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Archive for the ‘books’ Category

“…what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Cor. 6:14

“We do believe… that the discerning reader can benefit greatly from these writings. The following are some of the books that the Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada believes to be beneficial.”
Source: http://www.transformcma.ca/resources-2/

The New Mystics by John Crowder is one such book that the WCD of the C&MA believes to be beneficial to the discerning reader. The following videos show what it is like to partake of communion with this author and New Mystic, John Crowder:

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Note: While Crowder sounds incredibly more intelligent in his book than he appears to be on his videos, The New Mystics is filled with contemplative mysticism and lifts up many false prophets and teachers. On the cover of this book it says:

Discover the power of Mahesh Chvada – William Seymour – Aimee Semple McPherson – George Whitefield – Oral Roberts – Brother Lawrence – Madame Jeanne Guyon – Charles Finney – Todd Bentley – Smith Wigglesworth – Maria Woodworth-Etter – St. John of the Cross – Jonathan Edwards – and many more

These ‘many more’ include Sadhu Sundar Singh (one of Crowders “utmost favorite mystics,” page 31), Lonnie Firsbee, Heidi Baker, St. Teresa of Avila, George Fox, and Madame Jeanne Guyon.

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Recently, more compromise in the C&MA has become evident as seen in Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance (Canada) Promoting Interspiritual, Panentheist Monk, Basil Pennington at Lighthouse Trails.

To add to the already muddy mix, the Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada[1] are embracing the season of Lent this year and are doing 40 days of Lent posts[2]. Also, as Lighthouse Trails reports, on their ‘Deeper Life Resources’ page[3] is a disclaimer:

The following list of resources contain a variety of perspectives that cannot be fully endorsed by the WCD in every manner. We do believe, however, that the discerning reader can benefit greatly from these writings. The following are some of the books that the Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada believes to be beneficial.

While the promotion of the Basil Pennington book is is disappointing, it is not even the most shocking recommendation of all. Another resource they believe to be beneficial is a book called Can You Hear Me? Tuning in to the God Who Speaks by Brad Jersak. This is a book about the practice of listening prayer. Jersak, who believes we can visualize ourselves into the throne room of heaven, is a universalist who does not believe in hell. He has recently become an ordained reader in the Orthodox church, and says he was “’chrismated’ at the end of June (2013) and ordained as a ‘reader’ for the All Saints Monastery…in October.” This was listed in the records of the ARCHDIOCESE OF CANADA, ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA: “Altar server Irenaeus (Bradley) Jersak was tonsured[4] to be a Reader at the Monastery of All Saints of North America in Dewdney, BC.”

Very recently Jersak interviewed Derek Flood who wrote a book called Disarming Scripture[5]. Flood, who blogs at The Rebel God[6], is among others like Brian McLaren who have been wrestling with questions of faith and doubt, violence in the Bible, and the substitutionary atonement of Christ. McLaren has written the forewords in both of his books. In Disarming Scripture, endorsed by Steve Chalke (also a denier of ‘Substitutionary Atonement’) and Jim Wallis, Brian D. Mclaren says “You need Derek Flood.”

If Brad Jersak, Derek Flood and all these men are like minded, why is he listed as an author of a beneficial book by the Western District of the C&MA? Other books by various contemplatives and mystics which are considered beneficial are equally concerning.

Rivers from Eden by Eden Jersak (Brad Jersak’s wife) is a forty-day spiritual exercise in Listening Prayer a lifestyle. Essential Guide to Healing by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark is described by C&MA as “a rich theological and historical foundation for healing in the church today.” However, Bill Johnson can hardly be called theologically sound[7]. The New Mystics by John Crowder is described as an examination of “Christian mystics throughout the ages who focused on the presence and power of God.” This may be the most shocking promotion of all. John Crowder of “Slosh Fest” reputation is often “drunk in the spirit” making animal noises and saying outrageous blasphemous things about Jesus[8].

The other beneficial books listed are mostly the typical contemplative material, such as The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen and Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross. In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson is a book about the offices, or fixed hours of prayer (the Rule of St. Benedict). The foreword is by Phyllis Tickle, who is arm in arm with the usual emerging church leaders and teachers of the new ancient spirituality. Let Go by Fenelon is touted as a classic by one of the church fathers, but Fenelon was the most famous disciple of French mystic and contemplative Madam Jean Guyon. Spiritual Exercises by St. Ignatius Loyola is another telling recommendation. These contemplative writings and exercises were written by the founder of the Jesuits[9].

