Monday, October 30, 2006

Rick Warren - Is He Scary?

"Do secular liberals who applaud and enable Warren know that he aims to recruit '1 billion Christian foot soldiers' who are willing to do 'whatever it takes' to turn the entire planet into a purpose-driven Kingdom of God? That his Purpose-Driven Ministries, he says, has trained more than 400,000 ministers and priests in 162 countries?
"Typically, demagogues who dream of making the whole world conform to their single, uncompromising vision wear gaudy military uniforms that give them an immediately threatening veneer. Rick Warren, on the other hand, favors Hawaiian shirts decorated with large pineapples. Be very afraid. "
[Mary Reinholz, "The Thirteen Scariest People in America, October 30, 2006, Old Trout Magazine][emphasis added]

The quote above comes from the left of the spectrum. Now why would Rick Warren be scary to them? Maybe for the same reasons he is scary to us. Did you know that these things were part of the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan?

"…armed guards, biometric palm scanners and steel doors that guard the facility…"

The Orange County Register, the newspaper of note in "Saddleback Country," California, has been doing a series of stories this Fall on Rick Warren -- his church, his fame, his programs, etc. Most of these pieces haven't been notable. But yesterday's article was another matter. For the first time we get to peek behind the scenes at the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. And what we learn is downright scary!

1. There is a strangely SECRETIVE "Internet-based PEACE plan training."

This is for the short-term missionaries who become part of the billion-man army to implement Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. The article states that:

"The fledgling 'e-missionaries' depend in turn upon a $3 million Internet-based training platform the church is building to educate and track its PEACE plan participants. When finished, the Web site ( will constitute the main – if not only – source of information many PEACE missionaries will have about the troubled places they visit." [emphasis added]

2. This uses a mammoth databanking facility.

This use of Internet technology which is unprecedented in the way in which it will manage, control, direct, monitor and databank the emerging Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan -- its recruits and its activities. The article reports that this databank is an:

"…expression of Warren's lifelong fascination with the evangelistic possibilities of technology and the first test pilots of his belief that the Internet is, like the printing press, an epochal invention that will multiply the message of Christ and transform the future church.

"'Every time God's word is put in a new technology, there's a spiritual awakening,' Warren says. 'We are in a very exciting age where technology is allowing me, and allowing other people, to have far greater impact because it shrinks distance and time, and it multiplies the message.'" [emphasis added]

…"The computers run a portal that allows Saddleback small groups to log on to the Web site, download training modules and upload reports on their own PEACE trips for the following wave of PEACE missionaries to read."…

3. This is a MAXIMUM SECURITY databank!

This next part of the article should be read in its entirety. Here is what Rick Warren is doing with his technology according to the article:

"Today, Saddleback's information technology department has morphed into a multimillion-dollar 'research and development department of Christianity,' says Warren (paraphrasing management guru Peter Drucker).

"Case in point: Saddleback's new PEACE 'platform,' a Web site built upon original software written by the church's 'pastor' of technology, Eric Busby, and about two dozen engineers and experts around the world.

"Busby wants the PEACE platform to be a full-service Web site to which any church group anywhere in the world can connect and be matched not only with a destination in which to do missionary work, but with training appropriate to the mission.

"That means, Busby says, writing scalable software capable of allowing the Web site to expand as thousands – potentially tens of thousands – of churches sign on. Busby says the Saddleback PEACE site is designed to grow to the size of leading Web sites, such as eBay.

"Already, the platform's electronic brain – the 8-foot racks of hundreds of servers needed to store the site's growing database (14,000 articles in English alone) – is housed in a warehouse-sized, MAXIMUM SECURITY "Tier-1" Internet data center in Irvine.

"'Such centers exist in several dozen locations around the world to host the electronic information of the world's largest companies, which explains the ARMED GUARDS, biometric palm scanners and steel doors that guard the facility,' Busby says." [all emphases added]

4. Only the INITIATED may enter into this WEBSITE.

The Orange County Register article includes a link that lets one TOUR Rick Warren's website. By all means, take this tour. Note the opening statement that says: "The PEACE plan home page and login site. Only church groups that have been screened by Saddleback Church and accepted into the PEACE plan program are currently allowed to use the site." The article then explains:

"In at least one respect… Saddleback does control the PEACE platform. Although Saddleback says it will make training materials available to the general public at some point in the future, for now, the site is proprietary, which means that Saddleback DOES NOT PERMIT nonmembers to view the site. (The Register was allowed to see the site only once, and in the company of a church staffer.)

"Church teams who want to use the materials must register (and attend a conference) under the PEACE program umbrella. Saddleback can, consequently, track and lay claim not only to the 142 PEACE teams that have gone on mission so far, but also to the potentially thousands that will do so in the future and that will become, in the process, indirect partners in the PEACE 'movement' – and brand." [all emphases added]

5. All of this is done with strict controls.

The TOUR says that once "a region is selected, missionaries can research a particular country before choosing it as their destination. They must then have their trip approved by both Saddleback and their own church's leadership" [emphasis added]. The article explains:

"A church is like a business with branch offices," Busby says. "If you start saying we got 2.5 million branch offices – nobody has that." [emphasis added]

6. This is a PROPIETARY, logo-branding, public-relations and merchandising campaign.

The article explains how this works in the marketing world, including a reference to Larry Ross, the P.R. (public relations) firm that handles Saddleback, Warren, etc.

"It is another example of both a core concept and key critique: Warren's knack for synergy. Using technology, a broad vision, an expressed desire to evangelize and, perhaps, a keen sense of market share, Saddleback may create a platform for both the kingdom of God and for itself.

"Influence, however, is something Warren says he courts. It is Larry Ross' job to explain why." [emphases added]


After reading this some key questions come to mind. Why is this secret? Several reasons come to mind, and none of them are very fun to think about. Here some possible reasons for the secrecy, and we exaggerate intentionally to make the point that this is strange and scary:

1. Warren is setting up a cult, complete with entry-level rites (must undergo preliminary training, sign covenants, etc.), indoctrination (in-depth training, including post-mission trip training), monitoring (via high-tech internet feedback loops), databanking (personal, psychological and corporate information), love-bombing (awards and accolades for high performing "healthy" examples), etc. Check out the TOUR pages just to verify all of this.

2. Warren's missionaries will be spies, working at a high level of geo-political intelligence gathering which is so sensitive that it requires armed guards, surveillance and steel doors to protect sensitive information. If this is the case, for whom is he working -- multi-national corporations and/or the United Nations?

3. This is the world's largest marketing gimmick, done in the name of Christ. Proprietary information is being carefully guarded, patented, and branded to protect the corporate intellectual capital and image. If so, this is the indicative of building an empire, a sad example of one man's egotism gone globally amok.

4. This is the world's largest multi-level marketing project, and as such needs tight security to ensure that the product is uniform and consistent, that the field representatives are trained in the exact terminologies, sales pitches, product lines, etc. If so, this is not the humble biblical Gospel message, which is transmitted by God's grace, one-on-one, through no power other than that of the Spirit of God.

5. The secrecy is to keep true believers out. True believers wouldn't sign up if they knew what they were in for. They might discover parallels to, or worse, working relationships with other utopian global peace plans, such as the ones touted by New Age Theosophists. They might find out who Rick Warren's hidden partners are. They might discover the money trails and learn who is actually financing this massive project. They might object to the psycho-social indoctrination (brainwashing?) they they must undergo before, during and after the mission trips. They might learn which partners (corporate or state) have access to their private information which is being collected at this secret website. The list of paranoid possibilities here could go on and on….

