Posts Tagged ‘Berit Kjos’

Letter to the Editor: A Church I Visited Doing “Soaking” – What is Soaking?

Photo from CBN; used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

A church I visited when I moved to another State has what they refer to as ‘soakings’. My understanding is that they sit quietly and wait for messages from the Lord. The pastor attends these soakings as well as participates in them. Sounds much like contemplative prayer to me. Several women in that church are tuned into ‘Jesus Calling’. It is an Assembly of God denomination. I have yet to see the term ‘soakings’ in your articles but I am relatively new and may have missed it?

Our Comment:

Lighthouse Trails has been collecting information on “soaking” prayer for a number of years. Here are some quotes about soaking prayer  by various authors. To read the entire articles, click on the links following the quotes.

SOAKING

There is nothing in the Bible about soaking or saturating in the Holy Spirit. We are to worship in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24), which means that the teaching in the Church must bring worship to the Lord by upholding the timeless truths of the written Word. – Sandy Simpson, “How to be Unsaturated”


Kundalini Energy & Christian Spirituality
(the same as contemplative or soaking prayer)
Ray Yungen
Kundalini is a Hindu term for the mystical power or force that underlies their spirituality. In Hinduism it is commonly referred to as the serpent power. Philip St. Romain, a substance abuse counselor and devout Catholic lay minister, began his journey while practicing contemplative prayer or resting in the still point, as he called it. What happened to him following this practice should bear the utmost scrutiny from the evangelical community-especially from our leadership. Having rejected mental prayer as “unproductive” he embraced the prayer form that switches off the mind, creating what he described as a mental passivity. What he encountered next underscores my concern with sobering clarity. Read more …. Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality

 

Physical Symptoms and a Demonic Realm

Physical symptoms, which can include things like a tingling sensation, that occur during Soaking Prayer are similar to those experienced during the Kundalini experience, and both are dangerous and can take the practitioner into a demonic realm.

* * * * * * *

“Some of these phenomena are obvious: weeping, cries, exuberant and prolonged expressions of praise, shaking, trembling, calmness, bodily writhing and distortions, falling over (sometimes referred to as ‘being slain in the Spirit’), laughter and jumping. Other phenomena are more subtle: slight trembling, fluttering of the eyelids, faint perspiring, a sheen on the face, ripples on the skin, deep breathing…” Wimber also said that people sometimes experience a sense of heaviness or tiredness, weeping or drunkenness.” “SOAKING PRAYER” by Roger Harper 


BODILY SENSATIONS AND “SOAKING PRAYER”

Kent Philpott

“Some leaders get tingling in their hands, some have their hands get warm when healing is about to occur, some feel “power surges” going through their bodies. Some claim that they see a person’s “aura” when soaking a person in prayer. Soaking means pouring out lots of prayer over a person, often with laying on of hands and/or passing the hands over a person. It is reminiscent of what is called “Therapeutic Touch” [Reiki] practiced by new age and alternative medicine enthusiasts. People who believe in soaking prayer get the sense that power is passing through their bodies and actually helping to bring healing, comfort and love. And those who are soaking someone testify that they feel waves coming from the person or going toward the person being prayed for. Certainly something may be felt or experienced, however, is it the Holy Spirit?” TORONTO BLESSING: CHRISTIAN-BASED MAGIC? by Kent Philpott



Also these articles:

SOAKING? A spiritual discipline or Eastern mysticism?
by Kjos Ministries

Contemplative Prayer and the Evangelical Church
by Ray Yungen

Reiki, a Universal Energy Technique to Heal
by Mike Oppenheimer

What is really going on in the church?
By Mike Oppenheimer

To fully understand soaking prayer, it is necessary to understand contemplative prayer and its relation to the occult and Hinduism. Read A Time of Departing

The New Age, Occultism, and Our Children in Public Schools

From bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.

From bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.

By Berit Kjos
Kjos Ministries

“Softening Up” For Occult Revival—Hermetic Magic & Hegel’s Dialectic Process

Why would our country, so richly blessed by God, embrace the occult? What caused this drastic change in values? How could it have happened so seemingly fast?!

Actually, the entire Western world had already been “softened up” by the 1960s when the rising rebellion against God erupted into public view. The century-old pursuit of social solidarity based on Georg Hegel’s occult philosophy and consensus process had been an effective tool for change.

Hegel’s 19th century pattern for “group thinking” denied God’s absolute truths and trained people to adapt to “continual change” and group consensus. By the year 2000, it had been embraced by schools, corporations, community organizations, mainline churches, and political structures throughout America. Through the global media, people around the world have caught Hegel’s vision of spiritual synthesis—an enticing blend of spiritual illusions and practices that appeal to our capricious human nature.

Hegel studied alchemy, Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), and theosophy, which were all influenced by the heretical teachings of Gnosticism. He “read widely on Mesmerism, psychic phenomena, dowsing, precognition, and sorcery. He publicly associated himself with known occultists . . . and aligned himself, informally, with ‘Hermetic’ societies such as the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians” and embraced their symbolic systems of sacred circles, mystical triangles and astrological signs.1

Considering Hegel’s occult connections, it’s not surprising that his teachings would undermine biblical faith and all opposing facts. Nor is it strange that the postmodern (or some now say pseudo-modern) generation has been, by and large, inoculated and indoctrinated against genuine Christianity. After all, Hegel’s revolutionary dialectic process was the center-piece and hallmark of Soviet brainwashing. It effectively purged God’s unchanging truths and filled the vacuum with evolving “truths” and enticing dreams.

