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Sending Your Child or Teen to Camp This Summer? – Be Careful – Many are Promoting Contemplative Spirituality

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes Christian summer camps for youth. But there are now many Christian retreat and conference centers that are advocating or promoting contemplative spirituality and the emerging church. Such camps would be spiritually dangerous choices to send a child or teen for summer camp. Please use wisdom and discernment when choosing a summer camp. And instead of sending your child alone to a camp, consider attending a family camp where the entire family goes together. Either way, please be careful.

If you are planning to use the website of the Christian Camp & Conference Association to find a camp, added care is needed. CCCA has been promoting contemplative spirituality for some time. For instance, last winter, they advertised the Prepare to Engage National Conference, where Dusty and Maggie Robbins, authors of Enjoy the Silence, were speakers. On the CCCA website, it states: “Maggie Robbins and Duffy Robbins will lead you through a process that helps Scripture come alive, and into our lives. It’s known as Lectio Divina. Come closer to God through a guided process of reading, meditating, listening and responding to God’s word.” Maggie Robbins was trained at the pro-contemplative, pro Eastern mediation, Kairos School of Spiritual Formation?

In the Christian Camp & Conference Association May/June 2009 Insite newsletter, an article is included, “A Place Away,” that encourages using a labyrinth for children. Other CCCA newsletters also encourage contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation), as well.

Look out for Christian camps for youth that use labyrinths. Camp Westminister in Michigan, (Presbyterian USA) does, for one, as does Pilgrim Lodge (United Church of Christ). Incidentally, Pilgrim also promotes New Age sympathizer, Matthew Fox. Camp Aldersgate in Ohio also uses the labyrinth. Last fall, North Carolina United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries had Leonard Sweet as a speaker for their fund raiser to help “fulfill dreams of sharing camp with more children.” We could give countless such examples.

Many summer youth camps now incorporate “Spiritual Formation” into their camp programs. The Dakota District for the Wesleyan Church will be doing so in their 2012 summer programs at Cedar Canyon Camp. The Wesleyan Church denomination has been significantly promoting contemplative spirituality in many ways.

There are some good Bible-believing camps out there. It may just take some work, research, and prayer to find them. We received the following e-mail last month, recommending Camp Joy Baptist Camp and Conference Center in Whitewater, WI. From what we can see on Camp Joy’s website, this looks like a good choice in Christian camps.

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I would like to point out to you an excellent camp in Whitewater, Wisconsin. It is Camp Joy. They take a very excellent stand on good music, modesty, Christ exalting preaching. Here is their website.


I have been there many times and know the Hatchett family personally. My grandchildren have recently profited from summer camp there.

Thank you. Mrs. __________

Whatever plans you have for your children and teens this summer, we hope you will not expose them to the mystical, anti-biblical beliefs of contemplative spirituality, spiritual formation, and the emerging church.


Letter to the Editor: Nothing wrong with Contemplative Prayer or desert fathers, says reader

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

Your dismissal of the tradition of contemplative prayer is totally mistaken and without grounds. It appears that too many Christians, especially within evangelical communities, seem to think that there was Jesus, and then the last 150 years of evangelical history while lobbing off the whole history of Christianity in between. There has been a very strong tradition of contemplative prayer since the earliest days of Christianity. This especially had its flowering in the lives of the early desert fathers and mothers in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries (long before there was any such thing as an protestant evangelical church). John Cassian, (4th century), talks in his Conferences on Prayer of using a brief phrase or word from scripture and repeating it slowly and with reverence – see Conference Ten in his Conference on Prayer. Contemplative prayer had very deep roots in the early Greek Fathers – see St. Gregory of Nyssa (his work – Life of Moses), St. Basil the Great, St Gregory of Nazianzen (4th/5th Century), Psuedo-Dionysius (5th/6th Century) and St. Issac of Syria (7th century). With St. Benedict, in the west, the western monastic tradition took root and in Western Christianity. In the early middle ages – see the work of the “Cloud of Unknowing” by an anonymous author in the 12th century. You also seem to have a real historical memory lapse with regard to the scriptures themselves – the canon of scripture was established by the Church, not the other way around – some of the gospels themselves had not even been written until more than 60 – 70 years after Jesus life, death and resurrection. My point is not to attack your beliefs or try to convert you – but rather to at least have you consider that the contemplative tradition has had a very long historical place and purpose within the Christian tradition since the beginning of the Church. Wasn’t it St. Paul who first said “In Him, we live, move and have our being” or “that God may be all in all.”

