HOME                  July 4, 2012
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Dream Catchers – Those Popular Spidery “Sacred Hoops”

By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(from Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality)

Dream catchers—those spidery “sacred hoops” with feathers. They originated with the Ojibwa tribe during the ’60s and ’70s, supposedly to protect a sleeper by “catching” bad dreams or evil spirits. Then they caught on with other tribes and spread through the New Age movement into popular culture. Today, it is not uncommon to see dream catchers in gift and variety stores. Dream catchers are even used in some public school settings, as the following describes:

Every classroom displayed at least one dreamcatcher—a magical spider web inside a sacred circle. The students explained that dreamcatchers protect them from evil spirits and nightmares by catching the bad dreams but permitting good dreams to pass though the center. According to fourth grade teacher Ms. Preston, the amber crystal in the center of her dreamcatcher meant proper spiritual alignment with the energy of the universe.1

But you can be sure, most of the general public has no idea of the meaning and purpose of dream catchers.

Basically, using a dream catcher in its intended purpose is nothing more than a form of practicing occultism. How can an inanimate object “catch” evil spirits, much less bad dreams? And why attempt to “catch” evil spirits or nightmares when you cannot fight them physically?

Although Native people can sometimes see into the spiritual world of darkness, dream catchers, or anything having to do with the occult, merely attract evil spirits and demonic activity and provide no means of protection from them. Using dream catchers is an open invitation for more spiritual works of darkness.

If you are a born-again Christian, you have a Protector—God Almighty—Who stands between us and the evil realm. We need nothing more than Jesus Christ Himself who overcame all works and powers of darkness by His death and resurrection. If we pay attention to God’s Word and not to seducing spirits, we can walk in His freedom from fear.

Ephesians 6:12 says that our battle is not against “flesh and blood,” but is against “principalities,” “powers,” “the rulers of the darkness” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” And in Hebrews, we read:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

(This has been an excerpt from the new release, Muddy Waters, by Nanci Des Gerlaise, pp. 81-83).

Notes:
1. Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools (Kjos Ministries, http://www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/1-globalvillage.html), ch. 1.

FROM PHYSICS TO METAPHYSICS

by Roger Oakland

Evolution, according to its biological definition, is a mechanism that changes life through time. Although for years, many have used the idea of evolution to explain away God, there are many today who are saying, because of evolution, everything is God. This trend is obvious in Great Britain, the very country where Charles Darwin authored his theory – physics has turned into metaphysics? How is this possible?

Glastonbury is situated in the southern part of England. From antiquity, Glastonbury has been known as a mystical center where numerous people have made the claim they have encountered the spiritual realm. Many and fantastic are the legends, a mythology which is still alive and growing today. Every year people go there from all over the world seeking spiritual solutions to their physical problems.

I had the opportunity to visit Glastonbury in the spring of 1997 while I was in England. I had just spent a couple of days researching the life of Charles Darwin and investigating the impact this man had on so many lives. His message, centered on natural selection and survival of the fittest, still shapes the thinking of evolutionists today. His motive, a disdain for Christianity, provides the basis for the “scientific” view there is no need for the supernatural. Today, throughout England and around the world, numerous monuments erected in his honor called “natural history museums,” project his beliefs as if he were God.

My trip to Glastonbury and Stonehenge revealed another aspect of Darwinism that most “evolutionary biologists” are not thrilled to discuss. The idea of natural selection may have been designed to explain God away, but in reality, through time, it has been the catalyst which has created an environment which has done exactly the opposite. It seems there has been a major shift in thinking over the past few decades. Our present generation has become frustrated with believing in naturalism. Now they are willing to believe that anything and everything is God.

There is no question mysticism and superstition, which modern science was supposed to have eliminated, has made a comeback in Great Britain. The shops in Glastonbury were filled with spiritual paraphernalia which would make one think we had returned to the pagan past.

At the core of these resurrected ideas was the basic belief in evolution. Man, according to the “new spirituality,” is on the verge of taking a giant leap of evolution. “Space brothers” or “spiritual guides,” whom it is believed have evolved to a “higher lever,” are waiting for us to make the leap. Meanwhile, worldly intellects are encouraged to spend their time practicing yoga, humming mantras or rubbing crystals. There are many ways to contact the “gods.”

