This is our last issue of Coming
from the Lighthouse newsletter for 2007. We have highlighted
some of our most significant stories. Needless to say,
contemplative/emerging spirituality has made some deep inroads in 2007
throughout the world.
While this is sobering, and it saddens
our hearts, we are also encouraged by the number of believers who have
shared their stories with us about how they were able to help their
families, friends, and sometimes pastors come to understand the
truth about this anti-biblical belief system. We are honored and
blessed to serve such courageous people, who have often lost relationships
and been ridiculed and belittled for speaking up.
As we remember many who have gone before
us, throughout the centuries, who paid with their lives to stand for truth,
may the Lord strengthen each one today who is willing to defend the
precious Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. " I John 5:11-12
you would like to receive our new print newsletter, just drop us an email with your mailing address. The first
issue will be mailed in early 2008.
TRAILS YEAR IN REVIEW - OUR 2007 TOP TEN STORIES
The Secret makes no secret about its intentions: to let the world know that
humanity is on the brink of a new era. This new era will open up to humanity
unleashed power, riches, creativity and all that we ever dreamed of. A
"secret" that has been locked away for centuries is now available
Celebrating the Resurrection, but Denying the Atonement? Those
who believe in the true elements of contemplative/emerging
spirituality say that God would not send His Son to a violent death on
a Cross to bear the sins of others. They say Jesus is their model but
cannot say He is their Lord. By Christian leaders embracing spiritual
formation as they are now doing in large numbers, they are inadvertently
denying the atonement.
What's Sex Got to do with it? The New Age movement
has now permeated all areas of our society. Virtually nothing has been
untouched by the tentacles of this occultic, meditation-driven
spirituality, and it has entered the Christian church through contemplative
prayer (i.e., spiritual formation). But there is another area that
mysticism has united with ... and that is the sexual realm. The marriage of the two is referred to as tantra (or tantric sex), and before you stop
reading this article, thinking "What has sex got to do with exposing contemplative
and the New Age?" we must tell you will all soberness, this mystical
sexuality is growing faster by the day, and it may affect the lives of
Awana Embraces Contemplative Spirituality! Awana
is showing signs that it is becoming a contemplative organization. A new
book Awana is carrying called Perspectives on Children's Spiritual Formation openly
promotes contemplative spirituality.
Rethink Conference with Erwin McManus and Robert Schuller -
Could Have Far-Reaching Effects
In January 2008, the Rethink Conference will take place at Robert
Schuller's Crystal Cathedral. According to Church Communication Network (CCN), the event will be hosted by Robert Schuller and Erwin McManus.
Moody Bible Institute Defends Position on Contemplative After
Lighthouse Trails writes a series of articles on MBI's ties with
contemplative, they write a letter to Lighthouse Trails and post it on
their website, denying that their use and promotion of contemplatives like
Henri Nouwen, Dallas Willard, Keri Wyatt Kent, and others means they are
heading in that direction.
Why Focus on the Family Should Not Promote and Sell Gary
Thomas' Books Sacred
Marriage, Sacred Parenting, and Sacred Pathways - Most likely, you have
heard of at least one of these books. The author, Gary Thomas, is touted by Rick Warren,
Focus on the Family, and a host of other Christian well-known ministries.
Last year, Lighthouse Trails wrote a special report on Focus on the Family because of their promotion of Thomas and his book Sacred Parenting.
FOF answered Lighthouse Trails stating that they saw nothing wrong with
Thomas, and they were not interested in looking at the documentation that
proved otherwise. As we have shown in the past, Gary Thomas is an advocate
for mantra meditation.
Rick Warren Plays "Catch Me if You
Can" While Promoting Mysticism As Rick Warren moves ahead toward
his global peace agenda, working with virtually anyone or any group who
rallies behind him, he has moved to the forefront of evangelical leaders
who are propagating the contemplative prayer movement (i.e., spiritual
formation). In essence, he has become an evangelist for contemplative
spirituality. For those who realize that contemplative (that is mystical
meditation) is the driving force behind the kingdom-now, heaven-on-earth
emerging church movement, this is an alarming deduction.
No Repentance from Willow Creek - Only a Mystical Paradigm
headlines about Willow Creek filled the front pages of several online news
outlets. The caption stated: "A Shocking Confession from Willow Creek
Community Church." Some wondered if Willow Creek's pastor Bill Hybels
was repenting from past errors in ministry techniques.1 But a Lighthouse Trails commentary showed
that this "shocking confession" was actually a re-enforcement of
Willow Creek's efforts to "transform this planet" through
contemplative and emerging spiritualities.
World Net Daily Interviews Rick Warren - The Truth Behind
the Words In December 2007, WorldNet Daily released three
articles resulting from an interview conducted at
Saddleback with Rick Warren. Much of the content in the articles has been
written about by numerous other media outlet over the last few years. But
one particular section of article #1 originated from a
letter that Rick Warren wrote to Lighthouse Trails in
2005. And that letter was filled with statements that covered up something
most people do not know.
The New Look of Christian Missions
must add, though, that I don't believe making disciples must equal making
adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!)
circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within
their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts."1 - Brian McLaren
spirituality is changing the way missions is being conducted. The idea is
that you can go for Jesus, but you don't have to identify yourself as a Christian
or part of the Christian church. This concept spills over into some
missionary societies too, where they teach people from other religions they
can keep their religion, just add Jesus to the equation. They don't have to
embrace the term Christian. At the 2005 United Nations Interfaith Prayer
Breakfast, Rick Warren made the following comments to 100 delegates who
represented various different religions:
not talking about a religion this morning. You may be Catholic or
Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish or you may
have no religion at all. I'm not interested in your religious background.
Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion.2
he did go on afterwards and say he believed that Jesus was God, the
implication was that your religion doesn't matter to God, and being
Buddhist, Mormon, or whatever will not interfere with having Jesus in your
life. Donald Miller, author of the popular Blue Like Jazz, puts it
me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out
Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical
mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained.3
In Erwin McManus' book The Barbarian Way, he refers to
"Barbarians" in a positive light and says that this is how
Christ-followers should be:
[Barbarians] see Christianity as a world religion, in many ways no
different from any other religious system. Whether Buddhism, Hinduism,
Islam, or Christianity, they're not about religion; they're about advancing
the revolution Jesus started two thousand years ago.4
May/June 2000 issue of Watchman's Trumpet magazine explains what
this new missiology really entails:
international missions organizations, including Youth With a Mission
(YWAM), are testing a new approach to missionary work in areas where
Christianity is unwelcome. A March 24, 2000, Charisma News Service report said some missionaries are now making converts but are allowing them
to "hold on to many of their traditional religious beliefs and
practices" so as to refrain from offending others within their
The Charisma article in which Watchman's Trumpet reports
Muslims" who continue to read the Koran, visit the mosque and say
their daily prayers but accept Christ as their Savior, are the products of
the strategy, which is being tried in several countries, according to Youth
With a Mission (YWAM), one of the organizations involved.6
The Charisma story reports that a YWAM staff newsletter notes the new
converts' lifestyle changes (or lack thereof):
[the new converts] continued a life of following the Islamic requirements,
including mosque attendance, fasting and Koranic reading, besides getting together
as a fellowship of Muslims who acknowledge Christ as the source of God's
mercy for them.7
one of the largest missionary societies (YWAM) becomes a proponent of the
new missiology, telling converts they can remain in their own religious
traditions, the disastrous results should be quite sobering for any
In an article titled "Christ-Followers in India Flourishing Outside
the Church," the following statement is made regarding the research of
Herbert Hoefer, author of Churchless Christianity:
striking research undertaken in the mid-eighties and published in 1991,
Herbert E. Hoefer found that the people of Madras City are far closer to
historic Christianity than the populace of any cities in the western
Christian world could ever claim to be. Yet these are not Christians, but
rather Hindus and Muslims. In their midst is a significant number of true
believers in Christ who openly confess to faith in fundamental Biblical
doctrines, yet remain outside the institutional church.8
article expands this idea that one does not need to become a Christian or
to change his religious practices; he just needs to add Jesus to his
some might argue that this [the "smothering embrace of Hinduism"]
is the danger with the ishta devata strategy I am proposing. It will lead
not to an indigenous Christianity but to a Christianized Hinduism. Perhaps
more accurately we should say a Christ-ized Hinduism. I would suggest that
really both are the same, and therefore we should not worry about it. We do
not want to change the culture or the religious genius of India. We simply
want to bring Christ and His Gospel into the center of it. (emphasis
Hoefer's research is quite interesting. His idea that rather than
"changing or rejecting" the Hindu and Muslim culture missionaries
should be "Christ-izing" it.10 He says there are thousands of
believers in India whom he refers to as "non-baptized believers."
