“Elephant in the room” or Elephant in the living room” is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook.1
Lighthouse Trails recently published a booklet titled False Revival Coming: Part 1. The booklet expressed our concern that Holy Laughter/Holy Ghost bartender Rodney Howard-Browne was not only back—but had apparently never gone away! With discernment at an all time low in the church, Browne is traveling the world with what he describes as his God-mandated “Great Awakening Tour.” He hopes his tour will ignite a global transformation to the Christian faith. Partnering with New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) figures like Bethel’s Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, and others, Howard-Browne and his NAR colleagues would have the church believe they are bringing about the ultimate end-times “revival”—a “Great Awakening” move of God that will usher in a planetary Pentecost.
Howard-Browne’s “revival” activities were brought to our attention when we were informed that the “Holy Ghost Bartender” had organized and hosted a star-studded two-week “Celebrate America” event over the 4th of July last summer (2014) in Washington D.C. The event featured pastor/author Jonathan Cahn, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Senate Chaplain Barry Black, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, author/columnist Dr. Ben Carson, and many others. “Celebrate America” was sponsored by a number of organizations that included The Washington Times, World Net Daily, Christian Coalition of America, and Cornerstone Television Network.
Rodney Howard-Browne, known for imparting Holy Laughter to countless people around the world, is once again placing his ministry in the limelight. Because of his heightened activity in today’s church, we believed it was important to reissue an article that attempted to honestly critique Howard-Browne and his holy laughter “revival” back when it was originally happening. The 1994 article is titled “Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?” and was written by author Warren B. Smith. Initially published in a discernment newsletter, his article quickly circulated around the world. It helped many people to see the many problems associated with Howard-Browne and his Holy Laughter “revival.”
Just after republishing in booklet form Warren B. Smith’s provocative article, Rodney Howard-Browne announced that he was returning to Washington D.C. in July 2015 for another two week “Celebrate America” event that will include the fourth of July. Continuing his run on the nation’s capital, the speakers have yet to be announced.
Three “elephant in the room” questions that need to be addressed:
1) Are we to believe that God has appointed Rodney Howard-Browne—the Holy Ghost Bartender—to lead the church and the world into a “great spiritual awakening”—into global “revival?”
2) What Christian leaders will be speaking and aligning themselves with Howard-Browne at his “Celebrate America” event?
3)Is it possible that what looks like a “Great Awakening” will actually be a spiritual distraction that inadvertently leads to“Great Deception?”
A clip from the 2014 Celebrate America:
A CNN news video on the Holy Laughter movement:
Stand Up For the Truth on Israel and Prime Minister Benjamen Natanyahu: Can we please get our act together?
Link to video of PM Natanyahu’s talk to US Congress: http://www.c-span.org/video/?324609-2/israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-address-congress
From Stand Up for the Truth Radio and News
Today could go down in history as the day America gets its act together, repents of its political folly and stand once again with Israel. Maybe. Or not.
As Prime Minister Benjamen Netanyahu prepares to address congress this morning to plead for common sense on Iran’s nuclear strategy, we’re seeing reports that President Obama Has Cut Intelligence Cooperation with Israel. And that at least 40 to 60 Democratic lawmakers have declared they will boycott today’s speech, set to begin at 10 central time right after Stand Up For The Truth. We’ve posted a Listen Live link to the Netanyahu address so you can watch. Tomorrow on Stand Up For The Truth we’ll be interviewing David Hocking about Israel, our administration and the times we are in. Click here to continue reading.
Police-State America Strikes Homeschool Families Again: 7 Children Taken from Parents During Search for “Miracle” Treatment Chemical
LTRP Note: A Lighthouse Trails reader from Arkansas called today and told us of this story that happened in the same state. She said she believes this is a family who loves the Lord and whose parents are loving parents to their seven children. This is one of many stories over the past seven years where heavy-handed, gestapo-like children’s services in the United States have taken children out of their homes for extended periods of time. You may visit the Stanley family’s Facebook page here.
By Josh Berry
HOT SPRINGS, AR – A “miracle” mineral treatment alleged to be a remedy for cancer and aids is at the center of an law enforcement search warrant. The investigation ended in the removal of seven children from their home in Garland County.
The family has cried foul, saying only the father has taken it and it’s mostly used for purifying water for their garden.
The substance in question is referred to as “MMS” or Miracle Mineral Solution. The FDA has weighed in on the substance citing serious health concerns reporting that it can turn into a potent bleach and cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if taken.