I am fascinated with how evolution has evolved over the years – from mysticism to Darwinism then back to mysticism again. History has repeated itself, just as it has done many times before. The only thing that is unique this time is that “evolutionary mysticism” is a global religion. The Bible describes this current trend as “Christian Babylonianism.” The Bible also makes it clear that it will trigger off God’s wrath. Based upon my understanding of current events, it appears the time of God’s wrath may be soon! (from Understand the Times with Roger Oakland).

 

 

Dream Catchers – Those Popular Spidery “Sacred Hoops”
From Physics to Metaphysics
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook – Christian Organizations, Seminaries, and Ministry Leaders Incorporate This Mystical Primer into Christian Education
Where Are We Going?
Brave Minnesota mother risks going to prison for continuing to facilitate raw milk distribution
Letter to the Editor: What Does Lighthouse Trails Believe About Israel?
Story of Child Predator, Jerry Sandusky – Birth mom: I raised questions about Jerry Sandusky
German Court Makes Circumcision for Religious Reasons a Crime
Hindu Professor Puts It Straight for Christian Women Doing Yoga
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SPOTLIGHT INFORMATION


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

100 Top Contemplative Proponents Evangelical Christians Turn To Today

CONTEMPLATIVE
COLLEGE LIST


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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Spiritual Disciplines Handbook – Christian Organizations, Seminaries, and Ministry Leaders Incorporate This Mystical Primer into Christian Education

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun is a primer on contemplative mysticism, bursting with contemplative meditation instruction along with references and quotes by some of the movement’s most prolific mystics on the scene today. It’s a book one might expect to find on the shelves of a Catholic monastery, a New Age bookstore, or in an emerging church coffee house; while it probably is in those types of places, the book has become a common textbook in many spiritual formation classes and has found a growing audience with evangelical pastors, seminary professors, and Christian ministry leaders. In fact, many of those in ministry are eagerly flocking to this book, and in so doing pointing potentially millions of Christians to the book’s message. While we have made mention of this book in several articles over the past decade, we feel it is time to present a more focused critique of Calhoun’s book and her message.

Who is promoting Calhoun’s handbook? First of all, a major advocate of the book for a number of years is Rick Warren. You can find the book on his resource website, where Saddleback gives a hearty recommendation for the book. Willow Creek also recommends the book in their Establishing Life Giving Rhythms class. In a course at Reformed Theological Seminary, the book is being used as “required reading.” (2013 Update: *A professor contacted us from Reformed Theological Seminary to say that Calhoun’s book was “optional required” reading, not “mandated required” reading. Also he told us that the book is no longer being used in that course.) In Olivet Nazarene University’s Spiritual Formation and Personal Development course, the book is listed in the “Suggested Reading” section. In Biola’s online course, Introduction to Spiritual Formation, the book is “Recommended Reading.” Assemblies of God Theological Seminary’s course, Renewing the Spiritual Leader includes Calhoun’s book in a list for required reading. Moody Bible Institute’s Midday Connection radio program had Calhoun as a guest speaker in November 2011, and Midday Connection host Anita Lustrea talks about Calhoun in her own book, What Women Tell Me. Lustrea, tells how she met Calhoun during a course called Growing Your Soul and how Calhoun taught her some of the contemplative “spiritual disciplines” (p. 125). On the Wesleyan denomination’s website, in a Spiritual Formation course, Calhoun’s book is listed in a Bibliography on Spiritual Formation. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) had Calhoun as one of the speakers at their 2011 MOPS International Convention. On the book’s publisher’s website (InterVarsity Press), you will find an endorsement for the book by the popular pastor Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian of NYC, who says of Calhoun’s handbook:

I have long profited from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun’s gifts in the field of spiritual development, and I am delighted that she has compiled her experience with spiritual disciplines into book form. I highly recommend it and I look forward to using it as a resource at our church.

These are just a few instances of many more where evangelical Christians or organizations are turning to Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook for spiritual direction (see below this article for more who use the book). Now let us examine this book and see why it is so troubling to know it is being used in so many Christian venues.

