Archive for the ‘One-World Religion’ Category

Wm. Paul Young Teaches New Age Lie About Separation on TBN

By Warren B. Smith

As soon as you—all who know your potentials—can tell this vision on television, you will have begun your real work in the world.—The New Age “Christ”1

On the March 12, 2017 episode 5 of Restoring The Shack television series on the TBN Christian television network, Shack author Wm. Paul Young stated it is a “lie” to believe that God is “separate” from His creation.2 Invoking a vision that was reputedly given by God to friend and fellow author C. Baxter Kruger, Young described this alleged lie as the “lie of separation.” But as a former New Ager, I recognized what Young was calling the “lie of separation” was in and by itself a lie. What he was teaching had nothing to do with biblical Christianity and everything to do with the false teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality/New World view. In fact, what Young was attempting to convey to countless TBN viewers was the same thing I had been taught and was teaching when I was in the New Age—that there is “no separation” between God and creation because God is “in” everyone and everything.

But God is not “in” everyone and everything.3

As I read the Bible and came out of the New Age movement and saw through the God-“in”-everything deception, I came to understand how our Spiritual Adversary had turned the Bible’s 2 Corinthians 6:17 instruction to “Be ye separate” into a bold lie that turned the whole notion of biblical separation upside down. Taking the word separation and using it in a wholly unscriptural context, false teachers like Wm. Paul Young are now bringing this New Age “lie” about separation and God “in” everything into the church through books like The Shack and on television programs like TBN’s Restoring the Shack.

The God “in” Everything Heresy

The heretical teaching that God is “in” everything and therefore not separate from creation, is the foundational lynchpin of the New Age/New Spirituality/New World religion.4 Incredibly, this heretical New Age doctrine is taught in The Shack. Wm. Paul Young’s “Jesus” falsely teaches that God is “in” everything when he states, “God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.”5 Most people reading The Shack do not understand that this statement made by Young’s “Jesus” is a New Age lie. Yet Young puts this occult saying right in the mouth of his “Jesus—a false “Jesus” who is “another Jesus” and not the real Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:4). Alert Shack readers will note that the word “Christ” can not be found anywhere—not even once—in Young’s whole Shack story.6 Inexplicably, the family cat in the story is named Judas7 but Young’s Jesus is never named Christ. Go figure.

The New Age Doctrine of Oneness

Because God was reputedly “in” everyone and everything, our New Age teachers taught us that we were all “One” and that our “Oneness” with God—our union with God—pervaded everyone and everything. We were told that because there was this “Oneness,” there was no separation between God and creation. And so it was this concept of “Oneness” that singularly expressed our New Age belief in the universal divinity of all things. It seemed very logical. We were all One because we were all in union with God because God was “in” everyone and everything. We honestly believed that a universal acceptance of this universal teaching would bring universal peace. We sensed that humanity was beginning to “awaken” and “shift” into accepting this emerging concept of universal Oneness. We believed if this New Age/New Spirituality/ New World view was universally embraced, it could save the world. Contrarily, those who refused to subscribe to this emerging worldview of Oneness—God “in” everyone and everything—would majorly hinder and ultimately prevent the attainment of this otherwise realizable goal of world peace. The New Age “God” and Christ”—channeling through designated New Age leaders—emphatically stated that the only people who stood in the way of world peace were those who believed in the “illusion of separation.” Wm. Paul Young claiming to quote “God” calls it the “lie of separation.” But what New Age leaders and Wm. Paul Young were teaching about separation was an “illusion” and a “lie.”

Doctrine of Separation

The New Age lie about Separation was cunningly devised by the father of lies to isolate, denigrate, and persecute those who believe that God is, in fact, “separate” from His creation and is not “in” everyone and everything. To not believe that God is “in” everyone and everything is to not believe that everything is connected and divine and “One.” To not believe that God is “in” everyone and everything is to not believe in “Oneness.” To not believe in “Oneness is to believe in “the lie of separation.” It is all a very seductive and devilish New Age trap. And the false New Age Antichrist/“Christ” warns that—were he to gain world power—the consequences for those who refuse to believe that God is “in” everything will be extremely severe.

Oneness vs. Separation

Thus, from a New Age perspective, “Oneness vs. Separation” juxtaposes two prevailing but opposing worldviews against each other. “Oneness” is  being hailed as the loving and spiritually correct worldview that will produce world peace and a happy humanity. Contrarily, separation is described as the spiritually incorrect and hateful worldview that hinders world peace and produces a fearful and divided humanity. As seen in the quotes below, the New Age “Christ” makes his bold case for “Oneness” and threatens those who subscribe to the “hatred” of separation. He states:

The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself. There is no separation of God and His creation.8

The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.9

Let us together show the world: that the need for war is past; that the instinct of man is to live and to love; that hatred is begotten of separation.10

I shall drive from this Earth forever the curse of hatred, the sin of separation.11

Satan is Separation?

In the New Age, we didn’t believe in a real Satan. The only thing “satanic” was to not believe in the divine “Oneness” of all creation. The only “Satan” were those who were under “the illusion of separation”—those who did not believe that God was “in” everyone and everything. The New Age “God” and “Christ” equate Satan and the Devil with biblical Christians who refuse to subscribe to the Doctrine of Oneness. Biblical Christians then become conveniently and diabolically categorized as being into “separation.” The New Age “God” and “Christ state:

The mind can make the belief of separation very real and very fearful, and this belief is the “devil.” 12

When at last you see that there is no separation in God’s World—that is, nothing which is not God—then, at last, will you let go of this invention of man which you have called Satan.13

Your triumph over Satan, that is, over the illusion of separation, will be a victory for the universal community.14

Thank God I was ultimately shown that He is not in everyone and everything. His Holy Spirit is sent and dwells within those who repent of their sins and know and confess that the true Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins. I came to realize that God “in” everything “Oneness”—not separation—was the real lie. But most Christians watching Wm. Paul Young on the fifth episode on his TBN Restoring the Shack television series probably had no idea that the “lie of separation” he introduced on that program was totally fraught with New Age meaning and spiritual danger.

