HOME             September 9, 2014

Print Friendly and PDF
In This Issue - click choice
 

If you would like to print this newsletter, use our new PRINT button up above. In order for it to print right, you will probably have to check the box that says "Remove images."

Lighthouse Trails Research PRINT JOURNAL: Our new low-cost subscription-based print journal is mailed out to homes and offices 6 times a year. The 32-page journal contains the most important stories from our e-newsletter from the previous 8 weeks and also other features. You may wish to receive that in addition to this free e-newsletter. You can sign up any time during the year for the print journal. You can also buy individual or past issues here. Many people have now signed up for the print journal, and we are getting very favorable feedback that the journal is most beneficial. For common questions about the journal, click here.

Note: Because we are a research ministry, we do post news articles from various secular and Christian sources along with our own in-house articles if we believe our readers can benefit from the information. We also post video clips from YouTube at times. Also please note, any advertising on YouTube videos is not in any way connected to Lighthouse Trails and is beyond our control, but we make every effort to use only video clips that have no obscene or vulgar content including in advertising.

THE MOST LOVING GIFT

Blue Gift Box Tied With BowBy Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

Jesus Christ proclaimed these following important words:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22: 37-40)

For a follower of Jesus Christ, it is quite clear from the Scriptures that the most important thing we can do, next to loving God, is to love others. And without question, telling people about Jesus Christ is the most loving act we can perform toward them. As Christians, we really do not have an option. All believers have been called to participate and be a part of the witnessing team.

However, in this very complex world, there are many obstacles to hold us back from the act of witnessing. Satan has a clever agenda to deceive mankind and sabotage God’s will for our lives. Preventing us from sharing God’s plan of salvation is one of Satan’s greatest objectives. As much as we may long to see others share in the good news of salvation, it is not always easy to be a messenger of God’s eternal gift. Click here to continue reading.

 

Federal Judge Becomes First to Uphold State Marriage Amendment

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

Feldman pdNEW ORLEANS – A federal judge nominated to the bench by then-President Ronald Reagan has upheld Louisiana’s state constitutional amendment enshrining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

“The court is persuaded that a meaning of what is marriage that has endured in history for thousands of years, and prevails in a majority of states today, is not universally irrational,” wrote Judge Martin Feldman on Wednesday.

He broke a series of over 20 federal decisions striking down state bans on same-sex ‘marriage,’ opining that states should have the right to decide its own affairs, including allowing voters to have their say regarding preserving the institution of marriage.

“Must the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece?” Feldman asked. “Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female? All such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another, just like the plaintiffs.” Click here to continue reading.

Mark This Book -Mansions of the Heart- As Deceptive! (A Book Review)

By L. Putnam

Filled with monks, monasteries, mystics, mentors, meditations, methods, and imaginations Mansions of the Heart  by R. Thomas Ashbrook is a dangerously deceptive work; for while its author mentions and discusses salvation, many scriptures, and maturing spiritual growth he mixes in mega doses of Catholic mystical prayer practices centered round the Teresian mansions and John’s dark night making this book a virtual gold mine of contemplative resources.
Mark the Foreword: Meet the Two Mystic Masters of Spiritual Life

From the get go the foreword endorser, author of the famed Message “Bible” Eugene Peterson, says we’ll be immersed in the idea that “that good thing” the Bible was just not enough and that we need something more . . .

And who can give us that something more?  Why it is two master mystics, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, who will introduce us, according to Peterson, to “matters of the soul,” and to the “sweet mysteries of prayer.”  So, says Peterson, just as I was introduced to Teresa and John by a long ago friend, so likewise today Thomas Ashbrook will immerse you in the holy wisdom that you too can learn from these mystics!

Mark the Preface: More in the Mansions

Frustrated and confused Ashbrook claims there has got to be something more!  And the place to go for this something more is through the many doors of the Teresian mansions which will lead you into a new and wonderful life with our Lord.  So, come explore!

Mark the Acknowledgments: Ashbrook Meets a Monk

It is in his “Acknowledgments” that Ashbrook mentions “Brother Bon” not only as the one who taught him to “be still and know God,” then simply to “be still,” and finally to just “be;” but “Monk Bon” as the one who had also introduced him to Teresa showing him what the seventh mansion looked like.  And says Ashbrook, “I will be eternally grateful to him for calling out the monk within me.”

Mark Chapter One: “Is This All There Is?”

Chapter One, “Is This All There Is?” is the crux of Ashbrook’s theme tracing Ashbrook’s mission to find more.  And where did Ashbrook find his answers.  Ashbrook found them in a monk, in the monastery, in the Renovare movement, in spiritual direction, in spiritual formation, in the Spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, and in various contemplative practices.  Still this was not enough, until he
discovered that “ancient yet timeless roadmap” –Teresa of Avila’s “Seven Mansions!”

Mark Ashbrook’s Monastery Story

Ashbrook began his monastery getaways with visits to the Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity* in Utah just to find a quiet place to work.  And, as Ashbrook described in his story, almost immediately he was worshipping with the monks in their two-story Quonset church.

*Note Ashbrook identifies the monastery this way “The Holy Trinity Abbey” rather than using its full name with “Our Lady” in it.   Click here to read this entire book review.

 

 

 

Letter to the Editor: America Christians Need to Open Their Eyes to the Condition of the Church

To Lighthouse Trails:

Many nations are going to face and experience the judgment of God in the final years of this present age. America will not escape this judgment!

America is guilty of the large scale practice and continuation of many sins. However, there is one great sin that America is guilty of in which no other nation in the world even comes close to matching the scope and magnitude of.

