Dear Lighthouse Trails:
You may already be aware of this, but going into work this morning (5 Jan) I tuned into David Jeremiah’s Turning Point radio broadcast titled “Living a Life Wide Open.” In the broadcast Jeremiah lists biblical characters whom he describes as having a passion for God or being “on fire” for God. One of these characters he listed was Moses, which sounds right except he based it on the events of Numbers 20. Numbers 20:1-12 gives the account of God providing water to the children of Israel in the wilderness. Gold told Moses to speak to the rock and water would come forth, but Moses, angry at the Israelites because of their complaining, struck the rock twice. God went ahead and gave the water, but because of Moses disobedience he was not allowed to enter the Promise Land. As a matter of fact the Bible specifically tells us Moses’ action was rebellion against God’s commandment (Numbers 27:14). Just to make sure I didn’t misunderstand what Jeremiah said I listened again to a repeat of the broadcast in the evening. I scratch my head wondering how a prominent Bible teacher, preacher, and author could make such a mistake!
In another portion of the broadcast, he favorably mentioned Erwin McManus giving “insight” into one his books. Basically in the book mentioned McManus criticizes some of the old hymns such as “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” which (according to McManus) encourages believers to be passive (leaning on God I guess?) instead of passionate. I don’t know if this was a recent sermon Jeremiah preached or a re-broadcast of an older one.
To Lighthouse Trails:
Praying for you to be able to understand God’s Word with true understanding. That Satan will leave the person, who is trying to discredit the work being done in El Cajon, California. Really blatant remarks being made. Dr. Jeremiah preaches the Word according to the Bible. No nonsense, but True Scripture from God. El Cajon being located in the most populous state in the Union and David Jeremiah choosing to be among the people bringing the Gospel and trying to meet the people’s needs. Being obedient to God in spreading the Gospel. He uses his time raising up rather than tearing down. Satan interacts through his demons here on earth. We pray that you walk in God’s light rather in the darkness of Satan’s work. [LT Note: We have removed some derogatory remarks from this letter about Lighthouse Trails that are unbeneficial, untrue, and have nothing to do with the subject matter.]
All I am asking is that you focus on God’s Word and not on God’s true servants, who are being obedient by reaching millions of we sinners each week, through his obedience to God. I will say no more. Please make each of your days count for God and not for Satan’s condemnation of others.
Our Comments: First, we would like to reiterate previous statements we have made regarding the articles at Lighthouse Trails. We are not attempting to destroy the reputations of those we critique. However, as we watch the complete silence by Christian leaders in matters pertaining to the preservation of the Gospel message, we remain compelled to challenge them and beseech them to stand for truth and against apostasy no matter the cost.
Coincidentally, Lighthouse Trails received both of the letters above just a couple days apart. The second letter is an example of someone who is devoted to David Jeremiah but who has not gathered all the facts before making his assessment. The sermon that is referenced in the first letter pertains to David Jeremiah’s book Life Wide Open,which was published several years ago but still in circulation today and as one can see from the recent broadcast, still inspiring Jeremiah today. Lighthouse Trails wrote a review of Life Wide Open a number of years ago. Below we are re-posting a portion of our original review of the book because it is still a relevant issue and is a case in point of another Christian leader who is not speaking out against spiritual deception, including his own. While the broadcast mentioned above is from an earlier date, the present-day introduction by Jeremiah shows that he still approves of his book and his ideas on a “passionate” life.
Sadly, as he did in Life Wide Open, you will hear Jeremiah speaking in this broadcast in a demeaning matter about hymns, much differently than he did in his 90s book Invasion of Other Gods, where he commendably gave a strong warning about the New Age and spoke lovingly of hymns. In Life Wide Open, he stated: “Unfortunately, we often encourage comfort zones in the church.” He then quoted contemplative Calvin Miller as saying, “I was struck one day by all the hymns that center on faith as a protective refuge.” Examples he gave included “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” “Rock of Ages,” and “Haven of Rest.” Jeremiah said that such songs were “comfort music for weak-kneed saints” (pp. 164-165). We are wondering what invaded David Jeremiah’s thoughts to change them regarding hymns over the course of a decade. And how is it that he condemned the New Age in the 90s but in Life Wide Open (ten years ago) admired them, and today, still resonates with that book?
From our original review:
David Jeremiah’s 2003/2005 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…” (p. xii) Who are these small handful of people who have discovered the secret? Well according to Jeremiah’s book, his list includes Rick Warren, contemplative, feminine spiritualist Sue Monk Kidd (When the Heart Waits), contemplative Calvin Miller (Into the Depths of God), Buddhist sympathizer Peter Senge (The Fifth Discipline), emerging church leader Erwin McManus, contemplative Michael Card, and Brother Lawrence (Practicing the Presence of God).
When one ponders the spirituality of some of these names, it is disheartening to see that David Jeremiah continues promoting his book rather than having it pulled from the market. What would cause him to do that? Well, either he is not pulling the book because he does not see anything wrong with Sue Monk Kidd, Rick Warren, Peter Senge, and the others or he knows something is wrong with them but for whatever reasons he has chosen to ignore the fact that his book could potentially mislead many people.
Looking at just one of the names in Life Wide Open (as someone who has found the secret to passion and purpose), Sue Monk Kidd, may put things into perspective. Ray Yungen explains:
A Sunday school co-worker handed Sue Monk Kidd a book by Thomas Merton telling her she needed to read it. Once Monk Kidd read it, her life changed dramatically. What happened next completely reoriented Sue Monk Kidd’s worldview and belief system. She started down the contemplative prayer road with bliss, reading numerous books and repeating the sacred word methods taught in her readings.
She ultimately came to the mystical realization that: “I am speaking of recognizing the hidden truth that we are one with all people. We are part of them and they are part of us … When we encounter another person, …we should walk as if we were upon holy ground. We should respond as if God dwells there.” (A Time of Departing p. 134)
Monk Kidd, also author of The Secret Life of Bees (emulating the goddess Madonna), reveals her spirituality when she states in a book endorsement: “In Radical Optimism, Beatrice Bruteau sets forth a deep and shining vision of spirituality, one that guides the reader into the contemplative life and the very root of our being. Dr. Bruteau is a philosopher of great measure whose work should be required reading for all who seek the deepest truth about themselves” (Monk Kidd’s endorsement of Bruteau’s book). For those who are not familiar with Beatrice Bruteau, she is a Catholic panentheistic contemplative.
Monk Kidd’s journey has also led her to say: “We also need Goddess consciousness to reveal earth’s holiness. . . . Matter becomes inspirited; it breathes divinity. Earth becomes alive and sacred. . . . Goddess offers us the holiness of everything” (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, pp. 162-163). Few would argue that this does not line up with biblical Christianity nor is it the kind of life of “passion” and” purpose” that Christians should seek after. She also said in The Dance of the Dissident Daughter that God can be found in everything, even graffiti and excrement! (p. 160).
In Life Wide Open, it wasn’t The Dance of the Dissident Daughter that Jeremiah quoted from. But the book he did quote from, When the Heart Waits, is also about Monk Kidd’s propensities. In that book, she explains: “There’s a bulb of truth buried in the human soul [everyone] that’s only God … the soul is more than something to win or save. It’s the seat and repository of the inner Divine, the God-image, the truest part of us” (as quoted by Ray Yungen in A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 134, citing pp. 47-48 of Monk Kidd’s book) .
When the Heart Waits is a primer on contemplative spirituality. Monk Kidd talks about finding her “true self” and explains how mystics like Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, and Thomas Merton helped her to find it. She quotes Beatrice Bruteau’s book, Gospel Zen, and Thomas Keating’s book, The Heart of the World. Keating and Bruteau embrace a mystical panentheistic view, without a doubt. She even quotes favorably Alan Jones, author of Reimagining Christianity. Reading a couple quotes by Jones in that book will show the seriousness of this situation:
“The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.” (p. 132)
“The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus’ sacrifice was to appease an angry god. Penal substitution [the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine.” (p. 168)
And even though the book by Sue Monk Kidd is in Life Wide Open, David Jeremiah’s book is still promoted throughout mainstream book venues.
In 2006, a year after the second edition of Life Wide Open came out, Jeremiah said he wanted to use a book by emerging leader Erwin McManus to help bring a “major paradigm shift” to his church. The book Jeremiah wanted to use was The Barbarian Way, a book that McManus admits had at its core “mysticism.” Considering that David Jeremiah chose Sue Monk Kidd as part of a road map to spirituality,is is any wonder that he also chose Erwin McManus who once said:
My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ,” McManus, author of a new book called “The Barbarian Way,” said in a telephone interview.
“Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right.” Erwin McManus
Isn’t it time for Christian pastors and leaders to step up to the plate of humility, sorrow, and repentance? For the sake of the sheep. (END OF REVIEW)