Archive for the ‘CHILDREN AT RISK!’ Category
WorldNetDaily: “Obama Administration Enables ‘Boy Play'” – Child Molestation Overlooked by U.S. Government
By Matt Barber
God help us. Here’s what America’s newly homosexualized, “values neutral” military looks like.
Last week, in a strange fit of actual news reporting, the New York Times published an exposé revealing that, under this Obama administration, the Department of Defense is not only permitting the homosexual abuse of little boys at the hands of Muslim allies in Afghanistan, but is effectively facilitating it. A handful of U.S. servicemen have had enough and are courageously blowing the whistle on this unimaginably evil policy. Naturally, they’re being punished and drummed out of the service for doing so.
“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father, Gregory Buckley Sr., who recounted his conversation with the Times. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture,” Buckley added.
Isn’t multiculturalism peachy? Click here to continue reading.
Seducers Among Our Children by Investigative Sergeant Patrick Crough
A Commentary On The Acceptance Of Evil… by Bill Randles
Letter to the Editor From a Former Young Life Leader: Watered-Down Gospel, Contemplative Authors, & Emergent Leanings
In 2012, Lighthouse Trails posted an article titled “Young Life’s History of Embracing Contemplative Authors Continues,” showing that the Christian youth organization, Young Life, was introducing Young Life leaders and kids to contemplative/emergent authors and speakers. The article we wrote talked about a meeting we had in 2002 with the Young Life director of training in Oregon, hoping to persuade him of the dangers of the contemplative prayer movement and hoping he would pass along the information to the leaders at the Young Life headquarters in Colorado, which he promised to do. As you can see in our 2012 article, as well as the letter below written by a former Young Life leader, Young Life has not discontinued its promotion of contemplative/emerging. The letter below is just one leader’s experience, but we believe it contains valuable insight into how an organization, which started with a sincere desire to help young people, can get off track by minimizing its focus on the Gospel and the Word of God in order to “reach kids.” As we have so often said, so many leaders in the church have set aside the true lasting power of the Gospel for limited powerless substitutes.
Dear Editors of Lighthouse Trails:
I have benefited greatly from the research on your website, helping me to understand the origins of false gospel movements in the Christian community.
It has been nearly five years since I resigned from working for a popular, global youth ministry. Because of its popularity, it has been difficult for me to discuss my experience and found few who want to hear the reality. I want to share my story in hope of helping someone else who might be struggling, as I did.
My husband and I discovered Young Life in our late twenties when we moved to a smaller town. After going through the “40 Days of Purpose” book with our church, we were determined to find a place of service where our gifts could be used for God. I had a college degree in public health with an emphasis in adolescence and had worked in several youth organizations to prevent kids from using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. I sincerely thought that as a Christian, if I were serious about helping kids, with Jesus as the only real solution instead of a band-aid fix from a state program, then I should go all-in. I would forsake my public health career to serve the Lord in ministry.
My husband jumped in to volunteer as a leader, and I took a part-time job as an office administrator for the local Young Life chapter. We quickly became absorbed into the culture of this ministry of warm and generous Christians.
“Incarnational Evangelism” is the term I began reading and learning about as I immersed myself into the culture. It’s difficult to describe the fast-paced, messy, impulsive, do-whatever-it-takes-to-love-kids by serving them to Christ environment I dove into. Every week at club, we would try to lure the kids with a media-rich, party atmosphere and then a short gospel message, attempting to convince them that Jesus was what they needed. There was also great pressure to get them to camp at the end of the year because surely their eyes would be opened if we prayed hard enough and loved hard enough too. There at camp, away from hometown distractions, they would hear the gospel a little every night followed up by a cabin discussion. Through our example of loving them, the hope was that the Holy Spirit would work on hearts, and they would see Christ and realize He is “better than beer” and would fulfill them, giving them an abundant life. And, if they rejected the gospel, that was okay, because we would love them anyway. We did not realize we had created in our selves a kind of pseudo-martyr philosophy.