As we stated above, Calhoun’s book is permeated with references of and quotes by some of the most prolific contemplative mystics today. But she doesn’t just quote and reference these mystics - in her book, she reveals that these teachers are her ”spiritual tutors.” She states:

I would be remiss not to mention the spiritual tutors that I know only through books: Dorothy Bass, Eugene Peterson, Gerald May, M. Basil Pennington, Dallas Willard, Phyllis Tickle, Fredrick Buechner, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Richard Rohr, Jonathan Edwards [not a contemplative], Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius Loyola, St. Benedict, Julian of Norwich and many more. Their ideas, voices and examples have shaped my own words and experience of the disciplines. (Acknowledgment’s page)

For those who have spent time on the Lighthouse Trails website or read A Time of Departing and Faith Undone, most of these names above will be familiar to you. You will know that the late Gerald May was the co-founder of the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation in Washington DC., and as Ray Yungen points out, May adhered to “Eastern metaphysical views,” which can be seen in many of his writings, including his book The Awakened Heart where he discusses the “cosmic presence” “pervading ourselves and all creation” (ATOD, p. 67). Yungen points out that “there can be no mistaking [May's] theological underpinnings” when May says:

It is revealed in the Hindu greetings jai bhagwan and namaste that reverence the divinity that both resides within and embraces us all. (The Awakened Heart, pp. 179-180)

Gerald May makes it very clear in that statement where he is coming from. This panentheistic, God-in-everybody view, which May embraced is the “fruit” of contemplative spirituality and is why we are so persistent in warning about this spiritual outlook that has entered the Christian church. Think about it, Adele Calhoun sees Gerald May as a spiritual tutor, and now she is presenting the beliefs of these tutors to untold numbers of Christians via her book. Let’s look at another tutor whom she turns to – Basil Pennington. In a book written by Pennington and Thomas Keating (who, by the way, Calhoun also recommends), the two Catholic monks write:

We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and “capture” it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible.

Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices, especially where they have been initiated by reliable teachers and have a solidly developed Christian faith to find inner form and meaning to the resulting experiences. (Finding Grace at the Center, pp. 5-6)

Calhoun would agree with Pennington and Keating on their views of “Eastern techniques.” She talks about these kinds of practices in her book, such as in the chapter she titles “Centering Prayer” where she instructs readers to focus on a “sacred word,” or in the chapter she titles “Breath Prayer,” where she encourages “short repetitive prayer[s],” or in her chapter titled Devotional Reading, where she talks about lectio divina and picking out one word from a passage of Scripture, a word which becomes the focus for meditation, or in her chapter titled “The Labyrinth Prayer,” where one is taught how to walk through a labyrinth while doing contemplative meditation. She also tells readers to “Explore the practice of liturgical prayer through using the book The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle, or The Daily Office of the Catholic church” (Kindle Edition, Locations 2861-2862). For those of you who may not know who Phyllis Tickle is, she has been the darling and a favorite mentor of emerging church leaders. It is Tickle who likened atonement-rejector Brian McLaren to another Luther, saying he could be instrumental in bringing about a “new reformation.”

One can also see how Calhoun resonates with Pennington and Keating when she favorably says that “three Cistercian monks, Thomas Keating, Basil Pennington and William Meninger, sought to revive this ancient form of meditative prayer.” (Kindle Edition, Locations 2460-2461). By the way, Calhoun recommends (Kindle Edition, Location 2498) Keating’s book, Open Mind, Open Heart, another ”textbook” on contemplative and centering prayer. In that book, Keating says this:

Centering prayer is a discipline designed to reduce the obstacles … choose a sacred word [to repeat] … Twenty to thirty minutes is the minimum amount of time necessary for most people to establish interior silence. (pp. 18, 21, 23 as quoted from Faith Undone, p. 81)

The repeating of a word or phrase is how contemplative prayer is practiced. This in turn begins to make the practitioner feel a oneness with God, humanity, creation, and with everything. This oneness is the whole crux of the matter. After awhile, the contemplative meditator begins to take on a different spiritual outlook. It’s what caused Thomas Merton (another mystic you will find in Calhoun’s book) to say “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity . . . I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.” (from David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West” (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969). Or what caused Henri Nouwen (another Calhoun “tutor”) to say at the end of his life after years of meditating:

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.(From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen’s last book page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition)

In addition to the tutors Adele Calhoun lists in her Acknowledgements page, she also includes other names in the book that are important to point out here: David Steindl-Rast, Marjorie Thompson (author of Soul Feast), Brian C. Taylor, Kathleen Norris (a Catholic contemplative nun), Karen Mains, Tilden Edwards, Ruth Haley Barton, and Esther De Waal. Between her “tutors” and these other names along with the practices and ideas Calhoun espouses in Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, the heart of the contemplative prayer movement is clearly and no doubtedly manifested in her book.

