Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

“After Yoga, Meditation Breaks Into the Mainstream”

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the content (but rather as a warning):

By Catherine Triomphe
Agence France Presse
(from the Daily Star)

NEW YORK: It is 5 p.m., otherwise known as rush hour in Manhattan. Julia Lyons, 31, finishes work and heads straight for her daily dose of peace and quiet – half an hour at meditation studio “Mndfl.” Since April 2016, when she discovered the studio, the investment bank employee has abandoned yoga and embraced meditation.

“I have been meditating pretty regularly – probably five times a week, 30-minute sessions,” says Lyons, sipping a cup of tea on the studio’s sofa.

“I just need a moment to chill out. This city – you are always running place to place and there are not a lot of quiet spaces,” she explains. “I think it’s made me a lot happier and also just helped me make better decisions, more thoughtful decisions.”

Practiced by millions around the world, meditation promotes mental well-being through concentration, breathing techniques and self-awareness. For a long time, those singing its praises were intellectuals, celebrities or people dedicated to spirituality.  Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

Mindfulness, Meditation Techniques Being Used in Public School Classrooms Across County on 750,000 Students

 

*Photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.

The Impact of Practical Mystics versus Cults

By Ray Yungen
(Author of A Time of Departing)

Evangelical scholar David L. Smith correctly assessed the powerful, yet subtle, impact New Age spirituality is having on society when he made the following observations:

Not since Gnosticism at the dawn of the Christian era has there arisen a philosophy as pervasive and threatening to orthodox Christianity as the New Age movement . . . It would be difficult to find any area of life, which has not been touched or redirected to some degree by the concepts of this movement.1

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Smith recognizes that, rather than just a small segment, the overall social fabric of society is being impacted. This movement has clearly evolved well past the subculture stage into something much more dynamic and sophisticated. This stunning change has been brought about by the rise of a new breed of mystic—one that presents mysticism as a complement to secular goals and one that is adept at easing the public’s natural impulse to reject the strange and unfamiliar. Some examples of this are:

A prominent, influential speaker and seminar leader, Brian Tracy, promotes the use of the “superconscious mind” (i.e., the higher self), “to improve productivity, performance and output” in the corporate world.2

An article in one major Pacific Northwest newspaper features a large color picture of a local university professor in a classic Zen Buddhist meditation pose. He has not joined the Buddhist religion but is trying to reverse his heart condition through Eastern meditation.3

A popular morning talk show entices viewers with the promise of “how to get along with your spouse.” The show then features popular New Age author Wayne Dyer exhorting viewers to “go into the silence for guidance” when they get angry with their mate[s].4

These are just a few examples of what could be called secular mysticism or generic mysticism, meditation practiced not for religious reasons but as a tool to improve life. Many Christians have a difficult time comprehending this concept. They have been trained to think in terms of cults such as the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) or the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses). But these groups are rather limited in their impact because, even if they become sizable, they remain only isolated islands in society. The advantage practical mystics have is that they only have to piggyback a seemingly benevolent meditation method onto whatever programs they are promoting—in other words, they do not have to proselytize people to a dogma, only a practice.

New Age publisher Jeremy Tarcher spoke of this challenge in an interview. Speaking of practical mystics he explained: “They have to learn to present their perceptions in appropriate language and actions that don’t arouse fear or resistance.”5

Because of their success at this effort, one writer declared that interest in meditation was currently exploding. This explosion in Western culture is unprecedented and very real.

In the West, mysticism had always been restricted to a tiny fraction of the population (i.e., shamans, esoteric brotherhoods, and small spiritually elite groups). Never before has there been a widespread teaching of these methods to everyone. Now, mysticism pervades the Western world. How did this happen?

The first such book to reach a broad audience was Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. This book could rightfully be called a practical mystic’s bible. Many people can trace their first involvement in metaphysics to this book. Since its publication in 1978, it has sold millions of copies and has influenced the fields of psychology, health, business, and athletics.6

The book became so popular because it addresses such topics as creativity, career goals, relationships, better health, and simple relaxation and peacefulness. Who wouldn’t want to have all this, especially if all it takes is engaging in a simple practice?

Gawain spells out very clearly what that practice entails. She teaches her readers:

Almost any form of meditation will eventually take you to an experience of yourself as source, or your higher self . . . Eventually you will start experiencing certain moments during your meditation when there is a sort of “click” in your consciousness and you feel like things are really working; you may even experience a lot of energy flowing through you or a warm radiant glow in your body. These are signs that you are beginning to channel the energy of your higher self.7

There had been books like hers before, but those appealed to people already in the New Age subculture. This wasn’t true of Creative Visualization. This book had just the right secular slant on something inherently spiritual. Gawain believed that one could stay a Jew, Catholic, or Protestant and still practice the teachings of the book. All you were doing was developing yourself, not changing your religion.

