Posts Tagged ‘The New Spirituality’

David Jeremiah Admits Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline Promotes New Age Practices!

For many years now, Lighthouse Trails has been trying to warn the body of Christ about the book that first introduced contemplative spirituality into the evangelical/Protestant church. That book, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, was released in 1978, and in that first edition, Foster said, “we should all without shame enroll in the school of contemplative prayer.” Since then, and largely because of the influence of that book, contemplative spirituality has saturated the church in no small way, and many Christians have truly “enroll[ed] in the school of contemplative prayer.” Through our research, we have determined that over 90% of the  Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities (the places our future pastors are trained at) have, to one degree or another, accepted Richard Foster’s spirituality via their Spiritual Formation programs (which always use textbooks either by Foster or ones that point to him). What’s more, from years of research and correspondence from believers, we estimate that a copy of Celebration of Discipline sits on the bookshelves of the majority of Christian pastors and leaders today.

celebrationWhile we have dedicated ourselves day and night for 15 years to bringing this issue to the table of present-day Christianity, hoping to see Christian leaders at least acknowledge that there is an issue here, our message has, for the most part, been rejected or simply  ignored by the evangelical  leadership. And yet, one of the most prominent, well-known, and respected evangelical leaders has himself put into print that Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline promotes New Age practices. Here are Jeremiah’s own words from his book, The New Spirituality in the chapter titled “New Age Influence in the Church” (subtitled: In this lesson we see how the New Age movement is changing the church):

Sometimes false doctrine—and in the case of this present study, New Age ideology—gets into the church from within, and sometimes from without the body. Once it infects the church it can spread like an infection. . . .

Dr. Norman Geisler, Christian apologist, was attending one of the most respected, and largest Baptist churches in the country. He was astounded to hear the huge choir singing a song whose lyrics included: “I [meaning God] am the grass you walk in, I am the air you breathe, I am the water you swim in.” That is pure pantheism. God is not the grass, nor the air, nor the water. Those are all elements He created, and He is totally distinct from them. It is shocking that someone in the leadership either didn’t have the discernment to recognize what the lyrics were saying, was too busy with musical things to notice. But that’s how New Age influence enters the church—when no one is watching.

Dr. Geisler has also made some notes on the contents of one of the best-selling Christian books of our day, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Geisler noted some 15 different places in the book where New Age and Eastern practices were recommended for Christians—thing such as Transcendental Meditation, turning from “manyness” to “oneness,” meditating on the void (nothing), and others. (The New Spirituality, David Jeremiah, Turning Point, 2002, pp. 106-107; emphasis added)

David Jeremiah acknowledges that once New Age ideology “infects the church it can spread like an infection.” And surely, we have seen this take place.

Two things are sad and confusing: First, Christian leaders must not share David Jeremiah’s concerns about Celebration of Discipline because 14 years after Jeremiah stated wrote this, Foster’s influence has only escalated within the church and Christian colleges. Second, and this we find most confusing, one year after The New Spirituality was published, Jeremiah’s book Life Wide Open was released. In that book, as we have written about in the past on a number of occasions, Jeremiah says there are a handful of people who have learned the secret to living a passionate life (for God), and then he proceeds to name a number of these people which include New Age sympathizers, a Buddhist sympathizer who converted to Catholicism, ecumenist and contemplative advocate Rick Warren, and a Catholic contemplative mystic. You can read about this in our article “David Jeremiah’s Book Life Wide Open – Still Sold on His Website – Still Includes New Agers.”

While we cannot understand how David Jeremiah could favorably point to those with New Age persuasions shortly after warning about the New Age in The New Spirituality, nevertheless,  a major player in today’s Christian church warned about Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline and the practices that book endorses.

Perhaps not too many pastors and leaders read David Jeremiah’s book, The New Spirituality. Perhaps they have no idea what David Jeremiah (and Norm Geisler) think about Richard Foster’s book. If you have a pastor, and you think he might have a copy of Celebration of Discipline in his pastor’s library, you might consider printing this article and giving him a copy. Tell him, this time it isn’t Lighthouse Trails saying it but rather is a leader whom they most likely respect saying it.

