LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH              August 24, 2015      LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS PUBLISHING
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Fall is Coming—Is Your Child Going to Christian College? Nine Things You Can Do to Help Your Student Be Aware of Contemplative/Emerging Deception

Concept Of College EducationFall is quickly approaching, and by now, if you have a child or grandchild who is going to attend Christian college this year, he or she is most likely enrolled and ready to go. As Lighthouse Trails has reported over the last several years, the majority of evangelical/Protestant colleges, seminaries, and universities are now, to varying degrees, integrating contemplative spirituality and emerging ideologies into the lives of their students. With this in mind, we believe you should consider doing the following nine things so that you and your child can know what to expect in that school and how to deal with it:

1. First, see if that school is on our contemplative colleges list. Sadly, this list is continually growing.

2. Ask the school for a current textbook list (you may e-mail it to Lighthouse Trails so we can analyze the list for you). Usually textbook lists will also give the authors’ names as well as titles of books.

3. Search your particular college’s website to see if it has spiritual formation programs. You can type words into college website search engines such as: Nouwen, “spiritual formation,” “lectio divina,” Shane Claiborne, “christian formation,” etc.

4. Find out who will be speaking at student chapels.

5. Ask for a syllabus for each class your student is enrolled in.

6. After getting the textbook list, the chapel speaker list, the search engine results, and the class syllabi, refer to our Directory of Authors to see if any names from the school are in that directory.

7. Make sure your child is educated on what  contemplative prayer, spiritual formation, and emerging church really mean. They should read at least one of the following LT books: A Time of Departing, Faith Undone, Castles in the Sand. You as a parent or grandparent should read An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited as well. If you do not have one of those books on hand or if you or your child or grandchild cannot afford to buy one of them, please let us know, and we will send a copy to your child complimentary.

8. Contact the school chaplain and ask some good questions. It is often the school chaplain or campus pastor who decides who is going to be invited to speak at chapels and also is often in charge of Spiritual Formation activities outside of class.

9. Find out which church your child will be attending while in school. Many, many times, the majority of students of a particular college go to the same church, and many, many times, that church is pro-contemplative, pro-emerging.

If your child or grandchild is not yet enrolled in a college, then this list will put you  in a better position to help him or her make a decision on where to attend. If your child or grandchild is already enrolled for this fall, then this list will help you help your child be better equipped and prepared for the road ahead.

Here is our growing list of Christian schools that ARE promoting contemplative and/or emerging: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/Colleges.htm. And here is a small list we have put together of schools that are thus far NOT going in that direction: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/collegesgood.htm.

Note: For many years, we had Faith Baptist Bible College in Iowa on our “good” list. But after several communications with the school over concerning textbooks and also books by Brennan Manning and Jesus Calling in their bookstore, we removed the school from that list. They were a good choice for a 4-year degree school; and while they do carry Faith Undone and A Time of Departing on their bookstore website (but not in their classes), their current textbook list continues having a number pro-contemplative, pro-emerging authors (e.g., Boyd, Burns, Fields, Devries). We saw this same thing happen to Corban University (formally Western Baptist) in Oregon; and even though Lighthouse Trails communicated with the school on the direction they started going (and in fact, for a number of years, one class used A Time of Departing), they proceeded down that road, and today, they are on our contemplative college list.

Some of our past articles on Christian colleges:

Baylor University Professors Using Meditation and Mantras to “Help” Students

Letter to the Editor: Liberty University Offering Yoga Classes . . . AGAIN!

“Christian Palestinianism” & Emergents Lynn Hybels and Jim Wallis Come to Multnomah University For “Justice” Conference

Faith Baptist Bible College & Seminary “Crossed Off” “Good” College List – Hopefully Temporarily

Letter to the Editor: Saddened by Christian & Missionary Alliance and Ambrose University Continuing Plunge into Contemplative

The “New” Emerging Theology Breeds Atheism in a Generation of Young People

In Need of a Pastor for Your Church? Try Looking at NON-Contemplative Colleges

Teresa of Avila Comes to Christian College

More articles in our Contemplative Colleges category.

Letter to the Editor: A Church I Visited Doing “Soaking” – What is Soaking?

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

A church I visited when I moved to another State has what they refer to as ‘soakings’. My understanding is that they sit quietly and wait for messages from the Lord. The pastor attends these soakings as well as participates in them. Sounds much like contemplative prayer to me. Several women in that church are tuned into ‘Jesus Calling’. It is an Assembly of God denomination. I have yet to see the term ‘soakings’ in your articles but I am relatively new and may have missed it?

Our Comment:

Lighthouse Trails has been collecting information on “soaking” prayer for a number of years. Here are some quotes about soaking prayer  by various authors. To read the entire articles, click on the links following the quotes.

SOAKING

There is nothing in the Bible about soaking or saturating in the Holy Spirit. We are to worship in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24), which means that the teaching in the Church must bring worship to the Lord by upholding the timeless truths of the written Word. – Sandy Simpson, “How to be Unsaturated”


Kundalini Energy & Christian Spirituality
(the same as contemplative or soaking prayer)
Ray Yungen
Kundalini is a Hindu term for the mystical power or force that underlies their spirituality. In Hinduism it is commonly referred to as the serpent power. Philip 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. What happened to him following this practice should bear the utmost scrutiny from the evangelical community-especially from our leadership. 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. Read more …. Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality


Physical Symptoms and a Demonic Realm

Physical symptoms, which can include things like a tingling sensation, that occur during Soaking Prayer are similar to those experienced during the Kundalini experience, and both are dangerous and can take the practitioner into a demonic realm.

“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.” “SOAKING PRAYER” by Roger Harper 



Also these articles:

SOAKING? A spiritual discipline or Eastern mysticism?
by Kjos Ministries

Contemplative Prayer and the Evangelical Church
by Ray Yungen

Reiki, a Universal Energy Technique to Heal
by Mike Oppenheimer

What is really going on in the church?
By Mike Oppenheimer

 

 

 

 

Fall is Coming—Is Your Child Going to Christian College? Nine Things You Can Do to Help Your Student Be Aware of Contemplative/Emerging Deception
Letter to the Editor: A Church I Visited Doing “Soaking” – What is Soaking?
Jesus Calling— “Co-creating” with God
Seventh Planned Parenthood Expose’: Some Babies Are Alive When Organs Are Harvested

Insider’s View of Rob Bell’s Stop in SF for “Everything is Spiritual Tour”

Pope Francis: An Apocalyptic Figure?
Letter to the Editor: Lighthouse Trails Has Exaggerated Condition of Christian Missionary Alliance
NEW BOOKLET TRACT – A Trip to India—to Learn the Truth About Hinduism and Yoga
Audio Message from Chris Lawson: An Exhortation on Living By Faith in Christ During Hard Times & Persecution
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FLAT RATE U.S. SHIPPING AND HISTORY OF LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS
10 Things to Ponder - Pathway to Apostasy

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Jesus Calling— “Co-creating” with God

By Warren B. Smith

In Jesus Calling, “Jesus” mentions a key New Age term: co-creation. Many people do not realize that co-creation is a New Age evolutionary concept that teaches that man as God co-creates with God because man is God also. But man is not God.

