Faith & Encouragement

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From John Preston, Australia:  I am 65 and only found out about JESUS 12 years ago. Prior to that, my security was in all the material things I had, but their all gone, and I now live quite a simple life.


I have a fairly simple ministry but very effective. Nobody ever told me about JESUS and being raised a catholic I thought I had a Gold Pass straight through to Heaven !!!!!...... I met JESUS in a hotel which I frequented....... My life was never the same. Thank GOD.


From that day on (mornings) I sit out the front of coffee shops and read my Bible in full view of the public and leave the rest to GOD, and without fail HE always puts some one in my path. Apart from that, most people see my Bible and I know that many seeds are going out. I give/loan DVD's and give away little easy to read books about JESUS.


 It really is quite extraordinary how THE LORD puts people with me, but on top of that it's the number of people that walk past me and see the Bible......many people stop and ask me what is the book I 'm reading.!!!!!


I don't know what it's like in Norway but here in Australia my observations are that very few Christians actually go to the people and tell them about JESUS. We seem to expect the people to come to us. I see a massive responsibility to get to the children and give them a basic grounding in Christianity. That’s why I wanted your books.


My little minstry is called "Mustard Seeds"


This testimony reminded me of some of the most painful times in my own life – when the nearness of  Jesus was most precious to me. In those times of darkness the sweetness of His presence was all the more wonderful. It’s a little like looking at the night-time sky when we’re far from city lights. The stars shine all the more brightly.

Anonymous:  Once , recently, i was wondering to myself and to God, if my trials and difficult /painful circumstances cease, what will happen to my close relationship with Jesus? Will i still grow and abide? i'm so used to it now (living in my trials) that i almost cannot imagine life if all became easy, trials gone, circumstances 'fixed'.... I almost hope they do not change, cuz Jesus finally has me where he wanted to get me ( up to now).

Just another thing to trust Him about.

From Joyce: [RE: Trusting God's Guidance] God said he would take care of "His" people - and He really does when we learn to hear His voice."


From Kim Stager: [RE: Argumentative or Contending?] I agree whole heartily with the theme of this article. And that the biblical Scriptures quoted from I and II Timothy are some of the best revelation concerning how to contend for the faith and how to avoid foolish argumentation in the name of God in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Foolish argumentation that oftentimes is more useful to the Devil than to the cause of Christ. I suspect we can all be guilty of this from time to time when not in the Spirit and seeking Him and the things of the Spirit in all God's work He employs us in.

The only point I would make is, however, that we not take this point to its logical extreme. I believe this was addressed in the closing Scripture of this article, II Timothy 2:24-25. For if we seek, are led and worked through by the Spirit of God in our encounters, we can for a long time contend in Godly fashion to the benefit of those in hearing. Even if not for the person or persons we are directly engaged in ministering to. I have experienced this many times. And I believe the Bible confirms this, especially in the encounters of Jesus in the Gospels. Please, do not misunderstand me; I do not engage such people in argumentation. I, by the Spirit--I pray--direct myself to teaching, explaining, and presenting the gospel of Christ all the while. For God's word always returns to this Truth of Jesus in all Scripture we engage people in.

My concern today is that in some prominent circles, engaging anyone who is contentious at all is frowned upon. But I believe Scripture allows for some of all types of encounters as pointed out in biblical quotes of Scripture concerning Jesus Himself. As well as many others in the Old Testament concerning the prophets and in the New Testament concerning the apostles and disciples. Even when such encounters resulted in grave persecution and death.

I believe if we are led by the Spirit, we will in fact be apart of God's work in the world in a multitude of scenarios. Some of which might be misinterpreted today as they have been in the past and in biblical Scripture by many. For some of God's work is messy and by human logic and reasoning can be seen as contrary to God's word in the short run. But in the long view such encounters will be seen aright. So let us not take this good article's theme too far and make born again Christians timid in their witness by the Spirit. Let us instead, by the Spirit, discern aright what God is doing in the lives of those who seem to be going about the work of God in a fashion that seems to result in worldly strife; however much I agree with the gist of this article.

For I agree much apologetics is misdirected, as this article contends. I agree. Too often legitimacy is given to the world's arguments against God by taking on false arguments instead of handling them as Jesus did. Which is pointed out by this article. I agree; we need to address ourselves to the Truth which presents by the false argument and not agrue from the argument presented by the blasphemer designed to win the battle of the intellect. For God's word is powerful and the Holy Spirit is the One at work adding to the Church by our witness and the blood of the Lamb. It is not for us to "convince" people of the rightness of God's word. It is right, and God but needs our bodies to work through for His glory--not ours.

May God continue to bless the ministry of "Discernment Group". And all Godly ministries in America and the world today. For we need more ministers of Christ as apostasy grows. As deception waxes worse. May we all speak the Truth in love by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

From Christian brother in Christ: “This is a such encouraging scripture.... so hopeful and beautiful. Thank you Lord so much.... I can't believe still HE decided to share HIS LOVE and HIS TRUTH with me. I am so grateful. And I am so thankful for the Sookie Duncan testimony and God's touch in her life. Again thank you Lord.... I still don't really have a home church anymore and so sometimes I feel like this is my little church in a way.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again

to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled

and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

who are protected by the power of God through faith

for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

     “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while,

 if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.”  1 Peter 1:3-6


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
 To hear the melody, click on

From Monique Desir: I wrote a poem. I was wondering if you would like to publish it. I have published with you before. It was a short article about Sailor Moon.

I have been going through a lot lately. A lot of spiritual growth. Here is a poem about it. It is called "The Gardener". Please share it with other Christians who are probably going through the narrow walk too. Let me know what you think.

The Gardener

I am a bush of thistles, thorns, and a slumbering bud.

Day by day

Cleansing rains and soil have mingled during the night. The gardener
comes dressed in righteous white His face shines brightly.

Day by day

He prunes away my fears
He prunes away my mortal hopes
And wipes away my tears.

Day by day

He gives me rest between each pruning so that the next I am able to cope.
Yes, pruning hurts. But he tells me there is no other way, For it is
necessary that I be prepared on His Great, Terrible Day.

Finally, he prunes away my bitterness, anger and pride Until I am
stripped down to a single rose, His beautiful, worthy Bride.

From T. Johnson: Keep up the good work of informing and encouraging the saints in these ever darkening days. As the final
great apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3 and Matthew 24:9-12) rapidly approaches, quickly consuming the remaining and once solid parts of the Church that used to be impenetrable, because they actually stood on the authority of God's Word, yet no longer do, we must continue to inform and encourage as you are doing. Yet, I believe there is one more area to seriously consider as we face this battle.

Part of the seeker friendly message has been to heavily marginalize the holiness of God, particularly as it relates to sin and salvation. True biblical salvation is being lost and the fields are ripe with tares being given false assurance through the new relativistic, post-modern gospel. I sincerely believe
we must counter this with the biblical call and challenge to test ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) to see if we are really in Jesus Christ or just one of
the many who call Him Lord, but He does not know (Matthew 7:13-23; 25:1-12).

I've written "Do We Truly Understand What Biblical Salvation Is?" to address the Scriptural definition of salvation and the current state of the Church. I
think you wil
l find it quite interesting and hopefully you will see that it can be used as a spiritual plumb-line/standard to revive what is left of the
Church and be further used to awaken a dying culture.

       Thank you, Terry. I posted your important message on this page: Do We Truly Understand What Biblical Salvation Is?

From Joelle: I am still reading through your comments pages, especially the ones involving the occult, role-playing games and popular entertainment. I am noticing another trend I wanted to mention.

Most people who react unfavorably to your message (and favorably to the occult) keep referring to their sense of imagination. In particular, the concept of encouraging a child's imagination, even well into teen or adult years, is very consistent.

I did a concordance search once of the word "imagination" (in the KJV). Do you want to know what the Bible says? Virtually every verse referred to "the evil imaginations of the heart" and it related to man following his heart against God. I believe there were only two verses, in Psalms, that referred to imagination as a good thing, and then ONLY because the imagination was turned toward God.

Now, God gave us a brain and the ability to imagine, so I don't believe the Bible is saying that it is intinsically evil. However, it seems to be a gift very easily and craftily decieved by the devil (he tempted Adam and Eve to imagine being like gods, and before Eve ate the fruit she "saw that it was good for making one wise" - imagination again.) So it seems to me that despite the incredibly high value placed on the imagination by the world today, unless it is carefully watched, your imagination will lead you quite quickly and unwittingly away from God.

The New Testament epistles often warn about guarding the mind and testing everything that goes into it to see if it is from God. We are to live soberly, not drunkenly (I don't think that applies to just alcohol). God isn't trying to limit our fun - He's warning us that there's a particularly weak spot in our brains that we have to guard. Don't parents guard a newborn's head so that the "soft spot" in their skull doesn't cause injury or death to their baby? Are we going to call God crazy for telling us not only what to protect, but how? To throw all caution aside in favor of encouraging one's imagination is not just rebellious against God - it's spiritually suicidal.

The real world doesn't need better imaginations; it needs a loving God that will provide for you no matter how stressed, bored, or confused you get. It scares me to see so many people happily enjoying their way to destruction as I once did. Too many "progressive, open-minded" people are falling for the oldest lie in the Book.

Jeff W.: Regarding the recent comments on patriotism. He states there is nothing in scripture that condones it. I guess I would agree with that, but I am inclined to say, there is nothing in scripture that necessarily condemns it or forbids it either. His example was, "can you imagine Christ or his followers pledging allegiance to the Roman Empire?" I would not see that happening as he suggest, but the Roman Empire was not the "nation" they were truly citizens of, but instead it was much like the coming global empire we are now being asked to be loyal to, while we are also being asked by the same people to become disloyal to America.

What I could see and believe did happen, was a loyalty and pledging, if you will, of the Jewish people to their nation. When David was King, was there not a loyalty to his empire and to his peoples, by his peoples? I am not pushing American patriotism per se, as I agree with you that America is changing rapidly and becoming a very anti Christian yet somewhat pro globalist nation.... at least at the top of leadership it is for sure. But, I don't think American Christians need to necessarily feel guilty about being patriotic to what the perceive as the America they love and hold dear, even if it is indeed vanishing as we speak. I believe there is a version of American culture that has a lot of Judeo Christian culture intertwined with it that is something to try to hold onto. As we march toward globalism, of course we will lose that pretty much altogether, but being loyal to that and holding that dear is not, in my view a bad thing.

From a Christian brother: Berit, the article you posted yesterday about the firing of the Allstate agent really hits home for me. I am in the insurance business myself as an agent. He got into trouble for something he did on his own time. I have and do from time to time witness to clients that I feel there is an opening to do so (of course I sense that the Holy Spirit is asking me to....although I am never positive of that as some say they are.)

Mainly what I do is I give the client my version of the 4 spiritual laws (I will add it to this email if you care to see might want to use it too for someone sometime or make your own version of it). I have thought to myself that the time could come, when one of those clients decides to make an issue of that and I get into some kind of difficulty over it. I don't worry that much about it, as I know the Lord is with me and he will help me and see me through whatever according to HIS will. But still seeing that article is very telling.

From George: I personally believe that there is absolutely nothing in New Testament scripture that condones patriotism. Can you imagine Jesus and the disciples pledging allegiance to the Roman flag? ...

Nobody except God can guarantee inalienable rights. The only real freedom anyone can have is in Jesus Christ.

I agree with you that the inalienable rights God gives His children -- those who are joined to Him through the cross and follow His ways -- are eternal rights, not "human rights" as defined by the world system. Our "rights" are based on the life of Jesus which He shares with us, and they don't bypass the call us to "suffer with Him" as well as believe in Him. In fact, the two go together:

"...we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

The rights (or rather blessings) we can count on include all the privileges of being part of His family and “fellow-heirs” with Him. He doesn't promise us the right to wealth, earthly success, or comforts. Instead He called us to suffer with Him  -- and many of His beloved ones have joyfully followed Him through hunger, stoning, persecution, torture and death.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

As for nations, He warned His people in Old Testament days that if they forgot Him, ignored His ways and followed “other gods,” they would surely be destroyed. 1 Cor. 10 reminds us that America would face a similar end if we continue on the path we’re now one. See Total transformation and America's Spiritual Slide.

From L H.: I just read Homeland Security and Brainwashing in America. Words fail me. I think of my children. They won't fit in because they have been taught the biblical worldview from birth and have had a traditional western civ/facts/knowledge/thinking (analysis and discernment) Christian education. They  are exposed to very little media (mom picks it!).