Related Article:

Celebration of Discipline – 38 Years of Influence! – Probably On Your Pastor’s Bookshelf”

 

CrossTalk Calls Mark Driscoll and Liberty University To Task for Compromising the Faith

These two commentaries in from Ingrid Schlueter of CrossTalk:

Mark Driscoll Church Plant Works with Hamas Front Group

Click here to listen to the prayer at Harambee Church in Renton, Washington back in March. The sound of the Islamic call to prayer echoed through this Mark Driscoll, Acts 29 Network church at an Interfaith event where participants dialogued about “Jesus.” Harambee Church was so proud of that Muslim call to prayer in their facilities that they posted it on their website. Both Islamic and Christian sides declared the event a “tremendous success.”

The event was coordinated with CAIR, a Hamas front group that has so many links to terrorist individuals, groups and countries that even the FBI will no longer work with them. See here.

So today we have so-called Christian churches working with terrorist-backed groups, allowing pagans to pray in their facilities and sitting around sharing about who THEY think Jesus is.

Mark Driscoll has been repeatedly warned about at this site and on the websites of other discernment ministries. The full fruit of his “ministry” is now showing. (source)

Glenn Beck to be Liberty U’s Commencement Speaker

The decision by Liberty University to invite Fox’s Glenn Beck as commencement speaker is making waves. It should. It is both revealing and prophetic that American evangelical Christians would have to look to a member of the Mormon church for moral and spiritual leadership. At a time when the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be held up as the only sure cure for our nation’s woes, officials at Liberty University, like so many others, have chosen to promote a therapeutic moral deism instead. Rather than bring a faithful preacher and Christian leader to issue the challenge of a lifetime to these graduating young people, Liberty offers a Mormon talk show host.

As admirable and needed as Glenn Beck’s crusade for our nation’s Constitution is, the lesson that should have been learned by graduates at Liberty University is that our true battle is against the enemy of our souls. He is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. The ultimate answer to the ravages of the enemy in our culture will never be the forcing of a public display of morality. The only true answer is found in the forgiveness of sins available through Jesus Christ, the Lamb for sinners slain. Glenn Beck cannot offer that because his church preaches another Jesus.

The following is a press release from a Christian group that also objects to the invitation of Glenn Beck to Liberty University. God is showing, by this invitation, how truly bankrupt American Christianity really is.

MADISON, Wisc., April 24 /Christian Newswire/ — In today’s confusing times, we need clear Biblical messages. By allowing Glenn Beck, a Mormon, to speak at Liberty University’s Commencement, Liberty’s message becomes off-focus.

According to the Liberty University’s website, Glenn Beck will address Liberty University’s Class of 2010 Commencement on Saturday, May 15. He will be joined by popular Baptist preacher Dr. Paige Patterson. Click here to continue reading this commentary.

Related Information:

Article on Mark Driscoll’s Site Takes Scripture Out of Context to Defend Contemplative

A Pastor Speaks Up: Mark Driscoll and the New “Sexual Spirituality”

Rick Warren and Other Contemplative Proponents at Thomas Road Baptist Innovate Church Conference

Liberty University Climbs Deeper into the Contemplative/Emerging Camp

Christian Leaders Remain Silent on Warning of Apostasy in the Church – Attempt to Discredit Contenders of the Faith

As the organized Christian church and church leaders continue in their plunge toward apostasy, turning their heads and ignoring the truth, all the while attempting to discredit those who are trying to warn, more and more people are being pulled into this tidal wave of deception. When Lighthouse Trails wrote a press release in 2005 showing that Rick Warren was planning on using New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard to help implement his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan and train leaders, attempts were made to discredit Lighthouse Trails.

Now 5 years later, as various Christian organizations, denominations, and movements have spun out of control and hastened toward major spiritual deception through contemplative mysticism, kingdom now theology, and emerging spirituality (all part of Satan’s Great Lie that started in the Garden of Eden), others have joined in attempting to discredit Lighthouse Trails and other concerned ministries.

In response to some of these attempts, Lighthouse Trails author Ray Yungen wrote an article in 2009 titled Is Lighthouse Trails haters? This stemmed from a Calvary Chapel event in 2009 called Movement 2009, in which a Calvary Chapel leader told thousands of youth that the haters tried to stop us but they didn’t. This was in reference to Lighthouse Trails previous reporting that Calvary Chapel was going to use emerging church author Mike Erre to address these youth. Erre’s book, Death by Church is a primer on the “new” emerging spirituality.

