February 27, 2014

Jesus Calling Devotional Bible?—Putting Words in Jesus’ Mouth—And in the Bible

Warren B. Smith

(author of the new release “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs Are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer)

One of the many spin-off products from Sarah Young’s best-selling book, Jesus Calling, is the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible. It is a New King James Bible filled with “messages” Young claims to have “received” from Jesus Christ. In the original Introduction to her book, Jesus Calling, Young describes the nature of these messages:
 My journaling had changed from monologue to dialogue. Soon, messages began to flow more freely, and I bought a special notebook to record these words. 1
I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him. 2
This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received. 3
In the Introduction to Young’s Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, she describes the “joy of listening to Jesus with pen in hand”:
 After many years of writing in prayer journals—and then discovering the joy of listening to Jesus with “pen in hand” — I believe all of this more than ever today. 4
She describes the difference that this “listening to Jesus” has made in her life. She writes:
What has made the difference? The practice of listening to Jesus and letting Him speak to me. This practice has done more to increase my intimacy with Him than any other spiritual discipline. And the words of assurance and instruction that He has “spoken” to me over the years are what I have shared in my devotional books. 5
         Young Believes that her “Messages” from “Jesus” Belong in the Bible?
Young’s personal “messages” from “Jesus” occupy some 250 separate full pages of her Jesus Calling Devotional Bible. Young claims that the placement of her messages and writings alongside Scripture is a “natural place” for them — and that she feels honored to have them there.
Since my writings are rooted in the infallible, unchanging Word of God, having them appear alongside the biblical text would seem to be a natural place for them. It is an honor to have devotionals from two of my books, Jesus Calling and Jesus Lives, included in this volume. 6
However, as I pointed out in “Another Jesus” Calling, many of Sarah Young’s “messages” in Jesus Calling are clearly not rooted in the “infallible, unchanging Word of God.” And now, a number of these problematic “messages” have been placed throughout the pages of her Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.

Take, for example, the bizarre account she reputedly received from Jesus regarding Abraham and Isaac. This “message” has been placed “alongside” the actual Genesis 22 account, with her “Jesus” purportedly describing Abraham as an idolater and son-worshiper:
Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac. I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father’s undisciplined emotions. I detest idolatry even in the form of parental love. 7
But this extrabiblical “message” from Young’s “Jesus” is blatantly unbiblical. In fact, her publisher, Thomas Nelson, has removed it from some recent printings of Jesus Calling and related products.  The original Abraham and Isaac August 23rd “devotion” has been cut and pasted and toned down to now read Jacob and Joseph rather than Abraham and Isaac. As mentioned in a previous Lighthouse Trails post, Sarah Young and her Thomas Nelson editors have removed controversial materials from recently printed Jesus Calling items with no explanation, apology, or repentance to Young’s millions of readers.  However—at least as of today—this original Abraham and Isaac account can still be found—unbelievably—in Young’s Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.

Ironically, the Jesus Calling: 365 Devotional For Kids also keeps Abraham and Isaac in the August 23rd account. However, Young—with help from others—has cleaned up the original account to make it more biblical. The new sanitized version, according to the book’s title page, originated with Sarah Young. It was adapted by a woman named Tama Fortner and then further edited by another woman named Kris Bears. And now gone is Abraham’s idolatry. Gone are his undisciplined emotions. And instead of having been a son-worshiper, now he is only in danger of worshiping his son. This carefully paraphrased, adapted, and further edited version of “Jesus’” original “message” now reads:
Abraham had waited so long for a son. When Isaac finally came, Abraham was in danger of worshipping his son. I tested Abraham, and—as hard as it was—Abraham trusted Me to take care of Isaac. And I did.8
With all of this cutting, pasting, adapting, and editing away of problematic words and passages—all in the name of “Jesus”—one cannot help wonder if this is Thomas Nelson’s attempt to stay one step ahead of unsuspecting readers and legitimate criticism. Responding truthfully and forthrightly about the many controversial questions surrounding Sarah Young’s inconsistent “Jesus” appear to be less important than preserving her #1 best-selling book Jesus Calling and its many related products—like the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.

Other Problems with the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible

Other problematic “messages” contained in the original, unedited Jesus Calling can also be found in Young’s Jesus Calling Devotional Bible. Perhaps the most obviously unscriptural is how Young’s “Jesus” contradicts the Bible’s Jesus in regards to the last words Jesus spoke before ascending into heaven. In the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, with Matthew 28:20 cited at the bottom of the page, Young’s “Jesus” states:
My final statement just before I ascended into heaven was: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all my followers, without exception.
But these were not Jesus Christ’s last words. This Matthew 28:20 passage was uttered on a mount in Galilee (Matthew 28:16) while His last words were actually spoken later in Acts 1:7-9 on the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12):
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and the true Jesus does not contradict Himself regarding His last words before ascending into heaven or any other matter. Nor does He put forth untrue, disparaging remarks about Abraham and Isaac. While it is not the purpose of this article to catalog all the concerns that arise when reading Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, these two examples alone should be enough to keep any sincere believer far away from the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.

Bible Warnings

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)
For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ, and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:5)
Endnotes
  1. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p.XII in the original Introduction.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid., p.XIII in the original Introduction.
  4. Sarah Young (General Editor), Jesus Calling Devotional Bible: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc., 2011), p.V
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid., p.VI.
  7. Ibid., p.37.
  8. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids (Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson, 2010), p.246
  9. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, p.1237.

A Word of Caution: Ecumenical-Backed Movie, “Son of God,” May Send Subtle New Age/Roman Catholic Messages

Lighthouse Trails Editors
“If everything begins with intention, our heart on ‘Son of God’ was to find the places that we could bring people together.”—Roma Downey, New York Times
On February 28th, 20th Century Fox will release the movie Son of God in theaters. The movie is produced by husband/wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (Downey plays Mary in the film). While the movie is about the life of Jesus, and if the movie trailer is any indication, it will be  a very moving and emotional account, Lighthouse Trails wishes to issue a word of caution and warning to those who will be going to see it. Between Roma Downey’s affinity toward New Ageism and the highly ecumenical (evangelical, emerging, contemplative, Catholic, Mormon, etc) group of endorsers and advisers, there may be subtle messages in the movie that are contrary to the Word of God and its portrayal of Jesus Christ and truth. Thus, we encourage those who will be seeing the movie to watch it through the eyes of discernment and the filter of God’s Word.

