Posts Tagged ‘circle maker’

Letter to the Editor: Mixed Bag of Speakers at Assemblies of God General Conference to Include Rick Warren, Priscilla Shirer, Circle-Making Mark Batterson

Dear LHT editors:

My parents attend an Assemblies of God church, and I try to keep up to date on what is going on.  I left the denomination years ago, but they are struggling to stay.  I just looked up the events for 2017 and wasn’t too shocked to find good old Rick Warren as a speaker as well as Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker) and others who I am not familiar with, but who seem to be part of the large megachurch mindset.  Here is the link:  General Council 2017 | Anaheim, CA

Also if possible if you could add Joanna Weaver to your list of books to stay away from.  I am so grieved that churches just don’t want to listen.  They refuse to expose error and embrace false teachers through books.  They pick out the nuggets.  It doesn’t matter if the author got her info from mystics, contemplatives, and flat out heretics from the NAR movement.  :(

God bless you all and we will be praying for your ministry.

— Concerned

LTRP Comments: Dr. George Wood, who is the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God church, is one of the leaders Lighthouse Trails is sending booklets to a few times a year.1 Thus far, he has received 5 booklets from LT: 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, 5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer, Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome, Setting Aside the Power of the Gospel for a Powerless Substitute, and Is Your Church Doing Spiritual Formation (And Important Reasons Why it Shouldn’t). On December 22, 2016, Lighthouse Trails editors received a short letter from Dr. Wood acknowledging receipt of the last two. It is our hope he will read the booklets and consider the information provided in them. As with many other denominations today, the Assemblies of God is heavily promoting contemplative spirituality.

Related Articles:

The Circle Makers

The Native Spirituality “Medicine Wheel” and The Circle Maker

Beth Moore & Priscilla Shirer – Their History of Contemplative Prayer and Why War Room Should Not Have Used Them

Letter to the Editor: Assemblies of God Pastor Disheartened by Direction AOG and Other Denominations Are Going

Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much

Is AOG Superintendent George Wood Responding With Video Regarding Ruth Haley Barton Issue?

DRESS REHEARSAL FOR A FALSE REVIVAL? – Evangelical, Charismatic, Emerging Leaders, & Pope Francis Unite for “Together 2016” in Washington, DC

 

 

Christian Leaders Finally Beginning to Speak Out About Jesus Calling, Saying: “WE LOVE IT!!”

jesus-callingFor three years, Lighthouse Trails has been warning believers about Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. It was October 25th 2013 that we announced going to press with Warren B. Smith’s book “Another Jesus” Calling. Since then, we have published three booklets by Warren on the topic as well as several articles. We also sent his booklet 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book to over 100 Christian leaders earlier this year. Interestingly, in these past few years, we’ve heard virtually no public comments by Christian leaders about Jesus Calling – for or against. We wondered, “Do they like the book and are too afraid to say so?” or “Do they NOT like the book and are too afraid to say so?” Afraid that if they stated their true feelings about the book – whether for or against – they would take heat from either their followers who love the book or from discernment ministries who warn about the book. Well, apparently, all that doesn’t matter anymore because leaders are starting to speak up about Jesus Calling – and the ones who are, LOVE IT!

On a fairly new Thomas Nelson web page, the mega publisher of Jesus Calling has posted a number of “Endorsements” for Jesus Calling by Christian and other religious and secular leaders. The list of endorsers includes: Max Lucado, Roma Downey, Josh Warren (CEO, Purpose Driven Communications), Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker author), Melinda Gates (Bill Gates’ wife), Rev. James Martin, SJ (a Jesuit priest), best-selling author Shauna Niequist, O.S. Hawkins (author of The Joshua Code and The Jesus Code), Dr. Jack Graham, singer Sheila Walsch, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Lee (speaker for “There’s Hope in America television series), Kathy Lee Gifford, country singer Charlie Daniels, singer Reba McEntire, James Robison (who works closely with Beth Moore), Mike Gallagher (from Salem Radio Network), veteran Christian singer Phil Keaggy, and numerous other evangelical, Catholic, and secular personalities.

