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Recent Comments from LT 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: https://www.facebook.com/LighthouseTrailsResearch.

Trusting God Through It All: Excellent article ! No matter what is going on in the world. Coronavirus , etc, we have to trust in the Lord. Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding : in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. God bless you all ! Maranatha! Kat

Man "Reimagining" and Resisting God (and Coronavirus): This may be a bit off topic but I think worth while. I got my copy of Game of Gods by Carl Teichrib off the shelf. Several times Carl demonstrates how Globalists are waiting for a “crisis” so they can re-image human society. Rahm Emanuel repeated his “never let a crisis go to waste” catchphrase while discussing the coronavirus pandemic. Yes, many are trying to re-image God and re-image society. As Christians, we are to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. (2 Cor 10:5) Let us use this “crisis” as a time to be true ambassadors for God and show His true Image. David

Man "Reimagining" and Resisting God: We don’t do any social media and rarely watch t.v. but, we have tuned into more lately to stay informed and watch press conferences. I have seen two separate news stories about celebrities and also doctors filming themselves singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” and then posting it online to be an encouragment to people. It actually made the World News on ABC last night and was lauded as wonderful! Lord, help us! Angela

Man "Reimagining" and Resisting God: Imagining and re-imagining are actually titles of textbooks used in the public schools for the last 20 yrs. It is part of the Common Core curriculum being used in CA. Man without God seems to think he can re-imagine the world into what he wants it to be rather than what God wants it to be. Man is on the throne (humanism) and he can even change a child or adult’s sex with hormones and operations, which God abhors. My neighbor just gave her sister (new believer) Sarah Young’s book Jesus Calling and was raving about this book. I tried to control my reaction but finally said that I do not think Sarah Young is a true believer because she is trying to impersonate Jesus and is saying things that Jesus did not say. My neighbor argued that Sarah was filled with the Holy Spirit when she wrote this. I said I did not think she was filled with the Spirit. Told her that this author is very popular and is making a lot of money with her books. A relative gave me Jesus Calling several yrs. ago. I noticed that there is no mention of sin or repentance; it is a feel-good book, and not in touch with reality. I am sure most readers do not bother to read the Bible references. Jesus Calling is re-imagining Jesus. Elizabeth

When Will They Ever Learn? It ought to be obvious to any disciple who is in God’s Word (and that can use plain logic) that He:

1) existed before anything was made and is therefore “outside” of anything that has been made.
2) God made the universe and therefore can't be bound by it
3) God made the spiritual realm, heaven and all the angels and doesn’t inhabit that either.
4) A personal self-existent God as the Bible describes Him is completely incompatible with any pantheistic concepts.

Alas, the first two assumptions regarding biblical literacy and plain logic have been cast to the wind by undiscerning Christians and those who call themselves Christians but are not. When they learn the truth at the final judgement they will be ashamed, but we should not be. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Ti 2:15 KJV) Victor

Hedged In!: Excellent article, Lighthouse Trails, with lots of very practical insights. Thank you so much for sharing that, and once again helping me to not feel so alone. We will be praying for you. God Bless. Sharon

Bryce Homes in Kenya Report: Thank you for the report of the program assisting the widows and children. It is a sweet privilege to learn of Christ working in and through you to display His love and the supply of His riches in this needy world. It is a relief to turn my thoughts from our current local woes and to pray for others, knowing the prayer of faith will be effectual to please God in the accomplishing of His will. May the upward lifting of hands and turning of hearts in praise to our Savior bring blessings of supply and success in your endeavors in Christian charity as the harvest is being gathered in for His eternal glory. Maranatha! Laura

Letter to the Editor: Concerned About “Neighborly Faith”—a “Third Way” to Befriend Muslims: I always tell Muslims: The Bible contains multiple eye witness accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of the apostles, save Judas, went to the ends of the earth to be violently persecuted and often murder for the God they saw arise from the dead. If he didn’t rise from the dead, with the marks of the cross on his body, they would have all bailed and gone back to fishing, but to a man, they travelled from Ethiopia to Armenia to India. The testimony of the Muslim Jesus, aka Isa? 600 years after the death of Jesus a spirit appears to Mohammed in a cave and tells him Judas was in the cross and Jesus was just a prophet. I’m going with multiple, contemporaneous eye witness accounts – plus I know I needed God to pay the full debt of my sin. My deeds and religious acts for God could never ever be enough. Ed

The Goal of Contemplatives: Changing the Consciousness of Humanity – One Contemplative Prayer After the Next: Every heresy is a wolf hunting the sheep. Left alone some sheep will become victims. They will be scattered or worse they will descend into apostasy. Every pastor is either a shepherd or a hireling. David risked his life to protect his flock. Hireling pastors wont risk their status or their paycheck. Pastors, heed the words of Jesus. John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. John 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. Pastors do not delude yourselves. Don’t expect praise from Jesus in heaven if you flee controversy when the sheep are in danger. Pastors ought to be more concerned about offending God than mankind. The sheep can be deceived in two ways. By blatant false teaching or by shepherds remaining silent and saying nothing about heresy. T. I.