It wasn’t long into my time there before I thought I would make this my career. I eventually moved up from office administrator and volunteer leader to part-time, career, middle-school program director. I remember adopting this different perspective of serving Christ and sharing the gospel without ever having to talk about hell, God’s judgement, or that no one is righteous by his own works. Despite Young Life’s Statement of Faith in which I agreed and signed onto, it was the philosophy of incarnational evangelism and its focus on love and grace that became more dominant (largely due to the books and spiritual formation training I was given). I actually started to believe that I could reject the notion I had from reading the Bible, that I’d really have to suffer rejection like Jesus did in order to share the gospel. I remember thinking, this mighty, positive, well-funded, popular, contagiously exciting and loving community of people, adventure, and rewards, would be my new avenue to a lifetime of serving God! This was a pseudo-servant attitude of sacrifice that I was developing; later it would come crashing down.
In my town, Young Life had a very positive image with many leaders in the community who personally supported it monthly. The director of the program was hard working, charismatic, and seemed to know everyone and was liked by everyone. Later, I realized what a conflict of interest this was as the pressure to maintain your program funding sources required you to cultivate a sterling image in the community. This came at the cost of sharing the true gospel, which proclaims that we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy and salvation found in the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. Rejecting that puts you in violation of the Law and under eternal judgment. The social pressure to draw wealthy supporters causes directors to keep the message warm and fuzzy but frighteningly devoid of the truth and meat of the gospel. Our focus was off-center from the truth of the whole gospel. Instead, the focus became serving our community by reaching out to lost kids and helping them get through this difficult time in their life by loving them and spending time with them. I became another program builder, promoter, fundraiser, and half-truth teller in a branded YL shirt with a smiley face.
Frantically running from one activity to the next, all the while praying and wanting people to come to Christ but with very little lasting fruit, I became disturbed. In the schools, I would do what is known as “contact work.” I spent time volunteering in various ways, often as mundane as crowd control at lunch time, for example. This would permit you to visit with students, making contact so that eventually the kids would see you as a friendly face. Then, in time and through word of mouth, kids would come to club where a snippet of the gospel was mingled with exhilarating games, crazy stunts or skits so that kids were entertained and able to listen to you tell the most important part of why we get together: Jesus.
We bent over backward to serve kids to Christ. Feeding, entertaining, listening, and driving them to and fro, leading them by fun experiences and hopefully meaningful conversations that would discuss Christ, but honestly it didn’t come up as often as I would like. Often, kids learned that they could just smile and tell us what we wanted to hear in order to get what they wanted or needed that day. Some would want to meet and study the Bible, but the truths from Scripture just never seemed to take effect in their lives. I’ll never forget one encounter with some girls who were regular attenders and classic examples of shallow soil. They told me they knew that every question asked in small group discussion could be easily answered. All you had to say was either, “Pray more, or read the bible more.”
Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely loved and prayed for the kids I ministered to, but I was so ineffective at leading them to Christ, I felt like a poser. I wanted them to know the Lord like I did, but I was cut off from sharing the gospel or talking about it at school where I was spending my time. Kids would ask me, “Why are you here?” I couldn’t tell them it was to share Jesus because I would get thrown out of that public school because the understanding we had made with the administrators was, that we were there to assist them and be a positive adult role models, not evangelizing kids in the hallways. As a program leader, I walked a fine line not wanting to upset relationships in the community that took a long time to build. I just had to say, “It’s because I care about kids, and that’s why I’m here.” Kids who had been to camp before with me would say, “This is the lady that took me to camp.” I became just a gateway to a cool summer camp that was like a resort for exclusive young people who got into the “club.” Not just anyone can go to a Young Life camp, you have to come with a leader from a Young Life area group.
The founder of Young Life, Jim Rayburn, taught that if you can “win the right to be heard” in a kid’s life, then they will automatically want to hear the gospel and likely want Christ to change their life too. In addition, if you are as compelling in Christ, like Jim Rayburn was purported to be, then flocks of kids will come to hear the gospel. He taught that when they know that you care, they’ll listen to whatever you have to say because that’s all that a kid these days is looking for.
This was the illusion of what has become modern youth ministry. It was productive in activities, busyness, and massive effort while producing metric data of campers and club attendees. You show this to your donor list of business leaders, and they are proud to support it. But on the other side of the same coin, it was absolutely fruitless in converting hearts to Christ and saving lives from a slavery of sin. So afraid of losing our hip, entertaining youth haven with the community, we often missed the opportunity to share the whole gospel truth. This is where I started noticing that I was not being faithful to Christ. We were not teaching of God’s righteousness or need to repent of sin in accordance with God’s Word. I was promoting another gospel of love and grace, and I was living a lie to these kids.
