Others are recognizing that “the church” is in apostasy and they are not referring specifically to the Seventh-Day Adventist church. For one non-denominational ministry their definition of “the Church” is: “We believe that the early Church met together and "continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers," and that this is God's pattern for the Church today” (Lighthouse Trails Research Project).
David Dombrowski is the Editor of the Lighthouse Trails Newsletter, part of a research and publishing ministry that is exposing the dangers of the “New Spirituality.” This ministry has helped me tremendously in my own studies on Spiritual Formation as it relates to the Adventist church.
The following is excerpts from Brother David’s article, “Sounding the Trumpet in the Midst of Apostasy – The Enemy is in the Camp!” As you read you will discover many similarities to our own experience in the Adventist church. Notice also what David believes is a solution to the problem, “there is a growing body of believers who have heard God’s heart cry to repentance. It is our belief that repentance is meant to be a part of the Christian life, and as we become aware of our imperfections, we endure rather than resist God’s refining process in our lives.”
How could we minister to those in the Christian world who realize that Christianity as a whole is in apostasy? How can we help dear brothers and sisters as these understand the truth of the Father and Son through the Channel of Blessing and Divine Pattern? Where are these believers to go to continue steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine?
Over the past ten years, we have watched with a mixture of surprise and sadness at how an apostate church has materialized before our eyes. It all began for us here at Lighthouse Trails when we met Ray Yungen in 2000. Though we were not publishers back then, he shared with us his manuscript A Time of Departing, which spoke of a coming apostasy in the form of mystical practices and “spiritual disciplines.” Stirred by the content of that book, we agreed to help him find a publisher. But, at the time, we never imagined how relevant and prophetic that book would be nor how quickly this apostasy would flourish in the mainstream churches. Today, it is even difficult to find a church that has not been compromised by some form of eastern-style mystical practice or emerging church philosophy…
Whether we realize it or not, there is tremendous spiritual warfare taking place in our world today. And, if we just think of it for a moment in military terms, when a combat unit sets up camp, it is done as a strategic move. Outposts are set up with a means of communicating with the commanding officers. These are lookout points whose entire function is to keep an eye out for the enemy. In ancient times, a trumpet of some crude fashion was probably used to communicate a warning. But for some reason, the church of today has chosen largely to eliminate the outposts, and in so doing possesses a blind eye to danger. In many Christian circles, the word discernment has become a dirty word while others use it in a “positive” fashion by having “discernment conferences” where their chief function is to (a.) discredit ministries like ours and (b.) pat each other on the backs as the purveyors of true discernment and biblical scholarship. Meanwhile, the church is willingly letting in, if not bringing in, the enemy into the camp. Again, from a military point of view, this presents a very odd picture where if military outposts are set up at all, it is to invite the enemy to do their destruction from within. Given this type of situation, the soldier is in graver danger being with his unit. As ridiculous as this scenario may sound, this is what we are experiencing in the church today; in countless instances, we are hearing stories of young people going to Christian colleges only to have their spiritual lives shipwrecked. They may have been safer in secular colleges. At the same time, we know of countless numbers of Christians who have no church to go to because the ones that are available have abandoned the simplicity of the Gospel for something “more spiritual.” These believers are now witnessing the apostasy that we have warned about and are looking to ministries like ours for encouragement and help. In many cases, the only encouragement we have known to offer these people is to assure them that they are not alone in what they see.
Please remember that while Jesus said we cannot know the day or the hour of His return, He also instructed us to observe the seasons. In saying this, Jesus was sharing a principle that is both profound and very simple:
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (Matthew 24: 32-33)
In other words, Jesus was saying that various things must occur before He returns, and when they do occur, we can know that His coming is near. Today, the stage is being set for the fulfillment of these events described in Matthew 24, and in fact, things are moving at a highly accelerated rate. While the church has slept, tares have been sown into God’s wheat field (Matthew 13:25). The apostasy that we see in the church today is the result of Satan sowing these “tares” in the church.
