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NEW BOOKLET – Ten Questions for Those Who Claim the “Supreme Beings” of the Nations are the True God

Ten Questions for Those Who Claim the “Supreme Beings” of the Nations are the True God by  Sandy Simpson is our newest 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 Questions for Those Who Claim the “Supreme Beings” of the Nations are the True God, click here.

Ten Questions for Those Who Claim the “Supreme Beings” of the Nations are the True God

rp_BKT-WCG-LG.jpgBy Sandy Simpson

When did ANY of the Patriarchs and Prophets in the Old Testament and the apostles or Jesus Christ in the New Testament ever claim that the “supreme beings” of the nations were Elohim/YHWH, the one True God? And yet, this very thing is being taught by popular figures within the Christian church today.

I have ten questions for the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People (WCGIP) adherents such as Don Richardson, Daniel Kikawa, the late Richard Twiss, Terry LeBlanc, Danny Lehman, Aloha Ke Akua, YWAM as well as many in the Emergent Church (EC). The questions arise from their claim that the “supreme beings” of the nations are all the True God, YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I have included Scripture verses with each of the following questions, and the footnotes provide further documentation.

 10 Questions with Scriptural Answers

1. Did Abraham claim that the God who called him from Haran was the same as the god Baal of the Canaanites?

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (Genesis 12:4; emphasis added)

The word for “LORD” in the above verse is YHWH, the name of God, the I Am. Baal was a false god of the Caananites, not YHWH. The “supreme beings” of Canaan were actually a polytheistic couple, Baal and Asherah, as in all ancient cultures modeled after the false religion of Nimrod and Semiramis at Babel.1

2. Did Joseph, upon being taken to Egypt, tell the Pharaoh they had always been worshipping the true God by the name of Amen (Amon)?

The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him. (Jeremiah 46:25)

The God of Israel, thus the God of Joseph, said He would bring punishment on the false “supreme being” of the Egyptians and the leaders who worshipped it. The “supreme beings” of Egypt were Amen and Mut.2

3. Did Moses, after going up to the mountain of God, come down and tell Israel their worship of the Golden Calf was good because it was the same as the worship of YHWH?

[T]hey have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 32:8)

The golden calf is contrasted against the true God of Israel by Moses. Interestingly, the golden calf was not only an idol meant to take the place of YHWH, but it was a symbol of the Pharaoh who was considered a “god” by the Egyptians.

I have established that the only god specifically called a “Golden Calf” by the ancient Egyptians in their writings is Pharaoh in the Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts (these texts exist into later New Kingdom times in reworked formats). In these texts, Pharaoh calls himself a “Golden Calf,” born of heaven, who wishes to be allowed to board the sacred solar bark or boat, which carries the Sun god each day across the heavens. Pharaoh was called “Son of the Sun” and in New Kingdom times “the Sun,” in letters from Canaanite princes addressed to Pharaoh Akhenaten (reigned ca. 1350-1334 BCE).3

So Israel wanted to go back to Egypt and back under the rule of Pharaoh who was to be worshipped as a “god.”

4. Did Joshua, in conquering the nations in Canaan, claim that Baal was the True God?

And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. (Judges 2:8-13)

During the time of Joshua, the people of Israel worshipped the true God, by in large. But a generation after Joshua died turned away from YHWH to the worship of Baal & Ashtoreth. The “supreme beings” of Canaan were the Baals and Asherahs.4

5. Did Elijah test the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel just for a good laugh because Baal was really the True God?

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21)

The whole conflict was between the false god Baal and the true God, YHWH. Postmodern “progressive” inclusivists of today would have never had this showdown. It would have shown that inclusivism is garbage. The “supreme beings” of Canaan were the Baals and Asherahs.5

6. Did Jonah tell the people of Nineveh to repent to their god el, who was not Elohim but the consort of Athirat?

Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. (Jonah 1:1-2)

And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. (Jonah 3:1-5)

Anytime you see the word “LORD” in capitals in English Bibles, it is the word “YHWH.” YHWH sent Jonah to Nineveh, and when they heard that God was going to judge them, they repented. Jonah then got angry because they were Gentiles who worshipped false gods.

The origin of the name Nineveh is obscure. Possibly it meant originally the seat of Ishtar, since Nina was one of the Babylonian names of that goddess.6

El and Athirat were the “supreme beings” of Ninevah.7 They were not worshipping the “El” Who is YHWH but a generic singular El which means “god.” They were continuing in the polytheistic worship of Babel which was the worship of a male and female supreme beings.

7. Did David tell the Philistines to continue to worship the god Dagon because he was the same as YHWH?

And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god. (1 Samuel 5:7)

The statue of Dagon fell twice in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, and the men of Ashdod admitted that their god was different from the God of Israel. The “supreme beings” of the Philistines were Dagon and Derceto.8 Emergent inclusivists of today would say that since Dagon was a “supreme being,” he was the true God, and they would get Bible translation societies to include his name in the Ashdod Bible.9

8. Did Daniel tell king Nebuchadnezzar to continue the worship of Marduk as the One True God?

The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. (Daniel 4:33-37)

Nebuchadnezzar had to be taught a lesson by the LORD (YHWH) so he would be humbled and recognize who the True God was. He had built a ninety foot statue either of himself, Nimrod, or Marduk since Marduk is a direct link to the worship of Nimrod. The “supreme beings” of Babylon were Marduk and Astarte (continued worship of Nimrod and Semiramis).10

9. Did Ezra and Nehemiah ask the Persians if they could rebuild the Temple as a tribute to the Persian god Ahura Mazda?

The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem. (Ezra 7:19)

The king Artaxerxes ordered that the temple implements be returned so they could eventually rebuild the temple of the “God of Jerusalem.” This was not for the Persian gods but for the True God. The gods of the Persians were Ahura Mazda and Spenta Armaiti.11

10. Did Paul use a clever missiological technique by telling the Greeks that God is Zeus, or the Romans that He is Jupiter or the Ephesians that He is embodied in Artemis?

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. (Acts 14:11-18)

This situation is entirely consistent with Paul teaching over and over again that the Gentiles “do not know God.” Paul was there to bring them the Gospel, not to syncretize their own god with the God of the Bible. This is exactly what he did in Aereopogus also when he explained to them Who the “Unknown God” was, and most of them did not want to hear the truth.

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (Galatians 4:8)

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians. 1:21)

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1)

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. (Romans 1:28)

[N]ot in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. (1 Thessalonians 4:5)

. . . that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12-13)

[I]n flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8)

The “supreme beings” of the Greeks were Zeus and Hera, though Zeus had a number of other consorts spawning a pantheon of gods.12 Jupiter and Juno were the “supreme beings” of Rome, again spawning a pantheon of other gods.13 Artemis was a virgin goddess, never married, but was the daughter of Zeus and Leto.14

IN CONCLUSION
The obvious answer to the questions above, both from the Bible and historical records, is a resounding “No.”

. . . that ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them. (Joshua 23:7)

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. (Psalm 96:5)

For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. (Micah 4:5)

The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. (Zephaniah 2:11)

There is only one Name (Jesus Christ) under heaven by which men may be saved.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

And yet present-day false teachers claim a person can be saved by “general revelation” of “God” without the revelation of Jesus Christ. Please read the book that Mike Oppenheimer and I wrote about this titled Idolatry in Their Hearts where we concisely document this situation.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

This is abundantly clear in the books, messages, and DVDs put out by such teachers on this subject and now in the book by Don Richardson called Heaven Wins. The WCGIP and EC false teachers also cannot answer the many verses in the Bible, which state that the Gentiles “did not know God.” This type of teaching constitutes a grand delusion in the last-days apostasy and a new radical Replacement Theology where the one True God of the Bible is replaced with “supreme beings” from all cultures and Israel is replaced by all the nations. This heresy has even helped Bible translation societies to put the names of the false gods of the nations into the Bible! That’s how dangerous such teaching is. It undermines the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself and puts at risk the eternity of millions of souls.

Endnotes:
1. See http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html.
2. See http://socsci.colorado.edu/LAB/GODS.
3. See http://www.bibleorigins.net/EgyptianOriginsGoldenCalf.html.
4. See http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html.
5. See http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html.
6. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineveh.
7. See http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa102197.htm.
8. See http://voices.yahoo.com/biblical-overview-history-philistines-1952417.html.
9. See http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/GenericandSpecific and also http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=8655.
10. See http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/assyrbabyl-faq.html.
11. Sarah Iles Johnston, Ancient Religions (Harvard University Press, 2009), p. 199.
12. See http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/zeusgirl.html.
13. See http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman.
14. See http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Artemis.html.

Note: For more information on the false polytheistic gods of ancient times, read my article “Monotheism in Ancient Cultures is Virtually Nonexistent” at: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/monotheisminancientcultures.html. It is important to note that in virtually every culture from Babel on, the “supreme beings” were not monotheistic gods but rather male/female pairings patterned on the worship of Nimrod and Semiramis of Babel. Also note that every one of these “supreme beings” spawned a pantheon of other false gods to be worshipped.

