Monthly Archives: November 2007

2000 Years of Deception and Error, Part 7 A: Kingdom of Light & Kingdom of Darkness

As I have researched the different orders of Monastics and what is called the Roman Catholic Church, I realized I was reading about one of many religious systems based on Satan’s original lies and deception of Eve, the first woman. Satan cast doubt on God’s Word and God’s Character, contradicted what God said (in effect calling God a liar), promised knowledge and godhood, and insinuated that God was not out for Adam and Eve’s best interest.

From God’s WORD

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
—Genesis 3:1

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”—Genesis 3:4, 5

God is not a man, that he should lie…”—Numbers 23:19;

“…God, that cannot lie…”—Titus 1:2

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.“—John 8:44

There are ONLY two Kingdoms mentioned in the Bible. Every belief or unbelief system that does not hold to God’s Word as final authority, belongs to the Kingdom of Darkness. Satan doesn’t care what you believe, or how religious you are or aren’t. He just doesn’t want people to be born into the Kingdom of Light by the truth of God’s Word.

Kingdom of Light/Life
Truth
Life
Only ONE way to enter
No darkness
Love
Humility
True Peace
Forgiveness
God’s Word
Freedom
Eternal Life

Kingdom of Darkness
death
deception
lies
murder
hatred
focus on self
reject God’s Word
proud, arrogance
false peace/war
confusion
believe anything you want
no truth
bondage
eternal death

God’s WORD

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”—Romans 6:23

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
—John 14:6

“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”—Matthew 6:23

The following are just a few of the differences between what God says in his Word and what is believed and taught in the religion of Roman Catholicism and their monastic groups which trust tradition, men and the “Church” rather than believe God’s WORD.

• Roman Church vs. God’s Word

• bondage to sin and man.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”—Galatians 5:1

• no relief from guilt of sin, no assurance of eternal life, purgatory.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”—Psalm 103:12

“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”—Micah 7:19

• Mary worshipped as co-redeemer.

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”—Luke 1:46, 47

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”—1 Timothy 2:15

• Jesus always suffering and being sacrificed on the cross and in the eucharist.

“For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.”—Romans 6:10

• Celibacy and denial of meat thought spiritual. [Enforcing celibacy as spiritual has been a part of Roman parishes and monasteries for at least 1000 years. The result has led people into horrible bondage of immorality (which is offensive to God) of all kinds, including pedophilia.]

“Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
—Hebrews 13:4

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith…Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”—1 Timothy 4:1–3

• work for salvation

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”—2 Corinthians 11:3

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”—Romans 5:1,2

• pay for sins by penance, indulgences, and/or physical hurting oneself.

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”—1 John 1:7

“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)”—Psalm 49:7, 8

My next few posts will discuss several monastic orders and their influence in today’s world. I think you may be surprised. I certainly was.

More from the BOOK

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”—Matthew 24:4

“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
—Hebrews 3:12

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”—1 Corinthians 10:12

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”—2 Timothy 3:13

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”—Ephesians 4:14

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”—2 Timothy 3:16

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2000 Years of Deception and Error, Part 6 B: Anthony and the Desert Monks

In the last post, I gave a number of definitions for you to refer to as I discuss the belief system behind the Monastics of the Roman church in the next few posts.

As we discuss some of the so-called desert fathers, and those termed “Christian” monastics and/or mystics, look to see if repentance from sin, Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection are preached and God’s Word is promoted. If not, though it sounds spiritual, it is not of God’s Kingdom of Light and Truth.

Anthony and the Desert “Fathers”
Anthony, an Egyptian from Alexandria, Egypt, has been called the “Father of Monasticism, although “Christian” monasticism had been practiced in the Egyptian deserts before him.

Anthony lived about 13 years in the Nitrate Valley region in Egypt. He was one of the first ascetics to live cut off from civilization in the harsh environment of the salt desert. It was said that the devil tempted Anthony with boredom, laziness, and phantoms of women which he resisted by the power of prayer. Anthony then moved to a tomb where he lived and closed the door on himself, but local villagers brought him food. The story then says that the devil was envious of him when he saw his ascetic life and intense worship, and beat him mercilessly, leaving him unconscious. Again friends found him and carried him to a church.

