From the Lighthouse Newsletter **SPECIAL EDITION** 
 
 2009 YEAR IN REVIEW                            January 2, 2010
In This Issue - click choice
A Year-End Message: "The Lord is calling His people out from the midst of the false."
YEAR IN REVIEW: 2009 TOP 10 LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS STORIES
2009 BOOK/FILM REVIEWS
2009 TOP 10 ARTICLES FROM OTHER LIKE-MINDED MINISTRIES
2009 TOP 10 ARTICLES BY LT AUTHORS
2009 Top 10 Out-of-House News Stories Covered by LT
2009 YEAR IN REVIEW: Christian Colleges Landslide Into Contemplative Spirituality
YEAR IN REVIEW: Rick Warren, one of the world's "top 100 most influential people" in 2009
Article on Mark Driscoll's Site Takes Scripture Out of Context to Defend Contemplative
Biological Lesbian-Turned-Christian Mom Fails to Give Up Child to Ex-Partner
Move Alert: Avatar - Could Set Up Millions to Accept the "Ancient Wisdom"
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary Integrating Contemplative/Emerging Spirituality Into Degree Program
2009 LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS PUBLISHING IN REVIEW
2009 TOP 10 VIDEO/AUDIO
Publishing News
Quick Links
Lighthouse Trails 
Author Websites
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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What is Contemplative Spirituality?
definition: contemplative spirituality: a belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology; the premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).
 
spiritual formation:
 a movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.

How Widespread Has Spiritual Formation Become? Read our list of ministries that are promoting it. Please pray for the leaders of these groups that their eyes may be opened.

Dear Antoon,
In 2009, we witnessed a huge growth in the contemplative/mystical New Spirituality in the Christian church.
 
This is not just some kind of fad or an isolated phenomenon. It is building momemtum month by month, and more and more people are seeing this mystical spirituality as a valid and powerful way to experience the presence of God. Many influential and respected people within Christianity view this practice as being perfectly in accordance with orthodox Christianity. However, there is no way one can reconcile interspirituality (the "fruit" of contemplative) with the preaching of the Cross and still remain faithful to biblical fidelity.
 
One of the things we have noticed in 2009 is a significant blurring of the lines between outright New Age/New Spirituality and this new Christianity. An example of this blurring came to our attention just as we were about to release this newsletter. In Charles Stanley's January 2010 In Touch magazine, it features an article titled, "I Didn't Want to Be a Christian, But . . . how running away can take you on an unexpected journey" by Joseph Bentz. In the article, Bentz (author of Silent God) highlights the spiritual journeys of two women, one of whom is Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies). Most In Touch readers are probably not familiar with any problems associated with her name.  But Lamott, mentioned in several Lighthouse Trails articles, reveals her true spiritual sympathies when she endorsed the back cover of the made-popular-by-Oprah book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The book is about Gilbert's search for spirituality, which took her to India and eastern meditation. Her book is a virtual primer on New Age thinking. Lamott not only endorsed the back of her book but also has spoken with her at various events. Of Gilbert's book, Lamott states: "This is a wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight."1 William Paul Young includes Lamott in his New Spirituality book, The Shack, as someone he is "grateful" for. 
 
While we are not suggesting that Charles Stanley is a contemplative now because of the inclusion of this article, we believe it is a perfect example of a steady blending of contemplative and New Age to the point where eventually no one will notice the difference, and what will be known as Christianity will be mystical. This will fulfill Jesuit mystic Karl Rahner's sentiments when he said "The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing."
 
We at Lighthouse Trails are confident that the information that we put forth is very credible and documentable. Over the past year, we have received much opposition. One source referred to our efforts as "nonsense." Another source publicly suggested that we were "haters." Even though some may perceive our passion and persistence as being negative or hateful, on the contrary, it is actually our love for fellow humanity that propels our efforts. If you look carefully at what we say in our books and newsletters, you will not find contempt or vindictiveness toward individuals but rather a challenge to their positions on the issues concerned.
 
Paul says in II Thessalonians 2 that the spiritual platform that will be reigning during the latter times prior to the time of Christ's return will be the mystery of iniquity, which we believe is occult mysticism. There are two reasons why we believe this. First, the word mystery comes from the word mysterion in the Greek (meaning mysticism or hidden, i.e., occult), and second, the man of sin cannot show himself to be "God" in any other way except through the occult because that is what the occult proclaims - that man is God. And it is this very underlying nature of contemplative/emerging spirituality that has presented itself as a new and better kind of Christianity that the church needs. But it actually reflects occultism and rejects the preaching of the Cross.
 
An example of this is when Thomas Merton, who could legitimately be called the father of modern contemplative prayer, said that if we all knew who we really were, we would fall down and worship each other because the pure glory of God is in us - in everyone of us.3
 
Merton's panentheistic views acquired from his mystical experiences gave him a very solid belief in the divinity of man. With contemplative prayer as his tutor, an atoning sacrifice for mankind (the Cross) waned in insignificance to his way of thinking to the point that when a Sufi master (Islamic mystic) told him that Islam did not believe in an atonement for sin or the "theory of redemption," Merton replied: "Personally, in matters where dogmatic [doctrine] beliefs differ, I think that controversy is of little value." Merton explained that such doctrines take away from the "spiritual realities" (mystical experiences)  and that "much more important is the sharing of the experience of divine light, . . . It is here that the area of fruitful dialogue exists between Christianity and Islam."

It is in that context that we believe that the man of sin is going to proclaim himself to be God and dispel the "gospel myth." And this is why we don't stop what we are doing. This is our motivation and the calling we believe God has placed upon us.
 
In 2010, it is our hope that we can continue to warn others about the spiritual deception taking place today. It is also our desire that we can encourage believers in Christ to stand strong in defending the faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only avenue through which salvation can come.
 
