The Mythical World of Richard Abanes

April 7, 2008

 

2 Timothy 3:13
13 “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
2 Tim 4:3-4

3 “For 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; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things than I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.

  • Speech by Joseph Goebbels on 9 January 1928 to an audience of party members at the so-called “Hochschule für Politik”, a series of training talks for Nazi party members in Berlin

I have been thinking about writing this article ever since Abanes showed up here for his usual drive by commenting as he is well known for on the internet.
My hesitance on this matter was due to the fact that I believe Richard Abanes thrives on attention, positive or negative.

 And good press or no press is still press at least he is being talked about.
So I measured whether to give Abanes more attention here or not.
Another consideration was the fact that most who don’t like Abanes and his redefineing of apologetics don’t need to be convinced that Richard is deceived. As well as those few fans of Abanes who are drawn to the trouble (not truth) that Richard causes when he shows up will not be convinced by my article.
But if there is even one person out there that is not quite sure how to take Richard Abanes this article is for you.
Again anything I say you will always need to hold it up to the only word that counts. And thats Gods Word.
I am not going to dispute Richard on every point he has made on his comments you can go over to the letters to Richard Abanes post and judge for yourself. I will show a couple of Richards comments here to make certain points though.
The purpose of this article is to show that I do not believe Richard Abanes is a source of any kind of reliable information or truth. Most of all since Richard so often speaks in half truths or limited information on the topic. Not telling the whole story. You the reader will have to determine for yourselves Richards motives.
I have been debating Abanes for a number of years now and am very aware of Richards M.O and techniques. If he doesn’t know you he will try to win you over with some often flattering speech or common ground and then once dialog starts based on your reaction and comments will direct how you stand in the mythical world of Richard Abanes. If you oppose him he immediately changes from Mr Nice Guy to a attack dog. All the while accusing those who oppose him of being attack dogs, users of hate speech etc.. I’ve often wondered how Richard disengages himself from his own writing. Because Abanes seems clueless to the words he uses to describe others in the midst of Richard screaming foul.
Some have asked me why I have given Abanes a voice here on my blog.
Good question.
Two reasons.
1.Richard is his own worst enemy. Sometimes letting him just comment expose’s him better than I ever could.
2. Again Abanes coming here (a very much anti Warren site) and trying to strike up a conversation with me and my readers goes to show the methods Rick Warren uses to dialog and get people to buy into his vision.
I have no common ground with Richard Abanes or do I desire to dialog with him. He is a member of Saddleback and a follower of Rick Warren. Sorry we don’t have anything in common to chat about.
Now Richard may dispute his being a follower of Rick Warren (of course Abanes will state he is a follower of Jesus Christ) but Richards actions of defending Warren all over the internet  primarily instead of the Christain faith shows Richards true intentions. Note what I just said. Abanes defends Rick Warrens faith instead of the Christian faith. This I believe shows Richards true colors.
Also note the defence of Rick Warrens associations.
Even though Richard has posted a warning about Ken Blanchards teachings, books etc.. note the disclaimer (back door for Richard I call it) has posted within the warning. “Therefore, in the coming months, I plan on carefully reviewing the material I have obtained. My findings will be made  public after a careful examination of these documents. Until then,-
My hope is to complete ASAP a thorough investigation of the situation, including a look into what has transpired over the last few years between Blanchard and Watchman Fellowship ” end of quote-
Now I want to show why I believe Abanes not only ignores the truth but purposely spread misinformation to put your focus on anything other than him taking any kind of personall responsibility . Note the use of the phrase “until then”
Richard also uses a back door here ” “ I have received information (c. March 24, 2008) that seems to suggest, at least at first glance, that there might indeed be an ongoing serious problem with Blanchard’s ability to discern biblically sound individuals from persons who are known enemies of the cross of Christ.”
Note his use of the words seems to suggest and at least first glance. Balance this out against the facts. Ken Blanchard has continued to endorse new age authors and books look at Jim Ballards new book.  Ken Blanchard is still a member of the Hoffman Insitute. This are indisputable facts and Richard is aware of this. And I have a problem with Abanes stating he is a investigative journalist as well as stating true reliable sources such as Lighthouse Trails are and I quote
From Abanes article the Blanchard Bashers “As I have stated elsewhere, the Dombrowskis research leaves much to be desired.
“Rather than providing accurate, carefully-researched, and verifiable information, the Dombrowski’s allowed faulty information to be released to the public—information that also has since caused division, strife, and alarm (see my article on the Ken Blanchard issue here).”
When taking a second look at the paragraphs right above Abanes own warning about Blanchard we see Richards statements
I eventually came to find out that Blanchard was no New Ager.”

