Religion

Incrementalsim within the church.

Creating Community – Part 1


Creating Community – Part 1
Purpose-Driven Change through Transformational Leadership
Trading Biblical unity for a more inclusive vision of oneness
By Berit Kjos – November 2004

 

 

“Families need rebuilding. Jobs are scarce. The cost of living is increasing. … Children do not have a level playing field for every intellectual, social and emotional development. We are flooded with evidence of the need for societal transformation everywhere we look…. Peter Drucker, in The Age of Transformation, says that this age is far from over and predicts it will reach well into the next century. This is a time, which calls for a critical mass of transformational leaders….”[1] Erik Rees, Minister of Life Mission at Saddleback Church. “Seven Principles of Transformational Leadership — Creating a Synergy of Energy

“Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together. The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity…. We have to redefine the words… [and write a new] social contract.”

Emphasis has been added through italicized or bold letters.


You probably won’t discover Rick Warren’s vision for the 21st century community by simply reading his top-selling books. Yet, many have sensed that his five familiar motivational purposes hide a more complex mission. Some have noticed that his transformational strategies match those of UN globalists and the world’s leading change agents. No wonder, since today’s  management gurus — Peter DruckerPeter SengeBob Buford and others — are shaping the same strategic pathways for purpose-driven churches as for the rest of the world.

Their clever use of words and the complexities of today’s transformational management systems tend to blind our eyes to the strange alliances and manipulative strategies. Who would know the philosophy and tactical power behind labels such as “systems thinking,” “facilitated learning” or “transformational leadership”?  As with educational buzzwords, the old familiar words take on new meaning when used in the context of planned social change. [See also New Age Terms in the Church

I first glimpsed the UN vision for the 21st century community during the 1996 UN Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul. At a day-long panel presentation on “solidarity” and social change, I heard the world’s political, spiritual and social change agents share their common goals and guidelines on human resource development and global oneness: They would gather people together in communities within cities, then use the latest psycho-social strategies, including the dialectic process, to train the masses in “a new way of thinking,” living and relating to one another.

“Change your whole way of thinking, because the new order of the spirit is confronting and challenging you,” said Millard Fuller, President of Habitat for Humanity.

Citizenship for the next century is learning to live together,” said Federico Mayor, Director General of UNESCO. “The 21st Century city will be a city of social solidarity…. We have toredefine the words… [and write a new] social contract.”

“We should stop bemoaning the growth of cities,” added Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Vice President of The World Bank. “It’s going to happen and it’s a good thing, because cities are the vectors of social change and transformation. Let’s just make sure that social change and transformation are going in the right direction.” Later he added, “The media must act as part of the education process that counters individualism.”[2]

Individualism is out. Collective thinking, strategic leadership and facilitated learning are in! And no group of transformational leaders are more effectively pioneering the process and pushing thetransformation “in the right direction” than Saddleback Community Church.

Consider an article posted on Rick Warren’s website, pastors.com, titled Seven Principles of Transformational Leadership.” The author, Erik Rees, is one of Saddleback’s influential pastors. In his article, he bases his vision of social change on the experimental plans touted by the world’s cutting-edge leaders — secular, pagan and Christian — all linked by the common vision of “transformation:”

“This is a time, which calls for a critical mass of transformational leaders who will commit to creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence so new levels of social, economic, organizational and spiritual success can be reached.

“We have not, however, developed the leaders we need for this noble task. To reach such heights, we will need to un-tap the leadership potential of skillful leaders who are successfully directing various organizations and systems. Some of these men and women, knowledgeable and committed, to their profession, will be the transformational leaders we need to create the needed synergy of energy.”[1]

Notice that Pastor Rees calls, not for Christian leaders, but for cutting-edge leaders who share the vision and skills [systems thinking and transformational methods] needed for transformation. Nor does He suggest dependence on the Holy Spirit. In the next paragraph, the focus is on the process, not God or His Word. In fact, the Biblical truths that would counter this process must be left out or reinterpreted to fit the new context. [See Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven]:

“This new paradigm of transformational leadership is not just for the marketplace but also for the local and global movement of Christ. One of the most influential movements, for the advancement of the church, is the Purpose-Driven model developed by Rick Warren, Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church. Leaders of Purpose-Driven churches not only are called to authentically model the five Biblical purposes… they depend on the seven principles of transformational leadership to create a synergy of energy within their flock.”[1][emphasis added]

As you read those seven principles, remember that these summarize some of the transformational strategies used by UN leaders, corporate executives and “progressive educators” as well as pastors around the world. They generally “make sense,” therefore we tend to accept them without considering the unbiblical process central to the new context. [See The Mind-Changing Process] Each nice-sounding principle is followed by self-assessments, which helps steer the transformation and its change agents “in the right direction:”

“1. Principle of Simplification – Successful leadership begins with a vision, which reflects the shared purpose. The ability to articulate a clear, practical, transformational vision which answers the question, ‘Where are we headed?'”

“2. Principle of Motivation – The ability to gain the agreement and commitment of other people to the vision. … A common way to motivate others is to challenge them, provide ample opportunity to join the creative process, and give them the credit.” [Not God?]

“3. Principle of Facilitation – The ability to effectively facilitate the learning of individuals, teams…. Peter Senge in Fifth Discipline says the primary job of leadership now is tofacilitate the learning of others.”

“4. Principle of Innovation  – The ability to boldly initiate prayerful change when needed. … Team members successfully influence one another to assimilate change because the transformational leaders have built trust and fostered teamwork.”

“5. Principle of Mobilization – The ability to enlist, equip and empower others to fulfill the vision. Transformational leaders… desire leadership at all levels, so they find ways to invite and ignite leadership all levels. They introduce simple baby steps to enlist larger participants.” [That’s what 40 Days of Purpose is: “baby steps” toward the new solidarity.40 Days of Community is simply the next, higher level in this process]

“6. Principle of Preparation – The ability to never stop learning about themselves…. Rick Warren says, ‘Leaders are learners.’  … This is such a rigorous path of learning that transformational leaders must be in thriving relationships with others pursuing transformation. It is within these vital relationships, life opportunities and obstacles get saturated in love and support.  [Keep in mind, this promise of “love and support” applies whether the group forms under a secular or Christian banner. Facilitated togetherness, not the Holy Spirit, is the glue that creates success.] 

“7. Principle of Determination – The ability to finish the race. …  Transformational leaders have to develop spiritual, emotional, and physical disciplines to sustain their high level of commitment to their cause.”[1]

Erik Rees’s bio statement at the end of his 2001 article tells us that “Erik starts his doctorate next year in Strategic Leadership at Regent University,” which was founded in Virginia by Pat Robertson. “Erik’s life purpose is to help organizations focus their resources by creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence.”

Mr. Rees is likely to take some of his courses from Jay Gary, an affiliate professor at Regent University‘s School of Leadership Studies. Mr. Gary is a visionary leader who has designed a theological formula and historical timeline that strays as far from Biblical truth as the revived Gnostic “gospels.” A Senior Associate with The World Network of Religious Futurists and a member of the World Future Society (WFS), his involvement with the supposedly “Christian” Regent University defies any Biblical logic. Though relatively unknown in churches, Jay Gary has become a forceful leader in today’s vast and vital effort to evangelize the world — but not for the Biblical Jesus. [Read more about him in “The call to global oneness“] 

Other members of the WFS include occult author Barbara Marx Hubbard, UN leader Maurice Strong and futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler. In their book, Creating a New Civilization, the Tofflers wrote an appropriate summary of the ungodly direction of today’s transformational leadership. The fact that Newt Gingrich wrote its foreword makes it all the more alarming:

“A new civilization is emerging in our lives, and blind men everywhere are trying to suppress it. This new civilization brings with it new family styles, changed ways of working, loving, and living, a new economy, new political conflicts, and beyond all this an altered consciousness as well.”[3]

Might you and I be counted among those “blind men?”

Listed among the resources at Regent’s School of Leadership Studies is a report co-authored by Dr. Peter Senge titled “Communities of Commitment: The Heart of Learning Organizations.” In Part 2 of this short series, I will compare Dr. Senge’s outline for strategic “learning organizations” with Rick Warren’s new book, Better Together, the workbook for 40 Days of Community. While Warren freely expresses faith in our Lord and His truths, the imbalanced use of Scriptures and the misleading paraphrased interpretations follow the same pattern that was outlined inSpirit-Led or Purpose-Driven, Part 1. And behind the Biblical words you will find a system and a process designed to move every participant away from any firm position on the Rock of Biblical absolutes to the shifting sands of systems thinking, transformational learning, and “continual change” within the enticing new “learning organization.”

Remember, traditional thinking, discernment and worldviews based on God’s unchanging Truth will clash the vision of the 21st century community.

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”  Colossians 2:6-9

TNIV: TRANSLATION TREASON

Article written by Terry Watkins, Th.D.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD,

that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Amos 8:11


In 1995, the NIV team (International Bible Society (IBS) and Committee on Bible Translations (CBT)) created a feminist “gender-inclusive” NIV, titled the New International Version Inclusive language edition [NIVI]. They found out very quickly and very loudly that America was not “prime-time ready” for a NIV feminist “gender inclusive” edition. So the NIVI was published solely in Great Britain by Hodder & Stoughton (Zondervan is the exclusive NIV publisher in the U.S.). The NIVI is so drenched in feminist changes and so corrupt, it cannot legally be sold in America. The NIVI is a “bound and gagged book” in America. See 2 Timothy 2:9, ( ‘. . .but the word of God is not bound“). According to Christianity Today, NIV copyright holder, International Bible Society (IBS) even requested that Hodder & Stoughton quit selling the embarrassing NIVI in liberal England.A little known “secret” that also appeared in 1996 was concerning Zondervan’s, the New International Readers Version [NIrV]. According to Zondervan, the NIrV was, “a thorough, scholarly simplification of the NIV, the NIrV was specifically designed to help young children [ages 2-10] and new readers understand the Bible for themselves.” The NIrV sold under such “innocent” titles as: The NIrV Children’s Bible: The Beginner’s Bible; NIrV Kid’s Study Bible; NIrV Kids’ Quest Study Bible; Adventure Bible for Young Readers; NIrV Read to Me Bible for Kids.

But the “dirty little secret” was the children’s NIrV was soaking in “gender inclusive” feminist language. There was nothing in the Preface, nor any hint anywhere that the innocent children’s NIrV was flooded with “gender inclusive” lingo.

Get this “nugget” – Bruce Metzger, writes in The Bible in Translation: “In November 1996, Hodder and Stoughton issued in Great Britain the simplified NIV [the Children’s NIrV] under the title: New International Version Popular Edition, Inclusive Language and in March 1997 under the title New International Version: Inclusive Language Edition (NIVI)” (Bruce Metzger, The Bible in Translation, p. 172). According to Metzer, the “banned in the U.S.” feminist NIVI is the same Bible as the Childrens’ NIrV! After word leaked out about the NIrV’s “gender-bender” vocabulary, Zondervan quickly re-issued the NIrV (July 1998) minus the original feminist inclusive language. Not surprising, after researching the “gender-inclusive” issue, I’ve found many of the Children’s Bibles among the most corrupt and feminist influenced.

But as they say, “the times, they are a’changing”.

So seven short years later, the NIV crew, along with Zondervan, are at it again. Come ‘hail or high water’ the NIV team is gonna dump a feminist NIV “gender inclusive” Bible on the U.S. And in March, 2002, the New Testament of the “gender inclusive” TNIV officially hit the streets of the good ol’ U.S.

This article is a lengthy look at Zondervan’s Today’s New International Version [TNIV]. This article began as a simple, short critique of the TNIV. But the more I researched. . . the more I read. . . the more alarmed and troubled I became. Even though, this is a lengthy article, it would be well worth your time to carefully and prayerfully read. This article goes far beyond the scope of the recent TNIV. You will see, without question, a deliberate, intentional, and completely inaccurate, mis-translation of the God-inspired, Greek text.

As you witness the blatant disregard for the Greek text, please bear in mind: that according to their own words – the TNIV translators are the same group using the same translation methodology as used in the highly successful “original” New International Version [NIV].

This is quoted directly from the TNIV web site:

“The fully independent body that translated the highly acclaimed NIV is the same eminent group that undertook the work on theTNIV. . .
The widely respected translation methodology that drove the scholarship of the NIV was maintained in the development of theTNIV. . .”
(Faithfully Produced by CBT, www.tniv.info/story/cbt.php)

Not only, are the TNIV crew proud of their “gender inclusive” TNIV, again, according to their own words, the TNIV is more accurate and a better translation than the “original” NIV.

Again, the following is taken form the TNIV web site:

“The NIV is an extremely accurate Bible text, the best the CBT could produce as of 1984. The TNIV is an even slightly more accurate Bible text, the best the CBT could produce as of 2001.”
(TNIV FAQS, www.tniv.info/QandA.php)

As you read this disturbing review of the TNIV, be ever mindful – it is the same translation methodology, the same people, and the same beliefs, that produced the “original” NIV. And according to the people who translated and published both the NIV and TNIV – the feminist TNIV is more accurate and a better translation than the “original” NIV. That’s not my words, or thoughts – that’s their words – on their website, for all the world to read.

So what does that testify about the “original” NIV? I’ll let you answer that after you’ve finished reading this article.

The fact is, the “original” NIV was stuffed with “gender inclusive” language. But unlike, the TNIV, the “original” NIV was not advertised as a “gender-accurate” Bible.

Gail Riplinger writes in The Language of the King James Bible:

“The recent clamour about a so-called inclusive language edition of the NIV, is just a smoke screen, hiding the fact the NIV has, since its introduction in 1973, omitted male pronouns, like ‘he’ and ‘him’. Chapter 5 of my book New Age Bible Versions documents dozens and dozens of places where male terms, and Jesus Christ himself, are neutered by the NIV.”
(Gail Riplinger, The Language of the King James Bible, p. 114)

Professor Mark Strauss, who is a proponent of the “gender-inclusive” Bibles, readily acknowledges the “gender inclusiveness” of the “original” NIV.

“In dozens of cases in the Old Testament, inclusive terms such as ‘people’ or ‘person(s),’ ‘one,’ ‘each,’ ‘anyone’ or ‘someone’ are used [in the New international Versions (NIV)]. . . The Greek term anthropos is also frequently translated with inclusive language in the NIV. . . There are many such inclusive renderings in the NIV. Comparing the translation of anthropos and aner in the NIV and the NIVI, Andreas Kostenberger found that ninety-five of the 550 appearances of anthropos and thirty of the 216 appearances of aner were translated inclusively in the original NIV.”
(Mark L. Strauss, Distorting Scripture?, The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy, pp. 37-38)

The fact is, the NIV translators [CBT] original intention was for the “gender-inclusive” NIVI to replace the “original” NIV. World magazine details the CBT’s intention:

“Mr. Walker says the consensus of the Committee for Bible Translation in America is to have the unisex-language version ‘take the place of the other.’ [original NIV]”
(World Magazine, Femme Fatale cover story, March 29, 1997, www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

Kenneth Barker, the CBT chairman and secretary clearly says in World magazine, the CBT’s desire is to have only a “gender-inclusive” NIV:

“Mr. Barker says it will be the publisher’s decision: “If our committee had its way there would be no separate inclusive-language edition.” But he says, “I’ve heard–I can’t say that this is actual fact–that Zondervan will keep making the two editions,” at least for a while if the traditional version finds a market niche.”
(World Magazine, Femme Fatale cover story, March 29, 1997, www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

As you read this alarming review of the TNIV – just remember – the people that translated the NIV-NIrV-NIVI-TNIV – want to replace all the Bibles with a deliberate, mis-translated “gender-inclusive” Bible. And remember, their first “attempt” was an undisclosed “gender-inclusive” disaster [NIrV] aimed for your children. After they got “caught”, they quickly republished a semi “non-gender-inclusive” NIrV.

THE “GENDER-INCLUSIVE” BIBLE FLOOD. . .

It’s also worth mentioning, the TNIV is not the first “gender-inclusive” version. In fact, since 1985, nearly every version produced is a feminist-inspired, “gender-inclusive” version.

Professor Strauss writes in Distorting Scripture:

Almost every major version that has been prepared or revised over the last decade had adopted the extensive use of such [gender-inclusive] language“.
(Mark L. Strauss, Distorting Scripture?, The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy, p. 18)

All the following versions are “gender-inclusive” versions:

  • 1983 An Inclusive Language Lectionary [ILL]
  • 1985 New Jerusalem Bible [NJB]
  • 1987 New Century Version [NCV]
  • 1986 International Children’s Bible [ICB] (aka The Odyssey Bible)
  • 1986 New American Bible, [NAB]
  • 1989 Revised English Bible [REB]
  • 1990 New Revised Standard Version [NRSV]
  • 1992 Good News Bible [1992 Revision] [GNB]
  • 1992 Today’s English Version [TEV]
  • 1993 The Message
  • 1994 The Inclusive New Testament [INT]
  • 1995 Contemporary English Version [CEV]
  • 1995 New American Standard Bible Update [NASBU]
  • 1995 God’s Word [GW]
  • 1996 New International Reader’s Version [Nirv] (Note. After negative reaction to the “gender-inclusive” 1995 version of the NirV, in 1998 the NIV crew updated the NirV removing much of the “gender-inclusive” readings.)
  • 1996 New International Version, Inclusive Language Edition [NIVI] published ONLY in Great Britain by Hodder & Stoughton, London
  • 1995 New Testament and Psalms, An Inclusive Version [NTPI]
  • 1996 New Living Translation [NLT]
  • 2002 Today’s New International Version [TNIV]

All of the above versions, to some extent:

  • Incorrectly neuter the clear, masculine Greek text. For example, the singular, masculine, “generic he / his / him” pronouns are incorrectly distorted to read neuter, plural, “they / them / their” or neuter, second person “you”. This is done thousands of times.
  • Incorrectly neuter the masculine Greek text for ‘man / men / mankind” to read “people / self / human / mortal, et al”.
  • Incorrectly neuter the masculine Greek text for “father” to read “ancestors / parents / et al”.

All of the above “gender-inclusive” translation errors, plus others, will be examined in detail in this article.

THE “GENDER-INCLUSIVE” TRANSLATION TREASON. . .

Most of the “gender-inclusive” versions will scream “bloody murder” to even suggest there is any feminist influence, but make no mistake about it – it is the radical, feminist agenda that has pushed for the “gender –inclusive” language changes.

The Preface of the TNIV admits, “cultural FORCES” are the reasoning behind the “gender-inclusive” changes, such as elimination of the masculine pronouns:

“While a basic core of the English language remains relatively stable, many diverse and complex cultural forces continue to bring about the subtle [Gen 3:1] shifts in the meanings and/or connotations of even old, well-established words and phrases. Among the more programmatic changes in the TNIV is the removal of nearly all vocative ‘O’’s and the elimination of most instances of the generic use of masculine nouns and pronouns.
(TNIV, Preface, p. vii)

Now, what “cultural FORCE” is interested in the elimination of masculine nouns and pronouns? Only one. . . The radical, pro-abortion, feminist.

World magazine states that the NIV-NIrV-NIVI-TNIV translators were pressured by women for the gender inclusive changes:

Pressure for unisex language came from women who, in the words of Mr. Walker, ‘felt left out’ by the traditional language.
(World Magazine, Femme Fatale cover story, March 29, 1997, www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

Gender-inclusive advocate and Professor of New Testament at Bethel Theological Seminary, Mark Strauss, traces the root of the gender-inclusive movement to the feminists.

“The debate over gender-inclusive language has its roots in the women’s rights movements.”
(Mark L. Strauss, Distorting Scripture?, The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy, p. 16)

After investigating many “gender inclusive” changes made by the NIV team, Regent College professor and author J.I. Packer, hit the “nail on the head”:

“adjustments made by what I call the feminist edition are not made in the interests of legitimate translation procedure. These changes have been made to pander to a cultural prejudice that I hope will be short-lived.”
(World Magazine, The Battle for the Bible, Susan Olasky. Apr. 19, 1997)

CBT translation member, Larry Walker, even admits in World magazine that the unisex language “. . .bothered me at first. . .”:

“. . . Larry Walker of the NIV Committee says: Unisex language “bothered me to begin with very much. I guess I’ve evolved.’”
(World Magazine, Femme Fatale cover story, March 29, 1997, www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

Why did it “bother him” very much?

Could it be because. . . the NIV-TNIV-NIrV-NIVI translators knew they were deliberately and incorrectly perverting the clear, masculine, God-given, Greek text for a false, man-made, “gender-inclusive” neuter word?

Most pre “gender-inclusive” versions, even the worst, attempted, sometimes poorly or incorrectly, but at least, they attempted to translate the Greek text. But these “gender-inclusive” versions have opened a new dark, deceitful, door. Their translation methodology is how to NOT translate the Greek text. Their mind set is, “Hmm. . . Now how can we get around this male chauvinist, masculine, word?”

Notice how the TNIV translators word their “gender-inclusive” methods on the TNIV website:

“The term “gender-neutral” has often been used in error when used to describe inclusive language texts. The TNIV is in fact ‘gender-accurate.’ Gender neutrality suggests the removal of specific male or female attributes. The TNIV does not remove these attributes or “neuter” any passages of Scripture. The TNIV uses generic languageonly where the meaning of the text was intended to include both men and women. These changes reflect a better understanding of the meaning of the original Greek and Hebrew.”
(TNIV: Questions and Answers, www.tniv.info/QandA.php)

The TNIV translators claim they can change the masculine Greek text because “. . . the meaning of the text was intended to include both men and women.” If the Lord God “intended” for the verse to read “they / them / their” or neutered, plural, gender – why didn’t God inspire the men that penned the Greek text to write “gender inclusive”? Hmm. . . ?

If God didn’t “intend” what He said – then why in the world, didn’t He say what He “intended”?

It sounds like the TNIV translators and publishers believe that God does not know what He’s doing. I guess, God Almighty, needs the NIV crew to come along and help Him “explain” what He “intended” to say.

The TNIV translators and publishers obviously claim they possess some psychic ability to know what “. . . the meaning of the text was intended.” How do the TNIV translators know what the original writers “intended” – other than the words they penned? Are the TNIV translators omnipotent? Do they think they can “read the minds” of these men, who died thousands of years ago? The TNIV translators claim to know what these men [and God] “intended” – even when it disagrees with the words the men wrote? Men who were moved by the Holy Spirit of God? (2 Peter 1:21) Wow! That’s a pretty, nifty trick. The TNIV’s psychic “mind reading” abilities would even make the TV psychic Miss Cleo blush with embarrassment.

By the way, these are the same psychics that translated the “original” NIV. And according to their words – the same psychic translation methodology.

When you translate someone else’s work you don’t have the liberty to judge what they “intended” to say. You translate what they said! Can you imagine the uproar if the NIV-TNIV translators applied the same distorted psychic translation methods to Homer’s The Iliad, or Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? And yet, the NIV-TNIV translators and publishers without hesitation will pervert the words of God!

And they admittedly confess, it’s no big deal. . .

Kenneth Barker, secretary of the Committee on Bible Translations [CBT], the same group that translated the NIV, NIVI and TNIV, just flat-out says changing God’s Word, to a feminist “gender-inclusive” reading, is “no big deal”:

“It probably disturbs us that such a big deal is being made over inclusive language. After all it is not changing the sense of the passage.”
Kenneth Barker, secretary of the CBT
World Magazine, Femme fatale, Mar. 29, 1997,Volume 12, Number 2, http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03-29-97/cover_1.asp)

Get that. . . The fact that they’re changing the God-breathed words is “no big deal”. After all Barker says, “. . . it is not changing the sense of the passage“. Mr. Barker, when you change the words – you are changing the sense of the passage. But when you’ve been doing in for 30 years via the NIV, I guess it is no big deal.

Did Jesus Christ say in Matthew 24:35:?

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my SENSE shall not pass away.
Matthew 24:35

God forbid. . .Jesus Christ, clearly said His words, not the sense were inspired:

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Matthew 24:35

Who’s to “judge” what deliberate changes does and does not change the sense? — the radical, feminists?Jesus Christ clearly declared in Luke 4:4 “. . .every word. . ” was inspired and God given.

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

It’s interesting, the NIV, TNIV (and most new PER versions) leave out the “but by every word of God.” In Luke 4:4

Dr. Wayne Grudem, professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (www.cbmw.org) correctly diagnoses the danger of the NIVI and other Bible versions:

“. . .the generic use of “he-him-his” has consistently been changed to “we” or “you” or “they.” The result is that whenever readers of this inclusive-language NIV read the words “we” and “you” and “they,” they will never know whether what they are reading is what God originally caused his Word to say, or what the translators have decided his Word should say instead. In hundreds and probably thousands of places, readers will never know whether these are the words of God or the words of man.Such revisions are not the words God originally caused to be written, and thus they are not the words of God. They are human words that men have substituted for the words of God, and they have no place in the Bible.”
(Wayne Grudem, Comparing the two NIVs, World Magazine. Apr. 19, 1997)

 


Editor’s Note:
Dr. Watkins (author of this article), has much more to say about the TNIV version.  This article, that appears here on this website, serves as an introduction to the problems with the TNIV version.  We encourage you to click on one of the links below for a greater detailed analysis.  Here’s what he has to say:


Much, much more could be documented about the TNIV translators methods and philosophies, but let’s take a look at the TNIV.

P.S. As you’ll soon see. . . There’s more “tricks” in the TNIV hat than just the gender-inclusive changes.

Because of the length of the article, we’ve broken it up into several sections. I would strongly encourage you to prayerfully and carefully read each section.


. . . for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. 
Psalms 138:2

the Refuel Bible (for guys)

Article Written by Terry Watkins, Th.D.

In July, 2003, Thomas Nelson released the Revolve Bible, a fashion-magazine-turned-Bible for teen girls. Although released in mid-year, the Revolve still was crowned the number one best-selling Bible of 2003! The hugely successful Revolve even sent the lack-luster New Century Version, (the Bible text of the Revolve), revolving from a mediocre #11 to a respectable #5 in the Bible version ratings.

The promise for a guy’s Bible-mag was soon heard. (A Bible-mag for post-teen women, titled Becoming is scheduled for July.)

Well guys, your Bible-mag is here. . .refuel

Titled the Refuel Bible, it contains the worldly splash and dash of the Revolve, but with a guy’s appeal. The hip-hop cover blazes with a rockin’ electric Les Paul guitar. The “rock and roll” cover was designed by Anderson Thomas Design, who also does rockin’ covers for Faith Hill’s CDs, the Newsboys, and many other rockers. One reviewer describes the Refuel cover as, “The splashy cover should attract any young guy interested in girls, hot-dogging on skis, girls, basketball, pop music … and girls.”
<http://www.andythegeek.com/past/000015.html>

The cover of the Refuel Bible-mag bears the names of the various sections lurking throughout the Refuel, such as:

  • Extras: Girls, Cash, and Cars
  • Girls Spill it All!
  • Radical Faith:
  • How to Live out What you Believe
  • Music Reviews
  • 100 Practical Ways to Live Your Faith
  • Today’s Hottest Songs
  • The Core: Stuff you Need to Know About the Bible

Like much of the girl’s Revolve Biblemag, some of the counsel in the Refuel is mind-boggling. The Revolve was bad, but the guy’s Refuel is much worse. And I mean MUCH worse. If you are a Christian, buckle up and get prepared, some of the Refuel’s “shock and awe” will blow you away!

Like his “big sis”, the Refuel is not all bad. It contains some good, though soft-pedaled and watered-down, common-sense advice on various topics. But like the Revolve, it is clearly based on far-left, very-liberal, anti-conservative, anti-Bible-Believer, teachings. In fact, the Refuel includes the most blatant anti-Christian, Bible-Believer attacks I have ever read in a Christian publication. And I have read many. . .

Get comfortable, and sit down. . . You will not believe what you are about to read.

 


THE REFUEL AND GAMBLING


 

Gambling among teenagers and adolescents has exploded into raging proportions. The prevalence of the easy-anonymous-unchecked gambling landscape via the rise of lotteries, Internet gambling, video poker machines flooding convenience stores, pizza parlors and bowling alleys have fueled the current explosion of teenage gambling. David Robertson, former chairman of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, states, “Statistics prove that teen-age Internet gambling is the fastest growing addiction of the day, akin to drug and alcohol abuse in the 1930s. It’s pernicious, it’s evil, it’s certainly one that feeds on those who are the weakest members of society — and that’s the young and the poor.” <http://www.youngmoney.com/money_management/spending/020809_04>

According to Dr. Howard J. Shaffer, Director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Addiction Studies, “Today, there are more children experiencing adverse symptoms from gambling than from drugs…and the problem is growing.” <http://www.ncalg.org/library/working%20on%20these/factsheet.htm>

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, states, “Teenagers have a problem gambling rate of 10%-17%, a rate 2 to 3 times higher than the general population.” <http://www.campusblues.com/gambling.asp>

A 2002 regional survey by the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP) found that more than 30% of all high school students gamble periodically. And the evidence indicates that gambling is a problem not only among older teens in high school, but among younger students as well. The study found that 43% of eighth-grade boys and 19% of eighth grade girls gamble.
<http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/7/222003e.asp>

Without question, it is our vulnerable young that the constricting coil of the hissing serpent of gambling is swallowing whole! A Louisiana study showed that adolescents are more than twice as likely as adults to be pathological gamblers, and more than four times as likely to be problem gamblers. <http://www.afa.net/gambling/articles.asp>

Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence of the destroyed lives from gambling, some people (believe it or not — even Christians) have promoted the serpent’s deception that gambling is just a harmless form of entertainment or fun.

