LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails is not what some term “KJV Only.” However, we have come to trust the King James Bible more than other versions, and this is what we use for our articles and books. That said, we have strong concerns about many of the new modern translations (and paraphrases that are treated like translations). The ESV has been marketed as a very close translation to the KJV. But a close look, as is done by this Canadian Lighthouse Trails friend, Art K., reveals that the ESV differs from the KJV in many instances and should not be touted as very similar to the KJV. Please also read the article below by Warren B. Smith called “The Kindly Christian Widow.”
The following is an updated version of Art K.’s article with new references and information from an earlier version a few years ago.
The English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible. “A Dream Come True”?
Written and compiled by Art K. (updated: April 2016)
Introduction to a Study on The English Standard Version
First, why I compared the KJV to the ESV is because the ESV study Bible has received such high praise for being an excellent literal translation.
Second, in the Preface under “Translation Legacy” page 19, we read “The English Standard Version (ESV) stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526; marking the course were King James Version of 1611…” I understood this to mean that there would be a great similarity between the KJV and the ESV. What I found however, is that the ESV, is in the majority of the references, very similar or the same as the NIV. This I find difficult to reconcile with the statement made in reference to the KJV.
Third what motivated me to further compare the ESV to the KJV, was the very high praise that the ESV has received from so many people who are well versed in the field of bible translations. For example, John Piper calls it “a dream come true”? Please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlFsBdEkxMQ
Fourth what motivated me to examine the ESV Study Bible was what I read in the Introduction under the subtitle “Divine Words and Merely Human Words”, where it is written “The ESV Study Bible contains two kinds of words. The first kind is the actual of the Bible, which are the very words of God to us. These are printed in the larger font of each page. The second kind is the study notes, which are merely human words” page 9.
The problem is knowing which group of words to trust. The first group of words “the very words of God to us” in the ESV have so many omissions compared to the KJV that it creates serious doubt, not trust. If there are so many omissions in “the very words of God” in the ESV, how can we have confidence in the ‘words of men, in the explanation?
Before we accept this translation as “a dream come true” we need to examine the ESV bible carefully and ponder the words of Jesus, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you”.
1) The following examples are from the New Testament only.
2) This is not an exhaustive study.
A Related Article by Warren B. Smith
The Kindly Christian Widow
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
When I was in the New Age and very involved with A Course in Miracles, I was working for a Northern California agency as a program coordinator serving the developmentally disabled. One day while I was visiting the elderly widowed mother of one of my clients the subject of religion came up. After asking me what I believed, she listened politely as I shared my enthusiasm for the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. As I described what I believed, she smiled sweetly but didn’t say much. When I finished talking, she excused herself for a moment and went into another room. When she returned she was holding a large, blue King James Bible. She wanted me to have it. Not wanting to offend her, and noting its color was a perfect match with my Course in Miracles books, I accepted her gift.
Several years later, as my wife and I were beginning to understand how deceived we had been by A Course in Miracles and our other New Age teachings, it was this kind woman’s King James Bible that we continually turned to for support and counsel. It sharply contrasted the differences between the New Age “gospel” and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was instrumental in our ultimate conversion to the Christian faith. And we have continued to use the King James Bible for the last twenty years. It has been our guide in everything we do. We thought it was beautifully written, and we found it to be very readable. Occasional outdated words are often defined by their context or can be easily looked up in a matter of seconds. More than anything, though, the teachings and doctrine of the King James Bible have always rung true.
Bible versions only became an issue for us when my book The Light that was Dark was in the process of being published by Moody Press. Moody insisted on converting many of my King James quotes into a newer version. They said they had to make my book more “readable” and “seeker friendly,” so I reluctantly went along with their request. I would not do that today.
I have never understood why church leaders have felt it necessary to downplay and almost apologize for the King James translation. As “seekers,” the King James Bible had met us right where we were at. It might not have been “spiritually correct” for that kind woman to give an unbeliever a King James Bible instead of a newer version, but I will be forever grateful that she did. It helped to save our lives.
No Legitimate Reason?
Having only used one Bible all these years, I wanted to understand why Rick Warren felt the need to use fifteen different Bible versions and paraphrases in The Purpose-Driven Life. In the back of his book I found this explanation:
This book contains nearly a thousand quotations from Scripture. I have intentionally varied the Bible translations used for two important reasons. First, no matter how wonderful a translation is, it has limitations….
Second, and even more important, is the fact that we often miss the full impact of familiar Bible verses, not because of poor translating, but simply because they have become so familiar!….Therefore I have deliberately used paraphrases in order to help you see God’s truth in new, fresh ways. English-speaking people should thank God that we have so many different versions to use for devotional reading.1
I couldn’t really relate to what Rick Warren was saying about “limitations” and overly “familiar” verses. I had always had full confidence in the King James translation, and familiar verses became more and more precious as their truth continued to resound in our lives year after year.
Of the fifteen different versions he used, The Message was clearly Rick Warren’s favorite. In The Purpose-Driven Life he rarely referred to the King James Bible. I found his strange reason why in his 1995 book The Purpose-Driven Church:
Read Scripture from a newer translation. With all the wonderful translations and paraphrases available today, there is no legitimate reason for complicating the Good News with four-hundred-year-old English. Using the King James Version creates an unnecessary cultural barrier…. Clarity is more important than poetry.2
No “legitimate reason” to read the King James Bible? I remember reading that and being amazed. How could he possibly teach something that was so untrue? The King James Bible had not “complicated” the “Good News” for my wife and I when we were lost in the New Age—it had provided much needed clarity by exposing the deceptiveness of our New Age teachings. In The Light that was Dark I commented:
When we could finally see through the spiritual deception, most of the Scriptures that we had been reading clicked into place. It was as if scales had fallen from our eyes, and suddenly the New Testament was flooded with light. Though we had a lot to learn about other aspects of the faith, it was apparent that we were, by virtue of our having been so thoroughly deceived, already well-versed in the Bible’s description of deception.3
Sometimes we thought we were confusing everyone but ourselves. Disappointed but not disheartened by our friends, and discouraged but not disillusioned by some of the churches, we were nevertheless determined to tell our story of the reality of evil and of the power and majesty of the real Christ—how it was the Bible, not our alternative spiritual teachings, that read clearer and truer than the morning paper.4
God had used the King James Bible in a mighty way to reveal the truth. It had pulled us out of the New Age and put us on solid ground. Its straightforward warnings and teachings were clear and true. If we had been dependent on The Message, or some of the other Bible versions that Rick Warren uses, we might still be in the New Age today. It was the clarity and precision of our King James Bible that had exposed the deception behind our New Age teachings. And it is the clarity and precision of our King James Bible that continues to expose these same New Age teachings that are creeping into the Church today. I just thank God no one put something like The Message in my hands when I was in the New Age. And I thank God for kindly Christian widows. (an excerpt from chapter 4 of Deceived on Purpose by Warren B. Smith)
1. Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), p. 325.
2. Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), p. 297.
3. Warren Smith, The Light that was Dark (Chicago, IL: Moody Press: Northfield Publishing, 1992)p. 141. Note: this book is now published by Mountain Stream Press.
4. Ibid., p. 149.
The following is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement. The video is part of a new film project by the emergent Fuller Theological Seminary. To him who has ears to hear, let him hear.
When Hitler Was in Power – Memories of a Jewish Girl
by Anita Dittman
(From the booklet with the same name)
1939 Breslau, Germany
I was twelve years old and entering early teen years living in Nazi Germany. Often as the lights went out at night, I lapsed into self-pity and cried myself to sleep. I knew it would be a long winter with minimum food rations, crowded, substandard living quarters, and that never-ending dread of the Gestapo knock on the door. More and more Jews feared venturing into the streets.
Rising costs for tuition and school books and the increased anti-Semitism made my school life miserable and my future education questionable. In addition, home conditions were difficult. Two of Mother’s sisters had come to live with us in our one room, and we had to share the kitchen and bath with additional families.
Mother’s sisters—Aunt Friede and Aunt Elsbeth—were endlessly annoyed at my strong faith in Jesus and Mother’s growing interest in Him. Their nagging, coupled with the unbearable bedbugs in our apartment, made life a chore. I gave Aunt Elsbeth my bed and slept on a lumpy, bedbug-infested sofa, falling asleep each night while arguments rang through the room.
We hardly dared go to Pastor Hornig’s church. The macabre scenes we saw on the way caused bad dreams at night as our subconscious relived what we had seen: Jews by the hundreds being herded into trucks as they stared glassy-eyed with fear at being separated from loved ones. Since we were in a Jewish ghetto, we could look out our window almost any day and see such scenes on the street below. The more we were identified as Jewish Christians attending a Protestant church, the more free time we were given.
By fall, the war began in earnest. Germany surged ahead, optimistic because of her swift victory in Poland. The frighteningly diabolical trio of Adolf Eichmann, Reinhard Heydrich, and Heinrich Himmler was ordered to find a “final solution to the Jewish problem,” and it was generally understood that the final solution meant total extermination.
