Posts Tagged ‘letter to the editor’
To Lighthouse Trails:
I have been going to a non-denominational church for years, and last year I noticed the term “Spiritual Formation” being used in the website of the Bible camp this church sponsors. I brought it to their attention, only to be met with indifference and the impression that I was somehow “over the top” to even suggest that Spiritual Formation was in fact Roman Catholic mysticism. They say they are doing a “good” Spiritual Formation yet have teachers at this camp who are from all sorts of New Age churches. Most of these teachers are linked with Rick Warren, Beth Moore, and a host of other contemplative teachers. The church I have been going to actually originated at this Bible camp over 50 years ago and was for many years very biblical and evangelistic. Now it’s united with different denominations and a overload of New Age ideas.
So last year, because no one was listening to me, my wife and I left this assembly, and to this day, no one there seems none the wiser about SF having set up roots in this Bible camp. Nor do they care; no one even calls us, though we were dedicated in doing our part in this assembly for years and years.
Other than Lighthouse Trails and few other online ministries, why is it that no one seems to see this danger, and why are they so indifferent about even talking about this deception? Most of the folks in this assembly, I believe are true born-again believers, yet have blinders on.
This Bible camp offers credits to colleges locally, and these colleges also teach Spiritual Formation with the likes of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster. I actually wrote to these colleges and asked them if they teach SF that embraces the “silence,” repetition of words, Lectio Divina etc. etc., and they proudly admitted to teaching such!
So where have all the Christians gone, and why are the majority of them not even willing to understand this RC deception? I just don’t it.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I have just read the excellent booklet that you generously provided in your recent newsletter by Carl Teichrib; FREEMASONRY: A Revealing Look at the Spiritual Side.
Back in the early 1990s, my family was able to relocate to a small town in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. We had previously been members of an independent Bible church in Florida. Among our first priorities after settling in was to find a similar church that preached the Word and was focused on missions. We found a very small Christian and Missionary Alliance Church that at the time had only about 30 members with a very young pastor that had just graduated from seminary. This was a wonderful answer to prayer. The church was already starting to sponsor several missionaries, and the pastor and I began a close friendship. Soon after the pastor asked me if I would consider being an elder. I had been a deacon at the church in Florida, and having been a Christian for only 5 years at this point, I really thought I might not qualify to be an elder. After much prayer about this, I humbly accepted the position. Part of my decision was based on the certainty that the Lord had given me the gift of discernment soon after I was born again . . . (but that is a whole other story).
The building we rented for our services was very small, seating maybe 35-40. Soon we began to look for a larger building to suit our growing congregation. We found a beautiful piece of land just on the edge of town that had previously been occupied by a Jehovah’s Witness group. After praying that the Lord would cleanse the building, we started much needed work on the sanctuary and the small other building that would be for a nursery.
At this time, a man suddenly started coming to our church and put himself right away to the business of woodworking and painting. He had skills in construction that none of us possessed so his help was greatly appreciated. I soon found out that he was a Freemason. Of the 5 elders in the congregation, only I and one other (that had left masonry after becoming a Christian) knew the ramifications of this man’s intention of becoming a member of the congregation. I looked at our By-Laws and could not find anything prohibiting a member of a secret society from becoming a member. So I got busy getting together materials to discuss with the pastor and elders that dealt with Freemasonry. At the time, I had a book by John Ankerberg that I used to highlight all the reasons a Freemason could not be a true Christian (or at the very least, would be a compromising one) being that he would be serving two masters.
Since this man had asked to be a member, we elders had a meeting with him after the elders had educated themselves about the serious spiritual ramifications of his joining the membership. We gently but firmly talked to this man about the biblical reasons that this secret society could not coexist with Christianity. He claimed he went to a “Christian Lodge,” and he did not seem to understand what we were talking about. The man and his wife met with the pastor and said he was offended by what we were implying. It was his view that we were saying he was not a Christian, which we had never said in the first meeting. The next few weeks the man did not come to church. I had the church vote on a by-law that would not allow a member of a secret society to become a member of the church. Several weeks later the man called the pastor and told him that he owned a parcel of land adjoining our small plot of land. He said he would sell it to us if only he could become a member of the church and that if the elders and especially me would apologize to him and his wife based on Matthew 18:15 where a brother sins against another brother!
Much to my surprise (and horror), the pastor (and my friend) wanted me to ignore the new by-law and personally apologize to this man solely for the reason of obtaining this parcel of land from him that he was offering at a great discount!