In 2009, Warren B. Smith wrote a book titled A “Wonderful” Deception: The Further New Age Implications of the Emerging Purpose Driven Movement. In this book, Smith tells the story of what happened after Lighthouse Trails wrote that 2005 press release on Rick Warren and Ken Blanchard. Today, we are presenting this section of the book in its entirety because we think people need to know what is going on behind the scenes and know that things are not always as they seem.

As we witness the lacking of a majority of Christian leaders to warn against  last days apostasy IN the church (not just secular deceptions in the world), we soberly continue to report on what is taking place. If your pastors and leaders are telling you NOT to listen to Lighthouse Trails and others who are critical of the evangelical church’s move toward a “new” Christianity, a paradigm shift they say, please do your own research before you take their word for it.

To illustrate just how far Christian leaders have slipped in contending for the faith and courageously standing against those who are bringing in dangerous false doctrines, in the summer of 2009, at a Greg Laurie Harvest Crusade, Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith introduced Rick Warren as his “good friend.” Warren, who was sharing the platform with Smith and Laurie that day, then addressed the crowd. Just a few years earlier, Calvary Chapel had publicly denounced the Purpose Driven teachings, saying: “The teaching and positions of Rick Warren have come into conflict with us at Calvary Chapel. Pastor Chuck has directed us to discontinue this product [Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life] effective immediately.”1

From chapters 4 & 5 of A “Wonderful” Deception by Warren B. Smith

In a May 31, 2005 midnight e-mail to Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Rick Warren made it clear that he was not happy with George Mair or with Lighthouse Trails regarding the subject of Ken Blanchard. With an apparent effort to take the spotlight off Blanchard’s New Age affinities, Warren attempted to place it on George Mair and Lighthouse Trails instead.–Warren Smith

In April 2005, a new book was published about Rick Warren. It was titled A Life With Purpose: Reverend Rick Warren: The Most Inspiring Pastor of Our Time. The book was an extremely favorable presentation of Warren and the Purpose Driven movement. Author George Mair genuinely liked and respected Warren as he described the Saddleback pastor’s life and ministry. Mair’s book was carried in major bookstores around the country—including Christian bookstores. The author’s high regard for Warren was evident throughout A Life With Purpose. Early on in his book, Mair writes:

I knew one thing for sure about Rick Warren: his is a fascinating story. A humble man with humble beginnings, he is changing America—and the world—“one soul at a time.”2

After hearing him preach and experiencing Saddleback Church, I understand why millions are listening to this man, and knew that the story behind the movement deserves to be told.3

His demeanor as the founder and pastor of one of the largest churches in the world reflects a man whose focus is on his mission to serve the Lord by bringing in the unchurched souls—the lost sheep—to embrace and celebrate the saving Grace of Jesus Christ.4

A Life With Purpose is filled with continuous praise for Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven ministry. Nothing George Mair said could be considered negative or critical about Warren. In fact, the rare comment of a critic is usually offset by the author himself. For example, Mair states:

Another thing those critics fail to take into account is the role that Rick himself plays in the phenomenal growth of his church. Rick Warren is a truly charismatic spiritual leader. It’s clear to anyone who experiences one of his Saddleback services that he truly loves what he does. He relishes standing up at the podium, looking out at the smiling crowd, and sharing the Good News of Jesus.5

There is no question that A Life With Purpose is an overwhelmingly positive account of Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven movement. However, at one point George Mair—in an almost naive and non-judgmental way—talks about Norman Vincent Peale and the New Age influence Peale had exerted on the Church Growth movement. Mair frames his remarks about Peale by writing:

The numbers speak for themselves. The Church Growth Movement has been wildly successful in Southern California . . . as well as in the rest of the country. Which prompts us to ask: what are the roots of this powerful movement? Rick Warren may be the foremost figure in the CGM today, but he’s only a piece—albeit an important one—of a greater development in the Christian Church. Who and what gave birth to this movement in which Rick would play such a vital role?6

