Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Science In The Bible

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Is there any science in the Bible? Or, is the Bible scientifically illiterate, misleading people into thinking the Earth is flat?

Dr. Jobe MartinAn academic who once held that the Bible was just not worth reading by any intelligent person was Dr. Jobe Martin, former dentist, professor and Evolutionist. Having clearly seen God's eternal power and divine nature from what has been made (Rom. 1:20), Dr. Martin came to faith in Jesus Christ and a trust in the biblical account of the six days of Creation. He and his wife Jenna Dee have since formed Biblical Discipleship Ministries based in Rockwall, Texas to teach on campuses, classrooms and churches that we can trust the Bible's account of the Creation and Jesus as Savior.


What would you say is the greatest argument for the Bible's account of Creation?

I think the greatest argument for Special Creation is the Bible.

What does it say? If we call ourselves a Christian, we should look at the Bible and just take it for what it teaches about the Creation. Now, praise God, there's other evidences that come in, and there are huge weaknesses with the Evolution side of thing, though we are never taught what those things are.

Some think that we can't go to the Bible to find anything that is scientific, but the Bible is in part a science book. When it deals with things that have to deal with science, it is not exhaustive in that it doesn't tell us everything, but what it does tell us is true.

For instance, the Bible tells us that God made the heavens and the Earth and He did so within a six day week. Well, that is science. What do the Evolutionist say? Their science says it was billion of years. How can they say if we talk about days that's not science, but if they talk about billions of years that then is science? There's a contradiction there.

The Bible is full of revelations that science discovered later on. For example, some people would say that anybody who believes in a Special Creation in six days probably also believes in a flat Earth. They always call us "Flat Earth People." But, the Bible teaches that the Earth is a circle in Isaiah 40:22a, "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth."

Then there is the hydraulic system is in the Bible. I mean, there is one scientific system after another that is revealed in the Bible.

Another that comes to my mind is what Paul says over in Romans 8:21, that all of creation is in bondage to decay. He wrote that in the First Century. It wasn't until what the Nineteenth Century that science discovered the Second Law of Thermo Dynamics which says the same thing. Paul said all kinds of things that we think today he shouldn't have known.

In 1 Corinthians 15:39, Paul says there are these different kinds of flesh. "All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another." They just discovered in my lifetime that at the cytoplasmic level of the cell there are basic different kinds of flesh. Two-thousand years ago God's apostle under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said there are different kinds of flesh.

And so, the Bible is thousands of years ahead of modern scientific discoveries.


Resources

The Evolution of a CreationistThe Evolution of a Creationist Book by Dr. Jobe Martin:
This fascinating book describes Dr. Jobe Martin's personal journey from an evolution-trained scientist to a Bible-believing creationist. Dr. Martin examines many of the claims and theories of prominent evolutionists, comparing their often incredible, inconsistent, pseudo-scientific explanations of origins to the clear and simple description of the Creation as depicted in the Bible.

Creation ProclaimsCreation Proclaims Video by Dr. Jobe Martin:
Come face-to-face with some of the world's most fascinating creatures! You'll discover how Creation proclaims the character, majesty, power and, glory of our Creator God. In each creature feature, you'll learn how God is reaching out to mankind by making Himself known in unmistakable ways.

God of WondersGod of Wonders Video by Eternal Productions:
A feature-length Discovery-quality documentary without the evolutionary bias. Stunning nature footage, scientific insights and Scriptures combine to reveal the wonders of our Creator as observed throughout His creation.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Billions Or Six

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Are Evolutionists correct in their claim that it has taken billions of years to make what exists today? Or, is the Bible correct in it's account that God made everything in six literal days? And, does believing in a six day Creation make one a moron?

Dr. Jobe MartinAn academic who once held to billions of years was Dr. Jobe Martin, former dentist, professor and Evolutionist. Having clearly seen God's eternal power and divine nature from what has been made (Rom. 1:20), Dr. Martin came to faith in Jesus Christ and a trust in the biblical account of the six days of Creation. He and his wife Jenna Dee have since formed Biblical Discipleship Ministries based in Rockwall, Texas to teach on campuses, classrooms and churches that we can trust the Bible's account of the Creation and Jesus as Savior.


How do you respond to people who say your belief that the Earth was created in six literal days about 6,000 years ago makes Christians look like morons, and who then claim that science has already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Earth is billions of years old?

I'd punch him in the nose! [chuckle] Well, that's what your flesh wants to do. The Spirit says to love them, so you love them.

It depends on how you want to come at it. If they say they are a Christian then I'll usually go back and the conversation will go somewhat like this:

Dr. Martin: "Okay, you say you are a Christian. Do you believe what the Bible says?"

Skeptic: "Of course I believe what the Bible says."

Dr. Martin: "Okay, well then, you say you don't believe in the Creation like the Bible describes it, you believe the way Evolution describes it?"

Skeptic: "Well, because science has proven it."

Dr. Martin: "Now, tell me, do you believe in Virgin Birth?"

Skeptic: "Of course I do."

Dr. Martin: "Well, you'd better, because if you don't believe in Virgin Birth then Jesus inherited an Adamic sin nature and He couldn't be the sinless lamb. But, I could prove with science that Virgin Birth does not happen in humans."

Skeptic: "Well, how?"

Dr. Martin: "We could lock up virgin young ladies for 9 months. Are they going to come out and have babies? No, absolutely not! So, we can do a scientific experiment that proves virgins don't have babies. But, you say you believe in Virgin Birth. Why?"

Skeptic: "Because the Bible says so."

Dr. Martin: "Do you believe in the Resurrection?"

Skeptic: "Well, of course I do."

Dr. Martin: "Well, you'd better, because if don't believe in the Resurrection then you are not going to Heaven. It is appointed. A man is supposed to confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart God raised Him for the dead. Romans 10:9 says that you will then be saved. So, resurrection is part of salvation.

I can prove Resurrection doesn't happen. Do you want to volunteer? (Nobody ever volunteers. I could shoot people dead, but unless the Rapture happens they're not going to come popping up.)

You believe in the Virgin Birth, you believe in the Resurrection, and we can prove with science that neither one of those are going to happen. But, you don't believe in Creation like the Bible describes it. And there is lots of science that really supports the Creation idea just like the Bible presents it.

And so, what is probably going on here is that you love the approval of men more than the approval of God (John 5:44; 12:43)."


Resources

The Evolution of a CreationistThe Evolution of a Creationist Book by Dr. Jobe Martin:
This fascinating book describes Dr. Jobe Martin's personal journey from an evolution-trained scientist to a Bible-believing creationist. Dr. Martin examines many of the claims and theories of prominent evolutionists, comparing their often incredible, inconsistent, pseudo-scientific explanations of origins to the clear and simple description of the Creation as depicted in the Bible.

