By Berit Kjos
And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 33:6)
“Softening Up” For Occult Revival—Hermetic Magic & Hegel’s Dialectic Process
Why would our country, so richly blessed by God, embrace the occult? What caused this drastic change in values? How could it have happened so seemingly fast?!
Actually, the entire Western world had already been “softened up” by the 1960s when the rising rebellion against God erupted into public view. The century-old pursuit of social solidarity based on Georg Hegel’s occult philosophy and consensus process had been an effective tool for change.
Hegel’s 19th century pattern for “group thinking” denied God’s absolute truths and trained people to adapt to “continual change” and group consensus. By the year 2000, it had been embraced by schools, corporations, community organizations, mainline churches, and political structures throughout America. Through the global media, people around the world have caught Hegel’s vision of spiritual synthesis—an enticing blend of spiritual illusions and practices that appeal to our capricious human nature.
Hegel studied alchemy, Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), and theosophy, which were all influenced by the heretical teachings of Gnosticism. He “read widely on Mesmerism, psychic phenomena, dowsing, precognition, and sorcery. He publicly associated himself with known occultists . . . and aligned himself, informally, with ‘Hermetic’ societies such as the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians” and embraced their symbolic systems of sacred circles, mystical triangles and astrological signs.1
Considering Hegel’s occult connections, it’s not surprising that his teachings would undermine biblical faith and all opposing facts. Nor is it strange that the postmodern (or some now say pseudo-modern) generation has been, by and large, inoculated and indoctrinated against genuine Christianity. After all, Hegel’s revolutionary dialectic process was the center-piece and hallmark of Soviet brainwashing. It effectively purged God’s unchanging truths and filled the vacuum with evolving “truths” and enticing dreams.
While Communist leaders embraced Hegel’s process, they ignored his occult beliefs. In contrast, the Western world began to restore those pagan roots long before revolutionary baby-boomers began proclaiming and shouting out their demands for sensual freedom and earth-centered spirituality. In other words, the ’60s didn’t initiate this radical change; the turmoil of the ’60s was the result of the psycho-social program of “re-learning” which had begun to transform America decades earlier.
As the old moral and spiritual boundaries were torn down, the mainstream media preached tolerance and acceptance of all kinds of forbidden thrills. Before long, occult secrets emerged from their centuries-old closets and claimed their place in mainstream entertainment.
We who trust God need to recognize our enemy, resist his tempting strategies, and know the truths that counter these deadly deceptions. The very safety of our children depends on it.
There’s no arguing it, children in public schools are learning Yoga. According to Yoga instructor, Mark Blanchard, of Progressive Power Yoga, he taught children at Colfax Elementary School in California. On his blog, he wrote: “I will be introducing Yoga to all of the kids at the school as I donate a full Yoga program.”2 Blanchard has been featured in many magazines such as Family Circle and Seventeen and has trained many actors and actresses (like Jennifer Lopez and Drew Barrymore).3 Blanchard plans to “bring Progressive Power Yoga to as many places as [he] can around the states (as well as the globe).”4
Part of Blanchard’s plans include working with Mini Yogis Yoga for Kids. On the Mini Yogis website, they list not only Blanchard’s company but many other organizations as well, many of which are schools like Happy Land Preschool in Culver City and St. Monica’s Elementary School in Santa Monica5 (both in California).
Yoga for kids is on the rise, and if your child attends public school, you may want to check to see if teachers there are teaching him or her Yoga. A program called YogaEd provides Yoga classes under the heading of “health/wellness” programs for schools. These programs take place in several states including California, Colorado, New York, Washington and Washington, D.C.6
In an article titled “Yoga Causes Controversy in Public Schools,” veteran apologist Dave Hunt is referenced and quoted:
Dave Hunt, who has traveled to India to study yoga’s roots and interview gurus, called the practice “a vital part of the largest missionary program in the world” for Hinduism. The Bend, [Oregon] author of Yoga and the Body of Christ: What Position Should Christians Hold? said that, like other religions, the practice has no place in public schools.
“It’s pretty simple: Yoga is a religious practice in Hinduism. It’s the way to reach enlightenment. To bring it to the west and bill it as a scientific practice for fitness is dishonest,” said Hunt.7
Parents whose children are in Christian schools may need to be concerned too. More and more churches and Christian organizations are opening their doors to the practice of Yoga. And the biggest Christian publisher, Thomas Nelson, published a book titled Yoga for Christians in 2006. It’s just a matter of time before kids in Christian schools will be learning Yoga and the “art” of meditation.
It is tragic to know that countless public school children are being taught practices that are rooted in Eastern mysticism and will learn how to say “Namaste” (the god in me greets the god in you) before they learn they can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ without going into altered states of consciousness through meditation. And it is equally tragic that many Christians will not even be able to help them because they are learning similar practices through their own “Spiritual Formation” (i.e, contemplative spirituality) programs in their churches.
