On June 1st, Lighthouse Trails posted an article by M. Danielsen titled, “Sojourners Founder Jim Wallis’ Revolutionary Anti-Christian “Gospel” (and Will Christian Leaders Stand with Wallis?).” On June 19th, we posted a second article titled TRAVESTY at LIFEST – PARENTS: Don’t Send Your Kids – Radical-Emergent/Liberal Jim Wallis to Speak at Lifest (What is Luis Palau Doing There?).” This second article included a link to a radio interview by VCY America’s Ingrid Schlueter and Mare Danielsen on this same subject. Yesterday, June 30th, a Wisconsin radio station (Lifest is held in WI) pulled its sponsorship of Lifest because of Wallis’ appearance. All of these things led to a response by Jim Wallis on his Sojourner’s blog today. That article begins as such:
Calling People to Faith
by Jim Wallis 07-01-2010
Several months ago, I was invited to speak at Lifest, a Christian festival in Wisconsin with more than 100 musicians and 50 speakers that draws tens of thousands of mostly young people. That invitation has recently become controversial, as a number of false accusations have been made against me and our Sojourners ministry. One long article [Danielsen’s article on Lighthouse Trails] actually put me in the company of Rick Warren, Bill & Lynne Hybels, and the National Association of Evangelical as heretical. Most recently, a local radio station in Wisconsin pulled their sponsorship of Lifest, saying “we believe the social justice message and agenda they promote is a seed of secular humanism, seeking an unholy alliance between the Church and Government.” Nevertheless, Bob Lenz and the leadership of Lifest stood by their invitation for me to speak next week. I wrote this statement at Bob’s request in response to the controversy.
It has come to my attention that there is some controversy around the invitation I received to speak at Lifest. It seems there have been false rumors and misperceptions spreading about me and about Sojourners, the organization I lead. I wanted to help clarify who we are in an effort for us all to put the main focus back on the mission of Lifest, which is to call people to faith in Jesus Christ. (To read this entire article by Jim Wallis, click here.)
The questions many may be asking, what DOES Jim Wallis believe in and stand for, and should he be representing biblical Christianity and standing on platforms with evangelical speakers, addressing Christian youth whose parents believe their kids are attending a “Christian” event with Bible-believing speakers? In other words, do Wallis’ beliefs line up with the main message in the Bible, which is the Cross and atonement of Jesus Christ, the foundation of true Christianity.
In an article last week, we stated: “As more and more talk arises about a ‘spiritual revolution’ or awakening, believers should be asking, is this a revolution from God? Or is this coming global ‘revolution’ part of the great falling away of which the Bible speaks?” Many of today’s major Christian figures (Rick Warren, Leonard Sweet, Erwin McManus, William Paul Young (The Shack), Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren, and yes, Jim Wallis) are all talking about “revolution.” Former New Age follower, Warren B. Smith, identifies this emerging “revolution” as “indeed the same New Age ‘revolution’ attempting to transfix and transform the church today.” Smith adds: ” We should be very concerned when self-professing Evangelical leaders with New Age sympathies talk about starting a “spiritual revolution” (A “Wonderful Deception, p. 134). Sadly, all of the aforementioned names above hold to “New Age sympathies,” in particularly their embracing and resonating with contemplative mysticism (the basis of which is panentheistic – God is in all).
M. Danielsen’s article laid out clearly Wallis’ and Sojourners‘ socialistic, marxist ideologies. But what about Wallis’ views on the nature of spirituality itself, mainly contemplative mysticism, which is the antithesis of the atonement of Jesus Christ? And is Sojourners providing a dynamic platform for an anti-biblical “gospel”?
It doesn’t take too long in looking at Sojourners to find their contemplative-mystical persuasions. On their website, on a video clip, two Sojourner editors discuss contemplative practices. The video is actually classified as a “how-to video on contemplative prayer” with Sojourner editors Rose Marie Berger and Jeannie Choi.
(Note: Wheaton College is mentioned in this video as the place the one Sojourners editor learned contemplative practices. See our research on Wheaton.)
For sake of time, we will show just one more piece of proof of Wallis’ stance on the contemplative/New spirituality movement. This case in point, last summer on God Politics: a blog by Jim Wallis and friends, an article by Richard Rohr was posted. Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation and a Catholic priest, is a panentheist who wrote the foreword to a 2007 book called How Big is Your God? by Jesuit priest (from India) Paul Coutinho. In Coutinho’s book, he describes an interspiritual community where people of all religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity) worship the same God. Incidentally, in the same year Rohr wrote the foreword for Coutinho’s book, Rohr and Wallis were the speaking teamat a conference in Ohio. Rohr, one of the most popular speakers in the Catholic church today and commands the respect of thousands of priests, states:
The term “cosmic Christ” reminds us that everything and everyone belongs. . . . God’s hope for humanity is that one day we will all recognize that the divine dwelling place is all of creation. Christ comes again whenever we see that matter and spirit co-exist. (“The eternal christ in the cosmic story,” NCR, 12/11/09)
Make no mistake, there is ample evidence available to show that Wallis (and Sojourners) is a conduit for contemplative (ie., New Age/New Spirituality) (which we believe is the driving force behind this emerging/emergent church and will be the propeller to bring about a global “awakening” (i.e., a global mass deception). Consider these two verses:
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” II Corinthians 11:14-15
Wallis, Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, and other emerging-type leaders have tried to convince our society that the church has failed, and that is why the world is in such a mess today. They conveniently neglect to tell people that the reason the world is in such disarray is because of sin and man’s rejection of Jesus Christ. It is not because of the true body of Christian believers, which through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit, long to help others and share the true “Gospel of Jesus Christ.” These heretical teachers are attempting to convince Christians, that they need to lay down their moralistic conservative views such as wanting to stop the murder of millions of babies and proclaim that marriage should only be a civil and legal union between a man and a woman. They go to great lengths to lay upon the conservative Christian guilt for the state of the world. They say we have been too narrow-minded, and as Rick Warren has stated, they say we need to look for a “new reformation,” one that includes Muslims, gays, and all belief systems. And look how so many have bought into it. The Shack, which proclaims the same “gospel” as Rick Warren and Jim Wallis proclaim, remains a New York Times best seller, and that is mostly among proclaiming Christians. Yes, look how many have caved in to these lies. Nearly every denomination and Christian movement has been affected to some degree: Christian Missionary Alliance, the Mennonites, the Southern Baptists, some Calvary Chapel churches, the Nazarenes, the Wesleyans, even some Amish and Independent Baptist groups … certainly too many to ignore.
Where will this all lead? Ray Yungen, who has been warning the church of this contemplative New Age “revolution” for nearly twenty years, says this:
Some day, and it could be soon, the Lord will allow the man of lawlessness [the antichrist] to emerge. In the mean time, the world is opening its arms to wholly embrace a spirituality that will exist under the umbrella of mysticism. The correlating theme will be—we are all One. When the man of lawlessness does rise to power with a one-world economy and political base, he will seduce many into searching for their own Christ consciousness rather than the Messiah, Jesus Christ. (A Time of Departing, pp. 127-128)
Among this group of men such as Wallis, who are attempting to redefine biblical Christianity, is Leonard Sweet who in his own writings exalts this idea of “christ consciousness” and tells his followers that he sees some of today’s most prolific New Age/New Spirituality leaders as his “new light heroes.”1
In spite of this clear and obvious move away from biblical faith by so many of today’s prolific figures, when one looks over at the arena of Christian leaders, teachers, and pastors today, a deafening silence fills our ears. These men and women who say they represent Christianity, stand on the side lines holding the cloaks of those who fervently seek to persuade people away from traditional biblical truth.
In conclusion, Jim Wallis’ vision, although noble sounding in some respects, it has at its center, as its spiritual component a practice and belief system that could be legitimately called part of the mystery of iniquity (discussed in II Thessalonians 2). One of the major icons of this movement, Thomas Merton, told a Muslim mystic in essence that it didn’t matter whether one believed in the atonement and redemption of Jesus Christ or not (*see citation below). What did matter was that Muslims and Christians will hopefully someday share in divine light. This is where Sojourners vision will lead. Sojourners shares Merton’s hope for the future.
Lighthouse Trails is not against justice and mercy; Lighthouse Trails is not against feeding the poor and helping those who are downtrodden and destitute – Lighthouse Trails is against a mystical belief system that proclaims that the divine is in everything, including all of humanity regardless of faith in Christ or not.
This is beyond speculation. One of the pioneers of this “reconciliation”/mystical revolution, Henri Nouwen (frequently quoted by Sojourners), rejoicingly said:
The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being. (Nouwen, Here and Now, 1997, p. 22)
The apostle Paul wrote that we are reconciled with God through the death of His son. It goes without saying that Christians are supposed to have the fruit of the spirit, which is what this so-called “progressive Christianity” claims to portray, but the bedrock of Christianity which cannot be compromised, is this very thing, but contemplative/emerging spirituality is moving people away from reconciliation through the Cross rather than toward it.
At Lifest with tens of thousands of young people, while Wallis may inspire them to remember the poor and the hurting, he will no doubt also inspire them to follow this dangerous mystical paradigm shift.
*Thomas Merton citation: Quoted in chapter 3 of A Time of Departing; Rob Baker and Gray Henry, Merton and Sufism, p. 109