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May 25, 2006 
 Coming From the Lighthouse Newsletter

In This Issue:

"The Era of the Single Savior is Over" - A New Age Peace Plan

Yoga Academy Writes to Lighthouse Trails

Calvary Chapel May Face Challenge in Upholding Position Paper

Yoga: Posture of Apostasy

Oswald Chambers on Church Growth and an End-Time World Religion

Update: World Vision and Brian McLaren

Do You Really Want Your Child to Learn New Age Meditation?

Probe Ministries Administrator Fond of Dallas Willard's Spiritual Disciplines

Focus on the Family Continues its Dive into Contemplative

The Message "Bible" Omits the Warnings of II Timothy

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It is important to remember that when we speak of contemplative spirituality, we speak not just of the act of contemplative prayer but also the belief system behind the practice. The foundation of contemplative prayer is contemplative spirituality. The "fruit" or outcome of contemplative spirituality is panentheism (God in all things) and interspirituality (all religions are united), both of which negate the gospel message of Jesus Christ. With the world and much of Christendom racing towards global peace and unity, meditation is the glue that binds it all together, and ironically meditation is also at the heart of the occult. From Harry Potter to Yoga, from Purpose Driven to the emerging church, from Spiritual Formation to Ancient Wisdom, this mysticism is weaving through humanity at an alarming rate. This mystical realm that is taking hold is not the Kingdom of God, as many project, but rather is part of the kingdom of this world and will never lead to life or truth.

"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie." II Thessalonians 2:9- 11

We praise God that there is a way out of that kingdom of darkness, which is through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:13-14
"The Era of the Single Savior is Over" - A New Age Peace Plan
 
One year after the events of September 11th, 2001, New Age leader Neale Donald Walsch's new book The New Revelations: A Conversation with God was published. In this book Walsch announced that "God" was now offering humanity an opportunity to avert self-destruction, and achieve world peace, by accepting the principles of his New Spirituality. Walsch explained that "God" was proposing a post-September 11th "PEACE Plan" that would help to bring the world's widely varying religions and belief systems closer together. Walsch's "God" was calling his PEACE Plan "The Five Steps to Peace." And both Walsch and his "God" were citing Robert Schuller as the kind of "extraordinary minister" who could help make the PEACE Plan and the New Spirituality work for everyone. Walsch's "God" quoted a statement that Schuller had made in his 1982 book, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation. Schuller had written that "theologians must have their international, universal, transcreedal, transcultural, transracial standard."

Walsch's "God" suggested that this universal standard be the statement: "We Are All One." Prior to Walsch and his "God" bringing Schuller into their conversation, they discussed their thoughts about the PEACE Plan and the world's need for a New Spirituality.

In his introduction to New Revelations: A Conversation with God, Walsch wrote:

The world is in trouble. Bigger trouble than it has ever been in before.

This book provides an explanation of the crisis we are facing in a way that not only clarifies the crisis, but clarifies how to resolve it.

This is a life-altering book. It contains New Revelations. It provides the tools with which to pull ourselves out of despair, lifting the whole human race to a new level of experience, to a new understanding of itself, to a new expression of its grandest vision.

"God" told Walsch that people are not being terrorized by other people. They are being terrorized by people's "beliefs." In a language and tone reminiscent of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, Walsch's "God" explained that people don't have to change their individual beliefs, they just need to "transcend" them. He said that "transcending" does not mean that you have to abandon your beliefs completely, but rather just modify and "enlarge" them.

"Transcending" does not mean always being "other than," it means always being "larger than." Your new, larger belief system will no doubt retain some of the old—that part of the old belief system that you experience as still serving you—and so it will be a combination of the new and the old, not a rejection of the old from top to bottom.

Walsch's "God" cunningly advised that most people couldn't and shouldn't abandon all their beliefs because it would make everything suddenly seem "wrong." It would make their Scriptures and traditions seem wrong. It would make their lives seem wrong. "God" told Walsch:

In fact, you don't have to declare that you were "wrong" about anything, because you weren't. You simply didn't have a complete understanding. You needed more information.

Transcending current beliefs is not an outright rejection of them; it is an "adding to" them.

Now that you have more information that you can add to what you presently believe, you can enlarge your beliefs—not completely reject them, enlarge them—and move on with your lives in a new way.

A way that works.

But then there is the "catch." Walsch's New Age "God" warned that the New Spirituality will necessitate a willingness to compromise. To achieve world peace, people will have to sincerely dialogue about their perceived differences and perhaps even "give up" some of their most sacredly held beliefs. "God" explained to Walsch:

It will take an unprecedented act of courage, on a grand scale. You may have to do something virtually unknown in the annals of human history.

