8 Things You Should Know About Boys Who Are Sexually Abused written by Gregory Reid is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The booklet tract is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of 8 Things You Should Know About Boys Who Are Sexually Abused, click here.
By Gregory Reid
I’m a male sexual-abuse survivor. I’m also a ritual-abuse survivor. I am rare, and belong to a company of men and boys, mostly silent and scared. So few have survived well enough to talk about it. I know I have to talk, because I DID survive, and because I see them in every group I meet, from five to seventy-years-old suffering, silent victims who are not really considered REAL victims by many, since the male species, in their minds, should be able to fend off any abuse. No matter how little they were. No matter how bad and scary it was. So we keep mostly quiet, to avoid the humiliation of questioning, cynical eyes that seem to say, “Come on, you could have done SOMETHING to stop it!” Can you imagine the public outrage in most places nowadays if you said that to a female rape victim? But no one really defends boy and men victims. So we’ve stayed silent. Wouldn’t you? If you’re a victim, you probably do. You probably picked this booklet up with a big knot of fear in your gut, hoping no one would suspect you might be one of the one in six boys who are sexually abused.
I want to tell you, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of. After all, being molested was something that was done to you, and you shouldn’t feel you have to apologize for looking for some hope, that you feel you have to hide because of someone else’s sins against you. Do those who are cynical have any idea what it’s like, what it feels like, how much pain it causes? Then forget about the doubters. You need a friend, and I hope you just picked it up—a booklet with a voice, one you’ll know is also maybe yours and one that is warm and real. A voice, mainly, of a brother who’s struggling out of his pain, too.
I try not to look too hard at how much progress I’ve made; I get too introspective, and then it goes into self-pity, and that’s worse than anything I can think of. When things about being molested come up, I do my best to face it. I’ve totally overcome some things (like blaming myself) but I’m still struggling with others (like being afraid that it’s written all over my forehead and people just “know”). Some struggles are no surprise, some are very fresh and event sensitive, and some knock me sideways when I’m not expecting any more to handle. But now I have hope, because little by little I’ve been healed, and I want to give a little of that to you.
I’ve written from my history, my head, and my heart. There’s not a lot of statistics, but I’ve put in a few for those who just want to help. A lot of the following is from my own experience, as graphic and real as I dare. For me, no one knew. No one should have to struggle that way. Accept this as a gift from a friend to let you know YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
I. Looking for the Signs
This is for those with children and teens, and those who work with them. It’s also for abuse survivors still not convinced that they were abused. Having one or two of these may be normal or not a sign of abuse, but the more that apply, the more likely abuse has happened.
Lack of Feelings
Aversion to Touch
Fear of Adults
Extreme Privacy Need
Extreme Control Need
Age-Inappropriate Sexual Knowledge
Extreme Need for Order
Clinging to Adults
Fear of Abandonment
Rebellion Against Authority
Rage Toward Parents, especially father
II. A Predator’s Toolkit
Most “professional pedophiles” have turned molestation into a fine science. They are precise in their plans and use well tested lures and traps to get kids in a place where they can be molested. The following is a “profile of seduction,” an overview of how a predator works.
1. Drugs (Voluntary and involuntary)
2. Alcohol (To lower the victim’s inhibitions and make them confused and vulnerable)
3. Pornography (Printed and video, to lower the sexual inhibitions and arouse the victim)
4. Music, video games, etc.
The predator is current on music trends, video games, movies, etc. and their homes often look like a kid’s paradise.
5. Prestige & Status.
To a boy or teen, hanging around with a dynamic, fun adult with a nice house and a fast car is a very powerful lure, a major ego booster.
6. Money & Gifts.
Predators shower their victims with gifts and money, which is very seductive to a kid who may not have much materially, and it also puts the boy in a place of “obligation” to the giver.
7. Physical affection.
Predators can sense kids who have little affection at home, which is something every boy or teen needs, and he slowly begins giving that affection to the boy a little at a time, making him dependent on it, craving it to feel loved and liked and special.
8. Emotional support.
Predators go out of their way to listen to a boy, sympathize with his problems, and offer help and advice as well as encouragement. This goes a long way with a kid who doesn’t feel like he’s worth much.
9. Sexual gratification.
Predators are experts on how to seduce, entice, arouse, and sexually stimulate a boy or teen; and like it or not, it can become an addiction for the boy, especially if it’s his first sexual experience. Mix that with needed affection, and soon the boy won’t know the difference between sex and affection, love and arousal.
Time is the predator’s most powerful tool. Unlike normal adults who have lives, jobs, children, families, hobbies, and other interests and obligations which all play important but somewhat equal parts in life, the predator has a job, a career, interests, hobbies, etc., only as props to support his addiction—kids. Since this is his all consuming addiction, money, time, and interests are all expended toward this one goal—to find his fantasy child or teen and molest them, photograph them, use them. Since the other things, like work and family, are just asides, they have enormous amounts of time and energy to devote to the finding of kids, the luring of kids, the prepping of kids, for the seemingly endless amount of time spent listening to kids and going places with them and buying them things and doing things with them, all in hopes of the ultimate—sex with a minor.
Once a predator determines to find a victim, this is the general chain of events that often follows:
1. He finds the desired child or teen. Befriends him, gains his trust.
2. Gains the trust of the parents so they won’t suspect.
3. Makes the boy feel important through lots of time and personal attention, makes him feel he is more important to him than anybody.
4. Flatters him. Tells him he’s handsome, smart, etc.
5. Makes plans for private time with him,
a. Counseling him,
b. Going to movies,
c. Going to the park, video arcade, beach, pool, concerts, etc.,
d. Plans a camping trip with him,
e. Hires him to work around the house or business,
f. Helps him with his schoolwork.
