Hearing God’s Voice: The Angel of Light At His Very Best
Trevor Hudson and His Angel of Light at his Very Best
Angel of Light at his Very Best – Have you ever attended a church service where the worshipers were so much in awe of the pastor’s sermon that they applauded him after he had pronounced the customary blessing? Haven’t you? Perhaps you should search the Scriptures again to see whether such a phenomenon ever occurred in the biblical past. Here are some examples of how the “worshipers” reacted whenever a good sermon was delivered.
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:55-60)
And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. (Acts 14:19-20).
I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself, God. (John 10:30-33) (Emphasis added)
In those good old days stoning and good sermons, together with good works, seem to have been the order of the day. It was usually the bad sermons, inspired by the angel of light and his demons, that tickled the ears of the hearers and made them yelp with delight, and heartily applaud their preachers. Needless to say, the Jews who stoned Stephen and Paul and wanted to stone Jesus, never knew the voice of the Good Shepherd. Had they known his voice they would never have picked up stones to kill them. Nevertheless, it is far more dangerous to profess to know the voice of the Good Shepherd and instead listen to the voices of strangers, and in addition, encouraging others to listen to their voices.
What is Worse — Killing the Body with Stones or the Soul with False Doctrine?
The very first thing that jumps into your mind when you hear the term angel of light, is that it must be a being sent by God to imbue your mind with truth, love, peace, joy, abundant life, Christian piety, and Christlikeness. This angel of light is so well-versed in Scripture and so plumb deft to quote Bible verses with pinpoint precision that even his ministers (pastors and spiritual leaders) look and sound like ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).
Their holy and humble congeniality (such as drooping shoulders and baggy trousers) are so contagious that whatever they say and do cannot possibly be from the abyss but must be from God. His and his ministers’ mysteriously unfathomable aptitude to make you experience the awesome presence of God in silent solitude and to enable you to recognize the Good Shepherd’s voice can likewise only be God-sent. Do these “holy” proclivities sound familiar? Please listen very carefully to Trevor Hudson in this video and make your own conclusions.
Hearing, Listening, Understanding, Knowing
Trevor Hudson and his angel of light introduces his sermon on John 10 with a question.
I want to build my whole message today around a very simple and very important question. It’s a question that I have been asked more than any other question as a pastor over the past 40 odd years. It’s a question that I myself have wrestled with very, very deeply, as I’ve sought to follow Christ in my own life. It’s a question that lies at the heart of a genuine, first hand, living relationship with God. It’s a question that we really wrestle with. I can turn a dead faith into a wonderful, wonderful adventure. And the question is this: How do we hear God’s voice today, how do we hear God’s voice today?
Hearing and understanding aren’t necessarily the same thing, just as hearing and knowing are not the same. You may listen and hear someone speak until the cows come home and yet fail to understand or know what he is saying. The Bible describes this mysterious phenomenon as follows.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:6-7).
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (Ephesians 4:18)
Is there a parallel trend in the community of mystical Christ followers? Indeed, there is. Their endless quest to hear the voice of God in silent meditative solitude (Trevor loves to use the word “reflect” instead) has darkened their minds to the extent that they no longer know and understand the Good Shepherd’s voice, which is thoroughly comprehensible in solid biblical doctrine (2 John 1:9-11).
In fact, they are listening and not fleeing from the voices of strangers as Jesus commands them to do in John 10:5. They are incessantly conducting outdoor retreats where unsuspecting men, women, and children are taught “to be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), which is one of the most misunderstood passages and best examples of deliberate context wrenching in the realm of contemplative spirituality. Richard Foster teaches that anyone, not just believers, can practice these spiritual disciplines and become like Christ and a Christ follower. (Richard Foster, Be Still DVD, op. cit., “Contemplative Prayer” segment).
Psalm 46:10 does not promote the contemplative practice to withdraw to a tranquil environment like Origins, to sit still in a quiet meditative mood and to empty your mind so that you may hear the voice of God.
“Hearing” — Present or Past?
Although Jesus used the present tense, “my sheep hear my voice,” it does not mean we ought to learn how to hear his voice today by applying contemplative or meditative techniques. God categorically states that He has already spoken (past tense), first by the Old Testament prophets and in these last days by his Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-4). Everything God has already spoken by his prophets and his Son is carefully recorded in his Word, and it is incumbent on us to search and study his Word daily to learn what He has already said.
Everything that is necessary for man’s salvation and sanctification is meticulously woven through the pages of holy writ. How do we know? Well, God, Himself says so in his Word and if you truly want to know what it means to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice, make time and some effort to listen to his words already written down in His Word.
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Here again, the present perfect tense is used, i.e. “has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” to convey to us God’s perfect will for our lives. The present perfect tense describes an action that happened at an indefinite time in the past (one hour ago; a month or year ago, or even centuries ago) or that began in the past and continues in the present. This tense is formed by using has/have with the past participle of the verb. His will is expressed to us in his exceeding great and precious promises which men of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, has already written down in his Word.
Every single one of his promises is “yes and amen” (2 Corinthians 19:22) in Jesus Christ which means they are all available for the taking by faith . . . and NOT by means of a liturgical or mystical spiritual technique such as contemplative meditation or stillness. Therefore, there is no need whatsoever to learn how to hear his voice today, as Trevor Hudson would want us to believe. He HAS already spoken, and it is enough (Tetelestai).
Whenever the sufficiency of the Word of God falls into disrepute, people begin to seek so-called new ways to improve or enhance their spiritual lives, which in many cases are not new at all, but merely the resurgence of old ways dressed in new emergent garb. In fact, the Bible calls it a “way that seems right unto a man but inevitably leads to destruction” (Proverbs 14:12). One of the most well-rehearsed emergent practices in the quest for a more experiential spirituality is to unearth or retrieve the practices of the Roman Catholic Desert Fathers, and especially the spirituality of the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola.
It is believed that Ignatian spirituality is the most influential spiritual movement of the modern age, an approach to the spiritual life based on the insights of St. Ignatius Loyola. Ignatian spirituality teaches an active attentiveness to God joined with a prompt responsiveness to God, who is ever active in people’s lives. The contemplative discipline of silence is arguably the most dangerous of all the other disciplines.
