Average American Bob
A Country Divided… Could it be an Orchestrated Plan to Greatly Expand the Power of Executive Branch and the Federal Government?
For those who have followed my writings over the last 8 years know that I’m careful not to get caught up in conspiracy theories. Asking tough, unpopular questions of actions and reasons or meanings… yes! That is different.
One thing should be clear to anyone who is willing to be honest with themselves, regardless of their politics, is that Mr. Obama and this administration is using many of the tactics outlined in two political/social engineering resources… the book by Sal Alinsky – “Rules for Radicals” and “Cloward & Pevin Strategy for Ending Capitalism in America”. When Obama was a Community Organizer Obama taught the concepts outlined in “Rules for Radicals” and the Cloward & Pevin Strategy to the ‘foot soldiers’ of the ACORN organization. This is the very organization that was charges with enough illegal actions that they have pretty much gone ‘underground’. He was exposed to these anti-American authors while attending Occidental and Columbia University in the 80s. If you have not read both of these sources… you will not have the information to understand the following.
All you have to do is back up and look at the big picture to know that this administration is using the ‘divide and conquer’ approach in order to gain emotional votes. Unfortunately it requires deception and lying. Example: “Conservatives, with Christian values, stand up for the unborn and let it be known that they are not in agreement of having their tax dollars pay for Abortions or contraception drugs that kill fertilized eggs… and suddenly it becomes: “The Radical Right hates women and wants to restrict all contraception and abortions from all women.” It’s not only the ugliness of the charge… but the willingness of the Main Stream Media (MSM) to report this gross distortion… over and over… to the point it becomes “propaganda” rather than the responsible reporting of facts. This is a very dangerous trend that is growing and is worth its own article in the future.
A BIGGER PROBLEM AND MORE DANGEROUS POSSIBLE OBJECTIVE – This tactic has been used very successful to gain votes from specific blocs of voters. You do this by first carefully, verbally ‘painting’ a particular group, as ‘victims’, then start a well orchestrated attack on the opponent using descriptions and adjectives that are as false as the victim picture but get the emotions going on the side of the false victims. I think there is enough evidence to support the charge that it’s being used to promote and advance a larger and even more dangerous objective of Obama and his inter-circle… The gross expansion of the Executive Branch’s power and the expanded control of the Federal Government over the states!
Create a phony ‘crisis’ and then propose a costly government solution, thus giving the Federal Government another area of power and control of a new or expended group of people who become dependent. Group by group the government inserts itself into the issue and builds its power and expands its control over more and more of the population. Obama Care is the biggest example thus far of the strategy. The Federal Government now controls almost 9% of our total economy by DICTATING what type of healthcare insurance policies the insurance companies can sell and you can buy at raised premiums that are protected by the government. The government selects who the ‘victims’ are and how much government subsidies they will receive. If you have not paid attention… you may have missed the fact that all the participating insurance companies are no longer insurance companies. They are simply the middle-man who sells what they are told and services the accounts. There really is no real competition within each state. The insurance companies don’t care because, per the ACA, they are GUARANTEED a minimum profit margin. If you didn’t know, we the taxpayers, have already paid over 1 billion dollars in bail-outs for some of the insurance companies and we will pay over 5.5 billion in 2015. The ACA is the biggest vehicle for the expansion and power grab of the Federal Government in our history. http://benswann.com/video-insurance-companies-will-receive-5-5-billion-in-bailouts-in-2015/
Other Presidents have tried to push the envelope in the past. Bush’s ‘Patriot Act’ is just one of many examples you can look back on. The difference there it was a military crisis that prompted that expansion of the Federal Government control. Same tactic – crises – Americans could be victims – Federal Government solution.
There is one condition that almost always exists to be successful… a crisis that instills either fear or hate… sometimes both. Obama is a master of creating both using the tactics outline in the resources previously mentioned. Raul Emanuel said it best… “You never want to let a good crisis go to waste.”
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=raul+emanuel%ee%80%81+never+let+a+%ee%80%80crisis&FORM=VIRE7#view=detail&mid=F596CBFC0FAA5A991928F596CBFC0FAA5A991928 This same mentality was used many times by FDR over an entire decade.
Obama not only takes advantage of eternal crises, such as the Martin and Brown shootings, or a natural disaster such as hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, he’s willing and able to create a false crisis to advance his radical agenda. Examples: Create fear and hate by flooding the country with illegals. If you disagree… you are prejudice against Latinos and Hispanics. Expand welfare in many ways, not only for the truly needy, but for able-bodied people to have a higher standard of living without working for it… You disagree and you hate poor people and want children to starve. Voice your opinion that you don’t agree with Obama Care and in general the government take-over of the entire healthcare and the healthcare insurance industries… You don’t care about poor people getting medical treatment or want little children to die on the steps of hospitals. Cherry pick incidents where a white law enforcement officer who arrest or in fear of his life ended up having to kill a black perpetrator justifiably in the line of duty… You are a racist.
It’s one thing to do use these despicable tactics for the purpose of getting votes by demonizing your opposition and falsely enraging entire groups of Americans; but what we all should be much more concern about is the much larger issue of using these tactics to give perceived acquiescence to bypass the Congress (the people’s voice in government) an/or overstepping the restraints and boundaries of our Constitution. This is the same Constitution which is the core document that protects our individual freedoms and liberties. This is the very document that separates the United States from every other country in the world. How many of us have either forgotten or taken for granted how valuable our freedoms and liberties truly are? Why are so many sitting by silently as more and more of our free choices in life are taken from us? Isn’t it the amount of individual freedom and liberty, that the Constitution gives us, the most important element to our personal opportunity for success and happiness? When any of us give up any freedom or liberty in the name of ‘security’, ‘fairness’, ‘social equality’, ‘political correctness’ or a host of other ‘feel-good’ emotional terms… you are allowing a centralized government to take more and more power over your life. Never forget one of the most famous Ben Franklin quotes:
“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” My friends… our beloved Constitution are all that protects us from our own government becoming tyrannical! I challenge anyone to give another explanation for the actions Mr. Obama and his inter-circle have taken other than to expand the Federal Government and increase their power and control over the lives of the average American.
The name of our website is “Incrementalist.com” for a serious reason. Both Wayne and I have been studying the ‘incrementical’ changes that the far Left have been pushing for and making methodically and patiently for over a hundred years. The gradual, in the background, infiltration of key industries and culture influence groups have established the foundation for a take-over of the Federal Government that will diminish the power of the congress and diminish or end the following of the Constitution as our governing document. Look around and be honest. Our educational system is primarily stocked with Liberal teachers and professors guarded by powerful liberal unions who give almost exclusively to the Democratic Party. They have been… and are today ‘indoctrinating’ our youth with distorted Liberal views of America’s past history or worse omitting important points and events.
Look at our some of our finest universities… they have open, self-acclaimed Marxist, Communist, former felons including past convicted domestic terrorist such as Bill Aires and Doreen Dorn. What do you think these people are teaching our children? Have you noticed that when Obama travels around on one of his Social Issues speaking tours that he almost exclusively speaks at colleges and universities? Do you realize how easy it is to influence even bright young people because they simply don’t have any adult, real-life experiences to pull from and judge whether what they are being told is truth or not. I know… as a Independent Corporate Trainer for over 35 years… I can tell you it’s easy to impress new hires than very experienced employees. Power and Control, ladies and gentlemen… that’s what this administration and all ‘Progressive’ politicians are about.
Look at Hollywood and the entire entertainment industry… two to three times the Liberals to Conservatives. Just this month “American Sniper” was nominated for several awards including Best Picture. When was the last time a Best Picture nomination didn’t include a nomination for the Director? Could it be this time because of Clint Eastwood’s ‘empty chair’ speech at the RNC? Americans, especially our youth, are subjected to mostly Liberal views and biases every time they go to the movies or watch a TV show… including the day-time talk shows and sitcoms. Think about how many people watch a show like “The View” and believe the comments they see and hear there to be an accurate analysis of current events.
And finally and the most dangerous… the media. Other than FOX news and talk radio the Liberal networks, including tax-payer Public Radio, now have the power to advance any liberal talking point or liberal policy it wishes, or to rebuke or slander any Conservative person or topic of the day. Most polls confirm that the Liberal-leaning MSM reaches about 70% of Americans per day while Conservative outlets including Conservative-leaning FOX and talk radio who reach only about 30%. I would also submit that the radical left also has a big edge in using social media.
After taking over both houses of Congress in 2006… the far left Liberals started laying the groundwork for a hopeful presidential win. They immediately started expanding spending (with little resistance from Bush) to influence blocs of voters. Check it out if you wish… of the 4 trillion dollars of new debt that Bush added in his 8 years… almost half of it was accrued in the last two years of his second term… after the Democrats took over both houses of congress. All that was needed was a radical front person, a false, Hollywood created ‘character’ with the ability to deliver the words from a teleprompter written by some of the best liberal ‘word-weavers’ in the country. Obama would read the words… and the Liberal MSM would communicate the message to unknowing and under-informed voters who would accept most, if not all, as the truth, when in fact most of the message was deceptive and filled with lies. Even with Obama slipping from time to time and telling the truth about his goals of making the Constitution irrelevant because in his mind it was flawed, the compliant MSM would cover for him. When Obama “misspoke” and told of his desire to govern on his own with Executive Orders that grossly overstep his Constitutional authority… there was the MSM to minimize the damage. When he made it clear that he planned to aggressively redistribute wealth; (which is actually redistributing the income of the middle class to anyone who had less) there was the MSM omitting the issue from their newscast.
Please don’t doubt what I say. Below is a link to one of his earliest public statements of those goals. Look for the point where he calls the Constitution a “Charter of negative liberties that say what the State Government, the Federal Government can’t do to you… Not what the Government must do on your behalf…” It will become clear that Mr. Obama believes in a Constitution that says what the government must do on your behalf… even if it’s not what you want… in his mind you are stupid and incompetent and you should accept what the government says is best for you… how you should act… how you should participate willingly in giving up your money to provide for other able-bodied people (many illegals) who will not work hard or even work at all to provide for themselves and have little problem taking Government handouts – your money – in exchange for their votes. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=obama+2001+public+radio+interview&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=EF60D545FDACB6874006EF60D545FDACB6874006
Never forget what Mr. Obama said five days before the 2008 Election Day… “We are just five days from Fundamentally Transforming the United States of America.” Notice that not once has Obama every articulated exactly what he meant by that statement… transformation into what? I also contend… if you truly love someone, or your country, you are not going to announce to the world that in five days you are going to Fundamentally Transform them. I know that if my wife would have heard me say such a thing five days before our wedding… there would not have been a wedding. “You are marrying me to do what!” One must dislike, be unhappy with, see much that is negative and little that is good or positive to say you want to do something as drastic as you want to Fundamentally Transform it.
But the most nauseating singe tactic that this administration has used over and over again is the race card. Who would have thought that America would elect as their first President of color, a half-black man, who himself would use race to put people on the defensive by slandering them in such a disgusting way… proving that it is actually he… who is a racist. Before you get too outraged or upset… stop and look at the facts. Why and how did he react to the Cambridge police who, in his words, “acted stupidly” in the arrest of one of his college professor friends? http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/22/harvard.gates.interview/index.html?_s=PM:US
How about his claims that if he had a son, he would like Trayvon Martin? How about his comments and the sending of Holder to Ferguson after the Brown shooting when the Grand Jury couldn’t find any evidence to charge the police. His comment was… “We have to accept that it was the Grand Jury’s decision to make…” but not once mentioned or even hinted to that the decision was correct and/or should be respected. Not even just a couple of weeks ago when it was announced that the Federal Government couldn’t find any evidence that the officer acted because of race and no charges will be filed did the president or holder back off. They also concluded that race was not involved but to keep this issue alive… support the civil aspects of the case.
Why does the President of the United States inject himself into these local issues but only when it’s a white/Hispanic on black crimes and yet says not one word about the hundreds of black on black murders and other crimes in Chicago alone? Why does the President of the United States, with so many other critical domestic and Foreign Policy issues, take time to have dozens of meetings on a supposedly huge national problem of white police singling out black people to arrest and shoot? My friends… that problem simply does not exist? Go back to 2008, are you telling me that we had a gross national issue of racism and black injustice? Yes, there are stupid, ignorant racist people in this country… there still may be pockets of some areas of the country where blacks are treated unfairly… but I can point out areas in the country where that would be true of Native Americans as well. It’s not generally accepted and it’s being rejected more and more every year. But to say that today, we have a gross crisis of race inequality or that, as a general statement, we have police all over the country purposely selecting young black males to harass, arrest or kill is absurd, untrue and damn offensive! It’s a slap in the face to 99% of hard working law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day for us.
Why would the President of the United States… the most powerful man in the free world take the time on dozens of meetings on this issue? At this time and place why appoint as head advisors such people who are known Race Agitators or what some call Race Baiters, like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and give them a voice along with his as to how these local issues should be ‘corrected”? At last report… Sharpton still owes the state of New York and the IRS millions in back taxes… some report over 4 million… but only the amount is in dispute. http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/sharpton.asp This man is a radical thug, making his money by constantly stirring the pot of hatred and making false accusations of racism. They try to keep unsuspecting poor blacks feel like they are victims and that the entire white race is out to get them and they speak for them and are trying to get them restitution. So keep putting your dollars in the “passed hat.” How sick can one man be? And this is the type of people Obama calls upon to ‘help’ him with this huge problem of police centered racism in America? Are you kidding me? The only problem that exists is that which has been incited by Obama and his friend Holder.
So let’s just ask the big question… WHY? Why all of these tactics and political maneuvers? The answer, in my opinion is very clear. Mr. Obama’s presidency is turning out to be the most failed presidency in our history. But the job of diminishing America’s role of being the world’s leader and collapsing Capitalism is, in his mind, not done yet. Remember, radical change comes much easier when we have a ‘crisis’. The bigger the crisis… the more the radical left can change. Just go back and study FDR. If you divide the country into groups, pit those groups against one another you encourage civil disorder. Obama has been successful in dividing Americans in many ways as I’ve alluded to earlier. By race, economic/social status, generationally, gender, educational… every way you can. Go ahead, step back and ask yourself…
Do you feel better about the unity of the American people today than in 2007?
Do you feel that our financial footing is stable?
Do you see more racial harmony or division?
Do you see a constant shouting of the narrative that all Conservatives hate women?
How many Americans do you know who are saving $2,500 on their family’s health care insurance?
How many of you were able to keep your chosen policy?
How many are able today to keep your own doctor or go to the clinic or hospital closes to your home or the one that has the best care for your condition?
How many of you feel you are growing economically?
How many of you lost your job during the down-turn of 08 and as of today still can’t replace the money you earned before this administration?
How many of you are paying more in taxes when Obama promised over and over that you would not see one dime in increased taxes?
How many of you feel you have MORE choices than you had before Obama took office?
How many of you feel you have FEWER choices?
How many of you have more faith in your Federal Government than before Mr. Obama. How many of you know in your gut that it’s not right for Mr. Obama to act on such statements: “If congress doesn’t do what I want them to do… I’ll do it on my own.”
Do you realize how dangerous that is to our core idea of being self-governing via a Constitutional Republic?
Do you feel today that the Federal Government is serving you… or that YOU are serving an ever-growing bloated Federal Government run by a “Governing Class” who lives like kings while the average American is struggling just to keep from lowering their standard of living?
How do you feel knowing that the average Federal Government worker makes double that of the average worker in the private sector and can retire up to 15 years earlier in life with a pension that is 25% to 30% more than SS?
How do you feel knowing that those union members, through their mandated dues give almost exclusively to the Democrat Party who advance Socialist/Marxist principles?
How do you feel knowing that you are being lied to almost daily… that you are being manipulated for the purpose of the government taking more and more power over your daily lives as they take away more and more of your choices… your freedom?
And lastly… how do you feel knowing that Mr. Obama has set new precedents for the power of the Executive Branch… demonstrated by the amount of governing by Fiat through Executive Orders that greatly overstep the limits stated in the Constitution Article One.
I hope, if nothing else, I’ve stirred some motivation for you to check out some of the things I’ve said. Learn for yourself how your whole, free way of life and that of your kids and grandkids are under attack. I challenge everyone to answer these simple questions:
If Liberalism and Liberal policies. Introduced and promoted by today’s Radical Left, are so good… why must we be forced to accept them and mandated to participate and if not be penalized, fined or possibly jailed?
Where in the Constitution of the United States does it allow for the Federal Government to take money from one worker and give it to another person THEY say deserves it more than the person who earned it?
We had to fight a violent, ugly revolutionary war to win our freedom and liberty… why not stand up and fight with your engagement in the process and with your votes to keep your freedom, if not for yourself… for our kids and grandkids. I encourage you to set up a monthly line of communication with your Representative and two Senators with written letters, e-mails and phone calls. If you don’t… you will be part of the reason that this “Transformation” of America will continue.
Average American Bob
Why would anyone dislike Barack Obama? Could it be because of what he’s done in the White House? As you get a refresher on the national nightmare that has been Barack Obama’s presidency, keep in mind that the biggest difficulty in compiling it was limiting it to just 50 examples of corruption, dishonesty, and incompetence.
1) Because of Obama’s policies since he became President, 11,472,000 Americans have left the work force.
2) “Fewer Americans are at work today than in April 2000, even though the population since then has grown by 31 million.” — Mortimer Zuckerman
3) The number of Americans on welfare has hit record highs.
4) A record 20% of Americans were on food stamps in 2013.
5) The almost 11 million Americans getting disability payments is now approaching the population of Cuba
6) Our nation lost its AAA credit rating because Obama is spending so much money.
7) Not only was Cash for Clunkers a wasteful government program that “cost $1.4 million for every job it created and did little to reduce carbon emissions,” destroying the “clunkers” helped dramatically jack up the cost of used cars for the rest of the country.
8) After BP had a huge oil spill in the Gulf, Obama not only bungled the clean-up process, he slowed oil production from other companies that had done nothing wrong which led to higher oil prices.
9) Obama has helped drive up the cost of gas by blocking the Keystone Pipeline.
10) When he was running for office in 2008, Obama claimed that, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” He lied.
11) Through 2013, the Obama Administration had imposed new regulations on businesses that cost 46 billion dollars a year.
12) Taxpayers lost 25 billion dollars on Obama’s bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. Chrysler isn’t even an American company any more. It’s now owned by an Italian company, Fiat.
13) When he was running for office, Obama called Bush “unpatriotic” for adding so much to the debt and promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Yet, the national debt is up 7 trillion dollarssince Obama became President. That’s more debt than all U.S. Presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton combined.
14) Obama’s administration gave guns to Mexican cartels that were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and border agent Brian Terry. The Obama Administration has refused to cooperate with the investigation or hold anyone accountable for that illegal behavior.
15) The NSA has spied on Americans under Obama.
16) Under Obama, the CIA spied on the Senate.
17) Obama’s campaign contributors at Solyndra were handed 535 million dollars of taxpayer money that the Obama Administration knew they would never be able to pay back before they gave it to them.