While Communist leaders embraced Hegel’s process, they ignored his occult beliefs. In contrast, the Western world began to restore those pagan roots long before revolutionary baby-boomers began proclaiming and shouting out their demands for sensual freedom and earth-centered spirituality. In other words, the ’60s didn’t initiate this radical change; the turmoil of the ’60s was the result of the psycho-social program of “re-learning” which had begun to transform America decades earlier.

As the old moral and spiritual boundaries were torn down, the mainstream media preached tolerance and acceptance of all kinds of forbidden thrills. Before long, occult secrets emerged from their centuries-old closets and claimed their place in mainstream entertainment.

We who trust God need to recognize our enemy, resist his tempting strategies, and know the truths that counter these deadly deceptions. The very safety of our children depends on it.

Yoga in Schools

There’s no arguing it, children in public schools are learning Yoga. According to Yoga instructor, Mark Blanchard, of Progressive Power Yoga, he taught children at Colfax Elementary School in California. On his blog, he wrote: “I will be introducing Yoga to all of the kids at the school as I donate a full Yoga program.”2 Blanchard has been featured in many magazines such as Family Circle and Seventeen and has trained many actors and actresses (like Jennifer Lopez and Drew Barrymore).3 Blanchard plans to “bring Progressive Power Yoga to as many places as [he] can around the states (as well as the globe).”4

Part of Blanchard’s plans include working with Mini Yogis Yoga for Kids. On the Mini Yogis website, they list not only Blanchard’s company but many other organizations as well, many of which are schools like Happy Land Preschool in Culver City and St. Monica’s Elementary School in Santa Monica5 (both in California).

Yoga for kids is on the rise, and if your child attends public school, you may want to check to see if teachers there are teaching him or her Yoga. A program called YogaEd provides Yoga classes under the heading of “health/wellness” programs for schools. These programs take place in several states including California, Colorado, New York, Washington and Washington, D.C.6

In an article titled “Yoga Causes Controversy in Public Schools,” veteran apologist Dave Hunt is referenced and quoted:

Dave Hunt, who has traveled to India to study yoga’s roots and interview gurus, called the practice “a vital part of the largest missionary program in the world” for Hinduism. The Bend, [Oregon] author of Yoga and the Body of Christ: What Position Should Christians Hold? said that, like other religions, the practice has no place in public schools.

“It’s pretty simple: Yoga is a religious practice in Hinduism. It’s the way to reach enlightenment. To bring it to the west and bill it as a scientific practice for fitness is dishonest,” said Hunt.7

Parents whose children are in Christian schools may need to be concerned too. More and more churches and Christian organizations are opening their doors to the practice of Yoga. And the biggest Christian publisher, Thomas Nelson, published a book titled Yoga for Christians in 2006. It’s just a matter of time before kids in Christian schools will be learning Yoga and the “art” of meditation.

It is tragic to know that countless public school children are being taught practices that are rooted in Eastern mysticism and will learn how to say “Namaste” (the god in me greets the god in you) before they learn they can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ without going into altered states of consciousness through meditation. And it is equally tragic that many Christians will not even be able to help them because they are learning similar practices through their own “Spiritual Formation” (i.e, contemplative spirituality) programs in their churches.

Meditation in the Classroom

An article in The Capitol Times titled “Kid Contemplatives: UW Neuroscientist’s Project Aims to Give Middle-Schoolers Tools of ‘Mindfulness’ and Meditation” tells about a pilot project done with middle school students that studied the effects of “contemplation in the classroom.”8 The article states:

Middle school students are being targeted because early adolescence is a time of heightened vulnerability due to body and brain changes. . . .

Centering prayer, meditation, breath work, chanting, sitting in silence, extended concentration on an object and focusing on positive thoughts and images are examples of contemplative exercises that can be taught.9

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson, who was the chair for the project, wants to use his research in meditative practices by studying the brains of Buddhist monks, in the classroom. Davidson, named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2006, and others like him are making inroads into meditation becoming the norm in schoolroom settings.

In The Capitol Times article, contemplative activist and Catholic priest Thomas Keating is quoted as saying that meditation in the classroom is “not a religious issue” and that “sitting in silence for twenty minutes, twice a day, ‘gradually introduces us to our deeper self.’”10 But the article contradicts Keating’s view that meditation is not religious:

Like Buddhist meditation, centering prayer for Christians is an age-old religious practice that has experienced a revival in contemporary times.11

And as this article reveals, children are being targeted with meditation:

“Most people without a special (contemplative) practice tend to be pushed around by external events,” Keating contends. In classrooms, “the younger the child, the easier it is” to teach contemplation because young participants typically aren’t impeded by as much emotional baggage.12

As one researcher of the New Age explains:

The field of education presents an ideal setting for transformation. In virtually every area of education and instruction, from kindergarten to universities, from weekend workshops to family counseling sessions, the Ancient Wisdom is being taught either up front or covertly. This is largely happening because teachers, principals, and other administrators in particular have become involved in metaphysics.13

While not every public school has introduced meditation in their classrooms yet, more and more schools are implementing Yoga and other forms of Eastern-style meditation practices into students’ lives.

