In the Apprising Ministries article Seeds of Compassion Event: Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt with Dalai Lama I began to take a look at this event in Seattle, which runs from April 11-15, where Emergent Church pastors Doug Pagitt and his “friend” Rob Bell are joining themselves publicly with the Buddhist icon Dalai Lama (essentially means “teacher with an ocean of wisdom”)—as well as with a host of secular humanists advocating the human potential, and with New Agers, Muslims and Buddhists—in an interspiritual gathering.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

The Seeds of Compassion Events To Promote Teachings Of Dalai Lama

To discover that this Seeds of Compassion Event (SoC) is religious at its basic level one need only look at how this event originally came to be. Under “Who We Are” we see that “Seeds of Compassion came about through a collaboration of the Kirlin Foundation and the Venerable Tenzin Dhonden.” We’ve previously mentioned that Dhonden is “Lama Tenzin Dhonden, Emissary of Peace for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Co-Founder” of SoC (Online source).

This collaboration of Guru Dhonden and the Kirlin Foundation, which led to SoC is discussed under “The Seeds of Compassion Team” at the SoC website:

Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Scholar and Artist
Co–founder Seeds of Compassion

Seeds of Compassion has benefitted from the special relationship with and hard work by the Venerable Lama Tenzin Dhonden. The vision for Seeds of Compassion came about after a meeting between His Holiness, the Ven. Tenzin Dhonden and Dan Kranzler from the Kirlin Foundation in 2005. Having discussed concepts for the program over the past few years, Lama Tenzin traveled to India to consult with His Holiness and the program in Seattle was confirmed.

And then we learn further that SoC is “to focus world attention on the following”:

• Our communities need thoughtful, creative adults who are actively engaged citizens.
Our global society needs people equipped to communicate across cultures and address differences through understanding and collaborative problem solving.
• These qualities must take root in early childhood.
• When children build from strong foundations emotionally, socially and cognitively, they can develop into compassionate adults.

Seeds of Compassion will serve as a unifying catalyst to amplify the work of the many organizations and programs focusing on this critical area beginning with a transformative event anchored by the deep wisdom of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Seattle, Washington from April 12–15, 2008. This community–focused event will celebrate and explore the relationships, programs and tools that nurture and empower children, families and communities to be compassionate members of society. (Online source, emphasis mine)

We also receive more background as to how SoC came together in the following from John Iwasaki of Seattle Post-Intelligencer in his piece The story behind the Dalai Lama’s visit to Seattle. Iwasaki tells us that SoC “was sown in a central Idaho resort community on the fourth anniversary” of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center:

Delivering a “healing address” in Sun Valley on Sept. 11, 2005, the world’s most famous Buddhist monk offered guidance on dealing with heartbreak and injustice, be it a terrorist attack or lesser difficulties in life.

“Through more effort you can change, then share with others. Compassion begins with one person,” he told a rapt audience of 10,000 people.

One of them was Dan Kranzler, president of the Bellevue-based Kirlin Charitable Foundation, which supports projects that help children and families become lifelong learners and compassionate members of society.

Inspired by the address, Kranzler met with the Dalai Lama’s emissary, Lama Tenzin Dhonden, and began sharing his vision for putting compassion into action, starting with children and those who influence them.

Now, 2 1/2 years later, the ambitious dream has sprouted into a five-day event starting April 11 that seeks to touch everyone — not only youths and educators, but philanthropists, politicians, businesspeople and clergy of different faiths — with the message that kindness and compassion form the critical bedrock for a better society.
(Online source)

As admirable on a human level as it may be to “help children and families become lifelong learners” the critical question the Christian—and especially one who is a pastor-teacher—needs to raise is: Exactly what is it they are going to be taught? With this in mind then, here is a bit more about who co-founder Daniel Kanzler is and what the Kirlin Foundation is actually about:


President, Kirlin Charitable Foundation

Dan Kranzler is President of the Kirlin Charitable Foundation, which he formed with his family in 1999 to formalize their commitment and efforts to fulfill their passion for children, education, and the health and strength of families. The foundation works as a catalyst and innovative partner in positive social change toward a vision of a global society, identified first and foremost by the grace of its empathy and compassion. (Online source)

