LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PROJECT          March 25, 2019     LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESOURCE SHOP

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“Canadian Court Rules Parents Can’t Stop 14-Year-Old From Taking Trans Hormones”

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

By Jeremiah Keenan
The Federalist

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence.

As previously reported, Maxine* was encouraged by her school counselor in BC’s Delta School District to identify as a boy while in seventh grade. When Maxine was 13 years old, Dr. Brenden Hursh and his colleagues at BC Children’s Hospital decided that Maxine should begin taking testosterone injections in order to develop a more masculine appearance. Click here to continue reading.

Related Reading:

BOOKLET: TRANSGENDERISM and Our Children

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

“House Passes Softened Anti-Semitism Resolution”

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

By Art Moore
WND News

In a resolution passed Thursday originally meant to rebuke Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for anti-Semitic remarks, House Democrats omitted the congresswoman’s name and added condemnations of “Islamophobia” and white supremacism.

The resolution, approved by a 407-23 vote, however, specifically condemned the “dual allegiance” sentiments she expressed toward supporters of Israel.

It states that “accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to the Jewish community than to the United States constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors.” The resolution also states “accusations of dual loyalty generally have an insidious and pernicious history.” Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

What Lighthouse Trails Believes About Israel and the Jews

Terror Against Israel

United Methodist Church Upholds Position Against Homosexuality, Same-sex Marriage

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

By Michael Gryboski,
Christian Post

The United Methodist Church will maintain its official position that homosexuality is contrary to Christian teaching, in a decision following days of contentious debate over the issue. 

For the past several years, the UMC has been embroiled in an emotional debate over whether to change its stance, as outlined in its Book of Discipline, labeling homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Delegates at the UMC special session of General Conference, representing all of the global denomination, voted Tuesday to reject a measure called the “One Church Plan,” which would have allowed regional bodies of the denomination to determine their position on homosexuality. Click here to continue reading.

Letter to the Editor: The New Age/New Spirituality in Christian & Missionary Alliance Forced Me to Leave

LTRP Note: The following letter to the editor was written in response to our recent post “Letter to the Editor: Yoga at Our CMA Church in Canada Broke Our Hearts.”

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I too was once in a C&MA church in Southwestern Ontario. I attended from 1999 to 2001. I witnessed the whole shift that took place at that time when our Pastor attended a Willow Creek conference on church growth movement principles. Everything changed after that. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven agenda was implemented. Other methods and means for growing the church were employed, like holding mid-week evening teaching classes for the public. Everything from art classes to money management and cooking; it was all man’s effort to draw people into the church. We had to fill out questionnaires to help discover our giftings, and personality-type assessments were taken.

The Pastor began quoting Eugene Peterson’s The Message in his sermons. The organ was removed from the sanctuary, and the platform was switched to a rock-band style, drum set front and center. Plans were proposed for massive building expansions. This switch actually took place around this time in all of the mainline churches in our city. I also noticed in a denominational publication called “Table Talk,” the District President included an article wherein he supported the Roman Catholic dogma of transubstantiation and sounded like he was in agreement with the teaching that the bread and wine actually are/become the flesh and blood Christ. There was an evening service in 2001 that is memorable in that the focus in the message was all about “dreaming” and “vision casting.” Astoundingly, John Lennon’s song, “Imagine” was played, an anti-Christ message if ever there was one and which pictures the one-world religion and false peace of the new world order that is coming.

One evening in June of 2001, our C&MA church was set to host the District Conference. My sister and I decided to go. When we arrived in the foyer of the church, there were many of our missionaries there, and the “lingo” they were using left us bewildered and thinking we had landed on another planet. It was strange, terms such as we were not familiar with at all. The speaker for the evening was Dr. Kevin Mannoia, former head of the NAE and Professor Emeritus of a Christian college in California. The moment he began talking both my sister and I were immediately stunned by the prolific use of New Age terminology, and we immediately sensed the presence of demonic power flooding the sanctuary. My sister left and went outside as she couldn’t stand it, but I stayed and took verbatim notes. I quoted some of these terms in another area of this blog. There was a strong emphasis on “connecting” and “connectedness,” and outright blasphemous notions were suggested like, “wondering if a person can smoke marijuana and worship God at the same time.” At the end of the talk, I rushed for the exit, and I spent hours at home praying and asking God to deliver me from the effects of that session as I was shaking physically from it. At that point my husband and I, and my sister, stopped attending the church. We knew this had been a cataclysmic event that would alter things for good unless the church would recognize what was happening and repent of it. Our beloved Pastor who had so much discernment before all this happened was taken in by the deception. We wrote letters and pled with him about the New Age infiltration into the church but to no avail. We were told we “had a critical spirit.”

In summary, what is happening in the majority of large organized churches is the same, something that began almost twenty years ago has only worsened, and now it is a wholesale acceptance of mysticism, false teachings, and New Age/occult/new spirituality.

I am not surprised at all that Yoga is now being embraced in the C&MA and that attempts to bring correction or warning is refused. This is truly the time that the we are warned about in the Epistles. And yes, we can join with a few (or even just one) other like-minded believers to worship and pray together. My Scoffield Bible commentary states that this is a “church” in its most primitive/simple form. And God’s Word assures us that “where two or three are gathered,” the Lord is in the midst. Others may think it is wrong to leave an organized church setting, and they often refer to it as “forsaking the assembling,” but this is not true, as real fellowship is based on truth and occurs, as I said, even in a very small setting where believers are gathered and in agreement.

Heidi L.

Related Articles:

How to Find a Good Church (And What To Do if You Can’t)

Letter to the Editor: My Church—Heading Into Troubled Waters With One Deceptive Teacher After the Next

(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:

“Canadian Court Rules Parents Can’t Stop 14-Year-Old From Taking Trans Hormones”: The school and Dr. Hursh and BC Hospital are sinning big time! “Maxine” is their little experiment. “Told” she should take hormones? That is the real violence. How dare they mess with this child’s mind!!! Those poor parents. I am surprised the country has not taken the child away to cause complete confusion and total brain washing. It is mental rape, sexual perversion, and molestation on this child. I can’t write anymore because I don’t want to lose my witness. Kal

"House Passes Softened Anti-Semitism Resolution": The Demoncratic party only did this so they would not lose their Jewish voters, and their money. ‘And both these kings hearts, shall be to do mischief, and thy shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper. for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.’ Daniel 11:27 Annie

Marianne Williamson and Our Children—a comment in favor of her [editor's note: We have posted the following comment by a reader, not as an endorsement but rather to help discerning believers better understand what many people in our society think]: [Marianne Williamson] is not a New Ager; she was asked this question and she definitely said no. It’s a great misunderstanding among many people. She cares about children’s needs which have been greatly neglected in our society, unfortunately. FYI – mindfulness training is basically helping children to be in the present moment — not being attached to the past nor being stuck with the future (both are the reasons for fear and anxiety). Being in the present is where love is — love is not in fear and anxiety). They are encouraged to appreciate life now in the moment and pay attention to what is happening right now as often as possible. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is all about removing blocks to awareness of love’s presence and forgiving — the foundation of inner peace. This is the aim of ACIM. It’s beautiful and greatly needed by all of us. Let people hear her views and decide for themselves. Peace. Hilda

Marianne Williamson and Our Children: [a note to Hilda from a reader] I think you better rethink your statement about Marianne not being a New Ager. The teachings of A Course in Miracles contradict Holy Scripture, Tradition, and Authentic Biblical Teaching; claiming that: Jesus was NOT God, the devil does not exist, and there’s no such thing as evil, or sin.”as the Course teaches that man’s fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden never happened— and that Holy Scripture cannot be trusted, as Christ’s apostles misinterpreted his message and taught in error.pgs. These false tenets alone clearly show that the channeled spirit who wrote them, while claiming to be Jesus, is in fact, a counterfeit Christ. The teachings of A Course in Miracles have FAILED many, if not all, of the standard “tests of discernment” the Church has used for centuries, to distinguish a true and Godly spirit from a false one. Nina

