Posts Tagged ‘Warren B. Smith’
In Jesus Calling, “Jesus” openly contradicts the true Jesus Christ of Scripture.
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (1 John 2:21; emphasis added)
The true Jesus Christ said:
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Because Jesus Christ is the truth, He cannot contradict the truth. But in Jesus Calling, this “Jesus” (who claims to be the true Jesus) does contradict the truth of the true Jesus Christ. This “Jesus” states:
I am with you always. These were the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven.1
At the end of this day’s devotion at the bottom of the page, the reference Matthew 28:20 is given. In Scripture, this verse (which Sarah Young’s “Jesus” quotes), records the true Jesus Christ’s statement, “lo, I am with you alway,” which He spoke after His resurrection. But these were not the last words Jesus Christ spoke before ascending into heaven. As author and pastor Larry DeBruyn points out, this “promise of His continued presence” “was to the eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16, 20),” and His last words “were uttered later on a different mount near Jerusalem” which is the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12).2 Immediately prior to ascending into heaven, His actual last words were the following—which, as Pastor DeBruyn also points out, “were not that He would be with them but rather that they would be His witnesses”:
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (Acts 1:7-9) (emphasis added)
Let’s take a look at the very next verses in this passage:
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:10-11; emphasis added)
Is the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling this same Jesus? No. He cannot possibly be the same, as that “Jesus” openly contradicts what Scripture tells us were Jesus Christ’s actual last words before He was taken up, according to Acts 1:7-9. More than ever, we need to heed Jesus’ warnings of false Christs and false prophets:
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. (Matthew 24:23-26; emphasis added)
1. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, p. 29. With thanks to Steve Griffith.
2. Pastor Larry DeBruyn e-mail sent to author on subject.
Other Articles On Jesus Calling:
To Lighthouse Trails:
Just wondering if you all have any research on The (Emergent) Journey? It’s the name of a 3-phase course being taught in a number of churches by a group called Vantage Point3. Seems tied strongly with Emergent/Contemplative. My church is teaching this . . . right on the heels of introducing Renovare’s “Apprentice” series.
You can be sure that your church has headed into the contemplative/emergent camp. First of all, Renovare (Richard Foster’s organization) is the pioneering organization to bring contemplative spirituality into the evangelical/Protestant church. Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline (published in 1978) set the course.
As for VantagePoint3, this is a major venue for bringing contemplative/emergent beliefs into the church. The Emergent Journey is VantagePoint3′s venue for doing this. Just as one example, VantagePoint3′s educational design overseer, Rob Loane, uses Henri Nouwen in the Emergent Journey (see here) to help people find their “true identity.” However, we know that Henri Nouwen was a panentheist and a contemplative mystic who believed there were many paths to God.
Lighthouse Trails has written articles on both Richard Foster and VantagePoint3. Below are links to two of those articles.
The Quantum Christ: Entering the World AND the Church Through Popular New Age & Christian Leaders (an article by Warren B. Smith that talks about VantagePoint3)
By Jim Fletcher
When the entity formerly known as the Christian Bookseller’s Association decided to go secular business model a couple decades ago, the inevitable diluting of doctrinally sound books began.
Traditional titles, ranging from Charles Stanley to Ruth Bell Graham to Charles Spurgeon, began to share shelf space with the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books (musing about such things as the “golden Buddha inside us all”). Pretty soon, it was a theological free-for-all, with no vetting process in place. Anyone self-identifying as “Christian” was welcome. The transformation was complete by, say, 2008, when CBA (newly named as “ICRS”: International Christian Retail Show) feted “The Shack” author William Paul Young and his universalism beliefs.
So it is that Sarah Young’s wildly popular book, “Jesus Calling,” first published in 2004 by Thomas Nelson, has now sold more than 10 million copies. It has spawned almost countless spin-off products and seems to be gaining steam, featured as it is in Christian bookstore chains and recommended by prominent leaders.
But is something amiss here? Researcher and writer Warren Smith thinks so. His response to Young, “Another Jesus Calling,” presents the case that the mega-seller is soaked in New Age teachings. He makes a compelling case that “Jesus Calling” was influenced by a decades-old title, “God Calling,” in which the authors introduce mainstream New Age teachings to Christian audiences. Click here to continue reading.