APPENDIX

“His Name, the only one”
By Sandy Simpson

And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. (Zechariah 14:9; emphasis added)

And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. (Zechariah 14:9; NASB; emphasis added)

Many self-proclaiming Christians who are influential in the churches are promoting the worship of God in the names of other gods. Here are just a few examples:

There is an unwarranted skepticism towards the heathens’ possession, if at all, of a very limited and low knowledge of the divine from the so-called “natural/native religion.” The adoption of a local name for the universal God will facilitate mutual transformation of both Christianity and the native religion and culture.1—Society of Biblical Literature (Bible Translation Society)

I love all religions. . . . If people become better Hindus, better Muslims, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there.2—Mother Teresa

Richard Twiss was on the 700 Club show with Gordon Robertson (Pat Robertson’s son) and in an interview he told Gordon that the Great Spirit of the Indians is the same as the Holy Spirit. Robertson heartily agreed.

So by finding the native name of God which in, in Japan we found that name Ameno mi-naka-nushi which means the God in the glorious center of heaven and he is their creator God who created everything. And so we found this name of this creator God there, and it immediately says he’s a Japanese God and he loves them.3—Daniel Kikawa (WCGIP leader)

You can keep your own religion—Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism—you just need to add Jesus to the equation. Then you become complete. You become a Buddhist with Jesus, a Hindu with Jesus, a Muslim with Jesus and so on. You can throw out the term Christianity and still be a follower of Jesus. In fact, you can throw out the term Christian too. In some countries, you could be persecuted for calling yourself a Christian, and there is no need for that. Just ask Jesus into your heart, you don’t have to identify yourself as a Christian.4—Rick Warren (pastor of Saddleback Church)

New Light embodiment means to be ‘in connection’ and ‘information’ with other faiths. To be in-formation means to know each other’s songs almost as well as one knows them oneself, and to enlarge the community to include those whose conceptions of God differ from ours in form. . . . . One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna. A globalization of evangelism ‘in connection’ with others, and a globally ‘in-formed’ gospel, is capable of talking across the fence with Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim—people from other so called ‘new’ religious traditions (‘new’ only to us)—without assumption of superiority and power.5—New Age sympathizer, Leonard Sweet (emerging church author)

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.6—Henri Nouwen (Catholic mystic)

From a YWAM Foundation magazine article:

The Charisma article noted: “Messianic Muslims, who continue to read the Koran, visit the mosque and say their daily prayers but accept Christ as their Savior, are the products of the strategy which is being tried in several countries.” A YWAM staff writer wrote: “They continue a life of following the Islamic requirements, including mosque attendance, fasting and Koranic reading, besides getting together as a fellowship of Muslims who acknowledge Christ as the source of God’s mercy for them. . . . YWAM is also adopting this approach in India, where a team is working with a Hindu holy man.7—YWAM

We walk side by side, fellow travelers on life’s pathways. I speak of being awakened to the wonder and mystery of the world, using words that reflect my window to the divine, the one whom I call my Lord and my God, Jesus, the Risen Christ. You, too, speak of being awakened to the wonder and mystery of the world, using words that reflect your window, to the divine through the teachings of the Buddha, of Baha’u’llah, of Lord Mahavir, of Muhammad, teachings from the Torah, the Guru Granth Sahib and the Vedas. As I hear you speak and as I look into your eyes, I see God. I feel God. I experience God in you, not just a partial reflection of my Christian God, but the creator, the divine spirit in whom we all live and move and have our being. How magnificent is this divine force that it should appear across the Earth like the flowers of a garden in so many different shapes and hues. . . . There is no place for religious exclusivism in Christianity. It has been arguably the single greatest source of human misery during the past two millenniums. It must be replaced by an understanding of the interwovenness of all life, of all religious traditions.8— Victor Kazaniian, JR. (an Episcopal priest)

Allah is not another God. . . . we worship the same God. . . . We can and should investigate and learn from the wisdom in other religions.9—Peter Kreeft (professor and author, often quoted in evangelical books)

We know the things the major faiths can agree on. We try to focus on those without offending those with different viewpoints, or without compromising the integrity of my own Christian commitment.10—Robert Schuller (Crystal Cathedral)

Standing before a crowd of devout Muslims with the Grand Mufti, I know that we’re all doing God’s work together. Standing on the edge of a new millennium, we’re laboring hand in hand to repair the breach.11—Schuller

The Christ Spirit dwells in every human being, whether the person knows it or not.12—Schuller

It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish context. . . . Is our religion the only one that understands the true meaning of life? Or does God place his truth in others too? . . . The gospel is not our gospel, but the gospel of the kingdom of God, and what belongs to the kingdom of God cannot be hijacked by Christianity.13—Brian McLaren (emerging church leader)

Summation
For those who are His true worshippers, Zechariah 14:9 is a wonderful hope; and for those who claim that God can be worshipped in the names of the supreme beings of the nations, the verse is a dire prediction. Those deceived ones have forgotten that there is only One Name under heaven by which men may be saved.

In his name (Jesus Christ) the nations will put their hope. (Matthew 12:21)

Not in other names like Allah, Baal, and I’o.

[A]nd repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47)

The true proclamation of the Gospel must be done in Jesus’ name, not in the name of the false demonic “supreme beings” of the nations.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

Only those who have believed in the name of Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah), become the children of God. All men are the creation of God but only through the Son can anyone become a child of God.

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Only those who believe in the name of Jesus Christ will have eternal life. (John 20:31)

All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43)

The whole Bible testifies of the salvation in the name of Jesus Christ.

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. (1 John 3:23)

There is only One God, YHWH, and always has been. The angels are not gods, humans are not gods, the demons are not gods. There is only One God eternally existing in Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. (Mark 12:32)

There is no other God and no other Name.

[Y]et for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6)

To order copies of Ten Questions for Those Who Claim the “Supreme Beings” of the Nations are the True God, click here.

 Endnotes
1. Archie C. C. Lee, “ God’s Asian Names: Rendering the Biblical God in Chinese” (SBL Forum, n.p. [cited Oct 2005]. Online: http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleID=456).
2. Edward W. Desmond, “Interview with Mother Teresa: A Pencil in the Hand Of God” (Time Magazine, December 4, 1989), pp. 11, 13.
3. “Word to the World interview with Daniel Kikawa” (February 16, 2006, #9). He has also promoted that the name of God in Hawaii is I’o.
4. Rick Warren at the 2005 United Nations Prayer Breakfast, September 2005. Quote is from transcript of Warren’s talk that was provided to Lighthouse Trails Publishing. See also: “Rick Warren Speaks about Purpose at United Nations” by Rhonda Tse (Christian Post, September 14, 2005, http://www.christianpost.com/article/20050914/21340_ Rick_ Warren_Speaks_about_ Purpose_at_ United_ Nations.htm);
5. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality (Whaleprints, United Theological Seminary, 1991), pp. 129-130.
6. Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey (New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing Co., 1998), p.51, as cited in A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen.
7. Foundation magazine (a YWAM publication), May/June 2000, p. 39.
8. Victor Kazaniian, JR, Episcopal Life Forum, June 1998, p. 20.
9. Peter Kreeft, Ecumenical Jihad (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1996), pp. 30, 79.
10. Graham Jefferson, “Hour of Power; Program is a platform we use to help people” (USA Today, March 23, 1989), citing Robert Schuller.
11. Robert Schuller, My Journey (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 2001), p. 501.
12. Robert Schuller (Possibilities Magazine, Summer 1986), p.12.
13. Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), p. 293.

Conference Alert: Philip Yancey and InterVarsity Press Join Emergents McLaren and Tickle at Wildgoose Festival

This year, from August 8th through 11th, the Wildgoose Festival will take place in Hot Springs, North Carolina. The festival is an emergent “church” event, which since its inception has included on the speaker list names like Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Jim Wallis, Richard Rohr, and Tony Jones. This year, Christianity Today editor and popular evangelical author Philip Yancey will join McLaren, Tickle, and a number of other hardcore emergent at the festival. Intervarsity Press, a long-standing evangelical publisher, is one of the sponsors helping to finance the event.

The Wildgoose Festival began in 2011, started by a group of North Americans who had been attending a festival in the UK called Greenbelt1 and were “inspired” to begin a similar event in the U.S. A history statement reads:

A place to meet each other in a renewed moment – a space for change. In the spirit of vibrant, category-defying Celtic Christianity, we saw our desire embodied in the Celtic Church’s way of speaking about the enigmatic Holy Spirit: The Wild Goose, who wanders where she will. Who can tame her? No one. Far better it is to embark on a Wild Goose Chase, and see the terrain of our faith be transformed.

Translated, what that means is that Christianity cannot be defined, or confined, to one particular set of beliefs (doctrine), that it is always changing, always transforming (thus the Bible, as Phyllis Tickles says, is a nice poetic book of beautiful stories, but not an authority from God). This has been the mantra-cry of the emergent church (see Faith Undone for a history of the current emergent church). Today, the emergent church has evolved into a full-blown Eastern-style mysticism-energized, quasi-Marxist, liberal, anti-atonement, pro-homosexual marriage “community.”

