Tom: My guest last week, and we’re back to Part 2 of this, is Warren Smith. As I mentioned, he’s a former New Ager and has used that experience to better equip the body of Christ to discern – to discern New Age teachings and practices. And some of his books include The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace, and Deceived On Purpose as well as Another Jesus Calling. Important books, folks. He’s also written a number of booklets produced by Lighthouse Trails, and this we did last week and this second part we’ll be discussing his latest booklet titled God’s Dream: Satan’s Ultimate Scheme.
Warren, welcome back to Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Warren: Thanks, Tom. Good to be with you.
Tom: Yeah, as I mentioned at the end of the program last week, we’re going to be talking about some of the quotes that are found in this little booklet, and, Warren, to be honest, I was kind of shocked! I mean, you know, I’ve been in this business – this ministry – for almost 3-4 decades, and it’s always shocking to me when you read something that people are saying, especially if they’re influential among Christians, and you go, “Wait a minute! That makes no sense! I mean, why would this guy buy into that? Why would they buy into that?” which we talked about last week.
So for those who haven’t heard the first program last week, just give us a synopsis of “God’s Dream” and what you had in mind in writing it.
Warren: Well, “God’s Dream” is an overlapping theme and term that’s used not only commonly in the church today by bloggers, teachers, pastors, musicians…. If you actually Google that term, you’ll be amazed – it’s just like Christian term…or Christian leader after Christian figure after Christian figure. But what surprised me is that this has all happened relative to Rick Warren’s introduction of the term with his P.E.A.C.E. Plan, which he called “God’s Dream for You and the World.” And then that was traced back to Robert Schuller, Rick Warren’s undeclared mentor, who used the term frequently in his ministry – particularly in the book Your Church Has Real Possibilities that Rick Warren read as a young pastor. It’s just God’s Dream after God’s Dream after God’s Dream, which has no biblical justification or basis at all. But bigger than that is the fact that the false Christ Maitreya, the New Age itself, uses this term to try to justify its teachings about God being in everyone and everything. And I’ve got another booklet that was published by Lighthouse Trails called Be Still and Know That You Are Not God. God is not in everyone and everything, and it traces how this term of God being in everyone and everything can be found in Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, it can be found in The Message, it can be found in a lot of writings where it’s just slipping in that God’s in everyone and everything. That’s a whole other subject.
But this is an overlapping term. It’s a dangerous term. It’s a device being used by the devil to deceive the world and the church into accepting that as a global theme for humanity achieving world peace. And we’re warned about a false peace in Daniel 8: Antichrist will have a peace that will destroy many. We’re told about how people will feel peace and safety, but then destruction comes. So I think this is just a very important concept for people to be aware of.
Tom: Right. As I mentioned last week, this has come into the church through – in many cases – through sheer ignorance fostered by an amazing lack of discernment of the professing Christians that Warren’s going to quote from his booklet. Some are advancing the concept unwittingly, but others promote God’s dreams because, well, it fits into their theology, which is a mixed bag of Christianity and Eastern Mystical concepts. I mean, you have…within even so-called evangelical Christianity, you have the Contemplative Movement, which is – it’s New Age to the max! All the techniques were drawn from Eastern Mysticism.
But as Warren quotes these people, you need to recall the fundamental points that we did make last week. Number one: God’s Dream means that God is hopeful or wishful that something will take place for or in a person. Such an idea – come on, it denies the omniscience of God! And number two: God’s Dream undermines the sovereignty of God. It implies a dependency upon and a focus upon humanity to fulfill God’s plans. We talked about that last week. And there’s no scripture – bottom line, there’s no scripture to support the idea that God dreams in any sense of that word. So that’s our concern, and I want our listeners to keep that in mind, to keep those points in mind as Warren gives us some of the quotes from his booklet from influential leaders in Christendom. Some may be professing Christians, some may be true Christians who are just – bought into this stuff unwittingly. So could you give us some of these quotes, Warren?
