Posts Tagged ‘Berit Kjos’

2015 YEAR IN REVIEW – PART 5 – TOP 10 ARTICLES BY LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS AUTHORS

See also Part 1 Year in Review | See also Part 2 Year in Review | See also Part 3 Year in Review | See Also Part 4 Year in Review

In order of date posted.

Caryl Matrisciana

Caryl Matrisciana

1/A Special Letter from Caryl Matrisciana – Reflections on Sorrow by Caryl Matrisciana

I’m so grateful to Jesus Christ for having walked the sorrows of this life and given us His example of how godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow can be faced through the empowerment of His Holy Spirit, which is freely given to believers as His Gift of Grace (2 Corinthians 1:5-6; Hebrews 2:10;). The apostle Paul distinguishes two sorts of sorrow: “Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians  7:10). The one is that sorrow for sin [that is] wrought by God [and] leads to repentance, while the other is a sorrow about worldly objects which, when separated from the fear of God, tends to death, temporal and eternal. (Unger Bible Dictionary)

Roger Oakland

Roger Oakland

2/Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much by Roger Oakland

In 2014, Rick Warren (called “America’s Pastor) was interviewed by Catholic T.V. network host Raymond Arroyo. The interview took place at the Saddleback Church campus and was posted on YouTube by EWTN in April of 2014. Because I had written previously in 2013 about Rick Warren’s connections to Rome and to the Catholic convert Tony Blair (former prime minister of Britain), I was very aware that Rick Warren was heading down the path toward Rome. But not until I saw this interview did I realize just how far he has gone in that direction.

cedric-fisher

Cedric Fisher

3/The Unacknowledged War and the Wearing Down of the Saints by Cedric Fisher

In the wake of a brutal execution of Christians at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon in October 2015, the Obama administration announced the appointment of a new czar position to supposedly battle domestic terrorism.

Ray Yungen

Ray Yungen

4/Pope Francis and the Thomas Merton Connection by Ray Yungen

n 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected Pope Francis the First. This new pope immediately began causing ripples in the Catholic Church with his statements on certain issues. He also caused many to take notice of his unpapal lifestyle such as living in a guesthouse with twelve others rather than living in the papal apartments like previous popes. He projects a down-to-earth image that denotes compassion and trust. He has been called the people’s pope, someone who is your friend, someone you can trust. But there are certain things about Pope Francis’ coming on the scene that are being ignored by the media and most people.

smith

Warren B. Smith

  5/Be Still and Know That You are Not God!—God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything by Warren B. Smith

Our Spiritual Adversary would have everyone believe that we are all “one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. Using every promotional means possible—including a creative and ingenious perversion of quantum physics—he is attempting to convince the world and the church that while Jesus was Christ, so is everyone. And while Jesus was God, so is everyone else. To underscore this heretical New Age doctrine of God and Christ “in” everyone, he would have us further believe that nothing of any significance happened on the Cross of Calvary.

6/Beth Moore & Priscilla Shirer – Their History of Contemplative Prayer and Why War Room Should Not Have Used Them by John Lanagan

Contemplative prayer, which Priscilla Shirer refers to as her “brand new way” and Beth Moore says is essential in really knowing God, is in reality an ancient prayer practice that is essentially the same as New Age or Eastern meditation though disguised with Christian terminology. Those who participate and enter the contemplative silence, as it is called, open themselves to great deception.

7/“For God So Loved the World . . . That Whosoever!” by Harry Ironside

Why do so many people think this is the greatest text in the Bible? There are other wonderful texts that dwell on the love of God, that show how men are delivered from judgment, that tell us how we may obtain everlasting life; but no other one verse, as far as I can see, gives us all these precious truths so clearly and so distinctly. So true is this that when the Gospel is carried into heathen lands, and missionaries want to give a synopsis of the Gospel to a pagan people, all they find it necessary to do, if they are going to a people that have a written language, is to translate and print this verse, and it tells out the story that they are so anxious for the people to hear.