Joining Yancey, McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, and Intervarsity Press will be Richard Cizik (formerly in leadership at the National Association of Evangelicals but left after showing support for homosexual marriage), Troy Bronsink, Mark Scandrette (see Faith Undone on Bronsink and Scandrette), Ian Morgan Cron,  and a fairly large number of other emergent-embracing speakers. Past speakers have included Lynne Hybels, the now late Richard Twiss (Indigenous People’s Movement), and Doug Pagitt.

The point we want to make in this brief conference alert is that when you have one of the most prolific evangelical authors and an editor of THE Christian magazine – Philip Yancey – along with a formerly traditional evangelical publishing company – Intervarsity Press – participating in an event like the Wildgoose Festival, you can see how much the emergent church has influenced and infiltrated evangelical Christianity. And even still, Christian leaders and most pastors remain silent.

 

A Statement from Lighthouse Trails About Some Who Have Recently Died

Over the past year, there has been a number of deaths among those whom Lighthouse Trails has critiqued for their doctrinal and theological teachings. Last week, we received the following e-mail:

 To Lighthouse Trails:

As much as I disagree with the doctrines that are being taught by Rick Warren and his church, we should still “weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn.” Your silence regarding the death of Rick’s son is as loud as anything you might have said.  Since you are followed by so many readers, this is an excellent time to show God’s love for a person who is hurting. I was disappointed not to see a condolence to the family on your page, that would speak greatly of the love of God.

In actuality, we did post something on our blog about it the day after we heard the tragic news, and we expressed our sorrow in hearing this news: “Son of Pastor Rick Warren Commits Suicide.” 

While we do not always post obituaries or notices about these things, we’d like to state that Lighthouse Trails has never felt or expressed any personal animosity toward those figures we have critiqued. We have never wished for or prayed for any personal tragedy in any of their lives. We have only prayed that their eyes might be opened to the issues discussed on our site and in our books. We believe we have maintained integrity in avoiding any personal smears against anyone. Our focus has been, and by the grace of God, will continue to be contending for the biblical Christian faith. That said, when we hear of these deaths, we do not rejoice at all but feel a sense of sadness for the loved ones of that person and even sadness regarding the one who has departed. We do not have any hate toward any of the people we challenge. Please know that while we may not always post death notices (often because these figures are  highly popular and their deaths are covered by numerous media outlets, both secular and Christian, thus not needing the coverage of our ministry) this does not mean we are trying to make a negative statement about that person. On the contrary, posting something could even give the wrong impression that we are somehow attributing their deaths to God’s judgement. In fact, we never would intend to make any public determination regarding someone’s death. So for these and various others reasons, we don’t often make mention of these deaths. We hope this explanation will clear up any concerns by our readers.

Here are a few that have occurred recently:

On Friday, April 12, 2013, popular author and speaker Brennan Manning died at 78 years old. Manning is best known in the evangelical world for his books Ragamuffin Gospel and Abba’s Child. Article by the Christian Post on Brennan Manning His teachings are discussed in several Lighthouse Trails books and articles.

On April 5th 2013, Matthew Warren, 27 year old son of Purpose Driven pastor Rick Warren, died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Article by CNN on Matthew’s death. The Purpose Driven Movement and Rick Warren are discussed in several Lighthouse Trails books, DVDs, and articles.

On February 9th 2013, Richard Twiss, a leader in the Indigenous People’s Movement, died while attending the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC of a heart attack. Twiss was 58. Twiss’ beliefs and teachings are discussed in Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality. Obituary of Richard Twiss

On August 19, 2012, Calvin Miller, a contemplative proponent sometimes discussed in Lighthouse Trails articles, passed away at the age of 75. Article by CT on Calvin Miller.

NEW BOOKLET: Can Cultures Be Redeemed? (Some Things You Should Know About the Indigenous People’s Movement)

Can Cultures Be Redeemed? (Some Things You Should Know About the Indigenous People’s Movement) written by Nanci Des Gerlaise is our newest Lighthouse Trails
Booklet. The booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.85 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Can Cultures Be Redeemed?, click here.

Can Cultures Be Redeemed?CAN CULTURES BE REDEEMED?
(Some Things You Should Know About the Indigenous People’s Movement)

Nanci Des Gerlaise

[Indigenous People’s Movement] leaders teach that God has been redeeming cultures and that He placed in all cultures a way for men to have a relationship with God outside of the Gospel.1

DID GOD CREATE CULTURES?
A growing trend in the evangelical church is what is referred to as “redeeming the cultures” or “Cultural Identification.” Essentially, it is the idea that God created cultures and has no desire for anyone to leave their cultural practices but can incorporate their belief in Jesus into their already existing culture. Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason Ministries has studied this “redeeming the culture” movement extensively and writes:

The new idea being presented is that God has left certain elements in every culture that are redeemable qualities, pathways to Himself . . . that He revealed Himself to nearly all indigenous people groups prior to the Gospel being brought to them [and that] in every culture “God has left treasures and worthy traditions within the indigenous cultures” [and that] we can bring Jesus Christ to people and then leave them to worship God in their own cultural and religious ways. . . .

What is taught is that God set forth His plan of salvation through all ancient cultures and that “redemptive analogies” can be found in most, if not all, cultures.2

But did God really create cultures? I do not believe He did because cultures are man-made. Webster’s Dictionary defines culture as being: “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.” Another definition states:

The quality in a person, or society that rises from interest in arts, letters, scholarly pursuits, etc. 2). a particular form or state of civilization.3

On the contrary to what leaders in the “redeeming the cultures” movement teach, most cultures were “pagan, polytheistic and animistic.”4 For most of these cultures, there was a significant emphasis placed on religious practices. Oppenheimer points out that the words culture or society cannot be found in the Bible, but rather it talks about “nations” and how these nations worshiped false gods as opposed to the “one true God”5 (read Romans 1).

What does the Bible have to say about the different nations (cultures)? In Deuteronomy, we are cautioned to:

Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them . . . that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:30-32)

And Deuteronomy 18:14 tells us not to “follow the abominations of those nations.”

In all of human history, God has sanctioned just one culture, and that was Israel. This may be a humbling thing for other cultures to accept, but this is what the Word of God clearly demonstrates as the prophet Isaiah said, “I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory” (Isaiah 46:13). Then, after Jesus came and died upon the Cross, people from every other culture were given the opportunity to accept God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible says that we can be grafted in as adopted sons and daughters. And God takes the born-again, grafted-in believer and separates him or her from the world to Himself “to take out of them a people for his name” (Acts 15:14).

Also in Acts, Barnabas and Paul cried out to the Gentiles, who were about to offer sacrifice to them, saying:

[W]ho in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. (Acts 14:16, emphasis added)

Paul and Barnabas said this because they were shocked by the ignorance and blasphemous behavior of the people.

The apostle Peter reminds us that God has set apart “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” so that we who believe on Him would be called “out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:6-10). God calls people out of their cultures and invites them to come into His kingdom.

CAN WE REDEEM THE CULTURES?
In the Gospel of Matthew, it says:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)

We are to go and preach to the different cultures and teach them “to observe all things” that God has instructed in the Word of God. Nowhere in Scripture does it even remotely suggest that one’s culture is to be redeemed. And yet, there are leaders within Christianity who are teaching this very thing. In a YWAM training manual, it states:

Appreciating one’s culture is appreciating the creation of God in a unique and beautiful manner. As disciples of Jesus Christ we are also called to redeem our culture as we grow in God.6

Within the Indigenous People’s Movement, leaders are teaching that each culture already had God’s truth before they ever heard the Gospel. Leon Siu, a leader of this movement, states:

A few years ago some friends and I were contemplating how we would be able to reach indigenous peoples and we thought that what was prevalent at that time was a misconception among, within the church of God’s presence here in the islands. The misconception that, as was expressed earlier, was that God didn’t arrive until the missionaries arrived. You know, and so when we started to look at this we started to look into our culture and see what things within our culture what God had originally intended for this particular group of people, Hawaiians.7

But Scripture tells us that the Gospel was kept a “mystery” hidden “from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints” (Colossians 1:25-26). This is why Jesus gave that command to the disciples to go to all the nations sharing the truth of God’s Word. The people of the world’s cultures did not have that truth until it was brought to them.

On Leon Siu’s ministry website, it states that they want to show “indigenous people, missionaries and Christians . . . the true nature of Jesus,” saying that His way is not to be a “foreign religion that destroys people groups and their cultures, but one that brings people groups and their cultures to their highest fulfillment.”8

Sandy Simpson, founder of Deception in the Church ministry in Hawaii, has written an expose titled “Reasons to Reject the ‘World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People’s Movement.” He tells readers:

In the Old Testament God revealed Himself to the Jews exclusively and there was no salvation apart from the Jews. In the New Testament God revealed Himself through the apostles, and especially through Paul to the Gentiles. All the gods of the nations were and are false gods (Deuteronomy 32:17; 1 Corinthians 10:20, Jeremiah 16:19, Amos 2:4).

