Posts Tagged ‘Berit Kjos’
The following video is posted on Kjos Ministries website. Berit Kjos is the author of our new Booklet Tract: A “Common Core” for a Global Community. This video shows just a few examples of how children are being indoctrinated toward a socialistic global society through the Common Core curriculum. Also read, “The Rising Force Behind Common Core Indoctrination” by Berit.
What’s Wrong With a More Social Gospel? by Paul Proctor
LTRP Note: If you haven’t read Berit Kjos’ Booklet Tract A “Common Core” For a Global Community, please do so and consider what is happening to children in the public school system. You can read the Booklet Tract in its entirety on this blog. The young man who spoke in this video expressed concern from a students point of view.
A “Common Core” For a Global Community: What’s In Store For the Education of Today’s Children? written by Berit Kjos is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. This is the fourth to last Booklet Tract we will be presenting before the end of this year. This is number 31.The booklet tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of A “Common Core” For a Global Community, click here.
A “Common Core” For a Global Community: What’s In Store For the Education of Today’s Children?
By Berit Kjos
While preparing this booklet, I came across a headline that illustrates the corrupt values and shameless propaganda behind UNESCO’s Common Core indoctrination. Ponder this assignment: “Students Asked to ‘Argue That Jews Are Evil’ and Prove Nazi Loyalty in Assignment Linked to Common Core.”1 In other words, traditional values are out! Shocking propaganda is in! I hope this booklet will help parents, concerned educators, and our children prepare together for the spiritual battlefields ahead.
The task before UNESCO . . . is to help the emergence of a single world culture with its own philosophy and background of ideas and with its own broad purpose.2 —Julian Huxley, the first head of UNESCO, 1947
The International Agenda
The goal of education has changed! Our public schools no longer teach the kind of literacy, history, math, and morality we once considered essential to responsible citizenship. The new agenda infiltrating our schools is designed to train a new generation of postmodern “progressive” students to believe whatever might serve a pre-determined “common good.”
If their educators succeed, tomorrow’s students will have neither the facts nor the freedom needed for independent thinking. Their “common core” will be based on a global collective agenda, not on Western democracy or Christian values. Like Nazi youth, they will be taught to react, not think, when nudged to do the unthinkable.
Dr. Thomas Sowell summarized this mind-changing process in a 1993 article titled “Indoctrinating the Children”:
The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children. These include emotional shock and desensitization, psychological isolation from sources of support, stripping away defenses, manipulative cross-examination of the individual’s underlying moral values, and inducing acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means.3
What Exactly is “Common Core”?
According to one source, “Common Core” education is:
. . . a U.S. education initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other by following the principles of standards-based education reform. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).4
It’s hard to define the actual Common Core standards. Shrouded in positive promises and perplexing assertions, many ordinary readers are left wondering what’s true or false. Faced with open-ended and unfamiliar terminology, concerned parents are confused and discouraged. They may recognize the false marketing and deceptive propaganda, but they don’t know where to find honest answers. For example, the mission statement posted at “Common Core State Standards Initiative” website is anything but clear:
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.5
What does it mean by “robust”? Is it “relevant” to the success of all students or just to those who will embrace the spreading immorality and group thinking?
Those confusing but nice-sounding promises brought rapid enthusiasm among some parents, but skepticism is now growing fast. Just ponder the statements below. How do we interpret words such as “clearer and higher” or “rigorous contents”? What does “rigorous” mean in a classroom where facts are replaced by group speculations and dialectical thinking? How can concerned parents find answers to bewildering slogans such as these:
Fewer, clearer, and higher, to best drive effective policy and practice
Aligned with college and work expectations
Inclusive of rigorous content and applications of knowledge through higher-order skills
Internationally benchmarked, so that all students are prepared for succeeding in our global economy
Research and evidence-based.6
This global agenda is far more intrusive, demanding, and dangerous to Christian families than most of us can imagine. So ponder this important warning:
UNESCO’s efforts in the 1960s and 1970s to influence U.S. school curriculum were unsuccessful. But now UNESCO has found a sugar daddy. On November 17, 2004 at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, UNESCO signed a 26-page “Cooperation Agreement” with Microsoft Corporation to develop a “master curriculum (Syllabus)” for teacher training in information technologies based on standards, guidelines, benchmarks, and assessment techniques. The Agreement states that . . . “UNESCO will explore how to facilitate content development.”
Following the signing of the Agreement, UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura explained it in a speech. One of its goals, he said, is “fostering web-based communities of practice including content development and worldwide curricula reflecting UNESCO values.” No doubt that is agreeable to Bill Gates because the Agreement states that “Microsoft supports the objectives of UNESCO as stipulated in UNESCO’s Constitution.”7
Not long after, Bill Gates (one of the big funders for Common Core) and his UNESCO partners prepared the following “core standards.” Notice that they are much more to the point and threatening than the previous propaganda.
Environmental education will be incorporated in formal education.
Any value or attitude held by anyone globally that stands independent to that of the United Nations’ definition of “sustainable education” must change. Current attitudes are unacceptable.
Education will be belief-and-spirituality based as defined by the global collective.
Environmental education will be integrated into every subject, not just science8
Today’s emphasis on “saving the earth” will surely involve mental manipulation and moral degradation. The earth-centered “new” spirituality will fit well in a culture of promiscuity, propaganda, and paganism. And the seductions of the occult will speed the rising hostility toward biblical truth and values. Everything must change! Make no mistake about it, in a world where the “global collective” determines the outcome, Christianity will not be tolerated! History has proven that.
The Global Roots of “Common Core” Education
Parents beware! A New World Order is rising. The seeds for this transformation were planted long ago, but few saw the warning signs. Now that the evidence is too vast to deny, we need to prepare our children for a different kind of world—a world where an educated and responsible citizenry no longer exists in sufficient numbers to maintain the rule of law and individual freedom.
Today’s education goals were envisioned more than a century ago by socialist American and British elites who steered the process from behind the scenes. Though the labels and faces changed throughout the years, they all served a globalist vision of a totalitarian world equipped to conform young minds to a socialist humanistic system.
Each decade brought us closer to the fulfillment of that anti-Christian agenda. “Common Core” (CC)—also called “Common Core Standards” (CCS) or “Common Core State Standards” (CCSS—is the latest version of an international education plan. These deceptive labels hide the global agenda—at least for the moment.
