LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PROJECT          February 26, 2019     LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESOURCE SHOP

**DON'T MISS IMPORTANT NEW BOOK ON THE MESSAGE! **
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“One World Religion: Pope Francis Signs Historic Covenant With Islam”
Pope Francis in Vatican City (photo: bigstockphoto; used with permission)

LTRP Note: The news story below is posted for informational and research purposes.

February 11, 2019 – By Michael Snyder
Technocracy News

A historic interfaith covenant was signed in the Middle East on Monday [2/11/2019], and the mainstream media in the United States has been almost entirely silent about it. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb is considered to be the most important imam in Sunni Islam, and he arrived at the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi with Pope Francis “hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood”. But this wasn’t just a ceremony for Catholics and Muslims. According to a British news source, the signing of this covenant was done “in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths” . . .

In other words, there was a concerted effort to make sure that all of the religions of the world were represented at this gathering. . . .
According to the official Vatican website, a tremendous amount of preparation went in to the drafting of this document, and it encourages believers from all religions “to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray” with one another.Click here to continue reading.

 

 

 

Parents Beware: Indiana Education Bill Seeks “Mental Health” Control Of All Kids

LTRP Note: The following out-of-house news story is posted for informational and research purposes.

By Alex Newman
FP Media

Draconian “education” legislation to further erode parental rights and gather all sorts of “mental health” data on children, among other controversial elements, is making its way through the Indiana legislature now. Activists are in an uproar about the privacy-shredding bill. But as of now, it seems the scheme may pass. . . .

The legislation, dubbed SB 266, also furthers government meddling in the lives of children from birth through age 22. All children will be routinely screened for “mental-health” issues, with schools becoming de facto mental-health institutions. Indiana activists slammed the provisions as another step toward government control from cradle to grave. . . .

Another controversial provision in the bill is the introduction of Social and Emotional “Wellness” schemes linked to Zen meditation techniques, which are associated with Buddhism. Noting that God and prayer have been expelled from school, critics wondered why Eastern spiritual exercises were being encouraged and pushed in to tax-funded schools. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

Satan’s War on Children

What You Need to Tell Your Local Public School Officials About Children and Mindfulness Meditation

BOOKLET: 10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

 

Comments From Our Readers

The following are some of the comments that came in this past two weeks from our readers regarding articles posted on our blog. If you would like to post a comment to one of our articles, you may do so at the blog. You only need to give your first name. We would be grateful to hear from you, and such feedback is helpful for others. You can also post comments on the Lighthouse Trails Research Facebook page:

Taizé, the Eucharist, and Bethel Church's Bill Johnson:I heard twice from the pulpit in our Christian church that it was wrong of us to question the Catholic belief in transubstantiation and that we cannot truly know that it is not the body and blood of Christ. When I objected and questioned one deacon after church, reminding him of how many were martyred opposing the Roman catholic practice, the pastor and the deacon became angry with me. They said I was attacking this Deacon and was disrespectful. I apologized. But later my teenage son said that I disagreed but was very respectful. I guess they used this to silence me. Over the three years we attended, they promoted rosary beads, prayer shawls, and contemplation as well. So sad. Nancy

Taizé, the Eucharist, and Bethel Church's Bill Johnson: Back in 2002 while attending a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in my hometown in Ontario, the head of the district had written an article in a periodical put out by the district leadership, on communion. He wrote as if acknowledging and validating the Roman Catholic view of transubstantiation. This left me scratching my head and really being in a state of astonishment. How could a protestant/evangelical church support such a view? So this is something that has been creeping on for quite some time now, but now is so prevalent it is widely accepted in most of evangelicalism. The one world religion is now in its final formative stage. Heidi

Eugene Peterson's Mixed Message: It was cruel and evil of Peterson to put his own family and friends in such physical danger without telling them just so he could have an adrenaline rush! Very selfish of him. I have never used The Message Bible; our Messianic congregation did not approve of it many yrs. ago. It seems to be similar to Jesus Calling; putting words in God’s mouth that God did not speak. Elizabeth

Does Your Church Pass the Test: It is so timely for this to come up. I feel the need to share this. There is a Calvary Chapel that I have been attending on and off over the last decade in the South San Diego area. I had heard of how it used to be very Spirit filled back a few decades when they met at another location. . . . In 2006 Roger Oakland spoke there to warn of all these things. When I started going, the apostasy was not real deep there but hints of little things. I have warned them of what is going on just like I have all sorts of other places. Well over the years I saw things getting worse and worse, just moving in an Emergent direction. I left but would drop in to see how it was and each time it was a marked difference (sort of reminding me of a scene in the Titanic when the lady kept going back down with the key to rescue the young man and the water was deeper each time) and the vibe was just different. Then they began using the books by Beth Moore (contemplative, ecumenism with Rome, etc.). I was already out. I would randomly check the website to see if they were having another trip to an orphanage. Well they got a new pastor recently. Already before that there were photos on their facebook page and the ‘stage’ has been totally transformed with the colorful glowing lights that you see in all the emergent churches, the whole rock concert scene has taken over. The whole thing was so bad and that place has fallen so far in such a short time. And they were warned by many people and like so many others, they still don’t heed the warnings.I just went and cried and cried over it all. I was just thinking about this whole timeline last night and today I saw this, so I thought I’d share it for what it’s worth. Mary

"One World Religion: Pope Francis Signs Historic Covenant With Islam": Chrislam has alreadly been a serious issue for several years. This takes that a step farther (“other religions” are mentioned). It’s all leading to the one-world spiritual entity as described in Jesus’ Revelation, which is in rebellion against God. I have a question about this sentence from the website: “The Pope’s chosen papal name honored St. Francis, who was the Islamic unifier during his lifetime.” Does this refer to Francis of Assisi? If so, does anyone have further info about that? I’ve never heard of that before. CW

Does Lighthouse Trails Hate Catholics?:You could not be more correct about the importance of the distinction that it is the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice that is at the crux of the issue. The RCC has many unbiblical practices and dogmas but denying the sufficiency and completeness of the cross is the pinnacle of their heresy. The devotional at the website below supports that.Victor

Does Lighthouse Trails Hate Catholics?: I was born and raised in the Catholic Church and was born again 15 years ago. God used His Word, which is living and powerful, to open my eyes to truth. As I began reading His Word I realized what I had been taught was false doctrine. He said truth sets us free and I was set free by the truth that I wasn’t good enough to earn salvation through my own merits, nor by being Catholic. Only Jesus can save anyone, no church, denomination nor good works will ever save anyone. He finished the work of salvation the Father sent Him to do. Just as Abraham believed and it was accounted to him as righteousness, so it is for all who would believe in Him. My entire family is still there, except my son. Let us be found faithful in prayer asking God to open the eyes of their heart so that they might be saved, just as He did for us, for nothing is impossible for our Great and Awesome God!!! Betty-Anne

Does Lighthouse Trails Hate Catholics?: Dear Catholic reader, I too was a Catholic for over 30 years and am now in my sixties. It is really a labor of love from many born again Bible believers to prayerfully and lovingly point Catholics to the truth. My faith came from hearing the Word of God and putting my faith in Jesus alone to save me. Salvation from Jesus is a gift and there is salvation in no one else, place or thing. Jesus said I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. John 14:6. There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12. To be taught that anything other than what Jesus did on the cross on our behalf to save us from our sins is false. We must repent and believe the Gospel. Trust in God’s Word the Bible as your supreme authority in matters of truth and faith. Not the catechism. Trust Jesus as the All Sufficient Savior and that He will save you completely and forever. Jesus will never let you down, leave you, or forsake you. I too have read Far From Rome Near To God as David in the first response. I thought I would read three or four of the Catholic priests testimonies but finished reading all 50. God’s Word is living and active. God’ Word is eternal. Please forsake anything that cannot save you, sacraments, Mary, purgatory, the Mass etc. and trust in Jesus alone to save you. Please read John 1: 12-13. Dan

Does Lighthouse Trails Hate Catholics?: It is one thing to hate someone. It is quite another — completely different — simply to disagree. People who believe the Bible as it is written cannot subscribe to the Catholic faith because it holds so many unbiblical beliefs. I did not realize this until a woman who became a good friend told me of her Catholic beliefs. For example, I had always assumed the “Immaculate Conception” doctrine was about Christ Jesus; the Holy Bible clearly says that He was conceived without sin. But No, that Catholic doctrine is about Mary!! Yet the Bible does not say that anywhere about her. There are many unbiblical Marian beliefs, including the belief that she is the Mother of God. She was Jesus’ earthly mother. Even then, when He was active in ministry He made it plain that she was no more important than anyone else. She is not His mother in Heaven — God is eternal; He had no beginning. He has no mother. Christ Jesus was God in the flesh. Mary was chosen by God to bring the Messiah into the world, but she is not His mother today. She is a fellow believer, and we are committing idolatry if we pray to her.CW

Does Lighthouse Trails Hate Catholics?: As a reader of the blog (every post) since 2012, I have never witnessed any form of ‘hate’ towards anyone, including Catholics. What I think is going on is that one person feels personally attacked because their beliefs are opposed in some way, but that is done out of love. As for Catholics, I have some in my life that I am also trying to lead to the Lord. This always comes as such a shock to some. But the fact is that they have never done the simple deed that needs to be done. I don’t care what your background is, but in order to get saved you need to bow at the feet of Jesus and ask Him into your life and heart. This includes asking for forgiveness, personally receiving the atonement, repenting from sin, choosing to live for Jesus as Lord of your life, admitting only He can save you (not Mary or membership in any church or any ritual, etc) by grace through faith in His finished work on the cross for your sins, and believe that He rose again. In this way one is born again and the Holy Spirit enters you. Then read the Bible from cover to cover. What have you got to lose??? Lillia

“One World Religion: Pope Francis Signs Historic Covenant With Islam”
Parents Beware: Indiana Education Bill Seeks “Mental Health” Control Of All Kids
Comments From Our Readers

IMPORTANT NEW BOOKLET: Eugene Peterson’s Mixed Message: A Subversive Bible for a New Age

Does Your Church Pass the Test?: Signs That the Emerging Church Has Emerged Into Your Church
Letter to the Editor: Does Lighthouse Trails Hate Catholics?
Taizé, the Eucharist, and Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson
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NEW BOOKLET: Eugene Peterson’s Mixed Message: A Subversive Bible for a New Age
Eugene Peterson's Mixed Message by Warren B. SmithNEW BOOKLET: Eugene Peterson’s Mixed Message: A Subversive Bible for a New Age by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are available. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Eugene Peterson’s Mixed Message: A Subversive Bible for a New Age, click here.