The Rotten Fruits of Gambling

The Bible says in Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”.

A survey of Massachusetts high school students found that one in 20 had already been arrested for a gambling-related offense; 10 percent experienced family problems due to gambling; and 8 percent had gotten in trouble at work or school because of gambling. (Howard J. Shaffer, “The Emergence of Youthful Addiction: The Prevalence of Underage Lottery Use and the Impact of Gambling,” Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, January 13, 1994, p. 12)

A Louisiana State University study discovered that Louisiana youngsters in juvenile detention are roughly four times as likely to have a serious gambling problem as their peersTwo-thirds of the hard-core gamblers in detention admitted stealing specifically to finance their gambling. (James R. Westphal, “Adolescent Gambling Behavior,” Louisiana State University Medical Center—Shreveport, presented to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 11, 1998).

According to research by Delaware’s Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP), “An eighth grader that gambles is 50 percent more likely to drink alcoholthree times more likely to use marijuana or other illegal drugs, and three times more likely to get into trouble with the police, get involved with gang violence, or steal or shoplift.” <http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/7/222003e.asp>

In less than ten years after casinos were legalized in Atlantic City, the crime rate increased a shocking 258 percent! With the introduction of casinos, Gulfport and Biloxi Mississippi, also came a dramatic rise in crime in every category, with murder, rape, robbery and car theft at least doubling. In just three short years after casinos came to Deadwood, South Dakota — felony crimes increased by 40 percent, child abuse was up 42 percent, domestic violence and assaults rose 80 percent! In just three years!
<http://www.ncalg.org/library/working%20on%20these/factsheet.htm>

More than half of all problem gamblers will commit crimes to fuel their powerful addiction. Insurance-related crime among gamblers is estimated at over $1.3 billion a year! One of the most sickening cancers infesting gambling is domestic violence and child abuse. Since casinos came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, domestic violence has increased a whopping 69 percent. And the most disgusting – over 37 percent of problem gamblers are child abuser!
<http://www.ncalg.org/library/working%20on%20these/factsheet.htm>

Revelation 6:8 says, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. . .” One of the most frightening “fruits” of gambling is the high rate of suicide and destruction. According to researchers, “Compulsive gambling has the highest rate of suicide. There are usually three options if a compulsive gambler doesn’t abstain one day at a time and that is prison, insanity or death.” <http://www.youngmoney.com/money_management/spending/020809_04>

On May 6, 2002, over 220 prominent religion leaders issued an “open letter” to President Bush and Congress on the plague of gambling. The letter called gambling a “moral and cultural cancer” and urged President Bush to curb the devastation of gambling. They stated, “Perhaps no single statistic better reveals the depth of despair associated with gambling addiction than this: One in five of those who become addicted to gambling will attempt to take his or her own life.”

Clearly, the fruits of gambling smell with the vile stench of decadence, destruction and death.

The Word of God, repeatedly condemns the “get-rich-quick” snare of gambling. Just as the tragedies and destroyed lives from gambling testify, the Lord warns that those who commit this covetous sin have “pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10

In Proverbs 28:22, the Lord has gambling’s number. While promising wealth and riches, it produces the fruit of poverty. Gambling is one of poverty’s greatest allies. Nothing is a greater and quicker producer of poverty than the enticing lure of gambling.

He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eyeand considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
Proverbs 28:22

Surely no sensible Christian would innocently label gambling as a “form of entertainment” or simply an “evening of fun”? And clearly, no responsible Christian leader would instruct Christian young people with such deceptive and destructive definitions? Surely not, would they?

Unfortunately, they would. And sadly the Refuel does. . .

In one of the sections titled “Extras”, the Refuel covers the topic: “How (Not )To Gamble Away Your Life’s Savings” (p. 150). Here is Refuel’s shameful and disgraceful advice to teenage boys regarding gambling.

“You’re turning 18 and you’re determined: Not even your parents can keep you out of the casino right down the road. Okay, some Christians see casual gambling as a form of entertainment. If that’s where you’re at, lower your odds of losing every penny in your piggy bank by setting a personal limit—the $10 or $20 or $50 you’re willing to toss on an evening of fun. And like Kenny Rogers sang, “You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em.” Get help fast when you see any of these warning signs of gambling addiction in you or a friend: failing to keep that spending limit, money problems, debt, secrecy, family and friends expressing concern, pre-occupation with gambling, increasing amounts of time and money spent gambling, failed attempts to quit or cut back, gambling with borrowed money, or gambling to win back loses.”(Refuel, p. 150, emphasis added)

How can anyone – especially a Christian, give such outrageous advice to impressionable young people on gambling? Do they really believe teenagers can gamble without serious consequences? The facts clearly and loudly show different. The statistics alarmingly report that, “. . .one in every seven teenagers who gamble will become addicted.” <http://www.bible.com/answers/agamblin.html>

It is amazing the Refuel quotes country music “Gambler”, Kenny Rogers for guidance and completely ignores the Word of God.

Churches, pastors, parents and Christian leaders have devoted hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars fervently fighting against legalized gambling from destroying their young and here is a mainstream youth Bible that encourages teen gambling by innocently calling it “entertainment” and “fun”. And many of these same Christian leaders will promote the Refuel!


THE REFUEL AND ALCOHOL


Another cancer literally eating the life from young people is alcohol. The deadly fact is — alcohol is the number one killer of teenagers! Approximately 10,000 young people between the ages of 16-24 are killed each year in alcohol related accidents. The life expectancy of every age group in America has increased – except one – our teenagers. And the reason is killer alcohol. Teenage drinking is one of America’s deadliest sins.

Killer alcohol kills 50 times more people than all the illegal drugs combined! Killer alcohol will kill between 240,000 to 360,000 of the current college student body. <http://www.gatordental.com/drugfree/alcohol.htm>

In 1997, one in three high school seniors reported having had at least five drinks in a row in the previous two weeks. One in four sophomores and one in 10 eighth-graders responded the same. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that more than 50 percent of eighth graders and 8 out of every10 high school seniors admit that they have tried alcohol.
<http://teenagerstoday.com/resources/articles/drugfacts.htm>

The average age of the first forbidden taste of alcohol use is 12. And it is not uncommon to find 10 year old alcoholics.

The most surprising and shocking result of teenager drinking is the fast-path to serious alcoholism. According to studies, the average adult takes 10-30 years of drinking to develop alcoholism – but get this – teenagers can become hard-core alcoholics in a little as three to six months! <http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/pei/brochures/drug/html/teenagealcohol.cfm>

Young people who drink alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to be an alcoholic than those who begin drinking at age 21. More than 43% of teenagers who began drinking before age 14 later became alcoholics. <MediaScope, Teenagers and Alcohol, http://www.mediascope.org/pubs/ibriefs/ta.htm>

And there are over three million children ages 14 to 17 who are problem drinkers!

Alcohol quickly leads teens down the road to faster and farther sin.

According to Attorney General Mike Fisher of Pennsylvania, “The use of alcohol suppresses inhibitions and judgments, permitting young people to cross the line of sexual involvement at younger and younger ages. Forty-seven percent of teenagers surveyed in 1982 were intoxicated the first time they engaged in sexual intercourse”.
<http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/pei/brochures/drug/html/teenagealcohol.cfm>

Alcohol use is also implicated in two-thirds of sexual assault and acquaintance or “date” rape cases among teens and college students. A survey of high school students found that 18% of females and 39% of males say it is acceptable for a boy to force sex on a girl if she is stoned or drunk.
<MediaScope, Teenagers and Alcohol, http://www.mediascope.org/pubs/ibriefs/ta.htm>

Even the Refuel Bible-mag states on page 91, “Half of all teens say they are concerned they might go further sexually than they had planned to because they were drinking or using drugs.” (Kaiser Family Foundation and MTV). (Refuel, p. 91)

The Word of God provides a perfect description of alcohol in Proverbs 23:29-35: “Who hath WOE? Who hath SORROW? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it BITETH LIKE A SERPENT, AND STINGETH LIKE AN ADDER. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. ”

Notice the Lord says, “. . . at last it biteth like A SERPENT.” Do you know what a serpent’s bite is? It is a deadly poison! Did you know that alcohol is a deadly poison? Every major organ in your body is poisoned by alcohol. According to The Birmingham News (Nov. 19, 1990), “Scientific data show alcohol is the most physically deteriorating drug there is. It causes more organic damage than any other drug. . .”

Why is it when people get drunk, they have a tendency to vomit? Because your stomach knows a deadly poison when it comes down. No wonder the bartender says, “Name your poison”. When a man is drunk, he is intoxicated. Do you know what toxic is? Webster’s Dictionary defines toxic as: poisonous. A person drinking alcohol is literally intoxicating or poisoning themselves!

The Bible makes a clear distinction between fermented liquor and new wine or grape juice. Speaking of fermented liquor, Proverbs 23 says, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red(speaking of fermentation), when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (speaking of the bubbling and carbonation). At the last it BITETH like a serpent, and STINGETH like an adder.” The Bible says do not even LOOK AT IT, much less drink it!

A description of new wine is found in Isaiah 65:8, “as the NEW WINE is found IN THE CLUSTER.” Not in a bottle. You can not get fermented alcohol from a CLUSTER! Fermented alcohol is placed in a bottle, with yeast and allowed to decay and ferment. Genesis 40:11 gives a clear picture of new wine, “I took grapes and pressed them in Pharaoh’s cup.”

People say, “Jesus drank wine at the Last Supper with the apostles”. The fact is, In Matthew, Mark and Luke where the account of the Last Supper is found, the word “wine” is never even mentioned. The Bible very carefully says they drank – “fruit of the vine”.

What about when Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage in Cana. If Jesus Christ turned water into fermented alcohol, he directly disobeyed Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also . . .” And friend, if Jesus Christ disobeyed Habakkuk – He was a sinner! The Bible makes it very clear in 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and other verses – that Jesus Christ was without sin!

Do you believe the Lord Jesus Christ was deceived? The Lord says in Proverbs 20:1, whosoever that drinks wine or strong drink is “deceived”.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

God has placed a very strong warning on alcohol in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Be not deceived: NO DRUNKARDS, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Without a doubt – the Word of God condemns killer alcohol – from the casual drink to the drunkard.

If there ever was a battle cry for Christians and the church today it is teenage drinking. Like the prophet Isaiah says, we should, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, . . .” (Isaiah 58:1).

With the terror of teenage drinking literally slaughtering our young people, I could not believe the “expert” counsel the Refuel gives Christian teenagers. With the clear and serious warning the Lord places on alcohol the counsel of the Refuel is literally beyond belief!

In one section of the Refuel, called “Experts Answer Your Questions” is the following:

Q: How much beer can I drink before it’s a sin.
A: There’s no easy answerIt’s hard to make a case that the Bible forbids all drinking; after all, even Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding party. But it’s clear that getting drunk is another story. So is underage drinking. If you never start, you’ll never have to stop. (Refuel, p. 129, emphasis added)

Can you believe that? That is throwing fuel (or in this case Refuel) on the raging fire of teenage killer alcohol! Do you really want these “experts” teaching your children?

In another section of the Refuel called “Issues”, the subject is “Partying”. Notice again, they do not condemn drinking.

It’s Friday night and you’re glad to get an invite to a party. Problem is, you know that most people present will be sloshing beers. What do you do? Drinking might feel cool. It might calm your social jitters. It might make you forget about life’s most hideous problems. But for now, drinking is illegal. And drinking too much can undo your life. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you.” (Refuel, p. 138 emphasis added)

What do you do? The correct answer is: if you know “people present will be sloshing beers” – you do not go! A Christian has NO business in such an environment. You can be sure, if they are “sloshing beers”, they are not sitting around praying and singing “Amazing Grace”! Proverbs 23 describes the sinful fruits of alcohol, “. . . Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.. . .” Where alcohol is – sin does much more abound. Young person, do not believe the Refuel – stay away from such! Stay away! Take the Lord’s wise advice in Proverbs 1:10, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” If you get around alcohol or fire-water you will get burned! The Bible says in Proverbs 6:27, “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?”

Notice also the Refuel’s condemnation of drinking “too much”. Not drinking, but drinking “too much”. Friend, one drink is way too much. Parents and youth workers, do you want theRefuel instructing your children?

May we pause and ask the great evangelist and alcohol-fighter, Billy Sunday his opinion of moderate, not too much, Christian drinkers, such as the Refuel “experts”? Brother Billy says, they are, “dirty, low-down, whiskey-soaked, beer-guzzling, bull-necked, foul-mouthed, hypocrites”. <http://info.detnews.com/history/story/index.cfm?id=200&category=people>

Thank you, Brother Billy for those wonderful and kind words of truth.


THE REFUEL’S “DO’S & DON’TS”


Another section of the Refuel is “Do’s & Don’ts”. They go from the silly to the crude.

Some of the silly:

  • Don’t blow your nose without a Kleenex (p. 15)
  • Don’t give swirlies (p. 55)

    Note: A “Swirlie” is when someone is held upside down over a toilet, their head shoved into the toilet, and then flushed. The dirtier the toilet water – the better.

  • Don’t run with scissors. (p. 15)
  • Don’t leave the seat down—or the lid up when you’re done. (p. 55)
  • Don’t play with matches (p. 164)
  • Don’t shake soda cans. (p. 164)

It’s ironic the Refuel flippantly warns against such trivial nonsense as “don’t shake soda cans”, or “don’t blow your nose without a Kleenex”, but as we previously read, they down-play such serious sins as gambling and drinking. And may I remind you, the Refuel is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, one of the largest Christian publishers on the planet!. God help us.

Some of the crude from the “Do’s and Don’t”:

  • Don’t flip the bird. (p. 66)

    The “bird” is the obscene gesture by raising the middle finger which means “go to hell” or worse.

  • Don’t pick your nose in public. (p. 88)
  • Don’t ever pick your friends nose. (p. 88)
  • Don’t grope. (p. 96)

    Grope is sexually fondling another person.

  • Don’t look down shirts or up skirts. (p. 111)

The Refuel’s “Do’s and Don’ts” is slightly different from the Lord’s “Ten Commandments”. Which one do you think is right?


THE REFUEL’S DOCTRINAL CHAOS AND CONFUSION


Littered throughout the Refuel is doctrinal confusion and chaos.

The Refuel’s ridiculous exposition of John 14:2-4 is certainly worth a laugh. The Refuel steals your mansion the Lord Jesus promised in John 14:2 and gives you a “room”. The Refuelbelieves God the Father is running a “boarding house”. Pitiful. . .

John 14:2-4
“This is one of the most awesome promises in all of scripture. Jesus has gone to prepare our home-our forever home. A room in our Fathers house waits for each of us. . . ” (Refuel, p 163)

No thank you, I’ll stick with my mansion and the King James Bible:

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory,
And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea.
About the angels singing and the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there the song of victory.
Oh victory in Jesus, my Saviour for ever!
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood.
He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.
    — Victory in Jesus, Eugene M. Bartlett, 1885-1941

Oh, by the way, don’t count on those “streets of gold” either. The “experts” in the Refuel says under the topic “Heaven” in Bible Basics, they are not real — just “major symbols”.

“Heaven is where God’s throne is. The Bible describes heaven with major symbols like streets of gold and gates of rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. . .” (Refuel, p. 97)

The Refuel is earnestly attempting to rob all the “glitter, glory, and gold” from God’s heaven. But on the other hand; gambling is “entertainment” and “fun” (Refuel, p. 150). And go ahead and drink a beer or two. (Refuel, p. 129)

In a section titled “Ways to Walk the Walk”, the Refuel blatantly teaches the heresy of baptismal regeneration while removing the last half of the verse!

Ways to Walk the Walk
Mark 16:16
Word: The one who believes and is baptized will be saved.
Walk it: Share your faith with someone who may not know Jesus. (Refuel, p. 74)

Notice in their “Ways to Walk the Walk”, the Refuel conveniently leaves out the last half of Mark 16:16, “but he that believeth not shall be damned”.

It is also worth mentioning the New Century Version (the Bible text of the Revolve and Refuel) is the translation work of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) in Ft. Worth, Texas. The cornerstone of the Church of Christ is baptismal regeneration (among other heresies) and the NCV is intertwined with Church of Christ false doctrines.

In the section “Experts Answer Your Questions”, the Refuel irreverently refers to God as the “Big Guy upstairs”. In the same “expert question”, they give a very confusing and baffling answer to a simple and serious question. This is a typical trivial answer of the Refuel.

Experts Answer Your Questions.
Q: My neighbor has a different religion, and he says that he’s glad I’m a Christian—but that people of all religions worship the same God. Is he right?
A: It’s true that there’s only one God, and it’s a popular idea that all religious people run to the same Big Guy upstairs. But check out what the gods in other religions say,and you see that their personalities are completely different from the God of the Bible. All religions don’t serve the same God. (Refuel, p. 83)

The Word of God is very clear. A Christian is to be different from the world. He is to be separated (2 Cor. 6:17), peculiar (1 Peter 2:9) hated (Matt. 10:22) reviled (Matt. 5:11) and persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). Like their Lord, a Bible Believing, Christian will always be hated and persecuted by this world.

But the Refuel has another idea. . . Being a Christian does not make you “strange” but the “real life of the party”. Under the section “Ways to Walk With God” under Acts 2:15, theRefuel reads:

“Remind yourself today that being a Christian doesn’t make you strange. It makes you a better person, a deeper friend, and the real life of the party.” (Refuel, p. 179)

Yes, the apostles were the “real life of the party”. Peter was crucified upside down, and the Apostle Paul was beheaded. Yes, the early Christians were the real “life of the party” as thousands were thrown to the lion’s den. You want a real party? Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Hebrews 11:36-38 gives some more “life of the party” Christians:

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Hebrews 11:36-38

The “real life of the party”? I wonder what party the Refuel staff goes to?

And for you guys desiring to be a “Godly Guy”, the Refuel has the prescription. This is a sure thing. On page 278, the Refuel lists their spiritually dynamic and exciting “Random Things to Know About Being a Godly Guy”. Are you guys ready? Got your pen out? You definitely will want to write these “nuggets” down!

Here they are:

Random Things to Know About Being a Godly Guy
1. They don’t hit girls.
2. They don’t chew with their mouth open.
3. They don’t belch.
4. They aren’t arrogant.
5. They don’t backstab.
6. They know their bodies are temples of God.
7. They respect others.
8. They don’t ditch their families.
9. They don’t talk smut with their dates.
10. They are loyal friends.
(Refuel, p. 278)

Boy, now that came right out the Pauline epistles. Especially that “They don’t belch” godly spiritual revelation.

Again, this is the typical, silly “refuse” found littering the Refuel. What is really pitiful, these people are not kidding! That is honestly their description of a “Godly Guy”! No prayer, No Bible. No soulwinning. No holiness. No persecution. No separation. Nothing. . . “Nuttin Honey”!

Is it possible that a Christian publication could be more spiritually perverted? Is it possible?

Yes it is. The worse is yet to come. . .


THE REFUEL’S MUSIC REVIEWS


Another feature of the Refuel is “Music Reviews”. Of course, the music they review is all Christian rock. And naturally (on par with the rest of the Refuel), they recommend some of the most rebellious. We could easily dedicate several pages on the complete disgust of their Christian music recommendations. Due to lack of time, we will just examine a few.

On page 55, The Refuel recommends Christian rocker Jaci Velasquez.

Jaci Velasquez’s starring role in the movie Chasing Papi is a sickening first for a mainstream Christian. Chasing Papi is a sensual, heavily sexually saturated movie about three sexy women (Jaci is one) involved with the same man named Papi. The movie has a heavy dose of cleavage, skimpy outfits, jiggle and bare flesh. Chicago Sun-Times, famed movie critic, Roger Ebert describes Chasing Papi, as a “. . .feature-length jiggle show with Charlie’s Angels transformed into Latina bimbos. . .” Ebert compares Chasing Papi to the nearly-nude magazine Maxim (Walmart removed Maxim for it’s flesh and filth), Papi, “. . would make your average Maxim reader feel right at home.” One scene in Chasing Papi has the three women (including Jaci) hiding in Papi’s bedroom wearing very (very, very) skimpy red lingerie. When Papi appears they all lusciously pop-out. Ebert says the scene looks like “. . . a fashion show by Victoria’s Secret“. Another movie reviewer says Chasing Papi is “. . . as lubricious as a centerfold.” (Lubricious means sexual arousal or lustful)

As if the blatant sexual sins were not enough open rebellion against the Lord, Chasi Papi also contains the God forbidden occult. The real-life, world-renown, astrologer and occultist Walter Mercado appears in Chasing Papi to provide the ladies (including Jaci) with occultic, Satanic readings.

Jaci, who is also known for her sexually provocative and skimpy outfits, tells CCM, “. . .I always get letters saying, ‘You dress too sexy. I was offended; I’m never taking my kid to your show again.’”
<http://www.ccmcom.com/features/fullstory_cont2.asp?Id=2274>

Is Jaci Velasquez someone to recommend to Christian young men? Believe me, Christian teenage boys have enough battles curbing their hormones in today’s sex-crazed world without sexually dressed Jaci enticing them.

The Refuel recommends the group Jars of Clay (p. 340):

The Birmingham Post-Herald (Aug. 31, 1996, p.2A) writes about a CCM Jars of Clay concert, “You’ve got to give Jars of Clay credit for a wicked sense of humor. Why else would they do a langorous, offbeat treatment of Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train?’ . . . the former lead singer of Black Sabbath and a man noted for his interest in the occult.” Jars of Clay also does Rod Stewart’s very lustful, “If You Think I’m Sexy” in their concerts. Some of the cleaner lyrics: “If you want my body / And you think I’m sexy / Come on sugar let me know”. And those are the lyrics that are clean enough to print.

Probably the most spiritually dangerous group in Christian music is P.O.D. Under “Random Christian CDs Worth Owning” (p. 112), the Refuel has P.O.D.’s Satellite first on the list. In theRefuel’s “Random Psyche-Up Songs” (p. 105), P.O.D.’s song “Alive” is included. According to P.O.D., “Alive” is about a boy-girl relationship, which the “Alive” video clearly shows.

Sporting heavily tattooed and pierced bodies, the group P.O.D., has destroyed any remaining fragments of Bible separation and convictions.

Despite the Lord’s clear warning against profanity such as Colossians 3:8, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth“, P.O.D. is frequently quoted in rock magazines openly using profanity; “f—-ing” (Guitar World, Nov. 2001, p. 54); “D—n it!” (Drum!, Sept.-Oct. 2001, p. 86); “p—s us off” (Drum!, Sept.-Oct. 2001, p. 87) “d—n ” (Revolver, Nov/Dec 2001, p.63) “p—sed off” (AP, Nov. 2001, p. 59) “half a-sed” (Circus, July 2002 p. 22). And there are many others.

In Circus magazine, Traa of P.O.D says, “Of course we got the same view on life as most people out there – it’s too short and most of the time it’s quite a shi—y business.” (Circus, July 2002, p.22) What a glowing testimony for a supposedly Christian “life. . . is a shi—y business”! Where do the words of the Lord Jesus, in John 10:10, “. . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” fit into P.O.D.’s “view on life”?

Fitting right in with the Refuel’s, “drinking is ok” advice, Traa of P.O.D., proudly tells Circus magazine P.O.D. likes to party and “drink beer”.

“Their life is far from boring and everybody who thinks they’re just Bible thumpers without being able to enjoy their lives is wrong. The guys from P.O.D. do know how to party and Traa readily admits that he does like his beer – just like the rest of the band.

Of course we drink beer and we party. You don’t believe how often we get that question. People seem to have the misconception that we spend all our time on our knees praying, but I can assure you, we don’t. If there’s a party, we party!’” (Circus, July 2002, p. 22)

In Revolver magazine, Sonny, of P.O.D. takes a swipe at the “blessed hope” of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus: “People come up and say to me, ‘What do you think of the Book of Revelations and the prophecies about the Second Coming of Christ?’ And it’s like, ‘You know what, dude? That’s not my normal, everyday topic of conversation,” (Revolver, Mar/Apr 2002, p. 64)

P.O.D.’s perverted brand of Christianity is a mix of Rastafarianism and liberal Christianity. Rastafarianism is a satanic religion that began in Jamaica in the 1930’s that mixes Christianity, Hinduism, New Age, Mysticism, Racism and Voodoo. One of the signs of a Rasta is the dreadlocks hair style, the hair style of P.O.D. In their concerts P.O.D. hung a huge picture of a “Rasta-dreadlocked-Jesus” in the background. The Rasta god is “Jah”. P.O.D.’s “The Fundamental Elements of Southtown” does not contain the wonder name of Jesus Christ, but the Rasta god “Jah” occurs 10 times. Spin magazine says P.O.D., “Wuv and the band have structured their lives around a spiritual belief system that cross-fades Christianity, Rastarianism and Judaism.” (Spin, October 2001, p. 88) Guitar World writes, “A lot of the spirituality you guys project seems more akin to Rasta than mainstream Christianity“. (Guitar World, Nov. 2001, p. 104)

P.O.D. proudly appears on the Howard Stern show, tours with many blasphemous rockers, appears in the blasphemous move “Little Nicky”, and other blatant anti-Christian environments. In fact, the only issue that P.O.D. viciously attacks is Bible Believing Christians! Sonny of P.O.D. says, “We don’t fit in with the conservative values of Christian America.” He goes on to say, “I don’t even like saying I’m a Christian sometimes because it leaves such a bad taste in people’s mouths.” (Spin Mag, Ocotober 2001, p. 88) Marcos of P.O.D. blatantly says, “To tell the truth, though, I don’t even like the term Christian. . . ”
(Guitar Legends, No. 37, p.28) And this is one of Refuel’s recommendations!

Another Refuel “Music Reviews” recommendations is the group Newsboys (p. 29):

Jody Davis of the Newsboys, says of their album Love Liberty Disco, “Back in the 70’s when disco originated, the people who were into that would go to these clubslooking for love and acceptance. That’s something we have in the Church. This idea runs through the whole album.” (Release, April/May 2000, p. 24)

Discos were homosexual hell-holes of filth and perversion. Read how secular, pro-rock, writers describe “discos”: Disco music is a “call for gays to come out of the closet.” (Newsweek, April 2, 1979 p. 63); “For the heyday of disco was also the heyday of recklessness in the gay male life-style. . . it cannot be denied that many gay men saw disco as the theme music of their collective orgy…” (Hole in our Soul, p.281) “A 1980 handbook for would-be disco proprietors, describes discos as a pleasure palace where the public can ‘abandon themselves to the tidal wave of raw animal emotions that engulfs them'” (Ibid, p.281)

And Davis of the Newsboys likens the homosexual disco to the church! He claims the disco were places of “love and acceptance”. Is it any wonder Christian mainstream music is in such a state of spiritual perversion and blindness?

The Refuel’s silence. . .

It is amazing in over 384 pages the Refuel never mentions the sin of homosexuality. With the deadly epidemic of AIDS, the battle for homosexual marriage and the explosion of teenage homosexuality – how could the Refuel staff deliberately ignore the destructive sin of homosexuality.

Books such as Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate, promoting homosexuality, are flooding our elementary schools. And according to The Washington Post, bisexuality and homosexuality, have become the “in” thing among our public schools. Teenage homosexuality has increased so much that New York City now has a high school exclusively for homosexuals! And more are coming. Its principal proudly predicts, “This school will be a model for the country, and possibly for the world.” <http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVMassieSchool903.html>

The Lord gives some very serious judgements against homosexuality. In Genesis 13:13, the Bible says, “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” They were not just “wicked and sinners” but EXCEEDINLY. And in Romans 1 the sin of homosexuality is so repulsive to the Lord, the Bible says “. . .God gave them up unto vile affections:. . .” (1:26) and “. . . God gave them over to a reprobate mind,. . .” (1:28) And because of the vile sin of homosexuality, God completely destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with the judgement of fire and brimstone. With the media and politicians “love-affair” with homosexuality and the eruption of teenage homosexuals how can a Christian youth Bible publication completely close their eyes to homosexuality?

On page 361 of the Refuel, they provide the following statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Approximately half of all new HIV infections occur in people under age 24.” Yet in the same CDC statistics they conveniently ignore the first and most important demographic of AIDS, “CDC estimates that approximately 60 percent of men were infected through homosexual sex.” <http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/aidsstat.htm> Why did they skip that important statistic? Why did the Refuel side step the sin of homosexuality? They cover those awful sins like “littering” (p. 210) but the widespread sin of teenage homosexuality is completely ignored That is no accident. . .

Here is the Refuel’s strong rebuke of littering!

Q: I’m disgusted when I see Christians littering. Don’t they care about the environment?
A: There’s not a variety of stupidity Christians haven’t displayed. But don’t assume all Christians are like that. Many believers realize God made the planet, and they do at least as well as their neighbors in reducing, reusing, and recycling. Help us do better. (Refuel, 210)

Under the Refuel’s “Ask the Experts”, they prohibit preaching against a specific sin (unless it is littering!).

Q: Are some sins worse than others?
A: some sins are totally obvious—everyone can see them. Some sins have really ugly consequences—bad results that reach far and wide. But in another sense, all sins are equally bad. Each sin breaks God’s law and steps outside his plan for us. So we can’t shake our fingers at sins “worse” than our own. We’re all guilty. (Refuel, 94)

Amazing. . . But the worse is yet to come.


