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Tag Archives: Rick Warren

#0624sva – Bill Hybels Admits Failure


Since first becoming aware of the “Seeker Sensitive” phenomenon back in the 1990s I have considered it a flawed concept. In an effort to attract unchurched people, the “Seeker Sensitive” movement suggested that churches should cater to the comforts of the “seeker” and should update both style and presentation so as to make the experience – and the Gospel – less offensive.

By eliminating the alleged “negative” elements deemed a “turn off” to the world, such as talk of sin and repentance, “Seeker” advocates assured us we’d fill the seats on Sunday morning. But since the Holy Spirit is the most seeker sensitive being in the Universe, who are we to monkey around with the message He has already given the Church to present? Do we think we can do better? Besides, who is more sensitive and better equipped to save a seeker than the Holy Spirit? Isn’t it a fact that unless we present the unadulterated Gospel we indeed hinder the Spirit from doing His convicting work in the hearts of men?

The “Seeker” idea lacked anointing and appeared perilously misguided and now, after all of the books, seminars, conferences and surveys the brain trust who popularized “Seeker Sensitive” is admitting they’ve been wrong all along. Duh.

Chicago’s Willow Creek Community Church has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. A new book, Reveal: Where Are You?, co-authored by Willow Creek insiders, Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, states that the so-called “Seeker model,” popularized by Bill Hybels, is a “failure.” Hybels himself called the findings “earth shaking,” “ground breaking” and “mind blowing.”

Hybels states: “We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.”

Incredibly, the guru of church growth now tells us that people need to be reading their bibles and taking responsibility for their own spiritual growth!

Ohio Christian radio talk show host and commentator, Bob Burney, reiterated the crux of why so many of us haven’t been fans of Hybels approach to ministry. He said, “The new report reveals that most of what they (Willow Creek) have been doing for these many years and what they have taught millions of others to do is not producing solid disciples of Jesus Christ. Numbers yes, but not disciples.”

Burney continues, “The one individual who has had perhaps the greatest influence on the American church in our generation has now admitted his philosophy of ministry was, in large part, a ‘mistake.’ The extent of this error defies measurement.”

On a quest for the newest “thing” and enamored by the sheer numbers flocking to services at mega-churches like Willow Creek and Saddleback, countless shepherds began tweaking with the untweakable. To varying extents, they traded in the New Testament Book of Acts model of preaching and discipleship for what amounts to religious folly. Who can calculate the damage done by leaders who persuaded leaders to change the Church to suit the fancy of the world?

Though marginalized as relics from an unenlightened era, concerned Bible believers have been crying out for a summary rejection of the “Seeker” nonsense for some time. Now, “Seeker” proponents are suddenly dismayed by the hard fact that great numbers of their “converts” have dried up like skim milk on a hot Texas afternoon. But it doesn’t appear they are ready to come all the way out of their quagmire just yet.

Perhaps the most amazing thing I have seen concerning the Willow Creek admission is that these leaders, whose ministry philosophy changed the practice and thinking of thousands of churches over the last 20+ years, are still looking for whatever it was they thought they had found when they first told us that “Seeker Sensitive” was the answer!

Read the next statement carefully.

Greg Hawkins stated, “Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do church. That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights. Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture. Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how he’s asking us to transform this planet.”

This is what the “Seeker Sensitive” leaders have been saying from day one! And now they want to “replace it (the original Seeker model) with new insights…informed by research…” (i.e. more market surveys)?

Hold on just a minute. Wasn’t it the assumption that the Church was a failure and that we needed to study the culture to find a fix exactly what brought us this mess in the first place? So let me get this straight.

As sincere as they may be and as much as the claim what they’re up to is “rooted in Scripture,” the “Seeker” advocates have sowed what amounts to spiritual poison into countless lives and convinced thousands of churches to abandon truly biblical plans and now Hawkins, Hybels and the rest want another chance at getting it right?

I’m all for second chances but in this case, no thanks.

The Church Growth gurus may have started with good intentions but in reality have sold us a false bill of goods. Following the fads, schemes and flowery “positive” messages of men, many have become deeply entrenched in the here-and-now “feel good” philosophies. Frankly, the lack of authority given to the Scriptures in so many church circles has paved the way for the postmodern attitudes that have shown biblical righteousness and holy standards the door. Doctrine and standards are viewed as hindrances and salvation, it appears, is secured by simply thinking nice thoughts about Jesus. The result is that many of yesterday’s Evangelicals either haven’t quite finished becoming liberals yet – or haven’t realized they are in the process of becoming apostate.

