Posts Tagged ‘unity’
LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes.
By James Kanter and Elisabetta Povoledo
New York Times
ROME — Proclaiming “Europe is our common future,” 27 leaders of the European Union signed a statement on Saturday in Rome declaring their commitment to integrating the Continent even as a series of crises has badly weakened the efforts and Britain prepares to leave the bloc.
The statement, known as the Rome Declaration and signed on the anniversary of the day the bloc’s foundations were laid 60 years ago, underscored the aspirations of a “unique union with common institutions and strong values, a community of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”
In a nod to reality, however, the leaders acknowledged that they were “facing unprecedented challenges, both global and domestic,” including “regional conflicts, terrorism, growing migratory pressures, protectionism and social and economic inequalities.”
The ceremony took place in a hall in Rome that was richly decorated in frescoes depicting scenes from the ancient world. It is the same room where the Treaty of Rome was signed on March 25, 1957, by six countries. That event helped lay the groundwork for today’s union. Click here to continue reading.
Guest Post: Albert Mohler Gives Air Time to Author of “The Benedict Option” (A Monastic/Catholic Promoting Book)
LTRP Note: This is another example of a major Christian leader laying aside the integrity of biblical faith and giving credence to the Roman Catholicism and contemplative mysticism for the sake of “unity” and “morality.”
By Cathy Mickel
(Author of Spiritual Junk Food: The Dumbing Down of Christian Youth)
Where is the wisdom in Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, giving air time to Rod Dreher, the author of The Benedict Option (a book highlighting the way of Saint Benedict, Catholic “saint” and founder of the monastic Benedictine order)? (Other evangelical leaders who support the book are Matt Chandler; https://twitter.com/villagechurchtx/status/839994280101961729, Russell Moore; http://www.russellmoore.com/2017/03/10/signposts-conversation-rod-dreher/, and John Piper; https://twitter.com/JohnPiper/status/839647675364622336 )
In the interview, Mohler says, “[T]he book is very important. I want to commend it to every thinking Christian. We ought to read this book and we ought also to read far beyond the title.” (http://www.albertmohler.com/2017/02/13/benedict-option-conversation-rod-dreher)
The following are a few quotes from what the author of The Benedict Option said to Albert Mohler in the interview.
[T]he West owes an incalculable debt to those Benedictine monks.
So this is nothing new. We’re just rediscovering an old tradition, things that our ancestors knew. And look, I think that whether we’re evangelical, Catholic, or Orthodox, we need to go back to the early church to see how our ancestors did it, see what they did, see how they embodied the faith and culture and practices [contemplative prayer].
. . . time for Christians to take seriously the times we’re in, to read the signs of the times and to respond in a responsible way, in a clear way, in a patient way. And I use Saint Benedict of Nursia [considered the “father of western monasticism”], the 6th century saint, who was a Christian who lived through the fall of the Roman Empire; he was born four years after the Empire officially fell. And he went down to Rome to get his education and saw it was completely corrupt, it was falling apart. He went out to the woods to pray; he lived in cave for three years, and asked God to show him what to do with his life. He ended up coming out and founding a monastic order. That monastic order he founded ended up over the next few centuries spreading like wildfire throughout Western Europe. And what they did was prepare the way for civilization to return to Western Europe. They tendered within those monasteries the Scriptures, the prayers, the liturgies, and the old ways of doing things. So they became a sort of ark that traveled over the dark sea of time until it found dry land, and there was light after the darkness.” [see John Caddock’s article “Brennan Manning’s “New Monks” & Their Dangerous Contemplative Monasticism”]
One of the stories I tell in the book is about going to the Benedictine monastery in Norcia, a small town in the mountains of central Italy, that was where say Benedict was born. He was a son of the Roman governor. Well, there’s still a monastery there today. Napoleon closed it down in 1810, but in the year 2000 some American monks went there and reopened it. And they wanted to sing the traditional Latin mass, and it’s become a real oasis of Christian peace and beauty. Well, it’s the sort of place where you go there up in the mountains, and you really envy these men, their peace, where they can worship and meet visitors.
[I]n my own case, my life is shaped around liturgy that’s been in our church for 1500 years. My life is shaped around the chanting of Psalms and on all kinds of sensual ways that embody the faith. Of course you can have smells and bells and go straight to hell, that doesn’t change you and lead to greater conversion. But for me as an Orthodox Christian and me as a Catholic, the faith had more traction and it drew me in closer and closer. (emphasis added)
Here is Amazon’s description of Benedict Option:
In a radical new vision for the future of Christianity, NYT bestselling author and conservative columnist Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life [contemplative prayer] . . .