At camp, there was a ceremony at the end of the week for kids who made commitments to Christ. These commitments were by way of a leader so they could be corroborated. Some were legitimate, some were merely caught up in the emotion of the week or trying to garner favor from leaders or other campers, perhaps. The ceremony entailed throwing a rock in the pond symbolizing their old life, then putting another rock on a pile symbolizing their new life. From that moment on, they were supposed to enjoy reading the free Bible they were given, remembering they were new creations in Christ; you were forgiven and free. In reality, these kids were exhausted, sunburned and barely understood their emotions, thoughts or what they had actually committed to. The ceremony was as good as it got when it came to follow up. The kids were being released into the wild soon and with that, the rush of emotions from their time “on the mountain” would end. Often, so would their new found faith as well.
I tried so hard in following up with kids when we got home. Often kids went from their “camp high” back to life, and didn’t want to get together and study the Bible with me. And honestly, why would they?! There is a saying that I heard later, that “What you lead them by, you lead them to.” We were leading the kids to Jesus by fun, emotional attachment to leaders, experiences, but not by the Word of God. I was convicted when I read scripture teaching “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). In my time at Young Life, the scripture “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7), was not something we truly esteemed. We did not use it to lead kids to Christ, clearly and from the beginning. It was as if I was ashamed of the gospel.
After praying and trying to work out a time to connect with kids upon returning from camp, it was time for the hectic cycle to begin again. Time to get back to club/camp promotion (there were short Fall and Winter camps also), fundraising golf tournaments, the annual auction, and of course, contact work to get a new crop of kids to the next fun activity where they just might hear about Jesus. When I would become depleted during these times, questioning whether this was really working, I would look at the smiley face postcards of myself and other leaders with kids that we would send to donors. Maybe watch an inspirational video from the Young Life national office to pump me up about how faithful we were to Christ. All this to assuage my disturbed conscience as I gradually understood how far from the gospel we were. We also attended mandatory, regional Young Life staff meetings and trainings, which also helped numb the conscience and wrestling of my mind with the Holy Spirit’s convictions that something was not right.
However, the spiritual food we received at these trainings was a heavy dose of flattery, “understanding youth culture,” and spiritual formation teaching. I was given free gifts of books by contemplative and emerging church authors, Young Life-branded clothing, and my very own Message/NIV parallel Bible. We were led through lectio-divina exercises, silence, fasting, prayer, coupled with great food and fun play times with other staff. To help us feel valued these often took place at the beach or a donor’s nice home. I loved these times of get away and retreat; they made me feel special and important, but they didn’t answer some of the nagging problems with the fruitlessness I was seeing as a result of our great efforts to win kids to Christ. We were not trained in how to share the gospel, basic apologetics, like refuting arguments of evolution or inerrancy of Scripture. The intern training program and staff trainings I went to did not handle that information, but it was reserved for those who went to seminary classes through Young life. It wasn’t until after I left Young Life that I realized the reasons for that lack of training were likely due to how controversial these issues had become in the church. As many differing and more liberal interpretations of Scripture were being taught, we seemed to shrink away from specific views on doctrine. What I learned instead through the staff training was that it was better to keep a “good vibe going” through self-help focused spirituality and experiencing “God’s love” through the staff community.
I was conflicted and really dying on the inside, surely grieving the Holy Spirit. After several episodes of spiritual abuse with my direct supervisor that led me to seek a counselor for anxiety, I realized something was very wrong. I believed the Word of God to be my source of strength and clarity. Yet I was so confused how to reconcile what I was reading with what I was doing in ministry. The two seemed worlds apart, and no one else involved in the ministry seemed to see it. I was getting depressed and barely able to keep going in my work. In one of many prayer times with the Lord, at the end of my rope, I cried out to the Lord. My heart truly wanted to bring Him glory with my life. I repented of seeking a group of people promoting another Jesus, another gospel instead of being true to His word. God woke me up and revealed once again to me through Scripture how dangerously involved I had become in promoting a false gospel. I had been listening to false teaching and in love with the group experience instead of in love with Him and His Word. I learned that you cannot separate God from His Word.