(Berit Kjos is the author of How to Protect Your Child From the New Age and Spiritual Deception, a must-read book for every Christian parent. In the chapter this article was extracted from, there are also sections on Sesame Street, the Girl Scouts, Halloween, and more.)

Endnotes:

1. Glenn Alexander Magee, Hegel, and the Hermetic Tradition (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2001), pp. 1-3. This Hermetic Tradition originated in Egypt. According to the Gnostic Society, “The Hermetic tradition is usually understood as a form of ‘pagan Gnosticism,’ developing in Egypt during the same historical period that saw the flowering of the Christian Gnostic tradition.” (From: http://www.faculty.umb.edu/gary_zabel/Courses/Phil%20281b/Philosophy%20of%20Magic/Arcana/Gnostic%20Texts/lectures.html).
2. Mark Blanchard, “Family Yoga Practice” (November 4, 2006, http://web.archive.org/web/20090620224738/http://www.progressivepoweryoga.com/blog/2006/11/family-yoga-practice.html).
3. http://www.markblanchardsyoga.com/about-mark-blanchard.html.
4. Mark Blanchard, “Family Yoga Practice,” op. cit.
5. Mini Yogis: Yoga for Kids: http://www.miniyogis.com/clients.htm.
6. Yoga Ed. in Action: http://www.yogaed.com/action.html.
7. “Yoga Causes Controversy in Public Schools” (Associated Press, January 28, 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16859368/ns/health-childrens_health/t/yoga-causes-controversy-public-schools/).
8. “Kid Contemplatives: UW Neuroscientist’s Project Aims to Give Middle-Schoolers Tools of ‘Mindfulness’ and Meditation” (The Capital Times, November 9, 2007, http://psyphz.psych.wisc.edu/web/News/captimes_11-8-07.html).
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. Ray Yungen, For Many Shall Come in My Name (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails, 2nd ed., 2007), p. 66.

Biblical versus Cultural Christianity

“[C]ount it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

By Berit Kjos
Kjos Ministries

This chart is an attempt to answer those who judge Christians by the atrocities committed in the name of “Christianity” through the ages — including our own times. Those wars, persecutions, and cruelties had little to do with Biblical Christianity. They had everything to do with man’s greedy, power-hungry human nature which seeks its own ways rather than God’s. The ungodly expressions of our human nature may change from culture to culture, but the result is usually the same: the people imagine a god that fits their new cultural wants and values, and they learn to see this distortion of Christianity as the true church.

Biblical Christianity means being joined to Jesus Christ through faith in what He did for us at the cross, then allowing Him to live His life through us, so that others might know Him and see His love. (That love may include sharing His warnings as well as His promises with those in need.) The established Church, like Old Testament Israel, has always tended to drift away from its devotion to God and become just other institutions, subject to the same human impulses and painful consequences as the rest of the world. Please don’t blame human evils on a “straw-man” or a convenient cultural distortion of Christianity. Consider some of the differences between Biblical faith and today’s cultural deviations.

 

 

In joy or pain our course is onward still

 Biblical Christianity

Only understood by those who are joined to Christ through the cross

 Cultural Christianity

Believed by the masses to represent genuine Christianity

 It is…  A personal relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ, based on faith. John 17:20-26; Rom. 8:37-39 A religion based on humanist logic, “feel good” experiences,  and popular interpretations of Scriptures.
Come to God through…  Faith in Jesus Christ Who has revealed Himself in His Word and by His Spirit. John 14:6  Faith that our own good works and intentions are good enough.
View the Bible as:  The absolute, unchanging, Word of God. The Bible is inspired and guarded by God — including its honest reports about evil acts among God’s people. 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet 1:25 A collection of guidelines, allegories, myths, and stories useful for good living. Offensive verses must be ignored.
 Our goal is…  God’s approval. To know Him, do His will, follow His way, and live each moment in fellowship with Him — by His wonderful grace! Gal.1:10 People’s approval. To please, not offend, the world and its communities. Fun, feel-good fellowship.
Source of Strength  God’s unlimited grace and power. Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:19  Our human abilities — plus God’s help when “needed.”
 See our human self as…  Weak and inadequate apart from Christ. 2 Cor. 12:9-10  Strong and capable if we have confidence in Self.
 See sin as…  Leading to spiritual bondage and death. Rom. 6:23  A normal part of life. Ignore it, or you might offend someone. Or enjoy it, for “God understands” you needs and inclinations.
 Deal with sin through…  Confession and faith: trusting Jesus as the “Lamb,” our Savior who bore our sins on cross. Rom. 6:1-6  Try to do better next time, or just tolerate it. Don’t offend anyone by making them feel guilty.
 Caring for people…  Bring people to Christ. Demonstrate God’s love. Trust God to meet needs by His Spirit working through our surrendered lives. Rom. 12:9-18 Bring people to the church or group. Don’t tolerate uncompromising Christians who might offend people. Do to others as you would have others do to you.
 Response to suffering:  Trust God to use suffering to deepen our faith and endurance, prepare us for ministry, and demonstrate His love and power. 2 Cor. 1:3-11  Pray, endure, and trust that God will help. It’s okay to challenge God’s love, power, and purpose — and to seek quick relief through whatever means available — no matter how it conflicts with His Word.
 Commitment: Trust and follow God. No compromise. Rather die than betray our Lord. Rom. 12:1-2  Trust and follow feelings and human logic. Compromise essential to avoid offending the world.
 Expect to…  Face rejection and persecution. John 15:20-21  Get along and influence the world.
 Outreach: Bring God’s love and good news to the needy, then bring the needy to Jesus. Adapt the church to the “community” so that everyone will feel at home.
 Daily hope:  Eternity with Jesus, our Shepherd and King. 1 Peter 1:3-9  Success, acceptance of all people, fun and fellowship in this life.

