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Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Question: “What is the difference between religion and spirituality?”

Answer: Before we explore the difference between religion and spirituality, we must first define the two terms. Religion can be defined as “belief in God or gods to be worshipped, usually expressed in conduct and ritual” or “any specific system of belief, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics.” Spirituality can be defined as “the quality or fact of being spiritual, non-physical” or “predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.” To put it briefly, religion is a set of beliefs and rituals that claim to get a person in a right relationship with God, and spirituality is a focus on spiritual things and the spiritual world instead of physical/earthly things.

The most common misconception about religion is that Christianity is just another religion like Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Sadly, many who claim to be adherents of Christianity do practice Christianity as if it were a religion . . .

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/religion-spirituality.html#ixzz3XL4fjGBC

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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)
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/mennonites-walk-bartons-bridge-to-rome/

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Have the muddy streams of spiritual convergence with Christianity (mixed with the new tolerance and political correctness) been the recipe for perfect peace . . . or the final perfect storm? Watch and read and pray.

Christian Persecution worldwide ISLAM The Raging Storm Breaking News March 2015:

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Judge Jeanine: Barack Obama defends Islam by shaming Christianity:

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Read:

Rev. Graham: ‘Storm of Islam’ is Coming; ‘Persecution’ in USA Because Obama is ‘Very Sympathetic to Islam’
http://cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/rev-graham-storm-islam-coming-persecution-usa-because-obama-very-sympathetic

Rewriting History by Jill Martin Rische HERE (www.olivetreeviews.org)
Jill Martin Rische blogs here:
http://www.waltermartin.com/blog.html

Dear Churches in America: Prepare to Be Treated Like 1st Century Christians in Rome
http://www.christianpost.com/news/dear-churches-in-america-prepare-to-be-treated-like-1st-century-christians-in-rome-138025/

WRITER’S BLOC SLOGGING THROUGH EVANGELICAL BLOGGING
Exclusive: Jim Fletcher discusses agenda to marginalize whistleblowers
http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/slogging-through-evangelical-blogging/

CHRISTIANITY’S DECLINE IN AMERICA COULD LEAD TO COLLAPSE LIKE ROMAN EMPIRE
http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/05/13/oreilly-christianitys-decline-in-america-could-lead-to-collapse-like-roman-empire/

‘Adios, America’
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/dgreenfield/adios-america/

‘All Churches in America Have Muslim Spies in Them’ Who Are ‘Cataloging’ Every Jew and Christian in Preparation for Jihad, Warns Author Avi Lipkin
http://www.christianpost.com/news/all-churches-in-america-have-muslim-spies-in-them-who-are-cataloging-every-jew-and-christian-in-preparation-for-jihad-warns-author-avi-lipkin-140432/

WILL AMERICA REPENT OR WILL AMERICA BE DESTROYED?
http://standupforthetruth.com/2015/06/will-america-repent-or-will-america-be-destroyed/

NIGHT IS FALLING
The agenda to marginalize Christians
Olive Tree Ministries
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com

PRAY ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Unity not uniformity, diversity not division
by Jonathan Bird

Christians around the world observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity each January. This year the Week fell on the 18th to the 25th, and I joined more than 100 other people, representing about a dozen congregations, at the Unity not Uniformity, Diversity not Division conference held on the 16th and 17th, organized by three Protestant congregations in Richmond.
Jonathan Coutts of Richmond Alliance Church (Christian & Missionary Alliance), Micah Smith of Emmanuel Christian Community (independent, with Brethren and charismatic renewal roots) and Albert Chu of The Tapestry (Christian Reformed) co-sponsored the conference.
The keynote speaker was Gordon Smith, President of Ambrose University (Alliance and Nazarene) in Calgary.
The conference centred on three presentations by Smith who outlined an Evangelical Protestant case for an ecumenism that includes Catholics and other mainline traditions. He began with an appeal to Scripture, explaining that the New Testament everywhere teaches there is only one Church and that this truth is foregrounded the most in Ephesians. . .

More here:
http://lightmagazine.ca/2015/02/two-conferences-focusing-on-christian-unity/

Keynote speaker Gordon T. Smith (previously Vice President and Dean of Regent College), is the new president of Ambrose University College Seminary. The college is a merger of the Christian & Missionary Alliance (Canada) with The Church of the Nazarene (Canada). Smith has written several books. The Voice of Jesus, is built on Roman Catholic spiritual traditions of John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Ignatius of Loyola. Alone With The Lord is a self guided prayer plan adapted from The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.

Read more about the link between Smith and the Jesuits, here: Ambrose University College hires Jesuit-educated contemplative spirituality proponent as its new president.

It appears that more than one evangelical denomination is being slowly persuaded by the Jesuit agenda to come together in an ecumenical plan and cross the bridge to Rome.

Related:

The Jesuit Agenda and the Evangelical/Protestant Church
http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c97.shtml

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

Catholics and Evangelicals together at Ambrose
https://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/catholics-and-evangelicals-together-at-ambrose/

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/

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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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Franklin Graham Blasts Duke University’s Muslim Call to Prayer; Tells Donors to ‘Withhold Their Support’

Duke University has come under fire for making the decision air the Muslim call to prayer on Friday, beginning this week; Rev. Franklin Graham has come out against the school’s decision.

“This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission,” Christy Lohr Sapp, Duke Chapel’s associate dean for religious life, said in a statement to Duke Today. “It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.”

The Muslim call to prayer, known as the adhan will air for three minutes at a “moderately amplified” level to announce the call to prayer, and an English translation will follow. The service will take place in the chapel basement every Friday at 1:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Members of the Duke Muslim Students Association will perform the chant, which will be released from the chapel’s bell tower. . .

More here:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/franklin-graham-blasts-duke-universitys-muslim-call-to-prayer-tells-donors-to-withhold-their-support-132635/#!

Update:

Duke backs down, cancels Muslim call to prayer from chapel tower
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/01/15/allahu-akbar-duke-university-to-broadcast-muslim-call-to-prayer-from-chapel/

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Do We All Believe in the Same God?
By Dr. Stephen M. Kirby

A commonly heard claim is that Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in “the same God.” These are comforting words and of great assistance to those wishing to engage in interfaith dialogues and tri-faith ventures. But is this true? To answer that question, let’s look at what is said and taught about Jews and Christians by Allah, the god of Islam, and Muhammad, Allah’s prophet. We’ll start with the Koran.

The Koran

Muslims believe the Koran is the infallible, timeless and perfect word of Allah. So what does Allah say in the Koran about Jews and Christians?

To set the stage, Allah states that the only religion acceptable to him is Islam (e.g., 3:19 and 3:85). And Allah states that Islam is to be made superior over all other religions, even if the non-Muslims don’t like it (e.g., 9:33, 48:28, and 61:9).

Allah states that he is angry with the Jews, and the Christians are misguided in their beliefs (1:7). In fact, Allah curses the Jews and Christians (9:30). He states that the Jews and Christians are among the worst of creatures who “will abide in the fire of Hell” (98:6), while Muslims are the best of creatures (3:110 and 98:7). . .

More here:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dr-stephen-m-kirby/do-we-all-believe-in-the-same-god/print/

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