Spiritually Experiencing God, Part 1


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Important study on the Emergent Church and its infiltration into Protestantism and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Omega of apostasy will deceive many people, for the devil is behind it. Our only safety is in an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ, and serious study of the Bible.

Published in: Spiritual
  • some of the things that was said I am in agreement with however I think that on some of your points more research needs to be done both from the spirit of prophecy and the Bible, the prayer room is one such5'When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6'But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7'And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words Mathew 6:5-7
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  • After reading about Dr. Morris' teaching 'Formation' or in other words SPIRITUALISM AT MANY OF OUR SDA SCHOOLS!.....he taught at Southern, Andrews and now at Forrest Lake...I'm stunned by our conference leaders allowing this!!!
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  • On slide #41 the 'repetitious' word 'they' tell you to repeat is mind control.......hmmm reminds me of what is used in the Catholic church over and over and over as a 'prayer!'. Holy Mary Mother of God...etc.repeated many many times....and the mind becomes open to Satan as with contemplative 'prayer.' The Bible tells us that repetitive prayers do not go beyond the ceiling!!
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  • @EmergingOmega Hi, I just found this site and am in the process of reading it! I have recently found out how the Ohio conference and others are being misled. So, I started to dig for info and found this and much more. The infiltration of the Jesuits for one thing, started a long time ago. For ex: My Dad went to AUC after wwII he wasn't a SDA at the time. So, a few so called SDA's going to school with him at the dorm, deemed him harmless and told him they were Jesuits and there to do as much damage to the SDA belief as possible and said that there were many in high places going to do the same then and forward!! My Dad became a SDA and had related this story to us for years. He has no reason to lie to us, just protect us! We are being duped and will be duped if we are not in close connection with our Lord! PLEASE folks, study and study the Bible ans Spirit O Prophecy and be very wary!!
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  • I would respectfully disagreewith you that satan 'always' makes sense. It's his choices that are the cause of the great controversey over the character of God; what he's done to cause this certainly doesn't make the slightest sense to me. 'We have seen how the Word of Truth (Bible) and the Word of Prophecy (Testimonies) have been destroyed-' How have the Bible and the SOP been destroyed? When it says we were created in the image of God I believe that and I think a part of that is the ability to use our minds that God gave us. A wise SDA once said, 'sure it's dangerous to use our minds...but it's even more dangerous not to'. God invites us to...'Come let us reason together' Is 1:18.
    This can only come about by a trusting personal relationship with God built over a period of time. It's a 'natural' law that we become like, or take on the characteristics of what or whom we most admire or worship. '“Unthinking faith is a curious offering to be made to the creator of the human mind' ~ John A. Hutchinson
    “Young men should search the Scriptures for themselves. They are not to feel that it is
    sufficient for those older in experience to find out the truth; that the younger ones can accept it
    from them as authority. . . (MYP 258)
    “Young men in our ranks are watching to see in what spirit the ministers come to the
    investigation of the Scriptures; whether they have a teachable spirit, and are humble enough to
    accept evidence, and receive light from the messengers whom God chooses to send.
    “We must study the truth for ourselves. No man should be relied upon to think for us. No
    matter who he is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a
    criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and to be subject one to another; but at the same
    time we are to exercise the ability God has given us, in order to learn what is truth. Each one of
    us must look to God for divine enlightenment. We must individually develop a character that will
    stand the test in the day of God.” Testimonies to Ministers 109,110; first published in Gospel
    Workers, 1892 ed., pp. 128,129; cf. 2RH 311:3:1 (RH, June 18, 1889); CW 45; ST, Feb. 6, 1893
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Spiritually Experiencing God, Part 1

  1. 1. Spiritually Experiencing God - The Alpha and Omega
  2. 2. Part - 1
  3. 3. I would especially like to emphasize that when I name names or ministries and organizations that the purpose of sharing this information is not to tear down those within the church or to condemn, that alone is the Lord’s work. I am not here to stand in judgment against anyone or any organization. However, I have made an effort to point out those people who are associating themselves with deadly error, error that is infecting my child and yours, my family and yours, my neighbors and yours, my church and yours. These individuals and entities are publicly promoting this “new spirituality” and so for that reason I believe it should be publicly denounced but it is not a denunciation of the individuals themselves. The Lord calls us to rebuke and exhort but to do it in love and this is our purpose.
  4. 4. Introduction “Wolves in Sheeps Clothing” are “Deceiving Many of the Elect” ! Today many SDA leaders and members are innocently, or some not so innocently, being seduced by the miracles and demons of the “three fold union” of Revelation. The three great spiritual forces composing this “three fold union” are clearly identified in Revelation 16:13-14 (NKJV), which says “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan & spiritualism), out of the mouth of the beast (the Roman Catholic Church), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (Apostate Protestantism including some deceived SDAʼs). 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them (an ecumenical movement) to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.   This presentation shockingly documents these “three spiritual demonic forces” being brought into the SDA church. Catholic Mysticism and New Age Spiritualism is openly being brought into our SDA churches, educational institutions and hospitals by SDA leaders. We document some of the leaders  and where they are getting their “new creative ideas for prayer and worship”. Some of  these leaders may be  naïve, innocent and ignorant. Others are clearly well informed and knowledgeable of their sources. Some even openly acknowledge & document receiving their material from Catholic Jesuits and New Age “Spiritualistic” leaders.
  5. 5. These attacks against our SDA Church and the Truth of Godʼs Word are just a few evidences that Jesus is coming soon! “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17   Jesus warned us, Matthew 24:24-27 (NKJV), “Then if anyone says to you, ʻLook, here is the Christ!ʼ or ʻThere!ʼ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ʻLook, He is in the desert!ʼ (or some other “retreat”) do not go out; or ʻLook, He is in the inner rooms!ʼ (“special “Prayer Rooms”) do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
  6. 6. Before we consider what some believe to be “good things” coming from Jesuit “spiritual instructors” , please  consider the following history.  Protestant and Seventh‐day AdvenAst Bible scholars have long recognized “the liCle  horn power and beast power of Daniel 7, Daniel 8  , and RevelaAon  to be the Roman Catholic church and its  satanically inspired opposiAon to Jesus, His faithful followers, and His Word.  The historical records of the Dark Ages  are full of stories of Catholic opposi<on to the Bible and Catholic efforts to destroy the Scripture and keep it from the  common people.  Igna<us Loyola began the Jesuit Order for the clearly stated purpose of stopping and undoing the  Protestant Reforma<on, which was simply a return to the teachings of Scripture and a turning away from the spiritual  tradi<ons of the Catholic Church.  In the Va<can today stands a marble statue of Igna<us Loyola honoring him for his  leadership in destroying those choosing to follow scripture instead of Catholic Tradi<on. The statue depicts Igna<us  standing with one foot on the neck of a fallen Protestant crushing out his life breath! “Come now, let us reason together”.  Has the Jesuit Order of today suddenly had a conversion and is now seeking to  spiritually strengthen their openly avowed enemies, the Seventh‐day AdvenAsts and other Protestants, the people  of the book ?     Or, could it be, the Jesuit’s have finally found an effec<ve strategy to woo Seventh‐day Adven<st and Protestant focus  away from their preaching of the “more sure word of prophecy” (which puts Catholics in such a bad light) to a new  focus on Catholic Jesuit forms of supposedly wonderful spiritual exercises such as Centering Prayer, Contempla<ve  Prayer, Taize’ Prayer, Labyrinths, Lecto Devina, and Spiritual Forma<on.  And then, as a powerful seduc<ve spiritual  force engulfs their being during these exercises, the “angel of light” overwhelms their senses with an experience of  spiritual ecstasy banishing the Biblical warnings and the “s<ll small voice” of the genuine Holy Spirit. Now they are  hooked on “the experience of Christ Consciousness” and “Centering contempla<ve prayer” which becomes their new  spiritual focus. Happily the Jesuit’s see they neglect to study and preach the deep Truths of the Holy Scriptures.  Now  Satan is happy.  The Jesuits are happy.  And the seduced “saint” is reveling in his seduc<on and praying earnestly to his  new found god of love, “Please do it again!”, “Please be in<mate with me again”, while the true God’s present Tes<ng  Truths are neglected and gradually exchanged for Ecumenical Truths acceptable and adaptable to all the Great Religions  of the world which are moving along “the broad way leading to destruc<on” as they in<mately worship their god.
  7. 7. The Story of the Trojan Horse: The story is told of the Greeks, who pursued an unsuccessful 10-year siege battle against the city of Troy. So the Greeks decided to use craft and cunning to accomplish what they had failed to achieve by open warfare. They built a huge figure of a horse. Inside the horse they hid a select force of 30 men, then Greeks pretended to sail away. Feeling safe, the people of Troy opened the gates of their city and pulled the Horse inside as a trophy of their victory over the Greeks. That night, however, the 30 Greek soldiers crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back to Troy under cover of night. The Greek army entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war. The priest of Troy guessed the plot and warned the people of Troy not to bring in the horse. But the priest and his two sons were killed before he could be believed. The Kings daughter also warned that the horse would be the downfall of the city and its royal family, but she too was ignored. Hence their doom and their loss of the war.
  8. 8. Trojan Horse: A "Trojan Horse" has come to mean a strategy that causes a targeted people to invite a foe into their securely protected bastion or place. Question.... Could some leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church be ignoring clear warnings and be bringing in a Trojan Horse through the gates and within the walls of our Seventh-day Adventist Church? Or to use Jesus’ warning could we be facing “WOLVES in SHEEP’S CLOTHING” ?