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9 
 
Notes:
1. from Elizabeth Gilbert's website
2. Ignacio Larrañaga, Sensing Your Hidden Presence, p. 11, citing Rahner.
3. (from A Time of Departing, quoting Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander -1989 edition, pp.157-158)
 4. Yungen, A Time of Departing, pp. 59-60 citing from Rob Baker and Gray Henry, Editors, Merton and Sufism, pp. 109-110.
 
 
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:12-14
A Year-End Message: "The Lord is calling His people out from the midst of the false."

by Kevin Reeves

History is filled with stories of those who have stood for truth, many of whom gave their lives to defend the faith God had put in their hearts. History is also filled with those who tried to squelch that truth. In his riveting account of the Nazi empire, historian William L. Shirer meticulously documents the internal workings of a system that once threatened to take over the world. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a chilling account of the effects of mind-numbing propaganda.1 The endless barrage of misinformation, incredibly, molded a once-beaten and fragmented people into the icon of elitism, which culminated in grisly death camps and the cold-blooded murder of those deemed lesser humans. A firsthand witness and opponent of the Nazi regime, Shirer recounted instances of conversation with German people, when he dared contradict the ludicrous governmental and media declarations of ethnic, cultural, and military superiority. He was met with shocked silence or an amazed stare. He noted that to question the Nazi machine's view of anything was considered blasphemy of the highest order. It dawned on him that the minds of many of the people had become so warped that they were no longer able to think for themselves or evaluate anything by a higher standard. Shirer observed that with the rise of the new German empire, the truth had become whatever Hitler and Goebbels said it was; they were the final arbiters of reality- spiritual and otherwise.

Some may think it is extreme to compare the spiritual deception and control tactics within the church today to that of the Nazi regime and the death camps, but we should remember that the church in Germany in the 1930s was very much like the church is today-having a head in the sand mentality about spiritual deception and turning religious leaders into super-human heroes who can do no wrong. Perhaps we are not all that different than Christians in Germany back then. We should not fool ourselves and think we would never be duped like that. The apostle Paul issued a warning to Christians:

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (I Cor. 10:11,12)

Despite all of this, there is hope in the Lord; He is "Faithful and True" (Rev. 19:11). And He promised to preserve His church, that true body of believers whom He calls the Bride of Christ. Praise His name-there is hope. When truth is challenged, mocked, and thrown against the wind, we can be sure, it will never be altered. And that Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.

The Lord is calling His people out from the midst of the false, to adhere to His truth, no matter what the cost. Let us respond with joy and thankfulness, knowing His grace is sufficient to strengthen us and give us courage.

Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Hebrews 13:13-14)

(From The Other Side of the River by Kevin Reeves, pp.214-215)

Notes:
1. William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster/Touchstone, 1959).

YEAR IN REVIEW: 2009 TOP 10 LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS STORIES

ONE -  New Age Department of Peace Bill Introduced to Congress One Week After Inauguration: On February 3, 2009, the Department of Peace bill HR 808 was updated and introduced to Congress by Congressman Dennis Kucinich. For those who are not familiar with the efforts by prolific New Age leaders to bring to reality a US Department of Peace, these efforts began several years ago at a grassroots level. Support for the new department grew and presently 66 members of Congress are supporting the effort.* Just one week after the new president took office, the updated Department of Peace bill was introduced. (March 2009)

* As of December 2009, the number of supporting Congress members has grown to 241. 

TWO - Hate Crimes Bill Passes House - Christian Leaders Partly to Blame: On Wednesday, HR 1913 ("Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009")passed in the US House of Representatives with a vote of 249-175. According to one report, "The bill is now headed for the Senate, which Obama urged to work with his administration to 'finalize this bill and to take swift action.'"

If this legislation is passed by the Senate (and then signed by Obama into law, which he has promised to do quickly), this broadened hate-crime law could ultimately affect Christians who preach, teach, or report that the homosexual lifestyle is prohibited according to Scripture. (May 2009)

THREE - Brian McLaren Wants End Time Believing Christians Robustly Confronted:  If you are a Christian who believes that the Bible is God's inspired Word and believe that Jesus Christ will be coming again, you are being marginalized. And you might not even know it. It may surprise you to know where this marginalization is coming from. We're not speaking of the world today . . . we are talking about people who say they are Christians and who happen to be very influential. In fact, one of them, Rick Warren, was just named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the entire world. In an April 2009 article in Sojourner's magazine by emerging church leader, Brian McLaren, McLaren clearly has targeted Christians. But not just any Christians. (May 4, 2009)
 
FOUR -
 Calvary Chapel Termination Has Profound Implications: Lighthouse Trails regrets to report that on May 5th, Paul Smith, brother of Chuck Smith (the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement), was fired from his position in the Calvary Chapel (CCOF) organization during an unscheduled meeting that day. The motion to fire Paul Smith was made by board member Roger Wing and seconded by Chuck Smith's son-in-law, Brian Broderson. Other board members affirmed the motion, and Paul Smith was dismissed.