THE REFUEL & SOCIAL ACTIVISM


To provide a crystal clear picture of the left-wing, socialist, agenda of the Refuel under their section titled “Issues”, they have a full-page spread on the topic, “Social Activism”. In the following excerpt notice the conviction and fiery zeal they preach the “socialist” gospel:

“How much does it matter you’re socially involved? How big should it be in your life? Well, there are over 2,300 verses in Scripture that command us to take care of the poor, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. So look for a way to live that out day to day. Get on www.volunteermatch.org today and see what opportunities are available in your neighborhood. . .”

Here is what is REALLY amazing! They have the same “Social Activism” sermon TWICE in the Refuel! Yes. The same identical sermon is found TWICE, once on page 192 and again on page 270!

Both are full-page spreads! That clearly shows the heart, mind and soul of the Refuel.

THE SOCIAL ACTIVISM MESSAGE “REPEATED”

The first time – Page 192

The second time – Page 270

What was the “great commission” the Lord Jesus Christ gave His followers? Did He say, “Go ye therefore, and take care of the poor, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. . .”?

Of course, not. In Matthew 28:19-20, the Lord Jesus commissions His apostles:

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28:19-20

The Refuel is preaching the perverted Marxist, social gospel. Much of the Refuel is dedicated to the left-wing, social gospel. That is not to say a Christian should not care for the poor, etc. But the most important “food” you could EVER give to anyone is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus clearly says in John 6:27, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, . . . 

Newsweek magazine had an article by liberal columnist Anna Quindlen which echoed the same liberal, left-wing, social-activism, agenda of the Refuel. The following is excerpts from Quindlen’s article. Notice the same social gospel as the Refuel.

“All that made perfect sense to me because I had long ago concluded that I had become a liberal largely through religion. Loving your neighbor as yourself, giving your cloak to the man who had none, blessed are the peacemakers: taken together, all of it seemed a clarion call to social justice and the obligation of individuals and institutions to help those who needed help. Jesus was the first radical rabble-rouser I’d ever read about in school, and the best.” (Newsweek, March 8, 2004)

What is really eye-opening is the title of the article – “At the Left Hand of God”. Did Quindlen and the social activists ever read what is at the “left hand of God” ?

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25:41

In fact, Satanist throughout history are known to follow the “left-hand path”. The book, Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult defines the “left-hand path”:

Left-hand Path: (occult). Term used in occult circles synonymous with evil. In the Bible, the goats (wicked) go to the left hand of God to be separated for judgment, while the sheep (righteous) go to the right to be saved. (Mather, George A. and Larry A. Nichols, Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult, p. 175)

In other words, avoid the left-wing, Marxist, social activists like a pig bull dog with AIDS!

In the Refuel’s “10 Random Causes Worth Fighting For”, you can again see the social gospel come glaring through:

1. The Rights of the Unborn
2. Food for the Hungary
3. A Bible for everyone that wants one.
4. Universal literacy
5. Good Schools in the City
6. Premarital Abstinence
7. Racial Equality
8. Help for the Homeless
9. Women’s Rights in Oppressive Nations
10. Freedom of Worship
(Refuel, p 126)

Nowhere in their “10 Random Causes Worth Fighting For” do you find the Glorious Gospel, Souls, the Truth, the Lord Jesus or any real Bible battles. Except for numbers 1, 3, and 6 the list is the foundation of the liberal, left-wing, United Nations agenda.


THE REVOLVE’S “FEMINIST CORRECTION”


Another eye-opening testimony to the mindset of the Refuel and Revolve staff is a “correction” that occurred in the Revolve Bible-mag.

On page 13 of the Revolve, they answered a question with the following advice: “God made guys to be the leaders. That means that they lead in relationships” (Revolve, p. 13) Of course, the feminist threw a femmie frenzy. And guess what? Bowing to the feminist agenda, Thomas Nelson removed it in later editions!

Before the change:

Q: Hey, my question is how do you tell a friend that’s your crush that you’re into him without ruing your friendship.
A: You don’t. Sorry. You just don’t tell him without it ruining your friendship. God made guys to be the leaders. That means that they lead in relationships. They tellyou they like you. It is just an all around bad idea for girls to take the guys’ responsibility.
(Revolve, p. 13)

After the feminist change:

Q: Hey, my question is how do you tell a friend that’s your crush that you’re into him without ruing your friendship.
A: Telling a guy friend that he is your crush is risky. You could end a great friendship. If you really dig him, just enjoy being with him. If he feels the same about you, and it is meant to be, it will happen in time. Crushes come and go; friendships can last a lifetime.
(Revolve, p. 13)

I saved the worst for last.

If you think it has been bad thus far – read the next bomb from the Refuel!


THE REAL ONES WHO ARE “RUINING IT”


Let’s review a few of the Refuel’s “seal of approval”: :

They approve skimpy dressing rockers like Jaci Velasquez.
They approve false religion [Rastafarianism] promoters such as P.O.D.
They ignore the outbreak of teenage homosexuality
They approve moderate drinking.
They approve moderate teenage gambling.
They approve and preach social activism.
They approve heresy such as baptismal regeneration.

What are they against?

Who is it that the Refuel staff says is “. . .. ruining it for the rest of us”?

Believe it or not. . . Bible Believing Christians and the Lord Jesus Christ!

In one of the sections titled “Radical Faith” under the scripture 1 Corinthians 4:10, contains the following:

“Like everybody else, Christians can sometimes act dumb. They come in all shapes and sizes—Bible thumpers, Scripture-screamers, unforgivers, grace-stealers-the kind of people you wouldn’t want to be in a group with because they’re ruining it for the rest of us.”
(Refuel, p. 238)

Can you believe that?

According to the Refuel the “. . . people you wouldn’t want to be in a group. . .” is “. . . Bible thumpers, Scripture-screamers,. . .”!

But on the other hand – it is ok to “party” with people “sloshing beers” (p. 138) and casinos and gamblers (p. 150)!

Can you believe such spiritual hypocrisy?

According to the Refuel staff and Thomas Nelson Publishers the ones who are “. . . ruining it for the rest of us. . .” are the “Bible thumpers and Scripture-screamers”!

Here is the definition of a “Bible thumper”:

Bi•ble-thump•er
an evangelist or other person who quotes the Bible frequently, esp. as a means of exhortation or rebuke.<http://www.infoplease.com/ipd/A0340693.html>

Do you know who was the greatest “Bible thumper” and “scripture-screamer” in history?

The Lord Jesus Christ!

Have you ever read the New Testament?

Here’s just some of the “Bible thumping” and “scripture-screaming” the Lord Jesus Christ does in the New Testament:

Matthew 4:4,7,10
4 But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is written,. . .
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again. . .
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written. . .

 

Matthew 11:10
For this is he, of whom it is written. . .

Matthew 12:3, 5
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read. . .
5. Or have ye not read in the law. . .

Matthew 19:4
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read. . .

Matthew 21:16
. . . And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read. . .

Matthew 21:13
And said unto them, It is written. . .

Matthew 21:42
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures. . .

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

Matthew 26:31
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written. . .

Mark 2:25
And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did. . .

Mark 7:6
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written. . .

Mark 9:12
And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man. . .

Mark 11:17
And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written. . .

Mark 12:10
And have ye not read this scripture. . .

Mark 12:26
And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses. . .

Mark 14:27
And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written. . .

Luke 4:17-19
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Luke 4:4, 8, 12
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written,. . .
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written. . .
12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Luke 6:3
And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read. . .

Luke 7:27
This is he, of whom it is written. . .

Luke 10:26
He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

Luke 19:46
Saying unto them, It is written. . .

Luke 20:17
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written. . .

Luke 22:37
For I say unto you, that this that is written. . .

Luke 24:
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures. . .
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written. . . 

John 6:45
It is written in the prophets. . .

John 7:37-38
37. . . Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said. . .

John 8:17
It is also written in your law. . .

John 10:34
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law. . .

John 13:18
. . . but that the scripture may be fulfilled. . .

John 15:25
. . . that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law. . .

I could easily do the same with the Apostle Paul, Peter, James, et al.

And according to the Refuel, the Lord Jesus and the “Bible thumpers” “. . . ruining it for the rest of us. . .”!

I have never read such a blatant anti-Christ statement in a mainstream Christian publication! Never! And I have read many.

What about the great “Bible-thumpers and scripture screamers” like John Wesley and George Whitefield? George Whitefield preached so hard and loud he would cough up blood. Wesley was beaten repeatedly by mobs for his open-air “Bible-thumping and scripture screaming”. John Bunyan refused to stop open-air “Bible thumping and scripture-screaming” preferring to spend over 12 years in prison! And there is Dwight L. “Crazy” Moody, Spurgeon, Frank Norris, Peter Cartwright, Christmas Evans, Sam Jones, Billy Sunday, and thousands of other “Bible thumpers and scripture screamers”.

“. . . RUINING IT FOR THE REST OF US. . .”

Scripture Screamer – John Knox

Bible Thumper – John Wesley

Scripture Screamer – George Whitefield

You know, the “ones”, the Refuel says is “. . . ruining it for the rest of us. . .”!

Remember where the Refuel “experts” replied that “we can’t shake our fingers at sins ‘worse’ than our own. We’re all guilty.” (Refuel, 94)? But they can sure “shake their fingers” at the “Bible-Thumpers and scripture-screamers”! God help us.

If the pastors, youth workers and Christian parents really knew the spiritual poison in the Refuel most of them would avoid it like the plague!

This kind of hip-hop, non judgmental, anti-Bible, anti-Christ, carnal, left-wing, spiritual cancer marketing our Christian young people is literally destroying any and all real spiritual life! The warning of 2 Peter 2:1-3 concerning false prophets who with “. . . feigned words make merchandise of you” and “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” describe the Refuel perfectly.

2 Peter 2:1-3
2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

The Barna Research Group published a study titled Third Millennium Teens: Research on the Minds, Hearts and Souls of America’s Teenagers. The research consisted of extensive nation-wide surveys of teenagers. Using statistical analysis the margin of error is less than 5%. Every pastor and youth pastor needs to prayerfully read and digest this book. It clearly documents the complete failure of our youth ministries.

I do not find anything in the Bible that even hints at different methods, lingos, dumbing-down, messages, alternative definitions, etc. of reaching different age groups or different classes of people with the Word of God. The method I do read is — And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto me. [John 12:32]

After studying their extensive analysis of Christian teenagers, Barna Research writes of the consequence of these “water downed” youth programs (like the Refuel Bible-mag):

“The consequence is a watering down of Christian theology to such a low standard that it often conflicts with, rather than conforms to, Scripture.”
(Barna Research Group, Third Millennium Teens: Research on the Minds, Hearts and Souls of America’s Teenagers, p.47)

Absolute truth (found in the Bible) is so far away from most Christian teenagers, they do not even know where to look. Incredibly, less than 8% would even look in the Bible for the truth!

“Discerning the existence of moral truth is so insignificant to most teenagers that half of them (46%) cannot even identify a source of information that has had the greatest influence on their thinking about the matter. The most common influence was their family (21%),. . . Other influences listed were religious teaching and beliefs (9%), the Bible (8%), friends (5%)….
Seven out of ten teens say there is no absolute moral truth and eight out of ten claim that all truth is relative to the individual and his/her circumstances. Yet, most of those same individuals – six out of ten of the total teen population – say that the Bible provides a clear and totally accurate description of moral truth.”
(Ibid, p.43)

“The role of the Bible is clearly confounding to most teens. Not only are they evenly divided as to whether or not it provides absolute moral truths that are the same for all people in all situations, but their views on what the Bible contains in relation to truth are consistently inconsistent.”
(Ibid, p.44)

“Perhaps the single, most important challenge facing youth workers today is to help young people get on top of the notion of absolute truth.”
(Ibid, p.64)

What are our young people REALLY searching for?

While we try to “trick” teenagers into serving God with the trinkets and silly Refuel Bible-mags – they are begging for a “morsel of meat” from God’s Word! No wonder our young people can not wait to get away from the “church”. No wonder they do not want to “run the race that is set before them” (Heb 12:1) While we are feeding them a “junk food” diet of fun and frolic – they are spiritually starving to death!

To show how we have completely failed our teens, read Barna’s shocking analysis:

“Myth: today’s youth group attenders are tomorrow’s church leaders.
Reality: today’s youth group attenders are tomorrow’s unchurched.
Teenagers may be attending church events today, but they have little inclination to do so in the future.”(Ibid, p.67)

Unbelievable. . . According to Barna’s shocking analysis – the more active a young person is in church – the LESS likely they will attend church as an adult! And I have seen this far too many times. When that Christian, church-bred, young person gets out of high school, away from mom and dad – any trace of God and the church disappear from their lives. They react as a man released from prison. They can not wait to get out.

Why? Where have we failed? Where did we go wrong?

Here’s Barna’s simple answer:

The reason is so simple that we often overlook it: we are not delivering the goods. (Ibid, p.67)

And Barna concludes:

“If we continue to minister the ways in which we are doing so today, we are strategically facilitating the demise of the Church we exist to build.” (Ibid, p.67)

What is the solution?

Simple.

Back to the King James Bible.

Back to the Bible-thumpers and scripture screamers.


Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Isaiah 58:1

revolve blable (Revolve Bible for teen girls)

Article written by Terry Watkins, Th.D.

The Revolve Bible is a fashion-magazine-turned-Bible for teen girls.

There has been over 400 versions of the English Bible since the King James Bible was published in 1611. They come in every flavor, fashion and fad imaginable. Starting with the Revised Version (1881); to the American Standard Version (1901); to the Amplified Bible (1958); to the Living Bible (1967); to the New International Version (1973); to the New King James Bible (1979); on and on they go. . .

There’s feminists Bibles such as the Feminist NIV Inclusive and the TNIV; the African-American Jubilee Bible; and the piles and piles of Children’s and Teen Bibles – we have seen it all.

Or. . . We just thought we had seen it all. . .

The latest $cam running the gamut of the Bible PERversion trail is the new “fashion” magazine teen Bibles. They are modeled after the “teenage-fashion” magazines complete with the trendy “beauty secrets”, “ask a guy”, and “BLABS” columns.

The first to crawl out of the “fashion” pile is the Revolve Bible. The Revolve Bible is aimed directly at the young teenage Christian girl. It is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers under Transit Books (www.transitbooks.com).Transit.com says of it’s new creation, “It’s the complete New Testament, but it looks just like a fashion magazine!” and a little P.$. “Order your copy today at www.amazon.com!” A “boy” version of the Revolve is also in the works. Zondervan reportedly, also has “fashion-bibles” on the way. (did I hear ca$h-ching?)

And yes. . . The Revolve “Bible” does indeed, look, feel and read just like a teenage “fashion” magazine. As the saying goes, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck – it’s probably a duck.” An updated Bible PERversion translation says, “If it looks like a fashion magazine, feels like a fashion magazine, and reads like a fashion magazine – it’s probably a new Bible PERversion”.

If the fashion-magazine-madness was not bad enough – the Bible text used in the Revolve is the New Century Version (NCV). The NCV is the product of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC). The NCV was originally created in 1978 as an easy-reader Bible for the Deaf titled the Easy Reader Version (ERV). In 1983, the ERV was repackaged (can you say ca$h-ching?) as the best-selling Children’s International Version. And in 1984, it was repackaged again (can you say ca$h-ching. . . ca$h-ching?) as the New Century Version. The NCV holds the title as feminist “gender-neutral translation”. (Vern S. Poythress & Wayne A. Grudem, The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy, Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words, p. 9) It’s odd with so much emphasis put on “gender-inclusive” and all the Bible publishers zooming into overdrive to produce “gender-inclusive” Bibles that they are now producing a “gender-exclusive” Bible devoted EXCLUSIVELY to teenage girls? (Did I hear a ca$h-ching. . .?) The NCV ranks among the most liberally mis-translated and corrupted Bibles in circulation. We will examine the history and text of the NCV a later with our article: The New Century Version: Easy to Read OR Easy to Mislead?

But let’s first examine the fashion-folly-foolishness of the Revolve.

The cover of the Revolve screams at you with the typical “in your face” fashion magazine gaudy layout. The cover of Revolve shouts the following headlines:

  • “Are You Dating a Godly Guy?” and other Quizzes
  • Beauty Secrets You’ve Never Heard Before!
  • Radical Faith What Scripture Really Means
  • 200+ BLAB Q & A’s
  • How to Get Along with Your Mom and other Relationship Notes
  • 100+ Ways to Apply Your Faith
  • Guys Speak Out on Tons of Important Issues

The above feature columns are colorfully scattered throughout the Revolve, weaving in between the New Testament text of the New Century Bible. Interesting, the top of Revolve reads, “NCV The Complete New Testament” — but “new testament” is not found in the New Century Version! The NCV replaces “New Testament” with “New Agreement”. Why didn’t the Thomas Nelson-Revolve staff write on the cover “NCV The Complete New Agreement”? Simple. . . They knew better. But they’ll market and promote the same misleading and mis-translated Bible to our teenagers. Can you say ca$h-ching, see 1 Timothy 6:10?

The Revolve “design” is the work of “rock ‘n roll” Four 5 One of Dublin, Ireland. Four 5 One is also the design team for the album covers, CD inserts, posters, programs, etc. for the rock group U2, among others. Four 5 One. . . Now, that is a good “godly” choice to design “God’s Word”.

Let’s take a few examples of the Revolve’s feature columns:

“GUYS SPEAK OUT”

Like the other features, the “Guys Speak Out” sections are littered throughout the Revolve. Described on the cover of Revolve as: “Guys Speak Out on Tons of Important Issues”. Let’s look at a couple of the “important issues” found in the “Guys Speak Out”:

Q: How long should you date before you say “I love you?”
A: I would say that when all you can do is think about that person, and you know them really, really well, then you can say “I love you.”
(Revolve, p. 67)
Q: Do you ever think about getting married?
A: Kinda, I guess. But not really. Like, I’d never buy a wedding magazine or anything.
(Revolve, p. 281)

Brilliant. . . Spiritual words of wisdom. . .

Parents, do you really want hormone-crazy teenage boys to give advise on “tons of important issues” to your young teenage daughter? As a father of two teenage daughters, I think I’ll pass on that deal. To show the hormone mindset of the average teenage boy, look at the following answers to the simple question: “What do you think about girls and guys praying together?”:

Q: What do you think about girls and guys praying together?
A: There are exceptions, but usually it’s pretty sketchy. I’d avoid it until you’re engaged.
(Revolve, p. 342)
Q: What do you think about girls and guys praying together?
A: It’s cool, but you gotta be careful that you don’t get carried away.
(Revolve, p. 258)

It sounds like these teenage “guys” are talking about necking, making out or something worse! The question was about “praying”! Avoid “praying together” until “you’re engaged”! Be careful about “praying together” so that you “don’t get carried away”. The last time I checked, “praying” was talking to the Lord. You know what’s “on their mind” — And it’s not “praying”. What a goofy, godless, carnal, mess.

Young ladies, may I give you the Lord’s ANSWER:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:6
Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Of course, why ask the Lord when you can always pick up the Revolve and get the “Guys Speak Out” spiritual wisdom.

“BLAB’s”

The most popular and numerous section infecting the Revolve is the “BLAB” Question and Answer sections. The “BLABS” cover topics such as tattoos, homosexuality, witchcraft, mini-skirts, environmentalism, drinking beer, boy-girl relationships, MTV and sex. Hence, the title of our article “revolve blable”.

Let’s examine a few examples of the “BLAB’s”:

Our first “BLAB” deals with “making-out” (a.k.a heavy kissing, necking, etc.).

Q: I have a question about dating. If I’m going out with a guy, is it bad to make out with him? In other words, is making out a sin?
A: That’s a really good question. There is no place in the Bible where it says “Making out is a sin.” But there are places where you can go to read that you shouldn’t let there be even a hint of sexual immorality. Making out is a really dangerous thing. So your best bet is to avoid heavy make-out sessions ‘till you are married. It will be so much better then and you won’t have to feel any guilt.
(Revolve, p. 77)

What an irresponsible answer to an impressionable, teenage girl! “There is no place in the Bible where it says ‘Making out is a sin’”. That’s the same wicked logic of this lost, “present evil” world. How many times have I heard; “The Bible never says smoking marijuana is a sin”. . . Or “Show me in the Bible where gambling is a sin”. . . Or “Just show me a verse in the Bible that says making out is a sin”.

I have an enlightening “revelation” for the spiritually-blind staff of Revolve. The Word of God is an eternal book (Matthew 24:35). A book for not only 2003 or the 21st century or the 19th or 20th century, et. al but – FOR ALL GENERATIONS! If the Lord would have said “Thou shalt not make out” – who in the 1300’s or 1400’s or 1700’s would have a clue to what He was referring to? Does the Lord address the subject of “making out”? Of course, He does. He gives a very precise, simple answer:

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Notice also the lack of spiritual discernment and warning found in the last part of the answer: “So your best bet is to avoid heavy make-out sessions ‘till you are married. . .” The answer was not to avoid “make out sessions” but “your best bet” is to avoid “HEAVY make out sessions”. How different from the Lord’s compassionate warning, “Flee also youthful lusts. . .” Not just “AVOID HEAVY make out sessions” but “FLEE – run” from even the mere “LUSTS or thoughts” of it. Thank you Lord for warning our young people!

I must also mention the contrast our wonderful Lord makes in 2 Timothy 2:22, not only “Flee also youthful lusts” – but then the Lord adds “but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a PURE heart.” Wow! Isn’t that beautiful! Is there any greater advice anyone could give to our young people.

P.S. Compare the previously quoted 2 Timothy 2:22 in the King James Bible to the dull, dreary, dead 2 Timothy 2;22 in the Revolve’s NCV:

2 Timothy 2:22, NCV
But run away from the evil young people like to do. Try hard to live right and to have faith, love, and peace, together with those who trust in the Lord from pure hearts.

Several “BLABS” deal with the subject of homosexuality. Being “politically-correct” (and may I add, spiritually-stupid) the Revolve staff downplays the sin of homosexuality. For example, in the following “BLAB” the Revolve downplays the “sin of homosexuality” as “just like gossiping about your best friend is a sin”. The Revolve answer also includes a swipe at the church whose “view” of the sin of homosexuality is a “little harsher” than the sin of “gossiping about your best friend”.

Q: What is God and the church’s view on homosexuality and its place in our world?
A: You want God’s view, or the church’s? Start with God. Romans chapter 1 says that it is impurity. It’s a sin, just like gossiping about your best friend is a sin. You need to stop acting on your impulses. Sometimes the church’s view can be a little harsher. Many people in the church see it like the worse of all evils. But they are looking at it through human eyes. God says it’s a sin; It’s not how he made you, so stop.
(Revolve, p. 310)

I can’t help but thinking how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the “sin of homosexuality” with fire and brimstone (which by the way, is the same judgement as hell); or in Leviticus 13:20 where the Lords commands Israel to kill those who commit the “sin of homosexuality”; or Romans 1 where God “gave them up” for the “sin of homosexuality”; or in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 where the “…effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. . . shall inherit the kingdom of God” that maybe. . . just maybe. . . the Lord considers the “sin of homosexuality” a little-bit more serious than “. . . just like gossiping about your best friend. . .” I would have to add the Lord’s view of homosexuality is a “little harsh”.

In another “BLAB” dealing with homosexuality (p. 43) a teenage girl asks advice on how to deal with another girl who is in love with a female teacher. Look at this lame and pathetic answer.

Q; This girl at church told me that she was in love, yes, in love with one of her female teachers. This girl is fourteen years old. I just need some advice on what I should say to her if I get to speak to her again.
A: For a woman to fall in love with another woman is considered a sin according to the Bible. You’ve got to remember one thing thoughIt’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict her and teach her. In the Bible it says that God remains faithful even when we are faithless. Your job is to show this girl the love of God. How? Stay her friend. Prayer changes things. It can move mountains. It can radically alter lives. Just make sure you remember who God is and that you’re not him.
(Revolve, p. 43)

In other words, do not “judge” her for the lusts of homosexuality. And don’t dare tell her it’s wrong – that would be judging her. But just “show her the love of God”. Remember “it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict her and teach her”. Can a saved person actually READ the Bible and be that far off base? Look at the last part of the BLAB – now preachers, this is a nugget – “Just make sure you remember who God is and that you’re not him.” What spiritual insight! That had to come through hours of study and prayer. . .

Compare the Revolve’s absurd answer to John the Baptist’s open rebuke in Matthew 14 of King Herod.

14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him.
3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.
4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

Notice, who John the Baptist openly rebuked and judged. . . THE KING. . . May I also remind you, The Lord Jesus said John was the greatest man born of women (Matthew 11:11). And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of the open rebuke and judgement of Jeremiah, Noah, Joshua, David, Daniel, Gideon, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul, Peter, James, Martin Luther, John Knox, Billy Sunday, J. Frank Norris and thousands of others.

In another “BLAB” a teenager girl asks how to reach a friend involved in Witchcraft.

Q: Hey, I have friends who are into Wicca. I know a lot about witchcraft, but I don’t know how to start a convo with people who are happy with that religion. I need an example of something one might say. Could you please help me out? I don’t want them to go to hell because I didn’t try to help them.
A: If you want something to say, just tell them how you feel. Say, “You know my religion and you seem cool with it. However, I can’t say I agree with your choice. I just want you to know that I’ll be praying for you.” Don’t try to talk them into changing their faith—no one likes to be forced into anything. Pray for them.
(Revolve, p. 344)

Here is a Christian young lady who is burdened about her friend “going to hell” – and she is asking advice from the Revolve staff on how to reach this friend. And the Revolve staff replies, “Don’t try to talk them into changing their faith—no one likes to be forced into anything.” How can you possibly witness without talking to them about “changing their faith”? How can they EVER know the wonderful plan of salvation without “talking to them”? Can you believe this?

Again, look at John the Baptist. The Bible said John “was a man sent from God” (John 1:6). The Bible also says “The same came for a WITNESS” (John 1:7) And what is John’s definition of a witness? A VOICE.

John 1:22-23
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the VOICE of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Young person, if you are saved and you have family and friends that are going to hell – DON’T LISTEN TO REVOLVE! Talk to them about Jesus Christ and the judgement of hell! Warn them – over and over and over! Pray for them. Don’t give up! TALK to them. You may be the only VOICE God has to deal with them. Please do not listen to Revolve.

Another BLAB deals with the subject of tattoos. Tattoos have taken over this generation. From the rock stars, Hollywood celebrities, sports stars, even children’s toys – virtually every walk of life is sporting a tat. Thank God, the Lord clearly “nails” the pagan and satanic “blood-letting” tattoo to the forbidden wall in Leviticus 19:28

Leviticus 19:28
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

That should certainly clear up any doubt for the Christian and tattoos. Right. . .?

Wrong. . .

Check out the Revolve and the forbidden tattoo:

Q: I really, really want to get a tattoo, but what does the Bible say about them. Is it against God?
A: In the Old Testament law tattoos were forbidden. But when Christ came, he redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3). This means that now God looks at your heart, your motives, when it comes to what you do. Check with your parents, and follow their advice.
(Revolve, p. 85)

Galatians 3 means “that NOW God looks at your heartyour motives, when it comes to what you do”? Chapter and verse? That is completely contrary to the clear word of God. Have you ever read 2 Corinthians 5 and the “judgement seat of Christ” — “knowing therefore the TERROR of the Lord”?

2 Corinthians 5:10-11
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his bodyaccording to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

It’s not our motives – but “the things DONE” – “according to that he hath DONE”. It’s not your motives – but what you DID! In 1 Corinthians 3:13, which also refers to the “judgement seat of Christ, the Lord says, “Every man’s WORK shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s WORK of what SORT it is”. Christian young person, do not believe the Revolve staff. You will be JUDGED for your WORKS and what you DO.

Let me also mention, the Lord Jesus Christ did not do away with or destroy the law.

Matthew 5:17
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

You do not have the Lord’s blessing to kill, or commit adultery, or worship other gods, or steal, etc. – which is found in the ten commandments. Nor do you have the Lord’s blessing to “mark” your body, which if you are saved — is the temple of the Holy Spirit(1 Cor. 6:19) with a forbidden, pagan, blood-letting tattoo. If Leviticus 19:28 has been done away with and God is looking at our hearts. . . Then I would assume Leviticus 19:29, the next verse, is also no longer valid.

Leviticus 19:29
Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

Leviticus 19:29 is the ONLY verse in the Bible, both the Old and New Testament, that explicitly forbids someone to “prostitute thy daughter”. Applying Revolve’s same wicked logic of tattoos, I wonder if the Revolve staff would answer the “BLAB” question: “It is alright to be a prostitute”? with the same answer: “when Christ came, he redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3). This means that now God looks at your heart, your motives, when it comes to what you do. Check with your parents, and follow their advice”

There are several other BLABS that discount the “action” and emphasize the “motive”. The following is a BLAB that explains what you can or can not wear, such as revealing “mini skirts, tube tops”, depends on the motive. I wonder how Revolve would reply to “Hookers for Christ”. Don’t laugh. I have an actual article of a group of “Hookers for Christ”. According to the article their “motive” is to win people to Jesus Christ. I wonder if they got their idea from the Revolve? Hmm…

Q: What is appropriate for girls to wear? I’ve been told I can’t wear tube tops and mini skirts. But it is okay to wear a tankini-top bathing suit that hardly shows your belly button? What is going too far?
A: You’ve got to look at your motive when it comes to clothes. If your motive is to get guys to like you because of your body, your dress will be more revealing. If your goal is to worship God in everything you do, your clothes will naturally be more modest. You can’t decide item by item—it’s a lifestyle decision.
(Revolve, p. 241)

As far as the “motive” is the main thing. . . Ever read Matthew 16:21-23?

