Posts Tagged ‘james dobson’
Lighthouse Trails has now sent out its 4th letter since early 2016 to over 130 prominent Christian leaders. Along with the letter, we included a copy of the booklet we publish, The Shack and Its New Age Leaven plus a news brief we released recently. Both the booklet and the news brief are written by former New Age follower Warren B. Smith. Here is the letter we wrote to the leaders introducing the material:
Dear Christian Leader:
Please find enclosed one of our booklets titled The Shack and Its New Age Leaven by Lighthouse Trails author Warren B. Smith along with a short news brief we released on March 9th. As you probably know, The Shack movie came out this month, which no doubt will bring renewed interest in the book, The Shack. When you read this booklet and the news brief, we hope you will understand our sense of urgency given that many Christian leaders and pastors are now endorsing The Shack. In William Paul Young’s newest book, Lies We Believe About God, he once again openly rejects biblical tenets of the Christian faith.
We hope you will read and prayerfully consider the content of both the booklet and the news brief.
Sincerely in Christ,
The Editors at
Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Inc.
The letters and booklets were mailed out from our office in Montana on March 13th. You can read the news brief we included by clicking here. And here is the link to the content of the booklet we sent.
Since we began sending out letters and booklets to Christian leaders in early 2016, we have received the following responses:
Short letters of thanks from the ministry offices of: Chuck Missler, Nancy DeMoss, Tony Evans, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Beth Moore
Notes of thanks personally signed by Tim Tebow, Kay Arthur, George Wood (Assemblies of God General Superintendent)
A letter of thanks via e-mail from Ben Kinchlow’s ministry manager (Kinchlow is the founder of Americans for Israel and former 700 Club host)
An e-email from the office of Chuck Swindoll telling us to stop sending booklets (we have since removed his name from our list).
It is our hope and prayer that many of the leaders on our list will take a few moments to read the material we sent out on The Shack.
If you would like us to add the name of a leader to our Christian leaders list, please send the name and mailing address to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of time restraints, we will not be able to add a name without an address. Plus, because we cannot send out these letters and booklets to every pastor in the country, we ask that you only submit names of pastors and/or church leaders who have written at least one book (you can check Amazon) thus moving him or her into a place of influence throughout the church at large.
We wish we could send booklets to every Christian pastor in North America. However, here is an idea given to us from one of our readers for anyone who feels compelled to reach the pastors in his or her denomination and/or state: Last month, a woman contacted us from Mississippi who learned that we were sending out booklets to Christian leaders and pastors. She said she was burdened for Southern Baptist pastors in her state and asked us to put together a mailing of two booklets and a letter and mail it to every Southern Baptist pastor in Mississippi. Our reader paid for the list (which we purchased for her), the booklets, the postage, and our labor. At her request, we sent each pastor a copy of 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book by Warren B. Smith and 5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer by Ray Yungen. If you have a group you would like us to reach in this manner, please contact our office.
If you would like to view and/or print a list of the Christian leaders we are currently sending booklets and short letters to 3-4 times a year, click here. Perhaps you would like to pray for these men and women who, in total, influence millions and millions of people throughout the world. Incidentally, just because a name is on this list does not necessarily mean that leader is in deception. We have included a wide assortment of names in this list. There are many pastors and Christian leaders who may not be part of the deception but, for various reasons, are not aware of what is happening in the church today.
Letter to the Editor: Saddened and Alarmed at Focus on the Family’s Promoting Contemplative Spirituality
LTRP Note: The following letter to the LT editor and the response this person received from Focus on the Family is used with permission from our reader. Important to note that FOF’s response is similar to the response FOF was giving back in 2006 (when we received a letter from them) when asked why they were promoting Richard Foster and Gary Thomas and where they stood regarding contemplative spirituality in general. In comparison, the 2011 response from FOF is more detailed than the 2006 letter from the same FOF staff member (Tim Masters from the Executive Office) but is essentially saying the same thing. Worth noting, the arguments that Masters gives in defense of contemplative prayer have been scripturally refuted by Lighthouse Trails authors, showing how contemplative advocates have taken Bible verses and used them out of context. We have given references to a number of those refutations below.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I just wanted to thank you for all the work you put into getting the truth out. I look forward to every single newsletter and have learned so much from you all – and continue to! Without you I’m afraid I’d be as misguided about contemplative prayer as most christians are.