6. Treats him like an adult.
7. Builds non threatening affectionate physical contact.
8. Introduces or allows “adult” activities; smoking, drinking, drugs, pornography, swearing, etc.
9. Starts slowly discussing sex, gaining as much intimate knowledge of him as possible.
10. Remolds his thinking about what is “normal sex,” eventually disclosing his “normal” desires for sex with the boy.
11. Having changed his thinking, gained his trust and dependency and accelerated physical contact, the boy is now totally vulnerable to being molested.
12. The predator plans the time and place where there will be no suspicion or interference or time constraints.
13. After prepping him with alcohol, pornography, etc., while he has broken down the walls enough to start molesting him, he tells him:
All guys do it.
He knows some of his friends who do it.
He loves him.
The boy is “turned on” and that’s normal and means he wants it too.
Guilt is wrong.
He’s the greatest kid in the world.
14. After he’s molested him, he makes the boy feel he started it, threatens to tell if he has to, tells him he will be destroyed if the boy tells—whatever it takes to keep him quiet.
15. After he has outgrown his attraction for him, the predator keeps the photos or videos as a memento and searches for a new kid.
This is a general picture that doesn’t fit every victim or every predator, but fits many of them, and in that respect it is very painfully accurate. Knowing your enemy is half the battle in stopping him.
III. Myths about Abused Boys
Myth: It is not a widespread problem.
Fact: One in every ten men & boys, and some say one in six has possibly been molested in some form.
Myth: Most molesters are dirty old men.
Fact: Most predators are highly intelligent career people with community respect and a good income.
Myth: Most predators are stranger to the child.
Fact: Stranger molestation is the exception, and most boys know their molesters well, as relatives for whom trust comes naturally or family friends or people in authority who have pursued the child to seduce them over a long period of time.
Myth: Abuse must be forced or violent to be called rape.
Fact: Any time an adult lures a child to sexual acts it’s rape.
Myth: If the abuse was pleasurable for the boy, it was not rape.
Fact: Sex is a biological stimulus. Feeling pleasure may be a natural reaction, but it is still a crime that a powerful, older person took an underage child or teen and used them for their own gratification, and the psychological and emotional damage done to the child is still just as real.
Myth: Most victims become abusers.
Fact: This is largely a jailhouse excuse for predators. Some do go on to abuse: some become violent, but most just live self-destructive, miserable lives until they get help. But the fact is most boys who were molested do not grow up to molest. Furthermore, when a victim of abuse commits himself to the Lord and God’s Word as a born-again Christian, an avenue for true healing is opened.
Myth: Nonforced abuse makes the boy responsible.
Fact: No child is ever responsible for being raped.
Myth: It happens to other people’s kids.
Fact: Molestation of boys is one of the most unreported crimes that exists. It COULD be your child. Communication, unconditional love, and acceptance is the only way to keep the door open to your son if something does or did happen.
IV. What a Victim Looks Like
Boys who get molested hide well, and it’s not always easy to tell who they are. But there are certain things that make a potential victim vulnerable, and make them “desirable” to a predator.
1. Four- to sixteen-years-old.
2. “Innocent” appearance (to Predators this is very important)
3. Lonely, friendless, lost looking.
4. Starved for attention and affection.
5. Absent or emotionally distant father.
6. Sexually naive or inexperienced.
7. At a sexually awakened and experimental stage.
8. Emotionally pliable and easily trusting.
9. Identity unformed.
10. Looking for a hero.
11. Self-conscious about looks, insecure and shy.
V. What Being Molested Cost Me
The cost to a kid who gets molested is higher than most people know. It’s too easy to minimize the damage by saying, “It’s just one of those things,” or “Get over it.” Sexual violation is a violent thing even when it’s not violent. It takes so much inside. After many years, I’ve taken notice of the losses (much of which has been healed and restored), and I want to tell you about it so you’ll know.
It cost me my childhood. Repeated molestation blocked my memories, and what I did remember was covered with a haze of physical illness, stalking fear, repeat nightmares, and deep loneliness.
It cost me my ability to trust. I resented authority and feared adults so much, I wouldn’t go anyplace like a public restroom or swimming pool locker room because I’d get sick from the fear of what might happen.
It cost me my ability to be spontaneous. I kept such rigid control over my emotions, my body, and my mind, that I couldn’t laugh, I couldn’t play, and being around kids could made me feel sullen, angry, depressed, alone, left out.
It cost me my sanity. Shortly after the initial abuses, I was in a complete emotional dead zone; and one night, as I sat alone in a chair, my mind filled with filth and blasphemy, and tears streamed down my face, because I loved God and I couldn’t stop this mental rape, and I just snapped after several days of this, and I started cursing and smoking and drinking, and I told God to give up on me because I was evil.
I was eleven.
It cost me my education potential. I was a brilliant child. Being molested cost me my ability to think without confusion, trance outs, and frustration. I couldn’t concentrate. I could have been a straight A Valedictorian. Instead, by the time I finished High School, I was taking four basic classes and barely passed.
It cost me my identity. Being molested created such sexual and emotional confusion that I was an old man before I was fifteen and still a boy at thirty. I felt numb and removed, like I was not there, just a piece of property for others to use and discard.
It cost me my adolescence. Being molested made me afraid of adults, men, women, crowds, public places, challenges, fights, and almost everything else including being scared to death I was gay and scared of all my emotions including anger and joy. I couldn’t date, I didn’t go to the prom, and alcohol was my only “friend.” Being a kid is screwed up and scary enough, but I carried enough guilt and fear to take down ten normal adults.
