Posts Tagged ‘Occult’

As I mentioned in a previous blog, there are three distinct but overlapping movements: The Emerging Church, The Emergent Church, and Emergence Christianity. And the lines between the three movements are VERY QUICKLY becoming blurred. Consider Renovare. Renovare, headed by Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, appeals mainly to evangelical Christians engaging in Spiritual Formation/ Contemplative Spirituality within the Emerging Church movement. Yet, in a recent move, Willard, Foster and company at Renovare have joined arms with New Age-ish Emergence Christianity writers Richard Rohr and  Phyllis Tickle.

Lighthouse Trails has posted a blog documenting this move by Renovare. Following is the blog in its entirety. The original is at:


Richard Foster’s Renovare Turns to Panentheist Mystic Richard Rohr and Emerging Darling Phyllis Tickle For New Book Project
September 14th, 2010 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors

In an email sent out by Richard Foster’s Renovare organization this week, it was announced that Renovare is working together with HarperOne publishers on a booklet titled 25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Devotional Classics.

The email sent out asks readers to visit the Renovare website and fill in a form stating which 5 books they “think are foundational and all Christians should read.” (see form)[ http://www.renovare.us/25BooksSurvey/tabid/2778/Default.aspx%5D The reason we bring this to the attention of Lighthouse Trails readers is twofold: first, many Christians do not see a problem with the spirituality of Richard Foster. And in fact, the majority of leading Christian figures do not see a problem with it either (e.g. Rick Warren, Focus on the Family, Bill Hybels, etc); secondly, for those who are in this camp of not seeing what is behind Foster’s spiritual formation movement, take a look on the 25 Books form page and see the list of members on the 25 Books Editorial Team. Of course, there is Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. But look at two other names: Phyllis Tickle, the emerging church’s darling “mentor” (who once said that Brian McLaren was the next Luther), and Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation [http://www.cacradicalgrace.org/]. For those who still have yet to be convinced that Richard Foster is indeed a New Age sympathizer, this should seal the verdict by the fact that Tickle and Rohr are included in an editorial board to decide which 25 books Christians should read.

Rohr’s spirituality would be in the same camp as someone like Episcopalian panentheist Matthew Fox (author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ). Rohr wrote the foreword to a 2007 book called How Big is Your God? by Jesuit priest (from India) Paul Coutinho. In Coutinho’s book, he describes an interspiritual community where people of all religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity) worship the same God. For Rohr to write the forward to such a book, he would have to agree with Coutinho’s views. On Rohr’s website, he currently has an article titled “Cosmic Christ.” [http://cacradicalgrace.org/conferences/cosmic-christ/] One need not look too far into Rohr’s teachings and website to see he is indeed promoting the same Cosmic Christ as Matthew Fox – this is the “christ” whose being they say lives in every human-this of course would nullify the need for atonement by a savior.

Ask your pastor sometime what he thinks of Richard Foster and Spiritual Formation (pioneered by Foster and Willard). You may be surprised at the answer, but it may show you how integrated Foster’s spirituality has become with the organized Christian church.

As for Phyllis Tickle, read Roger Oakland’s article “The Great Emergence: A Reformation Every 500 Years?“

[The article is here:]


Scary. There are huge numbers of evangelicals who are refusing to give up the contemplative practices of Spiritual Formation (up to and including centering prayer and the labyrinth). And they are refusing to distance themselves from Renovare. I fear that, as Renovare proceeds to associate itself more and more with “New Age Christians” like Rohr and Tickle, evangelicals will begin accepting these individuals in addition to the Spiritual Formation crowd (Willard, Foster and company).

See also the following excellent articles:





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[blog under construction]

Previously I examined two movements: the Emerging Church, and the Emergent Church. There is yet another, more dangerous movement, called Emergence Christianity.

Following is a very simplistic view of the three movements:

Emerging Church – consists mainly of evangelical churches
Emergent Church – appeals to mainline/liberal churches
Emergence Christianity – embraced by New Age seekers, Unitarian Universalists, and admirers of the Interfaith Movement

But as with so many theologies, things are not as simple as they first appear. As time goes on, the lines between the above three movements are becoming blurred, with the Emergent Church movement “morphing” into the Emergence Christianity movement (as Apprising Ministry’s Ken Silva put it).


