Monthly Archives: September 2007

Two Thousand Years of Deception and Error, Part 1 The First Century AD

Deception has been around since Satan tempted Eve in the garden. But my next six or so blogs will concentrate on the last 2000 years of deception of/in the church, with the goal of showing how the errors/wrong doctrine through the centuries are still with us and affect us today. Hence we are vulnerable to the agendas, influence, and control of the kingdom of darkness from sources that say they are Christian, but their doctrine is not of God.

This post will present some verses from God’s Word that show both the truth and error that was around in the first century. I didn’t realize until I started looking up verses just how many there are which talk both about the deception that was happening in the first century and the deception that would happen in years to come. Hopefully, this will challenge you to check out God’s Word for the many other passages which instruct in discerning truth and error.

From The BOOK

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins…
—1 John 4:10

“…But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.“—Galatians 1:3–8

“I say then, Hath God cast away his people [Israel]? God forbid…God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.”—Romans 1:1, 2

“…ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ…and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”—Jude 4, 16

“…Keep yourselves in the love of God…”—Jude 21

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling…To the only wise God our Saviour…”—Jude 24, 25

“…they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures…”—2 Peter 3:16

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”
—1 John 2:15

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”
—1 John 2:22, 23

“...try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”—1 John 4:1

“…Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.“—1 John 4:2, 3

Church of Ephesus: “…thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”—Revelation 2:1–6

[“Nicolaitans” means “victors over the people.” So their deeds or doctrine possibly refer to a religious hierarchal system that controls the laity/common people.]

Church in Pergamos: “…I know…where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is…thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam…”—Revelation 2:12–16

Church in Thyatira: “…thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols…”—Revelation 2:20

Church in Philadelphia: “…hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name…”—Revelation 3:7–10

Church of the Laodiceans: “…I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot...I will spue thee out of my mouth…”
—Revelation 3:14, 16

What Would You Believe If…

you had NO input from media, books (including Bible commentaries), church doctrines/theologies (current or past history), or people—friends, enemies, relatives, or religious leaders, including preachers, pastors, evangelists, church fathers, priests, monks, rabbis, popes, etc.


“…the Spirit of truthwill guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself…He shall glorify me [Jesus]…”
—John 16:13, 14

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
—1 John 2:27

Parent Alert 3: What AWANA Leaders are Saying

This third post is about Art Rorheim’s talk at AWANA’s Summit 2007, another book AWANA sells, and some concluding remarks. There is much more to be said, but this is enough for now.

Citation ceremony: Art Rorheim (Awana co-founder)

This was a ceremony for Awana teens and their accomplishments, but I did not sense that Art Rorheim focused on that at all in his talk. In the beginning of his speech, Mr. Rorheim used an example of taking teens to a mortuary where they saw corpses of a teen and others as he wanted them to focus on what happens to people after death and said that those folk might be in hell.

While, Mr. Rorheim did mention that some of the bodies they saw might have been people that were with the Lord, I thought his focus was too much on death, and not living and life and the Lord Jesus Christ. Besides, there was nothing the teens could do about dead people.

It was very hard for me to listen to Mr. Rorheim as he was prone to tears and change of voice quality at random times…very unnerving. He also placed a major guilt trip on the teens to go out and save all the lost. (Unfortunately the guilt trip is typical in some Awana leader’s talks.)

The Lord does not place guilt trips on us. He LOVES us. The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin (not man’s words of shoulds and guilt trips). Then through His Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God directs us, and we learn to love and trust Him. We follow Him, He guides us (not shoulds or guilt).

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”—Matthew 4:19

My conclusion:

The speakers at AWANA’s Summit 2007 sounded like they were deep thinkers, but they gave no answers. They told stories about experiences and situations, but not much Bible. Greg Carlson mocked Bible memory and the children who had been faithful in learning Awana verses and God’s Word, and then turned around and said the teens should memorize scripture. Continue reading

Parent Alert 2: What AWANA Leaders are Saying

Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the AWANA Summit 2007 speakers taught about Jesus and God’s great love for teens, how to have a relationship with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and how important it is to love God’s Word. That did not happen, so this post will be about the talk of Greg Carlson, the second Speaker at Summit 2007.

Palm Sunday session: Greg Carlson (Rorheim Institute director)

• Greg told stories, experiences, situations, but not much Bible until the end.

• Greg Carlson mocked Awana students that do the very things Awana stands for: Bible quizzing, bible knowledge, and scripture memory. Then at the end, Greg promoted memorizing scripture.

• While Greg didn’t outright say memorizing the Bible is wrong, his comments made one doubt the Bible’s ability to be used to know God/Jesus.

MC: It gave me a feeling of hopelessness: if learning the Bible doesn’t work, what else is there?

• Greg kept saying Bible brat.

MC: I understand that just memorizing scripture or knowing lots of trivia about the Bible does not make you a Christian, but to me, Greg’s talk seemed to infer that one was being a Bible brat for memorizing scripture. He would deny this I imagine, but his talk was very ambivalent.

• Greg used the research of Josh McDowell to prove that only 2 of 4 will be walking with Jesus in 10 years. He had kids get in groups to demonstrate the principle. He said some demeaning things which he excused or explained away.

MC: What does research have to do with what God says in the Bible. Is this trying to prove Awana, which has always taught Bible Memory isn’t working; that God’s Word doesn’t work, so they need something else?

The Lord has his own statistics. Read the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:18–23. It sounds like the Word of God takes root in only 25% to possibly 50% of the hearers. There is no inference anything is wrong with the sower or the Word that is sewn. Continue reading

Parent Alert 1: What AWANA Leaders are Saying

I had thought my posting about Awana was completed, but I became aware of the “sermons” of top Awana Leaders at Summit 2007.