     "I have been telling them a little of the transformation the country and world is going through and how it is going from the old model of the world to the new model -global governance (eventually), and earth based/pagan spirituality. ( I think they need or will need to understand why it looks and sounds so different out there in the world- different from what we believe.) They will need to understand who they are and where they stand- as children, servants and followers of Christ, and not the new world system.

Yes, dear friend, they will face challenges we can hardly grasp at this time. But you are showing them the only Way to real and lasting victory. You are alerting them to the "signs of the times" and teaching them the truths they need in order to stay firm in Him and follow His path. You shield them from the distracting and destructive lures of our culture, and help them to fix their hearts on Jesus instead of the world.

Their Father in heaven knows exactly what they will need for every spiritual battle ahead, and He will surely lead them -- and you -- as you trust in Him. I so appreciate your heart and desire to give your children the very best. May He continue to richly bless your family with His love and wisdom.

"I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my  strength, in whom I will
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
 I will call upon the Lord,  who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies."
Psalm 18:1-3

From Ralph Cabrera: Your web-site has given me a lot of food for thought -- basically evaluating my choices of entertainment sources and in particular, the choice to be entertained. I'm currently reading "Tozer on Worship and Entertainment" which is addressing my belief that entertainment is a basic need (which it is not).

I recently read your article on the Matrix movie trilogy and the reader responses. I admit that I was also obsessed with that series as well. Upon examining my movie choices over the years, I seem to always gravitate towards science fiction/fantasy that were usually humanistic
(self-reliance/self-as-saviour) and occultic (Godless worldview, unholy spiritual elements).

Even my secular reading was like that since high school. It didn't perturb me what the author's personal beliefs/world view was, nor did it seem important that their beliefs and worldview permeated their works, thus influencing me in subtle, if not overt, ways. Some of my once-favorite
authors: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Tolkien, just to name a few. In the mystery/spy thriller category, I would read any Robert Ludlum I could find -- recent movies were made of his Jason Bourne spy stories.

Single individual male saves the world from the plots of crazed secret society members. Throw in sex and violence for excitement. Ian Fleming's James Bond novels/movies were also attractive to me for the same reasons. I would add to that Clive Cussler's novels that have the same theme -- one man who manages to survive all types of tight spots in the process of saving the world while living an immoral (sex outside of marriage) lifestyle (with which the world really doesn't see any problem).

I don't know if you're familiar with James Patterson's novels, but a few of them have been made into movies, namely "Along Came a Spider" and "Kiss the Girls". His novels typically center around a forensic psychology expert who has the talent of getting into the mind of psychotic killers, trying to out-wit them and prevent them from continuing their atrocities. Talk about being desensitized to evil for the sake of entertainment! After a steady diet of these stories, nothing seems to shock me, but worse yet, the normal response of sorrow, sympathy, or empathy towards real circumstances of others has been lost along the way.

I also made the choice to read Dan Brown's novel "The DaVinci Code" recently -- another poor choice. I was curious to see what the hype was all about. It was well written and sucked me into the conspiracy/secret society plotline. Then I was hit with the heresies-posing-as-truth (very much like "Hath God Said?" line of the serpent). I am thankful to God that I wasn't convinced, but it sure made me think about things for a while. Fortunately, someone in my family gave me a book called "Truth and Fiction in The DaVinci Code" which pointed out the numerous historical flaws and liberties in the book.

I didn't mention it beforehand, but through the advice of a close friend, since Christmas of last year, I've given up movies and works of fiction for six months. They were such a stumbling block and had become like an addiction ("just one more movie or book and I'll stop"). They were also causing me to make poor decisions as to what I allowed my children to watch (we have five boys who are 8 yrs, 6 yrs, 3 yrs, 2 yrs, and 5 months old).

Coming full circle to the opening topic of this e-mail, I'm very thankful to God for His perfect timing. He is using your web-site to help me evaluate my world-view and how the parts of it that don't line up with God's Word are bearing rotten fruit when it comes to choosing entertainment over things of God, and having chosen entertainment, choosing ungodly material over Godly (if there is such a thing as Godly entertainment -- seems like a contradiction of terms).

Lastly, I wanted to share a series of questions I am starting to apply both to what I read/watch and let my sons read/watch. They come from a home-schooling father who teaches them to his children as they expand their reading material.

1. Is there any mention of God? If so, how does the author characterize Him? If not explicitly mentioned, what can you deduce about God? How does God of the book compare to the truth found in the Bible? The answers to these questions tells us what the author believes. It may be possible to confirm the author's beliefs through other research.

2. What is the role of man in the book? How does he relate to God? How does he relate to other human beings? What morals (or lack thereof) are presented in the book? What does that tell you about his relationship to God? To whom does man turn to in times of trouble?

From Ralph Cabrera: I thought I should relate what's currently going on in this process of revival that God is working in me.

One thing I have realized in hindsight is that cutting out all movies and secular books was only the first step. I was counselled by my pastor that I should now replace the movies and secular books with Godly sources. I remembered there was a passage about cleaning house spiritually, but not having anything guarding the house (I found it in Matthew 12:43-45). The evil spirit that was cast out returned with seven more worse than himself.

My church is currently reading the Bible using a one-year reading program. I committed to have that be the first thing that I read in the morning. That makes anything else I thought I'd want to read seem really undesirable (secular newspapers and magazines, for example). I've started to do some of the reading out loud for my children and they're eating it up, Praise God!

I used the illustration of Daniel and his friends as a way of helping my sons obey God in their choices and remind them that their Dad must do that, too. (Daniel and his friends chose fresh vegetables and fruits instead of the fine food of the king and turned out healthier and smarter than their fellows).

For other reading material, I recently finished reading "The Genesis Record" and am over halfway through "The Revelation Record", both by Henry Morris.

I'm also reading "The Exemplary Husband" that some men of our church are reading. We're meeting once a week to review the accompanying questions in the study guide. My pastor gave me a copy of "Tozer on Worship and Entertainment" that I've been reading as well.

My music choices have also begun to be affected. While I once listened to a broad spectrum of music that included the secular (I would defend traditional and contemporary instrumental jazz particularly), I have had to narrow it down to classical music, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (borrowing the Biblical phrase). I'm not so keen on listening to most Christian music on the radio to the point of turning it off and driving to work in silence (perhaps so God can speak to me?).

Although I'm reading quite a lot still, it hasn't become an escape or a way of avoiding family/responsibility. I think it's because I become filled/satisfied with my daily bread from God.

Find more encouraging comments by Ralph Cabrera here: When an Obsession Is an Idol

From Charlene: You Heavenly Father for all You are and all you've done for me. I thank You for all the blessings in my life; for life, health, family, friends that I have a job, and that I am able to provide for my family. Thank you for giving to me and giving to me so freely. I am so thankful for all You are. Thank You for Your Word. Thank you for watching over Your Word to perform it in my life.
      "Thank you for showing me the path of life and how to walk in it. Thank you Lord for hiding me in Your secret place. Thank You for engraving me in the palm of Your hand and remembering me. Thank You for Your delivering power and that You deliver me from my enemies. I thank You that when I pray, You
hear and answer. I thank you that there is no other God that can deliver like You. I thank you that I have faith as a grain of mustard seed, enough to move mountains. Thank You Lord, that even though the heaven and earth pass away, Your Word shall never pass away. Thank You Lord, for the Living
      "Water that satisfies my soul. Thank You Lord for that Bread of Life You are. Thank You Lord for revealing Yourself to me in Your Word. Thank You for every blessings, small and large. My soul shall make her boast in You!"

From Rose: Warmest greetings to you in our Lord Jesus.  I would like to share a poem with you that my mother had tucked in an envelope for me about 33 years ago and then forgot about it.  She found it a few months ago and I just translated it from German.  It has lost its poetic quality but I found the message very encouraging, especially as I was going through the pain of being separated from our precious church family.  It had no title so I call it :

"The Pilgrim's Cross"

The battle is hot, the burden is heavy.
Often you sigh with fatigue, "I can't go on!"
But just endure; some day you will see
How necessary the cross was to you here below.
On a hard rock at the edge of a forest
Sat a tired old man with a staff in his hand.
He could go no further, he was too weary
For he had such heavy burdens to carry.

Quietly he reflected on the way he had come;
He had started out so gloriously in sunshine.
Besides, he pondered in silent melancholy,
What once was his happy lot now lay in ruins.
Nothing was left him, thus poor and alone
Must he be as he approached old age.
His heart cringed within him in woe:
"My God, why must I go this way?"

And as he thought and as he pondered,
Hot tears ran down his cheeks.
But by and by his turmoil subsided
And he became aware of the presence of God.
So, in faith he lifted his eyes on high:
"One day the things that I don't understand will grow clear."
Grasping his staff, and with heavy steps
He made for a cottage on the mountain slope.
There he turned in to sleep, weary from wandering,
Yet thoughts still went through his mind
Of all his worries and all his complaints.
In a dream God himself spoke the answer to him.

He saw himself as a pilgrim from land to land,
Very toilsomely wandering in pilgrim's garb.
The goal of his journey was that City
That God, the Lord himself had founded.
And on his back he carried a cross,
Which is the burden that God had laid upon him.
He wandered wearily, his goal beckoning from afar,
Already the City shone like a golden star.

But the sun burned hotly and the cross pressed heavily,
He had to rest, he could hardly go on.
There stood a little house so quaint and small,
And there he put his cross down and had a good rest.
As he rose to continue his journey
He noticed a saw laying close by.

Then he thought, "My cross is too long and heavy;
I will saw part of it off, then it will not press me any more."
Said and done! Now the burden was lighter.
He thought, "How good that I have sawn part of it off!
Now my journey will be comfortable and easy,
And I will reach my destination more quickly."
Soon he saw the City already standing before him.
What a wonderful sight it was to behold!
Only a ditch stood between him and the City,
But it had no bridge.
He ran along it and searched and pondered,
But nowhere could he find a bridge.

Then he thought of the cross on his back.
Perhaps he could use the cross as a bridge.
He took it and tried to place it across the ditch
But it was too short, it wouldn't reach;
The part was lacking that had been sawn away.
"If only I had not!" he sighed in deep distress,
"Now I as standing here so near to my goal
And I cannot go there because I didn't like my cross!"
He wept and cried, and he blamed himself;
It was his fault that he couldn't get to the City.

Along came a pilgrim who also carried a cross,
But his was not partly sawn off.
He came to the ditch and, laying his cross over it
Went on with gladness toward the City.
Then the pilgrim thought, "I must see
If I can walk over this cross to get to the City."
He stepped on it, but oh! it cracked...

With a cry he woke up.
He found himself in the room - he was still there.
"My God, with all my heart I thank you!
It was only a dream, though the fear and agony
I would never want to experience again.
I now see my cross as given by God
And will certainly never cut part of it off.
It must be as the Father has made it,
And though my way goes through affliction and night
I will endure quietly, carry cross and sorrow.
It is really my bridge to splendour!"
And you who also carry a cross
And also would like to saw part of it off,
Don't do it, for it is a gift from God,
Or you will saw your blessing off.

I couldn't help thinking of 2 Cor. 4:17: "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

From Jeff: This [referring to Scripture below] is a great scripture to consider when people get caught up in the prosperity gospel spell that the Binney Hinns of the world proclaim. Seems to me when you read the totality of what Paul has to say, the over riding message is exactly the opposite of what the prosperity and so called faith healers put out continually. God Bless.


"...a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'

     "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Though Satan should buffet, tho' trials should come,

Let this blessed assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And has shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, it is well with my soul!

To hear the melody, click on


"...a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'

     "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Though Satan should buffet, tho' trials should come,

Let this blessed assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And has shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, it is well with my soul!


To hear the melody, click on


From Ender:  After a long hiatus, I've been crossing to your site again and the attacks have increased. Even by Christians. I don't question anyone's faith from the outset, but when someone claims to know Jesus and doesn't show it, could it be a cause for questioning if there was really any change?

I am now 19 years old and am preparing to enter college in the fall. I have been through a lot of things this past year. I won't go into detail but what I can say is that I fell away from God and our Lord. Yes, me. Goes to show that nobody is immune to the trials and tribulations of life. The only One who saved me from death was our Lord Jesus Christ. He never gave up on me even when I felt like throwing in the towel on life.

