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Coming From the Lighthouse

                                            Printer Friendly Version (click here)    September 22, 2008

In This Issue -

Warren, Blanchard, Hybels, Laurie, Buford - Launching New York Leadership Center.

 

The Shack

They Say the Emerging Church is Dead - The Truth Behind the Story

ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) Looks for New President - Will This One Be a Contemplative?

A Whole New Species of Church is Emerging

 

Christian Resistance Book - A Must Read

Publishing News

Newsletter in Print

Book Spotlights

 

Join Our Mailing List!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warren, Blanchard, Hybels, Laurie, Buford - Launching New York Leadership Center

 A Lighthouse Trails Commentary

This past week marked the Launch of the New York City Leadership Center. This is a inter-religious venture that is being supported by some of the country's most prolific Christian figures including Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Greg Laurie, Ken Blanchard, Bob Buford and Frances Hesselbein (representing the late Peter Drucker). The new Leadership Center hopes to "see the redemption of [their] communities through leaders leading together."
1 The Leadership Center website states:

The New York City Leadership Center (NYCLC) has been planted by Concerts of Prayer Greater New York to encourage, unify, and support faith leaders throughout the New York metropolitan area and beyond. We believe the redemption of our communities will be realized through effective leadership, coupled with the powerful embrace of united prayer.

Underlying the Center's focus on helping the needy, the uneducated, etc., is the new spirituality that is being propagated today and carries the philosophy of emerging and contemplative spiritualities.

Ken Blanchard, a proponent of mysticism, sits on the Advisory Board and will have significant influence in this new organization. Rick Warren is a major "evangelist" for both contemplative and emerging and will use the Center to launch his 40 Days of Love campaign." Bob Buford, founder of the Leadership Network, was the driving force in initiating the emergent church movement. Peter Drucker worked with Buford on this formation. Bill Hybels has joined together with Brian McLaren and other emerging church leaders in bringing the new spirituality to the surface of evangelicalism.

In June, Lighthouse Trails issued a report: "Greg Laurie Connects Purpose Driven to a Move of God - Gives Financial Support." Laurie is one of two "event sponsors" for the New York Leadership Center's Launch. The Center told Lighthouse Trails that this sponsorship was financial. While Laurie is a Calvary Chapel pastor (which has officially rejected Purpose Driven, contemplative, and emerging), his ministry supports the efforts of the New York Leadership Center. 2

As the nation's Christian leaders race forward convincing tens of thousands of Christians that the church needs this inter-faith structure in order for the Gospel to be effective, they are simultaneously helping (whether they know it or not) to bring about a dangerous, mystical, interspiritual philosophy that will ultimately lead people away from the Cross and the Gospel message. Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, in particularly, have made it distinctly clear that they are on the emerging/contemplative spiritual path.

These and other Christian "leaders" are focusing on "leadership." But it is important to understand that what is taking place isn't truly about leadership - it is about training people to follow: follow without question or dissention. Rick Warren's ministry says those who oppose are like "leaders from hell."3 Unfortunately this path that so many people are now following will lead to great spiritual deception.

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." I Timothy 4:1

 

 

The Shack

 The following are the articles Lighthouse Trails has posted on The Shack:  

 
The Twisted "truths" of The Shack & A Course in Miracles - Feb. 2008  

The Shack: Father-goddess Rising - April 2008  

The Shack and Its New Age Leaven - God IN Everything? - June 2008   

The Shack: Imagination, Image, and Idolatry - July 2008  

The Shack's Wayne Jacobsen Resonates with Contemplative and Emerging Writers - July 2008  

Update on the Shack: New Age Similarities, Popularity Continues, and Calvary Chapel Gives Official Statement - September 2008 

They Say the Emerging Church is Dead - The Truth Behind the Story

According to a September 19th Christianity Today blog article, the emerging church is dead. "An overused and corrupted term now sleeps with the fishes," the article states. But is this even remotely true? Or rather could it be that the emerging church, or what we call the "merging" church, is morphing into its next "higher" level, and just as a butterfly would not want to be called a worm, neither do many in this evolving movement want to be called "the emerging church" any longer. However, unlike the beauty of a golden butterfly broken from its cocoon, the merging church does not share such grandeur. In reality, it is a dangerous pied piper leading millions over a deadly cliff of deception. And just as the "birth" of the emerging church was a well-thought out, highly-financed "dream" of millionaire corporations and futurists, so too will be its supposed "death" and rebirth. But don't be fooled, the emerging church and the spirituality behind it is alive and kicking.