Anthony, on recovering, this time went further out in the desert and lived for 20 years enclosed in an abandoned Roman fort and communicated with the outside world by a crevice through which food would be passed, saying only a few words. No one was allowed to enter his cell. The story (from his friend Athanasius) says the devil resumed his war against Anthony with phantom wild beasts, wolves, lions, snakes and scorpions. Anthony would laugh at them and scorn them. Anthony did not create a monastery, but a monastic community grew up based on his example of living an ascetic and isolated life.

Anthony was a prominent leader among the so-called Desert Fathers. The Desert fathers (tagged as Christian) were hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the same Egyptian Nitrate desert as Anthony. Thinking the desert life would teach them to not be concerned about the things of this world and the solitude would make it easier to follow God better, people from all over went to this region to join monasteries in the 3rd to 7th centuries. They did not realize that there was a problem in their own heart.

You may remember from a previous post that Augustine of Hippo was influenced by Anthony. Augustine spent time in the same Egyptian desert, which according to one source, influenced his beliefs. Augustine (and a John Cassian) “emphasized an ascent to God through periods of purgation and illumination” thinking that it led to unity with the Divine (did they mean the God of the Bible?). This false belief influenced the belief system of the Roman church.

As time went on, these ascetics/monks developed a reputation for supposed holiness and wisdom and the desert life changed from that of the hermit with his own individual spiritual program, to community living with common prayer and meals which developed into what is called “Christian” monasticism. Where is Jesus in this?

Jesus in the wilderness.

    “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil.…”—Luke 4:1, 2

In the wilderness, the devil wrested scripture trying to tempt Jesus to use His power apart from God’s will, to worship Satan, and to tempt God. Jesus did not flail his body, seek a “divine” experience, practice disciplines, or respond using man’s wisdom. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, used God’s Words (correctly interpreted) to refute Satan.

    “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”—Luke 4:4

    “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”—Luke 4:8

    “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”—Luke 4:12

When Jesus’ trial was over, Jesus did not stay in the desert, or cloister himself away from people, but started his ministry with people to tell them the good news that the Kingdom of Heaven had arrived.

The alkaline desert (called Wadi el Natrun today) that these ascetics, mystics and monastics went to is in the Nitrate Valley region in Egypt. In Greek the region is called Scetes, which means ascetics. In Roman church literature, it is known as the Nitrian desert and is where Natron was mined. Natron is a naturally occurring salt mixture (white to colorless when pure) of hydrated sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and small quantities of household salt and sodium sulfate. Natron deposits occur naturally as a part of saline lake beds in arid environments.

    “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

    For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.“—Jeremiah 17:5, 6

You may notice that the asceticism, mysticism, and belief systems mentioned in the last post are interrelated with the beliefs of the Desert Monks.The influence of these desert monks have come to influence our own generation in terms of what is called the emergent church.

From the BOOK

    “…For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing…”—Romans 7:18

    “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”—Galatians 2:16

    “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”—Romans 6:18

    “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
    —Romans 5:17

    “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”—1 Corinthians 2:2

2000 Years of Deception and Error, Part 6 A: Ascetics, Mystics and Monasticism

In this post, I will define several terms and discuss some religious beliefs which are definitely influencing mainstream “Christianity” today, and were practiced in the first few centuries AD by some who have been called “Christian.” God’s Word is not the basis of these beliefs. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is NOT the focus and there is NO need for repentance or a Saviour.

People, thinking they know the way to have oneness with (a) god or how to reach some sort of enlightenment are being deceived by the god of this world (the father of lies), and are actually in Satan’s kingdom of darkness.

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
—2 Corinthians 4:4

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
—1 John 1:5

What a wonderful God and Saviour we have and what wonderful promises he gives us.

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
—Hebrews 13:20, 21

Ascetics and Asceticism
Ascetic, an ancient Greek word, means to abstain from worldly pleasures to achieve what is perceived as spiritual enlightenment. It is believed that by purifying the body, the soul is purified and one can then connect more easily with the divine.

