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New York Times Blames Churches, Not Riots, For Rise In Positive Covid-19 Tests
LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes. Because Lighthouse Trails is a research ministry, we do post out-of-house news articles from various secular and Christian sources along with our own in-house articles if we believe our readers can benefit from the information.

By Holly Sheer
The Federalist

National tension and tempers are incredibly high over the rising numbers of COVID cases in America. We’re all on the edge after months of lockdowns, shutdowns, quarantines, economic instability, school closures, and the surreal nature of social distancing. . . .

Wednesday, the United States topped 3 million cases of coronavirus. Also on Wednesday came an article from The New York Times titled “Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases.” . . .

the article paints a different picture in the actual numbers: “More than 650 coronavirus cases have been linked to nearly 40 churches and religious events across the United States since the beginning of the pandemic.” I’m no epidemiologist, but I don’t need to be, because simple math shows that 650 out of 3,000,000 cases across our nation means 0.0216 percent of them trace back to churches. Less than one-tenth of 1 percent should not — and cannot — be called a major source of this infection. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

“Churches Remain Shut Down While Riots Engulf The Nation”

“CA Governor Witnessing ‘Free Exercise’ in Action”

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

RNS Report: Emergent Pastor John Ortberg Puts Church’s Children at Risk of Sexual Abuse
LTRP Note: The following out-of-house news story is posted for informational and research purposes. Lighthouse Trails has been concerned about John Ortberg’s contemplative/emergent propensities for many years. In this case, our concerns extend to the protection of children in the church. Lighthouse Trails has been a voice and an advocate for children since our inception in 2002. We have posted numerous articles to this effect and have published books and booklets pertaining to child sexual abuse and the cover-up that often takes place. Parents, if you have children who attend Sunday School, youth group, and other youth activities, please be vigilant in making sure your children are safe, and make sure your church is doing everything possible to protect the children in its care. Please see the links we have provided below this article for further information.

By Religious News Service (RNS)

Megachurch pastor John Ortberg kept a family member’s attraction to children secret. Then his son blew the whistle.

(RNS) — In the summer of 2018, a volunteer at Menlo Church came to the Rev. John Ortberg seeking help. 

The congregation member, who volunteered with youth and children at the Bay area megachurch and in the community, had been experiencing “an unwanted thought pattern of attraction to minors” and needed the pastor’s support.

After hearing this admission, Ortberg asked if the volunteer had ever acted on that attraction.

The volunteer said no.

Once Ortberg was convinced the volunteer was telling the truth and was not a danger to others, he prayed for the person and offered a referral for counseling and then allowed the volunteer to continue working with children. Click here to continue reading.


Related Information and Resources:

LT Resources to Protect Children From Sexual Abuse – Many of these resources provide helpful information on how churches can protect the children in their care (especially Sergeant Patrick Crough’s book Seducers Among Our Children and Pastor Stacey Shifflet’s book Wolves Among Lambs).

2006 – “Ted Haggard Story Will Raise Serious Questions For All”

2012 – “Tom White, Abuse, VOM, and the Power of the Internet”

2013 – Recent Events Show America’s Children in Grave Increased Danger of Sexual Abuse

2017 – Saddleback Youth Worker Ruben Meulenberg Charged With 5 Felony Counts – Saddleback Remaining Tight Lipped on Staff Issue

2017 – Boy Scouts’ Rulings Put Boys at Risk (and “Letter to the Molester” and “What Being Molested Cost Me”)

2018 – ‘They Hid It All’: Catholic Priests Abused 1,000 Children in Pennsylvania, Grand Jury Report Says

2019 – Child Sexual Abuse Scandal at Matt Chandler’s Popular Village Church Raises Concerns Over How Churches Handle Abuse

(photo from a 2-second video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPLChf_FK-w)

“Christians Don’t Need The ‘Black Lives Matter Movement’ To Defeat Evil”

LTRP Note: The following commentary is posted for informational and research purposes. In addition to using the writings of Lighthouse Trails authors and editors, Lighthouse Trails posts out-of-house news stories, articles, and commentaries to help keep our readers informed.

“Christianity steeped in neighborly love ended slavery and defeated Jim Crow. The gospel, not the BLM movement, already has what we need to heal the nation.”

By Joshua Lawson
The Federalist

As churches across America restart in-person services, Christians and their pastors are feeling the heat. The “heat,” however, is not from the lack of air conditioning in the sanctuary as things get hot and humid — it’s the pressure to “say something” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Yet just as Christians shouldn’t feel obligated to issue “official church statements” every time sin is committed (there would be little time for anything else), they should oppose demands from Black Lives Matter activists to “take their Christianity further.” Why? The gospel is already sufficient. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

 A Master Carpenter Builds His Church

My Conversion to God by Harry Ironside (Believe on the Lord Jesus, and Thou Shall Be Saved) by Harry Ironside

War on the Saints by Bill Randles

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

New York Times Blames Churches, Not Riots, For Rise In Positive Covid-19 Tests
RNS Report: Emergent Pastor John Ortberg Puts Church’s Children at Risk of Sexual Abuse
“Christians Don’t Need The ‘Black Lives Matter Movement’ To Defeat Evil”

A Biblical Warning for America

Spiritual Perestroika in America
God’s Desire—and a Warning and a Plea
Out-of-House Commentary: “America in Crisis”
Out-of-House Commentary—”Top Ten Reasons I’ll Never Support the #BlackLivesMatter Movement”
Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Admits: “We Are Trained Marxists”
Contemplative Prayer – Does Our Intent to Find Jesus Justify the Method?
Interview with Richard Nathan – From Communist to Christian
Guest Commentary: A Seismic Shift in Culture —The New Left and Marxist-Critical Theory
The Fear Factor and the COVID Conundrum: One Canadian’s Perspective”
“That in Me Ye Might Have Peace”
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A Biblical Warning for America

By Maria Kneas
The following is an extract of How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution.

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)

BUT if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and . . . will I cast out of my sight. (2 Chronicles 7: 19-20)

The Book of Judges shows a gradual process by which the Israelites (God’s chosen people) turned away from God in stages, to follow “other gods” (i.e., the gods of the Canaanites and other pagans).

These stages are not limited to the Israelites. They also apply to Christians, because we are also God’s people. Therefore, we should learn from what happened to the Israelites so we won’t have to go through the suffering they endured. Here are the stages:

Stage 1. Peace and Prosperity

God blessed His people with peace and prosperity because He loves them. All seemed to be going well for them. They were grateful, and they loved and served God.

Stage 2. Apathy and Compromise

After a while, the people took God’s gifts for granted, and they forgot Him. They served Him apathetically, or else they neglected Him altogether. They found reasons for no longer following God:

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (Jeremiah 7:23-24)

The next chapter shows how this is happening here in America, and how it happened in Germany before Hitler came to power. There are a number of very troubling parallels.

Stage 3. Rebellion and Paganism

The people turned to other gods for strength and help. The Bible calls that spiritual prostitution. (We see this analogy very clearly in the book of Hosea, where God compares Israel to a faithless wife who leaves her husband and runs after other men.) The Bible says:

And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them. (Judges 2:17)

God warned them that because they turned away from Him, He would no longer protect them:

The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. (Judges 10:12-14)

Stage 4. Famine, War, Plagues and Slavery

God allowed bad things to happen to His people. They went through great suffering (Jeremiah 6:19).

The Israelites were conquered by outsiders. However, people can also be conquered from within. Hitler was elected as president of Germany. Then he cleverly undermined the freedom of the people and became a full-fledged dictator. He did it incrementally, in stages, and managed to make each stage seem to be reasonable. By the time the people realized what was happening, it was too late.

Stage 5. Confession and Repentance

God showed the people the inadequacy of their own resources, and the fact that pagan gods would not take care of them. They discovered they needed God and needed to be right with Him. They finally repented and confessed their sins:

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets . . . O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. (Daniel 9:8-10, 18-19)

Stage 6. God Hears, Saves, and Restores

God blesses His people with peace. He protects them and often prospers them—as long as they follow Him.

Where does the United States and the Western world fit in this cycle? Some Christians still believe the Bible and take God seriously and try to live biblically. Unfortunately, they are a minority.

Many people go to church for social or cultural reasons, rather than devotion to God. And many pastors preach a watered-down gospel because they want their listeners to feel good, so that their church will grow big and be successful in worldly terms.

Some pastors deny foundational Christian doctrines, and some bring New Age teachings and practices into their churches. This is described in A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen, and A “Wonderful” Deception by Warren B. Smith.

That is the second stage: apathy and compromise.

In America, humanism can serve as a bridge between biblical faith and paganism. First, people turn to men as their source of authority, rather than the Bible. Having done that, it is then easier for them to turn to pagan gods. Or, to put it another way, first they make a god out of man, and then they turn to more traditional pagan gods:

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:5)

The New Age movement is another bridge between biblical faith and paganism. First, people get into New Age things. Then from there, they can get into overt paganism. (The New Age movement is pagan, but it is dressed up in modern vocabulary and imagery so it isn’t obvious.)

Pagan goddess worship has gotten into many mainline churches. In addition, it is being taught in public schools, universities, and nursing schools. It is also being promoted by Hollywood, the music industry, and the media. In addition, practical witchcraft is being taught in some public schools.

According to the Bible, pagan gods and goddesses are demons:

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20)

Wiccan beliefs and practices are getting into mainline denominations. For example, two Methodist clergywomen participated in a croning ritual (a witchcraft initiation ritual). They both wrote articles praising their experience in Wellsprings, a journal for Methodist clergywomen. When contacted by Insight on the News, both women confirmed their participation in the croning ritual, and said that their bishop (a woman) had also participated. When the bishop was contacted, she said that she “witnessed many croning rituals.”1

That is the third stage: rebellion and paganism.

To get some idea of the degree to which paganism is taking over our society, look at how far we have fallen morally. Pagan morals are directly opposed to biblical morality. Our movies and TV and other entertainment often promote pagan values, and many Christians watch it.

The Canaanites had temple prostitutes, and they were men as well as women, and children as well as adults. As a result, when the Israelites turned to worshiping Canaanite gods, they became promiscuous, they practiced homosexuality, and they had sex with children. In addition, they also killed babies because some of the Canaanite gods (such as Molech) required they sacrifice their babies.

How far has America fallen into paganism? And what are the potential consequences, according to the cycle described in the book of Judges?
In 1950, most people were virgins when they got married. But now that has become rare because sex before marriage has become the norm.

