Letter to the Editor: Please Add William Jessup University to the Contemplative Colleges List—Introducing Students to Emerging Figures
Hello Lighthouse Trails:
Our daughter is a junior in high school and has been receiving college flyers in the mail from secular as well as “Christian” universities. She received the following flyer in a packet.William Jessup University flyer and have attached it as it mentioned “Spiritual Formation Groups” that are used to “reconcile issues surrounding faith.”
When our daughter first received information from this university several months ago, I looked up on your website to see if it was a school using questionable New Age ideas. I did not see anything on William Jessup University, so I kept an open mind and thought maybe this one might be OK. Apparently not, so I am sending you this information so you can possibly add it to your list.
Thank you for the great work you do to inform Christians.
A concerned parent
Thank you for alerting us to the contemplative/emerging affinities of William Jessup University. According to the WJU website, the mission of the university states: “In partnership with the Church, the purpose of William Jessup University is to educate transformational leaders for the glory of God.” The 130 acre campus is located in Rocklin, California, and in 2014 the school had nearly 1400 students with growth having doubled in three years.1
As our reader above has stated, the school, unfortunately, has been integrating Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality) into the life of the students. For example, emergent-ideas promoter N.T. Wright will be speaking at the school on May 28th 2015. The lecture is being presented by WJU’s Bible & Theology Department.
Another example of the direction William Jessup University is going can be seen with a January 2015 William Jessup Chapel service that presented emergent activist Shane Claiborne. Claiborne is a disciple of Tony Campolo and shares his ideas and beliefs, many of which contradict Scripture. Not surprisingly, WJU’s chapel is titled Deeper Jessup Chapel. Deeper is a term often used in association with the contemplative prayer movement.
In another WJU chapel service this year, Carl Medearis, author of Muslims, Christians, and Jesus spoke. According to a World Magazine article, Medearis is:
. . . an advocate of several ideas associated with the “insider movement” . . . The movement generally questions the need for outward “conversion” to Christianity as long as someone has a personal relationship with Christ, and “contextualizes” Christian teaching and practice for Muslim cultures by finding common ground between the two.
What Medearis is advocating is called the “new” missiology. Roger Oakland discusses this new way of doing missions in his book Faith Undone: the emerging church—a new reformation or an end-time deception. Sad to see Medearis addressing students at William Jessup University. Most likely the founder of WJU would be dismayed to see the direction his school has gone. Other chapel speakers this year include bridger Francis Chan and contemplative proponent J.P. Moreland. It looks like students at William Jessup University are getting a dose full of “new” spirituality teachings during chapel. Needless to say, WJU is now being added to Lighthouse Trails’ Contemplative Colleges List.
To Lighthouse Trails:
Good morning: this question is asked in sincerity, not contention. I believe I once read in one of your posts that Beth Moore was headed in the emergent church direction (or, perhaps it was in some sort of false teaching). I’ve recently attended one of her video courses and deliberately looked for evidence of this. I confess I didn’t find anything so I would appreciate your comments.
Concerned in Canada
We have never actually said (yet) that Beth Moore is heading in an emerging/emergent direction. However, we have said, and hold to our statement, that she is a proponent of contemplative spirituality. We have also said she is showing ecumenical propensity toward the Catholic Church in that she identifies the Roman Catholic church as being part of the Christian church. Here are a few links with documentation to back up our claims:
Linda, please keep in mind that just because a teacher does not promote false teachings in every one of their sermons or teachings or even in most of them does not mean they are not going in a particular bad direction. The worst kind of deception is the kind that is interspersed or hidden within more orthodox teachings, whether done intentionally or not. This provides a situation where followers are caught off guard and can be slowly pulled into deception because what they hear “most of the time” sounds OK. Lighthouse Trails contends that if a teacher or author is promoting contemplative spirituality (as Beth Moore has done in both the Be Still DVD and in her book When Godly People Do Ungodly Things – see links above: even Christianity Today considers Moore a contemplative proponent) and rather than warning about the dangers of Roman Catholicism is giving a pass to it, this teacher or author is heading in an emergent/interspiritual direction, and people should be warned. In essence, promoting contemplative spirituality and ecumenism outside biblical Christianity IS emergent. So by virtue of these things, we now can say that Beth Moore appears to be heading in an emergent direction.