In all, it appears that discernment in the Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance has died.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?Galatians 3:1

[For those who are genuinely concerned about this denomination and would like to know what to contend and pray for, please read about the muddy mixture of spirituality due to lack of discernment by entering: ‘Christian & Missionary Alliance’ into the search box of this blog.]

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Endnotes:

[1] http://www.transformcma.ca/
[2] http://40days-faithandhope.com/category/lent-posts-2015/
[3] http://www.transformcma.ca/resources-2/
[4] Tonsure is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair on the scalp, as a sign of religious devotion or humility. The term originates from the Latin word tonsūra (to clip, or cut) and referred to a specific practice in medieval Catholicism, abandoned by papal order in 1972. Current usage more generally refers to cutting or shaving for monks, devotees, or mystics of any religion as a symbol of their renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsure
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYbva9J8L2g
[6] http://www.therebelgod.com/
[7] BETHEL CHURCH’S “APOSTLE” BILL JOHNSON: A COMEDY OF ERRORS, PART 1
http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/10/bethel-churchs-apostle-bill-johnson-comedy-errors-part-1/
[8] MYSTIC JOHN CROWDER Exposed – Part 1 of 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNGPA6Idopg
Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKj-pFo11ys
This is Not That: An Analysis of John Crowder’s 
“The New Mystics”
http://www.apostasyalert.org/REFLECTIONS/crowder.htm
[9] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=6844

UPDATE 2015:

Brian McLaren has just endorsed Brad Jersak’s latest book called A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel, published by Plain Truth Ministries (www.ptm.org), where Jersak is a senior editor of their CWR blog (Christianity Without Religion). The recommended reading on the Plain Truth Ministries website speaks volumes (www.ptm.org/quad/bookList.htm). Jersak’s book is reviewed and endorsed by Derek Flood, Richard Rohr, William Paul Young, Brian McLaren, Eugene Peterson.
NOTE: Read more about McLaren’s involvment with Derek Flood here:
Healing the Gospel or Changing it?https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/healing-the-gospel-or-changing-it/

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The former member of a very popular Christian music group wastes no time opening her talk at her church with quotes from Richard Rohr (Franciscan priest of contemplative mystic theology who has taught the equality of Buddha with Christ and the indwelling of God in all things[1]) and Madeleine L’Engle (believed in universal salvation[2]) and Aldous Huxley (humanist whose spiritual interests were parapsychology mysticism and universalism [3]).

In the voice of an angel, with appealing words and songs with perfect pitch and harmony, she tells her story. Initially saved by an invitation to escape hell, the lovely singer with a voice of honey has changed her narrow misconceptions for untruths. It happened after disappointments, trials and sorrows coupled with doubts, that she started reading books. She read Brian McLaren (false teacher[4] who will be visiting her church), Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton (contemplative mystic/panentheist[5]) and Phyllis Tickle (has false views about the Bible, the gospel, nature of God and the Trinity[6] who will also be visiting her church). After accepting their words as truth, this lovely musician concluded that fear based approach to spirituality doesn’t work, and that the most devastating fear is the fear of God. Now, she says, everything belongs (Rohr), and love always wins (Bell). Freed from fear, she is now an open and inclusive pastor and mom who leads worship. The songs of comfort they will be singing from now are centered on how we belong and how we are beloved. The theme of the old hymn Amazing Grace is to be pitied, because we are not wretches. The core of who we are is not unworthiness. Those are old fearful concepts.

But fear not, this changed worship leader has written a lovely new song based on a quote by Julian of Norwich, a universalist and mystic[7] who engaged in meditation to identify with Christ’s suffering, praying and striving to experience fear and bodily pain to achieve union with Christ in many visions. The following Julian of Norwich quote is not quite as pleasant as the one which the new worship song is based on.

“In this sickness I wanted to have every kind of pain, bodily an spiritual, which I should have if I were dying, every fear and assault from devils and every other kind of pain except the departure of the spirit, for I hoped that this would be profitable to me when I should die, because I desired soon to be with my God” -Julian of Norwich, pg 24, Julian of Norwich’s “Showings”: From Vision to Book by Denise Nowakowski Baker [8]

The choice of this fear craving mystic seems somewhat ironic, especially after this worship leader has just insisted that fear based approach to spirituality doesn’t work.[9]

Wrapping up her lulling talk, the pastoress of worship finishes with a prayerful assurance that Jesus told great stories, but it is our stories of our journeys that make God’s grand story.