Meditation in the Classroom
Across North America, public school classrooms are opening their doors to welcome mystical meditation.
An article in The Capitol Times titled “Kid Contemplatives: UW Neuroscientist’s Project Aims to Give Middle-Schoolers Tools of ‘Mindfulness’ and Meditation” tells about a pilot project done with middle school students that studied the effects of “contemplation in the classroom.”8 The article states:
Middle school students are being targeted because early adolescence is a time of heightened vulnerability due to body and brain changes. . . .
Centering prayer, meditation, breath work, chanting, sitting in silence, extended concentration on an object and focusing on positive thoughts and images are examples of contemplative exercises that can be taught.9
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson, who was the chair for the project, wants to use his research in meditative practices by studying the brains of Buddhist monks, in the classroom. Davidson, named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2006, and others like him are making inroads into meditation becoming the norm in schoolroom settings.
In The Capitol Times article, contemplative activist and Catholic priest Thomas Keating is quoted as saying that meditation in the classroom is “not a religious issue” and that “sitting in silence for twenty minutes, twice a day, ‘gradually introduces us to our deeper self.’”10 But the article contradicts Keating’s view that meditation is not religious:
Like Buddhist meditation, centering prayer for Christians is an age-old religious practice that has experienced a revival in contemporary times.11
And as this article reveals, children are being targeted with meditation:
“Most people without a special (contemplative) practice tend to be pushed around by external events,” Keating contends. In classrooms, “the younger the child, the easier it is” to teach contemplation because young participants typically aren’t impeded by as much emotional baggage.12
As one researcher of the New Age explains:
The field of education presents an ideal setting for transformation. In virtually every area of education and instruction, from kindergarten to universities, from weekend workshops to family counseling sessions, the Ancient Wisdom is being taught either up front or covertly. This is largely happening because teachers, principals, and other administrators in particular have become involved in metaphysics.13
While not every public school has introduced meditation in their classrooms yet, more and more schools are implementing Yoga and other forms of Eastern-style meditation practices into students’ lives.
Children truly are being bombarded by New Age spirituality at every turn, and it is happening on a level that is nothing short of epidemic. Unless parents take a pro-active approach to vigilantly protect their children from this onslaught, there is little chance they will escape from being affected and drawn into this global-wide spiritual deception.
Four Practical and Biblical Ways to Help Protect Your Children From Mystical New Age “Thrills”
# One: Help Your Children Put on the Armor of God
Make sure your children know the Scriptures behind each part of the armor of God, so that their faith and understanding will be based on God’s Word. Then pray through the pieces of the armor, simplifying each part to fit the ages of your children. Talk about the opposite viewpoints and how they are contrary to God’s Word and when followed, lead to spiritual deception: the Belt of TRUTH, the Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, the Sandals of the preparation of the GOSPEL, the Shield of FAITH, the Helmet of SALVATION, and the Sword of the SPIRIT, His WORD.
Belt of TRUTH: His almightiness, love, wisdom, and holiness. (Deuteronomy 4:39; Psalm 18:1-3) Opposite: Pantheistic, monistic, polytheistic gods and goddesses.
Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS: Jesus Christ and His blood, which cleanses us from sin. The cross which frees us from bondage to selfish nature. Opposite: Confidence in the natural goodness, connectedness, and sacredness of all life.
Sandals of the preparation of the GOSPEL of peace: Our peace with God comes from being justified by faith through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Opposite: Peace through occult practices and union with a cosmic force or nature spirits.
Shield of FAITH: Our continual trust in God, His Word, and His promises. Opposite: Trust in Self, inner wisdom, dreams, visions, gods, goddesses, cosmic force, coincidences, etc.
Sword of the Spirit, His WORD: The power of God’s Word to counter deception and triumph over spiritual foes. Opposite: The power of thoughts, words, and affirmations to change reality and direct spiritual forces.
Step Two: Monitor Your Child’s School & Organizations—You CAN Do Something
In a public elementary school in Aspen, Colorado, Christian parents protested when they learned that the school was going to start teaching the students Yoga. The parents argued that:
[Y]oga’s Hindu roots conflicted with Christian teachings and that using it in school might violate the separation of church and state.14
In Encinitas, California, parents went to school district trustees when they learned that a Yoga program was coming to the school. They explained to officials that by bringing in Yoga, they were introducing the children to Hinduism:
“Yoga practices and poses are not merely exercise; they’re religious practices,” said Marsha Qualls, who has a student at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School, calling the techniques “a kind of prayer.”15
Because of these concerned parents, school officials decided to at least wait on the Yoga program until further investigation. The point here is that you can do something to protect your children. Whether your children are in public or private school, keep an eye on new programs coming into the school, and when you find out about New Age/New Spirituality based programs, speak up.
