Archive for the ‘CHILDREN AT RISK!’ Category

The First and Final Deception

Berit Kjos

By Berit Kjos
(Author of How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception)

Aleister Crowley was called “the most evil man in the world.” This founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn defined magic as “the science and art of causing change to occur at will.”1

Whose will?

Not God’s! The following occult statement describes one of the most devious traps set by the evil one since the beginning of time:

[U]nless you make yourself equal to God, you cannot understand God: for the like is not intelligible save to the like. . . . Believe that nothing is impossible for you. . . . Mount higher than the highest height; descend lower than the lowest depth. Draw into yourself all sensations of everything created, fire and water, dry and moist, imagining that you are everywhere, on earth, in the sea, in the sky.2

Remember what the serpent said to Eve in the garden after tempting her to eat the forbidden fruit:

Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5)

It was a devious lie! Instead of making her like God, her sin banished her from His presence. By “knowing . . . evil” experientially, she became an unholy creature who could no longer walk in the presence of our holy God! Satan’s lofty promise was actually a deadly trap!

Yet it supports what children are taught in schools, youth organizations, and many churches. In this fantasy world, it makes sense for opposing sides—good and evil—to join hands in perfect harmony. Like the dialectic process that “frees” group members from biblical authority and values, Satan’s devious message promotes an arrogance that matches the Old Testament description of Lucifer who said in his heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. . . . I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

If we choose “other gods” and yield to Satan’s temptations, we will surely face consequences. Ponder these warnings:

[They] walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 7:24)

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:14-15)

And as it was in the days of [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Luke 17:26)

And what was it like “in the days of Noah”?

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:5, 11)

A vivid memory that happened several years ago sticks in my mind like it was yesterday—I was walking down a sidewalk when suddenly I was standing in front of an assortment of Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Supernaturals—an exotic collection of action figures and accessories lay scattered on the ground outside a Boston apartment. Four-year-old Jimmy, their proud owner, smiled a welcome as I stopped to watch him play.

“Which do you like best?” I asked.

“Rock-N-Roll Michaelangelo,” he answered, pointing to one of the black-belted Ninja Turtles.

As we discussed Michaelangelo and the two snakes he carried as weapons, I noticed an interesting book cover.

“May I see your book?”

“Sure. It’s Nanny Noony and the Magic Spell.”

I opened it and read a few paragraphs. “It looks like Nanny Noony put a hex on the farm,” I said.

“But she didn’t really do it,” protested Jimmy. “She’s a good witch. She just makes potions to undo bad hexes.”

Jimmy’s mother, who had been listening, asked me a few questions. When she learned that I was writing about the New Age, she announced that she was a Christian. But she liked spirit-guide Seth’s messages better than the Bible.

She went inside and returned with three paperbacks. “Here’s what I believe,” she said, handing them to me. Penned by the late trance-channeler Jane Roberts, they were filled with messages from the prolific Seth, who first “spoke” to his human medium through a Ouija Board.

Soon I was sitting in her living room surrounded by New Age literature: Seth material, a magazine called Mothering, two books about Edgar Cayce’s channeled revelations, and The Aquarian Gospel of the Christ. The last of these, written like a Bible but presenting distortions of God’s truth, fills Jesus’ “missing years” with New Age “insights”—at the feet of “higher Masters” in India, Persia, and Egypt.

What messages do these and other spirit guides like Ramtha (who has about 35,000 followers), Lazaris, Carl Jung’s Philemon, and thousands of Higher Selves bring? You can be God! Just believe in your divinity, create your own reality, and build a new world of light and love.

Jimmy’s home is tragically representative of the growing number of households, including the homes of many professing Christians, who have opened their doors to counterfeit gods. While millions have studied Seth’s teachings, thousands of amateur spiritists have learned to channel their own spirit guides. The reports of terrifying encounters with evil spirits fade in the optimism of infinite possibilities.

Unfortunately, what we are experiencing today is a synthesis of the “I am God” ideology and accelerating occult activity. In fact, the two are inextricably linked together in that they have the same source—the demonic realm. Aleister Crowley, who promoted the ancient occult maxim “as above, so below” (i.e., man and creation are equal to God and the heavenly realms), also mobilized the youth of the hippie era with his own maxim, “Do what thou wilt” as being the whole of the law.

