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Coming from the Lighthouse Exposing the Dangers of Contemplative Spirituality
February 2005 Issue

Greetings!

In this issue, we try to show further alignment between Purpose Driven and the contemplative prayer movement through our Saddleback article.

If you missed last month's special Alert, showing Rick Warren's involvement with the National Pastor's Convention in which labyrinths, yoga and contemplative prayer were taught, you can view that on our news page. We post all past issues on that page for your convenience.

While it is not our intention to be unkind or ungracious, we are compelled to speak up against that which negates the message that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, a belief that is becoming increasingly unpopular and rejected, even by many who call themselves Christians. It is important to remember that the entire premise of contemplative spirituality is that all paths lead to God. Thus as Purpose Driven, Willow Creek, Youth Specialties, Emerging Church and others draw closer and closer into unity with this belief system, a growing number of you have become compelled and persuaded by God to speak up. We humbly applaud your efforts and hope we can assist you in some small way in your work to bring light into darkness.

In This Issue
  • Contemplative Prayer and the Evangelical Church by Ray Yungen
  • Dallas Willard - Equally Yoked with Contemplatives?
  • Reiki, Thomas Merton and Richard Foster - Tied Together!
  • Saddleback is Leading Thousands Towards Contemplative Prayer
  • Lighthouse Watch
       Who is Ruth Haley Barton??
  • Amazing Quotes
  • Time Magazine - 25 Most Influential Evangelicals.
  • This Month's Spotlight Ministry

  • Contemplative Prayer and the Evangelical Church by Ray Yungen
    Ray Yungen author

    There is a practice that is becoming more and more popular within the evangelical church. It is called contemplative prayer or centering prayer. Youth organizations and seminaries are particularly drawn to this, thus impacting the Christian youth in this country. Furthermore, there is a snowballing effect wherein contemplative prayer is being accepted and endorsed by more and more evangelical leaders, often based not on their own experience and understanding but rather on the word of other respected leaders who in turn may not have fully researched this subject.


    Dallas Willard - Equally Yoked with Contemplatives?


    Reiki, Thomas Merton and Richard Foster - Tied Together!

    Anyone familiar with the work of - or the thought of - [Thomas Merton] will find compatibility and resonance with the theory and practices of Reiki. Reiki comes from Buddhism, and as one Merton scholar wrote, "The God he [Merton] knew in prayer was the same experience that Buddhists describe in their enlightenment." This is why it is so important to understand the connection between the writings of [Richard] Foster and [Brennan] Manning with Merton. -- Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, pp. 89- 90.


    Saddleback is Leading Thousands Towards Contemplative Prayer

    On Rick Warren's Saddleback Church web site, under recommended resources, he lists the pro-contemplative magazine by NavPress called Discipleship Journal.

    So what exactly is Discipleship Journal?

    Take a look at a few of these DJ articles ...


    1. Lessons in Prayer from the Great Spiritual Mentors by Timothy Jones: "I had gone on a personal spiritual retreat at a monastery; while there I picked up a card printed with a prayer by Thomas Merton . . . I worked to make Merton's prayer my own." more

    2. The Listening Side of Prayer by Stacey Padrick: "I have learned to hear His voice through listening prayer-what some call contemplative prayer ... I slowly inhale, saying to myself Jesus' name, and with each exhalation I release a fear or worry that is on my mind. Then, I continue to think on Jesus' name, yet each time I exhale I think on a characteristic of Jesus." entire article

    3. Introducing Lectio Devina
    by Luke Dysinger:

    Other topics in Discipleship Journal, right into the hearts of the world through Rick Warren:


    Lighthouse Watch
    Who is Ruth Haley Barton??

    Alerting Believers to Dangers
    in Their Midst.


    Ruth Haley Barton is the former associate director of spiritual formation at Willow Creek Community Church. Here what she says about contemplative prayer: "Ask for a simple prayer to express your willingness to meet God in the silence -- a simple statement -- such as "Here I am." -- Help yourself return to your original intent by repeating the prayer that you have chosen." -Ruth Haley Barton (Quotes taken from Discipleship Journal Vol. 113 1999 )


    Amazing Quotes

    "The first time I introduced this, the kids came in, and I had a candle going and a little incense burning and some Gregorian chant music on the CD player"
    Tony Jones, Emerging Church leader

    'The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart . Henri Nouwen

    "We need to become aware of the Cosmic Christ, which means recognizing that every being has within it the light of Christ."
    Matthew Fox, author of Coming of the Cosmic Christ


    "Christians -- have developed two fundamental expressions of Unceasing Prayer. The first -- is usually called aspiratory prayer or breath prayer. The most famous of the breath prayers is the Jesus Prayer. It is also possible to discover your own individual breath prayer -- Begin praying your breath prayer as often as possible."Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline


    "The great mass of people . . . will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one. . . It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them." Adolph Hitler


    Time Magazine - 25 Most Influential Evangelicals.

    Number One Most Influential - Rick Warren
    Others include: Bill Hybels (Willow Creek)
    Brian McLaren (Emerging Church Movement)
    These three men represent the three main avenues through which contemplative prayer is racing into Christendom.


    This Month's Spotlight Ministry

    Steve Muse of Eastern Regional Watch Ministries has done a great job gathering essential information in the form of articles, links and other solid documentation. His topics range from emerging spirituality to contemplative prayer and include everything from Purpose Driven to cults and the occult. Steve is staying on top of the latest and isn't afraid to exhort Christians to stand firm in the faith. Well done Steve. You have an invaluable web ministry.


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    Quick Links to Important Information

    Testimony Books We Recommend

    Other Books We Recommend - Books of Warning

    Rick Warren and Community Connections by Let Us Reason Ministries

    Index for Richard Foster Research Pages - More Than You Can Imagine.

    Index of our Research Topics

    Lighthouse Trails Publishing - Shedding Light in Areas of Darkness

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