Co-creation is a New Age concept that entails the necessity of man recognizing that he is God and then acting as God to co-create a positive future. The means to accomplishing this has been laid out by the New Age “Christ” in top New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard’s book The Revelation—which essentially rewrites the Holy Bible’s book of Revelation. The New Age “Christ” has a plan and is promising the world that Armageddon is avoidable and that world peace is possible if everyone collaborates and co-creates with him. He and humanity together can thus save the world. Speaking through Hubbard in The Revelation, the New Age “Christ” uses the terms co-create, co-creation, co-creative, co-creator, and co-creatorship over 100 times. Co-creation is the key to his counterfeit plan of salvation for planet Earth.

Webster’s New World Dictionary’s sole definition of a collaborationist is “a person who cooperates with an enemy invader.”1 And the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling uses the terms collaborate, collaborating, or collaboration at least ten times. For example, he states:

This is a very practical way of collaborating with Me. I, the Creator of the universe, have deigned to co-create with you.2 (emphasis added)

In Jesus Calling, “Jesus” plays into this ultimate New Age collaboration when he talks of humanity collaborating and co-creating with him. Again, co-creation is the key to the spirit world’s counterfeit plan of salvation for planet Earth. Occult/New Age author Neale Donald Walsch has been taking spiritual dictation from his New Age “God” for many years now. “God”—speaking through Walsch—has proclaimed that “The era of the Single Savior” is to be replaced with “co-creation”:

Yet let me make something clear. The era of the Single Savior is over. What is needed now is joint action, combined effort, collective co-creation.3 (emphasis added)

And Hubbard’s New Age “Christ” states:

Here we are, now poised either on the brink of destruction greater than the world has ever seen—a destruction which will cripple planet Earth forever and release only the few to go on—or on the threshold of global co-creation wherein each person on Earth will be attracted to participate in his or her own evolution to godliness.4 (emphasis added)

In “Reimagining” God, Tamara Hartzell underscores the connection between co-creation, meditation, and contemplative prayer by quoting the following from Hubbard’s book The Revelation:

We too shall all be changed. . . . the next stage of evolution, the shift from creature to co-creative human. . . .

We draw from all great avatars and paths, but we know that our challenge is to be the co-creative human ourselves. There is no outside person or power that can do this for us. Each of us chooses the disciplines and practices that are most compatible with our temperament. We become faithful to those practices, whether they be meditation, yoga, prayer, contemplation—whatever inner work works, we do faithfully.5

Hartzell also points out the striking similarities of the dictated messages given to both Young and Hubbard by their Presence:

[I]n Jesus Calling, Young’s “Presence” of “Jesus” that wants to “reprogram your thinking” looks for “an awakened soul” in order “to co-create with you.” Young’s “Presence” that also says, “I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light,” wants you to “[l]earn to tune in to My living Presence by seeking Me in silence,” “[a]ttune yourself to My voice,” and “do not relinquish your attentiveness to Me.” Likewise, in The Revelation, Hubbard’s “Christ presence” that refers to “humanity awakening” as “co-creators with Christ” wants you to: “Create the cocoon of light. Materialize my body of light in your mind’s eye.” And also: “Keep your attention on me at all times. Practice continually tuning in.”6

Speaking through Hubbard in The Revelation, the New Age “Christ” states:

At the moment of cosmic contact, I will appear to you both through inner experience and through external communication in your mass media—the nervous system of the world.

You will all feel, hear, and see my presence at one instant in time, each in your own way.7 (emphasis added)

This New Age “Christ” further elaborates on this co-creative process by describing the moment of experiencing his presence as the Quantum Instant. He also describes the judgment that will come with it, which will be based on people’s willingness to co-create the future with him. He states:

At the time of the Quantum Instant there will be a judgment of the quick and the dead. That is, there will be an evolutionary selection process based on your qualifications for co-creative power.8 (emphasis added)
Those of you who happen to be alive at the time of the actual Quantum Instant, will be changed while still alive. . . .
Your co-creative system will turn on. It is being prepared now.9 (emphasis added)

There is a definite overlap of terms as the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling uses this same co-creative term to describe how he will transform people’s lives. And Hartzell explains why both Sarah Young’s “Christ” and Barbara Marx Hubbard’s “Christ” contradict Scripture when they talk of man co-creating with God:

It is Jesus Christ of Nazareth—and He alone is Christ—that is one with God. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). And it is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Who alone is Christ, that is the Father’s (“co-”) Creator. God’s Word also tells us: “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9). Man is neither one with God nor God’s “co-creator.” Man never has been and never will be a “natural Christ.”10

This is an excerpt from Warren B. Smith’s book, “Another Jesus” Calling.

Endnotes:

1. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster., Inc 1988, Third College Ed.), p. 273.
2. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. 362.
3. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
4.arbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), p. 174.
5. Ibid., pp. 312-313.
6. Tamara Hartzell, “Reimagining” God: Turning the Light off to Look for “Truth” in the Corner of a Dark Round Room, Volume 2, (North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, an Amazon company, 2013), pp. 408-409.
7. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., p. 245.
8. Ibid., p. 111.
9. Ibid., p. 197.
10. Tamara Hartzell, “Reimagining” God, op. cit., p. 406.

Related Articles:

Would Jesus Magnify His Presence Above the Word of God?

Letter to the Editor: Her Pastor: “Warren B. Smith Not in Communion With Holy Spirit Because of “Another Jesus” Calling” | LT: “Church Will Bear Brunt of Pastor’s Negligence”

The New Age Implications of “Jesus Calling”

Seventh Planned Parenthood Expose’: Some Babies Are Alive When Organs Are Harvested

LTRP Note: Viewer Discretion Advised for Video Below

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

The seventh expose’ video surrounding Planned Parenthood’s alleged harvesting and sale of aborted babies was released today, featuring testimony that suggests that some babies are alive when their organs are harvested.

The footage, released by the Center for Medical Progress, features clips from the past six videos, as well as new footage from an interview with former StemExpress procurement technician Holly O’Donnell, who had shared part of her story last week.

In Wednesday’s video, O’Donnell recalled a time at Planned Parenthood’s San Jose, California facility when her supervisor called her into the room to show her that the baby’s heart was still beating, but pressed forward with removing the child’s brain anyway.

“The moment I see [the aborted child], I’m just flabbergasted,” she shared. “This is the most gestated fetus and the closest thing to a baby I’ve seen.”

“She’s like, ‘I want to show you something,’ and she has one of her instruments and she just taps the heart and it starts beating,” O’Donnell remembered, looking stunned. “And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus and it’s heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”

The former fetal tissue procurement worker said that the baby had all of his facial features. Click here to continue reading. Click here if you cannot view this video.

