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It is our hope that this newsletter will help to show how widespread the "new spirituality" has become and to show that contemplative spirituality is the bridge that unites all religions. The list of those who have fallen into the deception of this mystical/New Age belief system is growing; Purpose Driven, emerging church, Alpha Course, Willow Creek and Renovare are just some of the avenues through which this is entering the church. And as you read, you may find yourself shocked to learn that respected leaders, churches, colleges, and organizations are falling prey.

The newsletter has many links that you can access for further information. We also post the newsletter on our website. To each of you who defends the faith, we pray that God will strengthen and uplift you, comforting you in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In This Issue (Click Titles):
  • Celebration of Discipline
    27 Years of Influence!
  • Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
    and Contemplative Spirituality
  • National Media Prayer Breakfast:
    "A Christian Event for People of All Faiths"
  • Rick Warren Shares His Global Peace Plan at the United Nations Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
  • Baptist Church Holds Interfaith Service
  • Addicted to Meditation?
  • Parents and Youth Workers-Be Warned: Youth Workers' Conference Embracing Eastern Spiritual Practices
  • David Jeremiah Speaks Favorably of Contemplatives and New Agers
  • Lighthouse Watch - The Gaithers Team Up With Emerging Leaders
  • Zondervan Publishers to Take Over Youth Specialties National Pastor's Convention
  • The New Missiology - You Can Keep Your Own Religion - Just Add Jesus
  • Rick Warren Says Purpose Driven Is "Intel chip" for the church
  • Christian Yoga? Video Clip of a "Christian" Yoga Instructor
  • What's New On Our Research Website
  • Peace and Safety!
  • Amazing Quotes
  • Southern Baptist Church Promotes Yoga
  • Jewish Synagogues Seeking Advice From Rick Warren
  • Rick Warren's Mentor Peter Drucker - Landmarks of Tomorrow
  • Chuck Swindoll Promotes Contemplative Authors!
  • African Evangelist Loren Davis Arrives Back Safely in USA - Warns African Pastors About PDL
  • Rick Warren: On Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism

  • Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
    and Contemplative Spirituality

    Enrichment Journal, an Assemblies of God publication, has published an article by Richard L. Dresselhaus (Visiting Professor of Preaching, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary) titled: "Three Miles From The Coffee: A Study In Intimacy With God". Dresselhaus uses Henri Nouwen and Richard Foster as examples of those who know how to help us find "intimacy with God." Of Nouwen, he says, "Few have developed a theology and practice of solitude more insightfully than Henri J.M. Nouwen."

    However, Nouwen's insight led Nouwen to make the following comment: "Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God." —From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen's last book page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition.

    In addition, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary professor, Earl Creps, is promoting and endorsing both the emerging church and contemplative prayer movements.

    Related Documentation:


    National Media Prayer Breakfast:
    "A Christian Event for People of All Faiths"

    Second National Media Prayer Breakfast Launched:
    The website lists Ken Blanchard as one of the "Endorsers" and includes last year's event featured speaker, Rick Warren.

    Related Links:
    PR With A Higher Purpose


    Rick Warren Shares His Global Peace Plan at the United Nations Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

    On September 13th, Rick Warren spoke at the 2005 United Nations interfaith prayer breakfast to United Nations delegates. According to a Christian Post article, Rick Warren "had a calming effect on the audience, who represented various faith traditions." He shared his global peace plan with these world leaders and told them God had a purpose for their lives regardless of their religion.

    Related News:
    The New Missiology

    Related News:
    Rick Warren Speaks at the Global Health Summit

    Quote by Rick Warren at the UN Interfaith Prayer Breakfast:
    "If there is anything that I want to say in my few moments [to you] is this, God is with you.... Last night I was invited to speak here in New York City to the Council for Foreign Affairs and they asked me to speak on ... our global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. For the last twenty five years I have been training around the world ... foreign pastors and ministers and priests and I have trained about 400,000 clergy and pastors in 162 countries. Most likely I have been in your country."

    In referring to God wanting a relationship with people, Warren says, "I'm not talking about a religion this morning. Ok? You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish ... or you have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have a religion.”
    (Audio of this talk) (will need to use Real Media player)



    Addicted to Meditation?