  9. 9. Welcome to the new age of “mystical spirituality” and its many ways of “encountering” God. These are being woven into our churches, youth organizations, and educational institutions. Could these new ways of being “spiritual” be actually old-fashioned spiritualism disguised in new clothes? Are we honestly-mistaken about today’s “God-encounters” and other attempts to reach higher levels of spirituality? Could these be “the Omega” of deadly heresies? Is it possible that these are Trojan horses being wheeled into our churches and we aren’t realizing it?
  10. 10. Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10 “That which has been [is] what will be, That which [is] done is what will be done, And [there is] nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this [is] new"? It has already been in ancient times before us.”
  11. 11. History
  12. 12. In the Great Controversy, Ellen White has this to say about the reformation.... “The seed which Luther had sown sprung up everywhere. His absence accomplished a work which his presence would have failed to do. Other laborers felt a new responsibility, now that their great leader was removed. With new faith and earnestness they pressed forward to do all in their power, that the work so nobly begun might not be hindered. {GC88 185.3} But Satan was not idle. He now attempted what he has attempted in every other reformatory movement,--to deceive and destroy the people by palming off upon them a counterfeit in place of the true work. As there were false christs in the first century of the Christian church, so there arose false prophets in the sixteenth century. {GC88 186.1} A few men, deeply affected by the excitement in the religious world, imagined themselves to have received special revelations from Heaven, and claimed to have been divinely commissioned to carry forward to its completion the Reformation which, they declared, had been but feebly begun by Luther. In truth, they were undoing the very work which he had accomplished. They rejected the great principle which was the very foundation of the Reformation,-- that the Word of God is the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice; and for that unerring guide they substituted the changeable, uncertain standard of their own feelings and impressions. By this act of setting aside the great detector of error and falsehood, the way was opened for Satan to control minds as best pleased himself. {GC88 186.2}” ...The fruit of the new teaching soon became apparent. The people were led to neglect the Bible or to wholly cast it aside. [GC pg. 185-187]
  13. 13. As is so often the case with misleading teachings, it came to the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists subtly, as new, advanced truth. At first it was not discerned as a threat to the church. Dr. Kellogg had toyed with these concepts before James White's death in 1881, and considering it "great light," had discussed it with Ellen White. "'Those theories are wrong,'" she told him. "'I have met them before.'" He seemed dazed as she showed him the outcome of espousing such a philosophy. She then admonished, "'Never teach such theories in our institutions; do not present them to the people.'" Fifteen years later (1895) a Dr. A. H. Lewis, editor of the Sabbath Recorder, prominent among Seventh Day Baptists, and steeped in pantheism, visited Battle Creek and was entertained in the Kellogg home (Mrs. Kellogg was a Seventh Day Baptist). Lewis talked his pantheistic views, which did not fall on deaf ears. Kellogg first introduced pantheism publicly in 1897 in a series of talks at the ministerial institute that preceded the General Conference session held in the College View church at Lincoln, Nebraska. [5BIO pg. 281]
  14. 14. Abram Herbert Lewis (1832-1908) History tell us that... “In 1847 Lewis’s, along with his parents, migrated to Wisconsin, settling first at Milton and then moving north to Berlin, where his father became leader of a group which in 1850, was constituted as a church. Opportunities for education were limited, but young Herbert made the most of books and lyceums. It was during this time that he was influenced by a brilliant skeptic and spiritualist physician. Lewis went through a period of doubt as he began to question his faith in the Bible and orthodox Christianity. He even asked that his name be dropped from the roll, on the grounds that he was not in harmony with the beliefs of the church....“ www.biblesabbath.org/tss/archives/471/profile_ahlewis.htm Lewis in wording his account of the experience said... “Under [a spiritualist physician’s] influence I became a ‘medium,’ after the rude manner of those times.” Taken from the book Rev. Abram Herbert Lewis, D.D., LL.D, a Biographical Sketch, American Sabbath Tract Society by Theodore L. Gardiner, pg. 15
  15. 15. Dr. and Mrs. John H. Kellogg Mrs. Kellogg, a life long Seventh-day Baptist, had graduated from Alfred University in 1872 and completed her masters degree there in 1885. Dr. Lewis was once Mrs. Kellogg’s pastor and president of the university where she got her degree. Lewis’s paper (newsletter), the Sabbath Recorder, was steeped in pantheism and it came regularly to the Kellogg home. Windows: Selected Readings in Seventh-day Adventist Church History by: Emmett K. Vande Vere pg. 251-252
  16. 16. Time passed. It was February 18, 1902, and Dr. Kellogg was on his way home to Battle Creek. Changing trains in Chicago, the doctor received his first notice that the Battle Creek Sanitarium--his pride and joy--had been reduced to ash and cinders by fire. Taking his seat on the train, he requested a desk and paper. Preliminary plans for a new building were finished by the time he arrived home. Discarding Ellen White’s often-expressed wish that “the sanitarium were miles away from Battle Creek,” the doctor laid plans for not just a new building, but a larger and more expensive building. Naturally, such a project would entail considerable expense, therefore a plan was laid for the denomination to mobilize the laity in a campaign to sell a new book prepared by the doctor. All profits, including Kellogg’s royalties, would go to assist the medical work of the church. This book, of course, was Kellogg’s infamous volume, The Living Temple. The General Conference Executive Committee reviewed Kellogg’s book and decided that The Living Temple would not be published under the auspices of the church. Unconvinced, Dr. Kellogg ordered an initial printing of five thousand copies at his own expense. The books were to be produced by the Review and Herald. Taken from the book Hindsight: Seventh-day Adventist History in Essays and Extracts by Dave Fiedler pg. 153-156
  17. 17. In November, 1901, the message now found in Testimonies, vol. 8, 90-96 was read to the Board of Directors of the Review and Herald. It reads, in part: “I feel a terror of soul as I see to what a pass our publishing house has come. The presses in the Lord’s institution have been printing the soul- destroying theories of Romanism and other mysteries of iniquity. The office must be purged of this objectionable matter... You have given matter containing Satan’s sentiments into the hands of the workers, bringing his deceptive, polluting principles before their minds. The Lord looks upon this action on your part as helping Satan to prepare his snare to catch souls. God will not hold guiltless those who have done this thing. He has a controversy with the managers of the publishing house. I have been almost afraid to open the Review, fearing to see that God has cleansed the publishing house by fire... Unless there is a reformation, calamity will overtake the publishing house, and the world will know the reason... In the visions of the night I was a sword of fire hung out over Battle Creek.” Taken from the book Hindsight: Seventh-day Adventist History in Essays and Extracts by Dave Fiedler pg. 153-156
  18. 18. A second time that same year, December 30, 1902, a major Adventist enterprise fell prey to fire, this time it was the Review and Herald Publishing house. It is worth noting that earlier that day the building had been inspected by the chief of the city fire department. Examining the electrical lines and other possible sources of danger, he “pronounced everything in satisfactory condition”. Obviously, something wasn’t satisfactory because that same day the building was totally destroyed. Five days later, when the debris had cooled enough to allow, the fire- proof vault was opened. All the printing plates stored inside the vault had survived. The plates for The Living Temple, however, were waiting to go on the press at the time of the fire and so disappeared in the flames. Taken from the book Hindsight: Seventh-day Adventist History in Essays and Extracts by Dave Fiedler pg. 153-156
  19. 19. It was February, 1904, and the time had come for Ellen White to bring finality to the twenty years of pointed warnings and reproofs aimed at Dr. J.H. Kellogg and others who joined with him in an apostasy among the leaders of the Remnant church. This apostasy included, but was not exclusive to the pantheism espoused in Dr. Kellogg’s book “Living Temple,” which contained theories leading to erroneous conclusions concerning the presence and nature of God. The acceptance of these theories by the thought leaders of the church in Battle Creek opened the door to satanic control of their minds. “We need not the mysticism that is in this book. Those who entertain these sophistries will soon find themselves in a position where the enemy can talk with them, and lead them away from God. It is represented to me that the writer of this book is on a false track. He has lost sight of the distinguishing truths for this time. He knows not whither his steps are tending.” Testimonies for the Church Containing Letters to Physicians and Ministers Instruction to Seventh- day Adventists (1904), page 52
  20. 20. As is so often the case with misleading teachings, it came to the ranks of Seventh- day Adventists subtly, as new, advanced truth. At first it was not discerned as a threat to the church. Dr. Kellogg had toyed with these concepts before James White's death in 1881, and considering it "great light," had discussed it with Ellen White. "'Those theories are wrong,'" she told him. "'I have met them before.'" He seemed dazed as she showed him the outcome of espousing such a philosophy. She then admonished, "'Never teach such theories in our institutions; do not present them to the people.'"--MS 70, 1905. {5BIO 281.4} Pantheism is the term used to designate the strange new teachings that were being introduced by Dr. Kellogg and his book “The Living Temple”. “In Living Temple the assertion is made that God is in the flower, in the leaf, in the sinner. But God does not live in the sinner. The Word declares that He abides only in the hearts of those who love Him and do righteousness. God does not abide in the heart of the sinner; it is the enemy who abides there.” {1SAT 343.1}
  21. 21. “Though no positive connection has yet been shown, it is worth noting that this is exactly the position being taken at that time by the recently formed (1875) Theosophical Society of America. This society is still very much in existence, and is widely considered the single most important force in the early development of what is now more commonly referred to as the “New Age Movement”. ...Their journal, The Theosophist, was a curious mixture of pantheism, reincarnation, meditation, and occult methodologies.” Taken from the book Hindsight: Seventh-day Adventist History in Essays and Extracts by Dave Fiedler pg. 171