Warmest wishes and blessings!!


Sending Your Child or Teen to Camp This Summer? – Be Careful – Many are Promoting Contemplative Spirituality
Letter to the Editor: Nothing wrong with Contemplative Prayer or desert fathers, says reader
Synopsis of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality
Book Review: Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life Promotes “Divine Spark” in All
“Heartfelt” Letter from Voice of the Martyrs Neglects Concern for 10-Year-Old Molested Child
Police close case on Bartlesville ministry leader – “Suspect [ Tom White of VOM] is dead,” say police.
Book Review: Hipster Christianity by Brett McCracken – When “Cool” Isn’t Cool and Is Ashamed of the Gospel
What is Happening in Kenya at Our Mission Project
Watergate/Prison Fellowship figure Chuck Colson dies at age 80
Muddy Waters Has Gone to Press

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50 Top Organizations With a Significant Role in Bringing Contemplative Spirituality to the Church

100 Top Contemplative Proponents Evangelical Christians Turn To Today


How Lighthouse Trails Began – Part One: “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Lighthouse Trails, the Early Years – Part 2 – “A Hot Topic” That Just Wouldn’t Go Away

Lighthouse Trails - Part 3 - Rick Warren Biographer, George Mair, Passes Away at 83 – The Rest of the Story

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Synopsis of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality

Muddy Waters, Lighthouse Trails’ newest release, has gone to press. It will be released on May 28th. Here below is a chapter by chapter synopsis of this unique and important book.

Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality

By Nanci Des Gerlaise

Chapter by Chapter Synopsis

1/A Medicine Man’s Daughter: In this chapter, Nanci describes her childhood on a Métis settlement in Canada, growing up with 15 siblings. Nanci’s life was often filled with terrifying experiences resulting from the family’s history of occultic mystical practices. Her grandfather and later her father were medicine men. The chapter also tells some historical events of the Canadian Native American, such as the Frog Lake Massacre, which was part of the “Northwest Resistance.” Nanci also describes the residential schools, one of which her mother attended as a child, where Native children were taken from their parents’ homes and forced to live in these schools. Often, these children were subjected to physical, sexual, and mental abuse by the Catholic nun and priest schoolmasters.

2/ Religious Influences: Nanci grew up with a mixture of Roman Catholicism, occultism, and Native Spirituality. From séances and sorcery to the eucharist and rosaries, there was a little of every kind of religious influence in her home. When tragedy strikes Nanci’s family, it is the first time she really begins to evaluate her life.

3/ Life and Work “Inside the Wire”: Eventually, Nanci becomes employed with the Canadian prison system as a correctional officer. This chapter gives the reader a glimpse of what life is like for both officer and prisoner. It also reveals how the prison system accommodates political “correctness” by allowing inmates to perform their religious practices, even if those practices are of an occultic nature.

4/ Light in the Midst of Darkness: Nanci backtracks here and tells about her mother’s passing and how she and her siblings were virtually left to fend for themselves, with some of them ending up in foster homes for a season. After years of hardship, alcohol, prescription drugs, and failed relationships, Nanci is introduced to Jesus Christ, to whom she gives her life and heart. She hopes and prays that her medicine man father might too find salvation before he dies.

5/ A Counterfeit Versus the Real Thing: From here, the book moves from the biographical into the roots and beliefs of Native Spirituality. In chapter 5, Nanci talks about two sources of power (Satan and God) but only One source of truth, and how we, whether Native or non-Native, have a sneaky adversary who seeks constantly to deceive us. Throughout the rest of the book, Nanci quotes many Scriptures that back up her warnings and exhortations. Here, in chapter 5, she talks more about the mixture of Catholicism (works) and Native Spirituality (occultism) and the dangerous consequences of such a combination. She also explains how Native Americans have been very wounded and are bitter because Catholicism was forced upon them for so long, leaving many of them to erroneously equate Catholicism with true Christianity. This chapter has an excellent comparison chart: The Biblical View versus the Native Spirituality View (e.g., Creation, Salvation, Sin, etc.)

