LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PROJECT          November 30, 2020     LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESOURCE SHOP

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Letter to the Editor: To All Parents of Students Considering Attending Gordon College

LTRP Note: Since the inception of Lighthouse Trails in 2002, we have been researching and warning about what is happening in today’s Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities. The letter below from Manny Silva (co-founder of Concerned Nazarenes) (posted with his permission) illustrates the great dilemma in which many Christian parents find themselves today, and it is utterly heartbreaking. Over the years, so many parents and grandparents have told us how their child’s or grandchild’s faith was turned upside down after attending a Christian college for even just a short time.

We wrote the booklet Epidemic of Apostasy in 2013 (from a report we released in 2011) showing how the Christian schools were incorporating Spiritual Formation (i.e., contemplative spirituality) into their students’ lives. We warned that doing this was going to turn these young people emergent. If anyone reading the following letter thinks for a minute that the huge emphasis on contemplative spirituality in the church these last two decades has not produced “social-justice warriors” in our young people who are joining (or at least sympathizing with) the Marxist, Black Lives Matter, pro-hate, anti-biblical movements currently happening, then he or she has not done due diligence in understanding what we’ve been warning about for nearly 19 years. We have always stated and will continue to warn as the Lord allows that the Spiritual Formation movement (now in the majority of Christian colleges) is a disguised effort by our Adversary to lead followers away from the Cross and into deep deception! Want to have a socialist, anti-moral, angry, and disillusioned child or grandchild? Just send him or her to a school that promotes Spiritual Formation.

And do not think that today’s Christian leaders are not much to blame for what is happening with our young people and the colleges—just read Roger Oakland’s book Faith Undone and Ray Yungen’s A Time of Departing* to understand the roles Christian leaders have played and the links involved in bringing about an emergent “social-justice” Bible-rejecting revolutionary movement within the church.

To All Parents of Students Considering Attending Gordon College by Manny Silva:

Manny Silva

My son is a freshman at Gordon College. We enrolled him because we believed the school is a solid Christian college. But now, we have serious issues with what is going on campus this semester. We and many other parents of Gordon students are extremely concerned with the direction things are going. So if you are considering sending your student to Gordon College next year, please contact me at my e-mail address.

The biggest symptom of what we see is a falling away from the biblical principles that the school stands for, is the division being caused on campus by the Black Lives Matter movement. Student BLM activists have been exhibiting less than Christ-like behavior, such as racially divisive signs on campus. And one of the most serious concerns is that students who oppose BLM, or oppose social justice/Critical Race Theory are being vilified, intimidated, harassed, and even coerced into participating in activities which they do not agree with! These are all symptoms of a bigger problem, in which social-justice ideology is supplanting a biblical worldview on a college campus which we were certain would provide a solid basis for my son’s learning and spiritual growth. That is all in doubt now!

I have attended or listened to chapel messages where Scripture was twisted (by college professors!) into a social-justice theme. My son has not learned much about God’s Word in many of these chapel services. Racial issues seem to be overly-discussed in many classes, and activities and events are almost all themed on racial issues—but again, always slanted towards those who support BLM and social-justice causes. If you disagree, you are disapproved of, or you are forced to stay silent.

This in unacceptable on a Christian campus. Therefore, this is a clear warning to all parents considering Gordon College. We have not given up. We have started a group for concerned parents, and we are working hard to see if we can help rescue Gordon College from going over the precipice, where it will become undiscernible as a Christian school, and it will turn into just another secular, godless school in practice.

If you are a prospective parent, or know if a prospective parent of a student, please let me know, and I will give you further information, including joining the Concerned Gordon Parents group.


Related Material:

Lighthouse Trails List of Christian Colleges Promoting Spiritual Formation

An Epidemic of Apostasy – How Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited

Critical Race Theory, Southern Baptist Convention, and a Marxist “Solution” That Will Not Work

Various research articles by Lighthouse Trails on Nazarene schools

Emergent Manifesto of Hope Despair Revisited—How It Has Affected Today’s Church

(photo of college scene from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

*If you have never read these books and cannot afford to buy one or both, e-mail us at editors@lighthousetrails.com, and we will send one to you.

