Richard Abanes, Rick Warren and The New Age Movement part 2

April 22, 2008

Lets concentrate on Leonard Sweet his association with Rick Warren and his endorsement by Richard Abanes. As well as Warrens continued association with Robert Schuller.

First here is some material from Leonard Sweet

Here are some quotes from Leonard Sweets book titled “Quantum Spirituality.”
ebook Quantum Sprituality pg 7 “Scientists are criss -crossing disciplines like never before, their common meeting place the computor. As postmodern science reorients itself toward wholeness, the possibility opens for a fresh synthesis in which religion, science, philosophy, and aesthetics can synergize a hermeneutical vision of spirituatity, the nascience of this hermenutical consciousness, or what Max L Stackhouse would call a metaphysical-moral vision, I am calling the New Light apologetic. It is already present in bits and pieces, here and there in this discipleneand that discipline, in this denomination and that denomination, in this thinker and that thinker. The New Light apologetic represents a Christian alternative to the largely Old Light “New Age” movement. The emergence of this New Light apologetic is a harbringer and hope that a new age old world is aborning in the church, even that the church may now be on the edge of another awakening. Amidst all the cliffhanging circumstances and conditions of the church, the Spirit is at work. All around there is evidence that the church is learning to dance to a new rhythm, to adapt the metaphor of Harvard Business School professor, economist Rosabeth Moss Kanter. The New Light movement is characterized by bizarre, sometimes anxious alliances of a ragbag assortment of preachers, theologians, pastors, professors, artists, scientists, business leaders, and scholars. What ties their creative piracy togtheris a radical faith commitment that is willing to dance to a new rhythm.” End quote
From Quantum Spirituality by Len Sweet The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people “in-phase” withthe Christ consciousness and connected with one another. P. 147 New Lights offer up themselves as the cosmions of a mind-of-Christ consciousness. As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmodernsfrom one state of embodiment to another. P. 48 A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Böhme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on. P. 235 The Third Testament-pg 249 “The gospel is a story that is only partially completed. Openess to the mysterious suprises of the Spirit working through Logos,Pathos, Ethos,and Theosmust affect our understanding of truth if we are to walk where the concret ends. Old things need to be said in new ways. New things can only be said in new ways. When they get corseted into old concepts, they get distorted and damaged.

And here is Richard Abanes defense of Leonard Sweet
Dear Folks, This is NOT a post about Rick Warren. This is a post about Leonard Sweet. OK, here goes—he is NOT a New Ager. (goodness, why is everyone so obsessed with the New Age and making everyone else into a New Ager). Anywhoooooo, clearly Sweet is not a New Agergiven his comments in an recent interview with I submit the following— ___________BEGIN INTERVIEWER: In your interview withRelevant Magazine you said you were very conservative about some things.” In what ways are you postmodern? And in what ways are you not? SWEET: I believethat Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. I believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible word of God. I believein the virgin birth, literal resurrection, all of that. Theologically, my content is very conservative. But when it comes to how one communicates that content and what containers one uses to communicate that content, I’m very open. I want the church to be innovative, radical and indigenous to the culture. (Sometimes it scandalizes people how conservative I am in my theology.) ___________END Doesn’t sound very POSTMODERN to me. Sounds kinda, well . . . Christian.

End quote (this was from a discussion Richard and I had in 2005 on I believe Tim Challis website)

This is a comment from my brother in the Lord Steve Muse on the article I had posted on my other website on this article-


I have read and am re-reading L. Sweet’s ‘Quantum Spiritualiy’. Out of curiousity, I went back to my research on what is known as “Christian Theosophy” which inevitably led me back to Alice Bailey and Madame Blavatsky, noted Occult Theosophists, and was not surprised to fine….what a striking similarity between Sweet’s work and theirs. I then compared QS with writers such as Barbara Marx Hubbard, Neale Donald Wasch, Marianne Williamson and again…the similarities are striking. (His work has been read by a number of other researchers with the same resulting comments.)

I would encourage anyone to follow the trails, do your own research and not depend on my meager attempts to find the truth. That is what the internet is there for. Make up your own minds on who this man is in relationship to the mainstream leadership pool which includes Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, Jay Gary, Peter Senge, Bob Buford and especially Peter Drucker and on the Emergent front, Brian McLaren, Erwin McManus, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt and the like.

Where is the discernment, folks? end of comment


What Richard does not understand
Is that the point of something being New Age is it sounds kinda well… Christian
This is from someone who claims to be a expert in the field of the occult, new religious movements, world religions and Christian doctrine.

