Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bill Gates Fund$ Rick Warren

Bill Gates is funding Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. It seemed evident, but the supporting documentation was missing. The two men have been in the same places at the same time, working on the same things in Africa. So it seemed inevitable that there would be an outpouring of funds.

On the Diane Rehm radio show today, broadcasting on National Public Radio, she interviewed Patty Stonesifer, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest grant-making foundation in the world. What follows is an excerpt that we transcribed while listening to this interview, 35:36 to 38 minutes into interview:

Question from a listener: “How to best get a review evaluation of an application for funding that agrees with Gates Foundation core values to make a difference in real lives; in this case, it’s a joint effort between a major university and a community network to use a science-based prevention model for HIV-AIDS that works through religious leaders. It’s being used in Zambia and some in Illinois but with support could be adapted for success anywhere to empower people where they live to know that HIV is a preventable virus infection. What’s your response?”

Patty Stonesifer: "There are so many good points to that question. So the first one that will apply to many of your listeners, which is how do you actually get an idea in front of The Gates Foundation? And that is if you go to our website 'gatesfoundation.org' one of the most prominent buttons is called 'Grant Seekers' and it tells you how to actually send a letter of inquiry and our teams take a look at those and take a look at our strategies and our imperatives that we’ve set up and then try to see who’s looking like their ideas or their efforts match the resources we have available for this area and the focus of our efforts. So that’s the first step."

"But there were two other things that the listener mentioned that I want to talk about and one was the role of religious leaders whether that’s through these important efforts on the ground in a country like Zambia, which I’m visiting later this year, or here in the United States. And we are partnering with many religious leaders and those who reach into the religious communities because so much good work is coming from there; so whether it’s Bread for the World or Rick Warren’s efforts or many of the good missionary efforts we see in the developing world, the religious communities are an important part of not just solving our problems at home but around the world." [emphasis added]

How does one get money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? See:


"Q. How do I apply for a grant through the Global Health Program?

"A. First, review the Global Health Program’s grantmaking priorities. If you feel that your project aligns with the program’s scope and strategy, please fill out our letter of inquiry form."

An Overview states the ethical foundation of this Grantmaking:

"The foundation's global health mission is guided by the belief that every life, no matter where it is lived, has equal value." [emphasis added]

One of the reasons that today's radio interview was conducted was due to the bad publicity that the Gates Foundation experienced several weeks ago when the LA Times raised some ethical issues. Herescope reported on these newspaper articles at the time:

January 11, 2007: "When the 3 Legs Intertwine"
January 16, 2007: "When the 3 Legs Intertangle"

Since the LA Times article critical of the Gates Foundation, reported on by Herescope several weeks ago, a few significant things have happened. First, The Seattle Times (http://tinyurl.com/yomlqz), which also ran the story, reported that:

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is planning a systematic review of its investments to determine whether it should pull its money out of companies that are doing harm to society, Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Scott said Tuesday.”

The LA Times ( http://tinyurl.com/2f3t3s ), however, ran a letter from Patty Stonesifer, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which stated that “it is naïve to suggest that an individual stockholder can stop that suffering” and “[c]hanges in our investment practices would have little or no impact on these issues.”

Philanthropy Today ( http://tinyurl.com/2fos65 ) reported that “Chief Executive of Gates Foundation Clarifies Its Stance on Social Investing” (1/16/07) which stated, in part:

“The chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times that the philanthropy does not plan to make changes in its investment policies.

“. . . Patty Stonesifer, the head of the foundation, said it was ‘naïve’ to suggest that individual shareholders could alter corporate policies.

“. . . The letter comes after the foundation had signaled that it planned to step up its review of stocks. Cheryl Scott, the chief operating officer of the foundation, told The Seattle Times last week that the foundation planned to conduct a review to determine whether it would divest from companies doing harm, the Los Angeles Times noted.”

A full statement of the Gates Foundation's “Our Investing Philosophy” by Cheryl Scott, CEO of the Gates Foundation, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/y63lab. A statement of “Our Guiding Principles” is posted at http://tinyurl.com/2yqcof. Note that this foundation views itself as a “shaper” and says, “we apply our efforts against a theory of change.”

Obviously, Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan fits the criteria as one of the "partners," and shares the same "values." In light of the previous Herescope posts, it seems like a good time to revisit two prior posts: "Foundation Imperialism" from June 28th last year and July 25th "The Peaceful Conquest of the World: Circa 1929."