America has been known and is known for being a Christian nation. And yet, it is this very nation that has allowed every foul spirit in the form of false teachers and false prophets to infiltrate and take over our Christian airways. This has been made possible by the fact that multitudes of Christians in America do not know the written Word, which has resulted in their lack of spiritual discernment, and the fact that many Christians in America are guilty of running after teachers who tell them what they want to hear. This has resulted in their financial support of these ministries, which has allowed the continuation of this great abomination on our Christian airways in America.

A nation that has been looked upon as a Christian nation has allowed God’s written Word to be made a mockery of by the wide-scale practice of the Scriptures being deliberately manipulated on our Christian airways.

American Christians have not taken heed to the warning in God’s Word, which clearly tells us that we are to separate ourselves from those who handle the Word of God deceitfully. Therefore, America will not escape the judgment which is coming in the final years of this present age.

The church in America keeps pointing to the deteriorating condition of our government and our society, rather than having the understanding that we need to open our eyes to the escalating deteriorating condition of the church. The condition of the church is certainly of the greatest concern to the Lord.

We are told in the 4th chapter of 1st Peter that judgment must begin at the house of God! America will taste, experience, and see the fulfillment of those words.

In Christ,

Alan F.

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Judge Becomes First to Uphold State Marriage Amendment
Mark This Book -Mansions of the Heart- As Deceptive! (A Book Review)
Letter to the Editor: America Christians Need to Open Their Eyes to the Condition of the Church
"Touch Not Mine Anointed" - the Cry of Modern-Day Prophets and Heroes
A False Native American Messiah
Contemplative Spiritual Formation in Mennonite Sunday School Curriculum
Testimonies From the Kenyan Christian Widows Regarding Their New Businesses
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Is Religion to Blame?—War, Religion, and the Interfaith Global Peace Agenda
Lighthouse Trails Announces New Release – The Gospel in Bonds by Georgi Vins – A True Story
SIGN UP FOR THE LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PRINT JOURNAL
FLAT RATE U.S. SHIPPING AND HISTORY OF LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS
RENEW PRINT JOURNAL
SUBSCRIBE TO PRINT JOURNAL (not this e-newsletter)

Bryce Homes for Widows and Children in Kenya Lighthouse Trails on Twitter Check out LT Videos on YouTube Visit Lighthouse Trails on Facebook Lighthouse Trails Research Blog

If you are a subscriber to our print journal, click button to renew:

RENEW PRINT JOURNAL

If you are NOT a subscriber to our print journal and want to be, click button to subscribe:

SUBSCRIBE TO LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PRINT JOURNAL

(The subscribe and renew buttons above are for the print journal delivered to your home, not this free e-newsletter you are reading.)

 

 
Who We Are

Lighthouse Trails is a Christian publishing company and research project ministry. We work with a group of Christian journalists and authors, all who understand the times in which we live from a biblical perspective. While we hope you will buy and read the books we have published, watch the DVDs we have produced, and support our ministry, we also provide extensive free research, documentation, and news on our Research site, blog, e-newsletter, and now our subscription based print journal. We pray that the books as well as the online research will be a blessing to the body of Christ and a witness to those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

 

Contacting Us

Click here for contact information.

 

BOOKLET TRACTS

In January of 2013, we began publishing Print Booklet Tracts. Click the banner below to see what we have so far. More will be added regularly. These are specifically designed to give out to people.

 

BOOKLET TRACTS FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS

WRITERS WE USE


"Touch Not Mine Anointed" - the Cry of Modern-Day Prophets and Heroes

LTRP Note: Kevin Reeves, a Lighthouse Trails author, was an elder in a River (Latter Rain) movement church for many years until the Lord showed he and his wife the truth about the spiritual deception they were involved with. What happened to him is much the same that is happening to many Christians today.

"Touch Not Mine Anointed"
by Kevin Reeves

Perhaps the single biggest factor hindering acknowledgment and genuine repentance of false doctrine is the unwillingness for believers to relinquish the superstar status of their spiritual heroes. And how many times had our church leadership supported this by telling us not to name names? It was the one thing above all others that tied my hands and put a gag in my mouth. Although I was told to go ahead and speak to whomever I wanted to within our group, such presentations were always followed up with appropriate damage control by the leadership. And I was forbidden to breach the unwritten hyper-charismatic code and expose people like Kenneth Copeland during the times I filled the pulpit....

This fear of exposing God's anointed, even if they are guilty of repeated heresies, bordered on (may I use the term?) paranoia. Regardless of the evidence presented, there was simply no way anyone in our leadership would even admit the word heresy was applicable. Even when the blood atonement of Christ on the Cross is denied; even when those doing the denying are becoming rich through the tithes and offerings of believers who are often materially far worse off; even when these same ministers threaten divine judgment on those in opposition (the old Ananias and Sapphira tactic - Acts 5: 1-11).

Both the Old and New Testaments are replete with examples of the Lord's apostles and prophets condemning false brethren. Check out Ezekiel 34 sometime, plus the entire books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. Then look at Jesus' exposure of the hypocrisy and false teaching of His day, or the apostles' stern warnings in the epistles, such as found in the entire epistle of Jude. Anyone who claims the Bible commands silence on the subject simply doesn't know the Word as well as he thinks. Although false prophets are not stoned today (fortunate for them!), their sin will always be one of grave consequences.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)

We must name them. How else will the church be warned? Would that we had the courage of a Nathan, to thunder with the righteous anger of the Almighty, "Thou art the man" (II Samuel 12:7)!

