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March 7, 2007 
 Coming From the Lighthouse Newsletter

·                   They Like Jesus But Not the Church

·                   Conference ALERT: ZOE Group and Leonard Sweet

·                   Creator of the Emerging Church Reaches Out to Mega Churches

·                   Amazing Quotes and the Leaders Who Endorse Those Who Say Them

·                   National Day of Prayer Featured Author Promotes Contemplative

·                   A Secret Behind the Secret"

·                   Understanding the Spirituality of Jack Canfield
(Chicken Soup of the Soul)

·                   Conference ALERT: Arts Conference 2007 (Willow Creek)

·                  Missionary Update: Roger Oakland in Myanmar

·                   March 2007 Marks 5 Year Anniversary for
Lighthouse Trails

·                 Conference This Spring

·                   Publishing News

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They Like Jesus But Not the Church

Dan Kimball's new book, They Like Jesus But Not the Church should really be called They Like (Another) Jesus But Not the Church, the Bible, Morality, or the Truth. Kimball interviews several young people (one is a lesbian) who tell him they "like and respect Jesus" but they don't want anything to do with going to church or with those Christians who take the Bible literally. Kimball says these are "exciting times" we live in "when Jesus is becoming more and more respected in our culture by non-churchgoing people" (p. 12). He says we should "be out listening to what non-Christians, especially those in their late teens to thirties, are saying and thinking about the church and Christianity" (p. 12).

According to Kimball, it is vitally important that we as Christians be accepted by non-Christians and not thought of as abnormal or strange. But in order to do that, he says we must change the way we live and behave. He says things like Christian bumper stickers (p. 40) and Christian words like "fellowship," (p. 41) are "corny" and might offend a non-believer or seeker. Kimball insists (p. 19) that "those who are rejecting faith in Jesus" do so because of their views of Christians and the church. But he makes it clear throughout the book that these distorted views are not the fault of the unbeliever but are the fault of Christians, but not all Christians, just those fundamentalist ones who take the Bible literally, believe that homosexuality is a sin and think certain things are wrong and harmful to society ... and actually speak up about these things.

Incidentally, Kimball devotes an entire chapter to homosexuality, "The Church is Homophobic." Now his chapter titles are supposed to be what these skeptical, disheartened emerging generation persons see in the church. If we would not be homophobic, they would like us much better. Kimball explains:

Quite honestly, and some people might get mad at me for saying this, I sometimes wish this weren't a sin issue [homosexuality], because I have met gay people who are the most kind, loving, solid, and supportive people I have ever met. As I talk to them and hear their stories and get to know them, I come to understand that their sexual orientation isn't something they can just turn off. Homosexual attraction is not something people simply choose to have, as is quite often erroneously taught from many pulpits. (p. 138)

This is alarming that Kimball is saying this. Substitute the sin for pedophilia and hear how it sounds: "I sometimes wish molesting children wasn't a sin issue, because I have met pedophiles who are the most kind, loving, solid, and supportive people I have ever met." Kimball says (p. 110) we need to focus more on what we stand for rather than what we are against. If I had his views I wouldn't want anyone focusing on criticisms against them either.

While the book is a theological disaster, many new believers probably won't know that. That is to be expected. That is why we have pastors and leaders. But this presents some serious concern. One of the most respected leaders in Christendom has his endorsement in the book. Josh McDowell tells readers "it would be foolish" to not carefully study Kimball's book. Gregory Koukl of Stand to Reason (an apologetics ministry) also endorses the book:

With insight, gentleness, and an unswerving commitment to the wisdom of the past, Dan Kimball shows us what we don't want to see but must see if we care about the Great Commission in the twenty-first century.
McDowell's and Koukl's endorsements are nestled between staunch emerging church/New Thought promoters: Leonard Sweet, Tony Jones, Mark Oestreicher (Youth Specialties) and several others. One example of Kimball's poor biblical theology is in his chapter titled: "The Church Arrogantly Claims All Other Religions are Wrong." Kimball refers to John 4 where Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman. Kimball says: "He [Jesus] stopped and asked questions of the Samaritan woman and didn't just jump in and say, 'Samaritans are all wrong.'" But that is exactly what Jesus did! He didn't ask her any questions. Kimball has misled his readers! Jesus confronted her straight on, something Kimball says (throughout his book) is a terrible thing to do to an unbeliever. Listen to Jesus' words to the woman:
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
Kimball's entire premise is largely based on this type of faulty reasoning, that Christians should not do or say anything that might offend unbelievers, even if that anything is truth and Scripture. But the Bible says that the message of the Cross is offensive and foolish to the unbelieving heart: "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:18). Kimball says that "to them [the unbelievers], Christianity isn't normal." He adds: "This is really important to realize" (p. 29). But the Bible is so clear that those who belong to the Lord Jesus are not looked upon as normal by the world. In fact, Jesus tells us to expect it:
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." (John 15: 18,19).