Through my time in Young Life, I was exposed to the teachings of: The Message and Eugene Peterson, Brother Lawrence, Dallas Willard, N.T. Wright, Brennan Manning, Richard Foster, Tony Campolo, Rob Bell, Jesus Calling and Sarah Young, Henry Nouwen, William P. Young, Upper Room Book’s “Guide To Prayer,” John Piper, Phillip Yancey, Chris Lowney (Jesuit Leadership), Stephen Covey, Donald Miller, Peter Scazzero and more. After five years of ministry, I resigned from Young Life, and the Lord has been very good to me and my family. I don’t doubt that other leaders may have had a better and more honest-to-Scripture experience in this ministry, but this was mine and why I had to leave.
Jennifer Roberts (pen name to protect her privacy and her family)
For resources from Lighthouse Trails that deal with protecting children and youth people, click here.
From Pew Forum on Religion
45% of Americans Are Catholic or Connected to Catholicism
When Pope Francis arrives in the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families later this month, he will find a Catholic public that is remarkably accepting of a variety of non-traditional families, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that provides an in-depth look at American Catholics’ views on family life, sexuality and Catholic identity.
Nine-in-ten U.S. Catholics say a household headed by a married mother and father is an ideal situation for bringing up children. But the survey shows that large majorities think other kinds of families – those headed by parents who are single, divorced, unmarried or gay – are OK for raising children, too.
This may be in part because Francis’ American flock is experiencing life in all its modern complexity. According to the survey, one-in-four Catholics have gone through a divorce. One-in-ten have not only divorced but also remarried. One-in-ten are living with a romantic partner, sans wedding, and more than four-in-ten have done so at some point in their lives. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Viewer Discretion Advised for Video Below
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
The seventh expose’ video surrounding Planned Parenthood’s alleged harvesting and sale of aborted babies was released today, featuring testimony that suggests that some babies are alive when their organs are harvested.
The footage, released by the Center for Medical Progress, features clips from the past six videos, as well as new footage from an interview with former StemExpress procurement technician Holly O’Donnell, who had shared part of her story last week.
In Wednesday’s video, O’Donnell recalled a time at Planned Parenthood’s San Jose, California facility when her supervisor called her into the room to show her that the baby’s heart was still beating, but pressed forward with removing the child’s brain anyway.
“She’s like, ‘I want to show you something,’ and she has one of her instruments and she just taps the heart and it starts beating,” O’Donnell remembered, looking stunned. “And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus and it’s heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
The former fetal tissue procurement worker said that the baby had all of his facial features. Click here to continue reading.
Fall is Coming—Is Your Child Going to Christian College? Nine Things You Can Do to Help Your Student Be Aware of Contemplative/Emerging Deception
Fall 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, we believe you should 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: 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.
Note: For many years, we had Faith Baptist Bible College in Iowa on our “good” list. But after several communications with the school over concerning textbooks and also books by Brennan Manning and Jesus Calling in their bookstore, we removed the school from that list. They were a good choice for a 4-year degree school; and while they do carry Faith Undone and A Time of Departing on their bookstore website (but not in their classes), their current textbook list continues having a number pro-contemplative, pro-emerging authors (e.g., Boyd, Burns, Fields, Devries). We saw this same thing happen to Corban University (formally Western Baptist) in Oregon; and even though Lighthouse Trails communicated with the school on the direction they started going (and in fact, for a number of years, one class used A Time of Departing), they proceeded down that road, and today, they are on our contemplative college list.
Some of our past articles on Christian colleges:
More articles in our Contemplative Colleges category.
By Investigative Sergeant Patrick Crough
I. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate!
We must make it a point to communicate with our children every day to learn what is going on in their lives and who they are having daily contact with. Our children are exposed to school staff, counselors, coaches, day care providers, summer camp staff, and/or babysitters every day. Their social horizons have been expanded at a far too rapid pace. Many of us parents enjoyed a more relaxed childhood in the 1950s and 1960s when it was common to have our mothers home all day with us.
Like the faithful shepherd who checks each and every one of his sheep for parasites, diseases, and injuries, we must physically hold and hug our children and communicate with them every day. We need to reach out and make that connection, and we must listen to them carefully. I constantly made the mistake of using the little time I was around the house to tell my children what I wanted them to do. I rarely took the time to ask them what was going on in their daily lives. Under the pressure of making a living and supporting a family, I would spend the time talking at my children rather than with them. Our two-way discussions were few and far between. Fortunately, for our children, their mother did not make the same mistake. My wife always knew the who, what, when, where, and how of their daily lives. Through her patient guidance, I eventually learned this very important principle. As I became more experienced in investigating sexual crimes against children, I realized just how important daily two-way conversations really are.
