Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’

RICK WARREN, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTICS AND POPE FRANCIS

LTRP Note: This series by Roger Oakland is one of the most significant stories we have ever covered. You will come to understand this as the rest of the series unfolds. If you have not read our articles/booklets The New Evangelization From Rome or Finding the True Jesus or The Jesuit Agenda, we encourage you to do so to help come up to speed on the Road to Rome issue. Considering the millions of Christians being influenced by Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven movement worldwide, what is happening here simply cannot be ignored.

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times

What did he say? This is exactly the direction we predicted he would go! It will be crucial that skeptics hear and see this interview. These were my thoughts when I first watched the EWTN interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo provided by YouTube. April 11, 2014. The comments by Rick Warren in response to Arroyo’s questions from an interview that took place at Warren’s church in southern California were stunning. There is no room for doubt: Warren’s march towards ecumenical unity with Rome is becoming clearer and bolder as time passes.

The interview opened with the following question from Arroyo:

The Purpose Drive Life is the bestselling book in the world – 36 million plus copies. It’s been translated more than any book except the Bible. What is the key to that success? Why were so many people touched by that book and continue to be? [1]

Warren’s response to this question provides insight to two very important questions – the inspiration behind the book and the reason why it was written. His own words confirm that Roman Catholic mystics and their writings have been a strong influence on him personally and his ministry. This affinity associates him with the emerging church as well as numerous other statements he has made in the past. Warren responded:

You know, Ray, There is not a single new thought in Purpose Driven Life that teresaavilahadn’t been said for 2,000 years. I’ve just said it in a fresh way. I said it in a simple way. When I was writing Purpose Drive Life it took me 7 months, 12 hours a day. I’d get up at 4:30 in the morning. I’d go to a little study. Start at 5 a.m. I was fasting til noon and I would light some candles and I would start writing and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. One of the things I did before I wrote the book was, um, I’d ask the question—How do you write a book that lasts 500 years? For instance, um, Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Ok? The Desert Fathers, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila. All of these great, classic devotional works. Any one of them—I just realized that in order to be timeless you have to be eternal. Click here to continue reading.

 

 

Part 1 of Special Coverage: Rick Warren’s Ecumenical Pathway to Rome Continues

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

In February of 2013, Understand The Times published a commentary on our website titled What is Next For Rick Warren.”

In this commentary, we provided evidence to show that Warren and Tony Blair were partnering together with the Roman Catholic Church in the formation of a P.E.A.C.E. Plan that leads towards the formation of a global religion in the name of Christ for the cause of peace. Documentation for this premise can be supported by numerous statements that both Warren and Blair have made publicly from messages they have given or articles that have been written explaining their ideas.

While many who read that commentary doubted or denied such a Warren-Rome connection, a new YouTube interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo of EWTN (published and posted on Apr 11, 2014), reveals the statements we made about the Warren-Rome partnership were accurate prophetic warnings with regard to what would happen in the future.

The YouTube description of the interview with Warren and Arroyo states:

“Part II of our exclusive interview RICK WARREN, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Rick talks about the expansion of his ministry abroad, the Vatican delegation that recently came to Orange County to study his church’s style of evangelization, and which television channel he finds himself watching most often and the show that draws him.”

The interview can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVCY8pW-ACs

We highly recommend you watch the entire 30-minute interview, which was done at Saddleback Church at some date previous to the publishing date of April 11, 2-14. The interview is loaded with information that provides further insight into Rick Warren’s pathway to Rome that he has actually been supporting for quite some time. For instance, in 2005, Warren created the Purpose Driven Life Catholics program as you can see from the image below (which is taken from Rick Warren’s website).pdl-catholics

And in his best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life (released in 2002), Rick Warren makes several favorable references to well-known Catholics: page 88 (Brother Lawrence, a Catholic mystic), page 108 (he mentions Catholic priest, Henri Nouwen and Catholic panentheist St. John of the Cross), and twice he mentions Mother Theresa (pages 125 and 231).