Warren: Yeah, it all started in an October 27th, 2003 email from Rick Warren to his church about his self-conceived Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. He called it “God’s Dream for You and the World,” and he said, “This weekend I’ll begin a series of five messages on God’s Dream to use you globally, to literally use you to help change the world.”
Right about that time, he had Bruce Wilkinson, prolific author – Prayer of Jabez guy – come to his church to give a series of talks based on Wilkinson’s new book The Dream Giver. In The Dream Giver, Wilkinson had over 50 references to the term “God’s Dream.” On the day that Wilkinson spoke at Rick Warren’s church on God’s Dream, he was also Robert Schuller’s featured guest on his Hour of Power television program, and Wilkinson praised Schuller as the “patriarch of dreams.” Wilkinson talked all about his new book and God’s Dream for the whole world and the church.
Interesting to note that over the last three years, Rick Warren has really stepped it up. He’s got a booklet called “God’s Dream for Your Life” that was word-for-word out of the subtitle of Robert Schuller’s 2005 book Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow: Living God’s Dream for Your Life. Charisma magazine published a Rick Warren article titled “How You Can Realize God’s Dream for Your Life,” and in another devotional piece titled “Dream Big,” Rick Warren stated that if you want God’s blessing, you must dare to ask for God’s Dream and then start dreaming.
I just want to mention that I had to limit the number of people that I could get in this booklet. I had some constraints in terms of how much I could write, but I’ll just give you an overview.
Joel Osteen said, “God’s dream for your life is much bigger than your own.”
Kenneth Copland said, “God’s dream is bigger than your dream.”
The Jesus that Sarah Young purports to hear said, “I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach. Dream your biggest, most incredible dream, and then know that I am able to do far more than that, far more than you can ever ask or imagine. Allow me to fill your mind with my dreams for you.” The danger there, of course, is Sarah Young is having people sit there and listen to what Jesus would tell them, and here her Jesus, which is not the true Jesus, says, “Allow me to fill your mind with my dreams for you.” Very dangerous. That book is very dangerous.
James Robison, he said, “I’ve been working prayerfully and diligently to encourage and inspire God’s dream to be fulfilled. I long to see the prayer and dream of Jesus fulfilled.”
Leonard Sweet, who’s done small group workshops with Rick Warren, who’s become a prolific leader even though he’s a New Age sympathizer, he says, “The time to save God’s dream is now. The people to save God’s dream are you.” It really puts people in the pilot seat, like we’re going to bring on world peace by implementing God’s Dream.
Ravi Zacharias is an interesting one. He did a whole section on God’s Dream at the National Day of Prayer back in 2008, and just a number of months ago in a sidelight activity to the National Day of Prayer he brought up God’s Dream again. He said, “You’re the dream of God. He fashions you into His dream.” What’s interesting, Tom, with Ravi Zacharias is that in that – you can go to Ravi Zacharias’s website – he’s very proud and posts this thing that he spoke about on God’s Dream at the National Day of Prayer in 2008, and he actually quotes from a book called Letters to Malcolm by C. S. Lewis where Lewis referenced an anonymous letter that used the term “God’s Dream.” But when I checked it carefully, Zacharias’s quote did not match the anonymous letter that I read in C. S. Lewis’s book. And I guess somebody confronted Zacharias on this, because somebody sent me an email mentioning this, and basically, Zacharias said, “Well, that was an alternative anonymous letter that can no longer be found.” But what’s most astounding is that after Lewis quotes this thing that has a reference to God’s Dream, Lewis says that the word “dream” was obviously used to rhyme and it had pantheistic aspects, which Zacharias conveniently overlooked in sort of praising “God’s Dream.”
Tom: Let me add this, Warren, just so our folks know what we’ve been trying to underscore: God does not dream in any sense of the word! As close as we could bring a biblical understanding to that, sometimes He uses this form of communication – when people are asleep, He gives them dreams, but it’s not because He’s a dreamer! God is not a dreamer, folks! So that’s why – not only the quotes that Warren’s been giving – that’s why they’ve got another god. He is not the God of the Bible, and if people buy into this, they’re being drawn away from the biblical God, Jesus Christ.
