Posts Tagged ‘Berit Kjos’

Aliens, UFOs, & a (False) New Age Christ

bigstock--125723432By Berit Kjos

The invasion of monsters began decades ago, and it quickly transformed the world of entertainment. With little resistance, an army of cute-ugly creatures swept into toy stores, television, and movies. They now adorn children’s clothes, bedding, wallpaper, lunchboxes, and books. And many have pushed their way into children’s hearts on the backs of seductive and misleading fables that mold their thoughts and manipulate their imagination.

Some of these monsters are crude and cool like Stitch, Shrek, and the serpentine aliens of Men in Black. Others appear wise and honorable like Yoda in Star Wars. But the creatures that win the prize for thrills and chills are the dark and deadly looking ones like Darth Maul, Tolkien’s Orcs, and the ominous aliens in Signs.

They all serve a set of strategic social and spiritual goals: They entertain. They shift a person’s attention from the real world to a more titillating realm created by those who write the myths and steer the imagination. They tempt Christian fans to re-imagine or reinvent both God and themselves in the new context—thus bending the old realities to fit the re-envisioned ones. They desensitize their fans to mystical images and symbols of evil. And they stir a craving for more intense excitement of the same kind.

Eventually the real world of nature, families, work, and biblical truth becomes too boring to be enjoyed. Who cares about truth and facts when folklore and fantasies seem far more titillating and exciting?

Today’s techno-progressive mystical-oriented world has little tolerance for biblical watchfulness. Instead, it embraces its mythical heroes with a driving passion that often eclipses both family and reality. The more shocking, crude, insidious looking, and ugly, the more cool and captivating the product. Hollywood and toy makers know that well.

Perhaps you remember the Madballs from the late eighties. The grotesque bouncing heads bore matching names like Wolf Breath, Swine Sucker, and Screamin’ Meenie. With shrewd foresight, their inventor, Ralph Shaffer, suggested that his successful minispheres would “take the world of cute-ugly into a new direction.”8

He was right. The horrific-ugly as well as the cute-ugly began turning a corner and pulling Western culture along with it. Grotesque, demonic-looking creatures with fiery eyes infiltrated toy stores and sold like hotcakes. Many were mutants—part animal and part human, or an admixture of animal and monster. And most could wield the kind of supernatural power featured in their respective legends and stories.

They won incredible popularity. Children quickly overcame their natural aversion to scary images and learned to treasure these ugly, hybrid, mutant supernaturals. Few noticed their resemblance to the demonic creatures described in the Bible.

One of those early creatures of darkness, Black Star, would ride on a green horse with huge bat-like wings and a long dragon tail. Its eyes were glowing red and a long tongue dangled from its mouth. Another popular invader, Dark Dragon, had black wings and a huge tail with red scales along the sides. Hiding a skull in its chest, it had a lion’s mouth, teeth, and claws. Its eyes were glowing red, and out of the center of its forehead shone a large, green third eye.

In a lecture titled, “The Rising Interest in the Supernatural,” Larry McLean, coauthor of The Early Earth, compares today’s grotesque toys to historical images representing ancient gods:

These [creatures] that show up in archeology and what we would call mythology were not just figments of the imagination. They were . . . represented as part human and part animal in their characteristics like this bird-human of the Assyrians. [They can be] horse-and-human like centaurs. Or fish-and-human like the god Dagon of the Philistines . . . or part jaguar and part human.

Notice that tongue hanging out over the chin—which is a universal symbol of demonic possession. . . . One of the most popular combinations is human and serpent. . . . It’s not surprising that pagan religions worshiped serpents and dragons, for the Bible tells us in Revelation 12 that the old serpent, the dragon, is Satan the devil.9

Nor should today’s growing popularity of devilish images surprise us. The Bible prophesies that demonic activities will escalate before and during the reign of the Antichrist. Could the multiplication of demonic-looking, alien images be part of Satan’s plan to prepare us for these awful future events?

Don’t laugh. There is plenty of evidence that a sizable percentage of UFO sightings, alien abductions, crop circles, and other extraterrestrial manifestations fit into the realm of the supernatural. According to John Ankerberg and John Weldon’s book The Facts on UFO’s and other Supernatural Phenomena:

[F]ew unbiased researchers can logically deny that UFO experiences are of an occult nature. If we catalog the basic characteristics of the occult and compare them to UFO phenomena, we discover an essential similarity. . . .

