Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Image above courtesy of by Ian Britton.

Hebrews 12:1-10, 25-29

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.


Leviticus 10:1-11

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said.

And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled. And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.

And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.


The purpose of GOD'S fire is to purify the children of obedience and make them holy, not to destroy them. In the Old Testament God put Nadab and Abihu to death for disobeying His command and offering strange fire to Him. God makes a clear distinction between what is holy and what is not, what is from Him and what is not, what is acceptable and what is not. The Israelites were warned not to adopt heathen practices or entertain heathen gods. Are Christians today able to distinguish between the two? We must examine carefully the origins of the fire we encounter, to distinguish between the holy fire that brings repentance and purifies us from sin, and the strange fire that deceives and destroys.


The latest newsletter at Lighthouse Trails gave an update on the growth of the practice of meditation at an astonishing rate of approximately 1.7 million people a year since 2003, when the number was at 10 million in the United States of America. They report that according to Dr. Rick Levy`s book, Miraculous Health, that the number of practitioners in the United States alone is currently 17 million.

The newsletter goes on to say:

Keep in mind that we are not talking about people that have just embraced a particular belief system intellectually or rationally. We are talking about mystics, people who are in touch with the supernatural realm on a continous basis. We believe this remarkable acceleration is due to two factors.

First is the tremendous explosion of the interest in Yoga. Yoga, for those that don't know, means union, as in the mystical sense, the union with the divine or the Hindu concept of the divine. Most people may think it is just stretching and a form of calisthenics but Yoga and meditation are supposed to go together. You can't really have one without the other and still call it Yoga.

Secondly, and more important from the perspective of Lighthouse Trails is the explosion of the interest in contemplative prayer, which is a westernized form of meditation.

The newsletter states that the explosion of interest in contemplative prayer is due to rise of the Purpose Driven movement and the Emerging Church movement. I would like to add to that the
Roman Catholic Church, as it has a growing contemplative movement as well.

At the beginning of January I began writing a post which I never completed that deals with this topic. It contains several examples of how and where the growth of meditation and yoga is taking place here in Canada. Below is an edited version of that post.


Has anybody noticed how big yoga is these days? Several weeks ago I was at a grand opening for a Mark's Work Wearhouse store. As I was browsing through their clothing section an advertisement came on over their sound system promoting their yoga wear and extolling the virtues of the practice. Then several days ago I was in Wal-mart and I saw an ad on the shopping cart I was pushing that was also promoting yoga.

On January 5th I decided to watch some television and came across a program on VisionTv called The Fires That Burn, an hour-long documentary featuring a Roman Catholic nun, Elaine MacInnes who has been recognized for her work as a Zen Master and made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2001. Sister Elaine MacInnes is a member of Our Lady's Missionaries, an order of Roman Catholic nuns and is associated with The Phoenix Trust, a meditation and yoga program for prison inmates in Ireland and the UK. The VisionTV website states that her mission now is to introduce meditation and yoga classes into Canadian penitentiaries through a Toronto organization called Freeing the Human Spirit.

It is interesting to note in the promotional picture for the documentary (directly above) that there is clearly a connection between eastern and western meditation. Those promoting meditation within the Roman Catholic Church seem to have no problem with this connection and recognize it openly. However, whenever an evangelical Christian is confronted with this issue, it is quickly denied. Are they naive or just in denial?

Ascent magazine (Yoga for the Inspired Life) contains an article profiling Sister Elaine MacInnes entitled not broken by Talya Rubin. In it MacInnes is quoted:

"I was never moved to be a Buddhist,” she says. When people in Japan asked her about it, she would say, “Look, I was just brought up in Moncton, New Brunswick. I can’t all of a sudden say I have had a hundred lives beforehand. I was born on March 7th in 1924 and I was fresh and clean and I have my own personality. I’m not another hundred thousand people behind me.” When her teacher noticed her first breakthroughs in Zen practice, he simply said, “Now you go out and be a better Christian and a better Sister.”

Sister Elaine speaks of Zen as being about direct experience, not words or objects. “There was never anything but the right now, right here.” Even the Buddha requested that his words not be recorded. He taught from experience and it was these practices that were later to be the basis for Zen teachings, but the terms themselves and the religious elements of Buddhism were recorded later. “Scholars say the Buddha grew up in a Hindu country so that he just went back to the religious matrix of his time.”

Of her own teaching Sister Elaine says, “I have Jewish people and I have Muslims and I have people with no religion and it doesn’t bother me at all. I just try to use quite a few different terms so that people won’t get stuck on one. We don’t find it necessary to impose a god on you, we just ask you to sit down and keep quiet.” She laughs heartily at this.

“My teacher in Japan used to say ‘we are all born to be mystics.’(1.)

Rubin goes on to say:

The yoga and meditation taught are a practice of “silent body, silent mind,” and apparently it works. By the time she retired from the Trust, Sister Elaine had set up eighty-six teachers in prisons across the UK and they receive thousands of letters each month from the inmates. “I would say our discipline is therapeutic and that is why it is so important for prisoners."

The kind of zazen they teach is Shikantaza. “‘Shika’ means ‘only’ and ‘ta’ means ‘to hit’ and the ‘za’ is squatting on the floor. It is something that will hit the mark.” Simple counting of breath is emphasized, as well as correct posture. “The bottom line of meditation for a teacher is that you’re bringing people to a deeper state of consciousness and that involves something very, very touchy. There is something in practising silence the way we teach that is very safe, and to my knowledge it has never been known for anyone to crack up.”