Creation ProclaimsCreation Proclaims Video by Dr. Jobe Martin:
Come face-to-face with some of the world's most fascinating creatures! You'll discover how Creation proclaims the character, majesty, power and, glory of our Creator God. In each creature feature, you'll learn how God is reaching out to mankind by making Himself known in unmistakable ways.

God of WondersGod of Wonders Video by Eternal Productions:
A feature-length Discovery-quality documentary without the evolutionary bias. Stunning nature footage, scientific insights and Scriptures combine to reveal the wonders of our Creator as observed throughout His creation.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Evolution Of A Creationist

Nathan JonesWatch  MP3  PDFBy

With the elimination of the Creation account in Genesis and Jesus' Second Coming in Revelation, what's left in the middle of the Bible is a chewy center that critics quickly gnaw on and then use to spit up the faith of the milk-fed believer in Christ. Those great "crust ends" of the Bible are essential, though, in understanding who God truly is and where we fit into His plan for the ages. It is no wonder then that no two books in the Bible are more challenged, more derided and more written off by those in rebellion against God than Genesis and Revelation.

Dr. Jobe MartinOnce such skeptic was Dr. Jobe Martin, former dentist, professor and Evolutionist. Having clearly seen God's eternal power and divine nature from what has been made (Rom. 1:20), Dr. Martin came to faith in Christ. He and his wife Jenna Dee have since formed Biblical Discipleship Ministries based in Rockwall, Texas to teach on campuses, classrooms and churches that we can trust the Bible's account of the Creation and Jesus as Savior.

Dr. Martin was kind enough to share with us how he "evolved" from an Evolutionist to a Creationist.


Dr. Martin, did you originally believe in the biblical account of the Creation?

I sure didn't. Well, maybe I did, kind of, but I don't think so. I was raised in the church, though.

I went off to college at Bucknell University and majored in Biology and Music. By the time I got out of there, I was an Evolutionist. Then I went to dental school. When I got out of Dental School in 1966 I was an agnostic. Even though I had been raised in the church, I didn't know if God existed. I didn't say He didn't exist like an atheist would, though. I was looking into Zen Buddhism then. This was back in the 60's, the New Age hippy type of stuff which was so popular then. At that time I would have called myself an "Agnostic, Zen Buddhist, Evolutionist."

I became the dentist on President Johnson's flight crew on Air Force One while I was in the Air Force. While I was in basic training at Wichita Falls, Texas, I decided to say a prayer to the God of the Bible. Now, I didn't know if He was there, but I was just thinking "God of the Bible." So I said, "Okay, God, if you are up there, you have two choices. You can either show me the girl I am going to marry, or you are going to see the wildest Air Force officer you have ever seen!" Jenna Dee says God must have been shaking in His shoes... a joke, of course. But, that is the day I meet my wife and I knew I was going to marry her, and I did 41 years ago. I let Jenna Dee know that very next day. I told her I was going to marry her. I didn't ask her to marry me, I just told her I was going to marry her. Well, she didn't like that at first. And so, I decided that the God of the Bible must exist because the very day I prayed that prayer is the day I met Jenna Dee.

When I got to Washington D.C. I decided I had better go to church. I walked into the first church I came to, and on the way out the pastor shook my hand and said, "Captain, is there anything I can do that might help you spiritually?" Well I said, "Anything you can do will help me spiritually. I am at zero." I was raised in the church, never having read the Bible. According to the Barna Report, most people who call themselves Christians have never read the Bible all the way through even one time.

Anyway, he asked me to read the Bible, and we read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, though not all on the same morning. We got to John 3:16 and that is the verse God used to bring me into the family. "For God so loved the world." I was part of the world, and since He loved the world, I realized that God loves me. "He so loved the world that He gave only begotten Son." His name is Jesus. "That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And so, I put my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus.

Later on I was offered a job on the faculty at the Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. I gave my very first lecture on the evolution of the tooth. I was still an Evolutionist then. I went from being an "Agnostic, Zen Buddhist, Evolutionist" to being a Theistic Evolutionist. I still had God, but I still held onto the Big Bang and billions of years.

After I give this lecture on how fish scales moved into the mouth and became teeth, two students came up and challenged me after class. I can't believe I believed that, but that is what I was taught. They are still teaching that to our kids today, that fish scales became teeth. There is no relationship between scales and teeth.

And so, they challenged me. I said, "Well, okay, let's study Creation Science." I'm thinking as a cocky rookie professor, "I will wipe these guys out!" And yet, I was the one who became a literal Biblically Creationist, though it took awhile. I finally believed what the Bible said. We studied the assumptions the Evolutionist made and we also looked at creatures such as the bombardier beetle.

Anyway, that was kind of the progression of things. Then I resigned my professorship. I was a full professor with tenure at the dental school, but went on to Dallas Theological Seminary on a big leap of faith. I think the Lord just worked it out, so that was just the thing to do. My family agreed, so that is what we did. And, since 1986, we've been involved in Biblical Discipleship Ministries.

I have a scientific background in Biology and Dental Medicine, and I sure came up through the system. I have been on all sides of the fence.


What was it that convinced you that moved you from being an Evolutionist to a Creationist?

Three things:

Number one, I began studying my Bible, because I was a baby Christian basically. I am reading my Bible and studying the Bible to see what God says.

Secondly, the students asked me to look at the assumptions that the Evolutionist made, which I was never taught, and they're still not teaching our kids. I read the original article of Libby, the fellow who invented Carbon 14. He kept saying, "I think this, we believe this, perhaps this." Those are all assumptions! I began to realize that these assumptions weren't valid at all and they aren't true.

Thirdly, we were looking at some animals. I was a Biology major and still didn't know where these students came up with it, but they brought this bombardier beetle to me one day and they said, "Dr. Martin, let's study this little bug and see if you think it can evolve. How could it evolve?"

The bombardier beetle is a little bug that shoots fiery hot gases out of twin tail tubes. It would blow itself up every step of the way if it evolved, as it needs all of its parts to work properly. It has separate internal sacks where chemicals combine together to heat to 212 degrees. It works like a combustion chamber. It mixes chemicals so that this violent reaction will happen, but if it didn't have the twin tail tubes to shoot the chemicals out, it would blow itself up.

Bombardier Beetle

And so, I began to realize these things are irreducibly complex. Our kids do fractions and they reduce them down until they can't reduce them down anymore. And that is like this little bug, it needs all of its parts. You couldn't have a partially evolved canon. It would blow up the bug. It had to have been made complete, mature and fully functional.

I began to think God was telling me that He made everything and He did it in 6 days. He did this just a short time ago, about 6,000 years ago. I looked at this beetle and realized there was no way it could have evolved. Billions of years couldn't produce that. It would be dead. Because of survival of the fittest, it wouldn't survive. It needed a God to create it as there was no way it could have evolved all of its parts at one time. Well, then, why not a God who created everything?

Those are the things that really got me thinking I could trust the Bible. Now I know I can trust it.