Letter to the Editor: Concerned About “Neighborly Faith”—a “Third Way” to Befriend Muslims: JDGreear, president of the SBC, did a huge disservice to the Church by dialoguing with Omar Suleiman. He brought confusion to those Christians who don’t use God given discernment by testing the spirits. Pastor Greear was essentially apologizing for our insensitivity to the ‘plight’ of Muslims in America, because they are a minority. White privilege was mentioned. Article 9 of last summer’s SBC was horrible, and yet it was passed by the messengers at the conference, (that was Intersectionality and Critical Race Theory). I am writing as a Baptist believer. Christians everywhere need to repent of our sins and speak up when false teachings infiltrate the pulpit. Calvinism is being taught and embraced in at least three of the Baptist seminaries. I believe this Neighborly Faith movement is an outgrowth of wayward doctrine. Can you imagine Elijah being touchy-feely with the false prophets of Baal? Kathryn

Praise Him in the Bad Times

Note: Earlier this month, Canadian singer, Trevor Baker, wrote this song. You can read the words below and click here to listen to him singing it from his home in Saskatchewan.

Praise Him in the Bad Times

Did the world around you crumble, are you throwin up your hands
So afraid you’re gonna stumble, and mess up all your earthly plans
You’re uncertain of tomorrow, can you face another day
Overcome by all your sorrow, look to God, He’ll make a way

Is the water getting deeper, are you listing to the side
Is your mountain getting steeper, do you have no place to hide
You’re afraid you’re goin under, and you’re up against the wall
But God has never made a blunder, He will catch you if you fall

Chorus
Will we praise Him in the bad times, when nothin’s makin’ sense
When all that’s stable up and unwinds, and our nerves are gettin’ tense
When we’re facing days of hunger, or our family falls apart
Just keep lookin to the savior, He’ll bring comfort to your heart

Has your heart been bruised and broken, by someone you loved so dear
Giving you the passing notion, of just walkin’ off the pier
Fearing no one understands you, you sit at night and cry alone
When you’ve done all that you can do, you need to dial heaven’s phone

You’ll never get a busy signal, the line is open night and day
Please give Him a little jingle, just look up and start to pray
And your fears will somehow vanish, so don’t go soundin’ no alarms
With Him at your side, you’ll manage, as He wraps you in His arms

So you can praise Him in the bad times, when nothin’s makin sense
When all that’s stable, up and unwinds, and your nerves are gettin’ tense
When you’re facing days of hunger, or when your family falls apart
Just keep lookin to the Savior, He’ll bring comfort to your heart


Trevor Baker
Box 36
Tuxford, SK S0H-4C0
CANADA
(306) 631-3337

Website: http://www.trevorbaker.ca
Email:trevor@trevorbaker.ca
PayPal Email Address: trevor@trevorbaker.ca

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Recent Comments from LT Readers
Praise Him in the Bad Times

Man “Reimagining” and Resisting God

When Will They Ever Learn?
Bryce Homes in Kenya Report
Hedged In!
Emergent Calvinist SBC President, J.D. Greear, Will Remain 1 More Year Due to Coronavirus
Letting Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling “Jesus” Speak for Himself!
Teach Me to Number My Days
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Trusting God Through It All
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Man “Reimagining” and Resisting God

By Tamara Hartzell

Exalting man above God is not minor in any way, shape, or form. God makes that abundantly clear from Genesis to Revelation. Even so, this idolatry is at the heart of the transformation that is changing every aspect of today’s shifting Christianity. More and more people are seeking to “rethink” and “reimagine” God, His Word, and Christianity into a fashion they are willing to accept, which conveniently conforms to man and his expectations.

    •     Man expects God to have a relationship with man on man’s terms, yet man is not willing to have a relationship with God on God’s terms.

    •     Man expects God to believe in man, yet man is not willing to believe in God.

    •     Man expects God to come to man in whatever fashion man will accept, yet man is not willing to come to God in whatever fashion God will accept.

    •     Man expects God to shift from light to darkness to have fellowship with man, yet man is not willing to shift from darkness to light to have fellowship with God.

    •     Man expects God to travel man’s broad way to find man, yet man is not willing to travel God’s narrow way to find God.

    •     Man expects God to be faithful to man no matter what, yet man is not willing to be faithful to God no matter what.

    •     Man expects God to allow man to angrily rebuke and stand in judgment of God, yet man is not willing to allow God to angrily rebuke and stand in judgment of man.

    •     Man expects God to submit to man, yet man is not willing to submit to God.

    •     Man expects God to have no rules or expectations for man, yet man has plenty of rules and expectations for God.

So who is man’s “God” in this upside-down “relationship”?

O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:6-9)

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. (Exodus 3:14)

The true God is Who He is. We either receive Him and believe in Him as He is, or we do not. It is that simple. Those who do not are choosing to turn their ears away from the truth and unto fables. They are “reimagining” God into another “God” that is not “I AM THAT I AM,” but rather “I WILL BE WHATEVER MAN WANTS ME TO BE,” or “I WILL BE WHATEVER MAN WILL ACCEPT,” or “I WILL BE WHATEVER MAN’S IMAGINATION CREATES ME TO BE.” This “reimagines” the certainty of truth into the uncertainty of man’s imaginations.

