Posts Tagged ‘New Age’

Letter to the Editor: Weight Watchers Revamped Into Mindfulness & New Age Practices Since Oprah Became Board Member

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I am a long time Weight Watchers member, having lost 30 lbs. 8 years ago. As was widely reported in the press, Oprah joined WW about 2 years ago and bought a seat on the Board of Directors of Weight Watchers. Her influence is predictable. The literature was revamped to promote mindfulness practices, and WW now has outside the meeting classes that teach “chi flow.” However, we now have whole meetings devoted to the practice of mindfulness, complete with demos and practice sessions. This is so frustrating since meetings are the lifeblood of the program for many of us, where we can talk about food issues. I did a search and you don’t have WW mentioned on your blog, perhaps because it is a secular organization, but many Christian women go there because statistically it has the best track record for helping people lose weight. It has changed profoundly since Oprah got involved.

Thank you, Barb

Links to show the connection between Mindfulness, Reiki, Yoga, the New Age and Weight Watchers:

https://www.weightwatchers.com/nz/feel/mindfulness/mindfulness-how-to-get-started

http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=20011

https://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=34981&sc=66

https://www.weightwatchers.com/ca/en/article/healing-hands-discovering-practice-reiki

http://people.com/bodies/oprah-winfrey-and-deepak-chopra-announce-new-21-day-meditation-experience/https://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=216331&sc=3040

 

Related Information:

Oprah Winfrey’s New Age “Christianity” and the Emperor’s New Clothes”

Mindfulness! Heard of It? What Does it Mean, and Where is it Showing Up in Christian Circles?

Shack Author Says “ I Want to Be More Like Oprah”

By Warren B. Smith

Oprah Winfrey interviewed Shack author William Paul Young on July 9, 2017 on her Super Soul Sunday television program that was broadcast on her OWN network. Young and Oprah appeared to be like two peas in a New Age pod as they talked of child abuse, traded spiritual quips, and seemed to continually marvel at the other’s brilliant insights. At one point midway in their conversation, Young answered his own rhetorical question regarding where Jesus dwells—he stated that “Jesus dwells in our hearts.” His quick, authoritative response was consistent not only with Oprah’s longstanding New Age beliefs but also with The Shack’s “Jesus” who presented this same New Age heresy when he stated that God “dwells in, around, and through all things.” This false teaching is the foundational teaching of the New Age/New Spirituality/New World Religion. The Bible is very clear that God is not “in” everyone and everything.

As the show ended, Young leaned towards the world’s most influential New Age leader and exclaimed—“I so appreciate what you do! My goodness!” Later, in his personal blog, Young proudly titled his observations about the interview by writing—“I Want to Be More Like Oprah.” With Oprah  having done as much as any person in modern times to publicly push New Age occultism, Young’s gushing adulation of the New Age leader was extremely telling. While allegedly writing The Shack to teach his children what he believes and how he “thinks outside the box,” his interview with Oprah makes it very clear. Young doesn’t just think outside the box, he thinks outside the Bible. Wm. Paul Young—like Oprah Winfrey—is a proponent of a New Age “Christianity” that is not Christianity at all.

Related Articles and Research
Other Important Articles by Warren B. Smith on The Shack

Letter to the Editor: Concerned About Charles Stanley/In Touch Ministry’s Adult Coloring Exercise

To Lighthouse Trails:

I love your ministry and know that I’m talking to the choir when I say this, but it is mind blowing to me how widespread occultism has become.  That said, I stumbled upon the following FREE offer from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries.  All I can say is “WOW!” https://www.intouchcanada.org/sharedjoy

May God bless and protect you and your ministry.

M.S.

LTRP Note: While some reading this letter to the editor may think that what Charles Stanley’s ministry is presenting here is safe and benign, and while these coloring bookmarks are not the actual mandala drawings that Lighthouse Trails has written about in the past (and published a booklet on by Lois Putnam), one of the key elements in the mandala coloring books  is the hundreds of very small mostly circular coloring spaces. In the picture on the right of the In Touch coloring bookmarks, which was sent to us from our reader, there are hundreds of tiny oval sections to be colored. The purpose of the hundreds of tiny spaces in the mandala coloring books is to help the participate relax and meditate. While In Touch’s instructions (“Color inside the lines, or venture beyond them—whatever helps you reconnect with your creativity!”) do not suggest relaxing and meditating, we find it disconcerting that In Touch’s instructions to reconnect with your creativity coupled with the hundreds of tiny coloring sections is too reminiscent of the New age mandala coloring exercises (suggesting that the purpose of the In Touch coloring exercise goes beyond the scope of just making an attractive bookmark).

