Lighthouse Trails has now mailed out the third letter along with two booklets to about 130 Christian leaders in the U.S. As we reported earlier this year in our article titled “Lighthouse Trails Publishing to Make Contact with Over 100 Christian Leaders to Warn About Jesus Calling,” we prayerfully made the decision to start sending short letters and selected titles of our booklets to those who are considered major Christian leaders in America. Our list is currently at 130 names.
Our first mailing included a copy of Warren B. Smith’s booklet 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book and was sent out in March of 2016. Our second letter was sent out in May of 2016 and included two booklets: Ray Yungen’s 5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer and Roger Oakland’s Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome.
In this third mailing, we sent the leaders two booklets: Setting Aside the Power of the Gospel for a Powerless Substitute by David Dombrowski (chief editor of Lighthouse Trails) and Is Your Church Doing Spiritual Formation? (And Important Reasons Why it Shouldn’t). The following is the contents of the third letter:
Dear Christian Leader:
We are sending you two booklets that we publish, which we hope you will find helpful in understanding some of the serious problems the Christian church is facing today.
Is Your Church Doing Spiritual Formation explains what the Spiritual Formation movement is, how it is tied in with the contemplative-prayer movement that originated with the Catholic Church, and how pervasive it has become in the evangelical and Protestant church today.
Setting Aside the Power of the Gospel for a Powerless Substitute is an exhortation for pastors and leaders to remember that the Bible says the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God. It is this very power that has the ability to change lives; but so many in today’s church have taken a hold of powerless substitutes and then wonder why Christians are not growing in maturity, strength, and wisdom.
We hope you will read and prayerfully consider the messages in these two booklets.
Sincerely in Christ,
The Editors at Lighthouse Trails
You may view the list of leaders we sent this letter and the booklets to by clicking here (although we have since added a few more names).
Dear Lighthouse Trails Editors:
It seems that a new phrase might be in order to describe what’s going on in the church. When we see or hear someone endorse a practice that goes contrary to the Word within the church especially, I guess we could call that “a biblical emergency” for lack of a better term. We could call those who are out on the front lines warning us about these practices “first responders” in a certain sense, similar to the terminology that applies to those responding to a fire, a robbery, etc.
With contemplative prayer, mantra meditation, and other unbiblical practices having entered into the church, I would say the church has that kind of emergency situation. It’s a very unusual way to describe that.
By David Dombrowski
It is all too easy in the busy world in which we live today to get caught up in worldly concerns that would tend to draw our hearts in a different direction than God intends. A Scripture that comes to mind is the one in Proverbs that says:
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
This Scripture tells us that we are to keep a watchful eye, or to guard our hearts, against things that would steal away from us the very things that are most precious in life. That is why it is good to stop from time to time to reflect, reevaluate, and check our compass bearings.
The fact is we are sojourners through this life, and this is not our permanent home. Like Abraham, we can set up a “tent,” but our permanent dwelling is not here. Jesus said:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Too often, for the Christian, anxiety and stress over the many things in life—be it business, finances, health, or possessions—overtake us. Yet Jesus said that our heavenly Father will take care of us if we seek His kingdom first. If our lives are full of worry and stress, like a thermometer or pressure gauge, it should be an indicator to us that we need to reevaluate our lives and decide if our treasures are truly in heaven and if we will cling to God’s promises to provide for us as He sees fit.With our involvement with the Christians in Kenya through the Bryce Homes, Africa has even further driven the point to us that as North Americans especially we need to diligently watch where our true treasures are and not get caught up in “things.” In and of themselves, there is nothing wrong with having possessions as long as they do not rule our hearts. Whatever we have—whether it is earthly goods, health, intelligence, or education—these things are a loan to us and can only be of real benefit when they enable us to serve the kingdom of God in the cause of the Gospel. Paul, for instance, said:
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Philippians 4:12
Paul was a well-educated man who probably had known prosperity, yet he risked everything for the sake of the Gospel. That is why he could also say:
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Philippians 3:7-8
We need to keep in mind that where our treasures are our heart will be there too. As committed Christians, should we not want our treasures to be in Heaven and in the things of the Lord? Remember Paul’s exhortation:
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1
Time is a precious commodity that we should not take for granted. Think of a sandglass or hourglass where you can literally watch time being poured out. Knowing that our time is relatively short, let us follow the injunction in Hebrews to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Too many things hold us back from serving the Lord. In this verse in Hebrews, an illustration of an athlete is being used to show how, if we are to win a race, we need to strip off unnecessary weight. Scripture says that God will give us wings like eagles, but if we are tied down with the affairs and cares of the world, we will never be able to fly.
