Tuesday, November 25, 2008


UPDATE (June 18, 2009): Please read the follow-up to this article HERE.

According to the September issue of the Mennonite Weekly Review and the November 2008 MB Herald , Jim Holm has resigned as president of the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary due to his involvement in an extramarital relationship. The article in the MWR did not give the details of the resignation, other than for personal reasons. It was not until this month (two months later) that the MB Herald disclosed the details of his resignation. While I do not believe we should be "throwing stones", as Ed Boschman, U.S. conference executive director admonishes, this is an event that should cause all of us to examine our own standing in the area of sexual faithfulness before God. I don't think it helps to whitewash the issue by calling it an "extramarital relationship". God calls marital unfaithfulness sin, and it troubles me that this word is not used in any of the news articles published by any of the Mennonite Brethren publications. Let us not minimize the seriousness of such things. The body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit, to be used for His glory. When man or woman fails to do so, he has set up an idol in his heart replacing Christ. Any man or woman who wants to please Christ denies himself and his flesh, and takes up his cross to follow after Him. It also troubles me that there is no mention of calling for his repentance. I hope that this is the goal of all those dealing with the situation. Clearly Scripture teaches that this is how an erring believer is to be dealt with. The article says that the board has "expressed assurance of forgiveness" and "that the Pacific District Conference will oversee his restoration and care". I hope that this means that repentance has already taken place, and I hope to see a statement by Jim Holm published in this regard in the future.

Speaking from personal experience before my own marriage, I understand that these things don't "just happen". There is a gradual spiritual erosion that takes place. It is "the little foxes that spoil the vine". It is placing yourself in the path of temptation, and refusing to deny the flesh. It is placing the temporal before the eternal. Also speaking from personal experience, as a married woman, I now know that it is possible to resist such temptation by asking for help from a fellow-believer who will pray for you to resist, by refusing to put yourself in that place of temptation, and by walking in utter dependence upon God regardless of the circumstances within the marriage relationship. North America trivializes the marriage covenant, but as Christians we must uphold marriage as a holy institution created by God, to be guarded carefully, weathering the storms of life, even if it includes a troubled relationship with our spouse. As believers we must hold ourselves and each other to a high standard regarding our marriage relationships. At one point in my own marriage, when faced with the decision to either pick up the phone and ask for spiritual help, or to turn my back on the marriage and walk out the door, the Holy Spirit confronted me, asking what was more important, my marriage or my pride. I have to admit that I struggled with the decision, but finally realized that if I resisted the Holy Spirit I would fall and have to live with consequences too great to bear, above all a hardening of my heart to the things concerning God and to His Spirit. Praise God who gives us the victory.

I should also like to point out (with reference to the article below), that there is another area in which I believe repentance needs to be called for. It is the area of teaching erroneous doctrine, specifically the teaching of unbiblical methods as a means to gain a closer relationship to God. Jim Holm has been teaching the Spiritual Formation course at MBBS, which promotes forms of prayer which are believed to be derived from the Roman Catholic church and eastern religions, and ultimately the occult, if you examine the origins. They were brought into the church not from the Word of God, but have their source outside the Christian church (** see end note for documentation of this). I can't help wondering if Jim Holm's teachings and his possible reliance on these things rather than the power of the Holy Spirit may have contributed to his falling into sin. We cannot baptize such man-made forms of prayer with Christian terminology and call them our own. The Bible alone must be our guide in these things. Having some previous involvement with such things and following some very intense study of the matter, it has become clear to me that they are "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof". These are dangerous, unbiblical practices that do not have their origins in the Word of God, and they are highly deceptive. (Read my personal testimony about my own involvement with Spiritual Formation while in seminary).

It is high time those in leadership take a close look at what is being taught in the seminary and that those who are teaching such things be held accountable. How about rather than using what I have just stated as an opportunity to jump all over me because you don't want to believe that such things are possible within the MB Conference, you use this as an opportunity to examine the issues carefully for yourself. Are you so sure that those who are debating such things have unfounded concerns? At best, these practices are suspect, and on that basis should be avoided as teaching material. Is it not better to be absolutely certain that such things are biblical before presenting them to students? All Christian organizations must guard against the slippery slope of falling away from the truth. Where is the MB Conference on the scale: is it proclaiming, assuming or denying the gospel? (Please read David Gibson's article, Assumed Evangelicalism: Some reflections en route to denying the gospel). There are other doctrinal errors which I believe are being taught at the seminary, but I will not get into those in this post. However, they are equally important. The December 1859 Weblog is dealing with these issues. They involve teachings about the cross and the deity of Christ, serious matters both, which should not be allowed to go on unchecked. The seminary website denies that they have strayed from their Confession of Faith, but there are credible witnesses who would disagree and have nothing to gain by doing so, and everything to lose.

Below are some excerpts from an article I have found written by Menno Simons. Please note that while I attend a Mennonite Brethren Church, I am first and foremost a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is with some reluctance that I refer to myself as Mennonite Brethren, based on 1 Corinthians 1:12-17; in fact I try not to do so although it is a habit difficult to break. I daresay that Menno Simons would likely be embarrassed to find out that people call themselves after his name. At the same time, I believe he played an important leadership role in preserving and promoting the truth of God's Word and the supremacy of Scripture in the life of the individual believer and the church at large at a time when it was dangerous but imperitive to do so. It is for this reason that I use his writings as an appeal to the MB Conference. I believe the article below is an appeal by Scripture to defend against false teaching and erring brethren, and the purpose of separation, which is restoration. May we carefully heed this admonition from a brother in Christ. It is lengthy, but well worth reading. Its message is as relevent today as when it was written. Below are the excerpts, whose source is e-menno.org:



"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. 8:11.