In her prison programs, Sister Elaine felt it necessary to balance meditation practices with yoga instruction. Yoga Outreach, a charity organization based in Surrey, BC, was asked to implement a yoga program for the correctional institutions in Canada. The yoga postures taught are breath-centred to facilitate a link between body and mind.

The practice of yoga and meditation brings a space of silence to the prisoners, and with this seems to follow discipline, productivity, a sense of purpose, an alleviation of depression, a reduction in violence, and in the long run, a reduced rate of recidivism. This approach fits in with a paradigm shift slowly being introduced into the judicial system called Restorative Justice.

When thinking about Sister Elaine, the image I am left with is from a documentary film made about her life and work called The Fires that Burn. The image of an inmate – shaved head and tattooed arms, his muscled body suddenly looking very fragile as he holds himself in Plank pose. I have never seen anyone do yoga with such tenderness and fear before. This is clearly fertile ground – the space for things that are broken to mend in silence. (2.) (emphasis in bold is mine)

There is no doubt left to the readers mind that this is an eastern practice being promoted by a Roman Catholic nun. And she makes no bones about where she learned it, although she willingly promotes it as being available to all regardless of their faith. She emphasizes that it is the method that is important and makes the practice effective, not its eastern origins. This should cause anyone professing the Christian faith to realize that you can call the practices of yoga and meditation by any name you like (contemplative prayer), but they will all lead down the same pathway ~ to a union with "the divine", and a belief that "all is one".


Meditation for Health is a website promoting its community-based medical program in Toronto, Canada run by M.D. Lucinda Sykes, "a Toronto physician psychotherapist with over twenty-five years experience in general practice psychotherapy. She trained with Jungian analysts, Marion Woodman and Fraser Boa, and has twice participated in MBSR professional training programs under the direction of Dr. Kabat-Zinn. She is a past board member of the General Practice Psychotherapy Association. Dr. Sykes has had a personal practice of hatha yoga and meditation for over twenty years, and has lead Meditation for Health groups since 1997."(3.)

I'm sure this is just one of myriads of these types of programs available to people these days. It seems just about every hospital, clinic, massage or chiropractic office has posters up that promote them; in fact, it is difficult to find one that doesn't. The program used by Meditation for Health is called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The site says that MBSR

"develops our capacity for mindfulness, with a program of simple meditation exercises and body stretches"...and ..."Although the practice of mindfulness has been most developed in the traditions of Asia, it is taught without a particular religious or philosophical belief. It is a basic awareness technique, a way of looking at things, that people of all faiths can share."(4.)(emphasis in bold is mine)

Meditation for Health website has a page listing resources with "Books of Interest to Christian Meditators" containing a total of 27 books! The authors include Brother Lawrence, Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, Richard Foster, Thomas Keating, Willis Jager, and of course, Sister Elaine MacInnes (Zen Contemplation for Christians), among others.


I came across another interesting website while I was doing some research on a book that my daughter was required to read as part of a Bible School course she was taking (called Devotional Classics, by none other than Richard Foster). The quotes (given below) from this site illustrate the New Age/Hindu teaching regarding "Christian" mysticism. Although their teachings about Christ are unfaithful to Scripture, they illustrate the occultic nature of these practices. had this in its section on Alternative Religions about Mystic Christianity in an article written by Yogi Ramacharaka (William Walker Atkinson):

That there is a Secret Doctrine of Christianity is not generally known to the majority who claim the name of "Christian." But it has always been known to the mystics in and out of the church, and its flame has been kept steadily alight by a few devoted souls who were chosen for this sacred task.

The Secret Doctrine of Christianity did not originate with Jesus, for He, Himself, was an Initiate of Mysteries which had been known and taught for centuries before His birth. As St. Augustine has said:

"That which is called the Christian Religion existed among the ancients and never did not exist, from the beginning of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion which already existed began to be called Christianity.

"Origen states that:

"The Scriptures have a meaning, not only such as is apparent at first sight, but also another, which escapes the notice of most men. For such is written in the forms of certain Mysteries, and the image of divine things. Respecting which there is one opinion throughout the whole Church, that the whole law is indeed spiritual; but that the spiritual meaning which the law conveys is not known to all, but to those only on whom the grace of the Holy Spirit is bestowed in the word of wisdom and knowledge." (De Principiis.)

We could fill page after page with live quotations from the writings of the Early Christian Fathers, and their successors, showing the existence of the Inner Teachings. But we must rest content with those which we have given you, which are clear and to the point, and which come from undoubted authority.

The departure of the Church from these Inner Teachings was a great calamity, from which the Church is still suffering. As that well-known occultist, Eliphias Levi, has said:

"A great misfortune befell Christianity. The betrayal of the Mysteries by the false Gnostics--for the Gnostics, that is, those who know, were the Initiates of primitive Christianity--caused the Gnosis to be rejected, and alienated the Church from the supreme truths of the Kabbala, which contains all the secrets of transcendental theology.... Let the most absolute science, let the highest reason become once more the patrimony of the leaders of the people; let the sarcerdotal art and the royal art take the double sceptre of antique initiations and the social world will once more issue from its chaos. Burn the holy images no longer; demolish the temples no more; temples and images are necessary for men; but drive the hirelings from the house of prayer; let the blind be no longer leaders of the blind; reconstruct the hierarchy of intelligence and holiness, and recognize only those who know as the teachers of those who believe." (The Mysteries of Magic, Waite translation.)

