Posts Tagged ‘jim fletcher’
LTRP Note: The following article written by veteran journalist Jim Fletcher is highlighting Lighthouse Trails. While we are so encouraged by such an article, we hesitated in posting it on our own site because we don’t want to be guilty of taking glory for ourselves when God is the one who should receive glory for anything good that comes out of this ministry. But because we’ve heard so many stories from readers trying to share our material with pastors, leaders, family, and church members only to be told “don’t listen to Lighthouse Trails,” we thought this article might help readers share information from Lighthouse Trails. We count it a privilege to stand with you in the defense of the Gospel when doing so in today’s church and world can be very difficult.
“A Book Publisher’s Beacon Shining in the Dark”
By Jim Fletcher
In the past two decades, Christian book publishing has descended into an ideological abyss. A willingness by that community’s leadership to allow non-believers into the fold ensured that Christian publishing would decline. Sure, record sales came from a handful of (mostly dreadful) titles (like “Jesus Calling”). Overall, though, it is quite ironic that strategic decisions made decades ago, for business reasons, signaled the beginning of the end for Christian book publishing.
Of course it exists today; dozens of publishing houses remain, and if you listen to biased researchers like Ed Stetzer, you would believe evangelical leadership is still surging, still strong.
The proof is there to see, however. Leading Christian retail bookstore chain Family Christian Stores just ended and the shockwaves from that exit will be felt for a long time.
Recently I had a publishing representative tell me that selling books to a bookstore is now “almost impossible.”
Only the most innovative houses will continue to live. One I admire greatly is the team at Lighthouse Trails Publishing. A West Coast-based company, Lighthouse Trails exists to equip the saints. There can be no greater agenda, especially today as terrible influences are flooding the American church. Click here to continue reading.
By Jim Fletcher
News came this week that Family Christian Stores is finally shuttering all 240 locations. The 85-year-old chain filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, and now the end has come for the Christian retail giant that employed 3,000 and stretched across 36 states.
As one writer put it, Amazon warlord Jeff Bezos deserves much of the credit for turning most independent bookstores into karate schools or bakeries. But there is another, more specific reason Family Christian Stores is gone.
They did it to themselves.
The explosion came from within, as decades of pandering to the lowest-common denominator within evangelicalism resulted in poorly educated Christians who have read more about Jesus in “Jesus Calling” than from the Bible.
And the “Jesus Calling” version of “Jesus” ain’t Him.
The erosion of Christian retail began before my entrance into the publishing industry in 1993, but that decade saw the worst kind of compromise with error in the Church. If one looks at the top 50 bestsellers from CBA (the Association for Christian Retail) currently, a Bible-believer couldn’t recommend more than a handful, at most. Family Christian Stores stocked them all. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Family Christian bookstores, along with LifeWay bookstores and Parable bookstores, deliberately never carried any Lighthouse Trails books in their stores because Lighthouse Trails criticized many of their top selling books.
See also Part 1 Year in Review | See also Part 2 Year in Review
Listed in order of date posted.
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times
Hardly a day goes by without news relating to Bible prophecy and especially the advancing trend towards a global religion for the cause of peace. It seems there are few who understand this is what the Bible predicts will happen on planet earth before the return of Jesus Christ to set up His Kingdom.
By Tony Pearce
Light For the Last Days Ministries (UK)
Israel is in the grip of a terror offensive as Palestinians have been attacking Israelis with knives and driving their cars at them. Between September 13 and November 30, 2015, 22 Israelis were killed and 215 wounded.
The attacks began after false accusations that Israel was defiling the Al Aqsa Mosque (on the site of the former Jewish Temple in Jerusalem). Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been telling his people that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and “change the Arab and Islamic character and identity” of Jerusalem. He condemned Jews for “defiling the Aqsa Mosque with their filthy feet.” Radical Islamist and terrorist elements are calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews. Statements by Fatah and Hamas have described the attacks as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel”s crimes.”