Its aim to bring the person into an altered state of consciousness through a much repeated mantric prayer, enabling him or her to hear God’s voice. Indeed, they hear a voice, but it is not the voice of God. It is the voice of a demonic entity whispering light illuminated lies in their minds. Do you need any proof? Of course, you do, and we shall give you irrefutable proof that Hudson and his fellow Christ followers are not listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd but to the voices of strangers.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
Note very carefully that Paul does not indict anyone for not being able to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd but for their non-endurance of sound doctrine which is available for all to listen to, simply by reading God’s Word.
Ignatian spirituality had an immense influence on Trevor Hudson’s own spirituality. He will be one of the main participants and keynote speakers at the Fuller Theological Seminary’s, “The Doctor of Ministry cohort in Spiritual Direction,” over a period of three years from 2019 to 2021. It offers “a variety of different learning environments and structures that will allow the students to engage spiritual direction conceptually and practically. Each year will feature different co-teachers and will meet for an 11-day period at a retreat center outside Pasadena. The curriculum will focus on blending advanced helping skills with classical and evangelical approaches to spiritual direction.” We shall be discussing Ignatius’ influence on Trevor Hudson in more detail later.
For now, it is enough to say that this alone proves that Trevor Hudson does not know the voice of the Good Shepherd but instead hears and listens to the voices of strangers and is recklessly journeying with them instead of fleeing from them. More of this will be discussed later when we look at Trevor Hudson’s association with many other “strange voices.” The discerning ministry Lighthousetrails succinctly summarizes the diseased and infectious contemplative scene as follows.
Here’s the heart of the matter: The EC [Emergent Church) would prove to be a Trojan Horse where Satan has been able to off-load his neo-Gnostic mystic, corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), an infestation of which is now becoming pandemic within the very heart of the church visible.
Does the Voice of the Good Shepherd Always Take the Shape of a Certain Kind of Thought?
Trevor Hudson mentioned a few characteristics of the voice of the Good Shepherd and the thoughts that come from Him. He said:
- The voice of the Good Shepherd always takes the shape of a certain kind of thought.
- A thought from God, from the Good Shepherd, will always sound like Jesus Christ. God will never say anything to us that contradicts the Person of Jesus. Any thought that comes from God will be Christlike. Any thought from God will never be in conflict with Jesus Christ because Jesus said, “I AM the Good Shepherd.”
- A thought from God, a thought from the Good Shepherd, will always lead us to life, not towards death. “So, when I listen to my thoughts I’m always paying attention to what is going to lead me to life and what is going to lead me to death, and I listen to those thoughts that will lead me to life.
- A thought from God, a thought from the Good Shepherd, will always console us. It will deepen the sense of love, of joy and of peace in our life.
No one can, or will deny that all these characteristics are stunning in their beauty, but are they always true? Should followers of the Good Shepherd always cradle thoughts of life and never of death in their minds? Paul exhorts his readers to use their minds to reckon that they are dead to their natural, inborn sinful nature. (Romans 6:11). Dying to self, in this case, is an inevitable necessity to obtain true spiritual life in God. Consider too this thought from God:
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
What would Trevor Hudson say to unbelievers (Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Satanists, Atheists) who receive such a thought? Is he going to tell them not to pay attention to the part that leads to death but rather to the part that leads to life, in some kind of positive confession ritual? In biblical Christianity thoughts of death that come from God, especially the ones that relate to eternal death in hell, are extremely important because they contain the voice of conviction of the Holy Spirit who is just doing his job for which He was sent, and that is to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11). Judgment is another thought from God that leads to eternal death if the one who receives such a thought does not repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour by faith and faith alone.
Yes, of course, suicidal thoughts and one’s acting upon them do not come from God or the Good Shepherd. Satan is a murderer (John 8:44), NOT God or the Good Shepherd. However, suicidal thoughts are most often the result of a godless life of sin, debauchery, and wickedness.
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (Isaiah 57:20-21).
The contemplative fraternity is trying to calm the troubled seas, to allay the restlessness, and to clear the mire and dirtied waters with their contemplative practices, imagining that they are in the presence of God and therefore at peace and at rest. Believe me, it doesn’t work. How do I know? Something that works for you has no need to be repeated again and again and again, and that’s precisely what they are doing — forever repeating their journey to retraits where they allegedly come into God’s tranquil presence in silence and solitude. The Good Shepherd says:
[Ye] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (John 5:39-40).
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30).
And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. (Luke 5:31).
You cannot come to Jesus Christ unless you realize and acknowledge that you are a lost sinner (desperately sick) and on your way to eternal death and perdition in hell unless you are made whole by the Good Physician.
In the wake of his wicked deeds of adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband Uriah, King David had no rest. He laments:
A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. (Psalm 38:1-10).
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32:3-5).
So, God does not always cherish thoughts of peace and joy toward the wicked but often inflicts them with pain, turmoil and hardship to bring them to their senses and a point where they confess their sins to Him so that they may receive forgiveness and a new life of abundance in Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Consider the following words from the lips of the Good Shepherd and decide for yourself whether He always spoke words pertaining to life.
Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (John 8:21, 24).
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41)
These are words and thoughts that unquestionably do not lead to life but to eternal spiritual death. By the by, Trevor Hudson’s evangelization of lost sinners is not biblical. He says:
Whenever the Good Shepherd speaks, it sounds like Jesus Christ. God will never say anything to us that contradicts the person of Jesus. Never! Any thought that comes from God will be Christlike, and that is why I always say to people who want to go on a journey with God and you want to learn to listen to God I always say to people, receive Christ into your life. That’s the first thing. Embrace Him as your Lord, as your Saviour as your Master, as your Teacher, as your Priest, as your King, as your Lord. Build your life around Him. Get to know Him in the Gospels, meditate on his words, watch how He acts with people, get to know his values, watch how He gives his life, look at how He rises from the dead. Get to know Christ.
None of his immediate disciples or Paul, or even the Good Shepherd Himself invited people to go on a journey with God when they preached the Gospel to the lost and to search the Gospels to see how He acted with people, to meditate on his words and to get to know his values. In fact, He sternly rebuked people who searched the Scriptures, thinking that in them they have eternal life but refused to come to Him to have life. (John 5:39-40).
The Good Shepherd said He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10), not to teach them how to go on a mystical, contemplative journey with God and to learn how to listen to his voice. He came to seek and to find the lost which means He can only find those who realize and acknowledge that they are lost. Most people readily admit that they are sinners but there are but precious few who acknowledge that they are lost and on their way to perdition in hell if they do not repent. Only the latter are willing to respond to Jesus’ call to come to Him. (Luke 5:31).
