Tuesday, May 14, 2013


The following report from Manny Silva in its entirety:

Compromise With the Radical Homosexual Agenda By Pastors
Pastors who cannot preach the simple message of the transforming power of the Gospel to free homosexuals from their sin, ought to resign from the pulpit before causing further damage.
Here is the truth:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:9-11
“There is NO love in being kind, and gentle, and welcoming, and “affirming”, or “standing with them”, (whatever that might mean), if you DO NOT preach the Gospel plain and simple. It is the opposite of love; it is cruel and wrong and unbiblical.”
Those were my words in response to “rumfordrev”, a pastor who left comments on my blog post Eastern Nazarene College Rejects The Bible, Moves Towards Affirmation of Homosexuality.  He responded in defense of chaplain Corey McPherson, who in April 2012 preached a message to the Eastern Nazarene College students titled “Homosexuality: What Does God Think?”  Listen to the entire message if you will and judge for yourself, especially those of you who have an investment in either your children, or youth from your church who are attending, or thinking of attending a Nazarene college.  I had characterized Dr. McPherson as one who “speaks more like a confused college student, rather than a spiritual leader who is supposed to give biblical guidance to the students.”  His unapologetic boasting of having shared communion and worship service with a homosexual pastor and his congregation is one of the many disturbing things I found in his message.
In his defense of Corey McPherson, (see comments at my blog) you will not find a clear defense of biblical teaching on this subject from rumfordrev, and that illustrates one of the problems in the Church of the Nazarene today.  Certainly, there are still pastors and chaplains who, without wavering and making excuses or condemning the church for its faults, will articulate what God clearly teaches about sin, whether it is homosexuality, or any other sin.  Yet today I find more and more examples of a kind of compromise, sometimes very subtle, that is trying to make some kind of distinction in defining homosexuality, and raising this sin to a special position that it does not warrant.
Many of us are seeing a trend in the Church of the Nazarene of a movement towards “affirmation” and acceptance of homosexuality as “okay” and normal.  I think it is just a matter of time, and perhaps some might be in for a shock after General Assembly.  Some of the previous examples of this trend were Point Loma Nazarene University and the gay student chaplain situation, in which he was allowed to continue in that position for a while; and the off campus gay support group hosted by the local Nazarene church in San Diego.  Then we have had compromise by Trevecca Nazarene University, allowing a radical homosexual group to come onto its campus for “dialogue.”  At Southern Nazarene University, the leadership’s bad judgment allowed a student newspaper to promote the “new view” of homosexuality; one quote said that “Christian circles are too quick to call homosexuality a sin, without ever having talked to someone who identifies as gay.”  Eastern Nazarene College leadership recently approved a new support group for GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and questioning student), as reported at my blog post of April 9.
Rumfordrev pointed out a quote from Dr. McPherson as indicative of a Christ-like approach, but he failed to address the serious problems with much of what was said, including the issue of having communion with a homosexual pastor, or worshipping with a gay affirming congregation, and he did not affirm agreement with my biblical answer to his question. What does this mean?  I’m not sure, but for someone to suggest to me that I made personal attacks without being specific about it, and yet not agree clearly with me about the sinfulness of having communion with a homosexual “Christian”,  and who himself stated “I am not responding to whether one can or can not be homosexual and Christian at the same time”, that leaves me asking: why would you not respond?
Affirming The Gay Lifestyle: What Does That Mean?
As examples of what Dr. McPherson said in his message, which I am working on transcribing, here are some disturbing quotes:
“You can’t help but put on a whole new perspective when someone you love is gay.  I was gradually coming to the point where I was affirming the gay and lesbian lifestyle. By affirming I mean encouraging him and I mean believing that an active gay lifestyle in a committed monogamous relationship is acceptable by God.”
“Many of you already know the passages of Scripture that address or seem to address the issue of homosexuality.  They are used as weapons to attack and abuse others even if the passage is quoted in the right text, it is done so in a manner that is demeaning and abusive.  So I would not look to these texts, in fact I will not quote them at all.”
I would say to Dr. McPherson that first of all, if one of my children declared someday that they were gay, that the only perspective I would have is that of a grieving dad who was just told by their child that they were rejecting God and were living a life of what they wish to do, and not what God wants them to do.  That’s all.  Our perspective in any other way should never change.  God’s word is applicable to all, whether they are related to you or not.  What your responsibility would be is to lovingly tell that loved one that they are in sin, and are headed towards eternity in hell without God for rebelling against him.
Secondly, his failure to properly give the biblical teaching on homosexuality, without any ambiguity to those who were listening, was unfair to them, and wrong.  Too many pastors now are talking about sexual orientation as a separate issue from homosexual acts.  I was astounded when I heard this sermon by Rev. Rick Power of College Church in Olathe, KS, when he said the following (my emphasis in bold):
“as a community that is called to reflect the grace and forgiveness and hospitality of our Savior, we must thoughtfully and carefully respond to the questions of homosexuality, and sexual purity, and divorce.  To say that marriage is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman …. doesn’t mean that we are slamming our doors or closing our hearts to gay and lesbian people. Not at all.   We have learned that for the vast majority of individuals sexual orientation is not a choice, and it cannot be changed.  If this is true then homosexual orientation in itself is not sinful.  It may be a sign of the brokenness and fallenness of our world, but if it does not involve personal choice, it is not in itself sinful, and we have to make this distinction between homosexual orientation and homosexual acts.”
Is this thinking coming out of the seminaries now?  Are these ideas being driven by the emergent church crowd, of which many like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren and others openly approve gay marriage, and believe now that you can be homosexual and remain Christian?  What is the fascination with a kind of coddling of those who identify with this particular sin, but not with those who are involved in other types of sin?  Where is the direct and clear, bold preaching that homosexuals can be freed from the bondage of their sin?  Instead, we see pastors stating that they “affirm” them, and “stand with them”, but to what end?  Is it to get more bodies into the church, and show everyone how “caring” you are?
I shudder to think that perhaps next month, the General Assembly might elect one, maybe even two, new General Superintendents who also believe in this unbiblical approach to dealing with homosexual sin.  If so, the spiraling downwards of the Church of the Nazarene will continue at an even faster pace than I thought would happen.  And the words of Rev. Power from his sermon makes me wonder: how many of his congregation that day were nodding their heads in approval, instead of standing up and objecting to his unbiblical view on homosexual sin?  That should be of concern as well.
Not All Are Compromising
I remind you of the pastors in Rhode Island who stood up against gay “marriage” and publicly signed a petition expressing the biblical view that condemns such things.  Not all evangelical pastors were on this list, and I wonder was it because they never saw the petition, or because they did not want to be identified as one who is against the radical political correctness of the day?  Sadly, gay “marriage” has been foisted upon Rhode Islanders, with much thanks to some legislators who caved in at the last minute.
And there is Pastor John Lindell of James River Assembly in Missouri, another example of those ministers of Christ who refuse to water down the Gospel, and who do it in a loving way, in spite of accusations by the radicals and the compromising “pastors” who objected to his biblical views.  Can you believe pastors objecting to a biblical assessment of homosexuality?  That’s exactly how he was treated, and I will report on this further.  In the meantime, his story can be read here, and the full context of his speech can be read here.
(On Wednesday, I will also post a response to the “sexual orientation” question, written by John Henderson, which addresses this fallacy being propagated by what seems to be a growing number of pastors).

