November 27, 2006 
 Coming From the Lighthouse Newsletter
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This past week we received emails and phone calls from believers who have had to leave their churches. In nearly every case, they were leaving because of spiritual formation programs, which included contemplative spirituality, emerging church ideas, and/or a Purpose Driven agenda. For some, they were asked or told to leave. Others were leaving because they were concerned about their children and what they were being taught. For many, they were leaving behind family and friends ... and for most, they had been treated badly by church leadership when they tried to warn them and others about the spiritual deception taking place.

To those of you who are standing for the faith in the midst of such difficulty, we are thankful that the Lord has given you strength, and we pray you will be comforted.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."John 8:12

"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Deuteronomy 31:6

 
New Age Leader, Marianne Williamson, Comes to Rick Warren's Defense - "Meditation" is Common Ground
 

In an article in the Detroit News, something happened that doesn't happen every day. In fact, it may never have happened before. The headline read, "Faith leaders deserve a shot at creating peace on earth." The author of the article was defending Rick Warren - well that's not too unusual - many Christian leaders, pastors and teachers have done that consistently these past four years. That would hardly be newsworthy. But this article was written by someone who does not defend conservative Christians. On the contrary, she stands for beliefs that are opposed to biblical Christianity. Her name is Marianne Williamson.

Many of you may be familiar with her, but for those who are not, Williamson is a major figure in the New Age movement. She is currently part of a growing effort in Washington DC to convince the US government to open a Department of Peace. Respected figures like Walter Cronkite work with Marianne Williamson in this effort, and New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard is a co-visionary of Williamson's peace plan.

Williamson became popular, largely through the Oprah show, when Williamson wrote a book, Return to Love, (based on the New Age classic A Course in Miracles), and Oprah brought Williamson onto her show -- the book became an overnight success. A Course in Miracles could be referred to as the New Ager's bible. One former New Age follower wrote about Williamson:
Over the past decade, Williamson has continued to champion A Course in Miracles in the media and in her public appearances around the country. A more recent book, Healing the Soul of America, has enabled Williamson and the Course to make a subtle transition into the political arena. Hoping to inspire a "new gospel" approach to national and world problems, Williamson, along with bestselling Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch, cofounded The Global Renaissance Alliance.[Now called the Peace Alliance.] (1)
What is so significant about Williamson's recent defense of Rick Warren is how she ties meditation into the scope of the global peace plan, and as we have laid out over and over in the books we have published (e.g., A Time of Departing) and the articles we have written here at Lighthouse Trails, Rick Warren is a promoter of Eastern style meditation (i.e., contemplative prayer). And of all people to recognize this, Marianne Williamson did! Christian leaders haven't, but a New Age leader has. Williamson, in defending Warren's trip to Syria says:
Terrorism is a spiritual darkness; it is a mass psychosis. People who know how to lead groups in prayer and collective meditations, people who have expertise in healing hearts and minds and relationships, people who know about dismantling insane behavioral patterns -- such as these have at least as much to offer in response to terrorism, as do people who know how to drop bombs.
In referring to "collective meditations" just what exactly does Williamson mean, and what role will meditation play in bringing about global peace? Smith explains:
Williamson's discussion of peace, the "new gospel" teaches that peace can only come through the "Atonement" (at-one-ment). This is described on page 175 of the Course Text: "Yet you cannot abide in peace unless you accept the Atonement, because the Atonement is the way to peace." After introducing this idea of "atoning" Williamson described how she and others are gathering together in small "cell" groups ("cells of peace") to pray for world peace. Williamson explained that as people join their hearts together through meditation and prayer, they begin to create a loving "energy field" that counters the hate and negativity being generated by the world. She explained that as the number of people consciously gathering together to create peace increases, so the strength of the "forcefield" will proportionately increase. She said that prayer becomes a "conduit for miracles" as the "forcefield" grows in strength, and as the love generated from it is "harnessed" and purposefully directed for the "good" of the world. (Reinventing Jesus Christ, chapter 7)
Rick Warren also believes in meditation. He stated that clearly in his first book (Purpose Driven Church) many years ago, when he said that the Spiritual Formation movement was a vital wake up call to the church. He revealed what he meant by "Spiritual Formation" when he named Richard Foster and Dallas Willard as key figures in the movement. Ray Yungen elaborates:
I realize there are serious ramifications regarding the issues discussed here. What I am saying is that Rick Warren is part of the effort to bring contemplative prayer into mainstream Christianity.... He sees Willard as being on the same level as Foster in the spiritual formation movement (i.e., contemplative prayer movement). In Willard's book, The Spirit of the Disciplines, the title of which sounds very close to Foster's book, Celebration of Discipline, Willard quotes Merton and Nouwen and extols the practice of the silence:
In silence we close off our souls from "sounds," whether those sounds be noise, music, or words.... Many people have never experienced silence and do not even know that they do not know what it is.
Like Foster, Willard sees this spiritual discipline as the most powerful way to commune with God. He maintains: "It is a powerful and essential discipline. Only silence will allow us life-transforming concentration upon God."(A Time of Departing, 2nd ed)
The "transformation" that Foster and Willard speak of takes place through meditation. That's precisely what Marianne Williamson is saying! Listen:
Meditation is time spent with God in silence and quiet listening. It is the time during which the Holy Spirit has a chance to enter into our minds and perform His divine alchemy. (Williamson, Return to Love)
Is Williamson speaking about the Holy Spirit of the Bible, the third part of the Godhead? According to Williamson, the answer to that is absolutely not! She believes in the cosmic christ or christ consciousness, which is not the Christ of Christianity:
Even if he takes another name, even if he takes another face, He [Jesus] is in essence the truth of who we are. Our joined lives form the mystical body of Christ.

