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“Over 100 Pastors Sign Letter to Ohio Board of Education Opposing Yoga, Meditation Being Taught in Schools”?

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

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

More than 100 pastors recently signed a letter to the Ohio Board of Education, which was also sent to 39 school districts, to express opposition to yoga and transcendental meditation being taught in schools as they are rooted in Eastern religion and are a spiritual practice at their core.

The letter, signed by 105 pastors from various denominations, notes that yoga has been taught during school hours in Clear Fork, Galion, Lexington, Lucas, Mansfield and Shelby counties and asks for an assurance that such practices will be discontinued.

“Yoga is not merely an external physical practice with a purely physiological effect, but rather an internal spiritual practice advertised as being able to provide the power to change an individual and transform the world,” it reads. “Specifically, yoga’s ‘stretching’ and ‘breathing’ components, called ‘asanas’ and ‘pranayama’ in Sanskrit, are intended to be spiritually transformative.” Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

“Namaste Nation” – New 2016 Study Shows Staggering Growth in Yoga in America!

YOGA: Exercise or Religion—Does it Matter?

YOGA and Christianity – Are They Compatible?

Beware: Mindfulness Meditation, Especially for Children, is Dangerous

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

“Idaho Governor Signs Major Bills Derailing the Transgender Agenda, Despite Huge Pressure by Liberal Establishment for Veto”
Idaho Governor, Brad Little

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes. Lighthouse Trails cares about children, and children are the number one victims of the transgenderism movement.

By Mass Resistance media outlet

This week Idaho became the first state in the country to enact specific laws to protect the public from the aggressive “transgender” agenda. On Monday, March 30, Gov. Brad Little signed the two prominent bills that had been passed overwhelmingly by the GOP-dominated Legislature.

But it was a big fight. As . . . reported last week, there was a massive nationwide campaign to persuade the Governor to veto them. MassResistance worked hard to counter the negative campaign by mobilizing people in Idaho and across the country to exhort the Governor to sign the bills, using forceful arguments. Click here to continue reading.

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

From Feminist to Feminine

By Linda Nathan

My mother was a feminist who told me I was an accident. In fact, she told me that several times when I was growing up. She also told me how hard pregnancy was.

But she also took good care of me, taught me many things, and helped me go to college.

Life growing up was, probably like most people’s, a mixture.

But I grew up not wanting to marry or have children. Children, I’d learned, were “messy, a nuisance.” Babies cried all the time. Marriage was– well, it was better to be a man because men had it easier.

In the early Sixties, I became a feminist.

Linda Nathan

But by the time I was 35, my biological clock was telling me differently. Instead of having a baby though, I developed uterine cancer and was scheduled for a hysterectomy.

Then Jesus Christ came into my life. He not only saved and healed me, but He also restored our marriage and gave us a child after 15 barren years of marriage. 

Join me in this podcast as I share how Jesus changed me from feminist into feminine.

Click here to listen to the broadcast at 2pm, Saturday (ET). This link will work after the show is over too.


Related:

Goddess Worship in America and How It’s Affecting the Church

Understanding the Spirituality of Sue Monk Kidd (author of The Secret Life of Bees)

Emergent IF: Gathering Conference Coming to a Town Near You (Coming For Your Daughters and Granddaughters)!

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

“Over 100 Pastors Sign Letter to Ohio Board of Education Opposing Yoga, Meditation Being Taught in Schools”?
“Idaho Governor Signs Major Bills Derailing the Transgender Agenda, Despite Huge Pressure by Liberal Establishment for Veto”
From Feminist to Feminine

Is Christianity Missing Out on Something Vital? Contemplatives Say “Yes”

“As Court-imposed Gag Order Expires, Canadian Parent Speaks Out About His Teenage Daughter’s State-Enforced Sex-change”
UK “Government Proposes Ban on Trans Procedures for Children”
Reading the Bible Amidst World Crisis!
During Coronavirus, Which Words Do We Hear Most Clear?
Earth Day and a Christian Perspective on the Environment!
Passion Conference Louie Giglio Gives Thumbs Up to Enneagram—Could Influence Scores of Young Evangelicals
Lighthouse Trails Booklets Sale – 20% Off All Booklets
A Master Carpenter Builds His Church
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Is Christianity Missing Out on Something Vital? Contemplatives Say “Yes”
Photo: A collage of some of the leaders who have heavily promoted contemplative prayer.

By Ray Yungen

Contemplative advocates propose that something vital and important is missing from the church for centuries. The insinuation is that Christians have been lacking something necessary for their spiritual vitality; but that would mean the Holy Spirit has not been fully effective for hundreds of years and only now the secret key has been found that unlocks God’s full power to know Him. These proponents believe that Christianity has been seriously crippled without this extra ingredient. This kind of thinking leads one to believe that traditional, biblical Christianity is merely a philosophy without the contemplative prayer element. Contemplatives are making a distinction between studying and meditating on the Word of God versus experiencing Him, suggesting that we cannot hear Him or really know Him simply by studying His Word or even through normal prayer—we must be contemplative to accomplish this. But the Bible makes it clear that the Word of God is living and active and has always been that way, and it is in filling our minds with it that we come to love Him, not through a mystical practice of stopping the flow of thought (the stillness) that is never once mentioned in the Bible, except in warnings against vain repetitions in the New Testament and divination in the Old Testament.

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (the man who inspired Dallas Willard and Richard Foster) said that he saw various Eastern religions “come together in his life” (as a Christian mystic). On a rational, practical level, Christianity and Eastern religions will not mix; but add the mystical element and they do blend together like adding soap to oil and water. I must clarify what I mean: Mysticism neutralizes doctrinal differences by sacrificing the truth of Scripture for a mystical experience. Mysticism offers a common ground, and supposedly that commonality is divinity in all. But we know from Scripture “there is one God; and there is none other but he” (Mark 12:32).

In a booklet put out by Saddleback Church several years ago on spiritual maturity, the following quote by Henri Nouwen is given:

Solitude begins with a time and place for God, and Him alone. If we really believe not only that God exists, but that He is actively present in our lives—healing, teaching, and guiding—we need to set aside a time and space to give Him our undivided attention.1

Henri-NouwenHenri Nouwen

When we understand what Nouwen really means by “time and space” given to God, we can also see the emptiness and deception of his spirituality. In his biography of Nouwen, God’s Beloved, Michael O’ Laughlin says:

Some new elements began to emerge in Nouwen’s thinking when he discovered Thomas Merton. Merton opened up for Henri an enticing vista of the world of contemplation and a way of seeing not only God but also the world through new eyes. . . . If ever there was a time when Henri Nouwen wished to enter the realm of the spiritual masters or dedicate himself to a higher spiritual path, it was when he fell under the spell of Cistercian monasticism and the writings of Thomas Merton.2

In his book, Thomas Merton: Contemplative Critic, Nouwen talks about these “new eyes” that Merton helped to formulate and said that Merton and his work “had such an impact” on his life and that he was the man who had “inspired” him greatly.3 But when we read Nouwen’s very revealing account, something disturbing is unveiled. Nouwen lays out the path of Merton’s spiritual pilgrimage into contemplative spirituality. Those who have studied Merton from a critical point of view, such as myself, have tried to understand what are the roots behind Merton’s spiritual affinities. Nouwen explains that Merton was influenced by LSD mystic Aldous Huxley who “brought him to a deeper level of knowledge” and “was one of Merton’s favorite novelists.”4 It was through Huxley’s book, Ends and Means, that first brought Merton “into contact with mysticism.”5 Merton states:

 He [Huxley] had read widely and deeply and intelligently in all kinds of Christian and Oriental mystical literature, and had come out with the astonishing truth that all this, far from being a mixture of dreams and magic and charlatanism, was very real and very serious.6

This is why, Nouwen revealed, Merton’s mystical journey took him right into the arms of Buddhism:

 Merton learned from him [Chuang Tzu—a Taoist] what Suzuki [a Zen master] had said about Zen: “Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake and become aware.”7

Become aware of what? The Buddha nature. Divinity within all.

That is why Merton said if we knew what was in each one of us, we would bow down and worship one another. Merton’s descent into contemplative led him to the belief that God is in all things and that God is all things. This is made clear by Merton when he said: “True solitude is a participation in the solitariness of God—Who is in all things.8

Nouwen adds: “[Chuang Tzu] awakened and led him [Merton] . . . to the deeper ground of his consciousness.”9

This has been the ploy of Satan since the Garden of Eden when the serpent said to Eve, “ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:4). It is this very essence that is the foundation of contemplative prayer.

In Merton’s efforts to become a mystic, he found guidance from a Hindu swami, whom Merton referred to as Dr. Bramachari. Bramachari played a pivotal role in Merton’s future spiritual outlook. Nouwen divulged this when he said:

Thus he [Merton] was more impressed when this Hindu monk pointed him to the Christian mystical tradition. . . . It seems providential indeed that this Hindu monk relativized [sic] Merton’s youthful curiosity for the East and made him sensitive to the richness of Western mysticism.10

Why would a Hindu monk advocate the Christian mystical tradition? The answer is simple: they are one in the same. Even though the repetitive words used may differ (e.g., Christian words: Abba, Father, etc. rather than Hindu words), the end result is the same. And the Hindu monk knew this to be true. Bramachari understood that Merton didn’t need to switch to Hinduism to get the same enlightenment that he himself experienced through the Hindu mystical tradition. In essence, Bramachari backed up what I am trying to get across, that all the world’s mystical traditions basically come from the same source and teach the same precepts . . . and that source is not the God of the Old and New Testaments. That biblical God is not interspiritual!

