Rick Warren to Join Roma Downey, Ann Voskamp at Women of Faith Conference

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes only and not for an endorsement or recommendation.  Also see our recent article: “From the Frying Pan into the Fire: Women of Faith Partners with New Age Advocate Roma Downey.”

By Dan Wooding

ANAHEIM, CA (ANS) – The Women of Faith “Believe God Can Do Anything” comes to Anaheim this weekend and welcomes as a special guest Saddleback Valley Community Church Pastor Rick Warren, who will be speaking for the first time on the Women of Faith platform.

According to a news release, other guests on this tour – THE life-changing, live Christian event for today’s women – include award-winning musical artists MercyMe and Kari Jobe and comedian Anita Renfroe as well as authors and Bible teachers Lisa Harper, Jamie Grace, Rich Stearns, Lysa TerKeurst, and Ann Voskamp, who unite to create an unforgettable, day-and-a-half experience for women from all walks of life. Click here to continue reading.

 

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Letter to the Editor: Some Thoughts About Our Recent “Open Letter” Article

To Lighthouse Trails:

I just read your article titled: “An Open Letter to Christian Leaders: Please Tell Us Where We Are Wrong.” Just wanted to drop a note to encourage you and to let you know that I appreciate your ministry very much. I have come to trust the information you provide and have read many of the books available at your website and found them very helpful. Please don’t be discouraged by the criticisms. Just keep doing what the Lord has called you to do. Though some will continue to criticize, many are being helped. Most of what I have learned about contemplative, I have learned from your website and from the books that I purchased.

I suppose some thought it was unthinkable to question a Bible teacher of the stature of John MacArthur (one of my favorite preachers). But even he can be guilty of an oversight that could give people the wrong impression. You were right. That sermon from years ago should no longer be available at his website if it contains any positive reference to a man like Dallas Willard. Instead of being upset, people should be grateful that it was pointed out so the correction can be made.

Though I can’t give much in the way of financial help, I do keep your ministry in my prayers often and pray God’s protection over you. May God bless you for all you are doing and for your faithfulness in the midst of the attacks. Lighthouse Trails is a very helpful and important ministry and may it continue to be a light in a dark world until Jesus returns.

God bless you! R

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The Latest Slideshow from Kenya – Lighthouse Trails Donors Are Making a Difference

The latest from the Bryce Homes for Widows and Children in Kenya. Supported solely by Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails readers. We hope you will consider becoming part of the support for these 20+ Christian fatherless families (including the three overseeing pastors’ families) in Kenya where these families are being given support to live and be healthy and are being discipled in the things of the Lord through the teaching of the Word of God. For more information, slideshows, or to donate, visit www.missionsfortruth.com (the Lighthouse Trails missions website) and Understand the Times. 

Most of the families now have new houses thanks to the donations from UTT and LT readers (along with new clothing and new cook stoves with chimneys); however, they have some vital needs still including outdoor latrines and wells. Most of the families have no indoor plumbing, and without outdoor latrines, health risks increase greatly. Also if we can build wells for each home, or most of the homes, home gardens and small livestock (chickens and goats) will become a possibility. All donations go through UTT (a non-profit organization) and are given directly and fully to the project in Kenya. We also have the Widows Baskets project by Lighthouse Trails. 12 widows are making hand-braided baskets – Lighthouse Trails buys them at a fair market price and sells them to LT readers. This is just the beginning of finding ways to help these families without fathers support themselves (in most of these homes, the fathers have died from AIDs or other diseases).

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
 
 
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California Legislators Table Bill Seeking to Punish Youth Organizations Opposing Homosexuality

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

SACRAMENTO – A bill that sought to punish youth organizations that oppose homosexual behavior and gender confusion by revoking their tax exempt status has been tabled–at least for now.

As previously reported, Senate Bill 323 (SB323) was first introduced in mid-February by Ricardo Lara, a Democratic state senator from Los Angeles. Lara is himself an open homosexual, as well as a member of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. According to the bill’s introduction, SB323 would “provide that an organization that is a public charity youth organization that discriminates on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation is not exempt from [state taxes].”

