Archive for the ‘The Emerging Church’ Category
Lighthouse Trails Begins Second Booklet-Mailing Project – This Time to 235 Christian College/Seminary Presidents
On 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.
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|
“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.
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.
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.
By 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.)
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.
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
To Lighthouse Trails:
What is “The Voice” translation of the Bible and what do you think of it?
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.
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Goddess Worship in America and How It’s Affecting the Church by Maria Kneas and John Lanagan is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. Be sure to scroll past the endnotes to read Part 2 and view a chart. To order copies of Goddess Worship in America and How It’s Affecting the Church, click here.
Goddess Worship in America and How It’s Affecting the Church
The worship of pagan goddesses is most obvious with Wiccans. However, it is also common in universities and nursing schools. It is promoted by the media and is a component of New Age feminism. What’s more, it has infiltrated mainline denominational churches and its influence can be felt throughout our society.
This movement is impacting our culture and especially the younger generation. One troubling aspect of it is that, according to some of its proponents, facts and logic are “patriarchal,” and therefore they are irrelevant. As you will see, some so-called scholars openly say it is all right to make things up and present them as if they were historical facts.
Philip G. Davis is a professor of religious studies at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. He wrote the book Goddess Unmasked because he saw that goddess worship was being taken seriously in religious institutions and that myths about the goddess were being taught as factual history on campus. Much of the footnoted documentation in the first section of this booklet comes from his book.
Creating a Goddess-Friendly Culture
The “Age of Enlightenment” gave birth to rationalist materialism. In reaction against this denial of the importance of emotions, a generation of Romantic poets, novelists, artists, musicians and philosophers developed. Many of them were involved with drugs, the occult, Rosicrucianism, or Freemasonry.
Following Darwin’s theory of evolution, they speculated wildly about the evolution of society. Nationalism became a romantic search for pagan roots, as seen in Wagner’s operas and the fairy tales researched by the Brothers Grimm. Womanhood was idealized. The myth of a past utopian matriarchy was developed. Psychologist Carl Jung idealized the concept of the “anima,” the feminine side of man.1
Romanticism even invaded history and archaeology. Bachoven developed a theory of matriarchy openly based on imagination and not on searching for hard facts. Feminist scholars followed Bachoven’s lead. A historic myth was developed in which an ideal, matriarchal, goddess-worshiping society was destroyed by patriarchal invaders who brought with them all the ills of modern society.2
The scholarship involved in these studies of history and archaeology is so faulty that Philip Davis says:
An important lesson of this book is the ease with which patent falsehoods may clothe themselves in the garb of scholarship and masquerade as truth.3
Feminist scholars and other academic radicals say objective facts and historical accuracy are not even a valid goal:
A feminist scholar told her audience that it is indeed “ethical” for an historian to ignore historical evidence in order to construct a narrative . . . while still presenting it as history.4
In addition to “constructing narratives” (i.e., making up stories and presenting it as history), many academic radicals “explicitly reject the quest for objective truth; they claim that objectivity is not only impossible to achieve in pure form, but actually illegitimate in the first place because it expresses a patriarchal, oppressive mentality.”5
Before full-blown goddess worship developed in the 1950s, American art showed popular imagination being prepared for it. For example, the Statue of Liberty looks like a Greek goddess and is over three hundred feet high. The inscription presents the statue as speaking, and she calls herself “Mother of Exiles.”6 A 1915 poster for the Red Cross shows an American nurse with a billowing, hooded cape that makes her look like a cross between a nurse and a Greek goddess. She carries a placard which says:
I am the Red Cross of Peace. I heal the wounds of war. I am a refuge from fire, flood and pestilence. The love of little children is mine.7
The National Academy of Sciences has a Great Hall done in Byzantine architecture designed to look like a “temple of science.” The dome of that hall looks like it belongs in a cathedral, except it has figures that look like Greek goddesses. Science is personified as a goddess, with an inscription that says:
To science, pilot of industry, conqueror of disease, multiplier of the harvest, explorer of the universe, revealer of nature’s laws, eternal guide to truth.8
The Wiccan Goddess
Wicca was developed in England by Gerald B. Gardner, the first fully public witch of modern times. He was a spiritualist, a Freemason, and a Rosicrucian, with an extensive background in the occult.