To Lighthouse Trails:
Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Research Journal, and blog is one of the safest places for any discerning born again believer to be! Given the overall level of counterfeits invading and deceiving today’s believers and seekers, be it through the false movements of Purpose Driven, Emergent, New Age, Eastern Mysticism, False Christ’s, Catholicism, Christian Palestinianism, Contemplative advocates and more, Lighthouse Trails remains dependable, reliable and consistent with the Word of God. Having started with Roger Oakland’s excellent book, “Faith Undone” (which is a must read for everyone), we moved on to Roger’s other profoundly insightful and well-documented autobiography, “Let There Be Light.”
Ray Yungens book “A Time Of Departing” is an excellent book that details the infiltration into the church of New Age practices and tactics. This should be “required reading” by every Pastor and church leaders! Having been in the New Age myself for approximately 20 years, Warren B. Smith’s books—especially “A Wonderful Deception”—has been a great blessing. Warren very clearly lays out in detail the dark and deceptive agenda of New Age proponents and how Christian’s must become aware of how the New Age is putting its deceptive spin in Christianity along with how deep and widespread the movement truly is.
I would also highly recommend any one of Caryl Matrisciana’s books or movies. Caryl too was involved in the New Age/New Spirituality movement, and she continues to expose the great gulf between biblical Christianity and Eastern Mysticism. The “Wide is the Gate” DVD series is superb. We very much appreciate the wonderful production quality of her DVD movies. Her movies immediately engage the viewer with great intensity backed by factual information.
Any books or DVD’s by Dave Hunt are excellent, eye opening resourses that Lighthouse Trails make available. When it comes to laying out biblical prophecy or Catholic heresy, Dave Hunt consistently ties and applies it to the Word of God.
In the great deception that is rampant in the church today, everyone needs a safe place to be. We recommend first and foremost God’s Word, then Lighthouse Trails Publishing, where one can sit down, take a deep breath, and realize that these day’s truly are crazy. It’s not just you, you’re not alone!
Pastor Bill K.
Over the past month, God has opened my eyes to see just how deceived I have been when it comes to what I read, what I listen to, and who I go to for Godly wisdom. As a Christian, my greatest desire is to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, the REAL Jesus Christ. In order to pursue that, I must know the Truth, I must know Jesus Christ, I must know the Word of God. I would like to share my testimony with you in regards to this past month and talk about how God has rekindled a deep desire in me for the Truth. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31 & 32.
To get started, let me go back about a month ago. My sister-in-law had come to visit, so John* and myself and our kids all went down to our friends Shawn & Shirley’s to eat supper one evening. As we were sitting in the living room visiting, the subject came up (I still don’t know how it came up, but it did!) about a very popular devotional called, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I wasn’t sure at the time where this conversation was going and who in that living room actually read the Jesus Calling devotional, but I knew that I DID and I knew that I LOVED THAT BOOK! I also loved Sarah Young, even though I had never met her or knew anything very significant about her—all I knew was that she must be a Christian to write a book like that, and that’s all I really needed to know.
Back to our conversation in the living room though. Apparently, there is a man named Warren B. Smith who has written a book titled, “Another Jesus” Calling, and he was featured on a radio program in which he lays out Scripture after Scripture, along with vast amounts of research, all to come to the conclusion that this devotional, Jesus Calling, is a HUGE deception among believers today. It is a LIE! What? “You mean, after I listen to this Warren Smith I may not want to read my Jesus Calling anymore?,” I remember asking my sister-in-law during our conversation, which I could feel was quickly heating up!! Honestly, I was getting mad—wait, who am I kidding, I WAS mad!
I had taken up a defense inside and put up a wall immediately after hearing that something I cherished and loved so much was possibly a huge deception I had allowed in my life—my spiritual life, my life with the Lord. How could this be? The book sounds so good, so real, so true—it even has Scripture verses following every day’s devotion. It encourages me, it blesses me, makes me feel special—there is NO WAY that anyone is going to convince me that this book isn’t good and wholesome and a perfect addition to anyone’s Christian walk. NO ONE!
OK, so I needed some space—some time away from everyone in that living room. Tears were on the verge of overflow and I had to get a way . . . so I went to the bathroom. I will never forget getting into that bathroom, closing and locking the door, and realizing how wrong I was in the way I had reacted inwardly. I didn’t want to be stiff-necked in my thinking or harden my heart towards what God might want to teach me. So I surrendered my hurt feelings and my rebellious attitude and gave it all to God. I told Him that if He wanted me to quit reading the book then that is what I would do, but He was going to have to be the one to show me that.
