Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Transcendental Meditation Promoted as Health Benefit

Posted by Christine Pack

A recent study at the Medical College of Wisconsin showed that the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation in at-risk patients was shown to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by 47%. Stated the news article reporting on the story:
"The practice, which involves the continual repeating of a mantra, was found to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and thickening of the arteries. It....also protects against diabetes........If Transcendental Meditation were a drug conferring so many benefits, it would be a billion-dollar blockbuster."
Well, hey, when you put it like that, putting yourself into an altered state of consciousness and entering into the demonic realm doesn't sound half bad, huh? After all, there could be health benefits.... 

Christians, in all seriousness, this is to be expected of lost people. They will chase their idols for an entire lifetime, and with single-minded pursuit, all the while shaking the fist at their sovereign Creator God. But this stuff is not - IS NOT - for Christians. We are a holy people, set apart by God for his purposes. We must not link to the wicked, demonic gods of false religions. The Bible speaks about those who practice occultism as starting out seeking knowledge, but ending up in a place of distress, darkness and anguish:
"And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness." (Isaiah 8:22)

photo credit: Grand Velas Resort via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

The Difference Between Biblical Meditation and Mantra Meditation 

 A Time of Departing, by Ray Yungen

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Review, The Life You've Always Wanted, Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg

by Gary Gilley, Southern View Chapel

John Ortberg, a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, published The Life You’ve Always Wanted in 1997 and expanded it in 2002.  The book provides a good taste of the style and content of the teaching at Willow Creek and its many clones.  Concerning style Ortberg is entertaining, interesting and enjoyable.  He uses freely and well numerous stories and illustrations that present his understanding of the Christian life as inviting.

As for content much of what Ortberg offers is helpful, practical and biblical.  The book, however, is heavily laced with the teachings, and teachers, of mysticism and Roman Catholic traditions and rituals.  The authors he draws from and quotes are a virtual Who’s Who of mystics both past and present:
Richard Foster (pp. 9, 81, 100, 112, 113, 143)
Dallas Willard (pp. 10, 27, 35, 43, 52, 66, 92, 106)
St. John of the Cross (pp. 36, 157)
Thomas Kelly (pp. 76, 140, 150)
Thomas Merton (pp. 85, 95, 96)
Henri Nouwen (PP. 86, 99, 158, 161, 180)
Julian of Norwich (p. 91)
George Fox (p. 142)
Ignatius of Loyola (p. 142)
The Desert Fathers (pp. 171, 180)
Francois Fenelon (p. 173)
Madame Guyon (p. 186)
In addition, there are assorted liberals and Roman Catholic leaders that he quotes positively including:
James Dunn (p. 31)
G. K. Chesterton (p. 61)
Mother Teresa (pp. 66-68)
Carl Jung (p. 77)
Tony Campolo (p. 104)
Pope John XXIII (pp. 124, 207)
Soren Kierkegaard (pp. 11, 175, 218)
And as expected, since this book is about “spiritual disciplines for ordinary people,” there is much borrowed from Roman Catholic tradition, especially from the mystical wing (pp. 44, 54, 98, 102, 131, 201).

Ortberg is interested in Christians being transformed into Christlikeness—this is highly commendable.  But he sees the means of this transformation as the mystical practices that finds their roots not in Scripture but in the rituals and techniques developed mostly in early Roman Catholicism.  In addition, being open to and obeying supposed extrabiblical instructions from God are absolutely essential for spiritual transformation (p. 143).  According to the author it is essential that the believer learn to discern the extrabiblical voice of God (pp. 140-154).

What good can be gleaned from The Life You’ve Always Wanted is poisoned by the false teachings and emphases which are predominant throughout.  Ortberg is taking his readers not back to Scripture but to Roman Catholic mysticism.  Yet, Joseph Stowell, former president of Moody Bible Institute and now president of Cornerstone University, can endorse the book on the back cover with these words, “John, in his winsome ‘let’s sit down and talk about this’ style, has crafted a powerful convicting book on the process of spiritual transformation.”  I find this endorsement an amazing indictment on the condition of evangelicalism today.