By Chris Lawson
Spiritual Research Network
Filmed between a 45-minute break between down-pouring rain and a storm system approaching from the horizon, this unscripted, impromptu video expresses my heart and desire to see people in the Calvary Chapel movement (and other movements) helped and healed and strengthened in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in these last days.
I have no desire to divide the Body of Christ or needlessly offend anyone who is in Calvary Chapel movement and beyond. I am simply sharing my heart and God’s truth in light of a number of observations I have seen growing for over 25 years now in the Calvary Chapel movement. Things now have become so blatant in the rising storm of ecumenical apostasy that only sincere prayer and publicly declared clarion calls for humility, truth, and repentance will make any difference at all. My prayer is that God Himself by His Spirit and His Word will raise up clarion voices around the globe in this late hour.
As a Christian missionary and as a former Calvary Chapel pastor for many years, I have been observing a growing trend of too many people remaining silent on far too many major ecumenical compromises. A host of other issues are also of concern.
By Cedric Fisher
Recently, I was in a hospital waiting room and reluctantly picked up an issue of Guidepost Magazine. I very seldom read Guidepost because the long-time publisher, Norman Vincent Peale, promotes heresy and diabolical religions. He has also denied the virgin birth and the necessity of being born again.
As I perused the magazine, I landed on an article by Anna Gentile, a hospital chaplain. The article was about Guideposts and Gentile’s work with sick children.
By Jim Fletcher
Late last month, the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission” (ERLC) hosted another self-serving conference in Nashville, titled “Onward” (shockingly, the same title as that of the ERLC chief’s new book; it’s about the marketing, stupid). Stanley was invited to speak. Boy, did he.
While ERLC President Russell Moore looked on grinning, Andy Stanley said the following: “I would ask preachers and pastors and student pastors in their communications to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.”
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times
The commentary you are about to read has been written with much prayer and thought. I have not written it impulsively or with ill motive but rather believe God has compelled me to testify of things that have gone unspoken of and hidden in secret for too long. For the sake of the body of Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel, the secret things in darkness need to be exposed.
There are a number of low-profile Calvary Chapel pastors starting to ask questions. Chuck Smith, the founder of the movement, seemed to be biblically sound and determined to serve the Lord throughout his many years of ministry. Toward the end of his ministry, it appears there were strange bedfellows planted around him who in earlier years he would have avoided. So what happened? The purpose of this commentary will be to answer that question.
Chuck Smith attributed the growth and the strength of the Calvary Chapel movement to the Holy Spirit and not to man-designed gimmicks or human effort. He never wavered from that position until the day he died. He called Calvary Chapel “His Church.” While there were those who had some questions about strange things going on behind the scenes, the Calvary ship sailed pretty well most of the time.
By Amy Spreeman
Fed up with false teaching: Calvary Chapel church says “So Long” to the CC Association – Berean Research
A Calvary Chapel pastor who warned of false teachings and apostate movements seeping into the Calvary Chapel organization has been removed from his regional leadership position, and is now removing his local congregation out of the Calvary Chapel Association altogether.Pastor Dwight Douville of Calvary Chapel Appleton Wisconsin was informed last month that he was being removed from his position as a regional leader, a position he’s held for many years. Why? He says because personal friendships have been put above doctrinal truth, muddying the waters of what Calvary Chapels are all about. And because he advocated for maintaining and staying the course while calling out wolves and yeast seeping into Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the organization as a whole since the death of founder Chuck Smith.
By Mike Oppenheimer
Let Us Reason Ministries
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Paul warns us that at the end of the age, inside the church, there will be teachings of demons—quite a serious charge. That it will be a time that is extremely dangerous to believers who do not know the Word correctly and do not watch what they are being taught.
The Devil has tailor-made deceptions for every church in every age; he knows the people’s weaknesses and propensities to do wrong in certain areas. He will use whomever he can in whatever capacity he can to bring confusion, falsehoods, and destruction—especially if he can target a church’s pastor. Contrary to popular teaching, the Devil, who is the greatest of angelic creatures, is of the highest intelligence, has power, and is often underestimated in his scheming by those who think they can bind him.