Marianne Williamson and Our Children: Williamson is the average New Ager. Okay, so if she seized power via the power of the universe she'd run things her way, or . . . what? What if she took over and people refuse to bow down to her New Age gods? . . . Williamson poses as big a danger to society/the world as any false religion/cult. . . . A country should be lead by a proper leader; a strong president, one who has the needs of his people at the top of his agenda, and not one who has his/her own needs at the top of the agenda. John

“Canadian Court Rules Parents Can’t Stop 14-Year-Old From Taking Trans Hormones”: This should be considered extreme child abuse and parental abuse by the State. Shocking and sad. Canada will be judged by God for this evil against humanity. This is the destruction of a family. Satan must be pleased. Records need to be kept of those who commit suicide after this violence against nature. Not all transgenders end up living happily ever after and many parents are devastated at losing their child. Elizabeth

Leonard Sweet's "More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ": “have not been adequately addressed by today’s pastors and church leaders.” So True! After sharing at our church by invitation, and offending some by naming names, I was told by the ‘pastor’, “That’s not my style, I just teach the Word of God. At least one person never came back. You won’t be invited again.” What is shepherd to do? feed, water, protect and retrieve strays – not just feed, feed, feed. There has to be warnings. Victor

Leonard Sweet's "More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ": David as a shepherd is the true role model for all would-be shepherds. The hireling who runs and leaves the flock unprotected is the role model of a ear-tickling man pleaser. We have all seen images of predators tearing at the flesh of their next meal. These have no one to protect them. Not so with David's flock. Letting predatory false teachers ravage your flock is in no way an act of loving loyalty to God. T. I.

United Methodist Church Upholds Position Against Homosexuality, Same-sex Marriage: A couple things in the article which are concerning to me: 1) The vote was CLOSE. 2) Since, it was said, foreign Methodist representatives caused the vote to go the right way, what does that say about American Methodists? (not speaking of every single individual, of course, but the majority of representatives at the conference) 3) I too caught that phrase “…against Christian teaching.” It is against Christian teaching because it is against the Word of God! If “Christian teaching” continues to change in many UMC churches, it is not based on God’s own Word (and this is happening at lightning speed, sad to say, in this and other denominations too), then this standard will become meaningless. I thank God that He will always have a faithful remnantIt is distressing to me that so many *within the church* have turned aside to other gods and are continuing to do so. CW

"Lighthouse Trails Is Against Everything.": It has always been clear to me what you are for! There is much deception out there; a raging battle between good and evil, truth and falsehood. Someone has to say something! Phillip

"Lighthouse Trails Is Against Everything.": Exactly. They will go right back inside and shut the door behind them because “the news they got was just too…. negative!” Will shutting the door stop their house from burning down? Was the neighbor trying to help them by telling them the bad news, or just be a negative Nancy? I also get so tired of that phrase being passed around; “Tell me what you are ‘for’ “! That is only half of the equation. We need to declare both, what we are for and what we are against! I am for good and I am against evil. Sometimes telling just about what is ‘good’ is not enough. We must warn of the dangers about what is bad too. Lillia

"Lighthouse Trails Is Against Everything.": I have been a Lighthouse Trails reader since 2003 and have only ever seen true, loving, humble, inspired, biblical warnings from them. What I have witnessed coming out of the so-called Christian celebrities, podcasts, literature and churches over the past 15 years has only served to prove that what Lighthouse Trails has been warning about all along is actually happening! If you are one of those who think Lighthouse Trails is too negative, I beg you to ask God to reveal the truth to you. I have been blessed to meet the editors, work with and volunteer for them on occasion. I love them dearly and have witnessed for myself that they are precious examples of salt of the earth and watchmen on the wall! Sharon

“Canadian Court Rules Parents Can’t Stop 14-Year-Old From Taking Trans Hormones”
“House Passes Softened Anti-Semitism Resolution”
United Methodist Church Upholds Position Against Homosexuality, Same-sex Marriage
Letter to the Editor: The New Age/New Spirituality in Christian & Missionary Alliance Forced Me to Leave
Comments From Our Readers

“Lighthouse Trails Is Against Everything.”

Letter to the Editor: Yoga at Our CMA Church in Canada Broke Our Hearts
The Enneagram: Does It Have a Place in Christianity?
Marianne Williamson: If I Am President, I Will Take Control of Your Children and Make Them New Agers
“Christian university [Azuza Pacific U] changes stance on gay relationships a third time”
Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-Enchantment
John MacArthur No Longer on Proclaim 19 Speaker Line Up Due to Illness
The Significance of Understanding Leonard Sweet’s “More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ”
Note About Lighthouse Trails Journal Mailed to Homes, Offices, and Churches
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“Lighthouse Trails Is Against Everything.”

LTRP Note: We are reposting the following because this is a situation we run into frequently. It is usually a pastor or other church leader who tells a concerned congregant (who has been reading Lighthouse Trails) that Lighthouse Trails is “against everything.”

“Is Lighthouse Trails Against Everything?”

This week, we received a phone call from a Lighthouse Trails reader who told us she was trying to share some of our information with someone she knew. That person asked a leader in ministry about Lighthouse Trails, and the response she got was Lighthouse Trails is against everything! Our reader was asked this question, What IS Lighthouse Trails for? We told our reader to tell this person the following:

  1. We are for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. We are for helping to preserve the Word of God.
  3. We are for edifying the Body of Christ.
  4. We are for seeing the salvation of souls.

Next time someone you are trying to share our information with tells you Lighthouse Trails is against everything, you can tell them Lighthouse Trails is for all the above as well as many other things that are true, honest,  just, pure,  lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8).

Here is something else to consider. Let’s say someone tells you one day, “I just don’t like Lighthouse Trails, and I don’t like the way they are always talking so negatively about so many things.” This person then says that it doesn’t matter whether what Lighthouse Trails is saying is true or not, they aren’t going to read anything by them. It’s very much like the following scenario:

One day, you are in your house when there is a loud and frantic-sounding knock on the front door. You go to the door, open it, and standing there is your clearly upset neighbor shouting, “There’s a fire on the way, heading right for your house.” You push the neighbor aside, go outside, and climb a ladder onto the roof. And sure enough, you see a big fire heading right toward your house. But you think to yourself as you are climbing back down the ladder, “I don’t really like that neighbor, and I definitely don’t like the way he was ranting and raving at me. And he’s always so negative about everything. I just don’t like him at all.” So you go back inside your house, close the door, and continue on with your day.”

This is exactly what is happening with so many Christians today – the authors and editors at Lighthouse Trails and many of our readers are trying to warn of the danger and deception that has come into the church, but we are often brushed off as too negative and being against everything. It doesn’t make any sense to ignore these warnings.

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Related Article:

Three Vital Questions on Navigating Discernment by Harry Ironside and Paul Proctor)

 

 

Letter to the Editor: Yoga at Our CMA Church in Canada Broke Our Hearts

LTRP Note: We are posting this letter to the editor not to single out this one particular Christian & Missionary Alliance church because the CMA denomination from top leadership down has embraced contemplative spirituality (see links below), and thus, it is no surprise that Yoga would enter in as well. This is happening in numerous other evangelical and Protestant denominations also.

As you can see from this letter to the editor and the ones listed below, these letters to Lighthouse Trails are written by CMA members who have witnessed first-hand what is happening in CMA.

