From the Lighthouse
Bible Institute Responds to Lighthouse Trails
Over the past year, Lighthouse Trails has written articles
regarding Moody Bible Institute's move toward contemplative.
Today, Moody's public relations person, Lindsay Crystal,
telephoned Lighthouse Trails and said that they were
sending us an email and posting a more detailed version
of that email on their website in their News section.
Their online email may be viewed by clicking here.
In summation, Moody's response states they agree that
according to our definition of contemplative spirituality,
it is wrong. Our definition states:
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).
The email states
that MBI does not endorse this type of spirituality.
They say that although they use books by contemplative
authors in their courses, it does not necessarily
mean they adhere to the teachings of these authors.
They say they are using these books to possibly discuss
the errors of these books and authors. But this defense
is contrary to evidence in their ministries and on
their web sites that show they are promoting
these authors and their teachings in a favorable fashion.
The following (in red) is an excerpt from our
2006 article titled "Moody Bible Institute - Whatever Happened?":
Midday Connection, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute,
is featuring an author (and
a guest on their show) who promotes contemplative
spirituality, Keri Wyatt Kent. Wyatt Kent is a writer
for Willow Creek Community Church and often speaks
on spiritual formation. Her recent book, Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life (published by the emerging/contemplative promoting
publisher, Jossey-Bass), teaches readers to "listen"
to God through "spiritual practices," including
the practice of silence. The author quotes extensively
throughout the book both contemplatives and New Agers,
including Henri Nouwen, M.Scott Peck, Sue Monk Kidd,
Anne Lamott, Julia Cameron, Rick Warren, Richard Foster,
Ruth Haley Barton, and Eugene Peterson.
When Midday Connection (MBI ministry) was recently
asked about their obvious promotion of Wyatt Kent
and of contemplative spirituality, they stated that
they were committed to spiritual formation and named
"solid guests" like Larry Crabb and Dallas
Willard who were teaching people "spiritual disciplines."
They said they were just "re-stating some old
truths in new ways." It makes sense that they
would use Larry Crabb as an example of these "new
ways." Crabb, in the foreword of a book (Sacred
Companions) by contemplative-promoting David Benner,
said that it was time to get rid of the old written
code and replace it with new ways of practicing spirituality.
Even still, it is surprising that Moody would call
Larry Crabb and Dallas Willard "solid guests
... "who recognize the need to teach people spiritual
disciplines." We know that spiritual disciplines,
according to Crabb and Willard, include the silence
Moody Conferences (another ministry of MBI) has a
list of several speakers they use at their various
conferences. One of them, Dan Allender (Mars Hill Graduate School) promotes contemplative
spirituality and the emerging church. Another speaker,
[the late] Robert Webber, has [had] the Ancient-Future Worship ministry and is a strong promoter of the emerging
church. In an upcoming conference presented by Webber,
he includes Brian McLaren as a speaker.
Unfortunately, Moody's promotion of contemplative
doesn't stop there. In the July 2006 issue of Moody
Publisher's magazine, Today in the Word, there
is favorable mention of Gary Thomas' book, Sacred
Pathways, (in which Thomas recommends repeating
a word or phrase for 20 minutes) and Habits of
a Child's Heart: Raising Your Kids with the Spiritual
Disciplines by Valerie Hess. On Amazon,
it states that Hess's book is based on Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline.
Moody Bible Institute Graduate School has joined in
too -- there is a Department of Spiritual Formation, (p. 14) and a Master of Arts Degree in
Spiritual Formation and Discipleship (MASF/D).
A number of contemplative authors are used in these
programs (Nouwen, Benner, Willard, Foster, etc.).
While it may seem that Moody has just recently come
to the contemplative table, that is not actually so.
In 1987, Moody Monthly wrote an endorsement
for Sue Monk Kidd's book, God's Joyful Surprise. In this book,
one of Monk Kidd's earlier books, she unfolds her
journey into contemplative spirituality, largely from
reading Thomas Merton and other contemplative authors.
Once a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday School
teacher, today she promotes neo-paganism and goddess
worship. This is what Moody Monthly wrote on
the back cover of God's Joyful Surprise nearly
two decades ago:
"Carefully avoiding a how-to approach [Kidd] suggests
some disciplines for cultivating an interior quietness
and a richer personal experience of God's love. Her
writing, well-balanced by the wisdom of writers like
Brother Lawrence, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Henri Nouwen
is alive with humorous anecdotes." (more on this )
The email from Moody Bible Institute states that it "does
not promote contemplative spirituality." However,
the facts indicate that MBI does promote it.
