March 16, 2010
In This Issue - click choice
The Cross versus the Higher Self

by Ray Yungen 

The New Age and Christianity definitely clash on the answer to the question of human imperfection. The former [the New Age] espouses the doctrine of becoming self-realized and united with the universe, which they see as God but in reality is the realm of familiar spirits. On the other hand, the Gospel that Christians embrace offers salvation to humanity through grace (unmerited favor). Romans 3:24 boldly states: “… being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” In Romans 6:23 we read: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This gift is not earned or given as a reward for earnest or good intentions as Scripture clearly states:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

This Scripture that tackles the issue of pride sharply distinguishes all of man’s religions from Christianity. Religion persuades us that man is innately good and, therefore, can earn his way to heaven through human perfectibility or, better yet, through the realization of his own divinity. Christianity emphatically states the opposite view that man needs to humbly recognize his own sinfulness and fallibility, and consequently needs salvation through grace.

The Holy Spirit, through the Scripture, convicts the sinner of his sinful and lost condition and then presents to the despairing and repentant man God’s solution–salvation through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Cross: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7) and then:

[I]f you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

Salvation is entirely a gift of grace bestowed on whoever believes in Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross as both God and man. Consequently, we must receive Him as Lord and Savior, understanding that it is by grace and grace alone that we are made acceptable in Christ before a holy God. Justification is God’s gift to the believer. This saving faith, also a demonstration of God’s grace, is more than an intellectual belief in Jesus’ death on the Cross but involves committing and entrusting one’s life to Jesus as both Lord and Savior–Christ’s going to the Cross was a finished work, and we as believers are now complete in Him. Nothing else can be added to this. How totally opposite from New Age thinking is God’s plan of salvation!

It all comes down to the preaching of the higher self versus the preaching of the Cross. New Agers may say God is synonymous with a person’s higher self, and the experience of God can only be discovered by way of meditation. However, the Christian admits his or her sinfulness before a Holy God and remembers he is saved only by the grace and mercy of God through the sacrificial shedding of Christ’s blood for his sins.

The message of Jesus Christ reaches out to the lost human race with the love of God who sacrificed His only begotten Son for the Swami Muktanandas of the world. The Bible teaches that man has an inherently rebellious and ungodly nature (which is evident), and his ways are naturally self-centered and evil in the sight of God. The Bible teaches that God is not indifferent to us. The sacrifice of Christ for the ungodly to reconcile us to God reveals the Lord’s love toward Man.

This explains why Christianity must be steadfast on these issues. If a belief system does not teach the preaching of the Cross, then it is not “the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18). If other ways are correct, “then Christ died in vain,” rendering His shed blood unnecessary and immaterial (Galatians 2:21).

Because of this conflict, we can safely assume that Christianity is the most formidable obstacle to the New Age, standing like a bulwark against this tidal wave of meditation teachers and practical mystics. But, incredibly, many of the most successful practical mystics are appearing from within Christendom itself. Ironically, instead of stemming the momentum of New Age spirituality, it is our own churches that may very well be the decisive catalysts to propel this movement into prominence. Certain spiritual practices are becoming entrenched in our churches that, like an iceberg, seem beautiful and impressive on the surface but in reality will cause severe damage and compromise of truth.(from A Time of Departing, pp.24-26)

Lighthouse Trails
Author Websites
Who We Are
Contacting Us
Castles in the Sand Visits Shane Claiborne

by John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire Ministries

Before a packed auditorium at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon,  activist Shane Claiborne gave his message of peace, love, and brotherhood. An engaging speaker, and a man dedicated to his beliefs, Claiborne had the crowd laughing and reminiscing with him as he recounted past adventures and experiences. During the time he spoke he emphasized again and again our Christian duty to help the poor and the oppressed.

“God is creating a holy counter-culture,” said Claiborne, author of Jesus For President, The Irresistible Revolution, and several others.

I sat there in the crowd, taking notes, wanting to believe that Claiborne was truly a believer. I knew he was tight with contemplative Tony Campolo. In his interview with Campolo several years ago, Claiborne made a troubling statement:

Tony Campolo: We don’t have to give up trying to convert each other. What we have to do is show respect to one another. And to speak to each other with a sense that even if people don’t convert, they are God’s people, God loves them, and we do not make the judgment of who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. I think that what we all have to do is leave judgment up to God. The Muslim community is very evangelistic, however what Muslims will not do is condemn Jews and Christians to Hell if in fact they do not accept Islam.