Gawain was merely the forerunner of what has become a flood of such books. A more recent book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which is about the “spiritual path to higher creativity,”27 has sold over two million copies.

A good example of this approach was a business in a major West Coast city that sold books, tapes, and videos on stress reduction. The owners were very active in their community. Doctors, therapists, and teachers came to them for help. They gave talks to school faculties, major corporations, and all the major hospitals in their city. Their clientele tended to be affluent, well-educated professionals and business people who were interested in personal growth.

Yet, along with stress reduction and self-improvement, another element was subtly present—spiritual awareness. One of the owners wrote how she attended a powerful workshop with “Lazaris” and discovered that his techniques were “practical and useful.”8 That does not sound too extraordinary at first glance—however, Lazaris is not a person but a spirit guide!

Because of the stereotypes about people who gravitate toward mystical experiences (such as counterculture types), we may tend to assume people associated with these practices have strange personalities or are in other ways offbeat. On the contrary, these individuals are professional, articulate, conservatively dressed, and above all, extremely personable. They are positive and likeable. A newspaper reporter who did an article on one of them told me, “She is one of the most calm, serene persons I have ever met.” The reporter added, “People want what she has!”

The health, self-help, and recovery sections of secular bookstores are now saturated with New Age metaphysical books. Christian columnist Terry Mattingly summed up the situation brilliantly when he observed: “The New Age didn’t crest, it soaked in . . . It is now the dominant theme in commercial bookstores.”9 If the self-help and personal growth sections of most secular commercial bookstores were examined, the only conclusion to come away with would be that New Age mysticism is the prominent spiritual viewpoint of this country.

A case in point: One day while strolling through a shopping mall, I noticed a New Age bookstore and a secular bookstore just around the corner from each other. Upon examination, it was clear the secular bookstore had far more New Age books than the New Age bookstore did—hundreds more. Moreover, the vast majority were not in the New Age section but in the self-help, health, and other sections. Thus, New Age bookstores have almost been rendered obsolete by the explosion of practical mystic books stocked in traditional bookstores.

This is not an understatement or scare-tactic conjecture. Take a look at book sales for some of the major New Age authors around today. Just the top two, Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra, have sold fifty million books between them. James Redfield, the author of The Celestine Prophecy, can boast of a staggering twenty million books sold, and Neale Donald Walsch, the channeler of Conversations with God, a paltry seven million.10
The basic message of these books and hundreds of others like them could be reduced to one simple word, a word that cries out a uniform consistent theme—meditate! That is to say, you’re not going to get anywhere in this life unless you get that “click” that Gawain spoke of earlier and to do it, you must meditate.

If you think the New Age movement is a colorful assortment of strange cults populated by free-spirited aging hippies and assorted oddballs who are being duped by money-hungry charlatans and egocentric frauds, then think again. We are not dealing with fringe religious groups or chanting flower-children anymore but with a broad-based concerted effort to influence and restructure our whole society. (Excerpt from A Time of Departing, chapter 1)

Notes:
1. David L. Smith, A Handbook of Contemporary Theology (Victor Books, 1992), p. 273.
2. Brian Tracy, Maximum Achievement (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1993), pp. 179, 17.
3. “Change of Heart,” (The Sunday Oregonian, September 19, 1993), p. L1.
4. AM Northwest Morning Talk Show, KATU Channel 2, Portland, OR, Interview with Wayne Dyer, March 27, 1997.
5. Jeremy Tarcher, “Living with Vision” (Science of Mind, April 1, 1992), p. 44.
6. Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 2002), back cover.
7. Ibid., 1983, 9th Printing, p. 57.
8. Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way (New York, NY: William Morrow Co., 10th Anniversary Edition), front & back covers.
9. What’s New at Stiles newsletter, 1985.
10. Terry Mattingly, “Marketplace of the Gods” (Christian Research Journal, May/June 1986), p. 6.

Guest Commentary: The Unholy “Holy Ghost Fire” of Todd White and the NAR

By Tony Baugh

The Bible is clear that in the last days, just before Jesus returns, there will be false prophets, deceiving through false signs and lying wonders. There is no greater present-day evidence of this than the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation). The Ground Zero of the NAR is Bethel Church in Redding, California, with whom Todd White is strongly affiliated. White speaks at their conferences and is very tight with Bethel Church’s commander-in-chief and senior pastor, Bill Johnson, whose “School of Supernatural Ministry” offers courses on doing precisely what Todd White does, as well as “teach” people to be ordained as “Prophets” and “Apostles” (if you are willing to pay their hefty tuition). Upon completion of the courses, Bill Johnson himself “Knights” graduates.

Bethel (and the NAR at large) inducts youth through the emotionalism of repetitive, hypnotic “worship” music, which has since morphed into the “Jesus Culture Movement,” a rapidly rising youth movement spreading the NAR agenda like wildfire across the globe. Some of the techniques used are: Getting kids “high” on the music, telling them it’s the Holy Ghost moving, running the kids in lines through “fire tunnels” during intermission, laying hands on them and imparting the Kundalini Serpent Spirit . . . where they often fall down, twitch, convulse, oftentimes as if burning in agony, all in the name of “Jesus,” calling it “Holy Ghost Fire,” yelling commands to the Holy Ghost such as, “MORE! MORE! MORE LORD!!! . . . DOUBLE IT!! DOUBLE IT!!”, etc.

Todd White

This is precisely what Todd White does, always “calling down fire” in the name of “Jesus,” which is also precisely what we are warned will be one of the great deceptions of the Beast . . . calling down fire from heaven . . . aka: false signs and lying wonders (Revelation 13:13). Jesus Himself said it would be a deception so powerful, that if it were possible, it would deceive even the very elect.

In Bethel’s best-selling book (co-authored by Bill Johnson), The Physics of Heaven (sold in their campus bookstore alongside a plethora of Jesus Culture CDs and a multitude of NAR authors), it states that Christians are “’taking back truths’ from the New Age that really belong to citizens of the Kingdom of God. (Kindle Locations 407-408).

One of the Bethel’s own “prophets” trained by their Supernatural School unknowingly prophesied to a real practicing witch, telling her “[God] is pleased with you!” and “implored [her] to keep doing what [she] was doing.” (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2015/07/born-again-witch-witches-at-a-pentecostal-church-healings-and-prophecies/)

There are multiple videos and photos evidencing Bethel students on campus field trips, who take classes on “Grave Soaking/Sucking, as well as the Johnsons (Bill and wife Benny) traveling to grave sites to “suck” or “soak” the anointing of the dead from faith healers like William Branham, the very godfather of the NAR, whom they worship like a god and who has multiple, easily verifiable, failed, false prophesies. This practice is an act the Word of God calls “Necromancy” (contacting the dead), condemning it as an abomination to God (Deuteronomy 18:11).

Todd White Receives Kundalini “Annointing” From Benny Hinn

Another stunning fact is that Todd White received his Kundalini “anointing” from Benny Hinn. When Hinn laid hands on Todd White, Todd fell back, and Hinn repeatedly and creepily told him he was going to be part of a “great youth movement.” This is verifiable on video.

What Christians may find difficult to believe is that Satan himself can indeed heal in the name of “Jesus,” but it’s “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4). To verify this, Johanna Michaelsen’s book or video testimony The Beautiful Side of Evil, is highly recommended. Her books was the catalyst that delivered author/speaker Warren B. Smith out of the New Age. Both he and Michaelsen are early pioneers of exposing New Age mysticism’s creeping into modern Christianity, largely and sadly unaware by most.

As an ex-New Ager myself, I can attest that psychics, Yogi’s, Reiki masters, and witches employ the exact same techniques as the NAR, by tapping into the demonic realm of unclean spirits, who supply very personal, intimate information (such as certain ailments or sickness they may have) about the indviduals they approach (sort of like an invisible phone line direct to the demonic spirit realm. These “mediums” also employ flattery, telling people how “amazing” they are and how much “Jesus love them.”  This immediately impresses the recipients, who the mediums then asks if they can lay hands on them to heal them through the power of the “Holy Ghost,” while doing it in the name of “Jesus” (another “Jesus” . . . aka Satan). The recipients often feel “heat” or “electricity” (common sensations associated with the New Age practice of Reiki). The recipient are told it is “Holy Ghost Fire” and that they just felt the power or even just received the Holy Ghost. Generally, not one word about sin, repentance, or even the Gospel is used.

