Battle of the Warrens

When my interest in something is piqued I tend to obsess about it. For instance, I found GT’s Kombucha with chia seeds, tried it, didn’t like it at first, but grew to love it over the course of three days, and now I feel a bit odd without my daily sweet and sour seedy mix.

Lately I’ve become obsessed with finding something, anything, interesting on the internet. When I find that which is interesting, I obsess over it for a bit and end up formulating a short story around it. So far, this habit has led to three short story ideas. My study of kundalini energy led to a scifi story set on a virtual diamond mining platform. (If you scare easily DON’T research kundalini energy. I’m serious. It gave me nightmares. And I threw away my yoga book because of it.)

My study of mind-controlling reptilian aliens (google “Reptilians”) inspired another speculative fiction story whose details I won’t divulge because I haven’t written it yet.

My study of the Toronto Blessing planted another story seed which I will be watering soon.

Rick Warren

What’s any of this have to do with Rick Warren? Shew. It’s almost too much to explain in one post and you will have to connect some of the dots yourself. Nevertheless, let me try to summarize.

Who in the room went through 40 Days of Purpose (inspired by Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life”) at their church? Raise your hands. Me!

Although I wouldn’t call it life-changing, I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed my church’s sermon series based on it. Never in my reading or my listening did my discernment bells start ringing. I suppose I never had any real reason to question Rick Warren. He’s a good guy, right? Leading people to Christ. Surely I can trust him?

I do recall a couple books before my Christian days that were life changing. (Not so positively, I now realize.) Before becoming a Christian, my views of God were peppered with New Age-y conceptions. Luckily I never got too deep into it, but I did read enough books that my view of God became warped. Two of the books I blame the most are Barbara Brennen’s “Hands of Light” and Betty Eadie’s “Embraced by the Light”. (By the way, no thank you Oprah. I could go on a day long rant about your flimsy yet dangerous spirituality. I vomit it out of my mouth a thousand times over and then some.) The deception in those two books has lingered with me for years, I’m still unraveling it. Hence I am very much interested in stories of former New Agers who are now believers in the Christ of the Bible. (Emphasis on Bible.)

Warren B. Smith: Former New Ager

One of those fellows is Warren B. Smith. I’ve happened upon his story many times during my search for internet oddities. I haven’t read his books (yet), but I have read his testimony, and I very much admire what he’s doing. As a former New Ager, he’s now devoted to pointing out ways New Age thought is infiltrating the church. He and others like him have helped me weed out some of the subtle yet damaging pantheistic beliefs that still run amok in my head a decade (and then some) after my Christian baptism.

Interestingly, Warren Smith has a book titled “Deceived on Purpose” which goes a little something like this:

Christian author Warren Smith’s book Deceived on Purpose warns about the serious New Age implications of Pastor Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life. Smith takes the reader into the inner workings of today’s evangelical world as he explores the questionable interconnections of several of its top leaders. As Rick Warren goes worldwide with his purpose-driven Global Peace Plan, Smith presents an in-depth examination of this mega-church pastor’s spiritual agenda. He explains how Rick Warren’s Peace Plan could eventually merge with the New Age Peace Plan that is being similarly presented by key New Age leaders.

The Battle of the Warren’s

Like I said, you’ll have to connect some dots on your own. Let’s just say I now have the battle of the Warren’s playing out in my head. The main question being, “Can I trust Rick Warren?”

Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan

Adding fuel to the fight is Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan.

“The Bible says that God wants you to be as healthy physically as you are spiritually,” said Warren in a video announcing the event. “The plan will help you feel better, look better, have more energy, get in shape, and use your body the way God wants you to.”

Renowned physicians Dr. Daniel Amen, bestselling author and psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Hyman, a metabolism expert, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiac surgeon and host of The Dr. Oz Show, will join Warren at the church’s main campus in Lake Forest, Calif., to kick off the initiative.

Great! The church needs to get in shape. I love the idea and I’ve been thinking it myself for years. So what’s the problem? Well, let me ask you. Do you have a problem with this?

  1. Dr. Oz advises people to try Reiki.
  2. Dr. Amen recommends people try Kirtan Kriya which is a form of meditation taught in Kundalini Yoga.
  3. Dr. Hyman also endorses yoga.

Looks like Rick Warren expected some push back because he addresses it on his site.

Thanks so much for contacting us with your concerns about the Daniel Plan. We’re very aware of the fact that there are uncertainties about our association with Doctors who may not share our own strong theological convictions about the nature of salvation and about the truthfulness of Scripture. Let us reassure you of some very important details…

I’m not against a whole foods diet. I’m not against alternative approaches to medicine. I’m not against exercising and taking supplements. Further, I have no doubts that Drs. Oz, Amen, and Hyman are motivated out of love for other people. I also have no doubts that some or much of the things they recommend could be helpful to others.

I’m still bothered.

(This is coming from a hippie who sucks on chia seeds.)

Why does Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan bother me? Why does it bother me that he chose non-Christians to create his health plan when he could have chosen discerning Christians? Truth is, it doesn’t just bother me. It grieves me.

And so the battle goes on in my brain, and will for quite some time, I’m sure.

Can I trust Rick Warren?

I’d love to hear your opinions.