 Additional Resources 

John Ortberg Quotes Thomas Merton

John Ortberg: "You Don't Become Holier...You Become 'You-ier'!"

Monvee—The New Evangelicalism about Me: A Review of John Ortberg's The Me I Want to Be

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On the Unbiblical Nature of Altar Calls

"When the presence and the power of Jesus leaves, we go to other stuff to get things to happen. You don't need to alter the gospel, you don't need to soften the demands of the gospel - which is to alter the gospel. Think about Jesus' 'closing statements' if you want to call it the invitation. Jesus would just say 'Repent.' He'd say, 'Take up your cross and follow me.' He'd say 'Deny yourself.' He'd say 'Hate your father and mother, brothers and sisters, in comparison to your love for me.' How about that for an invitation?

The narrative text of Jesus' sermons shows that he did not sit around and beg folks to follow him. He gave the gospel, and the next thing they saw was his back as he was walking away.

I've heard people say, 'Well, Jesus had people come publicly, so we ought to ask people to come publicly.' I don't want you to just come publicly, I want you to live the rest of your life for him. I want you to do more than just get to the front....I want you to get to Him, and love Him, and joy in Him, and treasure Him, so that the totality of your life begins to look like one who's following Him.

We've got ten million southern Baptists who walked somebody's aisle, and prayed somebody's prayer and checked somebody's card and raised their hand....we've got ten million of them that do not come to church. And when they face Jesus one day, at the Judgement Bar, they're going to quote some preacher.....'Well, Pastor said if I'd come to the front...I did that. Pastor said if I prayed that prayer....I did that.' Do you not realize that if you give the flesh a hoop to jump, the flesh will do it every time? But one thing the flesh cannot do is cause your spirit to be born again." - Jeff Noblit, The Spirit of God at Work in God's Church, 6/5/11

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ann Voskamp’s Best Selling Book One Thousand Gifts – A Collision of Inspiration and the New Spirituality

reprinted in its entirety from The Lighthouse Trails newsletter (June 20, 2011)

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp is a 2010 Zondervan title that is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Seller. The author is a contributing writer for DaySpring, and she has a blog that receives 40-50 thousand visitors every week.1 Voskamp has risen quickly in popularity, with invitations to various conferences and other events. (In April, she spoke in Portland Oregon at the Q Conference sharing a platform with popular Christian figures like Luis Palau and Louie Giglio).

Ann Voskamp’s sincerity and her desire for a relationship with the Lord are unarguable. Her honesty in her own shortcomings and frailties is admirable. Her description of how she witnessed the death of her baby sister (run over by a farm truck) when she herself was very young is heart-wrenching. What’s more, few would disagree with the overall key theme of the book that we should give thanks to God in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Voskamp shares how practicing thanksgiving and gratitude has changed her life. Thinking about 1 Timothy 6:6 (“godliness with contentment is great gain”), it is true that being thankful and content does have great gain in the believers life.

But One Thousand Gifts, as well-meaning as the author may be, is not a book we can recommend and in fact is one we must warn about. We do not want to cause distress to Ann Voskamp; but given the high popularity of her book, we are compelled to issue this warning.

It is clear by reading One Thousand Gifts that Ann Voskamp reads and admires several mystics, panentheists, and universalists. Her book is peppered with quotes by Sarah Ban Breathnach (a New Age author launched into stardom by Oprah), Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Evelyn Underhill, Brennan Manning, Annie Dillard, Thomas Acquinas, Buddhist sympathizer and Catholic convert Peter Kreeft, Walter Brueggemann, Francis de Sales, Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Henri Nouwen, and Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Many of the statements Voskamp says in her book would resonate with these authors showing that Voskamp has absorbed some of the beliefs of these people. In addition, Voskamp’s popular blog lists a number of contemplative/emerging authors on her book list page: Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline), Adele Ahlberg Calhoun (Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, a primer on Eastern style meditation), and emerging church author Phyllis Tickle are included.