 Manny Silva
Stand For Truth Ministries
"The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever." Psalm 119:160

Blogging at
Podcasting at:

FaceBook group: 
Concerned Nazarenes
FaceBook group: Concerned Christians


"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."  2 Corinthians 4:8-9

[Stand For Truth Ministries is a self-supporting ministry dedicated to fighting emergent church ideology and other false teachings.  Your prayers are asked for more than anything else.]

To donate to our ministry, send a check to:
Stand For Truth
P.O. Box 532
Somerset, MA  02726
(Donations are not tax-deductible; we are NOT a non-profit)


NJ Senator Weinberg:
NJ woman arrested for quoting constitution, permitted guns confiscated. Police in Clayton, New Jersey, confiscated two guns from a woman after she complained about county government moving to raise her property taxes and inspect her property without a search warrant. Eileen Hart of Franklin Township was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassing officials from the Gloucester County Office of Assessment and Appraisal Systems, Inc.

NJ introduces 18 restrictive gun control bills:


Rob Bell appeared on Justin Brierley's Unbelievable Radio Broadcast recently, with Andrew Wilson in the UK. The discussion turned to his new position on homosexuality, and Mr. Bell demonstrated that his position is one of cultural compromise, not biblical reflection. 
Bell: "Cultural consciousness has shifted"; and on doctrinal differences: "This is the bullshit that pushes people away"; and "This is why so many people don't want to be part of the church".
Wilson: Approving the gay lifestyle is "lowering the asking price" of Christianity:

James White, Reformed Baptist apologist and theologian analyzes the interview in which Bell plays the victim:


Here is the refutation and analysis from Lighthouse Trails Research in full:

A Special Follow-Up Report by Ray Yungen and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails
Before we begin our report addressing the public response issued by the Assemblies of God Superintendent Dr. George O. Wood and Dr. Jodi Detrick, chairperson for the Network for Women in Ministry regarding the invitation of Ruth Haley Barton to the 2013 General Council Conference, we would like to clarify one thing: Lighthouse Trails carries no personal animosity toward Ruth Haley Barton. Our issue has to do with a spiritual practice that Ms. Barton is deeply involved with and that, as we will show, has roots in Eastern mysticism, which does not line up with the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the Word of God.
To begin, we want to clarify that the names we mention below are not people who are loosely and inadvertently associated with this mystical spirituality but rather are practitioners and dedicated advocates of it.
Dr. Detrick suggested in her response to our April 15th article that what we presented in that article was a “misunderstanding” in that there is a clear and distinctive difference between Eastern mysticism and Christian contemplative prayer. She stated:
Sadly, some are saying that seeking the Lord in such a way equates with the practices of meditation and contemplation in Eastern religions. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and is an unfortunate and inaccurate identification.(source)
What we hope to show in this report is that our conclusions are not the result of a misunderstanding by any means, and we will show that there is a direct correlation between the contemplative prayer movement and Eastern meditation.
While we bear no ill feelings toward Dr. Detrick or Dr. Wood, we are compelled to show that the premise of the following statement by Dr. Detrick can be disproven through solid evidence:
We want to assure those with concerns that there is not even the smallest part of us that embraces any form of eastern religion or the New Age movement’s teachings and practices.(source)
Now while it may be Dr. Detrick’s intent not to embrace any form of Eastern mysticism, we will demonstrate that contemplative prayer and Eastern meditation are essentially the same, and different in name only. At the onset of providing this evidence, please bear in mind that while we only give a relatively few examples (for the reader’s time’s sake) in this report, we could provide many many more similar examples as they are ample.
I. The very person who coined the term New Age, occultist Alice Bailey, saw a direct link between Christian mysticism (i.e., contemplative prayer) and Eastern mysticism. Bailey stated:
It is, of course, easy to find many passages which link the way of the Christian Knower [contemplative] with that of his brother in the East. They bear witness to the same efficacy of method.1
II. Tilden Edwards, the founder of Shalem Institute of whom Ms. Barton received her training in contemplative spirituality, also identified the connection between contemplative prayer and Eastern meditation. Edwards said:
This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality.2
III. In his book, Spiritual Friend, Tilden Edwards suggests those who practice contemplative prayer and have begun experiencing “spiritual unfolding” and other “unusual experiences,” should turn to a book titled Psychosynthesis in order to understand the “dynamics” at “certain stages.”3 The man who wrote Psychosynthesis, Roberto Assagioli, was a direct disciple of Alice Bailey! Edwards might as well have recommended people turn to Alice Bailey herself. This is not guilt by association. Edwards knows that there is a connection between contemplative  prayer and occultic (i.e., Eastern) mysticism.
IV. Thomas Keating, a major leader in the contemplative prayer movement, also acknowledges that Barton’s contemplative prayer is related to Eastern religious meditation. In a book Keating wrote the foreword to, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality, Keating states:
In order to guide persons having this experience, Christian spiritual directors may need to dialogue with Eastern teachers in order to get a fuller understanding.4
Keating understands that within the DNA of Christian contemplative prayer is Eastern-  mysticism. Philip St. Romain, the author of the Kundalini book says: “This book is an important contribution to the renewal of the Christian contemplative tradition.”5 Contemplative mystics say these things because they know them to be true.  Also in the foreword of that book, Keating states that the Kundalini energy “is also at work today in numerous persons who are devoting themselves to contemplative prayer.” Kundalini energy is what is known as the serpent power of New Age mysticism.  This statement by Keating should cause any Christian who is even thinking of dabbling in contemplative prayer to run the other way. We encourage you to look up Kundalini on the Internet.
