Posts Tagged ‘environmentalism’

Letter to the Editor From Japan: After An Unusual Childhood Surrounded by Mysticism, She Finds the Truth

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LTRP Note: Please pray for Yoko, the woman from Japan who wrote this letter to us. We have been in correspondence with her this past week and have e-mailed her a copy of Dr. Harry Ironside’s booklet called Redemption. She told us after reading it that she particularly liked this sentence from the booklet: “Do not forget that new birth is something more than just accepting certain doctrines. It is receiving Christ and believing the Gospel, as a result of which we are created anew in Christ Jesus, and we receive eternal life with all its new and godlike desires.” Let us also remember to pray for the people in Japan that many would come to know the Lord and believe in His Gospel.

To Lighthouse Trails:

Hello, my name is Yoko, and I’m from Tokyo, Japan.

I’d like to thank Ray Yungen for his books A Time of Departing and For Many Shall Come in My Name, which I bought earlier this year through Amazon and also for his talks on YouTube that I’ve downloaded as mp3 files and listen to them like almost every day I must confess.

You may think of Buddhism and Shinto religion when you hear the word Japan, but my background is quite unusual in that my mother was hugely influenced by the QUAKERS when she was a teenager, because of the Quaker Girls School that she went to from 13 to 19, which gave her silent worship opportunities every single morning. She then went on to become very much into metaphysics and western philosophy. She would often sit quietly doing nothing when I was a child, and she would tell me that Jesus was one of those people who had psychic powers to heal the sick. But I was little and I had no idea what kind of thing my mother was trying to convey or teach to me.

I had a chance to live with a Christian family in the UK when I was 18 as an overseas student, but I then I went on to join the Quaker meeting in London for a short while, and later the Quakers in Tokyo, which led me to join all sorts of leftist political activities.

And then I learned of the New World Order on the Internet lately, and while I was researching the NWO, I heard of the name Alice Baily, Madam Blavatsky etc. I then realized what the battle really is. At first, I didn’t know who Richard Foster was but I now do . . .

Ray’s books and talks are immensely helpful for someone like me, so thank you very much.

It is still very sad and confusing for me that my mother who loves me still hasn’t changed at all since I was a child.

Another unusual background of me is that my aunt was married to an author and researcher who was very much into Zen and helped popularized Tofu in the US in the 80s. So, as a child I always knew there are some Americans who are into eastern stuff but again, I didn’t have the dots connected.

By the way, most Japanese regard themselves as atheists, but many people would want to marry in a church because it looks fashionable; they would worship Shinto shrine on New Year’s day and go get buried inside your traditional Buddhist tomb along with your ancestors.

They are, of course, stressed out from working overtime and from living in a crowded environment (thankfully I’m not though!).

Zen meditation or mindful meditation is not so popular in Japan yet, but as in the west, Yoga has gained huge popularity in the last 10 years or so. Fitness clubs everywhere now have Yoga classes. Things like music festivals or mountain climbing tours, or surf retreats for the young people now have Yoga exercises added to them. It is now hip and cool to do Yoga, especially for the women who want to be beautiful and healthy. If something is hip in NY, Tokyo must hurry up and copy it.

Reiki is not at all well-known among ordinary Japanese, but I saw it advertised from people who are very much into environmental issues and social activism for “peace” etc. But it is still very minor.

I’m just writing this very casually. I haven’t researched the situation in Japan deeply or anything . . . but thank you for letting me notice these things.

I’d had a Japanese-translated Bible, but recently I bought a King James Bible, and I believe the Word of God is giving me strength every day.

Thank you very much.

Best regards

Yoko

LTRJ Comment: Yoko later wrote a postscript to us, and we thought it was very insightful in light of the fact that the leading pioneer of the contemplative prayer movement, Richard Foster, is from a Quaker background.

P.S. From Yoko: I knew that Quakerism that I’ve been familiar with for a long time in my life isn’t Christianity at all but it is in fact occultic, and you reminded me that the real Christianity is nothing like it.

No one in the Quaker camp that I knew of talked about Jesus Christ as the Saviour and no one talked about Satan’s deception (because the Quakerism itself is his deception) and certainly not about being born again. I don’t remember them talking about us as sinners and that we need to repent, so it is a satanic religion I’ve now come to think. They may be panenthiestic like the new agers but it is, like Ray has written in For Many Shall Come in My Name, a bundled package and a subtle one  too. They don’t actually state that God is in all things, but they manifest it as radical environmental activism etc.

As you know, they are obsessed about the Inner Light in every man and woman.  I couldn’t really understand there was any Light inside of me but I tried to think that way while I was there ! At times, I did experience some mystical strange energies flowing about in their meeting too. I don’t know what realm I was put into then.

NEW BOOKLET: A Christian Perspective on the Environment

NEW BOOKLET: A Christian Perspective on the Environment: How the Catholic Pope and Other Leaders Are Uniting the World’s Religions Through Environmentalism by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is part of the content of the booklet. To order copies of A Christian Perspective on the Environment, click here. 

BKT-RO-ENV-SA Christian Perspective on the Environment: How the Catholic Pope and Other Leaders Are Uniting the World’s Religions Through Environmentalism

By Roger Oakland

(Below is an extract from the booklet.)

In July of 2016, I was invited to present a paper on the environment from a Christian perspective to the International Symposium on Energy and Environmental Management and Technology held in Rome, Italy. The following information you are about to read is that paper and relates to the issue of the environment, from a biblical and Christian viewpoint.

Although I do not consider myself to be an authority on the subject of the environment, and certainly others are more qualified to speak on this issue than I, there are a few areas where I feel I am able to contribute.

First, I have been a Christian for nearly four decades—my conversion to Christianity coming at the age of thirty. Second, because I have a background in biology and agriculture, I have always had a keen interest in environmental issues. And third, as a Christian, I believe it is the responsibility of every human being to be concerned about our planet and the ecological relationship we have with all living creatures that God has created.

Throughout my life, I have made a number of observations about the past, the present, and where society seems to be headed in the future. I grew up in western Canada on a wheat farm and hold an active interest in this farm to this day. I was educated during the ’50s and ’60s through the Canadian public-school system, then later at the University of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan. During these years, like my colleagues, I was brought up in the educational mindset that taught that our world could be understood from a purely natural and mechanistic worldview. The concept that “God is dead” and that “science and technology” will bring utopia to the earth, were two foundational ideas in my belief system during that period of time.

