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Coming From the Lighthouse

                         Printer Friendly Version (click here)    June 23, 2008

In This Issue -

The Shack and Its New Age Leaven - God IN Everything?

Non-Profit Ministries - A View of the Future?

New LT Website - The Ministry of Warren Smith

SPECIAL REPORT: Greg Laurie Connects Purpose Driven to a Move of God - Gives Financial Support

Chuck Smith Speaks Up Against California Ruling on Gay Marriage

False Revival - A comparison

Emergent Road-Tour Tony Jones Asks: "What in the World are we Doing?"

CBN Presents Soaking Prayer Seminar - Serious Problems with this Practice

Footprints of a Prophet or Track Marks of a Wolf?

Announcing Summer 2008 Book Release

Publishing News

Newsletter in Print - Coming Soon

Book Spotlights

 

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What is Contemplative Spirituality?

definition: contemplative spirituality: a belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology; the premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).

spiritual formation: a movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.

 

Myanmar Update

 

 

CONTACTING US

Important Note: If you try to reach Lighthouse Trails through email and do not receive an answer from us within a timely manner, please either re-email your comments or call us. Unexplainably, we do not receive all our email, and some of our email to others does not reach its destination. Phone calling, faxing, and regular mail are the most reliable methods of communication at this time.

 

Using Our Material

Lighthouse Trails Research Project exists as a service to the body of Christ, helping to equip in the defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the biblical Christian faith. While all of our own articles (and books) are copyrighted material, we want the material to be available to be used on other websites, in newsletters, newspapers, on radio, in articles, and in books. Please click here for guidelines to using our material.

 

The Shack and Its New Age Leaven - God IN Everything?

 

LTRP Note: Former New Age follower Warren Smith has been writing about the New Age influence on the Christian church for several years. The following article offers some important insights into the new book, The Shack, which is being marketed as a Christian book.

"The Shack and Its New Age Leaven - God IN Everything?"
by
Warren Smith

The Shack is being described as a "Christian" novel and is currently ranked number one on the New York Times bestseller list for paperback fiction. Many believers are buying multiple copies and giving them to friends and family. The Shack reads as a true story, but is obviously allegorical fiction. The book conveys postmodern spiritual ideas and teachings that challenge biblical Christianity - all in the name of "God" and "Jesus" and the "Holy Spirit." Author William P. Young's alternative presentation of traditional Christianity has both inspired and outraged his many readers. All the while his book continues to fly off the shelves of local bookstores.

Much like New Age author James Redfield's book The Celestine Prophecy, The Shack is a fictional vehicle for upending certain religious concepts and presenting contrary spiritual scenarios. Allegorical novels can be a clever way to present truth. They can also be used to present things that seem to be true but really are not. Some books like The Shack do both.

I was drawn into the New Age Movement years ago by books and lectures containing parabolic stories that were not unlike The Shack. They felt spiritually uplifting as they tackled tough issues and talked about God's love and forgiveness. They seemed to provide me with what I spiritually needed as they gave me much needed hope and promise. Building on the credibility they achieved through their inspirational and emotive writings, my New Age authors and teachers would then go on to tell me that "God" was "in" everyone and everything. Click here to read this entire article.

To learn more about the ministry of Warren Smith, click here.

Related:
The Shack: Father goddess Rising by John Lanagan

The twisted "truths" of The Shack & A Course in Miracles by Berit Kjos

 

Non-Profit Ministries - A View of the Future?

As many of you may be aware, the Canadian government recently told MacGregor Ministries (BC) that the government was stripping them of their non-profit status as a ministry. This past week we received MacGregor's newsletter, in which Lorri McGregor stated:

I received an early birthday present from our Canadian Government, namely notice of MacGregor Ministries official revocation as a Charity on April 21, 2008. . . . MacGregor Ministries is truly "over" as a Canadian Charity.

We now have a one-year period to dispose of all our assets with proceeds then being taxed 100% by the Canadian Government, or gifted to a Canadian Charity they consider "qualified." MacGregor Ministries will be reduced to a big zero financially in the end.

Thirty years of dedicated volunteer ministry to our God - trashed and deemed to be of no value, by a Government with no concept of what the gospel is. We were told we were "uncharitable" and our outreaches, "hate." Thank God there is a higher judge who deals in truth and mercy.  

