Olive Tree Views
2009 DVD Barger
Our October 9-10 event was a wonderful weekend of truth. You can hear current events, deception in the church, and Bible prophecy-related issues on CD or DVD. CDs are $30 + $5 S/H. DVDs are $55 + $5 S/H. The information is identical although DVDs have speaker PowerPoint. The DVDs are professionally filmed and TV quality. Both CDs and DVDs are contained in a lovely carrying case. Order here.
101 Science
Jan Markell 
 Are you prepared to answer the questions of friends and family coming from the "2012" movie? You will be if you get Mark Hitchcock's book on the topic. Find it at "Products," for $13 + $5 S/H.
Order by mail 
 Olive Tree Ministries
PO Box 1452
Maple Grove, MN  55311
 Please add $5 S/H if in the U.S.
 We also accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover
All our products

Israel Under Fire

 New DVD or book from Jimmy DeYoung and John Ankerberg
Israel Under Fire: The Prophetic Chain of Events That Threaten the Middle East 
Get the big picture on what the Bible says about Israel's future and why it matters to you.
Find the book for $14 and the DVD for $18 at "Products." Add $5 S/H. 



How Late is the Hour?

No one knows the day or the hour of the Lord's return but this prophecy panel spends three TV programs discussing it. The guests include Jan Markell, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Jack Kinsella, host Jonathan Bernis, and others. Good for small group study as each contributor speaks in easy-to-understand language. Find it at "Products" for $17 + S/H. 
God of Wonders
God of Wonders DVD
Get away from the bad news and enjoy the wonders of God's creation. Produced by Jim Tetlow, this is a faith builder and a witnessing tool. It is sure to uplift you! Find it at "Products" for  $19 + S/H. It is 85 minutes. View the trailer here.

A Time of Departing

A TIME OF DEPARTING: How Ancient Mystical Practices  are Uniting Christians with the World's Religions
Book by Ray Yungen

 Ancient mystical practices are being introduced into countless churches under the umbrella of the "Spiritual Formation movement." Also known as contemplative spirituality, this belief system has roots in mysticism and the occult. This book exposes the truth about the new spirituality that is entering the Christian church and Christian education. Find it at "Products" for $14 + $5 S/H. 
When Students Are Left for the Wolves
By Jan Markell
November 10, 2009
I wasn't prepared for what I was about to hear the evening of November 3. My alma mater, Bethel University in St. Paul, MN, sponsored an Interreligious Symposium promoting some kind of "common ground" between Buddhism and Christianity. One would think if a Christian had an ounce of discernment, they would deduce that Christianity has nothing to do with Buddhism and such unions are playing with fire. But a panel concluded that there was "common ground" when it came to "meditation."  Granted, this kind of meditation could put one in a dangerous altered state of consciousness, but maybe that's ok as long as we can find a bit of unity here! Some would call this common bond of meditation "contemplative prayer."
About 200 students and a few adults were crammed into the symposium auditorium. Attendance by the students was mandatory. The three main presenters were Buddhist monk Witiyala Seewalie from Sri Lanka, Bethel professor Paul Reasoner who is a part of the "Christian Zen" movement, and Ted Meissner, an active Buddhist layman and meditator in Zen, although he grew up in a Christian home. 