By the’70s and ’80s, it became obvious to many, including me, that a paradigm shift in thinking was underway. It was apparent that many of the byproducts of our technology had the potential for destroying us—the pollution in the atmosphere, our lakes, rivers, oceans, and the soil. Not only was our planet being threatened, our bodies were being pumped full of molecular time bombs that silently tick away. Even more significant was the fact that humans had developed the potential to completely annihilate the entire planet through weapons of mass destruction.

By the early ‘80s, it became apparent to many that there needed to be a solution to the overwhelming problems we were facing as a global community. Scientists described global crisis situations such as global warming and the ozone depletion that would have an effect on the entire planet. It was determined by experts in the field that these global problems, if they were going to be resolved, needed global solutions that could be implemented internationally.

Today, most people recognize we are at a major crossroad in earth’s history. Few would argue that environmental problems need to be discussed and management solutions proposed; otherwise the future of life on our planet as we know it could be in jeopardy.

Over the past 35 years, some have been suggesting that we should look to spiritual solutions for motivation and a method to resolve the problems that the naturalistic worldview has created. For example, Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual leader who has held weekly meditation meetings at the United Nations headquarters in New York since 1970 has stated:

Science and spirituality must be united. They need each other. Without the one, the other is incomplete, almost meaningless. Together they are not only supremely complete but also divinely meaningful.1

Former Vice President Al Gore has been one voice outspoken about his desire to have people see the connection between spirituality and the environment. In his widely distributed book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, Gore presented the point that “only a radical rethinking of our relationship with nature can save the earth’s ecology for future generations.”2

In a chapter of his book titled “Environmentalism of the Spirit,” Gore called for a “new ecological awareness”3 and the consideration of a “new faith in the future.”4 He suggested it was imperative to call for a “spiritual response”5 to the global environmental problems we are facing. He challenged readers to consider “evolution” as the basis of an ecumenical faith that he suggested could unite science and religion as a means of saving our planet from ecological disaster. He stated:

And if we could find a way to understand our own connection to the earth—all the earth—we might recognize the danger of destroying so many living species and disrupting the climate balance.6

Then developing this idea further Gore suggested:

The long and intricate process by which evolution helped shape the complex relationship of all living and nonliving things may be explicable in purely scientific terms, but the simple fact of the living world and our place on it evokes awe, wonder, a sense of mystery—a spiritual response—when one reflects on its deeper meaning.7

The Parliament of the World Religion’s and “Mother Earth”

Now, fast forwarding, I would like to quote from a report written by author Carl Teichrib regarding his personal experience at the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Salt Lake City October of 2015. In the introduction of his article, he wrote about his observations at the opening session:

“What if the world were a place where it was effortless to recognize our common humanity, our shared virtues and concerns, and our collective devotion to the Earth?” asked Rabbi Amy Eilberg. “What if the whole world, all seven billion of us, were like this?”

Ojibwe “Grandmother” Mary Lyons told the multitude, “When you breathe in, you breathe in a breath of Mother Earth. And when you exhale, those are your ancestors.”

New York Times best-selling author on spirituality, Marianne Williamson, wowed the crowd with her charisma: “Every woman here who is a healer is a priestess. Every woman here who is a teacher or an educator is a priestess.” Her call to sacred femininity energized the great crowd, bringing them to their feet again and again during Williamson’s eight-minute speech.

“A Divine Goddess is not just beautiful,” Marianne exhorted, “she’s fierce. And when you mess with her babies . . . and you mess with her earth, she’s had enough of that [expletive word]. And we’re here on her behalf . . . you know what to do, go do it.”

The response to Marianne wasn’t a standing ovation. It was more. Women wept, danced, raised their hands, shouted and whistled and clapped. Someone yelled out, “Marianne for President!” Drums pounded in affirmation. I have no doubt that some of the attending men poured out their adoration too, as the Plenary was open to all, but where I was sitting, the male gender was largely absent.8

The observations made by Teichrib at the plenary session of the Salt Lake City Conference is very revealing. It seems a paradigm shift is underway. This “collective shift” towards a one-world religion designed to save the planet has reached the point of no return. The avalanche has already been unleashed towards a global government forcing a global religion. Saving the planet from ourselves is the impetus. For those who want to remain on the sidelines, the environment police have sounded the alarm—either get with the program and jump on board the environmental bus to save the planet, or you will be thrown under the bus without any warning.

Climatic change was a major topic of discussion according to the first-hand testimony of Carl Teichrib at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City regarding the relationship of the environment to the coming one-world religion based on the common belief of evolution. One thing that was evident throughout the conference is the belief that evolution is the uniting factor and the only hope for mankind. In other words, it is an evolutionary imperative for man to recognize the dangers facing the planet and take the next step towards godhood or suffer the consequences. Teichrib reported:

Climate change was another major theme, and the Climate Plenary started with a multi-faith children’s choir followed by opening words from Marc Barasch, founder of the Green World Campaign: “We’re here today to explore the connection between the life of the spirit and the fate of the Earth… We stand as one people under the same Tree of Life… and we are seeking, each in our own way, to harmonize a profound sense of oneness and wonder with the urgency of our times, so that Tree will continue to flourish.”

Karenna Gore, the Director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and daughter to Al Gore, was the Climate Plenary moderator. Her father . . . sent a special video message to those in attendance, reminding us that Pope Francis had earlier called on global action to “solve the climate crisis.”

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, holding the office of Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, represented the Catholic Church to the Parliament’s plenary on climate change. To this end, Auza noted Pope Francis’ connection between the “true right of the environment” and “social justice,” and that the Pope views this within the context of “integral ecology.” Auza then read a selection from the Pope’s encyclical On the Care of Our Common Home. “When we speak of the ‘environment,’ what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.”

As the Archbishop explained, “the Earth, our Sister, mistreated and abused, is lamenting.” What we need, he said in reference to the Pope’s green vision, is an “ecological conversion.”

