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February 13, 2007 
 Coming From the Lighthouse Newsletter
In This Issue (Click Titles):  
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Thomas Nelson Goes Forward with "The Voice" - A "Bible" Project by Emergents
 
According to a February 11th article in Christian Today, "New Bible Project for Young Generation Launched", Thomas Nelson's 2006 "Bible" project called The Voice is going full speed ahead. The project, announced by TN last spring, is a "re-telling of the Bible that consists of creative voices from historians to poets, storytellers to songwriters," and is for young people who are "searching for new ways to explore the Bible, or who are seeking to read it for the first time." The project will be a combination of books, music CDs, artwork and an interactive website. With the largest Christian publisher backing the project, there is little doubt that The Voice will reach countless young people and have a significant impact in many lives.

Unfortunately, the project turns out to be an emerging church creation, thus the foundation of it is marred from the beginning. Because mysticism, New Age ideology, and a return to Rome, are the building blocks of the emerging church, The Voice is going to be a spiritually dangerous conduit for adherents. Some of the emergent leaders involved in the project are Chris Seay (project founder), Brian McLaren, Lauren Winner, Leonard Sweet, and Blue Like Jazz author, Donald Miller. In last year's press release by Thomas Nelson, Erwin McManus was also listed.

This month's new release (the third book in the project) is called The Voice of Matthew, written by emergent/contemplative Lauren Winner (Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath).

Chris Seay, the founder of The Voice, is pastor of Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. A mission statement on the website illustrates the theology of the emerging church:
We believe that the Gospel impacts every area of a person's life and culture. We reject unfounded categories that divide the world into uniquely sacred or purely secular. God is redeeming all of creation through Jesus.

We believe that the church exists for the world and not for herself - she is to introduce and usher in the Kingdom of God into every part of this world.
Saying that all of creation (e.g., all humanity) is redeemed is in direct opposition of the teachings of Jesus who said "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14). And the belief that the church will usher in the Kingdom of God as opposed to Jesus Christ ushering it in with his literal return to the earth is indicative of the contemplative/emerging mindset. (It is also classic dominionism.)

The contemplative affinities of the contributors of The Voice will assure that mysticism will be an integral part of this project. This new version of the Bible has the potential to lead thousands, and possibly millions, of young people away from the words of Jesus Christ who said:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (John 10: 1-4)
We contend that The Voice is not the voice of the Good Shepherd, nor is it the Word of God that says:
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (I John 5:12-13)


Liberty University Uses Contemplative/Emergent Textbooks
 

The conservative Liberty University, a ministry of Jerry Falwell, is using contemplative/emergent books in their courses as textbooks.

Concerns began a few years ago when Falwell was a guest speaker at the National Pastors Convention. At the time, the convention was presented by the contemplative/emergent Youth Specialties. Lighthouse Trails contacted Falwell's ministry to warn about the nature of the convention, but we were told that Falwell "would never attend something that wasn't of God." Then last year, Falwell wrote an endorsement for The Papa Prayer by Larry Crabb. In our article, "Trusted Evangelical Leaders Endorse The Papa Prayer by Larry Crabb!," Crabb's affinity for contemplative spirituality is illustrated through quotes he makes in his book such as:

I've practiced centering prayer. I've contemplatively prayed. I've prayed liturgically....I've benefited from each, and I still do. In ways you'll see, elements of each style are still with me (The Papa Prayer, p.9).
Crabb is also part of the Spiritual Formation Forum, a conduit for contemplative. So when Falwell endorsed his book, concerns grew. Of that book, Falwell states:
Larry Crabb unlocks the key to genuine prayer, personal surrender, and a life-changing relationship with the living God. His insight about the state of the church and the needs of our hearts is right on target. Don't miss his soul-searching appeal in The Papa Prayer. Get it ... read it ... live it!
Unfortunately, Crabb's "insight" leads followers right into the spiritual arms of Richard Foster, Thomas Merton and a host of other contemplatives who believe that divinity is within reach of all human beings through the practice of contemplative prayer (being born-again is not a pre- requisite -- the actual belief is that humanity already has divinity but just has to realize it).

Now, Falwell's Liberty University is bringing contemplative into the classroom. For example, in Dr. David Wheeler's Foundations in Youth Ministry II, Wheeler uses Mark Yaconelli's book, Contemplative Youth Ministry. Yaconelli, the son of the late Mike Yaconelli (founder of Youth Specialties), is a strong advocate for contemplative. On Mark Yaconelli's website, under Practices and Processes, Yaconelli lays out some "guidelines" for centering prayer and recommends Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington, both of whom promote panentheism (God is in all things and people). In another course by Dr. Wheeler, he is using a book by Doug Fields (Saddleback Youth Pastor).

