"From the Lighthouse" Newsletter "

Printer Friendly Version (click here)     August 10, 2009

In This Issue - click choice
2009 National Worship Conference Brings Contemplatives, Laurie, and Sweet Together
Fractals, Chaos Theory, Quantum Spirituality, and The Shack
Lighthouse Trails and Twitter
L.A. Episcopal Leaders Nominate 2 Openly Gay, Lesbian Priests as Bishops
Why Rick Warren should Not Tell Rob Bell: "Just wanted to encourage you to ignore critics"
Visualization or Imaginative Prayer
Will the Intelligent Design Movement Bring People to Jesus Christ
Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth?
Shootings of Tel Aviv Teens Denounced by Mission America
Lighthouse Trails New Catalog
Publishing News
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2009 National Worship Conference Brings Contemplatives, Laurie, and Sweet Together 

The 2009 National Worship Leader Conference took place on July 20-23 in Leawood, Kansas and brought together a convergence of contemplative/emerging speakers.

Some will probably wonder though why popular trusted figures like Calvary Chapel's Greg Laurie, 70s Jesus movement singer Evie, and Love Song lead singer, Chuck Girard, were part of the speaking/singing platform too. That's a good question considering the number of speakers at the event who were hearty advocates for the contemplative new spirituality: some of those included Leonard Sweet, Chuck Fromm (founder of the event and of Worship Leader magazine), emerging leader Sally Morgenthaler, Brennan Manning proponent Michael W. Smith, the pro-contemplative David Crowder Band, contemplative/emerging Marva Dawn, Alpha Course leader and contemplative proponent Todd Hunter, and others.

Sally Morgenthaler's pre-conference session was titled "Going deeper into the skills you need to serve your congregation." By "Going deeper," contemplatives mean to enter the silent space that is induced by contemplative prayer practices such as mantra-type meditation. Morgenthaler wrote the foreword for Dan Kimball's emerging church book, Emerging Worship , and she resonates deeply with contemplative proponents like the late Robert Webber. Her own book, Worship Evangelism, carries an endorsement on the cover by New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet as well as C. Peter Wagner. Morgenthaler is currently a "Visiting Professor" at the very contemplative George Fox University. In her book, Worship Evangelism, she references mystic Henri Nouwen as someone who can lead us into God's presence. Nouwen believed that Christian leaders had to move from the "moral to the mystical" in order to be effective (from In the Name of Jesus).

Another one of the speakers at the worship conference, Leonard Sweet, a New Age sympathizer, teaches that a glorious "New Light" movement is awaiting birth, and New Age leaders and mystics are the inspiration for this movement. Warren Smith discusses Sweet extensively in his new book, A "Wonderful" Deception because of Sweet's ties to Rick Warren and the new spirituality. In Sweet's book, Quantum Spirituality (a manifesto for the new spirituality), he states that the literal reading of the Bible is lethal (p. 140) and that a "christ consciousness" can be obtained in a "small group" setting (p. 148). In a statement by Mike Erre (Death by Church), the emerging pastor who recently spoke at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa to several thousand youth, Erre referenced Leonard Sweet as someone who would help lead the way for the future of Christianity. 1

Michael W. Smith has most likely sent tens of thousands to the feet of mysticism proponent Brennan Manning through his endorsement of Manning. In light of Manning's spiritual views, that is very troubling. For instance, in Manning's book, Above All (in which Smith wrote the foreword), Manning echoes the words of Thomas Merton biographer and mystic William Shannon when Shannon (and Manning) rejected the idea that a loving God would send His son to a violent death: THAT God does not exist, they both insisted. 2 What's more Manning actually teaches mantra-like meditation is his book, The Signature of Jesus.

David Crowder, also at the conference, is the author of the contemplative-promoting book, Praise Habit (referring to the habits worn by Catholic nuns). In an interview with LifeTeen.com (a web site for Catholic teens), Crowder admits: "Much of the Catholic traditions and writings have been influential in my formation of faith ... I've found much inspiration there." These Catholic traditions referred to are those emulated by monks such as Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating.

The conference offered numerous workshops interspersed with the above speakers' lectures. Just as an example, a workshop taught by Reggie Kidd, professor at Reformed Theological Seminary and on faculty at the very contemplative Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, included instructions on worshipping through the "Eucharist prayer" and through "chanting the psalms." 3 Videos presented at the conference included those by emerging figures Shane Claiborne, Richard Twiss, and others.