Thankfully, the chorus of voices now challenging the deception is growing. Some people are going to take heed. Many will not. Let’s pray that Bill Hybels not merely look for a new model to endorse but that he and others from the “Seeker” vein will seek God and not their own understanding.

Remember: our mission in these disturbing times is to (1) keep standing calmly against what is nothing short of a revolt against absolute truth from inside the Church and (2) pray for the anointing and courage to help turn those who will listen back to truth, one at a time.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. – Acts 2:42


#0615sva – Deception Of Chrislam



 In 2007, a group of Muslim clerics sent an open letter to Christian leaders called “A Common Word Between Us”. In it they stated that the two “great religions” shared two crucial beliefs in common: The love of the one God and the command to love one another. Hundreds of Christian leaders, including Brian McLaren, Rick Warren and Jim Wallis, responded positively to the letter, calling for greater dialogue and cooperation between Christian and Muslim leaders to bring peace to the world and eliminate poverty and injustice.

While these Christian leaders’ intentions may have been good, their actions are foolish. No matter what beliefs Muslims and Christians may have in common, the Koran denies the triune God and denies that Jesus is the Son of God. These two disagreements make anything we share in common meaningless. Jesus and the apostle Paul warn us against having communion with non-believers. This movement of Chrislam is leading both Muslims and Christians astray from the true gospel.

Naïve Christians are being led into a false belief that Allah and YHWH may be one and the same God; Muslims are being denied the opportunity to be confronted in love with the fact that Jesus is not a prophet—but is the Son of the living God.

We believe Chrislam is a major component of the movement to a one world religion foretold in biblical scripture. Christians should avoid and speak out against this false teaching that seeks to find “common ground” between a false religion worshiping a false god, with the only true religion, Christianity, that teaches salvation and eternal life only by accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

#0606sva – Rick Warren: Most Dangerous Man Today – Part 2 of 2


Adolph Hitler displayed fatherly-like care for the German people.  He successfully identified with their needs and worked feverishly to stop their suffering.  He unified the various branches of religious thought and geopolitical differences.  He rooted them together and fed them ambition by a new centralized national purpose.  Hitler is viewed by many to be one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century.  Educational institutions and modern-day philosophers seek to capture his success of gaining unquestionable devotee’s to accept and champion his new national purpose.

Should Pastors that claim to represent Jesus Christ use Hitler as an example of leadership?  Should they use a man who prepared the hearts of an intelligent nation to go as far to accept the genocide of the Jewish people, racial superiority, and world domination?   (continued from Part One)


Rick Warren refers to himself as a bridge builder.  He seeks to find “common ground” with all faiths rather than looking at the differences when he seeks people who will work with him. For example, Warren serves on the Advisory board of the Tony Blair Foundation.  The primary goal of this organization is to unify all the world’s major religions.

 Following is Warren’s explanation for serving:

The vision and values of the Tony Blair Foundation are desperately needed today. . .In any effort to help people learn to live and work together, we must engage the vast networks, resources, wisdom and influence of the faith communities.  My friends, Tony Blair (Roman Catholic) is uniquely prepared with the gifts of temperament, knowledge, experience, leadership and global respect essential for a task so great.  I honestly don’t know anyone better suited for this challenge.  It’s why I agreed to serve on the Advisory board.  The Tony Blair Foundation’s potential for doing good is staggering.”

What we have here is a protestant preacher having no problems serving with a Roman Catholic plan to unite all religious faiths.  The new interfaith spirituality is centered on interdenominational cooperation in works.  Warren is involved with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).  One of his roles with the CFR is connected to their Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative, where he and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) work together on a “Religion and Foreign Policy Meeting Series” that has to do with the “impact of religious doctrine on foreign policy.”  The CFR has historically been active in getting the churches to assist them with their goals to set up a global government via a “social gospel”  Warren described the 3-legged partnerships he is forming between the church,, government, and industry, and indicated that this new global activity isn’t about the Gospel anymore.  Warren believes that government and industry can’t succeed in solving social problems unless they include faith groups, with their large volunteer forces and their worldwide networks.  “People are so worried churches are going to be about conversion,” he said, “but everyone has a motive.  Everyone has a worldview.  Christianity is a worldview. . . .I don’t care why you do good as long as you do good.”  