“Nearly three years have passed now since the controversy, and I have heard Blanchard speak on various occasions. And by his words and deeds, I can only believe that he has truly fought, and continues to fight, to grow in the grace and knowledge of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. “
“Blanchard’s admission of errors, his willingness to learn more about doctrinal discernment, his attempts to express regret over decisions he had made, and his ongoing work to spread the Gospel have meant nothing to such individuals. They have continued to resurrect the old controversy from 2005, declaring that Blanchard has not done enough to prove he has truly repented. As of 2008, this is basically where the Ken Blanchard controversy stands.”
Underneath this shows Richards new Blanchard 2008 update.
I find this all to be very confusing since Richard appears to want it both ways. He claims Blanchard is not a New Ager yet warns people about Blanchards teaching and books.
The facts are still the facts and they are out there to the public. The fact is Richard did’nt check to see what was going on with Ken Blanchard and his own research was flawed until he was made aware of the information through Bud Press.
Again Richard speaking things out as fact before he got his facts straight is something he accuses everyone else of doing.
Richard Abanes goes to great lengths to defend new ager Len Sweet ,again I believe the motive here is because of Sweets well documented association with Rick Warren.
Again as with Ken Blanchard, Abanes states for the record
Leonard Sweet is no New Ager.
Here is the truth about Leonard Sweet-
From Lighthouse Trails
“New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet, who will be training church leaders and pastors at the 2008 Saddleback Small Groups Conference in April, is accepted by Rick Warren as a trustworthy source of Christian leadership. However, Sweet’s view of the value of small groups lines up more with the New Age and Alice Bailey than it does with biblical Christianity. In his book, Quantum Spirituality, Sweet states: 
 

The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people “in-phase” with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another.

What Sweet means by “Christ consciousness” can be determined through his book, Quantum Spirituality. For instance, in the Acknowledgements pages Sweet thanks the “New Light leaders” whom he has followed in his spiritual journey. He names interspiritualists/universalists such as Matthew Fox (author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ), Episcopalian priest/mystic Morton Kelsey, Willis Harman (author of Global Mind Change) and Ken Wilber (one of the major intellectuals in the New Age movement). In the Preface of Sweet’s book (p. 3), he (referring to other New Agers such as Gary Zukav) says: “Unfortunately, little of this literature is known or celebrated in the religious community.” Zukav’s book, The Seat of the Soul, teaches people how to get in touch with their spirit guides.

Since the release of Quantum Spirituality in 1991, Sweet has never renounced the spirituality of the book, and in fact offers a free online edition from his current website. This means he still agrees with its contents.

A key to understanding Sweet’s meaning of “Christ consciousness” can be partly found in his reference on page 13 to Thomas Merton, whom he quotes as saying:

We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity.

And also in Sweet’s TOE (Theory of Everything) in which he believes that a “unifying principle” binds all things together.

Now if you cant discern that Len Sweet is promoting the New Age here I would question your ability to discern what is true biblically.
As Richard Abanes question’s us “Discerners” (a biblcal term that Abanes uses’s with scorn) and our ability to do any kind of good research. I must call into question Richards ability (or willful ignorance) of the same.
Richard has also went on record defending the Emergent Church here-
http://tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com/tallskinnykiwi/2008/02/hot-on-the-bl-1.html

I also site that I do not think Warrens defence of Rick Warren is a very good one.

Richard also stretch’s scripture in order to cover and make excuses for Rick Warren as is pointed out in the herescope article quote here.