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
You may happily do all those things Trevor Hudson exhorts you to do and still never come to the knowledge of salvation unless you come to the Good Shepherd and call on his Name for your salvation.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21).
Ananias never spoke of journeying with God, or getting to know Christ in the Gospels, or learning his values, or watching how He treated women and children, or to embrace Him as your Saviour, Master, Lord, Priest, and King when Saul of Tarsus arrived at his home in Damascus, stricken with blindness after his encounter with the Good Shepherd, and his horse bucked him off into the dust. None of these gilded words came from Ananias’ lips. He merely said to Saul of Tarsus,
And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:14-16)
Ananias knew perfectly well that nothing we do, let alone the things Trevor Hudson requires of you to do, can save us. He knew because he was painstakingly familiar with Peter’s words which he articulated so beautifully on the Day of Pentecost, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21).
Contemplative mystics are enamored with words that never once appear in the Word of God. One such word is “Christlike.” Most of them can’t tell you what the word means when asked: Does it reflect Christ’s character at the time when He wove a scourge of small chords to drive out all the money changers from the temple, or at the time when He rebuked Peter with these words, “Get thee behind me Satan,” or when the Jews threatened Him with death at the hand of King Herod and He angrily said of him, “Go ye, and tell that fox,” or when He as King shall say to them, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”?
One thing is sure, “Christlikeness” is robustly being shaped in the minds of mystical contemplatives as something akin to Mother Teresanism. She has undoubtedly become the icon of suffering in the cause of the poor, the destitute, the lonely, the sick and the offscouring of the world, mainly because of her Roman Catholic beliefs that suffering brings you closer to God, opens heaven’s doors, and even relieves Christ of some of his own sufferings. When she began to have doubts about her faith one of her spiritual directors, Father Joseph Neuner, SJ, said to her,
“Your darkness is the divine gift of union with Jesus in his suffering. Your pain brings you close to your Crucified Spouse, and is the way you share His mission of redemption. There is no higher union with God.”
Mary Johnson, a former nun who joined Mother Teresa’s order, the Missionaries of Charity, at age 19, made the following remarks on Father Neuner’s abusive answer to Mother Teresa.
I often wish that Mother Teresa had found someone who would have encouraged her to look at her doubts honestly, to examine them, to confront them. But instead of finding someone who encouraged her to think for herself, she found Father Joseph Neuner, SJ, who spun Mother Teresa’s doubts in such a way that the doubts themselves were deemed a sign of her holiness. I believe that the anti-intellectual bias of the Missionaries of Charity can be traced to the day that Mother Teresa was told that the content of her doubts was something she ought never explore. We all tell ourselves stories that help us cope; wisdom looks at those stories and knows how to distinguish the true stories from the coping mechanisms. Mother Teresa swallowed the stories whole.
Since her death on 5th September 1997 in Kolkota, India, her so-called Christlike life of service to the poor has increasingly come under scrutiny, proving that she was anything but a saint.
There is no doubt that Trevor Hudson and his contemplative patriots at Mosaïek Kerk, including Stephan Joubert of ekerk, have all been influenced in some way by Mother Teresa. Stephan Joubert said something similar about Jesus being in disguise in every poverty-stricken person.
“We are full-time stewards of Cod’s gifts which we have freely received. Freely give it away then! No, don’t just give stuff away, give yourself to others. Build relationships with those you serve. Become their friends. Remember: every person that you serve turns into an immediate friend of Jesus. Go one step further: see him or her as Jesus in disguise. Also know that every cent, every slice of bread, every meal, every cup of cold water, every prayer, every word of encouragement, every visit is an eternal investment in the kingdom of our Father. Not only will it impact on the life of at least one other person, but it will make heaven take special notice of you. God takes notice of the smallest deeds and words of kindness, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 10.”
In his Conversations 7:1: Retreat: A Time to Listen to the Groans (available on the Dallas Center for Christian Spiritual Formation site) Trevor Hudson speaks very highly of some of the strangest voices on the planet, voices Jesus Christ warned us to flee from in John 10. Trevor Hudson palpably does not hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and is deliberately disobeying Him by listening to strange voices instead. He quotes Hans Küng favorably in his “Groans” book.
“God’s kingdom is creation healed. (Hans Kung, On Being a Christian, trans. Edward Quinn. London: William Collins, 1977, 231).
That’s an infamous lie. The Bible declares that the present creation is going to be burned up, not healed. (2 Peter 3:11). God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth, after the passing away of the first heaven and the first earth (Revelation 21:1). Who is Hans Küng? He is a Roman Catholic who is highly regarded by the Freemasons. He boasts that:
“We control the seminaries, the academic departments of theology, the catechetical and liturgical institutions, the publishing houses, the magazines that matter and the chanceries. Most of the bishops are now on our side and those that aren’t have been neutralised. Anybody who wants a future in the hierarchy or the Catholic academy has no choice but to co-operate.” (Read here)
Now, why would a nice Christ follower like Trevor Hudson who yearns to be Christlike quote a scoundrel like Hans Küng who says the present creation needs healing? Well, it’s because our illustrious Christ follower who yearns to be Christlike doesn’t know the difference between Arthur and Martha. Listen to what he says about Mother Teresa (Martha) and Desmond Tutu (Arthur), “nogal” in the same breath.
As we listen to the groans, we will want to respond. Retreat experiences often water our desires to participate in some practical way in God’s dream for a healed world. But where do we begin? Very simply, we can ask God— “What particular groan has my name written on it?” This is what all the great Christ-followers have done—people like Dorothy Day, Jean Vanier, Mother Theresa, Desmond Tutu, and others—by listening deeply to that groan on which their name was written, they sought to discern their own unique call to live out some little piece of God’s dream within God’s world. (Emphasis added).
The Strange Voice of “The Book of Joy”
Desmond Tutu (allegedly representing Christ followers) and Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism) are two of the world’s sweetest chocolate-boxed characters on God’s earth. No one has done more to unite Christianity and Buddhism under the banner of joy, peace, tranquillity, and compassion than they in the past decade to prove to the world that anyone can experience joy amid the most horrendous circumstances of oppression, turmoil, and tumult. Their most recent ode to joy is their book which they entitled “The Book of Joy.”
