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Archive for the ‘roads to Rome’ 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)
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/mennonites-walk-bartons-bridge-to-rome/

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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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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.]

____________

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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Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns

In a new video, megachurch leader and author Rick Warren is calling for Christians to unite with Roman Catholics and “Pope Francis,” who Warren recently referred to as the “Holy Father”—a move that is raising concerns among Christians nationwide and is resulting in calls for Warren to repent.

Warren made the comments following his visit to the Vatican last month, where he spoke at an interfaith conference on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman.”

“We have far more in common than what divides us,” he said in the two-minute video released by the Catholic News Service on Wednesday, described as being an outline for “an ecumenical vision for Catholics and Protestants to work together to defend the sanctity of life, sex and marriage.”

“They would all say, ‘We believe in the Trinity; we believe in the Bible; we believe in the resurrection; we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ,” Warren asserted, speaking of the various denominations within Christianity, of which he included Roman Catholicism. “These are the big issues.”

More here:

http://christiannews.net/2014/12/02/rick-warrens-call-for-christians-to-unite-with-catholics-holy-father-raising-concerns/

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“. . . at the August 15-17 2014 gathering called “Three Rivers Festival of Hope” in Pittsburgh, PA, Franklin Graham (who led and organized the event) brought in Catholic Bishop David Zubik to give the opening prayer on stage with the large audience. During the bishop’s prayer, he acknowledged his belief that Protestants and Catholics are all part of the same church. While Graham’s public stand against homosexual marriage and his work to help the poor and needy is commendable, his giving a thumbs up to Roman Catholicism is moving the church closer and closer to complete apostasy. While we know that Graham’s father, Billy Graham, allowed Catholic counselors at his own crusade meetings (which sadly set a precedent), it’s a big jump to give a Catholic priest the platform at an evangelical event to lead in an ecumenical prayer that puts Catholicism on par with Protestant Christianity.”

Read more here:

Evangelical Church Takes Another Big Step Toward Rome—This Time? Franklin Graham
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15966

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BISHOP TONY PALMER, WHO URGED CATHOLICS AND CHARISMATICS TO UNITE, DIES IN MOTORCYCLE CRASH

The last time we heard from Charismatic Bishop Tony Palmer, he was coordinating a meeting between Pope Francis and Palmer’s guru Kenneth Copeland (video below). Today Palmer was killed in a motorcycle crash.

. . .In January, Palmer visited with Pope Francis at the Vatican and used his iPhone to record an impromptu greeting from the Pope to an American Pentecostal conference of Kenneth Copeland Ministries.

Read more here:

http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/07/bishop-tony-palmer-who-urged-catholics-and-charismatics-to-unite-dies-in-motorcycle-crash/

Related:

The Great Convergence and the End of the Age
http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/06/great-convergence-end-age

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From Understand the Times:

Pope Francis continues to establish a bridge of ecumenical unity via connections with Pentecostals and the Charismatic Movement. This unity will eventually lead to what is believed to be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit attributed to “Mary” with “signs and wonders” as the key component.

Read more about Pope Francis and his visit to a Pentecostal church in Italy, here:

http://understandthetimes.org/inthenews/796_owr1.shtml

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