6/ New Age Elements in North American Native Spirituality: Chapter 6 is like a mini-encyclopedia of the elements of Native Spirituality and how they coincide with New Age beliefs. This extensive chapter is of utmost value and importance as it unveils the nature behind beliefs like: panentheism, animism, neo-paganism, and feminism. It also talks about the Native Spiritual view of the afterlife, ancestral and animal spirits, and curses while describing things like dream catchers and medicine wheels (which are becoming popular in some mainstream Christian groups). The chapter gives a fascinating history of “Peyote and the Native American Church” and explains what powwows, potlatches, and other activities are. Smudging, sun dances, and sweat lodges are also discussed.

7/False Christs, Plastic Shamans, & Mother Earth: Chapter 7 covers some vital information. It gives an account of the Ghost Dance Messiah (Wovoka), a false christ within the Native American culture, and how he became the “Jesus” to many Native Americans during the Ghost Dance Movement (founded in 1890). Also discussed thoroughly is shamanism. A lot of people don’t realize what shamanism is even though forms of it have been introduced into Christianity and western culture. The chapter tells the stories of two shamans who found Jesus Christ and testify of the Gospel today. It explains what Mother Earth and goddess spirituality are and how the United Nations and even Christian leaders, such as Rick Warren, are playing into the hand of a one-world, end-time world peace.

8/Native Spirituality “Renewal” Emerges: Many Native Americans are looking now for a renewal of Native Spirituality, believing they are practicing a completely unique form of spirituality, originating with them. But they couldn’t be further from the truth. Native Spirituality is just one part of a vast movement that is creating a paradigm shift in our present-day culture away from biblical Christianity and replacing it with an all-inclusive interspiritual global religion that relies heavily upon mystical practices. The results will create a “Christianity” that has no resemblance to biblical Christianity whatsoever. In one section of this chapter, “The Emerging Church, the New Age, and Native Spirituality,” Nanci tells how this Native Spirituality “renewal” is on the same path as the emerging church. Nanci talks about some of the “renewal’s” top leaders, such as Richard Twiss, and how they are confusing biblical Christianity with a false religious movement. Gives an example of one Native American community that is standing for biblical truth even in the midst of ridicule and rejection.

9/Can Cultures Be Redeemed?: Probably the most controversial chapter, Nanci asks and answers the question (using many Scriptures) “Can entire cultures be redeemed?.” She biblically challenges the Indigenous People’s Movement, a movement that says that God can be found in all cultures and that becoming “Christian” and leaving one’s cultural religious practices behind isn’t necessary. Exposing the teachings of IPM leaders such as YWAM and Daniel Kikawa (Perpetuated in Righteousness), Nanci leaves no doubt that this “Cultural Identity” movement is harmful and goes against the Word of God. She also addresses the issue of missionaries. IPM leaders say they have done no good for the Native Americans. Nanci shows otherwise. She also asks the question, is the God of the Bible the “Great Spirit” or Allah and shows how the Bible identifies the names of God and does not include names used by pagan cultures.

10/Living Waters: This final chapter gives practical and biblical advice to those who have been involved in some type of occultism, mysticism, or Native Spirituality. Using Scripture and suggested ways to pray, Nanci shows how those under demonic oppression from past activities can be set free and given new life in Christ. She talks about the armor of God and how vital it is for the believer’s life.

(From chapter 10) “God is in the process of renewing the mind of a believer and making him aware of what is pleasing and displeasing to Him. A great deal of the New Testament talks about putting to death the evil deeds of the body by the Spirit (Galatians 5, Romans 6, 8, Colossians 3) as well as renouncing and fleeing from the works of darkness. Repentance is a process that really means turning around in the mind and going in the complete opposite direction. And only God’s Word, through the power and illumination of the Holy Spirit, can transform our minds (see Romans 12:2).”

Afterword: It’s clear, by reading Muddy Waters that Nanci loves her Native American people. Her heart is that they might come to know the Savior who rescued her. She has written from this standpoint, with the hope that many will see the difference between the true Gospel and false religion. Here, in the Afterword, she excerpts Egerton Ryerson Young, a young missionary in the late 1800s, who lived among the Cree people of Manitoba for many years.

Terminology: Several terms, such as Métis and Treaty Indians, are defined.

Appendix I: Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War: Comparison charts between God, man, and Satan.

Appendix II: Names for God: A five-page list of the names used for God in the Bible. A great resource.