Jesus and other enlightened masters are our evolutionary elder brothers. (The concept of a divine, or "Christ" mind, is the idea that, at our core, we are not just identical, but actually the same being.

"There is only one begotten Son" doesn't mean that someone else was it, and we're not. It means we're all it. There's only one of us here.

You and I have the Christ-mind in us as much as Jesus does.(Quotes taken from Reinventing Jesus Christ, citing Return to Love)
Make no mistake about it, Marianne Williamson is not referring to the biblical Jesus Christ, and she will be the first to say so. But she does resonate with Rick Warren, and we propose to you that it is because he is a promoter of mystical meditation, which according to New Age thought is the conduit to bring about a global awakening (or a new reformation as some New Agers call it).

In her Detroit News article, she exhorts Warren: "Don't go quiet, Rick. If anything, push back -- and do not back down." I think Williamson can rest assured that Rick Warren will not back down. He has already made it clear that he will do "whatever it takes" to bring about global peace through a new reformation, and there is no doubt about it, it will be a reformation through spiritual formation.

For those believers who are reading this, and have put two and two together, you realize the significance of what is taking place. Barbara Marx Hubbard said that the Book of Revelation scenario of a disastrous Armageddon does not have to happen, if a critical mass of people come together. Rick Warren also believes that a critical mass is necessary. At the recent AIDS conference in Canada, Warren said he is "pressing for a 'coalition of civility,' where diverse groups can disagree without being disagreeable or denouncing one another, and seek unity without requiring uniformity in order to reach critical mass."

Yungen, when referring to a time when all the people of the world will come together in unity, through meditation, says:
Through Rick Warren, Richard Foster's vision [of unity through meditation or contemplative prayer] could enter fully into mainstream evangelicalism both in North America and around the world; and with the unprecedented following and support Warren has gained, we could be heading towards a crisis in the church that might possibly lead to the falling away that the Apostle Paul warns about.... As you decide for yourself whether Rick Warren's embrace of the contemplative has any consequential significance at all, remember the words of Sue Monk Kidd [who endorsed Dallas Willard's book, Spirit of the Disciplines and has herself become a member of Williamson's religion] where she echoes the very essence of Thomas Merton in the conclusions she arrived at:
I am speaking of recognizing the hidden truth that we are one with all people. We are part of them and they are part of us ... When we encounter another person, ... we should walk as if we were upon holy ground. We should respond as if God dwells there. (A Time of Departing, 2nd ed.)
Let us remember the exhortation of the apostle Paul during these sober and serious times in which we live:
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. II Timothy 4:1-5
For More Information:
A Time of Departing (to learn about contemplative spirituality and how Rick Warren and other Christian leaders are embracing it)
The New Gospel Campaign for Peace (update of Reinventing Jesus Christ)
 

 

National Pastor's Convention 2007
 May Be Harmful to Your Church's Spiritual Welfare

Zondervan Publishing's 2007 National Pastors Convention will take place on February 5th through 10th. If you and your church plan to send your pastor, youth pastor or other church leaders, you might want to think twice about that. As we have shown through our documentation and research , the National Pastor's Convention is a place where pastors will be introduced to contemplative spirituality and the emerging church. And they won't be told the truth about these belief systems. On the contrary, they will be told that they need new "ancient wisdom" practices like contemplative prayer, lectio divina, labyrinths and more to have a really deep and meaningful relationship with God.