The Christianity Today posting claims that an "informant" from a publishing house told him that two years ago plans were in the making to drop the term "the emerging church" because "the term has become so polluted." The writer says that emerging church leaders, like Dan Kimball, don't want to use that term anymore. Kimball says the current emerging church has too many "theological strands" that he "strongly disagrees with." Kimball's 2003 book The Emerging Church (endorsed by Rick Warren and Brian McLaren, both who wrote forewords for the book) has been considered a signature book for the movement.

The writer of the CT article proclaims: "It seems my informant's prophetic word has come to pass. The emerging church is dead--at least in nomenclature, if not in spirit." But nothing could be further from the truth. And just as there has been a concerted effort by top New Age leaders over the last decade or so to drop the term "New Age" because of its negative exposure, so too emerging church leaders want to drop the name of their movement, and for the very same reason the New Agers are running from their term ... not because, as Kimball suggests, it's too hard to define the movement anymore theologically but rather because the movement has been exposed for what it really is by Bible believing Christians.

Lighthouse Trails will assume that those reading this special commentary have already read Roger Oakland's expose of the emerging church, Faith Undone, and understand how the movement began with big corporation dollars and the idea of an emerging church from men like Peter Drucker as well as Bob Buford's Leadership Network (of which contained the influence of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels and mystics of the past). For those who have not read Faith Undone, you can read about this in our article, "Bob Buford, Peter Drucker, and the Emerging Church." In essence, the major manipulation of success-driven leaders, publishing companies, and corporations created the emerging church movement, and now perhaps a new spiritual move (a better one at that) will arise, with many calling it a move of God, when in truth it will merely line more pockets and continue to bring confusion and disillusionment to millions.

If the CT writer's words are true and a publishing house informant told him the plan that the publishing industry has to drop the term emerging church, what will they replace it with? The New Age gurus have attempted to replace their term with "the New Spirituality." To define this new spirituality, they use words and terms like awakening, emergence, oneness, God's dream, transformation, new reformation, Kingdom of God on earth, global peace, expansive redemption, rethinking, co-creation, christ-consciousness, and imagination. But while these New Age leaders have moved away from the term "New Age," replacing it with these other terms, it is important to note that the woman who coined the term "New Age," Alice Bailey, used most of the terms above to define the New Age. These words do define the New Age.

With that in mind, what words and terms are the emerging church leaders using today? Here's the list: awakening, emergence, oneness, God's dream, transformation, new reformation, Kingdom of God on earth, global peace, expansive redemption, rethinking, co-creation, christ-consciousness, and imagination. We could show you example after example. Phyllis Tickle's new book, The Great Emergence, Erwin McManus' book Wide Awake and his website Awaken (formerly Awaken Humanity), Leonard Sweet's "christ-consciousness," Rob Bell's co-creation, Rick Warren's global peace and new reformation, Brian McLaren's God's Dream, and the list could go on and on.

Just as the New Age movement has had to rename itself in order to maintain societal acceptance, so too the emerging church must put on a coat of different colors to maintain its welcome within the walls of Christianity. Those, like Roger Oakland, who have meticulously revealed the true nature of the emerging church, have forced its leaders (including the publishing houses and financiers) to play their hand.

What will be the next move and what will be the implications? The CT article says that "news has been leaking about a new network being formed by Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, and Scot McKnight among others." Dan Kimball and Erwin McManus HAVE been sharing some of the same platforms lately. At Robert Schuller's 2008 Rethink conference, the two were there as speakers. At McManus' Awaken 2008 conference, Kimball accepted McManus' invitation to be a speaker there. Incidentally, as we stated in a a news brief about that event, one of the speakers at Awaken 2008, has promoted New Age leader and Oprah favorite, Eckhart Tolle. But in light of the marked similarities between the New Age and the emerging church, that really shouldn't come as a surprise. As for a new network, Dan Kimball talked about Awaken on his own website after the event was over. On that post, Kimball stated: [W]e have been dreaming and meeting about forging a relational and intentional network/alliance." Kimball was also with McManus at LeadNow08, another of many emerging-type conferences taking place across North America today. It will be interesting to see this new "network/alliance" - very likely we can expect to see the emergence of this dream of the awakening of humanity for the purposes of global peace brought about through a new reformation to establish the kingdom of God here on earth. Mysticism will be the vehicle to bring it about.