Auschwitz and Dachau, two of the more deadly camps, would strike similar terror within the Jews of Europe. Rudolf Ross was put in charge of the genocide at Auschwitz. Upon his orders, two thousand Jews would be gassed at one time. As men, women, and children were shoved together into massive “shower rooms” some were stamped on their chests with a coded number that indicated they had gold teeth. When they finally realized they weren’t taking a shower, they screamed and cried for mercy, but their cries fell on deaf ears. Amused guards watched through peepholes as they suffered and died. Hideous horror stories began to trickle out of the various camps, putting unbearable pressure on European Jews, who knew that they were all potential gas-chamber victims.
In 1939, Germans began experiencing a fear of their own as the country scurried for air-raid shelters. Bombs weren’t falling on Germany yet, but drills had begun. Homes and businesses complied with blackout regulations, and planes frequently raced across the German sky that fall, though without dropping any deadly weapons.
1940—Berlin, Germany—Away From Home
By the summer of 1940, the Führer had made himself the master of western Europe as he invaded Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and France. They all would fall before the year’s end. It began to look as though Italy would enter the war as an ally of Germany. But as long as England remained undefeated in the war, a complete German victory was not possible in the West. British resistance stiffened that spring and summer under the incomparable leadership of Winston Churchill. Britain was sending her planes in increasing numbers over the skies of Germany. As the Germans attacked Allied cities and sunk Allied ships, Britain began to retaliate by dropping bombs, and Germany started melting beneath her burning cities.
That August we heard terrifying news: The Germans had bombed a residential section of London, and word got out that the British Royal Air Force would retaliate by hitting Berlin (where I was attending school). Thus, the war was brought home to Germany, and Berlin’s air-raid shelters became my home away from home. If life for the German people had once been an inconvenience, it now was a hellish nightmare. The siege began in Berlin, but soon the whole country would be in rubble.
When the bombing began, we children thought of the nightly air raids as nothing more than dangerous thunderstorms, during which everyone scrambled for the shelters—only basements really. At first the British hit only government centers in Berlin. Sometimes, however, the shrill sirens interrupted our light sleep as often as three times a night. And each time we would dash frantically to the shelter beneath our apartment building.
As the war got worse, so did general living conditions. Yet no true German dared to let defeat or discouragement cross his mind. It was still unthinkable. What about the thousand-year Reich? Hitler surely had things under control; this was only a temporary inconvenience. It was a small price to pay for the Fatherland and the glorious days that lay ahead for the Reich.
The air attack intensified in the fall of 1940 as Berlin received the brunt of the Allied bombing. The basement bomb shelters were almost useless against a direct hit, for a shell would race through ten stories to the basement, burying hundreds of victims. As Hitler intensified the fighting on the battlefront, the Allies intensified their reign of terror from the sky.
Life in the shelters was nerve-racking. We couldn’t move for fear of using too much oxygen. Even if bombs exploded all around us, we were careful not to utter an anti-Nazi statement because several staunch Nazis were sure to be in any given bomb shelter.
As the winter winds began to blow, I missed Mother and the familiarities of home even more. Christmas was in the air, and though Mrs. Michaelis assured me she would send me home for the holiday, I knew that at a moment’s whim she could change her mind. Then early in December, my school principal handed me a note: “Because of your non-Aryan background, you will no longer be allowed to attend classes at this school.”
Early 1941—Home Again in Breslau
Brown-shirted storm troopers were marching through the towns, terrorizing everyone and delighting in making life miserable for the Jews, whether by teasing and taunting or by acts of brutality. They ridiculed and beat Jews everywhere and randomly hauled off individuals or families to prison. Cattle cars were filled daily as trainloads of frightened Jews were shipped to secret destinations throughout the tranquil German countryside.
As I walked to the gymnasium of the school I was attending now, I saw bold signs proclaiming “No Jews Allowed” on nearly every store. Other signs warned Germans to stay away from Jews, who had been banned from theaters, parks, and all recreational areas. Everywhere I looked, I saw anti-Jewish slogans and posters. Many of the posters had the photograph of a Jew who had just been arrested for some concocted crime. In sharp contrast, flashing neon signs illuminated Hitler’s picture.
The Nazi flag was hung proudly outside of most homes in Breslau. Inside, Germans were required to have a picture of the Führer somewhere in the house. Hitler was pressing the Christian pastors to have his picture placed at the front of church altars.
Hitler’s contorted and strained voice blasted hate propaganda from the radio almost daily; he frantically blamed “international financial Jewry” for the war and warned Germans that every living Jew was an archenemy of the Reich. Jews had absolutely no rights and weren’t entitled to own property.
More and more Jews trembled behind locked doors. We learned that a brother and a sister of Mother’s had been picked up and taken to a camp. Another brother and his wife took their own lives rather than face a concentration camp ordeal. It was inevitable that the random confiscation of Jews should hit our house that winter.
Mother tried to be a peacemaker for her three quarreling sisters. However, when she attempted to help them, they would gang up on her because of her growing love for Jesus, who Pastor Hornig had told her was the Jewish Messiah. Mother could no longer deny the power of Christ in our lives. She had to talk about Him; it was a natural overflow of love. But her sisters insisted that it was Jesus’ followers who had hounded the Jews since the first century. They claimed the Nazis were all Christians on the basis of them being Gentiles and having attended Catholic or Lutheran churches. Many of those very churches had now sold out to the Führer, allowing his picture to be on their church altars. It made no sense to my aunts to worship Jesus, a phony dead man in whose name millions of Jews had been persecuted, tortured, and killed.
“But those people aren’t really Christians!” I insisted, not fully grasping the accuracy of my statement. “They just give real Christians a bad name.”
“Nonsense!” insisted Aunt Elsbeth. “All Gentiles are Christians.”
That month Bulgaria was peacefully occupied. Then Germany invaded Yugoslavia, and soon tanks would roll into Athens. Hitler gave an injunction demanding merciless harshness in the war. Whereas at one time the German code of ethics had protected civilians and property, now everyone and everything was to be destroyed by the German soldiers. But every such act of brutality only increased the Allied assault on Germany, so in the end every German paid for the Führer’s madness.
All internal affairs were being handed over to Martin Bormann, who began to carry out a ruthless assault on the Christian churches in Germany. More than ever we feared for the Hornigs and the believers at our church, for they would be prime targets for Bormann’s men because of their interest and love for the Jewish people. Gestapo agents always were planted in the church services now.
The fresh breezes of spring 1941 brought us little relief from our agony. I gave serious thought to dropping out of school because of the rampant anti-Semitism at the gymnasium. My teachers followed Nazi orders to be hard on all students who weren’t Aryans, and the other young people didn’t want to risk being my friend. I felt terribly lonely there—for a fourteen-year-old without a friend is like a violin without a bow.
One by one the apartments in our Jewish tenement were emptying as the arrests increased. In June, we heard the dreaded knock again. This time they came for Aunt Friede, who was seventy-three years old. We tried very hard to swallow our tears again, for we knew it would only upset Aunt Friede more to see us crying over her. Again, no explanation was given and no destination revealed.
A great part of the terrifying fear related to the arrests was the unknown factor of the prisoner’s destination. Was it jail or a concentration camp? Was it a work camp or a gas chamber or a firing squad? One seldom knew until sometimes family members received a postcard from prison or perhaps word was smuggled out that the person had been killed. The fate of millions would never be known. They would simply become statistics.
One by one or all at once, families disappeared and were separated in the ordeal of Nazi Germany in 1941. We never saw Aunt Käte, Aunt Friede, or Aunt Elsbeth again.
Hitler’s hunger for power and blood had no end. Next he invaded Russia in an effort to eliminate the “Eastern menace” of Bolshevism. The Führer didn’t realize, of course, that this was a fatal miscalculation. A world war was now inevitable. America pledged economic aid, and the Allies started fighting back even harder.
Hitler was sure the Russian campaign would be swift, a fair weather war. Thus the Russian winter became as much his enemy as the Russian soldier. More than 750,000 German soldiers would die from the winter elements as they became bogged down in their advance on Moscow. Because of the devastating defeat, the Jews would suffer even more and be made to pay for Hitler’s mistake.
Only one synagogue was left in Breslau after the burnings of 1938 and 1939. Recently it had been made into a prison for Jews who were waiting for processing before being sent off to the camps.
After school one day, I made my way to the crumbling synagogue. During the long walk in the December cold, I considered the paradox of Nazi Germany. As Christmas approached, Germans celebrated the birth of Jesus; yet they worshiped the godless Nazis. The peace, joy, love, and hope that are synonymous with Christmas were strangely muted in Hitler’s Germany, but few gave up the futile dream of the marvelous thousand-year Reich. Few were ready to allow the idea of defeat to enter their minds, even though smoke from burning Berlin rose five miles high in the sky and uncounted thousands of German soldiers were dying on the Russian battlefront. Routinely the Russians announced the names of their captured German prisoners over the airwaves of underground radio stations. The prisoners’ relatives knew they would never see their husbands or brothers again when they heard their names; the camps in Siberia never sent anyone home.
