LTRP Note: The following from Berit Kjos is from her book A Twist of Faith, which identifies and warns against “goddess spirituality.” Keep in mind that The Shack and Sue Monk Kidd’s book, The Secret Life of Bees (recently made into a movie) carry the “goddess spirituality” theme within their pages through the Black Madonna figure.
We should not underestimate the impact these books (and their spiritual overtones) are having on millions of people. It can be subtle at first, but remember what happened to Sue Monk Kidd: she started out as a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher. After she was introduced to the writings of Thomas Merton, her spiritual outlook began to change. Eventually, she came to believe that the God of the Bible was not the true God and that a feminine goddess (one which dwelt in all things – even graffetti on a wall) was. Is it any wonder that Lighthouse Trails became alarmed to see David Jeremiah favorably talking about Sue Monk Kidd in his book Life Open Wide and saying that she was one of a handful of people who had learned the secret to a “passionate” life.
If you have not read some of our material regarding Sue Monk Kidd, The Shack, and David Jeremiah’s book, we urge you to do so. The spiritual welfare of your loved ones may be at stake. (see links at bottom of this post)
“Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother on Earth?”
by Berit Kjos
This first chapter summarizes our concern for women and the church today. Please take a look at the massive cultural movement that is enticing God’s people to twist His Word and to trust feelings and experience rather than on His unchanging truth. The result is deception, disappointment, depression, and despair. But God shows us the way back to His peace and protection.
Peggy’s struggles seemed endless. She wanted to be close to God, but she rarely felt His presence. She wanted her teenage son to love Him, but the occult posters in his room became daily reminders of unanswered prayer. She joined a Christian ministry, but satisfying fellowship with God kept eluding her. Eventually she left the ministry to return to college.
She called me a few years later. She had begun to find herself, she said. Her search had led her beyond the familiar voices that had provided “pat answers” to her spiritual questions. The Biblical God no longer seemed either relevant or benevolent, but a college teacher had been helpful in her journey toward self-discovery. This teacher-counselor called herself a witch — one who believes in the power of magic formulas and rituals to invoke power from spiritual forces.
Some years passed. When Peggy called again, she had left her husband and moved away. “I had to find me,” she explained. “My spiritual journey has opened my eyes to a whole new paradigm . . . .”
“A new paradigm?”
“Yes. A brand new way of seeing God and myself — and everything else. It’s like being born again.”
“Who is Jesus Christ to you now?” I asked.
“He is a symbol of redemption,” she answered. “But I haven’t rejected the Bible. I’m only trying to make my spiritual experience my own. I have to hear my own voice and not let someone else choose for me. Meanwhile, I’m willing to live with confusion and mystery. I feel like I’m in God’s hands whether God is He, She, or It.”
Can you identify with Peggy? Or do you have friends on similar journeys? Like millions of other seekers, Peggy longs for practical spirituality, a sense of identity, a community of like-minded seekers, and a God she can feel. She remembers meaningful Bible verses, but they have lost their appeal as guidelines. Somehow the Bible no longer fits her thinking or her personal wants.
She wonders why God isn’t more tolerant and broad-minded. After all, He is the God of love, isn’t He? Maybe a feminine deity would be more compassionate, understanding, and relevant to women. Perhaps it’s time to move beyond the old boundaries of Biblical truth into the boundless realms of dreams, visions, and self-discovery?
Multitudes have. What used to be sparsely traveled sideroads to New Age experiences have become cultural freeways to self-made spirituality. Masses of church women drift onto these mystical superhighways where they adapt their former beliefs to today’s more “inclusive” views. After all, they are told, peace in a pluralistic world demands a more open-minded look at all religions and cultures.
Those who agree can find countless paths to self-discovery and personal empowerment through books, magazines, and new kinds of women’s group. They meet at the YWCA, in bookstores, in traditional churches, at retreat centers, living rooms . . . anywhere. Here, strange new words and practices such as “enneagrams,” labyrinths, Sophia Circles, and “critical mass” — offer modern formulas for spiritual transformation. Therapists, facilitators and spiritual directors promise “safe places” where seekers can discover their own truth, learn new rituals, affirm each other’s experiences, and free themselves from old “boxes” and boundaries.