To read this entire article, click here.

Parents Oppose District’s Policy of ‘Interrogating’ Homeschoolers on Religious Beliefs

By Garrett HaleySchool bus
Christian News Network

GOOCHLAND, Va. – Hundreds of concerned parents in Virginia recently voiced opposition to a controversial policy that allows school officials to grill homeschool parents and students on their religious beliefs.

In 2013, Goochland County Public Schools began requiring homeschool parents to reapply for a religious exemption to public education once their children turn 14 years old. The school district also requires homeschool families to write statements describing their religious beliefs.

“Before the School Board takes action on a request for a religious exemption, the parent must submit the application, a letter of statement explaining their bona fide religious beliefs and in the case of a student age 14 or older, a statement from the child stating his/her bona fide religious beliefs,” the school policy states.

The policy also gives the school board permission to schedule meetings with homeschool parents and students to question their religious beliefs. Click here to continue reading.

LTRP Note: For information on how to protect your children spiritually and educationally, read Berit Kjos’ book, How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception.

A War on Christianity—And Our Children in Public Schools Are the Casualties

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

Pupils In Class Using Digital Tablet

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Humanism has paved the way for the New Age, but most of us didn’t notice. Just as termites can chew away at a home’s foundation for decades before the damage shows, so humanist educators have sought to undermine the public school system. Suddenly we had to face the fact that many schools teach goals and values that contradict biblical values. And the humanist-oriented educational establishment promotes its beliefs as aggressively as any other religious group. Listen to their war cry:

The battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being.

These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool, day care, or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of ‘love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved.1

American philosopher and educator John Dewey kindled the fire of educational reform. The first president of the American Humanist Association, Dewey was determined to weed out Christian absolutes and reseed with “truths” that could adjust to changing cultures. The Humanist Manifesto, which Dewey signed in 1933, declares the heart of the movement. This is part of its introduction:

There is great danger of a final, and we believe fatal, identification of the word religion with doctrines and methods which have lost their significance and which are powerless to solve the problem of human living in the Twentieth Century . . . Any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today, must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present.2

Without the 3.2 million-member National Education Association, considered one of the nation’s most powerful political machines, Dewey’s ideas might have been confined to university campuses. Supported by the NEA, comprised of textbook writers and superintendents as well as professors and public school teachers, Dewey’s vision spread like wildfire. Through its militant leadership, the whole educational system became involved—with or without the personal support of local educators, many of whom didn’t realize what was happening.

Few textbooks have escaped the watchful eye of NEA censors, who have doggedly followed Dewey’s plan to provide a “purified environment for the child.” Historical facts that clashed with “progressive education” have been distorted or erased. The NEA has sought total control of curriculum content, control of teachers’ colleges, and sex education, free from parental interference. Though a high percentage of American teachers consider themselves moderate or conservative, the NEA supports abortion on demand (without parental consent), preferential treatment of homosexuals, and teaching evolution, while omitting creationism from the classroom.3

One book, Censorship: Evidence of Bias in Our Children’s Textbooks, unveils some alarming facts. Christianity, family values, and certain political and economic positions have been systematically banished from children’s textbooks. For example, in 670 stories from third-and sixth-grade readers:

No story features Christian or Jewish religious motivation, although one story does make American Indian religion the central theme in the life of a white girl.

Almost no story features marriage or motherhood as important or positive. . . . But there are many aggressively feminist stories that openly deride manhood.

In an original story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, the main character prayed “to God” and later remarked “Thank God.” In the story as presented in the sixth-grade reader, the words “to God” were taken out and the expression “Thank God” was changed to “Thank goodness.”4

While some elementary history textbooks still tell about Thanksgiving, they do not explain to whom the Pilgrims gave thanks. Pilgrims were defined as “people who make long trips.” The Pueblo Natives “can pray to Mother Earth—but Pilgrims can’t be described as praying to God.”5 Overt attacks on Christianity through distortion, depreciation, and ridicule have caused even more damage than omissions. Many of the books students are required to read refer to boring church services, self-righteous ministers, and lustful evangelists. One psychology text equated the historical Jesus with mythological gods:

A great many myths deal with the idea of rebirth. Jesus, Dionysus, Odin, and many other traditional figures are represented as having died, after which they were reborn, or arose from the dead.6

When children are subjected to such suggestions and pressures year after year, many yield to the hostile forces that oppose their beliefs.