Eugene Peterson’s Mixed Message Subversive Bible for a New Age (Examining Ten Variant Verses)

By Warren B. Smith

Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.1 Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951)

Subversive Spirituality

Eugene Peterson placed great emphasis on being—in his own words—“subversive.” In a 1987 interview with Christianity Today, Peterson stated:

So what I have tried to develop first of all, in myself, is the mentality of the subversive.2

“The Subversive Pastor” is the title of a chapter in his book The Contemplative Pastor (1989). Subversive Spirituality is the title of a book he released in 1994 while he was writing The Message. And if anyone doubts Peterson being a bit subversive, one need only look at his enthusiastic endorsements of three books with serious New Age implications—William Paul Young’s The Shack, Rob Bell’s universalistic Love Wins, and Sue Monk Kidd’s When the Heart Waits. But many people would say—“So what? His Message translation has won the praise of everyone from Bono to Beth Moore to Billy Graham.” But while Peterson delights many believers with what has been described as his “exegetical deftness,” he has also introduced a lot of leaven—some of it decidedly New Age. And it is Peterson himself who warns—“And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread” (Galatians 5:9 MSG). It is because of leaven—particularly New Age leaven—that Peterson’s Message is a spiritually dangerous mixed Message.

What is New Age?

Most people do not understand that the New Age/New Spirituality has been—and continues to be—the driving force moving the world and the church toward a New World Religion. It teaches that “we are all One” and “we are all a part of God” because God is “in” everyone and everything. This Doctrine of “Oneness” is the foundational doctrine of the New Age/New World Religion. The false God and the false Christ of the New Age have proclaimed through their many channels and teachers that “Oneness” is the foundational truth of the New Spirituality.3

As a former member of the New Age movement, I realize how easy it is for most believers to miss references to a belief system of which they were never a part and don’t really understand. However, it is crucial we recognize any leaven—especially New Age leaven—when it appears in more recent Bible translations like The Message (1993, 2003), The Voice (2012), and The Passion (2017). A clear example of how New Age teachings are often hidden in plain sight is seen in The Voice translation of 2 Peter 3:18 when compared to the King James Version:

2 Peter 3:18
KJV

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.

The Voice

Instead, grow in grace and in the true knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Annointed, to whom be glory, now and until the coming of the new age.

Why King James?

Eugene Peterson’s Message was published by NavPress—the publishing arm of the longstanding Navigators organization. This Christian outreach was founded by the late evangelist Dawson Trotman (1906-1956). Highly respected, Trotman favored the King James Version in his teaching and preaching of God’s Word.4 In 2011, NavPress published The Book of Proverbs: KJV/The Message. The book presented comparative verses from The Message and the King James Version as it celebrated the KJV “as a cornerstone of the church, Western culture, and the development of the English language.”5 Given all this, and because of my own use of the KJV, this version will be used for the purposes of this booklet.

Examining Ten Variant Verses

1—As Above, So Below

Matthew 6:9-10
KJV

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

MSG

Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best—as above, so below.

What most people don’t realize when reading this particular verse from The Message is that Eugene Peterson has inserted a several-thousand-year-old occult/New Age maxim into the mouth of Jesus and into the Lord’s Prayer. Instead of “in earth, as it is in heaven,” Peterson translated it “as above, so below.” This may seem harmless to most people, but as a former New Ager, I recognized “as above, so below” for what it was—an ancient mystical New Age concept that is said to be the key to all magic and all mysteries. It means that all is “One” because God is “in” everyone and everything. As already noted, this Doctrine of “Oneness” is the foundational teaching of the New Age/New World Religion. But universal “Oneness” is a New Age lie. God is not “in” everyone and everything. As Above, So Below—a book authored by the editors of the New Age Journal and published in 1992—summarizes the New Age significance of “as above, so below”:

Thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, the great master alchemist Hermes Trismegistus, believed to be a contemporary of the Hebrew prophet Abraham, proclaimed this fundamental truth about the universe: “As above, so below; as below, so above.” This maxim implies that the transcendent God beyond the physical universe and the immanent God within ourselves are one.6

When I initially searched the term “as above, so below” on the Internet, the first site that appeared said:

This phrase comes from the beginning of The Emerald Tablet and embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic which was inscribed upon the tablet in cryptic wording by Hermes Trismegistus. The significance of this phrase is that it is believed to hold the key to all mysteries. All systems of magic are claimed to function by this formula. “‘That which is above is the same as that which is below’ . . . The universe is the same as God, God is the same as man.”7

Peterson Was Told
Because of all this, the question arises—Did anyone ever confront Peterson about using this New Age expression that, in effect, turns the Lord’s Prayer into an occult/New Age prayer? The answer is yes. Soon after The Message was first published in 1993, a concerned reader wrote Peterson and asked him if he was aware that “as above, so below” was an occult/New Age term. Because my book Deceived on Purpose (2004) discussed this issue, the reader had contacted me and informed me that Peterson had written him back and said if he had known that “as above, so below” was a New Age term, he never would have used it. Certainly, Peterson—if he had truly cared—could have had it removed from subsequent printings of The Message. Yet more than two decades after his book first came out, “as above, so below,” still remains in his translation—as do Peterson’s references to “Oneness” and God being “in” everything.

2—Oneness: God “in” Everything

Ephesians 4:4-6
KJV

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

MSG

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

New Age Doctrine of Oneness

By not removing “as above, so below” from The Message, Peterson actually reinforces its New Age meaning by translating Ephesians 4:4-6 to state that God is universally “present in all” and that “Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.” The “God” of the New Age, channeled through one of his top leaders, describes those who introduce the concept of “Oneness” (God “in” everything) as the “messengers,” “visionaries,” and “heralds of a New Age.”8

In the KJV, Ephesians 4:6 states “in you all” to make it clear that Paul is only speaking to “the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). He is not stating that God is universally present in everyone and that a universal “Oneness” pervades everything we “are and think and do.” Rather, he is specifically talking to believers to whom the Holy Spirit had been previously sent because of their commitment to Christ (John 15:26). Paul is not making a statement about “Oneness” and God being “present in all.” In a published interview, Peterson said that one of the breakthrough moments in his knowing that he could create a new translation of the Bible was when he realized how “easy” it would be for him to “untangle” the apostle Paul:

Maybe I could do Paul, because Paul is easy in a sense because he gets tangled up and you can untangle him.9

The irony is that in trying to “untangle” Paul in Ephesians 4:4-6 (as if Paul needed untangling), Peterson is the one who gets all tangled up as he ends up presenting a mixed New Age message instead of the gospel truth. In another Message verse with special New Age implications, Peterson’s Jesus is never described as Lord.

3—The “Master Jesus

John 13:13
KJV

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

MSG

You address me as “Teacher” and “Master,” and rightly so. That is what I am.

The late New Age leader, Benjamin Creme, taught that Jesus is not the Christ but rather a “disciple” of Christ. Creme explained that when the New Age Christ appears, he will not come as “Savior,” but as “Teacher,” and in his own name—which is exactly what the true Christ said would happen (John 5:43). New Age leaders like Creme teach that this New Age Christ will set things right by teaching everyone the Doctrine of Oneness—that God is immanent “in man and all creation”—and that he is present in all religions. Creme wrote:

But eventually a new world religion will be inaugurated which will be a fusion and synthesis of the approach of the East and the approach of the West. The Christ will bring together, not simply Christianity and Buddhism, but the concept of God transcendent—outside of His creation—and also the concept of God immanent in all creation—in man and all creation.10

In explaining how Jesus was not the Christ but rather his disciple, Creme described how the first century Jesus allowed the “Christ” to “overshadow” him and work through him after he was baptized by John. Counterfeiting the true Christ’s return with his “mighty angels” (2 Thessalonians 1:7), Creme explained that when the New Age Christ appears he will come with his “twelve Masters of Wisdom.” These Masters—one of whom will be the “Master Jesus”—will help the New Age Christ do his work in the world. Thus, according to Creme and other New Age leaders, “Jesus” is not the “Lord” and he is not the “Christ”—he is simply the “Master Jesus.” Creme—speaking for this New Age Christ—explains how this “Master Jesus” will assume the throne of St. Peter and head up the “Christian” Church which will be centered in Rome as part of the New World Religion. Creme stated that the “Master Jesus”—obviously a false Jesus—will be in charge of a new reformation. It will be his job to “reform the Christian churches”11 so they conform to the “new reality” of the New World Religion which the return of the false Christ and his Masters will create.12

New Age leaders have made it clear that in the New Age/New Spirituality/New World Religion, you can identify yourself with any or no religion as long as you confess that “we are all One” because “God is in everyone and everything.” And, of course, you must profess that the New Age Christ—not Jesus Christ—is your Lord.

