DEFINING THE PARDIGM SHIFT
Resources to aid your Understanding
What is a “paradigm shift”? Better yet, what is a “paradigm”? The terminology of the “paradigm shift” was coined by Thomas Kuhn, in his 1962 book—The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; and according to Marilyn Ferguson, Kuhn’s ideas “increase understanding of the emergence of new perspectives and analyze the causes of resistance to new systemic changes”. (1) Marilyn Ferguson herself then relates Kuhn’s definition of the word “paradigm” as follows:
“A framework of thought (from the Greek paradigma, “pattern”). A
paradigm is a scheme for understanding and explaining certain aspects
of reality…a “paradigm shift” is a distinctly new way of thinking about
old problems.” (2)
(The context of Ms. Ferguson’s remarks is taken from her infamous book, The Aquarian Conspiracy, published in 1980. This book became known as the “New Age Bible”, and is framed within a pantheistic world view that dictates that “all is god”. Ms. Ferguson has become very well known as the consummate New Ager.)
It is within
this framework that the
The rise of spiritual
infidelity within the
It is this
process of transition that is deemed a paradigm shift, and such a paradigm
shift is occurring “right before the eyes” of the professing Church. This shift in consciousness has not been triggered
by some cataclysmic event, but is taking place in “baby steps”---one small step
at a time. In spite of this piecemeal
implementation, the transition is not occurring without opposition, for many
voices within Fundamental and even Evangelical circles are crying out to sound
the alarm. However, the numbers of the
new movement are swelling as a tidal wave that will potentially drown these
voices by the dawn of the next generation.
For as stated by physicist Max Planck, “A new scientific truth (or
lie –ed.) does not triumph by
convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its
opponents eventually die, a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
(3) To interpret this remark in a
biblical context, one can certainly add as an example: “…and there arose
another generation that knew not the Lord, nor yet the works He had done for
OBE AND OUTCOME-BASED RELIGION
The paradigm shift that enables the transition from the past to the future, from old structures to new, and old beliefs to new falls on the ears as echoes of the principles touted by progressive educators for almost three quarters of a century. As the parallels found in the methodologies of the New Paradigm Church and Outcome-based Education have been referenced numerous times over the course of this manuscript, one must remember the most fundamental of all the similarities is the core objective of both movements---transition. As with Outcome-based Religion, Outcome-based Education has as its core objective a complete transition of “the old” to “the new”. The chart pictured below was taken from a report issued to the South Carolina Department of Education proposing an OBE plan for the state’s schools. It very succinctly illustrates the basic tenets of the OBE pedagogy as the vehicle to transition the student to a new paradigm: (4)
This document is hard evidence of the desire to impart a complete systemic change in the attitudes and values of the student in order to prepare him or her for a perceived future. The technical term for this is “Transformational OBE” as touted by OBE marketeer, William Spady. The process implemented to achieve this transition is based on the establishment of a series of objectives (or outcomes) to be achieved via a cooperative effort (group dynamics) by a series of small groups (or teams) of students with the teacher (or change agent) functioning as a facilitator. The facilitator does not teach the small group, but rather, influences the group to reach a predetermined consensus by introducing affective or emotional situations in conflict with cognitive concepts to achieve the specified outcome. This dialectical process of group dynamics is replicated in Outcome-based Religion by those who would achieve the church growth outcomes by the creation of the so-called metachurch comprised of small groups that can be facilitated by pragmatic means to the status of a megachurch.
THE DRUCKER/ DEMMING CONNECTION
Since OBE and
Outcome-based Religion share what appears to be a disproportionate number of
similarities, one must question the origin of these principles and seek a
common source of such similarities or else consign them to pure coincidence. However, there exists no coincidence, because
the source of these commonalities can be readily discovered, and the quest
begins by looking into the lives of two men, Edwards Deming and Peter Drucker. Deming (now deceased) and Drucker (in his mid
90s) are enshrined as internationally renowned experts in business management
and gurus of business methodology. These two individuals were among the primary
players in a select group of Americans (Though Drucker is a
While this story is partially true, the reality is that Deming’s approach is primarily based on “process” and “continual process improvement”, and Drucker’s “Management by Objective” is purely outcome-based. However, though the approach of these methodologies originate from a different source point, Drucker’s outcome-based philosophies “back-map” into the very process principles incorporated by Deming. For example, Drucker’s theme of “building community” with “knowledge workers” equates precisely to Deming’s quest to implement a “team spirit” in order to “cultivate corporate loyalty and a shared identity”. (5) In essence, Deming is less outcome-based, but Drucker incorporates processes that mimic or are identical to those proposed by Deming to achieve the predetermined outcome. Therefore the quest must continue for the common origin of these methods, for the philosophical commonalities are far too obvious to be coincidental. This quest, however, will lead one to the darker side of business management.