Gardner was a member of the Golden Dawn. Aleister Crowley (a satanist) initiated Gardner into the fourth degree of the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis). Gardner was acquainted with a witch named “old Dorothy Fordham” and claimed to have been initiated into a coven. He used various occult texts in developing his rituals, including texts that were written by Aleister Crowley.9
Aiden Kelley, a Wiccan trained in biblical criticism, applied his critical skills to Gardner’s archive. Based on Kelley’s findings, Philip Davis concludes that:
First, [Kelly’s] identification of Gardner’s literary sources leaves little doubt that Gardner’s own witchcraft texts were his personal creation and not something handed on to him from an ancient tradition.10
Therefore, it is difficult to know how much Gardner’s Wicca resembles ancient witchcraft.
Doreen Valiente was Gardner’s High Priestess. She was informed enough to spot the passages from Crowley in the rituals, and she rewrote them so that Crowley’s name would not discourage potential inquirers.
Initially, the male, horned god and the High Priest were preeminent. By the mid-1960s, the goddess was the supreme deity in Wicca, and ritual authority was vested in the High Priestess.11
Through Wicca, goddess worship has infiltrated our American culture:
The appearance of the Goddess in other radical feminist circles, and then in churches and universities, did not occur until after the establishment of modern witchcraft as a viable new religion.12
Goddess spirituality seems well on the way to becoming the most successful of all these neopagan manifestations in the English-speaking world.13
Wicca presents itself as a wholesome worship of a gentle, benevolent goddess. It’s motto is, “An ye do none harm do what ye will.” However, in real life the results of Wicca are not wholesome at all.
The Goddess and Mainline Churches
In November 1993, a Re-imagining Conference was held in Minneapolis. Most of the 2,000 participants were women.14
This was an ecumenical church conference attended by Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and members of almost a dozen other denominations. They invoked Sophia, the goddess of Wisdom, calling her their Creator. Prayers and liturgies were addressed to this goddess. Communion consisted of milk and honey instead of bread and wine.
They openly rejected the doctrines of the Incarnation and the Atonement. “Christian” lesbians were applauded for coming out of the closet. They encouraged “sex among friends” as a norm.
This conference was initiated by, sponsored by, and attended by representatives of the major American churches.15
Re-imagining was an unprecedented event: an interdenominational assembly of Christians openly bent on destroying the historic Christian religion root and branch, and steering the churches into wholesale neopaganism.16
Neopagan and Wiccan themes are amazingly prominent within older religious establishments. One reason for this is the quest for “inclusive” language and the attempt to apply more female imagery to God. Liturgy reform and revised hymnals have featured feminine imagery and metaphors for God the Mother.17
The Unitarian-Universalist church developed a ten-session workshop on feminism, which encourages goddess worship and even endorses witchcraft. This workshop is called Cakes for the Queen of Heaven. It has been circulated through the major denominations and adopted for use in many mainstream churches.18 The following quotation from Jeremiah gives God’s perspective about this:
Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger. (Jeremiah 7:16-18, emphasis added)
A Canadian television station ran a five-part series titled Return of the Goddess, which introduced many people to goddess worship. The National Film Board of Canada produced Goddess Remembered, which became one of their most popular productions ever, being featured by public broadcasting TV stations in the United States as well as in Canada. Cakes for the Queen of Heaven and Goddess Remembered have both become staples for study groups in some major denominations.19
The Goddess and the University
The credibility of goddess worship has been increased by its acceptance by university professors and its incorporation into textbooks.20
[T]he doctrines of a new religion are being packaged and promoted as factual material for use in publicly funded and accredited institutions of higher education.21
