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Coming from the Lighthouse Exposing the Dangers of Contemplative Spirituality
January 2005 Issue

The contemplative prayer movement is quickly becoming a part of Christendom, pulling it down the slippery slope of delusion. This month's feature article is the testimony of a woman who started down that contemplative path and finally saw the darkness that began to envelope her. Contemplative spirituality is entering the church right now through several avenues - the emerging church, the Purpose-Driven, Renovare, Youth Specialties and others. While it is not our intention to hurt or speak unkindly of any particular individual, we must mention names when these names are helping to usher in CP through their books, websites and churches. God bless your New Year as you press on to defend the gospel message of Jesus Christ. You can view past issues of this newsletter at Lighthouse Trails Research News Page.

In This Issue
  • A Former Contemplative Speaks Up
        by Cassandrah Batya
  • Contemplative Spirituality Now Has Its Own "Bible"
  • Contemplatives Contribute to Richard Foster's New Bible
  • Richard Foster - Promoting Contemplative Prayer by Way of     Proxy by Ray Yungen
  • Upcoming Events Will Usher in Contemplative Spirituality
  • Lighthouse Watch
  • Quotes From the Contemplatives
  • College and Seminary Alert - Biola University - What Ever      Happened?
  • Christianity Today - Preparing the Ground to Bring      Contemplative Spirituality to Mainstream Christendom
  • Emerging Church Update -Leaders and Activities

  • Contemplative Spirituality Now Has Its Own "Bible"
    Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible by Richard Foster

    A Richard Foster bible called the Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible is to be released by Harper SF in 2005. The Renovare "Bible" will focus on Foster's six disciplines (from his book Streams of Living Waters), one of which is the contemplative practice. Thomas Kelly is quoted in that book as saying:

    "Deep within us all [all human beings] there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center"


    Edited and compiled by universalists, catholics and contemplatives, yet this bible will be read by thousands of evangelical Christians.


    Contemplatives Contribute to Richard Foster's New Bible

    The following is a partial list of those contributing to the new Renovare bible.

    Richard Foster

    Eugene Peterson

    Dallas Willard

    Emilie Griffin

    Walter Brueggemann


    "With the facet of interpretation, Brueggemann argues that the Bible requires and insists upon "human interpretation that is inescapably subjective, necessarily provisional, and as [we] are living witnesses, inevitably disputatious." Beyond the baseline of main claims or affirmations of Apostolic faith, we must attach only "tentative authority" to interpretations on almost all questions." more...


    Richard Foster - Promoting Contemplative Prayer by Way of Proxy
    by Ray Yungen
    Ray Yungen author

    Some view the current controversy regarding Richard Foster as stemming from a misunderstanding of his statement "we of the new age" in the first edition of Celebration of Discipline. This is not the case. The real issue lies in his statement where he encourages, "we should all, without shame, enroll as apprentices in the school of contemplative prayer," and also in his statement that "Christianity is not complete without the contemplative dimension." It is from these comments and this viewpoint that opposition to Foster flows. Read entire article...


    Upcoming Events Will Usher in Contemplative Spirituality

    All across North America in the year 2005, events will take place in mainstream Christendom, events that will promote contemplative spirituality through speakers, seminars and resources:
    Atlanta Fest 2005 (hosted by Atlanta Fest and Group Publishing)
    National Pastor's Convention 2005(hosted by Youth Specialties)
    Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Conference 2005 (Most of the speakers for this conference are from contemplative organizations such as Youth Specialties.) Emergent Convention (Hosted by Zondervan Publishing and Youth Specialties)


    Lighthouse Watch

    Alerting Believers to Dangers
    in Their Midst.


    Coming to theaters around the nation - The Celestine Prophecy! From James Redfield's book, now made into a movie so thousands of people can learn more about the universal spirituality that says all paths lead to God. The making of this movie is further indication of the great spiritual delusion coming upon the Earth.


    Quotes From the Contemplatives

    "I built myself a prayer room-a tiny sanctuary in a basement closet filled with books on spiritual disciplines, contemplative prayer, and Christian mysticism. In that space I lit candles, burned incense, hung rosaries, and listened to tapes of Benedictine monks. I meditated for hours on words, images, and sounds. I reached the point of being able to achieve alpha brain patterns..."—Mike Perschon, Youth Specialties Magazine, December 2004

    "Alpha is the springboard for all psychic and magical workings. It is the heart of witchcraft". Laurie Cabot, Power Of The Witch

    "Pick out a word or two. Tell your children to sit quietly and repeat the word in their heads-not thinking about the word, just repeating it."
    Pope John Paul

    "Spiritual ecstasy. The third phase of contemplative prayer ... a supernatural trance state ..." Charisma magazine, Oct. 2004


    College and Seminary Alert - Biola University - What Ever Happened?

    Biola University - Gone off the deep end?
    This past fall they hosted the Christian Spirituality & Soul Care Conference. Speakers included contemplative author David Benner, author of Sacred Companions

    And if that isn't indication enough of the slippery slope Biola University has begun, take a look at the courses being offered at their Institute for Spiritual Formation.