 

Insider’s View of Rob Bell’s Stop in SF for “Everything is Spiritual Tour”

RobBellPhoto1LTRP Note: We post this because it is important for people to understand what the deception looks like that young Christians are being saturated with through individuals such as Rob Bell. Bell’s tour, Everything is  Spiritual, is panentheistic in nature but disguised in some Christian vernacular.

Bear in mind, Rob Bell isn’t the only one who is bringing this “new” progressive spirituality to young people today. There is a deluge of “hip” “relevant” leaders out there who are changing the way young Christians think, moving them away from biblical Christianity. It’s happening in our churches, in our colleges and seminaries, on the radio, and in para-church organizations.

By L. Sharp

RobBellPhoto4

Photo taken by L. Sharp at the 2015 Everything is Spiritual Tour

On Aug.10, 2015, Rob Bell made his final stop on his whirlwind 31-city “Everything is Spiritual Tour,” which began in Los Angeles (6/24) and ended in San Francisco (8/10). In 2006, he had done the same tour, but nine years later, his 2015 talk brought people more clearly into the “cosmic One-ness,” that “One Community Personality/Personhood” that Bell claims the universe has been moving forward towards for the past 13 billion years. The main thrust of the 2-hour monologue was not exactly what Bell had advertised on his website: “On the Everything is Spiritual Tour . . . Bell make(s) surprising connections between the universe you’re living in and the life you’re living, showing how science and spirituality are long lost dance partners . . . ”

2-Hour Monologue with Whiteboard

The 2,500-capacity theater was nearly full. Prior to the 8:30 pm start time of Bell’s 2-hour monologue, there were alcoholic drinks served in the rear, and about 30% of the 2,500 were millennials (under 30), but a majority were in their mid-30s to mid-40s. Bell hopped on stage with his usual dramatics and pulled out his black marker (with ensuing oohs and aahs from the audience). It seemed most of the crowd had either seen Bell’s 2007 DVD “Everything is Spiritual” or had been aware of his previous 2006 tour, where his marked-up whiteboard became its own sensation amongst Bell followers.

Bell began by affirming the crowd by telling them: “I’m so glad you came . . . you probably were told you were a heretic because you came, but I’m glad you are here!” He then pulled out his infamous black marker and progressively moved on the whiteboard from left to right: starting from one black point (which he claimed was the “Big Bang” that created the universe 13 billion years ago) to particles, to atoms, to molecules, to cells, to human beings, where he, at the end of the talk and at the far right of the whiteboard, drew a CIRCLE WITH PEOPLE IN IT (Author’s note: this is the “cosmic One-ness”).

Bell then defined his terms. He said:

Atoms are a relationship of energy. You are a relationship of energy interacting with another person who is another complex relationship of energy. We all exchange more than words with each other . . . We are made of the same substance as rocks and stars . . . We are an exotic cocktail living on this planet . . . We live in this universe which is a self-transcending reality . . . For 13 billion years, this universe has been:

1) Increasing in complexity
2) Increasing in depth (layers of community)
3) Increasing in unity

An example of increasing depth (layers of community) is when birds share a “community brain,” that only emerges when birds fly together as flocks. It is called “epi-phenomenon.” Humans are “epi-phenomenon.”

Since the universe has been increasing in unity over billions of years [evolution], this is why we all know deep down that loneliness is not the direction the universe is headed. Racism is the failure to bond with others of the same or like essence. It is not the direction the universe has been going for 13 billion years [Loud applause and cheers ensued after this comment].

The universe has been moving forward for billions of years . . . Jesuit scientist and priest Pierre Teilhard De Chardin said: “Progress is the soul of the universe.”

RobBellPhoto3Why has the universe been moving forward? What is at work bringing the whole universe forward? LOVE.

Love is the force, the spirit driving everything. Love is to orient yourself towards another in a way that is self-transcendent . . . it helps you see the world more complexly, more completely . . . new things emerge between you and the one you love, that transcends the two of you . . .

one plus one equals infinity

God is love . . . Jesus didn’t just talk about his death and the cross, etc. When Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God expanding, around you, within you . . . was Jesus talking about the universe moving forward, moved by LOVE?

Is the universe done after 13 billion years, or is the whole thing still moving forward and are there new realities or layers that are yet to unfold? What would that be? The next new layer would emerge if people bonded with other people of like/same substance. Is there something that WE, when we bond properly, causes EMERGENCE, an unfolding of a new layer (of community)? New layers always contain properties of the previous layer . . . So, this new layer will have a personality and a personhood . . .

ARE WE FORMING SOMETHING TOGETHER, WITH A SINGULAR PERSONALITY AND PERSONHOOD?

The first Christians kept talking of Christ as an animating energy, an energy universal, as a personal, cosmic Christ . . . a universal human body . . . Were they talking of us forming a NEW SINGULAR BODY? A NEW HUMANITY?

LOVE is the force that drives everything . . . Love is lining yourself up to the universe’s expansion, openness . . . Become more aware of the moments where you can stay in the groove of LOVE . . . Don’t stay in the constant fear of the EGO . . . If you are afraid people are going to call you a heretic, you will not LOVE . . . You will become dangerous when you don’t let the fact they call you a heretic close you up to LOVE . . .

What is present in you, in embryo, genetic form, that is yet to EMERGE? When you become your true best self, others can then become their true best selves . . . .

My Comments

Bell’s main point was that “LOVE” (which he defines in New Age terms as: transcending the ego or self, to bond with others of like/same substance (or energy)), has been driving, and is driving the universe’s and humanity’s forward progress. In other words, man has been spiritually evolving, and progressing, and we have to all connect our unique energies (since Bell claims we are all basically atoms of energy put together in a human form), to cause this new “cosmic One-ness” to emerge.

According to Bell, the emergence of this “cosmic One-ness” has yet to be seen, since we haven’t evolved or progressed far enough yet . . . Bell makes this future “cosmic One-ness” sound so noble. Bell said earlier in describing LOVE between two people: One plus one equals infinity . . . When we are alone, we have two eyes. In relationship with one person, we have four eyes . . . We then can see more complexly, more completely, what we couldn’t see alone . . .

Bell’s main point is that humanity must be interconnected . . . Loneliness is not the will of the universe . . . the universe cannot move forward if there are solitary people who do not jump on the bandwagon of this “cosmic One-ness.”

What are the implications for biblical believers who are not convinced of Bell’s “cosmic One-ness”? Clearly, as Bell said, these types of people will hinder the entire universe from moving forward, from progressing. According to Bell, solitary biblical believers, need to let go of their self or ego and become of the same like/same substance or energy of others who are part of this “cosmic One-Ness” that is emerging. The universe is moving in this direction. We cannot be alone . . . we must become part of this “cosmic One-ness.” If we do not “wake up” to our true destiny as part of this emerging new “cosmic One-ness,” then we are hindering the progress of the entire universe. And, we are also hindering others from becoming who they were meant to be, as the universe or “god” intended.

