Mark Keilar talks about Charles Finney.
Video Part 1
Video Part 2
We received this week our latest issue of Missions Mosaic, the magazine printed by the SBC for the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU). I routinely screen anything coming to our church.
The red flags appeared when I saw an article entitled “Reclaim Meditation”.
Participants will “journey” through the labyrinth guided by a CD that soars with provocative, devotional narration set against a worshipful music backdrop. Eleven stations on their journey will lead them to “let go” of busyness, hurt and distractions that can spoil relationships, “center” their lives on God and spend time with him, and reach out to the world with Christ’s love.
That doesn’t sound too bad does it? Of course not! They are trying to sell it to the millions of people who call themselves “Christian” but that don’t know what they believe.
Examine the following link for an online version of Labyrinth Walking. The first station has a few Bible verses (from The Message) but then they start twisting the Scripture verses. Then by the second station even the Scripture verses are lacking. The music and voice are hypnotic and then watching the moving pictures add to the hypnotic effect. I could not watch and listen to the whole thing. Honestly, it gives me the creeps! I can understand the warning at the beginning for safety.
Online Labyrinth This is very strange and New Age!
Before proceeding please read the following safety instructions.
Mystic occultist, Neale Donald Walsch, made his cash and his fame by claiming to have had mystical encounters with a voice he calls “God”. His Conversations with God series was wildly popular for years, and he still travels the world claiming that there is no hell, that even Hitler is in heaven, because all, in the end is love…except, that is, if you are a fundamentalist. They, you see, go straight to hell.
Now Walsch is making headlines as a plagiarist after ripping off an essay this Christmas about, what else, “love”. The cool thing about being a mystical New Ager is that you can always claim you are “mystified” as to how it happened….
Except for a different first paragraph in which Mr. Walsch wrote that he could “vividly remember” the incident, his Dec. 28 Beliefnet post followed, virtually verbatim, Ms. Chand’s previously published writing, even down to prosaic details like “The morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down.”
And in his own words – To my readers on this blogsite…
All I can say now — because I am truly mystified and taken aback by this — is that someone must have sent it to me over the internet ten years or so ago. Finding it utterly charming and its message indelible, I must have clipped and pasted it into my file of “stories to tell that have a message I want to share.” I have told the story verbally so many times over the years that I had it memorized…and then, somewhere along the way, internalized it as my own experience. I am aghast at how improbable this sounds, even to me, yet I can find no other explanation for how this story came out of my mouth in Candy Chand’s words.
Then follows lots of comments by Neale Donald Walsch fans that what he did doesn’t really matter and they are all part of the “Cosmic Conscience” anyway.
Wonder how many of his other materials are plagiarized?
Many people quote C.S. Lewis and I have learned much from reading his materials and books, such as Mere Christianity. However, I greatly disagree with much of his material. One specific instance is in his book The Last Battle, from the Chronicles of Narnia series. In the chapter “Farther Up, and Further In“, Emeth, a young Calormene who has worshipped and served Tash, the false god, all his life meets Aslan, the true god.
“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honor) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him.”…
“But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me….”
“Therefore, if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. …”
In the book Prince Caspian, the travelers arrive at a girls school.
“… their hair done very tight and ugly tight collars round their necks and thick tickly stockings on their legs, …
But upon seeing the lion Aslan, Miss Prizzle (the teacher)
… screamed and fled, and with her fled her class, who were mostly dumpy, prim little girls with fat legs. Gwendolen hesitated.
“You’ll stay with us, sweetheart?” said Aslan.
“Oh, may I? Thank you, thank you,” said Gwendolen. Instantly she joined hands with two of the Maenads, who whirled her round in a merry dance and helped her take off some of the unnecessary and uncomfortable clothes that she was wearing.
Don’t think that is so bad? Who were the Maenads?