In reading One Thousand Gifts, we are reminded of author Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), who started off as a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher, but when she began reading Thomas Merton and other mystical writers, her spiritual outlook changed dramatically. The progress of Monk Kidd’s spiritual change can be seen from one book to the next. Today, she is a self-proclaimed worshipper of the goddess Sophia and states in her book The Dance of the Dissident Daughter that God is in all things (panentheism) even graffiti and excrement. Monk Kidd says:
Deity means that divinity will no longer be only heavenly … It will also be right here, right now, in me, in the earth, in this river, in excrement and roses alike. (p. 160)
Ann Voskamp echoes Monk Kidd when she states that God is “present in all things,” even “sewage flowing downriver” (p. 110-111)

The last chapter of One Thousand Gifts, “The Joy of Intimacy,” Voskamp devotes to what she calls ”intimacy” with God. But brace yourself, you won’t find the way she talks about intimacy with God in the Bible. We share the following with you not to shock you for theatrical sake – its to show where the “new” Christianity is heading. We think it important, in light of the many young women who are reading this book, to quote Voskamp’s view of “intimacy” with God which she also calls the “mystery of that romance.” Voskamp says:
Mystical union. This, the highest degree of importance. God as Husband in sacred wedlock, bound together, body and soul, fed by His body, quenched by His blood . . . God, He has blessed – caressed. I could bless God – caress with thanks. It’s our making love. God makes love with grace upon grace, every moment a making of His love for us. . . . couldn’t I make love to God, making every moment love for Him? To know Him the way Adam knew Eve. Spirit skin to spirit skin. . . The intercourse of soul with God is the very climax of joy . . . To enter into Christ and Christ enter into us – to cohabit. (pp. 213, 216-217).
We find Voskamp's mixture of sexual and spiritual language when referring to a relationship with God offensive. The most “intimate” relationship anyone ever had with God on this earth was the one Jesus Christ had with His Father; but nowhere in the Bible does Jesus (or the disciples) use sexual language and innuendos to describe the relationship between God and man. And in fact, the Bible tells us that sexual union was given to man, in the confines of marriage between a man and wife, for procreation; the Bible also tells us that in our eternal heavenly home, there will be no marriage (the need for procreation will not exist). If we, as Christians, were supposed to think about our relationship with God in sexual terms, wouldn’t God have made that clear in His word? It’s like the contemplative prayer movement that emphasizes repeating a word or phrase over and over to be intimate with God. But nowhere are we instructed to do this in Scripture. It’s as if the Holy Spirit who inspired men to write the books of the Bible left out vital elements that now contemplatives and emergents are enlightening us to. God forbid that we should think so. Books like One Thousand Gifts have added to what God has said in His Word.

Voskamp isn’t the only emerging-type author to use sexual language when talking about intimacy with God. We see an increase in books and speakers talking about” intimacy with God” (most of these writers are proponents of contemplative – that’s no coincidence – but rather signs that tantra spirituality (sexual experiences combined with mystical experiences)) is entering the church now. One of the most popular books today on marriage, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (promoted by Calvary Chapel, Focus on the Family, and Rick Warren) is laced with quotes by or references to (about a dozen instances) Mary Anne McPherson Oliver’s book, Conjugal Spirituality, a primer on tantric sex; McPherson Oliver says that “mystical experiences can be associated with erotic love.” McPherson Oliver tells readers to use mantras and breath prayers during the sexual experience to help induce the tantric mystical experience. The fact that one of today’s most popular Christian books on marriage has so many references to this book is a telling sign of what has entered the evangelical/Protestant church. The popularity of One Thousand Gifts is another sure indication.

