The Daniel Plan.

Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan has begun and Jennifer Pekich was there for its inception. Her report from inside the lion’s den (pun intended) can be found here.

Here’s a quote from her article:

Following Dr. Hyman’s talk my best friend arrived to observe the day with me, only to hear Dr. Amen mention in his presentation that he did a brain scan on one of his clients who had a habit of cheating on his wife. The brain scan showed that there were “holes in the pre-frontal cortex of his brain” which controls the impulses. In other words, this man wasn’t sinful, he was “mentally ill.” All he needed was to get on the “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” program and his personal struggles with sin were remedied. Once again Jesus was removed from the equation. My friend and I were dumbfounded when we listened to the Saddleback crowd cheer. My best friend couldn’t contain it any longer and let out a, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

The best quote from Jennifer’s article, however, was when she made this observation of the event:

I have to admit that visions of the masses being manipulated by Adolf Hitler’s oratory skills came to my mind, only this particular crowd had just been manipulated by a really bad infomercial.

You can listen to Jennifer’s interview about her visit to Saddleback here on the Crosstalk radio show. You can also read an article on this event by Lighthouse Trails here and another article by Marsha West here.

11 thoughts on “The Daniel Plan.

  1. Having been provoked to dig into the Bible by the cancer Rick Warren infected the church with, I am not surprised by any apostasy that he promotes. Disgusted, but not surprised.


  2. Um, perhaps someone should point out to Warren that X-Files isn’t real![/snark]

    If there are holes in the head that are causing a person to be incapable of controlling his impulses, then indeed he would not be guilty of sin anymore than a schizophrenic would be guilty of lying. The problem here is that, as a general rule, there would have to be a LOT of holes to shut off the self-control, and it would not be limited to cheating on his wife; indeed, he would be more likely to lash out in violence in a grocery store (“The sign says 10 items or less. You have 45. DIE DIE DIE!!!) than to go through the planning involved in adultery; such a situation would probably have come up.

    But ignoring all that, he is at least intellectually aware that cheating on his wife is wrong, or else why go through this scan in the first place? Because he is aware of it, the fact that his brain is misfiring his impulse control (which is unlikely, but theoretically possible) does not excuse him; it means that he has the responsibility to get it fixed so that he does not sin. So while I do not have a problem with the idea of correcting a medical problem – and would argue that if this is true, that he would be in sin if he did not – I see a major problem with letting him off the hook just because his mind was missing a few wires.

    One thing that bothers me about the report is that the author seems to have inferred the message that this adulterous man could not be sinning because it was a mental issue. Was this stated? I don’t see one way or the other, and I think that is very important.


  3. I love the poster.

    As for “mentally ill” vs sinful, that is the standard fare when dealing with psychobabble – nothing is a sin, it is just a “mental illness.” I always wonder how a mind can be ill, since it isn’t tangible.


  4. I always wonder how a mind can be ill, since it isn’t tangible

    Mentally ill means that there is something wrong with the brain; that is, it is not functioning the way it is supposed to be and its misfiring is distorting the thought processes that tend to make up the mind’s decisions. We see it all the time after concussions, which is why the concussioned person is asked questions like his name and where he is. Usually, when the brain is rattled, it recovers; sometimes, it does not, which is where the treatment for mental illness and damage comes in.

    And yes, I have heard people say explicitly that mental illness is proof positive of an unregenerate soul. “That old lady with Alzheimer’s? Clearly, she was never a Christian, or else she wouldn’t have it.” You rarely see this logic applied to physical ailments. (“A true Christian doesn’t get cancer.”) The problems start when mental illness and mental problems become justifications for sin, which is the clear concern here.


  5. The majority of “mental illness” has nothing to do with organic brain issues, rather it’s just psychobabble ways to say a person isn’t sinning. Bad behavior? ADHD. Lacks self-control with booze (i.e., a drunk)? – alcoholic. And so forth. Every lack of self-control has an associated label in the DSM.

    There are truly brain issues, but that isn’t “mental illness” – which just confuses an organic issue with psychobabble.


  6. The majority of “mental illness” has nothing to do with organic brain issues, rather it’s just psychobabble ways to say a person isn’t sinning. Bad behavior? ADHD. Lacks self-control with booze (i.e., a drunk)? – alcoholic. And so forth. Every lack of self-control has an associated label in the DSM.

