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“Largest Teachers’ Union Quietly Removes Pro-CRT Agenda Items From Website”
LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes.

By GQ Pan
The Epoch Times

The nation’s largest teachers’ union has quietly taken down a series of adopted and proposed resolutions from its website, including one that calls for the organization to defend the teaching of Marxism-rooted critical race theory (CRT) in public schools. . . .

Among the now-hidden approved resolutions was Business Item 39, which would cost the union at least $127,600 to advance a pro-CRT agenda. According to the plan, the NEA would share and publicize information about “what CRT is and what it is not,” dedicate a “team of staffers” to assist union members who “want to learn more and fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric,” and provide a study that critiques “power and oppression” in American society, including “white supremacy,” “cisheteropatriarchy,” and capitalism. Click here to read the entire article.


Related Articles:

S is for Social Justice The Language of Today’s Cultural “Revolution”

Public School or Homeschool?—How Public Schools Are Corrupting Children’s Values

(photos from bigstockphoto.com and alamy.com; used with permission; design by Lighthouse Trails)

 

“Once-great Boy Scouts of America Going Broke After Going ‘Woke'”

LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational and research purposes. Also see the recent related article: Boy Scouts of America Reaches $850 Million Settlement With Sex Abuse Victims.

By Charlie Butts
One News Now

The long-declining Boy Scouts of America organization is watching its membership and revenue tumble even lower but a longtime critic says the decline is well-deserved.

According to the most recent figures, Cub Scout and Boy Scout membership dropped a whopping 43% in 2020, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

BSA has experienced declining numbers for years, the AP said, but the virus pandemic hurt membership while a federal lawsuit filed by victims of sexual abuse is hurting the organization, too, after BSA sought bankruptcy protection. Click here to continue reading.

Related News

Boy Scouts of America File for Bankruptcy Amid Sexual Abuse, Homosexual, and Transgender Allowances

Boy Scouts’ Rulings Put Boys at Risk (and “Letter to the Molester” and “What Being Molested Cost Me”)

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Horowitz: “The Medical Field’s Immoral War on Children”
LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational and research purposes.

By Daniel Horowitz
The Blaze

The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.” —Nuremberg Code

Wanted: a pediatrician who actually believes in science and not child abuse.

My children are months overdue for their checkups because they are distraught about having to wear masks. The baby, who doesn’t yet have to cover her breathing orifices, was traumatized at her recent visit by seeing everyone dressed like a mummy. How can it be that the doctors responsible most for the health of children can’t read simple data and studies showing clearly that children are more at risk from the trauma of the response to COVID than from the virus?

Scientists from University College London and the Universities of York, Bristol, and Liverpool studied the data from all pediatric COVID-19 infections in the U.K. and found that just 25 children under 18 likely died from the virus in a country with over 12 million children. Only six of those children had no known serious underlying conditions, although the authors caution that they could not confirm that all of them were indeed healthy. The rest of the fatalities were among those with the sorts of conditions that cause people to die every year from other endemic respiratory viruses for which we never disrupt society or force masking and experimental injections. Click here to continue reading.

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

 

 

“Largest Teachers’ Union Quietly Removes Pro-CRT Agenda Items From Website”
“Once-great Boy Scouts of America Going Broke After Going ‘Woke'”
Horowitz: “The Medical Field’s Immoral War on Children”
Thoughts From a Former Nun on Drugs, Transgenderism, & “Mary” Apparitions
Christian Leaders—A New Openness . . . to the Catholic Church
“Canadian Churches on First Nations Land Are Burning” [Backlash From Recent Discovery of Children’s Graves]
Mindfulness: What You May Not Know And Should Have Been Told
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Thoughts From a Former Nun on Drugs, Transgenderism, & “Mary” Apparitions
By Ann Marie
Ann Marie is a former Catholic nun and the author of the LT booklet, A Former Nun Speaks Candidly About Pope Francis, Deception, and Mind Control in the Catholic Church

Thank you for David Dombrowski’s new booklet titled Drugs, Meditation and a “Fully Developed Spirituality.” And for making the full text of it available online. This is such an important subject. I hope that this booklet will spread far and wide.

David mentioned how that shaman used drugs to enter into that trance state. Well, my home state of __________ has now legalized marijuana. And the progressives want to legalize marijuana nationally. Technically speaking, marijuana isn’t considered to be a hallucinogenic drug. However, it sure functions like one. It can cause people to become severely bipolar. And it can cause people to become psychotic. I’ve thought for some time that what is going on in many of those cases is that the people who are smoking pot have become demonized because of it. In other words, it could be demonic activity combined with chemical changes that affect the mind and the ability to think rationally.

I’m seeing some other parallels. The cruelty towards women that results from this. We are already seeing that with girls in public schools who are getting urinary tract infections because they are afraid to use the women’s rest room, because boys who falsely claim to be transgenders go there to prey on the girls there. (For every genuine transgender, there must be multitudes of sexual predators who will fake it in order to gain access to the girls.)

On top of that, some colleges allow young men who claim to be transgenders to be the roommates of young women — and the women are not warned about that ahead of time. They just arrive at college and discover that their roommate is a man.

The current administration is now requiring shelters for abused women to allow transgenders to live there. In other words, sexual predators who pretend to be women will be living with desperate women who ran away from their abusive husbands or boyfriends.

On top of that, there is now a push to allow men in men’s prisons who claim to be transgender to be transferred to a women’s prison. Which means that women prisoners will be locked up with sexual predators who stalk them in bathrooms, when they are taking a shower, etc. And may share the same prison cell with them. And from what I read, if a man’s crime was a sexual crime, that does not prevent him from being able to do this.

David mentioned the coming one-world religion. I’m sure that apparitions of “Mary” will show up to promote that thing. And that when the Antichrist comes out on center stage, that apparitions of “Mary” will show up to push people into following him.

Most Catholics and Orthodox would fall for that. Some supposedly born-again evangelicals would also fall for that. (I know of one who went overseas in order to visit a site that was supposedly having apparitions of “Mary” show up.)

Obviously, Hindus and other people who worship goddesses would fall for that. Including many Buddhists. (Some Chinese restaurants have pictures of a goddess on their walls.)

Surprisingly, many Muslims would fall for it. Years ago, there was an apparition of “Mary” that kept showing up above a Coptic church in Egypt. Many Muslims came to see it. And they bowed down on their prayer rugs and chanted verses from the Koran that honor Mary.

On a related note, apparitions of “Mary” cannot be her because no servant of God would ever allow themselves to be worshipped like that. And that thing often shows up holding a rosary and openly encouraging people to worship it. Therefore, it must be demonic.

We are in times in which much prayer, discernment, and godly wisdom is needed among believers. As the Bible states, many will be deceived.


Related Articles:

The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ by Roger Oakland

(photos in collage from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

Christian Leaders—A New Openness . . . to the Catholic Church
LTRP Note: The information in this article was written a few years ago, but it remains as relevant today as it did back then—in fact, more so as you can see from the articles we link to at the bottom of this article. If you do not understand what the Catholic Church really teaches and stands for, read Ray Yungen’s book Simple Answers and/or Roger Oakland’s book, Another Jesus. If you are a Catholic or have a loved one who is and cannot afford to get one of these books, e-mail us at editors@lighthousetrails.com, and we will mail you a complimentary copy (U.S. addresses). We also have numerous excellent and well documented articles on this site that you are free to print and share.

By Ray Yungen and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

It is not just a fluke or an aberration that the evangelical churches and the Catholic Church are coming into alignment with each other. The Catholic Church is taking a softer approach to the evangelical church, and the evangelical church is starting to downplay the traditional and significant differences that have kept it at bay with the Roman Catholic Church. While church history has witnessed martyrs who would not bend on doctrinal issues concerning salvation, today, we are witnessing a paradigm shift from an emphasis on biblical doctrine to the experiential and the mystical. The consensus is becoming that it’s not so important what we believe anymore but what we do—namely that we need to experience God and get along with everyone. And this is where the Catholic Church comes in as it promotes oneness (a unifying of all religious traditions under the umbrella of the Catholic Church) and a vast array of religious practices stemming back to the Church fathers to satisfy the draw to the experiential.

The following examples illustrate how this changing landscape is occurring—

Rick Warren and Catholic TV host, Raymond Arroyo

Rick Warren

In 2014, evangelical Purpose-Driven pastor Rick Warren was interviewed by EWTN (Catholic T.V. network) host Raymond Arroyo.1 In this interview, Warren made it very clear that he saw nothing within the Catholic Church that would keep him from uniting with Catholics from a spiritual point of view.