Today, the “new” progressive Christianity is more sensual than spiritual. Appealing to the senses (making it sensual) and the carnal man rather than strengthening the spiritual man within. Scripture warns us though: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). One Thousand Gifts may be the poster book, so to speak, for the latest carnally-minded book, taking a place in line with The Shack.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sin, Church Discipline and Thoughts About Bob DeWaay - Part 2

Posted by Christine Pack

In Part 1 of my two part post about Sin, Church Discipline and Thoughts About Bob DeWaay, I described my friendship with Pastor Bob DeWaay, how it came about, and how his diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis had come as a profound shock to me. This was true not only for me, but for all who knew Bob. According to his wife, who had also become a friend of mine, she had truly never known a thing during Bob's years of secret alcohol abuse. She explained to me that both she and Bob are pretty independent, and that they gotten into a habit of going to bed at separate times. She told me that this was in part because Bob had suffered from insomnia for years. It seems he had a difficult time getting his mind to "turn off" so that he could fall asleep.

In hearing Bob's wife describe his difficulties with insomnia, my youngest son came to mind. My older son is like me: if he gets still enough, he's asleep in about 15 seconds. My 8-year-old, on the other hand, is extremely intelligent and has a mind that simply doesn't want to quit "consuming." His I.Q. has tested in the genius range, and he already reads at an adult level, composes music and writes poetry. His mind seems like a hungry animal to me, sometimes, and I find myself struggling to stay a few steps ahead of him! And he also has a very difficult time getting his mind to "turn off" so that he can fall asleep. So in listening to Bob's wife talk about Bob's problems with getting to sleep, and how, unbeknownst to her he had turned to alcohol to help him shut his mind off, I began to have some sympathy for his problem. This is not to say that Bob was not in sin. He was. And as this secret sin came to light, it was also obvious that Bob had gone to some lengths to hide his drinking which, in alcoholic fashion, had grown progressively worse over the years.

So. What did I do? I prayed for Bob. I prayed for Bob's wife and adult children, and how the fallout of this would affect them. I prayed for my friends at Twin City Fellowship. I prayed for the church itself. And to their credit, the elders of Twin City Fellowship did the right thing - the biblical thing - and exercised church discipline...and part of that involved removing Bob from the pulpit.
The purpose of church discipline is the spiritual restoration of fallen members and the consequent strengthening of the church and glorifying of the Lord.”
As providence would have it, more than a thousand miles away from Twin City Fellowship, I was also observing another church discipline issue play itself out.

Now, it is one thing to know about church discipline, and know that it is right and ought to be done, and the method for how it ought to be done, etc. It is another thing entirely to observe it playing out before your eyes. These are real people, not case studies, but real flesh and blood people, and their actions have often hurt not only themselves but the people around them. But, we must also assume, because we are biblically commanded to, that they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and do everything that we can to bring them back into the faith and restore them, until and unless they outright reject all appropriate disciplinary efforts (and thereby, in essence, reject God and his authority over their lives).

So in these two church discipline situations that I was aware of - one in Minneapolis, MN and the other in the church of someone close to me - profound sin* was discovered. And in both circumstances, church discipline was exercised.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17
There is a roughly 4-step model for how church discipline is to be carried out, taken from Matthew 18:15-17;
(1) Go privately to the person and tell him his sin alone. (Matthew 18:15) If he refuses to listen, 
(2) Go again, but take some witnesses. (Matthew 18:16) If he refuses to listen, 
(3) Tell the church. (Matthew 18:17a) If he still refuses to listen, 
(4) Treat him as an outsider. (Matthew 18:17b)
In observing both of these church discipline situations (the one close to me, and the one in Minneapolis), I watched two very different scenarios play out. As the sharp blade of Scripture was pressed into each set of circumstances, only one of the parties repented, bent the knee in humble submission, and accepted the consequences of their sinful actions. That was Bob. But in the other disciplinary situation that was playing out and which I was observing, that person did not submit to church discipline, would not repent, and chose, ultimately, to walk away from family, friends and church.