I never even heard of homosexuality until the 1960s, when I befriended a girl in college who turned out to be bisexual. These days, some children are hearing about homosexuality in kindergarten in our public schools. And some school kids are being forced to act like homosexuals. For example, in one school, girls thirteen and fourteen years old were told by their teacher to ask other girls for a lesbian kiss.2

Today, children are becoming sexually active at incredibly young ages. For example, two five-year-old children in kindergarten had sex in their classroom’s bathroom.3 Kids in public schools are having sex in the hallways, on the stairs, and even in classrooms.4

You may think, “Well, at least we don’t sacrifice babies to pagan gods.” True, but we have killed over 55 million babies through abortion.5 In addition, a woman who is a pagan and a psychologist wrote a book titled The Sacrament of Abortion. She calls abortion “a sacred act,” a sacrifice to the goddess Artemis (also known as Diana).6 Are we really any different than those who sacrificed babies to pagan gods?

What about adults having sex with children? Well, some psychologists and academicians are trying to normalize pedophilia. Instead of protecting children from sexual predators, they want to be sensitive to the feelings and sexual orientation of pedophiles, which they have given a name that sounds nicer. They call them “minor-attracted persons.”7

Another indication (perhaps the biggest of all) of how pagan we have become is the fact that occultism is becoming mainstream. Witchcraft, sorcery, fortune telling, and consulting the dead (necromancy) are strictly forbidden in the Bible. But they have become commonplace. According to one study, three out of four teenagers have engaged in “psychic or witchcraft-related activity.” Many of them participated in séances, tried to cast a spell, or mixed a magic potion.8

In the Book of Judges, once the nation of Israel worshiped pagan gods and goddesses (which includes rejecting biblical morality in favor of pagan moral standards), then they were heading for judgment. The next thing that happened was famine, war, plagues, and slavery. Could those things happen in America and throughout the Western world?

In the alternative news, I read about the potential for another major war, perhaps even a world war. Food is already more expensive because unusual weather is hurting crops. In addition, bees are dying off, and they are needed to pollinate crops. Some people are afraid that the American dollar will lose its value, resulting is hyperinflation.

In the past, the mainstream media often told us about diseases that have people worried about the possibility of a pandemic (which we are now experiencing with COVID-19). In addition, one out of four teenaged girls in America has at least one sexually transmitted disease.9

You may ask, “What about slavery?” Well, if we wind up with a dictatorship, then we could have slave labor. The Nazis had slave labor in their concentration camps. The Russians, Chinese, and North Koreans have it in their labor camps today.

Modern America and Canada have not seen famine or plagues, and our shores have never been invaded (with the exception of Pearl Harbor). And I hope such things will never happen to us. However, we are not immune to them, and we need to be prepared, spiritually.

We have some good, solid Bible-believing Christians in North America. But there were also some faithful Israelites during the time of the Babylonian captivity. Daniel was a godly man, but he had to go into captivity along with his people. And so did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They suffered a lot because of the sins of their countrymen. The problem was that so much of Israel had abandoned God and turned away to pagan gods. The faithful ones like Daniel were small in number compared to those who went “whoring after other gods” (Judges 2:17).

Even if the people all around us turn away from God and biblical morality, we need to hold on to our integrity. We are doing it for God, not for men. That is part of being faithful to Him.

If our nation suffers because it has turned away from God, then we still need to be faithful to Him. Like Daniel. And like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

The most important thing is our relationship with God. If we love Him and trust Him, then He will make ALL things work out for our long-term, eternal good (Romans 8:28). We are never at the mercy of men or circumstances, because no matter what happens, God can bring good out of it.

Tragically, although God created people, and He loves them, multitudes have rejected Him. Something else is more important to them. Something else takes first place instead of God. (The Bible calls that idolatry.) Jesus told us:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

God has suffered so much unrequited love. That’s all the more reason for us to love Him. He created us so we could love Him. And He loved us first and gave us the ability to love Him back (1 John 4:19). So let’s love Him deeply, and faithfully, and consistently. And let’s do whatever we can to help others love Him.


(photos from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; design by Lighthouse Trails)

Endnotes:

  1. Catherine Edwards, “Wicca Infiltrates the Churches—Wiccan Rituals Gaining Popularity in Christian Churches” (Insight on the News, December 6, 1999, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_45_15/ai_58050620).
  2. Heather Clark, “Middle School Girls Forced to Ask Classmates for ‘Lesbian Kiss’ During Anti-Bullying Presentation” (Christian News Network, April 20, 2013, http://christiannews.net/2013/04/20/middle-school-girls-forced-to-ask-classmates-for-lesbian-kiss-during-anti-bullying-presentation).
  3. “Two Kindergarten Five-Year-Olds Caught Having Sex in Bathroom” (Examiner, February 25, 2014, www.examiner.com/article/two-kindergarten-5-year-olds-caught-having sex-bathroom-teacher-may-be-fired).
  4. Michael Snyder, “Sex and the Public Schools” (End of the American Dream, February 24, 2014, http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/sex-and-the-public-schools).
  5. Alyssa Farah, “Abortion’s Toll of 55 Million Called ‘Genocide,’” (WorldNetDaily, January 21, 2014. www.wnd.com/2014/01/abortions-toll-of-55-million-called-genocide).
  6. Dr. Ginette Paris discusses her book The Sacrament of Abortion on her website. She is a psychologist, a therapist, and a professor at the Pacifica Institute in Santa Barbara, California. She is also a pagan. Her website includes sections on “pagan meditations” and “pagan grace”: www.ginetteparis.com/psychologyofabortion/readexcerptonabortion.html.
  7. Jerome R. Corsi, “Pedophilia the Next ‘Sexual-Rights’ Revolution? Academia, Psychologists Expanding LGBT Argument to ‘Minor-Attracted Persons’” (WorldNetDaily, January 2, 2014, www.wnd.com/2014/01/pedophilia-the-next-sexual-rights-revolution).
  8. “New Research Explores Teenage Views and Behavior Regarding the Supernatural” (January 23, 200, www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/164-new-research-explores-teenage-views-and-behavior-regarding-the-supernatural).
  9. Michael Snyder, “Sex and the Public Schools” (End of the American Dream, February 24, 2014, http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/sex-and-the-public-schools).

 

Spiritual Perestroika in America

LTRP Note: The following is an extract from Carl Teichrib’s book, Game of Gods.* If you haven’t read this compelling and vital book (published by Whitemud House Publishing) which presents the history and the inner workings of the global and spiritual one-world movement, we highly recommend you do so, especially in light of all that is happening today with so many young people who have been indoctrinated to believe that a Marxist/socialist/communist society coupled with the New Age and mysticism would be so much better.


“The essence of perestroika lies in the fact that it unites socialism with democracy and revives the Leninist concept of socialist construction both in theory and practice. Such is the essence of perestroika, which accounts for its genuine revolutionary spirit and its all-embracing scope.”

By Carl Teichrib

An unusual meeting took place in Alexandria, Virginia in February 1988: The Soviet-American Citizens’ Summit.

Remember, this was during the Cold War, and the Soviet Union was a closed society, restricting travel abroad and careful about managing what ideas entered its space. The “New Spirituality,” nevertheless, found a solid foothold in the last years of the USSR.[i]

Chaired by futurist [and New Age leader] Barbara Marx Hubbard, the Summit brought together Soviet officials and cultural figures with “new consciousness” thinkers from the West. The purpose: to “facilitate the new way of thinking and acting” in response to the “awakening going on across the planet.”[ii] It was a “convergence process” with Task Forces overseeing themes of politics, education, business, religion and spirituality, psychology and social change, and other mutual concerns.

Organized by the Center for Soviet-American Dialogue (CSAD) in cooperation with the Soviet Peace Committee, a state-sponsored agency engaged in “active measures,” the Summit pulled together approximately 100 attendees from the Soviet Union and another 300 from the United States. Western participants included former UN official Robert Muller, astronaut Brian O’Leary, Willis Harman, Hazel Henderson, US Ambassador John McDonald and other personalities associated with the US security and foreign affairs establishment, and Ted Turner of CNN fame.[iii]

Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Soviet Union, sent an appreciative message to the gathering. A few months later he would personally meet with some of these same “peace delegates.”[iv]

Global Family, a networking group co-founded by Barbara Marx Hubbard with the motto “connecting to celebrate our oneness,” headed up the Summit’s Convergence Center, a clearinghouse for Task Force outcomes. “In this convergence process,” Global Family reported, “the relationship between ourselves and the Soviets will not only expand, but will begin to shift global consciousness.”[v]

Global Family described the Summit as moving “the energy of ‘Harmonic Convergence’ from sacred sites in nature to a conference center.”[vi]

“This is New Age,” Robert Muller told the distinguished delegates in his opening speech: “We need a new cosmology, a new cosmic paradigm for the future of this planet. I think that the religions together with the scientists can produce such [a] cosmology.”[vii]

The Summit was groundbreaking on a number of levels, but it was not the first interaction between Western New Agers and the Soviets. CSAD already had an interesting connection with the Soviet Union.

In 1985, Rama Vernon, a pioneering yoga instructor and co-founder of Yoga Journal, established CSAD as a way to bridge the divide between the two superpowers. Over the life of the organization, it sponsored dozens of Soviet-American awareness projects, including a new teaching program in Moscow and Leningrad. The announcement read in part: “In March of 1986, we will, as citizen diplomats, take A Course in Miracles to Russia, as we apply the principles of the Course into our meetings and interactions with Soviet officials, theologians, artists, writers, actors and physicians.”[viii]

Other Soviet-based events included a Planetary Healing Pilgrimage, a meeting of the International New Thought Alliance, and a Global Family conference with the leader of the Pentagon Mediation Club. CSAD arranged “the first official Yoga demonstration in the Soviet Union,” sponsoring Swami Satchidananda to lecture in Prague, Moscow, Leningrad, and Odessa. On the Black Sea, participants meditated and discussed consciousness and “interspecies communication” with dolphins. Later in 1989, 250 Soviets participated in a CSAD Yoga and Meditation Conference. Speakers included the Soviet Minister of Health and “TM teacher,” Deepak Chopra.[ix]

Barbara Marx Hubbard also hosted CSAD projects in the Soviet Union. Bringing together “Soviet officials, educators, psychologists, foreign relations specialists, scientists, journalists, theologians and healers,” her 1986 Positive Future dialogue asked the following questions: “What is the Communist dream that has not yet been fulfilled? What is the American hope of a New Order of the Ages? What might the Soviet and American people be able to create together?”[x] In response, Radio Moscow and Soviet National Television interviewed Hubbard.

