Archive for the ‘LETTERS TO THE EDITOR’ Category
From a Lighthouse Trails Reader:
Saturdays are good because I pick up Joan [not real name], a family member and go early to the Farmers Market. I went into the house, and Joan, who is close to 50 years old, excitedly showed me some Disney character socks she purchased for her friends and herself. They depicted the Evil Queen and two other Characters from that movie. We got in the car, and I noticed she had on her Evil Queen shoes and socks. The conversation goes to Christmas gifts, and she said her 11-year-old son says he wants an X Box so he can play games.
I now had to step in and talk about all the dangers of the current games where the characters have super powers and they are always killing off someone. Joan is in the choir at a Methodist church, and I did go once when the great-grandsons were baptized. The candles, the altar, the flowing robe of the minister, were very much a presence. The bulletin announced a new class given by a lady about finding new thought and prayer life through the mystics.
I tried to tell Joan about the evil behind the games and many other things in this day and age. I told her of the dangers and how they could affect young minds. I reiterated a happening the day before when I was walking around a small lake in our area in which some little kids came up behind me on their scooters. The smallest, about 6 years old, was saying, “Yea, I’m going to grab her and pull her hair out and then throw her into the fire” and other things along that line. Then they both got off their scooters because some ducks were close by and they chased them and yelled at them until they went into the lake. Those kids probably learned the scenario from some of their evil promoting games. I stated that this kind of thing was going to happen in the end times. She agreed that some games were bad and some characters in movies were promoting evil and
had bad super powers and weren’t like real people but that the evil queen she likes from the Disney movie was portrayed as a real person with some powers. But she wasn’t all bad.
Then the topic changed, and Joan told me she was so excited because the Gilmore Girls was on Netflix now. I had never heard of it or watched it, and she said that I’d love it, and I said I’d try it. Well, later I turned it on, and it was full of promiscuity, sexual innuendos, sexual relations discussed with ease, and unmarried people living together. It was all portrayed as if it was all normal every day living. I turned it off.
Then on my doorstep, I received an invitation to a Ladies Bible Study lunch that was happening next month. The leader, who claims she is an ordained minister, also does visitation at a local hospital as a volunteer. She wears a black shirt with the inverted collar and a long black skirt. A LARGE gold cross hangs from her neck. I had confronted her once before on her outfit, and she stated that people and men in particular respected the collar.
I received a text from a friend who goes to the Calvary Chapel church at the conference center, and she said I should come to church. I have told her repeatedly that it is becoming part of the apostasy. I had asked the pastor a year ago his views on Christian Yoga, and he wouldn’t answer even after I gave him literature on the topic. I see him now about once a week at a local elementary school. We exchange pleasantries. He said I could come back, and I told him that he hadn’t answered me on where he stands on Yoga and further more as an employee of the Conference Center, Brian Brodersen, who is his boss, is definitely going in the wrong direction. He finally e-mailed me his answer in which he stated he didn’t know about Brian Brodersen’s directions for the church or his joining up with Rick Warren or the Pope, but he would check it out. As for Yoga, he is “wary” of it.
I had one sane interaction toward the end of the day. A lady friend and I on the same page share the Lord with each other and some of our friends, and we pray they will listen before it is too late. We agreed that most people are content to live in the “Bubble” of life that goes on and they have their cocktail parties with the “plastic” people who tell jokes, talk about their shopping sprees, and live for the next day to do it again.
Enough of the insanity. I went to bed and continued reading a book by Dave Hunt Urgent Call for a Serious Faith. That is the answer.
We need to hold fast to Jesus. He is our life line. He is our Savior.
A Sister in California
Letter to the Editor: Mixed Bag of Speakers at Assemblies of God General Conference to Include Rick Warren, Priscilla Shirer, Circle-Making Mark Batterson
Dear LHT editors:
My parents attend an Assemblies of God church, and I try to keep up to date on what is going on. I left the denomination years ago, but they are struggling to stay. I just looked up the events for 2017 and wasn’t too shocked to find good old Rick Warren as a speaker as well as Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker) and others who I am not familiar with, but who seem to be part of the large megachurch mindset. Here is the link: General Council 2017 | Anaheim, CA
Also if possible if you could add Joanna Weaver to your list of books to stay away from. I am so grieved that churches just don’t want to listen. They refuse to expose error and embrace false teachers through books. They pick out the nuggets. It doesn’t matter if the author got her info from mystics, contemplatives, and flat out heretics from the NAR movement. :(
God bless you all and we will be praying for your ministry.
