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Archive for May, 2014

Now see who has crossed the bridge to walk the inter-religious pagan pathway….

Labyrinth transforms prayer life, Baptists say
The ancient practice which involves walking a maze while praying has become more popular among Baptists as Christians in general are adopting more eclectic spiritual disciplines.

Rita Martin knows a thing or two about prayer as a lifelong Baptist who raised a family in the church.

Or at least she thought she did until this past Maundy Thursday when she participated in a labyrinth prayer session with other members of her congregation at Vinton Baptist Church in Vinton, Va.

Labyrinths vary in size and patterns, but generally feature a maze that participants walk slowly and prayerfully, usually concentrating on a particular verse of Scripture, the name of Christ or another spiritual concept. The practice is growing in popularity among Baptists as they explore unfamiliar spiritual disciplines to deepen their faith…

More at source:

http://abpnews.com/faith/item/28668-labyrinth-transforms-prayer-life-baptists-say#.U2tvDUu9LCR

*THE TRUTH about THE LABYRINTH:

The Labyrinth Journey: Walking the Path to Fulfillment?
By Carl Teichrib
http://www.forcingchange.org/the_labyrinth_journey

Enter the labyrinth
http://www.letusreason.org/Nam30.htm

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A successfully convincing deception takes time and involves careful, deliberate planning. This is especially true when age old truths of the Bible are re-imagined and re-told in new ways in order to bring about change through a new kind of evolutionary Christianity that converges religion, universalism and spirituality to children.

A few years ago, before his Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity conference in Washington, Brian McLaren was asked a question regarding his vision for Children’s Ministry:

Question: Do you have or know of resources for children’s ministry which are aligned with your vision for the new church?

Answer: This is a big passion – maybe obsession – of mine: the need for curricula that introduce kids and youth to life in the way of Christ – and does so in the new emerging paradigm. It brings to mind something I once heard Walter Brueggemann say about theology: teaching theology is like teaching kids about sex. You don’t tell people more than they can handle, but you don’t teach them things you’ll have to unteach them later. So much of what we teach kids now will need to be untaught or at least modified in a major way later …
So I’m glad to hear about these two options you recommend … You’re also familiar, I imagine, with Godly Play, which provides truly helpful approaches. I also think that the Network of Biblical Storytellers has a lot to offer in this regard, although they don’t produce curricula.
This will be an important theme of a gathering I will be part of next May in Washington, DC – Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity. You can get information here … I hope you can come … My hope is that from this conference, initiatives to develop the needed curricula will emerge. I know we need this immediately, yet I also know these things take time.

-Brian McLaren @ brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/thank-you-for-your-clarity.html

Because “these things take time,” there is no specific children’s curricula thus far, but McLaren has rewritten a new overview of the Bible which he is recommending for churches to use as a year long curriculum[1].

Setting up new material that teaches a new kind of evolutionary Christianity for children is a complicated business and takes time. This is because even the children’s curricula that he feels he can personally recommend does not adhere to his interpretation of Genesis. For example, he recommends Godly Play[2], but this resource teaches the literal 6 day creation, an ‘old assumption’ according to McLaren who is a ‘billions of years’ old earth advocate. This could be one of the reasons why he feels the urgency of obsession, as he puts the wheels into motion to re-imagine his own (specifically ‘McLaren correct’) new children’s curriculum.

Pray and watch, and listen for the tune of the Pied Piper of Change. And teach your children well. These are perilous times.