The false shepherds among us have too long used I Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15 as a blank check to do as they please. "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" was God's warning to the nations through which the Israelites passed during their sojourn through the wilderness. It implied swift judgment for any pagans who would come against the chosen people of the Lord. To wield this like a saber at a sincere brother alarmed at false doctrine smacks of spiritual tyranny, cowardice, and dishonesty. Hammered also with the Acts 5 account of the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira, a concerned believer in Jesus is usually bullied into silence or into leaving the congregation. It's already been used right here in our town to squelch close examination of extra-biblical manifestations.  (To understand more about the hyper-charismatic and Word Faith movement, read The Other Side of the River by Kevin Reeves)

Also by Kevin Reeves:
"I Just Had a Vision!"

Related Information:

Purpose Driven Resisters: Must Leave or Die (A Record of Events)

A Refugee Once More by Roger Beach

 
A False Native American Messiah

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

Wovoka_Paiute_Shaman

Photo: Jack Wilson – “Wovoka”

False “Christs” exist among Native Americans just like they exist in other ethnic groups. One of the most memorable is Wovoka (born c. 1858 in Nevada), also known as Jack Wilson. Wovoka was a Paiute religious leader who combined Christianity with Paiute mysticism. He founded the Ghost Dance movement in 1890, which spread throughout much of the western United States. Wovoka saw the power Jesus wielded as magic. One biographer of Wovoka explains:

He [Wovoka] learned about Jesus—palefaced wizard of long ago. Jesus was adept at magic. He had only to touch a man to heal him. He could change plain water into firewater. He could take one small trout, and with a hand pass, turn the trout into enough fish to feed the whole tribe. He could breathe on a dead man, and the dead man’s eyes would open once again into life.1

Wovoka claimed to be the Messiah and told the Natives who followed him not to tell “white man” about him, saying, “Jesus is now upon the earth. He appears like a cloud. The dead are all still alive again.”2 Wovoka believed he had made a personal visit to Heaven in which he learned that:

The enlightened ones must perform the stately circle dance in the precise manner which God and the spirits demanded. They must sing the songs the Messiah prescribed. They must wear the holy garment, which protected against danger and death. This visible badge of oneness was a shirt, marked with mystic symbols, which not only guaranteed everlasting life to the believer, but had the miraculous power to turn back even the white man’s bullets.3

The book Ghost Dance Messiah states:

To the desperate and conquered Plains tribes, in 1890, the doctrine and promises of the Paiute Messiah struck almost instant response. The Sioux, the Arapahoes, the Cheyennes, and Kiowas, in the throes of their desperation, sent investigative teams out to Nevada to sit at the feet of the Indian Jesus. The fever caught on to dozens of other tribes. Soon, across the nation, ten thousand Indians were shuffling in the Ghost Dance, and experiencing its miracles.4

Wovoka became the “Jesus” of his nation and of many other Native American nations. However, to truly fit the description, he needed to have been God, conceived by a virgin, sinless, holy, obedient to the Gospel, and dying a cruel death on the Cross to pay for the sins of mankind. Wovoka was nothing more than a deceived sinner and one who led many into his own deception. In the Gospel of John, it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

The apostle Paul knew that false teachers and false Christs would present themselves. He warned in the Book of Acts:

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20: 29-30)

Paul said that through deception, our minds could become “corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” He warned about those who preach “another Jesus,” “another spirit,” and “another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
Satan is roaming about the earth, seeking those he may deceive. We are warned to be on the lookout for his devices:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

When something (or someone) looks good or sounds good, we automatically tend to think it is good. The same holds true when something feels good. But think about how many times in the Bible we are told about spiritual deception and about those who deceive. It’s one of the major themes in the Word of God. And as for false Christs (or antichrists), we are told there will be many. The prefix anti in antichrist means pseudo, another word for a counterfeit of the real thing. It may look similar and may promise the same things, but in reality, it is not the real thing. And following a counterfeit will lead one down a path to destruction at worst and deep disappointment at best. This is the very reason why we should not lean on our own understanding but acknowledge God in all our ways.

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. (1 Corinthians 3:18–19)

To learn more about Native Spirituality and the Emerging Church, read Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality

Endnotes:

1. Paul Bailey, Ghost Dance Messiah (New York, NY: Tower Publications, Inc., MCMLXX), p. 12.
2. Ibid, back cover.
3. Ibid, pp. 5-6.
4. Ibid, p. 6.

Other 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?

Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War

Living Waters – From Darkness to Light

 

 

Contemplative Spiritual Formation in Mennonite Sunday School Curriculum

By Menno-Lite Blog

The September issue of the Mennonite Brethren Herald[1] is promoting a long awaited new curriculum for children from age 3 to grade 8. Shine has been in the works for three years, and is now available and coming to Sunday School classrooms in a Mennonite church near you.

The new Sunday school curriculum Shine: Living in God’s Light for fall quarter 2014 is now available from MennoMedia and Brethren Press, the publishing houses of the Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

- New Anabaptist curriculum Shines
http://mbherald.com/new-anabaptist-curriculum-shines/

The article explains the importance of one of the aspects of this curriculum – the spiritual formation of children:

Why is spiritual formation for children important, and why do you call it that now instead of “Sunday school”?
Sunday school indicates a school model based on acquiring information. We certainly want children to become biblically literate, but we hope for something much deeper. Spiritual formation happens in vibrant communities of God’s Spirit. One of the things we try to convey is that children’s natural language of prayer is thanksgiving. They need to experience joy and hope. Children also need to know that God walks with us in difficult times. God’s love transforms our lives, so we can show God’s love and call others to follow the Prince of Peace.[2]

To find out what this spiritual formation for children looks like, a link provided to the Shine resource website[3], explains further what will be taught. Click here to continue reading.