Matthew 16:21-23
21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Notice, Peter’s “motive” in Matthew 16 was his “love” for the Lord Jesus. Peter loved the Lord Jesus and did not want Jesus Christ to be crucified. But also notice, Satan completely took over Peter! Even though Peter’s “motive” was right and pure – love for the Lord Jesus Christ – Peter’s “actions” were wrong. So wrong, that Satan was speaking out of the mouth of Peter! Motive alone is not enough.

In one BLAB the question of drinking beer comes up. The answer is amazing. “Drinking alcohol is not a sin in Scripture”. What scripture are they reading? Oh, I forgot the liberal NCV. But in REAL scripture “drinking beer” is certainly a sin. Notice, the Revolve also turns the sinless Lord Jesus into a “party animal” even “bringing the wine”!

Q: My dad drinks like three or four beers every night. Is that a sin? How much can you drink before it is a sin?
A: 1.5 cups. Wouldn’t you love it if someone could tell you that easily. There is no easy answer. Drinking alcohol is not a sin in ScriptureEven Jesus turned water into wine at a party. But getting drunk is a different story.
(Revolve, p. 272)

The Bible makes a clear distinction between fermented liquor and new wine, or grape juice. Speaking of fermented liquor, Proverbs 23 says, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red(speaking of fermentation), when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (speaking of the bubbling and carbonation). At the last it BITETH like a serpent, and STINGETH like an adder.” 

A description of new wine is found in Isaiah 65:8, “as the NEW WINE is found IN THE CLUSTER.” Not in a bottle! You can’t get FERMENTED LIQUOR from a CLUSTER! Fermented LIQUOR is placed in a bottle, with yeast and allowed to FERMENT. Genesis 40:11 gives a clear picture of new wine, “I took GRAPES and PRESSED them in Pharaoh’s cup.”

But didn’t Jesus drunk wine at the Last Supper? In Matthew, Mark and Luke where the account of the Last Supper is found, the word “wine” is never even mentioned. The Bible very carefully says they drank – “FRUIT OF THE VINE!”

What about when Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage in Cana. If Jesus Christ turned water into fermented liquor, he directly disobeyed Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also . . .” And, if Jesus disobeyed Habakkuk – HE WAS A SINNER! The Bible makes it very clear in 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and other verses – THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS WITHOUT SIN!

God has placed a very strong warning in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Be not deceived: NO DRUNKARDS, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Much, much more could be given on the sin of drinking alcohol.

A theme running through the Revolve is the “new-age-mother-earth-environmental-wacko” gospel. “Respect the planet, man”. Here’s a BLAB preaching the “respect the planet” gospel.

Q: Is it ever okay to litter? I mean aren’t we going overboard with this whole ‘save the planet’ thing?
A: Being concerned for our planet is not a radical stance to take. God gave us dominion over the earth and animals and that means that he trusts it all to our care. There are really two issues. One is honoring God and that which has he has given us to protect. The other is that littering is against the law. And we are asked to obey the law even if we don’t agree with it. So, if you want to honor God, then respect the planet.”
(Revolve, p. 99)

Somehow, I missed the verse that says “Honor God, then respect the planet”. But I do remember the verse where the Lord says He is going to completely burn up this planet:

2 Peter 3:10-12
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Friend, Jesus Christ did not come into this world to save the planet. God Almighty is not in heaven nervously “pacing the floor” worrying about the litter. The Lord is not in heaven “wringing His hands” over the pollution or the ozone layer. Jesus Christ is not in heaven interceding for the environment and the EPA. He’s not concerned about the planet. But He is very concerned about the eternal souls of people. He is so concerned, He died on a rugged cross. You want to REALLY honor God – tell somebody about the Lord Jesus Christ and Calvary.

My favorite BLAB concerns the subject of MTV and rap music. In the course of our ministry, I have personally researched many disgusting and degenerate subjects. If there’s anything in the mainstream that is more disgusting than the filth and nastiness spewing forth from rap and MTV – I have not found it. Read the Revolve staff’s opinion of MTV:

Q: I was just wondering is MTV or rap music bad to watch and listen to?
A: God is present everywhere, even on MTV. But, don’t feed your mind that stuff 24/7. Whatever you constantly feed your mind, that is what you will believe. So spend more time talking to God and reading the Word. Dig into that and then you will see him everywhere.
(Revolve, p. 317)

Can you believe that? “God is present everywhere, even on MTV”. What a brainless, stupid answer. . . Because God is everywhere or omnipresent that means “God is on MTV”! God is now rapping and rocking on MTV! Because God is everywhere – that means MTV is ok? What if the young girl asked: “I was wondering is porno bad to watch and listen to”? Would Revolve also answer: A: God is present everywhere, even in porno. But, don’t feed your mind that stuff 24/7. Whatever you constantly feed your mind, that is what you will believe. So spend more time talking to God and reading the Word. Dig into that and then you will see him everywhere.”

This is incredible. It would be laughable, if the consequences were not so serious. Now you know why so many Christian young people are so spiritually blind and confused. This is the kind of answers many sincere young people are receiving from the vast majority of pastors and youth leaders. God help us. . . Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

And of course, no self-respecting, new version-Bible-correcting-publisher is going to pass up a chance to take a swing at the King James Bible:

Q: What do I do if my parents only let me use KJV? They say the modern versions aren’t accurate, but I can’t understand it!
A: Grab a couple of different versions of the Bible and sit down with your parents. In the front of any translation, it should explain to you how the translation was written [Does this one?]. In most any modern translation the scholars did extensive research in the original languages. They are very accurate. But the thing here is that you have to honor you parents. So sit and talk with them, explain to them that you’d like to deepen your Bible study, and see what they say.”
(Revolve, p. 196)

Notice in the reply. The modern versions “are very accurate”. Which is a joke. The new versions use the deceptive “dynamic equivalency” (DE) translation method. In DE translation methodology, rather than translating what the ORIGINAL words actually mean — the translator CHANGES the ORIGINAL wording into what the translator BELIEVES it SHOULD read. In other words, it is not longer “thus saith the Lord” but “thus saith the translator”. The Queen of the new versions, the beloved New International Version (NIV) plainly states in the NIV’s Preface: “They [the NIV translators] have striven for more than a word-for-word translation.”

Also it is a thoroughly, documented FACT, the King James Bible agrees with 99% of the Greek NT manuscripts. While the new versions (including some of the NEW King James) uses two primary manuscripts – the corrupt Siniaticus and Vaticanus (a.k.a. Westcott and Hort Greek text).

The NIV removes 15 complete verses! The NASV removes 16 complete verses! The RSV removes 25 complete verses! The NCV removes 16 complete verses!

The Revolve also implies (very strongly) in order to “deepen your Bible study” you need to ditch the King James and get a new version. Question for the Revolve staff: How is it the greatest Bible teachers and preachers, such as Arthur Pink, Clarence Larkin, C.I. Scofield, John Wesley, Moody, Torrey, Bullinger, Oliver Greene, Lester Roloff, and thousands and thousands of others believed ONLY the King James Bible? How is that every revival of modern time came through the fruit of the King James Bible? How is it since the new versions cropped up we’ve had 45 million abortions, legalized sexual sodomy and perversion, pornographic explosion, rock and roll hell, the new age outbreak, the Satanic Bible and church, and the spiritual killing of America? Do tell if thou knowest. . .

Let me also ask the Revolve staff this:

If the new versions are so much “easier to understand and read” — why is it that according to surveys by Barna Research of people who read their Bible on a daily basis, “The King James Version is more likely to be the Bible read during the week than is the NIV by a 5:1 ratio.” And that is even more surprising when you consider that the NIV alone now outsells the KJV – not to mention the accumulated millions of other new versions sold.

Another “BLAB” clearly teaches the false and heretical teaching of “Lordship Salvation”. Lordship Salvation teaches that “in order to be saved” Jesus Christ MUST be the “Lord of your life”. If you are saved, Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour. But salvation is by faith ALONE in the blood of Jesus Christ and His payment for your sins. Yes, your desire should be for Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your body, soul and spirit. But Lordship Salvation is a satanic salvation “by works” heresy that NO ONE can obtain. One of their favorite sayings is “If He’s not Lord of ALL, He’s not Lord at ALL”. The simple FACT is, no person who ever lived EVER made Jesus Christ the Lord of everything in their life. If they did, they would be sinless. Read the struggles of the greatest Christian that ever lived fought in Romans chapter 7.

Q: If you accept Christ but later you turn from him, or start to go down the wrong road, does God stick with you ‘til there is no chance of restoration?
A: Scripture tells us that salvation has nothing to do with what we DO but with what we believe, that is, in Christ.[If the Revolve would have stopped here, their answer would be correct. But now they go into the heresy of Lordship Salvation] But it also says that we should make him Lord of our lives. But if a person claims to be saved but then acts like they are an enemy of God, disobeying him purposefully, then they probably never really made him Lord of their life.
(Revolve, p. 147)

This is an amazingly warped answer considering the worldly and carnal answers to some of the other “BLABS”.

Do you see why so many young people are spiritually confused? Do you see why so many Christian teenagers want nothing to do with “the adults” God? With these kind of spiritually hypocritical and ridiculous answers who can blame them.

It bothers me when I see this type of stuff being promoted and fed to our young people. Especially when I know how simple and pure God’s Word is in the King James Bible. What a shame. What a crime to our young people. If Jesus Christ does not come back soon – with the shallow, spiritual garbage being fed to our Christian young people – they will never survive spiritually. God help us. . .

There are over 200 of such BLABS in the Revolve. And most are like the given examples – pure carnal, humanistic, politically correct, nonsense.

TOPten

Also throughout the Revolve are “TOPten columns. The TOPten columns are “top ten” lists of various topics aimed at Christian teenage girls. For instance there is the TOPten Christian CDs (of course, all 10 are Christian rock CDs), TOPten books, etc. But the TOPten “Random ways to make a difference in your community” is a classic. This really illustrates the complete and total spiritual blindness of the Revolve staff. Remember, this is supposed to be for Christian teenage girls.

TOPTen Random ways to make a difference in your community

1. Plant a tree
2. Pick up someone else’s litter
3. Smile freely
4. Drop a dollar in charity boxes.
5. Offer to baby-sit your neighbors’ kids for free.
6. Clip the plastic rings on soda six-packs.
7. Use washable containers instead of plastic wrap for your lunch.
8. Recycle cans and bottles.
9. Donate your old clothes to needy families.
10. Do yard work for the elderly or sick.
(Revolve, p. 109)

Is there anything spiritual or Biblical in the whole list? Is there anything about witnessing to someone about the Lord Jesus (oops, that would be “talking to them into changing their faith” and that’s a no-no). Or inviting someone to church? (oops. That would also be “talking to them into changing their faith”. . . sorry I forgot). Or passing out tracts. Or going to the nursing home and ministering to the elderly.

Was the Lord Jesus’s “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19 19 Go ye therefore, and plant a tree. . . ?

Notice that 5 (numbers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8) of the “top ten” ways to make a difference are the gospel according to the environmental-wacko.

Who in heaven (or hell) cares if you “use washable containers instead of plastic wrap for your lunch” (7) or “recycles cans and bottles” (8)? Do you believe the Lord’s “top ten” ways to make a difference would include “Pick up someone else’s litter” (2).

And remember this – that is not JUST TEN “Random ways to make a difference in your community”. These are the TOP TEN ways to make a difference in your community! So according to the Revolve staff — “plant a tree” or “Clip the plastic rings on soda six-packs.” or “Recycle cans and bottles” is BETTER and MORE IMPORTANT than leading a soul to Jesus Christ!

Say it ain’t so. . . Christians can not be that spiritually blind and ignorant.

There is simply no way this article will do justice to the silliness and sacrilege of the Revolve “Bible”. Needless to say, we could go on and on and on, spending hours, examining the ridiculous stuff in the Revolve Bible. To simply say they are unbelievable and unthinkable is too much charity.

The New Century Version & Church of Christ

Article Written by Terry Watkins, Dial-A-Truth Ministries

The New Century Version (NCV) is the product of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) in Ft. Worth, Texas. The path to the New Century Version is a long and winding road driven by Church of Christ cohorts.

NCV BibleIn 1978 the Church of Christ WBTC created an easy-to-read Bible specifically for the deaf, titled the English Version for the Deaf (EVD). The EVD is primarily the work of WBTC’s Senior Translation Consultant, Ervin Bishop. In 1983, the EVD was slightly modified, repackaged and published by Sweet Publishing of Ft. Worth as the best-selling International Children’s Version (ICV), New Testament. Sweet Publishing is also Church of Christ affiliated. The International Children’s Version was endorsed (as is the NCV) by Billy Graham and used in his crusades.

The International Children’s Bible was also used in the Adventures in Odyssey Bible, a partnership between James Dobson, Focus on the Family and Word Publishing.

In 1984, Sweet Publishing repackaged the ICV as The Word: New Century Version. In 1987, the Old Testament of the New Century Version was released. A few years later, the publishing rights to the New Century Version and the International Children’s Version was acquired by Word Publishing. In 1992 Word Publishing was purchased by Thomas Nelson Publishing. Word Publishing has since been renamed W Publishing.

The NCV has been published and re-packaged with many titles. Some of the NCV’s titles are: The Everyday Bible (endorsed by Billy Graham); The Holy Bible: New Century Version: Traveler’s Edition, The Youth Bible; Extreme Teen Bible; The Revolve; Nelson’s KidsBible.com; Time With God; The Answer; and The Secret Kingdom Edition (special edition with Pat Robertson).


THE CHURCH OF CHRIST CONNECTION


As previously mentioned, the NCV and the ICV are the product of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) in Ft. Worth, Texas. Sweet Publishing, the original publisher of the NCV and ICV is also members of the Church of Christ.

Because of the influence of the Christ of Christ’s involvement in the NCV and ICV we need to briefly examine the Church of Christ denomination.

The roots of the Church of Christ was planted in the early 1800s by Presbyterians Barton Stone, Thomas campbelland Alexander Campbell, and Walter Scott. Alexander Campbell is the recognized “founder” of the Church of Christ. Hence, Church of Christ members are referred to as Campbellites and their false teaching as Campbellism. Campbell and his followers believed the church had fallen away from the original precepts of the New Testament and began what they called the “Restoration Movement”. Their purpose was to “restore” the church to the teachings of only New Testament doctrines. They vehemently teach and debate such doctrines as; no musical instruments in the church; The Church of Christ is the only True Church; The Lord’s Supper every Sunday; a confusing system of salvation by works; and their biggie – you must be baptized to be saved.

Because of the Church of Christ’s possible teachings “sneaking” into the NCV and ICB, it’s very important we understand what the Church of Christ teaches.

The following material, pertaining to Church of Christ “salvation” all comes directly from Church of Christ publications. Notice their salvation by works, and their serious error of baptismal regeneration.

In the Church of Christ pamphlet, “What is the Church of Christ” by Batsell Barrett, the question is asked: “How does one become a member of the Church of Christ”? Here’s the answer:

1 Hear the gospel. . .
2. Believe . . .
3. Repent of past sins . . .
4. Confess Jesus as Lord . . .
5. Be baptized for remission of sins . . .
6. Live a Christian Life . . .
(What is the Church of Christ, Batsell Barrett Baxter, Church of Christ, 3805 Granny White Pike, Nashville, Tn 37204, pp. 11-13)

The Church of Christ dogmatically teach a salvation by works, culminating in baptism.

“Many churches in the world believe that we are saved by faith only. By this, the majority teach that Christ washes away our sins the very minute we say in our hearts that Jesus is Christ. In most cases it is a faith that does not lead one to be baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ in order to reach the salvation of God.”
(Are We Saved By Faith Only?, Gynnath Ford, Box, Dickson, TN 37055, p. 7)

The Bible says that neither faith alone nor works alone can save. Thus both the Protestant and Catholic doctrines of salvation are false. . . Christ and his apostles taught that in order to be saved a man must hear the gospel of Christ and believe that he is the only begotten Son of God. . . On the basis of such a faith in Jesus Christ, one must then make the decision to turn away from his sins, to repent. . . He must then confess his faith in Jesus before men. . . Finally, in order to receive the remission of sins, one must be immersed in water. . . When one thus hears the gospel, believes it, repents of his sins, confesses Christ with his mouth and is baptized, he has done the things that Christ and the apostles taught men to do in the first century to be saved. . . To change this plan in any way—to either add to or take from it—is not acceptable to God and will cause one to be accursed!”
(The Distinctive Plea of the Churches of Christ, Rubel Shelly, Lambert Book House, Box 4007, Shreveport, LA, 71104, pp. 10,11>

Interesting, the above quote from the Church of Christ author, cursed Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, John Wesley, George Whitfield, the Apostle Paul and even the Lord Jesus Christ. As none believed in the Church of Christ’s “plan of salvation”.

More documentation from the Church of Christ:

“. . . the design of baptism is in order to obtain the remission of sins.”
(Bible Baptism, Perry B. Cotham, p. 16)

According to the following Church of Christ publication, water baptism brings someone in “contact with the blood of Christ”.

What happens when a person is baptized? He receives the remission of his sins. (Acts 2:38) He is saved from past sins. (1 Pet. 3:21) His sins are washed away. (Acts 22:16) He puts on Christ. (Gal. 3:27) He enters Christ. (Rom. 6:3) He contacts the blood of Christ. (Rom. 6:3).
(Things Surely Believed Among Us, Paul Rogers, pp. 18, 19)

The following answer to the question “What Must I Do to Be Saved” taken from a Church of Christ publication, also clearly teaches salvation by works – the last sentence — “you must, by God’s help, continue in his service unto death”

The Most Important Question Ever Asked. . .
“What Must I Do to Be Saved?”
If you are an alien sinner—one who has never become a child of God—you must believe in Christ, repent of your sins, confess Christ, be baptized for the remission of sins, and “walk in newness of life”
If you are an erring child of God, you must confess your sins, repent, pray for forgiveness, and return to your duty.
If you are a faithful Christian, you must, by God’s help, continue in his service unto death.
(Centerville Messenger, published by the Church of Christ, Centerville TN)

In contrast. . . How different and simple the Word of God answers the same exact question in Acts 16:30 “. . .what must I do to be saved”

Acts 16:30-31, KJB
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

How simple, straightforward and sure is the Lord’s answer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” How wonderful! How marvelous! Aren’t you glad the Lord did not teach the Church of Christ’s confusing plan of salvation?

How does the Church of Christ get around the clear answer of Acts 16:31?

Simple they change one little word in the verse. Just one word. Just two letters long. . .

Here’s how the Church of Christ produced NCV reads in Acts 16:30-31:

Acts 16:30-31
30 He brought them outside and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said to him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved–you and all the people in your house.”

See the tiny but HUGE difference? They change that little bitty word “ON” (KJB) to “IN” (NCV). And by that itsy-bitsy change the emphasis is no longer on the PERSON of the Lord Jesus Christ but on His TEACHINGS. And then the deceived Church of Christ travels down their heretical path to “what did the Lord Jesus TEACH in order to be saved”. Simple. Believe. Repent. Confess. Baptism. Live it. . . Simple. . . Subtle (see Genesis 3:1) and Deadly.

Something else we’ll see shortly is the Church of Christ NCV changes “my word” to “my teaching”, again emphasizing the “teaching” instead of the simple “word”.

The following information from Dr. Hugh Pyle’s excellent book titled, “The Truth about the Church of Christ”, gives more analysis into the Church of Christ.

“They are completely warped, doctrinally, on much of what the Bible teaches.
Eight of their biggest heresies relate to their ‘plan’ of, or ‘steps to salvation’ as taught in the Church of Christ. They teach:

1. Salvation by works rather than by the grace of God.
2. Baptismal regeneration—sins actually remitted in the waters of the church of Christ baptistry.
3. That eternal life is not eternal; that a born-again soul can lose his salvation after all.
4. That they have a monopoly on salvation—that they are the one and only true church.
5. That one cannot know in this life that he is saved.
6. That their church has the one and only Bible name.
7. That Christians must take the Lord’s Supper every Sunday to be scriptural.
8. That to worship where instrumental music is used is sinful and disobedient to the Lord.”
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, preface).

“For these innocent buildings house a pernicious religious cult which has deceived countless thousands about God’s way of salvation and the way to Heaven!”
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 9)

It is almost unbelievable that one religious sect could get so warped and utterly confused on the Bible.”
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 11)

“I have read actually state or imply that one will not be saved if he worships God with musical instruments in his singing!
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 78)

After viewing the ‘watered-down’ Gospel of the so-called Church of Christ, the question may well be considered, Could a Campbellite be saved?
The answer certainly is this, that if a person believes what the Church of Christ teaches and does not understand God’s way of salvation, then the Campbellite is not saved no matter how many religious theories he embraces or how many times he has been dipped in the Church of Christ pool.
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 97)

Incredibly, Dr. Pyle rates the Church of Christ follower among the most deceived of all cults. And after dealing with many Church of Christ, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Pyle.

I found fewer people of the Campbellite persuasion who were truly saved than almost any other denomination or sect that I ever had contact with“.
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 97)

Watchman Fellowship, whose ministry exposes various cults throughout the world, says the following about the Church of Christ:

We refer to Campbellism as a cult with reference to those followers of the fatal doctrines systematized by Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone and Walter Scott concerning the plan of salvation. . . most people in the Churches of Christ are actually accepting a legalism which corrupts the gospel at it’s core, and do not understand, nor have responded to faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on our behalf – Biblical faith.”
(Campbellism, Craig Branch, Watchman Fellowship)

There is no doubt the Church of Christ teaches a false gospel.

Does the NCV and ICV bear the distinguishing “marks” of the Church of Christ?
Is the heretical Church of Christ teachings lurking in the pages of the NCV and ICV?

I’ll let you answer that in a few minutes. . .

Note: In the following verses documenting the errors of the NCV, we provide both the King James Bible (KJB) and the New Century Version (NCV) for easy comparison. Scripture marked NCV is Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Word Publishing, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


BAPTISM IN THE NCV


As we have seen, water baptism is the core of the Church of Christ cult. They loudly and proudly believe that water baptism is essential for salvation.

Notice carefully, in the following two groups of scriptures (Romans 6:3-4 and Colossian 2:12), the object of the verses have been changed from theRESULT of baptism to the RITUAL of baptism. The Church of Christ NCV adds the simple words “when we were” to baptism to emphasis the RITUAL of baptism. Important: The NCV is the ONLY version that does this! No other version makes these changes.

Romans 6:3-4, KJB
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:3-4, NCV
3 Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism.
When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life.

Colossians 2:12, KJB
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Colossians 2:12, NCV
When you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and you were raised up with him through your faith in God’s power that was shown when he raised Christ from the dead.

Notice, in 1 Corinthians 12:13, where the Bible is clearly referring to “spiritual baptism” by the Holy Spirit, the NCV Church of Christ, changes one little word “BY one Spirit. . ” to “THROUGH one Spirit. . .” hence, removing the reference to “baptism BY the Spirit”. The NCV also adds the word “WERE” (we WERE all baptized..) to emphasize the RITUAL of baptism – water baptism.

1 Corinthians 12:13, KJB
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13, NCV
Some of us are Jews, and some are Greeks. Some of us are slaves, and some are free. But we were all baptized into one bodythrough one Spirit. And we were all made to share in the one Spirit.

In 1 Peter 3:20-21, the NCV Church of Christ does not “pull any punches” but openly teaches salvation by water baptism. The NCV changes the phrase “like figure” to “water”. Of course, the word “water” is not in any Greek text. The King James Bible says the “water of Noah’s flood” is a “like figure” whereunto even “baptism” (also a like-figure) also now save us” which clearly shows that “baptism” is a “like figure” of the “resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Hence, “water baptism” is a “like figure” of the “resurrection of Jesus Christ”. That is why many pastors say while baptizing someone “Buried with him in baptism and risen [resurrection] to newness of life”.

1 Peter 3:20-21, KJB
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 3:20-21, NCV
20 who refused to obey God long ago in the time of Noah. God was waiting patiently for them while Noah was building the boat. Only a few people–eight in all–were saved by water.
21 And that water is like baptism that now saves you–not the washing of dirt from the body, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. And this is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.

Dr. Harry Ironside provides a good analysis of 1 Peter 3:20-21:

“Noah saved through the flood of wrath in the ark shadows forth the believer’s deliverance from judgement, as baptism clearly expresses, i.e., salvation by the work of Christ. He endured all the curse, even as the ark bore all the brunt of the storm; but the believer can say, ‘His death was mine.’ It is not to baptism that any efficacy attaches; that could only put away outward filth.There is not the slightest justification here for the ritualistic dogma of baptismal regeneration. The only thing that gives the answer which a good conscience demands, is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. That apprehended, baptism is full of meaning. ‘He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.’” (Rom. 4:25)
(Baptism, What Saith the Scriptures, Dr. H.A. Ironside, pp. 26-27)


CHURCHES IN CHRIST


Another heretical doctrine taught by the Church of Christ cult is their teaching the Church of Christ is the ONE and ONLY TRUE church. They teach the Church of Christ is a “restoration movement” to bring back God’s people to the “origin” of the New Testament. And this “restoration” and salvation is ONLY found in the doors of the Church of Christ. Read the following from a Church of Christ booklet:

“The restoration principle is a valid one! God would have us to always recognize and submit to the authority of His Word. We cannot add to that revelation or take from it, but must be content to take it as it is and follow it exactly! (cf. Rev. 22:18-19). It thus follows that it will not be enough to restore the ethical teachings of Jesus and the zeal of the early disciples. We must restore not only the ‘spirit’ of New Testament Christianity but also the plan of salvationthe worship and the organization of the church described in the New Testament!. . .
What will the result of following this principle? Men and women will be Christians, members of the church of Christ.”
(The Distinctive Plea of the Churches of Christ, Rubel Shelly, pp. 9-10)

The Church of Christ also insists they are the ONLY TRUE Church because their church name is the only church specifically mentioned by name in the New Testament.

The NCV certainly helps their cause by adding a few extra “churches in Christ”. It’s worth noting, the NCV is the ONLY version to insert these “churches in Christ”. Wonder why?

Galatians 1:22, KJB
And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

Galatians 1:22, NCV
In Judea the churches in Christ had never met me.

Ephesains 1:23, KJB
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 1:23, NCV
which is Christ’s body. The church is filled with Christ, and Christ fills everything in every way.

1 Thessalonians 2:14, KJB
For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

1 Thessalonians 2:14, NCV
Brothers and sisters, your experiences have been like those of God’s churches in Christ that are in Judea. You suffered from the people of your own country, as they suffered from the Jews,

Does the NCV bear the “marks” of the Church of Christ?

Keep reading. . .


CHURCH OF CHRIST SALVATION


The Church of Christ’s “plan of salvation” is a process or steps you continue doing. A Church of Christ is never “saved” but “being saved”. They can never “know” they are saved.

Remember in the earlier Church of Christ publication that answered the question “What Must I Do to Be Saved” with the “being saved” answer of “you must, by God’s help, continue in his service unto death” (Centerville Messenger, published by the Church of Christ, Centerville TN)

Hugh Pyle gives an interesting response to the Church of Christ’s “being saved” plan of salvation.

Strange they would boisterously declare that they, alone, had the truth concerning the way to Heaven when none of them know they are going there!”
(Dr. Hugh F. Pyle, The Truth about the “Church of Christ”, p. 11)

Sprinkled throughout the NCV is the Church of Christ’s “being saved” plan of salvation. Salvation is turned into a process rather than a completed work at Calvary by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:47, KJB
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Acts 2:47, NCV
They praised God and were liked by all the people. Every day the Lord added those who were being saved to the group of believers.

1 Corinthians. 1:18, KJB
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians. 1:18, NCV
The teaching about the cross is foolishness to those who are being lost, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 15:2, KJB
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:2, NCV
And you are being saved by it if you continue believing what I told you. If you do not, then you believed for nothing.

2 Corinthians 2:15-16, KJB
15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

2 Corinthians 2:15-16, NCV
15 Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are being lost.
16 To those who are lost, we are the smell of death that brings death, but to those who are being saved, we are the smell of life that brings life. So who is able to do this work?

In other places, such as 1 Peter 2:2 and Philippians 2:12, the NCV openly teaches the Church of Christ cult’s salvation by works.

1 Peter 2:2, KJB
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1 Peter 2:2, NCV
As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can grow up and be saved,

Philippians 2:12, NCV
My dear friends, you have always obeyed God when I was with you. It is even more important that you obey now while I am away from you. Keep on working to complete your salvation with fear and trembling,

Philippians 2:12, KJB
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Does the NCV bear the “marks” of the Church of Christ?

You’d better believe it does!

And that’s not all. . .


THE VANISHING WRITTEN WORD OF GOD


The NCV many times removes and obscures the direct application to the written Word of God. “My words” is changed to “words I have said”.

Matthew 24:35, KJB
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 24:35, NCV
Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.

Mark 13:31, KJB
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Mark 13:31, NCV
Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed.

In Matthew 4:4, the clear reference to the written word, “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” is changed to “. . . everything Godsays.”

Matthew 4:4, KJB
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4, NCV
Jesus answered, “It is written in the Scriptures, ‘A person does not live by eating only bread, but by everything God says.'”