Chief Arvol Lookinghorse, another plenary speaker, told the crowd that we are at a crossroad—face the consequences of environment destruction, or “unite spiritually in this global community.” Lookinghorse challenged the audience: “Mother Earth is sick and has a fever, so . . . stop the fracking, stop that KXL, stop abusing Mother Earth.”9

This idea that “Mother Earth” is sick is strangely familiar in light of the Bible and also history. Throughout biblical history, mankind has always leaned toward this direction of worshipping the creation and not the Creator. For example, Paul warns about this in the letter he wrote to the Romans as recorded in the first chapter. He stated quite clearly:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (vs. 16-17)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (vs. 18-19)

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (vs. 20-21)

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen (vs. 22-25)

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (vs. 26-32)

The Christian View (And Responsibility) of the Environment

First, it is important to clear up a misnomer regarding what some people think Christians believe about the environment. Based upon Genesis 1:26 and 27 (two verses where God instructed mankind to have dominion over the creation), some say the Bible gives man the mandate to do whatever he wants, in whatever way he wants, thus having no respect for the planet and the ecosystem.

Often this argument has been used to blame the “Christian worldview” as the reason for our ecological problems. In response to this, let me say that I have had the opportunity to travel to several of the countries that have enforced atheism and have outlawed Christianity for several decades. The disregard for the environment in these areas has been deplorable. Christianity should not be blamed for environmental genocide; the problem has been created by mankind’s selfish lust for power and greed.

The biblical Christian view on the environment is very simple: God, the Creator of all things, did indeed create all things. Although there are some who would try to say that God used evolution as a process to create, such a view is a contradiction of terms. Evolution, by definition, is a natural process that does not require supernatural intervention. Naturalistic evolution is based upon time and chance—natural selection by natural direction rather than supernatural intervention that requires an intelligent Creator Designer God. I am convinced that the complexity I see within nature cannot be explained by fortuitous events that accumulate over vast periods of time driven by random chance.

The Christian view is that creation is the handiwork of the Creator. Although the original creation was perfect, we now live in an imperfect world. When man allows his greed to supersede environmental need, this degeneration and contamination accelerates further.

As well, the Christian view is that the Creator is sovereign and eternal while man is not. God is the Creator of all things, and He is separate from His creation. What’s more, creation is not to be worshipped but respected while God is to be worshipped and adored. In other words, God created everything, but everything is not God.

The Psalmist in the Bible wrote, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14). A Christian believer who truly believes that God is the Creator of all things has a reverence and awe for God and His creation. Because of this reverence and accountability, there comes a responsibility. This responsibility should reflect on the way we treat other people, the environment, and all things that exist because there is a God.

Pope Francis’ Interspiritual “Global Common Good”

While I am not a Roman Catholic, I do respect and care for Roman Catholics. As fellow members of the human race, we should all love and respect others and treat one another the way we would want to be treated. Likewise, everyone should also have the moral right to examine the beliefs of others just as we should examine our own beliefs. Otherwise, like the blind leading the blind, we will all end up falling into the pit. Unfortunately, the one-world religion will be close-minded to a pursuit of truth.

For example, in order to be scientific and reasonable, we need to examine the claims of others and test the beliefs carefully. If we do not do that, blind faith can lead to a blind faith that can actually lead towards a cultish mentality. Every reasonable person knows that cults are often very dangerous as people can be blindly driven towards false conclusions that often end in disaster. Those who refuse to follow some of the cultish teachings are often told to leave the cult or are excommunicated by the cult leaders, and even their families do not accept them any longer. This, of course, is very devastating for those who have left the cult for another point of view.

Because I study the news from a biblical perspective, it has come to my attention that some very strange teachings have been presented recently in the name of Christianity with regards to saving the planet. For example, it would be important to read the following statement taken from an article titled “Vatican Official Calls for Greater International Effort to Combat Climate Change”:

Addressing the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly, a Vatican official welcomed the call for universal health coverage in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Msgr. Jean-Marie Mupendawatu, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, also called for a greater international effort to combat climate change for the sake of global health.

“With regard to action to combat climate change and its impact on health, my delegation wishes to underscore the need for more political will and strong commitment from civil society in order to reach truly meaningful and effective global agreements on the environment,” he said. “Often international negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the global common good.”10

Where will this “greater international effort” for the “global common good” lead? How far will we go? There is one direction it is going that is most evident. At one time, Christian history reveals that Roman Catholicism and Islam were two different religions. Allah was the “God” of Islam, and Jehovah was the God of the Jews. Now that we have reached the new millennium and there is a desperate need for peace in the world, Islam and Roman Catholicism are joining forces. While this may seem to be unrelated to the environment, there is actually a connection. A one-world government requires a one-world religion. They go hand-in-hand. What’s more, I am convinced this binary partnership can only be forced on society by an electronic system of surveillance that requires global communications.

The environment is also a necessary factor in resolving global warming or global cooling depending on how data is interpreted. One thing for sure is that the climate is changing as we witness more storms, droughts, famines, and floods than ever before while the population increases.

With all this in mind, the head of the world’s largest congregation is taking action. In September of 2015, during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, he spoke at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, New York. His remarks did not seem to stir much of mainstream media or even leaders in the Christian church, but what he said was significant in understanding the direction that things are going right now. The pope stated:

I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.

In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.11

In an article titled “In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam and Laid a Foundation for a One World Religion,” one commentator writing about the pope’s speech states:

[Pope Francis] did not choose those words by accident. In Islam, Allah is known as “the all-merciful one.” If you doubt this, just do a Google search. And this is not the first time Pope Francis has used such language. For instance, the following comes from remarks that he made during his very first ecumenical meeting as Pope…

“I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all, the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.

“The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions—I wish to repeat this: promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions—it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue performs.”12

While it may seem odd to some that Islam and Roman Catholicism are joining hands, it is becoming more and more acceptable to the millennial generation who have been taught that texting is better than talking and reading. They have also been taught that there is no right or wrong and that Christianity and Islam or any other religion belong in the same camp. Even the gods of the pagans qualify for the new spirituality within the boundary of what is called modern-day Christianity.

The above is part of the content of this booklet. To order this booklet, click here.

Endnotes:
1. Sri Chinmoy, Inner and Outer Peace (Montreal, QB: Peace Publishing), p. 32.
2. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company), cover flap.
3. Ibid., p. 262.
4. Ibid., p. 263.
5. Ibid., p. 264.
6. Ibid., p. 264.
7. Ibid., p. 264
8. Carl Teichrib, “Things Change. Fast: A Report on the Parliament of the World’s Religions” (Forcing Change Newsletter, Vol. 9, Issue 10, October 2015), used with permission.
9. Ibid.
10. “Vatican Official Calls for Greater International Effort to Combat Climate Change” (Catholic World News, May 26, 2016, http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=28408).
11. To read full transcript: http://faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/interior.aspx?sid=1210&gid=609&pgid=27546&cid=53261&ecid=53261&crid=0&calpgid=10746&calcid=25903.
12. Michael Snyder, “In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam and Laid a Foundation for a One World Religion” (http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/in-new-york-pope-francis-embraced-chrislam-and-laid-a-foundation-for-a-one-world-religion, September 27th, 2015), used with permission.

