did the serpent wink?

Proverbs 16:24-26

24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
26 The person who labors, labors for himself,
For his hungry mouth drives him on.

“The Good Book: A Humanist Bible,” subtitled “A Secular Bible” in the United Kingdom, was published this month (Source article and video from CNN, partly quoted below)

The question arose early in British academic A.C. Grayling’s career: What if those ancient compilers who’d made Bibles, the collected religious texts that were translated, edited, arranged and published en masse, had focused instead on assembling the non-religious teachings of civilization’s greatest thinkers?

What if the book that billions have turned to for ethical guidance wasn’t tied to commandments from God or any one particular tradition but instead included the writings of Aristotle, the reflections of Confucius, the poetry of Baudelaire? What would that book look like, and what would it mean?

“Humanist ethics didn’t claim to be derived from a deity,” he says. “(They) tended to start from a sympathetic understanding of human nature…”

Had he considered instead Jesus Christ who is God incarnate, our High Priest who suffered the death of the cross for our sin, and can sympathize with  our weakness, being tempted as we so are, he would have found the true meaning of human sympathizers! Hebrews 3:14-15 What better form of sympathy could there found be if not in Him? Have these so-called great thinkers of mankind gone as far as that? Have they come even close? I think not.

And I am reminded again to not be cheated or deceived through philosophy and the traditions of men which have nothing in Christ (Colossians 2:8), yet is a high thing set to exalt itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Such is the way of humanistic thinking and to ask “what if?” as though mankind has found a better way.

It is also found in the thinking of Eugene Peterson (The Message) who believes the best way to understand God is through “lectio divina”.

Or as we have come to understand the Charismatic Movement is to experience God through supernatural dreams and visions, trances, ecstatic dance and song, soaking prayer and prophetic words.

As William P Young has written The Shack, “Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity” whose story is as make-believe as his universalism three-part goddess-man thing.

Christianity has become a sort of free for all where anything goes, not anymore so far removed from the world it was told to guard itself from. When self-reason replaces the clear teaching of scripture, what else is left for us but a deeper deception? Will a man outthink God?

We as a civilized society can no longer accept the fact that our sin will condemn us and in our finite thinking and limited wisdom we have thrown out the only one who can save for a seemed better way to satisfy our empty souls, until the moment comes and those souls will be required of us.

Mr. Grayling stated  “No intention to offend -”

I wonder, did the serpent wink as he shared the forbidden fruit?


Resources from Roger Oakland

Some free resources to help you – highly recommend! 🙂

Understanding the Times – Roger Oakland

Jude 3-4

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sorry Rob, God Wins.

Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries has spent a good amount of time exposing the goings on behind the growth of the Emergent Church, namely, Rob Bell, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI.  Ken was one of my sources when I first started to read up on Richard Foster.

On his site is some very important information and videos revealing the true “faith” of Rob Bell as expressed in his new book, Love Wins. I know these vids are practically viral, but it is an important point to make.

Here’s one –

A few years ago, while my husband and I were still attending the local Vineyard church, Bell’s video series Nooma was quite hot. We were urged to join the group the next time around because it was so good. And, ‘OH, M’Kayla, you are in leadership…’.

Nooma, is what I can only describe as the dumbed down word for what should be “Pnuema”.

Greek Lexicon

Pneuma-

The third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son

  1. sometimes referred to in a way which emphasizes his personality and character (the \Holy\ Spirit)

  2. sometimes referred to in a way which emphasizes his work and power (the Spirit of \Truth\)

  3. never referred to as a depersonalised force

That name “Nooma” all by itself should have sent out warning signals all the way to the top dog. It didn’t. So, once a week we gathered together in a cozy living room with other members of the newly formed “life group”. We watched the vids and looked around at each other with stupefied looks on our faces. Rob has mastered the talent of “spin”. He is cool, he is intelligent, he is convincing. And in a teaching environment where there are no open bibles – well, you know where that leads. We knew something was off but we could not put even one of our malnourished spiritual fingers on exactly what it was. No wonder, we were starving for real bread, and no one was as much as even buying the flour.

So, with Bell’s revelation in that there is no hell – lately waxing universalism – in that we will all go to heaven one day, I am wondering what in the world the Vineyard people think of him now.

What is it that you have laid your eyes upon, lent your ears to that has sent off the same warning signals?

Heed the warning.

Proverbs 16:25

25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.


Rick Warren and…

A collection of links and articles written by others that will show who and what Rick Warren is involved with.  (Also see previous article.)

This page may be updated in the future. If you have references, please send them in if you wish. 🙂

Rick Warren Endorses 2013 Book, “Catholics Come Home” – Calls Catholic Evangelization “Critically Important”

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=11347

See what “America’s Pastor” is saying about this 2013 release on the Roman Catholic” new evangelization program to bring back the “lost [Protestant] brethren” to the “Mother Church”:

Warren openly attempts to unite Christians and Muslims –

The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America’s most influential Christian leaders, has embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.  read more

Crosstalk Blog

We are reminding readers of the use of the term “leaven” in Galatians 5:9 in regard to false teaching. How does leaven work? We all know. A small amount placed in the dough will leaven all of it.

