The Goal of Contemplatives: Changing the Consciousness of Humanity – One Contemplative Prayer After the Next

By Ray Yungen

Two authors from Great Britain portrayed a stunningly clear picture of New Age spirituality. They explained:

[T]he keynote of it appears to be a movement for synthesis derived from an understanding of the underlying unity behind all things and the sense of oneness that this brings.

This oneness of all life is the crux of the New Age movement.1

Catholic priest, the late Basil Pennington defined the contemplative spiritual worldview in his book Thomas Merton My Brother. He related:

The Spirit enlightened him [Merton] in the true synthesis [unity] of all and in the harmony of that huge chorus of living beings. In the midst of it he lived out a vision of a new world, where all divisions have fallen away and the divine goodness is perceived and enjoyed as present in all and through all.2

The first viewpoint describes God as the oneness of all existence. In Merton’s new world, God is perceived as being present “in all and through all.” It certainly appears that the same spirit enlightened both parties. The only difference was Merton’s revelation worked in a Christian context just as Alice Bailey predicted. Unfortunately, this context is now commonplace in Catholic circles, becoming so in mainline Protestant churches, and being eagerly explored and embraced by an ever-increasing number of evangelical Christians.

Evangelical leaders now debate whether such spiritual truths as resting in God are the same as contemplative silence. Based on these presented documentations, I believe contemplative prayer has no place in true Christianity. Scripture clearly teaches that with salvation comes an automatic guidance system—the Holy Spirit. Lewis Sperry Chafer, in his outstanding book Grace: The Glorious Theme, spells out this truth with crystal-clear clarity:

It is stated in Romans 5:5 that “the Spirit is given to us.” This is true of every person who is saved. The Spirit is the birth-right in the new life. By Him alone can the character and service that belongs to the normal daily life of the Christian be realized. The Spirit is the “All-Sufficient One.” Every victory in the new life is gained by His strength, and every reward in glory will be won only as a result of His enabling power.3

Show me a Scripture in the Bible in which the Holy Spirit is activated or accessed by contemplative prayer. If such a verse exists, wouldn’t it be the keynote verse in defense of contemplative prayer?
None exists!

I want to emphasize what I believe cuts through all the emotional appeal that has attracted so many to teachers like Richard Foster and Brennan Manning and really boils the issue down to its clearest state.

In his book Streams of Living Water, Richard Foster emanates his hoped—for vision of an “all inclusive community” that he feels God is forming today. He sees this as “a great, new gathering of the people of God.”4

On the surface, this might sound noble and sanctifying, but a deeper examination will expose elements that line up more with Alice Bailey’s vision than with Jesus Christ’s. Foster prophesies:

I see a Catholic monk from the hills of Kentucky standing alongside a Baptist evangelist from the streets of Los Angeles and together offering up a sacrifice of praise. I see a people.5

Abbey of Gethsemani

Abbey of Gethsemani

The only place in “the hills of Kentucky” where Catholic monks live is the Gethsemani Abbey, a Trappist monastery. This also, coincidentally, was the home base of Thomas Merton.

Let me explain this significant connection. In the summer of 1996, Buddhist and Catholic monks met together to dialogue in what was billed the “Gethsemani Encounter.”6 David Steidl-Rast, a Zen-Buddhist trained monk and close friend of Thomas Merton, facilitated this event.

During the encounter, presentations on Zen meditation and practice from the Theravedan Buddhist tradition were offered.7 One of the speakers discussed the “correlation of the Christian contemplative life with the lives of our Buddhist sisters and brothers.”8

For these monks and the Baptist evangelist to be “a people,” as Richard Foster says, someone has to change. Either the monks have to abandon their Buddhist convictions and align with the Baptists, or the Baptists have to become contemplative style Baptists and embrace the monks’ beliefs. That is the dilemma in Foster’s “great gathering of God.”

Thomas Merton with the Dalai Lama

Thomas Merton with the Dalai Lama

David Steidl-Rast once asked Thomas Merton what role Buddhism played in his going deeper into the spiritual life. Merton replied quite frankly: “I think I couldn’t understand Christian teaching the way I do if it were not in the light of Buddhism.”9

Did Merton mean that in order to understand what Christianity really is, you have to change your consciousness? I believe that is exactly what he meant. Once he personally did that through contemplative prayer, Buddhism provided him with the explanation of what he experienced. But again the catalyst was changing his consciousness. This is what I am warning Christians about. Contemplative prayer is presenting a way to God identical with all the world’s mystical traditions. Christians are haplessly lulled into it by the emphasis on seeking the Kingdom of God and greater piety, yet the apostle Paul described the church’s end-times apostasy in the context of a mystical seduction. If this practice doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does.