Because our society (and the church) is being enticed to meditate at virtually every turn, we urge our readers to carefully consider the activities they and their families are getting involved with. As our reader above stated occultism has become widespread.

As for the coloring activity, are we saying that it is occultic for an adult to color a picture. Of course not. But our adversary (the devil) has many deceptive schemes to woo and seduce, and we believe he can and is using coloring to do this very thing.

We have witnessed In Touch’s interest in contemplative/emerging ideas for a number of years, and this seemingly harmless and innocent coloring activity may be just another fascination with it.

Below are some quotes from a website titled “Creative Development for Women”:

The Benefits of Colouring Mandalas
“The Big Girls Little Colouring Book is a connection to life, a free flowing celebration of creativity and vivid imagination.”
“Colouring mandalas is fun & relaxing! Time spent with the book is “me time”, a welcome break from every day routine. It is a personal playground where you get to play, experiment with new ideas, discover forgotten dreams and become immersed in your imagination. It is a form of meditation that is deeply relaxing and rejuvenating.”

What is a mandala?

“The word is a Sanskrit word that means circle. The circle is at the centre of life, planet earth is circular, the cells in my body are mandalas as are my eyes, ears, nose and mouth.”

“Creating with mandalas returns me to the circle and creates a portal to the deeper self. Mandalas are a medium to connect with my subconscious mind and colouring them reconnects me with my inner wise woman and my inner artist.”

How does this connect to your creative spirit?
“Colouring mandalas together generates a culture of creativity amongst women and inspires us. It is unifying and generates synergy that nourishes the soul.”

Yoga: How Did it Conquer the World and What’s Changed?

BBC News

LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes. June 21st was the United Nations International Day of Yoga.

BBC News

Millions of people around the world have rolled out their yoga mats to celebrate a tradition that was once the preserve of Hindu holy men but is now a worldwide phenomenon.

Practitioners in more than 100 countries have planned events this week to celebrate the third International Yoga Day, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi convinced the UN to declare in 2015.

Since coming to power in 2014, the Hindu nationalist leader has led efforts to promote yoga, which he practises daily, as an important part of India’s history and culture.

“Many countries which do not know our language, tradition, or culture, are now connecting to India through yoga,” Mr Modi told a crowd of tens of thousands in the city of Lucknow, where he performed poses. Click here to continue reading.

Related Reading:

DOES YOUR PASTOR KNOW THAT YOGA AND CHRISTIANITY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE?

“Namaste Nation” – New 2016 Study Shows Staggering Growth in Yoga in America!

William Paul Young’s Christless “Shack”

LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails author Warren B. Smith wrote this article shortly before he had a heart attack a few weeks ago. The final editing of this article was obviously delayed. But with the growing interest in The Shack (book and movie), we are very grateful that Warren was able to finalize and submit this very important article to us a couple days ago. If you know people who are reading and being influenced by The Shack, please consider giving them some of the material Warren Smith has presented (see links below).

By Warren B. Smith

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 16:13-17)

The Holy Bible makes it clear that Jesus Christ is the one and only Christ. He is the anointed one. He is the Messiah. He is the Savior. There is no other. This one and only Jesus Christ is referred to as Christ more than 500 times in the New Testament. In fact, the name Jesus Christ bookends the whole New Testament. The Bible’s Jesus is clearly identified as Christ in the first line of the first chapter of the Book of Matthew and in the last line of the last chapter of the Book of Revelation. But The Shack’s “Jesus” is never identified as Christ. In fact, the word “Christ” cannot be found anywhere in whole Shack story. William P. Young’s “Jesus” is not ever described—not even once—as the Jesus who has “a name which is above every name”—the full and complete name of Jesus Christ:

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2: 9-11)