Many of our readers may be wondering why Greg Laurie would be speaking at this clearly contemplative/emerging conference. Laurie's head pastor, Chuck Smith, made it very clear a few years ago that Calvary Chapel would NOT be going in the contemplative/emerging direction. But, come to think of it, Chuck Smith also said at that time that Calvary Chapel had to reject the Purpose Driven movement, but on August 9th, according to Greg Laurie's website, he spoke at Saddleback Church at a number of services.


Greg Laurie Connects Purpose Driven to a Move of God 
Fractals, Chaos Theory, Quantum Spirituality, and The Shack

LTRP Note: The following is the third installment (see: part one, part two) that we are posting of Warren Smith's new book, A "Wonderful" Deception. We hope you have find the chance to read all three chapters that we have made available. They are very important in helping to explain the new spirituality that has come into Christianity through today's major Christian figures.

"Fractals, Chaos Theory, Quantum Spirituality, and The Shack"
by Warren Smith

A fractal . . . something considered simple and orderly that is actually composed of repeated patterns no matter how magnified. A fractal is almost infinitely complex. I love fractals, so I put them everywhere.1--Sarayu, The Shack

Fractals reveal a hidden "order" underlying all seemingly chaotic events. The fractals are intricate and beautiful. They repeat basic patterns, but with an infinity of variations and forms. The world-view emerging from this scientific research is new, and yet at the same time very very ancient.2--The Sovereign Court and Order of the Ancient Dragon

Shortly after writing the previous two chapters on Leonard Sweet and quantum spirituality, I spoke at a church in Southern California. I had been asked to speak at the two morning services and then again in the evening. In the second morning service, three women approached me and thanked me for warning about the New Age/New Spirituality and how it was working its way into the church. All three told me they formerly attended Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, but they had become dissatisfied and left. They said it had been difficult to leave because so many of their friends still went to Saddleback.

After the evening service, two more women approached me with similar stories. One left Saddleback the previous year and the other had left a church she had been attending for over thirty-seven years. This second woman, Jennifer, had left because her former church was introducing a mixture of Purpose Driven, church growth, and emerging church teachings. She was following up on comments I made about William Paul Young's New York Times best-selling book The Shack. I had described how The Shack's author had introduced New Age concepts into his emotional novel about a man's supposed encounter with "God," "Jesus," and the "Holy Spirit" after the brutal murder of his daughter. In the midst of his story, Young suddenly introduces the foundational teaching of the New Age/New Spirituality/New World Religion--that God is "in" everything. The Shack's "Jesus" told Mack--the distraught father and main character in the novel--that God is "in" all things:

God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.3

In speaking to the Southern California church, I had explained that the Bible makes it clear that God is not "in" all things. I explained that Satan--"the god of this world"--wants everyone to believe that God is "in" all things because then everyone would have reason to believe that they were God. When The Shack's "Jesus" states that God is "in" all things, he actually reinforces what Rick Warren has already written in The Purpose Driven Life--that the Bible says God is "in" everything.4 In an online article I wrote titled "The Shack and its New Age Leaven," I discuss this "God in everything" aspect.5

In our brief conversation, the second woman, Jennifer, told me she had discovered something interesting in The Shack and had written a short article about it. She asked if I would be willing to read her article. I told her I would.

Fractal Theory and The Shack
Back home a week later, I found Jennifer's paper in my notebook. I was intrigued by the title--"Fractal Theory in The Shack." In her article, Jennifer explains that during her research she had rented a DVD movie, which she had been told had New Age undertones. She then describes something she discovered in the movie:

In the movie The Seeker a young boy is a chosen one who is to find signs hidden throughout time, which will help fight against the encroaching darkness. I won't go into the plot too much but what I will say is, in the movie, each sign that the boy is to find is known as a fractal. When I heard the term fractal, right away I realized that I had heard that same term somewhere else recently. Later on that day I remembered where I had heard it, The Shack.

Beginning in chapter 9 in The Shack which is titled, "A Long Time Ago in a Garden Far, Far Away," we read about how Sarayu (who represents the Holy Spirit) has created a garden and we learn that the garden is a fractal. We learn about fractals from Sarayu when she says, "A fractal is something considered simple and orderly that is actually composed of repeated patterns no matter how magnified. A fractal is almost infinitely complex. I love fractals, so I put them everywhere."6

Curious about the term "fractal" that was showing up in both The Shack and The Seeker, Jennifer did some research. What she discovered is that the term "fractal" is directly related to what are being called the "new sciences" of "Chaos Theory" and "Fractal Theory." What was of particular interest to me was her finding that fractals are directly linked with the occult phrase "as above, so below"--the same occult/New Age term that Eugene Peterson had mysteriously inserted into his paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer. And now, here was Peterson's endorsement prominently featured on the front cover of The Shack. Given my previously expressed concern about Peterson's use of "as above, so below" in The Message, I found it interesting that "as above, so below" was apparently related to the term fractal in The Shack and that Peterson had so enthusiastically endorsed the book. (This is an excerpt from Chapter 12 of A "Wonderful" Deception.--To continue reading more of this chapter and for endnote material, click here.)

Related Articles:

"Rick Warren, Leonard Sweet, and Sweet's "New Light" Leaders"

"Chief Saddleback Apologist Defends New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet"


Lighthouse Trails and Twitter
by Editors at Lighthouse Trails

Lighthouse Trails Twitter account has closed due to inappropriate content on Twitter's "Trending Topics" which automatically posts on every account. We may return to Twitter in the future if the "Trending Topics" category is removed or given as an option rather than being automatic. 


L.A. Episcopal Leaders Nominate 2 Openly Gay, Lesbian Priests as Bishops
by Apprising Ministries

The L.A. Times reported this yesterday:
Episcopal Church leaders in Los Angeles today nominated an openly gay priest and an openly lesbian priest as bishops, becoming one of the first dioceses in the national church to test a controversial new policy that lifted a de facto ban on gays and lesbians in the ordained hierarchy.

The nominations of the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool of a Baltimore-based diocese are likely to further inflame theological conservatives in the U.S. church and their global partners in the Anglican Communion, who have repeatedly warned about the repercussions of such action...
Again, mainstream evangelicalism gets another peek at its own impending future. Click here for source.


Why Rick Warren Should Not Tell Rob Bell: "Just wanted to encourage you to ignore critics"

"I try to learn from critics."--Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, 1995, p. 69.

On August 4th, it was reported by Transplant Ministries (a radio ministry that "follows," but is opposed to, Rick Warren on Twitter) that Rick Warren sent the following message to emergent leader, Rob Bell: @RickWarren: "thenoomaguy Hey Rob, Just wanted to encourage you to ignore critics. If you weren't impacting & making a difference, they'd ignore you. rick." The message was allegedly meant to go out only to Rob Bell but was apparently sent out to over 17,000 Twitter followers. If Rick Warren did indeed send this message to Rob Bell, is there any valid reason why America's most popular evangelical pastor should not have done that? The following from Roger Oakland's book, Faith Undone, answers that question. Keep in mind too that the spirituality of Rob Bell is the same as the spirituality of Leonard Sweet. And when one understands that Rick Warren resonates with Leonard Sweet (see A "Wonderful" Deception for that documentation), it is easier to understand why he would encourage Rob Bell to ignore his critics. Sadly, Calvary Chapel's Greg Laurie recently shared a platform with Leonard Sweet (at the 2009 National Worship Conference) and will be speaking at Saddleback on August 9th. In addition, Calvary Chapel recently had Mike Erre (pastor of Rock Harbor) who has publicly promoted the spirituality of Leonard Sweet, speak to their young people. These are not good signs for Calvary Chapel, who in the past stated they would not be going toward the new spirituality.

"The Next Billy Graham?"
by Roger Oakland (from Faith Undone)

In a Chicago Sun-Times article, the headline reads, "The Next Billy Graham?" At first glance, someone like Rick Warren or Luis Palau might come to mind. But neither of those were who the reporter had in mind. Instead, Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill (Michigan), is named as a possible successor. While that may seem unlikely to many, the article quotes Brian McLaren as saying it "very well could be true."1 And in January 2007, Bell was named number ten in the "50 Most Influential Christians in America," coming in as more "influential" than Rick Warren (#16) and Luis Palau (#15).2

Bell, a graduate of Wheaton College (the same as Billy Graham), is the producer for short films called Noomas (derived from the word Pneuma, meaning breath or spirit.) In his Nooma film called Breathe, Bells states: "Each day we take around 26,000 breaths ... Our breathing should come from our stomach, not our chest."3

This sounds fairly benign at first glance. But in a 2004 Christianity Today article titled "Emergent Mystique," Bell says, "We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life."4 Is Bell just trying to sound postmodern and culturally relevant when he says this, or does he really believe that Christianity is an Eastern religion? The answer to that question can be found in two people with whom Bell strongly resonates.

In Bell's Velvet Elvis, in the "Endnotes" section, Bell recommends Ken Wilber (whom I mentioned in chapter two as one of Leonard Sweet's "New Light" teachers). Of Wilber, Bell states:

For a mind-blowing introduction to emergence theory and divine creativity, set aside three months and read Ken Wilber's A Brief History of Everything.5
Ken Wilber was raised in a conservative Christian church, but at some point he left that faith and is now a major proponent of Buddhist mysticism. His book that Bell recommends, A Brief History of Everything, is published by Shambhala Publications, named after the term that in Buddhism means the mystical abode of spirit beings. Wilber is one of the most respected and highly regarded theoreticians in the New Age movement today.

Wilber is perhaps best known for what he calls integral theory. On his website, he has a chart called the Integral Life Practice Matrix, which lists several activities one can practice "to authentically exercise all aspects or dimensions of your own being-in-the-world."6 Here are a few of the spiritual activities that Wilber promotes: yoga, Zen, centering prayer, kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), TM, tantra (Hindu-based sexuality), and kundalini yoga. There are others of this nature, as well. A Brief History of Everything discusses these practices (in a favorable light) as well.

For Rob Bell to say that Wilber's book is "mind-blowing" and readers should spend three months in it leaves no room for doubt regarding Rob Bell's spiritual sympathies. What is alarming is that so many Christian venues, such as Christian junior high and high schools, are using Velvet Elvis and the Noomas.

Wilber's integral theory (history of everything) is the same as Leonard Sweet's Theory of Everything,7 which in essence is God in everything. And that is what Rob Bell means when he says "emergence theory and divine creativity." In the section of his book where he refers to Wilber in a footnote, Bell says the following:
Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The next verse is significant: "The land produced vegetation." Notice that it doesn't say, "God produced vegetation." God empowers the land to do something. He gives it the capacity to produce trees and shrubs and plants and bushes that produce fruit and seeds. God empowers creation to make more.8
While that might sound a little obscure, this is an example of "divine creativity" that Bell mentions in his book--creation (including man) is co-creating with God, and the reason is that all creation is divine. Everything is God. Of course, we know from Scripture that this is not true. As you read on in Faith Undone, the significance of this will unfold.

On March 19, 2006, Bell unveiled a little more about his spiritual beliefs. He invited a Dominican sister to speak at his church. He said as he introduced her, "I have a friend who has taught me so much about resting in the presence of God."9 During the service, Bell and the sister led the congregation in various meditative exercises.

The sister who spoke at Mars Hill during that service is from the Dominican Center at Marywood in Michigan where a wide variety of contemplative/mystical practices are used and taught.10 One of the practices at the Center is Reiki (similar to therapeutic touch). The belief behind Reiki is that everything in the universe is united together through energy. In Japan, the word reiki is the standard term for the occult (or ghost energy). It is ghost energy because when Reiki is practiced, spirit guides are reached. William Lee Rand, the head of the International Center for Reiki Training, states:
There are higher sources of help you can call on. Angels, beings of light and Reiki spirit guides as well as your own enlightened self are available to help you.... The more you can open to the true nature of Reiki which is to have an unselfish heart centered desire to help others, then the more the Reiki spirit guides can help you.11
Reiki is becoming very popular in the Western world. In the United States alone, there are now over one million Reiki practitioners.12 If Reiki gains a foothold into Christianity, Rob Bell's statement "We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion" could be very accurate in the sense that Eastern religion (i.e., mysticism) is quickly becoming a qualifier for mainstream Christianity. (from chapter 7, Faith Undone)