Drucker’s “Management by Objective” was not an original idea, but rather emanated from within the ranks of 19th Century esoteric Germanic philosophy. The outcome-based, systemic concepts can be traced directly to the teachings of Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Wellhausen, Blavatsky, and others who were heavily influenced by Germanic paganism. In turn, these same principles were then adopted by the Fabian Socialists in the early Twentieth Century and easily communicated to the likes of John Dewey, “The Father of Progressive Education” (thus the origin of OBE). (6) Disturbingly, a deeper look into the basic tenants of this system reveals far darker, more esoteric undercurrents. This is no secret even to secular business sources that have the courage to make an honest evaluation of the system. For instance, in an article in The Journal of Organizational Change Management, David M. Boje and Robert D. Winsor address Total Quality Management (TQM)-- the lodestone of the Deming/Drucker methodology:
“The thesis of this article is that as an economic phenomenon, total quality management has been positioned as a carefully engineered set of technological process modifications which purport to lead to enhanced levels of product quality or lower costs and thereby provide the ability to achieve and sustain a global competitive advantage. To achieve these spoils, however, TQM directly and covertly alters the values, culture, and mind-sets within an organization. As a result, and parallel to these technological modifications, TQM establishes a carefully integrated programme of social and psychological engineering which is critical to the ‘successful’ implementation of TQM and which has a significant impact on the behaviour and consciousness of both managers and workers.” (7)
note the phrase that begins in the middle of the quotation, “…TQM directly and
covertly alters the values, culture, and mindset…a…integrated programme of
social and psychological engineering… ”.
This same article states, “TQM seeks to perfect control
systems that produce and enforce uniformity within the products, parts, workers,
suppliers, and the overall system of production. The problem is that a
majority of this control, in line with
(In the 1950s,
the American public was not exactly enthusiastic about embracing Druckerism or
Demingism. As a matter of fact, the
previously mentioned esoteric undercurrents were critical components in the
rejection of Drucker’s methods by American industrial magnets. However, esoteric mysteries were at the core
of the Eastern religions, and thus these aspects were more of an incentive than
an obstacle to the Japanese mentality.
Therefore, Demming became the father of a new business paradigm that
In reality, there exists a very logical explanation for
the esoteric nature of the Drucker/Deming methodology. These individuals based their philosophies on
“General Systems Theory” (GST). GST was
originally proposed by Hungarian biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy in 1928. He proposed that “a system is characterized
by the interactions of its components and the nonlinearity of those
interactions.”(10) Kuhn (the originator
of the “paradigm shift”) applied the GSP to culture and society, and he saw
cultures as interlinking subsystems of a broader planetary society. (11) In 1980, cosmologist Stephen Hawking then expanded
systems thinking to the global platform by introducing the “Chaos Theory” (12)
that claims the “interconnectedness of all things”--- (i.e. the beating of a
butterfly’s wings in
· “GST is symptomatic of a change in our worldview. No longer do we see the world in a blind play of atoms, but rather a great organization.” (13)
· “According to GST, nothing can be understood in isolation but must be seen as part of a system.” (14)
· If one accepts the theory that the world is an interconnected and interdependent holistic system (and within that system is an infrastructure that is analogous across systems), one must logically conclude that the Gaia Hypothesis is true.
· “James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis first appeared in 1979 and evolved into Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, published by Oxford Press in 1982. The Gaia Hypothesis contends that the earth itself is a living organism, the source of all life, which has the capacity to regulate or "heal" itself under "natural" conditions. Lovelock's contention is that the human species has developed the technology to overwhelm Gaia's capacity to "heal" itself, and is therefore doomed to destruction unless the human species stops its technological assault.” (15)
· The Gaia Hypothesis is, in essence, nothing more than ancient worship of the Mother Earth Goddess of both ancient paganism and modern witchcraft.