What has just happened in Canada may happen in America too. We believe that non-profit ministries may be required to follow certain strict guidelines to maintain their non-profit status. We believe some of these guidelines would include no negative talk or writing about the homosexual lifestyle and no public statements that say Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. These kinds of statements will be considered "uncharitable" and fall within the "hate" crime laws.

Basically, if this does happen, churches and Christian organizations will have to either become state run institutions or will have to leave their non-profit status behind and operate without that benefit. However, a government could make this a very costly change if all assets gained during the ministry years had to be eradicated.

On the MacGregor website, Lorri states:

The Canadian Government has made it impossible for us to continue as a Christian Charity and not compromise our faith. They have shut down some 2,500 charities already over the past year for various reasons. The government no longer allows critiques of other faiths, even if done fairly and documented thoroughly. Freedom of speech guaranteed under our Charter in Canada does not extend to charities I was bluntly told.

 

New LT Website -  The Ministry of Warren Smith

Lighthouse Trails is in the process of creating websites for each of our authors. This week we would like to present the website for the ministry of Warren Smith, author of Deceived on Purpose, The Light That Was Dark, and Reinventing Jesus Christ. On this site you will find a database of Warren's articles, his current speaking itinerary, and contact and book information.

SPECIAL REPORT: Greg Laurie Connects Purpose Driven to a Move of God - Gives Financial Support

Quick Links:
Greg Laurie Letter to Pastors
Laurie Sponsorship for PDL Event
Contact person at New York City Leadership group: Beverly Cook (Director of Communications)  

On May 6th, Greg Laurie, pastor of mega-church Harvest Christian Fellowship wrote a letter to pastors and church leaders in the New York region, announcing his >Harvest Crusade 2008 in New York City on October 19th. This letter to pastors and leaders is causing confusion among some because of its content, and this Lighthouse Trails report will examine this issue.

Greg Laurie is best known as a Calvary Chapel pastor. His church is listed on the Calvary Chapel website, and Laurie often speaks at Calvary Chapel functions. And it is Laurie's connection with Calvary Chapel that presents a great dilemma.

Two years ago, in May of 2006, Calvary Chapel issued a "Parson to Parson" letter, in which a statement was made against the emerging church and contemplative spirituality. The following month, at the 2006 Senior Pastor's Conference, Calvary Chapel founder and pastor, Chuck Smith, told the senior pastors that Calvary Chapel as a whole was rejecting various movements and practices that have been taking place within the Christian church at large as well as in some Calvary Chapel churches. According to a number of pastors in attendance, who afterwards spoke with Lighthouse Trails, Smith asked that those Calvary Chapel pastors who were going in the direction of the emerging church would no longer call themselves Calvary Chapel churches. One week later, Calvary Chapel instructed its distribution center to immediately remove all of Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life books from its center. The statement read: "The teaching and positions of Rick Warren have come into conflict with us at Calvary Chapel. Pastor Chuck has directed us to discontinue this product effective immediately." 1

Such directives coming from the founder of Calvary Chapel have caused an array of mixed feelings. There are many Calvary Chapel pastors who wholeheartedly support these decisions, such asJohn Higgins in Tempe, Arizona and Jim Jarrett in Redding in California. Both pastors have taken strong stands against contemplative and emerging spiritualities, as have other Calvary Chapel pastors. However, there are some who have ignored Chuck Smith's directives and continued taking their churches toward these beliefs. And still others have been unsure in which direction to go. But one thing is for sure, Chuck Smith is one of the only well-known Christian figures today who has made public declarations against contemplative, emerging, and Purpose Driven. Just last week, at the2008 Senior Pastors Conference, former New Age follower Warren Smith addressed the 800 senior pastors, at Chuck Smith's invitation. Warren Smith is the author of Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose Driven Church. This invitation leaves no question that Chuck Smith is still committed to his earlier statements rejecting the Purpose Driven, emerging, and contemplative movements.

And now this brings us to the unpleasant task of reporting that Greg Laurie is giving a strong promotion of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, which means he is indirectly promoting contemplative and emerging (which we will explain later in this article), and directly promoting Purpose Driven. And unfortunately, there is a twist to this story.

In Laurie's May 2008 letter to pastors and leaders, Laurie talks about his upcoming crusade in New York City, saying, in reference to it, "God is on the move." He then states that "[t]his move is also seen in the formation of the New York City Leadership group. Under their direction, a community-wide 40 Days of Purpose campaign with Pastor Rick Warren has been launched, and the significant services of Bill Hybels' Leadership Summit conferences are also being organized to strengthen the local church."