Evangelical Christianity is now being catapulted into seeing God with these new eyes of contemplative prayer. And so the question must be asked, is Thomas Merton’s silence, Henri Nouwen’s space, and Richard Foster’s contemplative prayer the way in which we can know and be close to God? Or is this actually a spiritual belief system that is contrary to the true message that the Bible so absolutely defines—that there is only one way to God and that is through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice on the Cross obtained our full salvation? If indeed my concerns for the future actually come to fruition, then we will truly enter a time of departing.

For more about Ray Yungen’s work, visit: www.atimeofdeparting.com.

Endnotes:

1. Henri Nouwen, cited in Saddleback training book, Soul Construction: Solitude Tool  (Lake Forest, CA: Saddleback Church, 2003), p. 12.

2. Michael O’ Laughlin, God’s Beloved (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004), p. 178.

3. Henri J.M. Nouwen, Thomas Merton: Contemplative Critic (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers, 1991, Triumph Books Edition), p. 3.

4. Ibid., pp. 19-20.

5. Ibid., p. 20.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid., p. 71.

8. Ibid., pp. 46, 71.

9. Ibid., p. 71.

 

“As Court-imposed Gag Order Expires, Canadian Parent Speaks Out About His Teenage Daughter’s State-Enforced Sex-change”
A photo of Rob Hoogland and his daughter in 2012

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes. Lighthouse Trails has been following and reporting on this story of Canadian father, Rob Hoogland, who tried to save his young daughter from Canadian LGBT/transgenderist activists.

By Mass Resistance media outlet

Anyone who doubts that the transgender agenda in the schools is headed into a nightmarish future should look across the border to Canada. Rob Hoogland of Surrey, British Columbia, is living that nightmare.

For over two years, British Columbian school staffers, psychologists, and LGBT activists have been inducing Rob’s daughter to believe that the reason she was struggling with depression and other issues is that she is really a “he.” They repeatedly encouraged and affirmed her new “male” identity. They worked with pro-LGBT doctors who gave her puberty blockers and male hormones to “change” her into a boy. Click here to continue reading.

Related:

“Father of Trans-identified Teen, Christian Broadcaster Facing Charges for Defying Court”

“Heartbroken Dad Of Trans Teen Breaks Gag To Beg For End Of ‘State-Sponsored Child Abuse’”

“Father Ignores Publication Ban by Psychotic Judge—Ends Silence on Daughter’s ‘Transitioning’”

Authorities To Arrest Canadian Father If He Refers To Trans Child As Her Real Sex

LT Booklet: Transgenderism and Our Children

 

 

UK “Government Proposes Ban on Trans Procedures for Children”

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

By WND Staff

The British government is proposing a complete ban on transgender medical procedures for children, and American lawmakers would be “wise” to follow that example, contends a leading family advocate.

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies for the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., wrote that British officials don’t want to put young people “on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent and life-changing.”

“When state legislators in the U.S. are able to convene again,” he wrote, “they would be wise to follow the British example and prohibit ‘torturous and unnecessary’ gender transition medical procedures for minors.” Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

“Father of Trans-identified Teen, Christian Broadcaster Facing Charges for Defying Court”

From the UK: “‘Hundreds’ of Young Trans People Seeking Help to Return to Original Sex”

Transgenderism and Our Children (Booklet)

 

Reading the Bible Amidst World Crisis!

By Chris Lawson
Spiritual Research Network

In an ever-changing landscape of world events, crisis, and chaos, where do you stand when it comes to preparing for hard times? We can do our best to make preparations for things like cybersecurity attacks, food shortages, outdoor and urban survival, natural disaster survival, home defense and business security strategies, safe investments, and more. However, when we are confronted with the big crisis, where are our hearts and thoughts, and do we have the peace we need during world crisis events? Are we really reading our Bibles and trusting the Lord each step of the way? This video is meant to encourage you to simply sit down and read your Bible, and rely on the Lord—amidst your preparations and/or the implementation of emergency plans.

Reading the Bible Amidst World Crisis! from Chris Lawson on Vimeo

.

Related:

Heard From God Lately? by. T.A. McMahon

Finding the True Jesus Christ by Roger Oakland

During Coronavirus, Which Words Do We Hear Most Clear?

By D-A. W.

With all the uncertainty, with all the various people wanting to have their words heard and their ways implemented.

From the most preposterous to the most plausible, from the least patriotic words to the most patriotic, the good information, the disinformation, along with the lies and the truths, those of which we know and don’t know.

As we live through this, let the Lord’s Word be what we hear most clear, and that we would be obedient to Him and praying not only for strength to cope, but also for the strength to serve Him through it, being led by the Holy Spirit.

Bottom line, let us be as meek as doves and as wise as serpents, being ready, watching, and waiting for the return of our Savior, and be about the father’s business, which is all about being about Jesus.

Guarding our hearts and guarding our minds, being available and willing to simply love on people day by day with the Love of Christ as much as they will allow us to and as much as they will allow us to speak God’s words of life into them.

Nothing goes by the Lord unnoticed; and since He holds all things together by the Word of his power, He will hold you together through everything.

Remember . . .

Our faith in Christ is not in vain.

God loves you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Amen!

Related Articles:

Teach Me to Number My Days

Strength From Scripture – David Encouraged Himself in the Lord

Keep Thy Heart with All Diligence

Earth Day and a Christian Perspective on the Environment!

LTRP Note: The following article is from Roger Oakland’s booklet A Christian Perspective on the Environment: How the Catholic Pope and Other Leaders Are Uniting the World’s Religions Through Environmentalism. You may also wish to read Carl Teichrib’s article/booklet, Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World.

By Roger Oakland

In July of 2016, I was invited to present a paper on the environment from a Christian perspective to the International Symposium on Energy and Environmental Management and Technology held in Rome, Italy. The following information you are about to read is that paper and relates to the issue of the environment, from a biblical and Christian viewpoint.

Although I do not consider myself to be an authority on the subject of the environment, and certainly others are more qualified to speak on this issue than I, there are a few areas where I feel I am able to contribute.

First, I have been a Christian for nearly four decades—my conversion to Christianity coming at the age of thirty. Second, because I have a background in biology and agriculture, I have always had a keen interest in environmental issues. And third, as a Christian, I believe it is the responsibility of every human being to be concerned about our planet and the ecological relationship we have with all living creatures that God has created.

Throughout my life, I have made a number of observations about the past, the present, and where society seems to be headed in the future. I grew up in western Canada on a wheat farm and hold an active interest in this farm to this day. I was educated during the ’50s and ’60s through the Canadian public-school system, then later at the University of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan. During these years, like my colleagues, I was brought up in the educational mindset that taught that our world could be understood from a purely natural and mechanistic worldview. The concept that “God is dead” and that “science and technology” will bring utopia to the earth, were two foundational ideas in my belief system during that period of time.

By the’70s and ’80s, it became obvious to many, including me, that a paradigm shift in thinking was underway. It was apparent that many of the byproducts of our technology had the potential for destroying us—the pollution in the atmosphere, our lakes, rivers, oceans, and the soil. Not only was our planet being threatened, our bodies were being pumped full of molecular time bombs that silently tick away. Even more significant was the fact that humans had developed the potential to completely annihilate the entire planet through weapons of mass destruction.

By the early ‘80s, it became apparent to many that there needed to be a solution to the overwhelming problems we were facing as a global community. Scientists described global crisis situations such as global warming and the ozone depletion that would have an effect on the entire planet. It was determined by experts in the field that these global problems, if they were going to be resolved, needed global solutions that could be implemented internationally.

Today, most people recognize we are at a major crossroad in earth’s history. Few would argue that environmental problems need to be discussed and management solutions proposed; otherwise the future of life on our planet as we know it could be in jeopardy.

Over the past 35 years, some have been suggesting that we should look to spiritual solutions for motivation and a method to resolve the problems that the naturalistic worldview has created. For example, Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual leader who has held weekly meditation meetings at the United Nations headquarters in New York since 1970 has stated:

Science and spirituality must be united. They need each other. Without the one, the other is incomplete, almost meaningless. Together they are not only supremely complete but also divinely meaningful.1

Former Vice President Al Gore has been one voice outspoken about his desire to have people see the connection between spirituality and the environment. In his widely distributed book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, Gore presented the point that “only a radical rethinking of our relationship with nature can save the earth’s ecology for future generations.”2

In a chapter of his book titled “Environmentalism of the Spirit,” Gore called for a “new ecological awareness”3 and the consideration of a “new faith in the future.”4 He suggested it was imperative to call for a “spiritual response”5 to the global environmental problems we are facing. He challenged readers to consider “evolution” as the basis of an ecumenical faith that he suggested could unite science and religion as a means of saving our planet from ecological disaster. He stated:

And if we could find a way to understand our own connection to the earth—all the earth—we might recognize the danger of destroying so many living species and disrupting the climate balance.6

Then developing this idea further Gore suggested:

The long and intricate process by which evolution helped shape the complex relationship of all living and nonliving things may be explicable in purely scientific terms, but the simple fact of the living world and our place on it evokes awe, wonder, a sense of mystery—a spiritual response—when one reflects on its deeper meaning.7

The Parliament of the World Religion’s and “Mother Earth”

Now, fast forwarding, I would like to quote from a report written by author Carl Teichrib regarding his personal experience at the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Salt Lake City October of 2015. In the introduction of his article, he wrote about his observations at the opening session. To finish reading this article and/or print it, click here.

Passion Conference Louie Giglio Gives Thumbs Up to Enneagram—Could Influence Scores of Young Evangelicals

Louie Giglio is an extremely popular megachurch pastor and author as well as the founder and leader of the Passion conferences, which have drawn in hundreds of thousands of mostly young people since 1997.(1) On the week of March 16th, Giglio (a Calvinist) was a guest on emergent social-justice “Gospel” advocate Ian Morgan Cron’s Enneagram podcast. A week later, part 2 of the interview took place.