Based on our research, we believe Thomas Nelson posted this sometime in May 2016, just two months after Lighthouse Trails mailed out the booklet on Jesus Calling to Christian leaders. While perhaps unrelated, we find it interesting that this promo by Thomas Nelson came out just a couple months after we sent out the warning to the leaders. Of the leaders who are endorsing Jesus Calling, these are the ones who received a copy of 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book: Dr. Jack Graham, Max Lucado, James Robison, Sheila Walsch, and Rick Warren (Saddleback).

It is also interesting to note that most of the Christian leaders who have endorsed Jesus Calling are also advocates for contemplative spirituality and/or the road to Rome.

Here are a few of the endorsements:

Max Lucado: “It would be hard to overstate the impact of the writings of Sarah Young. She is a stream in the desert. Her words quench our thirst.”

Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker): “I believe that God honors bold prayers and is often just waiting to be invited to intervene in our lives with answered prayers, miracles, and fulfilled dreams. That’s why I love Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling.

Roma Downey (a favorite of David Jeremiah): “I love my daily devotional, Jesus Calling. It’s a blessing in my day to read.”

Dr. Jack Graham: I have personally read Jesus Calling regularly and have been blessed beyond measure. I am grateful to God for this devotional masterpiece, which will speak life into generations to come.”

Sheila Walsch: “Sometimes God places His hand on a project and takes it deep into the hearts of young and old, rich or poor, for it crosses every human barrier. Jesus Calling is such a gift.”

Josh Warren (CEO, Purpose Driven Communications): “Very rarely do books come along that hit you right between the eyes. Jesus Calling is one of those books. I can’t tell you how many times the devotion of the day is exactly what I needed to face that day. My relationship with Jesus has changed because of this book. My love for Him and His people is deeper, more real, more transparent, and I have a better grasp of the journey of His calling.”

Letter to the Editor: Anne Graham Lotz Responds Regarding Promotion of Honi, the Mystic and Prayer Circles

LTRP Note: The following is from a Lighthouse Trails reader who had written to Anne Graham Lotz regarding her recent promotion of Honi, the mystic, and prayer circles. You may wish to refer to our two previous posts on this situation: Letters to the Editor: Anne Graham Lotz Promoting Circle Making  and Letters to the Editor: Anne Graham Lotz Promoting Circle Making.  Also read: Please read 2 articles we have on circle making: The Circle Makers by Cedric Fisher and The Native Spirituality “Medicine Wheel” and The Circle Maker  by Cree author Nanci Des Gerlaise.

To Lighthouse Trails:

This is Anne Graham Lotz’s response to my concern referring to prayer circles:

From A.G. Lotz’s ministry: Thank you for sharing your concern – and for the respect you have shown Anne by bringing the issue to her directly. The following is her response:

From Anne Graham Lotz: “I can’t answer for Mark Batterson [author of The Circle Maker].  I will answer for myself.  I used the illustration of Honi because it is an excellent illustration of being focused in our prayers.  It has nothing to do with heresy or witchcraft or mysticism. My book, The Daniel Prayer, is based on Daniel 9–not the story of Honi or any other fable.  The Daniel Prayer teaches us to take God at His Word–claiming His promises and holding Him to them, as Daniel did.

“When I draw a circle in prayer, I am not doing so literally and demanding that God answer everything in that circle.  I am focusing in on what I can wrap my mind and heart and prayers around:  my nation, my state, my city, my neighborhood, my church, my family. Instead of praying generally for all of America, I concentrate on  the world between my own two feet, so to speak. God gives me a promise or a Word for what/who is in my circle, and I pray His Word back to Him.

“In one sense, Abraham did this when he prayed for Sodom.  He drew a circle that included 50, then 40, then 30, etc. (praying God’s Word back and forth with Him)–until his circle shrank to include 10 people.  God honored his prayer by saving those within Abraham’s circle that he cared most about:  his nephew Lot and his family.

 “Elijah focused on Mt. Carmel when he prayed for rain.  He in essence drew a circle around Israel and refused to get up from his knees until God had kept His Word and sent rain to end the 3 year drought.

 “Jesus used this concept when He told His disciples that they would be witnesses, first in Jerusalem, then in Judea, then in Samaria, then in the uttermost parts of the world. In this case, the circle expanded rather contracted.