So how can I show my appreciation for God saving my life? I can't. The only thing I can do is give Him my life, as insignificant as it is. I am only a speck of dust in the grand scheme of God's design. And despite the fact that I am insignificant, Jesus died for my sin, so how should I live? By learning to become holy as He is holy. It doesn't mean that I'm perfect, but knowing that Jesus has forgiven me and that I have hope in Him alone, I strive to become more like Him. And you know something? The world is becoming less interesting, little by little each day. Yes, I still face temptation and I'm still human, but what matters is that "Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). I can't do it alone, but with Christ and in Christ I CAN.

So when I go through the comments and see all the attacks from unbelievers, it only reminds me of what Jesus said about the world's hostility. The Word says, "Do not love the world, nor the things that are in it--for if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15). So it can seem discouraging, but I know that they don't love the truth--like Jesus said.

And for other Christians as well--why this hatred of holiness? Aren't we supposed to be different from the world? Aren't we supposed to stand out, despite the hostility? I don't know where God is leading me, but if it's to serve in ministry, I want to show people how to live holy lives. But if only God wills it.

Nevertheless I have to go, but I will leave you with something that I think about every day: I can't wait to meet Christ face to face!

Until that day comes, may the grace of our Lord be with you.

It’s wonderful to hear to know how God is leading and encouraging you -- and keeping you close to Himself. He is so faithful!  I thank Him for continuing to speak to your heart and giving you such a wonderful hope in Christ! I don’t hear of that often in young people any more. Sadly, the emphasis seems on having fun in the world rather truly walking with Jesus and sharing His suffering.

From Alison: [RE: "Are You Criticizing God? (I was)"]  I have a habit of doing this, and reading these articles helps to put me back in my place, i.e. as the created thing which by definition cannot be more powerful than the Creator. As a writer/artist/musician/hobbyist/etc. I can relate to the concept of the Potter being obviously more powerful than the clay pot He has created. I think human creativity is part of being made in the image of God (I could be wrong), and any kind of artist or builder ought to be able to understand that the Creator is above the created. and

It's significant that I find these messages without specifically looking for them, e.g., I found the Liberty to the Captives site looking for (I think) stuff about Harry Potter, of course. Obviously that is supernatural guidance.

Thank you, Alison, for following His guidance, and for sharing the links with us!

From Roger L:  I agree with you whole heartily on your interpretation of the Word. It's LITERAL! I also agree with you on your interpretation of Star Wars and I can think of many other movies. The Bible is clear about our minds and thought processes. They must be renewed  (Rom  12:2), and part  of  the process is bringing every THOUGHT captive unto Christ Jesus and tearing down "vain imaginations" that exalt itself above the knowledge of God (Corinthians 10:5).

As born again believers, bought with the blood of Christ, we commune with the Holy Spirit and use our mind and the Word of God to interpret his will. Now if I see a good movie and loose myself in the show, I am actually identifying with someone else's mind and sharing the emotions of that person. Jesus said if you look at a woman and lust after her in your heart (mind) then you already have committed adultery (MT 5:28). How many Christians have committed murders, blasphemies, adulteries and numerous other abominations by plugging their conscience and subconscious minds into these movies, games, books, cards and other imagination driven entertainments?
I've noticed a lot of people who say they are Christian have been pretty harsh on you. I wonder if they realize when Jesus sets up his kingdom that there won't be any Hollywood. If Christ would give them a physical visitation, would they feel comfortable taking Him to go see Star Wars or the Matrix, where a man is portrayed as a type of Christ? I'm surprised their conscience doesn't prick them during these shows to do an investigation and see how it stands up to the Word of Almighty God. I'm of the belief that EVERYTHING stands or falls on the Bible. It is the supreme authority and the literal interpretation should be the first interpretation.
I was surprised to see your comments on the Left Behind series. I haven't read nor do I have a desire too, but I appreciate your insights and I will do a further study into it.
You are a watchman and you are sounding the alarm, continue with your work and I pray the Lord Jesus Christ richly bless you and your family!

Thank you, Roger.

From Fabienne:  Yesterday was Sunday. In the morning we went to church as usual. In the evening we went to a Christian fellowship dinner. In both places we found the latest HP book. Of course it was everywhere else as well, but what was it doing in places where people were meeting together in the name of the Lord God Almighty??

Too many of the young people (and quite a few of their parents) see nothing wrong in the HP or other similar books. They also see nothing wrong in occult computer games or reality games where friends pretend to shoot each other to death...

"It's just for fun," they say, "What's the harm in having a bit of fun?" The trouble is -- and most of them aren't even aware of it -- it isn't "a bit" of fun, but becomes an obsession and/or addiction, and soon they see the things of the Lord as boring or even irrelevant.

Actually, is "fun" a Biblical concept?

No, it isn't Fabienne. God has something better for us, doesn't He? He gives us deep and lasting joy, not the short-lived "fun" the world so craves these days. See Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats

If these young people spent as much time with the Lord and His Word as they do with these books and games I wouldn't worry, because they soon would give up the horror novels and games. But the churches they go to actually indulge them in their "broad way" pursuits -- the sermons use references to the books, games, and movies, in a bid to be "relevant"; the youth groups have "fun" nights when they watch the movies or got to the virtual reality games arcades; the older folk don't give a good example as they indulge in their own or even the same "fun" pursuits...

"When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)

May the Lord have mercy and bring these Christians to their senses (i.e., Romans 12:2, Colossians 2:8), and may He help us all to keep on the alert lest we too take a wrong turning (1 Corinthians 10:12). In Jesus' love,

       Amen, Fabienne.

From Dennis: The hymn email you just sent if so very appropriate to my life as it is right now. I thank you. I am living everyday with the bread of adversity and the water of affliction that He has given to me, but oh His most gracious love that goes with it, there is no description in words for that, none at all! I could never even hope to understand how His love is made manifest through the avenue of affliction if it were not for His Grace and care.

I am still hard pressed to truly understand it or describe it, but I do know it, and I would not trade it for anything else that there is. No amount of worldly riches are worth what is received from Him during the endurance of whatever affliction He may bring forth. However terrible it may be at the time does not matter. If it is put forth by Him, received from Him and is known within the heart to be from Him, then it is good beyond all price, as it is milk and honey from God with no payment required! It is the fire that burns away the dross. I wish I could put it into better words, but I cannot.

Thank you, Dennis, for your heartfelt response and your faithfulness to our Lord!  Here is the Scripture you referred to. I want to share it with others.

“He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;

When He hears it, He will answer you.

And though the Lord gives you

The bread of adversity and the water of affliction...

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,

“This is the way, walk in it,”

Whenever you turn to the right hand

Or whenever you turn to the left.”  Isaiah 30:19-21


He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;

He's sweeter than honey from out the comb;

He's all than my hungering spirit needs.

I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead.


Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin's dread sway;
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

To hear the melody, click on . Then click under Midi File

From Dennis:  I read the current Oswald Chambers posting:

"All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." Matthew 28:18-20

"The basis of missionary appeals is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the heathen. We are apt to look upon Our Lord as One Who assists us in our enterprises for God. Our Lord puts himself as the absolute sovereign supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say the heathen will be lost if we do not go; He simply says - “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” Go on the revelation of My sovereignty; teach and preach out of a living experience of Me.”
Oswald Chambers

This of course is absolutely true, and is the exact opposite of such things as the Willow Creek movement.  The "new" evangelism has left the first love and now thinks of Jesus as little more than an "aid" to their "mission."  For me, I find that I am being most blessed by the Lord, in that each and every day He has been steering my life to a greater dependence on Him.  There is simply nothing more satisfying or secure than to be found in His everlasting arms in total submission to Him.  The Lord is so very lovely.

From Gustavo: This is so amusing. You talk about the armor of God and how it is indespensible, indestructable and can protect against anything. Yet you don't allow your son to a "pagan movie". Was it Spiderman, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter? Your son even said that he would put on the armor to protect himself.

You have misunderstood both the nature and function of God's armor, Gustavo. Please go to the Armor of God and read what I actually said to our son -- and why I said it. You may find it helpful.

Are you trying to get your son so confuesed that he will remember this in the future and have no life in high school or college when his friends invite him to a movie that you deem "pagan"? You are contradicting yourself. You even put this on the site:

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...."

Yet you do not allow your son to put on the armor for a movie. If this happens, he will grow up missing on the things that normal teens usually experience like music, movies, and more. Who knows how many girls will not want to be his girlfriend because of his ideals?

Our sons know well that peer approval and popularity count far less than fellowship with God. They would rather lose friends than compromise their faith.

I think that God would not want to have his servant limited to an unnormal life (not seeing movies, etc.) I am a christian, and I have seen all of the movies that I listed at the top. There are no occult themes in any of them. Lord of the Rings takes place in another universe, and therefore out of our God's reach.

Please see Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: Truth, Myth or 'Discovered Reality"?

I think you should lighten up on your son and let him make his own decisions about what is occult and what is not. After all, experimentation while we are young helps shape us to what we will be. Atorníllele los idiotas,

From Dennis Monroe: I read the article "New Religion For a New World. Following that, I prayed
this to the Lord:

Dear Father God, the one and only Triune God, who is the Father, the
Creator and Maker of all things, and the most beloved Son, the Lord Jesus
Christ, and whose essence is found in the Holy Spirit, who teaches men the
truth about all things, in ways that I do not understand, but by your
immeasurable Grace have come to know, I ask that as the world events unfold, by
your Grace I would have the courage to stand for Your truth, to not waver,
and to not be one that ever denies my Lord Jesus Christ
. In the name of
Jesus, because there is no other name, Amen.

From E. B.Dear Sir, You obviously have a lot of force behind your beliefs.  Would not that energy be better directed against true evil in the world, rather than at a harmless children's fantasy series?  There is so much real nastiness in the world that I wonder what makes you target fictional works that you would find, if you took the time to read them, actually speak against evil.  Your stand on Harry Potter, and the fact that you put such a great amount of time into trying to "warn" others of the "evil" contained in these books, is strange beyond belief. 

Actually, Harry Potter's message in favor of using  the occult forces God forbids is far more seductive than its warning "against evil." See  Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion

I know our stand "is strange beyond belief" to those who don't know our Lord and have not received His Spirit.  God tells us that we will understand His heart and Word only after we put our faith in Him and choose to follow His ways. If we do, He opens our eyes and gives us a new understanding of what pleases Him and brings true light and integrity into the spreading darkness and corruption of the world.

Please see 1 Cor 2:9-13, Answers to Pokemon mail and What it means to be a Christian

From Dennis:  Last night I prayed Psalm 23 to the Lord, and it took on new meaning for me. I knew that He has done and is doing for me each part of that Psalm. It was most remarked when I got to the end, which says "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

I then remembered many of the details and events of my life. I won't go into all of that for now,
but I could make a chart of events in my life where it is very clear that His goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life, even during my gross sins against Him and total lack of care for Him. I did not pay hardly any attention to Him for 50 plus years. Conversely, He has provided for me and my family with lavish attention all those years. I just never realized the extent to which He has done this for me until a short time ago.

How blessed we are to know Him, Dennis! For our "God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever!" Philippians 4:11-13, 19-20

From Al Schmidt: I just wanted to say thank you for standing up for what's right. I am not a great man on my own but through CHRIST I'm the greatest man my family knows. I and my wife have taught our children ( now 21 & 15 ) the Christian values that made America great & are distressed at the turn of the tide from GOD & CHRIST to satan & occultism. We try to help our children stand against the popular moves in our local area and thus far we have had good success. I have a short list of daily reminders that I use to help me stand firm for My JESUS and I am going to share my list with you. It helps me I hope it will be good for others.

No matter what else I feel the following ARE TRUE !

1. "I am a child of GOD joint heir with JESUS CHRIST HIS SON. I am free of the old fears of failure."

2. "I am free from the bonds of sin and death through JESUS CHRIST who FORGAVE MY SIN and gave me HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and I function without old fears holding me back."

3. "I am guilt-free thanks to JESUS CHRIST who died my death so I would live as HIS BROTHER and share GODS LOVE with HIM FOREVER.

4. " I live in the SPIRIT and GOD'S SPIRIT lives in me."

I will pray for your continued success for GOD. Please hold me in your prayers as I am Very ill Thanks to 3 major carbon monoxide exposures.

Thank you, Al. I so appreciate your loving heart and your faith in our wonderful Lord.

From Dennis Monroe: I guess I just am not able to keep quiet. I read the posting on the "Healthy Church." This sounds like someone desperately needs to read and study very hard, among other things, the messages in the book of Revelation that Christ gave to the seven churches. None of the definitions given in the news posting will be found in Christ's messages.