  22. 22. The Lord revealed to her the changes that might have taken place in the structure of the church if Dr. Kellogg and his associates would have implemented their plans. “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?” I SM 204
  23. 23. “I have some things to say to our teachers in reference to the new book The Living Temple. Be careful how you sustain the sentiments of this book regarding the personality of God. As the Lord presents matters to me, these sentiments do not bear the endorsement of God. They are a snare that the enemy has prepared for these last days. . . .” {5BIO 297.6} Ellen White revealed what she had seen, saying... "Angels clothed with beautiful garments, like angels of light, were escorting Dr. Kellogg from place to place, and inspiring him to speak words of pompous boasting that were offensive to God."-- Letter 220, 1903. {5BIO 304.5} That which has been said in the testimonies in regard to Living Temple, and its misleading sentiments, is not overdrawn. Some of its theories are misleading, and their influence will be to close the minds of those who receive them against the truth for this time. Men may explain and explain in regard to these theories, nevertheless they are contrary to the truth. Scriptures are misplaced and misapplied, taken out of their connection and given a wrong application. Thus those are deceived who have not a vital, personal experience in the truths that have made us as a people what we are. {5BIO 305.3}
  24. 24. “Living Temple,” contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. ...Few can discern the result of entertaining the sophistries advocated by some at this time. But the Lord has lifted the curtain, and has shown me the result that would follow. The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy.” 1SM 203,20 I am instructed to speak plainly. "Meet it," is the word spoken to me. "Meet it firmly, and without delay." But it is not to be met by our taking our working forces from the field to investigate doctrines and points of difference. We have no such investigation to make. In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given. (1SM, p. 200). {5BIO 305.5}
  25. 25. “Just as long as men consent to listen to these sophistries, a subtle influence will weave the fine threads of these seductive theories into their minds, and men who should turn away from the first sound of such teaching will learn to love it. As loyal subjects we must refuse even to listen to these sophistries. Their influence is something like a deadly viper, poisoning the minds of all who listen. It is a branch of hypnotism, deadening the sensibilities of the soul.” {10MR 163.2 “I was bidden to warn our people on no account to send their children to Battle Creek to receive an education, because these delusive, scientific theories would be presented in the most seducing forms. The matter has been working in his mind in such a way that he thinks he is to be the channel to infuse other minds with great light regarding certain scientific problems. Words and sentiments from my books will be taken and presented as being in harmony with his theories. But the Lord has forbidden us to enter into any discussion with him. . . .” {SpTB06 42.1}
  26. 26. Inspired counsel has warned us that there would be a satanic assault more intense than that which almost caused the church to fall 100 years ago. Ellen White trembled for the safety of God’s people and the potential effects this assault might have if left unmet and was extremely concerned for the safety of the church. This “omega” must be something terribly threatening and dangerous. What could possibly have made her react the way she did? We shall see shortly...
  27. 27. Spiritualism is now changing its form, veiling some of its more objectionable and immoral features, and assuming a Christian guise. Formerly it denounced Christ and the Bible; now it professes to accept both. The Bible is interpreted in a manner that is attractive to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. A God of love is presented; but his justice, his denunciations of sin, the requirements of his holy law, are all kept out of sight. Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the senses of those who do not make God's word the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily rejected as before; but Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not discerned. As Spiritualism assimilates more closely to the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. {4SP 405}
  28. 28. “Satan's angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light, and will proclaim it as new and wonderful; yet while in some respects the message may be truth, it will be mingled with human inventions, and will teach for doctrine the commandments of men. If there was ever a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. Many apparently good things will need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from it. But the eye of faith may discern that it is diverging, though almost imperceptibly, from the right path. At first it may be thought positively right, but after a while it is seen to be widely divergent from the way which leads to holiness and heaven.” (Evangelism pg. 590)
  29. 29. “There is a way [that seems] right to a man, But its end [is] the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12
  30. 30. This presentation will help to make you aware of some mystical and spiritualistic teachings which are subtly making inroads into many Christian churches. This includes some of our Seventh-day Adventist churches and educational institutions. These inroads are coming under the guise of revival, enhanced spirituality, and a postmodern approach to Christianity. Have you heard of any of the following: contemplative prayer, centering prayer, breath prayer, prayer labyrinth, taize prayer, Christian yoga, spiritual disciplines & spiritual formation (lectio divina), the silence, sacred spaces, GODencounters and Jesus prayer, prayer stations, prayer rooms, etc.? This “new spirituality” has many, many names (too many to even list). It’s nature is mystical, pantheistic, non-sectarian, ecumenical and humanistic. There is seen a low regard of doctrine and theology, a huge emphasis on social justice and discovering our ancient future, a re- invention of Christianity and church, it targets our youth and has its own erroneous interpretation of Scripture. It is new age theology and spiritualism wrapped in Christian terminology.
  31. 31. Centering Prayer or Contemplative Prayer
  32. 32. This “contemplative/mystical” prayer, refers to a method of prayer that leads to a level of consciousness where thoughts have ceased and the individual enters a state of mind called the “Silence,” where many believe they experience the presence of God. Attaining this “Contemplative” state, is facilitated by what is called “Centering Prayer;” one of various methods or techniques of focusing or “centering” the mind, leading eventually to an altered state. Once mastered, this centering method submerges the disciple to a level of consciousness that is on par with the trance of hypnosis. It is where they experience “utter repose,” and are blessed with a new understanding of themselves and their relationship to the rest of the universe. This altered state of mind is called by many names; the Silence, the Quiet Place, and the Stillness, are a few used by Spiritual Formation enthusiasts. It is here, in this “Mystical Silence,” where all mental activity ceases; a place in the mind where there are no images or awareness of the flow of thoughts, that one has the most profound and life-changing experiences; including a sense of God’s presence, as they have never experienced before. It is here, where the devotee comes to understand his unity and “oneness,” with all created things and all other people and becomes acutely aware of their new mission in life, having much greater insight into how God leads them in everything they do. It is also in this “Mystical Silence,” that some hear what they believe is Jesus, as He speaks with them personally. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/contemplativespirituality.htm
  33. 33. Laurie Cabot, a witch, wrote: “The science of Witchcraft is based on our ability to enter an altered state of consciousness we call ‘alpha,’ where the brain waves register seven to fourteen cycles per second. …this is a state of consciousness associated with relaxation, meditation, and dreaming…In alpha the MIND OPENS UP TO NONORDINARY FORMS OF COMMUNICATION, such as TELEPATHY, CLAIRVOYANCE, AND PRECOGNITION. Here we may also experience out-of-body sensations and psychokinesis, or RECEIVE MYSTICAL, VISIONARY INFORMATION that does NOT come through the five senses. In alpha the rational filters that process ordinary reality are weakened or removed, and the mind is receptive to nonordinary realities.” [Laurie Cabot with Tom Cowan, Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment (NY, NY: Delacorte Press, 1989), p. 173].
  34. 34. 2717 Contemplative prayer is silence, the "symbol of the world to come"12 or "silent love."13 Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus.” The New Roman Catholic Catechism under the heading “Contemplative Prayer”
  35. 35. www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=2172 Read the full article on the next two slides...
  36. 36. Parts of the article entitled “Centering Prayer” A Treasure for the Soul from The National Catholic Weekly magazine called “America”   Joseph G. Sandman | SEPTEMBER 9, 2000    (Joseph G. Sandman is Vice President for Advancement at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches a workshop on centering prayer, Institute for Pastoral Studies.) The Origins of Centering Prayer The current practice of centering prayer can be traced to the mid-1970ʼs, St. Joseph Abbey in Spencer, Mass., and three monks, Abbot Thomas Keating, William Meninger and Basil Pennington. Their work was a response to the exhortations of the Second Vatican Council to become more knowledgeable about other religious faiths through dialogue with believers from these traditions and to revitalize the path of contemplative prayer in order to help Catholics, especially those who had left the church, to find such experiences in their own faith tradition. Fathers Keating, Meninger and Pennington entered into intense, sustained dialogue with leaders from other traditions who lived near the abbey. They invited to the abbey ecumenically oriented Catholic theologians, an Eastern Zen master, Joshu Roshi Sasaki, who offered weeklong retreats on Buddhist meditation, and a former Trappist, Paul Marechal, who taught transcendental meditation. The interaction between these Christian monks and practitioners of Eastern meditation helped distill the practice of Christian contemplative prayer into a form that could be easily practiced by a diverse array of “non- monastic” believers: priests, nuns, brothers and lay men and women. Thomas Keating was personally disappointed that so many Catholics had left the church because they had no idea it offered meditation practices that could cultivate the inner peace and spiritual union they desired. At a monastery gathering in the mid-1970ʼs, Keating posed a question to his fellow monks that provided the impetus to the centering prayer movement: “Could we put the Christian tradition into a form that would be accessible to people in the active ministry today and to young people who have been instructed in an Eastern technique and might be inspired to return to their Christian roots if they knew there was something similar in the Christian tradition?”
  37. 37. William Meningerʼs contribution was to develop a simple, easily taught method of prayer based on the 14th-century mystical classic, The Cloud of Unknowing. Believers are invited to enter into a deep, silent state of “unknowing” during which one expresses oneʼs “naked intent” to rest in deep communion with God. Meninger suggested the mental repetition of a single “sacred word” that symbolizes the believerʼs intention to turn completely toward God. This made it easier to let go of the thoughts and feelings that would invariably come into oneʼs awareness during prayer. ……………. The Growth of Centering Prayer Flowing from Meninger and Basil Penningtonʼs retreats in the mid-1970ʼs, the teaching and practice of centering prayer has grown steadily in the United States and abroad. When retreats at Spencer could no longer accommodate all who wished to attend, Keating and his associates trained others to teach centering prayer. After his term as abbot at Spencer had ended, Keating moved to St. Benedictʼs Monastery in Snowmass, Colo., in 1981. There he offered a series of talks on prayer at a local parish in Aspen. These conferences and retreats represent an important seminal event in the growth of centering prayer……………. The past 16 years have seen … significant growth in the practice of centering prayer around the world. From 1988 to 1999 Contemplative Outreach chapters have grown from a few dozen to 154, and prayer groups have increased from 73 to 439. What Is Centering Prayer? Centering prayer is a remarkably simple method that opens one to Godʼs gift of contemplative prayer. Its practice expands oneʼs receptivity to the presence and activity of God in oneʼs life. It is a distillation of the practice of monastic spirituality into two relatively short periods of prayer each day. (Abbot, Father) Keating suggests only four simple guidelines for practicing centering prayer:  1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to Godʼs presence and action within. 2. Sitting comfortably with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently and introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to Godʼs presence and action within. 3. When you become aware of thoughts, return ever so gently to the sacred word. 4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
  38. 38. Click here...
  39. 39. Contemplative prayer - is not just “contemplating while you pray.” The Bible instructs us to pray with our minds (1 Corinthians 14:15), so, clearly, prayer does involve contemplation. However, praying with your mind is not what “contemplative prayer” has come to mean. Contemplative prayer has slowly increased in practice and popularity along with the rise of the emerging church movement—a movement which embraces many unscriptural ideas and practices. Contemplative prayer is one such practice. Contemplative prayer, also known as “centering prayer,” is a meditative practice where the practitioner focuses on a word and repeats that word over and over for the duration of the exercise. While contemplative prayer is done differently in the various groups that practice it, there are similarities. Contemplative prayer involves choosing a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God's presence and action within. Contemplative prayer usually includes sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settling briefly and silently, introducing the sacred word. When a contemplative pray-er becomes aware of thoughts, he/she is to return ever so gently to the sacred word. ...Contemplative prayer, by design, focuses on having a mystical experience with God. www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html
  40. 40. ComeBeStill.org Founded and directed by Tom & Delcy Kuhlman “Mrs. Kuhlman's 25 years of mothering her own and other people's children contributed insights concerning unmet needs for pastoral services to help people surmount everyday stresses. Accordingly she earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and continued for five units of clinical pastoral education. With this preparation and the endorsement of the Adventist chaplaincy ministries office, she assumed the responsibilities of staff chaplain for the Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Indiana. Mrs. Kuhlman... resigned from that position because she and her husband [felt] called to establish a spiritual retreat facility. It will be located on 70 acres near the seminary at Andrews University in order to allow easy access to ministers, students, and others wishing to enrich their spiritual development.” Adventist Review
  41. 41. Still Waters Retreat Center
  42. 42. I followed these links
  43. 43. Formal training from Shalem Institute
  44. 44. Prayer Labyrinth Take notice of the advertising
  45. 45. Prayer labyrinth blooms each spring
  46. 46. Adventist Education
  47. 47. “Today there are coming into educational institutions and into the churches everywhere spiritualistic teachings that undermine faith in God and in His word.... [B]ut however beautifully clothed, this theory is a most dangerous deception.... The result of accepting it is separation from God” (Ministry of Healing, p. 428).
  48. 48. Spiritual Formation = Contemplative Spirituality, Sacred Listening, Ignatian Way Breath Prayers
  49. 49. Ignatius of Loyola created and conducted this apostolate for 15 years before he was ordained. Through it, everyone knows, he drew scores of men into the Company of Jesus. It surprises no one who knows the history that Spiritual Exercises are proving an astonishingly effective instrument of lay spirituality even in the postmodern era. They are being used for and by and with lay people in many formats all around the world and then supply the basis of sophisticated spiritualities for the marketplace. It is safe to say that more people are going through the one-on-one directed Exercises today than at any time in history. It is safe to say something more: Spiritual Exercises are being used as an apostolic instrument by better-educated laity. (Tetlow, 1994, National Jesuit News, Dec.) http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/jmac/se/se.htm
  50. 50. Spiritual Formation, another term for contemplative spirituality, eventually leads into the arena of the emerging church (both are based in mysticism). Spiritual Formation -- Spiritual Formation is just another term for Contemplative Spirituality. The idea behind Spiritual Formation is that we need certain practices and disciplines in order to be like Christ. “The best way to understand this process is to recall what happened during the Dark Ages when the Bible became the forbidden book. . . . I believe history is repeating itself. As the Word of God becomes less and less important, the rise in mystical experiences escalates, and these experiences are presented to convince the unsuspecting that Christianity is about feeling, touching, smelling, and seeing God. The postmodern mindset is the perfect environment for fostering spiritual formation. This term suggests there are various ways and means to get closer to God and to emulate him. Thus the idea that if you do certain practices, you can be more like Jesus. Proponents of spiritual formation erroneously teach that anyone can practice these mystical rituals and find God within. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not a prerequisite.” (Coming from the Lighthouse Newsletter, Oct. 08, 2007). http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newsletter100807.htm
  51. 51. • What is Spiritual Formation • (a.k.a. "Sacred Listening" "the Ignatian Way" “Spiritual Disciplines”)? Spiritual formation (SF) teaches the occult ideas of "inner healing," and "contemplative prayer". Spiritual Formation is the Roman Catholic Mysticism formulated by Ignatius. Loyola who founded the Jesuit Order in the year 1540. It involves deeply occult techniques like lectio devina.
  52. 52. Dr. Derek J. Morris - Former advisor and college professor who taught Spiritual Formation classes Homiletics and Pastoral Theology at Southern Adventist University. Currently, Dr. Morris is the senior pastor of the Forest Lake SDA Church and adjunct Spiritual Formation professor at Andrews University Theological Seminary.
  53. 53. “Spiritual Formation In Ministry” by Derek Morris “A leading Protestant advocate of spiritual direction is Tilden Edwards, director of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C. As I began my own prayerful search for a spiritual friend, I came across the significant work by Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend: Reclaiming the Gift of Spiritual Direction. I strongly recommend this book as a valuable resource. There, for the first time, I caught a glimpse of the real value of spiritual direction as a means of nurturing spiritual life.”—Spiritual Formation, pp. 6-7. Morris continues: “I called Shalem and shared with Dr. Gerald May that I was a pastor, interested in the process of spiritual direction. His response was very positive. He offered to send me a list of several individuals in my state who had completed or who were presently enrolled in the Spiritual Guidance Program. He suggested that I select a spiritual friend that I could easily relate to, and that I seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the process.”—Spiritual Formation, pp. 7-8. Morris tells how he was “experiencing a high level of resistance. I was to learn later that such resistance is common…” (p.8). (May I suggest that this resistance was the voice of conscience warning not to do this) Morris just overrides the resistance telling how he had “twenty days of resistance” but then he called Louise Young. “I shared with her my spiritual journey and my desire to explore the process of spiritual direction.” (p. 8).
  54. 54. Morris tells of how Barry and Connolly, two Jesuits, in their book, The Practice of Spiritual Direction, spend an entire chapter dealing with the phenomenon of ‘resistance.” (Morris, p. 8). Finally, after much “resistance” and fear, Barry Young became Morris’ Spiritual Director. Morris describes the ‘tremendous freedom” once he took the plunge to reveal his hidden self. Basically, the Spiritual Director functions as a kind of Father confessor. Morris quotes Elizabeth O’Conner describing the process: “It is an open relationship where your fear, feelings of rebellion, critical attitudes, misgivings, etc., are confessed… Your Spiritual director is one to whom you want to reveal your hidden self.” (Elizabeth O’Conner, Call to Commitment (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), p. 201. (emphasis mine) Whereas traditionally in Roman Catholicism, in the confessional the priest is supposedly not supposed to see the person confessing, in the new confessional of Jesuit Spiritual Formation and Jesuit Spiritual direction, there is a face-to-face contact on a regular basis at regular times (p.11) a la Jesuit Spiritual Directorship. In concluding his paper, Derek Morris recommends that the young theology student, who leaves the seminary for his first parish, should get a Spiritual Director as soon as he arrives at his parish: “In the years that followed I discovered experientially what Roy Oswald had concluded from his research of 102 Seminary graduates some years before: Crossing the boundary for Seminary to parish is never easy. Moreover, the need for personal spiritual formation is ongoing. However, the process of spiritual direction is a tremendous resource. He notes that ‘Those who had the good fortune of finding a spiritual father/mother/friend as they begun in the parish found the going somewhat easier.’ [Oswald. P. 18.]” –Derek Morris, Spiritual Formation in Ministry, pp. 11, 12. http://www.danielrevelationbiblestudies.com/020820063.htm
  55. 55. Dr. Derek Morris
  56. 56. Dr. Derek J. Morris Adjunct professor teaching Spiritual Formation
  57. 57. "Men in positions of responsibility are in danger of changing leaders. This I know, for it has been plainly revealed to me." [SpTB02 48.2] "But I am now speaking of actual mistakes and errors that those who really love God and the truth sometimes commit. There is manifested on the part of men in responsible positions an unwillingness to confess where they have been in the wrong; and their neglect is working disaster, not only to themselves, but to the churches. . . you will be left to make mistakes of a similar character, you will continue to lack wisdom, and will call sin righteousness and righteousness sin. The multitude of deceptions that will prevail in these last days will encircle you, and you will change leaders, and not know that you have done so." Review & Herald, vol. 2 p. 448-49. Dec.16, 1890.
