From Cindy Hartline, Love for the Truth Radio:
Is My Church Acting Like A Cult? Have some seemly “Bible believing Churches” become Cults? Many people have been hurt by such churches because of their cult-like operation and attitude. The most knowledgeable person I know to discuss this topic is Christopher Lawson — Pastor, Counselor, Missionary, Researcher, Writer, and Lecturer who has spent much of his time helping people escape the clutches of spiritual deception and informing and warning them of the dangers of cults, the occult and mysticism based spirituality. Christopher Lawson is the Founder, Director and General Editor of Spiritual Research Network, a Christian outreach dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel and encouraging biblical discernment. www.spiritual-research-network.com.
Why Lent? The answer appears to be obviously simple. The spread of ecumenical yeast seems to have spread through the whole lump of Mennonite dough.—Menno-Lite
Once again the Mennonite Brethren are promoting their new ancient tradition of Lent. In the February 2015 issue of the MB Herald are two plugs. The first is an article by Norm Funk, founding pastor of Westside Church, Vancouver, B.C. (Canada). He begins with a very good question . . .
Why Lent, why Now?
There were certain traditions in my Mennonite Brethren upbringing; Lent wasn’t one of them.
So why Lent, and why now?
I’ve wrestled with this. Here’s my answer: my main motivation is birthed out of what I see as a lack of preparation and thoughtfulness connected to the Easter season.
Lent helps battle that tendency. Lent doesn’t just remind us of the cross; it prepares us for it.
Lent invites people to join Jesus on the way to the crucifixion. Fasts – one or many – assist in that process. Obviously, the joy of Good Friday comes because the tomb was empty Sunday; however, in the sacrament of communion we are called to remember Jesus’ death. . .
We also discover in this same MB Herald issue that the MB Biblical Seminary Canada has produced a devotional resource for the MB family this Lent and Easter called “Waiting for the Resurrection: A Collection of Readings for Lent and Easter”. Click here to continue reading.
Today, we received this letter to the editor:
Recently my church hosted an IF Gathering conference. I had already done research and found some disturbing facts about some of the various speakers. I wrote a letter to the leadership detailing all the information I had gathered. I thought I would pass it along for your info. NOTE: Melissa Greene, one of the IF Team – she has a very revealing message that is posted on her profile page which is linked to the IF Gathering page. In her message she references several New Age and Emergent authors including , Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Frederick Buechner and Rob Bell… Her ending comments on her message are pretty shocking. If you have someone on your staff who has the time to listen to it, I think it would be worth the time.
In connection with our recent articles on the women’s IF: Gathering (#1 and #2), the video below is a presentation by IF leader and pastor Melissa Greene. Greene is a young female version of emergent figures Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, Rob Bell, and Thomas Merton all rolled into one. Greene is pretty, charming, persuasive, says she loves Jesus, and is probably very sincere, but she is heading over a spiritual cliff. And folks, look out, she and the IF women are targeting your daughters and granddaughters, and sadly countless young women will follow them, and their spiritual lives will be turned upside down.
5 Things Not to Miss in This Video:
1. Certainty is bad; Questions (and no answers) is good.
2. The old-fashioned faith of our parents and grandparents is outdated and irrelevant.
3. References to numerous mystics and emergents
4. The “text” (the Bible) is OK, but there is so much more to be grasped.
5. In the end, everyone is saved.
“There are churches who are moving forward and there are churches who are almost regressing and making it more of a battle”—Kristen Bell (Rob Bell’s wife)
By Stand Up For the Truth
Rob Bell and his wife, Kristen, are making headlines again, this time about gay marriage and the church. Before we start, just a point to our emergent friends: When it comes to heretical teachers like Bell, we are NOT to “eat the meat and spit out the bones (advice found nowhere in Scripture), but instead we are to follow the command to mark and avoid false teachers.
