Strange Journeys

Jane Fonda, John Maxwell, Norma McCorvey, and Scott Peck

What do they have in common?

By Berit Kjos - April, 2005


Skip down to John Maxwell and the new Church Management Systems



Fonda, McCorvey, Maxwell and Peck -- four very different celebrities on four diverging paths that may never meet!  Yet, what do they share along the way? How do they illustrate today's popular spirituality and the "new way of thinking" touted by church and secular leaders alike?

Author Scott Peck's vision of "community" helps us answer those the questions. In his book, A Different Drum, he presents a four-stage journey through life: [1] personal chaos or spiritual emptiness, [2] some kind of a spiritual experience or rebirth, [3] release from the Bible's "offensive" moral boundaries and a longing for a more unifying spirituality [4] unity in diversity, the ideal community where all is one, and everyone serves the greater whole.


This enticing pattern for deception illustrates the personal journeys of countless seekers around the world. But does it match the public lifestyles of these four celebrities?


First clue: Ponder their own words and ways. "For," said Jesus, "out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45

Jane Fonda (celebrated as "born again"): "I began to really study it [Christianity], and I thought, uh-oh, I don't know. There's a lot of problems I have here with this Christianity. Maybe I've made a mistake. I'm a feminist. But I'm on a journey....

KING: "You're not a born again?"

FONDA: "I don't even know what that means. ..."

KING: "Do you read your Bible?"

FONDA: "I read everything from Robert Graves' 'King David' to the 'Gnostic Gospels' to the Book of John [the Gnostic version?].' I read a lot. I'm on a journey." [1] CNN Larry King Live.


Norma McCorvey, the former "Jane Roe" of  Roe vs. Wade (celebrated as "born again"): "I would profess my adherence to all that the Catholic Church officially teaches.... But the Blessed Virgin leads me, and all of us, to the true God. I have great dreams about the Mother of God, and have set up a prayer garden at my home. The Blessed Virgin is there, and I bring her my love every morning and evening. Through the storms of this life, she will come to lead us to Jesus and make a way for everyone who will enter heaven."[2]


Scott Peck, author of A Road Less Traveled (celebrated as "born again" in the 1980s): "In and through community lies the salvation of the world. Nothing is more important.... I am dubious, however, as to how far we can move toward global community-- which is the only way to achieve international peace -- until we learn the basic principles of community in our own individual lives and personal spheres of influence."[3 - introduction]

John Maxwell (chairman of  Global Pastor's Network) "No matter what your profession, possibility thinking can help you to broaden your horizon and dream bigger dreams. Professor David J. Schwartz  ["one of the foremost experts on motivation"] believes, 'Big thinkers are specialists in creating positive forward-looking, optimistic pictures in their own minds and in the minds of others."[4 - page 160]

Before we explore their paths, let's take a quick look at John Maxwell's leadership in a global soul-winning venture -- today's ecumenical effort to draw the world's masses into God's Kingdom. The visionary Billion Soul Campaign is a global project of Global Pastor's Network (GPN), which was founded by Bill Bright. Before his death, Dr. Bright asked that John Maxwell "succeed him at GPN" as its chairman. By then, Mr. Maxwell, the former pastor of Skyline Community Church in San Diego, had left his pulpit to start INJOY Ministries, a church consulting firm focused on leadership development for secular as well as Christian leaders. Its winning processes would now be aimed at one of the most grandiose visions of all:

"The Billion Soul Campaign is a coalition of more than 80 denominations, fellowships and ministries who are synergizing their efforts for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.... Global Pastors Network Chairman John Maxwell remarked, 'This is the largest global thrust in Church history.' ...

     "Our goal is to help plant five million new churches for a one billion soul harvest, by offering world class training resources and building the premier community of successful pastors.[5]

Few Christians would question "The Great Commission" -- God's call to go "to the end of the earth” as His witnesses. [Acts 1:8]  After all, soul-winning is central to the mission of the Church. But whose plan does He want us to follow? We find the answer in the Bible:

"You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways." Isaiah 64:5

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord." Isaiah 55:8-9


"But My people would not heed My voice... so I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels. Oh, that My people would listen to Me."  Psalm 81:11-13

We head for failure when our human management systems plan our Christian agenda. We turn our backs to God when our planned transformation is driven by psycho-social strategies, not the Holy Spirit.

