Archive for the ‘The Emerging Church’ Category

DRESS REHEARSAL FOR A FALSE REVIVAL? – Evangelical, Charismatic, Emerging Leaders, & Pope Francis Unite for “Together 2016” in Washington, DC

photo: from a still shot from video on Reset 2016 site; used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act

photo: from a still shot from video on Reset 2016 site; used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act

According to a news release from PRWire titled “Pope Francis To Address Americans At National Mall Event ’Together 2016’ With Special Video Message,” Pope Francis will be joining (via video) evangelical leaders such as Ravi Zacharias, Luis Palau, Michael W. Smith, and Josh McDowell, emerging-church leaders such as Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Jennie Allen (IF), and Mark Batterson (Circle Maker) and charismatic leaders such as Sammy Rodriguez and Hillsong for an event motivated by a goal to bring unity to all those who “love Jesus.” The event is called “Together 2016,” subtitled Fill the Mall.

Nick Hall, the organizer of the event who hopes to draw one million people to the National Mall on July 16th, stated: “Together 2016 is about laying aside what divides us to lift up Jesus who unites us.”1 Hall told one news source, “We are coming together in historic unity to pray for a reset for our nation.”2

It’s been over fifteen years since contemplative pioneer Richard Foster shared his vision of Catholics and evangelicals coming together3 and over two decades since Chuck Colson helped author a document titled “Evangelicals/Catholics Together.”4 It’s been over a decade since Rick Warren announced his hopes to bring about a second reformation that would include people of different religions.5 In more recent days, evangelical leaders such as Beth Moore,6 Franklin Graham,7 and Kenneth Copeland8 have played their parts in helping to remove the barriers between the evangelical/Protestant church and the Roman Catholic Church (something the Catholic Church calls the New Evangelization program9).

According to the Bible, we know a time is coming when a global one-world religion will serve alongside a global one-world government, both of which will reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Lord. Whether they realize it or not, the leaders and musicians participating in Together 2016 are helping to make that global religion a reality as they participate in this ongoing relay race of breaking down the walls that divide different faiths in the name of unity at all costs.

Right now, in America, evangelical and charismatic leaders are calling for a nation-wide revival. But will their revival be a revival from God; or will it be a false revival? And is Together 2016 nothing more than a dress rehearsal for this false revival?

 

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Lighthouse Trails Begins Second Booklet-Mailing Project – This Time to 235 Christian College/Seminary Presidents

rp_college-photo_1679..jpgOn the week of May 16, 2016, Lighthouse Trails began a second booklet-mailing project. Whereas our first booklet-mailing project is sending out booklets and short letters to over 130 Christian leaders every 2-3 months, this new project is reaching out to 235 Christian college and seminary presidents (and some deans). After 14 years of research, our journalists and researchers have discovered that over 90% of the Christian schools have, to one degree or another, introduced contemplative spirituality (i.e., Spiritual Formation/emerging spirituality) into their schools. As we stated in an earlier article, we have begun these booklet-mailing projects out of a sense of desperation to warn the body of Christ.

For the first booklet going to these 235 college and seminary presidents, we chose Ray Yungen’s A Serious Look at Richard Foster’s “School” of Contemplative Prayer because it is Foster’s quote, “We should all enroll in the school of contemplative prayer (from his book Celebration of Discipline) that has helped to change the “landscape” of today’s Christianity. Below is the letter that we sent out last week to these college presidents and deans, and below that is the list of the schools to whom we sent a booklet and this  letter. We plan to send out a new booklet and letter every 2-3 months to these school leaders.

Dear Professor:

In fourteen years of careful research, our team of Christian journalists and authors has discovered that over ninety percent of the Christian colleges and seminaries have begun to incorporate contemplative spirituality (also called Spiritual Formation) into the lives of their students. This has largely occurred because of the writings of contemplative advocates such as Richard Foster (author of Celebration of Discipline, first released in 1978).

The enclosed booklet, A Serious Look at Richard Foster’s “School” of Contemplative Prayer, explains why this spiritual outlook is not consistent with what the Bible teaches.

We hope you will read and prayerfully consider the warning this booklet gives.

