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“‘I No Longer Believe in God,’ Says Lead Singer of Christian Band Hawk Nelson”
Photo: 2-second clip from YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk3CP9Z86C0); low resolution clip; used in accordance with the U.S. Fair Use Act (Jon Steingard in front)

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes.

By Michael Foust
Christianheadlines.com

The lead singer of the Christian contemporary group Hawk Nelson said in an Instagram post last week he doesn’t believe in God and “can no longer stand on stage” and sing the band’s songs because of his new stance.

“After growing up in a Christian home, being a pastor’s kid, playing and singing in a Christian band, and having the word ‘Christian’ in front of most of the things in my life – I am now finding that I no longer believe in God,” Jon Steingard wrote in a lengthy Instagram post.

“[I]t didn’t happen overnight or all of a sudden. It’s been more like pulling on the threads of a sweater, and one day discovering that there was no more sweater left,” he wrote. “… I am stunned by the number of people in visible positions within Christian circles that feel the same way as I do Click here to continue reading.

Related Article:

An Overlooked Reason For “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” Author Josh Harris’ Departure From the Christian Faith

Photo: Hawk Nelson Facebook Page

 

Pixar Short Animated Film ‘Out’ on Disney+ Features Studio’s First Homosexual Main Character

LTRP Note: The following news article is posted for informational and research purposes.

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

Calling the story “heartwarming,” Disney+ announced on Thursday the release of a new Pixar short film, which centers on the story of a man named Greg who is nervous about revealing to his parents that he is in a relationship with another man. While some have praised the production, others lament that such material aims to normalize sin in impressionable minds.

“Just look them in the eyes and say, ‘Mom, Dad, this is my boyfriend, Manuel,’” Greg (voiced by Kyle McDaniel, who was among the Pixar crew in “Inside Out”, “Brave” and “Monsters University”) says, coaching himself about what to say as he is about to move in with a man who, unbeknownst to his parents, is his homosexual partner. Click here to continue reading.

“Churches Remain Shut Down While Riots Engulf The Nation”
Photo taken from a 2-second video clip of riots in Atlanta, GA (https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/30/churches-remain-shut-down-while-riots-engulf-the-nation/)

By Tristan Justice
The Federalist

Major cities across the U.S. saw their fourth day of protests and riots Friday night following the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

On Friday, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Violent demonstrators from Minneapolis, to Atlanta however, continue to storm city streets in the worst nationwide breakout of civil disobedience in decades while in the middle of a global pandemic over the novel Wuhan coronavirus. . . . In Minneapolis, the site of Floyd’s death that ignited a week of domestic terror, the carnage continued for its fourth straight day, despite an implemented curfew after rioters had already burned down nearly an entire precinct including a police station. Click here to continue reading.

Related:

If you watch one video about these protests please let this be it. This made me cry.
I have said since day one that this is nothing but a ploy by white liberals, which will destroy another generation of black youth. These are targeting black kids & neighborhoods

“‘I No Longer Believe in God,’ Says Lead Singer of Christian Band Hawk Nelson”
Pixar Short Animated Film ‘Out’ on Disney+ Features Studio’s First Homosexual Main Character
“Churches Remain Shut Down While Riots Engulf The Nation”

“Satan Desires to Have Us” . . . The Slaying of George Floyd

Taking a Quantum Leap into the New Age
Does Calvinism’s “Perseverance” Really Offer Eternal Security? The Answer: No!
Guest Commentary: “What is the Cure?”
“CA Governor Witnessing ‘Free Exercise’ in Action”
Bad Counsel to a Christian Girl at a Contemplative College
Letter to the Editor: Kaiser Permanente Among Those Pushing Mindfulness and Meditation Due to Coronavirus
Warning: Zondervan Introduces Its First-Ever Film, Nine: The Enneagram Documentary— to Release in Theaters Fall 2020
NEW BOOKLET: Public School or Homeschool?—How Public Schools Are Corrupting Children’s Values
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“Satan Desires to Have Us” . . . The Slaying of George Floyd
Photo from a 2-second video clip of George Floyd

By Bill Randles
Used with permission.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:31-32)

I have no doubt that the warning Jesus gave to Peter is applicable to us here in America in light of the recent slaying of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis Police Department. “Satan desires to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. . . .”

The traumatic events playing out in America will definitely have this effect, forcing out into the open things we have hidden in our hearts—for all to see, whether they be good or evil.

First of all, Satan is definitely in this. Of course, Satan didn’t directly kill George Floyd; the Minneapolis Police department did, particularly Officer Chauvin, when He pinned the handcuffed man to the sidewalk, putting his knees on the helpless man’s neck as Floyd begged and pleaded for his life, as did the people passing by the scene of horror. Floyd died under Chauvin’s knee.

Just a few years ago, that same police department (Minneapolis) fast tracked a Somali immigrant so they could showcase “Diversity.” (Diversity is one of the highest ideals of the “New Religion”). Early in his career, Mohamed Noor, the newly minted Somali Muslim police officer shot to death an Australian-American lady who was merely trying to report a crime. But, there were no riots or race-based condemnations of entire people groups. Neither was the media dominated by reports and condemnations of the nation. The Somali and Muslim communities were not harassed and hounded—for everyone understood that they didn’t do the crime. The officer did.1

Not everything that happens is about race, until the leftists try to make it about race in order to divide and conquer us.

Satan doesn’t directly kill people; what he does is harden their hearts, sows hatred and prejudice into men’s hearts (of all hues), and then sets up situations for them to hate and kill each other. He sends out a flood of words and images, non-stop propaganda of hate, prejudice, and corporate guilt to build up pressure, creating a tense and explosive environment.

The nightmare video of the atrocity of the slaying of George Floyd shocked and outraged all Americans, at least anyone at all of decency, good will, and a sense of humanity. There has been a national sense of outrage over this; it is not limited to the socially “woke” people of the left but all of mainstream America is shocked and disgusted at this turn of events.

Here is where Satan has jumped in to test us all, The Question is, “What evil lies in our hearts that this nightmare exposes?”

The Prophet Jeremiah warns us all:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

All of the racism, self-righteousness, violence, avarice and greed, rebellion, self-pity (victim status), and a host of other sordid vices hidden in our hearts as individuals is being forced out into the open. This test is designed to reveal all of it, in everybody.

Satan has been cultivating hatred and bias very carefully in this nation for a long time. He has conditioned many of us to think only in terms of identity blocks and not of each of us as individuals.

Satan has concocted a new civil religion in America in which there is no individual sin, only group sin. He has divided humanity into different groups, warring against each other. Some of those groups are virtuous, and others are guilty just by virtue of being in the group and partaking of the group “privileges.” Satan’s control of the media and education has helped to foster and entrench this New Religion.

According to the tenets of the New Religion, America itself is guilty; She is systemically “racist,” and there can be no forgiveness, only constant repayment for the past transgressions of the “privileged group.”

The ones who, for the most part, are truly exempt from this new civil religion are those who recognize it as a counterfeit Christianity. We have an account of the Fall of man, and it didn’t happen in 1619; it happened in the beginning, in Genesis 3. The fall is universal, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”; it doesn’t just apply to one group and not others. Furthermore, in Christ, we have forgiveness of our sins; we cannot be shamefaced or controlled, therefore, by tyrants who selectively apply history to our situation. The Truth sets us free.

But as the Bible says, not all men have faith. That very faithlessness is being revealed on many levels now.

It is going to be revealed when people attempt to justify or mitigate what appears to be a murder on a public street as well as when people attempt to pin blame and fault on an entire group of people or a nation for what a single man did. Anyone who hates blacks or whites is “demonically inspired” by definition.

The burning of property, assaulting, and looting reveals the greed and lust in the hearts of many who would make use of this tragedy to commit mayhem. What hate, lust, and murder are being revealed in this day! We remember what the previous mayor of Chicago, Rahm Immanuel, once quoted about the leftist approach to tragedy, “we never let a crisis go to waste.”

There are some at the very top of the society who are truly doing Satan’s work to further an Agenda. If only we would quit looking at the Red cape and instead see these “matadors” who seek to destroy what is remaining of western civilization by magnifying and exploiting our historic faults.

Sheer godless, demonic rebellion is on display also; as for example, the current mayor of Chicago disparaged President Trump in the vilest of terms. Hate is now out in the open; violence and even murder cannot be too much further away now.

Things are going to get ugly now as the hearts of men are revealed. Only Christ can save us; the “religion” of Jesus is the only way men can love each other and live together in peace.

Like the vast majority of others, I am horrified and grieved by what happened to George Floyd. It doesn’t matter what color he was—murder is murder; as a human being, the man was made in the image of God, and that image was destroyed right there! He was known in Houston, Texas (where he was from) as a “person of peace” who worked in Christian ministry in a high-risk neighborhood. He left people behind, brokenhearted and grieving.

The only silver lining I see in this test is that perhaps people will come to see their need of Jesus Christ, His forgiveness, and the transformation which He can make in the heart of any who open up to Him. Remember the last phrase of the verse I opened with, where Jesus tells us, “But I have prayed for you that your faith not fail.”

 

Taking a Quantum Leap into the New Age

From Roger Oakland and Caryl Matrisciana’s book,
The Evolution Conspiracy.

There is a clear but complex marriage between physical evolution and transcendental evolution. Ironically, while forcing out creationism, many scientists and educators push for an equally religious alternative. They cling to the Eastern concept that the next stage of man’s evolution will arrive in spiritual terms. Many “prophesy” a development—a quantum leap from biological evolution into a sort of “mystical emergence.”

Fritjof Capra, an American physics professor and author of The Tao of Physics, is a prominent advocate of New Age thought who says:

The universe is no longer seen as a machine, made up of a multitude of objects, but has to be pictured as one indivisible, dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic process.1

After so much indoctrination in and exposure to the unproven ideas of evolutionary thinking, growing numbers of people are now accepting the concept of this “cosmic process” as the most natural thing in the world. Natural, but deadly—for this blending of physical and spiritual evolution thickens into a hot spiritual porridge made up of a variety of assorted cereals. Mystical alchemy, charading as spiritual evolution, combines with speculation about physical evolution. This fuses with “Eastern maya,” the belief that the physical (the real, what we see) is merging with the not-yet-physical (maya) and that the mind is able to create reality (shamanism, witchcraft). This opens the door to every form of New Age deception.

The New Age movement is a hybrid of spiritually eclectic pagan consciousness that embraces every idolatry named in the Bible. Though it poses as a spiritually tolerant mindset, it is extremely intolerant of biblical Christianity.