And now, you ask, what were taught in these Christian Mysteries--what is the Inner Teaching--what the Secret Doctrine? Simply this, good students--the Occult Philosophy and Mystic Lore which has been taught to the Elect in all times and ages, and which is embodied in our several series of lessons on THE YOGI PHILOSOPHY AND ORIENTAL OCCULTISM, plus the special teaching regarding the nature, mission, and sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, as we have tried to explain in the present series of lessons. The Truth is the same no matter under what name it is taught, or who teaches it. Strip it of the personal coloring of the teacher and it is seen to be the same--THE TRUTH. In these lessons we have tried to give you the Key to the Mysteries, but unless you have studied the other lessons in which the Occult Teachings have been set forth, you will not be able to see their application in Mystic Christianity. You must bring Knowledge to the lessons, in order to take away knowledge. (5.)(emphasis in bold mine, emphasis in capital letters theirs)


Isn't it odd that a Hindu Yogi recognizes the occultic nature of Christian mysticism, while many Christians are unwittingly adopting it. Ramacharaka-Atkinson consistently misuses and misinterprets quotes from Scripture and other historical theologians throughout this article (which you can see if you read the entire article) to suit his occultic worldview. I wonder how long it will be until the barriers separating the east from the west (occultic mysticism from contemplative prayer) will cease to exist in the mind and heart of the Christian church? It is evident that they don't make such a distinction within the New Age and occultic camps. Scripture tells us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves, as our adversary, the devil prowls like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

I again direct you to the book of Jude (1-5, 17-25)and its warnings:

Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
to them that are sanctified by God the Father,
and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you
of the common salvation,
it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you
that ye should earnestly contend for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints.

For there are certain men crept in unawares,
who were before of old ordained to this condemnation,
ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness,
and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I will therefore put you in remembrance,
though ye once knew this, how that the Lord,
having saved the people out of the land of Egypt,
afterward destroyed them that believed not.

But, beloved, remember ye the words
which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time,
who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
These be they who separate themselves,
sensual, having not the Spirit.

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And of some have compassion, making a difference:
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire;
hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Saviour,
be glory and majesty, dominion and power,
both now and ever. Amen.

(2.) ibid

Friday, February 22, 2008


Nature's Praise - Part 1
It is Well/In His Time/I Cast All My Cares Upon You


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
~by Horatio G. Spafford


   In His time, in His time
He makes all things beautiful in His time
Lord, please show me every day
as You're teaching me Your way

that You do just what You say in Your time

In Your time, in Your time
You make all things beautiful in Your time
Lord, my life to You I bring
may each song I have to sing

be to You a lovely thing in Your time
~by Diana Ball



I cast all my cares upon you
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet
And any time I don't know what to do
I will cast all my cares upon you
~by Kelly Willard

Wednesday, February 13, 2008



I have been having a little trouble getting back to this topic to create Part 3 as I said I would, part of the reason being that I have been discovering a new connection to another post I wrote not long ago (END TIMES WATCH ~ NOAHIDE LAWS ~ "EVERY KNEE SHALL BEND") which also links with this topic. Anyone doing research understands that it takes time to gather material and assemble it into something that makes sense, and the revisions that have to take place when additional material is discovered and needs to be incorporated. In between I have been customizing a new computer, as my old one is on it's deathbed, so I have been a little distracted lately. But now, forward we go...

The United Religions Initiative began as an idea in 1993 in the mind of Episcopalian Bishop, Willliam Swing after a sleepless night following a United Nations invitation to host an interfaith service, when he asked himself, "If the nations of the world are working together for peace through the UN, then where are the religions of the world?". His question and the resulting idea of a united religious organization came to fruition with the creation of the United Religions Initiative, which could be considered to be the spiritual counterpart to the global political entity, the United Nations. Here is its stated purpose:

United Religions Initiative (URI) was founded in 2000 by an extraordinary global community committed to promoting enduring, daily interfaith cooperation and to ending religiously motivated violence. Today the URI includes thousands of members in over 65 countries representing more that (sic) 100 religions, spiritual expressions, and indigenous traditions. (1.)

The organization advanced until it joined together with the United Nation to declare an international day of peace:

On June 20, 2006, The Global Council Trustees, on behalf of the members of the UNITED RELIGIONS INITIATIVE throughout the world, issued a Peace Proclamation, joining with the United Nations in proclaiming September 21 as The International Day of Peace. We urge all our members to encourage all citizens of this world to work together to create peace, justice and healing for the Earth and for all living beings. (2.)

Moving steadily forward, in April 2007 the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (IPI), a member of the URI, has proclaimed April 5th to be "Golden Rule Day", calling for it to be recognized as such by all citizens and organizations of the world, including the UN. This should not be a difficult task to accomplish, since a poster of "The Golden Rule" ala Scarborough Missions is already hanging on the walls of the UN Headquarters, and its agenda is worldwide peace. (See previous posts on this topic). Below is the news account of the "Golden Rule Day" Declaration by the IPI:


Written by Mussie Hailu
Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Addis Abab, Ethiopia. Athlete Haile Gebreselassie Appointed Goodwill Ambassador of Golden Rule by URI CC in Ethiopia.