As bible-believing Christians, we must continue to stand on the truth of the Bible that shows us that there is no “cosmic One-ness,” but rather a last-days one-world religion is on the forefront that will be ruled by the Antichrist. We must warn others to not join with this last-days delusion, despite feeling more and more marginalized.

We can stand firmly on the Bible’s truth as our foundation, amidst this pressure to move towards this “Cosmic One-ness.” Rob Bell is just one of the heretical proponents that the Enemy has used to infiltrate, to snare, and to deceive God’s people (especially young people) in these last days of apostasy we are in. We are not alone. God is with us. And God has preserved a remnant in these days that is still standing on God’s Word, committed to His truth.

Rob Bell’s 2015 Everything is Spiritual Presentation: (Click here if you cannot view this video.)

 

Pope Francis: An Apocalyptic Figure?

 By Jan Markell
Olive Tree Ministries

I am cautious about “pinning the tail” on the Antichrist and the False Prophet.  We cannot know ahead of time who these personalities are; however, Pope Francis comes close to “filling the bill” on the False Prophet. Or he may be but a “type” of that man just like there are many “types” of the Antichrist throughout history. I think the devil has always had a candidate for the Antichrist waiting in the wings as he doesn’t know when the final generation is.

The False Prophet is described in Revelation 13:11-15. He is also referred to as the “second beast” (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10). Together with the Antichrist and Satan, who empowers both of them, the False Prophet is the third party in the unholy trinity.

Pope Francis is revealing himself to be a blatant Marxist. He has also pulled back from issues Catholics have considered sacred. He apparently has replaced abortion with social justice and environmentalism. Most troubling, however, is his call for a “new world order” and that there be a global constitution, a global court and a one-world government. Scripture is clear that the Antichrist will be the head of a one-world government (Revelation 13).

Even conservative Catholics are sounding a warning that Pope Francis–the first Jesuit Pope–may be the most troubling Pope ever. He is raising apocalyptic concerns and some in the eschatological community feel that he, indeed, has gotten the nod to be the False Prophet.

 Roger Oakland, an apologist on Catholic doctrine, writes, “According to Bible prophecy, a one-world religion that will offer the promise of peace throughout the world is going to commence prior to Christ’s return. To most, this global body will seem like a wonderful thing and very possibly will be a pseudo-Christianity (coming in the Name of Christ); however, contrary to how the masses will view it, it will actually help establish and set up the Antichrist and his one-world government.”

He continues, “In order for this to happen, all religions must come together in an ecumenical plan. Today, as part of this Satanic scheme, the evangelical/Protestant church is being drawn seductively into the Roman Catholic Church, largely through what we call ‘the Jesuit agenda.’ Incredibly, while the evidence is obvious to some, the majority of proclaiming Christians are not at all aware it is happening.”

Oakland concludes, “So what should we expect if we are in the time when such a system unfolds? First, many who once were Protestant and Evangelical will become ecumenical. Second, all religions will unite in solidarity of purpose. Understanding the Jesuit agenda is essential if we are to understand how this worldwide deception will come about.”

Jan Markell is the founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries. Her radio program airs on 700 radio stations across America. She is the co-author of Trapped in Hitler’s Hell.

Letter to the Editor: Lighthouse Trails Has Exaggerated Condition of Christian Missionary Alliance

Dear Editors at Lighthouse Trails:

I stumbled onto your website while looking for a video from this year’s Alliance Council featuring John Stumbo. In your writings, you largely promote the idea the C&MA is espousing the emergent church, contemplative prayer, spiritual formation blather.

I have never, ever heard this in my church. EVER. So, for you to paint the C&MA with such a wide brush is sensationalistic, to say the least. Perhaps occasionally a misled pastor will go down that road. Such a pastor needs to be brought into line, in my opinion. The colleges that “teach” these courses—are they teaching them to promote them, or are they teaching these classes in a effort to enlighten students as to the evils that can weave their way into ministry? You don’t say which in your writings which I find, again, sensationalistic.

Never once have I heard or read anything from John Stumbo promoting any of this emergent church ‘trend’.

Defend yourself. I’ll be waiting for a reply.

SN

Dear SN:

We wish we were being sensationalistic and exaggerating the issue. Unfortunately (and sadly), Christian and Missionary Alliance (and most other evangelical denominations) have been embracing contemplative prayer, Spiritual Formation, and the emerging “new” spirituality for quite some time, and we see no signs of this letting up. A few denominations are just dabbling in it, but most, including C&MA, are well immersed as Lighthouse Trails has been documenting for over 13 years. Does this mean that every church in each of these denominations is involved in this? No, and Lighthouse Trails has always maintained that. But in virtually every case where a denomination is moving in this direction, there is evidence that it is existent in upper leadership. A case in point is C&MA. Just visit the main C&MA website, search through their magazine archives, books they are selling, and so forth, and you will find numerous contemplative/emergent references, such as an article written by the late (d. 2011) C&MA Senior Pastor from Salem, Oregon Donald Bubna titled “The Journey” where Bubna states:

To learn from others on the spiritual journey, I have discovered and devoured the writings of Henri Nouwen, Philip Yancey and Thomas Merton on the issue of full surrender to the deeper life.

Nouwen and Merton were both interspiritual Catholic mystics. Yancey is an evangelical contemplative advocate. Bubna was not an “occasional” example of a C&MA pastor who has had such persuasions. And in fact, the Salem C&MA church has been a contemplative influence for many years on Alliance members.

Another example: In a 2013 C&MA magazine article titled “The Lord’s Dream,” the author explains how a C&MA church in Philadelphia, PA is in close relationship with emergent author Shane Claiborne’s church, and on at least one occasion, Claiborne spoke at the C&MA church, filling in for the pastor one Sunday. Claiborne was mentored by and resonates with emergent leader Tony Campolo.

And a third example, Richard Bush, superintendent of the New England District of the U.S. C&MA, wrote an article titled “Transformed,” in which he favorably quotes heavy-weight contemplative leader Ruth Haley Barton. Barton was trained at the New Age sympathizing interspiritual Shalem Prayer Institute in Washington, DC, and she has an organization that teaches thousands of pastors contemplative practices and Spiritual Formation. Clearly, Bush resonates with Barton for him to use her as an example of Christians being “transformed.”

One last example, at the 2013 C&MA Council conference, one of the seminars was presented by a woman who  taught the class in the contemplative practice of “lectio divina.”

These examples are coming from C&MA leadership. With 500,000 members in 2000 churches, the C&MA is a strong force within evangelical Christianity, and if they end up in the wrong place, they’ll be taking a lot of people with them.

In reference to your comment about C&MA president John Stumbo, Lighthouse Trails has only mentioned him in one article and that was one this past summer where we stated that Stumbo will be sharing a platform with New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet at the Christian Missionary Alliance Mahaffey Family Camp. Please refer to that article for information about the beliefs of Leonard Sweet. Incidentally, John Stumbo was the senior pastor of Salem Missionary Alliance prior to becoming C&MA president. During those years, Salem C&MA was promoting contemplative spirituality (in fact, Ray Yungen talks about this church in his book A Time of Departing).

Listed below are several articles (which all have documentation) regarding Christian & Missionary Alliance that we have posted over the years. Please take the time to study this information, and in so doing, you will see that C&MA has indeed gone down the contemplative/emergent path. As for the college situation, after 13 years of tracking the evangelical colleges and seminaries, over 90% of them are now promoting this same path, and we have documented this time and again as well.  As a matter of fact, we have learned that all C&MA colleges and seminaries are promoting this.

While we acknowledge that it is difficult to hear these things about one’s own denomination, for the sake of truth, we hope Christians reading Lighthouse Trails material will take it to heart, do their homework, and see if these things we say are not true.

C&MA Research Articles:

The Christian and Missionary Alliance Hooks Up with the IAHR (International Association of Healing Rooms)

Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance (Canada) Promoting Interspiritual, Panentheist Monk, Basil Pennington

Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) Mahaffey Family Camp Brings in New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet as Camp Speaker

Christian & Missionary Alliance Rob Reimer Loses His Way in “Pathways to the King:” A Review

Letter to the Editor: Saddened by Christian & Missionary Alliance and Ambrose University Continuing Plunge into Contemplative

Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance OK With Ruth Haley Barton and Other Contemplatives

Alliance Theological Seminary Dean Ron Walborn Recommends NAR Bill Johnson (and more!) for Pastors

COLLEGE ALERT: CMA Simpson University Students Seek Contemplative Chapel Experience

Ambrose University (CMA & Nazarene) Full Speed into Contemplative/Emergent

 
NEW BOOKLET TRACT – A Trip to India—to Learn the Truth About Hinduism and Yoga

A Trip to India—to Learn the Truth About Hinduism and Yoga by Caryl Matrisciana is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of A Trip to India—to Learn the Truth About Hinduism and Yoga,  click here. With more and more Christians (women especially) turning to Yoga, this booklet is a vitally important booklet to hand out at churches and Bible studies. Rarely a week passes when Lighthouse Trails does not receive a phone call or an e-mail from someone telling us that his or her church is now doing Yoga.

A Trip to India—to Learn the Truth About Hinduism and Yoga

By Caryl Matrisciana

Thirteen years had passed since my family had left India. Now I found myself on an airplane returning there. I was filled with excitement and nostalgic memories. Would I bump into old friends with whom I had lost contact over the years? Would anything have changed?

I was travelling with a small group of international cult experts. We had received a grant enabling our research group to travel around India, visiting gurus and their ashrams.

Calcutta
Our plane landed in Calcutta, the former capital of the British Indian Empire and the city of my birth—I was breathless with excitement. Yet my enthusiasm was tinged with fear and apprehension: I knew the India I would encounter over the next few weeks would be a very different India from that of my youth.

This time I would experience the hardships of living an ascetic life with gurus and their disciples, a lifestyle as foreign to me as it was to my companions.

We planned to examine various popular-in-the-West gurus. We would interview them as well as their disciples, trying to glean a basic understanding of their teachings, so that we could better educate our various organizations back home.

I anticipated hardships, knowing that many gurus hid themselves in the outbacks of India’s countryside. I knew that the diets and accompanying Hindu religious activities would be arduous and draining. If all this weren’t spiritually exhausting, it would definitely take its toll physically.
Any disappointments I expected certainly didn’t match up to the overwhelming reality, which I soon encountered. Calcutta is named after the frightful Hindu goddess Kali, the female counterpart of the male god Shiva. Both depict death and destruction, and the city clearly reflects this. Kali also has the benign title of Mother of Love. Calcutta, or Kali-ghat, “the steps to Kali,” embodies all the complex contradictions of the Hindu god-goddess makeup. Calcutta is also one of the biggest cities in the world, with a population of nearly thirteen million. Its harbors and industries make it a key center of Eastern commerce.

The first thing to overwhelm me as I stepped into Dum Dum, the bustling Calcutta airport, was the wild confusion resulting from overpopulation. Being in the midst of shoulder-to-shoulder people was a sensation I had almost forgotten after spending years in the West.

I recalled a conversation with an Indian friend who had visited America. He had commented on the emptiness of American streets. “Where are all the people?” he had asked in bewilderment. “I see houses with cars parked outside, open shops, offices, and restaurants . . . but where are all the people?” That question might seem peculiar to those who have not experienced India’s swarming mass of humanity.

My thoughts were soon flooded with other unpleasant recollections. Besides the pushing and shoving, we had to deal with stealing and lying—almost-forgotten aspects of my childhood memories.

Upon swift recall of necessary survival instincts, I made immediate efforts to beat the corruption of “the system.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough to protect our little group from the first “criminal.”

One of our party was taken in by a fellow claiming to be a porter. Our naïve traveling companion had paid an up-front deposit. Without hesitation, the imposter had proceeded to put our collective baggage onto a trolley. He had then wheeled it off down the road toward points unknown.

Because I was fluent in Hindi, I was assigned the recovery operation. Eventually, I caught up to the thief and ordered him to return our baggage to the airport lobby. He did so, but, of course, we lost the deposit. He stubbornly claimed it had not been paid to him. After this incident, I quickly learned to stay on my toes.

The next minor incident (our last show of naiveté) was a deliberately elongated taxi drive from the airport. Since I vaguely remembered the surroundings enough to put our cab driver back on course, we were spared the expense of being driven around and around the city. But, oh, the streets of Calcutta we drove through. Pitiful shacks made up of sackcloth, rags, and sticks engulfed the sidewalks and spilled onto the streets.

When our cab stopped for a moment at a traffic light, I was able to peek into the dark interiors of some of those “homes.” I was still horrified, after all the years, to see the number of people living inside. Sisters and brothers were curled against each other like young gerbils in a cage. I saw one pathetically skinny child in tattered rags with cow-dung matted in her hair. She was attempting to soothe a wailing toddler. She cuddled and caressed him, with a comforting smile on her sweet, sad face.

How could the Western spiritual seekers I had spoken to in England, Europe, and America overlook so much tragedy? How could they bypass it to focus on the “wisdom and love” of the East? Couldn’t they see that it was the very aloofness and madness of India’s religion, her so-called wisdom and love, that created such obvious agony for the poor and such cruel apathy in the rich?

They had only to look at any of the ever-present beggars. As a member of one of the largest professions there, each beg­gar belongs to a master. He is assigned to a specific territory where he collects money for his owner. In return, he is provided with a cramped space in some hovel for sleeping and an occasional meager meal.

Some of these homeless derelicts are horribly diseased. Others are intentionally mutilated by their masters. Some children are maimed from birth in order to elicit sympathy from prospective donors.

Equally heartbreaking are India’s prostitutes. According to one government-commissioned study, there are three million prostitutes in India, with many of them between the ages of twelve and fifteen.1 Young girls are often recruited by pimps who tour rural villages, making wild financial promises to poverty-stricken parents. Male prostitution in India is on the rise too.

In Mumbai, there is an infamous street where young girls are kept behind iron bars. Cage after cage exposes scantily clad, heavily made-up teenagers. Some are extraordinarily beautiful. Others are barely ten years old. Many have been beaten and tortured into submission.2

How does the higher class Indian deal with all this cultural madness? With sure escape in mind, he does what any Westerner might do when stressed—he goes to the movies!

India has the largest film industry in the world, far surpassing the number of films made in the United States, and there are over 13,000 theaters. Every three months a billion people in India buy tickets to the cinema.3 Even in the poorest regions of the country, people would go short of food rather than give up their night with the movie stars.

In an impoverished, starving country some films cost their producers tens of millions of rupees. The controversial 1981 film, Gandhi, was all the rage in fashionable Indian circles. One-third of the film’s nine million pound (English sterling) budget was paid for by the Indian government.4 Such were India’s political priorities.

Meanwhile, alluring tourist propaganda puts out impressive statistics documenting India’s achievements. But these glowing reports fail to address the nation’s most sobering problems.

India is the seventh largest landmass in the world. Her population of over 1.1 billion makes her the second most inhabited country on earth.5

Yet, in spite of her size, a spectacular array of natural resources, and economic growth due to developing technological industries, India places twelfth among the economies of the world.6 And although India is rising economically, malnutrition, lack of educational opportunity, and overall poverty is still extremely high: nearly half of India’s children are underweight for their age;7 there are seventeen million child laborers in India; less than half of India’s children between the ages of six and fourteen go to school; more than one in three women in India and over sixty percent of the children in India are anemic.8

Ashrams of India
The first ashram our group visited was the Sivananda Ashram in Monghyr. Also known as the Bihar School of Yoga, it was founded in 1964 by Tantric Swami Satyananda Saraswati. When we arrived there, the powers-that-be required that we pay the exorbitant overnight accommodation fees in advance. We consented. We were tired and hungry and didn’t have the energy to complain over the high costs. We had had an exhausting overnight train journey from Calcutta. Jamalpur Junction, the train station nearest the ashram, was located six miles away. To make matters worse, we had arrived in the wee hours of the morning.

The station guard had warned us not to venture out of the station. “You’ll be robbed or murdered!” he had declared. He said that the State of Bihar was one of the most violent in all of India. Our kind friend felt it would be wiser if we stayed on the station platform until dawn. We did so, along with hundreds of other passengers.

Tired, but grateful for the sage advice, we settled down for a long night’s vigil. The gangways were festooned with sleeping bodies and the debris of luggage. The only place we could find to sit in was the filthy, dimly lit station restaurant. This was a far cry from the crisply clean and hygienic eating houses of my childhood I recalled so vividly.

A waiter appeared, wearing the same uniform of three decades past. It looked as though it hadn’t been laundered for almost that long! His faded red turban and cummerbund sadly reflected years of deterioration. It was barely discernible that his gray, permanently stained tunic had once been white. His gloves, once a colonial symbol of cleanliness, were almost too filthy to look at; the frayed seams at his fingertips exposed grease-stained nails.

I looked up into his face. “How many years have you been working for the railroad?” I asked him in Hindi.

“Since I was a child,” he smiled proudly. “Since the time of the British Raj.” His eyes looked back into the past and filled with sorrow at the reminiscence. “Things have changed a lot.” He looked around him, waving his arm slowly as if pointing out something. He glanced at the bedraggled uniform that he still wore with an element of pride, and shrugged. “Things have changed,” he repeated. Then he sighed and smiled in weary resignation, “What would you like to order, Mehemsahib?” His tiny, blunt pencil was poised above a pad that had been written on over and over again.

As dawn brightened the skyline, we collected our small bundles of luggage and hailed a rickshaw-puller. He took us a mile or so short of the Sivananda community. We walked the rest of the way.

The accommodations at the ashram were sparse; the spiritual tasks were arduous. All the disciples were Westerners who had to work hard for their keep. They did the most menial chores—cleaning lavatories, peeling vegetables, sweeping floors. All the jobs that my family’s untouchable servants had done in my youth were done by the residents there. Any Indians present were presumably the guru’s aides. They held “higher” responsibilities. The Westerners regarded their work as religious service. This fell under the category of Karma Yoga, the Yoga of “selfless labor” performed for the sake of “spiritual evolution.”

I slept in a large dormitory with about ten other girls. We were awakened at 4:00 a.m. each morning; some of the disciples gathered in meditation classes, while others involved themselves in private practice. On our first morning, the girl in the rope bed next to me woke me up. Her quiet alarm clock had sounded, making her sit bolt-upright. She then pulled her blanket over her head. She was getting herself poised in a lotus position, ready for her own brand of Yoga.

The girl sat still for quite some time, long enough for me to get comfortable and doze off to sleep again. Then she started an uncanny humming, low and monotonous. She hardly seemed to breathe in at all. She just kept blowing out one long, scary tone. It sent goose bumps up and down me. At last I could stand it no longer. I got up and watched the morning activities in the rest of the ashram.

There were those who practiced neti, the cleansing of the nose with warm salted water. The small container used could hold up to two cups of water and had a long spout. It looked rather like a strange teapot. The spout was shoved up the nostril. (It looked most uncomfortable to me.) The devotee breathed in and out, sneezing, choking, coughing.

Neti is said to cleanse the membranes inside the nose and to stimulate and strengthen the surrounding area, which includes the eyebrow center. To Hindus this is an important contact point for the anja chakra—the third eye.

Physical perversions are aspects of Kriya Yoga—the type Gandhi practiced. Perhaps it was part of the madness that had led him to administer enemas to his favorite female devotees. His weird sexual quirks had had him sleeping with nude teenage girls in an attempt to confirm his celibacy. And his extraordinary perspectives on fitness caused him to prescribe cow-dung pills for health!9

Gandhi had been a guru with his own ashram long before he became a political figure. Like a score of other god-men, he had believed that Kriya Yoga balances the psychic energies and awakens the chakras.

A young Australian girl sat next to a neti disciple as I spoke with him. Later that night she paid me an unexpected visit. Perched on a log with my rationed half-bucket of water, I was contemplating how to wash my face, teeth, hair, and underwear. Can I accomplish such a feat? I was wondering when I heard the cracking of a twig nearby. In a few seconds, I saw someone hesitantly come out of the shadows.

I recognized the girl and warmly asked her to join me. She did. There was probably about a minute of silence. Then she gathered up enough courage to say shyly, “You seem as though you have come from another planet. You’ve got such a warm and friendly glow of color all around you.”