Based on all of the above, one can conclude that GST is an esoteric belief system based on a merger of Darwinism and eastern mysticism—much like what one would now term “New Age”. GST contends that man is moving to the next level of evolution, but in order to reach this plateau, mankind must be ascribe to a common, universal consciousness, or belief system (“old beliefs” must transition to “new beliefs”). Drucker confirmed his adherence to this concept by the development of the “3-legged stool” model. The legs are representative of the corporate system, the state, and the “private sector”. He top of the stool signifies the reaching of that which he terms as “community” or consensus of these three separate sectors (or subsystems) of society. Drucker has spent the last half of his life concentrating on this “private sector” (churches and non-profits) because this segment offers the platform for the dialectical consensus to unite all of humanity to bring about the “jump phenomenon” (16) to the next level of “societal evolution”. According to the GST and the Gaia Hypothesis, the “old system” must break down in order for the “new system” to break through.
As one gets
deeper into this scenario, Drucker’s emphasis on the non-profit sector should
come as no surprise—especially if one understands what Barry Goldwater
understood. In his book, With No
Apologies, Senator Goldwater described the strategy of the Trilateral
Commission, Council for Foreign Relations, and other globalist entities as an
attempt to control the “Four Corners of Power” in order to transition the world
into their perceived planetary model. He
described these “four corners” as political, economic, theological, and intellectual;
and contended that those who control the Four Corners of Power control the
world. (17) Drucker’s “3-Legged Stool”
simply combines the theological and intellectual corners of power into the
“private sector/ non-profit” leg of the stool.
Goldwater theorized that control of the Four Corners of Power would
result in a new world system, just as Drucker’s model to achieve “community” will
bring forth a new society. However, the
fact is that the non-profit sector --and the
& CO. IN THE NEW
To further bring
these concepts back into the context of the
“The pastor, as manager, has to identify their (leaders in the church) strengths
and specialization, place them and equip them for service, and enable them to
work in the harmonious and productive whole known as the body of Christ.” (20)
In the context of Peter Drucker’s GST platform, this Christianity Today article can be compared to a wonderful meal laced with arsenic. It praises Drucker for his recognition of the importance of the church and sets Drucker on a pedestal as a “good Christian” interested in doing the business of “The Kingdom”. However, Mr. Stafford’s lack of understanding of the true definitions of Drucker’s terminology and his lack of research into Drucker’s belief system cause him to completely overlook the fact that Drucker’s emphasis on the church and nonprofits is nothing more than a statement that within the context of the church can be achieved the dialectical consensus to conceive the new emerging society. This process is described by globalists as “Whole System Transition”, and this transition is being accomplished by “system breakdown” of the existing system to initiate “system breakthrough” to a new system and a new planetary society. Tim Stafford’s Christianity Today article naively confirmed this fact when he stated, “Drucker perceives a new form of society struggling to get out of its chrysalis, with churches and nonprofits playing a new and central role.” (21) When one reads Rick Warren’s The Purpose-driven Church and Dan Southerland’s Transitioning, Leading Your Church Through Change in light of these principles, new realizations come to fore as distinctly as the observation of an exploding super-nova.
The above dissertation
is actually not enough to equate Rick Warren and company with Dr. Drucker.
The similarities are there, but is there any solid proof that
Therefore, according to Christianity Today, both Warren
and Hybels have been schooled in the methodology of Drucker, as promoted by
Bob Buford. Actually, Drucker has called
Dr. Warren “the inventor of perpetual revival” (24), but this in and of itself
does not confirm that
· The initial subtitle is titled, “shift from self-centered to others-centered thinking”—this section utilizes phrases such as “a difficult mental shift”, “paradigm switch”, and speaks of “breath prayers”
· The next subtitle is “Shift from local to global thinking”. Here he states, “God is a global God”, he speaks to the fact that most of the world already “thinks globally”, and he mentions multinational conglomerates. He then states, “We are more connected than we realize.”
