FROM A SISTER RESEARCHER - A TRIBUTE TO MY "BROTHER" RAY YUNGEN
BY LANETTE IRWIN
I first met Ray through mutual friends in Salem, OR, at a dinner in 1984. My husband and I were attending a conference with Dave Hunt and Constance Cumbey on the New Age movement. Ray, like us, were perplexed and flabbergasted learning about the New Age tactics of the anti-Christ. The false church being built seductively under our nose. A friendship was formed as we were all on the same page.
My husband and I moved to Calif in 1985, and from then on, Ray would travel down for his research a few times during each year. We attended the whole life expos (a New Age conference of several organizations, New Age leaders culminating together for a one-world movement). These conferences lasted from Thursday afternoon till Sunday. We collected hundreds of pamphlets as well as many books. Ray would stay till closing, interviewing New Agers wondering what made them tick and how they got hooked. And he was witnessing to them. I would sometimes come up the halls to see who he was talking to - sometimes a monk a or some of the more famous authors of New Age books. I did my thing - he did his.
Often, at these conferences and events, they would last until eleven at night. When we got home, we would pull out all the info and read it, talk about it, and compare notes. The copier came out and we copied what we could. We began to form packages - a hundred or more to send to pastors, friends, and leaders we had met exposing the New Age.
But Ray said he wanted to do something on a bigger scale, and he wanted to get the message out there. He said "I want to write I want to speak and expose." He asked how do I start? I said with prayer, Ray, and more prayer.
I got to know his sweet mom. Ray had very godly parents. We would talk, and one day she asked, "What in the world is he doing with all this stuff - there must be thousands of pamphlets, newspapers, and books. He reads relentlessly?”
I answered her, "I think the Lord is going to use all that someday. He wants to be a writer and speaker to expose the New Age and become as knowledgeable as he can."
His parents were as precious as Ray. I never had a brother, but I always wanted one, Ray was a best male friend and brother. In some ways, we were so alike, that he could have been my blood brother.
Ray would call me from bookstores sometimes. He would be excited and share about a book or someone he had witnessed to, asking for prayer. He was always on the lookout for opportunities to serve the Lord. He was devoted to the Lord and believed in destroying Satan's kingdom one person at a time.
Ray enjoyed his ministry. He said it felt like a hobby at times. There were times I invited my fellowship group over for dinners. Ray acted like they were dear friends. Ray did not care if it was a guy on a corner alone or a flock of congregates, he always made time to share. Everyone was important to him. It showed by his listening and time he spent with them.
Ray also had a way of sharing and exposing false prophets in a gentle manner and a kind demeanor. Sometimes, you get to know someone so well like your family members and there are so many things you can find that may not be right. Ray was not that person. He was godly, focused on Christ, not puffed up ever, never bragged, never acted superior.
A basic man alone that loved to the very end and a dear brother I will miss and my family will miss. My loss is felt very deeply. The Lord spared him from this world, for that I say "Praise be to the Lord."
Thank you, Jesus, that I had him for a brother and a friend and the wealth of information we shared. That information will live on to expose the darkness bringing light to the world.
Your sister and friend,
In Heaven until we will meet again
Ray Yungen and an Assemblies of God Pastor
I don’t remember the exact date, but sometime in early 2011, we were watching “Frances and Friends” on TV over the Son Life Broadcasting network. We weren’t fans of the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries and taking the time to watch one of their programs was not something that was planned on our part. But, God had a plan. Anyhow, as we tuned in to that program, the guest speaker being interviewed by Frances Swaggart over the telephone was Warren Smith. We had never heard of this man but what caught our attention was his comments about Rick Warren and the “Purpose Drive Church” ministry model. In as much as we are Assemblies of God pastors, and, at that time, avid disciples or Rick Warren, I stopped to listen to what Warren was saying about Rick Warren. Rick Warren was (and still is) promoted heavily by the Assemblies of God as the “new” ministry model to follow. But what Warren had to say about the Purpose Driven Church and the Purpose Drive Life stopped me dead in my tracks. When that program was over, my wife and I sat there stunned. We had been following Rick Warren’s ministry for approximately 13 years and never had any inclination that it was NOT what we should be doing in our pastorate.
