In light of the scandal at Penn State, we see that silence is not golden!
A victim of abuse by a pastor in Utah at a Purpose-Driven Church has now come forward after several years of silence. We hope and pray that this will be a wake-up call to other PDC victims and bring the Balm of Gilead to a host of other victims who have been assaulted, mocked, and their churches destroyed!
TESTIMONY OF ABUSE BY PURPOSE-DRIVEN PREDATOR PASTOR TOM MERTZ, THE SPRINGS CHURCH, ST. GEORGE, UTAH
“In 2005, we were attending Desert Springs Baptist Church in St.
George, Utah. (It’s now called “The Springs Church”) It was a
new work in St. George and was supported by the Open Door
Baptist Mission Board at the time.
Tom Mertz was the senior pastor and my husband was ordained
and became the associate pastor.
It was in the year 2005, that Tom Mertz went to Saddleback
Church for training on church growth. He came back and
immediately made an announcement that everything was
changing. He brought a coffin into the service and announced that
the “Old Tom is dead” and the “New Tom is alive”. I thought than
when we become born-again that we are “new creatures in Christ?”
(2 Cor. 5:17) Read more…
There is now an epidemic today in churches and ministry organizations which has convinced people that they must take some sort of psychometric personality and gift evaluation assessment(s) or test(s) in order to be able to determine how God would want them to serve, whether it be in the church, in para-church ministries, or in the workforce. These assessments and/or tests claim that up until now there has been no way to determine how one should serve or work without using the assessment(s) or test(s). Some of these assessment(s) and test(s) even claim that they can predict future behavior and job performance. The founder of the evaluation being featured in this article claims that his assessment is “as from the hand of God.”
Ironically, some of the originators of these assessment(s) and test(s) contradict and/or criticize each other as invalid. Many of the personality assessment(s) and test(s) used by Christians today are based on some sort of Greek mythology, principles of this world, or even have occult roots (such as MBTI Carl Jung and Rick Warren’s SHAPE). Some Christians are now compelled to take these assessments or they will not be allowed to be a church member or to be employed by a particular organization or denomination. In other cases the ministerial credentials of pastors are even threatened unless they comply with taking the required assessment(s) or test(s).
It is important to make a distinction here between assessments or tests which evaluate personality traits vs. objective skill sets such as trade requirements (e.g. plumbing) or professional requirements (e.g. bar exam). Of the course the latter is needed to determine competency and, in some cases, safeguard society. So tests, per se, are constructive for job placement when they deal with skills and aptitudes.
This article profiles one particular psychometric assessment system (SIMA) using content taken directly from the published resources of SIMA International (see MAP references below), as well as emails from its founder, Arthur Miller, and then compares it with scripture (see SCRIPTURE).
SIMA International came to my attention when I was discussing with a close colleague her interest in applying for the position of President of Southeastern University (Assemblies of God). Up until then I had never heard of SIMA. However, I was very familiar with many of the other personality assessment systems in use today. SIMA International was listed as the contact to begin the process of selecting a group of the “best of the best” candidates for the position of President at Southeastern University. Prospective candidates are required to contact SIMA International (as documented on Southeastern University’s Presidential Search Committee website) as the initial step of screening. This led to my researching where the MAP assessment originated. I discovered that the founder is Arthur Miller. Subsequently I emailed him with several basic questions about the MAP assessment and his own testimony and was shocked by his responses, which are also cited below. Read more…
I will start by saying that most churches today are under attack from some sort of “movement” other than following God’s word and most are unaware of it, either because there is still Godly leadership holding it at bay, or they are in various stages of the change which is a slow methodical process. Matt 16:6 states; “Be careful”, Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees”. W. A. Criswell in a book of collective works of his sermons, wrote a sermon entitled “What shall I do with Jesus”? In it he gives an experience about an individual in a church he pastored. He stated: ” In the little country church where I once pastored, there was a man who was a chain smoker. He developed a little sore on his lower lip from which a cigarette always dangled. The sore did not go away, so he went to the county seat and asked the physician about it.