Later in the legislation, approximately 25 youth organizations are specifically listed as entities that would have to embrace these “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” guidelines, or else lose their tax-exempt standing. Little League, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America, 4-H Clubs, Boys’ Clubs, and Girls’ Clubs are all included. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

A Special Commentary: Recent Events Show America’s Children in Grave Increased Danger of Sexual Abuse

Big Surprise – NOT! – “GLAAD Continues Push for Boy Scouts to Allow Openly Homosexual Leaders”

THE VOTE IS IN: Boy Scouts vote to allow openly practicing homosexual members

 

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The Mind-Changing Dialectic Process

By Berit Kjos
Kjos Ministries
(author of How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception)

“When we put all this information together – the needs…pictures…and our ability to create completely new behaviors – we have the basics of control theory.” William Glasser: “The Quality School: Managing Students Without Coercion”[1]

“The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living.”[2] Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO.

“’How do we get a critical mass of people doing things differently? Through the sharing of generative ideas, ideas that can change how people think and act….What we as a planet need in order to transform how our large systems work is a network of people spreading ideas of interdependency and sustainability.”[3] Peter Senge. “Changing our organizations to change the world”

“…absolute behavior control is imminent…. The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will… never self-consciously know that it has happened.”[4] Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness, ASCD (curriculum arm of the NEA), 1970.

The world’s path to success is changing fast. In the new 21st-century institution – be it a school, church, corporation or government — hard work and dedication won’t suffice. Getting ahead in the global community will mean compromise, conformity, group thinking and submission to the ground rules of the consensus process.

It makes sense. Global visionaries and managers know well that their battle for social solidarity must be won by consensus, not by force. Mikhail Gorbachev, still an unrepentant Communist, showed his commitment to this transforming process in a 1993 editorial. He wrote,

President Clinton will be a success if he manages to use American influence to accomplish this transformation of international responsibility and increase significantly the role of the United Nations.… Bill Clinton will be a great president… if he can make America the creator of a new world order based on consensus.[5]

The power of DIALOGUE

This century-old plan [6] for “socializing” the masses gathered momentum when Julian Huxley, brother of Aldous, was chosen to head Unesco. Two years later, he wrote a book titled, “UNESCO: Its purpose and Its Philosophy.” This 1947 blueprint for change called for a universal implementation of Georg Hegel’s dialectic process:

“The task before UNESCO… is to help the emergence of a single world culture with its own philosophy and background of ideas and with its own broad purpose. This is opportune, since this is the first time in history that the scaffolding and the mechanisms for world unification have become available…. And it is necessary, for at the moment, two opposing philosophies of life confront each other from the West and from the East….

“You may categorize the two philosophies as two super-nationalisms, or as individualism versus collectivism; or as the American versus the Russian way of life, or as capitalism versus communism, or as Christianity versus Marxism. Can these opposites be reconciled, this antithesis be resolved in a higher synthesis? I believe not only that this can happen, but that, through the inexorable dialectic of evolution, it must happen….

“In pursuing this aim, we must eschew dogma – whether it be theological dogma or Marxist dogma…. East and West will not agree on a basis of the future if they merely hurl at each other the fixed ideas of the past. For that is what dogma’s are — the crystallizations of some dominant system of thought of a particular epoch. A dogma may of course crystallize tried and valid experience; but if it be dogma, it does so in a way which is rigid, uncompromising and intolerant…. If we are to achieve progress, we must learn to un-crystallize our dogmas.”[7]

Today, the Hegelian Dialectic has become the cornerstone not only of the global education system, but of “Quality” management in all kinds of governmental, corporate and private organization around the world. Meanwhile, the training programs, assessment technology and data tracking systems that complement and monitor this psycho-social process are growing increasingly sophisticated and intrusive. For the complete article and footnotes, click here.

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An Open Letter to Christian Leaders: Please Tell Us Where We Are Wrong

By the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

For over 11 years, Lighthouse Trails has been issuing a warning about a mystical spirituality, known as contemplative prayer, which is coming through the conduit of the Spiritual Formation movement. It has not been an easy road to travel on, but through the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we saw this paradigm shift, which was affecting a large segment of the evangelical and Protestant church and lining up with biblical prophecy of a day coming when there will be great deception and many would fall away from the faith. We also became completely convinced that the roots of contemplative spirituality were based in panentheism (God in all), interspirituality (all paths lead to God), and universalism (everyone is united with God in spite of belief).

