HOME                  May 21, 2013

In This Issue - click choice

If you would like to print this newsletter, right click to open a menu and choose "Select All." Then click print, then choose the Selection option. This will print everything that is highlighted. If you have trouble printing the newsletter as stated above, you can copy and paste it into a new Word document, and there you can change font size and other elements.

NEW PRINT JOURNAL: We have started our new subscription-based print journal in January that is mailed out to homes and offices 6 times a year. You may wish to receive that in addition to this free e-newsletter. You can sign up any time during the year for the print journal. You can also buy individual or past issues here. Our next issue goes out May 1st.

Note: Because we are a research ministry, we do post articles from various secular and Christian sources along with our own in-house articles if we believe our readers can benefit from the information. We also post video clips from YouTube at times. Also please note, any advertising on YouTube videos is not in any way connected to Lighthouse Trails and is beyond our control, but we make every effort to use only video clips that have no obscene or vulgar content including in advertising.

2 Letters to the Editor: Emergent-Leaning Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts) to Speak at NACC (North American Christian Convention) in July

#1: Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I graduated from an Independent Christian College over 10 years ago and since that time, I have noticed the Independent Christian denomination is slipping into the Spiritual Formation category at its main Seminaries and at this years NACC they are having Ann Voskamp as a speaker. I am surprised such a conservative denomination is drifting this way but such is the state of the “church” now. Thanks for your work and God bless always. John

#2: To Lighthouse Trails:

Please be advised that the Christian Churches are having Ann Voskamp speak next summer in Louisville at their NACC (North American Christian Convention).  That would be Ladies’ Noon Luncheon Thursday July 11, 2013.  The larger than normal Christian Standard magazine has that on page 49.  Much of the magazine is devoted to articles emergent related, solitude, silence, spiritual formation/discipline, Richard Foster/Dallas Willard, etc. The apostasy makes it hard to find a good church.  Don

LT Response:

According to Wikipedia, the North American Christian Convention is an “annual summer convention supported by churches, colleges, institutions, and missions programs associated with the Christian churches and churches of Christ, mainly across the United States, but also in other parts of the world.”1

Lighthouse Trails has two book reviews on Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts:

Ann Voskamp’s Best Selling Book One Thousand Gifts – A Collision of Inspiration and the New Spirituality

Romantic Panentheism, a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp by Bob DeWaay

In addition, we can confirm that the magazine Christian Standard has many articles promoting contemplative spirituality and contemplative mystics (example: http://christianstandard.com/2013/02/spiritual-formation-defining-the-terms/).

Pro-Life, Christian Groups Come Forward as Being Unlawfully Targeted By IRS

LTRP Note: We are posting this article for informational and research purposes only. It is not intended to be an endorsement  for the organizations mentioned or for the 501 (c) 3 government status (a status Lighthouse Trails chose not to take eleven years ago). This is a follow up to our article last week: “IRS Admits to Intentional Targeting of Conservative Groups.”

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

Washington, D.C. – Several pro-life and Christian groups have come forward with allegations that they were among the numerous organizations that were unlawfully targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

As previously reported, approximately 75 groups were reportedly subjected to strict scrutiny during the 2012 presidential election simply because of certain key words in their applications, and were sent tedious questionnaires to dig further into their operations. In some cases, the IRS also requested lists of all donors and members’ names.

“It was an error in judgment, and it was not appropriate, but that’s what they did,” said Lois Lerner, department head for tax exempt organizations. “I think they were insensitive, or less sensitive than they should have been.”
But new developments indicate that questionable activity even predated the election. Click here to continue reading.

Pro-Life, Christian Groups Come Forward as Being Unlawfully Targeted By IRS
Is AOG Superintendent George Wood Responding With Video Regarding Ruth Haley Barton Issue?
Calvary Chapel Founder Chuck Smith Speaks Against North Coast Calvary Chapel Invitation of Palestinian Activist and Shared Concerns
Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance OK With Ruth Haley Barton and Other Contemplatives
COURT RULING: Court Rules Against German Homeschool Family Seeking Asylum
Harding University & School of Theology – Another Christian University Added to Contemplative Colleges List
Shalem-Trained Contemplative Fil Anderson Member of Samaritan’s Purse “Spiritual Care Team”
Deception in the Church Ministries Adds New Feature - Downloadable Video and Audio Messages
Celebration of Discipline – 35 Years of Influence! – Does Your Pastor Have a Copy?
Vote imminent as Boy Scouts considers change to policy banning open homosexuals
Chapter by Chapter Synopsis of How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception

About Us

Shop Resources

Newsletter Archives


Author Websites

Daily News (Blog)

Contact Us

The Shepherd's Garden

Bryce Homes for Widows and Children in Kenya


Join us on Facebook where over 1100 Lighthouse Trails readers share information with one another.

Who We Are
Lighthouse Trails is a Christian publishing company and research project ministry. We work with a group of Christian journalists and authors, all who understand the times in which we live from a biblical perspective. While we hope you will buy and read the books we have published, watch the DVDs we have produced, and support our ministry, we also provide extensive free research, documentation, and news on our Research site, blog, e-newsletter, and now our subscription based print journal. We pray that the books as well as the online research will be a blessing to the body of Christ and a witness to those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
Contacting Us
Click here for contact information.

In January of 2013, we began publishing Print Booklet Tracts. Click the banner below to see what we have so far. More will be added regularly. These are specifically designed to give out to people.

Is AOG Superintendent George Wood Responding With Video Regarding Ruth Haley Barton Issue?