“Common Core” is the latest extension of previous programs aimed at mind-changing compliance with UNESCO’s evolving guidelines. You may remember some of the past titles: Education for All, Outcome-Based Education, Quality Learning, No Child Left Behind, etc. In the years ahead, new labels and propaganda will surely continue to push this global agenda forward until the purposes of the world’s elite masters are accomplished. In an article titled “The Spiritualization of Science, Technology and Education in a One-World Society,” Dr. Martin Erdmann rightly states:
[Change agent] Aldous Huxley envisioned a future world society totally controlled by an elite group of scientists. His best-known fictional work explicating this dire prospect bore the title Brave New World. Years later he would “revisit” his prognostications only to conclude that he had underestimated the rate of change.9
Aldous, brother of the prominent Julian Huxley who served as the first Director-General of UNESCO, was raised among British socialist/globalist elites (some of whom funded Communism in Russia). He shared their vision and glimpsed their totalitarian goals. Of course, he didn’t know that more than half a century later, the global-minded Bill Gates would use his wealth to help establish that long-term vision:
Gates’ astronomical wealth has persuaded millions that Common Core is the solution to education problems.10
As you scroll down the century-long chronology below, notice the powerful people, the elitist organizations, and the wealthy foundations that have planned, steered, and funded the amoral transformation of our schools, churches, and communities. Their common goal is global socialism: a totalitarian New World Order!
1905. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of the United States Congress. Together with other Carnegie Foundations, it has been a major promoter and funder of socialistic global education projects.11
1908. John Dewey, known as the socialist father of modern (i.e., progressive) education, laid the foundations for a revolutionary transformation of American schools. In “Religion and Our Schools,” he wrote, “Our schools . . . are performing an infinitely significant religious work. They are promoting the social unity out of which in the end genuine religious unity must grow. . . . dogmatic [Christian] beliefs . . . we see . . . disappearing.12
1919. The Institute of International Education was established with a grant from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. . . . John Dewey (socialist) served on its National Advisory Council.13
1933. John Dewey, honorary president of the National Education Association (NEA), co-authored the first Humanist Manifesto, which stated: “Any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today, must be shaped for the needs of this age.”14
1934. In a report presented at the annual NEA meeting, Willard Givens (later NEA executive secretary) wrote: “all of us, including the ‘owners’ [who might they be?] must be subjected to a large degree of social control . . . . [T]he major function of the school is the social orientation of the individual. It must seek to give him understanding of the transition to a new social order.”15 (emphasis added)
1942. The editor of The Journal of the National Education Association, J. Elmer Morgan, wrote an editorial titled “The United Peoples of the World.” In it, he explained that a world government would need an educational branch, a world system of money and credit, a world police force, “a world bill of rights and duties.”16
1946. “The establishment [UNESCO] marks the culmination of a movement for the creation of an international agency of education. . . . Nations that become members of UNESCO accordingly assume an obligation to revise the textbooks used in their schools . . . . Each member nation . . . has a duty to see to it that nothing in its curriculum . . . is contrary to UNESCO’s aims.”17 (emphasis added)
1946. In his NEA editorial, “The Teacher and World Government,” J. Elmer Morgan, wrote, “In the struggle to establish an adequate world government, the teacher . . . can do much to prepare the hearts and minds of children . . . . At the very top of all the agencies which will assure the coming of world government must stand the school, the teacher, and the organized profession.”18
1947. Julian Huxley wrote in UNESCO: “The general philosophy of UNESCO should be a scientific world humanism, global in extent and evolutionary in background . . . In its education program it can . . . familiarize all peoples with the implications of the transfer of full sovereignty from separate nations to a world organization. . . . Tasks for the media division of UNESCO [will be] to promote the growth of a common outlook shared by all nations and cultures . . . to help the emergence of a single world culture.”19
1948. The NEA produced a set of international guidelines called Education for International Understanding in American Schools. It included this statement: “The idea has become established that the preservation of international peace and order may require that force be used to compel a nation to conduct its affairs within the framework of an established world system . . . . Many persons believe that enduring peace cannot be achieved so long as the nation-state system continues as at present constituted. It is a system of international anarchy.”20
1968. Professor John Goodlad reported that Professor Benjamin Bloom [called Father of OBE] “was invited by UNESCO in 1968 to submit a proposal for a six to nine week training program which would partially fulfill recommendations made at UNESCO’s Moscow meeting dealing with the formation of national centers for curriculum development and research.”21
1973. The socialist authors of the Humanist Manifesto II wrote: “We deplore the division of human-kind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community.”22
1976. An NEA program titled A Declaration of Interdependence: Education for a Global Community, was made available to schools across the country . . .. The report said, “Educators around the world are in a unique position to help bring about a harmoniously interdependent global community.”23 Note: That “world community” was officially born in 1945, when Alger Hiss served as Secretary General at the founding of the United Nations.
1985. The curriculum arm of the NEA, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), co-sponsored an international curriculum symposium in the Netherlands. According to Education Week, the ASCD executive director, Dr. Gordon Cawelti, urged representatives of other Western nations and Japan to press for the development of a “world-core curriculum” based on knowledge that will ensure “peaceful and cooperative existence among the human species on this planet.”24
1991. On October 30, the U.S. Coalition for Education for All (USCEFA) convened a conference titled Learning for All: Bridging Domestic and International Education with First Lady Barbara Bush as the honorary chair. It would provide a vital link between the UNESCO plan and U.S. implementation. Partners in this venture included UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the NEA, and a long string of organizations involved in education at every level:
The coalition was part of a 156-nation network working to reform education worldwide by bridging the gap between individual nations and UNESCO’s Education for All. Keynote speaker Elena Lenskaya, deputy to the Minister of Education of Russia, spoke on the topic, “Education for a New World Order.”25
1993. “The 240 international affiliates of the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers joined to form Education International (EI).”26
Behind that long historical chronology stood influential elites who supported the global vision. They include bankers, presidents, and politicians as well as members of secret societies such as The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), Skull and Bones, Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission. President Obama is surrounded by global-minded counselors such as Joe Biden, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and others.
So Who Will Rule the Global School?
In 2006, a world-changing event took place. It would revolutionize education, families, faith, and basic values in our fading “land of the free.” I’m referring to the “Moscow Declaration” that was officially adopted on June 2, 2006, by the Education Ministers of the United States, the Russian Federation, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The members of this international “Group of Eight” (G-8) have committed their nations to “cooperation in education at all levels in the 21st century.”27
What about America’s “Common Core” standards? How do they fit into the Moscow Declaration?
Marketed to American families as an improved education program, the actual truth about “Common Core” has been hidden. Our government leaders didn’t tell us that we were already committed to a multinational education agenda! But it all makes sense when we consider the century-old movement toward global education and a New World Order!
In one review, a conservative education reporter explained the implication of the “Moscow Declaration”:
Russia’s Science and Education Minister Andrei Fursenko described the declaration as “both a final document of the conference and the document that will be implemented by education ministers of all the world countries and international organizations, including the World Bank, UNESCO, and UN.”28
That certainly sounds like a global education system, doesn’t it? But the American people were kept in the dark! The review continues:
The U.S. Department of Education said the member delegates “pledged to share best practices across borders” to build “education systems that can allow people . . . to live and contribute to a global society.”