Do Good-Ism

The “do good” gospel is, by definition, pluralism in action.  It brings in everybody and everything, and stands for nothing but to “do good.”  It partners with anybody—governments and corporations, and even other religions—for the overarching purpose to “do good.” Warren claims to build the Kingdom of God on Earth.  He will use whatever tools are handy, with whoever shows up on the scene, by whatever methods, doing “whatever it takes,”  never minding the integrity of the Gospel.  Warren pinpointed the world’s problems in five main broader issues: spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership and corruption, extreme poverty, pandemic diseases, illiteracy.

Jesus did five things, the antidotes for those five problems:  He promoted reconciliation, equipped servant leaders, assisted the poor, cared for the sick, and educated the next generation.  I will address this in more detail in further articles.  Outside of the cliche, Jesus died for you, it appears Rick Warren has no idea what the Gospel is or he would be compelled to share it.


It takes a serious amount of deception to craft a plan for world peace that excludes the Gospel but is designed for Christians to champion and participate.  Satan’s goal since his rebellion is to deceive man into believing he can make his own society without God.  Warren’s social gospel and agenda to partner with the corrupt world shows the same demonic inspiration his idol Adolph Hitler had.  The Purpose Driven movement ignores man’s problem of sin and therefore, has no need to give the world the only solution for sin, the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Sadly, Warren would also tweet his 900,000 followers to join him in prayer and fasting for the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church to get wisdom from God in selecting their new Pope.  Once they selected the Pope he “tweeted” his followers, “we have a new Pope.”  Warren a so-called protestant minister, insulted the blood stained martyrs of the Reformation by recognizing the Pope instead of a real prayer of hope for the Salvation of Roman Catholics.  Warren is destroying the hope of the world, on ecumenical “purpose.”  Join me in prayer for the deceived victims of the apostate church.  May the truth of the Gospel destroy the unfruitful works of their unrighteousness but have mercy to grant them a space to repent.

—John Rosenstern, The Evangelist Magazine, June 2013, Part IV

?#0597sva – Churches Lower Standards To Draw A Crowd?

lower standard2

I have searched the Internet and looked everywhere I can.  I have watched and listened to commercials to see if I can find one. There just are not any out there.  I cannot find anyone or any business that uses lower standard to bring in business and clients.

I cannot find a dentist or doctor that is offering discounts because he sterilizes his instruments after every third patient.  I have looked for an automobile company that is advertising a lower price because they use lower-quality parts on their brakes.  They just are not out there!

If there is a business in North America that is following the lead of contemporary churches to attract people, I just cannot find one!  Where are they?

In fact, it is just the opposite.  I found the following: Meijer, “higher standards”; Bank of America, ” higher standards”; Ford, “Quality is Job One”, etc. etc.  British Columbia’s Minister of Education, George Abbot, wrote the following:

The plan consists of five key elements: personalized learning for every student; quality teaching and learning, flexibility and choice; higher standards; and learning empowered by technology.

I think if we talked to any company trying to compete in the marketplace, we would find that they are promoting higher standards for their business and top quality products.  It seems that the business world knows that the higher they can keep their standards, the better the  product they will produce, and the more clients and customers they will attract.

The Bible says in Luke 16:8, “For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.”  Why is that the only place where people seem to want to lower the standard is the church?”

I recently asked this question to a group of young adults, and one young man said, “Because we are wicked flesh.”  What an astute answer!  There is always a battle between  our wicked flesh and the higher standards set forth by the Scripture.

Sadly, many churches are caving in to the desires of fleshly members and lowering their  standards.  The church is the only place where people do not understand that lower standards equal lower quality.  Maybe this is the reason we are so powerless in impacting our communities of Christ.

Now is the time for local churches to begin promoting “higher standards” like the companies listed above.  While doing so, we should also instruct our church family that having higher standards is a good thing.  Higher standards produce better quality.  Everyone in the business world knows this, and we should as well.

Second, when higher standards are promoted, we attract people who are looking for quality.  There are people who are sick and tired of churches that lower their standards, but we are afraid to promote that we have a higher standard.  We should never be ashamed of belonging to a church where one strives for a high standard.  People in our communities will attend churches with higher standards when they understand that higher standards are a good thing, even for churches.

Third, when presented properly, higher standards develop stronger churches.  It is time we begin to explain to our church families the biblical reasons we hold to a higher standard.  When we do that, they will not be tempted to take their families to the churches that are luring them away with worldliness and entertainment.

