Archive for the ‘The Emerging Church’ Category
LTRP Note: As many of you know, Roger Oakland, of Understand the Times, International, and Chris Lawson, of Spiritual Research Network, are former Calvary Chapel pastors/teachers, who both left the movement when their warnings about the infiltration of serious false teachings fell on deaf ears for several years and when they felt they could no longer, in good conscience, remain associated with the movement. Last week, Lighthouse Trails was informed of another Calvary Chapel pastor, Steve Shively of Refuge Church in Atascadero, California, who has made the decision (along with his church elders) to disaffiliate from the Calvary Chapel movement. The following letter was sent to the Calvary Chapel Association on June 29th, 2014. We are posting it with permission:
Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) Mahaffey Family Camp Brings in New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet as Camp Speaker
A Lighthouse Trails concerned reader has informed us that this month the Christian Missionary Alliance Mahaffey Family Camp has invited New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet as a camp speaker. CMA has been going down the contemplative/emerging path for a long time. In fact, CMA is listed on the Lighthouse Trails 50 Top Contemplative-Promoting Organizations. Also speaking at the camp this summer will be CMA president John Stumbo. (See below for links to previous news stories on CMA.)
For those who are not familiar with the teachings and beliefs of Leonard Sweet, the article “The Quantum Christ: Entering the World AND the Church Through Popular New Age & Christian Leaders” written by Warren B. Smith is a good starting point. Also “Why We Should Be Very Concerned About Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren … and Their Plans for the Future” will help. The following quotes are from Leonard Sweet’s book Quantum Spirituality, an older book but one he still carries and promotes on his website. After reading these quotes, ask yourself if these are the kind of ideas that belong at a Christian Family Camp. As you read these, keep in mind that in Quantum Spirituality, Sweet lists several New Agers and mystics as his “New Light” heroes and leaders including Matthew Fox, Morton Kelsey, M. Scott Peck, Willis Harman, and Ken Wilber.
Quotes by Sweet:
“The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and ‘in-formation’ with other Christians. Deeper feeling and higher relating go together. The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a comm-union whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness.” — P. 122
“Energy-fire experiences take us into ourselves only that we might reach outside of ourselves. Metanoia is a de-centering experience of connected-ness and community. It is not an exercise in reciting what Jesus has done for me lately. Energy-fire ecstasy, more a buzz than a binge, takes us out of ourselves, literally. That is the meaning of the word ‘ecstatic.’” — P. 93
Note: This ecstasy Sweet speaks refers to the New Age ecstasy that occurs in an altered state of consciousness.
The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people “in-phase” with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another. P. 147
New Lights offer up themselves as the cosmions of a mind-of-Christ consciousness. As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmoderns from one state of embodiment to another. P. 48
A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Bohme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.” P. 235
To show that Sweet still adheres to the beliefs he wrote about in Quantum Spirituality, may we draw your attention to Sweet’s 2010 book, Nudge. Sweet subtitles the book “Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There.” This is taken from Thomas Merton who believed that God was in every human being and they just need to realize He is already there. Sweet quoted Merton in Quantum Spirituality saying “We are already one. But we imagine that we are not” (p. 13). This is where Sweet was talking about the TOE (the Theory of Everything, meaning the God in all things). It would make perfect sense that he would end that section of his book with that quote by Merton because Merton believed that God was indeed in all things. Listen to this quote by Merton:
It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are.… If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.… At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth.… This little point … is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody. (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, pp. 157-158, taken from A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen)
To Lighthouse Trails:
I just came across your site in search of some background information concerning the emergent church movement (which I was aware of, but had no idea of it’s size or that it was labeled as such).
I was concerned about a particular speaker at Compassion Intl. and after finding the post at the Lighthouse Trails blog, “Letter to the Editor: What To Do When Christian Charities, Such as Compassion, Turn Contemplative/Emergent,” and reading some articles at ‘Stand Up for The Truth,’ I realized there are many on that particular list that cause concern.
Last June they appointed a new President and Chief Executive [Santiago Mellado]. When I went to the website, I read over his biography again… rather than summarize, I would just encourage you to read it.
LTRP Note: Compassion International’s new president, Santiago Mellado, was the president of the contemplative/emerging-promoting Willow Creek Association for 20 years (according to the biography mentioned above). Couple that with Compassion International’s embracing of numerous contemplative/emergent speakers, and concerns about Compassion mount. It is also troubling to consider what the ramifications may be for Compassion International if Mellado shares the same “Christian Palestinianism” views that Willow Creek leader Lynn Hybels has.