What can be expected from the Moscow Declaration? If the historical results of U.S. participation with international reforms continue in the same vein, it is not unreasonable to expect the whole of U.S. education—from preschool, elementary, secondary, and higher education—will encounter further upheaval and decline.29
Today’s sobering realities remind me of the boastful statement made by Nikita Khrushchev back in 1959. Perhaps he was right:
You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.30
Envisioning an Interconnected World
In the global village . . . networks will link students around the world to each other and to a vast body of information and human knowledge.31
That promise was made in 1994 during a trans-Atlantic conference between Washington and Berlin. Education Secretary Richard Riley and Labor Secretary Robert Reich shared strategies for building the Global Village Schools with their German counterparts. They agreed that educational accord will be vital to their goal of “enforcing social transformation.”32
Do you wonder what kind of “social transformation” they planned to enforce? Was personal liberty on their agenda? Or did they seek totalitarian government control as in the French Revolution? What goals and values guided their plans for global education and social transformation? Capitalism? Socialism? Or Communism? Or a new form of totalitarianism?
And where does militant Islam fit into this global power struggle for the collective minds of children? Its ambitious Sharia-minded leaders are unlikely to compromise! And why would they? Corrupt politicians and liberal media masters are bending over backwards to accommodate Islamic “rights.” But Islamic leaders have their own agenda in America as well as in the Middle East, and they will not tolerate our Christian beliefs.
Bombard Children With Mind-Changing Suggestions
A familiar tale told to first-graders in Pennsylvania illustrates both the tactics and the planned transformation of the world. We all know the story of the Little Red Hen who wanted some bread to eat. She asked some of her barnyard friends to help make it. But the cat, the dog, and the goat all said “no.” Finally she did all the work herself. Yet, when the bread was done and its fragrance spread throughout the farm, her unwilling and lazy neighbors were more than willing to help her eat it.
“Won’t you share with us?” they begged.
“No,” she answered. “Since you didn’t help, you don’t get anything.”
In the context of traditional values, the moral of the story might be: you get what you work for. But those who have learned to think and see from the “new” global perspective are led to a different conclusion. Listen to the kinds of questions the first grade teacher asked her class:
Why was the Little Red Hen so stingy? Isn’t it only right that everyone gets to eat? Why wouldn’t she share what she had with some who had none?33
The concerned mother who heard and reported this story asked, “What kinds of values were the children taught?” The new interpretation emphasizes love and sharing, but what is missing? How might it confuse a child’s values?
The answers are obvious. The children were taught socialist values. The new interpretation vilified values that had motivated Americans to be diligent, responsible, and fair. The teacher’s questions were actually strategic suggestions prompting the group to ridicule traditional values, to see reality and society from the new politically correct perspective, and to intimidate and shame anyone who dared to disagree.
A new mental “framework” is vital to the global paradigm shift. But to launch the new system, the old patterns must be blurred, broken, and forgotten. The educational establishment knows that children who are fed a daily diet of biblical truth will resist their plans for change. They also know that students bombarded with strategic suggestions will probably reject Christianity. If schools can build the “right” kind of filter in the minds of young children, the new global beliefs will fit right in.
Focus on Feelings, Not Facts
This shift from factual education to mental manipulation and feeling-based learning began more than seventy years ago. Through the decades, the strategies previously used to manipulate minds in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were developed, first at the Tavistock Clinic near London and later at Germany’s Frankfurt School (originally called Frankfurt Institute for Social Research). Their mind-bending methods soon spread to a rising number of psycho-social research centers in America. They were fine-tuned at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and other American universities, at our regional educational laboratories, and at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies where Elian Gonzales was remediated in preparation for his return to a Communist system.
At the 1989 Governor’s Conference on Education in Kansas, Dr. Shirley McCune, then head of the Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory, summarized the policy in her keynote speech:
The revolution… in curriculum is that we no longer are teaching facts to children…. We no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary outcome of education.34
“What will take the place of logic, fact, and analysis in the coming age?” This rhetorical question was raised by Dr. Donald A. Cowan, president emeritus of the University of Dallas. His revealing answer exposes an important step toward the new consensus:
The central way of thought for this new era will be imagination. . . . Imagination will be the active, creative agent of culture, transforming brute materials to a higher, more knowable state.35
A simple example of this process was exposed by a Christian teacher in Sunnyvale, California. During a public elementary school assembly, the students sang the words of the Peacemakers’ Planetary Anthem to the tune of the “Star Spangled Banner.” This melody, which has symbolized freedom to those who have loved America, now became a tactical trigger used to turn hearts from the old ways to the new vision.
To shape “world-class students” who see reality through a multicultural filter, social engineers keep testing their latest modification strategies on our children. One tactic is managed group thinking (the dialectic process) which prompts them to reject their old home-taught morality and embrace the collective values of their dialoguing classroom group.
The war against Christian values is not going to stop, and our children will remain the greatest target. The signs of complete global transformation are already closer than most people realize. We can no longer count on the American Constitution, which was based on moral and just values, as it is daily being redefined. More often than not, today’s choices are totally contrary to biblical standards that helped in creating America’s founding values.
May God show us how we can best equip our children to stand firm in Christ in the midst of the coming battles. Let us remember that our Lord still reigns! In the midst of this spiritual war, He will surely provide His strength, wisdom, and His comforting nearness to all who choose to trust and follow Him!
O our God . . . we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee. (2 Chronicles 20:12)
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust. (Psalm 18:2)
But God said: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
To order copies of A “Common Core” For a Global Community, click here.
1. Tiffany Gabay, “Students Asked to ‘Argue That Jews Are Evil’ and Prove Nazi Loyalty in Assignment Linked to Common Core” (The Blaze, April 12, 2013 “http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/12/students-asked-to-argue-that-jews-are-evil-and-prove-nazi-loyalty-in-assignment-linked-to-common-core).
2. Julian Huxley—see http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/julian-huxley.htm.
3. Thomas Sowell, “Indoctrinating the Children” (Forbes, February 1, 1993), p. 65.
7. Phyllis Schlafly, “Bill Gates Teams Up With UNESCO” (Eagle Forum, November 30, 2005, http://www.eagleforum.org/column/2005/nov05/05-11-30.html).
9. Martin Erdmann, “The Spiritualization of Science, Technology and Education in a One-World Society” (European Journal of Nanomedicine, January 2009, Volume 2, http://www.clinam.org/images/stories/pdf/volume2.1.pdf), p. 31.
10. “Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform: #5 – Bill Gates” (August 2013, http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/top-ten-scariest-people-in-education-reform-5-bill-gates).
12. John Dewey, “Religion and our Schools” (July 6, 2006. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0141620980200202#preview).
13. Dennis Laurence Cuddy, Ph.D., Chronology of Education With Quotable Quotes (Highland City, FL: Pro Family Forum, Inc., 1993), p. 18. Many of the quotes in my chronological list on pages 8-11 are from Dr. Cuddy’s Quotable Quotes book; used with permission.
14. The Humanist Manifesto 1 (1933) was the first public declaration of the views and objectives of humanism. It rejected God and His values but affirmed humanist faith in the power and evolution of man. http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I.