Because Laurie has publicly connected Purpose Driven to a move of God and calls Willow Creek's conferences "significant," Lighthouse Trails is compelled to issue a warning to the body of Christ. For those who may find this rebuttal too severe, bear in mind that just last month Rick Warren had New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet speak at his small groups conference. Sweet has stated that small groups are the means in which people can attain to a "christ-consciousness" (a New Age belief). And as for Bill Hybels, this spring Willow Creek featured Brian McLaren at one of their youth conferences. McLaren, who calls the doctrine of hell and the Cross "false advertising for God," is one of the emerging church's most prolific writers and a close associate of Willow Creek. And as Lighthouse Trails has been consistently showing for over five years, both Rick Warren and Bill Hybels are two of the emerging church's most influential proponents, and both heartily promote the mystical contemplative prayer movement (see A Time of Departing, chapter 8). For those who understand the ramifications of the contemplative approach to spirituality this is disconcerting.

In addition to Greg Laurie's letter to pastors regarding Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, Lighthouse Trails has learned that Laurie is also helping to finance Warren's September event in New York. Lighthouse Trails contacted the New York City Leadership group this past week after we learned that Laurie's name was on their website showing him to be a sponsor. The New York City office said that this sponsorship is in the way of financial support and is for Rick Warren's September conference. There are Event Sponsors: Greg Laurie and a legal firm in New York. Without a doubt, Laurie supports Purpose Driven.

And now for the twist: To make a long story short, in 2005 Lighthouse Trails issued a report titled Rick Warren teams up with New Age guru Ken Blanchard. Our report, while fully documented and accurate, brought on a barrage of response from Rick Warren and Saddleback, including a letter from Warren to Lighthouse Trails denying the connection, phone calls and emails from two Saddleback leaders, numerous letters sent out from Saddleback calling Lighthouse Trails evil and liars, and an accusation from Saddleback, saying that Federal agents believed that Lighthouse Trails may have broken into their computer server. In addition, there was an effort to discredit George Mair, a biographer who wrote a testament of praise in his book A Life with Purpose but who inadvertently connected Rick Warren with Ken Blanchard.

All this to say that Rick Warren andKen Blanchard had made plans to work together to implement the global P.E.A.C.E. Plan (read transcript).But since our report and since Warren denied the connection, little has publicly been done between Blanchard and Warren.(1) But that has changed. On the New York City Leadership's National Advisory Team, which incidentally is a brand new organization (according to the phone call we had this week), sits, among others, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Ken Blanchard.(2) We were told that Blanchard's role is to help develop programming for area pastors and leaders. For those who are not familiar with Blanchard's promotion of eastern style mysticism and numerous New Age authors, we encourage you tostudy the matter on our research site, in which we provide solid documentation. Blanchard, who claims to have become a Christian in the mid-eighties, has even up until recently shown a propensity toward mysticism; and his involvement with a process called theHoffman Quadrinity Process (a New Age belief system), leaves no doubt as to where Blanchard stands on these spiritual matters. Of the Hoffman Process, Blanchard says, "The Hoffman Process brings forth spiritual leadership in a person" and "It made my spirituality come alive."2 In a 2007 book titled Little Wave and Old Swell, a book that is "Inspired by Hindu Swami Paramahansa Yogananada," Blanchard has written a glowing foreword!

This report will obviously be disheartening to many Calvary Chapel pastors and church goers who have believed that their movement was going to press forward into the future without these un-biblical movements. Laurie's current promotion and financial backing of Rick Warren will cause many to wonder just which direction the Calvary Chapel movement will really end up going. Roger Oakland, a world-wide evangelist who has ministered to pastors and congregations for over twenty years had this to say about the situation:

While Pastor Chuck Smith has clearly attempted to warn Calvary Chapel pastors about the dangers of the Emerging Church, not all Calvary Chapel pastors are listening and taking his warning seriously. The idea that we need to find methods and practices to reach the postmodern generation by becoming postmodern is dangerous. I am deeply concerned for pastors who are moving in this direction.