Is this how the Gospel should be presented? Is this what it means to do "whatever it takes" to bring the Gospel message to the unsaved peoples on this planet? Or, is this one megalomaniac's giant plan to "advance" a "kingdom" of "God" on earth?

The Truth:

Rick Warren could take a lesson from Jesus:

"Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple; whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing." (John 18:20)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Purpose-Driven Cows & DNA

Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction. The other day this article popped up on the Internet:

"Cattle Update: The Purpose-Driven Herd by Steve Suther

"The cows in your herd are there for a reason. For profit's sake, let's hope it's not just because you can't catch them. How did they get on the place, and why do you let them stay?

"You should consider those questions for each cow, but start with the big picture. Why do you have cows? That's a deeper question than you can answer in a few seconds.

"Many people looking for even deeper answers have purchased Rick Warren's spiritual bestseller, 'The Purpose-Driven Life.' In the last few years, his concepts have spread to the business world. You can now find articles on 'purpose-driven management' in everything from software development to drywall construction and forestry. Why not animal husbandry?

"Some have turned their lives around by realizing a higher purpose; so you can turn your herd around by realizing they don't just represent cattle. They represent food for people.

"You could start with the same commitment that Warren demands: 'In transformational planning, there can be no sacred cows.'" [To read the rest of this story go HERE…]

We checked with the writer. This is not satire. It is actually a well-written account of how to incorporate Rick Warren's (i.e., Peter Drucker's) purpose-driven philosophies into cattle management. This article is interesting because it suggests "planned (purpose-driven) crossbreeding programs" to meet the demands of the market. It delves into the genetics of cattle, "planned crossbreds," "targeted genetic selction," etc.

In an ideal world we would stop here and leave you to enjoy the writer's fun little foray into cattle ranching. This would simply be an exercise in fun reading if it weren't for the fact there is a similar "genetic" focus in the church growth movement's church change model. Within the past decade key leaders in evangelicaldom have adopted the term "DNA" to describe church change and growth. What precisely do they mean by "DNA"? And how does it fit the purpose-driven change ("transformation") model?

To find out, we went back over the past few years and pulled up some examples of how this term "DNA" is being used.

DNA & Rick Warren:

"The Purpose Driven strategy is based on two vital assumptions: People grow best when you allow them to make gradual commitments, and you must ask for commitment in specific ways, such as using covenants.…

"7. They form small groups on purpose: Purpose Driven DNA is implanted in every cell (group) of the congregation. Each small group helps the members fulfill each of the five purposes in their lives. The goal is to help every believer live a purpose driven life.
"The Characteristics of a Purpose Driven Congregation," by Rick Warren.

"Buchholz and the church leadership team attended their first Purpose Driven Church conference at Saddleback Church in 1998.

"At that time, the church had about 400 members. 'The concepts of Purpose Driven ministry became embedded into the DNA of our church,' he said. 'We began to develop ministries on purpose and developed leaders on purpose. We continued to send teams of leaders to Willow Creek Church, Saddleback, North Coast Church, and others in the coming years, learning from growing churches.'"

["Purpose Driven principles help California church effectively build a growing church." Family Community Church, 2006 Church Health Awards]

"For years, male lay leaders and men's ministry pastors have felt frustrated because the men's ministry was not in the DNA of the church, Luck says.

"…Luck is hoping to not re-invent the wheel, but use the Purpose Driven Ministries format many church leaders already have in their DNA."
[ "New Purpose Driven Ministries conference to help churches raise up male leaders," by Kelli Cottrell]

"This follows the model of Jesus and his disciples, or Paul and the men he mentored during the days recorded in Acts. Those men went deep into relationship with one another, and God used those relationships to make a radical change in their identities and their spiritual DNA."
["Help Your Church's Men Grow in God's Purposes," Rick Warren, Rick Warren's Ministry ToolBox, Issue #232, Nov. 9, 2005]

"Personal Computers have brand names. But inside every PC is an Intel chip and an operating system, Windows," Warren told Christianity Today. "The Purpose Driven paradigm is the Intel chip for the 21st-century church and the Windows system of the 21st-century church."
["Churches Serve Together Through 'Purpose Driven' Program," Christian Post, Friday, Nov. 11, 2005]

DNA & the Emergent/Emerging Church:

"As the church lumbers through history, the Spirit of God will continually speak prophetically regarding things that must remain the same and things that must change. So the church will always be emerging; it’s in our DNA."
["What is Emerging," Chuck Smith Jr., Apr-28-2005. Blog post. This article originally appeared in the March/April 2005 issue of Worship Leader magazine.]

"EXPLORER: So then, change is built into the DNA of New Hope?

"Cordeiro: Yes, from the onset. I think God could see that and allowed the growth to be quick without splitting. God knew the optimal rate of growth for us, saw my gift mix and the other leaders' gifts, and the constituency of the people and we have been able to move at that speed. Every pastor has to look at, discover and apply what they feel will be the most optimal rate of growth.
["DOING CHURCH AS A TEAM," EXPLORER...field notes for the emerging church, An e-publication of Leadership Network, Number 30, February 12, 2001]

"In my last museletter, we discussed the fact that the difficulty of measuring significance keeps many people frozen in Life I. I mentioned a long letter I received from Peter Drucker fifteen years ago that clarified my mission and pretty much set the DNA for the fifteen years since – and my life’s work. In the letter, Peter wrote, “Your first role is the personal one … This is something only you can do. It is not something that can be measured or can be easily defined. But it is not only a key function. It is one only you can perform.”

["Part II - How do you measure significance? -- My Book of Days,"Bob Buford, "From the Mind of Bob… Musings for Friends,"]

DNA & Missions/Church Growth Movement:

"3. Intentional Planting of Reproducing Churches -- When a person and their 'oikos' are won to Christ, we should start a new church with them instead of incorporating them into an existing church. A CPM church practices obedience-based discipleship (instead of knowledge based). Their spiritual DNA will cause them to naturally (supernaturally) reproduce. They will also have the spiritual 'antibodies' to fight off heresies. They will produce leaders from within and develop Christ-likeness over time to become transformation agents in their society. "
["A Summary Of REPORTS OF ALL FOCUS GROUPS AtTransform World: Bihar Challenge 2006, January 6-9, 2006 Patna, Bihar, India. "Church Planting Movements," Chairman: S. D. Ponraj, Facilitator: Tim Patterson, "Opportunities."]

"The ATN [Apostolic Transformation Movement, ed.] operates in close connection with Harvest Evangelism because of the shared DNA and the focused assistance that the Harvest Evangelism team provides to developing prototypes."
["What is the ATM?" Ed Silvoso]

Marketplace Transformation:

"What is the DNA of City Transformation?
"There are four key ingredients required to see a city transformed. They include 1) prayer, 2) humility, 3) unity, and 4) knowledge of God’s ways."