15. Willard Givens presented a report titled “Education for the New America” at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the NEA, held in Washington, D.C. in July 1934.
16. Joy Elmer Morgan, “The United Peoples of the World” (The Journal of the National Education Association, December 1942), p.261.
17. I.L. Kandel, “National Education in an International World” (The Journal of the National Education Association , Vol. 35, 1946), p. 191.
18. J. Elmer Morgan, “The Teacher and World Government” (The Journal of the National Education Association, January 1946), p.1.
19. Julian Huxley (Washington DC: Public Affairs Press, 1947). See http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/julian-huxley.htm.
20. Dennis Cuddy, Ph.D., “The Grab for Power: A Chronology of the NEA” (Marlborough NH: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1993); p. 8.
21. John I. Goodlad & Associates, Curriculum Inquiry—the Study of Curriculum Practice (NY: McGraw Hill, 1979), p. 261.
22. Humanist Manifesto II, Tenet #12. http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_II .
23. The NEA promotes “A Declaration of Interdependence: Education for a Global Community” (September, 1976. Cuddy, Chronology of Education, p. 59).
24. Susan Hooper, “Educator Proposes a Global ‘Core Curriculum’” (Education Week, http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/1985/11/27/06110023.h05.html).
25. The Conference on “Learning for All: Bridging Domestic and International Education” with Barbara Bush (Honorary Chair) and a Russian keynote speaker, Elena Lenskaya, October 30-November 1, 1991.
26. Dennis Cuddy, Chronology of Education With Quotable Quotes, op. cit., p. 100.
27. “Moscow Declaration” Adopted by G-8: Education Ministers—Secretary Spellings Commits U.S., Eagle Forum, U.S. Dept. of Education, June 2, 2006. http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2006/june06/moscow.html.
30. Nikita Khrushchev, “Dark Predictions of a KGB Defector,” 1959 at http://frontpagemag.com/2010/10/19/dark-predictions-of-a-kgb-defector/print.
31. From a publicity flier announcing the trans-Atlantic conference held April 10-13, 1994.
33. This story was included in the first grade curriculum in New Pittsburgh, PA. The story was also told–using the new paradigm context—at a parents’ meeting explaining Character Education. Anita Hoge, formerly a Pennsylvania mother and researcher, reported the story to me.
34. At the time of her 1989 keynote speech, Shirley McCune presided over the Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL). The Regional Educational Laboratories are private, non-profit corporations which are funded, in whole or in part, under Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
35. Spoken at a 1988 forum address at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. This address formed the nucleus for his book, Unbinding Prometheus: Education for the Coming Age.
To order copies of A “Common Core” For a Global Community, click here.
“…they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts…. ” Romans 1:21-23
By Berit Kjos
One of today’s most effective “change agents” is Scholastic Inc. which published the Harry Potter series a decade ago. This year it offers our schools and our children a new reading series titled Spirit Animals, which may prove to be just as seductive as the Hogwarts tales. Authored by Brandon Mull, its first book is titled Wild Born. Its back cover offers the following summary:
“In the world of Erdas, four children are about to discover if they have a spirit animal bond, a rare link between human and beast that gives great powers to both. Separated by vast distances, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan each see a flash of light… and then the animals emerge.
“Wolf, leopard, panda, falcon. Each of the children has summoned a beast from legend. Now their fate is set. The four new heroes and their animals just band together on a dangerous quest. A dark force from the past is rising and only they have the power to stop it.”
In the first chapter of Wild Born, the people of Trunswick (in a world called Erdas) are gathering in the square to watch the rare but magical Nectar ceremony. The goal of this most sacred rite was to witness the mystical calling of a spirit animal. If indeed the mysterious animal appeared, the chosen person would be bound to that animal for life. Through their mystical union, they would strengthen and equip each other for the battles ahead.
Young Lord Devin, the spoiled son of the earl of Trunswick, was the first to drink the mysterious Nectar. Hoping that a spiritual transformation and a public celebration would follow, he was angry and embarrassed when no animal answered his call.
Conor, Lord Devin’s servant, did better. When he drank the mystical, sweet nectar, a burning sensation spread through his chest and the ground began to tremble. The sky darkened, and a brilliant flash of light pierced that darkness. A tingling sensation spread through his body and filled him with joy.
Suddenly a massive wolf with strange blue eyes appeared. It padded toward Conor and licked his palm as if he recognized the boy as his new partner. This was no ordinary wolf, for Briggan the Wolf was already known as one of the “great Beasts.”
A voice rang out in celebration: “Good people of Trunswick! News of this day will echo across all of Erdas! In our hour of need, Briggan has returned!”
And just in time! A war was spreading fast, and the “good” masters of magic — be they man or beast — must take their stand.
This deadly war between “good” and “evil” continues throughout the series. But remember, from a Christian perspective, both sides are occult. The main difference is simply the fact that the “good” side of evil seems far more less threatening to children than the dark and scary side. Click here to continue reading and for endnotes.
NEW PRINT BOOKLET TRACT: Popular Books That Introduce Children to the Occult and 5 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Kids
Popular Books That Introduce Children to the Occult and 5 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Kids written by Berit Kjos 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. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Popular Books That Introduce Children to the Occult and 5 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Kids, click here.
“Popular Books That Introduce Children to the Occult and 5 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Kids”
By Berit Kjos
While relatives and friends cheered their favorite team, two girls huddled in the lower left corner of the stands, oblivious to the thrills of a championship Little League game. They sat bent over a magazine. Only occasionally did they break their silent concentration to point out something special on a page.
Toward the end of the game, the two young teens finally closed the magazine and exposed the title: Sassy. Curious about its power to hold their attention, I bought a copy at the local supermarket the next day.
It opened my eyes to a new teen culture. Sassy is now defunct (and teens today are often turning to IPODs instead of magazines), but many teen magazines of the same caliber as Sassy are still available. In addition to gorgeous faces and bodies matched with corresponding beauty tips, these magazines show how to stay physically fit and stay up to date with all the latest styles and so much more.
Through compassionate interviews, Sassy brought the reader into the hearts of lesbian and gay couples. It encouraged its reader to use contraceptive devices, know the best rock groups, and see the right movies.
Under the column, “Comic Books Are Your Friends,” it gave a list of which comic books are the edgiest: The Uncanny X-Men, Batman: The Killing Joke, Lone Wolf and Club, ElfQuest, and Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.1
If this is what girls are reading, I thought, I’d better check it out. So I stopped by the local comic book store and read off the list to the salesman. He pointed to his display of the latest hits. My list matched his. Since he had sold the last Batman: The Killing Joke, he suggested I substitute with The Punisher, and Mai, the Psychic Girl—two more top sellers at the time. Since I was beginning to feel uncomfortable in his shop, I quickly bought them all.
“How old are the kids who buy these?” I asked before hurrying out.
“Every age,” he answered. “From little kids to adults.”