Mair answers his own question by stating what other writers have known and also set forth—that it was Norman Vincent Peale who really provided the spiritual foundation of today’s Church Growth movement. In a sub-section titled “Laying the Groundwork: New Age Preacher Norman Vincent Peale,” Mair writes:

Reverend Norman Vincent Peale is, to many, the most prophetic and moving New Age preacher of the twentieth century. He is also the father of the self-help movement that formed the groundwork for the Church Growth Movement. Peale formed perhaps the most dramatic and meaningful link between religion and psychology of any religious leader in history. It is this same approachable, therapeutic brand of religion that many mega churches, including Saddleback, put forward today. It is this kind of religion that is so appealing to the masses of unchurched men and women that Rick Warren hopes to reach.7

George Mair goes on to state that Saddleback Church “distinctly bears the stamp of Norman Vincent Peale”:

Peale’s ministry was the first to raise the question that still faces mega churches today: is it spiritual compromise if a pastor simplifies his message in order to make it appealing to a huge number of seekers?8

His biographer, [Carol R.] George, says, “Norman Vincent Peale is undoubtedly one of the most controversial figures in modern American Christianity.” But no matter what people think about his theories, they have to acknowledge Peale’s remarkable unification of psychology and theology. Without that unification, mega churches wouldn’t exist today. . . . In that sense, Saddleback distinctly bears the stamp of Reverend Norman Vincent Peale.9

While Mair explains that it was Peale who laid the New Age “groundwork” for today’s Church Growth movement, he notes that it was Robert Schuller who helped to create the effectiveness of the megachurch movement on a national scale:

But it’s hard to argue that Schuller was not the first person to be effective on a national scale. He was unquestionably a pioneer in the Church Growth Movement and a major influence on Rick Warren.10

In his book, George Mair notes that Rick Warren had attended the Robert H. Schuller Institute for Successful Church Leadership.11 Then, after describing some of the various church growth leaders up to and including the 1980s, Mair writes:

But in the 1990s, following in the footsteps of Peale and Schuller, the leader of the next generation of Church Growth Movement pastors emerged. That man was none other than Rick Warren.12

In researching his book, George Mair had discovered the same Lutheran Quarterly article sent to me the month before by the Indiana pastor. Citing the article, Mair wrote how Norman Vincent Peale had been accused of plagiarizing material from an occult source:

Some of Peale’s former colleagues and another minister went so far as to accuse him of plagiarism. Writing in the Lutheran Quarterly, Reverend John Gregory Tweed of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Reverend George D. Exoo of Pittsburgh wrote that many of Peale’s uplifting affirmations originated with an “obscure teacher of occult science” named Florence Scovel Shinn. They based this charge on their comparison of words in Peale’s writings and those of Shinn’s book, The Game of Life and How to Play It, in which they found some identical phrases.13

In A Life With Purpose, George Mair also reveals that Norman Vincent Peale had been accused of using unattributed material from occult/New Age author Florence Scovel Shinn. From my own research that had been spurred by that same Lutheran Quarterly article, I learned that Peale had much more interest and involvement in the occult than I realized. He had openly endorsed the works of key New Age figures like Ernest Holmes, Eric Butterworth, and Bernie Siegel. Because questions had already arisen regarding Rick Warren’s undiscerning reference to Siegel and Warren’s use of unaccredited material from Robert Schuller in the The Purpose Driven Life, the very last thing Warren needed was a book—no matter how much it praised him—intimating a New Age link running from Peale to Schuller to Warren himself. In short, Warren did not need any more New Age implications arising that would cast further doubt upon his Purpose Driven movement. But ironically—at least on the surface—it wasn’t Mair’s remarks about Peale that stirred up concern at Saddleback Church but rather an offhand remark Mair had made in his book about author and businessman Ken Blanchard….

It was not until the release of George Mair’s book in 2005 that some people learned that Rick Warren had announced back in 2003 that Ken Blanchard would be working with him on the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. When Lighthouse Trails Publishing learned about Blanchard’s involvement with Warren, they were concerned. One of their authors, Ray Yungen, had been researching the New Age for many years and often came across Blanchard, who had been consistently endorsing and writing the forewords to New Age books and organizations. On April 19, 2005, Lighthouse Trails issued a press release, quoting George Mair’s book that Warren had “hired” Blanchard to work with him on the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.19 Lighthouse Trails warned of the serious New Age implications of allowing someone as undiscerning as Blanchard to teach Christians around the world how to “lead like Jesus.”The press release documented many of Blanchard’s New Age endorsements including Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and a book titled What Would Buddha Do at Work? for which Blanchard wrote the foreword. (To read all of chapter 4 and 5 of A “Wonderful” Deception and for endnotes, click here.)