As soon as a child possesses the ability to carry on a conversation, there are two absolutely necessary questions every parent or guardian should ask their child every day: What bad things happened to you today? And, what good things happened to you today? Another way to phrase these questions is: Who treated you badly today? And, who was nice to you and made you feel special today? Even if your children were with you all day, still ask them these questions as a matter of routine. This way, from a young age they will be programmed to have this discussion with you. Based on the numerous interviews I have conducted with child victims and their parents, I believe it will prove invaluable to your efforts to keep them safe from predators who desire to seduce and abuse them. Remember that during the trust and courtship phases of the grooming process, the child is unaware of the real reason why the predator is treating him with such favor. Therefore, at this point in the relationship the child has no reason to hide anything from his or her parents. If the parents are communicating with their children daily about who they are interacting with and what they are doing with them, the children should still be willing to share everything. While any conscientious parent would like to know what bad things happened or who may have mistreated them, I believe the more important question to ask is, “What good things happened to you today?” My reason is simple: The child has not yet made a secret pact with a predator that comes with the seduction phase, so he should be willing to share all of the great things this person is doing for him because he is happy and excited about it. Because the child’s morals have yet to be compromised, he is most likely going to remain open and honest with his parents when questioned about his relationship with the undetected predator.
II. Debriefing And Gathering Intelligence: Sharing A Meal
Feed my lambs. (John 21:15)
Most cultures make sharing a meal a special occasion. Whether it is a holiday, a special celebration, a date, a family gathering, or a business luncheon, we share meals with people as an act of social acceptance and personal intimacy. It allows us to interchange our thoughts and feelings, as barriers to open and honest conversation melt away in a festive, inviting atmosphere. In the Bible, we can see how God used the acts of animal sacrifice and sharing a meal to fellowship with His people around the temple. Jesus communed with His disciples over meals and dined with anyone who invited Him. Consuming food with another person has a way of putting us on the same social plane.
In the police detective world, we employ a technique known as “debriefing and gathering intelligence.” In essence, that is what we need to do as parents to learn about what goes on in our children’s daily lives when they are not with us. I urge you to share a special meal with your children—not to gather intelligence for disciplinary action but to assist you in keeping them safe. It should prove helpful to take your child out to a restaurant, for it will be much easier for him to open up to you in a neutral setting. Your authority as a parent is the greatest in the home; eating there may hinder your ability to make your child feel comfortable enough to speak openly about matters he would consider more personal in nature. It doesn’t have to be an expensive or fancy place. Most children and teenagers enjoy pizza, burgers, chicken wings, chicken fingers, tacos, and ice cream. My daughters enjoyed going to cafés in the Park Avenue area of Rochester.
I used this tactic with great success while raising my daughters through their teenage years. I would take them out to lunch separately to their favorite café. It was amazing how chatty either one would become as we sipped our sodas or iced teas, awaiting our meal. By the time we were buttering our bread and starting our soup and salad, she would be revealing everything about herself, her sister, and her friends. It usually kept me a step ahead of my daughters, and I truly believe that several tragedies were avoided because of these intimate meals with both of them.
III. Network With Other Parents
Parents should work with each other and compare notes. Children, like adults, put their own spin on much of the information they share. Unfortunately, our children are not always as honest as we need them to be. Usually that is because they are trying to prevent their parents from finding out something about their past or future participation in a questionable activity. So it would be fruitful for parents to set their pride aside and communicate with each other about what their children are sharing with them. This is an effective way to check the veracity of what your children are telling you, and this keeps them safe. A typical example is when a young teenage girl makes plans to meet the sexual predator she has been talking with over the Internet for the past two months. She lies to her parents, telling them she is going to stay overnight at a friend’s house. Too many times in this scenario, for whatever reason, the parents never check with the friend’s parents to confirm such arrangements, and the girl ends up raped or murdered.
If parents make a habit of networking with each other, these types of situations can be prevented. Likewise, law enforcement agencies are much more effective in their fight against crime when they share information with each other rather than harboring secrets because of territorial pride, which is an unfortunate reality in many jurisdictions. If networking and sharing information works for the police, then it will be useful for parents as they attempt to protect and supervise their children. We hold back because we don’t want to appear backward, paranoid, or overprotective. We also are afraid of appearing that we don’t trust our children. Satan’s best weapon against man is man’s own pride. Don’t let it get in the way of protecting your children.