 

Letter to the Editor: To All Parents of Students Considering Attending Gordon College

Remembering the Forgotten Pilgrims

The Trail of Spiritual Delusion: Our Weary World Has Seen It All Before
YouTube Talk by Warren B. Smith: “The Titanic and Today’s Church”
Letter to the Editor: Our Sad Departure From the Church of the Nazarene Over Unbiblical Teachings
“For Portland Black Lives Matter Rioters, Biden Isn’t Enough. They Want ‘Death To America’”
11/27/20 - “US Supreme Court Rules NY Gov. Cuomo’s ‘Severe Restrictions’ on Church Attendance Unconstitutional”
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Remembering the Forgotten Pilgrims
By Bill Randles

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.  (Hebrews 11:8-12)

Our Western society loves to commemorate historic anniversaries. When I was a child, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. It was constant and pervasive, and as a child I loved it. Picture books, lectures, studies of generals such as Grant and Lee everywhere we turned.

The November 22, 1963 anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is dutifully remembered every single year. More recently we had a four-year remembrance of the hundredth anniversary of World War 1 (which I have found fascinating also).

I was in the UK a few years ago, and they were commemorating the four-hundredth anniversary of the King James version of the Bible. It was amazing. The UK, I know, is a very secular, post-Christian society (with a very strong but tiny remnant church), but even the godless BBC heavily commemorated the King James version, and its contribution to the English language.

But there is an equally profound four-hundred-year anniversary, which, for the most part, is relatively ignored by our society. I speak of the landing of the Pilgrim fathers on the Mayflower. I am amazed at the relative lack of popular, mainstream interest in the event and have been pondering why before God.

It’s not that we just can’t remember that far back anymore; after all, last year America was awash with the “1619 project,” a Marxist and deeply flawed version of America’s founding. It was 1619 that the first African slaves were brought to the New World.

Every where we turn, there is an unprecedented educational push to establish the lie that America’s real founding is based upon racism and exploitation. There are millions of tax dollars flowing in order to insert this propaganda in public schools.

What does it mean that 1619 is so emphasized , while 1620 is basically ignored?

It is just another example of the spiritual battle being waged for the soul of our nation, between those who were formed by the Judeo-Christian outlook and those who are the fruit of the ongoing atheistic revolution. The idea is to spiritually demoralize America, to disintegrate our body politic, and to disinherit us from the faith and accomplishments of so many of our forefathers.

Admittedly, America has always had two souls; Jamestown, was a colony established by freeloading “Gentlemen” out for treasure and wealth, and who refused to work to feed themselves, instead living off of the good will of the Indian tribes, and eventually cheating and stealing from them.

The other soul of America is that of the Puritans, separatists, and other devoted Christian believers who risked all to come here to establish a “City on a Hill,” a place to worship God and evangelize the Native American Indians.

I believe 1620 is ignored now because this a Christian story, complete with earnest God-fearing people, miracles, and a sixty-year peace treaty with the Indians. These people wanted to serve God, to live honest lives, to make settlements, raise children, and build a just society for future generations.

That doesn’t fit the atheistic narrative. The Pilgrims were not oppressors— they were peace-loving settlers. They were builders as well as worshippers.

Originating from the village of Scrooby in England, the original Pilgrim fathers were non-conformists; a religious designation, they were Christians but didn’t want to worship in the Anglican (state) Church. They wanted to form their own assemblies, preach the Gospel, and practice evangelism. But for that, many were arrested, harassed, and their churches were shut down by government agents. (Ironically, I just saw English police invade a church service recently in the name of protecting people from Covid. They barged right in during worship, scaring women and children and proclaiming that the worshippers were an unlawful assembly. The more things change the more, they remain the same).

The small persecuted group of believers from Scrooby scraped together their meager funds and moved to Holland where there was more religious freedom. But after a few years, the Pilgrims found Holland to be too worldly and were concerned about losing their children to the world. So out of their extreme poverty, they pooled enough funds to charter two boats and half of the congregation set out for the New World in search of religious freedom. They soon had to turn back because one of the ships leaked so badly it was deemed unseaworthy, so they crammed into one ship—the Mayflower.