Even the “supreme beings” of the nations are not God, as in the case of Amen (Amon) of Egypt (Jeremiah 46:25), Hadad of the Arameans (1 Kings 20:28), Marduk of Babylon (Daniel 3:16-18) and many other “detestable” gods.9

Another research ministry, Discernment Research Group, warns that “the new heresies teach that man can come to Christ without the Gospel of Salvation but by some other avenue inherent in their culture and religion.” DRG describes what this view is really like:

And they don’t need Jesus to be saved, but can call upon their own local deity. And once they get “saved,” they can “redeem” the pagan religious practices in their culture and make it part of their new faith. They never need to separate from their old ways. In fact, they are encouraged to bring back the old pagan ways!10

We cannot call on strange gods and find salvation. The Bible is absolutely clear about this:

Hear, O my people . . . if thou wilt hearken unto me; There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. (Isaiah 81:8-9)

This “progressive” way of looking at evangelism is prevalent and widespread now. One of its key leaders, Daniel Kikawa, author of Perpetuated in Righteousness, believes that:

Christians should cease representing Jesus as the Son of the foreign God of a foreign people. . . . We should instead introduce Jesus as the Son of their creator God.11 (emphasis added)

John Dawson, president of YWAM, would agree with what Kikawa says. He states that Kikawa’s book “points the way to an exciting new understanding” of the Gospel.12

But this “new understanding” is very flawed. You can’t just add Jesus to any religion or cultural belief system and say that is the biblical Gospel. The Bible says, “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life” (Matthew 7:14). In man’s carnal mind, he cannot accept this. But when we learn to trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and when we come to believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, then we can rejoice that He has provided a way of escape from eternal damnation. He has not left us alone. We no longer complain or lament that there is only one way to Heaven—rather, we rejoice that there IS a way to Heaven. It is like this little analogy: A woman is in a house caught on fire, and there is no way to get out. Suddenly, in through the door bursts a big strong firefighter. “Ma’am, I am here to rescue you.” Will she say, “Are you the ONLY way out?” No, she will rejoice that there IS a way out. That is how God earnestly, zealously, and jealously longs to have it be with us.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

The following comparison chart shows the differences between man’s view and God’s view of cultures:13

Man’s View: All cultures are equal in their worth.
God’s View: All cultures are not equal.

Man’s View: God loves all cultures and nations as they are.
God’s View: God does love all people but not their cultures. He does not accept their various ways to worship but has given man the correct manner in which to worship.

Man’s View: All religious practices and rituals are acceptable ways to approach God.
God’s View: Only one way is given by God that is acceptable, through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.

Man’s View: We are all united as one humanity and should accept everyone as they are.
God’s View: Our humanity is united in sin (in Adam), resulting in our separation from God, and we need to be united in Christ. Christ, and Christ alone, then becomes our common denominator.

Man’s View: All the gods of the nations are the same or have insignificant differences.
God’s View: The gods of the nations are false; YHWH alone is God, and there is no other according to His own Word.

Ephesians tells us that before we heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we were without hope. We cannot obtain this hope through the gods of the nation’s cultures.

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh . . . That at that time ye were without Christ, being . . . strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:11-12)

What will happen to the false gods, which have no life in them? Jeremiah tells of their future:

The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. (Jeremiah 10:11)

NATIVE AMERICANS & THE MISSIONARIES
Native American author and lecturer for the Indigenous People’s Movement, the late Richard Twiss, taught that the Gospel was a “source of division and stumbling block for First Nations peoples and this is to be blamed on Western missionaries.”14

In a sense, Twiss is partially correct in saying that the Gospel was a source of division. It was, and it still is! Quoting from the Old Testament, listen to what Paul says about Jesus:

Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and a rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:33)

And Jesus said:

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. (Luke 12:51)

It is true that the Gospel does divide. It divides truth from error.

Western missionaries did lead First Nations people to God through the Gospel and still do today. But the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous Peoples (WCGIP) teach the traditions of men and belittle those faithful missionaries who gave of themselves to lovingly share the Gospel with the First Nations and Native American people. Sandy Simpson explains that while there were some “misguided missionaries” who tried to “change indigenous cultural values to Western ones,” the IPM leaders “ignored the many missionaries who, in presenting the Gospel and sound doctrine, necessarily preached things that were in opposition to demonic cultures and practices like those of the Indians.”15 Simpson explains further:

The missionaries were faced with heathen cultures, not unlike their own in the past, and attempted to apply biblical principles, in cooperation with those in First Nations, to come up with a way of living in accordance to the Word of God. . . .

Mistakes were made, but if you talked to the first generation of converts . . . you would understand fully what First Nation’s cultures were like at the time. Sexual perversion, women and child abuse, murder, human sacrifice, ruling elite who lorded it over everyone else, worship of demons, and other atrocities were commonplace. Those who heard the Gospel preached to them and recognized the freedom in Christ offered were saved and delivered from the evil in their cultures.16

The IPM leadership does not understand what these cultures were like before the missionaries came. Simpson also states:

[The missionaries] were not sent to bring culture nor was that their purpose. They were primarily bringing God’s values, the Bible, and applying its time-tested truths, together with First Nations peoples, so that they might be light and salt to the nations.17

Terry LeBlanc, a leader in the Indigenous People’s Movement, tries to convince people that the “American Indians were not worshiping different gods or worshiping incorrectly before the missionaries brought to them Christ.”18 LeBlanc states:

There’s a myth that we have labored under for centuries in indigenous communities and the myth is that we are a godless heathen people.19

What the IPM is teaching in their vilifying of missionaries is a tactic also used by leaders in the emerging church movement, which convinces people that the former or biblical way of doing things is inherently bad. This is the platform they use to introduce radical new ideas to create a paradigm shift that is, unfortunately, unbiblical and leads people further and further from the Gospel message of salvation.

A book that I recently wrote the foreword to is titled Stories From Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires. The book was written by a Canadian missionary who lived for many years among the Cree people in Manitoba in the late 1800s. When you hear Egerton Ryerson Young’s account of his life with the Cree as a missionary, it is a much different account than what is being told in North American public school history books and by groups like the Indigenous People’s Movement. In the foreword of Young’s book, I wrote:

“[T]he Gospel was shared with Natives, including medicine men, which so often resulted in decisions being made for Jesus Christ. . . . [Mr. Young] shares very extraordinary events as he journeys to the remotest parts of Canada sharing the Gospel to the lost. He describes witnessing boldly to medicine men regarding their pagan beliefs with very encouraging and positive results achieved by no other than the Holy Spirit.

“Young tells [a] story of an old Chief who was taught the truth by a missionary regarding his belief in paganism. The missionary urged him to renounce this pagan, mystical spirituality and become a Christian. The old Chief was aware that he was a great sinner and needed a Savior. What an illustration this story is to show that God has placed in each of our hearts a conscience to know right from wrong.

“[T]he Gospel is indeed for everyone, and a loving God desires that none should perish without hearing about the Gospel (2 Peter 3:9). God does not accept the diverse spirituality of all cultures as being locked into truth. For Him to accept false and contradictory spirituality, while the Gospel calls all to repentance and belief in the Savior, would make God a liar—because there can only be one truth. And God cannot tell a lie because He is just and holy.”20

What is being taught in the new “emerging” way of doing missions (or the “new missiology”) is that we cannot teach that salvation is the finished work of the Cross and that we must incorporate any unredeemable “articles of affection” to godly worship such as: fetishes, tobacco, peyote, sweet grass, drums, prayer feathers, frenzied dances, etc.

But to do so is idolatry in God’s eyes and is blatant syncretism, from which we need to repent if we have engaged in these forbidden practices. We are redeemed and purified only by the blood of Jesus Christ, not through man-made efforts such as sweats, smudging ceremonies or via any ritual or ceremony. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins on the Cross and declared, “It is finished!” Therefore, no other avenue is available by which we can be purified or redeemed. Remember, there is only one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ Himself (1 Timothy 2:5). But look what He promises those who remain true in standing in the faith:

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife [the saints] hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19: 7-9)

Titus Coan was a missionary in the 1830s to the Hawaiian Native people. Though he is little known today, some say he was the greatest missionary who ever lived. His is another example of the contrast between biblical missionaries to the Native people and the new missiology that is being presented by Leon Siu, Richard Twiss, John Dawson, Terry LeBlanc, and the other IPM leaders. In this account by Coan, it’s not difficult to see what happens when the true biblical Gospel is preached:

At one place where I preached, there was an old and hardened Chief, who neither feared God nor regarded man. I preached to him fearlessly, personally, pointedly, calling him by name, and in the presence of his people. I charged home his guilt upon him, and in the name of the Lord urged him to immediate repentance. He was much moved, and promised repentance the first day, but I was not satisfied that his proud heart was broken.