(Romans 16:17-18) “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Here’s an excerpt from the show that aired Sunday, Feb. 15. reported what Bell said on Super Soul Sunday, airing on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel:
“One of the oldest aches in the bones of humanity is loneliness,” Rob Bell said. “Loneliness is not good for the world. Whoever you are, gay or straight, it is totally normal, natural and healthy to want someone to go through life with. It’s central to our humanity. We want someone to go on the journey with.”
That statement prompted a question from Oprah: “When is the church going to get that?”
“We’re moments away,” Rob Bell said. “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and co-workers and neighbors and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone.”
Said Kristen Bell: “There are churches who are moving forward and there are churches who are almost regressing and making it more of a battle.” (SOURCE)
Bell recently started a broadcast group called “The Liturgists,” and promotes “mother God” and a deep mystical New Age mediation called “apophatic prayer.” Click here to continue reading.
My Conversion to God by Harry A. Ironside (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.)
From a very early age, God began to speak to me through His Word. I doubt if I could go back to the first time when, to my recollection, I felt something of the reality of eternal things.
My father was taken from me, ere his features were impressed upon my infant mind. But I never have heard him spoken of other than as a man of God. He was known in Toronto (my birthplace) to many as “The Eternity Man.” His Bible, marked in many places, was a precious legacy to me; and from it, I learned to recite my first verse of Scripture at the age of four. I distinctly recall learning the blessed words of Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” That I was lost and that Christ Jesus came from heaven to save me were the first divine truths impressed on my young heart.
My widowed mother was, it seems to me, one of a thousand. I remember yet how I would be thrilled as she knelt with me as a child and prayed, “Father, keep my boy from ever desiring anything greater than to live for Thee. Save him early, and make him a devoted street-preacher as his father was. Make him willing to suffer for Jesus’ sake, to gladly endure persecution and rejection by the world that cast out Thy Son, and keep him from what would dishonor Thee.” The words were not always the same, but I have heard the sentiment times without number.
To our home there often came servants of Christ—plain, godly men, who seemed to me to carry with them the atmosphere of eternity. Yet in a very real sense, they were the bane of my boyhood. Their searching, “Henry, lad, are you born again yet?” or the equally impressive, “Are you certain that your soul is saved?” often brought me to a standstill; but I knew not how to reply.
California had become my home ere I was clear as to being a child of God. In Los Angeles, I first began to learn the love of the world and was impatient of restraint. Yet I had almost continual concern as to the great matter of my salvation.
I was but twelve years old when I began a Sunday-school and set up to try to help the boys and girls of the neighborhood to a knowledge of the Book I had read ten times through, but which had still left me without assurance of salvation.
To Timothy, Paul wrote, “From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). It was this latter that I lacked. I had, it seemed to me, always believed, yet I dared not say I was saved. I know now that I had always believed about Jesus. I had not really believed in Him as my personal Savior. Between the two, there is all the difference that there is between being saved and lost, between an eternity in heaven and endless ages in the lake of fire.
As I have said, I was not without considerable anxiety as to my soul; and though I longed to break into the world, and was indeed guilty of much that was vile and wicked, I ever felt a restraining hand upon me, keeping me from many things that I would otherwise have gone into; and a certain religiousness became, I suppose, characteristic. But religion is not salvation.
I was nearly fourteen years old when, upon returning one day from school, I learned that a servant of Christ from Canada, well known to me, had arrived for meetings. I knew, ere I saw him, how he would greet me; for I remembered him well and his searching questions, when I was younger. Therefore I was not surprised but embarrassed nevertheless when he exclaimed, “Well, Harry, lad, I am glad to see you. And are you born again yet?”
The blood mantled my face; I hung my head and could find no words to reply. An uncle present said, “You know, Mr. M—, he preaches himself now a bit and conducts a Sunday-school!”
“Indeed!” was the answer. “Will you get your Bible, Harry?”
