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Obama: Grew Up with "the Bible and the Koran" -
Believes Many Paths Lead to God
The Faith of Barack Obama written by New York Times best-selling author
Stephen Mansfield was released in August by Thomas Nelson publishers. The
book carries the endorsement of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the front cover. Tutu, one
of the global "Elders," calls the book "perceptive and
well-written." The publisher's description of the book reads:
. . takes readers inside the mind, heart, and soul of presidential hopeful
Barack Obama--as a person of faith, as a man, as an American, and possibly
as our future commander in chief.
says: "If a man's faith is sincere, it is the most important thing about
him, and it is impossible to understand who he is and how he will lead
without first understanding the religious vision that informs his
According to Mansfield, Obama is "raising the banner of what he hopes
will be the faith-based politics of a new generation . . . and he will
carry that banner to whatever heights of power his God and the American
Recently, when Obama was interviewed by Rick Warren, Obama told Warren that
Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior. Yet this "banner" Obama
raises is one that has an interspiritual foundation, representing a new
kind of "Christianity," one that looks more like Brian McLaren's
spirituality than traditional, biblical Christianity.
What emerges from this book is a glimpse of a man who has New Age
philosophy, believing that other religions are legitimate paths to
God, and all humanity is connected together (spiritually speaking - i.e.,
God is in all):
does clearly believe that the form of Christianity that he committed to at
Trinity Church in 1985 is not the only path to God. "I am rooted in
the Christian tradition," he has said. Nevertheless he asserts,
"I believe there are many paths to the same place and that is a belief
there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people."
He first saw his broad embrace of faith modeled by his mother. "In our
household," he has explained, "The Bible, [t]he Koran, and the
Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf . . . on Easter or Christmas Day my mother
might drag me to a church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple,
the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian
burial sites." (p.55 of Mansfield's book, quoting from Audacity of
Hope, Obama, p. 203).
interspiritually-based upbringing, Obama later spent twenty years in a
church, which promotes the panenthestic (God in all), interspiritual
approach. In a 2006 article in United Church News, Obama stated that the
teachings of the UCC (United Church of Christ), of which he was a member
(Trinity United Church of Christ) until recently, are "foundation
stones for his political work." Just what are those
"teachings" comprised of? On Trinity's website, on the Yoga page, the following statement is highlighted:
each [of] us is the seed of Divinity. Each Soul is divine. I bow to the
divinity in us all!
classic Hinduism that teaches that divinity resides in every human being.
It is also the message of the New Age movement--man's divinity!
In Obama's own autobiography, Audacity of Hope, he calls himself a
"progressive" (i.e., emerging or postmodern) and says: "We
need to take faith seriously not simply to block the religious right but to
engage all persons of faith in the larger project of American renewal"
(p. 216). Echoing the sentiments of Rick Warren (a close friend of Obama,
says Warren), he clarifies that partnerships between "religious and
secular" will have to be built, and "each side will need to
accept some ground rules for collaboration" (p. 216). He adds:
we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a
Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a
nation of nonbelievers. (p. 218)
that to base national "policy" on biblical truths "would be
a dangerous thing" to do (p. 220).
There is one sentence in Audacity of Hope that sums up Barack
Obama's spirituality. He states:
I read the Bible, I do so with the belief that it is not a static (stable)
text but the Living Word and that I must be continually open to new
In other words, just as Tony Jones said in his book The New Christians, and just as other emergents
consistently say, the truths in the written Word of God, the Bible, are not unchanging and cannot be looked upon as stable or immoveable.
"New revelations" can bring about new "truths" . . .
truth is fluid.
To be interspiritual (all paths lead to God), to be panentheistic (divinity
is in all), to reject God's Word, and to embrace mysticism is to be what
Alice Bailey called a rejuvenated Christian, who is one who follows
"another gospel" and "another Jesus" (II Corinthians
saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Donald Miller, the Emerging Church, and the Democratic
Obama Wows Iowa Meditators
Meditation: The heartbeat of a new kind of politics
Concerned Over Biola's Contemplative/Emerging Focus
Trails has written a number of articles in the past three years regarding
Biola University, once a trusted and respected evangelical Christian
school. Today, they are helping to lead the way in bringing contemplative
mysticism and the emerging church into the Christian faith. Last week,
Lighthouse Trails was contacted by a student at Biola, who shared deep
concerns over what is being taught in class. This student shared many
instances where the new spirituality is being taught to students
there, and those students who oppose it are in a minority and are often
reprimanded in one form or another when they speak up. Because we do not
want to reveal the identity of this student, we will not be posting the
letter, but the student has asked us to help get the word out about what is
taking place at Biola.