A number of years ago, a Lighthouse Trails editor was talking on the phone to an Oregon Calvary Chapel pastor, attempting to warn the pastor about the contemplative prayer movement. Lighthouse Trails had learned that the church’s web bookstore was filled with all kinds of contemplative and emerging books. The pastor chuckled and said, “Oh, I don’t know about all those things. I am living in a bubble.” The implication was that he was so isolated from things that would cause spiritual deception that he didn’t need to learn about them.
Our editor replied to the pastor, “Pastor, you may be living in a bubble, but your congregation is not. They are going into Christian bookstores, listening to Christian radio, watching Christian television, and their children are going to Christian schools. They are going to run into contemplative spirituality sooner or later (out of respect, our editor didn’t take the opportunity to remind him about his own church bookstore).
The conversation ended rather quickly after that, and needless to say, Lighthouse Trails editors weren’t surprised a few months down the road to see a comment made by that same pastor on a once-popular anti-Lighthouse Trails blog. He said, “Lighthouse Trails is nothing more than a flea on the back of a dog.”
It wasn’t that the comment didn’t hurt, but what really hurt is to have witnessed the indifference and later malice regarding the message of warning that Lighthouse Trails has attempted to give to the church for the past thirteen years, a message we believe is legitimate and biblical.
The reason we are writing this today is this: If you have a pastor who is not warning his congregation about specific spiritual deception, you might ask him why he doesn’t. And if says that he is living in a bubble, gently tell him that this is no reason to keep from warning and teaching his flock.
LTRP Note: This short piece is not meant to be an indictment on all Calvary Chapel churches. We know there are some Calvary Chapel pastors who are warning their flocks of spiritual deception, and we are grateful for those pastors.If you are attending a Calvary Chapel church, we hope your pastor falls in that category.
“[C]ount it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
This chart is an attempt to answer those who judge Christians by the atrocities committed in the name of “Christianity” through the ages — including our own times. Those wars, persecutions, and cruelties had little to do with Biblical Christianity. They had everything to do with man’s greedy, power-hungry human nature which seeks its own ways rather than God’s. The ungodly expressions of our human nature may change from culture to culture, but the result is usually the same: the people imagine a god that fits their new cultural wants and values, and they learn to see this distortion of Christianity as the true church.
Biblical Christianity means being joined to Jesus Christ through faith in what He did for us at the cross, then allowing Him to live His life through us, so that others might know Him and see His love. (That love may include sharing His warnings as well as His promises with those in need.) The established Church, like Old Testament Israel, has always tended to drift away from its devotion to God and become just other institutions, subject to the same human impulses and painful consequences as the rest of the world. Please don’t blame human evils on a “straw-man” or a convenient cultural distortion of Christianity. Consider some of the differences between Biblical faith and today’s cultural deviations.
Only understood by those who are joined to Christ through the cross
Believed by the masses to represent genuine Christianity
|It is…||A personal relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ, based on faith. John 17:20-26; Rom. 8:37-39||A religion based on humanist logic, “feel good” experiences, and popular interpretations of Scriptures.|
|Come to God through…||Faith in Jesus Christ Who has revealed Himself in His Word and by His Spirit. John 14:6||Faith that our own good works and intentions are good enough.|
|View the Bible as:||The absolute, unchanging, Word of God. The Bible is inspired and guarded by God — including its honest reports about evil acts among God’s people. 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet 1:25||A collection of guidelines, allegories, myths, and stories useful for good living. Offensive verses must be ignored.|
|Our goal is…||God’s approval. To know Him, do His will, follow His way, and live each moment in fellowship with Him — by His wonderful grace! Gal.1:10||People’s approval. To please, not offend, the world and its communities. Fun, feel-good fellowship.|
|Source of Strength||God’s unlimited grace and power. Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:19||Our human abilities — plus God’s help when “needed.”|
|See our human self as…||Weak and inadequate apart from Christ. 2 Cor. 12:9-10||Strong and capable if we have confidence in Self.|