The above is part of the content of this booklet. To order this booklet, click here.

NEW BOOKLET: Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World

NEW BOOKLET TRACT:  Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World by Carl Teichrib is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract . The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World, click here.

 Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World

rp_bkt-ct-earth-lg.jpgBy Carl Teichrib

More than 6 million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.1—Earth Day Canada

Earth is more than just a spaceship. She is our Mother. She gave us life. There is nowhere else to go but to stay and love her.2—Reader’s comment regarding John Kerry’s Earth Day blog

Just as in olden days, the earth has become the focal point for worship. In Grecian times, the supreme Earth deity was Gaia, also known as the Universal Mother. Sacred oaths were given in her name, and worshippers performed rituals in her honor.3 One commentator tells us:

The classic artistic representation of Gaia is a woman emerging breast-high from the earth. The goddess arises but never leaves her planetary body. Visceral rites, including plant, animal, and (presumably ecstatic) human sacrifice as well as unabashed sexual ceremonies were held to adore the goddess’s fecundity.4

In our contemporary era, Earth Day has become the modern celebration of Gaia. Partakers of this event, whether aware of it or not, play off the ancient pagan beliefs of a Universal Mother. Like the sacred oaths taken in her name, today’s Earth Day celebrants sign environmental petitions, make pledges, and announce resolutions in support of Mother Earth. And like the old sacrifices to the deity, today’s Earth Day practitioners offer sacrifices of “good works” to the planet. Not only is the earth a deity to be venerated, but the earth itself—as the representative and embodiment of the goddess—has become a modern-day idol.

Do all who engage in Earth Day festivities realize the connections between this event and the ancient pagan deity? Some do, especially those who take a neo-pagan position; but many are unaware, thinking it’s a family-oriented way to engage in environmental conservation. Much good is done during Earth Day, such as cleaning up stream beds or planting trees—but that’s not the issue. Motivated by good intentions, scores of individuals (including professing Christians) participate without ever considering what Earth Day is actually about or the philosophies that underpin the movement.

James Coburn, the American actor (deceased in 2002), understood the overt pagan linkages. Consider his 1990 interview with journalist Caryl Matrisciana during the Malibu Beach Earth Day festival:

Caryl Matrisciana: “Mr. Coburn, why should we care about Earth Day or Mother Earth?”

James Coburn: “Mother Earth is our Mother! She’s the Mother Goddess. She’s the one that we should be praising rather than raping. I mean all of these people here today are here for one reason: Because they’re concerned about what’s happening to the earth—what mankind is doing to the earth. I mean the negative emotions we carry around, a lot of us, is another contributor to it; it feeds the Moon. [Author’s Note: the Moon is significant in pagan circles.]

“What we have to do is be true to ourselves. If we’re true to ourselves we’ll be true to Mother Earth. Mother Earth’s going to be bountiful; she’s going to give us everything we need. She has for a long time.

“We’ve lost our way. The pagans used to know how to do it. And the Indians, some of them still remember how to do it.
“The Earth is a living organism. We’re killing the one we love the most, and she loves us. We’ve got to praise our Mother Goddess!”5

When Earth Day was first inaugurated in 1970, Newsweek called the event “a bizarre nationwide rain dance.”6 The New York Times, however, said it was an idea “whose time has come because life is running out.” Earth, and the race of mankind, needed to be saved “from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”7

Now, decades later, corporate sponsorships pay for community Earth Day events. Federal and local governments spend tax dollars in promotion of April 22nd, and a myriad of grassroots organizations add energy to the cause. It’s an event that captures the attention of local and national media outlets, politicians of every stripe, and fuels the imagination of school children everywhere. From the automotive giant Toyota8 to every urban center in North America, from the United Nations to the National Council of Churches9—Earth Day is far more than a bizarre rain dance; it’s a platform for global citizenship and Earth loyalties.

Earth Day is Born
The idea for Earth Day goes back to 1962 and Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Convinced that environmental issues needed greater exposure, Nelson suggested to President Kennedy that he embark on a “national conservation tour.” The following year, Kennedy went on a five-day excursion promoting environmental conservation, but it never generated the political interest Nelson was hoping for. However, according to the Senator, “it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.”10

Only a few years later, during the height of the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, Senator Nelson hit on the idea of a national educational event to create environmental awareness—the “first national environmental teach-in.” This event, planned for April 22, 1970, was to be styled after the war protest movement, and it was aimed at capturing the interest and energy of young people—a generation going through one of the largest cultural shifts in the history of the United States. Not surprisingly, Nelson’s first Earth Day speech reflected this cultural shift, boasting that April 22 was to be the “birth date of a new American ethic that rejects the frontier philosophy that the continent was put here for our plunder . . .”11

Decades after the initial event, Nelson’s assistant who coordinated the Earth Day national teach-in campaign, Denis Hayes, told an interviewer that: “We consciously set out to build a movement to bring America back together, and let everyone under the umbrella with a shared set of values.”12

New ethics and a common set of values were to guide this movement and act as the inspiration for college students in their environmental advocacy. Remember, this was 1970, and the students of that era represent a wide swath of today’s political, business, academic, and religious leadership. Senator Nelson understood the potential power of tapping the nation’s youth.

Helping to make this inaugural Earth Day a success, a special book of essays was compiled through Friends of the Earth and distributed nationwide to teachers and professors. Titled, The Environmental Handbook: Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach-In, April 22, 1970, this volume introduced a new set of social ideals that would point America to a better world. Tens of thousands of copies were distributed, and twenty million young people across the U.S. celebrated what was to become a global movement: Earth Day.

But what of those values laid out in The Environmental Handbook? Were they based on the core Judeo-Christian tenets of Western thought and law? Did they support common sense conservation: erosion control, maintaining a balanced wildlife population, curbing toxic pollutants, or stemming the tide of invasive species?

Pollution was addressed, with a population control twist. Land use was also discussed, while demeaning “conventional cattle ranching.”

Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, contributed the following doomsday scenario to ignite impressionable minds: By 1973, air pollution would be choking cities, causing single-event smog disasters with death tolls in the hundreds of thousands—all heralding the advent of a global air-quality collapse that would make the “planet uninhabitable” sometime before 1990. By the mid-seventies, the U.S. grain belt would be turning into the great Mid-western desert, wiping out food stocks. During this time period, Ehrlich speculated, America’s resource sector would be collapsing, and a national “family planning” program would have to be set up alongside an international agenda to curb the human population. By the summer of 1979, the world’s oceans would be dead and all sea-based animal life extinct.13

For high-school and college students participating in the first Earth Day, this future-tense story would have had a chilling effect. As Mr. Ehrlich explained, “A pretty grim scenario. Unfortunately, we’re a long way into it already.”14

Does any of this sound familiar? “Warming may trigger agricultural collapse,” so reported the Inter-Press Service in 2007.15 “Fish stocks could collapse because of global warming,” announced an Associated Press article in 2008.16 Professor John Brignell, an author and social researcher, posted his observations regarding climate change and fear:

Got a problem? Blame global warming! From allergies to maple syrup shortages to yellow fever: apparently every contemporary ill is caused by climate change.17

Brignell’s website lists no less than 300 alleged problems, or pseudo-problems, attributed to global warming. This documented list includes crabgrass, kidney stones, inflation in China, invasions of jellyfish and giant oysters, the Loch Ness monster dying, fish getting lost, an upcoming Ice Age, conflict with Russia, sour grapes and stronger wine, farms going under, (and farm output boosted), the Atlantic becoming more salty, (and less salty), smog, terrorism, fainting, and smaller brains. The way so many are acting these days, I tend to believe this last one.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Is this a scare tactic for global transformation? Consider the following quotes:

During any “issue-attention-cycle” in environmental campaigning, there is a phase in which the issue needs to be strategically exaggerated in order to establish it firmly on an agenda for action.18—International Institute for Sustainable Development

We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have.19—Professor Stephen Schneider

No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits . . . climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.20—Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of Environment

“Collateral environmental benefits . . . ?” This is questionable at best; so much so that over 31,000 scientists have signed a petition that challenged the human-caused global warming line and openly suggested that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide may have benefits.21 Moreover, “justice” and “equality” are legal and social issues—not atmospheric. Again, this points to the heart of the matter: social transformation.

But scare tactics are effective. They leave the masses wondering: How can the human race reverse our imminent environmental demise? What can be done to save Mother Earth?

According to the first Earth Day and The Environmental Handbook, we can start by placing the blame on Christianity and Western values, and then adopt pagan and radical socialist solutions. Consider the following quotes from The Environmental Handbook. Keep in mind that this text established the ethical ideals of a new Earth reality and set the tone for the first Earth Day and subsequent celebrations.

On Religion:

Christianity, in absolute contrast to ancient paganism and Asia’s religions . . . not only established a dualism of man and nature but also insisted that it is God’s will that man exploit nature for his proper ends.
At the level of the common people this worked out in an interesting way. In antiquity every tree, every spring, every stream, every hill had its own genius loci, its guardian spirit. These spirits were accessible to men . . . Before one cut a tree, mined a mountain, or dammed a brook, it was important to placate the spirit in charge of that particular situation, and to keep it placated. By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects. (p.20-21, Lynn White Jr.)

What we do about ecology depends on our ideas of the man-nature relationship. More science and more technology are not going to get us out of our present ecological crisis until we find a new religion, or rethink our old one. (p.24, Lynn White Jr.)

No new set of basic values has been accepted in our society to displace those of Christianity. Hence we shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man. (p.25, Lynn White Jr.)

Both our present science and our present technology are so tinctured with orthodox Christian arrogance toward nature that no solution for our ecologic crisis can be expected from them alone. Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not. (p.26, Lynn White Jr.)

What was it that enabled Eskimo shamen, their minds a product of the taiga, tundra, and sea ice, to travel on spirit journeys under the ocean and to talk with the fishes and the potent beings who lived on the bottom? How did the shamen develop the hypnotic power they employed in their séances? What can we learn from the shamen who survive about thought transference and ESP? The answers are in the arctic wilderness still left to us.

Wilderness is a bench mark, a touchstone. . . . New perspectives come out of the wilderness. Jesus, Zoroaster, Moses, and Mohammed went to the wilderness and came back with messages. . . . This handbook, and the teach-in it serves, have their beginnings in wilderness. (p. 148, Kenneth Brower)

On Population:

Freedom to breed is intolerable. (p.41, Garrett Hardin)

No technical solution can rescue us from the misery of overpopulation. Freedom to breed will bring ruin to all. . . . The only way we can preserve and nuture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed. (p.49, Garrett Hardin)

[I]t is sinful for anybody to have more than two children. It has long since become glaringly evident that unless the earth’s cancerous growth of population can be halted, all other problems—poverty, war, racial strife, uninhabitable cities, and the rest—are beyond solution. (p.139, John Fischer)

Stabilizing the U.S. population should be declared a national policy. Immediate steps should be taken to: 1. Legalize voluntary abortion and sterilization and provide these services free. 2. Remove all restrictions on the provision of birth control information and devices; provide these services free to all, including minors. 3. Make sex education available to all appropriate levels, stressing birth control practices and the need to stabilize the population. (pp.317-318, Keith Murray)

Explore other social structures and marriage forms, such as group marriage and polyandrous marriage, which provide family life but may produce less children. Share the pleasure of raising children widely, so that all need not directly reproduce to enter into this basic human experience. We must hope that no one woman would give birth to more than one child. (p.324, Four Changes section)

On Nations and Economies:

Nations . . . must be phased out as quickly as possible and replaced with tribal or regional autonomous economies. (p.6, Keith Lampe)

Interdependence of course can be sustained only in a context of cooperation, so competition (capitalism) must be phased out and replaced with cooperative economic models. (pp.6-7, Keith Lampe)

Looking beyond our borders, our students will be encouraged to ask even harder questions. Are nation-states actually feasible, now that they have the power to destroy each other in a single afternoon? Can we agree on something else to take their place, before the balance of terror becomes unstable? What price would most people be willing to pay for a more durable kind of human organization—more taxes, giving up national flags, perhaps the sacrifice of some of our hard-won liberties? (p. 145, John Fisher)

On Global Transformation:

Nothing short of total transformation will do much good. What we envision is a planet on which the human population lives harmoniously and dynamically by employing a sophisticated and unobtrusive technology in a world environment which is “left natural” . . . Cultural and individual pluralism, unified by a type of world tribal council. (p.330, Four Changes section)

