Merton and The
million copies of The New York Times Best-Seller, The Shack,
have now sold, and the book is still going strong. Considering that the
average popular book is passed around to three or four people (by some
estimates), there could be as many as fifteen to twenty million readers of The
Shack. For those who are familiar with the spirituality of Thomas Merton, you'll know that he was a Catholic monk
who had strong spiritual affinities to eastern mysticism. And so what we
are about to say may take The Shack followers by surprise. But we
believe we can back up the following statement with solid documentation:
Thomas Merton could have written The Shack because it reflects his
view of God succinctly (i.e., Merton's views on God resonate with the views
expressed in The Shack).
First, to understand Merton's view of God, we can read what one of his
biographers (and incidentally someone very sympathetic to Merton's view) says
that makes this very clear. William Shannon explains:
If one wants to understand Merton's going
to the East, it is important to understand that it was his rootedness in
his own faith tradition [Catholicism] that gave him the spiritual equipment
[contemplative prayer] he needed to grasp the way of wisdom that is proper
to the East.1 (from ATOD, pp. 60-61)
Researcher and author Ray Yungen further
expressed views such as, "I see no contradiction between Buddhism and
Christianity ... I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.2
It is essential to really understand why Merton said things like this in
order to understand why the contemplative prayer movement presents such a
potential danger to evangelical Christian churches. Merton's conversion was
spiritual, not social or political, as clearly revealed in one of his
[Merton's] change of mind with regard to the higher religions was not the
result of tedious comparison and contrast or even concerted analysis. It
was an outgrowth of his experience with the Absolute [God].3
other words, Merton found Buddhist enlightenment in contemplative prayer. (ATOD,
New Age scholar who admired Merton said: "The God he [Merton] knew in
prayer was the same experience that Buddhists describe in their
How does this fit in with The Shack, you may be asking. In his book Thomas
Merton My Brother, Catholic mystic Basil Pennington relates:
Spirit enlightened him [Merton] in the true synthesis [unity] of all and in
the harmony of that huge chorus of living beings. In the midst of it he
lived out a vision of a new world, where all divisions have fallen away and
the divine goodness is perceived and enjoyed as present in all and
through all.5 (emphasis added, ATOD, p. 138)
other words, Thomas Merton came to believe (as most long term mystics do)
that God is in all things and in all human beings. This is clear to see
from the following quote by Merton:
is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, ... now I realize what
we all are ... If only they [people] could all see themselves as they
really are. I suppose the big problem would be that we would bow down and
worship each other.... At the center of our being is a point of nothingness
which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth....This
little point ... is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.6 (ATOD,
is intrinsically obvious that Merton's spirituality is the same as
what one finds in The Shack. Listen to William Paul Young's
"I have no desire to make them [people of other religions] Christian,
but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters
of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved." (p.182).
The reason The Shack's "Jesus" doesn't want to make anyone
a Christian is illustrated in the following statement by The Shack's father-god,
Elouisa: "God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and
through all things" (p. 112). In his book, Silence on Fire,
William Shannon defines the two pillars of contemplative spirituality: 1.
God is the ground of all being; 2. man becoming aware of that reality. So
we see here that both The Shack and Thomas Merton come from the
exact same spiritual perspective.
The Bible refers to such a perspective as "doctrines of devils"
(I Tim. 4:1) because it makes man connected to God without the Cross and
without faith in Jesus Christ (i.e, the Cross is not necessary then because
man is already part of the divine).
For those who may still be un-persuaded, consider the case of Sue Monk
Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees . In the 1990s, Monk
Kidd was a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher in small town South
Carolina. Someone gave her a book by Thomas Merton, which began her walk on
the contemplative path. Eventually, she came out with a book titled The
Dance of the Dissident Daughter, in which she reveals that she now
worships the Goddess Sophia. Monk Kidd's Sophia offers us the holiness of
everything (i.e., panentheism). She explains:
also need Goddess consciousness to reveal earth's holiness.... Matter
becomes inspirited; it breathes divinity ["ground of all being"].