By Ray Yungen
In an article released in January 2016 written by New Age leader Deepak Chopra titled, “Will Pope Francis Become a Holy Man for the World?,” Chopra states,
Pope Francis I is poised to be more than a very popular pontiff . . . He could rise to become a symbol of holiness beyond the Catholic Church. . . . for those of us who aren’t Catholic, there’s a universal message voiced personally by the Pope: “No one can be excluded from God’s mercy. The question, then, is how potent this mission will be.
Chopra says that “millions of non-Catholics feel a fresh wind blowing” because of the Pope’s actions and that Pope Francis has “become a spiritual exemplar.”
In the article, Chopra gives some advice to Pope Francis, that he not become another “theological” pope but rather one with a “higher consciousness” and like the “Jesus” who was not theological but rather “enlightened.”
By Lois Putnam
Miami-Dade County Schools Partner with Mindful Kids Miami
Miami-Dade County Schools (Fourth Largest School District in the U.S.A.) is being transformed into a mindfulness-yoga school system through its partnership with Mindful Kids Miami, and its mindfulness lady leader–Valerie York-Zimmerman.
Yes, grades Pre-K through 12, students as well as teachers and administrators will be instructed in mindfulness meditation. Training centers have been set up all over Miami even in the sanctuary of the “most progressive church in the city”–Riviera Presbyterian Church (USA). Recently Riviera adherents proudly held up a banner reading, “We All Are God’s Beloved Children: No Exceptions!”
By Jim Fletcher
Used with permission.
(Jim Fletcher is a writer, researcher, speaker and director of Prophecy Matters (prophecymatters.com). He writes online for WorldNetDaily; Beliefnet; American Family Association; the Jerusalem Post; and Rapture Ready. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Almost 20 years ago, Andy Stanley—the son of Southern Baptist legend Charles Stanley—emerged as a new generation pastor, a man of rare gifts when it comes to communicating. He eschewed jackets and ties and the more formal trappings of traditional church.
In about 2000, he was instrumental in helping develop a leadership entity known as Catalyst.
In the midst of all this, Stanley the Younger was in a feud of sorts with Stanley the Elder over the latter’s separation from his wife (Andy’s mother).
Over time, the son’s church eclipsed the father’s church in terms of attendees, and today Andy Stanley is one-third of what I call the Evangelical Trifecta: Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Stanley. Quite interestingly, Warren is based on the west coast; Hybels holds down the Midwest from Chicago, and Stanley is entrenched on the east coast. In more ways than one, they blanket the country and absolutely control the evangelical narrative. Their books and methologies totally dominate evangelicalism and their church growth techniques are now American dogma.
In recent years, Andy Stanley has made waves with his brand of what I’d call Progressive Evangelicalism. His prayers at Obama’s inaugurations,1 and his willingness to allow Michelle Obama to speak at his North Point Church are part of a troubling trend. He also has absolutely helped mainstream homosexuality within the evangelical church.
Stanley, who comes across as a winsome, easy-going fellow, is really a major change agent. His podcasts, messages, and books are absorbed by many tens of thousands of U.S. pastors.
I will tell you clearly that I believe he is described in the book of Jude. Men like Stanley have crept in unawares.
In our time.
What does this have to do with Israel?
Stanley’s rise, and that of his fellow change agents, coincides with a sharp downturn of support for Israel in the churches. It’s one element in an overall larger story, but the bottom line is this: Stanley’s watering-down of Christianity runs parallel to the rise of the so-called Christian Palestinianists. While Stanley himself rarely speaks of Israel, many of his friends and associations are anti-Israel.
Often, people answer me by saying: “But Charles Stanley supports Israel!”
He does so far as I know, but you do see that’s irrelevant in the context of what Andy Stanley is doing . . . don’t you?
Overall, Andy Stanley wants to fundamentally change what the Evangelical Church is. He, like Warren and Hybels, wants conformity and group-think. He wants you to think as he thinks.