|See sin as…||Leading to spiritual bondage and death. Rom. 6:23||A normal part of life. Ignore it, or you might offend someone. Or enjoy it, for “God understands” you needs and inclinations.|
|Deal with sin through…||Confession and faith: trusting Jesus as the “Lamb,” our Savior who bore our sins on cross. Rom. 6:1-6||Try to do better next time, or just tolerate it. Don’t offend anyone by making them feel guilty.|
|Caring for people…||Bring people to Christ. Demonstrate God’s love. Trust God to meet needs by His Spirit working through our surrendered lives. Rom. 12:9-18||Bring people to the church or group. Don’t tolerate uncompromising Christians who might offend people. Do to others as you would have others do to you.|
|Response to suffering:||Trust God to use suffering to deepen our faith and endurance, prepare us for ministry, and demonstrate His love and power. 2 Cor. 1:3-11||Pray, endure, and trust that God will help. It’s okay to challenge God’s love, power, and purpose — and to seek quick relief through whatever means available — no matter how it conflicts with His Word.|
|Commitment:||Trust and follow God. No compromise. Rather die than betray our Lord. Rom. 12:1-2||Trust and follow feelings and human logic. Compromise essential to avoid offending the world.|
|Expect to…||Face rejection and persecution. John 15:20-21||Get along and influence the world.|
|Outreach:||Bring God’s love and good news to the needy, then bring the needy to Jesus.||Adapt the church to the “community” so that everyone will feel at home.|
|Daily hope:||Eternity with Jesus, our Shepherd and King. 1 Peter 1:3-9||Success, acceptance of all people, fun and fellowship in this life.|
To read this entire article, click here.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I love Lighthouse Trails and have bought quite a few books from you in the past. However postage to Australia is a big problem for me. I just made out an order for 3 books and 20 Tracts and it came to $78= (That hurt, but it was good value!) Then I want on to calculate the postage …. $60! I am a pensioner and simply can’t afford this, so I had no choice but to cancel my order.
Is it possible for you to send things by Sea Mail? I don’t care how long they take. They are worth waiting for. I don’t hear of anything traveling that way any more but it used to be so much cheaper. Others might also be grateful for such an option if it were available, so I decided to ask.
Thanks again for the invaluable info you give me. Blessings and love always, I remain always in your debt. Annette
There isn’t really another option for us in shipping international at this time. We know it is a terrible price, and sadly, the US Post Office just keeps increasing the amount for Canadian and international mailing. We’ve checked into other ways, but for smaller packages, those options are even more. We are so sorry. We do have many of our books and booklets in e-book and pdf format for sale on our store site. They are less expensive than printed books and booklets, and then there is no shipping. We also have the content of all our booklets (and many book excerpts) on our blog, and they can be printed up for personal use for free. Plus about three times a year, we have store-wide sales at high discounts on everything. For those who are signed up on our e-newsletter list or our Facebook account, we send out notices about these sales. This is a particularly good opportunity for Canadian and International customers to purchase books, DVDs, and booklets from us as the discount offsets the shipping costs. You might also consider ordering our subscription-based journal. It is mailed out six times a year, and while it is $36 a year for International ($12 for US | $24 for Canada), each journal is 32 pages and is packed with book excerpts and vital articles and information.
Thank you for your continued interest in Lighthouse Trails. We do make a strong effort to keep our prices low and available to all.
Editors at Lighthouse Trails
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Letter to the Editor: Oprah Winfrey Becomes Stanford University’s “Office of Religious Life’s 2015 Rathburn Visiting Fellow”
To Lighthouse Trails:
I’m writing this because of Oprah Winfrey’s influence in areas most Christians would never suspect: in the top universities in the U.S.
Oprah agreed to be Stanford University’s Office of Religious Life’s “2015 Rathburn Visiting Fellow.”
This is an honor bestowed by Stanford’s Office of Religious Studies. She not only has special access to Stanford students through this coming year of 2015, she also delivered the annual Stanford lecture on “A Meaningful Life” this past April 20 at Stanford Memorial Church (which is on Stanford’s campus).
Stanford’s Memorial Church holds 1,100 people. You may be surprised to hear that many Stanford students not only attended but lined up outside the church several hours before Oprah’s 7 pm speech, just to get good seats, and many clamored at the end of the 1 1/2 hour event to get a “selfie” with Ms. Oprah Winfrey herself.