1871. (Book 2) Page 441 blank page (Book 2) Page 442


Menno Simon wishes all true brethren and sisters in Jesus Christ the grace and peace of God our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ his Son, our Lord, who loved us, and cleansed gas (sic) of our sins by his blood. To him be glory, now and forever, Amen.

Hear, believe, and fulfill God's word, and you shall have everlasting life. Do not judge until you have perused and well understood this.

SINCERLY beloved children in Christ Jesus, you are aware with what diligence, nay, how sincerely I have of late admonished most of you, according to the word of the Lord, by many Scriptures, flowing from a loving, inclined and moved Spirit, as you yourselves have witnessed, I, who seek nothing (of which God is my witness) but alone the salvation of your souls; teaching nothing, desiring nothing, admonishing you to nothing but alone that your most holy faith and works may be powerful and fruitful before God; and that your life and walk may be found before God, before his angels, and before all the world, holy, pure, sober, chaste, temperate, humble, gentle, kind, mild, merciful, righteous, unblamable, in conformity with, and obedient to the gospel of Christ, a shining light, that in all your doings you may express Christ Jesus whom you have put on, if you have rightly put him on, as I trust; and thus show in your life his divine and heavenly image after which you are created, Col. 3; Eph. 4.

You know that I do not desire your money, silver, and carnal gifts, although I may be blamed of it by the infamous, lying world. I beseech all of you, and would with much solicitation, anxiety, tribulation, sighing, weeping, and pains, teach you such faith, love, spirit, conscience and walk that you can stand before the righteous judgment of God, and that in Christ Jesus.

I do not doubt, most beloved brethren, that you well know (if you be born with Christ, of God the Father of the heavenly seed of the divine word), that you must be conformed unto Christ in mind, spirit, courage and will, both in doctrine and life, as Christ Jesus is conformed unto the nature and image of his blessed, heavenly Father, to which he was so conformed that he did nothing but that his Father did, Jn. 5; that he taught nothing but the word of his Father. Jn. 7. In the same manner with those who are begotten of the living, saving word of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ; they are, by virtue of their new birth, so conformed unto Christ, so like unto him, so really implanted into him, so converted into his heavenly nature, that they do not teach nor believe any doctrine but that which conforms unto the doctrine of Christ; do not make use of any religious ceremonies but Christ's ceremonies, which he has taught and commanded in his holy gospel; for how can the natural branches bear fruit different from that of the vine itself of which they budded forth H Jn. 15.

As there is nothing found in Christ Jesus but solely the holiness, wisdom, brightness, righteousness, power, love, peace, mercy, and truth of the Almighty Father, thus you have in the same manner partaken of his being and goodness, because you with him are regenerated and renewed of the same Father.

Behold, brethren, such regenerated and godly minded, live unblamably, even according to the measure of the rule of the holy gospel of Jesus Christ and his apostles. Therefore he kisses them as his beloved, chosen ones, with the mouth of his peace, Cant. 1, and calls them his church, his bride, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, of which he begets, with inexpressible pleasure, by his powerful seed, his holy word, the children of God, the children of the promise, the children of righteousness, the children of truth, and the children of life eternal. But of the Babylonian, Sodomitic, whoring, adulterous, idolatrous, bloody, unbelieving, blind and unclean whore with which they have, for centuries, lived in adultery by the use of wood, stone, gold, silver, bread, wine, false doctrine, and of the very vain, ac

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cursed works of their own hands, contrary to Jesus Christ and his holy word, he will never beget them, Rev. 17; 18.

Therefore I admonish all our beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord, so precious as is Christ Jesus to you, never to let it go out of your mind, but ever to remember for what purpose you are called, taught, and baptized. Remember the covenant of the most high God, that into which you voluntarily entered; into which you have voluntarily desired and accepted; being taught by the word of God, and operated upon by the Holy Spirit; and remember that according to the doctrine of Paul, you have voluntarily buried in baptism, all your avarice, uncleanness, pride, hatred, envy, abuse of the sacramental signs, idolatry, gluttony, drunkenness, sensuality, falsehood, deceit, &c., and that you are arisen with Christ Jesus, into newness of life, Rom. 6, if you are rightly arisen with him; which new life is nothing else but righteousness, unblamableness, love, mercifulness, humility, longsuffering, peace, truth, yea, the whole, gentle life which is taught by the gospel, and was found in Christ Jesus.

O, brethren, how far are some of us, alas, yet distant from the evangelical life which is of God! Notwithstanding that they stay out of the other churches, and are outwardly baptized in water, they yet are carnal and devilish minded in all things, thinking perhaps, that christianity consists of outward baptism and the non attendance of the church. No, beloved, no! I tell you, as truly as the Lord lives, before God avails no outward baptism, nor staying away from the churches, nor supper, nor being persecuted, if we do not obey the commandments of God, 1 Cor. 7; if our faith does not manifest itself in love, and the new creature, as also Christ Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a inan (sic) be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God," Jn. 3:3. At another place he says, " Verily; I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven," Matt. 18:3. But the regenerated and converted, that is the believing, are rightly baptized in accordance with God's word; for they bury their sins in baptism, and arise with Christ into newness of life, Rom. 6; they are spiritually circumcised with the circumcision of Christ, Col. 2; they put on Christ Jesus; they show by the washing of regeneration that they are born again; for it is a washing of the new birth, Tit. 3.

