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Coming From the Lighthouse

                                                         Printer Friendly Version (click here)        May 5, 2008

In This Issue -

FGBC (Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches) Promotes Contemplative Spirituality and the Emerging Church

BGC World Magazine Article by Contemplative Jan Johnson; Includes Yoga Poses

Understand the Times Update and Urgent Prayer Request

The Great Emergence - A New Reformation Every 500 Years?

Those Who Resist

Christian Colleges That DO NOT Have Spiritual Formation Programs

Time Magazine's 2008 Most Influential People List

Warren Smith, Ray Yungen Speaking at Conferences this Summer

Publishing News

Newsletter in Print - Coming Soon

Book Spotlights

 

Join Our Mailing List!

 

Quick Links

 

Helpful Resources  & Other Articles

 

 

 

Deceived by the Dialectic Process - Collection of Quotes from Kjos Ministries

 

Is This America by Mary Ann Collins

 

A Special Note

Lighthouse Trails is a Christian publishing company. While we hope you will read the books we have published, we also provide extensive free research, documentation, and news on our Research site, blog, and newsletter.

 

We pray that the books as well as the online research will be a blessing to the body of Christ and a witness to those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

 

What is Contemplative Spirituality?

definition: contemplative spirituality: a belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology; the premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).

 

spiritual formation: a movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.

How Widespread Has Spiritual Formation Become? Read our list of ministries that are promoting it. Please pray for the leaders of these groups that their eyes may be opened.

FGBC (Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches) Promotes Contemplative Spirituality and the Emerging Church

The FGBC (Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches) is an association of 260 North American churches of the Grace Brethren movement, which has an historical heritage dating back to the 18th century. Currently, there are over 2000 churches and around 750,000 Grace Brethren members. According to the main FGBC website, FGBC churches are autonomous (self-governed), and FGBC believes that the Bible is their authority. Thus, it is most unfortunate to report that FGBC is heading into the contemplative/emerging camp through several various avenues.

The CE National is a ministry arm of FGBC that provides "ministries and resources" to educate and lead FGBC children, youth, and adults. One of the programs, 412 Commission (based on 1 Timothy 4:12), is "designed to nurture young leaders in an effective discipling environment." Last December, the Commission exposed students to emerging church leader and New Age-practice proponent Rob Bell. 1 In view of Bell's resonance with the Sisters of Marywood (recently featured in Reiki News for their "success" with the occultic practice, Reiki) and his emphasis on New Age mystic Ken Wilber, introducing FGBC kids to Bell is alarming. Of the meeting with Bell, an FGBC writer states: "[O]ur view of God was blown out of the box we had it in."

On a FGBC blog by one of CE National's leaders, Bob Hetzler (CE National's YouthNet Commission and director of Fusion, the young adult division of FGBC's Momentum youth conference), Hetzler states that Rob Bell's Nooma videos (a Trojan Horse for Bell's non-biblical spirituality), have been a best-selling resource for youth. 2

Sadly, just about one month ago, Hetzler recommended people read Brian McLaren and other pro-emerging books to get help in understanding the emerging church movement. This will certainly give students the perspective from an emerging point of view, but Hetzler's resources do not alert to the serious and dangerous mystical affinities of the emerging church or of its promotion of the Kingdom now theology or its interspiritual and universalistic beliefs. It is disappointing that Hetzler didn't point to a book like Faith Undone, in which Roger Oakland precisely and accurately shows the true nature of the emerging church.

Incidentally, on Hetzler's blog, he has links to Dallas Willard, Relevant magazine, Leadership Network, and the Ooze, all of which are some of the most influential promoters of the emerging church, and all of which have a propensity toward the mystical. Because Hetzler is instrumental in working with FGBC churches, his promotion of contemplative and emerging resources cannot be underestimated.

The CE National "lending library" is filled with contemplative and emerging related books and authors: Under Youth Ministry, they recommend Mark Oestreicher (from Youth Specialties who calls Christianity "an Eastern religion"), Rick Warren (a major promoter of both contemplative and emerging), Duffy Robbins, Doug Fields (Saddleback), Wayne Rice (Youth Specialties co-founder), Tony Campolo, Mike Yaconelli, and Tony Jones. Other various categories include New Ager Jack Canfield, mystic proponent Richard Foster, Larry Crabb, John Eldredge, Robert Webber, Tony Campolo, and many others with similar spiritual proclivities.