The chart below lists several of the humanistic standards being passed down to a new generation of young people and compares these with traditional Christian values.

Secular Humanists

There is no God.

The world is self-existing.

Everything exists for the fulfillment of human life.

The goal. . . is a free and universal society where people cooperate for common good.

Man is responsible for the realization. . . of his dreams.

Values are relative and changing, determined by human need.

Man has within himself the power to create a new world.

 

Christians

We trust in a living, personal God.

God created the world.

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever.” (Romans 11:36)

Our goal is to “know” Christ and the “power of his resurrection.” (Philippians 3:10)

“In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” (Psalm 62:7)

Biblical values are absolute and unchanging. (Matthew 24:35)

“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

Endnotes:

1.. John Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age” (The Humanist, January/ February 1983), p. 26.
2. “The Humanist Manifesto I” (1933)—the first public declaration of the views and objectives of humanism—rejected God and His values, but affirmed humanist faith in the power and evolution of man. (See: http://www.americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I.) “The Humanist Manifesto II” (1973) reaffirmed and amplified this man-centered, relativistic, utopian belief-system.
3. Bill Sidebottom, “This Teacher’s Union Agenda Has Little to Do with Education” (Citizen, September 1988), pp. 10—11.
4. Paul C. Vitz, Censorship—Evidence of Bias in Our Children’s Textbooks (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1986), pp. 3—4, 18—19.
5. Ibid.
6. Mel and Norma Gabler, What Are They Teaching Our Children? (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), p. 38.
 

Other  Articles From Berit’s book:

Our Children – The Primary Target of the New Age One-World Religion

Children and New Age Mindfulness Meditation

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth

The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth by John Lanagan is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 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 The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth, click here.

The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth: How Eugene Peterson’s The Message Omits Homosexual Sin—and Other Strange Deletions, Additions, and Alterations

By John Lanagan

Can we just say it? Homosexuality is going to be the dividing line between the true church and the rising apostate church. And Eugene Peterson’s The Message is being used by those who want to avoid or deny the truth that homosexuality is a sin.

The Message flat out deletes homosexuality as sin from two key New Testament passages and gives a politically correct spin to a third (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Romans 1:25-27).

For this reason, The Message and other ungodly imitations of the Bible will be increasingly promoted by those who practice a “form of godliness” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) that includes acceptance of homosexuality.

Preaching and teaching from The Message rather than the Bible also makes it easier for those who are unwilling, afraid, or just too tired to resist the politically correct juggernaut of homosexuality.

I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. (Hosea 8:12)

Hillsong’s Role
Pastor Carl Lentz oversees Hillsong Church in New York City. Like its parent church in Australia founded by Brian Houston, Hillsong NYC is enormously popular. Celebrities flock there, younger people rave about Hillsong, and secular media give it a free pass.

Such popularity and acceptance would cease if Carl Lentz treated homosexuality like any other sin (i.e., biblically). But Lentz refuses to do so from the pulpit, during interviews, or in any public forum. Among other excuses, he claims he does not deal with homosexual sin publicly because “Jesus rarely dealt with morality or social issues” but with “the deeper things of the heart,” he says.1

During one of his sermons, Lentz used The Message version of 1 Thessalonians 5:14 to assert that Hillsong is biblically obedient in refusing to “make polarizing statements about certain things in our Christian community.”2

According to 1 Thessalonians 5:14 from The Message:

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs.

Lentz waxed eloquent over one particular phrase from the passage. He repeated, “Be ‘attentive to individual needs.’ That’s interesting. Isn’t that cool? That’s why some churches want us to give blanket answers on huge issues, well, my Bible says be ‘attentive to individual needs.’ So we’re not gonna make polarizing statements about certain things in our Christian community right now. No matter who says what we won’t be pressured into giving blanket statements to individual needs. Never!”3

That sounds kind of heroic, doesn’t it? There is one slight problem: The phrase “attentive to individual needs” is not in any reputable translation of the Bible. It is not in the original Greek. It can only be found in The Message.

In other words, Carl Lentz used a non-existent verse to justify Hillsong’s politically correct silence about homosexual marriage and homosexual sin!

In another sermon, Lentz lamented about biblical illiteracy—and then, ironically, proceeded to teach from The Message. He said:

If you don’t know the Bible, it’s okay. Get to know it. We have a biblically illiterate generation coming up right now where you’re gettin’ second hand information, second hand revelation, second hand stuff that don’t get you through the first hand battle, so make sure you know it for yourself.4

Lentz then told his audience to go to, “James, chapter three. . . . I’m gonna read from The Message.”5 This is further irony because chapter three of James begins by warning that teachers will be more strictly judged.

On more than one occasion, Lentz has assured his audience that The Message is a valid text. Speaking at Judah Smith’s City Church, Lentz stated:

And this morning I’m reading from The Message paraphrase. It’s not a literal translation, but I believe if you check it with all the other translations, it’s right on the money.6

Lentz depends on a phrase not found in genuine translations to justify Hillsong’s politically correct silence about homosexuality.

The Message Versus the Word of God

On a homosexual website, a former evangelical pastor, now living as a homosexual man, uses The Message to assert homosexual relations are God-honoring if performed in love rather than lust.