Earth becomes alive and sacred.... Goddess offers us the holiness of
everything. (pp. 162-163)
in The Shack, we have God, the Holy Spirit as "Sophia"
whom, the book says, shares the same essence as Elouisa, ("Sophia is a
personification of Papa's wisdom," p. 171) who says God is "the
ground of all being."
Interestingly, on the best-seller list of a New Age bookstore in Portland,
Oregon, The Shack is number four. Note that this store is strictly a
New Age bookstore, even offering regular classes on metaphysics subjects
such Taro Card reading, Shamanism, Astrology, etc. Ironically, this
bookstore has a whole section devoted to Thomas Merton. Would The Shack
be at the top of the best seller list of a prominent New Age bookstore if
it had a biblical message of the Gospel that rejects the notion that all
paths lead to God? Definitely not. At that same New Age bookstore, Sue Monk
Kidd's book, When the Heart Waits (a contemplative book) has also
been on their best-seller list!
In this serious matter, where so many proclaiming Christians are resonating
with the spirituality of both Thomas Merton and The Shack, let us
soberly bear in mind the words of the Apostle Paul, when he said: "Ye
cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be
partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils (I Corinthians
10:21). And also: "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will
receive you (II Corinthians 6:17). This is the essence of Christianity - we
are in the world but not to be embracing it's belief systems. This does not
mean we are to be hateful to those who do not adhere to biblical truth, but
we are no longer tied into nor resonate with the world's spiritual
understanding after being born-again. There's no way around this for the
We pray that those who have read The Shack and are impressed with it
will give this article serious and prayer consideration.
1. William Shannon, Silent Lamp, The Thomas Merton Story (New York,
NY: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1992), p. 281.
2. David Steindl-Rast, "Recollection of Thomas Merton's Last Days in
the West" (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969).
3. Raymond Bailey, Thomas Merton on Mysticism (Image Books, 1987),
4. Brian C. Taylor, Setting the Gospel Free (New York, NY: Continuum
Publishing, 1996), p. 76.
5. M. Basil Pennington, Thomas Merton, My Brother (Hyde Park, NY:
New City Press, 1996), pp. 199-200.
6. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander ((Garden City,
NY: Doubleday Publishers, 1989), pp. 157-158
Click here for more information on The Shack.
Brian McLaren Wants End Time Believing Christians
I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of
remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before
by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord
and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days
scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the
promise of his coming? II Peter 3:1-4
you are a Christian who believes that the Bible is God's inspired Word and
believe that Jesus Christ will be coming again, you are being marginalized.
And you might not even know it. It may surprise you to know where this
marginalization is coming from. We're not speaking of the world today . . .
we are talking about people who say they are Christians and who
happen to be very influential. In fact, one of them, Rick Warren, was just
named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in
the entire world.1
In an April 2009 article in Sojourner's magazine by
emerging church leader, Brian McLaren, McLaren clearly has targeted
Christians. But not just any Christians. McLaren is talking about
Christians who believe Jesus Christ is coming back again, suggesting that
these type of Christians are the reason there is no peace in the Middle
East. He says what these end-time believing Christians are doing is
"terrible," "deadly," and "distorted."
McLaren says that he grew up with a dispensational view (the belief that
Jesus Christ will return and establish his kingdom on earth) but has come
to realize this view is "morally and ethically harmful." He
likens this belief system to racism in the 50s and 60s and says:
These doctrinal formulations often use a
bogus end-of-the-world scenario to create a kind of death-wish for World
War III, which--unless it is confronted more robustly by the rest of
us--could too easily create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Anyone who is familiar with the writings
of occultist Alice Bailey or New Age author and futurist Barbara Marx
Hubbard knows that they believe this very thing. In fact, McLaren is
sounding more and more like them all the time, and his article in Soujourners
is further proof of that.