Some Christians are concerned about the NCV version of Ephesians 4:6 which Warren quotes and employs to discuss “practicing the presence of God.” The controversy caused spiritual counterfeits author Richard Abanes to defend Rick Warren’s use of that NCV text as a basis for practicing the presence of God. Abanes explained that all Warren meant to teach was the immanence of God, that God is present “not only above and beyond the universe, but also throughout it (His omnipresence).”(2) To accept Abanes’ apologetic that Warren is not a pantheist, several issues need to be resolved. First, the NCV translation of Ephesians 4:6 directly states that God is “in everything.” That may not be what Warren believes, or meant to communicate, but that is what that version states. Though the version may not directly infer a pantheistic way of viewing God, at minimal, it gives a panentheistic impression of God. Though Abanes disclaims that Rick Warren is a pantheist, and did not mean to promote such a concept of God, Warren chose to quote a modern paraphrase that infers such a view of God.

Second, in the context of Ephesians 4, Paul did not affirm the immanence and omnipresence of God in the universe. What he did state is truth regarding the church universal, the Body of Christ (vv. 1-16). In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul sets forth teaching that being a UNITY (vv. 1-6) and consisting of a DIVERSITY (vv. 7-13a), the church ought to grow together into MATURITY (vv. 13b-16). The basis for such UNITY amidst DIVERSITY is that throughout the church universal there is “One God and Father of all, who

 

is above all, and through all, and in you all” (v. 6b, KJV). Being in the Father and Son, and united by the Spirit, the Body of Christ is permeated by the “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6b, NKJV; Compare John 17:20-23.). In this majestic statement, Paul affirms God’s presence in and lordship over the church. Though God is present in the farthest and darkest recesses of the universe (Psalm 139:7), Paul was not stating that in this context. He is teaching that though God is universally present throughout the cosmos, He is particularly present in and throughout the believing and regenerate church.

Third, if by his NCV citation of Ephesians 4:6b we assume that Warren meant to teach that the immanence/omnipresence of God is the basis upon which persons are to practice God’s presence, Warren’s invitation to practice God’s presence is inter-religious. Because God is everywhere, all persons, no matter what their religion, are invited to practice God’s presence. By quoting the NCV, Warren provides a basis for ecumenical spirituality, a practicing of the presence of a generic God by all persons, no matter what their religious persuasion might be. Because God is everywhere, everyone can practice the divine presence.

But the basis upon which Christians are conscious of God’s presence is not that of

 

divine immanence, but divine indwelling which the Bible states is not common to everyone everywhere. Jesus told his disciples that “the world cannot receive” the Holy Spirit “because it does not behold Him or know Him.” He then issues a qualifier to the disciples saying, “but you know Him because He abides with you” (John 14:17). And Jesus further states to the disciples that for reason of the coming Spirit baptism (Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12:13), the Holy Spirit “will be in you” (John 14:17b).

Richard Abanes’ apologetic on behalf of Rick Warren does not adequately answer concerns regarding the accusation of panentheism. Warren’s NCV citation of Ephesians 4:6b was a terrible choice. Further, it is theologically misleading, and leaves the door open for ecumenical spirituality. It would have been better if both Abanes and Warren would have admitted that the NCV is a bad paraphrase, and that the author had inconsiderately quoted it. But for whatever the reason, they did not. To the point that God resides in everything, Warren’s quotation of Ephesians 4:6b is unqualified and therefore misleading. It does not follow that what is true of the church (the called out ones) is necessarily true of all God’s creatures and creation.”

Another comment from Moriel Ministries and Jacob Prasch-
Moriel Ministries & Jacob Prasch take extreme exception to the long statement highly critical of Chuck Smith, various Calvary Chapels, Roger Oakland and Dave Hunt by Richard Abanes of Saddleback Church in reaction to their expressed position regarding The Purpose Driven Agenda of Rick Warren. Mr. Abanes wrote as an apologist for Rick Warren and the Saddleback Purpose Driven ethos.

The response by Mr. Abanes was an exercise in circumlocution failing centrally and candidly to address the various concerns voiced to the unbiblical nature of The Purpose Driven Agenda. These are well documented in a series of well-researched and strongly lucid books and presentations by Warren Smith, Ray Yungen, Roger Oakland, Bob DeWaay, James Sundquist and others.

