Posted by: Yvonne | January 11, 2011

” Rick Warren’s New Health and Wellness Initiative Could Have Profound Repercussions on Many”

from Lighthouse Trails:

Just ten days after Lighthouse Trails posted its last and most important article of 2010, Rick Warren’s “Apologetics” Weekend Should Apologize for Representing “Another Gospel,” we must issue this Special Report regarding a year-long event that will be kicking off at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church on January 15th.

Near the end of 2010, Rick Warren announced that Saddleback Church would be entering “a Decade of Destiny.” He told his congregation that they would be focusing on several key areas, one of them being “health and wellness.” The “Daniel Challenge” or the “Daniel Plan” is Saddleback’s new health “initiative.”  On Saddleback’s website, it states:

Gods’ Prescription For Your Health

Be a part of this transformational debut to be a healthier you!

The kick-off event is next weekend, January 15. We’ll hear from world-renowned doctors on a plan to get healthy and stay that way in the new decade.

Who are the “world-renowned doctors” that will be helping to kick off Saddleback’s Decade of Destiny? Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. The video on the website states that this program has been “Exclusively Designed for Saddleback Church by Three of the Leading Health Specialists in America.”

Let us get right to the point: The three doctors who have put together a 52-week health program for Saddleback congregants are absolute advocates and proponents of not just eastern-style meditation but actual eastern meditation and much much more as this article will reveal. Right off, let us say that if you are thinking perhaps that these doctors will only advise Saddleback on legitimate health advice (exercise, healthy eating, etc.) take a look at this video (taken place at Saddleback) between Rick Warren and Dr. Daniel Amen. Amen intends to help Saddleback participants to have good “brain health,” which he firmly believes comes from meditation. In this video, he openly discusses meditation with Rick Warren.

What are the spiritual underpinnings of the meditation these three doctors are propagating? This report will lay it out for you.

Dr. Amen, founder of Amen Clinics, is the author of over 25 books. He teaches techniques that will improve “brain health,” claiming that poor brain health is associated with a host of problems from overeating to depression. As Dr. Amen describes in the video you just saw, he includes meditation (and in fact this is his primary tool) as a way to have a healthy brain.

It is the nature of this meditation that sets Dr. Amen apart from any other individual that Lighthouse Trails has ever written about concerning Rick Warren. In a 6-CD set called Create a More Passionate Night,  Dr. Amen has teamed up with advanced certified Tantra educator, T. J. Bartel. It is important that you visit Bartel’s website to better understand the nature of what he stands for. By the way, when you hear Bartel say “Namaste,” this means the god in me bows down to the god in  you. We have discussed tantric sex in a number of  Lighthouse Trails articles in the past, such as one called What’s Sex Got to Do with It?” Please refer to this article if you are unfamiliar with this spiritual practice. In essence, Tantra or tantric sex is the use of Hinduistic-type mysticism during sexual intercourse. Please listen to what Ray Yungen has to say about Tantra and the serious implications of it:

Tantra is the name of the ancient Hindu sacred texts that contain certain rituals and secrets. Some deal with taking the energies brought forth in meditation through the chakras and combining them with love-making to enhance sexual experiences.

Once completely off-limits to the masses of humanity, Tantra, like all other New Age methodologies, is now starting to gain increasing popularity. . . . The potential to impact a very great number of people, especially men, was brought out in an article by a sex workerwho incorporates “Tantric Bodywork” into her services. . . .  she has turned to Tantric Union to give her clients what she feels is not just sex but “union with the divine.” . . .  Now the “multitudes of men” who come to her get much more than they bargained for. In the past, wives and girlfriends needed only to worry about sexually transmitted diseases from cheating husbands and boyfriends, but now their men may instead bring home spiritual entities! (For Many Shall Come in My Name, Yungen, pp. 115-116)

We are sorry to be so frank – but we must – we are dealing with Rick Warren,  “America’s Pastor” and one of the most, perhaps the most, influential evangelical leaders today. And in just a few days, he will be starting a 52-week health program that has been designed by Dr. Amen, a tantric sex activist! Dr. Amen expresses his strong feelings about tantric in his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body:

In my book, The Brain in Love, I wrote about Tantric sexual practices, and was fascinated by the concept . . .  I wanted to experience it for myself and thought it would be a wonderful way to enhance my relationship with my wife, Tana. . . .  T.J. Bartel . . . became our teacher . . . I felt as if I had to share his knowledge with everyone I knew.” (p. 283)

Everyone he knows? Will that include Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, and even overflow to thousands of Purpose Driven churches? That could potentially be millions of people. On the video interview with Rick Warren and Dr. Amen, Warren states that Dr. Amen’s resources would be available for those attending the seminar this coming weekend. In almost all of the “resources” by  Dr. Amen, he  advocates eastern meditation. In some of the books, he devotes many many pages to meditation practices. On page 238 of Amen’s Making a Good Brain Great, he states: “I recommend an active form of yoga meditation called Kriya Kirtan. It is based on the five primal sounds saa, taa, naa, maa, aa.” He tells readers to repeat these sounds for 12 minutes straight.

Many of you have heard of New Age leader Eckhart Tolle, whose 2008 book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose was highly popularized by Oprah. Tolle stated that the book’s purpose was to bring about a “shift in consciousness” (pp. 6-7). In his earlier book, The Power of Now, he speaks of  this “consciousness,” what he considers a christ-consciousness:

Christ is your God-essence or the Self, as it is sometimes called in the East. The only difference between Christ and presence is that Christ refers to your indwelling divinity regardless of whether you are conscious of it or not, whereas presence means your awakened divinity or God-essence. (p. 104)

For more on Eckhart Tolle and the great awakening that New Agers seek after for the planet, read Warren B. Smith’s 4-part article, “ The Great Heretical Idea: Oprah and Eckhart Do the New Age Shift.” Dr. Daniel Amen talks about Tolle’s The Power of Now in his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, calling Tolle’s book “extraordinary.”

Dr. Amen’s meditation technique of choice is Kriya Kirtan, as we stated above. This is a form of kundalini yoga (see his book,The Brain in Love, p. 146). Those who have studied with discernment the New Age, know that kundalini (or serpent power) is the spiritual “energy” behind meditation. Ray Yungen explains the relationship between kundalini and the chakras:

The chakras act as conduits or conductors for what is called kundalini or serpent energy. They say this force lies coiled but dormant at the base of the spine like a snake. When awakened during meditation, it is supposed to travel up the spine activating each chakra as it surges upward. When the kundalini force hits the crown chakra, the person experiences enlightenment or Self-realization. This mystical current results in the person knowing himself to be God. That is why kundalini is sometimes referred to as the divine energy. According to New Age proponents, all meditative methods involve energy and power, and the greater the power, the greater the experience. (FMSC, pp. 76-77)

Dr. Mark Hyman, one of the three doctors who “designed” the “Daniel Challenge” for Saddleback , is another strong advocate for mystical meditation. In his book, The Ultramind Solution, Hyman emphasizes meditation, saying that it doesn’t matter what religion one has to benefit from it (p. 322). Dr. Hyman suggests that “Mindful meditation is a powerful well-researched tool, developed by Buddhists” (p. 384). On the front cover of The Ultramind Solution, sits an endorsement by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the third doctor who will be training Saddleback on health.

Anyone who watches daytime television, in particular Oprah, will know the name Dr. Oz, a highly renowned cardiovascular surgeon.  It was Oprah who featured him on her show for five years, making him a household name, which eventually led to his own television show, one of the most popular shows on television.

Last February, Lighthouse Trails posted a piece titled “Dr. Oz Tells Millions of Americans: ‘Try Reiki!'” In January 2010, Dr. Oz brought a Reiki master onto his show to demonstrate Reiki and then ended the show saying,  “try Reiki” as the #1 “Oz’s Order.” It would make sense that Dr. Oz would tell his viewers to try Reiki – his wife is a Reiki practitioner. One press release related:

Reiki Masters across America and the world had cause for celebration on January 6 when Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed his Ultimate Alternative Medicine Secrets for 2010 during his nationally broadcast afternoon talk show. He ranked Reiki #1. Dr. Oz said, “Reiki is one of my favorites, we’ve been using it for years in the Oz family, and we swear by it.”