V. Ruth Haley Barton identifies with Keating. In her book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, she admits that Thomas Keating helped her to understand the contemplative idea of “the true self” (man’s divinity):
The concept of the true self and the false self is a consistent theme not only in Scripture but also in the writings of the church fathers and mothers. Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen (particularly Nouwen’s The Way of the Heart) and Father Thomas Keating are contemporary authors who have shaped my understanding of this aspect of the spiritual life.6
Merton, Nouwen, and Keating believe that man can attain to his “true self” (perfect self) through mystical practices. This is actually the crux of the Spiritual Formation  (i.e., contemplative prayer) movement, that man realizes his divinity through mystical experiences. Ruth Haley Barton’s Transforming Center has a mission of helping people find their “higher” true self through contemplative practices.
VI. Henri Nouwen, the late Catholic priest, who is touted highly by Barton as well as by virtually every contemplative proponent, knew very well that Eastern mysticism was at the underlying roots of contemplative prayer. In a book written by universalist Catholic priest, Thomas Ryan, Nouwen (in the foreword) wrote:
[T]he author shows a wonderful openness to the gifts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Moslem religion. He discovers their great wisdom for the spiritual life of the Christian . . . Ryan [the author] went to India to learn from spiritual traditions other than his own. He brought home many treasures and offers them to us in the book.7
VII. Regarding a book written by Philip Goldberg titled, American Veda, the book shows how “Hindu mysticism has profoundly affected the world view of millions of Americans and radically altered the religious landscape.”8  Goldberg saw fit to devote an entire chapter to contemplative prayer stating:
Perhaps the biggest shakeup by the eastern winds has been . . . the reawakening  -  of Western mysticism . . . the long sequestered vaults of contemplative Christianity and Jewish mysticism [Kabbalah] begin to be unlocked.9
If contemplative prayer has nothing to do with eastern mysticism, then why does Goldberg devote an entire chapter to it? He saw it as an adjunct to Hinduism. One final point to consider is this: Virtually every major New Age bookstore has a sizable section on Christian meditation (i.e., contemplative prayer). Call one up in your own town or city and ask if this is so. We believe you’ll see it is.
I. Carl McColman, in his book, The Big Book of Mysticism, The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality, states:
It is important to note that, throughout the history of Christianity, Christian mystics have displayed an unusual openness to the wisdom of non-Christian philosophy and religion. . . . Ultimately, however, no absolutely clear distinction can be drawn between Christian and non-Christian mysticism…  It is precisely in this dimension of mystery that people of different faiths and different wisdom traditions can relate to each other.”10  
 II. Brian C. Taylor said:
These contemplatives also recognize their soul mates in other traditions, as did Thomas Merton in his pilgrimage to Buddhist Asia. This is because they have passed beyond the confines of religion as a closed system to an open awareness of God-in-life.”11   
III. The contemplative prayer movement that is rising rapidly within evangelical circles largely through the early work of figures like Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and Ruth Haley Barton, and now many of their protégés, stems primarily from the Catholic church. Michael Leach, past president of the Catholic Book Publishers Association, explained this:
The irony is that the best of the New Age ideas—those flowing from a spiritual understanding of God, humankind and the universe—have been jewels in the Catholic treasury since the very beginning, but for too long have been neglected, forgotten or buried.12
IV. How did Eastern meditation enter the Catholic church in the first place? Did the early church fathers get it from the apostles, Jesus’ teachings, or Scripture? No, they did not. On the contrary, the Desert Fathers (monks such as St. Anthony who became hermits)  experimented:
It was a time of great experimentation with spiritual methods. Many different kinds of disciplines were tried … many different methods of prayer were created and explored by them.13
And in this experimentation, they “discovered” a prayer tool. According to one meditation scholar:
The meditation practices and rules for living of these earliest Christian monks bear strong similarity to those of their Hindu and Buddhist renunciate brethren several kingdoms to the East . . . the meditative techniques they adopted for finding their God suggest either a borrowing from the East or a spontaneous rediscovery.14
And thus:
The fourth-century Desert Fathers understood that a simple device was needed to keep the “monkey mind” from wandering. Thus, the mantra method of prayer, which had been introduced centuries before by Buddhists and Hindus, came to be a stable form of Christian prayer, not only for the Desert Fathers and Mothers but for Christians down through the ages.15
One of Christian contemplative’s own, Marcus Borg, reveals the role the mantra plays in contemplative prayer:
Contemplation typically involves the silent repetition of a mantra—-a single word, a short phrase or a series of short phrases. . . . Ultimately the purpose of contemplative prayer is to descend to the deepest level of the self, of the heart, where we open out into the sea of being that is God.16
 V. Christian contemplative teachers will often say that in contemplative prayer one is not using Buddhist or Hindu mantras, so therefore it cannot be called Eastern meditation. While it is true that different words or syllables are repeated in the contemplative mantra than those used by Eastern mystics, the method (mantra or focus) of entering an altered state of consciousness is the same. Furthermore, as we will demonstrate later, the fruit of contemplative prayer has been shown time and time again to be the same – that of a pantheistic (or panentheistic) mindset of divinity in all things. In short, one would have to conclude – after witnessing the teachings of countless contemplative prayer mystics – that contemplative prayer and Eastern mysticism alike connect the practitioner with spirit guides that will erode – and in time destroy – their belief in the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Once the practitioner establishes the belief, as contemplative prayer will bring him to, that he has divinity within, there is no longer the need for the Cross. Yes, and countless contemplative mystics have already come to this conclusion.
I. Perhaps the strongest evidence to prove that the realms entered during contemplative prayer are not God’s realm (i.e., the Holy Spirit) but rather demonic occultic realms is observing the “fruit” that contemplative prayer bears in a practitioner’s life. Probably the most profound example is that of the late Catholic monk and mystic, Thomas Merton, who said once that he was “impregnated with Sufism”17 (Islamic mysticism).
Merton’s mystical experiences ultimately made him a kindred spirit and co-mystic with those in other Eastern religions. At an interfaith conference in Thailand, he stated:
I believe that by openness to Buddhism, to Hinduism, and to these great Asian [mystical] traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own Christian traditions.18
Please understand that contemplative prayer alone was the catalyst for such theological views. One of Merton’s biographers made this very clear when he explained:
If one wants to understand Merton’s going to the East it is important to understand that it was his rootedness in his own faith tradition [Catholicism] that gave him the spiritual equipment [contemplative prayer] he needed to grasp the way of wisdom that is proper to the East.19
II. A second remarkable example of the “fruit” of contemplative prayer can be found in an author (often quoted by evangelical contemplative advocates, including Barton) named Sue Monk Kidd. Monk Kidd was once a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher. One day, she was handed a book by Thomas Merton. It changed her life dramatically (that’s an understatement). Monk Kidd explained:
I found a host of Christian thinkers and saints talking about a way of “being with” God—a way of needing Him and experiencing Him in the depths of one’s being—that opened the door to oneness with Him. They called it contemplation. I was amazed to realize that I had known practically nothing about this ancient and powerful tradition of Christian meditation…. I was ready.20
She wrote that quote in a book titled God’s Joyful Surprise: a spiritual biography. Just to illustrate how subtle this spirituality can be, listen to some of the endorsements she received for that book by traditional Christian organizations:
 “[A] joy to read from beginning to end.” Virtue Magazine  (back cover); A Virtue Magazine best book of the year
 “[T]he message and challenge of the book is profound.” Today’s Christian Woman (back cover)
 “[Kidd] suggests some disciplines for cultivating an interior ‘quietness’ and a richer, personal experience of God’s love.” Moody Monthly (back cover)
We don’t believe that the people who wrote these endorsements really understood what they were endorsing.
III. But back to our point here to show the “fruit” of contemplative prayer. Where is Sue Monk Kidd today, spiritually speaking? Listen to these quotes written by her a number of years after God’s Joyful Surprise to see where it took her:
We also need Goddess consciousness to reveal earth’s holiness… Matter becomes inspirited; it breathes divinity. Earth becomes alive and sacred… Goddess offers us the holiness of everything. . . . As I grounded myself in feminine spiritual experience, that fall, I was initiated into my body in a deeper way. I came to know myself as an embodiment of Goddess.21