Tim Evans, author of On Being Gay, relies on The Message versions of 1 Corinthians 6 and Romans 1:25-27 to make his case. He writes:

Reading these renditions and then re-reading the traditional texts without the lens of prejudice, the point is as plain as day. Lust and abuse is wrong and destructive, but love—now that is a different matter.7

Let’s compare The Message passages with those from a genuine Bible.

First, here is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NASB):

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Now, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 from The Message:

Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who do not care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.”

How many people even realize what Peterson has done here? Peterson’s version claims those who “use and abuse the earth” will not be saved! Homosexuality has been removed, and nature/earth reverence has been added! Homosexuality out, earth reverence in! Yet, the Lord tells us:

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

The second passage used by the author of On Being Gay is Romans 1:25-27. Here is the passage from the KJV:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; men with men, working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Compare that with Romans 1:25-27 from The Message:

Refusing to know God they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretcheds. (emphasis mine)

All lust, no love? Commenting on Eugene Peterson’s altered meaning of this passage, Berit Kjos, the author of “What Kind of Message is The Message?,” notes:

This strange wording may leave loopholes for homosexuals that make “sex” seem permissible as long as it is viewed as an expression of “love,” not lust—which many gay couples claim today.8

As Tim Evans has ably demonstrated in On Being Gay, The Message serves as a potent weapon for those who deny that homosexuality is sin.

Before examining one final verse where the sin of homosexuality is deleted in The Message, let’s briefly look at a few other verses that have been changed. This is simply to demonstrate there are deletions, additions, and alterations throughout The Message.

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27)

Remember, a generation has now been raised on this “Bible.” For many, it serves as a preferred or even primary text. Nationally known pastors like Rick Warren and Carl Lentz frequently teach from it.

So, just to get a sense of what Eugene Peterson has done, below are two psalms, a verse from Romans, a verse from John, and one from Colossians. We’ll compare The Message versions with those from the KJV.

First, Psalm 1:1:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Now, The Message, Psalm 1:1:

How well God must like you—you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.

Eugene Peterson’s psalm evokes images of clowns pouring forth from a tiny car, running around in helter-skelter fashion, honking their hand held horns.

Sin-saloon! (Honk, honk) Dead-End Road! (Beep, beep) Smart Mouth-College! (Honk honk, Beep beep)

Several years ago during a radio interview, I read aloud Psalm 1:1 from The Message. The Christian talk radio host exclaimed, “That sounds like a cartoon!”

Let’s compare verses from another psalm. Here is Psalm 32:1-2, KJV:

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Now, Psalm 32:1-2 from The Message, Eugene Peterson’s “lucky” psalm:

Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky—God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from Him.

Eugene Peterson has taken away “blessed” and added “lucky,” thus changing the very meaning of the verse.

The Lord warns us:

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

Green Hope?

Now, let’s see what has been done to Romans 15:13, The Message:

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! (emphasis mine)

What God of “green” hope? Here is the same verse from the KJV:

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)

Just as he did in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, where he deleted homosexuality and added “use and abuse the earth” as a sin, Eugene Peterson has inserted a potential God/nature reverence interpretation into Romans 15:13 that is not in any reputable translation of the Bible.

Should we care for the environment? Of course. Should we insert our man-made agendas into passages of Scripture? That is blasphemous.

Keep in mind that many brand new Christians are given The Message because of its readable, everyday language.

I and the Father are one heart and mind. (John 10:30, The Message, emphasis mine)

I and my Father are one. (John 10:30, KJV)

The Message version of John 10:30 changes understanding about Christ’s relationship to the Father. Eugene Peterson changed the very words of Christ.

The following verse is also bold on Peterson’s part, considering the Lord hates attempts to divine or foretell the future. Why the mention of a forbidden practice (along with telescope and microscope) as if it were a legitimate activity?

You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. (Colossians 2:10, The Message)

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:10, KJV)

Why has Eugene Peterson done all this? The Message, bluntly stated, seems written to make Christians less knowledgeable about the Word of God. While that may seem a strong comment, please consider what Eugene Peterson himself said about the Bible:

Why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? How much do you need to know? We invest all this time in understanding the text, which has a separate life of its own, and we think we’re being more pious and spiritual when we do it. . . . [Christians] should be studying it less, not more. You just need enough to pay attention to God. . . . I’m just not pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it’s some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more they do the better.9 (emphasis mine)

In contrast, the Word of God encourages us:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

The Lord commands us to neither add to nor delete from the Bible. We see this in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, Proverbs 4:20-21, 30:5-6, 1 Corinthians 4:6, 2 Corinthians 4:2, and Revelation 22:19.

It is a mistake to consider Eugene Peterson as some kind of elder statesman of the faith. Not only has he spawned The Message, Peterson has also endorsed two heretical books: The Shack, and Rob Bell’s sly ode to universalism, Love Wins. The latter disputes whether the unsaved will really spend eternity in Hell.

Peterson has been praised and admired for so long that it may be difficult for some to accept that The Message is an offense to God. Yet, as Paul writes:

And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. (1 Corinthians 4:6)

Let us heed Paul’s admonition, and not put “men above that which is written.” Not our pastors. Not Christian authors and musicians. And certainly not Eugene Peterson.