Satan has used the contemporary church movement to attract people from our churches by lowering their standards in music  preaching and dress.  The philosophy of this movement is that God is not interested in high standards.  They have taken this argument and promoted it so much that people believe it without even thinking it through.

Please consider this carefully.  Not one business would promote lower standards.  They know that lower standards do not stand for high quality, and people want the highest quality they can get.  Neither should the church lower its standards.  We should never let the “children of this world be wiser than the children of light.”

—Dr. Earl Jessup

General Director, Baptist Church Planting Ministry

NOTE FROM ADMINISTRATOR:  This article is very pointed and shows us where many churches have fallen from the gospel and biblical teaching and preaching.  This is very much what Rich Warren’s Purpose Driven philosophy is all about.  Have you looked at your church recently to take an inventory?  Are they trying to draw crowds with entertainment and/or not preaching the entire Word of God?   If so, you may want to seek out a “Bible believing, gospel preaching church”  in your area.

Your glorying is not good.  Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?  Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.  For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”  1 Corinthians 5: 6,7

#0564sva – The Demise of America

It seems, right before our eyes, we’re watching the demise of our nation.  The cost of living is rampant as oil prices have escalated to $117 a barrel.  The U.S. currency has fallen off its throne and is now a stepping-stone that the world is running over to obtain Euro’s. Oh, what should a Christian do?  Wrong question.  Oh, What should a Christian believe?


The amalgamation of the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico has officially been created not by an act of congress or a vote of the American people, but by three men with a plan from the organization called, The Council on Foreign Relations, CFR.  Through a special task force, the CFR produced  a report on “Building A North American Community.”  The completed report became the framework for a meeting between U.S. President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Martin, and President Fox of Mexico on March 23, 2005 in Waco, Texas.  Quoting from a fact sheet at the http://www.SPP.gov website, “The leaders of North America agreed to advance the agenda of the Security Prosperity Partnership, SPP.”   The focus will be on five high priority initiatives: (1) Smart and secure borders; (2) North American emergency management; (3) North American energy Security initiative; (4) Advancing cooperation on Avian and pandemic influenza; and (5) The North American Competitiveness Council.


Their intention is to create a North American Union, NAU.  America can say welcome to open borders, Free Trade Agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, and the net loss of jobs associated with these agreements.

 They tell us not to worry though, because the answer we’re given about losing our jobs is, they’ll make retraining available through our nation’s Community colleges.  Our potentially fastest growing segment of society may be the unemployed casualties of Free Trade Agreements.  Yet we’re to be encouraged since these casualties can be retrained and repatriated to new jobs, only with less pay and minimal benefits.  I suppose our planners feels with universal health care and government sponsored education , which demands tuition be repaid in community service, that everyone will be taken care of.  Who’s to pay for all this wonderful socialism?  The social work will be handled by the church and its newest army of volunteers.  I am still left with a couple of unanswered questions.  The first question that comes to mind is, retrain for what jobs?  The second question is, who is going to provide for the families while the head of the household is studying for a new job?  What’s a Christian to do?   Wrong question.  What’s a Christian to believe?


The ultimate thrust of bringing the three sectors of politics, business, and church together is their unified effort to resolve the world’s problems.  Global warming, poverty, and so-called universal health care, with an emphasis on AIDS, aims to unite us together, so we’re to believe.


If we can all just sacrifice a little for the benefit of society and join the army of the human doings we’ll collectively solve all the world’s problems.  Sounds like their globalization is repackaged socialization.  Welcome reader to the United Nations Agenda 21. The new global plan for redistribution of the world’s natural resources and money, all under the auspicious of Sustainable Development.  Included in their motif is the unification of religions through dialogue.  Seeking  common ground verses doctrinal differences is heralded at global  meetings sponsored by the United Nations, The World Economic Forum, and a host of other organizational meetings.  Their first step toward uniting religions was engineered by a contingency of Muslim scholars who held out the proverbial olive branch by inviting the Vatican and Evangelical leaders to enter into dialogue.  Representing the church of the human doings was Rick Warren; the head of the National Evangelical Association, Leith Anderson; Bill Hybels, founder of seeker-sensitive Willow Creek church; and a who’s who list of other Evangelical leaders.  They responded in a letter apologizing to Muslims for the Crusades!  These Evangelicals want the “dialogue to build relationships that will reshape the two communities to genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another.” 

Their response letter to the Muslim scholars further states, “If we fail to make every effort to make peace to come together in harmony, you correctly remind us that our eternal souls are at stake as well.”   