We know the Bible tells us the day will come when the whole world will follow a false (anti) Christ and will worship him. And we can see how quickly an apostate ecumenical religious body is rising to the surface, leaving traditional, biblical Christianity behind. There have been films that have been produced over the years with the purpose of drawing people into an ecumenical religious movement. For instance, when Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ came out, evangelical Christians flocked to the movie in scores, and most major Christian leaders promoted it. But after the movie had come out, Mel Gibson admitted that the his reason for doing the movie was to draw people to the Eucharist, Mary, and the Catholic church. If you did not read Roger Oakland’s article, “What Lies Behind Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ  by Roger Oakland,” we hope you will read it before attending Son of God. Roger received a lot of criticism from peers for his warnings about The Passion of the Christ. But in the end, it was Mel Gibson himself who set the record straight and confirmed what Roger was saying was true. And today, several years later, the evangelical/Protestant church is so much further down the contemplative/emerging, ecumenical road.

With Son of God, we can only hope that Roma Downey’s New Age/Catholic bent doesn’t surface. However, we are skeptical that it won’t. A February 27th New York Times article shows that the intention of filmmakers for Son of God is to reach past the differences of religious faiths and bring people into unity. The article states:
Downey’s husband, “The Voice” and “Survivor” producer Mark Burnett, said the Christian filmmaking team reached out specifically to other faiths to tell the story of the life of Jesus . . . without causing offense.
“It just took a lot of work and a lot of time and a lot of listening over a number of years to see everybody’s point of view and how to not take the teeth out of the story — the dynamic drama from the story — but be sensitive across groups,” Burnett said. “Because there’s very different interpretations across the Catholic faith and the Protestant faith and the Jewish faith.”
In a July 2013 Lighthouse Trails article, we wrote the following statements, which reflect Roma Downey’s spiritual proclivities:
From our July 2013 article, “From the Frying Pan into the Fire: Women of Faith Partners with New Age Advocate Roma Downey” :
In an article we posted earlier this year, “Rick Warren Endorses 2013 Book, “Catholics Come Home” – Calls Catholic Evangelization “Critically Important,” we quoted [Roma] Downey as saying this about the Catholics Come Home book: “Catholics Come Home inspires each of us to share God’s love with others, in order to help change the world for the better, for eternity!” And, in a book titled Practical Praying: Using the Rosary to Enhance Your Life, there is a companion “Meditation” CD by Roma Downey that comes with the book.
But Roma Downey isn’t just a Catholic promoter. She is a New Age/New Spirituality promoter. Within the pages of a book titled Loyalty to Your Soul by Ron and Mary Hulnick (published in 2010 by the New Age publisher, Hay House), Downey endorses the book saying:
“As a USM [ University of Santa Monica - a New Age metaphysical school] graduate, I know firsthand the value I received from participating with Ron and Mary  in the Master’s degree Program in Spiritual Psychology. I am so grateful to have Loyalty to Your Soul to sweetly remind me of all I have learned. Let’s just say that I went from playing an angel on TV to living more of an angelic life every day. The teachings in this beautiful book have sent me on a journey to the very center of my own being where, wrapped in the safe wings of Love, I feel as though I have come home.”
Downey’s endorsement in the Hulnick’s book is nestled in with full-blown New Agers like Barbara Marx Hubbard, Joan Borysenko, and Gay Hendricks (The Corporate Mystic). By the way, Neale Donald Walsch, the New Ager who said that Hitler did the Jews a favor by killing them,1 wrote the foreword to Loyalty to Your Soul.
Clearly, Downey read this book and resonates deeply with it to say what she did about it.
To get an idea of this “journey” that Downey is on, listen to a few quotes from Loyalty to Your Soul:
“Center your awareness in your heart and consciously look for the Loving Essence in the person in your presence. By doing so, you’re signifying your respect for the Soul before you . . .  Maintain awareness that you’re in conversation with another Divine Being who is engaged in having a human experience.” (p. 209)
“We ask for the presence, protection, guidance, and Love of the Divine Beings  who work with each of us.” (from the “Invocation” – emphasis added)
“When people speak of spirituality, they simply mean awareness of the sacred reality of the Divine Essence within and beyond all creation.” (p. 8, quoting favorably a New Age “spiritual teacher”)
“For the awakening person, there is a growing yearning for time in the silence. There is a sense of needing time and space for contemplation, meditation, walking in nature, and just plain being alone. Attuning to the inner channel of Divine Love is supported by quiet moments.” (p. 27)
“You begin to recognize others as Divine Beings, and the situations and circumstances of your life as learning devices.” (p. 31)
Those familiar with New Age teachings will recognize such statements as being the core essence of the occult (that man is divine). Loyalty to Your Soul is a contemporary version of A Course in Miracles (the New Age book Warren B. Smith talks about in his biography, The Light That Was Dark).
In addition to endorsing Loyalty to Your Soul, Downey also endorsed a book called Angels in My Hair: the true story of a modern day Irish mystic by Lorna Bryne. The book is about spirit guides in people’s lives. We find it disconcerting to know that someone with Downey’s spiritual propensities, who attended a New Age university, helped to create a program on God’s Word.
If you watch the video clips of various Christian leaders who are promoting the Son of God movie (e.g., Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Max Lucado, etc), you will notice that many of these endorsers are praising Hollywood for coming out with films on Jesus and the Bible (soon a movie on Noah is going to be released). But if the Jesus that Hollywood is depicting is not the Jesus of the Bible but rather a why-can’t-we-all-get-along kind of Jesus and if the Word of God itself is being altered and revised, then how can we, as Christian believers, praise such work? Nevertheless, it will be praised by today’s popular religious leaders and most likely tens of millions will go to see the film. And the question that must be asked is, what will be the “fruit” of this and other such films?

November 18, 2013

Another Gospel

There  is only one Gospel – only one true message of good news from heaven. But there are many substitutes offered in place of the Gospel. It was so in the beginning. It is so now. The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians:
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians1:6-9)
THESE are intensely solemn words. They come bubbling up from the steaming heart of the indignant apostle in righteous wrath as he learns of pretentious carnal legalists deliberately seeking to mislead eternally-bound souls with a false message which could only, like a will-o-the-wisp, lead to ruin and destruction at last. He would have us know it is a fearfully wicked thing to trifle with the sacred heaven – sent message that has come to a needy world declaring the grace of God to poor lost sinners.

