spirituality has taken churches around the world by storm.
This "new" spirituality is coming through many avenues:
the seeker-friendly and church growth movements, the Purpose-Driven
paradigm, colleges and seminaries, the emerging church movement
and so on. Also called the Spiritual Formation movement,
the results of this corruption of the true gospel are disastrous.
We hope this newsletter will help you defend the precious
faith that is given to us through Jesus Christ, the Light
of the world and man's only path to salvation.We also hope
that pastors and other church leaders will see the danger
and error of contemplative spirituality and return to the
"[T]hat we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro
and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery
of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things
into Him who is the headChrist ..." (Ephesians 4:14,15)
|RICK WARREN - Fundamentalist or Finagler?
By Paul Proctor
Paul Nussbaum recently sent shock waves through a
segment of the Christian community after reporting
the following comments from Pastor Rick Warren in
The Philadelphia Enquirer:
predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will
be 'one of the big enemies of the 21st century.'"
|Brennan Manning Copies Words of New
Brennan Manning's 2003 book, Above All (foreword
written by Michael W. Smith), Manning says the following:
god whose moods alternate between graciousness and
fierce anger ...the god who exacts the last drop
of blood from his Son so that his just anger, evoked
by sin, may be appeased, is not the God revealed
by and in Jesus Christ. And if he is not the God
of Jesus, he does not exist. (p. 58-59)
statement is strikingly similar to contemplative William
Shannon, who said in his 1991 book Silence on Fire:
is the God who exacts the last drop of blood from
His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin,
may be appeased .This God whose moods alternate
between graciousness and fierce anger ... This God
does not exist. (p. 110, Silence on Fire)
and Shannon are not the only ones who write about
God's judgment and Hell in such a manner. It is becoming
increasingly popular and accepted by many Christian
leaders to take this alternative view. Read the following
sacrifice was to appease an angry God. Penal substitution
was the name of this vile doctrine."—Alan
Jones, Reimagining Christianity (p.
168) - Jones is a member of the interspiritual Living
Spiritual Teachers Project
heard me say many times that the greatest thing
you can do with your life is tell somebody about
Jesus ... if you help somebody secure their eternal
destiny, that they spend the rest of their life
in Heaven not Hell ...your life counts, your life
matters because nothing matters more than helping
get a person and their eternal destiny settled.
They will be forever eternally grateful....And I've
always said that that was the greatest thing you
can do with your life. I was wrong. There is one
thing you can do greater than share Jesus Christ
with somebody, and it is help start a church."—Sermon
from 11/2003 when Rick Warren Announced His
Global Peace Plan to Saddleback.
hell is smaller than one pebble ... smaller than
one atom."—Nicky Gumbel, creator of the Alpha
- Chuck Smith Jr. answers
the Question: Do Good People Go to Hell? His
answer: "No one's doctrine is perfect. I suppose
that in some ways, we are all as far from the truth
as the Mormons are from orthodox Christian theology.
We will not have to pass a doctrinal exam to enter
the kingdom of heaven. But we will have to pass
another type of exam (i.e., 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Were we good people? Did we follow Jesus in His
compassion to others?"
Paul is clearly saying is that if anyone is worthy
of being saved, they will be saved. At that point
many Christians get very anxious, saying that absolutely
no one is worthy of being saved. The implication
of that is that a person can be almost totally good,
but miss the message about Jesus, and be sent to
hell. What kind of a God would do that? I am not
going to stand in the way of anyone whom God wants
to save. I am not going to say 'he can't save them.'
I am happy for God to save anyone he wants in any
way he can. It is possible for someone who does
not know Jesus to be saved."*— Dallas
church has been preoccupied with the question, 'What
happens to your soul after you die?' As if the reason
for Jesus coming can be summed up in, 'Jesus is
trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed
to hell, after they die.' I just think a fair reading
of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I don't
think that the entire message and life of Jesus
can be boiled down to that bottom line." - Brian
McLaren, emerging church leader, from PBS
ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and
many there be which go in thereat: Because strait
is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth
unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew
"[H]e who does not enter the sheepfold by the door
but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief
and a robber.... Most assuredly, I say to you, I am
the door of the sheep. If anyone enters by Me, he
will be saved..." - Jesus (John 10)
*While Willard goes on to say that anyone who is going
to be saved has to be saved by Jesus, his earlier
statements cause confusion and are ambiguous.