Now, I am not saying Bob DeWaay is perfect or without sin, and I'm not even saying that this sin might not ever grip him again. I pray with all my heart that it doesn't, but as his Christian sister, I can only pray that he holds fast to the Lord come what may, because perseverance to the end is one of the true marks of a born again Christian:
"But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved." Matthew 24:13 
"By standing firm you will gain life." Luke 21:19 
"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." Hebrews 10:36
So in closing, I've written this 2-part series of articles, in essence, to explain why I still consider Bob DeWaay a brother in Christ, and why I still publish his articles and radio programs from time to time on this blog. Some folks have gotten upset with me for continuing to post links to Bob's articles, and so this post has been percolating in my brain for a long time, as my way of explaining that I watched this horrible situation play out in exactly the way I hoped it would with Bob. Please bear in mind, this could have gone the other way. I didn't think it would, I certainly hoped it wouldn't, but on the front end of this, really, who knew how this would all shake out? And as my husband says, you can't get all excited and call the game in the first quarter. You have to be patient and watch.

So again, I can't say that I know how this is going to play itself out ultimately. I only know that I am so thankful that God gave us a model for church discipline so that when - not if, but when - we find ourselves in sin, there is a loving, biblical model for helping us to see and repent of our sin, and be restored to fellowship. Yes, Bob was caught in profound sin. Yes, his sin was damaging and painful to many around him, including his church. But when discipline was applied, he did not cut and run. He humbly bent his knee, and accepted what the elders of his church thought was appropriate. Can we ask for more than that?

* Of course, all sin is profound sin, and is grievous because it is committed against a holy God. But in these two church discipline situations, I'm discussing the kind of sin that involves deception, hiding, sneaking and deceived parties. Jerry Bridges takes on the subject of all sin being profound sin in his very excellent book Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate. From the back cover of Dr. Bridges' book:
"Have Christians become so preoccupied with the major sins of our society that we have lost sight of our need to deal with our own more subtle sins? Jerry Bridges returns to his trademark theme of holiness and addresses a dozen clusters of specific "acceptable" sins that we tend to tolerate in ourselves - such as jealousy, anger, pride, unthankfulness and judgmentalism.....In his admonitions, Jerry offers a message of hope in the profound mercy of the gospel and the transforming grace of God as the means to overcome our subtle sins."
But for the purposes of this article, I'm discussing, as I noted, the more obvious sins - gross sins - and the kinds of sins that most true Christians would be likely to instantly recognize as sin: theft, adultery, murder, etc., rather than the subtler shades of these sins that can often slip by even true, born again Christians (impatience, jealousy, unthankfulness, etc.)

Additional Resources 

Sin, Church Discipline and Thoughts About Bob DeWaay - Part 1

Posted by Christine Pack

Bob DeWaay is the former pastor of Twin City Fellowship, a church that he pastored for over 20 years. Last fall, it was found out that Bob had been diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis, which had come about as a result of years of secret alcoholic drinking. When this secret sin came to light, the elders of Bob's church did the right thing - and the hard thing - and disciplined Bob by removing him from the pulpit and placing him under church discipline. And Bob, as I thought he would, submitted to this discipline.

As Bob's friend and sister in Christ, I have written these two articles (Sin, Church Discipline and Thoughts About Bob DeWaay) under the guidance of my husband and my own pastor for several reasons:

(1) To put the spotlight on both sin - and how we must biblically respond to it - and church discipline - and what our biblical model is for this. God disciplines those He loves.....and ALL of us will be in need of discipline/rebuke/correction at some point in our Christian walks. I thank God that He has provided a biblical model for us to follow;

(2) So that those in the Christian community might have a clearer picture of what happened in this situation. I think there's a lot of "I heard something bad about him, but I'm not sure what the story is" kind of thinking out there;

(3) So that when this issue arises, and I am questioned (as I have been) about why I still publish Bob DeWaay's CIC articles or CIC radio shows from time to time, I can simply point to these articles I have written as an explanation that I'm aware of the sin, I've observed the situation, and I've reached my conclusion. This is not to say that I think that Bob will never be in sin again, only that biblically, this is the model I must follow. Bob's teachings have never been in dispute, and for 20 years, he has been the foremost expert on false teachings and how they have crept into the church. As far as I am concerned, his work still stands.

