I know that there are a lot of Christians out in the world today who think that Rick Warren, the pastor at Saddleback Church, is a real man of God; every once in a while, I will see Christian friends of mine sharing a status from Rick Warren's Facebook page. It is my hope that by the time you're done reading this post, you will want nothing to do with Rick Warren.
Warren's Ties to Humanism:
At the Biannual Faith Angle Conference on Religion, Politics and Public Life in Key West, Florida in May of 2005, Rick Warren said the following:
"The most significant sociological phenomenon of the first half of the twentieth century was the rise of the corporation. The most significant sociological phenomenon of the second half of the twentieth century has been the development of the large pastoral church--of the mega-church. It is the only organization that is actually working in society.
Now, Drucker has said that at least six times. I happen to know because he's my mentor. I've spent twenty years under his tutelage learning about leadership from him, and he's written it in two or three books, and he says he thinks it's the only thing that really works in society."
Who is this Drucker that Warren is referring to? Paul Smith gives a pretty good summary of him on pages 13-14 of New Evangelicalism: The New World Order:
"In the American Secular World, Peter Drucker became a rising star as a notable management guru, achieving fame as a consultant to both General Motors and General Electric. His goal was to achieve optimum community in America wherein an individual's needs are met from the cradle to the grave. Along the way a person's worth is determined by a calculated system of accountability which assigns value that measures achievement...In Drucker's quest for optimum community, he discovered that the most effective agent of change in American life is the mega-church. At that point, Drucker and Rick Warren, a graduate of Fuller Seminary, came together. Warren has affectionately boasted that Drucker has been his mentor for over twenty years. Warren has vigorously implemented Drucker's key ideas at the Saddleback Church where his Purpose Driven model has been pioneered with national and international attention."
As we can see from above, Drucker's incredibly humanistic philosophy states that the value of a person is based on the economic contributions they make to society, not the fact that every human was created in the image of God and is therefore valuable. That's not surprising though, because Drucker admitted the following in an interview:
"I am not a born again Christian. I went to church and tithed. But no, I am not a Christian. I taught religion at Bennington College every other semester for five years; out of which the essay on Kierkegaard came after I stopped teaching there."
So, not only is Peter Drucker not a Christian, but the man has clearly shown that he used to be one of those humanist religion professors on college campuses, and that his humanism influenced his ethics. Because of this, the following quote of Drucker's from The End of Economic Man: The Origins of Totalitarianism shouldn't be too surprising:
"In spite of his need and search, Christianity and the churches have been unable to provide a religious social solution. All they can do today is give the individual religion. They cannot give a new society and a new community. Personal religious experience may be invaluable to the individual; it may restore his peace, may give him a personal God and rational understanding of his own function and nature. But it cannot re-create society and cannot make social community life sensible."
Doesn't it bother anyone that Rick Warren loves telling people that this guy was his mentor for twenty years?
Warren's Ties to New Ageism:
In the book Why It Matters: Avoiding Shipwreck at Cape Disappointment, Dr. Jim Jenkins describes his personal encounter of a peace pole planting in Salmon Arm, British Columbia in 1990. Jenkins records this on page 7:
"A large group of people were holding hands in a wide circle, swaying and chanting something. I inched closer and heard,
'We'd rather be dancing than marching. We'd rather hold hands than a gun. We are the New Age begun and we're learning the dance one by one.'"
Jenkins shares the following on page 10:
"A teen aged girl got up and recited a manifesto of sorts. I was stunned when she reached the point in her address where she, in a matter-of-fact fashion said,
'All religions that are not harmonious with the New Age must be eliminated...'"
Jenkins included the following quote from an article titled "World Peace University in Salmon Arm" in Shuswap Sun, a local newspaper, that covered the events that Jenkins witnessed:
"The goals of the World Peace University are to educate people who desire to create a world where peace is a way of life, where environmental balance exists, where there is food sufficiency, where social justice prevails and where an individual achieves the highest degree of self-realization within a community of co-operation."
What does the World Peace University have to do with Rick Warren? Check out this YouTube video from April 10, 2009 of Rick Warren at the World Economic Forum.
Here is what Rick Warren lists as the major problems on our planet: diseases, poverty, illiteracy, corruption (lack of social justice), Global Warming (environment), and spiritual emptiness (lack of peace). Later in the video, Rick Warren promotes unity among the world's religions by asking the following question:
"You can't talk community development without talking about churches and mosques and temples and synagogues; You just can't talk about it because they are the community, so my challenge to you is: Can we not all get along?"
Hopefully, you realize like I did that everything that Rick Warren just said lines up perfectly with the goals of World Peace University, an organization that is clearly powered by New Ageism. Doesn't it bother anyone that Rick Warren, a supposed follower of Jesus, is promoting the very things that New Ageism promotes?
If that isn't enough to convince you of Rick Warren's New Ageism ties, then this should: On October 6, 2011, in a blog post titled Rick Warren Recommends Pagan Mantra "Technique" For Christians, Amy Spreeman writes the following:
Why am I showing what Buddhist meditation looks like? Well, as regular readers of this blog know, I came out of the New Age, and while in the New Age I practiced many different types of mystical meditation (Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, pagan, etc.). And because of this, I can therefore attest that what Rick Warren is promoting is like what I practiced as a New Ager doing mystical meditation. The only thing that differs between so-called “Christian mysticism” and pagan mysticism is the “device” used for emptying the mind. And sadly, the big thing in churches now is to try to make this pagan practice “Christian” by adding Christian terminology. But the addition of Christian terminology does not somehow “sanctify” this practice and make it Christian. Any time a Christian hears the word “technique” they should run for the hills. We do not need a technique for approaching God!...
Yes, it is fine to go to a quiet place, calm the mind, maybe even take a few deep breaths. But focus on a word or phrase until one’s mind is emptied? No! Doing this technique puts a person into an , where the mind is not engaged. Once a person has used the technique to “park” the brain, he or she is still awake and somewhat aware but his or her God-given boundaries are down. So what happens to a person in this state? Mantra meditation is so very seductive because it generates a very powerful experience, an experience that is very real and feels very spiritual, and which deceives one into feeling as if they are actually encountering 'God.'"
Let's be clear about one thing: Rick Warren is a major player on the religion scene. He has 1,744,498 followers on his Facebook page, and his Purpose Driven model and the PEACE plan racks in lots of money and has lots of influence in the world.
The real question is, how can Rick Warren possibly be a true follower of Jesus when his mentor was a humanist who only saw religion as a tool to motivate people to contribute more to a nation's economy, and he promotes the goals and practices of New Ageism? The teachings of the Old and New Testament clearly condemn Rick Warren's close association with Humanism and New Ageism.
Who are the people we should be following? The answer is that we shouldn't be following any human authority. Sure, it's good to listen to what apologists like Frank Turek and Norm Geisler have to say because they can give us good evidence that shows that the Bible is true in matters of science, history, theology, and morality; It's also good to take a look at the teachings of any pastor that preaches only the bible in order to see if his perspective can show you something that you didn't see before, but ultimately the person we should follow is Jesus of Nazareth. Study Jesus' life in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and you will find that he is more in touch with reality than anybody else who has ever lived.