I was glad to get out of the room and so went at once for my Bible and returned after remaining out as long as seemed decent, hoping thereby to recover myself. Upon my reentering the room, he said kindly, but seriously, “Will you turn to Romans 3:19 and read it aloud?”
Slowly I read, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” I felt the application and was at a loss for words. The evangelist went on to tell me that he too had been once a religious sinner till God stopped his mouth and then gave him a sight of Christ. He pressed on me the importance of getting to the same place before I tried to teach others.
The words had their effect. From that time till I was sure I was saved, I refrained from talking of these things, and I gave up my Sunday-school work. But now Satan, who was seeking my soul’s destruction, suggested to me, “If lost and unfit to speak of religious things to others, why not enjoy all the world has to offer, so far as you are able to avail yourself of it?”
I listened only too eagerly to his words, and for the next six months or thereabouts no one was more anxious for folly than I, though always with a smarting conscience.
At last, on a Thursday evening in February 1890, God spoke to me in tremendous power while out at a party with a lot of other young people, mostly older than myself, intent only on an evening’s amusement. I remember now that I had withdrawn from the parlor for a few moments to obtain a cooling drink in the next room. Standing alone by a refreshment table, there came home to my inmost soul, in startling clearness, some verses of Scripture I had learned months before. They are found in the first chapter of Proverbs, beginning with verse 24 and going on to verse 32. Here wisdom is represented as laughing at the calamity of the one who refused to heed instruction, and mocking when his fear cometh. Every word seemed to burn its way into my heart. I saw as never before my dreadful guilt in having so long refused to trust Christ for myself and in having preferred my own willful way to that of Him who had died for me.
I went back to the parlor and tried to join with the rest in their empty follies. But all seemed utterly hollow, and the tinsel was gone. The light of eternity was shining into the room, and I wondered how any could laugh with God’s judgment hanging over us like a Damocles’ sword suspended by a hair. We seemed like people sporting with closed eyes on the edge of a precipice, and I the most careless of all, till grace had made me see.
That night, when all was over, I hurried home and crept upstairs to my room. There, after lighting a lamp, I took my Bible, and with it before me, fell upon my knees.
I had an undefined feeling that I had better pray. But the thought came, “What shall I pray for?” Clearly and distinctly came back the answer, “For what God has been offering me for years. Why not then receive it, and thank Him?”
My dear mother had often said, “The place to begin with God is at Romans 3 or John 3.” To both these Scriptures, I turned and read them carefully. Clearly, I saw I was a helpless sinner, but that for me Christ had died and that salvation was offered freely to all who trusted in Him. Reading John 3:16 the second time, I said, “That will do. “O God, I thank Thee that Thou hast loved me, and given Thy Son for me. I trust Him now as my Savior, and I rest on Thy Word, which tells me I have everlasting life.”
Then I expected to feel a thrill of joy. It did not come. I wondered if I could be mistaken. I expected a sudden rush of love for Christ. It did not come either. I feared I could not be really saved with so little emotion.
I read the words again. There could be no mistake. God loved the world of which I formed a part. God gave His Son to save all believers. I believed in Him as my Savior. Therefore, I must have everlasting life. Again, I thanked Him and rose from my knees to begin the walk of faith. God could not lie. I knew I must be saved.
From Holiness, the False and the True by H. A. Ironside (originally published in 1912; now in the public domain).
On February 20th, 2015, Tamara Hartzell passed away. Tamara is best known for her two exhaustive volumes: In the Name of Purpose (2006), which exposes the false teachings of the Purpose Driven movement and “Reimagining” God: Turning the Light off to Look for “Truth” in the Corner of a Dark Round Room) (2012), which is an expose on the emerging church and the “new” spirituality that has entered the church.