And he thinks in dangerous ways.
Late last month, the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission” (ERLC) hosted another self-serving conference in Nashville, titled “Onward” (shockingly, the same title as that of the ERLC chief’s new book; it’s about the marketing, stupid). Stanley was invited to speak.
Boy, did he.
While ERLC President Russell Moore looked on grinning, Andy Stanley said the following:
“I would ask preachers and pastors and student pastors in their communications to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.”
Get the spotlight off the Bible!
Welcome to the Age of Apostasy.
Did you hear what he said? Andy Stanley speaks blasphemy and nonsense . . . and no national leader says a word.
Just for a moment, think about the illogical nature of Stanley’s statement: how do we know about the resurrection? Through Scripture.
Does anybody call him on this nonsense? No. He grows stronger.
Several years ago, Stanley gave an interview in which he openly said that as a college freshman, he embraced his professor’s contention that Genesis 1-11 is a fairy tale.
You need to understand this one bit of information undergirds everything he does. It is foundational to his thinking and “ministry.”
He is arrogant and powerful.
When you have famous national evangelicals with this kind of worldview, you will see a downturn in support for Israel. Stanley has made several outrageous statements about the Bible in the past three years; in short, he wants people to get their focus off the Bible. Can you imagine such?
Andy Stanley’s so-called ministry is an outrage. Would that he was held accountable. But he won’t be.
This is a key reason (though largely unknown by the rank-and-file) why Israel has fallen out of favor. If you relegate the Bible to myth, why pay attention? Why would Israel’s historical claims to the land be more valid than anyone else’s?
Stanley is helping destroy the American Church. In my opinion, he will be a major reason the American Church morphs into the State Church before too many more years pass.
And remember: my views of Stanley aren’t the story here. The story is the unconscionable violence he is willingly doing to Scripture and to the evangelical community.
BOOK REVIEW ON ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, DEEP AND WIDE by Gary Gilley
LTRP Note: Please see the video clip by Paul Wilkinson below the segment of this out-of-house news article. Also see a 2013 article by Jim Fletcher.
“Anti-BDS activists decry Lutherans’ ‘obsession’ with Israel”
By RAFAEL MEDOFF
The Jerusalem Post
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the US, passed two Israel-related resolutions earlier this month at its triennial assembly in New Orleans. One resolution established an “investment screen” that will recommend where Lutherans should invest their money with regard to Israel and the Palestinians. The other urged a cutoff of US aid to Israel unless Israel meets a series of conditions, and calls for the immediate US recognition of “the state of Palestine.” . . . David Brog, of Christians United for Israel, said in a statement that the resolutions “blame Israel and only Israel for the conflict in the Middle East.
Such one-sided scapegoating of the Jewish state will only fuel further Palestinian rejection and violence.” Click here to continue reading.
Related Video by Paul Wilkinson at the 2014 Berean Call Conference and a 2013 article by Jim Fletcher:
** Video by Paul Wilkinson: http://livestream.com/accounts/4634368/events/3277070/videos/60764986.
“Propaganda Wins” On Israel
By Jim Fletcher (from 2013)
Used with permission.
At the Catalyst East conference in Atlanta, I listened to Lynne Hybels give a talk about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. One of her concluding slides was an image of the security fence Israel erected to keep out terrorists. It’s worked quite well, and that seems to bother critics of the Jewish state, who can’t bring themselves to simply say that it’s good Jews are not being murdered anymore.
Instead, the critics refer to the fence as a “wall,” or, more provocatively, an “apartheid wall.” This is a complete inversion of the truth, since Israel is the most open society in the Middle East, and grants far-reaching rights to Arabs.
An interesting lie being peddled is that the fence completely surrounds Bethlehem. It does not.
Yet, by alleging that the fence encircles the town—this even by members of the Religious Left who have been there and know better—they succeed in portraying Israel as the “warden” of the “prison” the Palestinians are kept in.