Jesus Christ said in the end times, many false prophets would come as wolves in sheep’s clothing and that we would know them by their fruits. And the greatest evidence of these falsehoods is that there is always “another Gospel” preached, void of the vital messages that save souls, which Jesus Christ Himself preached: repentance from sin, judgment, hell, fear of God vs. the NAR “Holy Ghost” which is all about an obsession with healing via “signs and wonders,” power, seducing people through the emotionalism of music and the flattery of telling people how amazing they are with no conviction of sin and no contriteness or brokenness of spirit before a holy God, even though Jesus told us the ministry of the Holy Spirit of truth is to “reprove [convict] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8), a message absent from these mouths of these “faith healers.'”

A false prophet is not always known by what he does preach but often by what he doesn’t preach.

There is “another Gospel,” “another Spirt,” and “another Jesus.” In the warning of the Bible, it describing precisely the “Jesus” being promoted by Todd White and the rest of the NAR.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.—Matthew 7:22-23

The most horrifying words in the entire universe:

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

Used and edited with permission.

Related Information:

The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson

Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings

Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture

 

Letter to the Editor: Challenges in Trying To Warn Seniors in My SBC Church – Some Doing Yoga

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Dear Lighthouse Trails:

In reading your latest offering, I am agreeing with every word. I’ve received Lighthouse Trails e-newsletters for years now, but have to speak out today. I’m a senior and love working with seniors. I recently moved to ___________ and soon joined a conservative Southern Baptist church. After a few months here, I offered to help with the seniors group. God led me to start a little newsletter after only 3 months. (I have been aware of aberrant teaching in the “church” for many years now and have all the books Lighthouse Trails offers.) I felt that the time had come to begin offering some teaching since I had found out that at least 2 of the seniors were engaging in Yoga on a regular basis. I tried putting an article on Hinduism in the last newsletter, and it was rejected by the director, on no uncertain terms.

I will pray and seek God’s guidance as to how to use the information I have, but thank you so much for what you wrote in the article, “Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy—the Enemy is in the Camp.” It only confirms what I’ve learned all along and how much danger we are in even in a church that’s totally dedicated to preaching about Jesus and His Word.

God bless you as you continue serving the Lord in truth.

Mary

SOZO – Climbing Up Another Way – Is There A Spiritual Ladder to the Lap of “Father God”?

LTRP Note: Today, a caller asked us if we had any information on SOZO. While we have had inquiries about SOZO in the past, we have never posted anything about it. Below is an article from The Berean Call discussing the origins and nature of SOZO. If you know someone who is getting involved with this, please pass this article on to them.

“Climbing Up Another Way – Is There A Spiritual Ladder to the Lap of ‘Father God’?”

By Mark Dinsmore (The Berean Call)

History and Structure of Sozo

“SOZO” is a psycho-spiritual deliverance and inner healing methodology birthed out of Bethel Church in Redding, California. But though the Bethel Sozo website banner says, “[A] Ministry of Bethel Church,” the FAQ section disclaims, “The Sozo staff are independent contractors and are not Bethel Church Staff.” Apparently for legal reasons, no one wants to call this “counseling” or “therapy.” Rather, they simply call it “healing prayer” (and yet, they strongly recommend a suggested donation for receiving “prayer” for which recipients (“Sozoees”) must first sign a waiver.

For background, it is interesting to note that Bethel was once an Assemblies of God (AG) church, and Bill Johnson was an AG pastor; but he led his flock out of AG in 2006 to jump into the NAR/River Revival movement. Johnson is now a self-appointed “apostle,” and his church is now a part of his own “Revival Alliance” network, co-founded with Che Ahn (Harvest Rock Church, Pasadena, CA) and John Arnott (Catch the Fire Toronto; formerly Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship; formerly Toronto Airport Vineyard Church).

Although Sozo got its start at Bethel, other Sozo groups have spun off, such as The Freedom Resource (TFR). Headed by author and executive director Andy Reese, TFR publishes its own manuals and presentations on how to use Sozo. According to TFR’s website, no one individual “owns” or controls the copyright for Sozo concepts and “tools” used in the program: “This particular style or format for ministry has evolved (and continues to evolve) from roots in the Argentine revivals, the understanding and writings of various practitioners of inner healing and deliverance, and from the experience of several churches and individuals including Randy Clark’s ministry and Bethel Church in Redding, California. It is changing and growing as we all learn, grow, and share experiences and tools with each other.” [Note: TFR just announced brand differentiation from Bethel Sozo and will now practice under “Freedom Prayer.”] Click here to continue reading.