The Truth:

"O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away." (Hosea 6:4)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Another New Resource

Last August (2006) Herescope ran a series of excerpts from Tamara Hartzell's online book In the Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth at the Altar of Unity. This e-book has been posted at http://www.inthenameofpurpose.org since last summer.

Many of you wrote to us that this book had blessed you by opening your eyes to the purpose-driven movement. And you expressed the desire to have a paper copy of this book.

We are happy to announce that this book is now in print! For ordering information, see:


Resellers, including bookstores and libraries, will receive a 40% discount on paperbacks when purchasing your book directly from Xlibris. Wholesellers, specializing in business-to-business sales only, will receive a 50% discount on paperbacks. The book can also be ordered from Xlibris at 1-888-795-4274 and Orders@Xlibris.com.

A message at the www.inthenameofpurpose.org webpage indicates:

"For more information, In the Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity is presented on this site as a free e-book. (It is also now available in print through Xlibris.) Presenting numerous quotes, this book documents the unscriptural path of the Purpose-Driven Paradigm, which is culminating in Rick Warren's interfaith P.E.A.C.E. Plan.

"Among others, the book includes quotes from Rick Warren, Ken Blanchard, William Easum and Thomas Bandy, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Neale Donald Walsch, Alice Bailey and her spirit guide Djwhal Khul, as well as quotes from Scripture, A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, Warren Smith, Ray Yungen, Chuck Baldwin, Paul Proctor, etc."

In the Name of Purpose is an excellent resource. It is comprehensive and in-depth, covering major facets of the purpose-driven plan, particularly as it heads into the global arena with Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan.

The Truth:

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:11)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

From Which Well Are You Drinking?

From Which Well Are You Drinking? This is the title of a new 44-page booklet that has just been released, subtitled Exposing the Dangers in the Emerging Church Movement.

This is the most excellent resource that we have seen on the subject of the Emergent/Emerging Church movement. It is a "must-read" for Herescope bloggers.

The book begins with the simple premise: from which wells have these teachers been drinking?

"If a Christian teaching is seriously troubling and appears unbiblical, we must examine the various wells from which the teacher draws and constructs his belief systems, his paradigm, his rules of reality, his philosophy."

"Let's briefly look at the wells of influence that our Lord speaks about in His earthly ministry. We will look at the wells of the Emerging Church movement writers; and then we will examine some of the wells of influence from which they have drawn their waters of discourse to develop their belief systems."

This booklet is a remarkable snapshot of the history of various philosophies overt the past 100+ years and how the ideas were transmitted down to our current Emergent era. The list below is impressive for its sharp focus:

Brian McLaren
Tony Jones
Steve Chalke
Stanley Hauerwas
Brad J. Kallenberg
Dan Kimball
Stanley Grenz
John R. Franke
Nancey Murphy
Alasdair MacIntyre
Richard Rorty
Jacques Derrida
Michael Polanyi
Lesslie Newbigin
David Jacobus Bosch
Oscar Cullmann
Karl Barth
Robert E. Webber

The historical philosophers who came up with new ideas about man and God are included in this concise overview:

Immanuel Kant
Soren Kierkegaard
Friedrich Nietzsche
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Martin Heidegger
Michael Foucault

From Which Well Are You Drinking? summarizes "18 Dangerous Issues Arising Out of the Emerging Church," which includes excellent material describing modernism, postmodernism, and inconsistencies and heresies in doctrine and practice.

If you've had trouble sorting out all of this Emergent "stuff," this handy little booklet is the ticket to biblical sanity. You'll "get it" after reading this book. It isn't written too intellectually, but it is also not too simplistic. You'll become educated about Emergent/Emerging in a way that will help you to articulate the problems to others -- particularly so that you can sound a clear warning of the dangers.

The cost is also affordable. This is the perfect kind of semi-tract short booklet that you can stock up on and give away to pastors, friends, young people, Bible studies, etc. And is is very professionally done with a beautiful full-color cover and easy-to-read print.

J. David Winscott, PhD is the author of this booklet. He attends the Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, California. The booklet is a project of the Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship.

How to obtain a copy of this booklet:

You can order From Which Well Are You Drinking? from Discernment Ministries, PO Box 2535, W. Lafayette, IN 47996, or phone: 903-567-6423 or 765-583-4799 (credit cards accepted). The suggested cost is only $4.00 per booklet, $3.50 for 5 or more.

The Truth:

Scripture warns of those who "have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray" -- "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever." (2 Peter 2:15a, 17)

Scripture promises believers: "Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." (Isaiah 12:3)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

False Hope

Discernment Ministries gets quite a bit of e-mail on today's topic. Many people are disturbed by the easy-believism "gospel" message that so many churches are teaching. The message of the Cross, and of repentance from sin, and conversion are missing! Today's post is a brief message by Anton Bosch on this important subject.

