Archive for the ‘CHILDREN AT RISK!’ Category

Letter to the Editor: Ministry Ventures Brings Contemplative Influence to Pregnancy Pro-Life Center

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I work at my local pregnancy help center as Client Services Director. I have been following you for years and am thankful for your warnings. When I first started reading your material I would have never thought I would need the information to guard my own spiritual life. Sadly I had to leave a church because leaders were involved in Mystic Catholicism. Friends have read and praised Jesus Calling and The Circle Maker.

Then mysticism began to creep in at the life-affirming ministry where I work. The pro-life ministry is indeed in a spiritual battle. Where else would Satan rather be but in the mist of something as horrific as abortion? First, some months ago, one of the major supporting organizations for pregnancy help centers suggested in an e-mail we read The Circle Maker for spiritual growth and encouragement. I immediately sent an e-mail back warning against such a suggestion. The writer actually called me the very next day to apologize. She stated she would be more careful in the future, but ended by defending the author of The Circle Maker.

More recently something more disturbing to me has occurred.

An organization called Ministry Ventures has introduced silent retreats for ministry executive directors and board members.  In an audio interview, Boyd Baily mentions Henri Nouwen, praising his writings. He describes bowing down before an old monk during a silent retreat although he is not Catholic.

This breaks my heart. We in the pro-life ministry need to depend on God for victory. However, it seems, we are now pleasing the Devil.

Please can you address this issue to help me warn others in the ministry? Ministry Ventures can be found on Facebook where there are links to their writings and audios. Here is a link to the audio I spoke of.

https://ministryventures.org/view/channels/prayer

Thank you for your help.

Darcy (not real name)

LTRP Comments: In this audio session (see link above), Ministry Ventures co-founder, Boyd Bailey, says he was introduced to Fil Anderson several years ago (8:10 min mark) while at a “silent retreat” at a monastery. Fil Anderson is the author of Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers. Lighthouse Trails wrote about Anderson’s contemplative persuasions and his being trained at the panentheistic Shalem Institute in our 2013 article “Shalem-Trained Contemplative Fil Anderson Member of Samaritan’s Purse “Spiritual Care Team.”

On the Ministry Ventures website, it lists dozens of Christians ministries which are receiving guidance and training from Ministry Ventures. MV states: “Since 1999 Ministry Ventures has been partnering with faith-based nonprofit ministries to help them go Further, Faster!” Unfortunately, if Ministry Ventures is being influenced by contemplatives, it will no doubt pass this influence onto the ministries who come to them for help. A few of these ministries listed are Baptist Medical & Dental Mission, a number of pregnancy centers, Child Evangelism Fellowship of Hawaii, Chinese Pastors Fellowship, Christian Grandparenting Network, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, (FCA), Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers, andTeen Challenge of South Florida.

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Eleven States Sue White House Over Schools’ ‘Bathroom Law’

Photo: AP

By Reuters

Officials from 11 states sued the Obama administration on Wednesday, seeking to overturn a directive from the federal government that public schools should allow transgender students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.

Ramping up the simmering battles over contentious cultural issues in America, the states, led by Texas, accused the federal government of rewriting laws by “administrative fiat.”

“Defendants have conspired to turn workplace and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit accused the federal government of overstepping its constitutional powers by taking actions that should be left to Congress or individual states. Click here to continue reading.

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Coming to a School Near You? – Mindfulness Meditation for Public School Children in Wisconsin

Stock photo of children in a classroom meditating: bigstockphoto.com

Stock photo of children in a classroom meditating: bigstockphoto.com

The following out-of-house news article is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement.

“Madison startup uses mindfulness to help teachers take care of their students and themselves”

By Ogechi Emechebe
The Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Giggling, yawning and deep breathing filled the air of a Lapham Elementary School classroom on a recent morning as first graders participated in a health and wellness exercise together.

Their teacher, Christa Peterson, led them in stretching, breathing and meditation. They started off with a “tick tock” exercise where students paired up and sat on the floor, arms stretched out and rocking side to side like a seesaw. Music in the background prompted their movements with ticking noises like a clock. They soon moved on to another song that incorporated meditation in a playful manner where they got in a big circle and followed the song’s directions.

“Rub your hands … Sit up tall … take a deep breath … Ohmm,” the song said. . . .

“I like how it calms me down and I don’t have to think about much,” said Kayla Strabala, a student in Peterson’s class. “When I go home, I change into my yoga pants and do it in my room.” Click here to continue reading.

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IMPORTANT ALERT: Christian Homeschoolers Targeted by “Christ-Centered Energy Healing” Organization

“Are you looking for reliable, Christ-centered information and healing that is safe, affordable and that really does work? Are you sick & tired of being sick & tired? Are you a healer or are you searching for effective healing that is Christ-centered? You have found your tribe.”

So says Tammy Anderson Ward, President of Hope Haven Events, who presents the “Christ-Centered Energy Healing Conferences.” If Christ-centered energy healing sounds like an oxymoron, that’s because it is. And all one needs to do is cruise around on the  website to see that the nature of these conferences is blatantly New Age. But we’ll get to that in a little bit. The group is reaching out to a broad audience and is being billed as “the world’s largest Christ-centered energy healing conference;” but what caught the attention of Lighthouse Trails and author Ray Yungen more than anything is that they are reaching out to homeschool kids and parents, a traditionally conservative segment of the population.

It’s understandable that Tammy Anderson Ward is trying to reach homeschool families, she is a homeschool mom who has eight children, and we don’t doubt that she loves her children very much and seems to be a person of good will. But when you hear what these events are promoting, we think you will agree that this should NOT be called “Christ Centered.”

In the video below, Tammy Anderson Ward explains how her family got involved with energy healing.

What is energy healing? For those of you reading this who have been reading material from Lighthouse Trails for some time, you know that energy healing is supernatural in nature and is generally connected with an occultic worldview. In Ray Yungen’s booklet titled The Truth About Energy Healing, he explains how energy healing is tied in with the chakras, which are said to be “energy centers” or “spinning balls of psychic energy.” The chakras are the basis for energy healing. The energy healer places his or her hands on or over (touch is not necessary) the patient, and this energy is transferred from the practitioner to the patient. It is believed by energy healers that the chi energy connects everything together. This may sound like science fiction or something completely surreal, but after years of study and research, Ray Yungen has come to the conclusion that this transferred energy is demonic because of the underlying belief  that God is in all things and man is divine. There are many theologians in the church who would agree with his assessment.

bigstockphoto.com

bigstockphoto.com

Evangelical Christianity has always presented healing in a religious sense (i.e., we pray to God and ask Him to heal with His power, not a power within ourselves that we learn to manipulate and utilize). New Age healing is always presented in a therapeutic context. In other words, it’s something you tap into or learn to do (which explains the need for conferences – you have to go there and learn to do it). Some may be thinking right now that perhaps Tammy Anderson Ward is merely calling her techniques energy healing but does not bring chakras into the picture. A study of speakers she invites to her conferences throws that assumption out the window. On the Christ Centered Energy Healing store site, there is a section selling products from past conferences. Here are some of the titles: Chakras and the Armor of God, Chakras: Know Your Energy Centers, The Spirit of the Chakras, Are Chi and Chakras for Christians? (no doubt, this speaker says yes), and Energy Healing: Dance to Heal Your Chakras. If you feel like you have just been read a list of New Age titles, we hope this news article we are writing will deeply concern you.

From Christ Centered Energy Healing website; used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act for the purpose of critique and review

This past March, Hope Haven held a “Christ Centered Energy Healing” conference in Mesa, Arizona. Some of the seminars that were offered were: Creating Health: The New Era, Healing Games to Play With Your Children, Crystal Connections: Another of Heaven’s Tools, Group Energy Healing, The Peace & Power of BE-ing Present, and Sailing into the 5th Dimension, Gracefully. By the way, the 5th dimension is referring to the altered state of consciousness reached during deep meditation. Sheena Davis, one of the presenters at March’s conference, taught a workshop called Healing Methods for everyone. The website describes the class:

In the following YouTube video, you can learn more about Reiki (one of the more popular forms of energy healing):

Vital Recommended Resources

 

 

 

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NEW BOOKLET TRACT – Mandala Color Books: Relaxing Fun or a Tool for New Age Meditation?