Testimonies From the Kenyan Christian Widows Regarding Their New Businesses
Irine in her new business

Irine in her new business

Understand The Times and Lighthouse Trails recently received a report from the widows in Kenya who we are assisting to establish small business opportunities. This report follows.

Also we would like to take this opportunity to update our readers on our upcoming plans for the Bryce Homes in Kenya. First, we will be purchasing a solar-powered system for Pastor Achilla so that he can effectively continue directing the Bryce program. He has presently been without electricity for several weeks, causing undue hardship and difficulty. We will also be supplying the rest of the water purification systems as well as adding two more water collecting systems in the next few months. We are grateful to our donors who have designated funds so that this can be possible.


SBO SEED PROJECTS TESTIMONIES

Dear SBO donors,

We the beneficiaries of the SBO supported by the Bryce Home Program are very grateful to the Almighty God for this far we have come. In order to express individual views of the project, here we have translated reports from the thirteen of us, whom have been given the seed money to start businesses.

1. WIDOW FLORENCE -  Baking and selling donuts in Rongo rural.

I have been able to earn profit for:

1. purchase of books for children
2. meet my travel cost

2. WIDOW IRINE -  Baking and cooking chapati & donuts for sale in Rongo rural.

The business has made me settled until there is no more stress. My children and I have seen a big improvement in our living standard.

Click here to continue reading the testimonies of the Bryce Home widows.

DSC00139LT Note: Please remember to buy one of the braided baskets from Lighthouse Trails. The baskets are made by our widow sisters in Kenya who are under Pastor Achilla’s care and then shipped to Montana to Lighthouse Trails. The money from the sales (minus shipping and materials) goes directly to the widows who make the baskets. Currently, there are about 12 women who are involved in the basket project. We have a large inventory of these baskets ($35 each) on our shelves right now just waiting for homes. These are sturdy, beautiful, and hand-made, and the money these widows are earning makes a huge difference in their lives. 06-Susan holding the new colour ful baskets

SOME USES FOR THE BASKETS:

1. Take to a farmer’s market to carry your produce in.

2. Use in your home as a place to keep magazines and books.

3. Fill with books, tea, and other Lighthouse Trails items to give as a gift basket. We actually offer a “discernment” gift basket where you can choose which items you want to put into the basket.

4. Use to hold lovely arrangements of dried flowers.

5. Great for picnics and other outdoor family outings. These baskets hold quite a bit of stuff.

6. Keep your grandchildren’s books and toys in the baskets, handy for when they come to visit, and it’s a great opportunity to tell them about our brothers and sisters who live in a country under conditions of dire poverty and disease.

Click here for more photos, a slideshow,  or to buy a Kenyan widow basket. UTT and LT are doing the SBO and the basket project to help these families become self-sufficient.

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Is religion to blame?—War, Religion, and the Interfaith Global Peace Agenda

Is religion to blame?—War, Religion, and the Interfaith Global Peace Agenda  by Carl Teichrib i is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Is religion to blame?—War, Religion, and the Interfaith Global Peace Agenda by Carl Teichrib, click here.

“Is religion to blame?—War, Religion, and the Interfaith Global Peace Agenda”

By Carl Teichrib

[A]ll modern trends point to the specter of a terrifying, bigger and more pitiless conformity.1—Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

If a global motto exists, it would have to be “Give Peace a Chance.”2 From every corner of the world, from every academy and institution, from every school, public office and even many churches, the cry for global peace is being sounded.

Peace is a noble idea; but since mankind has had a written history, we have never known true peace. The scattered, bleached bones of human history testify to this brutal truth—millions upon millions of times over.

So is mankind incapable of achieving ultimate peace on Earth? In a nutshell, yes. But accepting this reality doesn’t imply that we are to automatically embrace conflict and strife. If anything, it gives us a window into who we are and how we operate. Unfortunately, the view from this window isn’t very pretty.

How do we collectively respond to this sad state of affairs? By perpetuating a lie!

Religious Guilt and the Death Factor
It has been popularly said that religion is responsible for the majority of the world’s conflicts. Posted on a BBC News Talking Point discussion board on the relevance of religion, one commentator boldly asserted, “Just look around the world today. Religion is the cause of all war and hate.”3

Expounding on this line of thinking is an Internet petition seeking “world peace” by the outright banning of “organized religion.” This petition, which needs to be viewed for what it is—an exercise in dissent—makes it very clear that organized religion “in all its factions, is responsible for most of the worlds wars and the entire ‘War on Terrorism.’” A number of petition signers, some showing immense tolerance by resorting to obnoxious and crude language, repeat the mantra “Religion is the cause of all wars.”4

In a more serious fashion than this off-beat online petition, interfaith founder of the metaphysical Integral Institute and a contributor to BeliefNet.com Ken Wilber writes:

Throughout history, religion has been the single greatest source of human-caused wars, suffering, and misery. In the name of God, more suffering has been inflicted than by any other manmade cause . . . for every year of peace in humankind’s history there have been fourteen years of war, 90% of which have been fought either because of, or under the banner of, God by whatever name.5

Has religion really inflicted “more suffering” than any other man-made cause? Is this assumption, one shared by a large segment of society, an accurate notion? Certainly it’s a position that’s well ingrained.6 Demonstrating the imbedded nature of this popular impression, history professor Pat Johnson writes:

I challenge my classes to comment on the following statement: Organized religion has caused more suffering, wars and violence than any other cause. Almost all the students raise their hands in agreement.7

Logically, if religion has been the major cause of the world’s wars and death, then religion should shoulder the burden of responsibility towards making peace. Today, this rationale underscores much of the global interfaith movement, including the 2005 United Nations Conference on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace.8

But can the finger of guilt really point to religion as the primary cause of war and strife?