The Stanley family however say it wasn’t grounds for the way they were treated during a search Monday (1/12) night that ended with their seven children taken away.
“Policemen here, policemen here,” Hal Stanley pointed, standing on his front porch. “Over here, on the side roads full of policemen.”
Stanley opened his door Monday afternoon to find a warrant waiting for him and his home surrounded by State and Garland County agents.
“It said we’re here to search your house,” Stanley explained.
Click here to read more.
Other Related articles across the web (From news sources not necessarily endorsed by Lighthouse Trails)
Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance (Canada) Promoting Interspiritual, Panentheist Monk, Basil Pennington
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I thought this link would interest you. The Western Canadian District of the C&MA in Canada is promoting (yet with a disclaimer!) a number of books that teach the practices of contemplative prayer. I was surprised to see it promoted so blatantly on their website. http://www.transformcma.ca/resources-2/
There is also something called a “Holy Spirit Encounter” that they are starting to implement in their churches. I don’t quite understand what the point of these events are because the Holy Spirit lives within us [believers] all the time.
Just thought I would share these findings with you!
Our Comments: While Lighthouse Trails has been reporting on C & MA promotion of contemplative for a number of years, we believe it is worth posting this letter to the editor because of one particular name listed on the website linked to above: Basil Pennington (1931-2005). While the C & MA site gives a disclaimer, which states, “The following list of resources contain a variety of perspectives that cannot be fully endorsed by the WCD in every manner. We do believe, however, that the discerning reader can benefit greatly from these writings,” there is no way that a “discerning reader” could ever “benefit greatly” from the writings of Basil Pennington. The fact that he is included on the already highly problematic list they provide with contemplatives such as Brad Jersak, John of the Cross, Bill Johnson, Henri Nouwen, and so forth proves that the Western Canadian District of C & MA Canada has dropped into a deep level of apostasy from the leadership level.
Basil Pennington is a Catholic contemplative monk who teaches that God is in every person. As L. Putnam points out in one of her articles, Pennington believes in the “God’s Dream” concept (which is God in everyone). He states:
We do not know how precious we are in ourselves. As Dame Julian of Norwich, that delightful English mystic declared, we are God’s dream, his homiest home. We have too little respect for ourselves, too little esteem for our own importance. God sees things otherwise. (from Living in the Question: Meditations in the Style of Lectio Divina)
Interestingly, that sounds a lot like IF: Gathering leader Melissa Greene as we pointed out in a recent article. This idea of “God’s Dream” is actually taught by numerous contemplatives including Rick Warren and Robert Schuller (as Warren B. Smith discusses in Deceived on Purpose). If you hear that term being used by a pastor or teacher you know, it’s time to start asking some serious questions.
Basil Pennington (along with Thomas Merton and William Messinger) is ultimately responsible for bringing contemplative spirituality into mainstream Catholicism and eventually evangelical Christianity. These quotes are just two of many by Basil Pennington that help show his mystical propensities:
It is my sense, from having meditated with persons from many different [non-Christian] traditions, that in the silence we experience a deep unity. When we go beyond the portals of the rational mind into the experience, there is only one God to be experienced.—Basil Pennington (Centered Living, p. 192)
[I]n centering prayer we go beyond thought and image, beyond the senses and the rational mind, to that center of our being where God is working a wonderful work, just sitting there, doing nothing. Not even thinking some worthwhile thoughts or making some good resolutions-just being (source)
In Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing, he explains:
In the book Finding Grace at the Center, written by [Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating], the following advice is given: ‘We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and capture it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible … Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices …” [pp. 5-6]. Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington have taken their Christianity and blended it with Eastern mysticism through a contemplative method they call centering prayer … Keating and Pennington have both authored a number of influential books on contemplative prayer thus advancing this movement greatly. Pennington essentially wrote a treatise on the subject called Centering Prayer while Keating has written the popular and influential classic, Open Mind, Open Heart.
If you are part of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, this is the direction that your leadership is heading, or frankly, has already gone.
From Cindy Hartline, Love for the Truth Radio:
Click here to listen to interview.
Is My Church Acting Like A Cult? Have some seemly “Bible believing Churches” become Cults? Many people have been hurt by such churches because of their cult-like operation and attitude. The most knowledgeable person I know to discuss this topic is Christopher Lawson — Pastor, Counselor, Missionary, Researcher, Writer, and Lecturer who has spent much of his time helping people escape the clutches of spiritual deception and informing and warning them of the dangers of cults, the occult and mysticism based spirituality. Christopher Lawson is the Founder, Director and General Editor of Spiritual Research Network, a Christian outreach dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel and encouraging biblical discernment. www.spiritual-research-network.com.