The broader plans of gender feminism seem to have been most fully articulated, promoted, and implemented among academics. Some feminists have even demanded that the goddess be given parity with the God of the Bible in university religion programs. This will impact our entire society because universities and colleges are training most of our future leaders, including government, health care, and the clergy.22
[R]adical professors are . . . using the classroom for recruitment, turning students into political activists. The campus, therefore, is a natural place to look for signs of the radical feminist New Age as it emerges.23
The Goddess and Health Care
Goddess worship has become strong in the field of health care, particularly nursing. Health care professionals are actively promoting New Age practices. For example, the occultic “therapeutic touch” (passing one’s hands above a patient’s body in order to manipulate auras and energy fields) has reportedly been taught to thousands of nurses in eighty North American nursing programs..24
Goddess worship has been overtly promoted, as can be seen from the following quotation from the National League for Nursing, which is an accrediting agency for nursing schools:
Women’s wisdom is ageless and timeless, and passes from generation to generation primarily by oral tradition. . . . These origins are grounded in women’s experiences, female symbolism, and the spiritual roots of the Triple Goddess.25
In Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing, he discusses Sue Monk Kidd, who was once a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher. She began practicing contemplative prayer (a “Christian” mystical prayer practice similar to eastern meditation) and eventually turned away from the God of the Bible to worship the “goddess Sophia.”26 And while what has happened to her is very obvious, many Christians still read her books!
What Can We Do?
This booklet is just an introduction to goddess worship in America. I could give many more examples of how this has affected our society and the church. We need to be informed so we can help people we know who have become confused by these things. God may show us practical things we can do. Above all, we need to take the following Scripture seriously,and apply it to our daily lives.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5) (See Part 2 Below)
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1. Philip G. Davis, Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality (Dallas, TX: Spence Publishing Company, 1999), chapters 2 through 12.
2. Ibid., chapters 2, 11 and 12.
3. Ibid., p. ix.
4. Ibid., p. 360.
6. Information obtained by phone from the Public Information Office of the Statue of Liberty.
7. This poster is in the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia. A picture of it appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 29, 1998, p. D-1.
8. The National Academy of Sciences—The Main Foyer and the Great Hall: This says that the architect wanted to create a “temple of science,” www.nasonline.org/about-nas/visiting/nas/nas-building/the-main-foyer-and-the-great.html; The Great Hall: This shows pictures of some of the goddesses. You can see that the ceiling looks like a cathedral rather than a science building, www.nasonline.org/about-nas/visiting-nas/nas-building/the-great-hall.html.
9. Philip G. Davis, Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality, op. cit., p. 334.
11. Ibid., pp. 336-337.
12. Ibid., p. 341.
13. Ibid., p. 343.
15. Philip G. Davis, Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality, op. cit., pp. 3-4, 28-29.
16. Ibid., p. 29.
17. Ibid., pp. 24-25, 27.
18. Ibid., pp. 24-25.
19. Ibid., pp. 25-27.
20. Ibid., pp. 29-31.
21. Ibid., p. 31.
22. Ibid., pp. 361, 363.
23. Ibid., p. 361.
24. Ibid., pp. 31-33.
25. Charlene E. Wheeler and Peggy L. Chinn, Peace and Power: A Handbook of Feminist Process (New York, NY: National League for Nursing, 3rd edition), pp. xi-xii. Quoted in Goddess Unmasked, p. 32.
26. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd edition, 2006), pp. 135-136.
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PART 2: The Shack—Father-Goddess Rising
By John Lanagan
Many Christians have credited the New York Times best-seller The Shack, (the novel by William P. Young) with revolutionizing their faith. With themes of overcoming loss, working through anger, and restored relationship between man and God, Young’s novel has excited many within the Body of Christ.