18) The IRS targeted Obama’s political enemies including Christian groups, pro-Israel groups, and most prominently, Tea Party groups. The Obama Administration has refused to cooperate with the investigation or hold anyone accountable for the illegal behavior.
19) Numerous donors to Mitt Romney were audited by the IRS after giving him large contributions.
20) When the EPA and IRS were asked to provide emails requested by Congress as part of an investigation into their illegal activities, they’ve claimed over and over again to have lost the information because of “hard drive crashes.” Given that it’s quite easy to back up a hard drive and that they’re required by law to retain that information, it seems likely that they’re habitually destroying evidence to hide their illegal activities.
21) Veterans received poor health care and even died because of the incompetence and cover-ups of Obama’s VA.
22) Even Barney Frank admits Barack Obama shamelessly lied to the American people to get Obamacare passed – and lie, he did. He promised that Americans could keep their insurance plans, that they could keep their doctors, and that Obamacare would save the average family $2500 per year. Not only were all of those lies, Obama knew they were lies when he made those promises.
23) Barack Obama has broken the law repeatedly by making at least 23 unilateral changes to Obamacare.
24) Obama has been illegally trying to force Christians to pay for abortifacients via Obamacare.
25) Obamacare has been a disaster that cost millions their insurance and sent health care costs spiraling into the stratosphere.
26) Obama is taking 700 billion dollars out of Medicare to put into Obamacare.
27) The website portion of Obamacare, healthcare.gov, was a non-functional disaster for months when it rolled out and Obama claimed he was completely unaware that there was anything wrong with it.
28) Instead of calming people down, Obama helped to turn Americans against each other racially be inserting himself into the Trayvon Martin case.
29) Obama created so much racial animosity by attacking the police when they had done nothing wrong in the Henry Louis Gates case that he had to have a ridiculous “beer summit” to try to undo the damage.
30) The Department of Justice failed to pursue a voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panthers because they were black and liberal. Former DOJ official J. Christian Adams quit over the case and “accused his former employer of instructing attorneys in the civil rights division to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims.”
31) George W. Bush quit playing golf in 2003 because he didn’t want the mother of some fallen soldier to see the Commander-in-Chief out playing golf. He also said he thought playing golf during a war sent the wrong signal to the American people. Through June of 2014, Obama was up to 177 rounds and is on pace to play twice as much in his second term as his first term.
32) Obama chose tax cheat Tim Geithner to be his Secretary of the Treasury and then has had the audacity to spend his whole presidency pushing for higher taxes.
33) After promising to unite America when he was running for office in 2008, Obama has been the most hyper-partisan President in decades.
34) Despite the fact that Barack Obama claimed to believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman when he was running for President in 2008, his Department of Justice asked states attorney general to refuse to defend their states’ bans on gay marriage in court.
35) The Department of Justice has worked overtime to help increase voter fraud by fighting against voter ID. This is despite the fact that you need ID to buy alcohol, drive a car, fly on a plane or even to use Obamacare.
36) He’s the reason why countless Americans have been groped, molested and harassed by the TSA, even though agents never caught a terrorist sticking their hand down anyone’s pants.
37) He’s responsible for the dumbing down of our education system with Common Core.
38) We first landed on the moon in 1969, but because of Obama, we’re no longer even capable of going into space.
39) His servile bowing to other world leaders is embarrassing and un-American.
40) Barack Obama engaged in an illegal war in Libya without the permission of Congress that helped turn that country into an unstable basket case run by radical Islamists. How bad is it? America, Libyans and the rest of the world were better off with Muammar Gaddafi in charge. That’s how bad it is.
41) Radical Islamist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan “described himself as mujahedeen” and yelled “Allahu Akbar”as he murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. The Obama Administration labeled that as “workplace violence” rather than admitting there was a terrorist attack on his watch.
42) He released 5 Taliban terrorists In exchange for deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
43) Americans died at Benghazi because Obama’s administration didn’t take their repeated requests for additional security seriously.
44) Russia annexed Crimea while Obama did nothing of consequence to discourage it from invading. That’s not a surprise for a President who is fond of throwing out “red lines” that don’t mean anything.
45) Obama’s premature pull-out in Iraq and foolish refusal to get a status of forces agreement in Iraq left the country vulnerable and led to the terrorists in ISIS taking over a large portion of that country.
46) Barack Obama unilaterally implemented the DREAM Act that Congress didn’t pass and illegally handed out work permits to illegal aliens.
47) Obama is threatening to bypass Congress and simply “legalize” millions more of illegal immigrants even though it’s illegal and unconstitutional and it hurts the American people and will further encourage even more illegal aliens to surge across the border.
48) The fence on our southern border was supposed to be completed by 2009. The Obama Administration has made it clear that it doesn’t intend to finish it during his presidency.
49) Barack Obama is deliberately creating a crisis on the southern border by refusing to deport illegal aliens crossing into our country.
50) For all practical purposes, Barack Obama has already unilaterally implemented amnesty in America because “at least 99.92% of illegal immigrants and visa overstays without known crimes on their records” aren’t being deported.
There’s an old sea story about a ship’s Captain who inspected his sailors, and afterward told the first mate that his men smelled bad.
The Captain suggested perhaps it would help if the sailors would change underwear occasionally.
The first mate responded, “Aye, aye sir, I’ll see to it immediately!”
The first mate went straight to the sailors’ berth deck and announced, “The Captain thinks you guys smell bad and wants you to change your underwear.”
Commentary Written by Average American Bob
Who Is Really Right (Correct)?
It always happens… during a political debate one party or another will resort to something like… “Your truth is different than my truth.” Or “We’ll just have to agree to disagree.” Maybe there are subjects for which terms like these can apply… but I would suggest very few when it comes to political topics. There are topics and subjects for which there is a core source for what is right or wrong, good or bad or true or not true and in America… that source is the Constitution of the United States.
Maybe the best way to approach this subject is ask the question… What is truth? As a Christian I have been taught that stealing and lying are wrong and that’s a truth. It’s based in a core belief accepted by hundreds of millions of people. For us Christians those truths are chronicled in the Bible. The atheist will say: “I don’t believe in God/Jesus but I still know it’s wrong to steal or lie thus I don’t do those things.” It doesn’t matter. Honesty and truthfulness have a moral origin and whether you believe in the origin or not… you believe in the morality established by that origin. If someone chooses to lie or steal, they are saying I don’t care about the moral origin. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are very wrong if they chose to lie or steal, and they know it. It’s not a matter of coming to believe what they are doing is good or right… it’s a matter of ‘justifying’ the wrong they are doing. I firmly believe that slave owners knew very well that it was very wrong to ‘own’ people. The fact that within a large group of people it was ‘accepted,’ the practice didn’t make it right and eventually the truth of that action was very wrong… the truth of what is right/good resulted in change.
Let’s now talk political philosophy within the United States of America. The people who first migrated here to avoid religious persecution used religious values to guide their behavior. There was a clear distinction between what was right and wrong. Later both believers and non-believers drafted and embraced the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with its amendments. Those documents are not long, complicated or confusing. Along with so many writings from the founders involved with the creation of those documents, it was clear what their intent and objectives were when creating them. They looked at every other government in the free world of the time. They looked at the pit-falls of big government and the abuse of power by leaders who have too much control ‘over’ the people. So what they did was draft documents that made it clear that it was individual freedom and liberty that was at the core of a truly free nation.
But that required an understanding that the people needed to be self-sufficient, self-reliant and be personally responsible for providing for themselves and their families. The centralized federal government was to only provide for those things that the states could not do effectively themselves. It only makes sense that we have a federally run military. That we have federal buildings, parks and interstate highways.
Or, stated another way, “things” that are necessary or enjoyed by everyone in the nation. It’s understandable that the cost to provide and maintain those things be shared by all. For those things we absolutely need taxes to pay for them. The states were left to do the rest of the governing. What was best for the people of the state of Main could very well not be the best to serve the people of Virginia.
This was an experiment in a concept of “self-governing.” Maximum personal freedom, minimum intrusion of a federal, centralized government in our lives. That’s why the Constitution was written, to protect the individual citizens from a tyrannical centralized government. The federal government was to SERVE the people, not the other way around. George Washington didn’t even have a salary when he took office. It was only later that the congress took up discussion of compensation for the President or members of congress. John Adams and other presidents didn’t have life-long compensation… they returned to their homes and continued their personal lives after they served.
But knowing that there would always be those who would push for power and control and eventually abuse that power, they drafted these great documents as a list of things that the government couldn’t do to you! These documents limited what the government could do to you, and those were outlined specifically as limited numerated powers. They even thought to establish three bodies of government with EQUAL powers… and even broke the legislative branch into two bodies for further checks and balances.
Human Nature… the Urge to Have Power Over Others is Very Strong –
The battle started right from the beginning… there were those who simply felt they knew what was better for the citizens and set out to expand and claim power within the government. For over a hundred years the far left liberals who refer to themselves as “Progressives” have been pushing for more and more centralized power. It’s a simple concept… they know better than you what is best for you and the rest of our people. They use words like “fairness”, “compassion”, and “equality” to push their agenda of Socialistic/Marxist policies that give the federal government control over most of your decisions and choices. In short, taking away your individual freedom to make your own choices. There core attitude is that you and I do not know what’s best for us and that we are too stupid to figure it out.
The underlying motivation is power. To gain and keep power you must convince people that you know what’s better for them they do and count on their lack of ambition, laziness and yes… greed, that they will accept a level of existence where they don’t have to work or, if they do work, they don’t have to strive to better themselves to have a higher standard of living. Let’s be clear here: I’m not talking about helping the “truly needy,” i.e., those who are not physically or mentally capable to care for themselves. No, I’m talking about able-bodied Americans who simply want something for little or nothing. I’m talking about the lower paid people who expect that the government owes them a higher standard of living just because it’s “fair.”
For Progressives, it’s called the building of a “dependent class” who will vote for the politicians who provide the free stuff. But where do you get the money to give extra money or free things to these people? You tax those who do have ambition, who are not lazy and developed their talent to succeed. These slick politicians understand that you can’t just take money from someone and give it to another without rebellion… so they use propaganda, lies, deception and manipulation to advance their agenda. You explain that it’s the right thing to do… we must be compassionate and fair. But there is a truth here…
Nowhere in the Constitution does it allow for the federal government to take from you and give to another for the sole reason the government has determined the recipient is more deserving of your money.
It would be no different than if I came to your home and took some of your money and things and gave them to someone else for the only reason I thought they deserve it more than you. If I did that… would you say:
“Oh, it’s okay. He gave it to someone who was poorer than me”
Or would you have me arrested for theft?
In a true fee society, shouldn’t you have the right to chose who YOU give your charity money to? Shouldn’t you have the freedom to help who YOU think is deserving of help? Shouldn’t YOU have the right to make your own decision as to the morality of whether you chose to give anyone anything? When the government takes your money for social programs, it means THEIR choice. YOUR freedoms have been taken from you. You can spin this any way you want with those words that are meant to tug at your heartstrings, but it doesn’t alter the fact, i.e., it is very wrong! And that’s the TRUTH! And that statement has a solid, core basis of origin… The United States Constitution!
But for so long we, who believe in the Constitution and the personal freedoms it offers, were oblivious to the gradual, incremental changes the Liberals/Progressives have been using to infringe on the Constitution. They usually move when things are bad economically using fear and intimidation to move their agenda forward passing laws that force us to comply with their agenda of fundamentally transforming the United States into a European Socialistic/Marxist country. (just a note of why this blog is entitled Incrementalism.com)
They say these things are good… but why then must they be mandatory… forced upon the American people? They say it’s fair, but only to the recipient, not the one who is losing their hard-earned money through more and higher taxes. They say it’s better because it’s run by the government, yet with that power they can change, add, delete or take away altogether anything they want. Look a how Social Security (SS) has changed raising the tax again and again until today it’s a total of over 13% of what you make up to $109,000 a year. They have raided the fund many times hurting the program stability having to push the full retirement age further and further out… they are now talking about age 70. Are you kidding me? But do you notice that the Federal government doesn’t participate.
Those in congress can retire with full pensions after only 8 years… any age. Federal workers can retire after only 25 years of service and with only an annual contribution of 7% can retire with full pensions in their 50s and early 60s at 30% to 40% more than those who work 10 to 17 years longer in the private sector and earned and contributed much more. And today if you work and make over $36,000 a year… you get to pay income tax up to 85% of your SS income. Federal workers can earn as much as they want and are not penalized by paying a tax on their collected pension amounts. Like Obama Care, to pass SS they had to call it a tax… so today, earn too much and you get to pay a tax on a tax dollar income. Talk about what is fair? Where’s the fairness here? SS is almost broke with over 22 Trillion in unfunded liabilities. (source www.usdebtclock.org)
Same with Medicare… forced upon you. Pay your entire working life…45 years for most without collecting a single dollar in befits and guess what… you still pay the premium at age 65 when you can finally start collecting benefits. And don’t forget we still have to pay deductibles and co-pays. Medicare has over 90 Trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities and those funds have been raided by the government many times the most recent was Obama who took over 800 billion to pay for the ACA. Causing seniors to have to pay more for their Medicare. Government run doesn’t mean efficient or economical. The drug plan introduced by Bush has more unfunded liability than SS and has racked up that debt in ten years. Look at the post office… it’s broke. Government simply isn’t very efficient when it comes to running large programs. That’s not a just a criticism, it’s a fact!
What you have seen starting in 2006, when the Progressives got control of both houses of congress and then in 2008 got the most radical, far-left Progressive person in congress elected president, is a huge push to greatly expand the federal government and the dependent class in order to secure power for many years to come. The over-reaches of power and the Constitution have been widely reported but that doesn’t matter because to the Progressives… “THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS”. In other words… say and do whatever you have to do to advance the agenda… get enough in place and it can never be undone because there will be more recipients than providers.
What you are witnessing right before your eyes is a non-violent attempt, the next increment, in fundamentally transforming the Untied States from a Capitalistic, free society to a European type Socialistic/Marxist state where the government controls both business and individuals in what they want them to do and how to do it. You will be called upon, no, dictated to comply for the greater good. Dictate to companies the minimum of how much they can pay… control how much CEOs make.
They have already demonstrated they feel they have the power to take over a private company… GM and fire their CEO. Tell companies what types of products they will make through regulations or eliminate an entire industry such as coal with the same regulations. They have already shown that they can force you to buy the type of cars they want… just cause the price of gas at the pump to soar. Control the sale of new guns by forcing ineffective, so-called ‘safety’ technology that will cause gun prices to double, triple or more.
It’s all wrong because it violates the Constitution. But who’s going to stop them? Just overwhelm the system. Do it all very fast and there is no one or congress itself who can bring charges fast enough on all the violations to stop them. There may not be “no one” but there is something that can stop this insanity… WE THE PEOPLE!
We can stop… or at least slow this tragedy by looking ahead to November and researching your candidates. Make sure they have a track record for being fiscal conservatives and embrace conservative social principles… the notion that conservatives want dirty air, dirty water, have no concern for kids or that we hate women and that we have waged war against them is all absurd and ludicrous. These Progressives think they are being ‘slick’ using advanced propaganda techniques, lies and deception but look at the polls and we can see ‘silent majority’ waking up again as they have many other times. But this time is different. The Progressives see this as the tipping point. They know the next two election cycles will be the deciding points of which way we go. Don’t be fooled, snookered or taken in by these people. All you have to do to know they are wrong as are their supporters is to go to the origin of right and wrong in American politics… the Constitution of the United States. If it’s not there… it’s bad, wrong, negative and must be stopped!
Liberals will tout over and over again that their position on many of their issues are right, good or truthful. But to what core origin are they measuring against? If a person lies… it’s wrong and bad. If they deceive you… it’s wrong and bad. If they try to manipulate you with distractions and misdirection…It’s wrong and bad. If a politician pushes for legislation, directly or indirectly to limit your access to firearms violating the Second Amendment… it’s wrong and bad. If they try to silence you through ‘political correctness’ violating the First Amendment… it’s wrong and bad. If your representatives push legislation to take more from hard-working Americans for the purpose to give that money to another group of Americans just because they have less… It’s a violation of your personal freedom and is very wrong and an absolutely bad.
We have come to a point in America where the Progressives are attempting to take control of politics in this country by securing votes by expanding the recipient class to a greater number of the provider class and once that happens… they are counting on the recipients who will outnumber the providers, will never vote themselves less.
Our government has become very corrupt. I and many others are not saying to hate the government, but we absolutely are accurate in saying that we can’t trust them as a general statement. If our president and anyone in his administration can’t govern with truth and transparency… they must, as our founders said, be thrown out and replaced. If you love freedom, liberty and the Free Enterprise, Capitalistic System then YOU… yes everyone you must make sure you are heard. I give you an easy way to do that. It takes less than thirty minutes a week. Every week do one of these three things. To your Representative and both of your Senators… send a short, two or three paragraph letter… snail mail. The next week send a one page e-mail. The next week make three calls, one to each of those elected officials. Leave a short message if you don’t get a live person.
And finally… start now… look at candidates and research their voting record. It’s easier today than ever. Just Bing or Google (Candidates name) voting record. It will come up.
I consider myself a Constitutional Conservative before I’m an Independent voter. Although that usually means I’ll end up voting for the Independent, Libertarian or GOP candidate, it’s not an absolute for me. I’ll vote for anyone who demonstrates that they are first a Fiscal Conservative, truthful and trustworthy. For me nothing is more important at this point in time. If we don’t get our financial house in order… we could see our entire financial system collapse… and that would move us to a place I don’t think any of us want to experience. Next I want to see if their voting record says they don’t vote for legislation that is in conflict with the Constitution. And then finally, I’ll look at social values, those things that I agree with such as the rights of unborn human beings.
We are RIGHT – CORRECT and we have the Constitution to support our stand.
I know this article was a little longer but I felt very strongly that it all had to be said at this time. I welcome your response.
Average American Bob
Who is the DREAM GIVER?
by Berit Kjos – May 2005
“Meet Ordinary, a Nobody who leaves the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream. Once the Dream Giver convinces him to escape his Comfort Zone, Ordinary begins the journey of his life — overcoming Border Bullies [which in real life would include concerned parents and skeptical friends], navigating the Wasteland, and battling the fierce Giants in the Land. This modern-day parable will get you started on your own daring adventure…. Bestselling author Bruce Wilkinson will serve as your Dream Coach….”[1, jacket] The Dream Giver
“The Dream Giver… by the best selling author of The Prayer of Jabez, invites readers to follow their hearts and find their destiny in an inspired Life Dream that is uniquely theirs.” 
The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, the famed author of The Prayer of Jabez, tells us that every person on earth has been given a “Big Dream” to pursue. He prods us to let go of the “Familiar,” stand up against the nay-saying “Border Bullies,” and follow that dream into the Land of Promise. The main antagonists in this “parable” are those concerned parents or pastors who might wisely question an exciting, feeling-based “Dream” or captivating adventure into the unknown.