The interview also showed Warren’s affinity with Catholic contemplative prayer.* He listed a number of Catholic mystics whom he turned to (Thomas à Kempis, Brother Lawrence, The Desert Fathers, St. John of the Cross, and Teresa of Avila2) and told Arroyo the writings of these mystics were “great, classical devotional works.”3 Warren told Arroyo that his own “spiritual director” at Saddleback Church was trained by a Catholic mystic named Jean Vanier. When you read the following description of Vanier, I believe you will understand why Rick Warren is included in this section of Simple Answers:

Vanier is a contemplative mystic who promotes interspirituality and interfaith beliefs, calling the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi “one of the greatest prophets of our times” and “a man sent by God.” In the book Essential Writings, Vanier talks about “opening doors to other religions” and helping people develop their own faiths be it Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam.4

The Warren/Arroyo interview revealed much more about Rick Warren’s proclivities toward the Catholic Church. For instance, he admitted that he loves watching EWTN, and one of his favorite shows is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which is comprised of “unbiblical practices rooted in paganism.”5

Beth Moore

Beth Moore is the most popular women’s Bible study teacher in the world today. Many men read her teachings as well. She was in a 2015 Christian movie titled War Room that remains very popular and is considered the epitome of conservative evangelicalism. However, she has been a proponent of the contemplative prayer movement for a number of years. In her book, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, she endorses and resonates with Catholic contemplative practitioner Brennan Manning.6 And in the contemplative infomercial film Be Still, Moore said we cannot really know God without the contemplative “stillness.”7

Like Rick Warren, Beth Moore has delivered a message to her followers that she sees the Catholic Church as a legitimate part of the body of Christ. For example, she has been a regular teacher on James and Betty Robison’s show, Life Today. The Robison’s have made statements that show their strong comradeship to the Catholic Church. For instance, in a May 2014 article written by James Robison on his website titled “Pope Francis on Life Today,” Robison states:

I believe there is an important spiritual awakening beginning in the hearts of those truly committed to Christ in the Protestant and Catholic communities. Is it possible that Pope Francis may prove to be an answer not only to the prayers of Catholics, but also those known as Protestants?8

Some may think it is guilt by association to say Beth Moore agrees with Robison on the Catholic issue just because she teaches on his show. But to further illustrate her affinities, at a conference where Beth Moore was speaking, she called up several women from the audience to the stage and had them sit in different groups based on their religious affiliations. She told the attending women that these groups were all part of the body of Christ. While most of the groups would fall within the Protestant church, she also included a group from the Catholic Church and said these different groups combined form a community that is “the church as Jesus sees it.”9 This is just another example of how the gap between evangelicalism and Catholicism is being narrowed.

Pope Francis with several evangelical leaders including James Robison, Tony Palmer, and Kenneth Copeland

In January of 2014, Tony Palmer, an Anglican priest who served as an ambassador for Pope Francis (calling the pope his mentor) to the evangelical church, visited charismatic leader Kenneth Copeland’s church. In a video of the meeting, Palmer told the congregation that he was coming in “the spirit of Elijah” similar to that of John the Baptist.10 Palmer said what was coming was “reconciliation” (meaning Protestants reconciling with the “Mother” church) and that there was no need for the Reformation any longer. Palmer told Copeland’s congregation that division among Christians was diabolical and that it was doctrine that divided but God’s “presence” that united us.11 As Palmer spoke, the congregation enthusiastically applauded and affirmed him. Palmer said that “Luther’s protest is over,” and “if there is no more protest, how can there be a Protestant church?”12 When Palmer was finished talking, he played a clip of Pope Francis greeting Copeland’s congregation. Pope Francis spoke of the separation between Catholics and Protestants. He stated:

I am nostalgic that this separation comes to an end and gives us communion. . . . We have to encounter one another as brothers. . . . Let’s pray to the Lord that He unites us all. . . . The miracle of unity has begun.13

In June of that same year, Tony Palmer met with Pope Francis and handed the pope a document called the “Declaration of Faith in Unity for Mission” that Palmer hoped the Vatican and evangelical leaders would sign in 2017, the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation. The Declaration stated that the evangelicals and Catholics both preached the same Gospel, and therefore, there should be unity.

One month after Palmer had the meeting with Pope Francis, Palmer was killed in a motorcycle accident in the U.K., halting his ecumenical work. Many recognized his efforts as the Boston Globe reported at the time of his death:

The news stunned . . . many across the Christian world who were aware that, behind the scenes, the unlikely friendship of Palmer and Pope Francis was the catalyst of an extraordinary historic breakthrough in relations between the Catholic Church and the evangelical world. . . . [Pope] Francis created the strong impression that the work he and Palmer had begun would continue.14

And so, though Palmer is gone, the efforts to bridge the gap between evangelical/Protestant Christianity and the Catholic Church are still continuing on with others.

Alpha Course/Nicky Gumbel

In 2015, there was an Alpha Leadership Conference, hosted by Nicky Gumbel (the current head of the Alpha program and vicar of the Holy Trinity Brompton Church in the UK). Incidentally, the popular name-it, claim-it teacher Joyce Meyer was also one of the speakers at the event. The following are some quotes taken from Gumbel’s talks at the conference and given to my publisher by someone who watched the talks online:

This crisis [of lack of unity] is a massive opportunity for the church to stand together and fight together.

Ultimately, unity is not doctrinal, it’s relational.

Unity is not an option—Jesus is still praying for our unity—so that the world will be one.

I have come to love the Catholic Church—If God has given them the same Spirit, who are we to oppose God?

The same Spirit lives in the Catholics, and the Orthodox, and the Pentecostals and the Protestants, even the Anglicans have the same Holy Spirit living within them. That’s what makes us one!

Unity doesn’t mean we’re not interested in the truth! The only way to get truth is through unity!

We live in a divided world that demands a united church.

Root of all problems in the world is division. Paul gives us the answer to this—it’s in relationships!15

In a 2004 Alpha News commentary, Gumbel, who is Anglican, stated the following, which shows his acceptance and promotion of Roman Catholicism and the Catholic papacy:

It was a great honor to be presented to Pope John Paul II, who has done so much to promote evangelism around the world. We have been enormously enriched by our interaction with Catholics in many countries.16

And in a 2009 interview between Nicky Gumbel and the UK newspaper The Guardian, Gumbel stated:

Probably one of the strongest movements of the Holy Spirit is in the Roman Catholic Church, so there’s not a huge theological difference between the official teaching of the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church, for example.17

Wheaton College

On March 26, 2012, evangelical Wheaton College held an event titled “A Conversation on Unity in Christ’s Mission.” The two speakers for the event were evangelical pastor, author, and adjunct professor at Wheaton John Armstrong and Catholic Cardinal George of Chicago. A flier for the event read:

An evening of dialogue exploring the common ground and current challenges that face Catholics and evangelical Protestants in Christian faith and mission.18

This was not a debate by two people with opposing views. On the contrary, the discussion was focused on how to bring unity between evangelicalism and Catholicism. In January of 2012, Armstrong posted the following on his blog:

There is a long history behind the worldwide call to prayer for Christian unity but I became acutely aware of the history of this call at the Center for Unity in Rome last March. Then in June . . . I visited the grave site of Fr. Paul Wattson, the man who launched this global week of prayer for Christian unity. As deeply interested as I am in this subject I am pleased to share news today from the Vatican Information Service of January 18. The Pope’s comments provide a gracious reminder of our common duty to the whole of Christ’s Church, not just our own communion or fellowship.19

Armstrong then posted an article from the Vatican news, which in part stated:

Ecumenism, as defined by Vatican Council II and Blessed John Paul II, is “the responsibility of the entire Church and of all the baptised, who must augment the partial communion that already exists among Christians until achieving full communion in truth and charity. Praying for unity . . . must then be an integral part of the prayer life of all Christians, in all times and places, especially when people from different traditions come together to work for victory in Christ over sin, evil, injustice and the violation of human dignity.20

Wheaton College is just another spoke in a wheel that is pushing forward to unite the evangelical church with the Catholic Church.

Franklin Graham

Bishop David Zubik

On August 15-17 2014, a  gathering called “Three Rivers Festival of Hope” in Pittsburgh, PA was led and organized by Franklin Graham. For the opening prayer on stage in front of a large audience, Graham brought in Catholic Bishop David Zubik. The bishop, during his prayer, acknowledged his belief that Protestants and Catholics are all part of the same church. While we know that Graham’s father, Billy Graham, allowed Catholic counselors at his own crusade meetings (which sadly set a precedent), it’s a big leap to give a Catholic priest the platform at an evangelical event to lead in an ecumenical prayer that puts Catholicism on par with Protestant Christianity.

A newspaper article advertising the Franklin Graham event stated:

Bishop David Zubik said the festival dovetails with calls by recent popes to a “new evangelization,” bringing back cradle Catholics who drifted or became estranged from the faith.

“We felt as long as there was a Catholic component to this particular crusade, we wanted to be a part of it,” Bishop Zubik said.

Those who respond to Rev. Graham’s invitation to make a decision for Christ, and who identify as Catholic, will be given the opportunity to go to Epiphany Church—adjacent to the Consol Energy Center—for the sacrament of reconciliation, or confession.

“We’re right next door,” Bishop Zubik said.