Hitler’s attention was focused mainly on the Russian front in the spring of 1942, though the Africa corps drove further and further east toward the British-held Middle East. The Americans joined England’s Royal Air Force in dropping bombs on German cities. In the coming weeks and months, Cologne, Rostock, Lubeck, and Berlin would become piles of rubble. But, thankfully, the planes still avoided Breslau.
That spring brought both the bitter and the sweet. Our good friends the Sandbergs were finally taken away. We sorrowed as we remembered the longing of their hearts to be reunited with their sons, who had fled to England before the war.
That May I turned fifteen, and I finished my confirmation classes with Pastor Hornig. Mother scraped a few cents together to make me a lovely white dress. Pastor Hornig tested me in front of the entire congregation at St. Barbara’s; it was one of the highlights of my life. I was thrilled to be able to please Pastor Hornig and Mother as I gave all the right answers in my test. Mother looked at me proudly from the audience. My eyes flashed between Pastor Hornig and Mother as I drank in their looks of approval and praise. This was the best gift I could give them.
My eyes also saw an unfamiliar face in the congregation. We learned later that it was another Nazi spy. It was no secret to anyone in Breslau that Pastor Hornig aided Jews—both believers and unbelievers. Gestapo agents followed him frequently and planted themselves in the church services in order to monitor any anti-Nazi statements.
Shortly after this, I was handed another familiar note in school, telling me not to return to classes because of my Jewish heritage.
About the same time that spring, Reinhard Heydrich died. He was one-third of the Eichmann-Himmler-Heydrich trio—the masterminds behind the Jewish persecution. The blood of thousands—perhaps millions of Jews was on his hands.
To this day, the Nazi Holocaust continues to prevent many Jewish people from believing in God. Satan uses it as the biggest stumbling block for the numerous Jews who can’t accept that a loving, all-powerful God would allow such a horrible thing to happen. Granted, millions perished, yet God also allowed millions to survive.
The Reich suffered a terrible defeat at Stalingrad as the Russians captured 220,000 German prisoners in February 1943. Solemn music was played for three days on the radio as all Germans mourned the loss. At last, Germany was experiencing the type of pain she had been inflicting on others.
We had heard that defeat was also occurring in North Africa, and the air war against Germany was merciless now. A layer of smoke blanketed the land as Hamburg and other cities were being hit day and night. A concentrated Allied attack on German U-boats caused the Germans to lose the battle in the Atlantic.
Finally, the Allies demanded the unconditional surrender of the Reich, but for Hitler that was unthinkable. Instead, he declared that an attitude of defeatism would be punishable by death, and the empty propaganda that promised a glorious day for Germany continued to be screamed over the airwaves.
How much longer would the German people believe in the illusion of the glorious Fatherland? How much longer would they follow the mad pied-piper and trust him with their sons, fathers, and husbands, many of whom would never leave the Siberian prisoner-of-war camps? How much longer would they be blindly obedient to the Führer, who admittedly had no compassionate thought for a human life? He even willingly sacrificed his own German people if they weren’t perfect specimens of the Aryan race. When would the prayers of Christians around the world hasten the demise of the German demagogue and strangle Satan’s attempt to bring only sorrow and sighing into the world? How much longer, God? We knew that one swift blow of God’s judgment could end the despair, and we believed that real Christians around the world surely had calluses on their knees from praying for the nightmare to end.
As winter turned into the spring of 1943, we heard that the Allies had won the war in Africa, which gave Mother and me a surge of hope. But true to the pattern, as the Reich suffered, our supervisor became more strict and rigid, allowing hardly any conversation during our long workday. Only hungry rats scurrying along the beams above us broke the monotony.
Rumors began to fly about some of the Reich’s concentration camps being liberated in the coming year. The camps now held millions of Jews from Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans.
However, our dreams were suddenly shattered one balmy spring day when we heard about the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Five-hundred-thousand Jews had been herded into the ghetto to starve to death. Finally the Germans went in to kill them or crowd them into death camps; however, the starving but determined Jews fought back with everything they had. Then Hitler sent in three thousand more troops to quickly take over the ghetto with tanks, armored cars, artillery, and flame-throwers. Only five-hundred Jews lived to tell of the annihilation of the ghetto and its people.
That week we could hardly speak to one another without choking back tears of grief and anger; even within the purest heart, bitterness raged toward the Nazis. Our faith was shaken and our hope dimmed. The atheists among us cursed, while the Jewish unbelievers withdrew into themselves. The religious Jews prayed harder and asked why. We Christians comforted one another and realized that some answers would be available only in heaven.
The Allies landed in Normandy. Rumor had it that everyone who had even one Jewish grandparent was now going to be picked up in a last-ditch effort to wipe out the Jewish race. Hitler would make the Jews pay, of course, for his mistakes in the war, a pattern that was never broken.
The stories from the camps told of massive gassings and shootings. Following a gassing, the bodies would be cremated in giant ovens. Giant smokestacks coughed out soot from burning bodies, blanketing most of Europe. Fellow prisoners, or in some cases family members, would then be ordered to break up the remaining bones and bury them in mass graves.
The worst horrors took place in Auschwitz, from which few ever escaped or lived to tell their stories. It was estimated that almost three million already had perished there, and at the end of the war it would be learned that eighty percent of those sent to Auschwitz died.
The most gruesome story leaked out early in 1944 and would later be documented. Hitler informed Himmler that it was not enough for the Jews to die; they must die in agony, for they were only germs, not people. Himmler was ordered to devise a plan to make thousands of Jews die a horrible death. He got the idea of placing Jewish prisoners in freight cars having their floors coated with a layer of dehydrated calcium oxide. The substance caused terrible burns, and prisoners often suffered for days before dying an awful death in the freight cars, which were left in a secluded place.
Hitler had only to whisper and ten thousand prisoners would die that day.
The human mind and body could not logically withstand such pressures and uncertainties, especially if a person had a loved one in a camp or if he himself was on the Nazi blacklist. Added to the other horrors was the constant threat that a death-camp experience awaited him after a harsh midnight knock on his door. The Nazi blacklist included more than just Jews. Christians who were suspected of hiding or aiding Jews were on it, as well as anyone who uttered an anti-Nazi sentiment. A time would come for all of us to be hauled off to death camps unless the Allies—with God’s help—could rescue us.
To order copies of this article in booklet format ($1.95), click here.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
MADISON, Wisc. — A professing atheist activist organization is expressing its objection to three public schools that either have already or plan to visit Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in Kentucky.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent letters to officials with Brookville High School in Dayton, Ohio, Jackson Independent School District in Kentucky, and the Big Beaver Falls School District in Pennsylvania to urge the cancellation of the trips to Petersburg.
“It is unconstitutional for a public school to take students on a field trip to a religious venue such as the Creation Museum, a Christian museum which promotes the religious doctrine of creationism and lists is mission as ‘to point today’s culture back to the authority of Scripture and proclaim the gospel message,’” the letters read.
A press release from the organization also notes that Ham’s 75,0000 square foot museum features “a diorama of a human and a dinosaur together, implying that they existed simultaneously. Each display contrasts science with a literalist interpretation of the Bible.”
FRRF says that the school trips to the Creation Museum “excludes non-Christian and non-religious students” and are not permissible even though attendance is voluntary and comes at no cost to the districts. Click here to continue reading.
IMPORTANT NOTE: New Shopping Cart Platform for Lighthouse Trails And Instructions on Changes to Logging In
Dear Lighthouse Trails reader,
For over 13 years, Lighthouse Trails has used an online-store shopping-cart platform called Miva Merchant. It worked very well for us and was quite affordable. However, over the years, Miva began increasing their prices more and more. Then about a month ago, while we were making plans to renew our yearly license with them (which was $995/year per store), we learned that their new price for non-hosted companies had gone up to $19,995.00 per year. We had received no notice of this substantial hike in fees. Needless to say, this was a shock to us and clearly out of our financial reach. Miva told us they wanted us to move over to a hosted plan, but that would be $9,000 a year. We realized then that we had to find a new shopping cart platform for both www.lighthousetrails.com and www.theshepherdsgarden.com, and we only had a few weeks before our license expired. We knew it would be a huge undertaking to find a good replacement, redesign two entire stores, and do a successful migration. We won’t pretend this didn’t put a tremendous burden upon us. We do all our own web work and have little outside web development help.
For the last three weeks, our small onsite crew has been working steadily to make this transition. We found an open-source company called Prestashop (open source means we don’t have to pay an annual fee anymore) that has an excellent reputation; we began learning how to operate the new platform and redesigned our two stores. This past Saturday, just two days before our Miva license would run out, we migrated our two stores over to the new platform. We worked with our dedicated server manager from Admin on Demand (an incredibly great company if you are looking for web hosting, dedicated server management, and high security) who did the actual migration and also with Chase’s Paymentech and Authorize.net to set up the credit-card gateway and processor for the new platform.