These weren’t professional soldiers or adventurers; they were simple, English Bible-believing Christians who risked all on that boat in search of religious freedom. Many had sold themselves into indentured servitude in order to afford the journey.

There were miracles of God’s providence:

  • The sailors abused the Pilgrims badly, calling them “Psalm-singing pukestockings” and threatened to throw them overboard. They even tried to prevent them from bringing a prized printing press. (The Pilgrims wanted to print the Bible in America.) Had the sailors succeeded, the ship would have been in deep trouble. A storm broke the undergirding of the main mast, and the only way they could repair it was by using the screw of the printing press which fit perfectly under the mast replacing the broken piece and enabling the crew to elevate the mast into place.
  • A storm blew the Pilgrims off course; had they landed where they intended, they would have joined another colony in Virginia which had 120 or so people reduced to starvation, eating boiled shoes and belt leather.
  • The Mayflower instead landed in Massachusetts, at just the place where a fierce tribe of Indians had recently been devastated by a plague, nearly wiping them out. Had this group of Natives survived or not been plagued, they would surely have instead killed every one of the Pilgrims.
  • A few months into the New World, the Pilgrims were startled by the visit of an Indian, who walked into the Palisade, and asked in perfect English, “Have you got any beer?.” He had been taken to England a few years earlier, learned English, and some said was converted to Christianity, but then wanted to return, only to find out his tribe had been wiped out by plague. He would be an invaluable aid to the Pilgrim company, teaching them how to live off of the land and when and where to fish, plant etc.

These stories were once well known and cherished in America. Now they are being ignored and forgotten in our politically correct, atheistic, cultural revolution. We should not let this happen.

What is a pilgrim? A pilgrim is a religious traveler who seeks a “better city” and who knows something higher and purer is available (from God) to any who will heed God’s call and follow. The Marxist atheists hate the Pilgrims because they were unashamed Christians. Thus, they denigrate them, misrepresent them, and caricature them on every opportunity.

The lack of commemoration of them, and what they would suffer and die to build, is a shame. Scripture tells us “The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot” (Proverbs 10:7).

Those seeking to destroy this country, and who are willing to lie and denigrate the Pilgrims and others in order to do it, could never build a just and free society as the Pilgrims would do. (It takes Christianity, applied, to do so.) They couldn’t hold a candle to these people. It is much easier to destroy than to build in this fallen world.

Every Thanksgiving, I gather my family around and tell them the story of these remarkable saints, as we all thank God for his indescribable blessings. May God help us to keep the feast in faith and love.


(Photo credit: Painting titled “Thanksgiving at Plymouth” by Jennie Brownscombe in 1925; in the public domain – Thanksgiving at Plymouth | Artwork | NMWA.)

 

 

The Trail of Spiritual Delusion: Our Weary World Has Seen It All Before
By Ted Kyle
Guest Writer

There is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9). Everything that man can do to man has been done before—and will be done again.

This is especially true of false teachers and prophets leading the credulous astray. It was done anciently; it was done in the middle years; it is being done today; and it will be done in the end of days. More about the connection with today and the last days, after a bit of historical catching-up.

This trail of betrayal and delusion began with the first gathering of mankind together into a nation. That nation was ruled by Nimrod (Gen. 10:8; 1 Chron. 1:10; Micah 5:6), until his death; and in that same general time frame, God splintered the proto-nation into family (tribal) groups with the confusion of tongues at Babel.

But then, as Alexander Hislop (1807-1865) pieced pre-history together1, Semiramis, Nimrod’s widow, was the guiding (human) spirit behind a new religion artfully crafted to pull the tribes of man back into a new spiritual unity–and ultimately a political unity as well. Guiding the guide, of course, was Satan, ever intent on thwarting God’s plans for man and substituting his own.