Self-mortification is practiced by those who realize the self is wicked and deserving of punishment, but their goal is what they term, the transcendent true self. They don’t realize Jesus already took the punishment for us, and that there are no good works or no masochistic practices that can be done to absolve us of our sins. Jesus is our Righteousness; there is NO good in us.

Asceticism is most commonly associated with monks, yogis or priests. Some individuals choose to lead an ascetic life and leave their families, possessions, and homes to live a mendicant life. Their followers believe this demonstrates great spiritual attainment, or enlightenment.

Monks
A monk or monastic, is a person who practices religious asceticism—the conditioning of mind and body in favor of the spirit… The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

Yogis
Yogis are advanced practicers of yoga bound by a code of moral conduct and restraint (including celibacy), with a view to unite with the divine.

Yoga, a group of ancient spiritual practices originating in India, means to yoke in Sanskrit, and is translated as union as in union with the Divine.

Priests
A priest or priestess is a person having the authority or power to perform and administer religious rites and exists in some branches of “Christianity”, Shintoism, Hinduism, and many other religions.

mendicant
Mendicant means religious followers or ascetics who rely exclusively on charity to survive. Those in a mendicant order usually do not own property and have taken a vow of poverty…Many religious orders follow a mendicant way of life, including the Catholic mendicant orders, Hindu ascetics, some dervishes of Sufi Islam, and the monastic orders of Buddhism.

Other Ascetics

Sadhu
In Hinduism, a sadhu is an ascetic or practitioner of yoga (yogi) who has given up pursuit of the first three Hindu goals of life: kama (enjoyment), artha (practical objectives) and even dharma (duty). Solely dedicated to achieving moksha (liberation) through meditation and contemplation of God, Sadhus are believed to be holy and known for the extreme forms of self-denial they occasionally practice to a deity or principle.

Jainism
Jainism uses an intense form of asceticism encouraging fasting, yoga practices, meditation in difficult postures, and other austerities. The origin of which can be traced back to the 24th fordmaker or Tirthankara— a human who achieves enlightenment (perfect knowledge), through asceticism. A Tirthankar becomes a Jina (after totally conquering anger, pride, deceit, desire, etc.). A Tirthankar is the founder of a “Tirth”, a Jain community which acts as a “ford” across the “river of human misery.”

Zuhd is the Islamic word for asceticism.

Sufism developed as an ascetic movement; sufi refers to a rough woolen robe of the ascetic. Asceticism naturally goes to mysticism. The Muslim ascetic believes that he draws near to Allah by leading an ascetic life…the Sufi way to salvation.

Mysticism
Mysticism is the attempt by an individual to achieve a personal union with a god or with some other divine being or principle. A common theme in mysticism is that the mystic and all of reality are One. The purpose of mystical practices is to achieve that oneness in experience,to achieve a larger identity and re-identify with the all that is. The state of oneness has many names depending on the mystical system: Illumination, Union, Irfan (Islam), Nirvana (Buddhism), Moksha (Jainism), Samadhi (Hinduism), etc.

Whether it is the the inner light of the Quakers or the Atman of the Hindu or Buddhist, the center focus is on the essential essence within themselves. Strong elements of mysticism are a part of a number of major traditions and philosophies: Hindu, Chinese, Islamic, Jewish, Mormon, so called “Christian” mystics, and others.

Mystical Theology
Mystical theology or direct experience of God is defined as experiential knowledge of God by Thomas Aquinas. MT includes all extraordinary forms of prayer, “the higher forms of contemplation in all their varieties or gradations, private revelations, visions, and the union growing out of these between god and the soul, known as the mystical union“— the mystical state in which an individual becomes united with god.

A soul must be purified to reach the mystical union. [If you click on the mystical theology link, you will see the requirements to reach this mystical union.] This is an experience-based belief system rather than faith in God’s Word. Who or what does the individual actually unite with? It’s not the God of the Bible. God doesn’t give us steps and disciplines to get to him. Jesus has done everything. Repent and take His robe of Righteousness, just as Adam and Eve put on the animal skins God gave them in the garden.