To say they reject eastern mysticism but then employ
and promote the spirituality and teachings of contemplative
teachers is contradictory at best and disastrous at
So the real question is, is the spirituality of "Christian"
contemplatives (those named in this article) truly
Christian, biblical spirituality, or is it no different
than eastern spirituality that is taught in Hinduism
and other religions which premise is based on pantheism
(God is all) and panentheism (God is in all)? If
the latter is true, then MBI and its students are
heading for serious detriment.
Is MBI prepared to issue a public statement saying
that the spirituality of Henri Nouwen, Gary Thomas,
Larry Crabb, Dallas Willard, Sue Monk Kidd, Dan
Allender, Keri Wyatt Kent, and the other contemplative
leaders that it uses to teach students is anti-biblical,
dangerous to the spiritual well-being of practitioners,
and should be avoided and warned against at all
costs? Is MBI prepared to recant its promotion of
these teachers and their contemplative proclivities?
If not, then we fear that MBI will continue down
this path with results that will mislead many unsuspecting
students and place them in harm's way.
For more information:
Moody Responds to Lighthouse Trails
Moody Bible Institute - Whatever Happened?
Moody Bible President Praises Dallas Willard
Young Christian Woman Withdraws from Moody Bible Institute
Because of Contemplative Promotion
Coy Joins Contemplative Proponents Rick Warren and
John Ortberg for "Exponential 07"
On November 13th and 14th at Saddleback Church in California
Bob Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale will join Rick Warren
and John Ortberg for the Exponential 07 conference. Both Warren and Ortberg
are strong proponents of contemplative spirituality,
and attendees should use caution and discernment.
While staff at Coy's Florida church have told Lighthouse
Trails on various occasions that they do not promote
contemplative spirituality or the emerging church,
the walk-in bookstore at the church has been selling
books by contemplative and/or emergent leaders and
authors such as Rob Bell, David Crowder, and Liz Babbs.
Crowder, author of a contemplative-promoting book
called Praise Habit, also performed at the Fort Lauderdale church this past February. In an interview with LifeTeen.com
(a web site for Catholic teens), Crowder admitted:
"Much of the Catholic traditions and writings
have been influential in my formation of faith ...
I've found much inspiration there."
An interview with Liz Babbs reveals her proclivities for eastern-style meditation.
Her book, Into God's Presence, confirms
this as does her website where she gives detailed
instructions on how to meditate by focusing on the
breath and repeating words over and over.
Rob Bell's mystical affinities can be seen in his
book Velvet Elvis for one, where he tells
readers (often teens) to spend three months studying a book by New Ager and Buddhist sympathizer Ken Wilber (see Faith Undone for more information on Rob Bell's
The Exponential 07 event describes itself in the
following way: "Learn new and practical ways
these diverse and dynamic leaders have shifted their
congregations from just tipping God to experiencing
the joy of giving."
the experiences Rick Warren and John Ortberg offer followers could include the contemplative
experience. Ortberg resonates with Ruth Haley Barton,
with whom he co-authored the Willow Creek Spiritual
Formation curriculum. Ruth Haley Barton is founder of the Tranforming Center, a place where Christian leaders
are taught the dynamics of contemplative prayer.
Barton was trained at the panentheistic Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.
In John Ortberg's
book, God is Closer Than You Think, Ortberg
quotes favorably from contemplatives such as Anne
Lamott, Annie Dillard, Gary Thomas (Sacred Pathways),
Brother Lawrence (who danced violently like a mad
man when he practiced contemplative), interspiritualists
Tilden Edwards (Shalem Institute), Thomas Kelly
(believed a Divine Center was in all people), Jean
Pierre de Caussade, Frederick Buechner, Meister
Eckhart as well as Dallas Willard and Thomas Merton.
Rick Warren has been promoting the contemplative prayer
movement for over a decade. In his first book, The Purpose Driven Church,
he said that Spiritual Formation (that which is taught
by Richard Foster and Dallas Willard, he said) was
a "neglected purpose" and a "valid
message for the church" which has "given
the body of Christ a wake-up call" (see A Time of Departing,
One of the other speakers at the Exponential 07 is
Allen Hunt, senior pastor at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist
Church, where the Walk to Emmaus is hosted.1 The Walk to Emmaus is a meditative experience/lesson
created by Upper Room Ministries, a pro-contemplative/mystical
organization that encourages all types of eastern-style
meditation. According to the Walk to Emmaus website,
it is "an adaptation of the Roman Catholic Cursillo
Movement, which originated in Spain in 1949." 2 A women's group at Mt. Pisgah is focusing on contemplative
prayer proponent Larry Crabb. In Crabb's book, The
Papa Prayer he talks about the benefits of centering
A "Sneak Preview" promotional video clip of the Exponential 07 conference
states: "The principles taught here are fantastic,
right out of the Word of God." But in view of
the speakers this year, the principles taught may
be more dangerous than "fantastic" and may
offer something contrary to the Word of God. It may be best for Bible believing
Christians to steer clear of the Exponential 07 conference
at Saddleback Church this year. And we pray that those
who do attend will not be exposed or introduced to
the dangerous teachings of contemplative spirituality.
