Archive for the ‘Willow Creek’ Category

It started with Bill Hybels, pastor of Willowcreek Community Church… then came Rick Warren of Saddleback. Little by little, church-by-church, are Muslims are gaining access?

Read about it here:

By Albert James Dager

Then watch this:


It’s important.


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This May 10th, in the name of tolerance, common ground, peace, and learning from eachother, a church labeling itself as a Calvary Chapel brought in some pro-Palestinian speakers. These were Sami Awad, Lynne Hybels, and Mae Cannon. Some who attended the evening said the presentations were heavily slanted toward the Palestinian view that the “occupation” is responsible for Palestinian suffering.

Learn more by reading the following:

Calvary Chapel Breached

Further Implications of Calvary Chapel North Coast Event – Lynne Hybels Presence Shows Serious Move Toward Apostasy

Calvary Chapel Rebukes Palestinian Event

My Post on Calvary Chapel North Coast FB Deleted – Surprise, Surprise

This has caused a stir because Calvary Chapel has always been pro-Israel due to their verse by verse faithful Bible teaching. Some say they should remove their Calvary Chapel label. How could this be? Where did North Coast Calvary Chapel of Carlsbad, California go astray?

Jumping back a few years to 2007, it was already apparent that North Coast Calvary Chapel openly identified themselves with Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek seeker-friendly church growth movement, even though the Calvary Chapel model is the farthest thing from seeker friendly church growth movement tactics. Pastor Mark Foreman also seemed to be identifying with emerging church/contemplative prayer advocates.[1] To add to the muddy mixture, NCCC has also been hosting Celebrate Recovery, a program that began in Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and influenced by AA.[2] This is also not a method used by other Calvary Chapels.

In November of 2009, North Coast Calvary Chapel’s Women’s Conference Soul at Rest featured as their speaker author Tricia McCary Rhodes, a contemplative advocate.[3]

Even before this, in November of 2008, pastor Mark Foreman of NCCC published a book called Wholly Jesus. His sons, of the popular Christian band Switchfoot, wrote the forewords. The book contained quotes by contemplatives and mystics such as Dallas Willard, Morton Kelsey, and St. Teresa of Avila. Surprisingly, Foreman mentioned in the book how he thought it was okay to use the Hindu greeting Namaste (“I honor the god in you”) to others in recognition that they are made in the image of God.

While disturbing enough, there’s more. The issue at hand is far bigger than NCCC simply identifying with church growth methods or advocating contemplative spirituality. Surprisingly, the introduction in pastor Foreman’s book was written by Gabe Lyons, founder of The Fermi Project, an ‘experiment’ in shifting the consciousness of the church by finding the good in our culture and reshaping it through global awareness and environmentally sustainable practices. This is definitely not Calvary Chapel terminology, but here is where the water gets real muddy.

Last month at North Coast Calvary Chapel, Mark Foreman’s wife Jan hosted “Freefall to Fly” – An Evening with Rebekah Lyons. Rebekah happens to be the wife of Gabe Lyons, who was just mentioned above. They are the cofounders of QIdeas, an organization that “helps leaders winsomely engage culture.”

In 2003 Gabe and Rebekah Lyons founded The Fermi Project

Fermi’s main influence is exerted in “Q” conferences, which invite world leaders from a variety of areas to share “ideas that create a better world.” Conference presenters have included people like authors Donald Miller, Rob Bell, Scot McKnight and Rick Warren,..
… Fermi and its projects have made national headlines when they asked Eboo Patel, a Muslim leader and thinker, to present to their ambitious Christian audience

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_Project

Who is Eboo Patel? He is the founder and executive director of Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core. He is also listed as one of 15 “Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow” on the website for the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which is led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative.[4]

Has Fermi founder Gabe Lyon’s mis-perceptions of Islam influenced pastor Mark Foreman? Has this got anything to do with why the recent misguided pro-Palestinian speakers were invited in to NCCC this May 10th?

Here is a quote from Gabe Lyons:

Can you imagine a future where Muslims and Christians would work alongside one another in our communities to fight for justice, care for the poor, and offer hope to those in need? What if this controversy provoked each of us to consider having more thoughtful and engaging conversations with Muslims who might be interested in the same end? Could Christians be part of the solution to a moderate, peaceful Islam emerging in the West?
The Muslim-Christian Debate: What We’re Missing

That all sounds nice, but are we as Christians to work alongside unbelievers to bring peace to this fallen world, or are we to tell them the good news about the Prince of Peace who will save their eternal souls?

Gabe Lyon’s dreamy considerations led him to invite Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative to a discussion on the future for faith relations in the West.[5]

For those who don’t know, the Cordoba Initiative claims they are a Muslim group trying to build an interfaith bridge between Islam and non-Muslim faiths, but the very name “Cordoba” is a picture of Islam supremacy.[6] The only common ground under that bridge is Islam.

