Dear Lighthouse Trails:
We appreciate your attention to the wayward teaching at many Christian schools, but have a serious question. The list of non-contemplative schools is mostly Bible colleges. What would you suggest to a student who is not going into full-time ministry, is looking for a liberal arts or sciences degree, and quite frankly, needs the fellowship of other believers at his age? Our son will latch onto campus lifestyle, is involved at church, but is not inclined to seek philosophy or meditative styles. He’s a straight shooter who has been in Christian schools all his life. Our initial thoughts are to consider a Bible school for a semester or two prior to going to a Christian university, or to be extra critical of which professors and classes are taken for Bible requirements. What would you do?
[A concerned parent]
Christian parents looking for the right college to send their children to in this day and age have got a huge challenge in front of them. The majority of Christian colleges and seminaries are promoting Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative/emerging). In our research, Lighthouse Trails has struggled to find schools that are NOT promoting it. Thus, our list of “good” colleges (those that are not bringing Spiritual Formation into their schools) is very small. And sadly, over the years, it has grown even smaller. So for a parent who understands the dangers of the “new” spirituality, finding the right school where a child can receive a solid education and a four-year bachelor’s degree within the parameters of biblical Christianity is an extremely difficult and even near impossible task.
We cannot tell you how many parents have called or e-mailed us over the years and told us that their child’s Christian faith was turned completely upside down within a term or two of attending a contemplative-promoting school. Some of these kids actually come out four years later proclaiming to be atheists! And yet we’ve been amazed at how many parents have also contacted us to tell us that even though they understood the warnings we were giving, they sent their child to a contemplative school anyway, and now they were devastated at the outcome in their child’s life.
Before we list some suggestions, there are a few schools in our “good” list that offer four-year degrees: Bob Jones University, Faith Baptist Bible College & Seminary, and Pensacola Christian College. As our notice on the good colleges list says, we are not necessarily endorsing these schools, but we are saying they have not incorporated Spiritual Formation/Contemplative/Emerging into their schools so far.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Foremost, make sure your child has an absolute solid understanding of the Christian faith (e.g., does he know what atonement really means because in a school using contemplative authors that concept will be challenged – they will turn Jesus into more of a “servant leader” and model than a Savior and atoner of our sins; does he understand why evolution is not valid and how it ties in with New Age/new spirituality thinking, etc.). Thus, the idea of sending one’s child to a solid Bible school for a couple semesters could be useful in helping him to have a more solid grasp on biblical Christianity.
2. If your child has not watched DVDs like Roger Oakland’s emerging church DVD lecture series or read Carolyn A. Greene’s novel Castles in the Sand (specifically written with college-age people in mind) and Ray Yungen’s A Time of Departing, then he should. And it could even be done as a family. This is vital. And as we have said before, if someone cannot afford to buy one or both of these books, we’ll send a complimentary copy. We’ve given our lives to get this message out because we know that the Spiritual Formation-contemplative prayer movement undermines the Word of God and destroys faith.
3. Because contemplative meditation (occultism) is the vehicle Satan is using to deceive the masses into moving away from Jesus Christ, it is crucial for a young person to understand what exactly meditation is and why it is absolutely contrary to the Christian faith. So make sure your child understands what the New Age is and what meditation is (for instance, a lot of Christians think lectio divina is OK—it’s not!). We have free articles on our research site and on our blog that talk about meditation. And Ray Yungen’s book For Many Shall Come in My Name does a fantastic job on breaking it down into an understandable fashion. Here is one article, written by Ray, that can help a person comprehend the dynamics of meditation: “Understanding the New Age, Meditation, and the Higher Self.”
4. In regard to your statement that you’ll “be extra critical of which professors and classes are taken for Bible requirements,” it isn’t enough to make sure your child doesn’t take “contemplative”-leaning classes because in contemplative schools, one of the greatest influences on the students is their required chapel services. Most parents are unaware and think that their children are safe in chapel – nothing could be further from the truth. Part of the reason for this is because often chapel pastors at colleges have been trained at contemplative colleges themselves, and they are bringing their ideas with them. Another reason is that often chapel services are run or developed by the Spiritual Formation department of a school. So what we are saying here is that if your child attends a contemplative-promoting school, this kind of spirituality is most likely integrated throughout the infrastructure of the school. Another avenue in the school through which it could come is the missions or outreach program; and most Christian colleges require students to become involved in these types of programs. And beware—progressive emerging social justice Christianity is lurking behind the scenes.
