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Letter to the Editor From Dallas Theological Seminary Student—DTS Does Advocate for Contemplative Spirituality
DTS Magazine – low-resolution shot used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act for critical review

To Lighthouse Trails:

The relationship Dallas Theological Seminary has with contemplative spirituality has been debated on Lighthouse Trails, and defended by DTS. As a current student, I can confirm some departments and professors do advocate explicitly for the contemplative brand of spirituality. 

The school requires four semesters of spiritual formation. Students must engage with the curriculum as prescribed, but additional work is optional for those wishing to receive academic credit. 

The first semester spiritual formation material encourages students to study Adele Calhoun, Marcia Ford, Richard Foster, Donald Whitney, Dallas Willard, PT Forsyth, Paul Pettit, James K.A. Smith, Gary Thomas, and others. “Silence” is listed as a discipline in the curriculum itself, and the workbook asks students to rate their own engagement with this and other practices.

Required readings in the “Practical Theology” course include Alexander Schmemann, James K.A. Smith, Dallas Willard, Gary Thomas, and Simon Chan. After reading Willard, Thomas, and Chan, students practice three of the spiritual disciplines for at least three weeks before reporting on their progress. Sacramentalism is a major focus, and an Episcopal priest was brought in to celebrate the Eucharist with the class and answer our questions on sacramentalism.

The DTS website states, “We do not promote or endorse any form of eastern mysticism, higher consciousness, divinity within the self, or any practice that promotes entering into an altered or transcendent state of consciousness. These dangerous and heterodox teachings often masquerade as Christian spirituality. We categorically reject these practices and their claims.” 

I can confirm that at no point have I been personally guided in meditation, lectio divina, etc. Unfortunately, some at DTS are undeniably informed by eastern mysticism, and the school actively recommends further study in that direction.

Jacob (not real name)

Related Articles:

Letter to the Editor: Dallas Theological Seminary’s Women’s Conference Speaker, Christine Caine, Raises Concerns for Reader

Dallas Theological Seminary Not Contemplative? – New Evidence Shows Otherwise



Statue of Moloch, Ancient God of Child Sacrifice, Put on Display in Rome at Site of Christian Martyrdom
Photo of the actual statue in Rome

LTRJ Note: We are posting two different articles of the same news story to provide two perspectives. We are posting these articles for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the sources.

“Statue of Ancient God of Child Sacrifice Put on Display in Rome”

By Lifesite News

ROME, November 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A reconstruction of a pagan idol who demanded child sacrifice was stationed at the entrance of Rome’s Colosseum as part of a secular historical exhibition.

The presence of the idol raised particular concern among Catholics, as it was erected nine days before the Amazon Synod and the subsequent scandal over the veneration of the Pachamama idol at the Vatican.

The statue of Moloch, worshipped by both the Canaanites and the Phoenicians, is part of an exhibit dedicated to Ancient Rome’s once-great rival, the city of Carthage. The large-scale exhibition, titled Carthago: The immortal myth, runs until March 29, 2020. Click here to continue reading.

Vatican Mounts Giant Statue of Demon Moloch at Roman Colosseum Entrance

By European Union Times

Without a doubt, it truly is an abomination that a gigantic statue of Molech is now standing right at the entrance of the Colosseum where so many Christians were brutally slaughtered by the Romans. So look at what the new Italian leftist-globalist government is now up to after they kicked Matteo Salvini from power. Can you believe this!?

Tourists that visit the Colosseum in Rome these days are getting quite a shock.

A gigantic statue of a pagan Canaanite deity known as “Molech” has been erected right at the entrance. In ancient times, those that served Molech would literally sacrifice their children to him, and apparently this involved burning them to death. . . . A source close to the matter told Breaking Israel News that: “There is no way that such a thing could be done without direct permission from the highest levels of the Vatican. Click here to continue.

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. You will give your email address, but it does not show up publicly. 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:

Christian Comedian John Crist Caught as Sexual Predator . . . Which Reminds Us—:The victims will live with their abuse for the rest of their lives. Churches (not all but too many) are run like businesses and will protect anything negative from being exposed! It’s infuriating and gives all of Christianity a bad name. I don’t agree with labeling sexual abuse as a sexual addiction (which Crist claims to have). That implies a disease and removes responsibility from the abuser and forgets the real victims! Nina

Christian Comedian John Crist Caught as Sexual Predator . . . Which Reminds Us—:In typical fashion, the “Christian” coverage of these most despicable acts is, as you’ve alluded to, disregarding the real victims. The real victims are the only victims; the predator, be it this “funny man” or whoever, was in full control of his actions; please don’t be fooled by man’s theologies and strange ideas. Go back to any church - sex or other scandals - and you’ll see how “churches” close rank and protect the guilty and destroy the victims even further. Light has nothing to do with darkness; nothing whatsoever. John

Dallas Theological Seminary Not Contemplative? - New Evidence Shows Otherwise: It is so appalling and sad that most seminaries have been fooled by the Spiritual Formation movement. But DTS is actually lying when they deny that they are doing it. When I try to explain to family and friends what is happening at the colleges and seminaries they do not understand or believe me. Very frustrating. I did loan out Roger Oakland’s book Faith Undone to a friend, so maybe she will believe me. This Christian friend thinks that the Eucharist is the same as Communion observance. Elizabeth

A Response to a Reader Who Thinks Lighthouse Trails Booklets Are Too Expensive:I have been very blessed by Lighthouse Trails through the years. I have been careful in how many books I buy and who I give them to. They are precious pearls to share. Their subjects are serious and deep. My thanks and prayers that God’s truth will continue to be shared in this way.stores. Susie