It seems evident that there are throughout the world certain social and religious forces which have worked through history toward an ecologically and culturally enlightened state of affairs. Let these be encouraged: Gnostics, hip Marxists, Teilhard de Chardin Catholics, Druids, Taoists, Biologists, Witches, Yogins, Bhikkus, Quakers, Sufis, Tibetans, Zens, Shamans, Bushmen, American Indians, Polynesians, Anarchists, Alchemists . . . the list is long. All primitive cultures, all communal and ashram movements. Since it doesn’t seem practical or even desirable to think that direct bloody force will achieve much, it would be best to consider this a continuing “revolution of consciousness” which will be won not by guns but by seizing the key images, myths, archetypes, eschatologies, and ectasies [sic] so that life won’t seem worth living unless one’s on the transforming energy’s side. (p.331, Four Changes)

The message is clear. In order to save the world, we need to drastically change our present religious, political, economic, and social structures. We need to significantly re-shape society towards a New Age world-view where nature supersedes all, where political and economic structures morph into a type of ecological communism, where the cancer of human growth undergoes radical surgery, and where education and religion are indelibly altered to serve Mother Earth.

This is the essence of Earth Day. It’s the embracing of massive religious and social changes—the sacrifice of our “orthodox Christian arrogance” so that Gaia can be healed and humanity saved. It’s the clarion call of One World. Gaia Rescue, a project of Earth Day 2008, brings this into focus:

To correct this problem we’re going to have to act as a planet, not separately as groups or countries. It will take all of Gaia’s children to save her from the mistakes we’ve already made.22

Gaia is Mad!
If we don’t correct our mistakes, if we don’t change our values, behaviors, ethics, and beliefs—Mother Earth is going to take matters into her own hands. This is the current eco-philosophy fad. Human beings are a blight, and Gaia is going to cleanse herself unless we become good global citizens and respect the Universal Mother.

This is the message of the Dalai Lama:

Until now . . . Mother Earth has somehow tolerated sloppy house habits. But now human use, population, and technology have reached that certain stage where Mother Earth no longer accepts our presence with silence. In many ways she is now telling us, “My children are behaving badly.” She is warning us that there are limits to our actions.23

Meanwhile, movies such as The Happening depict Mother Earth striking back against Mankind—chemically inducing humans to commit suicide in order to clean up the people problem. Another Hollywood propaganda piece, The Day the Earth Stood Still, has watchful aliens descending on the planet to save failing Mother Earth from the cancer of humanity. During the last part of the movie, the main characters come to the realization that they must evolve at the global level in order to avert planetary disaster. Many other movies, documentaries, and television shows present a similar message. Man must change, or Gaia will deal harshly with us.

This is also the prognosis of British geophysicist James Lovelock, who wrote the 1979 book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. This volume spurred on the “modern,” pseudo-scientific Gaia theory of Earth as a living construct. More recently, his 2006 book The Revenge of Gaia, paints a picture of a planet suffering from a crippling fever—Global Warming—and that Mother Earth is fighting for her existence against the destructive capacity of humankind.

Not surprisingly, this line of thinking is found laced throughout the online deep ecology and Gaia community. Blog and on-line articles proclaim that Mother Earth is growing madder by the minute.

The reasons why there are so many natural disasters and severe weather changes, is because Mother Earth is angry with the people.24

The earth is parched. There is not enough water. Fires will rage. Some things are beyond the control of humans. Mother earth is angry, showing us the limits to our power. Let us learn from her.25

Hmmm . . . Maybe a little party would make her happy.

A Secular Holiday?
Ironically, Earth Day is considered “the largest secular holiday in the world.”26 Yet there is little secular about it. Rather, a variety of spiritual activities take place; from Mother Earth rituals to multi-faith sunrise services, from interfaith Earth gatherings to spring meditations and “Earth Prayers” such as the one suggested here:

Mother, Father, God, Universal Power
Remind us daily of the sanctity of all life.
Touch our hearts with the glorious oneness of all creation
As we strive to respect all the living beings on this planet.
Penetrate our souls with the beauty of this earth,
As we attune ourselves to the rhythm and flow of the seasons.
Awaken our minds with the knowledge
To achieve a world in perfect harmony
And grant us the wisdom to realize
That we can have heaven on earth.27

Unfortunately, many Christian congregations across North America have jumped on the bandwagon of Earth Day transformation—some out of naivety, others with full consent and complicity. One example is San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. During the 2001 Earth Day, Grace held an interfaith song-celebration for the planet:

The music will be an eclectic blend of the world’s musical traditions. Tibetan temple bells will blend with the Cathedral Organ. Vocal performances will range from Native American and Muslim Chants to Spirituals and Choral canticles. Representatives from a diverse range of religious paths will participate in the festivities, including Native American, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish, Pagan, and Christian.28

Over the years, Grace Cathedral has been a beacon for comprehensive religious transformation, and has done much to promote a contemporary global-spiritual model, such as helping to birth the United Religions Initiative.

The United Church of Canada is another example. During the last twenty years, the United Church denomination has been considered a Canadian trend-setter in “progressively left” Christian thought. This denomination has also been viewed as a social pillar by academics, political figures, and other leading personalities. Here’s part of a responsive reading for an Earth-centered worship service:

Speaking to the Earth Community, we say: Brothers and Sisters in Creation, we covenant this day with you, with all Creation yet to be, and with the Creator. With every living creature and all that contains and sustains you.

All: With all that is on Earth and with the Earth itself.29

Alarmingly, it doesn’t seem to matter if a church is “right” or “left” in its general outlook. Congregations and denominations that have been historically conservative are focusing on the earth as a point of service too.

In February 2009, I had a chance to visit with some relatives who attend an evangelical church long recognized for its stalwart stand in proclaiming the Gospel. But things have changed. Instead of messages focusing on the truths of God’s Word, sermons have taken an overt ecological edge. Although not promoting Earth-centric beliefs like the United Church—“we covenant this day . . . with the Earth itself”—the teachings highlighted typical environmental themes: Global Warming, the eco-problems supposedly caused by man, and the need to change consumption patterns and social behaviours. Does this remind you of anything?

Like hundreds of other pastors and churches across North America, naivety to the true intent of deep ecology and its message of global transformation is undercutting Christian-based values right in the church itself.