Watch the half hour sermonette here:

IF: Gathering Leader/Pastor Melissa Greene—A Female Version of McLaren, Bell, Rohr, and Merton
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=17015

Why should this presentation be a concern to North American Christians? Recently, this pastoress has also been given a far reaching platform at other events. Please consider the following questions:

Is this the voice of truth?
What muddy streams of spirituality lurk beneath the perfect pitch and crystal clear harmony of this message?
Who is being influenced by, and accepting, this nice sounding message?
Isn’t universalism and inclusiveness at odds with the Bible?
Can Satan use beautiful things (people, music, words) to draw people into deception?
Is this part of the greater plan of the emerging church network’s agenda for the new kind of inclusive gospel-free spirituality to invade Christianity?
If so, aren’t all those involved in this muddy message… deceivers?

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 Cor. 11: 13-15

Endnotes:

[1] http://apprising.org/2008/05/10/who-is-richard-rohr/
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_L’Engle
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley
[4] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/brianmclaren.htm
[5] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/merton.htm
[6] http://rootedinchrist.org/2010/11/30/the-great-emergence-or-a-great-deception/
http://thebereanlibrary.com/archives/category/phyllis-tickle-2
[7] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/julianofnorwich.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_of_Norwich
[8] https://books.google.ca/books?id=ZEcABAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
[9] For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Cor. 14:33

Related:

Was Satan in charge of music in Heaven?
http://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-music.html

Was Lucifer originally an angel of worship?
https://carm.org/questions/about-demons/was-lucifer-originally-angel-worship

***NEW: (MAY 8, 2015)

Melissa Greene
Melissa Greene is the pastor of worship and arts at GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee. The church made national headlines in January of 2015 as senior pastor, Stan Mitchell, declared his church now accepts homosexual marriage.12
When I pull up Greene’s website, I immediately notice the picture of her sitting in a Yoga position. In a May 25th, 2014 message on her website titled “Worth,” Greene admits to reading emerging church pioneer Brian McLaren’s book, A Generous Orthodoxy (and McLaren spoke at GracePointe in the fall of 2014). Greene favorably quotes other prolific New Spirituality names: Phyllis Tickle, Richard Rohr, Frederick Buechner, Rob Bell, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Thomas Merton, Peter Gomes, Aldous Huxley—a list that reads like a veritable who’s who in emergent and contemplative heresy.
In “Worth,” Greene declares that, “Christianity is broad and diverse.”13 Considering that many of her influences accept all religions as being of God, there is no doubt to what she means when she states this. Greene also made the audacious statement: “The most devastating fear in people’s lives is the fear of God.”14 She attempts to validate her statement by taking verses out of context and misapplying them.

SOURCE: IF it is of God—Answering the questions of IF:Gathering
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=17334

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This should clear up a muddy controversy. . .

Boy Who Claimed He Visited Heaven Reads Bible and Recants Story; LifeWay to Pull Book From Stores

LifeWay Christian Stores has come under fire for selling a book based on a boy who claimed he visited heaven and who is now saying that the story is false.

The book, titled The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, has been available since last year and tells the story of 6-year-old Alex Malarkey who suffered a horrific car accident in 2004. The crash paralyzed Alex and it was unlikely he’d survive after slipping into a coma. He awoke two months later and claimed that angels took him through the gates of heaven to meet Jesus.

Malarkey addressed the validity of the story in a letter titled “An Open Letter to LifeWay and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven.”

“I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible,” he explained. “People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth.”

He also laid out what he now believes is the clear path to salvation in the letter.

“It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of Heaven outside of what is written in the Bible… not by reading a work of man,” he stated.

More here:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/boy-who-claimed-he-visited-heaven-reads-bible-and-recants-story-lifeway-to-pull-book-from-stores-132646/

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Father Thomas Ryan is a catholic priest who directs the North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington DC for his community, the Paulist Fathers.[1] He also coordinates ecumenical and inter-religious relations for the paulist community in Canada. A certified Kripalu yoga teacher, one of the sacred practices he teaches is YOGA PRAYER: AN EMBODIED CHRISTIAN PRACTICE.[2] Last fall Fr Thomas Ryan wrote several guest blogs for ‘Shalem Institute’s Living Contemplatively’[3].