Is Rick Warren Promoting Contemplative Prayer?
Will the Next Billy Graham Be a Mystic?
North Carolina Baptist Convention Welcomes Yoga Emergent
Guru Doug Pagitt
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina will be
sponsoring a conference this fall featuring yoga proponent
and emerging church leader Doug Pagitt. The Wired2Grow event will take place on October 16th in
Burlington, North Carolina. Lighthouse Trails spoke
with Neal Eller (Church Health Team Leader) of the
Baptist State Convention (NC), who confirmed Pagitt's
planned appearance at the October conference, and
who told us that the BSCNC is the main sponsor for
The BSCNC is the North Carolina affiliate for the
Southern Baptist Convention. A message on the BSCNC
answering service states that it represents over 4000
North Carolina churches.
Doug Pagitt, one of two speakers at the Wired2Grow
conference, was recently featured on CNN (Headline
News) in a short news brief with John MacArthur. The topic was
Yoga. Pagitt backed up his ongoing view that yoga
is safe and healthful. MacArthur on the other hand
said that Christians should not "borrow an expression
from a false religion," but his comments "If
it's just purely exercise, and you're a strong Christian,
it probably wouldn't have any impact on your faith"
may leave some viewers confused.
Pagitt is the pastor of Solomon's Porch in Minnesota
where yoga classes are often held. In the December
3rd 2005 issue of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press,
it stated: "Christian yoga has been gaining a
devout following, and Twin Cities pastor Doug Pagitt
has endorsed the practice in his new book, Body
Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy with God."
A PBS news story (see video) on the emerging church
featured Doug Pagitt. The video also showed yoga classes
taking place at the 2005 Emergent Convention in which
Pagitt was a speaker. In one segment of the video
(25 second mark), there was an Egyptian god symbol
above a sanctuary stage (25 second mark) of a church.
Currently, on the Solomon Church website is advertised
the Women's Yoga and Prayer class held Sunday morning,
September 16th. 1
Pagitt, like most emerging church leaders, resonates
with mysticism (such as yoga and contemplative prayer)
and is sympathetic towards Catholicism. In Roger Oakland's
book, Faith Undone, he quotes Pagitt. Pagitt states:
During a recent
Life Development Forum we offered a session on Christian
practices. In one of the four weeks we introduced
the act of making the sign of the cross on ourselves.
This gesture has become a very powerful experience
for me. It is rich with meaning and history and
is such a simple way to proclaim and pray my faith
with my body. I hold the fingers on my right hand
in the shape of a cross, my index finger lying over
the top of my outstretched thumb. I use the Eastern
Orthodox pattern of touching first head, then heart,
then right lung followed by left. Others in the
group follow the Roman Catholic practice with left
before right. (Faith Undone, p. 51)
One can only wonder
if Pagitt will teach North Carolina Baptists how to
do the Catholic sign of the Cross and Hindu yoga at
the Wired2Grow conference.
While many Christians think that yoga is ok if it
is just practiced as a physical exercise omitting
the spiritual aspects, even Hindu yoga masters say
that you cannot separate the two. In one article titled "There is No Christian Yoga" by Hindu Yogi
Baba Prem, Vedavisharada, CYI, C.ay, C.va, he states:
It was quite astonishing
to see on the flyer 'Christian Yoga! This Thursday
night....' I could feel the wheels spinning in my
brain. 'Christian Yoga,' I thought. Now while Christians
can practice yoga, I am not aware of any Christian
teachings about yoga. Yoga is not a Judeo/Christian
word! It is ... certainly not a part of protestant
teachings. It is not found within the King James
Version of the bible. It is a Hindu word, or more
correctly a Sanskrit word from the Vedic civilization.
So how did we get 'Christian Yoga'?
In an email Lighthouse
Trails received from a professor at the Classical
Yoga Hindu Academy, he stated:
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) posted by permission)
In a DVD titled Yoga Uncoiled by Caryl Productions, she explains
that Yoga is not mere exercise. The postures themselves
are specifically designed to worship the gods of Hinduism.