In light of all this, it is important to note that The Message never refers to Jesus as Lord—not even once. Consistent with New Age teachings, Peterson’s Jesus is repeatedly referred to as the “Master Jesus.” And while the disciples of the true Jesus Christ called him Master, it was always with the understanding that He was also their Lord—and they continually and constantly addressed Him as such. And even when they addressed Him as Master, they never referred to Him as the “Master Jesus.” Yet the term “Master Jesus” appears repeatedly in passage after passage in The Message. An example of this is in Revelation 22:20-21:

KJV

Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

MSG

Yes! Come, Master Jesus! The grace of the Master Jesus be with all of you. Oh, Yes!

When “as above, so below,” “Oneness,” “God in everything,” “Master Jesus,” and all the other occult elements of the New Age/New Spirituality are taken as a whole, occultists collectively describe it as the “Great Work”—another mixed message found in The Message.

4—Great Work

Philippians 1:6
KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

MSG

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

“Great Work” in The Message
The Greek word agathos in Philippians 1:6 is commonly translated into English as “good”—not “great.” But in this passage, Peterson translates agathos as “great”—not “good.” Thus, it becomes a “great work” that God is doing in you—not “good work.” Yet when he translated this same word agathos twenty-one verses previous in Ephesians 6:8, he translated it “good”—rather than “great.” Of the more than fifty Gateway Bible versions listed on the Internet, all but three translated Philippians 1:6 as “good work.” The three that translated it “great work” were the more recent controversial translations—The Voice, The Passion, and The Message.

“Great Work” in the New Age
The term “great work” that Eugene Peterson inserted into Philippians 1:6 is yet another New Age term like “as above, so below” that is hidden in plain sight. Terms like “as above, so below,” “Oneness,” and “great work” might seem inconsequential to most Christians—but they are not. They are a part of the emerging and overlapping language of the New Age/New World Religion reminiscent of the one language that God found so reprehensible in Babel:

And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. (Genesis 11:6)

The first entry that arose when I searched the Internet for “Great Work” immediately connected it with the “as above, so below” teachings of Hermeticism and the New Age/New Spirituality.13 In False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care? (2011), I quote the false Christ Maitreya inviting everyone to “share” in his “Great Work” of transforming the world. He said:

Share with Me, My friends, in a Great Work—nothing less than the transformation of this world.14

Also in False Christ Coming, I described how New Age leader (and 2020 presidential candidate) Marianne Williamson invokes this same occult/New Age term “Great Work” in her 2000 book Healing the Soul of America. She describes how the evolution of humanity will come through the enactment of the esoteric traditions collectively referred to as the “Great Work”:

Beyond the appearances of history, there is a great and glorious unfolding plan for the destiny of nations. According to the mystical traditions, God carries this plan within His mind, seeking always, in every way, channels for its furtherance. His plan for the evolution of humanity, and the preparation of teachers to guide it, is called within the esoteric traditions the Great Work.15

Another New Age source describes how the completion of the “Great Work” will be accomplished when it has been introduced in multiple ways “across numerous fields”:

The so-called “Great Work” of the occultists is at the heart of all esoteric activities in both the East and the West. And the “completion” of this “Great Work” is alluded to via a multiplicity of euphemisms scattered across numerous fields.16

“Great Work” in Gospel Music
The term “Great Work” has been introduced not only into three contemporary Bible translations, but also into contemporary Christian music. The album and title song “A Great Work” were both nominated for 2018 Dove and 2019 Grammy awards as the song for “best contemporary gospel song” and the album for “best contemporary gospel album.” Featuring Philippians 1:6 as the centerpiece of his album and song, popular Christian recording artist Brian Courtney Wilson sings: “He that has begun a great work in you is faithful to perform it.” In what has been described as his “purpose-driven lyrics,”17 the term “great work” is repeated over fifty times by the singer and the accompanying choir.18 This popular hit song is another graphic example of how an overlapping New Age term has become part of our day-to-day “Christian” language. But this is the way Satan, the Devil, Lucifer—also known as the “light-bearer”—works.

5—Light-bearer

Matthew 5:15
KJV

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

MSG

If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket do you? I’m putting you on a light stand.

In my Internet search for the definition of light-bearer, I was immediately redirected to the name Lucifer.19 An online thesaurus listed the following synonyms for the word “light-bearer”—Lucifer, Beelzebub, Devil, Prince of Darkness, and Tempter.20 The occult/New Age Theosophical Society published a monthly journal as far back as the late 1800s titled Lucifer that featured a front-cover banner that read—“The Light-bearer is the Morning Star or Lucifer.”21 The Canadian branch of this same Theosophical Society continues to publish their seasonal magazine titled The Light Bearer.22 And the late New Age channeler Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s Summit Lighthouse organization advertised their 2018 annual conference by proclaiming—“Lightbearers of the World Unite.”23 Even a Lightbearer coffee mug with a “unique esoteric satanic 666 Luciferian seal symbol” can be purchased online. The product description further reads:

Lucifer the Lightbearer Satanic Mug—perfect gift for you or someone dear to you.24

Like light-bearer and the other terms already mentioned, “golden circle” is yet one more mixed message with occult/New Age implications found in The Message.

6-Golden Circle

Revelation 2:5
KJV

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

MSG

Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? A Lucifer fall! Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I’m well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle.

The term “golden circle” is not found in the original manuscripts. In fact, the single word “circle” is found only once in the KJV and refers to the circumference of the earth (Isaiah 40:22). An Internet search for “golden circle” does not bring up anything that equates to being biblical. But it does connect the term to, among other things, a Masonic ritual, a secret society, and modern-day witchcraft. “The Order of the Golden Circle” is the women’s auxiliary of the 33 degree Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.25 The “Knights of the Golden Circle” was a radical secret society in mid-nineteenth century America,26 and Wiccans—with their “golden chalk” and “golden energy”—often invoke the term “as above, so below” to seal their “ritual circles”:

When Witches seal a circle casting, sacred space or a spell, they often say the words “As above, so below.”27

The Maxim “As above, so below” (as well as others you’ll study in the future) does tell us that Wicca carries with it into the twenty-first century a heavy coil of very old, very ancient, golden energy.28

Golden chalk is used to draw the heart glyph at the center of a ritual circle. Golden chalk is crafted in a witches’ cauldron.29

And just as Peterson added the term “golden circle” in translating Revelation 2:5, he added the word “green” to his translation of Romans 15:13.

7—God of Green Hope

Romans 15:13
KJV

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

MSG

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

Green New Age
The word “green” for most people has come to mean recycling, reducing our carbon footprint, and overall good stewardship of the earth. However, in recent times, the word “green” has also come to represent some of the more extreme environmental activism and earth worship identified with Paganism, Witchcraft, and the New Age movement. One online site straightforwardly states that the word “green” is synonymous with the term New Age:

Not everyone who came to be associated with the New Age phenomenon openly embraced the term “New Age” . . . Other terms that were employed synonymously with “New Age” in this milieu included “Green.”30

The “Green Movement” is commonly associated with Gaia and earth worship and has been described as being “at the very heart of the Global Green Agenda.”31 Consistent with New Age teachings, Gaia philosophy is the belief that humanity can save “Mother Earth” by recognizing its “Oneness” with “her.” Gaia is acknowledged to be part of the “Green Agenda” for a united “Green Religion.” The all-encompassing “Green Movement” is presently and actively promoting current environmental policies. Popular with progressive politicians and New Age spiritualists, a “Green New Deal” is already in the works. There is also a “Green Witchcraft,”32 and the “Green Horned God” of Wicca is frequently referred to as the “Green Man.”33

Peterson’s “God of green hope” translation lends itself to all of the above as it conveniently meshes with Paganism, Witchcraft, and the New Age movement. The Bible warns that we cannot just add words like “golden circle” and “green” that are not in the original manuscripts and call it a translation (Proverbs 30:6). It is as wrong as describing God’s creation as “God-craft.”

8—God-Craft

Psalm 19:1
KJV

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.

MSG

God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.

Peterson’s introduction of the term “God-craft” seems to offer a euphemistic olive branch to those practicing witchcraft. In two videos posted by a self-professing “Christian witch,” he describes how he mixes his faith in “Christ” with his faith in witchcraft. He used the same overlapping term used by Peterson in The Message to describe his faith as “more of a God-craft”:

Many people don’t necessarily understand how you can mix Christianity and the love of Christ with a word like magic, and power, or the craft or the label Christian witch.34

Do I believe, do I practice a form of the craft? Yes I do, but I believe its more of a God-craft than it is, say, what most people would determine as witchcraft.35

Thus, Peterson’s translation of the Psalm 19:1 verse that reads “God-craft on exhibit across the horizon” seems more suggestive of witches riding the night skies than the heavens declaring God’s glory. Peterson has not only added terms like “golden circle” and “God-craft,” but he has also removed important phrases like “cunningly devised fables” and replaced them with misleading substitutes like “wishing on a star.”