WORD of GOD

“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.”—Acts 17:27

“Now the just shall live by faith…”—Hebrews 10:38

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”—Hebrews 11:6

“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”—Matthew 23:4

Hermit/ermetic
Our word hermit is from the Greek word erimites meaning person of the desert. In the ascetic eremitic life, the hermit seeks solitude for meditation, contemplation, and prayer without the distractions of society to become closer to the deity or deities they worship and revere.

For those in the Roman tradition, eremitic life was a strict separation from the world, and included the silence of solitude and prayer and penance—a life supposedly given entirely to the praise of God and the love and the service of humanity. The ermitic life is also in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sufism. Anthony of Egypt is the best known of the early Western hermits.

Buddha and Buddhism
Siddhartha Gautama lived in the sixth century BC and left home at 29 to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. Gautama abandoned the way of self-mortification—his six years of arduous yogic training—and instead sat in mindful meditation beneath a bodhi tree and somehow, became Buddha, the enlightened one. For the next 45 years, he wandered the plains of northeastern India teaching the path or Dharma he thought he had found. Buddha died 486 BC, at the age of 80.—http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/buddhaintro.html

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development thought to lead to Enlightenment or Buddhahood. Buddhist practices such as meditation are the means of changing oneself. The Four Noble Truths of Buddhist thinking start with the idea that suffering exists and ends with freedom from suffering by practicing the Eightfold plan, the third step of which is meditation including contemplation.
http://fwbo.org/buddhism.html http://www.buddhaweb.org/

Zen
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism which emphasizes practice and experiential wisdom along with intensive periods of meditation in the attainment of awakening. [I’m not sure what that means] It emphasizes direct individual experience of one’s own true nature. Zen, in China social circumstances, led to the development of a temple and training-center system in which the abbot and the monks had jobs of making food, gardening or farming, carpentry, architecture, housekeeping, administration, and the practice of folk medicine. A practice in many Zen monasteries and centers is a daily liturgy service where major sutras such as the Heart Sutra, etc. are chanted; chanting being an important part of the belief system.

Hinduism
The ultimate goal of all Hindus is release (moksha) from the cycle of rebirth (samsara). “…those of a philosophical persuasion look forward to uniting with god as a drop of rain merges with the sea.

Most Hindus venerate one or more deities, but regard these as manifestations of Ultimate Reality which is referred to as “the One,” “Purusha,” and “Brahman,” and several other names. Most modern Hindus refer to the Ultimate Reality as Brahman. Brahman is impersonal Being in itself, but it can be known through the many gods and goddesses that are manifestations of Brahman.—http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/beliefs.htm

In Hinduism, there are four main ways to reach towards the divine reality, whether the ultimate goal is a better life, union with the divine, or a release from life. The ways are called yoga, a word similar to the English term “yoke.” And, just as yoke implies a burden or a discipline of actions, so too does yoga. Each yoga puts on its followers a set of actions that help lead the practitioner towards their goal. The four yogas are all spiritual approaches to understanding the divine world.
—http://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu/religionet/er/hinduism/HRLIFE.HTM

From the BOOK

“Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.”
—Jeremiah 7:8

“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.”
—Jeremiah 7:24

“… the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.”—Jeremiah 23:16

“The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.”—Jeremiah 2:8

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, … among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life…”
—Phillipians 2:13–16

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”
—John 17:15

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.”—Ephesians 5:8

Awana: Here and Now Part 2

Continuing from Awana: Here and Now Part I

These two posts on Awana: Here and Now, are not an interruption in my series: 2000 Years of Deception and Error. My blog has been headed towards the discussion of “christian/biblical” worldview from the start.

Since the time of Constantine and Augustine, the Roman church has seen itself as a political power. Since Reformed theology never completely divested itself of Roman thought, and based some of its thinking on Augustine and Aquinas and included the idea that the church replaced Israel, we now have a rather large group believing they are to bring in the Kingdom for Jesus. Awana/Rorheim leadership seems to be a part of this group.

