Lighthouse Trails Research Project Header

July 31, 2006 
 Coming From the Lighthouse Newsletter
In This Issue:
(Click Titles)
Printer Friendly Version
As you may already know, we began the non-interactive From the Lighthouse blog about a week ago. There are new articles posted daily with over 20 featured writers. We will continue issuing an e-newsletter two or three times a month and will include articles from the blog and sometimes others. We hope that the blog will be a way to keep you updated more efficiently. God bless you and keep you as you defend the gospel message of Jesus Christ and speak the truth in love and courage.
A Purpose Driven World
 

In an interview between Rick Warren and a Philippine newspaper (published today, July 30th, in the Philippine Daily Inquirer), Warren said:
For the stability of a nation, you must have strong healthy government, strong healthy businesses, and strong healthy churches. A three-legged stool will have stability. So I'm going from country to country teaching business its role, teaching church its role, and teaching government leaders their role—you've got to work together! We cannot solve the problem in your country or in the world if we won't work together.
With now around "400,000 churches" in the Purpose-Driven network, it is becoming obvious to many that the world is becoming a Purpose Driven world. Warren has made it clear time and again that his purpose is to bring church, government and business together so the world's problems can be eliminated. Ultimately this plan will include any religion, any government and any business. Currently, Warren is "working on the Catholic workbook for the "Purpose Driven Life" that has been written by some priests in America" (see interview). In the past, Warren has stated that Muslims can also be part of this plan. In Warren's first book, Purpose Driven Church, he said that the Spiritual Formation movement (mentioning Richard Foster as a key player in this) is a "valid message for the church" and "a wake-up call" to the body of Christ.(see p. 145, A Time of Departing) The Spiritual Formation movement is a vehicle through which contemplative spirituality and the New Age is racing into the church. New Agers believe that it is through mysticism (i.e., meditation) that the world will become as one and realize their divinity. Theosophist Alice Bailey, who coined the term New Age, said that this time of global oneness would come to the world, not around the Christian church, but rather through it. Is this possibly what we are seeing take place before our very eyes today? With nearly every major Christian organization and leader now promoting contemplative spirituality, and couple that with the emerging church movement (which without contemplative would be nothing more than couches, candles and coffee), mysticism and the New Age are overtaking Christendom and the world at large. And it is becoming more and more apparent to those of us who are watching this scenario unfold that "the Purpose- Driven paradigm could very well be providing an avenue not for a new reformation and spiritual awakening from God but rather for a descent into spiritual apostasy." (Yungen, ATOD)

"Personal computers have brand names. But inside every pc is an Intel chip and an operating system. Windows.... The Purpose Driven paradigm is the Intel chip for the 21st-century church and the Windows system of the 21st-century church." Rick Warren, Christianity Today, Oct. 2005

"[W]e are possibly on the verge of a new reformation in Christianity and another Great Awakening in our nation ... The signs are everywhere, including the popularity of this book." Rick Warren, Baptist Press, Sept. 2004

"I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God's family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church, with the Anglican church." Rick Warren at Anglican conference, 11/05


Related information:

The Philippine Inquirer July 30th interview with Rick Warren

To fully understand the contemplative prayer movement and how it is coming into the church through Purpose Driven, emerging church and other avenues, read A Time of Departing.


"And they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.' But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, 'Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.'" Genesis 11: 4-6

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons." I Timothy 4:1

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" John 14:6

 Yoga Renamed Is Still Hindu
 A professor at Hindu University of America says "Christian Yoga" not possible.

Recently, after finishing as a guest on a radio talk show (Drew Marshall show - Listen), a listener called in and said she was a former Hindu. She was very upset at Lighthouse Trails and said that Hinduism had stolen mantra meditation from Christianity, and now (through contemplative) we were just taking it back.

As we have watched in dismay and shock as one Christian leader after the next succumbs to promoting contemplative, and as more and more churches, seminaries and organizations incorporate icons, candles, yoga, labyrinths and mantric chanting, we have wondered why Christian leaders aren't shouting a warning from the rooftops.