Biola has been introducing students to contemplative spirituality through
their Institute of Spiritual Formation and the Talbot School of Theology
for some time. Speakers at their Christian Spirituality & Soul Care
have included contemplatives Dallas Willard, Ruth Haley Barton, and others
in the same camp.2
The Journal of Spiritual Formation is one
example of the continued spread of contemplative in Biola. The
peer-reviewed journal began this past spring and will include the writings
of contemplative authors.
Professors and other staff at Biola admit that they are influenced by
contemplative writers. Matthew Hooper, Associate Dean of Campus Life, says
Henri Nouwen is one of the people who has most influenced his life. 3 In the book of Nouwen's that Hooper lists, The Way
of the Heart, Nouwen advises his readers: "The quiet repetition of
a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart ... This
way of simple prayer ... opens us to God is active presence." It is
Nouwen who said he was uncomfortable with those who say Jesus is the only
way of salvation (Sabbatical Journey).
J.P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot (Biola)
School of Theology, has written about contemplative and emerging philosophy
in his book, The Kingdom Triangle (see our book review). In that book, Moreland says that
spiritual formation is one of three essential components needed in
Christianity. Moreland discusses the "true self" and the
"false self." He echoes Thomas Merton and Martin Buber, both who
had strong mystical propensities, and who believed we could attain to our
true self (a perfect self) through mystical practices. Moreland encourages
the writings (and practices) of St. Ignatius Loyola, saying such practices
will help us to "cultivate the ability to discern the divine
components" within us. And like most contemplatives, Moreland touts
Henri Nouwen. Please understand the premise of the "true self"
and the "false self" is: man is divine.
Katie Tuttle, Director of Commuter Life at Biola, names Nouwen, Brother
Lawrence, and Brennan Manning as those who have most influenced her.4
And the list goes on as to professors and staff at Biola who are persuaded
that contemplative is a legitimate Christian theology. It must be understood
that where there is contemplative, there is emerging spirituality. They are
connected at the hip, and the basic premises of each are the same:
interspirituality, panentheism, and pantheism. In addition, the
"Kingdom" theology and eschatology are also identical (see Faith
The letter we received from the Biola student addresses Biola's
Intercultural Studies Program.
The student told us that in one course of this program, "Integration
Seminar: Gospel and Culture," the following textbooks are used:
Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and
Missions by Dean Fleming
Christianity Rediscovered by Vincent J. Donovan (a Roman Catholic
The Changing Face of World Missions: Engaging Contemporary Issues and
Trends by Michael Pocock
Theology in the Context of World Christianity by Timothy Tennent.
In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
To better understand what is meant by "contextualization, please read
this excerpt from Roger Oakland's Faith Undone: Contextual Theology - Falling From Truth Through the
If you are a student at Biola, please contact
Lighthouse Trails if you would like to receive a free copy of Faith
Darwin. From Physics to Metaphysics
according to its biological definition, is a mechanism that changes life
through time. Although for years, many have used the idea of evolution to
explain away God, there are many today who are saying, because of
evolution, everything is God. This trend is obvious in Great Britain, the
very country where Charles Darwin authored his theory - physics has turned
into metaphysics? How is this possible?
Glastonbury is situated in the southern part of England. From antiquity,
Glastonbury has been known as a mystical center where numerous people have
made the claim they have encountered the spiritual realm. Many and
fantastic are the legends, a mythology which is still alive and growing
today. Every year people go there from all over the world seeking spiritual
solutions to their physical problems.
I had the opportunity to visit Glastonbury in the spring of 1997 while I
was in England. I had just spent a couple of days researching the life of
Charles Darwin and investigating the impact this man had on so many lives.
His message, centered on natural selection and survival of the fittest,
still shapes the thinking of evolutionists today. His motive, a disdain for
Christianity, provides the basis for the "scientific" view there
is no need for the supernatural. Today, throughout England and around the
world, numerous monuments erected in his honor called "natural history
museums," project his beliefs as if he were God.
My trip to Glastonbury and Stonehenge revealed another aspect of Darwinism
that most "evolutionary biologists" are not thrilled to discuss.
The idea of natural selection may have been designed to explain God away,
but in reality, through time, it has been the catalyst which has created an
environment which has done exactly the opposite. It seems there has been a
major shift in thinking over the past few decades. Our present generation
has become frustrated with believing in naturalism. Now they are willing to
believe that anything and everything is God.
There is no question mysticism and superstition, which modern science was
supposed to have eliminated has made a comeback in Great Britain. The shops
in Glastonbury were filled with spiritual paraphernalia which would make
one think we had returned to the pagan past. Click here to read this entire article.
A Man, A Message, and A Motive
Divination Finds Further Expression in the Evangelical Church
by Eastern Regional Watch Ministries
Divination is condemned Scripture (Deut. 18:9-14; 2 Kings 17:17-18) and
therefore a very negative term. But, divination in the evangelical Church?