False Hope

Many people live in false hope. It is on false hope that every casino makes its dirty money and that every crook uses to lure his victims to invest in questionable schemes. The sad thing is that the victim is as much to blame as the con-artist. While it is terrible to see people live in the false hope that their ten dollars are suddenly going to become ten million, it is even worse to see people gamble with their souls and eternity. People who put their trust, hope and confidence in a religion that cannot save them are to be pitied. But the men who assure people that everything is well, when it is not, are to be condemned.

Most of us have probably been to funerals where the preacher assured everyone that the departed has gone to “a better place.” Many of us have also known deep down in our hearts that it is more likely that many of the poor departed have gone to hell because of the evidence of their lives. (I know that God alone is the judge, but the Bible also teaches that we will know men by their fruit.) No matter how much the preacher wants to comfort the grieving family, to lie about such a serious thing is inexcusable, especially when those preachers are also implying that the living can continue in their sin, and in the end we will all go to heaven – together with our dogs and cats.

But an even greater crime is the thousands of preachers of all denominations that see it as their mission to give people some “assurance of salvation” when there is no evidence that the poor individual is actually born-again. I clearly remember as a young preacher, how my elders taught me to point people to certain pet verses in the Bible (like John 1:12) that will give them an assurance of salvation. Many Bibles that contain lists of Scriptures appropriate for different circumstances also contain a list of verses that will give the reader assurance of salvation. It seems every preacher has in his arsenal a bunch of sermons that will assure people that they are saved.

The typical conversation with someone who is uncertain usually goes something like this:

Inquirer: “I don’t feel I’m saved.”

Counselor: “We don’t go by feelings but by faith. Did you ask Jesus into your heart/pray the sinner’s prayer/respond to the appeal?”

Inquirer: “Yes.”

Counselor: “Then you are most certainly born-again – just believe it and quote John 1:12.”

I’m sure this conversation takes place many times every day in every part of the world. But is this the truth?

No, it is a pack of lies. How can anyone assure someone they are saved when the sinner has not truly come to salvation? Is our job to make people feel comfortable and secure or is it to snatch souls from the flames and to make absolutely sure that people have been truly born again by the Spirit of God? (By the way, the same thing happens when people are assured they are filled with the Spirit when the evidence says that they are powerless and unchanged, if they are even saved!)

I know these are strong words and that a few dozen readers have stopped reading and are unsubscribing from this mailing list right now. But are we interested in the truth or our Evangelical traditions? The truth is that many of the criteria that counselors use to judge whether an individual is born again or not, are thoroughly unbiblical and false.

Where does it say that we are born again because we asked Jesus into our heart, prayed the sinner’s prayer, slipped our hand up or responded to the altar call? It may be written in evangelism manuals but it is not in the Bible. And before you rush to remind me that John 1:12 says: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” and that this surely covers inviting Jesus into your heart – The fact is that “receiving Him” and “asking Jesus into your heart” are two totally different things. By “receiving Him” John means we receive Him as our Savior, Lord and Master and that we submit to all the claims He may make on us. I very much doubt that most of those who asked Jesus into their lives ever meant that they would accept His Lordship and that they would be obedient to Him - no matter what. In fact, the next verse says: “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13). This clearly says that to be born again is not something we can do for ourselves but it is something that God has to do. Where on earth did we get the idea that it was something that was totally dependent on what I have done?

The New Testament does not give glib, easy assurances of salvation but rather instructs us to “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2Corinthians 13:5). And “let each one examine his own work” (Galatians 6:4). And “since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (Hebrews 4:1). And “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15).

Can we not know for sure that we are saved? Yes we can. Paul says “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2Timothy 1:12). John says “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1John 5:13). BUT, that assurance has to come from two things:

First, there needs to be an inner witness of God’s Spirit that we are indeed His. Romans 8:16 says: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” 1John 5:10 says: “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.” How dare we tell people they are born again when God does not bear witness to that fact? The problem is that there are far too many people running around claiming they have the witness of God simply because they have been brainwashed into believing a lie.

Second, there needs to be external evidence (fruit) of the fact that we are born again. Let me make it simple: If your life has not changed – you are not saved. How difficult is that to understand? Being born again will be evidenced by new desires, new habits, new lifestyles, new values, new language, new friends, new thought patterns, etc. If the fruit is rotten, the tree is rotten, simple as that. You can tell a rock as many times as you like that it is a child of God, it does not change the facts.