The physician looked at it and said: “you have a cancer on your mouth that is very serious. Go to the city, to the hospital, to a specific surgeon. You must have the sore removed because it is dangerous”. The man returned home, and his neighbors learned of the cancer on his lip. One of his dear friends came to him and said; “It is expensive to go to the city, to that hospital, and to that surgeon. I have a little vial of medicine at home. I will bring it to you. You put the medicine on the sore, and it will heal the sore forever”! He took the medicine and placed it on the sore. The days and weeks passed, and the man went back to the physician. By that time the sore had worsened. The physician looked at him and said, “sir, are you not the man to whom I said, “you have a cancer, go to the hospital”? The man said “yes”. The physician said, “why did you not go”? The man replied, “doctor, a neighbor said that if I would use this little vial of medicine, it would heal the cancer and save me the time and expense”. The day came when that cancer ate away the entire lower part of his face and neck, and his tongue lay on his chest. This is exactly what Satan does to us when the Holy Spirit points to the Son of God. We are afflicted people. We are dying people. We are sinful people. Sin is not only a wrestling in this life, but it has to do with the judgment that is to come”.
We spend our time listening to the advice of others in the guise of “spiritual leaders” rather than coming to Christ Himself for the answers, on our knees and in His word. Like this example that Criswell makes, when we look to any source other than God, other than the Healer, we are led astray through sin, and by the wiles of Satan. God’s word is and always will be the consummate answer to all our problems if we will just take the time to read it on a regular basis, and hide the words in our hearts.
John 14:15-18 states “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” If you read God’s word and hide it in your heart no one can sway you from the truth. The church was not meant to be a forum for the opinions of man through spiritual books, but a place for the equipping of the saints through the word of Christ and Christ alone!
The issue of how the personality profiling takes shape can really be seen as a result of how Rick Warren uses the S.H.A.P.E program (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences). Here is a powerpoint slide show which shows a comparison between that of Carl Jung’s Personality Theory to Rick Warren’s Personality Profiling.
How to take the S.H.A.P.E.
"Just imagine if you knew the serving sweet spot of every member! As an added bonus, a free code is available in the back of Erik’s new book, S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose. Take a sample of the test today by logging onto www.yourservingsweetspot.com and enter bookcode pdc19285."
( www.purposedriven.com Advertisement for Erik Rees’ new book S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose)
Before you take this test, consider the following questions:
1. Who is scoring this test? What company? What agency? What entity? How are the scores being scored and databanked?
2. Who truly constructed this test? Under what auspices, contract, agency, etc.? For what general and specific purposes?
3. Who owns these scores? What will be done with these results? Are these results being sold? If so, to whom and for what purpose?
4. Are there contractors and/or subcontractors who have access to these scores? If so, whom?
5. To what other commercial, governmental or ecclesiastical entities are these scores provided and for what purpose?
6. Is there a personal identifier that marks this test as your score? If so, how will you be monitored? What kind of follow-up will you experience? Do you mind many people seeing your personal scores?
7. How has this test been normed? Were the various versions of this test the past several years being used as part of a research project to construct this test? Is there statistical Reliability? Validity?
8. Are these test results being used for research purposes? If so, for what purpose? For what agency or entity? What is the long-term goal of such research? Is it to "shape" evangelical culture?
9. Does the test actually measure (assess) what it purports to measure? That is, "your personal blend of Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences."
10. Are things of the Holy Spirit measurable by human psychological and sociological methods, which are imprecise and variable?
11. Is this test free of cultural, theological, ethnic, age, handicap and gender bias? Or, does it discriminate against those who are of a different culture, race, gender, handicap, life situation, age, economic class, or who hold more traditional beliefs?
12. Does this test contribute to the promulgation or perpetuation of an American upper middle class white evangelical Christian culture?
13. What are the test’s true underlying assumptions about 1) the nature of man and 2) the nature of God? Can a tool devised according to humanistic psychology, which has its own underlying assumptions which run counter to biblical Christianity, truly be an effective measurement of gifts of the Holy Spirit?
14. Does this test penalize creative and unique Christian individuals who may not fall within its pre-set categories and criteria?
15. Does this test stereotype certain attributes, traits, abilities, aptitudes and talents? If so, how and for what purpose?