Some authors in Emergence Christianity:

Rob Bell

Marcus Borg

Spencer Burke

Shane Claiborne

Mike Clawson

Philip Clayton

Shane Hipps

Tony Jones

Brian McLaren

Doug Pagitt

Richard Rohr

Peter Rollins

Samir Selmanovic

John Shelby Spong
mentioned at: http://apprising.org/2009/01/25/richard-rohr-conversations-convergence-and-emergence-apostasy/

Leonard Sweet

Phyllis Tickle

Alexie Torres-Fleming
listed at: http://apprising.org/2009/01/25/richard-rohr-conversations-convergence-and-emergence-apostasy/

Frank Viola

Jim Wallis


The following articles mention most of the above names – and more:




Following are many more great articles exposing Emergence Christianity:








I will be developing this blog further…

A parting thought – I am sick and tired of this slippery slide into apostasy. It is time for born again Christians to wake up and say, “I will have no part in this.” This is one Bible passage we should all claim for ourselves:

14) “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15) And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15, KJV)

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(revised 12/25/13)

I would like to make a plea to all born again, godly Christians. Please, please, please, SEPARATE yourself from any schools or churches which teach Spiritual Formation (SF)/Contemplative Prayer(CP), and which tout postmodern (PM)(Emerging/ Emergent/Emergence) teachings. LEAVE. Run as far away as you can, as fast as you can. And don’t let any so-called Christians – evangelical or otherwise – drag you down into these heresies. Look to the Truth of God’s Word alone, and stand strong on it.

In order to resist this End Times onslaught of SF/CS and PM teachings, we need to separate ourselves from these teachings. And we need to study what God’s Word says regarding “straying from the Truth” and “how to avoid straying from the Truth.” So here goes…

Throughout biblical history, it seems that godly people have always fallen by the wayside. Or, as Paul wrote, “made shipwreck of their faith” (I Tim. 1:19). They have always had a tendency to sin, first dabbling in disobedience (including the occult), then compromising their godly beliefs and falling away from their trust in God. The very first example, of course, was when Satan tempted Eve. He lied to her, saying, “hath God said…?” (Gen. 3:1, KJV) If Eve had turned her back on Satan (separated from him and ran away), he would not have had a chance to tempt her.

I found this passage in Deuteronomy to be relevant regarding SF/CP and PM teachings:

9) When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. 11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12) For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13) Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14) For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deut. 18:9-13, KJV).

How much more direct can God’s Word get? God specifically warns us to avoid/separate ourselves from all occult practices. No matter what those in SF/CP and PM tell you, they are (either knowingly or unknowingly) getting involved in occult practices. So, avoid these individuals!!

Of course, the above-mentioned passage in Deuteronomy lists only some of the occult practices which God specifically forbids. [I will plan to list additional forbidden practices as I locate the Bible passages.]

Individuals involved in SF/CP and PM teachings might respond that they are NOT engaging in occult practices. They may insist that they are practicing centering prayer, the labyrinth, etc. in a “Christian” way. This is impossible!! Suppose they were presented with an Ouija board. Could they use the Ouija board in a “Christian” way? Of course not! In the same way, it is impossible to use centering prayer, the labyrinth, and all other inherently occult contemplative practices in a “Christian” way. And evangelicals practicing CP almost always become more open, eventually, to more blatantly occult practices. Several are mentioned in the Deuteronomy passage above: horoscopes (“observers of times”), and, attempting to contact one’s guardian angel who is actually a demonic impersonator (“a consulter with familiar spirits”).

Another point – evangelicals into SF/CP and PM teachings admire the writings of numerous Catholic mystics. (Once they “get into” Catholicism mysticism, they may eventually move on to studying Hindu mysticism, Buddhist mysticism, etc.) But even Catholicism, taken by itself, is full of occult practices such as idol worship and contact with the dead. I will add links to articles exposing occultism within Catholicism, as I locate them. In regards to my original point: all born again Christians should SEPARATE themselves from Catholicism entirely, since Catholicism is so rife with occult practices.

Occultism is demonic, and it is inseparable from mysticism. All those involved in mysticism – whether it be evangelical mysticism, Catholic mysticism, Hindu mysticism, Buddhist mysticism, the New Age movement, or whatever – are engaging in blatantly demonic rebellion against the Lord our God. We as born again, biblically sound Christians are truly engaged in a spiritual battle against all those involved in any kind of CP/mysticism. Remember Ephesians Chapter 6?

10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints… (Eph. 6:10-18, KJV)

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(revised 08/13/12)

Update: I have made an attempt to “tone down” most of my blogs about Evangelical Friends/Quakers, to not be so hurtful to my many friends in the EFCI (and EFC-ER). Yet when I see what is going on, I still feel compelled to speak out. Read on.
In a previous blog I discussed how the EFCI (and EFC-ER) is becoming more and more liberal due largely to Richard Foster and company. I am very “protective” of the EFC-ER if you will. The EFC-ER historically has been more biblically sound, more “old fashioned” than the other Regions of the EFCI. It appears the EFC-ER is being drawn into the progressive/ liberal leanings of the other Regions, particularly Northwest Yearly Meeting.

On 11/05/10 I perused the EFC-ER home page (the EFC-ER falls under the denominational umbrella of the EFCI):

There I saw a link to the Friends Youth Summit 2010:

When I clicked on the above link, one of the first items that popped up was a photo of Dan Kimball with a brief bio. The Youth Summit website provided a link to more biographical info.

My question for the EFCI and EFC-ER: “Do you know Dan Kimball promotes not only the Emerging Church, but also New Age-ish prayer labyrinths?”

See the following article for Kimball’s praises of labyrinth walking:


Did the EFCI invite Kimball without knowing he espouses the labyrinth? Even if they were unaware of the Kimball-labyrinth connection, they have no problem endorsing the labyrinth. Check out the following schedule of EFCI Youth Summit activities:


I immediately noticed  Spiritual Formation activities on the schedule. Here are the details, copied verbatim:

Kingdom. Mission. Passion.
Conversations that could change your life!

Keep up with latest schedule updates and info here!

    The Summit 2010 Schedule is designed with the goal of multiple conversation venues and options around the theme: Kingdom. Mission. Passion. You will have conversations that could change your life…your community…the church!

Start “the Summit Conversation” with a Six Week Study of Dan Kimball’s They Like Jesus But Not The Church.

Christ-Centered Prayer Walk Labyrinth, directed by Frank Penna

– Under the Prayer Walk Labyrinth link:

Summit Prayer Labyrinth
Sign-up for the Summit Prayer Labyrinth during the conference. Participants will “journey” through the labyrinth guided by a CD that soars with provocative, devotional narration set against a worshipful music backdrop. Eleven stations on their journey will lead them to “let go” of busyness, hurt and distractions that can spoil relationships, “center” their lives on God and spend time with him, and reach out to the world with Christ’s love.

– Under the Frank Penna link:

Frank Penna – Summit Labyrinth Director
Frank Penna loves the Evangelical Friends Church! Frank grew up at First Denver Friends and had some of the greatest spiritual experiences of his life in youth group and at Quaker Ridge Camp, where God called him into ministry in December of 1972. Frank graduated from Barclay College (FBC) in 1978, married Janet Smith that summer, and has since served the Friends church as a minister of music and pastor. He currently lives in Wichita, Kansas and is in Ministry Development for World Renewal International, a church planting mission. He also serves as a Field Representative for EFC-ER, who is actively planting Evangelical Friends churches in northeast Brazil in partnership with WRI and World Renewal Brazil.

Prayer Room including Prayer Stations, directed by Jen Prickett

– Under the Prayer Room link:

Prayer Room
The Summit Prayer Room will be a station-based worship experience where we invite you to use time and space to listen to God’s Spirit. Through reading, reflection, action, worship and prayer you are welcomed to use solitude to engage God’s Kingdom, Mission and Passion while at Summit.

– Under the Jen Prickett link:

Jen Prickett – Summit Prayer Room Director
Jen Prickett grew up in the community of Rose Drive Friends Church, Yorba Linda, CA and served for seven years in their youth department. She says, “my season there helped me intersect my three big passions of theology, missions, and discipleship.” Jen recently finished an MDiv with an emphasis in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. She is also a part of an intentional community of eight college/post-college students in Pomona, California, attempting to learn how to live openly and simply through spiritual practices and relationships with our community. Jen recently accepted a job serving EFC-SW through helping with the F.E.A.T.S. program (Friends Equipping And Training System). Her hope is to use this role to continue to make biblical and theological training more accessible to our Friends Churches.

Jen says, “If you’re ever in Southern California, I would love to tell you more of my story over a warm cup of fair-trade coffee or on a hike through the San Gabriel foothills. Grace and peace to you all as you savor the Summit experience and find insight and encouragement for a life lived in response to God’s great love.”

Private or group sessions with Summit Spiritual Director David Williams

– Under the Private or group sessions link:

Sign up for time with the Summit 2010 Spiritual Director just outside the Cheyenne Room at the resort.

According to Fil Anderson of Journey Resources, spiritual direction is “the gift to be sensitive, present and supportive to the spiritual journey of another … the director not only gives you direction in your spiritual life along each stage of the journey, but also becomes a soul-friend, a companion on the way.”

As a Summit leadership team, we want you to know that you are not alone on your journey with Jesus. We are here to offer our support as fellow travelers on the way. David Williams, Summit 2010 Spiritual Director, has agreed to make himself available each afternoon during the conference for individual or group spiritual direction.

– Under the David Williams link:

David Williams – Summit 2010 Spiritual Director
David Williams serves as Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministries, College Chaplain, and Director of the Center for Spiritual Renewal at Barclay College in Haviland, Kansas. A graduate of Malone University (BA) and Ashland Theological Seminary (MA), Dave completed his doctorate (DMin) in leadership and spiritual formation at George Fox Evangelical Seminary.

Having served as a youth pastor, family pastor, senior pastor and campus pastor, Dave has been blessed with a wealth of experience in preaching, teaching, discipleship and spiritual direction. A frequent speaker at Christian camps, conferences, retreats and seminars, Dave has a deep passion to raise up workers for the harvest field, encouraging and equipping God’s people for the work of ministry in order to build up the body of Christ and fulfill the Great Commission.

Dave and his wife, Carol, have been blessed with six beautiful children and have been partners together in full-time Christian service throughout their 27 years of marriage. In addition to his love for students, Dave enjoys sports, nature, travel and spending lots of time with his family. When away from home, Dave’s favorite destination is a hiking trail or ski run anywhere above timberline in the Rocky Mountains.

Private or group sessions with Summit Life Issues Coach Tony Wheeler

– Under the Tony Wheeler link:

Dr. Tony Wheeler is an expert on family strengths and family dynamics. He is the Co-Founder of the Dr. John Trent Institute for The Blessing based on the campus of Barclay College in Haviland, KS. Dr. Wheeler has been a counselor for 18 years, a speaker for 14 years and has seen many relationships repaired and individuals healed through his counseling and seminars. He has been married to Stacey for 23 years and they have three children, ages 21, 19, and 15.

The rest of the Summit activities listed on this web page:

EFM Track for Future Career Missionaries Directed by Craig Davis hosted by Gregg Prickett

Friends Ministry and Higher Education display booths

Fair Trade Friends Coffee donated and served at Summit 2010 Coffee House

Express Yourself Art and Creativity Space directed by Doreen Dodgen-Magee

Twitter Wall directed by Josiah Williams

Declaration one.one.eleven directed by Jason Morones

Regarding the youth of the “old fashioned” EFC-ER, many of whom have never been exposed to labyrinth prayer: I have not seen such transparent references to labyrinth prayer, spiritual directors, etc. in the local EFC-ER churches themselves. Why is the EFCI presenting these heresies to the youth of the EFC-ER? This comes across to EFC-ER parents as being underhanded. It appears that EFCI youth leaders and EFC-ER youth leaders know youth are more impressionable than their parents. It appears they are purposedly exposing the youth to labyrinth prayer, etc. when they are away from their local church setting.

Question – do the EFCI and EFC-ER youth leaders seriously believe they are HELPING the youth grow in their Christian faith? Whether the youth leaders believe or it not, nothing could be further from the Truth. I believe the EFCI and EFC-ER youth leaders will be held responsible on Judgment Day – these “pied pipers” are leading undiscerning youth down the broad path to Hell!!

To the leaders of the EFC-ER: do you remember the “good old days” of Quaker Canyon children’s camps and Camp Caesar youth camps? Those were the days of passionate evangelists and gospel preachers, with “The Blood and The Cross” salvation messages (not watered down “seeker sensitive” talks) and altar calls. How far you have fallen – I pray the EFCI and EFC-ER will wake up and see the apostasy before it’s too late.

For further research and leads to Spiritual Formation and Emerging Church connections at the Friends Youth Summit, see the following two webpages:


For a critique of Dan Kimball, see:


For a detailed expose of the New Age-ish prayer labyrinth (which by the way quotes Dan Kimball), see:


See also this excellent expose, which includes a discussion of the labyrinth:


And here is Lighthouse Trails’ commentary on Dan Kimball’s article “A-maze-ing Prayer.” Read it very closely – the discernment author points out many occult aspects of labyrinth prayer:

Click to access whitingsarticle.pdf

May 12, 2011: More thoughts on youth groups and youth leaders in the EFCI (and EFC-ER)

One of the issues which makes me most angry is this: when dangerous false teachings are presented to church youth groups. Specifically, Spiritual Formation (with its contemplative practices) and Emerging/ Emergent teachings. I am finding more and more articles on the Internet about such materials being presented to youth groups in various denominations –  often without parents’ prior knowledge or approval. When parents have given permission to be exposed to such teachings, they often haven’t learned of the dangers. They don’t understand the “dark side” of  Spiritual Formation and Emerging/ Emergent teachings their youth will be absorbing.

I’m sure I am making many people in the EFCI angry with my criticisms, but these things need to be said. It is that important – the eternal destiny of souls is at stake.

I grew up in the EFCI (specifically the EFC-ER). I attended Junior FY and Senior FY regularly. I graduated before Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline came out in 1978, so I was never exposed as a youth to Spiritual Formation.

My parents have spent a lifetime in the EFC-ER; my father was a pastor there for many years (off and on). What if I were in today’s younger generation? What if I were attending Junior FY and Senior FY currently?

I saw it right there on the Internet: the EFCI invited every EFC-ER church’s youth group to attend the EFCI Friends Youth Summit 2010. And the EFCI Friends Youth Summit 2010 then exposed them to labyrinth prayer and other contemplative prayer/ contemplative spirituality practices. There is no denying this.

If I had attended the EFCI Friends Youth Summit 2010 and been exposed to its contemplative practices, here’s what I believe would have gone down. I believe my parents would have “yanked me outta” that church, “up and left” the EFCI, and never came back. And, as they found out more about Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings, I believe  they would have spoken out and condemned the EFCI for having any involvement in such things.

This is what I am doing as a member of  “the older generation” – speaking out and condemning the EFCI for having any involvement in such things. Yet I am being criticized for speaking out against what to me and many other concerned Evangelical Friends is so obviously wrong.  Where have we come to in the EFCI (and the EFC-ER), when we as born again, godly evangelicals cannot even speak out against ungodly practices in the denomination?

I know for a fact, there are many parents (particularly in the more biblically “old fashioned” EFC-ER) who would be furious if they understood the dangers of the labyrinth, etc. that were presented to their youth at the Friends Youth Summit 2010.

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Christian involvement in New Age practices goes far beyond Spiritual Formation programs. As we know, many Christians (including evangelicals) are heavily into mind/body practices (e.g. yoga, relaxation techniques, Reiki), entertainment (e.g. Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Diablo videogame, Harry Potter), horoscopes, even Ouija boards.

And how do most of these Christians react when confronted about their occult involvement?  They resist, refusing to give up their practice(s). For the life of me, I will never understand the mindset of Christians who refuse to give up these practices when confronted.

Following is one of many Bible passages which refers to the eternal destiny of all those involved in the occult:

“But the fearful, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and SORCERERS, and IDOLATORS, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8, KJV)(EMPHASIS MINE)

Only God knows our hearts, and He will be our Judge. No offense to my Christian brethren who hold to eternal security, but I believe there is a point where born again Christians can become so involved in the world and the occult, so backslidden, that they can lose their salvation. At this point, these former Christians (who still label themselves as “Christians”) become part of the “unbelieving” listed in the Bible verse above.

Just to clarify my use of the word “lose.” I don’t believe a person “loses” his salvation in the sense of losing something he loves dearly. On the contrary, a person “loses” his salvation because he does NOT love it dearly. A born again Christian can choose to turn his back on Christ. He can say he no longer trusts Christ as his Saviour. He can say he chooses to follow the Buddha instead, or a Hindu “god”, or whoever. When he turns his back on Christ, he loses his salvation. God does not turn His back on people – people turn their back on Him.

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