Wednesday, February 14, 2018

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
Several years ago, Rick Warren said something that still haunts us—leaders of the new purpose-driven, emergent “Christianity” will have to wait until resisters either leave or die before the plan can be fully implemented. In other words, they are going to eventually accomplish what they are trying to do—revamp Christianity into a “new” spirituality that will be all-inclusive, ecumenical, mystical, and with a new gospel message. But before that can happen, those who are resisting and opposing this new “Christianity” will have to be out of the way (either through getting old and dying or somehow being coerced into leaving the churches).
From the cover of Warren B. Smith's booklet on Leonard Sweet
From the cover of Warren B. Smith’s booklet on Leonard Sweet
In thinking about Moody Bible Institute and the current shake up going on there (e.g., the president and COO recently resigned), Warren’s words have come to the forefront of our minds again. Moody is struggling. According to an article in the Christian Post, Moody has shut down their Washington state campus and an extension site and let go of one third of their faculty. One can only guess what’s going on behind the scenes as Moody leadership and trustees aren’t offering many answers these days.
Moody, once considered a stalwart institution to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (named after the great evangelist D.L. Moody), began caving in to the “new” spirituality several years ago (as documented by LT), allowing contemplative, emergent influences into the school. Maybe they thought if they became culturally relevant, cool, hip, contemplative, and missional, they could continue being successful and on top of the Christian college scene. But, like the puppy with a bone in his mouth and looking at his reflection in the water hoping to have the other bone too, Moody may end up losing everything all together because they wanted both worlds—a reputation of biblical integrity and at the same time acceptance by the new and popular emergent Christianity. Maybe trustees of Moody believed Rick Warren’s co-comrade in all-things-emergent, Leonard Sweet, when Sweet said “Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die.”
In 1995, Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet did an audio series called The Tides of Change. In the audio, they spoke of “new frontiers,” “a new spirituality,” and “waves of change.” A few years prior to The Tides of Change, Sweet wrote a book called Quantum Spirituality. This book reveals the nature of Sweet’s spiritual affinities as he talks about “christ-consciousness” and a “New Light” movement. Ray Yungen discusses Quantum Spirituality:
In [Quantum Spirituality], Sweet thanks interspiritualists/universalists such as Matthew Fox (author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ), Episcopalian priest/mystic Morton Kelsey, Willis Harman (author of Global Mind Change) and Ken Wilber (one of the major intellectuals in the New Age movement) for helping him to find what he calls “New Light.” Sweet adds that he trusts “the Spirit that led the author of The Cloud of Unknowing.” . . .  Sweet disseminates line after line of suggestions that the “old teachings” of Christianity must be replaced with new teachings of “the New Light.” And yet these new teachings, he believes, will draw from “ancient teachings” (the Desert Fathers). This “New Light movement,” Sweet says, is a “radical faith commitment that is willing to dance to a new rhythm.”
Throughout the book, Sweet favorably uses terms like Christ consciousness and higher self and in no uncertain terms promotes New Age ideology: “[Quantum Spirituality is] a structure of human becoming, a channeling of Christ energies through mindbody experience.” (from A Time of Departing)
A few years after Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet did The Tides of Change, Warren endorsed the front and back cover of Sweet’s book, Soul Tsunami. Of Sweet’s book, Warren said: “suggests practical ways to communicate God’s unchanging truth to our changing world.” However, the “practical ways” that Sweet shares in the book include a labyrinth and visiting a meditation center. Sweet also says in the book, “It’s time for a Post Modern Reformation,” adding that “The wind of spiritual awakening is blowing across the waters.” He says that times are changing and you’d better, “Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die” (p. 75).
In 2006, Lighthouse Trails wrote an article titled “Purpose Driven Resisters—Must Leave or Die.” Here’s a portion of it:
The phone calls and emails started coming in about three years ago. Sometimes the caller was in his mid-eighties, sometimes the caller was crying. But all of them had the same kind of story to tell – when their churches decided to get involved with 40 Days of Purpose, everything began changing and when they questioned these changes, they each soon found themselves silenced, ostracized, and eventually without a church to attend. Now today, nearly five years after Purpose Driven Life was released, thousands of believers are scattered throughout the world, having been ridiculed and demoralized for even just the slightest questioning of the Purpose Driven program. In one email we received, the young man was handed a letter from his pastor. The letter had been written by a Saddleback field representative who told the pastor to do what he had to do to get rid of those opposing the new program.
According to Rick Warren, these people are resisters and are standing in the way of Purpose Driven progress. In a June 14th article written by Rick Warren on his website (“What Do You Do When Your Church Hits a Plateau?” ), Warren told pastors and church leaders not to be discouraged about slow change in their churches. He told them it would take time . . . and in many cases it would take these resisters either leaving the church or simply dying. Warren stated:
“If your church has been plateaued for six months, it might take six months to get it going again. If it’s been plateaued a year, it might take a year. If it’s been plateaued for 20 years, you’ve got to set in for the duration! I’m saying some people are going to have to die or leave.
“Moses had to wander around the desert for 40 years while God killed off a million people before he let them go into the Promised Land. That may be brutally blunt, but it’s true. There may be people in your church who love God sincerely, but who will never, ever change.”
For Warren to couple his statement about dying or leaving with a statement about God killing off a million people is ignorant at best, subliminal at least. Coupled with his mention of 40 years in the desert and Warren’s teaching that God always did good things in numbers of 40, Warren’s intention in this statement seems obvious. In addition, the concept of get with the program, change or die is very common in New Age circles, that those who don’t get on board (or ride the wave as Leonard Sweet puts it), will have to die. Listen to the words of renown, New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard:
“Christ-consciousness and Christ-abilities are the natural inheritance of every human being on Earth. When the word of this hope has reached the nations, the end of this phase of evolution shall come. All will know their choice. All will be required to choose. . . . All who choose not to evolve will die off.” . . .
In The Tides of Change, [Sweet and Warren] make it clear that those who don’t ride this new wave will not make it.
But, what does it really mean to “make it”? Does drifting into apostasy mean that one has made it? In God’s eyes, we are successful when we follow Him and adhere to His Word.
Will Moody “make it”? Time will tell, but the Bible is clear that we cannot serve both God and man. It won’t work. Like the majority of Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities today, Moody has been trying to hold onto their old heritage of biblical solidarity while grabbing hold of the new fast-moving postmodern, progressive “wave.” But while holding on to both, each going in the completely opposite direction, the results tragically may be an entire tearing apart that will be beyond repair. Wouldn’t it be nice (to say the least) if Moody would jump off of that fast-moving wave going toward apostasy and return fully to “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”?


