From the Lighthouse Newsletter

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September 26, 2011
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Another Spirit or the Holy Spirit?

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times

The Bible teaches there is another spirit, another gospel and another Jesus?[1] If God is God, why would such deception exist? The answer is very simple. Satan, the father of lies, is the great deceiver who wants to be God.[2] His plan is to deceive the world in the name of the Savior, Jesus Christ. [3] Therefore, if the Spirit of God leads the lost to the Son of God, could it be that that “another spirit” is how the devil leads the whole world to the antichrist? These are questions that every Christian should think about, especially in the Last Days when deception is on the increase.

For some time now, I have been thinking about these things. How does Satan deceive, and should a Christian be aware of how Satan works? The Bible is full of references that warn believers to wake up and to expose darkness.

Further, the concept of checking out the roots of a tree has been constantly on my mind. What does it means to check out the roots of a tree with reference to Christianity? Some time ago, a friend of mine gave me an illustration he believed had an important spiritual implication. The illustration was that of a simple drawing of a tree that was filled with ravens sitting on the branches. While some branches represented biblical truths, other branches represented teachings that had infiltrated the body of Christ and were clearly devious plans of Satan.

As for the roots of the tree, some of the roots were embedded in healthy soil and thus provided essential nutrients to the tree, while other roots were embedded in soil that was polluted with poison, and of course, did much harm to the tree. Further, the illustration showed that this tree was a hiding place for the ravens
I will never forget this illustration as this is what is happening to fellowships and entire denominations within the Christian church today. Bad roots eventually produce bad fruit. While this should be obvious to those who say they believe the Bible, that’s not always the case. The human beings, who make up the tree, cannot see because they are part of the tree, and they have become blinded. It would be easy to recover from this blindness if they would only turn to the Word of God to gain understanding and discernment.

Christianity is full of examples of tree-like denominations full of ravens because Satan is the master deceiver, and he knows that men follow men instead of Jesus. While the Roman Catholic Church claims to be the Mother of All Churches we know this is not true. Jesus said His church would be built upon the true cornerstone. And He is that cornerstone. [4]. When we follow men instead of Jesus Christ, we have the ingredients for a spiritual disaster. Such is the case that we will try to analyze in the rest of this commentary. Click here to continue reading and for footnotes.




Another Spirit or the Holy Spirit?
Dear Dr. Charles Stanley, what are you trying to tell us? Are you a contemplative?
Letter to Tom White of Voice of the Martyrs
Turning to Contemplative Mysticism or a Relationship with Jesus Christ? Which Will it Be?
Castles in the Sand author interviewed about contemplative mystic, Teresa of Avila
High School Freshman Suspended for Saying that Homosexuality is Wrong
Introducing Trevor Baker – Songs in the Wilderness
Rick Warren Addresses Students at Liberty University
LET THERE BY LIGHT by Roger Oakland, a Lighthouse Trails Apologetics Biography soon to be released
Teresa of Avila in Our Christian Schools – A True Story
Rob Bell To Leave Mars Hill Church to “Focus on a Broader Audience”
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Dear Dr. Charles Stanley, what are you trying to tell us? Are you a contemplative?

Is Charles Stanley trying to tell Christians something but doesn’t want to come right out and just admit, “Hey, I’m a contemplative, and I am using my In Touch magazine to let everybody know it.” A Lighthouse Trails January 2010 article titled “Letter to Charles Stanley: Is In Touch Getting Out-of-Touch With the True Gospel?,”   discussed the January 2010 issue of Stanley’s In Touch magazine, which included an article by Joseph Bentz. In that article, Bentz highlighted the spiritual journeys of two women. Bentz claimed both were converted to the Christian faith, however, each of the  women would fall in the ”new spirituality/New Age” camp. One of the women highlighted is Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies). Most In Touch readers are probably not familiar with any problems associated with her name.  But Lamott, mentioned in several Lighthouse Trails articles, reveals her true spiritual sympathies when she endorsed the back cover of the made-popular-by-Oprah book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The book is about Gilbert’s search for spirituality, which took her to India and into eastern meditation. Her book is a virtual primer on New Age thinking. Lamott not only endorsed the back of her book but also has spoken with Gilbert at various events. Of Gilbert’s book, Lamott states: “This is a wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight.”1 Lamott hardly seems like one that In Touch should be promoting. 

In January 2010, Lighthouse Trails received a letter from a LT reader who, out of concern, wrote a letter to Charles Stanley about Joseph Bentz’ article. She stated:

[I] expressed my concerns that the two women Mr. Benz focuses on in the article, Anne Lamott and Sara Miles, both authors, by their own words, deeds, and indeed, lifestyles do not show a biblical conversion. In fact, the copies of interviews given by Lamott and Miles since their “epiphanies” which I am enclosing with this letter portray no such Christian conversion. In fact, Sara Miles is a lesbian in a 14+-year “marriage” relationship with her lesbian lover. Gay and proud of it she is. Your caller seemed surprised at that, even though it was mentioned in my previous letter, and you can read Ms. Miles own declaration of that fact and her other unbiblical beliefs in the enclosed materials. Anne Lamott, on the other hand, is braggadocios in the fact that in each of her books she uses the “F” word in describing her “conversion,” and states she was “F* by Jesus.”