Hubbard, who had been placed in nomination for the US Vice-Presidency on the 1984 Democratic ticket, sat on the CSAD executive board. Willis Harman did as well. Swami Satchidananda was on its advisory board, along with James Garrison of the Esalen Institute.

It should be no surprise that Esalen already had a foothold in Moscow.

Back in the mid-1960s, Michael Murphy had “put feelers out” to Soviet scientists working in the field of parapsychology. Murphy was fascinated by psychic possibilities, and the publishing of Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain fueled his interest in what lay behind Russia’s dark doors.[xi] On a Soviet research trip in 1979, he and his colleagues connected to an eclectic spirituality far outside the norm of secular Marxism: Theosophy, yoga, shamanism, psychics, spiritualism, and Christian mysticism.

Murphy explained: “[At] Ismailov Park, Moscow we would get together with psychics and physicists and groups of singers who sang pagan, pre- Christian songs… Everywhere we’ve been in the Soviet Union, we’ve met people who are interested in the ‘new age’.”[xii]

Esalen entered a special relationship with the Russians in 1980. Leveraging the political ties already made by the Institute, the organization established a bi-national Exchange Program,

Like Americans, the Soviets are beginning to yearn for some spiritual dimension that has been missing in their organized, rational lives. It was this common interest in self-improvement and personal growth that led to the creation of Esalen’s Soviet-American Exchange Program.[xiii]

Seed money came from the “Rockefeller Family Fund, Apple Computer Inc., the American Express Foundation and the MacArthur Foundations.” As Murphy reminded potential supporters in a fund raising letter, “being a good citizen these days requires being a global citizen . . . the world has grown truly interdependent.”[xiv]

Spirituality and human potential entailed one aspect of the Program. More concretely, Esalen was a vehicle for the new field of “citizen diplomacy,” becoming a conduit – a back channel – for American and Soviet officials, cosmonauts and astronauts, academic and business leaders, and members of the intelligence community.[xv] Esalen had entered a complicated field of work, becoming a mentor and bridge for personnel connected to the KGB, CIA, the State Department, and the Kremlin.

According to a 1982 Esalen document: “The project management is committed to continuing this program with a policy of openness and disclosure about its activities to all interested parties while maintaining a low public and media profile.”[xvi] Esalen was playing in the world of spooks and spies.

Cultural exchanges, too, were important. Jeffrey Kripal tells us,

In 1982… Esalen employed satellite communication technology to pioneer the first spacebridge communications between Americans and Soviets… described in the Esalen catalog as a ‘Satellite Rock-and-Roll Fest.’ American and Russian bands and ecstatic youth in San Bernardino, California, and Moscow screamed, grinned, and danced to each other’s music as they watched one another on large screens.[xvii]

A “Global Gestalt,” an emotional and psychologically moving encounter – a unifying of opposites – it was thought, was needed for planetary wholeness.

Central to the Soviet-American complex was James “Jim” Garrison, the son of Baptist missionaries who served in China. Turning from his parent’s faith and adopting an antinomial view of God, Garrison – introspective and generous with a catching personality – met Murphy at Cambridge in 1982. By the mid-1980s, he was the Executive Director of the Soviet-American Exchange Program, a position held until the early 1990s.[xviii]

One highlight was securing the Institute’s hosting rights for Boris Yeltsin’s 1989 trip to the United States. Fifteen other organizations were vying for the opportunity, including the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, along with the Council on Foreign Relations.[xix] Garrison was put in charge.

Face-to-face with the daily affluence we take for granted in a society built on free enterprise, Yeltsin was overwhelmed by America, concluding the Iron Curtain was meant to keep Soviets unaware of the truth. His Soviet-instilled illusions had been shattered like glass. “We were told fables!” he said to his assistant. The experience of Yeltsin’s trip was a factor in his later break from the Party. And while his on-tour drinking problem was a public embarrassment, stressful for Garrison, the venture was largely successful. But there were concerns. Yeltsin could be overbearing in sensitive meetings, hinting at a power complex. Garrison sent Mikhail Gorbachev a memo.[xx]

Esalen favored Gorbachev. He had become a political celebrity and was the public face of perestroika, the concept of restructuring the economic and civic framework of the USSR. It would also have an inward dimension.

“Perestroika is to provide a melting pot for society and, above all, the individual himself,” explained the General Secretary. The new society would be “a shining temple on a green hill.”[xxi]

“It will be a renovated society.” Gorbachev continued. “Today our main job is to lift the individual spiritually, respecting the inner world and giving him moral strength.”[xxii]

But restructuring was not to be divorced from the past,

The essence of perestroika lies in the fact that it unites socialism with democracy and revives the Leninist concept of socialist construction both in theory and practice. Such is the essence of perestroika, which accounts for its genuine revolutionary spirit and its all-embracing scope.[xxiii]

At the 19th All-Union Conference, Gorbachev invoked Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin in “building a society of social justice.” These pillars of Communism would guide “us in our revolutionary perestroika.”[xxiv]

Appeals to Marx and Lenin notwithstanding, the communist system could not be reformed. But the economic, social and political lid on the long-closed box had opened too far to shut. The Soviet situation rapidly moved in complex and unforeseen ways. Gorbachev’s “new thinking,” an internationalist approach, also morphed within the shifting domestic and global context. Something extraordinary was happening in Russia.[xxv]

In late December 1991, days before the USSR’s dissolution, Garrison was brought into the Kremlin and told about Gorbachev’s secret resignation plan. Approximately one month later with Yeltsin as Russia’s president, Garrison found himself back in Moscow. This time he was meeting with Gorbachev at his new headquarters, the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies. Here, at this session, it was agreed to establish an outpost in the United States of America: the Gorbachev Foundation/USA.

A new game was in play.

Armed with immense political and social capital, Gorbachev could export his “new thinking” through an American non-profit entity. The Gorbachev Foundation/USA would be the first non-military organization to be housed at the Presidio of San Francisco, an historic Army base in the process of closing.[xxvi] Garrison became its president.

At the heartbeat of the Foundation was the “Revisioning Global Priorities” agenda.[xxvii] This was the body’s larger mission, and to that end it set up the State of the World Forum in 1995, an event that became its own organization. Another Gorbachev Foundation office had already opened in Calgary, Alberta and in 1997, a North American branch was announced for Boston’s Northeastern University. At the Presidio, the Foundation folded into the new project and Garrison became president of the State of the World Forum, with Gorbachev as chairman.

“We are giving birth to the first global civilization,” proclaimed the Mission Statement of the Forum.

A “global brain trust” was to be established. From 1995 until 2010, Garrison advanced the “new thinking” through a series of high-level networking events and dialogues around the world. The first Forum gathering took place in San Francisco during late September 1995.

Officially titled Toward a New Civilization, the Forum was a who’s who of world influencers. Forum “Fellows” included George H.W. Bush, Nelson Mandela, Brian Mulroney, Carl Sagan, Maurice Strong, Sonia Gandhi, and Ted Turner. Willis Harman of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Esalen’s Michael Murphy were Fellows also.[xxviii] Actor and New Age author Shirley McLaine attended, as did Barbara Marx Hubbard and Robert Muller. Buddhists leaders from Southeast Asia were the main religious representatives.

“We must reinvent the world together,” Gorbachev informed the participants. “We need unity in diversity.” In a debate between the Soviet politician, Bush and Margaret Thatcher, it was evident that divisions of opinion over the role of the United Nations existed.[xxix] However, a general consensus was in the air. Global governance and collective measures were repeated themes.

“The universe is seeking to fulfill itself through us,” Deepak Chopra, another Fellow, reminded the audience. “Are we up to the responsibility?”[xxx]

Noticing the emphasis on Buddhism and New Age thinking, some members of the press questioned why Christian leaders were not represented. Former National Security Advisor and co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski, tried to answer: “I happen to know that President Gorbachev is a very good friend of the Pope – and I am too.”[xxxi]

It was a weak response.

Christian author Berit Kjos, who attended with press credentials, commented later on the Forum’s religious situation: “Looking at reality through the utopian filter of the new global paradigm, they have no idea what Christians believe nor the value of the liberty we treasure.”[xxxii]

The 1995 Forum was the first in a line of similar “new civilization” events hosted by Garrison and Gorbachev.

During the year 2000, the Forum focused its attention on the Millennium gatherings in New York City. Garrison sat on the steering committee for the United Nations Millennium Forum, an event I participated in, and his office coordinated with the Interfaith Center of New York in anticipation of the UN Millennium Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders.[xxxiii]

The main show for Gorbachev and Garrison, however, was Forum 2000.

Cooperating with the UN Secretary General’s office, Garrison positioned his event to run concurrently with the most important high-level meeting of the year, the United Nations Millennium Summit. Together, the Summit and Forum 2000 would constitute a “global town meeting,” highlighting issues of governance, UN empowerment, and planetary loyalty.[xxxiv] Heads-of-state attending the Summit traveled the few blocks to the Forum, which had its own contingent of world-known personalities and ranking officials. These sister events became revolving doors of power and prestige.

Appealing to the inner dimension, Forum 2000 also explored religion and spirituality, cosmology, and the “Evolution of Human Consciousness.”[xxxv] Each day a different spiritual teacher opened with meditations. One morning it was a rabbi “whose belief in the universality of spiritual truth led him to study with Sufi Masters, Buddhist teachers, Native American elders, Catholic monks, and humanistic and transpersonal psychologists.” On September 7th, it was Audrey Kitagawa, a well-spoken and passionate devotee of the Divine Mother who was said to embody the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. Deepak Chopra led meditations the following day.[xxxvi]

The Forums hosted by Gorbachev and Garrison, and the corresponding Millennium meetings, were instrumental in projecting a global spiritual politics. Enchanted by a sense of human grandeur in planetary service, the millennium changeover anticipated a political future in-step with the metaphysical ideal of Oneness. It is a dream that continues.

In 2006 the former Soviet leader wrote: “Nowadays humanity, so multifarious within its oneness, needs a new philosophy of life, a new ethic that can shape the fundamental values which are common to all religions and which rest upon the consensus of all the peoples of the earth.”[xxxvii]

As demonstrated by the above statement, Mikhail Gorbachev’s worldview had moved a long way since his time in the Kremlin. Or maybe not.