In addition to the contemplative practices they will be introduced to, they will sit under the teachings of many who promote a "new kind of Christianity" that is based more on eastern-style religions than on biblical Christianity. Some of those teachers include: Ruth Haley Barton (The Transforming Center), Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Robert Webber (Ancient-Future Worship) and Gary Thomas (Sacred Pathways).

Pre-event activities include a National Pastors Retreat, Critical Concerns Courses, which will include teachings by labyrinth-promoter Dan Kimball, yoga-promoter Doug Pagitt and an array of other contemplative/emerging leaders.

Not only will pastors attending get a heavy dose of Eastern mystical practices, they will be encouraged to become enlightened Christians, ones who are not bound by the limitations of doctrine. So before spending the money to send your pastor to this event, please do some research, weigh what you find against Scripture and take this to the Lord in prayer. This event could be harmful to your church's spiritual welfare.

For detailed research and information on the convention speakers, please see our Research Project website.


 

BOOK ALERT
 Author Pete Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life in Christ

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: 
Unleash a Revolution in Your Life in Christ - by Pete 
ScazzeroLTRP Note: Carla from Fools Only has done an excellent job in evaluating Pete Scazzero's book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Unfortunately, Scazzero has done a terrible job in representing biblical Christianity. When you read the documentation, we think you will agree. Check your church book shelves though - this book is being promoted by many Christian organizations and leaders.

"I recently picked up my copy of the newest book by Peter Scazzero from the Christian book store. As I suspected, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is very contemplative.... Okay, in a nutshell ... this book heavily promotes enough contemplative practices and interspiritual teachers and mystics to ring a Buddhist monastery bell.

"Throughout the book are quotes from the following:
Dallas Willard
Meister Eckhart
St. Theresa Avila
Kieran Kavanaugh, editor of John of the Cross
Thomas Merton(Trappist monk and interspiritualist)
Daniel Goleman(scientist who studies and promotes Buddhist meditation)
Richard Foster
Daniel Wolpert
Brennan Manning
Ignatius's teachings
M. Scott Peck
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Basil Pennington
Dan Allender (AAAC)
Larry Crab (Papa Prayer)
Tony Jones, Sacred Way
Phyllis Tickle
Henri Nouwen
Brother Lawrence
Eugene Peterson
Tilden Edwards

"This book also contains teaching on Lectio Divina, the Daily Office, silence and centering down (pg 160- 163), using James Finley's guidelines ..."

PART TWO: "So someone has written another book about contemplative prayer...so what? Only a small handful of people who would want to buy a book like Emotionally Healthy Spirituality will actually read it, right? Wrong! This book and it's author are very influential, as you will see.


 
Megachurch Wooddale Church to Continue "The Gathering"
 

Emerging/contemplative spirituality is digging its heels deeper into Wooddale Church, the church of Pastor Leith Anderson, who recently replaced Ted Haggard as NEA (National Association of Evangelicals) president. As reported in our article, "Haggard's Replacement Promotes Contemplative Spirituality and the Emerging Church", Leith Anderson and Wooddale leadership have been promoting contemplative spirituality for some time.

Recently, Wooddale began a service called The Gathering, geared toward the "post-modern generation." An announcement on a blog dedicated to The Gathering stated:
The planning for the re-start of the Gathering at Wooddale Church is in full swing! As you know the response to the test run was overwhelming. So much so, that we are now considering having two Gathering services.
To view more information about The Gathering, including a video clip, click here.. There is also this second blog designated to The Gathering.

Practicing Contemplative -- Does Intent Justify the Method?
 