In addition to Tamara’s two well-documented books, she was also a behind-the-scenes researcher for a number of discernment authors. Her sacrifice and efforts were invaluable to the cause of defending the biblical faith. On her website, she describes herself as “an earthen vessel trying to redeem the time, because the days are evil.” Tamara never wanted any recognition for herself, and she remained resolute in her commitment to the Lord’s work. That work (and the stress and hardship that comes with this type of ministry) took a toll on her health as she had been battling MS and other health problems for a number of years, but this did not deter her from standing for the truth. An epitaph for Tamara could accurately read, “She loved the Truth.”
Tamara was a former nurse and a graduate of California State University. She leaves behind her husband Calvin, a daughter, a grandson, and her mother, all of whom will miss her dearly. In addition, there will be a gap in church discernment without the vigorous and dedicated work of this beloved sister in the Lord. Tamara was 51.
While preparing this notice of Tamara’s departure, a close friend of Tamara’s gave us the following letter that Tamara had written this past December, knowing her time on this earth was short. She requested a copy be given out to those who knew her. With permission from her family, we share this with our readers now, as many of you have been blessed by Tamara Hartzell’s work over the past ten or more years.
Tamara’s farewell letter—12/10/14
To all of my loved ones:
Calvin knows that I do not want a memorial service. They do not tend to be much, if at all, about Jesus anymore, but rather a “celebration” of the person’s own life. In no way would that make me happy.
Jesus is my life, and Jesus is my celebration! And I want as many people as possible to know Jesus and to know His life. People can be told about my love for Jesus and that His victorious salvation has brought me into His loving Presence in Heaven, to be with Him for all eternity.
I so can’t wait to see my beloved Jesus!! What a glorious day that will be! A day to celebrate!!
My precious Lord and Saviour is everything to me. He is my All in All. I so want everyone to know Him and His love! I pray that those who aren’t saved will soften their hearts and get saved before it’s too late. I pray that they come to know how much He loves them!
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” And the woman answered, “Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (John 11:25-27). God’s Word also tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved;” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9,13).
I love you all very much, and I thank God for you. I look forward to seeing you again in a victorious and glorious celebration of eternal life with God Himself! Thank you Jesus for your wonderful gift of salvation!! And thank you God for your wonderful gift of my beloved husband, Calvin! I love you Calvin, so much!! When Jesus comes to take me home, I will look forward to seeing you again most of all.
May our loving God bless and protect all of you every day of your lives and bring you safely home.
I love you!!
Some Articles by Tamara:
Letter to the Editor: Warning to Parents—Cartoon Network, Lego Movies etc. Introduce Children to the Occult
To Lighthouse Trails:
I would like to thank you for the books you have released that have assisted me in learning about the New Age and other groups that have been influencing many churches and seminaries. I have purchased hard copies and kindle additions alike. One of the things I have noticed is the rise in eastern mysticism in children’s programming. Legend of Korra, Lego themed shows Chima and Ninjago are a few to mention.
It hits particularly home for me as my children were introduced through the Cartoon Network at their grandparents home. I have researched further and found a book called LEGO Studies: Examining the Building Blocks of a Transmedial Phenomenon. In the book, it speaks about the use of the elements in Ninjago (Earth, Fire, Water, Lightning) and the pagan concepts that run throughout it. Interestingly enough, in the endnote section at the end of the book, there is a book called The Nature of Shamanism: Substance and function of a religious metaphor. I looked it up on Amazon, and the contents basically link a lot of the things I have been reading about it in the books by Ray Yungen in terms of interspirituality. They are using these things and obviously with the way boys play (Parallel play), you can see how these products have taken off.
In the future, would you please include these items, as they are continuing to produce more and more of these types of shows and toys.
Thanks for what you do, and may the Lord continue to bless the work of your hands .
Grace & Peace,
Jason (a West Coast Pastor)
P.S. Here is a another Cartoon Network character Raven from Teen Titans Go, introducing Children to Meditation. I will include wiki link, quite a bit more detail, very detailed occultism and eastern mysticism being introduced to very young ones. http://teentitans.wikia.com/wiki/Raven
Thank you for caring, for the next generation as we strive to present them before the Lord.