Archive for the ‘conferences’ Category

What does the spiritual bridge from east to west have to do with anti-Israel resolutions and same sex resolutions in the Mennonite Church USA denomination?

Ruth Haley Barton, founder of The Transforming Centre[1], was trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation which teaches: “This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality … It is no accident that the most active frontier between Christian and Eastern religions today is between contemplative Christian monks and their Eastern equivalents.” —Tilden Edwards, Shalem Founder[2]

Barton, who could not find peace or direction in her Baptist roots or through reading the Bible and praying, found fulfillment through spiritual direction. Now she incorporates a blend of Eastern and Roman Catholic contemplative spirituality and monastic practices in her retreats and books on practicing the presence of God in the silence and sacred rhythms of prayer. Lately she has been very instrumental in leading entire Protestant and Anabaptist church congregations and their leaders into these same practices through spiritual direction and discernment seminars. . .

More here:

Mennonites Walk Barton’s Bridge (to Rome and beyond)


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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

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


[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/
[7] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/julianofnorwich.htm
[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


Was Satan in charge of music in Heaven?

Was Lucifer originally an angel of 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

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“For 10 minutes at the World Economic Forum here on Wednesday afternoon, a conference room jammed with more than 100 high-powered delegates was entirely silent.
The rare interlude of equanimity came during a panel called Leading Mindfully, a discussion of how meditation was impacting the workplace.
And with a mix of breathing instructions, management theory and personal reflection, the session provided a stark counterpoint to the frenzied discussions about geopolitical instability, currency fluctuations and climate change in nearby rooms.”

Read more here:

World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Turns to Mindfulness Meditation

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Russell Moore, Rick Warren to Join ‘Pope Francis’ With Muslims, Buddhists for Interfaith Conference
by Heather Clark

ROME – Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Saddleback megachurch leader Rick Warren will team up with Roman Catholic Pontiff Francis later this month for an interfaith Vatican conference on marriage and family.

“Complementarity of Man and Woman,” will be held Nov. 17-19 at the Vatican, and is expected to feature more than 30 speakers from over 20 countries. According to the Catholic News Service, those of the Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jaina Shasana, Taoist and Sikh religions will be present, as well as Roman Catholics and professing Christians.

The event is sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. . .

More here:



Rick Warren at the Vatican Humanum Conference: “We All Love Jesus Christ”

Will Rick Warren Play a Role In Persuading Some Calvary Chapel Pastors To Follow His Lead Towards Ecumenical Evangelicalism?

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Who would have thought that the emerging church mixed with the contemplative spiritual element would converge with the anti-Israel campaign?

In the light of all that is going on in the world, what perilous times we are in as we see what is being said and done in the name of Christ to support those who oppose Israel.

“There are many reasons why the upcoming Friends of Sabeel conference in Canada requires a word of caution. Originally scheduled for this October, it has been postponed till next spring. . .
. . . the voices representing Christianity at these Friends of Sabeel conferences appear to be on the same page and claim to have the ‘true’ teaching. However, they are not on the ‘literal’ Bible page. Many of them seem to be opposed to the truth taught in scripture about Israel and may be presenting their own interpretations. These are views held by emerging church leaders, as well as by those who are part of the anti-Israel campaign. Also interesting is how the element of contemplative spirituality is going to be strongly represented at this conference.”

Read more here:

Canadian Friends of Sabeel or Enemies of Israel?

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City Cancels Chick-fil-A Sponsored Event, Cite Owners’ ‘Criminal’ Beliefs

NANAIMO, British Columbia – The city council of a small Canadian town canceled an event in a city-owned facility last month after learning that the event was to be sponsored in part by Chick-fil-A.
Nanaimo, Canada, is a small town in southwestern British Columbia with a population of approximately 85,000. The city had planned to rent out an event center to a Georgia-based leadership organization for a simulcast on May 9, but that changed when city leaders learned that the event would be sponsored in part by Chick-fil-A.

See here:


Watch about the shame of Nanaimo . . .


The Irony of the New Tolerance: It Doesn’t Tolerate Christians

Growing Intolerance for Christianity in U.S.

Religious Tolerance in America

Should Christians be tolerant of other people’s religious beliefs?

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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

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

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

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


*** McLaren’s New Book – A New Kind of Year Long Church Curriculum

Question: “Can / Should we interpret the Bible as literal?

10 Basics Every Creationist Must Know To Boldly Proclaim a Biblical Worldview

Genesis 1: Are the Six Days of Creation Literal or Figurative?

Emergent Church and Biblical Inerrancy-What Does The Emergent Church Believe

Like We Said, Brian McLaren Wants the Minds of Your Children and Grandchildren

Indoctrination……It’s Not Just For Communists. Emergents Like It, Too, for Their “New Kind of Christianity.”

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