Shane Claiborne: That seems like a healthy distinction—between converting and condemning. One of the barriers seems to be the assumption that we have the truth and folks who experience things differently will all go to Hell. How do we unashamedly maintain a healthy desire for others to experience the love of God as we have experienced it without condemning others who experience God differently?  Click here to read more.

Related Articles:

Cedarville University Cancels Shane Claiborne Event

“God’s Dream” or a Deceptive Scheme?

Christian’s speech deemed ‘hateful propaganda’

Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow

A Christian student in the Los Angeles Community College District is carrying his free-speech case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

 Jonathan Lopez had an assignment in a public speaking class and was required to give an informative speech on any topic. Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney David Hacker tells OneNewsNow that Lopez chose to speak about his Christian beliefs. ”And during that speech, when he mentioned that marriage is between a man and a woman according to his Christian beliefs, the professor called him this horrible name, refused to let him finish the assignment, and told other students in the class, ‘If you’re offended, you can leave,’” Hacker explains.

When no students left, the professor dismissed the class. Hacker adds that Lopez is an “A” student – ”but the problem is he never got a grade on that informative speech, and in fact, the professor wrote on his evaluation form, ‘Ask God what your grade is.’” To read this entire article, click here.

70 Years Ago - Hitler Invades Holland - The Story of One Courageous Woman
LTRP Note: The following is from Diet Eman’s book, Things We Couldn’t Say. In Holland, during WW II, Diet was a young Christian girl who joined the Christian resistance in the Netherlands. While many of her fellow-resisters died before the war ended, Diet lived to tell this story of courage and faith.

Invasion (from chapter 2)  by Diet Eman

It was May 9, 1940, when some friends were visiting my family in our home. We had the radio on and were listening to Hitler give one of his fine speeches. There were quite a few people in our house that night, and we all knew German. We heard Hitler say that the Netherlands did not have to fear because the Dutch had been neutral during the First World War, and he would respect our neutrality. We were not important to his campaign, so we didn’t have to worry.

After our guests had left, we all went to bed. But only a few hours later, I awoke to what I recognized as a familiar sound. It was the staccato sound of someone beating a rug. In the Netherlands of that era, housewives kept a regular weekly schedule: Monday was laundry day; Tuesday was for ironing; Wednesday you cleaned the living room; Thursday, perhaps another room; and on Friday you cleaned the rugs with mattenkloppers, rugbeaters.

When I awoke very early that Friday morning, I immediately thought, “This is crazy! Some idiot is beating rugs right now, and it’s pitch dark outside.” What I heard was the “pop-pop-pop” as if someone were spanking rugs—only much faster. It was the first sound of the war.

Father and Mother were up too. They had gone into the street in front of the house, so I joined them. There in the dark sky above us we could see an air battle—planes and shooting. We could hear it too, of course, and we could see what was being shot at the planes from the ground, what they call flak. We all ran back into the house and turned the radio on. The broadcaster sounded very nervous; he told us we were at war and that German paratroops had landed.

This happened only hours after Hitler had assured us that we in the Netherlands needn’t worry! I don’t think that I had ever been lied to by a government leader before that time, and I was furious that this liar had told us not to be worried at the very moment he was sending troops onto our soil.

And our Dutch army, what were they? Our government did not believe in having a real standing army, and they certainly hadn’t planned on this war. Our soldiers were on bicycles—can you imagine?—with their aging rifles slung over their shoulders. Against the Germans they were powerless. On top of that, many Germans came into the Netherlands that night wearing Dutch army uniforms. It had been reported from time to time in our papers that many Dutch uniforms had been missing, but no one had put two and two together. Not, at least, until those first Germans came over our borders looking so much like our soldiers that our boys didn’t even know whom to shoot at. Some Germans even invaded our country wearing priests’ habits!

We didn’t sleep at all that night. After going back inside and listening to the radio reports, we talked and made tea. We were very nervous. Finally, we went back to bed to try to get an hour or so of rest. But there was no rest. We were at war.

Yet, the next day, what was there to do but go back to work? I had been working for some time at the Twentsche Bank, a very good bank in the center of The Hague. So that morning I got on my bike as usual, I didn’t worry about air bombardment or any kind of danger; I just went to work. My regular route was via Vondelstraat, a main artery into the city. At one point I was stopped on that street by the Dutch police, who commanded me to say the words Scheveningen and Schapenscheerder, to pronounce them slowly. It was a shibboleth. If you were a native speaker of Dutch, you could pronounce those words perfectly. Germans, however, could not. It was just hours after the initial attack, but there had already been so much infiltration into the country that those precautions had to be taken.