People especially feel justified in “reimagining” God and the certainty of Who He is when bad things happen in life. Yes, there are very hard and difficult trials in life, and they bring much pain and sadness. Why they happen and how to find God’s peace, comfort, and help in the midst of them is plainly answered throughout God’s Word for those who are willing to accept it. Yet the growing number of those who are not willing are choosing to do the opposite of Proverbs 3:5-7. They angrily stand in judgment of God, condemning Him for not conforming to man’s expectations and feelings, and then they “reimagine” God into a fashion they are willing to accept in order to find “healing.” Neither standing in judgment of God nor “reimagining” the true God into a counterfeit is the path to “healing”! It may seemingly feel that way, but those who have deceived themselves into believing that pain or trials or even anything at all justifies exalting themselves above God will only be adding to their woes.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21)

Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? (Job 40:1-8)

It is very clear throughout God’s unchanging Word of truth that every single one of man’s expectations listed earlier are not scriptural. This used to be common knowledge in Christianity. The fact that many people and even leaders of today’s Christianity no longer know this and now believe and teach otherwise speaks to the pervasiveness of today’s scriptural illiteracy. If people in today’s Christianity spent more time reading God’s Word than they do man’s word, rather than the other way around, they would know this. But, sadly, for too many people that would defeat their purpose of turning away from the truth and unto fables to “rethink” and “reimagine” God and His Word.

Further compounding today’s scriptural illiteracy is that man has been so busy repeatedly rewriting and rewriting God’s Word for Him, believing that God needs man’s help to say what man thinks God actually meant to say and should have said, that man no longer knows what God actually said. Shifting from light to darkness is occurring on many levels. But this shouldn’t be surprising. After all, the multitudes didn’t even have ears to hear truth from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and corrupting the Word of God was already common in the apostle Paul’s day so why should today be any different? People weren’t willing to accept the certainty of God’s Word back then, either.

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17)

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.… We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:16, 19-21)

For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)

Instead of “God said it; that settles it,” now it’s “God said it, man rewrote it, so now man believes it, but that only settles it until man decides to rewrite man’s rewrite of what God wrote through holy men of God, through unholy men of man, until the next time.” If this sounds absurd, it’s because it is! Even so, instead of being recognized for the absurdity that it is, incredibly, this circle is actually the preferred source of “faith” for those who are turning away from the certainty of God’s settled Word of truth.

This absurd never-ending circle of changes doesn’t even faze those who remain undeterred in their unholy desire for freedom to “rethink” and “reimagine” God and His Word. They claim to be of God and yet are not willing to accept the true God. They refuse to believe that God is Who He is and said what He meant and meant what He said. People are willing to live with man’s expectations of God but not with God’s expectations of man and are determined to find relief for their light intolerance. Many are resisting God being God and resisting the Word of God being God’s Word of truth that is settled forever by God Himself.

(This is an excerpt from Tamara Hartzell’s book Reimagining God: Turning the light off to look for “truth” in the corner of a dark round room; used with permission.)


Related Article:

The Father’s House, and the Way There by Harry Ironside

(painting from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

When Will They Ever Learn?
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By Judson Casjens

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

So went one of the stanzas of the 1970s song by Peter, Paul & Mary about social justice and war.  We might ask the same question about the books believers are reading today which purport to be Christian while inside the teaching betrays that very notion.  Rather than being instructive about living the life Christ would have the believer live, instead, we are given various empty promises connected to superstition, mantras reflective of paganism, and other distortions; when will we ever learn? 

There has been a continual flow of literature and teaching which has been deceptive and even blatantly false. One fitting example would be “The Jesus Prayer” which put forth the recitation of the formulaic “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” repeated until one’s mind is emptied by which presumably one’s heart would be cleansed.  In the Jesus Prayer can be seen the Eastern counterpart of the rosary, which has developed to hold a similar place in the Christian West.  In “Eastern church theology,” it is a “spiritual method” “of prayer” called “hesychasm”1, given to “emphasize the concrete possibility that man is given to unite himself with the Triune God in the intimacy of his heart, in that deep union of grace which Eastern theology likes to describe with the particularly powerful term of ‘theosis,’ or ‘divinization.'”2  Divinization is just as it sounds; to make divine describes the process underlined above.

The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson (a Dallas Seminary graduate) encouraged using this prayer as a formulaic prayer (out of context and misapplied) and suggests that God ought to do what people want rather than them following God’s will.  In the book, he actually goes further and promises God will fulfill requests.  This book, published by a Christian publisher (Multnomah Press), sold over nine million copies to the ever-gullible Christian community, and its author is still a “respected” teacher in many circles.3

Wilkinson writes:

You don’t reach the next level of blessing and stay there. You begin again—Lord, bless me indeed! Lord, please enlarge . . . ! And so on. As the cycle repeats itself, you’ll find that you are steadily moving into wider spheres of blessing and influence, spiraling ever outward and upward into a larger life for God. . . . You will know beyond doubt that God has opened heaven’s storehouses because you prayed.4 –The Prayer of Jabez

Here is a quote from Medicine Buddha Sadhana, a small book given to thousands of people who attended a May 2001 “Medicine Buddha Empowerment” workshop led by The Dalai Lama:

To recite the Medicine Buddha Mantra brings inconceivable merit. . . . If you recite the mantra every day, the buddhas and bodhisattvas will always pay attention to you, and they will guide you. All your negative karmas will be pacified and you will never be born in the three lower realms . . . and all your wishes are fulfilled.5

Is this really how we learn how to pray in God’s Word, by making formulaic prayers and mantras that God must respond to?  That is the pagan conception of how their gods operate and respond.