When I arrived home and began to skim through these contemporary “treasures,” I could hardly believe what I saw. Young children read this? Pornography, cruelty, sadism, violence, and occultism leaped out at me from the pages. In less than five minutes, I had skimmed through all I could take.
In this booklet tract, I want to give you a brief overview of what young people are being handed today in the form of books and literature. While much of this reading material is being touted as having value and virtue, the underlying sediment is anything but that.
Warrior Cats & the Occult
Led by Scholastic, publishers across the country have adapted all kinds of occult beliefs and magical rituals to the tastes of young readers. Children everywhere are learning to see paganism and syncretism (a medley of enticing spiritual lures) as more “real” and “exciting” than true Christianity.
“Erin Hunter” is the pen name for the two women authors of the Warrior books: Cherith Baldrey and Kate Gary. To popularize their love for cats, astrology, mysticism and “sacred” sites, they endowed their furry warriors with human minds and personalities. Cat lovers as young as six and seven could hardly wait for the next book in the popular series.
The first book, Into the Wild, introduces the main hero of the first series: A former “kittypet” named Rusty, who becomes Firepaw when he joins the warriors of the Thunderclan. As he rises within their ranks, Firepaw’s name is eventually changed to Firestar.
The all-powerful deity in these stories is StarClan, a growing community of departed warrior cats whose spirits are revived as stars. This collective deity hears the prayers of living cats, strengthens the faithful in their battles, guides them with omens and prophecies, and welcomes them to their starry heights when they die. Notice that the words used to describe the tribe’s relationship with StarClan sound much like the biblical words used to describe our relationship with God:
Faith in StarClan: “You’ll need the whole of StarClan on your side for this one.”2
Thanks to StarClan: “But first, let us give thanks to StarClan for the life of Redtal.”3
Prophecy from StarClan: “If StarClan has spoken, then it must be so.”4
Prayer to StarClan: Fireheart prayed silently to StarClan.5
StarClan will go with you: “The spirits of StarClan will go with you.”6
This collective “god” seems to offer the cats a relationship that resembles what God offers His people. We know that this idol can’t deliver, but few children know the Bible well enough to discern the deception. Instead, those who identify with the cat warriors will love the forces that guide them.
Divination, Omens & Full Moon Worship
As in witchcraft and sorcery, personal power and magical work requires faith in the power of ritual words and in the spiritual significance of pagan settings such as a full moon and “sacred sites.”
“Concentration and visualization are key to all magical practices,”7 explains Wiccan leader Starhawk in her occult book, The Spiral Dance. They always have been, for Satan’s tricks haven’t changed through the centuries.
Like America, ancient Jerusalem was—at first—led by the wisdom and might of our God. Yet the people were soon seduced by the occult mysteries of their pagan neighbors. So they shut their hearts to the God who loved them and succumbed to the tempting Canaanite lures. Forgetting God’s warnings, they did what they were told not to do. They trusted their idols, summoned the dead, worshiped “the host of heaven” and ignored God’s wise and loving warnings (Deuteronomy 17:3).
In our post-Christian culture, occult suggestions and practices are fast becoming part of America’s public consciousness. And, as in ancient times, many still claim to be following God in doing so. Some might even argue that it’s just imaginary fun and fantasy!
But it’s not! Jesus warned us that imagining an evil is as bad as actually doing that evil (Matthew 5:27-28). But when we trust and follow Him, He gives us the strength to resist evil—and to stand firm in Him no matter how great the pressure.
[T]hanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
The Upside-Down World of Pullman’s “Dark Materials”
More than fifteen million copies of Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, have been sold. The Golden Compass, book one, won the prestigious Carnegie Medal. In his mind-bending trilogy, Pullman plunges young readers into occult fantasy worlds that twist God’s truths into horrendous lies. Here God is despised as weak and evil, while Satan and his minions become saviors of the worlds. The biblical Fall brings knowledge and freedom, and personal “daemons” (demons) become the children’s closest friends.
Flying witches and evolving “Dust” abound in Pullman’s The Dark Materials. In this confusing cosmos of multiple universes, telepathic seekers search for answers to life’s mysteries through divination, Eastern meditation, ancient “wisdom,” and ritual magic. These occult practices are essential to the war against God and the despised old Church. There is no tolerance for biblical authority in this world of amoral license.
Do you see how this fantasy undermines biblical values? Pullman’s crafty tale pulls the readers’ minds into an occult context where—through their imagination—they experience life from his occult perspective. In fact, his methods sound just like the transformational tactics in UNESCO’s global education plan. These proven methods are designed to:
Give new meanings to old terms
Redefine God and undermine Christianity
Make suggestions that clash with traditional values
Ridicule, rewrite, or reinterpret biblical truth
Immerse readers in tempting occultism and ritual magic
Cloak mysticism in scientific language
Near the end of The Golden Compass, Lord Asriel condemns the Authority for its despised teachings on the Fall: “[I]t’s what the Church has taught for thousands of years.”8 Then he reads this false version of Genesis 3:1-7 to Lyra:
[T]he woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shalt ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, “Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and your daemons shall assume their true forms, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”9
This rejection of God matches the emerging views of today’s change agents. Church leaders, as well as environmentalists and corporate managers, are embracing an illusion of unbiblical unity through dialectical thinking which denies the validity of the Bible.10 Are your children equipped with the facts and truths to counter such lies?
Loving the Occult
“What kinds of books do you like to read?” I asked a ten-year-old girl.
“Science fiction,” she answered.
“What are some of your favorites?”
“The books by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I just finished The Headless Cupid.” She recited the story to me.
“That sounds more like psychic fiction than science fiction. What do you think?”
“I guess so. But it’s real adventuresome.”
“How do you feel when you read stories like The Headless Cupid? Spooky and a little scared?”
“It’s exciting and fun. I like it.”
Snyder has written other books as well that are available at children’s libraries. I checked out The Witches of Worm, a story about a demon-possessed kitten who gets a lonely little girl into all sorts of trouble. In the end, the heroine researches witchcraft, learns an occult version of exorcism, and apparently proves man’s power to subdue the irascible forces of evil. When speaking to a librarian about these books, she affirmed, “Fifth-and sixth-graders love them!”
Preschoolers also love the scary and magical. Beautiful picture books tell ugly stories about witchcraft, magic, and sorcery. A book for toddlers, Little Witch’s Magic Spells, even comes with a toy witch.
Worn pages and wrinkled covers prove the popularity of library series like the Dragontales and Endless Quest books, where the reader is the hero. Both equip youngsters with every kind of occult power.
The latter is published by the producers of Dungeons and Dragons. In Rose Estes’ Dragon of Doom, you conquer an evil magician with your magical ring, spells, mind-linking with your companions to strengthen the force, entering into trance states, clairvoyance, mental telepathy, and the wisdom of today’s “values clarification.” Confronting the dreaded Dragon of Doom, you offer this contemporary guideline, which supposedly justifies any action: “[Destroy mankind] because you choose to and not because you have been ordered to do so. It must be your decision.”11
Libraries and bookstores offer an equally disturbing menu to teenagers. Even sixth and seventh graders devour seductive medleys of science fiction, sex, occult, and psychic adventure—including the adult horrors of Stephen King. These fantasies draw their minds into a demonic dream world where psychic phenomena, sensual highs, and occult terrors become as familiar as things like a starry night.
Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft
When you consider that the Harry Potter books have sold over 400 million copies (the films have been equally successful), it is clear to see that Harry Potter has had a significant impact on our Western society. These two comments from Harry Potter fans who disagree with my observations are revealing:
“I was eager to get to Hogwarts first because I like what they learned there and I want to be a witch.”—Gioia B.
“I like the third book because here [Harry] meets his godfather and Professor Lupin, a really cool guy” —Harry L. [This really “cool guy” is a werewolf as well as a wizard, and Harry’s godfather is a “shape shifter”.]
While children everywhere crave supernatural thrills, Great Britain, the birthplace of Harry Potter, has been a wonderland of options for exploring practical witchcraft. And plenty of youth have caught Harry’s vision. They want to learn his wizardly ways.
Two British reports on this phenomenon show us the obvious: “Popular forms of occult entertainment have fueled a rapidly growing interest in witchcraft among children.”12 The popular Pagan Federation is pleased. Though it refuses to admit new members under age 18, “it deals with an average of 100 inquiries a month from youngsters who want to become witches, and claims it has occasionally been ‘swamped’ with calls,”13 explaining: “Every time an article on witchcraft or paganism appears, we had a huge surge in calls, mostly from young girls.”14
The Twilight Vampire Phenomenon
In 2005, a book titled Twilight, written by Stephanie Meyer, was released, and soon it hit the New York Times best-seller list. The book is about Bella, a young girl who falls in love with Edward, a teenage vampire. Publisher’s Weekly named Twilight the Best Children’s Book of 2005, and the entire series won the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in 2009. In addition, all five Twilight movies have grossed over two billion dollars in worldwide receipts!15
If my goal were to undermine Christianity, incite rebellion against parents, eradicate biblical values, and spread moral chaos, I would urge teens to read the Twilight series. I would prompt them to immerse their minds and emotions in the dark, emotional whirlpool of sensual occultism. And I wouldn’t warn them of the consequences.
Of course, my real goal is the opposite: to expose this assault on biblical faith and to equip potential readers with information that enables them to resist the temptation to join the collective journey into the mind-changing realm of the occult. The following points show the raging spiritual war that’s sure to intensify in the years ahead:
1. Arousing passion for occultic settings. “Vampires and werewolves are rooted in pagan cultures around the world. The various historical expressions of these mythical creatures were dreaded, blood-thirsty manifestations of evil spirits. Linked to darkness, they were viewed as supernatural creatures of the night.
Bella’s passionate love for the mysteriously handsome Edward may be fictional, but the obsession felt by teenage readers who “resonate” with Bella is very real! Young super-fans (Twilighters) identify with her plight, sense her fears, and “feel” her passion. They love the story because it arouses strong, unforgettable emotions—the kind of enchanting thrills that can best be shared within one’s peer group, and not with parents.
2. Impact of fantasy and imagination. Fantasy and imagination can transform beliefs and values more quickly than reality. Many of our readers defend their love for occult entertainment with this standard justification: “I know the difference between reality and fantasy.” But it doesn’t matter! Believe it or not, persuasive works of fiction and virtual experiences can change young minds and embed lasting memories—leaving indelible, holographic imprints—more effectively than actual real-life experiences!
3. Desensitizing of values. When today’s youth love the emotional thrills of popular occultism, they are desensitizing their hearts and minds to its evil. And—with help from the marketing industry—they are turning America’s values upside down. It all fits the plans of our globalist leaders and that old serpent in Genesis.
“You can only have a new society,” wrote New Age author Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy, “if you change the education of the younger generation.”16
4. Cognitive dissonance. Twilight’s feel-good sensual occultism brings “cognitive dissonance.” Committed Christians (in contrast to cultural Christians) face a form of mental and moral confusion when confronted with incompatible values. Since Twilight’s worldview clashes with biblical Truth, readers are forced to make a choice: Will they heed home-taught values or the tantalizing messages in books, video games, TV series, and movies?
5. Redefining evil. Few Twilighters see their new passion as evil. After all, Edward is a relatively “good” vampire, isn’t he? Though he lusts for Bella’s blood, he restrains his craving. Other vampires (and some of the werewolves) in the saga are downright murderous, but he’s a good guy! Isn’t he? Besides, the story has spawned a noble mission.
But it all depends on who sets the standard for right and wrong—God or man! While God’s standard is like an anchor in a storm, man’s values shift with the winds. The Bible tells us:
I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life… that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for He is thy life. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
FIVE STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR KIDS
STEP ONE: PERSONAL PREPARATION
Pray as a family for discernment and wisdom. Don’t let fear of offensive literature keep your family from finding and feasting on wonderful books.
Commit yourself to a deeper knowing of the Word of God. Continue a daily Bible study program together. If children know truth, they will spot the lies.
Enjoy books together that demonstrate God’s values. Read-aloud times build in most children a deep love for reading, while they also enable you to direct your children’s taste for enriching books. When you read aloud to your children, they learn to associate wholesome books with good times.
STEP TWO: BE ALERT TO DECEPTION IN BOOKS
A crossless version of Christianity fits the New Age lie that all can be one—with or without Jesus. It denies man’s need for redemption and, in effect, makes man his own savior.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Examine gift books for children.
Be alert to what your child’s peers read.
New kinds of joke books are captivating today’s readers. The object of the humor may be sex, marriage, parents, or God. Some of the illustrations may be pornographic.
Discuss these Scriptures with your child: Leviticus 11:44, 20:26; and Matthew 5:6, 8. Review Romans 12:1-2, 9, and Romans 13:14.
STEP THREE: CHECK YOUR LIBRARY
Learn your library’s guidelines and limitations. Know its definition of adult literature and whether or not children can check it out. Children have neither the knowledge, wisdom, nor experience to make adult decisions and carry adult responsibility. Adult movies, television, and books feed children adult-sized mental stimulants that they are unprepared to handle.
STEP FOUR: JOIN IN THE BATTLE FOR TRUTH
Continue to pray with other Christian families for God’s wisdom and direction. Let God encourage you with biblical passages that promise victory to those who trust and follow Him. See Psalm 25:1, 4-5; Exodus 14:13-14; Deuteronomy 1:30; 20:1, 4.