Appendix III: The Story of Maskepetoon: A special bonus – the story of a Cree chief from the 1800s, Maskepetoon, who it turns out was connected to Nanci’s family long ago and was, himself, greatly affected by the Gospel of Jesus Christ


Book Review: Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life Promotes “Divine Spark” in All

Cure for the Common Life, by author Max Lucado, is a book about “living in your sweet spot.” Lucado tells readers in chapter one to “[h]eed that inner music,” and quoting mystic Martin Buber from his book, The Way of Man (a book on Jewish mysticism), Lucado tells readers they each have a “divine spark.” Buber had panentheistic affinities as he embraced the teachings of Hasidism (Jewish mysticism) and believed that this divine spark that Lucado refers to is in every human being and every part of creation.

Throughout Lucado’s book, he quotes other mystics and contemplatives: Saint Thomas Aquinas,Thomas Merton, Eugene Peterson and Richard Foster. It is Thomas Merton who said:

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race,… now I realize what we all are…. If only they [people]could all see themselves as they really are … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other…. At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth…. This little point … is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.

Merton and Buber shared this belief that everyone had a divine spark. When Max Lucado quotes men of these persuasions, telling readers they each have a “sweet spot” then referring to a divine spark in everyone, this is very confusing and will leave the unaware spiritual seeker believing him.

Cure for the Common Life has drawn endorsements from an assortment of Christian leaders, and their names sit on the front inside covers of Lucado’s book as well as on the back cover. New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard says of the book, “Max Lucado has done it again! He has taken simple truths and made them available to all of us (emphasis mine). Richard Foster says, “I’m so glad for Max Lucado’s insightful call for us to live and work as we are intrinsically designed by God.” Sheila Walsh said that the “message of this book could change your life forever.” Bob Coy (Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale) and Bob Buford ( of the emergent advocating Leadership Network) also gave raving reviews of the book. On the back cover, New Age sympathizer Laurie Beth Jones says, “This book can cure whatever ‘blah’ that ails you!” Jones would fit more in with the New Spirituality than with evangelical Christianity even though she is considered by many to be an evangelical writer. In Jones book, Teach Your Team to Fish, she states: “I have been challenged by the concept of meditation … I decided recently to accept the invitation of a friend to experience the sheer silence of meditation-undirected prayer. … I had before only sensed intellectually … But by going deep into prayer I could almost feel it.” (p. 142.)

Lucado seems to be coming out of the contemplative closet. He was featured on the Be Still DVD, along with Richard Foster and Beth Moore. In that DVD, Lucado emphasized the importance of contemplative prayer, saying “It’s nothing mystical, necessarily. It’s nothing secretive. It’s just what we do with our body we do with our soul.” But Richard Foster would probably disagree – contemplative is mystical, and in many ways is very secretive.

Christian leaders with contemplative and New Age sympathies are not the only ones who love Cure for the Common Life. Barnes and Noble bookstores recently began a New Age-promoting project called East West that is “a resource for conscious [New Age] living. It opens doors to self-discovery, higher awareness and true understanding.” Under the best sellers list are five titles, one of them being Lucado’s book Cure For the Common Life. This is what East West says of Lucado’s book:

According to New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado, you were designed as a one-of-a-kind to achieve one God-given purpose. And embedded in your soul are the power and passion to fulfill it. As Dr. Phil McGraw writes, “Cure for the Common Life can help you find that uniqueness that puts it all in perspective, and show you how to live it every day so that you aren’t just existing in God’s creation but thriving in His plan.”

Apparently, those with New Age persuasions admire Lucado’s “divine spark” in everyone idea. And why not. That’s what the New Age is really all about.


“Heartfelt” Letter from Voice of the Martyrs Neglects Concern for 10-Year-Old Molested Child

As many of you know, Voice of the Martyrs long-time Executive Director, Tom White is suspected of committing suicide last month. On Wednesday, April 25th, 2012, Voice of the Martyrs president, Jim Dau, issued a statement titled: "Heartfelt Letter from VOM's President on Tom White." The letter expressed deep sorrow for the untimely suicide death of Tom White. The letter did mention that White took his life after allegations came forth that White "had inappropriate contact with a young girl." While the letter said that White loved his wife and children and that personnel at VOM were heartbroken, virtually nothing was noted in the letter to express the deep sorrow that should be felt for the alleged 10- year-old victim. When a child is molested, it is a scar he or she will live with the rest of his or her life.

While we can understand that VOM staff and leaders are most likely in a state of shock and despair over Tom White's apparent suicide and the circumstances surrounding his death, they need to understand that they are being watched right now by millions around the world to see how they will handle this tragic situation. God forbid that they would try to white wash and minimize what Tom White allegedly did. When you have organizations such as the American Psychological Association stating that sexual contact with children is OK as long as the child is consenting, and when you have a fallen society, such as America, that says homosexuality is normal and abortion is acceptable, and when you have a society that is filled with pornography from grocery stores to the Internet, Christian believers cannot fall into such a demoralizing evil trap that by its very nature denies God.