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Mandala Color Books: Relaxing Fun or a Tool for New Age Meditation? by Lois Putnam i is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet Tract is 10 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Mandala Color Books: Relaxing Fun or a Tool for New Age Meditation?, click here.

Mandala Color Books: Relaxing Fun or a Tool for New Age Meditation?

mandala color booksBy Lois Putnam

Adult coloring has recently become a national passion. In fact, of the top twenty best-selling books on Amazon.com, ten of these were adult color books. Proof of this can be found in any bookstore where the first thing you’ll see upon entering is shelves brimming with every kind of color book imaginable. And congregated around these shelves you’ll find enthusiastic colorists who’ll be eager to share how enjoyable this current fad can be. Like many others, it may not be long until you’ll be picking up a book or two just to try it out.

Now, from your first examination of these color books, you’ll note they aren’t like the color books of your youth, for at least half of them are distinctly New Age in look and content. And second, you’ll note that they almost all purport to help calm, soothe, de-stress, and relax you into a meditative state. Finally, you’ll soon discover some of these intriguing books have tantalizing patterns called “mandalas” that will entice you to look at them over and over. These mesmerizing “sacred circles” are designed to visually take you to their centers to discover “Your Higher Self.” And yes, they are deceptive, and no, they aren’t Christian!

So be aware that there are many seductive “spiritual” color books out there both for adults and children alike. Thus, if you should decide to try out some coloring or are planning to buy one for someone else, you would do well to heed the admonition in Psalm 101:3 that states: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” And because “mandalas” do have a hidden agenda, this booklet is written to inform colorists and non-colorists exactly what they are, and what their purpose is.


SIDE BAR
Adult Coloring Books—A Spiritual Practice?

While there is certainly nothing harmful about adults coloring, in and of itself, much of the contemplative spirituality connection has been propagated by Sybil MacBeth’s Praying in Color book series. On MacBeth’s website, she gives 8 reasons to color while praying:

1) You want to pray but words escape you.
2) Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge.
3) Your body wants to be part of your prayer.
4) You want to just hang out with God but don’t know how.
5) Listening to God feels like an impossible task.
6) Your mind wanders and your body complains.
7) You want a visual, concrete way to pray.
8) You need a new way to pray.

Sybil MacBeth’s book, Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God, is endorsed on the back cover by emergent writer Phyllis Tickle (who once said Brian McLaren could be the next Luther). In MacBeth’s book, she speaks frequently about lectio divina, a meditative practice used in contemplative prayer. With Tickle’s endorsement and the promotion of contemplative practices, we must question what MacBeth’s “new path” to God is. A look at the endnotes in the book may provide an answer to that question. She cites Thomas Merton (panentheistic contemplative Catholic monk), Parker Palmer (New Age sympathizer), and Tony Jones (contemplative emergent leader).

In a 2015 Religious News Service article titled “Coloring Books for Grown-ups: Calming—but a Spiritual Practice?,” it states:

Alison Gary used to go to church on Sunday mornings, but lately she’s embraced a different ritual: staying home and coloring with her 6-year-old daughter, Emerson. . . . “Emerson and I color almost every Sunday morning,” Gary said, while her husband, a yoga teacher, cooks and listens to music. “I let my mind let go, and I feel more connected to the world, more centered.” . . . Gary is not the only grown-up rediscovering the contemplative joys of what once was considered a childish pastime. . . . Many books feature circular mandalas and Zen patterns, as well as mystical peacocks. . . . While adult coloring is mostly being marketed as a balm for the stress of modern life, many fans, like Gary, also describe it in spiritual terms.

Which raises the obvious question: Can coloring seriously be considered a spiritual practice? Some may scoff, but “it can become more than just coloring, if you want it to,” said Sybil MacBeth, author of the 2007 book Praying in Color. . . . MacBeth shares techniques to “incorporate the intention of prayer into coloring,” by doodling names of people or events, and intercessory requests such as healing and peace. MacBeth, a “dancer, doodler and former community college math professor” married to a retired Episcopal priest, believes coloring and doodling can be powerful prayer practices—a revelation she stumbled upon by accident.1

END SIDEBAR


Sacred Circle Mandalas: Conduits to Meditation
Mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit—a sacred circle or container that uses alluring symbols, dazzling colors, and mystical patterns. Alberta Hutchinson, in the Mystical Mandala Color Book, defines mandalas this way: “symmetrical geometric designs which are traditionally used for meditative purposes by drawing our eye to the center of the circle.” Little Mandalas color book calls them “mystical motifs which symbolize the universe, wholeness, and eternity.” And a kids’ color book, My First Mandalas by Anna Pomaska maintains mandalas are a Far Eastern tradition with “intriguing centers and fascinating focal points.” In summary, “Mandala” from Religionfacts.com says:

Simply stated, a mandala is a sacred geometric figure that represents the universe. When completed a mandala becomes a sacred area that serves as a receptacle for deities and a collection point of universal forces. By mentally entering a mandala and proceeding to its center, a person is symbolically guided through the cosmos to the essence of reality.2

Mandalas are a visual tool to take one into a meditative state just as mantras are a vocal tool to lead one into emptying one’s mind. Labyrinths are used in much the same manner. As one repeatedly gazes, contemplates, looks upon, stares at the mandala while following its hypnotic patterns, it can have the effect of relaxing the person into an altered state or even a trance.

Speaking of a “meditative state,” on December 12, 2015 the Orlando Sentinel had this front-page article: “Adults Find Meditative State Coloring Away Stresses of Life” by Bethany Rogers. The accompanying photo showed grandmotherly types coloring Color Me Calm pages at the Minneola Schoolhouse Library. This was but one of four “Color Me Calm” sessions where ladies gathered, sipping tea, coloring, and listening to a flute tune titled “Morning Stillness.”3

Shakti Color Book’s Goddesses and Mandalas
A look at Ekabhumi C. Ellik’s color book should be an awakening to any who are considering mandala coloring. The cover depicts Bhuvaneshvari, the goddess of spaciousness, regent of manifest creation, and universal earth mother.

On the book’s Facebook page, you’ll see pictures from the book colored by people who post them to the site.

One very disturbing post shows a child posing as a goddess while her mom tells how obsessed with the goddesses her child was. Ellik’s reply to this mother was, “I’m so happy to contribute to helping girls recognize their inner divinity.” A comment below reads, “Beautiful little goddess, keep that feeling.” Another post photo shows a young girl proudly holding up a goddess in a mandala she’d colored.4

YogaDork’s article: “Grab Your Crayon’s and Say Om: Coloring Art as a Meditative Practice” has an excerpt from Ellik’s book. In it, Ellik speaks of the goddesses depicted in the book by saying:

The goddesses who appear in the The Shakti Color Book encompass the entire spectrum of cosmic phenomena, mirroring our most expansive Self. . . . Their mystic diagrams—their mandalas and yantras —have a powerful influence on our awareness when we mediate upon them and visualize them internally. Our energy body is repatterned . . . helping us to recognize behaviors that our of alignment with our most expansive nature, which is the Goddess herself.5

Ellik has also begun a “Shiva Color Book.” And Ellik asks readers: “What images, forms of Shiva, related deities, mandalas or yantras should be included?” Ellik also invites all to join him at an “Embrace Your Shakti: A Yoga Coloring Workshop” where they can begin their New Year with some goddess power.

In an August 2015 comment, Ellik sums up the purpose of his color book when he says:

It’s an opportunity to introduce sacred art as an intrinsic part of YOGIC practice to a HUGE number of people who may think it’s only stretching and feeling calm.

He also notes, “. . . to have readers introduced to this book is a great way to help shift public opinion away from yoga-is-exercise-to-look-and-feel-good and back toward, well, YOGA.” Ellik gives us a truth many undiscerning Christians are not acknowledging about Yoga and mandalas! Think about it!