WHAT then is this Gospel of which the apostle was so jealous? He tells us plainly in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4:
“… I declare unto you the gospel… 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.”
Note carefully: The Gospel is God’s wonderful story of His beloved Son. It is a message of grace to be received in faith. It is not a code of laws to be obeyed or good advice to be followed. It is not a system of ritual observances or a call to submit to certain ordinances. It does not set forth the claims of any human church organization, however venerable, nor does it exhort men to seek after experiences, however remarkable, though a blessed experience follows its acceptance. It simply sets forth Christ crucified and risen as the Savior of all who believe in Him.

WHEN THE MORMON elder comes declaring that an angel revealed a gospel of salvation through a restored church and renewed ordinances, he is preaching another gospel, and angel and man are alike under the curse.

WHEN THE LEGALIST comes insisting that salvation is by obedience to God’s holy law (which in itself is just and good), he is preaching another gospel, for the Word of God declares, “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight.”

WHEN THE REVIVALIST comes promising salvation to those “who make a full surrender” of all that they have to God, and who “pay the price of full salvation,” he is preaching another gospel, for the price was paid on Calvary’s cross and the work that saves is finished. It was Christ Jesus who made the full surrender, when He yielded Himself unto death for us that we might be redeemed from the curse of the broken law and forever saved from the judgment to come upon all who refuse His grace.

WHEN THE MODERNIST prates in glowing terms and honeyed phrases of salvation by character, salvation by altruism, salvation by ethical culture, he, too is proclaiming another gospel, for if character could have saved, Christ need not have died; if altruism would have fitted sinful men for heaven, the Lord Jesus would surely have told us so; if ethical culture could deliver from the wrath of God, what place would Gethsemane, Calvary and the Empty Tomb have in the Divine economy?

WHEN THE CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST (falsely so-called) denies the reality of sin, disease and death and lulls sinners to sleep by telling them that “God is all and all is God,” even going so far as to declare the death of Christ was unreal, and His resurrection simply spiritual, and that the blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sins when shed upon the accursed tree than when it was flowing in His veins, he, or she, is promulgating another gospel, which is not another, for it is a baseless dream, a weird and blasphemous “error of mortal mind” that will leave its votaries at last without God and without hope.

THE SOLEMN FACT IS THERE IS NO OTHER GOSPEL. Every pretended substitute is but a Satan-devised delusion meant to turn men away from the strait gate which alone leads into the narrow way, and make them contented as they crowd down the clear side of the broad way to eternal perdition.

BEFORE there can really be another gospel there must be another savior and another Holy Spirit, and this can never be. Nor is any other gospel needed, for the grand old Gospel of the grace of God is all-sufficient to save “whosoever will,” and has demonstrated its power throughout the centuries by transforming lost miserable sinners into happy joyous saints. Paul says:
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. (Romans 1:16,17)
THE Gospel needs only to be preached in the power of the Holy Spirit to hold its own against every imitation and substitute that the mind of the natural man energized by Satan can devise. Like the Bible itself it is divinely inspired and, therefore, preeminently fitted for the needs of mankind… It convinces the mind and satisfies the heart, if men but take the place of repentant sinners and accept it by faith. It is the dynamic of God unto the deliverance of all who believe it. To refuse it is to be lost. To receive its message is to be saved.

IT reveals the righteousness of God, making known how He “can be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Satan’s false gospels all pretend to show how man can establish his own righteousness. The Gospel of Christ comes to unrighteous men and tells them of a righteousness that is divine which is imputed to all who believe.

ANOTHER gospel - whatever its outward form - will always be found to center in something that man can be or do in order to obtain merit. The Gospel of God declares what Christ has done in order that the salvation purchased may be justly offered to sinners.

ANOTHER gospel presupposes some strength, some ability to please God, in the natural man. God’s Gospel declares that when “we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

ANOTHER gospel will land you in hell! God’s Gospel, believed, will bring you safe to heaven.


Dr. Harry A. Ironside

TURNING from every false hope, I beseech my unsaved reader to rest in what Scripture declares concerning Christ, and thus be able to sing in faith:
“Upon a life I did not live, Upon a death I did not die, Another’s life, Another’s death I hang my whole eternity. None will ever be confounded who put their trust in Him.”
*The writings of Harry A. Ironside are in the public domain and can be used freely.

Also by Harry A. Ironside:

What Does it Mean to Repent and Be Saved?

Should Christians Expose Error? 

November 8, 2013

"APOSTOLIC" APOSTASIES ATTRACT

Extreme Charismatics Increasingly Adopt "Emerging" Pagan Practices

Yoga. Centering Prayer. Lectio Divina. Evangelical Monasticism. Practicing the Presence. Stations of the Cross. Labyrinth Prayer. These are but a few of the teachings and techniques we've noted that are bombarding evangelical churches of all denominations, largely in association with the Emerging Church Movement (ECM). But while much recent biblical discernment has been focused on the errors and excesses of the ECM, another "renewal" has been taking place in the revived Latter-Rain and Kingdom-Now camps related to C. Peter Wagner's "New Apostolic Reformation" (NAR) that poses equal concern with regard to the Emerging Apostasy.

It may surprise some that the best-selling author/leaders in the NAR have key beliefs in common with the best-selling author/leaders of the ECM, which position both groups for a "melding of the minds." Among the common denominators are a general distaste for exegetical (verse-by-verse) preaching, a disdain of dispensational teaching (particularly the rapture, which is frequently mocked), and a "dominion mandate" doctrine that expands the gospel of God to include redemption of the earth through social-spiritual activism. The NAR and ECM also share a "trans-denominational" (ecumenical and pluralistic) mission of "inclusion" at the expense of sound doctrine.