You should now that in Buddhism “empathy and compassion” are thought to be key components of the alleged “Buddha nature” supposedly in all of mankind. And through prolonged meditation this is then awakened in us. Iwasaki also tells us that SoC is aimed at shaping the brains of children in Seattle through many programs that have already been implemented within the Seattle school system:

Kranzler’s foundation, formed in 1999, supports a variety of early childhood learning, parenting, art, science and teaching organizations, believing that healthy social and emotional development from infancy is crucial and is fostered through positive relationships.

“We can actually shape the brain and set in place the foundation for all future development,” said Ron Rabin, executive director of the Kirlin Foundation and a board member of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

To that end, Seeds of Compassion is focusing on nurturing kindness and compassion in children and those who touch their lives. It has produced curriculum and reading lists, promoted continuing education for teachers and clinicians, and provided information on local and national organizations that encourages strong social and emotional development. (Online source)

And this indoctrination into the human potential teachings of secular humanism and/or Buddhism shouldn’t surprise us as we learn even more concerning the origin of “Seeds of Compassion” from New Age teacher Katie Davis, author of Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment. She provides some very interesting information about these indoctrination techniques surrounding SoC as she speaks of:

Science Day, when the Dalai Lama and leading researchers will be presenting the proven brain science showing that nurturing kindness and compassion throughout childhood can have a profound and positive impact on the lives of our children, families, schools, communities, and society at large and how it can be incorporated every day of our lives in simple ways.

Seeds of Compassion is based on an award winning, evidence based classroom program named Roots of Empathy that was launched in Canada in 1996 by Mary Gordon that scientically proved the dramatic impact that compassion has on reducing violence and agression while developing social/emotional competence. Roots of Empathy was launced this fall in 10 classrooms grades 1-6 in the Seattle and Kent School Districts, the first in the United States to offer the program.

True and lasting fulfillment is the only answer and it seems Seeds of Compassion is pointing the way.

In my book, Awake Joy, I offer two chapters on the conditioned child and conscious parenting and also point to compassion, gratitude, selfless service, and unconditional love as a powerful practice to turn the mind’s life around to the open way of the Heart. A practice that can be offered through simple gestures every day.

I am thrilled to discover this program and the potential that it might have to surrender suffering for ourselves, our families, our schools, the workplace, the world’s religions and even the living earth, its creatures and environment. (Online source)

What The Bible Says For The Christian

For Doug Pagitt and Rob Bell, ostensibly Christian pastors, to actively participate—thereby lending their support—to this interspiritual SoC event is wrong. SoC is clearly rooted in Buddhism and its teachings regarding compassion, as well as in the human potential movement of secular humanism—really not that far from Buddhist teachings itself. This is a clear violation by Pagitt and Bell of the spiritual principle underlying 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, the text I cited above.

We also point out an interesting parallel to the Pope and his own religion of apostate Roman Catholicism with the Dalai Lama being billed as “His Holiness.” This is also further evidence of his being treated as, not merely a secular teacher, but also as a religious leader. And this fact alone makes SoC an interspiritual event led by the head of a pagan religion to which no genuine Christian would want to be yoked:

Seeds of Compassion will serve as a unifying catalyst to amplify the work of the many organizations and programs focusing on this critical area beginning with a transformative event anchored by the deep wisdom of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Seattle, Washington from April 12–15, 2008. (Online source)

Hebrews 4:12 tells us — For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Those trained in hermeneutics (interpretation of the Bible) will tell you that we always start with the historical-grammatical method. This is to say that we first examine Scripture in the context of what was going on at the time in history when it was originally written. And then we also take into account what the words used in a particular text would have meant to those to whom it was first given.

This is one edge of the double-edged Sword of the Word of God, the other being the illumination by the Holy Spirit as to how He wishes His text to be applied at any given time as the Lord wills. So to close this out we take a moment and look specifically at 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 to make sure that we have indeed rightly divided the first side of the Sword of Scripture concerning the historic context of this very important passage of the Bible.