If our intent is to find Jesus, is the method of going about this acceptable, even if the method might happen to be a Buddhist meditation style. Brian Edgar, Director of Theology and Public Policy for the Australian Evangelical Alliance believes it is when he states:
Sometimes people suggest that certain methods (such as meditative, contemplative or imaginative prayer) are not Christian. But the key question is about the intention or the focus involved, rather than simply the technique. If the aim is to focus upon the Lord Jesus Christ through the presence of the Spirit then it is Christian. If a prayer is focused at something or someone else then it is not. It is really just the same as preaching. Speaking and listening can be a thoroughly spiritual exercise. But non-Christians also speak and listen, and what makes something a Christian exercise is the content rather than the method. (Edgar, Spirituality)
Panentheist and contemplative Tilden Edwards, of Shalem Institute would agree with Edgar when he states:

In the wider ecumenism of the Spirit being opened for us today, we need to humbly accept the learnings of particular Eastern religions ... What makes a particular practice Christian is not its source, but its intent ... this is important to remember in the face of those Christians who would try to impoverish our spiritual resources by too narrowly defining them. If we view the human family as one in God's spirit, then this historical cross- fertilization is not surprising ... selective attention to Eastern spiritual practices can be of great assistance to a fully embodied Christian life.(ATOD)

Ray Yungen addresses this:

The premise here is that in order to really know God, mysticism must be practiced-the mind has to be shut down or turned off so that the cloud of unknowing where the presence of God awaits can be experienced. Practitioners of this method believe that if the sacred words are Christian, you will get Christ-it is simply a matter of intent even though the method is identical to occult and Eastern practices. So the question we as Christians must ask ourselves is, "Why not? Why shouldn't we incorporate this mystical prayer practice into our lives?" The answer to this is actually found in Scripture.

While certain instances in the Bible describe mystical experiences, I see no evidence anywhere of God sanctioning man-initiated mysticism. Legitimate mystical experiences were always initiated by God to certain individuals for certain revelations and was never based on a method for the altering of consciousness. In Acts 11:5, Peter fell into a trance while in prayer. But it was God, not Peter, who initiated the trance and facilitated it. By definition, a mystic, on the other hand, is someone who uses rote methods in an attempt to tap into their inner divinity. Those who use these methods put themselves into a trance state outside of God's sanction or protection and thus engage in an extremely dangerous approach. Besides, nowhere in the Bible are such mystical practices prescribed. For instance, the Lord, for the purpose of teaching people a respect for His holiness and His plans, instated certain ceremonies for His people (especially in the Old Testament).

Nonetheless, Scripture contains no reference in which God promoted mystical practices. The gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the New Testament were supernatural in nature but did not fall within the confines of mysticism. God bestowed spiritual gifts without the Christian practicing a method beforehand to get God's response....

[Y]ou can call a practice by any other name, but it is the same practice, hence the same results. For example, if you were to jump off a cliff with the intent to fly saying the word "fly, fly, fly" as you jump off and someone else jumped off the same cliff with the intent to hit the bottom saying "fall, fall, fall" as he jumps off, in either case both will hit the bottom. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening in contemplative prayer, although the intent may be to honor Christ. (A Time of Departing)
Foursquare Church Promoting Emerging/Contemplative Leaders
 

The Foursquare Church main website is recommending a number of pro- contemplative/emerging church authors. The list includes books by Brian McLaren, Robert Webber (Ancient-Future Worship), business guru John Maxwell, New Age sympathizers Ken Blanchard and Leonard Sweet, Dan Kimball, Rick Warren, and C. Peter Wagner. (see our research site for information on the teachings of these authors).

Foursquare president Jack Hayford has been in alliance with contemplative guru Richard Foster as we explained in a recent article, "Teen Mania Introduces Kids to Contemplative-Promoting Speaker." In addition, Foursquare church, The Lake, is introducing "wanderers" to many of the same authors mentioned above.

It looks as though the Foursquare movement has decided to go in the emergent/contemplative direction. Unfortunately, they won't be alone. Many other churches, Christian colleges and organizations are aggressively following suit.

Mr. Warren ... Excuses, Excuses
 

While Rick Warren is making all the excuses in the world why it was ok for him to go to Syria, he is leaving out one important and often neglected element ... Israel. What about Israel? In the video clip by YouTube.com (which was quickly removed as Rick Warren learned that "bloggers"* were criticizing him for his trip to Syria and alleged comments he made while there), Warren said that Christians and Muslims lived peacefully together in Syria. He added: "The official government role [in Syria] and position is to not allow any extremism of any kind." But what about Syria's extremism against Israel and Jews? Warren did not mention anything about that. Nor did he mention Syria's hostility towards Israel and threats, that if ever carried out, Israel would be no more.