In the mid 1970s, there was the book titled Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which has sold tens of millions of copies. Of this book, we read:

The story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull illustrates many of our culture’s beliefs about spirituality. And many in the evangelical community share those beliefs. They believe that God has given them the Holy Spirit, who is at their beck and call, for the primary purpose of giving them the power to rise above their moral and spiritual limitations. They interpret the gospel to be a message of peace and tranquility. And finally, they believe that “spirituality” means arriving at a state of conscious “connectedness” with God.6

Dave Hunt, founder of The Berean Call, said:

I remember Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and wow! That was such a big seller, popular in Christian bookstores. Christians loved it, and the author Richard Bach said—I mean, he just lays it out—he says he received it all by dictation from a spirit entity. So, I mean, it was New Age of course; it was the very antithesis of the truth the Bible teaches.7

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, written by Richard Bach is the story about a seagull who is “trying to learn about life and flight, and a homily about self-perfection.”8 The plot goes like this:

The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself and learns everything he can about flying. His increasing unwillingness to conform finally results in his expulsion from the flock. Now an outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities while leading a peaceful and happy life.

One day Jonathan meets two gulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence” in which there is no heaven, but a better world found through perfection of knowledge. There he meets another seagull who loves to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him “pretty well a one-in-a-million bird.” In this new place, Jonathan befriends the wisest gull, Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous self-education, and teaches him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have already arrived.”

But, unsatisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like himself to tell them what he’d learned and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, and Jonathan gathers around himself a flock of other gulls who have been outlawed for not conforming. The first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, ultimately becomes a teacher in his own right, and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks.9

In this vein, consider these excerpted paragraphs from a 1972 Christianity Today* article reviewing this book:

“To begin with, you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself,” instructs Fletcher Gull, paraphrasing one of the great sons of the Great Gull, Jonathan L. Seagull. And that sentence summarizes the philosophy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Richard Bach’s allegory-parable combines Mary Baker Eddy’s philosophy (Bach is a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist) with Emersonian transcendentalism under the guise of a children’s story. . . . Bach fails to consider that to gain a great good—in this case perfect freedom through perfect flying—we often experience great loss. He perceives only one form of reality and ignores the complexity of life’s multiple realities. And he does not understand or acknowledge God’s absolutes.10

This is much like the teachings of Hinduism, Yoga, the New Age, and other Eastern philosophies which believe that “God” (i.e., divinity) is already within everyone.  (Namaste—meaning, the god in me bows to the god in you.)  The underlying belief is that the secret of transformation is to recognize and believe one is already divine. This obviously anti-Gospel belief has seeped into the church. I am reminded of best-selling Christian author Max Lucado, who informs readers in his book Cure for the Common Life where he favorably quotes mystic Martin Buber: 

The world is an irradiation of God, but as it is endowed with an independence of existence and striving, it is apt, always and everywhere, to form a crust around itself.  Thus, a divine spark (emphasis in original) lives in everything and being, but each such spark is enclosed by an isolating shell.  Only man can liberate it and rejoin it with the Origin:  by holding holy converse with the thing and using it in a holy manner, that is, so that his intention in doing so remains directed towards God’s transcendence.  Thus the divine immanence emerges from the exile of the “shells.”11 (emphasis added)

Lucado also favorably quotes Thomas Merton in the book. Merton, an a self-acknowledged panentheist, once said:

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race . . . now I realize what we all are. . . . If only they [people]could all see themselves as they really are . . . I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. . . . At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth. . . . This little point . . . is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.12

What Buber and Merton are proposing, my friends, is pantheism (all is god) or panentheism (god is in all) – whatever you want to call it. Is it really that difficult for the average believer to detect the error of what is being said here?  Apparently, it is.  Though Lucado’s book came out 15 years, he has never recanted his statements and endorsements that are in The Cure for the Common Life. Dr. Peter Jones coined the phrases “Oneism” and “Twoism” to simplify these concepts.  Oneism is descriptive of a god who is actually an inherent and integral essence of the universe.  Twoism describes a God Who created the universe and is therefore apart from it—He stands outside that which He created.13

God is not one with His creation; He stands apart from it. He may sustain and uphold it, but in no way is He the universe itself, nor is mankind in any way to be identified with any so-called “spark of divinity” which in its application teaches all have divinity within. The fallout from this realization is that we must “look within ourselves” to release our divinity. 

For many decades now, this type of literature (such as Buber’s and Merton’s) was not only being sold, but virtually being endorsed by Christian bookstores and publishers; and Christians by the thousands were gobbling this up—and were unable to discern the biblical truth of God and His creation from Satan’s lies and distortions.  And as evidenced by Max Lucado’s book and his popularity as a Christian author—nothing has changed! Uninformed and uneducated believers today are still falling prey to so-called Christian fiction and allegorical writings, witness books such as The Shack and devotionals like Jesus Calling, which, not unlike Jonathan Livingston Seagull, are derived from ungodly spiritual sources and methods.  Even worse, this type of dangerous and insidious falsity goes unchallenged by leadership in the evangelical community.