Golden Rule Day proclaimed for April 5. World renowned, holder of many world records and superstar athlete, Haile Gebreselassie, was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule by the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (IPI), a peace-building organisation whose purpose is to promote the Golden Rule, interfaith harmony, a culture of peace, reconciliation, nonviolence, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

Handing over the certificate of appointment, trophy, peace medal and the framed “Golden Rule,” the Board Chairman of IPI and Coordinator of Golden Rule Goodwill Ambassador Program Hon. Mussie Hailu said “this honor is bestowed upon athlete Haile in recognition of his outstanding contribution in promoting a culture of peace, harmony, and international solidarity among people of different cultures, ethnic groups, religions, and nationalities through the Great Ethiopian Run program.” The Board Chairman further said “his exemplary work in promoting, throughout the world, the universal message of the Golden Rule which says ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated’ is highly appreciated and commendable.” The Golden Rule has been affirmed in many religions, traditions, indigenous cultures and secular philosophies as a fundamental principle of life and the foundation upon which a global ethic is founded. It is the best tool to educate people about respect and mutual esteem in order to achieve peaceful coexistence and solidarity among members of different ethnic groups, cultures and religions, and it has played a major role in promoting the culture of dialogue so that understanding and interest may develop among individuals and peoples as these are the conditions of authentic peace. The message is simple, universal and powerful and is the most prevalent and universal moral principle in human history.

The Board Chairman further said “It is high time to promote the Golden Rule throughout the world as it is a fundamental principle that addresses critical issues such as peace, non-violence, interfaith harmony, democracy, human rights, respect for each other, gender equity, social development, constructive dialogue among nations, conflict prevention and right human relationship.

With this in mind, IPI declared this day, April 5, as Golden Rule Day and calls upon all citizens of the world, religious leaders of the world, mayors, heads of state of the world, the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, interfaith organisations, schools, higher learning institutions, the business community and civil society to join IPI in proclaiming this day as Golden Rule Day and to live accordingly to make this world a better place for all and the coming generation." Athlete Haile, on his behalf after receiving the award, expressed his profound appreciation for the work of IPI and thanking IPI for the honor bestowed upon him and he affirmed to the board members of IPI that he will do all he can to promote this principle which is a key to life. Further he said, “There will not be development without peace as peace is the foundation of everything.” He strongly emphasized that, by promoting the Golden Rule, it will open up the door for peace to prevail on Earth and the betterment of this world. In response to the board’s invitation Athlete Haile accepted to be an honorary member of the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative and United Religions Initiative, an international interfaith organisation which is working throughout the world to build global interfaith cooperation for a better world. IPI is a member of the United Religions Initiative.

All board members, on behalf of all the members of IPI, expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the great work Athlete Haile is doing by promoting his country and building a good image for Ethiopia and Africa through sport, and by bringing people all over the world together for the common good. This kind of collaboration is what is needed in our world to bring a positive change and create a better future for the coming generation. The Proclamation of the Golden Rule, which was declared on this occasion, will be sent to all Heads of State, religious leaders of the world, United Nations, African Union, European Union, interfaith organisations, international organisations and members of civil society and the business Community. It is the hope of IPI that this proclamation will be endorsed through the United Nations General Assembly and that “International Golden Rule Day” will be proclaimed by the UN so that all member states can use this day as a neutral platform where policymakers and citizens of the world could meet together and pave the way for a better world.

May Peace Prevail on Earth! (3.)


Bishop Swing, initiator of URI, also authored a book entitled The Coming United Religions, in which he equates proselytizing with religious violence. A customer at left this comment about the book:

Swing...identifies Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as "exclusive religions" (p. 31) and says, "if billions of people from exclusive religions are commanded to oppose the godly claims of other exclusive religions, what hope is there for peace among religions? In order for a United Religions to come about and for religions to pursue peace among each other, there will have to be a godly cease-fire, a temporary truce where the absolute exclusive claims of each will be honored but an agreed upon neutrality will be exercised in terms of proselytizing, condemning, murdering, or dominating. These will not be tolerated in the United Religions zone" (p. 31). (4.)

This is a ridiculously impossible ideal! I am not a fatalist; I am, however, a realist. Once again, we have a utopian, socialistic ideal. It has NEVER worked, and WILL NOT, because this world is full of sinners who live before a Holy God who cannot abide sin. I think it would be cruel not to be willing to share God's way of salvation with others, in effect to proselytize. He only gave the world one solution ~ His Son, Jesus Christ ~ and it is by faith in Him alone that we can escape the the eternal consequences of our sinful condition. Truth is not what we want it to be, it is what God says it is. It is narrow and concise, and it is embodied by the person of Jesus Christ, and it is exclusive by its very nature. Every time an organization has tried to implement socialistic ideals it has ended in disaster for all those involved and those who had to endure its ideology against their will. But I move on...

The following is a video of the Public Interfaith Service for Peace, hosted at NYC's historic Riverside Church - Sept. 2005. Sponsored by the Tanenbaum Center, International Committee for the Peace Council and Union Theological Seminary.