Mystical awakening in all the great religious traditions, including Christianity, involves arriving at an experience of unity or nondualism. In Zen it’s known as samadhi . . . The day of my awakening was the day I saw, and knew I saw, all things in God, and God in all things. 22
Today, after going down the contemplative path, Sue Monk Kidd worships the goddess within and not the God of the Bible. That is what practicing contemplative prayer got her. And it is what it got Thomas Merton. He came to believe, as well, that God was inside every human being (panentheism):
It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, ... now I realize what we all are .... If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are ...I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other ... At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth ... This little point the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody. 23
And Henri Nouwen:
The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being.24
What we are saying here is vital. God does not work in the contemplative silence—but rather demons do. Moreover, what makes it so dangerous is that they are very clever. One well-known New Ager revealed what his guiding (familiar) spirit candidly disclosed:
 We work with all who are vibrationally sympathetic; simple and sincere people who feel our spirit moving, but for the most part, only within the context of their current belief system.25
The term “vibrationally sympathetic” here means those who suspend thought through word repetition or breath focus—inward mental silence. That is what attracts them. That is their opening. That is why Tilden Edwards called this the “bridge to far Eastern spirituality,” and this is what is being injected into the evangelical church!
In Sue Monk Kidd’s book, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, she makes a revealing comment:
Deity means that divinity will no longer be only heavenly … It will also be right here, right now, in me, in the earth, in this river, in excrement and roses alike.26
Monk Kidd has come to believe that God is in everything, literally. She rejects the belief that God is holy and man is a sinner needing a Savior and redemption.
We do not believe that Dr. George Wood or Dr. Detrick would deny the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, nor do we believe they would say that they agree with the words of Thomas Merton or Sue Monk Kidd. But by their willingness to embrace the teachings of Ruth Haley Barton (or any contemplative, for that matter) they are directly exposing themselves and potentially the two-and-a-half million in their denomination to the beliefs of Merton and Monk Kidd.
Alice Bailey predicted that there would be a global awakening where mankind would finally realize the divinity within. She called it the “regeneration of the churches.” Her rationale for this was obvious:
The Christian church in its many branches can serve as a St. John the Baptist, as a voice crying in the wilderness, and as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished.27 (emphasis added)
Satan is very good at deceiving people, often in very subtle ways. The Bible talks about a day that is coming when Christians will fall into great deception. “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” (I Timothy 4:1). These seducing spirits are just that – seducing.
In Acts 16, there is a good example of this. The spirit in the woman endorsed Paul and Silas, but that spirit was not for them but rather against them. It was a demon. In Matthew 24, Jesus talks about great deception coming upon the earth prior to His return. False christs, false prophets, great signs and wonders, and many coming in His name. Could it be that this mystical spirituality, which leads man to say he is divine, is part of this great falling away? We believe it is.
Nothing is being twisted here. The aforementioned evidence is based on facts, not speculations. The leaders of the Assemblies of God (and every other denomination, actually) must decide if they really want to take their denomination in this direction. If they decide to go forward, they must explain away the evidence we have given.
In her books, Ruth Haley Barton quotes a number of people who could legitimately be called New Agers. Bear in mind that she quotes these figures in the context of the practices they share. In her book Sacred Rhythms, she quotes Basil Pennington from his book Finding Grace at the Center. This means she must have read that book, which is a primer in contemplative mysticism. Listen to what Pennington says:
We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and “capture” it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible.
 Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM [Transcendental Meditation] and similar practices, especially where they have been initiated by reliable teachers and have a solidly developed Christian faith to find inner form and meaning to the resulting experiences.28 
