They Weren’t Prepared for This

Family Research Council
December 13, 2018

Where does raising a white flag in the battle over your core values lead? Ask the Boy Scouts of America. After throwing up their hands on 103 years of conviction, the group may finally be learning that standing on principle isn’t easy — but it’s a whole lot better than the alternative.

The fight to live out your beliefs can be an exhausting one. Until 2000, the Scouts had spent years in court just for the freedom to stick to its moral code. They won, but — to the organization’s dismay — the battle didn’t end. Waves of LGBT activists kept coming, and the pressure built until 2013, when BSA leaders gave into the lie that compromise would be their salvation. Five years later, we all can see: there’s almost nothing left to save.

A half-decade into its LGBT experiment, the Boy Scouts are a step away from bankruptcy. Turns out, their defining moment may also be a fatal one. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the group has been bleeding members since it broke camp and allowed in kids and leaders who openly identify as gay and transgender. Not long after that, one of its biggest backers, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced the withdrawal of tens of thousands of young LDS from the program. Then, the paper points out, there was the fallout from recruiting girls, which not only angered its base — but pitted the organization in a legal war with Girl Scouts USA. Now, a program that used to be one of America’s finest is considering Chapter 11.

Friends, if you’re wondering where the road of compromise leads, this is it. This is the future of anyone in the Christian community who exchanges the truth for cowardly conformism. The Boy Scouts dropped their moral mandate to accommodate what they don’t believe. In the current climate, that’s called “inclusion.” But if the Scouts were being more inclusive, why didn’t their numbers grow? Because, when you try to appeal to a conflicting moral viewpoint you only end up attracting the conflict!

Right now, too many churches, Christian colleges, and leaders are dangerously close to making the same mistake. They’re so desperate or fearful — or both — that they’re willing to water down who they are to protect the small space they’re standing on. There’s just one problem: the gospel’s truth isn’t up for negotiation. And in their rush to soften the blow of its confrontation, some believers are losing their identity.

Christians in Paul’s time were no different. Like humans throughout history, they craved acceptance. “I am astonished,” Paul wrote to the Galatians, “that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ… Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? …If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

The Boy Scouts wandered so far away from their identity that by the end of 2016, they even dropped their most defining characteristic: boys. In the end, it ruined them. That’s the destiny of any Christian who takes the naïve view that world can be placated. It can’t. True love, I Corinthians 13:6 tells us, is truth. It’s being salt and light in a draining, unforgiving culture. “Come out from them and be separate,” Paul said, because he understands that in the end, it’s not our sameness with the world that transforms people. It’s our distinction. And one of the greatest is standing for truth — even when we’re standing alone.

Posted in Education, Finance, Hot Topics, Organizations | Comments Off on They Weren’t Prepared for This

Santa the Worship Stealer

The attributes of God, that God is to be praised and worshiped for, have been attributed to Santa.  Santa is getting the worship that is reserved for God alone.

  • Love and Relationship – God cares for His children.  God is able to fulfill all our needs according to His riches and mercy through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Yet Santa is given credit for being able to fulfill our deepest wishes.  Children are encouraged to take their wish list to Santa for fulfillment.  Santa cares about the hopes and dreams in their heart,  and he would be delighted to bring them joy.  Children are taught that the greatest honor of Christmas is being able to sit in Santa’s lap and tell him what they want.
  • Omniscient, Merciful Judge – God knows all our sin and still loves us.  God knew all our days, before we were born.  He wrote good thoughts about us in a book, before we were born (Psalm 139).  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5).  Jesus said to care about whether our names are in His Book of Life.  Yet children are taught to be good for Santa and care about Santa’s naughty and nice list.  Santa knows if you have been good or bad, so be good for goodness sake.
  • Unlimited Servants and Resources – God is the creator of all things.  God has ten thousand times ten thousand angels worshipping Him and hoping for a special task they can do to bring God honor and glory.  Yet children are taught to appreciate Santa’s elves for all the hard work elves do all year making presents.   Santa’s workshop has unlimited resources to create the best gifts to the most delightful specifications.
  • Worthy of Praise – God is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  His name is to be praised in every nation for His mighty deeds and His unfailing love.  God has a special crown for those who loved when Jesus appeared to man and walked among them.  God calls it “The Crown of Righteousness”, because honoring Jesus is the right thing to do.  Yet children are taught to hold Santa’s name in high esteem.  They are taught that to say something bad about Santa would be unthinkable.  Children are taught to sing Santa songs of praise and adoration.  Santa is the highest dignitary of any parade.  Santa’s surprise appearance at any event is met with awe and wonder.
  • Worthy of Service and Gifts – God is the owner and Lord of the whole universe.  All the cattle on a thousand hills are His.  In His hand is the breath of all mankind.  To give a gift to God is to merely acknowledge that we are temporary stewards of His majesty.  Yet Santa worshipers are taught to give gifts in Santa’s name.  People wear Santa hats, when they do acts of charity, so people know the gifts are given in Santa’s name.  Parents labor for the resources to buy gifts for their children.  Parents wrap the presents in hope of bringing delight to their children.  Then, parents show their submission to Santa by telling their children the gift came from Santa.  The children respond with joy and gratitude for their gifts, and the parents humble themselves and redirect the children to Santa.