Dam Vision/Damnable Heresy

On the March 12th, 2017 fifth episode of Restoring the Shack, Wm. Paul Young used the same spiritual terminology that parallels and directly dovetails with the heretical New Age Doctrine of Separation. He tried to make his case for “the lie of separation” by recounting what friend and fellow author C. Baxter Kruger said he was shown in a vision/visual from the “Lord.” Young stated:

And Baxter had a visual and he was looking at this massive mountain range and he could see a beaver dam that was big enough to block the entire Mississippi—massive—and he asked the Lord, “What is that?” And he heard the response inside his heart, “That is the lies of pastors and theologians and the institutional church system that has been damming up the rivers of living water in the western world.” And Baxter was looking at the very bottom where these huge monster redwoods—and there was one at the center of the bottom and Baxter said, “What is that?” And he heard, “That Baxter is the lie of separation. The western world has convinced itself that it has separated itself from God. There has never been separation. That is absolutely a myth. You take that one out and the whole beaver dam will start to crumble.” Because for a lot of us, the gospel was about separation. That was the assumption.15

Young told his countless TBN viewers that C. Baxter Kruger’s vision came from the Lord—that it was the Lord who told Kruger that the “lie of separation” had undermined the true gospel and dammed up “the rivers of living water in the western world.” But the One True Lord God would never present this heretical New Age concept—much less use the same separation terminology used by the false New Age “God” and “Christ.” What Baxter Kruger saw and heard in his vision and that Wm. Paul Young passed on to TBN viewers was not from the Lord. Absolutely in no way. Having come out of the New Age movement with all its spiritual deception, I learned the hard way that voices purporting to be “the Lord” are often “seducing spirits” bringing “doctrines of devils” like the doctrines of “Oneness” and “Separation” (1 Timothy 4:1).

There is a Deceiver, and the Bible warns us to “believe not every spirit but to try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). The voice Kruger heard taught the same thing the false New Age Christ taught us in the New Age about separation. Kruger’s alleged vision from “the Lord” with its “lie of separation” was exactly what the apostle Peter was warning about when he said there would be “false teachers among you” who will bring in “damnable heresies.” What irony that it was a “dam” vision that brought in the “damnable” heresy:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies. (2 Peter 2:1)

It is also ironic that it is “Oneness”—not separation—that is the” damnable heresy.” It is not the “lie of separation” but rather Wm. Paul Young’s lie about separation. It was the lie about separation that C. Baxter Kruger passed along to Young who then passed it on to countless TBN viewers. Knowingly or unknowingly, Wm. Paul Young was now teaching Christians on Christian television what the New Age “God” and “Christ” has been teaching the world for the last fifty years.

Same Separation Language

It is important to note the obvious similarities between the “lie of separation” concept Young and Kruger attribute to “the Lord” and the New Age separation concept. The following are several examples of what the New Age “God” and “Christ” have previously stated about separation:

A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.16

The only solution is the Ultimate Truth: nothing exists in the universe that is separate from anything else. 17

This is your assignment. This is your work. You are to destroy the illusion of separation.18

Separation and Young’s “Great Sadness”

The New Age “Jesus” states that sickness results from believing you are “separate” from God. Healing—according to this New Age “Jesus,” Wm. Paul Young, and C. Baxter Kruger—comes from recognizing the “lie of separation” and seeing and believing in “Oneness” instead:

A sick person perceives himself as separate from God. Would you see him as separate from you? It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick.19

Sadly, ironically, and tragically, Wm. Paul Young’s Shack “therapy” for his own “Great Sadness,” for his Shack characters, and for humanity is the same heretical New Age healing offered to us by the New Age “God” and “Christ” through their channeled New Age teachings. Young and Kruger would have the church “awaken” from the “lie of separation” and “shift” into seeing that God is at “One” and in “union” with everyone and everything. But their Shack therapy is an Antichrist/false Christ New Age therapy. It is not from God.

C. Baxter Kruger

For those not familiar with C. Baxter Kruger, he is a self-described Mississippi theologian who is the Director of Perichoresis Ministries and the author of nine books that include The Shack Revisited. Some of his many joint speaking appearances with Young are easily found on the Internet. In his introduction to The Shack Revisited, Wm. Paul Young writes that Kruger’s book will help the reader to better understand the “perspectives and theology that frame The Shack.”20 While Kruger’s account of the beaver dam vision and the “lie of separation” don’t appear in The Shack Revisited, they do show up in Kruger”s 2016 book Patmos.

In Patmos, Aidan, “a burned-out, suicidal theologian” from Mississippi, time travels to the first century and lands in a cave with the apostle John. Kruger cleverly puts his own words and theology in John’s mouth—much like Young did with “Papa,” “Jesus,” and “Sarayu” in The Shack. By the end of his novel, Kruger has the apostle John sounding more like an apostate John—most especially when it comes to a conversation Aidan and John have regarding separation. After Aidan tells John how he had to “escape the twin clutches of fundamentalism and modernism,”21 Kruger’s apostle John tells him,“There is only one battle”—“Union or separation.”22 He tells Aidan that the world’s problems all revolve around one crucial matter—“Ourselves and our ideas about separation from God.”23 Kruger’s “apostle John” contrasts the Oneness of believing that Jesus is “in” everyone with the “lie” of separation that denies Jesus is “in” everyone. Kruger’s “John” gives the time-traveling Aidan the following New Age message:

[The] lie of separation from God is the chief of all lies. It may be like a mother spider with a thousand babies on its back, but there is only one mother spider.24

Dear brother, either Jesus is in us or we are separated from him.25

At one point, Aidan asks the apostle John, “This mess, this historical quagmire of religions, wars, abuses, lust, and fear, all grows out of a single untruth?”

John answers, “Indeed my son . . . The lie that we are separated from Jesus and his Father.”

To which Aidan comments, “So in your gospel and letters, you’re trying to help us see through the lie of separation.”26

In another exchange, John tells Aidan, “The assumption of separation is the great darkness.”27 Never referring to Satan as Satan, but only as “Ophis,” John warns:

This is Ophis’s chief trick—blind us to how close the Lord is, closer than breath: we’re in him, and he’s in us. Ophis deceives the nations by one lie—separation. 28

Thus Kruger—by putting his own words in the apostle John’s mouth—has John teaching what the New Age has been teaching for decades. And that is that there is no separation between God and creation because God is “in” everyone and everything. But what Kruger is teaching is not true and is not from God. He and Wm. Paul Young are not exposing the deception—they are a part of it. The lie that is in the process of actually deceiving the nations and deceiving the church is “Oneness”—God “in” everyone and everything.

Talks Like New Age

The parallels between what the New Age is saying about Oneness and separation and what Kruger and Young are saying should be deeply disturbing to anyone who loves the truth. And while Young and Kruger would probably deny that man is God and that what they are teaching is New Age, it is a simple matter of semantics. A rose by any other name is still a rose. And a “God” who “dwells in, around, and through all things”29 and is not separate from creation is still a false unbiblical New Age “God.”

