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Archive for the ‘panentheism’ Category

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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Contemplative Spirituality Concerns
Pt.1 – Introduction
by Chris Lawson

Many people today – Christians and non-Christians – are engaging in Contemplative Spirituality practices. What many do not realize is that the Spiritual Formation “centering prayer” movement, with its mystical and occult methods and techniques, is part of a global Interfaith system of spirituality, a spirituality that is rooted in Eastern mysticism and philosophies such as pantheism (All is God, God is all), monism (All is one) and panentheistic (All in God, God in all) evolutionary occultism (the “hidden” things, “universal cosmic energies,” quantum spirituality, etc).
This short introductory video speaks to fact that the “centering prayer” and “meditation” movements within the the New Spirituality/New Gospel/New Age movement are hostile to the Person, nature and work of Jesus Christ and the biblical Gospel.

Please watch:

http://vimeopro.com/chrislawsonvimeoarchive/contemplative-spirituality-concerns

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Donald Miller, Enneagram, and Who “Feels” Closer To God

In a recent article, popular emergent author Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) pondered who feels closer to God: liberal theologians or conservative theologians. In this article, Miller also deconstructed the personality traits of both liberals v. conservatives through the use of something known as the Enneagram in an effort to answer this question. What in the world is the Enneagram? I’m so glad you asked, because it is something that is rapidly gaining popularity in Christian circles, but it is far from Christian in its beliefs.

More here:

http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2011/05/donald-miller-wonders-who-feels-closer.html

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Who knows better what mysticism is than one who has been over the bridge and back?

“I’m writing this article as a former mystic, who was deeply, deeply deceived by mysticism for a number of years before God graciously opened my eyes and drew me out of it. What I can attest to is that practitioners of mystical practices will generally end up having a panentheistic worldview (the belief that God is “in” all things), as opposed to the Christian worldview, which is that God created all things perfectly good, but that Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden separated man from God, and created a chasm that could not be crossed. But mystics of all religions claim to be able to cross this “divide” between God and man. In my own experiences with mysticism, the Christian worldview was seen as quaint, old-fashioned, and not a very “evolved” belief. This is because, in the panentheistic worldview, if God is already “in” all things, then no separation exists between God and man, and thus the Christian worldview is rejected.”

More here:

What Is Mysticism?
http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-is-mysticism.html

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The music of the very talented Michael Fitzpatrick is helping to lead the way across the interfaith bridge with the Dalai Lama and the Compassion Rising Project.

COMPASSION RISING DVD

A Musical Meditation

Footage chronicling the 40-year unfolding of COMPASSION beginning with the meeting between The Dalai Lama and Merton in 1968, the historic first-visit by helicopter by The Dalai Lama to the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1994, the subsequent Gethsemani Encounter in 1996, and the climactic recording and filming inside Mammoth Cave, the Abbey of Gethsemani, and the Furnace Mountain Zen Temple in 1999. Additional materials include capture of the Interreligious Vigil for World Peace led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the meeting between The Dalai Lama and Muhammad Ali, orchestrated by Millenia Music for the Blessing of the Chamtse Ling Temple in 2003. All of this combined with the soul-stirring music of COMPASSION.

http://web.mac.com/tuningtheplanet/Michael_Fitzpatrick/Compassion_Rising_DVD.html

The Compassion Rising website tells us that this project is dedicated to fulfilling the legacy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Thomas Merton by bringing the world together in Compassion. The idea was based on a theory by Thomas Merton’s friend biologist Rupert Sheldrake called morphic resonance, in which sound vibrations of purest intent (compassion) can be introduced and felt in other parts of the world. Sheldrake believes the earth has consciousness pathways and will receive the music through its nervous system, not unlike the movie Avatar and its pagan message.

More pictures of the ceremonies and rituals in Mammoth cave can be seen here:
http://www.compassionrising.com/Compassion_Rising/Book.html

A forth coming narrative film project by the Dalai Lama Foundation is called Tuning the Planet (see here).

It all started with the Dalai Lama meeting Thomas Merton, whom he called his spiritual brother.

Many Christians today practice contemplative prayer, which came to be known as Centering Prayer in reference to Thomas Merton’s description as prayer that is “centered entirely on the presence of God” (see History of Centering Prayer, Contemplative Outreach). If they knew about this project, and how closely contemplative spirituality resonates with Buddhism, New Age pagan religions and earth worship, would they still go down the contemplative pathway?

Compassion Rising Film Preview

Related:

Thomas Merton and Buddhism
https://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/thomas-merton-and-buddhism/

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Will the new science “prove” that God is in everything?

In a 2009 article in the San Antonio Express-News, it features Thomas Keating, a Catholic monk who has been instrumental in bringing contemplative spirituality out of the monasteries to the layperson. In the article, Keating conveyed what contemplative mystics have been saying for centuries: mysticism is the common ground among all the world’s religions….

More here:

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=4497

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Well known Christian author and lecturer Tony Campolo writes how he finds the thin place every morning on page 26 of his book called Letters to a Young Evangelical.

…I am able to create what the ancient Celtic Christians call “the thin place.”

-Tony Campolo

As Roger Oakland, in his book Faith Undone, says regarding this thin place:

“This term ‘thin place’ [zone] originated with Celtic spirituality (i.e., contemplative) and is in line with panentheism … Thin places imply that God is in all things, and the gap between God, evil, man, everything thins out and ultimately disappears in meditation (pp. 114-115).

Related:

Tony Campolo: On Being “Born Again” by Centering Prayer
http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c58.shtml

*NEW: Note: Tony Campolo’s pathway of choice had led him to accept homosexuality in the church:
Tony Campolo Comes Out of Closet in Support of ‘Full Acceptance’ of Homosexuality in Church
http://www.submergingchurch.com/2015/06/10/tony-campolo-comes-out-of-closet-in-support-of-full-acceptance-of-homosexuality-in-church/

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