This week, WorldNet Daily posted three articles written by WND reporter and editor Art Moore. The articles were the result of a recent interview Moore conducted at Saddleback with Rick Warren, author of Purpose Driven Life, covering a wide gamut of topics from Rick Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. plan, to his efforts in environmentalism, to his trip to Syria last year and so forth.
Much of the content in the articles by Moore has been written about by numerous other media outlet over the last few years. But one particular section of article #1 originated from a letter that Rick Warren wrote to Lighthouse Trails in 2005. In the WND article (#1) under the heading “Blogs Copy Blogs,” a man named George Mair is brought up. Mair is the author of a 2005 book titled A Life with Purpose. The book is a biography of Rick Warren and meant as a testament of praise. Mair told Lighthouse Trails that he had attended Saddleback as a congregant for many months while researching and writing the book, and he gave financially to Saddleback during that time. Mair said that he had greatly admired Rick Warren, which is what prompted him to write the book in the first place. However, Warren did not reciprocate the admiration, and in fact came out against the book, but not until the book was mentioned in a 2005 Lighthouse Trails report that triggered a response from Warren.
In our 2005 article titled, “Rick Warren Teams Up With New Age Guru Ken Blanchard,” it was reported that in 2003 Warren told his congregation that Blanchard had “signed on” to help implement the global P.E.A.C.E. Plan and to train leaders around the world.(click here to listen to audio clip) Mair mentioned this in his book, and author Ray Yungen, who read Mair’s book, realized the significance of the Warren/Blanchard duo because Yungen had been tracing Blanchard’s New Age proclivities for many years. Blanchard has been endorsing New Age books and writing the forewords for many of them for over 20 years. Today, he continues this practice and is also on the board of the Hoffman Institute, a New Age think tank and home to the Hoffman Quadrinity Process (based on the book The Hoffman Process that teaches mysticism and panentheism).
Five weeks after the Lighthouse Trails article was released, Rick Warren wrote a personal letter to Lighthouse Trails- within hours of his sending that email, it was posted on one of his co-worker’s websites. Excerpts from that email circulated throughout the web and were even used in letters from Saddleback to an unknown number of people. Some of the contents of this email ended up in the WND report this week.
Warren’s email to Lighthouse Trails was primarily statements against Mair’s book. In fact, Warren went to great lengths to discredit Mair and his book by making several statements that were not true. Most of his criticisms of the book were trivial such as saying that Mair got the number of children Warren had wrong. Incredibly, Mair never even alluded to how many children Warren had. Another, Warren said Mair called Robert Schuller Warren’s mentor. But Mair never said that at any time.
In both Warren’s letter to LT and in the WND article, Warren says that Mair “is not even a Christian.” Yet, Mair told LT he considers himself a Christian and he wonders why Rick Warren would say that. In Warren’s letter to LT, he called Mair an “unbeliever” and said he was “not even born again.”
Warren’s letter to LT also discussed Ken Blanchard. Warren excused Blanchard for his New Age indiscretions saying he was a new convert. However, in a 2004 transcript, Warren is talking with Blanchard in a public forum, and they discuss how Blanchard became a Christian in the 80s. Thus, when he wrote the following year to LT and claimed Blanchard a new convert, he already knew that wasn’t true (see transcript).
The question many may have is, why is Rick Warren trying to discredit a book by someone (Mair) who spoke in glowing terms about Warren and called him “the most inspiring pastor of our time”? The answer, we believe, has nothing to do with whether Mair got it right about how many children Warren has.
In light of the fact that Rick Warren tells WND that he is not connected at all to Robert Schuller (see Schuller on Warren’s website) “and doesn’t even know him, perhaps it is time those looking for the truth take a look at Mair’s book, A Life with Purpose, for within the pages lies some interesting information. Incidentally, while the WND article clearly shows that Warren wants nothing to do with Schuller, Warren’s wife, Kay, is one of the speakers scheduled at the upcoming Rethink conference at Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral this January. This would certainly validate her comments to Christianity Today a few years ago when she said: “He [Schuller] had a profound influence on Rick.”
In Mair’s book, he gives a fascinating account and history of the church growth movement and the resulting mega-church explosion. Mair asks the question:
[W]hat are the roots of this powerful movement? Rick Warren may be the foremost figure in the CGM today, but he’s only a piece – albeit an important one – of a greater development in the Christian Church. Who and what gave birth to this movement in which Rick would play such a vital role?
Mair then begins a section titled: “Laying the Groundwork: New Age Preacher Norman Vincent Peale.” Mair explains that Peale’s self-help movement formed the groundwork for the Church Growth Movement and formed a link between theology and psychology. “Without that unification,” Mair says, “mega churches wouldn’t exist today” (p. 100)….Saddleback distinctly bears the stamp of Reverend Norman Vincent Peale” (see Peale on Warren’s website) No doubt, this statement must greatly bother Rick Warren. There is evidence that Peale was involved in the occult. In fact, Mair points out Peale’s connection to occultist Florence Scovel Shinn.
Mair’s book also discusses some intriguing things about Robert Schuller. Showing Schuller’s role in the church growth movement, he quotes Schuller: “I have been credited or blamed – both are correct – as the founder of the mega church…. I launched the mega church movement through the Institute of Successful Church Leadership.” It was this institute of which Kay Warren spoke so fondly, and of which Schuller says: “He [Warren] came to our institute time after time.” And on Schuller’s website, there is a statement today that says the Institute “mentored” Rick Warren.