Related Article:
Rick Warren, Leonard Sweet, and Sweet's "New Light" Leaders

1. Cathleen Falsani, citing Brian McLaren in "Maverick minister taps new generation" (Chicago Sun Times, June 4, 2006, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20060604/ai_n16455238/pg_1).
2. "The 50 Most Influential Christians" (The Church Report, January 2007, http://www.thechurchreport.com/mag_ article. php? mid =875&mname=January).
3. Cathleen Falsani citing Rob Bell, "Maverick minister taps new generation."
4. Andy Crouch citing Rob Bell, "Emergent Mystique" (Christianity Today, November 2004).
5. Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), p. 192.
6. From Ken Wilber's website, http://www.kenwilber.com/personal/ILP/MyILP.html.
7. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 11.
8. Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis, p. 157.
9. Quote from the March 19, 2006 service at Mars Hill. Audio file of this service was available on Mars Hill website: http://www.marshill.org/teaching.
10. See Dominican Center at Marywood: http://www.dominican center.com/Bodywork/432.
11. William Lee Rand, "Developing Your Reiki Practice" (International Center for Reiki Training, http://www.reiki.org/ReikiPractice/PracticeHomepage.html).
12. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 13.



Visualization or Imaginative Prayer
by David Cloud
from his book, Contemplative Mysticism

Visualization or imaginative prayer is becoming popular throughout evangelicalism.

Jesuit priest Anthony de Mello calls it "fantasy prayer" and says that many of the Catholic saints practiced it (Sadhana: A Way to God, pp. 79, 82, 93). Francis of Assisi imagined taking Jesus down from the cross; Anthony of Padua imagined holding the baby Jesus in his arms and talking with him; Teresa of Avila imagined herself with Jesus in His agony in the garden.

This type of thing is an integral part of the spiritual exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. The practitioner is instructed to walk into biblical and extra-biblical historical scenes through the imagination and bring the scene to life by applying all five senses, seeing the events, hearing what people are saying, smelling things, and touching things--all within the realm of pure imagination. He is even to put himself into the scene, talking to the people and serving them. Ignatius encourages practitioners, for example, to imagine themselves present at Jesus' birth and crucifixion.

Consider some excerpts from Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises:

"Imagine Christ our Lord present before you upon the cross, and begin to speak with him ..." (First Week, 53).

"Here it will be to see in imagination the length, breadth, and depth of hell. ... to see in imagination the vast fires, and the souls enclosed ... to hear the wailing ... with the sense of smell to perceive the smoke ... to taste the bitterness ... to touch the flames" (First Week, fifth exercise, 65-70).

"I will see and consider the Three Divine Persons, seated on the royal dais or throne of the Divine Majesty ... I will see our Lady and the angel saluting her. ... [I will see] our Lady, St. Joseph, the maid, and the Child Jesus after His birth. I will make myself a poor little unworthy slave, and as though present, look upon them, contemplate them, and serve them..." (Second Week, 106, 114).

"While one is eating, let him imagine he sees Christ our Lord and His disciples at table, and consider how He eats and drinks, how He looks, how He speaks, and then strive to imitate Him" (Third Week, 214).

Thomas Merton gave an example of this in his book Spiritual Direction and Meditation. He said the individual can use this technique to communicate with the infant Jesus in His nativity.

"In simple terms, the nativity of Christ the Lord in Bethlehem is not just something that I make present by fantasy. Since He is the eternal Word of God before whom time is entirely and simultaneously present, the Child born at Bethlehem 'sees' me here and now. That is to say, I 'am' present to His mind' then.' It follows that I can speak to Him as to one present not only in fantasy but in actual reality. This spiritual contact with the Lord is the real purpose of meditation" (p. 96).

Merton claims that this type of thing is not "fantasy," but it is nothing else but fantasy. It is true that Christ is eternal, but nowhere are we taught by the Lord or His apostles and prophets that we should try to imagine such a conversation. Click here to read this entire article.


Will the Intelligent Design Movement Bring People to Jesus Christ?
This is just two parts of a nine-part series by Dr. Whitcomb. See link below.

By Dr. John C. Whitcomb
Creationist from Whitcomb Ministries

Do we really think that we can change the hearts and minds of men by the overwhelming logic and evidences for the intelligent design of the living world and the universe around us?

At the end of the 20th century, the academic world was hearing more and more about IDM - the Intelligent Design Movement. It was the proposition that the biological world could not have come into existence by mere undirected time and chance. Upon closer inspection, under the lenses of powerful microscopes hitherto unimaginable, irreducible, specified complexity came to light within the cells of living things.