LTRP Comments: Dr. George Wood, who is the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God church, is one of the leaders Lighthouse Trails is sending booklets to a few times a year.1 Thus far, he has received 5 booklets from LT: 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, 5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer, Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome, Setting Aside the Power of the Gospel for a Powerless Substitute, and Is Your Church Doing Spiritual Formation (And Important Reasons Why it Shouldn’t). On December 22, 2016, Lighthouse Trails editors received a short letter from Dr. Wood acknowledging receipt of the last two. It is our hope he will read the booklets and consider the information provided in them. As with many other denominations today, the Assemblies of God is heavily promoting contemplative spirituality.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
When I first became a Christian, I was 21 years old, but unfortunately the other believers around me became a part of the “Shepherding Movement.” Thankfully, I listened to that “still small voice” and the wife of a family who had defected, helped to bring me out of it! (She simply asked me where my joy was by trying to live back under all the laws, which Jesus released us from, which in turn, the Shepherding Movement was trying to revert us back to . . . I had no joy.) As the years rolled by, I realized I had a gift of discernment. Fast forward 30 years: I am now 57, and I am appalled by the emerging church, contemplative prayer, etc. I have stood against these, and by speaking the truth lost so many church/personal relationships because of it.
It is becoming very difficult to find a Bible-based church that doesn’t compromise and will preach the “whole” word of God. This is my biggest concern however . . . my husband and I recently left a United Methodist Church for this reason: We loved the concept that the doors were open to all people, in all walks of life. This included a homosexual couple. My problem soon began to be realized – that those issues would never be addressed truthfully.
Our pastor just didn’t want to acknowledge, and certainly not preach on, ANY Scripture in the New Testament that plainly speaks of the consequences of those, or any other types of those behaviors/sins. It seems that all churches we attend are just politically correct like this. Many of the things that your articles speak about which are blatantly attacking the church are more obvious. At least to me. Unfortunately, I believe this “political correctness” is what is really going to be the churches undoing. It is so insidious and frighting. I don’t know whether God wants me to stay in churches like these and keep fighting and exposing His truth or leave because eventually it becomes too hurtful and unbearable. ANY suggestions would be welcomed!! Thank you for all the hard work you do.
Our Comment: This reader has asked us if we could provide them with any comments our readers have regarding this letter. For those who are reading this on Facebook, please feel free to comment and offer suggestions or insights. Many, many people who contact Lighthouse Trails, either through e-mail, phone, or letter, share similar concerns, in particular when it comes to finding a solid Bible-based church.
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Dear Lighthouse Trails Editors:
It seems that a new phrase might be in order to describe what’s going on in the church. When we see or hear someone endorse a practice that goes contrary to the Word within the church especially, I guess we could call that “a biblical emergency” for lack of a better term. We could call those who are out on the front lines warning us about these practices “first responders” in a certain sense, similar to the terminology that applies to those responding to a fire, a robbery, etc.
With contemplative prayer, mantra meditation, and other unbiblical practices having entered into the church, I would say the church has that kind of emergency situation. It’s a very unusual way to describe that.
LTRP Note: We find it noteworthy that on the eve of our going to press with Roger Oakland’s new book, The Good Shepherd Calls, we read this letter to the editor that arrived in our inbox this morning. The things this letter talks about are some of the same things Roger discusses in the book. What’s more, this letter to the editor is more proof that it isn’t just Lighthouse Trails, Understand The Times, and a handful of other discernment ministries that see what is coming about. (Those whom we challenge and critique want people to think that it is indeed just a handful, but it isn’t.) Based on the phone calls, e-mails, letters, and social media comments for nearly 15 years, it is clear that many Bible-believing Christians understand the times in which we live and see the apostasy coming upon the church. As for the letter below, we commend this woman for speaking up and warning her church members.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
My small Southern Baptist church recently finished Beth Moore’s “Entrusted” series which includes articles from her daughter Melissa Moore. Not having experienced Beth Moore I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. Being informed by Lighthouse Trails and other discernment websites, I approached the class with a good deal of wariness. I love Beth and Melissa Moore as sisters in Christ. I was hoping to find nothing of concern in “Entrusted.” This was not the case. Following are some of my concerns.
Quite a lot of this study had to do with unity. Beth had several pages of praise for the unbelieving “hero,” Rabbi Gamaliel and his speech that unified the Sanhedrin, holding him up as an example for church leaders to follow. She then contrasted Gamaliel with believers Paul and Barnabas and expressed dismay that they should split in a disagreement over John Mark, as though it was an avoidable incident over a minor problem. She had a strong emphasis on not “compromising fellowship,” with a major criteria for unity being that we join together for evangelism regardless of denomination, and with the assumption that we all believe the same basic Gospel message. All other major doctrines seemed to be a minor concern. There was a quick negative comment about what divides us, the inerrancy of Scripture being one of them. She read Acts 14:3 concerning God’s use of signs and wonders through Paul and Barnabas, saying that she wants and expects wonders and indicated we should as well. Before one of her grandchildren was born, “a word had been spoken” that led them to believe the child would be a boy, but it was instead a girl . . . a false prophecy. . Her daughter Melissa wrote approvingly about traditions of the early church (i. e., Roman Catholic), the liturgy and especially the creeds, with a desire to see all churches united in incorporating these traditions in weekly worship. There was a personal story from Melissa about how comforting she found this form of worship, as she was sharing the same worship experience with churches all over the world at the same time. Lastly, Beth switched among at least eight Bible versions, including The Message.
There were other comments scattered throughout the videos and written materials with which I disagreed mixed in with a majority with which I did agree, making it difficult to sift through it all. However, at the inerrancy of Scripture comment, I couldn’t hold my tongue. When I told the ladies’ Bible study group that I couldn’t agree with Beth on this, as well as her subtle comments promoting ecumenism, I was met with defensive hostility and warnings about division in the church. I never intended to cause waves or division, but I love those ladies and I couldn’t let this pass. There was obvious tension and discomfort at the next church service.
How can we unite in evangelism when we don’t even agree on how to be saved? How can we unite with those who hold unscriptural views on marriage, sexuality, abortion, health-and-wealth, etc.? Doesn’t it matter what a new believer is taught? Is being safely in the fold all that matters? Most importantly, the world appears to be nearing Christ’s return and we are warned about the increase of apostasy and deception. The experiential emergent movement, Chrislam, etc. are rapidly transforming the world’s religions by incorporating Roman Catholic traditions and encouraging religious unity. Aren’t Bible studies like this one leading in the same direction? Yet churches like mine seem completely oblivious. Should we not warn them, or at least raise suspicion?
I haven’t been back. I don’t want to be the focus of the problem. My hope and prayer is that these brothers and sisters whom I love will instead focus on the major issue of discerning apostasy. I pray they don’t trust anything that comes from any source without doing a thorough evaluation. And I pray they discuss everything before admitting it into the church, perhaps electing a trusted group of Bereans to act as a defense against apostasy.
Thank God for Lighthouse Trails Research and similar discernment websites, speaking the truth, and shining the light in the darkness. Thank-you, LTR!
To Lighthouse Trails:
My kids are taking an AP English class and were asked to read articles that show the benefits of Yoga in schools. The question was not if Yoga was good or bad, but whether detention using Yoga was effective, reading an article that said it was (per query of the students’ getting detention). Essentially inviting the kids to challenge their opinions to include Yoga in a myriad of situations in life. My kids were aghast, that it is truly the new normal in education. I did a search to see, and CNN is coming out with an article on Yoga and meditation nearly monthly now, I find this quite alarming. I thought perhaps the matter would interest all of you at Lighthouse Trails.
www.cnn.com/2016/11/04/health/meditation-in-schools-b... Proxy Highlight Nov 8, 2016 …
An elementary school in West Baltimore uses meditation in place of detention, sending kids to a quiet space to stretch,
do yoga and practice…
Nov 20, 2016 … Try these five yoga-based ways to tame tension and regain peace of mind, … According to Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Herbert Benson, we can use our … Repeat it out loud several times or simply concentrate on it for a …
Aug 22, 2013 … Many school districts are adding yoga to their curriculum but some say the … Middle School in Atlanta, lay out their mats and get ready to wind down. … the third limb — posture, according to Yoga Journal expert Richard Freeman. … for Law and Policy president Dean Broyles said in a statement at the time.
Feb 9, 2016 … Students at Marblehead High School in Massachusetts meditate in a new Zen Room at the school. … School in Massachusetts, students started moving their desks out of … morning meditation sessions two times a week before classes. … complete with yoga mats, blankets, tranquil music and soft lighting, …
Oct 19, 2016 … Unlike conventional Western exercises, yoga focuses on the breath, and “that turns out … You can also slowly pedal out your heels, by straightening one leg at a time to ease into the posture. … The benefits of yoga in schools … According to Yoga Journal’s national survey (PDF), as of 2016, there are more …
Feb 16, 2015 … Yoga instructors balance their time between teaching classes that bring … planning what goes into each class and getting the word out about a …
Nov 13, 2014 … A new kind of school is popping up all over the world — and they want to teach … as well as full-time MA degrees on Digital Media Management. … Check out: Masterclass – Business Transformation for a two-day course … work stress with yoga to learn and practice the science of enhancing your well-being.