Bishop Zubik said Catholics don’t share all of Rev. Graham’s controversial political statements but added: “That’s not what this is all about. The whole point is to bring people back to Jesus.”21

In an pastoral letter written by Bishop Zubik titled “The Church Evangelizing!,” Zubik expresses his support for the papacy’s “New Evangelization” program. In the letter, Zubik states:

As Catholics, we invite others “to come to Jesus” not only at events in stadiums, but to come to Him in the sacraments, most especially the Eucharist.22

Many evangelicals do not understand what the Catholic church teaches about the “sacraments” and the “Eucharist.” They do not realize that the Catholic belief is that Jesus Christ is actually in the wafer and his blood in the wine, and this “transubstantiation” takes place only when a Catholic priest prays over the bread and the wine. This continual re-crucifying of Christ is the benchmark of Catholic Church doctrine.

Lifeway Survey (Southern Baptist)

Probably the most telling example of this paradigm shift is a study done by LifeWay Research (a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, the resource arm of Southern Baptist Convention). A Christianity Today article called “From Antichrist to Brother in Christ: How Protestant Pastors View the Pope,” details the survey. The first reference is about the negative attitude that evangelical pastors had over the last five hundred years regarding the Catholic Church, which was based on hostility and rejection by Protestantism. In other words, most evangelical pastors would see the Pope as an enemy of the Christian Gospel. But now, according to the survey, 58% of evangelical pastors view the Pope as “a genuine Christian and a brother in Christ.” Another 19% are not sure.23
The general current of evangelical thought is beginning to flow in the direction of the Catholic Church as being a valid and legitimate expression of Christianity. I heard an interview in 2016 that illustrates this perfectly. The interview was with popular Catholic contemplative priest and author Richard Rohr who revealed that his publisher told him that his largest segment of readers is young evangelical men!24 This would have been virtually unheard of a few decades ago.

I find it ironic that LifeWay, which conducted the survey showing this paradigm shift in attitude toward the Catholic Church by evangelicals, is itself part of the problem. Through their online and walk-in bookstores, they sell numerous books written by those who are helping to bridge the gap between Catholicism and Protestantism. In one book they sell titled A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People are the writings of Catholic mystics such as Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen.

Another book LifeWay sells is contemplative pioneer Richard Foster’s book 25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual Classics (where he includes a number of Catholic mystics and emergent** authors). One of the people listed in the book as being on the editorial team is Richard Rohr. Rohr’s spirituality would be in the same camp as someone like Episcopalian panentheist Matthew Fox (author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ). On Rohr’s website, he has an article titled “The Cosmic Christ,”25 which is the “christ” whose being they say lives in every human (i.e., christ consciousness). It’s disheartening to know that Rohr’s largest audience is young evangelical men!

Judgmentalism or Profound Differences?

I haven’t named all these people or organizations in this chapter with the intent of lambasting them. My motive has been to show with this small sampling how the evangelical church is helping to bring about an ecumenical Catholic-bound landscape.

The Catholic-friendly individuals I’ve just quoted would certainly acknowledge there are differences between the evangelical and the Catholic faith. But they would relegate these distinctives as minor issues, and focusing on them in any negative way would be seen as theologically acerbic and divisive. The response most often given by evangelical pastors, church leaders, and those in authority is that criticism is judgmentalism—a vice rather than a virtue—and that those who bring up these objections, seen as minor issues, lead people away from what’s important.

However, our focus here is to show there are profound differences that affect salvation, that are not just unscriptural but anti-scriptural and anti-Gospel. The controversies are not just based on misunderstanding or bigotry but have a solid footing in scriptural discernment. Certain ideas presented as truth must be given the litmus test whether they are actually of God or have gone off the mark, hence the term discernment, which means to have the ability to distinguish or discriminate. The important part is to differentiate between mere human opinion and objective truth.
In actuality, there must be a gauge, something that will measure a perspective or teaching. And in Christianity, that gauge is the Gospel as presented in the Bible. Otherwise, anything and everything is permissible and as is commonly said today, “all paths lead to God.” We can see this illustrated in the Old Testament account of the golden calf, which was supposed to honor Jehovah God who delivered them out of Egypt, but the people did something that was not pleasing to God. Rather than pure worship to the Lord, they used an image (which is idolatry) as a vehicle and actually ended up worshipping another god under another gospel.

A few comments need to be made on what ecumenism is all about from the official Catholic point of view. While this chapter is titled “A New Openness,” openness is not real unless it is honest and forthright. The true meaning of Catholic ecumenism is that in time the “lost brethren” (i.e., Protestants) will be reabsorbed into the Catholic Church, and this is what the New Evangelization is all about. Now, while it may be true that a few Catholic clergy see evangelicals as true Christians, and while most Catholics are at a loss on what official Catholic doctrine teaches, officially the Catholic Church sees the “lost brethren” as just that—“lost.”

The honest approach, of course, would be for the Catholic Church to let evangelicals know where they stand doctrinally. But, as Machiavelli’s old axiom goes, “the end justifies the means,” the Catholic Church has taken the friendly approach to win Protestants back into the fold. If you keep in mind that “unity” here really means “reabsorption,” the pieces of the puzzle will fit together and seemingly contradictory behavior of the Catholic Church will begin to make sense.


*Contemplative prayer is a practice that has entered the evangelical church through the Spiritual Formation movement and has its roots in Catholic mysticism and panentheism (God is in all things). The practice entails repeating a word or phrase (often called a sacred word) in order to “remove distractions,” put the mind into a neutral state, and in this altered state, the contemplative practitioner hopes to hear the voice of God. I discuss contemplative spirituality and its dangers in depth in my book, A Time of Departing.

*** Emergent or “emerging church” refers to those who follow a loose set of doctrines promoting a redefinition of Christianity and incorporating into their fellowships some or all of the following: Roman Catholic mysticism and contemplative prayer, eastern meditation techniques, pagan religious practices such as walking the labyrinth, Lectio Divina, entering the silence, mantras, etc. The emerging/emergent church is highly ecumenical, and the focus is on social justice and cultural relevancy rather than the Gospel and the Word of God. Emphasis is on a social gospel as opposed to a personal Gospel. (This definition taken from Kevin Reeves booklet D is for Deception: The Language of the New Christianity published by Lighthouse Trails.) 

Related Articles From Lighthouse Trails From 2017 to 2021 Showing the Continued “Openness” to the Catholic Church by Protestants and Evangelicals

Francis Chan’s Dangerous Path to “Unity” and a Eucharistic Christ

Passion of the Christ Sequel May Be Coming—First One Promoted Roman Catholicism Amid Immense Evangelical Support

Catholic Priest Believes Francis Chan Heading Into Catholic Church Based on Eucharistic Sermon

World Leader of Salvation Army Meets With Pope Francis/Vatican to Discuss Ecumenical Plans

Wycliffe, YWAM, & Other Evangelical Groups to Take Part in Roman Catholic-Endorsed Global Event in 2020

Navigators Welcomes 2019 With Their Contemplative Trend By Promoting Jesuit Prayer Practice

Kenneth Copeland Carries On Tony Palmer’s Crusade to End the Protestant Church

Pictures That Say a Thousand Words – What Would the Reformers Think of Them?

“Rick Warren, Calif. Bishop Hail Unity as Model for Evangelicals and Catholics to Follow”

(photo at top from the cover of Simple Answers; design by Lighthouse Trails; photos by bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Endnotes:

1. The interview can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVCY8pW-ACsRoger Oakland wrote about this interview in his booklet Rick Warren and His Dangerous Ecumenical Path to Rome (you can read this booklet at http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog or purchase it at www.lighthousetrails.com).
2. To understand the meaning of contemplative prayer and learn about some of these Catholic mystics, read my booklet 5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer, or for a more exhaustive study read my book A Time of Departing, both available through Lighthouse Trails Publishing.
3. Warren/Arroyo interview, op. cit.
4. Roger Oakland, Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Path to Rome (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2015), p. 11.
5. Ibid., p. 17.
6. Beth Moore, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002), pp. 72-73.
7. Beth Moore, Be Still DVD (Fox Home Entertainment, April 2006), section: “Contemplative Prayer: The Divine Romance Between God and Man” (transcript on file at Lighthouse Trails).
8. James Robison, “Pope Francis on Life Today” (May 2, 2014, http://www.jamesrobison.net/pope-francis).
9. Lighthouse Trails Editors, “Is Beth Moore’s ‘Spiritual Awakening’ Taking the Evangelical Church Toward Rome?” (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15914). You can watch the video clip of Moore on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqUiqdGYit8.
10. Watch this video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA4EPOfic5A.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid.
14. Austen Ivereigh, “Pope’s Protestant Friend Dies, But Push for Unity Lives” (Boston Globe, August 7, 2014, http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2014/08/07/pope-protestant-friend-dies-but-push-for-unity-lives/v7y0x8NglzPe6oNWoXIKdJ/story.html).
15. “Letter to the Editor: Alpha Course Founder, Nicky Gumbel, Asks for Ecumenical Unity with Catholic Church” (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=17458).
16. Roger Oakland, “Alpha and the Pope” (http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c25.shtml), quoting Nicky Gumbel from Alpha News, March-June 2004, p. 7.
17. “Nicky Gumbel Interview Transcript” (The Guardian, August 28, 2009, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2009/aug/28/religion-christianity-alpha-gumbel-transcript).
18. “Wheaton College ‘Dialogue’ Evening—Exploring ‘Common Ground’ with Catholicism in ‘A Conversation on Unity’” (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=8647).
19. “The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” (http://johnharmstrong.typepad.com/john_h_armstrong_/prayer).
20. Ibid.
21. Peter Smith, “Revival Headliner Franklin Graham Has Trail of Support, Polarizing Comments” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 9, 2014, http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2014/08/10/Franklin-Graham-coming-to-Pittsburgh-known-for-outreach-but-also-divisive-comments-on-Islam-Hinduism-and-gay-marriage/stories/201408100022).
22. Bishop David Zubik, “The Church Evangelizing!” (April 17, 2014, http://www.dioceseofpgh.org/sites/default/files/FINALchurchevangelizingnewsrelease.pdf), p. 8.
23. Lisa Cannon Green, “From AntiChrist to Brother in Christ: How Protestant Pastors View the Pope” (Christianity Today, September 25, 2015, http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2015/september/antichrist-brother-christ-protestant-pastors-pope-francis.html).
24.The Liturgists Podcast (April 11, 2016, http://podcast.theliturgists.com/e/episode-35-the-cosmic-christ-with-richard-rohr).
25. Richard Rohr, “The Cosmic Christ” (The Center for Action and Contemplation, November 5, 2015, https://cac.org/the-cosmic-christ-2015-11-05).