You may have to give up some of your most sacred beliefs.

Walsch's "God" explained that in the near future established religions may still retain the general nature of their individual identities. But he severely warned that a "self-centered" and "exclusivistic" belief in a personal Savior would not be conducive to a world seeking peace and harmony. In other words, he was telling Christians that, in the days of the New Spirituality, Jesus can be your friend but not your Lord and Savior. In a statement that should sober every Christian believer on the face of the earth, Walsch's "God" warned:

Yet let me make something clear. The era of the Single Savior is over. What is needed now is joint action, combined effort, collective co-creation.



For the entire article and a printer friendly version of it, click here.


Editor's Note: When Lighthouse Trails editors first read Deceived on Purpose in 2004, they knew this was a book that the church needed to read. That is why they decided to carry Smith's book. It is a powerful testimonial showing the New Age implications of the Purpose Driven Life. Couple that with the solid documentation that A Time of Departing presents, showing the connections between Purpose Driven and contemplative, and there leaves no doubt that Christians should not become Purpose Driven.


"The Era of the Single Savior is Over" - A New Age Peace Plan 

Yoga Academy Writes to Lighthouse Trails
 The term Christian Yoga is an insult to Hindus and an oxymoron at best.

On May 19th, Danda of the Dharma Yoga Ashram wrote to Lighthouse Trails and said the following. We asked permission to post their email:

"Is Yoga a religion that denies Jesus Christ? Yes. Just as Christianity denies the Hindu MahaDevas such as Siva, Vishnu, Durga and Krishna, to name a few, Hinduism and its many Yogas have nothing to do with God and Jesus (though we do respect that others believe in this way).

"As Hindus who live the Yogic lifestyle, we appreciate when others understand that all of Yoga is all about the Hindu religion. Modern so-called 'yoga' is dishonest to Hindus and to all non-Hindus such as the Christians."
Danda, Dharma Yoga Ashram
(Classical Yoga Hindu Academy)

For those who think that Yoga can be utilized as just a harmless exercise, we recommend you check out the Classical Yoga Hindu Academy. For Christians to use the phrase "Christian Yoga" such as Thomas Nelson publishers did in their recent book, Yoga for Christians, would be like Hindus calling our communion service, Hindu Communion. Listen to what former Hindu guru, Rabi Maharaj said in his book, Death of a Guru (Rabi Maharaj and Dave Hunt, 1977):
Nothing was more important than our daily transcendental meditation, the heart of Yoga, which Krishna advocated as the surest way to eternal Bliss.... Although the peace I experienced in meditation so easily deserted me, the occult forces that my practice of Yoga cultivated and aroused lingered on and began to manifest themselves in public.... Often while I was in deep meditation the gods became visible and talked with me. At times I seemed to be transported by astral projection to distant planets or to worlds in other dimensions. It would be years before I would learn that such experiences were being duplicated in laboratories under the watchful eyes of parapsychologists through the use of hypnosis and LSD. (pp. 31, 75).


Related information:
Research on Yoga

Gimme Yoga, a Burger and Fries

Christian Yoga, an Oxymoron


Calvary Chapel May Face Challenge in Upholding Position Paper
 

According to a position paper that was issued earlier this week by Calvary Chapel, the movement (founded in the 70s by Chuck Smith), is rejecting certain practices that are associated with contemplative spirituality. The paper goes so far as to say that those Calvary Chapel churches which adhere to such practices should no longer call themselves Calvary Chapel.

In a time when it appears that most Christian leaders are either heading towards contemplative or are remaining silent on the issue, it is commendable that Calvary Chapel is speaking up.

The new Calvary Chapel position paper came on the heels of a discovery that a book written by Pastor Chuck Smith (When Storms Come) had been tampered with, and an editor placed contemplative language in the book, unbeknownst to Smith. There is a growing concern that Calvary Chapel may face an immense challenge in attempting to uphold the new position paper. Roger Oakland, founder of Understand the Times, has been traveling around the world for over 20 years, focused primarily on ministering to Calvary Chapels. After the paper was released, Oakland told us:

Calvary Chapel is at a critical point in the history of the movement. If clear correction is made, then the movement will go on and become a lighthouse in these last days. If nothing more happens than a written statement, and pastors and churches are permitted to carry the name Calvary Chapel but embrace contemplative, purpose driven, seeker friendly market driven ideas, the movement will break into various segments. There are many Calvary Chapel pastors who are asking for this kind of clear cut direction and want Calvary Chapel to remain what it once was.