Want to find out where your heart is? Search out where your treasure is—that commodity that means more to you than anything else in life—and you will discover that it is in the same place where your heart is. As believers in Jesus Christ, our hope should be that when we find that treasure, it will be in the same place God’s treasure is too.
At Lighthouse Trails, we feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to defend the Gospel. We are in awe and humbled that God has used the “weak things” and the “foolish things” to confound the wise. Sometimes people call us to help solve their theological questions, and though we try to help as we can, we do not have all the answers. However, one thing we do know, and that is Christ and Him crucified. Jesus is the answer to what we really need; after all, isn’t life meant to be all about saving souls, and Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world? It’s that simple. Sometimes when people contact us, we get the notion when they test and probe us on theological questions that some of them think our ministry is all about having all the right answers to every theological matter. Perhaps some think that Lighthouse Trails expects all pastors to have a correct understanding of all the Scriptures. But, we know that all pastors are fallible, and we have never expected any Christian leader to be either sinless or inerrant. To expect a pastor to have all the answers is not only unrealistic but also a burden that no one can bear.
But what really does matter is—what do we think about the Cross and what do we think about God’s Word? Sadly, many of the emerging contemplative leaders are preaching a Christ-less Word-less gospel. Likewise, those who practice mysticism through contemplative prayer inevitably come to the day when the atonement means nothing to them; we have seen this happen time and again. God knows that mysticism connects people to the demonic realm, and that is why it is forbidden in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18:9-15). Yet, again, mysticism has become the common practice of our day. It does not take a theological scholar to see there is something wrong here.
Though the Gospel is a simple message—that Jesus died to make atonement for sin—nothing has ever come under more attack because Satan knows if he can destroy the message of the Gospel (or the messengers of the Gospel), he has destroyed Christianity and destroyed the message through which we find salvation. His continual quest is to undermine our belief in the saving work of Jesus Christ. That is why, perhaps more than any time before, we must “keep thy heart with all diligence.”
LTRP Note: We are posting this particular letter to the editor in the event that others may share the same concern.
To Lighthouse Trails:
I’ve been waiting for a notice of Caryl’s memorial service, or at least something published in the LT newsletter/blog. Have I missed something? I find it odd that there hasn’t been much about her on the website, as there was for Ray Yungen in October. Is she not as respected? I grieved the loss of Caryl and cried when I got the news . . . tears of loss for us, but I know she is joyful to be with the Lord.
Thank you for writing, and please know that we too are deeply saddened by the loss of Caryl Matrisciana. We were told by members of her ministry that the memorial service is going to be after the first of the year. It’s true we haven’t had as much coverage about Caryl’s passing and her life as we did Ray’s. But it certainly has nothing to do with lack of respect. Ray was an integral part of the very existence and ongoing work of Lighthouse Trails. It was because of Ray that Lighthouse Trails began (see story). And he worked closely with the editors at Lighthouse Trails on a very regular basis. Also, with Ray, because so many readers knew this, we received countless e-mails, phone calls, and tributes regarding Ray whereas with Caryl people wrote directly to her ministry and we were not involved nor did we see those comments for the most part. As for the memorial service, again, we were very involved in helping put together Ray’s memorial service, but Caryl’s memorial is being handled by her family. As you may recall, Ray had no family.
Either way, it’s been a painful year for us as a ministry to lose these two dedicated servants of the Lord. And we know its been very painful for so many of our readers too. Yes, we know that Ray and Caryl are both with the Lord, safe in His arms, but we mourn the loss in more ways than one. We have found it disheartening to know we must carry on without the wisdom, insight, care, and friendship that these two dear fellow contenders of the faith offered to us as well as to so many others.
Once we hear of a date for Caryl’s memorial service, we will let our readers know of the details. In the meantime, you can visit Caryl’s website to see when there are updates. Caryl had wisely arranged that both her website and her ministry would continue on after her departing. And in Ray’s case, Ray left all of his writings, books, and DVDs in the care of Lighthouse Trails, and we will carry on his work and his warnings to the church as we have done for nearly 15 years now. His website is www.atimeofdeparting.com.
We are forever grateful to the Lord for allowing us the privilege of knowing and working with both Caryl Matrisiciana and Ray Yungen.