The philosophies under its umbrella are numerous. A general summary would be any mental techniques involving altered states of consciousness through deep-breathing relaxation exercises, guided imagery, and visualization. It may also include the application of dietary or mystical folklore promising power.

Interwoven into its philosophy are a proliferation of Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism. It includes guru movements, psychotherapy cults, aberrational Christian movements, blatant satanism, witchcraft, the practice of nature worship—and the list goes on. Beliefs and practices that used to be considered overtly heathen, rooted in pantheistic evolution and confined to the streets of India or the Far East, are now common practice in tens of millions of homes across North America and Europe.

Finding the Higher Self

The road to one’s “higher self” can be long and bumpy, and those who travel it may partake of a good deal of New Age healing along the way. Many New Age/New Spirituality magazines advertise a myriad of these therapies and techniques. Such materials are often given away at health food stores throughout America and promote transcendental meditation, Yoga, Reiki (energy healing), astrology, visualization, and numerous other occultic practices.

Many modern health practitioners, including doctors and psychologists, have fallen under the spell of “holistic” medicine, a discipline in which the human body, mind, and spirit are recognized as a part of the cosmos at large. When one part of the body is ill, the healer will claim that the “spirit” must be treated by drawing on the manipulation of cosmic forces, powers, and energies. There are countless examples in the news of how New Age practices have entered the medical arena. One news article states:

Once a practice that appealed mostly to mystics and occult followers, meditation now is reaching the USA’s mainstream. . . . The medical establishment now recognizes the value of meditation and other mind-over-body states in dealing with stress-related illnesses.2

What’s more, Yoga, Eastern mediation, visualization, and other forms of hypnosis are designed to train the use of occult “energy” to escape from reality, pacify stress, and nullify ills. These notions are based on the unbiblical premise that mankind has the authority to alleviate all suffering through mind-altering techniques.

The Deceptive Promise of Godhood

The basic idea of man progressing from simple to complex, from mortality to godhood, is the underlying notion in New Age thinking. . . . The delusion that man is “literally taking control of his own evolution” is ludicrous in light of events reported daily. To imagine that we can draw from resources within ourselves as we “realize our godhood” is clear deception. The Bible says that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Solutions of goodness cannot come from man’s imagining that his heart is evolving to a higher state of purity when it is only God who can put a clean heart inside of man:

Create in me a clean heart, 0 God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Humanism based on a foundation that rejects God is gaining spiritual momentum among millions today who believe that within man is the potential of “God power.” A new generation is turning back to paganism rooted in evolutionism, which promotes this religious theory.

John Randolph Price, originator of World Healing Day, in his book The Superbeings says:

A new species of man is coming forth to lead us out of darkness and into a new dimension scarcely dreamed of by ninety percent of this world. This will be the New Age of Enlightenment, and science and religion will join hands in spreading the truth that man is not the man we thought he was. I thank God that I live at this time and will be able to see the next great leap forward in man’s expanding consciousness.3

This “superconsciousness” is renamed “god consciousness within,” “the god-power,” or “the christ-within.” These are just some of the names given to man’s prideful claim that he is God and can do what only God is able to do. This spiritual mirage leads millions to what they think is soul-satisfying water. But as with any mirage, it is only an illusion.

If the “enlightened” human chooses to imagine he has the ability to control his immortality, Satan will impress upon him the means with which to do it. If the would-be reincarnationist wants to believe he has the ability to come back in another life, Satan will find a form of deception that will cause him to believe it. The same principle applies to the evolutionist who has been duped into believing he came from nothing and goes to nothing. Satan is like a chameleon and can change his color to suit the need of the moment. The apostle Peter understood this. His warning is clear:

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

Jesus also spoke of the reality of the devil and his deadly plot:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

There are millions today who have chosen to reject our Creator’s grace through Jesus Christ. Countless others have not yet been presented with the choice. Tens of thousands are turning away from the traditional Judeo-Christian faith of their parents or grandparents and choosing this “new” spirituality instead. Disillusioned by materialism, churchism, secularism, and humanism, seekers of self-fulfillment are turning to this new evolutionary religiosity and embracing the lie that they can become gods, or at least have the power to control their lives and destiny. Assured of inward resources and psychic powers, they attempt to fill the spiritual vacuum they feel inside.

Every Man a God

The concept that man can evolve into higher states or godhood is fraudulent, scandalous, and a complete sham that should motivate Christians with a burning desire to fight the good fight.

The new enlightened age promise of spiritual control is the same lie perpetrated by Satan when he seduced Eve in the garden of Eden (Genesis.3:4,5). It was the same spirit of rebellion that resulted in Satan being cast out of the presence of God. Isaiah 14 recounts Satan’s story from God’s perspective. Lucifer, the “son of the morning,” with all his God-given beauty and authority, brought rebellion into the universe when in his heart he said “I will” and set his mind on ascribing God’s glory to himself.
Today this rebellion continues. Listen to some quotes by well-known religious leaders and writers who believe that man is God or that God is in all humanity.*

If you want to know the closest place to look for grace, it is within yourself. . . . To put it plainly, our unconscious is God. God within us. We were part of God all the time.4—M. Scott Peck (popular New Age writer)

One of the most important books I think I’ve read in my life was a book by Eric Butterworth. . . . Discover the Power Within You. And what Eric Butterworth said in that book is that Jesus didn’t come to teach us how divine he was, but came to teach that there is divinity within us.5—Oprah Winfrey

Quantum Spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family. . . . This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation.6—Leonard Sweet (emergent church author)

[D]ivinity will no longer be only heavenly, other, out there, up there, beyond time and space, beyond body and death. It will also be right here, right now, in me, in the earth, in this river and this rock, in excrement and roses alike.7—Sue Monk Kidd (author of The Secret Life of Bees)

You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.8—Eugene Peterson (author of The Message)

. . . underneath each of us is a “golden Buddha,” a “golden Christ” or “a golden essence,” which is our real self.9—Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul books)

For the Son of God became man so that we might become God. (#460)10—from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of every human being.11—Henri Nouwen (Catholic contemplative priest)

Because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now. The Bible says, “He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.”12—Rick Warren (said in The Purpose Driven Life)

“God” who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.13—William Paul Young (in The Shack)

I am above all as well as in all.14—Sarah Young (said by “Jesus” in Jesus Calling)

Word-Faith leader Kenneth Copeland says, “We are partakers of the divine nature . . . you don’t have a God in you, you are one!”15 and “Adam is as much like a god as you could get, just the same as Jesus . . . he’s God manifested in the flesh.”16 “I say this and repeat it so it doesn’t upset you too bad . . . when I read in the Bible where He [Jesus] says, ‘I Am,’ I say, ‘Yes! I am too!”17

These statements declaring that man is God or is becoming God and that God is in all His creation fit into the spiritual evolution agenda all too well. Satan’s deception, that man is God or can become God, is now being taken dangerously further. As man schemed to build a unified government with spiritual aspirations in Babel, so again today he is attempting to manipulate mass consciousness. It is the hope of many world leaders that global unity and man-made “peace” will ultimately overcome what the Bible says about the coming end of the world and that we will be able to create a world-wide Utopia. It will be the long-awaited “Age of Aquarius” when man will realize his own divinity and a world ruler will bring “peace” to the whole planet. Even religious leaders are telling us we should take the book of Revelation as a warning and not as a prophecy and bring God’s “kingdom now” to the earth. But the book of Revelation will someday be fulfilled to the last detail when Jesus returns to a planet on the brink of destruction.

Satan’s Final Strategy

There is a school of thought which states that when the collective consciousness of the “spiritually attuned masses” attains a certain level of awareness, there will be a quantum leap into global spiritual oneness.
When this critical mass happens, it will form a spiritual basis for the coming new-world order. Growing numbers await the day when their efforts of spiritual consciousness will make the quantum leap into peace possible. This outlook plays right into the hands of Satan, who has one final strategy left in his battle for men’s souls. . . .

In his last ploy, Satan will lure men away from allegiance to their Creator. He will satisfy men with a false peace and ultimately usher in a false world leader, whom the Bible calls the Antichrist. This man will deceive the masses as they perceive him to be the global leadership they have all awaited. With accelerating speed, we see mankind being conditioned to just such a scenario. Today’s media reports detail extensively the trends of global political unity, man’s hope of a new-world order, and discussions of a global financial economy.

What’s more, mainline Christian denominations and ministries are moving toward religious ecumenism that embraces both a spiritual evolution of consciousness and evolutionary views on man and the world’s existence.

Coupled with the changing views on evolution is the view by many that we need to remove the barriers that separate the world’s religions. In a 2014 NBC news article, it reported on the Roman Catholic head Pope Francis’ views on evolution:

Big Bang theory and evolution in nature “do not contradict” the idea of creation, Pope Francis has told an audience at the Vatican, saying God was not “a magician with a magic wand.” The Pope’s remarks on Monday to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences appeared to be a theological break from his predecessor Benedict XVI, a strong exponent of creationism.18

At the same time, the Pope has become a spokesperson for bringing all the religions together. In January 2016, the Pope issued a world-wide YouTube message, stating:

Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways. In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God.19

The Catholic News Agency reported:

[T]his month’s prayer requests focus on Francis’ desire for Interreligious Dialogue and Christian Unity. Francis offers his universal petition so that “sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce the fruits of peace and justice,” and expresses his evangelistic prayer that “by means of dialogue and fraternal charity and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, Christians may overcome divisions.”20

In 2014, Pope Francis demonstrated his views on “sincere dialogue” when he visited Turkey’s Islamic Blue Mosque “expressing reverence during a moment of prayer observed by the nation’s grand mufti, who led him on a tour of the Islamic facility.”21 An article on the event stated:

According to reports, Francis took off his shoes, folded his hands and bowed his head, standing silently next to Rahmi Yaran, who serves as the nation’s highest Islamic leader as grand mufti. The two faced Mecca as Yaran prayed with his palms raised. . . .

Francis held his first ecumenical meeting last March, greeting Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders, as well as those who ascribe to no faith at all. During the occasion, he praised the Muslim leaders that had come for the meeting, remarking that they were men who “adore the one, living, and merciful God and who call upon Him in prayer.” 22

Profoundly revolutionary are the new missionary goals of this blossoming ecumenical, evolutionary movement. It vehemently challenges age-old values, morals, and doctrines rooted in the Bible for which the apostles, prophets, and many others were willing to be martyred. Old ways of thinking, no matter how cherished and useful in the past, have no place within post-modern man’s massive religio-political trend.