While it of no great surprise that Giglio (who has shown himself to be part of the ecumenical, “new” spirituality in more ways than one(2)) would form an attachment to Morgan Cron’s Enneagram, it is most unfortunate: because of Giglio’s vast following, the Enneagram has now received a substantial thumbs up in the evangelical world, especially among young evangelicals. So not only are Giglio’s followers being influenced by Calvinism and the New Spirituality, they are also being led into New Age-rooted practices.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Enneagram, Lighthouse Trails released a booklet in October of 2019 titled The Enneagram—An Enlightening Tool or an Enticing Deception?. Below are the contents of the booklet (written by Lois Putnam and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails):

The Enneagram—An Enlightening Tool and an Enticing Deception?

Today, there is an increasing amount of interest by Christians in the Enneagram, a nine-pointed diagram used to determine personality traits and character tendencies. While it may seem harmless and nothing more than a useful tool, the Enneagram is a seducing lure to deception and an example of what the Bible refers to as “the wiles of the Devil.” In this booklet, we hope to show how this tool is drawing participants away from biblical truth and in an enticing but dangerous direction.

A book titled The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Riso and Russ Hudson describes the Enneagram, stating:

The Enneagram . . . is a development of modern psychology that has roots in spiritual wisdom from many different ancient traditions. 1

The Enneagram Institute, a go-to website for information on the Enneagram, says:

The Enneagram . . . [is] one of the most powerful and insightful tools for understanding ourselves and others. At its core, the Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge.2

A 2017 Religion News Service article states:

In 1990, Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr effectively Christianized the [Enneagram] system for Americans when he published “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” in English. This sparked a growing interest that slowly crept into church pulpits and small groups. In 2016, Christianity Today published “An Evangelical’s Guide to the Enneagram” after InterVarsity Press became the first evangelical publisher to release a book on the topic.3

While the Enneagram’s popularity within the Christian church has continued to grow, especially among millennials, there have been those in the church who have voiced their concerns about the Enneagram. Martin and Deidre Bobgan, who have studied psychology from a biblical perspective for many years, say this about the Enneagram:

Although the Enneagram is purported to be an ancient spiritual tradition, it is relatively new to the Western world. George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, who brought the Enneagram to Europe in the 1920s, claimed it originated about 2500 years ago in a Babylonian wisdom school. He taught that each person is born with a “planetary body type” with certain physical and psychological traits. He believed that a person’s physical and psychological characteristics are related to a dominant endocrine gland and to planetary influences on that gland. This implicates the Enneagram with Babylonian astrology, since those characteristics would be signified by a point on the Enneagram.4

Apologist and author Mike Oppenheimer says this about the Enneagram:

Enneagram claims to be an entry point for deep personal healing and renewal. Enneagram is a psychological and spiritual system for a higher consciousness. We are told it will help us understand the personality types and the differences in each other which should reduce unnecessary conflicts (transforming one into a more tolerant person). We can transform our habits by being our own observer in how we think and go from unconscious behavior to conscious behavior. This is done through a series of probing questions called a Personality Profile questionnaire where one learns what his or her type is. . . . The nine lines comprise a perfect triangle and a twisted hexagon contained within a circle. This is a New Age-type mandala, a mystical gateway to personality classification. The drawing is based upon a belief in the mystical properties of the numbers 7 and 3. 5

Richard Rohr’s Role

At the very epicenter of today’s Enneagram movement is Franciscan priest Father Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC). Rohr’s website states:

Seven of the nine Enneagram types are associated with the “capital” or “deadly” sins which originated with the Desert Fathers. But it was not until the late 1960s that Oscar Ichazo began teaching the Enneagram as we know it today. From Ichazo’s school in South America, a group of Jesuits learned the system and brought it back with them to the United States. Richard Rohr learned about the Enneagram from this group and was one of the first people to publish a book about it in English.

The Enneagram gained popularity as a tool within spiritual direction.* Today it is widely taught as a way of understanding personality, addiction, relationships, and vocation.6 (emphasis added)

After Rohr learned about the Enneagram in the 1970s, he shared his Enneagram teaching on ten tapes, later writing his now classic best-selling book, Discovering the Enneagram: An Ancient Tool for a New Spiritual Journey (now titled The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective).

In Rohr’s book, he explains that the underlying premise behind the Enneagram is that each person has a “true self and a “false self,” and with the help of the Enneagram, we can identify our true selves, and thus having identified it, we can now be spiritually transformed to live in that true self. Rohr explains:

[Co-author] Andreas Ebert and I again offer the Enneagram as a very ancient Christian tool for the discernment of spirits, the struggle with our capital sin, our “false self,” and the encounter with our True Self in God.7

When Rohr, who is an outspoken panentheist, says “True Self in God,” he is referring to his belief that the true self is the God within every human being. In echoing the Catholic mystics Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen, Rohr advocates the concept of dharmakaya. Rohr states:

God’s hope for humanity is that one day we will all recognize that the divine dwelling place is all of creation. Christ comes again whenever we see that matter and spirit co-exist. This truly deserves to be called good news.8 (emphasis added)

To further understand what Rohr means when he says, “the divine [God] dwelling place is all of creation,” we need to understand his views about Jesus Christ. In an article on Rohr’s website titled, “The Cosmic Christ,” he says that Christ is more of an energy than a personal being:

Christ is not Jesus’ last name, but the title of his historical and cosmic purpose. Jesus presents himself as the “Anointed” or Christened One who was human and divine united in one human body—as our model and exemplar. . . . This Christ is much bigger and older than either Jesus of Nazareth or the Christian religion, because the Christ is whenever the material and the divine co-exist—which is always and everywhere. . . . The coming of the Cosmic Christ is not the same as the growth of the Christian religion. It is the unification of all things.9

For Rohr, Christ and humanity are not separate because Christ is not a person (or God come in the flesh to save man from his sins) but is an energy that exists in everyone and everything. Man’s only problem isn’t that he is sinful; rather, it is that he doesn’t realize he already has divinity within him. This is where the Enneagram comes in, for according to Rohr the Enneagram is a “key to self-knowledge,”10 and the goal for using the Enneagram is “an awakening of true self-love [i.e., the divinity within].”11

Rohr’s Enneagram Disciples

Some of Richard Rohr’s most popular “disciples” who carry on his Enneagram teachings include Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile, and Chris and Phileena Heuertz (though countless others have been influenced by Rohr). Since each of these people has written Enneagram books and are key presenters and teachers of Enneagram programs, let us examine them to further understand the Enneagram.

Ian Morgan Cron’s Road to Self

Episcopal priest Ian Morgan Cron is a best-selling author and psychotherapist. He wrote the best-selling book (co-authored by Suzanne Stabile), The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery (published by InterVarsity Press). In chapter one, Cron relates how as a grad student, he found Rohr’s Enneagram book at a conservative seminary retreat. Upon showing it to his professor, he was told to get rid of it. Cron confided:

I was a young, impressionable evangelical, and though my gut told me my professor’s reaction bordered on paranoid, I followed his advice.12

Although, as Cron wrote, he didn’t read the book until later when he was re-introduced to it by his spiritual director, “Br. Dave.” Upon reading it, he tells how he discussed with Br. Dave his initial reactions to the Enneagram. As they talked, Cron shared a Thomas Merton quote with him which read:

Sooner or later we must distinguish what we are not and what we are. . . . We must cast off our false, exterior self like the cheap showy garment it is . . . We must find our real self, in all its elemental poverty, but also in its grand and very simple dignity created to be the child of God, and capable of loving with something of God’s own sincerity and his unselfishness.13 (emphasis added)

The theme of the “self” permeates Cron’s book. In fact, the word “self” is in his book over 160 times (e.,g., “self-knowledge,” “self-aware,” “real self,” “self-understanding,” “authentic self,” the “original shimmering self,” “true self,” “deep knowing of self,” “self-confident,” “self-actualized,” and so forth). Cron states:

[B]y overidentifying who we are with our personality we forget or lose touch with our authentic self—the beautiful essence of who we are . . . we have a God who . . . remembers who we are . . . and he wants to help restore us to our authentic selves.14

Here, when Cron equates the “authentic self” (i.e., true self) with “the beautiful essence of who we are,” he echoes Richard Rohr’s belief that within each person is divinity. Contrary to Rohr’s and Cron’s building up of the “true self” as divine and beautiful, the Bible speaks otherwise:

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5)

Cron a “champion of the Enneagram,” and “pioneer in the contemporary Enneagram movement” tells us who he is in his “Manifesto.” He begins with:

Today I will throw my hat into the ring of life. . . . I will stand on my own two feet and live my truth.15

Like so many in today’s post-modern “progressive” Western world, Cron will do his own thing and decide his own beliefs. To the contrary, Scripture reminds us that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” A believer in Christ is not called to live his own truth but rather follow the One who says He is “the truth.” At the end of his Manifesto, Cron declares, “Today I will be my True Self.”16 This is the Enneagram’s goal like the book title says, The Road Back to You. Full of I, I, I.

Cron and Rohr Interview

Ian Cron hosts an Enneagram podcast titled “Typology. In “Episode 014: Richard Rohr, Finally Getting Over Your ‘Self’ with the Enneagram Pt.1,” Ian interviews Richard Rohr. He asks Rohr what has caused the “tidal wave of interest culturally and in church of personality identity”17 using the Enneagram. Rohr says its because we’ve done such a bad job of teaching Christians their “true identity.” We didn’t, he espouses, teach people about their images and their likeness of God. Rohr says most Christians find their identity in their group or denomination and never understand who they themselves are.