Resources

The Evolution of a CreationistThe Evolution of a Creationist Book by Dr. Jobe Martin:
This fascinating book describes Dr. Jobe Martin's personal journey from an evolution-trained scientist to a Bible-believing creationist. Dr. Martin examines many of the claims and theories of prominent evolutionists, comparing their often incredible, inconsistent, pseudo-scientific explanations of origins to the clear and simple description of the Creation as depicted in the Bible.

Creation ProclaimsCreation Proclaims Video by Dr. Jobe Martin:
Come face-to-face with some of the world's most fascinating creatures! You'll discover how Creation proclaims the character, majesty, power and, glory of our Creator God. In each creature feature, you'll learn how God is reaching out to mankind by making Himself known in unmistakable ways.

God of WondersGod of Wonders Video by Eternal Productions:
A feature-length Discovery-quality documentary without the evolutionary bias. Stunning nature footage, scientific insights and Scriptures combine to reveal the wonders of our Creator as observed throughout His creation.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Palestinian Condition

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

A good friend of mine who is a missionary wrote to me to express his concern over my strong support of Israel in its struggle with the Arabs. He expressed compassion for the Palestinians, and stated that he felt like I was being unfair toward them.

I responded as follows:

In your letter you stated that you were afraid I had developed a "spiritual blind spot" regarding Israel and the Palestinians. You based that conclusion on cartoons I have run in the Lamplighter and on articles I have written about the Middle East.

I can certainly understand your feeling, and I respect it, but I strongly differ with it. I feel the 'blind spot' rests with the Church and the World. Both have hated the Jewish people and have done everything possible to persecute them for the past 2,000 years. Now that God has sovereignly regathered the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth and has re-established them as a nation, both the Church and the World are enraged and are determined to aid and abet the enemies of Israel in any way possible.


The Plight of the Palestinians

Palestinian Crowd

The Palestinian leadership is made up entirely of low-life, god-hating, murderous thugs, and I intend to make that clear to my audience in no uncertain terms, using both words and cartoons. I make no apology for it. I pray daily for God to pour out His wrath upon them.

As for the Palestinian people, I have nothing but compassion for them over the terrible, inhumane way that they have been treated by the Arab nations ever since 1948. The war that year produced hundreds of thousands of refugees. One million Jews were forcibly evicted from Arab countries overnight, and tiny Israel had to absorb them.

In contrast, The 500,000 Palestinian refugees were denied any place to go. The Arab states refused to absorb them because they wanted to use them as a pawn to orchestrate world public opinion against Israel. So, Jordan, the nation that controlled the West Bank from 1948 to 1967, herded them into horrible refugee camps and let them live like rats.

When Israel won the West Bank in the Six Day War in 1967, one of the first things they did was to move the refugees out of the camps and into towns where they were given decent jobs and social care. The refugee camps were bulldozed by the Israelis. The Palestinians were provided new hospitals and new schools, and they ended up with a standard of living that was three to four times higher than any of their Arab neighbors. But their lives were made miserable by PLO thugs who operated like the Mafia, extorting money on the threat of death.


The Issue of a Palentinian State

The call for a Palestinian state is nonsense. Israel is one of the smallest nations in the world, smaller than Kuwait (about the size of New Jersey). It has no land to give away. If the West Bank were to be given to the Palestinians, Israel would be only 9 miles wide at a spot directly above Tel Aviv. No nation in the world would give such land to its sworn enemy. And for the nations of the world to demand that Israel do so is pure hypocrisy of the first order.

Israeli Population Center Distances

A Palestinian state already exists. It is called Jordan. It constitutes two-thirds of the land that has been historically referred to as Palestine. There is no need for another Palestinian state. There are 22 Arab states and only one tiny Jewish state. Why must another Arab state be carved out of the heart of Israel? Only because the World hates the Jews.

West Bank

Another point to keep in mind is that there has never been a Palestinian state in all of history. From the fall of Israel in 70 AD to the present, the area dubbed "Palestine" by the Romans (to insult the Jews, since Palestine in Latin means Philistine) has been a part of greater Syria, and all the Arabs who lived there looked upon themselves as Syrians. There was never a Palestinian state, nor was Jerusalem ever the capital city of any Arab entity. The land and the city are Jewish.


The Root of the Problem

Satan hates the Jews with a passion because they gave the world both the Bible and the Messiah. He also hates the promises that God has made to save a great remnant of the Jews in the end times.

Satan is determined to kill every Jew on planet earth so that God cannot fulfill His promises. I will stand with God's Chosen People, and in the process, I will denounce their enemies, both at home and abroad.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Fig Tree

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

The fig tree is one of the symbols of Israel in the Hebrew Scriptures (Hos. 9:10, Jer. 24:1-10, and Joel 1:7).

Jesus used a real fig tree to point out the future of Israel. His prophecy is contained in the Fig Tree Lesson in Matthew 24:32-35, which He presented in His Olivet Discourse. The day before He delivered this speech, He had put a curse on a barren fig tree, causing it to wither (Matt. 21:18-22). This was a symbolic prophecy that God would soon pour out His wrath upon the Jewish people because of their spiritual barrenness in rejecting His Son.

The Fig Tree Withered

The next day Jesus reminded His disciples of the fig tree. He said to watch for it to bloom again. In other words, He said watch for the rebirth of Israel. He indicated that when the fig tree blooms again, He would be at the gates of Heaven, ready to return (Matt. 24:33).

The Fig Tree Restored

Equally significant, He added an interesting observation: "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Matt. 24:34). What generation? The generation that sees the fig tree blossom.

Jesus singled out this event as the one that would signal His soon return. Well, the re-establishment of the state of Israel occurred on May 14, 1948, so we are that generation!

The fig tree has blossomed. Jesus is at the gates.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yoga: Not For Christians

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

One of the signs that we are in the last days before Jesus returns is a proliferation of false teachers promoting false teachings (Matt. 24:24; Mk. 13:22). One of the most prolific of these false teachings today is the philosophy and practice of Yoga, the primary tool of Hindu missionaries to North America since Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the West at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.

Yoga is one of the classic systems of Hindu philosophy that practices certain disciplines to achieve freedom from the limitations of the flesh and lead to the fulfillment of knowledge. But, what knowledge? If only Christians knew how occultic — how demonic — the "knowledge" gained by yoga truly is. Even the "harmless" exercise portion are in reality various ritual genuflects to Hindu idols.

J.R. HallJeremy (J.R.) Hall, Executive Director of Berean Watchmen Ministries located way up there in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada, has written an excellent article titled A Stretch into the Occult: A Christian's Response to Yoga that delves deep into the occultic practices and demonic purposes of yoga. Jeremy has kindly allowed me to repurpose his article in the hopes that we can warn Christians away from this satanic deception.

