March 8, 2012 Steps to Life Newsletter
Attachments:» Grandparents Retreat - with Pr. John Chan
» Grandparents Retreat Printable Registration Form
» Up-coming Health Seminar with Oscar Sande
» Depression Recovery Program Starting Soon
» Three NEW DVD Rleases (Printable Order Form)
» Warragul Meeting with Daniel and Silvia Pel
» Warburton Meeting with Daniel and Silvia Pel
» Telegraph Point Meeting with Daniel and Silvia Pel
» Coffs Harbour Meeting with Daniel and Silvia Pel
In the world we live, each day brings a new set of challenges from within and without. We can rejoice and be glad because God has promised to encourage and strengthen us as we meet these challenges. Nothing in the world at large is stable. The evening news is a kaleidoscope of turmoil. Australia is still sheltered from much of it, but we are not without our share of upheaval impacting from outside and within our nation’s borders. In the last months there have been major business crashes, political leaders at each others throats yet passing this off as a healthy process, huge structural shifts in business and trade, another and bigger Gay Madigra in Sydney grabbing international attention, still more floods and the subtle constant march amongst protestant churches back to the domination of Roman Catholicism via the ecumenical and new age (age old!) route.
Sunday, March 4, 2012 - European Sunday Alliance Rally Day
On Sunday, March 4 in Europe, the European Sunday Alliance – an alliance between trade unions, the Roman Catholic Church, some Protestant Churches, civil rights groups, European business groups, major European sporting bodies, etc - rallied to promote a European work free Sunday. (Check out the ESA web site for yourself - www.europeansundayalliance.eu and then watch the site for further developments). Under the slogan of Sundays Have No Price the push for social and religious cohesion was coordinated across Europe with rallies, press conferences, leaflet distribution, lobbying of parliamentarians, YouTube releases, poster display, etc. This all coincides with pope Benedict’s declaring 2012 as the Year of the Family.( www.romereports.com ) The idea is that all but essential work ceases on Sunday providing a time for social and family cohesion, religious worship and to improve a person’s mental, physical health and spiritual health.
This concept is what God ordained for the seventh day Sabbath. No where in the Bible does it say Sunday is the day that this should happen on. The Bible teaches that the seventh day, not the first day of the week is the Sabbath. In fact, the origins of Sunday worship are pagan. The day was seized upon by a Roman emperor to help unite paganism with so called Christianity – to provide social and religious cohesion. Some things just don’t change.
The process is called ‘syncretism’. The Catholic Church has used this process through history in many places, even combining, its own worship forms with pantheistic and voodoo worship practices in a form of ecumenical recognition and respect for non Christian religions and cultures, in countries like South America. It relates to Australia original inhabitants in the same way. The word ‘syncretism’, is still part of the Catholic Church’s language. It’s proud of its history of syncretism. Ecumenism with Protestant faiths is the same subtle process of syncretism – accept the basic tenants and worship of Catholicism and retain your own cultural worship and belief practices, as long as they don’t conflict. It is argued we should all respect each others differences regardless of what the Bible teaches. The emerging church and spiritual formation is a highway with no speed limits or displayed danger signs that lead in the direction of syncretism. Take the time to acquaint yourself with its subtleties – being forewarned is to be forearmed!
Emerging Church Movement, Centring Prayer and Spiritual Formation
In our January Newsletter we drew your attention to the emerging church movement and its associated practices. Our readers expressed their appreciation for the information provided. One of the authors we cited is Rick Howard. Rick Howard is a Seventh-day Adventist pastor who grew up and into the deceptions of mysticism. He once followed a path which led him to become a disciple of the Hindu master, Sri Chinmoy. Chinmoy was the recognized spiritual leader of none other than the United Nations, until his death in 2007. Howard describes the practices of meditation or self hypnosis taught by Chinmoy. They are typical of the practices of eastern mystics and the spiritual formation practices extolled by Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuit priests. As well as telling of his journey into mysticism, Howard attests to the power of God in leading him out of that death trap. (See the book, The Omega Rebellion, Rick Howard or set of three DVDs by the same name – Encounters in the New Age, Deceptions in Spiritual Formation, and The Writing of the Omega Rebellion)
These practices Howard describes have now become a preferred formula for personal spiritual growth extolled by many high profile Protestant pastors because they are convinced the practice takes one into the very presence of God. Howard describes this state as ‘entering the silence’. The process involves clearing the thoughts, focusing the mind on one thing to the exclusion of all else through music, chanting, repetition of words, the sensation of touch or the creation and sustaining of a mental image. These processes create a state of ‘altered consciousness’. Howard states, ‘ ….. the modern day Christian, upon entering the silence, will believe they have come into the presence of God, when in reality they are under the control of the same demons as the psychics, spirit mediums and ancient mystics of the church …. . What we must remember is that we do not control the time when God communicates with us, He does. When we believe that God is at our beck and call, by entering an altered state of mind through the use of meditative or prayer techniques , we are deceiving ourselves and committing the sin of presumption. And even more dangerous is the fact that we are in communication with demons and are actually practicing spiritualism ….. .’ (Omega Rebellion, pg 51)
Richard Foster is a modern day Christian ‘guru’. He explains centering prayer practice as ‘….. like a portable sanctuary, where all carry round with us the presence of God’. (Omega Rebellion, pg 126). This then negates what Jesus is doing for us in the most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary.