IV. Monitoring the Internet & Cell Phones
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
I was investigating crimes against children long before the Internet became part of our daily lives. When I began my career, the Internet was still very much in the infant stages of its development, and its use was limited to the corporate world. But as it has evolved to its present state, the frequency of crimes against children has increased astronomically, and its use is beyond our ability to regulate. No longer is your child safe in the confines of your home under your close supervision. The Internet is the predator’s Trojan horse into what is supposed to be your fortress and sanctuary from the outside world. It makes the predator both invisible and insidious as your child willingly invites him into his or her life via cyberspace. I have met child victims who communicated with their offender over the Internet right under their parents’ noses. Because chat room language is cryptic and hard to decipher, it allows the child victim to become involved, and eventually seduced, online by a predator. Many times the child will be lured out of the safety of his or her home to be sexually offended, or even kidnapped and murdered.
There is no possible way to accurately determine just how many encounters occur between children and predators over the Internet daily throughout this nation. While law enforcement is making a gallant effort to police the dangerous and illegal aspects of cyberspace, it will be ill equipped to even scratch the surface for many years to come. Therefore, parents must shoulder the burden of monitoring their children’s Internet activity. This task has become even more difficult within the past two to three years as cell phones have been manufactured with the technology to access the Internet and to send and receive e-mail and text messages. Nearly every cell phone manufactured today also includes a camera or video and audio recording capabilities. While I understand that parents give their children cell phones in the hopes of keeping them safer, I view a cell phone in the hands of an unsupervised child or young teenager as a grave liability. A predator will use the cell phone to seduce and lure a child away from safety. When parents ask me my opinion on children and cell phones, I tell them to seriously consider not allowing their children to possess one until they are old enough to drive. It is my feeling that children should not be unsupervised until then. At that point, owning a cell phone would be a matter of safety in case they break down or get lost while driving alone. But until then, a cell phone would only increase their child’s risk of crossing the path of a sexual predator. If you feel that your child needs one, I highly encourage you to buy one without Internet capability and that you can limit to give and receive calls only from specific phone numbers. You should monitor your child’s phone activity to make sure he or she did not override your security controls.
I have labeled the children of today as the “Internet Generation” due to their highly advanced computer skills and propensity to seek out and use websites such as YouTube and MySpace. Websites such as these motivate and enable children to promote themselves to the rest of the world and provide personal biographical information for anyone to read. They also allow children to display seductive photographs of themselves and share their sexual fantasies. These websites are feeding grounds for predators, arming them with all of the information they need to choose and pursue multiple potential victims. Jesus told us that in the last days men would acquire great knowledge and become lovers of themselves. He obviously foresaw the future. Satan is brilliantly orchestrating man’s own lustful desires and the technological advances of today into an apocalyptic outcome.
Pre-teens and early teenagers are the most common victims of those who roam cyberspace. These age groups are beginning to experience the development of their own sexuality, so they are curious and open for erotic conversation. The predator is all too ready to satisfy and enhance that child’s curiosity. This leads the child to be secretive and lie to her parents about her newfound friend. I have found that most children will share this kind of activity with at least one close friend. Because it is exciting to them, they feel the need to tell someone about it. This is why I always try to interview the child victim’s friends if they make themselves available. Many times the victim will share things with a close friend about her experiences with the predator that she would not share with any adult, let alone the police.
V. Protecting Your Child With Prayer & the Word
Raising a child has never been more treacherous than it is right now, and it is only getting worse. I grew up during the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s, when the youth turned the social system of this country upside-down. But back then, the country was being built by the generation of World War II. It was far from perfect, but they laid a rock-solid foundation of wholesome morals and religious beliefs that were by and large based upon biblical Christianity. As a result, God blessed this nation with an economy that was second to no other in the world.
While the past fifty years have seen unprecedented, incredible technological advances, the granite foundation built by our parents and grandparents has been reduced to shifting sand. Aside from being fleeced by greedy and unscrupulous high-level executives, much of corporate America appears to be downsizing and outsourcing many traditional and manufacturing jobs to other countries. Additionally, we’ve become a population that places a distortedly high value in entertainment, pouring billions into the sports and gambling, pornography, and drug industries. Personal debt is off the charts. We have evolved into a nation of pleasure-seeking people pursuing a “comfortable” lifestyle at the expense of our own eternal salvation.