Sincerely in Christ,

Editors at Lighthouse Trails

Note: This list below is compromised of schools that DO promote contemplative spirituality and ones that DON’T. To see our list of schools that promote contemplative spirituality/Spiritual Formation, click here. Also read our booklet, An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited

President Name School Name
Dean Dr. Phil Schubert Abilene Christian University
Mr. John Perch Alaska Bible College
President Dr. Michael Scales Alliance Theological Seminary
President Dr. Alton Beal Ambassador Baptist College
Dr. Joseph Saggio American Indian College
President Dr. Evans P. Whitaker Anderson University
President Dr. John S. Pistole Anderson University
Dr. James Hayes II Andersonville Baptist Seminary
Dr. Curvin Stambaugh – Pastoral Theology Antietam Bible College and Seminary
President Dr. Daniel L. Anderson Appalachaian Bible College
Mrs. Amber Mead Ashland Theological Seminary
President Dr. Kent Ingle Assemblies of God – Southeastern University
Dr. Don Meyer Assemblies of God – University of Valley Forge
President Dr. Mark A. Hausfeld Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
Pastor Matt Grimes Atlanta Baptist College
President Jon R. Wallace Azusa Pacific University
President Brad Smith Bakke Graduate University
President Mark Milioni Baptist Bible College
President Dr. Royce Frazier Barclay Colege
President and Chancellor Dr. Ken Starr Baylor University
Dean Timothy George Beeson Divinity School – Samson University
Provost Dr. Thomas Burns Belmont University
President Dr. Robert Nix Berean Bible Institute
Mr. Carl Warden Bethany Bible College & Theological Seminary
Dr. Jay H. Barnes III Bethel Seminary
Dr. Jay H. Barnes III Bethel University
Dr. James Keiller – religious studies Beulah Heights University
President Dr. Frank A. James III Biblical Theological Seminary
President Barry H. Corey Biola University
President Dr. James M. Harder Blufton University
President Mr. Steve Pettit Bob Jones University
Dr. Charles Faber – Professor of Theology Boise Bible College
President Reverend David Melton Boston Baptist College
Pastor Robert Stapleton – school director Brown Trail School of Preaching
President Dr. Stephen D. Livesay Bryan College
President Dr.Chris Morgan California Baptist College
Mr. Dave Molter California Christian College
Dr. Keith Miller – chair for Theology/Bible Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary
Mr. Simon Woodstock Calvary Chapel Bible College
President Michael K. LeRoy Calvin College
President Dr. J. Bradley Creed Campbell University
President Dr. Michael Carter Campbellsville University
President Dr. J. Randall O’Brien Carson-Newman University
Dr. Benjamin Jacks – Biblical/Theology dept. Carver College
President Dr. Thomas White Cedarville University
President Matt Morrell Central Baptist Theological Seminary
President Mr. Hal Hoxie Central Christian College
President Dr. David B. Fincher Central Christian College of the Bible
Reverend Richard Bishop Christian Life College
Mr. Wayne Wochsnuth – Academic Dean Christian Life College
President Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton Christian Theological Seminary
Dr. Johnny Pressley – Theology Department Cincinnati Bible Seminary
Dr. Johnny Pressley – Theology Department Cincinnati Christian University
President College Of The Open Bible and Theological Seminary
President Mr. Jerry C. Davis College Of The Ozarks
President Dr. Bill Armstrong Colorado Chrisrian University
President Dr. Eric Odell-Hein Columbia Evangelical Seminary
President Dr. Bill Jones Columbia International University
President Dr. Leanne Van Dyk Columbia Theological Seminary
Dr. Cheryl Washington Concordia College
Mr. Robert Sorensen – Chair of Theology Concordia University Chicago
Dr. Kurt Krueger Concordia University Irvine
President Dr. Patrick T. Ferry Concordia University Wisconsin
President Dr. Sheldon C. Nord Corban University
President Cornerstone Bible Institute
President Dr. Joseph M. Stowell Cornerstone University
President Dr. Mark Dalbey Covenant Theological Seminary
President Dr. Barry K. Creamer Criswell College
President Mike Kilgallin Crossroads College
Dr. Joel Wiggins Crown College
President Dr. Mark L. Bailey Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Gilbert Parker – Academic Dean Davis College
Pastor Mark Julian Dayspring Bible College and Seminary
Dr. Scott Wenig – professor of Theology Denver Seminary
Dr. William W. Combs – Academic Dean Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Javier A. Vierra – Dean of Pastoral Theology Drew University