Today, May 2nd, the Lighthouse Trails store is in full operation (although we are still working on several aspects for overall improvement and ease for our customers). Both Chase and Authorize.net have tested the site, which has proven to be functioning properly and fully secure for credit card transactions.
Once you get familiar with the new store layout, we think you are going to find it much easier and more convenient to use.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LOGGING IN: With all that said, if you are a registered customer of Lighthouse Trails store, there are some changes to how you login to the new store. You will no longer use a special login name to log in but rather will use your e-mail address. And, unfortunately, because of the secure nature of passwords, we were unable to successfully migrate over your passwords. What you will need to do is go to the login page here: https://www.lighthousetrails.com/login?back=my-account. Then, just enter your e-mail address (the one you got this e-mail with) and click where it says “Forgot Your Password.” You will then get an e-mail with instructions on how to reset your password. If you have any problems, call us at 866-876-3910, and we can assist you. Once you login to the new account, you will also be able to change your e-mail address and any other information you need to change.
If you are reading this and have never created an account at the Lighthouse Trails store, if you so desire, you may easily do so with the same link.
Keep in mind, the store account is NOT the same as the Lighthouse Trails Research e-newsletter that we e-mail out 3x a month.
Thank you for your continued interest in Lighthouse Trails.
The Editors at Lighthouse Trails
P.O. Box 908
Eureka, MT 59917
Introducing the newest Lighthouse Trails author, Danny Frigulti and his Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 16 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 Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.
Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture
Since the 1970s, a growing and captivating faith-teaching movement has saturated the world. This movement continues to emphasize “faith Scriptures” as a foundation for encouraging Christians to have strong and unwavering faith when speaking, confessing, or declaring God’s Word for health and wealth. Most people refer to this faith movement as the “Word of Faith,” and many use Romans 10:8 and 17 to lay a foundation for their faith belief. These read:
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
In this booklet, we will look at some common Word of Faith teachings and compare these with Scripture to discern the definition of their doctrines. This will verify whether any person or ministry is preaching doctrines of truth or false doctrine. Some faith-teaching ministries do not claim to be Word of Faith ministries but still teach false faith doctrine. Therefore, our focus will also be on refuting ten common false faith teachings found worldwide.
1) Identifying the Sources of Sickness and Disease
Word of Faith teachings promote the belief that all sickness and disease is from Satan and his demons. Therefore, God has not and will not chastise His people with sickness. They also say that no Christian should be sick, and if sickness happens, it is because of 1) sin in your life; 2) weak faith; or 3) you are not walking in love. We will first look at various Scriptures to see if demons are responsible for all sickness and disease. Also, we will view Scripture to find the Lord’s role in any area of sickness. Then we will look at verses where servants of God were sick and see if sin, weak faith, or lack of love are mentioned as the cause of their ailment.
A verse Word of Faith teachers distort and use to convince themselves and their followers that all sickness comes from demons is part of Matthew 18:16 which reads “…that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy 19:15. The obvious context is two witnesses who confirm testimony about sin, not testimony of sickness. Frederick K. C. Price ignores what Jesus teaches about trespass/sin in Matthew 18:16. He selects two passages where demons cause affliction (Acts 10:38; Luke 13:11-14) and says, “I am perfectly convinced, from these two scriptures, that sickness and disease is of Satan.”1 Acts 10:38 is to be understood as Jesus “doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” This is not a verse that teaches all sickness and disease are from the devil because forthcoming Scriptures in this section will prove otherwise.
Others who teach that all sickness is from Satan are: Larry Huch, “All sickness, no matter where it comes from—birth, inheritance, injury—is from the devil;”2 Guillermo Maldonado, “According to Scripture, every sickness is directly related with demon activity;”3 and E. W. Kenyon (1867-1948), “Every disease is of the Adversary.”4 Though the Bible does cite instances where demons are shown to be the cause of different physical problems (Matthew 12:22; 17:14-21; Mark 5:1-16; Luke 4:40-41), Scripture also reveals other sources of sickness that are not from demons, as will be shown.
In Matthew 8:1-4, a leper comes to Jesus to be cleansed of the disease. Jesus does not rebuke or cast a demon out of the person. The Law teaching about leprosy in Leviticus 13-14 never states that all leprosy is caused by demons. Matthew also mentions the mother of Peter’s wife was sick with a fever, and Jesus “touched her hand, and the fever left her” (verses 14-15). This Scripture says “the fever left her.” A demon did not leave her. More scriptural proof that some diseases are not demonic are Matthew 9:27-30 and Mark 7:32-35; 8:22-25.
There are several biblical examples of God directly using disease/sickness to chastise His people, if needed, as cited in Leviticus 26:15-25; Numbers 11:33-34; 12:1-15; Deuteronomy 28:15-29; 1 Chronicles 21:1-14. Also, the New Testament confirms that God uses sickness, and even death, to punish Christians who choose to sin (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:20-32). And because of sin, our corrupt/cursed creation is another source of sickness (Romans 8:20-22). Excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer. Air pollution causes respiratory ailments. Contaminated water and food cause various physical ailments and sometimes death. From the Bible, we have proof that demons are not responsible for all sickness.
Furthermore, the teaching that sin, weak faith, or not walking in love are the reasons Christians get sick is unscriptural as verified in Philippians 2:25-30; 1 Timothy 5:23, and 2 Timothy 4:20. None of these false faith beliefs/teachings are found as causes of the ailment/sickness in these verses. Still, Creflo Dollar writes, “Have you noticed that every time God deals with sickness and disease, He deals with sin as well?”5 Jesus never taught the sin of an individual always caused every disease but actually refuted the idea in John 9:1-3.
2) Discerning True Faith
Hebrews 11:6 states that “without faith it is impossible to please [God],” with the remainder of the chapter describing biblical characters as examples. These examples show that His servants had knowledge of His will and trusted and obeyed Him of whom some were “destitute and afflicted” (vs. 37). Where false faith followers create worldwide deception is found in their improper belief of verse 1 which reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” They believe faith is a spiritual substance Christians can speak into existence and direct, and the “faith substance” of their belief will cause the Lord to give them the content of their words, such as healing and money. The Greek word for substance is hupostasis and translates: assurance, confidence, substance.6
When studying the verses in Hebrews 11, it is obvious that the people mentioned did not “speak by faith” and declare their will to be done as the substance of their belief. The substance of their belief was obedient response to God’s will as revealed personally or through His messengers of choice. They followed God’s spoken/written Word with confidence and assurance. God didn’t follow their spoken word. This is where false faith believers are deceived, because they insist if you have faith without doubt, God must honor your faith. No verse teaches the Lord is obligated to man’s faith level (Isaiah 64:8). Our faith in God should accept His will for us whether or not it means health, success, and prosperity; Paul is an example of one who knew “both how to be abased and . . . how to abound . . . to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need” (Philippians 4:12).
I will list some faith teachings from Word of Faith teachers/authors, and you will see that their personal definitions of faith are not supported by Scripture:
Have or receive God’s faith. This is the same faith that God Almighty used to create the universe.7
Each time God spoke, He released His faith—the creative power to bring His words to pass.8
Every born-again believer has the faith of God in him NOW.9
You can’t build without substance. He took words; faith-filled words were God’s substance . . . God filled His words with faith. He used His words as containers to hold His faith and contain that spiritual force and transport it out there into the vast darkness by saying, “Light be!”10
Such ideas and beliefs are not found anywhere in Scripture. Teaching that God needs faith to create strips Him of His sovereignty to simply speak anything into existence as He wills. The word “faith” is never mentioned in Genesis 1! God speaks. It is done (Isaiah 44:24; 45:12).
However, misled Word-Faith people insist when Jesus said, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22), He meant “Have the faith of God” or “the God kind of faith.” They teach this to convince people to believe they can call miraculous things into existence like God does (Romans 4:17). A look at the Greek will show the correct translation is “Have faith in God.” Renowned Greek scholar A. T. Robertson taught the Greek word structure for “Have faith in God” (echete pistin theou) is translated “Have faith in God” because of what is called an objective genitive in the Greek.11 An objective genitive means the noun (in this statement, theou) is the object of the action. God is the object of faith in Mark 11:22, not your faith, and “the God kind of faith” is the kind of faith that is focused on God. Your faith is never to be the object of your faith. Jesus didn’t teach “Develop faith in your words”12 as some have done for years. Such a belief leads to word-faith idolatry.
To follow unbiblical faith (i.e., God always responds to your words of faith for what you claim) is to embrace presumption—a disastrous false faith belief. Concerning presumption, the psalmist said:
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)
Notice the words “great transgression.” This sin has serious consequences. Presumptuous sins were punishable by death in the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 17:12-13; 18:20-22). In 2 Peter 2:10, presumption reveals those who are self-willed, not God-willed. Presumption graphically describes the heart of false Word of Faith belief because it sets itself against the true faith of Scripture. True biblical faith always submits to God, trusts in His guidance, and never speaks presumptuously, and is rooted in Scripture.