["Can a City be Transformed for Jesus Christ?" Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders]

"Doug Spada’s California-based His Church at Work ministry is one of the newest pioneering efforts to equip the local church to focus on faith at work issues. Spada’s ministry does this by creating the infrastructure for a sustainable work-life ministry. His ultimate vision is that churches will send out members to minister in the workplace, just as missionaries are sent out to foreign lands. “We help people launch full-blown ministries within their church,” Spada explains. “This isn’t, ‘Hey, let’s meet for breakfast.’ This is more of an embedded ministry which makes it part of the DNA of the local church.”
"Bringing God to the 9 to 5 Window," Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders]

"As the work life ministry at Journey continues to mature the church looks for more ways to drive the truths of 'work as a true ministry calling' deeper into the DNA of the church. To elevate this issue, the church devoted an entire month in 2003 to equipping each member for his or her calling at work. A month-long series called 'The God of Monday—Finding God in Your Workplace' was developed and then taught by Pastor Ed Noble. Drama, discipleship, and testimony were all part of this pervasive work-life campaign."
["Churches Making Paradigm Shift in Equipping the 9 to 5 Window," Os Hillman, International Coalition of Workplace Ministries]

"Creativity should always flow from the children of the Creator. Change should be the norm in light of our spiritual DNA."
["Even Healthy Churches Need to Change" by H. Dale Burke,ChristianityToday/Leadership]

New Apostolic Reformation/Latter Rain

"Scientists tell us that every cell in our body carries in it two DNA codes; one code to bring the cell to maturity and reproduction, and another code to bring the cell into harmony and integration with the entire organism. It's part of God's natural design.

"So it is in the spiritual realm. God has placed within every member of the body of Christ an individual destiny of maturity and reproduction and a corporate destiny to integrate with the whole body. This organism, the body of Christ, is called to conform to the head, King Jesus Christ, and then to transform the world into the image of His Kingdom."
["THE FUTURE CHURCH Lions in the Pews" by David Bradshaw, My Idea Factory]

"In an apostolic network the person in charge of maintaining the DNA of the network is the lead apostle, who consults with those he or she chooses, and no one else."
["Goodbye, Theologians," C. Peter Wagner, September 06, 2006, "Guest Commentary," Ministry Today]

"The Living Word or Bread of life once again desires to be made flesh through a body of people joined with Him in a holy consummation. As we live not by natural bread alone, but by the living Word proceeding from the mouth of God, the bread of abundant life, even so the hidden truth of godliness will become part of our spiritual DNA."
["Shepherd's Rod, Part 1: Blood and Fire," Paul Keith Davis and Bob Jones : Oct 11, 2004]

"The level of revelation granted to Paul is about to be released to the Church to present the 'plumbline' of God and establish a perfect standard. Our comprehension of God's word will rocket to incredible heights when we eat the now 'open book' of redemption that unveils the fullness of God's plan. It has been reserved in God from the days of Daniel until today. The treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ that will present the bride without spot or wrinkle will be delegated to her.

"There is something woven into the spiritual DNA of God's people today that propels us into this new place. It is 'deep calling unto deep.' …."

["Change is Imminent," Paul Keith Davis, WhiteDove Ministries, February 2006 E-Newsletter]

"Jesus came to birth a 'New Breed' on the earth and restore the Kingdom of God to them. This new breed is a remnant of people recklessly abandoned and in love with their God, who through intimacy destroy the works of the devil, and bring the realm of heaven to earth daily. This new breed would carry the very DNA of God within them and continue the mandate originally given to Adam to fill the earth with the Glory of God.

"…Jesus would be the prototype of a new breed. Jesus birthed a new 'man' on the earth who would carry the DNA of God within them and continue the mandate originally given to Adam and fill the earth with the Glory of God.…

"…God is trying to get us to a place of really understanding who we are. The church is having an identity crisis. When the people of God begin to realize that the purpose of J esus on the earth was to birth a new breed of people who would carry the DNA of God within them and bring heaven to earth daily, we will begin to live with purpose. When the people of God begin to realize their identity as the very offspring of God and that as He is right now, so are we in this world, the church will begin to shake the nations with the power of God."

["The New Breed - Part 2," Ryan Wyatt, Abiding Glory Ministries, Open Heaven]

Business Gurus:

"…In this article, Jim Collins introduces the catalytic mechanism, a simple yet powerful managerial tool that helps translate lofty aspirations into concrete reality. What's the difference between catalytic mechanisms and most traditional managerial controls? Catalytic mechanisms share five characteristics. First, they produce desired results in unpredictable ways. Second, they distribute power for the benefit of the overall system, often to the discomfort of those who traditionally hold power. Third, catalytic mechanisms have teeth. Fourth, they eject 'viruses'--those people who don't share the company's core values. Finally, they produce an ongoing effect."

[Editorial Review, Book Description of Turning Goals into Results: The Power of Catalytic Mechanisms by Jim Collins posted at ]

“Now that we are really beginning to understand what makes organizations great in the business world, we might actually provide some DNA to the whole social system.”

[“Introduction,” Jim Collins, April 5, 2004 issue of Fortune p. 110. ]

[All emphases above are added]

The Truth:

There are a multitude of heresies represented in the quotations presented. Many of these individuals and organizations, terms and concepts, have been discussed previously on the Herescope blog. New viewers with questions are encouraged to use the search function in the upper left corner of this blog to become better warned about these heresies. For more information, also see

"O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" (Acts 13:10)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

McLaren' Secret Agents

Yesterday Herescope ran an excerpt from a report about Ed Silvoso and a conference in South Africa for the transformation of the African continent. Today's post is an excerpt from the same Discernment Ministries newsletter -- another report on yet another neoevangelical leader.

What follows is an eyewitness account of a recent talk by Brian McLaren, an Emergent Church leader. It is remarkable how similar their messages were despite being a continent apart. Their "transformation" agenda involves a "paradigm shift" and turning believers into "change agents." Both are focusing on marketplace transformation as the key to building the "Kingdom of God" on Earth; McLaren with his emphasis on your "vocation."

Report on Brian McLaren,
Emergent Church leader

On October 24, 2006 Brian McLaren spoke at the Wake Divinity School, Wait Chapel, North Carolina. A friend of Discernment Ministries went to hear this talk and below are some notes taken during this event:

The audience size was minimal. On the program was written:

“As we come together, let us settle into stillness. Slowly ever so slowly, we center our minds and our hearts. Let your cares and your weariness fall away. Enter deeply into silence. Rest in God's presence. Come Creator into our lives. Open now the windows of our soul.”

We sang a hymn to the tune of “Guide me Oh thou Great Jehovah”… but with different words:

“God of Grace and God of glory,
on thy people pour thy power,
crown thy ancient church's story:
bring it's bud to glorious flower…”

The Scriptures were Isaiah 6:1-8 and Mark 1:13-20, and McLaren said that the “kingdom of God HAS BEEN Fulfilled.” Here were my first hints that Kingdom Now theology was ready to be presented! (I was already rolling my eyes!)

McLaren stated things like, “If you ask me, the Gospel of Mark is where it all begins.… I'm not sure "the church really began at Pentecost.… We are the continuation of disciples of Jesus.” He spoke about King Uzziah at this point.

McLaren then that he had been out preaching on ‘VOCATION’:

1. Vocation – called to FOLLOW
2. Most important to be a follower of Christ

McLaren seemed to be bragging – “I’ve been told by one pastor that I am truly one of the ONLY pastors to FOLLOW Jesus.” I was reminded of the Scripture in Jude 16b: “and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”

McLaren said that “call” means to live in the way taught, to follow. His second point is that we are called to be sent – to serve. He used phrases such as:

o “ learning is to be sent out”
o “Jesus calls us to follow – to learn”
o “Fish for people”
o “Jesus doesn't call us to be someone else, but to be called YOU”
o “what we know He takes and uses that”
o “Jesus take who we are and uses it”
o “Fishing for human beings”

His third point was that we are called for something bigger. And the fourth point is that we are called to leave. He said that:

"Our VOCATION in the Kingdom of God = Jesus' message"

By now I was chuckling to myself because this was very predictable dominon theology. McLaren then said that “the Kingdom of God does't stop when we die, nor after we die, but it is KINGDOM NOW.”