Brigitte Gabriel (ACT for America) and the author of They Must Be Stopped and Because They Hate, recently mentioned Lyon’s friend Rauf on the Sean Hannity show:

“Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has said publicly that the September 11th attack was not perpetrated by Muslims. He said publicly on CNN that the United States was an accessory to the crime and that Osama bin Laden was made in the United States.”
Exclusive: The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far…

Here is Dr. Jim Garlow on the Cordoba Initiative:

So what’s the connection?

Awad, whose family is well-known in certain circles, has been partnering with American evangelical friends Lynne Hybels, Todd Deatherage, and now Gabe Lyons to promote what he describes as a “non-violent” approach to peacemaking. In brief, Awad and his friends portray Israel as a lamentable occupier of Palestinian land and the usual narrative also includes discussion of the big “open-air prison” forced on the downtrodden Palestinians by Israel’s “apartheid wall” (security fence to realists).

-Jim Fletcher, Calvary Chapel Breached, May 6, 2013

Fletcher also says these activists all appear sincere but “they have their talking points, passed from folks like Naim Ateek and Alex Awad, down to Sami Awad, to Lynne Hybels, Gabe Lyons, etc.”[7]

Perhaps Gabe Lyons and his friend pastor Mark Foreman of West Coast Calvary Chapel should reconsider tickling ears with tales and ask the perscecuted Christians in Muslim countries to explain how they feel about this so called moderate peaceful Islam they preach. Or Raymond Ibrahim.

Please pray that instead of in the name of tolerance, common ground, peace, and learning from eachother, the leaders of North Coast Calvary Chapel, and all evangelical churches who are falling into the same error[8], will call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and repent for any damage they may have done by not having loved the truth.

And God bless Jim Fletcher for revealing the truth.


[1] Source: Scroll down to read FISHY CALVARY CHAPEL here:
[2] See: “A Way Which Seemeth Right…” http://www.thebereancall.org/node/2568
[3] See: Contemplative Connects to Calvary Chapel
[4] See: http://www.wnd.com/2010/07/181865/
[5] See: Imam Feisal: The Future of Muslim and Christian Relations in the West @ http://vimeo.com/28716668
[6] See: Why I am against the GZM @ http://www.israpundit.com/archives/28744
[7] Jim Fletcher, In Arabic Please, Mar 18, 2013
[8] Texas Mega-Church Welcomes Islamists to ‘Global Faith Forum’

Note: Incidentally, this year pastor Mark Foreman of North Coast Calvary Chapel and his wife Jan will both be speakers at “Catalyst West” along with Andy Stanley, Jim Collins, Matt Chandler, John Eldredge, Nancy Ortberg, while Gabe Lyons and Lynne Hybels both spoke at “Catalyst East” in Atlanta in October (see: ‘New evangelicals’ abandoning Israel @ http://onenewsnow.com/perspectives/miscellaneous/2013/01/29/‘new-evangelicals’-abandoning-israel).


Evangelical Left Voices and Israel

*Read some good news on Jim Fletcher’s update page here:

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As the mud thickens…

I seriously don’t know what it’s going to take to awaken evangelical leaders from their dead-on impression of Rip Van Winkle. This CSM nonsense has absolutely no place in the Protestant Christian community; and it isn’t even being taught by Protestants. Jesus never taught it and neither did His Apostles.

Ken Silva

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White House pushing churches to be ‘green’?
See what else Obama’s faith adviser is nudging
By Aaron Klein

The “greenest” church on the planet? Scripture as it relates to the Palestinians? Fighting American “racial injustice”?

Meet the latest addition to President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a White House group already replete with advocates for using religion to advance “social justice.”

In January, Obama named to his faith council Lynne Hybels, a leader of Willow Creek Church, an inter-denominational, multi-generational megachurch located in a Chicago suburb.

The church is led by Hybels’ husband, Bill, a social justice advocate who created the Global Leadership Summit, an international Christian group.

Read more here:



The Church of Climate Change: Here Comes the Green Shepherd

Environmentalism: The Newest Paganism?

A Greener Spirit: Evangelicals Embrace “Creation Care”

Sojourners Founder Jim Wallis’ Revolutionary Anti-Christian “Gospel”

Also see Signs of the Times and articles at Olive Press.

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White House Appointees to InterFaith Council Include NAE Leith Anderson and Willow Creek Lynne Hybels

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN
(From 2/2011)

The White House announced a dozen appointments to its faith advisory council on Friday (in Feb), with the leader of the nation’s largest evangelical group and the head of the nation’s leading Christian denomination serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people are both on the list.