Peace Is Possible - Peacemakers read the Golden Rule

And now I assert: Apart from from faith in Christ alone and His work of atonement on the cross, PEACE IS IMPOSSIBLE! It will never prevail upon the earth until the PRINCE OF PEACE physically returns in power and glory to reign in righteousness and justice. (Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 1:7). Those who have rejected Him will have no part in His kingdom. The promise of worldwide peace and safety are lies of the Antichrist which will end in disaster and bondage. I am reminded of the verses in 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11, which say ~

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you,
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord
so cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety;
then sudden destruction cometh upon them,

as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness,
that that day should overtake you as a thief.
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day:
we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
For they that sleep sleep in the night;
and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
But let us, who are of the day, be sober,
putting on the breastplate of faith and love;
and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath,
but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep,
we should live together with him.
Wherefore comfort yourselves together,
and edify one another, even as also ye do.

I am all for tolerance when it comes to believing that every human being is a creation of God, and should be treated with dignity and respect. But not all ideas, all beliefs, and all faiths are equal or valid or truthful. The battle for the truth is a spiritual battle, by the way, not a physical one. There are some who have named the name of Christ who have gone to war in His name. This is due to a false understanding of the nature of the kingdom of God, which is a spiritual kingdom at this time. I in no way advocate the use of force, physical or otherwise, and do not equate proselytizing with force. The Christian is never to force anyone to accept their beliefs, but an invitation to examine the truth is not a forceful thing. If it is done with force, it is done contrary to Christ's own teaching, and that person is no true Christian, or is one who is acting contrary to the faith. However, when Christ does return in the flesh, he will conquer the evil one and his followers and destroy them. So now is the time to choose to follow and obey Christ, before that time comes, and it is too late to change your mind.

We must be able to answer the question, "What is truth?". This is the question Herod asked Jesus as He stood before him preceding the crucifixion, and the answer and response to this question will determine your eternal destiny. Truth cannot be relative, for if that could be possible, then it would cease to exist. It would cease to be the truth. Truth by its nature is fixed and stable, not relative. Those who would claim tolerance as their creed will not tolerate this statement. And they must reject the embodiment of truth according to God's Word, Jesus Christ, who said, "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life. NO MAN comes to the Father BUT BY ME." (John 14:6), because this is an exclusive statement, and counter to the religious tolerance movement. We cannot follow a Christ of our own making, or He is nobody but a figment of our imagination. The Christ who we are to accept is the Christ we are told of in the Bible, an historically and spiritually accurate document of His life and His nature. We can not cut out the passage in which He claims exclusivity. Those who do not have a love of this truth will accept a lie and delusion in the days to come, and must be warned of the consequences. To remain silent would be the greatest tragedy and error of all, for it is this truth that sets us free to live as we ought in this world, not any rule or law.

The golden rule is only an ethic. It has no power to rescue or save. It is a standard and a law, not a savior. It does not have the power to change a person's heart and it cannot create peace or make the world a better place to live. It never has, from the day it first came into being. It does not have the power create peace within one single individual, so how can it create peace worldwide? It does not solve mankind's inability to measure up to the standard, as it is not inherent within it. Its existence within every religion only proves that man was created with a conscience, a sense of right and wrong. This is proof that he is a created being with a sense of justice, not proof that he is capable of solving the world's problems. The power to follow the golden rule comes only outside of it, through Christ and His indwelling Holy Spirit, to the believer.

Those who would include Christianity within the spectrum of the religious tolerance movement want to say that the golden rule is what it is all about, the underlying principle of its beliefs, and the most important element it contains. But those in the movement reject its exclusivity and embrace an ethic contained within it as the basis of unity with all other faiths. Just because it contains a common element (ethic) does not mean that other religions are equal to it or should be equally accepted. That is like saying that aspirin and arsenic are equal and can be used interchangeably because they both come in tablet form or contain cornstarch as a filler ~ possibly true, but deadly if confused one with the other. The golden rule/global ethic is the filler, not the active ingredient. When it comes to matters of faith, unity in diversity is a deadly combination, with no good outcome. To believe otherwise, I would have to deny my faith. And remember, those within the movement have redefined tolerance to include acceptance and agreement without proselytizing. Shall we tolerate untruth according to these terms?




Friday, February 8, 2008


This evening I have been listening to the first lecture on the New Perspective on Paul (NPP) by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger entitled, Why a New Perspective on Paul? What's Wrong With the Old One? which strips the movement down to its bare bones. I highly recommend that anyone interested in the NPP and its implications for the evangelical church take the time to listen to at least some of these lectures. They can be accessed HERE. I have just placed a new category on my sidebar entitled New Perspective on Paul so that this resource and others in this category can be easily found at a later date. I believe this is an issue that is not going to go unfelt in a very broad sense in the evangelical church, and that it is here long-term.

Below are some of the things he said that really caught my attention.

Riddlebarger, in criticism of the NPP, says:

...according to "The Paul Page" (which is pro-NPP) the New Perspective on Paul will help us do the following

1.Better understand Paul and the early church
2.Reconcile contemporary biblical scholarship with theology
3.Build common ground between Catholics and Protestants
4.Improve dialogue between Christians and Jews
5.Flesh out a theological foundation for social justice.