I had learned not to laugh at such statements. I dipped my washcloth into the bucket and started wiping my face.

“You’ve got a different kind of life in you. Where are you from?” she questioned. We ended up talking for a couple of hours, until regulations caused the ashram to fall silent at 9:00 p.m.

I learned that Premananda was only twenty-one. She had been a disciple of Satyananda for five years, recruited while still at school. There are numerous branches of this guru’s ashram in many different countries. How quickly the different schools of Yoga are growing all over the world, I thought. That very morning I had read a large sign there at the ashram that said: “Yoga will emerge as a mighty world power and will change the course of world events.”10

“Do you practice all the methods of Kriya Yoga, such as Amoroli?” I asked the young girl. By that time, she trusted me.

“Well, I’m meant to do it,” she said apologetically. “But it tastes so terrible that it makes me feel sick.”

Poor girl, I thought. What a ghastly spiritual duty. Those poor devotees had to drink urine as part of their Yogic discipline. They had been taught that it contained redemptive qualities.

“Do you know what urine really is?” She shook her head. “Well,” I tried to explain, “it’s the body’s waste product. There’s nothing in it that the body needs anymore. So of course it makes you feel sick. And how can it possibly save you?”

Premananda went on to confide that one of her friends had been told to drink her guru’s urine. “I wouldn’t know what to do if that were to happen to me!” Her eyes grew wide at the prospect.

My research had shown that it was believed anything that touched the body of a guru was holy, from the dust of his feet to his dirty dishes. Drinking a guru’s bathwater is said to be enlightening. Should the guru desire sex, the disciple (whether male or female) is to look upon the act as a step up his spiritual ladder. So I knew that drinking the guru’s urine was a devotional duty of great significance.
All these specifics are spelled out in the Guru-gita, a Hindu scripture. “Meditate ceaselessly on the form of the Guru,” this ancient document commands. It also states:

[A]lways repeat his name, carry out his orders, think not of anything except the Guru. . . . Through service at the feet of the Guru the embodied soul becomes purified and all its sins are washed away.11

After a few days, we moved on to the next ashram, leaving behind many spiritual prisoners. I couldn’t help but pray for those poor victims. I also thanked God for the opportunity to speak to a handful of them. Some of the followers were closed, like the neti disciple. Others were open, like Premananda. Her guru, Satyananda, had demanded that his devotees cut themselves off from the outside world, but I had been able to encourage her to get in touch with her parents. I was able to activate her conscience regarding the rights and wrongs of some of her practices. Perhaps it would help her reconsider her commitment to a god of India.

Orthodox Hinduism teaches four stages of life: the learning stage of childhood, the stage of marital responsibilities, the stage of career obligations, and the stage of spiritual preparation for death. The Yoga disciplines teach how to cease the body’s functions, in preparation for death, or as Hindus believe, to enter into reincarnation. The traditional purpose of the Indian ashram had always been to teach people how to die through Yoga meditation.

West Goes East
It was only after the 1960s that young Westerners, inspired by the Beatles, began to flood India’s ashrams to sit spellbound at the feet of gurus. Initially, they used India’s spiritual communities as hostels. They provided cheap accommodations for the young seekers while they explored their mystical whims.

By the 1980s, their presence had changed the traditional atmosphere at many ashrams. Along with the youthful Westerners came children and a more family-oriented environment. The influx of Westerners also altered the ashrams’ structure: new requirements for ashram life and the practice of Yoga bypassed the ancient Brahmin qualifications; regardless of sex, nationality, caste, or creed, everyone was accepted. And what was once only available to elderly Hindus became available to all.

Although ashrams have been made available to outsiders, the message of the gurus and the purpose of Yoga remain unchanged. People in the West have been deceived into thinking it is the art of living; but to people in the East, it is the art of dying.

Many of the Western converts to Yoga have helped spread it in the West. One Westerner who spent time in a Hindu ashram and has had significant influence upon the Western world is Michael Ray, a Stanford University professor. Ray created the “Creativity in Business” course, which takes “much of its inspiration from Eastern philosophies, mysticism, and meditation techniques.”12 Ray describes his ashram experience:

I attended a meditation-intensive day at an ashram to support a friend. As I sat in meditation in what was for me an unfamiliar environment, I suddenly felt and saw a bolt of lightning shoot up from the base of my spine out the top of my head. It forced me to recognize something great within me . . . this awareness of my own divinity.13

Ray now tells his students they can get in touch with their “inner person” or “spirit-guide,” who will guide them through life.14 Since his visit to an ashram, Ray has passed on his Eastern wisdom to thousands through books and seminars.

Even Christianity has been indirectly affected by Ray. In 1982, Jim Collins, a speaker at Christian conferences, took Ray’s course, “Creativity in Business.” He was so inspired by the course that he wrote the foreword for Ray’s 2004 book The Highest Goal. Collins says he discovered “the path to my highest goal” by reading the book. What is this highest goal that Michael Ray speaks of? His “own divinity.” In The Highest Goal, Ray speaks openly about Eastern meditation techniques and quotes Hindu gurus such as Ram Dass, Jiddu Krishnamurti, and Swami Shantananda.

Silence: The Only True Religion?
The influence of Eastern thinking and Yoga upon the West continues in many forms. In October 2007, television talk-show host Oprah Winfrey introduced fifty million viewers to a book titled, Eat, Pray, Love. The book, written by Elizabeth Gilbert, recounts how she left her husband and former way of life and found what she came to call the only true religion: the silence. Her journey took her around the world, and finally to India where she learned to meditate in an ashram.

Gilbert explained that the first step in her journey was to go on an eating binge in Italy:

I would not have been able to physically do the Yoga, the meditation, the hard rigor of spiritual work. So I went to Italy first and I ate my guts out for four months.15

From Italy, Gilbert traveled to India where she learned to meditate:

There was something about that Yoga path that really appealed to me—and you do that through silence and the discipline of meditation—and I really wanted to go pursue that full out.

None of this works without stillness . . . One of the great teachings that I learned in India is that silence is the only true religion.16

During her time at the ashram, Gilbert had a meditative experience in which she says, “the scales fell from my eyes and the openings of the universe were shown to me.”17

Interestingly, Gilbert related a story of how a newfound meditating friend experienced “colors,” “sounds,” “whirling,” and “twirling” during his meditation times.18 This is a description of the kundalini (meaning serpent power in Hinduism) effect experienced by Yoga practitioners. Kundalini is said to be lying dormant, coiled at the base of the spine. When it is awakened and encouraged up the spinal passage it ultimately achieves cosmic union with the third eye. The serpent’s journey passes through ‘chakras’ or psychic centers. And mystical powers are aroused as it progresses. A similar experience led to mystic and Catholic priest Philip St. Romain hearing the voices of other beings, which he called his “inner adviser[s].”19

Eat, Pray, Love was on the New York Times Best Sellers List for over 200 weeks and has sold over ten million copies thus far. Sadly, a popular Christian writer and speaker, Anne Lamott, wrote an endorsement for the book, which sits on the back cover. Lamott is best known for her own book, Traveling Mercies. Of Eat, Pray, Love she says: “This is a wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight.”20 But the “spiritual insight” from Gilbert’s book is the same “insight” the Hindu gurus teaching Yoga in India have been passing along to the masses for centuries.