You don’t have to change your consciousness to grab “aholt” of God. All you need is to be born-again. What Steidl-Rast and the other Gethsemani monks should have been telling Buddhists is, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

In his book, Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning mentions that Sue Monk Kidd eventually came under the mentorship of Dr. Beatrice Bruteau who authored the book What We Can Learn From the East. Since that title is self-explanatory, it’s easy to understand why Dr. Bruteau would write the preface to a book like The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale. In the preface, she touts that a universal spirituality based on mysticism is going to save the world.

It seems that all these people want a better world. They do not seem like sinister conspirators like those out of a James Bond film. Yet, it is their niceness that rejects the reality of the fundamental separation between Man and God. It is their sense of compassion that feeds their universalism. It is idealism that makes Manning so attractive and causes him to say that Dr. Bruteau is a “trustworthy guide to contemplative consciousness.”10

The irony of this is that Manning is completely correct in his statement—Dr. Bruteau is a reliable guide to contemplative awareness. She has founded two organizations, the Schola Contemplationis (school for contemplation) and the very Christian sounding Fellowship of the Holy Trinity. With the latter, she is promoted as “a well-known author and lecturer on contemplative life and prayer.”11 Both of these organizations incorporate Hindu and Buddhist approaches to spirituality. This should come as no surprise because Bruteau also has studied with the Ramakrishna order, which is named after the famous Hindu swami Sri Ramakrishna.

The Ramakrishna order is dedicated to promoting the vision of Sri Ramakrishna. He was known for his view that all the world’s religions were valid revelations from God if you understood them on the mystical level. He was an early proponent of interspirituality. According to the book, Wounded Prophet, Henri Nouwen even viewed him in a favorable light and esteemed him as an important spiritual figure.

Sue Monk Kidd became enamored with contemplative spirituality while attending a Southern Baptist church. We could possibly dismiss that and say she was just an untaught member of the laity who was spiritually lacking in discernment. Maybe her spiritual dryness was a result of her not being grounded firmly enough in the faith. But what about the leaders and pastors whom so many look up to and who are considered trusted individuals in the church? Surely they are able to discern what is spiritually unsound. It seems safe to make this assumption. Right? Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Surely they are able to discern what is spiritually unsound. It seems safe to make this assumption. Right? Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

Endnotes:
1. Ursula Burton and Janlee Dolley, Christian Evolution (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, GB: Turnstone Press, 1984), p. 101.
2. M. Basil Pennington, Thomas Merton, My Brother (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 1996), pp. 199-200.
3. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Grace, the Glorious Theme (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1977 Edition), pp. 313-314.
4. Richard Foster, Streams of Living Water (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1998), p. 273.
5. Ibid., p. 274.
6. Credence Communications Catalog, Gift Ideas Edition.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. Frank X. Tuoti, The Dawn of the Mystical Age (New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing, 1997), p. 127.
10. Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1994), p. 180.
11. Virginia Manss and Mary Frohlich, Editors, The Lay Contemplative (Cinncinnati, OH: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2000), p. 180.

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Woman Who Was Supposed to Die: ‘The only reason I am alive is the fact that the abortionist had not yet arrived at work.’

photo credit: youtube

photo credit: youtube

By Lindsey Bever
Washington Post

Twelve months ago, Gianna Jessen testified against Planned Parenthood, saying during a congressional hearing that her biological mother was seven and a half months pregnant when she was advised to undergo an abortion by saline — which “burns the baby inside and out, blinding and suffocating the child, who is then born dead, usually within 24 hours.”

“Instead of dying,” Jessen said on Capitol Hill, “after 18 hours of being burned in my mother’s womb, I was delivered alive in an abortion clinic in Los Angeles on April the 6th, 1977.”

“Doctors,” she said, “did not expect me to live.” Click here to continue reading.