He went on to explain things like,

“Save us from our weak resignation. We want to live this HOUR, We want to live these DAYS. What does this mean?? NOW!! We are a secret agent of the Kingdom of God wherever we are.”

At this point McLaren made the most startling theological claim. He said that:

"To REPENT means to RETHINK"

[Ed. note: Many Scriptures come to mind. Repentance is much more than ‘re-thinking.’ It also means “turn from your wicked ways.” But this ‘re-thinking’ process is how the change agent leaders are getting people in the pews to drop their old theology, convictions and holy lifestyle so that they can then think and live in these new ways to “build the Kingdom on earth.]

McLaren showed a slide on a screen of a tortoise and a baby hippo. This showed how this orphan baby hippo is lonely and for days wants to be cared for by the stupid tortoise. In my opinion, it was sad to see this. Then he showed how eventually with the small-brained the tortoise had, that it somehow had a little emotion of caring for the hippo. And they stayed near each other.… There were numerous slides showing this story on the screen.

We were to compare the Christian to this tortoise. McLaren said that in the situation today we live in a culture orphaned. We are left high and dry. He said, “The government has failed us,” and that there are “arguments and trivial disorder” and “an exercise in weapons of mass distraction.” He stated that science leaves us orphaned, culture leaves us orphaned, and that we lead our lives at a busy pace with less peace so that we destroy ourselves. The economy leaves us orphaned. Makes some people richer, instead of solving problems.

He then claimed that religion doesn't matter. Religious people will use verses to legitimize things. He said, “Religion has betrayed our culture.” Here I could see McLaren's hate for believers and disdain for the cross… seriously!

He said that believers need to follow Jesus – to join him. And then we are sent back into the world with hope. He said we are to follow Jesus into the world!

Then he quoted a Sonnet from Edna St Vincent Millay from Huntsman What Quandry. One can read it here: This is a very bleak poem in my opinion!! Incidentally, in 1944 Millay suffered a nervous breakdown and was unable to write for two years. Read about it at:

McLaren spoke of our impact “upon this age that never speaks its mind….” He then said:

“We have a shower of facts – desperate for wisdom.… Hear Jesus say, Follow me…. I want to send you into the world…. Today is the beginning of creation, like wind on the water…. We can become more preoccupied with our vocation…. Follow Jesus to hear our vocation….”

Excerpts from his final prayer include these statements:

“Let us approach God and let us hear Him…. Say through Jesus we hear Him to follow Him…. Weave a fabric -- we and purpose. Here we are Lord. You just speak the word and we will be healed. AMEN”

There was no “in Jesus’ name” at the end of that prayer. We left at this point. Evidently they sang “We are one in the spirit” and recited from the program:

“Lord have mercy upon us
Christ have mercy upon us
Lord have mercy upon us
Christ hear us

“From all sin, form all error, from all evil.
From famine and disease, disaster by fire or flood,
From pride and trust in our own wisdom and strength,
From needless worry and anxiety,
From the selfish desire of becoming great.
From Envy, green malice
preserve us gracious Lord and God.

“Unite all the children of God in one spirit;
Put far from your people all who deceive;
bring back all who have gone astray;
bless our labor and make us diligent in our daily tasks;
teach us to love our neighbors and our enemies;
grant that we may pattern our lives after your example.
Hear us Gracious Lord and God

“Direct all governments in the way of justice and peace;
Deliver us from the sins which lead to war and conflict;
enable us to love this world as you love it;
Have mercy on your whole creation;
Hear us, Gracious Lord and God.

"Good Shepherd, we commend to your care those in need;
watch over those who travel;
Help those in danger, trouble, or anguish;
Protect and provide for the poor, the hungry and the homeless;
Bless and strengthen the sick and the afflicted;
Hear us gracious Lord and God. Amen."

The meeting concluded with a benediction by Dr Richard Groves of Wake Forest Baptist Church, a choral benediction and an organ postlude.

[Ed. note: Much of this talk about vocation and creation is characteristic of the marketplace transformation movement, of which Ed Silvoso (see first report this newsletter) is a leader. These men have created new doctrines that teach that man can restore paradise conditions on Earth by building the “Kingdom of God” on Earth.]

The Truth:

"Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations." (Ezekiel 14:6)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ed Silvoso & Transformation Africa

This report is made by Jewel Grewe of Discernment Ministries, who recently visited the continent of Africa on a mission trip along with her husband David and Pastor Anton Bosch. The full text of this report will be in the upcoming Discernment Ministries newsletter (Nov./Dec. 2006) .


Report on Transformation Africa Conference

This conference was held in Cape Town and hosted by Graham Power. Graham Power was instrumental in forming the Global Day of Prayer (GDOP), March 2001, as the result of two visions. (See Discernment Ministries newsletters May/June 2005 and July/August 2005).

The launch in South Africa was representing the ‘next phase’ of transformation. Ed Silvoso was spearheading the meeting there as he is doing so world-wide. In actuality, he is engineering social change in the belief that “it is the good works of Christian believers in communities (which embrace ALL peoples of ANY religious persuasion) that will ultimately draw people to God.”

What stood out clearly was that there was no mention of the cross, no sin and no repentance necessary. There also was no mention of the calling by the Holy Spirit – which leads to repentance. That leaves “transformation” devoid of any Biblical foundation – good works is the consequence of our faith and not a condition for salvation!

Dominionism and “territorial warfare” seemed to be the clear teaching presented. Satan is to be “bound through ecumenical prayer activities.” Hence the Global Day of Prayer becomes nothing other than the transformation’s movement to achieve social change.

Yes, the Transformation Africa is a means towards an ‘end.'” That end is not leading folk to Calvary. It is an initiative which serves to promote the goal of those who have become “change agents” to bring in the new paradigm.

Ed Silvoso was leading the meeting on the day I attended. He started out by saying, “Surrender Your Mind to God – all your convictions, pre-suppositions, etc., and tell God to give you back what He wants.”

He proceeded to talk about Hawaii, and someone who led the president of the nation to God – thus establishing the Kingdom there. Then he went on to speak about the “how to do it” of transformation from Elk River, Minnesota. The steps as follows:

1. Embrace a City-wide vision. Move away from the concept of the Local Church to pastoring a city. Think as a marketplace pastor. (He referred to his book, My City, God’s City)
2. Reconcile the pulpit with the market place. One way of doing this is to start by pouring oil on the ground. He mentioned levels of spiritual warfare. (He referred to his book Anointed for Business, page 174)
3. Ministry should be in the Marketplace from Monday – Saturday.
4. Intercede for extraordinary miracles – then you will see miracles in the marketplace.
5. Understand the spiritual jurisdiction of people in authority – God’s ministers.

There were speakers present from Minnesota and Hawaii. They gave examples of how they put these principles into practice in their cities and thus brought about “transformation.” Most of what they said was based on “words” from the Lord (where they heard direct messages from God), visions and strategies. Actually strategy seemed to be key. It is believed that “the transformation of South Africa is going to transform the world.” They said it had to be initiated at strategic points and form a canopy of prayer. The foundation is “repentance” and “reconciliation.” The walls between churches – Catholics, and even political parties, need to come down. The “gates” for “transformation” of the city were identified as: government, education, business, labor, youth, medical, entertainment, community, families. They said to identify a pattern and form leaders of either 1000, 100 or groups of 10.