Kimball says "Christians are now the foreigners in a post-Christian culture, and we have got to wake up to this reality if we haven't" (p. 30). He is desperate for this realization to happen saying "we aren't respected" by those outside the church nor are we sought after for advice by unbelievers (p. 30). But Christians have always been foreigners in the world, and they have suffered terribly for it. Throughout Christian history, there have been countless murders and atrocities that have been committed against Christians. Jesus said, "I am not of this world" (John 8:23) and also: "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). The apostle Paul said: "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body...." (Philippians 3:20), and Jesus said: "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." (John 17:14)

Perhaps what is most damaging about this book is Kimball's black and white, either or reasoning (the very thing he accuses Christians of). He makes it very clear that you cannot be a Christian who takes the Bible literally and also be a humble, loving thoughtful person. They are two different things, according to Kimball. There is no such thing as a loving, humble Christian who takes the Bible literally. His book further alienates believers in a world that is already hostile to those who say Jesus is the only way to salvation, the Bible should be taken literally, homosexuality is a sin, and we are called out of this world to live righteously by the grace of God. Some of Kimball's other black and white statements are: "The church is homophobic" versus "The church is a loving and welcoming community." (Kimball denounces those who take any kind of stand publicly against homosexuality.) Another: "The church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong" versus "The church is respectful of other people's beliefs and faiths." Once again, Kimball says it can't be both ways. Christians who do claim that all other religions are wrong contrast those who are respectful of other people. He says they can't be both.

As do so many leaders in the emerging church movement, Kimball speaks as if the generation today of young people is so different than young people of any past generation ever, that special means must be applied if these young people are to see truth. But he is wrong as wrong can be. It is the Word of God that pierces the soul and reveals truth ... In the 1960s and 1970s, there was another generation of confused, searching young people, many who were looking for life's meaning. The hippies were as every bit as different as the generation of young people today. Yes, some of the atmosphere was different, but the sins, the questions, and the problems were not. When multitudes of hippies began getting saved, what caused that? Did the pastors of the day start going barefoot and wearing their hair long? No, they gave the hippies the Word of God. Straight forward, loving but uncompromised. Did they take LSD so they could better understand where we were coming from? No, they gave us the Word of God. Did they apologize to us for telling us we were sinners (as Kimball suggests the Church needs to do today)? No. They gave us the Word of God. And it is that Word that brought so many of us into His Kingdom of light. They presented the Word, and we saw Jesus Christ, and He became our Lord and Savior. They didn't have to say things like, "I wish the drug thing and the free sex thing weren't sin issues."

In the book, Kimball distorts logic. Over and over he says that good Christians aren't like what unbelievers think about Christians and the church. Good believers don't have strong opinions against homosexuality and other sin issues, nor do they take the Bible literally. Kimball's just talking about those extreme Christians who behave like that. So in other words, you better not be one of those kind of Christians if you want to be liked by unbelievers. But in truth, Christians hold these beliefs on these controversial issues because the writers of the Bible held these same exact attitudes. What Kimball hates in reality is what the Bible says. According to Kimball's book, there are two categories of Christians. Here is the first Kimball describes:

[P]eople who are always saying negative things about the world, are anti-gay, take the whole Bible literally, are card-carrying Republicans, are pro-Israel, read end-times novels, and endorse snake handling and fire-and-brimstone preaching. They think of King-James, finger-pointing, teetotaling, vengeful people who credit God for using natural disasters to punish people for sin, and who use Christian jargon and are arrogant and unloving toward anyone but themselves.