From His messages, it is not really very hard to make up a list of the qualities that define a truly healthy church. From what I have seen, a truly healthy church will be dearly loved by those that have ears to hear, those that are truly tired, are poor in spirit, and are able by His Grace to mourn their own sins and the sins of others, with love and care, but also without compromise of God's Word.

On the other hand, this same truly healthy church will be hated, maligned, lied about, and despised by those that will
be cut to the bone by the conspicuous and unrelenting activity of this church in speaking without compromise the Gospel and truths of God. The truly healthy church will have died to itself, and all the believers who stay with it will also have died to themselves, at least to a point where they will be able to really honor God as He is meant to be honored.

Dying to myself has been on my mind a very great deal lately. It is a portion of my daily prayers that the Lord will take me from where I am to being far closer to the death of myself. I know that in that state of mind and heart is where He is. This is most evident in the writings of John.

Thank you, Dennis.

From Donna Bowling: This e-mail is being forwarded through a Mary Kay Cosmetics e-mail loop. I am not surprised, as my experience with Mary Kay has been that this company is being used to teach the dialectic and spiritual oneness philosophy.

Prayer wheel: THIS IS AWESOME!!! AMEN
When you receive this, say a prayer for the person who sent it to you .... That's all you have to do ....There is nothing attached....This is so powerful....Just send this to seven people and watch God's answer to prayer work in your life. Do not stop the wheel, please....Of all the free gifts we may receive, Prayer is the very best one .... There are no costs, but wonderful rewards ..... Let's continue praying for one another ..

A Prayer: Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this right now. I am asking You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubting, release a renewed confidence in Your ability to work through them. Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, patience, and strength as they learn submission to your leading. Where there is spiritual stagnation, I ask You to renew them by revealing Your nearness, and by drawing them into greater intimacy with You. Where there is fear, reveal Your love, and release to them Your courage. Where there is a sin blocking them, reveal it, and break its hold over my friend's life. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them. Give each of them discernment to recognize the evil forces around them, and reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it. I ask You to do these things in Jesus' name.

In Love, Your Friend

Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to one not considered a friend is something Christ would do.

Thank you, Donna, for sharing this chain letter. It illustrate today's pluralistic blend of Christianity and paganism. The Tibetan prayer wheel, which must be kept spinning, represents Buddhism -- a particular kind which, in turn, is a blend of Tibetan animism and earlier forms of Buddhism.

As in The Prayer of Jabez, the problem is not with the words of the prayer itself but with the pagan context and the unbiblical promises that surround it.   Speaking or praying a formula prayer is no guarantee of blessings, especially in a setting that suggests a universal god rather than the God we love.

I have added an explanation of the Tibetan prayer wheel to the  Symbols page. Scroll down to the section on "wheels."

From Shawn:  I grew up with the hymns and I still love them but I do believe that praise songs have merit. Like God of Wonders (how it talks about creation) also Lord reign in me (something we want in our life daily), and Stand in awe (basic love song that we are in love with Jesus Christ).

Also we sing a song called Empty Me where we sing like a prayer to God to empty us of our desires and ask God to Fill Me with His Desires.

I believe that there is merit in both hymns and praise songs I would like to sing both :)

I guess it really depends on the situation the song how many songs are played.

I have also discussed recently with friends different worship styles, the traditional 3-5 verse sermon or the chapter book by book chapter by chapter verse by verse teaching style.

I again believe there is merit in both, I enjoy the longer more detailed teaching than the 3-5 verse sermon I grew up with.

But of course we need to have that daily walk with the Lord or either teaching method won't be effective. Does it really matter if you have a half meal or full meal if going thru the week. Not really you still need to eat daily and I prefer the method of David to rise with the Lord and to end my day with the Lord.

I could be wrong and I am open to any biblical reasoning.

I look at the psalms of David some are really simple, just simple praises to our God :)

Thank you, Shawn. One of my favorites is "The Lamb of God."

From a Christian singer:  The comments on THE CHANGING CHURCH reminded me of when I was invited to sing at a church in San Antonio.  I shared the song "First Love", I told the people I worked as a secretary for a pastor and that I had learned that the pastor should be lifted up and prayed for. A pastor is not to go and do everything, he is to teach the people to go and do. Also that a pastor is not perfect and can have problems too. Instead of praying for the pastor and his family, they vote him out, or go to another church believed to be more spiritual.

Funny, we go from church to church looking for the Spirit instead of asking God to fill us with His Spirit. So many churches look for what the people believe looks good instead of the heart. When I finished telling the people this, the pastor came up in tears because the church was filled with people that use to come to church but went to another.

The pastor's daughter was left by her husband and it looked bad for him as far as his congregation thought. The reason they were there was because they came to hear a concert. One by one, the people stood up and asked for forgiveness. I will never forget this. I pray that we all will lift up our pastors that God will give them power to speak the Word of God.

Thank you for sharing from your heart a message we need to remember.

At the same time, many Christian families find their churches changing to an emphasis on pleasing the world rather than teaching God's Word. When that happens, the loss of Biblical teaching may drive Christian families to search for genuine Biblical fellowship somewhere else.

But we all need to pray for our pastors and churches. They often find themselves on a fierce and cruel battlefield. Please see  Re-Inventing the Church, Part 1.

From David: There is a myth that as Americans, we have the freedom of worship and beliefs. I have found that when one truly dedicates their life to Christ and daily lives His Word (for He is the Word) that there is much persecution and much of it comes from the organized church (I have recently been shocked by the attitudes of "Christians" toward witchcraft - Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings). I am writing this memo in hopes that it will help others who may be struggling with some of the things I have struggled with.

I was baptized in 1974 and still remember and treasure the way the Lord touched my heart on that day. My maturing in the Lord has been a long and sometimes difficult process (because of me). ... I struggled with certain sins but could never quite achieve the victory that I sought. I was like (probably 90+ percent of Christians in America) being CONFORMED to the WORLD (Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-17) - but deceived in my own heart. I would say I was going to read the Bible everyday and persist for awhile. I would start a Bible study with my kids and persist for awhile. Every time I would fall back. Why? Because of television and selfish ambitions. The Lord had been dealing with me for years to stop conforming, but I was unwilling to totally yield. Therefore my life was not what it could have been.

Finally after coming to the place that I was just so sick of sin in my life and my own hypocrisy, I yielded. 2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." I repented before the Lord as I never had previously for my wicked self-centered life of conforming and compromise.

What was my greatest idol in my life to overcome? - the one I just never could image giving up! Probably the same one that most of you have - "TELEVISION." I turned it off, got rid of it - its over. I will never watch it again. I do not even play the game of some things are ok to watch but I will avoid the others. You just set yourself up for constant temptation and lost precious time that could be used for so much more.

You are so right, David. Here is another Scripture that supports your warning: Psalm 1:1-6

Sitting in front of this silly little box robbed me of YEARS of my life. The constant planting of un-Godly ideas in my mind, made it impossible for me to have victory over sinful areas of my life. For years, I use to ask myself - How evil does television have to become before I will stop watching it? Where do you draw the line? Is there a line?

Yes, but -- in some areas such as television -- it differs from believer to believer. For example, Paul tells Timothy that a little wine is good for his health, but alcoholics must draw a much narrower line. I don't like watching television (but I do watch certain things for research purposes -- such as the opening ceremony for the Olympics), so I don't need to guard against overuse.  

Our Shepherd, Jesus Christ Himself, will guide us personally by His Spirit in us. He knows us and our needs and weaknesses far better than we know ourselves. Psalm 139:14-15 and Psalm 23

The next thing I did was turn off the radio in the car (permanently) and chunk the stereo. Rock music had always been an idol in my life. ... Next I got rid of my cherished miniature whiskey bottle collection (from my youth). I also chunked the questionable Christian books from characters like Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland (saw through him years ago but still had a book lying around), Benny Hinn (this one was my wife's - I was not deceived by this slick one), etc. Next I went on an evil toy hunt in my kids rooms (most toys I don't want in my house anymore). ...

You must ask yourself, as a Christian, when someone looks at your life - is it really that much different from a non-believer. Do you watch the same television programs? Do you listen to the same music? Do you go to the theaters and watch the same movies? Same video rentals? Are you also driven to succeed in your career? Is money real important to you? Do you want your children to be like all the others? Can you answer this question - Is there any persecution in your life as a direct result of your walk in Christ? Jesus said there would be - maybe more than you want. If there isn't much, then maybe you are conforming. Do you ever truly suffer loss/sacrifice (your own desires, wants, needs) to do God's will?
1 Peter 3:13-17

Since I came out of the world my life has changed dramatically. I now have the victories (in Christ Jesus) that I never could achieve before. Since turning my back on the television, I have so much useful time. I read my Bible, I have my Bible study with the kids (going strong), and I pray all the time. God is now a true priority in my life. I don't just work Him into my busy schedule as before. He is the schedule - He is the priority and my service to him will get done or all other activities in my life will suffer. God has greatly increased my service to him and has allowed me to touch MANY around me. I have tasted the greatness of my new found relationship with God. Remember the Two great commandments Jesus gave (Matthew 22:37-40).

I do not make it a point to tell many others of the details of my walk with the Lord. However, if Christian acquaintances hear that I do not watch TV, they think I'm a flake, an oddity. My Christian stands encounter great persecution (even in the church). For instance, when I mentioned the idolatry of Santa Claus to some church members this past season, I thought I would be lynched. I no longer celebrate a worldly Christmas. There was no tree this year, just a giant yard card proclaiming Christ. I took a lot of heat over it.

Andy and Berit - My question to you is summarized as follows: I attend a church that proclaims Christ and does many good things. However, like many Laodician churches in America, spends great sums of money on buildings/facilities (50K remodeling of sanctuary, parking beautification, gymnasiums, etc.) and little on outreach/poor (mostly visitation - some benevolence). I often struggle with the worldliness, attitudes and values of much of the body. I know that people are at different maturities within Christ. I also know that we are to love one another secondly to God. It is so hard for me to sit in Sunday School and listen to a watered down version of the gospel. When I speak and make spiritual points, everyone looks at me like I fell off the potato truck. I sometimes question my involvement in this church, but through visitation and past memberships, I know there is no perfect church (of man). Do you have any advice? Sometimes I feel as a prophet - I want to say the truth of God's Word, but most do not want to receive it.

That's the normal Christian life, David. Remember John 15:20-21.  Keep praising and serving Jesus and know that He will be your strength and joy no matter what hostility, rejection and persecution you might face. See 2 Cor 4:16 and 2 Cor 2:14.

"...thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 

"For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?"

2 Cor 4:16

From David:  I was looking at your chart entitled, "Biblical Verses Cultural Christianity."

This is the situation I face:

I would refer to myself as a Christian, Believer, Disciple, Follower, Servant, etc. Most of the people at the church I attend would refer to themselves as Baptist. That alone says alot in and of itself. The Baptist have a doctrine which they refer to as, "Once Saved Always Saved." Under this belief, one only has to ackowledge Christ once and then there is eternal security even if one chooses to live as the devil the rest of their lives.

It is sad how God wonderful promises of salvation and sanctification are being twisted into shallow doctrines that has little to do with the transformed life and discipleship. Speaking at a conference in the Midwest some years ago, a song leader told me she had written a song which included all the parts of the "4 spiritual laws." "When they sing it, they become Christians," she told me.

Many find it easy to give hearty assent to a simple verbal formula or recitation -- especially when they are promised earthly peace, a wonderful relationship and a happy eternity with Jesus. Some only want "cheap grace" -- His blessings without sanctification or discipleship. So they pray the 4-fold prayer but never understand their need, come to repentance by God's grace, surrender their lives to Him, or count the cost.

Coming to Jesus, being crucified with Him, and walking in the Spirit involves genuine conviction by the Holy Spirit, a brand new life, and a hunger for His holiness which makes personal sacrifices for Him a joy. Those who are truly filled with His Spirit, we will discern evil and be disgusted with some of the unholy symbols and practices of our times that have become so accepted by the church.

I do believe, however, that those who are truly "born again," have indeed been joined to Jesus Christ for all eternity and are already "citizens of heaven." They can delight in His promise that we will see Jesus face to face and share everlasting joy with Him forever. 1 John 3:1-3

Additionally, they seem to have a strange belief which I think is referred to as "Christian Liberty." This essentially excuses "compromise" because (I will try and explain this logic): Only through Christ does one have forgiveness of sin, so you can't be good enough or earn it or stop sinning. Therefore, since you never can truly conquer sin and must live with it (or a certain amount of it), then its OK because Jesus blood covers it.