Oprah talked for 1 hour, with a Q & A at the end. Two highlights of her talk were:
1) Leading about 1000 Stanford students in a 5 minute meditation session (inhale, exhale, etc.) telling them to think of all the conscious choices they made up to this point, that determined their destiny, that led them to Stanford University.
2) Oprah: “I learned that I could control my life. You are the master of your fate . . . you are the captain of your soul. I took control and went to my space . . . My space . . . the universal energy . . . I tapped into that space of divine flow, where all beings, all things are connected. That space is real. You cannot have a meaningful life without having spiritual self-reflection. Know who you are and why you are here. When you tap into that space, divine flow, that universal energy, you become untouchable in what you are called to do.”
This is what Warren B. Smith has been warning about for many years, the universal lie that “We are all one, we are all interconnected. God is in everyone and everything.” Oprah Winfrey was able to spread this lie to an attentive audience of young Stanford University students. See Lighthouse Trails Oprah articles and booklets: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?cat=2595.
So glad you continue warning about Oprah Winfrey’s pervasive influence among evangelicals, as well as in the secular media, etc.
Concerned in California
Click here to watch Oprah Winfrey’s talk at Stanford University.
Letter to the Editor: Devastated in the Bible Belt Over Churches and Pastors Lack of Discernment—And Charisma Magazine’s Blatant Promotion of Emergent/Contemplative
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I wanted to thank you for your tremendously exhaustive efforts to uncover the dangerous deception happening in and to the Church. I was all too aware of the New Age movement, having been seduced into it through massage school, persuaded by my very New Age instructors that it was completely cohesive with my Christian faith. It took me at least 2 years to fully see the lies, manipulations and dangers in these teaching and in the “gifts” and abilities I’d “discovered” through their teachings. I had heard of contemplative prayer awhile back and researched it, quickly discovering it was nothing more than the same New Age paganism I had learned but with a Jesus sticker slapped on it. Sadly, I was under the impression that only a minority of “Christians” practiced these heathen rituals.
Through heartbreaking and tragic, though blessedly awakening, events and circumstances, I became aware of just how deeply seeded and prevalent the New Age had already worked its way into the churches in our average communities, even here in the Bible Belt. These pagan practices were no longer “out there” or only held by a few oddball “Christians” who had always been a bit sketchy in their beliefs but were now being promoted from the pulpit. They were being taught and touted by a church highly regarded in our community and offered to all who were willing, including my broken, desperate, and alcoholic husband in his weakest hours, finally yielding to his heart being wrecked by God. You can imagine what it did to his spirit when the hand he was reaching for and found hope in was uncovered and exposed for the lies and danger it truly was, only to have another one offered by another church, offering hope from the likes of Rick Warren and then finding out the truth about him.
Devastated doesn’t begin to describe how I feel right now in regard to how the church has “helped” my family in our most desperate hour. And, it would seem, many of our pastors were not only completely unaware, or had no discernment to recognize Jezebel, but had never even heard of contemplative spirituality, the emergent church, or her various other heretical teachings.
This is my fear: that there is either no discernment left in the church, or they see the truth but have willfully determined to turn away from it. I’ve become more and more uneasy about what is being circulated and promoted through the evangelical community and specifically what is being published through Charisma Magazine and its website. They’ve been very generous with their space given to many emergent leaders and sympathizers, negligent in their silence on the contemplative/emergent movement, implying ignorance at best, support at worst, but I was stunned to find the articles linked below.
I truly didn’t expect to find such blatant promotion of the emergent agenda in a world-wide evangelical publication just yet. In case you haven’t seen these articles, I’ve linked them below. I know much of the content on Charisma’s site has lacked discernment and scripturally sound exegesis for quite some time, but this took things to a new level. It seems to me a bold step that has potentially tremendous implications for the very near future.
God bless you for all your work in protecting the true Gospel and loving us enough to speak the truth when few want to hear it. I pray you will continue for as long as our eyes need uncovering and our hearts need to be awakened. Your ministry has made a life-altering impact on my heart, and I feel an urgency to share this message with anyone and everyone who will hear. I believe God is using your ministry as a vessel to warn, call, and equip those who will listen to go and wake the rest who slumber. I pray we will not be found silent and empty-handed.
Sincerely yours in Christ,