The caveats raised by Chuck Smith and various Calvary Chapel ministers, by Roger Oakland & Understanding The Times, and by Dave Hunt & The Berean Call, are scripturally based objections to a compromise of biblical doctrine, biblical standards, and the nature of the biblical Gospel itself.

The Purpose Driven agenda combines the programmatic approach of marketing guru of the late Peter Drucker (a non believer) with a plethora of consumer psychology, New Age, and an ecumenical & interfaith pattern of compromise on essentials of the Christian faith – even advising rabbis who reject their true Messiah how to grow bigger synagogues without the gospel of Yeshua (Jesus). Mr. Abanes’ attempted defense of Purpose Driven involvement with Yoga as mere “stretching exercises” are directly balked at by Christian evangelists saved out of Hinduism such as Tom Chacko, and reflects the incipient New Age infiltration of the church in addition to the more general influences of New Age figures such as Ken Blanchard. …

In conclusion-
In one of Richards comments on this blog he states
“now you guys have just gone kooky. You are living on another planet, in another dimension of your own reality created from the most bizarre religious delusions I have ever witnessed up close and personal. Now, there is simply no reason to talk to you because, well, to be honest, you just can’t even understand plain old English anymore.”
 
I have to agree there are two very clear camps forming. One that adhears to the fundementals in Christianity by both word and deed.
And another camp that picks and chooses what parts of Christianity they choose to follow and scorn anyone in Christinanity who would refer to themselves as being fundemental.

This is a new form of Christianity that has taken evil form and at its roots is not Jesus Christ or His word.

 But a church based on the felt needs of man.

 A church that was based on (and grew) because unbelievers ( people on there way to hell) were sought in council on how to do church.

The council of unbelievers were then turned into programs and a unholy church emerged from that.

 Growing to great proportions in a short amount of time.

And Christianity in America and around the world was weakned as a result of a counterfeit church and a lack of biblical discerning Christians.
Welcome to the Mythical World of Richard Abanes.
You now will have to compare all of this to scripture and see who is telling the truth.
Tim Wirth

 

Sources
http://abanes.com/warren_blanchard.html

https://nogoofyzone.wordpress.com/2008/03/24/zletters-to-richard-abanes-concerning-ken-blanchard-and-the-new-age-movement/
http://abanes.com/LTRP_PressRelease.html
http://simplyagape.blogspot.com/2005/08/richard-abanes-defends-leonard-sweet.html
http://abanes.com/warren_sweet.html
http://tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com/tallskinnykiwi/2008/02/hot-on-the-bl-1.htmlhttp://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/01/god-i.html

http://www.moriel.org/articles/notice_board/in_defense_cc_hunt_oakland.htm

 

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5 Responses to “The Mythical World of Richard Abanes”

  1. Chris L said

    Tim,

    All I see here is a perfect example of Godwin’s Law. Perhaps you should stop slandering other Christians.

    Yes?

  2. Michael said

    Tim,

    I disagree with many people in the Body of Christ, but comparing them with even remotely with the godless devils of WWII would be shameful and inexcusable.

    The hatred and division these issues generate is absolutely grievous, but I never believed it would sink to this level.

  3. Hi Michael: This to me is way beyond simple disagreement. I have stated for the record I believe Rick Warren has created a new religion. I am in the process of doing a article comparing the Catholic Church to the Purpose Driven Church. Both started out accomidating pagans and accomidating the wants of pagans (we would call them unbelievers). I do agree what these issue’s generate is grevious. But there is no hatred on my part. Division of course because purpose driven and Rick Warrens new religion is not Christianity just a counterfeit.
    Thank you for taking the time to comment.
    Tim

  4. PS Michael: I am a native Phoenician and I do miss Phoenix, Ariz. I grew up on 51 st Ave and Osborn road. And before I was saved played at many of the night clubs in that area. Many good churches in Phoenix.
    Tim

  5. Hi Chris L: Saw your site and read your recomended reading list. As well as noticed your South Park avatar. I know exactly where you are coming from. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
    Tim

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