As Jesus was speaking with his disciples, preparing them for his impending death, resurrection and ascension he told them how they and us would experience his presence, and it wasn’t through contemplative prayer and spiritual formation! He said to his disciples then and now … ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. …..
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. …… But when the Comforter is come, ….. even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: ……… Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:’ (John 14: 16 to 18, 15: 26, 16: 7, 8)
We all need spiritual growth. It needs to be gained by Bible study and prayer led and directed by the Holy Spirit so we can distinguish the true and the false. Remember the sound advice given in Isaiah 8: 19, 20 - And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Next Seminar: Daniel and Sylvia Pel – In His Image - Some Program Changes You Need to be Aware Of
The brochure giving the times and topics for the next STL seminar in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and some country locations is included with this Newsletter. There are several changes to our past schedule being trialing this time around. The first is that the Saturday program commences at 10.30 am, instead of 9.30 am. The second is there will be no children’s Sabbath School provided due to the later start. A children’s activity booklet will be made available for the day as before... Thirdly, in Brisbane only, there is no Sunday evening meeting being offered. All other arrangements and venues are as before. Please let us know of how you feel about the program changes at each of the locations. We value your feedback.
First Ever STL Grandparents Retreat, July 13 to 15, 2012.
We are please to announce that the program being offered through the STL Family and Home School Support Centre is the very special Grandparents Retreat. For Victorian and NSW subscribers a brochure and registration form are included with the Newsletter. If you live beyond Victoria and NSW and would like to attend the retreat contact us and we will send you a brochure and registration form. We can accommodate a maximum of thirty live in participants. There is also the option of being a drive in participant if you live within travelling distance. Either way you need to register. If you have parents or grandparents and you would like to do something nice for them, why not sponsor them as your expression of appreciation for all they have done for you!!
Just Released: Dr David Bird’s Sunday Health Seminar DVD
In a down to earth and very clear manner, David presents his thoughts on dealing with one or all of the following health conditions – Burnout, Chronic Fatigue, Allergies, Fibromyalgia. He also shows how common products and plants in and around your home can be used to help regain health and prevent illness.
Steps to life’s 2012 Depression Recovery Program, Lilydale, Victoria
This will be the fifth Dr Neil Nedley DRP we have conducted in three years. It commences June 18. A brochure is included. Bookings are essential. If you have previously attended the program and would like to attend this one as a refresher, you are welcome, but you must book to reserve your place.
Coming Sunday Health Seminars: Oscar Sande – The Gut Connection – April 29, June, 2012
How does the digestion process affect our total health? What can you do to keep your digestive tract healthy? What are the different stages of digestion? What maladies does an unhealthy digestive process lead to? Would you like to know the answers? Then register now to attend these two stand alone but sequential seminars with Oscar or plan to view the seminars when the DVDs are produced following the seminars.
Finally, we would be Remiss ……….
If we don’t thank you for your support for STL by way of your donations, prayers, time donated and attendance at the programs being offered, we would be remiss. A very big thank you for how you have supported! With your assistance STL can offer an ‘onshore’ ministry in Australia meeting needs. With your assistance you become a partner with STL. There are many challenges in conducting a ‘faith’ ministry. God knows our needs and he also impresses folks to contribute as they can to ensure that the projects we undertake can be funded. Please continue to keep us in your prayers and offering planning as we move through 2012. Stay strong!!.
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Christian regards from Cherryl and the STL Team
Brian Way - Programs Coordinator
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