They might be right, for God tells us that man is easily deceived. A spiritual war rages around us, and we are daily bombarded with enticing lures designed to distract us from truth and weaken our devotion to God. Therefore He lovingly warns us to beware, be sober, be vigilant, be watchful…. That means checking all things by the wisdom of His unchanging Word. And since Mr. Wilkinson’s books have inspired millions of people and influenced countless ministries around the world, The Dream Giver warrants our scrutiny. Four questions we might ask are:
- What kind of a dream is his “Big Dream”?
- Does the Dream Giver in the book present or misrepresent the ways of our Lord?
- Would this Dream-Driven journey be based on our personal strengths and wants or on God’s Grace and Word?
- Who does Ordinary actually represent — any person anywhere (implied) or Christians (those who know and follow God)?
1. What kind of a dream is Mr. Wilkinson’s “Big Dream”?
On the jacket of The Dream Giver, we are told: “Everyone has a dream. You may not be able to describe it. You may have forgotten it. You may even no longer believe in it. But it’s there.” Emphasis added
Does that statement reflect the truth? We know that God has been speaking to His people through dreams and visions ever since the days of Abraham and Jacob. In fact, Mr. Wilkinson uses Israel’s miraculous exodus from Egypt to illustrate that very point — with a subtle twist. He equates God’s unique call of Moses with the supposedly universal gift of Dreams from the divine Giver. He ignores the fact that God usually gave that gift to His chosen servants, not to every person — pagan, atheist or Christian — on earth. Might Mr. Wilkinson be referring to something less miraculous than God-given Biblical dreams?
The Preface of The Dream Giver helps clarify Mr. Wilkinson’s usage of the word, Dream. It states:
“Do you believe every person on earth was born with a dream for his or her life? … I call this universal and powerful longing a Big Dream. Like the genetic code that describes your unique passions and abilities, your Big Dream has been woven into your being from birth…. And you have it for a reason: to draw you toward the kind of life you were born to love!
“If you read The Prayer of Jabez, you met a little-known Old Testament man who refused to settle for less. He desperately wanted to break out of the confining circumstances and expectations he had been born into. So he cried out to God for blessing, for larger borders, and for the power and protection to go with them. And God said yes.
“If you pray that, your life will change. God will expand your borders. He will move your life in a direction where you can thrive, but also where you’ll face greater challenges…. In this book, I call this direction His Dream for you.”
So, that’s it! The Big Dream is the direction of your life — one you “were born to love,” one that “will allow you to thrive.” But that criteria could be misleading, for what someone “loves” in this world may be totally contrary to what God loves. The same can be said for the word “thrive.” Is Mr. Wilkinson simply referring to success and the illusive happiness of the world? Or would his definition include the lives of the humble saints and faithful martyrs of history? They thrived in spite of their suffering and heartaches — not because they loved their life journey, but because they loved their wonderful Savior and Lord. Like Abraham, they knew they were pilgrims and sojourners on this earth, and their treasure awaited them in heaven. But that kind of supernatural thriving doesn’t seem to fit the affirming message of the book. Nor do Scriptures such as these:
“…he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:38-39
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted Me they will persecute you… for they do not know the One who sent Me.” John 15:19-21
Mr. Wilkinson continues with this question: “So let me ask: Did you have a dream as a child that you lost along the way?”
If his dream refers to goals, desires and ambitions, I would answer yes. I wanted to raise horses, monkeys and all kinds of animals. I wanted to be a veterinarian. (Our garage in Norway was often converted to a hospital with boxes for injured animals — mostly birds mauled by cats). I dreamed of climbing mountains. And I wanted to travel around the world as a telegraph operator on a Norwegian freighter and see exotic places such as Shanghai and Rangoon. I am so glad God had other plans for me — plans that I never would have imagined, because I didn’t have the needed talents, strength or courage!
2. Does Mr. Wilkinson’s “Big Dream” match our personal strengths and preferences?
Yes, according to The Dream Giver, that Dream must match your strengths and wants. Though you may fear new challenges and not realize your own strengths, The Dream Giver’s coaching service can give you the confidence and courage needed to triumph over all the obstacles.
To discover your Dream, just ask yourself the following questions:
- What have I always been good at?
- What needs do I care about most?
- Who do I admire most?
- What makes me feel most fulfilled?
- What do I love to do most?
- What have I felt called to do?”[1, pages 80-81]
But from a Biblical perspective, these questions pose a problem. Our personal feelings and preferences are poor indications of God’s will for our lives. Therefore He warns us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) What’s more, He repeatedly calls our human, feeling-driven imagination “futile” or “vain.” Small wonder, since the natural inclinations of our human nature (flesh) are totally contrary to His ways. Yet, none of those warnings are mentioned in The Dream Giver.
“born again” and filled with His Spirit, your victory comes through total surrender to His will and commitment to follow His guidance — no matter how difficult and unnatural that way might seem to our “flesh” or nature. God says,
“Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
“Now the works of the flesh [human nature] are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:19-26
Mr. Wilkinson tells the reader to surrender his Dream to God, then God will give it back. But God doesn’t always work that way in our lives. Much of what we surrender to Him, we were never meant to have in the first place. He frees us from our human wants and cravings [Romans 6:1-13], so that He becomes our goal, our strength and our delight. In other words, those who “walk in the Spirit,” won’t be following the crowded superhighway of popular culture, for God has shown them a very different way. It will be “narrow and difficult, and few there are who find it.” [SeeGod’s Way versus our ways]
His way doesn’t beckon everyone to leave the Familiar and venture out on new adventures. It may mean staying home and trusting His grace in a difficult circumstance. Or it could mean heading out to the ends of the world with His gospel, trusting the Shepherd alone for grace and strength in every weakness. But if the options for such a journey would be limited to what we are “good at,” we would have little need for our Shepherd. Nor would God get all the praise. [See His grace in our weakness]
But that upside down result doesn’t seem to concern Mr. Wilkinson. He might even see parents or pastors who raise such questions as real life “Border Bullies” — like those in his book. To help his readers make that association, he shared the following illustration:
“Once I asked a large group of college students who came to mind first when we talked about Border Bullies. Hands shot up all over the place. And nearly all of them have the same answer: ‘My mom!’ or ‘My dad!'”[1, pages 104]
Where does the fifth Commandment — “Honor your father and your mother” — fit into this new system? Might the second point in this list of “Bullies that you might recognize” apply to your parents or pastor?
- “The Alarmist says, ‘It’s not safe!’ This Bully (Ordinary’s Mother) is motivated by fear….”
- “The Traditionalist says, ‘It’s not the way we do it!’ This Bully (his Uncle) doesn’t like change….” [This apparently points to those who resist today’s pressure to change and are unwilling to bend God’s unchanging truths]
- “The Defeatist says, ‘It’s not possible!’ This Bully (Best Friend) sees problems everywhere….”
- The Antagonist says, “I won’t let you!’ This Bully (the Landlord) uses authority or intimidation….”[1, page 104]
A few pages later, Mr. Wilkinson writes, “The single biggest reason Border Bullies stop most of us from pursuing our God-given Dream is our fear of man. ‘The fear of man brings a snare,’ the Bible says.”[1, page 106]
Yes, but that’s only half of the verse. It continues, “but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” [Proverbs 29:25] Why would he leave out that important second part? It clarifies why we don’t need to fear man!
3. Does the fictional “Dream Giver” reflect the nature and ways of our sovereign Lord?
Though Mr. Wilkinson tells us repeatedly that the Dream Giver is God, there are some discrepancies. Consider these quotes:
“…one morning Ordinary woke up with these words echoing in his mind: What you’re missing, you already have….
“Could it be? Ordinary looked and looked. And then he discovered that in a small corner of his heart lay a Big Dream. The Big Dream told him that he, a Nobody, was made to be a Somebody and destined to achieve Great Things.
“Jumping out of bed, Ordinary discovered something else–a long white feather resting on the sill of his window…. With a jolt of excitement, Ordinary decided he’d been visited by the Dream Giver.”[1, page 14]
“Ordinary decided to use the long white feather to help him remember the Truth. … Then he dipped the quill in permanent ink and wrote on the first page:
- The Dream Giver game me a Big Dream before I was even born. …
- My Dream is what I do best and what I most love to do.”[1, page 20]
Do those two points reflect the ways of our Lord? I don’t believe so, for His Word shows us a different way:
“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.'” 1 Corinthians 1:27-30
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
“…a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. Forwhen I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7
When God gives a dream or a vision, He also interprets the message and guides the faithful believer according to His own purpose, not their human ambitions. The Holy Spirit might speak through one of God’s chosen vessels as He did when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream or when Daniel explained Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. But those faithful men simply listened to the Lord they trusted. They didn’t need a modern “dream coach” to interpret the dreams or to follow His way.
Near the end of the book, you find a section called “A Closing Invitation.” It shows the next step on the dream journey:
“Of course, living your Big Dream is much more complex and challenging than can be described in a 160-page book. Visit us at www.TheDreamGiver.com to find additionalcoaching tools and resources, including a daily e-mail from me about pursuing and living our Dream…. Now may you devote yourself to His Dream for you. And may heaven describe you as one of these rare people who live to achieve Great Things for the glory of God.”[1, page 157]
That sounds good, doesn’t it? But do the Biblical words actually reflect God’s truth in a Biblical context?
If you follow that link, you come to The Dream Giver website. It welcomes you with this message: “Bestselling author Bruce Wilkinson will serve as your Dream Coach, offering insights and practical solutions.” Next, click on The Dream Giver Coach. This website will gladly “provide you with professional DreamGiver Coaches whose purpose is to give you hope, inspiration, and unconditional support in discovering and living out your DREAM.” It doesn’t mention God or His Word.”
“Are you excited about your Dream Journey, but aren’t sure where to start?” This question is posed by The Dream Assessment support team. It continues with references to DISC, based on the personality theories of two behavioral psychologists, Carl Jung (an occultist inspired by his spirit guide Philemon) and Dr. William Marston. Here you learn that “DISC and the Dream Assessment will give you the tools you need to pursue and achieve your Big Dream. To identify your unique personality type, DISC is a simple, effective tool that has been tested and used by millions of people worldwide. The short, online assessment helps you understand what motivates you, your personal strengths and weaknesses, and how you relate to other people.“ [For more information about Carl Jung, Dr. Marston and modern psychometric tools based on their research, click on Excerpts: DISC and The Dream Giver.” 
Notice again that the psycho-social tools that Mr. Wilkinson promotes as his What’s more concerning, this coaching service relies on the same DiSC technology used by corporate managers in the secular and global arena to test emotional and attitudinal “fitness” for group work and a collective society. They want to know if each team member has the relational skills needed to build synergy and conform to the corporate community or local service groups? That’s a crucial question for today’s success-oriented and purpose-driven managers.
At the Dream Giver website, you will be referred to Christian Financial Professional Network. Its Personal DISCcernment inventory (PDI) is also “based on the time-tested DISC theory that provides powerful insights into your work and social style. … This customized report … describes the unique challenges you will encounter due to your style’s particular strengths and weaknesses. … [D]iscover how to successfully navigate the path to fulfilling your Dream.”
Finally — in case you are totally confused by now — let’s go to What is DiSC? Here we learn that —
“DiSC is a model of human behavior that helps to understand ‘why people do what they do.’ The dimensions of Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness make up the model and interact with other factors to describe human behavior. … The original DiSC model was originally based on the 1928 work of Dr. William Moulton Marston at Columbia University. … He was also the creator, writer and producer of ‘Wonder Woman’ which introduced into comic strips, the role model of a strong female.”
The supposedly “private” DISC personality profiles are gathered and stored in vast — often global — digital data tracking systems. These life-long data files help employers and leaders around the world to continually assess, mold, manage and monitor their “human resources.” It’s sobering to realize that this same system is now used by the mega-churches and Christian ministries to assess their members and place them in various volunteer service “opportunities.” After all, to “grow the church” and win favor from secular leaders — whether in schools, business, politics or media — you must learn to adapt to diversity and “serve the greater whole.”
That’s not all. This kind of tracking lies at the heart of UNESCO’s plan for a global workforce. It enables our global managers to monitor individual progress in “lifelong learning” aimed at global citizenship, then prescribe remediation in areas of resistance. The end point is behavioral control. Remember the statement by Professor Raymond Houghton:
“…absolute behavior control is imminent…. The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will… never self-consciously know that it has happened.”
This is big business! The DISC assessments will measure, monitor and mold “Human Resources” for the global workforce, for your local community, and for the planned “social sector” with its volunteer welfare service. This global management system has already been writing the behavioral and attitudinal standards for “human resource development.” It intends to assess and monitor everyone to make sure they comply with the planned solidarity or “unity in diversity.” It’s sad to see how churches and “Christian” managers are leading the campaign for bringing people willingly into this massive web of human resource development.
This process trains people to ignore or adapt God’s guidelines to cultural changes. It desensitizes them to the contrary philosophies and values. In other words, it prompts Christians to justify an unbiblical consensus and embrace an Hegelian worldview that blends good and evil, light and dark — all the opposites that God describes in passages such as 2 Corinthians 6:12-18. Many believers will never recognize it for what it is: the world system cloaked in Christian terminology and idealized through Christian ministries. Inspired by Satan, the “ruler of this world,” it distorts our understanding of God and twists His holy truths into positive affirmations and sentiments that please the world.
In other words, the Dream Giver does not represent the God of the Bible! And our true God warns us:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness….
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21
While Mr. Wilkinson tells us to trust and follow a Big Dream, God’s Word tells us to trust and follow God alone. We cannot do both!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7
4. Who does Ordinary represent — any person or Christians who know and trust God?
Our God told the Old Testament prophet Joel that “it shall come to pass in the last days… that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.” As the apostle Peter explained in Acts 2:17, Pentecost was a partial fulfillment of that prophecy. A more complete fulfillment lies ahead, but that wonderful blessing has little to do with today’s churches where only a small minority of “born again” believers take time to study God’s Word and build a Biblical worldview.[See Statistics for the Changing Church]
Instead, truth-twisting has become the norm. Mr. Wilkinson tells us that –
“…your Big Dream was planted in you before you were born. The psalmist David wrote that all the days of his life had been ‘fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” [Psalm 139:16]
Yes, God knows exactly what will happen in each of our lives. He has total foreknowledge. He knows who will trust Him and who will reject Him. But this Scripture has nothing to do with the feel-good, universally given dreams Wilkinson promises everyone. Instead, God warns us that His purposes will not please everyone. He is the sovereign King of the universe — the “Potter” who does whatever He wills with His creation, whether we like it or not:
“Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” Romans 9:20-24
Those who truly are “born again” can be assured that all our days are written in His book. But that doesn’t mean that our life journey would be spelled out for us ahead of time. While God knows each part, He rarely tells us those steps ahead of time. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” [2 Corinthians 5:7] Therefore, we need to keep our eyes on Him, our Shepherd, not on our dreams and expectations. Then, day by day, year after year, He will lead us along His perfect plan laid out for us before the “foundation of the world.” Ephesians 1:4
It’s no small matter to misrepresent God, His will and His ways. Yet it happens in churches as well as in schools, movies, politics and the media. We are easily deceived, because Scriptural integrity is no longer emphasized. All too often, our minds are steeped in captivating fiction and entertainment rather than in truth and reality. So when “the deceiver” tempts us to twist God’s truth into a culturally acceptable message, we take the bait — and help him spread those enticing distortions, lies and counterfeit promises. As in Old Testament days, this adversary gladly works through God’s own people when we are not alert to His schemes.
The Bible shows us two very different kinds of people on earth. They follow three different sources of our dreams, visions, and guidance:
- the sovereign, all-knowing God of the universe
- their human imagination and deceitful hearts
- Satan, who masquerades as an “angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15  See Biblical Division
The latter two work well together; for both oppose or twist God’s truth. Such counterfeits have deceived God’s people since the beginning of time. Throughout history, so-called “prophets” have shared popular and positive promises from their own “imagination” while claiming to speak for God. They didn’t fear offending Him. Instead, they claimed the honor and authority that came from their identity as a spokesman for the Lord of heaven and earth.
What was God’s response to such mockery of His truth and holiness? Ponder these warnings:
“Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,’ says the Lord, ‘and… cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them. So when these people or the prophet or the priest ask you, saying, ‘What is the oracle of the Lord?’ you shall then say to them, ‘What oracle?’ I will even forsake you,” says the Lord. ”…for you have perverted the words of the living God…. I will utterly forget you and forsake you… and will cast you out of My presence.”Jeremiah 23:30-36
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you…
They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.
They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, ‘You shall have peace’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘No evil shall come upon you.’ ” Jeremiah 23:16-17
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied….” Jeremiah 23:21
“Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” Luke 12:51
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
Those are hard words! They clash with the new “positive” gospel taught by Robert Schuller, John Maxwell and Rick Warren. Such “negative” images of God won’t draw the masses into the Church! Instead they offend casual seekers and chase them away! That’s why “divisive” people who might share such Scriptures are often asked to leave today’s purpose-driven churches.
5. Whom do we trust — our human dreams or the sovereign King of the universe?
God’s Word is totally incompatible with today’s human resource development for a global society. Much of the Bible is simply too inflexible and incompatible with the new way of thinking! That’s why “change agents” around the world are training people to “think outside the box” of traditional values. And since many parents still trust in God’s unchanging truths, their children must be freed from parental boundaries. That may sound like a good idea in general, but when “the box” is God’s unchanging truths, this amounts to mutiny against our Lord.
This revolutionary notion of social transformation has been growing for over a century. Professor John Goodlad used the word resocialize. One of the most influential change agents in the global as well as national arena, he served on the governing boards of UNESCO’s Institute for Education and as head of the Institute for Educational Renewal four decades ago. In 1970, he warned his fellow educators that –
“Parents and the general public must be reached… Otherwise, children and youth enrolled in globally-oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home. And then the educational institution…comes under scrutiny…. Most youth still hold the same values as their parents and if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.”
Other change agents in the fifties and sixties established “educational laboratories” and behavioral research institutes that would lay the foundation for postmodern society and its rejection of absolute truth. These behind-the-scenes revolutionaries knew well that to transform the world, you also had to transform churches and free their members from the old guidelines found in the Scriptures. [See Steps toward Global Mind Control]
Few noticed the signs of the times. Among those who did discern the trends was A. W. Tozer. As early as 1959, he describes the sobering changes:
“The flaw in current evangelism lies in its humanistic approach…. It is frankly fascinated by the great, noisy, aggressive world with its big names, hero worship, its wealth and its garish pageantry. To the millions of disappointed persons who have always yearned for worldly glory but never attained to it, the modern evangel offers a quick and easy shortcut to their heart’s desire. Peace of mind, happiness, prosperity, social acceptance, publicity, success in sports, business, the entertainment field, and perchance to sit occasionally at the same banquet table with a celebrity—all this on earth and heaven at last. Certainly no insurance company can offer half as much.
“In this quasi-Christian scheme of things God becomes the Aladdin lamp who does the bidding of everyone that will accept His Son and sign a card. … This gross misapprehension of the truth is in back of much of our present evangelical activity. It determines directions, builds programs, decides the content of sermons, fixes the quality of local churches and even of whole denominations, sets the pattern for religious writers and forms the editorial policy of many evangelical publications.