As Lighthouse Trails has documented for years, Reiki is a type of “energy healing” that is based on the New Age chakra system and puts those practicing it into contact with the realm of familiar spirits. If this sounds far fetched, listen to what one Reiki master wrote in the Everything Reiki Book:

During the Reiki attunement process, the avenue that is opened within the body to allow Reiki to flow through also opens up the psychic communication centers.  This is why many Reiki practitioners report having verbalized channeled communications with the spirit world. (cited inA Time of Departing, p. 97)

Recently, we posted a YouTube video that describes the spiritual consequences of practicing Reiki. The person doing the video told the story of one woman, who after practicing Reiki came into contact with 35 spirit guides, and she was unable to rid herself of them. They told her they would be with her forever. If you have not yet viewed this 10 minute video, it is imperative that you do. Reiki is a catalyst  or channel, as stated earlier, into the spirit world. This is not a silly, nonsensical ritual with no meaning. This is serious stuff!

How serious? Consider this: A book titled The Instruction written by Ainslie MacLeod, is described by the publisher as the following:

Have you ever sensed that your life has a deeper, more meaningful purpose–but don’t know what it is? If so, you’re not alone. To help you and the millions like you, psychic Ainslie MacLeod’s spirit guides have given him a systematic approach to uncovering who you really are–and the life your soul has planned for you. They call it The Instruction. Now, for the first time, this unique teaching is offered as a step-by-step program for realizing personal fulfillment. The Instruction will take you through ten “doorways” to unveil the life plan your soul created before you were even born.

In the  foreword written by MacLeod, he says the “purpose of the book is to understand the coming shift in consciousness that is poised to sweep the planet. This transformation will affect everyone of us in some way.” This book, which is given by spirit guides and lays out the basic foundation for the New Age impressed Dr. Oz so much that he wrote an endorsement for the front cover. He stated:   “I recommend this book to those who seek greater spiritual well-being and a better understanding of their life’s purpose.” Dr. Oz’s endorsement is also on the front cover of MacLeod’s 2010 book, The Transformation: Healing Your Past Lives to Realize Your Soul’s Potential,where he exclaimed: “Ainslie MacLeod is at the frontier of exploration into the soul and its profound influence on our physical selves.”

Make no mistake about it – Reiki, meditation, tantric sex – these are very powerful mystical experiences that have the capability to delude and deceive those who are involved with it. While many of the health ideas these three doctors share in their books and DVDs are legitimate (exercise, vitamins, and good diet, etc.), these doctors firmly believe in meditation and want to make it widely accepted and embraced and have interwoven this belief into their programs. As Dr. Amen admitted himself, he wants to tell everyone he knows about meditation. Rick Warren and Saddleback are in danger as could be the millions who Rick Warren influences.

We urge all discerning believers to contact their own pastors  and any other pastors or leaders they know to warn them about what is taking place in the name of wellness and fitness in the church. We urge you also to contact ministries who have, in one way or another, either through consent or silence, supported the “new” spirituality that is trying to enter the church and tell them where it leads.  The wellness and fitness aspect of this is just another face of this whole movement that is impacting our entire culture.

In this plea, consider what Roger Oakland stated at the end of Faith Undone:

There are still pastors and churches dedicated to proclaiming the truth. Find out where they are and support them. If you are in a location where this does not seem to be possible, seek out materials that are available from solid Bible-based Christian ministries and hold Bible studies in your homes.

When Jesus returns, He will not find a utopian world filled with peace but one in shambles, unrest, violence, and war for having forsaken the Word of God, the true Gospel, and the One true God. Rather than being a time when He will praise the world for discovering its christ-consciousness, He will come as a Judge and powerful King (p. 230).

Let us hold fast to the truth, and in considering the fact that compromising our spiritual health and wellness is never the right avenue to physical wellness, remember the words Paul spoke to the Romans. He did not tell them to entertain spirit guides, practice mantra meditation, yoga, or Reiki. This was his instruction to believers:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12: 1-2

As important as physical health may be, we must remember that our bodies are only temporal. Yes, we should take care of them, but in the process we should not do as Esau did and sell out our spiritual heritage for a bowl of pottage.



  1. Thank you for what your doing. You are not alone.Yes,there are still men of God,willing to stand for blessed fam,and Stand Firm..Jimmy aka Lo-RAIN HEALER

    • Welcome Jimmy,

      I find your comment interesting because I went to your myspace page and see that the church you attend is a “Purpose Driven” church.

