LifeWay Stores, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, is selling numerous books that would come under the classification of New Age sympathizing. Some of these titles are written by professing Christians who are proponents of New Age teachings, thus the term New Age sympathizing. As discussed in Tuesday’s report, Lifeway Stores Says OK to New Age Sympathizing Authors , LifeWay Stores believes that many of these titles are OK and fall within the “basic tenets of the Christian faith.”
The question many may be asking right now is, “Now that this has been brought to LifeWay’s attention, can they and will they once and for all stop calling the books in question “Christian” when they actually promote Eastern mysticism, panentheism and other New Age spiritualities?” While we believe that LifeWay may indeed remove some of the titles, as they did recently with 14 titles on Yoga and Buddhism, it will take more than removing books to break the ties with contemplative and the emerging church (both of which have New Age premises). What most people may not realize is that LifeWay Christian Resources (connected to LifeWay Stores) is an Alliance Partner with Leadership Network. This partnership is not something hundreds of ministries partake in – no, there are just nine organizations, and LifeWay is one of them. According to Leadership Network “Lifeway is excited about the message of Halftime and its impact on the church. Lifeway and Halftime are working together to create new products that will carry the ‘Success to Significance’ message.”
Halftime is the book title of Leadership Network founder, Bob Buford. In the mid nineties, Leadership Network hired emerging church leader and yoga proponent Doug Pagitt, and later brought on Mark Driscoll, Brian McLaren and Tony Jones, thus the emergent movement was launched. The emerging church movement was not started by a bunch of disgruntled young people as many people think but was actually nurtured by leaders like Buford, Rick Warren and Peter Drucker who have been instrumental in bringing about the success of the movement.
Leadership Network is a strong proponent of contemplative spirituality. If LifeWay is “excited about the message of Halftime” and is an alliance partner with Leadership Network, will they be able to or even want to make a clean break from contemplative and emerging? We fear the answer to this may be a resounding “No” and they, along with the Southern Baptist Convention, will continue taking the plunge into deception, pulling countless people with them.
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