Are we then to leave people in a state of uncertainty? Yes – until they find their assurance from the only One who has the right to give that assurance! I know that this means people may need to spend time on their knees and in the Bible. Since when is seeking God’s face and wrestling with eternal issues bad?

True Hope

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." (Galatians 5:5)

"We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:" (Colossians 1:3-6)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Leadership Network - Contemplative

"For me, prayer is not separate from daily life. It’s a way of being. It’s like being with Linda for a weekend at the farm. We’re just there with one another. We talk over lunch and dinner, but it doesn’t particularly matter what we say. It’s more about who we are. It’s about being together. Sharing lives together – with someone you love and trust.

"Prayer is, for me, like that – a state of being together with God. It’s not usually triggered by liturgy or special needs. It’s more like what the Bible instructs us to do: Pray without ceasing."
-- Bob Buford [emphasis added]

We suppose it was inevitable, but it is sad when the pieces all fall together. Bob Buford of Leadership Network, the premier training agency for "change agent" pastors and Christian leaders, has just issued his regular newsletter this month with a lead article entitled "Prayer as a State of Being." In this article Buford quotes Henri Nouwen favorably and recommends a book by "psychologist Larry Crabb": Inside Out.

The significance of this pro-contemplative article is far-reaching. Buford has trained an entire generation of pastors in Peter Drucker's leadership model. He is credited with launching the emergent/emerging church movement (search this blog for documentation on this point). He has been a "significant other" in the life of Rick Warren and countless other neo-evangelical leaders. Buford has been active in the same circles as Rick Warren in such places as the Aspen Institute, and most recently we've spotted him on the 2007 Purpose Prize Panel of Judges for the Templeton Prize.

Simply "Being"

Note the title of Bob Buford's article -- "Prayer as a State of Being." The significance of this word "being" can best be explained by reading the Chapter 5 Update to Warren Smith's book Reinventing Jesus Christ, which is posted online at www.reinventingjesuschrist.com. A brief excerpt follows, which details Ken Blanchard's involvement in contemplative. Blanchard is another man closely connected to both Bob Buford and Rick Warren, who has trained thousands of pastors in the transformative (and esoteric) models of leadership:


In April 2005, it became known that Ken Blanchard was endorsing and recommending New Age books that included Ballard’s book Mind Like Water.(37) This news was shocking because as the co-founder of the Lead Like Jesus organization, Blanchard was already “working together” with Saddleback pastor Rick Warren in implementing what the pastor was calling God’s “Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan.”(38) Blanchard was to help Rick Warren train countless numbers of people around the world to be “servant leaders” who would “lead like Jesus.” With the news of Ken Blanchard’s New Age affections there were now additional concerns regarding Blanchard, Rick Warren and the whole Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. The obvious question suddenly became “What Jesus are we talking about here—the Bible’s Jesus or the New Age Jesus?”

In his book The Servant Leader, Blanchard and his co-author Phil Hodges placed great emphasis on the need for “solitude” and “silence” in order to “quietly receive what God reveals to you.” Invoking the cross and Psalm 46:10, they advised their readers to “Be still” and to move into the same meditative state of mind I practiced in the New Age.

"If you are seated in a comfortable position, place your hands on your knees in a down position. If walking, visualize yourself in this position. In harmony with the position of your hands, mentally put down everything you are concerned about or expending energy in trying to manage or control at the foot of the cross. Be specific—name each burden as you put it down.

"When you have exhausted your list, take a couple of deep breaths and turn your hands, physically and mentally, into an up position and quietly receive what God reveals to you.

"Have no expectations or agenda for this time with God. Let it be His to fill."(39)

In New Age leader Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams—a book that also bears Blanchard’s endorsement—Chopra emphatically declares that in order to know God one must meditate. He underlines his New Age call to meditation by citing Psalm 46:10 and putting predictable New Age meaning on the single word “Be.” He writes:

Practicing silence means making a commitment to take a certain amount of time to simply Be.(40)

In the Bible is the expression, “Be still, and know that I am God.” This can only be accomplished through meditation.

Blanchard’s 2005 book Lead Like Jesus—endorsed by numerous Christian leaders including Rick Warren—also cites Psalm 46:10 and urges readers to focus on the single word “Be.” Like Chopra, Blanchard puts an obvious New Age emphasis on this word “Be.” Blanchard writes:

Before we send people off for their period of solitude, we have them recite with us Psalm 46:10 in this way:
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know.
Be still.
Be. (42)

This idea of simply “being” was at the heart of my New Age experience. But I came to realize that just “being” can produce an overly relaxed, falsely confident, passive state of mind where trusting souls do not think to “test the spirits.” As a result many of us learned the hard way that much of what we thought we heard and experienced and felt was not from God at all.