Dr. Richard Hays – Dean of Duke Divinity School Duke Divinity School
President Dr. Loren Swartzendruber Eastern Mennonite Seminary
President Dr. Corlis McGee Eastern Nazarene College
President Dr. Robert G. Duffett Eastern University
Mr. Jim Tillotson Faith Baptist Bible College And Seminary
Dr. Mark Baker – Theology Department Head Fresno Pacific University – Biblical Seminary
President Dr. Amy Bragg Carey Friends University
President Dr. Mark Labberton Fuller Theological Seminary
President Dr. Robin Blake George Fox Evangelical Seminary
Dr. Allan Brown – Ministerial Education chair God’s Bible School and College
Mr. Jim Badry – Director of Development Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
President Dr. D. Michael Lindsay Gordon College
President Dr. Dennis Hollinger Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
President Dr. James E. Brenneman Goshen College
Professor Steven C. Pittman Grace Baptist Bible College
President Ken B. Kemper Grace Bible College
President Dr. Gil Katip Grace College and Theological Seminary
Chancellor Reverend W. Lyman Phillips Grace Evangelical College and Seminary
President Dr. David M. Barnes Grace University
President Brian Mueller Grand Canyon University
Dr. Michael Witmer Grand Rapids Theological Seminary of Cornerstone Univ.
Chancellor Dr. Ronald L. Tottingham Great Plains Baptist Divinity School
President Dr. Ivan Filby Greenville College
President Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Vice-President Dr. Jim Martin Harding School of Theology
President Dr. Bruce D. McLarty Harding University
President Pastor Sam Davivdson Heartland Baptist Bible College
President Dr. Elvin Butts Heritage Bible College
Mr. Bill Bagents Heritage Christian University
Attention: Presidential Search Committee Hesston College
President His Hill Bible School And Camp
President John C. Knapp Hope College
President Dr. Joe Grana Hope International University
President Shirley Mullen Houghton College
Dr. Dave Stubblefield Hyles-Anderson College
Dr. Kevin Newman Indian Bible College
Dr. Paul Loder Indiana Baptist College
Vice-President Dr. Wayne Schmidt Indiana Wesleyan University
Chancellor Dr. Jerry TeTreau International Baptist College
Dr. Robert R. Congdon Internet Bible Institute – online institute
contact Kristin Marshall Intervarsity Christian Fellowship NW
President Don Landis Jackson Hole Bible College
Mr. Aaron Abbott – Director of Student Services John Brown University
President Dr. Gary E. Weedman Johnson University
Dr. Eric Gilchrest Judson College
Dr. Scott Caulley – Bible/Theology Dept. Kentucky Christian University
Reverend Tom Lorimer – Academic Dean Kentucky Mountain Bible College
Dean of the Divinity School La Sierra University
President Dr. Peter W. Teague Lancaster Bible College
President – Dr. Mickey Carter Landmark Baptist College
President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford Le Toureau University
President Dr. Charles “Paul” Conn Lee University
Pastor Matt Grimes Liberty Baptist College
President Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University
President Dr. Don Green Lincoln Christian University
President William T. Luckey Jr. Lindsey Wilson College
President L. Randolph Lowry III Lipscomb University
Dr. Dave Keeny – Dean of Biblical Studies Louisiana Baptist University and Theological Seminary
President Dr. James L. Flanagan Luther Rice Seminary
President Dr. David A. King Malone University
President Dan Allender Mars Hill Graduate School
Professor James Pope Martin Luther College
Pastor Aedan O’connell Maryland Bible College and Seminary
President Dr. Cecil Thayer Massillon Baptist College
President Dr. Kim S. Phipps Messiah College
President Dr. Michael Spradlin Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
President David J. Spittal MidAmerica Nazarene University
Dr. J. Mark Beach – Prof. of Doctrinal Studies Mid-America Reformed Seminary
President Dr. William B. Greer Milligan College
President Dr. R Alton Lacey Missouri Baptist University
President Jim Carlson Montana Bible College
President Dr. Paul J. Maurer Montreat College
President Dr. Paul Nyquist Moody Bible Institute
President Dr. Henry W. Spaulding Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Reverend Dr. Craig Williford Multinomah University
President Richard Milliken Nebraska Christian College
President Robert Ramirez New Mexico Bible Institute
President Dr. Charles S. Kelley Jr. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
President Dan Falls New Tribes Bible Institute