So powerful was this pagan religion that it ultimately led very nearly the entire world into apostasy. It goes by many names and takes many forms in many lands. It pays homage to many gods. But their original impetus derived from the first delusion of a powerful leader (Nimrod) who was slain and who was believed to have returned to life as a great god

These related religions were known as “mystery religions,” for they were shrouded in mysteries revealed only to initiates. Hence there was a popular level of revealed pagan religion, into which the masses entered, and a higher level open only to a select few, who underwent initiation rites which they were sworn never to reveal.

How Did the Great Apostasy Happen?
Please recall that all this began just a few generations after the Great Flood. Nimrod was a great-grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:7)–and Noah was well acquainted with Jehovah God! Not only did Noah know God, he survived the Flood by 350 years (Gen. 9:28). So he was still very much alive when Nimrod flourished! (If you wish to delve into this complex web of false spirits and false gods for yourself, see footnote 1 for a source to begin.)

In view of the brief time frame and the overwhelming success of the mystery religions, we must ask: How was it possible to pull the wool over almost the whole of mankind so thoroughly as to cause them to turn their backs upon the true God, who had so recently revealed His awesome power through the Great Flood?

There is a large clue in Deuteronomy 13:1-3. In this passage, which is included in Moses’ restatement and summation of the Mosaic Law, is a warning from God about false prophets: “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

If a prophet gives a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass . . .  Think about that. God was warning the children of Israel against genuine wonders-—things that would really happen or at the very least would convincingly appear to happen-—but they would be false signs. And God would allow this as a test to show who really loved Him—and who therefore would resist the tremendous temptation to follow the crowd, which was being swayed by what their eyes beheld or their hearts believed.

We are told by ancient historians Justin and Epiphanius that in the initiation rites, the image of a god (Osiris, Tammuz, or Adonis—all of whom Hislop believed represented Nimrod) spoke to the candidates (Hislop, p. 67). We are also, however, given to understand that powerful drugs were administered to the candidates, and these may have been hallucinatory. In any case, the candidates were convinced—not only of the truth of the vision but also that they would be forever lost if they revealed beyond the brotherhood what they had seen and heard.

A Three-Fold Deception
I believe that the appeal of this false religion was three-fold, relying on false signs, a false vision, and a false permissiveness. I am convinced the vision centered on a false messiah or savior, who offered devotees the salvation mankind has always yearned for. This false messiah was Nimrod or one of his many avatars.2 But this spiritual bait offered yet more—much more! Not only was a savior put forward, with the hope of eternal life, but men and women could have all this without giving up the sinful pleasures of this life. In fact, Semiramis, who was subsequently “deified” by this false religion, was known to be a lewd woman, reveling in orgies. She encouraged her devotees to follow her example—and perhaps this was the greatest lure of all!

Summing up, think of the great deception as a savior offered, with confirming signs, and “come as you are—stay as you are.” Small wonder that the bait was swallowed en masse!

Note especially that Satan put forward his own candidate for the Messiah many centuries before God, in the fullness of time, revealed Jesus Christ as the true Messiah (see Hislop, chapter 2, sub-section 5, p. 58 ff).

Demonic Influence Over Israel and the Young Church
I will not belabor this point, for it is obvious that the same seductive power which was exercised over all mankind shortly after the Fall was specifically exercised over the children of Israel to lead them from worshipping Jehovah God to serving the false gods of surrounding pagan nations. Suffice it to quote a warning from God given shortly before Moses’ successor, Joshua, led the Israelites into the Promised Land.

Moses told the assembled people that after they crossed the Jordan, they would face blessings from Mt. Gerizim if they obeyed the Lord, and curses from Mt. Ebal if they disobeyed Him. The first curse pronounced was against setting up idols, which represented false gods: “Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen” (Deut. 27:15). But despite their good intentions at that instant, the time came when “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not” (Deut. 32:17). The Old Testament goes on to record the dismal fulfillment of that curse and its consequences among the Chosen People.

That the apostasy was still a huge issue at the time of Christ, and spilled over into His young church, is shown in Paul’s warning to the Corinthians: “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils (demons), and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Cor. 10:19-21).