The following quotes by some of the people in Calhoun’s book are the focal point of our concerns. These aren’t minor points we’re dealing with. The essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is at risk to those who are being exposed to this. The spirituality that Calhoun and her tutors embrace leads to interspirituality (i.e., all paths lead to God). “Christian mysticism” resonates with Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim mysticism, which means it’s not Christian at all; but practitioners become blinded to that – this is how Henri Nouwen came to call these mystical spiritual practices “treasures for the spiritual life of the Christian.” See now for yourself if you come to the same conclusions we have when you read these quotes:

The God he [Merton] knew in prayer was the same experience that Buddhists describe in their enlightenment. – Brian C. Taylor (Setting the Gospel Free, p. 76 -What Taylor means by this book title is getting rid of the biblical Gospel).

These [Christian] contemplatives also recognize their soul mates in other traditions, as did Thomas Merton in his pilgrimage to Buddhist Asia. This is because they have passed beyond the confines of religion as a closed system to an open awareness of God-in-life. Brian C. Taylor, Setting the Gospel Free

The enlightenment you seek in our religions has been present in Christianity from the beginning – from the back cover of Richard Rohr’s book, The Naked Now

[New Ager] Ken Wilber is really the best teacher today . . . to give us an “integral spirituality.” Pick any book of his that fascinates you, and you will know why I, as a Christian, recommend him. – Richard Rohr, The Naked Now, p. 153 (Wilber’s “integral spirituality” include yoga, zen, TM, kabbalah, tantric sex, kundalini, and centering prayer.)

This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality. – Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend, p. 18

The practice of contemplative prayer might give a Christian ground for constructive dialogue with a meditating Buddhist. – Marjorie Thompson, Soul Feast, Prologue

Skeptics may say, well these quotes are not in Calhoun’s book. That’s true, but anyone can see that Calhoun is encouraging her readers to turn to these mystics by calling them her tutors, quoting from them extensively, and recommending their books.

If you want to know what the end result of practicing contemplative spirituality is, the following quote by David Steindl Rast (who is in Calhoun’s book) sums it up – drop the Cross of Christ! There’s no need for it once the world religions come together under the common denominator of mystical realms:

Unfortunately, over the course of the centuries, this [Christianity] has come to be presented in almost legal language, as if it were some sort of transaction, a deal with God; there was this gap between us and God, somebody had to make up for it—all that business. We can drop that. The legal metaphor seems to have helped other generations. Fine. Anything that helps is fine. But once it gets in the way, as it does today, we should drop it.David Steindl-Rast, talking to a Buddhist (Robert Aitken & Steindl Rast, The Ground We Share, p. 45, emphasis added)

We must choose one, dear Christian – contemplative spirituality or the Cross of Jesus Christ - we cannot have them both.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)


Other Instances Where Spiritual Disciplines Handbook is Being Used:

Anaheim Vineyard – Pastoral Staff Recommends list

Rockbridge Seminary (where Rick Warren is an “advisor”) – Master of Divinity, Master of Ministry Leadership

Eastern Mennonite University“Highly recommended” list

Northpark Theological University - “Highly recommended” list

Nazarene Theological SeminaryBibliography used

LeTourneau University

Trevecca Nazarene University – Formational Resources

 

 

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

By David Dombrowski
Editor at Lighthouse Trails

The expression “Where are we going?” is not an uncommon one, but whether it be a child asking a parent or a fellow traveler posing the question, it usually denotes a sense of being lost and one of concern. Then, of course, posing the question to a stranger could be one of much graver concern. But, in any case, it is a good question to ask because it signifies a desire for safety – to get going in the right direction toward the right destination. When a hunter or a hiker asks that question, it could actually be a matter of life and death; oftentimes, he may have nothing more than a map and a compass, but these tools of navigation can make all the difference when it comes to survival.

I thank God that He has given us His Word to enable us to navigate our way through life, for we are on a life and death journey, and our destination is of utmost importance. The Bible indicates that we are sojourners through life (Psalm 39:12), yet we need not be lost because the Psalms also declare, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Have you ever been hiking when it was beginning to get dark? Hopefully, you got out in time before darkness set in, but this psalmist offers us a picture of someone walking along a path when darkness has already set in. Yet, he has the comfort of a lamp to light his way to safety. We can be encouraged by God’s Word that offers us both comfort and safety, because the fact is we live in a dark world, and the “god of this world” (Satan) blinds the eyes of the unbelieving (2 Corinthians 4:4). But today, it is more than just the atheist and agnostic who are in grave spiritual danger, as multitudes of proclaiming Christians are being blinded by what Scripture refers to as a time of strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:3) or as Paul says elsewhere:

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. (1 Timothy 4:1)

Unfortunately, for many of these people, they will all the while think they are abiding in the truth.