The Killing Century
In analyzing this hypothesis of religion’s global war guilt, let’s examine the role of religion as the primary killing factor in the bloodiest century of all time—the last one hundred or so years. As Winston Churchill explained during the MIT Mid-Century Convocation:

Little did we guess that what has been called the Century of the Common Man would witness as its outstanding feature more common men killing each other with greater facilities than any other five centuries together in the history of the world.9

So was religion the prime death factor, the “single greatest source” of war and suffering, for this very cruel and brutal century?

In order to understand the answer to this question, let us take a look at  the major wars and human-caused genocides that occurred during this time frame. And in order to do this in the space allotted for this booklet, we need a lower stop-limit number—let’s say 1.5 million as a minimum death total.

Please bear in mind that this list will not be able to separate-out all examples. Some, such as the death figure for World War II, could be broken down into holocaust tabulations, single battle totals, etc.—but we’ll try to keep it simple.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that many historical conflicts and killings lack accurate death tabulations, and in some instances the numbers given in our list may actually be too low.

Other problems arise from the lack of concrete death totals. For example: the Mexican uprisings of 1910-1920 variably run between 750,000 and 2 million dead, likewise the decades-old Rwanda/Burundi conflict falls into this statistically difficult range. Because of the variance in accounting up to the 1.5 million mark, I will leave out these two examples along with many others that display complex numerical discrepancies up to the 1.5 million figure.
However, the following death-inventory will suffice for our brief review.10 Notice how few of these mass-killing events had classical religion as its central cause. And yes, religious factors do come into play in some instances, yet even in these examples there are other causes and motivations that go beyond religion.

Congo Free State (1886-1908): 8 million—with some estimates up to 13 million; control of colonial profit and power base.

Feudal Russia (1900-1917): 3.5 million; political control and consequences of political struggle.

Turkish Purges (1900-1923): 3 to 5 million; political control before and surrounding the Ottoman collapse, Islamic/ethnic factors within political/national expansionism—Pan Turkism.

First World War (1914-1918): 15 million; balance of power.

Russian Civil War (1917-1922): 9 million; political control.

Stalin (1924-1953): 20 million—with some estimates up to 60 million; political control.

China Nationalist Era (1928-1937): 3 million; political control.

Second World War (1939-1945): 55 million; German/Japanese expansionism, balance of power

Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945): 17 to 24 million; Japanese expansionism into China. Note: this number may or may not include the Henan Famine of 1942-43, which started as a drought but was horrifically accelerated by the Chinese government in Chongqing. If the numbers for the Sino-Japanese War do not include the Henan Famine, than add 3 to 4 million more dead. Furthermore, it must be recognized that the Sino-Japanese War blended into the Pacific Theatre of World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Soviet Repatriations—Victims of Yalta (1944-1947): 1.5 to 2.8 million; end-of-war and post-war repatriation of “Soviet citizens” from Western Allied-controlled territory to the Soviet Union.

Post-World War II German Expulsions (1945-1950): 2.2 million—with some estimates at 5 million; post-war retributions and displacement actions of Germans from Eastern Europe, consequences of Allied policies and Soviet “reparations in kind.”

Yugoslavia (1941-1987): 1.5 to 4.8 million; political control, ethnic/religious issues play an important role. Note: The history of conflict, genocide, and democide in the Balkans is complex and the accuracy of the numbers are difficult to ascertain. That said, the numbers given represent WWII and up to the immediate post-Tito era.

Chinese Civil War (1945-1949): 2.5 million; political control.

Mao Zedong (1949-1975): 45 to 70 million; political control and consequences of collectivist policies. Note: Approximately 45 million perished during Mao’s Great Leap Forward alone, due to starvation, collectivized and forced labor, beatings, and executions. The higher number of 70 million would include the death toll of the Great Leap Forward.

North Korea (1948-today): 2 to 3.5 million; political control and consequences of collectivist policies. Note: The numbers may be much higher due to famine/starvation.

Korean War (1950-1953): 3 million; political control.

Second Indochina War (1960-1975): 2 to 4 million; political control. Note: The higher figure represents the expanded capacity of the Second Indochina War beyond Vietnam and into surrounding nations.

Ethiopia (1962-1992): 1.5 to 2 million; political control and the exasperation of famine conditions, ethnic issues come into play.

Nigeria-Biafra War (1967-1971): 1 million but up to 3 million due to starvation; political control, religion and ethnic issues played a role.

Pakistan-Bangladesh Genocide (1971): 1.7 to 3 million; political/economic and social control over East Pakistan, ethnic and religious issues come into play.

Khmer Rouge (1975-1978): 2.5 million; political control and collectivist policies.

Afghanistan (1979-2001): 1.8 million; political control, Soviet expansion, religion (Islam) and tribal/ethnic factors played a role in internal strife.

Second Sudanese War (1983-2005): 2 million; historical ethnic struggles, Islamic issues played a key role, resource control and usage.

Congo (1998-today): 3 to 5.5 million; political control and regional debasement, ethnic strife, resource and territorial control.

The sheer horror and brutality of mankind throughout the twentieth century cannot be properly demonstrated in a simplistic chart. However, it’s more than apparent that the principal causation of the majority of these awful events—especially those with death numbers more than five million high—cannot be laid at the feet of classical religion.