But according to the WND interview with Rick Warren, Moore says Warren insists he was NOT mentored by Schuller:
Many false claims, he contended, have taken on a life of their own on Internet blogs, such as assertions he was mentored by positive-thinking pastor Robert Schuller and influenced by Norman Vincent Peale.
This much is for sure: Schuller claims that Warren was trained at his institute, Kay Warren has acknowledged that Schuller had a great impact on her husband, yet Rick Warren denies any connection to Schuller and goes to the extent of discrediting a book that points out both his connection to Robert Schuller AND Ken Blanchard. The question that must be answered is, why?
What is taking place here really has nothing to do with George Mair’s book, because what it says about Blanchard and Schuller can easily be proven and is not at all contingent on the book; all the book does is point to these truths and is a qualifier of what is already true and obvious. But the reason we bring it up is because, at least according to the WND article, Warren is still trying to discredit the book, and we believe this is a disguised effort to conceal the influence Schuller, and his beliefs,) have had on Warren. It is interesting to note how this WND article bringing Schuller back into the picture comes shortly before Kay Warren will be speaking at the Crystal Cathedral at the Rethink.
Robert Schuller is what could be called a New Age Christian. Former New Age follower Warren Smith has documented this in his book Deceived on Purpose, where he shows the connection between New Ager Gerald Jampolsky (an evangelist for the New Age bible, A Course in Miracles) and Schuller. Even today, one of Jampolsky’s books has a place on the shelves of the Crystal Cathedral bookstore. That very book, Forgiveness, has a foreword by New Age leader Neale Donald Walsch (see * below). Author and research analyst Ray Yungen also documents Schuller’s New Age affinities in his book For Many Shall Come in My Name, pointing out Schuller’s promotion of Hindu meditation. And in Schuller’s 2001 autobiography, My Journey, Schuller says some things that should truly alarm any Bible-believing Christian:
I met once more with the Grand Mufti [a Muslim], truly one of the great Christ-honoring leaders of faith. … I’m dreaming a bold impossible dream: that positive-thinking believers in God will rise above the illusions that our sectarian religions have imposed on the world, and that leaders of the major faiths will rise above doctrinal idiosyncrasies, choosing not to focus on disagreements, but rather to transcend divisive dogmas to work together to bring peace and prosperity and hope to the world…. (p. 502)
Standing before a crowd of devout Muslims with the Grand Mufti, I know that we’re all doing God’s work together. Standing on the edge of a new millennium, we’re laboring hand in hand to repair the breach.” (p. 501)
In view of Warren’s recent apologizing to Muslims on behalf of all Christians, his trip to Syria last year where he minimized persecution of Christians and sat with the Grand Mufti, and his own words where he says his global P.E.A.C.E. plan and a new reformationthroughout the world can be accomplished through both Christians and Muslims, it appears that Warren was listening very closely to Schuller when he was trained at the Robert Schuller Institute.
Today, Rick Warren stands among several prominent Christian leaders who are helping to usher in what is called the three-legged stool, which they believe will eventually bring global peace, and as Warren puts it, eradicate the major problems that the world has. This three-legged stool is the merging of government, business (or economics), and religion. This is why Warren says he will work with anyone in order to reach his objectives. This is why Robert Schuller is having the Rethink conference in January with leaders from all three sectors of society, and this is why Willow Creek does the same thing at their Leadership Summits.
The more one studies Schuller, the more one can see the marks of Rick Warren. But one thing is for sure, Rick Warren doesn’t want people to see these marks, and the WND article joined the ranks of media that have helped Rick Warren convince people nothing is amiss. While countless people will read the WND article, and far fewer will read this expose’, the facts remain true, and the documentation stands – and in the mean time Warren continues going toward his ecumenical reformation or spiritual awakening as he sometimes refers to it. Just weeks ago, Ken Blanchard returned to Saddleback to speak, and in January New Age proponent Leonard Sweet is scheduled to speak at Saddleback for a small groups training conference.
With nearly every major media outlet, both secular and Christian, reporting news on Warren, often using Warren as the only source of the story and virtually never quoting those critics who actually have solid documentation, one can only hope that WorldNet Daily does not become another platform for Warren. This week, however, Warren has used WND to evangelize the world once again with a gospel that incorporates the beliefs of all people and all religions and propagates a new reformation that is anything but biblical.
* In Neale Donald Walsch’s book, Conversations with God (Book 2), he says that Hitler did the Jews a favor by killing them, and even Hitler will be in heaven. And yet as grotesque as this is, Crystal Cathedral carries a book with his foreword (Jampolsky), and now Christian leaders like Kay Warren, Erwin McManus, Gary Smalley and many others will appear at the Rethink conference in January at Crystal Cathedral! (see chapter 11 of For Many Shall Come in My Name for more on Walsch.
Note: For a detailed account of Rick Warren’s role in bringing about the three-legged stool, read Faith Undone: the emerging church – a new reformation or an end-time deception. For a complete analysis of the contemplative prayer movement and meditation’s role in a world-wide deception, read A Time of Departing.
For further understanding and research:
The Emerging Global Church by Berit Kjos
Rick Warren on Syria: ‘A moderate country’ by Joseph Farah
Rick Warren’s distortions of reality by Joseph Farah