Archive for the ‘CHILDREN AT RISK!’ Category
By Garrett Haley
Christian News Network
SYDNEY, Australia – A judge in southeastern Australia has been partially suspended after he declared that the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality will lead to a normalization of incest.
According to a report last week from The Sydney Morning Herald, Garry Neilson is a district court judge in Sydney, Australia. In a recent sexual assault case, Neilson suggested that an adult male may not have been in the wrong for having sexual relations with his younger teenage sister over 30 years ago.
The 58-year-old man, known for legal reasons as “MRM,” has admitted to raping his sister in the mid-1970s when she was 10 or 11 years old. He again abused her in 1981, but he claims those later actions were legal because he allegedly had her consent. Judge Neilson evidently agrees.
“A jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available,’ not having [a] sexual partner,” Neilson reasoned. Click here to continue reading.
From the Editors at Christian News Network
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two historic rulings today ruling against Obama’s abortion pill mandate, upholding the right of Christian business owners to refuse to provide contraception drugs that may cause abortion to employees in a 5-4 decision.
What will go down in history as two of the most important rulings that will affect Christian business owners and their businesses for many years to come was decided today in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government cannot force owners of closely-owned corporations to provide contraceptive drugs to employees if they hold religious beliefs that oppose them.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the main dissent.
In the 5-4 decision, the majority of the justices ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to privately-owned businesses, such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties which argued against the mandate. Click here to continue reading.
World Vision Cries “Reform” – But What About Israel and the Emerging Church – The Story Behind the Story
According to a recent article by Christian News Network (CNN) titled “World Vision Under Internal Reformation After Support of Homosexuality?,” World Vision appears to be taking measures to “reform” the organization after their recent decision and 48-hour reversal to employ homosexual couples. Since that happened, according to the article, World Vision has lost 10,000 child supporters (equaling over 4 million dollars annually). According to CNN, “World Vision is asking board members to formally affirm a statement that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
CNN also reports that some board member changes are taking place at World Vision as well:
Jacquelline Fuller, director of corporate giving at Google, and John Park, another Google employee, left the board after the dust-up. Three other board members rotated off due to term limits. Rich Stearns [WV president], whose salary is reportedly near $400k per year, remains as president despite some initial talk that he could be fired for the controversy.
While such reforms may appear to be commendable signs that World Vision wants to be seen as a Christian organization after all, something the CNN article says reveals that World Vision’s reforms may not produce the “fruit” they appear to be wanting to create. The article states that the new board members will include Leith Anderson (president of the NAE) and Jerry White, president emeritus of the Christian ministry Navigators. Both Jerry White and Leith Anderson have been the subject of Lighthouse Trails articles because of their roles in the emerging “new” spirituality. And most likely, they will bring their views to the newly formed board at World Vision.
Leith Anderson, former pastor of mega church Wooddale Church in Minnesota, is discussed in Roger Oakland’s book Faith Undone. Oakland, in showing Anderson’s role in helping to form the emerging church in the 90s, states that, “Anderson says that the Word of God is still being written, and today’s experiences can dictate what that Word is.” Anderson says:
The old paradigm taught that if you had the right teaching, you will experience God. The new paradigm says that if you experience God, you will have the right teaching. This may be disturbing for many who assume propositional truth must always precede and dictate religious experience. That mindset is the product of systematic theology and has much to contribute … However, biblical theology looks to the Bible for a pattern of experience followed by proposition. The experience of the Exodus from Egypt preceded the recording of Exodus in the Bible. The experience of the crucifixion, the resurrection and Pentecost all predate the propositional declaration of those events in the New Testament. It is not so much that one is right and the other is wrong: it is more of a matter of the perspective one takes on God’s touch and God’s truth.