Into the Arms of Rome Through Ancient Church Fathers and the Eucharist

by Roger Oakland

For John Henry Cardinal Newman, his conversion to the  Catholic Church took place after he began “meditating and reflecting” on the writings of the Catholic Church fathers. This same story can be repeated thousands and thousands of times now that we are in the 21st century.

Journeys Home edited by Marcus C. Grodi is a book that documents many of these conversions. In the introduction of the book, we read the following:

Many of these men and women came from Protestant faiths.… From an early age they had been taught all kinds of things about Catholics and their beliefs, sometimes horrifying, repulsive things, that made them wonder whether Catholics could be saved. Yet in each case, and in uniquely different ways, the Holy Spirit opened their hearts to realize that much of what they had been taught about the Catholic Church was never true.1

Sharon M. Mann, in a section of Journeys Home, provides personal testimony as one of many who have made the journey home to Rome. She testified that the church fathers played an important role in starting her on her journey to Catholicism. In her own words:

I started reading the early Church Fathers and realized that whatever they believed, they surely were not Protestant. Catholic themes peppered the landscape of Church history. I couldn’t deny it—nor could I accept it. Surely they were misguided! The Church was floundering in the first centuries and tons of crazy ideas were floating around—so I thought! When I began reading St. Augustine, however, I was stunned how Catholic he was.2

Like many others who have read the writings of Augustine and other Catholic Church fathers, Sharon wanted to know more about the Catholic tradition. She went to a chapel where Eucharistic adoration was under way, and like many others, she had an experience that changed her life. This is how Sharon described her encounter:

Finally, Saturday night, at the Eucharistic adoration, I saw 1000+ people kneeling on a hard, concrete floor giving adoration to the Sacrament. I found tears streaming down my face. I knelt, too, not knowing if this was real or whether the people were just crazy! But every time the Sacrament came near me, my throat tightened and I couldn’t swallow. I was being torn apart by my convictions. If the Lord was truly passing by, then I wanted to adore and worship Him, but if He wasn’t, I was afraid to be idolatrous. The weekend left a very powerful imprint on my heart, and I found myself running out of good arguments to stay Protestant. My heart was longing to be Catholic and be restored to the unity with all Christendom.3

The Eucharistic experience drew Sharon to Catholicism. Her journey began with an interest in the Catholic Church fathers and led her right into a Catholic conversion.  The emerging church, through its emphasis on the teachings of the church fathers,  based upon a foundation that ancient-future faith is the answer to reaching the postmodern generation, has the potential to open the same door that Sharon walked through. This ancient-future path of worship is leading possibly millions into the arms of Rome.

Do you recall what Paul prophesied would happen to the early Christian church? He stated:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:28-30)

Paul actually warned the church that after he was gone, “grievous wolves” would enter the church and hurt believers. A look at church history validates Paul’s prophetic warning. He said it would happen, and then it happened. Numerous church leaders emerged during the first to the third centuries. Scriptural principles were ignored, and many followed the experiential teachings of men who claimed they had discovered new and innovative methods to get in touch with God.

The reason why this happened is simple. We know God’s Word is light. When we replace the Word of God with the words of man, which are considered to bring enlightenment, we have a perfect formula for returning to darkness. The early mystics added ideas to Christianity that cannot be found in the Bible—a recipe for spiritual detriment. Jude also warned about the coming apostasy in the early church:

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 4)

Many emerging church leaders are suggesting the need to study the ideas and beliefs of church leaders of the post-disciple era. They say if pastors and church leaders reintroduce these teachings from the past, we will have spiritual transformation and successful churches in the 21st century.