The Editors at Lighthouse Trails
Erwin McManus, Moody, Liberty, Cedarville, and Biola Help Pave the Emergent/Social Justice/Progressive Future with Barefoot Tribe
Lighthouse Trails has been warning readers for several years about the emergent church. In those warnings, we’ve addressed the spiritual leanings of Erwin McManus.1 We also challenged David Jeremiah because he told his church that he wanted to use McManus’ book The Barbarian Way to help bring about a “major paradigm shift” in his church.2 Well, there’s no question about it, the evangelical church has gone through a major paradigm shift. This week we received some information from a Lighthouse Trails reader about an event called Barefoot Tribe Gathering, which is another example of where emergent leaders are taking the church, in particular young evangelicals, who by the way are being encouraged not to even call themselves evangelicals or Christians anymore. They see themselves on a much higher ground than that. It’s a ground that incorporates all religions, all people, and all beliefs and practices.
This emergent progressive church (which they tried to make us believe was a thing of the past) is the new “Christianity” for millions of young people. Under the disguise of helping the poor, taking care of the environment, and loving everyone (except their critics), is a growing body of people with a New Age/New Spirituality mindset that embraces all spiritual views and believes God exists in everyone. The Cross (or atonement) doesn’t mean the place where Jesus Christ took our place and died for our sins but rather means at-one-ment (that is, we are all one and connected together with a “God” energy that flows through all things and all people). This at-one-ment rejects the idea that God would actually send His Son to a violent death to pay for OUR sins; rather this emergent view of atonement means that Jesus was a good example of someone who laid down His life and we should follow that example. That’s as far as this “new church” will go with the Cross. To say He paid the penalty for our sins is to say that man is sinful and is not God. The new social justice, emergent, progressive “Christianity” cannot do that because it doesn’t believe that.
According to the Barefoot Tribe’s website, Erwin McManus was one of the speakers in the 2014 Barefoot Tribe Gathering (and by the way, the emergent church has made a lot of progress since then with the help of “evangelical” names such as McManus). We also noticed that Palmer Chinchen, who heads up Barefoot Tribe, has been bringing the Barefoot Tribe message to various Christian colleges including Cornerstone University, Biola, Moody, Cedarville, and Liberty. What better place to change the face of Christianity than at the Christian universities. While parents keep their heads in the sand and pay huge dollars to have their children educated at “nice safe Christian colleges,” right under their noses, their kids’ spirituality is being turned upside down, and in many, if not most, cases will never be restored to biblical Christianity. Other colleges Barefoot Tribe has spoken at are:
Lest some think that Barefoot Tribe is simply an outreach to the poor and needy in the world, Palmer Chinchen’s books, including Barefoot Tribe, are packed with quotes by, references to, and inspirations from some of the leading emergent writers today (Sweet, Ortberg, N.T. Wright, Nouwen, Brueggemann, Morgan Cron, Campolo, etc.). Satan has an agenda to deceive the whole world, and most proclaiming Christians and church goers have no idea it is happening right in their own backyards.
The information sent from our reader:
The Barefoot Tribe Gathering 2014 and 2017
“We are on the crest of an epic shift in humanity. This generation views the world as an extended family – increasingly interconnected through technology – and living with a deep moral obligation to care for one another.
The Barefoot Tribe GATHERING will promote conversation, collaboration, and help network a generation of Christ-followers to respond to the plight of desperate people in broken places.”
– Palmer Chinchen is organizer
(1) Bob Goff: author of Love Does – http://bobgoff.com/
(2) Dr. John M. Perkins: https://spu.edu/depts/perkins/john-perkins/
(3) Caitlyn Crosby: Oprah pick for Super Soul 100 list as a “Soul Giver”: http://www.supersoul.tv/supersoul-100/soul-givers/caitlin-crosby
More on Caitlyn: https://www.thegivingkeys.com/pages/our-founder-caitlin-crosby
(4) Erwin McManus: http://awakengroup.com/?ag_team=erwin-raphael-mcmanus
Barefoot Tribe: http://www.palmerchinchen.com/barefoot-tribe
Lighthouse Trails has gone to press with Roger Oakland’s new release, The Good Shepherd Calls: An Urgent Message to the Last-Days Church. The scheduled street date for the book is December 19th, 2016 when all pre-orders will be shipped.
Since the turn of the millennium, in particular since September 11, 2001 when America was attacked by terrorists triggering a global-wide spiritual paradigm shift, Christianity as we have known it has experienced a major meltdown. While many are saying Christianity is on the brink of a great revival and even a “new reformation,” in reality, we are witnessing the greatest apostasy in modern-day history.
This latter-day deception has impacted every evangelical and Protestant denomination to one degree or another, and it is worldwide. The sheep have been led astray by shepherds who have neglected what they have been called to do—protect the sheep.