For anyone who thinks that Yoga exercises (postures)
are valid and safe, please get a copy of Dave Hunt's
book, Yoga and the Body of Christ and Caryl Matrisciana's
DVD. You will not only have a deeper understanding
of the true nature of Yoga, but you will also see
how dangerous it is to the spiritual welfare of the
Unfortunately, Pagitt's role in the North Carolina
Baptist event is not the only indication that the
North Carolina organization is heading into the contemplative/emergent
camp. In their Spiritual Formation department, they include Marjorie
Thompson's book Soul Feast. In a recent book review, Thompson is quoted from her
book as saying:
find that "mindfulness meditation," a
traditional Buddhist practice, helps them live their
Christian discipleship more faithfully.... The practice
of contemplative prayer might give a Christian ground
for constructive dialogue with a meditating Buddhist.
(from Prologue of Soul Feast)
Thompson, an ordained
minister of the Presbyterian Church USA, is a director
for The Pathways Center (part of the Upper Room Ministries).
Upper Room is a religious organization that promotes
Eastern style meditation and is the creator of the
popular, meditation tool Walk to Emmaus.
BSCNC is also advertising the North Carolina Five-Day
Academy for Spiritual Formation. A look at the retreat's
brochure reveals influence by Catholic priest and
mystic Thomas Merton, who said he wanted to be the best Buddhist
he could be and who compared dropping LSD to practicing
contemplative prayer (see ATOD)4
It is interesting to note that according to one article in the Deseret News in 2003, the
BSCNC expelled a Baptist church for accepting two
gay men. However, their embracing of emerging and
contemplative spiritualities could prove far more
detrimental for the organization and could spill over
into many of the 4000+ North Carolina churches affiliated
with them. These anti-biblical theologies ultimately
lead to the belief that man is divine, is co-creator
with God, and all creation is part of God. Yoga is
a gateway for this deception. Every aspect of it should
be avoided by believers in Christ. Whether it is just
the exercises or the whole nine yards, yoga does not
belong in the Christian's life.
And have no fellowship
with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather
reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those
things which are done of them in secret. But all things
that are reproved are made manifest by the light:
for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore
he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from
the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then
that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians
For more information
on yoga, see our research.
BAPTIST STATE CONVENTION OF NORTH CAROLINA
205 Convention Dr
Cary, NC 27511
Tel: (919) 467-5100
Fax: (919) 460-7507
Emergence 2007 Speaker Karen Ward on the Atonement
The Emergence 2007 conference, called
a "unique weekend conversation," will take
place October 19-20 in Austin, Texas. One of this
year's speakers is Karen Ward, an emerging church
leader. Ward is Abess of Apostles Church in Washington
state and is one of the authors for a book called Listening to the Beliefs of the Emerging Churches.
In Faith Undone, Roger Oakland discusses Ward
and some things she says in this book (which will
be featured at the Emergence 2007 event):
Karen Ward asks the question, "Is there an
'emerging' theology of the atonement?" She
answers, "I think not." Calling it "the
mystery we're in," she refers to the atonement
as "at-one-ment," which occultist and
New Age prophet Alice Bailey refers to as our (all
humanity) oneness and equality with God. Ward explains
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."(Faith Undone,
Some Mennonites have gradually been showing signs of going
emergent. Could it be because they've been merging
for a while now with emerging church leaders like
Brian McLaren? As he is being promoted to pastors,
teachers and students, McLaren's influence has begun
to show up in Mennonite churches everywhere. The
following links will give you a glimpse into this
2002 - Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Eastern Mennonite
University - Brian McLaren, pastor at Cedar Ridge
Community Church in the suburban Washington, D.C.,
area, and a church renewal leader, led a well-received
opening workshop that introduced the program theme,
as well as daily Bible study and worship sessions: EMS Conference Probes 'Postmodern' Issues
2004 - Mennonite Brethren Forum, Mennonite Brethren
Conference: In may of '04, among many contemplative
authors (like Jan Johnson, Henri Nouwen, Tom and
Christine Sine, etc.) Sharon Johnson, on the MB
Forum, recommended Brian McLaren's books under resources
for Preaching, Classes and Personal Growth. Click here to read the rest of this article.
Brian McLaren's Interspiritual Hand
From The Daily Iowan
Hand of Faith"
Wearing a suit coat dyed a preacher's black hue,
Brian McLaren, an Evangelical writer and pastor,
addresses attendees in his signature soft tone and
asks all to stand and join hands for a final prayer.