Not surprisingly, then, is perhaps their greatest common denominator: an affinity for (and outright embrace of) Contemplative Spirituality. A particularly visible example is the Arizona-based organization of Patricia King called "Extreme Prophetic." Through a myriad of conferences and audio/visual media that includes a TV program, her ministry promotes not just "ordinary" miracles but "extreme signs and wonders" as taught by a variety of Christian seers and psychics--such as interpreting dreams, providing "spiritual readings" for the lost, "opening the heavens" to release the "manifest presence" of God (i.e., oil and "glory dust"), working with angels, raising the dead, "spirit-traveling" to the third heaven (throneroom of God), communicating with departed saints, and more.
Once recognized by a majority of the church as New Age occultism, these practices are now becoming commonplace (or at least commonly sought) at an alarming rate by confused Christians, immature believers, and unsaved spiritual seekers who are all hungry for a "manifest" encounter with God, "here and now." As occultism gains popular acceptance in the world, so does the craving for "genuine" (tangible) signs as encouraged by neo-prophetic teachers.

One of the more recent and blatant examples of neo-paganism in the church, however, is Patricia King's endorsement and embrace of trance-dancing as a Christian form of worship that she and Caleb Brundidge, one of her itinerant ministers, call "Ekstasis Worship." Brundidge is a traveling "prophetic" D.J. that calls his show "Club Mysterio." (Repetitive "rave" or "trance" music has been so-called because nightclubs around the world use it to enable patrons to enter a euphoric altered state of consciousness--with or without the assistance of drugs such as "ecstasy"--through extended freestyle and sensual motion set to repetitive music tracks.

It doesn't take an anthropologist to recognize parallels between modern trance dancing and ancient forms of ritual dance that is still used in many cultures to produce identical altered states and "spirit travel." But what many may not know is the increasing popularity of "yoga trance dance," which could well become the new "jazzercize" that turns this form of Hindu worship into an aerobic activity for "everyday" gym members.

Space does not permit a full analysis with comparison to Scripture, but as the quotes below reveal, patrons of Brundidge's "Club Mysterio" may indeed feel "ecstasy"--but rather than realizing the true joy of the Lord, they might experience either a "head rush" from spinning in circles (a practice of the "whirling dervishes" of Islamic mysticism) or they could meet instead an angel of light--one of the same "divine" deceivers as encountered by yogic dancers seeking all-night tantric pleasure with Hindu deities.

Which brings us to an ancient-future spiritual law: "apostasies attract." With "Christian yoga" and mystical methods for "meeting God" on the rise--and "Christian trance-dancing" now in vogue, what other "Christianized" demonic practices lie ahead?

[D.J. Caleb Brundidge's quotes below are transcribed from Patricia King's "Extreme Prophetic TV" show, interspersed with quotes taken from online testimony and promotion of yoga trance-dancing to show the parallel experiences.]
          
          Yogic Nightclub Dancer:
          "In searching for my personal connection with Shiva Nataraj, to best explain these roots of 
           trance dancing from ancient India, I felt I needed to go deeper than books, however."
 
Ekstasis Worship / Extreme Prophetic DJ:
"You no longer have to study the word, when you're inside of an infused atmosphere, it becomes part of you."

Yogic Nightclub Dancer:
"Infused with pure love for the Lord [Shiva Nataraj] and all that he represents, I let myself drift back through the ages until I was a young devadasi performing a tantric [sensual] trance dance somewhere in South India."

Ekstasis Worship / Extreme Prophetic DJ:
"Ekstasis worship is worship that when you go outside of your mind, and just release yourself into abandoned worship with God, going into the ecstasy [as in sensual union] of God."

Yogic Nightclub Dancer:
"Lost in this ancient trance, I felt my love for Shiva grow deeper all night, consuming me. I saw his essence in everyone and everything around me....The techno beat morphed in my head into the shrill song of a shenai, the rhythmic clanging of temple bells reverberating in an ancient stone temple, and the mesmerizing drone of devotional songs being repeated over and over again."

Ekstasis Worship / Extreme Prophetic DJ:
"With the rhythm, the sound, and the repetiveness of the music, the word is driven into your body, not just your mind, not just your soul, but the whole mind, body, and soul."

Yogic Nightclub Dancer:
"Ecstatically allowing the Nataraja trance to overtake me, I felt my body gyrate in unfamiliar ways that seemed as old as Shiva himself. What were these odd movements, these provocative dance steps from another millennium?"

Ekstasis Worship / Extreme Prophetic DJ:
"Ekstasis worship, even in our prayer and in our movement, it's about dancing...feeling it in your body, giving your body to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable. Begin to whirl and twirl.... [Unexplained] things begin to happen...."

Yogic Nightclub Dancer:
"I was able to leave my body and observe myself in this new/old incarnation. I realized that every motion the devadasi makes carries import, a message of devotion. The trance dance spiraled me into the deep meanings of these movements, and I instinctually found myself expressing a vast range of emotions that described the many manifestations of Shiva Nataraj."

Ekstasis Worship / Extreme Prophetic DJ:
"When you dance out...your emotion and love for Jesus Christ, something happens, not only in the spiritual, but in the natural, and in the force.... When we're making decrees and we're praising God, the music and you're jumping, and you're dancing and you're moving around, the words that we're speaking becomes one at a cellular level in your body. An' its not like you're learning it, it becomes part of who you are."

Yoga Trance Dance Website:
"The contemporary explorations of this state of rhythmic-induced meditation are reclaiming "trance" as an accessible experience of embodied communion where the observer dissolves into the power of now, the flow, the dance."

["Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." --1 Timothy:4:1]

More Deception from False "Prophetess", Patricia King

[TBC: The Charismatic movement has long served as a catalyst to bring Catholicism and Protestants together. See: http://www.thebereancall.org/content/tbc-extra-29

We have noted in the past how the apostasy is progressing and how many seemingly diverse religious groups are coming together in that End-time religious system headquartered in Rome. Now, "prophetess" Patricia King's "word from the Lord" gives further details as to how this convergence will take place.]

A RADICAL COMPANY OF BELIEVERS WILL ARISE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH [Excerpts]

Over the course of many years I have heard various judgments and complaints against the Catholic Church from fellow Believers. Some proclaimed that the Pope was the anti-Christ, others stated that the Roman Catholic Church was Babylon and would burn under the judgment of God, and yet others described the Catholic Church as being steeped in witchcraft. I realize that in any organization there can be the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are many things that the Spirit of God will work out in our midst as He perfects those things that concern us...and that is for all of us.

The Catholics I have known are Spirit-filled Believers who are fully devoted to following Christ. I love them and have been blessed by their hunger for the Lord. I am confident that the Lord will burn up the dross of impurities in the Catholic Church even as He will in ALL His Body.