Lighthouse Trails had hoped that once this situation was brought to Charles Stanley’s attention, he would retract the article and also publicly renounce the contemplative prayer/new spirituality movement. Sadly, no sign of this took place. Some Lighthouse Trails readers may remember our 2006 coverage of the Be Still DVD  where Beth Moore teamed up with contemplative Richard Foster in this Fox Entertainment infomercial for contemplative prayer. When the DVD was first released, we learned that the DVD stated at the end of it that Charles Stanley was one of the supporters of the project. Lighthouse Trails contacted both the producer of the film and Charles Stanley’s personal assistant. Fox told us that originally Stanley was going to narrate the film, but those plans changed, for undisclosed reasons, toward the completion of the project. Stanley’s assistant told us that they knew nothing about the contemplative prayer movement. The assistant told Lighthouse Trails that we could send a copy of A Time of Departing to them, but he did not think Charles Stanley would have enough time to read the book.

In TouchIn June of 2011, Lighthouse Trails free lance writer Mike Stanwood wrote “Contemplative Spirituality Lands on Charles Stanley’s In Touch Magazine . . . Again.”  In this article, it was revealed that in the January 2011 In Touch magazine, a man named Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove was featured in an article written by In Touch Managing Editor Cameron Lawrence. The  article called “The Craft of Stability: Discovering the Ancient Art of Staying Put” highlights the “ intentional Christian community” at the Rutba House (Wilson-Hartgrove’s home) and their “daily prayer routine.” The In Touch article states that Rutba House is an evangelical community rooted in the Protestant tradition, and that Wilson-Hartgrove is an ordained Baptist minister. The In Touch article also reports that Rutba’s community principles are borrowed from Benedictine monks and that all of their efforts are based on St. Benedict’s “rule of life.”

In Stanwood’s article, he points out that Wilson-Hartgrove is part of the “New Monasticism” movement within the emerging church. So that you can understand just how serious this situation is with Charles Stanley and his ministry, read this following section of Stanwood’s article:


Wilson-Hartgrove is most recently known for co-authoring Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals with new monastic activist Shane Claiborne. Other books he has authored may also fall into the emerging/contemplative category. For example, one such book called New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today’s Church (1) has been endorsed by mystic proponents Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Tony Campolo, and Catholic priest Richard Rohr. The mystics resonate with the “new monasticism” – this is plain to see. While on the surface, the new monasticism may look ok with its many good works of helping the poor and the needy. But the underlying belief system does not line up with biblical doctrine; rather it is about establishing an all inclusive kingdom of God on earth now where individual salvation is replaced with a community salvation for the whole world. Atonement has less emphasis on Jesus Christ as the only atonement for man’s sins and instead becomes an at-one-ment where all of creation is “being” saved by coming together as one (and yes, seeing the divinity of man). This is the kind of “atonement” that McLaren, Tickle, and Rohr would resonate with. It is important to see that they don’t just resonate with the good works coming out of the new monasticism - born-again Christians have been performing good work by helping the poor and needy for centuries and continue to do so. While this new monasticism supposedly distinguishes itself by its good works,  in reality it is mysticism and the foundational beliefs of mysticism (i.e., panentheism, kingdom now, etc) that distinguish it. And it is that element that Tickle, McLaren, and Rohr embrace.

Additional resources on Wilson-Hartgrove’s website include a DVD called Discovering Christian Classics: 5 Sessions in the Ancient Faith of Our Future, a five-week study with contemplative advocate Lauren F. Winner (Girl Meets God) for high school or adult “formation.” A description of this DVD states:

You will discover the meaning of conversion and prayer from the Desert Fathers and Mothers; how to love from the sermons of St. John Chrysostom; St. Benedict’s Rule of Life and how it became one of the foundations of Western Christian spirituality; how to have an intimate relationship with God according to The Cloud of Unknowing; and what it means to “pick up your cross” in the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis.”

Another book Wilson-Hartgrove has authored, called The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture, refers readers to the wisdom of Lao-tzu, the desert monastics, Thomas Merton, Benedictine spirituality, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Benedictine nun Joan Chittister.

In a Beliefnet interview one year ago, Wilson-Hartgrove shared how “we need the wisdom of those who’ve gone before us.” This wisdom he is referring to comes not from the Bible, but from the contemplative “Benedictines (who) taught us to start the day with common prayer.” (2)

After seeing what is at the core of Wilson-Hartgrove’s spiritual wisdom, it is not surprising to learn that he recently made an appearance  at the Wild Goose Festival (3). According to an article in the Christian Post, the Wild Goose Festival  was a “four-day revival camp in North Carolina featuring music, yoga, liberal talk and embracing of gays and lesbians.”