We are compelled to also point out that every CMA college has now embraced contemplative spirituality (via Spiritual Formation programs) (as you can see on our Contemplative Colleges list).

Hello Lighthouse Trails:

I am just reaching out, and I hope I’m not alone in this. I read your article posted:
https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=14591,
and it seems I am not alone in my alarming observation.

I use to attend Beulah Alliance Church and had to leave after I was dismissed for raising concerns about Yoga being offered in the church. I came to find out the pastor who created this “Yoga-Pilates” is also one who practices Yoga as do many other leaders in their church. I am so heartbroken. My husband is heartbroken. I was then told that the warnings that apostle Paul gave to the Corinthians were not relevant to them. That was something I couldn’t ignore.

For such a huge church in the city of Edmonton (Alberta) and working on spreading their message throughout, I worry about the impact of these teachings.

https://beulahconnect.ccbchurch.com/w_group_list.php?show_navigation=1

We have been silenced by the pastoral staff in our concerns and no replies given to us.

Thank you for your time,

___________

Related Articles:

Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) Mahaffey Family Camp Brings in New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet as Camp Speaker

Letter to the Editor: Lighthouse Trails Has Exaggerated Condition of Christian Missionary Alliance

The Christian and Missionary Alliance Hooks Up with the IAHR (International Association of Healing Rooms)

Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance (Canada) Promoting Interspiritual, Panentheist Monk, Basil Pennington

Letter to the Editor: Saddened by Christian & Missionary Alliance and Ambrose University Continuing Plunge into Contemplative

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

Is Pilates OK? by Caryl Matrisciana

Considering Yoga? Consider this! by Chris Lawson

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

The Enneagram: Does It Have a Place in Christianity?

Definition of Enneagram: System of spiritual psychology based on an ancient Sufi [Islamic mysticism] typology of nine personality types or primary roles with the recognition of one’s type tantamount to a spiritual awakening” from Alternative Health Dictionary

Enneagram

Recently, Lighthouse Trails has received numerous inquiries from readers about the Enneagram because of it being used in their churches or by Christians with whom they are acquainted. Below, we are posting some various items we have on file regarding the Enneagram. We hope they provide enough information to cause any believer to stay away from the Enneagram (or to at least do further research before utilizing it). The first item is a letter to the editor we received a couple years ago that will help illustrate the problem.

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I wanted to write and share with you yet another example of church leadership embracing New Age methods. Recently, an acquaintance on Facebook posted a link to an Enneagram chart happily reporting her number and encouraging others to contact her if they want to know more about the Enneagram. What concerned me the most is that this acquaintance is the wife of a pastor of a young, but rapidly growing church in our area. Though not familiar with the Enneagram, I knew it likely had mystic / New Age origins by its very description. It broke my heart that a pastor’s wife would encourage such a thing. A day after her post, and after researching it for myself, I reached out to her privately warning her of its roots. I encouraged this pastor’s wife that God’s Word is enough and then hoped for a gracious response.

Her response was quick and indeed gracious, but defended their use of the Enneagram by explaining how they have looked at several resources tying what the Enneagram reveals back to the Gospel and that they were using it much like the Myers-Briggs or other personality type system to learn more about each other in order to build one another up.

Sadly, that is how so many of these New Age ideas enter even the conservative church. Someone somewhere at some point put a Christian spin on such an idea, wraps it up in attractive packaging, and tags it “christian.” And the young, hip, “relevant” pastors / leaders gobble it up. All discernment thus goes out the window. For the discerner, it is both sad and frustrating.

I did reply back to my acquaintance and gently yet firmly challenged her that if they were indeed just using the Enneagram as a personality test such as the Myers-Briggs, why not then just use the Myers-Briggs? Why use something that opens up the door to other mystic / occult type practices that seekers or young-in-faith believers might choose to explore?

She never replied back.

This is yet another reminder of how Satan is the master of deceit and confusion. What better way to continue to destroy the church by “innocently” introducing things that seem otherwise “harmless”? Both leaders and lay people need to be courageous at speaking up and warning others about such practices and reject them unequivocally. 

Sincerely ___________

The following is an excerpt of an article written by Mike Oppenheimer:

Enneagram claims to be an entry point for deep personal healing and renewal. Enneagram is a psychological and spiritual system for a higher consciousness. We are told it will help us understand the personality types and the differences in each other which should reduce unnecessary conflicts (transforming one into a more tolerant person). We can transform our habits by being our own observer in  how we think and go from unconscious behavior to conscious behavior. This is done through a series of probing questions called a PERSONALITY PROFILE questionnaire where one learns what his or her type is.

The Enneagram symbol is a nine-pointed, star-like figure. The nine lines comprise a perfect triangle and a twisted hexagon contained within a circle. This is a New Age type mandala, a mystical gateway to personality classification. The drawing is based upon a belief in the mystical properties of the numbers 7 and 3. (source)

Excerpt from an Article by Ed Hird:

Enneagram and the Occult

Gurdjieff’s work led to the formation of the New-Age cult, Arica, founded by his disciple Oscar Ichazo. It was Ichazo and his colleague Claudio Naranjo (an instructor at the Esalen Institute) who together developed the Enneagram in the 1960s as an indicator of personality in its current form.(14) Naranjo merged the Enneagram with 9 of Freud’s 10 personality defense mechanisms….

Barbara Metz, SND, and John Burchill, OP, recommend the Enneagram as a way of engaging in “kything prayer”. Kything Prayer can be done with any other person, present or absent, dead or alive, whose Enneagramic reading ‘moves against your numerical arrows’. The key is to “let your center find itself within the person with whom you are kything” and to “Picture yourself within the [other] person.” An alternative form of Enneagramic kything is to “invite the other person’s spirit into themselves.”(19) One may very well ask how appropriate it is for Christians to be inviting the spirits of the dead into themselves. Does this not slide into occultic channeling/mediumistic practices that are clearly forbidden by Holy Scripture?(20) Is it enough for Enneagram advocates like Jim Scully of Pecos Abbey to say “that ‘occult’ and ‘satanic’ are not synonyms? God told me back in 1979 that the greatest issue facing the Church in the 1990’s would be the deception of inter-faith syncretism. Maybe it is time for us as Anglicans and Christians to truly wake up and repent of our syncretistic mixing of Christ and the occult, of good and evil, of truth and deception, of light and darkness. “Gurdjieff and the Enigmatic Enneagram” by Ed Hird, Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada


An article from The Berean Call

Are You My Type? The Enneagram Catches on with Christians

The Enneagram came to the United States in the 1970s, where it initially caught on among Catholic seminarians and priests and became a tool for spiritual formation.

In its present form, the Enneagram includes nine personality types, or numbers, illustrated by a nine-pointed geometric figure. (The term Enneagram comes from the Greek words meaning “nine” and “drawing” or “figure.”) Each, at its worst, is tied to one of the deadly sins – plus two more traits that have been added in.

A person’s “type” is determined by self-examination; the goal being to better understand oneself – and one’s strengths, weaknesses and tendencies – and those of others.

But it may not be as modern as it sounds, or as alien to the faith as some might fear. In fact, some trace the Enneagram to a fourth-century Christian monk and ascetic named Evagrius, whose teaching later influenced the formation of the seven deadly sins, according to Cron and Stabile. Others detect elements of the Enneagram within Sufism and Judaism. (source)

Marianne Williamson: If I Am President, I Will Take Control of Your Children and Make Them New Agers
Marianne Williamson

By Philip Gray

Course in Miracles promoter, Marianne Williamson, who is running in the 2020 presidential election, has big plans for the children of this country if she is elected. Among other things, part of those plans is to make sure children in American public schools are trained in mindfulness meditation. While tens of thousands of public schools in the U.S. are already teaching children mindfulness meditation, no doubt, with a New Age president, every school would be including it.