 

 


 

 

“Canadian Churches on First Nations Land Are Burning” [Backlash From Recent Discovery of Children’s Graves]
LTRJ Note: Lighthouse Trails author and Canadian Cree Nanci Des Gerlaise writes about the Canadian “residential schools” (whose mother grew up in one) in her apologetics biography, Muddy WatersAn Insider’s View of North American Native Spirituality. (See photo credits below.)

Renée Roden
Religion News Service 

A slew of church burnings across western Canada have left six churches on First Nations land badly damaged or destroyed as of Tuesday (June 29). Four of the churches are within an hour’s drive of one another in southeastern British Columbia.

The burnings come at a time when Canada is reckoning with the recent discoveries of unmarked graves on the sites of former boarding schools for Indigenous children — many of which were run by churches [the majority Catholic schools]. The remains of nearly 1,000 bodies have been found so far, most of them Indigenous children.

Chief Keith Crow of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band said his grandmother and her sisters were at one of the schools where remains were discovered. Click here to continue reading.


Photo credits: (top): Portrait of Native students at St. Paul’s Indian Industrial School, Middlechurch, Manitoba, 1934; used with permission from Library and Archives Canada, item number P-182251, Mikan number 3354514; (bottom): Aboriginal children in class at the Roman Catholic-run Fort George Catholic Indian Residential School, Fort George, Quebec, 1939, used with permission by Archives Deschâtelets,
Ottawa, ON

Excerpt from Muddy Waters regarding her mother:

Mama was a gentle, soft-spoken, kind, and loving lady. She was very pretty and tall, and she had black hair and brown
eyes. She was always concerned for our health and well-being. She had a special place for us in her heart, and it was very unfortunate that she passed on at an early age. It was a devastating blow, for she was the glue of love that bonded our family. I thank the Lord that her legacy lived on in each of us for, after mourning her passing, we stayed glued together, in spite of being sick with grief for the first couple of years.

Mama was a residential school survivor, but she never mentioned the school she attended. Many aboriginal children did not mention these schools, nor did they discuss what happened in their formative years. It was not until some residential school survivors stepped forward and broke the code of silence that we began to hear of the atrocities suffered at the hands of their schoolteachers, often priests and nuns. The majority of children in the Canadian residential schools and the U.S. boarding schools suffered abuse, either physical, emotional, sexual or all three. The effects of such abuse were far-reaching and lasting:

The unresolved trauma of Aboriginal people who experienced or witnessed physical or sexual abuse in the residential school system is passed on from generation to generation. The ongoing cycle of intergenerational abuse in Aboriginal communities is the legacy of physical and sexual abuse in residential schools.1


Nevertheless, although Mama had her own scars to bear from her childhood, she was a loving and devoted mother to her children.

Endnote: 1. “Intergenerational Impacts” (Legacy of Hope Foundation, Ottawa, ON: http://www.wherearethechildren.ca/en/exhibit/impacts.html)

 

Related Comment by a LT Reader:

I am a band member of Cowessess First Nations (Cree) where 751 unmarked graves were recently discovered.

My Mother, Aunts (3), Uncle, and several relatives went through this Residential School (Marieval) where the unmarked graves were discovered. In my lifetime I have heard many (and I mean “many”) horrific testimonies and oral stories of how they all suffered tremendous verbal, physical, sexual, psychological abuse. One of my Aunts was beaten so severely by a nun that she couldn’t walk for a week.

When I started grade school, my parents put me in a Catholic school. I was in 1st, 2nd grade and part of my 3rd grade year when my parents, upon the recommendation of one of the Catholic nuns (she actually had a heart), pulled me out and transitioned me to the town’s Public School. My 1st grade, 2nd, grade, part of 3rd grade in the Catholic school are filled with painful memories. With the exception of the nun who persuaded my parents to move me over to the Public school, the nuns and head priest were physically and verbally abusive. I witnessed my classmates being abused in so many ways. My 2nd grade year I was seriously injured on the playground during morning recess ( severe head concussion), the nuns made me sit at my desk for well over an hour before calling my parents and seeking medical attention. I was in the hospital for almost a week as a result.

Being a Christian, I will NOT burn down Catholic Churches; I will endeavour to burn down Roman Catholicism…

 

Mindfulness: What You May Not Know And Should Have Been Told
Note: The following article is a Lighthouse Trails topical booklet. It can be printed for personal use from this blog or purchased as a booklet to share with others.

By the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

Currently, “mindfulness” is being introduced to tens of thousands of public schools across America. One group alone, Healthy Schools Program, which includes mindfulness as part of its program, is in over 30,000 public schools (that’s about one third of all public schools in America).1 Programs such as Healthy Schools* claim that children behave better and think more clearly when they incorporate mindfulness exercises into their school regime. Researcher and author Ray Yungen states:

In recent years, a type of meditation known as mindfulness has made a surprising showing. Based on current trends, it has the potential to eclipse even Yoga in popularity. You will now find it everywhere that people are seeking therapeutic approaches to ailments or disorders. . . it is presented as something to cure society’s ills.2

School administrators, principals, teachers, and other school officials are being told that mindfulness is safe, is not religious, and is not the same as eastern or Buddhist meditation. This booklet will examine several aspects of mindfulness and will help to show why mindfulness meditation should not be brought into the schools and taught to children.

First, let’s take a moment to examine the root word of mindfulness—mindful. The word mindful is actually found in the Bible. The meaning of the word in Hebrew (the Old Testament) means “to recall,” “to record,” “to remember,” and “to call to mind.” In the Greek (the New Testament), the meaning is virtually the same, “to bring to remembrance” and “to bear in mind.” Here are a few examples:

Be ye mindful always of his covenant. (1 Chronicles 16:15)

[They] refused to obey, neither were [they] mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them. (Nehemiah 9:17)

The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us. (Psalm 115:112)

Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength. (Isaiah 17:10)

. . . greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy. (2 Timothy 1:4)

. . . that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets. (2 Peter 3:2)

So, we can see from the Bible’s perspective that the word mindful is something where the mind is engaged actively and pondering on certain things. In several instances, it has to do with man being “mindful” (i.e., remembering) of the promises and great works of God. Obviously, with the legal structure of our public schools today, administrators who are bringing in mindfulness meditation to the students’ lives are not planning to (or legally allowed to) teach children this definition of mindful.

Webster’s Dictionary describes the word mindful as “bearing in mind” or “inclined to be aware.” Again, here we see that mindful means to be actively aware of something. Is it accurate to say that being mindful about something (as described in the context of these definitions) is the same thing as practicing mindfulness meditation? And does it belong in our public schools? Is it safe? Is it religious? Is it a form of therapy? Let’s take a look at “mindfulness” with these questions in mind.