6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
7 Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 3

Notes:

[1] See:
*Muddy Emerging Convergence in Sunday School Curriculum
https://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/muddy-emerging-convergence-in-sunday-school-curriculum/
*McLaren’s New Book – A New Kind of Year Long Church Curriculum
http://mennolite.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/mclarens-new-book-a-new-kind-of-year-long-church-curriculum/

[2] Godly Play® Resources in Ashland, Kansas, provides Godly Play® products for Christian education and spiritual direction for children. The goal of Godly Play® is to teach children and adults the art of using religious language and to help them become fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives.
http://www.godlyplayresources.com/?view=godly-play
*Godly Play offers various kits which reveal a Roman Catholic flavour, such as the following:
The Saints, Volume 7 (Catherine of Sienna, Julian of Norwich, St. Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, etc.):
http://www.godlyplayresources.com/?cn=Volume+7+%2D+Saints&c=43
Circle of the Church Year wooden
http://www.godlyplayresources.com/?pn=GP200%2DCircle+of+the+Church+Year+wooden&cn=Volume+2+%2D+Fall+Lessons&p=2475&c=44
Godly Play Calendar of the Church Year:
youtube.com/watch?v=e6yb-yNLls4

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Brian McLaren, who said a few years ago that everything must change, proposes that in order to keep the next generation in church, we must deal with the way that Christian children and teens have been taught, or are currently being taught. Therefore, the curriculum must be changed. McLaren and friends seem to agree that one area where the church has failed is by teaching children a literal interpretation of the Bible, especially when it comes to the book of Genesis. Recently, McLaren and his associates put together a conference to try to change everything that children and youth are learning about Christianity. Here is part of what he had to say when questioned after the event . . .

You recently convened a conference on ‘Children, youth and a new kind of Christianity’ – what was that event all about and why did you draw it together?
There is a group of us in the United States who have been doing a lot of creative work on what it means to be Christians and what church is about, especially focussed on young adults and adults. We’ve done a lot of creative work with youth, but very often we’re still providing our children with the same kind of traditional curricula. As a result, in some ways we’re having to do repair work on those children when they reach adolescence and then adulthood.
For a number of years we’ve been saying all of our creative work for youth and young adults, ‘how would that affect the way we teach children?’ So, for example, if we teach children a way of reading the first few chapters of Genesis that gives them an anti-evolutionary bias, then we’ve got to deal with that when they turn 14 or 16 and they’re ready to leave the faith because it’s so opposed to science. So that was one dimension of the event.

Source: Q&A with Brian McLaren
http://www.childrenswork.co.uk/main/article/brianmclaren

The grave concern with McLaren’s new idea to deal with kids who are going through stages of doubt in regards to creation vs. evolution (as he did at that age) is that McLaren does not hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible. He has stated that  .  .  .

“Christians are in “deep denial” over the continuous evolution of the Christian faith which allows the work of Charles Darwin to be celebrated, not feared.

Source: Brian McLaren: Christians in Denial Over Evolution of Faith
http://www.christianpost.com/news/brian-mclaren-christians-in-denial-over-evolution-of-faith-48703/

The article at the above link also says that McLaren “rejects the Bible’s narrative of Eden, the fall, condemnation, salvation, and heaven or hell/damnation” and that he
“criticizes evangelicals for holding onto what he perceives as obsolete doctrines instead of making faith relevant to the 21st century.”

The spiritual danger in viewing the book of Genesis, or the entire Bible, as allegorical rather than literal is that the meaning of doctrines can then be changed, and no longer accepted as the basics of Christianity. Anyone who denies the redemption from eternal punishment in hell through the blood Christ shed on the cross, and re-imagines a new kind of Christianity, as McLaren has done, has placed his soul in eternal peril. But the even bigger danger is when the teachers of this re-imagined Christianity target the minds of children and youth.

Later this month, McLaren will be speaking at Faith Forward 2014, another conference about re-imagining ministry with children and youth. In the following video, Brian McLaren and co-planner Dave Csinos discuss looking forward to the conference. During the conversation, Csinos says, “maybe we need not just change the packaging, maybe we just need to tell better stories.” McLaren agrees and says that “we as adults need to be story formed and story shaped people.” Through their own creative efforts at this gathering, they hope to fill the void, the old methods are not working, and this gathering will bring together creative people who are experimenting… a community of co-conspirators re-imagining together . . .