A “Jesus” Who is Not Christ

Excluding the name of Christ from The Shack is pretty much what you would expect from a self-professed universalist like William P. Young.1 If Young had clearly identified The Shack’s “Jesus” as Christ, his universal “Jesus” would have lost his universal appeal. And that is because the “Jesus” of other religions and New Age teachings is “another Jesus” who is not Jesus Christ. In one example alone, Young’s “Jesus” proves himself to be “another Jesus” when he teaches Shack readers the New Age lie that God is “in” all things. Using The Shack’s “Jesus” as his mouthpiece, Young falsely teaches—“God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.”2 But God is not in all things. This is pantheism. This is universalism. This is heresy. It totally contradicts the teachings of the true Jesus Christ.3 The apostle Paul warned the Corinthians—and all of us—to beware of men like William Paul Young who come preaching and teaching about “another Jesus” who is not Christ. Paul said we “might just go along with him—we “might well bear with him”:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

A Christ Who is Not Jesus
All of this is to say that when you don’t have a Jesus who is clearly identified as the Christ, you open the door to a “Christ” who is not Jesus. A perfect example of this type of anti-messiah “messiah” is the false Christ Maitreya. His alleged presence here on earth was announced in full page newspaper ads that ran in major cities across the world in 1982. All these many years later, he still claims to be the Christ and continues to wait for a troubled world to call him forth. As a prototype of Antichrist—one who comes in the name of Christ but actually opposes Christ—Maitreya steadfastly and defiantly declares that he is “the Christ.”4 One thing is for sure, whoever the prophesied Antichrist turns out to be, the true Jesus Christ warned that this false Christ would come in his own name—not in the name of Jesus Christ.

I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43)

Thus, to separate the name and title of “the Christ” from the full name of Jesus Christ is an important spiritual ploy. It helps to prepare the way for an Antichrist who will come in his own name—not in the name of Jesus Christ. Wittingly, or unwittingly, this is exactly what William P. Young has done in The Shack. There is no Jesus Christ in The Shack. Just a “Jesus” who attempts to teach Shack readers the pantheistic, universalist false doctrine that God is “in” all things.

The Shack’s Christless Doctrine
According to William P. Young, The Shack was written to help his “mostly grown children” understand his theology—what he believes.5 He describes what he wrote for them in The Shack as “theology wrapped in story.”6 But what kind of “theology wrapped in story” never names the name of Jesus Christ? What kind of Jesus is he presenting to his kids and to his millions of readers? The answer is that he is presenting “another Jesus” who is a pantheistic, universal, Christless “Jesus.” While the apostle Peter was commended by the Lord Jesus Christ for recognizing and openly acknowledging Him as “the” Christ, William P. Young would not receive that same commendation. People may love The Shack, but The Shack’s “Jesus,” is not Jesus Christ.

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:9-11)

Endnotes
1. Wm. Paul Young, Lies We Believe About God (New York: NY: Atria Books, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2017), p. 118.
2. William P. Young, The Shack (Newbury Park, CA: Windblown Media, 2007), p. 112.
3. Warren B. Smith, Be Still and Know That You Are Not God (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2015). Exhaustive booklet that explains and exposes the heretical teaching that God is in all things.
4. Warren B. Smith, False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care? (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2011), Chapter 4; Warren B. Smith, Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose Driven Church (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2004), Chapter 14.
5. C. Baxter Kruger, The Shack Revisited (New York: NY: FaithWord, Hachette Book Group, 2012), p. ix. (from the Foreword written by Wm. Paul Young).
6. Ibid., p. xi.

Other Articles About The Shack by Warren B. Smith

http://www.warrenbsmith.com/theshack.htm

 

“Truths We Believe about God” – A Theological Review of “Shack” Author’s New Book, “Lies We Believe About God”

By Larry DeBruyn
Guarding His Flock Ministries

A Biblical & Theological Refutation of Wm. Paul Young’s book, “Lies We Believe About God” (First in a series.)

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
—The Apostle Peter, 2 Peter 2:1

Introduction
As promoted by the best-selling religious allegory The Shack, a non-Christian worldview is playing around with the mind and soul of evangelicalism even to questioning of salvation’s meaning. With the release of the movie by the same name, The Shack’s verbal images are now being visualized. Contemporaneously and capitalizing upon the publicity generated by the movie, yet another book by Wm. Paul Young has hit the market, Lies We Believe About God. [1] What Young covertly taught by allegory and metaphor in The Shack he now overtly teaches in Lies—teachings among others, regarding God, humanity, love, and salvation. Reportedly, Young admitted that, “The Shack is theology.” And then added, “But it is a theology wrapped in a story.” [2] Now in Lies We Believe About God, the shrouded “story” plays a more minor role as Wm. Paul Young openly states his theology. Young continues to exert a compelling presence among mainstream evangelicals through his interviews, books and release of the movie, The Shack. Leaders Pat Robertson and James Robison have praised the movie. [3] Featuring the book’s author, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) has recently aired a weekly program Restoring The Shack. [4] To continue reading and for endnotes, click here.