BMH Books is a publishing arm of FGBC. A new release of theirs titled Spiritual Friends is written by Robert Kellemen. The book was originally published by RPM Books. In that 2004 edition, Kellemen quotes atonement denier Alan Jones from his book Exploring Spiritual Direction. This makes sense that Kellemen would turn to Jones because Kellemen's book is about spiritual direction, which is a philosophy that Jones believes in also. Some may be thinking, "What is wrong with spiritual direction?" But the kind of spiritual direction that is being promoted here is contemplative spiritual direction. In other words, spiritual direction (through trained spiritual directors) is needed to help people develop their spiritual formation through contemplative prayer practices. For those who may doubt that this is what Kellemen is referring to, all one needs to do is look to the Acknowledgments in his book, where he thanks Larry Crabb who "contributed" to his own theories on spiritual direction. Crabb is a psychologist who turned to spiritual direction (i.e., contemplative spirituality). This is documented in a Christianity Today article, "Got Your Spiritual Director Yet?." In that article it states: [N]ow he [Crabb] believes that in today's church, therapy should be replaced by another, more ancient practice--"spiritual direction." Today, Crabb promotes mystical practices, as can be seen in his various writings (such as The Papa Prayer, where he encourages the use of centering prayer.

In Kellemen's book, he also looks to other mystical-type prayer proponents for guidance: Henri Nouwen, Eugene Peterson, Thomas Aquinas, Dallas Willard, John Eldredge, Dan Allender, Ignatius Loyola, Tilden Edwards (who said in his book, Spiritual Friend, that contemplative is the bridge between Eastern religion and Christianity - see A Time of Departing), Richard Foster, David Benner, and Marjorie Thompson (from her book Soul Feast ).

Marjorie Thompson does not hide her draw to eastern-style mysticism. She states, "The practice of contemplative prayer might give a Christian ground for constructive dialogue with a meditating Buddhist" (from Preface). In essence, Thompson resonates with New Age philosophy as she indicates in her book by often favorably referencing and/or promoting people like Matthew Fox, Thomas Keating, and others with panentheistic views (God is in all). Of Keating and eastern mysticism, she states:

A way of prayer closely related to this ancient form [the Jesus prayer] is now enjoying a revival among Christians of several traditions. It is called "centering prayer," and is a good way to introduce the person in the pew to contemplation. Centering prayer is based on a fourteenth-century treatise titled The Cloud of Unknowing. In this way of prayer, you select a single word that sums up for you the nature and being of God. Single-minded focus on this prayer word in silent concentration becomes a vehicle into the mystery of divine presence and grace. The method bears a striking resemblance to Eastern meditation with mantras but has developed independently out of the mystical strands of Western Christianity.

If FGBC incorporates Kellemen's spiritual orientation into their denomination, some day many of their churches may resemble the vision of Matthew Fox's christ-consciousness or of Thomas Keating through mantric prayer.

Grace College/Seminary (FGBC representative college) is also allowing the contemplative influence into student's lives. Last April (2007), at their chapel, they had Richard Twiss, and this April they had Shaine Claiborne (who was recently cancelled at Cedarville because of his emerging church spirituality). Also Kay Warren spoke in February. Warren promotes contemplative through her recommendation of Henri Nouwen's book, In the Name of Jesus, which states we need to move from the "moral to the mystical."

The last avenue our report will point out is that FGBC is allowing contemplative/emerging influences through their youth events. Momentum, taking place this June, recommends several ministries such as Youth Specialties and CPYU. 3 At the 2008 Driven Conference, one of the speakers is Kary Oberbrunner, author of Called: Becoming Who You Were Born to be (also published by FGBC's BMH Books). Oberbrunner, a graduate of Grace College and pastor of an FGBC church, quotes New Age leader Marianne Williamson on the first page of his book (and again on p. 143), calling her words "inspiring" and offering no warning about her but rather says they have inspired his own soul. Perhaps Oberbrunner does not know who Marianne Williamson is, but if that is the case, we hope he will now take the time to learn and remove her reference from his book. Pointing to Williamson is the same as pointing to Oprah, A Course in Miracles, and Eckhart Tolle, all of whom are strong opponents of biblical Christianity and the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Kary Oberbrunner has announced that he is now in contract with Zondervan publishers. Given the fact that Zondervan is one of the main influencers for contemplative/emerging spirituality in evangelical Christianity, this probably isn't a good sign that they resonate with him. In his book, Oberbrunner expounds on the kingdom teachings of emerging leaders Doug Pagitt and Robert Webber, and even references panentheist Basil Pennington. Pennington stated the following in a book he co-authored with Thomas Keating:

We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and capture it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible ... Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices (see chapter 2, ATOD)

It is our prayer and hope that FGBC and its leaders will stop going in the contemplative direction and make a renewed commitment to biblical truth. Lighthouse Trails would like to offer a complimentary copy of A Time of Departing and Faith Undone to any of FGBC's 12-member Fellowship Council Board of Directors. These 12 men help to lead FGBC and make decisions that affect the entire movement. We think if they would take the time to study these issues, they will find that contemplative spirituality and emerging philosophy are not biblical and not the direction in which FGBC founders, who were often persecuted for their defense of the faith, would have taken believers.

BGC World Magazine Article by Contemplative Jan Johnson; Includes Yoga Poses

BGC World magazine is a publication of the Illinois-based Baptist General Conference. BGC has a long history dating back to the 1800s when Swedish Baptists came to America to escape religious persecution. With a heritage like that, it is with dismay that we must report that the May 2008 BGC World magazine is carrying an article about fitness written by contemplative proponent Jan Johnson. The article, titled Bent Every Which Way shows photos of a young woman in various yoga positions.

Jan Johnson is the author of Enjoying the Presence of God and When the Soul Listens. In the latter book, she states:

Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is a prayer in which you still your thoughts and emotions and focus on God Himself. This puts you in a better state to be aware of God's presence, and it makes you better able to hear God's voice, correcting, guiding, and directing you. (p. 16)

Johnson's explanation of the initial stages of contemplative prayer leaves no doubt that "stilling" your thoughts means only one thing; she explains:

In the beginning, it is usual to feel nothing but a cloud of unknowing.... If you're a person who has relied on yourself a great deal to know what's going on, this unknowing will be unnerving. (p. 120)

Johnson points to several mystics in the book, including Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Madame Guyon, Brother Lawrence, John of the Cross, and others. Brother Lawrence would resonate with Johnson's message of "unnerving" prayer. In his book, The Practice of the Presence of God, it says he "danced violently like a madman" when he went into the "presence."(1) Thomas Merton likened contemplative prayer to an LSD trip(2) while Henri Nouwen denounced Jesus Christ as being the only way to salvation.3 He did this after years of practicing mysticism and encouraged Christians to move from the "moral to the mystical."4

In Johnson's book, she references the book, The Cloud of Unknowing Ray Yungen discusses this book:

To my dismay, I discovered this 'mystical silence' is accomplished by the same methods used by New Agers to achieve their silence--the mantra and the breath! Contemplative prayer is the repetition of what is referred to as a prayer word or sacred word until one reaches a state where the soul, rather than the mind, contemplates God. Contemplative prayer teacher and Zen master Willigis Jager brought this out when he postulated:

Do not reflect on the meaning of the word; thinking and reflecting must cease, as all mystical writers insist. Simply "sound" the word silently, letting go of all feelings and thoughts.

Those with some theological training may recognize this teaching as the historical stream going back centuries to such figures as Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Julian of Norwich. One of the most well-known writings on the subject is the classic 14th century treatise, The Cloud of Unknowing, written by an anonymous author. It is essentially a manual on contemplative prayer inviting a beginner to:

Take just a little word, of one syllable rather than of two ... With this word you are to strike down every kind of thought under the cloud of forgetting.

The premise here is that in order to really know God, mysticism must be practiced--the mind has to be shut down or turned off so that the cloud of unknowing where the presence of God awaits can be experienced. Practitioners of this method believe that if the sacred words are Christian, you will get Christ--it is simply a matter of intent even though the method is identical to occult and Eastern practices. (A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 33)

Many Christians do not understand that yoga is the heartbeat of Hinduism and it does not belong in biblical Christianity. Pastor Larry DeBruyn explains:

Christianity cannot be integrated with yoga and remain Christian. To think otherwise imperils the Christian truth and faith. As the managing editor of Hinduism Today, Sannyasin Arumugaswami, remarks, "Hinduism is the soul of yoga" based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God. . . . A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs". East is east, and west is west, and if Christianity is to remain Christian, "the twain" should never be married.5


Jan Johnson is in like-minded company with Merton, Lawrence, Nouwen, and The Cloud of Unknowing, but given the Baptist General Conference's heritage, incorporating the spirituality of Johnson into BGC seems like a paradox of major proportions. What's more, the yoga photos are what we would call truly "unnerving."