Riddlebarger repeats the first two and says:

Then...Look at 3, 4, and 5 - Build common ground between Catholics and Protestants. That's not on my agenda. I don't know if it's on yours, but it's not on mine, and the reason is because until Rome repents of the decrees and canons and the Counsel of Trent I view Rome as a false church...Improve dialogue between the Christians and Jews which is very important in the ecumenical climate of today because the surest way to lose your job today as an evangelical Bible scholar is to be at a university and say Jews aren't going to heaven, you're gone...and so there's a real pressure here to establish ecumenical ties and to speak of evangelical Christianity in a way that does not offend Jews...and that's part of the problem. And then fifth, this is where the New Perspective is going, and the latest writings of N.T. Wright are headed in this direction: to flesh out a theological foundation for social justice. So where is New Perspective going to ultimately take us? To ethics. And N.T. Wright, in his latest stuff, ...has come out and ripped the Bush administration, ripped the United States for it's Iraq policy, which is fine with me - fair enough, it's fair game for discussion, but he does it in the name of Paul. Why? Because Jesus came to conquer principalities and powers. He didn't come to save us from sin, he came to triumph over the forces of paganism, and to truimph over the pricipalities and powers and what's the greatest manifestation of these principalities and powers in the world today? - Don Rumsfeld and George Bush and the United States military in Iraq. So that's where this is going to go. It's going to have a conservative political/theological sound to it, but at the end of the day it's now being enlisted to serve the left-wing political position. Whether that's right or wrong is irrelevent, the fact that it's being enlisted for that end ought to tell something about its true nature."

It is interesting that this really ends up with a political agenda and has strong implications politically. The proponents of the NPP are social activists above all in their theology. This is where their theology takes them. He mentions that it becomes about ethics. It really comes down to focusing on doing good works and leaves the message of the cross out of the picture or minimizes it. They want to make Christ Lord, but not Savior. They want to reform society so that they can build a physical kingdom of God on earth, because they don't believe in a literal second coming of Christ, or believe that He will only return when Christians "possess the land".

Riddlebarger later says this about their erroneous views on Judaism and justification ~

...the revision of Second Temple Judaism and New Perspective folks argue that Judaism is not legalistic. That's the work of E.P. Sanders. That Israel practiced a religion of what was called "covenental nomism", that we are in by grace, we stay in by obedience, and that God has provided means of atonement, and so on, for the people in the (Jewish) covenant. And so New Perspective is saying that we get in by grace, we stay in by obedience...and so justification gets completely redefined. Instead of there being a right standing before a holy God, justification is the identification of who's in the church. It doesn't have anything to do with individual salvation. It has to do with who is in the convenantal community and who's not.

Justification essentially becomes a process rather than a one-time legal declaration and imputation of the righteousness of Christ (in NPP theology). It becomes something that must be maintained by the believer rather than by Christ. There is a confusion between justification, and sanctification, which is progressive. According to Scripture, justification happens once, sanctification is ongoing, and both happen through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the main theological corrections of the Reformation, and now the NPP attempts to undo that correction by saying that Martin Luther was culturally biased and misunderstood Paul. As I have examined this issue it is abundantly clear that Luther got this one right, even though he made other errors (baptismal regeneration, for instance), that he understood Paul correctly. It is Wright and his contemporaries who get it wrong on this one, when you examine the entirety of what Scripture says on this topic and when you examine the New Covenant in His blood and who it applies to ~ all people, not just the Gentiles. Salvation, Old Testament and New Testament, for Jews and Gentiles, was salvation by grace through faith. There was never salvation in law-keeping, which is the religion of the Pharisees. The law had its purpose - the law was a tutor or schoolmaster lead us to Christ. Abraham had faith in the promised One before the law was even given, and so it is with all who have faith in Him and are received by Him. See Galatians, the entire third chapter.

In answer to a question later on, he talks about the NPP's problem with their understanding of salvation, how they believe in corporate salvation rather than individual salvation, and that they have trouble explaining the atonement and the purpose of Christ's death (as in Colossians 2). They have trouble understanding that Christ's righteousness is imputed to those who accept it by faith, contrary to the Jews of Christ's day who thought they were righteous because they kept the law.

In answer to a question about the NPP being a threat against the gospel ~

New Perspective is a real challenge because it argues that justification is not about the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the sinner, but justification is about God's actions being righteous. God has acted righteously, and you believe in God, therefore, you are righteous. That just guts all those passages in Romans 3 and 4 and Galatians 3 and just empties them of any meaning, so that's one place that the gospel is under direct assault.

Riddlebarger says:

"New Perspective's here to stay."

He closes in prayer:

Our gracious God and Father we are thankful for the gospel that you have revealed in the New Testament. That gospel with great power and clarity reminds us that your gospel is about our individual salvation and it is about the salvation of your people , that it is about Christ's triumph over the principalities and powers, that it's all of these things, not just one. So Father, we're thankful for that reminder that Jesus Christ has indeed done for us what we could not do for ourselves, that He has taken people from every race and tribe and tongue under heaven and made them one because He has died for them, because He has borne Your wrath and punishment in His own body, because He fulfilled all righteousness and that righteousness is imputed to us. So Father we're thankful for the gospel and for its great clarity and we pray that as we work through these matters our understanding of that gospel would grow and we would come to greater and greater clarity of your Word. So Father we're thankful for this and we ask and pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I just received another very good commentary by Roger Oakland that I want to pass on because it explains the lasting impact of the emerging church, and describes what it is emerging into. Here are a few exerpts from his article, Don't Bury the Emerging Church, Yet!:

Certain aspects of the emerging church, like other trends or fads that hit Christianity, will no doubt come and go. Perhaps the name will even change. However, the underlying spirituality (I call it emerging spirituality) and the overall vision of the emerging church is not going to fade away or disappear, even blends into the evangelical church. It will still exist.