Rick Warren and John Piper as Keynote Speakers, Aspire Conference

A Photo with Steve Camp Says it All

The seduction of the “Reformed” camp by Rick Warren continues apace. The Tweet in the photo is by Steve Camp from last June, a man who spent  a number of years exposing the Purpose-Driven false gospel only to do a 180-degree turnaround recently.

PRN Newswire:

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Join Rick Warren in one-on-one discussion

LAKE FOREST, Calif., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Rick Warren and Saddleback Church will host Tony Blair on Sunday, March 6 at the Civil Forum on Peace in A Globalized Economy.

Lake Forest Patch:

Tony Blair to give tickets to Saddleback attendees

Christian Post:

Pastor’s Convention Aim to Plant More Churches

We don’t need another conference or more sermons…but what we need is a fresh awakening, a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would begin something that would literally change the world, said Pitman, who is also the lead pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nev.

This convention is the Aspire Conference linked in the first article The quoted comment sounds just like those involved in charismania who constantly look for the next move, the next outpouring as though God needs to do something more for us than He already has. The true message is one of repentance. It is our responsibility to respond to God in heeding the message already laid out. Planting churches is a great goal if there is proper need. But in looking at the big picture, these men are no longer bringing a gospel message, but one mixed with many other focuses. When the message of the cross has become “Jesus and” it is no longer the true gospel. It has become heretical.

Chuck Colson Breakpoint:

Video Series by Chuck Colson and Rick Warren -Christian leaders Chuck Colson and Rick Warren have joined together to produce a stimulating study called Wide Angle: Framing Your Worldview.

Keep in mind the previous push for signatures on the Manhattan Declaration. Is it a wonder Chuck Colson has also teamed up with Warren being they are both “purpose driven”? When I hear the word “worldview” it makes me think dominionism or one world religion/government. I know some who use this word do not have that in their view or teaching, but many others do and we will see that connection between those who have evil intent.

Lighthouse Trails Blog:

3 Contemplative Proponents -Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, and Mark Driscoll – Named Among “Top 10 Most Influential Christians” of 2010

“What influenced the choices were their accomplishments in 2010, polling data and frequency of mention in the press.”1 What the article does not say though is that all three of these “leaders” in Christianity are contemplative proponents, which means that in view of this huge influence, thousands and thousands are being influenced toward contemplative spirituality (a belief system that ultimately leads to New Age thinking).

Lighthouse Trails has some very good reference material regarding the New Age and false christs. I highly recommend these books and teachings!

Eye-Witness Account: Global Peace Forum at Saddleback with Rick Warren and Tony Blair Raises Serious Questions About Global Peace Plan

On March 7, 2011, Roger Oakland, founder of Understand the Times, International, and two other members from his ministry attended the Peace in a Globalized Society forum at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, which featured Rick Warren and special guest, former UK prime minister Tony Blair. Roger Oakland and his co-workers obtained eye-witness seats at the event that included well over 2000 people in attendance. Although cameras and recorders were not allowed in the main sanctuary where the interview took place, the UTT team took notes.

2theadvocate:

Warren Visits Bethany for Conference

He (Warren) said he has trained more than 400,000 people in the 40-day, “Purpose Driven” program in 164 foreign nations, and some of those people have told him, “The uprisings are not religious or political; everybody is working together.”

In introducing Warren to the conference audience, the Rev. Larry Stockstill, senior pastor at Bethany, said Warren has “an apostolic calling on a worldwide scale.”

“A mantle that Billy Graham has been carrying is falling upon him,” Stockstill said. Warren’s “greatest desire is to see the American pastor and pastors across this globe develop a purity of lifestyle that shines like stars in the firmament.”

emphasis mine

Apprising Ministries:

THE DANIEL PLAN OF RICK WARREN ENCOURAGES UNBIBLICAL MEDITATION: http://apprising.org/2011/02/17/the-daniel-plan-of-rick-warren-encourages-unbiblical-meditation/

Jesus didn’t wear socks. I don’t wear socks. I want to be like him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Rick Warren’s Health Seminar

I was very happy to find a testimony from someone who had first hand knowledge of the goings on at this seminar. It is so important to the church that we get the truth out there. Please pay attention if you still think Warren is a Christian. This is only one thing he has his hand in. There are others and he is proving to be quite dangerous. 

Thanks to Jennifer, Ponderings from Patmos.