The crux of the interview is when Rohr asserts we don’t know our individual “Imago Dei” which cannot be given to us or taken away from us. This idea levels the “playing field of all humanity”18 says Rohr. Distinctions such as black and white, Catholic and Protestant, American and Canadian, or gay and straight do not mean anything. Rohr says that the “true gospel must be proclaimed that everything—humans, animals, or materials—is created in the image of a trinitarian and loving God.”19 Therefore, says Rohr, that settles all questions. For then we are all “universal children of God,”20 and thus, we are in “union” with all other children of God. Why? Rohr says it is because we all have the divine and the beautiful in us from the very start.

How contrary to the biblical Gospel that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and that in order to become a child of God, we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. In Enneagramism, it’s not about sinners (“none that doeth good”—Romans 3:12) needing to be redeemed by a Holy God. There is no need for that. Rather, after working through our false self-delusions to find our true selves, we come to the realization that we have always been lovely and good. Ian Morgan Cron’s view of the self stands in stark contrast to the apostle Paul’s description when he says he has “no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3).

Suzanne Stabile

Suzanne Stabile, Cron’s co-author of the book The Road Back to You, is an internationally recognized Enneagram master, teacher, and author. Like Cron, Stabile is a great admirer of Richard Rohr and one of Rohr’s Enneagram disciples. After meeting Rohr, Stabile was so enamored with Rohr’s Enneagram program that she studied under him, consenting not to teach or share the material for five years.

At present, Stabile has conducted over 500 Enneagram workshops over the past 25 years, speaking to audiences at colleges, divinity schools, churches, and health centers. She has also taught at the Center for Action and Contemplation (Rohr’s contemplative center) and even internationally at Assisi with Rohr himself.

In a 2016 Houston Chronicle article titled, “Christians Rediscovering Ancient Enneagram,” Emily McFarlan Miller said she met Cron and Stabile at a Chicago Enneagram conference. Miller noted that Cron “thought the Enneagram was ‘genius,’ and saw nothing in it that conflicted with the gospel.”21 She wrote that Cron found it fascinating that even “the (conservative) evangelicals were completely fine with it.”22 Miller said that Stabile hoped that “teaching people to learn about the way they see the world and eight other ways people see the world will encourage compassion.”23 Stabile told Miller, “Our hope is that the book makes the world a more compassionate, more loving, and more generous place.”24
And this is the promise of the Enneagram, to make people (and the world) more compassionate, generous, and loving. The premise is, if we can somehow gain access to understanding our True Selves (i.e., the divine part of us), then we will become compassionate and loving individuals thus making the world a better place. But can the Enneagram accomplish this? If the premise is correct, then perhaps so. But according to the Holy Word of God, the premise of the Enneagram couldn’t be further from the truth.

Chris Heuertz

Chris Heuertz is another Rohr mentee and Enneagram enthusiast. Heuertz came from a Catholic family that converted to evangelicalism. His parents had six children. An article written by Jason Byassee titled “On the Side of Hope” describes how Heuertz’ parents worked seven jobs at one time just to send the children to private schools. Heuertz graduated from an Assembly of God high school and went on to Asbury College (now Asbury University).

In his book The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth, Heuertz states that the Enneagram is a tool for “excavating our essence, our True Self, from the lies, programs, and temptations we’ve wrapped around our identity.”25 (emphasis in original)

Soon after graduation from Asbury, Heuertz joined Word Made Flesh ministry to work with “the most vulnerable of the world’s poor.”26 This was how he landed in Calcutta, India working with Mother Teresa. Here he was later joined by his wife Phileena. Of the WMF organization, Jason Byassee wrote:

Rejecting the idea that missionaries bring salvation and services to benighted poor people, WMF has learned . . . that the poor are Jesus. WMF or ‘Fleshies’ . . . do not necessarily seek to fix poverty or convert people. Their first intention is to seek friendship with the poor. And through that they seek, with their friends, to be converted anew to God.27

Speaking of the “model of missions,” Heuertz states:

If I bring anything, it’s presence and hope . . . We work to recognize the divine imprint in all humanity, then together we are all converted to God. I’m not bringing a poor kid with me to Christ. I’m following their journey to the places in God’s heart that break in the face of such suffering.28 (emphasis added)

The Heuertz’ social justice work with WMF took them to Cambodia where Heuertz encountered the Enneagram. Fascinated, Heuertz later would delve deeply into the Enneagram, abandon his WMF community, establish the Gravity Center, and write The Sacred Enneagram (which we will talk about a little later in this booklet).

Phileena Heuertz

Phileena Bacon Heuertz was two years behind Chris at Asbury College. Phileena came from an evangelical family, her father being a Wesleyan Methodist pastor in Indiana. While working with WMF, the Heuertzes began their contemplative journey upon meeting Catholic contemplative priest Thomas Keating of Snowmass, Colorado. From him, they learned centering prayer (a form of contemplative prayer). The more they dipped into this contemplative path, the further they separated from their evangelical backgrounds. Eventually, in 2012, they left the WMF to establish the Gravity Center for Contemplative Activism.

Throwing aside her evangelical Wesleyan past, Phileena converted to Catholicism for she believed its rituals, liturgy, and prayer practices would best enhance her “inner work” to shed her false self and find her true self.29

Along the way, the couple met Richard Rohr, imbibed deeply from his teaching, and locked arms with him. Today, Phileena is on Rohr’s CAC board. Rohr, in turn, wrote the foreword to Phileena’s 2018 book Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation. Phileena is considered one of the top young contemplative prayer activists today. She is a retreat guide, a spiritual director, and a Yoga instructor and has spoken at numerous Christian universities including Biola University and Taylor University.

The Sacred Enneagram

In 2017, Chris Heuertz wrote what became a best-selling book, The Sacred Enneagram (published by Zondervan). In the foreword, written by Richard Rohr, Rohr writes:

Chris Heuertz, my dear friend and confidante, has gone on his own journey of transformation, I am most happy to recommend his excellent book on the Enneagram to you. In its pages you will find excellent content, many new insights, and the compassion that genuine spirituality always provides . . . You will not be the same after you read this book.30

Rohr is also an integral part of the Heuertz’ Gravity Center, serving as a founding board member much like Phileena serves on his CAC board.
In two chapters of Heuertz’ book, he unlocks his agenda for the reader to couple the Enneagram to contemplative practices to achieve finding one’s true self.

A Sacred Map?

Throughout the book, Heuertz uses terms such as “sacred experience,” “sacred Enneagram,” and “sacred map.” He says:

When we give ourselves to the hard work of integrating what we have come to learn about ourselves, the Enneagram becomes a sacred map of our soul, one that shows us the places where we have vulnerabilities or tendencies to get stuck as well as the possibilities of where we can go for deeper freedom and inner peace.31 (emphasis added)

Here we can see that Heuertz has exchanged what gives true freedom and peace for a powerless substitute—the Enneagram! There is only one true “sacred map,” and that is the Word of God.

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

We do not find freedom and peace by identifying our “personality types” and discovering our “true selves.” The fact is, our true selves are our sinful, fleshly, carnal selves. It is only found in the person of Jesus Christ, who promises to come into our hearts and commune with us if we invite Him in and put our trust in Him (Revelation 3:20). Our Father in Heaven promises to deliver us from the kingdom of darkness (our fleshly carnal selves) into the kingdom of Light (through being born again into Christ).

[God] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

The Enneagramites have missed the mark bigtime. They see the key to an abundant meaningful life lying in ourselves when in fact, it is quite the opposite as John the Baptist said when he proclaimed, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:63). Paul, the apostle, said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). How interesting (and sad) that Chris Heuertz uses the term “Fleshie” to describe himself. Fleshies put the emphasis on how good their true selves are. “Believers” put the emphasis on believing in the finished work of the Cross (how good Jesus Christ is).

The Inclusive Kingdom

Chris Heuertz’ book, The Sacred Enneagram, uses The Inclusive Bible (authored by “Priests for Equality”) for all its Scripture quotations. Billed as the first egalitarian translation, a blurb on Amazon says:

. . . it is a re-imagining of the scriptures and our relationship to them. . . . [offering] new and non-sexist ways to express the same ancient truths. . . . Priests for Equality is a movement of men and women . . . where sexism and exclusion are left behind.32

Leaving “exclusion” behind is another way to reject the Bible’s message that says the kingdom of God is exclusive to “whosoever” believes on Jesus Christ as their Savior. This is the opposite of “inclusive,” which is the teaching of universalism (all are saved) and interspirituality (all paths lead to God). This inclusivism is what the New Age is all about.

The True Self

In Heuertz’ The Sacred Enneagram, the term “True Self” (capitalized to show the supposed divine attribute) is used over sixty times such as in the following quote:

The Enneagram offers much more under the surface. Its various facets—the names and needs, the Holy Ideas and Virtues—give us practical handles to better identify and understand our type. By digging deeper into the why behind each type we start to unravel the mystery of our True Self and essential nature. This is the real substance we aim for.33 (emphasis added)

Again, in Scripture, there is nothing good about our “essential nature.” The late Ray Yungen, who studied the New Age for many years, explains:

The New Age and Christianity definitely clash on the answer to the question of human imperfection. The former—the New Age—espouses the doctrine of becoming self-realized and united with the universe, which they see as God but in reality is the realm of familiar spirits. On the other hand, the Gospel that Christians embrace offers salvation to humanity through grace (unmerited favor). Romans 3:24 boldly states: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

This gift is not earned or given as a reward for earnest or good intentions as Scripture clearly states: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

This Scripture that tackles the issue of pride sharply distinguishes all of man’s religions from Christianity. Religion persuades us that man is innately good and, therefore, can earn his way to Heaven through human perfectibility or, better yet, through the realization of his own divinity. Christianity emphatically states the opposite view that man needs to humbly recognize his own sinfulness and fallibility, and consequently needs salvation through grace.