Due to the length of the article, it has been divided it into three parts: the first part was on the satanic deception behind yoga, the second part was on how yoga and Hinduism are one and the same, and now this final installment lists the reasons why yoga is definitely not for Christians.


A September 5th, 2005 issue of Time Magazine, featured a quote from Subhas Tiwari, a professor of yoga philosophy and mediation at the Hindu University of America in Orlando, Florida. Mr Tiwari says plainly within that article, "Yoga is Hinduism".1

So if the yoga experts know this to be true, and will profess it to be so, why do so many who profess to be Christians, deny this essential and baseline fact?

Yoga For Christians Book

My friends, Christian yoga, is as ludicrous as saying a Christian Hindu, or a Christian Buddhist. There is no such thing.

The following except is from an article posted at Christianity Today by Sarah E. Pavlik, and it recounts an experience she had in her first Yoga class.

"Once in the class, I scanned the room, curious as to what type of people take yoga. The class was comprised of an unlikely bunch: hefty, construction crew-type men, white-haired grandmas, and people such as me, wearing Nikes and t-shirts. I didn't spot any lime-green hair, or a single pierced nose. Suddenly my attention was drawn to the front of the room. There she was, the instructor-a bit larger than I expected. She looked nothing like those leotard-clad yoga instructors on TV. Her wiry blonde hair blended with her wire-rimmed glasses, giving her an all-around bland appearance. She spoke softly but with intimidating authority.

'Take off your shoes and socks,' she said with a whisper. Reluctantly I removed them, hoping nobody else in the room could smell my feet. She explained that we needed to be barefoot so we could sink our feet into the earth. Funny, this earth looked a lot like carpet to me. But I complied, imagining my feet squishing into the soft, fertile ground.

'Now we need to get acquainted with our breath. Americans generally breathe through their mouths and miss the benefits of breathing fully,' she informed us. I forced the air in and out, trying to make friends with my breath. It felt good.

'Yoga is thousands of years old, and as of late, has been accepted by modern medicine as a remedy for back pain and stress reduction,' she said between breaths. Thousands of years old? Accepted by the medical community? It must be a good thing, I rationalized as I prepared to stretch. We moved quickly into what she termed poses.

First I was a tree. Then she coaxed us into bending our limbs and planting our right foot onto our inner thigh. That wasn't all that difficult until she asked us to squat and twist our torso 90 degrees. She called it the 'twisted chair.' How appropriate. I looked like a pretzel in blue sweat pants.

Next we began 'sun salutations.' With our hands raised over our heads, we quickly dropped them to our feet. Finally, we brought our entire bodies to the floor, prostrate. It was obvious this was an ancient form of sun worship. Now not only was my body contorting, my mind was too. God's first commandment to not have any other gods before him sprang to mind. I was getting uncomfortable.

After several repetitions of sun salutations, she brought us back into 'mountain pose.' I glanced at the clock and was shocked to see all but five minutes of the hour-long class had slipped by. It was time for the relaxation exercise. My muscles were ready, but my spirit was a bit more cautious.

I lay down on the carpeted earth. She encouraged us to shut our eyes and go to our quiet place. Being a mother of two boys, I wasn't sure if such a place existed, so I decided heaven would be my quiet place. 'It's time to let go of the stresses of the world, your job, your home, your deadlines, and just be at peace,' the instructor said soothingly. The twing-twang of the music seemed to blend with everyone's breathing. Then she instructed us to start squeezing the muscles in our toes, then our feet, on up our legs, abdomen, and finally our faces. What a sight we all must have been lying there, our bodies rigid and our faces forced into Jim Carrey-like contortions. 'Now fall back into the earth,' our instructor commanded. We repeated this bizarre exercise about three times, and then, the instructor told us to come back into our body.

It was not a happy reunion. My body ached from the wicked chair-or was is it the twisted chair? And my spirit was out of sorts. Scenes of saluting the sun and leaving my body played in my mind as I drove home. Would I be able to stay in yoga without compromising my Christian beliefs? I wondered."2

Sun worship?

What about the other poses?

With some research under my belt, I'm sure many readers would be surprised to realize that the yoga postures are offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods (manifestations of Brahman). As you perform the yoga poses, you are in essence worshipping a false god(s).

The second commandment reads,

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me," - Exodus 20:4-5

And the Apostle Paul would say to us,

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God..." - Romans 12:1

Note also from the Christianity Today article quoted above that the author mentions, "come back into our body?" Leaving our bodies and going to our quiet place? I wonder who checks in, while the yoga student checks out?

Yoga means "union" or "yoked" in Sanskrit. "Union and yoked with what?", you might ask. Well, as mentioned earlier, it is one of the ways of knowledge to become in union with Brahman. As yoga is an arm of Hinduism, its ultimate goal is to help you reach union with Brahman, your higher self, god, or the universe, depending on your interpretation of "god in us".

The practice of yoga, the positions and breathing prepares the body for the occult changes that will arouse the coiled power (kundalini) at the base of spine. This power can travel up the spine passing through the chakras to the top of your head (Crown Chakra). It is the ultimate goal for the kundalini (Coiled or Serpent Power) to reach the brain. The "OM" which is repeated over and over again is to empty the mind of thought so that a new spirit can enter.

What kind of spirits? I'm sure you guessed it from the words "serpent" power. (Rev 20:2)

Swami Narayananda describes some of the possibilities:

"These hot currents that reach the brain center heat the brain, make the mind fickle, bring insomnia, brain disorder, insanity and incurable diseases. For the hot currents keep the mind wide awake and if a person does not know how to check the currents and to bring down the partly risen kundalini shakti to safer centers, one suffers terribly and it may ruin the whole life of a person or lead one to insanity. This is why we see many become insane, many get brain defects, and many others get some incurable diseases after deep sorrow."3

Gopi Krishna, founder of one of the many kundalini research centers, records his own experience:

"It was variable for many years, painful, obsessive, even phantasmic. I have passed through almost all the stages of different mediumistic, psychotic, and other types of mind; for some time I was hovering between sanity and insanity."4

I have personally heard reports and read documentation of yoga participants experiencing some or even all of the following as a result of their seemingly harmless "exercise" program: Fear, uncontrollable laughing or weeping, intervals of ecstasy, tremors, spasms, and violent shaking. In some cases the guru or instructor can impart these manifestations in mass, to his/her students, leaving them writhing on the floor helpless.

We must ask the question again. When someone takes part in yoga (union), with what are they becoming in union with?

New-Age techniques almost always involve some form of meditation that is to bring you into a state of peace, enlightenment, open the door of physic knowledge, and promise extraordinary power. But this power is an illusion of self-worship. It is occult and very dangerous because the spirit you invite is a demonic one. You are NOT uniting with a higher-spirit, an ascended master or a spirit-guide. Instead you are uniting with a counterfeit spirit who is delighted to deceive you into thinking it is a positive force, but in truth it is demonic and an abomination to God.