__________

Is the Bible just a bunch of stories that need to be changed for children? Does Sunday School curricula that contains old doctrines need to be re-imagined?

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Cor. 10:11

When Scripture is viewed as just an allegory, the absolutes disappear, and the meaning becomes subject to conjecture and opinions of man. This is what leaves a void that opens the door to all kinds of substitutions for the truth. This is how heresy, mysticism and contemplative spirituality are being introduced into the church, labelled as the ‘new kind of Christianity.’ The muddy lie is so smooth that this new kind of evolutionary Christianity has slipped into every area of the church, and is now sliding into the Sunday School curriculum, thanks to those who don’t even believe that the Word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

In one of his books, Brian McLaren states, “Scripture is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it” (McLaren, p. 162 Generous Orthodoxy, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004)

McLaren fails to notice that Jesus took scripture literally whenever he quoted from the Old Testament. In contrast, McLaren twists scripture when he quotes it. For example, he has suggested that …

“the Old Testament priest Melchizedek was of a different religion than Abraham, and Abraham used a mystical practice to connect with Melchizedek. Thus McLaren draws this conclusion: “[W]e discover practices for our own faith in an encounter with someone of another faith””

Source: Brian McLaren’s Hope for the Future – The Minds of Your Grandchildren
http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/brian-mclarens-hope-for-the-future-the-minds-of-your-grandchildren/

Is this why McLaren celebrates Ramadan?

In truth, had McLaren studied the Bible in depth, instead of re-imagining it, he would have discovered that Melchizedek, which means “king of righteousness,” was king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest of God Most High who worshipped the true God. According to Psalm 110:4, the priesthood of the Messiah is the order of Melchizedek, and Hebrews 7:3 alludes to Melchizedek as a possible theophany.

Sadly, McLaren and friends may be correct about one thing – many teenagers and young adults in our culture are leaving church. It’s the conclusion on the solution which is incorrect. Teaching a non-literal interpretation of the Bible is not the way to keep the youth in church. If they stay in these new kind of emerging ‘churches’ that are void of the power of God’s unchanging Word, today’s youth will fill the void with a counterfit spirituality, as their emerging ‘church’ leaders have done.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Related:

*** McLaren’s New Book – A New Kind of Year Long Church Curriculum
http://mennolite.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/mclarens-new-book-a-new-kind-of-year-long-church-curriculum/

Question: “Can / Should we interpret the Bible as literal?
http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-literal.html

10 Basics Every Creationist Must Know To Boldly Proclaim a Biblical Worldview
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n2/basics

Genesis 1: Are the Six Days of Creation Literal or Figurative?
http://www.gci.org/bible/genesis/sixdays

Emergent Church and Biblical Inerrancy-What Does The Emergent Church Believe
http://youthapologeticstraining.com/emergent-church-and-biblical-inerrancy/

Like We Said, Brian McLaren Wants the Minds of Your Children and Grandchildren
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=9116

Indoctrination……It’s Not Just For Communists. Emergents Like It, Too, for Their “New Kind of Christianity.”
http://www.solasisters.com/2012/04/indoctrinationits-not-just-for.html

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But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Jeremiah 7:24

Erwin McManus at Biola Media Event: The Church Will Become the Epicenter of Imagination

STUDIO CITY, Calif. – Pastor and author Erwin McManus, founder of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, told hundreds of current and aspiring entertainment industry professionals that God’s gift of imagination is license to create at the highest level during the keynote session at the Biola Media Conference Saturday.
“I am so convinced that part of the artistic process, part of the power of being a storyteller is to resonate with the voice that calls humanity back to the God who always calls us to Him, to silence all the voices that tell us what we lack,” said McManus. “I don’t want us to spend our lives worrying about all the stories that others are telling about us.”
In his recently released book, The Artisan Soul, McManus pens “a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance.” During his talk at the conference and in his book, he “not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence, but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art.” It is evident that he celebrates the spiritual process that can help people discover their true selves. McManus demonstrates that “we all carry within us the essence of an artist.”