The Santa Claus that is celebrated today has little association with the Saint Nicholas who gave gifts in 300 AD.  The Santa Clause with red suit, reindeer and elves is more closely associated with Woden, the Nordic Wizard Warrior God, who flew through the skies in December bringing gifts to children.  Woden is honored every Wednesday, Woden’s day.  Woden’s son, Thor, is honored on Thursday, and Woden’s wife, Frigga, is adored every Friday.

Posted in Arts, Church / Religion, Faces of Evil, Family, Hot Topics, Media | Comments Off on Santa the Worship Stealer

The Beauty and the Beast, a Discussion

The story of Beauty and the Beast is a classic French tale from 1740 about a merchant who becomes lost during a storm.  The merchant finds shelter at a palace belonging to the beast.  The next morning, the beast tells the merchant that he deserves to die, but the beast will spare his life in exchange for the merchant’s daughter.  The merchant agrees to the arrangement.  The beast gives gifts to the daughter, and she eventually falls in love with him.  When the daughter shows her affection for the beast, the beast is transformed into a handsome prince and they live happily ever after.

The tale was historically used to prepare girls for arranged marriages.  Brides were fearful their future husband would be a beast.  The tale gave hope that their husband may turn out to be wonderful prince.

In 1991, Walt Disney Feature Animation produced a musical animated film entitled Beauty and the Beast.  The Disney movie quickly became the version that people are most familiar with.  The story line is similar to the original plot.  The daughter is named Belle, and her father is Maurice.  Maurice is lost in the woods and finds refuge in the Beast’s castle.  The Beast imprisons Maurice.  Belle searches for her father and finds him locked in the castle dungeon.  The Beast agrees to let Belle take Maurice’s place as prisoner, and Belle eventually falls in love with the Beast.

The following is my perception as a result of the paths that God has taken me through, and I do not expect everyone to join me in my opinion.  My goal is to have an open discussion about certain patterns that are accepted in the movie, that should bring alarm.  The patterns are often overlooked, because the movie portrays that they all live happily ever after.  My concerns are about similar patterns that are used to prepare girls for a different kind of sexual encounter.

I have spent many years as a Volunteer Chaplain to inmates in a high security jail.  My role was to hold Sunday worship services and share the gospel with them.  Many of the inmates admitted their involvement in child trafficking.  I was intrigued as to how the pimps would get twelve-year-old girls to agree to receive phone instructions to leave school to meet a stranger that would have sex with them.  The girl would take the money to the pimp, and then go back to school.  Police were often surprised that the girl would often protect her pimp, when arrested for prostitution.

Here are the correlations with Beauty and the Beast:

  1. The father who should be protecting the daughter is made to look like the absent-minded professor that should not be taken seriously.  Fathers that actively warn their daughters about the pimp’s scheme are the biggest threat to the pimp.
  2. The Beast imprisons the girl with the intent of ultimately taking advantage of her.  The pimp has the same intention.
  3. The Beast portrays himself as kind, because he does not harm the girl’s family, provided she does what he says.  The girl is told she should be grateful to the beast.
  4. The Beast has a friend that explains to the girl that the Beast is really a good person and then give gifts to the girl on behalf of the Beast.  Lumiere and Cogsworth throw a dinner for Belle in the movie.  Another girl that is part of the pimp’s harem serves this function for the pimp.
  5. The girl goes through stages of mental reprogramming.  She starts out acting like she trusts the Beast for survival.  She knows her actions need to be convincing to her captor to gain more freedoms.  Eventually, she deceives herself that she really loves the Beast.  This is commonly known as the Stockholm Syndrome.  The girl is subjected to cycles of kindness and abuse in a closed environment.  The captor will even be portrayed as rescuing the girl, as the scene where Belle is scared out to the wolves, and then the Beast scares the wolves away.  Belle shows she is close to the end of her training, when she tends to the Beast’s wounds.  Pimps will play the wolf game with other Pimps to get their girls to be loyal to just them.
  6. The captor sends the captive on a mission to help someone else.  If she returns, then the manipulation is complete.  The highest level of manipulation is when the captive will risk her life to defend the captor.  Then, the captor knows the captive will do anything the Beast wants.  Belle is released on a mission to help her father and then returns to rescue the Beast from Gaston, the hunter.