As president, I would advocate for the following: Mindfulness training in the schools.—Marianne Williamson, 2019 (source)

Williamson also promises to advocate for “universal pre-K.” This would help make sure that children as young as 3 and 4 would be placed into the public school system. Advocates of universal pre-K believe they need more time with America’s children and want to get their hands on them much earlier than 5 or 6 (Kindergarten).

Parents beware. If Marianne Williamson (or another candidate with her “values,”) becomes president, this country’s children will be at even greater risk than they are now. And you can be sure, she will not be advocating for homeschooling families.

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission for editorial purposes)

“Christian university [Azuza Pacific U] changes stance on gay relationships a third time”

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

By Daniel Payne
OneNewsNow

Same-sex relationships are now, again, permitted on campus

A Christian university has once again lifted a ban on same-sex relationships on its campus, several months after re-instating the ban after it had initially been lifted in the late summer of last year.

Azusa Pacific University “specifically removed language that barred LGBTQ relationships as part of a standing ban on pre-marital sex” from its student handbook, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

The school had previously removed the ban at the beginning of last semester. But the Board of Trustees declared that it had “never approved this removal,” and the ban was subsequently re-instated. Campus officials at the time couldn’t explain how the ban had been lifted without the approval of the Board of Trustees. Click here to continue reading.

Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-Enchantment

LTRP Note: Carl Teichrib is the author of a number of Lighthouse Trails articles and booklets. He has just released his new book, Game of Gods through Whitemud House Publishing. This large volume (552 pages) is packed with critical information and research pertaining to the days in which we live from a Christian and biblical view point. With Carl’s permission, we are posting the introduction to his book below.

 By Carl Teichrib

Two young ladies wearing eclectic costumes, powdered white by the ever- present alkali dust of the Black Rock Desert, slowed their bicycles near our camp before calling out.

 “Where are we?” It was an innocent question, for the streets of Black Rock City – the famous Burning Man gathering in northwest Nevada – can be disorienting if one is not paying attention to the road markers.

 “5 and Kundalini,” I answered, indicating our spot on the city’s street grid.

With a quick thank-you they peddled off, disappearing into the ethereal blur of sensory overload, a pulsing ocean of light and sound and movement. Robert Worley, my friend and Burning Man companion, quietly mirrored their simple query, adding, “now that’s quite the existential question.”

It is, indeed: Where are we?

Imposing this inquiry upon Western civilization, we find ourselves pondering our location on the overlapping grids of religion, philosophy, and ideology. Helping us to better grasp our position, Game of Gods takes us on an intense journey wherein the road markers point to a new era. And where the roads intersect, new edifices of religion, politics, technology, and culture are being constructed. The Judeo-Christian structures are being dismantled and replaced; we are witnessing the creation of a new global neighborhood. Its builders anticipate a coming synthesis, and Oneness becomes the banner under which they work.

As we consider what this entails – at its core, a truth claim in conflict with another truth claim – we will begin to comprehend the nature and scope of our changing times, coming face-to-face with the transformation of the Western soul. Much of our attention, therefore, will be on the features that have re-set the Western heart and mind.

To help navigate our journey of discovery, Game of Gods has been separated into five sections. The first is comprised of two chapters exploring the concept of Oneness, a theme running throughout the book. Part two is a progressive survey outlining the history of Western thought and social change, touching on the rise and fall of Christendom, the exploration of Modernity and Postmodernism, and the emergence of New Spirituality and Re-Enchantment. The third section tackles Biblical approaches to the topic, necessary for a rounded perspective: God as separate and unique from creation, the recurring spirit of the first deception, and the concept of collective rebellion. Part four contains a series of mini-books, expanded essays on the political, religious, technological, and cultural aspects of Oneness. The book’s conclusion – Part Five – is a single chapter meant to spur our thinking as we contemplate responses.

Although this book is content rich, it is by no means exhaustive. Many relevant personalities and historical developments have been excluded. Little is said of Islam or Catholicism, sexuality, pop culture, current affairs, or international security concerns. At one point I considered adding a chapter on world monetary issues, a tangible part of the larger question. At first glance this seemed like a shoe-in as I was published in the field. However, because of ongoing developments in crypto-currencies and distributed ledger technologies, I chose to refrain. That said; this book is research saturated.

With that in mind, a few words on research preferences are in order. For those with an eye to the footnotes, it will become apparent that relatively few Internet sources are cited. Even though I was an early adopter of the World Wide Web, it is only one item in the toolbox – a multi-use implement, to be sure, but not the single or primary means of conducting investigation. Electronic documents are sourced, but references to hardcopies are the norm: books, reports, and journals. Most are publicly obtainable, but I do use papers from archives and private holdings. Personally conducted interviews and surveys – important for digging below the surface – are occasionally employed, as are surveys done by others. The most valuable research method I have found, however, is to be there: to literally put boots-on-the ground, observing and interacting, taking notes and collecting data, and otherwise documenting the event in question.

Another consideration is that this is primarily a critique of big ideas and grand visions. Personalities are mentioned, but care is taken to focus on concepts and beliefs more than individuals. We can scrutinize, criticize, probe, and reveal without resorting to depreciating someone’s character. At times this can be a fine line, one that I have crossed in my own life. Nevertheless, as Christians we are to love our neighbors, including those who fundamentally disagree with us. This does not mean sugarcoating uncomfortable topics, but neither does it mean acting disrespectfully or bearing false witness.

It is my sincere desire to be as accurate as possible, a difficult task when covering so many subjects with such brevity.

To my friends who are globalists, transhumanists, atheists and agnostics, who are Burners and spiritual explorers and those of other religions, I am thankful you are willing to read my book. To my friends who are socialist leaning, Christian and otherwise, I am grateful you are willing to consider what I have to say. For the many Christians who are concerned about the direction of church and society, who know something is amiss but find it difficult to grasp where we are, I trust this book will be of value. To those who cherish liberty, may this reinforce the seriousness of freedom, and thus turn our hearts to the only one who can truly set us free.

Obviously I have biases. We all do. Allow mine to be transparent: I embrace a Christian worldview with an evangelical point of reference. This will be evident in the text. I am pro-liberty and pro-individualistic, versus politically directed equality and socially generated collectivism. Economically I am pro-free market, the voluntary and consensual exchange of goods and services. On the left-right spectrum, with left being understood as maximum government and minimum personal responsibility, as opposed to minimal government and maximum personal responsibility, I am right of center.

In many respects, Game of Gods is an historical overview. For to under- stand tomorrow’s context today, we need to have some idea as to where we are now. To do this we must investigate yesterday, for the present did not emerge from a vacuum. Along the way, we will travel to more recent events of world transformation: closed meetings like the United Nations Millennium Forum, and open-source experiments in social engineering, like Burning Man. If you are interested in the connecting points of religion and philosophy, ideology and history, belief and action – then this book is for you. Agree or disagree with my thoughts or findings: but either way, challenge yourself to consider why, and to work through the implications.

Some may be asking: Why? What might be gained by digging into complex worldview issues? A number of thoughts come to mind.

First, so we are not uninformed as to the direction and character of culture and society, seeing past the hype, rumor, and sensationalism. Second, to connect the dots of our own life experiences; the main themes in this book are foundational, being relevant irrespective of demographic or social identifiers. Third, to take heed of the revolutionary transformation in play, and therefore mentally and spiritually equip ourselves – and our families, churches, and communities – so as not to become gullible participants.