Mindfulness is Meditation

According to the respected Mayo Clinic, mindfulness is a form of meditation:

If you’ve heard of or read about mindfulness—a form of meditation—you might be curious about how to practice it.3

Meditation author and teacher and founder of MNDFUL, Lodro Rinzler, states:

Mindfulness is a form of meditation. . . . There are many forms of meditation, including contemplation and visualization, but mindfulness is the type where you bring your full mind to an object.4

According to one source:

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.5

Not only is mindfulness a type of meditation, there would be few mindfulness teachers who would deny that mindfulness as roots in Buddhism:

Being mindful of your breath, for example, is a common form of mindfulness during meditation. Following your breath improves your awareness of being in the present. This is called mindfulness meditation, known as shamatha among Buddhists.6

In an article in Psychology Today titled “How to Practice Mindful Meditation,” it explains:

In the Buddhist tradition and in Contemplative Psychotherapy training, we nurture mindfulness through the practice of sitting meditation. There are many different kinds of meditation. For example, some are designed to help us relax; others are meant to produce altered states of consciousness.7

Ray Yungen, who researched and wrote about various forms of meditation for over twenty years, said:

True to its Buddhist roots, mindfulness involves focusing on the breath to stop the normal flow of thought. In effect, it acts the same way as a mantra; and as with Yoga.8

Mindfulness is Therapy

A growing number of health professionals consider mindfulness exercises to be a therapeutic avenue to help people with mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, anger, etc. An article on mindfulness therapy, where the Journal of Psychosomatic Research and the Clinical Psychology Review are referenced as associating the use of mindfulness in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), states:

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a modified form of cognitive therapy that incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises.9

An article titled “What is Mindfulness?” discusses mindfulness’ role in stress reduction therapy:

Jon Kabat-Zinn [founding member of the Cambridge Zen Center and trained by Buddhist teachers]10 developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. This stress reduction program became the basis of mindfulness.11

Kabat-Zinn is credited for having brought mindfulness meditation into the medical sector of our western society, and now it has been brought into public schools. One program in California for children on welfare called MBCT-C is a “psychotherapy for anxious or depressed children adapted from MBCT for adults.”12
Do parents realize their children are undergoing “therapy” in the form of mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a Religious Practice

Webster defines the word religion as “a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.”

A 2015 article titled “How the Mindfulness Movement Went Mainstream—And the Backlash That Came With It” explains Jon Kabat-Zinn’s efforts in bringing mindfulness meditation into mainstream America:

In 1979, a 35-year-old avid student of Buddhist meditation and MIT-trained molecular biologist was on a two-week meditation retreat when he had a vision of what his life’s work—his “karmic assignment”—would be. While he sat alone one afternoon, it all came to him at once: he’d bring the ancient Eastern disciplines he’d followed for 13 years—mindfulness meditation and yoga—to people with chronic health conditions right here in modern America.13

However, as the article continues, Kabat-Zinn knew he would have to convince Americans that mindfulness is not a religious practice but rather a scientific one. He knew they wouldn’t accept it if they knew the truth about it, that it is a Buddhist/New Age practice:

[H]e approached the challenge by adopting a mainstream and commonsensical American vocabulary that described meditation as a way of paying attention and cultivating awareness in everyday life, and by using practices that were equally accessible and straightforward. . . . Kabat-Zinn’s approach would be to offer training in mindfulness in ways that were implicitly anchored in Buddhist teachings, but in a universal and mainstream American idiom and framework.14

Kabat-Zinn explains:

I bent over backward to structure it and find ways to speak about it that avoided as much as possible the risk of its being seen as Buddhist, New Age, Eastern Mysticism, or just plain flaky.15

His plans to dupe westerners worked. He was able to introduce a purely religious/New Age practice while convincing mainstream America that mindfulness had nothing to do with religion or the New Age at all. Once that was accomplished, the rest was easy: “separation of church and state” activists had succeeded in removing “religion” from schools, government, and other public venues. Thus, by “proving” that mindfulness meditation is not in any way religious, it could be welcomed with open arms into the general populace and finally into the public schools.

Wouldn’t it be good if public school administrators, principals, and teachers knew what mindfulness teachers and Buddhists know, that mindfulness is a religion? And since public schools in America have made the decision that religion cannot be taught in the public schools, Yoga, mindfulness, and other forms of meditation have no business being used in the public schools. Not only is it discriminatory against Christian influence in the schools, which has been banned from American public schools because it is “religious,” it is deceitful.

Mindfulness Meditation is Dangerous

Numerous research reports show that meditation can be dangerous, especially for the vulnerable and weak (a category in which children fit). A preface to an article titled “Meditation is Touted as a Cure for Mental Instability but Can It Actually Be Bad for You” written by Dr. Miguel Farias* states:

If it’s so powerful, might meditation also do harm to sensitive souls? Researching a mass murder, Dr. Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, it can leave devotees in pieces.16

Farias explains:

[M]editation, for all its de-stressing and self-development potential, can take you deeper into the recesses of your mind than you may have wished for.17

In the article, Farias relays the stories of people who were meditators and upon further research came to believe that meditation can be very dangerous. He found there were other professionals who agreed:

In 1992, David Shapiro, a professor at UCLA Irvine, published an article about the effects of meditation retreats. After examining 27 people with different levels of meditation experience, he found 63 per cent of them had suffered at least one negative effect and seven per cent profoundly adverse effects.18

Farias continues:

[A] number of Western Buddhists are aware that not all is plain sailing with meditation; and they have even given a name to the emotional difficulties that arise—the “dark night”—borrowing the phrase coined by the 16th-century Christian mystic St John of the Cross to describe an advanced stage of prayer and contemplation characterised by an emotional dryness, in which the subject feels abandoned by God.19

In another article titled “3 Hidden Dangers of Meditation You Should Know,” David K. William references the work of Dr. Florian Ruths, consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley hospital in London, and researchers at Brown University showing that meditation can invoke the following results:

It can bring feelings of ennui, emptiness and even fear.

It can bring changes in your sense of self, and cause impairment in social relationships.

It can be disempowering and keep you passive, contained and compliant.20

The article describes Brown University’s “dark night project,” (later named “The Varieties of Contemplative Experience Project”21) describing how “some Buddhist meditators have been assailed by traumatic memories.”22

Professor Willoughby Britton, lead researcher and psychiatrist in the project, has recorded surprising problems among some of the Buddhist meditators that include: “cognitive, perceptual and sensory aberrations,” impairment in social relationships and changes in their sense of self.23

Another article, titled “The Dangers of Meditation: It Can Actually Lead to Insomnia, Fear and Hypersensitivity to Light,” states:

[M]indfulness, so popular with celebrities like Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie, could be bad for you—causing insomnia, anxiety and hypersensitivity to light and sound.

These were side effects discovered by US researchers exploring the phenomenon of “meditation sickness” by interviewing nearly 100 people.

They found, while some experienced bliss from concentrating on their breathing and practising “loving kindness,” others were left in pain or struggling to return to normal life.24

The article also reports on a study done by Brown University:

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, describes the “billion dollar meditation industry,” with more than 20 mobile phone apps now devoted to mindfulness.

But medical reports document cases of meditation-induced psychosis, seizures and mania, while Zen Buddhists have long acknowledged the existence of “meditation sickness.” . . .

A team led by Brown University found people could suffer ill effects from doing just half an hour of meditation or after only one day.25

In the study, it was discovered that the most common side effects were fear, anxiety, panic or paranoia.

This was experienced by 82 per cent of those questioned, while 42 per cent suffered hallucinations, visions or illusions and 28 per cent said they had become hypersensitive to light and sound.26

Author Mary Wylie, Ph.D., writes:

These effects are well documented in Buddhist texts as stages along the long, hard path to inner wisdom but . . . aren’t featured in mindfulness/meditation brochures . . . [meditation is] in fact, a far deeper, more complex, and less well-understood process than many people realize.27

Some of the Dangers and Effects of Meditation

The following list is derived from the various sources we used to compile this booklet:

insomnia
fear
hypersensitivity to light and sound
anxiety
difficulty eating
panic and paranoia
psychosis
seizures
mania
visual hallucinations
unable to function or work
a loss of sense of identity
psychotic depression
elevated mood and grandiose delusions
unrestrained behaviors (sexual and violence)
pain
confusion and disorientation
feelings of emptiness and ennui (listlessness, dissatisfaction)
depersonalization
impairment of social relationships
cognitive, perceptual and sensory aberrations
disempowering
causes passiveness and compliance (even when those are negative responses to certain situations)

It is worthwhile to note that most of these symptoms are similar to symptoms that occur with the use of hallucinogenic drugs. Is this really what America’s children should be put at risk of enduring? There is no way for a teacher to know which children will respond negatively to meditation. As one concerned parent asked, “Can any district guarantee that no one will suffer negative effects of mindfulness in its classrooms?” Are school districts willing to take the risk of lawsuits against them if children start experiencing some of the symptoms above?

We find it sadly ironic that while part of the motive in having children practice mindfulness is to cut back on bullying and violence, several of the potential symptoms, including “unrestrained” sexual and violent behavior, would feed bullying and violence, not diminish it. Some of the mass shootings that have taken place in this past decade especially were committed by those who had a history of practicing meditation. A case in point is Kyle Odom, a 30-year-old Marine veteran who shot an Idaho pastor six times (the pastor miraculously survived). In an article we posted, we stated:

A “manifesto,” written by former Marine Kyle Odom, the 30-year-old man who shot Idaho pastor Tim Remmington, reveals that his life started to change drastically when he began doing meditation while in university to relieve stress. The meditation experiences . . . eventually led to two suicide attempts and then the shooting of Pastor Remmington.28

When we consider some of the possible symptoms from practicing meditation—depersonalization, unrestrained behaviors, psychotic depression, a loss of sense of identity—we must ask the question, will this huge thrust by American public schools to have all school children meditating end up producing a greater amount of violence and psychotic behavior in our society rather than more peace and love? Again, we must ask, how will teachers who instruct children on mindfulness exercises know which children will have adverse reactions? There is no way they can know, and thus, they are playing Russian roulette with America’s youth.