The Selection Process

The upshot of all this upside down, twisted teaching is that people may one day live or die based on what they believe regarding this cleverly contrived battle between “Oneness” and “Separation.” Or as Kruger puts it—“the battle” between “union or separation.” And that is because the false New Age Christ promises severe repercussions for those who insist on being “separate”—those who refuse to believe that God is “in” everyone and everything. This could fulfill the severe end-times persecution of the church described in the Bible but almost never talked about by false teachers like Young and Kruger.

The New Age Christ, while professing his love for all mankind, nevertheless warns there will be no place in the future for those who see themselves as “separate.” Consequently, this New Age Antichrist figure describes the necessity of a “selection process” that will select out and eliminate the resistant individuals who choose to remain “separate” as they oppose the New Age “Oneness” that falsely purports to heal and save the world. Through his chosen spokespersons, the New Age Christ has threatened those who choose biblical separation over New Age “Oneness”:

[T]he fundamental regression is self-centeredness, or the illusion that you are separate from God. I “make war” on self-centeredness.30

At the co-creative stage of evolution, one self-centered soul is like a lethal cancer cell in a body: deadly to itself and to the whole.31

The surgeon dare leave no cancer in the body when he closes up the wound after a delicate operation. We dare leave no self-centeredness on Earth after the selection process.32

I shall drive from this Earth forever the curse of hatred, the sin of separation.33

The crime of separation, of division, of lawlessness must go from the world. All that hinders the manifestation of man’s divinity must be driven from our planet. My Law will take the place of separation.34

“Be ye separate”

Thus, separation is a pernicious label that takes the biblical admonition to “Be ye separate” and turns it back on those who dare to separate themselves from the world and false New Age teachings like “Oneness.” Bible-believing Christians are to separate themselves from men like Wm. Paul Young and C. Baxter Kruger who indiscriminately mix truth with error and present false teachings to the church. Those who think they can eat some meat from The Shack and spit out the bones are sorely deceived. They may very well choke on the bones they failed to detect—leavened bones like the God who “dwells in, around, and through all things.” Leavened bones like the falsely alleged “lie of separation.” The apostle Paul makes the Bible’s position on the danger of unbiblical leaven very clear:

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

Paul of the Bible warned about the Paul of The Shack when he provided the true scriptural take on separation—that we are to separate ourselves from men like Young and Kruger who give us some of the truth but not all of the truth; who please men with their cunningly devised fables (2 Peter 1:16) by putting their words and doctrines in the mouths of their fictional characters; who preach “another Jesus” and “another gospel”; who instead of positively teaching about the need for biblical separation, mimic New Age teachers who falsely teach that separation is “a sin,” “an illusion,” “a crime” and “a lie.”

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.”(2 Corinthians 6:17)

TBN Supports Young

The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) continues to offer Wm. Paul Young a massive platform for his Shack book, Shack movie, and his 2017 book Lies We Believe About God where he openly affirms his belief in universal salvation35 and the New Age teaching that Christ is “in” everyone.36 Contrary to what most Christians believe, the New Age did not disappear but is now charging full steam ahead into the church through books like The Shack and into people’s living rooms through television programs like Restoring the Shack. In the meantime, the true Christ of the Bible warns us all to “be not deceived” by “false Christs” and “false prophets” with their signs and wonders that come in the form of best-selling books, Hollywood movies, and so-called Christian television. Christians need to understand that a false Christ Antichrist figure is preparing the world for strong delusion.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)

Endnotes
1. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, California: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), p. 74.
2. Restoring the Shack television series, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), 20 episodes that were originally broadcast from to July 9, 2017. (Restoring the Shack online at: https://www.tbn.org/programs/restoring-shack).
3. Warren B. Smith, Be Still and Know that You are not God: God is Not in Everyone and Everything (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2015; to read online, go to http://www.warrenbsmith.com, click booklets, click to read content of booklet; history and scriptural refutation of the false New Age teaching that God is in everything).
4. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York: NY: Atria Books, 2004), pp. 31-32.
5. William P. Young, The Shack (Los Angeles, California: Windblown Media, 2007), p. 112.
6. Warren B. Smith, “The Christless Shack,” article posted at warrenbsmith.com.
7. William P. Young, The Shack, op. cit. p. 231. Warren B. Smith “A Cat Named Judas,” articled posted at http://www.warrenbsmith.com.
8. A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume [Text, Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers] (Glen Ellen, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1992), p. 147 (Text).
9. Ibid., p. 125 (Text)
10. Messages From Maitreya the Christ: 140 Messages (Los Angeles, CA: Share International, 2001), p. 108.
11. Ibid., p. 104.
12. A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume, op. cit., p. 50 (Text).
13. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 3 (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998), p. 56.
14. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit. p. 193.
15. Restoring the Shack television series, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), episode 5, March 12, 2017. Beaver dam discourse starts around the 19 minute mark. Transcribed by author.
16. A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume, op. cit., p. 14 (Text).
17. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 2 (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997), p. 173.
18. Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999), p. 21.
19. A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume, op. cit., p. 56 (Manual).
20. 9. C. Baxter Kruger, The Shack Revisited: There is More Going On Here Than You Ever Dared to Dream (New York, New York: Faith Words, 2012), p. ix.
21. C. Baxter Kruger, Patmos, Three Days, Two Men, One Extraordinary Conversation (Jackson, MS: Perichoresis Press, 2016), p. 90.
22. Ibid., p. 91.
23. Ibid.
24. Ibid., p. 93.
25. Ibid., p. 92.
26. Ibid., p. 93.
27. Ibid., p. 91.
28. Ibid., pp. 91-92.
29. William P. Young, The Shack, op. cit., p. 112.
30. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., p. 233.
31. Ibid., p. 255.
32. Ibid., p. 240.
33. Messages From Maitreya the Christ, op. cit., p. 104.
34. Ibid., p. 248.
35. Wm. Paul Young, Lies We Believe About God (New York, NY: Atria Books, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2017), p. 118.
36. Ibid., p. 119.

“Rick Warren, Calif. Bishop Hail Unity as Model for Evangelicals and Catholics to Follow”

LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the source or the content.

“[Rick] Warren noted that union between the two traditions [Catholic and Protestant] can open the eyes of nonbelievers as well.”

“A Pew Research Center survey, released last month during the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, showed that Catholics and Protestants today are not as divided on theological issues as they were centuries ago.”

2-second still shot from YouTube video of Bishop Vann and Rick Warren – September 2017; used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act.

By Stoyan Zaimov
The Christian Post

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and California Roman Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann recently opened up about their years-long friendship and cooperation as a model for evangelicals and Catholics around the world to follow.

Crux Now shared an interview on Thursday, which was conducted by Pia de Solenni, a lay Catholic theologian and chancellor of the Orange County diocese, where Vann explained that his friendship with Warren began five years ago when they met at his installation.