As you read Awana/Rorheim information or any other organizations goals, check out to see if they are actually preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified, or only paying lip service so they can accomplish their agenda. A foundation not built solely on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word (no wresting of scriptures or elevating men’s words), will end up in the Kingdom of Darkness, NOT the Kingdom of LIGHT.

2. “Kingdom Now” and “Biblical Worldview”

My intention is to make you aware of “Kingdom Now” theology and how it is connected to the biblical worldview, which Awana’s Rorheim Institute has wholeheartedly embraced.

[Rorheim Institute is not the only organization to climb onto the Biblical Worldview bandwagon, there is wholesale embracing of this idea in churches, “christian” schools, and organizations.]

Whether known or unknown to the Awana/Rorheim Institute personnel, the Biblical Worldview that they are preaching and intent in propagating, is related to aspects of “Kingdom Now” theology and its relatives: Dominion Theology, Reconstructionism, Reformed thought, and Replacement theology. This connection is the slough that I am now going to wade into and discuss, although, not in its totality.

Kingdom Now Theology

“Kingdom Now theology has some beliefs in common with the Latter Rain Movement, such as a belief in restored apostles and prophets. It also has a great deal in common with Dominion theology which is the belief that this world can be conquered for Christ by the temporal political, military, and religious powers of a present day Christian superpower. Its eschatology is a dominionist belief that a church-state takeover of the world is awaiting fulfilment.”

From what I have read and observed, Biblical or Christian Worldview is a belief/cause which has consciously been introduced into the “Christian” church/schools to bring people of different theological belief systems (especially wanting those who believe the Bible and are true believers) together in an ecumenical way with the purpose of getting the Kingdom ready for Jesus, or that is what they say. It’s about a political kingdom here on earth, now. And it is about diverting attention away from our only means of rescue from this world of darkness.

The result is that biblical worldview (a term NOT in the Bible, NOR is the concept) becomes the focus of agreement, and the LORD Jesus Christ, His sacrifice for sins, the need for repentance, and God’s WORD is either ignored or mentioned occasionally to keep folk thinking they are really believers.

Don’t take my word for it, but don’t accept everything other folk are saying either. The Lord gave you intelligence. Satan has an agenda, and he uses people to achieve his purpose of one world religion and government. Somehow, he has to refocus people from Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, onto something that still sounds spiritual, but is not 100% Jesus and God’s Word so he can have citizens for his kingdom of darkness; he desperately wants to be worshipped.

Rorheim Institute strongly promotes “biblical worldview.”

Here’s what Rorheim Institute says about itself:

About Rorheim Institute.org
Why was Rorheim Institute formed: In response to an alarming erosion of biblical values in America…The average scores of students from Christian schools as well as evangelical families on tests that determine worldview have dropped by over 30 percent since 1988.

These results are merely a symptom of the decline in biblical worldview among today’s Christian adults, many of whom are not equipped to instill this worldview in young people. (Biblical worldview is defined as living life and making decisions based on God’s truth from the Bible.) Just nine percent of all born-again adults, seven percent of Protestants and half of Protestant pastors hold a biblical worldview of life…

What is the mission of the Institute? Our goal is to equip churches with Awana leaders, other kids’ ministry workers and parents who have cultivated a sound biblical worldview —with the additional benefit of college accreditation—and possess the shepherding skills to infuse this worldview into the young people in their sphere of influence.

What will the Institute strive to accomplish? Our goals cover four key areas: [I’ve listed two of them.]
1. Research, communicate and create awareness regarding the needs of children’s ministry today in developing biblical worldview.
2. Network with individuals and churches committed to transforming children’s ministry

My comments:
The whole premise of the Rorheim Institute seems to be that Awana and “just” Bible verses is not working, so now we need “biblical worldview.” [See my Awana Parent Alert Posts as the talks at Awana Summit support this. Just click on Awana in the category section on the right.]

The seed that we plant is the Word of God. It is not about a biblical worldview, and superimposing morality on folk. God uses us to plant the seed, He takes care of the results.