To order copies of Mindfulness: What You May Not Know And Should Have Been Told,click here.

Endnotes:
1. Healthy Schools Program (https://www.healthiergeneration.org/take_action/schools/).
2. Ray Yungen, “Mindfulness! Heard of It? What Does it Mean, and Where is it Showing Up in Christian Circles?” (https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=18879).
3. Mayo Clinic Staff, “Mindfulness Exercises” (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/mindfulness-exercises/art-20046356.
4. Lecia Bushak, “Mindfulness vs Meditation: The Difference Between These Two Pathways to Well-Being and Peace of Mind” (Medical Daily, March 10, 2016, http://www.medicaldaily.com/mindfulness-meditation-differences-377346).
5.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness.
6. Lecia Bushak, “Mindfulness vs Meditation: The Difference Between These Two Pathways to Well-Being and Peace of Mind,” op. cit.
7. Karen Kissel Wegela Ph.D., “How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-courage-be-present/201001/how-practice-mindfulness-meditation).
8. Ray Yungen, “Mindfulness! Heard of It? What Does it Mean, and Where is it Showing Up in Christian Circles?,” op., cit.
9. “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy” (Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/therapy-types/mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy).
10. According to Wikipedia, Jon Kabat-Zinn is “the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.” “Kabat-Zinn was a student of Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with scientific findings. He teaches mindfulness, which he says can help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness. The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness-based stress reduction, is offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Kabat-Zinn).
11. Raymond Philippe, “What Is Mindfulness?” (https://remedygrove.com/wellness/Mindfulness-Explained).
12. http://www.cebc4cw.org/program/mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy-for-children-mbct-c/detailed.
13. Mary Sykes Wylie, “How the Mindfulness Movement Went Mainstream—And the Backlash That Came With It” (Alternet, January 29, 2015, https://www.alternet.org/personal-health/how-mindfulness-movement-went-mainstream-and-backlash-came-it).
14. Ibid.
15. Ibid.
16. Dr. Miguel Farias, “Meditation Is Touted as a Cure for Mental Instability but Can It Actually Be Bad for You?” (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/meditation-is-touted-as-a-cure-for-mental-instability-but-can-it-actually-be-bad-for-you-10268291.html).
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid.
20. David K. William, “3 Hidden Dangers of Meditation You Should Know” (http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/3-hidden-dangers-meditation-you-should-know.html).
21. Brown University, “The Varieties of Contemplative Experience” (https://www.brown.edu/research/labs/britton/research/varieties-contemplative-experience).
22. Ibid.
23. Ibid.
24. Victoria Allen, “The Dangers of Meditation: It Can Actually Lead to Insomnia, Fear and Hypersensitivity to Light” (Daily Mail, UK, May 24, 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4538240/The-dangers-meditation.html).
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid.
27. Mary Sykes Wylie, “How the Mindfulness Movement Went Mainstream—-And the Backlash that Came With It,” op cit.
28. “Kyle Odom, the Man Who Shot Idaho Pastor, Says Meditation Started it All” (Lighthouse Trails Research, March 10, 2016, https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=19057).

To order copies of Mindfulness: What You May Not Know And Should Have Been Told,click here.

We recommend giving this booklet to parents and also to local public-school district officials. And Lighthouse Trails is willing to send a free copy of one of our booklets on meditation to any school district official who would like to read it. Just call us at 406-889-3610 or e-mail us at editors@lighthousetrails.com the name and mailing address of any school official who agrees to receive the booklet.

(This article is also in booklet format.)

 

Two Days Left on Book/DVD Sale - 20% Off All Discernment Books & DVDs

Get 20% off all Books and DVDs from the Lighthouse Trails Discernment Collection. Sale ends midnight July 14th. Use Code: DISCERN at checkout and receive 20%. There are also many Discernment Book and DVD value packs which provide even more savings. Click here to view the collections or see below for the different categories. (Note: LT Booklets are not included in this sale.)

 

NEW BOOKLET: The Qur’an or the Bible—Which One Has the Authentic Account?
NEW BOOKLET: The Qur’an or the Bible—Which One Has the Authentic Account? by Tony Pearce is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are available. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. To order copies of The Qur’an or the Bible—Which One Has the Authentic Account?, click here.

The Qur’an or the Bible—Which One Has the Authentic Account?
By Tony Pearce

Muslims tell us that:

  • Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet.
  • The Qur’an is Allah’s final revelation sent down to Muhammad. It has never been changed from the time it was given by revelation to Muhammad.
  • Islam is the final religion, based on Muhammad’s life and teaching and sayings.
  • Because Islam is the final religion, it replaces all that has gone before it, especially Judaism and Christianity, and the account written in the Bible.

The Qur’an contains stories about Bible characters, including Abraham (the patriarch of the Jewish people) and Jesus (the Messiah of the New Testament). But these stories are changed in the Qur’an. The Muslim interpretation of the stories of Abraham makes Ishmael the promised son, not Isaac. This means that the line of promise goes through Ishmael to Muhammad and the Arab people, not through Isaac and Jacob to the children of Israel.

The Muslim “Jesus” is not the Son of God but the last prophet before Muhammad, and that Jesus did not die on the cross and rise from the dead to save man from his sins. According to the Muslim belief, someone like Jesus was crucified while he was taken to Heaven from where he will return in the company of another figure called the Mahdi to make the world Islamic (and in the process abolish Christianity and Judaism).

Muslims explain the difference between the Bible and the Qur’an by saying that the Jews and the Christians changed their books (the Bible) while the Qur’an retains the original “revelation.” However, if this is so, then why is there nothing in the Qur’an to say that this apparent forgery has been done by the Jews and Christians? In fact, there are verses (suras) in the Qur’an, which tell Muslims to learn from Jews and Christians:

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee [i.e. the Bible]. (Sura 10:95)

O ye people of the book! Ye are not grounded on anything until ye observe the Taurat [Torah] and the Injil [Gospel] and that which has been revealed unto you from your Lord. (Sura 5:68)

The word Injil (Gospel) is mentioned twelve times. The word Zabur (Psalms) is mentioned thirteen times. The word Taurat (Torah) is mentioned eighteen times. Not once does the Qur’an associate any kind of alteration or corruption in all these many references. If those books were indeed corrupted, surely Allah would have made it abundantly clear?

When were “the books changed”? Before Muhammad who received his revelations between 610 and 632 AD? In which case, why does the Qur’an tell Muslims to learn from Jews and Christians? Or after Muhammad? In which case, how do you explain the existing manuscripts of both Old and New Testaments which predate Muhammad?

There are around 5,300 manuscripts still in existence of the whole or part of the Greek text of the New Testament pre-dating Muhammad. There are also quotations in the works of early Christian writers which are “so extensive that the N.T. could virtually be reconstructed from them without the use of New Testament manuscripts.”1 The Dead Sea Scrolls dated around 125 BC have brought to light manuscripts of the Old Testament books including the complete text of Isaiah. The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew text into Greek from around 165 BC contains the same material as the Hebrew Bible.

Now if the Muslim account is true, then Jews and Christians should abandon their faith and all convert to Islam (which is what Islamic preachers tell us we should do). But what if the Qur’an’s account is not true? A number of scholars are now questioning the origins of Islam as believed by Muslims today, subjecting the Qur’an to the kind of source criticism which has been applied to the Bible since the 19th century. This study which challenges and puts to question Islamic belief and practice is suppressed in Muslim majority countries. It is also under fire in the West, where authorities fear accusations of Islamophobia in any criticism of Islam; meanwhile, no phobias seemingly are associated with those who reject Christianity or the Bible.

Despite this, there are Muslims, even in Saudi Arabia, questioning the origins of the Qur’an. An article in the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is titled “Articles in Saudi Press Call to Amend Thousands of Scribal Errors in the Quran, Re-examine Islamic Texts in Light of Modern Perceptions.”2

The article mentions two authors, Saudi Ahmad Hashem and Kurdish Jarjis Gulizada, who say that the Qur’an can’t be a holy book since it was written after Muhammad’s time, during the rule of the third caliph, Uthman bin Affan (644-656) and therefore by a human hand, not the direct word of God. Hashem is contesting here the most fundamental Islamic belief which says that the Qur’an is an authentic scripture from God, in its original form, of which not a single letter has been changed.

So is the Qur’an true?

According to the classical account, Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 AD. At the age of 40, he met Jibril (the angel Gabriel) in a cave and received the Meccan Revelations from 610-622, followed by the Medinan Revelations from 622-632. These revelations came from Allah. Muhammad was unable to read or write and memorized the revelations, which he repeated to his followers. These were then written down to become the Qur’an. Muhammad made the Hirja (flight) from Mecca to Medina in 622, returned to Mecca in 630 and converted the people there to his new religion. He died in 632.