Mandalas for Adults
It’s clear that coloring pre-printed pages is a pastime many adults enjoy. Whether one finds it relaxing or not is up to the individual. Yet the main thrust of marketing color books to adults seems to be the promise to bring calmness or alleviate stress. The claims made by the designers of mandala color books, however, go far beyond this and straight into the realm of New Age religious practices, as you will see from these few examples—

Steven Vrancken in “Your Introduction of the Healing Powers of Mandala Color Pages” spells out the powers behind the mandala in this quote that says:

I awaken to the power of the mandala, A sacred circle of light and energy, A pathway to center—to my center and to the Universal All, A channel for healing body, mind, and spirit.6

Presbyterian Jungian psychotherapist and art therapist Susanne F. Fincher is the founder of Creatingmandalas.com. According to Fincher’s website, she has led thousands of people to the “spiritual, psychological, and health enhancing dimensions of creating mandalas.” Author of four Coloring Mandalas books by Shambhala Publishing, Fincher’s book, Coloring Mandalas 3: Circles of the Sacred Feminine is completely pagan beginning with “Prayer to the Earth Mother.” Inside notes tell the colorist to consider these sacred images holy and to set aside a sacred space to work on them. Doing this will allow one’s “harmonious designs” to kick in just as repeating ancient chants will resonate within one in calming and revitalizing ways. An introductory description of the book explains:

Coloring the circular designs . . . is a relaxing, meditative activity enjoyed by adults and children alike. . . . The mandalas in this book are . . . designed to provide a creative encounter with the Divine as a feminine presence.7

The Mandala Lady, Maureen Frank, is a mandala artist and intuitive reader, who does channeled visualization “Mandala Reading Sessions” for customers via Skype or telephone. Maureen relates that during a Reiki session she was told she wasn’t into the creative side of her brain and she should get herself a color book. Maureen did. Later, at a New Age bookstore, she came upon mandalas. First, she colored them, but soon she began to create them and then meditate on them. Soon she had “mandala messages” for others. Now, she creates daily, week, monthly, and yearly mandalas as well as a whole line of “color your own” cards, prints, and color books.8

Mandalas for Kids of All Ages
Mandala coloring books can be purchased by unsuspecting parents and given to children with the admonishment to “play quietly for a while.” This is understandable. But Christian parents should be aware that schools, children’s clubs, libraries, and various websites will be luring their young ones to use mandala art in ways that can introduce them to Eastern meditation and the occult.

For example, the “Do You Yoga” website tells kids their whole body is a “mandala” with its center being their “belly button.” Kids, in a “child’s pose,” color mandalas with quiet background music. The site advises when a mandala is finished, hang it up and use it for meditation. It suggests one breathe deeply, gaze at the center of the mandala, and let thoughts and emotions come without following them. Then, “slowly dive deeper into the center of the mandala and into the harmony and love it represents.” And Do You Yoga says kids from five and up can participate.9

Everyday Mandala for Children is a series of activity books designed for ages four and up based on “The Shichida Method” that uses mandalas with youngsters that requires them to mentally capture the image of a mandala within seconds, and apply the colors onto an uncolored mandala. The method boasts even a child of two can do it. Its method includes holding a mandala against a plain wall, asking a child to stare at the mandala focusing on its center, and then visualizing it in their mind. Children are told to hold that image there as long as possible. One article suggests you, as an adult, should join in.10

An article from the Kids Growing Up Psychic series by psychic Melissa Leath details how she uses “active meditation” or anything that keeps kids focused and calm while making mandalas. Afterward, kids softly stare at their mandala while trying not to blink. As they breathe in and out, Leath explains, “a shift” comes while colors in the mandala seem to change and move. At this point, says Leath, kids will feel energy flowing from the mandala. They are then to close their eyes to see an inner vision, and to feel more energy. And so Leath a medium, mentor, and author leads kids into her psychic world.11

There are many many children’s mandala materials available to the public; the bottom line is that the mandala coloring craze is not just an adult coloring book problem, it is being marketed to children and teens. Be watchful! Teach your children what these seducing circles really are about!

Mandalas for the Church?
Baptist Global News assistant editor Jeff Brumley wrote a piece: “Adult Coloring Books Emerging as Popular Spiritual Practice.” How so? Brumley says, “Using crayons . . . to focus the mind while praying or to contemplate Scripture can be as beneficial as walking a prayer labyrinth or creating an icon, say ministers of spiritual formation.” Brumley goes on to say that Blake Burleson, his co-editor and senior lecturer in religion at Baylor University, teaches that praying while coloring puts the mind on hold while elevating the role of the heart in prayer. Burleson also states, “Every religion uses art to express itself—whether it’s an icon, a mandala, calligraphy, or a cave painting.”12 Maybe, Burleson should turn to Ezekiel 8 to see what the Lord had to say about idolatrous wall art in the temple!

Rev. Sharon Garner, a United Methodist pastor and Ignatian Spiritual Director, conducts “Praying Mandala Sessions” at a Jesuit Retreat House as well as at a United Church of Christ location. To further her mandala cause, she’s written Praying with Mandalas: Contemplative Coloring for Contemporary Christians. The mandala is used here as a “tool” to practice contemplative prayer and enter a contemplative state!13

In “Coloring IS a Spiritual Practice,” the Rev. Dr. L. Roger Owens contends during his Spiritual Formation retreats he’d notice a few people “will be bent over their desks with intricate mandalas in front of them . . . listening to me . . .” as they color. Now does Owens feel these “poor souls” are being duped by falling for this new color fad? Does Owens feel they should be “engaging in a real spiritual practice like praying or reading Scripture?” “No,” says Rev. Dr. Owens, “I give thanks that they are discovering a way of prayer their churches never taught them, but that is helping them listen to God and be present to others. And when,” says Owens, “I enter Barnes and Noble . . . I only hope that more Christians might discover this practice and deepen their lives with God.” Then Owens, after thinking of the biblical Martha’s distractibility reflected: “Do you know what Martha needs? A color book.” A coloring book, avows Owens, is just a form of “mindfulness practice.” However, mindfulness is a practice based on Zen Buddhism.14

Color Me Discerning, or Color Me Deceived: Which Will It Be?
We’re in the midst of a meditation invasion via color books—and specifically through mandala color books as I’ve shown in this booklet. My question is if you’ve already bought into this color-book craze under the guise of finding relaxation and calm, will you continue as a deceived colorist, or will you become a discerning one? Will you understand that although coloring is not evil in and of itself, if it leads one into idolatrous sacred circles or other images then one must be very careful not to get entangled in this color-book web. May we remember the Lord’s warning in the Old Testament: “Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; turn away your faces from all your abominations” (Ezekiel 14:6).

And may we strive to become discerning, rather than deceived.

Mandala circles will not give one true rest, or peace, or hope, for this can only be found through the Lord Jesus who said, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). May our desire be to do as the old hymn admonishes: “Turn your eyes unto Jesus, Look full in his wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. (Psalm 119:37)

To order copies of Mandala Color Books: Relaxing Fun or a Tool for New Age Meditation?, click here.

Endnotes

BEST OF RNS: Coloring books for grown-ups: A spiritual practice?


http://www.relgionfacts.com/mandala.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2015/12/13/adult-coloring-books-stress/76916842.
http://www.facebook.com/shakticoloringbook.
http://yogadork.com/?s=grab+your+crayons.
https://mandalacoloringmeditation.com/mandala-coloring/mandala-articles/about-mandala-coloring-healing.
http://creatingmandalas.com/susanne-f-fincher.
http://themandalalady.com/bio.
http://www.doyouyoga.com/mandala-coloring-meditation-for-kids-96460.
http://www.homeeducation.sg.
Active Meditation for Kids: Creating Your Own Mandala, by Melissa Leath
https://baptistnews.com/culture/item/30471-adult-coloring-books-emerging-as-popular-spiritual-practice.
http://www.bellyofthewhaleministries.net/directors-welcome.

Yes, Coloring IS a Spiritual Practice—Here’s Why

To order copies of Mandala Color Books: Relaxing Fun or a Tool for New Age Meditation?, click here.

 

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Understanding the Times – “Men Love Darkness Rather Than Light”

By Maria Kneas
(author of How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution and Strength for Tough Times)

I was the first Christian in my family. Around 1982, Mom and Dad (who were in their mid-sixties) began reading the Bible. They became so excited they eagerly devoured it. Dad would come running into the room saying, “Look at this!” and share a Scripture passage that really hit him.

As my parents shared their new-found enthusiasm for the Bible, their love bloomed. They enjoyed Prairie Home Companion, and when old timey music came on the radio, Dad would grab Mom and dance with her. He was always bringing her flowers from their garden.

They found a good church where the preaching was biblical. Dad’s enthusiasm for Scripture kept growing, and he got a master’s degree in Biblical Studies. For the rest of their lives, Mom and Dad read a lot of Scripture every day and often talked about it during meal time.