Thus, Charles Darwin and his followers were in total error when they assumed that living cells were simple blobs of protoplasm that could easily "evolve" from lifeless chemicals floating in the earth's ancient oceans. As one writer expressed it, the actual, incomprehensible, incomparable complexity of the cell was therefore a "black box" to Darwin! The Intelligent Design Movement claims many outstanding scientists and philosophers. They have discovered new ways of detecting signs of intelligence, just like detectives looking for clues or archaeologists searching for undeniably human artifacts. In fact, the federal government has even sponsored an expensive program - SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), with the expectation that they can determine whether someone - rather than merely something - is really out there!

Of course, there have been thousands of scientists - and thinking people in general - who have seen intelligent design in all of the living world. In fact, only a tiny minority of people have ever been consistent atheists! For centuries, it has been recognized that blind, purposeless, meaningless chance could never have produced human minds. If that were the case, then an atheist would have no reason to expect people to believe that what he says is really true! It really requires profound faith to be an evolutionist. No one has explained how the first speck of life could have evolved from lifeless chemicals. Nothing is evolving today. The famous Second Law of Thermodynamics describes a universe that is everywhere and always going downward to cosmic collapse, not upward to higher complexity.

There are trillions of fossils of plants, marine creatures, insects, reptiles and mammals in the earth's crust, but no transitional forms connecting lower forms to higher forms have ever been found. Mutations are harmful, if not deadly. "Natural selection" can only select from living things that are here now; it cannot explain how the hundreds of thousands of living kinds got here in the first place. Complex body parts, such as legs and wings, require massive genetic information; but evolutionism has no concept of where such information came from.

Richard Dawkins, professor of the public understanding of science at the University of Oxford, perhaps the world's most prominent atheistic evolutionist, admits that "living objects... look designed, they look overwhelmingly as if they were designed... Biology is the study of complicated things which give the impression of having been designed for a purpose." To which John Lennox, professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, replied: "Such statements provoke the question: Why? After all, if it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, why not call it a duck? Why are such scientists not prepared to draw the obvious inference, and say that living things look as if they are designed precisely because they are designed?" (God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? [Oxford, England: Lion Hudson, 2007], p. 77).

The Intelligent Design Movement has been widely popularized by Philip E. Johnson, (professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley) in his books, beginning with Darwin on Trial in 1991.

Dr. Johnson, considered by many to be the chief architect of IDM, has clearly demonstrated that neo-Darwinian, materialistic evolutionism (which presupposes atheistic naturalism) simply cannot explain the nearly infinite complexity of living things. By inserting "the wedge" of Intelligent Design into the biological sciences, he is quite hopeful that materialistic naturalism will be uprooted in universities and public schools, and that science and sociology textbooks will be purged of evolutionary distortions.

These are noble goals; and most of the argumentation of IDM books is, to this extent, on target. Every Christian should applaud legitimate efforts to restore sanity and reality to the study of ultimate origins in our public schools, our universities and even in many of our "Christian" colleges.

The tragedy of the ID movement, however, it that it stops very far short of honoring God's written revelation, the Bible. In fact, the book of Genesis as literal history seems to be an embarrassment to most of these scholars.

Sadly, Johnson raised high the banner of religious neutrality for the entire ID movement when he said: "For the present I recommend that we put the biblical issues to one side. The last thing we should want to do or seem to want to do is to threaten the freedom of scientific inquiry. Bringing the Bible anywhere near this issue just raises the 'Inherit the Wind' stereotype and closes minds instead of opening them. We can wait until we have a better scientific theory, one genuinely based on unbiased empirical evidence and not materialistic philosophy, before we need to worry about whether and to what extent that theory is consistent with the Bible" ("How to Sink a Battleship," in Mere Creation: Science, Faith and Intelligent Design, Wm. A. Dembski, ed. [Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1998], p. 453).

But how can we really help people understand the enormously crucial issue of our ultimate origin if we "put the biblical issues to one side"? Would listening to our God speak to us in His written revelation "threaten the freedom of scientific inquiry"? Would "bringing the Bible anywhere near this issue" actually "(close) minds instead of opening them"? And how long do we have to "wait until we have a better scientific theory . . . before we need to worry about whether and to what extent that theory is consistent with the Bible"?

Four years later, Johnson insisted: "Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, 'Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?' and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do. They'll ask, 'What do you think of Noah's flood?' or something like that. Never bite on such questions because they'll lead you into a trackless wasteland and you'll never get out of it" ("Berkeley's Radical: An Interview with Phillip E. Johnson" in Touchstone 15:5 [June, 2002], p. 41).

