Archive for the ‘Churches in Crisis!’ Category

Letter to the Editor: More Concerns Re: Calvary Chapel Pastors and Discernment Ministries

LTRP Note: We are posting this, not to single out Calvary Chapel as this is a problem in most denominations today, but rather to once again illustrate why discerning Christians (like many of you who read LT) are having such a hard time in their efforts to warn the church about spiritual deception and apostasy.

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

As always, there are vey useful reports and links on Lighthouse Trails that expose false teachers, bad churches and bad books among many other things.  I was interested in the article about Calvary Chapel and how Chuck Smith appreciated Lighthouse Trails ministries.

I sent Lighthouse Trails links to the Calvary Chapel I attend when I first started going there 2 years ago in regard to Brian Brodersen among other things, and people there jumped down my throat and said that you [Lighthouse Trails] should go and speak to the person first before putting out warnings about them.  This, as we know, is not always possible and anyway, it’s unlikely that Brian Brodersen, Rob Bell, Rick Warren, Billy Hybels etc are going to listen to anything.  As we also know, God gives people over to deception and prevents them from hearing the truth as it says in scripture. [See LT article addressing Matthew 18 below.]

My pastor subsequently subscribed to Lighthouse Trails, but his sons (one is a Calvary Chapel Pastor in another church and the other is his Assistant Pastor) do not like Discernment Ministries and think they “have no love.” They have not had to confront anything bad,as I have, and I would even say they haven’t had to contend for the faith.  They do not understand how damaging bad doctrine is to Christians and how it can destroy people’s faith and lives, hence Galatians 1:8.

My pastor had to go to a meeting last week in regard to Brian Brodersen, and he asked me to pray for him. I don’t know what I’d do if either of his sons were my pastors as they are adversant to Discernment Ministries.  You were right in saying that many are not like Chuck Smith.

Thank you for all your hard work, and as we are in the last days, Mathew 24 is relevant now, with the first thing Jesus saying to, “Take heed, not to be deceived . . .

Blessings and prayers,

___________

(Used with permission)

Related Article:

“Three Vital Questions to Navigating Discernment: 1) Should Christians Expose Error? 2) Matthew 18 3) How Should the Christian Contender Speak and Behave?”

Letter to the Editor: Calvary Chapel Pastor Condemns Discernment Ministries

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

Below you will find a link to a message preached at Calvary Chapel Lone Mountain in Las Vegas, NV.  Please start at the 1:10:00 mark.  This is very concerning to me!!!  Many people are now leaving this church because of the attitude that permeates through this message.  I will of course be praying for this pastor that the Lord will give him discernment to see the truth.  Having said that, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your continued fight on the front lines of the battle!!!!   Your ministry is very much appreciated and prayed for!!!  God bless you for all you do in standing for the truth. And I know you are loving those who persecute you even when you are being maligned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbDDLJOI0mw (starting at 1:10 mark)

God’s grace and blessing be upon you.  __________

LTRP Comment: We have posted this letter and link to the sermon because it helps our readers to understand the attitude that many pastors have toward ministries like Lighthouse Trails. These pastors exhibit an animosity toward those who challenge and critique popular leaders, suggesting that because these leaders draw large numbers of followers and may even lead many to Christ, they should in no wise be challenged or questioned. But according to Scripture, serious error within the church must be exposed and dealt with as it is like leaven that can corrupt the entire body. We encourage you to read Harry Ironside’s article, “Should Christians Expose Error?” and also get a copy of the booklet for your pastor. If you cannot afford to get a booklet for him, e-mail us at editors@lighthousetrails.com with his name and church address, and we will send him a copy of that booklet on your behalf. If you do e-mail us with your pastor’s name and address, his information will be kept confidential, but we will include a note saying that the booklet is coming to him at your request.

Interestingly, the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, Chuck Smith, told Lighthouse Trails editors on more than one occasion (either by phone or e-mail) that he greatly appreciated the work Lighthouse Trails was doing. Sadly, many of his pastors would not agree with him.

Do Warnings Make You Cringe and Turn on Your Mental Auto-block?