“A circle was not literally drawn in any of these Biblical examples.  But the idea of concentrated focus is implied.”

I hope this helps your understanding.

God bless you.

In His Joy,

_____________

Letter to the Editor: Open Letter to Anne Graham Lotz Regarding Circle Maker

From a Lighthouse Trails reader regarding Anne Graham Lotz’s recent promotion of the circle maker concept. Please read 2 articles we have on circle making: The Circle Makers by Cedric Fisher and The Native Spirituality “Medicine Wheel” and The Circle Maker  by Cree author Nanci Des Gerlaise. 

Dear Anne,

I have always regarded you as a very spiritual woman, but when I read that you had bought into the heresy found in the book The Circle Maker, I thought to myself, how could she be so deceived?

The Bible says in 1 John 4: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets are come into the world.”

If you were to type into a search engine  “The Circle Maker” you would find what I, a layman, found out about this book and this “new way” of praying.

circleAnd in 2 Peter 2 : 1, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

In Ephesians 4: 14, the Word says, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind and doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

And in Colossians 2: 8, the Word says, “Beware lest any man spoil you, through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

Jesus said, “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12: 48).

You have been given much Anne; thus your accountability before Jesus is far greater than the hundreds, probably thousands, who are going to read what you said about “The Circle Maker” and say to themselves, well, if Anne Graham Lotz believes and endorses and practices what the circle maker says, then it must be okay. BUT IT ISN’T. Thus, you have now become a stumbling block and not a stepping stone to all who will follow your lead.

The men I have been praying with every Tuesday evening for years will be praying for you, Anne—that you will recant your position and ask Jesus to rectify this wrong.

Bill

The Circle Makers

In a book written by Mark Batterson called, The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears, Batterson insist that one can draw a circle around various issues and desires, and God will intervene mightily.—C.H. Fisher

“THE CIRCLE MAKERS”

By C. H. Fisher
TruthKeepers

There is this familiar and oft-quoted excerpt from a poem, “Outwitted,”  by Edwin Markham;

“He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !”

Is it possible to cause a rebellious heretic to change his heart and mind with nothing but love?  Of all the people to attempt to win with love, the rebellious heretic is the most difficult.  It seems good on the surface, a Christian thing to do, roping a rebellious heretic with a circle of love and taking him in.  In fact, professing Christians often quote the excerpt as if it is a noble example of true Christianity.  But I’m not certain that it was Christianity that Markham determined to win his rebellious heretic to.

Before writing his poem, Markham became a mystic under the influence of Thomas Lake Harris.  Harris, who had contact with spirit entities such as “The Lily Queen”, was the leader of a small religious cult.  As a winemaker, he claimed that his wine was filled with “divine breath” and thus free from noxious properties including the effects of alcohol.  Markham also became a Mason. His first wife divorced him over his adulterous affair.  To my knowledge he never practiced Christianity.  So exactly what he meant by his poem we may never know.

There is some circle drawing going on in Christianity today that appears to be based on the same fanciful notion that Markham wrote about.  Popular pastor and author Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church (and other professing Christians) has been teaching an imaginative salvation plan called Kingdom Circles.  It is a method of inclusion whereby false religions and cults are accepted into Christianity without renouncing their sin or heresy.  The plan involves a large circle with a number of small circles on its perimeter.  The large circle supposedly represents the Kingdom of God, and the smaller circles represent false religions and cults.  The portion of the small circles that fall inside of the large one is considered light, and the portion on the outside of the large circle is darkness.  Thus, a Muslim has his dark portion in the kingdom of Satan with his light portion in the kingdom of God.  Of course, this defies the Word of God, but that does not matter to the circle makers.  They drew circles and took them in.

One of Warren’s associates and collaborating authors Dr. Mehmet Oz practices Reiki.  During a workshop with her husband, Dr. Oz’s wife conducted a Reiki experience that went as follows. Click here to continue reading this article.

The Native Spirituality “Medicine Wheel” and The Circle Maker

By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(Canadian Cree author of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality)

Native Americans developed the concept of the medicine wheel to illustrate their belief that life is a circle—from birth to death to rebirth—and to act as a guide to understanding self, creation, and their duties. Everything within the wheel is interrelated, and the goal is that these interconnected elements are in balance with each other. Important ceremonies always take place within a circle.