“This concept of Christianity is in radical error, and because it touches the souls of men it is a dangerous, even deadly, error. At bottom it is little more than a weak humanism allied with weak Christianity to give it ecclesiastical respectability…. Invariably it begins with man and his needs and then looks around for God; true Christianity reveals God as searching for man to deliver him from his ambitions.” Born After Midnight
The Bible gives us an even more sobering picture:
“… in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
“…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned…” 2 Timothy 3:1-14
In the midst of it all, we can put our trust in the true God who has revealed Himself in His Word. When we look to Him and seek His ways, He will surely lead us!
“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me….
Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:1-5
The end of a dream? On December 19, 2005, The Wall Street Journal published this article about Bruce Wilkinson:
“In 2002 Bruce Wilkinson… moved to Africa and announced his intention to save one million children left orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. In October, Mr. Wilkinson resigned in a huff from the African charity he founded. He abandoned his plan to house 10,000 children in a facility that was to be an orphanage, bed-and-breakfast, game reserve, bible college, industrial park and Disneyesque tourist destination….
“Mr. Wilkinson won churchloads of followers in Swaziland, but left them bereft and confused. He gained access to top Swazi officials, but alienated them with his demands. And his departure left critics convinced he was just another in a long parade of outsiders who have come to Africa making big promises and quit the continent when local people didn’t bend to their will….
“Perhaps Mr. Wilkinson’s most successful venture in Swaziland was a conference in June — funded by a $108,000 grant his group received from the U.S. government — aimed at engaging churches in the fight against HIV.”
1. Bruce Wilkinson, The Dream Giver (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2003).
<size=3>10.Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness: Commitment for the ’70’s (The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development of the NEA, 1970), pages 46-47.
17. John Goodlad, “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” Schooling for the Future, a report to the President’s Commission on Schools Finance, Issue #9, 1971.
18. A. W. Tozer, Born After Midnight (Christian Publications, 1959), pages 22-23.
The Prayer of Jabez
by Berit Kjos
“Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that Thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast [territory], and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!’ And God granted him that which he requested.” 1 Chron 4:10
“…make the Jabez prayer for blessing part of the daily fabric of your life. To do that, I encourage you to follow unwaveringly the plan outlined here for the next thirty days. By the end of that time, you’ll be noticing significant changes in your life…. Read the Jabez prayer every morning…. Reread this little book once each week during the next month….”The Prayer of Jabez, page 86.
“I have an uncomfortable feeling about The Prayer of Jabez…. The Lord commented unfavorably on repetitious prayer. Please help me sort out my uncomfortable feeling about this ‘movement’. Reading Dr. Dobson’s ‘most important letter he ever wrote’ about Bruce Wilkinson’s book and the effect it has had on future plans of FOTF is disconcerting. Is my concern misapplied?” Ramsay Devereux
During an uneventful time in Israel’s history, a faithful man named Jabez prayed a simple, straightforward prayer and gained the favor and blessings of God. Now, a small book has prompted millions of saints and seekers to memorize and repeat the same prayer daily. After three thousand years of obscurity, Jabez has found surprising favor with the world.
So, what’s the problem with promoting a Biblical prayer that God honored in His Word? After all, our Lord delights in the prayers of His saints — all the daily thanks, praises and petitions that turn our hearts to Him in faith, worship and surrender. Using Bible verses as a basis for prayer and worship is a wonderful habit.Why be concerned?
Because this book — not Jabez’ prayer — promises rewards from God that God doesn’t promise in the Bible. While author Bruce Wilkinson enriches the meaning of Jabez’ prayer in the rest of his book, the first part (many readers go no further) seems to put the book into the unbiblical realm of the “name it claim it” movement. Consider the opening words:
“Dear Reader, I want to teach you how to pray a daring prayer that God always answers. It is brief–only one sentence with four parts–and tucked away in the Bible, but I believe it contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God….
Thousands of believers who are applying its truths are seeing miracles happen on a regular basis. Will you join me for a personal exploration of Jabez? I hope you will!” Emphasis added
Millions have joined his quest. Many have testified to miraculous answers which demonstrate God’s love, mercy and intervention on behalf of those who seek Him. But these amazing interventions and anecdotal stories don’t prove that God “always answers” this specific prayer. Nor do they verify that this Old Testament prayer by itself “contains the key” to extraordinary favor with God.
Nor does the Bible suggest that we — God’s people — have the authority or power to “put Jabez’ [or any other] prayer to work,” as Christianbook.com suggests in its publicity statement below. Ponder its invitation to potential buyers:
“Discover how to release the miraculous power of God in your life! …See what God will do for you when you put Jabez’ prayer to work!”
It is hard to see how anyone could conclude that Jabez’ prayer “works” better than the prayers of Moses, David, Elijah and Paul — men used by God to liberate His people, slay giants, restore life to a dead boy and bring sight to the blind. The “miraculous power of God” demonstrated through their lives came, not because of the words they uttered, but because they had consecrated their lives to God, humbled themselves before Him, trusted in His provision for sin, and chose to seek and do His will with all their heart and without compromise.
Therefore God forgave their sins, offered His strength in their weaknesses and — through the Holy Spirit in them — put prayers in their hearts that expressed His will. Because these men took time to know His Word and will, God “spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) No less amazing, He called David “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” (Acts 13:22)
Unlike these friends of God who loved His Word and walked with Him, the church at the dawn of the new millennium tends to be Biblically illiterate. [Chart] Many are too distracted by work, life’s pressures and “the pleasures of the world” to open the Bible. But we all want His help, peace and blessings. In this cultural context, the “positive assurances” and marketing tactics behind Wilkerson’s little book raise some searching questions:
1. Does the Bible justify using “the prayer of Jabez” as a formula for success? If so, why would Jesus give us the model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 (“Our Father, who art in heaven….”) rather than the prayer of Jabez?
In the days of Jesus, rabbis would often use prayer outlines. Today, many faithful students of Biblical history believe that “the Lord’s prayer” was such a prayer — one that provided a pattern or outline for longer prayers. Then as now, its short parts were reminders that God would be pleased if we would include certain points in our quiet times with Him:
Praise to our heavenly Father who hears and provides.
Confession and cleansing as we bow before a holy God.
Thanks for the goodness and glory of His Kingdom.
Confidence in His perfect plan and readiness to yield to His will.
Trust that our Provider will meet our needs each day.
Faith that through the cross, we have forgiveness for every sin.
Prayer for grace to forgive others and be filled with His love.
Prayer for wisdom to recognize and resist any temptation or evil.
Praise for His sovereignty, love and faithfulness to those who follow Him. See the last part of Heaven is Forever
Though both prayers were pleasing to our Father, their differences are important. Jabez focused on God’s gifts. Jesus emphasized the Giver. Jabez’ prayer reflects the Old Testament context where God demonstrated His love by prospering His people. The Lord’s prayer reflects the New Testament understanding that — because of the cross — we share in the life, suffering, ministry and triumphs of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Since the prayer of Jabez precedes the New Testament call to absolute commitment, it is acceptable to the world. It sounds good whether people serve God or self. Since it doesn’t point to Christ or the cross, it carries no offense. It offers the same blessings to those who pursue a self-made image of God as to those who walk with Jesus.
In a recent interview, George Barna, founder and president of the Barna Research Group, shared his concern:
“One of the frightening things that we find in our research all the time is that even among the tens of millions of born again Christians, about half of them would say that when it comes to Christianity they are not absolutely committed to the faith. …we’ve made it too easy to be part of the Christian church. I think that there is very little sense of privilege and awe and responsibility that comes along in our culture with the notion of being considered a disciple of Christ. It is like, ‘Hey, I got my salvation taken care of, I’ve got my membership card at my church. Now let me go to the country club and do my thing.’ The problem is that Christianity is not just about being a church member. It is about consistently trying to become more like Christ. It is about life transformation.
“… small groups may be doing more to inhibit peoples’ spiritual growth than to facilitate that growth. Part of the reason is that, first of all, in most groups, you have an individual who’s in charge of the group or leading the group who really doesn’t know Scripture very well. So if they’re leading a discussion or trying to teach on things, more often than not, what you wind up with is heresy rather than Christian orthodoxy.” Interview with George Barna, Part I
It’s easy to distort our understanding of God in a culture that prompts people to interpret His Word according to a politically correct consensus rather than by the Bible itself. It’s tempting to seek a feel-good god whose will and ways match human wants and illusions. But to assume that an imagined God will bless our lives and extend our sphere of influence, is presumptuous at best.
“You thought that I was altogether like you,” warned God. “But I will rebuke you….” [Psalm 50:21]
2. How can Mr. Wilkinson assure anonymous readers that God “always answers” this particular prayer in contrast to other prayers? The preface of the book implies that God not only answer this prayer, His answer is always “yes.” That’s a denial of some of the Bible’s guidelines for answered prayer.
For example, Psalm 66:18 tells us that “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” And Proverbs 21:13 warns, “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.”
James 4:3-4 explains another reason for unanswered prayer: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?“
God’s will and guidelines overrule the desires and requests of those who don’t know Him. Perhaps some people need to learn humility, surrender, obedience and faith based on Scriptures before they excel in “daring” prayers? For, throughout the Bible, God shows us that the state of a believer’s heart is as — if not more — important than the particular words used.
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16
3. Could a formula prayer raise false expectations of what God might do and therefore bring disappointment, doubt and disillusionment rather than faith and thankfulness?
Bruce Wilkinson makes more staggering claims. “Join me for that transformation,” he writes on page 91. “You will change your legacy and bring supernatural blessings wherever you go. God will release His miraculous power in your life now. And for all eternity, He will lavish on you His honor and delight.”
He will? In a chapter called “Welcome to God’s Honor Roll,” Wilkinson writes,
“You don’t reach the next level of blessing and stay there. You begin again — Lord, bless me indeed! Lord, please enlarge…! And so on. As the cycle repeats itself, you’ll find that you are steadily moving into wider spheres of blessing and influence, spiraling ever outward and upward into a larger life for God…. You will know beyond doubt that God has opened heaven’s storehouses because you prayed.”
Wilkinson mentions the “mostly ordinary, easy-to-overlook people” listed in Hebrews 11 who won honor from God. But Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah and Moses hardly fit that description. Then he fails to mention the faithful men and women who received the opposite of honor and blessing in this world:
“…others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy.” Hebrews 11:35-38
God shows us that suffering — not prosperity, power or influence — is an essential part of our life in Christ. We cannot be one with Jesus without sharing His battles as well as triumphs. “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,” wrote Paul to the Philippians (1:29)
Jesus told us to “count the cost” of discipleship — not the blessings of the world:
“If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you…. for they do not know the one who sent me.” (John 15:20-21)
4. Could an habitual prayer such as the prayer of Jabez, distract from hearing and praying according to God’s will for the day? The Bible tells us that ” we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us…. according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27) Remember, Jesus always prayed and served according to His Father’s will and purpose on each occasion. If we give ourselves unreservedly to do the same, He will answer our prayer:
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
5. Might some readers be seeking the power of prayer rather than the power of God? There’s a significant difference between the two, and the former has always been far more alluring to human nature than the surrender and obedience involved in ongoing Biblical prayer. Most people would rather memorize and repeat a formula prayer that “works” than take time to seek to know the heart of God. It’s easier to imagine “what Jesus would do” than actually study His Word and know His will — then to submit will to His.
Formula prayers dominate in pagan religions. Compare Mr. Wilkinson’s preface and the Christianbook‘s publicity statement with the following quote from Medicine Buddha Sadhana, a small book given to thousands of people who attended a May 2001 a “Medicine Buddha Empowerment” workshop led by The Dalai Lama:
“To recite the Medicine Buddha Mantra brings inconceivable merit. … If you recite the mantra every day, the buddhas and bodhisattvas will always pay attention to you, and they will guide you. All your negative karmas will be pacified and you will never be born in the three lower realms…. and all your wishes are fulfilled.”
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? It appeals to human nature and its “felt needs.” Who wouldn’t want to recite a prayer or mantra that promises easy access to higher powers that will fulfill your dreams and satisfy your wants?
But God knows that our finite dreams and human wishes fall far short of His wonderful plan for us. His rocky road to victory includes hardships and humiliations that rarely find a place in our hopes and prayers. Therefore, knowing the inclinations of our human nature, He shows us the way:
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done….” Matthew 6:7-9
The issue here is your motive — your reason for repeating certain words. Do you believe that repetitions will add strength to a prayer? Then you may be trusting mere words more than your all-powerful, sovereign God.
For instance, the customary words used to “put on the armor of God” could be little more than a “vain repetition” if you merely and mindlessly recite the familiar steps: “Now I gird my loins with truth… I put on the breastplate of righteousness… the sandals of peace…” There’s no magic in those words alone. Instead they remind us to actively — by faith — “put on” Christ’s truth (His Word), righteousness (includes confessing sins), peace, etc.
But it’s no “vain repetition” to pray through the steps listed in Ephesians 6:12-17 (see The Armor of God), giving Him thanks for each vital part and praising Him for the protection He offers you in Himself. For when you turn to Him in love, faith, humility and surrender — “pouring out your heart” to your Father and King — then He will surely hear and answer according to His perfect plan for your life.
6. Can we assume that a step toward victory in one battle will work the same way in another battle? For example, God told Joshua to march around Jericho 7 times. Victory involved obedience to those specific guidelines. They don’t apply to other battles.
A generation earlier, God had told his faithless people to enter the promised land. Fearing the giants in the land, they refused. God didn’t give them another opportunity. But when they faced the consequences of their disobedience, they made a belated decision to do what he said. But it was too late. The grace that came with God’s command, couldn’t be applied at will. So they lost both the battle and their lives. (Numbers 13-14)
7. Is it Biblically accurate to expect that the evils that surround us not touch and “grieve” us? In Christ, we are “more than conquerors.” But that doesn’t mean escape from the wounds and griefs that are part of life in this fallen world. Its various evils will touch us, even as we walk by faith. We are no more immune to persecution and cruelty than the faithful martyrs who, through the ages, have faced all kinds of deadly onslaughts. But they didn’t bear the assaults alone, and neither will we. When we stand equipped with His truths and promises, He will lead us in His triumph — a triumph that would look anything but triumphant to those who expect the world’s peace and prosperity. See The Armor of God and prayerfully consider 2 Corinthians 4:7-10,
“…we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are
- hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed;
- we are perplexed, but not in despair;
- persecuted, but not forsaken;
- struck down, but not destroyed
- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
In Christ, we are “more than conquerors.” But that doesn’t mean escape from the wounds and griefs that today’s warfare inflicts on God’s soldiers. As long as we live in a fallen world and walk with Him, evil will touch us. But we won’t bear its assaults alone. When we stand equipped with His truths and promises, He will lead us in His triumph — a triumph that would look anything but triumphant to those who expect the world’s peace and prosperity. See The Armor of God and prayerfully consider 2 Corinthians 4:7-10,
“…we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are
- hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed;
- we are perplexed, but not in despair;
- persecuted, but not forsaken;
- struck down, but not destroyed
- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
If we are one with Jesus, we must set our hearts — not on blessings in the world but on fellowship with our King — as did Peter, James, Paul and countless other saints and martyrs who, through the ages, have relinquished earthly comforts and popularity for a far greater eternal treasure. Paul said it well,
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings….
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me…. One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus….” Philippians 3:7-14
On December 19, 2005, The Wall Street Journal published this article about Bruce Wilkinson: “In Swaziland, U.S. Preacher Sees His Dream Vanish.”
“In 2002 Bruce Wilkinson… moved to Africa and announced his intention to save one million children left orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. In October, Mr. Wilkinson resigned in a huff from the African charity he founded. He abandoned his plan to house 10,000 children in a facility that was to be an orphanage, bed-and-breakfast, game reserve, bible college, industrial park and Disneyesque tourist destination….
“Mr. Wilkinson won churchloads of followers in Swaziland, but left them bereft and confused. He gained access to top Swazi officials, but alienated them with his demands. And his departure left critics convinced he was just another in a long parade of outsiders who have come to Africa making big promises and quit the continent when local people didn’t bend to their will….
“Perhaps Mr. Wilkinson’s most successful venture in Swaziland was a conference in June — funded by a $108,000 grant his group received from the U.S. government — aimed at engaging churches in the fight against HIV.”
Whom do we serve?
by Berit Kjos
“Warren… unveiled the church’s commitment to a new reformation in Christianity and vision for a worldwide spiritual awakening in the 21st Century through the PEACE Plan that he believes will mobilize one billion foot soldiers … by the year 2020.”
“The first Reformation was about belief; this one’s going to be about behavior…. The first one was about creeds; this one’s going to be about our deeds. The first one divided the church; this time it will unify the church.” Rick Warren
“The last thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need areserving experiences….” Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life
As you saw in Part 2 of this series, Rick Warren’s PEACE Plan fits right into the global march toward social solidarity. The widening web of communitarian systems envisioned by Peter Drucker (Warren’s mentor) is now embraced by pastors, politicians, rulers, and community leaders around the world. Like Pastor Warren, they all seem to agree that the rising global welfare system requires a worldwide army of “volunteer” servers.”
It makes sense! In September 2005, Pastor Warren was invited to speak at the United Nations and at the Council of Foreign Relations — two powerful organizations determined to unify the world under a new set of social rules and systemic controls. Both pursue a peaceful transformation that would stifle the “divisive” truths of the gospel and conform Christian beliefs to UNESCO’s Declaration on the Role of Religion. Both recognize the need to draw churches into their worldwide network of partners and servers. Both realize that Rick Warren — a most magnetic Pied Piper for their transformational agenda — can serve their grandiose purposes well.
President Bush knows it, too. He met with Rick Warren and other “social entrepreneurs” at the White House on June 1, 2004. After a strategic dialogue, his new “army of compassion” was introduced to attendees at the First White House National Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The President announced,
“I came from a — what we call a roundtable… where I met with some healers, and doers, and community changers: … Pastor Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California — (applause)…. Jim Sprouse, the pastor of Trinity United Methodist…. Where there is despair, we must work to provide hope.”
Remember, President Bush has promised billions of dollars for fighting AIDS in Africa. Not only did he usher the U.S. back under UNESCO’s socialist umbrella two years ago, he has been working closely with the United Nations in order to fulfill America’s commitment to help end poverty and develop human resources in Africa. Warren’s PEACE Plan serves his purpose.
In Parts 1 and 2, we looked at the first two points in Warren’s PEACE Plan: (1) Plant Churches and (2) Train Leaders. You met Ken Blanchard, Pastor Warren’s chosen agent for training purpose-driven leaders around the world. Now, in Part 3, we will look at the next two points: (3) Assist the poor and (4) Care for the sick.
The drumbeat for social action aroused the masses early in July 2005. That’s when Rick Warren and World Vision joined Bono, Madonna (who promotes the mystical/occult Kabbala), Beatle idol Paul McCartney, Snoop Dog, Faithless, Bon Jovi, Slash (of Velvet Revolver), and many other famous or infamous supporters of “ONE – The Campaign to Make Poverty History.”
“I deeply believe,” said Warren, “that if we as evangelicals remain silent and do not speak up in defense of the poor, we lose our credibility and our right to witness about God’s love and Word.”
