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“2009 Summer/Fall Christian Conferences Provide Platform for Contemplative/Emerging Speakers”
by Lighthouse Trails   
June 19th, 2009

Many Christian-led conferences taking place throughout North America during the summer and fall of 2009 are providing platforms for speakers who are helping to further the new spirituality. In many conferences, the speaker line-ups are a blending of non-emerging/non-contemplative speakers with those who are of that camp. Doing this gives an unmerited credibility to the teachings of the contemplative/emerging speakers. While some say there is nothing wrong with Christian teachers sharing the platform with those who promote a false approach to God (i.e., mysticism), the Bible is clear that "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9). And by silently standing with the wayward teacher, one must now share the responsibility of his or her error.

One of the conferences taking place this summer that fits the above-mentioned scenario is Focus on Parenting by Focus on the Family. The speaker line-up includes Phil Vischer (creator of Veggie Tales) and Dr. Kevin Lehman (respected by many Christians for his writings on raising children), but the line-up also includes Elisa Morgan, president of MOPS--Mothers of PreSchoolers. MOPS is an organization that openly promotes contemplative authors on their website, and Morgan herself has endorsed the writings of Keri Wyatt Kent, a staunch advocate of contemplative prayer methods. Also on the line-up of the Focus on Parenting is Ron Luce, director of Teen Mania. Luce has shown his strong favor toward contemplative prayer practices, as one can see in a YouTube video clip between Luce and contemplative advocate Liz Babbs.  In this video, Ron encourages Babbs as she talks about a mantra-like prayer practice where a word is repeated over and over.

On June 17th, CCN (Church Communication Network) will present the Purpose Driven Network Summit with contemplative/emerging-church evangelist Rick Warren (see A "Wonderful" Deception" for more information on the New Age/emerging implications of Rick Warren's spirituality). On June 18th, CCN is presenting Sacred Pathways seminar with contemplative author and speaker Gary Thomas. In Thomas' book, Sacred Pathways, he instructs readers to repeat a word over and over for a meditation exercise. On June 30th, CCN presents the Awaken to Evangelism with emerging church leaders Erwin McManus, Dan Kimball, and a number of others in this camp.

Another conference will take place in August when Willow Creek will hold their annual Leadership Summit simulcast event. Every year this event presents authors and speakers that are part of the contemplative emerging church. Willow Creek is one of the biggest catalysts for the emerging church and contemplative prayer so this would be expected. This year, it is worth noting that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair will be on the platform.

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