At Lighthouse Trails, we have dedicated ourselves over the years to expose the delusions that have crept into the church and to exhort believers to cling to the Gospel message as our only true assurance of safety. May I say, too, that most of the opposition (and often the most vehement) we have encountered comes from those who call themselves Christians. I cannot tell you how many times we have read things with our mouths dropped open (figuratively, at least) at the fabrications that have been leveled against us by “Christians,” when all the while we have been contending for the truth. Some of these individuals have come right out and told us that their goal was to destroy us as a ministry. If you encounter slander against us, please do both yourself and us the favor of checking out the truth about us. I might add that not only ours, but a number of discernment/research ministries have taken some pretty hard hits in recent years. My only conclusion is that the enemy knows he has but a short time to do his work, and he has even been utilizing people who call themselves Christians to accomplish his purposes. Sometimes our readers wonder why we tend not to make direct attempts to ward off the slanders leveled against us; but slander is one of those poisons that is not fought off so very easily. Those of you who have encountered slander yourself know that the best and oftentimes the only thing to do is to go before the Lord and pray for help and hope that those reading the lies will seek the Lord about it. Our hope is that God has equipped you with discernment over these matters. So many of our articles as well as our books are centered on the Cross or the Gospel because we believe that the preaching and teaching of the Cross is the key to discernment (see 1 John 4:2-3).

In my last article titled “Shamanism or Cutting-Edge Christianity?,” I addressed the fact that mystical spirituality has been drawing multitudes of Christians away from the truth of the Gospel message. I also demonstrated that all these forms of mystical meditation are from the same source in that they connect the practitioner with the world of the occult – a realm that is populated exclusively by deceiving spirits and not shared by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not inhabit a realm that God has declared to be “an abomination unto the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:12). So whether an individual enters the mystical realm (“the silence”) through chanting, the mantra, rhythm, dancing, or focusing on the breath, and whether it be through Eastern mysticism, yoga, New Age meditation, contemplative prayer, Native Spirituality, or shamanism, in each case the practitioner is connecting with and drawing from the same source – an occult realm of deceiving spirits pretending to be “of God” but where in reality neither Jesus Christ nor the Holy Spirit can be found. Seeing that mystical meditation has become common place, I realize a very great number of people would see the statement I just made as fanatical or as a conspiracy theory. But the fact is that a conspiracy is already underway, instigated by Satan himself and performed by his vast number of demons. As Ray Yungen suggests in his book A Time of Departing, mysticism will have much to do with the great delusion that is already sweeping throughout the world. He points out that there is a mystical sector or element in the various religions of the world, so it would only make sense that if the religions of the world are to unite, mysticism will play a major role. Also, as I pointed out in that last article, the Yanomamo shaman practices spiritual disciplines of self-denial reminiscent of the spiritual disciplines of the Desert Fathers. But, these practices, too, are being resurrected today as the latest in cutting-edge Christianity.

Now, as I suggested in that article, because the Yanomamo have been practicing mysticism and the spiritual disciplines for a very long time, it stands to reason that what they have brought to fruition will in time be the outcome of these practices that are sweeping through our churches today. So, without attempting to or pretending to be prophetic, we can forecast the outcome of these practices based on where these practices have brought the Yanomamo and other peoples who practice Native Spirituality. The reason why I can say these things is because when the Yanomamo shaman engages in mysticism, he enters the same mystical realm that Christians do when they engage in contemplative prayer. In both cases, they enter into the same occultic realm and put themselves at the mercy of the demons who inhabit that realm. Unfortunately, the demons are not merciful, but rather pose as angels of light or the Holy Spirit and lead the practitioner away from the simple truth of the Gospel. While promising much, they deliver what is ultimately harmful to the practitioner. Currently, contemplative or mystical prayer is sweeping the church with the sales pitch that it enhances physical, mental, and spiritual well being to include relaxation and a direct connection to hearing from God. But as we have been attempting to demonstrate over the past ten years with our books and articles, contemplative prayer and mysticism do indeed connect one with a spiritual realm, but that realm is not God, and it is not good.