The following quote offers some interesting insight into pertinent points about Christian-perceived spirituality:

[R]ecent articles in Newsweek and Self magazines represent a small portion of the plethora of advice on “spirituality.” Leading pop gurus promote their unique prescriptions with promises of satisfying our spiritual yearnings for peace and enlightenment, and we respond by reading their how-to books, attending their seminars, listening to their motivational tapes, taking the vitamins they sell, and meditating.

What makes their offer of spirituality so appealing? In a Newsweek interview (October 20, 1997), Deepak Chopra, a popular spiritual guru, asserts that you and I can satisfy our desire for spirituality without giving up everything, without worrying about God or punishment. For those who want spirituality, but who have rebelled against the burdensome yoke of mainstream orthodox religion, this is a very appealing path to nirvana.14

Scripture reminds us:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God [not our will]. (Romans 12:2)

Don’t let the world define reality for you, says Paul. Don’t let your culture influence you such that it determines your values and how you look at reality. Rather, be in the process of having your mind renewed. Be in the process of bringing your perspectives of reality more and more in line with reality as defined by God.


Endnotes:

1. From a Greek root meaning “to be still.”  “Hesychasm is a mystical tradition of contemplative prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Based on Jesus’s injunction in the Gospel of Matthew that ‘whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you,’ hesychasm in tradition has been the process of retiring inward by ceasing to register the senses, in order to achieve an experiential knowledge of God” – Wikipedia

“The ultimate goal for hesychasts is union with God (Greek theosis). Three steps are required to achieve this goal. The first is dispassion (Greek apatheia), which involves detachment from the senses and the emotions. The second is stillness (Greek hesychia), which requires detachment from the discursive intellect and the imagination. The final step is an abiding state of illumination called deification or perfect union with God (Greek theosis).” – The Theosophical Society; https://www.theosophical.org/publications/quest-magazine/1432-hesychasm-a-christian-path-of-transcendence

2. Pope Paul John II, “Eastern Theology Has Enriched the Whole Church” (August 1996, https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/eastern-theology-has-enriched-the-whole-church-8802).

3. https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/the-prayer-of-jabez-derrick-tuper-sermon-on-jabez-225241.

4. Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2000), from the chapter titled “Welcome to God’s Honor Roll,” pp. 82-84.

5. Quoted in Berit Kjos’ article, “Problems With The Prayer of Jabez” (https://www.crossroad.to/articles2/Jabez.htm).

6. Larry Barber, “Real Spirituality” (Gutenberg College, 2001, https://gutenberg.edu/2001/02/real-spirituality/).

7. Interview between Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon, “Are You Waiting, Watching, and Looking?” https://www.thebereancall.org/content/are-you-waiting-watching-and-looking.

8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Livingston_Seagull

9. Ibid.

10. “I Think I Can, I Think . . .” (Christianity Today, December 22, 1972, https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1972/december-22/i-think-i-can-i-think.html).

11. Max Lucado, The Cure for the Common Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005), quoting Martin Buber, p. 215.

12. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Publishers, 1989), pp. 157-158.

13. Peter Jones book, One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference (Escondido, CA: Main Entry Editions, 2010), from chapter one: “Are You a One-ist or a Two-ist?”

14. Larry Barber, “Real Spirituality,” op. cit.

*Back when Christianity Today was warning about the New Age and other unbiblical ideas.

Other Articles by Judson Casjens:

A Short Thought on Man’s Views Vs. God’s Views on Eternal Security

Calvinism Book: A Hornet’s Nest

Is Your Church Getting Stronger or Weaker?

Welcome to Rome!

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

 

Bryce Homes in Kenya Report

LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails readers have been supporting Roger Oakland’s Bryce Homes for Widows and Children Program in Kenya for many years. Please pray for these Bryce families in Kenya as the coronavirus spreads across Africa where in many communities (such as the ones where the Bryce Homes are located), there is inadequate clean water and sanitation. To learn more about the Bryce Homes Program in Kenya, please visit Roger Oakland’s website, www.understandthetimes.org.

The following report is written by the Kenyan Bryce board members.

REPORT FOR MARCH 2020

Brothers and sisters, Bryce Homes Board in Kenya wishes to briefly share with you about the program in Kenya even at such a time as this. Given the current global health situation, we are praying for you and the entire Bryce Homes family for the Almighty God to intervene.

We just hosted our brother Kevin Fox who represented Roger Oakland for the trip to Kenya to assess how the program is doing. We received him with joy, and his coming indeed encouraged all. We thank God for his safe journey back at a time when international trips are quite challenging.

Bryce Homes Kenya continue to be a blessing to the over thirty widows in this program. Formerly the program supported 37 widows and vulnerable women before four of them were gifted with capital to start SBOs [Small Business Opportunity] for self-sustainability. The current number has settled at 33. These widows are very appreciative and the information was well delivered by the widows when Kevin Fox visited recently.

Photo below: Kevin talks to Mourine 1 who is newly introduced in to the program.
With her are her children. They are five in number.