For some time now Paul Smith, who has been in full-time ministry since 1951, has been putting forth tireless efforts to help keep contemplative and emerging spirituality out of the Calvary Chapel movement. (May 2009)

FIVE - "Death by Church" - Emergent New Paradigm Pastor to Speak at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa: Emerging/emergent spirituality is making serious inroads into Christianity. Churches and Christian colleges, unaware of the subtle undermining of such spirituality, are embracing teachers and leaders of this movement and pointing others to them. Often they are unaware of what these teachers really believe and teach. In light of an event (Movement 2009) scheduled to take place on May 29th at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, the Calvary Chapel mother church, with RockHarbor pastor, Mike Erre, Lighthouse Trails is posting this special report. (May 25, 2009)
 
SIX:
15% of Hospitals Using Occultic Practice-ReikiIn a recent article in Reiki News, it was revealed that 15% of all US hospitals are now implementing the practice of Reiki. In Reiki, a type of therapeutic touch, it is believed that the ki (chi) energy (a supposed universal energy that flows through all things) can be used to heal people. In the Reiki News article written by Reiki proponent William Lee Rand, Rand expresses a concern about a statement released by US Catholic bishops asking Catholic hospitals not to use Reiki because of its Buddhist roots. Rand tries to show that Reiki is a scientific method that has healing results. (June 14, 2009)
 
SEVEN - Will the "New Science" Prove That God is "in" All Things?: A San Antonio article says that science and religion "have been at one another's throats but that has begun to shift in the last generation or two." But it predicts that: "it should shift a lot more as one recognizes that science is speaking a language that is very similar to that of the mystical experiences of all the world religions, and mainly the sense of cosmic oneness and interaction and communication beyond space and time." (July 5, 2009)
 
EIGHT -
WHY are Joel Rosenberg and Frank Peretti Appearing With New Age/New Spirituality Sympathizers?: Why are so many Christian leaders continually appearing with personalities who claim to be Christian yet promote the heretical "new spirituality"? In January 2010, in Alberta, Canada, such a situation will take place at the Break Forth conference, bringing together a conglomeration of Christian figures, New Age sympathizers, and mystic/emerging proponents. From Joel Rosenberg (Epicenter), Frank Peretti (This Present Darkness), and Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ) to William Paul Young (The Shack), Leonard Sweet (Quantum Spirituality), and contemplative proponents such as Duffy Robbins (Enjoy the Silence) and Brad Jersak, Break Forth will be like drawing gray lines in the sand-blended, indistinguishable lines. (November 9, 2009)

NINE - Efforts Underway to Train U.S. Military Chaplains and Personnel in Eastern Mysticism: [A] project [is]currently underway with US Military Chaplains and other military personnel to receive ongoing training in contemplative mysticism . . . The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society was founded in 1991 and was inspired by retreats led by Thich Nhat Hanh (a Buddhist) and Ram Dass (a Hindu). The Center states that its "intention is 'not to isolate meditation, but to reflect on the contemplative traditions as powerful techniques that have potential for beneficial change in American society.'" The Center's objective is to bring meditation into all facets, both religious and secular, of society. (November 28, 2009)

TEN - Manhattan Declaration: "Perhaps Millions" Being Led Toward the New Age/New Spirituality:  "We are seeking to build a movement - hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Catholic, Evangelical, and Eastern Orthodox Christians who will stand together."-Manhattan Declaration

On November 20th, a document called the Manhattan Declaration was released at an event at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. The Declaration has received wide media coverage, and as of this writing about ¼ million people have signed the document. (December 4, 2009)

YEAR IN REVIEW: 2009 BOOK/FILM REVIEWS

Reviewer: Gary Gilley
Book: The Attentive Life, Discerning God's Presence in All Things by Leighton Ford

Reviewer: C. Pack
Book: A "Wonderful" Deception by Warren B. Smith

Reviewer: Ezra McGill
Book: A Christianity Worth Believing by Doug Pagitt

Reviewer: Mike Stanwood
Book: Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell

Reviewer: Lighthouse Trails Editors
Book: Death by Church by Mike Erre

Reviewer: Gary Gilley
Book: A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen

Reviewer: Mary Ann Collins
Book: Bottom Line Beliefs by Michael B. Brown

Reviewer: C. Pack
Book: Castles in the Sand by Carolyn A. Greene

Reviewer: Ted Baer
Book/Film: Twilight

Reviewer: Carl Teichrib
Film: Men Who Stare at Goats

2009 YEAR IN REVIEW: TOP 10 ARTICLES FROM OTHER LIKE-MINDED MINISTRIES

1. Rise Up, O Men of God! Your Women Are Fighting the Battle by Ingrid Schlueter (Slice of Laodicea)There are 'mothers in Israel' who are rising up to confront Mark Driscoll and his filthy mouth and materials. Why? Because the men in spiritual leadership today not only refuse to, but legitimize and endorse Driscoll's "ministry." (January 12, 2009)

 2. Faith-Based Partnerships: Selling our souls in the name of service? by Berit Kjos (Kjos Ministries): Last summer, Obama gave us a specific outline of his planned "partnerships between government and faith-based and other nonprofit community groups." Much of it was based on the new interpretation of the First Amendment. ( February 2009)

3. Silencing the Watchmen by Jan Markell (Olive Tree News): America is changing at break-neck speed and many of the changes are not helpful!  While Americans were eager for "change," it is doubtful they anticipated the loss of free speech.  So let me explain the unfair "Fairness Doctrine." My radio program, Understanding the Times, is in the target range. (February 2009)

4. ARE CHRISTIANS DRIVING CHURCH NUMBERS DOWN by Paul Proctor (News with Views):The reports are everywhere now about the declining numbers of church members and baptisms - especially among Southern Baptists; so much so that church leaders address it at almost every opportunity as if attempting to somehow spark a zeal in remaining members like a coach might do in the locker room of a losing team at halftime.