Mr. Warren, going to Syria, an enemy to Israel, to tell them about your peace plan, which doesn't seem to include Israel by the way (except perhaps a carved up version of Israel?), is a horrible slap in the face (or may prove to be a shot in the back) to Israel. Did you happen to tell the Grand Mufti when you were sitting there in his presence that the God of the Bible made a covenant with Israel and promised never to break it? And while God longs that none should perish but rather all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9, John 3:16), and while He promised to give eternal life to those who believe on His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:36), saving them from the wrath of God, Israel still holds a special place in God's heart. Did you mention these things? Or was your own ecumenical peace plan foremost on your mind?

Sorry Mr. Warren, not this time. You make excuses for everything you do ... and you say you will do "whatever it takes" to accomplish your goal of bringing in a second reformation that will include all religions. By going to Syria, I think you have proven your point.

Related Information:

Rick Warren's 2nd Reformation

The P.E.A.C.E. Plan

The Emerging Global Church

Is Rick Warren Promoting Contemplative Spirituality?

What About the Emerging Church?


*It is worthwhile to note that those whom Rick Warren refers to as "bloggers" include many reputable and long standing ministries and organizations, some of which are news agencies, radio ministries, discernment ministries, and publishing companies. The implication in using the term "bloggers" is that there is no credibility or stability thus they should be ignored. With the exception of Lighthouse Trails (just under 5 years old), these other ministries have been around a very long time.


 

 Why We Should Be Very Concerned About Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren ... and Their Plans for the Future
 

Leonard Sweet: He is quoted by Christian authors and leaders frequently. His name appears on many Christian ministry websites, and his books are used in countless Christian seminaries and colleges. Rick Warren endorsed the cover of one of his books (Soul Tsunami) and even did an audio series with him (Tides of Change) in the mid nineties. (Sweet's name also appears several times on Rick Warren's pastors.com website.) Zondervan publishing publishes books by him, and he enjoys a spot on CCN (Church Communication Network) with Christian leaders like Joni Eareckson Tada, Stormie Omartian, and James Dobson (Focus on the Family). Reggie McNeal (Southern Baptist Convention), someone that many look up to, is part of Leonard Sweet's Advances events. In A Time of Departing, Ray Yungen writes: [Leonard] Sweet is said to be "one of the church's most important and provocative thinkers." (quoting Robert Schuller) Clearly, Leonard Sweet is considered by many to be a trustworthy Christian leader.

But what does Sweet believe, and what is the message he is teaching? The best way to get the answers to these questions is to take a look at his book, Quantum Spirituality. Now while he wrote the book in the early 90s, he still believes in the message of this book. How do we know that? He offers a free download of the entire book on his website. If he had changed his mind about that book, realized in later years that it was heretical/New Age, he certainly would not be offering it on his website.

Leonard Sweet is a futurist. Better put, he is a New Ager, which means he believes that God (or divinity) is in all things and connects all things together. What's more, it also means he believes that a time is coming when the people of the world will become united enough (through a critical mass), largely through meditation, that an age of enlightenment will overtake the earth, when we all realize we are one with each other and with God. New Age simply is the doctrine that was started by Lucifer (the enemy of God), when he aspired to be like the Most High God (Isaiah 14). One of the great doctrines of the New Age is that the gap between good and evil will be eradicated. This is clear when you read the works of people like Neale Donald Walsch, who says even Hitler will be in Heaven, but Leonard Sweet talks about this eradication too.

Part of this futuristic mind-set that Sweet propagates (which by the way is very similar to that of dominionists like Rick Warren, although somewhat disguised at this point) is that the Armageddon scenario talked about in the Bible (Matthew 24, Revelation, Daniel, etc.) does not have to happen at all, and that rather, the church (or those enlightened ones) will rise up and change the culture, control the governments and bring in the "Age of Enlightenment" (Rick Warren calls it a new reformation - same thing), through force, awareness or "whatever it takes."

In Quantum Spirituality, Sweet reveals quite a bit before he even gets started. In the acknowledgments and Preface (usually the rather boring parts of a book), one can find an entire book in and of itself. Listen to Ray Yungen explain:
The acknowledgments section of Quantum Spirituality shows very clearly Sweet's spiritual sympathies. In it, Sweet thanks interspiritualists/universalists such as Matthew Fox (author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ), Episcopalian priest/mystic Morton Kelsey, Willis Harman (author of Global Mind Change) and Ken Wilber (one of the major intellectuals in the New Age movement) for helping him to find what he calls "New Light." Sweet adds that he trusts "the Spirit that led the author of The Cloud of Unknowing."