These regenerated ones use the true Supper; for they proclaim the death of Christ until his coming again, 1 Cor. 11; their pleasure is in the church of the righteous, their works are nothing but brotherly love, one heart, one soul, one spirit. Yea, one undivided body, fruitful, serving, and common in Christ Jesus, which are symbolized by the outward cup, and the outward bread, 1 Cor. 10. These regenerated ones shun all false doctrine, all idolatry, all improper usage of the sacramental signs in the church or out of the church; they seek only the true teachers who are unblamable both in doctrine and in life; the true religion, as taught and expressed in Christ's word, namely, the dying unto the flesh, Rom. 12; Gal. 6; the service of the afflicted, Matt. ls; the visiting of the widows and orphans; as James says, They seek to keep themselves unblemished and unspotted from the world, Jas. 1. These regenerated ones bear the cross of Christ with gladness of heart, so established in Christ Jesus that they can not be separated from the eternal truth and love of God, by false doctrine, nor by horrible torments, ever remembering their Lord's word, where he says, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven," Matt. 10:32.

All their thoughts are chaste, gentle, peaceful, heavenly and of the Holy Spirit; all their words are wisdom, truth, doctrine, admonition in grace, well seasoned, the words of God and words spoken at the right time. They are spirit, and they are life. In short, all their works are love, mercifulness, righteousness, piety, and are done in the fear of the Lord. Behold, brethren, this is the true nature and mind of the children of God, who are by grace converted in their hearts and with Christ born of God the Father. Therefore I beseech you as my sincerely beloved brethren, by the grace of God, nay I com

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mand you with holy Paul, by the Lord Jesus Christ, who at his coming will judge the living and the dead, diligently to observe each other unto salvation, in all becoming ways teaching, instructing, admonishing, reproving, threatening and consoling each other as occasion requires, not otherwise than in accordance with the word of God, and in unfeigned love, that we may all grow up in God, and become united in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, into one perfect man, and according to the measure of the gift of Jesus Christ, Eph. 4:7.

Therefore take heed. If you see your brother sin, then pass not by him, as one that does not prize his soul; but if his fall be curable, from that moment endeavor to raise him up by gentle admonition and brotherly instruction, before you eat, drink, sleep or do any thing else, as one who ardently desires his salvation, lest your poor, erring brother harden and corrupt in his fall, and perish in his sin.

Do not act so unfaithfully as you have hitherto done, as not to make the transgressions of your dying brother or sister known to those within the church before those without; but rather exhort them, and seek by prayer, by words, and by actions to convert him from the error of his way, to save his soul and thus to stop the multiplying of his transgressions, Jas. G. Take heed, brethren, take heed I that you allow no defamer among you, as Moses taught, Lev. 19, no double, lying, roguish, nor backbiting tongue; and do not consent, lest you fall into the wrath of God. Let every one take heed, how, where, when and what he speaks, lest his tongue blaspheme his God and his neighbor; but always remember the words of Ecclesiasticus, "Honor and shame is in talk, and the tongue of man is his fall," Eccl. 5:13.

But brethren, if those of years of understanding who were with us, by the urging. of the Spirit, baptized in the most holy body of Jesus Christ, which is the church, again withdraw themselves from the body or church of Christ, actuated either by false doctrine or vain, carnal life, no matter whether it be father or mother, sister or brother, husband or wife, son or daughter, or any one else, for God's word applies to all flesh, without respect of person, Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 2; Eph. 8; Col. 3, if he or she do not heed the admonitions of the brethren, which is given with sorrow, tears and a compassionate spirit of love, but continue in their Jewish doctrine, namely, of sword, kingdom, polygamy or the like deceit; again, in the doctrine of the infamous confession, of shamelessness in exposing their persons, and the like unnatural, inhuman actions; again in the doctrine which is opposed to the cross of Christ, such as that uncleanness is pure to the pure, and thus having communion in fruitless works, as the hearing of the preachers of the world, infant baptism, the worldly supper, and the like abominations. Again, continue in drunkenness, avarice, adultery, fornication, unbecoming words, &c., with such have nothing to do, nor eat with them, as Paul has taught and commanded us in plain words, 1 Cor. 5.

But if he affectionately receive the admonitions of his faithful brethren, if he confess his fall, if he be sorry, promise reformation, show signs of penitence, and acknowledge his transgression, then, no matter how he has transgressed, receive him as a returning, beloved brother or sister, but beware, lest he mock his God; for the acceptation of brethren does not avail if we be not accepted of God. Beware, I say, lest his hearing the admonitions, his sorrow, his promise of reformation, and his penitence be not sincere before God; for he searches the hearts and reins, and he knows all inward feignedness and thoughts of men, Jer. 17; Jn. 2; Rom. 8.

If his hearing the admonitions, his sorrow, promise and penitence are not sincere and from his heart, but merely indifferent, feigned, spiritless, hypocritical, just because he does not want to be outwardly thrown out of the communion of the brethren, he is still cut off by Christ, and is a hypocrite in the sight of God. Nor will he be looked upon nor judged by God as being any thing else. For God the righteous Judge does not judge according to the outward appearance, but solely according to the inward intentions of the heart.