God didn’t call the church to enter into dialogue with the lost.  We can’t negotiate the Word of God.  Islam and Christianity don’t have any common ground!  The Koran twsts and perverts every Bible truth.  The stories of the Koran change the lives of:  Jesus, who they deny is God, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Mary and many other Bible characters.


What’s a Christian to do?  Wrong question.  What’s a Christian to believe?  The only hope for America is the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Our sole responsibility is to get the message out to a lost and dying nation and world.  The results are up to God.  But woe unto us, and the souls who don’t hear, if we fail God’s Great Commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

—-John Rosenstern, June 2008, The Evangelist\excerpted

#0500sva – When Apostasy Runs Amok


When Apostasy Runs Amok

By Jan Markell


March 1, 2012

In the early days of all things “purpose driven,” I didn’t say much. I was, admittedly, skeptical. I had a hunch churches might experience the promised growth thanks to the movement behind “purpose driven,” the seeker-sensitive movement; however, it might not be a healthy growth. But as the years moved on, I started hearing about wreckage. Calls and e-mails told me that beloved congregations were caving to all things unsound and even unscriptural. Members were told that the ends justified the means. In other words, numbers trumped everything.

 So, I began to watch Pastor Warren more carefully. When he praised the freedom in Syria in 2006, I just shuddered. When he spoke to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and withheld the gospel, I reacted again. ISNA is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. When he told Alan Colmes to “give Jesus a try for 60 days,” I came close to writing him off. 

 When Rick began featuring occultic “New Agers” in his church sanctuary in January 2011, I further realized that “America’s Pastor” wasn’t as sound as he had been portrayed.  Rick allowed a year-long effort at fitness to headquarter out of Saddleback Church and concluded the event by cheering that Saddleback members lost 250,000 pounds. Rick, some souls might have been lost during that time because Drs. Amen, Hymen and Oz represent the dark side of the world, not the light of Jesus. These men are secularists. At one time, Dr. Oz even had a link on his Web site that took you to a place where you could learn how to talk to the dead.

 But Rick did it again coming out of the shoot into 2012 and I am being a bit outspoken about this.  He’s leading an effort to heal divisions between Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques. He is proposing theological principles that include acknowledging Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

 A Saddleback Church spokesman says this effort “is a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.” The root of this madness goes back to “A Christian Response to a Common Word Between Us and You”  This was a joint effort between Muslims and Christians to deepen dialogue and relations at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Pastor Warren was one of the signers, along with hundreds of other Christian leaders. They also acknowledged that neither Muslim nor Christian would try to evangelize each other. Just like that, evangelism evaporates in the minds of major Christian leaders. We’ve got to all get along! Rodney King, you would be proud of us!    

 One of the statements of this “Common Word” effort was that religious peace would bring world peace. No, the return of Christ will bring world peace.  Evangelical signers of this document should have known better.

 I stand with Joseph Farah on this issue. He states, “If you compare the personality of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — the Christian and Hebrew God — with Allah, Islam’s god, the contrast could not be more stark. The Hebrew-Christian God is characterized by love. The Islamic god is characterized by war and vengeance. The Hebrew-Christian God provides a clear path to redemption and personal salvation in a fallen world — through repentance. The Islamic god provides only one certain path to personal salvation — martyrdom. The Hebrew-Christian God elevates the status of women. The Islamic god does the opposite.

“The Hebrew-Christian God encourages followers to be a light to the whole world. The Islamic god encourages jihad on the non-Islamic world and, ultimately and unambiguously, calls for the death of unconverted Christians and Jews.”

 Farah concludes, “Into this breech, Warren seeks common theological ground. It would be easier to find common theological ground between Christians and atheists than Christians and Muslims.”

 What becomes immediately apparent is that while making friends with Muslims is certainly an admirable goal, Warren has prioritized the three goals of making friends, building peace and working together on shared social service projects over and above the commandment of Jesus to baptize and make disciples of the whole world.

 Author Joel Richardson says that rather than obeying the Great Commission and creating disciples of the Jesus of the Bible, Warren is “building a Tower of Babel that leads to nowhere.”

Richardson concludes, “I would agree in that when Christian groups join together with other groups that have such fundamentally divergent goals and doctrines, the danger is always compromise. Throughout the Old Testament, the commandment of God to the Israelites was to never enter into agreements, covenants or marriages with the surrounding peoples, lest the Israelites would find themselves led away to worship other gods. In such a postmodern culture, these concepts may sound amazingly intolerant, but the wisdom of the Lord’s prescription against treaties and partnerships is seen in Warren’s agreement not to evangelize his Muslim ‘friends’ and co-laborers for mutual social causes.”