Now I must be honest and say that doing this was not an easy thing to do and something sadly, I haven’t done much in my walk with the Lord. Laying down my pride and admitting that, “Hey, I may be wrong in this.” Its not an easy thing for me to do, for anybody to do, for that matter. I think one reason is because when I admit that I am wrong that shows weakness. But weakness isn’t always a bad thing, because as Christians, the Bible says:
And He (Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am made strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 9 & 10
So moving on, I was able to walk out of the bathroom with a new attitude believing and trusting that God would show me what to do with this devotional book I so dearly loved. And boy, did He ever!!
Before we left that night, [our friends] gave me the website address I could go to so I could listen to the radio interview for myself. John and I got home and put the kids to bed, and I headed straight to our computer. After starting the interview and listening for a few minutes, I quickly realized that this guy had some pretty legitimate concerns as to why he thought this book was filled with deception. But I still wasn’t convinced enough to say that I didn’t need to read the book anymore. I would occasionally pause the interview to write down different statements that he made along with lots and lots of Scriptures he had to back up just about everything he said.
Slowly, I was becoming more aware that this man may actually be right about this book. I didn’t want to believe it, but it was all there, plain as day. He was using the Bible as his reference, so what could I say? What could anyone say? The Bible is the Word of God, it is the Truth. And so, if I believe that, then this devotional book is absolutely deceptive because in the interview he pointed out numerous, obvious contradictions to the Holy Word of God. But wait a minute, was I willing to chuck the book just yet? Believe it or not, no I wasn’t. I’m about to get to that. Before I do though, I just want to go into a little more detail about why I loved this book so much,—what it was about it that made me feel so drawn to it:
Here’s a few reasons:
- It’s a daily devotional—it has a small entry for each day out of the year. Hence, it’s short, doesn’t take much of my time, easy to read.
- Very comforting, makes me feel good inside, good about myself, no conviction, ever!
- Makes me feel special, like Jesus is just a good ‘ole buddy that walks around with me all day!
- Sadly, this fourth reason I am not proud to mention, but it is a HUGE part of why I am convinced this book is dangerous. I found myself using Jesus Calling as my “Bible.”
I remember seeing my Bible and my Jesus Calling devotional sitting side by side on my coffee table. Guess which one I was more eager to pick up? It wasn’t that I didn’t believe the Bible was full of Truth or that I didn’t “want” to read it. I knew that I desperately needed to be in the Word. There are a lot of excuses I told myself as to why I just couldn’t read the Bible today. One of those excuses being TIME—just not having enough time to read the Bible, it’s too big. Or “I just don’t know where to start?” I know the Bible in part, but I am by no means an expert on where to find this and that. The Bible isn’t always fun to read. By this I mean, a lot of the time when I read my Bible, the Holy Spirit will point out something in my life that I might not want to look at or deal with. I’d much rather be told how much I am loved and thought of and cared for and needed. So, you get the point—I chose Jesus Calling day after day over the Bible because it was all nicely packaged in short, daily message to me straight from Jesus’ mouth, so what’s wrong with that?
Well, back to my “tipping point,” if you will, on what caused me to decide that Jesus Calling was dangerous and deceitful and that it needed to get thrown out. The night I listened to that radio interview, I was pausing often to take notes or go back and rewind to listen again to something that was said. I happened to pause it as one point when John walked in to tell me good night. We talked a minute about it, and I confessed that I was very aware now of how I had been choosing this book over my Bible and how wrong it was. He and I talked about this for a few minutes and when he went to bed, I resumed the interview. What I heard next literally cause my jaw to fall open! As soon as I hit play, Warren Smith mentions a woman who basically said everything I had just finished sharing with John moments before! In his words from the interview, he says, “One woman in particular said that she was so taken by Jesus Calling that finally one day she realized that she wasn’t reading her Bible. She was going back and reading her Jesus Calling as much as possible.” For me, I knew that God was making it very clear to me—get rid of the book! Read MY WORD!! I was excited by this and all hesitations I had about it were out the window. I knew what God expected of me at that moment. It was like God opened my eyes to see something for the very first time. He literally changed my mind. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove, what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
I give all the praise and glory to God for what he has done in my life over the past few weeks. It is not anything I have done on my own. God has brought to my attention many things that I need to look at and test according to His Word. One of those being the music I listen to. I gave up secular music some time ago and have been listening exclusively to Christian music for years, but I have to admit that some of the more popular Christian tunes that are out now a days, I’m just not sure about. And that’s all I can say; I’m just not sure about it. Along with the music, I would add authors, well-known speakers/pastors, books, so many things I am not sure about. It sounds so overwhelming at times, all the things out there that I thought were good and true. It’s like, trust the Bible and the Truths that are found within. 2 Timothy 3:16 & 17 says:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
This last month, I have grown a lot, and I have a deep hunger for the Living Word of God that I can honestly say I did not have prior to eating supper at Shawn and Shirley’s house one month ago.