Part 1 of these 2 articles is below, and Part 2 can be read here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My friendship with Bob DeWaay, former pastor of Twin City Fellowship, began several years ago when I was a new Christian. I had been saved out of the New Age movement, in which I had been discipled very deeply in mysticism, mantra meditation, yoga and a panentheistic worldview for more than a decade.  To my dismay, as a new Christian, I began to recognize that many of the same teachings I had once embraced, but now rejected as a born again Christian, were coming into the church, of all places. The church.....the beloved Bride of Christ.  And even though many of these practices were being cloaked in Christian terminology, they were nonetheless identical in nature to what I had practiced as a New Age mystic.

Wheel of Life
Over a period of weeks, that stretched into months, that stretched into years, I researched what was going on. I began to understand the avenues by which these practices were stealthily finding their way into the church. I was discouraged and disheartened to say the least. And what's more, I felt fiercely protective of the Church, and angry that these deceptive, confusing, demonic activities were now being packaged as "Christian."

I knew that the roots of yoga were occultic, and that yoga was formulated to help its practitioners prepare themselves for death, so that they could be released from the karmic wheel of life, and it infuriated me that this practice was being marketed as a stress-relieving technique.

I knew that the so-called desert fathers, who are today heralded as early Christians who had a secret understanding of how to get to the "deeper life," were really Roman Catholic mystics who were deeply influenced by the pagan cultures of the east which surrounded them. Thus, they crafted for themselves a kind of prayer that used biblical terminology, but also incorporated mantra meditation from pagan cultures...a type of "prayer" which is found nowhere in Scripture.

It was during these many months of research that I found a voice in the wilderness warning about these things.  That "voice" was Bob DeWaay.  I also found other voices and blogs and articles - many of them extremely helpful - but I kept returning again and again to Bob DeWaay's articles and radio program. I think that both his training as a pastor, and perhaps his engineering background as well, helped him to methodically work through these issues in a way that was uniquely very clear, very easy to understand and very biblical, all at the same time.

At one point during my many months of intensive researching, I called the church office where Bob DeWaay was pastor (Twin City Fellowship in Minneapolis) to order one of his books, and instead of getting an answering service or the church secretary, I heard Bob DeWaay's voice on the other end of the phone. I went ahead and placed my order, and then I said, somewhat hesitantly: "This is Pastor Bob DeWaay, isn't it?" I knew that it was; I had heard his voice many, many times on the very excellent Critical Issues Commentary radio program that he co-produced with one of the elders from Twin City Fellowship, Dick Kuffel. Bob confirmed that he was, indeed, Bob DeWaay, and then in a tumbling rush, I began to pour out my story about having been in the New Age, but that God had intervened in my life and saved me out of my depravity, but I was now seeing these New Age practices flowing into the church, and how very thankful I was that he was writing and talking about these things. Thus began our friendship, which was quite sporadic, but every 6 months or so, I would call or email Bob with a question or concern, and he would very kindly give me his thoughts, links to articles, etc.  I was amazed that a pastor hundreds of miles away would have genuine pastoral concern about the spiritual well-being of someone so far away. And yet I have heard this same story from others who have gotten to know Bob in the same way: that they got in touch with him seeking help, answers, counsel, etc., and that, if he had any familiarity with the topic, he would always give generously of his time and knowledge.