“What common cause could unite Pink Floyd and Rick Warren?” asked Mindy Belz in her article, “Whose jubilee?” She continued –
“Meet Live 8, ONE, Make Poverty History, and the Long Walk To Justice…. The campaign, timed to arm-wrestle world leaders ahead of next month’s G8 summit into canceling debt against certain poor countries and increasing public aid, became so fierce last week that it reunited the ’70s band Pink Floyd and hauled Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren onto the bandwagon….
“But offstage a band of leading economists and scholars says the G8 plan is not only misguided but harmful, particularly for church-based poverty-fighting efforts. ‘Debt forgiveness rewards the corruption and inefficiency of governments who have mishandled loaned funds.'”
A few weeks later, Rick Warren flew to Birmingham, England to participate in the liberal, interfaith Baptist World Alliance Centenary Conference (BWACC). “God has called us to enjoy and fellowship with each other and work together,” he told reporters, adding a popular slogan for the envisioned solidarity: Baptists can “celebrate our diversity and celebrate our unity…. The first Reformation was about beliefs. This one needs to be about behavior.”
Jimmy Carter, another keynote speaker at the BWACC, would probably agree to minimize those “divisive” old Scriptures that identified sin and called for separation. “There is an intense hunger among Christians around the world for a healing of the differences that now separate us from one another,” the former president told reporters. “…All major faiths – Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam – hold to the basic principles of peace, justice, hospitality, truth and alleviation of suffering.” As a solution to separation, he suggested “interfaith dialogue…. We need to come back together.”
Back together? Leaving behind the true gospel? How would an interfaith dialogue aimed at consensus deal with the centrality of the cross and the resurrection of our Lord? Persecuted Christians have given their lives for those vital, saving truths! Would today’s “Christian” leaders prefer to trade Biblical faith for an illusion of solidarity?
Many are doing just that! Rev. Dr Michael Taylor, former Christian Aid chief executive and Baptist minister, gave this closing message:
“The only potentially realistic way to get western governments to tackle these issues is to build the strongest, most proactive networks of activists around the world. This will mean linking with other Christians and with people of other faiths, working together in different ways for the common good.”
Does this sound more like the “social gospel” than the Great Commission? Has physical wellbeing becoming more important to church leaders than the truth about God and His grace? Is the fight against social, political and economic villains rather than against the “principalities… powers… [and] spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places?” [Ephesians 6:12] If so, it’s a losing battle! 
Of course, our God cares about the poor, and so must we. But in New Testament days, compassionate care for unbelievers was joined to evangelism — a vital ministry that Ken Blanchard, Warren’s chosen leadership trainer, apparently has abandoned. “…he said he is not interested in evangelism,” said Rebecca Barnes, editor of ChurchCentral.com.
The early disciples knew well that their greatest gift to the poor and needy was the gospel, which brings conviction of sin, prompts God-given repentance, and opens the door to an eternity with Jesus. Their compassion would not only demonstrate God’s love in a harsh and hostile world; it would plant in hearts the glorious promise of God’s eternal Kingdom. That’s why the early Christians faced persecution. As Jesus explained, “…because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19)
Martyrs who were caught speaking God’s “offensive” truths could easily have escaped torture and death. Some were told only to worship other gods along with their own, but that was unthinkable to those who loved Jesus. They would rather die than betray their Lord! The stirring witness of such uncompromising faith drew countless more into the caring arms of the Church.
In the early Church, compassionate service to the poor and needy focused primarily on their own spiritual family — the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. God’s Word tells us:
“…the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’”Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 11
“…I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?’….And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25:35-40
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
“Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord… distributing to the needs of the saints….” Romans 12:9-13
But everything is changing! Marketing, manipulation, compromise, top-down standards, and intrusive assessments have become the norm. And the United Nations leads the way. [See The U.N. Plan for Your Community] UNESCO’s “Management of Social Transformations” (MOST) Programme is one of its more innovative programs. In the quote below, notice Peter Drucker‘s three-legged communitarian stool: Partnerships between public sector (government, which sets the standards), private sector (business), and social sector (civil society, especially churches). Ponder the words: social exclusion.
“Best Practices, in the MOST Database, are model projects or policies aimed at improving the quality of life of individuals or groups suffering from poverty or social exclusion. They are typically based on the cooperation between national or local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local communities, the private sector….
“MOST concentrates its activities on the  management of change in multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies;  the study of cities as the sites of accelerated social change;  local management of economic, technological and environmental transformations; and  the eradication of poverty and social exclusion.”
Apparently, PEACE Plan churches will serve the first and last of those four UNESCO goals. And the key part of the transformational process will be facilitated small groups trained todialogue, compromise (synthesize diverse beliefs) and seek an ever higher “common ground.” Formed under the banner of fellowship, healing, and discipleship, these dialectic groups will prompt members to trade individual thinking for collective thinking. And the more responsive members will be chosen to lead others into this new global paradigm envisioned by the UN, the CFR and the Bush administration.
For all must be one! “Social exclusion,” like poverty, must end. All forms of social separation — whether based on beliefs, sexual preferences, moral values or anything else — must yield to solidarity. The masses will go along with the program, for only those who embrace the “responsibility” to conform will have the “right” to be free. And the war on poverty and AIDS will be used to justify this un-American transformation.
4 – Care for the sick .
This goal touches my heart. Long ago, I chose the nursing profession because I wanted to care for the sick. My “career” ended when our first child was born, but one of our sons entered medical school with the same longing to serve God by ministering to the sick. So I can understand why Rick and Kay Warren were touched by the great needs in Africa.
On a webpage titled “Personal P.E.A.C.E. Plan,” Rick Warren answers the question, “What I can do?” In the section on “Care for the Sick,” he gives the following answer:
- Do an act of practical kindness to someone I know who is sick: take them a meal, offer to shuttle them to the doctor, do errands or shopping for them, watch their children, or send an encouraging note.
- Pray for healing, strength, comfort, and peace with those I know who are physically suffering.
- Commit to praying daily for two weeks for that person.
- Communicate genuine concern by following up with that person.”
He probably has a far more extensive plan for his ministry to those who suffer from AIDS in Africa. I just hope it doesn’t mean compromising God’s moral guidelines and justifying promiscuity. For He alone can lift people from spiritual bondage into liberty in Jesus Christ! But His gift of faith and freedom comes only after conviction of sin and genuine repentance. Such conversion is aborted when the true gospel is replaced with positive assurances that God sympathizes with our sins and heals our hurts no matter how stubbornly we defend our behavior.
Yet the consensus at recent international conferences on AIDS seems dead set against such “judgmental” beliefs. And Christian ministries that serve in the public limelight will surely face opposition if they spread such “moral certainties.” Indeed, the following reports illustrate the growing consensus that AIDS workers must condone rather than question sexual immorality. As you read them, remember how teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases multiplied with the demise of the stigma tied to promiscuity:
World AIDS Campaign (WAC): “…the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS… set out specific commitments the international community would work to fulfill… including prevention campaigns, reducing stigma… and ensuring treatment, care and respect for people living with HIV or AIDS. … As Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, said… ‘All of us must recognize AIDS as our problem.'”
Building partnerships is about working with others to achieve our goals [Notice the communitarian framework]: “Partners need to be united from both within and beyond the health sector, from government, non-government and the private sector, to work together towards a common goal of improving responses to AIDS…. The WAC is establishing partnerships at the international, regional and local levels. These include alliances with… faith groups, like the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.
“Do not be afraid” – Act for peace: “The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is compelled by the Gospel to call upon all churches, related organizations and people of faith to fulfill their role as peacemakers…. We have taken up this task with a special focus on overcoming stigma and discrimination against people affected by HIV/AIDS.”
I care, do you? The Churches say YES! “Fight HIV and AIDS-related stigma and discrimination.”
Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance: “Christians believe that all are created in the image of God and understand that the recognition of and respect for the dignity of each human person, regardless of circumstance, is the starting point for all our actions and responses. By protecting the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS and promoting an attitude of care and solidarity which rejects all forms of stigmatization and discrimination, their dignity as human beings is best protected.
“We are called, too, to break down the barriers of “us” and “them” and join with people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS…. In response to God’s gracious and inclusive love for all of humanity, the church is called to model acceptance for all…. Certain vulnerable people who may be prone to high risk behavior (… men who have sex with men, sex workers of both sexes) require particular attention, compassion, trust, and accompaniment….
“In their prophetic role, churches should not be afraid to offer visible and strong social support for effective methods of prevention…. [Meaning: Don’t hesitate to encourage condoms, but don’t mention sin!]
“Promote full participation of positive people within faith-based organizations, civil society, and governmental responses….
“…a 12-member Strategy Group… will develop strategies, monitor the implementation….”
Vital to the implementation of this “health” system are the marketing strategies — usually surveys, force-field analysis, and high tech data systems for monitoring compliance, measuring “progress,” and analyzing “what works.” As in recent totalitarian regimes, well-chosen compensations distract the masses from the anguish of surveillance and control. In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley describes the seductive ‘feelies’ that compensate for the loss of freedom and privacy in the collective or “healthy” community. First among them is sexual license:
“As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly [sic] to increase. And the dictator… will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction with the freedom to daydream [shifting focus from reality to fantasy or imagination] under the influence of dope, movies and the radio, it will help to reconcile his subjects to the servitude which is their fate.” See Serving the Greater Whole
Aldous Huxley was no prophet, but as a Fabian Socialist in the utopian atmosphere that preceded World War II, he was well acquainted with global visions and utopian dreams. In fact, his brother Julian Huxley was chosen as the first head of UNESCO, the education and cultural arm of the United Nations. Since then, most of the warnings in Brave New World have become reality.
Rick Warren seems to have joined another group of visionaries: those who embrace a dominionist view of end times. Describing his “P.E.A.C.E. plan” as a “revolution’ for global Christianity,” he said, “I’m looking at a stadium full of people who are telling God they will do whatever it takes to establish God’s Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’” [See The Second Reformation]
But human dreams and collective deeds can never “establish God’s Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven.” What counts are God’s ways, not our ways, and He has shown us an entirely different picture of the end. That’s why Jesus warned us to be alert — always watchful for the actual signs of end times (before He, not we, makes all things new). They include –
- More wars and destruction. (Matthew 24:7-8)
- A totalitarian world government. (Revelation 13)
- An intrusive “mark” that would identify the purchasing power of each person. (Revelation 13:16-17)
- Many false shepherds and prophets. (Matthew 24:24-25)
- A “falling away” from Biblical faith. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
Universal faith in the Biblical God is not part of the end-time picture, though mighty miracles will astound the masses. Yes, our God is a miracle-working God! But He warns us to “test the spirits” and be alert to deceptions:
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9:12
“…when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8
God has promised that a faithful remnant will see the glorious day when He comes for his own. By His amazing grace they will endure persecution and resist pressures to conform to the ever-changing consensus of the masses who follow the “wide” and popular ways of the world. For “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”[Matthew 7:13] Therefore,
“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross….” Hebrews 12:1-3
1. Rick Warren hits home run with announcement of global peace plan at http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s05040087.htm. See almost identical statement athttp://www.bwanet.org/Congress/congresstoday29f.htm
2. Ken Camp, “Second Reformation’ will unify church, Warren tells Dallas GDOP,” 2005, at http://www.pastors.com/article.asp?ArtID=8280
3. Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), page 231.
5. “Council of Foreign Relations” at www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/cfr.htm. “Rick Warren Speaks about Purpose at United Nations,” (Sep. 14, 2005) atwww.christianpost.com/article/society/1835/section/rick.warren.speaks.about.purpose.at.united.nations/1.htm and Council of Foreign Relations
6. See “Local Agenda 21: The UN Plan for Your Community” at http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/la21_198.html
8. “The ONE Campaign: An Advocacy Letter From Rick Warren,” the text of a letter, signed by high-profile evangelicals, challenging Pres. Bush to change U.S. policy toward the poor. June 3, 2005, at http://www.beliefnet.com/story/168/story_16821.html9. Mindy Belz in her article, “Whose jubilee?” June 25, 2005, at http://www.worldmag.com/subscriber/displayArticle.cfm?ID=10764
<size=3>10. Trennis Henderson, “Rick Warren: Global Baptists are ‘all in this together,” July 30, 2005 at http://www.bwanet.org/Congress/congresstoday29f.htm
11. John Hall, “Baptist World Congress: Baptists can help in fight against terrorism,” Texas Baptist Communications, July 32, 2005, at http://www.bwacongress2005.org.uk/information.asp?id=849
14. Rebecca Barnes, “No evangelism?” at http://www.churchcentral.com/dcforum/DCForumID7/68.html
16.”Rick & Kay Warren heard the call,” at http://www.purposedriven.com/en-US/Events/AIDS/Overview.htm
17. “Personal P.E.A.C.E. Plan,” at http://www.purposedriven.com/en-US/PEACE/Personal_PEACE_Plan.htm
18. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (New York: HarperCollins, 1932), xvii.
Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan and UN Goals – Part 2
Equipping Leaders to ‘Lead like Jesus’?
by Berit Kjos, September 2005
“Ken [Blanchard] has signed on to help with the Peace Plan, and he’s going to be helping train us in leadership and in how to train others to be leaders all around the world. In fact, he was here this week and I’ve asked him to just give a little video greeting.”  Audio tape of Rick Warren introducing the PEACE Plan and Ken Blanchard to Saddleback Church.
“Dear Saddleback Family… don’t miss this first encouraging message in 40 DAYS OF PEACE which begins now!!! …This week I shared part of this message in New York City where I spoke at the United Nations, and also to The Council on Foreign Relations. I love you and thank God for you! Pastor Rick.” Group email sent on September 17, 2005.
“Various churches and denominations claim to be undergoing ‘transformation.’ This word no longer refers to the humble sanctification of the individual believer. Rather, it now refers to an orchestrated, systemic and revolutionary overhaul of the global church, including the ‘transformation’ of cities, societies, cultures, marketplaces, and more.” Lynn and Sarah Leslie.
“American Christianity is going through a second reformation,” wrote Rick Warren back in February 2003. Then he repeated his transformational theme, which sounds a lot like the “social gospel” with its presumptuous disregard for God’s unchanging Word:
“The first Reformation clarified what we believe. This reformation is all about how we act and operate in the world. It involves the key components of purpose, decentralization, lay mobilization, use of technology, and continuous learning. Churches that change are thriving and growing more effective. Churches that refuse to change will miss the reformation, and are dying.”
Warren’s rousing threat has alarmed many pastors and leaders around the world. They don’t want to miss the bandwagon to success! So they join the world’s quest for popular acclaim, positive affirmations, digital data, and manipulative processes — including the psycho-social strategies pushed by UNESCO. And they look to Rick Warren rather than God’s Word to show them how to “act and operate in the world.”
The first part of this series outlined the key points of Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan and the UN Millennial Goals. Remember, Pastor Warren is subject to global guidelines as he functions within the structure of the UN global management system. But that’s no problem to “America’s pastor.” His “soft” version of God’s Word, avoidance of offensive truths, and tolerance for popular culture fit right in.
So, instead of shunning him as a Christian, globalist leaders court him as a useful asset. After all, they had already planned to link the world’s churches to their agenda. They needed a Pied Piper who could draw the masses into the envisioned global solidarity. Small wonder Warren was invited to speak at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on September 12 as well as to UN leaders at a UN interfaith prayer breakfast on September 13. His P.E.A.C.E. plan is a perfect vehicle for meeting UN goals:
1. Was Plant churches (the focus of Part 1), now changed to: Promote Reconciliation. The purpose-driven management system, mentored by Peter Drucker, serves UN goal #8: “Develop a global partnership for development.” The two systems use the same technologies, techniques, psycho-social processes, and monitoring technology to train and monitor the “human resources” needed for change and development.
2. Equip servant leaders (the focus of this article). Today’s leadership training — as you will see in this series — fits in the world as well as in the church. Church volunteers are essential to the UN quest for global solidarity.
3. Assist the poor. This matches UN Goal #1: “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.”
4. Care for the sick. This matches UN Goals #4: Reduce child mortality, #5: Improve maternal health, and #6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
5. Educate the next generation. This matches #2. Achieve universal primary education
Equipping “servant leaders”
In Part 1, you met Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, the target country for the PEACE campaign. Apparently, Rick Warren had prepared him well for their joint “ministry” in this small, embattled nation in Africa. The president’s statement to Saddleback church last April bears repeating, for it outlines the structure for global change: “Rick and I agree,” said Kagame, “thateach partner – the church, the government, and businesses have a role to play and we are better together….”
Peter Drucker, Rick Warren’s mentor and a key architect of his purpose-driven management system, would fully agree with the three-fold alliance affirmed by President Kagame. According to the Drucker Foundation (renamed Leader to Leader Institute), the world is already divided into three sectors: public (government), private (business) and social (civil society includingchurches). Since the government sector lacks the resources needed to establish the envisioned global welfare system, the work must largely be handled by volunteers from the social sector. And, as Pastor Warren continues to remind us, only churches (primarily purpose-driven churches) are organized and equipped to meet the world’s need for servers, coaches and trainers.
Ponder these three statements from Drucker’s Leader to Leader Institute. Notice the reference to the Rockefellers, who have been funding and founding globalist, transformational and socialist programs throughout the last century:
“The Leader to Leader Institute will chart the future path for the social sector to become the equal partner of business and government in developing responsible leaders, caring citizens, and a healthy, inclusive society. [This is where the small groups and dialectic process enter in]
“The Foundation will bring the best leadership and management voices from across the world to people of the world with a focus on providing social sector organizations with the ideas and tools that enable them to better serve their customers and communities.
“Packaging knowledge and experience into tools for social sector leaders in critical areas such as: fund development, marketing, volunteer management,collaboration, self-assessment, innovation, and measuring results….”
“A Symposium organized by The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, sponsored by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund [December 1996]….
“As government cuts back social spending, many people expect the social sector to absorb much of the anticipated need for services…. We are now talking about a true partnership to build community and produce people who are needed by healthy businesses and a healthy society.”
Purpose-driven leaders fit right into this system of community building and human resource development. By emphasizing deeds rather than doctrine, they avoid conflict with their two partners — government and business. The fact that President Kagame, Warren’s government partner in Rwanda, works with the Clinton Global Initiative as well as with UNESCO adds secular support (as well as publicity) to their projects.
According to UN treaties and declarations, humans everywhere must be trained to think collectively (in facilitated small Groups) and to follow the ground rules. These include politically correcttolerance, feeling-centered — not fact-based dialogue, and the all-important authenticity (openly “confessing” assumptions and feelings so that the group can “correct” and realign them through dialogue and consensus). Continual assessment will measure progress and compliance.
Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez and The Dream Giver, shares Rick Warren’s vision for Africa and reliance upon high tech tools for success-driven leaders. In fact, he offers his services as a “dream coach” who can provide all the strategic tools needed for success:
“Are you excited about your Dream Journey, but aren’t sure where to start? DISC and the Dream Assessment will give you the tools you need to pursue and achieve your Big Dream.