16. Does this test represent an attempt to create national and/or international standards and norms for Christian personality? For Christian service?
17. Are there embedded "threshold" questions in this test?
18. Is this test a vocational interest inventory type personality assessment? Does it measure and identify occupational groups whose interests and attitudes the individual shares most closely, thus becoming a way to classify personalities?
19. Is this test a spiritualized placement test to classify people into their "sweet spots" — i.e., "zones," "regions" or "precincts" (Max Lucado’s words)?
20. Does taking this test help to promote the dominionist "advancing the kingdom of God on earth" theology? Can you support that agenda? The promotional literature states that it will:
Unlock your God-given potential
Uncover your specific kingdom purpose
Unfold a kingdom plan for your life
And it also states that: "…Rees shows you how to uncover God’s most powerful and effective means of advancing his kingdom on earth…"
21. Does the test promise more than it can deliver? The same promotional literature claims that you will "discover the path to a life of unimagined purpose, impact, and fulfillment" and that you will gain" confidence, freedom, clarity, and significance that can only come from your Creator."
22. If you don’t gain what this test promised, and still feel unfulfilled, will you be tempted to visit the http://shaperesources.com/shape.htm webpage and read from these troubling resources?
23. What if your life purpose is not defined, measured, prescribed, or covered by the content of this test? What if you don’t fit into the "box" or "zone"? Does that mean God isn’t using you or that you aren’t doing Christian service? Will you be "remediated" until you conform?
24. Can you do Christian service in your church, family or community without taking this psychological placement test? If not, why? Is this test a "passport" to Christian service?
25. Have you read Chapter 11 about the S.H.A.P.E. — "Personality Profiling" — in James Sundquist’s Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church? If not, there are hundreds more unanswered questions in those pages.
"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the Rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times; you people, pour our your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." (Psalm 62:5-9)
This documentary contains urgent updates since my book Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church? Both books are published by Southwest Radio Church (Bible Belt Publishers).
I would like to thank The Conservative Theological Journal for publishing two articles I wrote on Rick Warren’s teachings in their August and December 2005 issues and their very favorable review of my book on Rick Warren’s teachings.
There are a number of pastors, ministries and authors throughout the world who are opposing Rick Warren, including Dr. John MacArthur, who exposed Warren in a chapter in his book called
Fool’s Gold by Dr. John McArthur
As well as Chuck Smith, Director of Calvary Chapels and most recently Chuck Smith, Sr., Founder of Calvary Chapels. Dave Hunt, Jacob Prasch, Director of Moriel Ministries (UK), Richard Bennett, PerryRockwood (Canada’s oldest Christiannational radio ministry), Roger Oakland, David Cloud, Dusty Peterson (UK wrote documentary exposing the Alpha Course), Cecil Andrews (TakeHeed Ministries in Ireland), Moses Yang, Pastor of Chinese Evangelical Seminary and churches throughout the world, Gary Kah, Despatch Magazine in Australia, Prophezine Magazine, Loren Davis (well known Evangelist in Africa), Richard Bennett (Berean Beacon and former Roman Catholic priest), Dr. Robert Klenck, Dean Gotcher, Berit Kjos (Kjos Ministries), Dr. Noah Hutchings, author of Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church & Dr. Larry Spargimino of Southwest Radio Church (America’s longest running Christian radio national program), and a host of others listed in my book and online, have all come out against Purpose Driven nightmare.
James Sundquist goes on to write: “I have been on about a thousand radio stations, Southwest Radio, American Family Radio, VCY America, Dr. Kent Hovind’s radio show exposing this fraud and related issues in the last few years, and was just on national broadcasts, including Dr. Stan Monteith, TheEdge, and the Berean Chronicles shows and will be bring out these revelations on Southwest Radio Church and other national publications and radio programs in the next few weeks as soon is this book on Warren’s Global Peace Plan is in print.”
“I invite you to help expose the fraud in Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life book. My hope is that pastors would be as zealous and consistent in exposing Warren’s PDL as they now are in exposing the fraud of the Da Vinci Code.”
Kindest regards in Christ,
Rock Salt Publishing (An Eagle Masterworks Productions Company) www.perfectpeaceplan.com