[Excerpt used with permission, Warren Smith, Reinventing Jesus Christ]

Rick Warren has also previously served as a judge for the John Templeton Foundation's Purpose Prize. For more information on the significance of these connections to Templeton, see the Chapter 10 Update to Warren Smith's Reinventing Jesus Christ. Also see the Chapter 7 Update on Templeton's "Humility Theology." For current information on the contemplative movement see http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com.

The Truth:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

When the 3 Legs Intertangle. . .

"It's as if by our ... tragic history that we've ... lost a sense of purpose for life. That's why it's so easy to destroy life," Kagame said in an interview with The Orange County Register. "Grasping the meaning of life ... is more relevant for our society than any other."

Still, Kagame says the most important aspect of the PEACE plan is its practical assistance.

The measure of progress "is by seeing the incomes of ordinary people go up, by being able to meet the basics of daily needs," he says.

Kagame also says Saddleback has been "extremely useful" in connecting Rwanda's tourism and investment sectors to influential decision-makers in the West.

Warren "has already connected us with a lot of people," says Kagame. "He's been telling different investors and people who lead powerful institutions … about Rwanda."
("The Pastor and the President," Gwendolyn Driscoll, Orange County Register, 12/24/06.) [emphasis added]

In the utopian world of the 3-legged stool, described in the previous post, the statements above might seem like an ideal situation. Each leg of the stool is helping to support the other two legs in ways that are beneficial and complementary. A poor and war-torn African nation is assisted by the institutions of the western nations which try to rebuild it. In the lexicon of the internationalists this is known as "nation-building."

Rwanda has already been called the world's first Purpose-Driven nation. What exactly does this mean?

It means that the idealistic views of a perfect "Society" held by Peter Drucker, the business guru, are being applied in real-time to a tattered nation on the continent of Africa.

But Drucker's ideas weren't all that utopian in real life. In fact, his schemes place heavy burdens upon individuals and groups in his "Society."

Elsewhere on this blog many posts have covered the mentoring relationship between Peter Drucker and Rick Warren. It is therefore of interest that a recent article in the Orange County Register sends up some red flags about what could be happening in Rwanda.

1. There is a "measure of progress" mentioned in the quotation above. In Drucker's system there are assessments, measurements, and performance criteria. By whose standards will progress for Rwanda be judged? By western internationalist agencies, NGOs, philanthropic organizations, the UN Millennium Development Goals, Saddleback, multinational corporations? The list could go on and on.

The Orange County Register article takes notice of the authoritarian style of governance that emerges from this rewards and penalties structure, and corresponding ethical issues that arise by bringing in missionaries to assist the endeavor:

"The former director of military intelligence for neighboring Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has brought stability to Rwanda but also an authoritarian style of governance that worries nongovernmental organizations and human-rights observers. By working so closely with Kagame, they say, Warren and his teams of PEACE missionaries may be unwittingly playing politics."

2. The plan is to turn Rwanda into a "knowledge-based economy," which by Drucker's definition requires that people be measured by the criteria of "knowledge capital," a virulent form of "human capital" in which one's worth to "Society" is based upon their training and ability to perform in an economically productive manner. The Orange County Register article points out that:

"A concept paper distributed by the Rwandan government in 2002 laid the ambitious goal of transforming Rwanda, a country of subsistence farmers living on less than a dollar a day, into a 'knowledge-based economy' by the year 2020."

3. Africa is ripe for exploitation. Who is to say that bringing in these "investors" or "people who lead powerful institutions" will actually benefit the little people? What strings come with the investments? Who profits? The Orange County Register article reports on the power-brokering going on:

"I've actually sat down with presidents in Africa ... and my first question is, 'Are you going to rip me off?' " says Warren. "And I say: 'I have the ability to bring in resources and investments. We're certainly not going to come in here if you're just going ... put it in a Swiss bank account.'"

4. What does it mean to have a Purpose-Driven nation? What about freedom of religion? There are some disturbing indications that there is a weird new hybrid of church and state manifesting:

"KIGALI, Rwanda – In the reception area outside Rwandan President Paul Kagame's offices – in the second of several reception areas patrolled by armed guards – a television entertains guests with an American drama about Jesus.