This maxim was then propagated to the mass youth of the sixties with the expression, “Do your own thing.” Today, we have a similar onslaught from Hell that is destined to be even more devastating to children and teens as they attempt to incorporate their notion of divinity within by practicing “divine powers,” all the while being caught in the web of self, pride, deceit, and occult manifestations.

You may remember December 14th, 2012 when a horrific event took place in America. A young tormented demonized man walked into an elementary school in Connecticut and shot and killed twenty children, six adults, then himself. It shocked and shook the nation. Less than twenty-four hours after the event, then President Barak Obama, and others in government, raised the gun control issue, believing that if there is enough gun control, such atrocities wouldn’t happen. Tragically, what most do not realize is that we have turned this country into an esoteric New Age society, and the “fruit” of it is rearing its ugly grotesque face more now than ever. And these violent crimes committed by young people are only going to increase, especially if most people don’t realize what the true source of such incredible violence is.

What should Christian families do? Should we hide ourselves and our loved ones from the world’s charms and ills, or should we shine our light, work while it is day, and speak the truth in love and in boldness?

Of course, even if we wanted to, we really couldn’t hide. And though we heed God’s call to pray, study His Word, love one another in Christ, and reach out to the lost, we still can’t stop today’s rapid spread of evil. Yet Christian families can make a huge difference in the lives of untold numbers of seekers, if we let God use us to spread His light in a world growing darker by the minute.

We need to show our children how to be in the world but not of the world. We can be God’s ambassadors in an increasingly corrupt land, but we cannot allow its darkness to quench His light in us. We can demonstrate God’s concern for the poor, but we can’t compromise with a counterfeit social gospel and New Age solutions.

Let us pray that He fill us with His wisdom, compassion, patience, and love. And may God bless you as you work to accomplish His will at home with your own children and grandchildren.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7)

A Rose By Any Other Name OR A Deception By Any Other Name – It’s All the Same

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

This is from a circulating email from Prairie [formerly Prairie Bible Institute or PBI in Three Hills Alberta].

It sounds so good, but I suspect it is dangerous.

S. ____

Email Our Reader Received from Prairie:

What’s NEW for our upcoming year
New Student Orientation begins tomorrow! This time of year campus is filled with a joyful buzz. As we begin the 2017/2018 school year, we have a lot to be thankful for and want to share what is new at Prairie.

LAUNCHING NEW CHRISTIAN FORMATION PROGRAM
Centered on keeping company with Jesus and being reshaped by his Spirit, students in the Christian Formation program will become more deeply rooted in the Scriptures and the process of discipleship. We will celebrate the launch of this program on September 15, 2017.

Online: http://prairie.edu/Bible-College/Christian-Formation

Comments by Lighthouse Trails:

Lighthouse Trails has researched and reported on Prairie Bible Institute a number of times over the past several years (e.g. our article: “COLLEGE ALERT: Letters to Lighthouse Trails Prove Prairie Bible Institute (Alberta) Has Gone Emergent”) And even though school leadership has, at times, insisted they were not contemplative or emergent, every time we have observed them, we have come to the same conclusion – that’s exactly what they are.

“Christian Formation” is just another term for Spiritual Formation or Spirituality. It is rooted in contemplative spirituality. In Prairie’s description for the Christian Formation program, it says students will: “Engage with Christians of the past that have thought deeply about Christian growth and formation” (emphasis added). Which Christians of the past? (Or the present?)

We can gain some insight into who PBI is turning to for spiritual guidance by looking at PBI’s current textbook list for 2017. These may or may not be books being used in PBI’s Christian Formation program, but they are books being used in the school. One thing we’ve learned over the years, when  a school is immersed in contemplative spirituality, it isn’t just in the Spiritual Formation program; rather, it is integrated throughout the school.

We would consider all of these authors as part of the emergent church and/or outside the scope of biblical Christianity.