It cost me time. Being molested started me running, and I ran and kept going until I crashed in my late twenties, and then it cost me time in recovering, facing hard truth, and healing.
It cost me family. Being molested crippled my heart enough to destroy any potential marriage or children.
God has restored most of what was taken, and more. But you need to know being molested is not a “get over it” thing. It’s an evil robber whose damage goes deep and keeps taking until we can face it and start to heal.
VI. Why We Don’t Talk
I’m speaking on behalf of the many boys and men who have been molested. The “One In Six.” We sit in your classrooms, worship in your churches, socialize at your parties, work at your businesses, and sleep in your beds.
We are a mystery to you. You probably sense something is “not quite right.” We’re distant and yet long for closeness, so we pull you in and then push you away. We drink too much and laugh too loud, and then suddenly retreat, fearing we’ll call attention to ourselves—and then you’ll know or at least start asking questions. And we never, EVER cry in front of you. It’s too scary. We’re too fragile. We’re afraid if we get started, we’ll never stop.
The littlest among us don’t talk because we’re scared. We know what they did to us is wrong, but they’re big enough to hurt us or kill us if we tell. It may be our dad, and then if we tell they’ll come and take him away, and it’s our fault, and then our family will be gone, and who’s gonna take care of us then? Besides, he said he’s sorry and he loves me. That’s why he said he did it, ‘cause I’m special, and if I tell and he leaves, I won’t be special anymore.
VII. What Not to Tell Us
We may look tough on the outside or able to handle things well, but it’s mainly a disguise. We’re pretty fragile, and what you say to us when you discover where we’ve been could make the difference between us getting help or turning help away forever. That’s especially true if we’re little boys or teens. Every word you say counts. For all of us, here’s some things you should never say when you find out what’s happened to us:
1. “How could you do that?”
It was done TO me. I had no choice!
2. “Why didn’t you stop it?”
We couldn’t stop it. It was too unexpected, too powerful, they were bigger, we trusted them, and we had no way of knowing what would happen if we said no. How did we know they wouldn’t kill us or tell everyone we made it happen?
3. “Why didn’t you kick them and run?”
We were paralyzed. The fear of what was happening was so strong that we had no choice except to let it happen. WE COULDN’T MOVE!
4. “You should have told us!”
We were afraid to. We were afraid you’d hate us and blame us. They said you would.
5. “Let’s not talk about it.”
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT! When you say that, you make us feel like we don’t matter, our hurt doesn’t matter, that you’re just concerned about yourself and you don’t care about anything but getting us to shut up.
6. “What will people think of our family?”
Aren’t we family? How do you think I feel about myself? If you’re more concerned about our reputation than about me, then I’ll just withdraw and not have a family anymore.
7. “Didn’t you know you were sinning?”
No, we didn’t. And we weren’t. You forget that this was done TO us, not something we asked for.
8. “Let’s not mention this again.”
Why not? You make us feel like nothing happened, that it wasn’t any big deal, but it was, and we know it. If you won’t talk to us or let us talk, we’ll explode.
9. “Forget about the past. You can’t change it.”
But it’s changed US. We can’t forget. It’s like you’re telling a cancer patient to forget about his disease. If there’s a cure (and there is for abuse) for God’s sake don’t keep it from us by denying where we’ve been.
10. “How long is it going to take for you to get over this and get on with your life?”
I don’t know. You tell ME. I bet you don’t know, because you don’t feel this devastating anger and hurt and sense of loss. It will take as long as it needs to, and we need you to accept us no matter how long it takes. Nobody wants to get through this more than we do.
VIII. Letter to a Molester
To Whoever You Are:
Your name doesn’t matter, for to me, you were just a stranger in a Volkswagen who gave me a ride. And to you, I was just a number, a cute fourteen-year-old anonymous kid, one of God knows how many.
I think about it a lot. Even though you weren’t the first to molest me, you probably did more damage than most. At fourteen, I was just beginning to explore my sexuality, and I was vulnerable. All my sexual antennas were active, but then you knew that, didn’t you? That’s why you picked kids like me. We were easy prey; we were little enough to feel scared and overpowered by you, old enough to sexually respond to what you did.
I hated you, and I have forgiven you. Because to not forgive you meant I always lived for you, thought about you, lived in the darkness of what you did, and longed for vengeance. Five years after you raped me, I saw you while I was driving, and pressed the accelerator to the floor to kill you. You were still driving the same Volkswagen. Only God’s grace pulled back my foot and let you live. And then I knew that you bound me still. And so I forgave not because it was rational but because it was killing me, not because you deserve it but because I needed to let it go. Forgive means “give forth” and so I gave back the chains you put me in. I don’t hate you anymore. I feel nothing at all, but sadness, for what you took from me—that I can never reclaim my adolescence.
I do pray for you for repentance, if possible. And if not, for imprisonment, not to punish you (for you must loath your every breath) but to stop you. Because if you raped me, I wasn’t the first, and certainly not the last.
I pray for all the kids you raped like me. You cannot know what you took, what you destroyed. The walking wounded see your face, feel your evil touch, and blame themselves.
I wish I could tell them it wasn’t them. You knew exactly how it’s done. They were powerless, and paralyzed, and afraid.
They probably still are.
To order copies of 8 Things You Should Know About Boys Who Are Sexually Abused, click here.
The booklet you have just read is an extract from Gregory Reid’s book, The Color of Pain: boys who are sexually abused and the men they become.