Interesting words were thrown around:
“Be prepared to be God’s Agent of Change.”
“Are you willing to change your paradigm?”

After several speakers, the audience was asked to stand and raise their hands and say, “I am willing to be your Agent of Change and Transformation. I will change first… all the structures of my paradigm will be swept away.”

The meeting had started out by “emptying” the audience of their convictions and pre-suppositions and now the replacing has started, based on stories from other countries where this “strategy” has “worked.”

Ed Silvoso brought the meeting to a close by giving the following five points and Impartation:

1. You are called to disciple nations.
2. Nations are the marketplace, business, governments.
3. Labor is worship.
4. We are called to take the Kingdom of God to the gates of hell (Marketplace).
5. Eliminating systemic poverty is not our objective – it is the result.

Moment of Impartation. This was the incredible part of this meeting, and really what caused me not to want to attend another session. Years of research and writing passed in front of me as everyone stood and raised their hands to receive the “impartation.” I wondered what was going through the minds of the pastors and leaders who stood in the elegant Lord Charles Hotel, as they raised their hands – open to receive what came next:

“The Angel chose Mary… Holy Spirit came upon her. The Holy Spirit empowered Mary’s womb. Will you let God take your womb? Let Him overshadow you and deposit something you.”

As I ran out of the room in horror, I heard the crowd murmuring, “Overshadow my womb and deposit something in me!”…


To read the rest of this report, check the Discernment Ministries website for the posting of the November/December 2006 newsletter, which should be up in the next day or so.

The Truth

"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think: but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." (Romans 12:3)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Flee From the Wolf

This is the final in the series of six messages from Pastor Anton Bosch entitled "Spot the Wolf." Pastor Bosch has just authored a book that will be very helpful to the many believers who have had to flee from churches. It is helpful, practical and biblical. As soon as his book becomes available Herescope will post information about it on the blog.


Are you convinced that the leaders of your church are wolves in sheep’s clothing?

If so what should you do?

The answer to that question is not very easy because there is a chance that your assessment may be wrong. The various characteristics Jesus lists in Matthew 23, and that we have discussed over the past few weeks, could be very difficult to measure in absolute terms. The line between a strong leader and an abusive one often runs very thin.

So get advice. Speak to another pastor, elder or experienced brother and ask them to confirm or allay your fears. Please note that I am not encouraging gossip. Do not discuss your concerns with just anyone. Preferably seek the counsel of someone who can be trusted, who is not in your church, and who has experience in these matters. Even then, it is very easy to exaggerate the bad and underemphasize the good. So, try to be as objective and as honest in your report as possible.

Once the advisor makes the judgment, then abide by it. Don’t go around looking for advice that will suit your agenda. Unfortunately, those who find themselves in abusive situations are often isolated from any outside ministry and it would be hard for them to find good counsel, but it is important nonetheless to get good advice.

(The reason I advocate getting outside counsel is because if the leaders are abusive and indeed wolves, they will simply deny the charge and convince/intimidate you into believing that what they are doing is right.)

Should you discover that your leaders are indeed abusive, then what should you do?

Well, the Scripture is clear – go to the one with whom you have the problem and tell him his fault alone. (Matthew 18:15). His response will go a long way to confirm or deny your fear. If he is a godly man he will respond in a godly way but if his response is one of anger, vindication, victimization - or in any way negative – then your hunch has been confirmed. If you are satisfied with the response of the brother, then try to build on that and see if there is a change in him, or in your attitude. A true shepherd will leave you without any doubt that he is a true shepherd.

If, however, his response is negative then you have a real problem because the next step is to take witnesses with you. (Matthew 18:16, 1Timothy 5:19). The first problem is that in an abusive situation, most folk will be so intimidated that they will not be willing to testify. And the second problem is that most believers do not have what it takes to confront a wolf who is entrenched in leadership. This leaves you with only one option: run for your life.

Too many people remain in churches where the leader is a wolf because they feel that they can fix the situation. Do not be deceived. Someone who is not in a very powerful position in leadership themselves will never be able to change a situation where the leaders are wolves. I do not know of a single example where those under the domination of an abusive leader have ever been able to bring about significant change. Have you ever noticed, that Jesus never even tried to convert the scribes and Pharisees, except for the two who came to him (Nicodemus and Joseph)? Why do you think He did not try to transform the synagogues with their system of scribes, rabbis and lawyers?

Jesus warned: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1). And in Matthew 16:11&12 He says: “How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? – but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Thus Jesus refers to both the hypocrisy and the doctrine of these leaders as leaven. Why did he not refer to it as dirt or weakness or some other analogy? Why is it leaven? Because there is a cure for filth, weakness, a lack of understanding and even sin, but there is no cure for leaven.

Once a little leaven gets into the lump of dough, it will penetrate at a microscopic level until the whole lump is infected with the yeast. (1Corinthians 5:6, Galatians 5:9). Paul says the only way to purge leaven out is to make a clean break with the source of the leaven and to have a new lump of dough. (1Corinthians 5:7). If the source of leaven is one of the believers, it is relatively easy to put him out of the church (after following Matthew 18), but if the source is a/the leader, it becomes almost impossible to deal with. Either way, distance has to be put between you and the source of the leaven.

One of the popular errors propagated by abusive leaders is that as long as the believers are in submission to the leaders, the Lord will reward those believers for their submission but the leaders will be judged for the error. Thus they tell you not to worry too much about where the church is going – that is up to the leadership and even if the whole church is led astray, the followers will be fine because they are being obedient and it is not their task to discern right from wrong.

This is a sure sign of a church that is already deep into heresy. “Each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12). Even in the Old Testament it was established that “all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4). And “each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor” (1Corinthians 3:8). Each one of us is responsible before the Lord and, while shepherds will give an account for the flock, the sheep will never be able to blame their failure on the shepherd.

In Revelation 2:18-23, Jesus speaks about Jezebel (a symbolic name for an actual person in the church of Thyatira) “who calls herself a prophetess (who) teach(es) and seduce(s) My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” (verse 20). While He pronounces a severe judgment on her, He judges the church for allowing her to continue her evil work, but even more startling, Jesus says that He will also “kill her children with (eternal) death” (verse 23). This means that those who are followers of false prophets will be judged with the same judgment as the false prophets! So don’t think you can continue following false shepherds and not be contaminated with their error, or worse, be condemned with the same judgment.

To those who find themselves in a false religious system God says: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4)

Monday, October 23, 2006

We Couldn't Have Said It Better…

Check out two new articles that pertain to frequent topics covered at the Herescope blog.

"Part 3: Transforming the World by Subverting the Church"
By Berit Kjos

By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
October 23, 2006


The quote for the day comes from Gospel Fear: Developing a Tender Heart that Trembles at the Word of God by Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) (

Yes, if ever your souls are to be saved, it must be the Word that saves you. Therefore take heed how you despise it. Oh, it will lie upon your conscience most dreadfully, upon both your sickbed and death bed! Oh, fear the Word of God now!

OBJECTION. "Yea," you will say, "we will fear the Word of God; but is everything that a minister speaks the Word of God? If we were sure that it was God's Word, then we would yield to it. But we know that one man is of one opinion and another is of another opinion."