|INTERSPIRITUALITY WATCH ... National
following is an excerpt from an article written in
February about the evangelical National Prayer Breakfast:
— The annual National Prayer Breakfast will be co-chaired
by Sen. Norm Coleman, the first time in memory that
a Jew will lead the gathering, and at a time when
some rabbis have expressed misgivings about what they
see as the event's overtly Christian tone." Read
|President of Fuller Seminary Willing
to "Think About" Homosexual Marriages.
a recent show on gay marriage, Tippett interviewed
two evangelical Christians, Richard J. Mouw and Virginia
Ramey Mollenkott. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological
Seminary, said he was willing to think about civil
unions for gays but could not reconcile himself to
Are they heading into the Contemplative Camp
Clubs has been a respected and trusted Christian
organization for many years. Countless children have
been Cubbies and Sparkies and have memorized Scripture
through the program.
With so much of the church heading into the contemplative/emergent
camp, also known as the spiritual formation movement,
what a tragedy it would be to see Awana being sucked
into this also. Few things are stable these days ...
is Awana the next to cave in?
it was brought to our attention that Awana's Kevin
White sent out a
notice to an undisclosed number of Awana youth
leaders, letting them know about the Willow
Creek Association's Student Ministries/Next Gen Leadership
Conference (which took place 2/27-3/2). The notice
encouraged leaders to attend and told them where they
doing further research, we have found that Awana Clubs'
connections to contemplative/emerging is not just
Creek. Please see our February 23rd press release for more information
have promoted an unbiblical message that becoming
born-again is the answer to everything. It's not.
It changes your eternity, but it doesn't change your
sexual behavior, for instance. The gospel does not
always have the answer for modern-day dilemmas."Bruce
Wilkinson (author of Prayer of Jabez)
ecstasy. The third phase of contemplative prayer ...
a supernatural trance state ..."Charisma
magazine, Oct. 2004
"The quiet repetition of a single word can
help us to descend with the mind into the heart."Henri
What works for me is a combination of disciplines:
I do yoga, tai chi which is a Chinese martial art
and three kinds of meditation—vipasana, transcendental
and mantra (sound) meditation.Jack
Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul
|Wheaton College Promoting Contemplative
to their mission statement, Wheaton college "exists
to help build the church and improve society worldwide
by promoting the development of whole and effective
Christians through excellence in programs of Christian
And yet, evidence is ample to show that Wheaton has
headed toward contemplative spirituality (the Spiritual
Formation movement). For instance, on February 6th,
the college held an evening session called The
Nature of Spiritual Formation: A Conversation.
Speakers included Glandion Carney from the Renovaré Ministry Team (Richard Foster's organization).
Closing prayer was done by Brother Roger of Taize,
an interspiritual, contemplative organization.
Aside from special events such as
this, Wheaton's website has over 150 documents on
Spiritual Formation, 27 listing for contemplative,
and over a hundred documents on Emerging.
Wheaton promotes contemplative author, Calvin Miller (Into the Depths
of God), as well as Richard Foster, Dallas Willard
and David Steindl-Rast in their SPIRITUAL
FORMATION (Evan. 516) course. Their Evangelism
542, Strategies for Contemporary Evangelism, promotes
the Emerging Church and contemplative spirituality,
using books by authors such as Brian McLaren and Leonard
Sweet. This spring, in their CE 323 Dynamics of
Spiritual Growth course, professor James C. Wilhoit
will be introducing students to "Christian Spiritual
Formation," which will include teaching lectio divina.
Textbooks will include Richard Foster's Celebration
of Discipline and Henri
Nouwen's The Way of the Heart. Part of
Wilhoit's instruction is: "Read Richard Foster’s chapter
on 'Unceasing Prayer' in Prayer, follow his suggestions
for developing a breath prayer, pray it throughout
With Christian colleges holding courses
such as this, it is no wonder that many of today's
young pastors are going contemplative.
on Wheaton College
Contemplative Promoting Colleges
|Lighthouse Watch - Different Terms, Same Spirituality
is a sampling of contemplative spirituality language.