5. This leads us to the next issue – where will your child go to church while he is in college? Years ago, when we still had Corban University (once called Western Baptist College) in Salem, Oregon on our “good” college list, Ray Yungen spoke to the World Religions & Cults class each year. The professor (who greatly supported Ray’s and LT’s work) was surprised on Ray’s very first visit to his class that most of the students had already heard of contemplative and some were even practicing it. He had thought they hadn’t even heard of it. Where did they learn this, he wondered, for at the time the school was not promoting it at all. After some research, we found the answer. Most of the students at Corban were attending the most emerging/contemplative church in the area! The school staff and leadership never allowed Ray to address and warn the entire student body, and today that school is listed on our contemplative-promoting college list. The point is, you can take all the precautions you can think of, as a parent, to make sure your child doesn’t end up in contemplative classes, but if he ends up going to the local emerging church, then all your efforts will be in vain.
Conclusion: To be honest, one of the most dangerous places for a child raised in a Christian home to be today is in a Christian college or seminary. For the most part, they have been overtaken and become breeding grounds for apostasy. Just look and see what is happening at Moody Bible Institute according to the article we just posted last week. There are some schools that this has not happened to. But if you are looking for that four-year degree, your choices are going to be extremely slim.
A parent might think that he or she can issue a general vague warning to his child to be careful, but when that child sits day after day under “new” spirituality professors, attends college chapels day after day or week after week listening to subtle messages by emerging/contemplative advocates, listens to sermons with subtle underlying emerging messages Sunday after Sunday, and attends Bible studies with hip college pastors who have hidden agendas, even the strongest faith will be put to the test; and because the child is caught off guard (not expecting heresy at a Christian school), his faith is not just put tot he test, it is thrown down and stomped on. That is because the child now sits under the influence of wolves in sheep’s clothing. For some kids, attending secular schools and a good solid church may be a far better choice than paying homage to a school that says it’s Christian but practices the opposite.
New Mexico Supreme Court Issues Unanimous Decision Legalizing Homosexual ‘Marriage’ – 17th State To Legalize
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously legalized homosexual ‘marriage’ in the state on Thursday, ruling that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to those in same-sex relationships.
“Denying same-gender couples the right to marry and thus depriving them and their families of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage violates the equality demanded by the Equal Protection Clause of the New Mexico Constitution,” wrote Judge Edward Chavez on behalf of the five-judge panel.
The decision follows a vote in August by county clerks in the state to ask the state Supreme Court to bring clarity to the issue after some clerks began issuing licenses to homosexuals. Four district court judges had ordered clerks in Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Taos and Grant County to issue the licenses this year in various localized lawsuits. One clerk in Dona Ana County had also begun issuing licenses on his own volition. Click here to continue reading.
1. Did you know that Sarah Young says she had been inspired by the “Jesus” of a book called God Calling?
2. Did you know that Christian publisher Harvest House’s book The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs says that God Calling is an example of a channeled New Age book “replete with denials of biblical teaching”?1
3. Did you know that the “Jesus” of God Calling teaches that God is “in” everyone?
4. Did you know that the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling contradicts the Jesus of the Bible?
5. Did you know that the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling rejects the Jesus of the Bible’s warnings about the future and tells us to “laugh” at the future?
6. Did you know that the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling frequently flatters his followers, which contrasts the way Jesus Christ spoke to people?
7. Did you know that Sarah Young’s “Jesus” revises the night that Jesus Christ was born and calls it a “dark night” in a “filthy stable” in “appalling conditions” even though the Bible says the shepherds rejoiced in all that they had seen that night? 2
8. Did you know that the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling revises the accounts of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph of the Bible?
9. Did you know that the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling encourages his followers to practice contemplative “listening” prayer and to have a “buffer zone of silence” with no warning about seducing spirits?3
10. Did you know that the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling emphasizes New Age terms and concepts throughout the book?