From Richard Abanes own website-

Doctrinally/theologically, Leonard Sweet is about as Christian as anyone can get. So why haveso many “discernment” ministries and assorted Christians charged him with being a New Ager? I believeit is because Sweet communicates with unconventional language. When he shares his thoughts/ideas, either in print or verbally, he often:


1) raises abstract thoughts and musings;

2) challenges established ways of discussing biblical truths;

3) does not stick to Christian-speak with which Christians are comfortable;

4) creates his own words/definitions for what he is trying to say;

5) uses terminology that is similar to the kind used in the New Age;

6) sometimes makes observations based on the observations made by non-Christians;

7) resorts to highly technical/scientific language (some of which resembles New Age lingo); and

8) employs scientific concepts/theories.


Imnot sure how any rational Christian can read “Quantum Spirituality” and not come away with the determination that Len Sweet is a New Ager.

As for Rick Warren and Robert schuller who Richard Abanes on his own website call Schuller “heretic-liberal Robert Schuller “


Why would any discerning Christian attend a conferance at a heretic and a liberal. It is also a known fact that Schuller has promoted new age teaching such as “A Course in Miracles.”

Why would a Christian have fellowship with the works of darkness?

Here are some more facts about Rick Warren and his relationship with Schuller

***Updated*** The Real Facts About Rick Warren’s Ties to Robert Schuller

I just got done reading part one of Rick Warren’s interview with World Net Daily and if I didn’t laugh I would have cried.

There is one constant that I’ve learned in researching Rick Warren, HE’S A MASTER AT TWISTING THE TRUTH. Whether it is a passage of scripture that Warren twists to support his Purpose-Driven gospel or his claim to being Rupert Murdoch’s Pastor but not really meaning that he was “actually Murdoch’s Pastor”, Rick Warren is the king of the modern sophists. His latest twist is a REAL DOOOSIEand it is well worth reviewing the facts.

In the WND interview Warren tries to distance himself from the claim that he has been ‘mentored’ by Robert Schuller.

Here is what Warren told WND:

Quote 1

“Without a doubt,” he told WND. “I make mistakes all the time.” But he added, “I always own up to mistakes that I actually do. I just won’t own up to mistakes that weren’t really a mistake.”Many false claims, he contended, havetaken on a life of their own on Internet blogs, such as assertions he was mentored by positive-thinking pastor Robert Schuller and influenced by Norman Vincent Peale. The claims often are tied to criticism he’s preaching a watered-down, pop-psychology gospel of self-esteem and “easy believism.”

“I’ve only met Robert Schuller twice, I believe. I’venever had a one-on-one conversation with him. Not once. So how do I even know him?”. (Online Source)


Quote 2

The Robert Schuller “mentorship,” for example, likely originated with a statement the Crystal Cathedral pastor made on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” But Warren said he’s met Schulleronly a couple of times and never had a one-on-one conversation with him.The claim was furthered by author George Mair in a biography of Warren called “A Life with Purpose” then spread like wildfire among Internet blogs.

“In the first place, this guy is not even a Christian, never talked to me, never talked to any staff member, never talked to any member of my family, and in the book claimed that he did,” Warren said. “He flat-out lied.”

Warren pointed out Mair is also the author of celebrity tomes such as “Paris Hilton: The Naked Truth” and “Oprah Winfrey: The Real Story.”

“What he does is he finds, quote, celebrities, and churns out a quick book,” Warren said.
The book was rife with errors from secondary sources, including the wrong number of children and wrong hometown, Warren pointed out.

“A lot of Christians then took and read that stuff, reported it on a blog, blogs copy blogs copy blogs copy blogs. And it’s kind of like spreading a feather pillow, you can’t get all the feathers back.”
Warren said he has discussed with Billy Graham how to handle criticism.

“The general policy is, as much as possible, you don’t respond,” he said. “And so, I haveto live witha lot of misconceptions about the thing with Schuller.” (Online Source)


From what Warren told WND we are being led to believe that…

1. The claims that Rick Warren preaches a pop-psych, self-esteem gospel of easy believism are falsely linked to an alleged association between Warren and Schuller that has been grossly overstated by smear authors and bloggers.2. Warren wasn’t really mentored by Robert Schuller because he’s only met him twice.

3. Therefore, Warren’s message and methods, contrary to what his critics say, have not been substantially influenced by Robert Schuller.


Okay let’s review some facts here.

I am publicly on record as one of “those bloggers” who have linked Warren to Shuller. You can read what I’ve stated on this matter here and here. My position has been and still is that Rick Warren has been significantly influenced by Robert Schuller’s methods of Church Growth. Which leads us to a very critical question…


Was it Robert Schuller? No, It wasn’t Robert Schuller. I’ve never seen the Larry King interview that Warren referenced. But as you will see, Robert Schuller has something to say on this matter.

