To Lighthouse Trails and readers:
As I stood at the bedside of my dad in a hospital, in shock at his unexpected passing, I looked up at the wall, and there on the whiteboard was written, “Last rites- 2:00 pm.”
I had spent two and a half months visiting daily in the hospital while my dad struggled in intensive care. Though I was raised Catholic, I had become a Christian when I was a teenager and always hoped I would have an opportunity to tell my dad about salvation.
During the time I spent visiting my dad at the hospital, which was several hours from my home, I had started reading my long-neglected Bible more diligently to fill the long evenings. During the day, I wandered around the hospital or sat in the waiting room when I was not allowed to wait in my dad’s room. As I walked around the hospital, I noticed a Muslim prayer room, a Catholic prayer room, an Indian spirituality room, a labyrinth designed into the pattern of a carpet in a large public area, a Sikh memorial room, a poster for Meditation – but nothing that could be connected to my Protestant faith, but indeed, I no longer knew with certainty what I believed. I had been following every wind of doctrine for so long that confusion had replaced conviction. If my dad had wanted to know about salvation, I am not sure I would have been able to explain it clearly.
After my dad passed away, I was frustrated and distraught. When I got home I kept reading my Bible. One of the first things I tried to figure out was salvation. It had come to be more complicated than simply trusting that Jesus paid my debt and I was to believe in Him. I had to get back the simplicity that was in Christ. Now that I was beginning to understand my Bible better, when I was able to attend church again, church started sounding funny. I was hearing words like sacrament, Listening Prayer, Lent, social justice and Mother Teresa. Since I was raised Catholic, some of these were familiar words, and some of them were words I learned later were associated with Catholicism. After a while, I went in to see the pastor of our Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and asked him, “How come so many Catholic things are coming into the church?” I tried to explain my concerns but he did not seem to understand.
I started taking my Bible to church and following along, something I had not done for many years – and something that was normal to me years ago now felt awkward. It seemed most people did not carry a Bible anymore. Now I noticed that occasionally the Bible was not used at all in services or perhaps for only one or two verses. I started researching nearly every name, every book, and every event that the church promoted. The pastor said, “We do Listening Prayer.” I started warning people not to do it when I found out its association with eastern mysticism and contemplative prayer. That resulted in the leadership asking my husband and I to humbly resign from teaching Sunday school.
Then at some point, I noticed that the pastors started promoting Rightnow Media, an online resource described as the “Netflix of Christian Bible study,” which proclaimed it was “revolutionizing ministry in over 15,000 churches.” Every Sunday at church, it is advertised on the overhead and also verbally on occasion. From what I understand from their website, churches subscribe to it, pay their subscription according to the size of their church, and customize it so their congregation can only access what the pastors want them to see. I researched some of the speakers advertised on Rightnow Media and noticed many of them were people that discernment ministries warned about such as Rick Warren, several IF:Gathering speakers including Ann Voskamp and Shawna Niequist, Beth Moore, Gary Thomas, Bill Hybels, John Ortberg, John Piper, Francis Chan, Mark Batterson, Andy Stanley, etc.
Rightnow Media also has a series called Hearing God. Although the title says Dallas Willard, the speaker in the session is Richard Foster who heavily promotes contemplative prayer. Rick Warren has a platform at Rightnow Media as well.
Churches seem to be accepting Rightnow Media in droves if my searches to see which churches have offered it are any indication.
Then last month the church started advertising a one-day streaming “Work as Worship Retreat” on February 23, 2018. As usual, I started researching the speakers. The first one on the list was Patrick Lencioni. His biography on Rightnow Media did not indicate anything unusual, but I checked out his YouTube videos, and one of the first things he says is that he is a practicing Catholic. I then learned he also cofounded an organization called “The Amazing Parish.” On that website, he prays to Mary, and in one of the Amazing Parish’s videos by Jeff Cavins called Compelling Formation, Mr. Cavins refers to the Ignatian Spiritual practices of the Examen and Lectio Divina ( starting about the 22 minute mark). [LT Note: Patrick Lencioni is also a frequent speaker at Willow Creek’s Leadership Summits.]
I also came across another name on Rightnow Media, Chris Lowney. He is on one of their pages called “Centered” with no warning that he is a Catholic and also has Jesuit training. But I found this page, also called “Centered” with Chris Lowney on a decidedly Catholic website, and it plainly says he is Jesuit trained. He also teaches Ignatian business principles.
Catholicism is so very opposite of true Christianity. If one is a true student of the Catholic Church, then Mary is elevated to the status of Jesus as co-mediatrix; The Pope’s word is elevated above the Word of God; and people canonized by the Catholic Church and called saints are called upon in a Catholic’s prayer – all so very opposite of true Christianity. I wonder if many of the Protestant and evangelical churches using Rightnow Media realize it is slipping in Catholic teachers (not to mention the contemplative/emergent teachers). We, as Bible believers, are exhorted to “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
By the time I had seen the handwriting on the wall, it was too late for my dad. In the book of Daniel, Chapter 5, when King Belshazzar drank from the vessels taken from the temple and then praised the gods of silver and gold, in that same hour, the fingers of a man’s hand wrote upon the plaster of the wall, and by then, it was too late for Belshazzar, and he lost his life that night. My hope is that people will see the writing on this wall. I am not saying it is too late now – but the Bible says there is coming a time when it will be too late (Isaiah 55:6).
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22:10-11; see also Isaiah 55:6)
The Bible gives us warning about false teachers many times:
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.(2 Timothy 3:13)
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 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; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
But we have no excuse for not knowing the truth. We have the Bible:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21)
We are warned in the Bible that that deception will happen. And it is happening all around us; but God has given us “the weapons of our warfare” (2 Corinthians 10:4), the Rock upon which to stand (Psalm 18:2), and the armor to battle against it (Ephesians 6:11-20).
Rightnow Media is mixing grievous errors with truth then feeding it to gullible sheep, promoting it as quality teaching, and somehow convincing churches to subscribe. It allows the pastors to adjust what their flock can access so that the flock can feed on the proper denominational nutrition when they come to feed at its trough. Their presentation is high quality, catchy, enthusiastic, and very hard to discern where it goes wrong. Parents are happy because now they feel their children can have access to biblical programming that the parents do not have to monitor. My hope is that Rightnow Media will be exposed mostly so that people do not blindly trust its teaching.
Rightnow Media is part of the deception, but it is simply another piece of the puzzle in a web of deception.
I’d been getting calls from a number in Texas I did not know, so I wrote it off as spam. After getting 3 more calls I decided to answer. Sure enough, it was spam, and it was this outfit calling to promote the product. The lady wanted contact info for our church “decision makers”…being that I as worship pastor handle media at our small church I was who she was looking for. After hearing the pitch I asked for a web site to reference rather than provide further contact in-roads on a cold call. Their doctrine statement sounded good but came across as vague in certain areas. Thanks to this article I now know why: thank you!
Thank you for sharing this.
We have been attending a church for about a year and I have recently come to realize that the leadership is quite lacking in discernment, supporting YWAM and promoting RightNow Media.
We always knew the preaching was a little weak, but our kids had friends who went there. We were glad for that, and the doctrinal statement was in line, so we continued to attend.
However, we first started questioning things when RNM contacted me at my business to try to sell their service to our company. When I inquired about a doctrinal statement, that shut the call down pretty quickly. I then wondered if my church had asked the same question!
Shortly after this, my church had the local YWAM director come speak for some special meetings. After multiple false doctrines and mishandlings of Scripture, I expected to hear church leaders and members discussing what I saw as glaring issues. Instead, all they said was how wonderful the meetings were!
We have a couple weeks now until we have fulfilled some ministry obligations, and we have already made contact with a solid, Bible-preaching church that is a little further away, which we had attended previously, and let the pastor there know of our circumstance and our intentions. He is familiar with these false doctrines and is glad to welcome us back.
Praise the Lord for faithful men of God who still preach the truth and expose the error!
I know this is old but our church is promoting Right Now Media and I didn’t realize there were so many false teachers there. Its so upsetting but I don’t dare say anything to leadership.
Thank you for this insightful piece. It has given me a lot to think about, especially at a time when Christianity is being packaged in pop culture with music, prosperity and self help messages with a flare of christianity but devoid of Biblical truth.
Has Rightnow Media stricken John MacArthur from their site? Can’t find his stuff now! Is it over backlash with Beth Moore? They need to look further into preachers they DO promote! So called “Christian pastors” are conforming to this world; afraid of the world and not the Word of God! Too much deception under the guise of “unity” and “Christian”
We visited a church yesterday (6/16/2019) for the first time. They promoted Rightnow Media. I’ve only seen it on some churches websites but this was the first time I heard it being promoted in church.
We have been searching for a church home since moving last year but haven’t found one yet. We think “This one seems to be a good biblical one.” but then something pops up that isn’t on track. How are we supposed to find a home church that isn’t leaning toward “left of center” biblically?
Thank you for sharing this letter and for helping us discern truth.
The church I recently left began promoting their subscription to this website. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. It breaks my heart so many churches are being deceived.
Elizabeth Bennett said : Guest 7 days ago I was given Max Lucado;s Grace daily scripture readings and am puzzeled by his comment that we are increasingly Jesus. We can never become divine as Jesus was, and can never become totally sinless here on earth. Am I wrong to be troubled by his comment that we are increasingly Him? Joey says to Elizabeth: NO you are NOT WRONG to be troubled. Please do research on Max Lucado. He is not what he seems. Please do it right away. Praying for you and that you find this message! God bless you.
L.S., thank you so much for sharing your story and what you’ve learned which is so significant and important to the Body of Christ today. I’m so sorry about your dad’s passing, and also grateful for how the Lord has been leading you. Thessalonians 2 contains a passage which refers to what is often called “the great apostasy” or “falling away”, and this part of that passage recently pulled me up short. It reminds me of the passage in Romans 1 which says the Lord will give disobedient, idolatrous people over to a reprobate mind: “9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. ” The seriousness of this passage has shown me how serious the situation in our nation really is. All of us who are born again, committed Christians need to be actively interceding. Thank God, His mercies are new every morning!
I was given Max Lucado;s Grace daily scripture readings and am puzzeled by his comment that we are increasingly Jesus. We can never become divine as Jesus was, and can never become totally sinless here on earth. Am I wrong to be troubled by his comment that we are increasingly Him?
Dear L.S., You have taken something hard and used it to create something beautiful. Thank you. Alec S
T. I. Miller
The old expression, ” Standing on the tracks and didn’t see the train a coming. ” comes to mind. The great delusion it would seem has been sent. So many pastors and churches are waist deep in this flood of heresy, yet stubbornly and willfully remain oblivious. If you think graduates from the Masters Seminary cannot be deceived you are greatly mistaken. They have no problem with the Message mis-translation. They have made official church membership the unwritten 6’th Sola. They elevate following the pastor above following the Master. Jesus warned that a little leaven corrupts the whole. some promote books by once solid teachers that have left the narrow path. They neither keep current with heretical trends nor will they denounce any of them from the pulpit. Like may other today I have become orphaned from church life. Pastors no longer act as humble meek shepherds but rather as iron fisted CEO’s. What they really cannot abide is anyone who is well studied who will not kneel down and kiss their ring.
I am thankful for people, like the author, who are diligently searching the Scriptures and providing a warning ministry to others locally and through websites like Lighthouse Trails Research. This is something all Christians should be doing! The time we have should be utilized well in proclaiming the true Gospel!
This letter to the Editor is very well written, and the warning is crucial. Regarding the current state of the church and the influx of Catholic doctrine; Lighthouse Trails has very worthy resources on this subject to warn those you love and care about – including Roger Oakland’s book, ‘Another Jesus?’ his booklet ‘The New Evangelization From Rome…’ and David Dombrowski’s booklet ‘My Journey Out Of Catholicism’.
Thank you so much for bringing this warning forth! I had never heard of this media outlet until now. Sorry for the loss of your Dad. There are no words.