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”—Luke 8:11

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”—1 Peter 1:23

Other references to the biblical worldview agenda of Awana/Rorheim.

1. Rorheim Institute’s fourth pillar is developing biblical worldview. (where did pillars come from?)

2. The High School Group, Journey, has an elective book:
“God Colored Glasses (Biblical Worldview).”

3. Rorheim Institute’s CAFÉ
Their Cafe is about a “deep” biblical worldview. (What is a “deep” biblical worldview?)

CAFÉ is a group of educators from academia and church ministry…to be advocates for guiding young people toward faith in Jesus Christ and a sound and deep biblical worldview.

You can download Awana shepherding training materials and information from Rorheim Seminars and conferences. I have issues with the shepherding materials, but I am going to concentrate on the information from the Rorheim Institute in this post.

There is some information that has the Gospel for children. But instead of teaching adults how to find answers for family problems from God’s Word, Rorheim Institute pushes the “biblical worldview.” Again, the inference is that the job hasn’t been done by teaching the Bible, and can’t be done without teaching the “biblical worldview.”

The movie: “Is Christ in our Kids?” that you can watch seems to be saying just that; teaching the Bible is not enough for this generation, it didn’t work. We need something more. Fortunately, Rorheim Institute comes to our rescue. I think they are creating a need and then filling it…and it isn’t with the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of their goals is to deepen a worldview in children. They say parents and ministry workers will shape children’s worldview. Where is that in the Bible? What are they really saying?

Here are some statements/thoughts from the Rorheim Institute powerpoint:

Worldview: the underlying belief system held by an individual that determines his/her attitudes and actions in life.

Children’s ministry is no longer effectively developing a biblical worldview in a majority of our children. People without a correct biblical worldview are terribly immoral and they have statistics to prove it.

“The American Church must focus on children and children’s ministry. We have virtually lost a generation—we cannot afford to lose another.”—George Barna

Worldview is largely formed by age 10; therefore, we must concentrate on children.

Children won’t change their worldview by themselves; therefore, we must work with those who work with the children.

Nehemiah Institute conducts testing of Christian sophomores and seniors to determine their worldview is biblical.

My Comment:

I’m not getting this. Why is Worldview so important to them?

I researched Nehemiah Institute some years ago when I realized it was an important part of the thinking of many of the leaders of the homeschooling movement and included Reformed and Reconstructionist thinking. The Nehemiah Institute focuses on rebuilding the walls that have broken down—referring to Nehemiah in Old Testatment who directed the Jewish people in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. [These verses are referred to in the Rorheim powerpoint presentation.]

I don’t think the Bible teaches us to rebuild walls. We preach Jesus and Him crucified and repentance and forgiveness from sins. Jesus broke down the wall between us and God!

“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”—Ephesians 2:14–17

Nehemiah Institute

I don’t get the connection between their verse on the top left: “Worldview training for all the World”—Psalm 50:12, and what the Bible actually says:

“If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.—Psalm 50:12

Goal of Nehemiah Institute:

The mission of the Nehemiah Institute is to unleash a massive spiritual awakening within the Christian community, by helping Christian organizations and the individuals and families they serve, establish quantifiable standards for worldview education and a personal plan for each individual to achieve and maintain a Christian worldview.

In addition to our worldview testing program, we offer several items for teaching on ‘biblical worldview’ understanding.

Discussing the Nehemiah Institute is way too vast a discussion for right now. Check out their mission, links, staff, endorsements. You will find people in one or more of these categories: Reformed (not that they aren’t Christian, but they have a different view of our present and future than what I believe is in the Bible), Restorationists, Dominion Theology, Reclaiming the culture and/or Replacement theology folk, some of them with (my opinion) political goals.

People in Jesus’ Kingdom, love each other, forgive others, are humble, lay down their lives for others, deny themselves and aren’t self-centered because they are forgiven and the Lord has given them a new heart to do His will.

You can not superimpose what you think is moral behavior on people; it comes from within when people are changed on the inside, leaving the kingdom of darkness and entering the kingdom of light.