Changing the hearts of people is God's Work, not ours! The lost are "regenerated" -- "born again" of His Spirit -- by God's power, not our strategies. He uses our lives, but the work must be done His way, in His time, according to His eternal plan. When we appeal to human nature and aim to please people rather than our Lord, we lose sight of His narrow ways. And when the masses are Biblically illiterate, they have little or no resistance to deception. They shift with the winds of change and don't even notice where they are headed. And, as in Old Testament days, the masses follow the "positive" messages of popular leaders and turn a deaf ear to "negative" warnings of His unpopular prophets:

"Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not: Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord.  ‘Will you not tremble at My presence?" Jeremiah 5:21-22

"But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear...." Zachariah 6:11-12

Second clue: Scott Peck's evolving message

Around the world, those turbulent (but intentional) winds of change are blowing toward a specific goal: unity in community. In his book, The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace, Scott Peck outlined four stages of its path:

"Stage I: Chaotic, antisocial."  One might call it pre-Christian. But, as Peck points out, "some... convert to stage II. Such conversions are usually sudden and dramatic and, I believe God-given. It is as if God had reached down and grabbed that soul and yanked it up a quantum leap."[3 - 188-189]

"Stage II: Formal, institutional." After such a spiritual experience, people join institutions. "...for most," writes Peck, the institution to which they submit themselves for governance is the Church." But eventually young people begin to ask themselves, "Who needs this fuddy-duddy old Church with its silly superstitions? At this point they begin to convert to State III.... they often become atheists or agnostics."[3 - 190]

"Stage III: "Skeptic, individual." Here, critical thinking and countless options beckon the seeker forward. Peck explains:

"Although frequently 'nonbelievers,' people in Stage III are generally more spiritually developed than many content to remain in Stage II. ...they are often deeply involved in and committed to social causes. They make up their own minds about things and are no more likely to believe everything they read in the papers than to believe it is necessary for someone to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior (as opposed to Buddha or Mao or Socrates) in order to be saved. ...

     "Advanced Stage III men and women are active truth seekers.... They are able to get glimpses of the 'big picture' and to see that it is beautiful indeed -- and that it strangely resembles those 'primitive myths and superstitions' their Stage II parent or grandparents believe in. At that point they begin their conversion to Stage IV...."[3 - 190-192]

"Stage IV: "Mystic, communal." Here they experience the coveted oneness:

"Mystics of every shade of religious belief have spoken of unity, of an underlying connectedness between things.... Mystics acknowledge the enormity of the unknown, but rather than being frightened by it, they seek to penetrate ever deeper into it....

    [Mystics] are the ones most aware that the whole world is a community and realize that what divides us into warring camps is precisely the lack of this awareness. Having become practiced at emptying themselves of preconceived notions and prejudices and able to perceive the invisible underlying fabric that connects everything, they do not think in terms of factions or blocs or even national boundaries; they know this to be one world."[3 - 192-193]

Christians will know a oneness in heaven that surpasses man's loftiest dreams! But during our time on this earth, we still live in a fallen world. Yet, around the world, counterfeit visions of universal oneness are being rooted in man's deceptive imagination. To grasp the vast promotion of such visions, please read "Creating Community through a New Way of Thinking." Then ponder these statements by Scott Peck:

"Incorporating the dark and the light, the sacred and the profane, the sorrow and the joy, the glory and the mud, its conclusions are well rounded.... Be fully aware of human variety, and you will recognize the interdependence of humanity."[3 - 65]  See 2 Cor 6:12-18


"We think of confession as an act that should be carried out in secret, in the darkness of the confessional.... Yet the reality is that every human being is broken and vulnerable. ... Community requires the ability to expose our wounds and weaknesses to our fellow creatures."[3 - 69-70]

     [Not only are such confessions vital to group bonding and accountability in Peck's community and Rick Warren's small group fellowships, they were also essential to Soviet mind control. See Brainwashing, Small Groups and the Dialectic Process, and The 21st Century Church]


"My own frame of reference is Christian, and for me, therefore, the spirit of community, which is the spirit of peace and love, is also the spirit of Jesus."[3 - 75-76]


"...even the agnostic and atheist members will generally report a community-building workshop as a spiritual experience...[3 - 74]

      "...for those of a Christian orientation the work of community building is seen as preparation for the descent of the Holy Spirit. The spirit of community is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that community is solely a Christian phenomenon. I have seen community develop among Christians and Jews, Christians and atheists, Jews and Muslims, Muslims and Hindus."[3 - 75]


"The community-building process requires self-examination from the beginning. ...'Are we still on target? Are we a healthy group?...