Everyone is trying to figure out what's wrong. This might come as a shock to many, but I would suggest that the answer here might just be nothing is wrong - that those declining numbers that are troubling the pulpits of American churches right now may well be God's will being carried out by His own being called out of a growing apostasy flourishing within them. In no way am I condemning all established churches and religious institutions. (April 2009)

5. Richard Foster's Celebration of Deception by Bob DeWaay (Pastor Twin City Fellowship, MN): In February 2008, Christianity Today ran a glowing cover story about Evangelicalism's recent embrace of medieval Roman Catholic mysticism entitled The Future lies in the Past.1 The article traced the beginning of the movement as follows: "The movement seems to have exploded in a 24-month period in 1977-1978, which saw the publication of Richard Foster's bestselling Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth and Robert Webber's Common Roots: A Call to Evangelical Maturity." (June 23, 2009)

6. Do Christian Leaders Understand The Contemplative Prayer Movement? by Chris Lawson (Spiritual Research Network): The concern that has motivated the writing of this article stems from the fact that many Christian leaders are ignorantly engaging in and outright promoting this dangerous spiritual method. The core of this methodology, which can lead to extreme spiritual hazards, is meditative, contemplative-centering prayer. In light of this, vast volumes of contemplative promoting literature is being gobbled up by undiscerning Christians. This fact alone shouts forth with clarity that the missing jewel in the 21st Century Church is biblical discernment. (July 27, 2009)

7. Why the Heathen Rage in a World Gone Amiss by Bill Randles (Pastor Believers in Grace Fellowship, IA): The love of death is now in vogue, this generation loves death. Abortion (fifty million in the USA since 1971!) birth control, homosexual marriage, gender confusion, and much more, are all forms of the love of death. Most of the western European societies that bought into the Utopian vision do not even replace themselves demographically! All those who hate the God of the Bible love death! What will the outcome be? The nations will rage at each other. (September 28, 2009)

8. Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? by Larry DeBruyn (Guarding His Flock Ministries): Some Christians naively and mistakenly equate that because Christianity and Islam are monotheistic faiths (belief in one God), Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Any differences between the two religions are viewed to be only apparent, not actual. Only the names are different. Muslims call Him Allah, while Christians address Him as Lord. The singleness of God is thought to be an ecumenical rallying point, a basis for mutual understanding, if not spiritual unity, between the two religions. (November 30, 2009)

9. Today is World AIDS Day - I Am Free From Homosexuality While Homosexual Activists Continue To Glorify The Sin That is Leading Cause of AIDS in U. S. by James Hartline (Hartline Report): Today is World AIDS Day - I have been fighting a twelve year battle with the AIDS virus, a disease that I acquired in my former life of promiscuity, drug abuse and homosexuality. For ten years now, I have been making my stand for the Lord Jesus Christ to declare to America that there is a way out of the destruction of homosexuality and its many diabolical consequences. (December 1, 2009)

10. ELCA IMPLODING OVER HOMOSEXUALITY by Ken Silva (Apprising Ministries): Apprising Ministries has been covering the growing gay agenda within the church visible for the past year. It's simply beyond question that it is causing major problems in the dying mainline denominations who long ago kicked out Sola Scriptura in favor of highly subjective Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, which is actually a new form of Gnosticism.  (December 21, 2009)

 
2009 YEAR IN REVIEW: TOP 10 ARTICLES BY LT AUTHORS

1. Tantra Sex: Evangelicals Catching Up with New Agers? by Caryl Matrisciana (Out of India):  (January 12, 2009)

2. Is Lighthouse Trails "Haters?" by Ray Yungen (A Time of Departing):  (June 1, 2009)

3. Freedom ... To Die by Anita Dittman (Trapped in Hitler's Hell):  (July 3, 2009)

4. Rick Warren, Leonard Sweet, and Sweet's "New Light" Leaders by Warren B. Smith (A "Wonderful" Deception): (July 17, 2009)

5. Fractals, Chaos Theory, Quantum Spirituality, and The Shack by Warren B. Smith: (August 9, 2009)

6. When a Young Girl Meets a Mystic by Carolyn A. Greene (Castles in the Sand): (October 19, 2009)

7. Bethel University (MN) Throws Students to Interspiritual Wolves by Jan Markell (Olive Tree Ministries): (November 10, 2009)

8. Evangelicals and Catholics Together and the Rejection of End-Time, Bible-Believing Christians by Roger Oakland (Faith Undone): (December 7, 2009)

9. Dear "Contemplative Christian": Are you the victim of seducing spirits? by Ray Yungen: (December 21, 2009)

10. A Year-End Message: "The Lord is calling His people out from the midst of the false." by Kevin Reeves (The Other Side of the River):  (December 28, 2009)

 2009 YEAR IN REVIEW: Top 10 Out-of-House News Stories Covered by LT
1. CNN - Surviving Beatles reunite to promote kid's meditation: (March 4, 2009)

2. WorldNetDaily - GLSEN and the Hitler Youth by Dr. Judith Reisman: (April 3, 2009)

3. News With Views by Jim Kouri-  Is the Obama Administration Targeting "Right-Wing Extremists" and War Vets - Reports Say Yes:   (April 15, 2009)

4. The Times (UK) - UK Article Predicts Mysticism to Replace Christianity: (July 14, 2009)

5. Newsweek - "We Are All Hindus Now":  (August 19, 2009)

6. Mission Network News - Hate Crimes Bill sneaks through U.S. House(October 12, 2009)

7. CNN  Hundreds of studios across country teach yoga to children:  (November 13, 2009)

8. Argus-Courier by Dan Johnson - Taize services are gaining in popularity: (December 7, 2009)

9. Underground News, US - Copenhagen and Melbourne: World Religion: (December 7, 2009)

10. USA Today"More U.S. Christians mix in 'Eastern,' New Age beliefs": (December 10, 2009)

2009 YEAR IN REVIEW: Christian Colleges Landslide Into Contemplative Spirituality

The following is a list of Christian colleges that Lighthouse Trails reported on in 2009. Below this list is a list of Christian colleges that we added this year to our "Contemplative College" list:

January 2009 - Southern Baptist Theological Seminary May Be Heading into Troubled Contemplative Waters

February 2009 - Trevecca Nazarene University Promoting Contemplative Spirituality in No Small Way

February 2009 - Keri Wyatt Kent Continues Leading Women Toward Contemplative - Moody Bible Institute Helps

April 2009 - Emergent/Mystical Leaders at Baylor University

April 2009 - Point Loma Nazarene University Welcomes Brian McLaren and Embraces Contemplative Spirituality

June 2009 - Gordon College in MA Brings Emerging Contemplative Spirituality to Students

November 2009 - Buddhists at Bethel University

November 2009 - Jan Markell and Bob DeWaay Challenge Bethel University

December 2009 - Is Taylor Seminary leading the "lost brethren" home to Rome?