"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD..." - Deuteronomy 18:10-12

At its roots, yoga and Hinduism teach that the self is God. In Christianity, one denies self. The differences are polar opposites and cannot be reconciled.

"Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." - Luke 9:23

A Christian should not and can not take part in something so distasteful to God whom we profess to love. Even if one removes the spiritual aspects of yoga (which evidence would suggest is impossible) and fools themselves into thinking it's only exercise, the truth of the matter is that regardless of your intent, to the outside world you look like you are condoning yoga — all aspects of it. Your actions could very well be a stumbling block to others and causing others to fall into the trap of occultism, new-ageism and idolatry.

"For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ." - 1 Colossians 8:10-12

We are to abstain from those things which could make our brother stumble. We are to walk diligently in the world, but yet set apart from the world. We don't desire the things of this world, but rather the things of the heaven. In my opinion this would include those "Christian" alternatives to yoga which are popping up. True, they may not be actually yoga in concept and teaching, yet they still "look" like yoga to an outside and unbelieving world. If the world sees a Christian doing something that looks like yoga, they might therefore believe that yoga is safe and condoned by the church, thereby falling into a trap that leads to destruction.

Yoga is everywhere. It's on television, it's being taught in church basements, at fitness centres and even in video games (a place Hinduism and new-age thinking likes to hide as well). The very popular video game Wii Fit contains elements of exercise that is very good for the fitness of an individual, unfortunately it is also packaged with a plethora of yoga stretches and poses to help obtain your fitness goals.

Within the very city where I live there is a non-profit group called Yoga for Youth who's sole purpose is to get yoga into all of the public schools as a regular program5 — and it seems to be working. My kids report back to me the presence of yoga in their physical education classes. My kids of course abstain, and have so far been left un-harassed by their teachers, fellow students and school administration, but I wonder for how long? Many of the Christian parents we talk to, do not have any problems with their kids taking part in yoga at school — after all, it's just exercise right? I wonder how long before our family's voice will be deemed as one of an extreme minority whose petty intolerance to things condemned by the Bible is outdated, and unconstitutional.

I hope this article has it least won some of you over to the reality that yoga is occult and an abomination to God whom we profess to love.

It's time for the Church to stand up, dust off their swords and be counted for truth and righteousness. Are we just going to continue to allow Satan to have a field day in our public schools and communities, or are we going to let our voice stand, and abstain from these types of activities and teachings? For every community group that promotes occult activities, the Church could raise up a valid and justified counter argument. However, it repeatedly remains silent. Perhaps if abstinence and letters of concern were sent in response to these types of programs, there would be far fewer of them permeating our society. I wonder if the same would hold true to the television programming and other media venues such as Hollywood? (A good subject for another article).

Christ spoke plainly,

"But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 10:33

And so I must ask the pertinent question...

Where is the Church today?

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: 'Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.' See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:11-16


Footnotes

  1. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1098937,00.html
  2. http://www.christianitytoday.com/tcw/2001/sepoct/3.50.html
  3. Swami Narayananda, "The Primal Power in Man", pg. 60
  4. Gopi Krishna, "The Awakening", p. 124
  5. "Yoga Session Goes Green", The Star Phoenix, July 27, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yoga: Equals Hinduism

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

One of the signs that we are in the last days before Jesus returns is a proliferation of false teachers promoting false doctrines (Matt. 24:24; Mk. 13:22). One of these deceptions the elect have naively embraced is the eastern occultic practice of Yoga. Church calendars are filled with yoga classes teaching what is considered a harmless "Christianized" version of yoga stretches. If they only knew how occultic — how demonic — the purposes of yoga truly are. Even the "harmless" exercise portion are in reality various ritual genuflects to Hindu idols.

J.R. HallJeremy (J.R.) Hall, Executive Director of Berean Watchmen Ministries located way up there in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada, has written an excellent article titled A Stretch into the Occult: A Christian's Response to Yoga that delves deep into the occultic practices and demonic purposes of yoga. Jeremy has kindly allowed me to repurpose his article in the hopes that we can warn Christians away from this satanic deception.

Due to the length of the article, it has been divided it into three parts: the last part was on the satanic deception behind yoga, this second part is on how yoga and Hinduism are one and the same, and the final installment lists the reasons why yoga is definitely not for Christians.


Hinduism encompasses a wide variety of religious beliefs, and has been influential in the foundations of other religions, such as Buddhism and the New Age Movement and spin-off religions.

Hindus are very tolerant of other religions, because they believe that all paths eventually lead to God — because ALL is God.

The Law of Karma

The Law of Karma is a guiding principal of Hinduism and is the law of cause and effect, in which each individual creates his own destiny through his thoughts, words and deeds. If we do a good deed, then we will in turn receive positive consequences or blessings. Bad actions or deeds will have the opposite effect. Essentially it is the old adage, "What goes around, comes around".

Often the Law of Karma isn't accounted for in this life, but it impacts your future life. It traps individuals in a cycle of reincarnation, each successive life better or worse dependent on your karmic performance of the previous life. Those who built up bad karma may be born into a lower caste (class) or even as an animal or an insect. It may take many more lifetimes of suffering before they are again born as humans.

Selfless acts and thoughts as well as devotions to the Hindu god(s) help one to be reborn at a higher level.

A Hindu's condition of suffering helps them to atone for the evil they have committed in their previous life. For this reason, charity is almost unheard of in the religion. If someone is downtrodden, it may be more beneficial to leave them be, as their suffering state may give birth to a better life for them next time around. To ease their suffering now, might in fact hinder their chances at a better life next time. (You can see why there aren't many prosperity preachers in Hinduism.)

The process of successive reincarnated lifetimes is called transmigration.


Transmigration

Transmigration is passing of the soul at death into a new body or new form of being. Transmigration and reincarnation (the soul's rebirth in a new body) are roughly the same. Transmigration occurs until a soul reaches the perfect state of nirvana, or one with god.


Nirvana

Nirvana is the supreme state free from suffering and individual existence. It is a state often referred to as "self realization" or "god realization". It's the ultimate religious goal of all Hindus. The attainment of Nirvana breaks the otherwise endless rebirth cycle of transmigration. Hindus call this nirvana "eternal bliss". However, no one can describe in words what nirvana is. It can only be experienced directly.


The Concept of God in Hinduism

Hinduism is monotheistic — sort of. It recognizes one supreme deity known as Brahman, or ultimate reality. Brahman is the universe and all it contains. Essentially, god is everything, and everything is god, a belief that is known as pantheism. To take the concept further — If "everything" is god, then that would include you and me. Unlike Christianity, Hinduism has no concept of a personal and knowable God, who is separate from his creation. To a Hindu, Brahman is simply all that exists.