By Penny Starr
Planned Parenthood is getting an extra infusion of taxpayer money this year, as some of its affiliated clinics are tapped to serve as “Navigators” for Obamacare.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday that it is giving grants totaling $655,192 to Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Montana and New Hampshire.
Those clinics are among the 105 organizations that applied for “Navigator” grants to help people sign up for health insurance. HHS is spending a total of $67 million overall on the sign-up effort.
According to HHS, “Navigators are trained to provide unbiased information in a culturally competent manner to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Click here to read more.
Recently we received the following letter from a Lighthouse Trails reader regarding Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. Presently, Cedarville U. is one of the schools Lighthouse Trails names on its Colleges That Promote Contemplative Spirituality (i.e., Spiritual Formation) list.
To Lighthouse Trails:
We think we have some good news concerning Cedarville. A new president was installed [this summer], Dr. Thomas White. He SEEMS to be a good one, as we listened to the welcome he sent out to students. He said he wants to see biblical worldviews taught in every classroom and in every degree program, academics at the highest level possible combined with a passion for the Great Commission, and ministering around the world by sharing the Gospel along with physical needs, but realizing that the Gospel is the greatest need. He asked for prayers for wisdom and promised to do all he can to make sure that every decision is honoring to the Lord. We also heard in another clip that he said EVERYTHING should be filtered through the Word of God. Some of these things were most likely stated by the last president, but he and others were obviously not living up to them.
John Purple has resigned. I believe you’ve dealt with him, as well as Carl Ruby, who resigned this past semester. I was told that the past president had spoken highly of [The Circle Maker]. We hope and pray that a new day has dawned at the school, at least for a while. We shall see.
Thanks again. We are so grateful for your ministry.
Concerned and Hopeful
Lighthouse Trails first wrote about Cedarville University in 2006 in an article titled, “Cedarville University – Heading Down the Contemplative Road?.” In that article, we pointed out that Cedarville’s president at that time, Dr. Bill Brown, had a resource page for students in which he was recommending books by Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Philip Yancey, and New Ager James Redfield (author of The Celestine Prophecy). Our next article (a year and a half later), “Cedarville University Bringing Emerging Church Activist to Campus,” reported that Cedarville was hosting an evening with emerging church leader Shane Claiborne. Lighthouse Trails spoke with Cedarville’s Dean for Student Life at that time, John Purple and told him about our concerns with the Claiborne invitation (e.g., Claiborne’s close affinity with McLaren, Jim Wallis, Mark Scandrette, and Rob Bell). Our 2008 article also stated:
Lighthouse Trails also spoke with CU’s Vice President Carl Ruby. He said he visited the Lighthouse Trails Research website and was very fond of many of the people we critique. Given the fact that all of the names we critique promote eastern-style mysticism and given the fact that Ruby has no reservations about having Claiborne speak, we should be very concerned about the welfare of CU students. However, a closer look at Cedarville reveals that the school is being influenced by New Age/contemplative/emerging spirituality.
A week after we sent out that article, we posted one titled “Cedarville University Cancels Shane Claiborne Event.” Because of pressure coming from parents, students, and others who contacted the school, Shane Claiborne would not be speaking to Cedarville students. But two years later (2010), they would bring in a mentor of Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis (founder of SoJourners) as we reported in our article “Cedarville University to Host Emerging Leader Jim Wallis in “Biblical” Response to Poverty.” It was apparent that Cedarville’s attraction to emerging figures hadn’t gone away. Wallis’ magazine, SoJourners, is a media outlet for mystics, socialists, liberals, emerging leaders, and New Age proponents.
So where is Cedarville at today with regard to all this? Well, here is what we found:
1) While Dr. Bill Brown is no longer president, the school has left his Recommended Book list (with McLaren, Redfield, and Yancey) up on their website. Perhaps an oversight, but one we hope the new president can rectify; think of how many students have come across that page over the past several years. We wonder how many of those students then turned to McLaren and Redfield and learned that God is in everything (Redfield) and that the atonement is “false advertising” for God (McLaren) or that homosexuality really isn’t that bad (Yancey).
2) In a 2011 Torch magazine issue (Cedarville’s publication), the theme for that issue was titled “Tuning Out the Noise” (code words for contemplative spirituality) and is basically an entire infomercial for contemplative prayer. Lots of contemplative buzz words in the issue accompany an article written by Richard Swenson titled “Living Inside the Margin.” Torch mentions one of Swenson’s book’s The Overload Syndrome, which turns to Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, and a number of other contemplatives for advice. In another article in that issue written by Cedarville professor Milt Becknell, “Health in Mind, Body, and Spirit,” Becknell refers to Dr. Kenneth Pelletier, who is a New Spirituality/New Age meditation proponent. Another article, “God Alone,” written by two Cedarville University women, talk about how they attended a retreat at the Catholic Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky ( the launching pad for bringing contemplative into mainstream Christianity a few decades ago – see Gethsemani Encounter). Touting Dallas Willard and Brennan Manning, the two women give some basic instructions on lectio divina and encourage ”the silence” (you can read that article on pages 20-23 of the issue). According to Cedarville’s website, one of the women, Kim Ahlgrim, is still on staff at Cedarville as the Associate Dean of Academic Enrichment, and the other woman, Debby Stephens, is a board trustee of Cedarville. To cap off the contemplative-promoting issue of Torch, a list of “Digging Deeper” Books includes titles by Ruth Haley Barton, Keri Wyatt Kent, Dan Allender, Lynne Babb, and Priscilla Shirer – all proponents of contemplative spirituality.