By Editors at Christian News Network
DETROIT — The 1.8 million-member Presbyterian Church (USA) voted Thursday (June 19) to allow homosexual ‘weddings,’ making it among one of the largest religious groups to take an embracing step toward openly supporting homosexuality.
By a 76-24 percent vote, the General Assembly of the PCUSA voted to allow their pastors to perform homosexual “marriages” in states where they are considered legal. Delegates, meeting in Detroit this week, also approved new language about marriage in the PCUSA Book of Order, or constitution, altering references to “a man and woman” to “two persons.”
This change will not become church law until a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries vote to ratify the new language. But given the lopsided 3-1 ratio of the vote, approval is expected.
Homosexual activists within the PCUSA rejoiced at their victory, which was remarkable for its margin of victory after multiple years of razor-thin defeats. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: This is part 2 of this series. To read part 1, click here.
In the last half of his plenary talk at a FOSNA conference this April in Portland, Oregon, in his case to prove that Christians are responsible for creating the injustice that currently exists in Palestine, Brian McLaren went into further detail about his problem with all the accounts in the Bible where God said to wipe out the surrounding nations, people and even animals, in what he calls the ‘texts of genocide.’
“Through its appropriation of “texts of terror” and especially through the application of those texts to the Jews, the Christian religion created the conditions for the oppression of Palestinians.” -Brian McLaren, Seeds of Hope and Justice for Palestinians and Israelis 
McLaren then talked about the holocaust being one of many world wide genocidal atrocities which the church has been behind, saying that “The lament that Christians should have is that Israel is treating Palestinians exactly the way Christians treated Jews, and we now lament that past.”
But is it true that the Christian religion created the conditions for oppression of Palestine? While many atrocities in the world have been done in the name of Christ, is it true for McLaren to say that Israel is treating Palestinians the way Jews were treated in the Holocaust?
First of all, it was Hitler and the Unholy Alliance who were behind the annihilation of the Jews. Secondly, Israel today treats the Palestinians better than they are treated by their own leaders. Where is the genocide happening in Israel? Just this week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu showed to the world “the true Israel, the advanced, modern and tolerant Israel, in effect, the only country in the Middle East that ensures complete freedom of worship to those of all faiths, guards the holy places and ensures the rights of all – Jews, Muslims, Christians, everybody.” Click here to continue reading.
By Christian News Network
A group of 80 pastors is suggesting that the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination is facing an imminent split over its inability to resolve long-standing theological disputes about sexuality and church doctrine.
But more than lamenting the current divisions, the pastors indicated there is little reason to think reconciliation — or even peaceful coexistence — could be found. Like a couple heading to divorce court, the pastors cited “irreconcilable differences” that can’t be mended.
“We can no longer talk about schism as something that might happen in the future. Schism has already taken place in our connection,” said the Maxie Dunnam, a retired president of evangelical Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, who joined the statement.
It’s a marked shift in tone from 10 years ago, when conservatives rejected a proposal for an “amicable separation” as premature. “I don’t want us to talk about separation,” Dunnam said after the church’s 2004 assembly, before the same-sex marriage issue swept the nation. “That’s not a game where our energy needs to be focused.” Click here to continue reading.
“Howard Books publishes works from many well-known Christian authors, including Dave Ramsey, Dr. Charles Stanley, and the Duggar family.”
By Garrett Haley
Christian News Network
A Christian publishing company has generated criticism for agreeing to publish a memoir from Jennifer Knapp—a former contemporary Christian singer who now describes herself as a lesbian.
Jennifer Knapp, now 40, was a popular Christian singer who won Dove Awards and a Grammy Nomination during the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, twelve years ago, Knapp suddenly left the Christian music industry, moved to Australia, and entered into a relationship with another woman. She now describes herself as a lesbian but claims she is still a Christian.
“I am who I am,” Knapp stated in a 2012 interview with TheBlaze. “If God is a God who judges and strikes people of same sex attraction—then he’s going to strike me down. This is the way that I am and now I know what it means to fear God.”
“I’ve never heard an audible voice from the heavens—and you go ahead with as much as you can with your head and your heart,” Knapp asserted. “There’s a point where I just accepted who I am, and that may be right—[or] that may be wrong.”
Knapp recently launched “Inside Out Faith”—an initiative designed to help homosexuals reconcile their behavior with their faith. At Inside Out Faith speaking engagements, Knapp promotes the “inclusion and affirmation” of homosexuals within religious circles and condemns churches which show “rejection and judgment.”
Click here to continue reading.