To really confuse the issue, Hinduism also has a polytheistic side. It includes aspects of worship of multiple deities (although they are all considered manifestations of the one ultimate reality). Brahman is personalized as three separate entities: Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer). Most Hindus also worship Krishna and Rama, two of Vishnu's ten incarnations, or avatars. In addition to these major gods (incarnations of Brahman), forces of nature, animals, and humans can all be deified, giving Hindus a pantheon of 330 million gods and goddesses to worship.


Does Hinduism Recognize Jesus?

Not the Jesus of the Bible. Not the true Jesus. Hindus are very happy to consider Jesus to be ONE of the many avatars or incarnations of the impersonal Brahman, however, they do not accept Christ as the ONLY incarnation of God. In no sense does Hinduism recognize Jesus as the unique Son of God, Co-equal, Co-eternal and Co-reigning within the Triune Godhead of the Bible.


Sin and Salvation in Hinduism

There is no concept of Sin against a Holy God in Hinduism. To a Hindu, man's biggest problem is his ignorance that he is in fact "god" himself.

In Hinduism, since Brahman is all that exists, everything else is ultimately an illusion. Our material world, physical bodies, and our personal existence are all illusions. In essence our ignorance in Hinduism is equivalent to the "fall of man". We have forgotten that we are part of Brahman, and have attached ourselves to the desires of individual self. It is these desires and their consequences that bring suffering, and that subject us to the Law of Karma.

Although there is no concept of "salvation", the goal is to remove the karmic debt and end the cycle of rebirths. When one overcomes their ignorance of their own divinity and a detachment from self (an illusion), the individual can be released from personal existence and disappear into the impersonal Brahman. This 'liberation' from the wheel of life is called moksha or nirvana as we mentioned before. Freed from their physical, personal existence, individuals also become free from all pain and suffering, and become like a single star within all the universe that is Brahman.

There are three paths to achieve this liberation from the wheel of life.

  1. The Way of Works:
    Liberation can be obtained through social and religious obligations.

  2. The Way of Devotion:
    • This is the most popular way, and includes acts of worship to any of the numerous gods and/or avatars.
    • Whether in a home or in a temple, worship is primarily done individually rather than as a congregation. Most Hindus worship daily through offerings, rituals, and prayers. Prayer or worship is considered to be an integral part of the Hindu way of living. The chanting of mantras is the most popular form of worship in Hinduism.

  3. The Way of Knowledge:
    This way attempts to reach a higher consciousness until one finally realizes his identity (or lack of identity) within Brahman. This is achieved through study of philosophical writings, yoga and deep meditation.


Yoga and Hinduism

As just mentioned, yoga is one of the "Ways of Knowledge". Yoga is one of the classic systems of Hindu philosophy that practices certain disciplines to achieve freedom from the limitations of the flesh and lead to the fulfillment of knowledge. The goal of yoga is not to achieve peace within, channeling, or the working of miracles, but the acquirement of knowledge. In fact, the yoga doctrine insists that physical and mental training should be used only as a means to spiritual needs.

Yoga practice forms a ladder to perfect knowledge through eight stages: self-control, religious observance, postures, regulation of the breath, restraint of the senses, steadying of the mind, meditation, and profound contemplation.

The philosophy and practice of yoga have been primary tools of Hindu missionaries to North America since Indian priest and mystic Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the West at the World's Fair in 1893 in Chicago.

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda is attributed with the idea of combining the theory of "evolution of the soul" with his teachings of Hinduism. Instead of working out one's karma by becoming a grasshopper, lizard or human in progressive lives, he taught an "evolution of the soul" whereby the individual continues in an evolutionary process to "manifest the god within" — from slime to divine. This new brand of Hinduism was undoubtedly born because it was thought that North American's would not buy into the traditional Hindu concepts of reincarnation. It would seem that pride has always plagued us North Americans. Not many westerners could imagine they would ever come back as a lower form of life.

Another fellow of interest is Paramahansa Yogananda. Another Hindu missionary, this time in 1920 he was welcomed warmly by elite circles of that day. He started the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles which still exists today. He chose to demonstrate that yoga was completely compatible with Christianity. Wearing a cross, he came to America with a Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, in one hand and the Bible in the other. He reasoned that yoga was the binding force that could connect all religions together. He wrote a book titled, "The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You". Essentially it was Yogi Paramahansa's commentary on the four Gospels, or as the cover of the book reads, "A Revolutionary commentary on the original teachings of Jesus."

Yogi Paramahansa Commentary

Now let's stop right there.

Right now for any evangelical Christian who seeks truly after the heart and mind of God, warning bells should be ringing loudly in our heads. What on earth would a Hindu guru have to reveal about the teachings of Jesus.

Was it not Jude who warned us to keep to the original faith?

"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." - Jude 1:3

Take careful note of Jude's words, "was once for all". The implications of these words are that the canon is closed. There is no special revelation beyond those that the bore the approval of the apostles. Any teaching, new or old, must align itself perfectly with Scripture, or that teaching is deemed false. God is not the author of confusion. He invented language and wanted us to understand His Word as delivered.

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." - 2 Peter 1:20-21

How unfortunate it is that the modern Church does not recognize this most essential fact.


In the next part we will look at the reasons why yoga is definitely not for Christians.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yoga: Stretching Into The Occult

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

One of the signs that we are in the last days before Jesus returns is a proliferation of false teachers promoting false doctrines (Matt. 24:24; Mk. 13:22). In these references Jesus brings forward the idea that these deceptions could even deceive those who are saved, "if that were possible." While some have contended that Jesus is saying the elect cannot be deceived, a quick look around shows that one of today's leading deceptions has deeply infiltrated the Christian community. It is what is mistakenly being accepted as a simple exercise program, and yet, it is anything but harmless. The elect have naively embraced the eastern occultic practice of Yoga.

I have felt burdened as of late about the detrimental spiritual affects yoga has had on Christianity, seeing church calendars filled with yoga classes and even witnessing people close to me participating in what is considered a harmless "Christianized" version of yoga stretches. If they only knew how occultic — how demonic — the purposes of yoga truly are. Even the "harmless" exercise portion is in reality various ritual genuflects to Hindu idols.

J.R. HallJeremy (J.R.) Hall, Executive Director of Berean Watchmen Ministries located way up there in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada, has felt the same burden as I have. Jeremy is actively involved in the international ministry through lectures, contributing articles and commentaries relating to Bible prophecy and Christian living in these later days. He has written an excellent article titled A Stretch into the Occult: A Christian's Response to Yoga that delves deep into the occultic practices and demonic purposes of yoga. Jeremy has kindly allowed me to repurpose his article in the hopes that we can warn Christians away from this satanic deception.

Due to the length of the article, I've divided it into three parts: this part on the satanic deception behind yoga, the second on how yoga and Hinduism are one and the same, and finally the reasons why yoga is definitely not for Christians.


Now I know what some of you might be thinking. "Occult? Oh come on now. Aren't we over reacting just a little bit? Yoga is just exercise."

Really?

Who told you that?