Jeremy Rifkin, leading New Age spokesperson, summarized it well:

We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of preexisting cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.23

The Kingdom, Here and Now

The idea that man can build his own kingdom of heaven on earth distorts the Christian’s biblical hope of the true heaven and breeds horrendous apostasy in the church. This condition is prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, which says that before the Antichrist, or false messiah, can assert himself as world leader of Satan’s kingdom on earth, there will be a “falling away” from the faith by the church. Millions of proclaiming Christians have become corrupted by the world’s agenda and are even now playing into the hands of the enemy in his quest to dupe men into believing that world consolidation will bring about a satisfying peace.

Reconstructionism, a movement significantly affecting the evangelical church, claims that Christ’s return is dependent upon a global political takeover by Christians who must establish His kingdom on earth before He can return. Advocates of Kingdom Now and Dominion Theology join in this dangerous perpetration of such heresy. Certain charismatics in mainline denominations fall into the same apostasy, adopting Latter Rain and Manifest Sons of God theology which claim that a “raising” of Christian consciousness is necessary to restore God’s earthly kingdom.

How presumptuous to think that God needs the help of either Christians or nonbelievers to accomplish His destiny! The Christian’s citizenship is not here on Earth but in Heaven (Hebrews 11:8-10, 16). To conquer the world for God is not the ministry to which God called His church. To compromise the Great Commission is to do a corrupt disservice to the command of Christ.

Jesus said, “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).
The emerging church, a movement that began in the late 1990s and by some estimates claims over twenty million mostly young people,24 holds to the view that the kingdom of God is already here on Earth and that there will be no second return of Christ.

People who are deceived by these various movements will also be deceived when a world leader comes on the scene and proclaims himself to be the “Christ” that they were able to usher in due to their “important” political and social justice maneuvering.

Everywhere on Earth, Christians and other groups will praise him as a genius of global political peace. The Jews will gratefully acclaim him as the peacemaker, their long-awaited “Messiah.”

The evolutionists will see him as naturalistic emanation that formed from the cosmic universe, which at last scientifically proves that order can come out of chaos.

The Infinite Wisdom of God

As we analyze our society, it is easy to see we are being steeped in the concept that physical evolution is responsible for shaping the past and that spiritual evolution is able to create our future.

To accept the outrageous idea that godhood lies within man, not only as a personal evolutionary pilgrimage but on a grand scale, brings heavy warnings from God:

Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God . . . Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. (Ezekiel 28:2,7)

History has proven that man’s godhood can never happen. Anytime that man attempts to rule the universe, he must fall as we see in the humbling process that befell King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:30-35. To believe that man can bring in an age of lasting peace apart from God is to believe the lie that out of chaos comes order. But method cannot come out of madness.

Method and order are the faithful characteristics of a God of love and are transparently seen in His creation. Method and order belong to a God with eternal intentions, who gracefully shows that every jot and tittle in the Bible have an ultimate purpose in revealing Him as Truth and Love. Method and order are part of the infinite wisdom of a God filled with the purpose of bringing mankind into a loving relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus, who died as a remission for the sins of the world “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).


*This set of quotes can be found in Warren B. Smith’s booklet, Be Still and Know That You Are NOT God .

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Endnotes:

  1. Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point (Toronto, CA: Bantam, 1982), pp. 77-78.
  2. USA Weekend Sunday Supplement, July 24-26, 1987, p. 12.
  3. John Randolph Price, The Superbeings (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1981), p. 17.
  4. M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1978), p. 281.
  5. The Oprah Winfrey Show # W265, “The New Age Movement,” Air Date: September 18, 1987.
  6. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic (Dayton, OH: Whaleprints for SpiritVenture Ministries, Inc., 1991, 1994), p. 125.
  7. Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine (New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers Inc.,1992), p. 160.
  8. Eugene Peterson, The Message: The New Testament in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: Nav Press, 1993, 2003), pp. 21-22.
  9. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 1993), p. 69.
  10. Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1995), p. 229.
  11. Henri Nouwen, Here and Now (New York, NY: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997 edition), p. 22.
  12. Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), p. 88.
  13. William P. Young, The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity (Newbury Park, CA: Windblown Media, 2007), p. 112.
  14. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. 199.
  15. Kenneth Copeland, “The Force of Love” cassette tape #02-0028.
  16. Kenneth Copeland, “Following the Faith of Abraham” cassette tape, 1989.
  17. Kenneth Copeland, “Believers Voice of Victory,” broadcast on TBN. July 9, 1987.
  18. “Pope Francis: Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Real” (NBC News, October 28, 2014, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pope-francis-evolution-big-bang-theory-are-real-n235696).
  19. The Pope Video—Inter-religious Dialogue—January 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq7us5Lf5IU.
  20. Elise Harris, “In First Prayer Video, Pope Stresses Interfaith Unity: ‘We Are All Children of God’” (Catholic News Agency, January 7, 2016, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/in-first-video-message-pope-francis-stresses-unity-we-are-all-children-of-god-39381/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email).
  21. Heather Clark, “‘Pope Francis’ Bows Head in ‘Silent Adoration’ Beside Islamic Grand Mufti in Turkey’s Blue Mosque” (Christian News Network, November 29, 2014, http://christiannews.net/2014/11/29/pope-francis-bows-head-in-silent-adoration-beside-islamic-grand-mufti-in-turkeys-blue-mosque.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Jeremy Rifkin, Algeny (New York, NY: Viking Press 1983), p. 244.
  24. Antonio Mora, “New Faithful Practice Away From Churches” (Chicago News, CBS Broadcasting, July 10, 2006, http://www.religionnewsblog.com/15295/Some-Say-20-Million-Participate-In-Emerging-Church-Movement).

 

 

Does Calvinism’s “Perseverance” Really Offer Eternal Security? The Answer: No!
By Bob Kirkland
From the book Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy (Lighthouse Trails, 2018)

The word perseverance is found only once in the Scriptures. Ephesians 6:18 commands the believer to be, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” This verse is speaking of perseverance in prayer and has nothing to do with persevering unto salvation. The dictionary meaning as well as the meaning of the Greek word here is to hold to or adhere to a course of action.1

CALVIN’S PERSEVERANCE IS NOT ETERNAL SECURITY

Many Christians wrongly assume that the Calvinist theory of “the perseverance of the saints” [the “P” in T.U.L.I.P.] is synonymous with the doctrine of eternal security. The biblical doctrine of eternal security teaches that one who has been truly saved by God’s grace is kept eternally saved by God’s grace. God has not left our eternal destiny in our ability to persevere. For God to do that would result in a salvation by works.

Citing Augustine, John Calvin wrote, “[T]hose who do not persevere unto the end belong not to the calling of God.”2

Calvin also stated:

[W]hat they [the Christians at Corinth] had attained so far is nothing, unless they keep steadily on; because it is not enough that they once started off on the way of the Lord, if they do not make an effort to reach the goal.3


In Calvinist author A. W. Pink’s book Practical Christianity, Pink taught, “[I]f there is a reserve in your obedience, you are on the road to hell.”4

Pink also said:

Something more than believing in Christ is necessary to ensure the soul’s reaching Heaven.5

Reformed minister John Otis states that, “maintaining an unforgiving spirit . . . will surely destroy our souls in hell.”6

In his book, The Doctrine of Sanctification, A. W. Pink stated:

[H]oliness in this life is such a part of our “salvation” that it is a necessary means to make us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in heavenly light and glory.7

Calvinist theologian and co-founder of the Westminster Theological Seminary, Dr. John Murray states:

[L]et us appreciate the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints and recognize that we may entertain the faith of our security in Christ only as we persevere in faith and holiness to the end.8

DID THE MEN GOD USED TO WRITE OVER FIFTY CHAPTERS OF THE BIBLE NOT PERSEVERE?

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods . . . his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel . . . he kept not that which the LORD commanded. (1 Kings 11:4,9,10)

The man whom God used to write Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon turned away from God into idolatry and apostasy.

As noted, A. W. Pink said, “If there is a reserve in your obedience, you are on the road to hell.” How do Calvinists put this all together? Would they have us believe God predestined an unsaved (non-elect) man to write Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon and then when He was finished with him sent him to Hell?

WHAT ABOUT SAINTS WHO DIDN’T PERSEVERE?

First Corinthians 1:2 tells us this letter was written, “Unto the church.” It says they were “saints.” How does Calvin’s perseverance of the saints fit in with these saints God repeatedly referred to as “carnal”?

First Corinthians 5:13 commands the saints at the local church in Corinth to, “put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” The fact that they were not dealing with sin in their church is an example of the saints not persevering because the whole church was guilty of not dealing with a serious matter.

In the seven churches in Revelation, only one was found acceptable. By Calvin’s guidelines, the members of all these churches were going to Hell.
The Bible has many specific examples of believers who did not persevere according to John Calvin’s theory.

Noah got drunk, Abraham was a liar, Jacob schemed, Samson failed, David fell into sin and was responsible for the death of a man, Moses didn’t follow God’s instructions and was not allowed to enter the promised land, John Mark quit, Peter cursed and denied Christ, and all the disciples forsook Jesus. The list goes on and on. Yet, A. W. Pink said, “If there is a reserve in your obedience, you are on the road to hell,” That means all these people were on the road to Hell! And where does that leave us?

There is actually no eternal security in the doctrine of the “perseverance of the saints” because no one can ever know—even at the end of his life—if he had really persevered enough. And from a biblical standpoint, saints persevering for salvation are on extremely dangerous ground; as the apostle Paul points out, if you are depending on your works, works will not save you.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. . . .

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:16, 21)

Calvinists believe the “perseverance of the saints” offers them eternal security, but in actuality, it brings them more insecurity than ever regarding their salvation. Here, the persevering is left up to the strength of the believer rather than resting on the promises of God that assure us eternal life is based on what He has already done, not what we do. It is our part to believe, repent, and put our trust in Him and His part to save and preserve us.

Eternal security does not give believers permission to sin any more than the fathers of the faith, who stumbled, had an excuse for their sins and failures. However, the wonder of the Cross is that our sins are fully paid for—paid in full. Jesus said, “It is finished.” Our redemption has been entirely purchased. We can rest in the assurance of salvation that the Gospel offers, as expressed by the apostles and prophets. But Calvinism, while it claims to be wholly dependent on the grace of God for salvation, has actually turned everything upside down with the teaching of the “perseverance of the saints,” making salvation a works-based religion where grace is not truly grace. With Calvinism, the responsibility of salvation is put on the believer thereby nullifying grace altogether. Paul explained this when he said:
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6)

NO ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

Even John Calvin himself did not possess assurance of salvation. Writing in his will shortly before his death in 1564, he declared:

I testify also and profess that I humbly seek from God, that He may so will me to be washed and purified by the great Redeemer’s blood, shed for the sins of the human race, that it may be permitted me to stand before His tribunal under the covert of the Redeemer Himself.9 (italics in original; underline added)

John 3:36 says:

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Calvin taught that he could not believe unless God first regenerated him and gave him faith to believe. It is not surprising, therefore, that Calvin or any Calvinist cannot have an assurance of salvation and, therefore, he must adhere to his perseverance of the saints theory.