On the second day I renewed the charge. He stood the siege for awhile, but at length his feelings became insuppressible, and all of a sudden he broke forth in a cry that almost rent the heavens. The sword of the Spirit was in his veins. He submitted on the spot, and appears like a newborn babe. The effect of this scene on the congregation was overwhelming. The place was shaken. Multitudes cried out for mercy, and multitudes turned to the Lord. I could tell you of many similar facts. God has done great things for us. I feel like lying in the dust and adoring His grace.21

Oh that more missionaries today could have such zeal and confidence in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is that glorious thing that washes away all our sins and gives us garments of purity and cleanness to wear for eternity.

THE TOWER OF BABEL
This brings us back to Genesis 11:3-4 where the people decided to build a temple or ziggurat (ziggurats looked like pyramids with steps or ramps leading up the sides), which was built as a monument to their own greatness. In verse 4, the tower was a great human achievement to the people themselves and not to God. We often build monuments to ourselves such as those described above. It can be in the form of expensive clothing, fancy vehicles, huge homes, or jobs with titles that we use to give us identity and self-worth. Yet when we do this, we are usurping God from His rightful place in our lives. Are there “towers” like this in your life? It’s a question we should all be asking ourselves. Since the attempt to build the tower of Babel, man has never ceased in his attempts to attain greatness and stature.

Cultural spirituality, with its many traditions, is not supported by Scripture; rather we are met with God’s consistent warnings throughout the Bible, one of which is found in Colossians:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

And in the Gospel of Mark, we find:

Making the Word of God of no effect through your traditions which you have handed down. And many such things you do. (Mark 7:13)

The word ‘culture’ appears nowhere in the Bible from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. The Greek word paradosis translates into the English word “tradition.” Pay careful attention to what God has to say about tradition in the following verses:

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? . . . Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. (Matthew 15:2-3, 6)

Also see Matthew 15:2, 3, 6; Mark 7:3-13; and Colossians 2:8.

Man developed culture at Babel and passed down this same teaching to all generations to this apostate age in which we live. Grandpa used to share how the New Age (the New Spirituality) hijacked Native Spirituality. Yet, in all this, one thing remains certain—all unbiblical teaching originates from Babel.

The “redeeming the cultures” mindset:

. . . permits the Word of God to be “contextualized” to a pagan culture through images, icons and symbols, thereby retaining the pagan elements of that culture. Using “redemptive analogies” (another heresy), these pagan beliefs and practices are claimed to be “redeemable” and are “christianized.” Even the name of God is being changed to that of pagan deities!22

The resurgence of Native Spirituality made a huge comeback because these traditions were kept alive in the underground world and originate from the age-old idolatry and witchcraft Deuteronomy 18:10-11 warns against. To blend error with truth results in damnable heresies resulting in swift destruction, which the Bible warns us strongly about:

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

Scripture gives no indication at all that we are to esteem the cultures or traditions of men. In Amy Dueckman’s article about the circle event, she says:

Opening the evening, members of the Sto:lo Coqualeetza Elders group of Chilliwack presented a special welcome with songs. Aldred then addressed the group, telling of his experiencing Christianity as a Native person who wondered if the Gospel was just for white people, or if it could speak to him, too. “When the Gospel is shared, it must be in the heart language of the people,” he concluded. “Instead of telling [people] how to be Christian,” he asked, “how about just telling them the story?”23

What story would that be? We do not have the authority to change the way we are to share the Gospel! We are commissioned to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. God is in the business of redeeming individual people that He might set apart a people for Himself. He did not say, “Go into the world and disciple the nations using stories!” The only story we are to share is the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to preach Christ crucified!

Man’s rebellion against God in Babel, following the flood, once again became a situation requiring God’s judgment and intervention due to mankind’s wickedness. Had God not confounded man’s language, which in turn resulted in man being dispersed and disseminated into nations, man’s wickedness only would have worsened with no end in sight. If you read from Genesis 1 to Genesis 11, you will read that God created man, birds, animals, fish, and creeping things. It does not say that He created cultures. God told the people to be fruitful and multiply. Man disobeyed, and instead, in his rebellion, man attempted to build a city to avoid being sent away. But God did just that anyway after they rebelled the second time by refusing to go forth and multiply (Genesis 10:30-32; Genesis 11:1-11). Man developed his own heathen traditions and passed down this teaching at Babel. In the Old Testament, plenty of evidence exists where God told the Israelites what they should do about other gods that were worshiped within the constructs of other belief systems (other cultures):

And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth. (Exodus 23:13)

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. (Psalm 96:5)

When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. (Deuteronomy 18:9)

Today, God is bidding Christians everywhere, from all cultures, to separate ourselves from all the idolatry imbedded in our traditions and to hold fast to the Gospel–God’s plan for salvation for whosoever will believe on Him (John 3:15).

To order copies of Can Cultures Be Redeemed? BOOKLET TRACT, click here.

Notes:
1. Sandy Simpson, Deception in the Church, “Reasons to Reject the “World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People” Movement” (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/reasonstoreject.html).
2. Mike Oppenheimer, “Culturizing Christianity” (http://www.letusreason.org/current70.htm).
3. Random House Dictionary, taken from Let Us Reason website: “Looking For God in All the Wrong Places” (http://www.letusreason.org/Emerge13.htm).
4. Mike Oppenheimer, “Culturizing Christianity” (http://www.letusreason.org/current70.htm).
5. Ibid.
6. YWAM, Island Breeze Training, “What is a Discipleship Training School?” (http://web.archive.org/web/20070712212212/http://www.islandbreeze.com.au/training.htm).
7. Leon Siu, Aloha Ke Akua, Word to the World with host Danny Lehmann, KLHT, 2001, show #544, courtesy Sandy Simpson, Deception in the Church who transcribed this program.
8. Aloha Ke Akua Ministries (http://akaministries.tripod.com/aloha).
9. Sandy Simpson, “Reasons to Reject the ‘World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People’ Movement” (March 2006, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/reasonstoreject.html).
10. Discernment Research Group, “The Indigenous People’s Movement” (August 2, 2007, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/08/indigenous-peoples-movement.html).
11. Daniel Kikawa, Perpetuated in Righteousness (Aloha Ke Akua Pub; 4th edition, 1994), p. 27.
12. Aloha Ke Akua “Books” page (http://akaministries.tripod.com/aloha/id3.html).
13. Mike Oppenheimer, “Culturizing Christianity,” op. cit.
14. Sandy Simpson, “Reasons to Reject the ‘World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People’ Movement,” op. cit.
15. Ibid.
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid.
18. Mike Oppenheimer, “Culturizing Christianity,” op. cit.
19. Terry LeBlanc, Word to the World program #542, as cited by Mike Oppenheimer, “Culturizing Christianity,” op. cit.
20. Nanci Des Gerlaise, from the foreword of Stories From Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2011).
21. Titus Coan, Missionary to Hawaii (http://www.path2prayer.com/article/1051/revival-and-holy-spirit/books-sermons/new-resources/famous-christians-books-and-sermons/titus-coan-missionary-to-hawaii).
22. Discernment Research Group, “The Newest Heresy of the NAR: Orality” (Herescope blog, March 8th, 2006 (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/03/newest-heresy-of-nar-orality.html).
23. Amy Dueckman,“Listening Circle Brings Together Two Cultures” (Intotemak, Mennonite Church Canada, Summer 2006, Vol. 35, No. 2, www.mennonitechurch.ca/files/news/intotemak/intotemakv35n2.pdf).

To order copies of Can Cultures Be Redeemed?, click here.

The information in this booklet is extracted from Muddy Waters. Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality is written by Nanci Des Gerlaise, a Canadian Cree First Nations. Nanci is the daughter and grandaughter of medicine men and was raised on a Canadian settlement.

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Native Spirituality “Renewal” & the Emerging Church

Native Spirituality “Renewal” & the Emerging Church written by Nanci Des Gerlaise is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The booklet tract is 18 pages long and sells for $1.85 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Native Spirituality “Renewal” & the Emerging Church, click here. There is also a bonus section in the booklet: “New Age Elements in North American Native Spirituality.”

Native Spirituality Renewal and The Emerging Church“Native Spirituality “Renewal” & the Emerging Church”

by Nanci Des Gerlaise

While those practicing Native Spirituality may believe they are practicing a completely unique form of spirituality, originating with them, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Native Spirituality is just one part of a vast movement that is creating a paradigm shift in our present-day culture away from biblical Christianity and replacing it with an all-inclusive interspiritual global religion that relies heavily upon mystical practices. The results will create a “Christianity” that has no resemblance to biblical Christianity whatsoever.

As part of this massive global shift, many Native American or First Nations tribes are exploring the renewal of their ancient spiritual traditions and reinstituting ancestral and mystical practices. Natives involving themselves in this pursuit see this as an opportunity to bring recognition to the forgotten and once persecuted Native American religion. They fail to realize that they are actually participating in a mass deception spreading throughout the world in the days prior to Christ’s return.