“In the months and years that followed, I discovered the blessing of sharing the concerns of ministry with Rick, talking about our homilies and what we were both studying, and praying together. Our relationship has also been blessed to include Kay, his wife,” Vann explained.

“Also, Rick’s staff at Saddleback and our staff at the Diocese began to get to know each other through various meetings, sharing not only our common love for the Lord, but also our love for the Church, fellowship, and praying together.” Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

 Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much

Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy – The Enemy is in the Camp

By David Dombrowski
Lighthouse Trails Editor

Over the past decade and a half, we have watched with a mixture of surprise and sadness at how an apostate church has materialized before our eyes. It all began for us here at Lighthouse Trails when we met Ray Yungen in 2000. Though we were not publishers back then, he shared with us his manuscript for  A Time of Departing, which spoke of a coming apostasy in the form of mystical practices and “spiritual disciplines.” Stirred by the content of that book, we agreed to help him find a publisher. But, at the time, we never imagined how relevant and prophetic that book would be nor how quickly this apostasy would flourish in the mainstream churches. Today, it is even difficult to find a church that has not been compromised by some form of eastern-style mystical practice or emerging church philosophy. Now e-mails and letters pour into our office telling how readers who either just discovered us or were at one time skeptical of our warnings are now shocked to see that these things have entered their churches.

How did all this happen, and how did it happen so quickly? We think this can partly be explained by what we discovered years ago. After meeting with Ray, we felt compelled to help him find a publisher for his book, but after contacting a number of Christian publishing houses, we soon learned that they were only looking for books that could sell well—and that meant books considered non-controversial and by well-known authors. At that point, we prayerfully decided to start our own publishing house. But just the lack of interest that we saw in the publishers was indicative of what was to happen in the church.

Whether we realize it or not, there is tremendous spiritual warfare taking place in our world today. In numerous instances, we are hearing stories of young people going to Christian colleges only to have their spiritual lives shipwrecked. They may have been safer in secular colleges. At the same time, we know of countless numbers of Christians who have no church to go to because the ones that are available have abandoned the simplicity of the Gospel for a universal emerging “spirituality.” These believers are now witnessing the apostasy and are looking to ministries like ours for encouragement and help. In many cases, the only encouragement we can offer these people is to assure them that they are not alone in what they see.

As singer/songwriter Trevor Baker sings in his song The Lonely Road, committed Christians may have to endure much loneliness or isolation in the future for lack of genuine fellowship.

Please remember that while Jesus said we cannot know the day or the hour of His return, He also instructed us to observe the seasons. In saying this, Jesus was sharing a principle that is both profound and very simple:

 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (Matthew 24: 32-33)

In other words, Jesus was saying that various things must occur before He returns, and when they do occur, we can know that His coming is near. Today, the stage is being set for the fulfillment of these events described in Matthew 24, and in fact, things are moving at a highly accelerated rate. While the church has slept, tares have been sown into God’s wheat field (Matthew 13:25). The apostasy that we see in the church today is the result of Satan sowing these “tares” in the church.

As we have watched events unfold in the apostate church in recent years, it has been very sobering to see how nearly identical its intents and actions are to that of the New Age movement in moving toward a one-world global order. As you are reading this, religious leaders are shaking hands with political figures in bringing about a more highly evolved society. Alice Bailey, who had much to do with the development of the New Age movement, with all its occult practices and mysticism, predicted that this movement rather than having to move around the church would move through it. In fact, she saw the church as helping to propel the world into this higher level of consciousness.1 Sadly, we are hearing almost daily of highly respected Christian leaders with large followings who are now embracing the writings of mystics and contemplative authors. Perhaps they do not realize that the contemplative prayer and mysticism they are now passing on to their followers is no different than the occult practices of Alice Bailey with a new twist. And as long as the name of “Jesus” is used, everything is O.K., they think.

Looking again at the fig tree, we can see that more fruit is developing and getting heavier. Also, as Rick Warren points out (and promotes), we will see a blending of religious, political, and economic forces as future events unfold. Unity will be a key to the future and will be an increasing theme as the world awaits the Antichrist. Considering that we are even now moving toward a one-world order, let us look at our fig tree whose fruit is already there and beginning to get ripe; the events we already see, only to increase, are:

The unifying of the world’s religious thought where eastern-style mystical practice to include yoga, contemplative prayer, and healing practices like Reiki are joining east with west.

The Purpose Driven P.E.A.C.E. Plan where political, economic, and religious forces are being brought together to form a unified effort.

Plans for a global currency paving the way to the use of the “mark.”

The accelerating significance of the United Nations leading toward a confederation of nations.

Increasing interest in the world finding a Christ figure who can solve the world’s economic and political problems and unite the world in peace.

Increasing moral decay throughout the world to include abortion, violence, pandemic divorce, the dissolution of the family unit, homosexuality, and pedophilia.

Increasing hatred toward born-again believers.

The growth of a spirit of Anti-Semitism throughout the world including in much of the organized Christian church today.

Increased natural disasters to include earthquakes, weather phenomena, and possible volcanic activity.

Intensifying of wars and rumors of war and man-made disasters.

Increased skepticism about the Lord’s return to include an abandonment of biblical prophecy.

The appearance of false christs culminating in the appearance of the Antichrist. As a result of mystical practices, to include contemplative prayer, people are already being conditioned to seeing themselves as having a “divine center” where the “Christ” or “I am” resides. Man has become divine.

An increasing curiosity and dependence on signs and wonders rather than the Word of God. Of special significance today are Mary apparitions and Eucharistic wonders, which point people to another Jesus of another gospel. Signs and wonders will be seen in the future as the final proof of truth holding sway over many people. This will make it possible for the Antichrist to lead the whole world in a grand delusion as he will be a master at performing signs and wonders.

Let us pause to look at our fig tree again; I see a couple more figs developing there. One of them is called “the bridgers” and the other is called “the silencers.” Unfortunately, both of these figs are growing on the same branch—and the branch has a name on it – it says, “the church.” This is odd because these two figs look putrefied, yet they are growing on a branch that looks very healthy.