9—Wishing on a Star

2 Peter 1:16
KJV

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

MSG

We weren’t, you know, just wishing on a star when we laid the facts out before you regarding the powerful return of our Master, Jesus Christ. We were there for the preview! We saw it with our own eyes.

It doesn’t take a Bible scholar to see that the key phrase “cunningly devised fables” was removed and the meaning of the passage completely changed by Eugene Peterson. “We weren’t, you know, just wishing on a star” bears no resemblance to “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables.” Peterson’s “wishing on a star” sounds more like Walt Disney and Pinocchio than the apostle Peter. What was a strong biblical warning about spiritual deception now sounds more like an indirect reference to Jiminy Cricket.

Those of us who were formerly involved in the New Age movement were not “wishing on a star” regarding the “coming of Christ.” We were following a “cunningly devised fable”—a “new story” and a “new narrative” for the coming New Age. This “cunningly devised” New Age/New Gospel fable convinced us that we were all “One” because God was “in” everyone and everything. But Peterson chose to eliminate this sharp as a two-edged sword warning about “cunningly devised fables,” replacing it with the flat-as-a-butter knife reference to “wishing on a star.”

The best-selling book The Shack is a perfect example of a cunningly devised fable. William Paul Young’s “Jesus” presents the same deceptive “as above, so below” teaching found in The Message—that God is “in” everyone and everything. Young’s “Jesus” says, “God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.”36 Not surprisingly, Eugene Peterson—the man who removed the apostle Peter’s warning about “cunningly devised fables”—provides a glowing front cover endorsement for William Paul Young’s cunningly devised fable!

Eugene Peterson, in using phrases like “as above, so below,” “light-bearer,” and “God-craft” has created confusion with terms that overlap with the occult and the New Age. It was Peterson, himself, who warned:

We cannot be too careful about the words we use; we start out using them and then they end up using us.37

But if you question today’s Christian leaders regarding any of this, you may find yourself being labeled as “defiant” and “mutinous.”

10—Defiant or Mutinous

Proverbs 24:21
KJV

My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

MSG

Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders; don’t be defiant or mutinous. Without warning your life can turn upside down, and who knows how or when it might happen?

One of the predominant ways the New Age has entered the church is through new translations that change the meaning of otherwise properly translated Scripture. Somehow, we are to just trust that these translations have only our best interest in mind. Proverbs 24:21 warns of the ruinous consequences for getting involved with change-agent leaders who are “given to change.” Yet, Eugene Peterson removes the reference to change and, instead, warns of the ruinous consequences for not following these change-agent leaders! Those not respecting their leaders are described as “defiant” and “mutinous” and as a result may find their lives being turned “upside down.” But the only way Peterson can come up with this translation is to turn the original Hebrew upside down. It is not “mutinous” or “defiant” to search the Scriptures to see if what these leaders are saying is “so” (Acts 17:11). Isaiah specifically warned about leaders who were leading people astray—“O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12). He warned that ruinous destruction would not come to those who defied these errant leaders but to those who unquestioningly followed them—“For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed” (Isaiah 9:16).

Epilogue—A Dangerous Walk

The danger of entrusting one’s Christian walk to Eugene Peterson and his Message translation was dramatically underscored in a 2007 book Peterson wrote titled The Jesus Way. In describing a group hike he took with friends and family in Glacier National Park, Peterson discloses how he purposely withheld crucial information from his family and friends prior to their setting out on their walk. In a moment of almost inexplicable candor, Peterson reveals how he “relished the spurt of adrenaline” he experienced in not telling his fellow hikers how a grizzly bear had mauled a hiker just the week before on the very same trail they were about to take. What makes his account especially disturbing is that his group included a friend’s two-year-old child and his pregnant daughter-in-law. Peterson wrote:

A few years ago a grizzly attacked a hiker not far from our home and mauled him badly. The hiker had heard of the wonder and beauty of the mountains of Montana and drove across the country from North Carolina to experience them for himself. Interviewed from his hospital bed, he said, “I’m never coming back to this place!” He didn’t know that wonder and beauty can also be dangerous.

A week after that grizzly mauling, Jan and I along with our son and his wife, plus another friend with her two-year-old son, were hiking on that same trail. At the trailhead a notice was posted: “Danger: Grizzly activity on this trail. Hike at your own risk.” None of the others knew of the previous week’s mauling and I didn’t say anything. I relished the spurt of adrenaline. The danger to life heightens the sense of life.38

Peterson goes on to describe how the group later encountered a grizzly bear and her cub that were up the trail from where they were walking. Obviously, concerned for her safety and that of her unborn child, Peterson’s pregnant daughter-in-law insisted on leaving immediately. Peterson attempts to use the incident to illustrate how the beauty of one’s surroundings can also be a threat to the “fragility and preciousness of life.” He explains that “Holy ground” can also be “dangerous ground”:

And then Amy, our daughter-in-law, who was five months pregnant and therefore especially aware of the fragility and preciousness of life, said, “I want to get out of here.” And we did get out. Holy ground, but dangerous ground.39

And while Peterson waxes poetic about the mix of beauty and danger inherent in life, his point falls flat as an obvious question arises—What kind of a man would put others in harm’s way for his own personal adrenalin rush? As I read Peterson’s strange account, I realized the incident was a perfect metaphor for what I had come to believe about Peterson and his Message translation. You are walking on a very dangerous path when you choose to walk with Eugene Peterson—whether it is in Glacier National Park or through the pages of his Message “Bible.”

God’s True Word

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. (2 Timothy 4:3)

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5)

To order copies of Eugene Peterson’s Mixed Message: A Subversive Bible for a New Age, click here.

Endnotes:

  1. Dr. Harry Ironside, “Is Exposing Error Worthwhile?” (TBC Extra, April 2008, posted on The Berean Call website, https://www.thebereancall.org/content/exposing-error-it-worthwhile).
  2. “Eugene Peterson: “A Monk Out of Habit,” Interview by Rodney Clapp (Christianity Today, April 3, 1987, Vol. 31, No. 6), p. 24.
  3. One example of this statement is seen here: Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2004), p. 167.
  4. Betty Lee Skinner, Daws: A Man Who Trusted God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress Publishing Group, 1974), pp, 153-155, 371.
  5. The Book of Proverbs KJV/The Message: Celebrating 400 Years of Scripture (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2011), product description on Amazon.com.
  6. Ronald S. Miller and The Editors of New Age Journal, As Above, So Below: Paths to Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life (Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1992), p. xi.
  7. http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/a/below_above.html.
  8. Michael J. Cusick, “A Conversation with Eugene Peterson” (Mars Hill Review 3 , Fall 1995, Issue No. 3, www.marshillreview.com/sojo/peterson.shtm), pp. 73-90.
  9. Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: an Uncommon Dialogue (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999), pp. 295-296.
  10. Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (London, England: The Tara Press, 1980), p. 88.
  11. Ibid., p. 30.
  12. Ibid., p. 46.
  13. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great-Work.
  14. Maitreya, Messages from Maitreya the Christ: One Hundred Forty Messages (Los Angeles, CA: Share International Foundation, 2001), p. 142.
  15. Marianne Williamson, Healing the Soul of America; Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2000), p. 195.
  16. Nick Sandberg, “The Great Work” (Hidden Mysteries: The Magazine, Vol. 14, July 2000, http://www.hiddenmysteries.org/themagazine/vol14/articles/occult-notes.shtml).
  17. Praise 96.5 FM (https://www.praise965.com/music/brian-courtney-wilson-a-great-work-number-one-on-billboard-gospel-airplay-chart).
  18. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QYL-A1G9teE.
  19. https://www.thefreedictionary.com.
  20. http://www.freethesaurus.com.
  21. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer_(magazine)#/media/File%3ABlavlucifer.jpg.
  22. The Light Bearer (https://www.levir.com.br/theosophy/magazine.htm).
  23. https://bozemantc.org/tag/montana.
  24. Amazon.com: “esoteric coffee mug-Lucifer the LIGHTBEARER.”
  25. https://www.aasrphasj.org/index.php/golden-circle.
  26. http://knights-of-the-golden-circle.blogspot.com.
  27. https://web.archive.org/web/20170309164831/http://www.angelfire.com/moon2/mystique_angel/AASB.html.
  28. Ibid.
  29. https://sites.google.com/site/witcherymod/golden-chalk.
  30. “New Age” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age), citing Stephen J. Sutcliffe in Children of the New Age (London and New York: Routledge 2003), p. 128.
  31. http://www.green-agenda.com/gaia.html.
  32. Ann Moura, Green Witchcraft (Woodbury, MN: Lewellyn Publications, 2002).
  33. https://whisperingworlds.com/wiccan/wiccan_god.php.
  34. “An Invitation to the Kingdom Coven” (Kingdom Coven YouTube, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F67U4dikvQE), 4:20 minute mark.
  35. “The truth about the craft and Magick” (Kingdom Coven YouTube, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qos4H5g95CY), 3:00 minute mark.
  36. William P. Young, The Shack (Los Angeles, CA: Windblown Media, 2007), p. 112.
  37. Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Publishing, 2005), p. 39.
  38. Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way: a conversation on the ways that Jesus is the way (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Erdman’s Publishing Co., 2007), p. 131.
  39. Ibid.