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Graphic Artist Challenges State Law Forbidding Her From Declining Creation of Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Sites

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

DENVER, Co. — A graphic artist in Colorado has filed a preemptive lawsuit to challenge a state law that she says forbids her from turning down orders to create websites in favor of same-sex “marriage.”

Smith (credit: Christian News Network)

Smith (credit: Christian News Network)

Lorie Smith runs 303 Creative, where she creates custom websites for clients. Smith, who identifies as a Christian, believes that God has called her to “promote and celebrate His design for marriage by designing and creating custom wedding websites.” This would therefore not include designing websites pertaining to homosexual nuptials.

But Colorado law states that it is “unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation.”

Businesses are also prohibited from publishing or posting any information that advises their intent to refuse such accommodation. Smith had planned on outlining on her website why she could only accept site creation orders pertaining to the union of a man and a woman. Click here to continue reading.

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Letter to the Editor from a Former Young Life Leader: “My biblical background was considered a liability instead of a blessing.”

LTRP Note: Please also refer to the two articles below this letter to the editor.

bigstockphoto.com

bigstockphoto.com

Dear Editor,

I read with great interest the history of how Lighthouse Trails came into being. As you unfolded the story, it was so evident of how the Holy Spirit had been working behind the scenes to put all of the pieces in place. Truly a confirmation of the importance of this ministry and how it has become a lighthouse to pilgrims/travelers who are striving to maintain their footing in such a turbulent sea of compromise.

I especially took notice of your experience with Young Life as my own was not too different. Having joined the staff after high school with the purpose of working with teens, I soon began to notice the compromises creeping in and no one else seemed to be concerned. It all came to a head when I took a stand and insisted I attend a retreat they had planned with the local [Catholic] Abbey before permitting my Campaigners to go. That, in itself, caused a major problem. After attending and taking my stand, it was apparent that my biblical background was considered a liability instead of a blessing. Over many days of discussion, I finally had to offer my resignation as I felt I could not agree with the ecumenical direction Young Life was taking by aligning itself with a Catholic fellowship.

That was many years ago, and it is sad to realize how so much compromising was happening then long before the flood of what is taking place today. Satan has been busy, and the standing for the truth has turned into a determent rather than a badge of honor.

Thank you for your persistence in seeking out the truth back then and following the Holy Spirit’s direction to establish Lighthouse Trails Publishing. It has provided such a needed and trusted resource to those of us who desire to stand upon the Word of God. Your ministry is shared with many others and prayed for daily.

In His Soon Coming Name.

C ________

Related Material:

Letter to the Editor From a Former Young Life Leader: Watered-Down Gospel, Contemplative Authors, & Emergent Leanings

Young Life’s History of Embracing Contemplative Authors Continues

 

 

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A Native American Who Wished to Leave the “Old Way” and Follow the Christian Way

By Egerton Ryerson Young
Written in the late 1800s
(author of Stories from Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires)

Egerton Ryerson Young

Egerton Ryerson Young

I was interrupted one day while sitting in my study by the quiet entrance of a stalwart Indian whom I had not seen for a year. I had met him the previous summer in his own wigwam on the banks of a beautiful lake a couple of hundred miles north. After a few words of kindly greeting I asked about his family, when, to my surprise, he exclaimed, almost passionately, “Missionary, my heart is sad, and I have come to ask you to get me a wife from one of the Christian families of your village.”

Somewhat annoyed, I said: “Do you not know that I do not believe in a man having two wives at the same time? When I visited your wigwam and had religious services among your people last summer I thought you had a very good wife and a pretty babe, and that you were very fond of them.”

“Yes,” he said, passionately; “all true, missionary!” and then his spirit broke, and he wailed out, “Non pimatissit!” which means, “Not among the living.”