Demonic Power Is at Work Even Now
Is demonic power active in our present-day culture? Indeed it is, despite the fact that we live in a society that largely does not believe in supernatural power of any sort. For this reason, Satan’s “powers of the air” tend to be low-key and at work behind the scenes, but they are present. For example, Mormon missionaries ask prospective converts to read the Book of Mormon and then wait for a burning in their breast, which, they say, will confirm the truth of the Book of Mormon. If they pray for it, they will generally get it!

Many New Agers look for the appearance of The Coming One prophesied by Alice Ann Bailey, who wrote books dictated to her by her “spirit master.”3 Ray Yungen (see footnote 3) notes: “To occultists, the significance of the Alice Bailey writings has heralded anticipation of a World Healer and Savior [author’s emphasis] in the coming Aquarian Age (the astrological age of enlightenment and peace). This savior would unite all mankind under his guidance. This person was not to be the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom Christians await the return, but an entirely different individual who would embody all the great principles of occultism, chiefly the divinity and perfectibility of man.”4

In Yungen’s book, he documents the rapid expansion of New Age principles in the present day, including ominous inroads into the church. But while the principles are purely New Age, they are being sold to the credulous as exciting revelations of new paths to spiritual growth for our time. And this is taking place not only in mainline denominations which have been drifting from biblical Christianity for decades, but also in evangelical churches.

Demonic Power Will Grow Stronger in the Last Days
The world is being prepared even now to accept and believe the witness of the sign when the false prophet will call down fire from heaven (Rev. 13:13). Note, for example, the unprecedented increase in emphasis on television on supernatural powers, ghosts, and spirits. These themes have been around for a very long time, but not since the superstitious days of the Middle Ages have they been accentuated so heavily. I believe this build-up is preparing the populace for Satan’s introduction of the Beast and his false prophet, who will deceive “them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;” (Rev. 13-14).

Thus will the false prophet seemingly verify that the Beast that rose out of the sea (Rev. 13:1), also known as “the son of perdition” and the anti-Christ, is indeed the promised Messiah. Once again, God will be testing mankind by allowing these miracle-signs to reveal the faithful remnant who will cling to the revealed Word and will not be snared by powerful delusion.

May all who read these words be among that faithful remnant!

Footnotes:
1. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, researched and first published as a book in 1858. Note: While some of Hislop’s extrapolations and projections seem forced, his prodigious research into ancient sources cannot be written off, and I believe that his general conclusions are sound. It is obvious that something led the world rapidly away from God, and Hislop’s explanation is the most logical description I know of.
2. Ibid., p. 59
3. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2d ed. (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2006), p. 112 ff.
4. Ibid., p. 113.

Related Information:
New Ageism: A Vision That Will Usher in the End of History by Ted Kyle

(Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1563, in public domain, taken from Wikipedia)

 

 

YouTube Talk by Warren B. Smith: “The Titanic and Today’s Church”
Warren SmithThe following is an audio talk recently posted on former New Age follower Warren B. Smith’s YouTube channel, titled “The Titanic and Today’s Church” (also the name of his just-released book by Mountain Stream Press). For other audio and video talks by Warren, visit his YouTube channel. Also don’t forget to “subscribe” to his YouTube channel so you can be notified whenever a new video is posted. You can learn more about Warren on his website New Age to Amazing Grace.

Warren’s new book, The Titanic and Today’s Church is available in both print and digital formats through Lighthouse Trails and most major online outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.).

 

 

Letter to the Editor: Our Sad Departure From the Church of the Nazarene Over Unbiblical Teachings

LTRP Note: For over a decade, Lighthouse Trails has been issuing warnings regarding the Church of the Nazarene’s embracing of contemplative and emergent teachings. We have focused largely on the numerous Nazarene universities that have been training future Nazarene pastors with these unbiblical teachings. In 2004, our editors spoke with Dr. Jim Diehl (then a General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene) who called us because he read A Time of Departing (the book that exposes contemplative spirituality) and found it right on. We told him at that time what was happening in the Nazarene schools. Sadly, the many warnings by LT and others for so many years have gone unheeded. The following letter by a Nazarene couple is further proof of that.