The Holy Spirit, through the Scripture, convicts the sinner of his sinful and lost condition and then presents God’s solution—salvation through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Cross (Ephesians 1:7 and Romans 10:9-10).

It all comes down to the preaching of the higher self [i.e., “True Self”] versus the preaching of the Cross.34

Essential Virtue and Purity

Throughout The Sacred Enneagram, there are over one hundred diagrams of Enneacircles and Enneacharts. One of these (on page 108) is titled “Virtue Structure.” Of this chart, Heuertz writes:

I . . . emphasize Virtue because when we do return to our essence [i.e., True Self] . . . Our Virtue is the lingering fragrance of our essential purity; it is what makes each of us beautiful. . . . Of course, returning to our Virtue is familiar, like a homecoming, because it is who we have always been.35 (emphasis added)

God loves humanity. It is why He sent His Son to die on a Cross so that any person who believes on Him would be reconciled to God. And God does value us (He would never have sacrificed His Son to save us if He didn’t). But He does not love us or value us because we are pure or holy or virtuous; rather, He loves us and values us in spite of the fact we are not those things. He loves us because His very nature is love, forgiveness, and holiness; and no matter how much we learn about “ourselves,” we can never come close to matching the nature of God (although He does promise the born-again believer that we can be partakers of His nature—2 Peter 1:4. But being a “partaker” is not the same as owning it yourself. It is someone else’s, and you are given access to partake in and benefit from it).

You see, the Enneagram is the very antithesis of the Gospel. With the Enneagram, man is glorified; with the Gospel, God is glorified. And if we love God, how can we not desire to glorify Him who alone has done so many incredible and awesome things and will continue to throughout eternity. How can we, who cannot even create a speck of dust, glorify ourselves and not our Creator? Isaiah 42:8 says, “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

Contemplative Prayer and the Enneagram

It is important to note that the majority of those who teach the Enneagram are proponents of contemplative prayer. In chapter ten of The Sacred Enneagram, “An Invitation to Inner Work,” Heuertz introduces the reader to three prayers that can be used “as an on-ramp to the . . . Christian contemplative tradition.”36 Introduced first is centering prayer: “Praying with the Feeling Center.” Of its relationship to the Enneagram, Heuertz states:

Centering prayer. . . is easily aligned with each specific Enneagram type, but even more so, it may be among the most effective in confronting the root additions of each of the Enneagram’s Intelligence Centers.37

Second is St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “The Examen: Praying with the Head Center.”38 Last is, “The Welcoming Prayer: Praying with the Instinctive Body Center” whose creator was Mary Mrozowski. Mrozowski was a Catholic mystic and lay contemplative who in 1983 attended the first ever “Centering Prayer” retreat experiment at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico.** It was she who helped found the Contemplative Outreach Ltd. She was also founder of the Chrysalis House which became “an incubator” of contemplative prayer practices, especially centering prayer.39 She was close to and encouraged by the late Thomas Keating.

In Phileena Heuertz’ book Mindful Silence, she explains how “incredibly helpful” the Enneagram is for “spiritual development.”40 She assures her readers that using the Enneagram is a crucial part of “expanding consciousness.”41 She says:

The Enneagram is a powerful resource for the contemplative path, for as it deconstructs the false self, it simultaneously reveals your true self.42

“Waking Up,” the last chapter, describes Phileena’s ongoing search “to live into your divine nature”43 as she took time for a hermitage at the Lama Foundation.*

In the foreword of Mindful Silence, Richard Rohr praises how quickly “contemplative teaching is occurring in our time.” He then says that “we are building on the Perennial Tradition.” Rohr describes what he means by “Perennial Tradition” in a 2015 article on his website:

The things I teach come from a combination of inner and outer authority, drawn from personal experience and a long lineage of the “perennial tradition” . . . The Perennial Tradition points to recurring themes and truths within all of the world’s religions.44 (emphasis added)

The Perennial Tradition (or Perennial Wisdom as it is also called) is the belief that all the different religions in the world are interconnected through metaphysics (mysticism). The fact that the “father” of today’s Enneagram movement (Rohr) promotes the Perennial Tradition in a book written by one of his foremost disciples—openly welcomed in mainstream evangelicalism—should not be overlooked or dismissed as irrelevant; nor should the Enneagram’s compatibility and connection with contemplative prayer and mysticism.

Christian Leaders Promoting the Enneagram

With the growing popularity of the Enneagram in the evangelical church, many well-known Christian leaders are coming out in favor of it. One of these is Mark Batterson, the senior pastor of a mega church in Washington, DC. and the author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears. Lighthouse Trails released a booklet in 2017 titled Circle Making and “Prayer Circles” Versus The Straight Line of Truth, which addresses Batterson’s teaching on “circle making,” a practice he popularized inspired from rituals of an ancient mystic name Honi. Our 2017 booklet states:

[Batterson convinces] people that if certain rituals or methods are performed, then things can be changed. In his 2017 book Whisper: How to Hear God’s Voice, Batterson continues with this mystical focus (i.e., contemplative spirituality). In one section, he gives a lesson on Lectio Divina, a practice that involves taking a word or phrase from Scripture and repeating it slowly, which is said to facilitate hearing God’s voice (in reality, Lectio Divina is a gateway practice to full-blown eastern-style meditation).45

Knowing Mark Batterson’s mystical propensities, we were not surprised to learn that Batterson had endorsed Ian Morgan Cron’s 2016 book on the Enneagram, The Road Back to You. Of Cron’s book, Batterson states:

Ian Morgan Cron, partnering with Suzanne Stabile, has gifted us with another timely and brilliantly written book. We’ve long needed a fresh, spiritually grounded approach to helping people grow in self-knowledge and compassion. This is a winsome and thoughtful primer!46

On a podcast called Typology, hosted by Ian Cron, Cron interviewed Batterson on October 24, 2019. The show’s title was “The Blessings of the Enneagram” where Batterson talked about he and his wife’s “journey” with the Enneagram.47

Numerous other evangelical leaders are rallying behind the Enneagram as well. New York Times best-selling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries Lysa TerKeurst was on Cron’s podcast in June of 2019 talking about how much the Enneagram means to her.48 Other evangelical figures who promote the Enneagram are William P. Young (author of The Shack), Michael Hyatt (former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishers), Aaron and Shawna Niequist (Shawna is Willow Creek’s Bill Hybels’ daughter), and Anita Lustrea (co-hosted Moody Radio’s Midday Connection program for 15 years).

The Enneagram or The Word of God?

The Enneagram focuses endlessly on the self through self-awareness, self-observation, self-motivation, self-knowledge, self-love, self-wound, self-this, and self-that. For as 2 Timothy 3:2 states, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves.” Through the “Sacred Enneagram,” it is said we’ll discover that underneath all our failures of our false selves, we’ll uncover our essence—that true self enabling us to make our world a better and more compassionate place.

On the other hand, God’s view of our “selves” is that at our core, we are sinners as Romans 3:23 declares, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Therefore, we need to believe not in the power of the Enneagram or the voice heard in contemplative prayer but in a Savior who can save us from ourselves and our sins. Scripture says:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9; emphasis added)

In the end, it is through the Word of God and the sacrifice on the Cross by Jesus Christ, not the Enneagram, where we can find out who we are and what we must do. In 1 Corinthians 2:5, Paul tells us:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

And as Proverbs 9:10 reminds us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom . . .” not the Enneagram! We pray that this enticing tool of deception will be rejected by Christian believers, pastors, and leaders.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

For endnotes or to print this booklet for free, click here. To order copies of The Enneagram—An Enlightening Tool or an Enticing Deception? click here.

*Spiritual direction or spiritual directors are terms used in the contemplative prayer movement (i.e., Spiritual Formation movement). Contemplative spirituality is an ancient mystical prayer practice in which the participant goes into what is called “the silence” by repeating a word or phrase so that the mind is no longer distracted with thoughts. In this altered silent state, one can supposedly hear the voice of God and be spiritually transformed. Spiritual directors are utilized to help the contemplative meditator “discern” the voice and messages received during meditation. Rohr’s statement above reveals to us that the Enneagram and contemplative prayer (both based on mysticism) are very compatible with each other.

**The Lama Foundation is tied to a well-known spiritual teacher and New Age Hindu guru Ram Dass who wrote Be Here Now.

Endnotes to the first 2 paragraphs of this post.

1. According to Wikipedia, the Passion Conferences have drawn over 1 million university students since 1997. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louie_Giglio.

2. Check out the following articles: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-significance-of-youth-filled.html, https://pulpitandpen.org/2017/03/13/louie-giglio-goes-new-age, https://coercioncode.com/2019/04/30/louie-giglio-as-you-never-knew-him.

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; design by Lighthouse Trails)

Lighthouse Trails Booklets Sale – 20% Off All Booklets

Lighthouse Trails Publishing now has 141 topical booklets, and all of them are currently on sale for 20% off. The booklets start at $1.95 each, with quantity discounts starting at 6 or more of the same title. Each booklet is 10-18 pages, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ with full-color covers, high-quality gloss paper, and especially designed to give to others. This is a great time to stock up on booklets, which cover many different important topics.

Below is a list of all our booklets listed in the various categories. Click here to enter the store.

CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY & THE SPIRITUAL FORMATION MOVEMENT

CP—5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer by Ray Yungen
LBRT—The Labyrinth Journey by Carl Teichrib
LC-DV—Lectio Divina—What it is, What it is Not, and Should Christians Practice it? (LT Editors)
CD-MN—Brennan Manning’s “New Monks” & Their Contemplative Monasticism by John Caddock
JL-WR—Beth Moore & Priscilla Shirer: Their History of Contemplative Prayer by John Lanagan
FOSTER—A Serious Look at Richard Foster’s “School” of Contemplative Prayer by Ray Yungen
SF—Is Your Church Doing Spiritual Formation? (Important Reasons Why They Shouldn’t) (LT Editors)
EPIC—An Epidemic of Apostasy in the Christian Colleges (LT Editors)
BE-STILL—Be Still and Know That You Are Not God! by Warren B. Smith
AVILA—Teresa of Avila: An Ancient Mystic Who Helped Shape Today’s Spiritual Formation Movement by Carolyn Greene
HFG—Heard From God Lately? by T.A. McMahon
ENGM—The Enneagram: An Enlightening Tool or an Enticing Deception?

CREATION/EVOLUTION
MK-EVOL—Creation Versus Evolution: Things They Never Told You by Maria Kneas
CT-EARTH—Earth Day: A Total Transformation in a Post-Christian World by Carl Teichrib

EMERGING CHURCH & THE “NEW” CHRISTIANITY
EMG—How to Know When the Emerging Church Shows Signs of Emerging into Your Church by Roger Oakland
NW-MS—The New Missiology: Doing Missions Without the Gospel by Roger Oakland
NS-EMG—Native Spirituality “Renewal” & the Emerging Church by Nanci des Gerlaise
CLTR—Can Cultures be Redeemed? by Nanci des Gerlaise
MR-HL—Understanding Paul’s Appeal at Mars Hill by Mike Oppenheimer
MD-JW—What You Need to Know about Jim Wallis and the Social-Justice Gospel by Mary Danielsen
IF—IF it is of God: Answering the Questions of IF:Gathering by Cedric Fisher
HC-LJ—They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus (LT Editors)
CT-RLG—Is Religion to Blame?: War, Religion, & the Interfaith Global Peace Agenda by Carl Teichrib
CL-DIR—A Directory of Authors (Three NOT Recommended Lists) by Chris Lawson
KR-DEC—D is for Deception: The Language of the “New” Christianity by Kevin Reeves & LT Editors
MD-ALPHA—The Alpha Course, an Evangelical Contradiction by Mary Danielsen and Chris Lawson
SWEET—Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ? by Warren B. Smith
RO-ATN—Atonement Rejected! by Roger Oakland
GR-DCP—Progression to Deception by Gregory Reid
CIRCLE—Circle Making and “Prayer Circles” Versus the Straight Line of Truth by Cedric Fisher and Nanci Des Gerlaise
WS-SPR—Oneness vs. Separation Heresy Now in the Church by Warren B. Smith
WS-BIG—The Big Picture—How the World and the Church Are Being Deceived by Warren B. Smith
WS-GD—God’s Dream: Satan’s Ultimate Scheme by Warren B. Smith

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FAITH & THE CHURCH
MK-TR—Overcoming Obstacles to Trusting the Lord by Maria Kneas
LT—The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails
DD-PRT—Preparing for Perilous Times and Finding God’s Peace in the Midst of Them by David Dombrowski
CF-AW—The Unacknowledged War and the Wearing Down of the Saints by Cedric Fisher
DD-CLR—Dear Pastor and Christian Leader: Have You Grown Careless About the Gospel by David Dombrowski
BK-AMR—The Unseen Force Behind Rising Evil and Putting on the Armor of God by Berit Kjos
RO-ENV—A Christian Perspective on the Environment: How the Catholic Pope and Other Leaders Are Uniting the World’s Religions Through Environmentalism by Roger Oakland
CL-SA—How to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire by Chris Lawson
EX-ER—Three Vital Questions on Navigating Discernment: 1) Should Christians Expose Error? 2) What Does Matthew 18 Mean? 3) How Should the Christian Contender of the Faith Speak and Behave? by Harry Ironside, Paul Proctor, and LT Editors
IR-EXP—The Expectation of HIS RETURN by Harry Ironside
RY-TRIBUTE—Ray Yungen: A Life Set Apart for God (this is a free booklet)
SM-PC—Remembering the Persecuted Church (And Why We Need to Pray) by Susan Moore
CF-FAITH—Faith Under Fire: Are You Growing in It or Fleeing From it? by Cedric Fisher
IR-BRK—Broken Vessels for Christ by Harry Ironside
MK-FR—Fighting Fear in a Fearful Day by Maria Kneas
RO-RFM—Reformation: A Brief But Important Look by Roger Oakland
DD-TMP—Sound the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy by David Dombrowski
MK-FGV— Forgiving: A Story of Forgiveness and How and Why We Should Forgive By Maria Kneas and Egerton Ryerson Young
CHURCH—How to Find a Good Church (And What To Do If You Can’t) by LT Editors

HOMOSEXUALITY
JL-MB—The Message “Bible”—A Breach of Truth by John Lanagan
MC-6Q—6 Questions Every Gay Person Should Ask by Michael Carter
TRNS—Transgenderism and Our Children by Maria Kneas and Lois Putnam

HYPER-CHARISMATIC/NAR/FALSE SIGNS & WONDERS
VIS—“I Just Had a Vision!” by Kevin Reeves
JL-BTH—The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill John by John Lanagan
WS-HL—False Revival Coming? Part 1: Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion? by Warren B. Smith
WCG—10 Questions for those who claim The “Supreme Beings” of the Nations Are the True God by Sandy Simpson
MD-KCP—The Perfect Storm of Apostasy: The Kansas City Prophets and Other Latter-Day Prognasticators by Mary Danielsen
KR-SL—Slain in the Spirit: Is it a Biblical Practice? by Kevin Reeves
BR-BB—Beware of Bethel by Bill Randles
DD-SW—Signs and Wonders: Five Things You Should Consider by David Dombrowski
DKN—Dominionism, Kingdom Now, and What Does the Bible Say? by Mike Oppenheimer

JESUS CALLING
WS-NA-JC—The New Age Implications of Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith
WS-JC—Changing Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith
WS-10-RS—10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book by Warren B. Smith

ISRAEL & THE JEWS
ISRL—Israel—Replacing What God Has Not by Mike Oppenheimer
HH—When Hitler Was in Power by Anita Dittman
TP-KJ—The Jews: Beloved by God, Hated by Many by Tony Pearce
CHSLM—Chrislam: The Blending Together of Islam & Christianity by Mike Oppenheimer
EM—Christians in Holland in 1941: “Should We Help Save the Jews?” (Obeying God or Man) by Diet Eman

NEW AGE/NEW SPIRITUALITY & ITS PRACTICES
NA—Understanding the New Age, Meditation, and the Higher Self by Ray Yungen
RKI—The Truth About Energy Healing by Ray Yungen
AA—The “Spiritual” Truth About Alcoholics Anonymous by John Lanagan
GR-RD—Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs by Gregory Reid
WS-OPR—Oprah Winfrey’s New Age Christianity by Warren B. Smith
WS-OPW—Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” Part 2: Neale Donald Walsch, “God,” & Hitler by Warren B. Smith
SHACK—The Shack & Its New Age Leaven by Warren B. Smith
RY-MR—The Mystical Revolution by Ray Yungen
RY-YGA—Yoga: Exercise or Religion—Does it Matter? by Ray Yungen
CL-YAC—Yoga & Christianity: Are They Compatible? by Chris Lawson
RY-MEDI—Meditation! Pathway to God or Doorway to the Occult by Ray Yungen
RY-BAILEY—Alice Bailey, “Mother” of the New Age Movement by Ray Yungen
MK-JL—Goddess Worship in America by Maria Kneas and John Lanagan
LP-COLOR—Mandala Color Books: Relaxing Fun or A Tools for New Age Meditation? by Lois Putnam
CT-FM—Freemasonry: A Revealing Look at the Spiritual Side by Carl Teichrib
SHK-TH—Shack Theology: Universalism, TBN, Oprah, and the New Age by Warren B. Smith
MFL—Mindfulness: What You May Not Know and Should Have Been Told by LT Editors
GR-BX—Butterfly Illusions: The New Age Implications of Roma Downey’s Box of Butterflies & the Christian Leaders Who Were Fooled by Gregory Reid
ACIM—A Course in Miracles: The New Age Book That is Redefining Christianity and Fooling the World by Warren B. Smith
WS-MTR—Maitreya: What We Can Learn From This False New Age Christ by Warren B. Smith
NA-GLS—A Glittering Web Glossary of New Age Terms by Richard and Linda Nathan

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PROTECTING CHILDREN
PTC—5 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Kids From Sexual Predators by Patrick Crough
GR-8—8 Things You Should Know About Sexually Abused Boys by Gregory Reid
BK-OC—Popular Books That Introduce Children to the Occult by Berit Kjos
BK-CC—A “Common Core” for a Global Community by Berit Kjos
LN-MA—The Dangers & Deception of the Martial Arts by Linda Nathan
LP-POK—A Christian Parent’s Guide to Pokemon by Lois Putnam
HLWN—Halloween: A Warning to Christian Parents by Johanna Michaelsen
BK-CHILD—10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith by Berit Kjos
LN-MRJ—The Cross and the Marijuana Leaf by Linda Nathan

PURPOSE DRIVEN/SEEKER FRIENDLY
RW-DP—Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan by Warren B. Smith
PCE—The Peace of God versus the P.E.A.C.E. of Man by David Dombrowski
RO-RW—Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Path to Rome by Roger Oakland

ROAD TO ROME (CATHOLICISM)
JC—My Journey Out of Catholicism by David Dombrowski
JA—The Jesuit Agenda by Roger Oakland
NW-EZ—The New Evangelization of the Catholic Church & Finding the True Christ by Roger Oakland
RY-PF—Pope Francis and the Thomas Merton Connection by Ray Yungen
RO-CM—The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ by Roger Oakland
AM-FN—A Former Nun Speaks Candidly About Pope Francis, Deception, and Mind Control in the Catholic Church by Ann Marie
KR-CATH—C is for Catholicism by Kevin Reeves