ANSWER. When anything comes in God's name, do not slightly case it off, but try it and examine it. Suppose one should come to you with the broad seal [the official seal of a country or state, ed.] ; will you say, "I do not know it to be the broad seal, and therefore I will not yield obedience to it"? It may cost you your estates then, yea, that which is near and dear unto you. So do not lightly case off that which comes in the name of God, but yield so far unto it as to examine it. Search the Scriptures; test whether it is according to the divine rule or not.…

QUESTION. But you may say, "Will you have us take in all that is delivered?"

ANSWER. No, not so. The Bereans are commended in Acts for searching whether those things were so or not which Paul delivered unto them. And it is a very good and commendable thing for a people to examine whether that which is delivered by a minister is the Word of God or not.

OBJECTION. But you will say, "Many of us are poor, ignorant people."

ANSWER. I would therefore speak to the most ignorant of all, to tell them how they may come to know what is the Word of God and what is not.

First, if you would know, be willing to come with a heart willing to yield to what you do know. John 7:17: "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." If there is a heart resigned up to God to yield obedience, you shall know the doctrine that is delivered, whether it is of God or man. There is a promise, oh, make use of it!

Then, in the second place, plead this promise before the Lord; get alone and cry to God, and entreat the Lord that He would make it known to you. Oh, go and pray to God, "Lord, I hear such and such things spoken, and I think they begin to come to my heart; but I am weak and ignorant. Lord, if it is Thy Word, cause it to come home to my heart."… (pp. 23-25)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Spot the Wolf: Part 5

This is the fifth installment in the on-going series authored by Pastor Anton Bosch pertaining to the exercise of discernment regarding Christian leaders.


As we have seen in the preceding articles, many of the characteristics of wolves who present themselves as shepherds are manifest in their relationship with the flock in their care. But it does not end there. Not only do false leaders not spare the flock, they also hate true prophets, teachers and shepherds.

Jesus said: “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.” (Matthew 23:34). Of course, He was speaking of Himself, but not of Himself only, but of other prophets, wise men and teachers that would come after Him, beginning with the Apostles and continuing throughout the church age. In looking back, Jesus lists Abel as the first martyr, and Zechariah as the last of the Old Testament righteous ones to be killed because they stood for the truth. (Matthew 23:35)

The sad reality is that in the last 2,000 years more people have been persecuted and killed by false “christians” than by the world! “For example, it has been estimated by careful and reputed historians of the Catholic Inquisition that 50 million people were slaughtered for the crime of "heresy" by Roman persecutors between the A.D. 606 and the middle of the 19th century.”[1]

Not only were the Romanists guilty of the blood of believers, Calvin and Luther also murdered many true believers such as the Anabaptists. “Oh but that was those days – we would never do such a thing today!” Is that your response? It was the response of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day and I am sure is the response of many today who perpetuate these same crimes against those who dare to disagree with their perverted form of Christianity!

Maybe we have become more subtle, and maybe many of the modern Pharisees no longer kill people physically, but they often do worse by killing a man’s friendships, his reputation and his ministry! After one group of “christians” got done with someone I know, that man wished that he had rather been crucified than he and his family put through the spiritual and emotional torture that they had endured. These people destroyed every friendship this man ever had and ruined his reputation (and continue to do so), so that many years later many people, who used to be his friends, will not even greet him.

What is the difference between killing a man’s body or killing everything around him? When you walk down the street and people that you led to Christ look right through you as you don’t even exist – is that not murder? (In case you wonder what terrible sin this man committed – he simply pointed the finger at leaders and told them what they were doing is wrong.) His experience is not unique; it is repeated many times each day as those who dare speak the truth are persecuted without mercy by those who claim to be followers of Christ.

Of course, butter could not melt in the mouth of the persecutors. They even “build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous” (Matthew 23:29). They claim that they would never do such things while doing the very thing they deny. When you ask them about some of the people they have “killed,” they may even tell you how wonderful the victims are and how much they admire them. They may even pay homage to martyrs of the past while they continue to persecute and martyr true prophets.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem who killed the prophets (Matthew 23:37). Thus He lays the guilt not only at the feet of the leaders but at the whole city, including the people who did not stand up against these false leaders but allowed them to be used to cry out “crucify Him, crucify Him”. Today He weeps over churches, not only because of the leaders who persecute true Christians, but also over the members of those churches who witness the injustices and do not speak out against them.

Jesus pronounced two judgments over Jerusalem because she persecuted the prophets. First, her house would be left desolate and, second, they would not see Him. These judgments were fulfilled. The first, in 70AD when Jerusalem and the Temple were sacked by the Romans, and the second came into action almost immediately because Israel was blinded to their Messiah and, while seeing the very prophecies fulfilled, did not recognize Him. (2Corinthians 3:14,15)

These same judgments will also be passed onto any modern leader and church that are willing to follow in the footsteps of Jerusalem. One often wonders how some leaders (and churches) can be so blind as to not see the Truth, even if He stands before them. This is a direct result of their disobedience and of their willingness to destroy the truth. “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thessalonians 2:11,12)

Jesus has some very strong words for these leaders: “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33)

Is there no cure for the churches that are accomplices in the murder of men of God? Yes, there is. Jesus said that their house would be desolate and they would not see Him “till you say, `Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Matthew 23:39). When Israel finally says those words of Jesus, she will finally be restored but it will not all be joy. “…then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem…” (Zechariah 12:10,11). I believe this also holds true for churches and their leaders. When a church will finally say “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” and accept the message of true prophets, the spiritual desolation and blindness will be lifted and they will see. The problem is that very few have the courage to turn from their evil ways and to accept the truth of God’s Word.

The bottom line is: Do not allow leaders to incite you to hate and to call for the blood of men that you know in your heart have done nothing wrong except speak the truth. Stand up in defense of those who speak the truth and don’t fear what men will do to you. If you are in leadership, speak the truth in love, no matter the consequences. If you feel the need to condemn another preacher, be very sure about the reasons and motives before you call for his head.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:11-13)


A sixth and final part will be soon forthcoming.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Destroy All Humans"

"Destroy All Humans" is the name of one of rock star Bono's for-profit business endeavors, a video game played from the perspective of space aliens with the goal to "eradicate feeble humans."

This might be funny if it weren't for Bono's other endeavors on the global scene. Bono is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Elevation Partners according to the Elevation website. According to a press release at this website,

"The private equity firm Elevation Partners has announced the formation of a creative and management partnership with Pandemic Studios, LLC and BioWare Corp (, two leading independent video game developers. The combined investment, including future capital needs, will be more than $300 million, creating one of the world's best-funded and largest independent game development houses."

According to research done by Bud Press of, here is a brief run-down on Pandemic and some of their games:

About Pandemic Studios:
"Pandemic Studios consistently delivers outstanding entertainment for Playstation 2, Xbox, and the PC. Over the past 8 years, Josh and his partner, Andrew Goldman, have built Pandemic into a company of over 250 highly skilled programmers, designers, and artists working on a wide variety of high-profile titles for consoles and PCs at their offices in California and Australia."