To order copies of Eugene Peterson’s Mixed Message: A Subversive Bible for a New Age, click here.

 

 

Does Your Church Pass the Test?: Signs That the Emerging Church Has Emerged Into Your Church
It was six years ago in January 2013 that Lighthouse Trails began publishing topical booklets. In February of that year, we released one by Roger Oakland called How To Know When the Emerging Church Shows Signs of Emerging Into Your Church. This booklet has been invaluable to many because it lists several of the signs that show if your church is going down the emergent path.

Some people have tried to say that the “emerging church” is dead, gone, a thing of the past. But that is anything but the truth. While names and terms have been at times altered by emergent change agents, this ecumenical, mystical, interspiritual emergent “church” is still alive, and these signs are still happening (even more so) in churches across North America.

The article below can be printed freely from this blog or can be purchased as an inexpensive booklet.

How To Know When the Emerging Church Shows Signs of Emerging Into Your Church

By Roger Oakland

The world is changing. So is the Christian evangelical church. There was a time—not that long ago—when the Bible was considered to be the Word of God by the majority of evangelical Christians. Now that we are well into the third millennium and the post-modern, post-Christian era, the term evangelical can mean almost anything. What has happened? Why is this happening and what is the future for mainstream Christianity?

For the past several years, I have been speaking around the world on current trends that are impacting Christianity. After these presentations, I am approached by Christians who come from many different church backgrounds. Many are expressing their concerns about what is happening in their churches, troubled by the new direction they see their church going. While they may not always be able to discern what is wrong, they know something is wrong and that it needs to be addressed.

Further, many have told me they have attempted to express their concerns with their pastors or church elders. In almost every case, they were told they had a choice to make—get with the new  program or get out of the church.

This move towards a reinvented Christianity (one designed to “reach people”) seems to be here for the long haul. It is not just a passing fad. I am often asked by concerned brothers and sisters in Christ to provide an explanation in order to help them understand what they have encountered. They want to know why these changes are underway and what to expect in the future. As well, they want to know what, if anything can be done, to stem this tide. It is for this reason I am writing this commentary—to provide biblical insight regarding the Emerging Church and where it is heading in the future.

The Gospel According to the Scriptures
Throughout church history, various trends have come and gone. While culture changes from place to place, biblical Christianity has always been based upon the central message of the Bible which is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message never changes.

This gospel message is about who Jesus Christ is, and what He has done. A child can understand the gospel message. This message proclaims that life here on planet earth is finite and that life after death is eternal. The good news is that we can be saved from our sins if we will repent and simply ask for forgiveness and follow Him.

How we respond to the gospel message during the time we have on earth determines where we spend eternity—heaven or hell. Jesus, the Creator of the universe, provided a way and the only way we can spend eternity with Him. It is a matter of making a personal decision whether or not we will accept the plan He has provided.

God’s adversary does not want mankind to understand the simple message. His plan is to deceive the world. If he can blind people from the gospel or convince them that they believe the gospel when indeed they do not, his plan has been successful. Throughout the ages, countless billions have been duped, either rejecting the truth, or believing that they had believed the truth when instead they had been deceived.

The Gospel According to Postmodernism
Times change! However, the gospel must remain the same no matter what else changes. We are now living in the postmodern era. In a sincere attempt to reach the  postmodern generation with the gospel, it seems many Christians have become postmodern in their thinking.

Perhaps the term postmodern is new to you. Let’s examine what it means.
First, the modern era was characterized by a time of rational thinking based on factual observation. Many claim the modern era ended in the mid 1900s.

The postmodern mindset moves beyond the rational and the factual to the experiential and the mystical. In other words, in the past it was possible to know right from wrong and black from white. In the postmodern era all things are relative to the beholder. What may be right for you may be wrong for someone else. There is no such thing as absolute truth. The only thing that is absolute is that there is no absolute.

We now live in a time in history that is characterized as postmodern. Professors at universities teach students there is no right or wrong. All things are relative. The gospel message to the postmodern mindset is far too dogmatic and arrogant. They say it is necessary to find a more moderate gospel that can be accepted by the masses.

Many church leaders are now looking for ways to reach the postmodern generation. They believe they can find the appropriate methods to do so without changing the message. However, in their attempt to reach this postmodern generation, they have become postmodern themselves and have changed the message. As the gospel is fixed upon the Scriptures, the gospel cannot change, unless of course it becomes another gospel. I believe this is what is happening in the Emerging Church.

He Didn’t Come
Many have noticed that since the turn of the millennium, their churches have changed positions on Bible prophecy and the Second Coming of Jesus. Many have given up on the return of Jesus. From the ‘60s on there was an excitement about the imminent return of Jesus. The Jesus People were excited about Bible prophecy and could see signs that Jesus would descend from the heavens for His Bride at any moment.

The year 2000 was of particular importance. When Jesus didn’t show up, it seems many were apparently disappointed. “Perhaps Jesus has delayed His coming,” some have said. Others are even taking the position that He may not be coming at all, at least not in the manner we have been taught. They are now convinced that we need to be busy about “building His Kingdom” here on earth by “whatever human effort is required.”

The Gospel of the Kingdom
One of the main indicators that something has changed can be seen in the way the future is perceived. Rather than urgently proclaiming the gospel according to the Scriptures and believing the time to do so is short, the emphasis has now shifted. No longer are “signs of the times” significant. The battle cry is very different. A major emphasis among evangelicals is the idea that the world can be radically improved through social programs.

This concept, while on the surface may sound very good, has some serious biblical implications. According to the Scriptures, there will be no kingdom of God until the King arrives. All the human effort man can muster up will fall short of bringing utopia. In fact, according to the Scriptures, fallen man will lead us further down the road to a society of despair and lawlessness just like it was in the days of Noah.

Thus, this purpose-driven view of establishing global utopia may be a plan, but it is “driven” by humanistic reasoning and not led by the Holy Spirit. While it is of course good to do good unto others, all the goodness that we can do will not be good enough. Pastors and church leaders who get involved in such man-driven programs can usually be identified by certain characteristics:

Sound biblical doctrine is dangerous and divisive, and the experiential (i.e.,mystical) is given a greater role than doctrine.

Bible prophecy is no longer taught and is considered a waste of time.

Israel becomes less and less important and has no biblical significance.

Eventually the promises for Israel are applied to the church and not Israel (Replacement Theology).

Bible study is replaced by studying someone’s book and his methods.

Church health is evaluated on the quantity of people who attend.

The truth of God’s Word becomes less and less important.

God’s Word, especially concepts like hell, sin and repentance, is eventually downplayed so the unbeliever is not offended.

Spiritual Formation and Transformation
Much of what I have described provides the formula for a dumbing-down of Christianity that paves the way for an apostasy that will only intensify in the future. This trend away from the authority of God’s Word to the reinvented form of Christianity has overcome all evangelical denominations like an avalanche. Few Bible teachers saw this avalanche coming. Now that it is underway, few realize it has even happened.

However, there is another big piece to the puzzle that must be identified in order to understand what is emerging in the Emerging Church. While biblical Christianity has been dumbed-down and the light of God’s Word diminished, another avalanche of deception is underway that is equally devastating.

This is best described by the Word of God giving way to experiences that God’s Word forbids. The best way to understand this process is to recall what happened during the Dark Ages when the Bible became the “forbidden book.” Until the Reformers translated the Bible into the language of the common person, the people were in darkness. When the light of God’s Word became available, the gospel according to the Scriptures was once again understood.

This trend, which is underway today, shows us that history is in the process of repeating itself. As the Word of God becomes less and less important, the rise of mystical experiences is alarming and these experiences are being presented to convince the unsuspecting that Christianity is about feeling, touching, smelling and seeing God. The postmodern mindset is the perfect environment for the fostering of what is called “spiritual formation.” This teaching suggests there are various ways and means to get closer to God. Proponents of spiritual formation erroneously teach that anyone can practice these mystical rituals and find God within. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not a prerequisite.

These teachings, while actually rooted in ancient wisdom (the occult), were presented to Christendom post-New Testament and not found in the Word of God. The spiritual formation movement is based upon experiences promoted by desert monks and Roman Catholic mystics – these mystics encouraged the use of rituals and practices, that if performed would bring the practitioner closer to God (or come into God’s presence). The premise was that if one went into the silence or sacred space, then the mind was emptied of distractions and the voice of God could be heard. In truth, these hypnotic, mantric style practices were leading these monks into altered states of consciousness. The methods they used are the same that Buddhists and the Hindus use as a means of encountering the spiritual realm. Such methods are dangerous and are not sanctioned in the Bible—God gives no instruction for this. On the contrary, he warns severely against divination, which is practicing a ritual or method in order to obtain information from a spiritual source. While proponents of spiritual formation (like Richard Foster) say these methods show that the Holy Spirit is doing something new to refresh Christianity, I would suggest that what is happening is not new and is not the Holy Spirit.

The spiritual formation movement is being widely promoted at colleges and seminaries as the latest and the greatest way to become a spiritual leader in these days. These ideas are then being exported from seminaries to churches by graduates who have been primed to take Christianity to a new level of enlightenment.