I sent an e-mail to Warren Smith that day (or the next) telling him how very much we had appreciated his courage and his willingness to come on national TV and denounce the Purpose Driven Church model. What we learned that day through Warren was shocking, but we felt the peace of God as to what we were learning. In that e-mail I mentioned to Warren that we were now re-examining our promoting the PDC model. Bro. Warren called me on the phone the day after he received my e-mail which was quite a shock to me that he would take the time to do that. But Warren asked me if I would permit him to put me in contact with a man he considered a mentor and who lived in Salem, Oregon which is about 3 hours away. He said that his name was Ray Yungen. I said that would be fine, and he gave me Ray’s phone number.
Still reeling from what I had just learned from Warren about Rick Warren, I decided not to call Ray. But not making that phone call to Ray right away kept nagging at me. I truly believe that this “nagging feeling” was actually the Holy Spirit exhorting me to call him. So, after about two weeks of putting it off, I relented and called Ray. When Ray answered his phone and I told him my name, he said immediately, “Well, it’s about time. I didn’t think you were going to call.” After a few moments of talking to Ray, he asked if he could come to our town and visit with me and share some information that he believed would be very helpful to our ministry as Pastors.
Well, Ray arrived and he, my wife and myself sat down and Ray began to talk about such things as contemplative spirituality, the New Age movement in the church, soaking prayer, centering prayer, and all manner of related things that were taking place in the church world and being endorsed by noted leaders in Christianity. These were things that we had never heard about from anyone at anytime. After listening to Ray for 5 ½ hours, my wife and I looked at each other with stunned amazement at what this man had just told us. He talked to us quietly and supported his claims thoroughly. I looked at Ray and said, “Ray, listening to everything you just said is a little bit like trying to get a drink of water out of fire hydrant.” Following that conversation, we walked back to my church office with Ray still talking and when he walked into my office, he immediately perused by library. He asked my permission to take a closer look, and he began to pull out select books that I had. One by one, Ray pointed out individuals who were involved in what he had just discussed with my wife and I. People like, Tony Campolo, Richard Foster, Leonard Sweet, Joyce Meyer, and, of course, Rick Warren and others.
One item Ray spent some time looking at was something called “We Build People” which was a “discipleship” program put together by the General Council of the Assemblies of God under the direction of Rick Warren and his staff from Saddleback. The AG had asked Mr. Warren to come back to the Springfield, MO offices and help them develop this program but with a Pentecostal slant. The end result was “We Build People.” Ray pointed out that this program was endorsed by people like Richard Foster, et al.
With all of the above being said, my wife and I know that the Lord used Warren Smith to put us in contact with this wonderfully quiet, gentle and godly man by the name of Ray Yungen who was guided by the Holy Spirit to completely and radically alter the path of our ministry and begin to preach Christ and Him crucified. Over the few years that we have known Ray, we have been continually fed through his research and his writings which have been a continual source of comfort and enlightenment.
If anyone asks me if I could name two people who have impacted life and ministry in a dramatic way, there is no doubt as to who those two would be – Ray Yungen and Warren Smith. Thank the Lord for their faithfulness.
Our hearts are deeply saddened with the passing of Ray, and we will be forever grateful for his ministry which, in our case, was life changing. Our ministry will never be the same. We look forward to the day when we will see him once again and rejoice with Him in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In His Service,
Larry and Carol
Ray Yungen, Lighthouse Trails special author and supporter, died October 16, 2016 much to the sadness of his many Lighthouse Trails friends, and readers. And although I never met Ray, his writings and warnings impacted my life many times over!
Here are a few of the things I remember from his book: A Time of Departing.
I remember reading that book, now well-marked, and well-worn, while trying to wrap my mind round all of its new ideas, and new names I was encountering.
I remember beginning to understand the scope of the New Age, and the Emergent Church and how it had impacted so many churches and denominations. I began to be able to use this new found information to "red flag" words, teachings, and persons that Ray had written about.
I remember Ray's use of key scripture at every turn (highlighted in small gray boxes) to substantiate his findings.
I remember Ray's writing style as never nasty nor mean, but sincere and truthful pleading with the reader to be aware of the movements that had crept into the churches.
I remember wanting to share the book with others touting its chapters, glossary of terms, list of
questions, list of past Christian mystics, endnotes, and index.