Mourine 1 now has officially been included in the program.
She will be the BH #59. She replaces former BH# 58

Most of these Bryce Homes, which are mainly composed of middle-aged widows, are better positioned to undertake Small Business Opportunities (SBOs). The exceptional cases are the few very elderly or those with ill health who are not in a position to operate SBOs. It was good news when several of these widows received starting capital to establish SBOs. These widows include Florence, Janet, Winfrida, Jane Lucas, Eunice, Lewnida and Finter.

Photo left: Kevin, accompanied by Pam (a missionary in Kenya) together with the Bryce Home Board in Kenya visited Florence (BH #9) who has registered success in her SBO program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo right: Eunice is one of the latest beneficiaries of SBO starting capital. She buys small fish in bulk, sundries them before retailing. The SBO is more self-sustaining.

Those who earlier got started in SBO included Irene, Phoebe, Elida, Josphine and Maren. We were able to conduct a follow up, and the report was encouraging. One of the most successful SBO is of Irene who has established herself in crushing of rocks and separating of gold from the pieces of rock. We paid her a visit at the site and watched her go through the whole process. We were, however, surprised of the danger she expose herself to by handling mercury which is a health hazard. We therefore advised her to cross over into another SBO without such obvious health hazards.

Of the widows who were recently supported to try SBOs, Florence is the one with an outstanding performance in producing doughnuts. She does it indoors and the result is encouraging. The Board took time with her and witnessed the success of the SBO. Bryce Homes Kenya remains committed to realize a more self-sustaining means so that widows who have been in the program for long may be replaced by other more needy cases. This way, the program will touch more lives and also encourage hard work among the widows even beyond the Bryce Homes program.

Photo left: Winfrida is also part of the newly established SBOs. She is faring well too.

 

The visit by Kevin was very useful to the Kenyan Board because he instilled hope in the Bryce Homes family, especially to some who have been facing expected life challenges including sicknesses. I categorically recall when Terry (BH #6) was very low due to sickness of her son, she was prayed for and got so encouraged. This reminded us how unique and comforting this program is to the lowly. We encourage more of these good reports to keep developing.

Bryce Homes Board in Kenya is even now more encouraged to ensure every widow and orphan gets supported both spiritually and physically as provisions become available going forward. We may have to give more of these reports in the near future.

Photo left: A group of Bryce Homes living close to each other gathered together to receive their support.

 

 

 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

 

Hedged In!

“What does God’s Word say about times of isolation, imprisonment, and confinement? Much actually.”

By Sarah Leslie
Herescope Blog

It was late Spring of May 1984 when I first noticed there was a problem. After a trip to the doctor with an ultrasound I was sent home with very strict orders: “Lie back propped up, don’t lift anything heavy, don’t do housework, don’t leave home, don’t engage in risky behaviors.” A baby’s life in my womb was at stake so I diligently followed the doctor’s orders for the next three months.

This was not my first experience with being couch-ridden. Being stuck at home was an old friend and I knew it and its hidden joys very well. I actually looked forward to the isolation. You see, for a good chunk of my childhood I was an invalid. I missed most of second through fourth grade. My mother felt compelled to homeschool me in an era when it was extremely rare. For most of the time I did not feel well enough to do much more than read books or watch I Love Lucy and Three Stooges reruns on TV. But when I felt up to it I did my homework, keeping up with my classmates from afar. Eventually, because I had so much free time to read and study, I surpassed my classmates academically. One of the hidden benefits is that I learned how to learn, and I loved reading and studying. . . .

Two decades later, as day after day went by, and life went on, it felt pleasingly familiar. It began to dawn on me that this pregnancy crisis was actually a golden opportunity. When God closed the front door, quite literally, He opened other doors! Click here to continue reading.

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Related Information:

Fighting Fear in a Fearful Day

Building Faith / Encouraging Hearts Resources

 

Emergent Calvinist SBC President, J.D. Greear, Will Remain 1 More Year Due to Coronavirus

By Philip Gray

According to a Christian Post article,Southern Baptist Convention Cancels Annual Meeting Amid COVID-19 Outbreak,” emergent Calvinist SBC president, J.D. Greear, will remain as president one more year:

Messengers at the SBC’s Annual Meeting this year were scheduled to vote for a new president to replace pastor J.D. Greear, who has served since 2018. Terms for SBC president are one year and the most anyone can serve is two consecutive terms. A vote is required to reelect a president and Greear was reelected at last year’s meeting. Due to this year’s cancellation, Greear will remain president for an additional year.

It is unfortunate that SBC leadership did not decide to hold a mail-in or online vote to bring in a new president because J.D. Greear has welcomed emergent “progressive” ideologies while president of the denomination.

For example, as Lighthouse Trails reported in December of 2019, Greear has been a strong advocate for bringing what is called “Critical Race Theory” into SBC. As we stated in our report, “Southern Baptist Convention Adopts ‘Critical Race Theory’—A Dangerous Marxist ‘Solution’ That Will Not Work,” critical race theory is a Marxist-influenced view that will actually accentuate racism rather than help alleviate it.