This was a very agonizing time for me and my wife. We earnestly prayed about what to do. I could not in good faith apologize to this man when I had only tried to show him the errors of his way using Scripture and resources to back up what I was saying. I felt betrayed by the pastor. Some of the elders (except for one) did not even know what all the fuss was about! For these reasons, we reluctantly left that church that we had so dearly come to love. My wife had started a Pioneer Club for the children and I had taught adult Sunday school there.
Soon afterwards, a CMA higher up came and discussed church growth, and the man in question sold the parcel to the church.
This is an example of how Satan ruins a good thing when discernment is nearly absent from a local congregation.
By the way, the other elder that was a mason before he became saved also left that CMA church soon after I did based on his convictions that very few of the elders and pastor had any discernment and also because of the new blueprints that the CMA leader had come up with for church growth. Basically, that plan was to be a seeker-friendly church that added members that wanted to join whomever they may be (saved or unsaved).
After we left the CMA church, we looked for a new church and settled on the big First Baptist church in town (Southern Baptist). My youngest son accepted Christ as his Savior there and was baptized, and we were happy they had a nice youth group. About two years later, the youth pastor left, and they replaced him with a Rick Warren fan. Several of the parents wanted to have a meeting with him and the deacons to discuss our concerns. It was not only the fact that all he talked about was Rick Warren, but my son said that unlike with the previous youth pastor, this young man was teaching them things that had nothing to do about the Bible. My son showed me his notes: it was all man’s wisdom and philosophies that he was espousing. The meeting was very tense. The youth pastor again accused us of not coming to him in private first and citing . . . you guessed it: Matthew 18 again! The deacons were all Masons, and they were not sympathetic to our concerns.
Before moving back to Florida, we started up a small congregation of about 12 families; most of them the parents of the youth group at the big Baptist church. About this same time, I was reading a book by a former Mason-turned-Christian that mentioned that a tactic that the local lodges used was infiltrating the local churches and reporting back to their lodge on the church’s activities. That really creeped me out.
A believer in Florida
Letter to the Editor: Chakra Article in Orange County Newspaper Brings to Remembrance Ray Yungen’s Work
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I came across this article [see below] in the travel section of our local newspaper the Orange County Register, dated January 1, 2017. The mention of the “seven chakra garden” was what prompted me to send this to you. It also made me want to mention some things about your dear departed friend, Ray Yungen, who taught on this very subject. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, and yet of all the speakers I’ve heard he was the one I’d hoped to meet and talk to. It must be so very, very hard for you losing him! I only saw his conference appearances on line [YouTube] a few times, and he just was fantastic in every way. He came across as very balanced, stable, likable, knowledgeable, wise and with a fun sense of humor! The way he wrote and the way he spoke he seemed to be such a clear thinker, it is such a delight to read his works. I admired him so much. I have been reading your online newsletters that I missed through the year. I just read one by Ray in June of 2009 regarding the Desert Fathers—excellent! So I thought writing to you and thus keeping his memory alive was a positive thing to do . . . I hope this is so!
Warmest regards to you in very cold Montana!
From a Lighthouse Trails Reader:
Saturdays are good because I pick up Joan [not real name], a family member and go early to the Farmers Market. I went into the house, and Joan, who is close to 50 years old, excitedly showed me some Disney character socks she purchased for her friends and herself. They depicted the Evil Queen and two other Characters from that movie. We got in the car, and I noticed she had on her Evil Queen shoes and socks. The conversation goes to Christmas gifts, and she said her 11-year-old son says he wants an X Box so he can play games.
I now had to step in and talk about all the dangers of the current games where the characters have super powers and they are always killing off someone. Joan is in the choir at a Methodist church, and I did go once when the great-grandsons were baptized. The candles, the altar, the flowing robe of the minister, were very much a presence. The bulletin announced a new class given by a lady about finding new thought and prayer life through the mystics.
I tried to tell Joan about the evil behind the games and many other things in this day and age. I told her of the dangers and how they could affect young minds. I reiterated a happening the day before when I was walking around a small lake in our area in which some little kids came up behind me on their scooters. The smallest, about 6 years old, was saying, “Yea, I’m going to grab her and pull her hair out and then throw her into the fire” and other things along that line. Then they both got off their scooters because some ducks were close by and they chased them and yelled at them until they went into the lake. Those kids probably learned the scenario from some of their evil promoting games. I stated that this kind of thing was going to happen in the end times. She agreed that some games were bad and some characters in movies were promoting evil and
had bad super powers and weren’t like real people but that the evil queen she likes from the Disney movie was portrayed as a real person with some powers. But she wasn’t all bad.