The ideologies and theologies that have been presented by the emerging church and the purpose driven church (one of the greatest evangelistic tools for the emerging church) have opened the door to a much bigger delusion that is coming in the name of Christ. The catalyst for this delusion is “contemplative spirituality” along with the desire to stimulate the senses to become more engaged with “God.”

February 2008 cover story of Christianity Today...titled “Lost Secrets of the Ancient Church” says that “evangelicals are connecting with the early church” and admits this is basically a “Catholic” looking church with a particular emphasis on ancient mystical practices.

...this ancient faith, focusing on church fathers of the early centuries and the mysticism that enveloped many of them, will not just blend with evangelicalism – it will consume it and absorb it back into the Mother church, a hope and plan that Rome has for what they consider the lost brethren (they call it the New Evangelization). And the emerging church and purpose driven church are the catalysts that will make this happen.

When the emerging church has “served its purpose” evangelical Christianity, as we have known it, will be no more. Those adhering to biblical truth will be viewed as troublesome and evil; and masses of people will be pledging allegiance to a world religion that will not include the Gospel of grace through Jesus Christ.

It is time for Bible believing Christians to be Bible believing Christians and avoid the apostasy that is underway and affecting every denomination and fellowship that professes the name of Jesus Christ.

Click HERE to read the rest of Roger's commentary at


To gain a greater understanding of the issues surrounding the emerging church, go to or to order Faith Undone by Roger Oakland.


To gain a greater understanding of the issues surrounding the invasion of mysticism in to the evangelical church, go to to order A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen.


OR, if you know me personally, you can ask me for complimentary copies as I have just received a new shipment and now have some on hand to give away to those who are not yet familiar with the issues.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Roger Oakland, author of Faith Undone, has written an article which is complementary to my previous post, RICK WARREN ON "CAT-TECH-ISM", and so I direct you to his website.

His commentary begins:

The concept of Purpose Driven people and churches has become a phenomenon that is sweeping the world. Since the publication and promotion of the idea by Rupert Murdoch-owned Zondervan, the name of Pastor Rick Warren has become synonymous with a man who has a plan to bring hope for planet earth.

When I say the planet, that is exactly what I mean. Over the past five years I have spoken to pastors and church leaders in over twenty-five countries. Where ever I have gone, the message of purpose driven has proceeded me.

I have just completed two conferences for pastors and church leaders, one at the city of Antipolo near Manila and the other at Bageo. Because The Purpose Driven Life has been widely distributed throughout the Philippines (either for free or very little cost), the concept of the purpose driven Christian has reshaped the minds and the motives of Christian leaders who now desire to have mega-churches, just like Pastor Rick.

While it is true, that the purpose driven movement encourages all to become purpose driven for the cause of good over bad, somewhere along the line, the social gospel that is being promoted has set the gospel according to the Scriptures aside, or at least, caused it to be lost in the zeal to eradicate AIDS, poverty and illiteracy.

Click HERE to go to and read the rest of the article.

Monday, February 4, 2008


This is the first time I have written anything specifically about Rick Warren, but I have been following him and his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan with interest and suspicion ever since it was announced. I definitely do not agree with how he is 'doing church", as he has borrowed his methods from people involved in the New Age and the occult. Today I am posting some video footage featuring Warren, because it is very recent and also clearly illustrates what he is up to these days.

The video below is taken by Robert Scoble, a blogger, tech-media evangelist, and co-author of the book Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers.1. The videos were recorded at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2008. While there, Scoble bumped into Rick Warren, author of The Purpose -Driven Life and had a short conversation with him, which is the content of the videos. Now why would a pastor be at the World Economic Forum? Well, on this video Warren says , "This is my favorite phrase as a pastor: 'You can't spell catechism without tech.' It's cat-tech-ism. And so we use technology to help people grow spiritually around the world. I have about a half-million people who get my daily inspiration thing around the world, and I have over 5000 pastors in 162 countries, and I keep in touch with them by the push of a button."2.

So technology is big business, and since it is playing a big part in Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan, I suppose it explains why he would show up at an economic forum. It would have to, of course, if it were to be global, as it is. Now why does the word antichrist keep ringing in my ears? I don't really think he is the antichrist, but he appears to be one of the teamplayers, promoting the social gospel and it's claim to be able to build the kingdom of God on earth. Utopia all over again. When will Christians ever learn? It is JESUS CHRIST who said, "I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it". Not Rick Warren or any other pastor. Where is the credit given to God? The glory belongs to Him alone. Where is the acknowledgement of the Holy Spirit's power? It is Christ who will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords when He returns in power and glory to defeat Satan and the world's system, not some human being who created a network of worldly churches based on worldly principles.

On the video watch Rick Warren answer the question: "Just how big is your purpose-driven ego?", name-drop and tell you how to save the world. It comes "straight from the horse's mouth". Please forgive me for being a little sarcastic here. Sometime I have a hard time believing a pastor could actually say the things he says and do the things he does. Listen and decide for yourself.