The Shack was on the New York Times best-seller list for 52 weeks at #1 (over 170 weeks all together), and has sold over twenty million copies in 40 languages. It continues to sell briskly to a mostly Christian readership. Yet, in the midst of such enthusiasm, does The Shack, glorify Jesus Christ—or does it contradict the Bible with a false image of the Lord our God?
The novel’s main character, Mack Phillips, has lost his daughter. She has been murdered, her bloodied dress found in an isolated shack. Four years later Mack receives an invitation from God to spend time with the Trinity in the very shack where the dress was found.
Even though there is nowhere in the Bible where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simultaneously assume physical forms on earth, The Shack portrays Jesus as a carpenter, the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman, and God the Father as a large black woman named Papa.
The Shack’s “God” comes to Mack in a form he is willing to accept. While the novel’s feminization of the Lord is as trendy as it is Babylonian, the reader rapidly becomes used to descriptions of God as “she” and “her.” At one point, the book’s version of Jesus praises the fictional Father-goddess, exclaiming, “Isn’t she great?”1
Malachi 3:6 states, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” God is Spirit. In the entire Bible, there is not one single reference to Father, Son, or Holy Spirit—or to any of His angels—as female. Is it wise then to go beyond what has been presented in Scripture?
Unfortunately, this seems a frequent occurrence in The Shack. The Father-goddess character tells Mack she appears in female form “to help you keep from falling back so easily into your religious conditioning.”2 The author and his publishing team apparently assume Christians believe the Lord is an old white man with a beard and have produced the book in part to help straighten out the church’s perception of God.
There is an apparent dismissal of the importance of Scripture, which is reflected in slippery theology found throughout the novel. Young writes, “Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?”3 Guilt edges? A not-so-subtle suggestion that we should not feel guilty or convicted about our sins.
The Father-goddess of The Shack, it seems, is never about guilt or punishment. She benignly informs Mack, “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring people from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”4
That sounds wonderful. And, yes, sin enslaves. However, the The Shack’s “God” contradicts the Bible. Jesus “shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Although most sermons these days skirt the issue, Christians do receive punishment (i.e., disciplining) during our time on earth:
[T]he Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (Hebrews 12:6-7)
But, this is not the message of the Father-goddess, simply because this is not the God of Scripture. Young, a gifted writer, plays to emotion and touches on legitimate hurts and concerns, excelling at imbuing his “God” with attributes of love, forgiveness, and mercy, and this is what many people have responded to.
Increasingly in novels and movies, the Lord is blithely used as one of the characters and given words from the mouth of man. In this sense, the author of The Shack, is simply following the culture.
But something else is going on here—
Universal Reconciliation (UR) is the belief that Jesus’ sacrifice allows Christians and non-Christians to spend eternity with God. In other words, in UR theology, everybody goes to heaven, not just followers of Jesus. Some in this camp even believe this includes the devil and his demons. And as one New Ager pointed out (Neale Donald Walsch) in his highly popular book Conversations with God, even Hitler will go to Heaven!5
Co-author of The Shack,Wayne Jacobsen, acknowledges that UR was included in earlier versions of The Shack. Jacobsen explains:
While some of that was in earlier versions because of the author’s partiality at the time to some aspects of what people call UR, I made it clear at the outset that I didn’t embrace UR and didn’t want to be part of a project that promoted it.6
So why did Jacobsen proceed to join forces with Young? He writes:
To me that was the beauty of the collaboration . . . the author would say that some of that dialogue significantly affected his views. . . . Holding him to the conclusions he may have embraced years earlier would be unfair to the ongoing process of God in his life and theology.7
Perhaps, but this allegedly former theology even now seems to explain some of the content of the book.
The Bible clearly teaches the only way to God the Father is through Jesus Christ, who loved us enough to die for us. Early in The Shack, Mack’s daughter asks if the Great Spirit, the Native American god, is another name for the Father of Jesus. Mack tells her . . . yes. He may as well have told her that Allah (or any other false patriarchal god) is also the Father of Jesus.