By Cedric Fisher
Truth Keepers

(Warning: If you’d rather wake up with your bed on fire than change the battery in the smoke alarm, this article is not for you.)

Why are most professing Christians ignoring warnings? Why do they consider truth speakers too harsh, fanatical, out of touch with mainstream Christianity, et cetera? Why, when it is obvious that the “end of days” is rapidly approaching, and God’s word has many warnings against being unprepared, do they so completely resist and reject warnings that can motivate them to prepare? Maybe we should ask why people drive into swollen rivers and drown? Or why they drive and text? Or why they eat, smoke, and drink themselves to disease and an early death?

People are willfully and comfortably blind to the signs and deaf to the warnings. It is the result of the human nature’s proclivity to be stress-free, and the compromise of Christianity by heresy. I witnessed the “Word of Faith” doctrine (prosperity, comfort, convenience, health, God-is-my-servant) seep into and blend with the Evangelical belief system. Now professing Christians are too focused on being “blessed” and comfortable to be bothered by warnings. Many of them say they do not believe in the WOF heresy, but they live as if they do. They have allowed their hearts of sacrifice to be slowly converted to self-centered hearts calloused by repeated, unresponsiveness to conviction (Romans 12:1-2). It’s all about sports, shopping, food, fun, ranting about politics, occasionally roasting a heretic, about Churchianity, and happy, happy, happy! They would rather believe that an inarticulate and bearded duck hunter speaking “pabulum” is a eminent sage than to acknowledge a God-sent warning. Click here to continue reading.

(Cedric Fisher is the author of three Lighthouse Trails booklets and the director of Truth Keepers website.)

(Photo from bigstockphoto; used with permission.)

Mysticism Takes the Place of Christianity – Hostility Against Believers Will Grow

This week, two items on the Internet were brought to our attention, both of which may seem to be unrelated to each other but in actuality have a connection that we find to be an eerie reminder of the days in which we live.

The first item is a Tweet written earlier this week by Lynne Hybels (wife of the mega church founder of Willow Creek, Bill Hybels). The Tweet stated:

Lynne Hybels (photo taken from http://www.evangelicalsforsocialaction.org/reconciliation-and-dialogue/beyond-balance-taking-sides-with-palestinian-and-israeli-peacemakers/)

As many of you may know, Lynne Hybels is part of the emergent church and someone who has proven herself to be against the nation of Israel. If someone were to ask us what are two of the main characteristics of the emerging church, we would say mysticism and an anti-Israel sentiment. It is interesting to note that Hybels says she lost the Christianity of her youth 25 years ago – that would mean she left her old Christianity around 1991, about 16 years after her husband started Willow Creek Church. What did she exchange Christianity for?—Contemplative mysticism, a spirituality that has its roots in panentheism and interspirituality. While Lynne Hybels speaks of being affected by the brokenness of the world, she doesn’t understand that the very spirituality she has embraced is actually a New Age spirituality that rejects Christ as Savior and whose “God” is not a compassionate god that cares for “the brokenness of the world.” This New Age god believes that Hitler did the Jews a favor by killing them as you can see in the quotes below taken from Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations With God:

The real issue is whether Hitler’s actions were “wrong.” Yet I have said over and over again that there is no “right” or “wrong” in the universe. A thing is not intrinsically right or wrong. A thing simply is.

Now your thought that Hitler was a monster is based on the fact that he ordered the killing of millions of people, correct? . . . Yet what if I told you that what you call “death” is the greatest thing that could happen to anyone—what then?

So the first thing you have to understand—as I’ve already explained to you—is that Hitler didn’t hurt anyone. In a sense, he didn’t inflict suffering, he ended it.

The mistakes Hitler made did no harm or damage to those whose deaths he caused. Those souls were released from their earthly bondage, like butterflies emerging from a cocoon. (These quotes are extracted from one of Warren B. Smith’s booklets where you can get the original sources.)