Once we saw this, we simply could not quit the work we had been called to do. Today, those convictions are stronger than ever, but the opposition or indifference we have encountered from the ranks of those widely known as leaders of the evangelical church has been stunning and sometimes unbelievable, especially in light of the fact that our only desire is to protect the message of the Cross from an opposite message that carries no hope of salvation or a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Looking back, it is hard for us not to see ourselves as a kind of David in his battle with Goliath. Lighthouse Trails is not a big ministry, at least as far as staff and resources go. If someone had told us 11 years ago that one day most major Christian ministries would know who we were and would resent, despise, or even hate us, we would not have believed it. You see, when we first began, we were under the impression that our warning was going to be welcomed by Christian leaders, and in fact, we thought that our own ministry could be short lived because once they were given the information and documentation about this great spiritual deception, they would take up the banner and run with it, and we would be able to go back to our lives before Lighthouse Trails began. After all, they were the ones who had the money, audience, credentials, and popularity to really make a difference. We had none of these things. 

It wasn’t too long before we learned that the Christian leaders were not going to be receiving our message.

Opposition didn’t start right away. But then, that would make sense as we started at ground zero, with virtually no publishing experience and no readership. We had to take online college courses to learn how to build websites and design books. We sent out free copies of A Time of Departing (our launching book) to Christian radio stations, organizations, ministries, and pastors. One of these copies went to Rick Warren. Another to John MacArthur. One to Jerry Falwell, another to Focus on the Family, and on and on. From 2002 to 2006, we gave away over three thousand copies of A Time of Departing.  We heard back from several men and women, many of whom had Masters and Doctorate degrees who told us the book was right on the mark. Dr. Jim Diehl, for example, former General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, called one day and praised the book as “excellent” and “vital.” Chuck Smith spoke with one of our editors and said that our work was meaningful and important. John MacArthur told a staff member, who told us by phone, that he greatly appreciated the work we were doing. Rick Warren wrote us a personal note to tell us the book is a “hot topic” and has a place on his library bookshelf.

But then in 2005, we wrote a special report titled ”Rick Warren Teams Up With New-Age Sympathizer Ken Blanchard!” It didn’t take too long after that report came out for us to know that we had crossed a line, and life was never going to be the same again. You can read more about those early years in two articles we wrote: one, “How Lighthouse Trails Began – Part One: “It was a dark and stormy night,” and two, “Lighthouse Trails, the Early Years – Part 2 – “A Hot Topic” That Just Wouldn’t Go Away.”  Warren B. Smith also documented some of the events in an entire chapter in his book A “Wonderful” Deception (chapter 5). Some of the things that took place were like elements out of a B-rated mystery novel like phone lines suddenly “out of order,” e-mails apparently being intercepted, being told by Saddleback that federal agents were investigating us because they thought we had broken into the Saddleback server, and so forth. We wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. 

Over the course of the years, there have been many terrible and unkind things said about us in public venues. We’ll give you a brief rundown of some of these things that have been said. Prepare yourself - none of them have anything to do directly with our actual work. In fact, the one thing we have yet to see is any solid and biblical refutation of our work. It’s as if it’s always avoided. Everything is said, but no solid challenge is given.

So what are these terrible things said publically about Lighthouse Trails? Here’s an incomplete sampling: One  pastor, on a popular blog, said we were “like fleas on the back of a dog.” Then there was the time, on stage at a Calvary Chapel event with thousands of young people, where we were called “the haters.” Rick Warren’s former chief apologist said in an article that has been sitting on a high traffic Christian website for years that if we had the legal means we would torture and murder people. One well-known apologist coined the term “discernment divas” and first used it referring to one of the women writers at Lighthouse Trails in 2006. Then there were the generic name-calling terms like witch-hunters, freaks, fanatics, militant fundamentalists, and so forth. After a few years of this, we couldn’t help wonder why these highly qualified men (and sometimes women) had nothing qualified to say about our work.

We want to make one thing clear here. By telling our readers these things, we are not trying to gain sympathy. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves. We understand that in doing this kind of ministry, there is inevitably going to be strong reaction and defense tactics. No one wants to be criticized or challenged, especially leaders who have become accustomed to being followed, not being corrected.