In Greek mythology, maenads were the female followers of Dionysus [Bacchus], often portrayed as inspired by him into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of dancing and drunken intoxication. In this state, they would lose all self control, begin shouting excitedly, engage in uncontrolled sexual behavior, and ritualistically hunt down and tear animals (and sometimes men and children) to pieces, devouring the raw flesh.
Dionysus aka Bacchus, Bromios, etc
The crowd and the dance round Aslan (for it had become a dance once more) grew so thick and rapid that Lucy was confused. She never saw where certain other people came from who were soon capering among the trees. One was a youth, dressed only in a fawn-skin, with vine-leaves wreathed in his curly hair. His face would have been almost too pretty for a boy’s, if it had not looked so extremely wild. You felt, as Edmund said when he saw him a few days later, ‘There’s a chap who might do anything — absolutely anything.’ He seemed to have a great many names — Bromios, Bassareus, and the Ram, were three of them. There were a lot of girls with him, as wild as he. There was even, unexpectedly, someone on a donkey. And everybody was laughing: and everybody was shouting out, “Euan, euan, eu-oi-oi-oi.
… One saw sticky and stained fingers everywhere, and, though mouths were full the laughter never ceased nor the yodeling cries of Euan, euan, eu-oi-oi-oi-oi, till all of a sudden everyone felt at the same moment that the game (whatever it was), and the feast, ought to be over, and everyone flopped down breathless on the ground and turned his face to Aslan to hear what he would say next.
At that moment the sun was just rising and Lucy remembered something and whispered to Susan,
“I say, Su, I know who they are.”
“The boy with the wild face is Bacchus and the old one on the donkey is Silenus. Don’t you remember Mr. Tumnus telling us about them long ago?”
“Yes, of course. But I say Lu —-”
“I wouldn’t have felt very safe with Bacchus and all his wild girls if we’d met them without Aslan.”
“I should think not,’ Said Lucy.
I’ll leave you to research Bacchus (Dionysus), maenads, and Silenus more. Because I could find no discrete way to explain them. I would never want my children to look them up in the Encyclopedia or Wikipedia. They are that bad!
AWAKENING NARNIA WITH BACCHANALIAN FEASTS by Berit Kjos.
Lighthouse Trails has a lengthy post about the book series Twilight and the subsequent movie. I have noticed that several “Christian” sites have recommended the series for teens due to the supposed good qualities of the books.
The church and Christians are being deceived by many new-age occult philosophies and are promoting them as compatible with “Christian” ideals. To name just a few: The Secret came out in 2006, A Course in Miracles and the movie The Golden Compass in 2007. The seventh book in the Harry Potter series was released in 2007. In 2008, there was The Shack and the Oprah Winfrey endorsed book The New Earth.
Simultaneously, in 2006 a teenage phenomenon began gaining incredible momentum–a demonically-inspired series of vampire romance, which surprisingly has hoodwinked Christian youth who are confusing God’s love with sensual, romantic lust and His Word with occult philosophy. As Twilight lulls the spiritually asleep into a darker 2009, the church needs to wake up to the supernatural dangers these compromises pose.
The article then lists several favorable reviews from “Christian” resources including:
And can it get worse? The following quotes are from a Christian teen magazine, Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith, a subsidiary of Christianity Today, Stacey Lingle (after reading the series) writes in her article, “What Shines in Twilight“: Looking at four key ideas of the vampire saga that stand out for Christ followers. “What do these books say about God, about life, and about love? In over 2,300 pages of reading, there’s a lot to digest. What are the key ideas and attitudes in the Twilight saga? A few stood out to me as a Christian.”
A part of the post includes this information about the music that inspired the author Stephenie Meyer. Shouldn’t this in itself be enough to be a concern to others.
Meyer, a Mormon mother of three, states that some of her inspiration in writing her vampire saga came from a band of musicians called Marjorie Fair. “For New Moon, they were absolutely essential. They can put you into a suicidal state faster than anything I know . . . Their songs really made it beautiful for me.” Also an inspiration for one of her characters was a band called My Chemical Romance. She states, “It’s someone . . . who just wants to go out and blow things up.“
Rick Warren – “I dare you to try trusting Jesus for 60 days. Or your money guaranteed back.”