* The names in this letter have been changed.
The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.50 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails, click here.
The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails
by Deborah Dombrowski
and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails
“It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.”
Every good mystery starts off with “It was a dark and stormy night.” But this is a different kind of mystery. It’s about a church, a Bride, that was mysteriously kidnapped by a dark, deceitful stranger who came as an angel of light and promised her many great things if she would just follow him. And it’s about a small insignificant publishing company who teamed up with members of the Bride who did not succumb to the angel of light, in an effort to find out what happened to her and how to bring her back to safety.
In the summer of 2000, there was no Lighthouse Trails Publishing. There wasn’t even a glimmer in anyone’s mind about it. Dave and I were nearing the final round of raising a half a dozen kids in a small town in Oregon, one nestled in the Cascade foothills. We had been alerted in 1997 to a thing called Y2K and helped put together a task force in our little town. Not because we thought the world was coming to an end on December 31, 1999. We didn’t. But we were stirred from our every day lives of soccer games, raising kids, going to church, small time campaigning to keep the homosexual agenda out of the schools, helping friends in need, supporting ministries like Focus on the Family—you know, just the regular stuff a good Christian family does. In twenty-five years of being part of the church after getting saved in the ’70s (I in a barn with a Bible and some cows, Dave in army barracks in Germany), there were a lot of things we had never heard about in the pulpits. At first, in the ’70s, we heard a lot about Jesus’ return, and it wasn’t unusual to hear the Gospel preached on Sundays with people going forward in altar calls and getting saved. It was exciting, and there was anticipation in the air that the rapture could happen at any time. But over time, that kind of talk ceased, altar calls died down and were replaced with lots of other things: signs and wonders that were said to all be from God, boycotts and legislation efforts to turn our country into a “Christian”culture, songs that started leaving Jesus and the Cross out, and in many cases drums so loud, you wouldn’t be able to hear the words anyway, or songs about all the great things we could do if we would just unite together.
When Y2K came, it jolted us and reminded us that our time on this earth is very temporal, and the Bible talks about a time where people will become very deceived, not realizing the times in which we live. While we did not believe that the culmination of time would end at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999, we did believe God wanted to get our attention. We just weren’t sure what for at the time. 2000 rolled in rather uneventfully, and life continued. However, in 1998 a friend had told us about an author she knew in Salem who wrote about how the New Age was coming into the evangelical church. While we knew something about the New Age, it was a term that was never mentioned in the pulpit of any church we had ever been to, so the remark slipped quietly away for two years.
In the fall of 2000, our then sixteen-year-old daughter was a Young Life intern. Young Life is a national organization that reaches out to young people in public schools with a Christian message. One day in October, she brought home a list of required reading for the year. It contained books by twelve authors, most of whom we nor our daughter had ever heard of. Four of them would soon change our lives forever: Thomas Merton, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, and Brennan Manning.
About a week later, a local pastor called because he was trying to get some information about a college his kids wanted to go to. “Deborah, remember you told me a couple years ago about an author around here who wrote about the New Age coming into the church? I wonder if you can find out about that.” After that call, I contacted my old friend who had told me about this author, and she immediately said, “Deborah, it’s time you met Ray Yungen.”
A week later, I sat in a Keizer, Oregon coffee shop, a few minutes early for my appointment with Mr. Yungen. Right on time, in bounded a 6’4” pleasant looking kind of guy carrying in each arm bundles of magazines, newspaper clippings, and books. After plopping down his obviously well-read stacks of materials, he bought me a fifty-cent cup of house coffee then proceeded to talk to me for over an hour. When early in the talk, he mentioned Thomas Merton and Richard Foster, something told me this was a providential meeting. And when a little later he mentioned Brennan Manning and Henri Nouwen, I was beginning to get the picture. This man had been sent to save my daughter from reading books by men who called themselves Christians but who, in reality, were bringing a mystical spirituality under the guise of Christianity. Before I left that meeting with Ray, he handed me a brown envelope. “I’ve written a book about this, but it isn’t published yet. I call it A Time of Departing. I’ve been carrying it around for two years. I wonder if you and your husband would like to read it.” I took the package and left.
