Category Archives: Psychology

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

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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!

http://www.rethinkconference.com

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.

Speakers:
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

George Barna—Part 3

I thought it would be interesting to see several organizations that take George Barna seriously and use The Barna Group’s research or books as authority.

Awana
The Awana store offers George Barna’s book: Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions. http://store.awana.org/AwanaItemMain.aspx?itemId=019001296

Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project®
http://www.thetruthproject.org/whatistruthproject/

The Truth Project quotes from: The Barna Update, “A Biblical Worldview Has a Radical Effect on a Person’s Life,” December 1, 2003. TTP uses Barna’s information to validate the need of their 12 DVDs which the site claims will “counter this slide within the body of Christ.” (See my first post, Where is Truth?)

Rethink Conference
George Barna is one of the speakers at a Rethink Conference hosted by Schuller at his Crystal Cathedral, Jan. 17-18, 2008.

We don’t need Transformation Books, Truth Project DVDs, or Rethink Conferences.

We just need THE BOOK

[Jesus said] “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”—John 6:63

“…they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”—Act 17:11

Psychology

Psychology’s belief system is opposite what is taught in the Bible.

Psychology says: Love yourself. You need self-esteem.

Jesus says: Deny yourself. Follow Me.

The Bible says we are sinners, we need to repent, and only Jesus can change our hearts.

The psychologists say it’s our parent’s fault or our society’s fault, and by spending time and money for their services, they can help us change.

We so called Christians in America have compromised and combined the Bible and psychology to get our answers. The Bible isn’t enough. We want something more than just the Bible. And our fruit is rotten.

Today’s most prominent “Christian” Psychologist (that’s really an oxymoron—psychology is not Christian) has quite a following of folk across the nation and quite a bit of political clout in Washington DC. Jesus’ Kingdom is NOT political.

You may find these videos I’ve linked to interesting. “They” (government and business) have been using psychological techniques to manipulate the masses for years. The “Christian” psychologists are no different.

BBC: A Century of Self
#1 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8953172273825999151&q=&hl=en

#2 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-678466363224520614

After viewing these videos, I began to wonder if we get the truth from anywhere, or if everything and everyone everywhere has an agenda to try and get me to think their way.

What does the Book say?

“…there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”—Psalm 53:3

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”—Romans 3:10, 12

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men.”—1 Corinthians 3:19–21

Doesn’t this sound like the result of years of psychologizing here in the US?

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
—2 Timothy 3:1–7

For true biblical counseling read from the Book:

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
—John 8:32

Proverbs and Psalms

Where is Truth?

The Truth Project site: thetruthproject.org is endorsed by
James Dobson and Ravi Zacharias.

Does this site tell you that Jesus is the Truth or that you can find the Truth by reading the Bible? I didn’t find it there.

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

No 12 one-hour DVDs expounding on some man’s agenda, and making him money.

No paying for workshops or conferences and travel expenses to get there.

What does Jesus say in the BOOK which is available to everyone?

“‘If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'”—John 8:31,32