Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Remembering Ray Yungen

Remembering Ray Yungen

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
research.  (pp.208-231) 

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.

Order the book, or booklet or both from:


  1. Thank you for writing this. It is so beautifully said. I only personally met him once or twice, went to one of his seminars here in Vancouver and read his book "For Many Shall Come in My Name". I didn't know him well, but one thing I recognized was his single minded determination and devotion to truth, to the Lord and the deep concern he had for the welfare of the remaining churches who were still sound in doctrine and worshiping the Christ of Scripture and not the many "counterfeits" that have developed over the years. I know life for him wasn't easy because from start to finish he was beset with numerous "set-backs", yet he lived by faith knowing that the Lord would guide him through life. Ray was truly following a "calling" and fulfilled his task as a "Christ filled Spirit working through a humble heart" seeking not his own glory in this life but seeking the glory that supersedes everything that is temporal in this world. The best way to honor him would be to read all his books and take heed.

  2. One glad morning we will all be with our brothers and sisters beholding the glory of our great God and our Lord Jesus Christ. I too share in the loss of our dear brother Ray. To be absent from the body to be present with the Lord. May his works for the glory of God continue to bear fruit to his account amen!

    Brother Rick Buffington
    Atlanta metro