     "What a genuine community does do... is recognize its ill health when it occurs and quickly take appropriate action to heal itself. Indeed, the longer they exist the more efficient healthy communities become in this recovery process."[3 - 66] [See "The UN Plan for Your Mental Health"]

Rick Warren amplified the last concept in his article, "Emphasize church health, not church growth:"

"Church health is the key to church growth. All living things grow if they’re healthy. You don’t have to make them grow -- it’s just natural for living organisms. As a parent, I didn’t have to force my three children to grow. They naturally grew up. As long as I removed the hindrances, such as poor nutrition or an unsafe environment, their growth was automatic....

     "What then is the secret of church health? In a word, it’s balance! ... Our entire world is based on this principle of balance.... "[6]

But God's spiritual realm doesn't operate like the natural realm. The key to success is neither a "balance" that can be measured by man nor the removal of natural hindrances. The key is knowing God's Word (a balanced view of the whole Bible), delighting in Who He really is (in contrast to His new "positive" image), being "crucified with Christ," then following His ways by His grace and Spirit.

Neither churches nor people will "naturally" follow His ways. Our human sin nature drives us in the opposite direction. We have no power in ourselves to "remove" such "hindrances" as Satan's temptations, the tantalizing lures of the world, and our own natural drives toward sin and evil. All these hindrances will easily blind our eyes and block our spiritual growth. But the sobering reality of such spiritual warfare is too "negative" for today's Church Growth leaders. And it's too spiritual for today's worldly pragmatists.

In Old Testament days, unrepentant leaders removed hindrances to their plans by killing the prophets who spoke God's warnings. Today's hindrances are removed in many purpose-driven churches by silencing contrary voices and excommunicating the nay-sayers. [See Dealing with Resisters]

Third Clue: John Maxwell's advice to the church and world

Rick Warren calls John Maxwell "my friend."[7]  Small wonder, for they have much in common. Both have doctorate degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary. Both were inspired early by Robert Schuller's positive thinking and motivational strategies. And both men are promoting today's organizational model around the world. Though this revolutionary model sounds "Christian" when cloaked in Biblical terms and labels, its well-tested psycho-social strategies have nothing to do with Christianity or Biblical guidelines. They have everything to do with social transformation and the new way of thinking.  As John Maxwell points out in his book, Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work:

"In 1970, when I was twenty-three years old, I read a book that made a major impact on how I dream. It was called Move Ahead with Possibility Thinking, by Robert Schuller. As a young pastor in my first church, it thrilled me to read about how Schuller overcame seemingly impossible circumstances to build a huge church in Garden Grove, California. When I read the following words, my world changed: 'The greatest churches have yet to be organized.'  

     "...because you believe in possibilities, you put yourself in position to achieve them."[4 - page 160]

The Bible bases all our true success and triumphs on faith in God -- Who He is, what He has accomplished on our behalf, and what He has promised in His Word.[8] In contrast, notice where Mr. Maxwell places his faith: "...believe in possibilities,"  "believe in solutions," "believe that you can" do whatever you dream and want. Although he mentions faith four times, it's not Biblical faith:

  • "...the faith to believe that it is possible."[4 - page 29]
  • "...your faith in people..."[4 - page 124]  [See John 2:24-25
  • and To the Glory of God"]
  • " ...call it what you like: the will to succeed, belief in yourself, confidence in your ability, faith. It's really true: people who believe they can't, don't. But if you believe you can, you can! That's the power ..." [4 - page 170]
  • "...Richard M. DeVos [Amway's founder] says, "The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible."[4 - page 29]

Mr. Maxwell never mentions the Holy Spirit in his book. Nor does he mention repentance, conversion, the Bible, the cross or the name of Jesus. Yet, this well-known author and management consultant -- and his Global Pastor's Network -- have broadcast their worldwide plan to reach a billion souls for Christ! Does he believe this lofty end will justify the dubious means: the world's manipulative methodology?