A Response to a Reader Who Thinks Lighthouse Trails Booklets Are Too Expensive: Your booklets have been invaluable. They are easy to read and get right to the point. They are packed with information that we could not get elsewhere. The authors of these booklets are very knowledgeable and help us to discern the times we are living in. So continue to publishing these booklets! Pat

The Enneagram—An Enlightening Tool or an Enticing Deception?: Thank you for the great research in this booklet! I have recently been searching the web for information to share with relatives and friends who seem to respect Matt Chandler and others like him. It was so nice to see detailed material beyond what I had found! Rob

"Don't Touch That Dial!": Such a bittersweet story!! I am certain this faithful saint has a very special place in heaven. May God be with our dear brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ at the hands of those who hate our God! May we also remain faithful unto the end! C. Read

Statue of Moloch, Ancient God of Child Sacrifice, Put on Display in Rome at Site of Christian Martyrdom: They should put that statute in every abortion death factory and also all the hospitals where they perform abortions. When I see that image and read about it in the Old Testament, it explains clearly why Yahweh was opposed to idol worship. And not only that, it emplifies the culture of death in our world - it would be a fitting monument at the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa as that is where the laws allowing free-standing abortion were carved out. Dorcas

Will Christians Replace Commitment to the Gospel for Commitment to a Unified Dominionist Agenda to “Save the Country”?: When I think of allegiance to my country, I always think of this verse: Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” I love my country, but this is not my home. I am looking for another country, an heavenly. While I am here, I will obey the laws, pray for those in authority, and grieve for what i see happening worldwide. This only causes me to long for Home more and with greater anticipation. Deborah

Will Christians Replace Commitment to the Gospel for Commitment to a Unified Dominionist Agenda to “Save the Country”?: I am from Canada. And while I don’t think we have anywhere near the problem with NAR trying to steer Christians into militancy as the U.S., we do have the greatest level of political chaos and threats to our freedoms than I have ever seen here. Canada is beginning to fracture and come apart. It is easy to get drawn away from our purpose as “ambassadors for Christ” (as the Bible teaches in 2 Corinthians 5:20) to get overly caught up in the political and social upheaval. You, of course, want the country you love to get back to standing for the freedom, justice, equality, respect and love, and the fear of God that our forefathers held to. The things that made our nations great in the world. But we are in a period of serious deterioration on every level in this world. Yes, an awful lot of the chaos and instability has been “generated” by particular sources, both groups and individuals, and from the forces of spiritual darkness behind them. But our only hope is described in the Bible. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is the only answer. Brokenness, repentance, humility and sincere remorse for our rebellion and sinfulness, and all of that genuinely from the heart. Until God sees that, this world will continue to spiral into the abyss of the Anti Christ rule. Unfortunately, the people's hearts and minds today are hardened and dark and far, far from God. So I don’t see national repentance happening. And it certainly will not happen in our churches filled with spiritual pride and their man-centered worship. I do want to mention finally as I stated earlier. I don’t think we have nearly the problem in our nation with NAR as the U.S. does. But we have something similar and likely related. A lot of political leadership on “the right” these days are Jesuit/Catholic in their background and education. Interesting. Paul

Christian Comedian John Crist Caught as Sexual Predator . . . Which Reminds Us—: There is no excuse that this abuse was ignored by those in the know. It just allowed more women to become victims. My hope for Mr, Crist is that he is truly repentant. I also pray people who hid this will be held accountable as well. Laura

Christian Comedian John Crist Caught as Sexual Predator . . . Which Reminds Us—: There is no such thing as “Christian celebrity”. Followers of JeSus have been chased, persecuted and FEW. If Christians find this humor acceptable, this is an invitation to get to know real God of the Bible, not the god of this world whom this man serves in his comedian capacity. Olga

The Fate of the Nations—Then and Now (Psalm 9): Brilliantly stated and how tragic the coming outcome. Really how tragic it is all around these days as we see God-rejecting people everywhere rejoice in that. Oh, and about the "culture" "cultish" thing--years ago I was travelling quite a bit when my dad was ill to see him. Once in the airport I decided to pick up "Crime and Punishment" and make myself read it. What I found astonishing was not that they knew cigarette smoking was unhealthy back then but how secretive/wicked things always seemed to be in what became the USSR. That underlayment of that culture was always dark, it seemed. Carolyn

Statue of Moloch, Ancient God of Child Sacrifice, Put on Display in Rome at Site of Christian Martyrdom: Pope Francis is doing all he can to usher in the NWO, a one world religion and the anti-christ. He is a very sad man. Dennis

Beyond a Doubt: Contemplative Prayer EQUALS New Age Meditation: From time to time, I sound the alarm regarding the non-biblical practice that is called "Contemplative Prayer." Since it has invaded the Body of Christ like a cancer in a human body, I suspect that if people knew the truth, they would join me in sounding the alarm. You see, many are practicing this without even knowing that they are doing so because it is being introduced without using the term "contemplative." Eddie and I were shocked when, in 1999 in our doctoral studies at a reputable university, we encountered "The Spiritual Formation Movement" and contemplative practices. Christian leaders who should have known better expected us to adopt this non-biblical model of spirituality. Of course, we knew better! To refute this model, I did several weeks of research and discovered its roots in Medieval Roman Catholicism. Of course, too, as this article shows, its practices are also part and parcel of New Age spiritualism. . . .

I would add, at this point, that tremendouse damage is being done today in what might be considered a form of contemplative spirituality: mindfulness. Even the man who introduced mindfulness into the USA is now warning against it. This is substantiated in a Brown University study. Yet even the schools here in Grapevine, TX, are requiring mindfulness practices for all students. Such ignorance!

