Breakforth Conference in Canada – Causing Confusion by Mixing Truth with Apostasy

Lighthouse Trails has written in the past about Breakforth, an annual conference that takes place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada each year, because of its promotion of emerging and contemplative speakers. What makes this conference even more spiritually dangerous is that the speaker list is a mixture of truth and apostasy. For example, one year both Kay Arthur and Tony Campolo shared the platform. When we contacted Arthur’s ministry, we were told that she will speak anywhere she is invited to share her message. Another year, Joel Rosenberg and Frank Peretti shared the platform with Leonard Sweet, a New Age sympathizing colleague of Rick Warren’s and William Paul Young, author of The Shack. Rosenberg’s defense: he’ll speak anywhere he is invited to.

The problem is, by seemingly solid teachers sharing platforms with those who outright teach and promote anti-biblical ideas (such as contemplative/centering prayer) a lot of confusion and misleading information is brought into the church. If Kay Arthur gets up on stage just before Tony Campolo, those attending will assume that Arthur has no serious problems with Campolo’s teachings, and so on. Of course, if Kay Arthur got up and told the crowd that Tony Campolo was teaching anti-biblical doctrines, then maybe she could justify herself. But to our knowledge, no such brave talk goes on by speakers at the Breakforth conference (or any other Christian conference where there is this mixture of truth and error).

Most of the speakers at the Breakforth conferences would fall into the contemplative/emerging camps (At least one in 2012 is a Catholic convert). It is difficult not to wonder why they are even bringing in people like Kay Arthur, Josh McDowell, and Frank Peretti, names that so far are not promoting contemplative prayer or emerging spirituality. Could it possibly be to give their emerging conference some credibility among the general populace of the evangelical church? Whether intentionally or not, by bringing them, it is indeed giving their agenda credibility.

Below is some research one of our Canadian readers sent us last week about the upcoming Breakforth in 2012 where Ann Graham-Lotz and Josh McDowell will share the platform with emerging figures Erwin McManus and Tony Campolo. Contemplative advocate Gary Thomas will also be there. (We have a few comments of our own, which you will find in brackets [  ].

To Lighthouse Trails:

The dates for BreakForth are January 27-29, 2012.  Registration costs $99 – $209 for the weekend starting Friday night.  Rates vary depending on how big your group is and how early you register,

I read most of the 12-page BreakForth newspaper last night, and it is a real mix. 

Some of the topics appeal to me:

John and Sean McDowell on “The New Tolerance”
“. . . See how research shows that the majority of our church people have distorted beliefs about Christ and Christianity. Josh teaches critical steps we need to take to reverse this alarming trend . . . .”

Joe Amaral (don’t know him) “Understanding Jesus”  “. .  .back in time to the Jewish culture of Jesus.”
                 “God’s Holy Days.”
                 “The Passover Prophecies”
                 “Ancient Wedding Feast”

Hans Weichbrodt (don’t know him)  “Jet Tour through Ezekiel”
                 “Daniel’s 70th Week”
                 “The Jewish Temple”
                 “Heaven — Our Eternal Future!”

Here’s my biggest objection to BreakForth 2012.  The Main Assemblies.

Registrants attend four main assemblies and may choose elective for five sessions.
Friday night main assembly      Erwin McManus and Arlen Salte (Arlen is a musician and the organizer of BreakForth)
Saturday morning         ”       Anne Graham Lotz and Brenton Brown
Saturday night           ”        Tony Campolo and Paul Baloche
Sunday afternoon         ”       Nick Vujicic and Robin Mark

That’s means every registrant will hear Erwin McManus and Tony Campolo!

Many of the speakers I don’t know.  Some of them I read years ago, but I don’t know their doctrinal position now.

Others I recognize as false teachers:
Tony Campolo  “Red Letter Christianity” [Says he is born again through mystical experiences]1 

Erwin McManus  “Capacity:  Increasing Your Leadership EQ”  “. . . Come learn about leadership that brings intrinsic change.”

Dr. Chris Alford  “A pioneer on Ancient-Future renewal . . . .”
                 “Robert Webber said ‘The road to the future runs through the past.'”
                 “. . . then defines and unpacks Ancient-Future Worship Renewal.”

Gary Thomas  “Sacred Pathways”  “Experienced spiritual directors recognize the futility of ‘one size fits all’ spirituality. . . . ”
                 “Growing with the Classics”  “Gary will explain why the great ancient writings are so important for everyone to be familiar with.  You’ll learn guidelines for getting the most out of this spiritual discipline and show how our pursuit of seeking intimacy with God can be greatly bolstered with ancient wisdom.”
                 “The Ministry of the Thorn”  “Paul had a thorn in the flesh.  Teresa of Avila had splitting migraines.  Augustine was threatened by a marauding horde . ”

Other sessions I don’t know the speakers and I’m not sure of the content.  I would put a question mark beside them until I could do more research.

Mark Virkler             “4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice” [Mark Virkler is a contemplative advocate]
                          “Prayers that Heal the Heart”
                          “Prayer will allow you to use the language of the heart to break generational sins and curses, sever ungodly soul ties, replace negative beliefs with God’s promises and experience healing.”
                          “. . .We will try this together and learn to listen to God’s voice.”
Julie Drew               “Painting Prayers”
Simon Guillebaud         “Screaming Injustice”
Bill & Pam Farrel       “Red Hot Monogamy”
3 electives under       “Soaking” with Jared Anderson, Dr. Chris Alford, and Brenton Brown
Audrey Assad             “. . . This hour will be focused on deepening prayer in the interest of true spiritual rest . . . . ” [Assad is a convert to Catholicism.]

What a state the church is in when we need to be suspicious of sessions on Prayer!

From the blurbs, I would assume the Gospel is missing from the sessions for the youth.
iNFuZion         Ages 14-18      Bill Rice and Zoro
the EdgE        Over 18          Simon Guillebaud and Zoro
Topics – Radical Living, Living Your Destiny, Dangerous People
Phrases – “how to live a life without limits,”
        “live on the edge and make a difference,”
        “Did Jesus really call us to live a life of radical love when there are so many haters around?”
        “. . . a life of dynamic action and purpose,”
        “. . . understanding and developing your God-given gifts and reveals strategies for fulfilling your divine purpose on earth,”
         “Stand in awe of God’s ability to transform lives and fuel dreams!”
        “. . . moved from being a poor kid from the streets of L.A. to one who achieved his dreams on some of the biggest stages of the world through the power of God!”
        “take a look at how to become a dreamer of the day — someone who acts out their dreams with open eyes to make them happen,”
        “Life is an adventure to be lived.”

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