But in this EWTN interview, Warren takes his views of the Catholic Church to even “greater” heights and admits he is in favor of the Roman Catholic New Evangelization program (set up to win the “lost brethren” back to the Mother Church).

In the near future, we will be breaking the interview down into smaller segments, providing written transcripts and comment based on the words contained in these shorter segments.

 

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Evangelicals are making [Catholic contemplative] liturgical traditions their own

LTRP Note: We are re-posting this 2011 article because this is even more of an issue than it was in 2011. Posted for informational and research purposes.

By KATE SHELLNUTT
HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Certain Holy Week observances long affiliated with more liturgical traditions are being re-purposed and incorporated into evangelical congregations, home to increasing numbers of former Catholics and mainline Protestants.

Leading up to the children’s egg hunts and contemporary worship services this Easter, it was not unlikely to see Lenten reflections, Maundy Thursday meals or even Stations of the Cross at a Baptist church.

Carlos Ichter never observed Lent or Holy Week in the Baptist congregation where he grew up, but Tallowood Baptist Church — where Ichter serves as a worship minister — has commemorated the Last Supper and the crucifixion in the days leading up to Easter for more than a decade.

“I’ve been asked a few times, ‘What is this Maundy Thursday?’ It is a foreign idea for some, but once you explain it to them, they see it’s scriptural and it makes sense,” he said. “There are a lot of good things that Roman Catholics do that I think everybody should be open to. … It’s not a Catholic thing or a Baptist thing, it’s a biblical thing.” (Click here to continue reading.)

Where do Mennonites, Monasteries and Jesuits Intersect?

By Menno-Lite
Used with permission.

In an article called Pray and Work[1] in the February issue[2] of the MB Herald, the author attempts to answer the question; where do prayer and deed intersect? But another question remains unanswered; where do Mennonites and Benedictine monks and Jesuits intersect?

Here is an excerpt from Pray and Work (MB Herald):

The Protestant work ethic shouts: “Work harder, do more, give more!” The contemplative ethic tells us to pray more, go deeper with God, reflect on our activity. Perhaps the answer is in both.

Holy dependence

I’ve often heard we should “pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” This proverb (often attributed to Ignatius of Loyola) seems prudent – an appropriate mix of dependence on Christ and the Protestant work ethic that has served us so well.

While this saying appears wise at first glance, it’s poorly conceived. If we apply it to our lives, we risk falling into self-sufficiency and independence from God. It’s the Jesuit version of “God helps those who help themselves.”

If I work as though ministry is all my responsibility, I’m liable to create my own kingdom based on my good works. Who needs God if I work as if everything depends on me?

Some suggest that St. Ignatius’ comments were more along the lines of: “Work as if everything depended on God, pray as if everything depended on you.”

Father Mark Stengel, who contributes to the Country Monks blog, summed it up well…

What follows is a lengthy quote from Father Mark Stengel, the oblate director at the Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas, home of 40 monks who follow the rule of St. Benedict and chant prayers 5 times a day. Father Stengel is a contributor to the blog on the Abbey’s website (www.countrymonks.us).

“Saint” Ignatius of Loyola[3] was the founder of the Jesuits, an order formed to bring about the counter reformation, which continues today (through much more civil efforts than 500 years ago) to convert Protestants back to the Mother Church of Rome. Roger Oakland says that “in a way, it is more insidious than the Inquisitions, because now it has infiltrated Christianity and is being disguised as the “new” Christianity.”[4]

Where do Mennonites and Benedictine monks and Jesuits intersect?

Answer: at the ecumenical crossroads where the cross of Christ and the gospel of truth is compromised. Click here for more information and footnotes.

Related Articles:

A Jesuit Pope? Understanding The Jesuit Agenda and the Evangelical/Protestant Church

Audio Divina and Mennonites

Mennonites and Sustainable Development

Disappointment in the MB Herald – Mennonites Going Contemplative

Letter to the Editor: Evangelical Free Church Snowballing into Spiritual Deception Through Contemplative/Emerging

Greetings Lighthouse Trails:

I never thought I would be writing you, but I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your efforts, for few are those doing your type of ministry, certainly not in my experience, especially at the local level by church leadership! Let me get straight to the point of my writing—my wife and I have been attending an Evangelical Free Church for approximately five years now, but recently things are beginning to snowball in several areas.