Sadly, times have changed. If Mom and Dad had discovered the Bible in 2014, they would probably have had difficulty finding a church with biblical preaching. And the last time I listened to Prairie Home Companion, the humor had become raunchy.

People on TV now boast about doing things you could have blackmailed them for thirty years ago. Previously “unthinkable” things are becoming commonplace.

This didn’t just happen by chance. I’m going to give you some disturbing information, accompanied by this biblical reminder. Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them (Matthew 5:44). We should also do reasonable things to protect ourselves and to try to thwart their anti-Christian agenda, because Jesus told us to flee persecution when we can (Matthew 10:23). But that only applies if we can do it without denying our Lord (Matthew 10:32-33).

Humanism is the mortal enemy of Christianity. It denies the existence of God and opposes biblical morality.

Humanism says that man is basically good, but the Bible says we are all sinners who need a Savior. We need to have God change our hearts. We need to become children of God.

Dr. Brock Chisholm is a psychiatrist. He was the first Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Health Organization. He demonstrated humanism’s antipathy to the idea that men need a Savior when he said:

For many generations we have bowed our necks to the yoke of the conviction of sin. We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents.1

If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil, it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.2

Evidently, for Dr. Chisholm, “mental health” means being unable to become convicted of sin, and it also means being unable to recognize the difference between good and evil. According to American law, the inability to tell the difference between good and evil is the definition of “criminal insanity.”

Dr. Chisholm made these statements in 1946. Therefore, the United Nations has had many years to try to change every country in ways that make it more difficult for its citizens to recognize the difference between good and evil. That could explain a lot of the crazy things we see going on in the world today.

In America, humanism has been declared by the courts to be a tax-exempt religion.3 This religion is openly hostile to Christianity. Its antagonism can be seen in the following quotations from humanists:

The classroom must and will become the arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity . . . and the new faith of humanism.4

Some opponents of Humanism have accused us of wishing to overthrow the traditional Christian family. They are right. That is exactly what we intend to do.5

In 1933, The Humanist Manifesto was written, stating the beliefs and goals of humanism.6 One of the signers was John Dewey, who is called the “father of progressive education.” He revolutionized education in America. Dewey was determined to use the school system to promote humanism.7 Unfortunately, he succeeded.

For generations, American children have been taught humanist beliefs and values in public schools. Their Christian morals have been undermined by “values clarification” and other techniques.8 Thomas Sowell said:

The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children.9

This results in radically changing the beliefs and moral values of the children. The brainwashing techniques result in “acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means.”10
In addition, there are people who call themselves atheists, but they hate God. (How can they hate somebody who doesn’t exist? At some level, they must know God is real.)

Look at the following quotation from 1977. The militant atheists have been working on this agenda for a long time now:

We must ask how we can kill the God of Christianity. We need only to insure that our schools teach only secular knowledge.11

With such overt hostility to Christianity from humanists and atheists, who use the public schools to promote their agenda, it is not surprising that America has gone downhill spiritually and morally. For example, when I was in high school (1958-1961), there were only a few girls who were not virgins, and everybody knew who they were. They had “a reputation.” Fast-forward forty years to the year 2000 when my nephew got married. He and his wife were both virgins, and that was so unusual that people made a big deal out of it.

To see the extent of the change that has taken place in the United States, look at Yale University. It was founded by ministers in 1701 in order to spread Christianity. All students were required to “live religious, godly, and blameless lives according to the rules of God’s Word.” They were told to spend time in prayer and reading Scripture, both publicly and in private. The stated goal of their studies was “to know God in Jesus Christ” and “to lead a godly, sober life.”12

And what is Yale like today in modern America? In March 2013, students at Yale University attended a four-day workshop called “Sex Weekend.” This event was led by a “sexologist,” who gave the students “sensitivity training” in “sexual diversity.” The students were taught to accept homosexuality, sadomasochism, bestiality (sex with animals), incest, and prostitution. Over half of Yale’s students said they had engaged in “consensual pain” (sadomasochism), and three percent said they had sex with an animal.13

With humanists using the schools to try to undermine Christianity, it is not surprising that many people who were raised in Christian families do not share the faith of their parents and grandparents. According to one study, the majority of today’s young adults were involved in church and other Christian activities as teenagers. However, when they grew older, most of them became “spiritually disengaged.” Among young adults who had a Christian background, only one out of five “maintained a level of spiritual activity consistent with their high school experiences.”

This study also showed that three out of four American teenagers have engaged in “psychic or witchcraft-related activity.” (This does not include reading horoscopes and exposure to occult media.) One out of ten participated in a seance, and one out of twelve tried to cast a spell or mix a magic potion. More than a third used a Ouija board, and more than a third read a book about Wicca (a religion based on witchcraft and goddess worship).14 Occultism is becoming mainstream.

Things have now gotten to the point that there is a movement to normalize pedophilia. Instead of wanting to protect children from sexual predators, some psychologists and academics want to protect the sexual rights of pedophiles, which they have rebranded as being “minor-attracted persons” who have a sexual orientation that should be respected.15

As a result of America’s moral and spiritual free fall, we now see blatant hostility towards Christianity. For example, in 2001, a man in my church was sent to prison. Some of us visited him and asked if we could give him a magazine. The prison officials told us we could do that, as long as it came directly from the publisher and the magazine was “appropriate.” I asked them what “appropriate” meant and was told that pornography and violent material were not allowed.

We subscribed to a Christian magazine to be sent to him directly by the publisher. The prison refused that magazine and sent it back. Evidently, somebody at that prison considered Christian writings to be “inappropriate.” They treated it the same way they treat pornography, by refusing to let him have it.

I talked about this with a friend from church whose son was in prison. She told me her son was not allowed to have a Bible. His prison was full of Muslim literature and Wiccan writings, but Bibles were not allowed.

Some persecution takes the form of pressuring people to do things contrary to their religious convictions. For example, a Catholic nurse was forced to assist in performing an abortion. If she refused, she would be fired. She complied, but regrets it and is now suing the hospital. This is part of a larger problem. The ACLU is trying to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.16

Sixty-three businesses have lawsuits about provisions in ObamaCare that would force them to go against their religious convictions. One attorney said:

The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living.17

Jack Phillips is a Christian baker from Denver, Colorado. He politely refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, saying he would be happy to bake things for them “for any other occasion.” There were demonstrations outside his shop, and he received so many death threats he called the police. Then the couple charged him with discrimination. The judge ruled that if he refuses to make wedding cakes for homosexual marriages, he will be fined, and he might be sent to prison. The baker said he would rather go to jail than violate his religious beliefs.18

Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin are Christians and the owners of Elane Photography. In 2006, they turned down a request to do wedding photos for a same-sex marriage. This case went all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which ruled against them. One of the judges said the Huegenins are “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.” Their attorney said:

If Elane Photographer does not have her rights of conscience protected, then basically nobody does. Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom.19

If such things can be done to bakers and photographers and florists, then what will happen to pastors and other religious clergy who refuse to marry homosexual couples? What will happen to freedom of religion?
Using the courts to try to force people to endorse homosexuality is done by militant homosexual activists. These radical activists want to force everybody else to actively support what they are doing.
In contrast, that baker had turned down requests for wedding cakes from a number of other homosexual couples who respected his right to see things differently than they do. They just quietly looked for another baker who would be happy to get their business.

When I was a freshman in college (1961-1962), I had a friend there named Jessica. She was bisexual. Back then, I had never heard that term before. I didn’t even know that such a thing existed before I became friends with her.

She was desperately looking for love and had become promiscuous. Men would use her and treat her like trash. When that became too painful, then Jessica would turn to women. But then she would get hurt by them and go back to men again. It was a cycle of pain, going back and forth between men and women and getting hurt by them all.

Jessica was a sweet, vulnerable girl, and her heart was broken by so many people. I wish I could have helped her back then, but I didn’t know how. If Jessica married a lesbian, she would never try to force a baker to make a wedding cake for her. She cared about other people, and respected them.

I’ve often thought about Jessica over the years and prayed for her. I hope she found the Lord.