I remember being amazed at the degree of, and depth of Ray's documentation with his twenty-four end note pages. Truly Ray's work was never just hear say or conjecture, but based on solid
I remember Ray's amazing ability to cite succinct quotations that he reiterated over and over that stuck in a person's mind. One Nouwen quote oft repeated by Ray was: "Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God." (p.62)
I remember how often I have used Ray's index to find some particular person, or term. Just a perusal
of this index highlights exactly what Ray covered in this book.
I remember Ray writing (and telling) many times that he loved to scout out bookstores, and would often count the shelves filled with New Age spirituality as opposed to those labeled Christian. Yes, thanks to Ray we, his readers, were the grateful recipients of the results of his endless research. (p.13)
I remember Ray naming the Baptist Sunday School Teacher Sue Monk Kidd and her decent into paganism through a Thomas Merton book. This made us want to read the Monk Kidd books too. Not long after we met someone enamored by Kidd, and were able to share why this was a problem. Now this was but one name, and work among dozens that Ray opened our eyes to.
I remember all the references devoted to Reiki in Ray's book. Strange, I said to my husband, Ray was the one who wrote about Reiki (pronounced ray-key). And so we were ready when in our home group we met someone who had studied Reiki, and others familiar with it. (pp.94-98)
I remember discovering that on page 132 (pinched at the corner now) that Ray quoted the late Dr. Paul Bubna, President of the Christian and Missionary positively. This made me curious if there
was a CMA church in Salem, Oregon. Yes, there was. Once found I noted, much to my dismay, its pastor then was reading Thomas Merton. Immediately I recognized this church leaned emergent. Later on, I also found that Ray had heard well-known contemplative Richard Foster speak there. (pp.72-82)
Soon, while researching that Salem pastor, I came to CMA Nyack College site that noted a professor had just written a book on contemplative prayer. From there much came to light about the CMA denomination, college, and seminary and its descent into contemplative spirituality. Besides, it led to a personal meeting with the CMA President Dr. John Stumbo who took over for the Salem Oregon CMA pastor before becoming president of the denomination. And all of this began with a sentence about the CMA in Ray's book, and the Lord's amazing direction!
My most recent remembrance of Ray was shared with our small house group gathered round listening to Ray answer questions along with Warren Smith, and Gaylean Goodroad at the late August 2016 Berean Call Conference with Tom McMahon. Little did we know how very sick he soon would become. How much we will miss him!
Most assuredly we'll remember Ray's diligence to point out to the body of Christ how late is the hour, and how far many have departed from the faith. Most certainly we'll remember Ray as a masterful Berean, and a faithful teacher of the Word. Lastly, we'll remember how this humble man, now absent from the body but forever with the Lord, impacted so many lives with not only last day warnings but the gospel.
As Ray wrote in his "Special Note from Ray" at the end of A Time of Departing, "If you have never found the peace of knowing Christ I urge you to read the first five chapters of the book of Romans and allow the Holy Spirit to draw you to what is being said and offered. The only prerequisite is to recognize your inability as a sinner to save yourself. Then, in simple faith, tell God you are now trusting Christ, and Him alone, to be your Lord and Savior." (p. 201)
Learn to Discern Granny Verse: Ray's Key Verse I Timothy 4:1
"Now, the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart, from the faith, giving heed to
deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."
A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen:
Reader, if you've never read any of Ray's books may I suggest you begin with A Time of Departing, and share it with all you can. For it is truly a "classic" in apologetic writing!
The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails by Deborah Dombrowski and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails:
May I recommend, too, this most interesting booklet of how Lighthouse Trails began, and how Ray played a pivotal role in its founding.
Learn to Discern Blog
RAY: A RETROSPECTIVE
by Joli D.
It’s a miracle you remained with us for as long as you did . . .
Despite the enemy who kept your body afflicted.
And many a life would not have been the same . . .
Had you not, as a Y(o)ungen, lived up to your name . . .
Forever young in spirit, just like you were as a kid & so given to kidding
And tirelessly sold out to doing the Father’s bidding.
No one researched the New Age as voraciously as you . . .
Or had a hunger & thirst for spiritual knowledge . . .