No Calvinist can be sure of his salvation because he might be predestined just to think he is saved. After all, playing little head games with people would not be wrong for Calvin’s “God” since Calvin’s “God” is glorified by sending billions of people who had no choice to Hell for eternity.

MORE CALVINISTS ON PERSEVERANCE

Calvinist pastor John Murray says:

[W]e may entertain the faith of our security in Christ only as we persevere in faith and holiness to the end.10

How much holiness? Are we talking about sinless perfection? Calvinist theologian Charles Hodge (1797-1878), in referring to evidence of being elected, said:

The only evidence of election is effectual calling, that is, the production of holiness. And the only evidence of the genuineness of this call and the certainty of our perseverance, is a patient continuance in well doing.11

Again, John Murray stated:

The perseverance of the saints reminds us very forcefully that only those who persevere to the end are truly saints.12

In the perseverance discussion, John MacArthur states that “you may be a spiritual defector who hasn’t defected yet.”13

“I WAS TERRIFIED!”

In an article titled “Assurance of Salvation,” the highly popular Calvinist teacher, the late R. C. Sproul (d. 2017) wrote:

A while back I had one of those moments . . . suddenly the question hit me: “R. C., what if you are not one of the redeemed? What if your destiny is not heaven after all, but hell?” Let me tell you that I was flooded in my body with a chill that went from my head to the bottom of my spine. I was terrified.14

There is not a person in the world who believes what John Calvin taught who should not be terrified concerning the reality of his salvation.
Sproul continued:

I began to take stock of my life, and I looked at my performance. My sins came pouring into my mind, and the more I looked at myself the worse I felt. I thought, “Maybe it’s really true. Maybe I’m not saved after all.” . . . Then I remembered John 6:68. Jesus had been giving out hard teaching, and many of His former followers had left Him. When He asked Peter if he was also going to leave, Peter said, “Where else can we go? Only You have words of eternal life.” In other words, Peter was also uncomfortable, but he realized that being uncomfortable with Jesus was better than any other option.15

Uncomfortable with Jesus? This doesn’t line up with Scripture that promises peace with God and eternal life to those who believe in Jesus Christ and accept His sacrifice on the Cross as a penalty for their sins. Consider these passages:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)

And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (1 John 2:25)

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)

A. W. Pink’s “solution” for supporting Calvinism is to change the meaning of words to support his theory; Sproul’s “option” is to be “uncomfortable with Jesus,” which he considered “better than any other option.” It is very difficult to understand why any Christian with a basic understanding of the Scriptures would accept another gospel that is not only heretical and very dangerous but strips a believer of the assurance and peace that the Scriptures promise to “whosoever will.”

Endnotes:

  1. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981 edition), p. 978.
  2. John Calvin, Calvin’s Calvinism: God’s Eternal Predestination and Secret Providence (Reformed Free Publishing Association, Kindle edition from the 2009 2nd edition), Kindle location 532.
  3. John Calvin, The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1960), p. 197.
  4. A.W. Pink, Practical Christianity (Zeeland, MI: Reformed Church Publications, 2009), p. 16.
  5. A. W. Pink in December 1947, cited in Iain H. Murray’s The Life of Arthur W. Pink (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1981 edition), pp. 248-249.
  6. John Otis, “Who is the Genuine Christian?” (The Counsel of Chalcedon, 1988), p. 20; article on file with publisher.
  7. A. W. Pink, The Doctrine of Sanctification (Prisbrary Publishing, Kindle edition, Arthur Pink Collection Book 16), Kindle location 374, citing Puritan Walter Marshall, 1692. This book is also available on Amazon in a print edition published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, July 9, 2016, and the quote is found on page 27.
  8. John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2015 edition), p. 164.
    Chapter 8: No Assurance of Salvation
  9. Norman F. Douty, The Death of Christ (Irving, TX: Williams & Watrous Pub. Co., Revised and Enlarged Edition, 1978), p. 176, citing John Calvin from F. F. Bruce’s “Answers and Questions,” Questions 1331, in The Harvester (Exeter) January 1966.
  10. John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2015 edition).
  11. Charles Hodge, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Publishing, 1983 edition), p. 292.
  12. John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, op. cit., p. 165.
  13. Philip F. Congdon, “Soteriological Implications of Five-Point Calvinism” (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 1995, Volume 8 | No. 15, https://faithalone.org/wp-content/uploads/1995/09/Journal-of-the-Grace-Evangelical-Society-Vol.8-Autumn-1995-No.15small.pdf), p. 63.
  14. R. C. Sproul, “Assurance of Salvation” (Tabletalk, Ligonier Ministries, Inc., 1989), p. 20; cited in Dave Hunt’s book, What Love is This?, op. cit., from chapter 29, endnote #25.
  15. Ibid.

(photo from Calvinism: None Dare Call it Heresy; designed from photo from Alamy.com; used with permission)

 

Guest Commentary: “What is the Cure?”

By Jerry D.

The world is living in troublesome times with the devastation of the coronavirus.  History has recorded many catastrophic events that have taken place such as wars, genocides, terrorisms, famines, wild fires, floods, droughts, tornadoes, earthquakes, pestilences, etc.  Throughout history the age-long question has always been “Why?”  Some would even appear to blame God when stating, “Why does God allow these things to happen?”   Simply stated the answer is in the inspired Word of God—the Bible.  However, mockers, scoffers, and non-believers in God will ridicule that answer because “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good” (Psalm 14:1). Proverb 26:12 says, “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”

The answer to “Why?” is simply, are we obeying or disobeying God?

Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.  (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)

God will do or allow things to happen in order to get our attention so that we will repent of disobedience and turn back to Him. 

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Accepting the answer to the question of “Why?” is the answer to the question “What is the Cure?.”

But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20)

Fortunately, some will seek the shadow of the Almightywhile unfortunately, some will continue in the shadow of the worldly.Consider the analogy between Psalm 91:1-6 and Isaiah 30:1-3:

(Psalm 91:1-6)  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. (emphasis added)

(Isaiah 30:1-3) Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!  [Pharaoh / Egypt represent those and the things of the world rather than seeking God’s ways; that is, wise in their own conceit]. Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. (emphasis added)

And consider the following verses (emphasis added):

Keep me as the apple of the eye,hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” (Psalm 17:8)

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. (Psalm 31:20)

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. (Psalm 57:1)

In order to be in the secret place or shadow of the Almightyrather than in the shadow of the worldly, a person must be in very close proximity to the one casting the shadow.  Consider the hymn by the anonymous author,  Just A Closer Walk With Thee

I am weak but thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong.
I’ll be satisfied as long as I walk,
Let me walk close to thee.
Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but thee, dear Lord, none but thee.

When my feeble life is over,
Time for me will be no more.
Guide me gently, safely over
To thy kingdom shore, to thy shore.
Just a closer walk with thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea.
Daily walking close to thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

There is no closer walk with the Lord Christ Jesus than having the assurance of forgiveness because of trusting in His death, burial, resurrection, and His shed blood on Calvary for your sin.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.(John 3:16-18)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

It is comforting in both the pleasant times and the not-so-pleasant times to know and claim the promises of the Lord God Christ Jesus. He knows who and where you are, and He is never any further away from you than your next thought of Him.

But in every nation he that feareth [respect] him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Acts 10:35

Let your conversation [every day live style] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5, emphasis added)


Jerry D. is a 77-year-old volunteer chaplain to nursing homes, jails, and senior living apartments.

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(photo from bigstockphoto.com; use with permission)

“CA Governor Witnessing ‘Free Exercise’ in Action”
photo: California Governor, Gavin Newsom

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes.

By Chris Woodward and Steve Jordahl
OneNewsNow

California’s liberal governor has backtracked over restrictions for church gatherings but added several questionable restrictions, and a religious liberty attorney says the First Amendment has the final say in the matter.

Responding to President Donald Trump’s support for churches to immediately reopen because they are “essential,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (pictured at right) announced draconian rules that include no congregational singing and limiting building capacity to 25 percent or 100 people, whichever is less. Click here to continue reading.

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Bad Counsel to a Christian Girl at a Contemplative College
LTRP Note: The following is a chapter from Castles in the Sand, a Lighthouse Trails novel based on true facts, exposing the dangers of contemplative spirituality. The story is about a young Christian college girl who is introduced to mysticism through her spiritual formation professor. In the following chapter, Tessa, troubled by some of the strange symptoms she is experiencing when practicing meditation, seeks help from her school counselor.

By Carolyn A. Greene

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.–Jesus, Matthew 6:7

March 23
“And so, I’m really not sure what to think anymore about this spiritual formation training,” Tessa said softly. She felt very small and insignificant sitting in front of the huge desk in the head counselor’s office. The walls were covered with hardwood panels, and on the one with the credenza pushed against it hung a framed portrait of a man staring down at her with knowing eyes. The counselor wrote on a notepad with an expensive-looking gold pen. He had been at Flat Plains Bible College for nearly five years, and most of the students respected him. Tessa had often heard him play his cello in the string quartet during chapel for Monday meditations. He was a bachelor, but not the kind the girls would flirt with. She wondered if he ironed his own shirts every day, as he always wore a crisp white one under his sports jacket. He had a few odd quirks but was generally kindhearted and caring. Tessa didn’t know why she felt so uncomfortable as she sat in his office. The counselor analyzed the comments he’d been jotting down. His notes said this girl had dark circles under her eyes and seemed very nervous. She had no previous record of drug use and had never gotten into trouble at school.

“Miss Dawson, we realize it’s an emotionally and spiritually demanding course. You have probably been working very hard. I see you stayed at school over the Christmas holidays as well as spring break last week to catch up on some course assignments. With the semester nearly over, the pressure will soon be off. Have you talked to your spiritual formation professor?”

“Well, she was the one who recommended that I be mentored by Ms. Jasmine. Naturally, I was excited about that, at first. Now, I’m not sure anymore. So I talked to the other counselor this morning, and she told me that you and Ms. Jasmine are the only people I need to talk to about my concerns.”

“Did she now? Instead of speaking to me, have you talked to Dr. Winters first about your concerns?” He secretly wished Dr. Jasmine Winters hadn’t been so casual with the students, allowing them to address her by her first name. It was simply disrespectful.