    And Biola University's Talbot School of Theology has decided to get on board the contemplative ship also:
    Contemplative Spirituality and Prayer


    Christianity Today - Preparing the Ground to Bring Contemplative Spirituality to Mainstream Christendom

    Hot Off Their Press!
    Drawing Closer to God
    by Today's Christian Woman Magazine
    (a Christianity Today magazine)
    In this article about spiritual directors, top contemplative advocates are quoted and popularized—

    Ruth Haley Barton
    David Benner
    Larry Crabb
    Leanne Payne
    Brennan Manning
    Shalem Prayer Institute

    As a matter of fact, the only people the article promotes are die-hard contemplative advocates, those who promote: universalism, Buddhism, chanting, mantra meditation and the New Age movement (all which state all paths lead to God).


    Emerging Church Update -Leaders and Activities

    Don't be fooled!
    The Emerging Church Is Heading in the Same Direction as the Purpose-Driven, Renovare and the American Association of Christian Counselors with Larry Crabb. Remove contemplative spirituality from each of these, and they would crumble in no time. Only the message of the Cross and His grace will stand when it's all said and done.
    Book Review - A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren
    Reviewed by Tim Challies


    Dan Kimball's Emerging Church and Eastern Mysticism
    by Steve Muse of
    ERWM
    Emergent Village
    Emerging Church - Links and Resources That The Emerging Church Uses (Labyrinths, Chanting, Incense, etc.)


    This Month's Spotlight Ministry
    Let Us Reason Ministries, director Mike Oppenheimer of Hawaii, provides excellent, well- researched articles on current issues affecting the church today. Topics include New Age, cults, apologetics and more.
    Mike's testimony
    Mike's article on Yoga

    Let Us Reason Ministries


     

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    A Former Contemplative Speaks Up
    by Cassandrah Batya

    Some time ago I had a profound, life-changing spiritual experience which set off a passion in me to learn everything humanly possible about God. What started out as a sincere, genuine desire to devote my heart and life to the Lord blindly turned into something spiritually dangerous and forbidden.

    A little more than thirty years ago, I accepted Christ in the third grade and was baptized. During my Christian lifetime, I have lived within the comfortable zone of my Protestant beliefs. In all honesty, there have been a few good days when I felt like a Christian soldier. Then, there were twice as many days when I was a disgrace to the Name of the Lord.

    Based on what I observed from most "Sunday Morning" Christians, myself included, common behavior is to leave the sermon at the church's door after the service and return to your "real life" routines.

    Whenever I hear someone say, "I had a spiritual awakening," my red flag goes up and I mentally scrutinize everything the person says about God. Nevertheless, there are no other words to describe my undeniable encounter with God which occurred last December. I have never experienced anything as clear and as defining like that before. >From that moment on, God became more than a Sunday morning event to me. I believe God called me that day.

    The enemy purposely tries to confuse and mislead not only the world, but also God's children. What was a beautiful moment with God, the enemy tried to turn into a dark, sinister lie. It was only by the grace and love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Light of the World (John 8:12) that my eyes and heart were opened to His Truth and the real Way to God and Life (John 14:6 and Romans 10:8-10).

    After my spiritual experience ... I began by reading and studying the scriptures, the saints, and ancient, historical, medieval, and modern biblical texts. I researched and read spiritual books written by famous scientists, mathematicians, Christian writers, religious professors, monks, rabbis, renown Christian and Jewish scholars, and mystics. For awhile my head went spinning as I read theories about the literal, metaphysical, meditative, and mystical interpretations of the bible.... The complexity and depth of the bible amazes me. I especially began to embrace mysticism and contemplative spirituality. I bought many books on Christian and Judaic mysticism, mystics, inner/esoteric spirituality, and contemplative prayer.

    [M]y meditation took on the darker qualities of contemplation, emptying the mind so that God may bond with me closer. I contemplated 20 minutes just about every day. I embraced the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.) as my mantra. It's ironic because the more I repeated this, the less I focused on Jesus as my personal Savior. I would have spiritual, mystical highs (altered consciousness episodes). One late, influential monk (an advocate of contemplative spirituality), in so many words, compared the feelings as being similar to LSD. I started to crave more intense experiences with God, I begged Him for them. If I didn't have feelings of weightlessness, lightheadedness, floating, and being enraptured while contemplating, I felt dead and empty inside. All the contemplative literature I read encouraged being lost in inner spirituality and to ignore the dead feeling. From my research what I was experiencing was common among "Christians" who practiced contemplative prayer. There are priests, nuns, monks, saints, ministers, religious leaders, historical figures, celebrities, and people from all walks of life and faiths who practice this form of inner/esoteric spirituality. I thought this must be right since so many self-professing Christian leaders and figures were actively participating (Romans 3:4) and universities, including Christian, were offering degrees in Spiritual Formation.

    I hope people who are led to this testimony will at least leave with a desire to "do something" to help spread the word about contemplative spirituality. I truly believe contemplative spirituality is the most dangerous false doctrine in existence because it is deceptively wrapped in Christianity and brotherly love. It is a shame to know the truth and not share it with at least one other person in need of direction. When it comes to spreading the truth about the great, subtle lie of contemplative spirituality, my motto is, "I am my brother's keeper."

    Read more about Cassandrah and her ministry.
    Links to Important Information

    National Pastor's Convention - A Haven for Contemplatives

    Ray Yungen's Article on Youth Specialties

    Rick Warren and Robert Schuller - Is There a Connection?

    Labyrinths - Walking Towards the "Divine"

    Index of our research topics

    Lighthouse Trails Publishing

    Featured Books
    A Powerful Duo (If you want to know where the church is heading, read these two books and find out about the cover-up that is changing the church.)


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