3) Jesus and the Teaching of Positive Confession
A popular Word of Faith teaching is “positive confession,” also called “confessing God’s Word,” “name it (what you want from God) and claim it,” “confession of the Word brings possession of what your faith believes,” “faith decrees and declarations,” and “You can have what you say.”13 The last sentence gives “positive confession” its definition. Obviously, this doctrine has nothing to do with biblical prayer. It’s all about finding verses you believe God has already ordained for you or a specific need you believe you’re entitled to claim. Then you “confess” your faith claim out loud. Common “positive confessions” usually refer to physical healing and money because Word-Faith people believe the shed blood (death and resurrection of Jesus) guarantees them not only the forgiveness of sins but also health and wealth. This heretical atonement belief will be refuted later.
Though the word confess indicates a strong conviction in what one believes, there is no citation in the New Testament where Christians are encouraged to use “positive confession” for healing or money. First Timothy 6:12-13 and Hebrews 3:1; 4:14; 10:21-23 refer to a Christian’s confession of Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, or holding on to the faith. None of these verses teach “positive confession” for speaking forth healings, miracles, or prosperity.
Some unbiblical “confession” teachings for health and wealth circulating the world are:
“If you want to change your life, you have to change your confession. The miracle is in your mouth” (John Osteen 1921-1999).14 Miracles are by God’s will, not man’s mouth (1 Corinthians 12:10-11).
“Confession is to your faith as thrust is to an airplane.”15 No verse proof is given.
Yet, Word of Faith believers proclaim “positive confession” for health, wealth, and miracles, because Jesus said “he shall have whatsoever he saith” in Mark 11:23:
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
In this verse, Jesus did teach you can have what you say if you do not doubt in your heart and believe what you say will come to pass. However, there are scriptural guidelines that always pertain to answered prayer or miracles. Jesus said, “he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone: for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). Jesus did only as directed by His Father (John 5:19-20) so He withered the fig tree (Mark 11:20-21). We must ask according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). Miracles happen according to God’s will, not our faith-determined will (1 Corinthians 12:10-11).
Mark 11:23 is not a step-by-step formula for daily miracles. It must be the Holy Spirit’s will for the miracle to occur. Exodus 14:14-22 is an example of “You can have what you say.” Moses first heard from God, and then he told the sea to part. It obeyed Moses because God had willed this to happen in advance.
Finally, two things are important to remember 1) the words “positive confession” are not found together in the Bible; and 2) Jesus never used “positive confession” when teaching us to pray, request, do miracles, ask, or call upon God for anything. Obedient Christians will not use “positive confession” because it is unbiblical.
4) Creative Visualization
For decades, Word of Faith people have taught “creative visualization” to enhance a Christian’s prayer life where a person is encouraged to create a picture or image (also called mental imagery) in their mind as if it has already happened as they desire and seek the help of supernatural power to make their created vision manifest/happen. This is combined with “positive confession” to activate the supernatural spiritual realm. When done, these two components of visual and verbal effort have the spiritual potential to connect users to the wrong spiritual realm, a realm where demons are found.
Normal visualization imagines pictures of events in our mind that have occurred or might happen (daydreaming). Athletes picture or imagine, with concentrated focus, the free throw going into the basket or picture the body movement needed to perform in a specific event. These everyday examples of picturing something in the mind are simply ways of thinking something through and do not engage supernatural powers for something to become a reality.
David Yonggi Cho, a Korean pastor, teaches “Through visualizing and dreaming you can incubate your future and hatch the results.”16 Charles Capps (1934-2014) taught, “The best way to get the image in you of the thing hoped for, is with your own words.”17 “Creative visualization” is actually an occultic practice (secret, hidden things) that is commonly used in magic as shown in the following references:
“What is the purpose of creative visualization? . . . creative visualization is a key component to making magick.”18
“Creative visualization is one of the Most Occult Spiritual practices in the world.”19
Creative Visualization is the name for a Magical-Occult-Operation.20
These three sources show the occult/demonic nature of “creative visualization.” “Prayer picturing” (creative visualization) is not biblical prayer; it’s occult prayer. Christians are to pray (ask) in Jesus’ name (John 14:13) and in accordance with God’s will (1 John 5:14-15), not in accordance with our pictured and positive confession will.
5) Financial Angels
Angels are a common Word of Faith topic. Many believe we can use Hebrews 1:14 to command the angels around us to get money for needs and ministry. This verse says angels are “sent forth [by God] to minster.” God sends them “to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (emphasis added). Therefore, they listen to “the voice of His Word” (Psalm 103:20-21), not man’s word. Here are some unbiblical teachings about money angels at your verbal command from Kenneth and Gloria Copeland:
In the name of Jesus, I take authority over the money I need . . . I command you to come to me…Ministering spirits, you go and cause it to come.21
The angels are in the earth to prosper you.22
Your words put the angels to work on your behalf to bring to pass whatever you say. . . . The angels are waiting on your words.23
[W]hen you use the Word in the name of Jesus, they are obligated to follow your command.24
Even the late Kenneth E. Hagin (1917-2003) was convinced angels are for gathering money. He declared that Jesus personally spoke to him25 and said the following: “Claim whatever you need or want. Say, ‘Satan, take your hands off my finances.’ Then say, ‘Go, ministering spirits, and cause the money to come.’”26 This couldn’t have been the real Jesus who spoke to Mr. Hagin because the real Jesus knows the context of Hebrews 1:14 and also knows angels are subject to Him only (1 Peter 3:22). His chosen apostles didn’t have this convenience, and Jesus didn’t tell angels to get Him money during His ministry.
6) Seed Faith for $
In the last few decades, there has been a significant increase in televangelists devoting more air time to preaching faith in financial prosperity rather than faith in the true Gospel. Financial “seed faith” planting is preached constantly. These false preachers proclaim that if you plant a “seed faith investment” in their ministry, God will bless you with a financial return if you have faith to receive it. Here’s the problem; Jesus and His disciples never taught the Gospel was a financial system where money given to the work of the Gospel guaranteed your money back and even more, if you have faith. In 2 Corinthians 9:10, Paul says the seed sown (money) is multiplied for Gospel use, and increases “the fruits of your righteousness.” Paul does not say the “seed faith donation” will be money multiplied back to the givers if they have enough faith.
Still, some insist that if you plant a seed of financial faith in their ministry, “you can receive a 30, 60, or 100 fold financial blessing.”27 They set up the unlearned listener by combining Mark 4:20 which states seed sown on good ground “brings forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” with Mark 10:29-30. These verses cite various blessings, including persecutions but do not talk about exchanging faith for money. The seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11).
7) 3 John 2—Health and Wealth?
Globally, false prosperity preachers insist 3 John 2 is God’s will for all to prosper financially. John writes directly to Gaius (verse 1), not all Christians. The King James Bible is commonly used in Word of Faith congregations. They should remember that when “Thou” is used, as in 3 John 2 in reference to Gaius, it is in the Greek singular, not the plural. John wrote this verse to Gaius only. This means any who teach 3 John 2 is God’s will for all Christians to be financially prosperous and healed are wrong. Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones explains the singular/plural use in his book Which Version is the Bible?28 Dr. Jones explains in his book how the following authors mislead people by teaching that 3 John 2 assures health and/or wealth for all Christians:
Rod Parsley—Your Harvest Is Come, 1999, p. 26.
Benny Hinn—Rise & Be Healed!, 1991, p. 66.
Gloria Copeland—God’s Will is Prosperity, 1978, p. 45.
Guillermo Maldonado—Jesus Heals Your Sickness Today, 2009, p. 28.
Joseph Prince—Healing Promises, 2012, p. 61.
Charles Capps—The Tongue—A Creative Force, 1995, p. 66.
Joyce Meyer—Prepare to Prosper, 1997, p. 46.
8) Abraham’s Covenant
Concerning Abraham’s covenant from God, Gloria Copeland writes:
When the Church received spiritual redemption, she let go of the rest of the blessing of Abraham. Prosperity and healing became a lost reality. The Church took spiritual blessing and left the prosperity and healing portions of the promise.29
This doctrine is incorrect. A careful reading of chapters 12-17 in Genesis will reveal Abraham’s covenant was about his seed, land rights, and circumcision. Though Abraham was wealthy, nowhere in these chapters is physical healing and wealth promised to all future New Covenant believers.
Luke 1:67-79 mentions Abraham’s covenant. Health and wealth are not recorded. Romans 4:1-5:2 cites several references about Abraham’s blessing and does not teach this covenant provides health and wealth for all New Covenant believers. Galatians 3:8 explains God’s plan to justify the heathen through faith. Verse 14 reveals the blessing of Abraham for the Gentiles; they would “receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” According to the apostle Paul, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write Romans and Galatians, Abraham’s covenant guarantees forgiveness (justification), not money and healing.