During the 2014 U.S. government shutdown, the military chaplains were banned from performing any kind of services or ministry on military bases. They were not even allowed to minister as volunteers (which would not have cost the Pentagon a penny), and they were threatened with arrest if they did any ministry on base. Congressman Tim Huelskamp said:

Time and time again this Administration demonstrates it is waging a war against the very religious freedoms upon which America was founded.20

Obviously, this had nothing to do with saving money, because the chaplains offered to serve for free as volunteers. In addition, it costs money to arrest people and hold them in jail, and it is expensive to have lawyers prosecute them. So this was overt persecution of Christians. And it was done by our government to the men and women who risk life and limb in order to protect our nation and who also risk having post-traumatic stress, which is very difficult to live with.

The Pentagon has threatened to court martial soldiers who share their faith. This includes military chaplains.21

On March 21, 2014, the Family Research Council published a report titled A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military. It is 21 pages long and very thoroughly documented. You can get a free PDF file of it online.22

There have been some cases where American Christians have been murdered for their faith. On September 15, 1999, there was a rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. A gunman entered the church and methodically shot Christians who were attending the service and then shot himself. Seven people died and others were critically wounded. The gunman was shouting, cursing Christianity, and cursing the Christians for believing it. The FBI found anti-Christian writings in his home.23

However, in spite of this evidence, when CBS and CNN reported the shooting, they were “unable to assign any motive to the shooter.”24 Why? Because it is not politically correct to portray Christians as being persecuted. The mainstream media avoids such stories or else covers them in ways that omit or deny the element of persecution.

I found out about that twenty years ago when I learned that Christians in Sudan were being slaughtered by Muslims. I contacted every newspaper I knew to tell them about it. None of them responded, with one exception. One reporter told me, “I wish I could write about it.” So evidently he wanted to cover the story but was not allowed to.

On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado shot and killed twelve of their classmates and a teacher, and wounded 23 other people. They also killed themselves. They asked three Christian girls if they believed in God and killed them when they said “Yes.” The girls were Cassie Bernall, Rachel Scott, and Valeen Schnurr. Rachel had shared her Christian faith with the boys several weeks earlier. (Some classmates overheard the conversation.) The boys made a video in which they cursed Jesus Christ and cursed Christians. They singled Rachel Scott out for an insulting tirade, mocking her by name.25

I read about the shootings in the newspaper, but those reports didn’t mention the element of persecuting Christian students. It took me years to find out about that, and I got the information from a story on a Christian website about Rachel Scott’s father. I never heard anything about it from the mainstream media. Did you?

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light . . . But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest. (John 3:19-21)

(This is an excerpt from Maria Kneas’ book How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution)

Endnotes:

1. G. Brock Chisholm, “The Re-Establishment of Peacetime Society” (Psychiatry, February 1946).
2. Ibid.
3. a. Arthur M. Jackson, “The Courts Define Humanism as a Religion.” This article was published in The Humanist Institute Quarterly, Winter 1987; also see: www.arthurmjackson.com/rootsf.html
4. “Secular Humanists Give Dunphy Another Platform” (Eagle Forum, www.eagleforum.org/educate/1995/nov95/dunphy.html, citing John Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist, January/February 1983).
5. Marriage and the Family, The British Humanist Association, 1969. Cited by Dr. Dennis L. Cuddy, The Globalists (Oklahoma City: Hearthstone Publishing, 2001), p. 124.
6. “Humanist Manifesto I” (This is the original Humanist Manifesto, written in 1933. Other versions have been written since then; http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I).
7. Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men (Toronto, ON: TFE Publishing, 1991, 3rd edition), p. 425.
8. Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995, from chapter 3: “A New Way of Thinking; www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/3-NewThinking.htm).
9. Thomas Sowell, “Indoctrinating the Children” (Forbes, February 1, 1993), p. 65.
10. Ibid.
11. G. Richard Bozarth, “On Keeping God Alive” (American Atheist, November 1977).
12. Dan Graves, “Yale Founded to Fight Liberalism” (www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html; also see: www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html).
13. Heather Clark, “Yale Students Receive Bestiality, Incest Sensitivity Training During ‘Sex Weekend” (Christian News Network, March 10, 2013, http://christiannews.net/2013/03/10/yale-students-receive-bestiality-incest-sensitivity-training-during-sex-weekend; also see: Lee Moran, “What the Yale? Ivy League Students Admit to Bestiality, Desires about Incest, During ‘Sex Weekend’ Workshop” (New York Daily News, March 6, 2013, www.nydailynews.com/news/national/yale-students-admit-beatiality-sex-workshop-article-1.1280746).
14. “Most Twentysomethings Put Christianity on the Shelf Following Spiritually Active Teen Years” (September 11, 2006. www.barna.org/barna-update/article/16-teensnext-gen/147-most-twentysomethings-put-christianity-on-the-shelf-following-spiritually-active-teen-years); also see: “New Research Explores Teenage Views and Behavior Regarding the Supernatural” (January 23, 2006. www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/164-new-research-explores-teenage-views-and-behavior-regarding-the-supernatural).
15. “Pedophilia the Next ‘Sexual-Rights’ Revolution? Academica, psychologists expanding LGBT argument to ‘minor-attracted persons’” (January 2, 2014. www.wnd.com/2014/01/pedophilia-the-next-sexual-rights-revolution).
16. Jose Martinez, “Nurse Sues Hospital Over Forced Abortion Assist” (New York Daily News, April 20, 2010, www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nurse-sues-hospital-forced-abortion-assist-article-1.448478); also see: Robert Knight, “Can the ACLU Force Catholic Hospitals to Perform Abortions?” December 5, 2013, www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/5/knight-treating-the-mother-by-killing-the-baby);
17. Heather Clark, “Supreme Court Sets Date for Hobby Lobby’s Challenge to Obama’s HHS Mandate” (January 12, 2014, http://christiannews.net/2014/01/12/supreme-court-sets-date-to-hear-hobby-lobbys-challenge-to-obamacare-abortion-pill-mandate).
18. Bob Unruh, “State ‘Imposing’ Its ‘Gay’ Beliefs on Cake Artist,” January 7, 2014, www.wnd.com/2014/01/state-imposing-its-gay-beliefs-on-cake-artist); also see: Tony Perkins, “Judge to Colorado Baker: Bake Cakes For Gay ‘Weddings’ . . . Or Else” (December 10, 2013. www.lifesitenews.com/news/judge-to-colorado-baker-bake-a-cake-for-gay-weddings . . . or-else); also: “‘Tolerance’ Now Means Government-Coerced Celebration” (December 16, 2013, www.wnd.com/2013/12/tolerance-now-means-govt-coerced-celebration).
19. Todd Starnes, “NM Court Says Christian Photographers Must Compromise Beliefs’ (Fox News, August 22, 2013, http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/nm-court-says-christian-photographers-must-compromise-beliefs.html).
20. “Government Shutdown Results in Ban on Military Chaplains” (October 11, 2013, www.militarydefensefirm.com/Military-Criminal-Defense-Blog/2013/October/Government-Shutdown-Results-in-Ban-on-Military-C.aspx).
21. Ken Klukowski, “Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith” (Breitbart, May 1, 2013, www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/01/Breaking-Pentagon-Confirms-Will-Court-Martial-Soldiers-Who-Share-Christian-Faith).
22. “A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military” (Family Research Council, March 21, 2014, http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF14C52.pdf ).
23. Brent Baker, “Shooter’s Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted” (Media Research Center, www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990917.asp).
24. “Fort Worth Shootings: Tragedy at an Unarmed Church” (http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue10/hate_crime.htm).
25. Brent Baker, “Shooter’s Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted, op. cit.; also see: “Do You Believe in God?” (WorldNetDaily, April 26, 1999, www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=14726; Christian teenagers were shot at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado after being asked if they believed in God, and answering “Yes”).

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NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World

NEW BOOKLET TRACT:  Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World by Carl Teichrib is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract . The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World, click here.

 Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World

rp_bkt-ct-earth-lg.jpgBy Carl Teichrib

More than 6 million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.1—Earth Day Canada

Earth is more than just a spaceship. She is our Mother. She gave us life. There is nowhere else to go but to stay and love her.2—Reader’s comment regarding John Kerry’s Earth Day blog

Just as in olden days, the earth has become the focal point for worship. In Grecian times, the supreme Earth deity was Gaia, also known as the Universal Mother. Sacred oaths were given in her name, and worshippers performed rituals in her honor.3 One commentator tells us:

The classic artistic representation of Gaia is a woman emerging breast-high from the earth. The goddess arises but never leaves her planetary body. Visceral rites, including plant, animal, and (presumably ecstatic) human sacrifice as well as unabashed sexual ceremonies were held to adore the goddess’s fecundity.4

In our contemporary era, Earth Day has become the modern celebration of Gaia. Partakers of this event, whether aware of it or not, play off the ancient pagan beliefs of a Universal Mother. Like the sacred oaths taken in her name, today’s Earth Day celebrants sign environmental petitions, make pledges, and announce resolutions in support of Mother Earth. And like the old sacrifices to the deity, today’s Earth Day practitioners offer sacrifices of “good works” to the planet. Not only is the earth a deity to be venerated, but the earth itself—as the representative and embodiment of the goddess—has become a modern-day idol.