Calvary Chapel has made a courageous and bold step towards doing what is right. We must pray for its leaders and pastors that the position paper will be just the first of many steps that are now needed to stay on track with preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. The annual Calvary Chapel pastor's conference will be taking place the first week of June. Please keep these pastors in your prayers during this time.


Related Information:
Our Press Release on the Calvary Chapel Position Paper (linking to the position paper)

Purpose Driven Conflicts with Calvary Chapel

Yoga: Posture of Apostasy
 Can yogic practices be integrated with the Christian faith?

by Larry De Bruyn

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet . . ." Rudyard Kipling's words accent the difference between eastern and western spirituality, between Hinduism and Christianity. But the two, "the twain" as it were, are now meeting via yogic practices being promoted in various places of worship and activities of spirituality. Take for example, one Jewish synagogue. The weekly Shabbat services of Congregation Beth-El Zedek have included such activities as "Torah Yoga," which asks congregants to "stretch and take deep breaths" as the Torah is read, or when as worshippers enter the synagogue, they are "welcomed by Torah meditations set to drums and chanting."[1] But Jews are not alone in adopting yogic postures and practices.

"Christian yoga" is also gaining popularity. Thomas Nelson, a Christian publisher, recently released a book titled, Yoga for Christians, by Susan Bordenkircher.[2] In an interview with the Denver Post, the author, a fitness instructor, explained, "What we are attempting to do with a Christ-centered practice is fill the heart and mind with God, becoming 'single-minded' as Scripture calls it." Unapologetic for promoting so called "Christian yoga", she explains that "Christ-centered yoga is definitely not just a repackaging of . . . yoga. The difference, she says, lies in the intention: shifting the focus from self to God with yogic postures ('breathing in' the Holy Spirit, for instance), integrating health as critical to effective godly service, and slowing down enough 'from our fast-paced lives to actually hear God's voice.'"[3] Wow . . . "breathing in the Holy spirit . . . slowing down . . . to actually hear the voice of God."

The instructor's words betray an ominous and foreboding ignorance of Christian truth. Believers do not breathe in the Holy Spirit. When by faith people are justified (i.e., saved), in a millisecond of time they are regenerated (Jn. 3:3, 5-7) and instantly indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. Corporately and individually believers are the "temple" of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). As Paul wrote to the Roman believers, "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (Rom. 8:9). There are only two types of persons in the world: saints and "ain'ts"--those in whom the Holy Spirit lives, and those in whom He does not. Given the Spirit's abiding presence in the life of the believer, how can He then be inhaled into the soul via yogic practice? Answer: He can't, because at salvation the Holy Spirit makes the justified believer's soul His sanctuary! Hopefully this yoga instructor isn't suggesting that regeneration takes place by a sort of yogic "in breathing" of the Holy Spirit. If she really is, then by adding a human mechanism (i.e., "breathing in"), her version of spirituality stands in blatant contradiction to the salvation that comes "by grace . . . through faith" (Eph. 2:8-9). Her spirituality formula also opposes Jesus' testimony that like the wind, the Sovereign Spirit blows when and where He "wishes" (Jn. 3:8). The Sovereign Spirit will not be manipulated or controlled by yogic "in breathing."


Read entire article, Yoga: Posture of Apostasy 
Oswald Chambers on Church Growth and an End-Time World Religion
 
"Oswald Chambers is the author of the well-known devotional My Utmost For His Highest. It was recently said of one of America's top church-growth pastor/experts (in the jacket of his book) that he ministers 'his distilled wisdom' in the 'tradition of Oswald Chambers.' Evidently the one who made this statement never read what Oswald had to say ..."Read Oswald Chambers quotes. Courtesy of David Sheldon, Scriptural Visuals
Update: World Vision and Brian McLaren
 
In our May 17th newsletter, we carried an article titled: World Vision Promotes Emerging Leader, Brian McLaren. The article stated that in a recent issue of World Vision's magazine Child View, there was a full page article by emerging leader Brian McLaren. World Vision has responded to this situation with the following comments:
[R] egarding Brian McLaren's column in the "Faith in Action" section of Childview. At World Vision, we recognize that the body of Christ includes all who follow Jesus and who seek God's kingdom here on earth. As Christians, we may not all agree on the same doctrines. But let us strive for tolerance and inclusion as we work toward our common purpose of being the hands and feet of Jesus in a suffering world.

Please refer to our 05/17/06 newsletter for background information on this story.
 Do You Really Want Your Child to Learn New Age Meditation?
 Children are learning to meditate, and Christian organizations are helping out.