President Dr. David L. Parkyn North Park University
President Dr. Deana L. Porterfield Northeastern Seminary
Interim President – Karen Walker Freeburg Northern Baptist Theological Seminary
President Dr. William D. Shell Northern Seminary
President Daniel Patz Northland International University
President Dr. Joel K. Pearsall Northwest Nazarene University
attn. Jennie Victoriano Northwest University
President Gregory E. Christy Northwestern College
President Dr. Michael G. Scales Nyack College (CMA)
attn. Chair of Religion & Theology Oakwood University
President Dr. Mark A. Smith Ohio Christian University
President Dr. David Whitlock Oklahoma Baptist University
President Dr. John deSteiguer Oklahoma Christian College
President Dr. Everett Piper Oklahoma Wesleyan University
President Dr. John Carl Bowling Olivet Nazarene University
President Dr. William M. Wilson Oral Roberts University
President Matt Proctor Ozark Christian College
President Dr. Kent M. Keith Pacific Rim Christian College
Professor Ross Winkle Pacific Union College
Vice-President Vicki Pugh Palm Beach Atlantic University
President Jack Haye Patrick Henry College
Dr. Lonnie Skinner Patriot University
President Dr. Troy A. Shoemaker Pensacola Christian College
President Dr. Andrew K. Benton Pepperdine University
President Dr. Darryl K. DelHousaye Phoenix Seminary
President Dr. Charles Petitt Piedmont International University
President Dr. Bob Brower Point Loma Nazarene
Dr. Frank Damazio Portland Bible College
Chancellor Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III Reformed Theological Seminary
President Christopher Webb Renovaré Institute
President Dr. Deana L. Porterfield Roberts Wesleyan College
President Dr. Daryl Eldridge Rockbridge Seminary
Senior Pastor Byron MacDonald Rolling Hills Bible Institute
President Dr. Andrew Westmoreland Samford University
Dr. Brian Moulton San Diego Christian College
Dean  Bryan K. Johnson Seattle Bible College
Office of the Provost –  Dr. Jeffrey B. Van Duzer Seattle Pacific University
Dr. George Gunn Shasta Bible College
President Dr. Don Dowless Shorter University, was Shorter College
Dr. Robin Dummer Simpson University
President Dr. Danny Akin Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Mr. Paul Roberts Southeastern Bible College
President Jim Marcum Southeastern Free Will Baptist College
President Dr. Kent Ingle Southeastern University
Dr. James Fazio Southern California Seminary
President Dr. Loren Greshum Southern Nazarene University
President Dr. Todd Voss Southern Wesleyan University
President Dr. C. Pat Taylor Southwest Baptist University
President Dr. Brent D. Ellis Spring Arbor University
President James Baker Tabernacle Baptist Bible College and Seminary
Dean – Dr. Clinton E. Arnold Talbot School of Theology (Biola)
President Dr. Lowell Haines Taylor University
President David Hill Tennessee Bible College
President Dr. Harley Knowles Tennessee Wesleyan College
Chancellor Victor Boschini Texas Christian University
President Steve Brown The Berkshire Institute for Christian Studies
President Clarence Sexton The Crown College of the Bible
President Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury The King’s College
Dr. John MacArthur The Master’s Seminary
President Dr. Keith R. Anderson The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology
President Dr. Robert Myers Toccoa Falls College
President Dr. Dan Boone Trevecca Nazarene University
Dr. Matthew Beamer – Dean of Academics Trinity Baptist College
Dr. Stuart Parsons – Professor of Theology Trinity College
Dr. Edward Martin – apologetics/philosophy Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary
President Dr. David S. Dockery Trinity International University
President Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver Union University
President Dr. Alan S. Cureton University of Northwestern
President Dr. Michael J. Beals Vanguard University
Reverend Kathy Smith Vision International University
Dr. Mike Sanders Warner University
President Matt Pinson Welch College
Mr. Mike Lester – academic Dean West Coast Baptist College
President Randy Roberts Western Seminary
President Dr. Timothy L. Brown Western Theological Seminary
President Dr. Gayle D. Beebe Westmont College
President Dr. Philip Graham Ryken Wheaton College Graduate School
President Dr. Beck A. Taylor Whitworth University
President Dr. John Jackson William Jessup University
Executive Director Don Lough Jr. Word of Life Bible Institute
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Move of God or Movements of Men . . . Connecting the Dots

