PDC Conspiracy Theory

I got an email today that talked about Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Church (PDC) model. The email began by saying: "It is important that EVERY church member know if their church is targeted for a PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH takeover". The email gave the following list as evidences of a PDC takeover:
  1. Change in music to a contemporary rock style.
  2. Removal of hymn books...often words on a screen.
  3. Eliminating the choir or introducing a choral "entertainment type"
    singing group. Repetitive praise lyrics are used.
  4. Replacing the organ/piano with heavy metal type instruments.
  5. Dressing down to casual informal attire.
  6. Eliminating business meetings, church committees, council of elders, board of deacons or other traditional leadership groups.
  7. The pastor with a few assistants (usually four) take charge of all church business.
  8. A repetitive 40 day PDC study program stressing psychological relationships with each other, the community and the world.
  9. Funded budgeted programs are abandoned or ignored with 'hidden' line items in financial reports.
  10. Sunday morning, evening, and/or Wednesday prayer meetings are changed to other times, named differently or eliminated.
  11. Sunday School teachers are moved to different classes or replaced by new teachers more sympathetic with the changes being implemented.
  12. The name "Sunday School" is usually dropped and classes are given new names.
  13. Crosses and other traditional Christian symbols may be moved, removed, or put in obscure places.
  14. New versions of the Bible are used. Verses are flashed on the screen.
  15. PDC videos are shown prior to, during or after a service.
  16. The decor may be changed to eliminate any resemblance to the 'former church'.
  17. The name "church" is often removed and may be called a "campus". Denominational names are often removed.
  18. An emphasis on more fun and party times for the youth.
  19. Elimination of altar calls or salvation invitations.
  20. The elimination of such words as "unsaved" "lost" "hell" "heaven" "abortion" "sodomy".
  21. Reclassification of the saved and lost to the "churched" and "unchurched"
  22. The marginalizing or ostracizing of all who are not avid promoters of the new PDC program.
  23. Closed meetings between pastor, certain staff, and selected leaders without any accountability to the general membership.
  24. Open hostility to members who do not openly embrace the new program or who may have left for another church.
See #3 of the comments section for the rest of the email.
This list seems to be a bit of paranoia mixed with a dose of conspiracy theory. Here is a definition of paranoia:
A mode of thought, feeling, and behavior characterized centrally by false persecutory beliefs, more specifically referred to as paranoidness. Commonly associated with these core persecutory beliefs are properties of suspiciousness, fearfulness, hostility, hypersensitivity, rigidity of conviction, and an exaggerated sense of self-reference.
Doesn't this list seem to reflect some of these tendancies?


  1. Was this a joke email or were they serious?

  2. They were probably very serious Bar. There has become such an "us against them" attitude in the church today, and it's a sad, sad thing. I think a lot of people push for these changes without embracing the whole Warrenism and PDC.


  3. Here is the text of the email without the list that I posted:
    Subject: How Church Takeovers Happen
    Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 15:31:56 -0600

    Rev. David Cox was pushing the Purpose Driven Church (Warrenism) on the congregation at First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla. The following document was passed out anonymously to the church membership:

    In the past ten (10) years a lot of churches in America and in other countries have changed from a traditional New Testament church model to a contemporary Purpose Driven model...most with sorrowful pitiful results.

    Contrary to Purpose Driven Church propaganda millions have been leaving their churches after the change occurred. Thousands of churches have split, closed, or had significant reductions in attendance. Hundreds of pastors have been fired after insisting on the change to a PDC model.

    Most churches, after having a brief upsurge in growth, either reverted back to their original size or suffered church trauma by introducing the PDC model in their congregation.

    It is important that EVERY church member know if their church is targeted for a PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH takeover. Initially a small clique of church staff including the pastor plans the change without telling the rest of the church membership.