Why we do not simply preach and teach The Gospel amazes me! The Great Commission is clear (Matthew 28:16-20). Susan

Letter to the Editor From Dallas Theological Seminary Student—DTS Does Advocate for Contemplative Spirituality
Statue of Moloch, Ancient God of Child Sacrifice, Put on Display in Rome at Site of Christian Martyrdom
Comments From Our Readers

Christian Comedian John Crist Caught as Sexual Predator . . . Which Reminds Us—

A Response to a Reader Who Thinks Lighthouse Trails Booklets Are Too Expensive
“When We Shall See Him”
The Fate of the Nations—Then and Now (Psalm 9)
Necromancy For Teens?
Beyond a Doubt: Contemplative Prayer EQUALS New Age Meditation
“Judge Bans Business Owners From Stating Christian Beliefs”s
“Don’t Touch That Dial!"
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Christian Comedian John Crist Caught as Sexual Predator . . . Which Reminds Us—
2-second video clip of John Crist from YouTube; used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act.

Last week, countless secular and Christian media sources reported that highly popular Christian stand-up comedian John Crist has sexually victimized numerous women” over the course of several years. A Charisma Magazine* expose on the news story, stated:

According to multiple sources, Crist has exploited his Christian reputation and platform to harass, manipulate and exploit young women over the last seven years. The allegations include, but are not limited to, individually sexting multiple women during the same time period, initiating sexual relationships with married women and women in committed relationships, offering show tickets in exchange for sexual favors and repeatedly calling these women late at night while drunk.

Over the last 24 hours, Charisma contacted Crist about these allegations to get his comment. In response, he emailed Charisma the following statement [see article for statement]. . . . In the statement, he admits to “destructive and sinful” behavior, apologized to his fans and announced he would cancel all future tour dates this year to focus on getting healthy. . . .

In 2019, few Christians seem better known and more influential than Crist. To those unfamiliar with him, that may be surprising; after all, Crist is not a pastor, ministry leader or worship leader. But Crist has risen to fame precisely because he’s what many young believers want to be: funny, smart, cool, relatable and vocal about his faith.

The reason Lighthouse Trails is posting this information is because according to the Charisma article, some Christian leaders have known that Crist is a sexual predator yet allowed unexpecting women to continue to be victimized.

Multiple sources noted to Charisma that Crist has previously said he is receiving counseling and treatment for this behavior—as early as 2014—yet continued to hurt others in the process. . . . some evidence suggests certain Christian leaders have been aware of Crist’s behavior and—through inaction—let it continue unchecked. This is why Charisma believed it necessary to warn the body of Christ about what Crist has been doing behind the scenes. . . .

“The church should not be looking the other way when a Christian leader is preying on women” . . . “When Jesus talked about wolves in sheep’s clothing, I’m sure He included sexual predators in that metaphor. This guy may be a comedian, but sexual harassment isn’t funny. This behavior needs to be challenged, and the victims need counseling and support.” . . .

Over the years, Crist’s behavior has gradually become a kind of open secret among certain Christian circles. Some individuals contacted for the investigation expressed surprise that the general public was not already aware of Crist’s behavior. . . .

Three sources told Charisma they had contacted WaterBrook & Multnomah [Crist’s publisher] with stories about Crist’s misdeeds. Two received no reply, while one received a response—saying the recipient would share that information with leadership—but did not hear anything more.

After reading the Charisma article in full along with other articles, it seems clear that Crist’s long-time ongoing abuse and misuse of young women was known by others and basically kept under the rug. Lighthouse Trails has always said that the power of sexual abuse lies in its secrecy. Predators continue in power and abuse as long as they can keep the victims quiet and keep those who know about their predatory behavior from exposing them. We have addressed this type of scenario over and over since we began Lighthouse Trails. And, of course, stories in the public arena (such as the Catholic priests) substantiate our concerns that sexual abuse is kept quiet and sexual predators are protected. Crist’s abuse is an example of how Christian leadership is playing its part in allowing sexual abuse to continue.

Those of you who have been Lighthouse Trails readers for some time may remember other stories regarding sexual abuse we have covered. One of the first books we ever published is Laughter Calls Me, the true story of a mother who learned her four children had become victims of a child pornography ring. In 2011, we wrote “Child Sex Abuse – Can We Ignore It?.” In 2012, we wrote “’Heartfelt’ Letter from Voice of the Martyrs Neglects Concern for 10-Year-Old Molested Child.” In that same year, we published and released Seducers Among Our Children by Patrick Crough. Sergeant Crough spent over 20 years catching sexual predators in the state of New York. Today, he heads up a team in Florida fighting against human trafficking. In 2013, we released The Color of Pain by Gregory Reid, a tribute to men who were sexually abused as boys. In 2014, Jan Markell interviewed Patrick Crough on protecting children from Internet predators. And also in 2014, we wrote “Bill Gothard Resigns from Institute in Basic Life Principles Under Allegations of Sexual Abuse.” In 2015, we posted “’Obama Administration Enables ‘Boy Play’” – Child Molestation Overlooked by U.S. Government.” In 2017, we wrote “Saddleback Church Statement Appears to Downplay Role of Alleged Molester Ruben Meulenberg.” In 2019, we wrote “Child Sexual Abuse Scandal at Matt Chandler’s Popular Village Church Raises Concerns Over How Churches Handle Abuse.” And there are many other articles we have written or posted on this issue of sexual abuse and its cover up.

Most recently, we began carrying Pastor Stacey Shifflet’s book Wolves Among Lambs, which describes his story of being a victim of sexual abuse and the cover up that followed.

We have given a bit of a recap of our reporting over the years on sexual abuse because often when we post an article about sexual abuse, someone comes forth and challenges us asking why we are reporting on something that is not within the parameters of deception in the church (New Age, contemplative, etc.). It may be that those people are not aware of the Lighthouse Trails motto: “Bringing Light to Areas of Darkness.” Another criticism we have received when bringing to light sexual abuse in the church is that we shouldn’t voice such concerns for the world to see. That’s an invalid criticism because the secular news outlets report on these stories as much or more than the church does. In other words, the world is watching, and they already know about it long before Lighthouse Trails writes about it.