It isn't just Bible-believing Christians who McLaren is upset with - he's
also angry about Israel and the very idea that she is a special nation in
the eyes of God. This is why he names Christian Zionists and
Dispensationalists in particularly, because they tend to be two groups who
hold fast to the belief that Israel is indeed a special nation to the Lord.
It is ironic that just a week ago, the House of Representatives passed the HR1913 hate crimes bill, which is supposed
to deter hateful behavior toward others. Here, McLaren, who was chosen to
be an advisor to Obama (a strong proponent of hate crime legislation), is
speaking so hatefully about those who hold to biblical beliefs saying they
must be robustly confronted by "the rest of us" [all human
beings except the biblical ones].
Others have joined McLaren in this effort to silence and marginalize
biblical Christians. Rick Warren's chief apologist (and we were told, a
staff member at Saddleback) recently posted an article on the Internet that
said ministries that defend the faith (he referenced Lighthouse Trails)
were like mentally unstable cultists, "who are not normal people,
average complainers, critics and typical dissidents who are generally
unhappy about life itself . . . they are deadly." (Please
contact Saddleback Church if you wish to verify this: (949)
Tony Campolo, in his book Speaking My Mind, says
that "'rigid' Christians who believe in the possibility of Jesus' soon
return" are "the real problem for the whole world."
According to Campolo, they are to blame for wars, and a host of other evils
in the world. This is what Alice Bailey and Barbara Marx Hubbard
believe--and their obvious hostility towards believers shouts out from the
pages of their writings.
There are others too who speak in derogatory language about Christians who
believe Titus 2:13, which is: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the
glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." In
Mark Driscoll's book Vintage Jesus, he ridicules Christians who
believe there will be an Armageddon and a rapture (pp. 44, 157).
Perhaps one of the more serious attacks on Christians waiting for Christ's
return (serious primarily because of his huge influence) comes from Rick
Warren where he states in The Purpose Driven Life that those who
study Bible prophecy are not fit for the kingdom of God. Most readers may
have missed this because of the way the passage is organized, but if one
studies this carefully, with a Bible by their side, it is not difficult to
see. Roger Oakland explains:
Warren tells readers to think about
something other than Bible prophecy: "If you want Jesus to come back
sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy."
Warren ends this section of his book by stating that Satan would have you
"sidetracked from your mission" and by quoting Jesus out of
context, Warren says, "Anyone who lets himself be distracted [by
studying Bible prophecy] from the work I plan for him is not fit for the
kingdom of God" (Living Bible). But Jesus was not referring to
His return when He made that statement, which in the King James Version
says: "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is
fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). The Purpose Driven kingdom of
God leaves no room for Bible prophecy, and in fact, condemns those who
study it. The apostle Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, had a different
view. He writes: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto
ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,
until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (II Peter
Christians are called to witness and be watchmen. No Scripture exists that
tells us to ignore the events that have been pointed out as signposts
indicating the return of Jesus. If we do, we might be like the foolish
virgins who fell asleep waiting for the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13).(from Faith Undone, pp. 154-157)
In Warren Smith's book, Reinventing Jesus Christ, Smith discusses
something Barbara Marx Hubbard calls the Selection Process. This is a
process that New Agers believe in which Armageddon will only have to happen
if those who believe in it (biblical Christians) remain on the earth for
thus there would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. She believes, as does Alice
Bailey (the woman who coined the term New Age), that the world cannot
evolve, and there cannot be peace until it is rid of these kind of people.
If it is, then there can be what is termed an Alternative to Armageddon.
Sound far-fetched? Just keep in mind that Barbara Marx Hubbard is a
respected author--in fact, she was instrumental in the early stages of what
is now the lobbying group for the soon-to-be Department of Peace that over 60 Congressmen are
We believe that this effort to put labels like cultist on believers will
only grow. Another example is emerging church writer Thomas Hohstadt, who
asked in a recent article: How Do We Know We Are Not in a Cult? He answered this
question by basically saying that you are a cult if you believe you have
all the answers and if you believe truth can be contained or absolutely
defined. You see, in emerging spirituality doubt and uncertainty are exhalted,
and the opposite "virtues,"--certainty and faith--are condemned.
