The Mental Health Church

Kay Warren & Ed Stetzer of Leadership Network
Leading the Charge!

“Mental Illness Will Affect Families in YOUR Church in 2015.  Are You Prepared?”
Leadership Network e-mail, April 2, 2015

Ever since Kay Warren’s husband, the famous Rick Warren of “purpose-driven” fame, launched his “Daniel Plan” a few years ago there have been concerns that his “health” agenda for the church would expand into “mental health.” It appears from the above promotion that this is indeed happening. What role does Warren envision for the church in promoting “mental health”? It is more than meets the eye.

This blog, along with our research friends Warren Smith[1] and Berit Kjos,[2] previously published articles exposing how Rick Warren was relying on openly New Age doctors to tell Christians how to become mentally, spiritually and physically “healthy.” Review the following articles we posted at the time:

Warren Smith’s booklet is downloadable file HERE
or purchase at Amazon HERE.

Thus the Daniel Plan was always intended to be much more than just a mere diet plan. It was a comprehensive mental, physical and spiritual “health” program. Warren Smith described the New Age spirituality inherent in Rick Warren’s healthcare model in his booklet Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan:

Who would have believed it? Occult/New Age doctors being invited into the church to teach Christians how to be healthy? Charles Spurgeon must be rolling over in his grave. On January 15, 2011 a fifty-two week health and wellness program—the Daniel Plan—was initiated at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. More than six thousand people attended the well promoted and carefully staged event. Warren took the opportunity to announce that his own personal goal was to lose 90 pounds in 2011. The Daniel Plan website states that “the Daniel Plan envisions starting a movement so the result is better physical and spiritual health for current and future generations.” It describes how Rick Warren recruited three best-selling authors to create and oversee the Daniel Plan Curriculum—Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. Although these three physicians are all involved with New Age teachings, they describe themselves respectively as a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew.[3]

“Mental Health and the Church”
It is noteworthy that this “Mental Health and the Church” summit was a Leadership Network event. Leadership Network is the premier organization committed to peddling psycho-social transformation in the church. It was launched over a generation ago by Peter Drucker and Bob Buford to train pastors and leaders in state-of-the-art methods of marketing and social change.[4] In our initial review of Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, titled “3-Legged ‘Health’ Care,” we made the following connections:

With Rick Warren at the helm, the CHURCH is now in the BUSINESS of health care REFORM. This is the 3-legged stool. It is the integration of church/state/corporate that business guru Peter Drucker (Rick Warren’s mentor) proposed as the method for restructuring Society.[2] In this model the Church assumes a powerful new role as Change Agent Provocateur, a cheerleader for change and transformation in Society…. [5]

Mental health needs to be defined
Just what is “mental health”? In our postmodern society “mental health” is rapidly being recast into aligning one’s personality and behavior to politically and spiritually correct norms — norms which are rapidly changing as society’s Christian base erodes. Thus those who hold to old-fashioned or biblical opinions, beliefs, attitudes, values and mores may soon find themselves labeled mentally UN-healthy. 

Increasingly, we are hearing a drumbeat from the global elite calling for societal “mental health” standards. This push is facilitated by the mainstream press which hypes each new “mental health” disaster (such as the recent tragic Germanwings air crash incident). Indeed, this whole agenda comprises much more than simple mental health. It includes a global plan for developing “community” and attaining “sustainable living.” In the “3-Legged ‘Health’ Care” we cited an eyewitness account of the launching of the Daniel Plan at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church:

Researcher Jennifer Pekich wrote an account of her personal experience at the Saddleback Health and Fitness Seminar. Her report on Rick Warren’s new Daniel Plan revealed that the real agenda is not about healthy parishioners. It is about radical community transformation. She writes:

By the time I settled into listening more intently, the second speaker, Mark Hyman, began. It didn’t take too long to figure out what the basis of his message was. We “need to heal with community” (he termed this “accompaniment”), “we’re here for the sake of each other,” this plan “is our way out,” this plan “saved me,” and in fact will “change the world.” Saddleback was being told they were a “test community” to show the world how to live “healthy and sustainably.”

Jennifer continues her report:

I about fell off my chair when Dr. Hyman stated, “The key to the success of the “Daniel Plan” is “group living”…”individuals” will not succeed, our only hope lies in “community.” And with that, it was announced that the “Saddleback community” would be an example of “sustainable living” and would set the course to “change this world”…and the crowd went wild!

When the CHURCH becomes the CHEERLEADER for mental health screening — as is evidenced in this Leadership Network event — then a significant voice of conscience in society is either blunted or shut down. The church is that voice that should by all rights be opposing the injustice of “messing with” people’s souls (Gk. psyche, i.e., psychological mental health). Yet with Rick Warren’s wife Kay leading the cheers, the church is becoming complicit, even furthering this agenda along. The Warren’s own personal family tragedy, losing a son to suicide, is what gives Kay Warren a platform upon which to be promoted as an “expert” on mental health. After this sad event, in a 9/18/13 article titled “Rick Warren Tells Story of Son’s Suicide on CNN,” Christianity Today reported that

When he returned to the pulpit at Saddleback Church six weeks ago, Rick Warren launched a sermon series on grief and a campaign to help churches address mental illness. “There’s no shame when any other organ in your body fails, so why do we feel shame if our brain is broken?” he asked.