Berit Kjos

Berit Kjos

8/The New Age, Occultism, and Our Children in Public Schools by Berit Kjos

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.

9/D is for Deception: The Language of the “New” Christianity by Kevin Reeves

A number of years ago, a book written by emerging-church leaders Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet was released. The book was called A is for Abductive: the language of the emerging church. Going through the alphabet, the authors identified many terms they hoped would be picked up by the younger generation, thus creating a unique emerging spiritual atmosphere. They called it a “primer with a mission.” That mission that McLaren, Sweet, and other like-minded change agents embrace has been successful in bringing in a new kind of “Christianity. . . .”

Lynn Lusby Pratt

Lynn Lusby Pratt

10/BIG NOISY GOD—Dispelling the Rumor that God Can Be Found “Only in the Silence” by Lynn Lusby Pratt

Have you heard the rumor going around—that God can be found “only in the silence”? Don’t buy it. Please understand. I love quiet. I drive for hours with the radio off, sit in the porch swing and listen to the birds, and lie on Gram’s quilt in the dark to watch the stars. I insist on quiet for Bible and prayer time.

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Three Ways to Protect Your Child From Harmful Toys & Games

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

When eight-year-old Joshua’s parents found out what he wanted for Christmas, they felt put on the spot. Joshua only had eyes for the newest rage—Nintendo—along with its most popular game, Super Mario Brothers II. Anything else was “boring.”

Joshua’s folks had heard disturbing stories about Nintendo addiction—or whatever you call that intense focus that tolerates no interruption. So they didn’t relish battling that obsession at bedtime—or any time. A rather pricey toy, Nintendo promised to zap a sizable hole in their budget, and the local stores had already sold out of their holiday allotment of SMB II.

Boy Video GameLast year it was simple for Mom and Dad. Joshua just wanted more figures and accessories for his Masters of the Universe toys. The cost was tolerable, and they provided a year’s worth of imaginative play. Of course, the gruesomeness of some of the figures caused them uneasiness.

Heidi’s parents faced a similar dilemma. Their six-year-old daughter asked for Barbie’s Dream House—fully furnished, of course. “They fit together,” she explained, “and everybody has them.”

Barbie’s long-time popularity fails to endear her to Heidi’s concerned parents. They often wonder if the doll’s curvy figure and flashy clothes might encourage values and sophistication inconsistent with their hopes for Heidi. What kinds of aspirations are built by these symbols of self-centered materialism and the body image issues they instill in young girls at an early age?

If Barbie were the only messenger of image-based hedonistic self-interest, a few more accessories would hardly matter. But pagan decadence beckons children everywhere. “Just throw off all restraints,” it shouts, “and let human nature lead the way. Follow your feelings.”

It’s tough to teach restraint to children who are begging for gratification. Schools and the media have often declared parents the “bad guys.” We, as parents, keenly and distinctly feel the confusing values gap and flinch at the thought of being a killjoy once again. Yet we must. God has told us, the parents, to train our children to follow His way, and we can’t turn back now. Also, He promises to enable us. Fortified with truth, let’s make sure our children have toys that enhance their progress toward God’s kind of maturity.

Step One: Develop a Sensitivity to Evil

A young mother driving a carload of children—including two from her church—posed this question: “Who is the master of the universe?”

“He-Man!” shouted a chorus of voices. The mother grieved as the youngsters praised their idol. Her heart sank further when one boy pulled an ugly figure from his pocket and waved it in the air. “And this is Hordak,” he shouted. “He’s bad! He fights He-Man!”

Current delight in false gods and demonic creatures may have begun with winsome magicians such as Papa Smurf and Rainbow Brite. As people welcomed these nonthreatening (in appearance) harbingers of occult forces, they unknowingly opened the door to the grotesque and disturbing realms of the dark occult as well.

At first, we parents closed our eyes to this trend—we didn’t want to overreact. Even within the church community, talk about Satan and his dark realm has often been regarded as too negative or heavy-handed. Since we failed to resist, we gradually adapted and then accepted these practices. Now it’s time to retrench, take our positions, and fight to regain our discernment and freedom. How do we do this?

