As I’ve already written about the misuse of scripture used to justify Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, it seems fitting to address other concerns surrounding the diet plan next.
I don’t think the church should be in the diet business at all, especially claiming falsely that there is an honest biblical support for it. But since it has already been done, let’s look at a new problem: unholy alliances and the introduction of New Age practices to his congregation.
To create The Daniel Plan, Warren turned to three non-Christian doctors for his supposedly “Christian” diet plan. And not just non-Christian, but New Age practitioners. The “team” of doctors includes Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Mehmet Oz. A closer examination of the doctors reveal that all three are proponents of eastern meditative practices, pagan religious activities that I believe are not acceptable for Christians. God is a jealous God and one who demands that we worship only him and has forbidden any occult practices or divination.
This kind of pragmatism is typical of the purpose driven pastor, but is unwise and even unbiblical.
Lighthouse Trails Research, a group that exposes such eastern mysticism and its infiltration of the Christian church, wrote, “The three doctors who have put together a 52-week health program for Saddleback congregants are absolute advocates and proponents of not just eastern-style meditation but actual eastern meditation and much much more as this article will reveal. Right off, let us say that if you are thinking perhaps that these doctors will only advise Saddleback on legitimate health advice (exercise, healthy eating, etc.) take a look at this video (taken place at Saddleback) between Rick Warren and Dr. Daniel Amen. Amen intends to help Saddleback participants to have good “brain health,” which he firmly believes comes from meditation. In this video, he openly discusses meditation with Rick Warren.”
You might have noticed that Amen claims the meditative technique he is recommending is not religious. But it is in fact a method for emptying your mind. Nothing in the Bible supports this and many former New Agers (who have become Christians) warn about its dangers. In fact the Bible says we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. How can we love with our mind if we are emptying it? Christine Pack from Sola Sisters has warned about Warren’s promotion of “centering prayer” saying: “I can therefore attest that what Rick Warren is promoting is exactly 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.”
Researchers at The Berean Call also have an excellent article about The Daniel Plan in which they write that Dr. Oz (whose regular Oprah appearances helped him get his own TV show) “claims to be influenced by Sufism (‘whirling dervishes’), a mystical Islamic contemplative practice in which the ‘adept’ spins himself into an altered state of consciousness in order to commune with Allah. Through the influence of his Protestant wife, he adopted some of the teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg, the founder of a pseudo-Christian cult that denies the Trinity, believes the Last Judgment is past, and teaches that ‘all who do good from the truth of their own religion’ will be accepted into heaven, since ‘doing good conjoins oneself to God.'”
He promotes multiple eastern religious practices including transcendental meditation, hypnosis and Reiki. Dr. Amen also promotes hypnosis and Kundalini yoga meditation, And lastly Dr. Hyman is a “mind-body medicine” expert who uses “outright New Age terminology” in his books which are very popular in that and the metaphysical community, according to Berean Call.
I also used the search function of The Daniel Plan website and found multiple pages promoting yoga, a practice thought by many to be benign, but that has eastern religious roots and ramifications (I’ve written about that before here).
Unfortunately, Warren’s willingness to expose his congregants to the teachings of such doctors wasn’t a shock — at least not to people who had been paying attention. As John Lanagan and others have written, Warren had already endorsed “contemplative prayer” and a number of proponents of contemplative spirituality. According to former New Agers, contemplative practices are merely eastern practices with a new label slapped on so that Christians don’t get scared away.
- Warren: Scripture twisting, eisegesis and allegorization (steakandabible.com)
- Headlines: The Alpha Course, atheist pastors, Rick Warren, and Tim Keller (steakandabible.com)
- Rick Warren: ‘Finding the Cross in every verse is eisegesis…’ (steakandabible.com)
- From Oprah to Oz – and Beyond (pilgrimpassing.wordpress.com)
- Rick Warren Week at Steak and a Bible (steakandabible.com)