The 10 points above have been taken from Warren B. Smith’s new book, “Another Jesus” Calling. This book provides valuable information that can help you warn your family and friends how the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling contradicts the biblical Jesus.
1. John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996), p. 103.
2. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, p. 376.
3. Jesus Calling, June 15th entry
LTRP Note: Yoga is on the rise in the Western world. Even in Christian circles, Yoga is being widely practiced. “Christian” Yoga teachers say that the exercises can be done without invoking Eastern mysticism. But this is not accurate information. Caryl Matrisciana was born and raised in India. Today, as a Christian film maker, she testifies that Yoga is the Heartbeat of Hinduism.
“Bus Ride to the Future”
by Caryl Matrisciana
When I was twenty years old, my family returned from India, where I was born and lived for most of my life, to England, our homeland. It was during the turbulent sixties, and I was about to be introduced to a movement that didn’t even have a name yet. How could I have possibly known then that the strange and mystical religion I had been surrounded by in India would someday be at the heart of a spirituality that would influence millions around the world?
Perhaps if I had been out in the English countryside or beside the sea, that hot, stifling day would have been bearable—but in the city it was miserable. Oh, to be in a garden with its soothing assortment of colorful flowers, my feet dangling in a cool spring!
Reality was all too blatant. The British capital was steeped and simmering in its own crowded bustle, intense noise, and pandemonium of traffic. By day’s end I could hardly bear the sound and sweat of it all as I was jostled along in an overcrowded, red, double-decker bus through rush-hour traffic.
Still, in spite of all the unpleasantness, a breathless anticipation filled my soul. That surging excitement was my only motivation to struggle across blistering-hot London. I knew I was on my way to a marvelous experience.
Eventually the bus rounded Piccadilly Circus and honked impatiently at the myriads of pedestrians overflowing onto the streets. The sidewalk vendors and little shops were teeming with hundreds of tourists. T-shirts hanging on shop canopies sported the slogan “swinging London,” along with coffee mugs, postcards, and dozens of other souvenir items.
A New Spiritual Gospel
The phrase “swinging London” had recently been splashed across the world’s newsstands by Time magazine1 and had captured an atmosphere that really did permeate the London air. I basked proudly in the energy that surrounded me, enchanted with the good fortune to live and work in this pulsating metropolis.
The bus changed gears noisily and puffed out dirty diesel fumes. We moved slowly down Shaftesbury Avenue, the heart of theater land, in Soho. My pulse pounded harder. The next stop was my destination.
I pushed my way through the crowded bus and jumped off with a spurt of enthusiasm. Renewed vigor had me effortlessly nudging my way through throngs of theater goers who crowded the sidewalks. At last I arrived! I stood still for what seemed to be an endless moment, absorbing the glowing neon advertisements that assured me I was at the right place. The theater marquee carried but one word. The name of the show was Hair.2
Soon I was to experience the musical blockbuster that the whole world was singing about. The people milling around me were quite different in appearance from those on the bus. Denim jeans, casual Indian cotton shirts, and hippie informality identified almost everyone. Hairstyles ranged from long to longer to longest. I grinned to myself, realizing I too looked like the in generation. At the same time, it was a relief to know that my parents couldn’t see me now. How they would argue that I was not conforming to the “required London theater dress.”
I had waited months for tonight. Tickets for Hair were nearly impossible to buy. I clutched mine protectively, waiting to squeeze through the door. Scanning the crowd, I searched for the friends I was to meet.
The air buzzed as people hummed various songs from the score that was about to begin. Never before had I gone into a show already so familiar with its lyrics and tunes. For months the airwaves had carried those melodies around the world.
Still, I could not have imagined the impact the show itself was to have on my life and thinking. I would not have guessed how religiously I would follow this new spiritual “gospel.” I was about to be “converted” by the message of Hair, along with thousands of other people of my generation.
We shuffled inside and located our seats. The theater darkened. The rustle of programs stilled. Chills and goose bumps spread through the audience as the orchestra began to play. There was heavy, loud rock music as magnificent, full voices swelled in harmony. There were colors, lights, and sounds. Everything mingled together to draw me willingly, passionately, into the phenomenon. Never before had I known such intense involvement in a theatrical production.