“To identify your unique personality type, DISC is a simple, effective tool that has been tested and used by millions of people worldwide. The short, online assessment helps you understand what motivates you, your personal strengths and weaknesses, and how you relate to other people…. There is a fee for the assessment…”
Since Mr. Wilkinson depends on high-tech management tools rather than the Holy Spirit to fulfill his “Big Dream,” one might wonder about the source of it. Of course, he is not the only celebrated leader relying on these assessments, which happen to be based on “the proven psychological principles found within the works of Carl Jung and William Marston.” Popular management guru and author, Ken Blanchard, who often provides speaking platforms for Christian leaders such as John Maxwell and Rick Warren, describes the same basic assessments on one of his websites.
Notice that the work of the Holy Spirit is not included as a factor in the DISC self-assessments. It’s designed to honor man, not God, for human strengths and accomplishments:
“The Online DISC Profiler is a powerful tool that can help you significantly improve your work effectiveness. With the unique Self-Assessment and Observer Assessment, it is designed to give you a comprehensive view of how you interact with others in everyday situations. The goal is to understand your personal chemistry in order to enhance your relationships. Once you know your behavioral style characteristics, it is easy to see what drives those around you….”
Ken Blanchard — P.E.A.C.E. Plan leadership trainer
Do you wonder who will actually train the leaders for the vast purpose-driven transformation of Rwanda, Africa and the world?
Pastor Warren has chosen Ken Blanchard — “one of today’s most sought-after authors, speakers, and business consultants”  — to lead the “leaders all around the world.” Co-author of The One Minute Manager and co-founder of the Center for Faithwalk Leadership, Blanchard sounds like a Christian: “After studying both the theory and practice of leadership for more than 35 years, I have found that Jesus is the greatest leadership model of all times,” he tells us on a page promoting his Lead Like Jesus Celebrations. He continues:
“Lead Like Jesus will equip you, your church, and your community to experience Jesus in a powerfully different way — to grow to trust Him as the perfect leader for all time.”
How will Ken Blanchard equip people to “experience Jesus in a powerfully different way”? Will he present God’s truth so that people might be convicted of sin and regenerated through the Holy Spirit?
Apparently not! Speaking “to about 2,000 leaders during the annual Southeast Christian Church Leadership Conference” last year, Mr. Blanchard echoed Warren’s philosophy: emphasizebehavior, not beliefs:
“From my standpoint, at the end of Matthew when [Jesus] says, ‘Go and make disciples,’ I think people emphasize the evangelism part of that and … forget what discipling means. It’s a follower, somebody who does what I say. As leaders you’re all influencing people’s thinking, beliefs and all. He [Jesus] has a mandate for us to be servant leaders…. People ask me if I’m interested in evangelism. I’m not. I think the next big evangelism movement will be driven by behaving differently.”
Since Rebecca Barnes, editor of ChurchCentral.com, had quoted Blanchard in the above report, “Serving to lead like Jesus, she was asked by Bud Press to verify what she wrote. Ponder Ken’s response to her question:
“I spoke with Ken Blanchard… and he said he is not interested in evangelism. He quoted Ghandi, who said if everybody in the world would act like Jesus everybody in the world would want to be a Christian.”
How then can Mr. Blanchard guide Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan goal #1: Plant churches? Without evangelism, might those “churches” be filled with unregenerated members? Would the people even know God’s revealed truths about Jesus? What kind of spirits might they “experience” if they have never heard the true gospel (including its “divisive” message of sin, judgment, redemption and victory through the cross)?
This radical departure from Jesus’ Great Commission may not surprise those who know that Mr. Blanchard serves on the Advisory Board of The Hoffman Institute (last checked on 8-26-05).Other members of the Advisory Board include –
“Joan Borysenko… Former Director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard University… [and] the author of… Fire in the Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual Optimism.”
“Margot Anand Larkspur… Founder of Sky Dancing Tantra International, and author of several internationally best selling books, including The Art of Sexual Ecstasy, The Art of Sexual Magic…. She has also had extensive training in Gestalt therapy….”
“Rev. Hal Milton… a Unity Minister… trained extensively in body therapies, movement education and Rolfing….”
“Claudio Naranjo… one of the early staff members at Esalen Institute… is a leading international authority on the enneagram and has authored numerous important books on consciousness including his recent The End of Patriarchy.”
This Quadrinity Process was conceived by “an American psychic” named Bob Hoffman. “Renowned for his intuitive capacities, Hoffman was dedicated to awakening people to the awesome power of love that dwells within each of us. He believed that unconditional love was the birthright of every human being. He wrote that The SPIRITUAL SELF is the pure non-programmed, non-mediated aspect of self that is… resonating in harmony with the Universe.”
That sounds decidedly New Age rather than Christian! Yet Mr. Blanchard himself claims to have benefited from this process. In a promotional endorsement at hoffmaninstitute.org, Blanchard gushes, “The Hoffman Process brings forth spiritual leadership in a person. It made my spirituality come alive.”
An interview with Raz Ingrasci, President of the Hoffman Institute, sheds more light on his faith in this New Age force:
Ken Blanchard (KB): “People are looking for some higher power to help them…..
RI: There is also the sense that when one acts in alignment with a higher power, the action is more likely to lead to both success and satisfaction….
RI: So, people bring spiritual values into their businesses first by bringing spirituality into their everyday lives…. How does the Hoffman Process help with this?
KB: “The Hoffman Process actually brings forth spiritual leadership in a person. Since taking the Process, my title at our company has become Chief Spiritual Officer. Now, I’m working on creating a Center for Chief Spiritual Officers. …
RI: “In the Process, people shed their false selves to reveal a true and loving, noble servant within, which we call your Spiritual Self….
KB: “Yes…. The essence is to let this spirit into your heart so you become a different person from the inside out…. It gave me a way to have my spirituality be at the center of my life.
RI: “What importance do you find that tithing, service, or charitable giving can have in a person’s business life?
KB: “I think it is all important, it is about energy. If all you do is take energy, you’re an energy drainer. Tithing, giving back, being thankful, sends energy out and you get more energy back. John Templeton tells people that the best money practice in the world is to give 10% of what they earn away.“
I can’t help but wonder what “spirit” Mr. Blanchard has “let into [his] heart.” Is he totally blind to the unbiblical nature of the “spirituality… at the center” of his life? The Quadrinity Process isincompatible with Biblical truth! In fact, Jesus died on the cross to free us from the dark forces that drive the Hoffman Process. The two are as contrary as night and day!
Yet the celebrated leadership trainer for Warren’s PEACE Plan seems to believe that the two fit together. This strange paradox reminds me of a wise statement in A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen:
“Satan is not simply trying to draw people to the dark side of a good versus evil conflict. Actually, he is trying to eradicate the gap between himself and God, between good and evil, altogether.”
On the other hand, the Bible tells us, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
Yet, the fellowship and connections between Blanchard and New Age spirituality is twined together like a web. One of the National Board Members of Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus is Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. In an Interview with The Hoffman Institute, he like Ken Blanchard, exuded enthusiasm for the Hoffman Quadrinity Process:
Hoffman Institute: Your books have sold over 60,000,000 copies and you are one of the most popular speakers in America. From your perspective, what’s going on in our culture?
Mark: “We’ve got the most prosperous culture in human history and we’ve also got the biggest spiritual hole in human history…. To fill that hole you need something like the Hoffman Process, where you clean up your act and go deep inside to find out that your core essence really is important, that you do matter, and you can make a difference…. One of the places I’m encouraging absolutely everyone to go is The Hoffman Process….”
“…we were number one in the New York Times with Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan Soul. All of us have infinite potential but most of us are self-sabotaging. You need theHoffman Process to get out of a lot of your self-sabotaging behaviour.”
“I think the great livers, the people who are fully self-actualizing and alive, are the great givers. I can pick hundreds of role models, but I’ll pick three – Nelson Mandela has just given to a whole country. Mahatma Gandhi (and Mahatma of course means Great Spirit) was riddled through to the end with lots of pain, and he strove to unify and free a subcontinent….”
“As our mutual friend Dr Ken Blanchard… said ‘Feedback is the breakfast of champions.’ Everyone needs feedback and most of us don’t like it…. You have to replenish yourself individually, and we have to do it collectively, and then we have to replenish the planet.”
Hoffman Institute: “So tell me, Mark, is the Hoffman Quadrinity Process Chicken Soup for the Soul?”
Mark: “The Hoffman Quadrinity Process is a Banquet for the Soul!”
Lead Like Jesus’ list of Board Members also includes Rick Warren, Bob Buford, John Maxwell, Steve Douglass [President of Campus Crusade for Christ], Bill Hybels [Willow Creek], andLaurie Beth Jones, author of Jesus in Blue Jeans and Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership. In the latter book, she wrote:
“For me to refer to God as ‘She’ would unfortunately put this work beyond the boundaries of acceptance and understanding for too many people. We must search for an all-inclusive terminology.” (p. 305).
“Jesus regularly visualized the success of his efforts … Jesus was full of self-knowledge and self-love. His ‘I am’ statements were what he became.” (p. 7, 8)
In his endorsement of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by New Ager Deepak Chopra, Blanchard wrote, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success make wonderful guiding principles for anyone attempting to create a productive and satisfying life or human organization.” Do they? For a Christian?
“Something big is happening,” wrote Dr. Thomas Hohstadt, who also calls himself a devoted Christian. “…the way we think is changing. And — as a result — the way we believe is changing. That belief, of course, is not a different ‘Word,’ it’s a different understanding of the Word. For spirituality is converting to new sympathies. Faith is transmuting to new sensitivities. And this Spirit-birthed age is birthing new spirit!”
Dr. Hohstadt is right about the transformation — but tragically deceived about God and His Word. Yet, since his summary gives us a glimpse of today’s “new thinking” and global reformation, ponder his next points:
“Even church leaders are ‘thinking’ differently. What was once a ‘subculture’ is now mainstream. What was once embarrassing is now respectable…. We are co-authors more than bystanders. Our world is more a ‘Creating’ than a ‘Creation.’… The quantum world promises we can make the Holy Spirit offers He can’t refuse.’… When our decisions and God’s will mutually move each other, the role of divine action takes on totally new meaning…. Today, our imagination is being baptized, and our windows on God’s miraculous presence are reopening.”
Everything seems to be turning upside-down! Is that what this global “transformation” is all about? Leaders can claim to be a Christians and speak the Bible’s assuring affirmations — even as they dismiss the reality of absolute truth in order to follow the latest blend of feel-good spirituality, self-exalting psychology, New Age affirmations, and pragmatic psychological strategies.
Thank God for His wonderful Word! It brings us back to reality! It also reminds us that Satan is more than willing to repeat his tempting tactics age after age, for human nature doesn’t change. But in the midst of the spiritual battles, our Lord has armed us with His truth and Spirit so that we may discern deception and walk in His triumph!
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness….
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21
“…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things…” 2 Timothy 4:2-5
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ!” 2 Corinthians 2:14
Note: At the UN interfaith prayer breakfast on September 13, Rick Warren concluded with what seems to be his standard salvation prayer. He had already told the presidents, ambassadors and other distinguished attendees that God loved each one and had a purpose for them. But his message excluded the gospel. He explained neither the obstacle of sin nor the victory of the cross — the ultimate expression of our Savior’s love. Then he prayed:
“Father… there are some here today who have been living the good life, not realizing that there is even a far better life — a life of purpose…. Forgive us for shallow living thinking only about temporary things that are on this side of eternity. I pray that today many will step across the line to a better life a life of purpose and power and peace….
“You might want to pray to God just in your own words. It doesn’t matter what you say…. He knows your thoughts…. I’ll say something and if it represent the prayer of your heart, you just say in your mind, ‘Me, too, God.
“Dear God. Thank you for making me, for creating me, and for loving me. I want to fulfill the purposes that you made me for. Starting today I want get to know you and love you and trust you. And I want my life to bring you pleasure. Thank you for sending Jesus Christ. Help me to understand it more. As much as I know how I want to open up my life to your love and your purpose. In your name I pray. Amen.” [See Widening the Gate to the Kingdom]
1. http://www.saddlebackfamily.com/peace/Services/110203_high.asx. (Last accessed in July 2005. )
2. Lynn and Sarah Leslie, “What Is Transformation?” at www.crossroad.to\articles2\05\sarah-leslie\transformation.htm
14. Rebecca Barnes, “Ken Blanchard: Serving to lead like Jesus,” 5-20-04 at http://www.churchcentral.com/nw/s/id/19303/printable/yes/template/Article.html
15. Rebecca Barnes, “No evangelism?” at http://www.churchcentral.com/dcforum/DCForumID7/68.html
20. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails Publishing Company, 2002), page 101.
22. Hoffman Institute’s Interview with Mark Victor Hansen
23. Dr. Thomas Hohstadt, “Something Big Is Happening” (2005) at http://www.futurechurch.net/archives_view.asp?articleid=51#N_1_
Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan & UN Goals – Part 1
The Emerging Global ‘Church’
by Berit Kjos, August 2005
“The first Reformation was about belief; this one’s going to be about behavior…. The first one was about creeds; this one’s going to be about our deeds.” Rick Warren
“Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together. The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity…. We have to redefine the words… [and write a new] social contract.”  Federico Mayor, former head of UNESCO.
“A sea change of transitions and transformations is birthing a whole new world,” wrote Dr. Leonard Sweet, whose books are often quoted in Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox. “God is birthing the greatest spiritual awakening in the history of the church…. Are you going to show up.”
If you love truth, you may want to say no! For in his book Soul Tsunami, Dr. Sweet, a popular leader of the Emerging Church, tells us to flow with the currents of change and leave God’s unchanging gospel behind. “Postmodern culture is a change-or-be changed world,” he continues. “Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die. Some would rather die than change.”
Would Rick Warren agree? Probably, since he wrote this glowing endorsement for the front cover of Sweet’s book: “Soul Tsunami shows us why these are the greatest days for evangelism since the first century!”
What kind of evangelism does Warren envision? Would it be based on God’s Word or on “good” works? Apparently, the latter. In a world that has traded Biblical absolutes for changing values and feel-good experiences, God’s “divisive” truths face a rising tide of hostility. But few will argue against helping the poor and sick. Perhaps that’s why Pastor Warren keeps repeating this statement: “The first Reformation was about belief; this one’s going to be about behavior.”
The new focus is on unity — a worldwide oneness reflected in the growing union between the East and West. Leonard Sweet’s online book, Quantum Spirituality, sheds some revealing light of the envisioned global “church” for the 21st century. In his view, the offense of the cross has been replaced with a passion for interfaith peace and possibility thinking. To illustrate this point, Dr. Sweet quotes Thomas Merton, the popular Catholic author who popularized mysticism and died in Asia searching the depths of Tibetan Buddhism: ‘We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity.'”
Seeking that illusive solidarity, today’s success-driven church leaders are rushing into the postmodern age of flexible “truth” and relational pleasures. Unbounded by any solid anchor in God’s unchanging Word, they dash forward — hand in hand with the world — toward an imagined future attainable through practices long hidden in secret societies and Eastern religions. These include meditative rituals, dialectical synthesis and systems thinking. Add service learning to the last two and you have the transformational strategies first tested by Communist tyrants, then incorporated into the UN – U.S. education system, which intentionally undermined factual, rational learning and established the postmodern ways of thinking.
We need to understand this amazing worldwide revolution — and the subtle compromises caused by today’s pragmatic “Christian” alliances. Therefore, the next two articles in this series will look more closely at the social manipulation behind “community service” and “lifelong learning” — two programs driven by global standards, continual assessments and remediation. Meanwhile, you can find helpful background information on the following pages:
But first, let’s examine Rick Warren’s celebrated P.E.A.C.E. Plan and its links to the United Nations.
Like most other UN documents, its Millennium Goals sound kind and compassionate. They are designed to appeal to noble instincts and caring hearts — and they do! That’s why nations, corporations, organizations and churches have joined the global campaign. Who would disagree with these eight lofty goals?
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
4. Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
8. Develop a global partnership for development.
Of course, there’s more to this list than nice-sounding words. The motivational vision of a worldwide welfare system may have captured hearts around the world, but it actually serves the grandiose aims of socialist change agents who have little concern for human suffering. (Just look how government leaders are treating the victims of hurricane Katrina!) Yet, no other program has more effectively linked the evangelical church to the UN management system, which, from its birth, declared war on Biblical truth and values. And no other program has more effectively drawn Christians into a process designed to manipulate the masses, undermine traditional values, silence resisters, synthesize beliefs, trade individual thinking for collective thinking, and train global citizens to serve the “greater whole.”
An interview titled, “Pastor [Warren] lays out a global vision,” summarizes parts of that plan:
Q: Your book is a mega-seller and there are 82,000 names on Saddleback’s church rolls. What’s next?
Warren: “In the 21st century we are going global and mobilizing the American church to help internationally. … President Kagame will welcome us to Rwanda for a joint project among the government, business and the church….
Q: How will Saddleback tackle these huge problems?
Warren: With our PEACE plan…. P is for plant a church or partner with an existing one in every village. We’ll work with everyone who wants to help. I’ll work with an atheist who wants to stop AIDS. E – equip local leaders. A – assist the poor. C – care for the sick. And E – educate the next generation. …
Q: What is your greatest hope for all this?
Warren: A second Reformation. The first one was about belief. This one will be about deeds.”
Compare this celebrated P.E.A.C.E. Plan with the United Nation’s Millennial Goals. Keep in mind that both purpose-driven churches and their strategic leadership programs require training inmind-changing processes and assessment technologies that support the UN vision for human resource development around the world.
Warren’s PEACE Plan
Millennium Development Goals:
|1. Was: Plant churches Changed to: Promote Reconciliation||#8. Develop a global partnership for development. (The leadership training for purpose-driven churches parallels thedialectic process, Systems Thinking and team development prescribed by various UN agencies involved in human resource development.)|
|2. Equip servant leaders||#8. Develop a global partnership for development. Actually “Lifelong Learning” has been the major UNESCO education goal since the UN agency was founded.|
|3. Assist the poor||#1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger|
|4. Care for the sick||#4. Reduce child mortality|
|#5. Improve maternal health|
|#6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases|
|5. Educate the next generation||#2. Achieve universal primary education|
|The implied aims of UN Millennium Goals #3 and #7 are certain to be included in each of Warren’s five programs – especially in P, E, A and E.||#3. Promote gender equality and empower women|
|#7. Ensure environmental sustainability|
Now, let’s look more closely at each P.E.A.C.E. Plan objective:
1. Plant churches. The first point sounds good. But what will those church plants look like? Will they be clones of Saddleback Church in California — or of thousands of other churches that follow the purpose-driven model?
Not exactly. Today’s change agents will carefully adapt their transformational strategies to each new cultural setting. But at the heart of this global revolution we see the same key elements:Total Quality Management, psycho-social leadership training, promotion of a positive (compromised) gospel and a permissive (feel-good, non-judging) God, continual high-tech assessments and remediation, and the dialectic process operating through facilitated small groups.
The mission field is the entire world. As Pastor Warren says,
“‘Billions of people suffer each day from problems so big no government can solve them…. ‘The only thing big enough to solve the problems of spiritual emptiness, selfish leadership, poverty, disease, and ignorance is the network of millions of churches all around the world….