Say, beloved, inasmuch as this is the

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case, what does it avail to go by the mere name of a christian brother if he have not the inward, evangelical faith, love, and unblamable life of a true brother of Jesus Christ.

Or what does it avail to partake of the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ with the brethren if we have not the true symbolized fruits of this Supper, namely, the love of the brethren, and the peaceable unity of faith in Christ Jesus? Or does it avail anything outwardly to converse in the communion of the brethren, if we are not inwardly in the communion of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ?

Therefore, brethren, none is cut off by us, or ejected from the communion of the brethren (judge rightly) but those who have already ejected themselves either by false doctrine, or by a blamable life, from Christ and his communion. For we do not wish to eject any, but to accept them; not to cut them off, but to restore them; not to reject, but to win them back; not to afflict, but to console them; not to condemn, but to save them. For this is the true nature of a christian brother. Whosoever renounces evil, be it false doctrine or; vain life, and conforms himself to the gospel of Jesus Christ, unto which he is baptized neither shall nor can be ejected or cut off by any of the brethren.

But those whom we cannot raise up and admonish unto repentance by tears, threatening, reproving, or. by any other christian services and divine means, we should reluctantly separate from us, sincerely deploring the fall and damnation of such erring brethren, lest we also be deceived and led astray by such false doctrine which eats about itself like a cancer, 2 Tim. 2; lest we corrupt our flesh which is inclined to evil, by the contagion; and that we may thus obey the word of God which commands us to do so; and that thus the separated brother or sister, whom we can not convert by gentle services, may, by means of the separation, be shamed unto repentance, 2 Thess. 2, and acknowledge to what he has come and from what he is fallen. Thus the ban is a great work of love, notwithstanding it is looked upon by the unintelligent as an act of hatred.

Brethren and sisters this separation or ban, so earnestly taught and commanded in the Scriptures by Christ Jesus and his holy apostles was instituted to be practiced for these causes and reasons, first: For false doctrine, Matt. 7; 18; Rom. lE; 2 Tim. 2; 1 Tim. e; Tit. 3; Phil. 3; 2 Jn.1; again, for sinful, carnal life, Matt. 18; 1 Cor. G; 2 Thess. 3; 2 Tim. 3; again, that we should admonish them (understand, those that will be admonished), Matt. ~18; Tit. 3. Therefore take heed, and watch your own soul, lest you despise the word of God in this necessary matter of separation, and transgress his ordinances; but that you in every respect practice upon and uphold it with divine wisdom, discretion, gentleness and prudence, in the case of those who have gone aside from the evangelical doctrine or life; not with austerity, nor with cruelty, but rather with gentleness, reluctance, and with sorrow and pity for the diseased members who are not cured, in whose case pains and labor avail nothing, who should be cut off with the knife of the divine word, lest the others be corrupted, and lest the abominable scurvy is imparted to the other sheep. Yea it should be done in such a manner that the erring sister or brother may be made ashamed at heart, and thus be won, as was said above. And in case there be any moving of the Spirit, any spark of life; or any fear of God in such sister or brother, their heart will surely quake and tremble; for by the admonition of the word of God, and by the testimony of his own conscience he will acknowledge that he has cut himself off from the communion of Jesus Christ, by his vain, carnal life, and that he has again entered into the communion of the devil; and that therefore his lot and part shall not be with theblessed souls in heaven, but with the damned in hell unto eternity, unless he convert himself.

May God, the merciful Father, save all his chosen children who have entered into his holy covenant and communion, from such a fearful fall, obduracy, and separation, Amen.

All the apostate sisters and brethren who are offended at and angry with us on account of this open doctrine and practice of the Christian ban or separation, will be of

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fended more and more; for whosoever is impure will be rendered still more impure, as the Holy Spirit of the prophecies teaches, Rev. 22. For the word of God is unto the reformation, righteousness, and life of the pious and godly; but unto the lost it is unto offense, unrighteousness and death. Whatl be angry with us because we obey Scripture in this respect? Let them rather be angry with themselves; for they dare teach and live contrary to the commandment of God. If they want to renounce their heresy, and reform their ungodly life, the heavenly doctrine of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ will not offend them nor make them worse, but rather urge, affright and convert them.

If they, by their apostatic, refractory and carnal hatred, are so deprived of grace and the knowledge of God, and become worse and worse, so that they see death in the eternal life, and darkness in the heavenly light of divine truth, then we can claim to be clear before God and his holy angels, from their sins, obduracy, and eternal death if we do toward them that which the Lord's word has commanded us in regard to this matter. Therefore we desire not to have communion with them, nor lot nor part, unto eternity, so long as they do not sincerely renounce their false doctrine and reform their miserable, accursed, earthly, carnal, and devilish life, to the praise of the Lord. But in case true penitence is found in them, in good faith, as before God who sees all things, then we say, welcome beloved brethren, welcome, beloved sisters, and we sincerely rejoice at the sincere conversion of such brethren and sisters. Yea, we rejoice as one is rejoiced at the restoration of an only Son who was dangerously ill as at the restoration of a lost sheep or penny; and as at the reappearance of a son who was given up as lost, Matt. 18; Luke 15.