Even referring to White's alleged child abuse as "inappropriate contact with" somehow minimizes such a crime. Using the word "with" can give the impression that there is some sort of mutual agreement. Rather than stating "inappropriate contact with," it would be better to state "immoral contact against" the girl. We don't mean to sound picky, but VOM should choose their words very carefully right now, for the sake of their ministry, for the sake of child abuse victims everywhere, and yes, for the sake of the Gospel.

We are not trying to say that the work Tom White participated in for many years at VOM to help persecuted people should be negated. But please, VOM, do not try to make this less than it is. Take this opportunity to humbly apologize to the body of Christ, to the little girl and her family, and to God.

Perhaps, Jim Dau left out feelings of remorse for the little girl in order to protect VOM financially or legally. But if VOM thinks they will help their organization maintain its integrity and financial strength by writing letters like the one Jim Dau wrote, they are terribly mistaken. Humility, repentance, restitution (to the girl and other possible victims), biblical integrity, honesty - these are the qualities that their donors and supporters will be looking for.

Voice of the Martyrs has, as have most mainstream Christian organizations, been promoting contemplative spirituality and showing signs of being sympathetic toward Catholicism. Wouldn't this tragedy be a perfect time to get right with God, and in so doing, point the world to the One Who came to save whosoever shall believe on Him?

Feedback on Article about Calvary Chapel and Child Sex Abuse Case

Child Sex Abuse – Can We Ignore It?

“Teg Haggard Story Will Raise Serious Questions For All”

Mental Health Group Looks to Remove Stigma From Pedophilia – American Psychological Association’s Role in These Efforts

Letter to Tom White of Voice of the Martyrs (September 2011 by a LT reader on ecumenism)

Resources on Child Abuse from Lighthouse Trails:

Laughter Calls Me

The Color of Pain

The Kinsey Syndrome

Police close case on Bartlesville ministry leader – “Suspect [ Tom White of VOM] is dead,” say police.

Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (WTW) — Police have closed a sex-abuse investigation after the head of an international Christian ministry named as a suspect apparently killed himself, authorities said Monday.

Tom White, 64, was being investigated, but had not been charged, in the abuse of a 10-year-old girl.

White was found dead last month at the Bartlesville headquarters of The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit that provides medical supplies, food and clothing to those in need. . . . Bartlesville Police Capt. Jay Hastings said the department is closing its abuse investigation because the suspect is dead. Click here to continue reading.

Book Review: Hipster Christianity by Brett McCracken – When “Cool” Isn’t Cool and Is Ashamed of the Gospel

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. I Timothy 4:1

Hipster Christianity, a book written by Brett McCracken, is being publicized by both secular and Christian media, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, American Family News, and Christianity Today (cover story). According to McCracken, his book Hipster Christianity ”goes deep into the questions of what it means to be cool and what it means to be Christian.” The subtitle of the book reads: When Church and Cool Collide. McCracken’s “hipster Christianity” is nothing more than emerging (merging) spirituality looked at through different colored sunglasses. Many may be fooled into thinking that “hipster Christianity” is a “cool” way to look at biblical Christianity. It’s not. And it has nothing to do with the way one dresses or which “hip” sunglasses or reading glasses he or she is wearing. It’s about spiritual deception, which often looks “good,” (especially to those who don’t know what God’s Word says) but in actuality is lethal.

For those wondering if McCracken, managing editor of Biola University’s magazine and regular writer for the emergent Relevant magazine, considers himself a “hipster,” the answer he gives in the introduction of his book is “yes.” He is not writing impartially as some may think or assume.

McCracken has found resonance with a lot of emerging leaders, one of them being Shane Claiborne, whom McCracken says is ”perhaps one of the most important Christian hipsters around” (p. 99). If indeed Claiborne is one of the most important hipster’s, then consider the following as to the direction that the “hipster” spirituality is going. In Claiborne’s book, Irresistible Revolution, Claiborne states: “I don’t know if you’ve read the Bible, and if you haven’t, I think you may be in a better place than those of us who have read it so much that it has become stale” (p. 40). Claiborne, “one of the most important hipsters around” is telling his readers that the Bible hasn’t become sweeter and richer to him over the years – it has become stale. This is not the words of someone who loves and embraces God’s Word.