 RightNow Media - HD | Philadelphia Baptist Church
 Bethel Church – RightNow Media
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
To Lighthouse Trails and readers:
As I stood at the bedside of my dad in a hospital, in shock at his unexpected passing, I looked up at the wall, and there on the whiteboard was written, “Last rites- 2:00 pm.”
I had spent two and a half months visiting daily in the hospital while my dad struggled in intensive care.  Though I was raised Catholic, I had become a Christian when I was a teenager and always hoped I would have an opportunity to tell my dad about salvation.
A hospital labyrinth in MN
During the time I spent visiting my dad at the hospital, which was several hours from my home, I had started reading my long-neglected Bible more diligently to fill the long evenings.  During the day, I wandered around the hospital or sat in the waiting room when I was not allowed to wait in my dad’s room.  As I walked around the hospital, I noticed a Muslim prayer room, a Catholic prayer room, an Indian spirituality room, a labyrinth designed into the pattern of a carpet in a large public area, a Sikh memorial room, a poster for Meditation – but nothing that could be connected to my Protestant faith, but indeed, I no longer knew with certainty what I believed.  I had been following every wind of doctrine for so long that confusion had replaced conviction. If my dad had wanted to know about salvation, I am not sure I would have been able to explain it clearly.
After my dad passed away, I was frustrated and distraught. When I got home I kept reading my Bible.  One of the first things I tried to figure out was salvation. It had come to be more complicated than simply trusting that Jesus paid my debt and I was to believe in Him. I had to get back the simplicity that was in Christ.  Now that I was beginning to understand my Bible better, when I was able to attend church again, church started sounding funny.  I was hearing words like sacrament, Listening Prayer, Lent, social justice and Mother Teresa.  Since I was raised Catholic, some of these were familiar words, and some of them were words I learned later were associated with Catholicism. After a while, I went in to see the pastor of our Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and asked him, “How come so many Catholic things are coming into the church?” I tried to explain my concerns but he did not seem to understand.
I started taking my Bible to church and following along, something I had not done for many years – and something that was normal to me years ago now felt awkward.  It seemed most people did not carry a Bible anymore.  Now I noticed that occasionally the Bible was not used at all in services or perhaps for only one or two verses.  I started researching nearly every name, every book, and every event that the church promoted.  The pastor said, “We do Listening Prayer.” I started warning people not to do it when I found out its association with eastern mysticism and contemplative prayer.  That resulted in the leadership asking my husband and I to humbly resign from teaching Sunday school.
handwriting Rightnow Media logo (used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act)
Then at some point, I noticed that the pastors started promoting Rightnow Media, an online resource described as the “Netflix of Christian Bible study,” which proclaimed it was “revolutionizing ministry in over 15,000 churches.” Every Sunday at church, it is advertised on the overhead and also verbally on occasion. From what I understand from their website, churches subscribe to it, pay their subscription according to the size of their church, and customize it so their congregation can only access what the pastors want them to see.  I researched some of the speakers advertised on Rightnow Media and noticed many of them were people that discernment ministries warned about such as Rick Warren, several IF:Gathering speakers including Ann Voskamp and Shawna Niequist, Beth Moore, Gary Thomas, Bill Hybels, John Ortberg, John Piper, Francis Chan, Mark Batterson, Andy Stanley, etc.