Sep 3, 2015 … Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. …. “I took time off and it turned out to be a gift. … Now a high school senior, Degener is still teaching yoga classes and loading up on high-level classes to prepare for the next …
From a concerned parent
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LTRP Note: Carolyn recently mailed this letter to Lighthouse Trails. She wrote it shortly after Ray passed away (on October 16th). Carolyn is the author of Castles in the Sand and Dangerous Illusions.
Update: After posting this letter on November 30, a reader wrote to us concerned that Carolyn was writing this letter to Ray, that it might give the impression that Carolyn or Lighthouse Trails endorsed talking to the dead. So that there is no misunderstanding and so that we do not mislead anyone, we want to clarify that neither Lighthouse Trails nor Carolyn Greene believe one can talk to the dead or should one try to talk to the dead. Carolyn’s letter was meant as a tribute to Ray and not intended in any fashion as an effort to communicate with Ray. Because of this concern, we have reworded Carolyn’s letter into third person.
Dear Lighthouse Trails,
How I have missed Ray Yungen, and always will.
The first time I heard about Ray, I read his book, A Time of Departing, on the contemplative spirituality that had crept into my church. I had been questioning it, and his book gave me the confidence to stand in the truth.
The first time I met Ray was when he came to speak at my church . . . the new church we found and loved where the truth was being taught.
The first time I got to know Ray was a few days later. We had lunch in the Greek restaurant, and we talked about all the things that had put us on the same page for such a time as this. One touching thing he told me that day was that he was a romantic at heart. His dream was to have a picnic with a checkered tablecloth and a basket of food on a grassy hill with someone he could love. A beautiful girl with a British accent perhaps, with whom he could wax eloquent. It was sweet that he shared his hopes in many conversations to come, and I wished it for him, but it was not to be.
The first time he came to our family’s home was some time later, to discuss my research on a current faith healer who was telling everyone to “come get some” Holy Ghost fire at a big so-called revival in Florida. He walked in, and I was prepared to get down to business and show him all I had found. But he asked if I had any coffee, and if he could just sit on the leather couch and take it all in. It was my first introduction to the idea of having an awareness of the ambiance of a moment, that life was not all about work. Life was about taking it in and enjoying the gift of it. I saw that in Ray— a home was a place to cherish. I remember how he so enjoyed the roast beef dinner at our table, how relaxed he was, how he enjoyed every moment, and took interest in everything. It was not a fancy meal but one he would refer to years later as “a wonderful dinner,” even though we didn’t have the HP sauce he requested. After dinner, we watched video clips together on my computer of the madman who shook and flailed wildly on stage, claiming it was the Holy Spirit anointing, like a wolf deceiving the sheep. Ray were so stunned by it that he stood up, walked to the view windows and looked out at the hills . . . deep in thought at first; then very excitedly, he began to pace and explained how this was the connection between Brother Lawrence (who danced like a madman when he went into “the presence”) and this modern-day movement. And sure enough, as I researched further, this false teacher did indeed “practice the presence,” and even taught it. Ray thanked me profusely. I was simply honored.
Then Ray made a temporary move to Canada and lived with some brothers in the Lord. The first time I dropped by to discuss his research, he greeted me with such delight and enthusiasm. We were always on the same page and had many interesting conversations. Together, we led an evening addressing questions about Yoga to concerned parents at a local elementary school that was introducing it to kids.
What also impressed me was that Ray knew the Bible very well. He loved attending our church when he could and was a wonderful addition to our fellowship, often joining the lunch crowd at the restaurants for Sunday dinner. I always sensed God’s strength and joy in him. He couldn’t suppress the sparkle in his eye or subdue the constant grin that lit up his face. Especially when we would visit the local Christian bookstore, and he would bounce from book to book, excitedly expressing his exasperation, for all to hear, that such a store would sell books written by the mystics.
The time came when he had to go back home to the U.S., and we lost contact. From what I saw in the time he was with us, he embraced life as much as he did his calling. His passion was the ministry God gave him . . . to warn the church of false teaching disguised as the truth.
Surely he changed the direction of so many people walking the paths of error. Looking back on time, I now realize that God used Ray to change the course of my life. I was told he picked my pen name for the novel I wrote for his publisher, the publishing company that would not even exist were it not for Ray. I was so honored. How I wish I could have told him these things before he left us.
The first time I heard of his illness, I had hoped to share these thoughts with him. But then suddenly, he was gone. I was so sorry to hear the final news. That day I pictured him walking in a golden meadow with Jesus, picnic basket in hand, a sparkle in his eye, waxing eloquent, and enjoying the ambiance of eternity.
I miss Ray. He truly was, and forever will be, a RAY of SON SHINE.
LTRP Note: If you have not read Castles in the Sand and its sequel Dangerous Illusions, we would highly recommend it, especially if you have or are a college-aged person.