Hybels chose to include an image in her presentation that showed a simple message written on the fence:
This is significant, because it signals yet another evidence that leftists are tightening their grip on Evangelicalism. After all, Rob Bell’s 2011 book, Love Wins, in which he comes out as a universalist while simultaneously denying that he did so—this a hallmark tactic of leftists posing as “evangelicals”—is admired by those change-agents within the church who are attempting to transform it into an altogether different entity.
By approvingly displaying this image, Hybels shows clearly that she embraces the same type of theology/ideology that Bell does. They are all in the same camp, and specific examples could be cited all the day long:
•Donald Miller’s hit piece on Israel, from his November 19 blog post.
•Andy Braner’s recent blog post bemoaning the tough conditions of those that live in Bethlehem.
•Gabe Lyon’s recent “Q” discussion/interview with Sami Awad, a leading change agent and Bethlehem resident who is friends with Lynne Hybels.
•Relevant magazine’s continued flirtation with anyone who either mocks Bible prophecy or sides with Israel.
By the way, I’ve just been informed that Relevant’s issue dealing with the Israel/”Palestine” conflict—set for January—has been moved to July. Be watching for it.
A further interesting development is that when I attempted, several times, to get an interview with Catalyst director Brad Lomenick, and ask him why anti-Israel and self-described “non-Marxist socialist” Cornel West spoke at Catalyst East in 2011, I was told Mr. Lomenick doesn’t have time.
(There is plenty of other data that shows the Catalyst team is committed to spreading the Palestinian narrative throughout the American church.)
Personally, if I were responsible for filling young evangelicals’ heads with leftist ideology espoused by Liberation Theologian West…I’d find the time to tell constituents why. But you must know, dear reader, that a hallmark of the New Evangelical leadership is to stonewall when someone questions their methods.
Silence. This type of ideology is flooding the evangelical world, as we speak. Click here to continue reading.
** Video by Paul Wilkinson: http://livestream.com/accounts/4634368/events/3277070/videos/60764986.
2016 Great Lakes Prophecy Conference with Lighthouse Trails Speakers and Others . . . September 9-11 (Appleton, WI)
The 2016 Great Lakes Prophecy Conference at Calvary Chapel Appleton (Wisconsin) will take place on September 9th through the 11th. If you live within driving distance or can fly in, this will be a great time of fellowship with like-minded believers and a chance to hear some wonderful teachings and information. This year’s conference will feature two Lighthouse Trails authors – Roger Oakland and Warren B. Smith. In addition to Oakland and Smith, also speaking will be Jim Fletcher (a writer Lighthouse Trails uses), Pastor Chris Quintana (featured on the Wide is the Gate DVD), David Hocking, Elijah Abraham, and Robert Congdon (Congdon Ministries).
The cost to attend the conference is just $35. If you are flying in or traveling from some distance and need lodging, be sure to book it early. Pre-registration is required. For more information, please visit the church website. Calvary Chapel Appleton is also the home of Lighthouse Trails author Mary Danielsen. The pastor of CC Appleton is Dwight Douville.
Note: As the days grow more difficult, the number of conferences like this is diminishing. Lighthouse Trails commends churches that are willing to “go against the grain” and hold such events with speakers who are not afraid to tell the truth.
By Jim Fletcher
Although few talk about it publicly, I continue to be astonished by the rotten fruit in the Christian book publishing industry. I feel almost forced to say this at the outset:
There are still good publishers. There are still good authors. There is still some good material being produced.
It’s just not mostly in the popular categories/circles (makers).
Checking out Christian retailing online the other day was a real downer. Among the top-selling books/authors making their rounds through evangelical circles: “Jesus Calling,” “The Power of I Am” (Joel Osteen), Thom Rainer, Rick Warren, Jen Hatmaker, Steven Furtick and “Half Truths” (Adam Hamilton).
Among the product created around the “Jesus Calling” publishing phenomenon: “Jesus Calling Deluxe Edition,” “Jesus Today,” “Jesus Calling Women’s Edition” and “Jesus Calling Large Print Deluxe Edition.” Click here to continue reading.