 

Letter to the Editor: Weight Watchers Revamped Into Mindfulness & New Age Practices Since Oprah Became Board Member

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I am a long time Weight Watchers member, having lost 30 lbs. 8 years ago. As was widely reported in the press, Oprah joined WW about 2 years ago and bought a seat on the Board of Directors of Weight Watchers. Her influence is predictable. The literature was revamped to promote mindfulness practices, and WW now has outside the meeting classes that teach “chi flow.” However, we now have whole meetings devoted to the practice of mindfulness, complete with demos and practice sessions. This is so frustrating since meetings are the lifeblood of the program for many of us, where we can talk about food issues. I did a search and you don’t have WW mentioned on your blog, perhaps because it is a secular organization, but many Christian women go there because statistically it has the best track record for helping people lose weight. It has changed profoundly since Oprah got involved.

Thank you, Barb

Links to show the connection between Mindfulness, Reiki, Yoga, the New Age and Weight Watchers:

https://www.weightwatchers.com/nz/feel/mindfulness/mindfulness-how-to-get-started

http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=20011

https://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=34981&sc=66

https://www.weightwatchers.com/ca/en/article/healing-hands-discovering-practice-reiki

http://people.com/bodies/oprah-winfrey-and-deepak-chopra-announce-new-21-day-meditation-experience/https://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=216331&sc=3040

 

Related Information:

Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” and the Emperor’s New Clothes”

Mindfulness! Heard of It? What Does it Mean, and Where is it Showing Up in Christian Circles?

NEW BATCH OF SHEPHERD’S BIBLE VERSE TEA ARRIVING THIS WEEK

Photo: Quality US Products; used with permission.

A new batch of Shepherd’s Bible Verse Tea is arriving this week. As many of our readers know, Lighthouse Trails began a special division nearly seven years ago called The Shepherd’s Garden in which we created our own brand of organic Bible verse tea and developed our own unique flavors. We did this as a kind of “tent-making” ministry to help strengthen Lighthouse Trails financially. We developed six different blends plus a Sampler box. Each individually wrapped tea bag has a tag on a string, and each tag has a KJV Bible verse (95 different verses). If you have never tasted this tea, we hope you will give it a try.

See what others are saying (click here).

Below is a list from the folks at Quality U.S. Products:

31 Ways To Use Shepherd’s Bible Verse Tea

1.Make it for breakfast, snack or dessert with hot home-baked bread or muffins.

2.Give it as a hostess gift.

3.Add it to a gift basket (make it tea-themed!)

4.Host a tea party.

5.Gift it to a friend in the hospital.

6.Send it in a care package to a college student.

7.Drink it in lieu of coffee during your morning devotional.

8.Send some with a get well card or gift.

9.Make iced tea on a hot day.

10.Sooth allergies and throats with peppermint.

11.Give it as a pastor’s wife/family appreciation gift.

12.Create a “tea room” (or nook) for your devotional or prayer time.

13.Use leftover tea as mulch for potted plants, flower beds or vegetable gardens.

14.Donate boxes to a church food pantry, soup kitchen, homeless or women’s shelter, or orphanage kitchen.

15.Tell your mom how much you love her and thank her for her prayers.

16.Send a box to a teachers lounge at a Christian school.

17.Bless a nurses station at a hospital (make sure they have a staff kitchenette to store and prepare it).

18.Make up a homeschool lesson surrounding topics like “tea history, growing, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, business, and serving the Lord, with scriptural application.”

19.Serve hot tea in disposable cups to those who have to work out in the cold (husbands, neighbors shoveling the driveway or plowing snow).

20.Slip an individual bag into a greeting card with a warm message: “I found these excellent teas! Sorry I can’t be there. . . pull up a chair and enjoy these as if I am!”

21.Give it to extended family at Christmas time.

22.Ward off colds in winter.

23.Make “Red Chai” flavored ice-cream.

24.Investigate new recipes involving tea, or try mixing different fruit juices, spices, milks or honey.

25.If your church serves coffee before or after services, serve it in baskets or on platters with a hot water dispenser.

26.Serve it to your Sunday School or small group.

27.Set aside time to share the tea with your grandmother or other relatives, especially if they are home bound.

28.Donate it to veteran’s family support service locations or staff, such as Fischer Houses, or to Arlington Ladies.

29.Bring it on vacation to keep eyes on God as you and your family enjoy time away.

30.Make Shepherd’s “sweet tea” Popsicles.

31.Make it a conversation starter, and let the Lord lead you!

Source: Quality U.S. Products


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