Part 1

Part 2


Sunday, February 3, 2008


I just received a newspaper article about the rise of monasticism amongst evangelicals from the Boston Globe. The term "evangelical monastic" sure seems like an oxymoron to me. The Roman Catholic church is definitely making inroads into the evangelical church, and in a very visible way. At least once a week, if not more, I read something that indicates this is a reality.

From the Boston Globe today:


The unexpected monks

Some evangelicals turn to monasticism, suggesting unease with megachurch religion - and the stirrings of rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church.

Members of the Rutba House in Durham, N.C., gather for meals and morning and evening prayer. Members of the Rutba House in Durham, N.C., gather for meals and morning and evening prayer. (Globe / Davis Turner)

By Molly Worthen February 3, 2008

S.G. PRESTON IS a Knight of Prayer. Each morning at his Vancouver, Wash., home, he wakes up and prays one of the 50-odd psalms he has committed to memory, sometimes donning a Kelly green monk's habit. In Durham, N.C., Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and fellow members of Rutba House gather for common meals as well as morning and evening prayer based on the Benedictine divine office. Zach Roberts, founder of the Dogwood Abbey in Winston-Salem, meets regularly with a Trappist monk to talk about how to contemplate God. Roman Catholic monastic traditions loom large in their daily routines - yet all three men are evangelical Protestants.

The image of the Catholic monk - devoted to a cloistered life of fasting and prayer, his tonsured scalp hidden by a woolen cowl - has long provoked the disdain of Protestants. Their theological forefathers denounced the monastic life: True Christians, the 16th-century Reformers said, lived wholly in the world, spent their time reading the Bible rather than chanting in Latin, and accepted that God saved them by his grace alone, not as reward for prayers, fasting, or good works. Martin Luther called monks and wandering friars "lice placed by the devil on God Almighty's fur coat." Of all Protestants, American evangelicals in particular - activist, family-oriented, and far more concerned with evangelism than solitary study or meditative prayer - have historically viewed monks as an alien species, and a vaguely demonic one at that.

Yet some evangelicals are starting to wonder if Luther's judgment was too hasty. There is now a growing movement to revive evangelicalism by reclaiming parts of Roman Catholic tradition - including monasticism. Some 100 groups that describe themselves as both evangelical and monastic have sprung up in North America, according to Rutba House's Wilson-Hartgrove. Many have appeared within the past five years. Increasing numbers of evangelical congregations have struck up friendships with Catholic monasteries, sending church members to join the monks for spiritual retreats. St. John's Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Minnesota, now makes a point of including interested evangelicals in its summer Monastic Institute.

"I grew up in a tradition that believes Catholics are pagans," said Roberts, who was raised Southern Baptist and serves as a pastor in a Baptist church. "I never really understood that. Now I'd argue against that wholeheartedly."

In an era in which televangelists and megachurches dominate the face of American evangelicalism, offering a version of Christianity inflected by populist aesthetics and the gospel of prosperity, the rise of the New Monastics suggests that mainstream worship is leaving some people cold. Already, they are transforming evangelical religious life in surprising ways. They are post-Protestants, breaking old liturgical and theological taboos by borrowing liberally from Catholic traditions of monastic prayer...1.

This is a long article, four pages, but worth reading for those following this trend. Click HERE to read the rest of the article.


Molly Worthen, had this to say (on page four) about how the process began:

Evangelicals have been tentatively exploring that side of Christian tradition since at least the 1978 publication of "Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster, a Quaker theologian who recast fasting and meditative prayer for an evangelical audience. His book sold nearly 2.5 million copies and launched a cottage industry of evangelical contemplative literature - a phrase that, 30 years ago, was a contradiction in terms. Some evangelicals made pilgrimages to the handful of older ecumenical monastic communities abroad, such as the Taizé Community (founded in Burgundy, France, in 1940), and the Iona Community, founded in 1938 at St. Columba's landing place in the Inner Hebrides. They brought back what they learned, and have tried to make it their own. 2.


The influence of Richard Foster and his works is nothing new, but what is noteworthy is the direction Foster's spiritual disciplines takes its followers ~ straight into the arms of the Roman Catholic church.

Just this weekend my daughter asked me to check out a book for her that is required reading for one of her Bible School classes. The book is called Devotional Classics by guess who ~ Richard Foster, of course. It is a collection of selected devotionals by various authors, the majority of whom are Roman Catholic mystics/contemplatives. The list included John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, Bernard Clairvaux, Henri Nouwen, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and the list goes on. I just finished examining this book yesterday in fact. It just seems there is no getting away from the Foster phenomenon. Every time I turn around, somebody is trying to foist the spiritual disciplines ala Foster on somebody I know. There is definitely a spiritual power behind this movement, and I don't thinks it is a holy one.

We need to be in prayer for our family and friends. The issue of the "new monasticism" is not going to go away. It must be dealt with head on, and those within our sphere of influence be warned about the roots of this movement. God bless each of you out there who is working diligently to do this.

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you
about our common salvation,
I felt the necessity to write to you
appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith
which was once for all handed down to the saints.

For certain persons have crept in unnoticed,
those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation,
ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness
and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jude 3,4