For the Christian specifically, to know how the Biblical message is being challenged, and primarily those truth claims central to the faith. Then, to recognize how the culture is preaching to us, seeing past the packaging in order to spot the pitch. In doing so, we become responsible in at least two ways: 1) to wisely inform, exhort and uphold those we are responsible to: family and friends, youth groups, and church congregations, 2) to recognize opportunities in bringing Biblical truths into the conversation, taking the approach of the Apostle Paul in Acts 17 – knowing, recognizing, and leveraging the dominant worldview to share a more sure answer.

In other words: To become effective Ambassadors for Christ.

Game of Gods does more than just position us on the grid. It explores the essence of the human story, reflected in each of us, and it offers a panoramic picture of our changing landscape.

Welcome to the Age of Re-Enchantment, reads the sign-of-our-times, pointing to our reconstructed neighborhood. And there, at the crossroads of politics and religion, technology and culture, myth and meaning, a familiar yet distinct tower arises, wrapped in the mist of ages while beckoning with the promise of a new future.

The Temple of Man looms before us.

Humanity has three Great Desires: To be as God, to be Masters of Meaning and Destiny, to build Heaven on Earth – this is that story.

Note: Game of Gods is available through Lighthouse Trails and online outlets such as Amazon. Carl has provided a chapter by chapter synopsis on his website here.

John MacArthur No Longer on Proclaim 19 Speaker Line Up Due to Illness

A Lighthouse Trails reader brought to our attention this week that John MacArthur is no longer appearing on the speaker line up for the NRB’s convention, Proclaim 19. Editors at Lighthouse Trails called Grace to You (MacArthur’s ministry) to confirm this and were told that due to illness, John MacArthur would not be speaking at Proclaim 19.

In an article in October 2018, Lighthouse Trails reported that the Proclaim 19 speaker line up included New Age sympathizer and devout Catholic Roma Downey along with evangelical leaders Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, and John MacArthur. Our article stated:

Roma Downey, who has never renounced her extensive New Age involvement, is now firmly entrenched and aligned with contemporary Christian leadership. Because Christian leaders and day-to-day believers have given Roma Downey a get-out-of-the-new-age free pass, Lighthouse Trails is releasing a second Roma Downey booklet today. This booklet emphasizes the danger of Downey’s most recent book, Box of Butterflies, which has been incrementally and dangerously endorsed by a wide variety of Christian leaders (listed in the booklet). In addition, a number of Christian leaders such as Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, and John MacArthur will be speaking at an event in 2019 called Proclaim 19, and Roma Downey is also one of the speakers. While some say this is no problem for this mixture of speakers at a Christian event and is only a faulty premise of guilt by association, we believe such actions by Christian leaders only give the New Age/New Spirituality further admittance into the church. Of course, many disagree with our calling out and challenging Christian leaders on such matters.

Two weeks after our article came out, Roma Downey disappeared off the speaker list for Proclaim 19 but the NRB did not make a public announcement as to why she no longer appeared on the list. Phone calls to NRB have never provided a definitive answer as to whether Downey will be at the event or not.

Proclaim 19 begins next week in Anaheim, California.

Related Information:

Francis Chan Warns Those Who Criticize Christian Leaders: “God Will Destroy You”


Dear Pastors and Christian Leaders—Have You Grown Careless Toward the Gospel?

Christian Leaders – A New Openness . . .

 

The Significance of Understanding Leonard Sweet’s “More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ”

LTRP Note: Over the past few decades, a number of New Age sympathizers have had a significant influence in the evangelical church. One of the chief is Methodist author, speaker, and teacher Leonard Sweet. Sweet openly calls the Father of the New Age Movement—the late Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin—“twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.” Sweet also teaches the foundational New Age doctrine that God is “in” everyone and everything—that God is embedded in all creation. Brought forward and popularized by Rick Warren, Leonard Sweet and his New Age sympathies have not been adequately addressed by today’s pastors and church leaders. A look on Sweet’s website shows he has partnered with numerous popular figures such as Brian McLaren, Mark Batterson (Circle Maker), Erwin McManus, Mark Driscoll, Frank Viola, and Karen Swallow Prior (professor at Liberty University). The following booklet by Warren Smith reveals the “New Age Christianity” that Leonard Sweet has helped to bring into the church.

By Warren B. Smith

To survive in postmodern culture, one has to learn to speak out of both sides of the mouth.1—Leonard Sweet

Who is Leonard Sweet?

Leonard Sweet is an ordained Methodist minister who is presently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is also a visiting distinguished professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon. On his various websites, he is described as a “scholar of American culture” who has authored over 60 books and 200 articles and has published over 1500 sermons. A “Phi Beta Kappa graduate,” he is a “frequent speaker at national and international conferences, state conventions, pastor’s schools, retreats” and “serves as a consultant to many of America’s denominational leaders and agencies.” Descriptive terms such as “distinguished,” “most influential,” “widely quoted,” “highly sought after,” and “the Picasso of Preaching” give visitors to his website the distinct impression that this is a man they should definitely pay attention to. And many people are doing just that.

Day-to-day believers may or may not be familiar with Leonard Sweet, but many in Christian leadership are very familiar with this self-described “semiotician.” According to his website, a semiotician is someone who “sees things the rest of us do not see and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining.” And as a “cultural futurist” and “Christ follower,” he seems to be very comfortable assuming the role of a postmodern prophet who provides hip observations of what is and what will be. His mission is to help the church become more culturally relevant in the 21st century. However, as he attempts to walk the narrow line between the Gospel and the world, he frequently walks over that line into the false teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality. When he does, legitimate questions need to be raised about what he is doing.

In June 2010, Sweet became the object of a swirling controversy, and his name suddenly disappeared from the list of scheduled speakers at a National Worship Conference taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The controversy centered around the New Age implications of many of the quotes and teachings found in his 1991 book Quantum Spirituality: A Post Modern Apologetic. Prior to the conference, a number of people were starting to ask pertinent questions about Sweet and what he was teaching. In my 2009 book A “Wonderful” Deception, I wrote three chapters on Leonard Sweet and the obvious New Age implications of what he was teaching. In the first chapter on Sweet, I described some of my initial impressions regarding this man, and in particular, his book Quantum Spirituality:

Highly intellectual and well-read, Leonard Sweet almost dares you to keep up with him as he charges through the spiritual marketplace. Operating at lightning speed and quoting from countless books and articles, he will impress many readers with his quick wit and spiritual insights. However, as he treacherously dives into New Age waters and challenges his readers to go there with him, serious problems arise within his “postmodern apologetic.”

In reading Quantum Spirituality, I recalled the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus warned that you can’t serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Leonard Sweet may be a professing evangelical Christian, but he also simultaneously praises New Age authors and their teachings.2

Sweet’s “Response” to Critics

Keenly aware of the controversy he has created, Sweet has a statement prominently posted on his present home website titled—“A Response to Recent Misunderstandings.” While his attempt to explain himself might satisfy the uninformed reader, his “Response” does not address the specifics of what he has written and is actually teaching. His simplistic denunciation of the New Age is unconvincing. His statement that the “New Age rhymes with sewage” and his encouraging the use of a “daily ritual of starting the day by standing in front of a mirror and saying: “God is God and I am not” do not speak to the fact that he has never even addressed, much less renounced, the specific New Age teachings that he was otherwise appearing to deny and disparage. And his stating “back when the New Age was a movement” completely misses the fact that the New Age movement never went away. Those of us who came out of New Age teachings and have been observing the New Age over the past several decades know that contrary to Sweet’s claims, the New Age movement has actually grown exponentially and is now mainstream and an inherent part of our culture. Due to its continued wide-spread growth and influence, the New Age threat to the church (and the world) is larger than ever before. But now it is just hiding in plain sight behind the facade of other names like “New Spirituality,” “New Worldview,” or in Sweet’s case—the “New Light” teachings of a “Quantum Spirituality.” But by any other name a rose is still a rose and the New Age is still the New Age.