Warren: Tom, I’m glad you brought that up, because when I confronted this idea of God’s Dream with Rick Warren in my writings, an apologist for Rick Warren quickly came back and said, “Warren Smith has a problem with Rick Warren’s use of the word ‘dream.’” What he conveniently did was he left out my problem with God’s Dream. I don’t have a problem with “dream.” Dreams are used throughout the Bible, and they can serve a number of functions that are biblical. But this particular apologist for Rick Warren tried to avoid what I was talking about, which was God’s Dream. And then that particular apologist actually went off and said that, “One thing you have to understand is that Warren Smith is a traumatized ex-New Ager with a paranoid mindset.” Then he gave references to books on paranoia so that people would better be able to understand me.
What I noticed is that every legitimate objection that I had to what Rick Warren was doing, the New Age implications of Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life, was categorically rejected by Rick Warren and his apologist. And so there’s this complete inability…I think Rick Warren actually – I had a quote in my book Deceived on Purpose, and Rick Warren said, “It helps to know that Satan’s entirely predictable.” Well, excu-u-u-se me, as Steve Martin used to say, that just isn’t true! As a matter of fact, this idea of God’s Dream shows just how slick he can be, and there is so much that we are missing today in the church about books like Jesus Calling that are bringing in contemplative prayer and opening people up to the spirit world and to the very things that we were involved with when we were in the New Age. So I’m glad that you brought that up.
Tom: Well, if it’ll make you feel any better, the apologist – Rick Warren’s apologist—what he had to say about you, I’ve had people say things worse about me, so, no…
Warren: It comes with the territory…
Tom: I don’t want to make fun of this, but, honestly, this is what we’re going to have to deal with. All we’re trying to do is to get information out to the body of Christ, to get them to think – think biblically, to open up their minds to what the Word of God says, not what this leader or that leader says. You know, we’ve got some good Christian teachers out there; I’m not denying that. But in this day, when Jesus said in Matthew 24, when He was asked about the last days before His return, His words were, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” That’s where we want to encourage people to be – to be Bereans and check these things out.
Warren: And you know, Tom, a thing I want to add to that is that we were in no way saying that there’s something wrong with these men other than the fact that they’ve bought into God’s Dream and perhaps some other things that they’re doing, you know. But we’re not putting these people down. We’re not saying, you know, that they don’t have some good teachings. However, the Bereans were told by Paul, “You know, if you see anything that I’m teaching that does not match up with the Word of God, let me know. Make sure that these things are so.”
Tom: That’s right.
Warren: And so when one of these people, whether it be Rick Warren or Ravi Zacharias, or whoever – we’re not invalidating other things that they’re saying, but we’re saying, “You know what? You’d better be careful if you’re just following men. If you’re just following a teacher, and that teacher goes off, and walks off the path and starts walking into the woods on something like this, you’d better be really careful, because this is how deception happens.”
Tom: As we mentioned some of these individuals – folks, look: you’ve got to check them out. In other words, if they are building and building and building... You know, Warren has written a book about Rick Warren, Deceived on Purpose. But when you see these things continue to develop, you’d better steer clear of these individuals. I mean, if it’s just a glitch – because we can all maybe misstate some things or buy into something that we can later repent of, and so on, but when you see a program of continual misinformation, unbiblical concepts and ideas, my exhortation here is to steer clear of these guys. We don’t judge their heart – God knows their heart. We don't. But when we see a proliferation of false teachings, false ideas, false concepts, buying into this, buying into that, these things that are not biblical, steer clear of these guys, folks.
Warren: Well, you know, one of the things that’s really troubling is that there are some teachers – Christian teachers – out there that once warned about the New Age and they’ve suddenly gone silent. There’s almost no mention of deception or of the New Age from people who used to even write books about it. I’m thinking particularly of David Jeremiah who quoted in his book Invasion of Other Gods – it was a warning about the New Age – he says, “We need people to stand on the walls of the church and warn about the New Age.” He said, “It’s the most dangerous teaching that’s coming into the church.” And he just stopped talking about it back in 2003.