It is ironic that on April 21st of this year, WorldNet Daily posted an article written by Greg Laurie titled 'The Emergent Church': A dangerous counterfeit. In the article, Laurie said that as a teen he "had been looking for something to believe in, something worth living or dying for, something that was genuine, real and authentic. But most of all," he said, "I was looking for something that was true." Laurie said he found this truth in Jesus Christ. He added, in referring to the emerging church: "And there are some pied pipers out there who are leading many young people down the wrong road." And then he quotes Brian McLaren. In his article, Laurie correctly identifies the panentheistic overtones of the emerging church, but here lies the irony. While Laurie is right in exposing the false doctrines of Brian McLaren and mystics who say all paths lead to God and God is in all, by his promoting Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, he too is promoting these heresies. Indirectly yes, but nevertheless still promoting them. And this is going to confuse and mislead many people. Maybe it is time Greg Laurie goes full circle and comes back to that place of his youth when he said, "I was looking for something true." He won't find it in contemplative or in the emerging church; and that means he won't find it in Willow Creek or Purpose Driven because both of these movements adhere to contemplative and emerging. It is our prayer that Greg Laurie will remove his financial backing from Rick Warren's New York conference and send out a new letter denouncing what he previously suggested is a move of God.

Notes:
1. In the fall of 2007, Rick Warren invited Ken Blanchard back to Saddleback. As far as we know, it was the first time he had been there in over three years.

2. Bob Buford also sits on the board. Read chapter 2 of Faith Undone for documentation on Buford's significant role in launching the emerging church movement.

 

Chuck Smith Speaks Up Against California Ruling on Gay Marriage

Regarding the recent California ruling making gay marriage legal, Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, has spoken up against the ruling.

 

False Revival - A comparison

The following YouTube video is not suitable for young children.
(this video clip courtesy Let Us Reason Ministries)

In view of CBN's upcoming seminar on Soaking Prayer and the growing popularity of the Todd Bentley revival, we are posting this clip.

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. (II Thessalonians 2: 9-11)



 

Emergent Road-Tour Tony Jones Asks: "What in the World are we Doing?"

Emerging church leaders Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, and Mark Scandrette have gone on a summer road tour across the US as we reported on May 22nd in our article, Emergent Road Show Receives Sponsorship From Major Organizations.

In a June 19th posting on the tour blog, Tony Jones asks the question, "What in the world are we doing?" This is a valid question. Jones says the tour is a rendition of evangelism 100 years ago. The three men dress up in the style of that era, and Jones says: "barnstorm the country with our message and our books."

While Jones admits there is an element of "goofiness" to their plan, he says their mission is "deadly serious." "We think that the church -- even Christianity -- needs an overhaul," Jones states.

Lighthouse Trails believes this tour will mislead many people. For three emerging leaders to say they are impersonating evangelists from a hundred years ago is a frivolous parody at best, and a mockery of godly believers of the past and the God whom they served at worse. The great evangelists from the past were for the most part Christians who held fast to the Word of God and did not compromise its truth and authority. But not so with those who lead what is known as the emerging church. In a recent book by Tony Jones (one that is indicative of many of the movement's leaders), The New Christians, Jones illustrates this very clearly.

In Christians, Jones degrades the authority of Scripture several times in the book. A theme for that book would go something like this:

Emergents say they believe in truth, but they define it as something that is always changing and being refined, can never be grasped, and enfolds all beliefs, except the ones that insist there is only one truth.

As is typical with many emerging church books, The New Christians emphatically tries to convince readers that the "church is dead" (p. 4), at least church as we have known it. Jones uses several analogies to describe present day Christianity, such as it being like the nearly-obsolete pay phones, or a dying old growth forest, or compost (rotting vegetables). He says we can almost hear the "death rattle" of "America's church" (p. 5).

Ultimately, what one will come away with from Jones' book is that Jones (and all emergents, he says) believes that truth cannot be pinned down and set in concrete. What is true for today may not be considered truth tomorrow. And he isn't talking just about negotiable societal and cultural ideologies. He is talking about doctrine too. In fact, that is really the point he wants to get across in this book. Emergents love the Bible, he says, but they are not going to be so arrogant "[t]o assume that our convictions about God are somehow timeless" and to think they are "establishes an imperialistic attitude that has a chilling effect on the honest conversation that's needed for theology to progress" (p. 114).