For Reference See Weight Loss at All Costs

and A Purpose  Driven Whatever


A Visit to Rick Warren’s Health Seminar

The Unfolding of a Global New Age Plan

by Jennifer Pekich, Ponderings from Patmos

Background information: Rick Warren’s New Health and Wellness Initiative

Home 

1-23-11

The following is written by a LighthouseTrails reader and researcher who attended Rick Warren’s health seminar on January 15, 2011

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness…. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21


I first arrived to Saddleback’s campus only to be told that “all parking lots were full.” I drove across the street to see if there were any spots available in the business lots, and they were full too. I ended up parking in a housing tract and walked a mile or two back to Saddleback’s campus. As I arrived, I overheard a parking lot attendant say they estimated about 6,000 people had come to the seminar.I was a little late, so I was grateful to my nephew who went online and began to relay what was being said in the opening comments, as I didn’t want to miss what was to be the foundation of the talks that day. I was a little taken aback when my nephew told me the first speaker, Dr. Amen, made reference to the Egyptian pyramids and how they were built upon an “idea,” and if man could build something like that all those thousands of years ago, what could he do today if he put his mind to it? I found that to be somewhat disturbing, as the pyramids, no matter how impressive they were, represent the ancient pagan religions which got their start in Babylon when Nimrod gathered men (the community) together to commit idolatry by building a tower to honor themselves as gods (Gen. Ch. 11).[1]

And yet here it was, the analogy that was chosen to illustrate this new “idea” Saddleback would launch their 52 week program with. No matter what Dr. Amen’s intent was, I believe the analogy was appropriate, and the subtle message is telling…”MAN CAN DO ANYTHING HE PUTS HIS MIND TO.” Sound familiar? (Read Gen. 3:4-5).[2]

As I began to head up the hill toward the main sanctuary, a Saddleback tram pulled up and the driver asked if I wanted a lift. I said I preferred to walk, but thanks. The driver yelled, “Let’s all give her a hand folks, she’s started the Daniel Plan already!” And the people on the tram cheered. Never mind the fact that I have been walking my entire life because I enjoy doing so, not because of some health and fitness campaign. I sensed I was entering a nightmare.

The main sanctuary was full, & it was standing room only. They told me the overflow areas were full too. So I found a spot on the patio outside the main sanctuary looking in. I had a good view and could see the stage perfectly. Their outdoor sound system made it so I could roam around, observe the audience, continue to listen to the guest speakers, and take notes.

To begin, I’d like to state that Saturday Jan. 15th, 2011 will go down in the history books as the day Saddleback Church was sold a bill of goods. The masses had come out in droves for answers to their weight loss difficulties & health problems, but unbeknownst to them, they were being given a prescription for restructuring society & population control.

The prescription goes by the name Agenda 21, a.k.a. “Sustainable Development” or “Smart Growth.” Agenda 21 is a published document put out by the United Nations with the intent to put limits on population and to restructure nation-states into a global society.[3] Rick Warren’s “new friends” had dubbed it, “The Daniel Plan – God’s Prescription For Your Health.” A more appropriate title would’ve been, “Sustainable Living – Destroying Inalienable Rights, One Community at a Time.”

By the time I settled into listening more intently, the second speaker, Mark Hyman, began. It didn’t take too long to figure out what the basis of his message was: We “need to heal with community” (he termed this “accompaniment”), “we’re here for the sake of each other,” this plan “is our way out,” this plan “saved me,” and in fact will “change the world.”

Saddleback was being told they were a “test community” to show the world how to live “healthy and sustainably.” When I heard these words, my heart sank. It was as I’d feared. I knew which buzzwords to listen for, and he was hitting them all. The audience was told they would be champions in health to show the world what “living sustainably” was all about, but Dr. Hyman is a leftist who is more than a champion in health, he’s a change agent for the global elite, as is Dr. Oz & Dr. Amen. Dr. Hyman is the founder and medical director of the Ultra Wellness Center, he advises Dr. Oz’s healthcore group, and he’s a nominee to President Obama’s advisory group on prevention, health promotion, and integrative and public health. [4] Hmmmmmm. I smell an agenda.

Dr. Hyman practices what’s known as “functional medicine,” which means he uses a “whole systems” approach to medicine; in other words, he practices medicine “wholistically,” This is also known as “Mind Body” medicine. At Saddleback’s seminar, “mind body” or “functional” medicine was presented as if it’s completely scientific. Any scientist worth his salt will tell you that yes, the body can be measured scientifically, but the mind falls into an entirely different category which can never be measured by science. As stated by Dave Hunt in his book Occult Invasion – The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church, “Physical science, by very definition, can make no judgments concerning a nonphysical realm” as is the mind & the soul.[5] In other words, the mind and the soul are scientifically immeasurable.

It’s the same with the religions of “Mind Science.” Calling a religion “Mind Science” or “Scientology,” when there’s nothing scientific about it, is the same as calling a cereal “Grapenuts” when it contains no grapes or nuts. But we live in an era when the masses have been sufficiently dumbed down, and all it takes to impress is clever packaging and branding. If “they” say it’s science, then dog-gone-it, it’s science! After all, “these doctors are on television.”

As I sat through all 3 presentations by Dr.’s Hyman, Amen, & Oz, what came to mind were the traveling salesmen of the 1800s. They talk fast, so fast that the message that’s really being given, goes right over people’s heads. They used tactics to tug at the heart strings such as videos of sick little girls who suddenly got well from being on “the program” and have been “set free” from relying on medications. Then they flooded the audience with “facts” and “statistics” to scare any grandmother, such as “a tsunami of disease is hitting us,” “life expectancy is going down,” “1 out of 2 people are diabetic or pre-diabetic,” “70% of all agricultural land is taken up by growing animals to feed all the people,” “the bigger your body gets, the more your brain shrinks,” etc.