This minimization of doctrine and exaggerated emphasis on experience is typical of contemplative/emerging teachers. As well, in an interview with Leith Anderson, Anderson’s ecumenical propensities show through when he states:
[I]n neighborhoods people who are Catholic and Presbyterian and Lutheran are praying together. They go to Bible studies together. And an amalgam of all kinds of religious ideas has taken hold of the grass roots. Whereas denominational leaders are increasingly saying, “Well, we’ve got to stand for our distinctives.” … Well, those denominational leaders are going down the wrong path! (source)
And in a PBS profile of Leith Anderson, Anderson says:
I think that around the world there is a great deal of fear. I think war and terrorism and other issues have made people frightened and that has often driven them back to their social, ethnic and religious roots. And that has distanced people more than it has brought them together. What I would desire and hope for is that we would find our common ground, be able to be respectful of our differences, and be able to fairly hear one another in terms of what are our beliefs, and persuasively speak on behalf of our beliefs.
We find it ironic that World Vision has brought in the services of Leith Anderson when it was this idea of ecumenism and “common ground” that got World Vision into trouble in the first place. As journalist Paul Proctor explains in his article “Relationships and Religious Agendas,” a terrible breach in biblical integrity has occurred in the Christian church for the sake of relationships and unity at all costs:
Having now put so great an emphasis on our relationships with one another and the results we covet, no longer do we turn to the Bible for answers to the issues of life, instead, allowing the counsel of the compromised to compel us along with their practical advise and benevolent ventures, assuming they are anointed and appointed by God to do so. It is a sweet seduction with eternal consequences and a spiritual short cut for the shortsighted and undisciplined.
Scripture is clear that we are to let our yes be yes and our no be no, and there is a special judgement for those who name the name of Christ but are lukewarm (Revelation 3:16). It should be noted that Leith Anderson was also among those appointed by the present White House administration for the interfaith advisory council. But this shouldn’t be too surprising as World Vision has strong ties to the US government. According to the CNN article, World Vision “received nearly $179 million in grants of food and cash from the U.S. government and other agencies” in 2013.
Anderson, president of the National Evangelical Association, was also one of the signers of a document named “A Common Word Between Us and You,” which was an evangelical response to a Muslim document asking for “common ground” to be recognized between the two religions. While a number of popular evangelical leaders also signed the document (Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller,Bill Hybels, Richard Cizik, and Jim Wallis), these leaders, including Anderson, appeared to be ignorant of the fact that the Muslim document contained a rebuke and an Islamic warning as Mike Oppenheimer explains in his article “Chrislam – The Blending Together of Islam & Christianity.”
As for World Vision’s decision to bring aboard the Navigator’s president emeritus, Jerry White, the Navigators (NavPress) has become one of the leaders in bringing in contemplative/emerging spirituality into the church over the last 15 years (see links below). White was international president of The Navigators from 1986 until 2005. While we cannot say whether White knew what was happening at The Navigators regarding the shift toward the emerging church, if he did not know, then this was a serious lack of discernment at the highest leadership level and could repeat itself when he becomes a board member of World Vision. As an example of this, in 2007, Lighthouse Trails wrote an article titled “CMA (Christian Management Association) Goes Contemplative,” where it was reported that Jerry White was at that time chairman of the board of directors at CMA (today he is not chairman but is still on the board). Our article explained:
CMA is promoting contemplative/emerging spirituality. In their recommended books section, they include several contemplative/emerging authors: Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels, Leonard Sweet, Dan Allender, and Daniel Goleman (author of The Meditative Mind). Goleman, a staunch proponent of mantra meditation sees meditation as a common ground between all the world’s religions, and his book is a type of manual on the basics of mysticism. . . .
On March 12-15, CMA will be presenting their 30th Annual Conference in Palm Springs . . . Workshops will include Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality) and other workshop speakers include Nancy Ortberg (wife of contemplative John Ortberg), and Phyllis Hendry (President of Lead Like Jesus) . . .
Articles in CMA magazine back up the association’s affinity with contemplative. One article called “The Soul of a Leader” talks about being intimately connected to God through spiritual disciplines and recommends Richard Foster, emergent Tony Jones, and Dallas Willard as authors to read.