You cannot try Jesus! Jesus is not a product to be sold with a money back guarantee! Our churches are full of people trying out Jesus to see if He works. Then they leave to try the next thing down the road.
What Pastor Warren responded with to some of host’s Allan Colmes simple yet important questions was not the biblical gospel of salvation or even a reasonable defense of the gospel.
One of his responses? “Try Jesus…?” As Colmes sarcastically quipped in response: “Like the book of the month club…”
Just Sunday morning I sat through a service that included the statement:
“With every eye closed and every head bowed – no one is going to be looking around; raise your hand if ….”
I’m still looking for that verse or even concept in my Bible. Maybe I don’t have the same version they have?
Does this happen in Denominations other than Baptist or is this specifically a Baptist idea?
Paul Washer’s DEEPER Living Waters Conference October 10, 2008 Session
Paul Washer speaks against the misuse of Scripture in the understanding of salvation.
“The Shack” as referred to in the post Why is God Referred to as Male?, is reviewed at Steve Camp’s site in THE SHACK REVIEW…a call to discernment. My husband said just last night that “The Shack” was still on the first page of the CBD catalog, it has been for months.
For more information on “The Shack” see:
The shack is still listed as the number one seller on Christianbook.com. I do not understand why so many “Christians” are busy reading this book and yet don’t have time to read their Bible.
Almost eight months after my review of The Shack I continue to get daily emails about it. This is proof, I suppose, of the book’s continued success. I do not know if the novel’s popularity has peaked yet but can see that it is still at the top of its category on many of the bestseller lists. The emails I receive typically fit into one of two categories: the “thanks for the review” category or the “how dare you?” category. Today I want to address just two of the more common critiques of my critique of the book.
Here is how one reader expressed herself: “Hello Tim. I read your review after I had already read The Shack and I think your review is ridiculous. Your review reminds me of exactly why ‘stodgy old religion’ is so unappealing to masses of people. …
Here are more links to information about The Shack.
After listening to the audio interview below and more critically perusing through this book, I am led to think that the author of this book holds to some type of “Christian universalism”, i.e., a person that believes that all people eventually will be saved through Jesus Christ even though they never repented and believed in
Christ in this earthly life.
On page 145-146 we find, “Mack was surprised. ‘How could that be? Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me?'” “Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship. I don’t want slaves to my will; I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.” We have to ask. Is there any place in Scripture where God expresses a desire to be submitted to an individual human being? Nope. But, we have the incarnation of Christ where Jesus was made under the law (Gal. 4:4) and was therefore in subjection to his earthly parents. But, this is due to the incarnation and was part of the process of the atonement. Where in Scripture do we find God desiring his submission to individuals? I know of no reference. If anything, we the creatures are to be in subjection to the Holy and Majestic God of the universe, not the other way around. I found this to be a reduction of God’s glory and an elevation of man’s stature — something false religious systems do.
The Shack by William P. Young
The Shack is a book I had planned to just ignore, as just one more thing that needed to be trashed (or bulldozed). I had heard several critical comments and had glanced at them but was not really interested in dealing with it. Then in the course of a week, I have been made aware that a previous acquaintance has a blog with bragging about how life changing the book was to him. Then I saw another website of young moms that were thrilled about how great the book was. It was beginning to sound like the hype about A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Then CBD (Christian Books Distributors) were pushing the book on their website as a top seller. So I had to research the book in order to be able to give a good answer if questioned.
The Characters in The Shack are:
Mack is a father grieving the murder of his daughter years before.
Papa reminds me of Aunt Jemima or Mammy, an older African- American woman, who in the end becomes a pony-tailed, grey-haired man.
Jesus is a young man of Middle – Eastern nationality.
The Holy Spirit is Sarayu, a small, Asian woman.