Is the "Bible-science dichotomy" something that God's people should be afraid of? Is it really God's plan for the true church to modify His creation message so that we "can get it heard in the secular academy"? Will such a drastic compromise really "unify the religious dissenters"? Are the magnitude and effects of the global flood of Genesis 6-9 part of a "trackless wasteland" into which we should refuse to be "sidetracked"? Click here to read Parts 3-9

For information on the "new science" that is seeking to "prove" that God is an energy which inhabits all things, read A "Wonderful" Deception by Warren Smith.



Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth?
by Kjos Ministries

LTRP Note:
The following from Berit Kjos is from her book A Twist of Faith, which identifies and warns against "goddess spirituality." Keep in mind that The Shack and Sue Monk Kidd's book, The Secret Life of Bees (recently made into a movie) carry the "goddess spirituality" theme within their pages through the Black Madonna figure.

We should not underestimate the impact these books (and their spiritual overtones) are having on millions of people. It can be subtle at first, but remember what happened to Sue Monk Kidd: she started out as a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher. After she was introduced to the writings of Thomas Merton, her spiritual outlook began to change. Eventually, she came to believe that the God of the Bible was not the true God and that a feminine goddess (one which dwelt in all things - even graffitti on a wall) was. Is it any wonder that Lighthouse Trails became alarmed to see David Jeremiah favorably talking about Sue Monk Kidd in his book Life Open Wide and saying that she was one of a handful of people who had learned the secret to a "passionate" life?

If you have not read some of our material regarding Sue Monk Kidd, The Shack, and David Jeremiah's book, we urge you to do so. The spiritual welfare of your loved ones may be at stake. (see links at bottom of this post)

"Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother on Earth?"
by Berit Kjos

This first chapter summarizes our concern for women and the church today. Please take a look at the massive cultural movement that is enticing God's people to twist His Word and to trust feelings and experience rather than on His unchanging truth. The result is deception, disappointment, depression, and despair. But God shows us the way back to His peace and protection.

Peggy's struggles seemed endless. She wanted to be close to God, but she rarely felt His presence. She wanted her teenage son to love Him, but the occult posters in his room became daily reminders of unanswered prayer. She joined a Christian ministry, but satisfying fellowship with God kept eluding her. Eventually she left the ministry to return to college.

She called me a few years later. She had begun to find herself, she said. Her search had led her beyond the familiar voices that had provided "pat answers" to her spiritual questions. The Biblical God no longer seemed either relevant or benevolent, but a college teacher had been helpful in her journey toward self-discovery. This teacher-counselor called herself a witch -- one who believes in the power of magic formulas and rituals to invoke power from spiritual forces.

Some years passed. When Peggy called again, she had left her husband and moved away. "I had to find me," she explained. "My spiritual journey has opened my eyes to a whole new paradigm . . . ."

"A new paradigm?"

"Yes. A brand new way of seeing God and myself -- and everything else. It's like being born again."

"Who is Jesus Christ to you now?" I asked.

"He is a symbol of redemption," she answered. "But I haven't rejected the Bible. I'm only trying to make my spiritual experience my own. I have to hear my own voice and not let someone else choose for me. Meanwhile, I'm willing to live with confusion and mystery. I feel like I'm in God's hands whether God is He, She, or It."

Can you identify with Peggy? Or do you have friends on similar journeys? Like millions of other seekers, Peggy longs for practical spirituality, a sense of identity, a community of like-minded seekers, and a God she can feel. She remembers meaningful Bible verses, but they have lost their appeal as guidelines. Somehow the Bible no longer fits her thinking or her personal wants.

She wonders why God isn't more tolerant and broad-minded. After all, He is the God of love, isn't He? Maybe a feminine deity would be more compassionate, understanding, and relevant to women. Perhaps it's time to move beyond the old boundaries of Biblical truth into the boundless realms of dreams, visions, and self-discovery?

Multitudes have. What used to be sparsely traveled sideroads to New Age experiences have become cultural freeways to self-made spirituality. Masses of church women drift onto these mystical superhighways where they adapt their former beliefs to today's more "inclusive" views. After all, they are told, peace in a pluralistic world demands a more open-minded look at all religions and cultures.