Go to and scroll down to "Pandemic Studios' 2005 Awards Sepctacular, where you will find:

"'Gassy Award' trophies of gas-masked silver heads were given out to winners by MC Tom Abernathy. In deference to the big Bioware-Pandemic partnership this year under flagship Elevation Partners (U2 singer Bono being a "partner") the awards categories were themed after hit U2 songs. Award winners included Pandemic’s Marky Domowicz, James Conrad, Jeff Vaugh, Young Choi and Greg Borrud. Special 'Gassys' were also awarded to Josh Resnick and Andrew Goldman!" (emp. added)

"Play from the Alien perspective and finally know what it feels like to have the upper hand. Arm yourself with a variety of alien weaponry on land or in the air. Use the Ion Detonator, the Brain-Exploder, the Zap-O-Matic, the Sonic Boom, or even the Quantum Deconstructor to eradicate feeble humans."

"Mercenaries 2: World in Flames™ is an explosive open-world action game set in a massive, highly reactive, war-torn world. A power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a warzone."

"Sequel to the critically acclaimed squad-based real-time tactical combat game, Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers™ takes the brand’s innovative and authentic military gaming experience to the next level with new features in every aspect of the game."

"Star Wars Battlefront II™ takes the best-selling Star Wars video game of all time one Imperial-walker step forward with all-new space combat, playable Jedi, and never-before-seen environments straight out of the Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith film. Fans of the original Star Wars Battlefront™ will also enjoy an all-new single-player experience that takes players through an epic, story-based saga where every action the player takes impacts the Battlefront and, ultimately, the fate of the Star Wars galaxy."

"Mercenaries™ has revolutionized the world of 3rd-person action-shooters. Set in the near future and inspired by real world events, Mercenaries™ places you in the role of an elite bounty hunter covertly dispatched to a Korean peninsula that is swiftly plunging into anarchy."

Pandemic Studio Project Archives:


UHHHH… isn't there a "disconnect" here between a man who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and one whose for-profit endeavors include selling desensitizing war games like "Destroy All Humans"?!

This isn't the only ethical dilemma concerning Bono. A press report came out this week,

"Bono, Preacher on Poverty, Tarnishes Halo With Irish Tax Move,"

which questions his recent move to the Netherlands to "avoid paying taxes on royalties."

"After Ireland said it would scrap a break that lets musicians and artists avoid paying taxes on royalties, Bono and his U2 bandmates earlier this year moved their music publishing company to the Netherlands. The Dublin group, which Forbes estimates earned $110 million in 2005, will pay about 5 percent tax on their royalties, less than half the Irish rate."

And here -- in this brief little blurb -- we have a perfect case example of the conflicting goals of the three partners in Peter Drucker's 3-legged stool that we've been describing this week (and in previous posts). When one partner (the State) raises the taxes, the second partner (the for-profit Corporate) bolts the scene. And who loses? You guessed it! The third leg of the stool!

We're talking about human lives here, and not some virtual reality game. Bono is simply following Drucker's ideologies about abandoning an activity if the results (profit$) aren't attained. Drucker applied the concept of "abandonment" to nonprofit activities as well, with apparently no ethical concerns about the effect upon human lives.

The Truth:

"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 6:1)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Collective Logo RED

"…Oprah and Bono shared headphones for the launch of Apple's Red Nano. As the latest brand to get on board with 'Product (RED)', Apple joins Motorola, Armani, Gap, American Express and Converse in the fight against Aids. For every Red iPod purchased, Apple will donate $10 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.…
"Product (RED) is the brain child of Bono and Bobby Shriver (Chairman of DATA - Debt, Aids, Trade, Africa). The (RED) manifesto spells out the project:

'As first world consumers, we have tremendous power. What we collectively choose to buy, or not to buy, can change the course of life and history on this planet...(RED) is not a charity. It is simply a business model.'…

"…Like their business model, the marketing strategy of Product (RED) is seamlessly executed. The firms behind the (RED) brand, Wolff Olins and Buzztone, have managed to roll social networking, shopping, philanthropy and celebrities all into a brilliant cross-media campaign. As the Chicago Tribune writes, 'The key to Product Red is that it's not just a cause, it's a brand. Combining style with an altruistic message gives immediate status to a product especially when it's endorsed by stars.'…
"…One reason Product (RED) has done so well virally, is the visibility they've generated from a massive international cross-marketing push.…
"…If nothing else, (RED) on Myspace shows just how receptive Gen-Yers are to cause marketing, and the potential of social media for non-profit organizations. (see our previous post: Social Media for Social Change) [emphasis added]

Welcome to the brave new world of marketing! Bono has just launched a totally new-fangled advertising campaign that actually creates a collective corporate logo -- RED!

Not only does this campaign overlay RED on top of the individual brand distinctives of each multinational corporation, but it also brands their social activism under one giant umbrella -- RED. And, as the story goes, these RED profits will collectively fund the UN-backed Global Fund to Fight Aids, described in yesterday's post.

But this RED logo takes the matter one step further. RED is the new logo for business guru Peter Drucker's vision of a perfect "Society." RED is the brand name for a global pilot project to build Drucker's 3-legged stool! An act of marketing genius!

Never before has a marketing campaign worked at this magnitude, bringing together the diverse elements of the 3 sectors of Drucker's "Society" -- Corporate for-profits, Non-profits (charities, churches) and State (government).

Before we get all slathered up in awe and spout off accolades for good-sounding causes, let's pause for a reality-check. This is a Christian blog, and elsewhere this blog has repeatedly warned about Drucker's 3-legged stool, particularly as it encroaches upon the very meaning of "church" and "Christian." And we have taken great pains to document the many ways to connect the dots between Drucker, Leadership Network (his evangelical coaching outfit) and purpose-driven Pastor Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan (yet another brand name). There is, therefore, every reason to suspect that this RED logo will attract purpose-driven evangelicals.

Writing about the history of brand names and logos in her book NO LOGO (Picador, 2000), Naomi Klein explained:

"By the end of the 1940s, there was a burgeoning awareness that a brand wasn't just a mascot or a catchphrase or a picture printed on the label of a company's product; the company as a whole could have a brand identity or a 'corporate consciousness,'… The search for the true meaning of brands -- or the 'brand essence,' as it was often called -- gradually took the agencies away from individual products and their attributes and toward a psychological/anthropological examination of what brands mean to the culture and to people's lives." (p. 7) [emphasis added]

Writing about the late 1990s, Ms. Klein reported:

"…[T]he very act of branding was becoming a larger and larger focus.… For these companies, the ostensible product was mere filler for the real production: the brand. They integrated the idea of branding into the very fabric of their companies. Their corporate cultures were so tight and cloistered that to outsiders they appeared to be a cross between fraternity house, religious cult and sanitarium. Everything was an ad for the brand: bizarre lexicons for describing employees (partners, baristas, team players, crew members), company chants, superstar CEOs, fanatical attention to design consistency, a propensity for monument-building, and New Age mission statements." (p. 16) [emphasis added]

Before we quote the rest of this paragraph, pause for a moment and re-read this previous paragraph and see how closely this description of a corporate culture parallels the rise of the purpose-driven movement in the churches. Now consider the fact that the purpose-driven church/corporate culture is poised to go global, just precisely at the same time as the RED campaign (and in cahoots with it), under the special "evangelical" logo of the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. Read on…

"…[T]hese logos weren't losing their currency, they were in the midst of breaking every barrier in the marketing world -- becoming cultural accessories and lifestyle philosophers." (p. 16) [emphasis added]

So, buying RED -- as described in the opening quotes to this post -- becomes a "cultural accessory" and "lifestyle philosophy." And it very quickly will become part of the evangelical culture, too. Commenting on this point, in a poignant article posted today at, purpose-driven critic Paul Proctor observes that Baptist Press writer Don Beehler has called for believers to adopt a new lifestyle that moves one from "success to significance":

"Beehler eventually ends up leading us right into Hollywood's latest liberal celebrity fashion craze of preferred charitable endeavors by talking about African villages, AIDS, orphaned babies and the providing of food, clothing and education - eventually mentioning, only in passing and ever so briefly, the 'Gospel' (whatever that means to him) as if the afterlife was merely an afterthought, before going on to tell of 'another person who made this transition from "success to significance," Sandy Griffith of Houston, who 'rocks, feeds, soothes and, in prayer, asks God to bless… premature infants and those struggling to overcome other severe health problems' at Ben Taub General Hospital's high-risk nursery unit.