The following quotes are from:
“A question worth asking is this one: does The Shack point Christians to the unfailing standard of Scripture or does it point them to new and fresh revelation?”
“Though the cross is central to the Bible and central to the Christian faith, it appears only sparingly in The Shack. A person who is unfamiliar with the Christian faith will not be able to glean from this book a biblical understanding of what the cross was for and what Jesus’ death accomplished. Nor will he understand how God saves us and what He saves us from.”
“In fact, God does not need to punish sin at all, says Papa. “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it”” (120). “Those who love me come from every stream that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions”” (182).
“Jesus says to Mack, “I am the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.” Jesus does not say, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” as he does in John 14:6, but merely states that He is the best way.” “The book presents less than the full gospel message. It teaches that God died for the sins of the whole world and that He now waits for us to respond to this potential gift. It teaches that God does not punish sin, but that sin is sufficient punishment in itself. It opens the possibility that people can come to God in ways other than a saving faith in Jesus Christ.”
“Quoting Buckminster Fuller, a Unitarian-Universalist who wrote a book entitled I Am a Verb, he has Papa say, “I am a verb. I am that I am. I will be who I will be. I am a verb! I am alive, dynamic, ever active, and moving. I am verb” (204).”
“… in The Shack we find a man who stands in the very presence of God and uses foul language …This is not a man who is in the presence of One who is far superior to Him, but a man who is in the presence of a peer.”
“But this is not all. The discerning reader will note as well that the author muddies the concepts of forgiveness and free will. He introduces teaching that is entirely foreign to the Bible, often stating with certainty what is merely speculative. He oversteps the bounds of Scripture while downplaying the Bible’s importance. He relies too little on Scripture and too much on his own theological imaginings.”
“In The Shack ‘god’ the father is an African American WOMAN called Papa (a goddess!), ‘god’ the son is a plain looking Middle Eastern man with a big nose and ‘god’ the spirit is a small, delicate little Asian girl (another goddess!). The Shack also teaches the heresy of modalism and is chock full of other serious doctrinal errors.”
“That seems to be the aim of The Shack’s female “God.” Here she is speaking to the main character, Mackenzie (Mack for short):
“For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.”[p.93]”
“No one has seen God at any time,” said the true Jesus. (John 1:18) Yet, here we see all three in human form — on earth! “God” explains:
“‘By nature I am completely unlimited… I live in a state of perpetual satisfaction as my normal state of existence:’ she said, quite pleased. ‘Just one of the perks of Me being Me.’ “That made Mack smile. This lady was fully enjoying herself… “We created you to share in that. But then Adam chose to go it on his own, as we knew he would, and everything got messed up. But instead of scrapping the whole Creation we rolled up our sleeves and entered into the middle of the mess—that’s what we have done in Jesus…. When we three spoke ourself into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed. …flesh and blood.”[p.98-99]”
“In this new story, sin no longer separates unholy people from our holy God. It fits right into postmodern churches that ignore Biblical commands such as “Do not be conformed to the world” and “Abhor evil” (Romans 12:2,9). Chipping away at the reality of sin, guilt and God’s just judgments, this transformational process undermines any real understanding of our need for discernment, repentance or the cross. Even God’s amazing grace becomes meaningless!”
The actual discussion of The Shack starts around 30 minutes into the audio so you can skip ahead if you want then it ends abruptly at 45 minutes.
Please read this book with much discernment and “be Berean” and compare it to the scriptures.
Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the
Thessalonians,for they received the message with great eagerness and examined
the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” NIV
Eve was the one deceived and we as women will often let our emotions rule our beliefs. Just because something appeals to our emotions does not make it worthy. Fiction either reveals the truths of the Bible and lines up totally with the Bible or it takes away from or adds to the Scripture and teaches falsehoods.
“In one of his first encounters with Papa, “Mack noticed the scars in her wrists, like those he now assumed Jesus also had on his” (95). Note that these scars were present on the wrists of the Father and not just the Son.”