This progression of theology that Jones speaks of is not limited to areas of theology that are often and legitimately debated by Christian scholars. No; Jones says even the doctrine of atonement cannot be set in stone. He says it is "arrogant and a bit deceptive" (p. 77) to suggest that there can be any one understanding of atonement. He was referencing the difference between a traditional Christian pastor versus Brian McLaren, who has called the doctrine of hell and the Cross "false advertising" for God. 2

Jones states that to "try to freeze one particular articulation of the gospel, to make it timeless and universally applicable, actually does an injustice to the gospel" (p. 96). He says we must "refigure our theology" (p. 104) and that "emergents" are "looking for a Christianity that's still exploratory" (i.e., theology is flexible - p. 108) and "a gospel that meshes with our own experience of the world" (p. 110). "Theology is not universal, nor is it transcendent" (p. 112), he claims, but it is "temporary" and we "must carry our theologies with an open hand" (p. 114).

Doug Pagitt and Mark Scandrette would resonate with Jones' spirituality. The three of them were authors in the book, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope. Of that book, Pagitt says it "provides a rare glimpse inside the emerging church." This "rare glimpse" actually lays out the agenda of the movement, and in essence An Emergent Manifesto is the emerging church's coming out of the closet tribute. Pagitt says Emergent is a "call to friendship ... with the world" and this "friendship" is a "dangerous leap" in which many ways have been created to connect (p. 19). Throughout the book, these ways to connect become quite obvious. While other terms in the book are used, the concepts behind them are interspirituality (all religions coming together), panentheism (God is all creation), universalism (all are saved), and mysticism (the means by which this connecting takes place).

In this "sense of interconnection," the book states:

[R]enewed popularity of the "kingdom" language is related to the emerging global narrative of the deep ecology movement - a consciousness and awareness that everything matters and is somehow interdependent (p. 27).

New Age sympathizer, Leonard Sweet (in his book Quantum Spirituality) calls this the Theory of Everything. This theory not only says that all creation is connected but that it is all inhabited with Divinity (God).

Universalism is a pronounced theme in the book as well. Manifesto calls salvation "a collective experience." A Manifesto poem illustrates this:

"Not only soul, whole body!
Not only whole body, all of the faithful community!
Not only all of the faithful community, all of humanity!
Not only all of humanity, all of God's creation!" (pp. 82-83)

The spirituality of the emerging church is really no different than that of occultist Alice Bailey. In her book, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, she states:

He [the "Coming Christ"] will move to restore the ancient spiritual landmarks, to eliminate that which is nonessential, and to reorganize the entire religious field--again in preparation for the restoration of the Mysteries. These Mysteries [mysticism], when restored, will unify all faiths. (p. 573)

In view of the emphatic promotion and use of mysticism in the emerging church and the interspiritual leanings, any discerning believer should find Bailey's statement alarming. This is no 19th century evangelistic doctrine. Rather it is an age old lie that began in the Garden of Eden. Jones, Pagitt, and Scandrette are way off when they say they are imitating these past saints.

The three emerging leaders plan to visit 32 cities, 6 of which they have already done. As we stated in our May report, the tour has received sponsorship from some very large organizations: Compassion International, International Bible Society, Jossey-Bass (the men's publisher), Zondervan, and Christianbook.com. While it appears that the emerging church is receiving financial and other support from mainstream evangelicalism, we are compelled here at Lighthouse Trails to issue a serious warning about this tour.

 

CBN Presents Soaking Prayer Seminar - Serious Problems with this Practice

 

The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is promoting a practice called Soaking Prayer. On June 24th, they will present the Spiritual Gifts Seminar with Marguerite Evans of Catch the Fire Ministries. In addition, CBN posted an article about Evans who is the USA Coordinator forSoaking Centers. The article, titled "Soaking in the Spirit," explains that "the aim of soaking prayer is to put oneself in an attitude of stillness, focusing on Jesus without an agenda."

Evans, originally from South Africa, is now part of the training staff for the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, the church in Canada where the "Toronto Blessing" began. In an article written by Evans titled "How to Experience the Father's Love," she says that soaking prayer "is a simple practice that was lost to the majority of the Church for centuries" (see Desert Fathers).

On the TACF website, where a description and instructions are given about soaking prayer, it says that those who practice soaking prayer will often respond with falling or lying on the floor, where they "soak in God's presence." 1 Instructions for soaking suggest turning on "intimate worship music with meaningful words that quiet your soul and help you draw near to God." Results can include: a feeling that a heavy weight is on the body, an electric tingling in the hands and feet, and a warm sensation going through the heart.