And while the New Age movement promises an Age of Aquarius (or enlightenment) as an age of peace and oneness if we all engage in mystical prayer, the Bible indicates that the last days will be marked by unrest and war. And if we look at the Yanomamo, who have been practicing spirituality for centuries, we can see that the lives of these tribesmen and women are marked not by peace but by unrest and violence. If all that the mystics are saying were true, you would think that when the anthropologists discovered the Yanomamo peoples they would have discovered utopian bliss and celestial innocence; but rather violence and unrest was discovered. The Yanomamo have tried and proven that spirituality is not what sustains a people, but as Chief Shoefoot points out after his conversion, our hope is in Jesus Christ alone. It is tragically ironic that while a Yanomamo chief, like Chief Shoefoot, has time tested and proven that mysticism does not work and has now turned to Jesus, countless Christians are now turning to mysticism to find answers.

The only real difference between the mysticism or Native Spirituality of the Yanomamo and the “Christian mystic” of today is that the Yanomamo have a fully developed spirituality and are far ahead of the mystical leaders and contemplative prayer proponents of the present. An example of this is that the Yanomamo have developed a broader variety of techniques that enable them to enter “the silence” more quickly. For instance, a drug is used that quickly brings the participant to an altered state of consciousness. Interestingly enough, the Book of Revelation makes reference to the re-emergence in the last days of “that great city Babylon” (Revelation 18:21) which was in ancient times a center of idolatry and mysticism, but in the end times will be the mercantile hub of false religion. Revelation 18 describes Babylon as “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Revelation 18:2). But how can it be that a city that practices contemplative prayer and mysticism can be frowned upon by God to such a degree? Is it not because the mystical or occultic realm is the habitation of devils? Chief Shoefoot says that it is so. Of further significance is verse 23 that states: “for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived” (Revelation 18:23). If we consult Strong’s Concordance, we find that the Greek word used for “sorceries” is pharmakeia (pharmacy) signifying medication and derived from the word pharmakon signifying drugs (i.e., spell-giving potions). It seems very possible, therefore, that the mystics of the last days will incorporate drug use into their mystical practices, and as indicated in verse 23 above, this may become a great merchandising endeavor where people all over the world will be using mind-altering drugs. Thomas Merton, who helped to pioneer contemplative prayer into our generation, said he felt sorry for the hippies of the ‘60s who used LSD because, as he pointed out, they could have achieved the same result by practicing contemplative prayer. But the mystic of the end times may actually feel sorry for Thomas Merton because drug use could make the mystical state much more readily attainable by anyone. Contemplative prayer takes some effort by incorporating a mantra-like word or phrase to create a hypnotic state whereas, in the future, the same result could be achieved by popping a pill or inhaling the smoke of a drug – hence “instant” spirituality! Yet, all the while God’s statement about such practices will be, “for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived” (Revelation 18:23). Apparently, whatever happens will be a massive global effort and by it, people all over the world will be living in great delusion.

Perhaps “Babylon the great” spoken of in Revelation 18 refers to the re-emergence of a literal city of mystical practice and idolatry in the last days, but, at the very least, it must refer to a state of affairs that will sweep the world. Mysticism (i.e., occultism) will be practiced on a global scale. And, all the while, the masses will be thinking they are pleasing God by practicing mysticism, oftentimes with the aid of drugs.

Then, this chapter in Revelation brings out one final point where it says, “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Revelation 18:24). May I point out once again that mysticism (or occultism) connects one with a spirit world inhabited by demons posing to be angels of light. The occultist Alice Bailey, under the influence of her spirit guides, predicted that while New Age style meditation will be promoted and propelled by the apostate Christian church, Christians who will not forsake the fundamentals of the faith will be seen as being in the way of bringing in this Age of enlightenment – an age of peace where everyone sees his or her own divinity and oneness with all things. New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard suggests that these resisters of the new world/new reformation will be like a cancer that needs to be excised out of the earth. She calls this elimination the “Selection Process.”1 Now I ask, what can be more hypocritical and diabolical than to think that the annihilation of godly people will bring about peace?

What will be the end of this resurrected city of Babylon? Revelation says, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her” (Revelation 18:8), and again it says, “for in one hour is thy judgment come” (Revelation 18:10). Apparently, the judgment to come will be speedy and severe.