Since positive thinking is vital to his planned success, it follows that negative thinking would be out!  Indeed it is! "Stop focusing on the impossibilities," writes Maxwell in Thinking for a Change. "...you may need to enlist the aid of a friend or family member to alert you every time you utter negative ideas."[4 - page 165]

Hmmm. What might those "negative ideas" include? There would be plenty of them, for Jesus said, "apart from Me you can do nothing." [John 15:5] Unless we "abide in Him," our mission would fail - no matter how enthusiastically we want to serve God and His people. He calls us to utter dependence on Him  -- not to faith in ourselves!

What else might be "negative" in the eyes of Church Growth leaders? The truths about our sin, guilt and rebellion? Or God's warnings about wrath and judgment (balanced with His love)? What about commands such as "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil," [Proverbs 3:7]? Or "come out from them and be separate" [2 Corinthians 6:17]? Might such "negative" and divisive notions be banned and forgotten? That's already happening!

But God tells us to share the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That's Biblical balance! [See God's unchanging Word] The conversations between Jesus and Peter in Matthew 16 illustrate well man's foolish inclinations to trade God's guidelines for comforting affirmations:

"From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
    "Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
    "But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'"
 Matthew 16:21-26

Mr. Maxwell's models for success include George Lucas with his Star Wars movies and Sam Walton (the founder of Wal-Mart) as well as Robert Schuller. His sources of wisdom include Rosabeth Moss Kanter, whose website includes references to researchers and institutes -- Kurt Lewin, Tavistock, The Frankfurt Institute for Social Change, and others -- that laid the psychological foundations for today's worldwide quest for social transformation and solidarity.

As John Maxwell explained in an interview titled "Leading through preaching," there is little or no need for the Holy Spirit:

"All great leaders are effective communicators. It is the vehicle for the vision. For me to know where I want to take a group of people and not have the ability to cast that dream, preach that message, communicate that heart, makes the dream impossible.... You show me a great leader and I'll show you a person that became a great leader because of his or her ability to communicate effectively....

      "...your job is not to sell your vision, your job is to sell yourself. People don't buy into vision until they buy into the leader....
      "... never cast the vision in a message until you have given process time with that vision to the influencers.... For me to go to the pulpit with a vision that I've just held between God and me, that is naive. I want to go with the vision with God and me and key players who have the heart for this church. ..."

Mr. Maxwell walks his talk! He knows how to sell himself to the "influencers" of the world. The following Internet promotion of the 2004 Living Leadership conference reminds us that his management strategies work as well among secular leaders as among church leaders:

"John C. Maxwell, a best-selling author and leadership authority, will help you map a Leadership Action Plan that will translate insights and principles from Living Leadership into the daily practices that will ignite your leadership....

      "Living Leadership unites an unprecedented lineup of executives, world leaders, and gifted communicators for audiences gathered in board rooms and universities across the country: Donald Trump.... Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union from 1985-1991.... Peter F. Drucker... the Father of Modern Management....

      "Living Leadership attendees can expect to walk away with a vision for where they want to take their team, the ability to coach their people to results-driven performance, and the skills necessary to communicate with conviction, credibility, and compassion."[10]

Fourth Clue: Jane Fonda's spiritual journey


Remember when Christians celebrated Jane Fonda's conversion to Christianity some years ago? It sounded so good; so honoring to God: an infamous rebel against God and America finally receives Christ! But did she really repent and turn to God? Was she born again? Or was this simply one of many life changes on her personal spiritual journey?


I don't know the answer.  Only God knows our hearts! But He does warn us to be discerning, not gullible. Impressions and appearance can be deceptive “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing," said Jesus. "You will know them by their fruits." Matthew 7:15-16


Jane Fonda's CNN interview with Larry King on April 6, 2005, gives us a glimpse into her heart. Ponder her statements about her faith. Do they sound like the words of a Christian who, by God's grace has been filled with His Spirit and loves His Word?  Or do they sound more like Stages III and IV in Scott Peck's spiritual evolution toward global unity?

FONDA: I haven't met anybody I wanted to date, although I saw a psychic...

KING: And?

FONDA: ... She says that I'm going to meet somebody this year that's going to be my soul mate....