"Inside, Kagame, a tall, matchstick-thin man whose elegant suit hangs on him like a sail, greets visitors on a gilded chair.

"The contrast of external piety and internal power is perhaps apt. During the past year, Rwanda's powerful president has embarked on an uncommon partnership with Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren and his global PEACE plan, an effort to link churches in networks of evangelism and practical good works."

To understand the significance of this, read to the end of the OC Register article:

"There may be other reasons why Kagame has welcomed evangelical churches like Saddleback to his country.

"Before the war, most Hutus belonged to the Catholic Church, an institution used by both Belgian colonists and the past Hutu-dominated regime as an instrument of state power. Today, the association of Catholicism with the Hutu majority remains, despite uneven efforts by the Catholic Church to atone for its actions.

"Meanwhile, Rutayisire and other evangelicals hold prayer breakfasts and Bible studies for Rwanda's leaders and have participated in rallies for Kagame during the 2003 elections. Protestant churches are the primary beneficiaries of the PEACE plan, as the Catholic Church, citing concerns about 'the clarity of people's intentions' has stayed away.

"The concern, observers say, is that by working exclusively with churches whose leadership is in large part associated with the Tutsi elite, Saddleback Church may be making a political contribution as well as a social one."

The questions raised above barely scratch the surface. Here is one man's church -- set to go global in scope -- doing "mission" work by nation-building in a potentially volatile country in Africa by employing results-driven standards, according to unknown criteria, with hidden players harboring unspecified motives who stand to profit greatly by their "investments."

The Truth:

"When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat."
(Proverbs 23:1-3)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

When the 3 Legs Intertwine

"DR. WARREN: These problems are so big, Tim, that everybody’s failed at them. The United Nations has failed, the United States has failed. And the reason why is because we have not worked together on these issues. Last year at Davos I kept hearing people talk about public and private partnerships. And what they meant was, we need government and businesses to work together on these big global problems. These are problems that affect billions of people, not millions. And when they said that, I said, 'Well, you’re right, but you’re not quite there yet. You’re missing the third leg of the stool.' A one-legged stool will fall over, a two-legged stool will fall over, and business and government alone cannot solve these problems. They haven’t, or they would’ve. The third leg of the stool is the churches. There’s a, there’s a public sector role, there’s a private sector role and there’s a faith sector role.

"Each of the three legs have something to bring to the table that the other doesn’t have."
(Rick Warren's interview with Tim Russert, Meet the Press, 12/24/06) [emphasis added]

Many times on this blog we have detailed the history and concept of business guru Peter Drucker's 3-legged stool ideology. In a nutshell, Drucker envisioned that a "healthy" Society would best function if it were built upon the three legs of State, Church (private sector) and Corporate (business). This 3-legged concept of Society is idealistic and utopian.

There is trouble in paradise when one leg begins to exercise dominion over the other legs through money and power. A recent news account in the Los Angeles Times examines some ethical issues with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The article, entitled "Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation," by Charles Piller, Edmund Sanders and Robyn Dixon, January 7, 2007 details a few of the problems when there are linkages between the Private Sector Leg and the Corporate Sector Leg. The main story takes place in Nigeria in Africa:

"The Gates Foundation has poured $218 million into polio and measles immunization and research worldwide, including in the Niger Delta. At the same time that the foundation is funding inoculations to protect health, The Times found, it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total of France — the companies responsible for most of the flares blanketing the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe.

"Indeed, local leaders blame oil development for fostering some of the very afflictions that the foundation combats. . . .

"AT the end of 2005, the Gates Foundation endowment stood at $35 billion, making it the largest in the world. Then in June 2006, Warren E. Buffett, the world's second-richest man after Bill Gates, pledged to add about $31 billion in installments from his personal fortune. Not counting tens of billions of dollars more that Gates himself has promised, the total is higher than the gross domestic products of 70% of the world's nations. . . .

" . . . The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices. . . .

" . . . The Times found the Gates Foundation endowment had major holdings in:

• Companies ranked among the worst U.S. and Canadian polluters, including ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical Co. and Tyco International Ltd.

• Many of the world's other major polluters, including companies that own an oil refinery and one that owns a paper mill, which a study shows sicken children while the foundation tries to save their parents from AIDS.

Pharmaceutical companies that price drugs beyond the reach of AIDS patients
the foundation is trying to treat.

"This is 'the dirty secret' of many large philanthropies, said Paul Hawken, an expert on socially beneficial investing who directs the Natural Capital Institute, an investment research group. 'Foundations donate to groups trying to heal the future,' Hawken said in an interview, 'but with their investments, they steal from the future.'"