“Well, that’s the problem. I’m not comfortable with that.”

The counselor leaned forward on his oak desktop and looked at her over his black-rimmed glasses . “Well, apparently Dr. Winters is comfortable enough to have you all call her Ms. Jasmine. Now, could you tell me exactly why you are ‘uncomfortable’?”

“It’s like this. I . . . when I am in a session . . . I mean, when I did the sessions with Ms. Jazz, I mean Dr. Winters, strange things happen, I mean, happened.” Tessa started to cry. “I’m sorry, I haven’t been sleeping well.”

Tessa felt her throat tightening. This wasn’t easy for her. At first, in the beginning of the school year, everything was good. Really good, actually, and Tessa had soon become a keen and open-minded student. But later, she’d begun having reservations, even before Katy read her “the list.” She couldn’t say why, exactly, only that she’d started to feel vaguely suspicious and oddly unsettled about the whole thing. That was probably why she could never muster the courage to take it to the next level. And lately, her resistance seemed increasingly ineffective. She used to have control, but she didn’t seem to have it anymore. Had the words of warning, the words she had so carelessly rejected, been right after all?

“What sort of strange things?” the counselor asked, interrupting her thoughts.

“Yes. Well, this may sound very, very weird, but I get a tingling, prickling sensation in my head and my hands, and sometimes all the way down to my feet.”

“Has Dr. Winters been letting you drink her Yerba Mate? It sometimes has an effect on certain people.”

Tessa shuddered at the thought of the South American tea Ms. Jasmine sometimes drank through a metal straw. She thought the Yerba leaves looked and smelled like a wet horse stall.

“No. You don’t believe me, do you?” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a folded, wrinkled paper. It was the list Katy had tried reading to her the other night. Later, when Katy wasn’t there, Tessa picked it up, folded it neatly, and put it in one of her books. “I would like to read this to you. These are some symptoms that–”

“That you have?”

“Well, I might have some, but so does my friend Elise and at least half the class. But Dr. Winters has most of these. Can I just read this?”

“Have you been to see the school nurse?” he asked.

“I don’t need a nurse!” she said too loudly, and remorsefully looked down at the floor. “Please . . .” she said quietly.

“Go ahead.” The counselor leaned back in his chair.

“These are some of the symptoms I am talking about. It’s only some of them.”

castlesfinal

Before coming there that day, she had highlighted certain symptoms on the list with a yellow marker, ones she had either experienced herself or saw or heard about in others, including Ms. Jasmine–especially Ms. Jasmine. She held the wrinkled paper in her clammy hands and began reading the symptoms she had marked:

Hearing sounds like a flute, waterfall, bees buzzing, ringing in the ears, inner voices, mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, emotional outbursts, uncontrollable laughing and crying, rapid mood shifts, fear, rage, heightened awareness, trances, sensations of heat or prickling in the hands and head, feelings of peace and tranquility, ecstasy, dreams or visions of spirit guides, out-of-body experiences, awareness of auras, chakras, healing powers, sensitivity–

“All right, all right. That’s enough, I’ve got the point,” the counselor interrupted. He pulled off his glasses, puffed a few breaths of hot air onto the lenses, and unfolded a clean white handkerchief to polish them.

“But I’m not finished. I–”

“Miss Dawson, look, I believe you. A few other students have reported minor things. But everything has an explanation. This is a very old school. Before we rule out the insulation or the lead paint, here’s what I think. First of all, you have completed the required reading, am I correct?”

Tessa nodded.

“Then you must know that the ancient Christians who tapped into methods of prayer that the modern church has forgotten also describe many of the same experiences. What if these things, which you say make you fearful, are simply God’s graces and favors being bestowed upon you? Rather than having a fear-based faith, we must open ourselves to God’s voice. We must not shut the door to new forms of God’s communication with us, Tessa. The Bible says, ‘Shout to the Lord a new song!’ We cannot put God in a box.”

He reached behind him and pulled a book from his shelf. The title on the cover said The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila, but Tessa thought this one looked older and thicker than her copy, which was called Selections from the Interior Castle. He pushed up his thick-framed glasses and opened it to a page with a folded corner.

“As St. Teresa of Avila wrote, ‘Our Lord is just as pleased today as He has ever been to reveal favors to his people, and I’m convinced that anyone who will not believe this closes the door to receiving them herself.’ So you see, only those who believe and open the door will be the recipients of His revelations and favors!”

Tessa knew about that. She had written a paper on the Teresian prayer model. “Yes, I understand that concept. But something is not right, I’m telling you. One evening not long ago, I arrived early at our mentoring session, and Ms. Jazz was . . . she was . . .”

“Tessa, Dr. Winters is a very spiritually disciplined person, and a fine role model. She does the fixed hours of prayer several times a day, and some people, when they find out, just don’t understand. It’s a classic case of fearing the unknown. I trust she has been training you to do your prayer exercises as well. May I ask how far you have gone in your quiet prayer time in regard to the inner rooms of the Teresian prayer model?”

“Well, I . . . I could never get past the fourth room,” she said, sniffing. “The castle. It haunts me in my dreams. What I thought was beautiful is turning into a bad dream. It’s just not lining up with . . .” She stopped in mid-sentence and thought about Katy and Gramps, and how they would often say that something was not “lining up with Scripture.” “I guess I just don’t know anymore if the voices I am hearing are from God or . . . I’m just . . . I’m very scared.”

“Dear Tessa, I think I have just answered your own question.” The counselor looked pleased with himself and assured her with a compassionate smile. “Now take a deep breath and listen to me carefully. Close your eyes . . . There, that’s right. Now, do you remember how St. Teresa compared the doubts we have to reptiles? Let me read a little more from the fifth chapter.” The way the counselor read reminded Tessa of the way Ms. Jasmine read—slowly, methodically, pronounced:

In the prayer of quiet in the previous mansion, the soul needs to be very experienced before it can be sure what really happened to it. Did it imagine the whole thing? Was it asleep and dreaming? Did the experience come from God, or from the devil disguised as an angel of light? The mind feels a thousand doubts. And so it ought, for as I said, we can be deceived in these mansions, even by our own nature. It is true that there is little chance of those poisonous creatures entering the Fourth Mansion, but slippery little lizards are small enough to slip in unnoticed. They do no harm, especially if we ignore them, but these little thoughts and fancies thrown out by the imagination can be annoying.

However active those lizards may be, they cannot enter into the Fifth Mansion. Here, neither the imagination, the understanding, or the memory has any power to prevent God’s grace flowing into the soul.

The counselor closed the book and placed it on a stack of Travel Mongolia magazines. His chair creaked as he leaned back and took off his glasses again. “Tessa,” he said, “perhaps you need to enter into the fifth room of the castle and allow God’s grace to flow into your soul. You seem too focused on poisonous, negative thoughts, which you simply must choose to ignore. I suggest you contemplate Scripture more often through your lectio divina exercises.”

Tessa nodded her head, folded the paper, and stood up. Her ears began to ring again. The book he had read from sounded different from the one she had. Why were they always quoting to her out of books? Gramps usually quoted the Bible, and he seemed to know a lot of it by heart. She wasn’t sure if Ms. Jasmine even owned a Bible. If she did, Tessa had never seen it.

She was more confused than ever. Everyone here kept telling her to shut out the noises and go within herself. “There you will find your true self,” they’d say. However, her true self was the part of her that was so confused. Gramps always said that God is not the author of confusion. For some reason, Tessa remembered that cold fall day at the retreat when they were instructed to go and find their true selves, and she found the mysterious woodsman instead. What was that verse he read? “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”

She had no idea why she remembered that verse today, but how desperately she longed to know truth and have wisdom right now.
“May I go now?” she asked, rubbing her temples. “I . . . I have a really bad headache.”

The counselor nodded and watched her walk to the door….

“Oh and Miss Dawson, one more thing,” he said as she paused with her hand on the knob. “St. Teresa, your namesake, also said that a venomous reptile cannot live in the presence of divine light. If we are to be Christ followers, we must choose not to join the ranks of the spiritually uncivilized who refuse to be enlightened. Please keep this in mind.”

Tessa gave a weak, “OK,” then opened the door and stepped into the hall. The door swung shut behind her with a precise click. She watched as students walked past her to their classes, chatting and laughing happily as though everything was normal and there wasn’t a care in the world. As for herself, she wondered if she was going mad. Nothing made sense anymore.

Back in the office, the counselor glanced at his watch. Thank goodness she’s gone, he thought. It was nearly noon. Time for the Daily Office, the fixed hours of prayer Ms. Jasmine had taught them at their second staff retreat. He found that even five minutes spent centering down helped him get through a stressful day. Lately, more students like Tessa had begun to ask him too many difficult questions. Not to mention that paranoid old Mr. Brown who had been phoning and giving him a hard time.

He was beginning to feel more than a little annoyed.

He locked his office door, put a Taize worship CD into his Sony player and sat down in his chair again. Glancing up at the chart on his wall, he took a deep breath. He nearly had it memorized but wanted to be sure of the steps, so he read them again:

-Be attentive and open
-Sit still
-Sit straight
-Breathe slowly, deeply
-Close your eyes or lower them to the ground

Then he closed his eyes and slowly repeated the verse of the day from the Sacred Meditation website–

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know . . .
that I am God . . .
that I am God . . .
that I am God.
That I am God,
I am God,
I am God,
I am God,
I am,
I am,
I am,
I am . . .

The noise in the hallway soon disappeared as Dr. Frank Johnson … shut out the sounds around him and slipped into a peaceful inner silence.


This is an excerpt from chapter 19 of Castles in the Sand. If you know of a young person who is going to be attending a Christian college or seminary this coming Fall and would like to give him or her a copy of Castles in the Sand but cannot afford to purchase it, e-mail us with your mailing address, and we will send you a free copy so you can give it to this person.

 

Letter to the Editor: Kaiser Permanente Among Those Pushing Mindfulness and Meditation Due to Coronavirus
LTRP Note: While New Age meditative practices (including “mindfulness” meditation) have integrated into all facets of our Western society, including the church, for some time, there has been an even stronger push for them since coronavirus began. Purveyors of eastern-style meditation are using the elevated levels of stress that the “pandemic” has caused to sell the idea that we need meditation practices to help alleviate that stress. The following letter to the editor gives one example (see links below for other examples).

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I’m sending you this on the off chance you were not aware of Kaiser’s increasing mystical bent. A search for references to Kaiser or Kaiser Permanente on your site came up empty.

