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Archive for November, 2009

They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 1 John 4:5

Episcopal Priest Ed Bacon says it’s a gift from God. So the popular minister says it, the famous Oprah ponders it, the enlightened guest accepts it, and the audience applauds it. It’s about spirituality, they say. Really? A gift, they say. The Word of God also says this is a gift, of sorts. Three times in the first chapter of Romans we read that “God gave them over” to what they wanted. So in this sense, the popular voices are correct, God will ‘give’ this to all those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

Romans 1:26-28

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What is “soul care”?

Soul Care: New Term, Same Ol’ Thing

Contemplative terms always seem to be changing. What is called one thing today may be exchanged for a new term tomorrow. A relatively new term for “Spiritual Direction” is “Soul Care.” In Biola University’s Masters program, Spiritual Formation and Soul Care , the program “trains leaders in soul care to be spiritual mentors, directors and teachers who will assist others in their journey of growth in Christ and His body.” This program incorporates contemplative experiences and “Soul Care Practicum.” Clearly Biola sees a relation between soul care and contemplative spirituality.

Where did the term Soul Care come from anyway? In the late nineties, contemplative and New Age promoter, David Benner, wrote a book called The Care of Souls, and then later wrote one called Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls. Thomas Moore wrote Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life , and there are other books with similar titles. Nearly all of them promote spiritual direction and contemplative spirituality.

More here:

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=451

Who else uses the term “soul care”?

*Eastern Mennonite Seminary:

Seminary Provides ‘Soul Care’ to Community
http://www.emu.edu/seminary/features/spiritual_direction.html

*Mennonite Church Canada:

Soul Care: How to Plan and Guide Inspirational Retreats
www.mennonitechurch.ca/resourcecentre/ResourceView/2/5876

*Willow Creek:
http://www.growingleadership.com/healthysoul/speaker.asp

These are only a few of the well known Christian organizations and seminaries who are using nice sounding new terms to cover up the muddy waters of contemplative spirituality as they lead blind, hungry and thirsty sheep over the bridge to Rome.

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The purpose of this blog is not to spread rumors, gossip or false information, but to research and expose the deception behind the blending of spirituality and mysticism with Christianity. It’s a muddy, messy mixture. For example, not only has Jesuit spirituality infiltrated some evangelical churches (see Muddy Spirituality at Circle Drive), it’s been rumored for quite some time now that there is Freemasonry within some Christian & Missionary Alliance Churches of Canada. But is this true?

It’s no secret that there are secret Masonic handshakes:

Secret Handshakes
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/codex_magica/codex_magica08.htm

It is also no secret that many Alliance churches do not take a stand against Freemasonry and allow lodge members to be involved within. In the light of this, an interesting question has been brought up regarding the Masonic handshake symbol that is pictured on the front page of the website of a certain Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Alberta, Canada.

In answer to this concern, so often the use of symbols such as this are unintentional and nothing more than a coincidence, and we must never jump to conclusions. However churches must ask themselves what messages they are giving with the symbols they choose to represent Christianity. Especially in times like these when the cross is being removed from many churches so as not to offend, even though the gospel is an offence.

More information about whether secret Masonic handshakes and Christianity are a good mixture or not can be found here:

Secret Masonic Handshakes, Passwords, Grips
And Signs Of Blue Lodge Masonry

http://www.ephesians5-11.org/handshakes.htm

FreeMasons -VS- Christianity DEBATE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha6aVozPSmg

[*Some might say this is nothing more than an ancient symbol of friendship. Even if this is so, the handshake has never been the symbol of the church, and it is unusual to use it as one, especially since it has connotations with freemasonry. Why not have the cross or the dove symbol? Why a handshake? If a church wants to use an ancient symbol of Christianity, why not use the ichthys, or Messianic Seal of the Church of Jerusalem? ]

[*Others have mistakenly assumed that “tall slender steeples” on “churches” are also masonic symbols. Perhaps they are confusing such churches with Mormon temples who do have tall steeples, but NO cross, and are not “churches,” as they preach another gospel than that of our Lord Jesus Christ.]

Learn about freemasonry in the church here:

FREEMASONRY, MASONIC LODGE AND THE SHRINERS: ARE THEY COMPATIBLE WITH BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY?
http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-tube/video.php?videoid=4397

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Efforts Underway to Train U.S. Military Chaplains and Personnel in Eastern Mysticism

As a follow up to our recent posting about a new film, The Men Who Stare at Goats, we are issuing this special news report about a project currently underway with US Military Chaplains and other military personnel to receive ongoing training in contemplative mysticism. Those who understand the serious implications of the contemplative/emerging spirituality will likely be quite troubled by this report.

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society was founded in 1991 and was inspired by retreats led by Thich Nhat Hanh (a Buddhist) and Ram Dass (a Hindu). The Center states that its “intention is ‘not to isolate meditation, but to reflect on the contemplative traditions as powerful techniques that have potential for beneficial change in American society.’” 1 The Center’s objective is to bring meditation into all facets, both religious and secular, of society.

More here:

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=421

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How far should you walk over this bridge? If you’ve taken the following four steps, you may have gone too far already.


ECUMENISM … Where do you draw the line?

by Sandy Simpson, Deception In The Church, 1998

This is a short essay to illustrate, with some irony, just how unbiblical, subjective and relativistic Ecumenism really is. A few definitions first:

ecumenism – n : the doctrine of the ecumenical movement promoting cooperation and better understanding among different
religious denominations; aimed at universal Christian unity [syn: {ecumenicism}, {ecumenicalism}]
interfaith – adj : involving persons of different religious faiths; “an interfaith marriage”; “interfaith good will” (Websters Dictionary)

“Ecumenism” starts innocently enough. Is begins with a tolerant perspective of other denominations. Then it moves on to acceptance of cults. Finally it ends in a desire for unity with other religions, evolving into what is called “Interfaith”. This process is brought about by a wrong exegesis of Scripture, using verses such as the following out of context:

More here:

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/ecumenism2.htm

Related:

Universalism- a Problem for Everyone
http://www.letusreason.org/Curren31.htm

Is the Change that has Come over the Church Come over you?
http://www.letusreason.org/Pent53.htm

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Enter the Labyrinth

by Mike Oppenheimer

Let Us Reason Ministries

Walking the labyrinth has become a popular spiritual exercise across the country and around the world. I first read of it in Leadership Magazine, a Christian publication and became a bit concerned, since looking into it further I’m definitely concerned.

Labyrinths are said to been used for over 3000-3500 years (depending who you ask), accurate dating has been difficult. We are told by those who promote their use that Labyrinths are ancient and have been a part of the sacred landscape through human history. Those who use the labyrinth describe them as a pattern with power and a purpose. They are called “divine imprints,” that symbolize an archetype of wholeness. The Labyrinth is said to encourage healing, clarity, and peacefulness. There are claims of profound experiences as they affect the people who use them by connecting them with the deepest part of themselves. Labyrinths can often have a particular “specialty” in healing, improving ones health or alleviating symptoms of certain diseases.

More here (note picture of labyrinth at Eastern Mennonite University):

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=390

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Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope to ‘seek closer ties’

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope agreed to seek closer relations between Anglicans and Catholics at a meeting in Rome, the Vatican has said.

It follows tensions over the Vatican’s offer to welcome disenchanted Anglicans into the Catholic fold.

Pope Benedict’s proposal would allow Anglicans to convert while preserving many of their traditions and practices.

A Vatican statement said the “cordial” talks reiterated “the shared will” to move toward closer relations.

More here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8371807.stm

Also see:

HOME TO ROME
by Roger Oakland

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