Recounting the final years of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev noted that perestroika – his esteemed “new thinking” – was firmly situated in Oneness,

What are the basic postulates of the new thinking? Its starting point is the recognition that despite their dissimilarities all the nations of the world are interdependent. We speak of recognition because this interdependence, which is the form of unity or oneness, had been taking shape for decades… interdependence was a tangible reality, impossible to disregard, and by the mid-1980s it had become the foremost tendency in world relations.[xxxviii]

The former Soviet leader continued,

The recognition that interdependence was the real state of affairs in the world meant that the foremost trend of development was not one of ever deepening division but one of ever greater unity in the worldwide system. And the Soviet Union – as part of this system – should search for and find its new place within this framework.[xxxix]

“A new revolution in consciousness is needed,” he had said in 1989. “Only on this basis will a new culture and a new politics adequate to the challenge of our times be created.”[xl]

Keep in mind that the above statement was given when Gorbachev was the avowed Communist leader of the USSR. And yet the recipe he presented then, and at other times, sounds familiar: ingredients from the human potential movement, a dash of Eastern wholeness and New Age spirituality, all baked into the cake of global interdependence. Where did the Marxist politician find such a well-stocked pantry of new thought?

Esalen.*

That the Institute and its affiliated networks played a part in fostering such thinking is clear. Exactly how much influence is difficult to verify, and to put too much emphasis on one group runs the risk of oversimplification and inaccuracy. Nevertheless, there is an important correlation between Gorbachev’s evolutionary thinking and the concepts that emanated from the retreat center on California’s shore. Jim Garrison himself has cautiously acknowledged Esalen’s participatory role in glasnost and perestroika.[xli]

But there are hints of something more.

Remember, Esalen was a diplomatic back-channel for the two countries. It would then make sense that Moscow had a secret listening device on location. Jeffrey Kripal relates an interesting story of what was thought to be confidential discussions in an Esalen building known as the Big House,

…in the late 1980s, Esalen figure and career diplomat Joe Montville became increasingly convinced that the Gorbachev administration was actually taking some of its ideological cues from that very room… He couldn’t help but notice how they would explore a particular theme at a gathering, and then a few weeks later Gorbachev would be saying more or less the same thing in his public speeches. At the first symposium held at the Gorbachev Foundation, Montville decided to ask Gorbachev about his theory. Gorbachev simply smiled, as he pointed to the ceiling in the traditional Russian sign of ‘you were bugged.’[xlii]


*To help accommodate those who wish to obtain a copy of Game of Gods, Lighthouse Trails is offering it on sale at 25% off for the next few days (through 7/18/20). Amazon also has it as a digital Kindle.

**Worth noting is the recent promotion by the Esalen Institute of the Black Lives Matter organization.

Endnotes:

[i] Russian interest in esoteric subjects is longstanding. For Russian Cosmism, a spiritual- technological belief, see George M. Young, The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and his Followers (Oxford University Press, 2012). Regarding metaphysical topics in the USSR, see Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder (Prentice-Hall, 1970). Note: Kripal described the findings of Ostrander and Schroeder as real but flavored with sensationalism.

[ii] Welcome to the Soviet-American Citizens’ Summit: Social Inventions for the Third Millennium [sic], February 1-5, 1988, Alexandria, VA, official agenda, p.1.

[iii] Some of the security establishment participants included Marcus Raskin, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies and former National Security Council Assistant for Disarmament; Theodore Taylor, former Weapons Director at Los Alamos; Robert Legvold, former Director of the Soviet Studies Project at the Council on Foreign Relations; Stephen H. Rhinesmith, President Reagan’s coordinator for US-Soviet exchanges; Geoffrey Kemp, Carnegie Endowment fellow and former staff member with the National Security Council; Helmut Sonnenfeldt, member of the Brookings Institute and former State Department Counselor and advisor to Henry Kissinger; Arthur M. Cox, former member of the Central Intelligence Agency and specialist with the State Department and Brookings Institute; Toby Gati, Vice President of the United Nations Association USA, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and later made Assistant Secretary Of State For Intelligence And Research by President Bill Clinton; Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute and formerly with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Research Advisory Board (Amory would later be named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people); and Carol Rosin, former Corporate Manager of Fairchild Industries (an aerospace company that designed the A-10) and confidant to Wernher Von Braun during his last years. Rosin was a space-and-missile defense consultant, and founder of the Institute for Security and Cooperation in Outer Space, which included Astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

[iv] On Gorbachev’s message, see “Summit Breaks New Ground for US-USSR,” Soviet- American News, Center for Soviet-American Dialogue, Vol.1, No.1, Spring 1988, p.1. About the later meeting, see “Gorbachev Speaks to World Peace Leaders,” Soviet-American News, Vol.1, No.2, Winter 1988-1989, p.2. Two important resources on Soviet peace programs are: Philip C. Bom, The Coming Century of Commonism (Policy Books, 1992), which examines the role of peace movements during the Gorbachev era; and Frederick C. Barghoorn, Soviet Foreign Propaganda (Princeton University Press, 1964), which gives an overview of active measures associated with the early peace movement.

[v] “Building Convergence at the Citizens’ Summit,” Global Family: Connecting to Celebrate our Oneness, Special Summit Edition, February 1988, p.1.

[vi] “The Soviet-American Citizens’ Summit: Harmonic Convergence Revisited,” Global Family: Connecting to Celebrate our Oneness, April 1988, p.1.

[vii] “Muller Asks For New Set of Ten Commandments,” NRI Trumpet, March 1988, p.7. Three days after the Summit closed, a meeting was held at the United Nations for the purpose of introducing the event’s outcomes to senior American and Soviet officials.

[viii] A Course in Miracles Goes to Russia, promotional flyer, Center for Soviet-American Dialogue (CSAD), March 2-16, 1986.

[ix] As taken from Citizen Diplomacy Trips to the Soviet Union, 1986-1987, CSAD, brochure; International Citizens Diplomacy Missions to the Soviet Union, China, Africa & Central America, 1989, CSAD, fact sheet; History of CSAD Trips: May 1985 through November 1990, CSAD, fact sheet.

[x] In Search for a Positive Future, CSAD, January 19 to February 2, 1986, invitation sheet.

[xi] Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain was written by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder (Prentice-Hall, 1970).

[xii] As quoted by David Landau, “Citizens Diplomacy,” The Guide to New Age Living, pp.77-78. For more on Murphy’s Soviet experience, see Kripal, Esalen, chapter 14.

[xiii] The Esalen Institute Soviet-American Exchange Program: An Interim Report, September 1982, p.1. Document on file.

[xiv] Letter with supporting corporations and foundations on file.

[xv] “Citizens diplomacy” was coined as Track II diplomacy by Joseph Montville of the US State Department. As an Esalen personality, he was considered the Institute’s unofficial State Department representative.

[xvi] The Esalen Institute Soviet-American Exchange Program: An Interim Report, p.2.

[xvii] Kripal, Esalen, p.334.

[xviii] Garrison’s personality is gleaned from my conversations with his siblings and a life-long friend. Regarding his early interaction with Murphy and other Esalen members, and his view on God, see Kripal, Esalen, pp.393-394. For more on his antinomial position, the belief that God has a light and dark side – good and evil – see Jim Garrison, The Darkness of God: Theology After Hiroshima (Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983).

[xix] Kripal, Esalen, p.393.

[xx] Ibid., pp.394-397. For extra details on Yeltsin’s trip, see Conor O’Clery, Moscow, December 25, 1991: The Last Day of the Soviet Union (Public Affairs, 2011), pp.79-80.

[xxi] Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World (Harper and Row Publishers, 1987), p.29

[xxii] Ibid., p.30.

[xxiii] Ibid., p.35. On July 1, 1988, during the 19th All-Union Conference of the CPSU, Gorbachev said: “Every Communist must become a fighter for perestroika, for the revolutionary renewal of society. Let that be the chief mandate of our Conference.”

[xxiv] Documents and Materials: Report and Speeches by Mikhail Gorbachev, 19th All-Union Conference of the CPSU (Soviet Life/Embassy of the USSR, 1988), p.93.

[xxv] Perestroika and what Gorbachev called the “new thinking” always had international implications. An early and important set of interpretations is found in Perestroika: Global Challenge (Spokesman/Russell Press Ltd., 1988, edited by Ken Coates). For more on perestroika see the following: Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World (Harper and Row Publishers, 1987); Mikhail Gorbachev, Socialism, Peace and Democracy: Writings, Speeches and Reports (Zwan Publications, 1987); Documents and Materials: Report and Speeches by Mikhail Gorbachev, 19th All-Union Conference of the CPSU (Soviet Life/Embassy of the USSR, 1988); Baruch A. Hazan, Gorbachev’s Gamble: The 19th All-Union Party Conference (Westview Press, 1990); Stephen F. Cohen and Katrina vanden Heuvel, Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers (W.W. Norton & Company, 1989); Judith B. Sedaitis and Jim Butterfield, Perestroika From Below: Social Movements in the Soviet Union (Westview Press, 1991); Robert G. Kaiser, Why Gorbachev Happened: His Triumphs and His Failures (Simon & Schuster, 1991). Post-Soviet interviews and analysis can be found in Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization (Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs).

[xxvi] The April 17, 1993 edition of The Kansas City Star reported: “His foundation is considered a desirable tenant because it may attract other prestigious organizations with an international focus, a theme the Park Service is promoting.” (Article title: “Gorbachev’s office is on military post,” p.2, first published in the Los Angeles Times). Eventually a number of diverse organizations would take up residency in the Presidio: Aspen Group, Tides Foundation, Bright Minds Institute, The Wilderness Society, United Religions Initiative, All Species Foundation, Panchamama Alliance, EcoTalk, Guild for Psychological Studies, Consultative Group on Biodiversity, International Forum on Globalization, Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Interfaith Center, Rudolf Steiner Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, and the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (to name just a few).

[xxvii] “Revisioning Global Priorities” was taken from a Gorbachev Foundation/USA letter. The letter laid out key areas of work, two of note: The creation of the State of the World Forum, and a project called Redefining Global Security. Letter has no date; copy on file.

[xxviii] Taken from two different State of the World Forum documents: a “confidential” pre-event Fellows and Participants list (no date), and a preliminary Toward a New Civilization agenda package (May 10, 1995). Both documents on file.

[xxix] Quoted by Samantha Smith, “Gorbachev Forum Highlights World Government,” Hope For The World Update, Fall 1995, p.2. Smith attended as a member of the press.

[xxx] Quoted by Berit Kjos, “Gorbachev’s Global Conference,” The Christian Conscious, November 1995, p.36.

[xxxi] Ibid., p.37.

[xxxii] Ibid., p.37.

[xxxiii] Known as the World Peace Summit, 1,000 religious leaders gathered in the cause of global unity. At a 1999 World Federalist event, Maurice Strong told me how the forthcoming World Peace Summit was conceived. Ted Turner woke up one day with the thought, what would happen if all the religions could work together? Ted phoned Strong, then Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, and told him of his idea. The rest is history.