Kimball masterfully condemns Christians who are pro-Israel, take the Bible literally, study Bible end time prophecy and talk about hell, and likens them to negative, arrogant, unloving and vengeful people. He makes a mockery of the Bride of Christ and thus a mockery of Christ Himself. Kimball is careful to install built in defenses into the book that will self-validate his message. He says that if you are uncomfortable reading the book, it may be that you NEED to read the book because you are guilty of all these things. So who is going to want to say anything bad about Kimball's book?

Toward the end of Kimball's book (p. 234), he does further damage. He claims that "The classic Bridge Illustration portrays the separation between humankind and God, and how faith in Jesus bridges the chasm." But now he says everything is different with this generation (and it is basically because of these weird fundamentalist Christians), so now before sinners can come to Christ, Kimball says "First we must build their trust and dispel their misperceptions [not all Christians are like those weird ones]. Then we can dialogue with them about key theological issues preventing them from understanding the problem of sin and their need for a Savior." So in other words, the mediator between man and God (Jesus Christ) needs the emerging church leaders and their concepts added to bridge the gap between God and sinner.

The glue that binds all this together is in Kimball's last chapter, "A Great Hope for the Future." He starts the chapter off with a quote by mystic Henri Nouwen. You see Kimball is a contemplative proponent. He promotes the use of labyrinths and stations of the Cross (meditative centers). He also encourages lectio divina and recommends books by mantra meditation proponents like Gary Thomas, Mike Yaconelli, John Michael Talbot, Brian McLaren and others. In They Like Jesus But Not the Church Kimball recommends Henri Nouwen's book, In the Name of Jesus and John Shelby Spong's book, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism (though he gives a disclaimer of this latter but still thinks it's good to be "familiar" with it). However, Kimball gives no disclaimer for his recommendation of Nouwen who said:

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.(Sabbatical Journey, p. 51, 1998 edition).

Who is this Jesus that Kimball tells us these unbelievers "like and respect"? Is it the Jesus of the Bible, or is it a Jesus that the world has formulated to fit into their mold. The biblical Jesus told the Pharisees that if they did not believe that He was God in the flesh and Christ, they would die in their sins. That is the very essence of dogmatism. Jesus didn't dialogue with them and say, "I can understand why you don't think I am the Messiah, and I can respect that." He was dogmatic! As Paul says in Scripture, it is another Jesus that they preach; for if it were the real Jesus, they would not like or respect Him until the day they bow down before Him, worship Him as God, and give their lives 100% to Him, denying all other gods and belief systems. "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God" (II John 9). Doctrine means teachings and the writers of the Bible address a number of issues on the nature of God and human conduct. Just read the book of Proverbs to see that this is true, which is instructions on righteousness. For instance, Proverbs 6:32 warns that those commit adultery destroy their own souls. This may sound harsh to some committing adultery but it is done to warn rather than just for the sake of being contentious. Some people may feel this approach is arrogant but their basis for it is concern for the person's well being rather than a sense of superiority. Kimball is trying to take the teeth out of the Bible so it fits in with our "do whatever you want" culture.

Jesus Christ has paid the price with His blood so that anyone who receives Him, by His grace and His mercy, can repent and be forgiven of their sins and have eternal life. "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine [Jesus'] and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock."

For more information: Dan Kimball's Emerging Church and Eastern Mysticism

Citizens of Heaven

Dan Kimball and the Emerging Church

For other quotes and information on They Like Jesus But Not the Church, click here.

 

 

Conference ALERT: ZOE Group and Leonard Sweet

On March 2-4, 2007, the ZOE Group will present the Look to the Hills Leadership and Worship Conference with keynote speaker, Leonard Sweet. Leonard Sweet, author of Quantum Spirituality and Soul Tsunami (endorsed by Rick Warren) is a proponent of New Age thought and contemplative spirituality. ZOE Group (and New Wineskins magazine) is a Christian organization that states: "We want our readership to know that we are Christians seeking to honor Jesus Christ in our lives." However, their promotion of Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren and other emergents will lead readers and participants down a road away from biblical Christianity and towards the spirituality of Thomas Merton, who was a panentheist (God is in all) and said if we knew what was in each one of us (all humans), we would bow down and worship one another.

Quotes:

"The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be "in connection" and 'in-formation' with other Christians. Deeper feeling and higher relating go together. The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a comm-union whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness." Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, P. 122

"Energy-fire experiences take us into ourselves only that we might reach outside of ourselves. Metanoia is a de-centering experience of connected-ness and community. It is not an exercise in reciting what Jesus has done for me lately. Energy-fire ecstasy, more a buzz than a binge, takes us out of ourselves, literally. That is the meaning of the word 'ecstatic.'" Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, P. 93

Creator of the Emerging Church Reaches Out to Mega Churches

According to a Leadership Network article, a project called Innovation 2007 will target 2000 of the largest churches, organizations and "thought" leaders in an effort to spread "the reach and influence of these innovative practices to as many churches and church leaders as possible." The article explains:

Encouraging innovation in churches is nothing new to Leadership Network. For more than 20 years, the Dallas-based non-profit has aided and equipped many of the most innovative, well-known and successful churches in North America. With 104 diagrams and charts, 10 in-depth profiles of compelling trends and literally hundreds of facts and examples, Innovation 2007 is the most single biggest compilation of ideas and insights ever undertaken by the group.

With Leadership Network's background and influence from Peter Drucker and Brian McLaren, there is good reason to be concerned. Leadership Network launched the emerging church movement in the mid 1990s with Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, Mark Driscoll, Dan Kimball and others. Since then the organization has continued to support and promote emerging (or Emergent) leaders. In fact, Leadership Network partnered up with Jossey Bass publishers in 1996, with a successful release of Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christian.

Amazing Quotes and the Leaders Who Endorse Those Who Say Them

"I am convinced the great tragedy is not the sins we commit, but the life that we fail to live." Erwin McManus, endorsed by David Jeremiah

"The Greatest Enemy to the Movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity." EW

"Quite honestly, and some people might get mad at me for saying this, I sometimes wish this weren't a sin issue [homosexuality], because I have met gay people who are the most kind, loving, solid, and supportive people I have ever met. As I talk to them and hear their stories and get to know them, I come to understand that their sexual orientation isn't something they can just turn off. Homosexual attraction is not something people simply choose to have, as is quite often erroneously taught from many pulpits" (emphasis added), Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus But Not the Church, p. 138, endorsed by Josh McDowell and other Christian leaders

"My personal mission and vision is to Recognize, Promote and Inspire Divine Connection in Myself and Others." Laurie Beth Jones, Sits on the Lead Like Jesus Board of Advisors with Rick Warren and Bill Hybels

"I've practiced centering prayer. I've contemplatively prayed. I've prayed liturgically .... I've benefited from each, and I still do. In ways you'll see, elements of each style are still with me. Larry Crabb, from The Papa Prayer, p.9, endorsed by Erwin Lutzer and other Christian leaders

National Day of Prayer Featured Author Promotes Contemplative

The National Day of Prayer has chosen Heart's Cry by Jennifer Kennedy Dean as one of this year's featured books. Ms. Dean writes about the "listening prayer" in chapter 11 of her book. Here are some excerpts:

"God calls us to silence, inner as well as outer. He invited us to listening prayer [contemplative prayer] ... in the inner sanctuary of our souls.... Listening prayer is the ground from which spoken prayer grows. Spoken prayer will not reach its fullness unless it is born in listening prayer" (p. 127).

"The place of His presence is within you. YOu will find Him at the center of your being.... God has things to tell you.... Something you didn't know before?.... When we learn the art of silence, then we create the setting in which God can reveal to us His secrets.... We are not programmed for silence. It does not come naturally to sit quietly in God's presence without words. Listening to God is a learned discipline" (pp. 128-129).

"[T]o find a way to center your thoughts on God. As you visualize the presence of God, visualize yourself in that presence .... In His presence, I feel the need to empty myself. I visualize placing things on His altar" (p. 129).

In the back of Dean's book, she recommends two other books she wrote for more information on "listening prayer." In one of those books, Riches Stored in Secret Places
2, Dean references panentheist Thomas Kelly about four times. It is Kelly who said that within every human being is a divine center, a holy sanctuary (from A Testament of Devotion). Dean quotes Kelly in his chapter called "The Light Within," in which Dean refers to the "secret sanctuary" (p. 43). This "secret sanctuary" Kelly is speaking of is the "abiding Light behind all changing [life] forms." Kelly says: "In that Current we must bathe. In that abiding yet energizing Center we are all made one" (p. 38)." In referring to this "secret sanctuary," which Kelly says is in all of life, Dean tells readers to use "the meditative exercises" in her book. Some of the techniques Dean refers to are lectio divina and visualization (though she does not call them this, but she describes them).

There is concern that the National Day of Prayer will be influenced by contemplative spirituality in other ways too other than Dean's book. This year's Honorary Chairman for the National Day of Prayer Task Force is Chuck Swindoll, who in his book, So You Want to Be Like Christ: Eight Essential Disciplines to Get You There promotes contemplative prayer, and quotes Henri Nouwen in the book from one of Nouwen's most contemplative books. In Swindoll's book, he tells readers that they cannot really know God with out practicing the silence (what he refers to as an inner stillness of the mind; see Misguided Shepherds).

We pray that the National Day of Prayer will not become another conduit for contemplative spirituality. Below is contact information if you wish to speak with NDP to voice your own concerns:

National Day of Prayer Headquarters
National Day of Prayer Task Force
P.O. Box 15616
Colorado Springs, CO 80935

Phone: (719) 531-3379
Fax: (719) 548-4520
Email: correspondence@nationaldayofprayer.org

A Secret Behind the Secret

Note: For links and references to this special report, click here.

When David Jeremiah endorsed the back cover of Erwin McManus' 2002 book, Seize Your Divine Moment, there should have been reason to be concerned. Then when Jeremiah made reference to McManus' in his own 2003 book Life Wide Open, that should have really sent up red flags. But Jeremiah also quoted New Ager Sue Monk Kidd in the book as well as a Buddhist sympathizer, a couple mystics, and Rick Warren. This was a real turn around for Jeremiah - just a decade earlier he wrote a book exposing the New Age (Invasion of Other Gods). It didn't seem possible that both books were written by the same person. But in 2001 Jeremiah was quoting mystic proponent Henri Nouwen, and in 2003 his church, Shadow Mountain, was recommending its men read Richard Foster's contemplative book, Celebration of Discipline.

Then in 2005, things seemed to go from bad to worse. After Ken Blanchard had been exposed as a New Age sympathizer, having promoted Buddhism and mantra meditation for twenty years, David Jeremiah became part of a speaking team (which included New Age sympathizer Laurie Beth Jones) for Ken Blanchard's Lead Like Jesus. It was about that time that David Jeremiah contacted Lighthouse Trails when he heard us mention him on a radio program. In his letter to us, he defended Ken Blanchard and insisted he was a new Christian, which he wasn't, and reprimanded us for saying Blanchard was promoting the New Age. What seemed odd though was that after it was brought out that Jeremiah was favorably quoting New Agers like Sue Monk Kidd in Life Wide Open, he didn't pull the book from the market and give some public explanation. On the contrary, his 2006 book, Captured by Grace, discussed (not critically) Henri Nouwen and received an endorsement from Ken Blanchard.

And then something very strange happened....

To read this entire article, click here.

Understanding the Spirituality of Jack Canfield
(Chicken Soup of the Soul)

Every religion I've looked at has some technology ... I've studied all of them and found what works for me and I've tried to make it available to others. What works for me is a combination of disciplines: I do yoga, tai chi which is a Chinese martial art and three kinds of meditation-vipasana, transcendental and mantra (sound) meditation. If you have to pick a yoga for me, I lean towards bhakii in the sense of devotion, adoration, singing, feeling love and joy exist in my heart."-Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, from "Choosing to Be Happy"

Jack Canfield, one of the top promoters of The Secret, is known by many people as the creator of The Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Millions of books have been sold, and even many Christians have bought the books. That's easy to tell just by looking at some of the titles in the series:



Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul
Chicken Soup for the Gospel Soul (Songs)
Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul
Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul II
Chicken Soup for the Christian Women's Soul
Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul


And of course, there are countless books in many different categories from Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul to Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul. But while the Christian is obviously represented by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen in their series, can the Christian Chicken Soup books be trusted? It is fair to say that would depend on the spirituality of Canfield and Hansen, which Ray Yungen explains:

In recent years, a series of high profile, immensely successful books have impacted the lives of many Christians. They are the Chicken Soup for the Soul books by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Although these books are filled with seemingly charming and uplifting stories, Canfield's New Age spirituality is quite disturbing from a Christian viewpoint. In understanding the foundational views of these two authors, one must ask, "Can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit" (Luke 6:43)?

In 1981, in the Science of Mind magazine, an interview revealed Canfield was no less than a teacher of the highly occultic "psychosynthesis" method developed by a direct disciple of Alice Bailey. In some of his most recent writings, Canfield openly reveals he had his "spiritual awakening" in a yoga class in college where he felt God "flowing" through all things(Dare to Win, p. 195). Hence, Canfield also promotes many occult writers.

In order to draw a conclusion on the spiritual persuasions of the Chicken Soup for the Soul authors take a look at one particular book they both enthusiastically endorse. The book is called Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul, compiled by Arielle Ford. Its format is identical to that of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series--101 stories by different authors on a particular theme.

Ford's book permeates with Eastern and New Age metaphysical content. A panoply of psychics, mediums, astrologers, channelers, and especially Hindu mystics present a wide array of stories. One such story is about a psychic who writes of her abilities (pp 244-247). Another story in the book is about a Hindu holy man who manifests "holy ash" out of thin air( pp. 36-39). Yet another involves a man who claims to be the reincarnation of the apostle Paul and writes that the message of Jesus is "God dwells within each one of us [all humanity]"(p. 15). Co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Mark Victor Hansen, agreed with Ford's book so wholeheartedly that he wrote the foreword. Listen to a few excerpts from this foreword, which reveal Hansen's view:

[E]nlightening stories will inspire you. They will expand your awareness, ... you will think in new exciting and different ways ... You will be renewed through the tools, techniques and strategies contained herein ... May your mystical soul be united with the mystical magical tour you've been wanting and waiting for" (pp. xiii- xiv).

Jack Canfield echoes this praise on the back cover by stating, "They [the stories in the book] will change your beliefs, stretch your mind, open your heart and expand your consciousness."

In March 2005, Canfield came out with his book, The Success Principles. As can be expected, one of these success principles is about meditation. Canfield relates, "I attended a meditation retreat that permanently changed my entire life" (p. 316). Canfield does a superb job of integrating metaphysics with the needs of business creativity. He emphasizes:

As you meditate and become more spiritually attuned, you can better discern and recognize the sound of your higher self or the voice of God speaking to you through words, images, and sensations. (p. 317)

These books are selling like hotcakes in some evangelical bookstores because they are positive. (from A Time of Departing, chapter 5)

As The Secret continues to climb in popularity in such a short period of time, perhaps Christians need to take a look at their bookshelves at home and in their churches and ask themselves, "Do I really want those I love to read a Chicken Soup for the Soul book?" It is probably safe to say that most homes in America have at least one of them. After all over 80 million have sold. And now with The Secret, Canfield's spirituality will permeate Western society at even greater measures, and that includes Christendom at large.

For more information on Chicken Soup for the Soul,
click here.

For all our articles on The Secret, click here.
 

Conference ALERT: Arts Conference 2007 (Willow Creek)

The 2007 Arts Conference will be held at Willow Creek Church June 13-15. The theme for the event is "Hallelujah! What's Right With the World?" and is featuring many contemplative/emerging speakers. According to the conference website, this "is a powerful reminder that that artists and teachers who follow Christ can use their gifts to open a window of hope to our broken world, as they affirm the goodness of God." Unfortunately, the spirituality being represented may open a window that will be more spiritually harmful to our broken world than it will be a window of God's hope (which is Jesus Christ). For instance, Brian McLaren, one of the conference speakers, says that the doctrines of the Cross and Hell are false advertising for God.. He also endorses Episcopal priest, Alan Jones who calls the atonement a vile doctrine.1 McLaren is also a proponent of contemplative spirituality. In a 2004 Christianity Today article, McLaren says that "the emerging church must be 'monastic'-centered on training disciples who practice, rather than just believe, the faith.... He cites Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, with their emphasis on spiritual disciplines, as key mentors for the emerging church."

Another speaker at the Arts Conference is Pete Scazzero, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life in Christ . In the this book, Scazzero favorably quotes Daniel Goleman (a Buddhist sympathizer), panentheists Basil Pennington and Tilden Edwards and several others of similar affinities.2

Erwin McManus is also speaking at the Arts Conference. For information about McManus' spirituality, please refer to our research. There you can read about McManus' "core of mysticism" and his recent remarks about the new film, The Secret (which teaches that we are all God). McManus, who is promoted by David Jeremiah, says that his goal is to destroy Christianity (see our article Christian or Christ Follower).

Other speakers at the conference include Dan Kimball, Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz), and Nancy Beach (from Willow Creek).

Missionary Update: Roger Oakland in Myanmar

Evangelist/Missionary Roger Oakland Back From Asia

by Roger Oakland

My first trip to Myanmar was in January, 2006. Following this trip, a vision for Mission Myanmar was established by Understand The Times. At that time, based upon observations that were made, it was apparent that Understand The Times could come along side and support a number of the national Christians and their ministries.

One of the things that impacted me the most on my first trip was the tremendous need to assist children who were living in hopeless situations. Few, accept for those who are recruited by Buddhist monks, receive an education, food and shelter.

Philip’s father-in-law, Mang, told me about his vision to establish and educational care home for these needy children. His told me his plan was to recruit children from the poorest parts of Myanmar and provide a facility that would look after such children so they could be cared for and receive both a secular and Christian education. These children would be taught English and encouraged to go on to Bible College or University so that they would be able to make a difference in their home communities once they became adults.

Within a few weeks of returning from Myanmar, it was apparent that support was available to establish such a facility. We decided to call the facility Bryce Lodge in memory of my son Bryce who died in a car accident in August of 2001. Within a few more months, further support that was made available made it possible for Understand The Times to establish a second Bryce Lodge. Note: Lighthouse Trails will be publishing Roger's book Faith Undone: the emerging church - a new reformation or an end-time deception this summer.

To read more about the Myanmar orphanages, click here.

March 2007 Marks 5 Year Anniversary for
Lighthouse Trails

This month marks the end of the 5th year for Lighthouse Trails Publishing. As many of you already know, we began this ministry/company after reading a manuscript by Ray Yungen, which later became our first release, A Time of Departing.

We want to take this opportunity to thank those who have emailed, written or called over the past five years to encourage and uplift us. We hope we have been able to do the same to many of you. God bless you and keep you in the shadow of His wings.

For more information about how we began, click here.

 

 

Last Days Bible Conference with Ray Yungen
Ray Yungen will be speaking at the
Last Days Bible Conference in Calgary, Alberta this coming April. If you live in that area, we hope you can make it to hear him talk about contemplative spirituality.

Ray Yungen, author, speaker and research analyst has studied religious movements and the New Age movement for more than twenty years. He is the author of A Time of Departing and For Many Shall Come in My Name. His exuberance for life and his love for Jesus Christ and for people are evident in his writing. Mr. Yungen resides in Salem, Oregon.

 
The Other Side of the River - Ready for Ordering
Street Date: March 21, 2007

When mystical experiences and strange doctrines overtake his church, one man risks all to find the truth ... a true story

A compelling and deeply personal account of a young man's spiritual plunge into a movement called "the River," which claims to be spreading the kingdom of God through signs and wonders.

Sometimes referred to as the River revival, the Third Wave or the Latter Rain, this movement is marked by bizarre manifestations, false prophecies and esoteric revelations. Warnings of divine retribution keep many adherents in bondage, afraid to speak out or even question those things they are taught and are witness to.

For Kevin Reeves, the determination to rescue his family came to the forefront. Even if the cost was high and even if he had to stand alone, his journey back into the freedom and simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be worth the price.

Topics this book addresses:
Word Faith movement
Holy Laughter
"Slain" in the Spirit practice
Emphasis on humanity of Jesus over His Deity
Gifts & Calling for the unbeliever?
Experience versus Scripture
Repetitive chanting & singing
Paradigm shift
Questionable worship practices

For more information ...

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