9) the Curse of the Law
Galatians 3:13 says “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” Kenneth E. Hagin taught the curse of the Law is threefold: Christ redeemed us from sin, sickness, and poverty.30 Frederick Price also believes we “have been redeemed from the curse of the Law, which is poverty, sickness, and spiritual death.”31 Both of these authors confuse the various curses (plural) in the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:15; 29:20-21) with the specific curse of the Law. Galatians 3 contains information which defines the curse of the Law. Paul never writes Jesus redeemed us from the “threefold curse of the Law,” and Paul received the Gospel by revelation from Jesus (Galatians 1:11-12). The curse of the Law was that no one could keep the entire Law (Galatians 3:10-11), therefore, all were under the Law’s curse of sin. Christ kept the entire Law and never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). His perfect blood sacrifice redeems us from the death penalty of unforgiven sin.
More proof that the curse of the Law doesn’t guarantee physical healing and prosperity for all is found in Galatians 2:10 where Paul records he was aware of their poverty. If Christ’s sacrifice removed poverty from the curse of the Law, Paul would have told them in this epistle, and Jesus would have reminded His followers in Revelation 2:9 that they should not be in poverty. It is unscriptural to teach that Christ’s shed blood guarantees health and wealth throughout our life. Clearly, redemption from the curse of the Law is redemption from the penalty of all our sins. The totality of our redemption (complete curse removal) will be finalized as recorded in Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5.
There are serious consequences to indoctrinating people into believing that the atonement guarantees health and success; people who have been taught this often lose heart and possibly even deny the faith when they are unable to attain these goals.
10) Guaranteed Physical Healing Through Christ’s Atonement
When teaching on healing, Word of Faith healing ministers repeatedly declare throughout the world, “Isaiah 53:5 says by His stripes you are healed. Jesus died to physically heal you. Your healing has already occurred at the cross. Just claim it by faith, and you will be healed!” First Peter 2:24 is often combined with Isaiah 53:5 by faith healers. A few atonement healing advocates are the following:
Joyce Meyer—Be Healed in Jesus’ Name, 2000, pp. 16-19.
Rod Parsley—At the Cross Where Healing Begins, 2003, pp. 37-39.
Joseph Prince—Healing Promises, 2012, pp. 17-19.
Kenneth Hagin—Plead Your Case, 1979, p. 28.
Kenneth Copeland—You are Healed! 1979, pp. 9-12.
Frederick K. C. Price—Is Healing for All? 2015, pp. 120-121.
The context of Isaiah 53:5 reveals whether physical or spiritual healing is emphasized. As you read, notice the words in italics:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. (emphasis added)
The words “transgressions,” “iniquities,” and “peace” all refer to the condition of our spiritual relationship with God. Christ’s purpose for being wounded, bruised, and chastised for us on the Cross was to reconcile us through His forgiveness that we would have peace with His Father in heaven. The healing that Isaiah describes in this verse is spiritual healing. The Messiah forgives so we can be reconciled to Almighty God. Isaiah is foretelling the Lamb of God will be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). Physical sickness and financial poverty are not mentioned in Isaiah 53:5 because these problems do not separate us from God, as sin does. Isaiah 53 vividly directs our focus on the Suffering Servant who atones for the sins of the world.
An argument from Isaiah 53:5 false faith healers have used to convince people to have faith to receive healing is: “The word for healing in Isaiah 53:5 is râphâ, and it means physical healing.” Yes, râphâ can mean physical healing, but it also can mean spiritual healing, and it does not have to mean both: Psalm 41:4; 147:3; Isaiah 6:10; Jeremiah 3:22; Hosea 7:1; it can refer to the healing of water, 2 Kings 2:21-22 and the healing of the land, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Therefore, the context of Isaiah 53:5 determines what type of healing the Holy Spirit is referring to. In this case, the context is spiritual healing (forgiveness). Also, Isaiah 61:1 is a prophecy describing the Messiah’s ministry and gives clarification to 53:5. It says:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.
Jesus reads this messianic identity prophecy in Luke 4:18 and says, “He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted.” Jesus does not say He was sent to heal all sickness and disease, though He did heal multitudes due to His great compassion for them: “Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14, emphasis added). But He also “withdrew Himself” from multitudes (did not heal them) who wanted His healing (Luke 5:15-16), and He was selective in healing only one in a multitude who continually sought healing (John 5:1-9). Concerning atonement healing, Isaiah 53:4 is a final verse needing explanation from an apostolic observation.
Matthew 8:1-16 cites miraculous healings and deliverance from demonic spirits while verse 17 comments, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Verse 17 is quoting from Isaiah 53:4 where it says “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
Isaiah 53:4 appears to be a verse referring to Christ’s time on the Cross (“smitten of God”). But Matthew records these healings as happening during Christ’s ministry, not linking them to the atonement. If Matthew had wanted to teach guaranteed physical healing through the atonement, he would have followed verse 17 with “and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). But he didn’t, and a crucial Greek word he uses in verse 17 shows what he was taught by the Holy Spirit when recording Scripture to ground us in truth.
The Greek word for “bare” (our sicknesses) is bastazō and is never used to describe atonement bearing of sins or diseases in the New Testament. It directs our focus to everyday bearing of burdens and sufferings borne on behalf of others.32 If Matthew had wanted to teach guaranteed atonement healing in verse 17, he would have used the word anapherō, which “is used twice of the Lord’s propitiatory sacrifice, in His bearing sins on the Cross, Hebrews 9:28 and 1 Peter 2:24.”33 On the Cross, Jesus does bear the sins of the world and all the problems sin has created, so in the future all the consequences of sin will be removed (Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5). Until then, we seek the Lord for healing as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:9, 11), ask for the elders to pray (James 5:14-18), and read His Word to strengthen the inner man daily (2 Corinthians 4:16). Those who teach that physical healing is guaranteed for all through Christ’s atonement are teaching false doctrine.
Take the time to read every Gospel message preached in the Book of Acts, and you will see the apostles never preached “Jesus died to heal and prosper all,” and they never used “by His stripes you are healed” in any Gospel presentation. First Peter 2:24 is the only time Isaiah 53:5 is used in the New Testament, and it refers to spiritual healing. Furthermore, if healing was guaranteed through Christ’s atonement, there would be no need for the gifts of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9).
Response Needed to Glorify the Real Jesus
If you will look back at the various Word of Faith doctrines that have been exposed, you should scripturally discern the real Jesus didn’t teach any of these, nor did His apostles. These false faith doctrines are rampant worldwide. If you are involved with believing any of these unscriptural doctrines, you need to repent by renouncing them and exposing them. The leaven of false doctrine (Galatians 5:9) inflates deception which impairs abundant life in Jesus (John 10:10). False teachers and false prophets (Matthew 7:15-23) proclaim doctrines and a gospel not taught by the real Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).
Luke 24:45-48 teaches exactly which Gospel Jesus wanted preached. His true Gospel does not include guaranteed atonement healing and prosperity for all. Not preaching the true Gospel is working against God’s Holy Spirit of truth (John 15:26; 16:13) because it redefines Jesus and His atonement. Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified in truth (John 17:17). True doctrine glorifies the Lord Jesus; false doctrine does not. We are to treasure God’s Word in our heart that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Receiving and confessing the true Son of God as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10) establishes the assurance of eternal life in one’s heart (1 John 5:11-13). Make sure you have eternal life.
To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.
1. Frederick K. C. Price, Is Healing for All? (Los Angeles, CA: Faith One Publishing, 2015), p. 7.
2. Larry Huch, The 7 Places Jesus Shed His Blood (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2004), p. 41.
3. Guillermo Maldonado, Jesus Heals Your Sickness Today! (Miami, FL: ERJ Publications, 2009), p. 23.
4. Don Gossett & E. W. Kenyon, The Power of Your Words (New Kensington: PA: Whitaker House, 1981), p. 63.
5. Creflo A. Dollar Jr., How To Obtain Healing (College Park, GA: Creflo Dollar Ministries, 1999), p. 16.
6. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc., 1996), p. 94.
7. Bill Winston, The God Kind Of Faith (Oak Park, IL: Bill Winston Ministries, 2014), p. 13.
8. Kenneth Copeland, The Power Of The Tongue (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1980), p. 5.
9. Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Faith (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1992), p. 13.
10. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession (England, AR: Capps Publishing, 1987), p. 25.
11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, The Gospels According to Matthew and Mark, Volume I (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1930), p. 361.
12. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession, op. cit., p. 255.
13. Kenneth E. Hagin, “You Can Have What You Say!” (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1979), pp. 1-6.
14. John Osteen, There is a Miracle in Your Mouth (Houston, TX: Lakewood Church, 1972), pp. 42-43.
15. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession, op., cit., p. 78.
16. David Yonggi Cho, The Fourth Dimension, Volume One (Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979), p. 32.
17. Charlie Capps, Faith and Confession, op. cit., p. 22.
20. Ophiel, The Art and Practice of Getting Things Through Creative Visualization (San Francisco, CA: Peach Publishing Co., 1968), p. 1.
21. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1978), p. 63.