“How can we know if something is not a move of God? In today’s church, there are two significant signs that can be looked at to answer this question.”—Roger Oakland

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

Throughout my life, I have seen God work in many supernatural and natural ways. God is a God of wonders, and there are many times I wonder at the things He does to help me connect the dots in order so I can understand the times.

Someone once said that connecting dots in order to make a meaningful drawing or picture is easy. All one has to do is use a pencil or pen to join one number to another. Now, while this may sound easy, in the confusing world we presently live in, connecting dots is not so simple.

My calling has been to connect dots in order to help believers, and unbelievers, understand what the Bible has to say about the times in which we live. The Bible helps us to understand the past, the present, and the future and is of paramount importance as it is given to us by the inspiration of God for our benefit. For example, we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Time Magazine - 1966

Time Magazine – 1971

Now, for the point of this commentary. First, let me start with John 6. This is the story of where Jesus miraculously multiplied fish and bread to feed the multitude that had come to hear him preach. Afterward, the men whom he fed said, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world” (vs. 14). The chapter goes on:

When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. (vs 15)

Later in the chapter, it explains that the multitude found him and began questioning him as to where he had gone. But rather than answering their question, He brought to their attention the motives of their hearts:

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. (vs. 26)

Jesus had used the miracle of the loaves and fishes to show them that He was God. But they didn’t see that—in essence, they only saw how they benefited from what He had done. They missed the entire point of what God was trying to show them and do in their lives. Click here to continue reading.

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Bono Meets With “The Message” Author Eugene Peterson

The following is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement. The video is part of a new film project by the emergent Fuller Theological Seminary. To him who has ears to hear, let him hear.

 

Related Information:

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth

The New Age Implications of The Message “Bible’s” “As Above, So Below”

Message Bible for Little Kids Instructs on Contemplative Meditation

D is for Deception—The Language of the “New” Christianity

What Kind of Message is THE MESSAGE?

Who is Bringing the “New” Spirituality Into the Church?

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New Age Leader Deepak Chopra Asks? “Will Pope Francis Become a Holy Man for the World?”

rp_pope-francis-1-300x200.jpgBy Ray Yungen and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

In an article released in January 2016 written by New Age leader Deepak Chopra titled, “Will Pope Francis Become a Holy Man for the World?,” Chopra states,

Pope Francis I is poised to be more than a very popular pontiff . . . He could rise to become a symbol of holiness beyond the Catholic Church. . . . for those of us who aren’t Catholic, there’s a universal message voiced personally by the Pope: “No one can be excluded from God’s mercy. The question, then, is how potent this mission will be.

Chopra says that “millions of non-Catholics feel a fresh wind blowing” because of the Pope’s actions and that Pope Francis has “become a spiritual exemplar.”

In the article, Chopra gives some advice to Pope Francis, that he not become another “theological” pope but rather  one with a “higher consciousness” and like the “Jesus” who was not theological but rather “enlightened.” Chopra adds:

I hope in a corner of my heart that Francis I can open himself to a kind of Super-ecumenical position, not only allowing that other faiths have validity, but seeing that the Eastern tradition of higher consciousness is in fact universal. . . .  we must be realistic. Spiritual experiences occur in consciousness. . . . There is no reason to reject meditation as “not Christian” when the point is that meditation, among other contemplative practices, alters brain function. In so doing, specific regions of the brain are trained to register subtle perceptions. The deeper your perceptions, the more subtle the levels of reality you are comfortable with. At the deepest level, we encounter the entire history of spiritual awakening, which is the opening of the self to the self through expanded awareness. . . .  If we are in fact witnessing the career of the most conscious pope in modern times, let him tell us more about consciousness and the spiritual fulfillment it contains.

Pope Francis is well on his way to doing just that. As a Jesuit contemplative priest, he is very much drawn to this mystical higher consciousness. That is why he named Thomas Merton as one of four most meaningful people when he was in the United States last year. As we have often pointed out, Merton found Buddhist enlightenment in contemplative prayer. Merton’s view that God is in every person is summed up in this statement:

During a conference on contemplative prayer, the question was put to Thomas Merton: “How can we best help people to attain union with God?” His answer was very clear: “We must tell them that they are already united with God. Contemplative prayer is nothing other than “coming into consciousness” of what is already there. ( Brennan Manning, The Signature of Jesus (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1996, Revised Edition), p. 211.)

Photo from World Religious News – used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act

Deepak Chopra and many other are hoping that Pope Francis will be that one who will bring the entire world into “superconsciousness” (the realization that man is divine). Remember the Parliament of World Religions this past fall that Lighthouse Trails reported on (see links below). It was a New Age/New Spirituality gathering of emerging church leaders, New Age leaders, Eastern religious leaders, and others who were looking for a “Coming Messiah” as Alice Bailey “prophesied” who could save the world.  And who was the figure everyone was talking about at the Parliament with enthusiasm and hope? None other than Pope Francis.