I about fell off my chair when Dr. Hyman stated, “The key to the success of the “Daniel Plan” is “group living” … “individuals” will not succeed, our only hope lies in “community.” [LT Note:This is exactly what the emerging church is teaching.]  And with that, it was announced that the “Saddleback community” would be an example of “sustainable living” and would set the course to “change this world” … and the crowd went wild!  [LT Note: Remember, when we reported how Rick Warren talked glowingly about a critical mass needed to change our world?]

Dr. Hyman said that he is a Jew, Dr. Amen said he is a Christian, and Dr. Oz said he is a Muslim. And doesn’t that represent the demographic of “most of the population of the world”? But then he said, “we’re all the same underneath.” True to his salesman fashion, Dr. Hyman didn’t define his terms. What in the world does he mean “we’re all the same underneath”? That can mean a number of things. Since he was speaking to a religious crowd, I’d venture to say some of the folks present took that to mean we’re all children of God (Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.), which is patently false according to the Bible. The Bible says there are only two groups, children of wrath and children of God. You’re either one or the other, a believer in Christ Jesus, or a non-believer. We aren’t “all the same underneath.” (Ephesians Ch. 2).[6]

The only way in which we’re “all the same underneath” is we’re all sinners in need of a Savior; and the Savior isn’t “sustainable living.” [LT Note: Remember, the New Age says the era of the single savior is OVER!] The Savior is Jesus Christ, and He is the only way unto salvation (John 14:6).[7] And to become a child of God, Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John Ch. 3). [8] The tragic thing about this day at Saddleback is, Jesus was never mentioned … and I mean NEVER. There were a few passing references to God; Daniel Amen mentioned that our bodies were “a temple of the Holy Spirit and the brain is the inner sanctum” [Amen means that all humans are the temple of the Holy Spirit], but Jesus never made the cut –  ”sustainable lifestyles” and “group living” did.

Following Dr. Hyman’s talk, my best friend arrived to observe the day with me, only to hear Dr. Amen mention in his presentation that he did a brain scan on one of his clients who had a habit of cheating on his wife. The brain scan showed that there were “holes in the pre-frontal cortex of his brain” which controls the impulses. In other words, this man wasn’t sinful, he was “mentally ill.” All he needed was to get on the “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” program, and his personal struggles with sin were remedied. Once again, Jesus was removed from the equation. My friend and I were dumbfounded when we listened to the Saddleback crowd cheer. My best friend couldn’t contain it any longer and let out a, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” My thoughts exactly!

Dr. Hyman recommended Yoga and meditation to the crowd. Dr. Amen gave a diplomatic denunciation of Yoga (which is contradictory since he has recommended it himself), but about 5 sentences later mentioned a study done by a friend of his named Andy Newberg who did brain scans on Tibetan nuns and Franciscan priests while in “prayer and contemplation” and the study showed that “spiritual connection” is healthy. Dr. Amen has been an advocate of “Sa Ta Na Ma” meditation.[9]

If by chance any attendees of the Saddleback “Health and Fitness Seminar” read this blog post, I encourage you to educate yourself about what globalism truly is. You also need to research Agenda 21. As stated earlier, the purpose of Agenda 21 is to restructure society. Sounds conspiratorial, I know. But it isn’t a conspiracy; it’s a published document of the United Nations that’s in full swing. Anywhere you hear the terms, “Sustainable Development,”  ”sustainable living,” “smart growth,”  ”going green,”  etc., rest assured you’ve just been exposed to the U.N.’s Agenda 21. [10]

It shouldn’t surprise us that Rick Warren would allow a seminar of this nature at Saddleback; after all, he himself has “GONE GREEN.” [11] He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[12] This illustrates the natural progression of one being unequally yoked with non-believers & buying into heresies such as “Kingdom Now,” “Dominionism,” or “Restoration Theology.” Where these heresies reign, as they do at Saddleback, you will find that the focus subtly shifts from salvation in Christ alone, through faith alone, to misguided efforts to restore mankind & the earth through “community” works, sustainable living, and social justice. How convenient that these just happen to be the vehicles which the United Nations is using to further it’s own agenda to restructure society & unite the world under its governing body of global elites.

TRUE TRUTH: “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

(I found it to be slightly humorous that, on page 9 of the booklet which Saddleback passed out to attendees, the symptom of “itchy ears” was listed in the “Medical Symptom/Toxicity Questionnaire”…oh, the irony!) (source: Ponderings from Patmos)


Endnotes:
1. Genesis 11:4 – “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’”

2. Genesis 3:4-5 – “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

3. Agenda 21 – http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21

4. Mark Hyman’s presentation at “Authors @ Google” titled, The UltraMind Solution: Healthy Body, Powerful Mind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAZVpsd2Nao

5. Occult Invasion – The Subtle Seduction of the World and the Church, Dave Hunt, Harvest House Publishers 1998, pg. 61

6. Ephesians Ch. 2:1-5 – And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

7. John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

8. John 3:3 – “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

9. Dr. Amen recommends “Sa Ta Na Ma” meditation a form of Kirtin Kriya yoga. http://richardeward.com/kirtin-kriya-sa-ta-na-ma-meditation/

10. Agenda 21 – “The U.N. Plan for Your Sustainable Community. ” http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/la21_198.html

11. A Greener Spirit: Evangelicals Embrace “Creation Care”. http://environment.change.org/blog/view/a_greener_spirit_evangelicals_embrace_creation_care

12. Council on Foreign Relations Membership Roster. http://www.cfr.org/about/membership/roster.html?letter=W

For more information on Reiki and the New Age plan, read For Many Shall Come in My Name.