Most people will watch the Beauty and the Beast as entertainment.  After many years of fighting the rape for profit industry and trying to get the California legislature to protect our children, I see the movie differently.  At one time, kidnapping a girl and selling her for sex was a capital crime, punishable by death.  Today in California, the prostitution industry has successfully lobbied to get it reduced to a $10,000 fine.

In addition to my personal issues with the movie, Beauty and the Beast, there are items of a broader nature that should prompt an open discussion between parents and their children.  God calls us to take every thought captive and evaluate it.  Here are some worthy discussions:

  1. Should the training in sorcery cause concern?  Disney trains the viewer to be afraid of witches that can curse a kingdom and turn people into household objects.  Disney trains the children to be in awe of the powers of witchcraft.  Magical mirrors empowered by sorcery that give special information should prompt a compare and contrast discussion about crystal balls and Ouija Boards.  A reading of Deuteronomy chapters 5 through 13 communicates God’s prohibition against being involved in witchcraft.  God, the Creator of the Universe, gave a harsh standard.  If someone (Even the wife of your bosom) invites you to give go and give worth (worship) to witchcraft, then your hand shall be first to stone them to death.  When God summarizes the death of Saul, God says that He killed Saul for his rebellion and the example given is that Saul went to see a witch.  Why is God upset about sorcery?  Is sorcery a counterfeit of the dreams, visions and spiritual gifts that come from God?  Do demons really make themselves obey people casting spells, or are the demons deceiving the wizard?
  2. When parents are not portrayed with honor and respect, then parents should be on guard that this may not be a family friendly movie.  The fathers in Beauty and the Beast and Tarzan are portrayed as absent-minded professors.  The Bible says in the Ten Commandments and Ephesians 6 that parents are to be honored.  Obviously, parents do not always act honorably.  This can prompt a productive discussion about parents setting a good example and encouraging children to think about what kind of parents they will be, when it is their turn.
  3. Kidnapping is a capital offense, punishable by death.  In Beauty and the Beast, the Beast does not release Belle, when she finds her father.  Does the Beast have the right to hold Belle as a prisoner?  The Beast wants a girl to fall in love with him.  Does his desire for a girl give him permission to make a girl his prisoner?  There are many stories in the news about men holding girls in their basements as their girlfriends.  Is this appropriate?  Men and women are renting little girls and boys for sex on the internet.  What is God’s attitude in Isaiah 58 about rescuing the children, setting them free from doing wickedness, clothing and feeding the children?
  4. Does Disney Magic really make everything turn out right?  Is God the source of blessing or Disney Magic?  In the Beauty and the Beast, Disney Magic makes the beast come back to life.  Is Jesus the savior (Savior means rescuer) or is Disney?  In the Ten Commandments, God says His name is “Jealous.”  Is God jealous when we look to fantasy for heroes instead of Him?  Does God share His glory (Isaiah 42:8)?  How do we draw the line between inspirational stories and fantasy heroes with god-like qualities?
  5. Are your children ready for a discussion about gender confusion?  Press releases for the newest Disney version of Beauty and the Beast are clear that there are several references to male to male sexual attraction.  Sexual perversion is not new.   Male with male group sex has been a problem for over 4,000 years according to Genesis 19.  Should parents pay to have sex outside of God’s design promoted to their children?
  6. Can a large group of people who follow Jesus be deceived?  Absolutely.  How many times did the kings of Israel lead the people away from God?  How quickly did the people get seduced into following Baal and the other false gods?  How will the merchants of Babylon deceive the nations with sorcery (Revelation 18 – 19)?  The merchants of sorcery will kill those who oppose them.  Are we willing to risk death in our efforts to share the gospel and train the nations to follow Jesus instead of sorcery?

Not every movie from Disney is evil.  Disney did a great job with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Evil was defined as evil.  Forgiveness was granted, but justice still had to be served on a substitute.  The goal of this article is not to say that everything Disney does is evil.  The goal is to encourage parents to discuss movies and discern good from evil.  The Bible is full of examples of evil.  The examples are in the Bible for discussion, so that we can train our children to be wise and fear God.

Posted in Arts, Faces of Evil, Family, Hot Topics, Media | Comments Off on The Beauty and the Beast, a Discussion

I Saw a Demon and It Scared Me

The Four Types of Spirits You May See

A young girl saw a demon and it scared her.  She wasn’t sure what to do, so she told her youth group leader.  She wasn’t sure who to talk to and who would understand her.