Incredible as it seems, those who stand on the Word of God will, in the
end, be called evil, deadly, and cultish.
The growing hostility against Bible-believing Christians continues. And
yet, in Matthew 24:6, Jesus comforts us with these words: "[S]ee that
ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is
not yet." Let us remember and take heed to the words Jesus told his
disciples: "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is
day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4). As believers
we will stand for the truth, but we will continue to love those who
persecute. We are inspired by the many saints who have gone before and
courageously, by His grace and strength, stood. "Therefore, brethren,
stand fast." (II Thessalonians 2:15)
Bible Prophecy on Trial
Brian McLaren, Rethinking the Second Coming of Christ
Will the Evangelical Church Help Usher in the "Age of
Enlightenment" and the Coming False One?
Is the Emerging Church Right? "There is no second
coming of Jesus Christ." by Larry DeBruyn
Magazine Names Rick Warren as One of 100 Most Influential in THE WORLD
May 11th issue of Time magazine has posted their The 2009 Time 100 ("The Most Influential People in
the World"), which has named Rick Warren as one of the world's top 100
most influential people. Listing Warren under "Heroes and Icons,"
the article is accompanied by an unusual drawing of Warren framed in a
stained-glass looking border, done by illustrator Anita Kunz. Click here to read Time
1st Novel to Expose Contemplative Spirituality - Gone to Press
A compelling and thought-provoking look at the true nature
behind contemplative spirituality, which has impacted Christian churches,
colleges, seminaries, and universities across the globe.
Castles in the Sand, the first 2009 release by Lighthouse Trails
Publishing, has gone to press. This is Carolyn Greene's debut book, and to
our knowledge, it is the first novel ever written that is specifically
focused on exposing contemplative spirituality. Below is a
chapter-by-chapter synopsis as well as other information about this book.
If you have loved ones being exposed to the contemplative prayer or the
emerging church movement, this book may help them in a powerful but
non-threatening way because of its fictional format.
Description: When the horse-loving, day-dreaming Tessa Dawson enters
a Christian college, she is introduced to the writings of 16th century Teresa of Avila by her spiritual formation
professor. Soon Tessa's life is dramatically affected as she delves into
"Christian mysticism." As she ventures deeper into this form of
spirituality, God prepares her concerned grandfather and a mysterious young
man as they set out to reach her. But will they be able to help her before
it's too late?
Two lives are changed forever through spiritual practices they each
encounter--lectio divina . . . contemplative prayer . . . visualization
. . . centering . . . sacred space . . . desert fathers . . . kundalini . .
. labyrinths . . . spiritual formation . . . the silence
Retail - $12.95
Softbound 224 Pages
Click here to see large cover.
Table of Contents and Chapter One
More information or TO ORDER
Street Date: May 28, 2009
Chapter by Chapter Synopsis:
March 2009: College freshman, Tessa Dawson, is in trouble. The book begins
at the end of the story, where Tessa is running to escape the darkness that
has finally caught up with her. The slightly-built girl got more than she
bargained for, and now she is fleeing the scene.
2/ Another Teresa
Spain, circa 1533: Teresa of Avila was born in 1515. When she was eighteen,
she laid ill in a convent boarding house. Her father comes to take her
home. Delirious, her mind drifts back to a troubled youth and a scene where
she is trying to escape with her younger brother.
3/ Bus Ride
Early September 2008: The story backtracks now to Tessa Dawson's bus ride
to the college she has promised her foster grandparents to attend, much to
her chagrin. Tessa has been living in a daydream world, hoping to find
relief from the pain she bears deep inside. She resents the old couple for
talking her into going, but now that she has waved good-bye to them, she
misses them and feels guilty for her attitude. She daydreams of her horse
on the farm, recalls some of her troubled past, and ponders on her future
at Flat Plains Bible College. Her faith is shaky, and she asks whether God
is even there?