In some Christian coverage of John Crist, his actions are being described as a “sexual sin” that Crist has committed against God. While this is true, we must not minimize the horrific damage that a sexual predator causes to his victims. Already, it is reported that two of Crist’s victims have left the Christian faith feeling very betrayed by a man they highly esteemed because he proclaims to be a Christian. Crist used his Christian claim, his power, his charisma, and his celebrity status to lure in his victims.

If you are in church leadership and know of abuse taking place, you have a responsibility to the victims, to the law of the land, to the church, and to God to do all within your power to make sure it is exposed and stopped.

If you are a member of a church, make sure your church leadership is held accountable and make sure all church members, volunteers, and paid staff are educated properly in how to protect children, teens, and young adults from sexual predators.

Churches and Christian groups are perhaps the main target for sexual predators because of the loving and trusting nature of Christians. And when the sexual predator claims to be one of us, the risk is all that much higher.

by Catherine Brown

May kids be brave enough to tell
Parents be strong enough to believe
The Church, Christ-like enough to support
America, wise enough to judge
May offenders be sorry enough to stop

*Our referencing Charisma Magazine is not meant to be an endorsement of the magazine. However, in the case of John Crist, Charisma did a very thorough and documented report on this story, and we felt it gave more of the facts than other sources.

Related Information:

John Crist’s Misconduct: It’s NOT ‘Sexual Sin’ – Words Matter” (an insightful commentary)

Former pastor of Baltimore-area church charged with child sex abuse; police say there may be other victims” (about Stacey Shifflet story)

John Crist’s Netflix special, book on hold amid sexual harassment allegations” (Religion News Service)


A Response to a Reader Who Thinks Lighthouse Trails Booklets Are Too Expensive

Recently, we received the following comment on the Lighthouse Trails Facebook page and would like to respond as others may share this person’s sentiments. The comment stated:

I always found the booklets helpful but they are quite expensive in my view. I purchase tracts from pinpoint evangelism and I get a stack of 100 for 5 dollars and up. I always eyed these but to pay about 2 dollars for just one booklet is a bit pricey for me. Please do not take it as an insult, I am hoping you find cheaper vendors to print making it more accessible to those of us who have been called to preach to masses.

Here is what we would like to say about our booklets—

Our booklets are not the size of a tract. A tract generally holds a few hundred words. Our booklets are book size (in dimensions) and anywhere from 3000-6000 words. That’s why we call them booklets and not tracts. There’s a lot of information and documentation in them (and hours of work that has gone into writing and creating them). Tracts are good to hand out to strangers or leave in bathrooms. The booklets are designed to hand out to friends, family members, pastors, etc – people you are acquainted with who have particular needs and issues. Each one has a different topic (e.g., Yoga, Reiki, Meditation, Enneagrams, etc.) so one can prayerfully select the right one for each recipient.

In order to give a person enough information to understand a topic (without handing him or her a 200-page book that may never be read), we believe the booklets are the perfect format and length. Any shorter, and we could not document our findings.

We have yet to see a booklet of the quality in which Lighthouse Trails produces them sell at a lower price (with the exception of some non-profit organizations who rely primarily on donations – Lighthouse Trails is not in that category). However, even though we do not have the advantage of being a 501 (c) 3 organization (a choice we made many years ago), we have given away thousands of booklets as well as pay part of the proceeds of sales to the authors (royalties). Keep in mind that while each booklet is $1.95, we have quantity discounts starting at 6 copies that go as low as $1.07 each.

Lighthouse Trails does something most publishers do not do: we place the entire content of each booklet on our blog, providing a print feature that allows any reader to print the booklet for free. You see our goal and motivation at Lighthouse Trails is not to make money. While we, like any other business or ministry, have a need for money to keep our doors open, we do not have a love for money or an ambition toward it. Our desire and motivation is to help others.

At the risk of sounding defensive or self-promoting, we want to close with this. Several years ago, in the early years of Lighthouse Trails, Saddleback Church (Rick Warren’s church) was sending out e-mails to people (with the hopes of discrediting our work) saying that “Ray Yungen and Lighthouse Trails were sitting on a pile of money.” It became almost a joke here for us because nothing could have been further from the truth. And all these years later, it still is anything but the truth. The editors at Lighthouse Trails work tirelessly, each receiving a very modest salary for the work we do. As for the price of the booklets, when we began creating the booklet project in 2012, we purchased a good used Xerox machine that would do the printing (thus keeping our costs down by doing the printing ourselves), picked out some high quality gloss paper that would increase the longevity of each booklet, contracted with each author for a royalty rate that is higher than any other publisher we know about in today’s publishing industry. And when we figured out all our costs, we came up with a retail price that anyone could afford, then added in several generous quantity discounts. We say all this mostly for those who are skeptical and who think that Lighthouse Trails charges too much for our booklets. We have not said these things to puff ourselves up but rather to describe what goes on behind the scenes that influences our decisions.

It is always our prayer that our books and booklets will be useful to those who read them; and while they are warning about deception, we strive in each one to point readers to God’s wonderful Word and His saving grace through Christ.



“When We Shall See Him”
By Harry Ironside

I want to draw your attention to the blessedness of being transfigured by beholding the face of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was the sight of His face that won our poor, wayward souls in the beginning when we were going on in our sins. And then we met Him, and we looked upon Him, and we realized He was the eternal Lover of our souls who had given Himself for us, and our hearts were won, and we were saved. We know something of what John Newton meant in that fine old hymn that told his own experience.

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object met my sight,
And stayed my wild career.

I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agony and blood,
Who fixed His dying eyes on me,
As near the Cross I stood.

Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look,
It seemed to charge me with His death, Though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned my guilt, And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.

But a second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive,
This blood has for thy ransom paid,
I die that thou mayst live.”
(John Newton, 1803)

We fell in love with Him forever. We had seen Him bleeding, suffering, dying for us, and we were won by Divine grace.

Then we have been noticing that if we would grow in grace and in holiness of life, it can only be as we all, “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed [transfigured] into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). And, of course, that holiness will never be absolutely perfected until we see Him as He is.

In this passage, the apostle John dwells upon the present blessing “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). It is not just that we are hoping to be, but we are here and now, we who have trusted our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not” (v. 1). We need never expect the world’s approbation if we are living for God. And if we are not living for Him, and yet call ourselves Christians, we will only have the world’s contempt, because even the ungodly know what a Christian ought to be; and if they see us professing to be Christians yet not living consistently, they will only despise us and look upon us as hypocrites. On the other hand, if we are living for God, we cannot expect their approval. “The world knoweth us not.” Oh, what a luxury it is to give up even a little for Jesus when He gave up so much for us. He left Heaven’s glory for us. He gave all that He had to redeem us. And, surely, it is a little thing that we should give up the world for His sake. With all our hearts, we cry:

Take the world, but give me Jesus,
All earth’s joys are but in name,
But His love abideth ever,
Through eternal years the same.
(Frances Crosby, 1879)

It is a great thing to be able to say we know, we know we are the sons of God. We know we have passed from death unto life. We know our sins are forgiven. We know we have life eternal.

Do you love to think of the near coming of the Lord Jesus Christ? I do not know how you feel about it, but to me, sometimes, I just hold my breath these days; it seems to me, I can already hear the coming of His feet.

Have you ever noticed how the Blessed Hope is presented in the first epistle to the Thessalonians? In every one of its five wonderful chapters, we have some very definite reference to that hope. In the first chapter, it is connected with conversion. The apostle says, “Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). Two things are linked up together—serving and waiting. Do not talk about waiting for the coming of the Lord if you are not serving faithfully. There are people who talk about the coming of the Lord, and they are living carnal lives, they are living for self and for the world. No, no, you cannot really be waiting for God’s Son from Heaven if you are not seeking to live for His glory. Service is connected with the hope of His return.

My mother was left a widow when I was about two years of age, and I had a younger brother only three weeks old. Mother had a difficult time caring for two little children for a number of years. I went out to work when I was old enough to do anything. We lived in Los Angeles after we left Canada where I was born. One time during school vacation, I went to work with a cobbler named Dan Mackay, an Orkney man. He had a little shop, and it was papered most beautifully. Instead of any fancy paper, he had a lot of old-fashioned Bible almanacs pasted up, and there were big bright texts and people who came into that shop would find the Gospel message facing them. He would put a Gospel tract in every parcel that he made up; and he would speak to nearly all his customers about their souls. He was a preacher of the Word seated there at his cobbler’s bench. I went to work for him. I must have been rather a lazy boy. I had a kind of iron across my knees. He would soak a pair of soles in water, and with a flat hammer I had to hammer all the water out of those soles until they got hard and solid, and then he would nail them on the shoes. I used to get very tired hammering those soles hour after hour.

On my way home, I had to pass another shoe shop, and I could see the cobbler there cut a pair of soles, soak them in water, and put them right on the shoes without hammering them at all; and every time he drove a nail into them, the water would fly all over the place. That interested me very much. I said to him, “You know, my boss makes me hammer all the water out of the soles, but you put them right on damp and soft when you get them out of the water.”

The man gave me a very sly wink, and said, “They come back all the quicker this way, my boy!”

I thought I had learned something, so I went back to my boss, and I said, “Look here, I do not know why you make me hammer these soles. The man in the other shop does not do that, and he says they come back all the quicker, and he gets more jobs.

My boss took out his Bible and read, “Whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all to the glory of God.” Then he said “Harry, perhaps I have been a little thoughtless. I have forgotten that you are just a lad of twelve years of age, and it is tiresome work hammering all day. I shall do some of them myself, and I will teach you to do something else to rest you between times. But I will not allow anything to go out of my shop that is not well done. It is different with me than it is with the other man. That man is not saved. He does not know the Lord, but I do. I would love to be a preacher of the Gospel, but God has not gifted me in that way, but He has shown me how to cobble shoes, and He has put me right here to glorify Him. You know, when the Lord Jesus Christ comes again, and I stand at His Judgment Seat, I expect to find every shoe that ever went out of my shop in a big pile there; and the Lord will take them and look over them, and I expect Him to examine them very carefully, and I do not want Him to say to me, ‘I am sorry you let them go like this; I cannot give you a reward for them.’ I want Him to be able to look over all my work and to say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”
Do you wonder that a man like that had power in his testimony? People often came back to him and said, “Mr. Mackay, when you fixed for me that pair of soles, I found a Gospel tract in the parcel when I got home, and I have been reading it. Could you tell me how I could be sure of salvation? And he would drop everything, and that cobbler’s shop would become a sanctuary. He would lead them to Christ, showing them the way of life from the Word. He had a real testimony for God. He was serving the living and true God and waiting for His Son from Heaven. When you speak of service, do not always think of preaching and missionary endeavor. Anything that is worth doing at all can be done for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to serve in view of His appearing.

Naught that I have, my own I call, I hold it for the Giver,
My heart, my strength, my life, my all,
Are His, and His for ever.
(James Grindlay Small, 1866)

(An extract of Harry Ironside’s book, Changed by Beholding – public domain). Photo from; used with permission)


The Fate of the Nations—Then and Now (Psalm 9)

By Bill Randles

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah. (Psalm 9 :17-20)

Many people miss the full import of the Psalms of the Bible, because they limit their understanding of them to being divine poetry or as wisdom literature.

