Monday, October 28, 2013


The Culture News blog reports at about a male student becoming homecoming queen:

Steven Sanchez 

The Journey to Homecoming Queen:


From Lighthouse Trails Research is another article about Charles Stanley's "In Touch" magazine promoting Catholic, ecumenical, interfaith and contemplative ministries and organizations. Complete article reprinted in full unedited below.

"Charles Stanley’s In Touch Magazine has been the subject of several Lighthouse Trails articles because of the magazine’s continued propensity toward contemplative/emergent people. Just this past summer, our most recent article, “Sad News About Charles Stanley’sIn Touch Magazine,” reported how the August 2013 issue of In Touch featured Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove of the “New Monasticism” emerging church movement. Now in the November 2013 issue, In Touch magazine is featuring an article about an ecumenical interfaith organization that is largely Catholic influenced and was, in fact, the very organization where Henri Nouwen spent the last decade of his life. What’s the big deal about that? some may ask. Well, it is a big deal when you stop and consider the implications. Charles Stanley is seen as the quintessential evangelical Bible teacher by millions. He is trusted, respected, and looked to for understanding of the biblical Gospel. So when his organization starts down a path that promotes contemplative spirituality, the emerging church, and yes, Roman Catholicism – there is a big problem.
In the November 2013 issue is an article written by Benjamin Dolson titled “Our Table.” It is a story about L’Arche, an organization that began in the 60s to offer an alternative living style for intellectually-handicapped people. The work itself is certainly not what we contest as it has removed needy people out of institutions and into a more viable living situation. We are not here to condemn the work being done at the L’Arche communities from a humanitarian point of view. But why does an evangelical ministry feel the need to continually point its followers to organizations or people that do not line up with the biblical Gospel. As Lighthouse Trails has documented scripturally for several years, the contemplative prayer movement and Roman Catholicism are presenting a different “Gospel” than the one the Bible presents. The Roman Catholic “Gospel” is a justification by works gospel, and the contemplative prayer (i.e., Spiritual Formation) “Gospel” is one that has panentheistic and interspiritual roots.  And we should mention that the Catholic church is utilizing the contemplative prayer movement to draw in converts to Catholicism (as Ray Yungen explains in his article “Contemplative Spirituality – the Source of the Catholic Church’s Expansion“).
For those who may not realize just how Catholic L’Arche is, here is a statement posted on the L’Arche international website:
L’Arche was founded in a village in France in the Roman Catholic tradition. Generally the communities reflect the predominant faith tradition or traditions of the local population. Thus, with the foundations of the communities of Daybreak in Canada and Asha Niketan in India, the Federation became first ecumenical and then interfaith. Most communities today consider themselves as Christian, some are ecumenical, some identify as Anglican or Protestant, and the majority are Catholic in their practice. The four communities in India and the project in Bangladesh have an interfaith character. All communities of the Federation welcome people of any or no faith and seek to respect and support members in their particular faith choice.1(emphasis added)
Translated, that last sentence means that L’Arche will help people of all religious beliefs to further develop that particular belief system in their own lives.
In a book written by L’Arche founder, Jean Vanier, titled Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters series), it describes how he read Thomas Merton and practiced and was influenced by the spiritual exercises of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius.
While we do not condemn the people at L’Arche for their work with needy people, why is In Touch, a ministry that is supposed to be representing biblical Christianity, pointing its followers to this interfaith and ecumenical organization that has a strong Catholic background? 
As you may recall, Lighthouse Trails editors spoke with editors at In Touch this past summer but to no avail. We were told we were on a “witch-hunt” and that the information we provided was “not helpful.”
So, where does this leave untold numbers of Christians who read In Touch, of which some have contacted us expressing their concerns?  On the In Touch Ministries website, it reads:
The award-winning In Touch magazine has inspired and motivated readers for more than 25 years with resources to invigorate their faith including daily devotionals, in-depth Bible studies, insightful teaching from Dr. Stanley, and much more.