With exciting extravagance, the show animated and popularized outrageously impudent and risqué ideas. Tricky little songs whipped us into attitudes of rebellion and promiscuity. We cheered and applauded the demise of family, society, government, and country. We decried the past and its values. We sang about the hopeless state of our planet; we coughed and choked for the pollution and wept over the sadness of war.
Every person in the audience was transformed into a mystical searcher through the song lyrics. Everyone contemplated the plaintive question asked in, “Where Do I Go?” That particular song had us following everything, nothing, and even myself. It had us asking the eternal question posed in the lyrics, “And will I ever discover why I live and die?”3
Like many other people my age, I had never considered that topic before, but I was to do so a thousand times in the days and months to come. That evening’s performance was to lead me, and countless others, on a spiritual quest.
Having disparaged the past and present and looking grimly into the emptiness of no solution, Hair suddenly gave a glimmer of hope. We whooped ecstatically through the marvelous escape presented in “Hashish.” This gleeful song promoted the wow experience one could achieve through no less than twenty-five different highs.
In the years to come, I would get hooked on one particular high and try several others. I would understand all too well the appeal of replacing realism with psychedelia.
A New Way of Thinking
L ittle did I comprehend at the time that through this musical I was being subtly introduced to a new religious system. One song ridiculed the faith of my youth. It encouraged us not to believe in God per se, but instead, to see that we ourselves were like gods. Joyfully we sang the immortal words of the great poet William Shakespeare, taken from his play Hamlet:
What a piece of work man is!
How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty.
In form and moving, how express and admirable, In action how like an angel,
In apprehension how like a god.4
My perception of the world was about to change. From here on I was being introduced to a new alternative to my old way of life—one that in the future was to jealously lead me into an uncompromising spiritual dimension. “Let the sunshine in,” the cast vocalized.5
“Let the sunshine in!” we responded at the tops of our voices. Oh yes, oh yes! Let the sunshine in! My heart ached with hope. How I longed to experience this new “opening” and its promised sensation. In any case, it would have been hopeless to struggle against the overpowering emotional, mental, and sensual seduction taking place. (To read this entire chapter one of Out of India, and for endnotes and credits, click here – picks up on p. 17.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
As previously reported, Elane Huguenin and her husband Jon run Elane Photography in Albuquerque. In 2006, when Vanessa Willock, a lesbian, approached Elane and requested that she photograph her commitment ceremony, Huguenin declined, stating that she only covers traditional weddings.
The situation soon ended up before the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, who ruled against Huguenin in 2008, stating that she was guilty of violating the state’s “sexual orientation” discrimination law. New Mexico law prohibits “any person in a public accommodation to make a distinction, directly or indirectly, in offering or refusing to offer its services …to any person because of…sexual orientation.” The commission then ordered the photographer to pay nearly $7,000 in fines for refusing to shoot the ceremony. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Written by a LT reader with regard to our “The True Meaning of Titus 3:10.”
To Lighthouse Trails Readers (from another reader):
In this world today I have learned to keep in mind the words of Isaiah in 5:20 which warn us of those who turn evil into good and good into evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness… Those, in other words, who twist truth and turn it into lies and make lies to become “truth”. It’s a true sign of the last days, but even the apostle Paul dealt with it in his time, thus he wrote to the Church in Rome:
Now I urge you brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. Romans 19:17-18
Dictionary.com describes “urge” as “to impel with force or vigor; urged by necessity; to urge a person to greater caution.” Thus Paul saw it as extremely imperative that we follow through with this warning. And the warning itself tells us that there are those among us who are taking advantage of many within the Body who lack the knowledge and understanding of God’s word. These people are “fleecing the flock” for all that it’s worth for monetary gain, reputation, position and power. They know just the right words to say to woo and lull the people and draw them away from Jesus and into the lies of Satan. They know just how to “tickle their ears” with what their flesh wants to hear. And they are masters at creating “false Christs” for us to follow.