So, while we can only speculate on the details of what will happen, we can be sure that a massive delusion will encompass the world and that severe judgment will also take place. Just knowing this, let us, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, cling the more dearly to the Word of God and the Gospel message. Jesus died on the Cross to save sinners; our hope is in Him and nowhere or no one else. And while it is scary to think of persecution of the believers, it is more frightening to think of God’s judgment on those who abandon God’s Word for a lie. May we remember that no matter what we might suffer as Christians, the safest place to be is in God’s will. Knowing this, let us encourage one another with the comfort and hope that is in the Lord. And let us be assured that we know where we are going.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:13-14

Letter to the Editor: What Does Lighthouse Trails Believe About Israel?
Today, we received an e-mail from someone who asked us what we believe about Israel. For those who have read material at Lighthouse Trails over the past several years, that answer should be pretty clear.

Basically, we believe the Bible says that God made an everlasting covenant with Israel. We do not believe the church replaces Israel (replacement theology). We believe there is biblical prophetic significance with Israel today. We believe that individual Jews need to hear and accept the Gospel just like every human being does, but the Bible is clear that Israel is the apple of His eye, and as believers, we have been grafted in. We have published two books by living Holocaust survivors and carry numerous other materials about the Holocaust, finding it to be one of the most atrocious acts every committed against humanity and particularly against the Jews. We believe Satan hates the Jews and Christians with a special vengeance.

We have posted numerous articles in the past several years that illustrate our concern for and interest in Israel and the Jewish people. In 2011, we began carrying Tony Pearce’s book, The Messiah Factor, which we find to be one of the best books we have read regarding Israel and the Jews. Below are a couple extracts from that book. We have also posted some articles by Pastor Bill Randles, who has written extensively about Israel. Below are some of those articles as well as others we have covered. Hopefully, these articles will clearly show our views regarding Israel and the Jewish people.

Israel in comparison to Arab countries: Israel – Red; Arab Countries: Green

SOME OF OUR COVERAGE OF ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE:

Hitler was NOT a Christian: A Christian Response to a False Accusation by Lighthouse Trails

Who Really Killed Jesus? (A word to those who hate the Jews) by Tony Pearce

Israel/Flotilla Coverage You May Not Hear in the Mass Media – “Israel Should Go Home to Germany!”

Balaam, On Being Paid to Curse Israel by Bill Randles

New York Times: America’s Policy Towards Israel Officially Shifts from The Berean Call

The Anti-Israel Revelation

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2012 – Resistance in the Midst of Travesty

Why the Heathen Rage in a World Gone Amiss by Bill Randles

Obama and the Mourning of Israel Video with Bill Randles

Media misleading on Jews evicting Arabs from Jerusalem by WND

Interesting Times? . . . Actually it is the End Times by Bill Randles

Israel and Prophetic Proof by The Berean Call

A Right and Left Hook to the Bible by Mike Oppenheimer

“Former senior White House correspondent renews venom [against Israel and the Jews] at Arab conference” by WND

Vatican synod calls for end to Israel’s ‘occupation’ – “no longer a chosen people.” by Jerusalem Post

LT Statement on Luther and His Later Views Toward the Jews by Lighthouse Trails

U.N. Human Rights Council Retaining Its Bias Against Israel

Obama Defends “Robust Support” For Israel – Administrative Record Proves Differently by CSN News

UN Textbooks for Palestinian Children ‘Explosively Anti-Semitic, Anti-American and Anti-Israeli’ by CSN News

It’s Official: Obama Administration Promotes Islamist Regimes; Insists They are Moderate

 

Story of Child Predator, Jerry Sandusky – Birth mom: I raised questions about Jerry Sandusky
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM
Associated Press
Nearly two decades before Matt Sandusky’s blockbuster allegation that he was sexually abused by his adoptive father, his biological mother raised questions about their relationship.

Debra Long fought the court system over her son’s placement in the home of the famed Penn State assistant football coach, who was convicted Friday of sexually abusing 10 boys.

Her objections, which she discussed in a December interview with The Associated Press, add a new dimension to the grim trial testimony that illustrated how Sandusky wooed the victims he culled from his charity for at-risk youth.
Prosecutors said Sandusky used gifts, trips and access to Penn State’s vaunted football program to attract and abuse vulnerable boys he met through the charity, The Second Mile.
“If they’d have listened, these boys didn’t have to be abused,” Long said. “They would have found the problem back then, and a whole lot of kids wouldn’t be victims now.”
Instead, she said, “we couldn’t get anything done. It was Jerry Sandusky. He started The Second Mile home. He could’ve done nothing wrong.” Click here to continue reading.