3) A Spiritual Formation course (BEGE-1720) is taught at Cedarville by a number of different professors. One of the professors is using Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline, another is using John Ortberg’s book The Life You’ve Always Wanted, and one is using Donald Whitney’s book on the spiritual disciplines. Although Whitney says he rejects mysticism, he gives honor to Richard Foster when he said that Foster’s work has “done much good.” For Cedarville to use these books shows that Cedarville links Spiritual Formation with Foster and Willard (rightfully so, for these two are the pioneers of the evangelical Spiritual Formation movement). This is why we wonder why people try to say that there is a “good” kind of Spiritual Formation, when there is only one kind – the contemplative interspiritual kind.
4) In BEGE 3760, two professors are using Mark Driscoll’s book Death By Love. Driscoll is a pro-contemplative with a number of emergent affinities in his teachings.
5) In WSHP 1010 (Worship), a book titled The Complete Worship Leader is being used for the textbook. That book, written by Kevin Navarro, turns to several contemplatives (see bibliography) to develop his teachings on worship: Richard Foster, Robert Webber, Dallas Willard, Ken Blanchard, Eugene Peterson, Henri Nouwen, Marva Dawn, and Sally Morgenthaler – all contemplative meditation advocates.
6) In BECE 1000 (Orientation to Bible Ministries), the textbook used is One Life by emerging authors, Scot McKnight and Gabe Lyons, and in BECE 2400 (Interpreting and Teaching the Bible), Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a Change and Bruce Wilkinson’s Seven Laws of the Learner are both used. Remember, Wilkinson is known for his God’s Dream idea (talked about in A “Wonderful” Deception by Warren B. Smith).
7) In BENT 4110 (Biblical Studies, New Testament), the course is using a book(s) by N.T. Wright, a favorite mentor of emergent.
8) In the BEPT courses (Practical Theology), James Wilhoit’s Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered and a book by Timothy Keller (who teaches contemplative at his church, Redeemer Presbyterian) are used.
9) In BETH courses, textbook authors include N.T. Wright, ancient future author, the late Robert Webber, and Bruce Demarest (Satisfy Your Soul – a book that is filled with the mystics).
10) In Cedarville’s G92 Immigration Conference in 2011, Shane Claiborne (Cedarville just can’t get away from him) and Jim Wallis were part of the speaker line up. If you haven’t read our booklet tract titled, They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus, it would be a good time to do so if you want to understand the implications of the Claiborne/Wallis attraction.
As you can see, Cedarville University has been dancing with the devil and his contemplative/emergent beliefs for quite some time. The question is, will the new president, Thomas White, be able to turn things around? That, of course, will depend on whether he even wants to turn things around, and that won’t happen if he doesn’t understand the true nature behind the contemplative prayer movement and the emerging church. If he doesn’t know that a panentheistic mystical paradigm shift is happening to the Christian church right now (as Ray Yungen has so meticulously shown in his research), we fear he may allow Cedarville to continue down its present course.
We have no personal animosity against Cedarville or any of the names we have mentioned above, but because we realize how significant this issue is, we cannot leave it unchallenged. Take a look at the photo from Cedarville that we have posted in this article. Professors at colleges have captive audiences in their students. Parents better make sure that the people who hold their children in this thought and idea captivity for four years of their lives are doing it for the Gospel and the truth of the Word of God and not for a dangerous, often subtle, false gospel. Berit Kjos, her book How to Protect Your Child From the New Age and Spiritual Deception, documents the well-thought out agenda to take over and change the minds of the youth in North America. Sadly, most Christian higher education institutes have succumbed to this very agenda, namely the New Spirituality.
A LETTER FROM MARGRET, BRYCE HOME # 17
I am greatly humbled before the Lord and sincerely take this opportunity to appreciate the Lord’s miraculous intervention when we actually needed it. From what I have seen from April 2013, it shows how much God cares for us all including the less fortunate. It came to me as a surprise in a big way to receive food donations from God’s people who do not know me personally- God bless you all!
From what I got; maize, rice, beans, cooking fat , sugar and bar soaps, my family got a real boost in life as compared to the food situation before. As a widow it is very difficult to be looking for food and other needs for a family; at times one become so much stressed leading to helplessness . The children nowadays eat a balanced diet giving them strength and good health generally. They eat well, take tea or at times porridge which they enjoy taking; unlike before, they nowadays take it always with a smile on their faces. We bath and wash clothes without stress, given that the children got clothing donations in May 2013. Through Roger Oakland and UTT donors, and LT readers, my children are strong, clean and well dressed.
We pray for the donors to keep working with our pastor in giving food and clothing. Praise be to God for it is true that His direction of coming will not be known and even the time of coming man knows not. May the Almighty God give you strength and the up stepped ability to continue supporting us and the others.
(see more photos below)
If you would like to donate, remember, all donations go through Understand the Times. For more information, slideshows, etc, visit our missions site at www.missionsfortruth.com or go to http://www.understandthetimes.org/missionkenya.shtml. We hope you will join this missions project that does not compromise the message of the Cross.
Another Letter From Assemblies of God Pastor: Many AOG Ministers Concerned About Contemplative Issue
I have never responded to you before, but I do wish for you to know that I have been following your series of articles concerning Ruth Barton speaking at the AoG GC with extreme interest. You see, I am a credentialed AoG minister. I, along with many other ministers and lay people inside the AoG are extremely concerned with what has been taking place within our fellowship over the past few years. In fact, there are several conservative factions inside of the AoG that have actually been able to bond over the common cause of bringing a halt to the contemplative prayer movement that has been lurking around in our fellowship. I just wished to thank you personally for all that you do for the gospel. I would also like you to know that many of your Ruth Barton articles are being used in AoG Theology discussion forums on Facebook. It may amuse you to know that many of the older line AoG ministers, who would not even look at a Lighthouse Trails article before, have come to respect your writers, and how well they research their articles. I would just like to ask that you pray for us as we go through this time of testing in our fellowship. It seems bad now, but I am hoping and praying that it will lead to a Reformation within the AoG. Again, thank you so much for your great articles and your research. It has really been a bigger help than you will ever know.