How does one talk to such a person about "purity?." Initially, when giving the alter call, much emphasis is placed upon joining the church (this particular one). Now I became a member of "The Church" (that of Christ, that they do not control) in 1974. I really do not understand their emphasis on having your name on a local Baptist role. I will never "officially" join their church because: 1) it is mostly cultural, and 2) I cannot accept some of their beliefs.

You are probably asking, then why do you go there? Its a long story, but perhaps God has a purpose for now (even though I am quite frustrated). You probably ask, why don't you assemble with like minded believers? I would love nothing more if there is such a physical church in existence. I find mostly cultural as per your chart or those that trust in TBN/Televangelists/Books/Videos/etc.

Have you had experience with these conditions that I describe and how have you reacted?

Yes, David. So have countless disciples across the country and around the world. Twice it happened to us because the original pastors retired and the new pastors had been trained in a more "progressive" way of "doing church."  Each time we eventually left, but not until we had found a better place.

Now we are part of a small Bible centered church a distance from our home. We love the teaching, but live too far away to participate in all the activities that build strong fellowship.
We have a small local Bible study with four other couples that love Jesus and want to follow Him.  As this postmodern trend continues -- even accellerates -- which it will when as more of the Biblical boundaries and knowledge fade away, God's people will increasingly gather in what might parallel the underground church in China.

And as the US implements the UNESCO Declaration on Religion in a Culture of Peace, the public will become increasingly intolerant toward people like us. I am glad we have the Internet for a season to encourage each other across lands and oceans.

From Ender: I did some thinking about "WWJD" and my choice was to no longer wear a WWJD lanyard on my neck for school. The reason behind it was because I thought of it this
way: Jesus is God, we are not. Though He gives us the mind of Christ, we still stumble and fail to listen to His leading at times. Jesus Christ was and is forever perfect; we're not. We'll be like Him in heaven and in the resurrection, but we won't be perfect until then.

Thank you, Ender, for sharing your insight. You are so right. People have always had a tendency to see God through their human imagination and personal preferences rather than through the wisdom of His Word and Spirit. That's why He warned His people long ago, "You thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you...." (Psalm 50:16-21)  

A lot of people think that WWJD is a reminder for themselves of who they serve, but I believe there are three better reminders:

Not to say that anyone who wears WWJD is of the evil one, but I believe if people started meditating on the cross more -- and that's what I am doing -- then people would recognize and be awed at the thought of Christ on that cross, the fullest expression of God the Father's love for mankind. And also to reach out to others in His love and service. In Christ,

Thank you for that reminder, Ender. I so agree with you. Perhaps others who agree would like to visit this page: Preparing for Victory and click on "The Triumph of the Cross."

From Judith Clark: (Related to the St. John the Divine Cathedral, although I realize that it is not, strictly speaking, a Catholic cathedral, it is a cathedral of somewhat similar modern philosophy):

I had a great uncle who came out of the Catholic religion, but did not attend church. If there was anything he could see that he thought that was good, he tried to do it, however, and he knew that Jesus Christ was the Lord who saves. I have met many people since who were Catholic and said that the church only requires them to attend every year, and that they are still Catholic even though they hardly attend.

That does not describe my uncle. I think even in Europe he had decided within himself that he was not going to follow those particular doctrines that are misleading, of that church.

I try to explain to people, what the nature of this ‘compulsory-ness'is/was in his country of origin, but it is a difficult concept for some.... It is the same sort of compulsory atmosphere developing around secularism in America today.)

This uncle told me once that he had prayed to leave his country, and prayed and prayed, as a child, but when it finally happened, he was a little ashamed, because the transition to life in America seemed to be so hard on his parents.

I once asked him if he attended church. The only church he really knew how to get to was the Catholic one.... He took me down seven flights of stairs and onto the sidewalk, and had me peer around the corner of the block. I do not know what Cathedral we were peering at, but it was quite ornate and impressive and not unattractive, I thought. He told me slowly, that, he knew that some people thought it was better to go there than not to go there (because of many of the faults of this church that were well known in the community), but he himself did not know how anyone could even bear to enter. This must have been in 1957 or 1959 when he told me this! And this location was just a few blocks from the World Trade center, which of course did not exist at that time.

He said, that many people thought that he might have wanted to leave his country of birth because of the wars and bad governments that were coming (he was a child in rural Tuscany, and my grandmother, who was one of his younger sisters, told me that their previous home in Tuscany had been a very active place against these wars and had suffered much on account of draft evasion, and other forms of opposition they engaged in). He said that many people in Tuscany had been talking about bad things in the government, and very bad things coming (this was in the early 1890's) but he rather, thought that his strong desire to leave had something to do with that-----'that' (and he indicated again, the Cathedral).

I was always so grateful to have this particular relative, and it is something so difficult to explain to anyone, but because of many of the things I have read that you have written, I thought it might be good to tell you about this.

Also, I am concerned, that he was a non-church-goer on account of his adherence to the truth, and to (I believe) Jesus Christ. Sometimes, as I visit different churches, it is difficult to sort out precisely what I am disturbed about in many of them, and I think it would be easier to adhere to the Lord and his word and not attend church at this present time..... Do you have an opinion on this? In faith in the Lord, Jesus,

Since the Catholic church is not alone in drifting away from Biblical truth, many discerning Christians can identify with your uncle. Across the country and around the world, God's people face disillusionment with their local churches and pray for a fellowship of believers who long to follow Jesus have refused to compromise with the world. We see Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and other churches which, like New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, have important all kinds of pagan literature, symbols and rituals into their worship.

I believe that we who love God might -- like committed believers in China -- have to seek our fellowship in small groups or home churches. We can't join the new "cell groups" organized under the umbrella of today's leadership networks, for they tend to operate by the world's dialectic or consensus process. [See The Global Church - especially the last section (unfinished)]  But we can and must look to our Shepherd for His wisdom and guidance. No matter what happens around us, He will still be our Father, our Wisdom, our Strength and our very Life. And He has many ways to bring His sheep to maturity and joy in Himself.

From Dennis Monroe: I read your postings with regard to "WWJD." I do not mean to deride anyone that may display or wear some implement (e.g., wrist band, etc.) that has "WWJD" on it. Once again, I must choose my words very carefully. However, I do not display any of these things. I don't like them. I have no bumper stickers or a Jesus fish on my car either. All of it seems to really be nothing more than an expression of "I got Jesus, you don't, and in your face!"

Therefore, I think most of the unsaved react to it in a negative way, and it simply feeds their impression that we are lunatics. I think that sometimes the people that display this stuff have unwittingly taken upon themselves an idol, and may very well be riding on the "lunatic" fringe.

I would pose a question to those that find it necessary to display all of this stuff, which is "What would Jesus really do?" I cannot see in my mind's eye the Lord running around with a wrist band or some implement hanging from his neck or any other form of "idol." Jesus would not have placed a statue of Himself on the dashboard of His car. His mother would not have been there either, nor would be any of the other "Saints."

If many of those that display all of this stuff would put some real serious thought and prayer into "WWJD", I think I can safely say they would no longer display it. The only thing that Jesus did do, without deviation of
any sort, was the perfect will of the Father. He did not do anything else, ever. I would prefer to simply be ready to explain our Savior to anyone that will listen. The Lord is lovely.

Thank you, Dennis. I agree with you. So many of our trendy expressions do little more than trivialize Christianity and lower our holy, omnipotent King to our own level.  Psalm 50:21

From Arnie Fishman:  Paul [Proctor - see IMAGINE Playing Games with God] did a good rebuttal. Here is some more.

This person is approaching God, Jesus, and culture from a distorted perspective. Sept 11 and the associated response is not about love -- it is about justice which the Bible also says a few words about. We offered love to Afghanistan by sending them food. Stephanie Salter is obviously some kind of pacifist liberal who believes in the non violent approach to everything. Jesus just happens to be a good mouth-piece for them when they need Him. Jesus and the scriptures also say a lot about sins, judgement and other things which I think Ms. Salter might not quite feel so good about quoting.

Another response to her words are that Satan always comes masquerading as an angel of light and he will use what ever means possible to deceive others... even if it uses the word Love. I personally think that the New Age religion that will sweep over the world and become the Universalist one-world religion of the antichrist will in the beginning utilize the words love of man, or the brotherhood of man to achieve his diabolical deception.

We need to be careful to listen when someone uses Love, Jesus, and Gandhi in the same 3 paragraphs.

Thanks, Arnie, for sharing your insight. I appreciate your discernment.

From Susan Conway: I have kept rereading the following from your site "Men and women need a unified existence. Participation in a culture is one of the factors which provide them with a sense of belonging. It gives a sense of security, of identity, of dignity, of being part of a larger whole, and of sharing both in the life of past generations and in the expectancy of society for its own future...." [See   in the The Changing Church]

I am concluding that this thinking is a foundational perspective in the way churches have been structured for the past twenty years. Horizontal relationships are more significant and important than one's relationship to God and to His word. As churches determine their mission, purpose, values and vision, could one not presume that this is to give that entity 'a unified existence' because that is what 'men and women need'?

Not all who have followed the building of strategic plans or of a community emphasis (with community meaning relationships) have understood the rhetoric, and the change of emphasis. As one who has lived with both and seen the confusion of any who question or who continue to resist man's group think, I am struggling as we are wondering where God would have us attend church now.

The thinking quoted above can result in believers in Jesus Christ being kept in or being put into a culture which is works oriented, man pleasing, and cultlike.

You are so right, Susan.  And "cultlike"fits the new church management that controls people through group pressure, demands for submission to the new leadership, and the call for "confession" of "sins" such as "divisiveness" and lack of cooperation on the part of those who discern and voice real problems.

From Jeff Wallace: I sent you an email a few weeks back about the trend of many conservatives (Limbaugh, Boortz, Savage, etc) seeming to go against Christians when push comes to shove. Your article under Changing Church: Sovereignty Over Evil, a couple days ago goes right to the heart of that. Michael Savage, who regularly savages liberals on all fronts, stated recently that fanatics of any group are bad....I got the sense he was leaning toward viewing real Christians in this light.

Boortz, is now almost on a crusade to lambasts Christians for speaking out about Potter. He calls us more names than almost anyone I have heard him attack at times. At any rate, I think it is safe to say, this trend is on the rise and will no doubt get worse. Christians need to try to understand this, because if they don't they are going to be confused and get what they think are mixed signals. Your ministry can play a great role in this. 

Thank you, Jeff. I wouldn't be surprised if uncompromising Christians will face increasing hostility in the months to come. Once again Christians in the "free" world need to Prepare for Persecution.

From Dennis Monroe:  If either Presidents George Washington or Abraham Lincoln were running for office today, and publicly gave the exact same speeches they gave back then, and publicly proclaimed and honored the name of God, like they did back then, they would both be labeled hate mongers and run out of town.

I believe you may be right, Dennis. Some of the people who call themselves Christian could even be the first to express their anger and shame at being associated with such fundamentalists.

From Mona M. (UK):  Mr Bowman thinks faith in God helps greatness. Now our (UK) churches are empty, fall into decay, are torn down to make way for "development". The BBC etc. mock religion in their soaps etc. Support for Christianity previously coming from home/school/organizations is now absent, Scouts and Brownies Guides etc. and Boys' Brigades are shadows of their former selves. Schools are "multi-faith, multi-cultural". Patriotism is risky, has to be expressed in terms that do not "offend" incomers. The King/Queen used to be "Defender of the Faith", but the Queen has done nothing that I can see to defend Christianity. "Fid.def." no longer appears on our coins. Brussels sees the royal family is just citizens like everyone else , nothing special, an anachronism.

Free speech? Free speech on immigration has been routinely stifled for decades, with unjustified cries of "Racist!". When I try to access the British National Party on the local library computers, the screen says "Access denied", and Political Correctness makes people wary of expressing their worries about immigration in public.

Democracy? Self-government, sovereignty, independence? Ted Heath lied when he said the Treaty of Rome was purely economic with no political overtones. Now the Treaty of Nice is going through our Parliament, pretty well handing o0ver the last shreds of independence from Westminster to Brussels. If the very existence of "England" is imperiled, changing to "regions" of the E.U., what is left?

Yet the E.U. costs us a lot of money. France makes no attempt to stop illegal immigrants coming here from Calais - 100,000 a year. We are under attack, human invasion all the more effective for not being military.