In a room containing a forum on faith and politics,
sponsored by Barack Obama's campaign on Sept. 7,
a spill of mainline Protestants and Mennonites,
lapsed Catholics and agnostics, and even a heavy
handful of atheists, gathers together....
"God is not a Republican or a Democrat,"
the D.C.-based Evangelical Christian said. "People
of faith shouldn't be in any party's or candidate's
pocket - we should be the ultimate swing vote that
holds both sides accountable."
The Spirituality of Barak Obama and Rick Warren
Meditation: The Heartbeat of a New Kind of Politics
Book Review: Stricken by God? by Brad Jersak
Book Review by More Books and Things:
Stricken by God?
Nonviolent Identification & the Victory of Christ
Edited by Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin
published by Freshwind
It's about the 'non-violent atonement.' Supposedly,
the church is asking questions about the very foundation
of their belief - the theology of the cross. And
the answers are coming from 'every stream of Christianity.'
Journal of Spirituality and Justice:
"Across virtually every stream of Christian
faith, the doctrinal ground is shifting under our
theology of the Cross and the atonement. Tectonic
plates of understanding are sliding and grinding
-- long-standing assumptions concerning sin, wrath,
judgment, salvation and the very nature of God
are triggering theological tremors in every quarter."1
This new book, a compilation of essays edited by Brad Jersak,
is endorsed by emerging church leader Brian McLaren
who says this:
"Stricken by God? is a highly important contribution
at a critical time, bringing together a range of
thoughtful voices who raise important questions
and pose needed and well-defended answers. This
is a work I will refer back to often and recommend
widely." - Brian D. McLaren, Author/Activist.
Some of the contributors to the book include N.T. Wright,
James Alison, Rowan Williams, Richard Rohr, Marcus
Borg and includes essays by Michael Hardin, J. Denny
Weaver, Tony Bartlett and Sharon Baker.
But who are all these people and why should it matter?
Let's take a closer look at a few of them. Click here to read more of this book review.
Slaughterhouse Religion - When they reject the blood atonement
Brennan Manning and the Cross
See also chapter 11 of Faith Undone: "A Slaughterhouse
Publishing News - FAITH UNDONE 2nd Printing
Faith Undone, our newest release, has had to go to a second printing
after just one month. The new printing will be back
from press on September 26th. We have about 150
copies left in our warehouse today (09/17/07), which
we will ship until they are gone. We believe
this hard-hitting, well-documented book is in such
demand because believers want to learn the
truth about the emerging church that incorporates
mysticism, Purpose Driven, global ecumenism, and
If you haven't read Faith
Undone, we encourage you to do so. One
of the reasons the book is selling so fast is because
many people and many churches are buying multiple
copies to give to others. We strive at Lighthouse
Trails to keep our book prices low, as well as offer
large discounts for quantity orders, so that our
books can be available to all who wish to read them.
If we have to backorder your order for the book, we will
ship all backorders the day the books arrive. Thank
Lighthouse Trails Publishing is pleased to announce the
release of Faith Undone by Roger Oakland.
Is the emerging
church movement just another passing fad, a more
contemporary approach to church, or a bunch of
disillusioned young people looking for answers?
In fact, it is actually much broader and is influencing
Christianity to a significant degree. Grounded
in a centuries-old mystical approach, this movement
is powerful, yet highly deceptive, and it draws
its energy from practices and experiences that
are foreign to traditional evangelical Christianity.
The path that the emerging church is taking is
leading to an interfaith perspective that has
prophetically profound ramifications.
1. Ancient rituals
and practices brought back to life
road to Rome
spirituality and mysticism
church's view of Hell and the Atonement
6.How the emerging
church considers biblical prophecy and the future
of planet Earth
7.The key catalysts
of the emergent church
ecumenism: Part of the emerging church's new reformation
spirituality is altering missions and evangelism
the emerging church in light of Bible prophecy
Click here for more information and a chapter
by chapter synopsis of Faith Undone.
WAYS TO ORDER DIRECTLY FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS
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ship within 24 hours of receiving order.
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If your local bookstore isn't carrying Faith
Undone, you can ask them to order it for
YOU HAVE ALREADY ORDERED THIS BOOK, AND IT
HAS BEEN ON BACKORDER, all backorders
have now been shipped.
Trails Publishing's 2nd spring release, For
Many Shall Come in My Name by Ray Yungen is now
For more information on this book, click
* * * *
For information on our 1st 2007 spring release, The Other
Side of the River, click here.
CHAPTERS OF LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS BOOKS:
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We believe you will find each of these books
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Note: Lighthouse Trails is a Christian publishing company.
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