In January of 2013, I received a prophetic word over a Catholic woman who was in one of our meetings. The gist of it, was that a move of God was coming to the Catholic Church. I could feel the potency in the word and I was excited.In March 2013, Francis became the Pope. In May, I was watching a television report revealing one of Pope Francis' ministry trips into South America.

As I watched this, I was again quickened with the word about a move of Spirit in the Catholic Church: Word for Catholics From May 2013: A move of the Spirit of God is coming to the Catholic Church. 

The youth in particular will be ignited with a fresh fire of zeal and passion for Christ and His Gospel. A radical company of Believers will arise in the Catholic Church during this move, and they will release a flow of God's love and truth into the nations.

The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation will visit entire gatherings, and Catholics will be filled with fresh insights involving the glory of God, His Kingdom and His righteousness.These insights will bring alignment to many areas within the core of the Catholic Church and will release more demonstrations of the power of Christ.


The justice and righteousness of God will be made known to many through radical Catholics who are willing to proclaim the truth in love. There are intercessors in the Catholic Church even now who are giving birth to this move. The Pope will endorse it. (Elijah List Newsletter, 10/1/13).


[TBC: As an "infallible" Church, the Church of Rome cannot be reformed. Its foundational dogmas and sacraments all deny the Gospel (from the Mass, the Eucharist, Purgatory, the Immaculate Conception of Mary, etc., etc.). So called Spirit-filled Catholic believers claim to be spiritually enriched by their Church's heretical teachings and practices.]

November 6, 2013

What Does it Mean to Repent and Be Saved?

LTRP Note: The editors at Lighthouse Trails believe that one of the reasons so many proclaiming Christians are turning to contemplative mysticism is because they have been following a non-biblical “Gospel” that has kept them from a true born of the Spirit (born-again) relationship with Jesus Christ. Thus, mystically-induced experiences take the place of that relationship. The following article by Dr. Harry Ironside explains what repentance (a requirement for salvation and being born-again - “except ye repent” – Luke 13:3-5) entails. It may surprise a number of people when they discover what repentance really is.

By Dr. Harry Ironside
(From his book, Except Ye Repent)

More and more it becomes evident that ours is, as Carlyle expressed it, an “age of sham.” Unreality and specious pretense abound in all departments of life. In the domestic, commercial, social, and ecclesiastical spheres hypocrisy is not only openly condoned, but recognized as almost a necessity for advancement and success in attaining recognition among one’s fellows.

Nor is this true only where heterodox religious views are held. Orthodoxy has its shallow dogmatists who are ready to battle savagely for sound doctrine, but who manage to ignore sound living with little or no apparent compunction of conscience.

 God desires truth in the inward parts. The blessed man is still the one “in whose spirit there is no guile.” It is forever true that “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” It can never be out of place to proclaim salvation by free, unmerited favor to all who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. But it needs ever to be insisted on that the faith that justifies is not a mere intellectual process — not simply crediting certain historical facts or doctrinal statements; but it is a faith that springs from a divinely wrought conviction of sin which produces a repentance that is sincere and genuine. Our Lord’s solemn words, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” are as important today as when first uttered. No dispensational distinctions, important as these are in understanding and interpreting God’s ways with man, can alter this truth.

No one was ever saved in any dispensation excepting by grace. Neither sacrificial observances, nor ritual service, nor works of law ever had any part in justifying the ungodly. Nor were any sinners ever saved by grace until they repented. Repentance is not opposed to grace; it is the recognition of the need of grace. “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” “I came not,” said our blessed Lord, “to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

One great trouble in this shallow age is that we have lost the meaning of words. We bandy them about until one can seldom be certain just how terms are being used. Two ministers were passing an open grocery and dairy store where, in three large baskets, eggs were displayed. On one basket was a sign reading, “Fresh eggs, 24 cents a dozen.” The second sign read, “Strictly fresh eggs, 29 cents a dozen.” While a third read, “Guaranteed strictly fresh eggs, 34 cents a dozen.” One of the pastors exclaimed in amazement, “What does that grocer understand ‘fresh’ to mean?” It is thus with many Scriptural terms that to our forefathers had an unvarying meaning, but like debased coins have today lost their values.

Grace is God’s unmerited favor to those who have merited the very opposite. Repentance is the sinner’s recognition of and acknowledgment of his lost estate and, thus, of his need of grace. Yet there are not wanting professed preachers of grace who, like the antinomians of old, decry the necessity of repentance lest it seem to invalidate the freedom of grace. As well might one object to a man’s acknowledgment of illness when seeking help and healing from a physician, on the ground that all he needed was a doctor’s prescription.

Shallow preaching that does not grapple with the terrible fact of man’s sinfulness and guilt, calling on “all men everywhere to repent,” results in shallow conversions; and so we have a myriad of glib-tongued professors today who give no evidence of regeneration whatever. Prating of salvation by grace, they manifest no grace in their lives. Loudly declaring they are justified by faith alone, they fail to remember that “faith without works is dead”; and that justification by works before men is not to be ignored as though it were in contradiction to justification by faith before God. We need to reread James 3 and let its serious message sink deep into our hearts, that it may control our lives. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” No man can truly believe in Christ, who does not first repent. Nor will his repentance end when he has saving faith, but the more he knows God as he goes on through the years, the deeper will that repentance become. A servant of Christ said: “I repented before I knew the meaning of the word. I have repented far more since than I did then.”

Undoubtedly one great reason why some earnest Gospel preachers are almost afraid of, and generally ignore, the terms “repent” and “repentance” in their evangelizing is that they fear lest their hearers misunderstand these terms and think of them as implying something meritorious on the part of the sinner.

But nothing could be wider of the mark. There is no saving merit in owning my true condition. There is no healing in acknowledging the nature of my illness. And repentance, as we have seen, is just this very thing. But in order to clarify the subject, it may be well to observe carefully what repentance is not and then to notice briefly what it is.

First, then, repentance is not to be confounded with penitence, though penitence will invariably enter into it. But penitence is simply sorrow for sin. No amount of penitence can fit a man for salvation. On the other hand, the impenitent will never come to God seeking His grace. But godly sorrow, we are told, worketh repentance not to be repented of. There is a sorrow for sin that has no element of piety in it— “the sorrow of the world worketh death.” In Peter’s penitence we see the former; in the remorse of Judas, the latter. Nowhere is man exhorted to feel a certain amount of sorrow for his sins in order to come to Christ. When the Spirit of God applies the truth, penitence is the immediate result and this leads on to repentance, but should not be confounded with it. This is a divine work in the soul.