New Colleges Added to Contemplative College List in 2009:

Alberta Bible College (Alberta, Canada)
Belmont University (Nashville, TN)
Cedarville University (Cedarville, OH)
Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, IN)
Malone College (Canton, OH)
Rocky Mountain College (Alberta, Canada)
Urshan Graduate School of Theology (Florissant, MO)

For a complete listing, click here. There are currently 83 schools on this list. For a list of schools that DO NOT promote contemplative/spiritual formation, click here. There are currently 21 on that list.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Rick Warren, one of the world's "top 100 most influential people" in 2009

In May 2009, Time magazine named Rick Warren one of the world's top 100 most influential people. What exactly was Warren influencing in 2009? Lighthouse Trails presented the following news stories throughout the year. Because possibly 1/2 million churches around the world have turned to the Purpose Driven Movement for direction, it is worth taking some time to review these:

 

(January 2, 2009) News With Views by Paul Proctor - WARREN AND OBAMA WALK HAND IN HAND 

(January 21, 2009) by Daniel Cordell - Inauguration: Rick Warren Prays in Name of "Isa," Muslim False "Jesus"

(January 27, 2009) Kjos Ministries by Lorin Smith -  New World Order Will Echo Rick Warren - Fundamentalists Are a Threat

(February 1, 2009) by Lighthouse Trails editors - Rick Warren's New Magazine, Purpose Driven Connection, Promotes the New Global Spirituality

(February 2, 2009) Herescope (Discernment Research Group) - Welcome to the New Era of Global Civility and Civic Common Ground

(February 7, 2009) by Joe Schimmel - Did Rick Warren Pray to Allah in the Name of a Muslim Prophet?

(February 23, 2009) by Lighthouse Trails editors - Rick Warren/Reader's Digest Partnership Targets New Multi-Million Member Audience

(April 8, 2009) by One News Now - Rick Warren on Larry King:  Changes Statements on Homosexual Marriage

(April 13, 2009) Town Hall by Sandy Rios - Rick Warren's Holy Week Crisis

(June 19, 2009) The IndyStar - Islamic Society convention lands appearance from Rick Warren

(July 2, 2009) One News Now - Rick Warren speaking to Islamic group with terror ties

(July 6, 2009) Olive Tree News by Jan MarkellAn Open Letter to Rick Warren On His Talk to Islamic Audience

(July 13, 2009) CrossTalk by Ingrid Schlueter - Rick Warren Calls On Muslims And Christians To Work Together

(July 24, 2009) by Warren B. Smith - Chief Saddleback Apologist Defends New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet(August 1, 2009) Discern the Times - Rick Warren Embarks on Followup to Purpose Driven Life

(August 7, 2009) by Lighthouse Trails Editors - Why Rick Warren Should Not Tell Rob Bell: "Just wanted to encourage you to ignore critics."

(September 9, 2009) by Ray Yungen -Why is Rick Warren Included in a Book That is Exposing New Age Interspirituality?

(September 13, 2009) CrossTalk with Paul Proctor - Rick Warren: From Tolerance to Respect

(September 26, 2009) by Tamara Hartzell  - Is it Through the Blood of Our Redeemer Jesus Christ or the Lifeblood of a Local Church That We Have Spiritual Life?

(October 15, 2009) Adullam Films by Christian Pinto - RICK WARREN, TONY BLAIR & THE VATICAN AGENDA

(October 17, 2009) Christian Post - Report Says Young Evangelicals Calling Rick Warren/Bono Role Models

(November 5, 2009) New York Times - Reader's Digest/Rick Warren Magazine Venture Ends After Less Than One Year

(December 13, 2009) Christian Research Network by Ken Silva -Rick Warren Upcoming Conference, Radicalis - Further Along the Contemplative Road

(December 15, 2009) Deception in the Church by Sandy Simpson - Rick Warren and the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill - The Rest of the Story

(December 20, 2009) by Lighthouse Trails editors - Will Saddleback Contemplative Join Jonathan Falwell "Team"?

 Article on Mark Driscoll's Site Takes Scripture Out of Context to Defend Contemplative

LTRP Note: The following comment was sent to Lighthouse Trails from a man in Holland regarding our recent article, Mark Driscoll IS a Contemplative Proponent. We have posted it to help people see how contemplative proponents have taken Scripture out of context to erroneously defend mystical-type spirituality. To see another example of this misuse of Scripture regarding contemplative, see Ray Yungen's comments at bottom of this post.

I read the article 'How to Practice Meditative Prayer' by Winfield Bevins on the website you mentioned in your newsletter. A few things struck me as I  read it:

·      The Scripture verse that he is referring to in Phil.4:8 has nothing to do with meditative prayer but is a command to think of these things. That means I must make a decision in my heart not to think on wrong things, but to think on the things that are pleasing to God and that is not a matter of meditation, but a decision of the will.

·      The illustration of Martha and Mary is an incorrect illustration out of context, as Mary was literally sitting at Jesus' feet and literally hearing His voice. That is quite different than a Christian sitting and reading the Word of God and rejoicing in his heart (by the inner working of and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit) because of what he is reading and realizing the promises and goodness of God.