Three weeks ago, just a little more than a week after Lighthouse Trails posted its first article on April 15th regarding the situation with Assemblies of God inviting contemplative activist Ruth Haley Barton to speak at their 2013 General Council conference, AOG General Superintendent George Wood made a video while in Israel. This video clearly appears to be a response to the issue (he was in Israel from April 11-23) and is being brushed aside by the leader of the Assemblies of God as “criticism” of minor doctrinal issues from people on the Internet. We will let the video speak for itself. You may see our coverage links below the video. Since creating this video, we hope that Dr. Wood has had a chance to read our May 13th article showing the evidence that the contemplative issue is no minor doctrinal issue. If you cannot see the video below, click here.

Our Coverage:

April 15th: SPECIAL REPORT: Assemblies of God “Believe” Conference Makes Bold Move – Brings in Contemplative Key Player Ruth Haley Barton

May 1st (after Israel trip): Assemblies of God General Superintendent Letter Responds to Lighthouse Trails Article – Defends Contemplative Spirituality

May 3rd: Former AOG Pastor Responds to Statement About Ruth Haley Barton

May 13th: SPECIAL FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Lighthouse Trails Statement to Assemblies of God Response Regarding Invitation of Ruth Haley Barton


Calvary Chapel Founder Chuck Smith Speaks Against North Coast Calvary Chapel Invitation of Palestinian Activist and Shared Concerns

LTRP Note: Below is an article written by journalist Jim Fletcher as a follow-up to his previous article “Calvary Chapel Breached" (which we posted last week) regarding the situation with North Coast Calvary Chapel’s recent invitation of a Palestinian activist.  Just prior to the event, Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith made a public statement against the North Coast event.

We do not feel we can post Jim Fletcher's follow-up article below about Chuck Smith's comments on the North Coast situation without also posting some comments Lighthouse Trails made and also an article written by former Calvary Chapel pastor Chris Lawson. Plus, there has been some discussion over this on the Lighthouse Trails Facebook group that you may wish to read and perhaps comment on.

So, first the following two items, then Jim Fletcher's new article:

1. Comments from Lighthouse Trails after viewing Chuck Smith's remarks on video (start at 11 minute mark): Chuck is not being completely accurate when he says that each Calvary Chapel is independent and “on it’s own completely.” If that were the case, then why did his son get ousted for being emerging? And why are there Calvary Distinctives and Calvary Position papers? Like virtually every organization that exists, Calvary Chapel has guidelines and boundaries; otherwise, an organization couldn’t call itself a distinct group, and it would be a free for all. When the whole emergent thing came up seven years ago, Chuck made it very clear that any church that wanted to go in that direction should best remove their Calvary Chapel name from their title. So it is not accurate to say that CC churches are on their own completely and can basically do whatever they want.

2. From Chris Lawson at Spiritual Research Network: The fact that yet another article had to be written exposing Calvary Chapel compromise goes to show that there is no slowing down of ecumenical compromise within the Calvary Chapel movement. 

There is plenty of documentation available on the Internet exposing years of Calvary Chapel compromise. Christian apologetics ministries have sought to address these things for a long time now, but shouldn't it be Calvary Chapel pastors keeping each other accountable? Of course it should be!

Sadly, as the record shows, Calvary Chapel leadership is doing far less to expose error in its own ranks than Christian research and apologetics ministries. This is obvious for all to see and it is extremely embarrassing for Calvary Chapel pastors who are sincerely trying to shepherd the flock of God without compromise. But why won't the "faithful" shepherds publicly denounce the ecumenical compromises within their own ranks? Click here to continue reading Chris Lawson's article.

And now the follow-up article by Jim Fletcher:

“Christian Palestinianists” Unable To Establish Beachhead Within Calvary Chapel Movement
by Jim Fletcher

In a dramatic showdown last week within the Calvary Chapel movement, the leadership of the California-based association of churches rebuked an event held at North Coast Calvary Chapel that featured a presentation by Palestinian activists.

Called “Hope for the Holy Land,” the seminar program aims to present the Palestinian narrative to church audiences. Observers are saying that what made the North Coast event such a flashpoint was the fact that since its inception, Calvary Chapel has been staunchly pro Israel.

Israeli officials and American Jewish leadership have long known that Calvary Chapel is a staunch supporter of the Jewish state

CC remains so, as evidenced by Chuck Smith’s public rebuke (start about the 11 minute mark), which aired last week, just ahead of the Friday event, which spotlighted discussions by Sami Awad, Lynne Hybels, and Mae Cannon.

Sponsored by World Vision, the relief organization, “Hope for the Holy Land” purports to offer a balanced, nuanced view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some who attended the North Coast event say the presentations were heavily tilted toward the Palestinian view, which claims the “occupation” is responsible for Palestinian suffering.

On May 9, one day before the North Coast event, Chuck Smith (who founded the Calvary Chapel movement 40 years ago) denounced the decision of North Coast to hold the event. On his “World News Briefing” via HisChannel, Smith made it clear that North Coast’s approach to this issue was an anomaly for CC:

“I’m really shocked…I understand that one of the Calvary Chapels down in the San Diego area is having these fellows who are really friendly to the Palestinian cause, and anti-Israel, and they’re having them to speak there at a church that is affiliated with the Calvary Chapels. I just have such a difficult time with that, to try to understand why a pastor would have an anti-Israel speaker, in these days.” Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

Further Implications of Calvary Chapel North Coast Event – Lynne Hybels Presence Shows Serious Move Toward Apostasy” 

Remembering the Holocaust – NEW PRINT BOOKLET TRACT – Who Really Killed Jesus?


Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance OK With Ruth Haley Barton and Other Contemplatives

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

Two and a half years ago the leadership of the Western PA District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance invited Ruth Haley Barton to speak to its pastors and lay delegates at its annual District Conference.

I sat in amazement as I watched my fellow pastors nod their heads in affirmation as Mrs. Barton said Moses went in to the desert to meditate.  I didn’t see my fellow pastors turn to the book of Exodus to read the account of Moses.  My Bible says Moses went to the desert to escape being killed by Pharaoh.

Mrs. Barton also twisted the account of Elijah to say it was contemplative meditation which brought him out of his despair and depression.  At no time did I hear anyone in District C&MA leadership correct Mrs. Barton’s misrepresentation of Scripture.

Other Districts also have had Mrs. Barton speak to their pastors.  The late Brennan Manning and other heretical teachers also have been promoted.  When I questioned my District Superintendent about the use and promotion of Mr. Manning, I was told he must be all right, because the denomination has used him as a speaker at national youth rallies.

When I learned last spring that my District had invited as speakers for our next District Conference two C&MA seminary professors who teach contemplative meditation, I decided it was time to resign from the C&MA after __ years of ministry.  Sadly, the C&MA is no longer what it once was.

Currently my wife and I are working secular jobs, and I preach in independent churches when given the opportunity.  Prospects for full-time pastoral ministry seem slim, since I am __ years old.  However, I would rather do what I am doing than continue to support the heresy being promoted in the C&MA.

Everywhere in God’s Word where meditation is mentioned, the object of meditation is God’s Word, God’s law, God’s statutes, etc.  I see no mention of a centering prayer that I heard Mrs. Barton promote.  I want no part of pagan, vain repetitions.  Using Christian words doesn’t negate the pagan practice.  I was saved out of Catholicism and want no part of Catholicism, Hinduism, or Buddhism.


Related Information:

SPECIAL FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Lighthouse Trails Statement to Assemblies of God Response Regarding Invitation of Ruth Haley Barton


COURT RULING: Court Rules Against German Homeschool Family Seeking Asylum

By Todd Starnes
Fox News

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Obama Administration’s decision to deny asylum to a German homeschooling family.

The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States – where they hoped to home school their children. Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.Romeike Family jpg

An Immigration judge granted them asylum in 2010 after the family revealed they were facing criminal prosecution for homeschooling their children. That decision was later overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals in 2012.

The court ruled today that the Romeikes had not made a sufficient case and that the United States has not opened its doors to every victim of unfair treatment.

Harding University & School of Theology – Another Christian University Added to Contemplative Colleges List

After a concerned parent contacted us, we researched Harding University in Arkansas and Harding School of Theology in Tennessee (both under the same umbrella) and discovered that Harding needed to be added to our list of Christian schools that are promoting contemplative spirituality. Both the University and the School of Theology have integrated Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative)  into their schools.

Course textbooks being used at both the University and the Harding School of Theology include, but are not limited to:

1. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster (BFAM 338 Instructor: BAKER)

2. Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton (HTS, 5901 Spiritual Leadership, Instructor: Huffard) (Mr. Huffard uses materials from several other contemplatives as well as you can see on this 2012-2013 syllabus: Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, David Benner, Eugene Peterson, N.T. Wright, and more.)

3. Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard (HTS, 5901)

4. Several contemplative/emerging books recommended in 5732 Foundations of Counseling with instructor John Kennedy: Spiritual Friend and Spiritual Director by Shalem Institute’s Tilden Edwards as well as books by Henri Nouwen, Gerald May, M. Scott Peck, and Ken Wilber. 

 5.  Introduction to the Old Testament by Walter Brueggemann (5001, Advanced Intro to Old Testament)

6. Dogmatics in Outline by Karl Barth (5450, Contemporary Christian Thought); Under recommended reading in the syllabus in this class is the mystic Karl Rahner.

7. Conformed to His Image by Kenneth Boa (5850, Congregational Ministry; Instructor: Bland) Note: The syllabus for this course shows other contemplative/emerging books used as well by: Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, Reggie McNeal, H.B. London, Dan Kimball, Eddie Gibbs, Marva Dawn, Steve Covey, and Tony Campolo.

8. Transformational Teaching with Professor Cochran is introducing “contemplative reading approaches” (i.e., lectio divina) to students (see syllabus). Syllabus in this class does not show textbooks.

Under the Master of Ministry, the following two courses are offered as well:

651. SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND DISCIPLESHIP. (3) Fall (odd) Exploration of meditation, prayer, and the essential methods of theological reflection pertinent to ministry: analysis of scripture, reflective writing, and discernment of case studies. An examination of one’s own faith journey (past, present, and future) and an exploration of strategies to mentor others in personal faith development in the contexts of family, communities of faith, and society at large.

652. SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND DISCIPLESHIP PRACTICUM. (1) Fall (odd) An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of spiritual formation and discipleship.

Plus, three Spiritual Formation classes at the undergraduate level are:

BFAM 335 – Spiritual Formation of Adults
BFAM 331 – Spiritual Formation in Children
BFAM 332 – Spiritual Formation in Adolescents

There are other examples at both Harding schools to show that Harding has incorporated contemplative/spiritual formation into the programs there. Parents sending their children to Harding should know that they will be exposed to the spirituality of the contemplative mystics.