We don’t see how lifting up contemplative spirituality and Roman Catholic-prone organizations is going to “invigorate” Christian biblical faith. It is interesting to note that in the Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove article as well as this recent one on L’Arche, the emphasis in both articles is about helping the needy. We do not dispute and actually wholeheartedly believe that part of the Christian walk includes reaching out to the poor, hurting, and needy. This is a natural response for those who live and abide in Christ. But that is not the Gospel message. The Gospel is not about what we do (good works), but rather it is about what Jesus Christ has done for sinful man through his death on the Cross. The contemplative prayer movement traditionally teaches that man is already divine and contemplative prayer can help him find that divine self. Like contemplative icon Richard Rohr says, we are all the “immaculate conception[s]”  (i.e., sinless/divine – Rohr, Falling Upward, p. ix). In addition, leaders in the emerging church say that when the Reformation took place five hundred years ago, the reformation moved us too far away from the Catholic church. We need to come back together as one universal church, they say. If this were true, that would mean that all the believers who died standing against the Catholic church died in vain (read John Foxe’s story about a woman who died for such a cause.)
Breaking down the barriers between Catholicism and Protestantism opens up hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Protestants to interact with Catholic spiritual directors. Organizations such as Promise Keepers, while inspiring certain legitimate commitments (e.g. loving your wife and children), include a promise to tear down denominational walls, which specifically include the Roman Catholic Church. These Catholic spiritual directors have led people into the contemplative “silence.” This is exactly what happened to Ruth Haley Barton, a Protestant who was experiencing turmoil in her life. She went to a Catholic contemplative nun who directed her into the contemplative life. Today, Barton is a major figure in teaching contemplative prayer to pastors and church leaders.
There is an interesting sidebar in the In Touch article on L’Arche. It reads:
Communities of faith, of God’s reign, bring together into oneness those who by culture and by education are far apart. This is the body of Christ. This is the church.
What this is suggesting is an all-inclusive “community” (that certainly is the expanse of humanity), but if we say that the body of Christ is an all-inclusive church, then we are saying that there is no distinguishing between the various belief systems and religions.
Benjamin Dolson, the author of In Touch’s article, “Our Table,” is an editor for a group called The Burnside Writer’s Collective, a group of writers that promotes “social justice” and the emerging church. Their website features figures such as Jim Wallis and Shane Claiborne who promote a liberal social justice “Christianity.”  In our article “They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus: How Conservative Christians Are Being Manipulated and Ridiculed, Especially During Election Years, we document how some of these emergents are part of an effort to keep conservative Christians from voting – at all.  Is this just guilt by association that one of the In Touch contributing writers belongs to this group? We don’t think so. Jonathan Wilson-Grove (featured more than once in In Touch) falls in this category too. With all these articles in In Touch magazine featuring emergent names, it’s hard not to wonder if there is an underlying political agenda by In Touch editors.
While any hidden political agenda is only a guess at this point, one thing is for sure, In Touch editors are drawn to the contemplative/emergent persuasion as is much of current evangelical Christianity. There has been a subtle paradigm shift over the last twenty years, and this is something that is going to eventually change the message coming out of Charles Stanley’s In Touch ministry. Once he is passed or steps down (he is 81), as in the case of so many other ministries where the founder does not adequately equip his ministry to spot and remove spiritual deception, In Touch ministries could potentially become a leader for the emerging church movement.
In reading our article here, some may feel we are being too nit-picky and critical. After all, In Touch is talking about helping the needy. But if that reasoning is legitimate, then basically, as Christians, we are to embrace an anything-goes mentality (i.e.,  the church should embrace all “faith communities” without any protection over the Christian message of redemption). But the Bible so clearly and so frequently warns of beliefs that are contrary to the truth of Scripture. In writing this article about In Touch and L’Arch ecumenical interfaith communities, we are reminded of something Henri Nouwen said in the last book he ever wrote. We’ve quoted it often over the years because it shows very succinctly the “fruit” of contemplative mysticism, which Nouwen fully adhered to and practiced:
Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God. —From Sabbatical Journey, page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition
It boils down to this: Christian organizations like In Touch Ministries have been presenting themselves to their readers and supporters for many years as having a solid biblical message. Yet now, many of them appear to be changing course. Isn’t it only right and fair for them to come forward and tell their followers that they are no longer adhering just to biblical Christianity?
Does Charles Stanley know what has happened to his magazine? some may ask. We have no idea as he has remained absolutely silent on the situation. We’ve sent books, made phone calls, and we know there are LT readers who have contacted his ministry. But to date, we have never heard of any response. At least Focus on the Family has come right out and admitted that they see nothing wrong with the contemplative tradition. With  In Touch, we will just have to keep putting pieces of the puzzle together until a complete picture can be seen."