According to one report, Greear has also exhibited a softening view toward practicing the homosexual lifestyle. One article, from January 2019, titled Cultural Seduction and the Demise of the Southern Baptist Conventionstates:

Feminism, Marxism, Black Liberation Theology, LGBT rights. Cultural seduction has taken over the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), unquestionably–at least by any rationally thinking Bible-believing Christian. The SBC for many years was revered for its conservative stance on both social and theological issues, but those days seem to be over. . . . The push for LGBT inclusiveness began when Russell Moore, JD Greear, and other SBC leaders were noted at NPR for their “softening tone” on homosexuality. . . .

JD Greear . . [is] preaching an LGBT inclusive gospel wanting us to believe that men sodomizing other men is morally equivalent to boasting and calls on Christians to stand up for the rights of LGBT people, because “they are no different than us.” Now he’s joining hands with Black Liberation Theologians . . . to preach to the church about what it means for conservative Christians to be reconciled with people who support the expansion of abortion and promote “white guilt” reparations theology.

Lighthouse Trails posted another example of Greear’s emergent left-leaning actions in a March 2020 post titled, “Concerned About ‘Neighborly Faith’—a ‘Third Way’ to Befriend Muslims,” which stated:

[W]e came across Christian radio host Janet Mefferd’s Twitter comments about Southern Baptist Convention president J.D. Greear’s involvement with a “Neighborly Faith” event on March 5th [2020] titled “Hope in the Current Age: A Conversation on Christianity and Islam.” Mefferd stated, “Before Greear’s interfaith dialogue, 64% of Christian attendees felt “positive” about Islam. After, 76% of Christians “said their attitude toward Islam was more positive than before!” Way to go, SBC. Is this what it means to be “missional?” Mefferd asks the question, “Southern Baptist pastors and laymen: Is it OK w/you that all these SBC leaders are pushing Christian-Muslim interfaith dialogue?”

In an April 2019 Lighthouse Trails letter to the editor, titled, “Southern Baptist Convention Leaders Taking SBC Far From Its Biblical Moorings,” a Lighthouse Trails reader, who is also a Southern Baptist, stated:

I believe most Southern Baptists are oblivious to duplicity in the denomination and in the “Christian” world because pastors are silent. Until pastors begin warning their sheep, I don’t see a resurgence of biblical understanding and action. In the Book of Hosea, priests had led the people away from the knowledge of God. Hosea prophesied that unless the Northern Kingdom repented, God would destroy it and allow the people to be taken into captivity. This was a popular message before the conservative resurgence in the 1980s. We should take heed for the sake of our Christian witness and for our children and grandchildren. Pray God will awaken us and raise up leaders to the message of Hosea.

As for the SBC’s decision to keep J.D. Greear one more year, radio broadcaster Janet Mefferd had a good suggestion:

I get cancelling the meeting [because of coronavirus], but how can the SBC unilaterally broaden this “emergency situation” way out into the future – when no one knows how long this pandemic will last – to extend officer terms in violation of the constitution? Time for some gospel-centered online voting.

Photo: SBC logo
Letting Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling “Jesus” Speak for Himself!

By Chris Lawson
Spiritual Research Network

Christian sounding devotional books with striking similarities to psychic-medium channeled material? New Age/New Spirituality/occult concepts and buzzwords? Blasphemous names, titles, and self-descriptions from a counterfeit “Christ”—in relation to himself? Messages from Sarah Young’s “Jesus” that wants his readers to experience his “Presence” and go through lengthy and intensive “training” so that readers can eventually “channel throughout the day”? Yes indeed! All this and much more can be found in the ‘Jesus Calling’ Brand devotional book series. Take a look at some incredible documents that reveal extensively the ‘Jesus Calling’ “Presence” and Sarah Young’s claim of what “inspired” her to begin “with pen in hand,” writing down what her “Jesus” guide told her.

 

Documentation from Spiritual Research Network:

Extra-Biblical Names ​in the Jesus Calling Series

Extra-Biblical Concepts in the Jesus Calling Series

Striking Similarities Between God Calling and the Jesus Calling Series

Training Manual for Mediums?

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Teach Me to Number My Days

By Mike Oppenheimer
Let Us Reason Minisries

Do you know how much time you have on earth? None of us do. There are no guarantees even for the healthy.

Do you know how your time is being used? You can get an estimate by calculating how long you sleep and work.

From the beginning, after the fall, man was able to live to his 900 plus years (Gen.5). As time went on, lifetimes diminished in years to one hundred thirty, spanning one hundred fifty years as common. King David wrote in the Bible of the time settled for man by God—he speaks of us having 70 years, possibly 80 years to live our life.

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Ps. 90:10-12

The fear of the Lord is an important component, not a fear that would have us cringe but rather would give us a healthy respect for our Maker and Overseer of our lives.

In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10

God knows our conception (Ps.139:16), our birth, and our departure from Earth by death. As Job wrote when he spoke of man:

Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass. Job 14:5

James said:

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James 4:14-15

Job understood as he went through his physical ailment:  “O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good” (Job 7:7).

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Ps. 39:4-5

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

We have all watched vapors appear and then vanish; this is what God is conveying our lives are like. But no matter how short a human life is, it can still be significant.