    A lot of that is true. The problem is that many times, the actions are a secondary impulse to something else that is going on. For example, people who eat to excess usually have something else going on that translates into “gotta eat more.” The error the world makes is that they leave it at psychobabble. The error that many (I would say most, but I really don’t know) Christians make is that they believe that doing anything beyond saying, “Get over it” is Satanic.

    This is not to say that repentance is not in order here; when sin is committed, “I couldn’t help myself” is not an excuse. But there are those whose compulsions are being triggered by something else, and that something else may in fact be a physical problem with the brain. If that is the case, then it has to be dealt with. A person with ADHD that is not taking the medicine he needs to be is not only guilty of whatever he does by the ADHD, but is also guilty of abusing his own body by not taking care of it.


  7. This is no “weight loss” nor “healthy thinking, healthy living” program through proper diet, regular exercise and positive thinking. Nor is this your typical “let’s combine the best of medical science with the truth of Scripture and be smart Christians” program. “The Daniel Plan” is just step one, a 52 week entry program, into a much deeper, broader agenda which Warren calls his “Decade of Destiny”. He’s got a 10-year plan (which he has chosen to keep mostly under wraps for now) to restructure society according to un/anti biblical principles, and his Saddleback followers are his control group. But since he’s already let the cat out of the bag that he ties in the physical with the spiritual, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where this is going. “The Daniel Plan” is billed on the Saddleback site as “God’s prescription for your health”. But since the formulators of this “plan” are practitioners of the rankest heathen Eastern religious abominations, which “god” is Warren talking about? Evidently NOT the God of the Bible. Bringing in these heathens to teach and lead Christians in their ways, his “plan” is shown to be anything but Bible based, or God honoring.

    The documentation on these 3 heathens is revealing. It is noteworthy that Dr. Amen’s plan for having a “healthy brain” is through Eastern style meditation. Dr. Amen also has teamed up with Tantra educator T.J. Bartel for a CD set on sex. For those who do not know, Tantric sex involves enhancing sexual experience through Hindu meditation practices, combining one’s physical union with that of the divine (heathen concepts of deity). Such is a glimpse of what Warren is initiating his gullible, trusting followers into when he places them in the hands of these heathen “experts”.

    We need to pray for the people of Saddleback, and for all Warren’s followers worldwide.


  8. 072591,
    This is getting a bit off topic, but I do want to point out that ADHD is a fraud – there is really no such thing. It’s a subject I have studied quite a bit, and seems quite interesting that ADD permuted to ADHD, but neither existed until drugs were developed and the pharmaceutical companies had to find something it cured. Interestingly, the “disease” didn’t exist a few decades ago. It is really all about behavioral self-control or lack of it. I recommend a good book on the subject: “ADHD: Deceptive Diagnosis,” by Drs. David Tyler and Kurt Grady. Also, a good booklet by Edward T. Welch titled, “A.D.D.: Wandering Minds and Wired Bodies.” By the way, schools benefit by federal dollars for every student labeled as ADHD, which is why they are so quick to suggest a disruptive child be examined for it.

    Back to the subject of the post, DaveW’s comment hits the proverbial nail on the proverbial head.


  9. Thats because Rick warren is new age!Is this true?
    Qute from
    In Warren Smith’s book, Deceived on Purpose, we see Rick Warren’s extensive use of Eugene Peterson’s, The Message, in his writings. The Message inserts the phrase, “as above, so below,” into the Lord’s Prayer. It means “the transcendent God beyond the physical universe and the immanent God within ourselves are one.”(Bold added) 9

    Smith points out that Warren used the derivative, “above and below,” also from The Message, to quote Col. 1:16. Warren also taught this concept using the New Century Version to quote Eph. 4:6, which renders the verse to say that God is “in” everything.