Do all who engage in Earth Day festivities realize the connections between this event and the ancient pagan deity? Some do, especially those who take a neo-pagan position; but many are unaware, thinking it’s a family-oriented way to engage in environmental conservation. Much good is done during Earth Day, such as cleaning up stream beds or planting trees—but that’s not the issue. Motivated by good intentions, scores of individuals (including professing Christians) participate without ever considering what Earth Day is actually about or the philosophies that underpin the movement.

James Coburn, the American actor (deceased in 2002), understood the overt pagan linkages. Consider his 1990 interview with journalist Caryl Matrisciana during the Malibu Beach Earth Day festival:

Caryl Matrisciana: “Mr. Coburn, why should we care about Earth Day or Mother Earth?”

James Coburn: “Mother Earth is our Mother! She’s the Mother Goddess. She’s the one that we should be praising rather than raping. I mean all of these people here today are here for one reason: Because they’re concerned about what’s happening to the earth—what mankind is doing to the earth. I mean the negative emotions we carry around, a lot of us, is another contributor to it; it feeds the Moon. [Author’s Note: the Moon is significant in pagan circles.]

“What we have to do is be true to ourselves. If we’re true to ourselves we’ll be true to Mother Earth. Mother Earth’s going to be bountiful; she’s going to give us everything we need. She has for a long time.

“We’ve lost our way. The pagans used to know how to do it. And the Indians, some of them still remember how to do it.
“The Earth is a living organism. We’re killing the one we love the most, and she loves us. We’ve got to praise our Mother Goddess!”5

When Earth Day was first inaugurated in 1970, Newsweek called the event “a bizarre nationwide rain dance.”6 The New York Times, however, said it was an idea “whose time has come because life is running out.” Earth, and the race of mankind, needed to be saved “from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”7

Now, decades later, corporate sponsorships pay for community Earth Day events. Federal and local governments spend tax dollars in promotion of April 22nd, and a myriad of grassroots organizations add energy to the cause. It’s an event that captures the attention of local and national media outlets, politicians of every stripe, and fuels the imagination of school children everywhere. From the automotive giant Toyota8 to every urban center in North America, from the United Nations to the National Council of Churches9—Earth Day is far more than a bizarre rain dance; it’s a platform for global citizenship and Earth loyalties.

Earth Day is Born
The idea for Earth Day goes back to 1962 and Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Convinced that environmental issues needed greater exposure, Nelson suggested to President Kennedy that he embark on a “national conservation tour.” The following year, Kennedy went on a five-day excursion promoting environmental conservation, but it never generated the political interest Nelson was hoping for. However, according to the Senator, “it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.”10

Only a few years later, during the height of the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, Senator Nelson hit on the idea of a national educational event to create environmental awareness—the “first national environmental teach-in.” This event, planned for April 22, 1970, was to be styled after the war protest movement, and it was aimed at capturing the interest and energy of young people—a generation going through one of the largest cultural shifts in the history of the United States. Not surprisingly, Nelson’s first Earth Day speech reflected this cultural shift, boasting that April 22 was to be the “birth date of a new American ethic that rejects the frontier philosophy that the continent was put here for our plunder . . .”11

Decades after the initial event, Nelson’s assistant who coordinated the Earth Day national teach-in campaign, Denis Hayes, told an interviewer that: “We consciously set out to build a movement to bring America back together, and let everyone under the umbrella with a shared set of values.”12

New ethics and a common set of values were to guide this movement and act as the inspiration for college students in their environmental advocacy. Remember, this was 1970, and the students of that era represent a wide swath of today’s political, business, academic, and religious leadership. Senator Nelson understood the potential power of tapping the nation’s youth.

Helping to make this inaugural Earth Day a success, a special book of essays was compiled through Friends of the Earth and distributed nationwide to teachers and professors. Titled, The Environmental Handbook: Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach-In, April 22, 1970, this volume introduced a new set of social ideals that would point America to a better world. Tens of thousands of copies were distributed, and twenty million young people across the U.S. celebrated what was to become a global movement: Earth Day.

But what of those values laid out in The Environmental Handbook? Were they based on the core Judeo-Christian tenets of Western thought and law? Did they support common sense conservation: erosion control, maintaining a balanced wildlife population, curbing toxic pollutants, or stemming the tide of invasive species?

Pollution was addressed, with a population control twist. Land use was also discussed, while demeaning “conventional cattle ranching.”

Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, contributed the following doomsday scenario to ignite impressionable minds: By 1973, air pollution would be choking cities, causing single-event smog disasters with death tolls in the hundreds of thousands—all heralding the advent of a global air-quality collapse that would make the “planet uninhabitable” sometime before 1990. By the mid-seventies, the U.S. grain belt would be turning into the great Mid-western desert, wiping out food stocks. During this time period, Ehrlich speculated, America’s resource sector would be collapsing, and a national “family planning” program would have to be set up alongside an international agenda to curb the human population. By the summer of 1979, the world’s oceans would be dead and all sea-based animal life extinct.13

For high-school and college students participating in the first Earth Day, this future-tense story would have had a chilling effect. As Mr. Ehrlich explained, “A pretty grim scenario. Unfortunately, we’re a long way into it already.”14

Does any of this sound familiar? “Warming may trigger agricultural collapse,” so reported the Inter-Press Service in 2007.15 “Fish stocks could collapse because of global warming,” announced an Associated Press article in 2008.16 Professor John Brignell, an author and social researcher, posted his observations regarding climate change and fear:

Got a problem? Blame global warming! From allergies to maple syrup shortages to yellow fever: apparently every contemporary ill is caused by climate change.17

Brignell’s website lists no less than 300 alleged problems, or pseudo-problems, attributed to global warming. This documented list includes crabgrass, kidney stones, inflation in China, invasions of jellyfish and giant oysters, the Loch Ness monster dying, fish getting lost, an upcoming Ice Age, conflict with Russia, sour grapes and stronger wine, farms going under, (and farm output boosted), the Atlantic becoming more salty, (and less salty), smog, terrorism, fainting, and smaller brains. The way so many are acting these days, I tend to believe this last one.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Is this a scare tactic for global transformation? Consider the following quotes:

During any “issue-attention-cycle” in environmental campaigning, there is a phase in which the issue needs to be strategically exaggerated in order to establish it firmly on an agenda for action.18—International Institute for Sustainable Development

We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have.19—Professor Stephen Schneider

No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits . . . climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.20—Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of Environment

“Collateral environmental benefits . . . ?” This is questionable at best; so much so that over 31,000 scientists have signed a petition that challenged the human-caused global warming line and openly suggested that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide may have benefits.21 Moreover, “justice” and “equality” are legal and social issues—not atmospheric. Again, this points to the heart of the matter: social transformation.

But scare tactics are effective. They leave the masses wondering: How can the human race reverse our imminent environmental demise? What can be done to save Mother Earth?

According to the first Earth Day and The Environmental Handbook, we can start by placing the blame on Christianity and Western values, and then adopt pagan and radical socialist solutions. Consider the following quotes from The Environmental Handbook. Keep in mind that this text established the ethical ideals of a new Earth reality and set the tone for the first Earth Day and subsequent celebrations.

On Religion:

Christianity, in absolute contrast to ancient paganism and Asia’s religions . . . not only established a dualism of man and nature but also insisted that it is God’s will that man exploit nature for his proper ends.
At the level of the common people this worked out in an interesting way. In antiquity every tree, every spring, every stream, every hill had its own genius loci, its guardian spirit. These spirits were accessible to men . . . Before one cut a tree, mined a mountain, or dammed a brook, it was important to placate the spirit in charge of that particular situation, and to keep it placated. By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects. (p.20-21, Lynn White Jr.)