22. Ibid., p. 117.
23. Ibid., p. 121.
24. Kenneth Copeland, The Laws of Prosperity (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1974), p. 102.
25. Kenneth E. Hagin, How God Taught Me About Prosperity (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1985), p. 23.
26. Ibid., p. 18.
27. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity, op. cit., pp. 70-71.
28. Floyd Nolen Jones, Which Version is the Bible? (Humboldt, TN: Kings Word Press, 2014), pp. 78-79.
29. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity, op. cit., p. 25.
30. Kenneth E. Hagin, Redeemed From Poverty, Sickness, and Spiritual Death (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1983), pp. 1-2.
31. Frederick K. C. Price, Three Keys to Positive Confession (Los Angeles, CA: Faith One Publishing, 1994), p. 59.
32. W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966), pp. 100-101.
33. Ibid., p. 101.
To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.
Other Related Booklets from Lighthouse Trails
“I Just Had a Vision!” by Kevin Reeves
False Revival Coming: Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion by Warren B. Smith
The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson by John Lanagan
10 Questions for those who claim The “Supreme Beings” of the Nations Are the True God by Sandy Simpson
IF it is of God: Answering the Questions of IF:Gathering by Cedric Fisher
Slain in the Spirit: Is it a Biblical Practice? by Kevin Reeves
The Perfect Storm of Apostasy: The Kansas City Prophets and Other Latter-Day Prognosticators by Mary Danielsen
To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.
I was the first Christian in my family. Around 1982, Mom and Dad (who were in their mid-sixties) began reading the Bible. They became so excited they eagerly devoured it. Dad would come running into the room saying, “Look at this!” and share a Scripture passage that really hit him.
As my parents shared their new-found enthusiasm for the Bible, their love bloomed. They enjoyed Prairie Home Companion, and when old timey music came on the radio, Dad would grab Mom and dance with her. He was always bringing her flowers from their garden.
They found a good church where the preaching was biblical. Dad’s enthusiasm for Scripture kept growing, and he got a master’s degree in Biblical Studies. For the rest of their lives, Mom and Dad read a lot of Scripture every day and often talked about it during meal time.
Sadly, times have changed. If Mom and Dad had discovered the Bible in 2014, they would probably have had difficulty finding a church with biblical preaching. And the last time I listened to Prairie Home Companion, the humor had become raunchy.
People on TV now boast about doing things you could have blackmailed them for thirty years ago. Previously “unthinkable” things are becoming commonplace.
This didn’t just happen by chance. I’m going to give you some disturbing information, accompanied by this biblical reminder. Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them (Matthew 5:44). We should also do reasonable things to protect ourselves and to try to thwart their anti-Christian agenda, because Jesus told us to flee persecution when we can (Matthew 10:23). But that only applies if we can do it without denying our Lord (Matthew 10:32-33).
Humanism is the mortal enemy of Christianity. It denies the existence of God and opposes biblical morality.
Humanism says that man is basically good, but the Bible says we are all sinners who need a Savior. We need to have God change our hearts. We need to become children of God.
Dr. Brock Chisholm is a psychiatrist. He was the first Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Health Organization. He demonstrated humanism’s antipathy to the idea that men need a Savior when he said:
For many generations we have bowed our necks to the yoke of the conviction of sin. We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents.1
If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil, it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.2
Evidently, for Dr. Chisholm, “mental health” means being unable to become convicted of sin, and it also means being unable to recognize the difference between good and evil. According to American law, the inability to tell the difference between good and evil is the definition of “criminal insanity.”
Dr. Chisholm made these statements in 1946. Therefore, the United Nations has had many years to try to change every country in ways that make it more difficult for its citizens to recognize the difference between good and evil. That could explain a lot of the crazy things we see going on in the world today.
In America, humanism has been declared by the courts to be a tax-exempt religion.3 This religion is openly hostile to Christianity. Its antagonism can be seen in the following quotations from humanists:
The classroom must and will become the arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity . . . and the new faith of humanism.4
Some opponents of Humanism have accused us of wishing to overthrow the traditional Christian family. They are right. That is exactly what we intend to do.5
In 1933, The Humanist Manifesto was written, stating the beliefs and goals of humanism.6 One of the signers was John Dewey, who is called the “father of progressive education.” He revolutionized education in America. Dewey was determined to use the school system to promote humanism.7 Unfortunately, he succeeded.
For generations, American children have been taught humanist beliefs and values in public schools. Their Christian morals have been undermined by “values clarification” and other techniques.8 Thomas Sowell said:
The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children.9
This results in radically changing the beliefs and moral values of the children. The brainwashing techniques result in “acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means.”10
In addition, there are people who call themselves atheists, but they hate God. (How can they hate somebody who doesn’t exist? At some level, they must know God is real.)
Look at the following quotation from 1977. The militant atheists have been working on this agenda for a long time now:
We must ask how we can kill the God of Christianity. We need only to insure that our schools teach only secular knowledge.11
With such overt hostility to Christianity from humanists and atheists, who use the public schools to promote their agenda, it is not surprising that America has gone downhill spiritually and morally. For example, when I was in high school (1958-1961), there were only a few girls who were not virgins, and everybody knew who they were. They had “a reputation.” Fast-forward forty years to the year 2000 when my nephew got married. He and his wife were both virgins, and that was so unusual that people made a big deal out of it.
To see the extent of the change that has taken place in the United States, look at Yale University. It was founded by ministers in 1701 in order to spread Christianity. All students were required to “live religious, godly, and blameless lives according to the rules of God’s Word.” They were told to spend time in prayer and reading Scripture, both publicly and in private. The stated goal of their studies was “to know God in Jesus Christ” and “to lead a godly, sober life.”12
And what is Yale like today in modern America? In March 2013, students at Yale University attended a four-day workshop called “Sex Weekend.” This event was led by a “sexologist,” who gave the students “sensitivity training” in “sexual diversity.” The students were taught to accept homosexuality, sadomasochism, bestiality (sex with animals), incest, and prostitution. Over half of Yale’s students said they had engaged in “consensual pain” (sadomasochism), and three percent said they had sex with an animal.13
With humanists using the schools to try to undermine Christianity, it is not surprising that many people who were raised in Christian families do not share the faith of their parents and grandparents. According to one study, the majority of today’s young adults were involved in church and other Christian activities as teenagers. However, when they grew older, most of them became “spiritually disengaged.” Among young adults who had a Christian background, only one out of five “maintained a level of spiritual activity consistent with their high school experiences.”
This study also showed that three out of four American teenagers have engaged in “psychic or witchcraft-related activity.” (This does not include reading horoscopes and exposure to occult media.) One out of ten participated in a seance, and one out of twelve tried to cast a spell or mix a magic potion. More than a third used a Ouija board, and more than a third read a book about Wicca (a religion based on witchcraft and goddess worship).14 Occultism is becoming mainstream.
Things have now gotten to the point that there is a movement to normalize pedophilia. Instead of wanting to protect children from sexual predators, some psychologists and academics want to protect the sexual rights of pedophiles, which they have rebranded as being “minor-attracted persons” who have a sexual orientation that should be respected.15
As a result of America’s moral and spiritual free fall, we now see blatant hostility towards Christianity. For example, in 2001, a man in my church was sent to prison. Some of us visited him and asked if we could give him a magazine. The prison officials told us we could do that, as long as it came directly from the publisher and the magazine was “appropriate.” I asked them what “appropriate” meant and was told that pornography and violent material were not allowed.
We subscribed to a Christian magazine to be sent to him directly by the publisher. The prison refused that magazine and sent it back. Evidently, somebody at that prison considered Christian writings to be “inappropriate.” They treated it the same way they treat pornography, by refusing to let him have it.
I talked about this with a friend from church whose son was in prison. She told me her son was not allowed to have a Bible. His prison was full of Muslim literature and Wiccan writings, but Bibles were not allowed.
Some persecution takes the form of pressuring people to do things contrary to their religious convictions. For example, a Catholic nurse was forced to assist in performing an abortion. If she refused, she would be fired. She complied, but regrets it and is now suing the hospital. This is part of a larger problem. The ACLU is trying to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.16
Sixty-three businesses have lawsuits about provisions in ObamaCare that would force them to go against their religious convictions. One attorney said:
The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living.17
Jack Phillips is a Christian baker from Denver, Colorado. He politely refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, saying he would be happy to bake things for them “for any other occasion.” There were demonstrations outside his shop, and he received so many death threats he called the police. Then the couple charged him with discrimination. The judge ruled that if he refuses to make wedding cakes for homosexual marriages, he will be fined, and he might be sent to prison. The baker said he would rather go to jail than violate his religious beliefs.18
Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin are Christians and the owners of Elane Photography. In 2006, they turned down a request to do wedding photos for a same-sex marriage. This case went all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which ruled against them. One of the judges said the Huegenins are “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.” Their attorney said:
If Elane Photographer does not have her rights of conscience protected, then basically nobody does. Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom.19
If such things can be done to bakers and photographers and florists, then what will happen to pastors and other religious clergy who refuse to marry homosexual couples? What will happen to freedom of religion?