I asked God what to share with her.  My first thoughts were about God being her protector and that “Greater is He (God) that is in you, than he (Satan) that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)  And the verse, “Submit yourself therefore to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).  But, as we talked about it.  The Holy Spirit reminded me.  This is not the first time she has seen a demon.  This will not be the last time she sees a demon.  The gift of discerning spirits is a gift from God.  If it is a gift, then the gift should be received with joy and it should produce gratitude to God and bring the fruit of the Spirit.  As she unwraps the present and asks the Holy Spirit how to use it, then the Holy Spirit will be glad to show her why He gave her the gift.

I met with her and said, “I want to tell you about a special gift.” She wanted to know if it was a new phone or new clothes.  She wanted to know if it was from me.  I said, “No.  This is a special gift from God.  Now that you are old enough, God wants you to understand more about the special gift He has given you.”

I explained, “God has given you the gift of seeing four types of spirits.   Most people can’t see what you see, that is why it is a gift.  Because it is a gift, it should bring joy as you get to understand what it is.  And, God will have a special time with you, teaching you how to use it. ”

God is one God and He is three persons … The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. When the Father talks it is often one word or a short sentence.  He may just say, “Peace” or “Go.”  The Son often says one or two sentences like, “I love you.”  But the Holy Spirit is The Teacher.  He will often say several sentences or several paragraphs.  Be sure to ask the Holy Spirit how to use the gift He gave you.  He will have fun telling you about it.  Be like Samuel who learned to hear God’s voice at a young age. (1 Samuel 3)

The first spirit that a person with the gift of discerning spirits may be able to see is a person’s spirit.  If a man is angry, you may be able to sense the angry spirit on a street a block away from your house.  I said, “You may have seen me before when I was angry, and my angry spirit scared you.  So you may be afraid of me.”  She agreed.  It may seem scary, when it seems a person has two spirits.  Especially if you are used to seeing them one way.

On a side note … if you know someone very well, you may be able to easily find their spirit in a crowded place.  I recently found my wife at a water park.  She did not know I was coming and did not have her cell phone.  When I met her in line to a ride on the far side of the park, she kept asking, “How did you find us so fast?  How did you know where we were?”  I realized that I had used my gift to go directly to where she was.

The second spirit that you may be able to see is demons.  They love attention.  They often volunteer to teach you about God or try to scare you with fear.  They love to tell lies and deceive people.  Do NOT listen to them.  They are full of lies.  In order for a lie to have power, it has to be believed.  That is why sorcery is so bad.  People think they are controlling the demon, but they are being deceived.  The demon is really playing with them and filling them with lies.  People think the demons are giving them powers, but the demons are just getting the person to follow them.

Do not chase demons.  They love to play hide and go seek to waste your time.  They will peak out from behind a wall, hide and then move somewhere else.  Do not go looking for them.  Treat them like flies.  If flies are far away, then ignore them.  Don’t waste your day looking for them, they want to waste your time.  If flies bother you, then tell them to leave.  Tell them you are a princess, because your Father is the King of the Universe.  If they mess with you, then the King is going to get upset with them.

If you see a demon on someone, don’t immediately cast them out.  That person may want their demon.  The person may like being bitter, and they have a demon that likes bitterness.  The two of them like getting together and talking about the people they are mad at.  If you cast the demon out, and the person does not give their life to Jesus and make Jesus King of their life, then the demon is allowed to come back.  The person will say, “I miss you, come back.”  Then the demon is allowed to bring seven more demons with him, when he comes back into the person.  Just tell the demon to “Stand Down.”  That means they are not allowed to talk, touch, shoot or do anything in your presence.  They need to stop and leave your presence.  Focus on sharing the gospel with the person.  If they give their life to Jesus as their King, then tell the demon that it cannot come back.

The third spirit you may be able to see is angels.  Angels don’t often show themselves.  If you look at them to be amazed at their beauty, they will often hide themselves.  Their purpose is to bring glory to God, not themselves.  In the angel stories in the Bible, the focus is on the message from God or what God wants to do.  We respect angels, because they are much stronger and more powerful than we are.  We help them accomplish their goal by giving glory to God, not them.  They love God and often volunteer to do what God wants done.  If we are doing what God wants, they are allowed to help us.  But, they usually won’t do our job for us.  Even though Angels can do it better, it is not their turn to do certain jobs.  God is giving us people the opportunity to do what He told us to do.

The fourth spirit we may be able to see is the Holy Spirit.  In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit showed himself as little flames about the size of a tongue on people’s heads. (Acts 2)  Most of the times, when I see the Holy Spirit, is during the invitation portion of the message on Sundays.  As people are talking to the Holy Spirit, I see little flames in their chest, just below their heart.  Then they start thinking about lunch or something else and the flame goes out.  That may explain why Paul uses the word picture, “Don’t quench The Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Remember, God gave you the special gift.  If you ask Him how to use it and you follow God, then it will bring you joy.

 

Posted in Mentoring | Comments Off on I Saw a Demon and It Scared Me