Continue to read and apply Scriptures.

Share your own observations.

Spark awareness in a young child with comments such as, “That monster looks gross!” or “That creature reminds me of a snake,” along with “Did you know that in the Bible, serpents always represent Satan and evil?”

To express your feelings to a young child, comment, “Who would want that evil-looking figure? I don’t even like to look at him. Let’s find something that makes us feel happy inside.”

Model wise decision-making. Tell your child why you wouldn’t want to buy certain things.

When a child wants something questionable, ask questions that are prayerfully adapted to your child’s age, such as:

What does the toy (or game) teach you (about power, about magic, about God, about yourself)? Discuss both the obvious and the subtle with your child.

Have you seen movies, cartoons, or comic books that made this toy (game) part of a story? What did the story tell you about it? Does the toy (game) remind you of someone who uses magic or supernatural power? Did someone pretend to be God?

What does it teach about violence or immorality and their consequences?

Does the toy have any symbols or characteristics that associate it with either the light or dark side of New Age occultism?

Whatever is lovely, gracious, and good originates with God. Satan cannot produce anything new. All he can offer is counterfeits or clever distortions of God’s gifts.

Step Two: Encourage Your Child To Choose the Good

Develop a mindset that seeks the best, not just the “OK.” You have identified and rejected the worst toys. But the rest are not necessarily good either. Discuss these questions to help your child learn to choose only the best. Phrase the questions according to your child’s age level.

  1. Does it present a true picture of life? In a time when even adults base their lives on counterfeit dreams and false illusions, our children need to learn to tell what is flight of fancy and what is real.
  2. How long would the interest last? Fad toys are fun for the moment, but they whet the appetite for every “in” thing, so that decision-making centers on the question, “What will make me feel happy right now?” Determine not to buy that lie. Unfortunately, many quality toy companies have been bought up or squeezed out by giants who can pay the high price for television promotion. The range of major toy lines is narrowing to those that look glamorous on the screen.
  3. Will this toy be used for playing alone or with others? A child needs a healthy balance of solitary and social play. Good toys will help her interact both with her imaginary world and with the real world, harmonizing the two. That may require some interaction with you. Perhaps you could agree together to find toys that will help you, the parent, participate in your young child’s imaginary world.
  4. Does it build godly character? Many toys, hobbies, and games do. Review the biblical principles suggested for evaluating movies and television programs.

Step Three: Train Your Child to Follow God, Not Peers

We want our children to feel good about themselves, be liked by their peers, and not miss out on the fun. But as we realize what their friends choose, we wonder how our children will respond to the peer pressure. How can we prepare them to make wise choices?

Counter peer pressure. Children naturally compare us to the parents of peers, challenging us to match their “generosity.” That hurts, since we want them to feel our love for them. We see what they don’t realize: that getting the toys they want will not make them feel secure in our love. It’s more likely to increase their craving and stir discontent. Also, it teaches them to equate love with material things. If your child is old enough, explain this process to him.

Discuss whether “showing off” might be their motive for wanting a toy. Feeding that feeling produces bondage and increased insecurity. Children as well as adults crave superior luxury items, and toy manufacturers are quick to comply.

Be a trendsetter. Have an abundant supply of ideas and tools to help your child and his friends use their imaginations and develop their own play: dress-up clothes (thrift stores are a good resource), fabrics for making puppets, scrap wood for outdoor structures, a refrigerator carton for making a playhouse, etc.

Look to the Bible for guidelines and authority. God understands our desires to follow the crowd; He feels our struggle to be “in” the world but not “of it” (John 17:16-18). According to age readiness, review Romans 12:1-2 together and then discuss 3 John 11 and Jude 18-20.

Self-denial seems out of place in a nation consumed with self-indulgence and self-fulfillment. But God commanded it, and Jesus demonstrated it. Dare we refuse to acknowledge it? According to the age of your child, discuss Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:24 and then allow the Holy Spirit to direct your application.