It would be an understatement to say that reading that manuscript opened our eyes and changed our lives forever. And if someone had told us back then that within two years from that day in the coffee shop we would start a publishing company and eventually take on the Christian leaders in North America, we probably would have run the other way. Frankly, at the time, we thought Ray Yungen’s book came just in time to help warn the church so contemplative spirituality would not enter it. We thought that there could be no way that too many Christians would even consider going down the contemplative path. It just seemed so obvious to us how dangerous and anti-biblical it was. We thought that if we could warn some of the more influential leaders (like Rick Warren), they would be so happy to be warned, they would probably go out and write their own books warning about contemplative prayer, and we could just go back to our “normal” lives and leave this kind of thing up to them.
We had a lot of misconceived thoughts in those days, and we had no idea what was about to happen.
“A Hot Topic” That Just Wouldn’t Go Away”
After reading the unpublished manuscript, A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen (our new-found brother in the faith) in the fall of 2000, the first thing that seemed reasonable to do was to meet with the Young Life Director of Training for Oregon. I was concerned about my own daughter’s involvement with Young Life but also was thinking about all the thousands of Young Life leaders and interns who might be introduced to contemplative spirituality through Young Life’s recommended reading list.
I called the Young Life office in Portland and made an appointment. During the week or so interim before the meeting, I began researching contemplative spirituality on the Internet. The only problem was, there was virtually nothing opposing it or critiquing it. But there was plenty supporting it. Finally, I found an article by a John Caddock (from Oregon). His article was written in 1997 and was titled “What is Contemplative Spirituality, and Why is it So Dangerous?.” It was actually a review of Brennan Manning’s book, The Signature of Jesus. That was one of the books Ray had discussed in his manuscript. John Caddock’s article and one other one were the only things on the Internet refuting this mystical prayer that was being called Christian. Essentially, the contemplative issue was not being challenged. Little did we know at the time, it had been simmering in the background within the evangelical church for at least two decades by then and was about to explode wide open.
The day before Ray and I were to meet with the Young Life Director, I stumbled upon Peter Marshall Jr.’s name on the Internet and saw where he was promoting Henri Nouwen. I didn’t know a lot about Marshall Jr., but I had loved the movie of his father Peter Marshall, A Man Called Peter, a Scottish minister who eventually became U.S. Senate Chaplain back in the ’50s. When I saw the endorsement of Nouwen by Peter Marshall Jr., I e-mailed his office with my concerns and got a rather scathing reply back. In my naivety at the time, I couldn’t believe the e-mail was really from him. So on the morning I was to leave for my appointment with Ray and the Young Life Director, I called the Peter Marshall office. Lo and behold, Peter Marshall, Jr. answered the phone. He acknowledged that it was indeed he who had written the e-mail, and he told me that anyone who would say anything bad about Henri Nouwen or Brennan Manning was committing “Satanic slander.” Marshall expressed strong anger about my having questioned the two contemplative men. I was very taken back by the angry response to what I had thought was an amiable and mild challenge on my part. When Marshall was finished reprimanding me, we said good-bye and hung up. I never had another chance to talk to Peter Marshall Jr., and he died in 2010 at the age of seventy.
When I arrived at the coffee shop in Portland later that morning, Ray was standing in the foyer waiting for me. As I approached him, I said, “You’ll never believe who I just talked to.” I will never forget Ray’s reaction as I shared what had happened. His eyes filled with tears, and he said, “Peter Marshall is a conservative Christian. I am shocked that he would have such a view.” I knew then that Ray Yungen was a brother who did not hate these people but rather had a genuine desire to help people. And as for Marshall’s angry reaction, I later came to find out that an angry reaction was a common denominator from those who promote contemplative spirituality when challenged by someone about it. The list of those I would someday talk to either by phone, e-mail, or letter began with Marshall but would later include: Philip Yancey, Dan Kimball, Shane Claiborne, Rick Warren, Ken Blanchard, David Jeremiah, Gary Thomas, Keri Wyatt Kent, Richard Foster (indirectly), personnel from Focus on the Family, Beth Moore’s top assistant as well as Charles Stanley’s close assistant, and many others.
From the fall of 2000, when we met Ray, until the end of 2001, we tried to find a publisher who would publish A Time of Departing. We put together a proposal and sent it out to several Christian publishers.
As one rejection letter after the next came in, we grew more and more skeptical that we would find a publisher for A Time of Departing. In the mean time, Ray read in an article somewhere that the top forty Christian publishers would only publish books written by authors who had “significant national platforms.” We knew this left Ray out. He was unknown.