Does this mean that Christians shouldn’t be concerned about the environment? Not at all. However, a healthy biblical approach is needed—one that recognizes the rightful place of man in tending, managing, and using the earth, not one in which man is servant to a planetary master made in the image of the United Nations or some other globally inspired environmental agency. Sadly, pastors and congregations around the world are parroting the message of Earth Day and the leaders of global environmental governance.

The quest to involve the Christian community in Earth Day celebrations is especially significant. Not only do individual churches promote Earth Day as a special event, the Earth Day Network (EDN) specifically targets the “faith community” in the hopes that influential religious leaders will move the global agenda forward. And EDN has some clout.

The Earth Day Network is a group that arose from the original Earth Day in 1970. Today, the organization’s International Council is comprised of some of the world’s most influential globalists:

Lester Brown, Worldwatch.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director of the World Health Organization. Robert Kennedy Jr., Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defence Council.
Gus Speth, former UN Development Programme official.
Maurice Strong, President of the Earth Council and former UN Special Advisor.
David Suzuki, Canada’s leading environmentalist.
Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme.30

Presently, EDN works hard to promote their Communities of Faith Climate Campaign, a Global Warming/Earth Day educational platform targeting religious groups. In fact, the EDN faith-based website has the motto “Earth Day: Something We Can All Believe In.”31

In 2007, EDN reached out to the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities by creating “12,000 sermons and religious events” to empower religious leaders for Earth Day goals. EDN took this a step further during Earth Day 2008 by activating “500,000 parishioners” to support climate change legislation. Many churches also pledged to join EDN for “Earth Day Sunday” in 2008, focusing on climate change and saving the earth during their Sunday services.32

In 2009, the Earth Day Network kicked off their Green Generation campaign, which engaged students, churches, and communities in pressuring the world to adopt a new global climate treaty. Moreover, this campaign continued until 2010 with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Paradoxically, what originally started as a movement to intentionally place Earth on a pedestal while demonizing Christianity, nationalism, and human populations—all focused on driving America’s youth to a pagan, socialist utopia—has now been embraced by churches far-and-wide. Furthermore, by hosting and supporting Earth-centered and interfaith services, churches actually contribute to the systemic attack on biblical values.

Gaia must be smiling—after all, the party is in her honor.

To order copies of Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World, click here.

Endnotes

1. Earth Day Canada FAQ, www.earthday.ca/pub/resources/faqs.php. Economic support for the Earth Day Canada organization comes from a wide array of sponsors, such as Environment Canada (government), The Discovery Channel, Panasonic Canada, Sony, and a host of other groups, including Canada’s largest banking institutions.
2. John Kerry’s blog site and responses, http://blog.johnkerry.com/2007/04/please_take_care_of_spaceship.html.
3. Books consulted on Gaia include: The Life of Greece by Will Durant; Occidental Mythology: The Masks of God by Joseph Campbell; Magick of the Gods and Goddesses by D.J. Conway; Mysteries of the Dark Moon by Demetra George (an overview of the Goddess cultus from the perspective of the dark Goddess—this book, like Magick of the Gods and Goddesses, is a pagan work); The Gods who Walk Among Us by Thomas R. Horn and Donald C. Jones (parallels ancient religions to modern paganismwritten from a Christian perspective); Goddess Earth by Samantha Smith (a Christian exposé of the goddess/environmental movement); Occult Invasion by Dave Hunt (a Christian exposé on occultism, including the Gaia movement). I also consulted a host of websites on Grecian mythology, goddess worship, and the Gaia movement, along with works on the Gaia hypothesis such as Gaia by James Lovelock (this is the book that kick started the “scientific” Gaia hypothesis of a Living Earth); Gaia: The Growth of an Idea by Lawrence E. Joseph (on the history of Gaia and the Gaia hypothesis); and Saviors of the Earth by Michael S. Coffman (Christian exposé of the environmental movement, with material on the Gaia concept).
4. Lawrence E. Joseph, Gaia: The Growth of an Idea (St. Martin’s Press, 1990), p.226.
5. This interview is part of the documentary, Earth’s Two-Minute Warning, narrated by Caryl Matrisciana of Caryl Productions.
6. See Bill Christofferson’s book, The Man from Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Senator Gaylord Nelson (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), p. 6.
7. Ibid., p. 6.
8. For more on the Toyota, Canada, Earth Day program, go to http://www.earthday.ca/scholarship.
9. http://www.ncccusa.org/news/080422earthday.html.
10. Senator Gaylord Nelson, “How the First Earth Day Came About” (EnviroLink, http://earthday.envirolink.org/history.html).
11. Bill Christofferson, The Man from Clear Lake, op. cit., p. 7.
12. Ibid., p. 305.
13. See Paul R. Ehrlich’s essay, “Eco-Catastrophe!,” The Environmental Handbook: Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach-In (Ballantine/Friends of the Earth, 1970, edited by Garrett de Bell), pp. 161-176.
14. Ibid., p. 174.
15. Abid Aslam, “Environment: Warming May Trigger Agricultural Collapse”(IPS, September 12, 2007).
16. “UN Report says fish stocks could collapse because of global warming, pollution” (Associated Press, February 22, 2008).
17. Professor John Brignell’s website is http://www.numberwatch.co.uk.
18. Empowerment for Sustainable Development: Toward Operational Strategies (International Institute for Sustainable Development, 1995), p. 51.
19. Stephen Schneider, Professor of Biology and Global Change, Stanford University (as printed in Trashing the Planet by Dixie Lee Ray, p. 167).
20. Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment, Calgary Herald, December 14, 1998.
21. The documentary, Global Warming or Global Governance, provides some very compelling evidence regarding carbon dioxide benefits. See also, the Petition Project (www.petitionproject.org) for the names of over 31,000  scientists.
22. Gaia Rescue, http://web.archive.org/web/20090321153732/http://gaiarescue.com.
23. Dalai Lama, as printed in Only One Earth (United Nations Environmental Programme, 2000), p. 61.
24. http://rainbowmotherearth.ning.com (this website no longer active).
25. http://bluebanshee.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/earth-fire-and-water.
26. EcoSmart, “The Origins of Earth Day” (Earth Love Movement, April 14, 2008, http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/the-origins-of-earth-day-386630.html).
27. Jo Poore, Earth Prayer (to be used on Earth Day) (Celebrations of Spring, Electronic Newsletter, April 15, 2004, http://web.archive.org/web/20061111094434/http://www.faith-commongood.net/news/letter.asp?ID=1).
28. Grace Cathedral news release, “A Song of Creation: An Interfaith Earth Day Celebration at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco” (http://web.archive.org/web/20061124225152/http://www.ewire.com/display.cfm/Wire_ID/175).
29. United Church of Canada, Enough for All Worship Resource, p. 10.
30. EDN International Council, http://web.archive.org/web/20080821123152/http://earthday.net/node/64.
31. Earth Day Network, Earth Day: Something We Can All Believe In, http://web.archive.org/web/20080820193215/http://www.earthday.net/node/73.
32. Ibid.

