Trading Truth for Solidarity - Part 2
Training Teens to Twist the Truth
By Berit Kjos - June 2007
Emphasis added below
and said, 'We don’t need to discuss this.' It dealt with persecution, but the group had no interest in the Bible."
"You can only have a new society... if you change the education of the younger generation...." Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy
"Fundamentalism is a worldwide threat.... So how do we counter it? The key is to change the view that salvation depends on playing by certain religious rules: everyone is saved." World Economic Forum, 1999
“Instead of destroying and ridiculing the native names of the Creator God [of other religions], we... should introduce Jesus as the Son of their creator God.” Perpetuated in Righteousness, promoted by YWAM [Youth With a Mission].
"I am a youth leader at our church.... The church staff would have the youth ministry turned into a smorgasbord of entertaining activities designed to retain current students and attract new ones. It needs to be 'fun' and 'exciting' and you need to shorten the message time. Doctrine doesn't fit. Scriptures like Acts 2:42 don't matter." A concerned Christian
"Last year I was asked to teach the high school Sunday school class for four weeks," wrote Dan Titus, a visitor to our website. "At the end of each lesson the students broke up into discussion groups. I presented the questions for them to discuss. One group decided they would rather discuss the latest R-rated movie. The discussion leader had no problem with them changing the discussion. Another group looked at the questions on I Thessalonians
Unusual? Not according to the Barna Group:
"Our continuing research among teenagers and adolescents shows that the trend away from adopting biblical theology in favor of syncretic, culture-based theology is advancing at full gallop."
This gallop toward all-pervasive pluralism shouldn't surprise us. Taught to stress tolerance more than truth, few dare criticize even blatant compromise. Sensuality, immodesty, insolence, mysticism... anything goes, if it can draw a crowd and teach new values.
"Our church announced 'that the youth would be going on a retreat,' a troubled parent told us. It promised "Twenty-four hours spent living, learning and serving in the inner city: Issues of poverty, justice and homelessness will be explored through various debriefing and service components. Students will be challenged to realign their perspectives, passions and pursuits with those of Christ."
"The buzz word 'debriefing' sounds suspicious to me," the mother added. "So does 'realign their perspectives -- as if Christianity has not been effective enough in the past so we have to 're-imagine' and 'rethink' God's Word in light of the world." She continued,
"My daughter struggles with obedience to parents, submitting to authority, and loving the elderly. It seems to me that the youth group should encourage growth in those areas....
"We left another Baptist church about 4 years ago because of the youth pastor's successful start of an emerging church, which included lecto divina techniques, visualization in the sanctuary, contemplative prayer and various other new age influences. All this while our youth room set up prayer stations, icons, candles and promoted on-line labyrinth prayers. It seems like our children are being used as lab rats for someone's idea of a cool way to feel spiritual, experience new environments, and check off that 'service project' box."
Lab rats? As church leaders experiment with different tactics for social change, our children are immersed in transformational experiences -- not unlike what the World Economic Forum prescribed in 1999: "'Religion should become experimental - it should become experiential,' said Professor K.L. Seshagiri Rao, Chief Editor of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism.... Addressing the topic, "Religion as a Global Phenomenon for the New Millennium," he called for an end to divisive dogma and a reawakening of inclusive spirituality."
Those two points -- ending "divisive dogma" and promoting "inclusive spirituality" -- highlight two goals of postmodern visionaries, whether UN elitists, corporate human resource managers, or youth ministers in emergent churches. They know that dogma (used as a derogatory reference to God's unchanging guidelines) blocks their planned transformation, while spiritual diversity fuels it. And they know how to use group dialogue and "tolerance" to silence traditional voices.
Their "progress" leave Christian parents and God's true gospel behind. The article "Teens Change Their Tune Regarding Self and Church" gives us a glimpse into the problem:
demand transcendent adventures and supportive relationships. They need an outlet for their desire to have a positive affect on the world...."
"...sensitivity to faith matters has not resulted in a boom in Christian conversions.... Teens do not go to youth groups for music and games, and they will not attend 'adult church' for music and preaching. They
Transcendent adventure? Today's revival in medieval mysticism and "Christian" fantasy games fits right in. A "positive effect" on the world? This craving for politically correct "goodness" is served by countless programs that offer facilitated "community service" along with the sensitivity or "diversity training" needed to create solidarity. Forget traditional values andfamily unity. They clash with this social revolution!
But the new "barbarians" fit well. As Pastor Erwin McManus explains in his popular book, Barbarian Way,
[Research & Development] Department."