One of those areas is that of Spiritual Formation and some other “mystical” directions such as an Emergent-type communion at our ladies retreat (darkened room, candles, veils, prayer stations, candlelight, ect.) along with the current teaching from Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God in a Sunday School class.  On the heels of this, there was a series begun in the regular preaching service based upon [contemplative author] John Ortberg’s book The Life You’ve Always Wanted, in which his book was used four weeks running right alongside the Bible in the pulpit!  In the course of this (which was stopped due to the protests of a few), [mystic] Meister Eckhart was quoted in the Sunday bulletin. Over this, I’ve had several encounters with church leadership, all to no avail, and now unquestionably I’ve become a ‘marked man’ due to my protests.

All this to say that only recently I went to the National E-Free website only to find the following recommendations in their online magazine, seemingly one more organization lost to this movement.  My primary motive in writing you is merely to inform you regarding this group as well since I haven’t read much, if anything about them in your writings [editor’s note: We have written a few times about the EFCA, the most recent time here]. I am a former pastor and have a small e-mail list. Following is a portion of what I sent those on my list:

“FROM MY DESK:  Periodically I like to peruse the website of the national E-free church just as a matter of seeing what might be going on.  This particular site is generally not a fountainhead of information, often at least for me, leaving much unanswered and generally dealing only in the most general and accommodating ways with the subject matter.  Much to my surprise this time I found the following recommended list of books and authors, all of which indicated to me that this national headquarters is, for lack of a better expression, “coming out of the closet” and recommending to all the member and affiliated people and churches contemplative spirituality!

None of the books were written by men like D.L. Moody or G. Campbell Morgan, or Hudson Taylor, or even George Muller, or any other of a plethora of men whose lives and teachings have been respected for many, many years.  No, all of these authors are garnering their information from spiritual disciplines ‘outside’ the confines of Scripture and blending them, if you please, with their own twisted and manipulated version of biblical teachings.  These authors draw from sources such as psychology in its many forms, Quakerism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Zen Buddhism, and many other so-called religious traditions.  So the question becomes: how long will it take for these recommendations to begin having their effect in your local church?

Some of these names were unfamiliar to me, so I did my due diligence and to my utter astonishment–%100 of these authors are deeply involved in the Spiritual Transformation movement.  Something else I picked up along the way was that the common mantra amongst them is becoming “can’t we all just get along.” I suppose this is intended to deflect any opposition to their introduction of a false spirituality into the churches.  Keep in mind these books were recommended by participating E-Free pastors; what might this tell you?”

From the recommended resources of the Evangelical Free Church magazine website [most of these names can be found on the Lighthouse Trails Research site]:

Ruth Haley Barton. Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s transforming presence and Sacred Rhythms: Arranging our lives for spiritual transformation

David G. Benner. Sacred Companions: The gift of spiritual friendship and direction and Desiring God’s Will: Aligning our hearts with the heart of God (available from Amazon.com)

 — (His) life’s work has been directed toward the promotion of the well-being of the inner life of persons, focusing in particular on the interaction of psychological and spiritual dynamics.  The underlying passion of his life has been the understanding and pursuit of transformation – not merely healing or even growth, but the unfolding of the self associated with a journey of awakening.  This has been the focus of his more than three decades of work in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and his more recent work as a spiritual guide to those who seek awakening and transformation through spiritual openness and contemplative stillness in action.

— David is a faculty member of The Rohr Institute’s Living School for Action and Contemplation where he serves as a Master Teacher. He currently makes this the exclusive venue for his teaching because of the deep congruence between the Rohr Institute’s core principles and his own – specifically, his conviction that the understanding and facilitation of transformation cannot be restricted to the best contemporary psychological and spiritual insights but must be grounded in the perennial wisdom tradition.

— The Rohr Institute’s Living School for Action and Contemplation provides such a course of study grounded in the Christian mystical tradition. Cultivating a contemplative mind through teachings and practices, students deepen their awareness of our common union with Divine Reality and all beings.