Reasons for the believers not becoming baptized vary, but usually it is
because they will suffer financial or social loss and status. Hoefer admits
that these non-baptized believers are not Christians, and usually they do
not choose to call themselves that. In many of his examples, these
non-baptized believers continue practicing their religious rituals so as
not to draw suspicion or ridicule from family and friends. Hoefer explains
is] a young man of lower caste who earns his livelihood by playing the drum
at Hindu festivals and functions. "All this is what I must do,"
he said, "but my faith is in Christ. Outside I am a Hindu, but inside
I am a Christian."11
family of the Nayar caste consisted of a wife, her husband and one son.
Hoefer describes their situation:
husband and son have been believers in Christ for eight years. They both
had studied in Christian schools and learned of Christ. The husband's
father had a vision of Christ, and one brother also is a non-baptised
believer. The husband does not join his wife in coming to Church, but he
occasionally joins her for the big public meetings. They do not have family
devotions, but worship Jesus along with the Hindu gods in their home. Their
approach to the Hindu festivals is to carry them out but to think of God,
not Jesus specifically.12
am not here to judge whether these non-baptized believers are truly born
again. That is for the Lord to decide. My concern lies with the way
missions is changing and how the Gospel is being presented. To say that
someone does not have to leave their pagan religion behind, and in fact
they don't have to even stop calling themselves Hindu or Muslim, is not
presenting the teachings of the Bible.
And the apostle Paul, who ended up dying for his faith, exhorted believers
to be willing to give up all for the sake of having Christ:
count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ
Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do
count them but dung, that I may win Christ. (Philippians 3:8)
implications of this new missiology are serious and, what's more very
unbiblical. Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason ministries has done extensive
research and analysis on the new missiology. In his article, "A 'New
Evangelism' for the 21st Century," Oppenheimer states:
a Christian now call himself a Muslim? The word Muslim is made up of two
words, Islam and Mu. Muslim does not just mean submission; it means
submission to the God Allah; not the Lord Jesus Christ or Yahweh. Can a
Muslim be called a Christian and walk with Allah? This seems to make no
doctrinal or practical sense, unless they change the names and the meaning.
This only brings confusion. Why do this when you can introduce Yahweh as
the true God without any baggage and shuffling around in names, nature or
descriptions? The answer is that you may not see the same results. This is
what this is all about isn't it, results; pragmatism, the end justifies the
a book by Oppenheimer and Sandy Simpson titled Idolatry in Their Hearts,
they show how widespread this new missiology has become. Listen to some of
the comments made by a few new missiology proponents:
Light embodiment means to be "in connection" and
"information" with other faiths.... One can be a faithful
disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in
followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna."14--Leonard Sweet
I happen to know people who are followers of Christ in other
I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity.... I intend to
become as good a Buddhist as I can.16--Thomas Merton
Allah is not another God ... we worship the same God.... The same God!
The very same God we worship in Christ is the God the Jews--and the
and Simpson present page after page of documentation showing this paradigm
shift in Christian missions. They ask the question, "Can one be a
Hindu or a Muslim and follow Jesus?" They explain why the answer is
cannot be in relationship with Jesus within the confines of a false
religion. One must leave his or her religion to follow Jesus, not just add
This broadens Jesus' statement of the road being narrow into a wide, all
encompassing concept. What is concerning is that these same kinds of
statements are also made by those who are New Agers that hold a universal
view. Alice Bailey said, "I would point out that when I use the phrase
'followers of the Christ' I refer to all those who love their fellowmen,
irrespective of creed or religion."18
Rick Warren saying your religion should have no bearing on your spiritual
life, Erwin McManus saying he would like to destroy Christianity, and
missionary societies telling new converts they can have Jesus without
Christianity (or baptism), the results could be devastating and will very
likely undo the tireless efforts of many dedicated missionaries around the
world. These Bible-believing missionaries have risked their lives and given
up comforts and ease to travel around the world sharing the good news that
becoming a Christian (having Jesus Christ come into your heart and life) is
the way to eternal life. Now, right behind them, come emerging church
missionaries who say Christianity is a terrible religion, and Christians
are out to lunch--so just become a Christ-follower, and you don't even have
to tell anyone about it. In fact, you can still live like you always have.
To the many who have suffered persecution and martyrdom over the centuries
for being Christians and being courageous enough to call themselves that,
we now must believe they suffered and died unnecessarily--after all, they
did not need to confess Jesus as the only way. And they didn't need to
renounce their pagan religions. We also find that the following words of
Jesus do not fit into this emerging church paradigm:
therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my
Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will
I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)
is a powerful story in the Book of Acts, in which the apostle Paul had been
arrested for preaching the Gospel. He was brought before King Agrippa and
given the opportunity to share his testimony of how he became a Christian.