In The Benedict Option, Dreher calls on traditional Christians to learn from the example of St. Benedict of Nursia, a sixth-century monk who turned from the chaos and decadence of the collapsing Roman Empire, and found a new way to live out the faith in community. For five difficult centuries, Benedict’s monks kept the faith alive through the Dark Ages, and prepared the way for the rebirth of civilization. What do ordinary 21st century Christians — Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox — have to learn from the teaching and example of this great spiritual father? That they must read the signs of the times, abandon hope for a political solution to our civilization’s problems, and turn their attention to creating resilient spiritual centers that can survive the coming storm. Whatever their Christian tradition, they must draw on the secrets of Benedictine wisdom to build up the local church, create countercultural schools based on the classical tradition, rebuild family life, thicken communal bonds, and develop survival strategies for doctors, teachers, and others on the front lines of persecution. . . .
Added section from Lighthouse Trails editors—Here are a few quotes from the book, The Benedict Option:
Imagine that you are at a Catholic mass in a dreary 1970s-era suburban church that looks like a converted Pizza Hut. The next Sunday you are at a high Catholic mass in New York City, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Scripture reading is the same in both places, and Jesus is just as present in the Eucharist at Our Lady of Pizza Hut as at St. Patrick’s. Chances are, though, that you had to work harder to conjure a sense of the true holiness of the mass in the suburban church than in the cathedral—though theologically speaking, the “information” conveyed in Word and Sacrament in both places was the same. This is the difference liturgy can make. (Dreher, Rod. The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, pp. 106-107, Penguin Publishing Group; emphasis added)
I told the priest how, in response to a personal crisis, my own orthodox priest back in Louisiana had assigned me a strict daily prayer rule, praying the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”) for about an hour each day. It was dull and difficult at first, but I did it out of obedience. Every day, for a seemingly endless hour, silent prayer. In time, though, the hour seemed much shorter, and I discovered that the peace I had conspicuously lacked in my soul came forth. (The Benedict Option, p. 59)
For the monks, prayer is not simply words they speak. Each monk spends several hours daily doing lectio divina, a Benedictine method of Scripture study that involves reading a Scripture passage, meditating on it, praying about it, and finally contemplating its meaning for the soul. (The Benedict Option, pp. 58-59)
The Reformation broke the religious unity [with Rome] of Europe. In Protestant lands, it birthed an unresolvable crisis in religious authority, which over the coming centuries would cause unending schisms. The Benedict Option, p. 45, emphasis added)
If you don’t control your own attention, there are plenty of people eager to do it for you. The first step in regaining cognitive control is creating a space of silence in which you can think. During a deep spiritual crisis in my own life, the toxic tide of chronic anxiety did not began to recede from my mind until my priest ordered me to take up a daily rule of contemplative prayer. Stilling my mind for an hour of prayer was incredibly difficult, but it eventually opened up a beachhead in which the Holy Spirit could work to calm the stormy waters within. (The Benedict Option, pp. 227-228, emphasis added)
In a 2017 Christianity Today article titled, “The Benedict Option’s Vision for a Christian Village” by Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, Dreher says the following. Our deciphering is in brackets:
I have written The Benedict Option to wake up the church, and to encourage it to act to strengthen itself [unify by removing the barriers between Protestantism and Catholicism], while there is still time. If we want to survive, we have to return to the roots of our faith [not biblical roots, monastic roots of the desert fathers and other mystics], both in thought and in deed. We are going to have to learn habits of the heart [contemplative prayer practices – Nouwen called it moving from the moral (doctrine) to the mystical] forgotten by believers in the West [that’s what Merton taught]. We are going to have to change our lives, and our approach to life, in radical ways. In short, we are going to have to be the church, without compromise, no matter what it costs [the cost is going to be the death of biblical truth]. (source)
These remarks by Dreher are reminiscent of the contemplative pioneer and disciple of Thomas Merton, Richard Foster, when he said: “I see a Catholic monk from the hills of Kentucky standing alongside a Baptist evangelist from the streets of Los Angeles and together offering up a sacrifice of praise. I see a people.” (Richard Foster, Streams of Living Water, San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1998, p. 273) We need not look very far to know how such an ecumenical unifying will take place. The contemplative prayer movement is the vehicle, and it is in our midst waiting for the unaware and undiscerning to hop on for the ride.