This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems by Wendell Berry

The Transforming Friendship by James Houston and Dallas Willard

Lifesigns : Intimacy, Fecundity, and Ecstasy in Christian Perspective by Henri Nouwen

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard

The Secret : What Great Leaders Know and Do by Ken Blanchard

The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugene Peterson

Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication by Andy Stanley

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (references about a dozen times a tantric sex author)

Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

Taking Your Soul to Work (foreword by Eugene Peterson)

Being Well When We are Ill: Wholeness And Hope In Spite Of Infirmity (Living Well) by Marva Dawn

The Core Realities of Youth Ministry by Mike Yaconelli

Youth Ministry 3.0: A Manifesto of Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Where We Need to Go by Mark Oestreicher (Marko – former Youth Specialties president)

If you are not familiar with these names, you can do a search on our research site and find information.

 

 

KIDS AT RISK: Letter to the Editor: AWANA Continuing Down the Emergent Road

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

A while back I alerted you to the fact that Awana was joining forces with Josh Griffin who was the youth pastor for Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. Josh Griffin is also associated with Youth Specialties, an organization that promotes occult [contemplative] practices to youth.

Awana - Kids at Risk

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Unfortunately, Awana is continuing down the emergent road. Here are some examples:

1. On February 22, 2017, Steve Kozak, the executive director of Awana YM, (Youth Ministries) wrote a blog post encouraging youth leaders to promote Lent. Lent is very popular among those in the emerging church. Wikipedia says “The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, and self-denial.”(1) Kozak in his blog said, “Teach your students to go without, so that they can experience an overflowing of Christ.”(2) Nowhere in the Bible is the practice of Lent mentioned.

2. On April 6, 2017, Awana YM held a youth leaders round table event at Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek Community Church. Participants were Josh Griffin, Sean McDowell, Dr. Larry Acosta, Elizabeth Bjorling Prest, Steve Kozak, (Director of Awana Youth Ministries) and Ryan Guard, (Director of Student Impact at Willow Creek Community Church.)(3)

3. Awana is promoting several books that they feel youth group leaders should be reading. The following books are a compilation from two different blog posts. I am not familiar with all the authors, but I know many of these authors to be troubling.

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen [recommended by Sean McDowell]
The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George G. Hunter
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
Bloom Where You’re Planted by H.B. London
Purpose Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields with a forward by Rick Warren, published by Youth Specialties/Zondervan
Your First Two Years In Youth Ministry By Doug Fields, published by Youth Specialties/Zondervan
Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries
Sticky Faith by Kara E. Powell, (Who spoke at the Youth Specialties National Convention) and co-authored by Chap Clark
Growing Young by Kara E. Powell, Jake Mulder and Brad Griffin
Leading With a Limp by Dan Allender
St. Augustine’s City of God (St. Augustine is very popular in the Emerging Church Movement)
Christian Origins of the Question of God (4 Volumes by N.T. Wright
The Holy Wild by Mark Buchanan(4)

Sincerely, L.F.

Footnotes:
1. Lent- Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lent
2. Awana YM Lent: More Than Giving Up by Steve Kozak, February 22,2017 https://awanaym.org/blog/lent-more-than-giving-up
3. Awana YM
https://awanaym.org/events/youth-leaders-round-table-4-6-2017
4. Awana YM
(1)Books Youth Leaders Should Be Reading
April 7,2017; https://awanaym.org/blog/5-books-youth-leaders-should-be-reading

(2)Must Have Books For Every Youth Leader by Steve Kozak July 20,1017
https://awanaym.org/blog/6-must-have-books-for-every-youth-leader

Related Information:

Letter to the Editor: AWANA Now Teaching Children to Hear the Voice of God

A History of AWANA’s Contemplative Track Record and the Implications of Their New CEO

Revisting Awana’s Move Toward Contemplative – And Another Look at “Perspectives on Children’s Spiritual Formation

Is Your Child or Grandchild Heading to Christian College This Fall? – 9 Things You Should Do Before He Goes

Concept Of College EducationFall is quickly approaching, and by now, if you have a child or grandchild who is going to attend Christian college this year, he or she is most likely enrolled and ready to go. As Lighthouse Trails has reported over the last several years, the majority of evangelical/Protestant colleges, seminaries, and universities are now, to varying degrees, integrating contemplative spirituality and emerging ideologies into the lives of their students. With this in mind, you might consider doing the following nine things so that you and your child can know what to expect in that school and how to deal with it:

1. First, see if that school is on our contemplative colleges list. Sadly, this list is continually growing.

2. Ask the school for a current textbook list (you may e-mail it to Lighthouse Trails so we can analyze the list for you). Usually textbook lists will also give the authors’ names as well as titles of books.