4/A Book from Uncle
Castellanos, Spain, 1538: Teresa of Avila, still ill and in her late teens,
has been given a book called The Third Spiritual Alphabet from her uncle.
Sick, with little else to do, the once vivacious, beautiful Teresa turns to
this book of contemplative prayer practices.
5/First Day of College
September 2008: It is only the first day of college, and Tessa Dawson is
ready to call it quits. She learns that her roommate is a highly talkative,
bubbly homeschool girl, who also happens to have lost her birth parents as
Tessa has. All Tessa wants is some peace and quiet, and she realizes that
isn't going to happen while rooming with Katy (Katrina) Buckler. "I'd
rather be back home mucking out Sassy's stall, she muses," as she
follows the campus map and finally finds her way to her next class,
Spiritual Formation 101.
6/Teresa Meets Teresa
In Tessa Dawson's spiritual formation class, she is introduced to the
writings of 16th century Teresa of Avila, and instantly she takes an
interest in this young woman of another time period. Tessa's new spiritual
director at Flat Plains, a woman who goes by the name of Ms. Jasmine, sees
Tessa's interest in the ancient nun, and she takes an interest in Tessa. It
turns out that Teresa and Tessa have something in common--their hope to
escape the pain within. When Tessa and Katy have a disagreement, Tessa is
drawn into finding "the sacred space" she was told about in
7/The Fall Retreat at Quiet Waters Lodge
November 2008: Tessa and her spiritual formation class are at a retreat at
the contemplative Quiet Waters Lodge. While there, on a walk in a nearby
woods alone, Tessa meets a mysterious stranger on a bridge near the lodge.
Later at the retreat, she manages to do a listening/imagination exercise in
which she has a conversation with "Jesus" on the beach. She is excited
to tell Ms. Jasmine about her success with the exercise, but her excitement
is somewhat dampened as she remembers the woodsman's words to her.
8/ Gift of Tears
Spain, mid-16th Century: Teresa of Avila is in agony. She recalls, with
tears, when she was on trial for six years and was judged severely by
people because of her visions. "Oh! My soul is plunged into
darkness!" she cries out. "How I long to be alone . . . oh, when
will this life ever become more than a never-ending dark night for my soul!
I hear them coming even now demanding answers to unanswerable
Winter Term 2008: During a lecture in Ms. Jasmine's class, just before
Christmas break, the students at Flat Plains learn some unusual things
about the ancient mystics. Ms. Jasmine also warns the class that now that
they are coming into an understanding of the "deeper" spiritual
matters and have experienced God in a new way, their parents and family
members back at home may look at them negatively and oddly. She assures them
it is those with traditional views who have the problem, not them.
January 2009: Back on the farm, Tessa's foster grandfather, Jacob Brown,
begins to worry about Tessa after he receives some peculiar text messages
from her. Tessa keeps mentioning a name that "Gramps" had heard
before. In an old wooden chest, he stumbles upon a biography by an ancient
mystic, Teresa of Avila. The book had been left at the farm many years ago
by another troubled foster girl. Gramps and Gran (Margaret) pray for
Spain, circa 1555: A glimpse into the life (mortifications and self-abuse)
of an older St. Teresa of Avila through the eyes of her sisters at the
convent. "Teresa had taken to inflicting tortures and mortifications
upon herself. She was just one of many nuns who drew blood in
12/Spiritual Direction Session
January 9, 2009: The relationship between Tessa and Ms. Jasmine deepens as
Tessa comes to see her professor as her spiritual mentor, but Tessa is feeling
some apprehension regarding some of the experiences she is having during
her contemplative sessions. Yet she trusts her professor and continues on
this path. After all, it is a unique opportunity to be mentored by someone
of Ms. Jasmine's caliber.