Those who agree can find countless paths to self-discovery and personal empowerment through books, magazines, and new kinds of women's group. They meet at the YWCA, in bookstores, in traditional churches, at retreat centers, living rooms . . . anywhere. Here, strange new words and practices such as "enneagrams," labyrinths, Sophia Circles, and "critical mass" -- offer modern formulas for spiritual transformation. Therapists, facilitators and spiritual directors promise "safe places" where seekers can discover their own truth, learn new rituals, affirm each other's experiences, and free themselves from old "boxes" and boundaries.

Perhaps you are part of such a group. You may have friends or relatives who are exploring these new paths. Or you may be among those who wonder how those weird, mystical activities could possibly touch your life. Unlike the women seeking truth in pagan circles, you may know your destination and feel no need for spiritual alternatives. You're safe in your family, in your church, and among your personal friends.

Are you sure? This new spiritual movement is transforming our churches as well as our culture. It touches every family that reads newspapers, watches television, and sends children to community schools. It is fast driving our society beyond Christianity, beyond humanism -- even beyond relativism -- toward new global beliefs and values. No one is immune to its subtle pressures and silent promptings. That it parallels other social changes and global movements only speeds the transformation. Yet, most Christians -- like the proverbial frog -- have barely noticed.

This feminist movement demands new deities or, at least, a rethinking of the old ones. So the search for a "more relevant" religion calls for new visions of God: images that trade holiness for tolerance, the heavenly for the earthly, and the God who is above us for a god who is us.

The most seductive images are feminine. They may look like postcard angels, fairy godmothers, Greek earth goddesses, radiant New Age priestesses, or even a mythical Mary, but they all promise unconditional love, peace, power and personal transcendence. To many, they seem too good to refuse. To continue ...

Important Related Information:

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David Jeremiah Promotes Sue Monk Kidd

Understanding the Spirituality of Sue Monk Kidd


Shootings of Tel Aviv Teens Denounced by Mission America
by Linda Harvey (Mission America)

"Shootings of Tel Aviv Teens Denounced by Mission America"
Urges Fairness to Conservative View

Contact: Linda Harvey, President, Mission America, 614-442-7998, lpharvey@missionamerica.com

MEDIA ADVISORY, Aug. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- Mission America denounces the murder of two teenagers and the wounding of many others who were visiting a "gay" youth center in Tel Aviv, Israel. President Linda Harvey said this:

"We are deeply saddened by this violent act and the deaths of these young people, and pray for the perpetrator to be found and brought to justice.

"At the same time, it is deplorable this incident is already being used by the homosexual community to blame this act on those holding a traditional moral viewpoint. Israelis, just as anyone else on earth, should still have the right to oppose homosexuality for religious or other reasons without being called accessories to murder. The motive is still unknown; why engage in slanderous speculation?

"Are those who bravely stand up against the deviance of homosexuality--which violates the dignity and worth of those involved -- responsible for all crime against those drawn to the lifestyle? This kind of bigotry has no place in a civilized society and is wildly irresponsible, unjust and inaccurate."

Mission America (www.missionamerica.com) is a Christian organization that has worked for over a decade to expose the harmful "gay" agenda directed at youth, and maintains that homosexuality is not an inborn condition. Such claims are without scientific merit . Those who have same sex attractions should see them as a sinful disorder, yet one that can be overcome. Thousands of admitted ex-homosexuals show the ever-present hope for change.

"It's tragic that any teens go to these centers, and we remain unequivocally opposed to their purpose, which is to legitimize this behavior and draw young people into claiming a homosexual identity, often without parental involvement or knowledge. " Harvey said. "Yet the reason we have for our opposition, is because of the harm homosexuality will do in these precious lives. I don't know any pro-family conservatives who would wish more harm to come into these young lives. We are in the business of trying to help them avoid risks simply by proclaiming there's a better way."

She added, "No one needs to be involved in homosexuality, but unfortunately, these two young people can no longer hear that message.

"Our greatest hope for all youth is that they live long and healthy lives. These kids' chance to do that has been stolen from them. Our prayers are with their families in this time of loss." 


Lighthouse Trails New Catalog

Lighthouse Trails Publishing's new product catalog is back from press. It is posted now online at: www.lighthousetrails.com/2009catalog.pdf.
2009 New Releases
Emerging Church
Apologetic Biographies
Remembering the Holocaust
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"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven
given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4: 12