After 20 years of research, we believe that the demonic theory dovetails extremely well with the totality of UFO phenomena. . . . In fact, we know of no UFO contactee who is not basically a spiritistic medium. In addition, we have read hundreds of articles from the oldest and most respected UFO journal, the British Flying Saucer Review, that indicate the psychic and/or non-extraterrestrial aspects of UFOs which, given their actions and messages, indicate probable demonic origin.10

These threats have not escaped notice. According to “Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up” by Timothy Good, “the ubiquitous UFO phenomenon . . . [is] a phenomenon that has caused grave concern at high levels of many of the world’s governments, despite their statements to the contrary.”11

Ankerberg and Weldon arrived at the same conclusion. They found that “in the U.S. alone, tens of millions of dollars have been spent in official UFO investigations by the CIA, FBI, U.S. Army Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, and other organizations.” They quote astrophysicist Dr. Jacques Vallee who describes the UFO event as “a bizarre, seductive, and often terrifying phenomenon reported by many witnesses as contact with an alien form of intelligence.”12

Naturally, many UFO enthusiasts and New Age leaders would disagree. Some began to circulate the far-out notion decades ago: A group of benevolent aliens or ascended masters would suddenly appear on the earth and cleanse it from all who resist its spiritual evolution toward global oneness. At the same time, they would prepare humanity to receive the prophesied New Age “Christ.”

Maybe not so far-out after all, at least according to one major New Age figure, Barbara Marx Hubbard. Marx Hubbard believes there will indeed be a cleansing of all those who resist the coming together of all humanity and rejection of its “Christ.” She calls this process of cleansing the “Selection Process.” Listen to a few quotes by Marx Hubbard as she describes this cleansing. Keep in mind while reading these that Marx Hubbard is not some glassy-eyed spaced-out hippy from the ’60s living on an isolated mountainside. As a matter of fact, she was instrumental in forming a lobby group in Washington D.C. to create a “U.S. Department of Peace.” This organization, called The Peace Alliance, has worked with willing Congress members and other influential figures (such as the late Walter Cronkite) to bring about this Peace plan.13 From Marx Hubbard’s book, The Revelation, she quotes from her “Christ”:

Dearly beloved, I approached the crucifixion far more easily than I approach the selection. The crucifixion was done unto my body. The selection will be done unto yours.14

The decisive moment of selection has almost come. The judgment of the quick and the dead is about to be made. The end of this phase of evolution is nearly complete.15

By your acts you shall be judged as to whether you can evolve, or must be “cast into the lake of fire,” which is the second death.16

The selection process will exclude all who are exclusive. The selection process assures that only the loving will evolve to the stage of co-creator.17

The end is near. The old play is almost over. Suffice it to say, that if you do not choose to evolve into a wholesome, co-creative human, then you shall not.18

In former New Age follower Warren B. Smith’s book, False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?, Smith unveils Marx Hubbard’s “Selection Process”:

Hubbard’s “Christ,” while describing the “birth experience” and professing his love for all mankind, nevertheless warns that there will be no place in the “New Jerusalem” for those who refuse to see themselves and others as a part of God. He describes, therefore, the necessity of a “selection process” that will select out resistant individuals who “choose” not to evolve. This “selection process” is a “purification” that will be accomplished through “the shock of a fire.”19

Marx Hubbard likens those who resist this “co-creative stage of evolution,” to a “lethal cancer cell in a body: deadly to itself and to the whole.”20 She explains:

The surgeon dare leave no cancer in the body when he closes up the wound after a delicate operation. We dare leave no self-centeredness on Earth after the selection process.21

Regardless of how this apocalyptic scenario will play out, be it with the supposed and added element of “aliens” or “ascended masters,” or not, these demonic beings will no doubt come as “angel[s] of light” and “ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) illustrating “the beautiful side of evil” rather than the grotesque images of occult idols in order to “deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). These “masters” represent a hierarchy of warring demons that match the warning in Ephesians 6:12, which tells us that our battle is not against “flesh and blood” but rather against the “rulers of the darkness of this world” and “against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Different versions of these seductive deceptions have spread around the world through the writings of countless occultists. Their numbers include the infamous Satanist Aleister Crowley as well as the occultic “prophetess” Alice Bailey, whose channeled messages from spirit guide Djwhal Khul inspired United Nations and many education leaders.