A couple weeks ago, I read an article by a Hindu professor (of Hindu University of America) titled Yoga Renamed is Still Hindu. In the article, Professor Subhas Tiwari stated:

The simple, immutable fact is that yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism, but originated from it.... Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga.... If this attempt to co-opt yoga into their (Christians) own tradition continues, in several decades of incessantly spinning the untruth as truth through re-labelings such as "Christian yoga," who will know that yoga is--or was--part of Hindu culture?

After reading this article (and I encourage you to read it too), I emailed Dr. Tiwari, and today I received a response from him. With his permission, I am sharing portions with you:

Hello and Namaste Deborah,

Namaste is a universal Hindu greeting which recognizes and bows to that Divinity within you.

Mantra and its practice is a core component in Hinduism. The language of Sanskrit which predates any and all languages known to humanity, and which hasn't evolved and became something other than what it has been from its inception, forms the oldest mantra, the first cosmic sound of OM (aum). One of the four sacred spiritual scriptures the Vedas, the Sama Veda is written in chants. The written forms of the Veda are pegged at 3500 to 5000+ BCE. (They are recited all over the world among Hindus exactly as they have been handed down)....

Hinduism and its offshoot spiritual traditions, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikkhism, have never chosen the path which states that we are superior to everyone else and therefore deserve to engage in crusades and conversionism on global scale. That would be incongruent to our core belief tenets which holds all creatures are part of the Divine creation, and equal in the eyes of that divine parent. The moment we lose sight or consciously choose to believe and behave otherwise means we are acting from a place of limitation, superiority, arrogance and according to Vedanta, from a place of individual and global ignorance, avidya. Imagine any religious or spiritual tradition which defines its strength based on converting that which is already divine in nature, and the audacity to claim that they are doing the work of that Divine? There is only one Divine.

Sincere Regards,

Subhas

We thank Professor Tiwari for setting the record straight. There is no such thing as "Christian" Yoga, even though Thomas Nelson publishers just came out with a book this year called Yoga for Christians.

Also see:

Can yogic practices be integrated with the Christian faith? by Pastor Larry De Bruyn

Lighthouse Trails Research on Yoga



 

 American Bible Society Removes Contemplative/Emerging Links From Website
 The links have been posted for over two years - they were removed this week.

On July 24th, Lighthouse Trails posted a news brief about American Bible Society's promotion of contemplative and emerging spiritualities through their online ministry forministry.com. Since then, we have been in some correspondence with ABS Senior Manager of Media Relations, Roy Lloyd. We also know that some of you contacted his office as well. A few days ago, Mr. Lloyd informed us that the page on For Ministry's website, which listed hundreds of links to emerging/contemplative resources, books and articles is no longer online. It appears that it was removed some time early this morning. As you can see from this link, For Ministry, this is accurate, and at this time these links are gone.

Removing these links so quickly is commendable as well as confirmation that emerging and contemplative are indeed belief systems that are contrary to biblical Christianity. With no explanation by ABS or For Ministry offered as to why they removed these immediately, we feel it is safe to assume that those responsible for adding these resources in the first place know it was wrong to do so and have taken these measures to correct this serious error.

As you can see from an archived cache site of For Ministry from 2004, these emerging/contemplative resources have been available to the public for quite some time. In that same year Brian McLaren was a featured author on the site.

It is sad and unfortunate that millions of people have had access to these resources, and there is no doubt that horrendous spiritual damage has taken place because of it in the lives of countless people. We hope that in light of the length of time American Bible Society has allowed this promotion of false and New Age spirituality to go on, that they will come forth with a strong public statement denouncing contemplative and emerging once and for all. If such a statement does not take place, many will rightfully wonder if removing the links this morning will be a permanent action or will these resources show up again. For the sake of all those who have already been influenced by these resources, we beseech ABS to take further action to rectify some of the damage.
Note: Some may wonder just how connected ABS is with For Ministry. Research shows that ABS is the creator and administrator for the For Ministry site. See here.