One example of this “awakening” among Native Americans took place on July 30th, 2007, when the Lummi Nation in Washington State sponsored the Paddle to Lummi Canoe Journey 2007 for six days. Its motto was Traveling the Traditional Highways of Our Ancestors, and its theme was Xwialken etse Tl’aneq—Lummi for the Return of the Potlatch.1

Salish canoe families from around the Northwest Coast gathered to celebrate their first potlatch since 1937. Potlatches, a distinctive tradition in the area, focused on stabilizing relationships among tribes, feasting, celebrating, and giving gifts. The call was to celebrate “as the Lummi Nation Reawakens, Renews and Revives their ancient traditions.”2

Many other examples exist, as well, that show how this spiritual “renewal” is taking place within the lives of Native Americans and First Nations people. Richard Twiss,* (see * below) of the Lakota Sioux tribe, looked for this renewal or awakening among Native people. In his book, One Church, Many Tribes, Twiss states:

This is a time of transition in ministry among indigenous believers around the world—a time of exploration and sincere inquiring of the Lord for new perspectives and approaches to Native ministry. Around the globe among indigenous Christians, cultural identity is surfacing as the key dynamic in this emerging new Native ministry paradigm and spiritual awakening.3 (emphasis added)

Twiss adds:

Christians are debating the use of Native American drums, gourds, rattles and dances as legitimate expressions of godly faith. In the next decade or so, this controversy will also subside and we will hear and see indigenous sounds and movements in church services across the land in glorious worship to Jesus Christ. Indeed, that day is already dawning.4 (Emphasis added)

What Twiss is saying is very scary because a lot of people will be deceived into thinking that what he is proposing is a good thing. But while many Native American Christians, like Twiss, are looking for a great spiritual awakening within the First Nations and Native American groups—primarily by incorporating Native Spirituality cultural practices into their Christianity—right under their noses, a massive worldwide deception authored by Satan is incorporating Native Spirituality into its plan and is surging forward, ultimately forsaking the purity of the Gospel message.

Native Spirituality Incorporated into Society

While Native Spirituality is being introduced into the lives of countless Native people, at the same time, Native Spirituality is being incorporated into contemporary culture: in popular forms of interspirituality such as goddess worship5 in public schools where teachers are requiring their classes to study Native religion as part of multiculturalism; throughout the environmental movement;6 and in the work of prominent politicians such as former Vice President Al Gore.7 Even the movies Pocahontas and Dances With Wolves have given mainstream culture a “crash course in Native spirituality.”8 Partly in overcompensation for very real injustices committed against Native Americans, Native Spirituality has become politically correct inasmuch as traditional biblical Christianity is on a fast track to becoming politically incorrect. Sadly, in the process, the Gospel which is “the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16) is being pushed aside, as if it were to blame—leaving countless numbers of people—both Native American and non-Native—without the sure hope that only comes through knowing Christ.

Native Spirituality and the Catholic Church—”A Natural Fit”

TheCatholic Church has joined the ranks of those embracing Native Spirituality. In a November 2006 article by Western Catholic Reporter titled “Catholic School Makes Room For Native Spirituality,” the principal of Ben Calf Robe Catholic School in Alberta states that the school, made up of 200 native children, “combines the teaching and Gospels of the Catholic Church with the various aspects of native spirituality.”9 The article states:

There are four sacred drums in the school and some 60 drummers. Drumming is the sacred heart beat of Mother Earth, Richardson said. “When the drum is beat upon, we believe that all of the prayers within the children are lifted to God.” . . . In their monthly liturgical celebrations, the school uses the Catholic rite but they bring in native spirituality in the methods of smudging and the prayers to the Creator.10

The principal of Ben Calf Robe Catholic School says that the “similarities between Catholicism and native traditions and processes are evident.”11 He adds:

[W]e believe Catholicism and native spirituality are equal . . . We don’t see one being more important and we don’t see them being entwined. We do see them over-lapping at times.12

In another article “Native Spirituality Celebrated in Catholic School System,” a Native Studies teacher in the Canadian Catholic school system “is very serious about joining two strands of his Métis heritage—Catholicism and Native spirituality—something he sees as a natural fit.”

13 This resonance between Native Spirituality and Catholicism isn’t strictly limited to Canada either. It’s happening in the United States too. In an article in the News of the Northwest Jesuits, a Montana Jesuit novice says he has found “a beautiful marriage between Catholic and Native Spirituality,” and is encountering “new light” in the sweat lodge.14 The article describes what transpires in a sweat lodge ceremony:

The space eventually is packed with Nakoda and White Clay tribe members of every age, surrounding the awestruck Jesuit guest. Three young men bring rocks from the blazing fire outside and drop them into a pit. The holy man—whom Herman describes as entirely Indian and entirely Catholic—douses his flashlight and begins splashing water and tossing sweet grass on the smoldering stones. Red sparks dance, intermittently lighting up the many Native faces. The people chant sacred songs in their native language, calling on their local saints, the ancestors.15

Native Spirituality Embraced by Mainstream Christianity

Within the evangelical/Protestant church, Native Spirituality is cropping up more and more all the time. For instance, the Mennonite Church Canada offers on their Resource Centre website a Medicine Wheel Poster. It states:

This poster is a tool for living in harmony with God, each other and creation.

It’s a part of the Reaching Up to God our Creator resource box which highlights the common ground of Aboriginal Sacred Teachings and the Bible, in the hope of fostering respect and understanding among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.16

Also on the Mennonite Church Canada website is a booklet titled Teachings of the Sacred Tree “to compare Aboriginal Sacred Teachings about the Sacred Tree and the Bible’s use of trees.”

17 The site also offers several resources by Native American Richard Twiss, a leader in the Indigenous People’s Movement (IPM), as well as several other resources on Native Spirituality, the emerging church, and contemplative mysticism.

The ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) is another Protestant denomination that is embracing Native Spirituality. In Lutheran Woman Today magazine, the president of a Lutheran seminary wrote this in an article titled “Dream Catchers: The ELCA Commission for Women”:

Beside the bed of my now-teenage daughter hangs a dream catcher, one of the many treasures of Native American culture. According to legend, the dream catcher filters dreams, sending good ones to the sleeper and trapping bad ones until they evaporate at dawn’s first light.

I thank God for the past 15 years of history during which the Commission for Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been a dream catcher for thousands upon thousands in our church and beyond.18

You can find examples all over the Internet of mainstream Christian groups and denominations that are integrating Native Spirituality. Medicine wheels, circles, dream catchers, sweat lodges, and shamanism—it’s all there.

The Emerging Church, The New Age, and Native Spirituality

The emerging church is a movement that is said to be a new way to do Christianity, a way that is supposed to reach out to the postmodern generation in a more relevant way than traditional Christianity. In reality, the emerging church, which is really a merging church, is a full-scale ecumenical effort to unite all religions against biblical Christianity by using mystical practices to accomplish this. In the emerging church, doctrine becomes unimportant while unity at all costs becomes the most important thing.

Richard Twiss talks about “heal[ing] the rifts”19 between Natives and Anglo-Saxons, Democrats and Republicans, men and women, rich and poor, etc. and asserts how we can “all have a part to play in the healing of our nation [America].”20 This is exactly what the emerging church is proposing to do. But the healing of the nations (America, Canada, or any part of the world) is not going to happen before Jesus Christ returns. The teaching that we can, in and of ourselves, usher in the Kingdom of God on earth now before His return is heretical. Our focus, as Native or non-Native Christians, needs to be the preaching of the Gospel according to the Holy Scriptures. It is not the earth we are to save but rather men, women, and children’s souls.

When Twiss tells us to “imagine Native believers enjoying the fragrant aroma of burning sage, sweet grass or cedar” 21or “smudging,22 I believe he is misleading many. Galatians 3:28 tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” In other words, our focus as born-again believers isn’t to practice rituals from the cultures we were born into. We are born again, into a brand new culture—God’s culture. The one “culture” that God has bestowed on all mankind is the Gospel; it is the one heritage passed on to us by God, yet we are destroying it today.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

In 2010 at the Emergent Village Theological Conference, Richard Twiss was part of this emerging church event. A blog for the event states:

Richard Twiss . . . began by blessing us with sage incense and having a member of his team dance a healing dance. . . . He moved from rejecting his reservation upbringing, to re-discovering his heritage and hating white people, coming to faith in Christ through evangelical churches, walking away again from his heritage, to re-re-discovering his Native culture and integrating it into his faith.23

The emerging church fits in very well with Native Spirituality and Catholicism. Icons, incense, earth-based spirituality, ushering in the kingdom of God, and healing for the earth through ecumenical unity, mantras, and chanting—these are all elements they have in common with each other.

In One Church, Many Tribes, Richard Twiss echoes Rob Bell, a leader in the emerging church. Twiss talks about removing the barriers between the “sacred” and the “secular.”24 He says that “Native people do not have a split view of reality.”25 On Bell’s national tour, Everything is Spiritual,26 Bell tells his audiences that God is in everything and no gap exists between the secular and the spiritual. Twiss says that “Western Christians struggle with . . . a dualistic belief”27 with regard to the secular and the spiritual. Whether Twiss realizes it or not, he is describing a core viewpoint in the New Age and occultism, according to the maxim “as above, so below,” where the secular (the flesh or carnal man) and the spiritual (God) are one. I think this explanation by Christian author Ray Yungen demonstrates the subtleties that lie within bridging the gap between the secular and the spiritual (i.e., man and God) in his book A Time of Departing:

Satan is not simply trying to draw people to the dark side of a good versus evil conflict. Actually, he is trying to eradicate the gap between himself and God, between good and evil, altogether. When we understand this approach it helps us see why . . . Jack Canfield said he felt God flowing through all things. . . . Such reasoning implies that God has given His glory to all of creation; since Satan is part of creation, then he too shares in this glory, and thus is “like the Most High.” . . .