But God’s Word shows us the truths behind those illusions. Revelation 9:1-11 foresees a day when the Abyss (the bottomless pit where Satan will be cast) will open with a burst of smoke and release an army of powerful deadly creatures onto the earth. They will look like a mixture of man, horse, and locust with wings. They will have stinging “tails like unto scorpions,” and their commander will be Satan himself. Our God will allow it; for man’s evil—as in the days of Noah—and God’s eternal justice will call forth His judgment.

Though children are born with a natural fear of hideous, shocking, and evil-looking creatures, this God-given protection has been dulled by the Western world’s mass-media marketing system. Children are being conditioned to embrace demonic manifestations, whether they come as beings with superior intelligence from outer space to rescue planet Earth or as evolved mutations from earth itself. Why wouldn’t they accept these lies?

Unless we teach them otherwise, today’s postmodern anti-biblical beliefs in both physical and cosmic evolution lead most of them to trust in deceptions. Of course—they are told—life had to have evolved on other planets! If there really is a God, He wouldn’t have created the whole universe just for earthlings, would He?

Yes, He would. Why shouldn’t our God, who sent His own Son to die for us, create such a universe? Why not make it so vast that man’s ego would be humbled by such might? Maybe He did it to show us the immeasurable greatness of His magnificent, incomprehensible creative powers and the infinite width, length, height, and depth of His magnificent love. I believe He did.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? . . . For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. (Romans 11:33-34, 36)

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Spiritual Warfare: The Unseen Foe Behind Rising Evil

By Berit Kjos
Kjos Ministries

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…” 1 Timothy  4:1-2

We don’t hear much about spiritual warfare these days. Most churches seem to ignore the reality of Satan and the evil he inspires. God’s warnings about fellowship with the world’s alluring thrills doesn’t fit the contemporary image of Jesus as a tolerant, easy-going friend.

Since the 18th century’s birth of the “Age of Reason,” an increasing number of “enlightened” Western leaders and influential “change agents” have tried to discredit the Bible and silence believers. More recently, a vast number of politicians, media masters and educators have joined this war against biblical truth and Christian values.

No wonder our public schools are becoming bastions of atheism, immorality and — spreading fast — the promotion of Islam. Like the persecuted Jews during and after Hitler’s holocaust, today’s Jews and Christians are facing hatred and rising persecution for standing firm in their faith.

It’s no secret that Satan’s lies have sparked wars and cruelty through the ages. Ever since Eve chose to follow her own feelings rather than God’s wise guidelines, humanity has faced assaults from “the evil one” — often through his willing pawns. Call him the Devil, Deceiver, Satan, or serpent; it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same ruthless oppressor:

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…” Revelation 12:9

From the beginning, this invisible fiend has been seeding doubt, depravity, despair and death. Through the ages, he has inspired idolatry, witchcraft, deadly curses and magical arts that were used to control people and corrupt cultures. He lost some ground during America’s Christian era, when — by God’s grace — our nation was relatively free from such dark forces. But our times are changing fast, and once again the captivating forces of evil are mesmerizing vulnerable children as well as adults.

In 2014, Fox Network launched a new TV series that glorifies Lucifer; marketed with pro-Satan tweets:

“The more subtle side of satanism in Hollywood entertainment is now a thing of the past, as primetime television airs blatantly evil shows like the upcoming Fox drama Lucifer, which glorifies the goings about of the ‘lord of hell’; after he fictitiously leaves the lake of fire and retires to Los Angeles.