But wait a minute! If the church that emerged from the New Testament church was based on ideas and beliefs foreign to Scripture, why would we want to emulate a previous error? When doctrines of men replace the doctrine of Scripture, many are led astray. It has happened in the past, and it is happening now. Following doctrine not based on the Word of God always results in the undoing of faith. (from Faith Undone, ch. 5, pp. 77-80).

Notes:
1. Marcus Grodi, Journeys Home (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1997),  p. xvi.
2. Ibid., p. 88.
3. Ibid. p. 89.

The related article below is also written by Roger Oakland:

How to Tell if Your Church is Becoming Emergent . . . Even If They Say It’s Not
by Roger Oakland

There are specific warning signs that are symptomatic that a church may be headed down the emergent/contemplative road. In some cases a pastor may not be aware that he is on this road nor understand where the road ends up.

Here are some of the warning signs:

Scripture is no longer the ultimate authority as the basis for the Christian faith.

The centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ is being replaced by humanistic methods promoting church growth and a social gospel.

More and more emphasis is being placed on building the kingdom of God now and less and less on the warnings of Scripture about the imminent return of Jesus Christ and a coming judgment in the future.

The teaching that Jesus Christ will rule and reign in a literal millennial period is considered unbiblical and heretical.

The teaching that the church has taken the place of Israel and Israel has no prophetic significance is often embraced.

The teaching that the Book of Revelation does not refer to the future, but instead has been already fulfilled in the past.

An experiential mystical form of Christianity begins to be promoted as a method to reach the postmodern generation.

Ideas are promoted teaching that Christianity needs to be reinvented in order to provide meaning for this generation.

The pastor may implement an idea called “ancient-future” or “vintage Christianity” claiming that in order to take the church forward, we need to go back in church history and find out what experiences were effective to get people to embrace Christianity.

While the authority of the Word of God is undermined, images and sensual experiences are promoted as the key to experiencing and knowing God.

These experiences include icons, candles, incense, liturgy, labyrinths, prayer stations, contemplative prayer, experiencing the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of the Eucharist.

There seems to be a strong emphasis on ecumenism indicating that a bridge is being established that leads in the direction of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.

Some evangelical Protestant leaders are saying that the Reformation went too far. They are reexamining the claims of the “church fathers” saying that communion is more than a symbol and that Jesus actually becomes present in the wafer at communion.

There will be a growing trend towards an ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace claiming the validity of other religions and that there are many ways to God.

Members of churches who question or resist the new changes that the pastor is implementing are reprimanded and usually asked to leave.  Click here to read the remainder of article.

LTRP Note: In addition to the signs above, and as Roger points out in his book Faith Undone, if a church is incorporating the materials of Purpose Driven or/and Willow Creek, then they are putting themselves at risk of becoming emerging. Willow Creek and Rick Warren are two of the strongest advocates for emerging/contemplative spirituality.

‘Faith leaders’ undermine God’s plan for marriage

by Allie Martin – OneNewsNow

An official with the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) says it’s a sad sign of the times that a group of “faith leaders” in Iowa signed a document declaring their support for same-sex “marriage.”

The letter, dated and made public on Tuesday, was signed by more than 160 faith leaders and was presented to lawmakers during a news conference held by the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. It says many faith traditions affirm that “where there is love, the sacred is in our midst” — and goes on to say: “This belief is the same for couples comprised of a man and a woman, two women, or two men.” (See earlier story)

Last year, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a law banning homosexual marriage in the Hawkeye State. The Legislature has been encouraged to start the process of putting a constitutional amendment before voters that would overturn that ruling, but most Democrats — who hold the majority in both chambers — have chosen not to act.
 
Alan Wisdom with the IRD says although the signers of the letter represent what he calls a small fringe of the Christian community, some damage has been done.
 
“It does give cover to the proponents of same-sex marriage to pretend that they stand on equal religious ground,” he explains. “They’re going to claim…there are some Christians over there who are opposed to same-sex marriage, but [that] there are these other ones who favor it — as if it were an even division.”
 
That claim, notes Wisdom, is untrue. “The overwhelming majority of the church in the United States and globally affirms the marriage of man and woman,” he emphasizes.
 