"Their lack of respect for tradition or ritual makes them seem uncivilized to those who love religion. When asked if they are Christians, their answer might surprisingly be no, they are passionate followers of Jesus Christ. They see Christianity as a world religion, in many ways no different from any other religious system. Whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity, they're not about religion; they’re about advancing the revolution Jesus started two thousand years ago. This is the simplicity of the barbarian way."
"...we have lost the passion and power of that raw, untamed, and primal faith."
"Jesus understood His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness." [See His actual purpose]
"At Mosaic... we don’t describe ourselves as a modern church or a postmodern church, a contemporary church or an emerging church. The only description I use is that we’re an experimental church. We volunteered to be God’s R&D
Few "Christian" activities are more barbarian thanBible Fight, The Video Game. Chris Rosebrough first heard about it from youth ministers who described it as "awesome" and “most fun." His article shows the other side:
"There was no outrage over the game.... no shame expressed over enjoying a game that blasphemes our Lord. Instead, there was gleeful excitement... and enthusiasm for blogging about it and sharing it with the friends in their online communities....
"In the game you can pick different Bible ‘characters’ to fight each other.... The characters include Moses, Noah, Eve, Mary, Satan and Jesus. Each character has 'special' moves and powers. For instance Noah can call forth a stampede of ark animals, Eve (who is wearing only fig leaves) can whap her adversaries with a snake, Moses can rain down a plague of frogs while Jesus can clobber his opponents with a cross.... This is the type of mockery that we'd expect from the world and unbelievers. But what does it say about the state of the church when Christians, rather than being outraged, are proud to express their approval of a game like this?"
We do well to remember God's warning:
"...the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth.... Professing to be wise, they became fools. ...God gave them over to a debased mind... being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness... disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:18-32
Blending sensuality with spirituality
Teen Mania, Battle Cry, Acquire the Fire.... This popular trio of "Christian" teen programs promises thrills, relevance, and relationships. But plenty of parents are confused and concerned. What kinds of thrills? they wonder. Will those events deepen their love for God -- or for popular culture?
The article "Re-Branding Christianity" by Discernment Ministry starts with this glimpse of a Teen Mania [Acquire the Fire] conference. Notice how sensuality and spirituality merge as in the pagan rituals of ancient Rome:
"This is how you enlist in the Army of God: First come the fireworks and the prayers, and then 4,000 kids scream, 'We won't be silent anymore!'... The lights in the Cleveland arena fade to blue, and a man on the stage whispers to them about sin and love and the Father-God. They rise.... the twenty-one-year-old MC... summons the followers to show off their best dance moves for God. 'Gimme what you got!' she shouts. They dance -- hip-hop, tap, toe and pelvic thrusting. Then they're ready. They're about to accept 'the mark of a warrior,' explains Ron Luce, commander in chief of BattleCry..."
A discerning parent asked us to watch an online promo calling teens to "get re-ignited at the Acquire the Fire [ATF]: Branded by God" tour. Its transcribed words (excerpts below) are punctuated with the beat of contemporary rock and short film clips of gross behavior and barbarian-style eating:
trained to acquire the mark of a true warrior."
"Where did you get your flava’? Are you submerged in pop culture? Get the answers while you discover God surrounded by thousands of fellow soldiers. Be
"Sometimes I feel God. Sometimes I don’t feel anything, but I’m still devoted to Him."
"Then… get your fist in the air and your feet off the floor for music from Flyleaf, Cutless, BarlowGirl...."
"There’s my dreams, my reality, and it stars my friends: The Jock, The Comedian, The loyal friend ["Do you really want to know what happened last night?"].... Uhhh, they’re just Freaks! ... Some are ones you’d like to avoid." [The corresponding three-word outburst sounds like a phrase starting with the "F" word and followed by "the Kracken," a demonic creature.].
"...multi-media tools... include podcasts and a DVD packed with exclusive messages and insight from Ron... Jeremy Camp, Skillet and Superchick..."Never heard of Superchick? Her website tells us that "What started as a vision for a one-girl revolution has multiplied into an army of nonconformists who believe in themselves and their ability to affect change...." Where does God fit into that picture?
Meanwhile Promise Keepers "are launching a rite-of-passage offshoot for teenage boys:"
if the Christian message is repackaged in a more relevant form.... '[T]hey are rejecting the current expression of the church....'"
"Hoping to capture what organizers fear could be a lost generation of evangelical Christians, 'Passage' uses Christian rock bands, hip-hop artists, extreme sports exhibitions.... Randy Phillips... says a youth revival is possible
Are they "ashamed of the Gospel"?[Romans 1:16] Have the leaders forgotten His warnings about those who "pervert the gospel of Christ?" Is contextualization (adapting the message to the cultural context) replacing Biblical teaching? [See changing His Word]
"I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ."