Related Articles:

Eye Witness Account at Parliament of the World’s Religions 2015 Reveals Growing Animosity Toward Biblical Christians

Letter to the Editor: Parliament of the World’s Religions Seeks “Global Collective Mission” and “Interfaith Harmony”

Letter to the Editor: Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis, Marianne Williamson Speaking at “Parliament of the World Religions”

 

 

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Is The Emerging Church History, or Has it Entered Your Church?

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

Recently, I read a Facebook post by a southern California pastor stating that the “emerging church” was no longer a problem for him or his church. He also stated that the “emerging church” was just another passing fad that had come and then disappeared never to be heard of again. His church was going to focus on what was positive and insinuated that “hyper discernment ministries” were scaring his sheep into believing they were living in the last days and that apostasy was rampant.

The comments by this pastor are not uncommon. In fact, there are few shepherds today who are warning the sheep in their flocks of the dangers that lurk not only outside the fold but also within their own fold that they are called to protect. A good shepherd must keep watch over his flock as there are many wolves lurking around seeking whom they may devour. Ignoring these dangers does not make the problems go away. Sheep can easily be misled by false unbiblical teachings that act as a grain of arsenic in a milk shake. The milk shake may look and taste good, but the grain of arsenic will be enough to kill someone.

When a pastor makes the claim that the emerging church is history, this shows that he is either uninformed or that he is willingly ignorant. Sad to say, it can be both, and he may not even know it. The emerging church has many stealth methods to find its way under the radar, including when emerging church leaders rename it time and again. Satan is a master deceiver and knows what he is doing. In the early stages of the emergent church takeover, the methods may have been somewhat more obvious, at least to those with God-given discernment. Click here to continue reading.

Also see Roger’s booklet, How to Know When the Emerging Church is Showing Signing of Emerging into Your Church

 

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Letter to the Editor: What is LT’s Take on “The Voice” “Bible”?

To Lighthouse Trails:

What is “The Voice” translation of the Bible and what do you think of it?

Our Comments:

Our answer (from a 2007 LT article):

According to an article in Christian Today, “New Bible Project for Young Generation Launched”, Thomas Nelson’s 2006 “Bible” project called The Voice is going full speed ahead. The project, announced by TN last spring, is a “re-telling of the Bible that consists of creative voices from historians to poets, storytellers to songwriters,” and is for young people who are “searching for new ways to explore the Bible, or who are seeking to read it for the first time.” The project will be a combination of books, music CDs, artwork and an interactive website. With the largest Christian publisher backing the project, there is little doubt that The Voice will reach countless young people and have a significant impact in many lives.

Unfortunately, the project turns out to be an emerging church creation, thus the foundation of it is marred from the beginning. Because mysticism, New Age ideology, and a return to Rome, are the building blocks of the emerging church, The Voice is going to be a spiritually dangerous conduit for adherents. Some of the emergent leaders involved in the project are Chris Seay (project founder), Brian McLaren, Lauren Winner, Leonard Sweet, and Blue Like Jazz author, Donald Miller. In last year’s press release by Thomas Nelson, Erwin McManus was also listed.

This month’s new release (the third book in the project) is called The Voice of Matthew, written by emergent/contemplative Lauren Winner (Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath).

Chris Seay, the founder of The Voice, is pastor of Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. A mission statement on the website illustrates the theology of the emerging church:

We believe that the Gospel impacts every area of a person’s life and culture. We reject unfounded categories that divide the world into uniquely sacred or purely secular. God is redeeming all of creation through Jesus.

We believe that the church exists for the world and not for herself – she is to introduce and usher in the Kingdom of God into every part of this world.

Saying that all of creation (e.g., all humanity) is redeemed is in direct opposition of the teachings of Jesus who said “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). And the belief that the church will usher in the Kingdom of God as opposed to Jesus Christ ushering it in with his literal return to the earth is indicative of the contemplative/emerging mindset. (It is also classic dominionism.)

The contemplative affinities of the contributors of The Voice will assure that mysticism will be an integral part of this project. This new version of the Bible has the potential to lead thousands, and possibly millions, of young people away from the words of Jesus Christ who said:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (John 10: 1-4)

We contend that The Voice is not the voice of the Good Shepherd, nor is it the Word of God that says:

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (I John 5:12-13)

To understand more about the emerging church and the new missiology, read Roger Oakland’s book Faith Undone.

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