emerging and will use the Center to launch his 40 Days of Love campaign.” Bob Buford, founder of the Leadership Network, was the driving force in initiating the emergent church movement. Peter Drucker worked with Buford on this formation. Bill Hybels has joined together with Brian McLaren and other emerging church leaders in bringing the new spirituality to the surface of evangelicalism.
In June, Lighthouse Trails issued a report: “Greg Laurie Connects Purpose Driven to a Move of God – Gives Financial Support.” Laurie is one of two “event sponsors” for the New York Leadership Center’s Launch. The Center told Lighthouse Trails that this sponsorship was financial. While Laurie is a Calvary Chapel pastor (which has officially rejected Purpose Driven, contemplative, and emerging), his ministry supports the efforts of the New York Leadership Center. 2
As the nation’s Christian leaders race forward convincing tens of thousands of Christians that the church needs this inter-faith structure in order for the Gospel to be effective, they are simultaneously helping (whether they know it or not) to bring about a dangerous, mystical, interspiritual philosophy that will ultimately lead people away from the Cross and the Gospel message. Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, in particularly, have made it distinctly clear that they are on the emerging/contemplative spiritual path.
Today, these and other Christian “leaders” are focusing on “leadership.” But it is important to understand that what is taking place isn’t truly about leadership – it is about training people to follow: follow without question or dissention. Rick Warren’s ministry says those who oppose are like “leaders from hell.”3 Unfortunately this path that so many people are now following will lead to great spiritual deception.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” I Timothy 4:1