 The ultimate hope of Christianity is the Lord’s return. Islam awaits a Mahdi who would eradicate Christianity. Thus, I agree with Richardson’s conclusion: “If Warren was pursuing friendships for the purpose of evangelism, I would openly stand with him in this goal. But I think it is clear that Warren is pursuing an agenda far more in line with the spirit of the age than with the goals of the early Christian Church.”

 Being a critic of Rick Warren costs one plenty! I have lost friends and other loved ones because I have not always been supportive of all things purpose-driven, or market-driven church growth. Do I think Rick loves God and is serving Him to the best of his ability? Yes. I just think “Peace Plans” and global initiatives don’t belong in the house of God. Cozying up to Mullahs and uttering words they want to hear produces nothing but a laughing Mullah. Such agendas morph into ideas and plans that are counter productive to God’s ultimate call on the church.

What we can agree upon is that Pastor Rick Warren needs our prayers. While he vehemently denies that he is involved in the Chrislam movement, actions speak louder than words. My radio co-host, Eric Barger, addressed that topic both on air and at my “Understanding the Times 2011″ conference. Contact us for more info. We have complete CD or DVD sets of all conference speakers.

#0492sva – Nazarene University Teaches “Contemplative Prayer”

 Olivet Nazarene University 105th School Added to Lighthouse Trails Contemplative School List— February 11th, 2012 |  Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors

On Saturday morning, Lighthouse Trails received an e-mail from a concerned parent whose child is attending Olivet Nazarene University. The parent told us that Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline is part of a required Freshman course. We have also discovered that Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality) is integrated in various aspects of the school including their Christian Education program, Practical Ministries, Youth Ministry, and the School of Theology. Thus we have added Olivet Nazarene University to our list of Christian schools that promote Spiritual Formation.

In addition to Richard Foster’s book, Henri Nouwen’s books are used in at least 4 courses. In two of those (CMIN 116, COMM 300), his contemplative promoting book “In the Name of Jesus” is used.

 This is the book that Kay Warren, Rick Warren’s wife, recommends saying it “hits at the heart of the minister . . .  I highlighted almost every word.”1

It is in that book of Nouwen’s that he says:

Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn to listen to the voice of love . . . For Christian leadership to be truly fruitful in the future, a movement from the moral to the mystical is required.2 (emphasis added)

In almost every school that promotes Spiritual Formation, Henri Nouwen is used. This is because the spirituality that Nouwen advocated for is the same spirituality that Spiritual Formation (contemplative) inhabits. When you think of where Spiritual Formation took Nouwen before the end of his life (after years of practicing mysticism), it is sobering to see the majority of Christian colleges and seminaries embrace him. In the last book he wrote, he stated:

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.”3

What Nouwen says here illustrates the “fruit” of contemplative spirituality. It is not surprising to us that Olivet Nazarene University promotes Spiritual Formation. Most of the Nazarene universities do. We have documented this for years. If you want to see one of the most shocking signs of where evangelical Christian schools will end up, read our article Buddhist/Universalist Sympathizer Woos Nazarene Students at NNU and watch the video we link to of Dr. Jay McDaniel’s visit to Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho.

Nouwen’s influence is obvious at Olivet. The VP of Spiritual Lifelists Nouwen as one of his favorite authors. This of course could have a profound influence on many students. Parents, please remember, when you are looking for a college or university for your son or daughter to attend this coming fall, please check that school out carefully beforehand, and make sure your child understands what the underlying roots of contemplative and emerging spirituality are before they leave your home.

It is by no means just Nazarene Universities that are being affected.

 This is happening in virtually every denomination to one degree or another.


1. Rick Warren quoting Kay Warren on the Ministry Toolbox (Issue #54, 6/5/2002, (http://web.archive.org/web/20081227044856/http://legacy.pastors.com/RWMT/?ID=54).
2. Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus (New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing, 2000), pp. 6, 31-32.

3. Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey, Hardcover edition, 1998, p. 51.

—DITC e-Newsletter

—Apologetics Coordination Team

#0479sva – But I Did Not Speak Up!



“First they came for “resisters” and “pillars” of Brunswick Reformed Church, Brunswick, Ohio because they opposed Purpose Driven Life and Church, but I didn’t speak up because I was not a member of Reformed Church of American (RCA) denomination.