To order copies of Earth Day and a Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World, click here.

Cover photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission. Cover design and interior design by Lighthouse Trails. Scripture verses in this booklet are taken from the King James Bible.

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

The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth by John Lanagan is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The Message “Bible”— A Breach of Truth, click here.

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

The-Message-BibleBy John Lanagan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to 1 Thessalonians 5:14 from The Message:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Message Versus the Word of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First, Psalm 1:1:

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

Now, The Message, Psalm 1:1:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord warns us:

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

Green Hope?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In contrast, the Word of God encourages us:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christian use of The Message is not a good thing.

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

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

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

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

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

Girl Scouts Promote Environmental Justice, Climate Change, Green Energy in Its Leadership Program

By Penny Starr
CNS News

(CNSNews.com) – The Girl Scouts’ National Leadership Journeys program requires girls to embrace environmental justice, climate change and green energy in order to earn awards.

The Journey Awards – “aimed at giving them the benefits of the Girl Scout “Keys to Leadership”: Discover, Connect, Take Action” – are described on the Girls Scouts website as being designed for girls from kindergarten through high school.

The “It’s Your Planet – Love It” journey page is illustrated with a photograph of a “green roof” at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Calif.

“Girls are being exposed to ideas and discussions on the environment every day and everywhere,” the description of the various journeys with this theme states. “Girl Scouts journeys are packed with the latest research and girl-relevant environmental thinking and offer adults a way to interact with girls on topics of great importance in their lives. Click here to read more.

Related Articles:

Girl Scouts of USA Says It Will Accept ‘Transgender Youth’ on a ‘Case-by-Case Basis’

Girl Scouts hiding secret sex agenda?

Girl Scouts Continue Plunge into New Age Spirituality

Girl Scouts to troops: ‘We’re not radical!’

The New Age Comes to the Girl Scouts

 

Letter to the Editor: Inquiring About California Baptist University – Answer Not Good

To Lighthouse Trails:

I am a graduating senior thinking about attending California Baptist University in Riverside, CA. I did not see this college on your list of emergent colleges. However, it was also not on the list of colleges that are safe to attend. I was just wondering what research you had about that college.

Thank you,

_____________

Our response:

Hi ____________,

Cal Baptist is one of those we were watching to see if they would indeed go in the direction of embracing contemplative/spiritual formation. After doing some current research because of your letter, we have decided they should be added to our list of schools that promote spiritual formation. This increase in their focus on that is at least partly due to their having membership through organizations that emphasize and encourage spiritual formation (such as CCCU – see our 2011 article: “An Epidemic of Apostasy – Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited“). Another example of where CalBaptist is bringing it in is in their Intercultural Studies program where they are using textbooks by several contemplative/emerging figures: Richard Foster, Shane Claiborne, Dallas Willard, N.T. Wright, Kenneth Boa, and Madame Guyon – these would all be considered heavy weights in the contemplative/emerging movement).  Cal Baptist also has had some connections with the “Christian” environmentalist movement (http://www.calbaptist.edu/uploadedfiles/news/green_awakenings.pdf), a movement that has the definite influences by emerging church figures (such as Shane Claiborne).

These are just a few examples of why we say Cal Baptist is a Christian school that is promoting contemplative/spiritual formation. If you do attend this school, we hope you will read A Time of Departing, Faith Undone, and Castles in the Sand so you will be better prepared to spot this very dangerous deception. It is indeed there at Cal Baptist, and if it does what we have seen so many other schools do, it will only increase going in this direction with time. Schools that do not take an active biblical approach to keep it from coming in almost always succumb to it.

Editors at Lighthouse Trails

Note: On October 29th, 2012, Cal Baptist University was added to the Lighthouse Trails list of Christian schools that are promoting spiritual formation.

Earth Day and Total Transformation

LTRP Note: How ironic that Earth Day takes place  near the same time as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

By Carl Teichrib

“More than 6 million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental
issues. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.” — Earth Day Canada

“Earth is more than just a spaceship. She is our Mother. She gave us life. There is nowhere else to go but to stay and love her.” — Reader’s comment regarding John Kerry’s Earth Day blog.

Just as in olden days, the Earth has become the focal point for worship. In Grecian times the supreme Earth deity was Gaia, also known as the Universal Mother. Sacred oaths were given in her name, and worshippers performed rituals in her honour. One commentator tells us,

“The classic artistic representation of Gaia is a woman emerging breast-high from the earth. The goddess arises but never leaves her planetary body. Visceral rites, including plant, animal, and (presumably ecstatic) human sacrifice as well as unabashed sexual ceremonies were held to adore the goddess’s fecundity.”

In our contemporary era, Earth Day has become the modern celebration of Gaia. Partakers of this event, whether aware of it or not, play off the ancient pagan beliefs of a Universal Mother. Like the sacred oaths taken in her name, today’s Earth Day celebrants sign environmental petitions, make pledges, and announce resolutions in support of Mother Earth. And like the old sacrifices to the deity, today’s Earth Day practitioners offer sacrifices of “good works” to the planet. Not only is the Earth a deity to be venerated, but the Earth itself — as the representative and embodiment of the Goddess — has become a modern day idol.

Do all who engage in Earth Day festivities realize the connections between this event and the ancient pagan deity? Some do, especially those who take a neo-pagan position, but many are unaware, thinking it’s a family-oriented way to engage in environmental conservation (much good is done during Earth Day, such as cleaning up stream beds or planting trees – but that’s not the issue). Motivated by good intentions, scores of individuals (including professing Christians), participate without ever considering what Earth Day is actually about or the philosophies that underpin the movement….Click here to read this entire article.

Related Information:

Earth Day: More than recycling by Berit Kjos

The Ripening – Planet Earth Welcomes Maitreya? by Mike Oppenheimer

 


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