Compassion seems to be the main driving force in the lives of both these spiritual leaders. It is said that compassion is the fountain from which the other human expressions of joy and peace flow. Nonetheless, compassion and love without truth mean nothing. Truth sets one free and not the gibberish of two outlandish clowns who think they can infuse the world with joy by holding each other’s hands in public, jostling and joking with one another, and forever air kissing in public. I wish to call their childish behavior “Double Belonging Kisses.”
“Double Belonging” or “Christian Buddhism?”
The term “Double Belonging” is just another way to express the betrayal of Jesus Christ and his Gospel. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus with a kiss and our present-day Judas’ are doing the very same thing. Here is a short slideshow that explains “Double Belonging.”
Paul Knitter wrote a book he calls “Without Buddha I could not be a Christian.” Desmond Tutu may not be a Christian Buddhist who has obsessive compulsory thoughts to be a Christ follower and a Buddha follower at the same time. Nevertheless, he is sending out a message to the world that a Christ follower (which he is not in the very least) and Buddhism can live side by side in a person’s heart without having to present the Gospel to a Buddhist so that he may be saved, especially when the Buddhist is the Dalai Lama. The Good Shepherd says:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. (Matthew 6:24)
If, as Trevor Hudson asserts, Desmond Tutu is a follower of Christ, he would never have written a book in collaboration with a Christ-rejecter and audaciously call it “The Book of Joy.” If he’d been a true follower of Christ, he would have known and acknowledged that the Bible is the only genuine Book of joy because it represents the Word become flesh, another Name given to the Good Shepherd. Hudson’s tribute to Desmond Tutu proves that he does not know the voice of the Good Shepherd and instead prefers to listen to the voices of strangers.
The Strange Voice of Thomas Merton
The curse of Double Belonging or Christian Buddhism found one of its sturdiest strongholds in Thomas Merton who said, “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity . . . I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.” (David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West” (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969).
One would have thought that someone like Trevor Hudson who claims to know the voice of the Good Shepherd and always flees from strangers, would not listen to Thomas Merton and the Desert Fathers but expose them as enemies of the cross. (1 Corinthians 1:18). If there were any truth in Thomas Merton’s assertion that there is no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity, the cross of Christ would have been central in Buddhism as it is in true Christianity.
Buddhists consider Jesus to be one of the “enlightened masters” called bodhisattvas and not the Son of God who died on a cross in behalf of mankind and its salvation. During an interview with Christianity Today, the Dalai Lama said that Jesus had lived previous lives and His purpose was to teach a message of tolerance and compassion, to help people to become better human beings.
If Trevor Hudson heard the “voice of the Good Shepherd,” as he claims, wouldn’t God have placed a warning upon his heart and mind that Merton taught harmful theology and convicted him and his Renovaré compatriots not to champion him?
The Catholic lay monk Wayne Teasdale says this of Thomas Merton:
“Thomas Merton was perhaps the greatest popularizer of interspirituality. He opened the door for Christians to explore other traditions, notably Taoism (Chinese witchcraft), Hinduism and Buddhism.” [Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions – Wayne Teasdale]
The Strange Voice of Richard Foster
Richard Foster founded Renovaré in 1988.
Richard Foster [Excerpt from Ray Yungen’s letter, “Richard Foster: Promoting Eastern Mysticism by Proxy”]: “Richard Foster advocates a prayer movement that indeed can be proven to have strong links to Eastern mysticism. . . . To proclaim to be evangelical in every aspect but to say, ‘Thomas Merton tried to awaken God’s people’ . . . is a contradiction of major proportions. It is an oxymoron to try to lump Biblical evangelicalism and Thomas Merton together. . . .
The fact that Foster quotes Merton 13 times in the latest edition of Celebration of Discipline is just further proof that he does indeed adhere to Merton’s teachings. . . . Since Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen mystically perceived the ‘divine’ in everyone this in effect made them New Agers. . . . Foster [is] promoting Eastern mysticism by way of proxy.”
The Strange Voice of Dallas Willard
Like our ingenious Christ follower, Desmond Tutu, Trevor Hudson has written several books in collaboration with false teachers, while others have written the foreword to some of them. Dallas Willard who has written some forewords to Trevor Hudson’s books was an ordained minister and Professor of Philosophy at The University of Southern California, who spoke at churches and Christian organizations worldwide. He was a founding member of Renovaré together with Richard Foster. He wrote, among others, “Renovation of the Heart,” “Hearing God,” and “Knowing Christ Today.”
During an instructional role-play, this question was posed to Willard.
[Hypothetical Seeker:] “I still struggle with how I should view those who have other beliefs. I’m not sure I am ready to condemn them as wrong. I know some very good Buddhists. What is their destiny?”
[Willard:] “I would take [you] to Romans:2:6-10.
‘God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.’ What Paul is clearly saying is that if anyone is worthy of being saved, they will be saved…. I am not going to stand in the way of anyone whom God wants to save…. It is possible for someone who does not know Jesus to be saved.” [“A Conversation with Dallas Willard,” Cutting Edge, Winter 2001, Vol. 5 No. 1]
The Strange Voice of Morton Kelsey
Shall we ask Trevor Hudson whether these words from the mouth of Morton Kelsey, a contemplative compatriot with whom he wrote the book “Journey of the Spirit: Meditations for the Spiritual Seeker” sound like the voice of the Good Shepherd?
In the following quote, Morton Kelsey propounds a universal cosmic, New Age Christ who is demonstrably not the Good Shepherd, not by a long shot.
You can find most of the New Age practices in the depth of Christianity … I believe that the Holy One lives in every soul. (Kelsey cited in Charles H. Simpkinson, “In the Spirit of the Early Christians.”)
In these following two quotes Kelsey promulgates dreams and visions, and Shamanism. Morton Kelsey studied dreams for over ten years and came to the following conclusion about how they had affected his life:
I discovered that my dreams were wiser than my well-tuned rational mind and that they gave me warnings when I was in danger. They also described in symbols the disastrous situations in which I found myself. These strange messengers of the night offered suggestions on how to find my way out of lostness.