New terms are popping up every day, but they are all
part of the same spirituality:
* Ancient Wisdom
* Sacred Space
* Spiritual Formation
* Experiential Prayer
* Taize Worship
* The Silence
* Spiritual Disciplines
* Breath Prayers
* Lectio Divina
* Centering Prayer
* Spiritual Directors
* Practicing the Presence of God
|Where is Your Kingdom - The Liberal
Tendencies of Christian Leaders
notable evangelicals, including Rick Warren, have
now signed on to the pagan left's environmental agenda
by joining the Global Warming Initiative. Even though
many conservatives found it somewhat strange and out-of-character,
Warren's liberal tendencies didn't come as all that
much of a surprise to those of us who, for years,
have rebuked him and warned others of his Purpose
Driven pretense; theories, techniques, philosophies
and practices that have been liberal all along. ..."
is Your Kingdom, by Paul Proctor
|Columnist Rips Evangelical Leaders
for Becoming 'Trojan Horse' for the Left
Christian columnist says groups that back abortion
rights and same-sex "marriage" are funding the new
evangelical climate initiative signed by Purpose-Driven
Life author Rick Warren and more than 80 other Christian
pastors and leaders." Read Entire Article by Jim Brown, Columnist
Rips Evangelical Leaders for Becoming 'Trojan Horse'
for the Left
|Youth For Christ Teams Up With Youth
Specialties and Contemplative Spirituality
summer, in two locations (DC and LA), a Youth
Specialties and Youth For Christ hosted event
will take place - DCLA.
The event is geared for middle high and high school
students and will allow students to "experience intimate
worship, relevant training, and interaction with thousands
of other students that will lead to life-changing
Just how will this "life-changing impact" happen?
To begin with, "training" will include
the use of a labyrinth.
Speakers for the events include Youth Specialties
President, Mark Oestreicher, and Doug Fields, Youth
Pastor of Saddleback Church.
on Youth Specialties
|The Silence of Spiritual Formation
Formation is just another term for Contemplative
Spirituality. The idea behind Spiritual Formation
is that we need certain practices and disciplines
in order to be like Christ. One of those disciplines
is the practice of the silence. And as many contemplatives
teach, anyone can practice entering the silence and
get results. While the entire premise of the Spiritual
Formation movement is flawed through and through (according
to Scripture), let us look primarily at the discipline
of the silence.
Please note that another one of the spiritual disciplines
is solitude, which is often described by contemplatives
as an outward quietness, a getting away from distractions
such as television and the telephone. Silence, on
the other hand, is described as a stilling of the mind. As Ray
Yungen puts it, it is like putting the mind in
neutral. Witches call this the alpha
state and Laurie Cabot, a well-known witch, calls
it the heart of witchcraft.
Our minds cannot naturally go into a neutral or thoughtless
state without the help of either drugs or some kind
of repetitive practice—thus the reason contemplatives
prayers or a mantra to enter their silence or alpha state.
|National Prayer Breakfast - Interfaith
for the First Time
Abdullah II of Jordan quoted from the Bible and the
Koran in a brief speech to a lunchtime crowd of 2,000
mostly evangelical Christians yesterday, [2/2/06]
invoking 'our Judeo-Christian-Islamic heritage' and
urging moderates of the three great religions to unite."
this point in history, our service to God, our countries
and our peoples demands that we confront extremism
in its myriad forms," he told listeners at the annual
National Prayer Breakfast luncheon at the Washington
Entire Article, Jordan's
King Urges Moderates to Unite
"To overcome this common foe, we must explore the
values that unite us, rather than exaggerating the
misunderstandings that divide us."
|Lighthouse Trails Publishing Website
Has New Look
in our 5th year, Lighthouse
Trails Publishing and Lighthouse
Trails Research Project exist to be a service
to the body of Christ. By the grace of God, we have
been able to publish several
titles these past few years and develop a research
website that has over 320 pages and 10,000 links.
Each of our books has an important and relevant theme
to believers while also presenting the gospel message
throughout the pages.
Christian Leaders Network Together in Dangerous
The Church Communication Network
a network of many of today's top Christian leaders.
A list of Ministry
Partners includes ministries such as Focus
on the Family, Moody Publishers, Campus Crusade
for Christ, Joni Eareckson, and MOPS (Mothers
of Preschoolers), with speakers that include
David Jeremiah, Beth Moore, and Dr. Erwin Lutzer.
Add to that list New Age sympathizer Ken
Blanchard, of Lead
Like Jesus, the emerging-church promoting SonLife
Crabb of the American Association of Christian
Counselors, Thomas Nelson Publishers (who
just released Yoga for Christians), the
Alpha Course, and Willow
Creek Association, and you have a high-powered,
influential network of Christian leaders, most
of whom are promoting contemplative spirituality
to varying degrees. But then it really shouldn't
be any surprise. On the CCN website, "Spiritual
Formation," which is a disguised term for contemplative
spirituality, is included as one of CCN's key
areas of interest and need for today's church.