Today, we received this letter to the editor:
Recently my church hosted an IF Gathering conference. I had already done research and found some disturbing facts about some of the various speakers. I wrote a letter to the leadership detailing all the information I had gathered. I thought I would pass it along for your info. NOTE: Melissa Greene, one of the IF Team – she has a very revealing message that is posted on her profile page which is linked to the IF Gathering page. In her message she references several New Age and Emergent authors including , Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Frederick Buechner and Rob Bell… Her ending comments on her message are pretty shocking. If you have someone on your staff who has the time to listen to it, I think it would be worth the time.
In connection with our recent articles on the women’s IF: Gathering (#1 and #2), the video below is a presentation by IF leader and pastor Melissa Greene. Greene is a young female version of emergent figures Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, Rob Bell, and Thomas Merton all rolled into one. Greene is pretty, charming, persuasive, says she loves Jesus, and is probably very sincere, but she is heading over a spiritual cliff. And folks, look out, she and the IF women are targeting your daughters and granddaughters, and sadly countless young women will follow them, and their spiritual lives will be turned upside down.
5 Things Not to Miss in This Video:
1. Certainty is bad; Questions (and no answers) is good.
2. The old-fashioned faith of our parents and grandparents is outdated and irrelevant.
3. References to numerous mystics and emergents
4. The “text” (the Bible) is OK, but there is so much more to be grasped.
5. In the end, everyone is saved.
On February 20th, 2015, Tamara Hartzell passed away. Tamara is best known for her two exhaustive volumes: In the Name of Purpose (2006), which exposes the false teachings of the Purpose Driven movement and “Reimagining” God: Turning the Light off to Look for “Truth” in the Corner of a Dark Round Room) (2012), which is an expose on the emerging church and the “new” spirituality that has entered the church.
In addition to Tamara’s two well-documented books, she was also a behind-the-scenes researcher for a number of discernment authors. Her sacrifice and efforts were invaluable to the cause of defending the biblical faith. On her website, she describes herself as “an earthen vessel trying to redeem the time, because the days are evil.” Tamara never wanted any recognition for herself, and she remained resolute in her commitment to the Lord’s work. That work (and the stress and hardship that comes with this type of ministry) took a toll on her health as she had been battling MS and other health problems for a number of years, but this did not deter her from standing for the truth. An epitaph for Tamara could accurately read, “She loved the Truth.”
Tamara was a former nurse and a graduate of California State University. She leaves behind her husband Calvin, a daughter, a grandson, and her mother, all of whom will miss her dearly. In addition, there will be a gap in church discernment without the vigorous and dedicated work of this beloved sister in the Lord. Tamara was 51.
While preparing this notice of Tamara’s departure, a close friend of Tamara’s gave us the following letter that Tamara had written this past December, knowing her time on this earth was short. She requested a copy be given out to those who knew her. With permission from her family, we share this with our readers now, as many of you have been blessed by Tamara Hartzell’s work over the past ten or more years.
Tamara’s farewell letter—12/10/14
To all of my loved ones:
Calvin knows that I do not want a memorial service. They do not tend to be much, if at all, about Jesus anymore, but rather a “celebration” of the person’s own life. In no way would that make me happy.
Jesus is my life, and Jesus is my celebration! And I want as many people as possible to know Jesus and to know His life. People can be told about my love for Jesus and that His victorious salvation has brought me into His loving Presence in Heaven, to be with Him for all eternity.
I so can’t wait to see my beloved Jesus!! What a glorious day that will be! A day to celebrate!!
My precious Lord and Saviour is everything to me. He is my All in All. I so want everyone to know Him and His love! I pray that those who aren’t saved will soften their hearts and get saved before it’s too late. I pray that they come to know how much He loves them!
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” And the woman answered, “Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (John 11:25-27). God’s Word also tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved;” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9,13).
I love you all very much, and I thank God for you. I look forward to seeing you again in a victorious and glorious celebration of eternal life with God Himself! Thank you Jesus for your wonderful gift of salvation!! And thank you God for your wonderful gift of my beloved husband, Calvin! I love you Calvin, so much!! When Jesus comes to take me home, I will look forward to seeing you again most of all.
May our loving God bless and protect all of you every day of your lives and bring you safely home.
I love you!!
Some Articles by Tamara: