Guideposts Magazine Managing Editor uses Centering Prayer

A reader has informed Lighthouse Trails:

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I was given a subscription to Guideposts magazine.  In the February issue, there is an article titled “Summoned” written by Anne Simpkinson – Online Managing Editor.  The first paragraph reads as follows:

I start my day with prayer. Centering prayer, in which, rather than saying prayers aloud, you sit in silence, letting go of thoughts and distractions and resting in God.  The point isn’t to talk to God, or even to listen to him, but to simply be with him.

Further down, the article reads:

 I close my eyes and try to open to God’s presence.  The sixteenth-century mystic Saint John of the Cross wrote that God’s first language is silence, and I’ve chosen centering prayer as a way to connect with God-beyond words, beyond thoughts, beyond emotions.

I would have to write the whole article to give you all she relates in it.  She brings her cat in to it, also.

I did not realize Guideposts was going down this path.

D. R.

You can read the response of Lighthouse Trails editors by linking  HERE

Published in: on February 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Age fundamentalist passages in A.A.’s “Big Book”

In Alcoholics Anonymous theology, anything and everything can be “god.” Yet, paradoxically, A.A. takes key passages of How It Works from the A.A. Big Book (the A.A. “bible”) literally. These passages may as well have been chiseled in stone. Because of this, Alcoholics Anonymous can be strangely–but accurately–described as a fundamentalist New Age religion.

This is what is read to alcoholics at the beginning of every single meeting:

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.” (bold mine)

How It Works goes on to note, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.”

These two fundamentalist passages thus serve to lock alcoholics into the A.A. system, while also teaching contempt or distrust for alternative ways of gaining sobriety. Particularly opposed is the idea of getting help in “church.”

Researcher Rober Tournier observes that A.A.’s “continued domination of the field and its members’ claims to be spokesman for the victim have fettered innovation … and tied us to a treatment strategy which … is limited in its applicability to the universe of alcoholics.” [1]

In Alcoholics Anonymous, most Christians experience a transference of faith. The twelve step experience often becomes an idol. Thus it is not uncommon to speak with Christians who are more concerned with “recovery” than sanctification; and who demonstrate a preference for A.A. rather than the fellowship with the saints.

And those who bow down and swear to the Lord, and yet swear by Milcom, (Zephaniah 1:5b)

On November 15, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that AA is indeed religious in nature. An A.A. meeting is essentially a devotional service. The “higher power” receives worship; confession is heard; testimony is given; the group invokes the Serenity Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. The 12th Step instructs AA members to go forth and Spread the Word.

Whether one calls it religious, or spiritual, the bottom line is that millions have been taught to reach outside (or inside) of themselves, and draw on a higher power to give them strength.

Endnotes:

1. Robert Tournier, quoted in Journal of Drug Issues, Volume 10, pg.150

Published in: on January 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Catholic Pontifical document notes connection between New Age, Twelve Step Programs

So…when are leaders in Protestant churches going to figure this out? In Jesus Christ, The Bearer Of The Water of Life, two Pontifical Councils released a report on the New Age. According to the document:

“Advertising connected with New Age  covers a wide range of practices as acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic,  kinesiology, homeopathy, iridology, massage and various kinds of   “bodywork” (such as orgonomy, Feldenkrais, reflexology, Rolfing, polarity  massage, therapeutic touch etc.), meditation and visualisation, nutritional  therapies, psychic healing, various kinds of herbal medicine, healing by  crystals, metals, music or colours, reincarnation therapies and, finally,  twelve-step programmes and self-help groups.(25) The source of  healing is said to be within ourselves, something we reach when we are in  touch with our inner energy or cosmic energy.” (bold mine)

Source:                                    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html#2.2.3. Health: Golden living

Published in: on November 23, 2013 at 7:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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The longer in AA, the less important the nature of God

“The founders of A.A., it is obvious, felt that alcoholics need the help of a Power greater than themselves. But again, whether by accident, design, or divine guidance, they have wisely refrained from strictly defining this Power. While A.A. literature has used and continues to use the personal pronoun which describes the concept of a personal deity, a belief in this concept is by no means required. In fact, I am convinced that the greater a member’s years in A.A., the less important the nature of this Power becomes.” (bold mine)

(From A Member’s Eye View of Alcoholics Anonymous, a speech given to a class on alcoholism counseling)

 

 

Published in: on September 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mysticism and God’s Word

What exactly is this that is entering the church? Yungen and Oppenheimer in an informative session.

Contemplative prayer, contemplative church

“This is what I’m warning Christians about. Contemplative prayer is presenting a way to God identical with all the world’s mystical traditions.” — Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, pg. 140

Contemplative prayer brings one into the silence, just like Eastern and New Age meditation. Why? Because beneath the Christian-ese terminology it is essentially the same practice.

“What exactly is meditation? The meditation many of us are familiar with involves a deep, continuous thinking about something. But New Age meditation does just the opposite. It involves ridding oneself of all thoughts in order to still the mind by putting it in pause or neutral. An analogy would be turning a fast moving stream into a still pond by damming the free flow of water. This is the purpose of New Age meditation. It holds back active thought and causes a shift in consciousness.” — Ray Yungen, For Many Shall Come In My Name, pg. 19

“Christians are haplessly lulled into [contemplative prayer] by the emphasis on seeking the Kingdom of God and greater piety, yet the apostle Paul described the church’s end-times apostasy in the context of a mystical seduction. If this practice doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does.” — Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, pg. 140

“Metaphysical meditation remains the same no matter what name you tag on it. Changing the mantras does not make it Christian.” — Ray Yungen, For Many Shall Come In My Name, pg. 122

Published in: on December 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Age pioneer calls A.A. co-founder Bill W. “greatest social architect of the century”

“Aldous Huxley, author (‘Brave New World’), teacher, philospher, and pioneer of New Age consciousness, was the man who called Bill ‘the greatest social architect of the century.’” (PASS IT ON, pg. 368)

Published in: on October 7, 2012 at 3:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Examining new age fundamentalist passages in the A.A. “Big Book”

Sure, anything and everything can be “god.” Yet, paradoxically, A.A. takes key passages of How It Works from the A.A. Big Book (the A.A. “bible”) literally. Because of this, Alcoholics Anonymous can be strangely–but accurately–described as a fundamentalist new age religion.

This is what is read to alcoholics at the beginning of every single meeting:

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.” (bold mine)

How It Works goes on to note, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.”

These two fundamentalist passages thus serve to lock alcoholics into the A.A. system, while also teaching contempt or distrust for alternative ways of gaining sobriety. Particularly opposed is the idea of getting help in “church.”

Researcher Rober Tournier observes that A.A.’s “continued domination of the field and its members’ claims to be spokesman for the victim have fettered innovation … and tied us to a treatment strategy which … is limited in its applicability to the universe of alcoholics.” **

In Alcoholics Anonymous, most Christians experience a transference of faith. The twelve step experience often becomes an idol. Thus it is not uncommon to speak with Christians who are more concerned with “recovery” than sanctification; and who demonstrate a preference for A.A. rather than the fellowship with the saints.

And those who bow down and swear to the Lord, and yet swear by Milcom, (Zephaniah 1:5b)

On November 15, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that AA is indeed religious in nature. An A.A. meeting is essentially a devotional service. The “higher power” receives worship; confession is heard; testimony is given; the group invokes the Serenity Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. The 12th Step instructs AA members to go forth and Spread the Word.

Whether one calls it religious, or spiritual, the bottom line is that millions have been taught to reach outside (or inside) of themselves, and draw on a higher power to give them strength. … continue_reading_article

**Robert Tournier, quoted in Journal of Drug Issues, Volume 10, pg.150

Published in: on March 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wondering if Alcoholics Anonymous is Religion

Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)

Christians in A.A. may not see it this way, but they are in agreement with a belief system that lifts up strange gods. (Amos 3:3) In Alcoholics Anonymous all gods are called the higher power, thus relegating Christ our King to commonality, as if He were simply one nameless deity among many.

I am the Lord, that is My name. I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to idols. (Isaiah 42:8)

In 1941, Jack Alexander of the Saturday Evening Post wrote the article that provided A.A. its first national publicity. Describing A.A.’s “higher power,” Alexander noted the alcoholic “may choose to think of his Inner Self, the miracle of growth, a tree, man’s wonderment at the physical universe, the structure of the atom, or mere mathematical infinity. Whatever form is visualized, the neophyte is taught that he must rely on it and, in his own way, to pray to the Power for strength.”[1]

Please note that Alexander’s article, with this A.A. definition of “god,” is distributed as official Alcoholics Anonymous literature.

More than seventy years later this salad bar approach—make your own god—has seemingly become a cultural norm. “Spiritual” is in. “Religion” is out. Many Americans now refer to their god as “higher power.” A.A.’s twelve step program has literally dictated the spiritual direction of the country.

I want to say that again: A.A.’s twelve step program has altered the spiritual direction of the country.

In The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, author Christine Wicker credits Alcoholics Anonymous with “hastening the fall of the evangelical church.” The author notes how A.A. ”slowly exposed people to the notion they could get [a god] without the dogma, the doctrine, and the outdated rules. Without the church, in fact.” [2]

Since the twelve steps have nothing to do with Christ, neither sin nor Biblical repentance is addressed. This, of course, is very appealing to the flesh. The Steps address “wrongs,” “making amends,” and “moral inventory,” but one inserts one’s own moral code within the context of these Steps.

Bondage to alcohol is miserable. I speak from personal experience. Entire families can be ruined. Yet, there has been a solution all along, not that you ever hear this in A.A.:

“Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11)

We see from this passage that drunkards were being delivered in the early church, long before the arrival of twelve step spirituality.

Indeed, many of us have been freed through the power and love of Jesus Christ. Still, like the world, too many Christians believe only A.A. can help an alcoholic. Everything has been turned upside down: Alcoholics Anonymous can supposedly help everyone, but experiencing Jesus in church without the twelve steps can supposedly help no one. What, really, is a pastor saying when he tells an alcoholic he needs to join a twelve step program? When all is said and done, A.A. attendance serves to subtly condition Christians to worship with non-believers; perhaps this has been the point all along.

It is written: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? …Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

Come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord.

But, we are not separating. Christians participate in A.A.’s Christless corporate prayers every day all across the country. For decades A.A. has been referred to as a “spiritual program,” a harmless adjunct to one’s own religious belief system. Because of this misrepresentation, most Christians in A.A. are sincerely unaware they have joined–I am going to be blunt here–a new age religion.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, anything and everything–from spirits to inner divinity–can be worshiped as “god.” In A.A.’s twelve step belief system, spirituality by no means requires dealing with sin–or the Savior. Here “jesus” can be whatever or whomever we want–an ascendant master, an inner spirit, even a great teacher…

Because A.A. takes key passages of How It Works from the A.A. Big Book (the A.A. “bible”) literally, it can be further described as a fundamentalist new age religion. This is what is read to alcoholics at the beginning of every single meeting:

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.” (bold mine)

How It Works goes on to note, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.”

Despite the elasticity of the higher power, these two fundamentalist passages lock many into the A.A. system, while also teaching contempt or distrust for alternative ways of gaining sobriety. Particularly opposed is the idea of getting help in “church.”

Irving Peter Gellman observes, “A member who suggests that A.A. is not as effective as maintained, and who implies that some improvement might be made, will be censured when broaching these ideas. The A.A. program is deemed infallible, whereas other methods are considered less than perfect.” [3]

In a pastor’s office, an A.A. Christian told me straight faced that alcoholics were too angry and didn’t want to hear about Christ, so the “higher power” concept was necessary. This is simply one more repetition of what I have have heard at many, many A.A. meetings.

A.A. has given us the syncretism of recovery passing for sanctification, and twelve step theology has confused Christians in A.A. into believing it is perfectly fine to tell alcoholics to go ahead and make up a “god.” To help justify attendance in this non-biblical spirituality, the myth has been promulgated that most alcoholics with custom-designed higher powers will eventually come to Christ.

This is simply not so. It is relatively rare, but is presented as a common occurrence. This claim is one of the primary ways Christians justify A.A. It is time to acknowledge that in Alcoholics Anonymous, most Christians experience a transference of faith. The twelve step experience often becomes an idol. It is not uncommon to speak with Christians who are more concerned with “recovery” than sanctification; and who demonstrate a preference for A.A. rather than the fellowship with the saints.

And those who bow down and swear to the Lord, and yet swear by Milcom, (Zephaniah 1:5b)

On November 15, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that AA is indeed religious in nature. An A.A. meeting is essentially a devotional service. The “higher power” receives worship; confession is heard; testimony is given; the group invokes the Serenity Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. The 12th Step instructs AA members to go forth and Spread the Word.

Whether one calls it religious, or spiritual, the bottom line is that millions have been taught to reach outside (or inside) of themselves, and draw on a higher power to give them strength.

Lost in all this is the holiness of the God of the Bible–the God who absolutely does not want His people placing Him amongst false idols. Lost–ignored, really–is the Lord’s abhorrence of worship of false gods. Was Jeremiah mistaken? King Josiah? Do biblical passages such as 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 and Galatians 1:6-9 fail to address Alcoholics Anonymous?