This morning I found email from Kaiser Permanente in my regular inbox. This isn’t unusual because my mother-in-law has been enrolled with them for some time, and Kaiser sends her several emails after each of her cancer treatments. Since she “doesn’t do the Internet,” my wife has directed Kaiser’s email to our account. I usually just drop them in a folder without reading them since they contain no info that her doctor hasn’t already given her. But among the messages today is a link to Kaiser’s “Emotional Wellness Tools,” which includes various apps for “mental health and emotional wellness.” It seems Kaiser has taken note of  “these stressful times” and has taken it upon themselves to be guardians of much more than physical health.

On one page of their website, we read:

“Everyone needs support for total health — mind, body, and spirit. These wellness apps can help you navigate life’s challenges, and make small changes to improve your sleep, mood, relationships, and more. It’s self-care made easy, designed to help you live well and thrive.”

There’s an app called “Calm” which features “More than 100 guided meditations” and other “mindfulness tools.” Another app is called “myStrength” (sic) which includes more “Mindfulness and meditation activities” as well as “Tailored programs for managing depression, stress, anxiety, and more.”

Got that? And MORE! From a mainstream healthcare provider!! I’m glad my mother-in-law isn’t computer literate, or she might be exposed to this poison.

We are living in a virtual ashram. The only antidote is the Gospel; God’s offer of eternal life as a free gift, received by simply believing in Christ as one’s Savior.

Thank you for your attention.

Charles F.


Other examples of pushing meditation because of coronavirus (posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of content or source):

Chicago Expands Mental Health Supports During COVID-19 Crisis

Headspace is offering free mindfulness courses to unemployed Americans

Governor Whitmer and Headspace Launch ‘Stay Home, Stay MIndful’ Website to Offer Free Mental Health Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic

Edward Jones: How We’re Adapting to the COVID-19 ‘New Normal’

Allianz Partners launches student support program

Coronavirus: How Nike is letting athletes teach workouts during COVID-19 pandemic

Baylor University: Global Experts Launch Online Guide for Life, Death During COVID-19 Era

Calvin University: Practicing Mindfulness in a Time of Pandemic

Religious News Service: There’s an app for that: Christian mindfulness, meditation apps find their moment

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Warning: Zondervan Introduces Its First-Ever Film, Nine: The Enneagram Documentary— to Release in Theaters Fall 2020
The promotional poster for the Enneagram documentary by Zondervan; used in accordance with the U.S. Fair Use Act for the purpose of critique, analysis, and review.

LTRP Note: The news release below regarding the Christian publisher, Zondervan, is posted for informational and research purposes. Lighthouse Trails warned about the Enneagram in our booklet, The Enneagram—An Enlightening Tool or an Enticing Deception? (written by Lois Putnam), which we released last Fall. Obviously, when one of the largest evangelical publishers releases a film (their first film ever) on the Enneagram, it’s clear this is a fast-growing trend within evangelicalism. We believe the Enneagram (as is Lectio Divina) is a gateway “tool” to further integrate the occultic contemplative prayer movement into the church, a movement that has so significantly influenced millions of Christians.

News Release from Zondervan Publishers

Zondervan announces the first-ever Enneagram film, NINE: THE ENNEAGRAM DOCUMENTARY, will debut in North American theaters fall 2020, featuring internationally renowned Enneagram expert and bestselling author Christopher L. Heuertz.

The documentary, produced in association with Sandoval Studios, marks Zondervan’s first foray in producing a film. Zondervan sees film as a way to broaden key messages from its authors to reach a wider audience and is actively exploring this format. Click here to continue reading.

NEW BOOKLET: Public School or Homeschool?—How Public Schools Are Corrupting Children’s Values

NEW BOOKLET: Public School or Homeschool?—How Public Schools Are Corrupting Children’s Values by Maria Kneas and Berit Kjos is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet.* The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are available. 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 Public School or Homeschool?—How Public Schools Are Corrupting Children’s Valuesclick here.

Editor’s Notes: Lighthouse Trails began preparations for this booklet prior to the current “coronavirus pandemic.” With this and other recent events, we believe the release of this booklet is providentially timed.

**Some of the information in this booklet is of a very sensitive nature, and some readers may find it difficult and uncomfortable to read.

Public School or Homeschool?—How Public Schools Are Corrupting Children’s Values

By Maria Kneas and Berit Kjos

Part One—True-Life Examples at America’s Public Schools
By Maria Kneas

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

Children spend about six hours every weekday—which is about half of their waking hours—in school. Some of those remaining waking hours are spent doing homework. Thus, it is safe to say that children’s school experience is one of the most, if not the most, major influences in their lives. So, it stands to reason that parents should be aware of what their children’s school is teaching them. This booklet you are about to read capsulates how America’s public schools are using deceptive and dangerous tactics to change the values and behaviors of children in their care. And thus, the question every parent should ask—public school or homeschool?

For generations, American children have been taught humanist beliefs and values in public schools. Christian morals have been undermined by values clarification and other techniques. This has caused a radical change in the beliefs and moral values of children in this country.1

The psychological brainwashing techniques used on our children have resulted in children accepting alternative values as opposed to having them reach those decisions rationally. In a 1993 Forbes magazine article titled “Indoctrinating the Children,” Dr. Thomas Sowell recognized this was taking place:

The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children.2

In stark contrast, Dr. Chester M. Pierce, once a professor of Educational Psychiatry at Harvard University, stated that American children are “insane” because they are loyal to America, to their parents, and to their belief in God. He said it is the job of teachers to heal these “sick children” by turning them into the “international children of the future.”3

Dr. Paul Brandwein, a leading child psychologist, evidently agrees with Dr. Pierce. In his book, The Social Sciences, Dr. Brandwein said, “Every child who believes in God is mentally ill.”4 This must have a practical impact on our education system because government schools have psychologists.

For years, the National Education Association (NEA) has been promoting sex education with the goal of radically changing how students think about sex.5 Sometimes, the results are drastic enough to make the news. One such case was reported in an article in October 2019 stating that an Austin, Texas school district will teach children as early as sixth grade about oral and anal sex, and this includes role playing. The children will also pretend to have sex when they are drunk and will pretend to put a condom on somebody. In addition, the homosexual and transgender agenda will be integrated into the children’s lives. The article explains:

As detailed by Texas Values, the curriculum discourages gender-specific language like “mother” and “father” because it “can limit [children’s] understanding of gender into binaries,” [it] encourages children to attend LGBT “pride” rallies and explore other ways to become LGBT “allies.”6

A 16-year-old girl at a Colorado high school was required to role play getting raped in front of her classmates. She was also required to read out loud a poem which has such an indecent attitude towards sex that I cannot describe it here in this booklet. That poem is full of four-letter words. The girl was traumatized by having to do these things in front of her classmates.7

The NEA has also been promoting “death education,” with a goal to change thinking about death as radically as they were able to change thinking about sex. Do you remember that shooting at Columbine? Prior to that horrific shooting by two teens, for years that school had been teaching death education.8

Some schools even have a “suicide talking day.” On that day, students write suicide notes. They write their own obituaries and discuss what they will look like in their caskets. One student said that before “suicide talking day,” she never considered the possibility of suicide. After that day, she began to contemplate it. She thought it would “liberate her spirit” so that it would no longer be “enslaved to her body.” In addition, it would help with the problem of global overpopulation. She said that the suicide training made her “brave enough” to commit suicide.9

In 2019, a 13-year-old girl in Kansas was asked to indicate which students she would kill if she wanted to kill five students in her class. She pointed at four of them and at herself. While pointing, her hand was in the shape of a “finger gun” (the index finger pointing and the thumb raised). Because of that, her teacher took her to the principal. That girl was handcuffed, arrested, and taken to a juvenile detention center. The girl was charged with committing a felony.10

Public schools are also promoting occultism. There is a reading series called “Impressions” that is used in the second and third grades of some public schools. It teaches the students how to cast spells. One of the exercises is to pretend that some children have had a magician cast a spell on them. In order to help the children, it is necessary to reverse that spell. The students are told to write the spell that the magician used and then write another spell to reverse it. Then they are told to chant their spells. By making them chant the spells, the teacher is requiring them to do role playing. They are taking on the role of a sorcerer or a witch.11

Some public schools teach reincarnation. This is contrary to Scripture. The Bible says that we die once (as opposed to being recycled), and then we are judged (Hebrews 9:27). One student said that death was portrayed as being glamorous and living was portrayed as being hard. She said students were taught that reincarnation would solve their problems, because they would return in a better life form and eventually they would “become like God.”12
This teaching makes death look like a helpful friend, instead of an enemy. Therefore, it could make some vulnerable students become more likely to commit suicide or murder.

Seventh grade students in California were required to study Islam for three weeks. This included mandatory role playing. The students had to pretend they were Muslims. They prayed to Allah, chanted praises to Allah, and adopted Muslim names. They played a game that simulated a jihad (a holy war against enemies of Islam), and they planned a pilgrimage to Mecca. Students were encouraged to dress like Muslims and to use Muslim phrases. They were required to memorize Muslim prayers. During Ramadan, they had to fast at lunchtime. Teachers told the students that, while they were taking this intensive course about Islam, they would “become Muslims.” The textbook about Islam did not mention Islamic conquest or Islamic violence against Jews. The Muslim religion was only shown in a good light.13 You can be sure you will not find a public school in this country that would permit Christianity in the same scenario.

Some public schools have After School Satan Clubs. These are being promoted by the Satanic Temple. As of October 2016, there were clubs in Washington D.C., Arizona, Missouri, Washington, Utah, Florida, California, and Georgia. In addition, the Satanic Temple in Portland, Oregon got permission to have a club at an elementary school there.14

Part Two—Understanding Values Clarification and How It Destroys Values and Behavior
By Berit Kjos

Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known. Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:33-34)

Should schools teach values? They inevitably do. So, the essential question is: Whose values?

Years ago, history books presented honorable heroes who modeled faith, courage, honesty, and integrity. Elementary readers introduced children to memorable characters who demonstrated genuine love, not a fleeting loving feeling, but the deep, laying-down-your-life kind of love that is so often ridiculed today.

A daring curriculum replaced those former virtues, while carefully combing through textbooks for any trace of biblical bent. Curriculum change agents made sure literature was free from “biased” words like wife, husband, or marriage and hunted for books that emphasized what they considered reality and relevance by modeling adultery, homosexuality, dishonesty, and drug abuse.

Called “values clarification,” this “progressive” program challenges our children to defend or deny all the cherished goals and guidelines of earlier days. It insists that the only true values are those a child chooses himself in response to his immediate needs, desires, and circumstances. It tells him, “Do your own thing!” The result is a growing social chaos among people who, like Israel during the time of the Judges, do what is “right in [their] own eyes” (Judges 17:6 and Judges 21:25).