[xxxiv] The Summit adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration (A/RES/552), containing a number of empowerment provisions. It also birthed the UN Millennium Development Goals. Re: Forum 2000. According to the event’s Executive Summary, Gorbachev’s opening plenary was themed, “Globalization and the New World Order.”

[xxxv] Taken from the Forum 2000 daily agenda, September 6, 2000. Document on file.

[xxxvi] Biographies and meditation schedule, Forum 2000 booklet. Document on file.

[xxxvii] Mikhail Gorbachev, Manifesto for the Earth: Action Now for Peace, Global Justice and a Sustainable Future (Clairview Books, 2006), p.100.

[xxxviii] Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World (Columbia University Press, 2000), pp.187-188.

[xxxix] Ibid., pp.188-189.

[xl] Ibid., pp.192-193.

[xli] Kripal, Esalen, p.399.

[xlii] Ibid., p.399.

(photos from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; design by Lighthouse Trails)

 

 

God’s Desire—and a Warning and a Plea

By Ray Yungen

God’s Desire
Just what exactly is God’s desire for mankind? Does He want to send people to Hell? Does He want anyone to live eternally without Him? Scripture is very clear about this when it says:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

God makes a strong plea to all people, giving them every opportunity to receive Him. It is God’s desire that none should perish eternally. That’s why he offered His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—the only perfect sacrifice for mankind’s sin:

Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Romans 5:18)

What it comes down to is the preaching of the higher self (as taught in the New Age and the contemplative prayer movement) versus the preaching of the Cross. The New Age is saying that God is the higher self in man—that God is just a meditation away.

Many people are turned off when they think Christian teaching says we are bad and worthless. But this is not so. It may teach that man is bad (which is evident) but certainly not worthless. The fact that Christ died for the “ungodly” to “reconcile” them to God shows God’s love toward man. In contrast to karma, the Gospel of grace is better in that if you accept its provision, you are complete (perfect) in Christ Jesus.

This is why Christianity is so steadfast on these issues. If a belief system is not preaching the Cross, then it is not “the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). If other ways are correct, then Christ died in vain, His blood shed unnecessarily.

A Warning and a Plea
It is very true that God loves mankind, so much so He sent His Son to save all who receive Him by faith. The Lord is very patient with man, and as “the day of the Lord” draws nearer and nearer, He continues beckoning humanity to Himself.

However, while God’s love, mercy, and patience are very enduring, His warnings about a great judgment coming upon the Earth are to be taken very seriously. Those who refuse to bow their knee to Jesus Christ will suffer severe and eternal consequences—make no mistake, that day will come:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (II Peter 3:7)

Jesus said, in referring to His return “of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Matthew 24:36). But He also said that while we will not know the exact hour and day of His return, we should be watching for the signs of the coming tribulation period. Throughout the centuries, Christians generally thought they were living in a time when Christ’s return was imminent based on natural disasters, wars, upheaval, and prominent military leaders (e.g., Napoleon). But never in the history of humanity has occultism and mysticism been unleashed as it has now. The apostle Paul, in making reference to this time period, said:

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (I Thessalonians 5:2-6)

Many think that the New Age movement is only a recent manifestation. But I believe that the words of the prophet Isaiah reveal that New Age spirituality was even around back then, although not called that. And he links this Ancient Wisdom in with the end of the age period. Isaiah issues a stern and fearsome warning:

Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth, if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. (Isaiah 47:12-13)

The next verse describes the judgment that these will be subjected to:

Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame. (Isaiah 47:14)

And in Revelation 9:20-21, it discloses:

And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries.

The Book of Revelation explains that there are those who in the latter times “blasphemed the name of God” and “repented not to give him [God] glory” (Revelation 16:9) and again, “repented not of their deeds” (vs. 11).

These verses that speak of sorceries portray the “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thessalonians 2:7) that is being judged during the tribulation period because its adherents are claiming to be God, and they refuse to give Him the glory but rather take it upon themselves. This will be the ultimate test revealing who the real God is.

This word “sorceries” used in Revelation comes from the greek word pharmakaia. The word is translated into four meanings.:

1) the use or the administering of drugs
2) poisoning
3) sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
4) metaphorically the deceptions and seductions of idolatry

I want you to realize the significance of this. The Bible is clear that sorcery will be a pervasive practice, to the point of being epidemic during “the day of the Lord.” And this is what is now called the Ancient Wisdom by its proponents! Alice Bailey said that the Ancient Wisdom would be at the very root of her new vital world religion, which she proudly proclaimed would be universal.

Scripture is very clear that sorceries are practices that will be judged by God. Sorcery traditionally throughout the centuries has been practiced by a very small number of persons (i.e., occult or kept secret). But now we have a virtual explosion of sorcery through various practices and pronouncements (Yoga, Reiki, centering prayer, etc.). What I am talking about is a whole world like the psychic slave girl in the Book of Acts.

From Genesis to Revelation, the pages are filled with God’s warning to mankind when he refuses to acknowledge that the Lord is God and man is not. And throughout these pages are stories of those who mocked and scorned the warnings brought by God’s messengers. The apostle Peter referred to this scenario:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3: 3-4)

Many people today believe it is wrong to talk about and warn of an endtime, apocolyptic time period. Rather, they say, we should spend time meditating and employing our higher powers to reach happiness and enlightenment in life. We each have a choice to make. Do we seek after this consciousness, or do we humbly call upon the living God and accept His free gift of salvation and eternal life?

If you don’t already, I pray you will come to know the true Christ (Jesus Christ) before it is too late. I cannot emphasize enough the vital importance of understanding and believing the following verse:

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)

By saying this, Jesus made clear that it was by Him and not a mystical consciousness that we are saved. Let me leave you with this. Compare these four views below. I pray you will see the difference as I did so many years ago!

I AM GOD! This is THE most basic tenant of metaphysical spiritual understanding.1—A metaphysical teacher

You are God in a physical body.. . .You are all power. . . . You are all intelligence. . . . You are the creator.2—The Secret

[T]here is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:21-22)

He that hath the Son [not higher consciousness] hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:12)


Ray Yungen (1952-2016), author, speaker, and research analyst studied religious movements for nearly thirty years. His love for Jesus Christ and for people and his exuberance for life are reflected in his writing.

Endnotes:

  1. I AM,” Communicated through Kathy Wilson (The Light of Olympia Newspaper Vol. 1, Number 8, August 1988), p. 7.2.
  2. Rhonda Byrne, The Secret (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2006), p. 164.

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

Out-of-House Commentary: “America in Crisis”

By Dr. Shelton Smith
Sword of the Lord Ministries

The immediate past liberal Chicago mayor famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” He and a significantly large group of others seem to be sold on that philosophy. When a catastrophic crisis comes along, they utilize it fully to gain and maintain power. Their agenda is all that matters to them, and they go to extreme, radical lengths to achieve their goals.

The COVID-19 crisis was a perfect opportunity for them to maneuver the public and milk the situation for all they could get out of it.

Then the Minneapolis crisis developed out of the tragic death of George Floyd. Although his death has been universally heralded as a miscarriage of justice, the liberal revolutionaries seized the opportunity to loot, burn and kill. Click here to continue reading.


Related Articles:

Out-of-House Commentary—”Top Ten Reasons I’ll Never Support the #BlackLivesMatter Movement”

Toying with Death—Learning to Love Evil and Crave Violence

(photos from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; collage design by Lighthouse Trails)

Out-of-House Commentary—”Top Ten Reasons I’ll Never Support the #BlackLivesMatter Movement”
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Ryan Bomberger (photo from a 2-second video clip; used in accordance with the U.S. Fair Use Act: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR6hEiLDSro)

LTRP Note: The following out-of-house commentary is posted for informational and research purposes and will hopefully help readers to gain a better understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement.

By Ryan Bomberger
(author of Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong)

Every life unjustly killed deserves justice. In the cause to make things right, I will not join a movement that has nearly everything wrong. More innocent lives have now been killed (#BlueLivesMatter, too) since these predominantly violent protests began over George Floyd’s horrific death. What about the black lives killed in this nationwide chaos? Do they matter?

“Well, you don’t have to agree with everything. Just pick out the good things in the #BlackLivesMatter movement,” I’m told. Really? Let’s apply that same logic to another example. I’ve been repeatedly approached to partner with New Black Panthers in anti-abortion billboard campaigns. We agree on the violent injustice of abortion, and that’s it. Our worldviews are diametrically opposed. But, but, but they believe unborn lives matterThat doesn’t matter. Their mission is not my mission. . . .

Yes, #BlackLivesMatter. But Truth matters. As a Christian, the Church should be leading on these issues instead of sheepishly following a movement hostile to the Gospel. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

Coronavirus, George Floyd, and Riots in the Streets—When God Discloses the Heart of Man

Leftism: The Difference Between Spiritual and Political

 

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Admits: “We Are Trained Marxists”

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

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

‘Queer’ Black Lives Matter Co-Founder: ‘We Are Trained Marxists,’ Effort Includes Fighting for ‘Transgenders,’ Homosexuals

A video from 2015 is being circulated online of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors — a self-described “queer,” artist, author, organizer and college professor who founded the organization with another lesbian and a self-described feminist — acknowledging that the group is led by “trained Marxists.” The group’s website also outlines that it seeks to “dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk,” as well as to “foster a queer‐affirming network” and “build a space” that is “free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.”

“It was important for us as Black women, two of which are queer, to actually talk about the totality of Black life,” she said during the interview with Jared Ball of “I Mix What I Like” on Real News Network. “And that Black cis[gender] men are not the sum of Black people, but rather all Black people being the totality of Black people …” Click here to continue reading and to watch news video.

Related Article:

Muhammad Ali Jr. Said His Father Would Have Opposed ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement

(photo from a 2-second youtube video clip; used in accordance with the U.S. Fair Use Act)

 

 

Interview with Richard Nathan – From Communist to Christian

Former New Age follower Richard Nathan were interviewed on June 20th on the Parker J. Cole Show. Richard shared how Christ rescued him from a life of darkness as a Marxist-Socialist and Atheist.

(photo: Richard with his wife Linda, who also came out of the New Age. Their novel A Glittering Web is inspired by their own story.)

Richard Nathan grew up in San Francisco in a family of Marxist-socialist revolutionaries similar to those on the Left today. His father, whom he says most resembled Bernie Sanders, taught his three sons to hate Christianity and America and that love was just a “bourgeois convenience.”

Richard survived the Sixties’ counterculture revolution deeply involved in psychedelic drugs and New Age deception. Finally, in his mid-thirties, he returned to college. 