Behold, brethren, therefore I will leave every apostate brother to consider why, and wherefore, with what kind of spirit, and with what intention this separation or ban was so diligently practiced, first by Christ Jesus and his apostles and afterward by us who are again placed in their doctrine and practice of all christian doings, as may be easily deduced from the alleged Scriptures. Well, dear brethren in the Lord, you who are baptized by one Spirit into one body, and have voluntarily entered into the communion of Jesus Christ, and also you who are of a good mind, inasmuch as you must shun the apostatic in accordance with the word of God, therefore, take heed, that while you shun them as diseased, foul and useless members, unfit for the body of Christ, you yourselves may be found to be sound, fit, and fruitful members in Christ Jesus; and that while you shun them as children of darkness and of death, you yourselves may be children of the light and of eternal life, that the righteous sentence of God may not be pronounced against you; take heed, lest you who shun others on account of their evil doing, secretly commit worse things in the sight of God. Take heed, lest you adjudge others of what you yourselves are guilty, Rom. 2. Behold, brethren, thus the ban or separation should be practiced in the house of the Lord, that is, in God's church; nor have they any other weapon unto eternity. Of this I would have written more but defer it to some other time, if it please God.

Now, beloved brethren, take heed, take heed, brethren, this I advise you that there may never be any thoughts in your hearts otherwise than such as are pure, holy, chaste, heavenly, and of the Holy Spirit. "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God," Matt. G:8. "The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom and his tongue talketh of judgment," Ps. 37:3o. Let all thy words be as a sworn oath before God and before the world, Matt. S; Jas. G. Let all your actions be wrought of God by God, and in God, Jn. 3. Measure all your thoughts, words and actions by the rule of the divine word, that the ungodly defamer who so diligently watches all your words and actions may find nothing which he can truly cast up to you, whereby he can accuse or blame you, as Paul taught and requested the church, in some instances, Eph. 4; 1 Tim. 3; Tit. 2. ....."

0, beloved brethren, fulfill my desire, and finish, as obedient children of God that which I have faithfully taught, admonished and written unto you from the word of God, to your eternal salvation, that you may also be partakers of the glorious crown, hope and joy, in the day of the coming of Christ, 1 Thess. 2. "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit," Rom. 12:11. Bless God in all his works toward us, and pray him to guide your way,. and let all your counsel be in him, Tob. 4. Walk fearlessly in the commandments of the Lord. Go not in any manner beyond the gospel of Christ, Gal. 1. Be firm in the way of the Lord. Overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil by the most holy faith which is in you, 1 Jn. 5. Joyfully serve each other, "In patience possess ye your souls," Luke 21:13.

"Be patient in tribulation," Rom. 12:12. Prepare your hearts for the cross of Christ, so that when it comes you may not be terrified with the cowardly.

No more at present, but watch closely all the days of your lives, the unexpected coming of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ, who has made us such dear creatures, bought us with his precious blood, graciously called, enlightened and regenerated us, and who will crown us with the crown of glory, array us in the garment of unblamableness, and give us the gift of eternal life. To him be eternal praise and glory, now and forever, Amen.

Ponder, holy brethren, upon every word which I have written unto you; read it attentively; reflect upon it diligently, understand it rightly, judge spiritually, and live up to it divinely. 0, brethren, then my admonition and writing, and your perusal and hearing shall be fruitful.

I pray you with holy Paul, by the grace of God, not to suppress this admonition, nor to lay it away, but to read it to all faithful brethren and sisters in the Lord; as also to all the apostates who are not entirely given up, that they may be won back. Yea, not alone to these, but to all men in or out of the church, who may desire to hear it. The grace of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ be with all true brethren and sisters, Amen.

Again, pray for me and far all your servants in the Lord. Beware of all doctrine and works which are not conformable to the gospel of Christ.


May grace and peace remain with all the true children of God, and fellow laborers of the promise, in the kingdom of Christ.


**End note: for documentation on this please go to http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1038&more=1&c=1
(In the article, look for the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (MID) forming for the purpose of promoting Eastern-style meditation into the Christian community and occultist Alice Bailey foretelling the use of the Christian church to bring about "worldwide illumination").

1. http://e-menno.org/menno/menno134.htm

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Over the past several years the team of Paul & Krystyn Getty have written a number of new hymns about the Christian faith. Many of them have become favorites of mine. I will likely share others on this site in the coming weeks and months. For now, enjoy Krystyn Getty singing The Power of the Cross.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Please read the important article at Lighthouse Trails
Why Christian Leaders Should Not Promote Henri Nouwen
that inspired the diatribe which follows:

I became a big fan of Henri Nouwen after discovering him on the reading list of the Spiritual Formation syllabus at a seminary where I took a few classes a couple of years ago. As an author, I found him to be warm, honest and engaging. He appealed to the scholarly side of me as well. I ended up choosing to write one of my papers for the Spiritual Formation class about two of the books he wrote. (It was a required class - I was enrolled in the Marriage and Family Counseling program).

I decided to go down to my basement to unearth this paper to see what I had written about him two years ago. Referring to my own walk with the Lord I wrote (the book mentioned is Nouwen's The Genesee Diary): "One of the first things that came to mind about how my walk would different, and has even begun to become so in the process of reading this book, is that of learning to wait quietly on the Lord. This is something I have been aware of the need to do for some time already, but in reading Nouwen's account I have seen the importance of meditation in the process".