In the preface of the same book, Sweet disseminates line after line of suggestions that the "old teachings" of Christianity must be replaced with new teachings of "the New Light." And yet these new teachings, he believes, will draw from "ancient teachings" (e.g., the Desert Fathers). This "New Light movement," Sweet says, is a "radical faith commitment that is willing to dance to a new rhythm."

Throughout the book, Sweet favorably uses terms like Christ consciousness and higher self and in no uncertain terms promotes New Age ideology: [Quantum spirituality is] a structure of human becoming, a channeling of Christ energies through mindbody experience....

Sweet also tells his readers that humanity and creation are united as one and we must realize it. Once humanity comes to this realization, Sweet says:
Then, and only then, will a New Light movement of "world making" faith have helped to create the world that is to, and may yet, be. Then, and only then, will earthlings have uncovered the meaning ... of the last words [Thomas Merton] uttered: "We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity."
Leonard Sweet is what could be called an Alice Bailey Christian because his views on the role of mysticism in the church are evident. He states:
Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is now situated in postmodernist culture near the center.... In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, "The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing." [Mysticism] is metaphysics arrived at through mindbody experiences. Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology
This same theology is being promoted by today's Christian leaders, and most of us didn't even know it was happening. Perhaps we underestimated Satan's determination to win in the end.

It's kind of a connecting-the-dots challenge, but when they are all connected, as they are being done before our very eyes today, it includes not only New Agers but many who have been considered Christian leaders for a very long time. And at some point, perhaps in the near future, there will be a convergence of the two mindsets. Contemplative spirituality (mysticism) is helping to bridge the two together. Unfortunately, because so many Christians look up to these leaders, it will be a pied piper effect, and many undiscerning, unaware Christians will go over the cliff of deception with them.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24
If your church or Christian college is using materials by Leonard Sweet, perhaps its time to bring this to the attention of your pastor or professor.

For related information:

Our Research on Leonard Sweet

Spiritual Fusion - East Comes West

Leonard Sweet & Willis Harman: "Spiritual Sciences"

A Time of Departing


"Reinvent or Die" The connections between the two men [Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet] include a 1994 audio set titled The Tides of Change. In the set, Warren and Sweet talk about "new frontiers," "changing times" and a "new spirituality" on the horizon. Later, in Sweet's 2001 book, Soul Tsunami, Warren gives an endorsement that sits on the back as well as on the front cover of the book. Of the book, Warren says:
Leonard Sweet ... suggests practical ways to communicate God's unchanging truth to our changing world.
Some of these "practical ways" include using a labyrinth and visiting a meditation center. Sweet also says, "It's time for a Post Modern Reformation," adding that "The wind of spiritual awakening is blowing across the waters." He says that times are changing and you'd better "Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die." A Time of Departing, 2nd ed.

See also: Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet Riding the "Tides of Change" on the Heels of Mysticism



 

Mark Driscoll: Emergent or Not?
 

Emerging church leader, Mark Driscoll, has stated on a number of occasions that he is no longer one of the Emergent leaders. He says he has distanced himself from emergent leaders like Brian McLaren. John Piper came to Driscoll's defense when Piper invited Driscoll to be a speaker at the recent Desiring God conference. In several blogs, Driscoll was also defended as not being part of the contemplative and/or emergent movement. But the question must be asked, If Driscoll is not part of that movement, why is he listed as a speaker at next year's National Pastors Convention, when the convention is clearly and staunchly supporting and promoting contemplative and emerging spiritualities? Is Driscoll going to tell his audiences at the convention that they should denounce the teachings that are being rallied at the 2007 National Pastors Convention? Or is he going to fellowship with those who teach the doctrines of demons?
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:

Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light."

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:8-15
See also:

Does Mark Driscoll Belong at John Piper's Conference?

Desiring God (i.e., John Piper) Says OK to Mark Driscoll at Conference

Mark Driscoll and Acts 29 Network - Promoting Contemplative


 

 
 

Featured Resources

 
     

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). Common terms used for this movement are "spiritual formation," "the silence," "the stillness," "ancient-wisdom," "spiritual disciplines," and many others.

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.