  58. 58. Andrews Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
  59. 59. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=2136 Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary Integrating Contemplative/Emerging Spirituality Into Degree Program December 31st, 2009 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors In 2007, Lighthouse Trails posted an article titled Church, Congregations Increase Focus on “Spiritual Formation.” The article, released by Adventist News Network, showed how the emphasis of contemplative/ spiritual formation was moving into the Seventh-day Adventist organization. The article stated that “this subject [spiritual formation] is receiving serious emphasis in Adventist institutions, as well as in local congregations.” The following Lighthouse Trails research reveals that Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan is promoting contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation) through a new concentration in their Doctor of Ministry degree program. An October 2009 Andrews newsletter, put out by Kenley D. Hall (Andrews DMin Project Coach) explains that ”Discipleship & Spiritual Formation” and ”Youth and Young Adult Ministry” will begin in February 2010 (see brochure). According to the syllabus of one of the courses in the Andrews spiritual formation program, contemplative mystic proponents will be used to teach students this coming February. In CHMN 705 Theological and Historical Perspectives on Spiritual Growth, professor Jon Dybdahl is using a number of contemplative authors to ”Demonstrate a continuing maturity in Christian formation, personal growth and ministry.” This maturity in Christian formation is typical language by contemplatives, who teach that true maturity can only come through spending time in contemplative silence. Richard Foster has been a pioneer in laying out this “maturity” doctrine. So it is not surprising that Dybdahl is turning to Foster for guidance. Other contemplatives being used in the class are: J.P. Moreland (Kingdom Triangle) and Peter Scazzero. A “short spiritual retreat” will also take place during the course. Scazzero’s book, Emotionally Healthy Spiritually (the book being used at Andrews), is a who’s who of contemplative mystics and panentheists; some of those he points readers to are Basil Pennington, Tilden Edwards, Henri Nouwen, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and several others. In J.P. Moreland’s book, Kingdom Triangle (also used in Dybdahl’s class at Andrews), Moreland talks about a maturing process that takes place through “spiritual formation.” Moreland tells readers that a “treasure of deep, rich knowledge of the soul” can be found in the writings of the Desert Fathers, Henri Nouwen, and Richard Foster, (p. 153). Of course, all three of these sources ultimately point followers to eastern-style meditation (i.e., mantra-style). A four-part series Moreland did for Focus on the Family (click here to read further) substantiates that Moreland is embracing contemplative spirituality where he suggests that “Catholic retreat centers are usually ideal for solitude retreats.” (see page two)
  60. 60. Jon Dybdahl’s contemplative propensities are strongly presented in his 2008 book, Hunger: Satisfying the Longing of Your Soul. In Hunger, Dybdahl favorably instructs on contemplative practices such as lectio divina, visualization (p. 64), the Jesus Prayer, and breath prayers (p. 52). Dybdahl explains in his book that in his “not-so-secret quest for God,” he turned to Quaker Thomas Kelly’s book A Testament of Devotion. It is Kelly, a panentheist, who said that within every human being is a “Divine Center,” a “secret sanctuary” (from A Testament of Devotion). This “secret sanctuary” Kelly is speaking of is what he calls “abiding Light behind all changing [life] forms.” He says: “In that Current we must bathe. In that abiding yet energizing Center we are all made one” (p. 38).” Dybdahl says in Hunger that Henri Nouwen “intensified” his ”craving” for “God’s presence.” (p.12) But the presence that Nouwen is speaking of is the same as that of mystics, and it is this mysticism that led Nouwen to reject Jesus Christ as the only path to God at the end of his life (Sabbatical Journey). Dybdahl’s book is brimming with references to contemplative mystics: David Benner, Morton Kelsey, Adele Alberg Calhoun, Tilden Edwards, Richard Foster, Ken Boa, and Brother Lawrence. (also see this critique on Hunger) Another person who will be teaching at Andrews DMin in spiritual formation is Ben Maxson, pastor at Paradise Seventh-day Adventist church in Paradise, California and adjunct professor at Andrews University. Maxson will be teaching Mentoring for Discipleship & Spiritual Formation. In an article by Maxson titled “Renewing our Minds,” he says that the “spiritual disciplines” (the tools of spiritual formation) help one develop “intimacy with God,” and he encouraged practicing ”the presence of God.” One of the other spiritual formation courses in Andrews Theological Seminary’s DMin program on spiritual formation, taught by Allan Walshe, is The Personal Practice of Spiritual Formation. While the course’s syllabus is not currently posted online, we can partly identify Walshe’s contemplative propensities elsewhere. In an article featuring Walshe at a New Zealand conference, Walshe quotes contemplative pioneer Dallas Willard in referring to “intimacy with God.” This intimacy with God to the contemplative can only be obtained through going into the silence through meditation. The DMin program on spiritual formation isn’t the only avenue through which contemplative is being implemented at Andrews. The youth ministry degree program is also involved with contemplative spirituality and emerging spirituality. In CHMN 720 Current Issues in Youth and Young Adult Ministry, professors Steve Case and Allan Walshe are using emerging church figure Shane Claiborne as well as emergent Youth Specialties author Chap Clark’s book, Deep Justice in a Broken World. The book is about the emerging kingdom on earth theology and turns to such figures as liberal/emerging theologians Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo. Thus, as is usually the case, when a college or seminary begins to incorporate contemplative prayer, eventually they begin to open up to emerging church ideas – it is virtually inevitable. And this is the vehicle that drives our concerns. Those who practice contemplative prayer will move more and more toward an interspiritual outlook. Contemplative prayer (i.e., mysticism) is not just some obscure subculture – it is exploding across the Western religious spectrum.
  61. 61. from Dybdahl’s book
  62. 62. Dybdahl
  63. 63. Jon Dybdahl’s contemplative propensities are strongly presented in his 2008 book, Hunger: Satisfying the Longing of Your Soul. In Hunger, Dybdahl favorably instructs on contemplative practices such as lectio divina, visualization (p. 64), the Jesus Prayer, and breath prayers (p. 52). Dybdahl explains in his book that in his “not-so-secret quest for God,” he turned to Quaker Thomas Kelly’s book A Testament of Devotion. It is Kelly, a panentheist, who said that within every human being is a “Divine Center,” a “secret sanctuary” (from A Testament of Devotion). This “secret sanctuary” Kelly is speaking of is what he calls “abiding Light behind all changing [life] forms.” He says: “In that Current we must bathe. In that abiding yet energizing Center we are all made one” (p. 38).” Dybdahl says in Hunger that Henri Nouwen “intensified” his ”craving” for “God’s presence.” (p.12) But the presence that Nouwen is speaking of is the same as that of mystics, and it is this mysticism that led Nouwen to reject Jesus Christ as the only path to God at the end of his life (Sabbatical Journey). Dybdahl’s book is brimming with references to contemplative mystics: David Benner, Morton Kelsey, Adele Alberg Calhoun, Tilden Edwards, Richard Foster, Ken Boa, and Brother Lawrence. (also see this critique on Hunger) www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com Professor at Andrews Theological Seminary
  64. 64. published by the Committee on Adventist Ministry to College and University Students (AMiCUS) On this site, there is an interesting article on prayer (next slide)
  65. 65. Notice at the bottom of the next slide
  66. 66. She’s written a book
  67. 67. General Conference Bulletin, informing the church at large of its plans to implement the teaching of Spiritual Formation around the world. “The Adventist world church created the International Board of Ministerial and Theological Education (IBMTE) in September 2001, designed to provide overall guidance and standards to the professional training of pastors, evangelists, theologians, teachers, chaplains and other denominational employees involved in ministerial and religious formation, or spiritual formation, in each of the church's 13 regions around the world.” - ATN News -
  68. 68. This is affecting more than just the NAD.
  69. 69. Matt. 7:15 Tells us... Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
  70. 70. The Youth Ministry & Spirituality Project, an organization dedicated to contemplative youth ministry, has a description of the four steps of Lectio Divina on their website: In order to practice lectio divina, select a time and place that is peaceful and in which you may be alert and prayerfully attentive. Dispose yourself for prayer in whatever way is natural for you. This may be a spoken prayer to God to open you more fully to the Spirit, a gentle relaxation process that focuses on breathing, singing or chanting, or simply a few minutes of silence to empty yourself of thoughts, images, and emotions. Reading (lectio) – Slowly begin reading a biblical passage as if it were a long awaited love letter addressed to you. Approach it reverentially and expectantly, in a way that savors each word and phrase. Read the passage until you hear a word or phrase that touches you, resonates, attracts or even disturbs you. Reflecting (meditatio) – Ponder this word or phrase for a few minutes. Let it sink in slowly and deeply until you are resting in it. Listen for what the word or phrase is saying to you at this moment in your life, what it may be offering to you, what it may be demanding of you. Expressing (oratio) – When you feel ready, openly and honestly express to God the prayers that arise spontaneously within you from your experience of this word or phrase. These may be prayers of thanksgiving, petition, intercession, lament, or praise. Resting (contemplatio) – Allow yourself to simply rest silently with God for a time in the stillness of your heart remaining open to the quiet fullness of God’s love and peace. This is like the silence of communion between the mother holding her sleeping infant child or between lovers whose communication with each other passes beyond words. -An Ancient Way of Praying with Scripture (http://www.ymsp.org/resources/practices/lectio_divina.html) Mike Perschon at Youth Specialties compares the four steps of Lectio Divina to “four levels of consciousness… which introduces you at each new level into a whole new world of reality” that occurs through the four levels of repetitious reading: 1- LITERAL LEVEL CONSCIOUSNESS 2- Moral level of consciousness 3- the Allegorical level which requires a Spiritual level of listening 4- We simply rest in the presence of the one who has used His word as a means of inviting us to accept His transforming embrace. We call this level, Union of Life or the unitive level of consciousness. -An Experience of Lectio Divina (http://www.cellofpeace.com/refl_lectio.htm)
  71. 71. Lectio Divina - Lectio Divina is Latin for "divine reading," "spiritual reading," or "holy reading" and represents a method of prayer and Scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to provide special spiritual insights. The principles of lectio divina were expressed around the year A.D. 220 and practiced by Catholic monks, especially the monastic rules of Sts. Pachomius, Augustine, Basil, and Benedict. The practice of lectio divina is currently very popular among Catholics and gnostics, and is gaining acceptance as an integral part of the devotional practices of the Emerging Church. Pope Benedict XVI said in a 2005 speech, “I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of lectio divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart.” Lectio is also said to be adaptable for people of other faiths in reading their scripture—whether that be the Bhagavad Gita, the Torah, or the Koran. Non-Christians may simply make suitable modifications of the method to accommodate secular traditions. Further, the four principles of lectio divina can also be adapted to the four Jungian psychological principles of sensing, thinking, intuiting, and feeling. The actual practice of lectio divina begins with a time of relaxation, making oneself comfortable and clearing the mind of mundane thoughts and cares. Some lectio practitioners find it helpful to concentrate by beginning with deep, cleansing breaths and reciting a chosen phrase or word over and over to help free the mind.
  72. 72. Christian mysticism
  73. 73. Christian mysticism - is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Christian mysticism usually centers on a practice or practices intended to nurture those experiences or awareness, such as deep prayer (i.e. meditation, contemplation) involving the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. This approach and lifestyle is distinguished from other forms of Christian practice by its aim of achieving unity with the divine. In the words of Oswald Chambers, "We receive His blessings and know His Word, but do we know Him?" In the tradition of Mystical Theology, Biblical texts are typically interpreted allegorically... For Christians the major emphasis of mysticism concerns a spiritual transformation of the egoic self, the following of a path designed to produce more fully realized human persons, "created in the Image and Likeness of God" and as such, living in harmonious communion with God, the Church, the rest of humanity, and all creation, including oneself. The Eastern Christian tradition speaks of this transformation in terms of theosis or divinization, perhaps best summed up by an ancient aphorism usually attributed to Athanasius of Alexandria: "God became human so that man might become god." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism
  74. 74. One other form of Christian mysticism is Taize prayer and worship
  75. 75. Taize “Something very interesting at Taizé is that this formula of calming repetition has been taken up in the liturgy; that is, it is not used only in personal prayer, but also in prayer together or common prayer. Some young people, who know Worship almost nothing of mystery, are introduced to it here, and they begin to learn how to pray.” Olivier Clément www.taize.fr/ en_article338.html Taizé prayer - Taize is an ecumenical sung and silent participatory prayer service designed to achieve a contemplative state through music, song and silence. www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/ taize.htm Brother Roger, the founder and Prior of the ecumenical community of Taize, France was born in 1915 in the town of Provence in the Swiss Jura. His father, a Protestant minister of the Lutheran tradition, had a powerful influence on the life and spirituality of the young Roger. Of him Roger wrote many years later, "I am sure that my father was a mystic at heart. From an early age Roger was very conscious of the divisions between Protestant and Catholic, but was encouraged by his parents to look beyond them. The openness, discretion, and freedom with which Roger grew up regarding the division of Christians in the years that followed developed into a prophetic quality that has been acknowledged the world over. http://www.spiritualitytoday.org/spir2day/904234burke.html
  76. 76. Located in Taize, France..... On Friday nights the Cross of Taize, an icon brought to Taize by the members of the orthodox Church, is placed flat on the floor of the Church of Reconciliation. The weekly liturgical commemoration of the Paschal Mystery thus begins. All present are invited to come forward to the cross. As a gesture of their solidarity with the poor and oppressed peoples of the world, they place their foreheads on the Cross and remain there for a few moments. This symbolic gesture brings home very clearly that Christ still suffers in the downtrodden and victims of injustice in the world today. Through the liturgy, people come in touch with their own brokenness and pain and find it in their hearts to forgive both themselves and others. They become very much aware of the fact that the sufferings of Christ, as an act of total love, are for them personally, as well as for the rest of humankind. The Spirit of God enables people to seek repentance and healing and to know deep within themselves that they are indeed loved.
  77. 77. Examples
  78. 78. We’ll be going over Faith House Manhattan shortly....
  79. 79. Prayer Labyrinths
  80. 80. Prayer Labyrinth - A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. It is so designed to lead to a center (one's own self) and back again into the world - it does not lead one to Jesus, but teaches self-reliance ("New Age")! Satan's ancient lie of self-worship, "you don't need God's laws...” At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are. http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm
  81. 81. Labyrinths – A “Prayer Tool,” the labyrinth is a winding walk through a maze pathway, that one takes physically. It is another way to perform contemplative or centering prayer in which all paths lead to God, the middle-eye of “Divine Illumination” (the mystical realization of our own Divinity) at the center. Walking a Labyrinth is a personal meditative activity and can be understood as a path of contemplation or prayer for people in seeking the Divine or seeking peace without regard to any particular religious tradition. The Labyrinth has been part of the esoteric world for a long time and its roots are deep into the occult, New Age, and pagan world; its uses and purposes are as a “conduit for the mystical.” According to the international Labyrinth Society it is "a single path or unicursal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. Labyrinths are thought to enhance right brain activity.”
  82. 82. Prayer Labyrinth
  83. 83. As you scroll down on this site... (see next slide)
  84. 84. You find this...
  85. 85. When you click on the link it takes you here. Several weeks ago I sent an e-mail asking why this was on our Adventist website. I was told that it was for educational purposes only however that next week this link was removed from their web page.
  86. 86. 5 Karin Wieczorek Youth Director, Swedish Union Movies, Travel, Reading, Cooking “Sex – A Sin or a Gift?” Too often we hear that sex is sinful. How do we deal with reality and what the Bible teaches? Where does window shopping stop? Practical, no-nonsense ideas on setting boundaries, finding real redemption and how to live a consecrated life. 6 Manuela Casti 2004 SDA European Youth Congress Course Leader, Master of Arts in Youth Ministry, Listing of workshops Director, Centre for Youth Ministry, Campus adventiste du Salève Cinema, travelling, cooking (especially pizza and pasta), reading, listening to all kinds of music and enjoying life. The Labyrinth -A spiritual game Labyrinth is an interactive game for spiritual journeys. It reshapes a 12th-century ritual for the 21st century to create space to think - in particular about our relationships with ourselves, one another and God. The game includes music, meditations, art, media and symbolic activities at intervals along the path. Participants walk the Labyrinth with a CD player and headphones, in their own relaxing sound -world, at their own pace. ATTENTION: this workshop will run during the entire congress. Only 15 people per hour can take part. If you wish to participate, please register your name in the Labyrinth reception. 7 Jean-Claude Verrecchia Dean of the Faculté adventiste de théologie (Collonges – France) Cycling – music - politics Wanted : creative Bible readers ! Let us be honest : Bible reading can be boring ! More than that: it can be useless ! Discover how the old stories of patriarchs, kings, disciples and apostles could be relevant to young people today? Come to this workshop ! You will be given a new way to read the Bible, not as a pure reflector of the past, but as if you are the authors of the text ! 8 Baraka G. Muganda World Youth Director SDA General Conference
  87. 87. Various photos of labyrinths from google. Notice the girl with headphones is at a “prayer station” within the labyrinth....