·      The example of Samuel who supposedly 'opened his heart to hear the Lord's voice' and said "Speak, for your servant hears" is incorrect and totally out of context. Samuel was asleep when God called him and was not at all meditating and waiting for the 'silent voice of the Lord'. God intruded in his life, woke Him up and spoke to him in a very clear, loud and unmistakable way! There was not a question of doubt with Samuel. The voice was so clear, that he thought Eli had called him. It was only after that the Lord called him three times that he knew it had to God's voice and answered in these words.

It is this mystical approach to prayer and to supposedly 'silently hearing the voice of God' that is so confusing to many people. That is, unfortunately, what I find here in Holland.-W.E. Bible school teacher and Christ follower in Holland

(from A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen): Question: Isn't I Kings 19:12 an example of when contemplative prayer is condoned in Scripture? Elijah heard a "still, small voice." Isn't that referring to the silence?
Answer: This passage in no way indicates that Elijah was practicing a mantra exercise. On the contrary, it was the prophets of Baal who "called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, 'O Baal, hear us!" (I Kings 18:26). Now Elijah was in a cave, not to practice contemplative prayer, but to hide from Jezebel's threat to take his life. Also, his encounter with God was something he did not initiate but God initiated Himself, thereby emphasizing that Elijah was not practicing a mantra. If anything, from his conversation with God, we might conclude that he was also hiding from his ministry and God Himself, as he was feeling hopeless.

Biological Lesbian-Turned-Christian Mom Fails to Give Up Child to Ex-Partner

LTRP Note: Please pray for this mom and her seven-year-old daughter, Isabella. May the Lord protect them and keep them safe from evil.

Parental abduction charges possible after she and daughter vanish

Associated Press - A woman at the center of a complex dispute with her former lesbian partner defied a court order to give up custody of her 7-year-old daughter Friday, opening the door to possible criminal charges.

A Vermont judge had ordered Lisa Miller to turn over daughter Isabella to Janet Jenkins at 1 p.m. Friday at the Falls Church, Va., home of Jenkins' parents. Miller did not show up with the girl, according to Fairfax County, Va., police and Jenkins' Vermont-based attorney.

"She's very disappointed, obviously," said Sarah Star, Jenkins' lawyer. "She's very concerned about Isabella and asks that if anybody sees Isabella, that they please contact the authorities."  Click here to read more.

Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel is Lisa and Isabella Miller's legal counsel.

Related News:

You may join Lisa Miller's Facebook account by going to http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=tixinfdab.0.rd4gpfdab.r49t9yaab.5590&ts=S0439&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F and searching for: Only One Mommy: The Story of Lisa and Isabella Millerstrong

Liberty Counsel Update on the Hearing in Lisa Miller's Case (Jan. 09)

Biological Mom Ordered to Give Up Child (Nov. 09)

Lisa Miller and daughter "disappear" (Jan. 10) - World Magazine

A true story of civil disobedience during the Holocaust, click here.

A true story of a young mother who goes into hiding to protect her children, click here.

 "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:6
Movie Alert: Avatar - Could Set Up Millions to Accept the "Ancient Wisdom"

The new box-office hit, Avatar, a kind of updated version of Star Wars, is receiving powerful reviews. New York Times calls it "Glorious." The New Yorker says "the most beautiful film I've seen in years." Millions of people will view this movie - ticket sales have exceeded 600 million dollars worldwide in just a couple weeks since its opening. This is approximately 60-80 million people (most of them young people) who have seen it thus far.

Avatar has a strong shamanistic, spiritual component and a message that clearly portrays the mystical and the goddess spirituality. It has the potential to set tens of millions of people up to be open to the ancient wisdom.

Before allowing your children and teens to watch this movie, please consider this warning.  Also you may wish to read the following two movie reviews:

Heaven and Nature (New York Times opinion) by ROSS DOUTHAT

AVATAR Get Rid of Human Beings Now!

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary Integrating Contemplative/Emerging Spirituality Into Degree Program

In 2007, Lighthouse Trails posted an article titled Church, Congregations Increase Focus on "Spiritual Formation." The article, released by Adventist News Network, showed how the emphasis of contemplative/spiritual formation was moving into the Seventh-day Adventist organization. The article stated that "this subject [spiritual formation] is receiving serious emphasis in Adventist institutions, as well as in local congregations." The following Lighthouse Trails research reveals that  Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan is promoting contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation)  through a new concentration in their Doctor of Ministry degree program. An October 2009 Andrews newsletter, put out by Kenley  D. Hall (Andrews DMin Project Coach) explains that  "Discipleship & Spiritual Formation" and  "Youth and Young Adult Ministry" will begin in February 2010 (see brochure).

According to the syllabus of one of the courses in the Andrews spiritual formation program, contemplative mystic proponents will be used to teach students this coming February. In CHMN 705 Theological and Historical Perspectives on Spiritual Growth, professor Jon Dybdahl is using a number of contemplative authors to "Demonstrate a continuing maturity in Christian formation, personal growth and ministry." This maturity in Christian formation is typical language by contemplatives, who teach that true maturity can only come through spending time in contemplative silence. Richard Foster has been a pioneer in laying out this "maturity" doctrine. So it is not surprising that Dybdahl is turning to Foster for guidance. Other contemplatives being used in the class are: J.P. Moreland (Kingdom Triangle) and Peter Scazzero. A "short spiritual retreat" will also take place during the course.  Scazzero's book, Emotionally Healthy Spiritually (the book being used at Andrews), is a who's who of contemplative mystics and panentheists; some of those he points readers to are Basil Pennington, Tilden Edwards, Henri Nouwen, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and several others.