"Going to the next level with Jesus in contemplative prayer really can be more exciting than your favorite video game. Why not take a God-break right now and discover what's at the next level?"

"Contemplate: Be still before God. Get a picture of a sunset in your mind . . . or something else He has made that amazes you. Wait quietly to let Him tell you about Himself. Now contemplate God the Father, or Jesus, using Lectio Divina with these passages: Exodus 15:11; Psalm 145:13; Ephesians 1:18-23."

"If you've picked a topic for your time with Jesus, find something to hold that will remind you of it. For instance, if you are contemplating His many thoughts about you, hold a cup of sand (Psalm 139:17-18, New Living Translation). If you are thinking about His tender care, hold a strand of your hair (Matthew 10:30)."


These quotes are from the NavPress magazine, Pray Kids.


But NavPress isn't the only Christian venue that is promoting meditation for kids. See the following examples:
Probe Ministries Administrator Fond of Dallas Willard's Spiritual Disciplines
 

Director of Administration of Probe Ministries, Don Closson, has written an article stating his fondness for Dallas Willard's book, Spirit of the Disciplines, saying he "found it to be a jewel." Willard, who works closely with Richard Foster, makes no secret of his affinity with contemplative spirituality.

Don Closson's article 

Focus on the Family Continues its Dive into Contemplative
 The well-respected ministry posts another article which promotes contemplative spirituality.

TrueU.org is a ministry of Focus on the Family. The ministry website states that the ministry is "an online community for college students who want to know and confidently discuss the Christian worldview. Our hope is that you'll graduate with your faith not only intact, but stronger than it was before." With Focus on the Family's recent statements that they have no problem with the "tradition of contemplative prayer" or the writings of contemplative Gary Thomas (who encourages his readers to repeat a word or phrase for twenty minutes), it may not be possible for students of the TrueU online community to graduate with their faith "intact" and stronger. A four part article on the TrueU website written by J. P. Moreland (professor at Talbot School of Theology) espouses the spiritual disciplines (i.e., contemplative spirituality).

Moreland says, a "Christian spiritual discipline is a repeated bodily practice" and leaves one to view the Christian life as regimented rituals that just might eventually make us holy if we practice them enough. Moreland continues: "People are coming to see that repeated bodily practice in the form of spiritual exercises/disciplines is at the heart of spiritual transformation." These spiritual disciplines that Moreland speaks of include journalling, not just writing down our own thoughts but also a channeling of God's thoughts to us. Other disciplines fall into two categories, Disciplines of Abstinence and Disciplines of Engagement. If you are beginning to feel concerned that this kind of language is similar to Catholic rituals, there is just cause for your concerns - Moreland, in talking about silence and solitude says, "In my experience, Catholic retreat centers are usually ideal for solitude retreats." In light of the fact that the modern day contemplative prayer movement began in Catholic monasteries, it is actually not surprising that Moreland would recognize this.

As do many contemplatives, Moreland finds it necessary to tell readers that even though what he is saying may "sound" like it is from a "New Age guru," it really isn't. And using Psalm 46:10 (frequently used by contemplatives) as his scriptural basis for practicing silence, Moreland says that terms like meditation, solitude and being still are "common to both Christianity and the New Age (or many Eastern religions)," but insists their meanings are different.

Moreland is vague about the techniques to enter these states of silence but admits there is no "thus saith the Lord" regarding them. Furthermore, he encourages readers to focus on objects or images of loved ones or Jesus to help during times of solitude and silence. He adds, "Take a passage you have memorized and which you dearly love and pray it repeatedly to God."

For more on Focus on the Family and Their Promotion of Contemplative Prayer:
J P Moreland Article Series on Focus on the Family website 
The Message "Bible" Omits the Warnings of II Timothy
 In the popular Biblegateway.com website, an apparent blunder has left out II Timothy, which warns of perilous last days to come.

II Timothy carries strong warnings, speaking of perilous last days when men shall be lovers of self rather than lovers of God. It is also says that Scripture is inspired by God and given to us for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction. Somehow, this entire book of the Bible has been left out of the popular Message "Bible" on at least two online websites, www.biblegate way.com and www.bibleresources.com. Replacing II Timothy is a duplicate of I Timothy. (Update: These have now been corrected. 10/3/06)

Interestingly, and sadly, The Message has also left out every reference of Lord Jesus (found over 110 times in both KJV and NKJV) and replaced it with Master Jesus, a term often used by New Agers.


For more on The Message. 

 

 

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