Four is a significant number within Native Spirituality—four directions, four winds, four seasons, four elements, and so forth. Hence, the wheel has four quadrants, which move in a clockwise direction because that is the sun’s direction.  

There are numerous interpretations and uses of the wheel, but the following is the one my own family used. We believed our spirit keeper was the grizzly bear –

In the center are the creator and the individual. East represents beginning or birth, spring, and where the sun rises and is symbolized by the eagle as spirit keeper. The next quadrant, the south, is the mental area, representing the teenage years and symbolized by the buffalo as spirit keeper. The west represents the emotions as well as the season of fall and is symbolized by the grizzly bear. The north represents the spiritual self and is symbolized by the wolf.
Francis Whiskeyjack, a Cree elder and expert on the medicine wheel states:

As we share in this circle with others, we are asking the Creator, the healer, to heal us. We are asking our spirit guides, the helpers, our grandfathers and grandmothers, to pray for us, to be mediators and to help us.1

The Wheel summarizes their earth-centered faith and reveals a system of interaction of animistic, pantheistic, and spiritualistic beliefs in their search for spiritual wholeness.

This is only a brief summary of a very complex teaching that has had great influence for centuries among Native American peoples.

Contrary to this view, however, the biblical view is linear. That is, it views human life as having a beginning and an end. From the creation to the return of Jesus Christ, from the fall of man in Genesis to the new Heaven and the new earth, God reveals in the Bible a linear history filled with purpose: to create a new people for Himself. The medicine wheel indicates that there is no beginning and no end to the existence of a man or other created beings. But we know from Scripture that carnal man does indeed have a beginning (birth) and an end (death). Likewise, in linear fashion, those who are written in the Book of Life will live eternally in Heaven based on the finished work at the Cross by Jesus Christ while everlasting Hell awaits those who reject Christ.

The medicine wheel is used to make contact with the dead, with spirit guides, and with the “great spirit.” But the Bible is clear that man has only one mediator between him and God:

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Circle Maker

In 2011, a book titled The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears by emerging church pastor, Mark Batterson, was released. Batterson says his book is inspired by a legendary Jewish sage, Honi, the Circle-Drawer. The premise behind the book is that if we draw circles around important things in our lives, including our prayers, we will receive great blessings. In the legend of Honi in 1 BC, the land was subjected to a drought. In the excerpt below, Batterson says:

With a six-foot staff in his hand, Honi began to turn like a math compass. His circular movement was rhythmical and methodical. Ninety degrees. One hundred and eighty degrees. Two hundred and seventy degrees. Three hundred and sixty degrees. He never looked up as the crowd looked on. After what seemed like hours, but had only been seconds, Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn.2

Sure enough, it rained, and Batterson went on to say, “The circle he drew in the sand became a sacred symbol.”3 Whether God brought rain in answer to Honi’s prayers or not, I will not try to speculate, but what Batterson has done in his book is turn “circle making” into a practice and a ritual (based on drawing circles) that will supposedly bring great results in a person’s life.

While Batterson doesn’t talk about Native Spirituality in his book, I feel it is worth mentioning his book and his “circle making” because this is a way that conditions Christians to more readily accept Native Spirituality, whether Batterson intended it or not. Everything in Native Spirituality is done in circles because the power of the world works in circles, so everything is deemed circular from childhood to worship. As the moon, sun, and earth are all round, so it is that all circles attract a spiritual energy as does symbolic expression. The circle that the medicine wheel represents is an integration of energy and matter, as well as spirit and man, so as to achieve a greater spiritual understanding and creation. Some segments of Native Spirituality involving circles are: round dances, talking circles, pipe ceremonies, drums, four quadrants (north, south, east and west), seasons, and life of man.

Endnotes:

1. “The Medicine Wheel” by Francis Whiskeyjack (http://web.archive.org/web/20100412122830/http://www.ammsa.com/buffalospirit/June-2000/medicinewheel.html).

2.  Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, http://thecirclemaker.com/images/wk1.jpg), pp. 9-10.

3. Ibid.

 


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