Note: Although the main page for the For Ministry Authentic section is gone, many of the pages with the emerging/contemplative links are still online, which means they can still be accessed through search engines and cached files. We hope ABS will remove all of these links. See the following:

Postmodern Ministry

Alternative Worship

Small groups, Cell groups, House churches

Prayer

Youth and Youth Ministry

Discipleship, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Renewal

Salvation Army Joins the Contemplative/Emerging Ranks
 

Salvation Army is now offering a full line of Spiritual Formation. Books "relevant to Spiritual Formation" include Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus, Spiritual Classics and Devotional Classics by Richard Foster and Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. Also being offered is a men's retreat called Wild at Heart:
Through teaching sessions, films, guided periods of reflection and journalling, and question and answer, we have designed something far more than a retreat—it's an expedition of the heart. You will never be the same.
If men attend this retreat, it is true, they will never be the same. The Wild at Heart retreat (held at a Young Life campus) is put on by Ransomed Heart Ministries (John Eldredge. On the Ransomed website, under Going Deeper, recommended books include titles by contemplatives Anne Lamott, Henri Nouwen, Dallas Willard and other contemplatives. Salvation Army is also advertising the Women of Faith conference, which includes contemplative speakers Max Lucado and Sheila Walsch. But if the Wild at Heart retreat and the Women of Faith conference don't provide enough contemplative/emerging, Salvation Army is also advertising a Renovare conference with Richard Foster (took place in July). And almost last but not least, Salvation Army is pointing people to the Intervarsity conference called Urbana, which includes Rick Warren as one of the speakers. Intervarsity publishes many books on contemplative spirituality and promotes the emerging church in various avenues. Finally, Salvation Army is advertising The Origins Experience. Speakers at this "experience" include Erwin McManus and his brother Alex. It appears it is a new season for Salvation Army. The questions must be asked, is the gospel not sufficient enough for this ministry that has been around for a very long time, and have they too joined the ranks of Christian leaders and organizations that somewhere along the line began walking the fence and finally fell off on the side of the world, an emerging world ... one filled with mysticism, delusion and the occult? It looks as though the Salvation Army is now marching to the beat of a different drummer.

 

Paul Crouch, TBN and Roman Catholicism
by Roger Oakland

 TBN is watched by millions and is considered an evangelical organization, yet research shows they are promoting Roman Catholicism.

On July 5, 2006, I posted a letter to Paul Crouch, President of Trinity Broadcasting Network, expressing concerns regarding the promotion of Roman Catholic books and dogma from their "Gold Frankincense and Myrrh" Online bookstore. As Paul Crouch has not responded to these concerns, I believe it is necessary to make the contents of this letter available for the public to see.

For more, please click here. 