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I have been a fan of your ANA (Anti New Age) materials for a while.  You have been the center of a lot of books, booklets, and research as our family has been reconsidering our membership in the Church of the Nazarene.  We recently left the denomination and ordered some booklets to give out to the board to help us explain why.  The new pastor did not even allow us one last meeting with them!

One board member did contact us and came to our house for a talk.  She took two of the booklets and said she would read them, but we have not heard from her about them since.  I think that’s been three or four weeks now.

Mostly, she just did not believe that the Nazarenes are involved in any of this.  I tried to explain it to her by examples from the sermons, but she just said we misunderstood what was being taught.  We told her of some of the things we had been reading on the Concerned Nazarene Facebook page, and she still would not believe.

Then last week, John, my husband, found a link to Lighthouse Trails on one of Manny Silva’s posts.  We had not realized that you had a whole slew of information on just us!  Suddenly, we felt like we were not so alone anymore.  He was excited when he showed it to me.

Manny, as a “Concerned Nazarene,” is often seen as just one of a fringe group of whiners. This includes us, of course.  But you are on the outside looking in, and could be seen as a more objective third party.  That is what I am hoping for, anyway.

Well, I had hopes of gathering videos together to refer folks to.  That may be more efficient than explaining our concerns in a sudden, more informal setting.  I had hoped to have it all done by the time we left, but one particular sermon was the last straw!  We weren’t finished with our meetings with the pastor, but we left anyway.  We were done—for a while.

But John does not want to burn all of the bridges.  Even if we can still make a difference in one congregation, he wants us to still try.  We drafted a letter to the board, saying we were stepping back for a while.

In the meantime, really for the last couple of years or more, we had been looking for a new church to attend.  We are at______________________for now.  We want to be very cautious.

What I would like to do next, if you could allow it, is to use some of your articles to make a special playlist.  I want to do a separate video for each article on the Nazarenes and put all of the links in the descriptions.  I would especially place links to your pages on colleges that do and do not teach spiritual formation.

A second permission I would like to get, although I do not know if it is yours to give, is to make videos just reading some of your booklets.  Particularly, to start with the two I wanted to hand out:  The Big Picture, and Five Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer.

Thank-you for all of your hard work in the ANA field and the great help your booklets have been in helping us understand what it is we are up against.  For years, we thought it was a local problem and just left congregations with young new pastors that made broad sweeping and unbiblical changes.  Lighthouse Trails and Concerned Nazarenes have helped us understand the whole scope.

Blessings,

John and Sarah


Related LT Articles in Chronological Order:

G12 Master Plan Could Expose Thousands of Nazarenes to Contemplative/Emerging Spirituality

Buddhist/Universalist Sympathizer Woos Nazarene Students at NNU

Northwest Nazarene University President Responds Regarding New Spirituality Speaker

Nazarene Pastor Fired For Fighting Emergent Ideology

Conflicting Reports: Nazarene Superintendent Says Nazarene Church Not Emergent versus Olivet Nazarene University Welcomes Emergent Mystic

A Plea to the General Assembly 2013: Death of the Church of the Nazarene or Repentance?

Trevecca Nazarene University Continues To Promote Mystical Silence Instead of Biblical Prayer

“Contextualization” of the Gospel – A Free-Falling Catastrophe

Christian Colleges and Seminaries in More Trouble Than Ever As Many Plunge Into Emergent Spirituality

 

Nazarene Logo (used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act for critique and review purposes)

 

“For Portland Black Lives Matter Rioters, Biden Isn’t Enough. They Want ‘Death To America’”
By Jordan Davidson
The Federalist

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden promised unity in a speech Saturday night following the corporate media’s projections that he would win the presidential election.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Biden said. “It’s time for Americans to unite. And to heal.”

While the former vice president mounted the stage on the East Coast to declare his victory and pledge to “work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did,” that same night, rioters on the opposite coast were parading around Portland, Oregon destroying things to demonstrate their opposition to his leadership.