STEP FIVE: PREPARING CHILDREN FOR SPIRITUAL WARFARE
God’s enemy fights as hard as ever to win the hearts and loyalties of our children—and he has added all kinds of high-tech tools to his arsenal. To resist his strategies, they first need to understand them and have in their hearts the Word of God. That’s why God told His people long ago to base all conversation on His unchanging truth and to teach His truth diligently to our children (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Everything we say must reflect the reality of God—His love, His omnipotence, His promises, and His warnings. To prove that our God is far greater than the plethora of alternatives that are out there, our lives must demonstrate faith in the midst of difficulties and His triumph in the midst of turmoil. This is possible, not by our own strength, but by His power and grace. Then, seeing His greatness, children learn to trust His promises.
Likewise, the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) begins and ends with the power of His Word. First, we put on the belt of truth, which holds all the other pieces—His righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation—in place.
The last part, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” is simply His truth and promises memorized, remembered, and affirmed as we face each day’s challenges. The world can’t understand it, and many so-called Christians despise it. But to those who love God, it brings the hope, strength, joy, and perseverance needed to walk with Him in peace no matter what happens.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
To order copies of Popular Books That Introduce Children to the Occult and 5 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Kids, click here.
1. Christina Kelly, “What Now?” (Sassy, July 1988), p. 14.
2. Erin Hunter, Warriors 1—Into the Wild (Avon Books, 2004), p. 102.
3. Ibid., p. 51.
4. Ibid., pp. 4-5.
5. Erin Hunter, Warriors 6—Into the Wild (Avon Books, 2004), p. 33.
6. Ibid., p. 305.
7. Starhawk, The Spiral Dance (Harper & Row), p. 62.
8. Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass (Random House), p. 373.
9. Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass (Random House), p. 371-372.
10. http://crossroad.to/articles2/Gore.html, http://crossroad.to/Quotes/management/blanchard.htm, http://crossroad.to/Excerpts/community/system-theory.htm.
11. Rose Estes, Dragon of Doom, A Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Book (TSR, Inc., 1983), p. 84.
12. “TV shows fuel children’s interest in witchcraft” (August 4, 2000, http://web.archive.org/web/20010606132941/http://ananova.com/entertainment/story/television_children-entertainment-religion-paganism_926320.html).
13. Andy Norfolk, quoted in “Potter Fans Turning to Witchcraft,” (This is London magazine, August 4, 2000).
15. Statistics taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twilight_Saga_(film_series).
16. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1987), p. 280.
To order copies of Popular Books That Introduce Children to the Occult and 5 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Kids, click here.
By Berit Kjos
(author of How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception)
“When we put all this information together – the needs…pictures…and our ability to create completely new behaviors – we have the basics of control theory.” William Glasser: “The Quality School: Managing Students Without Coercion”
“The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living.” Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO.
“’How do we get a critical mass of people doing things differently? Through the sharing of generative ideas, ideas that can change how people think and act….What we as a planet need in order to transform how our large systems work is a network of people spreading ideas of interdependency and sustainability.” Peter Senge. “Changing our organizations to change the world”
“…absolute behavior control is imminent…. The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will… never self-consciously know that it has happened.” Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness, ASCD (curriculum arm of the NEA), 1970.
The world’s path to success is changing fast. In the new 21st-century institution – be it a school, church, corporation or government — hard work and dedication won’t suffice. Getting ahead in the global community will mean compromise, conformity, group thinking and submission to the ground rules of the consensus process.
It makes sense. Global visionaries and managers know well that their battle for social solidarity must be won by consensus, not by force. Mikhail Gorbachev, still an unrepentant Communist, showed his commitment to this transforming process in a 1993 editorial. He wrote,
President Clinton will be a success if he manages to use American influence to accomplish this transformation of international responsibility and increase significantly the role of the United Nations.… Bill Clinton will be a great president… if he can make America the creator of a new world order based on consensus.
The power of DIALOGUE
This century-old plan  for “socializing” the masses gathered momentum when Julian Huxley, brother of Aldous, was chosen to head Unesco. Two years later, he wrote a book titled, “UNESCO: Its purpose and Its Philosophy.” This 1947 blueprint for change called for a universal implementation of Georg Hegel’s dialectic process:
“The task before UNESCO… is to help the emergence of a single world culture with its own philosophy and background of ideas and with its own broad purpose. This is opportune, since this is the first time in history that the scaffolding and the mechanisms for world unification have become available…. And it is necessary, for at the moment, two opposing philosophies of life confront each other from the West and from the East….
“You may categorize the two philosophies as two super-nationalisms, or as individualism versus collectivism; or as the American versus the Russian way of life, or as capitalism versus communism, or as Christianity versus Marxism. Can these opposites be reconciled, this antithesis be resolved in a higher synthesis? I believe not only that this can happen, but that, through the inexorable dialectic of evolution, it must happen….
“In pursuing this aim, we must eschew dogma – whether it be theological dogma or Marxist dogma…. East and West will not agree on a basis of the future if they merely hurl at each other the fixed ideas of the past. For that is what dogma’s are — the crystallizations of some dominant system of thought of a particular epoch. A dogma may of course crystallize tried and valid experience; but if it be dogma, it does so in a way which is rigid, uncompromising and intolerant…. If we are to achieve progress, we must learn to un-crystallize our dogmas.”
Today, the Hegelian Dialectic has become the cornerstone not only of the global education system, but of “Quality” management in all kinds of governmental, corporate and private organization around the world. Meanwhile, the training programs, assessment technology and data tracking systems that complement and monitor this psycho-social process are growing increasingly sophisticated and intrusive. For the complete article and footnotes, click here.
Recently we received the following letter from a Lighthouse Trails reader regarding Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. Presently, Cedarville U. is one of the schools Lighthouse Trails names on its Colleges That Promote Contemplative Spirituality (i.e., Spiritual Formation) list.
To Lighthouse Trails:
We think we have some good news concerning Cedarville. A new president was installed [this summer], Dr. Thomas White. He SEEMS to be a good one, as we listened to the welcome he sent out to students. He said he wants to see biblical worldviews taught in every classroom and in every degree program, academics at the highest level possible combined with a passion for the Great Commission, and ministering around the world by sharing the Gospel along with physical needs, but realizing that the Gospel is the greatest need. He asked for prayers for wisdom and promised to do all he can to make sure that every decision is honoring to the Lord. We also heard in another clip that he said EVERYTHING should be filtered through the Word of God. Some of these things were most likely stated by the last president, but he and others were obviously not living up to them.
John Purple has resigned. I believe you’ve dealt with him, as well as Carl Ruby, who resigned this past semester. I was told that the past president had spoken highly of [The Circle Maker]. We hope and pray that a new day has dawned at the school, at least for a while. We shall see.
Thanks again. We are so grateful for your ministry.