Buddhist Christian

The kind of meditation being promoted by the panelists is the kind that brings "enlightenment," whatever that means.
Ted Meissner described the goal of enlightenment to our daily growth and walk with Christ. Panelist Paul Reasoner did not particularly enlighten anyone to his area of interest, Christian Zen, so I am still clueless as to what that is. I think it's an attempt to again help people become Buddhist-friendly. It was clearly an emphasis on the blending of Christianity and Buddhism.  With only about 20 minutes for questions, there was no way I was going to get a multitude of mine answered.
Doing a bit of research told me that Zen is a school or division of Buddhism characterized by techniques designed to produce enlightenment. This term is used repeatedly yet I have never seen such a line-up of unenlightened panelists! In particular, Zen emphasizes various sorts of meditative practices which are supposed to lead the practitioner to a direct insight into the fundamental character of reality -- whatever that means!  And if I don't fully get it, how are 20 year old college students supposed to get it? This one thing I do know: It doesn't mean getting to know the fundamental character of the one true God.
I was accompanied on this journey by Pastor Bob DeWaay from Twin City Fellowship in Minneapolis. He has contributed some thoughts to this summary of the event.
There was not one whit of "Christianity" that was presented to the Buddhist participating on the panel. This sent a message to him that he is ok being a Buddhist.
The push was "meditation."  But being a Buddhist means becoming conscious of one's own divinity. This was not clarified. Had it been clarified, it could have sent out a huge red flag to questioning students at Bethel.  So why would Christians get on board with this kind of meditative enlightenment when acknowledging one's own divinity for a Christian would be idolatry and an abomination to the one true God?
The students were encouraged to do meditation that would silence or empty their minds. Keep in mind that some who promote this kind of meditation such as Richard Foster, actually tell you to pray a prayer of protection over yourself before you begin! Yet there was no warning to innocent and na´ve students and again, attendance for most there was mandatory.
We heard a lot about those ancient mystics and desert fathers. Here we go with the mystical again, and mysticism always trumps doctrine. Bring on "experience"!! Another panelist talked about the Jesuits he studied under. Is Bethel a Baptist-rooted university or Catholic-rooted? Try the former.
A symposium like this is leading these kids straight to the Emergent Church which goes along with all of the above. And if anything will bring spiritual death, it is all things Emergent. The step beyond that is the one-world religion.  
You can hear the entire audio of the 75 minute symposium here
So now that we know some of what was talked about, what wasn't covered? With a Buddhist on the panel needing truth, Jesus Christ was not mentioned. Nothing of the gospel was talked about. Sin was left out as was a Christless eternity for those following the wrong path. Rather, all that was praised was some kind of glorious unity and mind expansion that could be achieved through Buddhist meditation. 
No one talked about the possibility of opening oneself up to demonic influence from emptying the mind in the wrong kind of meditation. 
Let me be blunt and say that the meditation techniques promoted at the symposium were Eastern and unbiblical. They claimed that Christians could gain spiritual benefit by using Buddhist meditation. What an affront to the Lord who inspired the Biblical writers. It was as if to say that God failed to give us what we need to draw near to God, but we can find what we need through Buddhism.
A simple Scripture like Psalm 119:15 was never used: "I will meditate on your precepts and consider your ways," presenting a solid biblical statement on "meditation." Or meditating on God's wonders in verse 27. The psalmist meditated, that is, deliberated over God's Word in such a way that he was able to understand it.  

It says in Psalm 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD."
This "meditation symposium" was not pleasing to the Lord.
I am reminded that there are students and faculty at Bethel University who meet regularly for prayer not using any kind of techniques. There is a ministry there called "Pray First" which focuses on the students. As one person said to me, "please also share that God's light is shining brightly in areas at Bethel University."
This is not an attempt to castigate the entire university of teachers and students, many of whom are godly, righteous people. This column is not directed at them. It is directed at some careless faculty who are enthusiastic about their beliefs who should use better judgment than to present Buddhism, "Christian Zen," and contemplative prayer as some good alternatives for the students.
To better understand such issues, visit our Web site
category of "Spiritual Deception." 

RADIO: Last weekend's programming focused on the health care issue from the perspective of the Christian Medical Association. This weekend I will talk about the Bethel University issue. Other guests will join me on other topics including Nonie Darwish.
All programming is posted to"Radio Archives" at the Web site late Sunday. For podcasting information, go here. We air live, Saturday, 9 to 11 AM CST out of AM980 KKMS, Minneapolis/St. Paul. They replay it Sunday, 12 to 2 PM. We are heard in other markets as well.
listeners in Seattle, starting November 21 we move to 8 to 10 AM PST. 
Awaiting His return,
Jan Markell
You may pass on these items or have people sign up on our Web site. We update Current Headlines twice a day, and you can access our radio programming from the last three years on Radio Archives. Also see the Web site for other options to catch the program, "Understanding the Times."
Report e-mail address changes.
Please remember us prayerfully and financially. Donate on our Web site. (Gifts are tax-deductible with receipts sent out in January.)
Olive Tree Ministries, Inc.
Box 1452
Maple Grove, MN 55311
763-493-3010 or 763-210-8291