Because Sweet’s “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings” left so many unanswered questions and because of his continued influence in the church, it seems imperative that thoughtful Christians take a deeper look at what Leonard Sweet is really teaching. For starters, here are five immediate concerns to consider.

FIVE IMMEDIATE CONCERNS

1) Leonard Sweet teaches the New Age doctrine of “Immanence” that would have the church believe God is “in” everyone and everything

In her 1948 book The Reappearance of the Christ, New Age matriarch Alice Bailey and her spirit guide Djwhal Khul describe how the path to their New Age God will be based on an “immanent” God that is “within every form of life”:

. . . a fresh orientation to divinity and to the acceptance of the fact of God Transcendent and of God Immanent within every form of life. These are the foundational truths upon which the world religion of the future will rest.3 (emphasis added)

Likewise, in his 1980 book, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, New Age channeler Benjamin Creme, states that the New World Religion will be based on the proposition that “Christ” is “immanent”—“in man and all creation”:

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.4 (emphasis added)

In Leonard Sweet’s 1999 book SoulTsunami—with its front cover endorsement by Rick Warren—Sweet introduces this same New Age idea of God not only being transcendent but also immanent. He writes:

To survive in postmodern culture, one has to learn to speak out of both sides of the mouth. It should not be hard, since Christianity has always insisted on having things both ways. Isn’t it based on the impossible possibility of Jesus being “beyond us, yet ourselves” (poet Wallace Stevens)? Biblical theological is not circular with a fixed center, but elliptical, revolving around the double foci of God’s immanence and God’s transcendence.5 (emphasis added)

Sweet clearly spells out what he means by “immanence” in his 1991 book Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic. As a self-described “radical,” he presents his “radical doctrine” that God is immanently embodied “in” His creation. He writes:

Quantum spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family. . . . This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation. . . . But a spirituality that is not in some way entheistic (whether pan- or trans-), that does not extend to the spirit-matter of the cosmos, is not Christian.6 (emphasis added)

But Sweet’s “radical” panentheistic doctrine is a key New Age teaching—as is so much of what he wrote in Quantum Spirituality. In his “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings,” Sweet tries to dispel questions about Quantum Spirituality by saying, “Would I write the same book today? No. Would I say the same things differently? Yes. I started working on the book in my late 20s. I hope I’m older and wiser now.” But when it comes to the New Age implications of what he is teaching, he is not any wiser in regard to his previously stated New Age doctrine. In several subsequent books, Sweet reintroduces his New Age doctrine of immanence—that God is immanently embodied “in” His creation. For example, in his 1999 book Soul Tsunami, Sweet writes:

Postmodern evangelism is first of all telling people how special they are, how much God loves them, how unique each and every one of them is. The fourth-century theologian Athanasius said in one of his letters that God became one of us “that he might deify us in Himself.” Similarly, elsewhere he wrote that Christ “was made man that we might be made God.”7

In Sweet’s 2010 book Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There, he expresses in different words what he wrote in Quantum Spirituality about the “embodiment of God in the very substance of creation”:

An incarnational God means that God-stuff is found in the matter of the universe.8

In this same book he also wrote, “Nudgers help people discover their inner Jesus.”9 But God is not “in” everyone and everything. Jesus is not “in” everyone and everything. Sweet may seem to denounce the New Age, but what he is teaching is New Age. This is dangerous and unbiblical leaven. The apostle Paul lamented that it only took “a little leaven” to lure the Galatians away from the Gospel they once knew so well.

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

God states in the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The New Age “God” who is “in” everyone and everything is another “God” and therefore a false God. Contrary to Leonard Sweet’s teaching in Quantum Spirituality, God is not embodied in His creation. Contrary to his teaching in Nudge, “God-stuff” is not found in the matter of the universe, and everyone does not have an “inner Jesus.” Scripture is very clear. Man is not God because God is not “in” everyone and everything. In Jeremiah 16:20, God warned: “Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?” In Matthew 23:12, Jesus warned, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” For further scriptural references on why God is not “in” everyone and everything and how this false teaching has entered both the world and the church, see my booklet Be Still and Know that You Are Not God.

2) Leonard Sweet describes the “Father” of the New Age Movement” as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice”

Sweet describes heretical Jesuit Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin—the “Father of the New Age Movement—as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”10 In her best-selling New Age classic, The Aquarian Conspiracy, author Marilyn Ferguson describes Teilhard de Chardin as “the individual most often named as a profound influence by the Aquarian Conspirators who responded to a survey.”11 He is also the most frequently referenced New Age leader in her book. The Teilhard quote “This soul can only be a conspiracy of individuals” is found on the very first page of her book and inspired her to title her book The Aquarian Conspiracy. Ferguson wrote that “Teilhard prophesied the phenomenon central to this book: a conspiracy of men and women whose new perspective would trigger a critical contagion of change.”12

Evident in his posted “Response,” Sweet appears to be baffled by everyone’s concern about some of the things he is writing. He seems to take any criticism as a personal attack. But this criticism, if you will, is not about him personally, it is about what he is teaching. Jesus didn’t say “Get behind me Satan” to Peter because he thought Peter was Satan. He said “Get behind me Satan” because of what Peter was saying. And because Sweet describes the “Father of the New Age movement” as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice,” I believe the Lord would tell Leonard Sweet the same thing today. This should become especially evident when you read the following unbiblical statements made by Teilhard de Chardin in his book Christianity and Evolution:

What I am proposing to do is to narrow that gap between pantheism and Christianity by bringing out what one might call the Christian soul of pantheism or the pantheistic aspect of Christianity.13 (emphasis added)

The cross still stands . . . But this is on one condition, and one only, that it expand itself to the dimensions of a New Age, and cease to present itself to us as primarily (or even exclusively) the sign of a victory over sin.14

I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe.15

I believe that the Messiah whom we await, whom we all without any doubt await, is the universal Christ; that is to say, the Christ of evolution.16

[I]f a Christ is to be completely acceptable as an object of worship, he must be presented as the saviour of the idea and reality of evolution.17

A general convergence of religions upon a universal Christ who fundamentally satisfies them all: that seems to me the only possible conversion of the world, and the only form in which a religion of the future can be conceived.18

Teilhard Again?

Sweet’s affection for Teilhard de Chardin surfaced again in his 1999 book Aqua Church. After quoting a strong Bible-based stanza from the hymn “Jesus Savior Pilot Me,” Sweet follows it with a very revealing quote from Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard stated that those who “see” Christ as he does understand Christ in “a much more magnificent way” than all those who went before him:

Christ is in the Church in the same way as the sun is before our eyes. We see the same sun as our fathers saw, and yet we understand it in a much more magnificent way.19

Really? Teilhard and his followers understand Christ in a much more magnificent way than their “fathers”? More than all the martyrs? More than the original disciples? This seems to indicate that Teilhard and Sweet and their “semiotic” emergent postmodern “Christ followers” are “seeing” something about Christ that the rest of the church does not see. Would Sweet have the church believe that Chardin’s seemingly updated New Age “Christ” is the real Christ? Is the “semiotic” Sweet trying to show us that if we adopt the New Age teachings of Teilhard, we, too, will “see” Christ in a “much more magnificent way” than the Christians who came before us? Sadly, it would seem that this is so.