In the summer of 2010, Bob, knowing of my background in the New Age, asked me if I would consider writing an article for his Critical Issues Commentary newsletter. Would I consider it? What an honor: I had read every CIC issue ever written.  The CIC's date back to the early 1990s, and they had been a tremendous source of both information and biblical encouragement to me. It seemed to me that God had uniquely given Bob insight into false teachings and false teachers; he was sounding the alarm on many issues long before many others even had any awareness that anything was wrong. In both his articles and radio program, Bob DeWaay put the spotlight on many issues facing today's church. Here are just a few of the topics covered:
- the Seeker Sensitive Movement 
- the Church Growth Movement 
- the man-centered teachings of The Purpose Driven Life movement (Rick Warren) 
- the Emergent Church Movement  
- the Spiritual Formation/Spiritual Disciplines movement ("Christianized" mysticism) 
- Oprah Winfrey's New Age underpinnings  
- the false teachings of the hyper-Charismatic movement (the New Apostolic Reformation movement, Latter Day Rain, IHOP-International House of Prayer, Kansas City "prophets," Mike Bickle, etc.) 
- the false teachings of the Word of Faith movement (also known as "Name It and Claim It" and "Prosperity Gospel") 
- the assault against Sola Scriptura in today's postmodern church
On his radio show, in his calm, measured way, Bob took on all these false teachings and movements, and meticulously examined their claims against the truth of the Bible. A voice like his was very much needed in the church, and I was so thankful for God to have raised him up.

In the fall of 2010, my husband and I made plans to attend a conference in Minneapolis, and to also attend Sunday morning service at Bob's church, Twin City Fellowship. I was looking forward to finally meeting Bob in person, and being able to thank him for his hard work and faithfulness to God's word. As I expected, Bob DeWaay was gracious and kind in person, and I was so thankful to be able to meet him and speak with him. However, he commented to a friend of mine that he was not feeling well, and asked her for prayer. She conveyed this to me later, as he had mentioned this to her as an aside.

Several days later, after my husband and I had returned home from the conference, I called Bob's wife, who had also become a friend, just to say "hello." She reported shocking news to me: that Bob had been hospitalized, only a few days after my husband and I had been there, that the doctors didn't know what the problem was, but that they had indicated that Bob was pretty seriously ill. I asked her if I could post what she had told me on Facebook, and ask for prayer. She said yes, and so I did. Over the next several days, there was a tremendous outpouring of concern from those who heard this news about Bob.

But a few days later, I spoke again with Bob's wife and was told something that was even more shocking that my last conversation with her had been. The doctors had finally figured out what the problem was: Bob was suffering from alcoholic hepatitis, brought on by a number of years of alcoholic drinking. Bob's wife had never known a thing. And to say the least, I was floored.

(Continue reading Part 2 here)

photo credit: kleer001 via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Sin, Church Discipline and Thoughts About Bob DeWaay - Part 2

The "Gospel" In Relationships?

Critical Issues Commentary - Articles

Critical Issues Commentary - Radio

Friday, June 17, 2011

Interview On "A Trojan Horse in Healthcare"

Posted by Christine Pack

On April 18, 2011, we posted an article here entitled "Wellness: The New Age Trojan Horse in Healthcare" by guest writer Marcia Montenegro (Christian Answers for the New Age). This article detailed how alternative medicines and healing techniques have conditioned Americans to become more attuned to eastern thought, specifically the panentheistic view of "God" as an impersonal essence, force or energy that permeates all things (in contrast to the Christian worldview of God as a distinct and separate entity, apart from his creation).

After  this article was posted, Ingrid Schlueter of the Crosstalk radio show (VCY America) had the author of the post (Marcia Montenegro), and Christine Pack (one of the authors of this blog) on her show to discuss this article. This was a fast-paced show, and we covered a lot of ground in a very short amount of time.  A must-listen for anyone with questions or concerns about alternative health methods.

Listen to the show in its entirety here.

photo credit: Grand Velas Resort via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Are We All Syncretists Now? A Conversation About Evangelical Christianity and Alternative Medicine with Historian Candy Gunther Brown
 (Dr. Al Mohler)
"Universal Energy" the Key to Health? (Christian Answers For The New Age)

Problems with Alternative Medicine (Christian Answers For The New Age)

 John Ankerberg Resources and Articles