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.

If I understood correctly one or two of them were saying that it takes your whole life to be changed. They disregard the change at one point in time (I assume a specific time of accepting Jesus as your Saviour) and said it’s a process.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he IS a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
—2 Corinthians 5:17

These leaders completely missed the expounding of God’s Word, how God loves us, no matter what, and that the Holy Spirit is our guide. Following Jesus is not done by things we’re supposed to do. The Christian life is not about who we are, but who God is.

No matter what Kevin White, Greg Carlson, Art Rorheim, Doug Fields or other Awana leaders say or don’t say,

Find out what THE BOOK says!

    “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”—Romans 10:17

    “Jesus saith unto him,… he that hath seen me hath seen the Father…”—John 14:9

    “Jesus saith unto him,…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”—John 20:29

    “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
    —Philippians 3:9

    “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”—2 Peter 2:19

    “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”—Titus 1:1

    “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”—2 Timothy 3:8

    “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”—2 Peter 3:16


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