In Shane Claiborne’s book, Jesus for President, on page 229, Claiborne references New Age/New Spirituality panentheist Matthew Fox. Lighthouse Trails e-mailed Claiborne in 2008 and asked him about this reference. He wrote back and told us: “This was a typo — it should be ‘Tom Fox.’” But putting Matthew Fox instead of Tom Fox isn’t a typo – it’s a slip. Either way, one of Claiborne’s admirers, Leonard Sweet, who tells Claiborne’s readers “read this book to hear the irresistible voice of Jesus on every page,” also references the Episcopalian priest Fox telling Sweet’s own readers that Matthew Fox is one of his “personal role models” and “heroes.” (Quantum Spirituality, front matter)

Shane Claiborne isn’t the only “important” figure to “hipster” emerging Christians. Brett McCracken tells readers in Hipster Christianity that these “hip” Christians identify also with panentheistic/mystic/Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (p. 98). This is significant in uncovering the truth about “Hipster Christianity.” First of all, consider the following statements by Chardin – understand these, and you will understand the great deception taking place in the name of Christianity today.

What I am proposing to do is to narrow that gap between pantheism and Christianity by bringing out what one might call the Christian soul of pantheism or the pantheist aspect of Christianity. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Christianity and Evolution (Harcourt, 1969), p. 56

Now I realize that, on the model of the incarnate God whom Christianity reveals to me, I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe. Thereby, too, my deepest ‘pantheist’ aspirations are satisfied. Chardin, Christianity and Evolution (Harcourt, 1969), p. 128

I believe that the Messiah whom we await, whom we all without any doubt await, is the universal Christ; that is to say, the Christ of evolution. Chardin, Christianity and Evolution (Harcourt, 1969), p. 95 (these quotes taken from A “Wonderful” Deception, research book by Warren B. Smith)

Bring to the scene again, Leonard Sweet. Sweet has on more than one occasion revealed his admiration for Chardin, calling him “twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice” in Sweet’s book, Quantum Spirituality ( p. 106). And in Sweet’s 1994 book, Aqua Church, he quotes Chardin saying, “Christ is in the church in the same way as the sun is before our eyes. We see the same sun as our fathers saw and yet we understand it in a much more magnificent way” (p. 39).

What is behind this “more magnificent way” of seeing things? This is the emerging/hipster/evolutionary spirituality that rejects the Bible as the stable, consistent, and trustworthy inspired Word of God and rather clings to the idea that God or Divinity indwells (and is equal to) all things. Hipsters and emergents are attracted to those who reject God’s Word, hoping to envelope Christianity with a spiritual evolution that says we are evolving beyond the limitations of what is written in the Bible. These merging interspiritual panentheists are ashamed of the Gospel; but they try to veil that shame in social justice and environmental causes all the while shunning the whole counsel of God. An example of this is on Leonard Sweet’s Jesus Manifesto website (named after his book of the same name) where he says that “Christians have made the gospel about so many things” other than Christ, such as “doctrines” and “ideas,” states Sweet’s website. This is a common way among merging authors to reject the authority of Scripture and even making Christians feel guilty and ashamed for holding to “doctrine” as if it is some plague rather than the framework of our faith. But Scripture says that this “doctrine” (the message of the Gospel) is the power of God to salvation, and we should not be ashamed of it:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Romans 1:16

Other figures McCracken includes in his emerging, hipster “Christianity” are contemplative proponents Mark Driscoll, Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz), Lauren Winner, and Rob Bell. Add to this Jay Baaker. McCracken says “Christian hipsters love thinking and acting Catholic…. They love the Pope, liturgy, incense, lectio divina…” (p. 98).

McCracken asks the question, where can you find “Christian hipsters” and answers it accurately by saying Christian colleges and Christian college towns (p. 106), now hotbeds for apostasy. Of course, he includes the contemplative promoting Biola University in his list of “cool” colleges. McCracken delves into the political arena and explains how “cool” young Christians helped to bring Obama into office (pp. 158-160). Parents who have kids attending Christian colleges should hop in their cars today, head down to those colleges, and find out just what your kids are being introduced to. On McCracken’s website, it states:

A huge number of Christian hipsters are college students or newly graduated wayfarers. Birthed in vast quantity on the campuses of Christian colleges, these sorts of Christian hipsters embody that newbie, activist spirit of “just now discovering that I can be Christian and care about the poor” [this is the apostate church's way of saying that Christians never cared about the poor until Purpose Driven/emerging/hipster "Christianity" came along - a lie to be sure]. … With one foot in their old [meaning out dated] Baptist youth group and the other on the unsteady terrain of viewing missions through the lens of post-colonialism [a favorite term used by emerging leaders to indicate that fundamentalist Bible believing Christians are archaic], these kids are horizon-broadened, foundation-shaken [true - shaking the foundation of their biblical faith] and mind-blown on a daily basis, as they encounter such things as genocide, non-western plumbing, or Camus for the first time in their lives. All the while they are learning to live lives of unconventionality–dabbling in post-legalism rebellion and vice (cheap alcohol and tobacco mostly) while figuring out how to sustain a more authentic and substantial Christianity than the feeble religion [yes, McCracken is talking about the way you raised your children] of their upbringing.

While popular emerging church leaders have tried to say that the emerging church is dead (see: Some Say the Emerging Church is Dead – the Truth Behind the Story) (and now hipster is better), nothing has changed. It’s the same panentheistic merging deception that Satan presented to Eve in the Garden when he asked her to question God and tempted her in desire to be God.

The Bible says that in the days before Christ returns, there will be great deception. The devil is running like mad, to and fro, trying to confuse, deceive, and manipulate Christians into turning away from the one and only true Gospel message. After all, if Christians preach the true Gospel, people will get saved and spend eternity with the Lord. Hipster Christianity is just the enemy’s latest effort to stop the Gospel from being proclaimed.

Don’t be fooled, Hipster Christianity isn’t “cool” at all – it is lukewarm spirituality – this is one time when “cool” is not cool and is ashamed of the Gospel.

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Acts 20:27-29

What is Happening in Kenya at Our Mission Project

There has been quite a bit going on in Kenya at the Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails sponsored mission project. Since Roger returned from his second trip to Rongo to meet with Pastor Achilla and his pastoral team, 15 Bryce Homes for Children have now been started. Donations coming from both UTT and LT readers are supporting all these homes. While there isn't a lot to spare, provision is coming in to make sure the children and caretakers of all these homes have food, clothing, and housing. Pastor Achilla has told us that this has really made a huge change in the community - people around are seeing the hand and love of God in a once-forgotten region.

The needs are very great there - that is an understatement! But we love to see the way God provides for specific needs right when they are most needed. For instance, about a month ago, we learned through Pastor Achilla one morning that the rains had come and the twelve teen girls at Bryce Home #12 in Suna had no jackets and were cold. About an hour later, a Lighthouse Trails reader called and told us that she had felt very strongly that she was to give something for the 12 girls. She asked if they had any specific needs. We told her about the need for jackets. By the following day, we had the money she gave to Pastor Achilla, who purchased jackets for all the girls and promptly delivered them in Suna.

Girls with their new jackets

Another time, that same donor called. The girls had just received their new school uniforms (they are required to wear these to attend the small Christian school for girls in Suna), but they needed socks and shoes. Within a couple days, thanks to the donation, the girls had their stockings and school shoes.

And there are other stories like these where God has provided the needs for this work in Kenya through the UTT and Lighthouse Trails donors.

Whether you are able to donate or not, we hope you will pray for these 12 girls and also for the children of the other 14 Bryce Homes. Sickness and disease are a constant threat. And then there are the extreme weather conditions (drought or torrents of rain or hail) that make life in Kenya very difficult much of the time. Water is often not easy to get, unless a good well is near by (which we do have at the location in Suna - praise God - thanks to donations from Lighthouse Trails readers), but many of the Bryce Homes do not have a working well near by.

In addition to health concerns, please pray that the children's hearts will be receptive to the Gospel and God's Word. While the Bryce Home project is certainly working to provide for basic physical needs (food, clothing, and housing) of the children (now over 110 children in Kenya), our greatest desire is to see all of these children raised in the ways of the Lord according to Scripture. UTT and LT have provided Bibles and other materials so that the pastors and other church leaders working with the homes will be able to grow spiritually themselves and teach the Word of God to the children and caretakers.

We've had to move slowly (as resources become available), and when we first launched the Bryce Home project, it was imperative that we first met the physical needs of the children. In many of the homes, the children were only getting one meal a day and several of the houses were leaking very badly. Some of the children did not have mattresses to sleep on or even their own blanket. Now all the children have enough food each day, mattresses, blankets, and other necessities. UTT has used donations to start building new houses where needed.