In His service,
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
WASHINGTON — The White House responded to a petition on Monday that called for the granting of asylum to a Christian family who fled their homeland of Germany to homeschool their children, choosing not to comment on the matter.
As previously reported, Uwe and Hannelore Romeike fled to the United States in 2008 after German authorities demanded that they stop homeschooling their six children. Homeschooling was made illegal in the country in 1938 under the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler, and the law has never been repealed, but rather strengthened. In 2007, the German Supreme Court ruled that the country’s mandate that children be sent to public school is necessary to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”
German officials have been cracking down on families that keep their sons and daughters at home, and have threatened them with fines, imprisonment and even the removal of the children from the household. The Romeike children were taken from their parents for a time before fleeing to the United States for refuge. Click here to continue reading.
Understanding the New Age, Meditation, and the Higher Self written by Ray Yungen is one of our new Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The booklet tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Understanding the New Age, Meditation, and the Higher Self, click here.
By Ray Yungen
What Is New Age?
My first exposure to what I later came to know as the New Age movement was in 1974 when I moved to Berkeley, California to attend a film institute. From the first day I arrived, I found “Berserkeley” (as it was nicknamed) to be a fascinating and exotic town, a place unlike any I had ever seen. The town surged with a rebellious, wacky vitality. It has been said of Berkeley that the strange and the odd are ordinary and the conventional out of place.
Berkeley had a notorious reputation as a hotbed of student protest dating from the Free Speech movement in 1964. I lived only a few blocks away from the vacant lot called “People’s Park,” which was the scene of bloody clashes between police, street people, and students in 1969. Militant Leftist rhetoric and literature were in evidence everywhere. Telephone poles displayed various manifestos and communiques from groups with formidable sounding names such as “the People’s Revolutionary Underground Red Guerrilla Commune.” Pictures of Chairman Mao and Karl Marx decorated the walls of several co-op health food stores.
There was also a very open and prevalent drug culture. Smoking pot in public was so common that it was taken for granted. I was familiar with the drug culture and radical politics through personal exposure and the media, but it soon became apparent that there was something else happening in Berkeley that I had not encountered before.
Many unfamiliar terms began to catch my attention. I met people who talked about such things as “karma” and “exploring inner space.” I frequently heard the words aquarius and aquarian, and it was commonplace to ask about a person’s “sign.”
I noticed that many of those who were using these terms were not burned-out street people but rather the articulate and well-educated. Their unusual spiritual outlook intrigued me, but I passed it off as the eccentricity associated with Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay area. Had someone told me this “aquarian consciousness” would someday spread through every facet of Western society, I would have thought them as crazy as the wildlooking street people hanging around the periphery of the University of California.
While living in the Berkeley Film House I became friends with Brian, a young man from the East Coast. Brian was personable, intelligent, and witty. With both of us being avid film buffs we enjoyed many good times together discussing the cinema,and even made plans to collaborate on a film someday.
After I had completed my film courses, Brian offered to drive me home to Oregon in his rattletrap Volkswagen bug so he could check out the beauty of the Northwest. Eventually, he settled in a city near my hometown enabling us to keep in touch.
During our visits, Brian often talked about subjects he termed spiritual or holistic. Often he spoke about Christ or “Christ consciousness” and the world peace and brotherhood which would eventually be achieved though this. It all sounded very positive.
After each of his sermons, I wondered just what it was he was trying to convey. The words he used were familiar, but the meanings he attached to them were peculiar and out of place. The exchanges I had with Brian were very frustrating at times.
Whenever I tried to present a more traditional Christian viewpoint on spiritual matters, he would become highly irritated and respond with, “The Bible is nothing but metaphor to show deeper spiritual truths,” or “The churches have completely missed the real meaning of Jesus’ teachings and have substituted rigid rules and dogma to control people instead.” Brian was adamant on this belief.
What perplexed me was how Brian had developed these spiritual ideas, which he had tried so hard to make me understand. He didn’t belong to a cult or anything of that sort, so I wondered where these ideas came from. I would ask him, “Brian, what is this?” He would shoot back, “You can’t label truth.” Although I didn’t see it clearly at the time, Brian’s spiritual outlook was a mixture of what he referred to as, “all the world’s great spiritual traditions and paths.” He talked about Jesus and often quoted from the Bible, yet he had a little shrine in his apartment to the Hindu mystic and saint Sri Ramakrishna. He genuinely felt there was no difference between the teachings of Jesus and Ramakrishna. “The great masters all taught the same thing—the kingdom of God is within,” he would declare with great conviction.
A curious spiritual movement has increasingly made itself known in the Western world. It is collectively referred to, both by its adherents and its foes, as the New Age movement. There is no question that this spirituality has the potential to impact the lives of the majority of the population today regardless of class or ethnic background.
An accurate definition of the New Age movement would be: Individuals who, in the context of historical occultism, are in mystical contact with unseen sources and dimensions, who receive guidance and direction from these dimensions, and who promote this state-of-being to the rest of humanity.