You may remember a number of years ago a radio interview between LT editor Deborah Dombrowski and radio host Ingrid Schlueter. The title of this broadcast was“Beware The Bridgers: Orthodoxy Is More Than A Doctrinal Statement.”    This program talked about the emergence of what one might call a welcoming committee within the church where things God considers foul and unclean are invited in. Oddly enough, it is not the dissenters in the church who are doing this, as would have been the case fifteen or so years ago, but our pastors and Christian leaders—many of whom have had very large followings and been respected as being both conservative and of sound doctrine. But the problem is that these leaders are now gleaning from the writings of New Age, occultic, or mystical authors and quoting them to their followers, oftentimes with a word of recommendation if not persuasion to buy these writings and read them in their entirety. We won’t take time here to discuss God’s view on these things, but if you are curious, you might want to pause to look at Deuteronomy 18:9-14. The question is, why are pastors and respected Christian leaders promoting mystics and occultists? And we use the word “promoting” because this is more than the occasional slip of quoting someone for their clever or witty anecdote. These leaders are both bringing the nail and driving it in. However, in many cases these leaders are obscure as to whether they practice these things themselves; they seem content enough in bringing their followers to the bait, then leaving their followers to fend for themselves. Ingrid Schlueter coined the term “the bridgers” because these leaders in their obscurity seem quite innocent, yet due to their positions of respect and large followings, they are wittingly or unwittingly pulling large numbers of otherwise conservative followers into  a trap that these followers would  not have ventured to on their own accord. In other words, these bridgers are introducing the more conservative flock to what the Bible calls an abomination.

Then there is the other fig called “the silencers” that we looked at a moment ago, and it is getting larger. It too looks putrefied though it is on a healthy looking branch labeled “the church.” This fig represents those in the church who regard themselves as having a special corner, and almost elitist attitude, on discernment. While they proclaim their humility, they also pride themselves as having the educational credentials and biblical know-how to steer the church on a straight course. They speak of the embarrassment other ministries are to the body of Christ who are not deemed worthy to hold the compass. A case in point was brought to our attention when two men stood before an audience and proceeded to praise each other as the purveyors of sound wisdom, discernment, and biblical scholarship. Then, in turn they engaged in a joint attack of verbally punching down those they deemed unworthy of discerning the things of God. This ganged venture began when one of them made reference to “housewives and home-school moms” who have no business interfering in things they know nothing about. One referred to such women as “discernment divas” saying that their “greatest ability for [discernment] is not some rational understanding of doctrinal truths but an ability to use a really sharp tongue.”  Both men on the stage maintained that such things belong to men of wisdom, like themselves. By the way, the one who said this is said to be the “right-hand man” to one of the most popular and looked up to Christian figures today.

After the program, however, this same man, in realizing that he had put his foot in his mouth–figuratively speaking—proceeded to try to remedy the matter lest there be an influx of home-schooling moms and irate husbands knocking at the door. He attempted to remedy the matter by pointing out that he did not mean all home-schooling moms but two in particular—namely Ingrid Schlueter of Crosstalk and Lighthouse Trails Publishing’s Deborah Dombrowski.2 Hoping to put out the spot fires he started, he referred to these women as discernment divas, then proceeded to provide his own derogatory definition of the term.

We must not forget the seriousness or the ramifications of what can happen when someone who is endeavoring to help the Body of Christ is knocked down, verbally or otherwise. Again, we are in a spiritual battle—very real, with its own victories and consequences.

The fact is that the darkness hates the light, and when you bring light where there is darkness it means exposure. We live in a corrupt world where not even the organized church is willing to have the light shine in the dark corners.

But we at Lighthouse Trails were founded on the principle that there is a growing body of believers who have heard God’s heart cry to repentance. It is our belief that repentance is meant to be a part of the Christian life, and as we become aware of our imperfections we endure rather than resist God’s refining process in our lives. When John wrote his letters to the seven churches, he did it with this in mind, but history tells us not all seven of them heeded his letters.

Here at Lighthouse Trails, we have endeavored to blow the trumpet over the years, sounding the call to repentance and to a return to the sound doctrine of the Bible. But many have become annoyed with the repeated blasts of the trumpet. All we can say to this is that the time is short, and we remember the words of Jesus when he said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). We will continue to sound the trumpet for as long as we can while doors of opportunity are still open.

Some will say that it is better for Christians to be silent and just let God take care of things. But it is through silence that the church in America has lost so much ground. Rather than helping the process, silence accelerates the work of the enemy. It was through silence that a man called Hitler was able to come to power and murder millions of innocent people.

Keep praying and do what you can to help sound the trumpet. The enemy forces are advancing; in fact, they are within our ranks.

I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. (Jeremiah 6:17)

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12)

Notes:
1. See A Time of Departing for more information on Alice Bailey’s “revitalization” of the churches.
2. Though Deborah Dombrowski’s name was not mentioned, it was inferred by saying Lighthouse Trails Publishing

RNS: UK’s Biggest Christian Festival to Showcase Islam

Attendees gather during the 2016 Greenbelt Festival at Boughton House in Northamptonshire, England. Photo courtesy of Greenbelt Festival

By Catherine Pepinster
Religion News Service

LONDON (RNS) — Greenbelt, the biggest Christian festival in the United Kingdom, will feature Muslim worship for the first time this year.
The decision by organizers of the annual festival — which began more than 40 years ago as a gathering that drew about 1,500 young people — has stirred some controversy, according to organizers.

Now Greenbelt draws a much larger crowd of about 20,000 over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Aug. 25-28, and offers not only music but also theological discussion and opportunities to work on social justice issues. While it sprung from evangelical Christians, in recent years Greenbelt  has expanded to include a much wider range of participants, including an occasional Muslim speaker. Click here to continue reading.

Related Reading

Chrislam – The Blending Together of Islam & Christianity by Mike Oppenheimer

Commentary: Assembly of God (AOG) General Council to Vote on Resolution Against Israel

Also see Part 2: “Dr. George Wood Responds to Lighthouse Trails Article on AoG Resolution 3 and Israel ” and Part 3: “A Further Unveiling of Assemblies of God Resolution 3 & the Serious Implications”

By Cedric Fisher
Truth Keepers

During the 57th Assemblies of God General Council in Anaheim, California, August 7-11, 2017, the denomination’s membership will vote on Resolution 3. The Resolution is presented as an affirmation that the church should be involved in peace-keeping through conflict resolution. One is compelled to ask why such a resolution is needed. As most denominations, the AoG already has bylaws and leadership positions that promote peace and engage in conflict resolution within the denomination. Apparently, Resolution 3 proposes to involve the membership in the affairs of races, religions, and nations outside the denomination.

The General Council of the Assemblies of God, district councils, and local churches should be involved in conflict resolution between churches, denominations, races, religions, and countries. We believe justice and peacemaking are necessary complements of compassion ministries, and this should be clearly stated in our Constitution. – Resolution 3, 57th General Council, August 7-11, 2017, Anaheim, California.