The Good Shepherd Calls brings clarity to what this delusion looks like, why it is happening, where it is headed, and what can still be done to warn believers and unbelievers alike.
This book is about following Jesus Christ,
the Good Shepherd!
288 pages | Softbound
$14.95 (qualifies for quantity retail discounts)
Available through Lighthouse Trails or most major outlets (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)
Click here to order your copy. This is one book you won’t want to miss.
LTRP Note: We find it noteworthy that on the eve of our going to press with Roger Oakland’s new book, The Good Shepherd Calls, we read this letter to the editor that arrived in our inbox this morning. The things this letter talks about are some of the same things Roger discusses in the book. What’s more, this letter to the editor is more proof that it isn’t just Lighthouse Trails, Understand The Times, and a handful of other discernment ministries that see what is coming about. (Those whom we challenge and critique want people to think that it is indeed just a handful, but it isn’t.) Based on the phone calls, e-mails, letters, and social media comments for nearly 15 years, it is clear that many Bible-believing Christians understand the times in which we live and see the apostasy coming upon the church. As for the letter below, we commend this woman for speaking up and warning her church members.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
My small Southern Baptist church recently finished Beth Moore’s “Entrusted” series which includes articles from her daughter Melissa Moore. Not having experienced Beth Moore I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. Being informed by Lighthouse Trails and other discernment websites, I approached the class with a good deal of wariness. I love Beth and Melissa Moore as sisters in Christ. I was hoping to find nothing of concern in “Entrusted.” This was not the case. Following are some of my concerns.
Quite a lot of this study had to do with unity. Beth had several pages of praise for the unbelieving “hero,” Rabbi Gamaliel and his speech that unified the Sanhedrin, holding him up as an example for church leaders to follow. She then contrasted Gamaliel with believers Paul and Barnabas and expressed dismay that they should split in a disagreement over John Mark, as though it was an avoidable incident over a minor problem. She had a strong emphasis on not “compromising fellowship,” with a major criteria for unity being that we join together for evangelism regardless of denomination, and with the assumption that we all believe the same basic Gospel message. All other major doctrines seemed to be a minor concern. There was a quick negative comment about what divides us, the inerrancy of Scripture being one of them. She read Acts 14:3 concerning God’s use of signs and wonders through Paul and Barnabas, saying that she wants and expects wonders and indicated we should as well. Before one of her grandchildren was born, “a word had been spoken” that led them to believe the child would be a boy, but it was instead a girl . . . a false prophecy. . Her daughter Melissa wrote approvingly about traditions of the early church (i. e., Roman Catholic), the liturgy and especially the creeds, with a desire to see all churches united in incorporating these traditions in weekly worship. There was a personal story from Melissa about how comforting she found this form of worship, as she was sharing the same worship experience with churches all over the world at the same time. Lastly, Beth switched among at least eight Bible versions, including The Message.
There were other comments scattered throughout the videos and written materials with which I disagreed mixed in with a majority with which I did agree, making it difficult to sift through it all. However, at the inerrancy of Scripture comment, I couldn’t hold my tongue. When I told the ladies’ Bible study group that I couldn’t agree with Beth on this, as well as her subtle comments promoting ecumenism, I was met with defensive hostility and warnings about division in the church. I never intended to cause waves or division, but I love those ladies and I couldn’t let this pass. There was obvious tension and discomfort at the next church service.
How can we unite in evangelism when we don’t even agree on how to be saved? How can we unite with those who hold unscriptural views on marriage, sexuality, abortion, health-and-wealth, etc.? Doesn’t it matter what a new believer is taught? Is being safely in the fold all that matters? Most importantly, the world appears to be nearing Christ’s return and we are warned about the increase of apostasy and deception. The experiential emergent movement, Chrislam, etc. are rapidly transforming the world’s religions by incorporating Roman Catholic traditions and encouraging religious unity. Aren’t Bible studies like this one leading in the same direction? Yet churches like mine seem completely oblivious. Should we not warn them, or at least raise suspicion?
I haven’t been back. I don’t want to be the focus of the problem. My hope and prayer is that these brothers and sisters whom I love will instead focus on the major issue of discerning apostasy. I pray they don’t trust anything that comes from any source without doing a thorough evaluation. And I pray they discuss everything before admitting it into the church, perhaps electing a trusted group of Bereans to act as a defense against apostasy.
Thank God for Lighthouse Trails Research and similar discernment websites, speaking the truth, and shining the light in the darkness. Thank-you, LTR!