· He also states, “People are most receptive to God when they are under tension and transition”. (26)
All of these points contain a measure of truth, but the reader of this manuscript must now exercise discernment to critically analyze these statements with full knowledge of what has been presented throughout this book. As a way of review, the points for evaluation are as follows:
· The phrase, “paradigm shift” was coined by Thomas Kuhn, a subscriber to the General Systems Theory. The GSP, when carried to its logical conclusions, carries one on a journey into esoteric and even occult beliefs of the Mother Earth Goddess.
· Marilyn Ferguson, author of the Aquarian Conspiracy (along with other “New Agers”) popularized the concept of a “paradigm shift” and the breakthrough of a new system that would signal the end of the Piscean Age, the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, and the coming of the new level of human evolution, homo noeticus.
· Peter Drucker bases his philosophies on the GSP and utilizes the Hegelian Dialectical Process in formulating his theories of “community” (consensus or synthesis). His holistic approach to management principles gave rise to his system of “Management by Objective”—an outcome-based model utilizing the processes of Edwards Deming (another GSP disciple) that change the values and world view of those involved to the holistic model.
With these considerations in mind, at a very minimum one must question Dr. Warren’s intent in making statements so permeated with systemic implications. For example:
· All of the references to change, transition, and paradigm switch or shift from self-centered to others-centered thinking makes one wonder exactly what he has in mind. If Dr. Warren is truly speaking of world missions and working to God’s biblical plan; he certainly could have chosen biblical rather than postmodern, holistic terminology.
· In recommending “breath prayers”, Dr. Warren is venturing into dangerous territory. The breath prayer incorporates a simple phrase prayer repeated with the rhythm of breathing. The technique for this is described as follows:
“Sit quietly and repeat the phrase gently in your mind for several minutes. Allow the prayer to take the shape of your breathing so that the words accompany your every breath. Take a walk, repeating the prayer while you move. Note how the prayer shapes your perceptions. Allow the prayer to accompany the rhythm of your walking and breathing...the tools of contemplative prayer are used only to help guide us to an experience of union with God…” (27)
The article quoted above also shows photographs of teenagers walking the labyrinth while chanting these repetitive prayers. While this may appear to be very spiritual, a quick review of occultic new age magazines and newsletters show these very labyrinths and speak of attaining the altered states of consciousness via transcendental meditation (TM). TM is a technique utilized by those who wish to access “spirit guides” in their “safe place”. Repetitive “praying” and chanting originate in occult religions, and have no place in Christian practice. There is absolutely no doubt of the occult nature of these methods when one realizes the significance of the statement, “help guide us to an experience of union with God”. This is not a Christian concept, but rather, a Pantheistic principle. The believer will never be “one with God” Only Jesus Christ is or can be one with the Father. This teaching is based on eastern religion and occult teachings. Yet, this practice is on the web site of the Presbyterian Church USA website, and Rick Warren condones “breath prayers” in his book, The Purpose-driven Life. Jesus Himself warned that Christians are not to pray with “vain repetitions as the heathen do” (Mat. 6:7) because He fully realized the extreme dangers involved in this practice. Yet Dr. Warren advocates that which Jesus directly condemns.
· Yes, God loves all individuals on this globe. Yes, God has commanded Christians to “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel”. Yes, Christians are to be “mission-minded” with a burden for the lost. However, to state that “God is a global God’ implies that God is in favor of the rise of the political and religious globalism so prominently displayed in the postmodern culture. One could give Dr. Warren the benefit of the doubt if ignorant of his training by Drucker.
· One may accuse this author of stretching credulity on one or two of these points, and frankly, perhaps Dr. Warren would deserve to be “cut some slack” on those issues were it not for the next statement that reveals the man’s true intent. For his statement “We are more connected than we realize” gives enough evidence to convict him of a holding a GST philosophy, and circumstantially states that he has bought into the Drucker philosophy “hook, line, and sinker”. At a minimum, this statement condemns Dr. Warren of becoming a dupe to the “system breakthrough” philosophies of Lucerferic forces around the globe.
· Finally his statement of people becoming most receptive to God under tension or transition contains some seeds of truth…BUT…the GST philosophies teach that evolution occurs in times of upheaval and massive turmoil, and upheaval and massive turmoil must be present for the next phase of societal evolution.
As previously noted, Dr. Rick Warren, Bob Buford Dan Southerland, Bill Hybels, and others have now trained hundreds of thousands of pastors in Outcome-based Religion. Many who truly have a burden for the lost have been sucked into these programs, and other churches are adopting many of the individual aspects of this philosophy in order to attract the “unchurched” and build their ministries. However, the postmodern, holistic philosophies are coming into the church by “trickling down” from the megachurches and their training seminars; and unfortunately, the issues do not stop with these concerns—it gets worse.
FOLLOW THE SMELL OF THE MONEY
An autonomous church does not generally start with a huge bank account. As a matter of fact, some megachurches relate that their founders started the work with little or no money. (Some more notable examples of this are Robert Schuller and Jerry Falwell.) Though some unaffiliated churches may begin as a mission program of another church or group of churches, even these donations tend to provide a small portion of the funds needed to even support a full-time pastor. Many pastors of smaller, independent works maintain a secular job until such time as the church has the finances to support the pastor on a full-time basis.
Money is a much-discussed topic in the local church, and is
even discussed at great lengths in the Word of God. It also is often a source of contention when
involving issues of biblical separation. For
instance, the biblically sound church will not accept money from sources that
range from openly hostile to the Gospel to somewhat questionable sources.
This is one of the issues with even some conservative groups such as
the Southern Baptist Convention, for Southern Baptist seminaries that are members
of the Association of Theological Schools belong to an organization that is
funded by the Luce Foundation and the Lilly Endowment.
An independent church, on the other hand, is not beholding to any institution
that is funded or sponsored by any secular organization on any level. In order to illustrate this principle, a flow
chart will be for the funding path of three churches. Two will be imaginary; and the other will be
The first funding path will be an independent,
In this church, the pastor gets his direction directly from the Holy Spirit of God as communicated through the Word of God. Funding for the church is received from the membership as they give in accordance to the proportion that God prospers them. The relationship of the pastor and assistant pastor to their respective educational institutions is reduced to fellowship and guidance; and in this case, these institutions are funded on a basis of private charitable, faith-based giving. In addition, the methodology in operations is also as is specified in the Word of God, and there are no outside influences in the operations of this church model. This is the truly biblical position.
The next example is based on
This chart becomes extremely complicated and
confusing. However, in an attempt to
preserve some vestige of simplicity, there will be no listing of assistant
pastors or others on the ministerial staff.
Also bear in mind that Saddleback is a Southern Baptist Church, and this
links them to all other members of that organization. Also, due to the vast number of associations
Finally, for purposes of
comparison, a chart will be made for a church that is a member of the
The concepts utilized by mainline Protestant churches are more in keeping with Catholic methodologies. The synod is placed as an intercessor between the pastor and God: the local pastor receives his sermons from the LCA, the local church funds the LCA, and the LCA in turn redistributes the wealth to individual churches according to established or predetermined need. This is a hierarchal system that flies in the face of biblical principle, but there is definitely a move afoot to adopt the Outcome-based, new paradigm model.
OATHS, COVENANTS, AND FAITH PROMISE
begins to follow the smell of the money within the
“stewardship month” is generally standard procedure to keep the offering at a
level conducive to meeting typical budget requirements, the new paradigm
assemblies who achieve the optimal church growth outcome are forced to become involved
in a perpetual building program. This
often takes more money than the budget allows and thus calls for assistance
that reaches beyond the church walls.
This phenomenon has given rise to church growth consulting agencies like
John Maxwell’s Injoy Ministries. Injoy provides
programs that consist of leadership programs, pledges, covenants, and “faith
promises” that have a proven track record of greatly increasing the church’s
income. However, there are several
issues with these programs that not only “push the envelope” but go to extremes
that are decidedly unbiblical. The
programs of the church growth consulting agencies build on the fact that most
New Paradigm churches already have a mission statement, a statement of core
values, and a vision statement. These
documents come directly from the world of Deming and Drucker, and are nowhere
to be found in the word of God. (The Bible does not state that without a
vision statement the people perish.) Building on these principal documents, these
programs also implement a series of oaths and covenants that require the
signatures of the membership in general and the “church leadership” in
particular. (The “church leadership” in
this case is not the pastoral staff, but rather, lay persons who hold
“positions of leadership” within the body of the membership. John Maxwell and others are conducting very
expensive seminars and writing books to develop the next generation of
leadership from the masses for the
There are several glaring issues with the implementation of such a plan:
· Oaths are expressly forbidden by the Word of God. This is not only applicable to offerings, but also to signing church covenants, vision statements, mission statements, and core values statements.
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither
by the earth, neither by any other oath; but let your yea be yea; and your
nay, nay lest yea fall into condemnation.” (James 5:12)
· The biblical spirit of giving is that if the “cheerful giver”. Tactics of manipulation and intimidation are not conducive to the development of “cheerful givers” who give to the work of the Lord from the heart.
· Manipulative tactics often only achieve conformance by instilling guilt and fear in individuals who are shamed or intimidated into signing the covenant or “faith promise”.
The fact of the matter is that the church that bases its methodology on the principles of business management in lieu of the principles of the Word of God has an overwhelming tendency to become dependent on the same intoxicating drug that addicts many in the corporate world. That addiction is the quest for more—more money, bigger and more lavish buildings, more asset management, and more financial growth. While not all new paradigm churches fall into this category, the danger of falling prey to this tendency is far more likely n this genre—for if the pastor sees himself as CEO, the church treasurer sees himself as CFO, the “leadership team” members are equivalent to corporate board members, and the methodology comes from “Management by Objective”-- the almighty dollar plays a far more significant role than in a church whose finances and giving are commended to God without external coercion and manipulation.
Those who are old enough to recall the 1980 Presidential elections that featured Ronald Reagan against the incumbent Jimmy Carter, also recall Reagan’s remedy for the nation’s desperate economic woes. This theory of economics was dubbed “Trickle-down Economics” because Reagan contended that any tax relief afforded to the wealthiest Americans would give a corresponding lift to working families who would benefit greatly by a boost from those wealthy Americans whose companies would add workers and give raises as corporate profits rose. It is not the intention of this author to argue the validity of this theory in the secular economic arena, but this effect does exist in both New Paradigm and mainline churches.
Referencing again the charts that illustrate the funding paths that flow through the churches illustrated in these examples, a “bottom-up” analysis may be the most enlightening method of explanation of the “trickle-down” effect. To illustrate this, one starts with the pastor or assistant pastor of the church. Note that all three charts show a broken line from the pastor to the institution of higher learning or seminary. The broken line rather than a solid line appears here because the church, as a rule, does not receive monetary gifts from the institutions from which the pastor graduated (though the opposite is often the case). However, the important connection to academia is the establishment and support of networks that convey common methodologies and relationships that contribute to the formation of philosophies derived from the individual’s experience gained in a particular institution. The core principles of these methodologies and relationships are then transferred to and disseminated among the graduates of these institutions.
Therefore, if an institution is a member of the Association of Theological Schools (which is funded by the Lilly Endowment and Luce Foundation), what effect will this have on individual churches? Better yet, why would Lilly, the manufacturer of Prozac and other psychological drugs, be interested in Christian churches? The same can be asked of the Luce Foundation, for Henry Luce was a high-ranking Freemason. Since the practical effects on the ministry of alumni of seminaries who are associated with the Association of Theological Schools are the network of contacts, relationships, and philosophies that “trickle down” through the network corridors-- where do elitist philanthropic foundations fit into the mission of the church?
As an answer to that question, the specific programs coming through these two philanthropic foundations can be detailed by their own words:
· The Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology:
“Established in 1993, the program of the Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology supports the research of junior and senior scholars whose projects offer significant and innovative contributions to theological studies. The program seeks to foster excellence in theological scholarship, and to strengthen the links among theological research, the churches, and wider publics.
The program is administered by the Association of Theological Schools,
the accrediting and program agency for graduate theological education in the
· The Lilly Endowment:
“Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family—J. K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons J. K., Jr. and Eli—through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. In keeping with the wishes of the three founders, the Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of education, community development, and religion.