What’s been frustrating about the name calling, however, is that we’ve been very open to receiving solid biblical refutation of the message we are proclaiming. In fact, we said from the very beginning of our ministry that all we really wanted was for the contemplative issue to come to the table, to be discussed, challenged, and considered. Eleven years ago, if one Googled the term “contemplative prayer,” virtually nothing came up on the first few pages of search results that was from a critiquing point of view. Mystical spirituality in the Christian church was being largely unchallenged. 

As we learned of all the men who had great educational and theological credentials, we thought there would be some scholarly response and a taking hold of the torch, so to speak. We didn’t expect name calling, innuendos, sometimes downright lies (like the rumors that we often hear), and ad hominem and straw men arguments. That took us by surprise. And we began to wonder why this was happening. Was it possible, we asked ourselves, that some of these educated leaders couldn’t see the big picture of this deception? We just wanted some proof that we were wrong, some good solid biblical evidence that our conclusions were way off.

We got used to the name calling and over time, found some of it humorous (in a way); at least, we found it meaningless. It was the other accusations that got to us though, because we knew they were without merit (or evidence). One of the most common accusations against the research at Lighthouse Trails is that we take quotes out of context. And yet, and this is the truth, in all these years, we have not had one person actually give us an example of where we have done this. As a case in point, about 5 years ago, two educated men, both with doctorates from a higher learning institution in Canada, said that A Time of Departing was faulty because it took quotes out of context. We wrote to them in an amiable manner and asked if they could provide just one or two examples so that we could see where we went wrong. They did not produce one example. Lighthouse Trails has been meticulous about checking and double checking every quote in a book or article we publish to make sure that the intent of any particular author is not misconstrued or taken out of context. If someone did produce a legitimate example, we would speedily correct that. You see, it is not our intention to falsely accuse or villanize anyone. Taking quotes out of context is an accusation we take very seriously, and we take great efforts not to do that. And yet, we hear this often from our critics. But we are still waiting for an example.

The second most common accusation against us is that we use faulty and loose guilt by association reasoning. We have addressed this in many past articles, but we will say it again here: there is a difference between loose guilt by association and guilt by promotion or by proxy. What’s more, there is a legitimate guilt by association. The way our critics would have it, there is no such thing and it doesn’t matter who a person is associated with. But you won’t find backup in Scripture on that. On the contrary, consider all the verses that tell God-fearing people to keep good company, avoid standing with heretics or unruly people, keep oneself unspotted from the world, avoid the appearance of evil, and so forth.

One of the big issues that continuously surfaces is related to guilt by association. Those who accuse us of using guilt by association say that we call people contemplative or emerging proponents because they have been “associated” with a contemplative person. But, we have never done that. For instance, often we will challenge a big name leader for sharing a platform with contemplative and emergent figures. But we have never said that person was now a contemplative or emergent himself just for sharing the platform with one. An example of this is when we challenged Joel Rosenberg and Kay Arthur for attending Canada’s Breakforth contemplative-promoting conference and sharing the platform with emergents like Leonard Sweet and Tony Campolo. We never once said that now this makes Rosenberg and Arthur contemplatives or emergents themselves. No. The challenge we gave was that reputable, Bible-believing leaders should not give credibility to false teachers by standing on the same platforms or being at the same conferences.

Another case in point just occurred. We challenged John MacArthur for using a sermon for many years till present where he favorably quotes the late major contemplative pioneer Dallas Willard. The accusations started pouring in that we were calling MacArthur a contemplative proponent. But we never did. Our challenge was and is that by highly influential leaders favorably quoting false teachers, they inadvertently are giving credibility to that teacher and thereby lessening resistance from the Christian community at large to their message.

One last accusation that we want to address in this article is an accusation that comes primarily from a few popular public figures in the Calvinist/Reformed camp, and that is that all or most of the writing done at Lighthouse Trails is done by one woman (or a “discernment diva” as they  say – incidentally a diva is typically a self-centered, egotistical, arrogant woman (often a performer) who is domineering and rude to those around her. If you read our articles you’ll see this is not an accurate description of what we are trying to do that springs from a heart-felt love for people, which is the opposite of diva behavior). Three things on this issue: first, calling women who are believers in Christ “divas” is a derogatory and ungodly remark – period! Second, it isn’t true that most of the writing at Lighthouse Trails comes from just one person. Take a look at any of our e-newsletters, our blog, or our printed journals, and you will see  the names of many writers, both men and women. As you can see on our authors’ page, we currently use the writings of 11 women and 19 men. For anyone to say that our material is written by just one person appears to be a dishonest effort to minimize the value in the work of these 30 some writers.