Notes:
1. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God (New York: NY: Doubleday, Image Book edition, 1977, translated by John Delaney), p. 34.
2. Thomas Merton said this to Matthew Fox, as Fox stated in an online interview.
3. Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey, page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition
4. Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus, 1989.

For more information on Yoga and its dangers, please read Yoga and the Body of Christ by Dave Hunt and watch Yoga Uncoiled by Caryl Productions.

Also see our database of Yoga articles.

 

Understand the Times Update and Urgent Prayer Request

As many of you may know, the Understand the Times website was recently compromised by unknown hackers and had to be shut down. We are happy to announce the website is back up and running and is now on a dedicated and highly secure server. Thank you for your prayers during this difficult situation.

We ask you also to pray for Roger Oakland--for his health, his family, his ministry, and also for the orphanages he oversees in Myanmar. Myanmar was hit with a cyclone this past weekend that has thus far taken the lives of over 300 people and left a hundred thousand people homeless. Understand the Times has lost all communication with their orphanages at this time. Please pray for the safety of these children.

booksonshelf

 

The Great Emergence - A New Reformation Every 500 Years?

 By Roger Oakland

Phyllis Tickle is a best-selling author and the founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly. She is also a friend of the emerging church. Doug Pagitt says of her:

Phyllis Tickle is the best friend the emergent movement could ever have.1

In the fall of 2008, Baker Books (through their partnership with Emergent Village-Emersion Books) will release Tickle's book called The Great Emergence. The following description of the book confirms Tickle's allegiance to emerging spirituality:

[I]ntended to provide a practical, positive vision of the church as it steps into the future. Tickle says the book will discuss the development of the emerging church, what she calls the "Great Emergence," placing it among the other great phenomena in the history of Christianity, including the Great Schism and the Great Reformation. "Every 500 years," Tickle said, "the empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity, whatever they may be, become an intolerable carapace that must be shattered so that renewal and growth may occur. Now is such a time."2

In a PBS interview, Tickle referred to this "[e]very 500 years" theory and said, "the church has a giant rummage sale." She said, "Christianity is in the midst of a new reformation that will radically remake the faith."3 At the Joint Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) where Tickle and McLaren shared a platform, one participant noted that, "[Tickle said] Brian McLaren is to this new reformation what Martin Luther was to the Protestant Reformation."4

If indeed Brian McLaren, or any of the emergent leaders or upstarts, lead and direct this new reformation, it will do as Tickle says--"radically remake the faith." Emergent proponent Troy Bronsink reveals that this remaking will include all of humanity and all of creation. In An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, Bronsink, a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), states:

Emergent ... is a gift given to all the church that is placing us in tension with things as they are.... we will discover courage to let go of the old orientations, see creation expanding.5

He continues:

If the emergent conversation is to have a "next chapter," it will need to learn from other sketches outside of Western Christendom as well as from within the depths of other traditions (denominations and communions) once dismissed on rational-political grounds, and it must continue, all the more, to seek ways of sketching that benefit the rest of creation.6

Bronsink says that emergent is "a guild of prophets" that will lead the way for "existing practitioners of Christianity."7 He says they will create an "environment" that will equip "any and all for the process of emergence."8 He adds that "practices of meditation" are necessary to "sustain" the emergent hope(9) but gives a word of caution to emerging seekers:

[M]erely seeing ourselves as a creative agent within the domain of the Christian church will domesticate Emergent into what one critic has already claimed is an "asterisk on the landscape of American church growth." On the other hand, seeing the integrated whole of the church (emerging and otherwise) as a creative agent within creation, Emergent can be a place where practitioners embody the church's creative agency for all of emerging society. (emphasis added)10

Bronsink says the emerging church must not become confined within the structure of Christianity, and this is perhaps where we can understand the theological limits of the emerging church. Those limits? There are none! The sky is the limit for the all-encompassing emerging church that includes all faiths, and all creation. Atonement is not part of this new reformation because all creation is already being saved and unified with God. It's no wonder emerging prophets over the past several decades from [Henry] Fosdick to Alan Jones to Brian McLaren reject penal substitution--in their grand emergence, it just isn't needed.