This is the legacy we are leaving our children. As a result, our children’s own morals and values are being corrupted. Tragically, many of the people they admire are nothing more than lovers of themselves, indifferent to the world around them. These so-called role models, whom we adults have placed on a pedestal and financially supported, are leading our children down the wide path of self-destruction. Satan, the master deceiver and manipulator, loves every bit of it.
Too many times, I have lain in bed during the desolate night hours worrying about my children. I worry about their health, their personal safety, and their future. When they were younger, I would think about my own mortality, wondering how they would cope without me to love and protect them. I have often stated in exasperation that being a parent feels like I have been sentenced to a life of worrying. As parents, we know that many dangers, both physical and spiritual, surround our children. It is for this very reason we should call upon God’s Holy Spirit to protect our children, comfort us, and take away our needless worry. And we should bury deep within our hearts God’s Word that is a “twoedged sword” that will give us discernment:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
I have learned that replacing worry with prayer is not only good for my children’s sake but it comforts me and gives me a sense of peace that is beyond my ability to attain on my own or from another human being. It fills that void in me that nothing else seems to fill. Jesus instructed his apostles not to worry and stated that worrying doesn’t help any situation (Matthew 6:27). Easier said than done, but it is true. I can’t think of one instance where worrying assisted me in resolving any issue, especially one involving my children. We must learn to surrender our worries, failures, and lamentations to the Lord every day. This is especially true in the evening when the enemy likes to torment us as we try to rest. Jesus said:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Some of the heaviest burdens I have borne as an adult had to do with my children. The enemy will attack us through our children in an attempt to distract us, weaken our faith, and ultimately separate us from God. Therefore, we must pray unceasingly for strength, wisdom, and comfort. While God does not require us to pray on our knees, I suggest that praying parents take a knee whenever possible to pray for their children. A sincere act of respect and honor toward our Heavenly Father on behalf of our children demonstrates true humility. The Bible teaches us that “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). For our children’s sake, parents should pray fervently and daily before God. We will worry far less and sleep more soundly as a result.
Consider this Scripture from Colossians as a foundation of daily prayer for your children:
[We] do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. (Colossians 1:9-11)
The Lord desires to protect you and your children. The Bible is so clear about this. If you do not have a relationship with Him or if you do not know whether He even exists, I suggest you begin simply to ask God to reveal Himself to you. The Bible says He will do that to the one who sincerely, with all of his or her heart, seeks after Him.
As for America, we need only look to the history of the Roman Empire to determine our pending fate as a nation. I believe the only way to change our country’s Titanic course for the sake of our children is to pray unceasingly for parental guidance, repentance, and salvation. If we, as parents, repent from our own rebellion and sin and then call upon the Lord with a sincere and humble heart, He will answer (2 Chronicles 7:14). But we need to keep knocking on the Lord’s door every day. Don’t allow unclean spirits to convince you that you are not worthy or good enough to ask the Lord for help. Jesus tells us in the Gospels that He came to cure those who are sick and in need of Him, not the self-proclaimed healthy people (Matthew 9:11-13). We are in the midst of a universal spiritual war. And those who name the name of Jesus Christ can come to God boldly:
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Prayer, with a repentant and humble heart toward the Lord, and God’s holy Word are our best weapons against the Devil and his demonic army. Come together as a married couple, as a family with your children, together with other believing parents, and with brothers and sisters in your church to pray and spend time together in His Word. Jesus told us that where two or more are gathered in His name, He will be present (Matthew 18:20).
This is an excerpt from Patrick Crough’s book, Seducers Among Our Children and his booklet tract, 5 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Kids From Sexual Predators.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
CONCORD, N.H. — Officials in the state of New Hampshire have voted to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood on Wednesday, canceling its $650,000 contract.
The 3-2 party line vote by the State Executive Council comes as a result of a series of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, showing that the organization harvests the organs of aborted babies donated by their mothers, and sells them to scientific companies who pay the organization the body parts.
The majority vote comes despite objections from Gov. Mary Hassan, who also released a statement decrying the decision.
“The council’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood will hurt the health and economic well-being of thousands of Granite Staters,” she said. “Moving forward, I will continue to fight to ensure that women and families have access to the important health services that are essential to the economic security and vitality of our families.” Click here to continue reading.