Later in the interview:

KING:  ...He [Ted Turner] goes, she's religious! Jane found religion. What's the story?

FONDA: ...when Ted brought me to Georgia, I, for the first time, got to know people -- well, you know them, Andy Young, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter and others, who were people that practice their faith. And I was very interested, and I spent a lot of time thinking about it and reading about it and talking to them....
       And then when we separated, I began to really study it, and I thought, uh-oh, I don't know. There's a lot of problems I have here with this Christianity. Maybe I've made a mistake....

KING: You're not a born again?

FONDA: I don't even know what that means. It is hard to say -- for someone like me to say that they're a Christian because it is so politically loaded and it's so identified with fundamentalism now.

KING: But what does it mean to you? You're not a fundamentalist.

FONDA: To me -- no, to me, feminism and Christianity are very compatible. The teachings of Jesus is, is feminist. What I mean by that is that all people, women as well as men, have to claim their whole humanity, have to open their hearts, have to care about the less-than, have to be generous and forgiving and peace-loving, and -- but he viewed everyone as a whole human being....

KING: Do you read your Bible?

FONDA: I read theology. I read biblical history. I read everything from Robert Graves' "King David" to the "Gnostic Gospels" to "The Book of John." I read a lot. I'm on a journey, and it's hard for me to talk about it a lot because it is pretty new.[1]  

Clue 5: Norma McCorvey's changing faith


The news couldn't have been more welcome! Norma McCorvey -- alias "Jane Roe" -- had received Christ and was "born again!" She had become an activist on behalf of babies! Her own joy was contagious, and, for a moment in time, hope overshadowed the tragic consequences of "Roe versus Wade."


Alas, that joy didn't last. McCorvey's spiritual journey took another turn. She tells her story in "My Journey into the Catholic Church," a personal testimony posted on her website. Ponder her unbliblical but "positive" beliefs:

"The day finally arrived when I would be received into the Catholic Church.  ...the ceremony, scheduled for August 17, 1998 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Dallas, was a Mass during which I would profess my adherence to all that the Catholic Church officially teaches....

     "After Communion, Fr. Frank shared the following words that spoke directly to my heart:

     "'Norma, reflect carefully on what has happened now that you have received Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion.... Our Faith teaches that by His Incarnation, the Son of God joined all humanity to Himself. In some fashion, every human being of all time is united to Him. This, of course, includes every human being in the womb, and includes those who were aborted.

     "'Today, you have received the very same flesh of the Son of God, to which all humanity has been joined. That means, Norma, that today, in giving you His Body, Jesus has also given you back all the babies that were aborted because of what you did. He has reunited to you all the children who never got to play in the playgrounds. He has restored them to you, closing the distance between you and them. He has reconciled them to you and given you peace.'...

     "During these remarks, I was sitting there crying. I knew I had been forgiven -- and to think I was reunited with those children…

     "...the Blessed Virgin leads me, and all of us, to the true God. I have great dreams about the Mother of God, and have set up a prayer garden at my home. The Blessed Virgin is there, and I bring her my love every morning and evening. Through the storms of this life, she will come to lead us to Jesus and make a way for everyone who will enter heaven."[2]

However, Jesus Christ, not Mary, is our Savior and Redeemer! He alone atoned for our sins and bought our forgiveness. There is no other way to God and His eternity.  “I am the way, the truth, and the life," said Jesus; "no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." [John 6:43-44]  "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12


The night before his death, Jesus prayed these words, “...this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God...." [John 17:3-5]  Does Norma McCorvey know "the only true God?"  Does Jane Fonda know Him? Does Scott Peck -- with his four stages of spiritual evolution -- know Him? What about John Maxwell with his emphasis on "possibility thinking" and motivational management?