This week one of the homes - Widow Florence - burnt down. This happened when an ember from the cooking fire smoldered in a pile of clothing causing a full fledged fire around 11pm one night. Praise God that no one was hurt during the fire, but the house was destroyed as were all the belongings. There are 10 children who live with Widow Florence. UTT is going to finance to have a new house built for Florence and the children living there. We are in discussion with Pastor Achilla and the architect, Walter, to see that three rooms are put in new houses from now on, one solely for cooking. We are also working with them to develop a plan where a stone chimney and stove of some sort can be put into the new houses so the risk of fire is diminished. If you would like to donate to Widow Florence's new house, please email UTT at: understandthetimes@cox.net or go to http://www.understandthetimes.org/ongoingkenya.shtml where you can donate online. You can specify what the donation is for.

Florence looking at the remains in her burnt house.

We post ongoing stories and information about this work, which is supported solely by UTT and LT readers, in each newsletter. You may visit www.missionsfortruth.com (the LT missions site) and www.understandthetimes.org for more information, photos, and how to donate. Donations going to UTT are tax-deductible and used for food, housing, education, medical needs, agriculture, and other needs. Donations going to LT are not tax-deductible and used for clothing, medical, new construction, transportation costs, new Bibles, and other needs.

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Watergate/Prison Fellowship figure Chuck Colson dies at age 80

From April 21, 2012

By Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY

Charles “Chuck” Colson, the Watergate figure who became a born-again Christian in prison and worked with inmates, has died, according to a family spokesman.

OBIT: Charles Colson dies at age 80

From a statement on Colson’s official website:

Evangelical Christianity lost one of its most eloquent and influential voices today with the death of Charles W. “Chuck” Colson. The Prison Fellowship and Colson Center for Christian Worldview founder died at 3:12 p.m. on Saturday from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage. Colson was 80.

A Watergate figure who emerged from the country’s worst political scandal, a vocal Christian leader and a champion for prison ministry, Colson spent the last years of his life in the dual role of leading Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, and the Colson Center, a teaching and training center focused on Christian worldview thought and application.

. . . The Prison Fellowship and Colson Center for Christian Worldview founder died at 3:12 p.m. on Saturday from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage. Colson was 80.

A Watergate figure who emerged from the country’s worst political scandal, a vocal Christian leader and a champion for prison ministry, Colson spent the last years of his life in the dual role of leading Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, and the Colson Center, a teaching and training center focused on Christian worldview thought and application. Click here to continue reading.



Muddy Waters Has Gone to Press

Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality by Canadian Cree author Nanci Des Gerlaise has gone to press. – Back from press on May 28th. Order your copy today.

A warning to Native and Non-Native Christian believers alike . . . and a call to those Involved in Native Spirituality, the New Age, or occultism

Book Information: ISBN: 9780984636648 232 Pages, Retail $13.95

Table of Contents and Preface

Is the “Great Spirit” the same as the Holy Spirit of the Bible? * * What are Native Spirituality practices such as, vision quests, shamanism, sweat lodge ceremonies, dream catchers * * What is the Native “Renewal”? * * Can cultures be redeemed? * * How Native Spirituality & the Emerging Church Are on the Same Path

Description: Many Christians see no problem combining the beliefs and practices of Native American Spirituality with their view of Christianity. But Nanci Des Gerlaise knows differently. Raised on a Metis settlement with fifteen brothers and sisters, Nanci’s childhood and young adult life was riddled with terrors that come with being the daughter and granddaughter of medicine men. Muddy Waters tells the story of this Cree Native American woman, who after years of struggle, oppression, and spiritual darkness found light and truth in the One who offered her freedom.

But Muddy Waters is not just a biography. It delves deeply into the framework of Native Spirituality. While Native American Christians are looking for a great spiritual awakening within the First Nations/Native American groups–by incorporating Native Spirituality practices into their Christianity–right under their noses, a massive worldwide deception is swiftly surging forward. Partly in overcompensation for very real injustices committed against Native Americans, Native Spirituality has become politically correct inasmuch as traditional biblical Christianity is on a fast track to becoming politically incorrect. Sadly, in the process, the Gospel, which is “the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16) is being pushed aside, as if it were to blame–leaving countless numbers of people–both Native American and non-Native–without the sure hope that only comes through knowing Jesus Christ. Click here to order this book.



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