Shalem-Trained Contemplative Fil Anderson Member of Samaritan’s Purse “Spiritual Care Team”

Fil Anderson is a name Lighthouse Trails has been acquainted with for several years because of his book Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers and his involvement with organizations such as Youth Specialties and Young Life (Anderson had been in Young Life leadership for many years and is still involved with the organization). Anderson also speaks with Richard Foster’s organization, Renovare.

 To say Anderson’s book is contemplative would be an understatement. The book is filled with contemplative names such as Brennan Manning, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Evelyn Underhill, and John Cassian. Also favorably named in the book are: Thomas Merton, Soren Kierkegaard, Sue Monk Kidd, Tilden Edwards, Gerald May, and several others who fall into the panentheistic mystical camp.  Contemplative prayer is clearly the theme of the book. In addition to the contemplative advocates referenced and quoted in the book, contemplative practices such as lectio divina, repetition of a word or phrase, and the Jesus Prayer are also promoted. One of the books that Anderson quotes from is Morton Kelsey’s book, The Other Side of Silence: A Guide to Christian Meditation. Kelsey is a contemplative mystic who has influenced tens of thousands of people. Practicing mystical meditation led Kelsey to say: “You can find most of the New Age practices in the depth of Christianity. . . . I believe that the Holy One lives in every soul.”1  And also:

Each church needs to provide classes in forms of prayer. This is only possible if seminaries are training pastors in prayer, contemplation and meditation, and group process. . . . The church has nothing to fear from the New Age when it preaches, teaches, and heals.2

Like Ruth Haley Barton, Fil Anderson was trained at the Shalem Institute on Spiritual Formation. He spent two years in training there. In the acknowledgements of his book, Anderson thanks “[t]he magnificent people at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, for playing such a vital role in my spiritual formation, especially Rose Mary Dougherty, Tilden Edwards, and Gerald May.”  This is not a surprising comment coming from someone who is totally sold on contemplative prayer. But it is disheartening to learn that Anderson is involved with Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse. Anderson is a member of the  Spiritual Care Team.

We called Samaritan’s Purse and were told that the Spiritual Care Team is a group of volunteers made up mostly of long-time “friends” of Samaritan’s Purse whose primary purpose is to do follow-up phone calls with people who have been in need. We asked the person we spoke with at Samaritan’s Purse if all the Spiritual Care Team members were Christians, and she told us that each team member was a “solid” Christian believer. We asked if a New Ager would be allowed to be on the Spiritual Care Team, and she said, “probably not.”

Obviously, to those who understand the dynamics of contemplative spirituality, it is troubling to know that Samaritan’s Purse is using a strong contemplative proponent to “minister” to people in need. If those people, in their time of great need, are directed in any way to the teachings of mystics like Thomas Merton, Tilden Edwards, Sue Monk Kidd, or Gerald May, how is this going to help them? In actuality, it can hurt them deeply. For one, these mystics believe that God dwells in everything (all creation and in every human being) and thus the message of the Cross (the Gospel) would not be needed. Secondly, should these people in need begin to practice contemplative mysticism, they will end up with occultism rather than with God’s Holy Spirit.

Like most contemplatives, Anderson describes a spiritual emptiness in his life: “In my deepest parts I knew that God was everywhere. Yet often I wondered and even doubted whether God was in my spirit” (Running on Empty, Kindle Locations 259-260). Anderson talks about being so busy with church activities when he was a young Christian man that he finally became burnt out – filled with despair and depression. He ended up in a psychiatric hospital where he received some temporary help.

After college, Anderson became a leader in the international Christian organization Young Life. He eventually slipped back into feeling burnt out and in despair until one day he attended a retreat where he read a book by panentheist Thomas Kelly. From there on out, Anderson’s life changed, and he became a contemplative, looking to the mystics he writes about in his book for his spiritual nourishment.

This is just another example of how contemplative spirituality has come into the church. We believe there are very few Christian organizations that have not been affected to some degree.

Samaritan’s Purse is an organization that helps people in dire need. On their Statement of Faith, they adhere to the basic fundamentals of the Christian Faith. We hope they can be alerted to the truth about contemplative spirituality and would reconsider allowing mysticism proponents to offer spiritual ”help” to people in need. Years ago, Lighthouse Trails sent a copy of A Time of Departing to Franklin Graham’s office. We don’t know if he ever read it. We are going to send a copy of this article and another copy of A Time of Departing to his office this week. Please pray that he will receive the book and will read it. On the Samaritan’s Purse website, it states that their mission is “to follow the example of Christ by helping those in need and proclaiming the hope of the Gospel.” The hope of the Gospel and contemplative spirituality do not line up together. They are on two opposite poles.


1. Morton Kelsey cited in Charles H. Simpkinson, “In the Spirit of the Early Christians” (Common Boundary magazine, Jan./Feb. 1992).

2. Morton Kelsey, New Age Spirituality (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1st edition,1992, edited by Duncan S. Ferguson), pp. 56-58.

Deception in the Church Ministries Adds New Feature - Downloadable Video and Audio Messages

Sandy Simpson, from Deception in the Church Ministries, has just announced a new feature on his Downloadablewebsite - Downloadable video and audio lectures and discussions. The downloads are selling for just a few dollars each for an instant downloadable video or audio file, which you can watch from your computer. We purchased one called The Question of Dominion, where Sandy is talking about dominionism. Very informative. To access these downloadable videos and audios, visit Deception in the Church website and look for the blue icon throughout the site. Deception in the Church has thousands of articles, links, books, CDs, and DVDs that deal with the spiritual deception in the church today.

