2005-12-29

Oh no they didn't...



We have some work to do! It seems that there is a website (and publishing company) out there called "Lighthouse Trails Research Project", who claims to "expose the truth about contemplative spirituality, the bridge that unites all religions andthus denies the gospel of Jesus Christ". They hate people and movements as diverse as contemplative prayer, the emergent church, the charismatic movement, Rick Warren, Roman Catholics, and basically anything that does not fit into the Biblicist fundamentalist [lack-of-a]mindset.

You can find them at: http://lighthousetrailsresearch.com/index.html

These people are mean, nasty, anti-everything-fundamentalists who lie and spread gossip about their self-proclaimed enemies in the name of Jesus Christ, without offering much more than a shred of evidence (if that much). For instance, did you know that Henry Nouwen was a homosexual, or that the Alpha Course is tied into the New Age? That's what they chaim. They make the guys over at Fide-O look like Oxford University. At least those guys can marshal a strong Scriptural argument.


Please check out the site, especially the topical indexes (and this one), and tell me what you want to do about it.

After a brief perusal of the site, a few Scriptures come to mind:

The problem:

Deuteronomy 5:20 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

The diagnosis:

Titus 3:8-11 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

And the antidote:

John 17:22-23 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

6 comments:

Caren said...

What are we going to do?

Well, first I think you need to take a deep breath and chill.

In the spirit of love we can discuss our issues with them, but really, how often does that work? I acknowledge the fact that it does only take one person to change the world, but this is a battle I don't think needs to be fought.

I disagree with most of what I read in the tiny section of the site I read, but I didn't see anything overtly dangerous about it. What I did see was a lot of scared misunderstanding and blanket statements of fearmongering. (I hope that really is one word...)

Nate, in the spirit of the contemplative and in the hope of peace, I think "we" should just let it go. Maybe read up on what they have to say, figure out what you disagree with and make a mental note. Other than that, this seems to me a harmless group.

Let's not choose the path of Teddy Roosevelt who said "If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness." I don't think those two are separate choices.

Let's go for peace. Even if it is just on the internet.

Of course, I could be wrong.

But that rarely happens.
;)

- Caren

Chris Tilling said...

I say nuke em all (in love)

;-)

But seriously, I've seen worse. Check out this beauty:
Here (but prepare to want to throw-up)

Anonymous said...

Hey man!

I have actually had a series of email conversations with Fred Phelps in 1998-ish, the "pastor" (read: hatemonger) at Westborogh Baptist Church, and author of godhatesfags.com. It was actually a fairly pleasant exchange, all things considered. He said I was self-condemned and on my way to hell...

His whole theology is based on a really extreme form of Calvinism that believes God creates beings he hates so that he can hate them. This is not an indictment against Calvinism per se, just this version of it. But, my exchange with him first gave me the thought: We become what we worship.

Our view of God implicitly shapes everything else we do, for good or bad. May God grant us all repentance from our idols so that we may worship Him in truth and become people of Love.

May Christ fill your life,
Nate Bostian

Scott Hill said...

Nate I agree. Those people are wackos.

Fide-O

chris said...

Wow, these guys are cool. Straight to hell I go I guess, that darned yoga is bringing me down. Forget the fact that anyone who has taken gym in the in a US high school has performed many yoga based stretches…that a mere set of body movements could ‘intend it or not, eventually influence you toward an Eastern/mystical perspective.’ Is a bunch of crap. Sure there are instructors that will intertwine the philosophical views of hindu in yoga practice, but how is that so different than a stock broker or accountant that helps a Christian client make more money for the sake of making money? If you are weak and not able to rightly discern, you shouldn’t be putting yourself in situations where you could be influenced in a way that will compromise your faith. Simple stretching and repetitive isometric exercise is not in itself a threat to one’s soul, if anything it shows more reverence for this vessel that our creator has blessed us with and calls us to take care of so that we may fulfill His purpose in our lives, but don’t they have a problem with purpose?? Oh well, the wife is about to start the yoga tape and I don’t want to miss out…

molly said...

Nate...
I love my new video iPOD...it rocks. Sadly enough, within days of it's release on world markets, there were pornographic downloads available for it. Does that mean I'm ditching my iPOD? Hardly! Just an illustration of how just a small twist can make something that rocks into something that stinks.
I guess the same is true in this case. Many ancient Christian traditions and practices have been co-opted by New Agers and "spiritual buffet relativists" and turned into something that no longer has Christ as the center. The labyrinth is a prime example of this...instead of entering the journey to meet with God...for many the labyrinth has become a place to encounter one's "true inner spiritual godself." Does that mean that we should take a jackhammer to the floor at Chartres? Golly, I hope not!
What it does mean for me, though, is that I need a working knowledge of the twists in order to keep them from entering in to what I do. Do I throw the contemplative baby out with the bath water? NO. Do I cast a broad net of condemnation over teachers, writers, churches, and movements using only out-of context quotes? NO. Do I pray for the discernment and wisdom to seek that which is of God, and to filter out that which is not? ABSOLUTELY!
This goofy website is for me an impetus to vigilance about ways good things can be subtly twisted. It also reminds me that not all Christians read II Cor 5:18-21 the way that I do. I believe reconciliation to God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is the foundation for all of the ministry that I do. That ministry may look different from day to day, but it is founded by and grounded in Christ. This website reminds me that there are many whose "work for the Kingdom" requires that all ministry must fit into a rigid, rule-filled box. I cringe at the thought, but love them I still must. Will I use this website as a resource? Not likely. There are more reasonable, reliable, and researched ways to be vigilant.
Enough said for now...time for some Centering Prayer...

PS Where does the Orthodox Church, you know, the one furthest back on the timeline, fit into this evil infiltation scheme?

This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.