13/Angels and Voices
Spain, 1565: Teresa of Avila has been ordered to write down her experiences
and visions. Her inquisitioners are reviewing her case for possible heresy.
But there were some things she could never tell them. They would never
14/Jacob Searches for Answers
February 2009-One Evening: Back at the farmhouse, Jacob has a heated phone
confrontation with the president, Frank Johnson, of Flat Plains Bible
College regarding the spiritual formation practices being taught at the
school. Later that evening, Jacob researches into the late hours of the
night. The more he reads, the more he realizes Tessa is in trouble. And
while he can't pinpoint it, he feels certain that Frank Johnson is hiding
March 12: In a conversation with the knowledgeable Katy, Tessa is shocked
to discover that the strange symptoms she has been having sound exactly
like the rising of kundalini serpent power. Katy tells Tessa about an
acquaintance named Nathan, who had gotten involved with New Age mysticism.
After a frightening experience, Nathan repented and turned to the Lord. But
Tessa grows angry at Katy and storms out of the room. Later that night, she
has a terrible nightmare about a serpent that is strangling her.
16/Teresa Writes The Interior Castle
Spain, 1577: Through much difficulty due to physical symptoms and head
noise, St. Teresa has written The Interior Castle as ordered by her
superiors. She writes about the seven interior castles of the soul, which
can be accessed, she says through contemplative prayer.
17/A Growing Concern
March 14: The Browns grow more concerned as they begin to put some pieces
of the puzzle together. Margaret (Gran) has seen Jacob troubled before,
such as when someone had stolen ten head of his prized cattle. But she had
never seen him like this.
March 23: On her way back from a missions trip to Argentina, Katy e-mails
her parents from New York due to a flight mix up.
March 23: Without telling Ms. Jasmine, Tessa makes an appointment with one
of the school's counselors. But she is shocked to learn that he is part of
the effort to change the school into a contemplative college. In fact, his
advice to her leaves her shaken. She leaves his office even more confused.
Spain 1579: During one of St. Teresa's last difficult journeys to start
another new convent, we learn more about her trances and her levitation
21/A Difficult Phone Call
March 23-Monday Night: Tessa arranges to meet a contact of Katy's, Nathan,
who can explain more to her about kundalini and the symptoms she and her
friends in the spiritual formation class have been having.
22/The Light That Was Dark
March 24-Tuesday Afternoon: During a conversation between Frank Johnson
(the college president) and Ms. Jasmine, their plans to further develop the
spiritual formation program at the school are discussed. However, Frank is
unnerved at his colleague's brazen approach. Her role of usurper becomes
evident to him. Meanwhile Tessa meets Nathan. He helps her into his jeep
and speeds off. After buying her some hot chocolate (for it was a cold and
blustery day in this northern region), Nathan takes Tessa to the local
library. There he shows her some books and tells her that the practices she
has become involved with are dangerous. Still, she is not convinced.
March 24: Flat Plains missions team stops over in Seattle, and by chance
Katy happens to see Ms. Jasmine being interviewed on television. Her New
Age leanings are revealed not only to Katy, but to Jacob and Margaret who
happen to see the same show at the farm. The truth is plain to see . . .
But that's not the only thing Jacob and Margaret learn that day . . .
suddenly they realize they have met Ms. Jasmine before, a long time ago.
March 24: Just before their spiritual direction session, Ms. Jasmine
prevents Tessa from learning the truth by secretly tampering with her cell
phone in a rage. Tessa attempts to share the concerns she has since her
meeting Nathan earlier that afternoon, but Ms. Jasmine tries to convince
her otherwise and calm her fears. Tessa tries to find her imaginary castle
in the silence, but this time it isn't working.
March 26-Thursday Evening: At their debriefing evening with other mission
groups, Katy and her mission's team are shocked to find that they are about
to be led in a contemplative prayer exercise. Katy and her teacher, Sam
Goldsmith, boldly speak out before they are threatened with arrest and
forced to leave. But the reaction of the students is not what the leaders
had expected or wanted.
