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Coming from the Lighthouse           HOME Exposing the Dangers of Contemplative Spirituality
March 2005 Issue

Interspirituality means a blending together of all religions. The very term itself contradicts biblical Christianity, for Jesus Christ said there was only one path to God, only one door, and He is that door. Once we start to understand interspirituality, we will be able to see how it is racing into the world at an alarming speed.

In this issue, we are talking about interspirituality, hoping to show the vehicle through which it enters. That vehicle? Mysticism. Or in other words contemplative spirituality. Whether it is called TM, yoga, centering, or contemplative prayer, the method is the same and most definitely the results are the same. The method? Mantra meditation. The results? Great spiritual deception.

In This Issue
  • Interspirituality - The Outcome of Contemplative     Prayer
  • Robert Schuller - A Dilemma for Rick Warren
  • Mysticism Molds the Mainstream - News Article
  • Will the Real Brian McLaren Please Stand Up?
  • Lighthouse Watch
  • Amazing Quotes on Interspirituality
  • National Pastor's Convention 2005 - They've Done      It Again!
  • Finding Contemplative Prayer in Places You     Wouldn't Expect!
  • This Month's Spotlight Ministry

  • Robert Schuller - A Dilemma for Rick Warren

    This past January, Robert Schuller held his 2005 Leadership Institute conference, a four-day event. In light of recent statements made by Saddleback representatives, in which they told of Rick Warren's distancing from Robert Schuller because of his increasingly liberal and universalistic beliefs, we find it intriguing to see the line up of speakers at this year's Schuller event. They include Jack Hayford, leading pastor and speaker for the Foursquare denomination, Bill Hybels of Willow Creek and Bruce Wilkinson, author of Prayer of Jabez.

    Does this mean these leading evangelicals are of Schuller's persuasion? Surely if Schuller were truly universalist as Saddleback claims (and we happen to believe) and Rick Warren is distancing himself from Schuller because of it, won't Rick Warren have to also now distance himself from Bill Hybels, Bruce Wilkinson, and many other mainstream Christian leaders? But how can he do that when they are all using his Purpose-Driven curriculum?

    One can say that just because Rick Warren's buddies and colleagues are universalist doesn't mean he is. But in all fairness to the body of Christ, shouldn't Rick Warren send out a warning, knowing that universalism is a complete contradiction to biblical Christianity? Will he continue to support and stand by Bill Hybels and Bruce Wilkinson? Well maybe not. After all, he has distanced himself (at least publicly) from long time friend and mentor Robert Schuller, from whom he received much of his training and influence. So maybe he will indeed be able to denounce Hybels and Wilkinson. Hopefully there wasn't any oath or pledge signed that bound their friendship together. Incidentally, we have received information that some pastors who want to turn their churches into official Purpose Driven churches are heading to Robert Schuller Institute for further training. We're just wondering how Rick Warren feels about that. Isn't that kind of like cooking a McDonald's hamburger on the Burger King grills?

    Mysticism Molds the Mainstream - News Article

    Kabbalah, Rumi, labyrinths, centering prayer. Thousands of Americans are exploring the mystical aspects of their own faith and others.' Although no studies have been done, scholars and experts cite anecdotal evidence that interest in mysticism has been steadily increasing. Judaism, Roman Catholicism and Islam have long traditions in mysticism, and it is officially accepted doctrine in the Catholic Church. Mainline Protestantism has comparatively [little] background in mysticism, yet experts say that is where mysticism is gaining the most ground.

    Will the Real Brian McLaren Please Stand Up?

    It is common knowledge now that most people consider Brian McLaren the main leader of the emerging church movement. And Time Magazine even named him one of 25 top evangelical leaders. But his name is showing up on the back covers of some very questionable books - books that declare Christianity is "too limiting," books that suggest interspirituality is indeed possible and a soon-to-be reality.

    While we understand that Brian claims to be a Christian, these ideas are anything but biblical. We have only one question for Brian McLaren: "Will the real Brian McLaren please stand up?"

    Brian McLaren and His Connections to Interspirituality:

  • On the back cover of Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz: Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality.

  • Lighthouse Watch

    This April, at the Hawaiian Island Ministries Conference Tony Campolo, Bruce Willkinson (Prayer of Jabez), John Ortberg and Robert Schuller's Dan Chun will come together to teach. What do these men all have in common? Mysticism (i.e. contemplative prayer)

    Amazing Quotes on Interspirituality

    "A 'highest common factor' links the world's religious traditions [through] 'the metaphysic that recognizes a divine reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds.'"—Ronald S. Miller and the Editors of the New Age Journal, As Above, So Below

    "I 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."Brian McLaren (leader of the Emerging Church movement), A Generous Orthodoxy

    "The rise of community among cultures and religious traditions ... makes possible what we can call 'interspirituality': the assimilation of insights, values, and spiritual practices from the various religions and their application to one's own inner life and development.
    —Monk Wayne Teasdale who coined the term "interspirituality," The Community of Religions

    "I want to be the best Buddhist I can be." -Thomas Merton

    "As a movement, those who practice contemplative prayer, on the whole, tend to develop spiritual kinship to other religions, especially Buddhism." -Ray Yungen

    National Pastor's Convention 2005 - They've Done It Again!

    As if last year wasn't bad enough at the National Pastor's Convention where Rick Warren spoke right after a workshop on Yoga, which happened to follow a labyrinth and contemplative prayer exercises, this year may be even "better" than last year. Here's a partial line up of the schedule for 2005.

    Is your pastor or someone you know attending this convention? For the sake of your congregation, we hope not!

    Finding Contemplative Prayer in Places You Wouldn't Expect!

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    Interspirituality - The Outcome of Contemplative Prayer
    While the majority of Christendom has been seduced and mesmerized by Purpose-Driven, mysticism, the emerging church and a watered-down gospel, interspirituality is on the move. Evangelical leaders as well as New Age gurus and other religious leaders across the world are joining in this effort to find common ground, thus they hope, peace and unity.

    Wayne Teasdale, a monk who coined the term interspirituality, said, "[I]nterspirituality: a crossing-over boundaries that mysticism makes possible and concrete. The spiritual common ground which exists among the world's religions will be identified, and its theological implications suggested." In other words, mysticism (i.e. contemplative prayer) is the common element that unites all religions. According to Teasdale, who believed truth and God could be found outside of the Christian faith, that it is the bridge which unites all.

    Tony Campolo, a leading evangelical author and speaker says in his book, Speaking My Mind: "[M]ysticism [contemplative prayer]provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam."—
    And we mustn't forget the words of Tilden Edwards, founder of the very contemplative Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation who said contemplative prayer is the bridge between Christianity and Far Eastern religions.

    Why do these men say this? Do they know something that many others don't? Yes, they do. They know that going into the silence, into the altered state of consciousness takes the practitioner into a spiritual realm. They believe this realm is God, Divinity. And they believe anyone can enter this realm.That is why Campolo said mysticism is the link between Christianity and Islam. He believes the same God is reached.

    While the push for interspirituality grows at alarming speeds throughout the world, born-again believers are going to be pushed outside of the organized evangelical church and considered to be the main obstacle from bringing the world into unity and peace. It's happened before in history, and it appears to be happening again.

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