Some may be wondering how World Vision came to the place where they decided to begin employing homosexual couples. Such a radical shift away from orthodox Christianity didn’t happen over night. As Lighthouse Trails has reported on numerous occasions, World Vision has been engaging with the emerging church for a long time. For instance, in 2006, we wrote:
In the Summer 2006 issue of World Vision’s magazine Child View, there is a full-page article by emerging church leader, Brian McLaren. . . . We contacted Jocelyn Bell (of World Vision Canada) who is an editor for Child View and was involved with the McLaren article. We shared our concerns with her about McLaren being in the World Vision magazine, relating to her specific information about McLaren’s theology. Ms. Bell responded with, “We don’t have a problem with Brian McLaren’s viewpoints.” . . . Bell also told us that a weekly devotions group, which includes World Vision leaders and workers, was currently studying McLaren’s book, A Generous Orthodoxy. Ms. Bell told us that World Vision represents both Evangelicals and Protestants as well as Catholics. We asked her if it also included New Age Christians, of which McLaren is in that group. . . . Unfortunately, World Vision’s connections to contemplative/emerging do not stop with their promotion of McLaren. They also have a seat on the Board of Directors of the very contemplative Spiritual Formation Forum (Richard Foster and Dallas Willard) and are a Ministry Partner of the contemplative/emerging promoting Church Communication Network (originators of the Be Still project).
Another highly significant indicator as to where World Vision is heading came out in 2010 with the release of the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian state film With God on Our Side. Steve Haas, a VP of World Vision, was one of the strong proponents for the film, which was “aimed at changing the end-time views of evangelicals and the theology that says the Jews are God’s chosen people and have a divine right to the land of Israel,”1 said Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries. And in a video clip on the Internet (click here to view), you can watch Steve Haas talking in Israel to anti-Israel activist Steven Sizer. Haas talks about the financial support that World Vision has given through their program called Palestinian Church Engagement Initiative (PCEI) to help the Palestinian cause. We wonder how many World Vision donors realize that their donations have gone to hurt Israel (for more on the “Christian” Palestinianism issue, click here).
World Vision is trying to reverse some of the damage they have incurred when they made their pro-homosexual announcement recently. Thus, some of the more “liberal” board members have left, with it looking like to the average Christian that they are replacing them with traditional evangelical Christians. While their testing of the waters to see how the church would accept their homosexual employee policy didn’t come out too well, rest assured that World Vision is not making any true reform. They are merely taking a few steps back and waiting until the time is right. Richard Stearn’s (the president of World Vision) book The Hole in Our Gospel proves that the organization is not about biblical Christianity. According to a book review we posted, Stearn’s book “is the newest danger to come against true Believers in the Church Age. It promotes a false gospel within a socialistic philosophy. It fails miserably in its hermeneutic, is ecumenical in focus, promotes human performance as a method of pleasing God, and believes people on earth can do good to ‘usher in the Kingdom.’”
So while World Vision is crying “reform” right now, and most likely this will be the story that the media, both secular and Christian, will pick up and run with, the real story behind the scene is that World Vision is part of the “new” spirituality/New Age “Christianity” that will help usher in the greatest deception this world has ever seen. And countless Christians’ tax-deductible dollars will help finance it.
Chrislam? Christian Palestinianism? by T.A. McMahon
To Lighthouse Trails:
I just came across your site in search of some background information concerning the emergent church movement (which I was aware of, but had no idea of it’s size or that it was labeled as such).
I was concerned about a particular speaker at Compassion Intl. and after finding the post at the Lighthouse Trails blog, “Letter to the Editor: What To Do When Christian Charities, Such as Compassion, Turn Contemplative/Emergent,” and reading some articles at ‘Stand Up for The Truth,’ I realized there are many on that particular list that cause concern.