There had been fighting on the outskirts of The Hague that morning, and paratroopers were all around the airports. Adriaan, a young man who was then dating my sister Fanny, was in the service like Hein. He had taken a job that required a certain amount of time in the army. The deal he had signed up for was this: if he agreed to go into the military service, he would get a good government job once he got out. And his time in the service was almost over. Fanny and Adriaan were planning to get married in September, four months from the time of the invasion.

That night of May 9th, Adriaan was standing guard with his buddy at Ypenburg, the little airfield just outside The Hague, where the Germans dropped hundreds of paratroopers. He and his buddy were killed guarding that little airfield; they were among the very first Dutch soldiers to die. (from Things We Couldn’t Sayclick here to read this entire chapter in pdf format.)


UK Observer: “Blair courts controversial US pastor Rick Warren in bid to unite faiths”

The Observer – UK
(courtesy Discern the Time Forum)

Former prime minister builds network of Christian allies as he prepares to launch a religious ‘offensive’ in North America

Tony Blair is preparing to launch a “faith offensive” across the United States over the next year, after building up relationships with a network of influential religious leaders and faith organisations.

With Afghanistan and Iraq casting a shadow over his popularity at home in Britain, Blair’s focus has increasingly shifted across the Atlantic, to where the nexus of faith and power is immutable and he is feted like a rock star.

According to the annual accounts of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, a UK-based charity that promotes cohesion between the major faiths, the foundation is to develop a US arm that will pursue a host of faith-based projects. The accounts show that his foundation has an impressive – and, in at least one case, controversial – set of faith contacts. Sitting on some £4.5m in funds as of April last year, mostly gathered through donations, it is now well placed to make its voice heard.

The foundation’s advisory council of religious leaders includes Rick Warren, powerful founder of the California-based Saddleback church. It attracts congregations of nearly 20,000 and is reportedly one of the largest in the US. Warren, who has addressed the UN and the World Economic Forum in Davos, has been named one of the “15 world leaders who matter most” and one of the “100 most influential people in the world”.

His influence was confirmed in December 2008 when Barack Obama chose him to give the invocation at his presidential inauguration. But the decision angered many liberals, who see Warren as an opponent of gay rights and abortion on demand; a prominent alliance with Warren is likely to attract similar attacks on the former British prime minister.

Also on the council is David Coffey, president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), a Virginia-based network of churches that spans the globe and is particularly active in the US.

Another initiative has been to team up with the Belinda Stronach Foundation in Toronto. Unknown in the UK, Stronach, daughter of a Canadian billionaire, is hugely influential in Canada where as a philanthropist, businesswoman and former politician she has served in both the Conservative and Liberal parties. Attractive and barely into her 40s, media commentators have dubbed her “bubba’s blonde”, a reference to her friendship with Bill Clinton. Click here to continue reading.

 Unity in an Anti-Christian World?

There’s no wall between Christians and the world around us. We walk freely among its people as citizens of heaven and messengers of His love. But there is a wall between what’s holy and unholy. God tells us to “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)Only by His Word and Spirit in us can we discern the difference and encourage each other to follow His narrow way — in the midst of rising hostility.

by Berit Kjos

The new millennium has brought ominous changes. Last month alone unleashed a flood of anti-Christian plots around the world. All were designed to suppress God’s unchanging truth — a intolerable obstacle to global solidarity. Even “friendly” regimes have joined this war on faith:

“There is a growing and intensifying attack on Christians around the world. It is not just confined to the Middle East and Islamic countries.”[1]

“…lawmakers in the lower house of the Mexican Congress approved a bill officially instituting the separation of church and state….The bill passed 363 in favor with one ‘no’ vote and one abstention. It ‘guarantees the autonomy of institutions from religious norms, rules and convictions…”[2]

“Moroccan authorities raided [the orphanage] Village of Hope and said they were expelling the 20 workers and parents. The 33 children who were being cared for cried out ‘hysterically’ for their foster parents as they were left behind…. Lately Morocco has taken a tyrannical stance against Christians, forcibly deporting foreigners and bringing charges against the Moroccan nationals they associated with.”[3]

“Sweden is forcing Iraqi Christian refugees to leave its country. This will put the lives of Iraqi Christians in greater danger…. Swedish hospitality was beginning to diminish.”[4]

These ideological clashes may look like isolated incidents, but they expose the corrupt values behind the rising system that is shaping our global culture. Mexico, Morocco and Sweden are all tied to the international laws and standards of the United Nations and its many branches — including the Alliance of Civilizations (AOC). This statement from the AOC website gives us a glimpse of its agenda:

“The Alliance seeks to forge collective political will and to mobilize concerted action at the institutional and civil society levels to overcome the prejudice, misperceptions and polarization that militate against such a consensus. And it hopes to contribute to a coalescing global movement which… rejects extremism in any society.”[5]

Do you wonder what they mean by “extremism?” According to media reports, its main expressions are Islamic terrorism and Biblical Christianity! Though neither can be conformed to the UN vision of solidarity, the former provides a useful “crisis” as well as a needed tool for silencing the latter. Click here to read this entire article.