Step Three: Teach Your Children About the Spiritual Anchor in a Time of Change
Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (1 John 2:24)
In a busy world, which has so many demands that can rob us of our quiet times with God in His Word, we run the risk of not knowing His will, understanding His truths, or delighting in His promises. Instead, we can become like ships without anchors, drifting along with changing currents. Like the captain of the Titanic, we can become blind to danger and presumptuous in our quest for success.
The world no longer needs the lonely lighthouse that once led ships through dark nights and coastal reefs. Nor does it want God’s absolute truths. To many, the Bible seems as obsolete as that old lighthouse—and far more dangerous to their vision of global peace.
But to those who know Him, His Word shines far brighter than any man-made beacon—lighting our path, keeping us safe, and fixing our hearts on the goal ahead. The Bible says it well, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil” (Hebrews 6:19).
What, then, can we do to anchor our children in His unchanging Word? Consider these suggestions:
Pray. For Jesus said, “without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Understand the nature and tactics of Satan.
Do a Bible study on verses that contrast the New Age version of man (that man is divine and equal to God) and the Bible’s description of man (that his heart is sinful, and he needs a Savior).
Memorize some of God’s important promises.
Help your children understand what it means to put on God’s armor.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Step Four: Use This Test For “Christian” Media
Today, we are faced with new challenges in protecting our kids from the media available to them. It used to be that we only had to worry about books and movies from the secular media, but now we need to also weigh the things children and teens are exposed to by Christian publishers and film producers.
Media labeled as “Christian” can be even more dangerous for children in two ways: First of all, heretofore when we purchased Christian media, we would expect that these materials could be trusted, but by the day, this is becoming less the case. Secondly, the deception is more subtle. Former New Age follower Warren B. Smith often points out that what makes deception most effective is when you have what is false mixed into a lot of truth.
Oftentimes, you may see the Bible quoted extensively with small portions of false doctrine injected into it; or Bible stories may be utilized where subtle twists are injected into the story that parallels the true account yet alters its meaning and significance.
As parents, teachers, or guardians, the responsibility is now more squarely on our shoulders to review even Christian media presented to our children. Below is a list of things to look for in previewing a “Christian” movie or book. You can use this checklist when you are trying to decide whether something is suitable or not for your child. If your child is age appropriate, go over these points with him or her.
1) What does it tell you about God?
2) Is God’s holy Word used out of context?
3) What does it teach about the invisible forces of evil?
4) Does it demonstrate faith? (What kind? In whom or what?)
5) Might the imagined scenes stir interest in occultic powers?
6) Do the heroes in the story use magic?
7) What does it teach about life and death?
8) Is there a Christ-like person in the story?
9) Why would it be called “redemptive”?
10) What does it teach about good and evil, right and wrong?
Berit Kjos is the founder of Kjos Ministries. You can visit her website at www.crossroad.to for an archive of years of research and writing. She is also a Lighthouse Trails author with several booklets and her book How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception.
1. Glenn Alexander Magee, Hegel, and the Hermetic Tradition (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2001), pp. 1-3. This Hermetic Tradition originated in Egypt. According to the Gnostic Society, “The Hermetic tradition is usually understood as a form of ‘pagan Gnosticism,’ developing in Egypt during the same historical period that saw the flowering of the Christian Gnostic tradition.” (From: http://www.faculty.umb.edu/gary_zabel/Courses/Phil%20281b/Philosophy%20of%20Magic/Arcana/Gnostic%20Texts/lectures.html). 2. Mark Blanchard, “Family Yoga Practice” (November 4, 2006, http://web.archive.org/web/20090620224738/http://www.progressivepoweryoga.com/blog/2006/11/family-yoga-practice.html).
4.Mark Blanchard, “Family Yoga Practice,” op. cit.
5. Mini Yogis: Yoga for Kids: http://www.miniyogis.com/clients.htm.
6.Yoga Ed. in Action: http://www.yogaed.com/action.html.
7.“Yoga Causes Controversy in Public Schools” (Associated Press, January 28, 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16859368/ns/health-childrens_health/t/yoga-causes-controversy-public-schools/).
8.“Kid Contemplatives: UW Neuroscientist’s Project Aims to Give Middle-Schoolers Tools of ‘Mindfulness’ and Meditation” (Capital Times, November 9, 2007, http://psyphz.psych.wisc.edu/web/News/captimes_11-8-07.html).
13. Ray Yungen, For Many Shall Come in My Name (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails),p. 66.
14. “Yoga Causes Controversy in Public Schools” (Associated Press, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16859368/ns/health-kids_and_parenting).
15. Gail Williams, “Christian Parents Group to Sue School Over Yoga Classes” (Examiner, December 19, 2012, http://www.examiner.com/article/christian-parents-group-to-sue-school-over-yoga-classes).
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)