Rick Warren’s book, The Daniel Plan, was inspired by the original 2011 health seminar held at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, at which three experts came together to teach the world how to be healthy. There is nothing wrong with taking care of our bodies while we work toward making disciples of Jesus Christ, but let’s look at this approach strictly from a Christian perspective. One doctor is Muslim, one Jewish, and one a proponent of New Age mysticism: What could go wrong?
Warren said in an interview the book is far more than a diet; “it is about living a healthier life based on biblical principles,” however, the yeast being added to this recipe includes the doctor’s beliefs and practices that fall under the category of false teachings or another gospel. This is not a concern about associating with unbelievers; Jesus obviously spent time with sinners. However, He did not give unbelievers a platform with which to promote their religion or teachings that do not line up with the Bible.
The Daniel Plan landed in the No. 1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list in the “Advice, How To and Miscellaneous” list, and churches all across America are eating it up. Romans 14:13 warns us to be careful not to put a stumbling block in our brother’s way. I agree with writer, Marsha West, that there’s nothing wrong with losing weight; wanting to feel better, look better, be stronger, and think sharper. West stated:
The problem lies with the witch’s brew cooked up by Rick Warren and his team of doctors. As I’ve demonstrated, doctors Amen, Hyman and Oz are steeped in Eastern mysticism and the occult. A large number of Christians trust Rick Warren and will purchase their books — and a lot of them will be influenced by a worldview that is incompatible with Christianity, namely New Age Spirituality. Again, more than 5,000 small groups will go through TDP. God help them!
The following is an excerpt from ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA…
In 2011, Warren and Saddleback hosted the kick-off for the 52-week health program called The Daniel Plan. The problem is not with doing these things, it is with how they are done as well as who implements them. The “experts” called in to head the program go way beyond promoting physical health and are absolute advocates and proponents of eastern-style meditation.
Dr. Daniel Amen teaches techniques such as a twelve-minute form of meditation, Kriya Kirtan which includes chants and mantras for various purposes such as health and wealth. The promoted benefit of Kriya Kirtan is connecting with your inner divinity. This is a form of kundalini yoga (see Amen’s book, The Brain in Love, p. 146). Those who have researched and understand New Age mysticism know that kundalini (or serpent power) is the spiritual “energy” behind meditation.
Another form of meditation that Dr. Amen advocates is called “Tantra” or tantric sex which is the use of Hinduistic-type mysticism during sexual intercourse. Tantra is the name of the ancient Hindu sacred texts that contain certain rituals and secrets. Some deal with taking the energies brought forth in meditation through the chakras and combining them with love-making to enhance sexual experiences. Rick Warren clearly stated Dr. Amen’s resources would be available for those who attended the seminar and, of course, available on line. In almost all of Dr. Amen’s resources, he advocates eastern meditation.
Dr. Mark Hyman is a nominee to President Obama’s advisory group on prevention, health promotion, and public health. In his book The Ultramind Solution, Dr. Hyman emphasizes mystical meditation, saying it doesn’t matter what religion one has in order to benefit from it (p. 322). Dr. Hyman suggests that “Mindful meditation is a powerful, well-researched tool, developed by Buddhists” (p. 384). On Dr. Hyman’s website you can read the article, “How the Dalai Lama Can Help You Live to 120.” On the book’s front cover sits an endorsement by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the third Daniel Plan doctor.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a highly renowned cardiovascular surgeon was catapulted into American living rooms thanks to Oprah Winfrey who featured him on her show for five years, making him a household name. That eventually led to him getting his own television show, currently one of the more popular shows on TV. Like it or not, Oprah has influenced perhaps millions to at least check out the New Age movement and calls Oz her favorite doctor. Influenced by the mysticism of Sufi Muslims, Oz was raised as a Muslim and wrote an article called “Mehmet Oz Finds His Teacher” in which he shares his spiritual awakening.
According to one of Oz’s mentors, mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, “heaven and hell are not merely places but spiritual states. We do not ‘go there’ when we die. We are already there.” Dr. Oz is also a proponent of transcendental meditation and Reiki meditation, and his wife is a Reiki Master. Reiki is a type of “energy healing” based on the New Age chakra system and puts those practicing it into contact with the realm of familiar spirits.
These three doctors worked with Warren to create a health plan that may already have been implemented by Purpose Driven Churches worldwide, and tragically, millions of people could possibly be introduced to their New Age influences. If he doesn’t support their teachings, he sure gave them a big platform with which to promote them.
There’s a reason Christians are warned to “test all spirits,” be discerning, and do not believe every one. (1 Thess. 5:21, 1 John 4:1) Are book sales a confirmation that the contents are biblical?
…“But wait,” one might argue, “look at the size and growth of our church buildings and marketing campaigns and fundraisers! Look at how hip and relevant we are! We even serve cappuccino and lattes! We host Yoga classes and support environmentalism. Our sermons are catchy, our services are attractive, the kids are having fun, and we’ve blended in with culture!” This is my point exactly about conforming to the world’s ways in order to draw people to church. Let’s stick to teaching the simple, eternal truth of the gospel.
The danger of compromise is always on Christians who, while giving others the benefit of the doubt, partner with other [individuals and] organizations that have fundamentally contrasting beliefs and doctrines.
*To read complete excerpts from chapters 12 and 13 from ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, please click this link: