Mike Bickle “Want[s]” Contemplative Mysticism Book to be “the manual for IHOP–KC.”

by John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire Ministries

Much of the literature being sold through the International House of Prayer’s online FORERUNNER Bookstore indicates a contemplative influence. One such book being offered is Fire Within, written by Father Thomas Dubay. IHOP founder Mike Bickle states, “I want this book to be the manual for IHOP-KC.” [1]

That is high praise indeed from Mike Bickle. The full title of the book is Fire Within: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel–On Prayer. Incredibly, Bickle’s “manual” is about Catholic, contemplative mystics! Also for sale on the website are books by and about St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and even Madame Guyon.

Another book being offered is The Forgotten Desert Mothers, by Laura Swan. Swan writes, “We begin to discard our old ways and go in search of new ways of of communicating with God. Our prayer matures and takes on new forms.” [2] And what are these new forms? Swan states, ”Centering prayer, lectio divina, Christian meditation, Taize, and the Divine Office are all sought. Prayer moves us toward the simple: often sitting silently before the Divine–in contemplative or centering prayer–is all we feel drawn to do.” [3] To continue reading and for footnotes, click here.


To understand more about IHOP and the Kansas City “Prophets,” read The Other Side of the River and Beware the New Prophets (Bill Randles)

Mike Bickle On Contemplative Prayer by Hungry Hearts Ministry


Contemplative Spirituality and the Emerging Church Come to Kansas Through YouthFront and MNU

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Judge orders circumcision ban off San Francisco ballot

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – A San Francisco judge has struck a measure from the November ballot calling for a ban on male circumcision.

Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi issued her final ruling on the measure on Thursday, saying the proposed law prohibiting circumcision of male children violates a California law that makes regulating medical procedures a function of the state, not cities.

The ruling confirmed a tentative decision Giorgi issued a day earlier.

Michael Kinane, an attorney for proponents of the ban, argued that circumcision was not a medical procedure. He also said the ballot measure included an exception in cases where circumcision was needed for health reasons. (source)


San Franciscans to vote on controversial male circumcision ban in November

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Top Chinese underground church leader sentenced to 2 years in labor camp

Contact: Bob Fu, President, Bob@ChinaAid.org; Mark Shan, Spokesperson, 888-889-7757, 267-205-5210 cell, Mark@ChinaAid.org; both with China Aid Association; www.ChinaAid.org, www.MonitorChina.org
SUQIAN CITY, Jiangsu, July 25, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — In a further sign of the intensifying crackdown on China’s unregistered house churches, the deputy chairman of the Chinese House Church Alliance has been given a two-year labor camp sentence, ChinaAid has learned.
Pastor Shi Enhao (photo) has been sentenced to two years of “re-education through labor,” an extra-judicial punishment that is handed out by police and requires no trial or conviction of a crime. It is often used for those who have committed minor criminal offenses or for dissidents and adherents of religious groups, such as house church Christians and Falun Gong practitioners.
The charge on the sentencing papers is “illegal meetings and illegal organizing of venues for religious meetings.” This charge stems from the fact that Pastor Shi’s large house church of several thousand members meets in various different sites around the city.
The greater significance of Shi’s sentencing on this charge has to do with the events surrounding the Shouwang Church in Beijing and its controversial decision in April to meet outdoors after being evicted once again from its leased meeting site. Critics of Shouwang’s decision pointed out that when other house churches have grown too large to meet in one place without making local officials nervous, most have avoided clashes with the authorities by breaking into smaller groups meeting in different locations. Pastor Shi’s charge and sentence demonstrate that this strategy does not guarantee that the authorities will be appeased.
Pastor Shi’s son, Shi Yongyang, has been to the police station and signed the sentencing paperwork under police pressure. However, police refused to give him a copy of the signed documents.
Meanwhile, the police’s Domestic Security Protection Department has ordered Pastor Shi’s church to stop meeting and confiscated the congregation’s car, musical instruments and choir robes, as well as 140,000 yuan ($21,712.50) in donations.
All three of Pastor Shi’s daughters and their husbands have all been threatened by the police.
Pastor Shi was detained on May 31 by police in Suqian city, coastal Jiangsu province, and held for 12 days. On June 21, he was criminally detained by the Suqian Public Security Bureau. Criminal detention is the first step in a legal process that almost inevitably leads to a prison sentence.
Pastor Shi and his wife, Zhu Guangyun, are both 55 years old. His 86-year-old mother, Liu Guanglan, requires round-the-clock care, which Pastor Shi’s wife provides. Pastor Shi’s son, Shi Yongyang, and his wife are both in full-time ministry. Four generations of Shi’s family have been serving the church.
ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu expressed shock at the news and strongly condemned the authorities in Jiangsu’s Suqian city for sentencing Pastor Shi. He also called on the church and the international community to express their concern for and come to the aid of Pastor Shi.
More details of Pastor Shi’s case are available in ChinaAid’s earlier report.
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Anders Berhring Breivik (Norway Killer) – Christian Fundamentalist or Religious Tyrannist?

Lighthouse Trails wishes to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the Norway shootings and bombing.

The man who committed the atrocities on Friday, July 22, 2011 in Norway is being called a “Christian fundamentalist,” and already, stories are hitting the mainstream media telling the world to look out for Christian fundamentalists. Frank Schaeffer, son of theologian Francis Schaeffer, has likened the Norway killer to those who oppose abortion in his article on Saturday titled “Christian Jihad? Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway’s in the US,”  saying “the terror unleashed on Norway” is “the sort of white, Christian, far right terror America can expect more of.” But is the Norway killer a fundamentalist Christian (someone who follows the fundamental teachings of the Bible)? The answer to this is a resounding no, for there are no teachings in the Bible that would condone these merciless acts of violence. The  killer of over 90 people in Norway cannot claim the name of “Christian” regardless of what he or the media say no more than Hitler could legitimately claim to be one even though he would sometimes refer to himself as a conservative  and a Christian, the very thing the Norway killer referred himself to on his Facebook account.

We know that many in the world will now blame “Christian fundamentalism” on this act in Norway. In time, and escalated because of these types of violent acts driven by demonic forces, Bible believing Christians will be told they can no longer say Jesus Christ is the only way to God. It will be a hate crime. As was the case  in the 911 terrorist attack in 2001, the Norway shootings will be used to further the progress of a one-world unified religion that will have no place for the Bible-believing Christian.

In 2006, Rick Warren helped set the tone for animosity and marginalization against Bible-believing Christians (Fundamentalists) when he stated  that fundamentalism will be “one of the big enemies of the 21st century. . . . Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’”1 Less than a year earlier, he defined what he means by Christian fundamentalism when he spoke at the Pew Forum on Religion and said:

Today there really aren’t that many Fundamentalists left; I don’t know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren’t that many Fundamentalists left in America … Now the word ‘fundamentalist’ actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity. Quote by Rick Warren, May 2005

The fundamentals of the Christian faith include things like the deity of Jesus Christ, the blood atonement, and the inerrancy of Scripture. It is a sad day when the world, the media, and “America’s pastor” think Christian fundamentalism is an enemy and a threat in the way they mean. The Christian fundamentals are the Gospel. One following these fundamentals will care about the souls of the unsaved that they might be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. A true Christian fundamentalist remembers the words of Scripture: “[t]he Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).2 In truth, according to 1 John, love is meant to be the motivating factor in sharing the Gospel. Obviously, Anders Behring Breivik did not have love or the salvation of the people he killed in mind on Friday.

Many people, when trying to discredit Christian fundamentalists, refer to the Inquisitions; but it was the Christian fundamentalists who were being murdered during Inquisitions (by the Catholic church) – not the other way around. On Anders Behring Breivik’s blog, according to one article,  he stated: ” Today’s Protestant church is a joke. . . . I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic.”1 So like the ancient Inquisitioners, Anders Behring Breivik, a fundamentalist of his own making, is opposed to Christian fundamentalists and certainly cannot be labeled as one himself. The acts of violence he committed are not that of a Christian fundamentalist but rather that of a religious tyrannist, which is the spirit of antichrist.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 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. [the Gospel] 1 John 4:8-9

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2: 18

Below, we have posted two articles for further thought and consideration:

Article #1:

“Norway Bombing: Attacker, Shooter Anders Behring Breivik a Christian?”

By Jeff Schapiro
The Christian Post

One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests,” is the only post on the Twitter account of Anders Behring Breivik, the man who has been arrested as the possible culprit of Friday’s bombing in Oslo, Norway, and for opening fire on a nearby youth camp. The tweet was inspired by a quote by the British philosopher John Stuart Mill.

So far, 92 deaths have been reported, 85 of which were from the youth camp rampage, but the total number may increase as the day wears on. . . .

OnlineSocialMedia.net reports that on Breivik’s Facebook page he listed his interests as body building, hunting, freemasonry, stock analysis and the Modern Warfare 2 video game. Breivik said he had completed “3,000 hours of study in micro and macro finance, religion,” and describes himself as being both Christian and conservative. . . . . 

Larry Keffer of the Biblical Research Center and Norwegian evangelist Petar Keseljevic spoke to The Christian Poston Saturday about the attacks and about Breivik. . . . Keffer warns that people should not think that just because Breivik says he is a Christian that he actually is one.

“When I was out in Norway,” he said, “the people there thought they were Christian because they were Norwegian.” Many people in the so-called “Christian nation,” he says, claim the faith but haven’t necessarily been genuinely converted.

“A true Christian would not go and … shoot people in a camp or blow up buildings,” he said. “That’s not what a Christian does. So just because a man claims to be a Christian, or even believes that he is a Christian, does not necessarily make him so.”

“The Bible says that ‘you know them by their fruit.’” Click here to continue reading.

Note: In another Christian Post article, it states that Anders Behring Breivik said: ” Today’s Protestant church is a joke. Priests in jeans who march for Palestine and churches that look like minimalist shopping centres. I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic.”1

Article #2:

“Is Christianity the Reason the World is in Trouble?”

by Roger Oakland

As the world continues to plunge into further darkness and despair, emerging church leaders say it is the church’s fault, particularly that of rigid Christians who won’t bend their beliefs or convictions. While Christians certainly are not without sin, true believers are not causing the world to fall apart. It is happening for one reason alone … man’s sinful condition. We are each responsible for the sin in our own lives. The Bible is clear that the penalty for sin is death. We all, each and every one of us, have had a death sentence meted out to us. But we have also been offered a free gift of salvation.

As Christians, God expects us to reach out to those suffering and in need. When Jesus dwells in a human being, He convicts and He communes with that individual. He has saved us from destruction, and He desires to live in us and fellowship with us. And He compels us to live righteously and care about those less fortunate than ourselves.

The world is in trouble because of sin. And Jesus commissioned us as believers to go out into the world and preach the wonderful Good News of His free gift of salvation to all who come to Him by faith. Satan hates this Gospel message, and he hates the messenger, the church. Is it any wonder that as this new, self-deifying reformation takes form, its followers will grow increasingly hostile to those who preach the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Ironically, the emerging church, who says its main goal is to help the suffering and to help eradicate the world’s problems, is not pointing the world to Jesus Christ and His body. Rather it is rejecting the atonement, locking arms with a religion (Catholicism) that teaches we are justified by works rather than by grace alone, embracing mystical practices and altered states of consciousness, and pulling these suffering lost souls further and further away from the only thing that will ever help them—a personal one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ, who explains very clearly who He is:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:7-11) (from Faith Undone, chapter 13)


Note from Berit Kjos:  Although mainstream media reports characterized this Norwegian revolutionary as a ‘right-wing Christian fundamentalist,’ Breivik denied that claim in his 1,500-page manifesto titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence.” There he wrote:

 “As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus. Being a Christian can mean many things

 – That you believe in and want to protect Europe’s Christian cultural heritage.

 – Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the legacy of the European enlightenment (reason is the primary source and legitimacy for authority)…. It is therefore essential to understand the difference between a ‘Christian fundamentalist theocracy’ (everything we do not want) and a secular European society based on our Christian cultural heritage (what we do want). So no, you don’t need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy)….

 “…if you want to fight for the cross and die under the ‘cross of the martyrs’ it’s required that you are a practising Christian, a Christian agnostic or a Christian atheist (cultural Christian). The cultural factors are more important than your personal relationship with God, Jesus or the holy spirit. Even Odinists can fight with us or by our side as brothers in this fight as long as they accept the founding principles of PCCTS, Knights Templar…. The essence of our struggle is to defeat the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regimes of Western Europe before the we are completely demographically overwhelmed by Muslims….

 “Efforts should be made to facilitate the de-construction of the Protestant Church whose members should convert back to Catholicism…..As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings…. Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic…

 “Q: Name one living person you would like to meet?  A: The Pope or Vladimir Putin. Putin seems like a fair and resolute leader worthy of respect….

 “Q: Hobbies and interests? A: Friends… opera, theatre… science fiction, Freemasons….

  Support the reconquista, support the PCCTS, Knights Templar!”

   “AB Justiciar Knight Commander, cell 8

   “Knights Templar Europe

   “Knights Templar Norway” [This ending seems to reflect his mystical title and membership]

Breivik has already started a revolution — one likely to fuel rising hostility toward genuine Christians and conservatives who still value the American Constitution and the freedom it offers us. (source)

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The “New” Emerging Theology Breeds Atheism in a Generation of Young People

One day we received a call from one of our readers who wanted to share some news concerning his pastor’s son. He told us the son, after sitting under Dallas Willard for four years in university, declared himself to now be an atheist. How could this have happened? The boy was raised in a Christian home. Dallas Willard claims to be a Christian. While we do not know the details of this boy’s story, the following fictionalized account could very well be his story and that of many other young Christians today.

We’ll call our boy, John. John was raised in a Christian home. He attended church regularly and grew up with solid Christian teaching. Then, as a young adult, it seemed that he should stretch his wings a little, so he decided to attend a nearby university. This seemed to be a good move;  he felt sufficiently grounded in the Word of God that he should benefit from the experience. His parents, though somewhat hesitant because it was a secular school, agreed, and any concerns they did have were alleviated when they found out John connected with one of the university’s professors who was a well-known Christian figure and actually became John’s spiritual mentor.

It all seemed like such a good arrangement, getting discipleship from one of America’s top spiritual leaders. The professor had a special emphasis on spiritual formation and contemplative prayer with a theology akin to emerging spirituality. Like the classic emerging leaders, he would postulate what God must be like based on the rational premise that God is love. This sounded innocent enough. After all, the Bible says that God is love.

But a problem arose when human reasoning became the final authority, taking precedence even over Scripture. So when subjects like Hell were discussed, it only seemed logical that a loving God would never send anyone to Hell. Why would God assign anyone to such a place? Consequently, Hell must not exist.

Now the professor never came right out and said there was no Hell; but he asked questions, and he got his young protégée to ask questions. Questions, questions  . . .  but often no answers.

This line of reasoning progressed further and further. The professor had John read books by writers like William Shannon (Silence on Fire) and Brennan Manning (Above All), both who stated that the God who caused Noah’s flood or exacted the last drop of blood from His son for the sins of others, that God does not exist.1 John took his professor’s teachings and carried them to their logical conclusions: A loving God would not allow evil to reign in the world; a loving God, why would He allow disease and suffering? A loving God would . . . One thought led to another in logical sequence to a final conclusion: If a loving God would not allow these things, but these things are happening, then God must not exist. Sadly enough, this young man in our fiction story (based on true stories), with a very promising future, entered college life as a believer and came out an atheist.

So, even though his professor did not tell John that he should become an atheist, he equipped this young man with a thought process that ultimately excludes the teachings of the Bible. Equipping a young person where philosophical reasoning precludes God’s revelation is like placing a child in a rattlesnake pit while cautioning him not to get bit.

It is the same throughout the “new” spirituality/emerging church movement. The leaders of this movement come across as being very hip and highly intelligent, thereby ensnaring vast numbers of young people who are seeking someone they can look up to for answers.

For example, Rob Bell in the promotional video for his new book, Love Wins, raises a series of questions on what God must be like. This man has an incredible ability to break down the foundations of the Bible by merely asking questions. Like John’s professor, he begins with the premise that God is love, then skillfully and persuasively breaks down the fundamentals of the Bible through a chain of questions. It is interesting to note that the serpent beguiled Eve by asking a question.

The list could go on and on with examples of emerging leaders who question and postulate their way through the minds of young people – overturning long-held sacred beliefs. Lighthouse Trails has received phone calls by numerous parents over the last nearly ten years who have told us their children’s Christian faith was turned upside down in just a short period of time when they entered college or university, many of which were Christian schools.

One young man looking for answers found them by turning to Dallas Willard and Richard Foster. Listen to what he found:

I bumped into the classic spiritual disciplines while taking a course called “Dynamics of Christian Life” in my second year of Bible school. One of our textbooks was The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard. The course and textbook only touched on the actual disciplines, but the concept captivated me. The following spring, I found a copy of Richard Foster’s spiritual classic Celebration of Discipline in a used bookstore. Opening it and discovering each discipline detailed chapter by chapter, I felt a profound sense of joy and excitement. I’d found a real treasure.

Later, this young man became a free lance writer for Youth Specialties. Listen to where the spirituality of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster led him:

I built myself a prayer room – a tiny sanctuary in a basement closet filled with books on spiritual disciplines, contemplative prayer, and Christian mysticism. In that space I lit candles, burned incense, hung rosaries, and listened to tapes of Benedictine monks. I meditated for hours on words, images, and sounds. I reached the point of being able to achieve alpha brain patterns, the state in which dreams occur, while still awake and meditating. – “Disciplines, Mystics and the Contemplative Life” by Mike Perschon

Many reading this article may remember the Jesus Movement where many  found the Lord during the 1960s-1970s.The Lord’s mercy came down upon the young people of that generation, many of whom were being swept away in a self-destructive course of drugs, alcohol, sensual immorality, and eastern mysticism. During that time, there was a sense of urgency to get right with God and a lot of discussion that we may be living in the last days. Unfortunately, many of us who got saved then later witnessed how some teachings and practices got off course when the Word of God was not adhered to.  How sad to see that the children and grandchildren of those converts are missing out on being taught the true Word of God but are rather left with the scraps and throw-away pieces, namely heretical teachings.

The Bible does predicts that there will be a great delusion before Jesus returns, and we believe we are seeing such delusion today. But, there is hope, or otherwise we would not be writing this article today. First of all, we need to be praying for this generation of young people. Secondly, we need to make ourselves available to the Lord to help in any way that we can.

The eternal destiny of our children and grandchildren is now at stake. The Bible says that when the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will raise a standard against it. We who have witnessed these things know what that standard is – it is a return to the solid teaching of the Word of God and the preaching of the Gospel. Pray that God will open the eyes of our young people to see the false teachers that have entered their midst. And pray that the converts of that later movement will repent and return to their first love of the truth of God’s Word.


Hipster Christianity by Brett McCracken – When “Cool” Isn’t Cool and Is Ashamed of the Gospel

“Tough Questions” with Dallas Willard . . . and His Contemplative Propensities

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3 Stories in 1: WorldNetDaily Should Apologize to Veterans and Soldiers for Promoting Soldier-Meditation Program


Story # 1: Soldiers who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from their experiences during their service to the U.S. are being encouraged to turn to eastern style meditation techniques to find help through a program called Patriot Outreach. A free CD to any solider promises to give “effective help with Anger, Stress, Pain, Combat Stress and even P.T.S.D.” The CD presents an exercise in meditation that listeners are told to practice three times a day: http://copingstrategiescd.com/downloads/cdquality/CopingStrategies_FullCD_128K.mp3.

This exercise involves a focusing technique that is used during eastern-style meditation. The name of the exercise is called “Be Still and Know,” taken from Psalm 46:10. This is the main Bible verse used by contemplatives to “prove” that the Bible condones going into the “silence” through various meditation practices (mantras, lectio divina, breath prayers, etc). As Lighthouse Trails has shown in the past, the verse has been taken out of context. Nowhere in Scripture are we instructed to enter an altered state of mind using focusing or repetitive techniques in order to hear the voice of God or in this case relax and rid one’s self of stress, anxiety, and anger. Sadly, Patriot Outreach is pointing soldiers to something that could ultimately harm them spiritually.

Patriot Outreach is associated with radio talk show host from Oregon, Roy Masters. Masters is the founder of the Foundation of Human Understanding Worldwide (please use discernment if entering this site) and an outspoken advocate for meditation practices. Master’s website offers a number of products to teach meditation techniques, including the Be Still and Know CD.

Story #2: On July 19th, WorldNetDaily posted an article titled “Military praises ‘fantastic’ new post-traumatic stress therapy.”  The article is written by WND‘s managing editor David Kupelian and is basically an infomercial for a CD called Be Still and Know, which offers a meditation technique for soldiers and veterans presented by Patriot Outreach.  Kupelian offers this supportive quote: 

Patriot Outreach is an organization that provides the useful tools for our troubled soldiers and arms them with a renewed inner strength – a strength never to be shaken or stirred by angry thoughts or uncontrolled emotion. …

While we understand thatWorldNetDaily offers the writings from those of many different views, they maintain a strong defense of conservativism and generally attract those with Judeo/Christian principles. Thus, it is surprising, to say the least, that Joseph Farah (WND founder) would allow an article to be posted (by his managing editor, no less) that outrightly promotes eastern meditation techniques, given that the overall philosophy/theology of eastern religion does not line up with Judeo/Christian or conservative standards.

Kupelian’s article draws strongly on the emotions, as he talks about soldiers who are suffering terribly from their experiences in the service. Lighthouse Trails holds a deep compassion for these soldiers who have risked their lives in the military; however, we find WorldNetDaily’s promotion of eastern meditation techniques as a valid solution more of an insult to these soldiers and veterans than a help. Thus, we call for WorldNetDaily to retract this article and make a formal, public apology to soldiers and veterans everywhere. If they do not, then they are making a statement to all that they embrace the ideologies that they have stood against for so long. How’s that you say? Mysticism is of the same ideology framework as evolution, abortion, homosexuality, pedophilia, and anti-semitism. We call it the death religion. It takes practitioners away from the One, the only One who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). It is interesting to note that David Kupelian has written books on the topic of evil (including The Marketing of Evil). If he understood that  meditation does not produce good “fruit” but rather bad outcomes, perhaps he would reconsider his views on this topic.

Story #3: On the WorldNetDaily article promoting eastern meditation techniques, there are about five dozen comments by readers. While there are some comments that completely oppose what is being said in Kupelian’s article, a large number of the comments are praising the article. Here are a few of the praises:

Great article. Make it go viral, spread the message, lives are at stake every day.
Hey this is just AWSOME! If it can save just one of those troops lives then I say CHARGE ON!
This is wonderful! Next step is for the Be Still to go viral all over the internet so we can regain America and a free world!
And on they go. If these comments were made by readers of a New Age or contemplative  newspaper or magazine, one could hardly be surprised to hear these comments. But these are coming from readers of WorldNetDaily; and what this shows is that the mystical mindset is infiltrating even conservative circles. This also shows thatWorldNetDaily has not made enough effort to speak up against spiritual deception. They have spoken up about many important issues affecting society and the church, but it appears that they have underestimated the wiles of the devil.
This isn’t the first time Lighthouse Trails has reported on David Kupelian. In 2008, we wrote “WorldNet Daily VP Wrong about the Mystics.”  In that article, we stated that Kupelian wrote a WND article that featured and promoted a number of mystics. Now, three years later, he is promoting outright New Age meditation. This is a classic example of why we so strongly issue these warnings about Christian authors who are reading and writing about the mystics. Eventually, they are drawn into mysticism.

 We can only hope that WorldNetDaily, who has a large percentage of Christian readers, will retract Kupelian’s article promoting eastern meditation techniques and set their readers straight. But sadly, they have grown an audience of which many will not like to hear such a retraction; so now there is going to be a cost to do the right thing. One thing is likely, they’ll lose some readers either way they go.

Because it is relevant to this week’s WND article, here is our 2008 article below:

St. John of the CrossOn January 18th, 2008, WorldNet Daily posted an article by WND Vice President, David Kupelian. The article came out in WND’s publication Whistleblowerthe previous month and is currently in wide circulation on the Internet. It is for this reason that Lighthouse Trails is compelled to respond. The information in the article could potentially mislead many into following the teachings of mystics and panentheists from the past.

Kupelian’s article, titled “If God is everywhere, why do so few people find Him?”does not refute the notion that God is everywhere but on the contrary backs up the idea by favorably referencing mystics who believed that God was in everyone. Kupelian throws in ambiguous comments like “Christianity is a mystical religion, not a legalistic one like Islam” which adds fuel to his persuasive recommendations about mystics such as Madame Guyon and St. John of the Cross. He also refers to George Fox, founder of the Quaker movement, and William Penn, also a Quaker. Of Penn, Kupelian states:

Penn, a Quaker and close friend of the movement’s founder George Fox, is quite dramatically saying God can somehow be found in stillness, echoing David the psalmist who wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

What many WND readers may not know is that Quakers (not all) traditionally believe that all humans have a Divine light within. That is what prompted Quaker Thomas Kelly to say: “Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return…. In that abiding yet energizing Center we are all made one” (pp. 29, 38, A Testament of Devotion). Kelly stated that the “Slumbering Christ, stirring to be awakened … is within us all” (p. 29). He says the “Inward Christ” dwelled not just in the Christian’s heart, nor was something to be “accepted or rejected” but is “the living Center of Reference for all Christian souls … and of non-Christian groups as well” (p. 34).

George Fox would concur with Kelly. The three following statements by Fox George Fox illustrate this well:

“Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.”

“The Light shines through all.”

“There is that of divinity in all things.”

Kupelian comes to the defense of two mystics, Madame Guyon and St. John of the Cross, stating:

Whatever doctrinal reasons the Catholic Church might have had for rejecting Guyon, it’s hard to dispute the classic wisdom, espoused here, of seeking God in stillness.

But of that stillness, Guyon expressed these thoughts:

May I hasten to say that the kind of prayer I am speaking of is not a prayer that comes from your mind. It is a prayer that begins in the heart …. prayer that comes from the heart is not interrupted by thinking! (Madam Guyon, Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ p. 4)

G. Richard Fisher of Personal Freedom Outreach has written an excellent critique of Madame Guyon titled “The Mindless Mysticism of Madame Guyon.” Fisher’s research leaves no room for doubt as to Guyon’s mystical affinities. 1It is Guyon who said: “Here [the contemplative state] everything is God. God is everywhere and in all things.”2 Lastly, St. John of the Cross who said: “My beloved [God] is the high mountains, and the lovely valley forests, unexplored islands, rushing rivers.”3

Ray Yungen explains the problem: “To absolve these mystics of fundamental theological error, one has to also defend panentheism.”4 We are not proposing that David Kupelian of WorldNet Daily is a panentheist. However, the examples he is using as examples werepanentheists. And for the sake of many WND readers, this is something that has to be pointed out.

2. Timothy Freke, The Spiritual Canticle, the Wisdom of the Christian Mystics(Godsfield Press, 1998), p. 60.
3. Willigis Jager, The Search for the Meaning of Life(Ligouri, MO, Liguori/Triumph, 1995), p. 125.
4. Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2nd ed. (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails,) p. 74.

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Film Review: HELLBOUND?

By Mike Stanwood
Free lance writer and defender of the faith

Screen writer Kevin Miller is probably best known for co-writing the Ben Stein documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a film that shows how those who believe in intelligent design are being ridiculed by the scientific community.

For his next project, Miller is about to take on another big topic in an upcoming documentary [1] called Hellbound?” which is going into production this summer. Like Rob Bell, who has recently taken on hell with his controversial new book Love Wins, Miller will be exploring similar questions: “If God is our pure, all-loving Creator, can he really turn his back on sinners and allow them to suffer for eternity in hell? Where did this vision of hell come from? Is it possible we’ve got hell wrong? Or are recent challenges to the traditional view merely an attempt to avoid the inevitable?” [2]

He has already begun by attending a heavy metal concert in Copenhagen called Copenhell, a two-day festival inspired by music from the Abyss. This year’s big performers were Judas Priest and Korn, but Miller was also interested in finding out what was behind the hell-themed imagery in the music and artwork of other acts at this event. [3] (first clue: Satan?)

In the next stage of his Hellbound? production, some other names Miller will be turning to to aid him in his exploration are from the Pacific Northwest. These include William Paul Young, author of The Shack, philosopher Thomas Talbott, and Regent College professor John Stackhouse, Jr.

Also to be interviewed are three of Miller’s fellow writers at Clarion Journal of Spirituality & Justice, all of whom hold to some liberal, unorthodox beliefs. These colleagues are Anglican scholar and university professor Ron Dart, Arch Bishop Lazar Puhalo of All Saints of North America (Canadian Orthodox Monastery), and contemplative prayer/visualization teacher Brad Jersak,  author of Stricken by God?, a collection of essays on alternative atonement theories.

As Dart, Puhalo, and Jersak often appear together in filmed discussions [4], it is not surprising that they will all be part of Miller’s next film. If their ‘pre-interview’ for Hellbound? by Kevin Miller is any indication, Puhalo and Dart will be attempting to dismantle the biblical concept of hell. According to Archbishop Lazar Puhalo, hell is simply anger, malice, and the condition of our conscience [5], while Ron Dart believes that “a literal hell is a preposterous understanding of scripture.” [6]

Jersak’s beliefs on hell can be found in his recently written book on hell, judgment, and universalism called Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hell, Hope, and the New Jerusalem in which his “position seems to be that hopeful universalism is a good evangelical position.” [7]

As if the direction of Hellbound? isn’t already obvious, the participation of The Shack’s author William P. Young in this production may be an even stronger indication of where Miller intends to take his viewers. Besides adding to the buzz, Young’s theology may bring even more confusion to the topic. In the same interview where he denied the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ when he said “No. I don’t, I am not a penal substitution …reformation…point of view”, Young also recommended his listeners read Brad Jersak’s book about alternative atonement theories, Stricken by God? [8]

Also of note is another notorious film documentary, which screenwriter Kevin Miller has co-authored, [9] called With God On Our Side,  a movie aimed at naive evangelical audiences challenging support for Israel and Israel’s significance in Bible prophecy. The film featured Stephen Sizer who has defended Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [10] and acclaimed Helen Thomas for saying that Jews need to “get out of Palestine” and go back to Poland. [11] This anti-Israel film was championed by Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren. [12]

In conclusion, it is apparent that at least some of Kevin Miller’s sources consistently appear to be those who have departed from (or never did in the first place) believing that God literally meant what He said in His inspired Word. Instead, these men make their own theories and turn the truth of God into fables (2 Timothy 4:4). However, “far from legend, myth, metaphor, or allegory, the Bible presents hell as a real place where wicked people suffer the wrath of God.” [13] With the recent popularity of Rob Bell’s book Love Wins and the subsequent shift towards universalism among youth, it is concerning that Miller’s Hellbound? production could prove to be a widely viewed film, which will no doubt add to the confusion. Given the facts, it’s not unreasonable to offer a more than strong word of caution about this upcoming film. Those seeking answers about their eternal destination could be sent in the wrong direction by listening to the voices in Hellbound?

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels … And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matthew 25: 41, 45

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). And also:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. . . . I am the door of the sheep.  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The way of escape from Hell is a free gift, offered to “whosoever believeth on Him” (Jesus Christ – John 3:16). But those who deny biblical truths such as Hell and atonement have taken that free gift and the sacrifice Christ made on the Cross and slammed it to the ground. In essence, they have rejected the free gift of salvation through Christ.

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38)

[1] “Hellbound?” interview on Atlanta Live; ‘Expelled’ Writer Tackles One Hell of a Movie
: Abbotsford filmmaker asks questions about hell, films documentary locally
[2] Hellbound? documentary to film throughout the Pacific Northwest this July
[3] Hellbound? to begin production at “Copenhell” this June; Hellbound to begin production at “Copenhell”
[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc4c0MrIGEE
[5] Part 1: To Hell or not (unsegmented at canadianorthodoxbroadcasting.ca)
In this video, Archbishop Lazar Puhalo says hell is not a created fire pit but simply anger and malice and the condition of our conscience when we depart this world. Also in this video, Ron Dart, who does not have a literal way of reading the Bible, says that we need to transcend a literal way of understanding the Bible because literal interpretation leads to ridiculous consequences – and a literal hell is a preposterous understanding of scripture.
[6] Pt 2 To Hell or not to Hell
In this video, Archbishop Lazar Puhalo says that hell corrupts the concept of the nature and mercy of God, so we have to go to the early church beliefs to find the answer about what hell is. Ron Dart says that to rescue the church from literalism is to track back to the ancient wisdom of the church mothers and fathers.
[7] The Evangelical Universalist featuring Gregory MacDonald and Thomas Talbott: A Forum dedicated to Evangelical Universalists
Her Gates Will Never be Shut
, by Bradley Jersak (Review); By Gregory MacDonald;
[8] Listen to the interview with The Shack author William Young on KAYP by Kendall Adams, pastor of the Burlington Baptist church, where Young denies the substitutionary atonement and recommends Stricken by God? by Brad Jersak; http://rock-life.com/files/shakcomp.mp3;
Transcript of Interview
[10] In 2007, Stephen Sizer defended Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during an Islamic Republic News Agency press conference in Tehran. See “A Goliath in the Church
[11] Sizer acclaimed Helen Thomas for saying that Jews need to “get out of Palestine” and go back to Poland. See: Turning Churches Against Israel [12] See: Film Warning: With God on Our Side – Championed by Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren & Steve Haas (World Vision)
[13] The Truth About Hell

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