7/16/08

'Another' Gospel - Wayne Cordeiro

"Dream Releasers" book review
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Wayne Cordeiro's 'Dream' And Invisible Guides

Follow up on Trouble In Paradise: Cordeiro, New Hope, and the emergent heresy/apostasy
Seeing the participation of Wayne Cordeiro with the 'unleashing and imagining' emerging church leaders at the recent 'Awaken 2008' emerging conference (linked above - TiP), and being aware of his wide influence, it became a matter of necessity to take a closer look at his teaching and doctrine. 'Guilt by association' may or may not hold up in court, but just the same..."Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3
For that reason Wayne Cordeiro's book "Dream Releasers" was randomly chosen for a representative sample of his teaching and examined. Regretfully, the report is not good.
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'And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD...But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.' Genesis 4:3,5

It's an amazing thing to consider how so much of what passes today for Christian teaching can be anything but, and yet the mass of professing Christians are completely unable to discern the errors. The most foundational points of what would be called "sound doctrine" can be completely absent and no concern will be raised by those receiving the instruction. The Holy Spirit can have nothing to do whatsoever with the activities in question, and He will never even be missed by the crowds of followers...
Such is the case with this little book by Wayne Cordeiro entitled "The Dream Releasers", published in 2002, and still being sold through the New Hope Oahu church which Cordeiro founded. The fact that the book continues to be sold shows that the particular philosophy/theology espoused is unchanged. This is a serious problem for any who would receive the teaching of this book without exercising discernment as to the 'soundness' of the doctrine.
'For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing' Romans 7:18
By a liberal use of 'Christianese', an exterior appearance of Christianity is retained in Cordeiro's teaching, a thin veneer, but the truth of the Word of God has been gutted and replaced with a slick teaching of 'human potential' development. The little 5" by 7 1/2" book uses the word "potential" no less than fifty (50) times in approximately 137 double spaced pages. The book has 189 pages total but the content itself is contained on 137, the rest being blank, or title pages, or illustrations, etc.. In comparison, another subject, a crucial one, which shall be discussed later, was mentioned absolutely zero times. None, nada, no mention whatsoever.
In a nutshell the teaching is something along these lines:
The gospel of 'Dream Releasing' basically starts with the premise that God has given a wonderful and exciting dream to all people. Cordeiro writes:
"Everybody has one. It might be imprisoned by faulty character or it could be paralyzed by others' disdain. Still, everybody has one. Everybody has . . .a dream. This dream is a hope of what we can be for God. It was divinely installed at His moment of choice. But unless that potential is recognized and released (p. 26) it remains richly unproductive, helplessly filled with hope and powerfully impotent. But once discovered, it becomes a honing device, an invisible guide that navigates us through the precarious passages of life." (p. 27)
It is to be noted that no scripture references are given for these statements. The reason for that is not difficult to find because there are no scripture references for these statements.
Anyway, following this line of teaching then, every person has a "divinely installed" dream, says Cordeiro, but it is in the form of dormant potential inside of them and so must be first recognized and released, and when that happens they will then have an invisible guide to direct them through life. Yes, says Cordeiro, using a rewritten partial scripture from an unidentified bible version at this point in an attempt to buoy up the teaching:
"Each of us carries a treasure in our earthen vessel." (pg. 37)
(The actual verse reads: "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels." Note that the correct word 'we' (referring only to truly regenerated Christians) has been changed to "each of us", the correct word 'this' (referring to the indwelling Holy Spirit) has been replaced with an "a", and the "our" has been added. [complete verse quoted below])
With the 'half-verse' reworded to fit the theme of the book, as will be seen, Cordeiro then expounds upon the idea that "each of us" have "a" treasure in "our" vessel just waiting to be discovered and displayed for God's glory. According to his interpretation, these treasures in "our" earthen vessels are actually human potentials which are bound up inside of every person, essentially waiting to be maximized, and when that potential is transformed into the realized dream it will become a "honing device" to guide a person through life. Here is his list of treasures to be mined and actuated:
YOUR UNTAPPED POTENTIAL -
  • untapped power,
  • unfulfilled dreams,
  • unwrapped gifts,
  • undeveloped talent,
  • available energy,
  • unused success,
  • all you can become,
  • all you want to do (p. 37)
In the second letter to the church of Corinth though, when the apostle Paul wrote these words: "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:7), he was not referring to any dormant human potential i.e. untapped power, unwrapped gifts, undeveloped talents, all you want to do, etc., but to the incredible treasure of the indwelling Holy Spirit living in the heart of a man. "Not of us", Paul wrote, but wholly of God, through the Spirit of God, living in frail earthen vessels. Frail earthen vessels that have no potential to achieve greatness, that have nothing whatsoever in themselves to develop for the use of God Almighty. No "untapped power" or "available energies" are needed by the Lord, no "all you can become", etc... "Not of us", wrote the apostle.
Here then is exposed a dangerous flaw and a serious discrepancy between the apostle Paul's teaching and Cordeiro's teaching found in his "Dream Releasers" book. It must be pointed out here that Cordeiro's 'twist' of this verse of scripture to support his premise is irreconcilable with the correct interpretation i.e. the indwelling Spirit, and must be rejected.
Continuing on with the review...human potential i.e. the 'natural man', loves to be told of it's greatness, and Cordeiro obliges:
"you have been entrusted with a magnificent destiny." (p. 43) and..."he has destined each of us for greatness, for a brilliant future" (p. 47) and..."In every life is contained all the potential through which God can accomplish great things." (p. 50)
Come one, come all, yes sir, step right up, everybody, anybody...greatness and magnificence and brilliance are hidden inside of you, writes Cordeiro. And oh,how true it is that the 'natural man' loves to hear these things. But, as Cordeiro reiterates, the problem is that these hidden talents lay undeveloped in us and must first be discovered and developed or they will end up in the cemetery unused:
"Will you deprive this generation and the next by taking the God-given treasure inside of you to the cemetery?" (p. 63)
Which leads to this conclusion which Cordeiro draws, giving us to understand the mission of Jesus:
"Jesus came as a dream releaser." (p. 64)
Yes that's right...according to Cordeiro, the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came to help fallen humanity fully realize their human potential, to activate their dreams and their inherent, albeit latent greatness. In summation, saying the Lord Jesus Christ came to help us 'maximize our flesh'...would be an accurate assessment of this seriously flawed, unscriptural teaching. This critical error is dealt with in the conclusion of this review.
The rest of the book basically lays out a methodology of do's and don'ts for personal 'potential development', and then goes on to give instruction on how to be a 'developer' of others 'potential'; becoming their 'dream releaser'; following the model that Jesus demonstrated, as he was the "master dream releaser" (p. 82). It's all wrapped up in the context of serving God and the church and good deeds, etc. and lends itself to the church growth seeker-friendly system.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom. 8:14

