Monday, July 10, 2006

THE MASTER LIST

It's very helpful to have a list like this one from Bud Press, warning christians of the many many questionable if not blatantly heretical books being published today by commonly trusted christian publishers and assumedly trusted christian websites.

The church I left last year recommends some of these authors on their "recommended books" section of the church's website. authors such as

Dan Kimball,

Brian McLaren,

Ken Blanchard,

Leonard Sweet

just to name a few.

Not only that but their youth pastor promotes and encourages the kids to read authors such as Richard Foster - (Celebration of Discipline) and teaches kids doctrines from authors like Rob Bell and references mystics such as Madam Guyon.

It grieves me that there is such a lack of discernment from apparently so many leaders within evangelical churches. I guess all we can do is to warn them and pray earnestly that the Holy Spirit will open their spiritual eyes to deceptions occurring in today's church.

Below is an excerpt from the list...

"To the Reader: The following is a Master List of Contemplative, Cultic, Heretical, New Age Movement, Homosexual, Lesbian, Pro-Gay and Transgendered authors and books found advertised and promoted within numerous, major online Christian bookstores worldwide...." READ FURTHER

14 Comments:

Anonymous chad said...

this has to be some kind of a joke! remember back when the Vatican burned books and certain people were even killed for writing things. what's up with the fear of those who read Scripture closely and pray fervently?

1:44 AM  
Blogger nicholasfiedler said...

Ken, please come on our podcast. We want you to talk to our people.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chad,

If all that was going on were the reading of scripture closely and fervent prayer, then the Emergent movement, church growth movements and contemplative spirituality wouldn't exist.

No one's suggesting that we burn books and that you no longer have the freedom to read whatever you want. But we as believers have a responsibility to expose error to those younger and weaker in their faith. Why? To protect them from falling away and being led down the wrong paths. We do it out of love, not out of a desire to contol or attack.

-KCO

11:06 AM  
Blogger carla said...

Thanks Kenny,

What makes it so difficult to discern is that many of these men DO talk about Jesus and read scripture. But the longer I live, the more I have seen that anyone can read the Bible. For example, the other day I heard an atheist quote scripture. I've had long visits with Jehovah's Witnesses and they read scripture and know their Bibles more than many Christians I know. Muslims and Buddhists believe in Jesus(as do spirits)and even pray fervently. So although we would like to, we can't use that as a spiritual truth thermometer.

For example, lastnight I was reading Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster who talks alot about the church, holiness, and spirituality. He uses ALOT of scripture and is really into prayer. In the beginning of this book he says that "all the traditions that form the structure of this book are deeply rooted in scripture." He then writes about the the 'divine Center' and 'the silence' in the contemplative tradition of Thomas Merton and Teresa Avila, and calls Dag Hammarskjold one of the world's greatest leaders who "possessed a living faith".

Meanwhile,the truth about this is that Dag's spirituality was esoteric in nature (he created that creepy meditation room at the UN where anyone can pray to whatever power they call god). Teresa experienced symptoms of demonic possession, and Thomas Merton was enlightened by a statue of Buddha. Yet Foster, and many of the authors on this master list, would have us believe that there is nothing wrong with drawing from these different streams of spirituality. We can't have it both ways. It's either the narrow way or the wide way. Jesus said there will be few who enter, and to the many who say "Lord Lord", he will say, depart from me, I never knew you!

One more point about the "Streams" book and Chad's comment about burning books, sorry for being long winded...although I have a strong urge to burn this book, I keep it in my library to warn others who think it's okay. I am very thankful for freedom of speech so we can have Master Lists and blogs like Thinkerup to warn us of the deceivers, as the apostle Paul often did.

Thanks Kenny. May God remove the scales from our eyes as you, and others, continue to set the truth before us.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous chad said...

again i ask, what is wrong with lectio divina? what is the danger of reading Scripture closely and praying fervently? most of the practices you are labeling as deceptive have been around for centuries. are you the first to decide these are actually detrimental? have you tried these practices, or did someone simply tell you they were evil?

if the rest of the Christians in the world were half the servant that Mother Teresa were, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. i suppose if demon possession leads to a similar compassion for the poor and oppressed that Christ modeled, i'd wish we were all demon possessed. do you really believe the nonsense you're writing?

2:44 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Hey Chad,

Have you read this post?

CLICK HERE

There is nothing wrong with reading scripture and understanding what is contained in the passage. That is a good thing, as you are engaging your mind. I would encourage you to read the entire Psalm 119.

The problem with Lectio Divina is that people take a word or a phrase and believe it to be sacred and repeat it slowly for the purpose of entering into a so called "spiritual experience" with God. It becomes a mantra and could place a person in an altered state of consciousness. There is nothing sacred in a word or a phrase. God's power in His word is useful, effective and sharper than a two-edged sword when its truth is declared and proclaimed by faithful servants with clean hands and a pure heart seeking God in humility through much prayer and study. Not through mystical prayer techniques and skills.

Oh and by the way, I will never try Lectio Divina. Sometimes you do not have to engage in something to know it is no good.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Nicholas,

I'm not completely comfortable with going on your podcast at this point. I do appreciate your offers.

Just so you guys understand a little more about where I am coming from, my main concern from the very start of thinkerup was to alert people who I happen to know of the dangers which I see riddled throughout the Emergent movement and the whole church-growth mega-church movement juggernaut as well. I know that many in the Emergent movement are also critical of mega-churches and there are some things with which we would agree on.

I have been involved in youth at my former church for 17 years and have developed many relationships with kids through the years. I am very passionate and burdened for youth and am saddened by many of the trends I see flooding their way into the churches today, one of which is this Emergent movement. I know it is an attempt to experience God in fresh new/ancient ways and to consider things which some in the traditional church have avoided, like reaching the outcasts of society. I admire their desire to do this but in the process of trying new things, challenging traditional ideas, and learning from traditions of the past they have rushed into a world of reckless and undiscerning ideologies and carelessly embraced just about anything. This is not good. I have some major concerns with this.

I noticed when Tony Jones listed my post on his blog he said that this would be the largest amount of traffic my site would ever get. Now why would he say that? The first thing I thought when read that was..."I don't care about getting a bunch of hits on the site". I could care less how much or how little traffic thinkerup gets.

As stated before my primary concern is to reach out to people I know from my former church and to warn others, especially the youth, about potential dangers running rampant throughout the church. It just so happens that one girl who left a comment knew me from my former church, she also seemed to know Tony. She was very polite in her comment and tried to understand where I was coming from with the post. I was very pleased to see that she left a comment. These are the people I am trying to reach. If the info on thinkerup is helpful to someone else too--good!

I know you guys have a podcast and your demographic is growing. I listened to the podcast and you are funny on it and it was entertaining. I sort of understand why you would want to have me on in light of the whole Tony Jones thing, but I am not clear on how it would be beneficial for what my purposes are.

I was surprised at the reaction to the title of the post "Is Tony Jones Even a Christian". Now I know a title like that would get some attention but what about the information contained therein? Is it that bad to say such a thing? Shouldn't we be more concerned about the content of our message, and whether or not it is scriptural than our label? We should ALL keep ourselves in check--hey, feel free to keep me in check, as long as our source is the Word of God rather than our relationships to each other. I do not know him and I know it is a little risky throwing up a post with a title like that but I want people to test things and challenge things about Emergent and their fascination with mysticism which it seems so many in the movement a quick to embrace. Challenging things seems to be something people in the Emergent movement are fond of, right? The posts I put up following that one about Tony was an attempt to clarify what it means to be a christian or what it looks like. I did not say Tony was not one.... I simply asked, which was intended to bring attention to what it means to be a christian I hope, not to pick on Tony.

I am not opposed to having a hearty dialogue with you guys or whomever else for that matter. Maybe we will interact further at some point. I am a subscriber to your podcast and will check out the upcoming programs but as of now I am not 100% certain I want to be on as a guest.

I will continue to read up on Emergent and post about it (Lord willing). If you hear of any events occurring in the South Florida area I would love to go and do some "conversation" maybe.

-Kenny

4:36 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Hey Chad,

Sorry if it sounded like I said Mother Teresa was demon possessed. The Teresa I was talking about was Teresa Avila. Just thought I should clear that up.

By the way, I've done Lectio Devina. Alot of people in my church are doing it, and that's where it was taught to me. After trying it a few times and looking into it, I don't participate in that way of Bible reading anymore. God has taught me far more about Himself through thorough Bible study.

And you are right, there is absolutely nothing wrong about fervent prayer! I'm just saying that many people of other religions pray fervently. It's not how we pray that matters. It's Who we pray to.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chad, My question to you is, how can you really believe the nonsense that people like Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Richard Foster, Rob Bell, and others in the emergent church and contemplative prayer movements write? There are far too many things they say that do not line up with scripture at all and some even completely deny our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that not all who claim to be Christians are really Christ followers at all but are merely imposters and deceivers. Some may have merely fallen under deception themselves and now you may be falling under that same deception. You must ask yourself; what your real source of spiritual truth is. Is it the Word of God, or the words of men?

Learn to be a Berean and test everything according to the Word of God. That means you must READ IT AND STUDY IT IN CONTEXT and you must ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and teach you according to THE TRUTH. You must desire to know the full truth even if that means being corrected.

If you truly love the Lord and desire to follow Him and serve Him, then ask the Lord to protect you from any and all false teaching and to clearly show you the truth in these matters. This is something I and many other Christians have needed to do as all these strange new words and teachings have entered the church. Yes, as you stated in your comments most of these "practices" have been around for centuries, but not in the Evangelical Christian Church. And Satan's lies, deceptions, false teachings and false teachers have also been around for centuries. In fact they've been around ever since the Garden of Eden and the fall of man. Remember the serpents cunning words to Eve, "Did God really say,...." It seems to me that many in the emergent, church growth and contemplative movements are saying the same sort of thing, bringing much doubt and confusion into the body of Christ and into the hearts and minds of believers. We are to however stand firm in the faith and are to resist the enemy of our souls. We are to look to scripture as our guide not to the words and philosophies of men.

When contemplative prayer was first introduced to me in my church my initial thought was that it sounded a bit like new age stuff. But I foolishly put my guard down and ignored the promptings of the Holy Spirit because I thought the two lovely Christian women teaching this couldn't possibly be mixed up in something like new age teaching. However there were too many things that continually did not quite line up with scripture no matter how nice sounding they were and I continued to receive nudgings from the Holy Spirit that something wasn't right. I asked the Lord to show me exactly what this was all about. If it was truly of Him then I wanted all He had for me, If it was not of Him then I wanted nothing more to do with it. A week later God brought a fellow church member and friend my way with a book entitled "Running Against The Wind", by Brian Flynn, a man who was delivered from the new age movement. As I read his descriptions of Transcendental Meditation and Mantras, etc. I knew the initial promptings of warning I had received from the Holy Spirit were in fact from the Holy Spirit and I had been very wrong to ignore them. As I continue to look to the scriptures I find nothing in its proper context that supports contemplative prayer, but plenty that warns against it.

One simple thing in all of this is when the disciples asked the Lord to teach them to pray He never said anything about contemplative prayer or lectio divina. He never said to repeat a word or a portion of scripture or the name of Jesus until all distractions were removed and you felt His presence. Instead Jesus taught them to pray: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven......" (see Matthew 6, NASB, which also gives warning against the use of meaningless repititions.

Chad I plead with you, not to ignore the warnings of the Holy Spirit and of Scripture. God's desire is to lead you into all TRUTH. Satan's desire is to steal, kill, and destroy. Remember that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also diguise themselves as servants of righteousness.... (Read 2Cor.11:1-15)

If you are sincere in your desire for THE TRUTH, from THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD, who is a Righteous and Holy God, then He will be faithful and will guide you into all truth. However if your desire is to simply hear what your itching ears want to hear then you will probably follow all kinds of false teachings. I pray your desire will be to really know THE TRUTH OF GOD. -CT

6:23 PM  
Anonymous chad said...

i'm really confused and troubled about a phrase i see over and over again in relation to contemplative prayer practices: "altered state of mind." reading Scripture over and over does not produce a mantra, it produces at oneness with the Scriptures; it produces familiarity with the Word; it allows one to reflect and attempt to live God's Word. i find it hard to believe that people read Scripture without contemplating or meditating on what they have just read. what's the point if you aren't going to deeply consider what you are reading?