‘The Scripture shows us that Jesus shared the Good News, trained leaders, helped the poor, cared for the sick, and taught the children… ‘Our P.E.A.C.E. Plan will just do the five things Jesus did while he was here on earth.'”
But Pastor Warren’s comparison with Jesus couldn’t be more misleading. Jesus never used the psycho-social strategies or the manipulative management systems that drive today’s social and spiritual transformation!
Warren’s initial thrust is into Africa, where the P.E.A.C.E. Plan will fit well. It already has a foothold in Rwanda, where the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi minority shocked the world. But according to Time Magazine, its president Paul Kagame had not been friendly to Biblical Christianity:
“Kagame has repeatedly stated his disdain for religious organizations. Thus a buzz went up in Kigali’s Amahoro Stadium last month when Kagame allowed Rick Warren… to throw an arm over his shoulders and ‘pray for the President.’… Kagame has committed his government to cooperation in a five-to-seven-year self-sufficiency project staffed by Rwandan volunteers but initiated, advised and at least partly funded by Warren’s network of ‘purpose-driven churches.’ Warren talks of turning Rwanda into ‘the first purpose-driven nation.'”
Do you wonder why a somewhat anti-Christian African president would enter into such an agreement? Kagame answered that question when he spoke at Saddleback Church in April:
“…they also told us about the vision of the PEACE plan…. It is a vision with a big goal, which is to confront the world’s major problems; but it is practical and simple in strategy because it is built on using average people rather than just the elite. Rick and I agree that each partner – the church, the government and businesses have a role to play and we are better together and more effective when we cooperate.”
“More effective” in what way? In planting Biblical churches — or in “Capacity Building” and “developing” people who think collectively and fit the UN vision? Will cooperation with “government and businesses” actually help establish Christ-centered churches with faithful “born again” Christians who — by God’s grace — love and follow His Word? Or will it spread compromise and deception? Will it please God or man?
Will it fulfill what Warren presents as God’s five main purposes for the Church? Or might those purposes all be redefined under the banner of church growth, church health, and success-driven service through church/world alliances? Partnerships face problems when one partner controls the money or political power. The controlling member will be in a position to set the rules and define the terms, forcing the other member(s) to submit or leave.
Actually, Rick Warren’s five purposes have already been compromised. “Warren presents some basic teaching regarding Gods purpose to glorify Himself and what man should do in relation to God,” wrote Richard Bennett in an article titled “The Purpose Driven Life: Demeaning the Very Nature of God.” “The fact that none of these purposes is presented in a biblically accurate way makes Warren’s work all the more dangerous to the true understanding of Who God is and His Gospel in Christ.”
Worship: Postmodern worship forms are designed to stir happy feelings and human excitement, not worship inspired by the Holy Spirit. They point to a positive and permissive God who — like our human team members — will cheer our self-centered nature and excuse our unholy ways. Such celebrations clash with genuine expressions of a Spirit-filled heart that freely praises our wonderful holy God without emotion-raising, man-centered programs. (See Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven)
Fellowship: Purpose-driven “fellowship” tends to follow today’s dialectical guidelines. These push group members toward unbiblical tolerance, feeling-based rather than fact-based “sharing,” and silence with regard to Biblical absolutes. In contrast, Biblical fellowship happens when we come together with common delight in His Word, His will and His ways — loving and encouraging each other with His Word and by His Spirit.
Discipleship: The new church management systems call for training in submission and loyalty to “the group” and the new social ethics — not to God and His Word. It requires participation in collective thinking and “service learning” and fun team building activities. It shuns God’s narrow ways and divisive truths, and twists God’s call for Biblical oneness into an invitation to join the world on its highway to corruption.
Ministry: The shape and structure of purpose-driven ministries are increasingly defined by new management gurus, personality assessments, community surveys, and group appeal, not by Biblical teaching nor God’s actual purposes. But the Bible shows us that our main focus should be on building up believers by preaching and teaching His Word, and by exhorting and serving one another. We are called to live and work together by His Spirit — not by group thinking and politically correct tolerance. In the true Church, all the members know and follow Jesus Christ, the King of all! He is not a reinvented god acceptable to the world, but the holy, almighty God who revealed Himself through the Scriptures.
Evangelism: Today’s soft, non-offensive gospel focuses on God’s supposed passionate love for people who are naturally lovable, not on His loving mercy for depraved sinners. (See Ephesians 2:1-4) When “Christian” change agents train the masses to “think outside the box” of God’s unchanging Word, they are spreading a false gospel and blinding people to the only truth that can set us free.
The assumption that “the ends justify the means” has already blinded a critical mass of “Christian” leaders. Many don’t realize that the promised “end” is merely an illusion. Trained to accept a compromised gospel, they spread it to a world that wants to share in God’s blessings without conviction of sin or genuine repentance. The non-Christian masses are more than willing to join, for A gospel purged of its offensive parts the world. the movement without Biblical conversion.
This radical reformation becomes all the more concerning when church leaders like Rick Warren link hands with Bono, Ellen DeGeneres, and other UN supporters in their evangelistic crusade and war on poverty. Since these noble aims fit right into the United Nations’ efforts to “develop” nations, train human resources, build social capital, and establish its global management system, we cannot ignore its basic philosophy.
What’s more, today’s soft, social “gospel” conforms easily to UNESCO’s guidelines for religion in the new world order. Remember Pastor Warren’s words, “The first [Reformation] was about beliefs. This one will be about deeds.”
It all makes sense. The true gospel offends people. It reminds us that we are fallen creatures in bondage to sin apart from God. That’s why God’s Word warns us that “we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.”(2 Corinthians 2:14) It reminds us not to expect popularity in the world when we are true to His Word! Instead we are called to follow His narrow, difficult road, no matter what the cost:
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you… because they do not know Him who sent Me.” John 15:18-21
In contrast, humanitarian deeds will win the world’s applause. So will a whitewashed gospel, cleansed of offensive truth, and focused on man’s worth rather than God’s righteousness. This new gospel fits the vision of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as summarized in its Declaration on the Role of Religion in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace. Notice that it uses the evils committed by false or “cultural Christianity” to justify its criticisms of genuine Christianity and to press all religions into accepting its guidelines for global service in its new world order:
1. …We are all interdependent and share an inescapable responsibility for the well-being of the entire world.
2. We face a crisis which could bring about the suicide of the human species or bring us a new awakening and a new hope. We know that religion… has an indispensable role to play….
6. Religions have… led to division, hatred, and war. Religious people have too often betrayed the high ideals they themselves have preached.
8. Peace entails that we understand that we are all interdependent…. collectively responsible for the common good.
11. We must… cultivate a spirituality which manifests itself in action…
13. We commit ourselves to … assure a truly humane education for all. We emphasize education for peace, freedom, and human rights, and religious education to promote openness and tolerance.
19. Our communities of faith have a responsibility to encourage conduct imbued with wisdom, compassion, sharing, charity, solidarity, and love; inspiring one and all to choose the path of freedom and responsibility. Religions must be a source of helpful energy.
20. … We should distinguish fanaticism from religious zeal.
21. We will favor peace by countering the tendencies of individuals and communities to assume or even to teach that they are inherently superior to others …
22. We will promote dialogue and harmony between and within religions … respecting the search for truth and wisdom that is outside….
23. …We call upon the different religious and cultural traditions to join hands… and to cooperate with us.”
Whether consciously or simply out of success-oriented pragmatism, the purpose-driven church movement has answered the call. With management guru Peter Drucker as his mentor, Rick Warren’s quest for reformation and transformation serves the UN vision very well. In fact, the two seem to march to the same drumbeat. Like Warren’s vision of transformation, UNESCO Culture of Peace Programme calls for total transformation to its global system of assessments and control –“a process of individual, collective and institutional transformation.”
Those who have studied UN literature realize that its envisioned “Culture of Peace” would happily embrace a compromised form of Christianity that would serve the world system. But Biblical Christianity, so despised by the world, would be banned — just as Jesus warned His disciples:
“…they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:9-13) See Signs of the times
A small group of faithful missionaries, working quietly among the African poor, might by God’s grace, be able to share the whole gospel beyond the watchful eyes of the new global managers. But the publicity-hungry PD movement with its popular agenda will be carefully scrutinized for compliance with the UN ideals. To succeed within this global framework of control, it must conform, comply and ultimately serve the global agenda. And its fury may well be focused on those uncompromising missionaries and faithful Christians who would rather suffer persecution at the hands of intolerant “peace-makers” than betray their beloved Lord.
Two Scriptures would be worth remembering in the challenging times ahead:
“…the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.” John 16:2-3
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.“ Acts 20:24
1. Rick Warren hits home run with announcement of global peace plan at www.assistnews.net/Stories/s05040087.htm. Find a similar statement at “Rick Warren: Global Baptists — ‘We’re all in this together,’ at www.bwanet.org/Congress/congresstoday29f.htm. “The first Reformation was about beliefs. This one needs to be about behavior.… We’ve had a Reformation; what we need now is a transformation.”  Rick Warren
5. Ken Camp, “Second Reformation’ will unify church, Warren tells Dallas GDOP,” Pastors.com, 2005, at www.pastors.com/article.asp?ArtID=8280
6. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, entire book available online at Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic
7. See “The International Agenda at http://www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/2-International.htm#1-wcefa and Small Groups and the Dialectic Process athttp://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/3-purpose.htm. See also http://www.undp.org/eo/ADR
8. “Millennium Goal: Conforming the world to Socialist Solidarity” at www.crossroad.to\articles2\TwoSummits.htm
<size=3>10. “Serving the ‘greater whole‘” at www.crossroad.to\Books\BraveNewSchools\6-Service.html and “Social Change and Communitarian Systems” at www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/6-purpose-communitarian.htm and “Molding Human Resources for the Global Workforce at www.crossroad.to/text/articles/HumanResources.html
11. “Pastor [Warren] lays out a global vision,” [registration required]:
14. David Van Biema, “Warren of Rwanda,” Time magazine, August 22, 2005 at http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1093746,00.html
Re-Inventing the Church – Part 2
by Berit Kjos – 2002
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16
A “change agent… should know about the process of change, how it takes place and the attitudes, values and behaviors that usually act as barriers…. He should know who in his system are the ‘defenders’ or resisters of innovations.” Ronald Havelock, A Change Agent’s Guide to Innovation in Education.
“There is no privacy in the church. We are called together to work out our salvation with fear and trembling…. Leaders are change agents.”  Jim Van Yperen, The Shepherd Leader.
“Think in wholes, not in parts…. God views sin as a community responsibility. When one person in the community sins, the whole community bears the guilt.” Jim Van Yperen, Leaders on Leadership.
Bill Liniewicz and his family can no longer share in the fellowship at Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church (CLCBC) in Illinois. Like other members who questioned the new church management, he has been banned from the communion table. By declining a series of “counseling” sessions and by failing to attend a “Solemn Assembly” — a special congregational meeting for the purpose of public confession, brokenness, reconciliation and healing — he supposedly proved his “unwillingness to submit” to his spiritual authorities. There’s only one way that “insubordinate” people like Bill would be welcomed back into fellowship: they must follow the steps to “reconciliation” determined by the new interim pastor.
For Bill, reconciliation would mean compromise, for he could neither trust the new leadership nor agree with the proposed program. And disagreement was, apparently, unacceptable to the new leadership. As Jim Van Yperen, the “intentional interim pastor” would soon teach, “There’s not a lot of things you have permission to disagree about.”
What, then, was Bill’s initial sin? During one of many “adult group forums” held to introduce and discuss the new church agenda, he had shared his lack of peace, called for spiritual discernment and asked some challenging questions about the psychological strategies that might be used to produce change. He had reasons to be concerned.
It all began with some unresolved issues in the church. The last senior pastor had left and CLCBC continued to struggle with disunity. The old-timers still saw Bible teaching as the main focus, while others preferred the feel-good relational “church growth” approach to “doing church.” When the assistant pastor suggested outside consultation, the board agreed. It soon met with Metanoia Ministries, headed by Van Yperen. His team assessed the congregation, presented a diagnosis and proposed a solution.
You met Jim Van Yperen in Re-Inventing the Church, Part 1. He wrote a chapter titled “Conflict: The Refining Fire of Leadership” for George Barna’s book, Leaders on Leadership, and is a respected “change agent” for churches. “A leader of leaders,” George Barna tells us in his book by that title. He is “a marketing strategist and communications consultant,” who “has worked with a wide variety of churches, parachurch ministries and non profit organizations in the areas of vision development, strategic planning, communications, resource development and conflict resolution.”
As expected, the results of Van Yperen’s surveys, interviews and assessments showed serious conflicts — or more specifically: “systemic, structural problems.” The conclusions were presented to the church body, which hired Van Yperen as “intentional interim pastor.”
“I invite you into a process where, in this church, we will practice salvation,” Van Yperen told the congregation in his Sunday morning sermon on March 10, 2002. “We will grow up together to the glory of Jesus Christ.”
What does that mean? We tend to hear Biblical words through the mental filter of the traditional church, but the new postmodern context changes the old meanings. So when the “intentional interim pastor” promises to “lead a spiritual/discovery/change process that seeks to understand and to embody what it means to be the church,” some might wonder what to expect. But, as Bill discovered, not all questions are welcome.
Van Yperen’s workbook, Making Peace, presented some goals of the ministry — and introduced some phrases central to the new church management system. Keep in mind, whoever defines, discovers, dialogues and decides the terms will help steer the change:
“Define what God’s Word says about conflict and community,
“Discover how these principles apply to your church community,
“Describe what it would look like to practice redemptive community,
“Discuss what would have to change in your church to be redemptive,
“Decide how God would have you change your mind,
“Do it! Start making and practicing peace.”
So, how does Van Yperen make and practice peace?
One of his sources of inspiration is M. Scott Peck who wrote The Road Less Traveled and The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace. The latter book gave Van Yperen his model for “four levels of community,” which supposedly illustrate and guide the journey from “fake community” to “real community” — the place of true peace. Chaos and conflict are essential to this upward journey.
“Peck would say, ‘The only way to deal authentically with chaos is to live in it for a while,” explained Van Yperen during his weekly leadership training session (5-13-02) “Which means brokenness, not trying to get rid of this [the chaos] too soon.”
To understand Peck’s vision of the world, consider his introduction to The Different Drum:
“…the human race today stands at the brink of self-annihilation. …. Because so few have a vision of community and so many know that peacemaking must be the first priority of civilization, initially I thought this book should be titled ‘Peacemaking and Community.’ But that would put the cart before the horse….
“I am dubious, however, as to how far we can move toward global community– which is the only way to achieve international peace — until we learn the basic principles of community in our own individual lives and personal spheres of influence.” [more]
Does Van Yperen share Mr. Peck’s vision of global peace and solidarity? Probably not. Unlike Peck’s writings, his sermons proclaim the Lordship of Christ. His teachings on the cross and resurrection show a true understanding of Biblical salvation. And his ultimate hope seems to rest in an eternity with Christ, not an earthly paradise of man-made peace.
Yet, his continual emphasis of “community” and “change” seem to follow the tracks made by Peck and other modern visionaries. And the “change process” he uses to resolve conflict and transform churches resembles the Hegelian dialectic process which is central to the fast-growing networks of global systems. Used in the Soviet Union to mold compliant citizens, this process has been perfected by behavioral psychologists and embraced by schools, corporations, governments and other organizations intent on “developing” people for the envisioned global community. These world citizens would think and act collectively, not individually.
This manipulative program doesn’t belong in the church. Yet, many Bible studies and other small groups in churches, schools and homes across the country have adopted its rules for dialogue and its dubious approach to “common ground.” It produces an illusion of unity, but the unity is based on submission to the group consensus rather than submission to God.
Van Yperen is a gifted teacher and leader. His articulate sermons bring Biblical encouragement. Most of his teaching on love, obedience, fellowship and submission sounds Biblically sound. But some of it turns sharply off its Biblical course and merges with the postmodern emphasis on group thinking and social solidarity. And his insistence of unqualified submission  to the “spiritual authority” of “shepherd-leaders,” who interpret and adapt “negotiable” Scriptures for group “discussion,” should raise deep concerns.
For example, in his sermon on March 3, he told the congregation that, “Ninety-five percent or more of Scripture was written for and to be heard by a people, not individuals. It was not given for your personal edification and devotion. That is not the primary purpose of Scripture.”
The following Sunday, March 10, he said:
“[W]e live by the Spirit… we sow to the Spirit — all of which are commands for a people, not an individual. As we collectively…. walk in the Spirit and grow with Him, we will, in the interactions of our lives, grow salvation….
“God…. wants you to grow by receiving His Word in the fellowship of believers and in the interpretation of that. And in the coming together in the discussion of it. In the coming together and saying, ‘God speak to us,’ we grow.”
Some might argue that American churches have over-emphasized the individual at the cost of church fellowship and oneness. True or not, it’s still wrong to swing the pendulum into the opposite realm — that of mandatory agreement and unity. Throughout history, God has spoken to individuals as well as nations and churches through His Word. Forbidding dissent destroys accountability. And discouraging individual Bible study in order to produce community oneness would only undermine the genuine unity which grows out of each believer’s personal walk with Christ. God calls each of us to come to Him in a solitary place [see Matt. 6:6], find comfort in His Word, be filled with His life and bring His love to one another.
Even so, Christians are tempted to let a new group consensus — facilitated by leaders trained to “manage change” — interpret Scriptures and redefine its values. According to Van Yperen, “Learning comes through dialogue rather than presentation,” and this pattern for transformation is fast changing churches around the world.
“It’s an organic movement of God,” he told the congregation in his leadership class on April 22. And it demands a shift in emphasis –
- “from knowing to interpreting”
- “from methods to discovery”
- “from individualism to community”
- “from knowledge to character”
- “from telling to inviting”
- “from salvation out of hell to an invitation into a way of life.”
Please consider each of these points in the light of God’s timeless and unchanging Scriptures. The Berean believers modeled the kind of Biblical scrutiny needed in our times. “…they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:10-11) They didn’t just listen to Paul’s teaching; they also checked to make sure it lined up with Scriptures. Should we do any less?
1. From knowing to interpreting. In a weekly teaching session with church leaders, Van Yperen explained his view of Biblical truth:
“We’re not going to negotiate whether Jesus is the Christ. We know that…. But there are relatively few non-negotiables. After those top five or six or seven or ten, whichever way you count them, there’s a lot of the Word out there that we have to interpret through faith and listening….”
Few “non-negotiables”? While God — by His sovereign will — has left many questions unanswered, it’s not up to us to clarify mysteries He hasn’t revealed yet. We don’t “have to interpret” or “negotiate” those uncertainties for Him. When we try to describe what He hasn’t shown us or explain what He hasn’t fully revealed, we risk adding to a growing body of divisive speculations and deceptive myths.