This brings us to the most recent issue of In Touch (October 21011) titled “The Prayerful Life.” We received an e-mail this week by a LT reader (also an In Touch reader). Our reader stated: 

Just wanted to give you a heads up on Charles Stanley’s latest In Touch magazine. . . .   Many articles on prayer and peppered throughout are hints of spiritual disciplines, conversational prayer, sacred space, even a quote from Brother Lawrence, and Augustine of Hippo. On the back page with “Ask Dr Stanley” the question is  (p 48): What's the difference between loneliness and solitude? And why is solitude so important?

Dr. Stanley’s answer: ”Loneliness is the anxious feeling of longing for a personal connection that isn’t presently possible or available.  But solitude is a deliberate choice to spend time with God and give Him your undivided attention.  From this perspective, solitude becomes something we look forward to.  As you spend time with your heavenly Father, the joy of His friendship defeats loneliness and paves the road for victorious living.  This is how Jesus met challenges on a daily basis.  Before ministering to the masses, He would spend focused time alone with the Father. (Mark 1:35)

“Still, many people shy away from solitude because  they’re not sure what to expect or how to go about it.  My first suggestion is to find a silent place that’s free from distractions. Once you’re there, the next step is to do nothing but make yourself available to the Lord, In that moment, God is not necessarily expecting you to read through a prayer list or study a devotional . Simply invite Him to meet with you in the stillness and speak to you through His Word, however He chooses.  Depending on your point of need, He may speak words of encouragement or instruction, or simply surround you with His love.  Don’t be discouraged if sensing His presence doesn’t happen right away.  With time you’ll experience it in ways that are transforming and unforgettable. 

Practicing the discipline of solitude is important to daily life because it calms our hearts in a demanding world and lightens the load on a busy schedule. With a deeper awareness of God, we find that what was previously overwhelming is now manageable.  Solitude helps us develop an abiding sense that He’s there with us every step of the way, guiding our conversations and activities.    

“Whatever the task, we can turn to the Lord and receive strength, creativity, and wisdom for every responsibility. This saves a lot of time and reduces stress, which also benefits our health. But most importantly through solitude we become intimate with God, and nothing in this world compares with knowing Him deeply.”


On page  23,  an article called “Out of the Din, The necessity of silence” by [In Touch Managing Editor] Cameron Lawrence states: “From the churches early days, the discipline of keeping silence has been an important tool for growing in oneness with God.  The discipline of keeping silence extends to every aspect of life. . . . But growing in Christlikeness requires we embrace silence as an essential component of our spiritual lives, not run from it . . . try setting aside just a few minutes each day, and gradually increase as you build endurance . . . eventually long periods of silence will become comfortable, and you will experience a deeper life with God in prayer.

On page 21,  ”Wordless Prayer”  by Tony Woodlief: “Jesus has a very special love for you” wrote a wistful [contemplative advocate] Mother Theresa” …. ” It’s not getting the words right that matters, its coming to Him. And what a shame to tarry before coming, or to quit His presence too soon, all because we can't find the “right” words.  Far better to whisper “please” or “help” or still better, “Jesus” over and over on our knees, than to not come to Him at all.”

While these references may appear somewhat benign to the reader who is not familiar with what contemplative spirituality is, these references are not only the language of contemplative mystics, they also allude to the idea that we cannot really know God (or hear from Him) unless we go into this silent state where we can remove thoughts (distractions) and then and only then hear the voice of God. The contemplative mindset is that we need to go into this self-induced state of silence because that is the only way we can hear the voice of God. So the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are no longer the avenues but rather repeating a word or phrase (the earmark of contemplative spirituality) to enter silence is. True, Charles Stanley himself has not come out (that we know of) and told his readers to repeat a word or phrase. But he is inadvertently pointing people to that by allowing In Touch to promote people like Anne Lamott, Sara Miles, Brother Lawrence, Mother Teresa, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, as well as by using the language that has been primarily used by mystics. 

In our own evaluation of this most recent issue of In Touch magazine, in addition to what our reader above stated, we find other troubling aspects of the October issue, a few of which we are mentioning below:

Page 8: In Charles Stanley’s article titled “Conversation with God,” he states that “[i]ntimacy[with God] will not happen any other way” than to “experience His awesome presence.” We find this attitude with virtually every contemplative we have examined over the last ten years. 