There is an extended discussion of the Gates' method of operating the two legs of the stool in this article. It then notes the consequences of this type of philanthropy to AIDS patients:

"AT a clinic in Isipingo, a suburb of the South African port city of Durban where the HIV infection rate is as high as 40%, Thembeka Dube, 20, was getting a checkup.

"Dube had volunteered for tests of a vaginal gel that researchers hope will be shown to protect against HIV. The tests are part of a study conducted by the New York-based Population Council, and funded by a $20-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Dube's boyfriend won't use condoms. She hoped the tests would show she could use the microbicidal gel, called Carraguard, and stop worrying about AIDS.

"Research into prophylactics such as Carraguard can fight AIDS by empowering women, Bill Gates told the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August. . . .

". . .At the same time the Gates Foundation was trying to help Dube, it owned a stake in companies that appeared to be hurting [others]."

The LA Times article doesn't look deeper into the social and religious ethical issues of experimental pharmaceuticals on AIDS patients in African nations (which by and large have no protections for patients). It doesn't delve into the spermicidal ingredients that may or may not be added to this anti-AIDS gel -- with or without the patients' knowledge and/or consent. It doesn't ask the hard questions about databanking personally identifiable patient genetic information. The list of ethical concerns could go on and on.

But the article does detail some ethical issues surrounding Bill Gates' cozy financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. Particularly, in a brief vignette about an expensive antiretroviral drugs and an experimental second-line AIDS drug called Kaletra:

"Gel capsules of Kaletra melt in Nigeria's sweltering climate, where temperatures often top 100 degrees. Felix kept his Kaletra in a small chest filled with ice.

"Each day, he had to go get more ice. And each day, he had to take Kaletra precisely at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. These things made it difficult for him to work, even at odd jobs.

"A new version of Kaletra does not require refrigeration. But his physician, Dr. T.M. Balogun, who helps run the AIDS program at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, told him not to get his hopes up.

"The hospital is helped by the Nigerian government, which gets money from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The fund has been awarded $651 million by the Gates Foundation. Yet the hospital does not offer the new Kaletra. It is too expensive.

"In August, private pharmacists said they could sell it for $246 a month. But that was far out of Felix's reach.

"Kaletra is made by Abbott Laboratories. As of this September, the Gates Foundation held $169 million in Abbott stock. In 2005, the foundation held nearly $1.5 billion worth of stock in drug companies whose practices have been widely criticized as restricting the flow of key medicines to poor people in developing nations.

"On average, shares in those companies have increased in value about 54% since 2002. Investments in Abbott and other drug makers probably have gained the foundation hundreds of millions of dollars." [all emphases above are added]

The rest of the article is worth a read as it pertains to the pharmaceutical industry's profit motive in designing new drugs for the continent of Africa, particularly its AIDS victims. The patients' access to these high-priced drugs is examined briefly.

Rick Warren has been associated with the Gates Foundation at various international AIDS conferences, the Aspen Ideas Festival, the recent Saddleback AIDS conference, and The White House Summit on Malaria which included representatives of government, corporations (notably oil companies cited above), NGOs, and foundations. He attended a Time Magazine-sponsored Global Health Summit in October 2005, which was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This, of course, raises other disturbing ethical issues about the interconnections between media and the other three legs of the stool. The article states: "Additional support has been provided by The Coca-Cola Company, the United Nations Foundation, ExxonMobil, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and the American Red Cross."

What happens when the Church "leg" of this "stool" cozies up to the other two legs of the stool? When, for example, the Church agrees to become the world's distribution network for the other 2 legs of the stool? And when the church agrees beforehand to not ask any questions about the ethics (or lack thereof) because in the supposed urgency of the hour it must do "whatever it takes"? What happens to the Church when monies pass freely back and forth between all the legs and the Church becomes one of the "partners" in these affairs? Will the salty questions be asked about biblical ethics?

The Truth:

"By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned:" (Ezekiel 28:16a)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Rick Warren & the CFR Revisited

''In fact,'' Warren added, ''as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Oxford Analytica, I might know as much about the Middle East as you.''. . .

. . . Now, according to an e-mail from John Mogush, his assistant at Saddleback, his boss was just confused.