Some members are deeply concerned that the Resolution will weaken and perhaps obliterate the denominations support for Israel. I believe they have good cause for concern. The leadership has already approved two position papers, “Church Mission and Peacemaking” and “Israel – the Church’s Response,” both which negatively affect Israel. Those position papers are essential to understanding the consequences of passing Resolution 3. (correction: The “Israel – the Church’s Response is not a position paper, but rather is an AoG article listed under AoG Beliefs “based upon [AoG] common understanding of scriptural teaching.”

Old Town Jerusalem (Photo: bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

The New Paradigm
The amalgamation of those position papers and Resolution 3 would establish a new paradigm regarding the denomination’s view and treatment of Israel. The new paradigm aligns with the emerging consensus of significant leaders in Christianity that insists Israel’s biblical-based claims are responsible for unrest in the Mideast. They are further convinced that evangelical support for Israel erroneously strengthens those claims. Their solution is to diminish that support, express sympathy with Muslims and Palestinians, and pressure Israel to relinquish her biblical entitlements. This is evident in the insidious statement in “Israel – the Church’s Response”:

And many Christians outside Israel seem bent on assisting God in fulfilling His prophesied blessing on His chosen people. – “Israel – the Church’s Response”

That reads like something right out of a political Progressive emergent handbook. It implies that “Christians outside Israel” are deceived or misguided. By whom? Israel? We are not misguided, but informed by God’s word. Conversely, agreeing with or sympathizing with Israel’s enemies actually assists Satan in fulfilling his plan to oppress and annihilate Israel.

In “Church Mission and Peacemaking” under the section, “Biblical Directives for Peacemaking,” the paper mentions Israel’s historical apostasies and makes this provocative statement:

The great writing prophets of the Old Testament severely condemned the dreadful social exploitation and injustice of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in their prosperous but declining years.

The references makes it clear that the authors consider Israel to be the problem in accomplishing peace because of their steadfast refusal to accept the demands of her enemies.

The new paradigm further emerges in the following statement:

Because of the contribution of the patriarchs, of Jesus, and of the Jewish disciples to our Christian faith, the Church is often viewed as being pro-Israel, and therefore anti-Palestinian. But we must never forget our Christian Palestinian brothers and sisters who suffer great terrors and hurts. But neither should we forget the Jewish Christians and others who are caught in this conflict. We must remember that millions on both sides of this end-times conflict need to come to a faith in Jesus Christ. – “Israel – the Church’s Response”

Because of what the Scriptures tell us, we as Christian believers must stand by Israel and the Jewish people. That does not mean that a Christian is against Palestinians who are genuine Christians. However, we must be opposed to any attempt to oppress or destroy Israel or divest her of biblical entitlements. Today, we are witnessing a fast-growing change in attitude by Christian groups around the world toward Israel and the Jews, one that is fueling anti-Semitism and a general animosity toward them.

Rick Warrens P.E.A.C.E. plan
The new paradigm also appears to align with Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan and his concept of “religious pluralism.” Warren’s idea is that Muslims and Christians should be partners in working to end what he calls “the five global giants.” One of the things Warren asks is how can Christians and Muslims work together to bring peace to the world? The answer is by one or both religions to compromise their belief systems and scheme to delegitimize Israel.

Warren’s overtures to Muslims and tenure on the Council of Foreign Relation should discredit him as a model of Christian leadership. However, the extent of his acceptance by AoG leaders is astounding and perplexing. AoG General Superintendent George O. Wood and other leaders of the denomination appear enamored with Warren to the extent they are virtually subservient. That adulation is also prevalent among the younger ministers. Many of the same individuals are covertly or overtly involved in ecumenism. Could that be the reason for a steady effort to bring the denomination into compliance with Warren’s worldview? A necessary step would be to publically express sympathy with Palestinians and Muslims.

Resolution 3 is an attempt to present a more powerful statement of disassociation with Israel. Clearly, the AoG leadership rejects the biblical view that Israel plays a special role in God’s eschatological plan. It appears they have bought into the politics of the political Progressives, the Seeker/Emergents, and Rick Warren’s worldview. Whatever their motivation, it is without a doubt not founded on a biblical mandate.

Is There a Biblical Basis for Peace in the End Times?
The questions are, “Can anyone except Christ achieve peace on earth and should that be the church’s mission in these last days?” Every student of eschatology understands that “war and rumors of war” is a prophetic sign of the end times. A companion sign is that all nations will oppose Israel. Sympathizing with Israel’s enemies to end war encourages aggression against Israel. The authors of Resolution 3 extend that sympathy under the guise of an alleged biblical mandate for “the Church” to be involved in peacekeeping between nations. Any peace that could come out of such an effort will be false peace, which is one of the deceptions Antichrist will foist on the world.

Resolution 3 authors attempt to provide a scriptural base for their claims:

However, the Scriptures strongly support conflict resolution as an appropriate method to obtain peace when one is wronged or has wronged another. – Resolution 3

All the biblical references they provide for support of the Resolution are primarily about personal relationships and harmony among God’s people. Also, consider that none of the verses concern eschatology. The verses they use cannot be co-opted to endorse sympathy for Israel’s enemies without violating the spirit of the exegesis. The authors are, in fact, using God’s Word to support spiritually fatal compromise. Further, I must point out that rejecting Israel’s claims that are solidly based on unambiguous Scriptures, while establishing a contradictory narrative based on ambiguous scriptural references, is patently duplicitous. It is the stuff of heresy.

Christ declared that He did not come to bring peace (Matthew 10:34). There cannot be peace between light and darkness. There can be no peace or ecumenism between diabolical religions and true Christianity. Neither will there be peace between Israel and her enemies. Let us not forget that God’s adversary, Satan, hates Christians, and he hates the Jews and Israel.

Additionally, peace cannot exist in a community when a church takes upon itself to solve every conflict. God’s Word actually has something to say about that bad decision:

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him,is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. – Proverbs 26:17

Authors of Resolution 3

Finally, it is important to consider the authors of Resolution 3. It was difficult to discover if all of them were credentialed with the Assemblies of God. References to being AoG ministers or working in organizations connected to the denomination are missing in most of the source material.

The chairperson of the Resolution committee is Donald H, Detrick. Detrick’s wife, Jodie Detrick, is a Life Coach and supporter of contemplative spirituality. Mrs. Detrick wrote the AoG defense of inviting New Age guru Ruth Haley Barton to speak at the General Council in Orlando, Florida.