Remember Professor Johnson and his statement, “Organized religion has caused more suffering, wars and violence than any other cause”? Professor Johnson just baited his students, and as the good professor tells us, “Almost all the students raise their hands in agreement.” He adds:

I then demand that they provide dead bodies as evidence. They usually mention the Crusades and one or two other religious wars they might have heard of but in none of their examples can they come up with a million deaths . . . I then point out that most of the people who have died as a result of war, have done so in the 20th century and that most of the killing was done in the name of secular ideologies. I then ask them who is the ‘baddest’ of them all. Most guess Hitler. I then tell them that he is rated #3. Some then guess Stalin, and I inform them that most scholars place him at #2 with 20 million killed. Almost no one gets #1 who, of course, is Mao who starts with an estimated 45 million. I then point out that the top two were Communists, and Hitler was a radical proponent of Social Darwinism. All of these ideologies are based on atheistic systems.11

Matthew White, a librarian who has done a tremendous amount of study in genocide/war issues and is the author of the online Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century, gives this Q&A response to the question of “religion”:

Q: Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

A: No, of course not—unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century—Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union—no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion.12

Major John P. Conway, studying at the US Army Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, commented in an article “War and Religion: Is Religion to Blame?”:

Most times, it can be argued that religion may play a key and significant role in the conduct of warfare on a psychological and cultural level, but is it the cause of warfare? Do nations, states and kingdoms wage war over religion? Is religion a primary cause of conflict between governments? Many have argued that it is. Another popular statement is, “Religion has been the cause of more wars than any other factor throughout history.” This is commonly accompanied by “people have been killing each other in the name of God for centuries.” Upon closer examination, these statements exude an element of mythology versus fact . . . A fundamental analysis of past wars commonly attributed to “religion,” as the causal factor, may reveal an uninformed and reactionary misjudgment. Throughout the course of history, the cause of warfare between sovereign states, kingdoms, and governments is attributable to many factors, but can rarely be attributed to “religion” as is so often the assertion.13

Major Conway continues:

[I]t becomes apparent that those who make the claim “religion has been the cause of more wars than any other factor in history” may speak from ignorance or have ulterior motives for the assertion. Further, this type of assertion seems rooted in anti-religion posturing . . . Men and nations have a history of warfare and the root of conflict is power and gain . . . Occasionally war is fought over religion, as is perhaps the case during the reformation period in Europe. More often than not however, the cause of war can’t be laid at the door of religion.14

Certainly religion plays a motivational and ruse factor in various conflict scenarios. All kinds of pretexts can be used in inciting and snow-balling hostilities; in 1969, for example, soccer played a key role in exploding tensions between Honduras and El Salvador. But as a whole the main cause of the major genocides and wars of the last one hundred years lie outside of purely religious stimulus. Moreover, even wars that contain a deep religious element often have multiple causation, including economic, political, and territorial grievances.

None of this is to say that religion is innocent when it comes to strife. Historically, we can cite the Catholic Crusades and the resulting Reformation genocides, and the mass slaughters done in the name of Allah—such as during the Wars of Apostasy.15 In modern times, we can see the effects of Catholic-Protestant clashes in the British Isles, Hindu-Islamic hostilities in India, the Islamic-Christian slaughters in Sudan, Buddhist-Hindu warfare in Sri Lanka, Moslem-Christian fighting in Indonesia, and the constant struggle in the Middle East between Israel and her Moslem neighbors. Islam as a religious/cultural/political system does play a dominant role in many regional conflicts and localized tension-points. However, in terms of the largest concentration of outright killing capacity, communism, national socialism, and imperial expansionism—all power struggles based on centralist political methodologies—have been the grandest contributor to war and human-caused mass death. Nothing else comes even remotely close.

Clearly, to exert that “religion is the cause of all war and strife” demonstrates a severe degree of historical naivety or deeply distorted emotional blinders or the outright broadcasting of disinformation for an ulterior motive (see Major Conway’s previous quote).

For the students of Mr. Johnson’s class, naivety is the most probable reason for their belief in this religion-war mythology. But for others, ulterior motives exist.

Wrong Assumptions, Wrong Peace
When wrong suppositions are employed, wrong results are guaranteed.

As already demonstrated, the war/religion assumption is nothing short of faulty. While religions today and historically have been culpable (Islam is a prime example in both modern and ancient contexts16), religion has not been the prime cause in every instance of war and strife, not even in the most extraordinary cases of the 20th century. Embracing this mythology as fact, the quest for world peace already finds itself building on a shaky foundation.

But regardless of the incorrect nature of the above point of view, many religious authors and spiritual leaders hold to this assumption. Then, taking motivational cues from this war theory, a response is formulated around another faulty assumption.

In a nutshell, this line of reasoning goes as follows: As faith communities are to blame for the world’s sorrows, then religions need to unite under a common umbrella to ensure peace and security prevails. Therefore, by uniting faiths in the push toward world peace, the divisions that drive humanity to mass violence will be bridged. Today’s global interfaith movement takes this approach, as do many such as Ken Wilber.

Postulating this idea of religious unity under the assumption of religion’s historical war burden, Wilber states:

If humanity is ever to cease its swarming hostilities and be united in one family, without squashing the significant and important differences among us, then something like an integral approach seems the only way. Until that time, religions will continue to brutally divide humanity, as they have throughout history, and not unite, as they must if they are to be a help, not a hindrance, to tomorrow’s existence.17

So what does it mean to be religiously “united in one family”?