Has Plumbline crossed over the line or gone out of kilter on this topic? To
put it in current parlance, this must be way "outside the box."
Nevertheless ... I think you will come to agree that divination is
definitely "inside the box," alive and well in many of our
It will be necessary to define divination very carefully. In this issue I
have invited Pastor Bob DeWaay to do this "heavy lifting" and
focus on a correct, biblical definition of divination. In this introductory
article I will try to give some historical context to the current
expressions now making the rounds in churches. It is all basically one
phenomena with minor differences and mutations.
Divination generally refers to attempts to learn "hidden things"
that cannot be known by normal means. Divination falls into two broad
categories: mechanical and internal. Mechanical divination uses physical
means to acquire hidden knowledge. Examples of this include such things as
gazing into crystal balls, examining the livers or other internal organs of
animals, interpreting the way arrows land after being thrown into the air,
and reading Tarot cards. The internal category, sometimes called
"soothsaying," involves conjuring up a spiritual entity during a
trance or an altered state of consciousness. Sometimes this spirit entity
will appear as a person, no longer living, who returns and speaks words of
wisdom. Sometimes the spirit who is "called up" speaks
"through" a medium. In Acts 16:16 the slave girl had a
"spirit of divination." (It is interesting to note that, because
there was often trickery involved, in the first century the word used for
divination was also broadly used for the act of ventriloquism.)
Whatever the category or method used, divination is an attempt to ferret
out hidden (occult) information. The incursion of divination into the
Church is of the internal rather than the mechanical category and its focal
points are the visualization techniques employed in
"inner-healing" and imaginative prayer. Click here to read this entire article.
For more on Divination, click here.
Book Review on Faith
Book Review of Faith Undone by Roger Oakland
Lighthouse Trails Publishing
Review by Alistair Montgomery
(written for the British Magazine The Sword )
August 29, 2008 - Faith Undone has been written to warn the
Church about a phenomenon called "The Emergent Church." Like the
warnings of the prophets, peoples' reaction to this book will vary from
alarm through indifference to offence.
Although the book is written in a popular style to be accessible to non
academics, it does contain footnotes detailing references so the reader may
check the veracity of claims for themselves.
After the introductory chapter, the author traces the origins of the
Emergent Church from as early as the 1950s describing how an American
business guru influenced a group of church leaders in the 1980s, which in
turn gathered and influenced a younger generation of pastors in the 1990s.
. . . Click here to read this entire
Contemplative Conferences Coming Your Way
following conferences will be taking place during the next 12 months. Each
of these conferences has at least one contemplative- and/or emerging
church-promoting speaker. The number of these contemplative conferences is
increasing rapidly. Please warn your loved ones about these events.
Note: Contemplative speakers are in bold. For information on these
contemplative/emerging-proponents, go to our research site and use the search engine.
October 2008: Lead Like Jesus Revolution with Ken Blanchard, John
Ortberg, George Barna, Nancy Ortberg, and Miles McPherson
October 2008: Group Life Conference with Mark Batterson, John
Burke, and Miles McPherson
October - November 2008: National Youth Workers Convention with numerous
contemplative/emerging speakers such as Duffy Robbins, Jim Burns, Maggie Robbins, Mark Oestreicher, Phyllis Tickle, Shane
Claiborne, and Tony Campolo
November 2008: Lead Now Simulcast with Erwin McManus, Margaret
December 2008: Reimagine Conference with Leonard Sweet and Sally
February 2009: Focus on Marriage with Beth Moore, Gary
Thomas, and Gary Smalley
February 2009: National Pastors Convention with Brian McLaren, Shane
Claiborne, Bill Hybels, J.P. Moreland, Larry Osborne, Leighton
Ford, Rob Bell, Ruth Haley Barton, Scot McKnight,
June and July 2009: DCLA 09 with Shane Claiborne, Duffy Robbins,
For more "Conference Alerts," click here (scroll down page).
Kjos Ministries Excerpts on Things We Couldn't Say
Ministries has placed some excellent excerpts from Diet Eman's book, Things We Couldn't Say on their website. It begins below:
The Prison at Scheveningen
When I first arrived at the Scheveningen prison, I had to stand with my
face to the wall.... I was ordered to undress, and they searched me,
straight up and bent over. Thank God, I had got rid of everything. Then I
was sent to cell 306 in the A-corridor, where I was the fifth prisoner in a
one-person cell, three meters long and two meters wide. ...there was
only one bunk, a hard bed in the back with a thin mattress...