Last June they appointed a new President and Chief Executive [Santiago Mellado]. When I went to the website, I read over his biography again… rather than summarize, I would just encourage you to read it.
LTRP Note: Compassion International’s new president, Santiago Mellado, was the president of the contemplative/emerging-promoting Willow Creek Association for 20 years (according to the biography mentioned above). Couple that with Compassion International’s embracing of numerous contemplative/emergent speakers, and concerns about Compassion mount. It is also troubling to consider what the ramifications may be for Compassion International if Mellado shares the same “Christian Palestinianism” views that Willow Creek leader Lynn Hybels has.
Results of Bill Gothard Harassment Investigation Released – “No Criminal Activity Has Been Discovered”
LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational purposes and as a follow up to a previous article we posted and is not meant as an endorsement for the source, Christianity Today. The article we previously posted is “Bill Gothard Resigns from Institute in Basic Life Principles Under Allegations of Sexual Abuse (And How to Spot the Signs of a Sexual Predator).”
By Ruth Moon
A board investigation into allegations that Bill Gothard sexually harassed teen girls has concluded that the popular seminar speaker acted inappropriately but not criminally.
CT reported in March how Gothard resigned as president of his Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) after his board began investigating sexual harassment accusations from more than 30 women. IBLP said the 79-year-old, who drew 2.5 million people to his family-focused Basic Seminars but never married, explained that he “wanted to follow Matthew 5:23–24 and listen to those who have ‘ought against’ him.”
In a statement released Tuesday (full text below), the IBLP board of directors said that Gothard’s “shortcomings” do not discredit his past teaching but will prevent him from working for IBLP in a counseling, leadership, or board role “at this time.” According to the statement:
At this point, based upon those willing to be interviewed, no criminal activity has been discovered. If it had been, it would have been reported to the proper authorities immediately, as it will be in the future if any such activity is revealed.
However, the review showed that Mr. Gothard has acted in an inappropriate manner, and the Board realizes the seriousness of his lack of discretion and failure to follow Christ’s example of being blameless and above reproach. Click here to continue reading.
By Garrett Haley
Christian News Network
As states across the country grapple with the controversial ‘Common Core’ educational guidelines, many Christian homeschooling families and organizations are leading the charge against the standards, asserting that they threaten parents’ rights to educate their children.
Several states—including Texas, Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma, and, most recently, Louisiana—have all taken steps to partially or completely opt out of the Common Core curriculum. The nationalized Common Core standards would require schools to meet certain learning benchmarks at each grade level, but some educators and lawmakers are skeptical about the program.
“We’re very alarmed about choice and local control of curriculum being taken away from our parents and educators,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stated in a recent press conference.
In addition to educators and lawmakers, many Christian homeschooling families and homeschooling organizations have expressed opposition to Common Core. BJU Press, a leading publisher of Christian homeschooling materials, strongly condemned the motive behind the new standards. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: The following article is posted for informational and research purposes.
By Michael Paulson
New York Times
BRUNSWICK, Me. — For 40 years, evangelicals at Bowdoin College have gathered periodically to study the Bible together, to pray and to worship. They are a tiny minority on the liberal arts college campus, but they have been a part of the school’s community, gathering in the chapel, the dining center, the dorms.
After this summer, the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship will no longer be recognized by the college. Already, the college has disabled the electronic key cards of the group’s longtime volunteer advisers.
In a collision between religious freedom and antidiscrimination policies, the student group, and its advisers, have refused to agree to the college’s demand that any student, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, should be able to run for election as a leader of any group, including the Christian association.
Similar conflicts are playing out on a handful of campuses around the country, driven by the universities’ desire to rid their campuses of bias, particularly against gay men and lesbians, but also, in the eyes of evangelicals, fueled by a discomfort in academia with conservative forms of Christianity. The universities have been emboldened to regulate religious groups by a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that found it was constitutional for a public law school in California to deny recognition to a Christian student group that excluded gays. Click here to continue reading.