When the emerging church came on the scene in the late 1990s, it was able to enjoy several years of movement with virtually no criticism. Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Mark Driscoll, and the other formative men wrote book after book, did event after event, and quickly gained momentum and by the way, lots of media coverage, so much so that in 2005 Brian McLaren was named as one of Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Evangelical Leaders, an entitlement that took some of the winners decades of ministry to obtain. But then books, like A Time of Departing which identifies the mystical elements of the emerging church, and Faith Undone, which shows the anti-biblical nature of the movement, came out, and many people began to understand that the emerging church was an interspiritual, universalist body that was against the atonement of Jesus Christ and perpetuated a growing hostility toward the bride of Christ (the body of born-again believers). It all became just too obvious; and thus a natural response is to say, that movement has become corrupted; we are moving on to something else.

Clearly, Erwin McManus is going to be one of the leaders in this revised, evolved merging church. Where is he going to lead it? In a trailer for his summer 2008 book, Wide Awake, McManus says "It's amazing how a dream can have the power to change an entire planet ... What would happen if all of us began to discover our god-given dreams? What would happen if all of us began to live wide awake? ... If all of us began to live wide awake ... the world would never be the same again." How can "all of us" (all humanity is what he means) live wide awake when the Bible says that in the days before Christ's return there will be a great falling away, and where it says that nations will turn against God and where it says an anti-christ will cause multitudes to bow down and worship him? Why is McManus suggesting that all humans can be wide awake? And to what are they awakening? The Bible says that in the last days Satan will deceive the whole world (Revelation 12:9). But perhaps McManus would agree with New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard who says if enough people come together, then Revelation's predictions can be avoided. This notion is what New Agers term Armageddon Alternative. In Warren Smith's stunning expose' of the New Spirituality, he describes this "alternative" to Armageddon and the implications it carries.1

While it appears that emerging is going to do another split (remember when Mark Driscoll (and others) divided the movement into a few different groups: revisionist, reformed, and relevant), the point to keep in mind is that it is still emerging spirituality. And such spirituality embraces mysticism, attempts to bring about a global kingdom on earth, and believes humanity can awaken to its own divinity and oneness. Those are the earmarks of the emerging church - calling it by any other name changes it no more than calling the New Age a new name makes it something else. As the saying goes, "A rose by any other name is still a rose." In this case, apostasy by any other name is still apostasy.

When Erwin McManus said a few years ago it was his "goal to destroy Christianity,"2 it didn't seem to bother Christian leaders. In fact, after that, respected and popular teacher David Jeremiah touted McManus and said he wanted to use McManus to help his church go through a major paradigm shift.3 Well, we are witnessing a paradigm shift - actually, we are already through the shift, and now the devil is scurrying about to maintain the momentum ... and secrecy of his true plans. Darkness hates the light. Emerging, New Age spirituality is nothing new.

Thankfully, while spiritual darkness and deception seem to be overtaking the world like never before, we know that Jesus is the ultimate Victor. As believers, let us pray that many who are still in darkness will be able to hear the true Gospel, believe on it, and be saved. As the emerging church presents "another Jesus" and "another gospel" (II Corinthians 11:4), may the Lord give discernment and courage to those who belong to the One who said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36) and "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness" (John 12:46). The kingdom of this world is in darkness - it is not one we should hope to aspire to. But He has promised to bring us into His kingdom when we place our trust in Jesus Christ (by faith through grace), "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).

Related Information:

"God's Dream: What Does it Really Mean?"

They Like Jesus But Not the Church

EMERGENT MANIFESTO: Emerging Church Comes Out of the Closet

 



 

ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) Looks for New President - Will This One Be a Contemplative?

The ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) has announced that Ken Smitherman, president of ACSI, will be retiring next August. Lighthouse Trails has issued two reports on ACSI this year regarding their leanings toward contemplative through their Spiritual Formation program. Our first report stated that contemplative books are being recommended and offered to ACSI's 5300 member schools. In addition, ACSI told attendees of the Early Education Conference on April 19, 2008 to read Henri Nouwen's book, In the Name of Jesus for preparation for the conference. Our second report stated that ACSI is recommending to its member schools Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christian. McLaren, who has made many public statements that attempt to derail biblical Christianity, is part of the emerging church movement. (see 1st report)

In the second report, we explained that in addition to the McLaren recommendation, ACSI president Ken Smitherman speaks favorably of emerging leader and mysticism proponent Rob Bell's book, Velvet Elvis. The report also stated that Smitherman defends his embracing of mystical spirituality (for this documentation, see our 2nd report).