THE FATAL FLAW - NO HOLY SPIRIT
As to other questions of sound doctrine or unsound doctrine in Cordeiro's "Dream Releasers" teaching, the subject now before us will prove to be it's fatal flaw. Any further inquiry in regard to other problems in the book will have become unnecessary. The patient is dead on arrival. This deadly flaw in the "Dream Releasers" concerns Cordeiro's teaching on the amazing all powerful 'dream' itself. This incredible dream/entity takes on a life of it's own, according to Cordeiro's teaching, and will take control of the persons life. This dream has remarkable abilities. Once the dream is recognized and released, 'it' becomes the all-wise driving force of the person's life. 'It', this apparently personified entity referred to by Cordeiro as the 'dream', even acts as a "spiritual GPS" with gieger-counter qualities to guide us to our destination. He writes:
"After one of my speaking engagements, I was treated to lunch by the host pastor, I had the privilege of riding in his new BMW, a sleek vehicle sporting all the bells and whistles. One embellishment especially caught my eye. It was a device called a GPS (global positioning system), prominently mounted into the center dash." (p. 28)
"An all-knowing God has planted a similar, albeit spiritual, GPS within us. He deposits a dream of what we can be for Him, a dream that acts as our internal honing device. God's GPS has Geiger-counter qualities that reward us with an increasing pulse the nearer we approach our destination. When we stray, it reminds us of our intended address and questions our choice of heading. Not only does it give us a true bearing, but once it locks onto its target, its intense pursuit also leaves all other motivations far behind."
"This one dream, our honing device, can conquer any distraction. It defeats the most deceptive ruse along our (p. 29) path. It brings clarity to life and focus to an otherwise blurry picture. Nothing can rival the power of the God-ordained honing device installed in each of our hearts." (p. 30)
(and) "...an invisible guide that navigates us through the precarious passages of life." (p. 27)
The "dream", says Cordeiro, has miraculous and amazing powers. "It" can act as an "internal honing device", it can warn us if we stray and remind us of where we are supposed to be going, and question us if we are not "headed" in that direction. "It" will give us a true bearing, lock onto the target, and block anything else from the picture. "It" conquers any distraction, defeats any hidden dangers along the way, brings clarity, life, and focus. Nothing can rival 'it's' power. Yes, this Omnipotent dream is our "invisible guide" through life.
An invisible guide?
Yes, in Cordeiro's teaching, the Omnipotent dream, "installed in each of our hearts", has replaced the Holy Spirit and put Him completely out of work. The Almighty dream has everything handled, and let us not forget, nothing can rival it's power, and this clearly includes the Holy Spirit. This is an extremely dangerous teaching. That this is Cordeiro's teaching is easily further proved from the pages of the book. There is not a single mention of the Holy Spirit in the entire book. Not a single one, while human potential is referred to no less than fifty times. No mention of being filled with the Spirit of God, or being taught of the "Spirit of God", or of being led by the Spirit of God, or even of 'walking in the Spirit' for that matter. This is a fatal flaw. A mysterious 'dream', an "invisible guide" has replaced the third Person of the Godhead, the precious Holy Spirit. This fact clearly exposes the tremendous error of Cordeiro's 'christianized' version of maximized human potential. One can only come to the conclusion that the true "invisible Guide" of the Christian, "even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him" (John 14:17) must be unknown by the author of the book...for the Lord Jesus declared that "when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth". (John 16:13) The Holy Spirit is unseen in the teaching of the book, and because he is excluded from it's system of religion he has not guided it, and consequently there is no truth, only error-ridden doctrine. Once again, this flaw is fatal.
Jeremiah 23:26-27 'How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams...'
There is one mention of a spirit in the book though, and it may provide an interesting insight. Cordeiro relates an experience he had one night in a graveyard standing at the grave of a long dead missionary by the name of Titus Coan.