Earlier in the week, including on Election Night, Portland descended back into its all-too-familiar anarchical state seen over the summer. Rioters burned an American flag, threw Molotov cocktails and glass bottles, vandalized local businesses, and continued to raise a commotion as they had done following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Click here to continue reading.


Related Information:

“BLM Co-Founder & LA Chapter Leader Discuss Group’s Occultic Practices of ‘Invoking Spirits’”

A Street Evangelist Speaks Out on Persecution, Black Lives Matter, Kingdom Now, and Playing With the Devil

Critical Race Theory, Southern Baptist Convention, and a Marxist “Solution” That Will Not Work

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

“US Supreme Court Rules NY Gov. Cuomo’s ‘Severe Restrictions’ on Church Attendance Unconstitutional”
    By Heather Clark
    Christian News Network

    11/27/2020 - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that New York’s “very severe” limitations on church attendance in the state’s COVID red and orange zones violate the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion and are not the least restrictive means of preventing infections.

    “Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID–19, but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services,” the court stated in a 5-4 opinion Wednesday evening, with new justice Amy Coney Barrett being among the majority.

    Chief Justice John Roberts sided with his liberal colleagues.

    In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.68, which presented updated regulations for various public facilities, including fitness centers, hair salons, restaurants, taverns and houses of worship. Click here to continue reading.


    (photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Give Thanks to God

Lack of gratitude to God can result in serious consequences—it’s a slippery slope, which escalates into depravity and destruction.

By Maria Kneas

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3: 17)

I heard about an old woman with painful arthritis who struggled to climb a hill. When she got to the top, she looked at the view and said, “God, why did You make the world so beautiful?”

I’m afraid that many of us would have been complaining about the pain and the difficulty in walking, instead of giving thanks for the beauty. I’ve been guilty of doing that kind of thing myself.

When we are suffering, it is so easy to tell God, “It’s not fair! Why did You let this happen to me?” But how often do we turn to God and say, “Why did You save me? I deserved to go to Hell. Why do You love me when I have been so unfaithful to you? Why are You so patient with me when I become stubborn and rebellious?”

It’s so easy to take good things for granted and to focus on our problems. Our default setting seems to be self-pity and a sense of entitlement.

The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of praise and thanksgiving. Here are a few examples:

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice . . . Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing 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. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. (Psalm 51:15)

God created us and gave us a beautiful world in which to live. After Adam and Eve fell into sin, Jesus died on the Cross to save us. And God has Heaven waiting for us. Compared to those blessings, anything we suffer now is small and temporary. The apostle Paul said:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Let us consider some of the things Paul calls a “light” affliction. At one point, Paul went through something so severe he “despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). Here is what Paul says about his sufferings and persecutions:

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)

I would not want to have to go through any of these sufferings, but Christians in countries with severe persecution suffer many similar things.
We need to be prepared to endure such things ourselves, if necessary. We also need to have Paul’s perspective about them. That is biblical, and it is based on reality—on the nature and character of God and the importance of eternity.

Lack of gratitude to God can result in serious consequences. In the first chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans, we see a horrible downhill spiral. It’s a slippery slope, which escalates into depravity and destruction. The starting point is a lack of gratitude and respect for God. In the beginning, they knew God, but they refused to give Him glory, and they were not thankful.

It gets to the point where they “did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” In other words, they used to know that God is real. Deep down inside, they still know it. In spite of that, they deny God’s existence. They try to find reasons for not believing in Him.

That would explain why we see militant atheists who hate God. How can you hate somebody who doesn’t exist? At some level, they know better. Otherwise, they would not be able to hate Him. There are even some atheists who say they want to “kill the God of Christianity.”1
Here is the apostle Paul’s description of this deadly downhill slide:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:21-25)

With such godlessness and self-worship, people sink into unimaginable depravity, as Paul explains:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind . . . Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things . . . Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:26-32, emphasis added)

Unfortunately, this is a good description of where much of the Western world is today. We see many people in various stages of this downhill slide. The media and the entertainment industry actively promote it. So do our public schools.