One can only wonder, will there be any Christian leaders left standing when the battle is over? Remember the words of Jesus when He said,
[W]hen the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)
On June 13, Lighthouse Trails reported on an event called Together 2016 that will take place this summer in Washington DC. We explained that organizer Nick Hall was bringing together evangelical, emerging, charismatic, and Catholic leaders for the ecumenical purpose of uniting together. A special video appearance by Pope Francis will be part of the event. A similar event (but without the Pope) has been announced. The Gathering: A National Solemn Assembly will take place in September in Dallas, Texas, and while there doesn’t appear to be any direct promotion of the Roman Catholic religion as there is with Together 2016, there is a definite united-we-stand-regardless-of-our-beliefs scenario in The Gathering.
The Gathering motto is “One Vision, One Voice, One Agenda.” The mission statement says:
Protestants and Catholics in Vancouver (Canada) to Hold Ecumenical “Weekend of Protestant and Catholic Discovery”
Protestants and Catholics in Vancouver, BC, area will be holding two events at the end of February calling the weekend the “Weekend of Protestant and Catholic Discovery.” The Church for Vancouver website states:
One of the signs of hope in Vancouver is the way the Holy Spirit is helping Catholics and Protestants to find inspiration and insight in each others traditions. From monastic spiritual disciplines to the Alpha Course, from a sacramental view of the cosmos to charismatic worship, from Catholic teaching on social justice to Protestant “missional” parish renewal – we are learning the joy of following Jesus together in a culture increasingly antagonistic to religion in general and Christianity in particular. (Source: http://churchforvancouver.ca/calendar/weekend-of-protestant-and-catholic-discovery/)
One of the speakers for the ecumenical weekend in Vancouver, John Armstrong, was discussed in a Lighthouse Trails article in 2012 when he participated in a Protestant/Catholic event at Wheaton College. What we found intriguing about that, aside from the fact that Wheaton would even host such an event, was that John Armstrong had read the unpublished manuscript, A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen, in 2001. (See also, Wheaton College “Dialogue” Evening – Exploring “Common Ground” with Catholicism in “A Conversation on Unity”) At the time he read the book, he shared his vigor enthusiasm for Ray Yungen’s work; but gradually over the years, we watched in dismay as Armstrong drifted over toward the emerging church. Now, of course, he relishes in the “fruit” of the emerging church: interspirituality and has become a spokesperson to bring together the Protestant and Catholic churches. Today, Armstrong is the president and founder of Act3 Network, a network of ecumenical churches.
The following video is from the Act3 Network, showing the ecumenical goals of John Armstrong:
LTRP Note: The following article is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the sources. Both Christianity Today and LifeWay Research are proponents of the “new” spirituality (i.e., contemplative/emerging), which has helped to accelerate the current surge of interspirituality and ecumenism within the evangelical church and is, in effect, causing this major paradigm shift toward the merging of the Protestant/evangelical church with the Roman Catholic Church.
The information in this article is quite stunning. We are seeing a major paradigm shift taking place.
By Lisa Cannon Green
More than half of evangelical pastors say Pope Francis is their brother in Christ.
More than one-third say they value the pope’s view on theology, and 3 in 10 say he has improved their view of the Catholic Church.
Those are among the findings of a new study of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors, released this week from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
Overall, the survey found that many Protestant pastors have taken a liking to Pope Francis.
Nearly 4 in 10 say the pope, known for his humility and concern for the poor, has had a positive impact on their opinions of the Catholic Church. Almost two-thirds view Pope Francis as a genuine Christian and “brother in Christ.” Click here to continue reading.
Letter to the Editor: Parliament of the World’s Religions Seeks “Global Collective Mission” and “Interfaith Harmony”
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
When I read of your new release of Ray Yungen’s latest booklet: “Pope Francis and the Thomas Merton Connection,” and of Ray’s recent visit to Salt Lake City to attend the Parliament of the World’s Religions conference with a media pass, I decided to write you. The Parliament of the World’s Religions Conference started this past week: Oct.15 and ends on Oct.19, held in the Mormon Capital of the World, Salt Lake City. Their own website states their mission (see http://www.parliamentofreligions.org//mission):
“The Parliament of the World’s Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world. To accomplish this, we invite individuals and communities who are equally invested in attaining this goal.”