Wisdom says it also damages the church when pastors, who are charged with defending God’s Holy Word, promote unscriptural practices. (Source-OneNewsNow, Copyright 2007 American Family News Network – Used by permission)

Exponential Conference 2010 – Propelling the New Spirituality into the Church

On April 19-22, in Orlando Florida, Exponential 2010 will present a large number of speakers, many of whom are proponents of the New Spirituality. Just another effort to build momentum for what has become obvious to many discerning believers – an apostate leadership racing toward a “New Christianity” for millions of unsuspecting proclaiming Christians.

This year’s speaker list:

Obe Arellano Hugh Halter Kem Meyer
Mark Batterson Bob Harrington Brian Mosley
Joe Beam Sarah Hatfield Mary Nelson
Rick Bezet Alan Hirsch Dave Olson
Marcus Bigelow Scott Hodge Larry Osborne
Ken Blanchard (check LT) Chris Hodges Darrin Patrick
Brian Bloye Billy Hornsby Vanessa Pugh
Matt Carter Rick Howerton David Putman
Noel Castellanos Troy Jackson Lloyd Reeb
Francis Chan Galen Jones Dino Rizzo
Matt Chandler Lisa Jones Rick Rusaw
Steve Childers James King, Jr. Matt Smay
Shane Claiborne George Klippenes Dan & Shannon Smith
Neil Cole Charles Lee Efrem Smith
Caleb Crider Brad Leeper Wayne Smith
Mark DeYmaz Shawn Lovejoy Ed Stetzer
Bill Easum Will Mancini Tim Stevens
Dave Ferguson Marc McCartney Kirsten Strand
Sue Ferguson Larry McCrary Greg Surratt
Dave Gibbons Mel McGowan Ron Sylvia
Louie Giglio Janet McMahon Scott Thomas
Rich and Dori Gorman Reggie McNeal James Wafford III
Larry Grays Brenda Salter McNeil Scott Williams
Mike Hall

Related Information:

Cedarville University Cancels Shane Claiborne Event

Research on Ken Blanchard’s Promotion of New Age meditation/Buddhism and his connections with Rick Warren.

10 Scriptural Reasons Not to Be Involved with Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity

by Warren Smith
(from A “Wonderful” Deception)

Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven movement has, in a relatively short period of time, become what TIME magazine has referred to as a “Purpose Driven empire.”1 The word empire is defined in the dictionary as “supreme rule; absolute power or authority; dominion.” It also means “an extensive social or economic organization under the control of a single person, family, or corporation.”2 For all intents and purposes, Rick Warren has become the titular head—the almost emperor-like CEO—of an increasingly apostate postmodern church. But while Warren continues to be embraced by much of the world and much of the church, it is not too late for people to reconsider their involvement with him and his Purpose Driven movement. Here are ten scripturally based reasons why people with any love of the truth should not involve themselves in Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity:

Ten Basic Reasons
1) Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven movement offers a “Broad Way” Christianity. One of the mysteries of the Christian faith can be found in Jesus’ warning that the way to life is “narrow” and that “few” would actually find it. Jesus is telling us in advance that the “broad way”—no matter how well intentioned—is not from Him. With Rick Warren’s reformation movement based on deeds and not creeds, everyone is invited to partake in this global effort. But biblical principles are watered-down and often cast aside.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

2) Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity does not declare “all the counsel of God.” Rick Warren teaches only what he wants to teach from the Bible. As a result, there are many important teachings that he skips over, de-emphasizes, and leaves out—particularly in regard to prophecy and spiritual deception.

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:27-31)

3) Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity does not discern the spiritual signs of the times. Just as the leaders in Jesus’ day discerned the weather but not the signs of the times, Warren discerns many of the social and economic problems, but not the spiritual signs of the times.

O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:3)

4) Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity is ignorant of Satan’s devices. Whereas the apostle Paul stated that he and other believers were “not ignorant of Satan’s devices,” Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity states that Satan’s schemes are “entirely predictable.”3 By being ignorant of Satan’s devices, this “Broad Way” Christianity has fallen prey to Satan’s devices—particularly in the area of the New Age/New Spirituality/New Worldview.