The antidote is to have a grateful heart and to give thanks to God. This does not come naturally. We have to develop the habit of giving thanks.
Have you ever noticed that people who complain keep finding more and more things to complain about? In contrast, people who are thankful keep finding more and more reasons to give thanks.

We have a choice to make. Either we can become more and more grateful to God, or else we can become more and more full of complaining and self-pity. Eventually, that can end in becoming bitter. The Bible warns us that bitterness is both deadly and contagious: “lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).
Praising God and giving thanks to Him increases our faith. It also makes us more aware of God’s presence, His love, His power, and His faithfulness. Lack of praise and gratitude hinders our relationship with God. That makes us more vulnerable to doubts and temptations.

To put it in medical terms, you could say that praise and thanksgiving strengthen our spiritual immune system. It protects us both spiritually and emotionally. It helps us grow stronger and have more energy and focus to live biblically and do whatever God has called us to do.

Praising God and showing gratitude to Him can take many forms. One is singing hymns and worship songs. The Bible strongly encourages us to do that:

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19 20)

This means more than singing in church. It means singing when we are driving, or washing the dishes, or taking a shower. And it means singing “in our hearts” (silently) in addition to singing out loud.

I have a friend who memorizes a lot of Scripture, and he praises the Lord by quoting Scripture or talking to God in biblical terms. He uses Scripture passages appropriate for the situation he is in at the moment.

I knew a mentally handicapped lady named Nancy whose mental age was about two years old. She loved God so much. If she saw a Bible, she would pick it up and stroke it and hold it against her heart. She was unable to read, but she knew the Bible was God’s Word, and she loved it. One day somebody gave her a painting of Jesus. She kissed it and started dancing. Nancy was not able to express herself verbally, so she showed her joy and love and gratitude by dancing.

photo: Eric Liddell at Xiaochang, China during World War 2 where he was crossing Japanese lines to bring aid to the Chinese. © Eric Liddell Centre; used with permission.

Eric Liddell, the famous Olypmic runner, said that when he ran, he could feel God’s pleasure. He ran in order to glorify God and to please God. After he won the Olympics, Eric became a missionary in China. His fame as an athlete gave him a platform for telling people about Jesus. They came to see the famous runner, but they wound up learning about God. Liddell knew the importance of having a thankful and praiseful heart. In 1945 during World War II, while on the mission field, he was sent to an internment camp. One fellow internee who survived the war, wrote a book and said: [Eric Liddell] “was the finest Christian gentleman it has been my pleasure to meet. In all the time in the camp, I never heard him say a bad word about anybody.” During his internment, Liddell maintained a heart toward God, often helping and encouraging others. He died in February 1945 while still imprisoned.

There is another way to praise and glorify God. Because persecution is increasing, many of us will be called to do it.

This can take many forms. The most extreme is when Christians in the Middle East are told to renounce their faith or be killed. In North America, right now it is more likely to be the challenge to either acknowledge or else deny biblical truths and biblical morality. For example, as I stated before, a Christian baker in America refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual wedding. The judge told the baker that this violates the antidiscrimination law of Colorado, and unless he bakes cakes for homosexual weddings, he will be fined and he may even be sent to prison.
Another way to glorify God is to die for Him. Some people are called to be martyrs. Jesus made it clear it was God’s will for Peter to be martyred:

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (John 21:18-19, emphasis added)

The Bible tells us to protect ourselves and our families from persecution if we can do so without denying Him: “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another” (Matthew 10:23).

However, we need to be willing to die for Him if necessary. We need to love God more than we love our lives:

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15)

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)


The article above is an excerpt from Maria Kneas’ book, How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution.

Endnotes:

  1. G. Richard Bozarth, “On Keeping God Alive” (American Atheist, November 1977). In this article, he said: “We must ask how we can kill the God of Christianity.”
  2. Ken Klukowski, “Baker Faces Prison for Refusing to Bake Same-Sex Wedding Cake” (Breitbart, December 12, 2013, www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/12/Christian-Baker-Willing-To-Go-to-Jail-for-Declining-Gay-Wedding-Cake).
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