Relating to the issue of women, as far as the accusation that women shouldn’t be in a ministry of this kind at all – all we can say to that is that if God can use a donkey, surely He can use a woman (Numbers 22:21-38). It is interesting to note that in the case of Balaam’s donkey, God used the donkey to warn and save Balaam’s life.  Is it so unthinkable that God would use women to warn of impending spiritual danger? To cry out to their brothers, of whom many have fallen asleep on the watch? Of all those labeled ”discernment divas” whom we know, each of them is a loving mother, wife, and in some cases grandmother who has, not by her own choice, but by God’s apparent choice, accepted the role much like Balaam’s donkey. And remember, that donkey was struck several times by Balaam before God finally intervened – then Balaam’s eyes were opened, and he saw that the donkey’s efforts to warn him were legitimate.

Balaam’s Donkey

 

All of this that we have said in this article leads us to ask the question to Christian leaders, where have we gone wrong? Please tell us. Not by name calling or accusations without proof. If we have taken something out of context, please show us some examples of that. If have wrongly called someone a contemplative advocate or sympathizer, please tell us how. But all we ask is you present us with the documentation, the evidence. We only ask for the same standard to be applied to us that we have tried to use ourselves: honesty, accuracy, and Christian charity.

While we know we are all fallible, and as humans we don’t have a full understanding of the things of God according to Scripture, we, like others in the body of Christ, are attempting to walk a life that is honoring to God. We know we fail at that at times, and we are totally dependent on Him to lead us and strengthen us. We have attempted to report to Christians information that is pertinent to the health of the Christian church. If we have erred in our deductions and conclusions, then we want to be corrected. If we can be shown that our warning and work is faulty and against Scripture, we will apologize and even step down from this work.

We do not see ourselves as better than anyone else, and certainly we know we do not have the “qualifications” (from a human point of view) that would entitle us to be in any kind of authority over another (we do not even desire such authority). We have endeavored to stand beside our brothers and sisters, not above, not below. But because we believe so strongly that we are living in the days the Bible predicts will occur before the return of Christ where there will be a great falling away (of faith), we are gravely concerned that most of the Christian leaders seem to be either ignoring or going along with this major paradigm shift in the church at large. And while Lighthouse Trails is just a small ministry which could end at any time (as God sees fit) and certainly we have not come to the church with the splendor, finesse, support, or backing that most of the major Christian leaders have, we beseech these leaders to consider that God often uses the foolish things and weak things to speak His message (like Balaam’s donkey).

And so, if we are wrong, rather than using name calling, which is unprofitable, show us where we are wrong. If you, dear Christian leader, are  on the side of truth, then consider our warning. Maybe you don’t like our delivery, but if there is no solid evidence to prove us wrong, wouldn’t it be wise to humble yourselves and listen?

We have written this article, not as a means to defend ourselves but more so to defend our work.

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Federal Judge Tosses Atheist Lawsuit Seeking to Remove “In God We Trust” From American Currency

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

WASHINGTON – A federal judge has tossed a lawsuit filed earlier this year that sought to remove the motto ‘In God We Trust’ from American currency.

As previously reported, well-known atheist Michael Newdow, who has filed numerous suits challenging the mixture of God and government, submitted a complaint in the Southern District of New York this past March, asserting that the motto violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution as it serves to proselytize unbelievers.

“[T]he American dollar travels all over the world, into every country of the world, and frequently gets behind the Iron Curtain, and if it carries this message in that way, I think it would be very good,” Newdow quotes Pennsylvania Representative Herman P. Eberharter as stating during his tenure in Congress. “I think that is one of the most compelling reasons why we should put it on our currency. … The principles laid down by God and the teachings of our way of life should be kept alive in the hearts and minds of our friends enslaved behind the Iron Curtain.” Click here to continue reading.

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