3. Search your particular college’s website to see if it has spiritual formation programs. You can type words into college website search engines (such as this one at Moody Bible Institute) such as: Nouwen, “spiritual formation,” “lectio divina,” Shane Claiborne, “Christian formation,” etc.

4. Find out who will be speaking at student chapels.

5. Ask for a syllabus for each class your student is enrolled in.

6. After getting the textbook list, the chapel speaker list, the search engine results, and the class syllabi, refer to our Directory of Authors to see if any names from the school are in that directory.

7. Make sure your child is educated on what  contemplative prayer, spiritual formation, and emerging church really mean. They should read at least one of the following LT books: A Time of Departing, Faith Undone, Castles in the Sand. You as a parent or grandparent should read An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited as well. If you do not have one of those books on hand or if you or your child or grandchild cannot afford to buy one of them, please let us know, and we will send a copy to your child complimentary.

8. Contact the school chaplain and ask some good questions. It is often the school chaplain or campus pastor who decides who is going to be invited to speak at chapels and also is often in charge of Spiritual Formation activities outside of class.

9. Find out which church your child will be attending while in school. Many, many times, the majority of students of a particular college go to the same church, and many, many times, that church is pro-contemplative, pro-emerging.

If your child or grandchild is not yet enrolled in a college, then this list will put you  in a better position to help him or her make a decision on where to attend. If your child or grandchild is already enrolled for this fall, then this list will help you help your child be better equipped and prepared for the road ahead.

Here is our growing list of Christian schools that ARE promoting contemplative and/or emerging: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/Colleges.htm. And here is a small list we have put together of schools that are thus far NOT going in that direction: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/collegesgood.htm.

Some of our past articles on Christian colleges:

Baylor University Professors Using Meditation and Mantras to “Help” Students

Letter to the Editor: Liberty University Offering Yoga Classes . . . AGAIN!

“Christian Palestinianism” & Emergents Lynn Hybels and Jim Wallis Come to Multnomah University For “Justice” Conference

Faith Baptist Bible College & Seminary “Crossed Off” “Good” College List – Hopefully Temporarily

Letter to the Editor: Saddened by Christian & Missionary Alliance and Ambrose University Continuing Plunge into Contemplative

The “New” Emerging Theology Breeds Atheism in a Generation of Young People

In Need of a Pastor for Your Church? Try Looking at NON-Contemplative Colleges

Teresa of Avila Comes to Christian College

More articles in our Contemplative Colleges category.

Letter to the Editor: Popular Group Publishing’s Vacation Bible School Curriculums Promoting Contemplative/Emergent Ideas

LTRP Note: Group Publishing has been listed as a contemplative publisher on the LT Research site for many years. Just take a look at this 1999 article in the Group Publishing archives written by contemplative pioneer Mark Yaconelli to see an example of their early efforts. This particular article is one that is discussed in Ray Yungen’s book A Time of Departing.

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Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I have been hearing about a number churches using Group Publishing’s Vacation Bible School curriculums this year, including my own.  The four 2017 Protestant versions are:  Maker Fun Factory, Passport to Peru, Rome, and Campout.  My church will be using Campout.  Thankfully, someone at our church read through the curriculum and noticed there is no mention of sin, which is the reason why we need our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The discerning individual who noticed the omission is now rewriting some parts of the VBS curriculum in order to teach more sound theology to our church’s children.  The Campout curriculum, instead of focusing on what Jesus did on the cross as the sacrifice for man’s sin, focuses on how “Jesus’ life showed God’s love.”  I have since been researching more about Group Publishing, and I came across a few things.

Group Publishing also makes a Catholic version of its Protestant VBS curriculum(s), and apparently the company has been doing this at least since 2009, according this article:  http://baptistbulletin.org/the-baptist-bulletin-magazine/is-your-vbs-taking-a-vacation-from-the-gospel/ .  Here is a link to the Totally Catholic Maker Fun Factory (2017):  http://vbs.osv.com/totally-catholic-maker-fun-factory and Totally Catholic Shipwrecked (2018):  http://vbs.osv.com/totally-catholic-shipwrecked.