Marcus Braybrooke, president of the World Congress of Faiths, explores this theme in his book, Faith and Interfaith in a Global Age:

My hope—though certainly not the hope of all in the interfaith movement—remains that dialogue will eventually bring convergence or, at least, that theology will become an inter-religious discipline or “global theology.”18

German Catholic theologian Hans Küng describes a similar pan-spiritual unification:

[A]fter intra-Protestant and intra-Christian ecumenism we have irrevocably reached the third ecumenical dimension, ecumenism of the world religions!19

Küng and Braybrooke’s concept of interfaith or interspirituality is shared by a large assortment of spiritual thinkers and even some religions. John Davis and Naomi Rice—both connected with the Coptic Fellowship International—succinctly tell us:

[T]he ultimate objective is a fellowship of religions, and the gradual appearance of a world-faith, which in its broader concept will be able to encompass all humanity.20

Similarly, the Bahá’í International Community, the global representative of the Bahá’í faith, openly asserts, “The key to interfaith harmony and co-operation is to focus on the essential oneness of all religions.”21
To a global public sick of war and bloodshed, the above unification ideology becomes a very appealing venue. Yet this postulation flies in the face of anthropology, sociology, history, and theology. The belief sets of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Animism, Hinduism, New Age, and so on, are fundamentally and irrevocably disconnected from one another—including who God is (or is not), the constitution of Man, the problem of evil, and the redemption solution to humanities failed state. Furthermore, the concept that all religions are “equally valid” is logically inconsistent when their theologies are in opposition to each other.

If all religions are authenticated as valid, we must then admit each spiritual expression into this new “global religious club” as legitimate forms. Therefore, cults-of-death—such as the Aum Supreme Truth movement, which was accused of delivering nerve gas inside a Tokyo subway train—must be more than just tolerated; they must be embraced as legitimate sources of truth. Satanism too, along with any other anti-social belief system, no matter how disagreeable, must be accepted on par and received into this universal fold. In time, Bible-believing Christians will be singled out as unacceptable ingredients to this global ecumenical soup.

Clearly, this “world faith for world peace” assumption is also lacking in credibility. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise; after all, this flawed unity concept is designed around the first fabrication—the guilt of war.

It can never be said that a House of Truth is built on lies, yet the perfect dream of world peace is being constructed on that very foundation. Waving the flag of tolerance and solidarity, religion is looking to re-invent itself to a new level of “planetary responsibility”—devoid of truth, logic, and reality.

Indeed, as mankind sacrifices truth in the pursuit of peace, the only peace gained will come at the sacrifice of liberty. Why? Because such a system, misdirected from the onset, can only coerce and enforce. And whenever man imposes a utopian peace design—that is, the “creation of peace” at the expense of reality—it inevitably becomes a “bloody utopian dream.”22
Paradoxically, by its nature, a “world faith,” world peace structure may actually become a type of self-fulfilling prophecy, ultimately raising the terrifying banner; “Peace is the destruction of all opposition.”23

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

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

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.—Jesus (John 14:27)

To order copies of Is religion to blame?—War, Religion, and the Interfaith Global Peace Agenda by Carl Teichrib, click here.

Endnotes:
1. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (Arlington House Publishers, 1974), p.17.
2. The song “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon, recorded on May 31, 1969, has become a type of global anthem often sung at peace rallies.
3. BBC News Talking Points, “Is Religious Faith Still Relevant?” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/1885779.stm, April 9, 2002).
4. Caution: some of the language is very foul and would not be suitable for young readers.
5. Ken Wilber, “Why Do Religions Teach Love and Yet Cause So Much War” (www.beliefnet.com/story/147/story_14762.html BeliefNet column).
6. See Carl Teichrib, “Casting Stones: Christianity and the History of Genocide” ).
7. Professor Pat Johnson, responding to an online Christian apologetics discussion regarding war as an excuse against Christianity (http://net-burst.net/hot/war.htm).
8. The U.N. Conference on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace was held on June 22, 2005, in conference room #4 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. A reading of the various speeches and documents that surround this event demonstrates the link between religion as a conflict force (and the guilt this implies) versus what religions can now do—unite under the banner of world peace and development.
9. Winston Churchill, MIT Mid-Century Convocation address, March 31, 1949.
10. Sources for this chart include the work of R.J. Rummel, Matthew White, and a host of other encyclopaedic resources.
11. Professor Pat Johnson, op. cit.
12. Matthew White, FAQ section on 20th century history (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/war-faq.htm).
13. Major John P. Conway, US Army Professional Writing Collection, “War and Religion: Is Religion to Blame?"
14. Ibid.
15. For more information on these historical conflicts and slaughters, see The Encyclopedia of Military History by R Ernest Dupuy and Trevor N. Dupuy, The Age of Faith by Will Durant, The Crusades by Zoe Oldenbourg, Judgement Day: Islam, Israel and the Nations by Dave Hunt, Martyrs Mirror by Thieleman J. van Braght, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe, A History of the Jews by Abram Leon Sachar, and The Arabs in History by Bernard Lewis, etc.
16. See Dave Hunt, Judgement Day: Islam, Israel and the Nations (The Berean Call, 2005) and Dore Gold, Hatred’s Kingdom (Regnery Publishing, 2003).
17. Ken Wilber, “Why Do Religions Teach Love and Yet Cause So Much War,” op. cit.
18. Marcus Braybrooke, Faith and Interfaith in a Global Age (CoNexus, 1998), pp.15-16.
19. Hans Küng, Preface to Willard G. Oxtoby’s, The Meaning of Other Faiths (The Westminster Press, 1983), p.10.
20. John Davis and Naomi Rice, Messiah and the Second Coming (Coptic Press, 1982), p.111.
21. Bahá’í International Community, “At the UN, Governments and Religious NGOs Convene a Peace Conference” (One Country, April-June 2005, p.14, http://www.onecountry.org/story/un-governments-and-religious-ngos-convene-peace-conference).
22. See the “Bloody Utopian Dreams” series by Carl Teichrib: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/teichrib/utopian-dreams-1.htm.
23. http://www.forcingchange.org/under_war’s_bloody_banner.