This is the pagan Cree Indian way of referring to the death of friends. Having none of the consolation which Christianity gives in reference to death, the very word itself is to them one of such terror that they seldom utter it. When obliged to speak of those that are gone they use the Cree phrase non pimatissit— not among the living. Shocked at this sad news, and pitying the poor fellow, we made him sit down with us to tea, and then after a while we got him to tell us his sad story. He said:

“Missionary, a short time after you left us I started from the place where you had met our people on the Burntwood River to go far away to my own hunting-grounds to catch beaver. I pitched my wigwam on the bank of a fine large lake in which there were plenty of fish, and there I left my wife and babe and my wife’s mother. They had every thing they needed to make them comfortable. There were fish in the lake and rabbits in the woods. With plenty of food in the wigwam I left them light of heart, for I was glad to see them so well. The last thing I saw of them was the baby laughing in the hammock and my wife sitting beside him and busy making the new white fish net for the fall fishing. I went up the lake for some miles until I reached a large stream that flowed down into the lake. As I had seen before this time plenty of signs of beaver up this creek I went up it a few miles and there set my traps. I hunted around for a few days and did very well. Then I packed up my furs and beavermeat, and started on my trip home. My load, which I carried on my back, supported by the carrying-strap from my forehead, was heavy, but my heart was light, for I had been successful as a hunter, and then I was also on my way to see my wife and baby boy. I hurried along on the side of the stream until it entered into the lake, and then I turned to walk along the shore. I had not gone very far before I was surprised to find lying in the water at the edge of the lake the body of a large dead reindeer. I examined him to see if he had been shot, but instead of any bullet marks I found that he had been badly cut about his head with an ax. As he was not fit for food I left him there for the wild beasts to eat and hurried on toward my wigwam. I had not gone very far before I found on the shore one of my canoes badly broken. This very much surprised me, and so I hurried on faster than before, for my heart began to feel strange and heavy; and there was reason for it, missionary, for I had not gone on much farther before I found at the shore in the water the bodies of my wife, babe, and wife’s mother. They were cold and dead, although there were no wounds on their bodies. They had been drowned all drowned.”

The poor fellow had been able to control himself fairly well up to this point while in his simple yet eloquent manner he had told his pathetic story. But here even the Indian’s stoical nature was overcome, and his heart was stirred to its depths by the memory of his great loss. So for a time in a hushed silence my sympathetic wife and I sat with him until he had mastered his emotions and could proceed with his narrative. He said:

“I carried the bodies home to my empty wigwam, and as they lay there so still I could but think of how different when I left them a few days before. I hurried away to the wigwams of some of my people miles away, and they came to see me in my sorrow and helped me to bury my dead.”

In answer to our questions as to his impressions or ideas as to the manner in which his loved ones had met their death he said nobody had seen how it happened, as all the people were in other places, hunting or fishing, but he and his relatives had talked it over, and they had all come to one mind about it. And this was how they thought it happened: The women in the tent must have seen that large reindeer swimming in the lake, and, being anxious to kill him, they had launched the canoe to go after him. As there were sometimes gray wolves or other wild animals prowling about they were afraid to leave the baby behind, and so they took him with them in the canoe. They only took with them their paddles and a couple of axes.

The reindeer has good lungs, and so he can swim high in the water, and sometimes he will make a desperate fight, even in the water, for his life. So it seemed in this case that, while the women succeeded in so striking him in the head with their axes as to mortally wound him, he succeeded in breaking the canoe, perhaps with his hind feet, for they are able to kick very savagely, even when swimming. The result was, the boat sank, and the women becoming entangled with their clothing, and perhaps trying to save the baby, all were drowned together.

We listened to the recital of this sad story, and would not have been human if we had not been moved by it and also by the simple, pathetic way in which he tried to tell us how he felt when he reached his wigwam and found the fire out, the hammock empty, and the wooden needle still dangling in the last mesh of the net which his wife had been weaving ere she had doubtless hurried out to try and show how bravely she and her mother could kill the deer. We kept the poor fellow all night, and in the morning were better prepared to sympathize with him in his desire to obtain a wife than when he had in such a strange way referred to the matter the previous evening at the beginning of our interview.

“Why,” I said to him, “have you come hundreds of miles for a wife? Why did you not go to Nelson River, or to some other place nearer to your home?”

His prompt answer was: “Because I want a Christian wife. I am convinced that what you told me is true. I am trying to believe in your religion and know more about the true God and his Son, and as you can only come once or twice a year to teach us and preach to us I thought a good Christian wife might help me along in the good Christian way.”

Still anxious to draw him out, for I saw that I had here a man of more than usual character and thoughtfulness, I said: “But I cannot forget that although I manage to get down once or twice a year by canoe or dog-train to visit your people, and they have always received me kindly and listened very attentively to what I say, yet it is only a very short time since they began to hear about the true way, and many of them are still pagans; so you see there might be a good deal of fear that if a Christian young woman went to live there they would persuade her to return to the old Indian way.”