If the all-is-one view were true, then salvation through a Redeemer would become unnecessary and Jesus’ death on the Cross would be rendered altogether futile and pointless. In order for the Cross to make any sense, there must be a separation between God’s perfect nature and Man’s sin nature.28

The Native view, which maintains there is no division between the secular and the spiritual, goes against what the Bible says about the wretched carnality of man. God is so holy and so pure that He cannot even look upon such sinfulness. It is only through the perfection, sinlessness, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and through being washed clean by His blood that anyone can be saved.

There is a gap between the sacred and the secular, and there is only One mediator who can rectify that. Native Spirituality, Catholicism, and the New Age—none of these belief systems can do it nor can they eradicate that huge chasm that has been fixed between God and man. This may be hard for us to understand because the Bible also says “God so loved the world . . .” and is “not willing that any should perish” (John 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:9). But yet, by the same token, John 3:16 also makes it very clear that only “whosoever believeth on Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.” He has bestowed upon every man and woman the ability to believe upon Him in as great a measure as He has also given every man the ability to reject Him. Thus, we are all without excuse.

The plan of the emerging church is to see the earth “healed” by bringing in a global, all-inclusive kingdom of God that would include all religions and all people. The problem with an all-inclusive “kingdom” is that there is no room for a Savior who proclaims there is only one way to Heaven. One very popular New Age/New Spirituality proponent who believes man is on the threshold of enlightenment and healing for the earth says this:

It will take an unprecedented act of courage, on a grand scale. You may have to do something virtually unknown in the annals of human history. . . . You may have to give up some of your most sacred beliefs. . . . let me make something clear. The era of the Single Savior is over. What is needed now is joint action, combined effort, collective co-creation.29 (emphasis added)

How is the world going to grab hold of this “collective” effort to unite together and save the world? Through mysticism and occult practices. And because mysticism is such a major component in Native Spirituality, the emerging church, and the New Age, it is easy to see how these three spiritualities are really on the same path. And it is a path that excludes the single Savior of the world.

These are perilous times for all Bible-believing Christians. Jesus said that if we follow Him, the world will hate us, and we will suffer persecution. Many have gone before us who have paid dearly with their very lives. May God give us that kind of faith.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:19)

* * * *

* On February 9, 2013, Richard Twiss (58), co-founder and president of Wiconi International and author of One Church Many Tribes: Following Jesus the Way God Made You died of a heart attack.

To order copies of Native Spirituality “Renewal” & the Emerging Church, click here. There is also a bonus section in the booklet: “New Age Elements in North American Native Spirituality.”

Notes:

1. Lance Dickie, “The Pull of History and Healing” (The Seattle Times, July 27, 2007, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2003807813_lance27.html).

2. Lumni Nation (http://www.whatcomvolunteer.org/HOC__Organization_Profile_Page?Oid=0018000000t9HvPAAU).

3. Richard Twiss, One Church Many Tribes (Ventura, CA: Regal Books from Gospel Light, 2000), pp. 20-21.

4. Ibid., p. 21.

5. For an excellent article on contemporary feminism and goddess worship, see Berit Kjos’ “Welcoming the Goddess,” chapter 5 from her book, Under the Spell of Mother Earth (online at http://www.crossroad.to/Books/ UnderSpell/5-goddess.htm). The chapter also features an informative chart, “Common Practices of Earth-Centered Religions,” which shows the common practices of pagan religions: trance states, dreams and visions, divination, spiritism, magic/sorcery, charms/amulets, solstice rites, serpent worship, and sacred sex.

6. There is an excellent article about earth-based spirituality called “Native, Indigenous, and Nature Religion” from Dave Hunt’s book, Occult Invasion (ch. 8, online at http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/new-age/NA0201W2.htm).

7. See “Al Gore’s Vision of Global Salvation: Quotations from his 1992 best-seller: Earth in the Balance” by Berit Kjos (http://www.crossroad. to/text/articles/Gore7-99.html).

8. Philip Jenkins, Dream Catchers: How mainstream America discovered Native Spirituality (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 5.

9. Bill Glen, “Catholic School Makes Room for Native Spirituality” (Western Catholic Reporter, November 6, 2006, http://wcr.ab.ca/old-site/news/2006/1106/bencalf110606.shtml).

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Pamela Sexsmith, “Native Spirituality Celebrated in Catholic School System” (The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society, 2006, Vol. 4, Issue 5, http://www.ammsa.com/node/14133).

14. Pat Walsh, “In Montana a Novice Finds ‘a Beautiful Marriage Between Catholic and Native Spirituality’” (News of the Northwest Jesuits, Spring 2008, http://www.nwjesuits.info/news/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=32:in-montana-a-novice-finds-a-beautiful-marriage-between-catholic-and-native-spirituality&catid=8:vocations-a-formation&Itemid=14).

15. Ibid.

16. Mennonite Church Canada website’s Resource Centre (http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/resourcecentre/ResourceView/5/10786?useref=0).

17. Ibid.

18. Michael L. Cooper-White, “Dream Catchers: The ELCA Commission for Women” (Lutheran Woman Today, March 2004, http://www.lutheranwomantoday.org/back/04issues/0304article3.html).

19. Richard Twiss, One Church Many Tribes, op. cit., p. 23.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid., pp. 132-133.

22. Ibid., p. 133.

23. Emergent Village Theological Conference, http://iowaemergent.blogspot.com/2010/11/emergent-village-theological-conference.html

24. RichardTwiss, One Church Many Tribes, op. cit., p. 92.

25. Ibid., p. 91.

26. For more information on Rob Bell’s Everything is Spiritual tour, see the DVD Quantum Lie with Warren B. Smith and Bob DeWaay at www.lighthousetrails.com.

27. Richard Twiss, One Church Many Tribes, op. cit., p. 93.

28. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd ed. 2006), pp. 108-109).

29. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), pp. 175, 157; as quoted from Deceived on Purpose by Warren B. Smith (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2nd edition, 3rd printing), pp. 61-62.

To order copies of Native Spirituality “Renewal” & the Emerging Church, click here. There is also a bonus section in the booklet: “New Age Elements in North American Native Spirituality.”

 

A Medicine Man’s Daughter

By Canadian Cree First Nations Author Nanci Des Gerlaise
From chapter 1 of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality

The darkness clutched me like a shroud, alive with evil, poking, prodding, whispering and hissing its unmistakable message: Fear. Slavery. Terror. Death. Buried under my blanket, I held my breath, with my eyes squeezed shut, while my chest became taut with fear like the skin on the drum the medicine men pounded. Around me, the house lay all too quiet, while the muted sounds of the forest, with its hoots, chirrups, and rustling magnified my fear.

How can my family rest so peacefully? I wondered for the thousandth time. Don’t they feel this evil presence? Am I the only one?

As long as I’d lived, it had always been there. I popped another sleeping pill and waited for its calming effects to set in. But I had been taking too many, and they were losing their effect. In desperation, I popped a third one, gulping it down with water, and waited for the blessed unconsciousness to hit.

Such was my life from the time I was a young adult until I was almost forty years old.

* * * * * *

I was born in the late 1950s into a family of sixteen children on a Métis Settlement in Alberta, Canada. My family descended from a long line of medicine men, which included both my Grandpa John and my dad. Often, the two spent time in the sweat lodge praying for healing, guidance, or whatever they needed. Our home always seemed filled with a dark evil presence that created havoc during the day and crippled me with fear at night. The objects Grandpa and Papa kept had demonic spirits “attached” to them, like the medicine bundle, the sacred pipes, the “protection” (from evil spirits), and other similar items. Grandpa John used to make “protection” for all of his descendants, which he gave us when we turned eighteen. This “protection” was merely a fetish sewn inside a leather pouch with either a leather throng to wear around the neck or waist, or a safety pin to pin on clothing.

Grandpa also used to make voodoo dolls, asking me to cut pictures of people out of magazines. I have a sneaking suspicion he used their pictures for the faces of the voodoo dolls, because he used to laugh about it when I asked him why he wanted the pictures.

The daily effects this kind of influence had on our family were tremendous. It was a strange and difficult childhood, full of hard work, abuse, neglect, and alcoholism. In addition, the practice of Native Spirituality in my home made my life a living hell as a child. Eerie things happened constantly—mystical experiences that were far more than just feelings but were strange and frightening realities. Far too many of these occurred to discount them as imagination or coincidence. For instance, when my parents left us at home alone at night, some presence would almost always harass us, as though watching us through the windows. We’d all race to the other side of the house, screaming and crying in terror. Only after the visitation ended would we slowly come out of hiding.