Tom: Well, Warren, come on – it’s worse than that. He had Mark Burnett and Roma Downey promoting their movies, okay? Roma Downey has a degree in spiritual psychology…
Warren: Oh, I know, I know.
Tom: …from a cult. So, whether it’s age or whatever it might be, we need to be more discerning. Certainly he has written some books that early on were helpful and so on. But in these days, you need to check him out. You need to check us out, okay? Warren, myself, whoever is promoting these concepts and ideas – but like the Bereans (who weren’t Christians, by the way. They were Jews in the synagogue in the Greek city of Berea) and they listened to what the apostle Paul had to say. But then, here’s the commendation: The searched the Scriptures daily to see what the apostle Paul was saying, whether it was true to the Word of God. That’s all we’re asking here. That’s all we’re promoting. And it doesn’t make any difference, you know, who they are.
Warren, I want it to get to this right away. Some of these individuals – wittingly or unwittingly – but some of them have a mixture of Christianity and New Age religious science. Warren, explain how “God’s Dream” lends itself to religious or mind science, which Schuller was into, and much of the church is into, in a way, because it’s ecumenical; it’s something that feels good. Go ahead.
Warren: Yeah, religious science immediately brings to mind 1 Timothy:6:19-21, when Paul warns about science – about teachings that are presented in the name of science but they’re falsely so called. We think, because quantum physics – we’re being told that it proves that God is in everything (which it doesn’t) – that somehow or another, because it’s scientific, we’re supposed to believe it. So, the science…the religious science of the New Age is that you can use a formula to create your own reality. So what the church is really being asked to do right now is to latch onto God’s Dream and to create this reality of world peace by everybody joining hands—it’s almost like a cosmic convergence—and to hold in mind and to contemplate this idea that we can achieve world peace by recognizing that God is in everyone and everything. Now, that hasn’t been publically introduced, but it’s in the teachings of so many of today’s Christian leaders. I’ve got a whole litany, just as we did with God’s Dream in my booklet Be Still and Know That You Are Not God. So they’re trying to use science, and they’re trying to use this formula of creating our own reality, and the amazing thing is that God has warned us ahead of time that this isn’t going to be God’s Dream realized. The Book of Revelation tells us that it’s going to be a deceptive nightmare.
Tom: Right. Well, this is the heart of the religion of the Antichrist. Now, certainly, that’s not going to come on the scene in specifics and detail, but it’s something that doesn’t happen overnight. So we’re already seeing – and we have seen – this idea of “you’re god, we’re all god,” and so on. I mean it goes back to…you mentioned theosophy. We could go back to, you know, Walden Pond, and Thoreau, and these guys – they were pantheists. They were religious science guys.
Now, where this is going – it’s moving from the objective Word of God. True science – true science is moving to a form of science. Mind science? Come on! You’re going to have a science related to the mind? It’s nonphysical, it’s subjective, it’s experiential – but that’s going to be the heart of the religion of the Antichrist. And all these things – you mentioned convergence – all of these things are coming together to set a state for the world. We’re seeing it. There’s no longer objective truth – it all has to do with feelings, with, “Well, you know, experiences and subjective kinds of things.” And the value of that for the Antichrist, and the religion of the Antichrist, is, “Hey, I can’t object to somebody’s feelings.”
I’ve told people that one of my nightmares – living nightmares – is after I’ve given a talk, and somebody comes up to me and says, “Well, Tom, I heard what you had to say, I see the logic of it, I see the scriptures that you used – but, Tom, I’m sorry, I just don’t feel that way.” Where do you go from there? You can’t go anywhere related to objective truth, the objective Word of God – that’s been dismissed! I think it’s going to be the end of apologetics because people are not rational anymore. They’ve moved into this whole realm. What do you think?