Concerning the authors of Resolution 3, the following is a sampling of information easily available on the Internet:

J. Ross Byars: Co-founder of Jerusalem School Bethlehem on the West Bank, “Impacting the Arab World with the message of hope through education.” The school delivers to mostly Palestinian youth the “Good News of the Gospel delivered through a culturally-relevant lens.” The pacifism of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi are taught. The schools “takes an ecumenical approach because most of its students are Muslims.” – Haaretz.com, “Think Palestinian Schools Preach Violence? Visit This One,” July 22, 2017

Furthermore, JSB teaches a mystical teaching, the concept of the ‘inner eye,’ from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Kabbalist and the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi in British Mandatory Palestine. – ibid

Robert E. Cooley: President Emeritus and former Professor of Biblical Studies and Archaeology of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminar. Dr. Cooley was a consultant on the merging of the Assemblies of God schools in Springfield. I advise individuals to watch his YouTube video about the leadership challenges of globalization and social diversification of communities, “Evangelical Leadership in the 21st Century” January 30, 2015. I also encourage reading “The Future of the Christian University: An Interview with Dr. Robert E. Cooley” on Pathos.com. Cooley advocates a new paradigm by Christianity regarding its association with nations and religions. His involvement with Resolution 3 defines more clearly what he means by that advocacy.

Murray W. Dempster: Professor of Social Ethics, Southeastern University, Lakeland, Florida. Author of Christian Concern in Pentecostal Perspective: Reformulating Pentecostal Eschatology, Called and Empowered: Global Mission in Pentecostal Perspective, and other books.

Robert W. Houlihan: Professor of Practical Ministry and Missions at Southwestern University. Houihan wrote, “Another area that has caused some concerns for Pentecostals in recent years is the realization that the early Pentecostals overemphasized evangelism and neglected cultural sensitivity and the social and justices issues for the poor. . . . More recently Pentecostal scholars such as Murray Dempster have created a framework to help missionaries reflect on the biblical text and provide them with a social ethic to undergird their social practices.” – Robert Houlihan; “Theological Education in a Cross-Cultural Context: Essays in Honor of John and Bea Carter; Accessing Missional Ministries in the Pentecostal Church: A Trial of Overemphasis on Evangelism.”

Nam Soo Kim: Pastor of Promise Church and Promise Ministries International, Seoul, South Korea. PMI considers itself as a ministry to the world’s 1.85 billion children. Not much is publically known about Kim. I could not discover any significant involvement or contributions to the AoG. As with most of the other authors, he seems to be involved with activity outside of the denomination.

Russell P. Spittler: Senior professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. Author of Perspectives on the New Pentecostalism, Charismatic Christianity as a Global Culture, and other books. Spittler wrote in support of Murray Dempster’s book, Called and Empowered: Global Mission in Pentecostal Perspective: “An unprecedented mix of pentecostal theology and mission practice, virtually a manifesto for pentecostal missions. . . . The fullest and finest missiological treatise originating within classical Pentecostalism available.”–Russell P. Spittler

Prophecy is Being Fulfilled
In conclusion, I must point out that Rome changed the name of Judea to Palestine in 136 A.D. Islam did not arrive until about the 7th century A.D. Christianity is a religion that originated with a Jewish man, Christ Jesus the Son of God. The church is established on Jewish disciples of Christ with Him as the Cornerstone. Historically and evidentiary, there is no basis for any attempt to dispose Israel of her biblical heritage and rights.

Therefore, to embrace the Palestinian and Muslim cause and reject Israel is, in essence, to be anti-Semitic. Thus, the AoG’s positions papers and Resolution 3 is oxymoronic in presentation and factitious in intent. It is an effort to unite the 60 million-member worldwide denomination with other denominations and political groups that are openly hostile to Israel. That is not peace keeping, but quite the opposite. It is meddling in affairs that the true church, the Body of Christ, has no biblical mandate to become involved in. Furthermore, it is compromise of the worst sort during the worst period in Israel’s history and likely to help trigger an unprecedented military attack on Israel.

What we are witnessing is the formation of the False Prophet’s global church and the dark kingdom of Antichrist. Prophecy is racing toward fulfillment. Christianity’s leaders and theologians are more concerned about the relevance of Christianity, its political position in the world system, and the numerical value of Christendom than about standing uncompromisingly for God’s truth. I do believe that some professing Christians feel intense pressure to compromise and thereby avoid being ostracized or even persecuted.

It is time to wake up and heed God’s Word. Love for truth is dissipating as fog in the morning sun. Convenient yet false interpretations of God’s Word are being duplicitously presented as new truth. The resulting false conclusions are leading to a dangerous and perhaps eternally fatal pragmatism.

Related Material:

ISRAEL: REPLACING WHAT GOD HAS NOT

Reminder: What Lighthouse Trails Believes About Israel and the Jews

The Berean Call Conference: Israel in the Line of Fire

World Vision Cries “Reform” – But What About Israel and the Emerging Church – The Story Behind the Story

DVD Exposes “Christian Palestinianism” and the Evangelical Leaders Promoting It

“Reformed Church Body Signs Declaration on Justification to ‘Overcome Divisions’ With Catholic Church”

Courtesy and Comments by Roger Oakland
Comment from UTT: The move towards an ecumenical unity with Rome by denominations that were once part of the Reformation is now almost been accomplished. For a Protestant leader to say that there is no difference between what the Roman Catholic Church teaches about salvation and what the Bible teaches is totally absurd. Certainly this is a clear sign of the great falling away that the Bible warns about.

Pope Francis leads his Wednesday general audience at Paul VI auditorium hall in Vatican City February 8, 2017. (Reuters/Tony Gentile)

Reformed Church Body Signs Declaration on Justification to ‘Overcome Divisions’ With Catholic Church”

By Michael Gryboski
Christian Post

A worldwide coalition of Reformed churches representing approximately 80 million Christians has signed onto an ecumenical statement with the Roman Catholic Church to “overcome divisions” from the time of the Protestant Reformation.

The World Communion of Reformed Churches signed a “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” with Catholic, Lutheran, and Methodist leaders last week at a church in Wittenberg, Germany. According to a WCRC press release, “The declaration stated that mutual condemnations pronounced by the two sides during the Reformation do not apply to their current teaching on justification.” Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

Evangelicals and Catholics Together and the Rejection of End-Time, Bible-Believing Christians

Chuck Colson Continues Work in Bringing Evangelicals and Catholics Together

Manhattan Declaration: “Perhaps Millions” Being Led Toward the New Age/New Spirituality

Letter to the Editor: Obama and World Leaders Ringing in Reformation Summer 2017 in Germany

To Lighthouse Trails:

Obama, Chancellor [of Germany] Angela Merkel, and Melinda Gates [Bill Gates’ wife]  all attended and spoke at the Protestant assembly in Germany, Kirchentag, which rings in the beginning of Reformation Summer 2017. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib, two additional Imams, a number of rabbis, and a Jewish author spoke as well. Reformation Summer 2017, which Kirchentag is ringing in, is a celebration and commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and Europe, and it is ecumenical. (https://r2017.org/en) German Protestant Kirchentag is an ecumenical and interfaith event, despite its name.