And the following commentary on verses 14 and 15 from Dr. Murray Harris is a good place to start:

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (v. 14a). Clearly this is not an injunction against all association with unbelievers (cf. 1Cor 5:9, 10, 10:27). Paul actually encouraged the Christian partner in a mixed marriage to maintain the relationship as long as possible (1Cor 7:12-16). Rather, this is a prohibition against forming close attachments with non-Christians.

Paul’s agricultural metaphor (“You must not get into double harness with unbelievers”—C.K. Barrett) is based on the command of Deuteronomy 22:10 that prohibited the yoking of an ox and an ass for ploughing [sic], and also on Leviticus 19:19 where the crossbreeding of animals of different species is prohibited. Although precisely what might have constituted a “diverse yoke” or “double harness” for the Corinthians remains unstated, it clearly involved compromise with heathendom,… (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, CD Rom, emphasis mine).

The cause of a glaring weakness in the American Christian Church, which we see exhibited today in the Emerging Church and semi-pelagian postevangelicalism, is the lowering of proper standards affecting the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (see—Philippians 3) for the Christian. This has resulted in the immaturity of so many who currently stand behind its pulpits. Hence the reason why they so rarely move beyond just one side of the Sword of the Spirit. However, in this passage of 2 Corinthians will have an obvious spiritual application, which should become even more evident now through the scholarly commentary by Harris above.

Paul is using marriage as a spiritual example to instruct us that when we join together with unbelievers in religious settings we also create a union with them before the world. What Dr. David Lowery says below will also prove helpful in this discussion:

What hampered the Corinthians’ open, loving response, which Paul called for? (v.13) Answer: rival suitors vied for their affections and allegiance. Though verses 14-15 are often applied to various sorts of alliances (e.g., mixed marriages, improper business associations), Paul’s primary association was probably ecclesiastical. The rival suitors were possibly pagan idolators (cf. 1 Cor.10:14) or more likely false apostles (cf. 2 Cor. 11:2-4). In censure or affection Paul was equally candid (cf. 6:11).

The solution to the dilemma was for the Corinthians to separate from the false apostles. Whatever may have been their own and others’ estimation of their spiritual status, Paul considered the false apostles to be unbelievers (cf.11:13-15) from whom the Corinthians needed to separate. But Paul did not say that Christian should have no contacts whatever with unbelievers. Earlier he argued the absurdity of such a position (1 Cor. 5:9-10). But religious unbelievers might lead believers astray from “sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3), and the fact concerned Paul greatly (The Bible Knowledge Commentary , 570, bold in original)

Doug Pagitt and Rob Bell, thought by many to be orthodox Christian pastors, should know very well that the Buddhism of the Dalai Lama and the secular humanism espoused through Kirlin Foundation—co-creators of this Seeds of Compassion Event—are religions in and of themselves. In fact in the end both are actually godless ones. And SoC itself—“anchored” as it is in the supposed “deep wisdom of the Dalai Lama”—is clearly not a secular event at all. Therefore both Pagitt and Bell are right now in violation of God’s Word to have yoked themselves to it in such a way.

Men and women, this is where the questions what fellowship can light have with darkness — and — What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever — now enter into our equation. The point being that unbelievers should work for the betterment of this world however they want to do it, but believers in Christ must work for it as God wills. However if the Lord’s warnings, as is the case here with both Pagitt and Bell, are ignored then they will only open themselves—along with everyone who follows them—up to further spiritual blindness and even demonic oppression.

And as far as the argument that Pagitt and Bell will have the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the Seeds of Compassion Event, I say we need to use a little common sense here. You see, in my opinion they don’t even preach the Gospel to their own congregations in the churches where they are pastor. So why would I believe that they would suddenly do so while sitting at the feet of the Dalai Lama drinking in the so-called “deep wisdom” of some supposed reincarnation of the manifestation of “the Bodhisattva (Buddha) of Compassion.”