One of the prisoners, Lies Karel, was a nurse who had done a lot of good
Resistance work before she was arrested, I eventually grew to trust her,
though at the very beginning I trusted no one. I had heard that there would
be informers, and there were criminals in the prison too, not just
On the nights the guards brought Jews in, we always heard the children
crying all through that place. It was bad enough for us to have to suffer
through a place like Scheveningen, but it was terrible to hear those poor,
innocent children crying.
...our only light other than a small lamp was the daylight that came in through
a very small window up high toward the ceiling. ... The prison stood in the
dunes, right at the end of the last road of The Hague... at the North Sea,
where the constant rush of waves could be a consolation, as could the cry
of the seagulls.... In the middle of all the suffering, it seemed
About quarter to six or so the guards would start yelling in the corridors,
waking us up. They would open the door just a bit, and each of us would be
given a little bucket of water, the size that children play with on the
beach - five of them per cell, We had no washcloths, no towels, and no
soap; we simply had to splash the water on....
...some of us scratched marks into the wall to count the days we were
there, The others would keep an eye on the door, stand against it to cover
the peephole.... I had managed to save a bobby pin in my hair when I was
arrested, and I used it to scratch a Bible verse into the wall, It was a
verse that always brought me comfort, even though I had no idea what would
happen to us: "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end."...
Then lunch finally came. It was something like soup... a mishmash of
something boiled in water. Prisoners were cooking it, and they did their
very best, but it was awful....
[One day] the guard told us that those in our cell would get an opportunity
to take a shower.... When I got to that shower, a guard gave me a half-inch
piece of something that looked like brown putty -- only stone hard. That
was the soap. And I received a rag: it looked to me like be a bath towel a
hundred years old, all frayed and limps but I didn't care because finally I
was going to get a shower. When I stand under the warm water, I thoughts it
will be wonderful.
I undressed and stepped in, and just at the moment I began to turn the
handle, I heard a loud voice: "Get out. Get back to the cell! You're
finished." I never got a drop of water on me! It was a game -- a
psychological trick. Click here to read the rest of
this excerpt from Things
We Couldn't Say.
New York Teachers Learn Yoga to Enhance Classroom
Democrat & Chronicle
Over the summer, through a Global Literacy workshop, the teachers learned
to look at the world through a new lens. . . .
Students should be taught to question and understand divergent views, which
is why the Greece school district offers Minerva's Global Literacy
training, said Jennifer Gkourlias, the district's director of Social
Studies & World Languages. . . .
The workshop used a version of the Gita, the religious text of the Hindu
faith, which recounts the journey of Krishna and his cousin Arjuna to find
peace amid the chaos affecting them and their families. By teaching Arjuna
to rid himself of the desires of the heart while simultaneously engaging in
action, Krishna, considered the Supreme Being, helps his cousin understand
the complexities of human thought. . . .
Fairport teachers also examined Western classical and Indian classical
music, and did yoga exercises.
Posing as trees, the teachers stood on one leg and bent their second leg
until the sole of the foot touched the knee of the straight leg. Once
balanced, the teachers formed their arms into a diamond above their heads.
More than just an attempt to twist the body into a pretzel, yoga connotes
the union between the soul and spirit, said Preethi Govindaraj.Click here to read this entire article.
Christian Resistance Book - A Must Read
Trails Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Things We
Couldn't Say by Diet Eman.
This is the true story of Diet Eman, a young Christian woman who joined the
resistance movement in the Netherlands during WWII. Together with her
fiance' 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 fiance', and several in their
group are arrested and sent to concentration camps-many of them lose their
A time in history that should not be forgotten. A story that
will inspire Christians to live more courageously and stand for what is
right, doing so by the power and grace of God.
Table of Contents
Lighthouse Trails Publishing
$14.95 Retail * 352 pages * Softbound
Photos * Illustrations
For more information: www.lighthousetrails.com
Toll Free Order Line: 866/876-3910 (M-F/8-5)
Or order from your local bookstore.
Important New Series on the Emerging Church
The new 4-DVD Emerging Church series by Roger Oakland is now
Based on Faith Undone: the emerging church - a new reformation or an
endtime deception, each DVD is 70 minutes long and features lecturer
and author Roger Oakland of Understand the Times. This is a hard-hitting
expose' of the apostasy entering the church through the emerging church,
Purpose Driven, contemplative, etc. It provides a solid and convincing
defense of the biblical Christian faith, which is under attack today.
(Filmed in 2008)
For information and/or ordering for individual DVDs, click here.
Lighthouse Trails Publishing
To Order: www.lighthousetrails.com
Toll Free Order Line: 866/876-3910
Click here to read: Synopsis of DVD
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Newsletter in Print - Coming Soon
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Be sure and include your mailing address in the email. We will be issuing a
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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
HOLOCAUST: LEST WE FORGET
A true story that will change your life and challenge your faith ..
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
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