A mother from Kenosha, Wisconsin felt the painful effects of what her children were learning in school:

By the time my first two children had reached third grade, I realized something was wrong. The child I took to school in the morning was not the child I picked up after school in the afternoon. If this change had been a positive change, reflecting academic progress, I would have been delighted. However, the change I noticed was in their value system. They seemed to be desensitized to the morals I had been trying to instill in them as their mother, and I thought that I had failed. . . .

I failed because I had assumed the schools my children were attending were like the schools I had attended.

I found instead that the thrust of schools had turned from education to indoctrination. I found the values I instilled in my children were not reinforced or respected by the schools, but were systematically challenged in the classroom.15

Spreading like cancer, this values transformation extends from the very core of our educational system to all its parts. In the name of progress, it promotes a self-centered kind of freedom from commitment and self-control.

Junior and senior high school students in Michigan were told to relax and “fantasize” in order to design a device for birth control “they would enjoy using.” They were to discuss the criteria used for planning and the advantages of one design over another. Finally, they compared their design with existing contraceptives.16 This scenario took place over thirty years ago; you can imagine how much worse it is today.

What do students learn from this kind of exercise? The answer lies in the common goals of the humanist NEA, the New Age movement, and Planned Parenthood—three social forces that have surged forward together, dead-set on accomplishing their purpose. All three of these groups saw the need to break free of “traditional” and “religious” authority that hampers the desires of young people for sexual expression and activity according to whatever proclivity and lifestyle they desire. As Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger put it, sex is the “radiant force” enabling mankind to “attain the great spiritual illumination which will transform the world, which will light up the only path to an earthly paradise.”17

Such hedonistic philosophy cannot bring fulfillment. Instead, it stirs insatiable cravings. Luring children into this sensuous, self-centered lifestyle is Satan’s most effective way of turning them away from God. If they embrace sin, they cannot see God’s glory (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Back to “Nature”

Humanism inflamed the intellectual community because it mirrored what they already believed. Likewise, Darwin’s theory of evolution became an instant hit because he put a plausible “scientific” framework around a myth that had already found acceptance—thus validating it. This explains why “creative” scientists could produce a full-bodied drawing of their mythological missing link from fractions of bones and get away with it. Though admittedly false, the familiar monkey-to-man line-up may remain in textbooks—as if true—until evolutionists find better “proof” for their popular beliefs. The probabilities of chance-evolution have been likened to that of a tornado sweeping through a scrap yard and accidentally forming a Boeing jet.

Far more than an attempt to explain origins, evolution has become a social philosophy—the way to view all of life. Evolutionists see man simply as a higher form of animal. Since we train animals to serve society, why not use psychological techniques like behavior modification in the classroom? Why not “free” children to exercise their natural instincts, satisfy their evolving animal nature, and thereby fulfill their human potential?

Humanist goals have not changed since Darwin’s days. In fact, the educators who signed the Humanist Manifesto II in 1973 stressed a “natural” and evolutionary way of life:

In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized . . . Moral education for children and adults is an important way of developing awareness and sexual maturity.18

Even before the signing of the revised manifesto, two innovative humanists, William Glasser and Sidney Simon, showed the way to implement it. Published in 1969, Dr. Glasser’s book, Schools Without Failure, presented a “daring new program”19: The class, led by the teacher, would become a counseling group. Somehow, by airing uncomfortable circumstances and feelings each day, this encounter group was supposed to teach social responsibility and solve behavioral problems. Consider the effect of this suggestion by Dr. Glasser:

Children will often become very personal, talking about subjects that ordinarily are considered private. . . . The teacher should keep in mind that in class meetings, free discussion seems to be beneficial and that adult anxieties are often excessive. Nevertheless, a child who discusses drunken brawls at home might quietly be asked to talk about something that has more relationship to school.

Changing the subject in this way is sometimes unwise, however because it is just those drunken brawls at home that have the most relationship to his school progress.20

Professor Sidney Simon went a step further. His book, Values Clarification—A Handbook of Practical Strategies for Teachers and Students, is packed with classroom exercises which filtered into textbooks and public schools. A popular strategy called values voting is “a simple and very rapid means by which every student in the class can make a public affirmation on a variety of values issues.”21

The teacher simply asks a question. The students respond affirmatively by raising their hands. They give a negative reply by pointing their thumbs down. If undecided, they fold their arms. To pass, they do nothing. After the teacher has asked about ten questions, the class discusses the answers. Each child is forced to take a public stand—even if he passes. Imagine the effect of this kind of peer pressure on a child who feels insecure.

The teacher asks, “How many of you:

. . . think there are times when cheating is justified?”
. . . regularly attend religious services and enjoy it?”
. . . think that women should stay home and be primarily wives and mothers?”
. . . would like to have a secret lover?”22

Simon recommends this list for all ages. For secondary students, he adds questions such as: “How many of you think sex education instruction in the schools should include techniques for lovemaking, contraception?” and “How many of you think you will continue to practice religion, just like your parents?23

Clarifying Values Clarification
Parents and teachers across the nation have agonized over the emotional damage caused by the psychological manipulations of values clarification. In response to their outcry, the Department of Education held hearings in seven locations across the country to implement the Protection of Pupil Rights (Hatch) Amendment of 1978 (modified in 2001). Hundreds of parents testified at the hearings held in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Phoenix, Orlando, Concord (New Hampshire), and Washington, D.C. An amazing book written by Phyllis Schlafly in 1988 titled Child Abuse in the Classroom reported violations from the official transcripts of the proceedings. They fell into these categories:

Bias against Christian values. A mother from Oregon, whose son became “very confused as to the rightness or wrongness of stealing,” shared this testimony:

Young children are expected to fill in sentences such as, “the trouble with being honest is ______.” They are asked, what would be the hardest thing for you to do: “steal, cheat, or lie?”

This question was discussed in the third grade: “How many of you ever wanted to beat up your parents?”24

Bias toward humanist/New Age values. A first-grade lesson in “sex equality” shows the cruel pressure to conform.

The students each had two naked dolls, one male, the other female. They were asked to dress the dolls in work clothing to show that both genders could work at any job. . . . there were no dresses. All clothing was male-oriented. Then the teacher had the students sit in a circle while she pulled out objects from a sack, like a pancake turner or a tape measure. She asked, “Who uses this, mom or dad?”

If the students did not answer the way she had wanted, she would say, “Well, who else uses this?” Finally one little boy raised his hand and said, “I don’t care. Men ought to be doctors and ladies nurses.”

The teacher then asked how many of the students agreed with him. By the tone of her voice, they knew no one should raise a hand, so no one did. The little boy was so humiliated by the peer pressure and class manipulation . . . that he started to cry.25

Striving with religious zeal to convert children to “moral relativism” or “situational ethics,” humanist educators argue that anything other than “value-free” teaching is religion. To them, only values that fit man’s desires are valid. For if man is his own god, he has divine authority to choose his own rights and wrongs. Frequent changes in terminology block the kind of “clarification” that exposes the mental manipulation. Programs might be called “values education,” “self-awareness,” “decision-making,” “self-acceptance,” or “interpersonal relationship skills.”

Values clarification is neutral, argues Simon, since every value is as valid as any other. To him, the only wrong position is one that believes in absolute values—and therefore opposes his belief that all values are relative.26

Parents from New Jersey “could not find . . . in any of the hypothetical situations, a single portrayal of parents in a positive manner. Parents were shown to be overreaching, nagging, unfair, and overcritical of their children’s friends.” No wonder many children are confused about values, question their faith, and resist their parents.27

Another popular technique described in Child Abuse in the Classroom makes home problems the focus of classroom discussion:

Earlier this year, my fifth grader came home from school telling me about a new classroom activity called Magic Circle. . . . He told me the children sit in a circle and tell each other positive and negative things about each other. The teacher is not a trained psychologist, and this type of group therapy can be harmful to a child if done improperly.

I also resent the probing questions asked by the teacher in this setting:

“How many of you have unemployed parents?”
“How many of you have divorced parents?”
“If any of you are abused sexually, I want you to tell me, because by law I have to report it.”

One mother summarized her feelings, “I consider this curriculum an invasion of family privacy, a subtle effort to erode all authority and undermine the traditional values that have made this nation great.28

Many of the ways schools gain private information about the home life of its students are so subtle they escape notice. Often personal projects are hidden in curriculum that appears unrelated, such as physical education, English, or history. A teacher in the Lansing, Michigan school district observed:

Students are all treated as in need or as having problems. Children are being pre-tested, then subjected to an affective [relating to feelings] values program as treatment for the disturbed child; then the child is post-tested to see what measurement of change has been produced by the affective values program.

No parent has ever been notified or allowed to view the materials, nor have they ever consented to psychological diagnosis or treatment by an unlicensed psychologist or a psychiatrist. The children have even been promised that their parents won’t be allowed to see their answers, “so be honest.”29

Peer pressure is used for conforming children to group standards—or to the values of the more popular students.

Common Core
In 2013, I wrote a booklet titled A “Common Core” For a Global Community: What’s in Store for the Education of Today’s Children?. In that booklet, I stated:

I came across a headline that illustrates the corrupt values and shameless propaganda behind UNESCO’s Common Core indoctrination. The headline read: “Students Asked to ‘Argue That Jews Are Evil’ and Prove Nazi Loyalty in Assignment Linked to Common Core.” In other words, traditional values are out! Shocking propaganda is in! . . .

The goal of education has changed! Our public schools no longer teach the kind of literacy, history, math, and morality we once considered essential to responsible citizenship. The new agenda infiltrating our schools is designed to train a new generation of postmodern “progressive” students to believe whatever might serve a pre-determined “common good.”

If their educators succeed, tomorrow’s students will have neither the facts nor the freedom needed for independent thinking. Their “common core” will be based on a global collective agenda, not on Western democracy or Christian values. Like Nazi youth, they will be taught to react, not think, when nudged to do the unthinkable.30

If you want to gain some understanding about Common Core, I encourage every parent who has a child in public school to order the booklet. It’s also available to read for free on my publisher’s blog.

Part Three—What Can Parents Do?
By Maria Kneas

The scenarios we have described in this booklet are just a fraction of what has been happening in public schools. Children, from the moment they walk through the school doors in kindergarten (and even preschool), are being transformed and their values corrupted with ideologies that promote and encourage homosexuality, evolution, atheism, transgenderism, suicide, abortion, rebellion against parents, sexual promiscuity, occultism, and New age meditation (partly through the mindfulness programs now in most public schools). Are we saying that every public school teacher is part of this agenda? No, there are Christian teachers in the schools who are trying to have a truly positive and godly influence on children, but, for most of them, their hands are tied in just how much they can share; if they don’t go along with the curriculum and school districts’ plans, they’ll be out of a job.