False Church Rising

by John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire Ministries

It is everywhere. Men bring happy news of a “christ” who is not Christ at all. Bibles are left unopened, just one more book on a shelf. Television beams in its messages of sexuality and brutality. And the people, even the Christians, have the television placed in their living rooms as if it were an altar. Children often have access to anything they want to see, whether on the internet or television.

Churches grow that don’t emphasize sin, or salvation, or His Blood, but cater to the wants and desires of the unsaved culture.

Homosexual advocates create words like “homophobia” and call for the right to marry, and millions who have grown up watching “Will and Grace” and other pro-homosexual propaganda call out in agreement.

It is the time where good is called evil and evil is called good.

It is the time where Bibles must  be opened, where the Word must be preached, and thankfully, there are still churches where this happens.

The King is on His throne, looking for faithful servants.

The stage is being set.

Enjoy the show. (source)

Islamic 'lawfare' targets Rifqa Bary's friends

by Bob Unruh

The chief of a law firm that has promised to defend a youth pastor reportedly investigated for driving a runaway Muslim-turned-Christian teen to a bus station says the probe is another "lawfare" case in which Islamists are trying to intimidate critics of the religion.

Ohio authorities are investigating youth pastor Brian Williams for his assistance of Rifqa Bary, 17, who claimed she fled her Muslim parents last year because her father threatened to kill her after learning she had become a Christian.

In a column on BigJournalism.com, anti-jihad blogger Pamela Geller called it a "perverse twist of reality" that law-enforcement officers are investigating "Christians in Ohio who helped a teenage apostate escape the death threat (in line with Shariah law) made by her family."

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, confirmed to WND today that his organization has lined up to defend Williams should charges be filed. Click here to read this entire article.

Related Article:

Rifqa’s parents renege on agreement

Contemplative Prayer - Does Our Intent Justify the Method?

If our intent is to find Jesus, is the method of going about this acceptable, even if the method might happen to be a Buddhist meditation style. Brian Edgar, Director of Theology and Public Policy for the Australian Evangelical Alliance believes it is when he states:

Sometimes people suggest that certain methods (such as meditative, contemplative or imaginative prayer) are not Christian. But the key question is about the intention or the focus involved, rather than simply the technique. If the aim is to focus upon the Lord Jesus Christ through the presence of the Spirit then it is Christian. If a prayer is focused at something or someone else then it is not. It is really just the same as preaching. Speaking and listening can be a thoroughly spiritual exercise. But non-Christians also speak and listen, and what makes something a Christian exercise is the content rather than the method. (Edgar, Spirituality)

Panentheist and contemplative Tilden Edwards, of Shalem Institute would agree with Edgar when he states:

In the wider ecumenism of the Spirit being opened for us today, we need to humbly accept the learnings of particular Eastern religions … What makes a particular practice Christian is not its source, but its intent … this is important to remember in the face of those Christians who would try to impoverish our spiritual resources by too narrowly defining them. If we view the human family as one in God’s spirit, then this historical cross-fertilization is not surprising … selective attention to Eastern spiritual practices can be of great assistance to a fully embodied Christian life.(ATOD)

Ray Yungen elaborates:

The premise here is that in order to really know God, mysticism must be practiced-the mind has to be shut down or turned off so that the cloud of unknowing where the presence of God awaits can be experienced. Practitioners of this method believe that if the sacred words are Christian, you will get Christ-it is simply a matter of intent even though the method is identical to occult and Eastern practices. So the question we as Christians must ask ourselves is, “Why not? Why shouldn’t we incorporate this mystical prayer practice into our lives?” The answer to this is actually found in Scripture.