furthermore, after reading the post you linked, there are several flaws. first, the early church did have written Scripture to read. what are Paul's letters? they were not memorized. or what of the Old Testament writings in existence? second, your claim that lectio divina is not in the Bible, therefore it is evil is dumbfounding. there is no mention of Jesus being against homosexuality in the Bible yet you claim to know he detests it. there is no mention of the Trinity yet we affirm it. i could go on and on. an argument from absence is rediculous.

as far as i know there is no "chanting" practiced with lectio divina. it can be done in a group for the edification of many or it can be done by oneself. i have never been involved in chanting or altered states when practicing lectio divina. your fear of this prayer practice is astounding given the fact that you refuse to attempt to try it for yourself. judge not...

3:29 AM  
Anonymous Vee said...

FOREWORD: PREPARING FOR THE NEXT MILLENNIUM

Though an atheist, Andre' Malraux has said that "the third millennium will be spiritual or there will be no third millennium."
Dag Hammarskjold, a rational economist and world observer whom the UN transformed into a mystic, said, "I see no hope for permanent world peace. We have tried and failed miserably. Unless the world has a spiritual rebirth, civilization is doomed."

The Parliament of the World's Religions has achieved several important objectives:

1) the Parliament has underlined the necessity that the world's religious and spiritual leaders must come to agreement about ways to continue interreligious collaboration for peace, the relief of suffering and the preservation of the planet;

2) the members of the Assembly agreed to bring plans and common projects to their communities and to their nations' leaders;

3) the Assembly adopted a world-renowned declaration, "Towards a Global Ethic," which has opened a chapter of upwelling preparations and drafting of ethical statements in many fields of human and planetary concern;

4) the Assembly asked the Council for a Parliament to study the question of an ongoing Parliament or Council of religious and spiritual leaders as a network of organizations devoted to finding solutions to the shared problems of the human community. by Dr. Robert Muller



The above is happening at break neck speed, you hear it from all the movers and shakers of the emergent movement and from the mega-church preachers. Warren, McLaren and Schuller and the like, echoe this all the time. This is taken from a site called 'United Communities of Spirit'.

4:26 AM  
Blogger nancy said...

Chad,

In hopes of clearing up the confusion here are a few thoughts. First, if you are not already familiar with Centering prayer as defined by Thomas Keating, pick up his book "Intimacy with God." A quick study of Keating will reveal that his prayer form has a specific intent - achieving the altered state of consciousness in which the cognitive part of the brain stops and one experiences unity. Keating is very transparent about his panentheistic worldview. It is also useful to read from the Mahareshi Maharesh Yogi or his gurus to understand that Centering Prayer is Transcendental Mediation and is driven by a worldview that is counter to the Bible.

Now, I think that Lectio Divina has many different manifestations. Some may use it more like Keating's Centering prayer in which the prayer is trying to conjure up the mystical qualities of the word. Others (and I'm speaking of a friend who is very much against centering prayer) may define Lectio Divina as simply a more meditative way of reading scripture in which the prayer is "chewing on scripture" and pondering the implications of the word. Yes, this is very transformative. So in various discussions I think it is important for someone to clearly define what they mean by the term Lectio Divina or contemplative prayer.

I recommend a little book called "Christian Meditation" by Edmund Clowney. He counters the false mysticism of the TM movement and depicts a Christian Meditation that nourishes the entire being - heart, mind, and soul. His meditation on meditation is a wonderful medicine for the soul that is aching for a genuine Christian spirituality.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great explanation Nancy!

I suggest that all listen to this excellent, clear discussion on contemplative prayer from CrossTalk program recently (see below). It is very easy to follow and understand. Especially you Chad. Seriously.

http://www.crosstalkamerica.com/shows/2006/06/contemplative_prayer_meditatio.php

-KCO

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to find the info from your link to crosstalk and it's saying, "file not found." I did get to the website however. Could you post the title of the article or state what heading it is under. Thanks. -CT

4:33 PM  

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