To Be Called By His Name

Christian or Christ-follower?

I seem to remember being taught by my Mother to not say words or repeat things I didn’t understand. So truly I had no excuse to have picked up and used the words “Christ-follower” to describe “who I was”.  Fortunately, that fit was very short lived as I found out what that phrase meant exactly and who coined it. (Yes, Emergent Church warning…)

I am very happy and content to be called a Christian. It is an honor and I will never again go seeking after another cool or hip phrase to be called by. It is enough to be called by His name.

This is an excellent article on that very thing from Lighthouse Trails Authors —(yes, think – Beth Moore, Richard Foster, Basil Pennington, Henri Nouwen, Rick Warren, etc, etc…the gang’s all there!)

Christian or Christ-follower?

Christian or Christ-follower. It’s a distinction that is being made more and more today, and often the latter term, Christ follower, is replacing the former term, Christian. Even many Christian leaders are making the switch. But just what does it mean? Emerging church leader, Erwin McManus says his “goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ.” In McManus’ book, The Barbarian Way, he talks about being “awakened” to a “primal longing that … waits to be unleashed within everyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ.” McManus says that the “greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity [i.e., Christians].” A video series on YouTube.com called “Christian No More” (by Christian Community Church) exemplifies this view by portraying those who call themselves Christians as shallow church-goers who wear suits and ties, have Christian bumper stickers on their cars and prefer the King James Version. This belittling video is evidence that it is increasingly more popular to call oneself a Christ follower rather than a Christian.

Interestingly, most of the leaders who seem to be downplaying the name Christian and promoting the appropriation of the term “Christ follower” are contemplative spirituality proponents. One contemplative advocate, Rick Warren, had the term throughout his former pastors.com website. Lee Strobel refers to it in his book Case for Christ (Student Edition), and Wesleyan pastor David Drury has a Christ-Follower Pop Quiz on his web site to help determine if you are really a “Christ Follower.”

This theme of anti-”Christian” sentiment is not going to disappear any time soon. In emerging church leader and labyrinth promoter Dan Kimball’s book called, “They Like Jesus, But Not the Church,” the idea is that you can go for Jesus, but you don’t have to identify yourself as a Christian or part of the Christian church. This concept spills over into some missionary societies too, where they teach people from other religions that they can keep their religion, just add Jesus to the equation. They don’t have to embrace the term “Christian” (see The New Missiology).

So what’s the problem? So what if you want to be a Christ follower instead of a Christian. Well, the problem, when identified, will show you why the Spiritual Formation movement (which is promoted by Purpose Driven, Willow Creek, the emerging church, etc) is so dangerous and misleading.

Let us explain. If you have researched the teachings of contemplative authors, you may have noticed a common message. That message says: If you want to be like Christ, then practice these certain disciplines and you can be like Him. Chuck Swindoll bought into this when he wrote his book, So You Want to Be Like Christ: Eight Essential Disciplines to Get You There. But Swindoll exalts one particular discipline – the silence. In fact, he goes so far as to say you can’t become a deep, meaningful Christian without it. Beth Moore, in the pro-contemplative film, Be Still, says: “[I]f we are not still before Him [God], we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There’s got to be a stillness.” And this is what contemplatives teach. The one common thread woven throughout spiritual formation teachings is that the silence and being a Christ follower are practically synonymous. You can’t have one without the other. And of course, this silence is induced through meditative practices such as centering prayer, lectio divina, etc.

So what we are witnessing is countless teachers, authors and leaders telling people they can become like Christ through a method that can be learned. Richard Foster teaches that anyone, not just believers, can practice contemplative prayer and become like Christ.

Now here lies the difference between a Christian and a Christ-follower. A person who is truly born-again has Jesus Christ indwelling him. Jesus lives inside that person. And it is His life in him or her that gives the power to become progressively more like Him (sanctification), as Paul said in his address to Corinthian Christians: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). The believer draws his strength and power from Jesus Christ (who indwells him), and he realizes his salvation and any good thing in him is from Christ; as the Scripture says: “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9).

But being born again or having the indwelling of Jesus Christ is not a prerequisite for the Christendom of today. Spiritual formation can be practiced by anyone. Jesus becomes a model or an example who can be followed and mimicked. For example, Ken Blanchard, says Jesus is a perfect model to follow. That’s why he talks so much about leading like Jesus would lead. But Blanchard has shown time and again that he believes meditation is a key factor in becoming like Jesus.