As for Ray’s writing background, he had written For Many Shall Come in My Name (1st edition) in the early nineties, which was published by a small publishing company that eventually went out of business. The book was an exposé on the New Age movement in our society. Several thousand copies of the book had sold, and Ray did a national tour that included interviews with places like Southwest Radio Church, but when Ray’s publisher went under, he was left without any representation.
Then, in 1994, a few years after Ray wrote For Many Shall Come in My Name, he was asked by a Salem (Oregon) Missionary Alliance youth pastor to research a man named Richard Foster who would be coming to the pastor’s church soon. Ray had not heard about Foster prior to that time, so before the seminar took place, he read Celebration of Discipline. Ray had been studying the Catholic monk and panentheist Thomas Merton for some time, and as he read Foster, he felt there was a connection between him and Merton. Ray attended the seminar, and afterwards went to the front where Foster was standing and talking to people. Ray describes the brief conversation he had with Foster that evening:
After the seminar ended . . . I approached Foster and politely asked him, “What do you think of the current Catholic contemplative prayer movement?” He appeared visibly uncomfortable with the question, and at first seemed evasive and vague.
He then replied, “Well, I don’t know, some good, some bad (mentioning Matthew Fox as an example of the bad).” In defense, he said, “My critics don’t understand there is this tradition within Christianity that goes back centuries.” He then said something that has echoed in my mind ever since that day. He emphatically stated, “Well, Thomas Merton tried to awaken God’s people!” I realized then Foster had waded deep into Merton’s belief system.1
Ray began to study Richard Foster in depth after that, and in early 1999, he finished the manuscript of A Time of Departing, with Richard Foster and Thomas Merton as key figures in his critique. Nearly two years later, we met Ray.
While we were seeking a publisher for A Time of Departing and getting a growing stack of rejection letters, Ron, the Salem youth pastor who had invited Ray to the Richard Foster seminar, was at a church conference and found himself sharing a dining table with John Armstrong, a pastor, author, and an adjunct professor at Wheaton College Graduate School. Ron happened to have a copy of Ray’s manuscript with him, and after striking up a conversation, asked Armstrong if he would take the manuscript with him and read it. Armstrong agreed.
Within a couple weeks, Armstrong contacted Ron and said that A Time of Departing was fantastic. He said if Ray would remove chapter six (“Could This Really Be the End of the Age?”), he could probably get Harvest House to publish the book. At first, we were excited, but after prayer and deliberation, Ray, Dave, and I decided that removing that chapter would seriously diminish the message of the book. It is in that chapter that Ray talks about occultist Alice Bailey (who coined the term New Age) and her prediction that the Age of Aquarius (a supposed age of enlightenment for man when he realizes his divinity) would come through the Christian church by mystical practices and signs and wonders. Chapter six also talks about what the Bible refers to as Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:5) where seducing spirits will deceive the whole world into embracing a new system of spirituality (a one-world religion). Quoting from that chapter, Ray stated:
[I]nstead of opposing Christianity, the occult would capture and blend itself with Christianity and then use it as its primary vehicle for spreading and instilling New Age consciousness!2
No, we knew that chapter had to stay. Sadly, and ironically, John Armstrong has, in more recent years, come out as an advocate for the emerging church.
One day, after we turned down John Armstrong’s offer to help publish A Time of Departing and after we were beginning to think we would never find a publisher for this vitally important book, a little light came on, so to speak, and I said to Dave, “Why don’t we start our own publishing company and publish the book ourselves?” We prayed that God would open the door if that’s what He wanted us to do, and after talking to Ray, we mutually agreed that this was how we could get the book published.
We knew nothing about publishing. I was a small-time free-lance writer and had written my own biography, and Dave had a degree in English from Portland State University. But that hardly prepared us to start a publishing company. I bought a bunch of books from Amazon, one of which was called How to Publish a Book and Sell a Million Copies. It seemed only logical that if we were going to publish a book, selling a million copies would certainly get our message out. However, when I read that book, one of the things it advised was, Don’t write anything “controversial” if you are interested in “large sales.” It was then I knew that Lighthouse Trails would never be a big publishing company that sold millions of books. We started off controversial, and over a decade later, we are still considered controversial. Sadly, “controversial” is increasingly coming to mean “something devoted to the biblical Gospel.”
In March of 2002, we opened a business bank account with one hundred dollars and officially started Lighthouse Trails Publishing (later to become an LLC). Our motto would be “bringing light to areas of darkness.” Six months later, we released the first edition of A Time of Departing.