Celebration of Discipline – 35 Years of Influence! – Does Your Pastor Have a Copy?

First published in 1978, Celebration of Discipline has had a massive influence on today’s Christianity. Unfortunately, the influence has helped to saturate the church with mystical contemplative prayer and the New Age. Most likely, your pastor has a copy of this book sitting on his library shelves. He may even have it sitting on his desk for easy reach and reference. Richard Foster, a Quaker and the founder of an organization called Renovare (meaning renewal), wrote the book and even he may have had no idea the impact this book would have. But 35 years later, it is still being read, and in fact, Christian leaders and organizations are promoting the book like never before.

Foster said in the book, that we “should all without shame enroll as apprentices in the school of contemplative prayer” (p. 13, 1978 ed.). In other books and writings of Foster’s, he makes it very clear that this “contemplative prayer” is the eastern style mantra meditation to which mystic monk Thomas Merton adhered. In fact, Richard Foster once told Ray Yungen (author of A Time of Departing) that “Thomas Merton tried to awaken God’s people” (at a conference in Salem, OR).

Thomas Merton, who said he was “impregnated with Sufism” (Merton and Sufism, p. 69) and wanted to “become as good a Buddhist” as he could be (David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West”), believed that “God’s people” lacked one thing . . . mysticism and this is to what they needed “awakening.” Of Merton, Foster says: “Thomas Merton has perhaps done more than any other twentieth-century figure to make the life of prayer widely known and understood.” (Spiritual Classics, p. 17) And yet, Thomas Merton once told New Age Episcopal priest Matthew Fox that he felt sorry for the hippies in the 60s who were dropping LSD because all they had to do was practice the mystical (contemplative) stream to achieve the same results. (Interview) We couldn’t agree with him more. Both altered states are the same, and neither lead to God.

Listed under “excellent books on spirituality,” in some editions of Celebration of Discipline, Foster says of Tilden Edwards’ book, Spiritual Friend that it helps “clear away the confusion and invites us to see that we do not have to live the spiritual life in isolation.” And yet, Tilden Edwards, founder of the Christian/Buddhist Shalem Institute in Washington, DC, said that contemplative spirituality was the “Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality”(Spiritual Friend, p. 18). On the Shalem Institute website you can find numerous quotes, references, articles, and recommendations to panentheism, universalism, interspirituality, New Age, and Eastern thought.

In Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster tells us “we must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation” (COD, p.13.) He goes on to say that the “masters of meditation beckon us.” Just prior to that remark, he quotes Carl Jung and Thomas Merton.

Celebration of Discipline has helped to pave the way for Thomas Merton’s panentheistic belief system. It has opened the door for other Christian authors, speakers, and pastors to bring contemplative spirituality into the lives of millions of people. The late Henri Nouwen, a popular contemplative who also followed the teachings of Thomas Merton, made a telling statement towards the end of his life:

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 (emphasis added – Sabbatical Journey, p. 51).

Today, countless ministers and ministries are promoting and endorsing Celebration of Discipline. If they really knew what Foster’s “celebration” was all about, we think many of them would race away from the teachings of Thomas Merton and Richard Foster and back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


NOTE: This subscription-based journal can be used in addition to this free e-newsletter you are getting (the e-newsletter will continue to be sent out 2-4 times a month via e-mail at no charge). (view 1st issue of print journal) It's never too late to subscribe for the print journal- anytime is fine. You will receive the current issue, which is the May/June issue.

Note: The new subscription-based print journal can be ordered at any time during the year. Your subscription (which will entitle you to a full twelve months of journals-6 issues) will start when you subscribe. Click here to read more information or click here to sign up.

When you sign up, you will receive the most current issue of the journal at the time you subscribe. Click here to subscribe now.

Order Bulk Subscriptions and Save: If you would like to order more than one subscription, the cost is $9.55 per subscription (6 issues/12 months), plus whatever it costs to ship the bulk journals to one address (minimum bulk order - 5 subscriptions). Bulk rates are just for when the entire batch is going to one address. Call 866/876-3910 or e-mail sales@lighthousetrails.com for a quote on bulk subscription shipping costs.

To order single past issues, click here.

For various addresses, just order single subscriptions.


Vote imminent as Boy Scouts considers change to policy banning open homosexuals

Associated Press
from Fox News

With its ranks deeply divided, the Boy Scouts of America is asking its local leaders from across the country to decide whether its contentious membership policy should be overhauled so that openly gay boys can participate in Scout units.

The proposal to be put before the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA’s National Council on Thursday, at a meeting in Grapevine, Texas, would retain the Scouts’ long-standing ban on gays serving in adult leadership positions.

Nonetheless, some conservatives within and outside the BSA community have denounced the proposal, saying the Scouts’ traditions would be undermined by the presence of openly gay youth. There have been warnings of mass defections if the ban is even partially lifted. Click here to read more.