Downpour Conference to Feature Contemplative-Promoting Author
 

This November, in both Minneapolis and Miami, the Downpour conference will take place, featuring Beth Moore as one of the speakers. Moore was one of the main commentators on the recently released Be Still DVD. The DVD, presented by Fox Home Entertainment, was an infomercial for contemplative prayer and included comments by Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Max Lucado and others, all of whom promoted contemplative spirituality. At one point of the DVD, a professor from UCLA, who teaches meditation and guided imagery, was interviewed. Richard Foster told viewers that anyone at all could become a "portable sanctuary" for God by just practicing contemplative prayer. On the DVD, Moore, in speaking about contemplative, said, ""[I]f we are not still before Him [God], we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There's got to be a stillness." This stillness that contemplatives speak of is not just being in a quiet setting, but is talking about stilling the mind. As Ray Yungen puts it, it is like putting your mind in neutral. Thomas Merton likened it to an LSD trip. Some call it the bliss, ecstasy or the silence. A few weeks after the Be Still DVD was released, Beth Moore's ministry issued a statement showing their full support for the DVD and contemplative prayer. It stated: "[W]e believe that once you view the Be Still video you will agree that there is no problem with its expression of Truth." Living Proof offered to send a free copy of the DVD to anyone who received their email statement and wished to view the DVD, saying that, "[I]t would be our privilege to do this for you to assure you that there is no problem with Beth's participation in the Be Still video." In a recent article we issued, we discussed Beth Moore and her views on contemplative:
You may be asking yourself, where does Beth Moore really stand with regard to contemplative. The answer to that may at least partially be found in a book she wrote in 2002 called When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. In a section about "Unceasing Prayer" Moore states: "I have picked up on the terminology of Brother Lawrence, who called praying unceasingly practicing God's presence. In fact, practicing God's presence has been my number one goal for the last year" (p. 109). Moore builds her case for contemplative in her frequent references to Brennan Manning in her book, suggesting that his contribution to "our generation of believers may be a gift without parallel" (p. 72). This is indeed a troubling statement made by a Christian leader who so many young women look to for direction and instruction in their spiritual lives. Many of those young women, in reading Moore's comments about Manning and her quoting of him in the book may turn to the writings of Manning for further insights. When they do, they will find that Manning is a devout admirer of Beatrice Bruteau, of The School for Contemplation. Bruteau, who believes that God lives in all creation, says:
We have realized ourselves as the Self that says only I AM, with no predicate following, not "I am a this" or "I have that quality." Only unlimited, absolute I AM. And yet in Abba's Child, Manning says that Bruteau is a "trustworthy guide to contemplative consciousness." Manning, whose view of the Cross is very similar to that of Brian McLaren, promotes contemplative and states:
[T]he first step in faith is to stop thinking about God at the time of prayer. Choose a single, sacred word or phrase that captures something of the flavor of your intimate relationship with God. A word such as Jesus, Abba, Peace, God or a phrase such as "Abba, I belong to you." ... Without moving your lips, repeat the sacred word inwardly, slowly, and often. When distractions come, ... simply return to listening to your sacred word.... [G]ently return [your mind] to your sacred word. (Brennan Manning)
Beth Moore quotes Manning from his book Ragamuffin Gospel calling the book "one of the most remarkable books" (p. 290) she has ever read. But it is this very book that reveals Manning's true affinity with contemplative spirituality. In the back of the book, Manning makes reference to Basil Pennington saying that Pennington?s methods will provide us with "a way of praying that leads to a deep living relationship with God." However, Pennington's methods of prayer draw from Eastern religions. In his book, Finding Grace at the Center, Pennington says:
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. (From A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p.64)
Manning also cites Carl Jung in Ragamuffin Gospel as well as interspiritualists and contemplatives, Anthony De Mello, Marcus Borg, Morton Kelsey, Gerald May, Henri Nouwen, Annie Dillard, Alan Jones, Eugene Peterson, and Sue Monk Kidd For Moore to call Manning's book "remarkable" and to say his contribution to this generation of believers is "a gift without parallel" leads one to conclude that Beth Moore has absorbed Brennan Manning's spirituality. In light of all these findings, it also becomes apparent that Moore does belong on the Be Still DVD after all, due to her advocacy of contemplative spirituality. And from the recent statement from her ministry, it appears she would agree with that.
If you are planning to attend the Downpour conference, we urge you to use caution and discernment. Or better yet, find a conference that has speakers that do not promote contemplative spirituality but rather remain true to the Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. These days we live in call for no compromise. Henri Nouwen, one of the most quoted and admired modern day contemplatives, revealed the true nature of contemplative spirituality, when he said:
Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.—From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen's last book, page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition


Beth Moore Gives Thumbs Up to Be Still DVD

 The New Evangelization and the Coming Reign of the Eucharist Christ
 by Roger Oakland, Understand the Times