    Church transitions(a PDC training arm) trains the clique initiating the change in eight (8 steps. The church is not to be informed of the transitions until the fourth (4) step. After the sixth (6) step in the process of change if there are some members in the church who voice concerns the following is suggested:

    #1- Identify those who are resisting the changes
    #2- Assess the effectiveness of their opposition
    #3- Befriend those who are undecided about changes
    #4- Marginalize more persistent resisters or questioners
    #5- Vilify those who stay and fight
    #6- Establish new rules that will silence all resistance

    This usually means that the church membership is not told until it is too late to make a difference. In other words, the church is stolen. Then the members either accept the changes or leave the church.

    Rick Warren author and director of the PDC movement says, "When you reveal the vision to the church the old pillars are going to leave. But let them leave...they only hold things up."

    The list in my post goes here

    Recognize any of this? Many say it's too late when you get to step #4 in the first section. May be. But don't forget; "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." II Tim. 1:7

    {portions of the above were provided by the research dept. of the Southwest Radio Ministries, Bethany, Okla.}

    Less than five months into his senior pastorship at First Baptist Church, David Cox resigned Wednesday (1-24-2007) as he read a prepared statement to more than 500 church members.

    "Over the past several weeks, First Baptist Church has undergone a season of extreme duress and difficulty," said Cox in his statement, according to Baptist Press. "Given present dynamics and poised circumstances, I believe that any continued service and ministry here, on my part, would not be productive toward future growth and health."

    While details of the "difficulty" at First Baptist were not disclosed in his statement or by church staff when called for comments, the Associated Baptist Press reported the controversy was over changes Cox instituted in the church's worship style, his spending habits and the resignations of many longtime staff members after he took the helm that former Southern Baptist Convention president Bobby Welch retired from in August of 2006.

    At a town hall style meeting earlier this month, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Cox stood in front of congregants defending his job as church members vented frustrations over the renovated altar and misplaced priorities under Cox's leadership.

    The altar was modernized with a hardwood stage, twin movie screens and music equipment, but no cross - renovations that congregants saw as excess, especially as the church plans to move to a new church in some three years.

    The congregation also complained about the departure of at least five staffers and questioned the salaries for Cox and other staff at the cost of many popular programs in the church. Congregants are also unhappy with Cox's use of the bestselling The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and the more contemporary sound of music.

    While some defended the changes in the church geared toward appealing to youth, many congregants had begun circulating a petition the first week of January to dismiss Cox.

    At the most recent members-only meeting this week, Cox revealed that the personal stress and toll on his family has been "extreme" during the past several weeks.

    Cox decided to step down as senior pastor and to further remove himself and his family completely from First Baptist's life in order to "bring healing and forward progress for the glory of God," he said on Wednesday.

    "We are all praying that healing can occur and be ushered in quickly."

  4. We did PDL and I was not that impressed with it.

  5. Kenny, I'd be interested in hearing what you didn't like about PDL.

  6. Bob, Hmm. Well after reading this I don't know what to think. I live near Rick Warren and have watched Saddleback grow from a couple hundred people to what it is today. I do have some major reservations about it, but I also see (in my area) people going to church who never would have considered it before. I guess my concern is not that PDL and "warrneism" is taking over other churhces - Its a churches decision to change or not change they can't say they were forced to be a PDL...my concern is this:

    I know people who go to church to hear Rick.

    That's my concern. They have put him at the cetner of their "Christian" life and I sometimes wonder if the truth of the gospel has even reached them. I am not saying it hasn't, but a few people I know that attend there don't seem to be aware of the Gospel, they just like the "positive affirming messages that get them through week to week".

    So all that to say, I am not for or against the PDL...but it bugs me that, like Bruce said, we have become so Us against Them. I don't even know which Us or Them I am sometimes. This may sound pathetically immature, but part of me means it sincerely:

    Why can't we all just get along and keep the main thing - JESUS CHRIST - the main thing?

  7. Thanks Barbara for the insight. Sad that we all are drawn so much to celebrity. I love what you said about the Main Thing!

    Blessings, Bob


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