Also by Larry DeBruyn:

The Present of “His Presence” (and Should We Practice “His Presence”?)

 

NEW BOOKLET: 10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith

NEW BOOKLET: 10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 14 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 the content of the booklet. To order copies of 10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith, click here.

10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith

By Berit Kjos

In a world where public schools, television, movies, popular music, the Internet, and more all offer tempting counterfeits of what God promises His people, there is only one safe place for our children: in the loving arms of the Shepherd. So train your children “in the way [they] should go” (Proverbs 22:6) so that when they are grown, they will not depart from the faith. The following ten points offer practical and scriptural advice on how to raise your children to know and love the Lord and to continue walking in the faith.

ONE: Be Alert & Always Keep on Praying

Pray! For as Jesus said, “[W]ithout me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5). The work to help our children keep their faith begins and ends with prayer. Pray for open and trusting communication with your child. Pray for discernment to detect teaching that contradicts God’s truth. Pray for wisdom to know when to speak up and what to say.

Pray for your child. Pray that he learns to discern error on his own and that he will be bold enough to speak truth with courage and to stand alone when all his friends follow after other gods. Pray that pleasing God will be more important than pleasing teachers and peers.

Pray together as a family. Put on the “whole armour of God” daily. Remember that “having your loins girt about with truth” means more than merely declaring it done. It means reading (or hearing) and following the Word, and knowing it well enough to discern error. Read and discuss Ephesians 6:13-17. Memorize the parts of the armor.

Pray that you might meet other Christian families who understand the times in which we live. Pray for faithful Christian friends for your child. Pray for other parents who will stand with you. When you see the need to get involved in your child’s schooling, pray for direction.

Trust God, not yourself. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

TWO: Know What Your Child Is Learning in School

Talk with your child. Listen for clues that help you spot good as well as questionable teaching. Be objective and model appreciation of schools and teachers.

Perhaps you have a child who gladly gives detailed accounts of all events from the time he left for school that morning. My boys preferred to answer all my questions with a brief “Good!” or “Okay.” But I discovered that a tasty snack after school could produce at least five minutes of sharing. When my son was fourteen, a sandwich at a local deli boosted our conversations immensely.

I also found that communication mysteriously wilted when my sons suspected that my motive was cross-examination rather than having fun together or if I kept so busy at home that I couldn’t stop and listen.

If you and your child have been too busy to really listen to each other, it is not too late to begin now. Don’t start by asking a lot of questions about school, especially if you have a teenager. She probably won’t be ready to share openly until she knows she can count on your empathetic response, non-judgmental attitude, and genuine interest in her. If she has found that her sharing produces anxiety, agitation, anger, and an impulsive trip to her teacher resulting in confrontation on any level, she will probably make a point to keep hidden from you most, if not all, questionable information. No child wants to be an accomplice to an emotional or embarrassing confrontation.

Volunteer to assist the teacher in the classroom. You will gain firsthand knowledge as well as easy access to the teacher’s listening ear.

Scan elementary textbooks, take-home papers, and fliers. Check to see if significant facts are deleted or distorted. Consider their effects on your child. Ask yourself the following questions about the above material:

Does it imply that Christianity is unimportant, old-fashioned, or a hindrance to progress? Does it ask your child to discuss his faith in front of the class—thus leaving him open to embarrassment and ridicule? With new proposals for bringing religion back in schools, look carefully at the kinds of religions which are being promoted and ways in which these religions will be taught. It could mean wide open doors to more counterfeits.

Does it present an imbalanced view of Christians? Are pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and other Christians denigrated, maligned, and ridiculed—or never described favorably?

Does it emphasize, promote, or give detailed descriptions of other religions, while ignoring Christianity?

Does it require your child’s participation in spiritual exercises?

Does it give instructions in Yoga, meditation, channeling, or guided imagery?

Does it include a blatant pro-homosexual slant?