"Pastor Rick is not a member of the Council on Foreign Relations," he wrote one concerned constituent. "He was asked to become a member, but declined. If you can tell me where it was written, we will respond to them." (Joseph Farah, "Rick Warren: Is he or isn't he?" WorldNetDaily, 1/9/07)

Today's WorldNetDaily column by Joseph Farah, cited above, contains a stunning statement by Saddleback denying Rick Warren's membership in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The story is a must-read. Farah concludes his analysis of Warren's conflicting statements by asking:

"So, what's it going to be, Rick Warren? Are you in or out? Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations? Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?"

When all is said and done, does it make any difference if Rick Warren is or isn't a member of the CFR? Not really! The fact is that he has been associating with the CFR, and other like-minded globalist organizations.

It is grievous that a Christian leader the stature of Rick Warren is playing loose with truth. The involvement of professional public relations people putting various "spins"on these facts indicates some pretty serious integrity malfunctions.

But whether Rick Warren is an actual member (however that is defined) of the controversial and conspiratorial CFR isn't as important as the fact that he has been carrying out their historical agenda. As documented in the most recent Herescope posts from 11/12/06 through 12/19/06, Rick Warren has been following the roadmap for church and global transformation first articulated by early CFR leaders such as John Foster Dulles. In fact, he seems to have been following Dulles' roadmap so precisely that it is astonishing to observe.

The Truth:

"Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me Your Law graciously. I have chosen the way of Truth: Your Judgments have I laid before me." (Psalm 119:29-30)

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Necessity of a Sound Mind

The Discernment Research Group wishes each one of our readers a blessed new year.

We live in perilous times. Times which call for a sound mind. The following is an excerpt from a sermon by J.C. Philpot, preached in 1857, and pertinent to today. For an added blessing follow the link at the bottom:

We are often reproached with being fanatics, enthusiasts, and people of a wild imagination, carried and led away by airy flights, without any sobriety of judgments or soundness of mind. I consider that no charge was ever more false or more misdirected. I consider that those of us who know the truth of God by divine teaching are eminently people of a sound mind eminently free from superstition, fanaticism, enthusiasm, or wild imaginations and delusive fancies. I never had sounder mind in my life than I have at this moment, and I am sure my religion has not made my mind unsound. It has made my mind sound naturally as well as spiritually, for it has cured me of a thousand airy fancies and wild ambitious desires, and given me sobriety in natural things as well as in spiritual.

To possess, then, the spirit of a "sound mind" is to have a sound judgment in the things of God– not to be drawn aside by every passing opinion– not to be allured by every novel doctrine– not to be charmed by every fresh device of the wicked one– not to be caught by every one of his flesh-pleasing snares; but to have that sobriety of judgment and holy wisdom in the things of God, with that fixedness of heart upon the Lord Jesus, and that solid experience of his Spirit and grace, as shall keep us from errors and delusions on the right hand and on the left.

Unless we have this spiritual sobriety, this ripe and matured judgment, and this firm establishment in the truth of God, we are almost sure to be drawn aside into some error or other. Satan will somehow deceive us as an angel of light. He will impose upon us some of his heresies and present them to our minds with such plausibility that they shall appear to be in accordance with the scriptures; he will puff us up with pride and presumption; he will draw us off the firm and safe ground of spiritual experience, to entangle us in a maze of confusion and error; he will beguile our minds with some of his subtle deceits, and lead us off that foundation which God has laid in Zion, and upon which all his saints have ever stood; and by working upon our Pharisaical or Antinomian mind, withdraw us away from the glorious truths that all the preachers of righteousness have ever taught. If we have not the spirit of a sound mind, we shall mistake a false experience for a true one– natural feelings for spiritual– the workings of pride and self-righteousness for the workings of the Spirit of God– and the deceits of the devil for the teachings of the Holy Spirit.

But where there is a sound mind– and that there ever will be, more or less, where there is spiritual light, divine life, gracious feeling, and a conscience made tender by God's fear– there will be a sound faith, a sound hope, a sound love, a sound repentance, and a sound work of grace upon the heart from first to last. To have a sound mind is to have a mind deeply imbued and vitally impregnated with the truth of God; and as that truth is the only really solid and enduring substance under the sun, it follows that those who know it experimentally for themselves are the only people really possessed of soundness of mind; for they only take right and sound views of all things and all events, natural and spiritual, and have, as the apostle says, "the mind of Christ."

The material above was excerpted from: "The Spirit of Power, of Love, and of a Sound Mind," Preached at North Street Chapel, Stamford, on Oct. 4, 1857, by J. C. Philpot, and based on the following Scripture: "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7. To read this sermon in its entirety visit: http://www.gracegems.org/Philpot/spirit_of_power.htm

The Truth:

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If you continue in My word, then are you My Disciples indeed; And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)