Second, penance is not repentance. Penance is the effort in some way to atone for wrong done. This, man can never do. Nor does God in His Word lay it down as a condition of salvation that one first seek to make up to either God or his fellows for evil committed. Here the Roman Catholic translation of the Bible perpetrates a glaring deception upon those who accept it as almost an inspired version because bearing the imprimatur of the great Catholic dignitaries. Wherever the [King James version] has “repent,” the Douay-Rheims translation reads, “Do penance.” There is no excuse for such a paraphrase. It is not a translation. It is the substituting of a Romish dogma for the plain command of God. John the Baptist did not cry, ‘Do penance, for the kingdom of God is at hand.’ Our Lord Jesus did not say, ‘Do penance and believe the gospel,’ and, ‘Except ye do penance ye shall all likewise perish.’ The Apostle Peter did not tell the anxious multitude at Pentecost to ‘Do penance and be converted.’ St. Paul did not announce to the men at Athens that ‘God commandeth all men everywhere to do penance’ in view of a coming judgment day. No respectable Greek scholar would ever think of so translating the original in these and many other instances.

On the contrary, the call was to repent; and between repenting and doing penance there is a vast difference. But even so, we would not forget that he who truly repents will surely seek to make right any wrong he has done to his fellows, though he knows that he never can make up for the wrong done to God. But this is where Christ’s expiatory work comes in. As the great Trespass Offering He could say, “Then I restored that which I took not away” (Psa. 69). Think not to add penance to this — as though His work were incomplete and something else were needed to satisfy God’s infinite justice.

In the third place, let us remember that reformation is not repentance, however closely allied to, or springing out of it. To turn over a new leaf, to attempt to supplant bad habits with good ones, to try to live well instead of evilly, may not be the outcome of repentance at all and should never be confounded with it. Reformation is merely an outward change. Repentance is a work of God in the soul.

Recently it was the writer’s privilege to broadcast a Gospel message from a large Cleveland station. While he was waiting in the studio for the time appointed an advertiser’s voice was heard through the loud speaker announcing: “If you need anything in watch repairing go to” such a firm. One of the employees looked up and exclaimed, “I need no watch repairing; what I need is a watch.” It furnished me with an excellent text. What the unsaved man needs is not a repairing of his life. He needs a new life altogether, which comes only through a second birth. Reformation is like watch repairing. Repentance is like the recognition of the lack of a watch.

Need I add that repentance then is not to be considered synonymous with joining a church or taking up one’s religious duties, as people say. It is not doing anything.

What then is repentance? So far as possible I desire to avoid the use of all abstruse or pedantic terms, for I am writing not simply for scholars, but for those Lincoln had in mind when he said, “God must have thought a lot of the common people, for He made so many of them.” Therefore I wish, so far as possible, to avoid citing Greek or Hebrew words. But here it seems almost necessary to say that it is the Greek word metanoia, which is translated “repentance” in our English Bibles, and literally means a change of mind. This is not simply the acceptance of new ideas in place of old notions. But it actually implies a complete reversal of one’s inward attitude.

How luminously clear this makes the whole question before us! To repent is to change one’s attitude toward self, toward sin, toward God, toward Christ. And this is what God commands. John came preaching to publicans and sinners, hopelessly vile and depraved, “Change your attitude, for the kingdom is at and.” To haughty scribes and legalistic Pharisees came the same command, “Change your attitude,” and thus they would be ready to receive Him who came in grace to save. To sinners everywhere the Savior cried, “Except ye change your attitude, ye shall all likewise perish.”

And everywhere the apostles went they called upon men thus to face their sins — to face the question of their helplessness, yet their responsibility to God — to face Christ as the one, all-sufficient Savior, and thus by trusting Him to obtain remission of sins and justification from all things.

So to face these tremendous facts is to change one’s mind completely, so that the pleasure lover sees and confesses the folly of his empty life; the self-indulgent learns to hate the passions that express the corruption of his nature; the self-righteous sees himself a condemned sinner in the eyes of a holy God; the man who has been hiding from God seeks to find a hiding place in Him; the Christ-rejector realizes and owns his need of a Redeemer, and so believes unto life and salvation.

Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Yet we find true believers exhorted to “repent, and do the first works.” So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.

Perhaps it will help us if we see that it is one thing to believe God as to my sinfulness and need of a Savior, and it is another thing to trust that Savior implicitly for my own salvation. Apart from the first aspect of faith, there can be no true repentance. “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

And apart from such repentance there can be no saving faith. Yet the deeper my realization of the grace of God manifested toward me in Christ, the more intense will my repentance become.

 It was when Mephibosheth realized the kindness of God as shown by David that he cried out, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” (2 Sam. 9:8). And it is the soul’s apprehension of grace which leads to ever lower thoughts of self and higher thoughts of Christ; and so the work of repentance is deepened daily in the believer’s heart.

“Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream,
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
This He gives you,
‘Tis the Spirit’s rising beam.”

 The very first evidence of awakening grace is dissatisfaction with one’s self and self-effort and a longing for deliverance from chains of sin that have bound the soul. To own frankly that I am lost and guilty is the prelude to life and peace. It is not a question of a certain depth of grief and sorrow, but simply the recognition and acknowledgment of need that lead one to turn to Christ for refuge. None can perish who put their trust in Him. His grace superabounds above all our sin, and His expiatory work on the cross is so infinitely precious to God that it fully meets all our uncleanness and guilt.

September 19, 2013

POPE FRANCIS ASSURES ATHEISTS: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BELIEVE IN GOD TO GO TO HEAVEN

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences. 
Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: "You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don't believe and who don't seek the faith. I start by saying -- and this is the fundamental thing -- that God's mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.

"Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience." 

Robert Mickens, the Vatican correspondent for the Catholic journal The Tablet, said the pontiff's comments were further evidence of his attempts to shake off the Catholic Church's fusty image, reinforced by his extremely conservative predecessor Benedict XVI. "Francis is a still a conservative," said Mr Mickens. "But what this is all about is him seeking to have a more meaningful dialogue with the world." In a welcoming response to the letter, Mr Scalfari said the Pope's comments were "further evidence of his ability and desire to overcome barriers in dialogue with all."
In July, Francis signalled a more progressive attitude on sexuality, asking: "If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him?"