Right about the same time as A Time of Departing was being released, another book, by a large Christian publishing house, was also being released. While we were picking up the first printing of our new release from a small printer in Washington state, unbeknownst to us at the time, Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life was being released as well and would soon be a New York Times best seller, eventually reaching sales of over 35 million copies. It would turn into a rabbit versus a turtle race to get our messages out, but because we believed that contemplative spirituality would draw people away from the Gospel rather than to it, we felt our efforts were necessary and that God would get our warning out as He saw fit.
In the spring of 2003, we sent a copy of A Time of Departing to Rick Warren thinking we should warn this now-popular pastor of the contemplative prayer movement. He wrote back a personal note on a card saying:
Just a note to say thanks for the copy of A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen. It definitely will be a useful addition to my personal library and resource in my studies. I agree this is a hot topic.
Sincerely, Rick Warren
When we received Rick Warren’s reply, we felt a sense of relief that he seemed to have appreciated our warning. But that was before a lot of things happened:
It was before we read Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose Driven Life by Warren B. Smith.
It was before we learned that Rick Warren had been promoting Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and the spiritual formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality) movement as far back as the early nineties in his first book, The Purpose Driven Church.3
It was before we read George Mair’s book, A Life With Purpose: Reverend Rick Warren—the most inspiring pastor of our time which identified Rick Warren’s plans to use New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard for his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan in training leaders around the world.4
It was before George Mair was advised by an acquaintance at the Attorney General’s office in California to file a hate crime against Rick Warren for his assault against Mair for his book (but Mair called me, and I advised him against filing).5 Ironically, when Mair wrote his book, it was meant to be a testament of praise to Rick Warren as “America’s Pastor” not realizing that at the same time New Age connections had been unveiled.
It was before Rick Warren wrote his damage-control “midnight e-mail” to me in the spring of 2005, an e-mail that was filled with inaccuracies to cover up the truth, but yet he had his chief apologist at the time post it all over the Internet within hours of sending it to me.6
It was before Saddleback sent out e-mails to an undisclosed number of people saying that Lighthouse Trails and Ray Yungen were “sitting on a pile of money” (and we just wanted to know where it was because we could really have used that pile of money to pay the bills that month).
It was before Saddleback accused Lighthouse Trails of “publishing lies” and inferring that we had broken into their website server and “federal agents” were on the case.7
It was back when we thought there was no way the majority of Christian leaders could be right in the middle of helping to bring in a mystical spirituality that would take millions into the arms of outright apostasy.
Needless to say, by the time we went to press with the second edition of A Time of Departing in the spring of 2006, the book now had an entire chapter devoted to Rick Warren and his contemplative prayer propensities. And it had a chapter devoted to something everyone was calling “the emerging church.” Vicious and unscrupulous efforts were already underway to stop Lighthouse Trails. Had it been just our own strength and wisdom to keep us going, we never could have continued. But, in spite of our own human frailties and weaknesses, and in spite of efforts to stop us, God showed mercy and justice and kept Lighthouse Trails afloat. And while there’s no question that contemplative spirituality has skyrocketed exponentially throughout the world, thanks largely to big name advocates of the movement, tens of thousands of people have now read A Time of Departing as well as our 2007 book on the emerging church, Faith Undone by Roger Oakland; and we believe these books have made a difference in helping to defend the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and identifying the mystical spirituality that is working to blind the eyes of millions.
There’s much more to our story, and you can read about most of the episodes on our site. When we first began, we wondered if there were other Christians who saw what Ray, Dave, and I saw. Surely, we can’t be the only ones, we thought. We are so happy to report that we aren’t by a long shot. Through the thousands of e-mails, letters, and phone calls from readers, customers, and newsletter subscribers, we have learned that God has faithfully shown many believers what is happening in today’s church and world. We are privileged and humbled to have a small part in this work. As we have said many times before, Lighthouse Trails exists as a service to the body of Christ, for the sake of the Gospel, and we pray and hope, to the glory of God.
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1Thessalonians 5:1-6)
To order copies of The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails, click here.
1. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd ed., 2006), pp. 76-77.
2. Ibid., p. 123.
3. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), pp. 126-127.
5. Read our article “Rick Warren Biographer, George Mair, Passes Away at 83 – The Rest of the Story” for this full story: .
7. In December of 2005 a woman sent us an e-mail she had received from Rick Warren’s personal e-mail address, which stated:
The website you refer to [Lighthouse Trails] below is well-known for publishing lies, which can easily be proven false…. The Bible says “Satan is the father of lies”, so those who intentionally spread them are doing Satan’s work for him. That is evil. We suggest you avoid listening to evil people who have a habit of lying about ministers of the Gospel. Study the Scriptures every day and flee from those who make their reputation by lying.