While superficially seeming to sympathize with mental health issues, this public stance is also a tactical maneuver. The Leadership Network elites (Ed Stetzer and Rick Warren’s wife Kay) are advancing a cherished agenda to “transform” the church. In fact, this may do more harm to people. And it will likely advance the church further into the bullying tactics we observed in the recent Mars Hill debacles.[6] After all, it is Leadership Network that originally set up the church as a high-demand “organization” with performance-driven standards for achieving “measurable results.” It is not a stretch to take this to the next level which is church-based assessment of spiritual, physical and mental health. What will happen to certain members of the local body (elderly, handicapped, infirm, disabled, sleep-deprived young mothers, or others simply having a “bad hair day”) who cannot attain the goals of “mental health” assessments? Meet physical health attributes? Perform spiritual health objectives? Will there be punitive measures put in place?

This whole agenda extends far beyond the parameters of the church. In Leadership Network’s plan of action, the church is supposed to be the cheerleader for global transformation! Note the following exhibit taken from a book by Leadership Network author and leader, Eric Swanson:

This illustration is a graphic representation of what this post is concerned about. It comes from Eric Swanson’s book To Transform A City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City (Zondervan, 2010), Figure 2 in the Foreword, p. 11. This is a visual chart of the “7 domains of culture,” of which Healthcare is the 7th. The Church in this diagram is seen encompassing the other 6 secular “domains.” Swanson explains, “The missional church sees itself as the people of God… already deployed across all domains of culture.” This is a disturbing visual of the Dominionist church model, illustrating the 7 mountains of culture[7],  which Swanson prefers to call “domains.” Swanson acknowledges Bob Buford of Leadership Network on p. 13. To put this chart in a larger context, listen to Eric Swanson’s new version of the “gospel” at his YouTube video discussing his “Externally Focused Churches” which is also posted as an exhibit in the context of an article “What Is Dominionism?”

Watch Swanson speak HERE or HERE.

Swanson’s model explains the reason why the elite church leaders of Leadership Network see their “leadership” role as pivotal in society, overarching across the secular spectrum, and superimposing the CHURCH on top of every other major institution — and for what purpose? To be salt and light? Or to rule and reign over the 6 other societal structures? Will this mixture of church and state effectually supersede representative government through collaborations toward a new form of “governance”? In this Swanson image, Peter Drucker’s original 3-legged stool now looks like a 7-headed hydra, with the church optimistically placed as the center of orchestrating change. This brings to mind Tim Keller’s “Center Church,” which is the global model, but this is a topic for a future article.    

(Source) (See Keller’s Center Church book HERE)

Meditative Mental Health
A news article today (4/17/15) reports that “a group of top doctors” were demanding that “TV celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz” be removed from his faculty position at Columbia University, “citing his ‘egregious lack of integrity’ for promoting what they call ‘quack treatments.'”

“Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine,” said a letter the 10 physicians sent to a Columbia dean earlier this week. They say he’s pushing “miracle” weight-loss supplements with no scientific proof that they work….

The doctors wrote that Oz, for years a world-class Columbia cardiothoracic surgeon, “has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.” They said he has “misled and endangered” the public.[8]


While many readers (the authors included) may agree with Dr. Oz’s advocacy of a healthful lifestyle and nutritious eating, and while it is evident that his critics may have less-than-stellar motives, the fact remains that Dr. Oz is an occult New Age doctor. Yet Dr. Oz has found a comfortable station in the church as a top doctor for Rick Warren’s healthcare plan. We observed the New Age connections between health and mental health in our original article:

This New Age blueprint for health care reform altered the very meaning of the term “health.” In modern American society today the word “health” now connotes the entire “body-mind-spirit” connection. Three decades after Ferguson’s book came out, the evangelical world has comfortably adopted the “body-mind-spirit” worldview of the New Agers.[6] Many eastern mystical “holistic health” ideas were simply re-written into biblical terminology and passed off to evangelicals as higher forms of spirituality. Today, meditation, contemplation, drumming, etc. are becoming commonplace. This is the face of the seeker-sensitive church. By accommodating itself to the eastern worldview, the Church fools itself into thinking it is more “culturally relevant.” So the next step in the seeker-sensitive journey is for the Church to become an “agent” of “cultural renewal.”[9]

Thus it is likely that in the future that “mental health” may come to be associated with meditation and contemplation. In other words, those who “meditate” may perform better on the performance-based assessments with their predetermined “mental health” criteria. Those who practice contemplation could be said to be more mentally healthy than those who don’t. Those who think esoterically may be evaluated as more spiritually mature. The list could go on and on.