The aim of all Hinduism is to escape the hopeless cycle of reincarnation, wherein the soul passes on from body to soul, to body to soul, over and over again. The purpose of Yoga is to prepare a person to cut off the relationship between himself and the physical world, in preparation for death. He is trained to stop his life processes, to stop thinking, to stop the senses, to stop breathing. Hindus believe the escape from all this living and dying is through Yoga.

Returning to India after thirteen years as a Christian on a research team, I was able to recognize how complicated and contradictory the philosophy of Hinduism really is. Through Yoga, the practitioner trains himself to slow down and eventually stop his life processes. Even the breathing exercises taught in Yoga are not intended to be a health benefit. They are not designed to enable one to breathe more efficiently, but to control one’s breathing. The purpose is to enable one to slow the breathing down to a minimum in order to stop it one day altogether. Yoga’s gift is merely a form of suicide.

In contrast, Jesus said He came to give those who follow Him life. He is the antithesis of death—His resurrection is a powerful illustration of this:

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. (John 11: 25, 26)

To order copies of A Trip to India—to Learn the Truth About Hinduism and Yoga,  click here.

Endnotes
1. Upasana Bhat, “Prostitution ‘increases’ in India” (BBC News, Delhi, July 3, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5140526.stm).
2. Robert I. Friedman, “India’s Shame: Sexual Slavery and Political Corruption Are Leading to An AIDS Catastrophe” (The Nation, Vol. 262, No. 14, New York, April 8, 1996).
3. Central Board of Film Certification (Government of India, http://www.cbfcindia.tn.nic.in).
4. G.B. Singh, Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity (Prometheus Books, 2004), p. 76.
5. “Population of India,” from http://www.indianchild.com/population_of_india.htm.
6. List of countries by GDP (nominal): taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal), the CIA’s World Factbook for 2007.
7. “Work Among Children” (South Asian Council for Community and Children in Crisis, http://www.sac-ccc.org/2006/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=33).
8. Ibid.
9. Richard Grenier, “The Gandhi Nobody Knows” (“Commentary,” March 1983, published monthly by the American Jewish Committee, New York, NY, http://history.eserver.org/ghandi-nobody-knows.txt).
10. Quote by Satyananda Saraswati, accessed at http://www.7centers.com/10daytransformation.html.
11. The Gura Gita passages, accessed at: http://www.srinannagaru.com/articles/gurugita/gurugita.pdf.
12. Michael Ray, Creativity in Business (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., Inc, 1986, 1st Edition), back flap.
13. Michael Ray, The Highest Goal (San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2004), p. 28.
14. Michael Ray, Creativity in Business, op. cit., p. 37.
15. Elizabeth Gilbert, quotes from Oprah Winfrey’s website: http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/slideshow1_ss_20071005_350/6.
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid.
19. Philip St. Romain, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality (Crossroad Pub. Co., 1995), p. 39.
20. Anne Lamott, on the back cover of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

To order copies of A Trip to India—to Learn the Truth About Hinduism and Yoga,  click here.

Audio Message from Chris Lawson: An Exhortation on Living By Faith in Christ During Hard Times & Persecution

LTRP Note: Chris Lawson is a former Calvary Chapel pastor who has devoted his life and ministry to warning believers of the deception in the church today and exhorting them to stand by His grace in faith with Jesus Christ. Click the following link to listen to this message by Chris. Chris Lawson | Spiritual Research Network

Considering Him Who Endured the Cross

Scriptural examples for daily living (Hebrews 10:32-12:1-3)

God Spoke and He Has a Faithful Remnant (Hebrews 10:32 – 11:29)

1. God spoke to His people through His Word.
2. The lives of the people were changed and they were moved to action.
3. They sought to obey God and do His will.
4. God has borne witness in His own Word about them.

Considering Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3)

1. Looking at the example of faithful believers who have gone before us.
2. Let us lay aside every weight and sin that is entangling us.
3. Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Click here to listen to more audio messages by Chris Lawson.

Visit Chris Lawson’s websites:

LawsonChristopher.org (Support)
Shop.LawsonChristopher.org (Shop)
SpiritualResearchNetwork.com (SRN main)
Spiritual-Research-Network.com (SRN archive)


 

 

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10 Things to Ponder - Pathway to Apostasy

Roger OaklandBy Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

Recently, I was contacted by a friend and colleague who also has a discernment ministry. He was surveying other discernment ministries in order to come up with a list of the top ten subtle ways the body of Christ is presently being led astray. As I was busy speaking at a conference at the time I received his e-mail, I wrote him back and told him I would get back to him in a few days.

While flying back to my home after the conference, I took out my computer and responded to my friend’s request. The topics I had presented at the conference were still fresh in my mind. Following are the first ten trends I have personally encountered. While I am certain there are many more, the following ten trends provide a good overview of what is taking place in the church today:

  • Ecumenical unity at any cost yet completely void of any connection to the message that Jesus died on the Cross.

  • The church-growth movement, which is focused on a market-driven seeker-friendly Christianity emphasizing a megachurch mentality.

  • A Christianity focused on following men, their methods, and their movements.

  • A Jesuit agenda promoted by publishers and pastors proclaiming the teachings and ideas of Roman Catholic church fathers and Roman Catholic mystics.

  • The rejection of biblical creation and the acceptance of theistic evolution and progressive creation.

  • The acceptance of New Age ancient Babylonian practices such as yoga and contemplative prayer as a means of “getting closer to Jesus.”

  • A false Christianity that substitutes the gospel according to the Scriptures with a social gospel.

  • The “Purpose-driven P.E.A.C.E. Plan” that prepares the church for a global one-world religion.

  • An experience-based “Christianity” that seeks after signs and wonders and rejects the biblical warnings of a Last Days spiritual deception found in the Bible (e.g., NAR, dominionism, etc.)

  • The compromising of the church in order to become “postmodern” and “progressive” in an attempt to reach the postmodern generation.  

It was not my objective to place these various trends in their order of importance. The fact is, each one is occurring, and the vast majority of professing Christians are not even aware these trends are happening or even that there is a problem. Perhaps in the future, these ten points would make good chapter headings for a small book that would deal with each topic in more detail.

For now, let me say I believe biblical Christianity is under attack like it has never been before. We are not only on a “slippery slope”—Christianity is ready to fall off the cliff. As Jesus asked in Luke 18:18: When the son of man cometh, will he find faith?

Current events indicate the pathway to apostasy is leading exactly in the direction foretold by the Scriptures. (From Understand the Times, International)

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