When I followed these symbolic suggestions, much of the darkness lifted, and my situation no longer seemed hopeless. Many of the psychological and physical symptoms of distress disappeared. In addition to all this, I found a very personal being at the heart of reality who cared for me … as I continued to listen to my dreams, I experienced the risen Christ in a way I had not thought possible. (as quoted in “Visions in the Night: Hearing God in Your Dreams” by Ross Parker)
Trevor Hudson says Jesus is the Good Shepherd. His fellow-author of their book says He is somewhat like a Shaman
. . . Almost all Christians who were true disciples were something like shamans in the style of their master. Jesus not only used powers [of the shaman] Himself but He passed the same powers of superhuman knowledge, healing and exorcism on to his followers. (Morton Kelsey, The Christian and the Supernatural (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1976), 92-95; as quoted in John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers), 200)
Imagine Morton Kelsey having been present when Jesus asked, “Whom say ye that I AM?” and he answers, “Oh, I know: you are a Shaman who uses the supernatural powers of a witch doctor with superhuman knowledge, healing, and exorcism, and you have passed them all on to your followers like myself and Trevor Hudson, as well as the fraternity at Mosaïek Kerk in Fairland, South Africa.”
Kelsey not only changed Christ Jesus into the image of a shaman but encourages Christians to listen to the strange voices of such committed occultists as Carlos Castaneda (who was dubbed one of the “godfathers of the New Age movement”). Castaneda categorized dreaming as the most vital element of the sorcerer’s armory and also the most dangerous. After indulging in this practice for many years, Castaneda recalls, “In my daily state I was nearly an idiot, and in the second attention [altered state of consciousness] I was a lunatic.” (Carlos Castaneda, The Art of Dreaming (New York: HarperCollins, 1993), 125).
Would you like to become a lunatic? That’s easy. Just listen to the strange voices of Trevor Hudson and Morton Kelsey who follow a shaman (witch doctor) called Jesus.
The Strange Voice of Renovaré
Renovaré (“renewal”) was founded in 1988 by Quaker theologian Richard Foster whose prime agenda it is to teach and nurture pastors and their congregations how to be more Christlike on their spiritual journey, mainly through the practice of contemplative prayer. One of Renovaré’s official statements of faith is that “An army without a plan will be defeated.” (Renovaré Conference brochure, Oct. 15-16, 1999, Lynden, WA.). What they don’t tell you is that their Commander in Chief is the angel of light (Satan Himself) who has appointed Thomas Merton and the Desert Fathers to fight the “good fight” for them in their front lines. Richard Foster quotes Thomas Merton no less than thirteen times in his book Celebration of Discipline.
Trevor Hudson works closely with Upper Room Ministries, the Renovaré International Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation, the Dallas Willard Center for Christian Spiritual Formation, and the Jesuit Institute in South Africa. That says it all for it again proves without a shadow of a doubt that he does not hear the voice of the Good Shepherd but instead prefers to listen to the voices of strangers.
The Strange Voice of the Jesuit Institute South Africa
The update of their Facebook cover photo on 17th October 2017 says it all. The maxim, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” is so true when you look at their cover photo. It represents a smorgasbord of religions with their false apostle, the first-ever Jesuit Pope Francis, sitting in the middle of the end time apostasy of which our Lord and Saviour warned us. Needless to say, the institute is a springboard for Ignatian spirituality.
Ignatius of Loyola, as you may already know, was a Spanish Basque priest and theologian, who founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and became its first Superior General. The Jesuit order served the Pope as missionaries, and they were bound by a vow of special obedience to the sovereign pontiff regarding the missions. They, therefore, emerged as an important force during the time of the Counter-Reformation (source: Wikipedia).
Their mission was anything but to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as their blasphemous oath reveals. Trevor, please explain to us how on earth we can associate the following blasphemous oath with the voice of the Good Shepherd? If you can’t you should immediately stop your association with Renovaré, the Jesuit Institute of South Africa and especially Ignatian spirituality. Believe me, it is worse and more dangerous than being betrayed by friends.
(The following material contained in Congressional Record, House Bill 1523, Contested election case of Eugene C. Bonniwell, against Thos. S. Butler, February 15, 1913, pages 3215-3216. The oath appears in its entirety, in the book, THE SUPPRESSED TRUTH ABOUT THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, by Burke McCarty, pages 14-16).
The Extreme Oath of the Jesuits
“I, ……….., now, in the presence of Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the blessed Michael the Archangel, the blessed St. John the Baptist, the holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and all the saints and sacred hosts of heaven, and to you, my ghostly father, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in the Pontificate of Paul the Third, and continued to the present, do by the womb of the virgin, the matrix of God, and the rod of Jesus Christ, declare and swear, that his holiness the Pope is Christ’s Vice-regent and is the true and only head of the Catholic or Universal Church throughout the earth; and that by virtue of the keys of binding and loosing, given to his Holiness by my Savior, Jesus Christ, he hath power to depose heretical kings, princes, states, commonwealths and governments, all being illegal without his sacred confirmation and that they may safely be destroyed.”
“Therefore, to the utmost of my power I shall and will defend this doctrine of his Holiness’ right and custom against all usurpers of the heretical or Protestant authority whatever, especially the Lutheran of Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the now pretended authority and churches of England and Scotland, and branches of the same now established in Ireland and on the Continent of America and elsewhere; and all adherents in regard that they be usurped and heretical, opposing the sacred Mother Church of Rome. I do now renounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or state named Protestants or Liberals, or obedience to any of the laws, magistrates or officers.”
“I do further declare that the doctrine of the churches of England and Scotland, of the Calvinists, Huguenots and others of the name Protestants or Liberals to be damnable and they themselves damned who will not forsake the same.”
“I do further declare, that I will help, assist, and advise all or any of his Holiness’ agents in any place wherever I shall be, in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, Ireland or America, or in any other Kingdom or territory I shall come to, and do my uttermost to extirpate the heretical Protestants or Liberals’ doctrines and to destroy all their pretended powers, legal or otherwise.”
“I do further promise and declare, that notwithstanding I am dispensed with, to assume my religion heretical, for the propaganda of the Mother Church’s interest, to keep secret and private all her agents’ counsels from time to time, as they may entrust me and not to divulge, directly or indirectly, by word, writing or circumstance whatever; but to execute all that shall be proposed, given in charge or discovered unto me, by you, my ghostly father, or any of this sacred covenant.”
“I do further promise and declare, that I will have no opinion or will of my own, or any mental reservation whatever, even as a corpse or cadaver (perinde ac cadaver), but will unhesitatingly obey each and every command that I may receive from my superiors in the Militia of the Pope and of Jesus Christ.”
“That I may go to any part of the world withersoever I may be sent, to the frozen regions of the North, the burning sands of the desert of Africa, or the jungles of India, to the centers of civilization of Europe, or to the wild haunts of the barbarous savages of America, without murmuring or repining, and will be submissive in all things whatsoever communicated to me.”