In the days of the Romans, feeding Christians to the lions was dreadful but visible, honestly dreadful. Now here everything is covered over in sugar-icing, "caring", P.C., velvet hand but iron fist with the real power. Politicians (with rare exceptions, Enoch Powell, Frank Field, David Alton) want a career in politics rather than a chance to benefit our country. Every ill has to have a framework for "help" even though the bottom layer, helping real people, (e.g. our national health system) is creaking badly. Even the trappings of greatness are tired and in tatters.

I feel that I am living in the end of a civilization. Cassandra, moaning Minnie? Well, that's how I feel. And helpless. I have tried to fight this tide , and just see it getting worse. We now have 1-1/2 million muslims here.

Another WTC here, and ..what? Civil war? All the suppressed resentment, politicians ignoring our worries for 50 years, will boil up and where can we go then? I wish this were not so.

Thank you, Mona, for your insights and observations. I appreciate your summary of our common concern.

From Maria: I am a well educated 17 year old girl that lives in Orlando FL. I attended grades Pre-K through eighth at Good Shepherd Catholic School. When I was in 4th grade I decided that God was calling me to become an altar server at mass and was involved in that vocation until I was in 9th grade when I decided to become a lector at mass. I am a strong Catholic. I am very involved in Community Service projects, my parish festival which raises money for, among other things, St. Vincent dePaul Society, and of course reading at mass.  I am telling you all this to let you know that I understand where you are coming from. 

Actually, I don't believe you do, Maria. You and I would define Christianity in different ways. You listed many "good" things you do, but those good works do not make you a Christian. They don't deal with the essential nature of sin in us, nor do they join us to Christ. Only faith in Jesus and the redemption He won for us at the cross will join us to Christ, change our nature and prepare us to walk with Jesus by His Spirit. Please see What it means to be a Christian.

The fantastic world of Harry Potter scares you because you believe that kids can read this and become involved in the Wiccan religion and witchcraft. I see where you are coming from but do not think that Harry Potter books affect kids to this magnitude.

I recently wrote a 4,000 word paper for my International Baccalaureate program in order to gain my IB Diploma (to learn more about IB go to ). The topic I choose for my paper involved dissecting C.S Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia to discover how he intended to give children the christian message. I spent much of my summer reading the Chronicles again, reading criticisms on them, and reading about Clive Staples Lewis, the great Christian apologist. From what I learned I know that the Chronicles of Narnia were based in a fantastic land, much like the magical world in Harry Potter, in order to get children to enjoy them. C.S. Lewis said that when he was a child he did not feel in awe at God because he was told to feel that way and because he could not get involved in the Bible. 

Please see the article I wrote on the International Baccalaureate Organization. It does not share my Christian worldview. Perhaps it influenced your view of Christianity.

Many young children feel this way because of the stuffy language and the stuffy attitude of religion teachers. Lewis desired to bare christianity, to sneak past the 'watchful dragons' of much use and how you should feel. He desired to get past this emotional barrier and show children what Christianity truly was. He accomplished this by disguising Christianity in a fantastic story. This story is the story of Jesus. I read the Chronicles when I was in 3rd grade for the first time. Aslan's (the Christ figure) death elicited tears from my eyes like the Easter tale never had. I could love Aslan because I was not told I had to but made a choice to. Now I love Jesus Christ with as much ferocity as I loved Aslan when I first read the Chronicles.

You keep mentioning "feelings" Maria, as if love for God is based on feelings. It is not. When Jesus tells Christians to "love one another," He is referring to sharing, helping, caring and submitting -- by faith and through His strength -- to one another as members of His family. Warm feelings will follow, but they tend to be very subjective, unpredictable and capricious guides. 

Likewise, we don't show love for God by feeling good about Him. We show Him love by taking time to get to know Him in His Word, talking with Him, surrendering our lives to Him, then -- by His grace, demonstrating His love as we walk with Him in both easy and hard places without complaining. But He makes even the hardest places sweet by His presence.  See Mark 12:30

I know that the Harry Potter series was not written to show children Christianity but it can serve that purpose if instead of trying to ban or warn parents we ask that parents read the books and talk to their children about them. These books like the Chronicles open up a child's heart and what better time to talk to them about God. 

You are right. Any exciting fantasy will open a child's heart to the thrills and characters it presents. But God wants our hearts to be closed to witchcraft and wizardry, not open. We shouldn't even be considering whether delight in witchcraft is acceptable to Him or not, for He makes it clear throughout the Bible that it is out-of-bounds. 

Part of the problem is today's consensus thinking. Based on the old Hegelian dialectic process (group dialogue which calls for compromise and common ground), it makes it hard to take a stand and refuse to conform. Those who don't know, memorize and love God's Word have no solid foundation or conviction on which to take a stand or hold a position when faced with peer pressure . It becomes natural to flow with your feelings instead of standing by faith. 

Instead of talking about the witchcraft in the Harry Potter series talk about the love of Harry's mom and how someone who didn't even know your child gave him/her the same love when they died on a cross just to save you. By comparing the feelings that children share in the Harry Potter books to the feelings that we are 'supposed' to get from the Bible more children will accept and love God and Jesus. I do not think the Harry Potter series should be banned or any other such extreme measure taken. Instead, I believe that the series can tell us a lot about love, friendship, morality, doing well in school, accepting others and many other good lessons. These books can also open up children to reading anything, maybe even the Bible someday.

I see your point in warning people and yes the Harry Potter series does have witchcraft in it, but one of my friends is a Wiccan and from talking to her I know that there are immense differences between the two. 

I don't know how many witches or Wiccans you have discussed this with. But in my many encounters with neo-pagans and witches, I have found that most of them write their own script. Many tend to blend together bits and pieces of Native American spirituality, the chakras of kundalini yoga (Tantric Buddhism),  Celtic spirituality and medieval witchcraft. They might even add some hand-picked Bible verses about God's love. All the versions sound different, yet they draw power from the same occult realm.  

Harry Potter can be used to promote morals and to get children involved in Christianity. I found that once my sister had completed reading the Harry Potter series to book 4 she wanted to start something else that was similar. I recommended The Chronicles of Narnia, beginning with the second book in the series, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, which tells the Easter tale. She has now come to love Aslan just as I did and will learn through that love how to love Jesus and God. 

Harry Potter can be bad, but it can also be used for good. It can be a stepping stone to the Chronicles of Narnia, the Bible, and open up discussions about religion with youngsters. While each of us must make their own decision about religion I think with a little work on the part of parents we can have more children have a deep Christian faith from this experience than will turn to the Wiccan religion which shares almost nothing with the witchcraft in the Harry Potter series.

Thank you for listening. I hope you will see my point and at least for a moment examine the issue from a different point of view and maybe come up with some way for us to use these well loved books to teach children about God. Since I am going into my senior year of high school I know I will not have time but perhaps you or one of your readers will. I would love one day to see this controversial series to teach children about love that can be bridged to God's love. Remember, Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

His love does not tolerate spiritual alternatives, Maria. Don't forget His sobering warnings,

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."  Colossians 2:6-9

"...when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them... your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord your God.... you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ ...if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods... you shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God." Deut 8:10-20

From Sharon: Most of the Christians I work with do not believe that we are sinners, in original sin, fallen humanity. I praise God every day that I attend a Bible believing, God honoring  and true to His Word church. We are Baptist. I was born again, March 13, 1997.

I started attending a  non-denominational community Bible study group in 1998, men and women. I began to notice that they were involved in Promise-keepers, Women of Faith, working for Habitat for Humanity, etc, etc. We are not allowed to speak about or against any other Christian leaders. There is no discernment in this group. They think the world evangelization groups are the real thing. They disdain and make fun of the KJV, all use the NIV. I led the women's class last year and will again this year starting next month.  

Sharon, I just want to remind everyone that in spite of the compromising mission networks, there are many wonderful missionaries and organizations that faithfully serve God and spread the true gospel. Our Lord has always -- even in the midst of  the most corrupt cultures -- kept a remnant of people who refused to conform to the world's consensus.

Your site is well written and presented. However, when I sent various articles out to friends and family, they became very upset. Even my husband who knows the truth and some of his pastors friends say that I am getting involved in stuff that is NOT my business. If people want to let their children read Harry Potter and Pokemon and Digimon, etc, leave them alone.    

I have been very discouraged that long time Christians have been swayed by these false teachings and beliefs. Please pray for me, that God will give me the strength and the courage to stand against this heresy.

I know that my dear Jesus is interested in people and He has a plan. I want to be a part of His plan. My husband says just love people and live your Christian life and don't try to tell them what to do. How does this all fit in?

 Ezekiel 3 and 33 encourages me to keep sharing unpopular truths and warnings.

I believe you have accurately described the state of the church and the world and i appreciate your ministry.
Also, while attending a Dallas Holm concert, i was led to choose a young child from Thailand to "adopt" through Compassion International. After receiving their newsletter, I detected problems, they used UN documents to inform about the condition of children in the world. What do you know about this organization?

I will try to learn about it this week, Sharon. I will post what I learn here. 


From Cindi: Thank you so much for sharing the material about the Dalai Lama's appearances. A couple of quick thoughts about that: 

(1) the World Network of Religious Futurists (WNRF) is riddled with Buddhists, including its leadership, which is based in  Seattle, Washington (Richard Kirby and Richard Spady); 

(2) The Prayer of  Jabez seems to parallel what the Dalai Lama is telling his followers about how to pray--disturbing, at best, and

 (3) the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) are preparing white papers for discussion at their convention (coming up in June, I think), one of which concerns itself with whether or not healthcare should be a "covenantal" issue. The WNRF  issue goes to your point of the blending of Buddhism with Christianity.   (Not that the WNRF holds itself out to be traditionally Christian at all, but Jay Gary is very involved with them and Kirby and Spady reach out to the Episcopalian and Methodist churches in their areas.). 

The  Church Growth Movement and the ecumenicism of the NAE and others cause such a blending of doctrine that a door is opened for the mystical "truths" of Buddhism to take hold because their form is "relational."  The Prayer of Jabez is a yawning pit of misleading doctrine when you put it together with the Dalai Lama's admonitions to "pray" the  mantras/tantras each day. What a mess! Thank you, again, for making sense out of this misinformation and helping everyone to understand that  there is danger here.

If I have not sent you the material on the NAE and the covenantal healthcare discussion papers, please let me know and I will fax them or  send you the website. This leads into the UN health positions. NAE's would also be part of the International Association of Evangelicals's  position on healthcare.  "Even so, Lord, come quickly!"

From Paul Proctor: "Even those I thought were mature senior adults in my own Sunday School class were absolutely fascinated and captivated by The Women of Faith conference here. People who easily saw through the hype and production of Willow Creek and The People's Church  fell instantly for this feminist feelings festival and frenzy. Charm, beauty, celebrity, music, emotional gratification and self-affirmation are I believe among the mightiest weapons used against women in Satan's war chest.

To borrow from the theme of Kimberly Smith's book Let Those Who Have Ears To Hear, which I HIGHLY recommend, "If they took the music away...would they still follow Jesus?"

Good question, Paul. Thank you for your insights and your fellowship. 

From Marilynn: You know, Berit, the tranformational process is chipping away traditional thinking faster and faster these days in the undiscerning minds of many fellow believers. It is amazing to me to see the willing acceptance of ideologies today by many believers that even last year they would question. 

I believe that when a person asks the Lord into their heart and they receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that with the believer's growth and walk in the Lord that they would become discerning. That the Lord would give them more discernment as they seek him and have that abiding faith in him. Now, I am being told by some Christians that discernment is given only as a spiritual gift.  Only a few have it.  If that is true then we are surely in trouble in the Church. It is troublesome to see the amount of believers who put their worth on what they have decided are their spiritual gifts.  I have been told by fellow believers for twenty years that I have the gift of prophesying. Therefore, it's fine that I see upcoming problems and try to warn them because it's not their gift. It is their excuse for not wanting to see, think and act.

Speaking of discernment, I went to the Wagner Leadership Institute website last night because the pastor at Sagemont announced last night, in fact he spoke the entire message time on the merging of the church with another church down the road (Freedom Church) because they need financial help....  The church has no pure doctrinal statements.  You know the same spiel, church that is global, community driven, outreach of love, etc. The assistant pastor is attending the Wagner Leadership Institute. I wanted to know if you are familiar with this Institute.  Also, George Barna was in Houston recently speaking. I understand it was only for pastors.  I know you quote some of his findings.  His name is listed on the front webpage of the Wagner Leadership Institute. I wonder what his connection to them is - if he had just attended a seminar or was a graduate of theirs.  I did not see him listed on their board.