Page 14: An article titled “The Attentive Life” features Leighton Ford’s book by the same name. We wrote about Ford (vice president of the Billy Graham Association) and his book in 2008stating:  “The book offers a collection of quotes by and references to some of the most prolific eastern-style meditation teachers, including Thomas Keating, David Steindl-Rast, Gerald May, Kathleen Norris, and atonement rejector and Episcopal priest Alan Jones (Reimagining Christianity). It is Steindl-Rast who suggested that the Gospel “gets in the way” between Christian and Buddhist dialogue.”  Leighton Ford wrote the foreword to Pete Scazzero’s very contemplative book The Emotionally Healthy Church. Gary Gilley reviews Ford’s The Attentive Life and states:  ”First, he [Ford]  equates his attentive practices with centering prayer as explained by Roman Catholic mystic Thomas Keating, “We wait quietly in God’s presence, perhaps repeating a ‘sacred word,’ [mantra] and let go of our thoughts…. Centering prayer is not so much an exercise of attention as intention.”

Page 15: A sidebar in In Touch October 2011 features Frank Laubach, author of Letters of a Modern Mystic.

Page 19: An article titled “Seven Creative Ways to Pray as a Family” is written by contemplative advocate Mary DeMuth, author of Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture(Harvest House). In the In Touch article, DeMuth tells readers to visit “prayer rooms – sacred spaces where you can experience different aspects of praying.” DeMuth tells readers to “[r]esearch online to find a prayer room near you.” Try this experiment: go to Google and type in “prayer room” and “sacred space.” One of the first entries you’ll come up with is where a higher consciousness and New Age thought is promoted.

It does not seem out of place  to be questioning the direction that Charles Stanley’s ministry appears to be going. So we ask, “Just what are you trying to tell us Dr. Stanley?”

Related Articles:

Mystical Spirituality Paradigm Saw Major Growth in 2009

Southern Baptist Convention Rejects Gender-Neutral NIV Bible But Embraces The Message, Renovare Bible, and Contemplative Books

Part 2: Charles Stanley’s In Touch Magazine Promoting Contemplative New Monasticism

Contemplative Spirituality Lands on Charles Stanley’s In Touch Magazine . . . Again


Letter to Tom White of Voice of the Martyrs

From a Lighthouse Trails reader (who spent years as a missionary in Latin America) who sent the following letter to Tom White of Voice of the Martyrs and gave us permission to post this. We do so as we share this reader’s concern over the direction that VOM appears to be taking:

Dear Dr. White:
Enclosed is a copy of a VOM prayer card for the country of Colombia.  The data on the back states: “Christian 95.45%.”  All I can say to this, is “You’ve got to be kidding!”  Even the USA can’t boast of such a high percentage of Christians!  For me, the definition of Christian is a person who believes that the shed blood of Jesus on the cross is the only means of salvation, by faith alone, not works or denomination.  Roman Catholics (with very very few exceptions) believe they are saved (i.e., justified) by works and belonging to the “Holy Mother the Roman Catholic Church.”  They themselves specify when asked, “No, I’m not  Christian, I’m Catholic.”
You testify to having read Foxes’ Book of Martyrs, so you know that the major persecutor of true Christians down through the ages of church history has been the Roman Catholic church.  Roman Catholicism has not changed, and its followers and clergy still persecute Christians–I can testify to this by personal experience as an evangelical Christian missionary in Latin America for nearly 30 years.
I have been observing that VOM is taking an ever more ecumenical stance in its publications and statistics, apparently denying any difference between evangelical Christian and Roman Catholic beliefs, and inferring that they are all one and the same.  Well, in this, you are taking part in fulfilling the prophecy that apostasy will precede the appearing of the Antichrist, called in II Thes. 2:3, “the falling away.”  It grieves me very greatly that VOM could be so misled, and also in this way, partake in the movement of the “emergent church.”  I join other true evangelical believers in praying that there be a repentance and renewal to sound scriptural doctrine on the part of VOM and its leadership.  Until then, I can no longer support in any way VOM or any of its related ministries.
Sincerely grieved,

P.S. I have written to VOM before, about an article on Colombia that appeared in the little booklet as part of a missionary packet for Sunday School teachers and their students, voicing the same concerns, but I never received any answer.  It really is sad to see such an influential organization as VOM going this way.

Related Articles:

Letter to Editor: Concerned about Voice of the Martyrs (2010)

Concern Expressed Over Voice of the Martyrs Article on Mystic Madame Jeanne Guyon



Turning to Contemplative Mysticism or a Relationship with Jesus Christ? Which Will it Be?

by Ray Yungen

If you have read A Time of Departing, the book I wrote about contemplative spirituality, and are left wondering about your relationship with God, remember that knowing Jesus Christ is not merely religion or spirituality but is rather a personal relationship with Him.

Romans 10:2 speaks of those who have a “zeal for God but not according to knowledge.” Many contemplative writers describe a spiritual despondency they suffer before turning to mystical prayer as a remedy, and consequently they have an acute sense of spiritual failure that propels them into the waiting arms of the silence. In contrast, the Gospel presents a plan that is uniquely initiated by God.