Does it ask your child not to share information with his parents?

Discuss your findings with your child. Express your appreciation for the good things you see. Explain any area of concern. Teach discernment by pointing out contradictions to God’s truth.

THREE: Share God’s Values With Your Children

Ask God to show you how to communicate in natural age-appropriate ways. The simplest way is to discuss your own personal experiences from God’s perspective during your ordinary encounters—when you sit, walk (or drive), lie down, and get up.

You may want to use the following topics for meal or bedtime discussion or for special family evenings. Choose items appropriate to your children, adjusting the words to their age-level.

Explore the meaning of values:

What does it mean to value something?
What do you value? Least? Most?
What determines your values?
What costs are you willing to pay for what you value? Rejection, teasing, not seeing certain movies?

Discuss what God says about things He loves:

Honoring and obeying parents: Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1
Respecting authority: Romans 13:1
Following God—our highest authority: Acts 5:29; John 10:4
Love: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7
Forgiving and caring for others: Luke 6:27-36

Discuss what God says about things He hates.

Lying: Proverbs 12:22
Stealing: Matthew 19:18
Cheating: 1 Corinthians 6:8-9
Greed: Luke 12:15
Rudeness and swearing: Ephesians 5:3-5
Proverbs 6:16 has a list of what God hates.

Talk about what would happen if everyone followed this guideline: Do whatever feels right.

I have never asked my children’s opinion about the truth of this value claim [that torture is wrong] and do not intend to do so, just as I never asked them their opinion about the law of gravity. . . . Rather, I teach them the truth of this value and expect them both to believe it and to base their action on it.1—Richard A. Baer, Jr.

FOUR: Train Your Child To Be “Ambassadors” For God

Tell your own experience of standing up for what you believe. Let your children feel your inner battle to choose God’s way. Assure them that you understand their struggles—and that God’s favor is worth far more than peer approval. No matter how we feel, we who belong to Him are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Take time to read together stories about courageous Christians. Nobody outgrows the richness of family reading.

Practice sharing your convictions with each other (1 Peter 3:15-17).

FIVE: Teach Your child to Know God’s Instructions & Warnings

As a family, read Deuteronomy 6-8. Study a portion each day. Write and discuss what He tells you to do and what He promises to do for you. Agree to help each other to follow His guidelines and receive His promises.

Show your child that while charity and respect should be shown to all human beings, the New Age/New Spirituality quest for a global community is based on the evolutionary presumption that man—not God—controls and can save the world.

Show how commitment to truth has its roots in and stems from biblical values. While loving the world’s people, we cannot trust rulers who oppose God and reject His values. One of the most misunderstood and misquoted Scriptures in the Bible is Luke 6:37: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.” God is not telling us to close our eyes to evil and tolerate beliefs and behavior that deny Him. Rather He reminds us to have “righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Hinduism teaches New Agers to tune out unpleasant realities. But no amount of creative visualization or individual, group, or collective meditation will even begin to create a perfect world. The fact is that mankind, apart from God, still suffers from a deadly urge to conquer and control.

SIX: Encourage Your Child To Choose the Good

Develop a mindset that seeks the best, not just the “OK.” In the case of toys, you may 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. When discussing toys and games, phrase the questions according to your child’s age level.

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.

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.

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 him interact both with his 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.

Does it build godly character? Many toys, hobbies, and games do.

SEVEN: 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 always getting what 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.

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.

EIGHT: Training Children to Love Good and Resist 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 scriptural portions 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. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

The Lord’s Prayer—These truths parallel the ones in the armor of God and serve the same purposes. (Matthew 6:9-13)

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. (Matthew 5:1-12)

NINE:  Prepare Your Child for a Lifetime of Reading with Discernment

Are children being taught to read discerningly, or do they accept whatever is in print simply because it is in print?

Pray as a family for discernment and wisdom. Don’t let fear of offensive literature keep your family from finding and feasting on wonderful books.

Commit yourself to a deeper knowing of the Word of God. Continue a daily Bible study program together. If children know truth, they will more easily spot the lies.

Enjoy books together that demonstrate God’s values. Read-aloud times build in most children a deep love for reading, while they also enable you to direct your children’s taste for enriching books. “While the average first-grade student reads from a primer with only 350 words, his listening vocabulary approaches 10,000 words, according to the Council for Basic Education.”2
When you read aloud to your children, they learn to associate wholesome books with good times.