That kept permeating through & through on the level you had to imbue.
And no one with your level of knowledge . . .
Had the humility you possessed.
Or such a strong desire to not just preach to the choir . . .
All who knew you were the wiser for it & blessed.
All those who were SO dismissive of you . . .
Had NO CLUE as to what they were missing when dissing.
Father forgive them, they know not what they do!
My teenage daughter cried the day she learned you had died
She said you were the best male friend I ever had . . .
She said you were like the next best thing to a dad.
You were the genuine article & the real deal . . .
And you came by it honestly in your self-educated zeal.
For those with degrees are overrated at best . . .
Spoonfed only what those running the show would have them know . . .
As those in control leave out all the rest.
It’s happened time & again that those below average graduate from college . . .
With nothing higher than a C- to D- average!
Whether it be on a sports scholarship . . .
Or a parent pulling all the right strings kind of trip.
But well-read man that you were, you were a virtual cornucopia of info . . .
And well-read chap that you were, you were even more in the know . . .
Than they who would liken themselves superior to you . . .
You eclipsed them on all counts both in your ways & by what you knew . . .
You were a true “empath” & a modern day Encyclopedia Brown . . .
And in a manner most self-evident to anyone who stuck around.
For there are those who are “ever learning” . . .
Yet never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
And there are those who think they know . . .
But don’t know as they ought to know in the things they say & doeth
For they forget that LOVE is the highest law . . .
Of which there is no law against . . .
The law some refer to as . . . “Juris Naturalis.”
They forsake the law of love . . .
When they set themselves above one such as you.
Chances are, they will continue to forsake the law of love in all they say & do
And yet, may the memory of you always serve as a reminder . . .
A measuring rod by which they should be measuring themselves by . . .
Lest their eyes grow blinder.
You too Ray deserved to know, more than anyone . . .
What it was like to love & be loved in return.
And yet those who put on airs treated you like a byword . . .
Despite the passion in you for truth that forever burned . . .
And despite the integrity in your innermost parts . . .
And despite the fact that you were ALL heart!
Had you found the love of a woman . . .
I’d have been the first to say . . .
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!”
Yet so many would rather exchange the truth for a lie.
And yet Proverbs so aptly states:
Men of low degree are a lie
Men of high degree are a vapor
And if you weight them together in the balance
They are altogether lighter than a vapor!
Even the highest wisdom of man . . .
Is mere foolishness to God.
So I would rather YOU be THE ONE I tip my hat to & nod.
All the others, I fear, can take a long walk off a short pier . . .
For they will never know as they ought to know . . .
So that those who are far off might become near
I can only hope those who would aspire to follow in your place . . .
Will do whatever it takes, to ensure your memory & findings are never erased
When will society finally come to see . . . the true value of one such as you?
When will society no longer dismiss & defer . . .
Those like you who march to the sound of their own drummer?
Steering clear of the mentality of the herd?
It was once said . . .
It takes EVERY KIND of people to make what life’s about . . .
And yet, so many, when tested on this, get demerit points, no doubt
It was also said . . .
It takes different strokes to rule the world . . .
And yet, so many, when tested on this, make my brow furrow.
They left a bad taste in your mouth, as they always have in mine
But despite all your quirks & funny ways . . .
You were the epitome of all that is good, decent & fine!
In looking back through all your photos of your younger days . . .
You reminded me of the quintessential beatnik . . .
Who should have, one fine day, had his way & had his day!
You deserved more than anyone, while on Earth . . .
To have your day in the sun, for all it was worth.
You deserved to have a longing fulfilled be sweet to the soul . . .
Versus hope deferred which makes the heart sick & in need.
You deserved, my friend to finally know . . .
What it was to be whole & socially well-received.
And to have the mark you left on others both take & stick . . .
You were a brilliant researcher & a loyal friend indeed!
Unlike most, who are no more than a fairweather means to an end . . .
It’s been said:
“A walk through the ocean of most souls, is barely enough to get your feet wet”
But you had the kind of soul that longed for community . . .
Yet you never got to see this dynamic come to be . . .
And had to endure to the end with that need left unmet.
But you were one-of-a-kind & as the British say, “Not your every day . . . ”
And those who took the time to actually get to know you . . .
Would have recognized that too, had they not pushed you away.