Was it George Mair? I’ve never even seen one of Mair’s books.

So who was it that told me that Rick Warren was heavily influenced by Robert Schuller?

That person was Rick Warren’s wife KAY WARREN! Here is what KAY WARREN told Christianity Today back in November of 2002:

During his last year in seminary, he and Kay drove west to visit Robert Schuller’s Institute for Church Growth. “We had a very stony ride out to the conference,” she says, because such nontraditional ministry scared her to death. Schuller, though, won them over. “He had a profound influence on Rick,” Kay says. “We were captivated by his positive appeal to nonbelievers. I never looked back.” (Online Source)

It is very clear from Kay’s account that attending Robert Schuller’s Institute was a life changing event for Rick Warren. In fact, Shuller’s ideas and methods had such a deep impact on Rick Warren’s thinking that he adopted them, imitated them and made them his own. We read two paragraphs later:

Imitating Schuller, Warren walked the (then unincorporated but fast-growing) town of Lake Forest, asking what kept people from going to church. (Online Source).

So far we’ve learned that according to Rick Warren’s wife (she is definitely a member of his family and a first-hand eye-witness to the events reported) in an interview with Christianity Today (hardly a smear and gossip magazine):

1. Rick Warren and his wife attended Robert Schuller’s Institute for Church Growth.2. Robert Sculler won them over.

3. Rick and Kay were ‘captivated by Schuller’s ‘positive appeal to nonbelievers’. (Kay Warren’s words, not mine)

4. Robert Schuller had a PROFOUND INFLUENCE on Rick. (Kay Warren’s words, not mine)

5. When Warren started Saddleback Church he “imitated Robert Schuller”


But wait there’s more. Robert Schuller himself has written about his influence on Rick Warren. Said Schuller:

“What has been accomplished already through this church is phenomenal because of the dedicated members and friends we have.  I see the results today of the Institute for Successful Church Leadership which we dared to launch 35 years ago and it is still going strong.  Here ministers are inspired to believe in their dreams and to present the good news of the gospel in positive terms.  And some of those students are well-known….there’s Rick Warren, a pastor who today is phenomenal.  He came to our institute time after time.  And in “Christianity Today,” his wife was quoted as saying, “When we came to that institute, we were blown away.”  How God has blessed him.  And today Rick Warren is blessing millions of people. (Online Source)


But wait there’s even more! Schuller’s own website claims that Rick Warren was “MENTORED” at Schuller’s Church Growth Institute. Said Schuller’s website:

“We are the home of the world’s first Church Growth Institute, -launching the mega-church movement in the 20th century. Tens of thousands of pastors, including famous graduates Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Bishop Blake, Walt Kallestad, and Sundo Kim of Korea, were mentored here.” (Online Source)

Schuller himself not only corroborates Kay Warren’s story in Christianity Today, he claims that Rick Warren came to his institute “time after time” and that Warren was MENTORED there.

The facts are that Warren’s and Saddleback havenever broke ties with Robert Schuller or his church. What more facts are need if Kay would attend a conference there.
In conclusion please check the scriptures to see if what is being stated and taught is the truth. If its not I encourage you to reject it.
As for me I have no vested interest here besides a loveand passion for getting the truth out to the Body of Christ. You need to decide whether you want to get information from people who were actually there or ex new agers etc.. and experience is often the best teacher.
Or people who spin the truth by information they find on the internet no real hard research done. As well as those who pick’s and chooses their information often not telling the whole story.
For the record Richard Abanes did not post his warning about Ken Blanchard until he received current information from Bud Press about Ken Blanchard  (the same Bud Press who Richard now has stated-

Dusty: Anyone heard of Christian Research Service?

RA: Yes. Bad. False. Slander. Sensationalistic. Knee-jerk. A guy named Bud Press.


Be careful of this site though the pastor (?) who leads this has a knack for dropping curse words. It must be since Mark Driscoll is so in vogue now for some of the crowd.

It also needs to be stated that Richard posted a 2008 all is ok with Blanchard update titled under the Blanchard Bashers before he received the information from Bud Press.
 Information that is readily available  and is inrefutable and factual about Ken Blanchard.
Investigative reporting or pick and choose reporting you decide.
I have never seen the need to go around and defend the truth about my brothers in the Lord Bud, Deb, Mike, Sandy, Deb, Steve, Jacob, Roger, Ray, Warren as well as many others out there who have a passion for the Body of Christ.
The truth will always defend itself because it has the Holy Spirits leadings.
You have to ask yourself why someone like Abanes would spend hundreds of man hours defending a man and his church.
And putting up a poor defence as well.
There are two different forces at work here folks.
Two plainly divided camps.
You will need to decide where you stand.
Tim Wirth

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