While Jesus was and is a model, that wasn’t His primary mission. And when people refer to Him as a model, it is often because they see Him as a model for higher consciousness rather than the unique Son of God, Emmanuel (God with us) who came to die for us and be our Savior. And that’s what you find across the board in contemplative writings. Contemplative icons Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen saw Jesus in this manner. This is why Nouwen said it disturbed him when he heard people say Jesus was the only way. He said it was his mission to help people find his or her own way to God (see Sabbatical Journey). That’s also why he saw India as a source for many spiritual “treasures” for the Christian. 1 In an eastern religion like Buddhism, Buddha was a model where his followers were imitators of him. But in Christianity the Spirit of Christ indwells us through faith. So Jesus becomes more than a model; He is a living presence in us. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

This is actually the heart of the whole spiritual formation movement. It supposedly teaches you how to be like Christ, but the power to do this doesn’t come from Jesus Christ living in you (in fact that isn’t a requirement, according to Richard Foster) – but the power to change has to come from somewhere. Where? It comes from meditation! So anyone at all, from any walk of life, from any religion, can be a “Christ follower.” But this does not mean they have Jesus Christ in them. The contemplative prayer movement is misguiding millions into believing that if they practice certain disciplines they can be like Christ, thus securing their spiritual well being. They may come to believe that they have a christ consciousness and are Christ like, yet they do not have the actual power of Christ within. That power can only come from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12).

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (I Corinthians 1:18).

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come … Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (II Timothy 3:1,5).

The man who virtually wrote the book on the subject (Centering Prayer), Basil Pennington, made the point of what we are trying to say when he penned these words:

It is my sense, from having meditated with persons from many different [non-Christian] traditions, that in the silence we experience a deep unity. When we go beyond the portals of the rational mind into the experience, there is only one God to be experienced.

Another majorcontemplative promoter stated:

The new ecumenism involved here is not between Christian and Christian, but between Christians and the grace of other intuitively deep religious traditions.–Tilden Edwards

These two men have both been leaders of the contemplative prayer movement for decades. And it is important to note that evangelical leader Richard Foster endorsed Edwards’ book, Spiritual Friend, from which this last quote came (see back, Celebration of Discipline). Both Pennington and Edwards would call themselves Christ followers, following in the same spiritual path as Jesus Christ followed. But as you can see, both Pennington and Edwards do not accept the view that believing the gospel is a vital prerequisite for having a relationship with the living God. Otherwise they would not have said the above. With this mindset, the message of the cross is rendered useless. And so the question that we must ask ourselves is this: Will we, who have Jesus Christ living in us, call ourselves Christians? Let those of us who name the name of Christ, stand and say, yes, we will be called Christians.

For a complete analysis and documentation of contemplative spirituality and its infiltration into Christendom, we encourage you to read A Time of Departing.

Roger Oakland – Another Jesus

2 Corinthians 11:3-4   But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted-you may well put up with it!

We know there is “another Jesus” embraced throughout Charismania. Here we find still another Jesus in Catholicism. Both deceptive movements are experience-based, both having false signs and wonders to deceive, both designed to take its followers far from the truth in Christ. I’ve learned quite a bit tonight watching this teaching. I hope and pray you do as well.

ANOTHER JESUS: The Eucharistic Christ, A New Evangelization

A seven part video teaching by Roger Oakland~~

IDH77 — March 12, 2010 — Roger Oakland Of Understandthetimes(dot)com talks about the false Jesus of Roman Catholicism, sometimes referred to as the “wafer god”.

Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

Part four:

Part five:

Part six

Part seven:

Mother Teresa’s Letters

(CBS) link here

In life, Mother Teresa was an icon — for believers — of God’s work on Earth. Her ministry to the poor of Calcutta was a world-renowned symbol of religious compassion. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a rare interview in 1986, Mother Teresa told CBS News she had a calling, based on unquestioned faith.

“They are all children of God, loved and created by the same heart of God,” she said.

But now, it has emerged that Mother Teresa was so doubtful of her own faith that she feared being a hypocrite, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.

In a new book that compiles letters she wrote to friends, superiors and confessors, her doubts are obvious.

Shortly after beginning work in Calcutta’s slums, the spirit left Mother Teresa.

“Where is my faith?” she wrote. “Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness… If there be God — please forgive me.”

Eight years later, she was still looking to reclaim her lost faith.

“Such deep longing for God… Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal,” she said.

As her fame increased, her faith refused to return. Her smile, she said, was a mask.

“What do I labor for?” she asked in one letter. “If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”

“These are letters that were kept in the archbishop’s house,” the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk told Phillips.

The letters were gathered by Rev. Kolodiejchuk, the priest who’s making the case to the Vatican for Mother Teresa’s proposed sainthood. He said her obvious spiritual torment actually helps her case.

“Now we have this new understanding, this new window into her interior life, and for me this seems to be the most heroic,” said Rev. Kolodiejchuk.

According to her letters, Mother Teresa died with her doubts. She had even stopped praying, she once said.

The church decided to keep her letters, even though one of her dying wishes was that they be destroyed. Perhaps now we know why.

Mother Teresa’s Legacy

Q/A from “The Berean Call” (October, 1996)

Question:
You have courageously exposed Mother Teresa’s love of all religions, her denial of the gospel, her statements that each person must believe in whatever “God” is in their mind, and her stated desire to help Hindus become better Hindus, Muslims become better Muslims, etc. Yet you say she deserves our respect for her works of charity. I have heard that even her charity is not all it seems to be. Do you have any information in this regard?