"One day while feeling completely inadequate and ill-equipped for what God had required of me, I visited Titus's grave on a hill near Haili church, the congregation he founded. After 10 years of pastoring, God was stirring my heart to pioneer again, and the thought scared me to death. I stood over his grave and poured out my heart to God: God I really need your help this time. Forgive my presumption, but I know that Elisha's asked for a double portion of Elijah's spirit before he was taken away. I realize that Titus Coan was taken in 1882. I guess that I'm 110 years late, but I'll ask anyway. I ask for a double portion of his spirit.
I feel about as inadequate as he must have, yet you worked in spite of him. You may need to do the same with me until I learn to believe more - but I will! I know it wasn't Titus Coan who accomplished all that took place. It was you all along wasn't it? Would you work through me like you did through him? Would you give me the same passion? Would you be so gracious as to show me what you showed him? (p. 124)
I silently stood there for -what seemed an eternity. No bright lights. No parting of the heavens. No booming voice. Yet I walked away -with a renewed faith, convinced that God was able to do what He had promised." (p. 125)
First thing, looking inward, and feeling "ill equipped for what God had required of me" as Cordeiro says, may be a normal enough feeling for anyone. What is missed here though is that God does not 'require' anything of us (except obedience of course), for we are only earthen vessels after all. Again, "not of us", as Paul wrote. But, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, he will work through the vessel. God will not work any other way. A Christian can be filled with God's Spirit simply by asking... "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13)
It's very interesting to note how at this pivotal point in Cordeiro's life he prayed and what he asked for. He never asked the Lord for the Holy Spirit, instead, he asked 'God' for a double portion of Titus Coan's spirit. The prayer was not in Jesus name either, at least not as recounted in the book. Standing at a grave site and asking for a double portion of a dead man's spirit is a very dangerous proposition. As to the OT and Elijah and Elisha, it should be understood that Elisha had then no promise of the Holy Spirit as does each individual Christian today, by the grace of God through the finished work of the cross. Elisha had no direct access to God either, as do Christians today, as the veil had of course not yet been rent. Today we are to "enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus" for the 'veil' has been rent. Elisha could not do this. Elisha's example is not to be followed. Of these matters two things are certain. If a Christian does not ask the Father to be filled with the Holy Spirit, he won't be. And, if a Christian isn't coming to the Father with his request through the finished work of the cross, in Jesus name that is, his prayer will not be heard, much less answered. Cordeiro seems to have missed it here on every point. Don't know what happened that night at the graveyard, but it seems clear what did not happen. The missing Holy Spirit in the Dream Releasers book would corroborate that conclusion.
"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD...But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect." (Gen. 4:3,5a)
Finally, this 'program' to develop potential is nothing new, for there is nothing new under the sun. The first one to try it, a long time ago, brought a big basket of fully developed potential from his own orchard, big juicy polished fruits, the very best he could produce. That man was Cain, but in offering the fruit of his own efforts he had rejected the substitutionary requirement of the blood sacrifice. Religious yes, but it was religion on his own terms. He would not submit his self-will unto the Lord, but sought to perfect his own human potential, instead of yielding obedience to another, the LORD God Almighty. Men have never changed and still seek to be accepted in their own merit. They still refuse to believe that..."no flesh shall glory in his presence" (1 Cor. 1:29)
Cordeiro's "Dream Releasers"? Dangerous pseudo-christianity...not even close to the genuine article, as a matter of fact. Paul the apostle used the phrase "another gospel" to describe these sort of aberrations, and then used the word 'accursed' twice in association with those who propagate them. (Gal. 1:8-9)
It would prove wise to carefully consider the words of Jude found in the eleventh verse of the epistle that bears his name:
"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain..."
Tom Montali
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see also: Trouble In Paradise 4-3-08 'Wayne Cordeiro, New Hope, and the emergent heresy/apostasy'

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