We contacted Saddleback about the e-mail, and we received the following reply, suggesting that the e-mail had been written by a computer hacker: “We are sorry that this public mailbox has been shut down due to vandalism and stolen identity. Federal enforcement officers are tracking down the source in either Africa or the Pacific Northwest.” At first, we thought this was a joke because we (who live in the Pacific Northwest) had recently issued a press release about an evangelist in Africa who had been opposing Purpose Driven. Hearing that Federal officers had narrowed down an investigation to either our location or the evangelist’s location seemed preposterous. We contacted Saddleback by phone requesting the names of these Federal agents because of the threatening nature of the “anonymous” email. A few days later a Saddleback staff member called and told us that Federal agents were doing an investigation on their web server being broken into and that Saddleback (and the agents) suspected Lighthouse Trails. We again asked for the names of the Federal agents as well as the Saddleback communications director that was handling the case. However, we were told they would not give us any names. We have not heard anything from Saddleback since.
To order copies of The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails, click here.
by Warren B. Smith
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.—Matthew 24:4–5
In 1965, Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology, Helen Schucman, heard an “inner voice” saying, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”1 Schucman’s initial resistance was overcome when the “inner voice,” identifying itself as “Jesus,” told her the purpose of the course:
The world situation is worsening to an alarming degree. People all over the world are being called on to help, and are making their individual contributions as part of an overall prearranged plan. Part of the plan is taking down A Course in Miracles, and I am fulfilling my part in the agreement, as you will fulfill yours. You will be using abilities you developed long ago, and which you are not really ready to use again. Because of the acute emergency, however, the usual slow, evolutionary process is being by-passed in what might best be described as a “celestial speed-up.”2
Baffled by her assignment, but nevertheless obliging, the skeptical Schucman diligently took dictation from this “inner voice.” In the seven and a half years of cumulative dictation that became A Course in Miracles, Schucman’s “Jesus” presents a whole new way of looking at the world. Using Christian terminology, sophisticated psychology, and convincing authority, Schucman’s “Jesus” teaches a completely different gospel than the one found in the Bible. His New Age/New Gospel wholly contradicts the Bible’s Gospel of Jesus Christ. Schucman’s “inner voice,” while claiming to be Jesus, actually opposes everything for which the Bible’s Jesus stands.
In brief, A Course in Miracles teaches that all is love. And while the Course teaches that the opposite of love is fear, it explains that fear is just an illusion based on wrong thinking. It states that the world we see is merely the projected manifestation of our own illusive, fearful thoughts. As each one of us learns to correct our fearful, wrong thinking, it will change not only how we see the world, but also change the world we see. The purpose of the Course is to facilitate this change in perception.
According to the Course, love is all there is. And because God is love, God is therefore in everyone and everything. It states God is sinless, perfect, and “at one” with all creation and that we, as a part of God, are also sinless and perfect in our “oneness” with Him. It teaches that man’s only “sin” is in not remembering his own perfect, sinless, divine nature. The only “devil” is our illusion that we are separate from, and not a part of, God. The Course tells its readers that a “sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.”3
The Course also teaches that while “Christ” is in Jesus, so “Christ” is in everyone—and that the “Christ” in everyone is their divine connection with God and with each other. The Course further teaches that a “slain Christ has no meaning.”4 It states that wrong thinking has produced the misperception that man is a “sinner” and that he needs an external Christ to save him from his “sins.” The Course teaches that salvation has nothing to do with Jesus’ death on the cross. Salvation comes from what the Course calls the “Atonement” (“at-one-ment”) process.
This “Atonement,” or “atoning,” is when each person remembers and affirms and experiences their “oneness” (at-one-ment) with God and creation. The “Atonement” is the Course’s key to undoing “fear” and dispelling the illusion that man is “separate” from God. The Course stresses that the healing of the world is dependent upon each person’s fulfilling their Atonement “function” to teach this “oneness” to the world. When everyone comes to understand that “all is love and all is God,” then “inner peace” and “world peace” will finally happen. Only “fear” and the illusion of “separation” stand in the way of man’s attaining this peace for himself and his world. (For more on this and the “false christ,” read False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?
1. Robert Skutch, Journey without Distance: The Story behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1984), p. 54.
2. Ibid., p. 60.
Social/Political Activism and the New Age by Ray Yungen
The Angel of Light’s “Plan” for World Peace by Tamara Hartzell