How about Eldridge Cleaver, who also was celebrated as a "born again" Christian back in the seventies? A biographer gives this account of his life: "In France in the mid-1970s, a revelation ("I saw a path of light in the sky") persuaded him he should go home and preach the Christian gospel. The California authorities let him do a few months in jail and some community service. The rest of his life... was spent in desperate attempts at personal reinvention, a fast-forward blur of shifting identities. ... For a while, he ran the Cleaver Crusade for Christ. Later, he created 'Christlam,' to combine Christianity and Islam. He flirted with Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and also with Mormonism."[11]


What about you and me? Paul tells us to "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?" 2 Corinthians 13:5


I don't believe that truly regenerated Christians -- those who actually have been "born again" and filled with His Spirit -- can lose their salvation. Nor will they wander away from Truth and the Lord they love! But God's Word leads us to wonder whether some of the enthusiastic members of today's feel-good churches have truly been born of His Spirit. Remember the parable of the sower. Four different groups of people hear God's Word. Two groups respond with joy, but only one group perseveres in the faith:

"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. [1] Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. [2] But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. [3] Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. [4] But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience." Luke 8:11-15


What do Jane Fonda, Norma Mc Corvey, John Maxwell, and Scott Peck have in common? They have all called themselves Christians. All but Mr. Maxwell have enjoyed public acclaim because of their surprising testimony of a "born again" experience. But their own words seem to tell us that they have drifted beyond the parameters of Biblical truth. Jane Fonda is doubting Biblical Christianity and exploring the occult waters of Gnosticism and other heresies. Norma McCorvey's journey moved from the Biblical Savior to a Marian substitute, who appears to be the center of her devotion.

John Maxwell has surely taken a stand on God's Word as a pastor, but we don't know his heart. What we do know is that his management and communication skills have influenced church leaders around the world. They have also helped establish United Nation's guidelines for collective human resource development in what Unesco leaders call a world of "continual change." And they have earned him a pedestal as a motivational guru to the secular world, to globalist leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev, and to church leaders around the world. In fact, these sobering words of Jesus should cause us to ask how one of His followers could find such popularity among those who naturally reject our Lord:

"Woe to you when all men speak well of you...."  Luke 6:26

"If you were of the world, the world would love its own...Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.... A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you... because they do not know Him who sent Me." John 15:19-21

Scott Peck's temporary identity as a born-again Christian back in the 1980s won him access to churches across the country. A popular speaker with a timely, feel-good, communal message, he stirred interest -- especially among young people -- in dialectic communities designed to undermine the authority, uniqueness and boundaries of the Scriptures. Like John Maxwell, he has a lofty pedestal for sharing the new guidelines for building human and social capital in communities around the world.[12]

In different ways, all four fit somewhere on Peck's four-stage journey: [1] personal chaos or spiritual emptiness, [2] some kind of a spiritual experience, [3] release from the Bible's offensive and divisive moral boundaries and the start of a more inclusive theology or more "positive" truth, [4] the end product of the dialectic process: unity in diversity, all is one, everything is interconnected and everyone must serve the greater whole. A transformed world and a glorious end will reward those who followed this path.

But God's ways and His warnings are totally different. He tells us that --

"... in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away
       "...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned..."  
2 Timothy 3:1-14


"Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. But you be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:2-5

In these times of self-made religion, spiritual counterfeits, unceasing distractions and rampant deception, how can we pray for each other, for ourselves and for those who might be straying away from God's ways? We might pray these simple words of the apostle Paul -- 

 "...that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11


1. Jane Fonda was interviewed on CNN Larry King Live, On April 6.

2. My Journey into the Catholic Church By Norma McCorvey, the former "Jane Roe" of Roe vs. Wade.

3.  Scott Peck, The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), introduction.
4. John Maxwell, Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, (Warner Books, 2003)

5. The Billion Soul  Campaign  at  http://www.billionsoul.org/about.html#gpn (posted 4-13-05)

6. Rick Warren, "Emphasize church health, not church growth"

7. Rick Warren, http://www.pastors.com/article.asp?ArtID=3178

8. Faith and Confidence and To the Glory of God

9. Leading through preaching: an interview with John Maxwell

10. "Living Leadership: Delivering Results the Right Way," October 20, 2004. Ad still available 4-13-05 at http://www.springschurch.org/Events/Living_Leadership/living_leadership.html

11. "Robert Fulford's column about Eldridge Cleaver," Globe and Mail, April 3, 1999, at http://www.robertfulford.com/Cleaver.html

12. See "The Global quest for Solidarity" at http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/solidarity.html


 Warning: The following two links will take you to Gnostic/Occult websites. They show what people -- even in churches -- are reading and seeking these days.

Gnostic Gospels at http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

The Secret Book of John at http://www.skylightpaths.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=SP&Product_Code=1-59473-082-2&Category_Code=S05

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