As well, these contemplative practices are being promoted by emergent leaders such as Brian McLaren, Robert Webber, Dallas Willard and others. Publishers like NavPress, InterVarsity and Zondervan are flooding the market with books promoting contemplative practices based on Eastern mysticism. Pastors and church leaders read these books and then promote the ideas as if they were the scriptural answer to drawing close to God.

Signs the Emerging Church is Emerging
There are specific warning signs that are symptomatic that a church may be headed down the emergent/contemplative road. In some cases a pastor may not be aware that he is on this road nor understand where the road ends up.

Here are some of the warning signs:
Scripture is no longer the ultimate authority as the basis for the Christian faith.

The centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ is being replaced by humanistic methods promoting church growth and a social gospel.

More and more emphasis is being placed on building the kingdom of God now and less and less on the warnings of Scripture about the imminent return of Jesus Christ and a coming judgment in the future.

The teaching that Jesus Christ will rule and reign in a literal millennial period is considered unbiblical and heretical.

The teaching that the church has taken the place of Israel and Israel has no prophetic significance is often embraced.

The teaching that the Book of Revelation does not refer to the future, but instead has been already fulfilled in the past.

An experiential mystical form of Christianity begins to be promoted as a method to reach the postmodern generation.

Ideas are promoted teaching that Christianity needs to be re­invented in order to provide meaning for this generation.

The pastor may implement an idea called “ancient-future” or “vintage Christianity” claiming that in order to take the church forward, we need to go back in church history and find out what experiences were effective to get people to embrace Christianity.

While the authority of the Word of God is undermined, images and sensual experiences are promoted as the key to experiencing and knowing God.

These experiences include icons, candles, incense, liturgy, labyrinths, prayer stations, contemplative prayer, experiencing the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of the Eucharist.

There seems to be a strong emphasis on ecumenism indicating that a bridge is being established that leads in the direction of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.

Some evangelical Protestant leaders are saying that the Reformation went too far. They are reexamining the claims of the “church fathers” saying that communion is more than a symbol and that Jesus actually becomes present in the wafer at communion.

There will be a growing trend towards an ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace claiming the validity of other religions and that there are many ways to God.

Members of churches who question or resist the new changes that the pastor is implementing are reprimanded and usually asked to leave.

What does the Future Hold?
If the Emerging Church continues unfolding at the present pace, mainstream evangelical Christianity will be reinvented and the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures will be considered too narrow and too restrictive. In other words, the narrow way to heaven that Jesus proclaimed will eventually be abandoned for a wider way that embraces pagan experiential practices. I call this reinvented, re-imagined form of Christianity that is unfolding—“Christian Babylonianism.”

This new form of Christianity will replace biblical faith with a faith that says man can establish the kingdom of God here on earth. The Word will continue to become secondary to a system of works driven by experiences.

An ecumenical pattern towards unity with Rome will become more apparent. Those who refuse to embrace this direction will be considered spiritual oddballs that need to be reprimanded.

Those who stand up for biblical faith will be considered the obstructions to the one world spirituality that is promoted as the answer for peace.

The best way to be prepared for what is coming is to gain an understanding of what is happening now. While there are not many who seem to discern the trend underway, there are some. Without the Bible and the Holy Spirit as our guide, the darkness that is coming would be overwhelming. However, the light of God’s Word penetrates the darkness and there are those who are being delivered from deception and see what is taking place.

I am convinced we are seeing apostasy underway, exactly as the Scriptures have forewarned. This means that this current trend is not likely to disappear. We must continue to proclaim the truth in the midst of deception with love. As Paul instructed Timothy:

 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will (2 Timothy 2: 24–26).

There are still pastors and churches who are dedicated to proclaiming the truth. Find out where they are and support them. If you are in a location where this does not seem to be possible, seek out materials that are available from solid Bible-based Christian ministries and hold Bible studies in your own home.

 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

To order copies of How to Know When the Emerging Church Shows Signs of Emerging Into Your Church, click here.

 

Letter to the Editor: Does Lighthouse Trails Hate Catholics?

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I am in a quandary. I have read quite a few of your booklets on line about the New Age, specifically Yoga. I have also made a substantial purchase because you are right on as far as these subjects go. I am confused as to why you seem to hate Catholics when what I read is just as we believe for the most part. Many of the things you say about the Catholic Faith is just plain incorrect so I am wondering where you get your information as to our beliefs. You have to know that the majority of those who call themselves Catholic today have no idea of what the Catholic Faith teaches since there has been very poor catechesis for the last 50 years! Just look at the politicians who claim to be Catholic and yet vote 100% for abortion “rights” and “homo marriage” as if there is such a thing. I might add that much of what I read on your site is more Catholic than Protestant so I would do a little more homework before writing the books if you want the real Truth which I think you do!

I am not sure who I am writing to but I would like to continue this conversation. I would like to know why you include Catholics in with occult group when we are fighting all of this occult and New Age just as intensely as you are.

In the Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
_________________________

LTRP Response: We have prayerfully developed a three-part response to this letter to the editor.

Part one is a letter from Lighthouse Trails editor David Dombrowski.

Part two is a short excerpt from Ray Yungen’s book Simple Answers: Understanding the Catholic Faith which may give a little understanding to some of the comments made by this woman when she says that what she believes is much like what Lighthouse Trails believes. Ray explains that there are two “types” of Catholics today: the more traditional and conservative one (which seems to describe the woman who wrote us), and the other is the contemplative, mystical Catholic (i.e., the Thomas Merton Catholic, so to speak), which is becoming more and more of the common Catholic (even the present Pope falls in this latter category).

Part three is, “co-incidentally,” an e-mail we received this week from a former nun who gave us permission to post her e-mail which we saw as fitting into this situation.

We are posting the letter to the editor and the three-part response in hopes that other Catholics reading them will find some answers and that evangelical and Protestant Christians reading will also gain some insight.

PART 1: Catholicism and Salvation

Dear __________,

My name is David, and I am the chief editor at Lighthouse Trails Publishing. I would like to explain our position on the Catholic Church. First of all, we do love Catholics, and it is our love for Catholics that compels us to speak the truth.

On a personal note, I was born and raised Catholic. Born in 1952, I witnessed both Vatican 1 and 2 and was devout in my practice of weekly confession and Holy Communion; but l left the Catholic Church in my thirties.

Our position on the Catholic Church is no secret, and my reason for leaving it is explained in my article/booklet My Journey Out of Catholicism; but rather than get into that now, I think it would be best to be brief here and to the point.

Our entire ministry hinges on the truth of the Gospel in that spiritual discernment uses the Gospel as a plumb-line to measure whether our spiritual foundations are straight and true. After all, it is how we view and treat the Cross that determines whether or not we have an assurance of salvation that is biblical and true.

I came out of Catholicism because the official position of the Catholic Church, substantiated by both its tradition and the Baltimore Catechism, is that we are saved by our participation in the sacraments. And of all the sacraments, the Eucharist is the key sacrament for this view of salvation. It is the very focal point of the Mass, and without the Mass, there would be no Roman Catholic Church.

But the problem is that the Bible does differ with the tenets of the Roman Catholic faith. Perhaps that would be OK if it were on some minor points, but where salvation is involved, nothing could be more major. Catholicism teaches that one becomes a Christian when baptized as a baby. But Jesus taught that we must be born again to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Catholicism also teaches that we receive Christ by ingesting flesh and blood under the appearance of bread and wine. But Scripture tells us that when Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53), his own disciples were offended (John 6:61). Why were they offended? Well, for one thing, partaking of blood was absolutely forbidden in the Law, while partaking of human blood would have been an absolute abomination—and His disciples knew this. What they did not know was that Jesus was soon to be crucified for the sins of the world, and it is through that sacrifice that we find peace with God.

Jesus went on to explain to His disciples that partaking of His flesh would profit nothing, and in referring to the words He had spoken, He commented “they are spirit” (i.e., a figure of speech) because this all pertained to His sacrifice at Calvary (John 6:63); see also John 3:14-15).

Catholicism also teaches of the insufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary as is fully illustrated by the need to have a daily Mass to atone for sin. Chapters 9 and 10 of Hebrews speak often of the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary. Here are some examples:

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:12)

Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others. (Hebrews 9:25)

 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)

Also see Hebrews 10:10-12 and 10:14.

I cannot overemphasize the seriousness and importance of what these verses from Hebrews are saying. They remind me of a book I once read titled Far From Rome, Near to God which is a compilation of the testimonies of fifty very devout Catholic priests who later left the priesthood and the Catholic Church because they saw that their ministry was not based on the truth of Scripture. Testimony after testimony, the former priests shared of their being convicted by the Book of Hebrews that the Sacrifice of the Mass was not honoring but dishonoring to the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary. The sacrifice at Calvary was a one-time sacrifice never to be repeated.

These priests realized that repeating Jesus’ sacrifice at every Mass was denigrating Jesus’ one-time sacrifice to the repeated sacrifices of bulls and goats year after year (Hebrews 10:4).

The main point here is that Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect and complete. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He made the salvation of everyone who trusts in Him perfect and secure. When we wholeheartedly place our trust in the finished work of Christ at Calvary, our place in Heaven is forever secured. That is why the apostle John wrote in his epistle, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God,” but the Catholic Church denies that we can have this assurance that is available to all who will receive it.

I hope you will consider these things that I have shared.