A poem from An Emergent Manifesto of Hope illustrates what the emerging church calls expanded redemption. I think you will see how such a theology has no room for atonement through Jesus Christ. The poem reads:

Not only soul, whole body!
Not only whole body, all of the faithful community!
Not only all of the faithful community, all of humanity!
Not only all of humanity, all of God's creation!11

This is very contradictory to what Jesus said:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)

It's a noble and comforting notion that all humanity and creation are redeemed, but it doesn't square with biblical spiritual reality.

Emergent leader Karen Ward asks the question, "Is there an 'emerging' theology of the atonement?"12 She answers, "I think not." Calling it "the mystery we're in," she refers to the atonement as at-one-ment,13 a term occultist and New Age prophet Alice Bailey uses to refer to our (all humanity's) oneness and equality with God.14 Ward explains her views:

We are being moved, as a community, beyond theories about atonement, to enter into atonement itself, or at-one-ment-the new reality and new relationship of oneness with God which Christ incarnated (in life, cross, and resurrection) and into which we are all invited "for all time."15

The emergent reformation, when it comes to fruition, will stand on the side of the line drawn in the sand that says all humanity is One--regardless of religion, beliefs--we are all One. That Oneness will mean one with all creation too, and inevitably with God. This is what the New Age movement is striving for--a time when all of mankind will realize both their unity and divinity--and the Gospel as we know it, according to Scripture, will be no more.

Notes:
1. Steve Knight citing Doug Pagitt, "Phyllis Tickle to Write Book for Baker Books/Emersion"(Emergent Village, May 30, 2007,
http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/phyllis-tickle-to-write-book-for-baker-booksemersion).
2. Ibid.
3. Fred Plumer, "What is Progressive Christianity Anyway?" (The Center for Progressive Christianity,
http://www.tcpc.org/library/article.cfm?library_id=377).
4. Citing from Emergent Village Weblog,
http://www.emergent village.com/weblog/emergent-and-the-new-reformation).
5. Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2007), Troy Bronsink section: "The Art of Emergence," p. 68.
6. Ibid., pp. 68-69.
7. Ibid., p. 69.
8. Ibid., p. 70.
9. Ibid., p. 71.
10. Ibid., pp. 72-73.
11. Ibid., p. 83.
12. Robert Webber (editor), Listening to the Beliefs of the Emerging Churches (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), Karen Ward chapter: “The Emerging Church and Communal Theology,†p. 163.
13. Ibid., pp. 163-164.
14. Throughout Alice Bailey’s writings is the concept of humanity’s at-one-ment (oneness) with God.
15. Robert Webber (editor), Listening to the Beliefs of the Emerging Churches, Karen Ward, op. cit., p. 164.

This has been an excerpt from
Faith Undone by Roger Oakland, from chapter 12, "A New Reformation?"

 

Those Who Resist

by Kevin Reeves

These are critical days for the body of Christ. We are in the epoch of church history spoken of by the apostle Paul as "perilous times" (II Timothy 3:1). What makes the danger all the more imminent is that not much of the church believes it. Many of us have owned the glorious but erroneous vision of an end-times remnant walking in unconquerable power, transforming entire societies. The result has been nothing short of catastrophic. How soon we forget. Every cult in the world has sprouted from the fertile soil of deception, always initiated by a drastic move away from the primacy of the Word of God into the nebulous, self-defining atmosphere of experience. At New Covenant, our desire to accumulate otherworldly wealth (i.e., supernatural power) had ushered us into a contrived system of personal spiritual elevation much like such active cults as Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses.

In the case of my former congregation, our pre-supposed love of the Word of God, along with our ignorance of and opposition to nearly every scriptural warning about false doctrine and seducing spirits in the church, left us open to bizarre teachings and practices. As we embraced mysticism, our biblical parameters melted away. Yes, we were sincere, but what we were wanting was diametrically opposed to our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Like physical signs of pain, there were signs in our church that something was terribly wrong.But just like the person who ignores the pain and avoids going to the doctor, we too ignored what should have been so obvious. That is, until it got so bad that avoidance was no longer an option.

Why do people ignore warning signs? It's like a motorist painting over his oil pressure gauge so he won't notice the depleting measure. But the reality of the situation will become evident enough when his engine seizes up, and the car comes to a sudden halt. I've discovered that in the spiritual arena most people will do exactly this: they take pains to look the other way when something bumps up against their doctrine. As a Christian, there's no quicker way to start a fight with a friend than to tell him that some of his most fervent beliefs are wrong. I know. I've lost my share of friendships that way. The problem comes when folks aren't willing to deal with the uncomfortable. And the horror of it is that in spiritual matters, we're dealing with eternal things. While the person who ruins his vehicle can at least purchase another, the human soul is irreplaceable....