We live 27,375 days for our approximately 75 years on earth, or 29,200 days for 80 years. With 24 hours in a day, we spend one third of our life (8 hours) sleeping, another third (8 hours) working. If you sleep eight hours a day, you sleep 2, 920 hours a year; this amounts to over 25 years of our lifetime in sleeping (to replenish our vitality from working each day). That is 73,000 hours in a 75-year lifetime.

After working eight hours a day, sleeping eight hours a day, we then have eight hours left. That is one third of our lives left to do something besides sleep and work. This leaves us 25 years (73,000 hours) to do something significant, something that will affect people for the good now and last beyond our time on Earth.

In reality, we have a very short time, as Job noted,  “. . . because our days upon earth are a shadow” (Job 8:9).

Paul, the apostle, writes:

. . . as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27

Our lives are not over after we leave Earth; it is determined by God, who is perfectly just in His judgment. All things will be judged.

Let us not waste our “free” time but rather use it wisely.

We are currently facing unusual circumstances, possibly once-in-a-lifetime challenges that were predicted thousands of years ago by the One who cares for us all. It is at this time our light should shine, and we, as believers, should not let the darkness overcome us. We are watching the birth pains escalate. Matthew 24:8 says all these are “the beginning of sorrows.”

Let us try to be a help to someone when we can; let us think about others as we face these difficult days. May we live our lives as God asks us to in His Word.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

SPECIAL LOW-COST "FAITH PACKS" FOR THIS TIME OF NEED

Especially created by Lighthouse Trails to comfort and help strengthen faith during hard times. (For friends, family members, or neighbors.) Just $7.95 each!

Two packs to choose from:

Pack #1 Contents for believers to encourage and build faith:

4 Booklets (Trusting God Through It All by Warren B. Smith, Overcoming Obstacles to Trusting the Lord by Maria Kneas, Broken Vessels for Christ by Harry Ironside, and Preparing for Perilous Times and Finding God's Peace in the Midst of Them by David Dombrowski);

2 Scripture Bookmarks (Psalm 91:2 and Romans 12:12);

Shepherd's Organic Bible Verse Tea - Sampler Bag (6 individually wrapped tea bags: Cranberry Orange, Vanilla Almond, Chai Green, Peppermint, Peach White, and Spicy Red Chai)

Pack #2 Contents for unbelievers (to share the Gospel):

2 Booklets (What is the Gospel? by Harry Ironside and God's Comfort Through It All by Warren B Smith);

2 Scripture Bookmarks (John 6:35 and Psalm 23);

2 Gospel Tracts (Peace With God and Seeing is Believing);

Shepherd's Organic Bible Verse Tea - Sampler Bag (6 individually wrapped tea bags: Cranberry Orange, Vanilla Almond, Chai Green, Peppermint, Peach White, and Spicy Red Chai)

 

 

 

 

Trusting God Through It All

By Warren B. Smith

“Trusting God,” for a serious Christian, means trusting the God of the Holy Bible. And the Bible is very explicit about who God is and how and why He is worthy of our complete and total trust. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 22:32). He is the One who created the world and all living things (Genesis 1:1). He loved the world so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world that whosoever believes in Him can have everlasting life (John 3:16). His attributes, works, commandments, and teachings are clearly put forth in Scripture. However, our Spiritual Adversary is continually challenging and attempting to change God’s teachings and our understanding of who God is. In so doing, this deceiver’s ultimate purpose is to undermine our trust in the God of the Bible.

Scripture records that when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He resisted the Devil’s temptations by standing on God’s Word. “It is written” was Jesus’ straightforward rebuttal to Satan’s twisted proposals. And when questioned or reproached by others, our response as believers should always be the same (Psalm 119:42). Whatever the cost and without any compromise, we are to trust God in all that we do and say. John H. Sammis’s 1887 hymn Trust and Obey reminds us that the only way to be happy in Jesus is to trust and obey.

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Louisa Stead’s hymn—Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus (1882)—helps us remember that we trust in Jesus by just taking Him at His Word:

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know “Thus saith the Lord.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

Surely, it is easy to trust in God when things are going well, but we must continue that trust when things are not going so well. The following selected Bible verses affirm why we need to maintain our trust in God—both in season and out of season. (To read this entire article, which is also in booklet format, click here.)

(image designed by Lighthouse Trails; photos from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 


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INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS

** NOW LARGER PRINT ON TEA TAGS **

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

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

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

SOME THINGS ABOUT US:

WHO WE ARE

OUR HISTORY

OUR BELIEFS

NEW TO LT

WHY WE ARE NOT NON-PROFIT

COPYRIGHT AND USE OF MATERIAL


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A note to our Canadian readers: As many of you know, in 2019, we were informed by the Canadian government that some of our booklets cannot be sent across the border into Canada because they would be considered "hate propaganda" according to recent Canadian law changes on homosexuality, same-sex marriage,and transgenderism. However, we also learned that it is currently not illegal for Canadians to have possession of these booklets (we just can't send them across the border). Therefore, Canadian readers may call 866-295-4143, the number of our new Canadian distributor, to obtain copies of all of our booklets and several of our books. In time, we hope that all Lighthouse Trails books will be available through the distributor. To view a complete list of our current booklets, click here.

 

 

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

 

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