Some time ago, Ken Silva of, before he became ill, claims to have coined the phrase "Slowly Becoming Catholic" when referring to the Southern Baptist Convention. That phrase might appropriately fit all the many and varied instances of the S.B.C. and its adoption of Catholic contemplative mysticism, lectio divina, gushing over the Pope, or Billy and Franklin Graham and other Southern Baptist affiliated pastors and churches aligning with Catholics in ministry endeavors.
    It doesn't fit quite so well when referring to the SBC's equally frequent and varied ecumenical ministry endeavors, accords, conferences, and public displays of "common ground" with apostate, heretical denominations, and downright pagan religions such as the Mormons.
    Then you have the associations with the alleged sexually abusing Sovereign Grace Ministries and C.J. Mahaney; and other continuationist neo-reformed personalities such as Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Mark Dever, Tim Keller, et al.
    Add to that the commonplace fatalist and defeatist disengagement from the culture and politics justified by a unique eschatalogical interpretation of the biblical "end times". Such is like wearing a traditional, conservative Christian dull gray suit of clothes to cover the naked liberalism infecting the SBC so as to portray a form of pseudo-conservatism which was long ago lost. So, while SBC pastors and leaders try to portray conservatism, they will tell you it is useless to vote for any political party or to actively engage the culture. The exception would be of course their affinity for contemporary rock worship styles and music, since their Arminianism requires them to become like the world to attract the unregenerate and unchurched hordes wanting to be fawned over and entertained by irreverent worship experiences devoid of the biblical gospel of repentance and grace. As with the Catholics, the SBC goes for salvation by grace and works.
    As the SBC tries to hasten Christ's return by disengagement, they will also demonstrate by their overeating, pot bellies, and double chins, that poor health will also get you to heaven quicker than someone in trim shape and good health who may wait in vain. That way, you can avoid the consequences of a spiritually degenerating nation, and not have to even waste years waiting for Christ's return.

For example, this recently from pastor Ralph Ovadal of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin at

Dear Friends,

I am providing here a link to an article which was posted at Deseret News October 21, 2013. It is a report of Dr. Albert Mohler’s relationship with LDS officials and his recent speaking engagement at the Mormon Brigham Young University. I believe in civil and religious liberty. I believe Christians should stand against the persecution of anyone. But Al Mohler is playing right into the hands of the devil when he cultivates friendships with LDS officials, speaks of respect for them, and gives speeches at BYU when the word of God forbids it, for instance: James 4:4; 2 Cor. 6:14-17; Eph. 5:11. The Mormons are thrilled to have this very influential evangelical desensitize other evangelicals to the utter wickedness of Mormonism, regardless of any statements he makes about differences in doctrine. Mohler’s actions empty his mild clarification of credibility and effect. So, the LDS officials, and the devil, give such statements from their good friend a wink and a nod, knowing the greater good which is being accomplished for Mormonism and the corruption of evangelicals. I mean, the LDS newspaper Deseret even includes his quotes in its story! Say, Al, I would just mention here that the Scriptures nowhere tell ministers to have fellowship with and cultivate working friendships with the leaders of false religions masquerading as Christian. No, quite the opposite is true.
By the way, the organization Standing Together exists for the purpose of breaking down walls between the LDS and Christianity. So, thanks, Al. Thanks for this. Thanks also for signing the Manhattan Declaration. Thanks for muddying the waters concerning the sin of homosexuality . . . and so forth. I suppose a big thank-you is also due to Dr. John MacArthur who is once again having his dear friend Al Mohler, along with other New Calvinists such as Mark Dever, speak at the 2014 Shepherds’ Conference. Oh, the wretched irony but growing commonplace nature of it! Unfaithful shepherds preaching at “The Shepherds’ Conference”!
Ralph Ovadal