Scripture clearly states that salvation depends entirely on the grace of God: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2: 8, 9). Furthermore, Christ’s death on the Cross for our sins, fully solidifies in our minds a tangible expression of the unearned and undeserved nature of our salvation. When Jesus said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30), He proclaimed in three words that our salvation depends entirely on the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

Let me therefore caution you in following any teaching that suggests that Christ’s work was incomplete or unnecessary, or that there are other paths to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Christianity is uniquely different from all religions in that it does not contain the erroneous premise that man is basically good (or divine) and consequently can earn his way to Heaven.

If you have never found the peace of knowing Christ, I urge you to read the first five chapters of the book of Romans and allow the Holy Spirit to draw you to what is being said and offered. The only prerequisite is to recognize your inability as a sinner to save yourself. Then, in simple faith, tell God you are now trusting Christ, and Him alone, to be your Lord and Savior.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2) (excerpt from A Time of Departing - if you have not read this book and cannot afford to buy a copy, please let us know, and we will send you one  (for international: if you can pay for postage, we can send you one) – it is vital to understand why contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation) is a spiritual belief system that is contrary to Scripture and the Gospel and yet is rapidly being infused into countless evangelical churches, universities and colleges, seminaries, youth organizations, and ministries.)




Castles in the Sand author interviewed about contemplative mystic, Teresa of Avila

By John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire Ministries

About Carolyn Greene and her book, Castles in the Sand: When Lighthouse Trails published this book, I read it, and was in awe (still am). Greene showed how contemplative spirituality is infesting Christian colleges and churches, and she did it in the form of a very entertaining novel. One of her characters is Tessa, the young girl who is lured into the trances and teachings of contemplative spirituality.

Another character is…Teresa of Avila, the Catholic mystic. Unlike Tessa, Teresa is a real, historical figure. Who levitated.

Anyway, after its publication, I began to take Greene’s book to unusual places and then write about the experience. I took Castles in the Sand to an A.A. meeting and gave it to a member. I left it in a labyrinth. I gave a copy to emergent Shane Claiborne after one of his lectures (Here). I even gave copies to people at a vampire movie.

During the last several years, fascination with Teresa of Avila has become more and more common. If you run into someone influenced by Teresa of Avila–and you will–this book can help explain why such mysticism should be rejected. And now, finally, the Question and Answer interview:

Q. Carolyn, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. As author of Castles in the Sand, a novel that shows the danger of contemplative prayer, why did you focus so much on Teresa of Avila? I am asking because Teresa is now being glorified and her meditative practices adopted not just by Catholics, but by many Protestants.

A. For the very reason you just stated, John. Several years ago I began to notice that wherever contemplative spirituality was to be found, so was Teresa of Avila. Click here to continue reading.


High School Freshman Suspended for Saying that Homosexuality is Wrong
LTRP Note: The following article by Christian Post is not an endorsement to Christian Post but is posted for informational and research purposes only.
By Amanda Winkler | Christian Post Reporter

A freshman at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas, was suspended Tuesday for making a statement about his religious beliefs.

The suspended student, Dakota Ary, commented to his friend in their German class that his Christian beliefs say homosexuality is wrong.

“I said, ‘I’m Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong,’” Ary recounted to NBC. “And then he (the teacher) got mad, wrote me an infraction and sent me to the office.”

The teacher was reportedly telling students how to say religion and Christianity in German. Ary asked a question about Bibles in different countries and what language they are in. According to the family’s attorney, Matt Krause with Liberty Counsel, religious discussions had come up in the classroom before. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

Introducing Trevor Baker – Songs in the Wilderness

Lighthouse Trails would like to introduce our readers to Canadian song writer Trevor Baker. We think you will agree with us that not only is Trevor's music refreshing, the messages in his songs are rarely heard in today's Christian music world. Frankly, much of what Trevor sings about is what Lighthouse Trails has been warning about for nearly ten years. In view of that, Lighthouse Trails will be carrying several of Trevor's CDs. Without a doubt, this is truly "music with a message."





Click here if you cannot see this video.

Rick Warren Addresses Students at Liberty University
Tim Saunders Reporter/Lynchburg Bureau Chief
LYNCHBURG, Va.— A best-selling author and founder of one of America’s largest churches visited one local hometown Monday.

Rick Warren was in Lynchburg, speaking to students at Liberty University.

During convocation Monday morning, Warren encouraged students to let God use their lives for a greater purpose. Click here to read more.


Will Saddleback Contemplative Join Jonathan Falwell “Team”?

Jonathan Falwell Becomes Vice-Chancellor at Liberty University

Rick Warren and Other Contemplative Proponents at Thomas Road Baptist Innovate Church Conference




Let There Be Light by Roger Oakland

Roger Oakland heads to university with the morals and values of his Christian parents intact. When he enters school, he believes in God as a Creator, but soon exchanges this for Darwinian evolution. After graduation, he begins teaching biology (with an emphasis on evolution) at the same university. Challenged one day by a young Christian student, Roger mocks the whole idea of Creation and God.