The “word” is changed to “teaching” or “message”. Again, plainly diminishing the written word of God. This also bears the “mark” of the Church of Christ cult, who emphasizes following the “teachings” of Christ, rather than simply believing the Word. Look at the destructive changes just in Matthew 13:19-23:

Matthew 13:19-23, KJB
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Matthew 13:19-23, NCV
19 What is the seed that fell by the road? That seed is like the person who hears the message about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One comes and takes away what was planted in that person’s heart.
20 And what is the seed that fell on rocky ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and quickly accepts it with joy.
21 But he does not let the teaching go deep into his life, so he keeps it only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching he accepted, he quickly gives up.
22 And what is the seed that fell among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching but lets worries about this life and the temptation of wealth stop that teaching from growing. So the teaching does not produce fruit in that person’s life.
23 But what is the seed that fell on the good ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and produces fruit, sometimes a hundred times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes thirty times more.”

James 1:21, KJB
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

James 1:21, NCV
So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong. Then in gentleness accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts, which can save you.

1 Peter 2:2, KJB
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1 Peter 2:2, NCV
As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can grow up and be saved,

The written Word is diminished in the NCV by changing the “New Testament” to the “New Agreement” (6 times). If the staff of the New Century Version REALLY believes New Testament should be changed to New Agreement then why does the cover of the NCV New Testament read New Testament rather than New Agreement? (see Picture on right) Hmm…? Can you say hypocrite? Reminds me of the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 7:5, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (PIC)

Matthew 26:18, KJB
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 26:18, NCV
This is my blood which is the new agreement that God makes with his people. This blood is poured out for many to forgive their sins.

Mark 14:24, KJB
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Mark 14:24, NCV
Then Jesus said, “This is my blood which is the new agreement that God makes with his people. This blood is poured out for many.

Luke 22:20, KJB
Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Luke 22:20, NCV
In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup is the new agreement that God makes with his people. This new agreement begins with my blood which is poured out for you.

2 Corinthians 3:6, KJB
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2 Corinthians 3:6, NCV
He made us able to be servants of a new agreement from himself to his people. This new agreement is not a written law, but it is of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Hebrews 9:15, KJB
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 9:15, NCV
For this reason Christ brings a new agreement from God to his people. Those who are called by God can now receive the blessings he has promised, blessings that will last forever. They can have those things because Christ died so that the people who lived under the first agreement could be set free from sin.

The laugh of the year is found in 2 Corinthians 2:17, especially coming from the multi-million dollar empire of Thomas Nelson Publishers. The NCV changes “. . . corrupt the word of God. . .” to “We do not sell the word of God for a profit as many other people do”. What a riot!

2 Corinthians 2:17, KJB
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:17, NCV
We do not sell the word of God for a profit as many other people do. But in Christ we speak the truth before God, as messengers of God.

Speaking of money. . . 1 Timothy 6:10 is no longer “the root of all evil”, but simply “causes all kinds of evil”.

1 Timothy 6:10, KJB
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:10, NCV
The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow.


THE DISAPPEARING VERSES


The following 16 verses are completely removed from the text of the New Century Version!

 

Matthew 17:21 Matthew 18:11 Matthew 23:14 Mark 7:16
Mark 9:44 Mark 9:46 Mark 11:26 Mark 15:28
Luke 17:36 Luke 23:17 John 5:4 Acts 8:37
Acts 15:34 Acts 24:7 Acts 28:29 Romans 16:24

The Bible says in Luke 4:4, “. . .man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

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

Guess what? The NCV even removes the last half of Luke 4:4 – “but by every word of God.”!

Luke 4:4, NCV
Jesus answered, “It is written in the Scriptures: ‘A person does not live by eating only bread.'”

To make matters worse. . . Luke 4:4 is the Lord Jesus Christ quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. Does the perpetrators of the NCV do not believe the Lord Jesus knows Deut. 8:3?

The Lord gives three very clear warnings against “adding and taking away” from His Word.

Deuteronomy 4:2 reads: “YE SHALL NOT ADD unto the word which I command you, NEITHER SHALL YE DIMINISH ought from it . . .”

Proverbs 30:6, reads, “ADD THOU NOT unto his words . . .”

And just in case you missed it, GOD’S LAST WARNING is Revelation 22:18,19:

“. . . IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD unto these things. . . And if any man shall TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. . .”

Despite these clear warnings, the NCV takes out and adds text, over and over! One of the greatest verses in all the Bible, Matthew 18:11: “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” – the NCV takes it out!


JESUS CHRIST. . . GOD. . . OR?


The fundamental of fundamentals is the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fact that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh, is the foundation of the Christian faith. Everything builds upon that. If the deity of Jesus Christ is attacked or even confused, the Christian faith crumbles.

One of the major sins of the new PERversions is the confusion, dilution and out right denial of the deity of Jesus Christ. And the NCV travels down this perilous path of perversion.

Several times the King James Bible plainly states that Jesus Christ is the “image of God”. The NCV changes the clear “image of God” to the diluted and confusing “exactly LIKE God”. Jesus Christ is no longer God but simply “like” God.

2 Corinthians 4:4, KJB
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 isthe image of God, should shine unto them.

2 Corinthians 4:4, NCV
The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News–the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is exactly like God.

Colossians 1:14-15, KJB
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Colossians 1:14-15, NCV (Notice the NCV removes “through his blood”
14 The Son paid for our sins, and in him we have forgiveness.
15 No one can see God, but Jesus Christ is exactly like him. He ranks higher than everything that has been made.

“Like” God? Does that sound familiar? The “like God” title is also the goal of Lucifer in Isaiah 14:14!

Isaiah 14:12-14
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

In Hebrews 1:3, Jesus Christ is no longer the “brightness of God’s glory” but simply “reflects the Glory of God”. The clear and dogmatic phrase “. . .the express image of his [God] person” is now downgraded to simply “exactly what God is like. . .” Why would a Christian do this?

Hebrews 1:3, KJB
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Hebrews 1:3, NCV
The Son reflects the glory of God and shows exactly what God is like. He holds everything together with his powerful word. When the Son made people clean from their sins, he sat down at the right side of God, the Great One in heaven.

Colossians 2:9 clearly states the Lord Jesus is “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”. Plainly, testifying to the deity of Jesus Christ – the Godhead bodily. Again the NCV denies the deity of the Lord Jesus by stating, “God lives in Christ fully (even when Christ was on earth)” — clearly SEPARATING the Lord Jesus from God!

Colossians 2:9-10, KJB
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Colossians 2:9-10, NCV
9 All of God lives in Christ fully (even when Christ was on earth),
10 and you have a full and true life in Christ, who is ruler over all rulers and powers.

1 Timothy 3:16 is probably the clearest verse in the Bible asserting that Jesus Christ was “God manifest in the flesh”. The NCV changes it to the trivial “He was shown to us in a human body “. Who is “he”? He is a pronoun that requires a noun to qualify it. There is no noun in the context! He could be anybody!

1 Timothy 3:16, KJB
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

1 Timothy 3:16, NCV
Without doubt, the secret of our life of worship is great: He was shown to us in a human body, proved right in spirit, and seen by angels. He was preached to those who are not Jews, believed in by the world, and taken up in glory.

Again (and again…) the NCV changes the clear statement of Philippians 2:6 testifying that Jesus Christ was “equal with God” to the confusing “. . . he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit.”

Philippians 2:6-7, KJB
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:6-7, NCV
Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit.
7 But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant.


THE PRECIOUS BLOOD IS NOT SO PRECIOUS. . . IN THE NCV


As all faithful PERversions do, the redeeming blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is attacked, removed, or diluted.

The message of the “the innocent blood” of Jesus Christ from the mouth of Judas, testifying of the sinless, blood-atonement of the Lord Jesus, is changed to the frivolous “innocent man”. Notice also the definite “THE innocent blood” is changed to the indefinite “AN innocent man”. There are many “an innocent man” but there is only ONE “THE innocent blood”.

Matthew 27:4, KJB
Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

Matthew 27:4, NCV
saying, “I sinned; I handed over to you an innocent man.” The leaders answered, “What is that to us? That’s your problem, not ours.”

Pilate’s confirmation of the sinless Lord Jesus in Matthew 27:24 is also removed in the NCV. Pilate’s “blood of this just person” is now simply “this man’s death”.

Matthew 27:24-25, KJB
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Matthew 27:24-25, NCV
24 When Pilate saw that he could do nothing about this and that a riot was starting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. Then he said, “I am not guilty of this man’s death. You are the ones who are causing it!”
25 All the people answered, “We and our children will be responsible for his death.”

Acts 20:28 is one of the greatest verses in the Bible. And the NCV does a “double-wammy” to Acts 20:28. The NCV removes “the blood” and at the same time adds the word “son” thus diluting the clear reference to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, there is no Greek evidence for such a change.

Acts 20:28, KJB
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Acts 20:28, NCV (Attacks the deity and also removes the blood)
Be careful for yourselves and for all the people the Holy Spirit has given to you to care for. you must be like shepherds to the church of God, which he bought with the death of his own son.

Many times the passion of the “blood” of the Lord Jesus Christ is diluted by adding the words “of death” to the message of the blood. By adding the words “of His death”, etc. the “blood” is no longer the OBJECT but a modifier of “death”. Clearly clouding the emphasis the Holy Spirits gives to the blood. There is no Greek evidence for adding “death”.

Matthew 27:6, KJB
And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

Matthew 27:6, NCV
The leading priests picked up the silver coins in the Temple and said, “Our law does not allow us to keep this money with the Temple money, because it has paid for a man’s death.”

Romans 3:25, KJB
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 3:25, NCV
God gave him as a way to forgive sin through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. This showed that God always does what is right and fair, as in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins.

Romans 5:9, KJB
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Romans 5:9, NCV
So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death.

Ephesians 1:7, KJB
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ephesians 1:7, NCV
In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace,

Ephesians 2:13, KJB
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13, NCV
But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ’s death.

Colossians 1:20, KJB
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Colossians 1:20, NCV
And through Christ, God has brought all things back to himself again–things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace throughthe blood of Christ’s death on the cross.

Hebrews 10:19, KJB
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews 10:19, NCV
So, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death.

Revelation 1:5, KJB
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 1:5, NCV
and from Jesus Christ. Jesus is the faithful witness, the first among those raised from the dead. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth. He is the One who loves us, who made us free from our sins with the blood of his death.

Revelation 5:9, KJB
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Revelation 5:9, NCV
And they all sang a new song to the Lamb: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were killed, andwith the blood of your death you bought people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation.

Revelation 12:11, KJB
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Revelation 12:11, NCV
And our brothers and sisters defeated him by the blood of the Lamb’s death and by the message they preached. They did not love their lives so much that they were afraid of death.


THE POLITICALLY CORRECT FEMINIST BIBLE


The ICV and the NCV were maong the first gender-neutral, non-male, pro-feminist, Bibles. Authors Vern Poythress and Wayne Grudem, write in The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy concerning the NCV and ICV:

“The earliest complete translations of the Bible to adopt a gender-neutral translation policy were apparently the New Century Version (NCV) and the International Children’s Bible (ICB), both published by Word publishing Company.”
(Vern S. Poythress & Wayne A. Grudem, The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy, Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words, p. 9)

The International Children’s Version was the first mainstream Bible to go gender-neutral-feminist. There was absolutely nothing in the preface of the ICV that warned the parents of the politically-correct, gender-neutral, feminist agenda. It is very troubling the ICV was an undercover-gender-neutral production aimed at our very young children.

The International Children’s Bible was promoted and given away by the Billy Graham Crusade. It was also used in the Adventures in Odyssey Bible, a partnership between James Dobson, Focus on the Family and Word Publishing.

In order to neuter the ICB and NCV into a anti-male, pro-feminist, politically-correct PERversion — thousands and thousands of clear masculine-gender verbs in the God-inspired Greek text, were intentionally mis-translated.

  • The NCV removes the male pronoun “he” 791 times!
  • The NCV removes the male pronoun “him” 936 times!
  • The NCV removes the male pronoun “his” 238 times!
  • The NCV removes the word “man” 230 times!
  • The NCV removes the word “men” 219 times!
  • And the word “mankind” is completely removed!

FATHERS NOT WELCOME


One of the major problems facing America today is fatherless families. Today, fathers are an endangered species. It’s gotten so bad, President Bush and Congress have proposed “buy back the fathers” programs offering cash incentives just to encourage fathers to marry.

The father’s role in a family can not be overemphasized.

Look at the following alarming statistics:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
    [U. S. D.H.H.S. Bureau of the Census]
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
    [Center for Disease Control]
  • 80% of rapist motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
    [Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14 p. 403-26]
  • 72% percent of adolescent murders come from fatherless homes.
    [William J. Bennett, The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, p. 61]
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
    [National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]
  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
    [U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept., 1988]
  • 70 percent of long-term prison inmates come from fatherless homes.
    [William J. Bennett, The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, p. 61]
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
    [Fulton County Georgia Jail Populations and Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992]
  • Nearly 2 of every 5 children in America do not live with their fathers.
    [US News and World Report, February 27, 1995, p.39]
    Fatherless children are:
  • 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide,
  • 6.6 times to become teenaged mothers (if they are girls, of course),
  • 24.3 times more likely to run away,
  • 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders,
  • 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions,
  • 10.8 times more likely to commit rape,
  • 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school,
  • 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager.

A Heritage Foundation study found that growing up without a father is now the single most reliable predictor of crime.

Louis Sullivan, former secretary of Health and Family Services, said, “Male absence from family life is the greatest challenge of our generation.”

The National Organization for Women (N.O.W) leaves no doubt to the feminist opinion of fathers. A December 3, 1999 N.O.W., Action Alert included this statement, “It’s a father’s presence, not his absence, that is harmful to kids.” www.alliance4lifemin.org/herestoyoudad.html

And following the feminist script to the letter — the NCV removes “father” an unbelievable 492 times! What do they have against fathers? Is “father” such an archaic outdated, word? Or is “father” too hard to understand?

And what “easy to read” (the primary purpose of the NCV and ICV) word do they replace our “fathers” with? 51 times the NCV replaces the simple, easy-to-read and understand “father” with the harder word “ancestor”.

Here’s an example of the “father-less ancestor” of the NCV in Acts 7:2

Acts 7:2
Stephen answered, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to Abraham, our ancestor, in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran.

Acts 7:2
And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

The Greek word for “father” is “pater”. And “pater” is the direct descendent to our English word “father”. The etymology of “father” is Middle English fader, Old English f[ae]der; to Old German fater father, Latin pater, Greek patEr. In fact, the Latin word for “father” is the Greek “pater”.

To translate “pater” to “ancestor”, etc. is a deliberate MIS-translation to line up with politically correct, feminist agenda.


NO MORE BRETHREN


To line up with the politically-correct, feminist agenda the NCV completely divorces itself from the word “brethren”.

Most of the time the NCV replaces the word “brethren” with the words “brothers and sisters”. But there’s one little problem – just a little one — there is no known Greek manuscript on the planet with the Greek word “sisters” where “brethren” appears! But when did the Greek evidence ever affect the modern day Bible translators.

The NCV intentionally adds “sisters” to the God-given Greek text 118 times!

A few examples of the NCV “sisters” folly:

Notice, the first verse is a MIS quote of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 23:8, KJB
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

Matthew 23:8, NCV
“But you must not be called ‘Teacher,’ because you have only one Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters together.

Acts 3:17, KJB
And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.

Acts 3;17, NCV
Brothers and sisters, I know you did those things to Jesus because neither you nor your leaders understood what you were doing.

Acts 6:3, KJB
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Acts 6:3, NCV
So, brothers and sisters, choose seven of your own men who are good, full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. We will put them in charge of this work.


FORNICATION: NOT FOUND


The NCV completely removes the word “fornication” (44 times).

Many times the NCV replaces the clear, definite, word fornication with vague, subjective, terms such as “sexual sins”, “sin sexually”, “any kind of sexual sin”. The big problem with such re-definitions (in addition that they are contrary to the Greek text) they are subjectively based on the reader’s “definition” of “sexual sin”. Ask 50 people what is a “sexual sin” and you’ll get 50 different answers, especially among teenagers. Who can forget the Bill Clinton fiasco and just what IS “sex”. No one misunderstands the word “fornication”.

A few examples of the NCV’s “sexual sins”:

Acts 15:20, KJB
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

Acts 15:20, NCV
Instead, we should write a letter to them telling them these things: Stay away from food that has been offered to idols (which makes it unclean), any kind of sexual sin, eating animals that have been strangled, and blood.

1 Corinthians 6:18, KJB
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 6:18, NCV
So run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies.

Ephesians 5:3, KJB
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Ephesians 5:3, NCV
But there must be no sexual sin among you, or any kind of evil or greed. Those things are not right for God’s holy people.


VIRGINS: AN ENDANGERED SPECIES


Besides three references to Mary (to please the Roman Catholics?), the NCV completely removes the word “virgin” from the New Testament (12 times). Is “virgin” an archaic, out-dated, hard to understand word? If anything, we ought to be adding more “virgins” rather than removing them! That’s exactly what our young people do not need – removing “virgins”. I wonder. . . Does the NCV and staff have a problem with “virgins”?

A few instances of the NCV’s removing “virgins”.

1 Corinthians 7:25, 28, 34, 36, 37 KJB
25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful
. . .
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
. . .
34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
. . .
36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
1 Corinthians 7:25, 28, 34, 36, 37 NCV
25 Now I write about people who are not married. I have no command from the Lord about this; I give my opinion. But I can be trusted, because the Lord has shown me mercy.
. . .
28 But if you decide to marry, you have not sinned. And if a girl who has never married decides to marry, she has not sinned. But those who marry will have trouble in this life, and I want you to be free from trouble.
. . .
34 He must think about two things–pleasing his wife and pleasing the Lord. A woman who is not married or a girl who has never married is busy with the Lord’s work. She wants to be holy in body and spirit. But a married woman is busy with things of the world, as to how she can please her husband.
. . .
36 If a man thinks he is not doing the right thing with the girl he is engaged to, if she is almost past the best age to marry and he feels he should marry her, he should do what he wants. They should get married. It is no sin.
37 But if a man is sure in his mind that there is no need for marriage, and has his own desires under control, and has decided not to marry the one to whom he is engaged, he is doing the right thing.

Acts 21:9, KJB
And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

Acts 21:9, NCV
He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophesying.

By the way. . . There is a HUGE difference between a “virgin” and simply “unmarried” or “not married”. Maybe the NCV staff needs the average teenager to explain the difference.


THE GOSPEL. . . GONE. . . ALMOST


The NCV removes the word “gospel” 102 times. For some strange reason the NCV leaves the word “gospel” in only 2 places: Corinthians 9:13 and 2 Corinthians 11:4. Same Greek word. The NCV removes the “gospel” for the less authoritative and generic “good news”. If anyone believes “gospel” is archaic or hard to understand or outdated, a quick search at Amazon.com gives a gigantic 5491 hits.

A few “gospel-gone” examples:

1 Corinthians 15:1-2, KJB
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2, NCV
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to remember the Good News I brought to you. You received this Good News and continue strong in it.
2 And you are being saved by it if you continue believing what I told you. If you do not, then you believed for nothing.

Mark 16:15, KJB
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15, NCV
Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.


HELL. . . HAS TO GO


One of the words the new PERversions go mad to remove is the word “hell”. Got to get rid of that hard to understand, archaic and outdated word “hell”. The NCV extinguishes hell 39 times.

In some instances the NCV replaces “hell” with “depths”. The NCV’s generic “depths” leave the reader hanging. Depths of what? Depths of the deep blue sea. . .? Depths of the human heart. . .? Doesn’t that clear everything up? It’s ironic, for a Bible whose primary goal is to make the Bible easier to understand, they make it harder to understand. But does not all the modern new versions do the same?

Matthew 11:23, KJB
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Matthew 11:23, NCV
And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to the depths. If the miracles I did in you had happened in Sodom, its people would have stopped sinning, and it would still be a city today.

But the NCV’s favorite choice for “hell’s” replacement is the generic “death”. To seriously equate an eternal, burning, flaming hell with death or the grave is laughable.

Matthew 16:18, KJB
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18, NCV
So I tell you, you are Peter. On this rock I will build my church, and the power of death will not be able to defeat it.

Luke 16:23, KJB
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luke 16:23, NCV
In the place of the dead, he was in much pain. The rich man saw Abraham far away with Lazarus at his side.

Revelation 1:18, NCV
I am the One who lives; I was dead, but look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to death and to the place of the dead.

Revelation 1:18, KJB
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

 

In Psalm 23:14, the NCV turns the parents admonition to discipline their children to save their soul from hell to “save them from death”.

Psalm 23:14, KJB
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Psalm 23:14, NCV
If you spank them, you will save them from death.

C’mon. Disciplining your children will not “save them from death”! They will die – regardless. A direct contradiction to Hebrews 9:27!

Hebrews 9:27, KJB
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

How can anybody so pervert and distort the Word of God? No wonder people no longer believe the Bible is the Word of God – with these ridiculous PERversions polluting the land!

The NCV renders Psalm 9:17 into gibberish nonsense. From the “wicked shall be turned into hell. . .” they translate “Wicked people will go to the grave. . .” Hey – dummy. . . We ALL go to the grave! Not just the wicked.

Psalm 9:17, NCV
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 9:17, KJB
Wicked people will go to the grave, and so will all those who forget God.

In Isaiah 14:15, Lucifer is not longer brought “down to hell” but simply to “the grave”. Hmm. . . I wonder who would do that?

Isaiah 14:15, KJB
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isaiah 14:15, NCV
But you were brought down to the grave, to the deep places where the dead are.


LUCIFER OR JESUS?


Speaking of Lucifer, or should I say NOT speaking of Lucifer – because Lucifer is not in the NCV! One of the most disgusting betrayals to the Lord Jesus Christ occurs in Isaiah 14:12. The NCV magically transforms “Lucifer” into the “morning star”. And who is the “morning star”? You guessed it. . . The Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 22:16! Wow! The NCV also says the “morning star” or the Lord Jesus, “fallen from heaven” Wow! That’s some pretty serious stuff!

Isaiah 14:12, KJB
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Isaiah 14:12, NCV
King of Babylon, morning star, you have fallen from heaven, even though you were as bright as the rising sun! In the past all the nations on earth bowed down before you, but now you have been cut down.

Revelation 22:16, KJB
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

There are many more problems inside the pages of the Church of Christ cult produced New Century Version.

 


He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 
— John 12:48
 

 


Editor’s Note: There is a web support group for people who have left the hard-lined Church of Christ churches at:    http://ex-churchofchrist.com/index.htm

Is Homosexuality a sin for New Testament Believers?

IS HOMOSEXUALITY A SIN FOR NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS?
[Does Jesus condemn or condone homosexuality?]

Article Written by L.Ray Smith

It may seem strange and even foolish that I should even ask such questions. Aren’t the Scriptures clear on this subject? Apparently not, if you listen to the many voices now embracing this life style. There are scholars and theologians who adamantly try to defend their homosexual life style based on the Scriptures.

While some do not believe that homosexual sex is even mentioned or described in Scripture, others freely admit that it is mentioned and was a capital crime under Moses, and strongly condemned by the Apostle Paul as being worthy of death. But among the latter it is argued that neither of these condemnations in the Old or the New Testaments applies to homosexual Believers in Christ. That is a twist we will examine carefully, as most have probably never heard of such a defense.

The purpose of this paper is not to single out or come down upon homosexuals. I have never written a paper entitled: “Is Stealing a Sin for New Testament Believers?” or, “Is Bearing False Witness a Sin?” or, “Is Murder a Sin?” So why “homosexuality? Because more and more, the media, entertainment, the government, the Church, the general population of America and much of the world, no longer believes it is a sin to be discriminated against, whereas even the basest of nations have laws against stealing, false witness, and murder.

So, my purpose here is not to judge, but to specifically establish whether homosexuality is a sin or not a sin for Believers in Christ under the New Covenant.

If it is not a sin, and these practices are normal and virtuous, then we should not be speaking or discriminating against them. But if it is a sin, then we should certainly speak out against it just as we should against adultery, idolatry, lying, stealing, etc. Let’s try and look at the Scriptural facts with unbiased, open minds. If we are interested in obedience to Jesus Christ then we should be eager to know the truth one way or the other.

Most homosexuals do not argue with Lev. 20:13:

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

They concede that this verse is speaking of homosexuality-sex between members of the same gender. Their argument is that it no longer applies to them as Believers in Christ under the New Covenant, stating that they are no longer under the law of Moses.

It is beyond the scope of this paper to go into what is meant by no longer being “under the law.” But I will give just a few comments concerning whether Lev. 20:13 is still binding on Christian Believers.

 

A SILLY ARGUMENT

Over the years I have received some bizarre reasons from the gay community regarding why they don’t think homosexuality is a sin. Here is an example I received this week from a self-professed lesbian:

 

“Also, don’t you find it interesting that when Jesus walked the earth, he never once brought up the subject? If it was such a sin, it would be one of the Ten Commandments, don’t you think?”

No, I don’t think so at all. Lev. 20:13 does not need to be one of the Ten Commandments before it has any jurisdiction over Christian Believers.

Jesus did not address child-molestation either; neither is it one of the Ten Commandments. Neither did Jesus address drug abuse, nor pornography, smoking, spousal abuse, or torture. Does this fact therefore condone such sins and atrocities? Are we to assume therefore that none of these are wrong or sinful? I hope we are not foolish enough to believe that if something is not mentioned in the Bible, then it shouldn’t be considered a sin.

Listen: One of the Ten Commandments was against “stealing.” But stealing did not carry the death sentence. Yet witchcraft (not one of the Ten Commandments) did carry the death sentence (Lev. 20:27). Having sexual intercourse with an animal carried the death sentence for both men and women (Lev. 20:15-16).

Who among us would deign to suggest to their children that having sex with farm yard animals is now okay since it is not condemned in the New Testament by Jesus, neither is one of the Ten Commandments? When all else fails, try a little common sense and basic morality.

 

WHAT IS HOMOSEXUALITY?

The actual words “homosexual” and “lesbian” are not found in the Scriptures. The word “homosexual” is reported to be a German invention to euphemize and take the place of the distasteful word “sodomite.” Although the word “sodomy” as used today may not even have a direct connection with the sexual sins of historical Sodom.

While the Scriptures do not speak to us in crude street language, describing the actual mechanics of homosexual acts, nonetheless, the practice of same sex lust assuredly is mentioned and condemned in Scripture as a sin that needs to be repented of just as idolatry, adultery, stealing, murder, and all sins.

The word homosexual is applied to both men and women whose sexual preference is with one of the same gender. Male homosexuals are generally called “gay” or “gay men,” while female homosexuals are generally called “gay women” or “lesbians.”

Most gay men will acknowledge that male homosexuality is mentioned in Scripture. What may be alarming to many of my readers is that while they concede that it is mentioned and talked about, they deny that it is categorically a sin. On the other hand, many argue that gay women or lesbianism are not mentioned in Scripture at all. I will briefly comment on the one main Old Testament Scripture forbidding homosexuality. Below is an excerpt from the gaychurch.org web site regarding Lev. 18:22 & 20:13.

Professor Soards tells us:

 

“Old Testament experts view the regulations of Leviticus as standards of holiness, directives for the formation of community life, aimed at establishing and maintaining a people’s identity in relation to God.” This is because God was so determined that His people who were being formed into a new nation would not adopt the practices of the Baal worshipers in Canaan, and same-gender sex was part of Baal worship

Even if we consider that morality was a factor in this rule, it is part of the Code, and when the Code became obsolete, as it is under Christ, that rule, as part of the Code, became obsolete. These verses in Leviticus have nothing to say to us today beyond the eternal principle of the need for purity in the worship of God. If the immorality expressed in them happens to be a principle for all time, then it will be found elsewhere in the Bible. (For heterosexuals it is found in Roman 1 which clearly condemns same-gender sex by heterosexuals. There is nothing in the Bible to support any finding about homosexuals.)” By Bruce Lowe Appendix B: Bible Passages on Same-Gender Sex (Underline emphasis is mine)

Just a couple of comments: Clearly it is admitted that same gender sex was condemned under Moses (being punishable by death), and that it was a practice of “Baal worship.” And so it suggested that homosexuality was not inherently wrong, but rather it was wrong because it was practiced in the worship of Baal.

Apparently, had not the pagans used homosexuality in their worship of Baal, God would have allowed it. I think not.

It is then suggested that since homosexuality was a part of the things forbidden under the law of Moses (which they call “the Code”), but Christian Believers are not under the Code, but under Christ, therefore, “the Code became obsolete.”

Well I have already commented on the absurdity of this with regarding things like bestiality, which I seriously doubt they would condone under this same “became obsolete” argument.

So what is the argument for not following the admonition of Paul regarding same gender sex in Rom. 1:26-27? Well you just read it:

(For heterosexuals it is found in Romans 1 which clearly condemns same-gender sex by heterosexuals. There is nothing in the Bible to support any finding about homosexuals.)”

Now I must admit that statement overwhelms me. Since it cannot be denied that Paul is speaking of same gender sex in Rom. 1:26-27, what are they to do? Well, they dogmatically state that Paul is not condemning homosexuality sex between homosexuals, but rather they state that Paul is CONDEMNING HOMOSEXUAL SEX BETWEEN HETEROSEXUALS! Is that not akin to suggesting that it is not wrong for alcoholics to get drunk, but rather it is wrong for NON-ALCOHOLICS to get drunk?

We will now see whether the Scriptures substantiate the above assertion that:

There is nothing in the Bible to support any finding about homosexuals.