Later that evening, Sam Goldsmith has a very important question for
Katy--if he can get her to stop talking long enough to ask it. When he does
ask, for the first time in Katrina Buckler's life, she is left speechless.
March 27:Margaret and her ladies group pray for Jacob who has just left for
Flat Plains Bible College. He has two purposes for the trip: first to confront
Frank Johnson and Ms. Jasmine head-on, second, to rescue Tessa and bring
March 27-Late Afternoon: The story briefly returns to the woodsman whom
Tessa met months earlier at the Quiet Waters retreat. He thinks about the
pretty, but confused girl he met in the woods and wonders if she recognized
him when he met her for a second time.
March 27-Friday Evening: While Margaret is praying back at the farm house,
it is the night of the climactic Ekstasis worship night where Tessa fights
her biggest spiritual storm and realizes her "castle" is
crumbling. She has been dabbling with mystical practices that have brought
a terrible darkness and oppression upon her. It is this night that she
realizes she must escape its grip, but will she be able to do it with Ms.
Jasmine watching her every move?
29/In Like a Lion, Out Like A . . .
March 27-Evening: Unbeknownst to Tessa, Gramps is in Frank Johnson's office
during a violent thunder storm the evening of Ekstasis Night. He is
demanding Frank to tell him where his granddaughter is. When Gramps gets an
urgent text message from Tessa, he reminds her about the mysterious package
he gave her the day she left for college. Open the package, he tells
her--it is your lifeline.
The elders from Flat Plains church show up (as pre-arranged by Jacob) and
are shocked to see what is going on at the Ekstasis Night. They had no
idea. Jacob was right! But Ms. Jasmine is determined to protect her
Tessa is hiding in her dorm room, terrified at the presence she senses is
in there with her. She feels she is going crazy. She realizes what she has
been doing is wrong, so very wrong, but is it too late? And then--a frantic
knock on the door.
Frank Johnson and Ms. Jasmine go on a tirade to find Tessa, blaming her for
what has turned out to be a disastrous Ekstasis Night. When Ms. Jasmine
finally finds her, and tries to physically stop her, she is in for the
surprise of her life. Just when she is about to flail in on Tessa, someone
from behind grabs her arm and stops her. She turns and looks up into
steel-blue eyes she had never expected to see again.
Retail - $12.95
Softbound 224 Pages
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Table of Contents and Chapter One
More information or TO ORDER
Street Date: May 28,
Contemplative Terms and What They Mean
We've posted this before, but for those who have never read
it, we are posting it again.
by Ray Yungen
order to help others who might be involved with some form of mysticism, it
is important to be aware of these terms and understand their basic meanings:
Altered State of Consciousness
A meditative or drug induced non-ordinary state of mind.
The supposed laws of the Universe that, when mastered, enable one to see
one's own divinity--another word for metaphysics or occultism.
Sign of the Zodiac represented by the water carrier, Earth Age, associated
with this astrological sign. The term New Age refers to the coming Aquarian
age which is in the process of replacing the Pisces age. According to
astrologers, every 2,000 years constitutes an age. New Agers predict this
Aquarian age will be a time of utopia.
Another term for contemplative meditation (going deep within your center).
A type of meditation being promoted in many mainline churches under the guise
Believed by New Agers to be the seven energy centers in man which open up
during the kundalini effect in meditation.
Taught by New Agers to be the state of awareness, reached in meditation, in
which one realizes that one is divine and one with God and thereby becoming
a Christ or an enlightened being.
Going beyond thought by the use of repeated words or phrases.
Imaging in the mind, during meditation, what you want to occur and then
expecting it to happen. In simple terms, you are creating your own reality.
who lived as hermits beginning around the third century who first taught
the practice of contemplative prayer.