Sweet seems to believe that with new understandings from quantum physics, a New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality/Quantum Spirituality would enable Christians to see Christ in a much deeper and “more magnificent way.” The church would finally understand that the science of quantum physics proves that God is an energy force that interpenetrates and embodies His creation. Therefore, we are all “connected” because we are all “God” because God is “in” everyone and everything. Sweet argues that Christians of the past weren’t ready to deal with things like quantum physics, quantum wavelengths, and the New Age implications of a Quantum Spirituality that would totally transform their faith and challenge everything they thought they knew about being a Christian. In his 2016 book Jesus Speaks, Leonard Sweet writes:

The Holy Spirit brings Jesus’ voice to life through history, theology, science, and social experience. Jesus told the disciples, “I have much more to say to you” (John 16:12). In other words, Jesus was saying, “You can’t handle everything I have to say to you right now. Some of my truth has a wavelength, and it needs time, maybe even centuries, to play itself out.20

But this implies that God’s Word is incomplete and insufficient and therefore in need of new revelation. This is simply not true. Besides, when Jesus said “I have much more to say to you, He was talking to His disciples—not to the church today. It is also important to notice how Sweet conveniently squeezed “wavelength” into his interpretation of Jesus’ words to set up his Quantum Spirituality. But Jesus wasn’t withholding spiritual insights that would have to be delivered to His people two thousand years later. This kind of false teaching is an inherent part of the New Age deception. The fact is Jesus has already given us everything we need to know in His Holy Bible.

Jesus warned of false prophets who would come in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). And there would be those who honor Him with their lips, but their hearts would be far from Him (Matthew 15:8). He also warned of those who serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Psalm 144:11 warns of vain men who deceive with the “right hand of falsehood.” In Psalm 12:2, David warned of those who speak with a “double heart.” In James 1:8, James taught that “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. In 1 Timothy 3:8, Paul referred to these same men as “double-tongued.” For Leonard Sweet to exalt the “Father of the New age movement”—Teilhard de Chardin—and suggest that Teilhard’s way of seeing Christ is a “much more magnificent way” than our forefathers is to fall prey to our Adversary’s deceptive devices. One thing is for sure: The New Age movement hasn’t gone away—it has entered the church through men like Teilhard de Chardin and those like Sweet who exalt him as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”

(3) Leonard Sweet Praises New Age leaders as his “Heroes” and “Role Models”

While some Leonard Sweet defenders argue that his postmodern “New Light” apologetic flies right over the heads of “Old Light” “fundamentalist” types, the facts tell a different story. But what one learns in reading Quantum Spirituality is that Sweet wants to transform biblical Christianity into a Quantum Spirituality that is, in reality, a New Age/New Spirituality. Without any apology, Sweet writes that he is part of a “New Light” movement, and he describes those he especially admires as “New Light leaders.” But many of Sweet’s “New Light leaders” are New Age leaders who are in the process of overturning biblical Christianity through obliging New Age sympathizers like Leonard Sweet.

Sweet’s New Age “role models and heroes”

In the acknowledgments section of Quantum Spirituality, Leonard Sweet expresses his deep gratitude and admiration to various “New Light leaders” whom he openly praises as “the most creative religious leaders in America today.” But many of these “New Light leaders” are New Age leaders. Included in this group are a number of men I was very familiar with from my years in the New Age—among them are Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, and M. Scott Peck. Sweet describes these three men—along with numerous other New Age figures cited—as “extraordinary” and “great” New Light leaders. He goes so far as to say that they are his “personal role models” and “heroes” of “the true nature of the postmodern apologetic.” Sweet writes:

They are my personal role models (in an earlier day one could get away with “heroes”) of the true nature of the postmodern apologetic. More than anyone else, they have been my teachers on how to translate, without compromising content, the gospel into the indigenous context of the postmodern vernacular.21

But many of the men and women Leonard Sweet cited have compromised the “content” of the Gospel by translating it into the “postmodern vernacular” of a New Age/New Spirituality. For example, Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, and M. Scott Peck have all played leading roles in the initial establishment and popularization of today’s New Age/New Spirituality movement. But rather than commending these New Age/New Light leaders, a self-professing Christian leader like Sweet should be warning the church about them. A brief look at these three “New Light” leaders and their teachings will make this very clear.

Willis Harman (1918-1997)

Willis Harman is listed as one of the most influential Aquarian/New Age conspirators in Marilyn Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy. Harman was a social scientist/futurist with the Stanford Research Institute and one of the chief architects of New Age thinking. He wrote the book Global Mind Change:The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think. A review by The San Francisco Chronicle on the front cover of the book reads: “There never has been a more lucid interpretation of New Age consciousness and what it promises for the future than the works of Willis Harman.”22

Matthew Fox (1940- )

Another one of Sweet’s self-described “role models” and “heroes” is Matthew Fox, a former Catholic priest who was dismissed from the Catholic church for openly professing heretical New Age teachings—teachings that include those of his revered mentor, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Fox, like Teilhard, teaches that all of creation is the “Cosmic Christ”—therefore the Cosmic Christ is “in” everyone and everything. In his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, Fox writes: “Divinity is found in all creatures.”23 and “We are all royal persons, creative, godly, divine, persons of beauty and of grace. We are all Cosmic Christs, ‘other Christs.’ But what good is this if we don’t know it.”24 Leonard Sweet actually credits Fox in a footnote in Quantum Spirituality for inspiring Sweet’s own description of the “cosmic body of Christ” and actually refers readers of Quantum Spirituality to Fox’s New Age book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.25

M. Scott Peck (1936-2005)

M. Scott Peck, the late psychiatrist and best-selling author of The Road Less Traveled, is another one of the “role models” and “heroes” that Leonard Sweet cites in his book Quantum Spirituality. The Road Less Traveled was on the New York Times best-seller list for over ten years. In a subsection of his book titled “The Evolution of Consciousness,” Peck describes God as being “intimately associated with us—so intimately that He is part of us.”26 He also writes:

If you want to know the closest place to look for grace, it is within yourself. If you desire wisdom greater than your own, you can find it inside you . . . .To put it plainly, our unconscious is God. God within us. We were part of God all the time.27

When Matthew Fox’s The Coming of the Cosmic Christ was published in 1988, the lead endorsement on the back of Fox’s book was written by M. Scott Peck. Peck and Fox were obviously in New Age agreement. Peck, like Fox and Sweet, describes Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in glowing terms. He describes Teilhard as “[p]erhaps the greatest prophet” of the “mystical,”  evolutionary leap that will take mankind toward “global consciousness” and “world community.”28 And it is this mystical New Age Christ of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, M. Scott Peck, and Leonard Sweet that challenges biblical Christianity today.

4) Leonard Sweet thanks New Age Leader David Spangler for helping him develop his Quantum Spirituality’s “new cell understanding of new light leadership”

If we want to possess a magic crystal for our New Age work, we need look no further than our own bodies and the cells that make them up.29—David Spangler, 1991

I am grateful to David Spangler for his help in formulating this “new cell” understanding of New Light leadership.30—Leonard Sweet, 1991

In his “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings,” Leonard Sweet states: “Because I quote someone does not mean I agree with everything that person ever wrote.” He goes on to say that “Some of the quotes I chose were meant to provide contrasting positions to my argument, some to buttress my argument, some even to mock my argument. The key consideration to whether I quoted someone was not ‘Do I agree with them?’ but ‘Does this quote energize the conversation?’ ‘Guilt by association’ is intellectually disreputable and injurious to the whole body of Christ.” But there is a big difference between “guilt by association” and “guilt by promotion.” Leonard Sweet is praising, thanking, and glorifying many of these New Age leaders—hardly guilt by association, especially when Sweet writes:

I believe these are among the most creative religious leaders in America today. These are the ones carving out new channels for new ideas to flow. In a way this book was written to guide myself through their channels and chart their progress. The book’s best ideas come from them.31

Ironically, one of the “channels” guiding him was an actual New Age channeler—David Spangler. A pioneering spokesperson for the New Age, Spangler has written numerous books over the years. His book The Revelation: The Birth of the New Age is a compilation of channeled transmissions that he received from his disembodied spirit-guide “John.” At one point in the book, Spangler documents what “John” prophesied about “the energies of the cosmic Christ” and “Oneness”:

As the energies of the Cosmic Christ become increasingly manifest within the etheric life of Earth, many individuals will begin to respond with the realization that the Christ dwells within them. They will feel his presence moving within and through them and will begin to awaken to their heritage of Christhood and Oneness with God, the Beloved.32

In a postmodern-day consultation that bears more than a casual resemblance to King Saul’s consult with the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28), Leonard Sweet acknowledges in Quantum Spirituality that he was privately corresponding with New Age channeler David Spangler. Sweet even thanks Spangler for assisting him in forming his “new cell understanding” of “New Light leadership.”33 But as believers we are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” Rather than thanking them, we are to reprove and expose them (Ephesians 5:11).