Also I’d like to thank you for your alert about Focus on the Family. After reading in the newsletter about their attempt to sell this lie to kids I promptly quit giving financially to them and explained to them why. I’d like to forward you the email response I received from them. It saddened and alarmed me. More and more well known names in christianity are promoting this lie – many actually claiming that they’re not doing it! Please read this email I received from FOF.
Thank you again and I join with you in praying against this lie. (name withheld)
Letter from Focus on the Family –
Dear Friend: Thank you for writing to Focus on the Family. It was good of you to contact us with your candid concerns about our ministry’s involvement with what has sometimes been called “contemplative prayer.” Thoughtful, honest feedback like yours is always welcome here at Focus headquarters. We’re happy to have this opportunity to respond to the thoughts you’ve shared.
While we appreciate your input, we also feel bound to inform you that you are mistaken on a couple of different fronts. To begin with, your assertion that Focus on the Family is “promoting” contemplative prayer and spirituality is neither fair nor accurate. Yes, we have occasionally referenced speakers and authors who deal with subjects of this nature – individuals such as Richard Foster, Larry Crabb, and Beth Moore. But none of this, in our opinion, amounts to “promoting” contemplative prayer. The truth of the matter is that we have far too much else on our plate to become involved in any such activity. The heart of our outreach is practical family ministry.
That said, we also find it hard to understand why any particular method of prayer should be regarded as “a dangerous deviation from sound Bible practices.” After all, there are probably as many different ways of praying as there are people offering prayers. Besides, there is nothing unbiblical or anti-Christian about solitude, silence, and contemplation. Far from it! After all, it was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire that the Lord spoke to Elijah, but rather in the “still, small voice” of intimate, personal communion (1 Kings 19:12) [see our note below on 1 Kings 19:12*]. David highlights the value of this type of spiritual discipline in Psalm 4:4, where he writes, “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” Another Psalmist similarly represents the Lord as exhorting His people to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). And Jesus Himself, who lived and breathed the Old Testament Scriptures, often retired to quiet, secluded spots in the wilderness or on the mountain where He could converse with His Father apart from the noise and distraction of the crowd (see Mark 1:35). In time, His disciples learned to follow His example in this regard.
On the basis of this firm biblical foundation, a strong tradition of Christian contemplation and mysticism has grown up within the church over the past 2,000 years – a tradition that has nothing whatsoever to do with “dangerous” New Age spirituality. Many of the early church fathers of the first three centuries of the Christian era – men like Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzus, Basil of Caesarea, John Chrysostom, and Anthony of Egypt – were contemplatives who had mystical experiences in prayer. It is even possible to trace this strain of spirituality to the apostles themselves: Peter, for example, who saw visions on the roof of the house of Simon the Tanner (Acts 10:9-16), or Paul, who speaks of having been “caught up to the third heaven” where he “heard inexpressible words which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4), or John, whose encounter with the risen Christ while “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” gave us the Book of Revelation (Revelation 1:9).[see “Does God Sanction Mystical Experiences?“] In our view, it’s not the form or style of such experiences, nor the methods or techniques of prayer that precede them, that should determine their legitimacy, but rather their content and the degree to which they either do or do not bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. [See our article on Intent.]
We hope this reply has clarified our perspective for you. Thanks again for caring enough to contact us. Don’t hesitate to let us know if we can be of any further assistance. God bless you.
Focus on the Family
* The following explanation about I Kings 19:12 is from Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing.
Question: Isn’t I Kings 19:12 an example of when contemplative prayer is condoned in Scripture? Elijah heard a “still, small voice.” Isn’t that referring to the silence?
Answer:This passage in no way indicates that Elijah was practicing a mantra exercise. On the contrary, it was the prophets of Baal who “called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, ‘O Baal, hear us!” (I Kings 18:26). Now Elijah was in a cave, not to practice contemplative prayer, but to hide from Jezebel’s threat to take his life. Also, his encounter with God was something he did not initiate but God initiated Himself, thereby emphasizing that Elijah was not practicing a mantra. If anything, from his conversation with God, we might conclude that he was also hiding from his ministry and God Himself, as he was feeling hopeless.