Ecstasy (or Bliss)
The hoped for outcome of contemplative prayer or mediation
The false self is the ego or personality that is observable by others. One
rids oneself of the false self to find the true self through
mantra-meditation. New Agers would consider people like Buddha, Ghandi, and
even Jesus Christ as examples of people who found their true self.
Supposed God-self within that New Agers seek to connect with through
meditation. Also called the Christ-self or True-self.
The view that all the world's religions are identical at the mystical level
and therefore there should be solidarity among them.
A popular version of this prayer is Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have
mercy on me, a sinner, often abreviated to Jesus.
Powerful energy that is brought on through meditation, associated with the
Means sacred reading. In today's contemplative movement, it often involves
taking a single word or small phrase from Scripture and repeating the words
over and over again.
Word or words repeated either silently or verbally to induce an altered
state of consciousness.
Beyond the physical realm or pertaining to the supernatural.
A direct experience of the supernatural realm.
The Age of Aquarius, supposedly the Golden Age, when man becomes aware of
his power and divinity.
A movement that tries to merge classic occult concepts with Christian
Kept secret or hidden; the practice of metaphysics throughout history.
God is all things. The universe and all life are connected in a sum. This
sum is the total reality of God. Thus, man, animals, plants, and all
physical matter are seen as equal. The assumption is all is one, therefore
all is deity.
God is in all things. In panentheism God is both personal and is also in
all of creation. It is a universal view that believes God is in all people
and that someday all of God's creation will be saved and be one with Him.
Spiritual energy that is channeled by one attuned to the Reiki power.
Literally translated God energy.
Either a physical spot where one goes to engage in a mystical practice or
the actual silence or the state of being during the mystical experience.
The teaching and application of the spiritual disciplines; a vehicle for
Absence of normal thought.
One who promotes or trains people in the spiritual disciplines including
The belief that all humanity has or will ultimately have a positive
connection and relationship with God.
(From the Glossary in A Time of Departing)
For more terms, click here.
What the Bible Says About Persecution
by Berit Kjos
Reason for Persecution: the
Cross separates us from the world
"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.
Remember the word that I said to you... If they persecuted Me, they will
also persecute you... because they do not know Him who sent Me."
"These things I have
spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you
out of the synagogues [today it might be from churches]; yes, the
time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God
service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known
the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time
comes, you may remember that I told you of them."
"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. I do not pray that You should take them out
of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one."
"And I, brethren, if I still
preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of
the cross has ceased."
Click here to read this entire article.
Come Meet Corrie ten Boom ... Again
The Hiding Place: A listening
A dramatic audio presentation adapted from The Hiding Place,
the story of Corrie ten Boom
Come and meet Corrie ten
Boom again. This special 3CD set is something that will captivate the
whole family. The narrator, Susie Sandager sounds just like Corrie - and
when you listen to her, you will suddenly feel like you are actually
listening to Corrie. The
Hiding Place is the story of a Christian family in Holland, who
hid many Jews during WWII. Eventually the ten Boom family was arrested.
This is their story.
New Feature on From the Lighthouse Blog
have added a new feature to the From the
Lighthouse blog. At the end of each article, you will see a little
icon that says "Share," which when clicked will open up a menu
and give several options, such as "email," "print,"
Facebook, "Google," etc. This feature allows you to do a number
of different things with our articles including emailing them to friends or
putting them up on your Facebook account. We hope this feature will make it
easier for you to share our articles with others. Our thanks to Brad B. for
letting us know about this feature.
New Book by Warren Smith Coming in June
wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets
prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people
love to have it so." Jeremiah
COMING JUNE 2009
A "Wonderful" Deception
by Warren Smith
Warren Smith is the author of Deceived on Purpose: The New Age
implications of the Purpose Driven Church and Reinventing Jesus Christ.
Reinventing Jesus Christ is
a free online book that you can download and print or read from your
on A "Wonderful" Deception coming soon ...
Some articles by Warren Smith
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