Another book I read and wrote about for the same course was Invitation to a Journey by M. Robert Mulholland. In this paper I wrote: "Mulholland's use of the personality characteristics as tools to understand the spiritual paths we take was a novel one for me, especially the depth of his explanations. I found this concept helpful in understanding the directions my own path has taken, and in seeing areas I need to work on to have a well-rounded spiritual life. I would like to take more time to examine them and get another person's perspective on which areas I need to grow in and how to incorporate them into my lifestyle. I believe meditation would be a discipline I would benefit from".

Please listen to me, people!! Meditation in the scriptural way of mulling over the meaning of a certain passage of scripture so that I could remember and apply it is not what I had in mind. The type of meditation I was learning about was a method of emptying the mind in order to "fill it with God" so that I could reduce my stress level. It is the process of attempting to leave the conscious mind in order to "experience God" and be intimate with Him in a new and different way. On the surface this may sound okay. People who are teaching contemplative prayer say that the verse in Psalm 46 that says, "Be still, and know that I am God", means that we are supposed to still our minds: i.e. stop thinking about God and all other things and just experience (or rest in) Him. But if you read the verse in context, and in its plain and literal meaning, what it really means is that we are to quit striving against God and trust Him to take care of things, not leave our rational minds behind and enter an altered state of consciousness. But this was the conclusion that I came to while I took this Spiritual Formation course and before I had even heard the term "contemplative prayer". I was definitely on the contemplative mystical road that leads to the same place Henri Nouwen ended up: denying that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, which he did in the last book he wrote before his death, Sabbatical Journey. Only he had reached the end of it, and I was just beginning.

When I got home after completing the course I promptly set up a little "meditation corner" in one of the rooms of our basement. I was already familiar with the concept, having been introduced to it on the Oprah Winfrey Show through one of her guests, another New Age/New Spirituality teacher, Sarah Ban Breathnach. It had sounded like a really neat idea to me at the time, and now I had validation from other Christians (misled ones), to do it.

Before taking this Spiritual Formation course I had already been through the wringer emotionally for a number of years. My marriage was struggling and one of my children was acting out with self-injury and thinking of committing suicide. I don't think my situation was all that unique considering the times we live in and the spiritual condition many Christians are in these days. We live in desperate times and many have left the solid spiritual roots of the Bible's authority and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. We have become so busy that we don't take the time to study our Bibles as we should and the foundation starts to erode as the storms of life beat against it.

Well, praise God, He opened my eyes to the folly of the Spiritual Formation movement since then. My meditation corner is gone and my Bible sits open beside me as I write this. It has become a faithful companion. The Lord brought me through a time of repentance for my involvement with this deceitful spiritual movement, and has given me a renewed love for His Word. I have probably read more of my Bible in the last two years than I had in my whole lifetime previous, and I'm no spring chicken anymore! When I look back at the healing that God has wrought in my life (there needed to be a lot) I can see how clearly He has used His Word to bring conviction where there was sin, faith where there was doubt, hope where there was once despair, and an identity in Christ which has become firmly settled. It is through God's Word that my mind has been renewed and my thinking corrected. No ritual or "spiritual discipline" can accomplish such a thing. Practicing such things put me into an ethereal spiritual place that set me up in my mind above other Christians with a false sense of humility (yeah, it is pride). I can now praise God for a marriage which He has restored, three children who all love the Lord and respect their parents, and the ministry I have on this blog because God delivered me from the folly of the Spiritual Formation/Contemplative Prayer movement. Have every one of my problems been solved? Absolutely not, since I still live on this planet in a body which is aging faster than I care to admit. But I can say with confidence that "God is so good!" and I look forward to seeing Him soon when Christ calls His Bride, the Church, home. He has placed my feet on the path of life once again, and has forgiven me for slipping off of it. And He will do it for you too if you are willing to let Him!

Please pray for those who are in spiritual leadership over us and in our Christian educational institutes. The majority of them are well-meaning Christians who sincerely love the Lord, but they have been deceived and are passing the deception along to others. I once again affirm the importance of a solid foundation in God's Word by which we are to test all things. The Contemplative/Spiritual Formation movements are the trojan horse of the New Age/New Spirituality movement. They DO NOT PASS THE TEST OF SCRIPTURE. Their methods of prayer and meditation are not found in the Bible, but the New Age movement is full of it and has come in under the radar with the endorsement of pseudo-christians into the Church. Beware of wolves and false teachers, find out as much as you can about the movement, and then warn everyone who will listen to you. Believe it or not, there are still many people who don't understand what has crept into their churches, and especially their youth programs.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


This post is a follow-up to a series I wrote called The Golden-Rule Twisted (in 4 parts). In Part 4 I wrote about Karen Armstrong winning a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) award for her idea of creating a global Charter for Compassion based on the Golden Rule. For the background on today's post I suggest you read the articles that I have highlighted above. The fourth article explains who Karen Armstrong is, what the TED award is and who is behind it as well as the details of Armstrong's dream for this global charter.