Perhaps you are part of such a group. You may have friends or relatives who are exploring these new paths. Or you may be among those who wonder how those weird, mystical activities could possibly touch your life. Unlike the women seeking truth in pagan circles, you may know your destination and feel no need for spiritual alternatives. You’re safe in your family, in your church, and among your personal friends.
Are you sure? This new spiritual movement is transforming our churches as well as our culture. It touches every family that reads newspapers, watches television, and sends children to community schools. It is fast driving our society beyond Christianity, beyond humanism — even beyond relativism — toward new global beliefs and values. No one is immune to its subtle pressures and silent promptings. That it parallels other social changes and global movements only speeds the transformation. Yet, most Christians — like the proverbial frog — have barely noticed.
This feminist movement demands new deities or, at least, a rethinking of the old ones. So the search for a “more relevant” religion calls for new visions of God: images that trade holiness for tolerance, the heavenly for the earthly, and the God who is above us for a god who is us.
The most seductive images are feminine. They may look like postcard angels, fairy godmothers, Greek earth goddesses, radiant New Age priestesses, or even a mythical Mary, but they all promise unconditional love, peace, power and personal transcendence. To many, they seem too good to refuse. To continue …
Important Related Information:
LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails received the following update today regarding Roger Oakland, who was seriously injured a few weeks ago when he fell. The update was sent by Ron Pierotti, Roger’s friend and co-worker at Understand the Times. See also: (August 1st update). Thank you to all who have emailed saying you are praying for Roger.
Update from Ron Pierotti:
Roger is scheduled for an MRI in two weeks. The nurse told them that if Roger wasn’t already in the hospital it could take one year to get the MRI. His slurred speech has lessened, and his balance is better. The double vision and blurred vision are still there, and I know that is hard to take. I pray that the MRI will show them more.
Please pray for the Family Medical leave for Myrna [Roger’s wife]. The claim she has to submit has many rules and is subject to approval.
After much prayer and counsel, we are starting a fund for Roger and Myrna. The costs of Roger’s stay in the hospital are covered by insurance, but Roger and Myrna depend on Myrna’s income. Since Myrna is taking a Family Medical leave from her job, they will experience some financial hardship. Roger and Myrna don’t know about this fund, and I want to surprise them.
Please don’t feel compelled to give to this fund. Only do so if the Lord places it upon your heart to give. Paul said:
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8
If you feel led to give to this fund, you can do so by clicking here, which will take you to a donate page on Roger’s website.
By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM–The U.S. and international media are rife with misleading stories of club-wielding Israeli police evicting Palestinians from homes in Jerusalem, failing to provide proper background information while painting a picture of Jewish expansionist activity that could not be further from the truth.
A BBC article entitled, “Palestinians evicted from Jerusalem,” tells of Israeli police who evicted nine Palestinian families living in two houses in “occupied East Jerusalem.”
“Jewish settlers moved into the houses almost immediately. The U.S. has urged Israel to abandon plans for a building project in the area,” reported the British outlet.
An AFP report, “Israel evicts Palestinians from Jerusalem homes,” begins with a scene of intimidating Jews removing peaceful Arabs from their apartments.
“Israeli riot police wielding clubs kicked out two Palestinian families from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem on Sunday, defying international protests over Jewish settlement activity in the area,” reported AFP.
“I was born in this house and so were my children,” Maher Hanoun, one of the evictees, was quoted as stating. “Now we are on the streets. We have become refugees.”
Reuters reported that Israeli police “evicted two Palestinian families on Sunday from homes in Arab East Jerusalem, and Jews moved in, despite pressure from Israel’s main ally, the United States, to freeze settlements.”
Scores of other news outlets featured similar pieces. Most of the articles focused almost exclusively on international condemnation of the Israeli moves. The pieces did not provide much background on just why these Arabs were being evicted other than one sentence in each article stating an Israeli court ruled the Arabs should be removed.