In another Liberty course, Evangelism 997, professor David Earley is using (for textbooks) books by Erwin McManus, Thom Rainer, Andy Stanley, and Rick Warren.

It is the hope that Liberty University and Jerry Falwell will take a close look at the very real dangers of the contemplative prayer movement and take into consideration that no person and no institution is above becoming victim to spiritual deception, and we should listen to the words of the apostle Peter when he said: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8).

Barbara Marx Hubbard Joins with "The Secret" Beckwith
 

Some of you may have viewed the February 8th Oprah show, where she featured a DVD called The Secret (see our recent article: The Secret: "A New Era for Humankind"). On February 23rd, Michael Beckwith (from The Secret) is teaming up with staunch New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard in a program which will highlight Marx Hubbard's new documentary, HUMANITY ASCENDING: A New Way Through Together.

For those who still may have doubts as to the true nature of The Secret, this should dispel those. The Secret shares spiritual affinities with Marx Hubbard, who believes that a time is coming to the earth where all human beings (the ones left after her Selection Process takes place) will realize their divinity within. Unfortunately, such a time will not look kindly on those who say Jesus Christ is God and is the only way of salvation.


AFA's Family Resource Center Continues to Promote Emerging Church Authors and Books
 

NOTE: In the spring of 2007, AFA closed down the resource center that contained pro-contemplative/emergent books and authors. Below is a record of events that took place.

by Paul Proctor, News With Views

Actions speak louder than words

On January 15, 2007, Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association, made the following statement concerning the Contemplative Prayer and Emerging Church movements, and AFA's online bookstore:

As president of the American Family Association I am stating, for the record, that we do not endorse the contemplative prayer movement or the so-called emerging church movement. AFA has an on-line bookstore that is computer generated and run by an outside company that services other Christian ministries as well. I have personally asked this company to block the words 'contemplative prayer' and 'emerging church' as subjects to search on our bookstore. In addition, we have also blocked certain authors. Tim Wildmon's response to his critics, emp. added).
As of this writing (February 7, 2007), it has been 23 days since Wildmon's statement. Yet, AFA's Family Resource Center continues to promote the following Emerging Church authors and their books:

AFA's American Family Resource Center
Jay Bakker
Ruth Haley Barton
Rob Bell
John Burke
Spencer Burke
Tony Campolo
Steve Chalke
Mark Driscoll
Michael Frost
Eddie Gibbs
Pete Greig
Stanley Grenz
Alan Hirsch
Laurie Beth Jones
Tony Jones
Dan Kimball
Brian McLaren
Erwin McManus
Donald Miller
Mark Oestreicher
Chris Seay
Leonard Sweet
Dave Travis
Robert Webber
Lauren Winner
Mark Yaconelli
Mike Yaconelli
Youth Specialties
(LTPC note: There are many times more than this list of authors of AFA that fall into the contemplative camp. For information on the teachings of the above names authors, click here and do a search.) In the same response to his critics, Wildmon also stated:
The only people who come to our website looking for books on contemplative prayer or the emerging church -- because AFA doesn't promote these movements -- are people who are trying to see if they can find some 'dirt' on AFA and then put out misleading reports on their websites'" (Tim Wildmon's response to his critics.)
But were these reports about AFA's bookstore really "misleading"? The answer to that is easy to find; it is within the cyber-shelves of AFA's online bookstore.
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:12-14)
Click here to see this report in its entirety.

Related Information:
1. CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY - THE LATEST 'CHRISTIAN' CRAZE
2. AFA related articles


Leonard Sweet Speaks at Baylor University
 

Note: Because much of Christendom, including Christian bookstores, seminaries, and organizations are embracing Leonard Sweet's teachings, we believe a warning is justified. Please go to our research on the teachings of Leonard Sweet after reading the article below. This article is by an outside news source.

By Hannah Elliott
Associated Baptist Press News

WACO, Texas (ABP) -- Deal with it, get over it or get help. That's Leonard Sweet's mantra when it comes to understanding Christianity's fluid role in the postmodern world.

The Christian church is in the midst of a "perfect storm," Sweet told a crowd of 150 at Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary Feb. 5. Such stormy weather is manifested in, among other things, postmodernism -- the worldview that questions modern assumptions about certainty and progress. Modernism gave Christians a preferred status as "chaplain" to the culture. But Christians in the West can no longer expect to have that "home- court advantage," he said.

What's more, he said, the church can't change the fact that culture has rejected traditional institutions. So it must change from the inside out.

And, he added, it does no good to complain about it.