“I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition; and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants’ heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poniard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus.”
“In confirmation of which, I hereby dedicate my life, my soul and all my corporal powers, and with this dagger which I now receive, I will subscribe my name written in my own blood, in testimony thereof; and should I prove false or weaken in my determination, may my brethren and fellow soldiers of the Militia of the Pope cut off my hands and my feet, and my throat from ear to ear, my belly opened and sulphur burned therein, with all the punishment that can be inflicted upon me on earth and my soul be tortured by demons in an eternal hell forever!”
“All of which, I, ………., do swear by the Blessed Trinity and blessed Sacraments, which I am now to receive, to perform and on my part to keep inviolable; and do call all the heavenly and glorious host of heaven to witness the blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, and witness the same further with my name written and with the point of this dagger dipped in my own blood and sealed in the face of this holy covenant.”
(He receives the wafer from the Superior and writes his name with the point of his dagger dipped in his own blood taken from over his heart.) (Source: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/jesuits.htm
On the Resources tab of the Renovaré site, Trevor Hudson is introduced as a pastor who has been part of the Methodist movement in Southern Africa for more than 35 years. Serving primarily around Johannesburg, South Africa, he is deeply committed to the work and ministry of the local congregation. A significant part of his weekly work is the giving of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.
Just imagine, the Christ follower who allegedly knows the voice of the Good Shepherd listens to the voice of the stranger who founded one of the most blasphemous orders on a weekly basis, and teaches hundreds, if not thousands to do the same.
The Strange Voice of Ignatius of Loyola
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize that “Mystery Babylon” in Revelation 17:5 is none other than the Roman Catholic Church. She has been laboring tirelessly to unite all the religions of the world, and will eventually assume the role of their unholy mother. The late Pope John Paul II opened the ecumenical gates wide when he permitted the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhist monks to place a small statue of the Buddha over the tabernacle of St Peter Church in Assisi on 27th October 1986. Few realize what the significance of this is to the Roman Catholic Church.
It is no surprise that Icons and statues play a major part in the Roman Catholic Church and that their popes heartily permit unbelievers and idolaters to place their icons and statues in their churches. The eerie reality of bleeding Marian statues and some of her alleged statues moving and even talking to worshipers, are the forerunners of the living and talking statue of Antichrist in the yet future newly built tribulation temple in Jerusalem. (Revelation 13:15).
Why is it no surprise? Well, simply because their entire religious system is fraught with idolatry. However, it is shocking to see how Trevor Hudson who claims to know the voice of the Good Shepherd, is following, not the Christ of the Bible, but the iconic idolatrous system of the RCC. In an article posted on the Patheos Website on 10th November 2011, Carl Gregg tells his readers how much he was in awe with a plenary session facilitated by Trevor Hudson on the contemplative practice of visio divina. The latter is an extension, or shall we rather say, a complementary discipline to lectio divina. Whereas lectio divina offers the contemplative mystic a tool to practice the presence of God through reading and the reflection on Bible passages, and then taking from it a word or two for meditative purposes and the silencing of the mind, visio divina aims to quieten the mind and body by slowly, prayerfully, and contemplatively looking at a piece of visual art. (Read here for more info on the pagan origins of iconography).
Gregg continues to write:
You are then invited to spend time reflecting or journaling about how God may be speaking to you through the detail of the text or art that has surprised, excited, or even disturbed you.
Trevor specifically invited us to reflect less on the historical context and more on this icon as an image of “Jesus and his friend.” Accordingly, as you ponder this icon, what insights, images, or emotions emerge for you related to friendship: whether friendship with other human, friendship with animal, friendship with Creation, friendship with Christ, or friendship with God?
I was also reminded of a transformative experience of worshipping a few years ago at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal in San Francisco. This church has shaped its congregational life around the teachings of its patron saint Gregory of Nyssa (c 335 – after 394), who invites us to learn to “become God’s friend.” (Emphasis his).
It’s so sad when you hear someone twisting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a hideous way. Where in the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation are we taught that we should become God’s friends? You may find this kind of garbage in Stephan Joubert’s vocabulary but not in the Bible. Joubert once wrote:
We are full-time stewards of God’s gifts which we have freely received. Freely give it away then! No, don’t just give stuff away, give yourself to others. Build relationships with
those you serve. Become their friends. Remember: every person that you serve turns into an immediate friend of Jesus. Go one step further: see him or her as Jesus in disguise. Also know that every cent, every slice of bread, every meal, every cup of cold water, every prayer, every word of encouragement, every visit is an eternal investment in the kingdom of our Father. Not only will it impact on the life of at least one or other person, but it will make heaven take special notice of you. God takes notice of the smallest deeds and words of kindness, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 10.
Only someone with an imagination larger than his own ego will be able to accomplish such a great feat. And indeed, it is only a big ego larger than life that’s able to think his holy presence and service can change an enemy of God into a friend of God. Move over Jesus. Please take your cross and make way for a brand-new way for sinners to be saved. Let’s call it SSS — Silence, Solitude, and SERVICE.
It is alarming to see how many emergent clergies are acting out and promoting Helena P. Blavatsky’s and Alice Bailey’s teachings and no wonder because they both said that the “Christian Church” will play a major part in the final ushering in of the New World Order or New Dawn (the Aquarian Age). Indeed, not Christians of the old mold who believe that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God and that Jesus is the only Way to heaven, are going to act out this role but so-called Christ-followers who are supposedly found in all religions. Listen carefully to Helena P Blavatsky’s and Alice Bailey’s thoughts on the Kingdom of God.
“Christ’s major task was the establishing of God’s kingdom upon earth. He showed us the way in which humanity could enter that kingdom … the way is found in service to our fellow men …” (Helena P. Blavatsky, “The New Cycle,” La Revue Theosophique Magazine, March 21, 1889)
“It is through supreme service and sacrifice that we become followers of Christ and earn the right to enter into His kingdom, because we do not enter alone.” (Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary-Our Immediate Goal, Chapter Five – The Fourth Initiation,
“The need is for vision, wisdom and that wide tolerance which will see divinity on every hand and recognize the Christ in every human being.” (Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary, Chapter Seven – Our Immediate Goal.
“The true Church is the kingdom of God on earth … composed of all, regardless of race or creed, who live by the light within, who have discovered the fact of the mystical Christ in their hearts.” (Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary, Chapter Seven – Our Immediate Goal.