To order copies of Is Religion to Blame?—War, Religion, and the Interfaith Global Peace Agenda by Carl Teichrib, click here.

Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tracts

Lighthouse Trails Announces New Release – The Gospel in Bonds by Georgi Vins – A True Story

The Gospel in BondsLighthouse Trails is pleased to announce the release of our latest book, The Gospel in Bonds: 8 years in the soviet gulags—imprisoned for his faith by former Soviet prisoner Georgi Vins.

A Soviet government tried to extinguish God’s Truth by placing its messengers in bonds. But the light of God’s Word and its hope of salvation could not be destroyed even in the darkest prison camp.

Georgi Vins, a Baptist pastor living in the U.S.S.R., was 37-years-old the first time he was imprisoned for his faith in a Soviet prison camp. He left behind his wife, his children, and his church. Over the course of thirteen years, Pastor Vins spent a total of eight years in the gulags.

But in the pages of this book, you won’t read about a man who felt sorry for himself or who wallowed in the misery of his sufferings. Rather, you will hear the true stories of believers whose faith in Jesus Christ took preeminence in their lives and who allowed nothing, not even a Communist government, to take away their faith and their hope.

Threaded through The Gospel in Bonds is an intricately woven theme of love for God’s Word and faith in the Gospel, even in the midst of severe punishment and deprivation.

May the pages of this book give you insight into the mind of a man uniquely used by God and encourage you to an ever-closer walk with the Savior, Jesus Christ!

BOOK INFORMATION:
Lighthouse Trails Edition
212 pages
photos | illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-9895093-6-7
Retail: $13.95
Qualifies for quantity and wholesale pricing

Table of Contents and Prologue

To order The Gospel in Bonds, click here.

ALL BACKORDERS HAVE BEEN SHIPPED.

 

SIGN UP FOR LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PRINT JOURNAL - MAILED 6X/YEAR

The Lighthouse Trails Research journal is a subscription-based print journal that can be ordered at any time during the year. Your subscription (which will entitle you to a full twelve months of journals-6 issues) will start when you subscribe. Click here to read more information or click here to sign up. Subscription rate: $12/year (6 issues) for U.S.; $24 for Canada; $36 for other international. (There is no added postage charged for the journal - the mailing costs are worked into the subscription fee.)

When you sign up, you will receive the most current issue of the journal at the time you subscribe. Click here to subscribe now. You can order past subscriptions for $3.

You may purchase subscriptions for friends, family members, pastors, etc. Just put that person's name in the ship to area when ordering online.

Call 866/876-3910 or e-mail sales@lighthousetrails.com for a quote on bulk subscription shipping costs.

To order single past issues, click here.

For various addresses, just order single subscriptions.

NOTE: This subscription-based journal can be used in addition to this free e-newsletter you are getting in your e-mail box (the e-newsletter will continue to be sent out 2-4 times a month via e-mail at no charge). (view sample issue of print journal) It's never too late to subscribe for the print journal - anytime is fine.

TO RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO THE LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH JOURNAL, CLICK HERE.

 

If you are a subscriber to our print journal, click button to renew:

RENEW PRINT JOURNAL

SUBSCRIBE TO LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PRINT JOURNAL

 

**SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT RENEWING LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS * PRINT* JOURNAL SUBSCRIPTION

If you are a subscriber to the Lighthouse Trails Research Print Journal, it may be time for you to renew your yearly subscription. To RENEW your yearly subscription ($12/year), click here. You can renew your subscription at any time. Just indicate on the store which month you want the renewal to start. If you can't remember when you subscribed, we'll double check when you renew and make sure the renewal starts on the right date. If you have any questions, you can call us at 866-876-3910 or e-mail at editors@lighthousetrails.com. You can also renew by mail (see address at bottom of page), by fax (406-889-3633), or by calling.

Note: This notice does not pertain to this e-newsletter you are reading. The e-newsletter is free and requires no subscription.

Click button to renew your subscription for the Lighthouse Trails Research Journal.

RENEW PRINT JOURNAL

To subscribe to the journal for the first time, click here.

FLAT RATE U.S. SHIPPING AND HISTORY OF LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS

$5 FLAT RATE SHIPPING ON ALL U.S. ORDERS

(We ship to all countries worldwide.)

FREE BIBLE VERSE TEA SAMPLES WITH EVERY ORDER!Shepherd's Bible Verse Tea - Sampler Box
(except with media rate, journals, and some smaller orders where it might change the shipping costs)


AND DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT ALL OUR BOOK AND DVD SETS.
A GREAT WAY TO SAVE!

SOME THINGS ABOUT US:

WHO WE ARE

OUR HISTORY

OUR BELIEFS

LT AUTHOR SITES

NEW TO LT

WHY WE ARE NOT NON-PROFIT

COPYRIGHT AND USE OF MATERIAL


As a way to say thank you to our readers and customers of our catalog and online store, we are offering, indefinitely, to our U.S.A. customers a $5 flat rate shipping on all orders (you can choose a lesser rate for smaller orders). When you get to the third step at check out, just choose the FLAT RATE shipping option. Click here to enter store.