"So, what's wrong with Lloyd Reeb speaking to people around the country about redirecting their 'time, talent and treasure' into 'something fulfilling for Christ?' and Sandy Griffith rocking, feeding and praying for preemies? Absolutely nothing, unless you're using good intentions, acts of kindness and the irresistible pull of motherly heartstrings to replace the real Gospel of repentance and faith - something that is curiously unimportant in the article and, with the exception of one word, missing altogether."

The evangelical half-timers are prime targets for the RED campaign. The RED logo, which sits atop the legs of the 3-legged stool, is a perfect marketing tool to give a heightened aura to corporate responsibility, civic duty and charitable actions. Everyone will bask in a haze of RED.

But there is a catch to this hazy RED aura of do-goodism: it is a perfect cloak for dastardly deeds. Why? Because no leg of the stool effectively polices the other leg. Oh yes, they give lots of lip service to it! But in reality, the foxes are watching the chicken coop. Documenting this socio-political issue in 2000, NO LOGO author Naomi Klein skeptically took note of the rise of a

"strange conflation of several large human-rights groups and the corporate sector. In 1999, some of the most maligned multinationals on the planet -- Dow Chemical, Nestle, Rio Tinto, Unocal -- rushed into partnership with human rights groups and the United Nations Development Programme. Together they formed brand-new umbrella organizations with names like the Business Humanitarian Forum, Partners in Development and the Global Sustainable Development Facility, which promised to 'improve communications and cooperation between global corporations and humanitarian organizations.' Multinational and human-rights groups, they claimed, actually have the same goals; human rights are good for business -- they are the 'third bottom line.' (p. 433-434)

The prophetic voice of the Church becomes muffled, even silent, in the haze of this RED fervor. As Paul Proctor wrote so eloquently:

"Once again, grinning wolves are among us friends, using their warm and fuzzy truths to decoratively frame a cold and deadly lie; that the purpose of the Church is to love the world and make it a better place."

The Truth:

"Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!" (Isaiah 31:1)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Serving Three Masters

"RED is the new…red. Once a metonymic reference for communism, RED is now one of the hottest signifiers of capitalistic social responsibility (CSR) in the West. The brainchild of Bono and Bobby Shriver, the RED concept is centered on enlisting companies to create special 'red' products, a portion of whose profits — about 40% to 50% — is given to the global AIDS fund for its work in Africa. The first RED products were introduced in Britain earlier this year: American Express (Red Card), Nike (special Converse shoe), GAP (Tshirt line) and Armani (who hates all color in his clothes, so he’s going with sunglasses).

"Success is still to early to tell - but the real success is the recognition by major global brands of the consumer appeal and branding power of social impact." [emphasis added]
RED - Not Just for Communism)

This quote above comes from, an organization whose mission is to assist organizations in measuring performance of the three component groups of Peter Drucker's 3-legged stool -- the for-profit corporate sector, the nonprofit sector, and the State. It is important to recognize that this nonprofit sector includes churches and mission organizations. Mission Measurement states:

"Whether you are a corporation, foundation, government agency or nonprofit organization, generating meaningful data can help you be accountable, demonstrate progress and learn what works." [ emphasis added]

Quoting W. Edwards Deming (of Total Quality Management fame), "In God we trust, all others bring data," this organization boasts:

"That’s the role of Mission Measurement. To help you measure your impact – the 'return' on the social impact dollars you are spending. Mission Measurement works with corporate, foundation, public and nonprofit clients to measure performance and analyze social impact. We bring years of client experience, thought leadership and measurement data to each client engagement. Our work usually starts where strategy leaves off – once an organization has determined its goals and priorities, we figure out how to measure their progress. Our measurement and dashboard reporting solutions deliver significant value to clients looking to justify and leverage their social investments." [emphasis added]

Another organization that specializes in measuring performance of social sector organizations, in a webpage that actually defines the terms, describes their "vision for change":

"If social sector organizations effectively measure their outcomes, they can better manage their performance. Once they better manage performance in a systematic way, they can continuously learn, thereby improving their overall social impact."

Let us put this into plain English. Your church must "measure" your "outcomes" and "manage" its "performance" in a "systematic way" so that you can "continuously improve" and thereby result in a better overall "social impact." This is a performance-driven system based on constant data collection.

This is Peter Drucker's business model being applied to the non-profit sector, which includes the churches. Many thousands of pastors have been trained in this model via Leadership Network. Churches, non-profit agencies, charities, foundations and mission groups have been trained in this ideological framework so that it will become easier for them to comfortably merge with the other two legs of the 3-legged stool -- the Corporations (via business, marketplace) and the State (via faith-based and community "transformation" activities). Each sector will be on the same page with the same mission, vision and values.

To underscore this point, check out just a few webpages:

***Peter Drucker's "Prepare Your Nonprofit Organization to Meet the Collaboration Challenge" which includes worksheets to help your nonprofit organization develop "strategic alliances with businesses. Drucker's stated mission for the nonprofit sector is "changed lives and changed conditions" -- defined via these measurement tools described above.

***To see how this public-private 3-legged stool will apply to global health issues, read "Public – private 'partnerships' in health – a global call to action" by Sania Nishtar.

***Read about the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP) which encourages partnerships "that leverage the comparative advantages of Government, the private sector, foundations and civil society" so that they can "take advantage of synergies." Why the current push for involvement with the private sector such as Bono's RED campaign and Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan? This article states:

"For the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed and Member States agreed to forge new global partnerships with all sectors of civil society to meet, by 2015, a set of time-bound, measurable targets." [emphasis added]

The partners in this UNFIP program include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Drucker Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Aspen Institute. The Drucker Foundation was actually behind most of this activity towards forging 3-legged stool partnerships. It sponsored two conferences a decade ago which explored the creation of these social partnerships. Frances Hesselbein, mentioned several weeks ago in a series of Herescope posts, described these conferences, one of which was "Emerging Partnerships: New Ways in a New World" which was co-sponsored by the Drucker Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. This conference is mentioned in a monograph describing the human ramifications of this new performance-based systems model.

This deal-maker partnering is the focus on a vision of shared values. Vision is defined as:

"The stated dream of what an organization wants to be, where it wants to go, or what it wants to stand for. For a vision statement to be meaningful, it must be achievable and measurable."

How is a vision to be measured? Who determines whether success was achieved? By whose values? Whose standards? To whom will you be held accountable? By whose performance-driven criteria?

When one partners with the performance-driven crowd (otherwise known as purpose-driven), one must perform.

The Truth:

"No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." (Luke 16:13)

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:…" (2 Corinthians 6:14a)

"Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou has broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron." (Jeremiah 28:12-13)