Of course, if everybody is going to heaven because of UR, what does it matter? God, Great Spirit, Allah, what’s the difference?
His daughter asks the question because Mack tells the story of an Indian princess who willingly died so her people could be delivered of an illness. According to an Indian prophecy, it could be ended only through her sacrifice. The author states, “After praying and giving herself to the Great Spirit, she fulfilled the prophecy by jumping without hesitation to her death on the rocks below.”8
When his daughter calls the Great Spirit “mean” for making both Jesus and the princess die, Mack never clarifies that Jesus’ Father is not the Great Spirit or that God the Father has nothing to do with this pagan legend.
Some may ask if Young still has UR leanings? In his article, “The Beauty of Ambiguity,” it is not his character Mack but Young himself who speaks to the Father-goddess. He denies being a universalist and proclaims “faith in Jesus is the only way into your embrace.”9
In the article, Young is having a conversation with Father-goddess, who asks, “I take it that it wouldn’t bother you if I decided to save every human being that ever lived?”
“Nope. I actually hope you’ve figured a way to do just that,” he replies.10
Young’s goddess Father will save everyone through Young’s belief in Universal Reconciliation. This directly contradicts Jesus Christ:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Although Young then proceeds to voice acceptance of the reality of hell, he complains to his fictional Father-goddess:
[W]hy couldn’t you have made things clear? People go to the Bible and find all these ways to disagree with each other . . . Everybody seems to want to acquire their little piece of doctrinal territory . . . Some find support for Universal Reconciliation; some find proofs for eternal torment in hell.11
Young continues with his list. Issues run the gamut from Calvinism to eschatology and, having inserted Universal Reconciliation into the mix, his fictional Father-goddess never corrects him. No surprise there. Is this perhaps an attempt to at least infer valid consideration of UR by including it amongst a hodge-podge of doctrinal concerns?
Incredibly, Young’s Father-goddess clarifies (?) that she made much of the Bible ambiguous on purpose! I find it chilling that the author, or any person, would dare present doctrinal confusion as the intended plan of God—and via a fictional character at that. But, that’s the way it is these days.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. (2 Timothy 4:3)
It’s going to get worse. Goddess worship, false christs, and many other heresies will continue to rise. Movies, novels, and TV will become increasingly blasphemous.
Readers of this novel would do well to examine biblical teaching about the Trinity, sin, repentance, communication with the dead, and much else.
Many in the Body of Christ have run to get a copy of The Shack. Far better, brothers and sisters, to just run.
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1. William Paul Young, The Shack (Newbury Park, CA: Windblown Media, 2007, ISBN: 978-0-9647292-3-0, printing: 50 49 48 47), p. 90.
2. Ibid., p. 95
3. Ibid., p. 68.
4. Ibid., p. 122.
5. Warren B. Smith, “If Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations with God) and the New Agers are Right, Then Hitler Will Be in Heaven!” (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=6090).
6. Wayne Jacobsen, “Is the Shack Heresy?” (Windblown Media, http://web.archive.org/web/20080714200042/http://www.windblownmedia.com/shackresponse.html).
8. William Paul Young, The Shack, op. cit., p. 30.
9. William P. Young, “The Beauty of Ambiguity” (The Clarion Journal, http://www.clarion-journal.com/clarion_journal_of_spirit/2008/03/the-beauty-of-a.html).
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A Chart on Goddess Worship
by Berit Kjos (www.crossroad.to)
Praying to God Affirming the goddess
Our Father in heaven Our Mother, the Earth
Holy is Your Name Sacred and perfect am I
Your Kingdom Come My vision come
Your will be done My will be done
Give us . . . daily bread Don’t give . . . I own . . .
Forgive us . . . as we forgive I choose to forgive—or curse
Lead us not into temptation Temptation? I form my own values
Deliver us from evil There is no sin or evil
For Yours is the . . . power Mine is the power
. . . forever! Nothing is permanent or absolute
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