      Would you say, then, that you agree or disagree with the concerns presented about Rick Warren in the above article?

      Are you willing to ‘stand firm’ against Warren’s continued apostasy?

      Truly interested to know your response,

  2. Really do like your site Yvonne.

    I have been studying the apostasy (ranging from IHOP, emergent, Spiritual Formation to Seeker Friendly).
    ALL of it is being used as kool-aid to the unsuspecting masses (who should be looking in the Word) so that they will be more palatible to a one world religion. This NEW thing is insidious and evil in the sight of the Lord and does not glorify Him one bit. I, myself, almost got caught up in one of the movements known as IHOP (the funny thing is, is I am not one of these real emotional types). But I wanted to “sincerely” have dreams from God. Ended up I had a dream I did not want at all. The Lord warned me to not get anymore involved with “doctrines of demons” and to warn other believers of these same things- whatever the apostasy may be.

    Whatever suits your “spiritual fancy” the Enemy has something to give you. One thing that has saved me alot of heartache is to not listen to man- Christian books are written by the thousands and are usually filled with “works oriented”
    salvation. Run from them…. they only confuse. Get back to the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit through the Word.

    • Welcome, Faith!

      I agree with your assessment of the dangers of what’s in much of the American church today and am glad the Lord protected you!

      I must say, however, that there are a number of excellent authors that I trust–John MacArthur, Roger Oakland, Ray Yungen, Gary Gilley, just to name a few. I would recommend any books written by these men remembering that we all are susceptible to sin.

      Keep contending, Friend!


      • Thanks Yvonne!

        Oh I agree- I am reading Ray Yungens “A Time of Departing” right now- very good. Love Roger Oakland, Gary Gilley, and John MacArthur. There are still a few that are standing for Christ.

        • Faith,


          ‘A Time of Departing’ is an excellent book. After I read that one and Oakland’s ‘Faith Undone’ I started buying extra copies to pass out to friends and church leaders. I think every pastor should read them.

          Another one I forgot to mention is Dave Hunt’s ‘Seduction of Christianity’. He was writing and warning about these dangers years before Oakland and Yungen. His ministry is called ‘The Berean Call’ and he offers a newsletter that has helped me a great deal.

          I hope you continue to grow in your understanding of these dangers and warn others of them, as well!


  3. I’m trying to figure out the purpose of your sight. I’d like to find some Bible teachings but am only finding articles pointing out the things wrong with everyone else’s teachings. I’m curious as to your reasons why your interpretation of the Bible is the correct one. In Philippians Paul clearly states to stop the bickering within the church and to appreciate others that are working hard for the Kingdom. Reminding them how to lift each other up in community. I don’t see much “lifting up” being done here. I know you will argue back with your verses about pointing out heresey etc. I think each individual has the power of discernment and I really question the motives of this website. I think it may become a great tool used by the enemy to tear the church apart.

    • Welcome, Dena, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      In helping you understand the purpose of this blog, please click on the ‘Our Ministry’ page at the top. I think you’ll find what Judy and I hope to accomplish here.

      You say, ” I’m curious as to your reasons why your interpretation of the Bible is the correct one.”

      Dena, we are just as sure of our ‘interpretation of the Bible’ as you are when you explain your understanding of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. I’m confident that I can speak for Judy when I say neither of us believe we are above correction. If there is some specific error that you would like to point out to us we will prayerfully consider it; making general statements is not helpful.

      If you are searching for a site that is ‘lifting up’, may I suggest visiting our personal blogs which are listed in the sidebar, ‘the simple front porch’ and ‘Fragrance of Truth’. This blog is a discernment blog and as such deals with subject matter that is in the Church but is unbiblical.

      The enemy is busy at work in the American Church. Judy and I are working diligently exposing Satan’s lies and defending Jesus’ Truth.

      God bless,

  4. How else do you interpret Paul when he talks about the church in Philippians.I am aware that the Bible warns of false teachings but it also warns about not judging fellow Christians, doing things in love.I went to the blogs for some “lifting up” and only found more articles judging other Christians-not tithing enough and a whole list of things and *gasp* celebrating Christmas! Now we are judging Christians for celebrating Christmas! It is very dangerous when we start judging others because we do not know where their hearts are. Only God knows this. I know we will not change each other’s minds but I can’t help but wonder what great things could happen in furthering God’s kingdom if the same amount of energy you spend tearing apart every action of fellow Christians and instead used it to spread the word of God’s saving grace and salvation for all. Let him without sin cast the first stone.