The BOOK

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
—John 18:36

“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”—James 2:5

“As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”—Galatians 1:9

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”—1 Corinthians 2:2

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”—Hebrews 10:16, 17

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”—2 Corinthians 6:14

“And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.”—Jeremiah 9:3

Awana: Here and Now—Part 1

Today I am revisiting a past post: Parent Alert 1: What AWANA Leaders are Saying, regarding the “here and now” phrase used by Kevin White at the Awana Summit conference.

Summit’s not about “here and now”; it’s about “there and then.”

I’m still not sure what “there and then” means, but I recently heard of an Awana leader of the T&T (Truth and Training grade 4–6) who in the council time, after explaining the gospel (which was done well, I understand) used the phrase “here and now” and “kingdom now.” My friend’s two children both heard the talk.

This Awana Club is at a smaller quite conservative Bible church in the outskirts of Phoenix. If these concepts are mentioned in this smaller church, it makes me think that there is much undermining of the truth of God’s Word being done in churches of all sizes across the country. And it is quite possible that:

1. Leaders aren’t aware that they are adding to the gospel.

2. Parents don’t know what is being told to their children.

In researching, I again found information on the Awana site that is very grieving to me, so, I am revisiting Awana on my blog.

1. “Here and now” and layers of meaning.

I am in no way saying this leader knew about or was intentionally using the phrase to mean anything other than just words. But words mean things. I was surprised at the following information, some of which was forwarded to me.

Immanentize the eschaton

Well, this was a new vocabulary phrase for me. Apparently, the phrase was coined by, Eric Voegelin, a political philosopher in his 1952 book, “The New Science of Politics.”

“To immanentize the eschaton means trying to make the eschaton (transcendent, spiritual, or future; the end of days) in the immanent (within the limits of possible experience) world.”

Don’t immanentize the eschaton, then means, should you prefer understandable English: “Don’t try to make that which belongs to the afterlife happen here and now,” or “Don’t try to create heaven on earth.”

“It is also being used by libertarians to criticise George W. Bush and the neo-conservative movement [1]. In this context it means “trying to make that which belongs to the afterlife happen here and now (on Earth)” or “trying to create heaven here on Earth.”—from wikipedia, Immanentize the eschaton

The last comment above will connect to “Kingdom Now” which I will talk about in Awana: Here and Now—Part 2.

These next references refer not to a political kingdom of here and now, but, as I understand it, to the Buddhist concept of life happening “here and now.” On one site, I found what they said was Buddha’s summary of the correct attitude and actions in the Eight-fold Noble path. This is one of the points: Correct mindfulness: try to be aware of the “here and now”, instead of dreaming in the “there and then”.

If you are brave, google: “here and now”, buddhism.

Other places I found “here and now”.

A Book: Here and Now: Living in the Spirit by contemplative author, Henri Nouwen

Qualities of Buddha Dharma/Dhamma

The Teaching of the Buddha also has six supreme qualities [here is the third one]:

Akāliko (Sanskrit: Akālika “immediate”). The Dhamma is able to bestow timeless and immediate results here and now, for which there is no need to wait until the future or next existence.

Here and Now Meditation Booklet

So what exactly is “Here & Now”? It means literally being “here” and “now.” It results from keeping the mind where the body is and from the absence of thought while in a heightened state of awareness. In this state, the mind stands still, unthinking—not darting to the past, jumping to the future, or analyzing and drawing inaccurate conclusions. “Mind” and “body” become One, uniting the physical body with its inherent inner Stillness; a state that transcends time and space.

Here and Now Productions

With a strong focus on safety, proper allignment, breath control and the intuitive flow of the asanas, shakti teaches the students how to create and retain prana (sanskrit for lifeforce) while stilling the mind into a meditative enjoyment of the present moment. This DVD is an unforgettable journey into a world of yoga from a truly inspired and inspirational teacher.

What does the BOOK say?

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.“—Matthew 22:29

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”—1 Corinthians 2:5

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”—Galatians 5:9

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”—Acts 26:18

“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!“—Matthew 6:23

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
—1 John 1:5