SALVATION, THE GOSPEL & GOD’S WORD
IR-RDM—Redemption by Harry A. Ironside
IR-RGN—Regeneration: “Ye Must Be Born Again.” by Harry A. Ironside
IR-GOSPEL—What is the Gospel? by Harry A. Ironside
WHO—For God So Loved the World That . . . Whosoever! by Harry Ironside
ST-GP—Setting Aside the Power of the Gospel for a Powerless Substitute by David Dombrowski
IR-JST—What Does it Mean to Be Justified by God? by Harry A. Ironside
MO-DC—Did Jesus Identify Himself as God? by Mike Oppenheimer
WS-WG—God’s Word Through It All by Warren B. Smith
IR-SUB—Substitution: He Took Our Place! by Harry Ironside
PS-23—Psalm 23: The Faithfulness of God by David Dombrowski
DD-RM9—A Potter Looks at Romans 9 by David Dombrowski
DD-LW—Legalism or License Versus The Treasure of Living Water
WS-MSG—Eugene Peterson’s Mixed Message
SBTH—The Sabbath and the Lord’s Day

THROUG IT ALLSeries by Warren B. Smith
WS-TRUTH—Truth or Consequences
REJOICE—Rejoicing Through it All
WS-PRZ—Praising God Through it All
WS-TF—Being Thankful Through it All
WS-STF—Standing Fast Through it All
WS-BLESS—Blessings Through it All
WS-HOPE—Remaining Hopeful Through it All
WS-FTH—Remaining Faithful Through it All
WS-TR—Trusting God Through it All
WS-DCT—Sound Doctrine Through it All
WS-CMFT—God’s Help & Comfort Through it All
WS-WFL—Watchful and Discerning Through it All
WS-FR—Fearing God in a Fearless New Age
WS-PRY—Praying Through It All
WS-PWT—Patiently Waiting and Enduring Through It All

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New Booklet: A Master Carpenter Builds His Church

NEW BOOKLET: A Master Carpenter Builds His Church by David Dombrowski is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet.* The Booklet is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are available. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of A Master Carpenter Builds His Church, click here.

A Master Carpenter Builds His Church

By David Dombrowski

Looking for a Carpenter

I would like to take you on a historical journey into the past through the record of Scripture. History books inadvertently have a certain level of bias, but the Bible is not so for it is inspired of God and consequently totally accurate. We will also take a glimpse into the future through the prophetic eye of Scripture. Again, the Bible has and will continue to always be one hundred percent accurate. With this kind of accuracy, we have a decisive means with which to steer our course and to get a sense of where we are.

We begin our search into the past by looking for a carpenter. If we can get a hold of a certain carpenter, he can tell us what’s wrong with the church. You see, much of the church of today is rickety and on the brink of collapse. Some of the churches may seem just fine. Their attendance may number a thousand or more, and their income makes elaborate expansion possible. Don’t get me wrong; in and of itself, there is nothing wrong with a church having good attendance and a self-sustaining income, but that is not what forms a good church. We must look beneath the outer surface and see what is being used for the foundation of the church. Then, too, we will want to see what kinds of materials are being used to build upon the foundation. If the foundation is good and the materials are good, we can expect to have a strong church.

Unfortunately, over the years, our ministry has been contacted by various ministers (holding high credentials) who told us we at Lighthouse Trails are not qualified to discern. I was always surprised when this happened because I did not know that discernment had a qualification. In fact, I have known uneducated people who evidence more discernment than some of these professors and leaders. Be that as it may, we humbly remit that we do not have the credentials they are looking for. And, hence, we are out, looking for a carpenter.

Finding a Master Carpenter

In seeking this particular carpenter, we’ve moved back now to more than 2000 years ago to a stable in a small city because we are told that the redeemer of all people of all nations was born in Bethlehem.

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Micah 5:2)

Little is said in the New Testament of the years preceding Jesus’ public ministry, but we know He was the son of Joseph, a carpenter, and hence became a carpenter Himself. And while we know little of the early years, His life and teachings reflect His skill as a master carpenter.

The word carpenter is only used twice in the entire New Testament, yet in both cases, it is in reference to Jesus:

Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. (Matthew 13:55-57; emphasis added)

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. (Mark 6:3-6; emphasis added)

From these two passages, we can extract bits of information. From the first, we see that Jesus was known as “the carpenter’s son” while the second passage identifies Him as “the carpenter.” After Jesus began His public ministry, the religious leaders were seething with jealousy because they lacked the depth of wisdom, understanding, and spiritual power that Jesus had without their formal education. Instead of drawing near to glean and learn from Him, they separated themselves from Him. Can you imagine the opportunities they missed by withdrawing from our very Savior? His siblings, too, apparently did not recognize Him as suggested by Jesus’ statement that a prophet is not recognized even in his own house (Mark 6:4). Some speculate that James, who became the highest authority in deciding matters of doctrine in the early church (see Acts 15:13-21), was so humbled and ashamed for not recognizing Jesus while He lived, that he ascribed to himself no special recognition or honors when he wrote his epistle other than beginning with the words, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1).

It is also unfortunate that this period of Jesus’ history has often been obscured or even twisted to accommodate various points of view. For example, Catholic theologians insist that Jesus had no brothers or sisters; otherwise, this would impede on their view that Mary, as the “mother of God,” had to be both sinless and a perpetual virgin. Ellen G. White (founder of the Seventh Day Adventists), on the other hand, insisted that Jesus had older brothers; but this idea negates the possibility of Jesus being born to a virgin, which view is totally faulty as well. It is important, then, that we be like the citizens of Berea who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

Thus far, we have established that Jesus was born to a carpenter and became a carpenter Himself—most likely with carpentry being a family business. We should, therefore, take a moment to examine what it meant to be a carpenter in Jesus’ day. According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word for carpenter, found only twice in the New Testament, is tekton (meaning “a craftsman in wood”—see Greek entry #5045). It’s interesting that this word is only used in the New Testament to describe Jesus. He was a skilled craftsman who probably started young and had many years of experience. He perhaps had a shop from which He and His father and younger brothers worked. So, while we can expect that this family business was likely involved in building construction and home repairs, much of the work was probably done right at the shop to do any variety of wood projects.

The Carpenter Shows the Way

One such project Jesus and His father, Joseph, must have been familiar with is the construction of wooden yokes for beasts of burden. Consider, for example, the following plea spoken by Jesus during His public ministry:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

As a carpenter, Jesus would have known how to fashion a yoke that fit a working animal well. But He also knew what yoke the Jewish people were under in that day. In addition to their burden of being under Roman occupation, their own religious leaders had taken the Mosaic Law and added so many stipulations that the Jewish people were scarcely able to budge from their requirements for living a “good” life. Jesus addressed these leaders in open rebuke by saying:

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)

After describing the yoke the leaders had placed on their followers, Jesus said:

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. (Matthew 23:4)

Jesus also knew that no one could gain eternal life by means of observing the Laws of Moses because the law has never been kept perfectly by anyone (except Jesus), and therefore everyone needs a redeemer. The Old Covenant thus exposes our sin and shows us only that we are in a lost condition. The New Covenant that Jesus sealed with His own blood gives us eternal life.

So when the Jewish people asked Jesus what work they must perform to gain eternal life, He merely said, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29).

Jesus made the way to eternal life accessible to all. His only requirement is that we believe the Gospel. This is the yoke to which He was referring when He said, “my yoke is easy.” It is also the plan of salvation Isaiah spoke of when he wrote:

And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. (Isaiah 35:8)

There is only one way of holiness, and that is to have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us. When we put our faith in Christ alone for salvation, we apply the blood that was shed for all sinners—the blood that “cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). When we place our faith in Christ, God also gives us a new birth whereby we become partakers of a new nature with a heart for good works.

The Carpenter and the Church

Now, we have established that Jesus is the carpenter for whom we are looking to examine the Christian church of today. After two thousand years, it is in need of repairs. But first, we must learn of Him what constitutes a strongly built church. So let us turn to Him now and hear what He has to say about building construction:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)

It is important, then, that the church be built upon solid rock in order to withstand the tests of time. The Greek word for “rock” used here is petra meaning “a mass of rock.” To understand what Jesus is really talking about, let’s look at His discourse with a man named Simon (later called Peter). When Jesus first met Simon, He gave him a surname:

And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. (John 1:42)

The name Cephas is found six times in the Bible, and each time it refers specifically to Peter. In a later discussion, Jesus asked His disciples “whom say ye that I am?” (Matthew 16:15) to which Simon Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16). In response to this, Jesus revealed the importance of what Simon Peter had said while giving him yet another new name:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Petros], and upon this rock [petra] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (v. 18)

It is here that Jesus reveals the secret to a healthy church. Notice that the word petra is used again as in the parable Jesus used earlier to describe the importance of building on solid rock. So when Jesus now says “upon this rock I will build my church,” He is not referring to Peter, a stone, but to the foundational truth Peter had just disclosed, namely that Jesus is truly “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” True Christianity always was and always will be rooted in the Gospel. Scripture says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). This is as much of a statement as it is a question because it urges us to keep the foundation of our faith intact. Great harm has been inflicted on the church as New Age practices and beliefs and emergent-church ideologies have infiltrated the church with their toxic teachings that Jesus never really atoned for sin but was just a role model for “Christ” consciousness. As for Peter being our first pope with infallible qualities (which the Catholic Church teaches), Jesus made it clear this was not the case when only a few verses later He said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (v. 23).