Ray, you will be sorely missed & it deeply upsets me in far too many ways to list.
You deteriorated far too quickly after being diagnosed . . .
Yet you were one of the ones who mattered most!
May you finally be granted that sense of community in heaven . . .
You always were denied, yet longed to experience firsthand on Earth.
May your immortal body, at long last be, young & healthy again . . .
As it was on the day of your birth.
May you once again be like a calf leaping from its stall . . .
And may the place God prepared for you have books wall-to-wall.
For your health was something the enemy robbed you of all too early in life . . .
And the enemy also worked overtime to deprive you a wife.
But it is my hope the love hungry void in you has now been totally filled . . .
And that all which beset you on Earth has been rendered void & nil.
For your unceasing dedication to your calling alone . . .
Made you more “worthy” of love than any man I’ve ever known.
May hindsight then forever be 20/20 . . .
That those who never took the time to REALLY get to know you . . .
Missed out on a very good thing, a Good & Plenty!
What a compassionate man of God Ray was. There are so many character traits about Ray that I admired but his heart for the lost and those being deceived was apparent in every conversation I was blessed to have with him. He shed tears over the deception.
I had the immense privilege of knowing Ray personally and conversations would always reveal his knowledge of and passion for the Scriptures. He backed everything he had to share about yoga, contemplative prayer, etc. with the word of God, but he was so burdened by the way God's Word was being misused by so many in the church to further misguide the unsuspecting.
He had much to share and I will cherish everything I learned from this great man of God. I believe my family and I, in part, owe our eternity to him . . . I am certain of that. God orchestrated the events in my life that led me to get his book in my hands because we, in fact, were attending the church he referred to in his book, A Time of Departing. We left that church as I began to see many of the practices and phrases he referred to in his book becoming more and more prevalent in that church.
About 4 years ago, I was able to contact Ray and since then, we have been so blessed by the many opportunities we have had to have him in our home for meals or other opportunities just to chat about the things he was most passionate about. He was a dear friend.
During my last visit with Ray in the hospital, he shared with me his strong belief that the level of which Reiki, in particular, had saturated our society (as we reflected on his encounter with a woman who offered to do Reiki on him while there in the hospital,) he stated, "this has to be the end of the age." During another conversation earlier in the week, he shared some insight from the Scriptures I had never caught before, but he talked about the golden calf that the Israelites formed and worshiped while Moses was up on the mountain. Aaron, in particular, argued that they were justified in their actions since they were worshipping God in this way. I was so struck by this insight and looked into the Scriptures further myself.
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.”
I realize how many conversations I have had with people that reveal this mindset when they justify doing yoga for example. They choose to repeat Christian phrases, etc. to quiet their mind and "worship God" in exchange for the mantras they may be instructed to say by the instructors. They truly believe they can worship God while participating in yoga. Seems the Israelites sincerity wasn't enough for God, neither was Cain's sacrifice. He was not pleased then and we can be certain by the Scriptures that He is not now.
And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen these people, and behold, hit is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore ilet me alone, thatjmy wrath may burn hot against them and kI may consume them, in order that lI may make a great nation of you.”
Thank you, Ray, for that revelation.
I will miss Ray very much, his popping by our home to chat, and his sharing with me his latest findings. He was passionate and enthusiastic and had a very sweet sense of humor that I so appreciated. I will miss the robust laughter that followed some witty remark he would make.
His written words remain and I pray that his passing will generate a new enthusiasm for the subscribers to Lighthouse Trails to get his book and the Lighthouse Trails website into the hands of all those who may be willing to be open to the Truth.
While Ray is dearly missed by all of us who were touched by his ministry, we can be confident in the hope we have that Ray is enjoying the countless treasures he has laid up for himself in Heaven. I am certain of that because he did not seek compensation for his speaking engagements. I have to assume it was because he didn't want that to stand in the way of sharing his research and findings with anyone who would listen. As a result, he lived so very simply and humbly while here on earth. We know he lives in a mansion now! His ministry has brought many, many to the saving knowledge of the Lord.
Thank you, Dave and Deborah, for being open to the truth when Ray met with you 16 years ago because, from that meeting, Lighthouse Trails Publishing was born and his manuscript, your first book.