Article: “Obama and Makgoba to visit Germany for 500th Reformation anniversary”
“On 25 May the former U.S. President and Chancellor Angela Merkel will engage in a conversation on the topic of “Being Involved in Democracy: Taking on Responsibility Locally and Globally”. Kirchentag President Christina Aus der Au and Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, EKD Council chair, will moderate the discussion at the Brandenburg Gate. The event is being jointly sponsored and planned by the Kirchentag and the Obama Foundation.

Heinrich Bedford-Strohm invited President Obama in May 2016 to visit Germany for the Reformation anniversary. Bedford-Strohm: “President Barack Obama’s attending the Kirchentag in Berlin, which will ring in the Reformation Summer, underlines the international character of our 500th anniversary celebrations. The churches form a global civil society network of over two billion Christians. Together, as people of faith, we live from the firm hope for a better world. Anyone who is pious also has to be politically minded. I am looking forward to enthusiastic debates during the Reformation Summer 2017.”

Christina Aus der Au is also delighted about the two prominent participants in the Kirchentag. “The United States is strongly marked by the Reformation and its historical impact. At the same time, the Protestant churches and communities there have developed in their own way. President Obama and Chancellor Merkel have said that their dedication as politicians is also an expression of their Christian faith. The Kirchentag movement lives from people who work for justice and solidarity on the basis of their faith. It will be really interesting to hear what the two of them say to us Christians in Europe.” https://www.kirchentag.de/english/programme/obama_and_makgoba.html

Article: “The Kirchentag church festival – the highpoint of the Reformation anniversary year”
“From 24 to 28 May 2017, under the banner ‘You see me’, you are encouraged to open your eyes to your fellow man and look more deeply into everyday life.”
“The Kirchentag is not just for Protestants, of course. People of all faiths and nationalities are very much welcome to attend and to play their part, and wherever possible the festival programme has been made barrier-free.”

“Take the opportunity to discuss topics like peace, tolerance and diversity with your fellow man.
https://www.germany.travel/en/news/the-kirchentag-church-festival-the-highpoint-of-the-reformation-anniversary-year-229825.html

Article: “Obama in Berlin for landmark church assembly”
“Former US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in front of tens of thousands of people before the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Thursday to discuss God, faith and the state of the world.”

“Former US president warned of succumbing to nationalism and a closed world – an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump.”

“In this new world we live in, we can’t isolate ourselves, we can’t hide behind a wall,” he said before the gate that once separated East and West Berlin.”

“Those attending include Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib, philanthropist Melinda Gates, German singer and songwriter Max Giesinger, German climate change researcher Ottmar Edenhofer, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura and Israeli author Amos Oz.”  http://www.dw.com/en/obama-in-berlin-for-landmark-church-assembly/a-38961665

Theme of Kirchentag: “You See Me”
“The 36th German Protestant Kirchentag in Berlin and Wittenberg has the theme “You see me” from Genesis chapter 16, verse 13.” “General secretary Ellen Ueberschär points out: “Seeing starts relationships, not only with God but also in the co-existence of all humans. Being looked at by God is the foundation of man’s dignity as a creation of God. The story of Hagar that the topic stems from is referenced both in the New Testament and in the Hadiths, the collection of Muhammad’s sayings. ‘You see me’ is a sentence that expresses recognition, appreciation and attention beyond its biblical context.”

“I wish for a Kirchentag full of awareness: aware of people without regard, in a city where rich and poor are far apart; aware also of those who don’t believe in God or believe differently, here in Germany’s East and in a city full of cultural and ideological contrast; aware and alert for a church that changes because it needs to change.”

– Under full list of topics, here are some listed:
“New start towards the future common good
Ecumenical service on Ascension Day
Spiritual Centre
Centre on the Church of the Future
Centre Barrier free Kirchentag
Theme day on Reforming the ecumenical movement – thinking Reformation ecumenically
Theme day on What is mission? Having faith in a pluralist world
Long night of the religions during the Kirchentag
Centre on Jews and Christians
Centre on Muslims and Christians
Theme day: Interreligious-theological women’s base faculty
Panel series on Peace
Panel series on Sustainable development goals – Germany, a developing country
Panel series on Consequences of climate change (in Potsdam)
Centre for Reformation and Transformation – Ecumenical Perspectives (English-speaking)”
https://www.kirchentag.de/english/programme/theme_topics.html

Programme for Kirchentag Webpage:
“Bible studies or large concerts, Taizé worship or socio-political panel discussions – the events are as varied as its visitors.”
https://www.kirchentag.de/english/programme/programme_book.html

PDF File of Complete Programme:
Some of the topics from this programme are:
Ecumenical Opening Service
The Long Road to Women’s Ordination
Feminists in All Religions
Unite! Strategies against Fundamentalism
Climate Impact and Poverty
Reformation anniversary as “Christusfest?”
In Search of a Christology that is Not Anti-Jewish
One World?
Ecumenical Voices on the Third Reformation
Incense of Music
Interreligious work for peace
Strategies for peace and prophetic witness
Messy church in the United States
Liturgy goes Carribean
The Peacemakers: Texts by Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, et al.
Tolerance and Peaceful Co-existence
A Safe Europe in a Better World
Taking greater responsibility for peace
Hate Speech
Religious Freedom or Hate Speech – Worldwide Challenges for LBGT+
Climate Change calls for a New Theology
Orthodox Vespers in Ecumenical Communion
Do we need different churches?
Christianity and Korean Confucianism
Seventy years of partition plan, 50 years of occupation: Israel and Palestine – the irresolvable conflict?
I have learned to speak to God
(De)radicalisation through religion
Queer and religious?!: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim positions
Transhuman revolution: The self-invention of the immortal human
Sustainable Development and the churches in South Africa
Meissen unites: Celebrating the Eucharist interdenominationally
Feidman plays the Beatles
https://www.kirchentag.de/fileadmin/dateien/zzz_NEUER_BAUM/English/DEKT36_International_Programme.pdf

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (Senior Bishop and Principal Leader of the Church of England) tweets about Obama at Kirchentag:
“Grateful to spend time with @BarackObama, Chancellor #Merkel and Christian leaders at #Kirchentag in Berlin today. #dekt17”


AND
“Thank you @BarackObama and Chancellor #Merkel for sending these messages to the people of #Manchester when we met in Berlin today.”

Molly


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