He told Agrippa that the Lord had commissioned him to preach the Gospel
open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the
power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and
inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts
continued listening and then said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me
to be a Christian (vs. 28)." Paul answered him:
would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were
both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. (vs. 29)
Paul had been following the emerging mentality, he would have told Agrippa,
"No need to become a Christian. You can remain just as you are; keep
all your rituals and practices, just say you like Jesus." In
actuality, if Paul had been practicing emerging spirituality, he wouldn't
have been arrested in the first place. He would not have stood out, would
not have preached boldly and without reservation, and he would not have
called himself a Christian, which eventually became a death sentence for
Paul and countless others.(from chapter 10, Faith Undone)
1. Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, op. cit., p. 293.
2. Rick Warren at the 2005 United Nations Prayer Breakfast, September 2005.
For more information about the prayer breakfast, see "Rick Warren
Speaks about Purpose at United Nations" by Rhonda Tse (Christian
Post, September 14, 2005, http://www.christianpost.com/article/20050914/21340_ Rick_ Warren_Speaks_about_ Purpose_at_ United_ Nations.htm); quote in this
book is from transcript of Warren's talk that was provided to Lighthouse
3. Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz (Nashville, TN: Zondervan, 2003),
4. Erwin McManus, The Barbarian Way (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson,
5. "Youth with a Mission Experiments with New, Unscriptural Missions
Strategy" (Foundation, Watchman's Trumpet, May - June 2000, http://www.feasite.org/WTrumpet/fbcwt004.htm#Youth%20With),
6. Andy Butcher, "Radical Missionary Approach Produces 'Messianic
Muslims' Retaining Islamic Identity" (Charisma News Service,
March 24, 2000, http://web.archive.org/web/20010818051517/www.charismanew s.com/news.cgi?a=285&t=news.html).
7. Ibid., quoting from a report in "The International YWAMer,"
YWAM's staff newsletter.
8. H. L. Richard, "Christ-Followers in India Flourishing Outside the
Church," a review of Churchless Christianity by Herbert Hoefer (Mission
Frontiers, March/April 1999, http://www.missionfrontiers.org/1999/0304/articles/04f.htm).
10. Herbert Hoefer, Churchless Christianity (Pasadena, CA: William
Carey Library, 2001 edition), p. xii.
11. Ibid., p. 17.
12. Ibid., p. 16.
13. Mike Oppenheimer, "A 'New Evangelism' for the 21st Century"
(Let Us Reason ministries, 2006, http://www.letusreason.org/Curren 33. htm).
14. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 130.
15. Rick Warren, "Discussion: Religion and Leadership," with
David Gergen and Rick Warren (Aspen Ideas Festival, The Aspen Institute,
July 6, 2005, http://www.aspeninstitute.org);
for more information: http://www. lighthouse
16. David Steindl-Rast, "Recollection of Thomas Merton's Last Days in
the West" (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969).
17. Peter Kreeft, Ecumenical Jihad, op. cit., pp. 30, 160.
18. Sandy Simpson and Mike Oppenheimer, Idolatry in Their Hearts (Pearl City, HI: Apologetics Coordination Team, 2007, 1st Edition), p. 358.
The spirituality of Alice Bailey
They like Jesus but not the church
San Diego Christian Leader Pays Steep Price For Speaking Out
Against Rick Warren
The James Hartline Report
James Hartline Loses Well-Known Media Support After Signing Published
Letter That Calls On Rick Warren To Stop Allowing Pro-Abortion &
Pro-Homosexual Speakers In His Pulpit
(JHReport) A nationally recognized Christian activist has learned firsthand
that there is a steep price to pay for speaking out against the moral
corruption of one of America's most powerful Protestant ministers. Despite
the high cost to himself personally, James Hartline has been willing to
expose, what he says, is a disturbing trend of theological and moral
compromise coming from the pulpit of Rick Warren, pastor of the
20,000-member Saddleback Church.
Included in Hartline's laundry list of complaints against Pastor Warren is
the recent speaking engagement of pro-gay and pro-abortion Democratic
presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Saddleback Church. Hillary
Clinton's invitation from Warren to speak at his church followed a speech
by Clinton before the radical gay activist group The Human Rights Campaign
(HRC) where she told the HRC "she wants a partnership with gays if
elected president."Click here to read this entire report.