    In fact, Smith tells us these exact words are in Saddleback’s Foundations Participant’s Guide, where it says God “is both transcendent (above and beyond his creation) and immanent (within and throughout his creation).”(Parentheses in original, bold added) 10


  10. Weight loss program, what a joke. I really didn’t get it till I heard Todd Friel say it Daniel 1:16 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance AND FATTER IN FLESH than all the youths who ate the kings food. Haha, they will put on weight!!!! RW is a wolf and they all follow him regardless, the blind leading the blind


  11. Since meditation is being promoted by Warren as part of “mental health” in his “Daniel Plan”, and made palatable by “sanctifying” it with Christian terminology, he already knows full well that discerning Christians are already sounding the alarm (and rightly so). So this is what he says to “protect” his flock from those who would warn them (from a video released by Saddleback):

    “Meditation? What in the world is that? Some people think, wow, that’s scary. This has actually become a controversial word. Some very, very confused believers have been teaching—I’ve seen it on the Internet—that Christians should be afraid of meditation and run from meditation. That’s nonsense! The Bible talks about meditation and commands it.”

    But when we see who, and what, he is promoting, it becomes readily apparent just what he DOES mean by meditation. Warren recommends the following teachers:

    Henri Nouwen: (“The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart … This way of simple prayer … opens us to God’s active presence.” (Way of the Heart, p.81) “The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being.” (Here and Now, p.22) “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” (Sabbatical Journey, p.51)

    Gary Thomas (“In general however, centering prayer works like this: Choose a word (Jesus or Father, for example) as a focus for contemplative prayer. Repeat the word silently in your mind for a set amount of time (say, twenty minutes) until your heart seems to be repeating the word by itself, just as naturally and involuntarily as breathing.” (Sacred Pathways, p.185)

    Brennan Manning (“The first step in faith is to stop thinking about God at the time of prayer … simply return to listening to your sacred word. Gently return your mind to your sacred word.” (Ragamuffin Gospel, p.212,218)

    Basil Pennington (who Manning refers to as “a way of praying that leads to a deep living relationship with God.”, teaches this: “We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and “capture” it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible. Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices.” (Finding Grace At The Center, pp.5-6)

    Tricia Rhodes (“Take deep breaths, concentrating on relaxing your body. Establish a slow, rhythmic pattern. Breathe in God’s peace, and breathe out your stresses, distractions, and fears. Breathe in God’s love, forgiveness, and compassion, and breathe out your sins, failures, and frustrations.” (The Soul At Rest, p.28)

    Leonard Sweet (“Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is now situated in postmodernist culture near the center.… In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, “The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing.” [Mysticism] is metaphysics arrived at through mindbody experiences. Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology.” (Quantum Spirituality, p.76)

    Thomas Merton (“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are.… If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.… At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth.… This little point … is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.” (Conjectures Of A Guilty Bystander, pp. 157-158)

    These are but a few of the mystics Warren recommends, but from them we see a basic teaching: Meditation is repeating a single word over and over and over. By this means, the practitioner leaves the mind, and enters the heart where God allegedly dwells IN EVERY HUMAN, where THERE is NO SIN but only truth. Jesus is not needed to gain access to God in this meditation process that ANYONE can do. Nor is the Bible needed, as mystical experience supersedes Theology, everyone finding their own way to their own “inner god”. And Yoga, Zen, T.M., and other Eastern religious mystic practices are specifically recommended in this process.

    This is what Warren is promoting to his followers through these teachers. And it is, in practice, pure Eastern mysticism. Whatever Biblical words they may choose to insert, there is NOTHING Biblical about it. Indeed, it is contrary to the word of God, in which Jesus Himself says: “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes unto the Father except through Me” (Jn.14:6), “Sanctify them in the truth; Your [God the Father’s] word is truth.” (Jn.17:17). God’s truth is objectively revealed to us as Scripture. It is not found in anyone’s heart. Indeed Scripture says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer.17:9)

    The meditation we are commanded to do in God’s word, is, according to Scripture, a conscious thinking about what God has said in His word. It is NOT a mindless repetition and vain babbling (which Jesus said the heathen do, and which He forbids in Matt.6:7). But on the contrary, in Ps. 1:2 the blessed man meditates ON GOD’S LAW. Indeed the Hebrew word for meditation here is transliterated “hagah”, which carries the meaning of “uttering”, “speaking”, “muttering”, “pondering”.

    And let us not forget Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;” Yet this is exactly what Warren is having his followers do.


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