American Family Association's "Rightly Concerned" webpage:
Wall Street Journal article referenced below:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 8:06 PM
By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point” 
In this week’s Wall Street Journal, Neil King, Jr. offers a frankly disturbing profile of Russell Moore, the new head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). 
The tone is set by the title of the piece, “Evangelical Leader Preaches Pullback From Politics, Culture Wars.” Since one man’s “pullback” is another’s “full scale retreat,” social conservatives have a right to raise questions about the new course Moore is setting for the SBC. 
Conservative Catholics are already expressing alarm at Pope Francis’s rebuke of the Church for being “obsessed” with issues such as the sanctity of human life and the sanctity of marriage. If the SBC were also to abandon the field of cultural conflict, as Moore seems determined to do, the two largest organized religious bodies in the United States will have ceded the field and the contest to our adversaries in the battle over societal values. 
The Journal notes that Richard Land, whom Moore has replaced as head of the ERLC, unhesitatingly spoke of a “radical homosexual agenda.” Moore instead warns conservatives that gays and lesbians are not part of an “evil conspiracy.” 
While most homosexuals aren’t in some kind of sinister partnership with nefarious forces, the same cannot be said of homosexual activists. Wikipedia lists no less than 72 groups in the United States alone whose mission is to normalize the “infamous crime against nature,” to demand special rights on the basis of aberrant sexual behavior, to radically redefine marriage and the family, and to demonize pro-family organizations as “hate groups” for disagreeing with them. 
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) are in fact part of an evil conspiracy to celebrate behavior that according to Romans 1 is “contrary to nature,” consists of “shameless acts” and causes participants to “receiv(e) themselves the due penalty for their error.” 
Yet Moore says that marriage shouldn’t be seen as a “‘culture war’ political issue.” When bakers, florists and photographers are being punished by government, when members of the military are being court-martialed for supporting natural marriage and told told that pro-family groups are threats to national security, and when the SPLC hate map is used by a shooter to take a gun into the offices of the Family Research Council, that’s about as cultural and political as it gets. Someone must stand in the gap and fight for the First Amendment rights of these victims, especially their fundamental right to the free exercise of religion. 
We cannot and must not surrender when our most deeply cherished values and the Constitution itself are being shredded. This is no time for the sunshine soldier and the summer patriot. 
According to the Journal, Moore says we must ,“tone down the rhetoric and pull back from the political fray,” largely because of what he calls the “visceral recoil” to conservative positions on social issues among younger evangelicals.
But this is to allow the least mature, least experienced, and least wise among us to shape our message to the culture. Moore in this instance seems prepared to follow rather than lead, to go with the flow rather than swim against the current. But leaders do not follow public opinion, they shape it, especially when the issues are matters of biblical morality. 
Moore warns that we must not be “co-opted” by the political process. But this seems to be what has happened to him. Even the Journal says he “is responding to this (cultural) drift.” He appears to have been co-opted by the slide of young evangelicals into moral relativism and by the Republican Party elites who want the GOP, in the Journal’s words, “to back off hot-button cultural issues.” Moore’s softer, gentler Christianity will give him a place in their inner circle. But it is more important to stand for the right principle than to sit at the right table. 
Moore seems to have forgotten that Christ has not called us to be nice but to be good. Nice people never confront evil, but good people do. 
At one point, Moore says “Christianity thrives when it is clearest about what distinguishes it from the outside culture.” I could not agree more. But the clearest distinction we can draw between our values and the values of secular society are precisely on the issues of life, marriage and family. 
The one value Moore seems to be prepared to fight for in the public arena is amnesty for those who are criminal trespassers on sovereign U.S. soil. That hardly seems to reflect the biblical and American value of respect for the rule of law.
Ralph Reed says the conservative movement has experienced “a tough defeat” and now must adopt a “shift of tactics.” Someone needs to tell Mr. Reed and Mr. Moore that surrender is not a tactic. 
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