Some correctly go further and realize that the Psalms are also Messianic prophecies, describing the mission and triumph of the Lord Jesus. But few realize that the Psalms of the Bible have an eschatological aspect. They speak of the events and conditions of the end-times and of the coming of the Lord.

Psalm 9 celebrates the cataclysmic judgment that falls upon the nations of the world, who hate and trouble Israel. They have digged a pit for her, but they themselves have fallen into it. They are guilty of innocent blood, but the Lord comes to make inquisition.

In the passage above, there are two categories of nations discussed. The wicked nations are those who are and always have been twisted. These are those whose very essence has been shaped by false religion, such as Islam, or Hinduism, or the more recent Atheistic nations (communist).

At the core of every “culture” is a “cultus,” a religion, which informs and undergirds the culture so pervasively that few even consciously realize it. If the religion is false, the culture is by definition deeply flawed.

There are nations which can only be described as “wicked.” Injustice is written into the very fabric of the culture, let alone the laws which reflect that culture. Because of the religion that undergirds those nations, informing their cultures, there must of necessity be a “caste system” or a “Jizya” tax.

Muslim nations have to be hostile to Christians; one would expect them to top the world lists of the most repressive nations, to women, minorities, and religious minorities. Sharia is of necessity a twisted parody of justice. These nations are “the wicked”!

But there is another category of nations suggested here, “all of the nations that forget God.” These are the nations who once had some semblance of freedom, true justice, and human rights. They were never perfect, but for a time were not oppressor nations, although they wielded unprecedented power to be so.

I speak of the West, Europe, the English-speaking world, and wherever they colonized and thrived. How is it that such nations developed into such freedom loving, human-rights guarding, private-property respecting cultures? Because our culture developed out of the soil of Judeo Christianity.

It is the secret of our prosperity in the West, as well as of our sense of fairness, respect for life, willingness to sacrifice, our work ethic, insistence on checks and balances in government, and a host of other traits which have brought refugees from every other culture streaming into the West to enjoy those freedoms.

But the West has forgotten God, for the most part. Certainly our leaders have; many of them are working hard to erase all traces of the Judeo Christian influence from our past, present, and future. They have repudiated God; they are actually proving to be hostile to God!

The nations are headed for Tribulation; they are about to be cast into an unbelievable pit, a Hell of biblical proportions!

For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

I believe the “poor and needy” that God will not forget, in this case, are not the “political poor” nor is this a reference to general poverty.

Here the “poor and needy” are the remnant of God’s people, who have been isolated by the nations, hated, and lied about and who have no natural resources or power to successfully answer the charges. They cast themselves on God for they have no other options in a hostile world.

Israel’s enemies are gathering in size and influence, and her friends and lovers are abandoning her. Vicious hate groups such as Hamas, Hezbullah, and Al Queda are losing their fear of Israel, realizing that her former friends are aloof.

But she is about to learn the age-old lesson that it never was the USA or the IDF that saved and preserved Israel. Israel’s help and champion has always been God.

The last verses of this Psalm are a prayer about the nations, in which the Psalmist by the Holy Spirit exposes the twofold problem with the modern nations of the world and which has led to this coming cataclysm:

“Put them in fear, O LORD”— Certainly America, Britain, and Europe have lost the fear of the Lord. Is it any mystery why Wisdom is so far from our leaders? They are godless, and thus have no knowledge.

When nations lose the fear of God, they lose the power to have a just and moral society. There is no reason to restrain any appetite, no matter how depraved when God is forgotten, as Paul testifies:

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful. (Romans 1:28-31)

How terrible to live in a time like that!

“That the nations may know that they are but men”— When people forget God, they never really remain godless, they instead deify man on some level. Usually, man is deified in the form of making government into something all-powerful.

The Kings of the Earth and the rulers come out in open opposition to “the Lord and His Christ” according to the second Psalm and Revelation 19. They have forgotten, to their own destruction, that they are not gods, but men in need of God.

Jesus prophesied to Capernaum and the surrounding areas where He had done most of his miracles that they were guilty of the same thing when he warned them—

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (Matthew 11:23-24)

I have been taught that the quotation of Isaiah 14 in this verse, “which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell” is actually a question and answer.

To prosperous Capernaum, like the modern western world has seen and benefited of the works of Jesus, there is no excuse for its unbelief and pride. Jesus is literally asking an ironic question, “Will you be exalted into heaven?,” the answer being “No, you shall be brought down to hell.”

Man shall not prevail; the worldwide atheistic, humanistic enterprise will go the way of the tower of Babel. The wicked shall indeed be cast into hell and all nations that forget God.

This article used with permission. Bill Randles is the author of several books and booklets. Lighthouse Trails recently released his bookWar Against the Saints. You may read other articles by Bill Randles at:

(photo by; used with permission)

Beyond a Doubt: Contemplative Prayer EQUALS New Age Meditation
By Ray Yungen

Before writing my book, A Time of Departing, I made sure I could prove, beyond a doubt, that contemplative prayer had not only slipped into the Christian faith, but also prove it is an integral part of the New Age movement. In fact, New Agers see contemplative prayer as one of their own practices. Why would both New Agers and Christians claim contemplative prayer as their own? Certainly you will not find the New Age movement promoting someone like Dwight Moody or Harry Ironside, but you will find many instances such as this in which New Age therapist Jacquelyn Small cites contemplative prayer as a gateway to the spirituality to which she belongs. She explains it as:

A form of Christian meditation, its practitioners are trained to focus on an inner symbol that quiets the mind … When practitioners become skilled at this method of meditation, they undergo a deep trance state similar to auto-hypnosis.1

The editors of the magazine New Age Journal have put together a book titled As Above, So Below—which they promote as a handbook on “Paths to Spiritual Renewal,” according to their worldview. Along with chapters on shamanism, goddess worship, and holistic health, there is a chapter devoted to contemplative prayer. In it they openly declare:

Those who have practiced Transcendental Meditation may be surprised to learn that Christianity has its own time-honored form of mantra meditation … Reliance on a mantric centering device had a long history in the mystical canon of Christianity.2

New Age author Tav Sparks lays out an array of doorways in one chapter of his book, The Wide Open Door. Again, along with a variety of occult and Eastern practices we find what Sparks calls Spiritual Christianity. He says, “The good news is that there are some forms of Christianity today that are alive with spiritual power.”3 He then uses a few contemplative prayer advocates as examples.