Not at all. The Bible is true, and God’s Word is clear. But the spread of twelve step spirituality has brought about the rapidly coalescing syncretism we are now experiencing. And so, many in A.A. who claim their higher power as Christ, have an invented, remade or custom-designed version of the Savior. It is all coming together, one hissing tangle of emergent, contemplative, and twelve step heresy.

It is the age of the redesigned “jesus.”

For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2 Corinthians 11:4)

Thus, in A.A., among those claiming Christ, there if often blatant disregard for the Word of God, the use of “grace” to do whatever is desired, and the lack of comprehension of the holiness of God. As one writer has noted, “So it’s pretty obvious where a person’s loyalties lie by who they defend…the A.A. gospel or the gospel of Jesus…” [4]

This is not to say there are not reborn Christians in Alcoholics Anonymous. But, again, what is this rising within in the twelve step religion, and from Christian contemplative practices, and elsewhere?

And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.” (Matthew 24: 4-5)

Were we to take 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 as the truth that it is, we would understand that people were freed from the bondage of drunkenness long before the rise of the twelve step religion. But this, unfortunately, is why A.A. was created–to channel people away from Christ, out of contact with church fellowship, and into a syncretized belief system.

Alcoholics Anonymous and the twelve steps are not man-made. (Ephesians 6: 12) But they are a key component in the coming one world religion.

Yes, it gets confusing. Can an atheist get sober? Yes. Let us be honest about that. Do some people in A.A. get sober? Yes. For that we should be grateful. But as God’s people, we are to seek His help. Within the context of biblical fellowship, the Lord has accomplished much. An alcoholic will never hear that in the A.A. religion.

Despite the twelve step juggernaut, the news is good. There truly is hope. People have been getting sober for centuries without A.A. So do not, please do not, think this is the only thing that can help you. Perhaps the Lord will send missionaries into A.A. to boldly preach the gospel, to pray for the lost. Perhaps Christians will once again remember we are not to join with unbelievers in spiritual enterprises. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

Maybe options like Setting Captives Free* and Safe Ministries** will be explored by those who no longer believe only A.A. can help them. The Lord will continue to help many within the context of the local church. May He send you to a healthy, Bible based church if you are not in one now.

Christian, that fellowship in A.A., where did that concept come from? From the Body of Christ… That service work, where did that come from? Check out the Book of Acts.

My words may sound hard to you. I write this because I love you, because God’s Word is clear, and because so many are being poisoned by twelve step spirituality.

* Browse the Setting Captives Free website  http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/  **Browse the Safe Ministries website  http://safeministries.net/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

Endnotes:

1. 2. http://www.barefootsworld.net/aajalexpost1941. html.

2. Christine Wicker, The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, pg. 134-138

3. Irving Peter Gellman, The Sober Alcoholic, pg. 121

4.  http://mywordlikefire.wordpress.com/a-a-s-gospel-or-the-gospel-of-jesus/

Published in: on March 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm  Comments (18)  
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Dealing with a hard truth

In Seances, Spirits, and 12 Steps (Here), we examined the spiritualism of Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson and, to a lesser extent, fellow A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob Smith. We observed that Bill Wilson, the man who wrote the 12 Steps, was involved in psychic activity for decades. While some may attempt to claim Wilson as Christian or insist he was used by Jesus Christ, his spiritual service was in reality to the god of this world.[1] He was a man who cared deeply about his fellow alcoholics, but he was never a Christian.   

Why is this important? Alcoholics Anonymous has been successfully but incorrectly portrayed as Christian in origin. Although it is clear from Scripture alone that we are to have nothing to do with strange spiritual systems (2 Cor. 6:14-17), the misinformation about A.A.’s alleged Biblical roots has convinced many that Christians could and should attend 12 Step groups.

Biographer Robert Thomsen knew Bill Wilson personally. There are numerous biographies now, and it is significant that Thomsen’s biography of Bill W. was the very first.

In the book, ‘Bill W.,’ Thomsen takes us to Wilson’s life before Alcoholics Anonymous existed. To the time when Bill Wilson had been hospitalized yet again for his alcoholism. An amazing thing occurred in his hospital room. A white light, a sense of a Presence, and Wilson never drank again. Wilson describes this Presence as “…the great reality. The God of the preachers.” (PASS IT ON, pg. 121))

But was it? The God of the Christians? Well, no. (click_to_continue_reading)

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