It is extremely difficult to understand this movement without first understanding the underlying belief systems and practices that accompany its agenda. Equally necessary is an understanding of where these beliefs and practices originated and how they have become pervasive.
The Age of Aquarius
The term “New Age” is based on astrology. Those who believe in astrology believe there are cosmic cycles called “Astrological Ages,” in which Earth passes through a cycle or time period when it is under the influence of a certain sign of the zodiac. These “Ages” last approximately 2,000 years, with a “cusp” or transitory period between each.
Those who embrace astrology say that for the last 2,000 years we have been in the sign of “Pisces,” the fish. Now they say we are moving into the sign of “Aquarius” or the “Age of Aquarius,” hence the “New Age.”
The Aquarian Age is supposed to signify that the human race is now entering a “Golden Age.” Many occultists have long heralded the Aquarian Age as an event that would be significant to humanity. That is why one New Age writer stated that “a basic knowledge of Astrological Ages is of enormous importance in occult work.”1
They believe that during these transitions certain cosmic influences begin to flow into the mass consciousness of mankind and cause changes to occur in accordance with the spiritual keynote or theme of that particular Age. This phenomenon is known as “planetary transformation”—an event they believe will bring “universal oneness” to all mankind. The view is that as more and more members of the human race “attune” themselves to “Aquarian energies,” the dynamics of the “old age” will begin to fade out.
Just what “energies” are we supposed to be attuning ourselves to? New Age thought teaches that everything that exists, seen or unseen, is made up of energy—tiny particles of vibrating energy, atoms, molecules, protons, etc. All is energy. That energy, they believe, is God, and therefore, all is God. They believe that since we are all part of this “God-energy,” then we, too, are God. God is not seen as a Being that dwells in heaven, but as the universe itself. According to one writer, “Simply put, God functions in you, through you, and as you.”2
The Age of Aquarius is when we are all supposed to come to the understanding that man is God. As one New Age writer put it, “A major theme of Aquarius is that God is within. The goal in the Age of Aquarius will be how to bring this idea into meaningful reality.”3
To fully comprehend the above concept, one has to understand its essence which is built on a belief system commonly referred to as metaphysics. The word translates as meta—“above” or “beyond,” and physical—“the seen” or “material” world. So metaphysics relates to that which exists or is real, but is unseen. The Dictionary of Mysticism describes metaphysics as “a science dealing with intelligent forces or unknown powers.”
Although the word metaphysics is used in non-New Age connotations, it is used in reference to the occult arts so often that the two have become interchangeable. From now on, when I use the term metaphysics, I am referring to New Age metaphysics.
Metaphysics concerns itself with the spiritual evolution of the human soul. This is called the “law of rebirth,” more commonly known as reincarnation.
Metaphysics teaches that there is the seen world known as the physical or material plane and the unseen world with its many different planes. They teach the “astral” plane is where people go after death to await their next incarnation or bodily state.
Metaphysical thought holds the view that we are constantly caught up in a cycle of coming from the astral plane, being born, living, dying, and returning to the astral existence. They believe that the reason for repeating this cycle is to learn lessons that are necessary for our evolutionary training.
The Earth plane is supposed to be the ultimate school. If a person “flunks” one incarnation, he must make up for it in the next cycle. This is called “the law of karma.” Reincarnation and karma are always linked together as there cannot be one without the other. Ultimately there is no evil, only lessons to be learned. What is the main lesson? That you are God. This is the basic tenet of metaphysical thought. How does one go about “learning” this? How is this perception achieved?
The ultimate goal in metaphysics is attuning oneself to “higher consciousness” thereby gaining an awareness of these higher worlds or realms. It is taught that the most direct way to achieve this is through the practice of meditation. Meditation is the basic activity that underlies all metaphysics and is the primary source of spiritual direction for the New Age person. We need only observe the emphasis which is placed on meditation to see the importance of it in New Age thought:
Meditation is the doorway between worlds . . . the pathway between dimensions.4
Meditation is the key—the indispensable key—to the highest states of awareness.5
Meditation is a key ingredient to metaphysics, as it is the single most important act in a metaphysicians life.6
What is meditation?
What exactly is meditation? The meditation many of us are familiar with involves a deep, continuous thinking or pondering about something. But New Age meditation does just the opposite. It involves ridding oneself of all thoughts in order to “still” the mind by putting it in pause or neutral. An analogy would be turning a fast-moving stream into a still pond by damming the free flow of water. This is the purpose of New Age meditation. It holds back active thought and causes a shift in consciousness. The following explanation makes this process very clear:
One starts by silencing the mind—for many, this is not easy, but when the mind has become silent and still, it is then possible for the Divine Force to descend and enter into the receptive individual. First it trickles in, and later, in it comes in waves. It is both transforming and cleansing; and it is through this force that divine transformation will be achieved.7
This condition is not to be confused with daydreaming, where your mind dwells on a subject. The way New Age meditation works is that an object acts as a holding mechanism until the mind becomes thoughtless, empty—silent.
English mystic Brother Mandus wrote of his adventure into these realms in his book This Wondrous Way of Life. He spoke of being “fused in Light” which he described as “the greatest experience of my life” which gave him “Ecstasy transcending anything I could understand or describe.”8
In order to grasp what this movement really entails the reader must understand what was happening to Brother Mandus. He wasn’t merely believing something on the intellectual level, he was undergoing a supernatural encounter. In truth, he had created a mental void through meditation and a spiritual force had filled it.
The two most common methods used to induce this “thoughtless” state are breathing exercises, where attention is focused on the breath, and a mantra, which is a repeated word or phrase. The basic process is to focus and maintain concentration without thinking about what you are focusing on. Repetition on the focused object is what triggers the blank mind.