Perhaps the most compelling example of all is one by a prominent figure in the contemplative prayer movement itself, Tilden Edwards. Edwards is the founder of the prestigious Shalem Institute in Washington D.C.—a center which turns out spiritual directors from its training programs. In his book, Spiritual Friend, Edwards suggests those who practice contemplative prayer and have begun experiencing “spiritual unfolding” and other “unusual experiences,” should turn to a book titled Psychosynthesis in order to understand the “dynamics” at “certain stages.”4 For the Christian, there is a major problem with this advice. The book Edwards recommends is a book written by a world famous occultist, Roberto Assagioli.

These dynamics for certain stages of “spiritual unfolding” may be desirable by those in tune with occultism, but remember, Edwards is seeking to draw Christians into this form of prayer. Edwards himself puts to rest any pretense that this is truly Christian when he openly admits, “This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality.”5

How could this mystical revolution have come about? How could this perspective have become so widespread? The answer is that over the last thirty or forty years a number of authors have struck a deep chord with millions of readers and seekers within Christendom. These writers have presented and promoted the contemplative view to the extent that many now see it as the only way to “go deeper” in the Christian life. They are the ones who prompt men and women to plunge into contemplative practice.

(To read more documentation proving that “Christian” contemplative prayer is the same as New Age meditation, read 5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer free online.)

1. Jacquelyn Small, Awakening in Time (New York, NY: Bantam   Books, 1991), p. 261.
2. Ronald S. Miller, Editor of New Age Journal, As Above So Below    (Los Angeles, CA: Tarcher/Putnam, 1992), p. 52.
3. Tav Sparks, The Wide Open Door (Center City, MN:  Hazelden      Educational Material, 1993), p. 89.
4. Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend (New York, NY: Paulist Press,1980),   pp. 162-163.
5. Ibid., p. 18.

(photo from; used with permission)

“Judge Bans Business Owners From Stating Christian Beliefs”

By Bob Unruh

A federal judge has affirmed a Colorado law that effectively bans business owners from freely expressing in public their religious beliefs about marriage and homosexuality.

Colorado was the loser in a similar dispute, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state show “hostility” to the Christian beliefs of Jack Phillips in its handling of his refusal to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Since then, openly homosexual Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has pursued a gay-rights agenda that includes allowing people to indicate their sex on driver’s licenses according to their “gender identity” and banning counselors from helping young people who want to rid themselves of same-sex attractions. Click here to continue reading.


Necromancy For Teens?

By Lynn Lusby Pratt

I’d picked up some free, secular, young teen books that looked like spooky mysteries (which I always liked!). But I was horrified at the content of one, All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn.

It was about a supposed haunted place. And the last third of the book had the two key characters seeing and chatting happily with the spirits of several dead kids—and being harassed by a dead old lady. This communicating with the dead was portrayed as somewhat normal—and fun.

The grandma of the two key characters thought it was all a prank or something. Then she herself became able to see the dead kids. This conveyed (in my opinion) the idea that Grandma had been a bit uncool but now was enlightened. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

A Cree First Nations Talks About Necromancy As Interest Increases

The New Age World Today’s Children Have Been Born Into

False Doctrines and Seducing Spirits Leave Christians Open to Bizarre Teachings and Mystical Practices


“Don’t Touch That Dial!"
By Georgi Vins
(Georgi Vins spent a total of eight years in Communist prisons, starting at the age of 32, for his faith in Christ. The following is one of his stories from The Gospel in Bonds. In our eyes, he is a hero of the faith and an inspiration to live all for Christ.)

“Up! Up! All prisoners prepare for transport immediately!” the voice crackled over the loudspeaker. It was four o’clock in the morning. The sleepy camp suddenly bustled with activity as soldiers and officers ran into the barracks, rushing the prisoners. “Get out! Look alive!”

“Now what? Where are they taking us?” the prisoners asked each other.

“Why the whole camp?”

If anyone knew, they didn’t say.

One prisoner joked, “Probably Moscow has ordered us all to be shot!

“They’re tired of dealing with criminals!” He spoke in a loud whisper after making sure no officers were nearby.

Another prisoner picked up on the theme. “We’re done for, guys. China has attacked us. Now everybody in the camp is going to be shot!”

When all the prisoners had cleared the barracks, large trucks rumbled into the camp. As their names were called out, the prisoners climbed onto the trucks, which roared off into the darkness. Those of us with the red stripe were separated from the rest and put into a special van to be taken away under guard.

We reached our destination in less than an hour. The entire camp had been moved to Tabaga, just fifteen miles from the city of Yakutsk. Tabaga, named after the nearby river that flowed into the Lena, was the site of a large sawmill where 1200 to 1500 prisoners worked. I was assigned to work as an electrician. The equipment was in terrible condition, and the entire mill was often shut down because of electrical problems.

The red stripe I had to wear followed me to Tabaga, and every two hours I had to report to the control point. It was normally a twenty-minute walk from my work area, but I had to run to make it in time. Life was very hard.

Tabaga’s head KGB officer summoned me regularly for questioning. He tried to convince me to renounce God.