  88. 88. Prayer Labyrinth
  89. 89. Australian and New Zealand - Signs of the Times 2004
  90. 90. Stillness is Golden Read the full artice here or online “Be still, and know that I am God,” wrote the psalmist some 3000 years ago. It’s an activity that’s even more relevant today, suggests Sue Tinworth, director of Stillspace, a program to reconnect people with their Maker. Like jugglers, we toss facets of our lives in the air, at any moment vulnerable to a major crash. Schedules, commitments, responsibilities, regrets, fears and distractions climax in a multi-tasking nightmare. Sitting at lights, we process the meeting we’ve just left and make a phone call, but miss the magnificent formation of clouds above us. Or, we prepare dinner as we monitor the TV news all the while planning our evening, but miss connecting with a loved one and the longing behind the story they’re telling: “Sorry, I didn’t hear what you said.” When we do listen to ourselves, when we rest, we’re likely to drown our deeper thoughts with phone calls, television or a newspaper. We may avoid solitude, silence and stillness because we fear being overwhelmed by the internal noise of resisted feelings and thoughts and the re-emergence of old pain. When we expend energy repressing our fears, we stay afraid and never know that their shadows exaggerate the scale of their threat. Some of us have become human doings instead of human beings! We have full schedules, but miss the fullness of life. When we operate simultaneously in the past, present and future, we’re unable to appreciate the subtle beauty of the moment. When we aren’t fully present, we’re like a jogger with headphones, missing the stranger’s smile, the panorama of light, the warmth of the sun, the distant birdcall, the sense of completeness and calm. Stay Still! So why is stillness and silence important? Through stillness, solitude and silence, we can increase our creative energy and originality, our sense of self and purpose, and our connection with the Divine. “My soul thirsts for God. . . . When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:2), laments the psalmist. “Be still, and know that I am God” (46:10). “In repentance and rest is your salvation,” says Isaiah, “in quietness and trust is your strength” (30:15). The state of stillness we seek is an internal state of peace. External stillness, solitude and silence can increase focus, contemplation and peace, but these are merely means for growth that will work more for some people, and more at some times than others. Inner stillness is sometimes aided by the external through rhythmic physical movement, such as walking, swimming or dancing, and through contemplation of a visual focus, such as a water feature, fireplace, candle flame or flower arrangement. Our growing awareness of God’s character reveals our conscious and unconscious motivation and brings about powerful releases within us. Our submission to God’s intention leads us to transformational healing (see Romans 5:5; Ephesians 3:16; Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Living Fully To start living fully, introduce stillness practices into your routine. Here’s how:
  91. 91. 1. Be present to a simple, repetitive task, like washing dishes or eating a meal. Awaken to the sensory joy in the task: the textural touch on your skin, smells, colours, temperatures and rhythm in the movement, the purposeful meaning of the task. Be centred, grounded and deeply rooted, in a sense of meaningful reality at our core. Brother Lawrence (1611-91) modelled consciousness of God’s presence during daily tasks. 2. Luxuriate in 10 minutes of silent stillness in a natural setting, being entirely focused on the multisensory experience. Become aware of the texture you are sitting or walking on, sounds, the canopy of sky and trees above you. Such experiences can be enhanced when shared with a silent companion. We need to belong and to know our place in the world. 3. Close your eyes and allow the events of the day to stream past your consciousness. Notice the life-giving moments you missed and cherish them now: the warmth with which words were spoken, the beauty in a glimpsed scene, or the hope in someone’s eyes. Be aware of when energy drained from you; when your blood ran cold. Learn from this and release pain with tenderness and forgiveness. We are enriched when we learn to discern what is life-giving. 4. Set 10 minutes aside in a quiet place and read a meaningful passage—the Bible or poetry—slowly and reflectively. Read aloud and reread. Pause and allow thoughts to come passively to you. This is not an intellectual analysis exercise. Your stillness invites the Divine to reveal truth—fresh insight and revelation of the living Word—to you. (See 1 Corinthians 2:9-14; Hebrews 4:12.) 5. In a silent place, uninterrupted, spend 20 minutes contemplating the Divine—goodness, truth, love—being receptive to connect. Contemplation is essentially wordless, but its core cry is “I consent to Your presence and Your action within.” (See Psalm 139:1-4; Romans 8:26, 27.) Feel your hunger for connection with the Divine and express your adoration. God is waiting to connect with you (Revelation 3:20), but it may take some time for you to focus. If you are distracted by thoughts, let them float past you without following. One method, called “centering” prayer, encourages you to refocus on God by internally saying one of the names of God that you relate to. This can help you to be present to God again. “Wordless prayer . . . is humble, simple, lowly prayer, in which we experience our total dependence on God and our awareness that we are in God. Wordless prayer is not an effort to ‘get anywhere,’ for we are already there [in God’s presence]. It is just that we are not sufficiently conscious of being there” (William Shannon, Silence of Fire, Crossroads, New York, 1991, page11).
  92. 92. True Rest People from many spiritual streams are embracing stillness. Sadly, Christians, in their flurry to do good works, may be the ones most likely to miss out on these life-giving practices modelled by Jesus and taught by the Bible and authors across time. Rest—not striving, but surrendering in trust—is the essence of the good news of Jesus Christ. He has done all that is necessary to enable us to be in relationship with God (see John 3:16; 17:22, 23; Romans 3:22-25). All we need to do is to accept this and rely on Him. Jesus modelled the practice of withdrawing in solitude to natural places for the purposes of prayer (see Luke 5:16; 6:12; 22:41; Matthew 14:13; John 8:1). Jesus invites us to rest, to receive His gift of inner peace and to live fully (see Matthew 11:28-30; John14:27; 10:10). We too can have the inner peace of Thomas Kelly, who wrote while the world around him burned, “He who knows the Presence knows peace, and he who knows peace knows power and walks in complete faith that the objective Power and Love which has overtaken him will overtake the world.” Bibliography and further reading: David Benner, Surrender to Love. Discover the Heart of Christian Spirituality, Invarity Press, Illinois, 2003. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids, 1935. Richard Foster, Streams of Living Water, HarperCollins, 1998. Steve Fry, I Am: The Unveiling of God, Multnomah, Oregon, 2000. Matthew Kelly, A Call to Joy. Living in the Presence of God, Hodder Headline Australia, 1997. Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, Harper, San Francisco, 1941. Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, Paraclete Press, Massachusetts, 1985. Gerald May, The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to The Love You Need, Harper, San Francisco, 1991. G Reininger (ed), Centering Prayer in Daily Life and Ministry, Continuum, New York, 1998. Want to know more? Stillspace A journey toward meaning, wholeness and connection is an independent, non-denominational Christian ministry for God- doubters, God-seekers and full-on God-followers. Stillspace is where we soak in the manifest presence of God and progressively open up to receive the free flow of God’s lavish love, gradually accepting our new identity in Him, and becoming able to love our Lord with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Write to the author care of Signs Publishing Company if you require information on Melbourne-based Stillspace groups and personal prayer ministry. Notice if you “want to know more” you may go to this prayer labyrinth. The Labyrinth This is a spiritual experience that invites you to be still and silent as you participate in progressive experiences integral to the spiritual journey. http://web.ukonline.co.uk/paradigm
  93. 93. Here is where the link takes you. We will click on “Do it”.
  94. 94. Remove shoes & click here
  95. 95. Travel the different stations of the prayer labyrinth...
  96. 96. Postmodernism and the Emergent Church Movement
  97. 97. We are being told... we must develop Emerging Churches which can reach the postmodern mindset.
  98. 98. We are revamping our worship styles... Reborn worship...
  99. 99. Really this is just one of many paths that leads to ecumenism.
  100. 100. • Ecumenicalism Ecumenicalism—“Deified ecumenical empire” When there is a loss of a transcendent religious consensus, the community idolizes “unity” while still accommodating great diversity. For example: --When Rome lost its localized ancestral religion and turned into a vast empire, it instituted emperor worship. The divinized Roman empire was “ecumenical,” that is worldwide Rome tolerated people of all religions, provided they worshipped Caesar as God. Christians who couldn’t do this were put to death. --Toynbee sees something similar in ancient Egypt, Sumeria, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, the Imperial Dynasties of China, and even the trappings of the worldwide British Empire. In Today’s postmodern society we are also seeing a new reality emerging—the worship of unity, which will ultimately result in the loss of liberty. --Talks of “global unity” by environmentalists, New Age theologians, business gurus, rock stars, etc. --Global economy --Omenously, an ecumenical movement to unite all religions. The “ecumenical movement” that was constructed during the Modernist era (by liberal theologians) attempted to unite all churches by obliterating their distinct beliefs. Note that the worship of unity inevitably results in a loss of liberty. Individuality, by definition, must be suppressed if there is to be unity. It has happened before—during the early church, medieval church, communist era. And may happen again—in our time—even in protestant America.
  101. 101. In this context, we may compare all the world’s religions to a dairy herd. Each cow may look different on the outside, but the milk would all be the same. The different religious groups would maintain their own separate identities, but a universal spiritual practice would bind them together–not so much a one-world church as a one-world spirituality. Episcopal priest and New Age leader Matthew Fox explains what he calls “deep ecumenism”: Without mysticism there will be no “deep ecumenism,” no unleashing of the power of wisdom from all the world’s religious traditions. Without this I am convinced there will never be global peace or justice since the human race needs spiritual depths and disciplines, celebrations and rituals, to awaken its better selves. The promise of ecumenism, the coming together of religions, has been thwarted because world religions have not been relating at the level of mysticism.12 Fox believes that all world religions will eventually be bound together by the “Cosmic Christ”13 principle, which is another term for the higher self. http://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/12/16/filling-the-vacuum-with-mysticism/
  102. 102. Postmodernism and the Emergent Church: Leading statisticians are claiming that somewhere between 40-50 years ago, a fundamental shift took place in the way people think about reality. And with this shift in reality, the church has been greatly impacted on how it views itself and its mission in the world. Scholars refers to this seismic shift as post-modernism. And the Emergent Church is an attempt by some Christians to respond to this new reality. Many church members see everything as fine: new worship style, new approach music, new approaches to church growth, new kinds of leadership in the church, new (alternate) lifestyle, etc. Attention is given to painting the walls with new and bright colors, re-arranging the furniture or exchanging pews for sofas and chairs, dressing down, changing the carpets and curtains, and installing modern technological gadgets to make the house more comfortable and "user-friendly, changing our terminology from worship service to a “gathering” or “community”." We water down our unique remnant message and capitalize on our similarities with other denominations all under the pretense of “loving our neighbor” or “unity”.
  103. 103. Postmoderisms 2 key pillars/concepts The two key concepts that define postmodernism are: 1.) “THERE ARE NO MORAL ABSOLUTES” “There Is No Right or Wrong” - “Morality is relative” 2.) “THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES” “There Is No Absolut--“Truth is relative” When people ask you, “What is postmodernism?” you can simply explain that it is a worldview way of thinking, that says “There are no moral absolutes” and “There are no absolutes.” The first claim deals with ethics or morality. The second concerns truth or teachings/ doctrines. These two pillars of postmodernism are the Trojan horses that some seek to drag into the church. Our contemporary postmodern culture is seeking to cut off the ethical leg of biblical holiness. The absence of moral absolutes (no objective basis of right or wrong) reflects a much bigger problem—namely, the loss of objective truth.