However, Jesus did leave Peter with a key—i.e., the Gospel and a place in the church as one of the building stones firmly planted on the significance of the Cross as the only way to Heaven. It should be noted that the term petra is never ascribed to Peter in the New Testament but is always used in reference to Jesus. Jesus is also referred to as the chief cornerstone and the “head of the corner” to show that only He has the critical and most significant place in the church.

In Acts 4, Peter spoke of the special place Jesus has as the foundation of the church:

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:11-12)

Then, in 1 Peter 2, Peter alluded to the proper construction of the church. He refers to Jesus as the “chief corner stone” (v. 6) and “the head of the corner” (v. 7), but he also includes himself and all believers as “lively stones [lithos]” (v. 5). It is important to recognize what Peter is and is not saying in this chapter because he goes on to refer to all believers as “a royal priesthood” (v. 9). Peter never intended that he should be called “pope.” Neither did he see a unique priesthood performing transubstantiation (i.e., the Catholic belief that priests can change the bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ) on an altar. Rather, he recognized the priesthood of all believers in that Jesus had already performed a one-time sacrifice that was perfect and complete (see Hebrews 9:24-28). Peter witnessed Christians throughout the community breaking bread daily as a remembrance of Jesus’ death on the Cross for all sin. Nor did any of the apostles frown on this practice as something that only “priests” can and must do because in John 6, Jesus had already reprimanded them for even considering that partaking of the “bread of life” should be viewed as a literal eating of His flesh and blood (see vv. 61-63). Rather, Peter saw a vibrant church of “living stones” rejoicing in the salvation that Jesus brought to those who would believe on Him—a salvation that was and is perfect, complete, and for certain to “whosoever believeth.” There is no fading with this covenant. Moses covered his face with a veil whereby the children of Israel could not see “the end of that which is abolished” (2 Corinthians 3:13), but the apostles had no need to cover their faces but rather proclaimed the unending glory of the New Covenant sealed in the blood of the perfect Lamb.

The Carpenter and the Purifying of the Church

God is not through with His church. Remember, Jesus promised Peter that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church. Yet, to many of us, it appears that the church at large has entered an accelerated state of apostasy that is unsurmountable as more and more of it is succumbing to broad-sweeping interfaith ecumenism, New Age and esoteric experiences, and anti-biblical “social justice” beliefs. Even still, God’s Word will not fail.

I believe we could be entering a special time when God is about to purify the church. While there is much talk and conjecture among many of today’s most popular Christian leaders that a great revival and “awakening” is nearly upon us, the evidence of a mass true revival is not there. What is evident is a massive amount of apostasy. Yet, at the same time, from what we can see as we hear from believers all over the world, it seems God is separating and purifying genuine believers while calling those who are riding the fence of apostasy to come to the side of uncompromising faith in Jesus Christ—back to the Gospel, back to the foundation of our faith.

Back in the 1970s, when I was a new believer, I remember hearing an evangelist quoting from this verse in Ephesians:

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27).

He then looked up at his audience and said, “It looks like God has a lot of washing and ironing to do!” He said this during the “Jesus people” movement. Today, things have gotten so much worse. But, at the same time, I see a body of believers from all over the world holding to their convictions to stand on the side of truth and God’s Word. What I see, however, is the unseen. It is a hidden body of believers who love the Lord with all their hearts and seek to serve Him, not with their own strength, but with His, of which He has promised to give those who follow Him.

A Carpenter Who Prepares Us for the Future

At the time I began working on this article, I had not yet heard of the coronavirus. At present, that is about the only thing one does hear on the news. For many, it has been a roller-coaster ride trying to decipher the seriousness and magnitude of this pandemic. Coming from two extremes, some have tried to minimize what is happening by suggesting this a hoax while others seem to think this is the end of the world. Jesus spoke of a time when “the end is not by and by” (Luke 21:9) that will be marked by wars and commotions along with “great earthquakes . . . in divers places, and famines, and pestilences . . .” (v. 11). Jesus said when you witness these things, “be not terrified” (v. 9). While the coronavirus definitely seems like one of the pestilences Jesus said would come, I also believe it is another wake-up call that God is using to get us ready to face the future. But how do we go about preparing for the future?

Many practical measures are being taken right now in dealing with the coronavirus, and I fully agree that practical measures need to be taken. Yet, as believers in Christ, we do not want to miss the spiritual significance of what is happening.

Already, we can see that this current pandemic has ramped up talk by New Age and political globalist thinkers who say the world needs a new-world order. They even see COVID-19 as a positive means to a desirable end—i.e., the merging and unity of all beliefs, all people, and all nations. We saw this happen to some degree with the aftermath of 9-11 where we witnessed a push for ecumenism (in the religious realm) and global unity. But very little actually happened in seeing a genuine effort at repentance and turning to God.

So during this virus crisis, let us do the practical things that need to be done, but let us more so, as those who understand the times in which we live from a biblical perspective, prepare for a change in the spiritual climate of our nation and the world where genuine Christians will be more ostracized and one-world thinkers will be glorified. But the truth is, the world will continue to witness more of the things Jesus described in Luke 21 as a result of the world not turning to God in sincere and humble repentance.

In seeking God for a word of encouragement for our readers, I found a very sure word of hope in the Scriptures that relates to both COVID-19 and the present state of the church. In his second epistle, Peter writes:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

Peter also says, in verse 19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy.” We can, therefore, find the encouragement we need in the Scriptures as we lay hold of God’s promises and assurances for the future.

Thus, let us remind ourselves of Jesus’ promise to Peter (and to us) that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18) and that He is preparing for Himself “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle” (Ephesians 5:27). Consider also the words of David to his son Solomon concerning the construction of Solomon’s temple:

And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. (1 Chronicles 28:20)

These same words can be applicable to us today. Solomon’s temple has come and gone, but God is not yet finished with building the invisible body of believers called “the church.” In light of Jesus’ promise to Peter, this verse takes on special significance in that it can assure us that God will accomplish all that He has set out for each of us to do as part of God’s spiritual body.

Furthermore, it is such promises as these that can help us on the more personal level. All of us struggle, at one time or another, with the prospect of death, and the coronavirus has caught everyone’s attention on a global scale. But these fears can grab us at different levels. There is, of course, the prospect of facing our own death, and our concerns here can be multiplied if we have family or loved ones who need our help. Questions arise like, what will happen to them if I am gone? Then, too, there is the prospect of losing a loved one. Ordinarily, we do not like to think of such things because they are too painful—until something like this pandemic happens. But, here too, we can look to the Scriptures for support, allowing the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) to speak to us through His Word.

The prophet Isaiah suffered much and witnessed a lot of calamity in his lifetime, but he also drew strength and comfort in knowing that God would not fail to accomplish His purposes though the world be torn apart. God is, and has always been, faithful as the book of Isaiah expresses so beautifully:

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:9-11)

So too, one of the greatest comforts we, as believers, can have is knowing and believing that God will fulfill all He has set out to do in our individual lives and in that glorious church He is building, and He has promised to never leave or forsake us. That master Carpenter will complete what He has set out to do.


To order copies of A Master Carpenter Builds His Church, click here.

(cover photo is from alamy.com; used with permission; design by Lighthouse Trails)

 


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If you have ever purchased or been given any Lighthouse Trails products, we invite you to leave a review (or reviews) on our Lighthouse Trails store site. If you do, you will receive a 10%-off coupon that you can use on your next purchase at Lighthouse Trails. Even if you don't plan to buy anything on the store, we hope you will still consider leaving a review (or reviews) as this helps readers when they can read what other people have to say about our resources.

Leaving a review is easy. Just visit our store, use the search engine to find a particular product. When you get to a product page, you will see a box that says "Rate This Product!" You will have to have an account to rate any product, but that is easy too. Just click this link to create an account.

Thank you in advance,

The Editors at Lighthouse Trails

Donating to Lighthouse Trails

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

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

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

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

 
 
SIGN UP FOR LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH JOURNAL - MAILED 4X/YEAR

Lighthouse Trails Research Journal

UPDATE: IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH JOURNAL

The Lighthouse Trails Research journal is a 36-page (40 pages starting Jan. 2020) subscription-based journal mailed to your home, office, or church and can be ordered at any time during the year. Your subscription (which will entitle you to a full twelve months of journals-4 issues) will start when you subscribe. Click here to read more information or click here to sign up. Subscription rate: $14/year (4 issues) for U.S.; $22 for Canada; $34 for other international. (There is no added postage charged for the journal - the mailing costs are worked into the subscription fee.)

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

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

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

To order single past issues, click here.

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

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

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

 

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

RENEW PRINT JOURNAL

SUBSCRIBE TO LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PRINT JOURNAL

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

If you are a subscriber to the lighthouse Trails Research Print Journal, it may be time for you to renew your yearly subscription. To RENEW your yearly subscription ($14/year-USA), click here. You can renew your subscription at any time. Just indicate on the store which month you want the renewal to start. If you can't remember when you subscribed, we'll double check when you renew and make sure the renewal starts on the right date. If you have any questions, you can call us at 866-876-3910 or e-mail at editors@lighthousetrails.com. You can also renew by mail (see address at bottom of page), by fax (406-889-3633), or by calling.

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

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

RENEW PRINT JOURNAL

To subscribe to the journal, click here.

 
 
 
INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS

** NOW LARGER PRINT ON TEA TAGS **

Shepherd's Bible Verse Tea - Sampler BoxIn 2010, Lighthouse Trails began a small organic tea division as a way to help support the ministry of Lighthouse Trails. Thus the creation of Shepherd's Bible Verse Tea 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)

* * *


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


Click here to enter store.

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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Photos in newsletter header and footer from bigstockphoto.com unless otherwise indicated| used with permission.