“God is just the invention of ignorant people,” he’d say scornfully. “Who believes in God nowadays? There is no God! Why are you trying to revive religion? There’s no room for religion in our society. Your faith belongs to yesterday. It’s stupid to waste your life on some non-existent God. You’re an engineer. You graduated from a Soviet institute. You’ve studied Marxism-Leninism. Why have you dedicated your life to propagandizing religion? Look where that got you. You’re a prisoner—not just an ordinary prisoner but one disgraced with a red stripe. At the rate you’re going, you’ll never be free again! Make your choice—either God or freedom!” And on it went.
He had many such discussions with me in the evenings after work. I realized it was useless to try to explain things to him. Every time I started to say something, he would interrupt, ridiculing what I hold sacred. “I don’t believe you, and I don’t believe in your God. There’s no way out of this camp for you!” he repeated.

Those were very hard times, and my heart cried out to God. Bible verses kept coming to memory. “How amiable are thy tabernacles, 0 Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God” (Psalm 84:1-2). “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8). “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2). I was hungry for His Word and fellowship with His people. It was during this stressful time that the Lord comforted me in an unusual way.

One cold winter night the head prisoner in our barracks woke me from a deep sleep. “Hurry!” he whispered urgently. “Get up! The duty officer is calling you to the control point.”

“What happened?” I asked, suddenly alert.

“I don’t know. He ordered you to go immediately!”

I dressed quickly. I noticed that it was one o’clock in the morning. Outside a sharp wind drove icy needles of snow into my face and hands. How lonely everything looked! Never had I felt so forlorn, so abandoned in that strange prisoner world. It was as though nothing existed except the desolate camp, nothing but prisoners and guards, pressure and slavery. Questions chased each other through my mind. Why was I called in the middle of the night? What’s the rush? Am I being moved to another camp? What awaits me? My tired legs longed to carry me back to the barracks and the relative warmth of my cot.

The duty officer and several soldiers were waiting at the control point. I tried to read their faces to see what was happening, but they told me nothing. “Follow me.” The tall, heavyset duty officer nodded toward his office.

He opened the door. On his desk sat a shortwave radio. I was amazed to hear the melody of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” one of my favorite songs, playing softly.

The officer kept the volume low. “Sit down,” he invited.

I sat close to the radio.

“This is a two-hour broadcast. Do you want to stay and listen?”

“Oh, of course! Thank you!” I was confused but elated. My weariness had disappeared.

“Just don’t touch the radio,” the officer warned, “and don’t move the dial to Voice of America.”

After he left, I knelt and prayed. That Christian program was exactly what I needed. I thanked the Lord for this special gift. Sermons, Christian songs, hymns, and prayers filled the room. When one half-hour program ended, another began. When a preacher prayed, I stood and prayed with him.

When the choir sang, I sang along softly. My soul was so hungry for those sermons full of the testimony of Christ, of His love, His wisdom. Our Lord is truly wonderful! At the most difficult time in my camp life, He got me into that office to hear Christian radio programs.

From time to time the door opened and the duty officer looked in. “How’s the reception?” he’d ask.

“Fine, thank you,” I’d answer with a smile.

I enjoyed two hours there before the broadcast ended. Five minutes later the officer came in and turned off the radio.

“Well, what do you think? Did you like what you heard?” he asked, taking a seat across from me.

“Oh, I enjoyed it very much. Thank you. What excellent programs! What a treat!”

His eyes studied me intently. “How long have you been a Christian?”

“Since I was sixteen,” I answered. “I’m forty-seven now. I’ve been following Jesus Christ for more than thirty years.”

“Were your parents Christians, too?”

“Yes. My father was a Gospel preacher in America and then in Siberia. When I was just two years old, he was arrested for preaching and was sentenced to three years imprisonment. In 1937, he was arrested again. My father died in a concentration camp. Not long ago my mother, at the age of sixty-four, was also arrested and imprisoned for her faith.” And I told the officer the story.

“How is your mother now? Is she home?”

“Yes. I hope to see her if she can make the long trip here to visit me.”

The officer shook his head. “You have a very strange faith! Prison after prison!” he said softly, speaking half to himself. Then he led me out of his office and sent me back to the barracks.

Christian songs rang in my heart as I walked across the deserted camp zone. Snow was still falling, and the north wind was still blowing. But instead of burning my face, the snowflakes swirled lightly on their journey to the ground. They seemed to float in rhythm to the harmony of a great heavenly choir! I had just been at a worship service, where the Lord provided wonderful fellowship, encouragement, and comfort!

That was the only time I heard a Christian broadcast during all my eight years in bonds. But it happened at precisely the hardest time, when my soul desperately needed spiritual strengthening. How thankful I was for that broadcast from South Korea and for the radio missionaries who made it possible! All of the hardships of camp life suddenly became easier to bear.

The duty officer greeted me amiably when I arrived at the control point one morning for my routine check-in.

“I have good news for you,” he said. “No more red stripe.”

After six months of night checks and running to the control point every two hours during the day, that certainly was welcome news.

“Thank you, citizen officer! This is so unexpected. Are you now convinced that I’m not planning to escape?”

Though no one else was around, the officer lowered his voice. “We all knew you had no intention of escaping,” he whispered. “It wasn’t the camp officials who gave you the red stripe. It was the authorities in Moscow. They don’t like you!”

Life was easier without that red stripe. I felt as though I were already halfway to freedom! Years later, I learned that Christians in my country and around the world had prayed for me and petitioned the Soviet government on my behalf. How thankful I am that they remembered the prisoners, including me.

You are near to me,
As the shore is to the sea,
You are dear to me,
As water is to earth,
You came to make grief sweet
And to light the fire of love
In the shadows.

Without You, I do not need life,
Without You, I merely breathe.
You alone are the joy of my soul,
Be always with me, I beg You! GV


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