Just consider the word mantra. The translation from the Sanskrit is man, meaning to think, and ti-a, meaning to be liberated from. Thus, the word means to be freed from thought. By repeating the mantra, either out loud or silently, the word or phrase begins to lose any meaning it once had. The same is true with rhythmic breathing. One gradually tunes out his conscious thinking process until an altered state of consciousness comes over him.
I recall watching a martial arts class where the instructor clapped his hands once every three seconds as the students sat in meditation. The sound of the clap acted the same as the breath or a mantra would—something to focus their attention on to stop the active mind.
Other methods of meditation involve drumming, dancing, and chanting. This percussion-sound meditation is perhaps the most common form for producing trance states in the African, North/South American Indian, and Brazilian spiritist traditions. In the Islamic world, the Sufi Mystic Brotherhoods have gained a reputation for chanting and ritual dancing. These are known as the Whirling Dervishes. Indian Guru, Rajneesh, developed a form of active meditation called dynamic meditation which combines the percussion sound, jumping, and rhythmic breathing.
The Cross versus the Higher Self
The New Age and Christianity definitely clash on the answer to the question of human imperfection. The former—the New Age—espouses the doctrine of becoming self-realized and united with the universe, which they see as God but in reality is the realm of familiar spirits. On the other hand, the Gospel that Christians embrace offers salvation to humanity through grace (unmerited favor). Romans 3:24 boldly states: “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” In Romans 6:23 we read:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This gift is not earned or given as a reward for earnest or good intentions as Scripture clearly states:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
This Scripture that tackles the issue of pride sharply distinguishes all of man’s religions from Christianity. Religion persuades us that man is innately good and, therefore, can earn his way to heaven through human perfectibility or, better yet, through the realization of his own divinity. Christianity emphatically states the opposite view that man needs to humbly recognize his own sinfulness and fallibility, and consequently needs salvation through grace.
The Holy Spirit, through the Scripture, convicts the sinner of his sinful and lost condition and then presents to the despairing and repentant man God’s solution—salvation through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Cross:
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (Ephesians 1:7)
[I]f you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
Salvation is entirely a gift of grace bestowed on whoever believes in Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross as both God and man. Consequently, we must receive Him as Lord and Savior, understanding that it is by grace and grace alone that we are made acceptable in Christ before a holy God. Justification is God’s gift to the believer. This saving faith, also a demonstration of God’s grace, is more than an intellectual belief in Jesus’ death on the Cross but involves committing and entrusting one’s life to Jesus as both Lord and Savior—Christ’s going to the Cross was a finished work, and we as believers are now complete in Him. Nothing else can be added to this. How totally opposite from New Age thinking is God’s plan of salvation!
It all comes down to the preaching of the higher self versus the preaching of the Cross. New Agers may say God is synonymous with a person’s higher self, and the experience of God can only be discovered by way of meditation. However, the Christian admits his or her sinfulness before a Holy God and remembers he is saved only by the grace and mercy of God through the sacrificial shedding of Christ’s blood for his sins.
The message of Jesus Christ reaches out to the lost human race with the love of God who sacrificed His only begotten Son for the Swami Muktanandas of the world. The Bible teaches that man has an inherently rebellious and ungodly nature (which is evident), and his ways are naturally self-centered and evil in the sight of God. The Bible teaches that God is not indifferent to us. The sacrifice of Christ for the ungodly to reconcile us to God reveals the Lord’s love toward Man.
This explains why Christianity must be steadfast on these issues. If a belief system does not teach the preaching of the Cross, then it is not “the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). If other ways are correct, “then Christ died in vain,” rendering His shed blood unnecessary and immaterial (Galatians 2:21).
Because of this conflict, we can safely assume that Christianity is the most formidable obstacle to the New Age, standing like a bulwark against this tidal wave of meditation teachers and practical mystics. But, incredibly, many of the most successful practical mystics are appearing from within Christendom itself. Ironically, instead of stemming the momentum of New Age spirituality, it is our own churches that may very well be the decisive catalysts to propel this movement into prominence. Certain spiritual practices are becoming entrenched in our churches that, like an iceberg, seem beautiful and impressive on the surface but in reality will cause severe damage and compromise of truth.
To order copies of Understanding the New Age, Meditation, and the Higher Self, click here.
1. Marion Weinstein, Positive Magic: Occult Self-Help (Custer, WA: Phoenix Publishing, 1978), p. 19.
2. Anthony J. Fisichella, Metaphysics: The Science of Life (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1984), p. 28.
3. Weinstein, Positive Magic, op. cit., p. 25.
4. Celeste G. Graham, The Layman’s Guide to Enlightenment (Phoenix, AZ: Illumination Pub., 1980), p. 13.
5. Ananda’s Expanding Light, Program Guide (The Expanding Light retreat center, California, April-December 1991), p. 5.
6. The College of Metaphysical Studies website, “Frequently Asked Questions About Metaphysics, Spirituality and Shamanism” (http://www.cms.edu/faq.html).
7. “Yoga, Meditation, and Healing: A Talk with Joseph Martinez” (Holistic Health Magazine, Winter 1986), p. 9.
8. Brother Mandus, The Wondrous Way of Life (London, UK: L. N. Fowler & Co. LTD, 14th Edition, 1985), p. 28.
9. Marilyn Elias, “‘Mindfulness’ meditation being used in hospitals and schools” (U.S.A. Today, June 7, 2009, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-06-07-meditate_N.htm).
To order copies of Understanding the New Age, Meditation, and the Higher Self, click here.