Talks given by Dr. Jay Smith of the Pfander Centre dispute this account of the origins of Islam, drawing on the work of academics and researchers who have looked into the early history of Islam and have come to some startling conclusions.3 This leads them to question the historical accuracy of the official Muslim narrative.

According to Dr. Smith, Islam and the Qur’an, as we know it today, evolved and changed over a period of 200 to 300 years, many years after the death of its prophet.

Muslim sources themselves tell us that Caliph Uthman, the third Caliph after Muhammad, collected verses of the Qur’an that were being passed around and ordered all variant readings from his version to be burnt (around 650-653). The variations were so great that Muslims started attacking each other and accusing one another of disbelief.

The earliest Qur’anic manuscripts began to appear during the reign of Abd al Malik and his son al Walid in the 690s-750s. None of these versions of the Qur’an were complete. They continued to be changed and corrected by later Caliphs up to the 9th century. It was by this time that forms of the Qur’an, as it is today, began to appear (although even these have several variants among them).

Most of the information we have about Muhammad dates from a period about 200 years after he lived. He is only mentioned by name four times in the Qur’an, with no specific information of what he was like. Information we have about his life comes from the Sira, his biography which exists in an English translation, The Life of Muhammad by A Guillaume. Muslims attribute this book to Ibn Ishaq who died in 765, but Dr. Smith says the final version of this book was written by Ibn Hisham who took what he liked from the earlier book and added material of his own. This was written around 833, a full 200 years after Muhammad is supposed to have died. Certainly not an eye witness then.

There are many more reports of him in the Hadith (sayings attributed to Muhammad or about him), which date from the 9th-10th centuries. Bukhari, who died in 870, made a collection of about 600,000 such sayings, then rejected all but around 7000 as forgeries. These are now preserved as the Hadith, but this collection took place over 200 years after Muhammad which begs the question: how do we know the ones he preserved were authentic? Because of the late dating of all this material and the fact it has been changed by different authors, it is highly unlikely that it is an authentic account of what really happened.

When we come to the Qur’an itself, we find many things which do not add up with the claim that this was revealed directly by Allah to a man called Muhammad living in Mecca in Arabia in the early 7th century. For example, the Qur’an has 65 geographical references, with only nine places named. These include 23 references to Ad (biblical Uz, related to Edom in southern Jordan), 24 to Thamud (Nabateans, again southern Jordan, northwest Arabia) and seven to Midian (east side of Gulf of Aqaba, north of Arabia). All these places are about 600 miles north of Mecca.

While Muslims believe that Mecca is the center of Islam, there is only one direct reference to Mecca in the Qur’an (in Sura 48:24). There are references to Bakkah, which is said to be the site of the Kaaba stone (which is today the object that Muslims make pilgrimage to in Mecca). According to the Qur’an and the Hadith, this place is situated in a valley and a parallel valley with a stream, fields, fruit, olive trees, and mountains overlooking the Kaaba (al Bukhari 2:645, 685, 9:337, 4:281, Sura 32:3, 16, 80, 2:40-42). Yet, Mecca is not in a valley, has no stream or river, no mountain overlooking it, and is too arid for fruit trees to grow. Olives only grow in the Mediterranean region 600 miles north of Mecca.

According to the narrative, Mecca was on a trade route, and Muhammad was a trader operating out of there. Yet, 7th century maps of the area show no sign of a city called Mecca and no trade routes passing by that area. The earliest maps showing Mecca on them date from 900 AD. In recent times, there have been excavations made for the foundations of large towers and buildings in modern Mecca. These have revealed no trace of an ancient city buried in the ground at the time when there should have been one for the Qur’anic account to be correct. Compare this with the massive amount of archaeological evidence found for Jerusalem as written about in the Bible.

The earliest mosques (including the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem) direct prayer (the qibla) toward Petra in Jordan, not Mecca. The description of the city with the valley and the parallel valley with a stream and the fruit and olive trees does describe Petra, but not Mecca. Petra was a center of trade and the sanctuary for the Umayyads who ruled out of Damascus in this period. It is also close to the other places mentioned in the Qur’an, namely Ad, Thamud, and Midian.
All this leads us to see that most of what Muslims are taught to believe about Muhammad comes from a period later than the time he was supposed to have lived and written down years later and hundreds of miles away from Mecca and Medina. This began with the Umayyads who ruled from Damascus and continued with Abbasids who rebelled against the Umayyads in 750, claiming to be the true successors to Muhammad. They ruled from Baghdad. Thus,

Islam and the prophet’s life, as we know it, was not derived from the 7th century, but evolved over a period of 200-300 years, and redacted back on to the prophet’s life and compiled possibly in the 9th century.4

When the Arabs conquered areas of the Byzantine Empire and set up their rule from Damascus (the Umayyads), they needed a religion to hold their growing empire together, one that would distinguish them from the nominally Christian empire of the Byzantines and give them a distinctive Arab identity.

Abd al Malik took possession of Jerusalem and built the Dome of the Rock in 691 to be larger and more prominent than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and to be situated on the site of the destroyed Jewish Temple. This purpose was to confirm the superiority of his religion over Judaism and Christianity. He placed in the Dome of the Rock the earliest Qur’anic texts, which contradict the Christian claim of the nature of Jesus Christ:

O people of the Scripture. Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. (Sura 4:171)

This confirms the role of Islam as a rival religion that denies the central teaching of Christianity.
Dr. Smith claims that at this time, the central sanctuary of Islam was in Petra, now in modern Jordan, not in Mecca. The sanctuary in Petra was destroyed by an earthquake in 713 AD. Because of a conflict between the rival Umayyads and Abbasids, the black stone was moved from Petra to Mecca, which became the central sanctuary, housing the black stone in the Kaaba. Now the Muslims had a Prophet (Muhammad), a revelation (the Qur’an) and a sanctuary (Mecca). They needed a history, created by the later writings, the Sira in 833, the Hadith in 870 and the Tafsir in 923. By the 9th century, they had the book, the man, the place, and the story. A new religion was formed and growing, evolving over 200-300 years after the death of its founder.

In conclusion, the evidence is missing that would prove that Islam and the Qur’an were revealed directly by Allah to Muhammad in Mecca. Much of what we know of early Islam is in doubt; nothing is known of Muhammad until the late 7th century or Mecca until the 8th or Muhammad’s life story until the 9th, hundreds of years later and hundreds of miles away from where it was supposed to have happened. Islam is nothing more than a later redaction possibly begun by the Caliph Abd al Malik and continued by his successors. They have the wrong man at the wrong place doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Authenticity of the Bible

By contrast, the New Testament was written by people who were eyewitnesses of the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth (or who got their information from eyewitnesses). Luke introduces his Gospel with the words:

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. (Luke 1:1-4)

The apostle Peter writes:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)

If we follow the internal evidence of the New Testament, all its books (apart from the writings of John) were most likely completed before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, putting them within forty years of the events taking place. As eyewitnesses or contemporaries who talked to eyewitnesses, they got the details of geography, history, and customs of Israel in the first century right.

We can visit Israel today and see places mentioned in the Bible. They are in the right place, with archaeological and historical evidence to support them. We can walk from the area where the Temple stood in Jerusalem and cross the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus did on the night He was betrayed. We can go to Bethany and the Mount of Olives and follow Jesus’ route on His triumphal entry. We can see the place where He wept over Jerusalem from where there is a stunning view over the city as Jesus would have had on that day (Luke 19). We can visit sites claimed to be the place of His trial before Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate and the probable site of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. While there is debate about the exact location of some of these places, the general location backed by historical and archaeological evidence is all there. The Mount of Olives from where Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after the resurrection is just a short walk from Jerusalem as it says in Acts 1:12.

We can go through the tunnels in the City of David and see what is most likely the water shaft that David’s men climbed up to capture the city from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6-9), the tunnel that King Hezekiah had built to divert the waters of the Gihon stream to the Pool of Siloam (2 Chronicles 32:30), and the remnants of the wall that Nehemiah built to defend the city after the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 3). The Israel Museum contains many artifacts testifying to the accuracy of the biblical account. None such can be found in Mecca to testify to the Qur’anic account.

Regarding history, the Bible mentions many figures who existed at the right time in the right place as confirmed by non-biblical historical records such as the Jewish historian Josephus or Roman records. It was once thought that Luke made a mistake when he said Quirinius (Cyrenius) was governor of Syria at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:2). Josephus said Quirinius had this position from 6 AD, far too late for the birth of Jesus. Then an inscription was found in Antioch dated at around 7 BC giving evidence that Quirinius was governor in Syria at that time. So either there were two people called Quirinius or one person who was governor of Syria on two different occasions, one of which was the time when Jesus was born.

