Erwin McManus: "A Secret Behind the Secret"
When David Jeremiah endorsed Erwin McManus' 2002 book, Seizing Your Divine Moment, there should have been reason for concern. Then when Jeremiah made reference to McManus in his own 2003 book Life Wide Open, that should have sent up red flags. But Jeremiah also quoted New Ager Sue Monk Kidd in the book as well as a Buddhist sympathizer, a couple mystics, and Rick Warren.
This was a turn around for Jeremiah - for just about a decade earlier he wrote a book exposing the New Age (Invasion of Other Gods). It didn't seem possible that both books were written by the same person. But in 2001 Jeremiah was quoting mystic proponent Henri Nouwen, and in 2003 his church, Shadow Mountain, was recommending its men read Richard Foster's contemplative book, Celebration of Discipline.
Then in 2005, things seemed to go from bad to worse. After Ken Blanchard had been exposed as a New Age sympathizer, having promoted Buddhism and mantra meditation for twenty years, David Jeremiah became part of a speaking team (which included New Age sympathizer Laurie Beth Jones) for Ken Blanchard's Lead Like Jesus conference.
It was about that time that Jeremiah contacted Lighthouse Trails when he heard us mention him on a radio program. In his letter to us, he defended Ken Blanchard and insisted he was a new Christian, which he wasn't, and reprimanded us for saying Blanchard was promoting the New Age. What seemed odd though was that after it was brought out that Jeremiah favorably quoted New Agers like Sue Monk Kidd in Life Wide Open, he didn't pull the book from the market and give some public explanation and caution. On the contrary, his 2006 book, Captured by Grace, discussed (not critically) Henri Nouwen and carried an endorsement by Ken Blanchard.
And then something very strange happened. In the fall of 2006, Jeremiah sent out an email to subscribers which favorably quoted and discussed Erwin McManus and his book, The Barbarian Way. Jeremiah said he would use the book in his upcoming Sunday sermon to help prepare the congregation for what he called "a major paradigm shift." Since that email, we know of at least two occasions where Jeremiah has favorably referred to McManus again.
Erwin McManus is a promoter of the New Age. He admits himself that his book (The Barbarian Way) has a message that is the "core of mysticism," (which is the heart of the New Age). After studying McManus' books and evaluating his Awaken website as well as his other writings and websites, it is the conclusion of Lighthouse Trails that Erwin McManus has New Age proclivities. But it wasn't until Tuesday morning (February 27th) that we truly became alarmed by the acceptance of leaders like David Jeremiah (and many others) towards the spirituality of Erwin McManus.
Jon Gordon is the author of a book called The 10-Minute Energy Solution. Ironically enough, Ray Yungen wrote about Gordon and his book in A Time of Departing. He wrote about it to show further proof of Ken Blanchard's embracing of the New Age, for you see Blanchard had endorsed Gordon's book. Listen to what Yungen said:
In early 2006, a book hit the market called, The 10-Minute Energy Solution by Jon Gordon. The book is filled with suggestions on how to improve energy levels through meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and other such techniques. Throughout the book, Gordon quotes favorably from the Dalai Lama, mediator Daniel Goleman, Thich Nhat Hanh, New Agers Marilyn Ferguson and Wayne Dyer, and from A Course in Miracles. Gordon promotes panentheism (God in all) by saying things such as: "You came from this source [speaking of God] and you are this source."
Jon Gordon is as New Age as it gets. On Tuesday morning we read an article from Gordon's recent newsletter. The article is titled "The Secret Behind the Secret." In discussing the new film, The Secret, Gordon states:
The law of attraction [what The Secret is based on] is important to share and it's a big part of my new book, "The Energy Bus," which tells the story of a man who uses the law of attraction to help turn around the negativity, fear, adversity, and challenges in his life. In understanding the law of attraction many are now realizing that they are involved in the creation of their lives; that their energetic thoughts, beliefs and actions have an impact on the world and in imprint on the energy fabric of the universe.
You see, Gordon likes The Secret because he believes that God is in all creation. And The Secret teaches that God is in everyone; actually it teaches that we are God. Listen to The Secret:
We are the creators not only of our own destiny but also of the Universe ... We are all connected, and we are all One (p. 175).
No matter who you thought you were, now you know the Truth of Who You Really Are. You are the master of the Universe. You are the heir to the kingdom. You are the perfection of Life ( p. 183).
You are God in a physical body ... You are all power ... You are all intelligence ... You are the creator ( p. 164).
Few could deny, after hearing these statements that The Secret is pure occultism, especially when we realize that the author of the book is a disciple of "the teachings of Abraham," 1 which is a group of spirit guides (demons). But listen now to what Jon Gordon says next in his article. To him who has ears, let him hear:
While having dinner the other night with Erwin McManus, author of "Soul Cravings" and a person who has had a profound impact on my life, we discussed The Secret and Erwin made a great point that we need to explain there is a secret behind The Secret.
God gave us free will and the power to choose. In choosing to have faith and believing in a brighter and better future, cultivating a grateful and appreciative heart, and practicing forgiveness we open ourselves up to amazing possibilities. We become a vessel God can use to mold into the people we were born to be... who share the love we were meant to share.
We are co-creators of our life with God. We are both creating and being created at the same time. The universe is not some magic genie that's says, "Your wish is my command," bringing you any car, house, or amount of money you desire. The Secret does not exist to satisfy your every wish but to help us become the kind of people God can use to make His ultimate wish come true - Heaven on Earth and inside each one of us.
Erwin McManus resonates with The Secret and with Jon Gordon. And there is a simple explanation for this -- he agrees with the same spirituality. The following is taken from McManus' website, Awaken:
Awaken is a collaboration between a team of dreamers and innovators who specialize in the field of developing and unleashing personal and organizational creativity. Awaken is committed to creating environments that expand imagination and unleash creativity. Convinced that the world is changed by dreamers and visionaries, Awaken serves humanity through its commitment to maximize the creative potential in every individual and organization. Awaken emerges out of the unique ministry of Mosaic and reflects Mosaic’s commitment to creativity, uniqueness, innovation and diversity.
McManus further reveals his spirituality: "My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ," (said in a telephone interview) "Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I'm anti-Christian. I think they might be right." (from The Barbarian Way)
We would propose that the "Jesus" McManus refers to is another Jesus, and the gospel he proclaims is a different gospel (II Corinthians 11:4).
The Secret has the potential to prepare the world for such delusion as it has never seen before. And now countless Christian leaders will help to take Christendom into the same spiritual deception through mysticism and the contemplative prayer movement. When we see leaders like David Jeremiah promoting Erwin McManus and Sue Monk Kidd, Josh McDowell endorsing Dan Kimball's new book and sharing a platform (twice now) with meditation promoter Tony Campolo, Charles Stanley authoring an audio series called Meditation: The Power of Silence, Southern Baptist Convention embracing the emerging church through their partnership with Leadership Network (the organization that launched the emerging church), Beth Moore being part of the Be Still DVD and later saying she sees nothing wrong with contemplative spirituality, Focus on the Family promoting a man who tells his readers to repeat a word for twenty minutes, Erwin Lutzer endorsing Larry Crabb's book, The Papa Prayer which outright promotes contemplative and centering prayer, and Chuck Swindoll exalting the name of Henri Nouwen and saying we can't really know God without the silence ... when we see the massive shift by Christian leaders, we know there will be a convergence where millions will come together unified through meditation and exalting man as God.
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)
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. (II Thessalonians 2:3)
[T]o them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 1:2-3)