The three main words in this passage of scripture are: “urge,” “note,” and “avoid.” “Urge” has been explained. “Note” is a verb which simply means to “mark,” “to make particular mention of,” “to observe carefully and give heed to.” in other words, don’t just ignore it, but bring it out into the light for all to see. Don’t let it have any power in your life or in the Church by letting it progress unhindered, but hinder it as much as possible.
The last word, “avoid” should speak for itself, but just in case, the dictionary says:
“to keep away from; keep clear of; shun: to avoid a person; to avoid danger; to prevent from happening;to make void or of no effect; invalidate.”
Thus, we are to recognize, make public note of, and stay away from those who teach false doctrines. The Bible says that we are the “Bride” of Christ and are to remain faithful in our marriage vows to Him. When we turn our attention to anything that is not of Christ and anyone who doesn’t serve Him (the true Jesus, not a false Jesus), we have become unfaithful to our wedding vows, and we have broken His command to love only Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. It’s a very serious offense in the eyes of God, and it’s what grieves the Holy Spirit.
So, the question about heretics should be this: does their teaching divide us from the “true Jesus”? Or is it leading us to a closer relationship to Him based upon the full counsel of God? After all, if this pattern was the right pattern to follow for the apostles and the early Church, then it’s right for us as well. Contrary to popular (false) teachings, the Word of God does not change.
Dear Light House Trails:
First, can I thank you for the excellent maintenance of keeping your finger on the pulse of the New Age and emergent Christianity. This is a critical issue that has been of serious concern for me since the early 1990s.
I am quite amazed that the process that is occurring in the traditional churches I saw happening in the Pentecostal church back in the 1990s . Almost like a trial run.
I wish to make comment on “How To Find a Good Bible Believing Church” on page 15 of your Research Journal.
My personal experience in searching for a biblical church is one of deceit and deception.
After attending one church a number of times, I wrote (a congregational) explaining the danger of the existentialist message preached and the dangers associated with Rick Warren.
I lovingly hand bound the letter as a book made 4 other copies for the elders in the church.
Never even got a response. He has a regular spot on the Christian radio station in my local area. (A Christian radio station that plays more worldly music than Christian. They argue that non Christians will listen to it and happen to hear a Christian message and be saved. I reason the opposite, that short of good Christian input these days, a young Christian turns to a Christian radio station expecting to hear Christian music, even though that is a topic in itself, and come across worldly music only to fall in love with godless bands and seek further worldly music and be drawn away from the faith instead.) A Christian Radio station tempting Christians into ungodliness.
I wrote to another church I visited (Baptist) who claimed they were not into Rick Warren, only to hear the entire message as a complete Warrenesk theology, speaking about the new missiology, the influences that surrounded Warren. Even quoting his favourite scriptures. The only thing that was neglected in the message was Rick Warren’s name. It was only that I had previously done the research on Warren and the Purpose Driven Life in the previous letter mentioned, that I could hear Rick Warren speaking from the pulpit.
The songs were also concerning. They were singing new songs I have never heard before which were very troubling to my spirit as one of them was about the New World Order coming.
So my family and I returned to our other congregation _________________.
Again they sell Rick Warren’s book in the back, and I kept hearing more and more echoes of his influence. Some years before the New Minister, the church underwent 40 Days of Purpose, which I was not involved in.
It got to the point where I had to write a letter to the minister as well about a sermon an assistant minister in the church preached and how much of it was using Purpose Driven Philosophy and numerous “techniques” to recruit to their cause. Deception concealing non Christian sources by refraining from referencing them and letting the quote stand as truth when they were from Hindu’s.
I did get a decent response back explaining the minister was not fond of Rick Warren and were aware of the deceptions of mysticism are entering the church. That the minister’s sermon was discussed in Bible study groups and it was considered as seriously flawed and that the church only came short of publicly reprimanding him because he has only been preaching for a year. They admitted they had Warren’s book up the back but did not go to the extent of saying they would remove them.
Again it feels like the whole church environment is nothing but politics. Say what you need to to avoid difficulties and get to the next phase of change so to speak.
I think the advice given in “How To Find a Good Bible Church” was good but at the end of the day, if we do not understand the topic at hand we are prone to deception because we cannot trust anyone to admit anything. It is about getting people in the door these days, not the telling the truth.
In the Glorious name of Salvation
Shawn (not real name)