Through a series of painful circumstances, including the death of a baby son, he begins searching for answers to life – until one day he has a dramatic experience when hit with the realization that God created everything.

Becoming a creationist and later a committed born-again Christian, Roger’s life is radically changed, and he is filled with a passion to tell others about God. Little does he know at the time that he will travel throughout the world to share his message.

Through his research, he finds a connection between evolution and the New Age. He discovers that multitudes of people are rejecting the idea of a Creator God and replacing it with an impersonal panentheistic “God.” Much to his alarm, Roger learns that New Age concepts, such as this evolutionary “God,” are being absorbed into mainstream Christianity.

As time progresses, Roger realizes that the Christian church is heading down a dangerous road of apostasy. He comes head to head with Christian leaders whom he learns are guiding believers toward a one-world religion via the Roman Catholic church through mysticism and the emerging church.

The cost of telling the truth and warning the church is high for Roger Oakland. Within his own denomination, Calvary Chapel, he begins to see signs of spiritual deception. He works tirelessly to teach and warn about the coming apostasy. Eventually, he realizes that both he and his message are being rejected by leaders of the movement that he tried to support for so many years.

From the wheat fields of Saskatchewan to the classrooms of evolutionary humanism, to a fallen USSR to poverty-stricken villages in Myanmar, Roger shares his message to over 130 countries. This apologetics biography will inspire you to give all for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.

Topics This Book Addresses:
Biblical creation versus Darwinian evolution
Russia’s openness to the Gospel after the fall of the USSR
A plan by the Catholic church to absorb Protestantism
The connection between evolution and the New Age
How the Christian church is being lured into a one-word religion that is prophesied in the Bible
Contrasting the Light of the World to the darkness of this age
The role mysticism is playing in end times deception
How Christian leaders are ignoring the study of Bible prophecy

Questions this book answers:
What is real science?
Is Darwinian theory scientific?
Is spiritual deception talked about in the Bible?
What is the Catholic Eucharistic Evangelization plan?
What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
What is the essential ingredient for true revival?
Are signs-and-wonders revivals like the Toronto Blessing biblical?
Why do many Christian pastors and leaders avoid talking about spiritual deception?
Does the Bible mandate Christians to warn against spiritual deception?

Book Information:

Release Date: Approx. October 15th.
Retail price: $13.95, 224 pages
Photos, index, 22 chapters
Qualifies for quantity discounts.

Click here to order or for more information.

Teresa of Avila in Our Christian Schools – A True Story

LTRP Note: The following is an excerpt from Carolyn A. Greene’s novel, Castles in the Sand, based on the true story of contemplative spirituality in the church today. A growing number of Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities are incorporating this mystical spiritual formation into classes and chapel programs. This excerpt takes place during a lecture by the very contemplative professor, Ms. Jasmine. For those who are skeptical about this, check out our growing list of “contemplative colleges.

From Castles in the Sand: The Lecture -

Winter Term 2008

“Please keep your questions for the end of the lecture,” Ms. Jasmine announced. “Instead of boring you today, I will use the last part of our class time for your inquiries regarding your marks.” She pulled a thick stack of papers from her briefcase and put them on the desk. She nodded disapprovingly at Tessa, who was ten minutes late again. Tessa could already tell the room was going to feel much too warm. Her cheeks and nose were still rosy from her brisk morning walk as she sat down in the front row of the lecture hall beside Elise. She pushed up her sleeves, pulled off her knit hat, and shook the melting snowflakes onto the floor.

Ms. Jasmine removed her glasses, glanced at the clock on the wall, and walked to the white board. Her black high-heeled shiny boots were the kind that clicked loudly with each step she took. She picked up a marker and began her lecture. Tessa admired her black pants and bright pink tailored jacket with oversized buttons that only someone like Ms. Jasmine could get away with. It seemed that anything she wore made her look elegant, even that bright pink lipstick.

“That’s gotta be Bombshell Blonde hot pink lipstick by Gigi,” Elise leaned over and whispered to Tessa. “I have that one, but it looks totally dumb on me. Maybe if I get a psychology degree like she has, I can afford to look like that someday.”

Tessa was …  wondering whether she received a good mark on her paper.

“After today’s lecture, I will hand back your papers. You have all worked very hard, and I’m pleased to say a few of you have done excellent research. In fact, several of you have earned such high marks you are being considered for a special, brand-new scholarship which will be announced in the spring.”

Tessa had indeed done her research for this paper on prayer. It had been an enormous challenge trying to work with a chatty roommate nearby. If it hadn’t been for earplugs and her favorite quiet spot in the library, she could not have accomplished what she had. Tessa had never applied herself so completely to any assignment, but because she liked Ms. Jasmine, she had put a lot of effort into this class. Even so, she thought if anyone in this class deserved a scholarship, it was Elise. Elise did everything well, putting more effort into studying than Tessa had energy for, and always achieved her goals for the difficult assignments she tackled.