As we have watched events unfold in the apostate church in recent years it has been very sobering to see how nearly identical its intents and actions are to that of the New Age movement in moving toward a one-world global order. As you are reading this, religious leaders are shaking hands with political figures in bringing about a more highly evolved society. Alice Bailey, who had much to do with the development of the New Age movement, with all its occult practices and mysticism, predicted that this movement rather than having to move around the church would move through it. In fact, she saw the church as helping to propel the world into this higher level of consciousness.1 Sadly, we are hearing almost daily of highly respected Christian leaders with large followings who are now embracing the writings of mystics and contemplative authors. Perhaps they do not realize that the contemplative prayer and mysticism they are now passing on to their followers is no different than the occult practices of Alice Bailey with a new twist. And as long as the name of “Jesus” is used, everything is O.K., they think.
Looking again at the fig tree, we can see that more fruit is developing and getting heavier. Also, as Rick Warren points out (and promotes), we will see a blending of religious, political, and economic forces as future events unfold. Unity will be a key to the future and will be an increasing theme as the world awaits the Antichrist…
…I see a couple more figs developing there. One of them is called “the bridgers” and the other is called “the silencers.” Unfortunately, both of these figs are growing on the same branch—and the branch has a name on it – it says, “the church.” This is odd because these two figs look putrefied, yet they are growing on a branch that looks very healthy.
[“The bridgers” is] the emergence of what one might call a welcoming committee within the church where things God considers foul and unclean are invited in. Oddly enough, it is not the dissenters in the church who are doing this, as would have been the case ten or fifteen years ago, but our pastors and Christian leaders—many of whom have had very large followings and been respected as being both conservative and of sound doctrine. But the problem is that these leaders have suddenly begun to quote the writings of New Age, occultic, or mystical authors to their followers, oftentimes with a word of recommendation if not persuasion to buy these writings and read them in their entirety… The question is, why are pastors and respected Christian leaders promoting mystics and occultists?… [I]n many cases these leaders are obscure as to whether they practice these things themselves; they seem content enough in bringing their followers to the bait, then leaving their followers to fend for themselves. Ingrid Schlueter coined the term “the bridgers” because these leaders in their obscurity seem quite innocent, yet due to their positions of respect and large followings, they are wittingly or unwittingly pulling large numbers of otherwise conservative followers into a trap that these followers would not have ventured to on their own accord. In other words, these bridgers are introducing the more conservative flock to what the Bible calls an abomination.
Then there is the other fig called “the silencers” that we looked at a moment ago, and it is getting larger. It too looks putrefied though it is on a healthy looking branch labeled “the church.” This fig represents those in the church who regard themselves as having a special corner, and almost elitist attitude, on discernment. While they proclaim their humility, they also pride themselves as having the educational credentials and biblical know-how to steer the church on a straight course. They speak of the embarrassment other ministries are to the body of Christ who are not deemed worthy to hold the compass. A case in point was brought to our attention within the last month when two men stood before an audience and proceeded to praise each other as the purveyors of sound wisdom, discernment, and biblical scholarship. Then, in turn they engaged in a joint attack of verbally punching down those they deemed unworthy of discerning the things of God….Both men on the stage maintained that such things belong to men of wisdom, like themselves...
Again, we are in a spiritual battle—very real, with its own victories and consequences… The fact is that the darkness hates the light, and when you bring light where there is darkness it means exposure. We live in a corrupt world where not even the organized church is willing to have the light shine in their dark corners.
But we at Lighthouse Trails were founded on the principle that there is a growing body of believers who have heard God’s heart cry to repentance. It is our belief that repentance is meant to be a part of the Christian life, and as we become aware of our imperfections, we endure rather than resist God’s refining process in our lives. When John wrote his letters to the seven churches, he did it with this in mind, but history tells us that his letters were not heeded by all seven churches.
Here at Lighthouse Trails, we have endeavored to blow the trumpet over the years, sounding the call to repentance and to a return to the sound doctrine of the Bible. But many have become annoyed with the repeated blasts of the trumpet. All we can say to this is that the time is short, and we remember the words of Jesus when he said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). We will continue to sound the trumpet for as long as we can while doors of opportunity are still open.
Some will say that it is better for Christians to be silent and just let God take care of things. But it is through silence that the church in America has lost so much ground. Rather than helping the process, silence accelerates the work of the enemy. It was through silence that a man called Hitler was able to come to power and murder millions of innocent people.
Keep praying and do what you can to help sound the trumpet. The enemy forces are advancing; in fact, they are within our ranks.
I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. (Jeremiah 6:17)
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12)