In his article "Golden Calf Evangelism," Mike Oppenheimer reminds us of an Old Testament illustration. God had called Moses up onto Mt. Zion to receive His commandments. Meanwhile, the waiting Israelites grew impatient. To please them Aaron gathered their jewelry and forged the gold into the shape of a calf -- an imitation of an Egyptian god. Then they celebrated with "worship" and debauchery.
God was not pleased! “Go," He told Moses. "They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ (Ex 32:8)
Oppenheimer, the administrator of Let Us Reason Ministries, then gives us a timely illustration of such paganization of truth:
"I recently heard a series of programs with Daniel Kikawa being interviewed by Danny Lehmann director of YWAM (who is on YWAM's governing board) on the local Christian radio station. What I heard was extremely disturbing, problematic and some of it was rank heresy. The message was clear -- tell people they can keep their god's name, in their culture and add Jesus into the equation....
"Daniel Kikawa... has written a book called Perpetuated in Righteousness, the Journey of the Hawaiian people from Eden to the present time. This is a portion of their MISSION STATEMENT: '...Jesus Christ is the Son of the Creator of all people and He loves all people equally."
That statement is clarified in Kikawa’s book. Endorsed by YWAM, it states,
native names of the Creator God, we should help preserve them… Christians should cease representing Jesus as the Son of the foreign God of a foreign people.... We should instead introduce Jesus as the Son of their creator God.”
“Instead of destroying and ridiculing the
What are the "native names" of this universal "Creator God?" According to Kikawa's strange theology, the "son of" any of the world's mythical "creator" gods and goddesses -- whether Hindu, Celtic, Greek or Hawaiian -- could be called Jesus Christ.
A youth pastor from South Africa sent us an interesting justification for re-imagining God:
"You speak about postmodernism denying absolute truth. True, but don't assume then that the post-modern church does the same. Granted it does say that there are very few absolute truths, far less then modernists would say there are. But the important ones are still there: God is love; God is good; God loves me enough to send His Son to die for me.... The only absolutes left all have to do with God."
But a god who is only defined as love is not the God who revealed Himself to us in His Word. Our sovereign God can't be squeezed into a "positive" New Thought box that hides His holiness, righteousness, justice, judgments and actual plan for salvation. Other religions can be molded to fit cultural preferences -- but not God's word or ways! Those who believe such lies embrace illusions -- false, feel-good deceptions that could blind their eyes forever to the true Deliverer.
false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies.... And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed." 2 Peter 2:1-3
"...there will be
"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes....'" Romans 1:16
See also Trading Truth for Solidarity | Transformation in Mission |The Rising World Religion
1. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, (New York: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.,1980): 280.
2. Dominic Peccoud,
Adviser for Socio-Religious Affairs,
Religion as a Global Phenomenon for the New Millennium, World
Economic Forum, Annual Meeting, 01.02.1999.
3. Daniel Kikawa, Perpetuated in Righteousness, 1994, page 27. More information in this book review. See also http://faculty.cu-portland.edu/herbhoefer/2005Conference.htm
a Midwestern visitor to our website.
5. "Americans Draw Theological Beliefs From Diverse Points of View" at www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=122
6. The writer prefers not to be identified.
as a Global Phenomenon for the New Millennium," Annual Meeting,
8. Regarding Self and Church at http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=111&Reference=F
9. Erwin Raphael McManus, Barbarian Way (Nelson Books, 2005), pages 6, 51, 12, 31.
10. Chris Rosebrough, "Bible Fight: The Video Game" at http://www.alittleleaven.com/2007/05/bible_fight_the.html
11. Jeff Sharlet, "Teenage Holy War," The Revealer, 4/12/07. Described by Discernment Ministry in "Re-Branding Christianity."
12. In response to a question about this profanity, an Aquire the Fire representative claimed that the words were "Summon the Kracken (a demonic creature)." But the first letter sounds like F, not S, and the word does not sound like "summon"]. You can hear the film clip at Acquire the Fire, www.battlecry.com/pages/atf.php. According to Wikipedia, Kracken or Kraken was introduced as a sea monster in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. You can watch a similar ATF video here.
14. Teens' Rite of Passage Can Include Their Faith at http://www.latimes.com/
15. Mike Oppenheimer, administrator of Let Us Reason Ministries, "A 'New Evangelism' for the 21st Century. See Transformation in Mission, www.letusreason.org/Current67.htm & www.letusreason.org/Current68.htm