We used to camp out on our lawn in canvas tents for fun. But when darkness began to blanket the daylight, we would see a mystical light appear across the river as though someone was carrying a torch—only no one visible. Not so long ago, this same mystical light appeared in another area of the same community. And in times past, we also would hear a baby crying when there was no baby present. Even if our neighbors had had a baby, they lived too far away for us to hear it cry.

I also saw silhouettes of people, and a big black dog appeared inside our home at night a few times and then disappeared. But we didn’t own a big black dog. Once when this happened, the next morning I told Dad, “There was a big black dog running around inside the house last night. He ran from your room to our bedroom looking at everyone. I was sleeping on the couch so I had a better view of where he came from and where he went. Then suddenly, he went through the door and was gone.”

“Someone shapeshifting,” Dad told me. “Checking us out to see what was going on in our home.” Native Spirituality believes that shapeshifting allows one to take on an animal form while visiting on the astral plane. The enemy loves to cripple and control people through fear. Nightmares were also a part of this evil package. Sometimes, I’d wake up to find a creature like a lizard crawling on my legs over the top of the blankets. Something told me to pinch it as hard as I could on its feet. When I did, it disappeared. A few times I awoke to find about the first three inches of the top edge of the blanket so heavy that I had to fight and struggle to get it off. Yet, there was nothing on it, and because I was not under the covering of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, I would stay awake for hours, terrified about returning to sleep, fearing that whatever it was would return. Now that I am a born-again Christian I rarely have nightmares, but when I do, I rebuke the enemy in Jesus’ name. It flees, and I fall right back to sleep. That’s the power in Jesus’ name.

Despite the strain and stresses of home life, there were times that life on our farm in a ranch-style house on the prairies was fun. My siblings and I loved to race to the creek downhill from our house, away from where our horses, cows, pigs, geese, and chickens would be. One day while my parents were in town shopping, my brother decided we should have a rodeo at the barn. We all ran to get the horses ready. We selected a two-year-old stud that wasn’t broken in yet to compete against each other. He was a wild one, and most of us got bucked off immediately. Only one brother could stay on for a couple of minutes. We soon got tired of the horses, so we would move on to riding the pigs. No one was able to stay on the pigs longer than the horse—except our second eldest brother who stayed on for a minute. I suppose this is what happens when there’s no television to watch, but we were never bored and always found something to do.

But in spite of these “normal” childhood experiences, an underlying current of a mystical spirituality permeated our young lives. In fact, it affected nearly every aspect of our lives. (from chapter 1 of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality by Nanci Des Gerlaise)

Related Articles by Nanci Des Gerlaise

Two Sources of Power But Only One Source of Truth

Dream Catchers – Those Popular Spidery “Sacred Hoops”

Native Spirituality “Renewal” Emerges

The Dangers of Sweat Lodge Ceremonies

 

 

The Merging of Native Spirituality and the Emerging Church . . . for the “Healing” of the Nations?

By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(First Nations Cree Canadian and author of Muddy Waters)

The emerging church is a movement that is said to be a new way to do Christianity, a way that is supposed to reach out to the postmodern generation in a more relevant way than traditional Christianity. In reality, the emerging church, which is really a merging church, is a full-scale ecumenical effort to unite all religions against biblical Christianity by using mystical practices to accomplish this. In the emerging church, doctrine becomes unimportant while unity at all costs becomes the most important thing.

Richard Twiss talks about “heal[ing] the rifts”1 between Natives and Anglo-Saxons, Democrats and Republicans, men and women, rich and poor, etc. and asserts how we can “all have a part to play in the healing of our nation [America].”2 This is exactly what the emerging church is proposing to do. But the healing of the nations (America, Canada, or any part of the world) is not going to happen before Jesus Christ returns. The teaching that we can, in and of ourselves, usher in the Kingdom of God on earth now before His return is heretical. Our focus, as Native or non-Native Christians, needs to be the preaching of the Gospel according to the Holy Scriptures. It is not the earth we are to save but rather men, women, and children’s souls.

When Twiss tells us to “imagine Native believers enjoying the fragrant aroma of burning sage, sweet grass or cedar”3 or “smudging,4 I believe he is misleading many. Galatians 3:28 tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” In other words, our focus as born-again believers isn’t to practice rituals from the cultures we were born into. We are born again, into a brand new culture—God’s culture. The one “culture” that God has bestowed on all mankind is the Gospel; it is the one heritage passed on to us by God, yet we are destroying it today.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

In 2010 at the Emergent Village Theological Conference, Richard Twiss was part of this emerging church event. A blog for the event states:

Richard Twiss . . . began by blessing us with sage incense and having a member of his team dance a healing dance. . . .
He moved from rejecting his reservation upbringing, to re-discovering his heritage and hating white people, coming to faith in Christ through evangelical churches, walking away again from his heritage, to re-re-discovering his Native culture and integrating it into his faith.5

The emerging church fits in very well with Native Spirituality and Catholicism. Icons, incense, earth-based spirituality, ushering in the kingdom of God, and healing for the earth through ecumenical unity, mantras and chanting—these are all elements they have in common with each other.

In One Church, Many Tribes, Richard Twiss echoes Rob Bell, a leader in the emerging church. Twiss talks about removing the barriers between the “sacred” and the “secular.”6 He says that “Native people do not have a split view of reality.”7 On Bell’s national tour, Everything is Spiritual,8 Bell tells his audiences that God is in everything and no gap exists between the secular and the spiritual. Twiss says that “Western Christians struggle with . . . a dualistic belief”9 with regard to the secular and the spiritual. Whether Twiss realizes it or not, he is describing a core viewpoint in the New Age and occultism where the secular (the flesh or carnal man) and the spiritual (God) are one. I think this explanation by Christian author Ray Yungen demonstrates the subtleties that lie within bridging the gap between the secular and the spiritual (i.e., man and God) in his book A Time of Departing:

Satan is not simply trying to draw people to the dark side of a good versus evil conflict. Actually, he is trying to eradicate the gap between himself and God, between good and evil, altogether. When we understand this approach it helps us see why . . . Jack Canfield said he felt God flowing through all things. . . . Such reasoning implies that God has given His glory to all of creation; since Satan is part of creation, then he too shares in this glory, and thus is “like the Most High.” . . .

If the all-is-one view were true, then salvation through a Redeemer would become unnecessary and Jesus’ death on the Cross would be rendered altogether futile and pointless. In order for the Cross to make any sense, there must be a separation between God’s perfect nature and Man’s sin nature.10

The Native view, which maintains there is no division between the secular and the spiritual, goes against what the Bible says about the wretched carnality of man. God is so holy and so pure that He cannot even look upon such sinfulness. It is only through the perfection, sinlessness, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and through being washed clean by His blood that anyone can be saved.

There is a gap between the sacred and the secular, and there is only One mediator Who can rectify that. Native Spirituality, Catholicism, and the New Age—none of these belief systems can do it nor can they eradicate that huge chasm that has been fixed between God and man. This may be hard for us to understand because the Bible also says “God so loved the world . . .” and is “not willing that any should perish” (John 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:9). But yet, by the same token, John 3:16 also makes it very clear that only “whosoever believeth on Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.” He has bestowed upon every man and woman the ability to believe upon Him in as great a measure as He has also given every man the ability to reject Him. Thus, we are all without excuse.

The plan of the emerging church is to see the earth “healed” by bringing in a global, all-inclusive kingdom of God that would include all religions and all people. The problem with an all-inclusive “kingdom” is that there is no room for a Savior who proclaims there is only one way to Heaven. One very popular New Age/New Spirituality proponent who believes man is on the threshold of enlightenment and healing for the earth says this:

It will take an unprecedented act of courage, on a grand scale. You may have to do something virtually unknown in the annals of human history. . . . You may have to give up some of your most sacred beliefs. . . . let me make something clear. The era of the Single Savior is over. What is needed now is joint action, combined effort, collective co-creation.11

How is the world going to grab hold of this “collective” effort to unite together and save the world? Through mysticism and occult practices. And because mysticism is such a major component in Native Spirituality, the emerging church, and the New Age, it is easy to see how these three spiritualities are really on the same path. And it is a path that excludes the single Savior of the world.

(from Muddy Waters by Nanci Des Gerlaise, pp. 141-145)

Notes:
1. Richard Twiss, One Church Many Tribes, p. 23.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid., pp. 132-133.
4. Ibid., p. 133.
5. Emergent Village Theological Conference, http://iowaemergent.blogspot.com/2010/11/emergent-village-theological-conference.html.
6. RichardTwiss, One Church Many Tribes, p. 92.
7. Ibid., p. 91.
8. For more information on Rob Bell’s Everything is Spiritual tour, see the DVD Quantum Lie with Warren B. Smith and Bob DeWaay at www.lighthousetrails.com.
9. Richard Twiss, One Church Many Tribes, p. 93.
10. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2nd ed. 2006), pp. 108-109).
11. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), pp. 175, 157; as quoted from Deceived on Purpose by Warren B. Smith (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2nd edition, 3rd printing), pp. 61-62.


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