This week's Special Offer for our newsletter readers has to do with the new print Lighthouse Trails Research Journal. For those who sign up this week to receive a year's subscription (6 issues delivered to your home or office - $12 USA, $24 Canada, $36 International) starting with the May/June 2013 issue, you will receive a free copy of the January/February 2013 issue (our debut issue) as well. Just click here to sign up. The print journal is a 28-page (8 1/2 x 11) publication filled with the following:

  1. 6-10 articles (depending on length of each article) with citations from various trusted authors (see list below). These articles will be selected from the weekly e-newsletters; we’ll choose the most important ones from that time period.
  2. Q& A section
  3. Letters to the Editor section
  4. Movie Alerts & Book Reviews
  5. Links & Resources with websites, mailing addresses, and phone information (great for finding other valuable information)
  6. News clips from around the world (both secular and Christian but all pertaining to the topics covered at Lighthouse Trails)
  7. Missions Corner (keeping you up to date on our mission work in Kenya)
  8. A 4-page Product Catalog
  9. Ministry Spotlight
  10. Scriptural Encouragement, Exhortation, and Edification
  11. College & University Watch
  12. Publisher’s Corner (new releases, author bios, etc.), and more


Chapter by Chapter Synopsis of How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception

Lighthouse Trails Publishing’s newest release: How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception

336 PAGES, $14.95 (quantity discounts)
Available now for pre-order (ships by May 29th)


Chapter 1: Children at Risk

A whole new generation of children is being drawn into the New Age/New Spirituality, and it is happening right under their parents’ noses. While some of us grieve the real-world consequences of this cultural revolution, a rising chorus of voices are now demanding acceptance of today’s paradigm shift.

Chapter 2: The Armor of God

Berit emphasizes the armor of God throughout the book. Here she describes what the armor is, how we can “put it on,” and how we can teach our children to wear it. In a world where public schools, television, movies, and popular music all offer tempting counterfeits of what God promises His people, there is only one safe place for our children: in the loving arms of the Shepherd.

Chapter 3: Schools & the War on Christianity

The New Age is in our public schools, and Christianity is it’s enemy. Through textbooks, educational associations, and government agendas, Christianity has been eradicated out of the school system. Secular humanism and Marxism have replaced morality and biblical values. The book identifies six strategies being used to instill these replacements into the lives of countless school-age children. Indoctrinating students with diverse beliefs, socialist values, utopian dreams, and idealized love leads to deception, disillusionment, corruption, and chaos.

Chapter 4: What Can Parents Do About the War on Christianity?

The first of several chapters that offers practical, point by point biblical, practical, and effective advice on how to teach and equip your children to love and follow the Lord, to abide in His Word, to recognize spiritual deception, and to know how to stand courageously in an increasingly corrupt and lost world. In this chapter, practical ideas are explained on how to protect your children if they are attending public schools. For example, knowing what your legal rights are as a parent is vital to your child’s safety. And how can you make sure your child is spiritually prepared to enter a secular situation?

Chapter 5: Schools & the Promotion of Corrupting Values

Schools teach values, whether they admit it or not. But the values being taught in today’s public schools are more and more based, not on biblical values, but rather immoral anti-biblical values such as abortion, homosexuality, sex education, and evolution through “values clarification.” Values clarification is neutral, say public education change agents, since every value is as valid as any other. Yet at the same time, they hold to the belief that there are no absolute values—thereby contradicting their claim to a neutral unbiased position. This chapter identifies certain biases that have a detrimental effect on children’s lives.

Chapter 6: How to Guard Your Child Against Corrupting Values

How can you teach your child to love God and love His values as well? This chapter gives some wonderful guidelines on how to do that. For example, show your own enthusiasm and commitment to knowing and hearing God speak to you through His Word. And practice living God’s truth together as you play games, eat meals, participate in sports, ride in the car, and share your resources with others. There is also a list of several things you should discuss with your child that will help teach him or her the meaning and importance of God’s values. Ideas on how to involve adolescents and steps to victory are discussed.

Chapter 7: Schools & New Age Globalism

Behind these classroom efforts to win the minds of the youth is the dream of a global one-world system. To inspire a consciousness explosion, many New Age leaders are determined to win a “critical mass” of minds. Children will be the prime target of such “missionary” efforts, and schools will be their greatest battlefield. Through myth-making, “facilitated dialogue,” and delight in pleasing delusions, our children are blinded to the disturbing changes in the real world. Meanwhile, suicide among youth is accelerating – the fruit of this transformational agenda.

Chapter 8: What Can Parents Do About New Age Globalism?

As believers, let us turn wholeheartedly to God and trust Him to show us how we can best protect our families from today’s explosion of spiritual apostasy. It may possibly be too late for America, as a nation, but regardless of the outcome at a national level, let us work earnestly while it is still day to train and protect our children. Some of this chapter’s ideas include: help your child to see that his identity is in Christ (and what that means), incorporate a family Bible-reading program, and help your child to understand the differences between biblical and anti-biblical leadership. Under the heading “Guard Against Influences Opposing God” are the following questions: “Does your child’s school sensationalize or exaggerate the problems and dangers of global pollution, overpopulation, and global warming? Do they use these  suggestions to promote a planned political agenda?”

Chapter 9: The Mind-Changing Visual Messages in Movies

Children are continuously exposed to an onslaught of counterfeit messages. Movies that appear innocent and wholesome often have a subtle, yet powerful, message that negates the truths of the Word of God. Using case examples of some of today’s most popular shows (even among Christians) such as Lion King, Atlantis, Harry Potter, and Star Wars, Berit shows the underlying messages of many of today’s secular films that are changing the way our children think and behave. Violence and grotesqueness along with New Age and occultism are undermining the biblical values we are trying to instill in our children at home. Such movies can undo our efforts, while we think our children are watching wholesome shows with good values. There is a strong anti-Christian bias that eats away, one movie at a time, on our children’s faith. A new religious system is replacing Christianity—primarily a mixture of humanism, hedonism, Hinduism, and western occultism. Remember, the beautiful side of evil as well as the ugly side will twist the truth. Both will testify to the enticing respectability that cloaks the New Age movement.