” . . . Christian people are to recognize their place within a worldwide divine revelation and see Christ as representing all the faiths and taking His rightful place as World Teacher. He is the World Teacher and not a Christian teacher…. They may not call Him Christ, but they have their own name for Him and follow Him as truly and faithfully as their Western brethren.” (Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul, The Reappearance of the Christ, Chapter IV – The Work of the Christ Today and in the Future. (Read here)
These innocuous Christ followers have effectively changed Christ’s words in Hebrews 11:6 from:
“But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,”
“But without imagination it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must imagine Him to be whatever they conceive Him to be in their imagination, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him through their imagination.”
In the book “What is Ignatian Spirituality” the author, David L Fleming SJ, asserts that “Imaginative prayer is recognized as one of the hallmarks of Ignatian spirituality,” and that “His imagination played a central role in his conversion.” . . . “He continued to make liberal use of the imagination and integrated imaginative prayer into the approach to the spiritual life that he outlined in the Spiritual Exercises. In his hands, it became the tool to help us to know and love God.” (pp. 55-56).
Having familiarized ourselves with Ignatius’ conversion experience we may safely assume that Trevor Hudson’s advice on how to come to know Christ as your Lord and Saviour is pure and unadulterated Ignatian spirituality. It has absolutely nothing to do with God’s Word or the voice of the Good Shepherd teaching us how to be saved. It is pure, unadulterated idolatry.
Any thought that comes from God will be Christlike, and that is why I always say to people who want to go on a journey with God and you want to learn to listen to God I always say to people, receive Christ into your life. That’s the first thing. Embrace Him as your Lord, as your Saviour as your Master, as your Teacher, as your Priest, as your King, as your Lord. Build your life around Him. Get to know Him in the Gospels, meditate on his words, watch how He acts with people, get to know his values, watch how He gives his life, look at how He rises from the dead. Get to know Christ.
On page 58 David L Fleming reflects on how Ignatius wants us to experience Jesus Christ. He writes:
In the course of the Exercises, Ignatius proposes many such scenes from the Gospels for imaginative contemplation. He chooses scenes of Jesus acting rather than Jesus teaching or telling parables. He wants us to see Jesus interacting with others, Jesus making decisions, Jesus moving about, Jesus ministering. He doesn’t want us to think about Jesus. He wants us to experience him. He wants Jesus to fill our senses. He wants us to meet him.
Following Jesus is the business of our lives. To follow him we must know him, and we get to know him through our imagination. Imaginative Ignatian prayer teaches us things about Jesus that we would not learn through scripture study or theological reflection. It allows the person of Christ to penetrate into places that the intellect does not touch. It brings Jesus into our hearts. It engages our feelings. It enflames us with ideals of generous service. (a.k.a. Stephan Joubert).
Imaginative prayer makes the Jesus of the Gospels our Jesus. It helps us develop a unique and personal relationship with him. We watch Jesus’ face. We listen to the way he speaks. We notice how people respond to him. These imaginative details bring us to know Jesus as more than a name or a historical figure in a book. He is a living person.
Watch how Trevor Hudson mimics Ignatius. He even uses the very same words to describe the idolatrous contemplative conversion experience. Let’s put on our thinking caps for a wee moment and leave our imagination at the door to ask ourselves whether Trevor Hudson of whom a significant part of his weekly work is the giving of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius at retreats, is really saved.
Please show me a single verse or passage in Scripture where we are told or encouraged to use our imagination to be saved? Verse after verse, and passage after passage that deal with salvation categorically state that faith and faith alone in Christ and his finished work on the cross redeems lost sinners. Dallas Willard climbed onto the idolatrous Ignatius bandwagon when he said:
“Indeed, solitude and silence are powerful means to grace. Bible study, prayer and church attendance, among the most commonly prescribed activities in Christian circles, generally have little effect for soul transformation, as is obvious to any observer. If all the people doing them were transformed to health and righteousness by it, the world would be vastly changed. Their failure to bring about the change is precisely because the body and soul are so exhausted, fragmented and conflicted that the prescribed activities cannot be appropriately engaged, and by and large degenerate into legalistic and ineffectual rituals. Lengthy solitude and silence, including rest, can make them very powerful.” (Dallas Willard, “Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation and the Restoration of the Soul,” Journal of Psychology and Theology, Spring 1998, Vol. 26, #1, pp. 101-109. Also available in The Great Omission, San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2006)
Eugene Peterson, the author of “The Message,” has written many articles for Renovaré. He says:
The importance of poetry and novels is that the Christian life involves the use of the imagination, after all, we are dealing with the invisible. And, imagination is our training in dealing with the invisible, making connections… I don’t want to do away with or denigrate theology or exegesis, but our primary allies in this business are the artists…. Why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? How much do you need to know? We invest all this time in understanding the text which has a separate life of its own and we think we’re being more pious and spiritual when we’re doing it…. [Christians] should be studying it less, not more. You just need enough to pay attention to God…. I’m just not at all pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it’s some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more they do the better.” [“A Conversation with Eugene Peterson,” Mars Hill Review, Fall 1995, Issue No. 3: pgs 73-90]
What does the Good Shepherd say, Mr. Trevor Hudson, the One you claim to hear and obey and to follow? Listen carefully and learn from the genuine Good Shepherd of the Bible and not the one you are following who is patently the angel of light.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (and never by your deceitful imaginations). (Romans 10:13-17).
Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15).
Since Pope John Paul’s ecumenical thrust in 1986 many RCC monks, nuns and religious institutions have followed suit. Oh yes, Trevor Hudson and his fellow so-called Christ followers who supposedly know the voice of the Good Shepherd are constantly oozing love, compassion, friendship, and deep empathy from their contemplatively silent minds and hearts, but do they genuinely love Jesus Christ? Judge for yourself when you read what the Good Shepherd Himself says:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15).
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:10).
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).
The Strange Voice of Basil Pennington
The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance of which Basil Pennington was a member until his death in 2005 and which Thomas Keating entered in 1944, is wholly dedicated to contemplation. Their three main pillars, silence, solitude and meditation adhere strictly to the Rule of Saint Benedict.
According to this rule salvation and sanctification can be attained through asceticism. In chapter 7 a twelve-step ladder representing Christian piety virtue and asceticism are said to lead to heaven. Some of these steps include the forced suppression of self-will, unreserved submission to superiors, regular confession, smothered laughter, and speaking only when asked a question.