    Have you ever noticed how upset Christian meditators become when you tell them that contemplative prayer (i.e. mantra meditation) is not a scriptural practice and in fact leads to a seducing of their souls. Why is that? I would suggest to you that the ecstasy Jim Ballard talks about in his book Mind Like Water is the state of mind that a meditator enters with mantra meditation. This ecstasy was recognized by Thomas Merton, the monk who likened contemplative prayer to an LSD trip. Could it be that meditators have become addicted to meditation and cannot live without their daily dose of an altered state of consciousness, or "the silence" as so many call it. Could it be that they have substituted a true relationship with Jesus Christ for a life of addiction to a meditative state of mind?

    We would beseech those who may have found themselves in such a state to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Giver of life and is the Light of the World.


    Parents and Youth Workers-Be Warned: Youth Workers' Conference Embracing Eastern Spiritual Practices

    Youth Specialties, a leading Christian publisher of youth ministry material, and sponsor of the 2005 National Youth Workers Conference is being called into question for its promotion of spiritual practices rooted in Eastern religions, not Biblical truth.

    Cathy Mickels, co-author of Spiritual Junk Food: The Dumbing Down of Christian Youth, states, "Youth Specialties is not only actively involved in introducing yoga to the Body of Christ, but also labyrinth walks, chanting, and other Eastern/New Age activities."

    Mark Yaconelli, one of the conference speakers (and the son of YS founder, the late Mike Yaconelli) is also director of the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project, a group dedicated to reviving "ancient spiritual exercises," they claim will invite "direct experiences with God." For example, Youth Specialties' material documents the "direct experience" of a 14-year-old girl, who after 15 minutes of contemplative prayer, describes a so-called detailed conversation and experience with Jesus.

    Just like the practice of Transcendental Meditation, according to Youth Specialties, it is the repetition of a thought or a word over and over again that induces students into what they describe as a "semi-conscious state."

    Mickels stated, "Parents and youth workers need to be forewarned that those who approve of putting Christian kids in this 'semi-conscious state' are the same people sponsoring this Youth Workers' conference."

    Mickels, also noted, "Youth Specialties and other evangelical leaders are blurring the lines between Eastern religions and the Christian faith. It's hard to believe that while Christian parents have been fighting against the introduction of yoga and eastern practices into the public schools, those in charge of training our Christian youth are introducing the same principles into the church."

    Cathy Mickels is the former Washington State President of Phyllis Schlafly's conservative organization Eagle Forum. For more information, or to schedule an interview, call 360-387-8150, or e-mail cmickels@wavecable.com.

    Related Information:
    Author Accuses Christian Publisher of Dabbling in 'New Age' Spirituality

    National Youth Organization Kicks Off New Age Promoting Conference


    David Jeremiah Speaks Favorably of Contemplatives and New Agers

    David Jeremiah's 2003 book, Life Wide Open, has a subtitle of "Unleashing the Power of a Passionate Life." In the introduction of the book, Jeremiah tells readers that "A Small handful among us have discovered what the rest of us would pay dearly to know:How can we bring real, living excitement into this life?" Jeremiah goes on to tell readers that "This book is a map to the life of passion and purpose, the life wide open..."

    Who are these small handful of people who have discovered the secret? Well according to David Jeremiah's book, his list includes Rick Warren of the Purpose Driven Life, contemplative, feminine spiritualist Sue Monk Kidd ( When the Heart Waits See Monk Kidd quote below), contemplative Calvin Miller (Into the Depths of God), Buddhist sympathizer Peter Senge (The Fifth Discipline), emerging church leader, Erwin McManus, contemplative Michael Card, Brother Lawrence (Practicing the Presence of God), and mystic Jim Collins.

    When we found out a couple months ago that Dr. Jeremiah would be sharing a platform this fall with New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard, we thought Jeremiah was naive when it came to Blanchard's New Age leanings. We tried to warn him. But if his 2003 book, Life Wide Open, is any indication, Jeremiah has been dabbling with contemplative spirituality for quite some time.
    Note: On September 15th, we emailed Dr. Jeremiah to ask him to comment on his book. We never received a response.

    Quote from Sue Monk Kidd: "Divine immanence [God in everything], on the other hand, is divinity here, near and now, inherent in the material stuff of life....It will also be here, right now, in me, in the earth, in this river and this rock, in excrement and roses alike." Sue Monk Kidd, Dance of the Dissident Daughter, p. 160.

    Related Information:


    Lighthouse Watch - The Gaithers Team Up With Emerging Leaders

    On November 3rd, the Gaither's Praise Gathering 2005 took place and included emerging church leaders Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Donald Miller and contemplative Calvin Miller. On September 16th, we contacted the Gaithers and the organizers of the gathering, but we received no response from them.


    Zondervan Publishers to Take Over Youth Specialties National Pastor's Convention

    Several months ago, Youth Specialties announced that they would no longer be hosting the National Pastor's Convention. Zondervan publishers will be the new host for the contemplative event that draws large numbers of pastors each year.

    The underlying current of the convention is contemplative, and that current is growing stronger every year. With yoga workshops, labyrinths, meditation sessions, and speakers who heartily promote Eastern spirituality and the New Age, Christians should be alarmed in knowing that thousands of pastors are being trained in Eastern/New Age mysticism.

    And now, to make matters worse, Zondervan will be incorporating The Transforming Center into next year's convention. The Transforming Center, founded by Ruth Haley Barton, is a training center for contemplative spirituality. Barton was trained at the New Age Shalem Institute. With the teaming up of Zondervan, one of the biggest Christian publishers and The Transforming Center, contemplative spirituality and its fruit, interspirituality, is moving full speed ahead in Christendom.


    The New Missiology - You Can Keep Your Own Religion - Just Add Jesus

    The New Missiology Says Three Things:

    1. You can keep your own religion — Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, etc. — you just need to add Jesus to the equation. Then you become complete. You become a Buddhist with Jesus, a Hindu with Jesus, a Muslim with Jesus and so on.

    2. You can throw out the term Christianity and still be a follower of Jesus.

    3. In fact, you can throw out the term Christian too. In some countries you could be persecuted for calling yourself a Christian, and there is no need for that. Just ask Jesus into your heart, you don't have to identify yourself as a Christian.

    Listen to some Popular "Postmodernists."

    "For me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained."—Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, p. 115

    "I must add, though, that I don't believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts."—Brian McLaren (leader of the Emerging Church movement),author of A Generous Orthodoxy

    "I'm not talking about a religion this morning. You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish ... or you may have no religion at all. I'm not interested in your religious background. Ok? Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion."—Rick Warren, September 2005, United Nations, Interfaith Prayer Breakfast to 100 World Delegates


    Rick Warren Says Purpose Driven Is "Intel chip" for the church

    "Personal computers have brand names. But inside every pc is an Intel chip and an operating system, Windows," Warren says. "The Purpose Driven paradigm is the Intel chip for the 21st-century church and the Windows system of the 21st-century church." - Rick Warren, Christianity Today, October 2005


    Christian Yoga? Video Clip of a "Christian" Yoga Instructor

    Rick Warren isn't the only one who has no problem being associated with Yoga. There is a growing trend towards what is called Christian Yoga. Take a look at the following video clip, done by Yoga instructor, Susan Bordenkircher so you can see this for yourself.

    Related Information:


    What's New On Our Research Website

    Every week, we add new webpages to our research website. At present, we have nearly 300 pages and almost 9000 links. Our publishing website has over 150 pages and over 1000 links. Listed below are some of our more recent additions to our research site. You can view others at our What's New page or on our alphabetical, topical index.

    New Pages:


    Peace and Safety!

    The world is talking about peace today more than ever. Below are links to various peace plans. Check out their similarities:


    Amazing Quotes

    "The Greatest Enemy to the Movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity" - Erwin McManus, The Barbarian Way

    We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life."—Rob Bell, Teaching Pastor Mars Hill Bible Church from The Emergent Mystique, CT

    "You and I are sitting at the hub of the emerging world.... now actually evolving our human species and our world itself.... we are living through an evolutionary crisis, a crisis of the birth of something new. It is vital now that what is emerging converges, ... so that as the structures in the old system destabilize, elements of the emerging system self-organize as the new culture cocreated by a more conscious and empathetic humanity." New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard

    "I am praying for a second reformation of the church that will focus more on deeds than words. The first Reformation was about beliefs. This one needs to be about behavior. ... We've had a Reformation; what we need now is a transformation."—Rick Warren, July 2005 at the Baptist World Alliance with Tony Campolo and Jimmy Carter


    Southern Baptist Church Promotes Yoga

    First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, a Southern Baptist congregation, is now holding yoga classes. There are several Christian leaders we can thank for this paradigm shift. First we need to thank Rick Warren for participating at the National Pastor's Convention in 2004, (which had a yoga workshop) and never speaking up against it. Then we need to thank David Jeremiah for quoting favorably Sue Monk Kidd in his book, Life Wide Open. (Monk Kidd says that God is in everything, even human waste, and she loves Eastern style practices such as yoga). And we mustn't forget to thank all of the emerging church leaders, including Brian McLaren, Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt (Pagitt's wife holds yoga workshops).

    Related Information:



    Jewish Synagogues Seeking Advice From Rick Warren

    "According to Synagogue 3000, an umbrella organization pushing for synagogue transformation, there was a path breaking meeting with Rick Warren ... to explore what synagogues can learn from mega-churches and small groups." Spero News, October 4, 2005

    Related News Story:
    SYNAGOGUE 3000 SHAKES UP THE JEWISH WORLD FROM NEW YORK TO LOS ANGELES THIS ROSH HASHANAH AND YOM KIPPUR


    Rick Warren's Mentor Peter Drucker - Landmarks of Tomorrow

    Rick Warren has now openly said that Peter Drucker is his mentor: "Peter Drucker ... he's my mentor. I've spent 20 years under his tutelage learning about leadership from him." (Pew & Religion Forum)

    If you want to know who Rick Warren is and what his true agenda is, study the people he follows and looks up to and calls mentors. Peter Drucker wrote a book in 1959 called Landmarks of Tomorrow. What does he talk about in that book? Among other things, post-modernism, humanism, and purpose.

    The terms "purpose," "emerging," "postmodern" have been around a lot longer than most people realize. Try reading Drucker's book and other works. Go back just a little further and read about the teachings of Alice Bailey.


    Chuck Swindoll Promotes Contemplative Authors!

    Chuck Swindoll promotes the Silence and the Solitude in his new book on the Spiritual Disciplines.

    So, You Want to Be Like Christ?:
    Eight Essentials to Get You There


    African Evangelist Loren Davis Arrives Back Safely in USA - Warns African Pastors About PDL

    For those of you who read our press release last week about African evangelist Loren Davis, you will be relieved to hear that he and his wife Celeste arrived safely back to the USA. Below is a statement from Loren to all those who prayed for their safety:
    "Just a note to thank everyone who prayed for us while we were in Africa. We built 23 new church buildings on this tour in unreached villages, 13 of them in Islamic territory. Our team was stoned by the Moslems at one building sight and had to flee for their lives.

    We also evangelized these 23 villages where we built churches, and many came to Christ; and we left them with some very brave pastors. Our crusade in the Dandora slums of Nairobi was astonishing, with 200,000 attending the last day. It looked like everyone was crying out to Jesus to save them.

    Our Nov. 2nd Conference in Nairobi drew 500 pastors and bishops. It lasted from 8:30 A.M.-2:00 P.M. with only a 15 minute break. We had a question-answer period afterwards, and from all indications, the ministers believed our warning about The Purpose Driven scheme. Pray that they will take action to save their churches and biblical Christianity in Africa."


    Rick Warren: On Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism

    "Today there really aren't that many Fundamentalists left; I don't know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren't that many Fundamentalists left in America." RW, Pew Forum on Religion, May 2005

    "Now the word 'fundamentalist' actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity" RW, Pew Forum on Religion, May 2005

    "Fundamentalism is an angry religion. It is a reactionary religion. It is an exclusive religion. It is an inclusive and it primarily is an isolationist view of religion. It says, 'In order to protect ourselves we will build walls around us and we will fight culture.'"RW, Aspen Festival of Ideas, July 2005

    On Evangelicalism: "It's not a denomination. There are Catholic evangelicals. Surprises people. ... There are evangelicals in every denomination." RW, Aspen Festival of Ideas, July 2005

    "I would encourage you to look at this evolving alliance between evangelical Protestants and Catholics, particularly in the evangelical wing of Catholicism." RW, Pew Forum on Religion, May 2005

    Related Information:
    Aspen Festival of Ideas Overview
    Aspen Festival of Ideas Audio (Large File)


    November 2005
    Celebration of Discipline
    27 Years of Influence!

    First published in 1978, Celebration of Discipline has had a massive influence on Christendom. Unfortunately, the influence has helped to saturate the church with mystical contemplative prayer and the New Age. Most likely, your pastor has a copy of this book sitting on his library shelves. He may even have it sitting on his desk for easy reach and reference. Richard Foster, a Quaker and the founder of an organization called Renovare (meaning renewal), wrote the book and even he, I'm sure, had no idea the impact this book would have. But 27 years later, it is still being read, and in fact, Christian leaders and organizations are promoting the book like never before.

    Foster said in the book, that we "should all without shame enroll as apprentices in the school of contemplative prayer." (p. 13, 1978 ed.) In other books and writings he makes it very clear that this "contemplative prayer" is the eastern style mantra meditation to which mystic monk Thomas Merton adhered. In fact, Richard Foster once told Ray Yungen (author of A Time of Departing) that Thomas Merton tried to awaken God's people.

    Thomas Merton, who said he was impregnated with Sufism and wanted to "become the best Buddhist" he could be, believed that "God's people" lacked one thing ... mysticism and this is to what they needed "awakening." Of Merton, Foster says: "Thomas Merton has perhaps done more than any other twentieth-century figure to make the life of prayer widely known and understood." (Spiritual Classics, p. 17) And yet, Thomas Merton once told New Age Episcopal priest Matthew Fox that he felt sorry for the hippies in the 60s who were dropping LSD because all they had to do was practice the mystical (contemplative) stream to achieve the same results. (Interview) We couldn't agree with him more. Both altered states are the same, and neither lead to God.

    Listed under "excellent books on spirituality," in some editions of Celebration of Discipline, Foster says of Tilden Edwards' book, Spiritual Friend that it helps "clear away the confusion and invites us to see that we do not have to live the spiritual life in isolation." And yet, Tilden Edwards, founder of the Christian/Buddhist Shalem Institute in Washington, DC, said that contemplative spirituality was the "Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality"(A Time of Departing, p. 49). On the Shalem Institute website you can find numerous quotes, references, articles, and recommendations to pantheism, universalism, New Age, and Eastern thought.

    In Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster tells us "we must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation" (COD, p.13.) He goes on to say that the "masters of meditation beckon us." Just prior to that remark, he quotes Carl Jung and Thomas Merton.

    Celebration of Discipline has helped to pave the way for Thomas Merton's pantheistic belief system. It has opened the door for other Christian authors, speakers, and pastors to bring contemplative spirituality into the lives of millions of people. The late Henri Nouwen, a popular contemplative who also followed the teachings of Thomas Merton, made a telling statement towards the end of his life: "Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God (emphasis added)."

    Today, countless ministers and ministries are promoting and endorsing Celebration of Discipline. If they really knew what Foster's "celebration" was all about, we think many of them would race away from the teachings of Thomas Merton and Richard Foster and back to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Those that Foster quotes favorably in Celebration of Discipline:
    Thomas Merton
    Morton Kelsey
    Madame Guyon
    Evelyn Underhill
    Elizabeth O' Connor
    Thomas Kelly
    Fyodor Dostoevski
    Soren Kierkegaard
    George Fox
    Agnes Sanford
    Brother Lawrence
    Dallas Willard



    Those Who Have Been Quoting and Promoting Richard Foster lately:
    Focus on the Family
    Chuck Swindoll
    Christianity Today
    YWAM
    C.S. Lewis Institute
    Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
    Youth Specialties

    More on Celebration of Discipline


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    Quotes by Richard Foster:

    From Renovare's Perspective Newsletter: "Spend some time this week listening to contemplative music designed to quiet you, settle you, deepen you. (Compact discs and tapes from the Taize community, John Michael Talbot, and the Monks of Weston Priory are especially helpful)."

    "We now come to the ultimate stage of Christian experience. Divine Union.... Contemplatives sometimes speak of their union with God by the analogy of a log in a fire: the glowing log is so united with the fire that it is fire ..." (Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, p. 159)

    "Christians ... have developed two fundamental expressions of Unceasing Prayer. The first ... is usually called aspiratory prayer or breath prayer. The most famous of the breath prayers is the Jesus Prayer. It is also possible to discover your own individual breath prayer.... Begin praying your breath prayer as often as possible." (Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, p. 122)


    Related Articles:
    Promoting Eastern Mysticism by Proxy by Ray Yungen



     



     

     

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