Mysticism Melds Muslims and Mary

by Watchers Lamp Blog
The ecumenical effect of mysticism is evidenced in the following press release from The Islamic Republic News Agency:

‘Jesus and Mary in Islamic Mysticism’ published in Croatia Tehran, April 18, IRNA — The book ‘Jesus and Mary in Islamic Mysticism’ written by the late noted German scholar Annemarie Schimmel was published in Croatian language in Croatia.

According to a report by the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, the book was translated and published by Iran’s Cultural Office in Zagreb in cooperation with the organization’s Center for Cultural and International Studies. The 192-page book deals with bonds between Islam and Christianity and was published in 1,000 copies.

Annemarie Schimmel (1922-2003) was a well-known and very influential German Islamologist who wrote extensively on Islam and Sufism. She mainly focused on the personalities of Jesus Christ and Mary in Islam with references from the holy Qur’an and Persian literature. Click here to read this entire article.

Related Article:

Tony Campolo: Mysticism is the bridge between Christianity and Islam

To understand this mystical bridge that unites all religions, read A Time of Departing

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Holocaust Remembrance Day: A Question of “Tolerance”?

 
Today, it is the 2009 Holocaust Remembrance Day, and around the world people will be stopping to remember the atrocities committed against six million Jews and around five million others, murdered because of the madness of one man – Adolph Hitler. For those of you who follow the writings of Lighthouse Trails, you know we hold a special place in our hearts regarding the Holocaust, and indeed have two Holocaust survivors for authors (one a Jewish Christian and one a resistance worker). What we are about to say is prompted because of our commitment to bring the things of darkness to the light.

During the preparation of our two Holocaust books (Trapped in Hitler’s Hell and Things We Couldn’t Say), we turned to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum for photographs of the Holocaust that we could use in our books. The USHMM has thousands of photos, which are proof against any delusion that the Holocaust never happened. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; well think of what thousands of pictures are. So the world should be ever grateful to this Museum that has done well to preserve the past with the hope that such would never happen again.

But this week, when we learned that the USHMM had asked Barack Obama to be the keynote speaker for this week’s ceremony, we realized that the true message of Holocaust remembrance was being lost. That true message is being replaced with ideologies of tolerance, unification, globalism, and so forth. A press release put out by the USHMM states:

We are honored that President Obama will participate in our Days of Remembrance ceremony,” said Fred S. Zeidman, Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “At this critical moment, with hatred and anti-Semitism on the rise in so many parts of the world, and genocide still a reality, we are reminded of the continued relevance of the Holocaust and the urgency of its lessons. What the Holocaust teaches us with such moral clarity is the power of the individual and the responsibility we all have to not stand silent in the face of injustice.”

The Bible says that unless a person is born again, he cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit. So we understand why the world views things the way they do, but unfortunately they have missed the real reason why the Holocaust happened, and why it may possibly happen again. While liberals and homosexuals are cashing in on the new Holocaust message of tolerance in order to propagate their agendas, the real meaning is being buried and ignored by most.

This true message is found within the pages of Scripture. In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with the Jews, and in the New Testament, God offered man a promise of salvation and eternal life for all who accepted this new covenant, which was sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection. Within the pages of Scripture are details about God’s enemy, Satan, who hates God’s covenant with man. From the beginning of the Jewish people, they have been hated by Satan, and after the resurrection, when Christianity began, he has hated Christians as well.

The wrath that was poured out by Hitler, particularly to Jews (and anyone who helped them, of which many were Christians) was instigated, not because Hitler wasn’t “tolerant” or because he wasn’t a “globalist.” It was because he was indwelled with an anti-Christ spirit that hates anything to do with the covenant God has made with man. As the Bible explains, Lucifer (Satan) has the aspiration of being “like the Most High” (Isaiah 14). The Bible says he is the father of lies, confusion, and every evil thing. Christians who have studied the Holocaust and read about the horrible rage that was released against the Jews know that no one man could have done this alone. We understand that Hitler was demonically inspired.

The “tolerance” message deceives people into thinking that it cares about people being treated equally and justly, but in reality it is an anti-God, anti-freedom message. Hidden within its core is the idea that no one belief system can be the only way to God or truth; hidden within its core is an anti-Christ zeal that determines to lash out against God’s covenant with man. For instance, to say Christianity is true and Islam isn’t would be seen as intolerance and therefore evil. But in essence, both faiths are diametrically opposed (even though they may share certain moral values) to how one is brought into a right relationship with God. Islam portrays human effort as being the primary catalyst for such a relationship, whereas Christianity’s emphasis is on a Savior who puts a person in a right relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, not of man’s own doing. Since Islam rejects this, a devout Christian has to reject Islam. Thomas Merton knew that doctrinally the two beliefs could never come together; he came to believe that it was only through mysticism they could unite. In Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing he discloses Merton’s views on this:

In a dialogue with a Sufi leader, Merton asked about the Muslim concept of salvation. The master wrote back stating:

Islam inculcates individual responsibility for one’s actions and does not subscribe to the doctrine of atonement or the theory of redemption. (emphasis mine)

To Merton, of course, this meant little because he believed that fana and contemplation were the same thing. He responded:

Personally, in matters where dogmatic beliefs differ, I think that controversy is of little value because it takes us away from the spiritual realities into the realm of words and ideas … in words there are apt to be infinite complexities and subtleties which are beyond resolution…. But much more important is the sharing of the experience of divine light [mysticism], … It is here that the area of fruitful dialogue exists between Christianity and Islam.(emphasis added)1

Merton was basically saying that the doctrine of redemption and atonement through Christ was “of little value.” This also reflects the view of the emerging church that tolerance is more virtuous than faith, and that faith can actually be unvirtuous. As illustrated in the recent movie, Doubt, doubt and uncertainty unites. The priest in Doubt does a homily on doubt, and the fundamentalist in the movie (Meryl Streep) sees that as dangerous but in the end, she herself doubts. The point of the film is that uncertainty is good. Father Flynn is a Thomas Merton type priest in the sense that firm conviction is not necessarily a good thing. This is consistent with the emerging church and where emergent leader Tony Jones says in his book, The New Christians that uncertainty (including uncertainty of Scripture) is better than certainty and where Brian McLaren says we still haven’t got the Gospel right (A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 293).

The world thinks that if it teaches “tolerance,” that the Holocaust will never happen again. But the very message behind this kind of “tolerance” could actually cause it to happen again because tolerance, according to the world, is against the God of the Old and New Testament and against the people with whom He has made a covenant. But until Jesus Christ returns, which He has promised to do, Satan will be free to attack and destroy. The Bible says that as the days of Christ’s return draw closer, what takes place in the world will be like the birth pangs of a woman in labor. The pangs intensify the closer the birth becomes. And that is why spiritual deception continues to expand, quite quickly now.Holocaust

While we have appreciated the efforts of the USHMM to preserve the evidence of the Holocaust, we are disappointed that they have latched onto the “tolerance” message that ultimately will reject the Jews and the Christians.

We must add something here too about homosexual activists, because they are the strongest and most out-spoken group for “tolerance.” But they have used the Holocaust and many of its stories, such as The Diary of Anne Frank, to compare their “plight” with that of the Jews in World War II. While it may be true that Hitler did eventually lash out against homosexuals, a number of the prominent Nazis, such as Ernst Rohm, were homosexuals.

For those who may be skeptical, read the following, which is from William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, perhaps one of the best works ever written on understanding Hitler:

He who was so monumentally intolerant by his very nature, was strangely tolerant of one human condition – a man’s morals. No other party in Germany came near to attracting so many shady characters. As we have seen, a conglomeration of pimps, murderers, homosexuals, alcoholics and blackmailers flocked to the party as if to a natural haven” (p. 121-122).

Later, pressure was put on Hitler to rid his organization of these types. But he was not intolerant of the homosexuals – that wasn’t why he turned on them. Hitler was intolerant of anything that stood in his way to bring about a super race of people that excluded, in particularly, the Jews and those who loved them.

We want to make one thing clear. Lighthouse Trails does not advocate persecution of people of any race, religion, or persuasion. We do not believe any person should be treated with hateful or cruel behavior, either physically or verbally. What we are trying to get across is that the tolerance message is too binding in a theological sense and restricts the preaching of the Gospel. It will never work for biblical Christianity because, as Christians, we have to insist that the blood of Jesus Christ is the only way to be reconciled with God, and the tolerance message rejects such an approach.

Some may wonder how this all ties in with Obama speaking for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum ceremony this week. Obama represents a new kind of “Christianity,” one that looks more like Brian McLaren’s spirituality than biblical Christianity and one that lines up with the “tolerance” message in that Obama believes that other religions are legitimate paths to God:

Obama does clearly believe that the form of Christianity that he committed to at Trinity Church in 1985 is not the only path to God. “I am rooted in the Christian tradition,” he has said. Nevertheless he asserts, “I believe there are many paths to the same place and that is a belief there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.” He first saw his broad embrace of faith modeled by his mother. “In our household,” he has explained, “The Bible, [t]he Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf . . . on Easter or Christmas Day my mother might drag me to a church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”2

It is the following words that Satan hates and does all he can to destroy, but try as he might, he never will. It is the light that shines in a dark world. And a merciful, patient God calls out.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father [God], but by me. John 14:6

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. I John 4: 9-10

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Revelation 1:5

It is our prayer that many Jews around the world will come to see Jesus Christ as their Messiah and not be deceived by this “tolerance” message that in the end will hate them and persecute them. Historically, the Jewish people have been a trusting people … this is one message we hope they won’t buy into.

Notes:
1. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd ed. 2006) p. 59, citing Rob Baker and Gray Henry, Editors, Merton and Sufism (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 1999), p. 110.

2. Stephen Mansfield, The Faith of Barack Obama (Thomas Nelson) p. 55, quoting from Audacity of Hope, Obama, p. 203.(See our article.)

Related Information on the Holocaust:

Trapped in Hitler's Hell by Anita Dittman and Jan Markell A Time of Remember . . . Lest We Forget

Gestapo agents dressed in plain clothes visited the church services. Nevertheless, Pastor Hornig [a Lutheran pastor who helped the Jews during WWII] knew who they were. We had heard that one of the leading Protestant churchmen in Germany was heading a movement to harmonize Christianity with Nazi beliefs, including anti-Semitism, to the extent of leaving the Old Testament out of Christian teachings because of its Jewishness. Pastor Hornig said the new Nazi church would be called the German Christian Church. Some German Protestant pastors would sell out to it, but most refused and then helped to organize the Confessional Evangelical Church, which would continue to preach the whole Bible, including the gospel of Jesus and the important role of the Jewish people in God’s eternal plan. It also would oppose having Hitler’s picture placed on church altars … [W]e felt that Pastor Hornig would ultimately provide a way for us to escape the nightmare that lay ahead for Nazi Germany. Click here to read the rest of A Time of Remember . . . Lest We Forget

Things We Coudn't Say by Diet Eman Those Who Stood

With each passing year, there remain fewer and fewer witnesses still alive who lived through the Holocaust and can testify of what happened. Lighthouse Trails is honored and privileged to be the publisher for two of these witnesses, Diet Eman and Anita Dittman, one a Christian resistance worker in Holland, and the other a Christian Jew living in Germany during the occupation. Today, both women are still alive, and even though they are in their 80s continue sharing their stories with others. The following account is by Diet Eman, who was 20 years old when she resisted Hitler’s “Final Solution” against the Jews:

July 1941
Last night we walked past the synagogue. Horrible: on the doors was written with large letters “Jude Suss.” On the pillars a swastika and a large V and horribly drawn Jewish faces. In the street on the boarded-up shop windows, “Jew,” “Pest Jude.” How long still, O Lord?

September 16, 1941
Yesterday the paper had a “short” summary of the places where Jews are not allowed! I can better mention where they are still allowed “in their homes and in the streets!”… Click here to read this entire story.  

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Book Review: Laughter Calls Me

Laughter Calls MeLaughter Calls Me by Lighthouse Trails Publishing
2nd edition, 2006
160 pages
$12.95, softbound

Book Review by an Anonymous Reader

Catherine Brown’s is a story that no mother wants to face but every mother should read. This woman struggles with being a young mother, dealing with her husband’s alcohol addiction, and raising her children with her own instincts and God’s guidance. Like a lioness she will do anything to protect her children, and the depth of that is put to the test when the children begin to talk about what they’ve experienced from the hands of trusted adults.

This story takes you into a legal system and court proceedings that are an eye opener to why mothers flee with their children. One reason – to protect them from the worst possible sin against children, sexual abuse. This is not an overly graphic depiction of sexual abuse, the reader’s imagination will sicken you without the blatant details. This is not an overly religious story, but you will see the author walk hand in hand with the only salvation there is – God. You’re not being preached at, you’re only shown the subtle path she walks to do the only important thing – save her children. Laughter Calls Me is a poignant and powerful story, told by a woman who has come to peace with it. Her strength and courage are to be commended. An excellent form of writing, straight forward and honest. Laughter Calls Me will captivate you from beginning to end. (From an Anonymous Reader) For more book information and to order, click here.

Click here to read free online edition of Laughter Calls Me.

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Obama Administration Worried about “End-Time” Christians

“[E]nd times” prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons. These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement.–US Department of Homeland Security”

by Joseph Farah
WorldNetDaily

It’s not al-Qaida that has the Department of Homeland Security on edge.

It’s not Hezbollah that has the Barack Obama administration on guard.

It’s not Hamas that has the Feds working overtime on intelligence and security.

Once again, it’s the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Here we go, again.

A newly unclassified report from Homeland Security, sent to police stations and other law enforcement agencies around the country, says the big threat of domestic violence in the U.S. comes from “right-wing extremists.”

Yes, we’ve been here before.

President Clinton’s White House and FBI were out looking for right-wing extremists plotting evil deeds for eight years. There was no Department of Homeland Security back then, because the Islamic terrorists had not yet destroyed the World Trade Center, only attempted once. And, of course, the Clinton administration never saw that coming because, well, they were too busy looking under beds for right-wing extremists.

Now that the Democrats have control of the White House and the executive branch of government, they are determined to put the Department of Homeland Security to use hunting down right-wing extremists.

They are especially concerned about those dreaded military men returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are specifically mentioned in the report for profiling.

They are also concerned about annoying people who protest abortion, support gun rights and who think the federal government isn’t doing enough to prevent illegal immigration.

They are also concerned about those weird Christians who believe we’re living in the “end times.” You know how dangerous those people are. Click here to read this entire article.

Related:

Department of Homeland Security Being Sued for Right Winged Extremist Policy

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“Service Learning” through Soviet Brainwashing

by Kjos Ministries
Last March, North Dakota gave us a heart-warming demonstration of traditional voluntary service — in minus 20 degree weather. As the rising Red River threatened to flood Fargo, willing volunteers gathered by the thousands. Before long, they had filled and stacked over 2 million sandbags to barricade the city against the raging waters. Christians prayed for victory over the forces of nature, and by God’s grace, the make-shift dikes held.

About 6,000 volunteers of all ages had simply followed their conscience, worked together and met the need. Unlike President Obama’s plan for government-directed “service,” neither prayer nor God’s comforting Truths were banned. Volunteers weren’t hindered by trained facilitators and unconscionable boundaries. As the flood subsided, they were free to thank God together for the amazing victory.

Traditional American volunteerism and self-giving service has served people around the world. But it may soon be replaced with a government system of mandatory service and re-education for all ages. Obama’s signature on H.R. 1388 “Serve America Act,” [See 2] will usher in a new era. While people of all ages will be recruited, the main focus will be on the youth. Words such as “uniforms,” “youth corps,” campuses” and “boarding” [i.e. "grouped together as appropriate in campuses for operational, support, and boarding purposes" SEC. 1516] bring memories of totalitarian government-controlled youth service.[4]

“Service learning” — the heart of this evolving program — is grounded in Soviet ideology. Banning Biblical sharing, it reflects Communism’s “dialectical materialism” and notorious “re-education” camps. Its basic formula is simple:

1. Immersion into a group [collective] environment with diverse beliefs and values. For decades, our government has been guiding migration and assessing cities on their success in building “unity in diversity,” i.e. social capital.”[5] Such facilitated oneness may sound benign, but the manipulative methods used to build socialist values undermine both personal freedom and family-taught convictions.

2. Dialogue led by facilitators trained to manipulate the diverse groups of servers (with their assortment of values) toward a new consensus. Edward Hunter’s 1956 book, Brainwashing, gives us this glimpse of Communist mind control,

“They went about this in the ‘democratic discussion’ manner; this was the new principle of unanimity [i.e. consensus] …. What was truth anyway? Nobody knew. What was false? … Everyone couldn’t be wrong. Could they? Weren’t they all one team? A collectivity?”[6]

3. Practice (practical experience) that seals the dialectical group teaching in the minds of idealistic servers. Lenin understood this formula well. He said,

“…the young people shall engage in the practical solution of some problem of labour in common.'”[1]Click here to read this entire article.

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President Obama Chosen to Deliver Keynote Address For Holocaust Remembrance Day

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM

April 15, 2009

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO DELIVER KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM’S ANNUAL DAYS OF REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY IN U.S. CAPITOL ROTUNDA

Each Year the Museum Leads the Nation in Holocaust Commemoration — Museum’s 2009 Theme, “Never Again: What You Do Matters,” Emphasizes Individual Responsibility

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama will be the keynote speaker at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Days of Remembrance ceremony to be held in the United States Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, April 23 at 11:00 a.m.

Nobel Laureate and Founding Museum Chairman Elie Wiesel will also deliver remarks.

From April 19 through April 26, the Museum will lead the nation’s annual Days of Remembrance commemorating the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, as well as the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution. The Museum designated, “Never Again: What You Do Matters,” as the theme for the 2009 observances, to encourage all Americans to reflect upon the power of individuals to create a more just and humane world. These observances will take place in communities, state houses, city halls, churches, and synagogues in the United States and military installations worldwide. Click here to read this entire press release.

Related News:

Obama’s Fictitious Pro-Israel Team by Jan Markell

NEVER AGAIN–NO, NEVER AGAIN! by Jan Markell

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President Obama’s Rock and Five Pillars

by Kjos Ministries

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE ECONOMY

The White House, Office of the Press Secrectary

I want every American to know that each action we take and each policy we pursue is driven by a larger vision of America’s future — a future where sustained economic growth creates good jobs and rising incomes; a future where prosperity is fueled not by excessive debt, or reckless speculation, or fleeting profits, but is instead built by skilled, productive workers, by sound investments that will spread opportunity at home and allow this nation to lead the world in the technologies and the innovation and discoveries that will shape the 21st century. That’s the America I see….

[Notice the absence of any reference to entrepreneurial ventures -- the individual ingenuity and personal efforts that has been the praise and envy of the world. Instead, he emphasized the management of "workers" -- the key vision of totalitarian socialism.]

…since the problems we face are all working off each other to feed a vicious economic downturn, we’ve had no choice but to attack all fronts of our economic crisis simultaneously.

The first step was to fight a severe shortage of demand in the economy….

Second, I absolutely agree that our long-term deficit is a major problem that we have to fix. But the fact is that this recovery plan represents only a tiny fraction of that long-term deficit…..

Finally, to coordinate a global response to this global recession, I went to the meeting of the G20 nations in London the other week. Each nation has undertaken significant stimulus to spur demand….

It is simply not sustainable to have a 21st-century financial system that is governed by 20th-century rules and regulations that allowed the recklessness of a few to threaten the entire economy….

[In the next section, notice how God's Word is taken out of context and used to substantiate a global socialist economic system. But his fallacious arguments have nothing to do with actual economic realities:]

Now, there’s a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men. The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was soon destroyed when a storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when “the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Click here to read this entire article.

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