The Roman Catholic Church's belief that the "presence" of Jesus Christ becomes manifest by the mystical process of transubstantiation during Mass has been foundational to their faith for centuries. According to the Roman Catholic Church, a Roman Catholic priest supposedly has the authority and the power to conjure up the presence of the Creator of the universe from a wafer. In order to be a Roman Catholic, the church requires members to accept this belief and be obedient to it. There are no exceptions. While it is true that during the Reformation and Counter Reformation, many who refused to believe in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist died or were tortured for their disbelief, time has a way of allowing the facts of history to be forgotten. It is also a fact there are even practicing Roman Catholics today who do not abide by the Church's proclaimed standard that they must believe the consecrated wafer is God and not just a symbol of remembrance. This, of course, was one of the major reasons for the "New Evangelization" program implemented by Pope John Paul II during his time of leadership. In April of 2003, the pope wrote an encyclical promoting the "New Evangelization" program for the purpose of "rekindling amazement" focusing on the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. From that point on, I have been following the Roman Catholic agenda to win the world to the Roman Catholic Jesus. However, it is apparent that many evangelical "Protestant" Christians are not aware of this agenda. Nor do they recognize that the Roman Catholic Jesus is a Jesus that requires a human priest to manifest his presence and offer each mass as an "unbloody sacrifice." The Roman Catholic Eucharistic Jesus is not the same Jesus, who said “it is finished” when He died upon the cross at Calvary. Read all of this article.



Just How Far Has Biola University Gone Into Contemplative
 

Biola University is the home to both Talbot School of Theology as well as the Institute of Spiritual Formation (a Department of Talbot). There is ample evidence to show that both Talbot and the Institute are promoting and teaching contemplative spirituality. The Institute alone has three masters degree programs and has dozens of courses in spiritual formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality)within the context of these programs.

But how far has contemplative gone into Biola University at large? Is this influence just limited to Talbot and the Institute of Spiritual Formation? Unfortunately, research shows that Biola has many avenues through which contemplative/emerging spirituality has entered.

In Biola's M.A. of Organizational Leadership Distinguished Speaker Series, speakers include New Age sympathizer Laurie Beth Jones, and a 2004-2005 Young Alumni Chapel speakers list includes emerging leader Erwin McManus and Bruce Wilkinson (Prayer of Jabez). Perhaps more disturbing and revealing is a recommended book list for the leadership M.A. program. This list is said to "help you grow in leadership, organizational development and character formation," and includes books by New Age/Buddhist sympathizer Ken Blanchard, and one that Blanchard co- authored with Norman Vincent Peale (who used the writings of an occultist). Peter Drucker is also on the list of recommended books as is meditation promoter Michael Ray. Another leadership course (MOL651) uses a book by Larry Crabb for curriculum, and a Spring 2006 course (Character Development in Leadership) uses Dallas Willard's book, Renovation of the Heart. In a course in Talbot's theology school called Prayer Seminar practices such as centering prayer, lectio divina, the Jesus Prayer and other contemplative forms are introduced and considered.

It seems that this would be enough to convince even the most questioning mind that contemplative and emerging are being promoted at Biola University. But there is more ... The 2006 Missions Conference that took place this spring included a " Prayer Labyrinth."

INTERSPIRITUAL WATCH - Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics Take Historic Ecumenical Step
 

In the name of peace and unity, the world's religions are more and more joining together. And with that joining together will come a consensus that it is narrow minded and even hateful to say there is only one way to salvation. Henri Nouwen, who is endorsed and favored by many Christian professors and leaders, said this:
Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God." From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen's last book, p. 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition
The following article is another example of interspirituality. Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics Take Historic Ecumenical Step SEOUL, South Korea: Three world church bodies made an unprecedented move in ecumenical history on Sunday when Lutherans, Roman Catholics and Methodists signed a joint agreement on justification. "We plowed new ground today," commented Dr. George H. Freeman, general secretary of the World Methodist Council. "This opens the door for future ecumenical relationships." Following years and even decades of dialogue with one another, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Roman Catholic Church, and the World Methodist Council took part in what Dr. Ishmael Noko, LWF general secretary, identified as "a new ecumenical landmark" and what will go down in history. Click here to read entire article.


While the majority of the Christian church has become seduced and mesmerized by Purpose-Driven, mysticism, the emerging church and so on, interspirituality is on the move. Evangelical leaders as well as New Age gurus and other religious leaders across the world are joining in this effort. See our research on Interspirituality.



 

 

 

Bookmark and Share