“The premise behind the absurd drama, which is set to release in 2016, centers around so-called ‘Lucifer Morningstar’ and his new life as the owner of Lux, an upscale nightclub located in the City of Angels…. ‘It’s only fitting, then, that this modern-day show produced by satanists would portray Lucifer as a type of benevolent god… to take the place of the real God…. Whether you believe what the Bible says or not, this is the clear-as-day implication of this upcoming show that will soon be watched by presumably millions of people.”[1]

This world is changing fast, and we must prepare for the challenges ahead. Our children need to know and remember warnings like these:

“There shall not be found among you any one that…  that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer….  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord…”  Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Satan knows well that no nation can maintain true freedom apart from God’s moral law. Quenched by propaganda, hedonism and distorted views of God’s Truth, the biblical values that made America kind, generous, honest and successful are now fading fast — even in churches. Some years ago a youth pastor sent me this conflicting message:

“I am a strong Christian and love the Lord with all my heart. The problem is I really enjoy reading the Harry Potter books and nothing about them conflicts with my spirit…”[2]

A young woman who called herself “a solitary witch” wrote this revealing message:

“I am a Harry Potter fan for several reasons. … You are not just drawn into the story but into that world. Then through talking about them with fans you fall further and further in love with the characters, you analyze them and worry about them until they feel real to you. Then you have, in a way, become a part of that shared universe, and it is a wonderful place to be.”[3]

What a cruel illusion! When a nation turns from God’s ways to decadence and imaginary thrills, our Lord withdraws His blessings and protection. And when Satan has his way, calamity reigns. Remember, the evil one rules a hierarchy of like-minded demonic beings:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers , against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God , that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  Ephesians 6:12-13

That “evil day” may already be upon us. It’s beginning to bring fear and oppression to wayward America — as it did to the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. And now, with today’s massive movement of migrants who — like some of our leaders — despise both Jews and Christians, our world is changing faster than ever. What’s more, Western countries like America, the UK and Germany are still hosts to unthinkable occultism and secret societies. Some of those empowered servants of darkness may well join tomorrow’s tyrants.

Are we prepared to “stand firm” in Jesus Christ, wearing His Armor  as we face the challenges ahead? Can we count on our Lord and King to win this battle on behalf of His people?

Yes we can! God always wins — even when the victory looks more like defeat to us! He is the sovereign Lord and King over all, and His wisdom and long-range plans for our lives far surpass our finite understanding. Everything is under His command:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

With our limited insights into His heavenly plans, we may be tempted to complain. To resist that lure, we need to trust God, know His Word, and remember His Wonderful Promises.  No matter what challenges we face, He is with us – strengthening our faith and training us to endure! For,

“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil….  

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness; and shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all,  taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…”   Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-18.

  1. Fox Network launched a new “TV series that glorifies Lucifer; marketed with pro-Satan tweets.”
  2. This was a personal note from a private person.
  3. This was a personal note from a private person.

Used with permission from Kjos Ministries.

 

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Out-of-House Press Release: HSLDA Releases Common Core Documentary

photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

This global agenda [Common Core] is far more intrusive, demanding, and dangerous to Christian families than most of us can imagine.—Berit Kjos, author of A Common Core for a Global Community

LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational purposes. Because Lighthouse Trails is an advocate for children in a number of areas (education, New Age, sexual abuse, etc), we believe parents need to know about Common Core. You may watch the video of the documentary discussed in this press release below (keep in mind, HSLDA interviewed some people who were promoting Common Core to show how the defense is being presented, but HSLDA is not promoting those views). Lighthouse Trails is not affiliated with HSLDA but appreciates the work they do in defending the rights of parents to homeschool their children in the U.S. If you want more information about Common Core, please read Berit Kjos’ important booklet A Common Core for a Global Community and share it with those you know who have school-age children.

Contact: Michael Farris, Jr., Home School Legal Defense Association, 540-338-5600, mfarrisjr@hslda.org

PURCELLVILLE, Va., March 31, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The Home School Legal Defense Association today released its highly-anticipated documentary Building the Machine, a film that investigates the Common Core State Standards Initiative and how it will affect the American education system.

HSLDA has been opposing Common Core since 2009 and, as public concern over the standards grew, HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris decided that creating a film about the standards would be the best way to make information about Common Core widely available.

Mike Smith, president of HSLDA, says that this film is the first of its kind and will change the conversation. “Homeschooling has shown us that an individualized education is the best thing for a child,” he said. “Common Core is the complete opposite of that. Our hope is that the film will cause a ‘great awakening’ and that parents will question the one-size-fits-all education reform being implemented behind closed doors.” Click here to continue reading this press release from HSLDA.

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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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