Most of the pieces did not cite the justification for the court ruling, with the exception of Reuters, which wrongly claimed the decision was based solely on “19th century documents.”
Now, let’s reveal what is really happening. Click here to continue reading …
Contact: Linda Harvey, President, Mission America, 614-442-7998, firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA ADVISORY, Aug. 3 /Christian Newswire/ — Mission America denounces the murder of two teenagers and the wounding of many others who were visiting a “gay” youth center in Tel Aviv, Israel. President Linda Harvey said this:
“We are deeply saddened by this violent act and the deaths of these young people, and pray for the perpetrator to be found and brought to justice.
“At the same time, it is deplorable this incident is already being used by the homosexual community to blame this act on those holding a traditional moral viewpoint. Israelis, just as anyone else on earth, should still have the right to oppose homosexuality for religious or other reasons without being called accessories to murder. The motive is still unknown; why engage in slanderous speculation?
“Are those who bravely stand up against the deviance of homosexuality–which violates the dignity and worth of those involved — responsible for all crime against those drawn to the lifestyle? This kind of bigotry has no place in a civilized society and is wildly irresponsible, unjust and inaccurate.”
Mission America (www.missionamerica.com) is a Christian organization that has worked for over a decade to expose the harmful “gay” agenda directed at youth, and maintains that homosexuality is not an inborn condition. Such claims are without scientific merit . Those who have same sex attractions should see them as a sinful disorder, yet one that can be overcome. Thousands of admitted ex-homosexuals show the ever-present hope for change.
“It’s tragic that any teens go to these centers, and we remain unequivocally opposed to their purpose, which is to legitimize this behavior and draw young people into claiming a homosexual identity, often without parental involvement or knowledge. ” Harvey said. “Yet the reason we have for our opposition, is because of the harm homosexuality will do in these precious lives. I don’t know any pro-family conservatives who would wish more harm to come into these young lives. We are in the business of trying to help them avoid risks simply by proclaiming there’s a better way.”
She added, “No one needs to be involved in homosexuality, but unfortunately, these two young people can no longer hear that message.
“Our greatest hope for all youth is that they live long and healthy lives. These kids’ chance to do that has been stolen from them. Our prayers are with their families in this time of loss.”
by By Jim Fletcher
With attendance down significantly at the Christian Booksellers’ Association trade show last week, I want to examine some reasons for the decline in Christian retail—without focusing on the much bemoaned economy.
Discussing the real reasons for that decline, however, can’t be done in polite company.
The production and sale of Christian books assumes that the publishers, trade organizations and sales channels pull in the same direction philosophically. That would mean, of course, that fundamentally, a person working in the Christian book industry would embrace the teachings of the Bible. The Christian Booksellers Association operated on this philosophy for many years.
In the 1990s, however, there was a shift in philosophy. Publishers, stores and distributors began to realize the vast potential for making money. As time went on, to appeal to the broadest possible audience, works began to creep in that were decidedly not aligned with the Bible.
I remember years ago walking onto the floor of a CBA convention and seeing Health Communications’ booth. They were rolling out the first of the wildly successful “Chicken Soup” books. In the first volume, I remember reading an essay that discussed the “Golden Buddha” inside us.
I don’t have a Golden Buddha inside me, and neither do orthodox Christians.
So I wrote to a CBA representative, saying basically, “Hey, you’ll never guess who I saw at CBA. You are probably not aware of this.”
They were aware of it. The representative sent me a letter, then his lawyer sent me a letter. Both explained they had to allow Health Communications to display. Click here to read this entire article.
As we reported on July 20th, Lighthouse Trails author and director of Understand the Times, Roger Oakland, was injured when he had a fall. He broke his ribs, which punctured his lungs. Emergency surgery was performed. It was then discovered that Roger, who had also hit his head during the fall, was suffering from double vision and other symptoms. We have now learned that these symptoms are being caused from bleeding in the brain. Canadian doctors tending Roger are trying to determine the severity of this. We ask you to please continue praying for Roger. The family has sent their thanks to all who have been praying. We are expecting another update sometime this weekend and will issue that update right away.