Sincerely, David Dombrowski

PART 2: Two Branches of the Catholic Church

By Ray Yungen

From a theological viewpoint, there now exist two branches (so to speak) of the Catholic Church—the traditional (as defended by someone like Karl Keating) and the progressive or contemplative* element (as exemplified by Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen).1 And while these two branches (or movements) can be seen at times as contradictory to each other, there are many Catholics who straddle both sides of the fence. At least in part, this is because the Eucharist, which is the essence or focal point of traditional Catholicism, also has a mystical element that appeals to the meditating or New Age Catholic. In summary, the traditional Catholic Church emphasizes sin and how to avoid it with the Mass. It places the emphasis on Mary, the sacraments, and purgatory. Although that branch of the Catholic Church is running strong, ever increasingly, it is the contemplative branch that defines Roman Catholicism. This newer “progressive” branch emphasizes mysticism, panentheism, and interspirituality, which will help propel the apostate church into a new-world order. (from Simple Answers: Understanding the Catholic Faith, pp. 95-96)

PART 3: Letter From a Former Nun

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I am a former Roman Catholic nun (10 years) and a few years after I left, I got into Self Realization Fellowship and set up a Hindu altar in my house.  About a year after that, I was introduced to the Bible and heard the plan of Salvation from some Christians at work, and on Good Friday morning 1977 I was sitting in front of that Hindu altar and thinking about what those Christians had told me and Christ spoke to me there and I gave my heart to Him right then. He will search us out in the most obscure and strange places, and I am so grateful to Him for never giving up on me and for the many opportunities I now have to share with Catholics and at times with those into New Age. 

I can see how there is an avalanche of these errors flooding the churches and am so grateful for the discernment the Holy Spirit gives me about all these things because truly if it were not for the grace of the Lord and the prayers of God’s people, I would have been right there with them. 

I would appreciate your prayers as I am constantly having opportunities to share with Catholics.  

One of the most interesting conversations I had was with a Catholic woman I met in a store and while talking I told her I had been in the convent and had come to trust in Christ’s sacrifice for me personally. Then she said she just realized a few months ago that Jesus died for her personally and we both rejoiced over that. Then she excitedly told me that her Grandson was about to make his First “Holy” Communion.  My response was that she must be so very proud of him and she agreed. 

Then I asked her if I could share something with her that I found somewhat curious, and she said “yes,”  So I asked her if she believed that Jesus was a perfect Jew and never sinned.  She, of course, said “yes.” So I said, “Do you think Jesus would ever want to cause anyone to sin?” She said, “No” Then I said, “So at the Last Supper when Jesus said, ‘This is My Blood’ over the wine in the chalice, do you believe it turned into Jesus blood and that He passed it around for all of His Jewish disciples to drink who were sitting there at the Last Supper?”  She said “yes”.

Then I said, “So if Jesus had turned the wine into His blood and passed it around to all of His Jewish followers sitting there with Him and Jews being Kosher were forbidden by God’s law to drink blood, then wouldn’t Jesus have caused all of them to sin by giving them blood to drink?”

She was stunned and said, “I never thought about that.” 

Thank you for letting me share and for everything your ministry stands for and accomplishes.  Pat

Related Material:

My Journey Out of Catholicism

A Story of Death to Life: From Catholicism to Christianity

The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ

 

Taizé, the Eucharist, and Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson

LTRP Note: The following is from Chris Lawson’s book Taizé—A Community and Worship: Ecumenical Reconciliation or an Interfaith Delusion?
Taizé is an ecumenical interfaith community in France where over 100,000 young people travel to each year; and Taizé worship is becoming very popular in the United States. This particular section below is about the “Eucharist,” which is practiced by Roman Catholics and being looked at favorably by a growing number of evangelicals. We were reminded of this section of Chris’ book today when we received two photos (see below the article) from a reader of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson.

By Chris Lawson
Spiritual Research Network

The exchange with God becomes real for us in prayer: by his Holy Spirit, God comes to dwell within us. By his word and by the sacraments, Christ gives himself to us.1—Brother Alois of the Taizé community in France (emphasis added)

Christ, the Word made flesh, gives himself to us visibly in the Sacrament. Draw strength from the Eucharist, the meal of thanksgiving, and do not forget that it is offered to the sick of the People of God. It is there for you, frail and weak as you always are.2—Brother Roger
of the Taizé community in France (emphasis added)

Similar to the Roman Catholic Church, the Taizé Community invokes a “Jesus” that can be eaten and ingested—“the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity”3 during Eucharistic services.

It may be that some reading this are not familiar with the Eucharist, also referred to as the Blessed Sacrament. The word Eucharist has a primary appeal to Roman Catholic Eucharistic adoration. It’s worth noting here that many of the Protestant Reformers were burned at the stake for refusing to accept the Catholic Eucharistic belief.4

Father John A. Hardon, S. J. wrote an article in Soul Magazine (published by the World Apostolate of Fatima) titled “Holy Eucharist is the Whole Christ.” The article states:

The most fundamental question to ask about the Blessed Sacrament is, “Who is the Holy Eucharist?” And the correct answer is: The Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ.

There is more behind this answer than many Catholics realize. When the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century defined the meaning of the Eucharist, it declared that “the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ, is truly, really and substantially contained in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.5

The Catholic Eucharist is not the same as the Protestant communion. Protestants traditionally have followed Scripture that tells us to have communion as an act of remembrance of Christ dying on the Cross and pouring out His blood for our sins. In the Catholic tradition, a priest performs what is called transubstantiation, which Catholics believe literally transforms the wafer into the actual body of Christ and the wine into His blood though maintaining the “appearance” of bread and wine.

Father Hardon continues:

Shortly after Trent, Pope St. Pius V authorized the publication of the Roman Catechism which built on the Council of Trent and explained its teachings for the pastors of the Church.

Regarding the Real Presence, the pastors were told to explain that “in this sacrament is contained not only the true Body of Christ—and that means everything that goes to make up a true body, such as bones, nerves, and so on—but also Christ whole and entire.” Consequently the Eucharist contains Jesus Christ in the fullness of his divinity and the completeness of his humanity.

Jesus is therefore in the Blessed Sacrament “whole and entire: the Soul, the Body and Blood of Christ, with all their component parts. In heaven a complete human nature is united to the divine nature in one . . . person. It is a denial of the faith to suppose that in this sacrament there is anything less.”6

In essence, according to the Roman Catholic Church, you can literally eat Christ, but only a Catholic priest can perform this transformation of a wafer and wine. Robes, incense, and mystical prayer that bring it all together are intended to be reminiscent of the sacrificial altar of the Old Testament.

Oddly, chapters nine and ten of Hebrews are contradicted by this ritual in that these chapters describe Christ’s sacrifice as a one-time sacrifice that can never be repeated (Hebrews 9:25-28), and that the repeated sacrifices of a priest can never take away sin (Hebrews 10:10-12).

It is also worth noting that in John 6, Jesus refers to Himself as “the living bread which came down from heaven” (John 6:51). But when He says they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life (vs. 53), even His disciples murmured saying, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” (vs. 60). Interestingly, in response, Jesus never gave them a literal rendering of what He had said; and He couldn’t have done so because the partaking of any kind of blood was absolutely forbidden in the Law. Jesus made it clear that not only would He soon return to Heaven (vs. 62) and thereby no longer be physically present, but that He had been using a figure of speech, in that there was no benefit in the literal partaking of flesh (vs. 63). His meaning was spiritual—of the eternal life He would offer to those who would believe in His approaching sacrifice at Calvary. Here are Jesus’ exact words which are succinct and clearly understandable of His departure to Heaven in the near future and of His figure of speech:

What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:62-63)

Upon examination of John 6, it becomes clear that Jesus never intended for people to be thinking they are literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood during communion but that they are remembering a very real event that happened only once—Jesus’ death on the Cross for the remission of sins as Peter so aptly testified:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43)

The popes, the priesthood, and all who believe in the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation (Sacrifice of the Mass; “re-presenting Jesus”) would have to contend with Paul the apostle were he alive today. Paul refuted any ideas about Jesus contrary to Christ’s person, nature, and work.

Not only that, Paul referred to perversions of the biblical Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the true Gospel as “another Jesus . . . another spirit . . . [and] another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4). This “another” that Paul is exposing as a dangerous influence is a different “Jesus, spirit and gospel.” It is not merely another of the same kind but rather a substitute Christ, a pseudo-Christ, or what Scripture refers to as an anti-Christ—where “anti” not only means in opposition to but in place of (i.e., a replacement). It is an unbiblical Jesus—a non-scriptural, heretical idea of Jesus, and a false gospel. In actuality, it is no gospel—no good news, at all. It is bad news because it removes the Gospel that saves.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

Consider that each time a wafer “Jesus” is “re-presented,” as untold millions of Roman Catholics and Taizé followers believe, the true holy personage of Jesus of Nazareth is denigrated; His divine nature is lessened, His propitiatory blood-atoning substitutionary sacrifice on the Cross is undermined, and faith in Him alone for salvation becomes null and void. It was Christ Himself, in regard to His redemptive work on the Cross, who said, “It is finished” (i.e., the price for salvation has been “Paid in full”).

Then saith he to [John] the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:27-30)

Jesus in heaven versus Jesus in the Eucharist

The global Catholic network (EWTN) and Father John A. Hardon, S. J. express these thoughts about the Eucharistic Christ:

Is there any real difference between Jesus in heaven and Jesus in the Eucharist? No, it is the same Jesus. The only difference is in us. We now on earth cannot see or touch him with our senses. But that is not a limitation in him; it is a limitation in us.