A yoga instructor?

Have you ever looked into it?

It has become a disturbing trend as of late for me to witness just how many proclaiming Christians are unaware of the true nature of yoga and what it really means and represents.

Think back to a sunny Saturday afternoon. You're sitting in your living room when you notice out the window, two young men wearing black ties and white shirts, and going door to door with a black book in their hand.

Yep, you guessed it, Mormons.

You silently watch from your window as they pause for a moment at each of your neighbor's homes and then your heart beat quickens as you see them now turn up your own driveway. The two young men are clean cut, nice looking and appear quite respectable.

The door bell rings.

You open the door hesitantly and greet them with a smile. You listen to their best evangelistic efforts, but express to them that you yourself are a Christian, and that our belief system and theirs do not mix. You might converse back and forth with the young men, but in the end they go their way, and you stay in your Christian way. (Hopefully)

So how did you do in the face of a false religion? Even if you had a chance to share the gospel with them, it was clear to you that what they believed was different then what Christianity teaches. Perhaps you were prepared and you knew that Mormons believe in a different Jesus, a different salvation and that they are a cult. In any case you just experienced an evangelistic effort of the enemy. You just met two apostles of perdition — two missionaries of that old serpent the devil. And he's up to his old tricks again, when through these two young men you heard the echoes of the words, "Did God really say?" (Gen 3:1)

Relieved that you got through your ordeal with the Mormons, and perhaps even satisfied that you countered their arguments and planted the seeds of truth in their lives, you now pat yourself on the back for not being caught up in some false religion and that you have the discernment to recognize false evangelists when you see them.

Or can you?

Over the past few decades a missionary arm of another false religion has been allowed to waltz into our society unchecked by the Church; unchecked by those who should know better, and those who should be warning others of the dangers and definitely not partaking in this idolatry with their fellow man.

If one takes the time to study Yoga, it becomes apparent that it is, in fact, the major missionary arm of Hinduism and the New Age movement in North America. There are a surprising number of Hindu influences in our North American culture. Many of these go unchecked or even unnoticed by the Christian Church. For instance:

  • The concept of reincarnation (Hollywood loves this one)
  • Centering and contemplative prayer (Well supported by proponents of the Emerging Church)
  • Karma (has worked its way into our daily conversation)
  • Being 'One with God' (Oprah loves this one)
  • Avatar (a common reference on the Internet for a representation of an Internet user either through icon or name)
  • The fame and reverence of the Dalai Lama in modern times.

Hinduism encompasses a wide variety of religious beliefs, and has been influential in the foundations of other religions, such as Buddhism and the New Age Movement and spin-off religions.


In the next part we will look at the teachings of Hinduism and how yoga and Hinduism are one and the same.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What Could It Be?

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

You can feel it in the air. Even those who couldn't possibly quote John 3:16 apprehensively feel that something big is coming around the next corner. Hollywood has been banking on the tension with movies like "Knowing" and "2012." An endless parade of books and commentaries by pundits all engaging in end time speculation have filled the Barnes & Noble shelves and dominated the mainstream media outlets. Like that ominous calm before the storm, people are scanning the horizon looking for that, that... whatever. What could it be?

Eric BargerFor an answer to that question, we'll go to Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.


Do you believe we're in the season of the Lord's return, and if so, why?

I believe I could be living at the time that He'll return. I hope if I am 99 behind a pulpit on a Sunday night and the last thing I preach about is the Rapture and the Coming of the Lord. But, that's where I believe we're at now.

My expertise in dealing with cults and the occult leads me to believe that the occult and supernaturalism is on the rise. The craving for supernaturalism I think it is one of the most important sign that we may be living in the season of the Lord's Return, that and the great apostacia — the apostasy — that we see around us.

Another sign of the soon return of Jesus is Israel becoming a state again.

We have so many things that have happened that we see the signs of the times. Jesus told us we wouldn't know the day or the hour, but we'll know the times when we are in them.

Of extreme importance is Matthew 24, when Jesus gives us a long series of signs we are to be looking for. The very first one He mentions is false Christ's and false prophets, the only one He repeats two more times, even saying some of these will even do major signs to deceive people. We've just had a literal explosion of this in both America and on the world scene. America is hooked on the supernatural like the rest of the world is, but not on God's supernatural. I believe that has helped prepare the way for the Antichrist because people will be craving spiritual things that of course don't lead them to God.

A recent false prophet out of Puerto Rico who is now in south Florida is Jesús Miranda. He is claiming to be Jesus Christ in the flesh. And just like that, he's got 60 churches in the United States and people giving him everything they've got and kissing his hand and all, and he's claiming to be Jesus Christ.

It is amazing what's happening and it is happening right before our eyes. But, we should not despair. We see all these things and we have the tendency to want to run for the hills and hide for cover. Instead, tell your lost friends about Jesus. Tell people about the Lord. Don't despair in this hour. This is a great hour for the Church if we'll stand up and take advantage of it.

I want to live my life as if He is coming back in any moment, but yet plan my life as if I am going to live until I am 100. So, I want to plan my life out, but I believe Jesus could return at any time. I think as we see these signs take place the Scripture says in Luke 21:28, "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Shack - Is It Christian?

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Few Christian books in the world today have been compared to John Bunyan's classic Pilgrim's Progress in its enormous impact in shaping the world's faith. William P. Young's 256-page self-published novel The Shack, though, has achieved that epic comparison.

Within a year after its May 2007 publication date, The Shack sold a whopping 1.1 million copies and has dominated The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today's bestsellers list. A feature film is even in the works. The popular book can be found in most Christian's bookshelves, Bible studies, and even Sunday morning services. But, is the message of the book Christian?

Eric BargerFor an answer to that question, we'll go to Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.


What is your attitude about the book The Shack?

In an era when Christians will defend to the teeth the Harry Potter books, they will see nothing wrong with The Shack.

The Shack

It sounds like I am really down on the Church, but I am for the Church. My ministry is to the local church. I go out and speak in the local churches 40 or more times a year, 40 weeks a year. And so, I want to see the church changed and turned around so we will all understand Biblical thinking and get a Biblical worldview in their hearts.

When you have The Shack come in so fraught with doctrinal problems, though, it makes you wonder how could churches have accepted this so easily? The only reason can be that we have turned off our biblical worldview and let our emotions guide us, because The Shack is a very emotional story.

The Shack was written by a fellow named William Paul Young. He likes to be called Paul. He is a Bible school graduate from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon, and later went to another Bible school in Canada. This is his first book and there are several things in it.

First of all, God passes a note to him to tell him to meet Him in the shack, which is a place in the Oregon wilderness where his little girl we assume from the book was murdered. This is a very tragic story. So, God is now reduced to passing notes to people. I thought God spoke through His Word and through His Holy Spirit to us, but now its notes.