With regard to the ACSI's search for a new president, their website states that this person must have an "understanding of spiritual formation." Those the ACSI turns to for their own "understanding" of spiritual formation include Brian McLaren, Dallas Willard, J.P. Moreland, and other contemplative figures.(link removed by ACSI) What's more, two of their conferences in 2008 took place at a contemplative Catholic Retreat Center in Colorado.(link removed by ACSI)


We hope that ACSI will put in the place of president someone who understands the dangers of the contemplative prayer and emerging church movements and someone who will seek to uphold the Word of God at all costs. This is an organization that works with and serves thousands of Christian schools worldwide representing 1.2 million students. If they present contemplative spirituality as an acceptable and beneficial belief system, the spiritual damage to countless students could be devastating. Please pray that the ACSI search committee will make every attempt to understand these dangers before making their selection. On their website, they state:

The next president of ACSI will face many opportunities and challenges. The Presidential Search Committee is committed to prayer and invites you to join us as we seek the Lord's guidance and wisdom for the selection of the next president whose godliness, giftedness, and vision will lead our diverse community into the future.

It also says they are looking for "One who ... affirms the authority of Scripture as God's inerrant Word." Because contemplative and emerging spirituality are contrary to the Word of God, choosing a contemplative president would go against the ACSI's written commitment to find someone who "affirms the authority of Scripture."

 

 

A Whole New Species of Church is Emerging

by Tamara Hartzell
In the Name of Purpose

There is a "Christian" book that epitomizes the current path of the counterfeit Christianity, which is emerging as the old faith crumbles away. Although there are many such books published now, Growing Spiritual Redwoods by William Easum and Thomas Bandy provides a clear illustration of the "new way of thinking," and has been acclaimed as "perhaps the best book about church transformation."2

Bill Easum is "one of the pioneering pastors of the church growth movement," and is "one of the most highly respected church consultants and Christian futurists in North America."3 Tom Bandy "consults with congregations for church growth and transformation," and "congregational and denominational leaders regard Tom as one of the leading thinkers and writers today."4 The two joined forces to form Easum, Bandy and Associates, which consults "with churches of every size and culture" and links "countless" leaders through "one of the largest religious interactive websites in North America."5

In spite of the blatant (New Age) New Spirituality in their book, Growing Spiritual Redwoods has received high praises by men who are popular leaders themselves in today's Christianity. Rick Warren, Lyle Schaller, and Leonard Sweet--whose own books are self-evident that he has fallen for the (New Age) New Spirituality6--have given this book the following endorsements:

"This may be the most significant study book for congregational leaders published in this century."--Lyle Schaller (Growing Spiritual Redwoods--front cover)

"An epoch-marking--if not epoch-making-book. For a church living off of checks that reality won't cash, this book is like an acid bath accounting from the bank examiners. There is no better audit of the collapse of the Christendom era, and no better audition for how to do ministry in the new world, than this one."--Leonard Sweet (GSR; back cover)

"Every passage of this book contains spiritual nuggets of truth that can help your church to grow healthy and strong."--Rick Warren (GSR; back cover)

In addition to this glowing endorsement, after he wrote The Purpose Driven Life, Growing Spiritual Redwoods was given five stars in one of Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox newsletters for 2003.7 And on Easum and Bandy's website under, "What Christian leaders have to say about Tom Bandy," the following praise by Rick Warren is still posted (more praise by Leonard Sweet and also by Brian McLaren is included there as well):

"'I try to read everything Tom Bandy writes. He is always thought-provoking and helpful.'"--Rick Warren 8

According to Tom Bandy, "a whole new species of church is emerging." This emerging church is "not a machine"--"preoccupied with theological purity, ideological correctness, and behavioral conformity"--but "an organism." This "organism" "worships differently, thinks differently, and depends on an entirely different kind of leadership."9 This "new species of church" is the "Spiritual Redwood" growing in the midst of the diverse, cultural "forest" (GSR; p. 21).
Click here for endnotes and to read this entire chapter from In the Name of Purpose.

 

 

Christian Resistance Book - A Must Read


Lighthouse Trails Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Things We Couldn't Say by Diet Eman.

This is the true story of Diet Eman, a young Christian woman who joined the resistance movement in the Netherlands during WWII. Together with her fiance' and other Dutch men and women, "Group Hein" risked their lives to save the lives of Jews who were in danger of becoming victims of Hitler's "final solution."


For more information:
www.lighthousetrails.com
Toll Free Order Line: 866/876-3910 (M-F/8-5)
Or order from your local bookstore.

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Publishing News


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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

Our print newsletter has been delayed. However, we are still taking names. 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. We apologize for the delay.

 

 Both email and printed editions will be free. The first issue of the print newsletter has not yet been issued.

 

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