A crossless version of Christianity fits the New Age lie that all can be one—with or without Jesus. It denies man’s need for redemption and, in effect, makes man his own savior. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Examine gift books for children. Some of Audrey and Don Wood’s attractive books are filled with enticing New Age magic. Other picture books, like The Witches Handbook by Malcolm Bird, treat witchcraft as a game for all to enjoy.

Check contemporary children’s poetry. While some poems are superb, others are grotesque and macabre.

Check fantasy game books. They make you the hero—but what beliefs do you follow? What mental pictures will your imagination create? As you make decisions appropriate to the story, will occult forces become part of your thinking? Some titles will tip you off—like Seas of Blood and Castle Death—but many others sound deceptively innocuous.

Be alert to what your child’s peers read. Discuss their influence on your child with him. During the winter of 1989, our son’s eighth-grade peers read Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King, master of occult horror.

New kinds of joke books are captivating today’s readers. The object of the humor may be sex, marriage, parents, or God. Some of the illustrations may be pornographic. While we are in dire need of healthy humor, we don’t need to laugh at corruption and delight in immorality. God wants us to love, accept, and forgive each other. But He also tells us to discipline and control our own human nature. Discuss these Scriptures with your child: Leviticus 11:44, 20:26; and Matthew 5:6, 8. Review Romans 12:1-2, 9, and Romans 13:14.

TEN : Leading Your Child to Receive Jesus as Savior and Lord

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:5-7)

How do we lead our children into a lasting and true relationship with Jesus Christ?

Pray that God will prepare their hearts. Spiritual rebirth is God’s work, not ours (John 6:44). We merely cooperate with God’s process, for we are co-laborers with God.

Lay a foundation. Include Jesus in your conversations. Let your children hear you talk to Him. Pray with them. Talk about how He helps you each day. Make comments like, “Jesus understands. He is sad when you are sad. Let’s ask Jesus what He wants us to do.”

Wait for God’s timing. While you watch for signs of openness, be ready for an opportune moment. Perhaps it will come at a time of special need for comfort and strength or when a child shows you by his questions that he genuinely wants to know and follow God.

Explain the basic saving truths. Lead your child through the following steps, and then ask if he wants to pray to receive Jesus. If he says no, tell him he can pray that prayer anytime on his own with the same wonderful results. If your child wants to pray alone, suggest that he come and tell you afterward. Don’t forget the date. Keep it as a most special birthday. Here are some key points to share with your child:

God loves you. He wants you to be part of His special family. He wants you to live with Him in His wonderful heavenly kingdom. “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).

By yourself, you can’t come to God. God is holy and perfect and can’t let any sin into His kingdom. Sin separates us from Him (Isaiah 59:2). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Think about the different kinds of sin like selfishness, envy, lying, wanting your own way. Can you be completely free from them? No, you can’t, despite how hard you try.

Jesus made a way for you. He said, “I am the way. . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). He died on the Cross, taking the punishment for your sins. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

You must invite Jesus to come and live in you. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). With His perfect life inside, you may live and walk with God forever. Tell your child that his prayer must include confession (understanding and admitting he or she is a sinner), repentance (turn from the direction one is heading, and follow Jesus), faith (trust that Jesus Christ died and rose again to give man eternal life in Him), and the invitation.

Pray something like this: “Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I have sinned against You. I don’t deserve to be Your child. But I believe You died for me to pay for my sins, and you have forgiven me. Please come into my heart. I want you to be Lord and Savior of my life. Thank you.”

To order copies of 10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith, click here.

Endnotes:
1. Richard A. Baer, Jr., “Teaching Values in the Schools: Clarification or Indoctrination?” (American Education, January 1982, https://confluence.cornell.edu/download/attachments/11542/Teaching_Values_in_the_Schools.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1338225531000), p. 18.
2. Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook (New York, NY: Penguin, 1987 edition), p. 40.

The Booklet you have read above is an extract from Berit Kjos’ cutting-edge book, How to Protect Your Child from the New Age & Spiritual Deception. Packed with information and documentation identifying the specific and often subtle elements in today’s society that are impacting our children’s faith and filled with practical and scriptural advice on how we can help our children love and honor the Lord and His Word all the days of their lives.

To order copies of 10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith, click here.


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