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Deceived On Purpose

by Warren Smith: A Book Review

 

An online news service article written by Vicki Cessna of  Religion News Service, describes Rick Warren's book, The Purpose-Driven® Life, with this headline: "THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN® LIFE AUTHOR RICK WARREN EMBARKS ON A CELEBRATION TOUR: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER HITS 18.9 MILLION MARK AT TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY." The reporter goes on to say:

The Purpose-Driven Life is the bestselling hardback nonfiction book in history and has been a mainstay on numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today, Publishers Weekly and The New York Times, where it has remained for more than 87 consecutive weeks, hitting the No.1 spot over 20 times. It has been named Book of the Year twice, in both 2003 and 2004, by the Christian Booksellers Association. New Man magazine readers voted it Book of the Decade. Warren is well known as a spiritual and social entrepreneur. Peter Drucker has called him "the inventor of perpetual revival," and Forbes magazine has written, "If Warren's church was a business it would be compared with Dell, Google or Starbucks."

These are glowing praises for probably the most successful author, pastor and teacher in Christian circles today. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and is best know for his leadership in the Church Growth Movement today. His books, The Purpose-Driven® Church and the more popular The Purpose-Driven® Life, have been embraced by millions of readers and hundreds of thousands of churches as the most popular church growth plan currently available, especially within the evangelical ranks.

With all of the praises of men being poured out upon Rick Warren and Purpose-Driven programs, and all of the seemingly good that has resulted, something about his teachings and the methods he uses raise some serious questions that many need to have answered. With at least 300,000 pastors already having taken the Purpose-Driven seminars, from many different countries, there are major concerns that need to be addressed regarding the future of millions of church-goers throughout the world. Not everyone who has experienced the Purpose-Driven® phenomenon thinks that Rick Warren's approach to church growth is Biblical in all that it purports.

Warren Smith, author of The Light that was Dark and Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel, has written a new book, Deceived On Purpose, The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church. In it, he examines carefully the connections of Rick Warren and his Purpose-Driven programs to the New Age teachings of Robert Schuller, pastor and teacher of Crystal Cathedral of Garden Grove, California. He has successfully documented the trail linking Rick Warren and his Purpose-Driven programs to New Age practices such as The Course In Miracles and New Age leaders Dr. Bernie S. Seigel, Gerald G. Jampolsky and Neale Donald Walsh, through the mentoring relationship of Robert Schuller. As you read his book you will see the source behind the image, looking beyond the fruit and seeing the root of the tree; for if the root of the tree is rotten then so is the fruit.

If you didn't have a clear understanding of the New Age or the "New Spirituality" that is quickly infecting the Church today, this book reveals the heart and mind of our adversary, Satan, whose plan is to ensnare and capture us in his web of deception. The way to do this is to convince us ever so slowly, without anyone noticing, that God rules everything and is everywhere and in everything, a clearly pantheistic view that God is everything and everything is God, including us. This is the basis of the "New Spirituality" given to us by the New Age gods.

If Robert Schuller has been and is a proponent of this "New Spirituality" and he has mentored Rick Warren over many years, then is what we are seeing in the Purpose-Driven® Life actually an expression of this "New Spirituality?"  Warren Smith has provided us with enough credible information to seriously consider this as a possibility.

Is this really a "great move of God" or is there more to Rick Warren and his plan to impact churches worldwide, than meets the eye? There are the hundreds of thousands of pastors that have taken Rick Warren's courses, but are they prepared for the possibility that what they are experiencing is the "New Spirituality," which is really another Christ, another spirit, another gospel?

Because of my former background in New Age Occultism, I was very interested to see how Warren Smith could tie all of this together, through his research and documentation, concerning Rick Warren and his connections to the New Age.  When I sat down to begin reading this book, I had a difficult time accomplishing anything else only because I could not put it down, it so held my attention.

Warren Smith has taken on a noble task and he is definitely fighting an uphill battle against overwhelming pressures to go along with the popular crowd. I am glad to see men like him take a Biblical stand against the popular teaching of the day, especially given the fact that we can see the underlying source of this Church Growth Movement.

I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in discovering what is behind this "New Spirituality" and is concerned with discerning the truth, please read this book and see for yourself.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits, to see whether they are of God; because false prophets have gone out into the world.        1 John 4:1

 

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