While certain instances in the Bible describe mystical experiences, I see no evidence anywhere of God sanctioning man-initiated mysticism. Legitimate mystical experiences were always initiated by God to certain individuals for certain revelations and was never based on a method for the altering of consciousness. In Acts 11:5, Peter fell into a trance while in prayer. But it was God, not Peter, who initiated the trance and facilitated it. By definition, a mystic, on the other hand, is someone who uses rote methods in an attempt to tap into their inner divinity. Those who use these methods put themselves into a trance state outside of God’s sanction or protection and thus engage in an extremely dangerous approach. Besides, nowhere in the Bible are such mystical practices prescribed. For instance, the Lord, for the purpose of teaching people a respect for His holiness and His plans, instated certain ceremonies for His people (especially in the Old Testament).

Nonetheless, Scripture contains no reference in which God promoted mystical practices. The gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the New Testament were supernatural in nature but did not fall within the confines of mysticism. God bestowed spiritual gifts without the Christian practicing a method beforehand to get God’s response….

[Y]ou can call a practice by any other name, but it is the same practice, hence the same results. For example, if you were to jump off a cliff with the intent to fly saying the word “fly, fly, fly” as you jump off and someone else jumped off the same cliff with the intent to hit the bottom saying “fall, fall, fall” as he jumps off, in either case both will hit the bottom. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening in contemplative prayer, although the intent may be to honor Christ. (A Time of Departing)

Commenting on our Guestbook

While Lighthouse Trails does not offer an interactive blog or forum at this time (because of time restraints in having to moderate such efforts), we do have a Guestbook on our research site, which allows readers to make comments and even reply to other people's comments. We post about 95% of all comments sent to us. We do accept comments that criticize us and challenge us, but only if the commenters are presenting these opposing views in a manner that is non-vitriolic and non-derogatory. Anyone who is familiar with the writing at Lighthouse Trails knows that while we do name names in order to identify and warn about false and dangerous doctrines and teachings, we do not speak in a mean-spirited fashion nor do we attack any individual's person.

We started the Guestbook as a way for believers and defenders of the faith to encourage one another in truth and love. Please visit our Guestbook and see what others have to say.

Warren B. Smith and Ray Yungen 2010 Speaking Schedule

Below is a partial speaking schedule for Lighthouse Trails authors Warren B. Smith and Ray Yungen for 2010. If you live near any of these areas, we hope you will get the chance to attend. All these events are offered free of charge. If you are interested in having Warren or Ray (or both) speak to your group, call us at 503/873-9092, or email at editors@lighthousetrails.com.

March 18-21
Red River Bible & Prophecy Conference
Warren B. Smith, Jacob Prasch, David Hocking, Carl Teichrib, John Higgins

Presented by: Cornerstone Baptist Church & Crossroads Christian Fellowship
Held at: Courtyard Marriot Moorhead
1080 28th Avenue South
Moorhead, MN 56560
701-232-5869 or 701-371-2416 (conference contact)
No Cost. Free will offering.

April 23 (7pm-10pm), April 24 (9am-10pm)
Last Days Bible Conference

Warren B. Smith, James McCarthy, Rob Lindsted
Held at: Monterey Park Evangelical Free Church
3125 Catalina Blvd NE
Calgary, Alberta
(403) 948-5401
No cost. Free will offering

April 30-May 1
Discerning the Times Conference
Warren B. Smith, Rob Lindsted, John Plantz, Dave Dunn, Steve Herzig
Ramada Inn
806 Idylwyld Drive North, DIEFENBAKER ROOM
Saskatoon, Sask.
1-306-371-6877 (conference contact)
No cost. Free will offering.

May 29th (9:30-4:00)
Gold Country Calvary Chapel
Warren B. Smith, Ray Yungen, Johanna Michaelsen
13026 LaBarr Meadows Rd
Grass Valley, CA 95949
No cost. Free will offering.

July 25th (8:30 and 10:30)
Candlelight Fellowship

Warren B. Smith

5725 N. Pioneer Drive
Coeur d' Alene, Idaho
No cost.

August 12-14
Pastors and Leaders Conference
Warren B. Smith, Xavier Reis
500 South Lee Ave
Olathe, KS 66061
Phone: (913) 829-9306


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2010 Spring Specials from Lighthouse Trails - FREE SHIPPING & 15% DVD DISCOUNT
March 2010 marks the 8th anniversary of the beginning of Lighthouse Trails Publishing. Over the past 8 years, we have been able to publish several books and DVDs. We have also added to our collection some carefully selected books and DVDs by other publishers and ministries. We hope you will be blessed by these informative and meaningful DVDs. Details of our two Spring Specials are below. 



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For the month of March and April, receive 15% off retail when you purchase 3 or more DVDs and/or CDs (you will also get free shipping until March 31st with the free shipping special above for orders over $49.00).

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