In J.P. Moreland's book, Kingdom Triangle (also used in Dybdahl's class at Andrews), Moreland talks about a maturing process that takes place through "spiritual formation." Moreland tells readers that a "treasure of deep, rich knowledge of the soul" can be found in the writings of the Desert Fathers, Henri Nouwen, and Richard Foster, (p. 153). Of course, all three of these sources ultimately point followers to eastern-style meditation (i.e., mantra-style). A four-part series Moreland did for Focus on the Family (click here to read further) substantiates that Moreland is embracing contemplative spirituality where he suggests that "Catholic retreat centers are usually ideal for solitude retreats."

Jon Dybdahl's contemplative propensities are strongly presented in his 2008 book, Hunger: Satisfying the Longing of Your Soul. In Hunger, Dybdahl favorably instructs on contemplative practices such as lectio divina, visualization (p. 64), the Jesus Prayer, and breath prayers (p. 52). Dybdahl explains in his book that in his "not-so-secret quest for God," he turned to Quaker Thomas Kelly's book A Testament of Devotion. It is Kelly, a panentheist, who said that within every human being is a "Divine Center," a "secret sanctuary" (from A Testament of Devotion).  This "secret sanctuary" Kelly is speaking of is what he calls "abiding Light behind all changing [life] forms." He says: "In that Current we must bathe. In that abiding yet energizing Center we are all made one" (p. 38)." Dybdahl says in Hunger that Henri Nouwen "intensified" his "craving" for "God's presence." (p.12) But the presence that Nouwen is speaking of is the same as that of mystics, and it is this mysticism that led Nouwen to reject Jesus Christ as the only path to God at the end of his life (Sabbatical Journey). Dybdahl's book is brimming with references to contemplative mystics: David Benner, Morton Kelsey, Adele Alberg Calhoun, Tilden Edwards, Richard Foster, Ken Boa, and Brother Lawrence. (also see this critique on Hunger)

Another person who will be teaching at Andrews DMin in spiritual formation is Ben Maxson, pastor at Paradise Seventh-day Adventist church in Paradise, California and adjunct professor at Andrews University. Maxson will be teaching Mentoring for Discipleship & Spiritual Formation. In an article by Maxson titled "Renewing our Minds," he says that the "spiritual disciplines" (the tools of spiritual formation) help one develop "intimacy with God," and he encouraged practicing "the presence of God."

One of the other spiritual formation courses in Andrews Theological Seminary's DMin program on spiritual formation, taught by Allan Walshe, is The Personal Practice of Spiritual Formation. While the course's syllabus is not currently posted online, we can partly identify Walshe's contemplative propensities elsewhere. In an article featuring Walshe at a New Zealand conference, Walshe quotes contemplative pioneer Dallas Willard in referring to "intimacy with God." This intimacy with God to the contemplative can only be obtained through going into the silence through meditation.

The DMin program on spiritual formation isn't the only avenue through which contemplative is being implemented at Andrews. The youth ministry degree program is also involved with contemplative spirituality and emerging spirituality. In CHMN 720 Current Issues in Youth and Young Adult Ministry, professors Steve Case and Allan Walshe are using emerging church figure Shane Claiborne as well as emergent Youth Specialties author Chap Clark's book, Deep Justice in a Broken World. The book is about the emerging kingdom on earth theology and turns to such figures as liberal/emerging theologians Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo.

Thus, as is usually the case, when a college or seminary begins to incorporate contemplative prayer, eventually they begin to open up to emerging church ideas - it is virtually inevitable. And this is the vehicle that drives our concerns. Those who practice contemplative prayer will move more and more toward an interspiritual outlook. Contemplative prayer (i.e., mysticism) is not just some obscure subculture - it is exploding across the Western religious spectrum.

2009 LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS PUBLISHING IN REVIEW
In 2009, we released our first novel, Castles in the Sand by Canadian author Carolyn A. Greene. As far as we know, Castles in the Sand is the first and only novel to address the dangers of contemplative spirituality. Many families have contacted us to say how this book has helped them as parents and also their teens and college children understand the contemplative issue.
 
We also released A "Wonderful" Deception by Warren B. Smith. This book is vital to understanding the nature of the New Age/New Spirituality that has pervaded the Christian church through various avenues including the Purpose Driven movement, the emerging church, and the "new science" (which states that God is IN all things).
 
Also in 2009, we presented The New Face of Mystical Spirituality, the 3-DVD lecture series by Ray Yungen. Filmed at the Faith at Risk conference at Twin City Fellowship in Minneapolis, MN, these DVDs are packed with Yungen's research on the New Age, contemplative spirituality, and the emerging church and its interspiritual implications.
 
Here are a few other things we worked on in 2009 and will continue in 2010:
 
CHILDREN'S COLLECTION
Our motto at Lighthouse Trails is "bringing light to areas of darkness in the church and in our society." We seek always to do this with the preaching of the Cross as our motivating drive. As we are approaching the end of our 7th year, we have stayed within the parameters of this mission. But we have broadened the scope of this mission. For instance, in 2009 we began developing a children's collection of books and DVDs. In this new collection, we are trying to choose books and DVDs that will help build the faith of children by introducing them to stories of courage in the faith. This is why we have added the Kids of Courage books by Voice of the Martyrs, which include the stories of John Bunyan, William Tyndale, and Richard Wurmbrand. While we are being very careful and prayerful about which books and DVDs to add to our children's collection, we hope to add more in 2010. 
 
LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS MUSIC
We have also begun to build a small music collection. Lighthouse Trails music is going to be by  believers in Christ who are not compromising their message in order to gain popularity and whose lyrics have a clear message of the preaching of the Cross. And, while we will have a variety of music style, we will choose musicians who seek to glorify the Lord both with their lyrics and their instruments, not succumbing to the worldly confusion and upheaval that so much of modern-day music has. We have also been blessed to have found some extremely gifted singers and musicians. Our present collection includes Amanda LeBail from the UK, whose Irish-styling sound is absolutely beautiful and comforting with hymns and worship songs, James Sundquist, who is an incredible classical guitarist, and Bob Ayanian, whose Americana gospel folk music always points to the Cross in an uplifting and inspiring manner, not to mention the astounding musical talent of his music team. And the latest music we are adding to our collection is Dwayna Litz's new CD, My Prize. Dwayna is an evangelist, who speaks up against spiritual deception and ministers to many people through her street ministry, Lighting the Way International. Dwayna was a child music prodigy who started singing at the age of 2. She gave up a promising country western singing career to serve the Lord in street ministry. Dwayna not only has courage and determination, she has a very beautiful voice and song-writing ability.
 
THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
Persecution of the saints has happened since the inception of the church. Many people don't even realize it has and still is happening. We believe that as we draw closer to the time of Christ's return, this persecution will only increase. For the most part, believers in the Western world have not had to suffer serious persecution for their faith, but that could easily change at any time. We are presenting this collection with the hope of helping believers to have courage and stand strong in their faith. 
 
In 2009, we added a DVD called The Radicals, a true, independent film about a nun and a priest who left the Catholic church to follow biblical Christianity and who paid dearly for it. We are hoping to add Foxe's Book of Martyrs to this collection, but as of yet we have not found an edition that is not compromised in some fashion. One edition we found had the endorsements of several Christian leaders inside its cover, but a number of these leaders are promoting the contemplative/emerging spirituality. It is very sad, and wrong, when Christian publishers do this to otherwise valuable literature. Since Foxe's Book of Martyrs is in the public domain, we are considering publishing our own edition of this book.
 
HAUNTING BUT NECESSARY
One of the areas that Lighthouse Trails has hoped to "bring to the light" is the area involving the sexual abuse and pornography of children. This is one of the reasons we report on the present-day homosexual movement - we believe our society has so devalued the sanctity of life and also of marriage that children have become the greatest victims of such immoral attitudes. This is why we decided to add The Kinsey Syndrome, a haunting but necessary film, to our Sensitive Issues collection. This film documents how our Western society changed its views regarding sexuality and children, with a subsequent deterioration in our nation's effort and ability to protect its children.
 
CREATION/EVOLUTION
We believe that evolution, homosexuality, mysticism, panentheism, pornography, and  abortion are all the "fruits" of the New Spirituality, which is a "religion" against our Creator and His plan for salvation (Jesus Christ). One of the films we began carrying this year, God of Wonders, is an extraordinary project that points to God, the Creator with magnificent footage of various aspects of creation. This DVD is evangelistic to the unbeliever and uplifting and informative for the believer. We are grateful to Eternal Productions for producing it and allowing us to carry it.
 
MAILING LIST & CATALOG
We hope our growing collection of books, DVDs, and CDs will help you and your families stand strong in the faith and be encouraged in these perilous times in which we live.  If you are on our customer mailing list, you will receive new catalogs and flyers throughout the year. If you aren't receiving our catalog/product mailings, you can request a free catalog and that will get you on the list.
 
Finally, we wanted to mention that in 2009 we created a blog for our publishing company. It is interactive, which means you can leave comments.
Lighthouse Trails Publishing YEAR IN REVIEW: TOP 10 VIDEO/AUDIO FOR 2009

1. RADIO INTERVIEW: Jan Markell and Bob DeWaay on the radio debating Bethel University on whether there is common ground between Buddhism and Christianity. (listen)

2. DRAMATIC AUDIO: Suzie Sandager as Corrie ten Boom - 6 minutes audio:

3. VIDEO: Mike Oppenheimer and Ray Yungen discuss contemplative mysticism (watch part one and part two)

4. VIDEO: The Story of Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman (watch 10 minute preview)

5. VIDEO: A Lamp in the Dark by Adullam Films - the story of the Bible and of those in history who wanted to destroy it. (Opening Trailer), (The Gospel), (William Tyndale), (the Jesuits
 
6. VIDEO: The Kinsey Syndrome by Adullam Films - exposes the truth about the sexual revolution that stemmed largely from the work of a man named Dr. Alfred Kinsey (Trailer), (Preview 1), (Preview 2), (Preview 3)
 
7. RADIO INTERVIEW: A "Wonderful" Deception, with Larry Spargimino and Warren Smith
 
8.VIDEO: Roger Oakland - Emerging Church: Man's Spiritual Journey and the Three Legged Stool (watch) (four parts to watch)

9. VIDEO: Ray Yungen - The New Face of Mystical Spirituality (watch) (three parts to watch)

10. VIDEO: God of Wonders by Eternal Productions-  (Movie Trailer), (Thunderstorms), (God of Wisdom), (Butterflies), (God of Justice)

 
 
 

Publishing News
 
 
THREE WAYS TO ORDER DIRECTLY FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS PUBLISHING:
 
2. Toll Free Order Line: 866/876-3910
 
Quantity Discounts: 40% off retail for orders of 10 or more copies, 50% off for international orders of 10 or more copies
 
We ship both retail and wholesale orders within 24 hours of receiving order.
 
BOOKSTORES AND OUTLETS for small retail orders: Lighthouse Trails books are also available to order from most bookstores (online and walk-in). If your local bookstore isn't carrying one of our titles, you can ask them to order it  for you. While you may have to wait longer to receive your order, the advantage of ordering through bookstores is that you will have no shipping charges.
 
BOOKSTORES MAY ORDER DIRECTLY FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS OR FROM INGRAM OR SPRINGARBOR.
 
LIBRARIES MAY ORDER DIRECTLY FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS OR FROM BAKER & TAYLOR.
 
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SAMPLE CHAPTERS OF LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS BOOKS:
Lighthouse Trails Publishing now has sample chapters available online for most of the books we publish. We believe you will find each of these books to be well-written, carefully documented, and worthwhile. Click here to read some of the chapters.
 
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