Marilynn, I added more information about George Barna on this page: Statistics for the Changing Church. He is a leader in the Church Growth movement. I use his statistical studies since I don't know any better source of such information.

See also Marketing the Church, God, and the Gospel: Why the Church Must Stop Selling Jesus

Susan Conway:  This article, Thinking Skills explains thinking held by the editors of Group Publishing and espoused in at least two of their books written about Sunday School. I am sending the link because, on The Global Church article site, you have a picture of a book published by Group Publishing. Six years ago we were at a church which began to use Group's Hands On Sunday School curriculum. A friend was teaching Sunday School. She became concerned about some items handed out in the introductory teachers' training session and asked me to look at it. Three years earlier she and I, along with a few others, had worked together to understand Outcome Based Education, which was being publicly implemented in her county with a Strategic Plan. It is now clear that this type of education already had a place in the thinking of educators.

Back to friend also asked me to watch an introductory video about The Hands On Sunday School curriculum. She thought it was OBE. The first time I watched it I was appalled at the manipulation that was highlighted, showcased, and part of the lesson plans. The second time I watched it, I did begin to pick out the OBE. We had one child still in the elementary grades. So I continued to research the material . The thinking was completely OBE, touchy-feely, human relationship oriented. The lessons were not dependent on Bible truth or Bible stories. A Christian school principal reviewed the curriculum for me and concluded that it was moralistic and unacceptable on other grounds also.

Higher Order Thinking Skills (see Glossary) were being implemented. Rote memory of Bible verses was mocked in material that accompanied the curriculum. There are some excellent articles probably still on-line that critique it more. Important theological truths were left out. Our daughter was in one class session and her understanding and application of the need to seek God's forgiveness, as well as that of a sibling that she had offended, became muddled. This was by only one exposure. The lesson had been taught in its entirety by a man who was an elder in the church. Our daughter did not return to the class. Already we had begun a process which eventually led to the curriculum being removed after only one quarter's use. It was in this struggle that I ran into the "new church management system" and sensed that something was truly out of order.

One conclusion I verbalized when I took my concerns about the impact of the curriculum to the pastor was that children who went through this type of teaching would not be prepared for the realities of the real world when they had any need to stand alone on the basis of God's Word and His truth. That did not seem to be understandable to him. I now know that he was being trained to help bring about The Global Church, not that he would have known that. It has been the result of the fact that "Ideas Have Consequences." 

Pragmatic thinking, positive thinking, consensus thinking leading toward groupthink can seem acceptable when introduced gradually.

There is a great attraction toward doing whatever might seem to help reach people for Christ, not realizing that in the end what you have is a muddle and a mess. People who will not be in alignment are told they are free to go find a church that suits "their preferences." The concept of seeking to live out biblical truth in this age of so many seductive concepts supported by so many widely known and respected individuals and organizations is a threat to the management system. Simply asking for a clear definition of words and concepts has become a threat. Wanting to know and understand the historical background of writers and speakers may be considered divisive.

Early on, at least up to 30 years ago, some pastors and church consultants were teaching or being taught how to identify resistors and neutralize their influence. Often times this can be done in what looks like graciousness.

The right side of "An Attitude Check for Your Church" (in The Global Church) expresses what Group Publishing feels we must move towards. 

Thank you for sending this important information, Susan. I hope many read it. Some of the same strategies for change are described in Brave New Schools, Chapter 3- A New Way of Thinking.


From Peter Toth:  As I drive back and forth to my work assignments, I periodically tune across the radio dial in search of Christian programming, in hope of spending the time more profitably.  I tuned in to a program on 1300 AM, WNQM Nashville at 8:15 a.m. on Friday, June 8th.  It began with an orchestral rendition of the "Hallelujah Chorus" - accompanied by gunfire.  The announcer said that today we would discuss "the worship wars". 

Slowly, the music and gunfire faded out, to be replaced by a fade in of a contemporary Christian "worship song" of the pop - rock genre.  The hosts of the show began by talking about the trend that is "sweeping the nation" and "spontaneously appearing" in the churches - true worship in "spirit and truth".  They warned with a strident tone of voice that "if your church resists this change, it is doomed to die" because "people are going to go wherever they can have this kind of worship". 

They quoted Psalm 33:3 as the justification for rock music in the church "……play skillfully with a loud noise". ( just how many decibels could David generate with his acoustic instrument?)  And they talked about the relatively new phenomenon of dance in the church, once again justified by scripture, II Samuel 6, where "David leaped and danced before the LORD". (I'm not sure how to make the connection between this and the worship service…) 

But that was just the beginning of this theological flight - of -fancy!  They pointed out how Michal "despised" David because of his dancing, and was barren the rest of her life.  Their theory was that David no longer "went in" to Michal, (I couldn't find this in scripture) therefore she had no children. This was because of the criticism of his dancing.  Then they made the parallel of Michal being a king's daughter, as the Church is The King's daughter, and the same thing will happen to the church that despises these worship practices.

Wow!  Where do they come up with this wacko theology?  Don't they even think through the implications of their comments….. wouldn't this mean the returning Christ would be marrying His sister?  It's not just wacko - it's Blasphemy.  They continued to talk about worship, and how worship is "intimacy with God, like a marriage, and this intimacy leads to new births….. converts in your church". ( where can we find this in the Scripture?)

"So, if your church is not seeing converts and baptisms, the worship is the problem".  But, they waxed optimistic, because the "restoration of the temple" was happening (no explanation of this terminology given) and soon people with the unused gift of dancing  (which our old fashioned churches have deprived them of using) will soon be celebrating in the worship services.  

So, it appears I tuned into a broadcast from a remote cult somewhere?  No, it was a little closer to home - the program is "Centerpoint", a ministry of Central Baptist Church in Hixson (Chattanooga) TN.

This jogged my memory and I went back in my work notebook to May 1 of this year, when I heard a similar broadcast, and took a few notes then.  Back then, I DID think I had tuned in to a mysterious cult.  Evidently, it was a different episode of this same series.  There were 2 hosts that played off each other.  Often, their tone of voice was emotional, to the point of "whining" questions like "why should a man with the gift of drumming be denied the opportunity of using it in a worship service?" or "you raise your arms to greet someone you haven't seen in a long time, why not raise your hands to Jesus?" 

The tone of voice changed to that which someone has aptly called the "grace in your face" attitude, as the hosts informed us this is all part of the "last days restoration of all things". (said quickly, then the subject changed) 

One thing that piqued my interest at this point is the statement by one host - "Pastor Rick White says the first century church 'owned' the arts".  And the other host responded in a mocking voice - "and the church of the 50's recoiled from it in fear". 

The ridicule continued as one host told of an experience in a church (I suppose as a guest speaker) where he was interviewing people in the congregation.  He asked people various questions about what is acceptable practice in a worship service.  "Is raising hands OK? …yes", "Is clapping OK?……yes", "Is dancing?……no". 

The other host laughed and said "was that a Baptist church?"  The first host laughed and said "no, it was a Church of God!" (both laughing at this point, really cracked each other up…)  They also speak in hurt tones that anybody would challenge these worship "preferences".  There was also an evident note of pride when they said their church has 2 services with 2000 people and a TV audience of millions.

As, I suspected, this church is on the roster of the Willow Creek Association.

I believe my righteous anger is justified not only because of their twisting of God's word to suit their own theology, but also because of the ridicule of their brothers and sisters in Christ.

 When I came to Christ, I was fascinated with the history of Baptists, going back to the early Anabaptists.  Up to this point, I had wrongly conceived of them as "Protestants".  I began to learn of the fight to preserve the simple truth of God's word over the ages.  As our Neo - Pentecostal radio hosts put it, there is truly a "worship war" going on in the Baptist church. 

But, contrary to their theories, I believe they are the ones that started the conflict to achieve their own agenda.  And contrary to Baptist practice all through history, theirs is an agenda mostly hidden, except to a few leaders in each church.  What appears to be self-deprecating humor in these programs ceases to be funny when you realize these men are only "Baptists" in name.  In reality it is ridicule for those who will not bow to their "vision" of how worship should be done.  Perhaps churches like First Baptist of Franklin is going the right direction by putting "The People's Church" on the sign.  Now, if they will only drop "Baptist" from the sign, we would all be better off.

From Fabienne: I read the feedback you've received on several of the topics you address in your articles. The large number of negative responses was (sadly) not a surprise. That doesn't, however, stop me from wanting to weep for all those folk who are (some of them willfully) blind to the truth, and so much on the defensive about it.

We've just returned from a visit home to Australia, where our eldest son was married to a lovely Christian girl. After the wedding we spent over two weeks visiting friends, including our church, and boy, were our eyes further opened as to the state of our country! You can see what is happening in your own country quite clearly -- well, in Australia they're a lot further along that way! And the church is for the most part happily tagging along...

It's heart-breaking to find so many of our friends happily accepting the vain philosophies and deceits of the world and pretty much dismissing as irrelevant the Scriptures that warn against them ("Yes, but.."). Sin, though not entirely condoned, is nonetheless excused lest one be considered "judgmental" and "unloving". We thank God that some of our friends are still wide awake and standing firm in the faith, but it's frightening to find that the strongest criticism against them ("They are divisive, intolerant, unloving...") comes from other Christians.

One of the things I find very disturbing, both in our visit home and in the feedback to your website, is the assumption held by so many believers that if something (movie, book, game, etc) promotes "good values" (often defined broadly as "being nice to each other"), then it's godly and should be promoted. As one of your correspondents pointed out, this would not happen if believers read the Bible faithfully. The terrible fact is that very few do read or study the Bible. Even "Bible studies" are all too often the study, not of God's Word, but of people's opinions.

Thank you very much for all the time and effort you've put into your website -- may God bless you and this ministry He has given you, and may it wake people up!


From Ian Nott, Australia:  Dear brothers and sisters, and Leaders of the Church. 

Many Christians in Australia are now starting to become aware that a twin  bill called "The Racial and Religious Tolerance Bill" and "The Model Bill"  have recently been written and tabled on 14th December in the Victorian state  Parliament. And is due to being put up for voting on 1 March 2001. 

I AM FINDING THAT OTHERS ARE AS DISTURBED AS I AM ABOUT IT and have written  to members of parliament about it already. BUT MANY HAVE STILL HEARD NOTHING  OR VERY LITTLE ABOUT IT, and others who have, are not doing anything about  it because they don't realise the SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR THE CHURCH IN OUR  STATE AND NATION AT THIS VERY HOUR. 

This bill has some good things in it and, on the surface, it is a desirable  bill because it purports to defend the rights of all kinds of minority  groups. It purports to reduce discrimination against ethnic and religious  groups, but also against those of homosexual bias.

But in reality it is so  shocking, that if passed, will enact insidious laws which would have the  potential to make it illegal for Christians to evangelize. Christians could  then be tried, prosecuted to the tune of $6,000, or even jailed for 6 months  if convicted of making a statement that could be construed by a disaffected  person as "intolerance" and offensive to their rights and beliefs.  To say for example, "Jesus is the only way to God", could end a servant of  the Lord in jail.  

America is moving in the same direction, Ian. See Conforming the Church to the New Millennium and Clinton's War on Hate Bans Christian Values

We believe that this bill is aimed at silencing all Christian churches from evangelizing, and at muzzling the church from  speaking against homosexuality and other godless practices in our society.  The bill even makes provision for a third party listening in to a  conversation between two people, to file a complaint or bring a charge if he  takes offence at what is said, or construes it as discrimination or  vilification. This can even happen in the privacy of your own home.

If a  Christian (or any other person) is charged, the attitude taken by the courts  on these matters of so called s."

This was before the bill was tabled on  14th Dec 2000.  The associate rang Ps Danny in a panic. So he was on the  lookout for bills open for discussion and found "The Racial and Religious  Tolerance Bill" and "Model Bill". It is because Christians are uniting to  pray that this has been exposed.

Many believe that God has given us a  warning and a wake up call through this man's dream. Irrespective, now is  the time to act. The time is short. The matter is urgent. I do not believe I, and others like me, here, are over-reacting.

 People have said, "It would  never happen here!" Not so! My concern is becoming very great, because I am  finding that as I talk with others, that many Christians still do not know  about this. Some pastors I have spoken to are aware of this and are doing  all they can to get their people to pray and to write letters to parliament,  while others have taken this whole situation as matter of fact, and seem too  busy to do much about this. Some have not even bothered to urge their people  to pray and write. Others have merely added a small note in their church  bulletin, but have not stressed the urgency of this very hour.