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-assures-atheists-you-dont-have-to-believe-in-god-to-go-to-heaven-8810062.html#

September 17, 2013

An Open Letter to Christian Leaders: Please Tell Us Where We Are Wrong

I, for one, am very thankful for the work LTR has done. God bless each and every one of them for being a much needed voice and blessing to the Body of Christ in these last days! 

By the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

For over 11 years, Lighthouse Trails has been issuing a warning about a mystical spirituality, known as contemplative prayer, which is coming through the conduit of the Spiritual Formation movement. It has not been an easy road to travel on, but through the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we saw this paradigm shift, which was affecting a large segment of the evangelical and Protestant church and lining up with biblical prophecy of a day coming when there will be great deception and many would fall away from the faith. We also became completely convinced that the roots of contemplative spirituality were based in panentheism (God in all), interspirituality (all paths lead to God), and universalism (everyone is united with God in spite of belief).

Once we saw this, we simply could not quit the work we had been called to do. Today, those convictions are stronger than ever, but the opposition or indifference we have encountered from the ranks of those widely known as leaders of the evangelical church has been stunning and sometimes unbelievable, especially in light of the fact that our only desire is to protect the message of the Cross from an opposite message that carries no hope of salvation or a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Looking back, it is hard for us not to see ourselves as a kind of David in his battle with Goliath. Lighthouse Trails is not a big ministry, at least as far as staff and resources go. If someone had told us 11 years ago that one day most major Christian ministries would know who we were and would resent, despise, or even hate us, we would not have believed it. You see, when we first began, we were under the impression that our warning was going to be welcomed by Christian leaders, and in fact, we thought that our own ministry could be short lived because once they were given the information and documentation about this great spiritual deception, they would take up the banner and run with it, and we would be able to go back to our lives before Lighthouse Trails began. After all, they were the ones who had the money, audience, credentials, and popularity to really make a difference. We had none of these things.

It wasn’t too long before we learned that the Christian leaders were not going to be receiving our message.

Opposition didn’t start right away. But then, that would make sense as we started at ground zero, with virtually no publishing experience and no readership. We had to take online college courses to learn how to build websites and design books. We sent out free copies of A Time of Departing (our launching book) to Christian radio stations, organizations, ministries, and pastors. One of these copies went to Rick Warren. Another to John MacArthur. One to Jerry Falwell, another to Focus on the Family, and on and on. From 2002 to 2006, we gave away over three thousand copies of A Time of Departing.  We heard back from several men and women, many of whom had Masters and Doctorate degrees who told us the book was right on the mark. Dr. Jim Diehl, for example, former General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, called one day and praised the book as “excellent” and “vital.” Chuck Smith spoke with one of our editors and said that our work was meaningful and important. John MacArthur told a staff member, who told us by phone, that he greatly appreciated the work we were doing. Rick Warren wrote us a personal note to tell us the book is a “hot topic” and has a place on his library bookshelf.

But then in 2005, we wrote a special report titled ”Rick Warren Teams Up With New-Age Sympathizer Ken Blanchard!” It didn’t take too long after that report came out for us to know that we had crossed a line, and life was never going to be the same again. You can read more about those early years in two articles we wrote: one, “How Lighthouse Trails Began – Part One: “It was a dark and stormy night,” and two, “Lighthouse Trails, the Early Years – Part 2 – “A Hot Topic” That Just Wouldn’t Go Away.”  Warren B. Smith also documented some of the events in an entire chapter in his book A “Wonderful” Deception (chapter 5). Some of the things that took place were like elements out of a B-rated mystery novel like phone lines suddenly “out of order,” e-mails apparently being intercepted, being told by Saddleback that federal agents were investigating us because they thought we had broken into the Saddleback server, and so forth. We wondered what we had gotten ourselves into.

Over the course of the years, there have been many terrible and unkind things said about us in public venues. We’ll give you a brief rundown of some of these things that have been said. Prepare yourself - none of them have anything to do directly with our actual work. In fact, the one thing we have yet to see is any solid and biblical refutation of our work. It’s as if it’s always avoided. Everything is said, but no solid challenge is given.

So what are these terrible things said publically about Lighthouse Trails? Here’s an incomplete sampling: One  pastor, on a popular blog, said we were “like fleas on the back of a dog.” Then there was the time, on stage at a Calvary Chapel event with thousands of young people, where we were called “the haters.” Rick Warren’s former chief apologist said in an article that has been sitting on a high traffic Christian website for years that if we had the legal means we would torture and murder people. One well-known apologist coined the term “discernment divas” and first used it referring to one of the women writers at Lighthouse Trails in 2006. Then there were the generic name-calling terms like witch-hunters, freaks, fanatics, militant fundamentalists, and so forth. After a few years of this, we couldn’t help wonder why these highly qualified men (and sometimes women) had nothing qualified to say about our work.

We want to make one thing clear here. By telling our readers these things, we are not trying to gain sympathy. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves. We understand that in doing this kind of ministry, there is inevitably going to be strong reaction and defense tactics. No one wants to be criticized or challenged, especially leaders who have become accustomed to being followed, not being corrected.

What’s been frustrating about the name calling, however, is that we’ve been very open to receiving solid biblical refutation of the message we are proclaiming. In fact, we said from the very beginning of our ministry that all we really wanted was for the contemplative issue to come to the table, to be discussed, challenged, and considered. Eleven years ago, if one Googled the term “contemplative prayer,” virtually nothing came up on the first few pages of search results that was from a critiquing point of view. Mystical spirituality in the Christian church was being largely unchallenged.

As we learned of all the men who had great educational and theological credentials, we thought there would be some scholarly response and a taking hold of the torch, so to speak. We didn’t expect name calling, innuendos, sometimes downright lies (like the rumors that we often hear), and ad hominem and straw men arguments. That took us by surprise. And we began to wonder why this was happening. Was it possible, we asked ourselves, that some of these educated leaders couldn’t see the big picture of this deception? We just wanted some proof that we were wrong, some good solid biblical evidence that our conclusions were way off.