By the way, did you know that Rick Warren was the recipient of a TED award in 2006. That is where he gave his famous speech about identity, income and influence and the purpose of life. He is addressing the question, "What are you doing with what you've been given?". This is also where he says that God looks down on us when we are using our gifts to make the world a better place and says, "That's my boy!" Sadly, Warren misses mention something vital - being born again by the Spirit of God - confessing our sin, repenting and turning by faith to Jesus Christ for salvation - all things necessary for becoming a child of God. The Bible teaches that those who do not belong to God in Christ are His enemies. He loves them, but they are dead in their trespasses and sins and are in rebellion to God. He is telling a group of people, some who have likely never heard the gospel, some who are trusting in their own good deeds to gain favor with God, that they are His child. How can a person who is named "America's Pastor" sit before an audience in the making of a video that millions of people are going to watch and miss telling them something so absolutely vital to their eternal destiny, and then lie to them by implying they are all the children of God. This is a false gospel. If you haven't yet watched this TED video, you can see it by clicking HERE. (TED's sponsor is BMW, which supports its belief in the power of ideas. It is primarily a forum for new age ideas, interfaith teaching, and worldly wisdom. Now I wonder why they would honor Rick Warren with this award!!?)

It was announced on November 13th that the Charter for Compassion will be moving forward to its realization by calling for people of many and diverse religious beliefs around the globe for their input towards its completion in 2009. The Charter for Compassion website has a three and a half minute video explaining its purpose. In it Armstrong calls fundamentalism a dangerous thing, but what it ignores is that biblical "fundamental" Christianity stands apart from all religions. The fundamentalism (in its traditional definition) in true Christianity is not a dangerous thing. I never met a traditional fundamental and biblical Christian yet that forces anyone to convert. It is not dangerous. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts people of sin and convinces them of truth. It is up to Christians to proclaim that truth, and to live it - that is all. Anyone who forces someone to convert does not understand the Christian gospel. Debating with someone about the validity of their beliefs is not a violent thing in and of itself. (But of course the new spirituality has redefined violence to include that.)

The definition of tolerance has been changed to mean acceptance of all religions as equal. What these people do not realize is that one can tolerate something without considering it equally valid in its teachings. In that Christianity is not a religion, as compared with all the "isms" of other beliefs, it stands apart and is unique. It alone has the truth about God, the nature of man, the deity of Jesus Christ and the eternal destiny of man. Those who are fundamental Bible-believing and Bible-honoring Christians know that they cannot compromise the truth that there is salvation in no other name than that of Jesus THE Christ. Those who make that compromise are not Christians, they are pseudo-Christians. There is no peace to be had on the earth apart from the peace that comes when an individual has received redemption through Christ's sacrifice in His blood. Any other message is not the Christian message. It is a lie.

The global "peace" and subsequent "unity" of those who have set their hearts on forming the Charter for Compassion will be the fulfillment of the Antichrist's attempt to rule the world once and for all and set himself up as God in the place of the Creator of the universe. What Karen Armstrong doesn't realize is that she is helping to usher in the Antichrist's global kingdom by using the "Golden Rule" as its "holy grail", just as Oprah and all of her fellow new age gurus are when they promote "A New Earth". They accuse fundamentalist Christians of ushering in Armageddon when they teach about the last days according to Bible prophecy, and are determined that they are not going to let it happen. Are you kidding!? It is the height of arrogance and rebellion to believe human beings are going to prevent God's predetermined plan for mankind. Instead, they are going to end up persecuting Christians for standing in the way of global unity, the new tower of Babel, and usher in the Antichrist's Kingdom.

I realize there may be people who come across my blog who don't understand what I am talking about. If there is something that doesn't seem quite right to you about all this global unity talk, I urge you to examine some of the links I have posted at the top of my sidebar. You may also email me and I will do my best to help you. The Bible prophesied hundreds of events about Jesus Christ's coming to earth so that you may be saved from the wrath of God coming against Satan and his followers, hundreds of years before they happened. They were all fulfilled. The only Bible prophecies yet to be fulfilled concern the global economic, political and spiritual unity under the Antichrist, the seven years of tribulation to come upon the earth such as it has never before experienced and the final judgment of unbelievers and the beginning of a new era under God's rule and the establishment of Christ's kingdom. Satan is a deceiver and the father of lies. From the beginning he has tried to set himself up as God in his rebellion. Throughout history he has never wavered from his goal. He, and all those he has deceived into following his agenda will be cast into the Lake of Fire that is reserved for him. Hell was created for the rebellious and arrogant fallen angel, Satan, not for human beings. But those human beings who reject the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was sent by God to save us from the evil nature that lurks within us will join him if they don't look to Christ as their only hope of salvation.

I urge you to carefully consider this. The hour is late. Don't delay. It will soon be too late to change your mind before the coming tribulation is upon this world. And then if you do, you will either be deceived into worshiping Satan wholeheartedly or be put to death for refusing to do so. He will require every man to receive a mark on his hand or forehead in order to buy or sell anything upon the earth. The failure of the nation's economies and the coming economic collapse will make this seem like a good solution. These things are all prophesied in the Bible. They will happen whether Oprah, Obama, or Karen Armstrong try to stop them or not. These people twist God's Word to suit their own agenda and to their peril. Don't fall for the deception.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Lighthouse Trails has just announced that they are now on YouTube. Warren Smith speaking on Standing Fast in the Last Days can be seen on this channel. I have the DVD and watched it several days ago. It describes how the New Age is infiltrating society at large, and also the church. Click HERE to go to the Lighthouse Trails YouTube channel to watch it for yourself.