(5) Misapplication of Quantum Physics: Trying to Draw Spiritual Truth From Physical Theory

Leonard Sweet—just like New Age leaders—tries to use Quantum Physics to prove that God indwells his creation.

The coming together of the new biology and the new physics is providing the basic metaphors for this new global civilization that esteems and encourages whole-brain experiences, full-life expectations, personalized expressions, and a globalized consciousness.34—Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami

When we experience such a quantum of transformation, we may simultaneously feel that the whole of the New Age is happening right now, that we are on the verge of overnight transformation—the fabled quantum leap into a new state of being.35—David Spangler, Reimagination of the World

We have the epitome of a great science . . . quantum physics . . . Everyone is God.36—New Age Channeler J.Z. Knight, What the Bleep Do We Know

In his book The Tao of Physics: An Explanation of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, New Age physicist Fritjof Capra describes the union of mysticism and the new physics. He wrote “this kind of new spirituality is now being developed by many groups and movements, both within and outside the churches.”37 As an example of how this “new spirituality” is moving into the church, he actually cites one of Leonard Sweet’s “role models” and “heroes”—Matthew Fox.38

When Sweet refers to the new biology and the new physics as metaphors, he stretches these “metaphors” to the position of being actual fact. From his understanding of quantum physics, he asserts that all things are composed of energy and that this quantum energy must be God, hence God is embodied in all things. Yet, this metaphor falls on its face when we learn from Paul’s writings that God and creation are two separate things as is illustrated in chapter one of Romans: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Paul further exposes the error of spiritualizing physical creation showing that all things are not God, nor are they even spiritual. As he points out, the “earthy” is only temporary and will be done away with:

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption . . . There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. . . .  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. . . . Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Corinthians 15:42, 44, 48, 50)

Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren’s “New Spirituality”

In their 1995 joint presentation The Tides of Change, Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren had a quantum conversation as they discussed “waves,” “quantum metaphors,” “revival,” and what they were calling—even back then—a “New Spirituality.” Sweet told Warren:

Yeah, this is a wave period. I really love that metaphor of the wave and the wavelength. First of all, it is a quantum metaphor. It brings us out of the Newtonian world into this new science.39

Quantum waves, quantum wavelengths, quantum metaphors—all leading to a universal Quantum “God” and the Quantum New Age “Christ” of a New Spirituality, a New Worldview, and ultimately a New World Religion—a New World Religion that will be based on New Age teachings that have been labeled scientific but are, in reality, “science falsely so called”:

Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:19-21)

Conclusion

Teilhard de Chardin, Leonard Sweet, and an ever-growing band of New Age sympathizers would have us believe that all those who preceded us in the faith were unable to “see” the big picture, because, after all, they didn’t have access to all the new scientific discoveries that we have today—scientific information that would have helped them gain the new spiritual understandings that Leonard Sweet claims to have acquired.

In that vein, Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, and other Christian leaders are now teaching that God is in the process of bringing a new “Reformation”40 and a “great spiritual awakening” to the church. Sweet writes: “God is birthing the greatest spiritual awakening in the history of the church.”41 Yet this new reformation and great awakening Sweet heralds, is falsely founded on his hybridized New Age Christianity with its “radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation.”42 Ironically, while Sweet—as previously mentioned—encourages “a daily ritual” of standing in front of a mirror affirming “God is God and I am not,” he at the same time tells people that, as a part of creation, God is embodied in them. He also encourages people to be “nudgers.” He says “nudgers are not smudgers of the divine in people.”43 “Nudgers help people discover their “inner Jesus.”44

When the true Christ was asked what will be the sign of his coming and the end of the world, He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”(Matthew 24:4)—that many false prophets would arise and deceive many (Matthew 24:11). He specifically warned us to beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing. He said we would know them by their fruits.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Matthew 7:15-16)

We must exhort one another daily. We must continue to preach the Word and not fall prey to those who would diminish the Word with their worldly wisdom, clever stories, metaphors, and false teachings. The Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ always have been and always will be sufficient for all our needs.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering 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. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Regarding Leonard Sweet’s “radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation,” Jesus warns:

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.45 (Matthew 15: 7-9)

To order copies of Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?, click here. 

Endnotes
1. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), p. 28.
2. Warren B. Smith, A “Wonderful” Deception: The Further New Age Implications of the Emerging Purpose Driven Movement (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2009), p. 106.
3. Alice A, Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing Company, Lucis Press, Ltd., 1948), 1996, p. 150.
4. Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (London, England; The Tara Press, 1980), p. 88.
5. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 28.
6. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic (Dayton, OH: Whaleprints for SpiritVenture Ministries, Inc., 1991, 1994), p. 125.
7. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 304.
8. Leonard Sweet, Nudge:Awakening Each Other to the God Who Is Already There (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010), p. 157.
9. Ibid., p. 40.
10. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 106.
11. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1980), p. 50.
12. Ibid., p. 25.
13. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanivich, Inc., 1971), p. 56.
14. Ibid,. pp. 219-220.
15. Ibid,. p. 128.
16. Ibid,. p. 95.
17. Ibid,. p. 78.
18. Ibid,. p. 130.
19. Leonard Sweet, Aqua Church: Essential Leadership Arts for Piloting Your Church in Today’s Fluid Culture (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, Inc., 1999), p. 39.
20. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, Jesus Speaks: Learning to Recognize & Respond to the Lord’s Voice (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2016), p. 85.
21. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. viii.
22. Willis Harman, Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think (New York, NY: Warner Books, 1988), front cover.
23. Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988), p. 154.
24. Ibid., p. 137.
25. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op cit., pp. 124, 324.
26. M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1978), p. 281.
27. Ibid.
28. M. Scott Peck, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1988), pp. 205-206.
29. David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture (Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Company Publishing, 1991), p. 62.
30. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 312.
31. Ibid., p. ix.
32. David Spangler, The Revelation: Birth of A New Age (Elgin, IL: Lorian Press, 1976), p. 177.
33. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 312.
34. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 121.
35. David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World, op. cit., p. 126.
36. What the Bleep Do We Know (DVD) (20th Century Fox, 2004, http://www.whatthebleep.com), transcribed by author.
37. Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics: An Explanation of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism (Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1999), p. 341.
38. Ibid.
39. The Tides of Change (A 1995 audio presentation with Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren that was part of an ongoing series called “Choice Voices for Christian Leadership,” distributed by Abington Press). On file with publisher.
40. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 17.
41. Ibid., p. 34.
42. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 125.
43. Leonard Sweet, Nudge, op. cit., p. 31.
44. Ibid., p. 40.
45. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p 125.

To order copies of Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?, click here. 

Related Reading:

Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything

 

 

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