  104. 104. The contemporary postmodern culture further creates these problems... While people have always committed sins, they at least acknowledged these were sins. A century ago a person may have committed adultery flagrantly and in defiance of God and man, but he would have admitted that what he was doing was a sin. However, today, what we have is not only immoral behavior, but a loss of moral criteria. This is true even in the church. We face not only a moral collapse but a collapse of meaning. “There are no absolutes.” It is hard to proclaim forgiveness of sins to people who believe that, since morality is relative, they have no sins to forgive. It is hard to witness to truth to people who believe that truth is relative (“Maybe Jesus works for you; but crystals work for me”).
  105. 105. Postmodernists idolize absolutely their new secular trinity of tolerance–diversity–choice. The intellect is replaced by the will. Reason is replaced by emotion. Morality is replaced by relativism. Reality itself becomes a social construct. • Where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.
  106. 106. Today, for the first time, at least on a mass scale, the very possibility of such [moral] standards has been thrown into question, and with it, all essential distinctions between right and wrong. Many do not seriously think through the implications of what they’re saying, either people are ignorant or simply confused. But that is precisely another mark of postmodernism: Believing in mutually inconsistent ideas: For example in postmodernism, --You can be a Christian and not believe that Jesus is the Son of God --You can believe in Christ and Buddha at the same time --You can be a Protestant and not believe that the Bible is the inspired and trustworthy rule of faith --You can be an Adventist and not believe in a literal, visible, and audible second coming. --You can be a Seventh-day Adventist and not believe that God created the world in six literal days and rested on the seventh; hence a Seventh-day Adventist. Today, it is possible to claim to be a good Adventist and believe in naturalistic evolution This is called pluralism...
  107. 107. Pastor Loren Seibold editor Pastor of the Hollywood SDA Church
  108. 108. • What we have now is pluralism (your truth is as valid as my truth). • Your education is now not to teach you truth but to redefine truth, it’s about “what works” (pragmatism). It’s no longer about the pursuit of truth. • Religion is now a preference, a taste or a choice, we believe in what we like, in what we want to believe, peoples views of God vary (cafeteria style religion). You create your own designer “god”. • Morality then becomes a desire (what I like or want).
  109. 109. To the postmodernist, the claims of Christianity are not denied; they are rejected because they purport to be true. Those who believe “there are no absolutes” will dismiss those who don’t share these same ideas and label them as “intolerant,” as trying to force their beliefs on other people. No historical text (e.g. Bible) can be absolutely true. We must approach the text, not to find out what it objectively means (the truth), but to unmask what it is hiding. We call this “the hermeneutics of suspicion.” Don’t believe what the text says but instead, “interrogate the text” to uncover its hidden political or sexual agenda. For example, we must not humbly accept, bur rather interrogate the --Bible --E.G White’s writings, and so on.... --History, etc. • So we now have spirituality without a truth foundation and once we remove truth from spirituality we have spiritualism (the occult).
  110. 110. • A new way of "doing" church is emerging. In this radical paradigm shift, exposition is being replaced with entertainment, preaching with performances, doctrine with drama, and theology with theatrics. The pulpit, once the focal point of the church, is now being overshadowed by a variety of church-growth techniques, everything from trendy worship styles to glitzy presentations to vaudeville-like pageantries. • In seeking to capture the upper hand in church growth, a new wave of pastors is reinventing church and repackaging the gospel into a product to be sold to "consumers." Whatever reportedly works in one church is being franchised out to various "markets" abroad. As when gold was discovered in the foothills of California, so ministers are beating a path to the doorsteps of exploding churches and super-hyped conferences where the latest "strike" has been reported. Unfortunately the newly panned gold often turns out to be "fool's gold." Not all that glitters is actually gold.
  111. 111. • Rick Warren: pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in California. has written a 399-page book, “The Purpose Driven Church, which is being used as a “How-to” manual throughout church growth circles. Its principal teachings are: • The principle of pragmatism: (p. 13-15) He says pastors need to learn to recognize a “wave of God’s Spirit and ride it” • (p. 14) ...”if it works , it must be right”! ...He encourages young pastors to leave behind that old fashioned church music in favor of jazz or rock or whatever turns your people on! He encourages churches to imitate the culture and “dress down” for church.
  112. 112. - Figure out what mood you want your service to project, and then create it. (p. 264) -Start positive and end positive, use humor in your services ... it is not a sin to help people feel good. (p. 272) -Cultivate an informal, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We made a strategic decision to stop singing hymns in our seeker services. We have attracted thousands more because of our music. (p. 285) -Saddleback now has a complete pop/rock orchestra. (p. 290) (so whether you come to server God depends on if your style of music is being played) -Use more performed music than congregational singing... (p. 291) -The ground we have in common is not the Bible, but our common needs, hurts and interests as human beings. (p. 295) -Make your members feel special ... they need to feel special. (p. 320, 323) *Note: the focus is on meeting peoples needs but they are neglecting leading them to Christ. (Matt. 6:31-33 needs religion)
  113. 113. In his book Rick Warren also states... "You must match your music to the kind of people God wants your church to reach.... The music you use 'positions' your church in your community. It defines who you are.... It will determine the kind of people you attract, the kind of people you keep, and the kind of people you lose." (Rick Warren, “Selecting Worship Music”, July 29, 2002) "The church that claims to reach everyone is only fooling themselves. No style of church can possibly reach everyone. Take a close look and you'll find that every church has a "culture." This culture is determined by the predominant kind of people who make up the congregation. Whoever your church has right now is who you're likely to attract more of - whether you like that fact or not. What is the likelihood of a church full of retirees reaching teenagers? What is the likelihood of a church full of urban professionals reaching farmers? What is the likelihood of a church full of military personnel reaching peace activists? Highly unlikely. That's why we must start all kinds of services and churches." (another words we must be “seeker sensitive”) (Rick Warren Interview, Pastor's.com, August)
  114. 114. I disagree with Rick Warren and his followers...  If it is true that rock music (disguised as praise music and praise dancing) is the most effective medium to reach young people today, why is it that math teachers and chemistry professors donʼt set their classes to heavy beat and hip swinging music? Why donʼt politicians employ clowns and illusionists to present their political messages?     Common sense tells us that these entertainment media are not the most credible methods to communicate serious messages. A doctor, meeting an apprehensive patient, does not dress like a clown in order to tell his patient that she has cancer. If a doctor who wants to be taken seriously does not resort to this kind of frivolity, isnʼt it folly to announce Godʼs message of warning and judgment to a dying world by resorting to entertainment? It is often suggested that because most people—especially young people—donʼt want to listen to the gospel, we have to “bait” them with gospel entertainment and gimmicks. Once we attract them by these contemporary methods, then we can “hook” them with the true message.  It is a mistake for us to think that the world will embrace our message when we use worldly methods. The New Testament tells us that when Christ came to the world, “the world knew him not” (Jn 1:10), for He was “not of this world” (Jn 8:23). What makes us believe that we can succeed where Christ failed?
  115. 115. Dan Kimball says of Rick Warren.... Rick Warren is not only supportive of the “emerging church,” he believes that it is exactly what is required at this time. He believes this is what “the purpose-driven” church that he founded will become in the “postmodern world.” He notes: “In the past twenty years, spiritual seekers have changed a lot. In the first place, there are a whole lot more of them. There are seekers everywhere. I’ve never seen more people so hungry to discover and develop the spiritual dimension of their lives. That is why there is such a big interest in Eastern thought, New Age practices, mysticism and the transcendent.” Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for the New Generation, Zondervan, 2003, page 6. Notice: Developing a close relationship with Christ and learning to die to self is not mentioned at all. Many are allowing the “seekers” to dictate what is and is not taught in churches today. God is no longer the focus hence we have created a man centered religion.
  116. 116. Rob Bell (famous for his NOOMA videos) In his writings, Bell affirms things as truth regardless of the source, saying "I affirm the truth anywhere in any religious system, in any worldview. If it's true, it belongs to God."[12] Bell says, "This is not just the same old message with new methods. We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Bell "He [Bell]described breath as a form of prayer and urged people to relax and "breathe out" all of their anger and stress from the past week." —David Crumm, Getting To The Root Of Religion
  117. 117. Ellen White in reference to Battle Creek College had this to say about the important of numbers... “If you lower the standard in order to secure popularity and an increase of numbers, and then make this increase a cause of rejoicing, you show great blindness. If numbers were evidence of success, Satan might claim the pre-eminence; for in this world his followers are largely in the majority. It is the degree of moral power pervading the college that is a test of its prosperity. It is the virtue, intelligence, and piety of the people composing our churches, not their numbers, that should be a source of joy and thankfulness.” {5T 31.3}
  118. 118. Unfortunately, some of us pastors and church leaders are sometimes to blame for the introduction of gospel gimmicks into church. We appear to put popularity, job security, position, and the illusion of outward success above our duty to the Chief Shepherd. We seem to fear that if we were to take a stand against these forms of worldliness in our churches, we would create enemies and threaten our support among our constituencies.  It is often suggested that before we can reach the world with the gospel, we have to employ the worldʼs methods to proclaim Christʼs truth. But this reasoning is indefensible for at least two important reasons: (1) Worldly methods trivialize the message; (2) Worldly methods are contrary to biblical teaching. “Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world; it never converts the world to Christ.” GC pg. 509