"Rick Warren prays for new Pope":

"Southern Baptists pay tribute to the Pope":

"Evangelical Leader Preaches Pullback From Politics, Culture Wars":

"Russell Moore: From Moral Majority to 'Prophetic Minority'":

Russell Moore-- claims WSJ headline on his article 'awfully misleading'

"Southern Baptist Convention's Moore: Christians Can't Be Political 'Mascots'":
Ex-Mormons: Lynn and Michael Wilder and their family:

Finding Our Way Out of the Mormon Church: 

"Thought the Mormon church was just another 'Christian' option":


"Former Brigham Young University Professor Tells of Mormon Family’s Conversion to Christianity":

"Free Indeed: The Testimony of Lynn Wilder":

Unveiling Grace, Book Trailer - Lynn K. Wilder:

Lynn Wilder reveals the inner working of the Mormon Church :

Unveiling Grace: Full Presentation:

Lynn Wilder Interview (uncut):

Michael Wilder Interview (uncut):


Fourth graders learn to own their 

'white privilege' 

thanks to Common Core-aligned lesson, or:

Public Schools are Teaching What???:


Pennsylvania State Representative Rick Saccone has introduced House Bill 1728 and the press release is reprinted below in full unedited from

Saccone Bill Would Educate Students on ‘In God We Trust’ Origins
HARRISBURG – Many people are unaware that the practice of placing the national motto of the United States, “In God We Trust,” on America’s coins began nearly 150 years ago in Pennsylvania. This lack of awareness could change if a measure sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington) passes the Legislature and is signed into law.

House Bill 1728 would direct school districts in the Commonwealth to display “In God We Trust” in all public school buildings.  The purpose, according to Saccone, would be to promote patriotism through the display of the national motto and to educate children about an important but overlooked part of Pennsylvania’s heritage.

“James Pollock was a towering figure in Pennsylvania history, first serving in Congress and then becoming an extraordinarily influential governor in the 19th Century,” said Saccone.  “Later, while serving as director of the United States Mint in Philadelphia, Pollock introduced the words ‘In God We Trust’ to our coins.  They’ve been an important part of American culture and identity ever since.”

Francis Scott Key first made “In God We Trust” a statement of American patriotism when he included it in a stanza of the Star Spangled Banner in 1814, but it was Pollock who forever seared the motto into the nation’s conscience.  The 150th anniversary of Pollock’s action will be celebrated in his hometown of Milton in Northumberland County early next year.

“In God We Trust” originally appeared on two-cent pieces and later was applied to other coins.  Its placement on America’s money was somewhat sporadic until 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law an act officially declaring it the motto of the United States and ordering the phrase to be placed on all coins and bills.

“‘In God We Trust’ is so woven into the American fabric that it is impossible to hear the phrase without stirring feelings of pride and allegiance to our country,” said Saccone.  “Our youth need to hear the story of our heritage and learn from positive role models in a time of decaying values.  The story of our national motto is a positive story and one that is uniquely Pennsylvanian.”

For more information, please visit

Representative Rick Saccone
39th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Ryan Travis, 717.260.6335 /