Castles in the Sand vs. The Shack

by John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire

Castles in the Sand, by Carolyn A. Greene, looks like a novel and reads like a novel, but it is something far greater. It is a trumpet. It is intended to warn believers and non-believers about the dangers of contemplative spirituality. Perhaps, after reading this very interesting story, there will be those who turn away from contemplative prayer and other forms of anti-Biblical meditation.

Perhaps. Popular pastor Rick Warren now openly endorses contemplative spirituality.[1] It is tearing through the church and it is…changing us. Its adherents follow the path of the desert fathers and mothers, who sought union with God in the meditative Silence where thoughts are stilled.

As noted in ‘Alcoholics Anonymous and Contemplative Spirituality,’[2] “Roger Oakland writes, ‘When [someone] is introduced to meditation, which produces a feeling of euphoria and well-being, he mistakes this for the presence of God. And thus the foundation of his faith is not on Christ or the Word of God, but rather on this feeling.’”[3]

The Bible tells us, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Historically, around the world, much has been experienced in the meditative silence. Bliss. Spirit-guides. A higher self. Oneness. And there have been false “christs,” wrapped in shining deception, communicating instructions and “wisdom” to some.[4]

You will meet such a false “christ” in Castles in the Sand, encountered by the novel’s heroine through the meditation she has learned in her “spiritual formation” classes. This is actually happening in numerous Christian colleges throughout the United States and Canada.

When Paul Young had his first copies of his novel, The Shack, he went on the public speaking circuit. He is warm, charming, and funny, and people wanted to believe in his false version of “god.” Click here to continue.

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Rick Warren and the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill – The Rest of the Story

Comments on the Rick Warren

By Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, Calif.,
Regarding the Pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill Before the Ugandan Parliament

by Sandy Simpson
Deception in the Church Ministries

In a letter and video statement to the government and church leaders in Uganda, Rick Warren laid out his reaction to the anti-homosexuality bill that is pending with the Ugandan Government. Warren opposes it.

Now there are some provisions in the bill that any Christian should oppose such as imprisonment and possible death penalty for homosexuals (apparently just for being a homosexual), forcing pastors to report private counseling with gays, etc. However statements by Warren such as “While we can never deny or water down what God’s Word clearly teaches about sexuality, at the same time the church must stand to protect the dignity of all individuals – as Jesus did and commanded all of us to do.” does not address at all what the Bible teaches on sex outside of marriage which is defined as between a man and a woman including homosexuality. All sex outside of marriage is a sin before God and must be repented of. This also means that repentance will be followed by a turning away from practicing sin to practicing righteousness (1 Jn. 2:29; 3:4, 8, 10). When Warren states: “ALL life, no matter how humble or broken, whether unborn or dying, is precious to God” this is true but the Gospel is left out of this equation, thus presenting only part of the picture, thus presenting error alongside of truth. God wants all men to be saved and does not want anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9), but that is why He sent His only Son to die to purchase us salvation and forgiveness from our sins if we believe in Him and repent. Homosexuality is a sin and those who practice sin are destined for damnation (1 Cor. 6:9-10). Practicing homosexuals are living lifestyle sin, thus God does not love their sin and will punish them if they do not respond to the conviction of their sin by the Holy Spirit.

Though some of the provisions of the anti-homosexuality bill are unjust and should be removed we have to understand that HIV/AIDS is a huge problem there and is being propagated and spread by homosexual behaviors as well as other methods. Uganda is trying to find ways to protect their society against this deadly sexual disease. Warren states that we all have “the freedom to make moral choices and our right to free expression are gifts endowed by God.”. This statement comes from his erroneous teaching on “gifts”. He has taught repeatedly on this subject in his “Purpose” series and often confuses natural gifts with spiritual ones. Do we have the right to make choices that cause others to die of AIDS? If the “free expression” of homosexuality is a “gift endowed by God” then why does God prohibit it in Scripture? We are not just free to do anything we want as people created by God. There are laws against murder, and infecting others with HIV/AIDS should be prosecuted just as any other act of murder is. If you knowingly give someone poison and they die will you not be tried for that crime? Please click here to continue reading this article.

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Alert: The Voice New Testament: Heresy for this Generation

LTRP Note: The following information is about a  “Bible” called The Voice. Please also see our February 2007 article titled, “Thomas Nelson Goes Forward with ‘The Voice’ – A ‘Bible’ Project by Emergents”

by  “From the World Hears Them” Blog

 From the Creators [of The Voice]:

Previously most Bibles and biblical reference works were produced by professional scholars writing in academic settings. The Voice uniquely represents collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists. The goal is to create the finest Bible products to help believers experience the joy and wonder of God’s revelation. This is the first-ever complete New Testament in The Voice translation. Writers include Chris Seay, Lauren Winner, Brian McLaren, Greg Garrett, David B. Capes, and others.

 Click here to read more of this information.

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Winter-Break Check Up: Is Your College a Contemplative One?

The following is a list of the articles we have written on the college situation. Is yourChristian college listed here? It’s worth checking out. Also check our Contemplative College list.

Biola University – January 2005

Dallas Theological Seminary – April 2005

Assemblies of God Theological Seminary – May/June 2005

Assemblies of God Theological Seminary – Article #2 – November 2005

Wheaton College Promoting Contemplative Spirituality – March 2006

Christian Colleges – A Dangerous Place For Young Christians – June 2006

Azusa Pacific University

Wheaton College

Back to School – Is Your College Student Safe? – August 2006

The Shape of Things to Come – Biola University – September 2006

Moody Bible – September 2006

Cedarville University – October 2006

Trinity Western University – December 2006

Liberty University – February 2007

A Glimpse of the Future of Christian Higher Education – March 2007

Prairie Bible Institute – August 2007

Liberty University – Article #2 – August 2007

Moody Bible Institute – Article #2 – September 2007

Briercrest College – September 2007

Southwest Baptist University – October 2007

Baylor University – November 2007

Belmont University – November 2007

Moody Bible Institute – Article #3 – November 2007

Prairie Bible Institute – Article #2 – November 2007

Southeastern University (AOG) – December 2007

Moody Bible Institute – Article #4 – January 2008

Palm Beach Atlantic University – January 2008

Cedarville University – January 2008

Nazarene Universities – February 2008

Liberty University – Article #3 – February 2008

University Student Stands Alone Against Emerging Spirituality – February 2008

Mount Vernon Nazarene – March 2008

Moody Bible Institute Looks for New President – August 1, 2008

Cedarville University – Article #3 – March 2008

Bethel University New President: “Catholic friends taught me about contemplative prayer.” – July 3, 2008

Jonathan Falwell Becomes Vice-Chancellor at Liberty University – September 11, 2008

Ambrose University (CMA & Nazarene) Full Speed into Contemplative/Emergent – October 12, 2008

Biola University Student Reports on Contemplative Chapel Services – Warns Parents to Avoid Biola – October 20, 2008

Biola University Contacts Lighthouse Trails – Accuses of Libel – October 21, 2008

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary May Be Heading into Troubled Contemplative Waters – January 12, 2009

Keri Wyatt Kent Continues Leading Women Toward Contemplative – Moody Bible Institute Helps – February 12, 2009

Trevecca Nazarene University Promoting Contemplative Spirituality in No Small Way – February 18, 2009

Emergent/Mystical Leaders at Baylor University – April 13, 2009

Point Loma Nazarene University Welcomes Brian McLaren and Embraces Contemplative Spirituality – April 19, 2009

Gordon College in MA Brings Emerging Contemplative Spirituality to Students June 19, 2009

For more information:

Our database of Christian colleges using contemplative materials

Some Christian colleges that DON’T promote contemplative spirituality

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Is Taylor Seminary leading the “lost brethren” home to Rome?

Is this another retreat centre that is turning evangelical Christians into Roman Catholics?

Welcome to Urban Sanctuary – Retreat Centre

Urban Sanctuary Retreat Centre is located on the campus of Taylor Seminary. Our primary focus is to listen to God’s voice and obey His commands. We minister to the body of Christ as a Center for Evangelical Spirituality. We are committed to impacting and transforming Canadian churches in their understanding and practice of sanctification. Our burden is for churches to be biblical communities where deep personal transformation takes place and where they are change agents in their respective communities. We sense a movement to recover the power of the Spirit-shaped life.

Our mission is to see people formed into Christ-likeness. As Paul wrote: “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ” (Colossians 1:28).

With this in mind, Urban Sanctuary was designed as sacred space in the city. Our prayer is that people will find sanctuary from the strain of urban life. Our ministries include: Centered, a journal on Evangelical Spiritual Formation; guided weekend retreats; spiritual guidance with trained Spiritual Directors; monthly lectures on spiritual growth; teaching on the process of spiritual formation, and more.

And what is being taught as the “biblical’ focus at this retreat centre for Canadian churches?  Click here to continue this piece.

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College Thought Police Enforce Global Values

by Mary Ann Collins
from Kjos Ministries

The University of Delaware has about 7,000 students living on campus. It requires these students “to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism.” Students are “pressured or even required” to make statements that comply with the school’s views.

Being quiet about their beliefs isn’t enough to keep students out of trouble. They are interviewed, one-on-one, with intrusive questions. If they fail to give politically correct answers, then a report is written about them, and they are subjected to “treatment” — compulsory re-education. (This is a state university, which means that it is supported by taxes. Therefore, people who would be appalled by such things are required by law to support them financially.)

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has produced an online video about this brainwashing. In interviews with students and professors, it shows how the university’s Office of Residence Life used a variety of methods to “coerce students to change their thoughts, values, attitudes, beliefs, and habits” so that they would “conform to a highly specified social, environmental, and political agenda.”

One of the university’s views is that all whites of European descent are, by definition, racists. That would include William Wilberforce, a white Englishman who spent his life working for the abolition of slavery.[6] Hard to believe? Then read these current definitions from the “University of Delaware Office of Residence Life Diversity Facilitation Training (PDF)

“A RACIST: …all white people…. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination.” (Page 3)

“REVERSE RACISM: A term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege. Those in denial use the term reverse racism to refer to hostile behavior by people of color toward whites…. In the U.S., there is no such thing as ‘reverse racism.'” (Page 3)

“A NON-RACIST: A non-term. The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called “blaming the victim”).”(Page 3)

The “racist” label would apply to James Reeb, a white American man who was beaten to death by segregationists on March 11, 1965, because he participated in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march for civil rights in Selma, Alabama. Click here to continue reading.

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Rick Warren Upcoming Conference, Radicalis – Further Along the Contemplative Road

From Christian Research Network (see also: Contemplative Mystic Pete Scazzero Promoted By Rick Warren)

Rick Warren has an upcoming conference at his Saddleback Church in February called Radicalis that features Perry Noble and Mark Driscoll, in addition to himself.

In the latest email promoting this conference, entitled Chat Live with Radicalis Speaker, Pete Scazzero, Wednesday, December 9 at 11 am pst. Warren writes:

Chat live with Pete Scazzero, tomorrow, Wednesday, December 9 at 11 am pst (2 pm est). Pete will be teaching how to develop emotionally healthy leadership in churches at Radicalis this February.

Pete, along with his wife, Geri, are co-founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking ministry that integrates emotional health and contemplative spirituality to pastors, leaders and local churches. For more and source, click here.

For extensive documentation regarding Rick Warren’s long-time, ongoing promotion of contemplative/emerging spirituality, please refer to the following:

A Time of Departing, chapter 8: “America’s Pastor” (free online)

“Saddleback IS a Contemplative Church”

Research pages on Rick Warren and Contemplative Spirituality

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