That would explain why Rick Warren is listed
as one of the CCN
speakers also—Warren calls the Spiritual
Formation movement a valid message and a wake
up call to the church.1
To better understand the reason for concern,
let's look at some of the individual ministries
that make up CCN:
As we have shown in the past, Ken
Blanchard promotes the New Age and contemplative
spirituality through the many book and organization
endorsements he has given to numerous New Agers,
Buddhists, psychics, and so on. His own comments
and his close affiliations with New Age organizations
over the last twenty years up until the present
have no doubt misled many sincere people who
were searching for the truth.
Thomas Nelson Publishers is quickly joining
the fiasco. This year they released a book called Yoga
for Christians. The name says it all. They
have also recently published Chuck Swindoll's
You Want to Be Like Christ, a book that
clearly shows Swindoll's recent persuasions
towards the contemplative.
Alpha Course North American president Todd
Hunter has joined the emerging church/contemplative
ranks as is clear to see by his partnering with Richard Foster's Renovare and
promoting authors such as Brian
McLaren. Hunter's own blog is filled with
references to the emerging church, Youth Specialties,
The Church Communication Network isn't shy
about promoting contemplative prayer. Coming
up this month is the "Be
Still" event, sponsored by CCN. As you may
have guessed, the Be Still conference is about
Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality).
From the CCN
website: "How can we be still enough to
find Christ in the midst of all the noise and
distraction of our 24/7 culture? Invite your
congregation to the inspirational CCN special
event, BE STILL, and discover the joys of increasing
intimacy with God that can be found in contemplative
prayer." That intimacy will be taught by none
other than Richard
Foster and Dallas
Willard. Richard Foster (who said we "should
all without shame enroll as apprentices in the
school of contemplative prayer"2) advocates Thomas
Merton's teachings, even though Merton likened
contemplative prayer silence to an LSD trip.3
In case you are wondering if this Be Still
conference is an isolated event, here are a
few other connections between CCN and the New
Age/contemplative. On March 7th, CCN hosted
Integrity Simulcast. Speakers included Bill
Hybels of Willow Creek and Ken Blanchard. You
may remember Blanchard's endorsement of the
book called What Would Buddha Do At Work,
in which Blanchard said, "Buddha points to the
path and invites us to begin our journey to
enlightenment. I ... invite you to begin your
journey to enlightened work." But what you may
not know is that Blanchard is still endorsing
this type of work, such as his January 2006
endorsement of Jon Gordon's New Age book, The
10-Minute Energy Solution.
Other CCN events have included "Developing
Leaders in a Postmodern Culture" with emerging
church leader, Erwin
McManus and Rex Miller (author of The
Millennium Matrix), "Worship in the Emerging
Church" with Dan
Kimball, "Spiritual Disciplines for Leaders"
with Richard Foster and John
Ortberg, and the list goes on.
Many of the largest Christian ministries
have partnered with CCN. More are sure to join.
This makes for an incredibly powerful and influential
network. The question must be asked, with so
much power and so much unity in the midst of
such deception, what is going to happen to the
pure gospel message of Jesus Christ and to those
believers who are trying to defend the faith?
Many of the ministries mentioned above have
already been moving into the contemplative direction
for some time. Campus Crusade, for instance, offers
a labyrinth experience on their Global Prayer
Movement website. Networking only serves to
increase the momentum that ministries are moving
in. Perhaps it is time to question whether these
leaders are still indeed the trustworthy leaders
of the body of Christ. If these people want
to continue to be referred to as our Christian
leaders, then their foremost effort should be
in promoting and preserving the integrity of
the gospel. Contemplative spirituality has consistently
proven to be a compromise of the gospel. Perhaps
it is time for believers everywhere to stand
and say, I will not adhere to a network of leaders
that promotes a spirituality that masquerades
as an angel of light.
Rick Warren, The Purpose
Driven Church, Zondervan, 1995, p. 126-
2. Richard Foster, Celebration
of Discipline, Harper & Row, 1978 ed.
3. Conversation between Matthew Fox and Thomas
Merton from interview with Fox and Nine O Clock Service
the Expanded 2nd Edition of
A Time of Departing
Also Be Sure and Read These Two Astounding Books ...