We will first look at three sexual perversions closely allied with homosexuality.

THREE CATEGORIES OF PERVERTED SEX

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators [Gk: paramours], nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [Gk: catamites], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [Gk: sodomites] nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God(I Cor. 6:9-10).

What are paramours, catamites, and sodomites?

paramours(King James, ‘fornicators’)-Strong’s #4205 pornos “to sell, a male prostitute (as venal), a debauchee (libertine): fornicator, whoremonger.”

 

 

prostitute: “one who solicits and accepts payment for sex” (American Heritage College Dictionary).

venal: “capable of betraying honor, duty, or scruples for a price, corruptible” (AHCD).

debauchee/debauchery: “to corrupt morally, to lead away from excellence or virtue, indulge in dissipation [lacking moral restraint, indulgence in sensual pleasure], orgies [unrestrained sexual activities],”

libertine: “one without moral restraint” (AHCD)

catamites(King James, ‘effeminate’)-Strong’s #3120 malakos “soft, fine clothing, a catamite, effeminate.”

catamite: “a boy who has a sexual relationship with a man” (AHCD).

effeminate: “having characteristics more often associated with women than a man” (AHCD).

 

 

sodomites(King James, ‘abusers of themselves with mankind’-Strong’s #733 arsenokoites “a sodomite, defile self with mankind.”

The elements of the Greek word arsenokoites are “male-lier”-A male who lies with a male. “Male bed partners”–Wycliffe Bible Dictionary.

 

 

THESE PERVERSIONS ARE CONDEMNED IN SCRIPTURE

“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to keep company with fornicators [Gk: ‘pornos‘-paramour/male prostitutes] …with such an one not to eat” (I Cor. 5:9-11).

“For this you know, that no whoremonger [Gk: pornos-paramour/male prostitute] …has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5).

“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for …whoremongers [Gk: pornos-paramour/male prostitute] …and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (I Tim. 1:9-10).

“Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers [Gk: pornos-paramour/male prostitute] and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4).

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [Gk: pornos-paramour/male prostitute], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers [Gk: parnos-paramour/male prostitute], and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes [practices] a lie” (Rev. 22:14-15).

“Be not deceived, neither …effeminate [Gk: malakos-catamite/boy with man sex] shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:9-10).

“Be not deceived, neither …abusers of themselves with mankind [Gk: arsenokoites-sodomites/male bed partners/male-liers] shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:9-10).

Paul states that none who continue to commit the sins listed above “shall inherit the kingdom of God.” These sins need to be repented of and put in the past. And that is what the chosen Few in these Gentiles churches were doing.

Notice Paul’s consolation to those who repented of these sinful deeds of the flesh:

 

“And such [unrighteous, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners] WERE [past tense, but not now] some of you but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).

Next we will see whether the Scriptures actually and specifically speak of both male and female homosexuality. Here are a couple more statements from http://gaychurch.org:

“Clearly the passage [Rom. 1:26-27] is talking about people for whom sex with the opposite gender is “natural.” We call them “heterosexual.” There is nothing in this passage that relates to homosexual people.”

Conservative theologian Richard Hays says:

“No direct appeal to Romans 1 as a source of rules about sexual conduct is possible.”

We shall see.

 

MEN WITH MEN AND WOMEN WITH WOMEN

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even [1] their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also [2] the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense [penalty] of their error which was meet [due](Rom. 1:26-27).

There is a lot more contained in this verse than perceived in the eye of English.

First of all, all that is to follow in this dissertation by Paul comes under the general category of “vile affections.” The word vile in this verse is Strong’s #819 atimia, which means, “infamy, indignity, disgrace, dishonor, reproach, shame, vile.” And so the things of which Paul is going to speak, are things that are: infamous, indignant, disgraceful, dishonorable, reproachable, shameful, and vile. Not a pretty picture; not a dissertation on godly virtue and morality.

 

WHAT WAS “AGAINST NATURE?”

First Paul mentions:

“…their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature…”

Some foolishly bury their heads in the sand and suggest that nothing immoral is actually mentioned here. Does it sound to you that leaving the natural use of something and using it in a way that is against nature burning in their lust, is a good thing? No, I think not. Okay, but can we determine exactly what it is that was being misused and against nature? Yes, we certainly can.

We just saw that it has to do with affections that women have that are against nature. That is, against the nature of the proper use of something (‘did change the natural USE’). But what? Just what is that certain something that women change from the natural use of into something that is vile, disgraceful, and shameful? What is it that they are using disgracefully because of unnatural vile affections? I’ll now show you maybe more precisely than you really want to know, what it was that “…their women did change the natural use [of] into that which is against nature…”

Do we think Paul is referring to the improper use of their ears? Did they change the natural use of their eyes? Maybe it was their hands? Did these men and women in question here start using their feet in an unnatural way?

Whatever it was that the women were doing against nature, the men were likewise also doing the very same thing:

“And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men…” (Verse 27).

What does Paul mean by “likewise also?” Simple, the Greek for “likewise” is homoios, and it means “similar,” “likewise.” The Greek for “also” is kai and it means “and, also, even, too, both indeed, likewise.”

 Interestingly, we have another verse of Scripture which also uses these same two Greek words and translates them the same:

 

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also [Gk: kai] to them likewise [Gk: homoios](Luke 6:31).

We are to treat others in a similar way, as we would want others to treat us. That is how these two words are used in Luke 6:31, and that is how they are used in Rom. 1:27. What the women were doing against nature, the men “likewise also” were doing “against nature.” Now then, what was it that they were doing?

The men who were doing likewise also as the women “burned in their lust one [man] toward another [man], MEN WITH MEN…” Okay, lest someone suggest that this is merely human companionship and doesn’t involve SEX, let’s continue and see just what parts of the human anatomy is being referenced here.

 

WHAT DID PAUL MEAN BY “UNSEEMLY?”

“…likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly…”

It is so easy when reading Scripture to not pay close attention to all the words. These five words “working that which is unseemly” are translated from only one Greek word, aschemosune, and this word is used only one other time in Scripture, which I will now show you so as to remove all doubt as to its meaning:

 

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they SEE his shame [aschemosune](Rev. 16:15).

 

Here Jesus is using figurative language. In the same way someone is shamed by taking off all their clothing in public (so will those who do not spiritually watch for Jesus be spiritually shamed).

So what is it that people see when someone is naked? Why, for example, are there many topless beaches around the world where total nudity is not allowed? What shame [aschemosune] is made visible in Rev. 15:16 by walking naked? And what is it that is “working that which is unseemly [aschemosune]in Rom. 1:27? Some of you are already way ahead of me.

The King James translators have often chosen words of modesty, so as to not offend the sensitive reader.

Strong’s Greek Dictionary: “unseemly/shame” #808, aschemosune, “an indecency; by implication the pudenda: shame, which is unseemly.”

And just what is the “pudenda?”

The American Heritage College Dictionary: pudendum/ pl. pudenda n. “The human external genital organs, especially of a woman” (p. 1127). There it is.

It was the genital organs of the female that:

 

“…women did change the natural use into that which is against nature [women with women]: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman [and her genital organs], burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working [with each other’s genital organs] that which is unseemly” (Rom. 1:26-27).

I will not get anymore graphic than that.

Romans 1:26-27 is a very strong condemnation of the list of vile affections starting with sex between women with women, and men with men. And professing faith in the love and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ does not turn this perversion into a virtue.

When Isaiah tells us to:

 

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isa. 58:1).

Should I just keep my mouth shut on this subject?

Few Christians believe that those who practice adultery, stealing, and lying will enter God’s Kingdom without repenting. But this is not the case with practicing homosexuals.

Speaking against homosexuality may soon become a hate crime law in which offenders will be prosecuted as criminals. Let’s take a closer Scriptural look at this subject while the law still allows it.

 

THE REST OF PAUL’S PROCLAMATION AGAINST HOMOSEXUALS

Let’s look at these verses on homosexuality by the Apostle Paul, in the context of this section of Scripture:

 

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold [back] the truth in unrighteousness… Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves… For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which is meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are WORTHY OF DEATH, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. 1:18, 24, 26-32).

This is the largest single list of ungodliness, unrighteousness, sins, crimes, and corruption found anywhere in the entirety of the Scriptures, and notice that heading the list are:

to dishonor their own bodies between themselves”

“women did change the natural use into that which is against nature”

“men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men”

Paul concludes this list of carnal sins by stating: “they which commit such things are WORTHY OF DEATH” (as is every other sin mentioned). Now the very fact that the perpetrators of such sexual perversions deny they are sins, and large segments of society and government condone these sins, shows how morally decayed our nation is becoming.

 

HOMOSEXUALITY IN AMERICA

In Politics and Government: Most Democratic presidential candidates recently spoke at a gay forum in which they unanimously gave approval to the homosexuals in America. There was a split over whether gays can legally marry partners of the same sex, but as for gay relationships and gay rights they received overwhelming support from these wanna-be presidents of the USA. Likewise it is reported that up to three-quarters of Americans support gay rights and civil unions, but half do not support gay marriage.

In Entertainment: TV dramas, situation comedies, and major films are now glamorizing the gay life. A recent film about two gay cowboys, entitled BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, received rave reviews, such as the following:

“This is simply one of the greatest love stories in film history.” (Film Focus)

“Brokeback Mountain is about as close to perfection as it’s possible to come in modern Hollywood.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

In The Church: Chicago-“Flouting what they call a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, more than 80 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered Lutheran ministers declared their sexuality on Tuesday in hopes of changing a church rule that excludes gay and lesbian clergy who do not live chastely.” Is such protesting effective:

Lutherans Vote To Allow Gay Clergy

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Saturday voted to refrain from disciplining clergy in committed same-sex relationships. (The Post Chronicle)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The largest U.S. Presbyterian Church body approved a measure on Tuesday that would open the way for the ordination of gays and lesbians under certain circumstances. (Reuters)

After Paul states “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections,” he gives us the following list of sins:

 

“…women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly… unrighteous, fornication, wicked, covetous, malicious, envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful…” (Rom. 1:27-31).

What justification, pray tell, is there in lifting out the first two sins: “…women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly…,” as being perfectly virtuous (if done out of what gays would call true love) while the rest of the sins remain sins?

By whose authority are the government, the media, and the Church rendering these sins as defendable and virtuous?

It is now both politically incorrect and socially incorrect to speak of these perversions as sin, and now (according to polls) the majority of Americans also either feels pressured, or just cannot see any immorality in homosexuality.

When immorality is condoned and even lauded, it spills over into every aspect of society. Even child rapists are getting off with little more than a slap on the hand and a few months probation. Such behavior in our judicial system forty or fifty years ago would have been outrageous, but few are showing much alarm over such judicial travesties today.

I am not condemning the sinners, but I am condemning the sin and the lax attitudes toward this sin. As Paul clearly states:

“…and such were some of YOU.”

How is it that Paul can state: “such weresome of you?

 

“For ALL HAVE SINNED and come short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

God will pardon all of our sins, but they must be put in our past.

If I condoned my own past sins, I never would have repented of them.

 

“Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world… Among whom also we all had our conduct in times past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh…” (Eph. 2:2-3).

Continuing:

 

“For ALL have sinned… Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are PAST, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Rom. 3:24-26).

 

Now back up to the beginning of Romans 6:

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:1-2).

There is salvation available, and it is by grace, not our own personal works of righteousness, but we must first repent. This repentance is also by grace. It is a gift from God just like salvation itself. Once again, we are ALL in the same boat for we have ALL sinned.

Notice next what Paul says after his declaration against a list of 27 major sins. Paul’s statement that “…they which commit such things are worthy of DEATH,” does not end his declarations on this subject. We must continue into chapter 2:

 

“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judges: for wherein you judge another, thou condemn yourself; for thou that judge do the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

And think you this, O man, that judge them which do such things, and do the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of God? Or despise you the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to REPENTANCE?” (Rom. 2:1-4).

While “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3), all sins that Jesus died for must be repented of or that person will not inherit the Kingdom of God, but will rather be raised up in Judgment. Christ dying for the sins of the world is not the final step with the issue of sin and sinners. The final step is to GET THE SIN OUT OF THE SINNER, and that is precisely what will happen, Christ “will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31) and the ungodly “will learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:9). Then and only then will “God be ALL in All” (I Cor. 15:28).

Here is one of the most sobering Scriptures in the entire New Testament:

 

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).

Jesus Christ personally commissioned Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. What Paul wrote to the churches was under divine inspiration of Jesus Christ. All of these profound life and death declarations of Paul are just as valid as if Jesus Himself declared them.

 

AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T HURT ANYONE

It has been foolishly stated that virtually anything is permissible including deviant sex, “As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.”

But what some can’t seem to realize is that it hurts them. Having sex with animals doesn’t hurt anyone else, but it sure hurts the one doing it. It is both a perversion of the body and a perversion of the mind.

 

DOESN’T NATURE TEACH US THE PROPER USE OF SEX?

Numerous species of animals have been seen performing sex on the same gender. Therefore, if this is a part of God’s own nature of things among some animals, then surely it is permissible among humans? Oh really? And since when are we to look to the beasts of the field for the proper interpretation of human morality?

Since animals kill and eat each other, does this set a moral standard for people to do the same?

Since numerous species kill and eat their own young, does this justify people killing and eating their own babies?

 

 

I WAS BORN THIS WAY
[In search of the elusive homosexual gene]

Numerous homosexuals have written me stating that God made them homosexuals, seeing that they were “born this way.”

Much of this research has been done by gays that have a vested interest in the outcome. Hence much of their research is in fact biased, as is admitted by those who favor homosexuality. Is there a homosexual gene which causes homosexuality, and has any such thing ever been scientifically proven?

There are hundreds and hundreds of web sites on this one aspect of homosexuality alone. Here are some quotations from the NARTH web site:

Volunteers from gay groups may only participate if they have a gay brother or sister. Even gay advocates such as J. Michael Bailey (in Bailey & Dawood, 1998) admit: “If, for example, a gay twin who sees an advertisement for a [twin] study may be less likely to call if his twin is heterosexual, this would cause concordance-dependent bias” (p. 10).

The “genetic and unchangeable” theory has been actively promoted by gay activists and the popular media. Is homosexuality really an inborn and normal variant of human nature? No. There is no evidence that shows that homosexuality is simply “genetic.” And none of the research claims there is. Only the press and certain researchers do, when speaking in sound bites to the public.

Occasionally you may read about a scientific study that suggests that homosexuality is an inherited tendency, but such studies have usually been discounted after careful scrutiny or attempts at replication. No one has found a single heredble genetic, hormonal or physical difference between heterosexuals and homosexuals – at least none that is replicable.While the absence of such a discovery doesn’t prove an inherited sexual tendencies aren’t possible, it suggests that none has been found because none exists

What the majority of respected scientists now believe is that homosexuality is attributable to a combination of psychological, social, and biological factors.

From the American Psychological Association:

“[M]any scientists share the view that sexual orientation is shaped for most people at an early age through complex interactions of biological, psychological and social factors.”

From “Gay Brain” Researcher Simon LeVay:

“At this point, the most widely held opinion [on causation of homosexuality] is that multiple factors play a role.”

From Dennis McFadden, University of Texas neuroscientist:

“Any human behavior is going to be the result of complex intermingling of genetics and environment. It would be astonishing if it were not true for homosexuality.”

From Sociologist Steven Goldberg:

I know of no one in the field who argues that homosexuality can be explained without reference to environmental factors.”

[Above quotations from NARTH web site (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) All bold emphasis are theirs, not mine]

Here are a few quotations from THE NATIONAL VALUES COALITION:

 

Homosexual researchers Bailey and Pillard conducted the famous “twins study” quoted by homosexual activist groups to promote the idea that being “gay” is genetic. The study found that among those twins studied, the researchers found a rate of homosexuality of 52% (both twins homosexuals); 22% among non-identical twins; and a 9.2% rate among non-twins.

This was hailed by homosexual activists groups and by the media as supposedly proving that homosexuality is genetic. The study actually proved the opposite. As Byrd, et al, note: “This study actually provides support for environmental factors. If homosexuality were in the genetic code, all of the identical twins would have been homosexual.”

In short, the three most famous studies in recent years that homosexual activists use to claim that homosexuality is genetic prove no such thing. In fact, two of the authors of these studies admit their research has not proven a genetic basis to homosexuality. [bold is emphasis of The National Values Coalition-traditional values.org, Article: “Homosexual Urban Legends-BORN GAY”]

The Catholic Medical Association web site is helping to debunk the notion that individuals are “born gay.”

 

 

“There is no verifiable evidence that same-sex attraction is genetically determined. If same-sex attraction were genetically determined, identical twins would always have the same sexual attraction pattern. Numerous studies of twins have shown that this is not the case. And there are numerous studies documenting change of sexual attraction patterns.” (bold emphasis is by ‘Homosexuality and Hope,’ available at cathmed.org.

Although there are some agencies that still adhere to the “born gay” theory, some of their own advocates are not admitting error–there is no known gay gene. Even the Catholic Church who has had to deal with an un-surmountable plethora of sexual sins within their priesthood of recent years, cannot and do not attempt to blame such sexual perversion on genes or heredity which would lighten their burden in this matter enormously.

Interestingly I could find no web-page which discussed whether or not there is a reported gene for child molesters. Not one. And yet some of them also contend that they were “born pedophiles,” and at a very young age fantasized over having sex with little children. Homosexuality is not even in the same ball park with the gross perversion of pedophilia, yet both claim to be “born that way.” Should we lighten the burden; lighten the sentence; lighten the moral perspective of pedophiles because they CLAIM to be “born that way?” Nonsense. It is not a defense for the pedophile, and neither it is a defense for the homosexual.

GOD IS THE LAW-GIVER AND DETERMINES WHAT IS SIN

 

When David acknowledged his sins of adultery and murder by having Bathsheba’s husband Uriah killed so he could then take Uriah’s beautiful wife Bathsheba in adultery, he didn’t repent toward Bathsheba, or Uriah, or even the nation of Israel, but rather said:

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” (Psalm 51:4).

Although David was not a spiritually converted man (he died with murder in his heart, I Kings 2:1-9), he nonetheless, had the sense to know that it is God and not man who determines what is sin and what is righteousness. Any king of any nation has the right to send any soldier to the front line where he may well be killed, and then steal the man’s wife back home. But that doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes.

James informs us that:

 

 

“There is one Lawgiver Who is able to save and to destroy” (James 4:12).

God also inspired Isaiah to write:

 

 

“WOE unto them that call evil good and good evil… Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! …Which justify the wicked [Heb: rasha, ‘morally wrong] for reward…” (Isa. 5:20-21 & 23).

Did the Apostle Paul have totally different criteria than that of Isaiah? Was Paul’s condemnation of “women with women and men with men” an example of rasha(morally wrong), but somehow this same sin to Isaiah would be “good” and not “evil?” Nonsense.

GOD CONDEMNS ALL LUST FOR SEX

The seventh commandment states: “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14). It is generally thought that adultery means one partner of a marriage having sex with a third person. This is a narrow view of the commandment, however. Jesus plainly taught us the spiritual meaning of this commandment:

 

 

“You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman [Gk: gune, ‘a woman; a wife’] to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28).

The word gune can mean a wife, but it is also used many times to represent unmarried women.

So notice the profound implications of Jesus declaration: He quotes the Old Testament commandment against adultery and states that it applies to lusting after a women (not just physically intercourse). And not just someone’s wife, but any woman.

Now under Moses, the law against adultery applied equally to women who committed adultery against their husbands. And so, likewise, if a woman just “looks upon a man to lust after him,” she has committed adultery with him in her heart.

But does this include women lusting after women, and men lusting after men?”

Of course. Do we think that a man is not allowed to “lust” after a women (which can be legally married together), but it is perfectly okay for a man to “lust” after another man (which can not be legally married together)? And if you think the 7th commandment does not cover this sin, then I assure you that the 10th one does.

THE 7th and 10th COMMANDMENTS BOOKEND HOMOSEXUALITY

 

If you think that homosexuals don’t “LUST” for sex with the same gender, then I believe there is still some cheap swampland available in Florida.

THE 7th COMMANDMENT: Jesus said:

 

 

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust [Gk: epithumeo, Neg. ‘covet, desire, lust after’] after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28).

Likewise, one breaks the 7th commandment if a woman lusts after a man, or a woman lusts after a woman, or a women lusts after a little boy, or a man lusts after a man, or a man lusts after a little boy, or a little girl. If the “lust” itself BREAKS the commandment, what in the world do we think the actual “act” BREAKS?

THE 10th COMMANDMENT: Paul said:

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust [Gk: epithumia, ‘a longing (for what is forbidden), concupiscence {a strong sexual lust}, desire, lust’] except the law had said, You shall not covet [Gk: epithumeo, Neg. ‘covet, desire, lust after’](Rom. 7:7).

Okay then, if we can all walk and chew gum at the same time, we should not have a problem in putting these two Greek words together. Jesus said that “epithumeo-covet, desire, lust after” breaks the 7th commandment against adultery. And Paul said that the reason that “epithumia-a longing for what is forbidden, concupiscence {a strong sexual lust}, desire, and lust” is wrong is because the 10th commandment states “You shall not covetepithumeo, covet, desire, lust after.” But wait, there’s more.

The 10th commandment goes on to say:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex.20:17).

Now then, let me spell it out for you: Believers in Christ Jesus are NOT to covet [epithumeo-“covet, desire, lust after”] his neighbor’s:

WIFE-neither men nor women are to covet one’s neighbor’s wife.

MANSERVANT-neither men nor women are to covet their neighbor’s manservant, whether they be 9 years old or 29 years old.

MAIDSERVANT-neither men nor women are to covet one’s neighbor’s maidservant, whether they are 9 years old or 29 years old.

OX OR ASS-neither men nor women are to covet one’s neighbor’s ox or ass whether for production of meat or to have sex with them.

The teaching of the Old Testament, the New Testament, the 7th commandment, the 10th commandment, the teachings of the Apostle Paul, and our Lord Jesus Christ, all condemn homosexuality as SIN. This subject is completely book-ended-there is no wiggle room left for justifying the practice of homosexuality in any form.

Does the Bible speak of “illegal sex” and “legal sex?” Yes, it does:

GOD’S REMEDY FOR SEXUAL GRATIFICATION

How are we to be sexually gratified? Here’s the Scriptural teaching.

“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain [remain sexually pure and virtuous], let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn [Gk: puroo-‘inflamed with lust’](I Cor. 7:7-9).

So what would the homosexual say to this? Well at least some of them would totally agree. Why do you think that they are trying to get same-sex marriage legalized? Yes, they would agree with Paul-let’s get MARRIED.

Back up a few verses for God’s answer as to who should be married to whom:

 

 

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication [Gk: porneia], let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband(I Cor. 7:2).

Paul gives only one answer to the problem of fornication, and it is for each man to have his wife and each woman to have her own husband. Does anyone see Paul suggesting an “alternative life style” in which fornication can be avoided? Does Paul suggest that porneia can be avoided by every man having his own husband, and every woman her own wife?

Paul knew about “women with women and men with men” when he wrote his epistle to the Romans (Rom. 1:26-27). Such unions against nature are clearly not acceptable solutions to burning with inflamed sexual emotions, and a way to “avoid fornication/porneia.” Peter warns against being willingly ignorant, and Paul sternly warns against “Believers” who “willfully sin?”

 

 

“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26-27).

Paul could not have been more clear. To avoid the sin of porneia, we are to [1] MARRY, [2] MEN marry a WIFE, and [3] WOMEN marry a HUSBAND. Men marrying men and women marrying women are not legal options. Men and women who have vile affections, and BURN in their lust, women with women and men with men… are worthy of DEATH (Rom. 1:26-27 & 32).

How many homosexuals would dare insinuate that their passion for one another of the same gender is not “coveting/lust?” Are Believers to think that they can continue living in such sin and somehow be covered by the “the grace of God?”

Long after Christ’s resurrection and the introduction of faith, grace, and justification, Paul is still teaching that such burning affections for the same sex are VILE, and worthy of DEATH. And if you can’t contain, then get married-MEN TO WIVES AND WOMEN TO HUSBANDS.

Does anyone in their right mind believe that Paul would tell us: “To avoid sexual perversion,  you should enter into a union of sexual perversion?”

 

The ONLY way to avoid the sins of porneia if one cannot contain one’s inflamed desires, is to marry a mate of the opposite sex. When our Creator God Almighty inaugurated holy matrimony, He joined together Adam and Eve, not Kevin & Steve or Alice & Marie!

I know that some homosexuals are arrogant and try to justify their sin. Others hate their sin and wish to stop but can’t. We all make choices, and a choice is what we prefer. One may hate the fact that he is a smoker, yet, he “prefers” the feeling he gets from smoking over the feeling he doesn’t get when he runs out of cigarettes or tries to quit. To quit you must have a stronger reason for not doing something than you have for doing something. It’s all about motivation.

Sometimes just knowing that something is a sin is reason to quit. That is why I quit smoking. I knew it was not good for my health, it was dirty, it was annoying to others, and it was costly, etc. But I did not quit until I became convinced that is was sinning against God.

I enjoyed smoking a LOT when I quit. But sometimes it takes a doctor telling you that you will die if you don’t quit a particular life style. But the bottom line is, you won’t stop committing the sin unless and until God Almighty has determined that you will quit. And that is equally true for atheists, although they don’t know or won’t acknowledge that as yet.

Heterosexual men are just as weak when it comes to lusting after women, as homosexuals are when it comes to lusting after members of the same gender. The ONLY way that I know of to break these sins and have victory over them is for God to empower you with a greater motivation to live righteously than to live un-righteously. If what you desire to be is “good,” then there is only One Source:

 

 

“And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, It is the gift of God(Ecc. 3:13).

 

EVERY good gift and EVERY perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

We will continue to pray for all those who desire to come out of the bondage and slavery of “…the sin which does so easily beset us….” (Heb. 12:1).

 

 

 

Bewitched by Harry

Bewitched by Harry Potter

by Berit Kjos, 1999

HARRY 



“You’re famous, Harry Potter.” 

It’s true! This prophetic remark in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first in a seven-book series on popular witchcraft, was fulfilled in record time. The first three books hit the world – schools, libraries, and the New York Times best-sellers list – like a spiritual tidal wave, breaking down barriers to the secret and forbidden mysteries of the ages and captivating children around the world. Just look around. You can spot some of the committed Hogwarts fans by the purple thunderbolt stickers on their foreheads. This mark bonds them to Harry, an embattled student wizard with amazing powers and an enticingly scary destiny.

Harry, like other students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry travels back and forth between two worlds: the mystical world of magic and the mundane world of muggles – those boring, blinded, and biased humans who either don’t believe in the world of witches or who despise it as evil. Harry’s cruel aunt and uncle fit the last category. And, from Harry’s point of view, so would you if you see witchcraft as dangerous and demonic.

 
Book 3

The skinny, green-eyed kid with glasses and a thunder-bolt scar under a shock of unruly black hair makes a sympathetic hero. Orphaned at age one, Harry mysteriously survived a murderous assault by the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort. This scary villain, whom more timid wizards dare only refer to as “Who Must Not Be Named,” killed Harry’s parents. When he tried but failed to kill their one-year-old baby, Voldemort lost much of his power. The thunderbolt scar on Harry’s forehead marks his peculiar psychic strength and triumph over evil.

For the next ten years, Harry lives a miserable muggle life in his uncle’s London home, constantly tormented by his cruel guardians and a spoiled bully of a cousin. But on his eleventh birthday everything changes. He discovers that he is a wizard of great fame, someone who once conquered death and crippled a devilish foe. Even better, he receives an acceptance to Hogwarts – a coveted boarding school for aspiring wizards.

The haunted grounds of Hogwarts may be out-of-this-world, but with its blend of earthly familiarity and practical magic, it has captivated more than seven million minds. Adults and children alike have, in their imagination, followed Harry through that mystical veil between ordinary reality and occult fantasy. Most find it hard to put the book down once they start it, and when finished, many read it again and again. Immersed in this mystical world of spiritual forces, they feel Harry’s struggles and share his fears. They sit with him through his classes on Potions, Spells, Transfiguration (“turning something into something else”) and Divination, and, like him, learn some tricks of the old Craft. They sense the pain of his miserable return visits to London, and they soar with him above the earth on a magical and magnificent broomstick.

Delightfully gruesome images and scary creatures become part of their memory, for the author, Joanne K. Rowling, knows how to make her characters come alive in a reader’s mind. “Oh, but it’s just fantasy,” you may argue. “We were raised on scary tales. It can’t hurt.”

Actually it’s not that simple. The stories and the times have changed, making the new generation of children far more vulnerable to deception than we were. Consider some of the changes:

1. Different times and culture. Unlike most children today, their parents and grandparents were raised in a culture that was, at least outwardly, based on Biblical values. Whether they were Christian or not, they usually accepted traditional moral and spiritual boundaries. Even the old fairy tales I heard as a child in Norway tended to reinforce this Christian worldview or paradigm. The good hero would win over evil forces without using “good” magic to overcome evil magic. Social activities didn’t include Ouija Boards, Seances, and an assortment of popular occult role-playing games. Nor did friends, schools or Girl Scouts tempt children to alter their consciousness and invoke the presence of an “animal spirit” or “wise person.” Occult experimentation was not an option.