Then they came after a lady who was an elder lady in the faith who had been with the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas since 1956 by shouting her down with spiritual euthanasia and aggressivemean-spirited behavior, and the intimidation of seven attorneys,because she opposed them turning their landmark Criswell Center into a Purpose Driven entertainment center. But I did not speak up because I was not a widow.

Then they held a trial for two families at Valley Baptist Church in Lakeland, Minnesota, but I didn’t speak up because I was not a member of the General Baptist Convention.

Then they came after 165 members of Gardendale Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, Texas and ran them out of the church, but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Southern Baptist.

Then a brother did finally speak up and tried to warn Eugene Christian Fellowship because they had gone Purpose Driven, but they threatened legal action and told him to stop spamming them. But I did not speak up for fear of being accused of spamming or being sued by a church.

Then a news reporter for a large Christian radio network sounded the alarm on His Holy Hill of this clear and present danger. They ran the story, but received more gnashing of teeth from callers then they had ever had, so they censored this story from their Agape Press print media news service.

Then still another brother on another Christian radio ministry broadcast testimonies of Christians thrown out of their churches across the country, but the network threatened to remove his show from the air, if another broadcast was ever made that said anything bad about Rick Warren. But I did not speak up because I had friends and family who were either employed by an organization that promoted Purpose Driven Church, or were in Purpose Driven Church, and I did not want to lose those relationships.

Then they came after a large group of members at New Hope Church in Bend, Oregon. But I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a member of The Evangelical Church denomination or the National Association of Evangelicals.

Then they came after a carpenter and his wife at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona with the police and a sheriff and escorted him out of the church and off of the grounds for trying to expose the deeds of darkness and the teachings of Rick Warren, telling him that if he returned, he would be arrested. But I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a member of the Calvary Chapel denomination.

Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me, because every church in the nation had become Purpose Driven and part of his Global PEACE Plan.”

Compiled and Adapted by James Sundquist
Based on Rev. Martin Neimoeller’s Poem below written in 1945
(c)2005 Rock Salt Publishing Used by Permission

“In Germany, the Nazis first came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because Iwasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.”

(Rev. Martin Neimoeller, German Lutheran Pastor. Rev.Neimoeller was arrested by the Gestapo for opposing Hitler and was sent to Dachau in 1938. He was freed by Allied forces in 1945.)

“Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” Matthew 18:7

“For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” Luke 23:31

#0478sva – My “Purpose Driven” Testimony

In light of the scandal at Penn State, we see that silence is not golden!

A victim of abuse by a pastor in Utah at a Purpose-Driven Church has now come forward after several years of silence.  We hope and pray that this will be a wake-up call to other PDC victims and bring the Balm of Gilead to a host of other victims who have been assaulted, mocked, and their churches destroyed!


“In 2005, we were attending Desert Springs Baptist Church in St. George, Utah. (It’s now called “The Springs Church”) It was a new work in St. George and was supported by the Open Door Baptist Mission Board at the time.

Tom Mertz was the senior pastor and my husband was ordained and became the associate pastor.

It was in the year 2005, that Tom Mertz went to Saddleback Church for training on church growth. He came back and immediately made an announcement that everything was changing. He brought a coffin into the service and announced that the “Old Tom is dead” and the “New Tom is alive”. I thought than when we become born-again that we are “new creatures in Christ?” (2 Cor. 5:17)

The church would now be Purpose Driven. Just before Tom ordained my husband and went to Saddleback, he approached Ronny and asked him what he would do if “we disagree” and can’t agree on an issue?  This question was very vague. He asked my husband that if that occurred would he leave
the church. My husband told him that he would leave.

Well, things went from bad to worse. My husband could no longer teach the adult Sunday school class. So eventually, we left. There were many people leaving also (about 50%). My best friend, Sue, was told she wasn’t welcome in the church because Tom didn’t approve of her home Bible study. This Bible study was made up of mostly her neighbors and not very many church members at the time.

 My husband and I decided to write a letter to the Mission Board because Tom was now teaching this “Purpose Driven” doctrine and not the doctrine that the Mission Board believed he was teaching.
I also included clippings out of our local newspaper, which showed the advertising that Tom was doing and in one of the ads it clearly stated that the church was Purpose Driven.

 Tom was always looking over his shoulder because he was afraid that someone from the Mission Board would show up unannounced to check on the church. WE DID NOT DO THIS OUT OF SPITE—BUT FELT WE NEEDED TO LET THE MISSION BOARD KNOW WHAT HAD HAPPENED. IT’S ABOUT TRUTH AND INTEGRITY.