When God comes to the shack He comes in the form of an African-American women named Papa. Now, this is tough to talk about because of the genders going on here. Well, Papa is a god, an African style or a black god from Polynesian occultism which is where it came from. Now, Young is not about to announce this when he goes on Christian TV and radio and talk about this. There have been many Christian ministries that I am shocked that they have offered this book and talked about it favorably. But, that Papa figure comes from Polynesian occultism.

The Holy Spirit in this book is an Asian women and the Jesus in the book is never called the Christ. What does that tell you? It is another Jesus, and, of course, Paul warns us that that there will be false Jesus' and false gospels and false spirits. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 fits that classification.

I don't think that it is an accident that Jesus was never called "the Christ" in the book. We also have a Trinity but not THE Trinity in the book.

The next thing we see, and there are many things but I will just bring out a couple, Jesus is said to be the best way to know Papa, not THE way to know Papa. Very subtle language there. That leaves the door open for Universalism to be the truth that Young is trying to bring out.

The third thing is that the author crafts God into the image of a man. It says in Romans 1:21-23 that is forbidden for us to do, to craft God into the image of a man. I know that it is a novel and I realize you can take liberties in a novel that you can't in some other type of book, but in this case Young is playing with something that the Scriptures speak so clearly about.

The author is a good friend with a professor at Western Seminary in Portland who has written a very scholarly 38 page paper and now has broken ties with his friend, Paul Young. The author of this paper is named James DeYoung. He has written this paper saying that he knows that Paul Young is a Universalist since they've had arguments about it. They have talked about it over and over and yet Paul Young is going on Christian TV programs and in Q&A sessions after he speaks in churches and volunteering out of the blue saying, "I am not a Universalist." Nobody is asking the question, but he is volunteering it anyway. And here is why, because according to James DeYoung, this professor at Western Seminary, the editors of the book spent over a year trying to convince Young to take the universalism out of the book, and he never got it all the way out. It is still there.

This is not just a guess that Young is a Universalist. No, this is a guy who is teaching what is called Reconciling Universalism, which is different than the idea that all paths lead to God, which is Classical Universalism. Reconciling Universalism says that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and that God wishes no one to perish, and so we're all saved.

Reconciling Universalism is the same thing that Carlton Pearson fell into up in Tulsa. It is the same heresy. By the way, the doors of that church are totally closed now. He sent the rest of his people to a Unitarian Church in Tulsa. He followed the same idea that we're already saved and we need to tell the world, "Bring the missionaries in off the field, because if they are in a dangerous place they're in the wrong place because we don't have to tell anybody anything since everybody's saved, whether they ever heard about Jesus or not." This completely destroys the message of the Bible to think like that, but that is what Reconciliation Universalism is about. And The Shack teaches it.

It is shocking to me how many seasoned Christians have shut off their Biblical thinking because of the emotional grip the story has on them from the very beginning of the book.

If you have fallen for the teachings in The Shack and are now not positive that you know the Jesus of the Bible as Lord and Savior, you need to pray a simple prayer and ask Him to come into your heart and then turn from your sin and walk toward Him and follow Him and seek Him. It is one thing to pray a simple prayer, but it is another thing to then turn from your sin and walk after Him. I know when I read in the Scripture that Paul said he was the worst of sinners. I wondered if God know who I was, because I know what I was. And yet, God forgave me of my sins and cleansed me and delivered me. He can change any life, any person. He loves us. He wants the best for us. He is just there for you if you'll call out to Him and trust in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who Are We To Judge?

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

The most sacred virtue in the Western world today is tolerance. Like a weed perniciously overrunning the flower beds, tolerance has overgrown Christianity with its universalistic mindset that there are many different roads to God and that one is no better than the other. Since all religions are equal under this theology, all morality is equal. And, with all things equal, who are we to judge?

Eric BargerWe'll go to Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries, for the biblical answer to this very sensitive question. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.


People today don't believe that a loving God should or would judge, and so neither should we. How do you respond to that?

Every time I mention something about what is right and wrong, somebody comes back with the only Scripture that the atheists seem to know — "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matt. 7:1). You know, I get it all the time.

The Scripture instead tell us that we must indeed judge. Anybody who tells you that we're not to judge does not know what the Scripture says. It is the only way we can know what truth is. Over and over the Bible says, "test this, test this, test this, test yourself." How could you possibly do that if you don't judge?

Now, Jesus was dealing with hypocrisy, so don't judge unjustly. Judge righteously, and that is what we must do, by using the Bible. I'm not perfect and we're not perfect, we know that. But, we are saying that Scripture is the truth and it is perfect. That doesn't mean you have to hit the person over the head with the Bible, or act like you are some self-righteous bigot, but you must at least confront them with the truth and that requires judgment.

Another scenario is if you ever say anything critical of someone in Christianity even though he may be totally off the wall, immediately you'll get the statement, "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm" (1 Chron. 16:22). But, of course, that is David speaking about Saul. If that was a New Testament edict then the book of Titus, both books of Timothy, both books of Thessalonians, well all those would have to be thrown out the window. The book of Titus is very clear that those who bring division, those who are preaching false doctrine, their mouths Paul said must be stopped. Paul even rebuked Peter.

If we don't mention the teachings of false doctrine and point those things out, we do an injustice to the Church and we do damage to what the Scripture tells us to do, and we abuse our calling.


In judging do we have to filter it through the Bible's teaching that there are indeed not many roads to God but only one?

There is only one path. I would love to tell people there is more then one way. I would love to announce that the Bible says there is more then one way. But, there is only one way according to the Bible. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6). Either that's true or the Bible is not true, which would make Jesus a liar.

Christianity is the most distinctive religion in all the world because it is the only one that teaches that you cannot earn salvation. Every other religion that I know of teaches salvation by works. Islam, for example, they are completely hung up on the idea of being good enough.

Now, we see this idea worming it's way into so-called Christian circles with liberalism telling us, "If you are just good enough, if you just get baptized, just join the church, join enough committees in your church, do a little good works here and there, read your Bible once and awhile, come to church on Sunday and make sure you give your tithe... As long as you do all that, everything is okay and God will sign off on you." That is not how you get to Heaven and that is not how you become a Christian.

I have said for so long the world doesn't like these ideas, but our mission is to try to cut them off before they run headlong off the cliff. Even if they don't like it when we tackle them, when we get them up and walk them to the edge to show them where they were about to go, they'll be eternally grateful for us. So, our mission isn't to see if they will like us or not.

Too many churches, people and philosophies out there say that you don't want to teach Jesus is the only way because it is negative to church growth and it will run people off. I instead say we have to preach the truth and God will then save whom He will save.

Who are we? We don't save anybody. We are God's glorified FedEx messengers as we bring the whole truth, and then the Holy Spirit can work and save them. By telling people there is more than one way or "you have your way and I've got mine," all that does is help damn souls.


For even more information on Universalism, check out Is Jesus The Only Way To Heaven?