While the instructions on the TACF website are rather vague, there is no question that soaking prayer is something that must be taught and practiced. Offering numerous soaking prayer Kits, including one for teens, special soaking prayer music, and "soaking essentials" (pillow and blanket), along with an entire training seminar on how to start your own soaking prayer center, is evidence that what is being taught goes beyond the realm of a biblical quiet time where a believer reads the Word, meditates mindfully on it, and prays.

The goal in soaking prayer is to quiet the soul and enter into a stillness. Once in this stilled state, the participant can supposedly feel God's presence and hear His voice, and thus experience His love and perhaps healing from wounds of the past. But being able to shut off the mind to enter this stillness is not something that can take place naturally, and this is where contemplative prayer and soaking prayer become basically synonymous. On the TACF website, one of the topics taught at the Soaking School is actually called "Contemplative Prayer."2 The "meaningful words that quiet your soul" are indicative of this.

In a revealing article about soaking prayer, Roger Harper, a UK chaplain, stated: "Soaking prayer is a modern form of contemplative prayer ... The Toronto church sees soaking prayer as one of the main ways in which they encourage people to be open to the Holy Spirit ... Joyce Huggett notes, 'a fresh touch of God's Spirit often opens the door to contemplative prayer.'" While some claim that soaking prayer is different than contemplative prayer, it is interesting that this article points readers to Richard Foster and Henri Nouwen. Interestingly, in Harper's article, he writes about John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Church movement.

John taught that there are signs that the Holy Spirit is on a person. "Some of these phenomena are obvious: weeping, cries, exuberant and prolonged expressions of praise, shaking, trembling, calmness, bodily writhing and distortions, falling over (sometimes referred to as 'being slain in the Spirit'), laughter and jumping. Other phenomena are more subtle: slight trembling, fluttering of the eyelids, faint perspiring, a sheen on the face, ripples on the skin, deep breathing..' Wimber also said that people sometimes experience a sense of heaviness or tiredness, weeping or drunkenness.

These symptoms that Wimber describes, along with the electric tingling and warm sensations described at TACF, are also the signs of what is called the Kundalini effect. Ray Yungen discusses this:

[K]undalini is a Hindu term for the mystical power or force that underlies Hindu spirituality. In Hinduism it is commonly referred to as the serpent power. St. Romain, a substance abuse counselor and devout Catholic lay minister, began his journey while practicing contemplative prayer or resting in the still point, as he called it.... Having rejected mental prayer as "unproductive," he embraced the prayer form that switches off the mind, creating what he described as a mental passivity. What he encountered next underscores my concern with sobering clarity:

Then came the lights! The gold swirls that I had noted on occasion began to intensify, forming themselves into patterns that both intrigued and captivated me ... There were always four or five of these; as soon as one would fade, another would appear, even brighter and more intense ... They came through complete passivity and only after I had been in the silence for a while.

After this, St. Romain began to sense "wise sayings" coming into his mind and felt he was "receiving messages from another." He also had physical developments occur during his periods in the silence. He would feel "prickly sensations" on the top of his head and at times it would "fizzle with energy." This sensation would go on for days.3

In A Time of Departing, Ray Yungen talks about a Life Times magazine article about a woman who was initially skeptical about mystical experiences. Her skepticism evaporated when she discovered that meditation was "a powerful force":

Soon I began to notice unusual sensations in my body while meditating. It felt like energy flowing through me. In the morning I woke up feeling happy and energetic and filled with a glowing warmth as though I had been sleeping in the sunshine on a sandy beach. Gradually the sensations became stronger and after a while it seemed like electric currents were coursing through my body. My fingers tingled and I felt a slight throbbing in the palms of my hands. I had no inkling of the significance of this energy until one night in a very lucid dream, I was told that I could heal.4

Thus, we can see that what happens to a person during Hindu or New Age meditation is the same as what happens during contemplative prayer or soaking prayer.

While TACF and Evans use several Scriptures to support their belief in soaking prayer, a look at these Scriptures do not indicate that a method like soaking is being suggested at all.

Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Psalm 4:4

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

These verses in no way indicate that a mystical practice is engaged in order to still the mind. When the Bible says "be still," it is talking about trusting the Lord, not becoming anxious or agitated, but resting and trusting in Him. And there is nothing in Scripture that suggests we will experience these physical symptoms when in God's presence or when spending time in prayer.