“I’d also like to mention that we had a great turnout two nights ago for the outdoor prayer walk, in spite of the snow. Wasn’t it lovely? Thank you Elise and Tessa for helping organize the evening.”

Ms. Jasmine allowed a few minutes of chatter while she turned and wrote something on the board. It was a time line of the current era, something she often drew during her lectures, although it wasn’t too likely anyone could make out the title, as usual.

“Can you read that?” whispered Tessa.

“No,” Elise answered, “typical doctor’s handwriting. It’s just another one of her time lines.”

“All right, students,” Ms. Jasmine said loudly, drawing a vertical line at the sixteenth-century mark as she waited for the noise to stop. “Let’s talk about controversy and the test of time. As you know, some of the early Christians who were contemporaries were known to disagree on many things. Two, for example, are St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, yet their writings are considered to be the greatest of all mystical theology. Even St. Teresa’s advisors couldn’t agree on whether her experiences were from God or from the devil. Some thought her visions were the work of the Holy Spirit, and others remained convinced that her visitations were illusions of Satan. But in the end, the truth came out. Today we see how valuable her writings and experiences are for the church. So in spite of these controversies, the works of many of these misunderstood saints have stood the test of time and are still in print today. You all, of course, know that St. Teresa is a personal favorite of mine.”

She turned and made an “x” on the board at the 1970 mark on her time line. “Case in point . . . some of you may have read in your research that not too long ago, St. Teresa was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul the VI. She was the first woman to be named as a Doctor by the Roman Catholic Church. By the way, ladies, be glad you live in modern times. It took Teresa of Avila several hundred years to get her doctorate. It only took me eight.”

As Ms. Jasmine waited for the chuckles and giggles to finish, a girl wearing thick glasses near the front of the room, whom Teresa only knew by first name, gingerly raised her hand.

“Yes, Nicky,” responded Ms. Jasmine.

“Um, one book I read said something odd,” began the girl timidly, her cheeks flushed. “It mentioned that mystics like St. Teresa had erotic experiences during their spiritual peaks. Can you comment on that?”

“Yes, thank you for that excellent question,” Ms. Jasmine answered in her usual professional manner. “We can all learn from a fairly new view within psychology and holistic health that an erotic component can be integrated into the mystical ecstasy, which brings about a whole new level of union with the divine. Take for example St. Teresa’s experience of ecstasy with the angel that is so beautifully captured in the statue by Gianlorenzo Bernini. Of course, you can imagine that critics opposing mysticism would have an even tougher time accepting this as a superior level of intimacy. I guess it all depends on what one believes. Those of us who understand the mystical state as a state where God is encountered would welcome this deeper dimension of spirituality.”

Tessa felt more than a little embarrassed to think about what Ms. Jasmine was implying. She slid down slowly in her chair and looked straight ahead, not wanting to hear anymore about that. It just didn’t sound right. They had all read the same book, but she didn’t have the courage to ask such a question in front of all the guys. She didn’t really want to know the answer, anyway.

“And let me add this,” continued Ms. Jasmine. “While I personally do not see the need, there are some contemplative practitioners who offer ‘warning,’ saying that this kind of prayer is not for the inexperienced novice.” Ms. Jasmine made quotation marks with her fingers as she said the word in a mocking tone.

Teresa’s ears perked up. A warning? Ever since the retreat she’d been having very good success talking to Jesus during her journaling times, and had even written about it on the student blog. She vaguely remembered seeing that warning in some book she had read. The author had advocated praying a prayer of protection before praying with your imagination, but she had completely ignored it. Now, a brief cold wave of fear passed over her, but she refused to consider it and quickly put it out of her mind. How could she fear the gentle Jesus she met on the beach, and the warm presence she’d experienced only a few nights ago in the prayer labyrinth?

“One well-known contemplative author writes,” Ms. Jasmine continued, “that you must offer a prayer of protection to God, lest you come in contact with demons.”
Half the class snickered when Ms. Jasmine overemphasized the last word in a low scary tone, especially a group of guys in the back row. “Thomas, you always have novel ideas. Could you tell the class what you and your friends find so amusing?”

“Uh-huh. That is so paranoid. I mean, if you pray to Jesus, He’s not going to send a demon. That’s just stupid.”

“Exactly right, thank you Thomas. Many of us . . . many of those who have been practicing these methods of silence and contemplation for years also disagree with that statement. Contemplative prayer is not dangerous, and it is for everyone. The Bible says to ‘be still and know that I am God.’ If we don’t silence our minds, how else will we hear Him in our busy lives, amid the constant barrage of noise from televisions, CD players, and a myriad of other electronic gadgets? In order to really know God, you have got to have an inner stillness.”