The Parliament declarations page (see http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/parliament/salt-lake-2015/declarations) says:
“10,000 people, 80 nations, 50 faiths…Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity: Working Together for a World of Compassion, Peace, Justice and Sustainability.”
There are 6 Parliament Declarations participants can sign including the following: Declarations on Climate Change, Hate Speech, War & Violence, Income Inequality, Human Rights and Dignity of Women, Standing with Emerging Leaders, and Standing with Indigenous Peoples.
This Parliament of World Religions has only been held 5 times previously in the past 200+ years:
Notable international speakers include Nobel Peace Laureates including Costa Rica’s President, the Spiritual Leader of Tibetan Buddhism, a Lakota nation tribal leader, and a US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religion Freedom.
Other notable speakers, Lighthouse Trails has repeatedly warned about over the years, and they include:
—Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, and Marianne Williamson
The keynote speaker on Oct.17 was Jane Goodall, and a Fox News article said the following (See http://fox13now.com/2015/10/17/jane-goodall-speaks-at-parliament-of-world-religions-in-salt-lake-city/):
“Goodall is calling upon religious leaders from all over the globe to use their influence to affect policies on environmental issues such as climate change., and Goodall says she has a favorite religious leader, but he’s not at this Parliament. “I think Pope Francis should be canonized on the spot, he’s absolutely amazing,” Goodall said. “He gives me more hope than almost anybody else alive at this time today.”
Everyone seems to be intoxicated with the media persona of Pope Francis, even Jane Goodall, even delegates at this 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions, and no doubt the tens of thousands of conference attendees who have come, sadly, to find an “interfaith harmony” and a global collective mission to achieve a world of compassion, peace, justice and sustainablity.
I hope and pray Lighthouse Trails readers will take a look at Ray Yungen’s “Pope Francis & Thomas Merton Connection” to see how this interspirituality goes way beyond Catholicism. . . . it’s part of the Oneness New Age philosophy, this mysticism that has pervaded all spiritual traditions, and that is vying to unify and bond people together in a false harmony/unity that is really a counterfeit “Christianity,” an anti-christ spirituality…
CONCERNED IN CALIFORNIA
Letter to Editor: Rick Warren Speaks in Philadelphia at Catholics’ World Meeting of Families on Sept. 25
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
Rick Warren gave the final keynote address of the World Meeting of Families conference on Sept.25th. Rick Warren told the crowd: “Thank you for caring about the family” and quoted Pope Francis as saying that “the family is under threat.” The World Meeting of Families conference is held every 3 years and is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families.
Warren went on to say that he was inspired as a teen by the late Catholic Bishop Fulton Sheen. That was not surprising given Rick Warren’s past proven propensity to affiliate with and endorse Catholic leaders, as Lighthouse trails has well documented over the past years. See link: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com)/blog/?s=rick+warren+catholic
The most disconcerting fact though is what Cardinal O’Malley said about Rick Warren:
“It’s important that Rick Warren is here . . . this is a witness of unity that’s important in today’s world, as we strive to proclaim the gospel of life: the need to protect every human being from the first moment of conception until natural death, to defend the family as a sanctuary of life, and family as a sacred calling described on the first pages of the Bible. . . . It’s a great consolation to share this stage with a fellow Christian who is truly committed to preaching the Gospel” (emphasis added).
First of all, aren’t we to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1; 1 Cor.9:12)? Where is this “gospel of life” even referred to in the Bible? Yes, God loves families, and yes, of course God cares about every human life and grieves over abortions, and yes, God desires for families to be healthy spiritually; but as biblical Christians, we unify around the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sound doctrine, not the “gospel of life” (whatever that is) or “defending families.” If we unify around the “gospel of life” and “defending families,” then we can join spiritual hands with Catholics, Mormons, and even an atheist who is against abortion, and for healthy family units . . . even if they don’t believe in the biblical Bospel (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). What we are witnessing with Rick Warren and other Christians joining together with Catholics in the name of God under a false gospel is not biblical unity.
See article link:
Concerned in California
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10)
To get a better idea of what the Catholic Church believes in, visit the the “Spirituality Center” of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia: click here.
The Conversion of Protestants to Catholicism Through the Eucharist by Roger Oakland