National Association of Evangelicals President Leif (sic)[Leith] Anderson and Nancy Wilson, head of the Metropolitan Community Church – the nation’s largest denomination expressly serving LGBT [homosexual] Americans – are among the appointees to the panel, which was launched by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Lynne Hybels, wife of megachurch pastor Bill Hybels – who leads the Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago, Illinois – is also on the list.

See here for more:


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As Word of Faith continues to join with seeker friendly church growth gurus…

“…5,800 ministerial leaders from more than 25 countries…attended Bishop T.D. Jakes’ “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You’’ Pastors and Leaders Conference held March 31-April 2 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center.

The conference was designed to help senior pastors and church leaders deal with the dynamics that come with running a church in today’s climate. Jakes has more than 30,000 members in his Potter’s House in Dallas.

Presentations by leading preachers

Along with Jakes, conference speakers included other preachers with large ministries – Dr. John Hagee and Bishop I.V. Hilliard of Texas, Pastor Bill Hybels of Illinois, Pastor Paula White of Tampa, and Bishop Charles Blake of California.

Breakout sessions included presentations by financial guru Dave Ramsey and Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.”

SOURCE: Skills, guns, money, betrayal- Bishop T.D. Jakes, speakers get real at Orlando conference (UPDATED)




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Last year for Christmas, Peter Scazzero gave a book that he endorsed to everyone on his staff.

Book Review: Opening to God – “Life as Prayer”
March 11, 2011 by Pete Scazzero

This past Christmas I gifted each of our staff with a copy of David Benner’s book, Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer.
In light of our human limits, it is not possible to be excellent at everything -e.g. counseling, managing budgets, strategic planning, preaching, casting vision. Yet if our work is provide leadership in the church of Jesus, I think prayer may be the most important area where we need to grow in excellence.
What might that look like? Benner’s book gives us some very helpful clues. The following are a few of my notes from this timely book:

1. As Teresa of Avila says, the important thing in prayer is not to think much but to love much….

5. There is a knowing of God that is only possible in stillness and silence, i.e. by integrating the contemplative side of prayer. His breakdown and guidelines of the four movements of lectio divina are worth the price of the book – Lectio (Prayer as attending), Meditatio (Prayer as pondering), Oratio (Prayer as responding) and Contemplatio (Prayer as being)….

7. Contemplative prayer is wordless, trusting openness to the God who dwells at the center of our being and at the center of the world. It is “resting in God” (Gregory the Great) and “seeing through exterior things, and seeing God in them” (Thomas Merton).

8. When someone is in love, words become less and less necessary. Lovers learn to just be with each other. This is exactly the way we can be with God. Intimacy demands that talk be balanced by attentive openness in silence. This is contemplation in its simplest and purest form….

SOURCE: http://www.petescazzero.com/contemplative-spirituality/book-review-opening-to-god-life-as-prayer/

According to his own words, here’s what Peter Scazzero is looking to as a very helpful source for church leadership growth:

Teresa of Avila, the levitating Spanish mystic (see Who is Teresa of Avila?)
Centering Prayer, a method not taught in the Bible
Lectio Divina, an ancient mystical method of Roman Catholic prayer (see What is Lectio Divina?)
Thomas Merton, interspiritualist whom the Dalai Lama calls his ‘spiritual brother’
the Silence, an altered state of consciousness

Here is Scazzero’s endorsement of this book by David Benner, clinical psychologist and spiritual guide:

“David Benner has given us another great gift with Opening to God. A tremendous book on prayer for people at all stages of their relationship with God. Practical, devotional and rich. This is a book I will go back to again and again.”

-Peter Scazzero, pastor and author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Benner’s book was also endorsed by Richard Rohr, Tony Jones, and Phyllis Tickle. David Benner’s next book called Spirituality and the Awakening Self: The Sacred Journey of Transformation (Spring 2012) is about stages of human growth, faith development and transformation, and is supposed to be a companion alongside writers such as M. Scott Peck, Richard Rohr, and Ken Wilber. (Sounds a lot like Brian McLaren’s recent lecture on Naked Spirituality.)

At moments like these, one can only marvel at the lack of discernment by Scazzero’s partner Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church (1) and any other pastor (2) or church (3) that promotes his materials.

End Notes:

(1) Hybels’ Willow Creek and Peter Scazzero:
Emotional Healthy Spirituality and Willow Creek Partner to Spread Contemplative Spirituality

Also listen to an interview between Bill Hybels and Peter Scazzero at the Emotionally Healthy website (http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org) called An interview with Pete and Bill Hybels around EHS and spiritual formation [02/15/11 | 8:00 PM].

(2) Rick Warren and Peter Scazzero:

(3) Christian & Missionary Alliance and Peter Scazzero:
Scazzeros Spread Contemplative Spirituality at C&MA Conference

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