The Rohr Institute’s Living School offers students exclusive access to learn directly from Fr. (Fr. =Father) Richard Rohr, other core faculty, and invited master teachers. Fr. Richard is a Franciscan of the New Mexico Province, and the Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, Strongly influenced by the Franciscan (as in Catholic) Alternative Orthodoxy

Mark Buchanan. The Holy Wild: Trusting in the character of God and The Rest of God: Restoring your soul by restoring Sabbath

Bruce Demarest. Satisfy Your Soul: Restoring the heart of Christian spirituality

Brennan Manning. Abba’s Child: The cry of the heart for intimate belonging

 M. Robert Mulholland. Invitation to a Journey: A road map for spiritual formation

John Ortberg. The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual disciplines for ordinary people

Peter Scazzero. The Emotionally Healthy Church: A strategy for discipleship that actually changes lives and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a revolution in your life in Christ

Dallas Willard. The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding how God changes lives and Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the character of Christ

[This note is at the bottom of the EFCA page]: * These resources are recommended by Cedarly Pastors Retreat. While Cedarly does not necessarily endorse every position of every writer, each of the resources listed has important things to say about our relationship with the Lord Jesus and the growth and nurture of that relationship.  [note from the LT reader: And each of them has its own brand of heresy!]

Lighthouse Trails 2013 Year in Review—PART 2 – Top 7 Out-of-House News Stories in 2013

In Part 2 of the Lighthouse Trails 2013 YEAR IN REVIEW, we are presenting the Top 7 Out-of-House News Stories. These are from various  religious and secular news sources. We posted these stories this past year for research and informational purposes and not as an endorsement of the sources.

1) Planned Parenthood’s New Annual Report: We Did 333,964 Abortions; 1 Every 94 Seconds – “We are so proud of the year’s many successes.” (CNS News)
2) Washington Post Recognizes Large Influence Contemplative Spirituality Has On American Christians  (Washington Post)
3) Presbyterian Church USA Teams Up With American Islamists (The Clarion Project)
4)  IRS Admits to Intentional Targeting of Conservative Groups (Christian News Network)
5)  San Diego Judge OKs Yoga in Schools, Denies Religious Component  (NBC)
6) “Catholic, Protestant Churches Sign Historic Baptism Agreement” – Recognizing Each Others Baptisms  (Christian Post)
7) Pope Francis calls for intensified dialogue with Muslims – Everyone “a brother or sister.” (USA Today)

Washington Post Recognizes Large Influence Contemplative Spirituality Has On American Christians

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted here for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the content. Interestingly, Washington Post wrote a similar story in 2008 titled “Feeling Renewed By Ancient Traditions.” In that story, they quoted briefly from one of the Lighthouse Trails editors (name spelled wrong) after a phone interview.

By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post

“Americans turning to ancient music, practices to experience their faith”

“[T]he rise in interest in early practices has become so common that at Wheaton College, the prominent evangelical school in Chicago, “the joke is, all these people are now liturgical.”

In our of-the-minute culture, Santa seems old-fashioned. But Christians are exploring far older ways of observing the holiday.In the living room this week along with the pile of presents, there’s more likely to be a wreath or calendar marking Advent, the month leading up to Christmas that symbolizes the waiting period before Jesus’s birth. Christmas services largely dominated by contemporary music are mixing in centuries-old chants and other a cappella sounds. Holiday sermons on topics such as prayer, meditation and finding a way to observe the Sabbath are becoming more common.

These early — some use the term “ancient” — spiritual practices are an effort to bring what feels to some like greater authenticity to perhaps the most thoroughly commercialized of religious holidays, say pastors, religious music experts and other worship-watchers.

“It’s the recognition that Christianity didn’t start when someone got an electric guitar,” said Ed Stetzer, a pastor and church consultant who runs Lifeway Research, a Christian polling firm. “I think particularly among younger Christians, they’re drawn to smells and bells and history in a way that boomers weren’t on the same level.” Click here to continue reading.


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