At that point, Jesus Christ showed him he was a lost sinner and rescued him. Richard met his true Father and began life all over again, this time learning the difference between a bad father and a good one. Today he is an evangelist and Bible teacher with a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in Christian History. For the past 28 years, he has worked in crisis psychiatric units reaching out to the lost.

A testimony for our times and just in time for Father’s Day, this moving interview will reveal how our Heavenly Father can make up for the worst of earthly fathers.

Parker J. Cole who has interviewed the Nathans on numerous occasions

You can also listen to the recording at that link at any time after June 20th: http://tobtr.com/11738873

For an insightful look at the conflict between being a Christian and being a Marxist, read “You Can Be A Christian, You Can Be A Marxist, But You Can’t Be Both” by Joshua Lawson. Go here to read the article.

Related Information: Click here to watch a very compelling and chilling video clip with G. Edward Griffin who explains how communists would use racial division to gain power.

 

Contemplative Prayer – Does Our Intent to Find Jesus Justify the Method?

 [I]f you were to jump off a cliff with the intent to fly saying the word “fly, fly, fly” as you jump off and someone else jumped off the same cliff with the intent to hit the bottom saying “fall, fall, fall” as he jumps off, in either case both will hit the bottom. – Ray Yungen

If our intent is to find Jesus, is the method of going about this acceptable, even if the method might happen to be a Buddhist meditation style. Brian Edgar, former Director of Theology and Public Policy for the Australian Evangelical Alliance believes it is when he states:

Sometimes people suggest that certain methods (such as meditative, contemplative or imaginative prayer) are not Christian. But the key question is about the intention or the focus involved, rather than simply the technique. If the aim is to focus upon the Lord Jesus Christ through the presence of the Spirit then it is Christian. If a prayer is focused at something or someone else then it is not. It is really just the same as preaching. Speaking and listening can be a thoroughly spiritual exercise. But non-Christians also speak and listen, and what makes something a Christian exercise is the content rather than the method. (Edgar, Spirituality)

Panentheist and contemplative Tilden Edwards, co-founder of Shalem Institute, would agree with Edgar when Edwards states:

In the wider ecumenism of the Spirit being opened for us today, we need to humbly accept the learnings of particular Eastern religions … What makes a particular practice Christian is not its source, but its intent … this is important to remember in the face of those Christians who would try to impoverish our spiritual resources by too narrowly defining them. If we view the human family as one in God’s spirit, then this historical cross-fertilization is not surprising … selective attention to Eastern spiritual practices can be of great assistance to a fully embodied Christian life.1

But research analyst and author Ray Yungen disagrees with this idea that intent justifies or permits the method:

The premise here is that in order to really know God, mysticism must be practiced—the mind has to be shut down or turned off so that the cloud of unknowing where the presence of God awaits can be experienced. Practitioners of this method believe that if the sacred words are Christian, you will get Christ-it is simply a matter of intent even though the method is identical to occult and Eastern practices. So the question we as Christians must ask ourselves is, “Why not? Why shouldn’t we incorporate this mystical prayer practice into our lives?” The answer to this is actually found in Scripture.

While certain instances in the Bible describe mystical experiences, I see no evidence anywhere of God sanctioning man-initiated mysticism. Legitimate mystical experiences were always initiated by God to certain individuals for certain revelations and was never based on a method for the altering of consciousness. In Acts 11:5, Peter fell into a trance while in prayer. But it was God, not Peter, who initiated the trance and facilitated it. By definition, a mystic, on the other hand, is someone who uses rote methods in an attempt to tap into their inner divinity. Those who use these methods put themselves into a trance state outside of God’s sanction or protection and thus engage in an extremely dangerous approach. Besides, nowhere in the Bible are such mystical practices prescribed. For instance, the Lord, for the purpose of teaching people a respect for His holiness and His plans, instated certain ceremonies for His people (especially in the Old Testament).

Nonetheless, Scripture contains no reference in which God promoted mystical practices. The gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the New Testament were supernatural in nature but did not fall within the confines of mysticism. God bestowed spiritual gifts without the Christian practicing a method beforehand to get God’s response. . . .

[Y]ou can call a practice by any other name, but it is the same practice, hence the same results. For example, if you were to jump off a cliff with the intent to fly saying the word “fly, fly, fly” as you jump off and someone else jumped off the same cliff with the intent to hit the bottom saying “fall, fall, fall” as he jumps off, in either case both will hit the bottom. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening in contemplative prayer, although the intent may be to honor Christ. (quote from chapter 4, A Time of Departing)

Consider the following article below by Ray Yungen where he talks about Philip St. Romain and “Christian” mysticism. You will see that the contemplative mystical experience is the same as the New Age Kundalini experience and thus, a very dangerous practice in which to engage.

Notes:

1. Tilden Edwards, Living in the Presence (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1987), Acknowledgement page, as cited in A Time of Departing, chapter 2.


“Christian Mysticism or Occultism?”

by Ray Yungen

Many Christians might have great difficulty accepting the assessment that what is termed Christian mysticism is, in truth, not Christian at all. They might feel this rejection is spawned by a heresy hunting mentality that completely ignores the love and devotion to God that also accompanies the mystical life. To those who are still skeptical, I suggest examining the writings of Philip St. Romain, who wrote a book about his journey into contemplative prayer called Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality. This title is revealing because kundalini is a Hindu term for the mystical power or force that underlies Hindu spirituality. In Hinduism it is commonly referred to as the serpent power.

St. Romain, a substance abuse counselor and devout Catholic lay minister, began his journey while practicing contemplative prayer or resting in the still point, as he called it. What happened to him following this practice should bear the utmost scrutiny from the evangelical community–especially from its leadership. The future course of evangelical Christianity rests on whether St. Romain’s path is just a fluke or if it is the norm for contemplative spirituality.

Having rejected mental prayer as “unproductive,”1 he embraced the prayer form that switches off the mind, creating what he described as a mental passivity. What he encountered next underscores my concern with sobering clarity:

Then came the lights! The gold swirls that I had noted on occasion began to intensify, forming themselves into patterns that both intrigued and captivated me … There were always four or five of these; as soon as one would fade, another would appear, even brighter and more intense … They came through complete passivity and only after I had been in the silence for a while.2

After this, St. Romain began to sense “wise sayings” coming into his mind and felt he was “receiving messages from another.”3 He also had physical developments occur during his periods in the silence. He would feel “prickly sensations” on the top of his head and at times it would “fizzle with energy.” This sensation would go on for days. The culmination of St. Romain’s mystical excursion was predictable–when you do Christian yoga or Christian Zen you end up with Christian samadhi as did he. He proclaimed:

No longer is there any sense of alienation, for the Ground that flows throughout my being is identical with the Reality of all creation. It seems that the mystics of all the world’s religions know something of this.4

St. Romain, logically, passed on to the next stage with:

[T]he significance of this work, perhaps, lies in its potential to contribute to the dialogue between Christianity and Eastern forms of mysticism such as are promoted in what is called New Age spirituality.5

Many people believe St. Romain is a devout Christian. He claims he loves Jesus, believes in salvation, and is a member in good standing within his church. What changed though were his sensibilities. He says:

I cannot make any decisions for myself without the approbation of the inner adviser, whose voice speaks so clearly in times of need … there is a distinct sense of an inner eye of some kind “seeing” with my two sense eyes.6

St. Romain would probably be astounded that somebody would question his claims to finding truth because of the positive nature of his mysticism. But is this “inner adviser” St. Romain has connected with really God? This is a fair question to ask especially when this prayer method has now spread within a broad spectrum of Christianity.

This practice has already spread extensively throughout the Roman Catholic and Protestant mainline churches. And it has now crossed over and is manifesting itself in conservative denominations as well–ones that have traditionally stood against the New Age. Just as a tidal wave of practical mystics has hit secular society, so it has also in the religious world. St. Romain makes one observation in his book that I take very seriously. Like his secular practical mystic brethren, he has a strong sense of mission and destiny. He predicts:

Could it be that those who make the journey to the True Self are, in some ways, demonstrating what lies in store for the entire race? What a magnificent world that would be–for the majority of people to be living out of the True Self state. Such a world cannot come, however, unless hundreds of thousands of people experience the regression of the Ego in the service of transcendence [meditation], and then restructure the culture to accommodate similar growth for millions of others. I believe we are only now beginning to recognize this task.7

A book titled Metaphysical Primer: A Guide to Understanding Metaphysics outlines the basic laws and principles of the New Age movement. First and foremost is the following principle:

You are one with the Deity, as is all of humanity … Everything is one with everything else. All that is on Earth is an expression of the One Deity and is permeated with Its energies.8

St. Romain’s statement was, “[T]he Ground [God] that flows throughout my being is identical with the Reality of all creation.”9 The two views are identical!

St. Romain came to this view through standard contemplative prayer, not Zen, not yoga but a Christian form of these practices. The lights were also a reoccurring phenomenon as one contemplative author suggested:

Christian literature makes reference to many episodes that parallel the experiences of those going a yogic way. Saint Anthony, one of the first desert mystics, frequently encountered strange and sometimes terrifying psychophysical forces while at prayer.10

Unfortunately, this experience was not confined to St. Anthony alone. This has been the common progression into mystical awareness throughout the centuries, which also means many now entering the contemplative path will follow suit. This is not just empty conjecture. One mystical trainer wrote:

[T]he classical experience of enlightenment as described by Buddhist monks, Hindu gurus, Christian mystics, Aboriginal shamans, Sufi sheiks and Hebrew kabalists is characterized by two universal elements: radiant light and an experience of oneness with creation.11

Without the mystical connection there can be no oneness. The second always follows the first. Here lies the heart of occultism.

This issue is clearly a serious one to contend with. Many individuals, using terms for themselves like spiritual director, are showing up more and more in the evangelical church. Many of them teach the message of mystical prayer.

Notes:

1. Philip St. Romain, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality, Crossroad Pub. Co., 1995, p. 20-21.
2. Ibid., pp. 22-23.
3. Ibid., pp. 28-29.
4. Ibid., p. 107.
5. Ibid., pp. 48-49.
6. Ibid., p. 39.
7. Ibid., pp. 75-76.
8. Deborah Hughes and Jane Robertson-Boudreaux, Metaphysical Primer, Metagnosis Pub., 1991, p. 27.
9. St. Romain, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality, op. cit. p. 107.
10. Willigis Jager, Contemplation: A Christian Path, op. cit., p. 72.
11. Michael J. Gelb, The How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Workbook, Dell Publishing, New York, NY, 1999, p. 142.