Warren: Yeah, I think the book Jesus Calling is a perfect example of this, where for nine years, the book Jesus Calling was a best seller, with nobody in the church really endorsing it or criticizing it. And after some of us came out and questioned it, all of a sudden, if you go online, they have all these endorsements, including people like David Jeremiah and Max Lucado and others that they needed to buttress it up, because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about contemplative prayer; it’s about sitting there and letting the voices come in. And what’s interesting in all of these books that are written by Christian leaders about hearing God’s voice, I have yet to find one that talks about testing the spirits. And that’s exactly what Johanna Michelson did, and she found out that she had a false Jesus in her life – this prolific Christian author, who’s book The Beautiful Side of Evil was instrumental and the reason that my wife and I realized that we were completely deceived by the New Age, and she just laid scripture after scripture after scripture out there for us.
But it’s – yeah, things are being very subjective. It’s how we “feel.” And also when you have so-called Bible paraphrases and translations like The Message that waters down the Word of God and just changes it all into a much more “feeling” type thing and away from the Word of God. That’s part of the whole process that you’re talking about. It’s the “God’s Dream Field of Dreams” – “If you build it, He will come” type of philosophy.
Tom: Yeah. You know, Warren, along that line, we’ve talked about this before, but the…if there’s a singing prophet with regard to the religion of the Antichrist, it’s got to be John Lennon, and I’m thinking about – well, what does he say in “Imagine”? Imagine there’s no heaven…Imagine…You may say I’m a dreamer… Speak to that for a second.
Warren: “You may say I’m a dreamer; but I’m not the only one.” Something to the effect of “Why don’t you come and join us, and the world will be as one.” And what’s interesting is that when Maryanne Williamson, New Age author Maryanne Williamson, was getting her book hyped by Oprah Winfrey about the Course in Miracles on Oprah Winfrey’s program, Oprah Winfrey had a whole thing on how the world was falling apart and had John Lennon’s song in the background. And at one very vibrant point you could hear, “And the world will be as one.”
Warren: So the whole idea that we’re all connected, we’re all God, God’s in everyone and everything – it’s not only in the New Age, it’s now in the church, and “God’s Dream” is the theme that’s trying to sew it all together.
Tom: So, Warren, with the few minutes that we have left, we need to go to the Scriptures to…you know, people are hearing us – we’re trying to tell them, from our understanding, from our research, what is going on in the world and how that relates; how that is contradictory to what the Word of God says. But let’s go to the Scriptures.
Deuteronomy:13:1: “If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams and giveth thee a sign or a wonder….”
Deuteronomy:13:3: “Thou shalt not harken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God proveth with you to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…”
Deuteronomy:13:5: “And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death because he has spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way, which the Lord thy God commanded thee, to walk in. So shall you put the evil away from among the midst of thee.”
And the last one that I’ll give – and then I want to hear some from you, Warren – is Jeremiah:23:32: “Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, sayeth the Lord. And do tell them and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness, that I sent them not, nor commanded them; therefore, they shall not profit this people at all,” sayeth the Lord.
Have you got some?
Warren: Yeah, we mentioned last week in Jude, filthy dreamers – there are filthy dreamers. But discernment is so important, and it’s actually denigrated by many in the church today. It’s almost become a dirty word. And I’m just thinking of [how] the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and He said, “You can have anything you want. What do you want?”
And Solomon said that he wanted to be able to discern between good and bad. And it said that it pleased the Lord. Discernment is pleasing to God. It’s also a sign of maturity. Hebrews:5:14: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” The Word of God discerns thoughts and hearts, Hebrews:4:12: “For the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And, of course, the theme for your whole ministry, Acts:17:11: “These [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the Word will all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.”
Second Timothy 2:15: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
And the last one that I would mention is that we are to “approve the things that are excellent” (Philippians:1:9-10): “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.”
Warren: “God’s Dream” is not an excellent phrase. And it should not be used by Christians.
Tom: Right. Let me add Jeremiah:29:8: “For thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Let not your prophets or your diviners that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams, which ye cause to be dreamed.” Which ye cause to be dreamed…
Now we know in Acts:2:17, it says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, sayeth God, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
This is God communicating to believers. This is not a dreaming God, buying into dreams, okay? So, Warren, I think this has been very helpful, very informative. I hope our listeners feel that way. And thank you, brother, for being with us.
Warren: Thanks. Thanks, Tom, appreciate it.