    • Dena,

      I wasn’t questioning your interpretation of Philippians, I was only pointing out the hypocrisy in your questioning our interpretation and then immediately making a definitive statement of interpretation of Paul’s writings yourself. Why would your interpretation be anymore correct than ours?

      As far as being loving to our brothers and sisters in Christ, how un-loving would it be to discern something to be unbiblical or false and NOT share that information with others?

      How un-loving would it be to see a brother or sister in Christ being led astray by a wolf in sheep’s clothing and keep silent?

      When we point out the false or unbiblical teachings of pastors or leaders, we are not judging their salvation, which is what Jesus was referring; rather we are comparing their teachings to Scripture and exposing the error. It would seem you have a misunderstanding of that passage of Scripture.

      You say, “I can’t help but wonder what great things could happen in furthering God’s kingdom if the same amount of energy you spend tearing apart every action of fellow Christians and instead used it to spread the word of God’s saving grace and salvation for all. Let him without sin cast the first stone.”

      Take care, Dena. It would seem that you are in danger of doing the exact thing of which you accuse me—judging unrighteously.

  5. Well, one “specific error” that stands out is why you are so against meditation. The bible talks about meditation many many times. It is simply a process whereby one gives himself to study of the Word, praying over it, asking God to give you understanding by the Spirit, putting it into practice in daily life, and allowing it (the Scriptures) to become the rule for life and practice as you go about your daily activities.

    • Thanks for bringing that up, Dena. I suspect you are not the only one with that question.

      You are absolutely right about biblical meditation. We are commanded to think on God’s Word using our mind. However, when you hear men like Dr. Oz and Dr. Amen, along with many others, speak of meditation this is NOT what they mean. Their versions is in line with Transcendental Meditation or other New Age techniques like ‘contemplative prayer’, clothed in Christian terminology. Their intention is for you to empty your mind in an effort to get ‘closer to God’.

      May I recommend two excellent books, ‘Seduction of Christianity’ by Dave Hunt or ‘Faith Undone’ by Roger Oakland? Both of these books helped me understand the difference.


  6. Thank you for responding Yvonne. I absolutely agree with you on how these Drs. are twisting the biblical meaning of the word meditation. I fully understand the difference. I don’t want our conversations to go down the Scripture quoting road. I am very leary of picking and choosing Scriptures to prove ones point and especially leary of those who focus on one teaching of the bible (discernment) and do not incorporate all other aspects of Jesus’ teachings. I understand that this is a discernment website but I feel discernment can sometimes turn into picking people apart. I would not want someone following me around pointing out everything I do that does not fall in line with Scripture. And even though we are Christians, we sin and we still don’t fully understand. When you have a discernment website it is very hard to not come across as “the one and only voice of discernment.” I agree with much of your thinking. I agree about what you stated regarding the drs mentioned above. What I struggle with and am leary of is those that come across as thinking they have all the knowledge and understand everything stated in the Scriptures. I am far far far from knowing the whole Bible and will never know the whole Bible, we will never have the full knowledge of God but I seek Him earnestly every day. Thank you for your conversations and as a fellow believer in Christ I am thankful for your search for the truth. I pray God will use this sight to His glory. Blessings to you~ Dena

  7. May I state a point that many are thankful for discernment sites – I know I am!
    I at one point was going astray and the Lord used a discernment site for me to see my error. The Bible is chock full of verses to stay away from false teachers and to discern error in the church. The loving thing to do is to warn others of false teaching and false prophets. The soul is at stake! As long as Yvonne is speaking the truth from God’s Word and does it humbly there is nothing to argue about here.
    Keep going Yvonne!

    Jude 1:22-23

    22And have mercy on some, who are doubting;

    23save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

    • Thank you for your encouragement, Faith. May the Lord be glorified!

      There are many times that I am a resounding gong. I have to remind myself that I am to speak the truth in love and not allow a haughty spirit and pride to hinder the truth going forth.



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