This article is an excerpt from A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen.

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Guest Commentary: A Seismic Shift in Culture —The New Left and Marxist-Critical Theory

LTRP Note: The following commentary is written and compiled by a Lighthouse Trails reader who is involved at a political level in his home state.

By Dick Pence

A Bit of Background

We are living in a moment of time that is a cultural seismic shift. 

I will discuss Critical Theory as the working engine of Marxism, but first a little background. One article asserts that “You Can Be A Christian, You Can Be A Marxist, But You Can’t Be Both,” Please keep this truth in mind as you read the following information.  These two worldviews are absolutely mutually exclusive.

I am going to appeal to you to watch a video titled Critical Theory and Racism in America with Dr. Glenn Sunshine.  It’s not short; it’s a training tool.  This is a rare opportunity to train your kids if you wish for them to survive as Christian conservatives.  They are being bombarded with cultural Marxism from every direction.

Critical Theoryis the weapon being used by the “New Left” to promote Marxist indoctrination.  It is the essence of what “the Left” has become. Understanding this will give you a whole new perspective of Marxism (and the Democratic Party).

The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter relates to the circumstances that open moments of opportunity.  We are in a kairos moment in America.   

Clarion Call for Grass Roots Leadership

We would normally look to three institutions for leadership—the Congress, local and state Legislators, and the Church.  At the moment, none seems to be coming from these sources. There are a few who are issuing a clarion cry that we are losing the culture. I embrace the thinking that, at times, to NOT speak is sin. 

#1. Sadly, at this very kairos, the majority of our Republican Legislators at all levels are sitting on their hands—keeping their powder dry until the right time to speak. From talking to some of the Montana R’s I respect, it appears they think they are going to address this in the next legislative session starting in January. “They have us over a barrel; we could lose our income,” one said.  The problem is that the Cultural Consensus on these issues is quickly shifting because the Left is working, and we are not. 

#2. What is the source of salt and light doing?  If you walk into the vast majority of evangelical churches today, it is like walking into a backwards time warp. Dennis Prager writes American Jews and Christians are Failing the Test of Their Lives. What they are talking about is completely divorced from the reality of the kairos.  They grind away talking about various forms of what really amounts to self-help dressed up with Bible verses—playing Ostrich to the kairos.  You would never know anything was happening outside the four walls.  We experienced sexual revolution, Roe v. Wade, loss of school prayer, the LGBT revolution, Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage) and now Bostock v. Clayton County—the recent Supreme Court decision to change the meaning of sex which amounts to a national NDO-SOGI law. These court decisions will open the doors to a seismic cultural shift that will also impact the church. In the 1980s, I was a pastor and we were coached to never get involved in controversial cultural issues. Well, like the church today, we were complicit. 

Encouragingly, some of my pastor friends are speaking out.  The problem is that there are not enough to become a force that can change things.  Remember that verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Maybe you ought to be asking some hard questions of your church leaders.

#3. We the People – yes, YOU, WE, US?  Mathew 11:17 comes to mind: “We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.” Along with the word trifling.  Your pastors can’t talk that way because we think if we are offended by them, then they are wrong.  It’s called rebellion.  The vast majority of Americans are deeply committed to—their amusement. 

The New Left: Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

The problem is that the New Left is very attuned to kairos.  While we are ignorant and complacent, the Left is always ripe for the moment, the kairos.  I did not say we are stupid; we can fix ignorant; you can’t fix stupid.  You have heard them say never let a crisis go to waste?  We thought this was just a cliché someone uttered, but it’s not.  This is the motto of the Critical Theorists. Boy, they mean it! And, their commitment level to that kairos is strong—they put the conservatives and Christians to shame.

Our Biggest Threat

I am firmly convinced that Cultural Marxism or what you will see as Critical Theory (CT) is the biggest threat America faces. 

Dr. Glenn Sunshine, the speaker in the “Critical Race Theory and Racism in America” video I link to above, said this:

The protests and the rioting and looting in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police have brought the issue of racism in America to the forefront. As Christians, we must oppose racism whenever and wherever we see it. But does that mean we must support the most outspoken leaders of the anti-racism movement? What are the core ideas of Critical Theory, the worldview that underpins Black Lives Matter and similar organizations?  In this webinar, we will look at the development of Critical Theory, how it works as a worldview, and provide a biblical critique of its ideas. We will also explore a more biblically grounded approach to race and race relations. 

A Few Ideas You Need to Understand

(gleaned from the video)

What you are seeing playing out today in culture is undergirded by Critical Theory.  It has been at work for well over a century.  Stalin and other Marxists originally believed they could take over the world by armed revolution.  Marxist theory taught that the Proletariat (the so-called working class) would rise up in revolution and take over the means of production by force.  When it did not happen, Antonio Gramsci began to push the philosophy of cultural takeover after WWI.  By slow, incremental cultural changes, they would move resistant countries into Marxism without firing a shot.  And, they have been very successful. 

Some thoughts and questions:

  • The Frankfurt School was a group of German Marxists who fell afoul of the Nazi’s so they moved to Columbia University in America in 1935.  One of them was John Dewey, the Father of modern education who focused on promoting CT within the education system. In Chicago, Saul Alinsky (Hillary Clinton’s hero) was also one of them.
  • What is meant by Economic Determinism in Marxism? Marxist taught that the economic system controlled everything and you had to change the economic system.  Gramsci added, you have to do it by changing culture. 
  • What is meant by the “Long March Through the Institutions?”  Simply put, it is the march of Marxist thought through all institutions that would control the ideology beginning with academia, schools, corporations, etc. until the entire culture buys into Marxism and/or CT.
  • How does the economic term “Zero Sum Game” (the idea that all resources are limited – if you take a big piece of the pie, I get less) impact thinking about cultural capital or cultural power?  Men have power because they have taken it from women is an example. Or, a 3rd world country has less power or wealth because we took it from them.
  • The base line of CT relates to the fact that there are the oppressed and the oppressors and that applies to everything.
  • Intersectionality is the thought that all oppression is connected. Everything relates to power and the idea that some people take power from other people. It does not matter if it is a person of color taking power from a white or a woman taking from a man. However, in CT, Moral authority always moves from the oppressor to the oppressed. Whites lose moral authority to blacks simply because they are the assumed oppressors. The intersect part relates to intersection of identities – e.g., the intersection of race and sexual identity.
    • Everything in culture relates to domination and privilege vs. oppression.  Your identities are determined by what intersectionality areas you occupy (e.g., black vs. black and gay; white man vs. white woman or white lesbian; rich vs. poor etc.
    • You gain moral authority the more oppressor categories you fit into (black + woman + lesbian), and you lose more moral authority the more oppressed categories you occupy (man + educated + wealthy). More oppressed categories = More moral authority.  A woman of color who is lesbian has three categories of moral authority or power. This is how identity is defined.
    • Zero Sum Gain is in motion here.  You lose moral authority the more you fit into oppressor categories, and the authority has to go somewhere so it goes to those you have oppressed.  If you have more categories of oppression (e.g., a white, educated, male with wealth), you lose moral authority to the white uneducated male or someone else. Moral authority is finite so in each issue, the oppressed must forfeit it to the oppressor.    
    • Oppression = Sin and Salvation happens – the way you get rid of your sin comes from becoming WOKE or an ally of the oppressed.
    • This indoctrination partially explains why you see so many white people joining #Black Lives Matter riots. This explains much about Liberation Theology (note: the oppressor can never get rid of his or her identity). 

This is the politics of the New Left.

Critical Race Theory

Race is not a biological foundation.  We are all in the human race.  Early on, “race” was used to identify nationalities.  It was not until recently that it was used as so-called Scientific Race that introduced the idea that some races as we now think of them, are superior to others. Inevitably, this would and did lead to racism. 

  • Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the new definition of racism relating now to Power or Moral Authority (the two are synonymous). CRT suggests that institutions, structures, ideologies in society give power to whites (for example) over blacks. If you participate in a system, institution, or ideology that supposedly favors one race (higher education, Republican, Christianity), you are a racist.
  • So, we are back to Gramsci’s thinking of the oppressed and oppressors.  White Supremacy and White Privilege mark you as a racist because just by being white, you are a racist. According to CRT, literacy, belief in absolute truth, paternalism, the nuclear family, and many other things define this supremacy.  Objectivity is evidence of racism according to CRT (i.e., they are postmodernist and there is no objective truth).  Denial of white supremacy is racist. 

Once objectivity goes out the window, you are left with experience.  So, things like statistics of fatherlessness, unwed birth rates, even employment rates mean nothing to the CRT movement. They can’t hear you.  Quoting data is itself racist. The Narrative grows out of experiences and reality is subjective. It is supreme and defines truth.The Blacks and Latinos have a set of experiences that determine their truth (and whites can never understand this because they lack the experience).  Statistics buy into the myth of objectivity.  So shared truth or reality is impossible – you can’t know my experience. 

Systemic Racism is the idea that racism is embedded in institutions like the police, housing, education, political parties etc. These are fundamentally corrupt.

#Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement

First, we must be very clear that black lives DO MATTER, and we must communicate that consistently. 

However, the #Black Lives Matter movement is evil, rooted in Marxist/Critical Theory and is both anti-Christian and anti-democracy. It is made up of anarchist bullies and is well funded by American corporations, the NFL, and others.

An excellent article by a pro-family activist group outlines the real mission of #Black Lives Matter.  Many young people have become radicalized, and the author adds, “If you follow bad ideas and take action to support them, you are guilty of a crime against your fellow citizens.”  A key leader of BLM, Shaun King, is calling for the burning of churches.

In a Townhall article, Christian author and pro-life advocate Ryan Bomberger gives his Top Ten Reasons he won’t support BLM (see his article above). Some of those reasons include: a faulty premise, no allowance for forgiveness and reconciliation, heavily promotes the LGBT movement, ignores fatherhood, and wants to abolish prisons and police forces.

  • What are BLM’s “Doctrines”:
    • They are radically Marxist and admit this.
    • Deeply rooted in Critical Theory.
    • Rejects the nuclear family (i.e., the village raises the children).
    • Fathers are nowhere to be found and not supported as worthy of support.
    • They are for abortion (including the murder of black babies).
    • They walk in solidarity with every form of LGBT+ theory
    • They are Anti-Semitic.
    • Note how not ALL Black lives matter, only the ones that fit the narrative.

This fixes nothing; it only produces more racism. It denies any agency to black people and dissolves any opportunity to see themselves as anything but victims [see veteran civil rights leader, Bob Woodson, talking about this].

I hope this information gives you an idea of what is taking place and how CT, CRT, and BLM are not the solutions that will help end racism. On the contrary.