In the Gospel of Luke, we read:

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. (Luke 3:1-2)

Details of all these people and their positions are accurate for a period around the year 27-28. In this case, Jesus began His ministry a little while later and continued for three and a half years. This brings us to the crucifixion and resurrection which most likely happened in 31-32.
In the Book of Acts, we read of the conversion of Paul, which probably took place around 35-36. This was followed by his time in Damascus, from where he escaped by being lowered over the wall in a basket at the time when Aretas was governor (2 Corinthians 11:32). According to Josephus, Damascus had a governor called Aretas who left the post around 39 (right man in the right place). It is known there was a famine in the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius around 44-45. This corresponds to the time when Paul and Barnabas were warned of famine and went from Antioch to Jerusalem with aid (Acts 11:27-30). In Acts 18, we read that Paul was in Corinth and charged before a proconsul called Gallio. The year would have been around 51, corresponding with the time when there was a proconsul called Gallio in Corinth. Acts 18:2 also informs us that Aquila and Priscilla had “lately” come from Italy because “Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome.” This expulsion took place between 49-51—the right time and the right place.

Acts 24-25 tells us of Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem and trials before the governors Felix and Festus. This should have happened around 58-59 according to the events recorded in Acts. Josephus agrees with Acts that Festus succeeded Felix as governor around 59 and died in 62. According to Acts 27, Festus granted Paul’s request to be tried in Rome. Acts 27 records how Paul traveled by sea to Rome and was shipwrecked on Malta (Melita) on the way. All the geographic details of this journey are correct. Paul then arrived in Rome and stayed two years (Acts 28:30). This takes us to around 61-62.

Then the Book of Acts ends rather abruptly, without giving any details of the trial of Paul in Rome, which had been the subject of the last four chapters of the book. The most likely reason for this is that Acts was written by Luke in 61-62 after Paul arrived in Rome, but before his trial took place. We know that the trial did take place and that Paul was acquitted and continued his ministry until his eventual execution around 65.

According to the prelude to Acts, Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke before he wrote Acts. In the prelude to Luke’s Gospel, he tells us that others wrote Gospels before him, very likely referring to Matthew and Mark’s Gospels. Presumably, Paul wrote his letters before he died (!) as did Peter and James. They all died before 70, which means we have the whole of the New Testament apart from John’s writings completed within forty years of the events of Jesus’ ministry, His death, and His resurrection. There are claims of a fragment of John’s Gospel existing which predates the year 70, so John’s Gospel may have been written before then also.

The geographical, historical, and cultural details are all correct. There is ample and solid evidence that the writers of the New Testament consistently got the right people in the right places at the right time.

Jesus in the Qur’an

The Qur’an and the Hadith were written between 600—900 years after Jesus by people who lived in a different time, a different place, and a different culture to the people who wrote the New Testament. So it is not surprising that they got many things about Jesus wrong.

For example, in Sura 19:28-29, Mary, the mother of Jesus is designated as “sister of Aaron” and in Sura 66:12 as “daughter of Imran.” Imran is an Arabic form of the Hebrew Amram, who was the father of “Aron, Moses, and Miriam” (Numbers 26:59). The title “sister of Aaron” is given to Miriam in Exodus 15:20. Therefore, not only was the mother of Jesus a virgin, she was also about 1500 years old! Some Muslim writers have attempted to explain this by saying that Miriam was miraculously preserved alive, purposely to become the mother of Jesus, quoting a Jewish tradition that the angel of death did not have power over Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. The obvious explanation is that the writer of the Qur’an simply confused the identity of these two women whose names in Hebrew (Miriam) and Arabic (Maryam) are similar.

The Islamic Jesus was never crucified and therefore did not rise from the dead:

And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah Jesus, son of Maryam [Mary], the Messenger of Allah,”—but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not: But Allah raised him up unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is ever all powerful, all wise. (al-Nisaa’ 4:157-158)

This rips out the very heart of the message of the Gospel and contradicts everything that the New Testament teaches about Jesus.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. . . . And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4,14)

It also connects to the teaching of heretical Gnostic sects. In “The Second Treatise of the Great Seth” (a Gnostic text from the 2nd century), a false Jesus says:

I did not die in reality but in appearance . . . Those who were there punished me . . . Yes, they saw me, they punished me. It was another, their father, who drank the gall and vinegar; it was not I. They struck me with the reed; it was another, Simon, who bore the cross on his shoulder. . . . I was rejoicing in the height over all. . . . I was laughing at their ignorance.5

There are other connections to Gnostic writings in the Qur’an, like the story of Jesus as a child making clay birds, breathing on them, and they flew away. This suggests that whoever put it together had some contact with Gnostic sects which deviated from true Christianity. The Qur’an also contains Talmudic stories like Abraham destroying the idols in Ur and Solomon knowing the language of birds, so he may also have picked up influences from Jewish teachers of the time.

The Islamic Jesus is not God in the flesh; in fact, anyone who believes that God is three in one will be thrown into Hell according to the Qur’an:

Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no AIlah (god) but One AIlah. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them. (al-Maa’idah 5:73)

He is simply another prophet: “Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them.” (Surah 2:136, 2:84)

The Islamic Jesus is a created being:

The similitude of Jesus before Allah is that of Adam: he created him from dust, then said to him, “Be; and he was.” (Sura 3:59)

In the Bible, Jesus is revealed as an eternal being who said of Himself, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). He is the Creator, not a created being: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)

The New Testament teaches that Jesus is Lord, entirely different from the prophets and is above them all:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)

The apostle John equates Jesus with the Word who is God.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Muslims have a number of beliefs about the second coming of Jesus based on the Hadith (traditions) rather than the Qur’an. They believe he will come back as “a man of medium height, reddish hair, wearing two light yellow garments,”6 that he will land on the minaret of the mosque in Damascus when he will invite the whole world, including Jews and Christians, to become Muslims (Hadith 814). He will then destroy the Dajjal (Antichrist) and “kill all pigs and break all crosses,”7 confirming Islam as the only true religion and thus, abolish Christianity. He will then live for forty years, marry and have children, and perform the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. Then he will die and be buried beside the grave of Muhammad.

It is interesting that there are a few end-time references in the Hadith to the area of Syria. One came out recently when ISIS was fighting a battle near a place called Dabbiq (a small town in northern Syria). They connected this to apocalyptic writings in Islam about an end-time battle at Dabbiq (based on Hadith 6924). This is another indication that significant elements of what we now know as Islam may have originated in Syria, not in Mecca in Arabia.

All of this contradicts what the Bible tells us about the second coming of Jesus, which says: He will return to the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem as King of Kings and Lord of Lords with all the power of God at His disposal. Then He will set up His 1000 year reign of peace and justice on the Earth prior to the eternal state in which He is glorified and worshipped for eternity (see Zechariah 12-14, Revelation 19-21).
Behind any teaching which denies the identity of the Lord Jesus as revealed in the New Testament is the spirit of antichrist. In First John, we read:

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. . . . Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (1 John 2:19, 22-23)

Denial of the Christian concept that God is a tri-unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and that the Lord Jesus Christ is Emmanuel / God with us / Son of God is a central belief of Islam. According to this passage, it means that if you do not have the Son, you do not have the Father either. The Jesus of the New Testament said:

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

He also said:

I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers . . . by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:7-11)

Islam is destined to play a role in the events of the last days as one of the forces of antichrist persecuting true Christians, involved in the end-time conflict over Jerusalem. As such, it will meet its end when Jesus returns as King of kings and Lord of Lords and establishes His kingdom on Earth for 1000 years. When the 1000 years are over, He will dissolve this world and create the new Heavens and new Earth where all true believers will dwell for eternity (2 Peter 3, Revelation 21).

It is our heart and sincerest desire to see many people who now follow Islam turn to Jesus to find true salvation and a glorious hope for the future. God loves the whole world including Muslims and wants them to come to Him through faith in Jesus the Messiah.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

To order copies of The Qur’an or the Bible—Which One Has the Authentic Account?, click here.

Endnotes:

  1. Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Here’s Life Publishers, 1979), chapter 4, section 5C; citing J. Harold Greenlee.
  2. “Articles in Saudi Press Call to Amend Thousands of Scribal Errors in the Quran, Reexamine Islamic Texts in Light of Modern Perceptions” (August 18, 2020, https://www.memri.org/reports/articles-saudi-press-call-amend-thousands-scribal-errors-quran-reexamine-islamic-texts-light).
  3. https://www.pfander.uk/?s=jay+smith&submit=Search.
  4. Jay Smith, “A Historical Critique on Islam’s Beginnings” (October 2017, http://www.ysljdj.com/topic19/tc-19-181l.html), Jay Smith quoting Stephen Humphreys.
  5. “The Second Treatise of the Great Seth,” translated by Roger A. Bullard and Joseph A. Gibbons (The Gnostic Society Library, http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/2seth.html).
  6. Sunan Abu Dawud Book 37, Number 4310.
  7. Ibid.

To order copies of The Qur’an or the Bible—Which One Has the Authentic Account?, click here.

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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.

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INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS

** NOW LARGER PRINT ON TEA TAGS **

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

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

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

SOME THINGS ABOUT US:

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COPYRIGHT AND USE OF MATERIAL


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

 

 

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

 

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