The goals of the Lilly Endowment's Religion division are:
1. to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians, primarily by helping to strengthen their churches;
2. to support the recruitment and education of a new generation of talented ministers and other religious leaders;
3. to encourage theological reflection and religious practices that recover the wisdom of the Christian tradition for our contemporary situation;
4. to support scholars and educators who seek to help the American people to better understand contemporary religion and the role it plays in our public and personal lives; and
5. to strengthen the contributions that religious ideas, practices, values and institutions make to the common good of our society.
In all these ways, the Lilly Endowment Inc. seeks to support people and organizations striving to generate knowledge, communicate insights, nurture practices, and renew and sustain institutions that provide the religious resources upon which a flourishing and humane society depends.” (29)
After reading these marketing blurbs, more questions are in order: Why are these wealthy individuals so interested in religion and theology? Do they possess ulterior motives or agendas? Are these powerful individuals attempting to shape the direction of religious movements or simply easing guilty consciences? Are they genuinely concerned for the lost? Is there a financial aspect to be considered? Are they simply attempting to buy their way into Heaven? OR—Are do these organizations aspire to the “three-legged stool” theory of Drucker; and do they realize that in order to “achieve community” or accomplish “Whole System Transition” they must control Goldwater’s “theological corner of power”?
One can only speculate as to the true answers to these
questions. For instance, would a
pharmaceutical company see the church as a vehicle for advancing the Gospel or
as a potential market? Quite possibly
the latter, for according to G.A. Pritchard,
“…program will establish projects to allow ministers to create environments of ongoing Bible study, theological reflection, spiritual renewal-----identify, nurture, and educate a talented new generation of pastors supporting the excellent ones we have…..Peer group learning—that is small groups of pastors who meet regularly ….many programs include a mentoring or coaching component.” (31)
No matter what the answers to the questions may or may not be, the trickle-down effect of the philosophies from philanthropic foundations is seeping right under the front door of mainline and New Paradigm Churches. The effects of these philosophies are having a profound effect on the “Greater Evangelical Community” to the extent that the doctrinal and methodological aspects of the church are more rapidly transitioning way from the biblical model to complete conformity to Outcome-based Religion. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, this process is one more component of creating the paradigm shift---a change in the way individuals think about religion, religious values, Bible doctrine, and the church.
PARADIGM SHIFTING SANDS PRODUCE UNSTABLE FOUNDATIONS
The recurring theme of this manuscript is the danger imposed upon the eternal destiny of future generations due to the desire to “do anything it takes” to build the numbers of the church roles. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. warned against this very principle when he said, “Never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.” (32) Though Dr. Jones could never in his most lucid nightmares have envisioned a church built upon the outcome-based, “end justifies the means” philosophies of the Pied Pipers of the New Paradigm, today’s “Greater Evangelical Community” is sacrificing its children on the altar of postmodernism while pragmatically proclaiming great success in “building the Kingdom of God”. However, when a closer look is taken at those involved in today’s western religious scene, the appalling truth of even this generation’s desperate condition comes to the forefront.
The evidence of this widespread issue is confirmed by a survey taken by Barna Research Group of 2033 adults in a November 2003. The results were shocking, to say the least:
· 4% of adults surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 9% of “Born-again Christians” surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 7% of Protestants surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 2% of mainline Protestants surveyed have a biblical worldview
· .04% of Roman Catholics surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 13% of nondenominational Protestants surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 10% of Pentecostals surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 8% of Baptists surveyed have a biblical worldview
Barna then added:
“Among the most prevalent alternative worldviews was postmodernism, which seemed to be the dominant perspective among the two youngest generations (i.e., the Busters and Mosaics)...For the purposes of the research, a biblical worldview was defined as believing that absolute moral truths exist; that such truth is defined by the Bible; and firm belief in six specific religious views. Those views were that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.” (33)
The information gleaned from this survey was so shocking, Barna conducted a second survey. In this survey, which utilized the same set of questions to determine worldview, 601 Senior Pastors were interviewed nationwide. The results were equally astounding:
· 71% of Southern Baptist pastors surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 59% of pastors surveyed who did not attend seminary have a biblical worldview
· 57% of Baptist pastors (other than SBC) surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 51% of Protestant pastors surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 51% of nondenominational Protestant pastors surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 45% of pastors surveyed who are seminary graduates have a biblical worldview
· 44% of Charismatic and Pentecostal pastors surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 35% of pastors of black churches surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 28% of mainline Protestant pastors surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 27% of Methodist pastors surveyed have a biblical worldview
· 15% of female pastors surveyed have a biblical worldview (34)
While these numbers are absolutely terrifying to any true child of God, the most horrifying of all these statistics is the fact that only 9% of those surveyed who claim to be “Born-again” profess a biblical worldview. The true believer understands that the “proof is in the putting”, and most would question how any individual that responded negatively to any but one of Barna’s questions could possibly be Christian by biblical standards. For example:
· Is an individual who denies the existence of absolute truth saved?