Whether we understand a passage or not, it “is written” with the Spirit and authority of God. Therefore it is absolute and unchanging. Yet, Van Yperen continues with this strange statement:
“There is nothing we know absolutely because we are not absolute. So I think it’s presumptuous when any of us say, ‘I know something you must follow because I know it.’ Even when we do know and we’re right, it is a little bit presumptuous — perhaps spiritually arrogant — to claim such a thing. Rather, I do think you can say ‘I believe this. … Will you come with me to prove it?'”
Does that sound familiar? Those who understand the dialectic (consensus) process know that its ground rules ban both absolute truth and statements such as “I know.” Factual knowledge or absolute certainty would hinder the required compromise and could offend the group. On the other hand, words such as “I think” or “I feel” imply a more flexible attitude — a willingness to conform and bend one’s beliefs in order to reach the preplanned “common ground.” In a context that “negotiates” God’s truth and adapts Scriptures to the need, even the words “I believe” become non-threatening. Stripped of the certainty that upsets skeptics, they no longer offend the group.
This process demands a willingness to put more faith in the group and its evolving consensus than in the unchanging nature of God’s Word. Stephen Shields, part-time pastor and technology manager for USA Today, summarized this evolving trend in his article, “Christian discipleship in Postmodernity: Toward a praxis of spiritual friendship.” He wrote, “One of the strands of postmodern reflection worth considering in this connection is the importance of community and relationships in establishing truth. … There are few things more powerful than when Christian has faith in Christian.”
But God warns us not to put our faith in people. Well aware of our compromising nature, Jesus modeled that caution. He “did not commit [or entrust] Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25
While he walked on this earth, Jesus took His Father at His Word. He memorized Scriptures, quoted what “is written” and spoke what His Father told Him. Few understood His teaching at the time, but He knew that the Holy Spirit would soon make His words alive in individual hearts. Today’s popular paths to collective “understanding” — such as Hegel’s group consensus, simplistic interpretations or feel-good cultural adaptations — would have been unthinkable.
Jesus told His followers, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32.
2. From methods to discovery. Van Yperen’s shift from old ways to new ways may sound wise and helpful. But, like other change agents, he seems to be trading the old ways of teaching, preaching, fellowship and service for Total Quality Management, the worldwide formula for managing and conforming people to the global vision of solidarity. Adding Biblical words and phrases to validate the planned change, he persuades the church to implement the world’s latest pathways to group “discovery.”
“Leaders are visionaries who see the big picture, envision great goals and inspire bold work,” writes Van Yperen in The Shepherd Leader. “Gifted leaders are spiritual entrepreneurs. They are risk-takers and motivators. A compelling vision needs a gifted leader….”
Van Yperen’s expertise in “conflict resolution” fits right in. The perceived conflict helps the congregation accept the need for change, embrace the “compelling vision” and conform to the new way of thinking.
The two — conflict and vision — are essential to “managed change.” A felt or perceived conflict — along with a strategic vision of a great future — is needed in order to make the new resolution palatable to Christian groups. As Mary Poppins sang, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.” The collective “discovery” of a better world or church will hardly motivate people to accept radical change unless they also sense a current crisis.
Like Georg Hegel’s dialectic process, today’s more sophisticated forms of brainwashing are designed to expose continual conflict and produce nonstop tension. Both conflict and tension are essential. They fuel an ongoing demand for continual resolution. In other words, the contrived tension drives and sustains the process of change.
The initial conflict becomes a convenient catalyst to start this process, but it must not be resolved too quickly. After all, it takes time to reach the ultimate goal: a personal and communal transformation in the way people think, perceive reality, communicate their feelings and relate to one another. [See “Paradigm Shift: Total transformation“]
As Van Yperen wrote in Leaders on Leadership, “When a leader arrives too early at ‘the answer,’ it is usually by focusing on parts of the problem or individual events instead of the deeper issues underlying the conflict.”
In the context of the above chapter, the “deeper issues” refer to a blend of theological, structural and relational problems. But whatever the conflict, it provides an opportunity to turn once again to the consensus process for a resolution. “What matters is that the root issue is revealed so that it can be explored in dialogue,” explained Van Yperen.
Of course. Ongoing conflict and dialogue. Both are essential to the process. It takes time to lead people to the new “discoveries,” examine “root issues” and — through group dialogue — rethink their “core values and beliefs.” Minds must be “unfrozen” — flung open to the new ways of thinking, relating and interpreting the Scriptures. Then, when the new mental habits have been established, the leaders must “re-freeze” their changed minds. There can be no turning back!
In his manual on leadership, Van Yperen explains this constructive conflict with an illustration from the writings of Dr. Peter Senge, founder and Chairman of MIT’s Society for Organizational Learning, a “global community of corporations, researchers, and consultants.”
“Peter Senge,” says Van Yperen, “writes about the tension between vision and current reality by describing two poles linked by a rubber band. The rubber band stretches between the vision and the reality, causing tension.”
In light of Dr. Senge prominence in the world of business management and Jim Van Yperen’s promotion of the new church management, it might be helpful to compare the two parallel processes. The two sides of the coin — the sophisticated strategies used to build collective communities both in the world and in the church — are amazingly similar. And both change agents know how to utilize that constructive tension between a current conflict and an inspiring vision of a better future on earth.
That’s not surprising. Van Yperen’s hearty endorsement of Dr. Senge’s 1995 bestselling book on systems thinking, The Fifth Discipline, leaves little doubt that Senge influenced his views on organizational change. He specifically credits Senge’s book with his understanding of “the roots of conflict” and the effect of theology, structure and relationship on social and behavioral change.
3. From individualism to community. “Only with the support, insight, and fellowship of a community can we face the dangers of learning meaningful things,” wrote Peter Senge in his article, “Creating Quality Communities.”
Van Yperen uses slightly different words to teach the same message. Remember his earlier statement from Spiritual Leadership Formation, “Learning comes through dialogue rather than presentation.” That dialogue takes place in a group, a community. “The church is not and never will be the church outside of a gathered community,” he wrote in “Shepherds as Leaders.”
Is that true? Has God not gathered to Himself believers “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation”? Rev 5:9 Most of us will never meet in this life, yet we are brothers and sisters in Christ, members of the the Body of Christ for all eternity!
Van Yperen goes on to say, “Sheep always graze together. In fact, an animal that feeds alone is usually a sign of sickness. So it is in the church…. There are no lone ranger Christians.”
Actually, God’s “lone ranger Christians” are scattered around the world. Many have left the churches they loved because they couldn’t submit to compromising leaders. Most have sought Bible teaching churches in their community but found only shallow, feel-good messages stripped of truths that might offend. Some have established house churches, while others continue to seek genuine fellowship in Christ.
God will surely use those solitary times to draw His people close to Himself. As we look to Him and the Biblical teachers He provides, He deepens our love for Him, our dependence on Him and our understanding of His truth. Thus He trained the apostle Paul during the solitary years that followed his conversion. [Galatians 1:17-23]
He trained Moses, David, and Jeremiah through years of aloneness to put their trust in Him. And countless missionaries in distant places found their only comfort in Christ as they sought the lost, shared God’s love, and endured hostility and persecution. Trusting His Word, they can say with Jesus,
“I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.” John 8:16
Our Shepherd cares for the needs of His people — whether they travel alone or in the great company of fellow believers. In contrast, Van Yperen’s assertion that “the needs of one submit to the greater need of all,” suggest a communitarian philosophy — the belief that the individual needs must be swallowed up in the “Greater Whole” of the collective.
That philosophy fits right into Dr. Senge’s worldview. The article, “Peter Senge and the Learning Organization” mentions Senge’s emphasis on dialogue and shared vision.” It suggests a “link here with the concerns and interests of communitarian thinkers.” 
The dialectic process, which is vital to communitarianism as it was to communism, can build the appearance of Biblical unity through intimidation, manipulation, compromise and facilitated consensus. In contrast, true unity comes from each believer’s personal faith in our One Lord. As we study His Word, trust His promises and follow His ways, we become one. We share one hope, one goal, one blueprint for victory, one source of strength and one Spirit to guide us along the way.
“Fulfill my joy,” wrote Paul, “by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:2-3. That’s His goal for us, and He doesn’t need today’s psycho-social strategies to accomplish it.
4. From knowledge to character. “Building learning organizations requires personal transformations or basic shifts in how we think and interact,” wrote Peter Senge in Personal Transformation. “…And the only safe space to allow for this transformation is a learning community.” (more)
Or, as Van Yperen says, “It is impossible to grow godly character outside the church, that is, the fellowship of believers.”
Actually, today’s church “fellowship” may even hinder godly character. Leaders who love the world and fear offending potential members often ignore the Biblical boundaries and disciplines that help build Christian character. In many churches, conformity to the culture in the name of tolerance has become more important than self-denial and self-discipline. In those settings, a Spirit-led choice to stand alone and refuse to compromise will do more than any human effort to conform their character to that of Christ.
In spite of their quest for “community,” some leaders show little tolerance for those who — like Bill Liniewicz — resist the process and ask hard questions. So, on March 3, Jim Van Yperen used the parable of the sower to validate a new standard for submission. Remember, in the gospels, Jesus gave us His interpretation to the seed that fell among thorns:
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Mark 4:18-19.
Compare the words of Jesus with Van Yperen’s interpretation, one that supports his ban on individual “knowledge”:
“Third, we have the seeds that fall among thorns. … These are the seeds who hear and roots take form, but the hearing is always in the form of knowledge — that now I know something. And so I assume something and form opinions about something. And the word does not become fresh in God’s work and hands to change us but becomes something that we possess and sometimes use against others to prove how we are right and they are wrong. It’s a thorny kind of hearing.”
God calls us to love one another, not use His Scriptures as forceful clubs to press others into conformity. On the other hand, we need to know and follow His Word in order to grow in the character of Christ. For
“all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Our character must be rooted in truth — on God’s guidelines for right and wrong. When we sin against God we must confess our sin to God. When we sin against one or more persons, He calls us to confess to those we hurt by our sin. Repentance is primarily a personal issue between the sinner and our God. “Against You, You only, have I sinned,” said David in his heart-broken appeal to God’s mercy. Psalm 51:4
Van Yperen sees sin in a different way. “Think in wholes, not in parts…” he wrote in Leaders on Leadership. “God views sin as a community responsibility. When one person in the community sins, the whole community bears the guilt.”
That was true in Old Testament days. But God promised us, through the prophet Ezekiel, that the time would come when the guilt of personal sin would be borne by the individual sinner, not by others:
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20
5. From telling to inviting. “’Leader as teacher’ is not about ‘teaching‘ people how to achieve their vision,” wrote Peter Senge. “It is about fostering learning, for everyone. Such leaders help people throughout the organization develop systemic understandings. “
“Preaching is not shepherding. Teaching is not feeding,” says Van Yperen. “… Leaders must see their flock…as sheep who hurt and need understanding and guidance to help one another. Our preaching and teaching must nourish the flock, not answer the intellectual questions….” He illustrates his point with a story about a pastor who apparently violated this principle. Van Yperen had visited his church and heard his sermon:
“For the next 45 minutes the pastor spoke from Genesis about Noah and the ark. ‘There are two questions we must answer,’ he said in defense of Scripture. ‘Was there really a global flood?’ and “Could the ark really fit two of every species?’
The pastor had done his homework. He shared volumes of archaeological evidence, scientific data and meteorological facts. He was earnest to answer these questions because, as he stated, ‘if we cannot accept this story as true we would have to doubt all of Scripture.’
The pastor was obviously passionate and sincere. Some of his sermon was even interesting. … Like so many young ministers, this well-meaning pastor was answering a question none of us ever had or cared about….”
Whether Van Yperen cared or not, many Christians do want answers to those “intellectual questions.” When challenged by pseudo science and anti-Biblical persuasions, they want to respond with love, truth, facts and logic — trusting that God will use the faith and knowledge He has provided. He tells us to
“always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you….” 1 Peter 3:15.
While our hope is based on the finished work of Jesus Christ, others may not hear His promises until some of the world’s confusing barriers and “scientific” disinformation have first been removed.
6. “From salvation out of hell to an invitation into a way of life.” That invitation is summarized in the introduction to Making Peace: “All believers are called into a way of life that makes peace. The place God has given for this is the church — the called out, called together community of believers. The Church is God’s agent for reconciliation in the world.”
But what does he mean by peace? Peace and reconciliation between God and people? Between Christians? Or peace between the Christians and the world?
To global leaders it means unity in diversity – breaking down barriers between cultures, religions, lifestyles and values.
Unlike “seeker churches” that ignore words like “sin” and “guilt” for fear of offending visitors, Van Yperen rightly identifies sin as the culprit that destroys peace. He calls for confession  as a means to healing and unity. That’s good, as long as confession flows from genuine conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit and isn’t used to manipulate people into submission to unbiblical guidelines.
The problem? God’s truths have been put into the context of the new vision of community — a vision that reaches beyond the Biblical church to the world’s idea of a managed community. This vision changes both the emphasis of confession and the meaning of sin. So in spite of God’s promise in Ezekiel 18:20, he defines “sin” according to today’s demand for universal participation in the collective:
“As we submit to one another and learn to love one another and forgive one another and confess our sins to one another, we practice salvation…. Sin is never private. There is no private sin in the church. If there is sin in the body, it is our sin.”
“Ninety-five percent or more of Scripture was written for and to be heard by a people, not individuals. It was not given for your personal edification and devotion. That… we have called that its primary purpose and looked and acted like lone ranger Christians, each with our private study Bible by our our private personal pastor and never interacted with others, is a sin.”
It could be a sin, if pride drives our personal study. God calls each of us to communion with Himself. Christians who can’t find a Biblical community that loves His Word can always find fellowship and peace in His wonderful presence. To discourage the personal study needed for a personal relationship with Christ would seem to be a greater sin.
It’s easy to see the Bible through familiar filters which show a preferred but slightly unbiblical perspective. When taught by a persuasive and articulate leader like Van Yperen, that filter will affect how the group thinks, acts and views itself, the Bible and God. Individual Christians who search God’s Word themselves can be strong corrective influences in authoritarian churches that deemphasize “facts” but do emphasize new interpretations of a “negotiable” Bible.
It’s no secret that cults through the years have twisted truths, denied privacy, redefined sin and pressured people to participate in group confession. So did Communist leaders and trainers in China and the former Soviet Union. In his testimony before the Committee on Un-American activities, Edward Hunter, an respected authority on Communist psychological warfare, explained the process which included constant “self-criticisms… confessions and the ultimate indecent and humiliating disrobing of minds.” And in his 1956 book, Brainwashing, Hunter wrote,
“‘Learning’ and ‘confession’ are inseparable from brainwashing. Everyone has to participate in them, whether a party member or not…. Confession is an integral part of the rites. In China there are no exceptions from it for anyone, any more than for attendance at “learning” classes. The retention of his own individuality by a single person is recognized as a deadly menace by the whole monolithic structure.”
Brainwashing blurs the line between fact and distortions, between truth and lies. Without facts and absolute truths — and the mental discipline to cling to those certainties throughout the horrendous assaults on their minds and bodies — the POW who faced brainwashing in Asian concentration camps quickly broke down. In contrast, the prisoners who knew the absolute certainty of God’s Word were able to endure and triumph in the midst of terrible oppression.
In light of our need as Christians for truths and facts in this changing world, Van Yperen’s message is all the more troubling.
“We are not called to know facts about God, but to know Him,” he told the congregation. “Knowing things about God is not knowing God.”
The last part is true, but the first part is not. Yes, we want to “know God” personally and intimately both as individuals and as the Body of Christ. Anyone with a Bible can learn facts, even demons: As James (2:19) wrote,
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”
But if we don’t study and know the facts that God has revealed about Himself, we can’t know Him as He wants to be known. Apart from the God-given truths, it’s all too easy to lose perspective, follow the world’s suggestions and accept an unbalanced or twisted view of our Lord. We need to understand His wrath as well as His love… His judgments as well as His wonderful promises. We must remember that — by His wisdom and love — He can be both “jealous” and “angry” when we turn to alternative sources of strength and wisdom, yet He is neither “tolerant” nor “permissive” as many like to believe.
The Biblical facts — even the less popular aspects of His nature — increase our delight in His wonderful attributes. Together, they enable us to love Him with all our mind and strength as well as heart and soul. They equip us to resist deception and stand firm in Christ. And they prepare us to follow Him without compromise or hesitation, as He intended when He chose us to be His friends forever.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season….” Psalm 1:1-3
Personal explanation: It has not been easy to write this article. I have agonized before my Lord concerning the rightness of criticizing a pastor who desires to serve God’s people and heal His church. Many times over the last half year, I have tried to put this project aside and ignore these hard issues. Then this morning, as I again prayed for guidance and confirmation, God seemed to give me a clear answer, both in His Word and through Van Yperen’s taped April 21 morning message. Though I am not a member of his local church, I am a member of the Christ’s worldwide church — the Body of Christ. Therefore, we are called to minister to one another — as Van Yperen makes abundantly clear in this teaching:
“Some believe it is more loving to keep silent. But I suggest to you that in the Church, silence is not golden. It’s deceitful. If you know of someone who’s been in sin — or you know of a sin — you are called to go, either to confess or to confront. And to do so in a loving way. Keeping silent never helps….
“Am I my brother’s keeper? The answer is: Yes you are. You are your brother’s keeper. Denying truth is not a redemptive Christian response to good or bad….
You need to learn how to speak the truth. It is more hurtful to keep silent than not to. … If you are paralyzed by fear and doubt, ask God for the faith and the strength. Take courage. Believe.”
This report shows only a small part of the picture. It focuses primarily on the strategies used to change conservative Bible teaching churches, which differ from those used to mold the church-growth-oriented churches. But both use the dialectic (consensus) process to conform minds to the new vision of unity. Today’s leaders, whether in churches or the world’s organizations, are trained to adapt their process to diverse settings.
We plan to follow up with a glossary of new words and meanings that might help explain today’s persuasive language and the subtle new messages behind traditional words.
I pray that God will use this report to show the dangers of bringing the world’s ideology, visions and systems into God’s churches. By His grace, may He awaken His people to the envisioned transformation, the unbiblical processes and the ambiguous language that blind our eyes and twist the truths that we love.
4. Jim Van Yperen, Sunday evening, April 14, 2002. Teaching on submission: “It’s sin not to submit. … By my refusal to admit it is sin, its a further problem. That’s what Satan wants to do. He wants to separate us. And if he can give me the idea that I’m right and you are wrong so I’m not going to submit to you because you are crazy or I don’t like you or I’m not going to listen to you or I’m won’t come to church… that’s an act of sin. Its rebellion. Its sin. It needs to be confessed repented of and forgiven. Most of what happens in the church that get us into trouble are these relational sins that we want to minimize and say, ‘No I just disagree.’ We’ll talk about disagreement. There’s not a lot of things you have permission to disagree about.”
5. Jim Van Yperen, CLCBC Proposal, Metanoia Ministries, Jan. 25, 2002.
10. Stephen Shields, “Christian discipleship in Postmodernity: Toward a praxis of spiritual friendship.”
19. Peter Senge in Personal Transformation.
23. Peter Senge 1990: 356
25. Confession has been used in many parts of the world to produce brokenness and submission to totalitarian leaders. Please read “Brainwashing and “Education Reform’.”