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

5) Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity does not expose spiritual evil. Warren’s version of Christianity does not sound a true warning about the deceptive spirit world and spiritual deception. There is much more to evil than the problems that Rick Warren is seeking to remedy with his Purpose Driven P.E.A.C.E. Plan. We are told to expose false prophets and false teachers, not to study under them, spiritually join with them, and further their plans.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13)

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)

6) Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity does not “earnestly contend for the faith.” By not declaring all the counsel of God, by not discerning the signs of the times, by being ignorant of Satan’s devices, and by not exposing spiritual evil, Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity is not fighting “the good fight of faith.”

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 3)

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

7) Rick Warren and his “Broad Way” Christianity are loved by the world and it’s leaders. Jesus loved the world, but the world did not love Him. Jesus warned his followers they would be hated, persecuted, and even killed by the world—just as the world hated, persecuted, and killed Him. In his compromised effort to reach out to the world, Warren and his “Broad Way” Christianity have become the world.

They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (1 John 4:5)

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26)

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. (Matthew 10:22)

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? (Matthew 10:25)

8. Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity is engaged in a process of ungodly change. Rick Warren describes himself as a “change agent” but in his attempt to change the world, he and his Purpose Driven movement are actually changing biblical Christianity. The Bible warns about those who push for unbiblical and ungodly change.

My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change. (Proverbs 24:21)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

For I am the LORD, I change not. (Malachi 3:6)

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. (Amos 8:11)

9) Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity is frequently “double-tongued” and “double-minded.” Rick Warren’s attempts to seemingly distance himself from the New Age/New Spirituality while simultaneously spiritually aligning himself with New Age sympathizers is “double-tongued,” “double-minded,” and deceptively self-serving. In the Psalms, David refers to those who speak with “flattering lips” and a “double heart.”

Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. (Psalm 12:1-2)

Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (1 Timothy 3:8-9)

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8)

10) Rick Warren’s “Broad Way” Christianity is “not valiant for the truth.” Warren has demonstrated, in numerous ways, that he is politically and spiritually expedient when it comes to the truth. His “Broad Way” Christianity plays to the world and embraces the world because it is the world. It does not hold fast to the truth because it is not “valiant for the truth.”

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth. (Jeremiah 9:3)

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31)

The Time is Here
The apostle Paul preached the importance of adhering to God’s Word. He warned that the time would come when believers would not endure sound doctrine but would find teachers who would tell them what they wanted to hear:

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

As Rick Warren’s “broad way” Christianity seems to be headed down the “broad way” of the New Spirituality, it is very clear that his Purpose Driven movement is anything but the “narrow way” that Jesus Christ described in Matthew 7:14.
It is important to understand what is at stake here—the centrality of the Cross as the one and only true Gospel—without which the hope of salvation is lost. Jesus Christ, dying on the Cross for our sins, is the central message of the Gospel. It is the plumb line for ultimately discerning truth from error. But in discerning truth from error, it is essential that we must adhere to all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

Jesus is the one and only Savior—the one and only true Christ. Science cannot and will not prove otherwise (1 Timothy 6:20). God is not “in” everything. We are not Christ, and we are not God. What is born of the flesh is flesh. What is born of the Spirit is spirit. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50). It is not “as above, so below.” The apostle John states:

He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. (John 3:31)

Jesus Christ is Lord. His name is above all names (Philippians 2:9). He is not the “Jesus” of The Shack, and He is not the “Jesus” of the New Age/New Spirituality. Most assuredly, He is not the “quantum Christ” of a deceived world and an apostate church.

The apostle Paul describes the simplicity of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3). According to many of today’s spiritual and religious leaders, it has taken humanity 2000 years to finally “get it.” They say we need quantum physicists, cellular biologists, Ph.D. mathematicians, New Age channelers, and emerging postmodern preachers to finally understand what Jesus was trying to tell us back in the first century. No, this is not the simplicity that Paul was describing. This is the deceptive work of our Adversary as he tries to transform the creation into the Creator and co-opt God’s creation to himself.

Unfortunately, many of today’s pastors have forgotten that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and that we are to “stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). As a result, the church is now catapulting into great spiritual deception.

For those who still rightly divide and depend upon the Word of God, the Bible warns that the coming deception will be so great that most of the world will be deceived (Revelation 13:13-14). Jesus warned that His way is not the broad way but the “narrow way” of continuing in His Word (John 8:31). And it is His way that leads to eternal life.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)


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