· Is an individual who denies that absolute truth is defined by the Word of God as found in the Bible saved?
· Is an individual who denies the impeccability of Jesus Christ saved?
· Is an individual that denies the omnipotent power of God as the Creator of the universe saved?
· Is an individual who believes in salvation by works saved?
· Is an individual who denies the existence of Satan and the accuracy of the Bible saved?
The fact of the matter is that none can see the heart but God; however, the Bible clearly states, “By their fruits ye shall know them”. (Mat.7:16) Thus, anyone who denies any of these foundational doctrines is either very ignorant of the Word of God---or that individual is lost.
The only possible responsibility for failure exhibited in these
facts points directly to the pastorate of professing Christendom. For if barely half of Protestant pastors are
doctrinally sound enough to hold a biblical worldview, what can be expected of
their constituents? Furthermore, when
the light is shown on the worldview of these pastors, the overwhelming issue
becomes obvious: The lack expository
doctrinal preaching from the pulpits of this nation is yielding a new
generation that is “Christian” in name only.
Yet in spite of this, the
Thomas Kuhn, in his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, maintained:
“Knowledge increases to the limits of the current paradigm, and then gets replaced by a new paradigm. The paradigm shift that occurs reshapes scientific thinking until replaced by another new paradigm” (35)
Thus, based on Kuhn’s assessment, now is the time of the paradigm shift. Religious thinking is being reshaped more than at any time since the First Century. All of the areas addressed in this manuscript: the fruits of Modernism, the New Evangelicalism, the Charismatic Movement, the values-changing agenda of whole system transitionalists, the influence of politics on the church, the financing of the secular elite, and postmodern tolerance are coming to fruition in the minds of the doctrinally-starved members of the New Paradigm Church who are blindly mesmerized by the Pied Pipers of Outcome-based Religion.
Marilyn. The Aquarian Conspiracy, J.P. Tarcher, Inc.,
3. Walonick, David S., Ph.D. “General Systems Theory”, www.survey-software-solutions.com/walonick/systems-theory.htm. , p.15.
Don. “Don Thomas Report: A Plan of Action for
5. Boje, David M. &Windsor, Robert D. “The Resurrection of Taylorism: Total Quality Management’s Hidden Agenda”, The Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 6, 1993, p.62.
6. Blumenfeld, Samuel L. N.E.A.,Trojan Horse in American Education, The Paradigm Company, Boise, Idaho, 1984, pp.44-47.
7. Boje. p.57.
8. Ibid., p.59.
9. Drucker, Peter. Landmarks of Tomorrow, Dimensions Publishing, 1959.
10. Walonick. p.1.
12. Ibid., p.6.
14. Ibid., p. 52.
Henry. “Rise of the Global Green Religion”, Eco-Logic magazine,
16. Houston, Jean. “Whole System Transition and the Rise of the Planetary Society”, audio tape, Association of Curriculum Management and Development, 1989.
17. Goldwater, Barry. With No Apologies, William Morrow Publishing, 1979, p.280.
Tim. “The Business of the Kingdom”, Christianity Today,
Bob. Halftime, Zondervan Press,
24. Drucker, Peter. www.thepurposedrivenlife.com/rick.asp.
Rick. “First Person: Stifled by Structure”, www.scbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp. ,
26. Warren, Rick. “How to Think Like a World Class Christian”, excerpt from The Purpose-driven Life, www.pastors.com.
27. “Contemplative Prayers”, www.pcusa.org.
30. Pritchard, G.A. Willow Creek Seeker Services , Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1996, p.228.
32. Bob Jones Sr.
35. Walonick. p.15.
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