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June 23, 2006 
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As the purity of the gospel is challenged more and more with each passing day, may God bless you as you stand firm to defend the faith that offers salvation through Jesus Christ by His abounding grace. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, not through meditative practices, rituals and methods. While much of the spirituality that is being presented to the world has the outer pretense of being Christian, may the Lord help us to speak the truth in love and courage. We pray that those ministers and leaders who name the name of Jesus and call themselves Christian will not embrace contemplative and emerging spiritualities.

"Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness." Luke 11:35

 Purpose Driven Resisters - Must Leave or Die
 Those who oppose the "program" are called leaders from hell.

The phone calls and emails started coming in about three years ago. Sometimes the caller was in his mid-eighties, sometimes the caller was crying. But all of them had the same kind of story to tell - when their churches decided to get involved with 40 Days of Purpose, everything began changing and when they questioned these changes, they each soon found themselves silenced, ostracized and eventually without a church to attend. Now today, nearly five years after Purpose Driven Life was released, thousands of believers are scattered throughout the world, having been ridiculed and demoralized for even just the slightest questioning of the Purpose Driven program. In one email we received, the young man was handed a letter from his pastor. The letter had been written by a Saddleback field representative who told the pastor to do what he had to do to get rid of those opposing the new program.

According to Rick Warren, these people are resisters and are standing in the way of Purpose Driven progress. In a June 14th article written by Rick Warren on his website (What Do You Do When Your Church Hits a Plateau? ), Warren told pastors and church leaders not to be discouraged about slow change in their churches. He told them it would take time ... and in many cases it would take these resisters either leaving the church or simply dying. Warren stated:

If your church has been plateaued for six months, it might take six months to get it going again. If it's been plateaued a year, it might take a year. If it's been plateaued for 20 years, you've got to set in for the duration! I'm saying some people are going to have to die or leave.

Moses had to wander around the desert for 40 years while God killed off a million people before he let them go into the Promised Land. That may be brutally blunt, but it's true. There may be people in your church who love God sincerely, but who will never, ever change.

For Warren to couple his statement about dying or leaving with a statement about God killing off a million people is ignorant at best, subliminal at least. Coupled with his mention of 40 years in the desert and Warren's teaching that God always did good things in numbers of 40, Warren's intention in this statement seems obvious. In addition, the concept of get with the program, change or die is very common in New Age circles, that those who don't get on board (or ride the wave as Leonard Sweet puts it), will have to die. Listen to the words of renown New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard:

Christ-consciousness and Christ-abilities are the natural inheritance of every human being on Earth. When the word of this hope has reached the nations, the end of this phase of evolution shall come. All will know their choice. All will be required to choose.... All who choose not to evolve will die off. (See The Plan)

Furthermore, Leonard Sweet, in his book, Soul Tsunami, says that:

A sea change of transitions and transformations is birthing a whole new world and a whole new set of ways of making our way in the world.... It is time for a Postmodern Reformation ... Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die. Some would rather die than change (pp. 17, 75).

Rick Warren (whose endorsement sits on both the front and back covers of Sweet's book) says that Soul Tsunami "shows us why these are the greatest days for evangelism since the first century." In an audio set done by Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet called Tides of Change, the two men elaborate on this and make it clear that those who don't ride this new wave will not make it.

One of the tools Rick Warren uses to help churches become Purpose Driven is a book called Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change. The book is sold on Rick Warren's website and is written by Dan Southerland. According to pastors.com (Rick Warren's website to pastors), Southerland is the director of "Church Transitions Inc., an organization that trains pastors and church leaders to effectively manage major transitions. Southerland ... is the leading expert on implementing the Purpose Driven? paradigm in existing churches."

Chapter six of Transitioning is called "Dealing with Opposition" and is just one of many ways Rick Warren tries to convey the fact that those who oppose him are less than desirable. Southerland states:

We have experienced two major sources of criticism during our transitions. The first is Christians from more traditional backgrounds.... Not all of our traditional backgrounded Christians have been critical - just the ornery ones. Our second source of criticism is traditional church pastors. Again, not all traditional church pastors - just the meaner ones (p. 116).

Southerland tells readers that "some folks are going to get very angry." He goes so far as to liken opposers of Purpose Driven to "leader[s] from hell." He says:

If you have read Nehemiah recently, you will remember that Sanballat is Nehemiah's greatest critic and number one enemy. Let me put it plainer than that. Sanballat is a leader from hell. We all have some Sanballats in our churches. This is the guy who opposes whatever you propose.... You cannot call this guy a leader from hell to his face - but you could call him Sanballat (p. 115).

In 2003, during Saddleback's 25th anniversary, Rick Warren recited, along with 30,000 participants, the Purpose Driven Covenant. In that covenant he stated that he would do "whatever it takes" to accomplish his goals. For us at Lighthouse Trails it has become increasingly evident that he wasn't kidding when he said that. Last year, as some of you may remember, we issued a press release that showed the connection between Rick Warren and Ken Blanchard. In Warren's own words, he acknowledged that Blanchard, a New Age sympathizer, had "signed on" to help implement Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. plan. Warren stated this at a Saddleback service as well as at the 2003 Lead Like Jesus conference in Alabama. However, a month after we issued the press release, Lighthouse Trails received an email from Rick Warren. The email was sent in the middle of the night, and by the following morning, Warren had given permission to a colleague to post his email online. We contacted Saddleback and confirmed this. Needless to say, countless people found out about this email. However, what most who read his email did not realize was that the majority of the statements in his email were not true. We posted a public response but knew that most people would either only read Warren's email to us or refuse to believe that America's pastor was lying and we were speaking the truth.

Lighthouse Trails learned of Rick Warren's connection to Ken Blanchard through a book called A Life With Purpose, written by Hollywood biographer, George Mair. Ray Yungen discusses this in his book, A Time of Departing:

In the spring of 2005, someone handed me a book called A Life with Purpose by George Mair. The book is written as a positive account of Rick Warren's life. In fact, the subtitle on the front cover reads: America's Most Inspiring Pastor. It is clear that the author had a great admiration for Warren. While Mair wrote the book, he spent many Sunday mornings at Saddleback church services, listening to Rick Warren and donating financially. However, after Rick Warren found out about the book, he publicly criticized it. In addition, Saddleback church sent out emails to an undisclosed number of people, discrediting Mair's book.

I personally believe Warren's effort to debunk the book was an attempt to conceal some of its observations. What George Mair didnt realize was that in his candid account of Warren, and in his efforts to offer this testament of praise, some things were revealed about the pastor that might have gone undetected by the average person. For instance, Mair explains how New Age prophet Norman Vincent Peale was at the foundation of the church-growth movement and furthermore "many of Peale's uplifting affirmations originated with an 'obscure teacher of occult science' named Florence Scovel Shinn." Referring to many of the methods that Peale taught and his "unification of psychology and religion," Mair says, "Saddleback distinctly bears the stamp of Reverend Norman Vincent Peale."

In November of 2003, Rick Warren announced to his Saddleback congregation his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. In the same sermon, Warren introduced the congregation to Ken Blanchard, playing a video clip of Blanchard's visit to Saddleback a few days earlier. Warren informed his large congregation that Blanchard had:"... signed on to help with the P.E.A.C.E. Plan, and he's going to be helping train us in leadership and in how to train others to be leaders all around the world.

In light of the fact that Ken Blanchard has promoted Buddhism and Eastern style meditation for over 20 years, it became very alarming to know that Rick Warren was using Blanchard to train leaders around the world.

The weeks following Rick Warren's email to us, we received phone calls and emails from different men from Saddleback, one of them telling us to stop "lobbying dead cats [and grenades] over the wall." It was confirmed also that an email was sent out from Saddleback to an unknown number of people, discussing the Blanchard issue. That email stated that Lighthouse Trails had lied and they should not be listened to.

And then in December of 2005 a very strange thing happened - a woman sent us an email she had received from Rick Warren's personal email address, which stated:

The website you refer to [Lighthouse Trails] below is well-known for publishing lies, which can easily be proven false.... The Bible says "Satan is the father of lies", so those who intentionally spread them are doing Satan's work for him. That is evil. We suggest you avoid listening to evil people who have a habit of lying about ministers of the Gospel. Study the Scriptures every day and flee from those who make their reputation by lying.

We contacted Saddleback about the email, and we received the following reply, suggesting that the email had been written by a computer hacker: "We are sorry that this public mailbox has been shut down due to vandalism and stolen identity. Federal enforcement officers are tracking down the source in either Africa or the Pacific Northwest." At first, we thought this was a joke because we (who live in the Pacific Northwest) had recently issued a press release about an evangelist in Africa who had been opposing Purpose Driven. Hearing that Federal officers had narrowed down an investigation to either our location or the evangelist's location seemed preposterous. We contacted Saddleback by phone requesting the names of these Federal agents because of the threatening nature of the "anonymous" email. A few days later a Saddleback staff member called and told us that Federal agents were doing an investigation on their web server being broken into and that Saddleback suspected Lighthouse Trails. We again asked for the names of the Federal agents as well as the Saddleback communications director that was handling the case. However, we were told they would not give us any names. We have not heard anything from Saddleback since.

We testify of these things, not to distract you from the issues at hand (of exposing contemplative and emerging spirituality within the church), but rather to show that Rick Warren, as well as other leaders, will go to great lengths to preserve their status and to complete their tasks, even to the point of lying, threatening, discrediting and deceiving. While we have postponed releasing this information for several months, because of Rick Warren's continuous brazen remarks against the body of Christ and because Purpose Driven is an avenue through which the New Age is entering the church, we believe it is of utmost importance to relay this documentation to believers who are working so diligently to defend the gospel message of Jesus Christ in a time when a great falling away appears to be at hand.

The question we must ask is just how far will Rick Warren go to help rid churches of those they consider "leader[s] from hell," who in reality may be part of the very Bride of Christ.


Special Note: Recently the Calvary Chapel movement (founded by Chuck Smith, Sr.) made a bold declaration when they decided to reject the emerging and contemplative prayer movements and to discontinue their support and use of all Purpose Driven materials. Many applaud this bold and sacrificial action. See our Special Report.


For important related information:

David Jeremiah Promotes Purpose Driven and Contemplative Through EBI
 EBI (Equip Biblical Institute) is a ministry of Jeremiah's Shadow Mountain Community Church

Equip Biblical Institute is a ministry of Shadow Mountain Community Church (David Jeremiah) and "was organized to assist Southern Baptist churches." (see catalog) Course titles include: Healthy Churches, Spiritual Foundations, Spiritual Leadership and many others. These courses use books by authors such as Rick Warren, Bruce Wilkinson, Andy Stanley and others who promote contemplative and/or the emerging church movements. In the EBI "Article Links" section, article links are to NavPress, Rev Magazine, Pastors.com, Wheaton College and LifeWay, all of which promote contemplative spirituality. Caution should be used when studying courses at Equip Biblical Institute. Better yet, find a Christian college or seminary that does not promote contemplative, Purpose Driven or the emerging church.
Be Still DVD Interviews Meditation Advocate
 The Be Still DVD is packaged as a Christian DVD, but this is misleading many.

Fox Home Entertainment's recent Be Still DVD is a commercial for contemplative spirituality and will potentially introduce millions to contemplative. With top Christian names like Beth Moore and Max Lucado on the DVD, many people will trust the content of the project. However, that trusting will be a big mistake. One of the people who is on the DVD is a Catholic, Clinical Specialist at UCLA, Katherine Brown-Saltzman who's "healing work integrates guided imagery and meditative prayer for patients, family and staff." According to a Nurse Week article, Brown-Saltzman helps patients meditate.
The meditation might be a prayer or use of an image. Some patients prefer to chant a phrase or say the rosary. Others focus outside themselves, on their friends, or on a picture of a loved one. "Sometimes I go into a meditative state and essentially do healing work through that state," said Brown-Saltzman.
On the Be Still DVD, in speaking of contemplative prayer, Brown-Saltzman states:
And in the process of that, physiologically, everything begins to shift. Blood pressure comes down. Breathing changes. Our mind quiets. And we can actually get to this state of where our body can heal in a much better way, because its not fighting all of this, right? Its not amped up.
For those who still might be thinking that the Be Still DVD is not referring to mantric style meditation when it says contemplative prayer, it is important to understand that these physical effects that Brown-Saltzman speaks of, that take place during meditation, are the the same effects that take place during Eastern style meditation such as in Hinduism.

More Information:

Our research on the Be Still DVD

Visualization: An Occult Religious Practice


 

Richard Foster's Spirituality List Reveals Much
 Organizations recommended by Renovare align Foster with contemplative prayer.

On the Renovare website (Richard Foster's organization), a section called "Other Spirituality Programs" carries a list of organizations that promote contemplative and emerging spirituality. If your pastor or Christian leader is promoting Celebration of Discipline and other Foster teachings and writings, perhaps he will reconsider when seeing this list.

Some of the organizations on the list:

Stillpoint (Nashville, TN)

Aquinas Institute of Theology

Institute for Spiritual Leadership

Regis College


See Our Research on This Topic 

Popular Evangelist Luis Palau Joins Brian McLaren in Book Project
 

InterVarsity Press will be releasing a book this summer called Reimagining Evangelism: Inviting Friends on a Spiritual Journey. The author, Rick Richardson is a professor at Wheaton Graduate School and an associate director for evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. According to InterVarsity, his book "Evangelism Outside the Box: New Ways to Help People Experience the Good News has been widely used by campus ministries, by Emergent churches and in seminary classes on evangelism."

Popular evangelist Luis Palau has written a foreword for the book as has Brian McLaren. In view of the fact that Palau also endorsed emerging leader Dan Kimball's book, The Emerging Church, there is reason to be concerned.
COLLEGE WATCH - Azusa Pacific University
 

Azusa Pacific University, located in southern California, describes itself as an "evangelical Christian university [that] affirms the supremacy of Christ in all areas of life." However, the university is promoting contemplative and emerging spirituality. Chapel speakers in the recent past have included Brian McLaren , Alex McManus and Tony Campolo. The university says they "invite speakers/presenters to chapel ... which will contribute positively to the spiritual goals of the university."

Azusa's courses are using text books written by emerging/contemplative authors. For instance, in the Transitions in Ministry, the class uses books by Henri Nouwen, Dan Kimball and Leonard Sweet. Azusa's Youth Leadership Institute incorporates resources from Youth Specialties, Willow Creek and Purpose Driven, which means youth may be introduced to mystical rituals such as lectio divina, contemplative prayer, and an array of emerging leaders.

Deborah Gin, Azusa's Director of Worship Leadership, includes Taize worship and lectio divina in her program for students.

More on Colleges that are promoting contemplative spirituality 

Sad News for Preschool Children - MOPS heads contemplative
 The organization that focuses on the mothers of preschoolers promotes contemplative - results will be spiritually devastating for children.

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is widely known for its ministry to Christian moms who have preschool age children. On their "faith position," it reads: "MOPS International exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ." Christian organizations like Focus on the Family have helped to make MOPS successful and widely known through radio and web outlets.

It is with sobriety and sadness that Lighthouse Trails reports that MOPS is promoting contemplative spirituality. This means that not only will tens of thousands of mothers be introduced to contemplative but potentially thousands of children will be affected also.

In March 2006, it came to our attention that MOPS was part of CCN (Church Communication Network), a network of Christian ministries that promotes contemplative spirituality. However, and perhaps even more disturbing, MOPS is promoting (and selling) books that are pro- contemplative. The book that stands out among the others is Breathe. The author, Keri Wyatt Kent, is a writer for Willow Creek Community Church and often speaks on spiritual formation. Her upcoming book, Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life, teaches readers to "listen" to God through "spiritual practices," including the practice of silence. The author quotes extensively throughout the book both contemplatives and New Agers, including Henri Nouwen, M.Scott Peck, Sue Monk Kidd, Anne Lamott, Julia Cameron, Rick Warren, Richard Foster, Ruth Haley Barton, and Eugene Peterson (read A Time of Departing for more on the New Age and/or contemplative connections to these mentioned authors).

As with many contemplatives, Kent said (in her book) that she didn't really get a lot out of the Bible until she started practicing contemplative methods such as Lectio Divina: "When I was introduced to the ancient practice, Lectio Divina, everything changed" (p. 151). Kent encourages the use of breath prayers and quotes contemplative Jan Johnson to help build her case for this practice.

For those who might be saying right now, "Ok, so MOPS likes one of Kent's books, Breathe - it isn't this one that is so blatantly contemplative and filled with New Age meditation concepts and quotes. But on the back cover of Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life sits an endorsement by Elisa Morgan, president of MOPS, which reads: "Keri offers insightful and practical help for all of us who are "hearing impaired" in our spirits. Ah ... what a relief!"

On the MOPS website, they also sell newly released Chicken Soup for the Mothers of Preschooler's Soul by New Agers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen and MOPS, Elisa Morgan. (The Chicken Soup for the Soul books are discussed in A Time of Departing.)

We pray that Elisa Morgan will realize that contemplative spirituality is not going to help nurture little children and their mothers but will in fact harm them spirituality to immeasurable degrees. Once again, we beseech organizations that call themselves "Christian" to reject the teachings of contemplative prayer and cling to biblical truth.


Also see: MOPS International Convention, (Fresh Air, Breathe Deeply, Live Fully)



Related News:

Christian Leaders Network Together in Dangerous Venture

Information from Amazon on Kent's book

DID JESUS TEACH THE DEITY OF HUMANITY?
by Larry De Bruyn

 Investigating the original intent of Jesus' statement, "You are gods" (John 10:34).

Mystical, New Age, cultic and Word of Faith spirituality assumes that humans either are or can become gods. Through meditation, mystical devotees attempt to realize their divinity by looking into their souls through The Third Eye.[1] One Norwegian website explains, "During deep meditation, the single or spiritual eye becomes visible within the central part of the forehead. This omniscient eye is variously referred to in scriptures as the third eye . . ." The website asserts that the Lord is in heaven. But where is heaven? How can heaven be found? "Gliding inside oneself in the right way should 'work wonders'," the university explains. How can someone "glide within" to discover heaven and the Lord? By meditating with the assumption that you are "the image of God inside yourself." To prove all persons are divinities within, the website quotes Jesus who asked, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'?"[2] When in John 10:34 he told the Jews "You are gods", did Jesus mean to affirm that they possessed an essential divinity that awaits discovery by their taking a meditative journey into "inner space"? To support their claim that man is or can become God, teachers of the "man-is-god" doctrine have seized words which Jesus intended only for the Jews, ignored their true meaning, and arrogantly applied them to themselves. Without conscripting Jesus words to make them conform to our preconception of what we want them to say, what did Jesus really mean when he said to the Jews, "You are gods"?[3] To discover the "original intent" of Jesus' statement, Psalm 82, the source of Jesus' quotation in John 10:34, must be understood. The psalm begins by asserting that God (v. 1a) is the Judge of "the gods" (v. 1b). The psalmist then directs attention to God's indictment of the "gods" (vv. 2-7). God accuses them of prejudice in favor of the wicked and of oppressing the poor, the innocent and the needy (vv. 2-4). He accused them of being blinded by their might, of being corrupted by their power, and of perverting the nation's legal "foundations" (v. 5). Sound familiar? Because they thought themselves to be invincible, God reminds the arrogant "gods" of their mortality and that he had appointed them to office (v. 6-7). The song closes with the congregation's petition to God to administer justice on the earth (v.8). Because Jesus quoted this psalm in his argument with the Jews, any understanding of his words must be connected to the psalm's original intent. As the Master Lawyer, we assume that Jesus' reference to the Law of Psalm 82 was a key part of his defense against the charge blasphemy the Jews were leveling against him for stating "I and the Father are one" (Jn. 10:30). In order to determine the original intent of the psalm's declaration, "I said, 'You are gods", two interpretive questions must be answered: first, who are the "gods" to which the psalm, and then Jesus, refer (Ps. 82:1b, 6a); and second, who is the designated speaker in the phrase "I said"?

Read entire article, DID JESUS TEACH THE DEITY OF HUMANITY? 

New Southern Baptist Convention President Applauds Emergent Movement
 

In a May 22nd article, Dr. Frank Page (Southern Baptist Convention's new president) said the following regarding the emerging church movement:
I see many valuable contributions to the SBC coming from the Emergent Leaders Movement. I believe it is a positive thing to see a broader number of participants in our convention's direction. I personally applaud this movement.

 

 

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