We got used to the name calling and over time, found some of it humorous (in a way); at least, we found it meaningless. It was the other accusations that got to us though, because we knew they were without merit (or evidence). One of the most common accusations against the research at Lighthouse Trails is that we take quotes out of context. And yet, and this is the truth, in all these years, we have not had one person actually give us an example of where we have done this. As a case in point, about 5 years ago, two educated men, both with doctorates from a higher learning institution in Canada, said that A Time of Departing was faulty because it took quotes out of context. We wrote to them in an amiable manner and asked if they could provide just one or two examples so that we could see where we went wrong. They did not produce one example. Lighthouse Trails has been meticulous about checking and double checking every quote in a book or article we publish to make sure that the intent of any particular author is not misconstrued or taken out of context. If someone did produce a legitimate example, we would speedily correct that. You see, it is not our intention to falsely accuse or villainize anyone. Taking quotes out of context is an accusation we take very seriously, and we take great efforts not to do that. And yet, we hear this often from our critics. But we are still waiting for an example.

The second most common accusation against us is that we use faulty and loose guilt by association reasoning. We have addressed this in many past articles, but we will say it again here: there is a difference between loose guilt by association and guilt by promotion or by proxy. What’s more, there is a legitimate guilt by association. The way our critics would have it, there is no such thing and it doesn’t matter who a person is associated with. But you won’t find backup in Scripture on that. On the contrary, consider all the verses that tell God-fearing people to keep good company, avoid standing with heretics or unruly people, keep oneself unspotted from the world, avoid the appearance of evil, and so forth.

One of the big issues that continuously surfaces is related to guilt by association. Those who accuse us of using guilt by association say that we call people contemplative or emerging proponents because they have been “associated” with a contemplative person. But, we have never done that. For instance, often we will challenge a big name leader for sharing a platform with contemplative and emergent figures. But we have never said that person was now a contemplative or emergent himself just for sharing the platform with one. An example of this is when we challenged Joel Rosenberg and Kay Arthur for attending Canada’s Breakforth contemplative-promoting conference and sharing the platform with emergents like Leonard Sweet and Tony Campolo. We never once said that now this makes Rosenberg and Arthur contemplatives or emergents themselves. No. The challenge we gave was that reputable, Bible-believing leaders should not give credibility to false teachers by standing on the same platforms or being at the same conferences.

Another case in point just occurred. We challenged John MacArthur for using a sermon for many years till present where he favorably quotes the late major contemplative pioneer Dallas Willard. The accusations started pouring in that we were calling MacArthur a contemplative proponent. But we never did. Our challenge was and is that by highly influential leaders favorably quoting false teachers, they inadvertently are giving credibility to that teacher and thereby lessening resistance from the Christian community at large to their message.

One last accusation that we want to address in this article is an accusation that comes primarily from a few popular public figures in the Calvinist/Reformed camp, and that is that all or most of the writing done at Lighthouse Trails is done by one woman (or a “discernment diva” as they  say – incidentally a diva is typically a self-centered, egotistical, arrogant woman (often a performer) who is domineering and rude to those around her. If you read our articles you’ll see this is not an accurate description of what we are trying to do that springs from a heart-felt love for people, which is the opposite of diva behavior). Three things on this issue: first, calling women who are believers in Christ “divas” is a derogatory and ungodly remark – period! Second, it isn’t true that most of the writing at Lighthouse Trails comes from just one person. Take a look at any of our e-newsletters, our blog, or our printed journals, and you will see  the names of many writers, both men and women. As you can see on our authors’ page, we currently use the writings of 11 women and 19 men. For anyone to say that our material is written by just one person appears to be a dishonest effort to minimize the value in the work of these 30 some writers.

Relating to the issue of women, as far as the accusation that women shouldn’t be in a ministry of this kind at all – all we can say to that is that if God can use a donkey, surely He can use a woman (Numbers 22:21-38). It is interesting to note that in the case of Balaam’s donkey, God used the donkey to warn and save Balaam’s life.  Is it so unthinkable that God would use women to warn of impending spiritual danger? To cry out to their brothers, of whom many have fallen asleep on the watch? Of all those labeled ”discernment divas” whom we know, each of them is a loving mother, wife, and in some cases grandmother who has, not by her own choice, but by God’s apparent choice, accepted the role much like Balaam’s donkey. And remember, that donkey was struck several times by Balaam before God finally intervened – then Balaam’s eyes were opened, and he saw that the donkey’s efforts to warn him were legitimate.
Balaam’s Donkey

 All of this that we have said in this article leads us to ask the question to Christian leaders, where have we gone wrong? Please tell us. Not by name calling or accusations without proof. If we have taken something out of context, please show us some examples of that. If have wrongly called someone a contemplative advocate or sympathizer, please tell us how. But all we ask is you present us with the documentation, the evidence. We only ask for the same standard to be applied to us that we have tried to use ourselves: honesty, accuracy, and Christian charity.

While we know we are all fallible, and as humans we don’t have a full understanding of the things of God according to Scripture, we, like others in the body of Christ, are attempting to walk a life that is honoring to God. We know we fail at that at times, and we are totally dependent on Him to lead us and strengthen us. We have attempted to report to Christians information that is pertinent to the health of the Christian church. If we have erred in our deductions and conclusions, then we want to be corrected. If we can be shown that our warning and work is faulty and against Scripture, we will apologize and even step down from this work.

We do not see ourselves as better than anyone else, and certainly we know we do not have the “qualifications” (from a human point of view) that would entitle us to be in any kind of authority over another (we do not even desire such authority). We have endeavored to stand beside our brothers and sisters, not above, not below. But because we believe so strongly that we are living in the days the Bible predicts will occur before the return of Christ where there will be a great falling away (of faith), we are gravely concerned that most of the Christian leaders seem to be either ignoring or going along with this major paradigm shift in the church at large. And while Lighthouse Trails is just a small ministry which could end at any time (as God sees fit) and certainly we have not come to the church with the splendor, finesse, support, or backing that most of the major Christian leaders have, we beseech these leaders to consider that God often uses the foolish things and weak things to speak His message (like Balaam’s donkey).

And so, if we are wrong, rather than using name calling, which is unprofitable, show us where we are wrong. If you, dear Christian leader, are  on the side of truth, then consider our warning. Maybe you don’t like our delivery, but if there is no solid evidence to prove us wrong, wouldn’t it be wise to humble yourselves and listen?

We have written this article, not as a means to defend ourselves but more so to defend our work.