Chapter 10: How to Guard Against Mind-Changing Messages

The pressure on parents to give in is often insurmountable. Your child has friends who are allowed to see the movies, so why can’t he? That isn’t fair, your child insists. What can a parent do? You need to have a practical as well as biblical plan. This chapter offers several suggestions. For example, you can do that including putting on God’s armor and helping your child to do that while trying to pick the right movies to watch. And show your child through the Word why choosing movies with the right messages is so vital. Rather than just telling your child what he needs to watch and not watch, teach him how to discern for himself what is right and what is not. This chapter offers several suggestions. For example, you might remind him of the armor and compare the conflict with God’s wisdom. Rather than just telling your child what he can watch and not watch, teach him how to discern for himself what is right and what is not.

Chapter 11: Shameless Corruption Through Television and Digital Media

It isn’t just the obvious shows and media that distort our children’s values. More often, it is the hidden messages that cause the most damage. This chapter looks at key categories and considers how the media messages mold young minds. Experimenting with magic, laughing at religion, pursuing a new world order, and embracing horror and the paranormal are all part of the methodology of changing our children’s minds. UFOs, aliens, and eventually a false world messiah (Anti-christ) are on the docket. Berit uncovers more of the United Nations’ efforts and also discusses the role the Internet and other digital media have. She gives a point-by-point section that describes the effects all this has on children, including a false view of the world, which undermines their ability to discern good from evil, truth from error.

Chapter 12: Guarding Against Corruption in Television & Digital Media

Emphasizing praying as parents and also together as a family, Berit tells parents how they can train their children to discern between truth and spiritual deception. One way is to teach your child to ask him or herself certain questions about particular shows and games such as: Do one or more of the characters play the role of God? Do some of these superheroes and gods, such as He-man and Superman, seem greater and more real than God? Or does the story suggest that each person is a god, the designer and creator of his own circumstances? Does it imply each person has power within himself to overcome all obstacles and fulfill his dreams? Families need to discuss the consequences of rising violence, pornography, and profanities and take a stand. It might include writing to advertisers who promote these immoralities.

Chapter 13: Twisting the Imagination Through Toys & Games

Today’s full-scale acceptance of counterfeit spirituality and the dark forces behind it has made the realm of the mystical become all too grimly real. By itself, a fairytale or toy will hardly shape a child’s attitudes. But reinforced by school, movies, music, and television, the combined messages generate tolerance and acceptance of the demonic. Today’s toy stores are packed with violence, magic, and New Age toys and games. Berit uses case examples such as Pokémon and Power Rangers to show how the New Age maxim “as above, so below” (“God” in everything) is the “fruit” of so many of today’s toys and games. Yet, few recognize the dark occult nature or the forces behind their ancient formulas. For our children’s sakes, we cannot afford to be ignorant any longer. To avoid experiencing evil, we need to first discern evil.

Chapter 14: Protecting Your Child From Harmful Toys & Games

Berit gives some valuable points on how to teach your child to develop a sensitivity to evil. Current delight in false gods and demonic creatures may have begun with winsome magicians such as Papa Smurf and Rainbow Brite. As people welcomed these nonthreatening (in appearance) harbingers of occult forces, they unknowingly opened the door to the grotesque and disturbing realms of the dark occult as well. Within the church community, talk about Satan has often been regarded as too negative or heavy-handed. Since we failed to resist, we gradually adapted and then accepted these practices. Know what questions to ask your child to help him make the right choices (between that which is evil and that which is good). Give him the kind of training that he can take into adulthood. Train your child to follow God, not peers, no matter what the cost. One point Berit makes: Self-denial seems out of place in a nation consumed with self-indulgence and self-fulfillment. But God commanded it, and Jesus demonstrated it. Dare we refuse to acknowledge it? According to the age of your child, discuss Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:24 and then allow the Holy Spirit to direct your application.

Chapter 15: Immoral & Occult Suggestions in Books & Magazines

Using Cat Warriors and Pullman’s Dark Materials, Berit shows how children are being taught to love the occult. In this chapter, she also addresses the issue of leaders who wholeheartedly embrace Harry Potter showing no discernment with regard to the occult message. Berit shows how sensuality, a hunger for the occult, and a desensitizing of values are being aroused through books such as the vampire Twilight series. Since the beginning of time, human nature has sought alternatives to God and His guidelines. Spiritual deception gave rise to vast occult belief systems and unceasing manipulation by the forces of darkness. Thus, pagan sacrifices—a devastating corruption of God’s perfect plan for His people—became the norm in all parts of the inhabited world.

Chapter 16:  How to Guard Against Immorality & the Occult

To prove that our God is far greater than the plethora of alternatives, our lives must demonstrate to our children faith in the midst of difficulties. Practical ideas are included such as: Keeping an up-to-date church library and encouraging other families to support and use it, being alert to what your child’s peers are reading, and enjoying books together that demonstrate God’s values. Read-aloud times build in most children a deep love for reading while they also enable you to direct your children’s taste for enriching books. When you read aloud to your children, they learn to associate wholesome books with good times. Be alert to deception in books. A crossless version of Christianity fits the New Age lie that all can be one—with or without Jesus.

Chapter 17:  When Popular Music Becomes Obscene & Immoral

This chapter touches on various types of music including New Age music, heavy metal, contemporary pop rock, and what is known as contemplative music (designed for children). From hypnotic repetitive beats in New Age and contemplative music to the violent occultic music of bands like Marilyn Manson, music entices the soul. But there is also the more subtle (yet still tugging on your child’s values chords) type of music such as the Backstreet Boys that lures your children into a sensually seductive world. According to a 2010 study, children between the ages of eight and eighteen spend an average of nearly two and a half hours a day listening to music or some form of audio. That’s over 10,000 hours of music during their pre-teen and teen years. This chapter also talks about the huge influence Bono has had, even among many Christian kids. It reveals things about Bono that will surprise (and shock) Christian parents.