Don’t get me wrong. Far more than earthly parents, God wants His children to be happy and have a good time. But He doesn’t want cream puffs to satisfy our hunger and turn us away from the meat of truth. Self-discipline produces the kind of maturity that brings genuine happiness forever, not merely a pleasant moment today.

Our Heavenly Father, who models parenting better than any of us, doesn’t major on the superficial. He knows better than to give us all the things we want. For just as most children will choose pop over milk, and chips over carrots, so do we, as adults, often choose that which cannot satisfy. God does not want vain deceits, as He calls them (Colossians 2:8), to mold our appetites, satisfy our hunger, and replace the very best.

It’s hard to teach restraint to children who are begging for gratification. Wanting to please rather than overreact, we flinch at the thought of having to continually censor our children’s wants, preferences, and desires. Parental authority simply doesn’t fit the fast-spreading new views of social equality taught through the media and the schools. Yet, we must obey God. He has told us to raise our children to choose His way, and we must rise to the occasion, fight the good fight, and not shrink back.

After hearing God’s warning and praying for His wisdom, nine-year-old Alan Brannan decided to throw away all his Pokémon cards. “My friend did the same,” said his mother. “Her twelve-year-old son had been having nightmares. But after a discussion with his parents about the game and its symbols, he was convicted to burn his cards and return his Game Boy game. That night, he slept well for the first time in a month.”

“It seemed to us that these cards had some sort of power,” continued DiAnna Brannan. “Another nine-year-boy had stolen money from his mother’s purse ($7.00) to buy more cards.” When questioned, he confessed and said he had heard the devil urging him to do it. The family quickly gathered in prayer, then saw God’s answer. Both the boy and his little sister burned their cards, warned their friends, and discovered the joy and freedom that only comes from following their Shepherd.

Training Kids to Love Good More Than Evil

Don’t play games with the occult! Ouija Boards have always invited oppression, but they are far more likely to invoke unwanted “spirits” today. So it is with the new generation of occult games and DVDs as well.

I became aware of this change back in the nineties when a Canadian psychologist called me. He had read my book Under the Spell of Mother Earth and wanted to share some observations with me. In past years, he said, many women would come to scenic Alberta to do a Native American “Spirit Quest” in search of their personal “animal spirit.” Few succeeded. But times have changed, and the “spirits” that now answer the summons are numerous as well as oppressive. Treating the scary symptoms as “multiple personality disorders” is no help at all.

Popular occultism is spreading fast, and the “spirit world” has become increasingly more accessible. But few families are equipped to resist it. Contemporary churches offer little or no help. Most simply ignore the danger or endorse the “fun.” To avoid offense, the word evil is dropped from their vocabulary.

The primary victims of this blindness end up being our children. Unless we teach them to recognize and resist these dangers, many will come to embrace the darkness.

Those who love and follow God will be repelled by occult myths. And those who love today’s popular occultism will run from God’s unchanging truths and wise and loving boundaries. For if we are filled with His Spirit and follow His way, we will—by His life in us—“abhor that which is evil: and cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9).

The world cringes when it hears these truths because its fiction and fantasies are too enticing. That’s why people find all kinds of arguments to justify their misdirected love.

To prepare your child for daily battles against tempting spiritual counterfeits, consider these three other outlines of vital truths:

The Armor of God—These six truths expose and counter today’s most popular deceptions. Even more important, they show us the way to an intimate relationship with God.

The Lord’s Prayer—These truths parallel the ones in the armor of God and serve the same purposes.

The Beatitudes—Jesus’ message, recorded in Matthew 5, show us a standard for holiness that is far higher than we can achieve, but it comes with the promise that—by His life in us—He will make us all He intends us to be. It ends with the reminder that those who follow Jesus will also share in His suffering. Therefore, our children need to be prepared for persecution. Uncompromising faith and God’s unchanging truths have become intolerable in today’s postmodern age.

For more biblical advice on raising children and protecting them from spiritual deception and harmful practices, read Berit’s book, How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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