YWAM TEAMS WITH IHOP IN INDIA
with a Mission (YWAM) teams up with the International House of Prayer
(IHOP) in New Dehli, India, according to the YWAM website and the YWAM Extreme store. A statement
reads: "On Thursday September 25, 2008, the School of Intercessory
Prayer (SOIP) will begin in New Delhi ... YWAM IHOP in New Delhi,
India: The SOIP will take place at YWAM
Delhi's International House of Prayer (IHOP), which was established in
2001." Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, gives
the following endorsement of IHOP: "The Great Harvest needs
to be supplied by continual prayer and fasting. Intercessory ministries
like Mike Bickle's in Kansas City are vital for the fulfillment of the
Loren Cunningham - Youth With A Mission
We recommend those wanting to know about
ministries that are rooted in the River movement (Word/Faith, ect.),
to read The Other Side of the River by
Kevin Reeves. This important biography covers the twelve years Reeves was
part of a River church. His story exposes many of the false, and sometimes
mystical, practices and doctrines that Mike Bickle (IHOP), Rick Joyner,
Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, John Wimber, and many others have
taught to countless Christians. Also for extensive documentation on YWAM's
move toward the new missiology, read Mike Oppenheimer and Sandy Simpson's
book, Idolatry in Their Hearts.
It is our prayer and hope that YWAM will
not continue going in the direction of a new missiology that ultimately
rejects the foundations of biblical truth (see Oakland article above).
Adventist Denomination Turns to Spiritual Formation
following article illustrates the move by the Seventh Day Adventist church
toward spiritual formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality). Once again,
we remember that nearly every denomination (and religion) is succumbing to
contemplative/mystical spirituality. It is sobering to realize that while
people throughout the globe meet this weekend for church and religious
services, a fast-growing number of them are being instructed to turn to spiritual
Adventist News Network
Church, Congregations Increase Focus on "Spiritual Formation"
"Spiritual formation is a topic being raised by many pastors and
church leaders in a growing number of Christian denominations. It's no
longer enough to just know doctrine and facts--in today's hectic society
people are searching for something deeper and more meaningful, something
that makes sense in their whirlwind lives....
"Today this subject [spiritual formation] is receiving serious
emphasis in Adventist institutions, as well as in local congregations.
Though the church doesn't have an accredited educational program dealing
with spiritual formation at any of its theological schools, it's seeing
this subject become more common in today's modern, seeking world (click here to read this entire article).
What is contemplative spirituality?
Rethink Defends Convergence of Leaders
of the Rethink Conference, scheduled for January 17-19 at Robert Schuller's
Crystal Cathedral, issued a press release in November
defending the convergence of a large number of leaders, including many from
the Christian camp.
However, what the press release fails to
say is that a high percentage of the speakers are eastern-style meditation
proponents. This means that the Rethink Conference, which is said to offer
new methods of handling the future, will be a potential platform for
contemplative spirituality and New Thought (New Age) ideas. Click here for more information on
Book on the Emerging Church Issues Warning Around the World
After just five months since its release date, Faith Undone has
traveled around the world and now has 20,000 copies in print, with over
15,000 either sold or given away. The book makes a well-documented and
serious case against the emerging church movement, showing that it is far
more than the discontent grumblings of young people looking for answers but
is in fact a calculated device by the devil to undermine the gospel message
of Jesus Christ. Grounded in a centuries old mystical approach, this
movement is powerful yet highly deceptive. The path that the emerging
church is taking is leading right into the arms of an interfaith
perspective that has prophetically profound ramifications. Behind
this new kind of church is a well-designed strategy and maneuver by the
prince of this world, the enemy of our souls, to literally take apart the
faith of millions. For a detailed chapter by chapter synopsis, click here.
Read new book review by Gary Gilley.
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|San Diego Christian Leader Pays Steep Price For Speaking Out Against Rick Warren
|The James Hartline Report
Christian Activist James Hartline Loses Well-Known Media Support After Signing Published Letter That Calls On Rick Warren To Stop Allowing Pro-Abortion & Pro-Homosexual Speakers In His Pulpit
(JHReport) A nationally recognized Christian activist has learned firsthand that there is a steep price to pay for speaking out against the moral corruption of one of America's most powerful Protestant ministers. Despite the high cost to himself personally, James Hartline has been willing to expose, what he says, is a disturbing trend of theological and moral compromise coming from the pulpit of Rick Warren, pastor of the 20,000-member Saddleback Church.
Included in Hartline's laundry list of complaints against Pastor Warren is the recent speaking engagement of pro-gay and pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Saddleback Church. Hillary Clinton's invitation from Warren to speak at his church followed a speech by Clinton before the radical gay activist group The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) where she told the HRC "she wants a partnership with gays if elected president." Click here to read this entire report.