The New Age god also says that those who oppose this interspiritual New Age, mystical belief system are like a cancer that needs to be excised out of the Earth. The following excerpt from an article one of our editors wrote in 2015 explains:

[A] chapter in Revelation . . . says, “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Revelation 18:24). May I point out once again that mysticism (or occultism) connects one with a spirit world inhabited by demons posing to be angels of light. The occultist Alice Bailey, under the influence of her spirit guides, predicted that while New Age style meditation will be promoted and propelled by the apostate Christian church, Christians who will not forsake the fundamentals of the faith will be seen as being in the way of bringing in this Age of enlightenment–an age of peace where everyone sees his or her own divinity and oneness with all things. New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard suggests that these resisters of the new world/new reformation will be like a cancer that needs to be excised out of the earth. She calls this elimination the “Selection Process.”1 Now I ask, what can be more hypocritical and diabolical than to think that the annihilation of godly people will bring about peace?

This brings us to the second item that was brought to our attention this week—a review written on the Lighthouse Trails Facebook page. The review was written a couple months ago, but we did not see it until this week. The review states:

From what I’ve read you [Lighthouse Trails] twist what people of faith say and believe! You also do what many others do and that is take the scriptures and make them say what you believe or want them to say to back up your presuppositions! I believe you are dangerous to the gospel and will severely weaken anyone who listens to you! When I think of you I think that freedom of speech for you and yours should be revoked for the safety of the people! I cannot bid you farewell because I believe with everything in me that you are a new disease that needs to be wiped out! Thank God you’re in America the land of the free! (Michael)

We find the connection in these two different posts (Hybels and Michael) lies in the hostility toward Christians that is represented in both. In Hybel’s Twitter post, she is trying to show a distinction between traditional Christianity (what she grew up with) and what she considers a better more advanced and compassionate belief system that she now embraces. In other words, the old Christianity had nothing to offer her and in fact, had no compassion. Our reviewer, Michael, has taken his anger toward Lighthouse Trails (representing traditional, biblical Christianity) to the point of saying we are a disease (cancer?) that should be wiped out.

If you are a Bible-believing, born again Christian, then you will understand that there has been hostility toward believers since the inception of the church. All but one of the disciples were murdered for their faith as have been countless other believers over the last two thousand years. What is it that the world hates about true Christians? What is our crime against humanity? We love the Lord Jesus Christ, we believe He died for the sins of mankind and offers salvation for those who put their trust in Him, we believe He gave us the Bible as His Word to us, and we truly care about the souls of men and where they will spend eternity. And yet, the world rejects us, and the hostility toward us will only increase. And the fast-growing use of mystical practices will expedite those hostilities because the source of those practices is against Christ and His people.

Related Information:

The Unacknowledged War and the Wearing Down of the Saints

How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution

Unity in an Anti-Christian World?

Brian McLaren Wants End Time Believing Christians Robustly Confronted

(2006) Purpose Driven Resisters – Must Leave or Die

Reiki in the Church! – Is Disciples of Christ An Indicator of Things to Come for the Evangelical Church?

The denomination, Disciples of Christ (aka The Christian Church or The Disciples) is a mainstream evangelical group that has ties with the World Council of Churches and is known for its ecumenical efforts. But even though one would expect to find a liberal, emerging viewpoint within the denomination, it came as a surprise to us to learn that the group has some strong ties to the occultic practice called Reiki, which is a form of  New Age “energy healing.” Is this connection to Reiki an indicator of what is to come for the evangelical church?

We know that contemplative spirituality has been in mainstream denominations (e.g., Episcopal, United Methodist, ELCA, etc.) for quite a long time, but now it is impacting the evangelical church in a significant way as well. Sometimes, especially in the early stages of influence, contemplative spirituality can be hard to identify for many people. But when it comes to Reiki, there should be no guess work. Reiki is based on the occultic chakras system where supposedly everything is united by a chi energy that is in all things. Ray Yungen says this about Reiki:

One obtains this power to perform Reiki by being attuned by a Reiki master. This is done in four sessions in which the master activates the chakras, creating an open channel for the energy. The attunement process is not made known for general information, but is held in secrecy for only those being initiated.

One of the main reasons Reiki has become so popular is its apparently pleasurable experience. Those who have experienced Reiki report feeling a powerful sense of warmth and security. (From The Truth About Energy Healing by Yungen, p. 1)

You can read more about Reiki here to understand its occultic New Age nature.