Two other couples also wrote to the mission board. The mission board responded with a very simple message—basically, thank you. They stated that they would check it out and it appeared in the letters that everyone received that they possibly didn’t believe what we were saying. However, we found out later that they did investigate and they pulled all the financial support from Tom Mertz.

 When Tom’s financial support was stopped, he then became violent and very foul mouthed. Tom would call our home and leave cursing messages on our answering machine, day after day for at least a month. Cursing, screaming and calling my husband very foul names. We answered the phone at first, but later refused to listen to him rant and rave so the answering machine picked up the calls.

 Within the last 6 months, there has been a very interesting development. Oasis Community Church closed their doors due to lack of money and attendance. Some of the members went to “The Springs” Church even after knowing what had happened to us. When they approached Tom Mertz about being Purpose Driven he flatly denied it. So they all stayed.

 In one of our free newspapers, The Senior Sampler, Tom is still advertising the church as Purpose Driven. He is now saying that he is one of three “Springs Churches–South Mountain Campuses” and they are in no way Purpose Driven. The other two churches are up north by Salt Lake City. From South Mountain’s website it is clear they are very much Purpose Driven.

My husband didn’t want me telling you this story at first. But later said, okay. It’s been 6 years now since all this happened. We were un-churched for a while, but now we are attending a local Church, which seems okay for now.

 I say for now, because you never know when things will change and another church is taken over by the Warren doctrine. Thank you for listening. We hope this letter will help others who have experienced the Purpose Driven agenda.”

God bless your ministry,
Sandra Van Asch

—Letter submitted to James Sundquist


#0477sva – Rick Warren Nightmare Devastates Man and Family

Administrator’s note: 

I will be publishing my story regarding Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church teaching.  My story will follow this one which I have re-printed below with permission.

We too were harmed when our church “went Purpose Driven.’”   Please pay attention to Rick Warren.  He has lead many, many churches away from the “true gospel.” 

Here below is another individual’s experience as he tells it to James Sundquist (author & apologist)



Dear Sandra,

How are you dear sister?

We will post this to go along with your story!
(So you are not alone)

Begin forwarded message:
From: paul jacobsen <pmj1088@wowway.com>

Date: February 15, 2012 9:54:08 PM EST

To: rock.salt@verizon.net

Subject: greetings from Paul Jacobsen re:purpose driven nightmare

Dear James,

I hope you remember me, as you were kind enough to write me. I had a site called spirittruth dot com. I took it down due to crisis in our family caused by my family attending a mercenary purpose driven “church.” I was way too direct for most people concerning apostasy in the church.  I think that you would be very interested in my short stint there and my scary dealings with leadership that ended up being a nightmare, which isn’t completely over. I was labeled a “dissenter” and “trouble maker early on (by people I had never spoken to!)  and was character assassinated because I wasn’t in “unity” with the leadership, though they would never tell me exactly how I was not in unity. They have caused my wife to divorce me, which has brought me as close to complete breakdown as I could ever come but God is holding me up.  I have a story to tell from the inside. That I think you should know about. Their tactics are machiavellian and even smack of what Stalin first did with dissenters. They definitely idolize growth and authoritarian power that is antichrist as they supplant Jesus and are using His name to grow their church no matter what they have to do. I never dreamed that this could possibly happen under the guise of being a biblical, evangelical church. They are assassins to anyone who “threatens” their agenda and definitely represent the ancient evil motto: “the end justifies the means.”  This Rick Warren “gospel” is horribly dangerous and I have paid the ultimate price for contending earnestly for the faith- just short of killing me, which right now, I would have preferred. God is using this to fully crucify my ancient viking desire to confront them.  I don’t want revenge but I weep when I think how many are completely deceived! Including my wife and dear daughters.

I am also a musical artist (or was) I am an opera singer, who was once a “rising star” in Lyric Opera’s Center for young artists. I was also in Phantom of the Opera as ‘Piangi’ for two years but I didn’t fit in to that world at all and really hated it. 

I just want to find a way to publicize what I’m going through and just how hideous they are willing to behave in order to Keep a fraudulent “unity,” which is nothing more than pure religious fascism!  I would love to see this church become the poster child for just how destructive and antichrist this “movement” has become. What I have experienced is insidiously evil. My family is being ripped from me. Let me know.

Paul Jacobsen


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