That being said, this deception is spiritual in origin as Scripture tells us:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

The Message’s Effect on the Church
Now, let’s return to the issue of homosexual sin. We are at the point where many in the church are wavering about homosexuality.

As with 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, homosexuality is again deleted in 1 Timothy 1:8-11. According to The Message:

It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God.

Here is 1 Timothy 1:8-11 from the NASB:

But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. (emphasis mine)

The Message is weakening the church. Our long-term acceptance and use of The Message explains in part why many Christians are lukewarm on the issue of homosexuality. Society continues to undergo a paradigm shift. Christians are daily being exposed to a barrage of pro-homosexual propaganda via media, entertainment, politics, and education. Certainly, The Message is not the only factor—but place this “Bible” in a person’s hands, and it can have, over time, significant influence.

This booklet has not been written as a weapon against homosexuals. Far from it. My wife and I (and many others) have repented of this sin and trusted the Lord with our lives. True love is holding to what the Bible says about homosexuality, rather than glorifying the sin, which is what is happening in the culture.

I believe The Message will be increasingly used by on-the-fence churches, apostate churches, and by homosexual “Christian” activists.

The Bible says: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

But how can we understand God’s Truth when Truth is no longer there to be read?

Satan has always tried to twist or deny the truth of God’s Word (Genesis 3:1-5). Jesus Christ Himself showed us the importance of the Word of God. When the devil tempted Him in the wilderness, Christ fought the devil’s lies and temptation by answering with Scripture. Three times our Lord responded with “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).

Men like Tyndale and Wycliffe put their lives on the line so common people could have access to the unadulterated Word of God. Now, centuries later, there is relatively little objection when the Bible is altered, revamped, or tinkered with.

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

If you have been using The Message, please don’t feel embarrassed or condemned. After all, The Message has been endorsed by numerous well-known Christians and has been with us for a long time now. People appreciate its everyday, accessible language. So this booklet may come as a bit of a shock.

We have primarily concentrated on the passages where homosexuality is deleted or given a politically correct spin. We have noted what seems suggestive of earth/nature reverence in two other passages, and we have also looked at two altered psalms; then we examined a verse from John and found that The Message offers a different understanding of the relationship between the Father and Christ. Eugene Peterson’s “horoscope” verse was also examined.

The fact is, there is so much wrong with The Message it would take a book (maybe two books) to cover it all. Some other “Scriptures” in The Message you might want to investigate by comparing them with the real thing are: Romans 8:35-37, Matthew 6:9-13, Ephesians 2:1-3, Galatians 5:19-21, and Romans 16:19-21. There are many others.

It is rather amazing how the earth reverence insertions and the altered or deleted passages about homosexual sin play into current political correctness. The Message is seemingly made for worldly churches. But I have often wondered if The Message is the precursor to a sinless, Christ-less “Bible” that will be used by the false church.

That “Bible” will have so-called sins included in it, but more along the lines of the 12 Steps—more generic in nature. A “Christ” figure will be included as well—but not the sinless Savior, our King of kings. Homosexuality will not be a sin but will be treated with reverence.

Christian use of The Message is not a good thing.

The Message is not a translation of the Bible. It is not a para-translation, as its publishers have so cleverly called it. Nor is it a paraphrase, because Eugene Peterson has omitted, and he has added.

The Message should not be used by the body of Christ at all.

To order copies of The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth, click here.

Endnotes:
1. Carl Lentz with Katie Couric http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3wLm6pPvRY.
2. Carl Lentz, Huffington Post interview with clip of Lentz preaching (go to18:01 in video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrdJd1vD2MM.
3. Ibid.
4. Carl Lentz, LOVE IS RED Conference (go to14:38 in video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wqXIAS9B0A.
5. Ibid.
6. There Goes The Neighborhood (go to 6:19 in video) hhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_60hICs834.
7. Tim Evans, On Being Gay (http://www.courage.org.uk/articles/article.asp?id=219)
8. Berit Kjos, “What kind of message is The Message?” (http://www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/Message.html).
9. Michael J. Cusick, “A Conversation with Eugene Peterson” (Mars Hill Review, Fall 1995, Issue No. 3, http://www.marshillreview.com/sojo/peterson.shtm), pp. 73-90, quoting Peterson.

To order copies of The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth, click here.

A Parable

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

High on a ridge overlooking the valley stood the King, framed in the sun’s fading light. His form rose like a monument of unyielding strength. Above his head swirled hostile, black clouds. Raging winds snatched at his coat. Yet, he who could quell their assault with a word refused to be distracted. He had fixed his eyes on the valley below. Capturing each tiny detail, he traced the movement of gathering armies. Suddenly, his gaze rested on a shadowy form hidden from ordinary sight. Anger and agony flashed across his noble face.

“I created that imposter,” he mused, “but the Prince of Darkness only loved himself. I made him strong and beautiful, but he used my gifts to build his own throne. Did he imagine that his mutinous force could quench my power and hinder my plan? Has he spoken his own lies so often that he has deceived himself as well as my people? His foolish pride kindled this war, but soon even his blinded slaves will see the triumph of my kingdom.”

The King’s focus moved from the enemy headquarters to the city nearby. Its people slept unconcerned, smug, and oblivious to the scheming, waiting legions.