“No, no!” he said very earnestly. “We have all lost faith in the old way, and she would be able to help us to be good Christians all the sooner.”

So, after my good, judicious wife and I had listened to the story and talked the matter over, we thought of a family where there were several marriageable daughters dependent on a sickly father, one of whom we thought would make this fine-looking fellow a good wife and help him to be a Christian. Soon after, I escorted the suitor over and introduced him to the family, and had him tell his story and plead his loneliness and make his promise of how good and true he would be. As it did not take Rebekah long to make up her mind, in the ancient primitive times, to consent to be the wife of Isaac, and to start off on a long journey, so it was here. A few days after there was quiet marriage in our little church and a happy wedding-feast. Then the bride and the bridegroom embarked in their birch canoe for their far-distant home. With machine-like precision their paddles rose and fell together as they rapidly propelled their beautiful craft along. We could not help but breathe the prayer that their lives might move along in equal unison. If so, they were assured of many days of sunshine.

I visited them years after. They are consistent Christians, as well as the majority of the Indians in that section of that vast country.

(From Stories from Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires, pp. 302-306, Lighthouse Trails)

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Something to Think About – Richard Rohr, the New Age, and Young Evangelical Christians

When you consider that Catholic contemplative mystic Richard Rohr once said in an interview that his publisher told him his largest audience was young evangelical Christians, and when you know what Rohr truly believes in and stands for, how can mature Christians stand by and say nothing? Our Christian leaders not only remain quiet on these issues, they help promote people like Rohr by quoting them in their books and sermons and then blame traditional biblical Christianity for being the cause of so many young people leaving the faith. But young evangelicals (like your children and grandchildren) are walking away from true Christianity and into the arms of anti-biblical emergents because Christian leaders, pastors, colleges, seminaries, and para-church organizations are pointing them in that direction.

Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr

If you are wondering what Richard Rohr is really all about, consider this: In October of this year, Rohr is participating in an event called SAND16 US (standing for Science and Nonduality). Nonduality is a New Age term basically meaning there is no good and evil, no right or wrong, thus, all is one, all is God (which is why New Ager Neale Donald Walsch said that even Hitler will go to heaven). Rohr was invited to speak at SAND 16 US because New Agers resonate with him. Sharing the platform with Rohr will be over 100 other New Agers including Matthew Fox (The Coming of the Cosmic Christ), Deepak Chopra, Ken Wilber, and Larry Dossey.

The occulist Alice Bailey said that man’s “age of enlightenment” (when he realizes he is God) would come to the world through the Christian church not around it. We are witnessing this very thing today. Young evangelicals may be Satan’s greatest target right now. You may have raised your children in a biblically sound home, but now they are being devoured by wolves thanks to leaders we have trusted for way too long. Isn’t it time to call them out and hold them responsible for what is happening to young Christians and to the face of Christianity?

Related Information:

BOOKLET Provides Irrefutable Evidence: A Serious Look at Richard Foster’s “School” of Contemplative Prayer

BOOKLET: IF it is of God—Answering the questions of IF:Gathering

 

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Canadian Pastor Ordered to Allow Gay-Straight Alliances at His Christian Schools

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

Photo credit: CNN (pictured Brian Coldwell)

Photo credit: CNN (pictured Brian Coldwell)

A Canadian pastor is standing firm after being ordered to allow gay-straight alliances to be formed at his Christian schools.

According to reports, on Sept. 2, Alberta Education Minister David Eggen sent a letter to Brian Coldwell, the chairman of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society and pastor of New Testament Baptist Church, to demand that he allow the alliances at his two schools as per provincial law.

Coldwell runs Meadows Baptist Academy and Harvest Baptist Academy in Parkland County.

Earlier this year, Eggen sent a letter to school boards throughout the province, advising that officials must draft and submit policies by the end of March surrounding how they would accommodate homosexual and transgender students.

But Coldwell told CBC News that he would not comply.

“I have a duty as a pastor to protect the flock of God,” he said. “And there is no way under heaven I’m going to allow gay activists to come in here and basically undermine our ministries and our religious freedoms or confuse and corrupt our children.” Click here to continue reading.

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