No sooner had Ms. Jasmine finished her sentence, than the ring tone of a cell phone chimed from someone’s bag, throwing everyone in the lecture hall into fits of laughter.

“Thank you Amanda. That was perfect timing. The point is, one will hear different views on the subject of listening prayer, but one must always go back to the tried and true, the experiences of the early church fathers and mothers, to whom we owe so much. Why else would their writings still be in print to this day if God did not want us to learn from them? Why would they be given doctorates by the church, even years later, if what they practiced and taught was not from God? Isn’t that what you meant, Thomas?”

Thomas nodded his head and leaned back in his chair grinning, proud to have Ms. Jasmine’s approval.

“Now, let me ask how many of you are going home for Christmas?” Almost everyone raised a hand. Ms. Jasmine twirled her marker back and forth between her fingers. Her long pink nails made a rhythmic clacking noise on the pen. Tessa couldn’t help but think it was to the same beat as, “Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh . . .”

How Tessa had wanted to go home for Christmas and see Sassy and of course, Gran and Gramps too, but the roads were bad with a blizzard in the forecast, and a plane ticket was out of the question. Besides, she’d had a sore throat and thought it best to stay in Flat Plains and catch up on her assignments. She hadn’t been feeling well these last few weeks and could use some peace and quiet, especially if her roommate was going to be away. There were other students staying in her dorm who couldn’t afford to travel either, so Sonya had invited them all to spend Christmas Day with her family, who lived only forty miles away in what was rumored to be a very big mansion. When Elise told Tessa that Sonya’s home was as big as a castle, that it had many guest rooms filled with tapestries and antiques from Europe, she immediately accepted Sonya’s invitation. How could a girl with a weakness for castles miss an opportunity like this?

“Class, can I be honest with you?” Ms. Jasmine asked, a very serious look on her face as the room grew quiet. “When you go home, your families and friends may view you in a different light now that you’ve learned new things in this class. For example, if they notice you practicing your daily lectio divina readings, they may try to persuade you that the old-fashioned religious ideas they learned are the only right ones. This may even spark controversy within some of your relationships. But remember, the ancient disciplines you have learned were around long before they were. Fundamental Christians who have grown up with a certain narrow brand of religion can’t help it—they just don’t know any better. If they don’t understand, teach them to listen, as you have learned. Remind them that even Jesus retreated to places of solitude and silence to find union with the Father. Tell them that this is why Christmas has come, that the light may be found in each one of us!”

Tessa glanced at Elise. She was closing her eyes and smiling. Ms. Jasmine is right. Gran and Gramps really are old-fashioned and narrow-minded in many of their views. Better to spend the holidays here with some of her friends in a modern-day castle.

“I’m sure you are all anxious to get going before the snow gets too deep, but as you leave, come to my desk and pick up your marked papers. I’ll stay for half an hour to answer your questions. For those who need to go, have a peaceful and divine Christmas! And be careful if you are driving. It’s a blizzard out there! (from Castles in the Sand)

Rob Bell To Leave Mars Hill Church to “Focus on a Broader Audience”

LTRP Note: The following article written by Christianity Today is in no way meant as an endorsement of Christianity Today, which is a magazine that promotes contemplative spirituality and the emerging and Purpose Driven church. The article is posted for informational and research purposes only.

"Bell to Move to L.A. and Launch a Tour"
Sarah Pulliam Bailey/Christianity Today

Rob Bell has decided to leave Mars Hill Church, the Grandville, Michigan, megachurch he and his wife founded 12 years ago, to focus on a broader audience, the church announced today.1

Flickering Pixels author Shane Hipps will take over for Bell during spring 2012 after Bell finishes his series on Acts in December.

Update 9/25/2011:

Rob Bell told Mars Hill today that he will leave for Los Angeles to follow a “calling to share God’s love” in new ways, WZZM reports from Grand Rapids. He will move with his family to California to continue writing books and speaking on national and international tours, but he will not start a new church, he said.

Bell will launch his “Fit to Smash Ice Tour” in Canada in November and continue the tour in the U.S. “We serve a big God and none of this is shocking to him,” WZZM reports Bell said during his sermon. “All we can do is embrace a future that is going to be brilliant.” Click here to continue reading. Please use discernment when reading Christianity Today.

Related Articles:

Rob Bell Puts God on Trial – “Hath God Really Said?”

Book review: Love Wins by Rob Bell – Mocking Truth: Rob Bell’s False Hope, Worldly Heaven, and Earth-Based Hell

If Rob Bell and Neale Donald Walsch are Right, Then Hitler Will Be in Heaven!

Rob Bell Unable to Defend His Own Beliefs in MSNBC Interview – Squirms, But Gives No Answers

Rob Bell Comes Out of the Closet for Universalism – Yet Speaks at Nazarene University

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