Answer:
Leaving her position as the principal of a famous high school that catered to students from wealthy families, Mother Teresa chose to live among the dregs of society and devoted herself to serving the poorest of the poor. That fact is commendable. She says, “I slept where I happened to be, on the ground, often in hovels infected by rats. I ate what the people I was serving ate….I had chosen that lifestyle in order to literally live out the Gospel….I gave my life completely to God….” (Renzo Allegri, “Mother Teresa: The Early Years,” New Covenant, August 1996, p 8).

There have been numerous reports by former workers in her clinics as well as by visiting medical doctors that the patients are not given proper medication and that the beds and furnishings and general conditions more closely resemble an extermination camp than a hospital or clinic. The reports, coming as they do from a variety of independent observers, seem beyond dispute. As one example, Mary London, a volunteer in Calcutta, wrote concerning Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying,

    My initial impression was of all the photographs and footage I’ve ever seen of Belsen [Nazi death camp] and places like that, because all the patients had shaved heads. No chairs anywhere, there were just these stretcher beds. They’re like First World War stretcher beds. There’s no garden, no yard even. No nothing. And I thought what is this? This is two rooms with fifty to sixty men in one, fifty to sixty women in another. They’re dying. They’re not being given a great deal of medical care. They’re not being given painkillers really beyond aspirin…for the sort of pain that goes with terminal cancer….(Christopher Hitchens, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice; Verso, London, NewYork, 1995, pp 39-40)

We are not indicting Mother Teresa with lack of compassion or with cruelty toward her patients. The problem is her Roman Catholic belief that personal suffering helps to earn one’s salvation. Many Catholic priests and nuns, to this day, wear hair undergarments, put stones in their shoes, flagellate themselves and otherwise try to merit heaven by suffering. Poverty and suffering are not simply endured but are sought and even created. Consider this example:

    [G]iven use of a three-storey convent with many large rooms…the sisters …removed the benches…pulled up all the carpeting in the rooms and hallways. They pushed thick matresses out the windows and removed all the sofas, chairs and curtains….People from the neighborhood stood on the sidewalk and watched in amazement. The beautifully constructed house was made to conform to a way of life intended to help the sisters become holy. Large sitting rooms were turned into dormitories where beds were crowded together….The heat remained off all winter in this exceedingly damp house. Several sisters got TB during the time I lived there. (Hitchens, p 45)

The heat was not left off for lack of funds. Mother Teresa has bank accounts with tens of millions of dollars on deposit, so she could afford proper heat, furnishings and food and certainly all the medical attention ever needed. Yet she does without all of these “luxuries,” enforces the same rule upon her “Sisters of Charity,” and deprives her patients of them as well. No doubt, just as she hopes to earn her way to heaven through her own deprivation and suffering, so Mother Teresa hopes to help her patients as well to reach heaven through the suffenng she imposes upon them. The morgue in Calcutta has this inscription on a wall: “I am leaving for heaven today.”

In Roman Catholicism, baptism is essential for salvation. It is known that Mother Teresa’s assistants secretly “baptize” patients by placing a damp cloth on fevered brows, under their breath saying the magic formula that allegedly erases original sin and gives entrance into the kingdom of God. Of course, the uncertain route leads through purgatory and additional suffering in its flames before the gates of heaven can be opened. As one investigative reporter has written concerning the operation in Calcutta,

    Bear in mind that MotherTeresa’s global income is more than enough to outfit several first-class clinics in Bengal. The decision not to do so, and indeed to run instead a haphazard and cranky institution…is a deliberate one. The point is not the honest relief of suffering but the promulgation of a cult based on death and suffering and subjection. Mother Teresa (who herself, it should be noted, has checked into some of the finest and costliest clinics and hospitals in the West during her bouts with heart trouble and old age) once gave this game away in a filmed interview. She described a person who was in the last agonies of cancer and suffering unbearable pain. With a smile, Mother Teresa told the camera what she told this terminal patient: ‘You are suffering like Christ on the cross. So Jesus must be kissing you.” (Hitchens, p 41 )

Many who have worked with Mother Teresa for years consider themselves fortunate to have escaped a cult. One of these, Susan Shields, having spent more than nine years as a Missionary of Charity in the Bronx, Rome and San Francisco, writes,

    I was able to keep my complaining conscience quiet because we had been taught that the Holy Spirit was guiding Mother. To doubt her was a sign that we were lacking in trust and, even worse, guilty of the sin of pride. I shelved my objections and hoped that one day I would understand the many things that seemed to be contradictions. (Hitchens, p 44)

Contradictions abound, not the least being her association with a number of unsavory persons with whom she has been photographed and from whom she has received large sums of money and to whom she has given her blessing and endorsement. There she was in 1981, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in a photo with Michele Duvalier, wife of the infamous dictator Jean-Claude (“Baby Doc”) Duvalier. The occasion was Mother Teresa’s reception of the Haitian Legion d ‘honneur award. In return, she praised the wonderful treatment of the poor in Haiti, when actually they were enduring a living hell. The Duvaliers had to flee Haiti not long thereafter to save their wealth and their lives.