How can such things happen here in America? It’s being done incrementally, in small continual steps, over a long period of time as this booklet shows. It’s part of the anti-biblical, anti-Christian agenda of modern “progressive” education. This was promoted by John Dewey (the “father” of modern education), and it continues to be promoted by the National Education Association.

When incrementalism is combined with values clarification, sex education, death education, and in more recent years, occultism, the result is a deadly onslaught against the faith and morals of children from Christian homes. It also puts incredible stress and confusion on children as they experience daily the vast contrast and conflict between home life and school life. Values clarification denies the reality of good and evil, and it gets school children to make immoral decisions. Those immoral decisions often involve sex and death. This is a pressure that no child should have to undergo.

Hitler said, “He alone who owns the youth gains the future,” and he developed the Hitler Youth in order to indoctrinate the children into complying with his agenda. The communists did the same thing with the Young Pioneers. Today’s progressives also know that in order to take over our culture, they have to change the thinking of our children. The apostle Peter warned us:

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

We need to be vigilant to protect our children from being devoured by those who are out to destroy their faith and their morals.

The most obvious way to avoid exposing your children to the corruption in our public schools is to homeschool them. Instead of handing over your children for six or seven hours a day to teachers, curriculums, and administrations who have purposed in their hearts to alter their values, Christian parents can be the ones who are the greatest influencers of their children’s lives.

Thus far, we still live in a country where parents are legally allowed to homeschool. Some parents may feel they are not qualified to homeschool, but there are many excellent Christian resources available, both online and in print. There are also organizations that help homeschoolers and their parents. Plus, many communities have very active homeschool groups, which provide group activities and support for parents. Interestingly, during the 2020 “coronavirus pandemic,” schools worldwide were shut down, forcing children to school at home. Parents were now having to do what many had feared they would never know how to do. One article describes one such family from Australia:

Arianwen Harris used to joke that homeschooling was her “worst nightmare.” “I’ve never wanted to homeschool . . . I just never thought it was something that I would be capable of doing.”31

Now, this family has decided to continue homeschooling even after the schools re-open seeing how her children are thriving since being home taught.

When you stop and think about it, the widespread attempt to undermine the faith and morals of our children is actually a form of persecution. It’s not as obvious as slaughtering people and burning churches, but the goal is the same—to wipe out Christianity and replace it with something else. In my book How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution, I discuss these things while offering helpful biblical antidotes.

For families where homeschooling is simply not an option, parents can send their children to private Christian schools. But beware, and do your homework—even some private Christian schools have bought into the cultural lies permeating our society today. Churches can deceive people, and so can schools.

Some say that children from Christian homes should attend public school so they can be a light and a witness to their unbelieving classmates. That’s certainly something to consider. But for that to work, parents would need to devote possibly as many active participative hours in a week with their child as he or she is spending at school. That would be roughly thirty hours a week (four plus hours a day) teaching, praying with, and counteracting the influence of the secular school with no guarantee that the schools won’t win your child to their side. The facts speak differently with story after story of children from Christian homes either forsaking the faith of their parents or at least being severely traumatized by the deluge of ungodly teaching and influence found in the public schools.

What we have shared with you in this booklet is heavy and certainly could be cause for despair. And apart from God, we have every reason to be discouraged. But God is greater than the social, political, and spiritual forces corrupting our world, and we know that our Redeemer lives. Someday, we will live in a Holy land with our King. He has promised this to those who name the name of Jesus Christ. In the meantime, let us remember that in the light of His sufficiency, we can face unafraid the future of our children, and we can pray daily for His wisdom and His guidance in the way in which we should go.

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (Proverbs 14: 26)

Above all, we need to pray, and keep on praying. And we need to keep reading the Bible and be serious about basing our lives and our practical decisions on what the Bible says. Remember that, as parents, it is ultimately our responsibility to see that our children are brought up in the ways of the Lord; when fostered with truth and grace, the homeschooling experience may be the most loving option for our children.

A Few Resources for Homeschool Families

While we are providing the following resources, please always do your own research and use discernment no matter what resources you are using. As the Bible tells us, we are to be bereans (Acts 17:10-11) and to test all things to make sure they line up with God’s Word.

There are many different homeschool curriculums available today. Some have been around for a long time and have proven to be trustworthy, effective, and easy to use (e.g., Abeka, BJU Press, Switched on Schoolhouse by Alpha Omega Publications, LIFEPAC by Alpha Omega Publications, and A.C.E. (Accelerated Christian Education). There are some free programs available as well. (Regarding a very popular homeschool program, Classical Conversations, we have some strong concerns about it.32)

  • The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) defends the rights of parents to “direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.” They have e-newsletters and their website gives information about homeschool laws by state (https://hslda.org/content). The site also has curriculum reviews, which are helpful when choosing a curriculum.
  • Homeschool.com has a list of homeschool support groups, listed state by state (and also includes other countries): https://www.homeschool.com/supportgroups/united-states. You can also find local homeschool support groups through social media such as Facebook.
  • A few helpful books on homeschooling are 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum (Duffy), What Your Child Needs to Know and When (Sampson) and Educating the Wholehearted Child (Clarkson). Disclaimer: By listing these books, we are not necessarily giving an endorsement. As with everything, use discernment, and weigh everything you read with Scripture. An excellent resource is Berit Kjos’ book, How to Protect Your Child From the New Age and Spiritual Deception, which offers many practical and biblical ideas.

If you are going to homeschool your children, we commend you. Pray for discernment so you can spot curriculum or materials that do not line up with God’s Word. Just because a curriculum is advertised as Christian homeschool curriculum does not necessarily mean it has biblical standards. Today, there are curriculums that promote all kinds of false and dangerous teachings (e.g., legalism, Calvinism, New age meditation practices such as mindfulness and centering prayer, and Word-Faith). If you are not sure how to recognize false teachings, we encourage you to read some of the Lighthouse Trails topical booklets. They are inexpensive and cover a vast array of vital issues. Before you choose your homeschool curriculum, research, ask questions, find reviews, and most of all, pray.


To order copies of Public School or Homeschool?—How Public Schools Are Corrupting Children’s Valuesclick here.

Endnotes

  1. Berit Kjos, How To Protect Your Child From The New Age & Spiritual Deception (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2013), pp. 53-66.
  2. Thomas Sowell, “Indoctrinating the Children” (Forbes, February 1, 1993), p. 65.
  3. “‘Expert?’ Says American Children Mentally Ill.” (http://www.gospelweb.net/CultureWar/childrenmentallyill.htm).
  4. “New Age Professors Teach Our Children’s Teachers” (http://www.tpromo2.com/gko/aug01/vampire.htm), note: To find the quotation by Dr. Paul Brandwein, search for his name.
  5. Carl Sommer, Schools in Crisis: Training For Success Or Failure? (Houston, TX: Advance Publishing, 1984, http://www.advancepublishing.com/schoolsincrisis/sicch12.pdf), chapter 12, “Education for Sex or Immorality.”
  6. Calvin Freiburger, “Texas School District to Teach Third Graders About Sodomy, Condoms” (Life Site News, October 31, 2019, https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/texas-school-district-defies-community-outrage-to-ok-radical-sex-ed; see also https://txvalues.org/2019/09/24/planned-parenthood-sex-ed-not-radical-enough-aisd-proposes-canadian-curriculum-to-indoctrinate-children).
  7. “Colorado Parents Upset High School Teacher Assigned Sexually Explicit Material Without Their Consent” (Fox News, November 19, 2019; https://www.foxnews.com/us/colorado-parents-upset-high-school-teacher-assigned-sexually-explicit-material-without-consent).
  8. Phyllis Schlafly, “What Caused Columbine?” (The Phyllis Schlafly Report, Vol. 32, No. 11, June 1999; https://eagleforum.org/psr/1999/june99/psrjune99.html).
  9. David Limbaugh, Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christians (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2003), pp. 84-85.
  10. WorldNetDaily Staff, “Real Gun is a Misdemeanor, But ‘Finger Gun’ is a Felony” (WND, November 17, 2019; https://www.wnd.com/2019/11/real-gun-misdemeanor-finger-gun-felony).
  11. “Halloween Origins and Customs” (The Jeremiah Project, October 2019; https://web.archive.org/web/20190805030223/https://www.jeremiahproject.com/culture-war/halloween-origins-and-customs).
  12. David Limbaugh, Persecution, op. cit., p. 84.
  13. Ibid., pp. 76-77.
  14. Megan Briggs, “Satanic Temple in Portland Obtains Permission to Hold After School Club in Elementary School” (Church Leaders, October 4, 2016; https://churchleaders.com/news/288381-satanic-temple-portland-obtains-permission-hold-school-club-elementary-school.html).
  15. Phyllis Schlafly, Child Abuse in the Classroom (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988), p. 195.
  16. Ibid., p. 146.
  17. Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization (New York, NY: Brentano’s Publishers, 1922), p. 271.
  18. Humanist Manifesto II (http://www.americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_II).
  19. William Glasser, M.D., Schools Without Failure (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1969), back cover.
  20. Ibid., p. 161.
  21. Sidney B. Simon, Leland W. Howe, and Howard Kirschenbaum, Values Clarification (New York, NY: Hart Publishing Co., 1972), p. 38.
  22. Ibid., pp. 39, 41-46.
  23. Ibid., pp. 49, 54.
  24. Phyllis Schlafly, Child Abuse in the Classroom, op. cit., p. 57.
  25. Ibid., pp. 45-46.
  26. Richard A. Baer, Jr., “Teaching Values in the Schools: Clarification or Indoctrination?” (American Education, January 1982, https://confluence.cornell.edu/download/attachments/11542/Teaching_Values_in_the_Schools.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1338225531000), p. 11.
  27. Phyllis Schlafly, Child Abuse in the Classroom, op. cit., p. 126.
  28. Ibid., pp. 83-84.
  29. Ibid., p. 137.
  30. Berit Kjos, A “Common Core” for a Global Community (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2013, https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=13825).
  31. Ellen Coulter, “Coronavirus Turned These Families into Accidental Homeschoolers, and They’re Not Looking Back” ( ABC News, Australia, May 10, 2020, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-11/coronavirus-education-homeschool-after-pandemic/12228762).
  32. A thought-provoking article about Classical Conversations is at: https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2018/06/20/classical-conversations-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/.

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