What we do about ecology depends on our ideas of the man-nature relationship. More science and more technology are not going to get us out of our present ecological crisis until we find a new religion, or rethink our old one. (p.24, Lynn White Jr.)

No new set of basic values has been accepted in our society to displace those of Christianity. Hence we shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man. (p.25, Lynn White Jr.)

Both our present science and our present technology are so tinctured with orthodox Christian arrogance toward nature that no solution for our ecologic crisis can be expected from them alone. Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not. (p.26, Lynn White Jr.)

What was it that enabled Eskimo shamen, their minds a product of the taiga, tundra, and sea ice, to travel on spirit journeys under the ocean and to talk with the fishes and the potent beings who lived on the bottom? How did the shamen develop the hypnotic power they employed in their séances? What can we learn from the shamen who survive about thought transference and ESP? The answers are in the arctic wilderness still left to us.

Wilderness is a bench mark, a touchstone. . . . New perspectives come out of the wilderness. Jesus, Zoroaster, Moses, and Mohammed went to the wilderness and came back with messages. . . . This handbook, and the teach-in it serves, have their beginnings in wilderness. (p. 148, Kenneth Brower)

On Population:

Freedom to breed is intolerable. (p.41, Garrett Hardin)

No technical solution can rescue us from the misery of overpopulation. Freedom to breed will bring ruin to all. . . . The only way we can preserve and nuture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed. (p.49, Garrett Hardin)

[I]t is sinful for anybody to have more than two children. It has long since become glaringly evident that unless the earth’s cancerous growth of population can be halted, all other problems—poverty, war, racial strife, uninhabitable cities, and the rest—are beyond solution. (p.139, John Fischer)

Stabilizing the U.S. population should be declared a national policy. Immediate steps should be taken to: 1. Legalize voluntary abortion and sterilization and provide these services free. 2. Remove all restrictions on the provision of birth control information and devices; provide these services free to all, including minors. 3. Make sex education available to all appropriate levels, stressing birth control practices and the need to stabilize the population. (pp.317-318, Keith Murray)

Explore other social structures and marriage forms, such as group marriage and polyandrous marriage, which provide family life but may produce less children. Share the pleasure of raising children widely, so that all need not directly reproduce to enter into this basic human experience. We must hope that no one woman would give birth to more than one child. (p.324, Four Changes section)

On Nations and Economies:

Nations . . . must be phased out as quickly as possible and replaced with tribal or regional autonomous economies. (p.6, Keith Lampe)

Interdependence of course can be sustained only in a context of cooperation, so competition (capitalism) must be phased out and replaced with cooperative economic models. (pp.6-7, Keith Lampe)

Looking beyond our borders, our students will be encouraged to ask even harder questions. Are nation-states actually feasible, now that they have the power to destroy each other in a single afternoon? Can we agree on something else to take their place, before the balance of terror becomes unstable? What price would most people be willing to pay for a more durable kind of human organization—more taxes, giving up national flags, perhaps the sacrifice of some of our hard-won liberties? (p. 145, John Fisher)

On Global Transformation:

Nothing short of total transformation will do much good. What we envision is a planet on which the human population lives harmoniously and dynamically by employing a sophisticated and unobtrusive technology in a world environment which is “left natural” . . . Cultural and individual pluralism, unified by a type of world tribal council. (p.330, Four Changes section)

It seems evident that there are throughout the world certain social and religious forces which have worked through history toward an ecologically and culturally enlightened state of affairs. Let these be encouraged: Gnostics, hip Marxists, Teilhard de Chardin Catholics, Druids, Taoists, Biologists, Witches, Yogins, Bhikkus, Quakers, Sufis, Tibetans, Zens, Shamans, Bushmen, American Indians, Polynesians, Anarchists, Alchemists . . . the list is long. All primitive cultures, all communal and ashram movements. Since it doesn’t seem practical or even desirable to think that direct bloody force will achieve much, it would be best to consider this a continuing “revolution of consciousness” which will be won not by guns but by seizing the key images, myths, archetypes, eschatologies, and ectasies [sic] so that life won’t seem worth living unless one’s on the transforming energy’s side. (p.331, Four Changes)

The message is clear. In order to save the world, we need to drastically change our present religious, political, economic, and social structures. We need to significantly re-shape society towards a New Age world-view where nature supersedes all, where political and economic structures morph into a type of ecological communism, where the cancer of human growth undergoes radical surgery, and where education and religion are indelibly altered to serve Mother Earth.

This is the essence of Earth Day. It’s the embracing of massive religious and social changes—the sacrifice of our “orthodox Christian arrogance” so that Gaia can be healed and humanity saved. It’s the clarion call of One World. Gaia Rescue, a project of Earth Day 2008, brings this into focus:

To correct this problem we’re going to have to act as a planet, not separately as groups or countries. It will take all of Gaia’s children to save her from the mistakes we’ve already made.22

Gaia is Mad!
If we don’t correct our mistakes, if we don’t change our values, behaviors, ethics, and beliefs—Mother Earth is going to take matters into her own hands. This is the current eco-philosophy fad. Human beings are a blight, and Gaia is going to cleanse herself unless we become good global citizens and respect the Universal Mother.

This is the message of the Dalai Lama:

Until now . . . Mother Earth has somehow tolerated sloppy house habits. But now human use, population, and technology have reached that certain stage where Mother Earth no longer accepts our presence with silence. In many ways she is now telling us, “My children are behaving badly.” She is warning us that there are limits to our actions.23

Meanwhile, movies such as The Happening depict Mother Earth striking back against Mankind—chemically inducing humans to commit suicide in order to clean up the people problem. Another Hollywood propaganda piece, The Day the Earth Stood Still, has watchful aliens descending on the planet to save failing Mother Earth from the cancer of humanity. During the last part of the movie, the main characters come to the realization that they must evolve at the global level in order to avert planetary disaster. Many other movies, documentaries, and television shows present a similar message. Man must change, or Gaia will deal harshly with us.

This is also the prognosis of British geophysicist James Lovelock, who wrote the 1979 book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. This volume spurred on the “modern,” pseudo-scientific Gaia theory of Earth as a living construct. More recently, his 2006 book The Revenge of Gaia, paints a picture of a planet suffering from a crippling fever—Global Warming—and that Mother Earth is fighting for her existence against the destructive capacity of humankind.

Not surprisingly, this line of thinking is found laced throughout the online deep ecology and Gaia community. Blog and on-line articles proclaim that Mother Earth is growing madder by the minute.

The reasons why there are so many natural disasters and severe weather changes, is because Mother Earth is angry with the people.24

The earth is parched. There is not enough water. Fires will rage. Some things are beyond the control of humans. Mother earth is angry, showing us the limits to our power. Let us learn from her.25

Hmmm . . . Maybe a little party would make her happy.

A Secular Holiday?
Ironically, Earth Day is considered “the largest secular holiday in the world.”26 Yet there is little secular about it. Rather, a variety of spiritual activities take place; from Mother Earth rituals to multi-faith sunrise services, from interfaith Earth gatherings to spring meditations and “Earth Prayers” such as the one suggested here:

Mother, Father, God, Universal Power
Remind us daily of the sanctity of all life.
Touch our hearts with the glorious oneness of all creation
As we strive to respect all the living beings on this planet.
Penetrate our souls with the beauty of this earth,
As we attune ourselves to the rhythm and flow of the seasons.
Awaken our minds with the knowledge
To achieve a world in perfect harmony
And grant us the wisdom to realize
That we can have heaven on earth.27

Unfortunately, many Christian congregations across North America have jumped on the bandwagon of Earth Day transformation—some out of naivety, others with full consent and complicity. One example is San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. During the 2001 Earth Day, Grace held an interfaith song-celebration for the planet:

The music will be an eclectic blend of the world’s musical traditions. Tibetan temple bells will blend with the Cathedral Organ. Vocal performances will range from Native American and Muslim Chants to Spirituals and Choral canticles. Representatives from a diverse range of religious paths will participate in the festivities, including Native American, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, Pagan, and Christian.28

Over the years, Grace Cathedral has been a beacon for comprehensive religious transformation, and has done much to promote a contemporary global-spiritual model, such as helping to birth the United Religions Initiative.