We are yet  given a small window of time to close the flood gates of the enemy. If the  pastor is busy, he needs to delegate the matter to a responsible church  member who can catch the cry of our Lord's heart to stir up the Christians  to be "proactive".  YOUR FUTURE AS A LOCAL CHURCH IS BEING THREATENED! IT IS  THAT SERIOUS.

Please help oppose this bill and inform the members of your Congregation,  and as many Christians as possible of other denominations, about this urgent  matter. Encourage them to:- 

1: Pray

2 Write letters of objection to the Opposition Leader, Mr Dennis Napthine;  the Shadow Attorney General, Mr Robert Dean; the Premier, Mr Steve Bracks;  the Vic Attorney General, Bob Hulls; as well as to their local member.

At  least the Vic State government has invited comment from the public. I'm sure  the gay community are taking advantage of this opportunity to write and  express their views.

If you are an overseas Christian citizen reading my  plea in this letter, would you also pray and write a letter of concern, on the behalf  of Christian brothers and sisters in Australia, to Victorian members of  parliament.  If the domino falls here, in Australia, who will be next? All Christians  need to be awakened and encouraged to express their views about this evil  bill. The situation looks serious.

No letters will be accepted after 28 Feb  01.  The Victorian Labor government is taking the approach of accepting this  bill. They seem set on pushing it through. As far as I am aware, the  position the shadow cabinet of Liberals are taking on this bill is  undecided.I met personally with the Shadow Atty Gen, Mr Robert Dean last  week. He seems somewhat sympathetic to the Christian position.

The Liberals  have sufficient numbers in the upper house to vote against and thus defeat  this bill. WE MUST IMPRESS IT ON THE   LIBERALS TO OPPOSE IT. When you  encourage people to write, get them to use their own wording, in their own  handwriting, but not to mention their church. It carries more weight to  write as an individual. One letter from an individual is worth 100  signatures, and stands for about 1,000 silent individuals in society in the  mind of politicians. 

Get letter writers to head their letter with, "Racial  and Religious Tolerance Discussion Paper", and "for the urgent and personal  attention of...", because, often, only their secretary reads those letters.  Encourage people to ask for a reply. But encourage them to get started ASAP  with their letters. Encourage them to be tactful in their wording. Please  photocopy, and Email this letter and the enclosed info and pass it around,  esp to other fired up and key people, who in turn will also spread this. But  do it quickly.


Thank you for joining the fight and for passing on the word to other key  people across Victoria, Australia, USA, Canada and the world. There is no  time to "temporarily put this matter on the shelf ". Let's create a tidal  wave of letters to the gov't and shadow cabinet members. Names, addresses  and Email addresses of members of Vic State parliament can be obtained at: You can also Email your concern to or fax to 61 (03) 9650 7245. 

Yours Faithfully, in the cause of the Gospel of Christ, 

Ian Nott, Concerned Christian  

From Dan Compton: It is good to read articles on subjects that I spoke out about in the early 80's.  No one would listen to me.  They said that I was crazy or the devil was in my mind.

The so called "New Movements of God", in my opinion, go totally against Biblical principles.  The "name it claim it crowd" have strayed away from the teachings of Christ.  I started speaking out about this. I was told "touch not the anointed of God".  I wouldn't touch them with  a ten foot pole. They have turned Jesus into a "multi-billion dollar industry".  I am sure Jesus is getting a royalty off all that cash that is floating  around. 

Now the kicker, I do not believe in your faith any longer. I will    not blame anyone or pass judgment. I know that I am comfortable with my belief  system. What was preached against, when I was a child, I see the church going in that direction.   

I think your articles are from your heart. I do believe that our individual rights as citizens are being eroded day by day.  I respect your beliefs.  The only difference between your God and mine is that, your God says that I will go to hell for not believing your belief. 

I would like to make one more comment. “If God is all powerful and owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He must be broke having to ask for all that money."  This is what I believe in my heart.  That the "eye of the needle" looks mighty small. I write with love and compassion.  The "Big Money" issue concerns me. The people who get hurt the most and are the most sought after, are the folks who can't afford to be invited as a  "Partner with the Fellowship." 

I so appreciate your honesty and sincerity. It must have been so painful to discern the changes and try to communicate with people who mocked your message. But it's very similar to what happened to Old Testament prophets. God sent them out to speak to people who were "deaf and couldn't hear" and spiritually "blind" and couldn't see. 

Today it is a little easier because we have so much evidence. But now its too late to stop the transformation. If people had listened when you first spoke out, truth and freedom might have been preserved in our land for many more years. 

But then again, perhaps we as a nation need the hardships ahead. They might cause us to focus on what really counts rather than all the superficial and immoral distractions -- both inside and outside churches.

In the midst of today's call for pride and self-esteem, we need brokenness. That's the only way back to the cross and to Christ's victory over sin.

Did you see this chart? It complements some of your message: Biblical versus Cultural Christianity

From Carolyn: We thought that  we would visit certain churches for awhile, prayerfully and carefully considering all we heard/saw before really 'committing' to a group.  The first group reassured us of their 'non-ecumenical' beliefs, etc. and sounded very balanced after 6 months of checking them out.  Then there was a sudden 'about-face'.  They started joining in 'ecumenical services.' "We'll get in 5 minutes of truth with those 55 minutes of un-truth" is what our Pastor actually said.  

And then the Habitat thing occurred when the new Associate pastor was appointed (with no one's know how that goes.)  So we kept appealing to them but to no avail. Then we tried to quietly 'back out' of there.  But they 'came after us' and keep doing so, trying to 'prove their point and force us to agree. They seemed to be driven to do so.   I understand that better after reading your  "Faith-Based Compromise?" article yesterday.  They are driven to make you fit into their mould--their community/civil society goals--it's their religion (and it's not yours and mine). 

That last point is so important, Carolyn. Thank you for making it clear.

And with the second group--we never "joined"--just kept observing.  They 'talked good' once more, but then we found out how 'psychologized' they were.  So we tried once more to 'quietly back out'-- disappear. Haha - there came the cavalry after us again!  Push, push, argue, argue, trying to 'force us' to agree with pressure.  

Whew!  I know the times we're living in--He's at the door. But you've helped me understand these people's 'mind-set' better.  They are getting stronger with their one-world religion and they're getting more control over everybody else-- so 'full of themselves'. (2Tim.3:2)

I just wanted to explain that we aren't 'big trouble-makers'--going into churches, raising cain, trying to cause dissensions, etc.  We are (all the time) just finding out more about the deceitful things being taught and done in His name.  We'd already been looking at the President's ideas like "a calf at a new gate"--due to your prior articles, we could see his ideas we dangerous.  


From Sherry Lee:  We left the Church of Christ several years ago after a hymn was sung about Mother Earth.  We were shocked.  The interesting thing is that nobody missed us for a year until it was our turn to serve as greeters.   We are now in a smaller church and our focus is on Him and His Word.

 I recently read in Reclaim News that maybe there should be a vote on whether members should be reading the Bible without supervision or something to that effect.  Have you heard anything about this?

Thank you, Sherry, for sharing my concerns.  I'm not sure, but I think you may be referring to this survey:   What do you think? I may write something about it as soon as I can find the results.

Second note from Sherry Lee:  This is part of the government controlled one-world church.  

What I was referring to was something I had read in Reclaim News put out by the Lutherans.  It looks to me as if they are moving back toward Catholicism.  I deleted all my delete files and cannot get it back.  It was about their voting, new appointments, and whether members should be reading their Bibles without guidance, assistance, or something like that.  It was a shock.

I cannot believe the churches would be willing to participate in any government programs.  In fact, maybe they should refrain from 501 c3 status.  Christians are sleeping in their churches.  They are putting their man-made religions before their faith in God and knowing His Word.

From Susan:  Thank you for your postings.  I am writing today to list some areas of concern about recent studies relating to, among other things, discipleship.  I can back up what I say, some of which began intuitively, however this morning I will just list some items with brief comments.  I may be quite blunt.

1.  George Barna's surveys, books, materials, and conferences are on track with and back up what is currently happening in the church growth and church health movements.  Therefore I no longer trust his conclusions.  When I look a bit more into what he is saying, my conclusions would be different than his, based on my grid which has been influenced by doing time (14 years) in a church very subversively, at first, involved in the CGM, by attending a church (for the past 5 years)  which is more litely involved in the CGM (and focusing on a different aspect of the teachings), by interacting with Dean and Karen Gotcher (by phone, e-mail, conference), by doing extensive research over the past year to try to understand Dean's historical research and conclusions and what I have been living through in church, by interacting with various other people and research strands, and by reading my miscellaneous mail.

2.  Leadership Network (Bob Buford) has connection to the Hartford Seminary (Hartford Institute on Religious Studies) study which is releasing its result of an extensive study of religion in the United States.  This is an interfaith study.  Conclusions are drawn.  Most newspaper reports and most readers would assume (I did at first) that it is a study of "Christian" denominations.  It includes many different religions and faith-based groups.  Its conclusions are not connected to the actual beliefs of the groups, but only on measurable structures, etc.  But then CGM ideology is not dependent on Biblical truth but on pragmatic, utilitarian secular social science theory and practice.

This study has much information linked from the Hartford Institute website.  I have only scratched the surface.

3.  Robert Wood Johnson Foundations recent $100 million dollar program to help faith-based groups has strong leanings toward funding interfaith alliances.

4.  Reading recently about Ernesto Cortez, Saul Alinsky,  and community networking along with Liberation Theology and Christian Relief and Development, is alarming.  Different words, but similar concepts, constructs, methodologies.  "All truth is God's truth."  "The end justifies the means." 

5.  Discipleship within these movements is measurable, planned, reductionistic, and most likely will be documented on computer-based forms.  This may not be apparent at first, but that seems to be the direction in which things are moving.  It reminds me of the requirements for belonging to the International Church of Christ (at least in Atlanta and Los Angeles, and I think in Boston).  Kip McKean, originally with the Boston Church of Christ, has been with the LA branch since its inception in 1989.

 6.  Recent viewing of documents on-line at websites of various organizations is raising more questions in my mind about the widespread nature and historical roots of the theory behind "discipleship" programs, saturation evangelism and church growth.  DAWN Ministries came out of a saturation evangelism and church planting effort in the Philippines in 1971 and 1972.  The manuals from that effort are at Wheaton College  Billy Graham Center Archives <Records of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization-Collection 46.>  The infrastructures of other organizations were used to help "Disciple a Whole Nation."  These included Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth With a Mission, Operation Mobilization, and Overseas Crusades ( Jim Montgomery,  <DAWN 2000:  7 Million Churches to Go>).

Campus Crusade for Christ Korea has documents dealing with their strategies in 1974 (remember EXPLO '74).   Church Growth experts from Fuller Theological Seminary were among the speakers.  And Paul (David) Yonggi Cho was already involved with them.  What was involved in the explosive growth of his church?  Why ought all churches want to emulate that growth?

7.  I lived outside the United States back in the 1970s and was doing missions work.  I was not aware of all the interconnectedness of leaders at the top or of the extensive strategizing and managing by objective that was going on.  I am beginning to ask if I was simply "an useful idiot."  I do know that God is sovereign and I was blessed to be able to live and work among the people there.

From Lynda Heystek (South Africa): I found your web site by accident (or divine intervention) and I'm so excited, as the Lord reminded me this week of a word spoken over me almosy 20 years ago concerning me being akin to the Ezek 33 watchman. I live in South Africa, and there has been an incredible move of the Holy Spirit for the past 20 years, sadly, as fast as the gospel is reaching the lost, so is all forms of new age globalism being embraced by our supposedly "democratic' government.

Our New president [Thabo Mbeki, who replaced Nelson Mandela] openly slammed the only political leader who bases every statement and decision on the Word of God, it's sad, but where sin is, grace abounds more. I feel the true christians in this land ( and we are many) could possibly face some heavy persecution in the near future, regardless of what impression the media may put out on South Africa, we are now ruled by an ungodly communist secular party.

Have you heard of the African Christian Democratic party? We have 6 seats in parliament, and getting them was nothing short of miraculous, the leader is Pastor Kenneth Meshoe, a humble, yet mighty man of God. If you are interested, I get a lot of email from the local office and I can forward you the interesting items.

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