During their Mosaic Conference held at Johan Geyser’s Mosaïek Kerk (Church) in Fairland, South Africa in 2009, Stephan Joubert said something about rhythms that reminds one of Saint Benedict’s Rule of asceticism. Joubert said:
“So, Jesus came into this rhythm and the disciples learned the rhythms and perhaps we are too fast, because we are so success driven. Our spirituality is about getting the things done and to put down the stuff and to raise the numbers and to get more people to attend our holy, etc., Bible studies, talks, seminars, books, you name them. But Jesus was not into that. He had the rhythms of God in his life.
And you only learn this when you are wise when you walk with somebody. . . . it is like the whole life becomes a pilgrimage. You don’t have a pilgrimage when Easter is on the calendar. It is like the whole life is a pilgrimage where every day becomes holy; where every person that you meet becomes holy; where every moment is holy. When time as such, when food as such, where people as such, where space as such become holy. And it changes your perspective, because the moment that I realize there is no unclean food, there is no unclean space, there is no unclean people, per se, and I treat them like that, things change.
But when you are a Pharisee and you know that that person is clean or unclean and I am clean. That space is unclean, and I am clean. I mean you go around always judging people.” (Emphasis added)
Under the Rule of Benedict everything is regulated with rhythmic precision, including sleeping, waking, meal times, quantity and quality of food, clothing, work, and recreation. The Rule forbids the ownership of any private property or the receipt of letters or gifts without permission of the abbot. Nicheren Buddhism teaches something similar.
SGI (Soka Gakkai International) members perform a morning and evening practice known as gongyo, which consists of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and reciting portions of the Lotus Sutra. The duration of any particular chanting session is up to each individual. This regular morning and evening ritual is the basis of daily practice, a time when one can reflect on priorities in life and connect with the deeper rhythms of life.
Nichiren Buddhism teaches that the workings of the universe are an expression of a single principle or Law, expressed as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enables all people to perceive this Law in their own lives and to bring themselves into rhythm with it. And by putting their lives in harmony with this Law, people can unlock their hidden potential and achieve harmony with their environment. (Source)
An enigma that has always puzzled me is why so-called Christ followers quote so-called other Christ-followers more than the One they allegedly follow. Perhaps their excessive quoting of other Christ followers is a smokescreen to hide their feigned following of Jesus Christ with an intent to draw people into their own “cloud of unknowing,” which is just another way of saying: “I really do not know Christ Jesus and his voice.” The apostle John, who was a genuine follower of Christ, said:
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6)
Trevor Hudson frequently quotes Basil Pennington favorably. I often ask myself whether Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, would have quoted someone who denied most of his doctrines and used it to lead his sheep into green pastures. Perish the thought. Yet, Trevor Hudson does so with gusto. Pennington (1931-1005) was a universalist who believed and taught that all of mankind shares God’s divine nature.
“We are united with everybody else in our human nature and in our SHARING OF A DIVINE NATURE, so we are never really alone, we have all this union and communion. Getting in touch with that reality is the greatest healing. We can adopt meditative practices which enable us to begin that journey of finding our true inner selves or transcending our separate selves and leave behind some of the pain and suffering” (Interview with Mary NurrieStearns).
He also taught that the meditative practices of all religions bring one into the experience of the same God:
“It is my sense, from having meditated with persons from many different [non-Christian] traditions, that in the silence we experience a deep unity. When we go beyond the portals of the rational mind into the experience, there is only one God to be experienced” (Pennington, Centered Living, p. 192).
Pennington was a radical interfaith ecumenicist. He lovingly called Hindu swamis “our wise friends from the East” (Finding Grace at the Center, p. 23). He said, “We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and capture it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible … Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices” (Ibid, p. 23). Yet, our eminent Christ-follower and prayer-warrior, Trevor Hudson, quotes him in his book “Friendship with God” saying: “Basil Pennington puts it well, ‘Prayer is friendship in action — that high point of friendship when we are simply entering into and experiencing the reality that we and God are friends.” (Basil Pennington, Challenges in Prayer, p. 18).
Allow me to remind you that God puts it well — no, even much better — when He says,
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them [which in layman’s terms simply means, God is not their friend]. (Isaiah 8:20).
There is nothing wrong with having your own thoughts and listening to them. God wants us to think rationally and logically. If Trevor Hudson truly believed that this was God’s will for his followers, he would never, never have pandered to any form or shape of contemplative spirituality. Sober mindedness is a biblical prerequisite to remain faithful to sound doctrine and a sure antidote against falling prey to the strange voices of false teachers. Contemplative disciplines are designed to free the mind of your own cluttered thoughts that tend to wander off into all kinds of directions.
The initial stage of contemplation is to focus the mind on a word or sentence so that it may be centered on or centralized in God and his presence. Hence the term “Centering Prayer.” The mind is emptied in this way which renders it open and highly susceptible to any outside influences — either the voice of a hypnotist or the voice of a demonic entity. Solid doctrine gives way to an experience of euphoric feelings of love, peace, and joy which invariably becomes the litmus test and proof that it is none other than the voice of the Good Shepherd speaking.
In conclusion, I would like to invite those who have read this article and are involved in contemplative spirituality (contemplative prayer, lectio divina, visio divina, labyrinths, retraits, silence and solitude, imaginative spirituality, Ignatian spirituality, and the likes) to turn their backs on Trevor Hudson, Stephan Joubert, Johan Geyser, his twin brother, Theo Geyser, the Mosïek Kerk in Fairland, South Africa, and their hordes of wolves in sheep’s clothing, and to run away, flee from them as far as they can.
That would probably prove that you know the voice of the Good Shepherd and are listening to Him instead of strange voices. That would probably prove that you are really saved and not, I repeat, NOT following and imaginative Jesus who is filling your mind with imaginative thoughts that you are saved, but are really on their way to hell. (2 Corinthians 13:5).
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12).
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, [NOT IN THE IMAGINATION]; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Mysticism lies at the very heart of all the spheres of contemplative spirituality. Its very nature proves that MYSTERY BABYLON in Revelation 17 is on the rise in all walks of life and especially in most churches throughout the world. Even one of the staunchest Calvinists, John MacArthur quotes Dallas Willard of the Renovaré fraternity favorably.
Trevor Hudson was deeply upset when someone betrayed him very deeply. However, he has no qualms whatsoever to betray Jesus Christ and his Gospel by listening to strange voices and to promulgate the lies of false teachers.