Keep in mind that the agenda to re-define mental health is many decades old and it impacts many of the “domains” of society, especially education, government and healthcare. The eradication of conscience and morality was the stated intent:

During 1948 ALGER HISS, who would later be convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, wrote the preface to Gen. Brock Chisholm’s lecture, “The Psychiatry of Enduring Peace and Social Progress,” which was re-published in International Conciliation (No. 437, March, 1948, p. 109). Alger Hiss was at that time president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the publisher of International Conciliation. The preface to Chisholm’s lecture (Feb. 21, 1948), redefined the word “health”:

Defining health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” it includes not only the more conventional fields of activity but also mental health, housing, nutrition, economic or working conditions, and administrative and social techniques affecting public health. In no other field is international cooperation more essential and in no other field has it been more effective and political difference less apparent.[10][emphasis added] 

General Brock Chisholm, a Canadian psychiatrist and friend of Soviet agent Alger Hiss…. asserted that

The reinterpretation and eventually eradication of the concept of right and wrong… these are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy.[emphasis added]

Brock Chisholm went on to recommend that teachers all over the world be trained in “no right/no wrong” psychotherapeutic techniques found in the schools today.[11]

The Truth
Ex-New Ager Warren Smith, after reviewing Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, concluded:

One can only wonder if the prophet Daniel’s vision of the end days included a look at Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan — a compromised pastor and three New Age doctors with their psychics, spirit guides, tantric sex, necromancy, yoga, Reiki, Transcendental and Kundalini “sa ta na ma” meditations and more — all in Daniel’s name. If so, it is no wonder that the Bible records that he “fainted” and became “sick” for a number of days (Daniel 8:27).[12] 

In our critique of Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, we warned:

So while Rick Warren activates the Church leg of the stool, other pressures are being brought to bear on the Corporate and State legs to bring all into conformance with global consciousness and standards. And thanks to Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, we are provided with an obvious clue that these standards will be managed and monitored by the New Age/New Spirituality model of health care reform.

So it might be questioned, should Bible believers, like Daniel of old, choose not to defile themselves by partaking in the Daniel Plan with its obvious New Age and One World overtones and control mechanisms? How much better it would be for Christians to choose to satisfy their spiritual appetite by feeding on Him who is the Bread of Life.[13]

“For my people have committed two evils;
they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters,
and hewed them out cisterns,
broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” 
(Jeremiah 2:13)

“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
not walking in craftiness,
nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
but by manifestation of the truth
commending ourselves to every man’s conscience
in the sight of God.
But if our Gospel be hid,
it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded
the minds of them which believe not,
lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ,
Who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 
(2 Corinthians 4:2-4)

1. Warren Smith’s booklet is downloadable file HERE, HERE or purchase at Amazon HERE.
2. See the articles by Sarah Leslie and Berit Kjos:
Part 1: Rick Warren’s New Age Health Gurus
Part 2: Reiki “Power”
Part 3: The “WOO” Factor
Part 4: Changing Science, Changing Mind 

Part 5: The Aquarian Conspiracy
3. Warren Smith’s booklet is downloadable file HERE, HERE or purchase at Amazon HERE.
4. For further reading on these topics, read: The Pied Pipers of Purpose and Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism
5. “3-Legged “Health” Care,” Herescope, 2/10/11,
6. See the multi-part series we wrote about Mars Hill and the influence of Leadership Network on the “bullying” culture:
Part 1: “We Are Not ABANDONED”
Part 2: “Under the Bus” and “Off the Map” – The Out-of-Control Bus That Runs Over Sheep
Part 3: The MegaChurch Transit Authority and How it Operates

Part 4: The “Visionpath” Bus Route: The Road Most Traveled 
7. Read the following posts, and follow the many links to other articles: 
Seven Mountains Set To Go Viral
The “7-M Mandate”
Building the 7 Mountains
Seven Spheres of Influence
Seven Apostolic Spheres
May Day Prayers: What Repentance?
Who Invented Dominionism?
Mainstreaming Dominionism
Denying Dominionism
8. “Physicians demand removal of ‘Dr. Oz’ from Columbia University faculty,” 4/17/15,
9. Note that the footnote embedded in the quotation cites Marilyn Ferguson’s book The Aquarian Conspiracy that launched the New Age movement. We wrote: One of the subheadings in Ferguson’s chapter on “Healing Ourselves” is “Health and Transformation.” Transformation and reform are words used interchangeably when she discussed the emergence of the holistic health care model. It is important to note that Ferguson emphasizes the role of “spirit” in healing, but this has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. This is not unlike psychic healing, which she says “may prove a useful adjunct to medicine in the future.” (p. 276)
10. This quote is cited in the article “Common Core “Mental Health”: The Death of the Conscience,”, and the quotation is excerpted from pages 42-43 of the deliberate dumbing down of america by Charlotte T. Iserbyt. 
11. Ibid, edited slightly, and excerpted from the deliberate dumbing down of america, pp. 27-28.
12. Warren Smith’s booklet is downloadable file HERE, HERE or purchase at Amazon HERE.