Rightnow Media also has a series called Hearing God. Although the title says Dallas Willard, the speaker in the session is Richard Foster who heavily promotes contemplative prayer. Rick Warren has a platform at Rightnow Media as well.
Churches seem to be accepting Rightnow Media in droves if my searches to see which churches have offered it are any indication.
Then last month the church started advertising a one-day streaming “Work as Worship Retreat” on February 23, 2018.  As usual, I started researching the speakers.  The first one on the list was Patrick Lencioni. His biography on Rightnow Media did not indicate anything unusual, but I checked out his YouTube videos, and one of the first things he says is that he is a practicing Catholic.  I then learned he also cofounded an organization called “The Amazing Parish.”  On that website, he prays to Mary, and in one of the Amazing Parish’s videos by Jeff Cavins called Compelling Formation, Mr. Cavins refers to the Ignatian Spiritual practices of the Examen and Lectio Divina ( starting about the 22 minute mark). [LT Note: Patrick Lencioni is also a frequent speaker at Willow Creek’s Leadership Summits.]
I also came across another name on Rightnow Media, Chris Lowney. He is on one of their pages called “Centered” with no warning that he is a Catholic and also has Jesuit training. But I found this page, also called “Centered” with Chris Lowney on a decidedly Catholic website, and it plainly says he is Jesuit trained. He also teaches Ignatian business principles.
statue of mary
Catholicism is so very opposite of true Christianity.  If one is a true student of the Catholic Church, then Mary is elevated to the status of Jesus as co-mediatrix; The Pope’s word is elevated above the Word of God; and people canonized by the Catholic Church and called saints are called upon in a Catholic’s prayer – all so very opposite of true Christianity. I wonder if many of the Protestant and evangelical churches using Rightnow Media realize it is slipping in Catholic teachers (not to mention the contemplative/emergent teachers).  We, as Bible believers, are exhorted to “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
By the time I had seen the handwriting on the wall, it was too late for my dad.  In the book of Daniel, Chapter 5, when King Belshazzar drank from the vessels taken from the temple and then praised the gods of silver and gold, in that same hour, the fingers of a man’s hand wrote upon the plaster of the wall, and by then, it was too late for Belshazzar, and he lost his life that night. My hope is that people will see the writing on this wall.  I am not saying it is too late now – but the Bible says there is coming a time when it will be too late (Isaiah 55:6).
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22:10-11; see also Isaiah 55:6)
The Bible gives us warning about false teachers many times:
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.(2 Timothy 3:13)
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.  (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
But we have no excuse for not knowing the truth.  We have the Bible:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21)
We are warned in the Bible that that deception will happen. And it is happening all around us; but God has given us “the weapons of our warfare” (2 Corinthians 10:4), the Rock upon which to stand (Psalm 18:2), and the armor to battle against it (Ephesians 6:11-20).
Rightnow Media is mixing grievous errors with truth then feeding it to gullible sheep, promoting it as quality teaching, and somehow convincing churches to subscribe. It allows the pastors to adjust what their flock can access so that the flock can feed on the proper denominational nutrition when they come to feed at its trough. Their presentation is high quality, catchy, enthusiastic, and very hard to discern where it goes wrong. Parents are happy because now they feel their children can have access to biblical programming that the parents do not have to monitor. My hope is that Rightnow Media will be exposed mostly so that people do not blindly trust its teaching.
Rightnow Media is part of the deception, but it is simply another piece of the puzzle in a web of deception.

republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
LTRP Note: Last week, a Lighthouse Trails reader called our office, wondering about Marcus Borg because one of her grown sons was reading Borg. This tells us that the younger generation of Christians is gleaning from the earlier writers of the emerging church. Certain leaders tried to convince the church that the emerging church had just been a fad and was dead, but we knew this wasn’t true. Last week’s phone call reminded us of this once again. Parents and grandparents, find out what books your young adult children are reading.

By Roger Oakland
Marcus Borg (d. 2015) is a former professor in Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and the author of several books, some of which are Jesus and Buddha, The God We Never Knew, and Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But not Literally. . . . [H]is thinking has greatly influenced the emerging church movement and its leaders. Brian McLaren says he has “high regard”1 for Borg; the two of them once participated in a summer seminar series at an interspiritual center in Portland, Oregon.2 Rob Bell references and praises Borg in Bell’s still-popular book Velvet Elvis.3 Walter Brueggemann,  professor emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary and one of the contributors for Richard Foster’s Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible, considers Borg an essential part of the emerging spirituality. Brueggemann states:
Marcus Borg is a key force in the emerging “new paradigm” of Christian faith.4

Marcus Borg and Rejection of Major Biblical Tenets

Borg explains in his book The God We Never Knew that his views on God, the Bible, and Christianity were transformed while he was in seminary:
I let go of the notion that the Bible is a divine product. I learned that it is a human cultural product, the product of two ancient communities, biblical Israel and early Christianity. As such, it contained their understandings and affirmations, not statements coming directly or somewhat directly from God. . . . I realized that whatever “divine revelation” and the “inspiration of the Bible” meant (if they meant anything), they did not mean that the Bible was a divine product with divine authority.5
This attitude would certainly explain how Borg could say:
Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world.6
If what Borg is saying is true, then we would have to throw out John 3:16 which says God so loved the world He gave His only Son, and we would have to dismiss the theme of a blood offering that is prevalent throughout all of Scripture. In the Old Testament, it is clear:
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)
But Borg rejects this emphasis:
To think that the central meaning of Easter [resurrection] depends upon something spectacular happening to Jesus’ corpse misses the point of the Easter message and risks trivializing the story. To link Easter primarily to our hope for an afterlife, as if our post-death existence depends upon God having transformed the corpse of Jesus, is to reduce the story to a politically-domesticated yearning for our survival beyond death.7
What is behind this mindset of Borg’s? Listen to one New Ager describe what underlies this line of thought:
Jesus was an historical person, a human becoming Christ, the Christos, is an eternal transpersonal condition of being. Jesus did not say that this higher state of consciousness realized in him was his alone for all time. Nor did he call us to worship him. Rather, he called us to follow him, to follow in his steps, to learn from him, from his example.8

Marcus Borg and Mystical Prayer

Marcus Borg is also someone who resonates with mystical spirituality understands the popularity of mystical prayer. He states:
In some mainline denominations, emerging-paradigm [contemplative] Christians are in the majority. Others are about equally divided between these two ways of being Christian.9
Borg  also speaks of “thin places.” One commentator discusses Borg’s ideas on this:
In The Heart of Christianity, Borg writes of “thin places,” places where, to use Eliade’s terminology, the division between the sacred and the profane becomes thin. Borg writes that he owes this metaphor of “thin places” to Celtic Christianity and the recent recovery of Celtic spirituality . . . his understanding of “thin places” is deeply connected to his panentheism, his articulation of God as “the More,” and his—like Eliade—division of the world into layers of reality.10
Borg says these thin places (reached through meditation) are “[d]eeply rooted in the Bible and the Christian tradition,”11 but he, like others, is unable to show biblical evidence that God mandates meditation. Thin places imply that God is in all things, and the gap between God, evil, man, everything thins out and ultimately disappears in meditation:
God is a nonmaterial layer of reality all around us, “right here” as well as “more than right here.” This way of thinking thus affirms that there are minimally two layers or dimensions of reality, the visible world of our ordinary experience and God, the sacred, Spirit.12
1. Statement by Brian McLaren on McLaren’s website:, “What about other websites?”
2. The Center for Spiritual Development, 2006 Summer Seminar called “The Church in the 21st Century” where Brian McLaren and Marcus Borg were two of the speakers,
3. Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), pp. 180, 184.
5. Marcus Borg, The God We Never Knew (New York, NY: HarperCollins, First HarperCollins Paperback Edition, 1998), p. 25.
6. Ibid.
7. Marcus Borg, “Easter About Life, Not Death” (Washington Post/Newsweek “On Faith” column, April 7, 2004,
8. John White, (Science of Mind, September 1981), p. 15.
9. Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 2004), p. 7.
10. Chris Baker, “A Positive Articulation of Marcus Borg’s Theology” (Sandlestraps Sanctuary blog, April 5, 2007,
11. Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity (New York, NY: HarperCollins, First HarperCollins Paperback Edition, 2004), p. 155.
12. Ibid.
(The above are combined extracts from Roger Oakland’s book, Faith Undone.)
Photo from, used with permission from photographer.


 Part of Trump’s budget is the first attempt at welfare reform in several decades — a plan to cut waste, fraud & abuse by giving families 
FOOD instead of FOOD STAMPS.