Then the topic changed, and Joan told me she was so excited because the Gilmore Girls was on Netflix now. I had never heard of it or watched it, and she said that I’d love it, and I said I’d try it. Well, later I turned it on, and it was full of promiscuity, sexual innuendos, sexual relations discussed with ease, and unmarried people living together. It was all portrayed as if it was all normal every day living. I turned it off.
Then on my doorstep, I received an invitation to a Ladies Bible Study lunch that was happening next month. The leader, who claims she is an ordained minister, also does visitation at a local hospital as a volunteer. She wears a black shirt with the inverted collar and a long black skirt. A LARGE gold cross hangs from her neck. I had confronted her once before on her outfit, and she stated that people and men in particular respected the collar.
I received a text from a friend who goes to the Calvary Chapel church at the conference center, and she said I should come to church. I have told her repeatedly that it is becoming part of the apostasy. I had asked the pastor a year ago his views on Christian Yoga, and he wouldn’t answer even after I gave him literature on the topic. I see him now about once a week at a local elementary school. We exchange pleasantries. He said I could come back, and I told him that he hadn’t answered me on where he stands on Yoga and further more as an employee of the Conference Center, Brian Brodersen, who is his boss, is definitely going in the wrong direction. He finally e-mailed me his answer in which he stated he didn’t know about Brian Brodersen’s directions for the church or his joining up with Rick Warren or the Pope, but he would check it out. As for Yoga, he is “wary” of it.
I had one sane interaction toward the end of the day. A lady friend and I on the same page share the Lord with each other and some of our friends, and we pray they will listen before it is too late. We agreed that most people are content to live in the “Bubble” of life that goes on and they have their cocktail parties with the “plastic” people who tell jokes, talk about their shopping sprees, and live for the next day to do it again.
Enough of the insanity. I went to bed and continued reading a book by Dave Hunt Urgent Call for a Serious Faith. That is the answer.
We need to hold fast to Jesus. He is our life line. He is our Savior.
A Sister in California
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.
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.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
When I first became a Christian, I was 21 years old, but unfortunately the other believers around me became a part of the “Shepherding Movement.” Thankfully, I listened to that “still small voice” and the wife of a family who had defected, helped to bring me out of it! (She simply asked me where my joy was by trying to live back under all the laws, which Jesus released us from, which in turn, the Shepherding Movement was trying to revert us back to . . . I had no joy.) As the years rolled by, I realized I had a gift of discernment. Fast forward 30 years: I am now 57, and I am appalled by the emerging church, contemplative prayer, etc. I have stood against these, and by speaking the truth lost so many church/personal relationships because of it.
It is becoming very difficult to find a Bible-based church that doesn’t compromise and will preach the “whole” word of God. This is my biggest concern however . . . my husband and I recently left a United Methodist Church for this reason: We loved the concept that the doors were open to all people, in all walks of life. This included a homosexual couple. My problem soon began to be realized – that those issues would never be addressed truthfully.
Our pastor just didn’t want to acknowledge, and certainly not preach on, ANY Scripture in the New Testament that plainly speaks of the consequences of those, or any other types of those behaviors/sins. It seems that all churches we attend are just politically correct like this. Many of the things that your articles speak about which are blatantly attacking the church are more obvious. At least to me. Unfortunately, I believe this “political correctness” is what is really going to be the churches undoing. It is so insidious and frighting. I don’t know whether God wants me to stay in churches like these and keep fighting and exposing His truth or leave because eventually it becomes too hurtful and unbearable. ANY suggestions would be welcomed!! Thank you for all the hard work you do.
Our Comment: This reader has asked us if we could provide them with any comments our readers have regarding this letter. For those who are reading this on Facebook, please feel free to comment and offer suggestions or insights. Many, many people who contact Lighthouse Trails, either through e-mail, phone, or letter, share similar concerns, in particular when it comes to finding a solid Bible-based church.
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Dear Lighthouse Trails Editors:
It seems that a new phrase might be in order to describe what’s going on in the church. When we see or hear someone endorse a practice that goes contrary to the Word within the church especially, I guess we could call that “a biblical emergency” for lack of a better term. We could call those who are out on the front lines warning us about these practices “first responders” in a certain sense, similar to the terminology that applies to those responding to a fire, a robbery, etc.
With contemplative prayer, mantra meditation, and other unbiblical practices having entered into the church, I would say the church has that kind of emergency situation. It’s a very unusual way to describe that.