More here:
http://www.christianpost.com/news/erwin-mcmanus-at-biola-media-event-the-church-will-become-the-epicenter-of-imagination-119174/

Even though his goal is to unabashedly “destroy Christianity”[1], many Christian organizations have promoted Erwin McManus, including Rick Warren, Focus on the Family, Willow Creek[2], and Power to Change[3], originally known as Campus Crusade for Christ (founded by Bill Bright)[4].

Notes:

1] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/erwinmcmanus.htm
2] http://news.willowcreek.org/2013/06/willow-creek-welcomes-erwin-mcmanus-to-midweek-experience/
3] http://store.powertochange.org/c-3-soul-cravings.aspx
http://powertochange.com/crave/
http://powertochange.com/itv/spirituality/crave-the-documentary/
4] http://powertochange.com/organization/about/

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MAJOR CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE ACCUSED OF ‘PUSHING MYSTICISM’
Controversial prayer technique at evangelical gathering
By Jim Fletcher

A major Christian church-leadership organization, which brought thousands of pastors and church workers together in Carrollton, Texas, this week, raised the eyebrows of some attendees because of its promotion of “contemplative spirituality.”

The event, called “Catalyst Dallas,” was sponsored by Atlanta-based Catalyst and featured speakers Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv, filmmaker Ryan Leak, corporate management expert Patrick Lencioni and author Jen Hatmaker, among many others.

In a workshop Tuesday afternoon, Phileena Heuertz led the audience in a “centering prayer,” which detractors argue opens the door to altered states of consciousness and possibly occult influences.

The critics say that centering prayer, in contrast to meditating on Scripture and on God, is a non-thinking, emptying of the mind in pursuit of knowledge that cannot be perceived through the natural senses and the mind…

More here:

http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/christian-confab-raises-mystical-eyebrows/

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RICK WARREN, JEAN VANIER, AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

The Warren- Arroyo EWTN interview that aired on YouTube April 11, 2014 provided many insights regarding the “New Evangelicalism” that is presently unfolding. Rather than lines being drawn in the sand, walls are coming down and ecumenical unity is being established. If Rick Warren and his followers represent the direction many former “Protestants” are headed, it is only a matter of time for the coming One World Ecumenical Religion to be established. The Jesuit plan to bring the “separated brethren Home to Rome” will have been accomplished. Those who refuse to follow will be singled out and considered “heretics.” Is it possible that persecution for these “resistors” is in store?
One revelation that came out of the interview was the fact that Warren and his Saddleback Church had hosted a delegation from Rome to discuss the New Evangelization Program…

More here:

http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c146rickwarren.shtml

*See Parts 1-4 of the 5 part series here:

http://www.understandthetimes.org/rwmainpage.shtml

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NOW OPRAH VIEWERS CAN MEET A WITCH, PRACTICE A RITUAL CIRCLE

Let me start by saying that Christians LOVE the sticky mess that Soul Pancake and Oprah are. The biggest Emergent leadership conference, Catalyst, hosted Soul Pancake creator Rainn Wilson recently so that young upcoming leaders could incorporate this mind-boggling spirituality into their Christian teachings. And we reported last year that Oprah Winfrey’s anything-goes “Soul Pancake” spirituality channel is now promoting “Past Life Regression” therapy. This is nothing more than the Buddhist teachings of reincarnation. Yet Christians in her audience see no problem with this. And don’t even get us started on Oprah’s new tour with apostate heretic Rob Bell.

But witchcraft?

More here:

http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/05/now-oprah-viewers-can-meet-witch-practice-ritual-circle/

Related:

Rob Bell to Join Oprah Winfrey, Other Handpicked Thought Leaders for ‘Life You Want’ Tour
http://www.christianpost.com/news/rob-bell-to-join-oprah-winfrey-other-handpicked-thought-leaders-for-life-you-want-tour-116902/

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