Today it is an option. Children now learn their values and world view from a variety of sources. The entertainment industry is one of the most persuasive agents of cultural awareness, and it usually teaches global and occult values, since that’s what their global market buys. In fact, children have become so familiar with profanity, occultism, and explicit sex, that they barely notice – just as in Old Testament days: “They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return. . . . No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” (Jeremiah 8:5,12) 

In this context, the occult images evoked through traditional fantasies threaten a child’s faith far more today than they did three decades ago. Reinforced throughout our culture, the old beloved books such as the Hobbit can stir curiosities and cravings that can easily be satisfied by darker, real-world attractions.    

 
 Tactics for Change

2. Different type of fantasy. Books, movies, games, and television all involve the imagination, and the specific fantasy directs the child’s imagination. In other words, the imaginary scenes and images in books and movies are not neutral. As with guided imagery, the child’s feelings and responses are manipulated by the author’s view and values. For example, the stories and books children read in the classroom are usually selected or approved by each state because their message teaches the new global values, and because they provide useful discussion topics for the manipulative consensus process. “Good stories capture the heart, mind, and imagination and are an important way to transmit values,” writes Louise Derman-Sparks in the influential Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children, which is full of classsroom strategies for eroding traditional boundaries and teaching the new spirituality.

Books such as the Harry Potters series fit, because they reinforce the global and occult perspective. Page after exciting page brings the reader into the timeless battle between good and evil, then trains them to see the opposing forces from a pagan, not a Biblical perspective. In this mystical realm, “good” occult spirits are naturally pitted against bad occult spirits, just as in pagan cultures where frightened victims would offer sacrifices to “benevolent” spirits who could help ward off evil curses and other threats. Few readers realize that from the Biblical perspective, all occult forces are dangerous. But today, it seems more tolerant and exciting to believe this illusion than to oppose the lies. The words of Old Testament prophet Isaiah ring as true now as they did over 2000 years ago: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil….” (Isaiah 5:20)

3. Different purpose. Children don’t read Harry Potter merely to reach the conclusion and resolve the suspense. Many read the books over and over because they delight in identifying with the “good” wizards in this newly discovered world — and sometimes even with the obviously evil wizards. They build memories based on felt experiences in an occult virtual reality, and they are desensitized to the danger. The talent and knowledge of the author makes this seductive world all the more believable. Just ponder these diverse bits of wizard philosophy:

* Professor Snape who taught Potions: “I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses….” 1

* Two centaur’s views on astrology – “We have sworn not to set ourselves against the heaven. Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the planets?” ….”Or have the planets not let you in on that secret?” 2

* “He is with me wherever I go,” said Quirrell, referring to the murderous wizard Voldemort. “I met him when I traveled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil , there is only power, and those too weak to seek it…. Since then, I have served him faithfully.” 3

* Headmaster Dumbledore: “To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” 4

* Hagrid, the grounds-keeper at Hogwarts, telling Harry about the strange power that saved his life, “Happened when a powerful, evil curse touches you – didn’t work on you, and that’s why yer famous, Harry. No one ever lived after he [Voldemort] decided ter kill ‘em, no one except you…” 5 [Harry seems almost Christ-like, doesn’t he, with his wound or mark, his psychic powers, and his victory over death and Voldemort?]

Once introduced to spiritism, astrology, palmistry, shape-shifting, time-travel (the third book) and the latest version of popular occultism, many crave more. They can easily find it. In their neighborhoods and schools, our children are surrounded by peers who are fascinated by occult empowerment and would love to share their fun discoveries. Few children have the Biblical knowledge or discernment needed to evaluate good and evil or to resist such threats to their faith.

4. Different kind of classroom. It’s not surprising that Harry has suddenly soared to the peaks of popularity in schools across the country. His story fits right into the international program formulticultural education. The envisioned global community calls for a common set of values which excludes traditional beliefs as intolerant and narrow – just as the Harry Potter books show. The Biblical God simply doesn’t fit into his world of wizards, witches, and other gods.

Feminist writer Naomi Goldenberg knows that well. In her book, Changing of the Gods, she predicts that “God is going to change…. We, women are going to bring an end to God. We will change the world so much that He won’t fit in anymore.” She and other radical feminists must appreciate Ms Rowling’s part in this process.

Of course, God will never change. But people, beliefs, and cultures do. And some changes, such as today’s cultural shift away from loving God to hating His truths, have occurred a multitude of times. The words Jesus spoke to His followers long ago now fit our times: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. . . . because they do not know Him who sent Me.” (John 15:20-21)

5. A different education system. UNESCO’s “lifelong learning,” now being implemented through Goals 2000, takes education far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Its goal is socialization and preparation for a global workforce. Everyone – in homes, schools, and workplace – must be mentally prepared to participate in the consensus process. In the name of “unity” and “community,” people of all ages must help form new values, challenge contrary beliefs, report non-compliant friends and relatives, and oppose all other obstacles to compromise, “common ground” and “mental health.”

There are many ways to persuade the masses to reject uncompromising Christianity and embrace a changeable blend of all kinds of religions – including a cross-less and universalist perversion of Christianity. Schools do it through books such as the Harry Potter series, through multicultural and environmental education, and by integrating social issues and politically correct ideology into more mundane subjects such as math and science. The media does it by selective reporting, redefining words like “fundamental,” vilifying labels such as extremistreligious right and homeschoolers, and by equating such groups with narrow-minded bigotry and hate.

Harry Potter’s author does it by creating a captivating world where strength, wisdom, love, hope – all the good gifts God promises those who follow Him – are now offered to those who pursue occult thrills. Likewise, her main characters demonstrate all the admirable traits our God commends: kindness, courage, loyalty, etc. But the most conspicuous muggles (ordinary people who are blind to these mystical forces) are pictured as mean, cruel, narrow and self-indulgent. These subtle messages, hidden behind exciting stories, turn Truth upside-down. But fascinated readers rarely notice the deception. This power-filled realm with its charms and spells soon becomes normal as well as addictive to those who immerse their minds with its seductive images.

The Harry Potter books, first introduced in England, are unlikely to fade from public consciousness in the near future. Scholastic, a major provider of popular books for classroom use, bought the rights to publish the books in the United States. Devoted readers who can’t wait for the sequel to be distributed in the U.S. are purchasing it on the Internet from Amazon.com’s British division. The series has already caused great consternation among those who fear the seven books will eventually crowd out adult fiction on the coveted New York Times best-sellers list. This concern will surely grow, since Warner Brothers (owned by Time Warner) bought rights to the live-action movie.

It’s not too soon to prepare your child for the increasing peer pressure to conform to the new social standards.

HOW TO RESIST DECEPTION

 KNOW THE TRUE GOD. When children know God as He has revealed Himself in His Word, they will recognize the seductive counterfeits.

SHUN OTHER GODS. It’s tempting to believe the beckoning voices that display enticing counterfeits of all God’s wonderful promises. The power is within yourself, they say. Don’t listen to the lies. Instead, take this sober warning to heart:

“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who:
* practices witchcraft
* is a soothsayer or a sorcerer
* interprets omens
* conjures spells
* is a medium or a spiritist
* calls up the dead
“For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord….” (Deuteronomy 18:9-13)

All “these things” are demonstrated in the Harry Potter books. These stories are every bit as spiritual as Christian literature, but the spiritual power they promote comes from other gods. If you treasure God’s truth, may I suggest you encourage your children not to read these books? I know such parental intervention sounds grossly offensive, in fact, downright muggleish, to children who love Harry’s magical world and reject Biblical absolutes. Yet, just as “progressive” leaders fear the influence of Biblical truth on budding world citizens, so Christians parents need to guard their children against all kinds of occult “counsel:”

“Blessed is the man [including child and woman] who –
walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stands in the path of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of mockers;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-6)

REMEMBER HISTORY’S LESSONS. The witchcraft and wizardry in Harry Potter books may be fantasy, but they familiarize children with a very real and increasingly popular religion – one that few really understand. Far removed from the terrors of tribal witchcraft and shamanism, Americans are oblivious to the bondages that normally follow occult favors. But historical and archeological records have traced the earth-centered myths, practices, and consequences through the millennia. They have verified the timing of certain Old Testament accounts of droughts, famines, and wars — three consequences that God’s people would face if they traded His truth and strength for the Canaanite gods and rituals. (Deut. 28, 1 Cor. 10) There, as in other earth-centered cultures around the world, the human cruelties involved in pagan worship included torture, mutilation and human sacrifice. Many of these practices continued in parts of the world until the 20th century, when the spread of genuine Christianity (totally different from cultural Christianity) with its emphasis on love and the value of life, made most of these cruelties intolerable. But now the world turns, once again, from God’s truth to the world’s gods and rituals. Its not surprising that Ms Rowling warned that, starting with her 4th book, the series will grow darker. Some good characters “that the reader cares about” will have to die.6

SHARE GOD’S LOVE WITH EVERYONE. God’s way to multicultural understanding and global unity is essential today. He cares for people in every culture, longs to set them free, and wants to love them through us. Harry Potter may conquor evil forces with witchcraft, but in the real spiritual world, no pagan power can counter the frightening consequences of dealing with demons. Only God can. That’s why He has sent missionaries to all parts of the world to bring His peace, love, and release from demonic bondage. Keep in mind, only Christian love has motivated individuals to leave Western comforts (soft beds, safe food and water, etc.) to serve and heal those who live with unthinkable physical hardships and the constant threat of curses, spells, and other spiritual dangers. His genuine love – as demonstrated through His faithful servants – can’t even be compared to the notion of politically correct “tolerance” so widely promoted today.

DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR FAITH. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:7) That sounds exclusive to some, but don’t forget, His loving invitation includes everyone.

REMEMBER THAT GOD IS FAR GREATER! By ourselves we cannot resist “the devil’s schemes,” but in Christ we are “more than conquerors.” Thanks be to God who leads us in His triumph! (1 John 4:4, Romans 8:37)

PRAY. Only God can slow the massive international movement toward conformity to pagan beliefs and values. In a nation that has traded truth and reality for politically correct tolerance and unity, Christians are called to remain faithful, prayerful and hopeful in Christ, who offers genuine love and unity.

WEAR GOD’S ARMOR-a set of strategic truths that exposes and counters every deception. When we “put on the whole armor,” God fills us with His life even as He covers us.Don’t forget that our real enemy is the spiritual hierarchy of occult forces, not globalist educators or well-meaning teachers. Only God’s power and protection will enable our children to resist and triumph.

 

“They will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you.
For I am with you,” says the LORD, “to deliver you.”
 
Jeremiah 1:19


Endnotes:

1. J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (New York: Scholastic Inc., 1997); p.137.
2. Ibid., p. 257.
3. Ibid., 291.
4. Ibid., 302.
5. Ibid., 55.
6. Paul Gray, “Wild About Harry,” Time (September 20, 1999); page 72.
7. See also Romans 13:14, John 14:20

 

 

Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft

Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft
with Praise from Christian Leaders 

 Harry4

By Berit Kjos (1999)

 


“I was eager to get to Hogwarts first because I like what they learned there and I want to be a witch.” Gioia Bishop, age 10.[1]

“I like the third book because here [Harry] meets his godfather and Professor Lupin, a really cool guy [This really “cool guy” is a werewolf as well as wizard, and Harry’s godfather is a “shape shifter” who turns himself into a scary black dog].…”  Harry Libarle, age 7.[2]

“The Pagan Federation has appointed a youth officer to deal with a flood of inquiries following the success of the Harry Potter books which describe magic and wizardry.” 

“Dressing up as wizards and witches, concocting fantasy potions and telling stories were just a few of the games Rowling played as a child with Ian Potter…” 


Might Harry Potter seem as real as life to his young fans around the world?  Do children accept Harry’s lessons in practical witchcraft as an open door to an occult reality? Many Christian leaders have denied any such danger, but author J.K. Rowling admits that this happens. In an interview with Newsweek’s Malcolm Jones, she said,

“I get letters from children addressed to Professor Dumbledore [headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the books’ setting], and it’s not a joke, begging to be let into Hogwarts, and some of them are really sad. Because they want it to be true so badly they have convinced themselves it’s true.”

While children everywhere crave supernatural thrills, Great Britain, the birthplace of Harry Potter, has been a wonderland of options for exploring practical witchcraft. And plenty of youth have caught Harry’s vision. They want to learn his wizardly ways. 

Two British reports on this phenomenon show us the obvious: popular forms of occult entertainment “have fueled a rapidly growing interest in witchcraft among children.” Naturally, the island’s Pagan Federation is pleased. Though it refuses to admit new members under age 18, “it deals with an average of 100 inquiries a month from youngsters who want to become witches, and claims it has occasionally been ‘swamped’ with calls.” 

“It is quite probably linked to things like Harry Potter, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” explains the Federation’s media officer, Andy Norfolk. “Every time an article on witchcraft or paganism appears, we had a huge surge in calls, mostly from young girls.

This trend worries John Buckeridge, editor of Youthwork, a British Christian magazine.  Unlike U.S. church-leaders who back Harry Potter, he spots danger ahead. “The growing number of books and TV shows like Harry Potter and Sabrina the Teenage Witch encourage an interest in magic as harmless fun,” he warms. “However for some young people it could fuel a fascination that leads to dangerous dabbling with occult powers. So what starts out as spooks and spells can lead to psychological and spiritual damage.”[3]

But Mr. Norfolk disagrees.  His reasoning makes witchcraft sound both safe and responsible.  “Our youth officer will explain things like the principle ethic of witchcraft,” he assures skeptics, “that you should not cause harm to anyone – and that it’s not just an easy way to get a new boyfriend!”[4]

A more “noble” religion

It’s not surprising that the timeless craving for power and magic has soared with the spread of pagan television shows and Harry Potter books.  But today’s pagan revival began years earlier. 

Almost a decade ago, a Wiccan student wrote a promotional article for The Talon, her  high school newspaper, about witchcraft. What happened shows both America’s Cultural Shift and the growing preference for paganism. The student, Leah Mowry, based her conclusions on interviews with several other student witches at Los Altos High School in California.[5]  In her article, she boasted that her religion 

  • was more tolerant than traditional beliefs
  • taught people to take better care of the environment
  • helped people to empower themselves
  • and only used “good” magic.

Soon afterwards, a Christian student, also an editor for The Talon, asked if he could write about Young Life, a Christian group active on their campus. 

 

“No,” was the response, “because witchcraft is underexposed in our society and Christianity is overexposed.”  In other words, witches could give public testimonies about the benefits of their religion, but Christians were no longer allowed to express their faith and testimonies.[6]

 

Christianity simply doesn’t fit, and Mr. Norfolk of the Pagan Federation thinks he knows why. The Christian Church has failed to provide “the right degree of spirituality for young people,” he explains. In contrast, paganism involves “direct communication with the divine.”

 

From the Biblical perspective, he is tragically wrong. But that matters little to the masses that want spiritual power without Biblical accountability. With help from television, books, movies and other media, Christianity’s reputation has been badly smeared. Blamed for hatred, conflict, wars and environmental abuse, it has inspired countless “Christian” leaders to re-imagine their faith and embrace a more “tolerant” view toward the world’s fast-growing fascination with pagan practices. 

Strange council from Christian leaders

Typical of our times, a recent report in Christianity Today seems to base its approval of Harry Potter, not on the Bible, but on popular consensus among admired Christian leaders. 

 

“As far as I can tell,” writes author Ted Olsen, “while no major Christian leader has come out to condemn J.K. Rowling’s series, many have given it the thumbs-up. If our readers know of any major Christian leader who has actually told Christians not to read the books, I’d be happy to know about it; but in my research, even those Christians known for criticizing all that is popular culture have been pretty positive about Potter.”

To prove his point, Mr. Olsen quotes seven Christian leaders and publications: 

1. Chuck Colson, in his Breakpoint (11-2-1999) radio broadcast, commended Harry and his friends for their “courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice for one another—even at the risk of their lives.” Colson dismissed the pagan practices as

“purely mechanical, as opposed to occultic. That is, Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals—but they don’t make contact with a supernatural world…. [It’s not] the kind of real-life witchcraft the Bible condemns.” 

2. World Magazine (5-29-1999) praised Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as 

“a delight—with a surprising bit of depth.” Author Roy Maynard assured World readers that “Rowling…keeps it safe, inoffensive, and non-occult. This is the realm of Gandalf and the Wizard of Id, not witchcraft. There is a fairy-tale order to it all in which, as Chesterton and Tolkien pointed out, magic must have rules, and good does not—cannot—mix with bad.”

3. World’s second article toned down the enthusiasm.  “A reader drawn in would find that the real world of witchcraft is not Harry Potter’s world. Neither attractive nor harmless, it is powerful and evil.” (October 30, 1999) 

4. The British Christianity magazine praised the series. In a issue, Mark Greene, Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, wrote a note of regret for not giving it to his god-daughter earlier: 

“I wish  I’d been the one to introduce her to Harry—fine lad you know, courageous, resourceful, humble, fun, good mind. Comes from good stock, you know. She could do worse, far worse. And, as far as literary companions go, frankly, not much better.” 

5. A Christian Century (12-1-99) editorial, “Wizards and Muggles,” states,

 “Rowling is not the first fantasy writer to be attacked by conservative Christians. Even the explicitly Christian writer Madeleine L’Engle has taken heat for the ‘magic’ elements in A Wrinkle in Time. Such critics are right in thinking that fantasy writing is powerful and needs to be taken seriously. But we strongly doubt that it fosters an attachment to evil powers. Harry’s world, in any case, is a moral one.”

6. Focus on the Family gave a mixed review. According to Ted Olsen, the advice offered by Focus’s critic, Lindy Beam was simply, “Apart from the benefit of wise adult guidance in reading these books, it is best to leave Harry Potter on the shelf.” [Exploring Harry Potter’s World, December, 1999]

7. Wheaton College professor Alan Jacobs concludes that Harry Potter stories promote “a kind of spiritual warfare…. A struggle between good and evil…. There is in books like this the possibility for serious moral reflection…[and] the question of what to do with magic powers is explored in an appropriate and morally serious way.”  (September/October, Mars Hill Audio Journal)[7]

Is it really? Take a look at the other side of this issue.

Biblical answers to occult seductions. 

The mass media’s promotion of contrary values have prompted even Christians to replace or distort the pursuit of God with the pursuit of pleasure. So God’s standards would hardly win a popularity contest today. Popular versions of Christianity has wisely rejected some of the stiff legalism of the past, but it has also tossed out God’s much-needed guidelines and warnings. The result is license to do almost anything that feels good. Christians who refuse to compromise are often demeaned as old-fashioned kill-joys who bring reproof and embarrassment to those who fear offending the world with the whole truth of the gospel. That’s why Jesus warned us long ago, 

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…. Remember the words I spoke to you: … If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…. for they do not know the One who sent me.”  John 15:18-21

God gave us His Word that we might know Him. The Bible reveals His heart, will and ways. It alone can show us what is truth or error in those seven public responses to the Harry Potter phenomenon.  

 

1. Chuck Colson praised Harry and his friends for their “courage, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice…  for one another—even at the risk of their lives.” Those qualities can be found in almost any culture. But, according to the Bible, a brave person is no more free to pursue paganism than a coward. Harry’s occult skills — witchcraft, sorcery, casting spells, spiritism, interpreting omens and “calling up the dead” fit into a category God tells us not even to discuss. “For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord….” Eph. 5:10-12, Deut. 18:9-12

 

Colson’s dismissal of the dangers of delighting in such evils as “purely mechanical,” makes no sense from a Biblical perspective. He says that “Harry and his friends cast spells, read crystal balls, and turn themselves into animals—but they don’t make contact with a supernatural world….” Where then does their power come from? Natural rather than supernatural forces? 

 

Of course not. Rowling doesn’t acknowledge the source, but anyone who has researched witchcraft and talked with contemporary pagans will see the alarming parallels between contemporary occultism and Rowling’s seductive message to children. (If you find this hard to believe, please read chapters 4 and 8 of A Twist of Faith)

2. World Magazine (5-29-1999) made the same error. Calling Harry Potter’s world “a delight… safe, inoffensive, and non-occult,” is misleading assurance. True, “magic must have rules,” but the primary rule of the occult is that Satan doesn’t offer free and easy favors for long. He may indulge seekers in a free ride for a while, but as soon as his victims have been captivated by his lures — all of which are counterfeits of what God offers those who follow Him — he begins to demand his payoff. Suddenly the bright side of evil turns dark indeed. Attempts to resist or turn back usually lead to spiritual terrors and oppression.[8]

As World indicated, “good does not—cannot—mix with bad” but not because “good” motives are always “good,” even in a pagan context. God’s good is corrupted when adapted to a pagan setting. In fact, God doesn’t want what He considers good to be linked to the occult. He sends us out to pagans to share His love, but we cannot delight in what He calls evil. God shows us His reason in a most politically incorrect message:

“What fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?…. For we are the temple of the living God…. ‘Therefore come out from them and be separate,” says the Lord.'”  2 Cor. 6:14-17

3. World’s second article maintained that “the real world of witchcraft is not Harry Potter’s world. Neither attractive nor harmless, it is powerful and evil.” 

Actually, today’s pagan movement is attractive to anyone disillusioned by unfriendly churches. It entices seekers by showing the “light” side of occultism.   Contemporary witches — both men and women — that I have met are sincere, often compassionate, usually well educated and frustrated with today’s rampant materialism. Few look evil. Instead, they demonstrate God’s warning in 2 Cor. 11:14-15,

“For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness….”

The younger generation of pagans show another side. Many dabble in black magic and the other “dark arts” that are so seductively taught at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[9]  Apart from the fantasy setting and dramatic demonstrations of magic, there is little difference between Harry’s skills and the real world of the occult.

4. Mark Greene’s endorsement in the British Christianity raises some serious questions. What does he mean by “Harry — fine lad you know…. Comes from a good stock….”  Is he referring to Harry’s parents — a witch and a wizard? Is he speaking as director of London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, or is this simply his personal opinion?

One thing is certain. This attitude is driving the current transformation of the Church. It’s time for serious Christians to “count the cost” and be ready to stand uncompromisingly strong in the Truth God has given us.

5. The Christian Century denies that Harry Potter “fosters an attachment to evil powers.” It calls Harry’s world “a moral one.”  It’s wrong on both points. Just review the testimony from the Pagan Federation, which reaps the fruit from the soaring interest in Witchraft.  

Second, Harry and his friends may show loyalty to each other and courage in the face of danger. But they also lie and steal. Would you call that a moral world?  Kenneth McCormick adds this insight: 

“stealing, lies, hate, revenge, and even murder are presented in a complete absence of moral conflict. Lying exists, of course, in the plots of many children’s books, but there is normally an at least tacit recognition that lying is a moral problem of some sort.” 

6. Focus on the Family critic, Lindy Beam came closest to the truth. The last part of her counsel is right: “Apart from the benefit of wise adult guidance in reading these books, it is best to leave Harry Potter on the shelf.”  

As for the first half of her counsel, it might be good to remember God’s definition of wisdom: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” 

The fear of the Lord involves a sober awareness of what He loves, of what He despises, and of the consequences of disobedience and rebellion against Him. It leads to a sincere desire to please Him, heartfelt gratefulness for His mercy, and unending delight in His loving presence.  So when we choose to “fear the Lord” we will heed Romans 12:9, “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

Among the obvious evils are the practices listed in Deuternomy 18:9-12: witchcraft, sorcery, spellcasting, divination, calling up the dead, etc. In other words, children who delight in Harry’s occult world of spells and magic will naturally learn to enjoy evil and crave more. But they cannot “cling to what is good” while they love evil. The two are incompatible.  

In other words, “wise adult guidance” would most likely choose to “leave Harry Potter on the shelf.”

7. Wheaton College professor Alan Jacobs suggests that the Harry Potter books  offer “the possibility for serious moral reflection…[and] the question of what to do with magic powers is explored in an appropriate and morally serious way.” His words make no sense from a Biblical perspective.

Since white magic, like black magic, is “an abomination” to God — and since white magic is far more deceptive and seductive — neither is good.  Books written from an occult perspective cannot explore magic powers in “an appropriate and morally serious way” — without redefining the word moral and rejecting the Bible.  A context or setting that approves occultism will turn God’s values upside down. Praising the practices God condemns, Professor Jacobs illustrates the timeless message of Isaiah 5:20:

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;

Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,

And prudent in their own sight!”

Tempting options and wide-open doors 

Ted Olsen ended his defense of Harry with a quote by J. K Rowling:

“I have met thousands of children now, and not even one time has a child come up to me and said, ‘Ms. Rowling, I’m so glad I’ve read these books because now I want to be a witch.” 

The fact is — whether Ms Rowling heard it from a fan or not — many children are pursuing the real-life versions of witchcraft because they have learned to love Harry’s world.  Ten-year-old Gioia Bishop said it well, “I was eager to get to Hogwarts first because I like what they learned there and I want to be a witch.”[10]

 

It’s no wonder a talented story-teller such as J.K. Rowling can so effectively inspire children. She grew up loving the occult. The article, Harry Potter and the source of inspiration, describes her childhood fascination and those who inspired the main characters in her books. For example, her early view of Harry was shaped by her playmate Ian Potter “whose childhood antics have startling similarities to those of the fictional schoolboy wizard.” Together, they began to role-play the practices that made her books so exciting.

“We used to dress up and play witches all the time,” explained Ian’s sister Vikki. “My brother would dress up as a wizard. Joanne was always reading to us…. we would make secret potions for her. She would always send us off to get twigs for the potions.” 

Apparently, Ms Rowling knew how to find the books that nurtured her fascination even as a child. Now she, in turn, spreads her love for the occult to children around the world. Without a firm foundation in Biblical truth, they have little resistance to her seductive call. And since most older children have been thoroughly immersed in the multicultural world view in their public schools, they are likely to prefer paganism to Christianity.  

 

From the world’s perspective, why shouldn’t they? Why not follow the crowd and seek a new consensus in the name of peace and unity?

After all, “paganism is recognized as a valid religion,” says Mr. Norfolk of the Pagan Federation.  He sees no reason why parents should be alarmed by their children’s sudden interest in magic. 

Nor did a spokesman from the Roman Catholic Church. “I haven’t heard anything within the Catholic religion that suggests this is anything to be concerned about,” he said, following the pattern of unbiblical tolerance touted by his Protestant and Anglican counterparts. Apparently, the division between church leaders who support Harry and those who don’t runs through many nations and denominations. [11]

Our local library held a Harry Potter party on August 2. About a hundred children showed up to decorate Wizard hats and paint the lightening mark of Harry Potter fans on their foreheads. They provided a captive audience for adult fans of Harry’s world view. Parents had to wait outside. 

Preparing children for spiritual battle 

Remember, this is spiritual warfare.  God’s enemy fights as hard as ever to win the hearts and loyalties of our children — and he has added all kinds of high-tech tools to his armory.  

To resist his strategies, they first need to understand the Biblical world view. That’s why God told His people long ago to base all conversation — day and night — on His unchanging truth: 

“These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit…  walk… lie down, and when you rise up.” Deut. 6:6-7

Everything we say must reflect the reality of God, His love and sovereignty, His promises and His warnings. To prove that our God is far greater than the pantheon of alternatives, our lives must demonstrate faith in the midst of difficulties and His triumph in the midst of turmoil. This is possible, not by our own strength, but by His power and grace. Then, seeing His greatness, children learn to trust His promises.

Likewise, The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) begins and ends with the power of His Word.  First, we “put on the belt of Truth,” which holds all the other pieces — His righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation — in place. The last part, “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” is simply His truth and promises memorized, remembered and affirmed as we face each day’s challenge.  

This two-edged sword is our main weapon in every battle. It exposes lies and uncovers deceptions while it strengthens our faith and lifts our hearts. The world can’t understand it, and many so-called Christians despise it. But to those who love God, it brings the hope, strength, joy and perseverance needed to walk with Him in peace no matter what happens. 

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ….”   2 Corinthians 10:3-5


Footnotes

Malcolm Jones, “The Return of Harry Potter!”, Newsweek (Online), July 1, 2000, page 4.  Apparently, this article which was originally posted at <www.msnbc.com/news/428200.asp> is no longer available at the Newsweek website <www.msnbc.com>. I have a printed (not digitized) copy of the article which I had downloaded before its removal.  

[1] “What Readers Think About Goblet?”  San Francisco Chronicle, 7-26.

[2] “Harry’s Biggest Fans,”  San Francisco Chronicle, 7-26

[3] Potter fans turning to witchcraft, Associated Newspapers Ltd., 04 August 2000,
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/news/story.html?in_review_id=306029&in_review_text_id=250010

[4] TV shows fuel children’s interest in witchcraft

[5]Leah Mowery, “Mystical Misconceptions Haunt Students,” The Talon, 7 June 1991.  

[6] Based on the above Wiccan article and on personal interviews with the Christian student

[7] Ted Olsen Christianity Today

[8] See  A Twist of Faith)

See Under the Spell of Mother Earth

[9] Potter fans turning to witchcraft

[10] “What Readers Think About Goblet?”  San Francisco Chronicle, 7-26.

[11]  Potter fans turning to witchcraft

A New Twist on Potter and Popular Psychology

A New Twist on Potter and Popular Psychology
by Berit Kjos

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8


Harry4At the first glance, the new analysis of the Harry Potter and Pokemon phenomenon looked great.  Posted on Chuck Colson’s website, BreakPoint Online, it began with some wise observations showing the occult nature of J. K. Rowling’s books.  Chuck Colson has changed his mind about Harry’s influence, I thought.  