The United Church of Canada is another example. During the last twenty years, the United Church denomination has been considered a Canadian trend-setter in “progressively left” Christian thought. This denomination has also been viewed as a social pillar by academics, political figures, and other leading personalities. Here’s part of a responsive reading for an Earth-centered worship service:

Speaking to the Earth Community, we say: Brothers and Sisters in Creation, we covenant this day with you, with all Creation yet to be, and with the Creator. With every living creature and all that contains and sustains you.

All: With all that is on Earth and with the Earth itself.29

Alarmingly, it doesn’t seem to matter if a church is “right” or “left” in its general outlook. Congregations and denominations that have been historically conservative are focusing on the earth as a point of service too.

In February 2009, I had a chance to visit with some relatives who attend an evangelical church long recognized for its stalwart stand in proclaiming the Gospel. But things have changed. Instead of messages focusing on the truths of God’s Word, sermons have taken an overt ecological edge. Although not promoting Earth-centric beliefs like the United Church—“we covenant this day . . . with the Earth itself”—the teachings highlighted typical environmental themes: Global Warming, the eco-problems supposedly caused by man, and the need to change consumption patterns and social behaviours. Does this remind you of anything?

Like hundreds of other pastors and churches across North America, naivety to the true intent of deep ecology and its message of global transformation is undercutting Christian-based values right in the church itself.

Does this mean that Christians shouldn’t be concerned about the environment? Not at all. However, a healthy biblical approach is needed—one that recognizes the rightful place of man in tending, managing, and using the earth, not one in which man is servant to a planetary master made in the image of the United Nations or some other globally inspired environmental agency. Sadly, pastors and congregations around the world are parroting the message of Earth Day and the leaders of global environmental governance.

The quest to involve the Christian community in Earth Day celebrations is especially significant. Not only do individual churches promote Earth Day as a special event, the Earth Day Network (EDN) specifically targets the “faith community” in the hopes that influential religious leaders will move the global agenda forward. And EDN has some clout.

The Earth Day Network is a group that arose from the original Earth Day in 1970. Today, the organization’s International Council is comprised of some of the world’s most influential globalists:

Lester Brown, Worldwatch.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director of the World Health Organization. Robert Kennedy Jr., Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defence Council.
Gus Speth, former UN Development Programme official.
Maurice Strong, President of the Earth Council and former UN Special Advisor.
David Suzuki, Canada’s leading environmentalist.
Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme.30

Presently, EDN works hard to promote their Communities of Faith Climate Campaign, a Global Warming/Earth Day educational platform targeting religious groups. In fact, the EDN faith-based website has the motto “Earth Day: Something We Can All Believe In.”31

In 2007, EDN reached out to the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities by creating “12,000 sermons and religious events” to empower religious leaders for Earth Day goals. EDN took this a step further during Earth Day 2008 by activating “500,000 parishioners” to support climate change legislation. Many churches also pledged to join EDN for “Earth Day Sunday” in 2008, focusing on climate change and saving the earth during their Sunday services.32

In 2009, the Earth Day Network kicked off their Green Generation campaign, which engaged students, churches, and communities in pressuring the world to adopt a new global climate treaty. Moreover, this campaign continued until 2010 with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Paradoxically, what originally started as a movement to intentionally place Earth on a pedestal while demonizing Christianity, nationalism, and human populations—all focused on driving America’s youth to a pagan, socialist utopia—has now been embraced by churches far-and-wide. Furthermore, by hosting and supporting Earth-centered and interfaith services, churches actually contribute to the systemic attack on biblical values.

Gaia must be smiling—after all, the party is in her honor.

To order copies of Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World, click here.

Endnotes

1. Earth Day Canada FAQ, www.earthday.ca/pub/resources/faqs.php. Economic support for the Earth Day Canada organization comes from a wide array of sponsors, such as Environment Canada (government), The Discovery Channel, Panasonic Canada, Sony, and a host of other groups, including Canada’s largest banking institutions.
2. John Kerry’s blog site and responses, http://blog.johnkerry.com/2007/04/please_take_care_of_spaceship.html.
3. Books consulted on Gaia include: The Life of Greece by Will Durant; Occidental Mythology: The Masks of God by Joseph Campbell; Magick of the Gods and Goddesses by D.J. Conway; Mysteries of the Dark Moon by Demetra George (an overview of the Goddess cultus from the perspective of the dark Goddess—this book, like Magick of the Gods and Goddesses, is a pagan work); The Gods who Walk Among Us by Thomas R. Horn and Donald C. Jones (parallels ancient religions to modern paganismwritten from a Christian perspective); Goddess Earth by Samantha Smith (a Christian exposé of the goddess/environmental movement); Occult Invasion by Dave Hunt (a Christian exposé on occultism, including the Gaia movement). I also consulted a host of websites on Grecian mythology, goddess worship, and the Gaia movement, along with works on the Gaia hypothesis such as Gaia by James Lovelock (this is the book that kick started the “scientific” Gaia hypothesis of a Living Earth); Gaia: The Growth of an Idea by Lawrence E. Joseph (on the history of Gaia and the Gaia hypothesis); and Saviors of the Earth by Michael S. Coffman (Christian exposé of the environmental movement, with material on the Gaia concept).
4. Lawrence E. Joseph, Gaia: The Growth of an Idea (St. Martin’s Press, 1990), p.226.
5. This interview is part of the documentary, Earth’s Two-Minute Warning, narrated by Caryl Matrisciana of Caryl Productions.
6. See Bill Christofferson’s book, The Man from Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Senator Gaylord Nelson (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), p. 6.
7. Ibid., p. 6.
8. For more on the Toyota, Canada, Earth Day program, go to http://www.earthday.ca/scholarship.
9. http://www.ncccusa.org/news/080422earthday.html.
10. Senator Gaylord Nelson, “How the First Earth Day Came About” (EnviroLink, http://earthday.envirolink.org/history.html).
11. Bill Christofferson, The Man from Clear Lake, op. cit., p. 7.
12. Ibid., p. 305.
13. See Paul R. Ehrlich’s essay, “Eco-Catastrophe!,” The Environmental Handbook: Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach-In (Ballantine/Friends of the Earth, 1970, edited by Garrett de Bell), pp. 161-176.
14. Ibid., p. 174.
15. Abid Aslam, “Environment: Warming May Trigger Agricultural Collapse”(IPS, September 12, 2007).
16. “UN Report says fish stocks could collapse because of global warming, pollution” (Associated Press, February 22, 2008).
17. Professor John Brignell’s website is http://www.numberwatch.co.uk.
18. Empowerment for Sustainable Development: Toward Operational Strategies (International Institute for Sustainable Development, 1995), p. 51.
19. Stephen Schneider, Professor of Biology and Global Change, Stanford University (as printed in Trashing the Planet by Dixie Lee Ray, p. 167).
20. Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment, Calgary Herald, December 14, 1998.
21. The documentary, Global Warming or Global Governance, provides some very compelling evidence regarding carbon dioxide benefits. See also, the Petition Project (www.petitionproject.org) for the names of over 31,000  scientists.
22. Gaia Rescue, http://web.archive.org/web/20090321153732/http://gaiarescue.com.
23. Dalai Lama, as printed in Only One Earth (United Nations Environmental Programme, 2000), p. 61.
24. http://rainbowmotherearth.ning.com (this website no longer active).
25. http://bluebanshee.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/earth-fire-and-water.
26. EcoSmart, “The Origins of Earth Day” (Earth Love Movement, April 14, 2008, http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/the-origins-of-earth-day-386630.html).
27. Jo Poore, Earth Prayer (to be used on Earth Day) (Celebrations of Spring, Electronic Newsletter, April 15, 2004, http://web.archive.org/web/20061111094434/http://www.faith-commongood.net/news/letter.asp?ID=1).
28. Grace Cathedral news release, “A Song of Creation: An Interfaith Earth Day Celebration at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco” (http://web.archive.org/web/20061124225152/http://www.ewire.com/display.cfm/Wire_ID/175).
29. United Church of Canada, Enough for All Worship Resource, p. 10.
30. EDN International Council, http://web.archive.org/web/20080821123152/http://earthday.net/node/64.
31. Earth Day Network, Earth Day: Something We Can All Believe In, http://web.archive.org/web/20080820193215/http://www.earthday.net/node/73.
32. Ibid.

To order copies of Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World, click here.

Cover photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission. Cover design and interior design by Lighthouse Trails. Scripture verses in this booklet are taken from the King James Bible.

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