This week Father Thomas Ryan will be speaking with Dr. Gordon Smith, President of Ambrose University College and Seminary, in Calgary, Alberta (the seminary of Christian and Missionary Alliance and The Church of the Nazarene). Together they will be leading “Catholics and Evangelicals in God’s Mission—Together,” which is an opportunity to…

“…come together to talk about Christian unity and mission. Church unity is a global issue that matters: Jesus prayed in the closing hours of his life for the unity of his followers, and the church’s vocation is to be a sign in our world of God’s reconciling power. The truth is that Evangelicals and Catholics share much more in common than not.”[4]

This comes as no surprise to those who have been watching the muddy streams of religion converge. Indeed, a picture says a thousand words.[5]

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[1] http://www.kripalu.org/presenter/V0000213/fr_thomas_ryan
[2] http://www.paulistproductions.org/movies-yoga-prayer.html
[3] http://livingcontemplatively.org/tag/fr-thomas-ryan/
[4] http://ambrose.edu/global-impact-week
[5] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=14806

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PREVIOUSLY POSTED ON THIS BLOG:

C&MA and Ambrose: Welcoming Spiritually Muddy Theology
https://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/ambrose-welcoming-spiritually-muddy-theology/

Are Ambrose Lecturers Leading Students into Muddy Waters?
https://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/are-ambrose-lecturers-leading-students-into-muddy-waters/

Christian & Missionary Alliance Students Taught to Listen to God – Contemplative Style
https://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/christian-missionary-alliance-students-taught-to-listen-to-god-contemplative-style/

RELATED RESOURCES:

Evangelicals and Catholics Together – Part 1
(December 1994 – Volume 1, Issue 2)
Was the Reformation a mistake, or do fundamental points of doctrine still separate the Roman Catholic Church from us?
Read Parts 1-3 here:
http://www.svchapel.org/resources/articles/24-ecumenicalism/568-evangelicals-and-catholics-together-part-1

Evangelicals & Catholics: The Next Generation?
McMahon, T.A.
http://www.thebereancall.org/node/5204

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If your life was spared by a Bible that blocked a bullet or two, who would you give the credit to?

FOX News reports that Eugene Peterson is glad to take the credit for a ‘Bible’ that stopped two bullets, saving the life of a bus driver.

Reached at his home in Lakeside, Mont., Eugene H. Peterson, author of “The Message,” told FoxNews.com that he was thrilled to know his book stopped bullets.

That’s wonderful,” said Peterson, who is 81. “I’ve heard stories about that happening during the second World War. I’m glad to be in the club.”

Bible stops two bullets to save life of Ohio bus driver, police say
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/24/bible-stops-two-bullets-to-save-life-ohio-bus-driver-police-say/

How could Eugene Peterson take the credit for a bullet-blocking Bible? The message is clear as mud. Maybe it’s because The Message is just “his book” and not really a Bible.

See:

“What is The Message (MSG)?”
http://www.gotquestions.org/The-Message-MSG.html

The Message
http://www.bible-researcher.com/themessage.html

What kind of message is THE MESSAGE?
http://www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/Message.html

“The Message” is a New Age Bible
http://ltwinternational.org/the-message-is-a-new-age-bible/

IS THE MESSAGE BIBLE DECEIVING CHRISTIANS?
http://standupforthetruth.com/2011/06/is-the-message-bible-deceiving-christians/

Update:

Even ABC News got it right. In reporting this incident, they refer to The Message as a ‘religious book’ and ‘a devotional book titled “The Message,”’here:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/02/religious-book-saves-bus-drivers-life-from-gunshots/

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

Not long ago…

RICK WARREN, CHELSEA CLINTON TALK GAY MARRIAGE, DANIEL PLAN
http://standupforthetruth.com/2012/12/rick-warren-chelsea-clinton-talk-gay-marriage-daniel-plan/

Next week…

Clintons bring Barbra Streisand and Rick Warren to Health Matters conference

LA QUINTA — President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton will return to the Coachella Valley to host the third annual Health Matters conference Jan. 13-15 at the La Quinta Resort and Club. The Clintons will host a lineup of experts and celebrities that includes appearances by Barbra Streisand, Reverend Rick Warren, Montel Williams and Billy Blanks.

The conference features a series of health and wellness seminars and fitness events in an effort to promote healthier living in the Coachella Valley and beyond.

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20140106/NEWS01/301060007/health-matters-2014-lineup-barbra-streisand-rick-warren?nclick_check=1

Related:

Special Report:Rick Warren’s New Health and Wellness Initiative Could Have Profound Repercussions on Many
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=5580

Rick Warren’s new book “Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life” awash with doctrines of demons November 12, 2013
http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/mwest/131112

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