In my own case, association with a cutting-edge group offered me security and personal power, and for years, the paranoia of offending God kept me from asking too many unsettling questions. It's ironic that, in a fellowship that taught a watered-down version of the fear of the Lord, it was fear that motivated me to stay put.

Many other Christians find themselves in this same predicament, especially those with a genuine heart for the truth. When some doctrine foreign to biblical Christianity is introduced into the congregation, they want to inquire about its origin and validity, but fear holds them in check. If it comes from the pastor, who surely must be more spiritual than the rest of the group, then God must simply have approved it. Therefore, questioning or opposing the pastor or church leadership is seen as opposing the Lord Himself.

But God doesn't work that way. Throughout the Bible are examples of those who love the Lord who questioned authority when it was wrong. And what's more, "prove all things" is clearly God's instruction to the believer (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

This manipulative pastoral attitude of squelching sincere inquiries was recently brought home in a frightening way. A friend of mine attended a local church service, knowing that the pastor was fully in support of the so-called Brownsville revival. She was nonetheless unprepared for the chilling threat from the pulpit. After reminding the congregation of the judgment deaths of Ananias and Sapphira for opposing the Holy Spirit, the pastor looked directly at the congregation and said, "If you think about questioning anything that goes on in this service ... well, you just be careful!"

Two plus two still equals four. His meaning was quite plain. If you want to end up like that evil-hearted couple, just go ahead and do some serious inquiry into the teachings or manifestations of this group.

Brothers and sisters, something is seriously wrong here. Brutalizing the saints with a threat from an angry heart is not the Bible way. But it is becoming quite a fashionable pastime for leadership to silence even well-intentioned criticism with threats and ridicule. It has been going on from both the Toronto and Brownsville pulpits for years and has spilled over into many other groups in the church today. Name calling and ostracizing are common methods to silence critics. Names like hypocrites, Sanhedrin, and God mockers are merely a sampling of the invective aimed at Christians who are concerned about doctrinal error. Nobody wants to be labeled a Pharisee or heresy hunter. But that is often the penalty for daring to step out and ask for a public, biblical accounting of doctrine and practice.

I know the feeling first hand. I have more than once been called legalistic and have been accused of "going down a hard path"--one of my own making, of course. I had been told repeatedly that I was spiritually immature and had not understood the importance of such works as Rick Joyner's The Final Quest --despite its un-biblical concepts and many outright contradictions to Scripture.

A current river is flowing, which many believe to be of God. Removed from its proper setting in the 47th chapter of Ezekiel, which speaks of a stream gushing out from the Temple of God, this passage in Scripture is today used to promote a last days vision for the church. In its proper context in Ezekiel, this wonderful prophecy is an encouragement that God has not forgotten His covenant people of Israel. But overstepping the sanctity of scriptural boundaries, this passage has been reshaped into the comfortable doctrines of the easy believism and sensual manifestations that mark a massive shift in the church. As believers, we have taken a hairpin turn from the preeminence of the Word of God to a relative, experiential, and terribly apostate faith.

The River Revival movement--encompassing the Toronto Blessing, Brownsville Revival (or Pensacola Outpouring), Dominion, Latter Rain, Word of Faith, Rodney Howard-Browne's laughing revival, the Kansas City prophets, and an arbitrary mix of all or some of the aforementioned--is flowing into congregations worldwide. Given impetus by these major doctrinal tributaries, this movement's teachings have led multitudes away from the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into a dangerous realm of subjective experiences, mysticism, and blatant heresy. Closely follow the curves of this river and you'll find spiritual deviations at first overlooked. After all the hype, the wild manifestations, the wonderful testimonies, the flamboyant prophecies, and the earth-shaking visions, the discerning eye will gaze upon a farther shore, where an entirely different, frightening story unfolds--a story of broken lives and shattered faith, of rebellion and of merchandising a substitute "anointing."

There is another side to all the fanfare, a glaring something that for the most part remains unspoken or deliberately avoided. There is indeed another side to the River. As believers, it is time we cross over and take a long, hard look. (from
The Other Side of the River, by Kevin Reeves)

 

Christian Colleges That DO NOT Have Spiritual Formation Programs

Disclaimer: These colleges are listed, not necessarily as an endorsement or recommendation, but rather to show schools that do not have Spiritual Formation programs, nor do we know of any promotion of contemplative prayer or the emerging church within each of these schools. They also do not promote Purpose Driven materials, which are a catalyst for contemplative spirituality. Before sending your student to any of the schools listed below, please check out other criteria at the school that will influence your student.

 

Special Note: If your student is not yet aware of what the New Age movement really is, you should ask them to read For Many Shall Come in My Name. The book is a compelling overview of the New Age movement. This book will prepare young people and adults alike to recognize dangerous and non-biblical practices and beliefs that are being introduced into countless Christian schools.

If you know of a Bible-believing Christian college or seminary that does not promote contemplative or emerging and does not have a Spiritual Formation program, please drop us an email and tell us the name of the institution. We would like to post some of these on our research site.



 

Time Magazine's 2008 Most Influential People List

According to Time magazine, the following people are among the 2008 100 most influential people in the world. The ones we have listed all have some connection to promoting the New Age movement:

#1 - Dalai Lama
#3 - Barack Obama
#4 - Hilary Clinton
#22 - Oprah Winfrey
#67 - Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
#81 - Rupert Murdoch

 

Warren Smith, Ray Yungen Speaking at Calvary Chapel Conferences this Summer

#1 Warren Smith, author of Deceived on Purpose and The Light That Was Dark, will be a featured speaker at the 2008 Senior Pastors Conference in Murietta, California this coming June. This conference is the annual pastors conference for Calvary Chapel Senior pastors.

#2 Warren Smith will join Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing and For Many Shall Come in My Name, for the Pastors and Leaders Conference in Johnson County, Kansas on August 7th. The theme of this conference will be "The Shepherd and the Watchmen."

Both Smith and Yungen have written extensively on the New Age/New Spirituality, documenting how it is coming into the church through various avenues such as Purpose Driven, the emerging church, spiritual formation, and more.

 

Publishing News

THREE WAYS TO ORDER DIRECTLY FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS PUBLISHING:

2. Toll Free Order Line: 866/876-3910

Quantity Discounts: 40% off retail for orders of 10 or more copies, 50% off for international orders of 10 or more copies

We ship both retail and wholesale orders within 24 hours of receiving order.

BOOKSTORES AND OUTLETS for small retail orders: Lighthouse Trails books are also available to order from most bookstores (online and walk-in). If your local bookstore isn't carrying one of our titles, you can ask them to order it  for you. While you may have to wait longer to receive your order, the advantage of ordering through bookstores is that you will have no shipping charges.

BOOKSTORES MAY ORDER DIRECTLY FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS OR FROM INGRAM OR SPRINGARBOR.

LIBRARIES MAY ORDER DIRECTLY FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS OR FROM BAKER & TAYLOR.

SAMPLE CHAPTERS OF LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS BOOKS:

Lighthouse Trails Publishing now has sample chapters available online for most of the books we publish. We believe you will find each of these books to be well-written, carefully documented, and worthwhile. Click here to read some of the chapters.

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Newsletter in Print - Coming Soon

If you would like to receive the Coming from the Lighthouse newsletter in print form by mail, please send an email to newsletters@lighthousetrails.com. Be sure and include your mailing address in the email. We will be issuing a printed newsletter several times a year for those who prefer that over the email edition or for some reason need both.

 Both email and printed editions will be free.

 

Book Spotlights

 

Book Spotlights

These two important books expose the truth about contemplative spirituality, spiritual formation, and the new age.
A Time of Departing and For Many Shall Come in My Name

Trapped HOLOCAUST: LEST WE FORGET
A true story that will change your life and challenge your faith ..

"Will sweep you into 1930s Germany and back with your faith intact ... [Trapped in Hitler's Hell] carries a stark message for today's Western Christian ... will refocus your priorities and recharge your spiritual life."-Leo Hohmann, Read entire review at The Messianic Times   Trapped in Hitler's Hell

See all books and DVDs on the Holocaust

The Other Side of the River by Alaskan Kevin Reeves  

When mystical experiences and strange doctrines overtake his church, one man risks all to find the truth ... a true story. Read more about this important book. The Other Side of the River

Faith Undone by Roger Oakland Find out the truth about the emerging church and the avenues through which it is entering Christianity.

Faith Undone by Roger Oakland

Find out more about the book that tells it like it is.

 

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