Concerned and Hopeful
Lighthouse Trails first wrote about Cedarville University in 2006 in an article titled, “Cedarville University – Heading Down the Contemplative Road?.” In that article, we pointed out that Cedarville’s president at that time, Dr. Bill Brown, had a resource page for students in which he was recommending books by Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Philip Yancey, and New Ager James Redfield (author of The Celestine Prophecy). Our next article (a year and a half later), “Cedarville University Bringing Emerging Church Activist to Campus,” reported that Cedarville was hosting an evening with emerging church leader Shane Claiborne. Lighthouse Trails spoke with Cedarville’s Dean for Student Life at that time, John Purple and told him about our concerns with the Claiborne invitation (e.g., Claiborne’s close affinity with McLaren, Jim Wallis, Mark Scandrette, and Rob Bell). Our 2008 article also stated:
Lighthouse Trails also spoke with CU’s Vice President Carl Ruby. He said he visited the Lighthouse Trails Research website and was very fond of many of the people we critique. Given the fact that all of the names we critique promote eastern-style mysticism and given the fact that Ruby has no reservations about having Claiborne speak, we should be very concerned about the welfare of CU students. However, a closer look at Cedarville reveals that the school is being influenced by New Age/contemplative/emerging spirituality.
A week after we sent out that article, we posted one titled “Cedarville University Cancels Shane Claiborne Event.” Because of pressure coming from parents, students, and others who contacted the school, Shane Claiborne would not be speaking to Cedarville students. But two years later (2010), they would bring in a mentor of Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis (founder of SoJourners) as we reported in our article “Cedarville University to Host Emerging Leader Jim Wallis in “Biblical” Response to Poverty.” It was apparent that Cedarville’s attraction to emerging figures hadn’t gone away. Wallis’ magazine, SoJourners, is a media outlet for mystics, socialists, liberals, emerging leaders, and New Age proponents.
So where is Cedarville at today with regard to all this? Well, here is what we found:
1) While Dr. Bill Brown is no longer president, the school has left his Recommended Book list (with McLaren, Redfield, and Yancey) up on their website. Perhaps an oversight, but one we hope the new president can rectify; think of how many students have come across that page over the past several years. We wonder how many of those students then turned to McLaren and Redfield and learned that God is in everything (Redfield) and that the atonement is “false advertising” for God (McLaren) or that homosexuality really isn’t that bad (Yancey).
2) In a 2011 Torch magazine issue (Cedarville’s publication), the theme for that issue was titled “Tuning Out the Noise” (code words for contemplative spirituality) and is basically an entire infomercial for contemplative prayer. Lots of contemplative buzz words in the issue accompany an article written by Richard Swenson titled “Living Inside the Margin.” Torch mentions one of Swenson’s book’s The Overload Syndrome, which turns to Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, and a number of other contemplatives for advice. In another article in that issue written by Cedarville professor Milt Becknell, “Health in Mind, Body, and Spirit,” Becknell refers to Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, who is a New Spirituality/New Age meditation proponent. Another article, “God Alone,” written by two Cedarville University women, talk about how they attended a retreat at the Catholic Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky ( the launching pad for bringing contemplative into mainstream Christianity a few decades ago – see Gethsemani Encounter). Touting Dallas Willard and Brennan Manning, the two women give some basic instructions on lectio divina and encourage ”the silence” (you can read that article on pages 20-23 of the issue). According to Cedarville’s website, one of the women, Kim Ahlgrim, is still on staff at Cedarville as the Associate Dean of Academic Enrichment, and the other woman, Debby Stephens, is a board trustee of Cedarville. To cap off the contemplative-promoting issue of Torch, a list of “Digging Deeper” Books includes titles by Ruth Haley Barton, Keri Wyatt Kent, Dan Allender, Lynne Babb, and Priscilla Shirer – all proponents of contemplative spirituality.
3) A Spiritual Formation course (BEGE-1720) is taught at Cedarville by a number of different professors. One of the professors is using Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline, another is using John Ortberg’s book The Life You’ve Always Wanted, and one is using Donald Whitney’s book on the spiritual disciplines. Although Whitney says he rejects mysticism, he gives honor to Richard Foster when he said that Foster’s work has “done much good.” For Cedarville to use these books shows that Cedarville links Spiritual Formation with Foster and Willard (rightfully so, for these two are the pioneers of the evangelical Spiritual Formation movement). This is why we wonder why people try to say that there is a “good” kind of Spiritual Formation, when there is only one kind – the contemplative interspiritual kind.
4) In BEGE 3760, two professors are using Mark Driscoll’s book Death By Love. Driscoll is a pro-contemplative with a number of emergent affinities in his teachings.
5) In WSHP 1010 (Worship), a book titled The Complete Worship Leader is being used for the textbook. That book, written by Kevin Navarro, turns to several contemplatives (see bibliography) to develop his teachings on worship: Richard Foster, Robert Webber, Dallas Willard, Ken Blanchard, Eugene Peterson, Henri Nouwen, Marva Dawn, and Sally Morgenthaler – all contemplative meditation advocates.
6) In BECE 1000 (Orientation to Bible Ministries), the textbook used is One Life by emerging authors, Scot McKnight and Gabe Lyons, and in BECE 2400 (Interpreting and Teaching the Bible), Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a Change and Bruce Wilkinson’s Seven Laws of the Learner are both used. Remember, Wilkinson is known for his God’s Dream idea (talked about in A “Wonderful” Deception by Warren B. Smith).
7) In BENT 4110 (Biblical Studies, New Testament), the course is using a book(s) by N.T. Wright, a favorite mentor of emergent.
8) In the BEPT courses (Practical Theology), James Wilhoit’s Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered and a book by Timothy Keller (who teaches contemplative at his church, Redeemer Presbyterian) are used.
9) In BETH courses, textbook authors include N.T. Wright, ancient future author, the late Robert Webber, and Bruce Demarest (Satisfy Your Soul – a book that is filled with the mystics).
10) In Cedarville’s G92 Immigration Conference in 2011, Shane Claiborne (Cedarville just can’t get away from him) and Jim Wallis were part of the speaker line up. If you haven’t read our booklet tract titled, They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus, it would be a good time to do so if you want to understand the implications of the Claiborne/Wallis attraction.
As you can see, Cedarville University has been dancing with the devil and his contemplative/emergent beliefs for quite some time. The question is, will the new president, Thomas White, be able to turn things around? That, of course, will depend on whether he even wants to turn things around, and that won’t happen if he doesn’t understand the true nature behind the contemplative prayer movement and the emerging church. If he doesn’t know that a panentheistic mystical paradigm shift is happening to the Christian church right now (as Ray Yungen has so meticulously shown in his research), we fear he may allow Cedarville to continue down its present course.
We have no personal animosity against Cedarville or any of the names we have mentioned above, but because we realize how significant this issue is, we cannot leave it unchallenged. Take a look at the photo from Cedarville that we have posted in this article. Professors at colleges have captive audiences in their students. Parents better make sure that the people who hold their children in this thought and idea captivity for four years of their lives are doing it for the Gospel and the truth of the Word of God and not for a dangerous, often subtle, false gospel. Berit Kjos, her book How to Protect Your Child From the New Age and Spiritual Deception, documents the well-thought out agenda to take over and change the minds of the youth in North America. Sadly, most Christian higher education institutes have succumbed to this very agenda, namely the New Spirituality.