Before Ray Yungen passed away in 2016, he told Lighthouse Trails editors that just as Yoga was now entering the evangelical church, it was just a matter of time before Reiki would also become “normal” activity for evangelicalism. Given the nature of Reiki, this is alarming. Here are some places within the Disciples of Christ (The Christian Church or The Disciples) where Reiki is being promoted and used:

First Christian Church Pomona

First Christian Church Fullerton (October 24th entry)

First Christian Church of Albany, Oregon

Rev. Elaine Andres, a Reiki teacher within the Disciples of Christ denomination

Christian Church in Ohio

Raytown Christian Church (pastor-wife is a Reiki teacher)

Labyrinths in Disciples of Christ? Colorado Springs First Christian Church

We have listed these churches as examples of how Reiki has entered this denomination and not to single out these particular churches.

(*Photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.)

Labyrinths Have Found Their Place in the Christian Church

We received the top two photos this week from a reader. Below that are photos of various labyrinths in churches across North America. We have posted these, not to single out these particular churches, but rather to show examples of how many denominations have now incorporated the contemplative mystical practice of walking the labyrinth. And this is only showing some of the churches that have labyrinths on site. There are countless churches, ministries, and denominations that may not necessarily have labyrinths on site, but pastors and leaders encourage their congregations or followers to use them (e.g., the Reformed Church of America), or they encourage their congregations to visit retreat centers that have them.  Carl Teichrib has written an excellent article/booklet on labyrinths that is worth the read.

(The photos used below are low resolution photos used in accordance with the U.S. Fair Use Act for the critique, review, and dissemination of information.)

Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Orcas Island, Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Mark Lutheran, Salem, Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millbrook Baptist, Raleigh, NC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wesleyan University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calvin Presbyterian Church, Zelienople PA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First United Methodist Church, Boulder, CO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuller Theological Seminary

Lighthouse Trails Sends Out 6th Letter to 160 Christian Leaders

On October 23rd, Lighthouse Trails sent out the 6th letter plus two booklets to 160 influential Christian leaders in the evangelical camp. We began mailing out short letters and Lighthouse Trails booklets in February 2016 to a list that started with 100 names. To learn more about this project, click here to read the first letter we sent out. To see our current list in PDF, click here. Not all the names in the list are those in deception. This list has a variety of persuasions within the evangelical camp. We are compelled to send each of these people specific information on various important issues that are basically not being addressed in the church today. If you have a name and mailing address of an influential pastor, author, or leader whom you would like us to add to our list, you can e-mail that to editors@lighthousetrails.com and we will include him or her on the next mailing. We must have a good mailing address (only U.S. addresses at this time) to add a name to the list. If you print the leaders list, please consider praying that some of these individuals may understand the urgency of our warning. Below is the letter we included in this week’s mailing. Our next mailing will take place in early 2018:

Dear Christian Leader:

Please find enclosed two of our published booklets that we hope you will find useful in your ministry.

A new missiology that removes focus from the biblical Gospel message and replaces it with a “religiously correct,” “culturally relevant” way of doing missions is having a major impact on many mission efforts in the church today. In Roger Oakland’s booklet that we are sending you, The New Missiology: Doing Missions Without the Gospel, he presents examples of how this is happening. This emergent missiology will do more harm than good to Christian missions and bringing people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

We are also including Shack Theology: Universalism, TBN, Oprah, and the New Age, written by former New Age follower, Warren B. Smith. The Shack is one of the most popular books among Christians today. Most do not see it as theological but rather merely a heart-tugging novel. Yet, The Shack is theological but is not biblically sound. Rather, it introduces some of the most blatant New Age ideas and subtly draws readers away from biblical truth.

Thank you for taking the time to study these matters.

In service for Christ,
The Editors at Lighthouse Trails Publishing
P.O. Box 908
Eureka, MT 59917

The List of Leaders We Are Reaching Out To
(Not all of the names in the list are those in deception. This list has a variety of persuasions within the evangelical camp. We are compelled to send each of these people specific information on various important issues that are basically not being addressed in the church today.)

*photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.


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