Related:

Sandusky Convicted of Child Sex Abuse – Lighthouse Trails To Address Issue of Child Abuse in New Book

 

 

German Court Makes Circumcision for Religious Reasons a Crime

By Patrick Goodenough

(CNSNews.com) – A German court has ruled that circumcising male infants for religious reasons, as Jews in particular have done for thousands of years, constitutes grievous bodily harm and is a crime, regardless of parental consent.

A public health specialist who is also a traditional Jewish circumciser called the ruling “stupid,” suggesting Wednesday that while “politically-correct modern liberal thinkers” would not be open to persuasion about Jewish values, they should at least consider studies finding wide-ranging health benefits from the procedure.

In a ruling bound to fuel a long-running debate over circumcision, a regional court in Cologne said Tuesday that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents.” Click here to continue reading.

Related:

San Franciscans to vote on controversial male circumcision ban in November

Judge orders circumcision ban off San Francisco ballot

 

 

Hindu Professor Puts It Straight for Christian Women Doing Yoga

By Deborah Dombrowski

This past week, a caller told us that she was shocked when she learned that a large number of women at a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) meeting admitted they did Yoga.

A number of years ago, after finishing as a guest on a radio talk show (Drew Marshall show-May 31, 2006), a listener called in and said she was a former Hindu. She was very upset at Lighthouse Trails and said that Hinduism had stolen mantra meditation from Christianity, and now (through contemplative) we were just taking it back.

As we have watched in dismay and shock as one Christian leader after the next succumbs to promoting contemplative, and as more and more churches, seminaries, and organizations incorporate icons, candles, yoga, labyrinths and mantric chanting, we often wondered why Christian leaders aren’t shouting a warning from the rooftops.

One day, after that radio show, I read an article by a Hindu professor (of Hindu University of America) titled Yoga Renamed is Still Hindu. In the article, Professor Subhas Tiwari stated:

The simple, immutable fact is that yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism, but originated from it…. Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga…. If this attempt to co-opt yoga into their (Christians) own tradition continues, in several decades of incessantly spinning the untruth as truth through re-labelings such as “Christian yoga,” who will know that yoga is–or was–part of Hindu culture?

After reading this article, I e-mailed Dr. Tiwari and received a response from him. With his permission, I am sharing portions with you:

Hello and Namaste Deborah,

Namaste is a universal Hindu greeting which recognizes and bows to that Divinity within you.

Mantra and its practice is a core component in Hinduism. The language of Sanskrit which predates any and all languages known to humanity, and which hasn’t evolved and became something other than what it has been from its inception, forms the oldest mantra, the first cosmic sound of OM (aum). One of the four sacred spiritual scriptures the Vedas, the Sama Veda is written in chants. The written forms of the Veda are pegged at 3500 to 5000+ BCE. (They are recited all over the world among Hindus exactly as they have been handed down)….

Hinduism and its offshoot spiritual traditions, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikkhism, have never chosen the path which states that we are superior to everyone else and therefore deserve to engage in crusades and conversionism on global scale. That would be incongruent to our core belief tenets which holds all creatures are part of the Divine creation, and equal in the eyes of that divine parent. The moment we lose sight or consciously choose to believe and behave otherwise means we are acting from a place of limitation, superiority, arrogance and according to Vedanta, from a place of individual and global ignorance, avidya. Imagine any religious or spiritual tradition which defines its strength based on converting that which is already divine in nature, and the audacity to claim that they are doing the work of that Divine? There is only one Divine.

Sincere Regards,

Subhas

We thank Professor Tiwari for setting the record straight. There is no such thing as “Christian” Yoga, even though a fast growing number of Christian’s, especially Christian women, are involved in “Christian Yoga” classes.


Also see:

A Hindu Yogi Speaks: “There is no Christian Yoga.”

Christian Parents Beware: Sesame Street Will Teach Your Children Yoga

A “Chance” Encounter with Amy Grant and Her Endorsement of Yoga

CHRISTIAN YOGA: Rooted in Hindu Occultism by Chris Lawson

Lighthouse Trails Research on Yoga

 

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10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OFFER - FLAT RATE SHIPPING INDEFINITELY EXTENDED

In March of 2002, we began Lighthouse Trails as a publishing company. Later, in 2004, we added Lighthouse Trails Research Project and this newsletter as a way to get free information out to those who were reading our books.

As a way to say thank you to our readers and customers of our catalog and online store, we are offering, indefinitely, to our U.S.A. customers a $5 flat rate shipping on all orders (you can choose a lesser rate for smaller orders). When you get to the third step at check out, just choose the FLAT RATE shipping option.

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