Using the courts to try to force people to endorse homosexuality is done by militant homosexual activists. These radical activists want to force everybody else to actively support what they are doing.
In contrast, that baker had turned down requests for wedding cakes from a number of other homosexual couples who respected his right to see things differently than they do. They just quietly looked for another baker who would be happy to get their business.
When I was a freshman in college (1961-1962), I had a friend there named Jessica. She was bisexual. Back then, I had never heard that term before. I didn’t even know that such a thing existed before I became friends with her.
She was desperately looking for love and had become promiscuous. Men would use her and treat her like trash. When that became too painful, then Jessica would turn to women. But then she would get hurt by them and go back to men again. It was a cycle of pain, going back and forth between men and women and getting hurt by them all.
Jessica was a sweet, vulnerable girl, and her heart was broken by so many people. I wish I could have helped her back then, but I didn’t know how. If Jessica married a lesbian, she would never try to force a baker to make a wedding cake for her. She cared about other people, and respected them.
I’ve often thought about Jessica over the years and prayed for her. I hope she found the Lord.
During the 2014 U.S. government shutdown, the military chaplains were banned from performing any kind of services or ministry on military bases. They were not even allowed to minister as volunteers (which would not have cost the Pentagon a penny), and they were threatened with arrest if they did any ministry on base. Congressman Tim Huelskamp said:
Time and time again this Administration demonstrates it is waging a war against the very religious freedoms upon which America was founded.20
Obviously, this had nothing to do with saving money, because the chaplains offered to serve for free as volunteers. In addition, it costs money to arrest people and hold them in jail, and it is expensive to have lawyers prosecute them. So this was overt persecution of Christians. And it was done by our government to the men and women who risk life and limb in order to protect our nation and who also risk having post-traumatic stress, which is very difficult to live with.
The Pentagon has threatened to court martial soldiers who share their faith. This includes military chaplains.21
On March 21, 2014, the Family Research Council published a report titled A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military. It is 21 pages long and very thoroughly documented. You can get a free PDF file of it online.22
There have been some cases where American Christians have been murdered for their faith. On September 15, 1999, there was a rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. A gunman entered the church and methodically shot Christians who were attending the service and then shot himself. Seven people died and others were critically wounded. The gunman was shouting, cursing Christianity, and cursing the Christians for believing it. The FBI found anti-Christian writings in his home.23
However, in spite of this evidence, when CBS and CNN reported the shooting, they were “unable to assign any motive to the shooter.”24 Why? Because it is not politically correct to portray Christians as being persecuted. The mainstream media avoids such stories or else covers them in ways that omit or deny the element of persecution.
I found out about that twenty years ago when I learned that Christians in Sudan were being slaughtered by Muslims. I contacted every newspaper I knew to tell them about it. None of them responded, with one exception. One reporter told me, “I wish I could write about it.” So evidently he wanted to cover the story but was not allowed to.
On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado shot and killed twelve of their classmates and a teacher, and wounded 23 other people. They also killed themselves. They asked three Christian girls if they believed in God and killed them when they said “Yes.” The girls were Cassie Bernall, Rachel Scott, and Valeen Schnurr. Rachel had shared her Christian faith with the boys several weeks earlier. (Some classmates overheard the conversation.) The boys made a video in which they cursed Jesus Christ and cursed Christians. They singled Rachel Scott out for an insulting tirade, mocking her by name.25
I read about the shootings in the newspaper, but those reports didn’t mention the element of persecuting Christian students. It took me years to find out about that, and I got the information from a story on a Christian website about Rachel Scott’s father. I never heard anything about it from the mainstream media. Did you?
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light . . . But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest. (John 3:19-21)
(This is an excerpt from Maria Kneas’ book How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution)
1. G. Brock Chisholm, “The Re-Establishment of Peacetime Society” (Psychiatry, February 1946).
3. a. Arthur M. Jackson, “The Courts Define Humanism as a Religion.” This article was published in The Humanist Institute Quarterly, Winter 1987; also see: www.arthurmjackson.com/rootsf.html
4. “Secular Humanists Give Dunphy Another Platform” (Eagle Forum, www.eagleforum.org/educate/1995/nov95/dunphy.html, citing John Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist, January/February 1983).
5. Marriage and the Family, The British Humanist Association, 1969. Cited by Dr. Dennis L. Cuddy, The Globalists (Oklahoma City: Hearthstone Publishing, 2001), p. 124.
6. “Humanist Manifesto I” (This is the original Humanist Manifesto, written in 1933. Other versions have been written since then; http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I).
7. Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men (Toronto, ON: TFE Publishing, 1991, 3rd edition), p. 425.
8. Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995, from chapter 3: “A New Way of Thinking; www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/3-NewThinking.htm).
9. Thomas Sowell, “Indoctrinating the Children” (Forbes, February 1, 1993), p. 65.
11. G. Richard Bozarth, “On Keeping God Alive” (American Atheist, November 1977).
12. Dan Graves, “Yale Founded to Fight Liberalism” (www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html; also see: www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html).
13. Heather Clark, “Yale Students Receive Bestiality, Incest Sensitivity Training During ‘Sex Weekend” (Christian News Network, March 10, 2013, http://christiannews.net/2013/03/10/yale-students-receive-bestiality-incest-sensitivity-training-during-sex-weekend; also see: Lee Moran, “What the Yale? Ivy League Students Admit to Bestiality, Desires about Incest, During ‘Sex Weekend’ Workshop” (New York Daily News, March 6, 2013, www.nydailynews.com/news/national/yale-students-admit-beatiality-sex-workshop-article-1.1280746).
14. “Most Twentysomethings Put Christianity on the Shelf Following Spiritually Active Teen Years” (September 11, 2006. www.barna.org/barna-update/article/16-teensnext-gen/147-most-twentysomethings-put-christianity-on-the-shelf-following-spiritually-active-teen-years); also see: “New Research Explores Teenage Views and Behavior Regarding the Supernatural” (January 23, 2006. www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/164-new-research-explores-teenage-views-and-behavior-regarding-the-supernatural).
15. “Pedophilia the Next ‘Sexual-Rights’ Revolution? Academica, psychologists expanding LGBT argument to ‘minor-attracted persons’” (January 2, 2014. www.wnd.com/2014/01/pedophilia-the-next-sexual-rights-revolution).
16. Jose Martinez, “Nurse Sues Hospital Over Forced Abortion Assist” (New York Daily News, April 20, 2010, www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nurse-sues-hospital-forced-abortion-assist-article-1.448478); also see: Robert Knight, “Can the ACLU Force Catholic Hospitals to Perform Abortions?” December 5, 2013, www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/5/knight-treating-the-mother-by-killing-the-baby);
17. Heather Clark, “Supreme Court Sets Date for Hobby Lobby’s Challenge to Obama’s HHS Mandate” (January 12, 2014, http://christiannews.net/2014/01/12/supreme-court-sets-date-to-hear-hobby-lobbys-challenge-to-obamacare-abortion-pill-mandate).
18. Bob Unruh, “State ‘Imposing’ Its ‘Gay’ Beliefs on Cake Artist,” January 7, 2014, www.wnd.com/2014/01/state-imposing-its-gay-beliefs-on-cake-artist); also see: Tony Perkins, “Judge to Colorado Baker: Bake Cakes For Gay ‘Weddings’ . . . Or Else” (December 10, 2013. www.lifesitenews.com/news/judge-to-colorado-baker-bake-a-cake-for-gay-weddings . . . or-else); also: “‘Tolerance’ Now Means Government-Coerced Celebration” (December 16, 2013, www.wnd.com/2013/12/tolerance-now-means-govt-coerced-celebration).
19. Todd Starnes, “NM Court Says Christian Photographers Must Compromise Beliefs’ (Fox News, August 22, 2013, http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/nm-court-says-christian-photographers-must-compromise-beliefs.html).
20. “Government Shutdown Results in Ban on Military Chaplains” (October 11, 2013, www.militarydefensefirm.com/Military-Criminal-Defense-Blog/2013/October/Government-Shutdown-Results-in-Ban-on-Military-C.aspx).
21. Ken Klukowski, “Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith” (Breitbart, May 1, 2013, www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/01/Breaking-Pentagon-Confirms-Will-Court-Martial-Soldiers-Who-Share-Christian-Faith).
22. “A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military” (Family Research Council, March 21, 2014, http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF14C52.pdf ).
23. Brent Baker, “Shooter’s Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted” (Media Research Center, www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990917.asp).
24. “Fort Worth Shootings: Tragedy at an Unarmed Church” (http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue10/hate_crime.htm).
25. Brent Baker, “Shooter’s Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted, op. cit.; also see: “Do You Believe in God?” (WorldNetDaily, April 26, 1999, www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=14726; Christian teenagers were shot at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado after being asked if they believed in God, and answering “Yes”).