Chapter 18: What Can Parents Do About Seductive Mind-Changing Music?

The real heroes of today are the parents, trying to raise their children in an environment that seems to have grown more and more hostile to family life. Music and the media flood their children’s world with the glorification of drugs, violence, perversity, the New Spirituality—and there’s nothing they can do about it, they’re told. But Berit would beg to differ. Teach your children to “renew their minds” with truth, avoid compromising suggestions and situations, and trust and follow the Holy Spirit. Berit gives practical tips on how to teach your child to choose good music and also tips on what you, as a parent, can do to protect your child from harmful music.

Chapter 19: Mystical New Age Thrills Enticing Children

Eastern-style New Age mysticism is coming at children from every direction today. And the roots of this meditation-promoting spirituality are panentheistic (God is in all) and interspiritual (all paths lead to God). Yoga is being taught in many public schools now. It is even being promoted in children’s programs such as Sesame Street. Organizations such as the Girl Scouts are promoting the Aquarian mindset and New Age mysticism. This chapter shows the underlying occultism that is enticing children, even in the classroom. It’s all part of a diabolical scheme to turn hearts and minds from God to all kinds of idols — including human rulers.

Chapter 20: How to Guard Against Mystical New Age Thrills

A section that breaks down the elements of the armor of God can be very useful in helping your child apply the armor to his everyday life. There are also hands-on things you can do like monitoring your child’s school activities (e.g., see if they are teaching Yoga or other meditation exercises). Help your child to understand the nature of the New Age and spiritual deception. Remember, this is a spiritual war! Don’t let him or her go into the world unequipped. Berit also gives a 10-point test to use for determining when a media (movie, book, music) is actually Christian or not. A valuable tool.

Chapter 21: Becoming Aware of Spiritual Deception in the Church

New Age mystical occultism and spiritual deception have always been around. But what used to be a trickle in the Western world has now become a tsunami. Even many churches are welcoming the mysteries that secret societies and Taoist alchemists once hid so well. In church youth groups, parents are being squeezed out while the minds of our youth are being reshaped to fit the postmodern world (and postmodern emerging church). The Spiritual Formation movement is nothing more than a “Christianized” version of New Age, the ultimate deception for Christian children. Christian publishers and organizations are introducing books and curriculum that catch parents and kids off guard because they are using Christian language and terms but in reality bringing into the church the New Spirituality. Even Christian fiction, such as Shadowmancer, is taking children down the wrong path. Parents need to be prepared and be educated or they will witness their children being snatched out of the arms of faith. Never has there been as much of a need for this preparation as there is today.

Afterword: The First and Final Deception

Unfortunately, what we are experiencing today is a synthesis of the “I am God” ideology and accelerating occult activity. In fact, the two are inextricably linked together in that they have the same source—the demonic realm. Aleister Crowley, who promoted the ancient occult maxim “as above, so below” (i.e., man and creation are equal to God and the heavenly realms), also mobilized the youth of the hippie era with his own maxim, “Do what thou wilt” as being the “whole of the law” (which became “Do your own thing”). What should Christian families do? Should we hide ourselves and our loved ones from the world’s charms and ills, or should we shine our light, work while it is day, and speak the truth in love and with boldness? We need to show our children how to be in the world but not of the world. We can be God’s ambassadors in an increasingly corrupt land, and we cannot allow its darkness to quench His light in us.

Appendix: Leading Your Child to Receive Christ as Savior and Lord

Without your child having a true genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, he or she will definitely succumb to the pressures of this world. This is the foundation of their spiritual lives. The biblical suggestions in this Appendix will offer a basic guideline for parents.

Available now for pre-order (ships by May 29th)

Click here to order a copy of How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception.


(except with media rate, journals, and some smaller international orders)


March 2002 - We officially began Lighthouse Trails Publishing Company.

September 2002 - Published first book, A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen, 1st edition.

2004 - Began Lighthouse Trails Research Project, the From the Lighthouse blog, and this e-newsletter as extensions of Lighthouse Trails Publishing and a way to get free information out to those who were reading our books.

2005 - Published Trapped in Hitler's Hell by Anita Dittman with Jan Markell, the first book in our Remembering the Holocaust category. Later we published a book by Corrie ten Boom and Diet Eman, giving Lighthouse Trails 3 Holocaust survivor authors.

2007 - Published Faith Undone, a powerful expose of the emerging church by Roger Oakland.

2010 - Relocated to Montana from Oregon; also began The Shepherd's Garden, a "tent-making" effort to help support Lighthouse Trails - created our own Shepherd's organic Bible verse tea.

2011 - Began working with Understand the Times mission work, the Bryce Homes for Widows and Children in Kenya - currently, Lighthouse Trails readers are helping to support 15 Bryce Homes (over 110 children).

2012 - Celebrated 10th year anniversary at Lighthouse Trails; also started the Widows in Kenya basket project as a way to help widows support themselves. Began outreach to Native Americans and First Nations people through Muddy Waters and other Native Spirituality books and DVDs.

2013 - Began Lighthouse Trails Research Print Journal, a subscription-based journal mailed to homes and offices; also began the Print Booklet Tracts.

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. Click here to enter store.