Tears stung the King’s eyes as he spoke to the city he loved. “If only you had listened,” he whispered softly. “If only you knew. But you ignored my warnings and went your own way. You followed your own foolish dreams—lies and deceptions that were more pleasant to your ears than my saving truth. My foolish people, open your eyes and see. I came to love and care for you, but you turned away. The thief came to steal, kill, and destroy, and you worship him. If you only knew where you are heading.”

Far below, near the edge of the city, where the forest opened to a wide clearing, the grim armies merged into a ghostly, quaking mass. Suddenly, without a sound, a message burst into their consciousness: The prince has arrived. As one, they bowed in fearful surrender, breathing their salute, “Hail, Prince of Darkness! Master of the Force! Hail!”

Before them rose the tall, dark figure of the prince. “My friends,” he purred, “I hear you have done well!”

A wave of relief swept over the mass.

“Report your progress!” his voice cracked like a whip over the trembling slaves. “Have you captured the city? Are its people ready to follow?”

Silence hung like an ominous sword striking terror into the hearts of the trembling warriors. Brash tyrants away from their master, they cowered like frightened dogs in his presence. Finally, a creature stepped forward. “Sir, the coup is almost complete. The city has yielded to your control.”

“How did you win their allegiance?” demanded the prince.

“We followed your plan, Sir. You told us to target the children, to reform their schools, pollute their movies and music, infiltrate their churches—”

“Stop, stop! I want details. Who handled the schools?”

“I did, Sir.” A burly figure lumbered to the front line. Under the heavy shrouded cowl, which hid his features, his body was shaking.

“Explain your strategy.”

“We followed our ancient plan, Sir. You told us to change labels to fit contemporary tastes—and it worked. First, we whispered doubts about the King’s repulsive Book of Truth. Then we planted tantalizing visions of the New World into the minds of educators. We showed them irresistible images of their own greatness, the power of Self, the pleasures of sex, and the peace of global unity under your mighty reign.”

“Slow down and describe their response.”

“Those open to transformation were thrilled with their new discoveries. They quickly fit your ideas into their curriculum.”

“Is that all?”

“No, there’s much more! We also told them that the King’s values hinder the freedom, growth, and happiness of Self. To build a better world, they must discard obsolete boundaries and pave new paths to higher consciousness and spiritual oneness. Quick to catch on, the kids are learning to ridicule the King’s archaic standards and narrow-minded subjects. Soon they’ll hate all who oppose your plan!” He giggled.

“Well done,” grimaced the prince, “but control yourself.”

Scanning the dark mass, he shouted, “Who’s in charge of music?”

A squat, slinking creature crept forward. “I am, Sir.”

“Report your progress!”

“We have revived your fool-proof formula: drugs, chants, sensual delights, and throbbing drums. This formula blocks logic, dulls reason, and keeps our connections open. We show them a good time—and make sure they come back for more. With more advanced subjects, we no longer hide your identity. They crave your savage malevolence.”

“Well done!” The prince rubbed his hands together in sardonic glee before he shouted, “Next! Who transformed television?”

“We did,” answered a shrill voice. A short, stocky figure pushed his way to the front. “One battalion loaded cartoons with wizards amid superheroes winning battles by your cosmic energy. Kids want supernatural power, so we’ve showed them yours. Camouflaged, of course.”

“Splendid!” The prince’s cruel voice rose excitedly. “Soon they’ll want more, and when they’re hooked, they too will be glad to see me. Ha! I will be their god, and they will learn a new form of worship! Go on. Tell me more.”

“We have been showing our vision for the New World Order to reporters, producers, and writers,” he snickered. “We convinced them that the King’s values block progress. Today children choose their own way—or rather, our way. . .”

newcastle

Drawing by Laurel Lee; used with permission.

“My way, you mean!” shrieked the prince.

“Your way, Sir!” quaked the commander.
“You met no resistance?”

“Not much. Your brilliant ideas usually excite them.”

“What about the King’s subjects?”

“Many don’t notice. Since we keep them too busy to study the Book of Truth, they can’t tell your plan from the King’s. Those who notice are afraid to speak up, and the few fools who do complain face our correction squad. Ridicule and exclusion usually silence them.” A cacophony of cheers arose.

For a moment, the prince gazed silently into that dark mass of veiled warriors. Fear and hatred, not love and loyalty, bound these miserable subjects to do his bidding.

“Watch every rebellious subject!” he shouted. “Find loopholes in their armor. Distract and discourage those who pray. And above all, hinder their use of the Book.”

Lightning cracked the sky, and the distant thunder grew to a deafening roar. But the King kept his watchful position high above the city, waiting for the precise moment . . .

Suddenly he raised his right arm. “Be still,” he cried into the storm. And the storm stilled around the summit.

He raised his left arm, and a battalion of soldiers dressed in white appeared before him.

“It is time! I have awakened my remnant. I have spoken to all who have ears to hear and eyes to see. To everyone not blinded and bound by deception. To those who have not bowed to the Prince of Darkness.”

“I have told them to rise, take their swords, and fight for their families and children. You must take your positions at their sides. Sing with them the song of victory, then conquer the forces of evil in the name of the King.”

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)


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