Basil Pennington is one of the prominent figures of the contemplative prayer movement.
We stated in this report that contemplative prayer stands on the same ground as occultism. With that in mind, it is worth mentioning that both Thomas Keating (who, according to Barton, shaped her thinking) and Basil Pennington enthusiastically endorsed a book titled Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey in Christian Hermeticism. Fortune-telling Tarot cards are one of the major tools for divination in occultism. And Hermeticism is a set of ancient esoteric beliefs based on the writings of Hermes Trismegistus, the one who coined the term “as above, so below” (the maxim for the New Age movement). Keating said the book was “the greatest contribution to date toward the rediscovery and renewal of the Christian contemplative tradition,”29 and Pennington said, “It is without doubt the most extraordinary work I have ever read.”30 We’re talking about outright occultism here – there’s no room for doubt.
We are not asking anyone reading this to take our word for it. Look these authors up and see for yourself what they are saying. Compare this report we have written with our earlier article showing how Ruth Haley Barton is directly promoting the practice of contemplative prayer. We think, after true prayer and deliberation, you will come to the same conclusion we have—that contemplative prayer has no place in the biblical Christian faith.
Dr. Detrick claims that “[c]ountless AG people, and credentialed leaders, have testified to drawing much closer to the Lord as a result of Ruth’s books and teachings.” If it is true that “countless AG people” have been influenced by Ruth Haley Barton, then this report should motivate those in the Assemblies of God to get to the bottom of this controversy that is unfolding here.
1. Alice Bailey, From Intellect to Intuition (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing Co., 1987, 13th printing), p. 193.
2.Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press,1980), p. 18.
3. Ibid., pp. 162-163.
4. Philip St. Romain, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality (New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1995), foreword written by Thomas Keating.
5. Ibid, p. 7.
6. Ruth Haley Barton, Invitation to Solitude and Silence (Downer Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 2004),  p. 160.
7. Thomas Ryan, Disciplines for Christian Living (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press,1993), pp. 2-3, from Henri Nouwen in the foreword.
8. The publisher’s description of American Veda on both the publisher’s website and
9. Philip Goldberg, American Veda (New York, NY: Random House, 2010), p. 310.
10. Carl McColman, The Big Book of Mysticism (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing, 2010), pp. 63-64.
11. Brian C. Taylor, Setting the Gospel Free (New York, NY: Continuum Publishing , 1996), p. 62.
12. Michael Leach (America Magazine, May 2, 1992), p. 385.
13. Ken Kaisch, Finding God (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1994), p. 191.
14. Daniel Goleman, The Meditative Mind (Los Angeles, CA: Tarcher/Putnam Inc., 1988),  p. 53.
15. Frank X. Tuoti, The Dawn of the Mystical Age (New York, NY: Crossroad, 1997), p. 137.
16. Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity (San Francisco, CA: 2004), p. 198.
17. Rob Baker and Gray Henry, Editors, Merton and Sufism  (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 1999), p. 69.
18. William Shannon, Silent Lamp (New York, NY: Crossroad, 1992), p. 276.
19. Ibid, p. 281.
20.  Sue Monk Kidd, God’s Joyful Surprise (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1997), p. 187.
21. Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 1996), pp. 162-163, 161.
22. Ibid, p. 161.
23. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1989 edition), pp. 157-158.
24. Henri Nouwen, Here and Now (New York, NY: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997 edition), p. 22.
25. Ken Carey, The Starseed Transmissions (A Uni-Sun Book, 1985 4th printing), p. 33.
26. Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, op. cit.,  p. 160.
27. Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy  (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing, 1976), p. 510.
28. M. Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating, Thomas E. Clarke, Finding Grace at the Center  (Petersham, MA: St. Bede’s Pub., 1978), pp. 5-6.
29. Endorsement on jacket of book.
30. Ibid.
Note: Ray Yungen has been researching the New Age and contemplative spirituality for over 20 years. He is the author ofA Time of Departing and For Many Shall Come in My Name. You may find more information, including contact information, about Ray Yungen and Lighthouse Trails Publishing & Research Project at
Editors at Lighthouse Trails Publishing & Research
Note: Please make sure you put in your white or allowed list on your email program to help assure our newsletters do not end up in your spam folder.