Then we have the photo taken with John-Roger, whom at that time almost everyone had already recognized as the most obvious of frauds, leader of the “Insight” cult known as “Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness” (MSIA). Ironically, the occasion was her acceptance of the “Integrity Award,” along with a check for $10,000, from this shameless charlatan who claimed to have a “spiritual consciousness” superior to that of Jesus Christ.

Consider one more example of the associations of this legendary woman who is almost certainly on her way to Roman Catholic sainthood and is already considered to be such by millions. The photo is with Charles Keating of Lincoln Savings and Loan, now in prison for having swindled hundreds of millions of dollars from simple folk. Keating, a staunch Roman Catholic whom Mother Teresa visited whenever in California, gave her more than a million dollars. She wrote to Judge Lance Ito requesting leniency for Keating during his trial. Here is an excerpt from the reply which Paul W. Burley, a deputy district attorney, wrote to Mother Teresa,

    I am writing to you to provide a brief explanation of the crimes of which Mr. Keating has been convicted, to give you an understanding of the source of the money that Mr. Keating gave to you, and to suggest that you perform the moral and ethical act of resuming the money to its rightful owners…. Ask yourself what Jesus would do if he were…in possession of money that had been stolen….I submit that Jesus would promptly and unhesitatingly return the stolen property to its rightful owners. You should do the same. You have been given money by Mr. Keating that he has been convicted of stealing by fraud. Do not permit him the “indulgence” he desires. Do not keep the money. Return it to those who worked for it and earned it! (Hitchens, pp 68-70)

That letter was written more than four years ago. To date, according to a letter I just received from now Assistant District Attorney Turley, he never received a reply from Mother Teresa, who has made no move to return those stolen funds.

India has no reason to be grateful to Mother Teresa

Posted May 13, 2010

Sanal Edamaruku
13 May , 2010
Mukto Mona
Source Link

“India, especially Calcutta, is seen as the main beneficiary of Mother Teresa’s legendary ‘good work’ for the poor that made her the most famous Catholic of our times, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner and a living saint. Evaluating what she has actually done here, I think, India has no reason to be grateful to her”, said Sanal Edamaruku, Secretary General of the Indian Rationalist Association and President of Rationalist International in a statement on the occasion of her beatification today. The statement continues:

Mother Teresa has given a bad name to Calcutta, painting the beautiful, interesting, lively and culturally rich Indian metropolis in the colors of dirt, misery, hopelessness and death. Styled into the big gutter, it became the famous backdrop for her very special charitable work. Her order is only one among more than 200 charitable organizations, which try to help the slum-dwellers of Calcutta to build a better future. It is locally not very visible or active. But tall claims like the absolutely baseless story of her slum school for 5000 children have brought enormous international publicity to her institutions. And enormous donations!

Mother Teresa has collected many, many millions (some say: billions) of Dollars in the name of India’s paupers (and many, many more in the name of paupers in the other “gutters” of the world). Where did all this money go? It is surely not used to improve the lot of those, for whom it was meant. The nuns would hand out some bowls of soup to them and offer shelter and care to some of the sick and suffering. The richest order in the world is not very generous, as it wants to teach them the charm of poverty. “The suffering of the poor is something very beautiful and the world is being very much helped by the nobility of this example of misery and suffering,” said Mother Teresa. Do we have to be grateful for this lecture of an eccentric billionaire?

The legend of her Homes for the Dying has moved the world to tears. Reality, however, is scandalous: In the overcrowded and primitive little homes, many patients have to share a bed with others. Though there are many suffering from tuberculosis, AIDS and other highly infectious illnesses, hygiene is no concern. The patients are treated with good words and insufficient (sometimes outdated) medicines, applied with old needles, washed in lukewarm water. One can hear the screams of people having maggots tweezered from their open wounds without pain relief. On principle, strong painkillers are even in hard cases not given. According to Mother Teresa’s bizarre philosophy, it is “the most beautiful gift for a person that he can participate in the sufferings of Christ”. Once she tried to comfort a screaming sufferer: “You are suffering, that means Jesus is kissing you!” The man got furious and screamed back: “Then tell your Jesus to stop kissing.”

When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Price, she used the opportunity of her worldwide telecast speech in Oslo to declare abortion the greatest evil in the world and to launch a fiery call against population control. Her charitable work, she admitted, was only part of her big fight against abortion and population control. This fundamentalist position is a slap in the face of India and other Third World Countries, where population control is one of the main keys for development and progress and social transformation. Do we have to be grateful to Mother Teresa for leading this worldwide propagandist fight against us with the money she collected in our name?

Mother Teresa did not serve the poor in Calcutta, she served the rich in the West. She helped them to overcome their bad conscience by taking billions of Dollars from them. Some of her donors were dictators and criminals, who tried to white wash their dirty vests. Mother Teresa revered them for a price. Most of her supporters, however, were honest people with good intentions and a warm heart, who fall for the illusion that the “Saint of the Gutter” was there to wipe away all tears and end all misery and undo all injustice in the world. Those in love with an illusion often refuse to see reality.