I am so appalled and grieved at the speakers ambivalent, conflicting, guilt-producing, and convuluted statements regarding God and His Word, and that they never told the group how great God is, how much He loves them and how they can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and how the Holy Spirit and God’s Word will guide them—that I am compelled to say something.

Top Awana Leaders speak at Summit 2007

Each night at Summit 2007, teams and volunteers celebrated a main session together focused on worship and growing in our walk with God.

Speakers: Kevin White, Greg Carlson, Art Rorheim and Greg Steir (whose message was not posted, but who you can learn about by a google search.)

This first post will be my observations and my comments (MC) on what Kevin White (24-7 Ministries manager) said.

Opening session: Kevin White

• Kevin used virtually no scripture except the word transforming mentioned in Romans 12:2. He used the word transform/change in a bit of a guilt trip in the sense that it sounded like they better change because it was in the Bible, but there was no explanation of how they could change.

• One of Kevin’s main emphasis was that knowing about someone is not the same as knowing somebody. He used examples of four students that were changed because they got to know God.

MC: There was no instruction to those listening to Kevin speak as to how they could get to know God.

• Kevin White said they would get to know Jesus the next four days.

MC: What happened, or what was taught to help them get to know Jesus? Kevin didn’t tell them in the talk I listened to.

• Kevin’s other major emphasis was that it isn’t an issue of being changed in the past, but being changed now and forever.

MC: Kevin does not tell how to know God or be changed. Continue reading

AWANA—Where is it headed?

I had thought that Awana was solely interested in teaching the Bible to children. I’ve posted some sites (and comments) related to Awana and/or their ministries for you to research and see what you think. There is much more that could be posted, but this is a start.

1. Worldview, Research/Statistics,
Transforming, Spiritual Formation

My Comment

Look for these words as you look at the links, read the book blurbs, excerpts, and Awana’s goals. There is a major focus on (Biblical) Worldview and research/statistics. Research and man’s words seem to have authority with them, and have apparently, in their worldview, created a need for materials other than the Bible.

“Biblical Worldview” is a set of morals/rules that are superimposed or taught, instead of teaching the Bible, and letting the Holy Spirit work through God’s Word in a person’s life.

2. Rorheim Institute

My Comment

Why does Awana, which has taught the kids Bible for years, keep referring to “worldview”? I counted 9 references to “worldview”—5 included the word “biblical”. “Transforming” is also mentioned. Are they saying the Bible isn’t enough, and Awana will provide what you need?

Rorheim Vision: Four Pillars of Children’s Ministry

Shepherding Parents
Sharing Christ with Kids
Rock-Solid Kids
Rock-Solid Teacher

My Comment

where did the four pillars come from?

3. Rorheim’s Leadership Training Center

“The Leadership Training Center is a four-year certification program that trains you in a biblical worldview and develops your ministry skills…”

Required Courses
At each certificate level, four courses are required: one that focuses on ministry, one that works to develop your biblical worldview…

Foundation Level – Year 1
Cornerstone Level – Year 2
Pillar Level – Year 3
Keystone Level – Year 4

My Comment

Where did the levels idea come from? Also there are a number of references to “worldview”.

Leadership Training Center materials for
Awana Ministry Conference Workshops

My Comment

Again worldview is a big buzzword. Their approach is that parents need their help; reading the Bible and growing in their Christian walk is not enough.

4. Rorheim Institute’s
Perspectives on Children’s Spiritual Formation

5. Rock Solid Teacher: Discovering the Joy of Teaching Like Jesus

My Comment

This book uses NIV, KJV, The Message, NASB, NKJV, NLT; We aren’t Jesus. I like this quote from Andrew Murray’s sermon:
With Christ in the School of Prayer

“‘…Lord, teach us to pray.’ None can teach like Jesus, none but Jesus; therefore we call on Him, `LORD, teach us to pray.’ A pupil needs a teacher, who knows his work, who has the gift of teaching, who in patience and love will descend to the pupil’s needs. Blessed be God! Jesus is this and much more. He knows what prayer is. It is Jesus, praying Himself, who teaches to pray. He knows what prayer is…By His Holy Spirit, He has access to our heart, and teaches us to pray by showing us the sin that hinders the prayer, or giving us the assurance that we please God…” Continue reading

Rethink Conference: Where’s Jesus?

Check out this conference!

Check out the speakers and the goal of the conference!

At rethink we’ve purposely gathered a group of speakers you wouldn’t necessarily hear at a Christian conference. Our aim is to bring together a cross-section of the key leaders in today’s culture so we can grapple with what’s truly happening in our world.

Throughout the conference, you’ll hear from both Christian leaders and from leaders in media, technology, industry, politics, and business. These speakers are all at the top of their spheres of influence. They know what’s happening now, and what’s coming down the highway. The strategy is to learn from a group of top thinkers and implementers to understand the tools and techniques of effectiveness.

Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Dr. Henry Cloud
Erwin McManus, Dr. John Townsend
Larry King, Mark Mittelberg
George Barna, John Ortberg
Rupert Murdoch, Nancy Ortberg
George Herbert Walker Bush, Sr., Dr. Les Parrott
Charles Colson, H. B. London, Jr.
Dan Kimball, Kay Warren
Lee Strobel, Dr. Ben Carson
Gary Smalley, George Foreman

Check out the cost for one person.

Super early bird—thru 9/28/2007— $299

Early Bird—thru 11/30/2008—$349

Regular price: $369

From the BOOK

“Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”
—1 Corinthians 1:20

“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought.”—1 Corinthians 2:6

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”—1 Corinthians 3:19

“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable
unto the Lord.)

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”.—Ephesians 5:6-11