Could the emerging church have anything to do with with New World Order? They are using much of the same terminology. Carla at More Books and Things has posted an article entitled The Emerging Church and the New World Order, which I recommend. Click HERE to read it.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I like what Don Koenig of The Prophetic Years blog wrote about the coming global spiritual, economic and political unity. Regarding an article by Brannon Howse, Koenig says:

Brannon House gives a very good explanation of how three different demonically inspired worldviews have merged to create what he calls “One-World Spirituality”. After you read this article you will have a much better understanding of where Oprah, Obama, Al Gore, Tolle are leading the world via the lies from Media, Educational systems, Radical Environmentalism, Emergent Church, WCC, CFR, UN etc.

Over half of America now is under the influence of this new worldview and that includes most of those who call themselves Christians. All of the three worldviews are incompatible with Christianity and when combined they are not only hostile toward Bible believers they also have the power to carry out hostility and persecution on those who oppose them. The root teaching of all of the worldviews can be traced back to people influenced by paganism and the occult.1.

Click here to read the Howse article, One World Spirituality: Three Worldviews Emerge.


On a related note, Slice of Laodicea reports that spiritual leaders of many faiths gathered at the Aspen Institute in Colorado (a New Age interfaith organization) this month to discuss the "healing of the nation" (USA). The article in the Aspen Times said that it was deliberately scheduled two days after the presidential election. Here are a few quotes from the Aspen Times article, Spiritual leaders gather in Aspen: group hopes to discover collective voice:

Included among the group are Father Thomas Keating, senior monastic, St. Benedict’s Monastery in Old Snowmass; Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement; Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, chairman of the American Buddhist Association; Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Swami Atmarupananda, senior monastic of the Ramakrishna Mission; Imam Mohamed Bashar Arafat, founder and president of Civilizations Exchange & Cooperation Foundation, and Brother Achalananda, senior monastic of the Self-Realization Fellowship, among many others.
The premise of the gathering is that the spiritual landscape of America is changing.
Organizers said that the religious voice of the Fundamental Christian Right has dominated the country for several years and it represents a minority of Americans.
That’s why the initiative conducted an extensive search to find respected leaders from the Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, contemplative Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths — who aren’t advocating for the superiority of one faith, themselves or their churches. (emphasis mine)
“We have come together across spiritual lines, because that is where the great mystical energy resides,” said Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW). “There is a type of activism that comes out of contemplation, anything else is social action.”
“Our new president, Barack Obama, said there will be some changes and that is happening now, right here,” said a participant during Friday’s summit. “I hope that we can all get together, live a good life and be kind to each other.”
The summit wraps up today, starting with meditation and yoga at the Aspen Meadows Gym. Discussions begin 9 a.m. The day’s activities close at 4 p.m. with an inter-spiritual ceremony.

Merriam said she hopes the spiritual coalition will gain momentum in the coming months and contribute to the nation’s most pressing challenges, and ultimately lead to a paradigm shift in the world’s leadership.

“A new spiritual energy is emerging in the country,” she said. “Just as the political landscape is changing, so too is the spiritual landscape. We must tap this new energy to gain a forward looking vision of how to advance our national well being.” 2.

Please note the list that includes "contemplative Christian" as a faith that is not advocating the superiority of one faith over another. This contradicts Jesus words stating that He is the only way to the Father. "Contemplative Christians" try to wiggle around this by using verbal gymnastics, twisting His words and their meaning to include all people of all faiths. To those who have had doubts that the emerging church and its contemplative leanings are a danger to those who uphold the Word of God, this should make it clear where the contemplative spirituality movement is moving. It is in step with a one-world spirituality, fitting right in with Obama-style Christianity, and Oprah's and Eckhart Tolle's ("A New Earth" author) New Age christ. It leaves little to wonder about who and what the "paradigm shift in the world's leadership" (as stated in the above quote) may be referring to.

In order for many Christians to fall away in the last days they must be decieved into accepting a counterfeit christ within the framework of a counterfeit Christianity. Those who are following the "Christian" contemplative pathway are flirting with the devil who is appearing as an angel of light. Beware: the contemplative christ is the counterfeit christ. If you are following the contemplative pathway you are on a collision course with the Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ himself (John 1).

Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate, and broad is the way,
that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way,which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:13-15



Saturday, November 1, 2008


Well, Hallowe'en is over for another year. It is a day, as a Christian, that I typically ignore. My sensible parents never allowed us to participate in the event other than to deposit gospel tracts in the bags of the candy-beggars. (My daddy was a pastor). We always had a great time, though, rounding up various unused items from the household (old belt buckles, other stuff we didn't want) and added them to their bags of goodies, hooting with glee as we closed the door behind the unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. It continues to be a day that we don't acknowledge other than as a pagan holiday. It always seemes to weird to me when people greet each other with "Happy Hallowe'en"! Happy? HAPPY!!? Scary, silly, or even devilish would be a more appropriate adjective to describe the event. It troubles me to think of what is going on behind the closed doors of the growing number of Wiccans, earth-worshippers and Satanists on that day. I hear their numbers are growing rapidly as people are turning away from the living God to worship created things. A lot of physical and sexual abuse is taking place behind those closed doors. It was interesting and informative to watch a television show on VisionTV yesterday talking about the true origins of Hallowe'en. They didn't make any bones about its pagan past and its pagan present, speaking of its growth in popularity throughout North America.

Well, enough rambling. I found a good article about the issue that I thought I would pass on. "What is This? Christians Celebrating Halloween?" written Ray Gano, likens it to the act of adultery, or flirting with an old boyfriend after geting married. If you and your family are still "celebrating" Hallowe'en, you need to reconsider doing that, and ask yourself if it brings honor to Christ.