In an article titled "Toronto-Blessing: Christian Based Magic?," the writer describes the symptoms that occur during meetings with Swami Baba Muktananda:

The Swami would transfer what was called "guru grace" to his followers through physical touch (shaktipat). This "grace" triggered the gradual awakening of the Kundalini which in turn produced various physical and emotional manifestations.

These included uncontrollable laughter, roaring, barking, hissing, shaking, etc. Some devotees became mute or unconscious. Many felt themselves being infused with feelings of great joy and peace and love. At other times the "fire" of Kundalini was so overpowering they would find themselves involuntarily hyperventilating to cool themselves down.

When CBN presents their Spiritual Gifts Seminar this coming Tuesday with Marguerite Evans, we pray that participants will have their eyes opened and see that soaking prayer is not biblical prayer but could put them into contact with realms that would endanger their spiritual wellbeing.

Notes (ones that are not live links):

3. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd ed. 2006), pp. 48-49, citing Philip St. Romain, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality, Crossroad Pub. Co., 1995, pp. 20-29.

4.Mary Ellen Lafferty, "The Joys and Frustrations of Being a Healer" (Life Times, Issue Number 3), p. 59.

More research on soaking prayer.

Also, for more information, read The Other Side of the River by Kevin Reeves.  

 

Footprints of a Prophet or Track Marks of a Wolf?

by Jan Markell

I am writing the "inconvenient truth" today. I have been blitzed with e-mails about the Todd Bentley "revival" in Florida. Before you fall for his stories and "signs and wonders," please allow me to make some comments. I realize this will not be received well by many.

This is a Charismatic happening called the "third wave." The "first wave" was Toronto, and it fizzled out. The "second wave" was Pensacola, and it had the same fate. Now Bentley has brought in the "third wave," and folks are coming from around the world for the "anointing." Even the Charisma Magazine editor Lee Grady says -- sounding a warning -- "My inbox has been full of messages from Charismatic leaders who are concerned about everything from Bentley's tattoos and body piercings to his claim that he once interviewed the apostle Paul in Heaven. When I called for scrutiny of some aspects of the Lakeland Revival, I was labeled a Pharisee and a 'religious policeman.' I had suddenly become the enemy."

Who is Todd Bentley? He is an ex-Satanist, a pierced and tattooed signs and wonders guy, and a man who gets messages from angels, particularly one named Emma.
Click here to read this entire article.

 

Announcing Summer 2008 Book Release: Things We Couldn't Say

Lighthouse Trails Presents:

Things We Couldn't Say by Diet Eman - August 2008

This is the true story of Diet Eman, a young Christian woman who joined the Christian resistance movement in the Netherlands during WWII. Together with her fiancé and other Dutch men and women, "Group Hein" risked their lives to save the lives of Jews who were in danger of becoming victims of Hitler's "final solution."

Things We Couldn't Say is an endearing and moving love story that occurs in the midst of extreme danger and often unbearable circumstances and loss. Before the war ends, Eman, her fiancé, and several in their group are arrested and sent to concentration camps - many of them lose their own lives.

This story will help us remember a time in history that should not be forgotten and will inspire us to live more courageously and stand for what is right, doing so by the power and grace of God. Things We Couldn't Say is a powerful illustration of II Corinthians 12:9, which states: "And he [the Lord] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."


Things We Couldn't Say
ISBN 978-0-9791315-7-8
Retail $14.95, 352 pages
August 2008

 

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Book Spotlights

 

Book Spotlights

These two important books expose the truth about contemplative spirituality, spiritual formation, and the new age.
A Time of Departing and For Many Shall Come in My Name

HOLOCAUST: LEST WE FORGET
A true story that will change your life and challenge your faith ..

"Will sweep you into 1930s Germany and back with your faith intact ... [Trapped in Hitler's Hell] carries a stark message for today's Western Christian ... will refocus your priorities and recharge your spiritual life."-Leo Hohmann, Read entire review at The Messianic Times   Trapped in Hitler's Hell

See all books and DVDs on the Holocaust

The Other Side of the River by Alaskan Kevin Reeves  

When mystical experiences and strange doctrines overtake his church, one man risks all to find the truth ... a true story. Read more about this important book, especially now in light of the Todd Bentley "revival" in Florida.

Find out the truth about the emerging church and the avenues through which it is entering Christianity.

Faith Undone by Roger Oakland

Find out more about the book that tells it like it is.

 

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