 

But my relief didn’t last long. Not only does the article, Pokémon, Harry Potter, and the Magic of Story,[1] use the psychology behind the consensus processas an argument in favor of popular pagan fantasies. Its author, Mark Filiatreau, who is doing graduate work at Regent [Christian] College in Vancouver, also muddles the Biblical view of truth. Like Eugene Peterson, a Regent College professor who wrote the popular paraphrase of the New Testament called The Message, he seem to put a “feel good” and politically correct spin on Biblical truth. 

 

Yet, Mr. Filiatreau does show us some good reasons to be concerned  about today’s Harry Potter and Pokemon craze. His insights and observations merit appreciation: 

  • “Magic power is what both Pokémon and Harry Potter are about.” 
  • “The Pokémon fight each other with supernatural powers.”
  • “Harry Potter is the humble star-student of the Hogwarts School of Wizardry. He gets trained in magic powers too…. [A]dolescents in this school daily learn to do the kinds of things for which the God of Mount Sinai commanded the death sentence.”
  • “Magical power gets exerted over nature and other people. They also share many of the same trappings—clothing, spells, herbal potions, even contacting the dead.” 
  • “As our kids rise through the school grades, they may well meet peers exploring actual witchcraft or even Satanism. Harry Potter could easily become an imaginative bridge connecting them to these dangerous interests.” 
  • “It all begins in the imagination.”
  • “Adults and adolescents who are alienated from or ignorant of the love and power of the Holy Spirit often get involved with “New Age” religions—including neopagan forms like Wicca and witchcraft—out of the innocent, or at least naïve, desire to experience something transcendent.”
  • Human “intuitions may be diabolic and deceptive (like the versions presented lightly in Harry Potter and Pokémon and more seriously elsewhere).”

This insightful list provides ample grounds for warning our children against fascination with the mythical worlds of Potter and Pokemon. But that’s not Filiatreau’s conclusion. “So what should we do?” he asks. 

Laying a foundation for his solution, he lists “three important truths that Christians should reflect on.” Each of the “truths” deals with feelings, wants and longings — the “felt needs” that most people in America today want to satisfy. 

This is significant, for “felt needs” have become very important to educators, politicians and church leaders today. Most institutions around the world that use the Hegelian dialectic (consensus) process [3] — these include churches and schools as well as business and government — are finding ways to measure(through polls, surveys, questionnaires…), manipulate and meet these felt needs in order to change beliefs and conform public values to a more politically correct standard. (See Reinventing the World)

This psycho-social strategy for changing people and cultures brings its own set of visions, ideals, words and meanings. Many of those words and concepts have already become part of the public consciousness. They fit right into Filiatreau’s psychological reasoning. See for yourself, as you ponder his three truths. 

Truth 1

“We love story, and so we should.” 

Should we?  Any kind of story? In contrast to his earlier warnings, Filiatreau now gives the impression that any well told story would be beneficial:  

“Kids especially love stories. The Potter books (I’ve read two) move quickly and have exciting climaxes…. It is not an accident that the center of the Christian faith is a story (a true one, of course), not ideas or ‘rules for living’…. Christ is, as Madeleine L’Engle [2] creatively puts it, a ‘god who told stories.’ Scripture says he ‘never spoke to the people without a parable’ (Mark 4:34).”

This Scripture was taken out of context. It only referred to a particular day. The description of that day begins in Mark 4:1-3 and ends with verses 33-35. At that point, He is explaining the messages to His disciples and has stopped speaking in parables:

“…He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: 3“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow…”. 

And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples. On the same day, when evening had come….”

Truth 2:

  “The visible world is not enough for us…. We may try to suppress it, but the longing for something beyond—for the supernatural and wondrous—will have its day.”

Will it really? Does this longing “for something beyond” refer to a relationship with God or with any supernatural and mystical power that humans can imagine and manipulate? Why will it “have its day?” Filiatreau offers some psychological, not Biblical, reasons:

  •  “… the supernatural can be fun. Kids recognize intuitively that you can have more fun with the universe when you allow your imagination to stretch beyond the things you see and touch every day. This is true even if a given use of the imagination is just an extension of the everyday reality….”

It may be normal for our human nature (which the Bible calls the “flesh”) to crave occult fun, but we don’t have to follow those wants and feelings. The strength He offers us is greater by far than the world’s seductions, and there are plenty of other fun activities within His beautiful creation. We would be wise to heed His Word, not our flesh. By His grace and through the cross, He sets us free from bondage to all those contrary cravings. (Romans 6:1-13) Yet, Filiatreau tells us that,  

  •  “…adults long for a supernatural element too.…  they were all attracted to séances because the church down the street no longer taught them how to relate to God as a real yet supernatural presence. And even if it did, who would be so credulous as to believe it?”  

The answer is simple: those who truly seek God and His ways will “believe it.” They may be few in number compared to the masses that choose the world’s wide and popular roads, but God always has a remnant of people that love and follow Him. They delight in His nearness and trust His truths, no matter how incredulous they seem to the rest of the world. 

This faith and delight isn’t based on human dreams, imagination or intuition. They are based on Spirit-given faith in God’s unchanging Word. Yet, Filiatreau believes that,

  • Each of us holds intuitions of a realm that exists beyond the senses, or at least of a realm beyond the senses that we feel couldor ought to exist….   These intuitions of other realms may never be understood or proven. God has revealed very little about heaven and hell. Like the ‘mystery of iniquity,’ like God’s grace working in us, our intuitions of the spiritual realm are mysteries of the heart.”

Actually, God has revealed more than enough about heaven and hell (and about good and evil) to show that the world’s assortment of spiritual counterfeits bring immeasurable and eternal grief. In fact, those intuitions of “other realms” have — throughout the world’s history — led blinded masses of people toward an end that will be anything but fun.  That’s why God warned us repeatedly not to imagine, experience or even think about them. Filiatreau seems to know that, as demonstrated by his third truth.

Truth 3:

  “Story can deliver and plant truths—or lies—within us more deeply and effectively than can any other mode of expression…. Over time, they can change our affections and so form our characters.” 

That’s usually true. But Filiatreau seems to turn this sobering reality into an argument in favor storytelling in general — with its potential for deceptive manipulation of feelings and affections — rather than a warning against stories that might lead in the wrong direction: 

“The best stories do this by showing us the good and leading us to desire it instead of simply knowing about it.”

“Pictures can make us feel. Expository writing can make us understand. But only story is intrinsically able to do both at the same time. In story, feeling and understanding can combine with synergistic power. Theologians may argue ad infinitum over how salvation works. But the story of the Prodigal Son can make us feel and know what it is.”

Filiatreau’s logic contains an alluring blend of psychological truth and Biblical error. Strategic pictures do “make us feel.” That’s why symbols have always been important to people — and why totalitarian leaders use symbols and other images to manipulate the feelings of the masses. 

Stories, like images, have power to stir feelings and guide the understanding. But all too often the feelings they produce bring a presumptuous sense of knowing — a baseless certainty which is subjective, not objective. Grounded in emotions rather than fact or truth, it can be altered or modified by the next well-told story.  That’s why today’s leading change agents — in the pulpit as well as the classroom — prefer to tell fun and feel-good stories rather than facts.  

Yes, Jesus told many parables, but they illustrated — never substituted for — the foundational truths He wanted His disciples to learn. But that seems insignificant to Filiatreau, for he puts “modern novels” into the same category as Biblical parables:  

“The sensory properties of stories make them not only moving but memorable for the long term. …For it’s not only biblical parables that move us to action. Modern novels can too, both culturally and individually.” 

That’s right. The world of imagination and fantasy creates sensory and virtual experiences that plants memories and stirs all kinds of desires and choices.[4]That’s why Harry Potter does lure kids to witchcraft.

In his concluding summary, Filiatreau pulls his three psychological “truths” together:

  • “First, stories are both honorable and inevitable.” 
  • “Second, so-called ‘realism’ is not enough for us; we like and need stories that may bring us truth about the supernatural realm that we have such kinship with.” 
  • “Third, stories can plant truths—or lies—within us more deeply and effectively than can any other mode of expression.”

“Where does this leave us regarding Pokémon and Potter?” he asks. 

At this point, the article takes a strange turn. Ignoring his earlier arguments against these popular occult trends, the author states his bewildering conclusion:

“I don’t think Pokémon or Harry Potter are going to do much to plant seeds of evil and deception deep in kids’ hearts. I don’t see the Antichrist being shaped here. Unlike prophetic parables, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and What Must Be Done, they are not very earnest enterprises.

“And even if they do plant seeds, the news is not all bad.

“In the Harry Potter books that I’ve read, good and evil are painted pretty much in traditional black and white and not in shades of gray after the modern fashion. Children’s fiction holds worse and more subtle dangers today than the exterior trappings of magic. For that matter, the Harry Potter books themselves hold worse and more subtle dangers. These include the ego-stroking of Harry’s messiah-like specialness—he’s born as a wizard of wizards (of course, he’s humble about it)—and the derision of non-magical people as “Muggles.” 

Do you see the contradictions? Not only do the first two sentences contradict the third, they also clash with earlier statements. Both Potter and Pokemon reach far below the “exterior trappings of magic.”  Harry may be “the humble star-student of the Hogwarts School of Wizardry,” but his view of himself and his pagan world matches the attitudes of the public masses who trade God and His will for a supernatural force that — for the moment — seems amenable to manipulation through their own human will. 

In the end, Filiatreau seems to ignore the power of the occult images, the contrary values, and the potential fascinations with forbidden realms. He suggests that parents go ahead, read and discuss Harry Potter. “Frankly,” he says, “if Christian parents can’t or won’t talk their children through such negative aspects in these books—and in games like Pokémon—then I would say their family has worse, more internal problems to work out.”  

Then his tone and message changes again. Filiatreau honors the Potter fantasy with redemptive value through the image of a mother loving her baby — a theme that threads through the history of many a pagan civilization:

“But getting back to the redemptive side, the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, has a rather moving and life-affirming denouement as a mystery in Harry’s past is solved. We learn that a mother’s love for her baby (Harry himself) became externalized as a sort of magic power. The power was strong enough to protect the baby even from his world’s most powerful evil sorcerer, who, after killing Harry’s parents, tried to kill their baby too … but this magic killed him instead. My gut does a little pinch just remembering it.

Filiatreau reminds us that “Jesus is a realist… His reality is different than ours… [and He] commands our reality to become like his.”  

Yes and no. Those who belong to Jesus do share His reality, for “we have the mind of Christ.” Our perspective and understanding are increasingly conformed to His as we delight in His Word and focus our hearts on His eternal ways. In contrast, filling our minds with enticing images and ideas from Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will do the opposite. (1 Cor. 2:16; Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:16-18)

The power of an unbiblical story to create values and build character will drive the reader away from, not toward, the God who loves us. Nor will a family discussion led by sincere parents erase the occult images and ideas planted in a child’s mind through his or her “creative” imagination. 

But never mind those contradictions. Let’s move on. Take a look at the author’s new approach to eternal life. According to Filiatreau, there are at least three ways “to get it”:

  1. “Reading and obeying his teachings and parables is one way to get that life within us
  2. “…holy communion is another. There are many more still.
  3. “…develop an imagination that is redeemed and ready for Christ’s reality.”

“Develop an imagination that is redeemed”? What does he mean? The Bible doesn’t explain. But if it did, I doubt it would include mental exercises in Harry Potter’s world.

Finally Filiatreau asks, “Are there any stories that can help do this—that can effectively help plant and nourish Christ’s new life within us and our kids?” He mentions the Bible as a possibility, then leaves us with the promise that his next article will introduce C.S. Lewis’s mentor whose stories will serve the purpose: “I will introduce one writer who I think is best, after C. S. Lewis, at channeling living Christian truth deeply and effectively into the human heart. In fact, Lewis referred to him as his master.”

He may be referring to George McDonald, author of The Light Princess and many other fairy tales. C.S. Lewis referred to him as his guide and inspiration, his model for mythical-occult storytelling. “What George MacDonald does best is fantasy,” wrote C.S. Lewis. “And this, in my opinion, he does better than any man.”  Even so, it takes a big stretch of the imagination to see McDonald’s fantasies as Biblical truth-telling. They may have seemed good enough back when most church people knew the Bible well enough to discern and compensate for some of MacDonald’s strange suggestions.

We need not be surprised by these post-modern rationalizations and re-interpretations of God’s wonderful truths. God told us this would happen. His Word also shows us His way — that narrow, unpopular and politically incorrect way to walk and live with Him in a world that demands continual compliance with its changing standards, spiritual compromises and public consensus. 

“Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:2-5


Endnotes:

1.http://www.christianity.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/1,1183,PTID2228|CHID100546|CIID237572,00.html

2. Author of Newberry winner A Wrinkle in Time and many other books filled with occult imagery and psychic practices such as kything – a form of mental telepathy and communication between people, trees and any other part of creation. Kything is growing in popularity within God’s churches, especially among women.

3. See also Reinventing the World and An analysis of Community Oriented Policing

4. “The world of imagination and fantasy can help pass on to the child cultural and social messages [and] function as a way to experience vicariously things an individual could not do first-hand.”  Aminadav, C., International Journal of Adolescent Medicine & Health (April-June 1995) 

Movie Magic and Unconscious Learning

Movie Magic
and Unconscious Learning

Berit Kjos –  2001

sorcerer

 

 

A revealing scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone shows Harry and his friends rushing into the night to find the magical stone supposedly made by a medieval alchemist. Guarded by a monstrous three-headed dog in a forbidden corridor at Hogwarts Schools for Witchcraft and Wizardry, this legendary “philosopher’s stone” could grant eternal life — something the disembodied villain Voldemort desperately needs. But who would reach it first, the evil wizard or Harry, Ron and Hermione?

 

Their friend Neville senses danger and warns the threesome that this is not a good time to break more rules. So Harry lies to his friend and Hermione lifts her wand and casts a spell on him. Neville turns stiff as a board and falls flat on the floor. Our three heroes rush away — and the audience bursts into laughter.

     

Why the laughter? Neville was a “good” guy. He was trying to be helpful. But never mind traditional kindness. The crowd has been mesmerized by the plot and is, for the moment, oblivious to home-taught values. The attentive gathering has learned to flow with the brilliant story which makes Ms Rowling’s untraditional values seem right and Christian caution seem wrong. The audience can feel their heroes’ need and sense of urgency, so their minds justify the spell as well as the unkind tactics and share a communal relief for a conflict resolved.

 

The communal part is important. Togetherness strengthens the illusion of reality. Harry Potter fans — like other special interests groups — share a new language with terms and meanings that they validate and cheer in each other. The fact that the new language makes little sense to mugglish parents and disinterested peers only strengthens their bond. Together, they explore and affirm the values defined by the story.

 

This exploration has been brought into classrooms across the country. Many schools that bussed their students to movie theatres on opening day (November 16) now use Harry Potter curricula to continue the informal dialogue led by trained teacher-facilitators. Keep in mind, crowds can easily be manipulated to accept and do what most individuals would not. Like a flock of sheep, they pursue the vision of personal empowerment — not necessarily into occult experimentation but into an acceptance of a pagan world view that turns God’s values upside down. [Isaiah 5:20]

 

For the fun edutainment frees them from the moral and factual guidelines which usually filters incoming information. It offers a mind-changing distraction from rational thinking and plants contrary philosophies into the unguarded mind. When the film ends, the images will remain in the viewer’s memory, ready to influence future moral choices. Few children or adults notice the change.

 

This involuntary and unconscious process is part of a century-old plan for change. Professor Raymond Houghton described the vision in a book titled, “To Nurture Humaneness,” published in 1970 by the ASCD, the curriculum arm of the National Education Association. He wrote,

“…absolute behavior control is imminent…. The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will… never self-consciously know that it has happened.” [4]

Hard to believe? Then consider the research compiled by Dr. Craig E. Abrahamson, Assistant Professor of Social Work at James Madison University. He scorns the old factual or didactic learning and calls for the feeling-based, image-rich unconscious learning so popular among today’s educational change agents.

 

Storytelling is vital to this process, and few forms of communication transmit stories into the minds more effectively than movies — especially when based on myths created by master storytellers such as J. K. Rowling. Such movies create persuasive illusions (and delusions) through imagined experiences that stir strong feelings. As Harvard Professor Chris Dede, a global leader the development of education technology programs, writes, “Sensory immersion helps learners grasp reality through illusion.[5]

 

No wonder educators delight in the Harry Potter movie. Filling and driving the imagination, it provides the right kind of “illusion.” It fits the planned “reality” that both US and UNESCO educators have been seeking for half a century — one that would help establish new values, new beliefs, new lifestyles and new ways of thinking. 

 

But our God doesn’t change. While federal “behavioral laboratories” explore psycho-social manipulation and seductive storytelling in order to mold global citizen, God uses His unchanging truth to set men free. “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples,” said Jesus. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

 

Children whose daydreams soar into Rowling’s supernatural realm of flying broomsticks, empowering spells, golden snitches and everlasting ghosts may feel free — free from the old constraints and authorities, free from natural and spiritual laws. Few see the danger behind this new-found “freedom.” They forget that the author’s script, not their own imagination, guides their minds and defines their values.

 

God knows all that. Our Creator understands human nature far better than the most sophisticated psychologist. That’s why “Jesus did not commit Himself to them [the masses that flocked to Him]…. He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25.

 

Armed with His truth and promises, we would do well to look more closely at today’s battle for the minds of our children. 

 

Hypnotic trance through story telling. “The best methodology for education is not simply the use of didactic instruction,” explains Dr. Abrahamson in his report, Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education (posted on the Encyclopedia Britannica website), “for it needs to be an awakening and moving experience in order for the content to have meaning for the learner.” He continues:

“…inspiration, encouragement, satisfaction, and fascination must be integrated with information in order to provide an education that has meaning to the learner and will have true, lasting effects on that person’s life and the society in which he or she interacts. What a person usually remembers the longest is information that has an emotional impact.”[6] Emphasis added

The emotional impact of Rowling’s storytelling has circled the planet like a giant tsunami wave, and social changes have followed in its wake. Abrahamson’s research may show the transforming power of storytelling within a classroom setting, but his analysis can be applied to the entire field of edutainment — especially to the Harry Potter phenomenon and its mind-changing movie.

 

In a section titled, “Implementation of Hypnotic Trance in Storytelling,” Dr. Abrahamson shows how captivating stories can suspend rational thinking and open the door of the mind to a new view of reality:

“…People remember what happens to them, and they tell other people what they remember. It is this sharing that can enhance an understanding of what occurred, both to the teller, as well as to the listener. Often, when we are either telling or listening to a story, our habitual mental sets, common everyday frames of reference, and belief systems are more or less interrupted and suspended for a moment or two.

“Milton H. Erickson defined hypnotic trance as the evocation and utilization of unconscious learning. He believed that people are most open to learning in this state due to the fact that one’susual frames of reference and beliefs are temporarily altered so one can be receptive to concepts and information that may be somewhat different from what already has been assimilatedinto his or her cognitive and emotional frames of reference….”[7] Emphasis added

There are many ways to lead young and old subjects into “the state of receptivity that is called hypnotic trance.” Dr. Abrahamson touts a “five-stage paradigm of the dynamics of trance induction and suggestion through storytelling:”

Stage 1. “Fixation of Attention.” During this stage, the audience is so caught up in the story that the real world is forgotten. That may sound good to those who need a break from daily tensions. But this mental distraction is followed by an intrusive form of mental manipulation. While diverting attention away from facts and truths, the movie bombards the audience with captivating images, virtual experiences and vivid sensations that clash with home-taught values. 

The movie shows Harry communicating with a powerful snake, magically removing the glass barrier to its freedom, walking through a brick wall at Platform 9 3/4, exploring occult shops, selecting his magic wand…. These scenes may all seem “normal” in the context of Ms Rowling’s alternative reality. They also fit the need for suspense and surprises that capture a viewer’s attention, block rational thinking and prepare the mind for a trance-forming focus. Dr. Abrahamson summarized it well: “…if the stage is successful, consciousness has been distracted.”

But God warns us to “be on guard” and “keep alert.”[8] He tells us to “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Naturally, these warnings don’t “win friends and influence people” these days. Potter fans may accuse Christians of spoiling their fun, but God knows our weaknesses. Because He loves us, He gave us His Word to guard us against deception.

Stage 2. “De-potentiating [destroying the potency of] Habitual Frameworks and Belief Systems.” This second stage weakens the influence of traditional beliefs and habits. Harry Potter does it well. The first stage has already freed the mind from the old boundaries. Now, as the movie screen sends a fast-moving stream of occult ideas and supernatural images, the mind begins to switch from the old mental framework or filter based on God’s Word to a pagan perspective. Viewers who have identified with the aspiring wizard are learning see the world through his eyes, values and feelings.

And what do they see? Scenes such as the occult shops in Diagon Alley may look innocent compared to the scary forest scene showing Voldemort’s desperate need for Unicorn’s blood, but they carry a potent message. In contrast to three-headed dogs and Nearly Headless Nick, they can be reproduced in the real world. Consider these words remembered by Potter fans who read the first book:

“They bought Harry’s school books in a shop called Flourish and Blotts where the shelves were stacked to the ceiling with books… Even Dudley, who never reads anything, would have been wild to get his hands on some of these. Hagrid almost had to drag Harry away from Curses and Countercurses (Bewitch Your Friends and Befuddle Your Enemies with the Latest Revenges….) ‘I was trying to find out how to curse Dudley’ [said Harry]”[9] Emphasis added

Spells and curses have always been used to oppress people in the world’s pagan cultures. In parts of Africa, Asia and South America, where primitive shamanism and witchcraft continued while the West embraced Christian values, their victims still face the terrifying consequences. In today’s post-modern world, the same ancient practices have been revived and redefined. Marketed as empowering white magic that harms no one, they have taken the West by storm.

For example, The Girls’ Guide to Spells, one of many books that break down barriers to the occult world of capricious spirits, “is an easy, fun guide to casting positive spells” and tapping “into the natural energy forces of Mother Nature.” Decorated with pentagrams and the ubiquitous spiral, it shows how to create “your own magic wand” and make “magic happen in our life.”

The Lord of the Rings Oracle,” another tempting key to the occult, links Tolkien’s mythical world to other pagan practices idealized in today’s world of wizardry. It, too, trains the beginner in magic and divination.

Skeptical students can brush up on the history of pagan practices by reading the Sorcerer’s Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter (See photo above). It ties Harry’s occult skills and formulas to the real world of practical occultism. But please don’t buy it. Just remember that many Potter fans have already studied its testimonies to occult realities and now crave more of the same. One newspaper showed a girl clutching it in her arms as she left the movie theater on opening day.

Most of those children have closed their minds to Biblical truth. They may still profess faith in God, but if they really knew Him, they would sense the discomfort of cognitive dissonance (mental and/or moral confusion). This uneasiness occurs whenever a person is drawn to values that clash with their biblical understanding of right and wrong. Dr. Abrahamson explains:

“As the student is consciously pulled into the story that the instructor is sharing, latent patterns of association and sensory-perceptional experience have an opportunity to assert themselves in a manner that can initiate the altered state of consciousness that has been described as trance or hypnosis.

“There are many means of de-potentiating frames of reference. Any experience of shock or surprise momentarily will fixate attention and interrupt the previous pattern of association. Any experience of the unrealistic, the unusual, or the fantastic provides an opportunity for altered modes of apprehension. Aspects in a story that create confusion, doubt, dissociation, and disequilibrium are all means of de-potentiating students’ learned limitations so that they may become open and available for new means of experiencing and learning, which are the essence of conversational (therapeutic) trance.”[10] 

One of those moments of shock and surprise might happen when Harry shops for his magic wand — a “wand that chooses the wizard.” The wand that chooses Harry makes itself known by sending warmth into his hand and sparks into the air. Watching with much excitement, the wizardly owner of the wand shop tells Harry that “the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather — just one other. It is very curious indeed that you be destined for this wand when its brother… gave you that scar.”

In other words, Harry and the evil Lord Voldemort would share the same magic charm for channeling and manipulating the supernatural force. Yet, Voldemort, like Darth Vader, had chosen the dark side of the force. Might Harry do the same?  

God tells us that the good and evil cannot come from the same source. “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?” asks James [3:10-11] The obvious answer is no. To make sure we know the difference and see both sides from God’s perspective, He has given us an armor to wear in every spiritual battle. The first part is the living and unchanging Truth which gives us wisdom to discern between good and evil. But it takes the whole Armor of God to keep us safely hidden in Jesus in the midst of a world that despises His ways:

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth….” Ephesians 6:10-12

3. “Unconscious Search.” When an exciting story has distracted the Potter fan from actual reality and bombarded him or her with contrary suggestions and feelings, the subconscious mind seeks a way to reconcile the conflict between the old and the new values. This quest for resolution involves the dialectic (consensus) process. Trained by schools to to seek “common ground” and conform beliefs to the group consensus, the student simply relieves the tension through moral compromise — a basic element of the “new way of thinking.

“When these processes occur, they initiate an unconscious search for a new solution to a problem or seek out a new altering experience…. With the employment of storytelling as a trance-inducement mechanism in the manner in which this has been discussed, the opportunity is afforded for the student to creatively reorganize information and concepts to allow for the assimilation of new knowledge and concepts which can enhance the learning experience.”[10]

The “new knowledge” to be assimilated includes all the pagan practices forbidden by God but idealized in the Harry Potter books and movie. One of the simplest justifications for continued loyalty to Harry is simply to rationalize that Harry and his side of the magical force are good, while Voldemort and his side are evil. You saw this philosophy in the previous stage. It permeates New Age and neopagan spirituality: one universal force – two different expressions. This conclusion matches Eastern dualism and the yin yang, which symbolizes the quest for harmony between opposing forces such as good and evil, light and dark, male and female…. 

But God tells us that good and evil cannot mix. “What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?” He asks. “And what communion has light with darkness? …come out from among them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 2 Cor 6:12-18

4. Unconscious ProcessThe Potter fan and less committed viewers reach this stage when they have set aside their former convictions, opened their minds to contrary beliefs, resolved the conflict between opposite values, and accepted the subtle suggestions offered by the story and its context:

“In essence, an indirect suggestion within the framework of storytelling initiates an unconscious search and facilitates unconscious processes within students, and they often find themselves open to ideas and concepts that in the past appeared closed. …The indirect forms of suggestion… help students bypass their learned limitations….”[10]

Through storytelling, these “indirect suggestions” prompt children to apply the story’s subtle new meanings to old facts, symbols and truths. This helps explain why many Potter fans profess faith in God yet twist the character of God into a deity compatible with their favorite story and their personal lusts.

“What right have you to declare My statutes,” asks God, “… seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? …You thought that I was altogether like you, but I will rebuke you….” Psalm 50:16-21

5. The Hypnotic Response: This natural outcome leaves viewers with new images and suggestions imprinted in their collective memory. An exchange took place in their minds while their attention was focused on the story and action.

“Because it is mediated primarily by unconscious processes within the student, the hypnotic response appears to occur automatically or autonomously, much in the same fashion as when a person is sitting in his or her car at a red stop light and isn’t aware when the light turns green until the person in the car behind him or her blows the horn. …

“Many people look at the hypnotic trance as an occurrence that only happens in the company of an hypnotherapist, and when it does happen, the individual loses all control while under the control of the therapist. However, most individuals typically experience a mild sense of pleasant surprise when they find themselves responding in this automatic and involuntary manner. Contrary to public misconceptions, the hypnotized person remains the same person, only his or her perceptions for the moment are altered by the trance state.”[10]

In the education arena, the goal of the process is to socialize students with the new values fit for the global community. The planned change is incremental and permanent, not temporary. It is part of UNESCO’s program for lifelong learning and matches the goals and ideology of Hollywood producers.

Teachers and principals were not content to simply to bus their students to the Harry Potter movie on opening day. Their follow-up includes Harry Potter curriculla that prompts students to pursue their occult interests in classrooms across the country. There, trained facilitator-teachers can guide the process toward a fitting consensus. Even Christian students who have not conformed their values to the mystical world of Hogwarts must participate in this manipulative dialogue or face ridicule and unforgiving assessments (be labeled “uncooperative” and “intolerant”). While Hogwarts head master honored Harry whether he obeyed the rules or not, this new world will not reward Christian students for their uncompromising stand.

But God will! He tells us “Blessed are you when men hate you… exclude you… revile you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven.” [Luke 6:22-23] And  when the world mocks and vilifies us, He will keep us close, shield us in His armor and remind us that –

“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:32-39


Endnotes:  

1.Paul A. Pilger and Paul Dobesh, “Issues in Interactive Communication: The Impact of the New Technologies of Society,” 1996. We found this article at the Florida State University website, but its link to the specific page link is now broken: http://www.fsu.edu/~ic-prog/issuesbook/chapter17.html 

2. Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool

3.Holland Cotter, “Films that keep Asking, Is it Fact or Fiction?” New York Times, 1-19-01.

4. Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness, ASCD (curriculum arm of the NEA), 1970

5.The Transformation of Distance Education to Distributed LearningWhile this and other papers by Professor Chris Dede focuses on education technology, it emphasizes the value of sensory immersion into synthetic environments as a tool to mold minds by instilling a programmed perception of “reality.” http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwitr/docs/distlearn/index.html

6.Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education at

http://www.britannica.com/magazine/article?content_id=58571&pager.offset=10

7. Ibid.

8.Mark 13:33; Matt 26:41

9. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Scholastic, 199), page 80.

10. http://www.britannica.com/magazine/article?content_id=58571&pager.offset=20

Categories