"I think God is defragging and rebooting the church," Sweet said, alluding to computer terminology for reconfiguring and restarting a system. "I think what he is doing is he is getting us back to the original operating system of Christianity." Click here to read this entire article.


CMA (Christian Management Association) Goes Contemplative
 

CMA (Christian Management Association) was founded in 1976 and represents "today's most recognized and influential Christian organizations and growing churches." According to their website, CMA "members can focus more of their attention on their mission and impacting the world for Jesus Christ." Dr. Jerry White, CMA Chairman of the Board is President Emeritus of The Navigators.

It is unfortunate to report that CMA is promoting contemplative/emerging spirituality. In their recommended books section, they include several contemplative/emerging authors: Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels, Leonard Sweet, Dan Allender, and Daniel Goleman (author of The Meditative Mind). Goleman, a staunch proponent of mantra meditation, sees meditation as a common ground between all the world's religions, and his book is a type of manual on the basics of mysticism. For Goleman to be on a list of recommended books on a Christian ministry website is quite disturbing.

On March 12-15, CMA will be presenting their 30th Annual Conference in Palm Springs. Speakers include Priscilla Shirer (Be Still DVD), Henry Cloud (Be Still DVD), Lee Strobel, Alistair Begg, and Patsy Clairmont. Workshops will include Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality) and other workshop speakers include Nancy Ortberg (wife of contemplative John Ortberg), and Phyllis Hendry (President Lead Like Jesus) (see topical index for more information on Be Still and these other topics).

Articles in CMA magazine back up the association's affinity with contemplative. One article called "The Soul of a Leader" (you have to sign in to read their articles), talks about being intimately connected to God through spiritual disciplines and recommends Richard Foster, emergent Tony Jones, and Dallas Willard as authors to read.

Perhaps Chairman of the Board, Jerry White (of the Navigators) is not aware of what is being promoted at CMA. But we hope the organization will reconsider the direction they are going in and turn away from the un-biblical teachings of contemplative spirituality.


Is yoga compatible with evangelical Christianity?
 

by Reach Out Trust (UK)

In these notes we are not asking if those who practice Yoga are nice people. Nor are we asking if they are genuine, nor even if Yoga works. We are asking, what are the roots of Yoga and are they compatible with evangelical Christianity?

There are many varieties of Yoga, which date back to the origin of the practice hundreds of years ago. However, much of what we experience in Britain has been 'westernized' or 'christianized' to make it more palatable. What we see and experience today are the 'branches' but surely they cannot be removed from the roots? The power of Yoga comes from its roots and just what are they?


Last Days Bible Conference with Ray Yungen
 

Ray Yungen will be speaking at the Last Days Bible Conference in Calgary, Alberta this coming April. If you live in that area, we hope you can make it to hear him talk about contemplative spirituality.

Ray Yungen, author, speaker and research analyst has studied religious movements and the contemplative prayer movement for more than twenty years. He is the author of A Time of Departing and For Many Shall Come in My Name. His exuberance for life and his love for Jesus Christ and for people are evident in his writing. Mr. Yungen resides in Salem, Oregon.


Christian Camps That Don't Promote Contemplative
 
Just a few camps we have found that do not promote contemplative

Calvary Chapel Conference Center - CaliforniaCamp Id-Ra-Ha-Je West - ColoradoGood Tidings Bible Conference - New YorkKing's Camp - LouisianaTorchbearers - Texas


Publishing News
 
The Other Side of the River - Ready for Ordering - Street Date: March 21, 2007

A compelling and deeply personal account of a young man's spiritual plunge into a movement called "the River," which claims to be spreading the kingdom of God through signs and wonders. Sometimes referred to as the River revival, the Third Wave or the Latter Rain, this movement is marked by bizarre manifestations, false prophecies and esoteric revelations. Warnings of divine retribution keep many adherents in bondage, afraid to speak out or even question those things they are taught and are witness to.

For Kevin Reeves, the determination to rescue his family came to the forefront. Even if the cost was high and even if he had to stand alone, his journey back into the freedom and simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be worth the price.

Topics this book addresses:
Word Faith movement
Holy Laughter
"Slain" in the Spirit practice
Emphasis on humanity of Jesus over His Deity
Gifts & Calling for the unbeliever?
Experience versus Scripture
Repetitive chanting & singing
Paradigm shift
Questionable worship practices


A Beautiful String of Pearls
 

A String 
of Pearls by Amanda Le Bail A String of Pearls is a beautiful collection of songs by Amanda Le Bail. Click here to listen to a 90 second segment of her song, When I survey the wondrous Cross.. And if you want to listen to more, click here. This is also the home of Old Fashioned Christian music 24 hours a day.


 

 

 

 

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