[T]he children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, [knew] what Israel ought to do. (1 Chronicles 12:32)


Dick Pence is coordinator of Big Sky Worldview Forum. Contact information: (406-672-9207; email: rapence45@gmail.com).

Related Information:

Coronavirus, George Floyd, and Riots in the Streets—When God Discloses the Heart of Man

Leftism: The Difference Between Spiritual and Political

How the Tragic Killing of George Floyd Has Been Exploited: Bob Woodson

The Fear Factor and the COVID Conundrum: One Canadian’s Perspective”
By L.S.

Perhaps there is a reasonable expectation for a duty of care when government takes away the care of duty.  So many people have lost their jobs during this coronavirus pandemic “crisis” or had to close or curtail their businesses; and with the government mandated shutdowns that followed, the government is handing out money to try to mitigate the damage that the shutdowns have caused. It stands to a certain type of reason that if government—that elusive entity that purports to lead and guide the people—should not allow people to care for themselves, then it should take that responsibility upon itself.

Albeit, it is a vicious cycle, like a dog biting its tail.  The people fund the government, and the government funds the people.  But the government arbitrarily allots the funds to whatever or to whomever it chooses and then arbitrarily mandates the people to pay for it. Then when the people start relying on government handouts to survive, and far-overreaching government mandates to guide our actions, can we truly relax and rest easy and trust that the government has got our backs?  It may ease the monetary famine but only temporally, and it may relieve us of the responsibility of thinking for ourselves, but Oh! What a high price to pay!  The people were just coerced into the socialist system of government and goaded into compliance with the stock prod of “panpanic.” People are being shepherded like sheep into the corral with fines, penalties, warnings, and fear. Many medical professionals are hirelings hired to feed the fear frenzy, and yet when other medical professionals stand up to disagree, they are mostly silenced or they stand only to lose their jobs.

Government spokesmen have been holding an unprecedented number of press conferences, with an almost universal clarion call advertising the fear while providing fear motivated mandates to undergird their message. In general, their expertise is politics not pandemics, but they are much used by the powers that be to promote the panpanic.  Does not this situation now make us somewhat of a police state? A communist state perhaps? And does it not hint of a fascist state? I do not pretend to understand politics well, but I know it well enough that it makes me think, “Oh what a state to be in!”

History teaches us that it is just a matter of time before that kind of system implodes and sucks the life out of the people, the wealth out of the country, and our freedoms: our freedom to thrive or fail, our freedom to decide how to protect ourselves, our freedom of association, our freedom of speech or expression, and other freedoms that we have come to associate with a free country.  What we have now is a virus kingpin that is not the danger it was made out to be; yes, dangerous and even deadly but not the way “they” portrayed it with overblown models already proven false. But the fear of the virus has been a catalyst to bring in many other dangerous things.  And now countless citizens are also left with an insidious and perilous disease of the mind—fear—the wrong kind of fear, misplaced fear, fear that destroys—not protects. 

Many hospitals, made ready for a great influx of coronavirus victims, are reported to be emptier than ever, but the dying that are already in the hospital are dying alone, at times not allowed to have even their closest loved ones as visitors.  Much needed surgeries are deferred, and people who need to go to the hospital choose not to go in—for fear.  How can we even know all the consequences? Our media does not report it, and at this point, we do not know who to believe. They cried “Wolf!” too often.

Then we are given the hope of a temporal “savior”—a vaccine; and we hope we can just hang in there long enough so the vaccine can save us from the disease should that even be a realistic or remotely successful option. In the meantime, we are dying of other things.  Living is dangerous.  That is life.  Should we put our life on hold for one danger when people are dying all around of old age, accidents, or of any of the multitude of other diseases or circumstances?  In the meantime, while our life is on hold, we wonder what is really happening.  We are not sure, but we know it has the possibility of being much more dangerous than “the virus.”

Fear kills. Fear paralyzes.  The Bible has an example of this in Luke 21:26 when it says “men’s hearts failing them for fear” when they see the things coming upon the Earth. But there is a fear that saves and protects and makes us free.  The Bible says in Psalm 34:11, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” And also:

In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (Proverbs 14:8)

O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. (Psalm 34:9)

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psalm 40:3)

Need I offer more verses?  There are many, many more!

Conversely, the Bible also mentions misplaced fear. “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

We are fighting a virtually invisible enemy with very visible consequences, but that reminds me we have an invisible hope as well.  The one thing the virus cannot take away is the freedom to believe—our faith. As it says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  That sounds rock solid to me, and I leave you with this:  Fear God, he is our hope. And please read the rest of Hebrews 11 for examples of the faithful who went before us.

Again, this verse, an invitation from God Himself, certifies, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:11).


Related Articles:

Fearing God in a Fearless New Age by Warren B. Smith

Fighting Fear in a Fearful Day by Maria Kneas

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

“That in Me Ye Might Have Peace”

By Harry Ironside

That in me ye might have peace. (John 16:33)

How long it takes many of us to learn that peace is found in Christ alone. We seek for it everywhere else, but seek in vain, until at last, disappointed, disheartened, and distressed in soul, we come to the Lord Jesus, and lo, at His feet, our quest is ended!

Peace Better Than Happiness

Peace is far better than happiness. Happiness is primarily that which comes from a good “hap.” “Hap” is an old English word for chance. Tennyson wrote of one “who grasps the skirts of happy chance.” This expresses it exactly. If the “haps” are good, the worldling is happy; if evil “haps” befall him, he is unhappy. But peace is something deeper. It is the opposite of struggling, of warfare, and of soul unrest. It is freedom from strife, or from mental agitation. It is spiritual content such as the Lord promised to the heavy laden, when He said: “Come unto me. . . . and I will give you rest.”

No Peace to the Wicked

This message is twice repeated in the book of Isaiah: “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” In chapters forty to forty-eight of this marvelous book, we have Jehovah’s controversy with idolatry. His people had sought in vain for peace, because they turned from Him, the true and living God, unto the senseless works of their own hands. Jehovah, the
covenant-keeping God, stands in contrast to all the idols of the heathen. Therefore at the end of the forty-eighth chapter, there is this plain statement: “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” Then in chapters forty-nine to fifty-seven, we have the great Messianic section of
Isaiah, and we see the true Servant of Jehovah, the anointed Savior, coming in lowly grace to His own, to open prison doors, to unstop deaf ears, to impart strength to feeble knees, and to give new life to those who are dead in trespasses and sins. But, also, we see Him spurned and rejected by those whom He loved so dearly, and in chapter fifty-seven, we hear the grave
pronouncement: “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”

How solemn all this is!

No peace for the man who puts aught else in place of the Lord Jehovah in his heart and life!

No peace for the self-willed rejecter of GOD’s blessed Son!

In the New Testament, where we have the entire world brought in guilty before God, the solemn declaration concerning all who turn away from the Word of the Lord is this: “The way of peace have they not known.”

A False Peace

There is also a false peace by which many are deceived. They mistake their ease of mind for peace of heart. Deluded by a false peace, and daubing their consciences with the untempered mortar of their own vain imaginings, they cry, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” These are they who drift down the river of time, unaware of the awful precipice over which it will sweep them at last into the great sea of eternity, where they will be forever without peace and without hope. Of all such it is written:

When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them . . . and they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

If you try to awaken such from their deadly sleep and their false security, they are likely to turn on you with indignation. They do not want to be disturbed. Like the slothful man in the book of Proverbs, they cry, “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.”

Alas, alas! If not awakened soo, they will find out too late the folly of their assumed self-confidence.

One day, when walking along Broadway in Oakland, California, I saw ahead of me a man whom I knew was blind, making his way through the crowds with remarkable dexterity. He did not even have a stick, or a dog, to guide him. He had been over the same route so often that he felt sure he needed no help. Suddenly, I saw a cellarway opened just in front of him. In another
moment he would have stepped down into the yawning mouth of a store basement. I sprang forward, caught him by the shoulder, and told him of his danger. Do you think he was angry with me for disturbing his false peace? Not at all! He thanked me profusely. But how different it often is with the unsaved man and woman. They go on heedless of their danger and often resent the warnings of God’s servants.

Two Aspects of Peace

In the fourteenth chapter of John, we learn that our blessed Lord, before He left this Earth, said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” Here we have two very distinct aspects of peace. One is that which He left as a settled thing when He went to the Father’s right hand and is the result of His sacrificial work upon the Cross, while the other is that
which He imparts from day to day to those believers who live in fellowship with Him.

Sometimes people use expressions that will not always bear the test of Scripture. Let me give an instance of this:

A number of years ago, an earnest young Christian and I went to a mission in San Francisco. At the close of the meeting, a kind, motherly woman came to me, and asked: “Are you a Christian, sir?”

I replied immediately, “Yes, I am.”

“Thank God,” she said, and then turning to my friend, she asked: “And have you made your peace with God, sir?”

Rather to my astonishment, he answered, “No, madam, I have not.”

I knew he was a Christian, and I wondered at his replying in that way.

She said to him rather severely, “Well, if you don’t make your peace with God, you will be lost forever.”

With a bright, happy smile on his face, he replied, “Madam, I can never make my peace with God, and I never expect to try; but I am thankful that the Lord Jesus Christ has settled that for me, and through what He did for me, I shall be in Heaven for all eternity.” He then put the question to her, “Have you never read that remarkable passage: ‘Having made peace through the blood of his cross’?”

As he went on to explain it to her, the truth gripped my own soul. I saw then, and have realized it ever since, that sinners are saved through the “peace” which He made at the Cross. And so we read in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ.” This peace is not of our making and is not of our keeping either. We enjoy the peace He made as we accept by faith the testimony of His Word.

His Peace is Given

But we also read, “My peace I give unto you.” What does the Lord Jesus mean by this? It is another aspect of peace altogether. It is that quiet rest of soul which was ever His in the midst of the most trying circumstances. He
shares His peace with us. It is of this we read in Philippians 4:6, 7: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

“The peace of God,” you see, is very different from “peace with God.” The latter has to do with the sin question, the former with the trials of the way. It is the believer’s privilege to bring everything that troubles and distresses his soul to God in prayer; to lay down every burden at the feet of the blessed Lord, and to exchange them all for this wonderful “peace” which is the
portion of all who live in communion with Him.

Like a river glorious
Is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious,
In its bright increase.

Perfect, yet it floweth
Fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth,
Deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest.
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

We may trust Him fully,
All for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly
Find Him wholly true.
(Frances Havergal, 1836-1879)


(Photo from bigstockphoto.com; Used with permission)

 

 

 


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