Group Publishing is also hosting two conferences this year, KidMin Children’s Ministry Conference in September and the Future of the Church Summit in October.  Two of the five speakers at KidMin are Max Lucado and Mark Batterson [The Circle Maker author], both of whom promote contemplative spirituality.  Spiritual formation, which is Roman Catholic mysticism based in eastern spiritual practices, will also be a key component of this conference.  A session on  “Spiritual Formation in Families” will be led by Luz Figueroa during the conference, and here is a description of that session:

“Spiritual formation is the process of being transformed into the image of Christ for the sake of others. What does it take for children to experience God and spiritual growth? And what implications and applications does that have on families? Just because we know it’s the responsibility of parents to be the nurturers of their children’s faith doesn’t mean they have the tools for the job. Spiritual formation is a family matter as children respond to the spiritual formation reflected by the adults who influence them. In this session, you’ll deepen your desire to grow in Christ and consent more freely to the love of God infiltrating your home and ministry context. You’ll also learn how to help children and families live in ways that are increasingly attentive to God, oneself, and others.

  • Consider your personal spiritual formation to discover a fresh approach that seeks transformation—not just education.
  • Explore the important roles of spirituality and formation in relation to the home and church.
  • Explore and understand transformative learning.
  • Experience how as we willingly open ourselves to the transformative movement of the love of God, we open ourselves to the world around us.
  • Discover spiritual practices that will help parents move from the goal of good behavior to creating a compelling faith future for their children.
  • Review 12 spiritual practices that can be implemented at church and at home.”

Click on Family Ministry to see the “Spiritual Formation in Families” session description:  https://www.group.com/category/training-and-events/conferences/kidmin-conference/sessions.do

Group Publishing is additionally organizing a Future of the Church Summit in October.  Leaders of World Vision and World Relief will be speaking among others.  Three of seven topics that will be discussed are:
–   “The Future of Disciple-Making – Explore a new paradigm for the church’s work in discipleship—moving from four-week classes to lifestyle transformation.”
–   “Surprising Paths for Growth in the Church – Discover refreshing forms of ministry that work with those who are done with church as we know it.”
–   “The Next Reformation -Some have noted that the church goes through a major transformation every 500 years. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation. So, what’s next?”
https://www.group.com/category/training-and-events/training/future-of-the-church-summit.do

Not only is Group Publishing teaching a watered down Gospel and another version of Jesus, they are also promoting Roman Catholic mysticism through conferences and leading discussions on how the church needs to adopt new paradigms, new ministries, new ways of doing things with the stated purpose of being more effective, rich, relevant, and meaningful.  Many, many churches are unknowingly using these VBS curriculums to teach their children about Jesus and the Bible, but the theology of the publishing group and the theology presented in the VBS curriculums are clearly compromised.

M.P.

‘Sesame Street’ Expresses Support for Homosexuality During ‘LGBT Pride Month’

Photo: Christian News Network

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

The popular children’s television show “Sesame Street” recently expressed its support for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered persons on its official Twitter page, generating a variety of public response.

“Sesame Street is proud to support families of all shapes, sizes, and colors,” it wrote on June 23, posting a heart next to the text. It also shared a photograph of various Sesame Street characters lined up in a manner to reflect the colors of the rainbow flag.

The post has generated over 134,000 likes as of press time, and over 56,000 retweets. Click here to continue reading.

“New Report Shows Target is Feeling the Devastating Effects of Their Transgender Bathroom Policy”

Big Stock Photo

LTRJ Note: Posted for informational and research purposes.
By Chris Enloe
The Blaze

Nearly one year ago, Americans across the country initiated a boycott over Target’s transgender bathroom policy. Now, the company reveals the boycott really hurt the company’s bottom line.

On April 19 of 2016, Target publicized their bathroom policy in a blog post. The store stated their policy was that customers were welcome to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, despite concerns over child safety. . . .

But according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Target CEO Brian Cornell says he never approved the post, only found out about it after it was published and said the ensuing backlash was “self-inflicted.” . . . Still, Cornell has said since then that he doesn’t regret the company’s bathroom policy and they will continue to “embrace our belief of diversity,” according to CNBC. Click here to continue reading.


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