JESUS is really now on earth in the Eucharist.

Jesus IS really now on earth in the Eucharist.

Jesus is REALLY now on earth in the Eucharist.

Jesus is really NOW on earth in the Eucharist.

Jesus is really now ON earth in the Eucharist.

Jesus is really now on EARTH in the Eucharist.

Jesus is really now on earth IN THE EUCHARIST.

The foregoing six statements, repeated and separately emphasized, explain why the Catholic Church has defended the reality of the Real Presence so strenuously down the centuries.*7

Evangelical researcher and author Ray Yungen put it this way:

Everything vital in the Catholic Church springs from the Eucharist (communion). What is simply a component in the evangelical church is the major component in the Catholic Church. In fact, many Catholic works reference the Eucharist that it carries on the work of our redemption as in the following example from Father Robert J. Fox, in his book The Catholic Faith:

“Catholics are bound under pain of mortal sin to participate in the Sacrifice of the Mass every Sunday and holy day of obligation. Only a serious reason would excuse one. Inconvenience, laziness, company came, being tired, poor clothing, headache, etc. are not sufficient excuses.”8

A simple question with profound implications

One essential question must be asked, “How is one going to find Christian ‘love,’ ‘peace,’ ‘unity,’ and ‘the gospel’ in the Taizé Community when a practice is upheld there that re-crucifies the Christ who once and for all died for the sins of the world?” The book of Hebrews is very clear and succinct on this subject as if purposely written as a refutation of the Eucharist as a continual resacrificing of Christ:

[B]ut this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God . . . Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:12, 18; also read Hebrews 9:23 to 10:18)

To take Jesus’ one-time sacrifice on Calvary and repeat it again and again only cheapens and extinguishes the wonderful gift of forgiveness that Jesus accomplished when He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Some Taizé brothers want to follow a Roman Catholic priesthood and pope and believe they are eating and ingesting God who has been mystically invoked through the Eucharist. Other Taizé brothers don’t agree with this but overlook it because they—as liberal Protestants—no longer protest the heresies of Rome and the blasphemy of “the Real Presence” in the Eucharist. . . .

In laymen’s terms, justification by faith alone means that through simple childlike faith in the Person and finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead, one is declared perfectly righteous before the Almighty God, who created the heavens and the earth. As a result of Christ’s death at Calvary, when He was made the “propitiatory sacrifice” for our sins, God’s anger and just wrath against sin has been completely satisfied. Jesus, being our All Holy Substitute on the Cross, paid for our redemption with His own blood and resurrected from the dead three days later. Our sin (transgression against the Law of God) was dealt with completely at the Cross—the punishment that we deserve for sinning against God was put upon Christ instead of us. We, the guilty, go free because He, the Sinless Savior, bore our punishment to set us free. Born-again Christians are justified (declared righteous) before God based on what Jesus already did for sinful humanity, not through what a priest today does by blasphemously re-presenting (sacrificing) Christ in the Eucharist, plus one’s good works. When a person truly believes in Jesus Christ and trusts in what He has done for him, then is he “made alive in Christ” (Ephesians 2:1-22) by God’s Holy Spirit who comes to dwell in him and through him (Ephesians 3). Hence the term, “born-again” (John 3:3).

Endnotes:

  1. Brother Alois, Letter from Cochabamba (Taizé Community website; At the Wellspring of Faith, http://www.taize.fr/en_rubrique12.html).
  2. Brother Roger, The Rule of Taizé (London, UK: SPCK Publishing, 2012, original French version copyright 1954), p. 11.
  3. John A. Hardon, S. J. “Holy Eucharist is the Whole Christ” (Soul Magazine. Published by the World Apostolate of Fatima; Blue Army, Washington, NJ., https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/eucha5.htm, posted on the EWTN website).
  4. J.C. Ryle, “Why Were Our Reformers Burned?” (Hertfordshire, England: Evangelical Press, from Light from Old Times, 1890, First Evangelical Press Press edition, 1980), pp. 15-55.
  5. John A. Hardon, S.J., “Holy Eucharist is the Whole Christ,” op. cit.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ray Yungen, Simple Answers: Understanding the Catholic Faith—An Evangelical Primer (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Inc, 2017), chapter 3, citing Father Robert J. Fox, in his book The Catholic Faith, p. 269.

LTRP Note: Bill Johnson’s usage of the term sacrament and his claiming that the presence of Jesus is in the “sacraments” is clearly an indication that he is promoting the theology of the Roman Catholic Church.

*For a more indepth study on the Catholic Eucharist, read Roger Oakland’s book, Another Jesus.

(Photo of sacraments from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Related Articles:

The Conversion of Protestants to Catholicism Through the Eucharist by Roger Oakland

Catholic Evangelization and the Role of the “Eucharist” in This End-Time Deception

 

 

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The Editors at Lighthouse Trails

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SUPPORTING LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS: For those who would like to support Lighthouse Trails, we always appreciate both your prayers and your giving. And for those who have faithfully done that over the years, we thank you with all of our hearts. We know that some people may have the impression that Lighthouse Trails does quite well financially because we sell products that we publish and because our resources have had such a far reach; but, the truth is, it takes everything made through sales to keep Lighthouse Trails operating. Publishing, at least for small presses such as ours, is rarely a high-profit business. It would take a best seller to see that, one that the masses of people love. And because we are not just a business, but even more so a ministry, we keep our prices as low as we can, give away many resources, and have also made much of our material available for free on the research site and blog. That's not how big corporations run things as that would hurt the bottom line (profit), but we see the needs out there, and we trust God to keep us going as long as He sees fit.

We thank you in advance for seeing the value in a ministry like Lighthouse Trails and coming along side us with your prayers and support.

It is our prayer that we will faithfully be humble servants of the Lord’s work for years to come should the Lord tarry. If you would like to donate to Lighthouse Trails, you may send a donation by mailing it to: Lighthouse Trails, P.O. Box 908, Eureka, MT 59917. Or you may call 866/876-3910. There is also a donate option on our store website. (There is also a PayPal option on that page.)

Lighthouse Trails is not a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, so your donations will not be tax deductible.

 
 
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Lighthouse Trails Research Journal

The Lighthouse Trails Research journal is a 32-page subscription-based journal mailed to your home, office, or church and 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. Subscription rate: $15/year (6 issues) for U.S.; $29 for Canada; $42 for other international. (There is no added postage charged for the journal - the mailing costs are worked into the subscription fee.)

When you sign up, you will receive the most current issue of the journal at the time you subscribe. Click here to subscribe now. You can order past subscriptions for $3.

You may purchase subscriptions for friends, family members, pastors, etc. Just put that person's name in the ship to area when ordering online.

Call 866/876-3910 or e-mail sales@lighthousetrails.com.

To order single past issues, click here.

For various addresses, just order single subscriptions,or mail in the addresses and payment.

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

TO RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO THE LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH JOURNAL, CLICK HERE.

 

If you are a subscriber to our print journal, click button to renew:

RENEW PRINT JOURNAL

SUBSCRIBE TO LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PRINT JOURNAL

**SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT RENEWING LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS * PRINT* JOURNAL SUBSCRIPTION

If you are a subscriber to the lighthouse Trails Research Print Journal, it may be time for you to renew your yearly subscription. To RENEW your yearly subscription ($15/year), click here. You can renew your subscription at any time. Just indicate on the store which month you want the renewal to start. If you can't remember when you subscribed, we'll double check when you renew and make sure the renewal starts on the right date. If you have any questions, you can call us at 866-876-3910 or e-mail at editors@lighthousetrails.com. You can also renew by mail (see address at bottom of page), by fax (406-889-3633), or by calling.

Note: This notice does not pertain to this e-newsletter you are reading. The e-newsletter is free and requires no subscription.

Click button to renew your subscription for the Lighthouse Trails Research Journal.

RENEW PRINT JOURNAL

To subscribe to the journal, click here.

 
 
 
INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS

** NOW LARGER PRINT ON TEA TAGS **

Shepherd's Bible Verse Tea - Sampler BoxIn 2010, Lighthouse Trails began a small organic tea division as a way to help support the ministry of Lighthouse Trails. Thus the creation of Shepherd's Bible Verse Tea. Each tea bag has a string with a tag, and on each tag is a KJV Bible verse (95 verses used). Since the tea division began, we have had many people tell us how much they love our tea. We hope you will consider getting a box and trying it out. It is a wonderful gift too and helps to remind people about God's wonderful Word.

FREE BIBLE VERSE TEA SAMPLES WITH EVERY ORDER!
(except with media rate, journals, and some smaller orders where it might change the shipping costs)

* * *


AS FOR DISCERNMENT MATERIALS, DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT ALL OUR VALUE SETS AND PACKS. A GREAT WAY TO SAVE!

SOME THINGS ABOUT US:

WHO WE ARE

OUR HISTORY

OUR BELIEFS

LT AUTHOR SITES

NEW TO LT

WHY WE ARE NOT NON-PROFIT

COPYRIGHT AND USE OF MATERIAL


Click here to enter store.

 

 

Lighthouse Trails Research Project | P.O. Box 908 | Eureka | MT |59917 | 406-889-3610

 

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