War on Consciousness Pt. 32 – Media Manipulation

propaganda

What one listens to, obeys, and meditates upon day and night, is what will influence him (Psalm 1:3, Matthew 6:22-23, Galatians 5:16-24). Therefore, one must make a choice concerning what he will abide in. Will it be the world, and its philosophies and traditions of men (1John 2:15-17, Colossians 2:8)? Will it be the media, and its multitude of lies and propaganda, that brings people under its influence? Or will it be the word of God, that leads people to the light of truth, and makes them wise concerning salvation through faith in Christ Jesus, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that he will be complete, and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Timothy 3:14-17)?

Remember that those who do not abide in Jesus, the true vine, in whom there is no darkness, will be plucked out by the Father, and thrown into the fire of his wrath and burned, and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever (John 15:1-6, 1John 1:5, Revelation 21:7-8). But those who abide in Jesus will be like trees that bear their fruits in their season (Psalm 1:1-3). It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit which they will bear, and they will not be controlled by the sway of the spirit of this world, which is the spirit of antichrist (Galatians 5:16-25, Ephesians 2:1-3, 1John 4:1-6). The media will not dictate their actions, or their morality. They will be grounded in the faith of Christ, and they will not be deceived (Matthew 6:22-23, John 8:12). Instead, they will have discernment; knowing good from evil, truth from error, and true teachers from deceivers.

Discernment does not come from the media, and its websites, television programs, radio shows, or even podcasts. Nor is discernment acquired through being taught by wise teachers, theologians, or revered philosophers in or outside the church. Instead, discernment comes through following Jesus Christ, by studying God’s word for one’s self, and by being instructed by the Holy Spirit to correctly apply the word of God to one’s life, and being one who obeys God’s commands without partiality (Hebrews 5:12-14, 1John 2:26-27, 2Timothy 2:15, James 1:21-25). But in order to do this, one must sanctify the Lord in his heart, and trust his clear teachings from Scripture, more than anyone, and more than popular opinion; even popular Christian opinion (1Peter 3:15, Romans 3:4). One must be willing to separate from the crowd when Scripture reveals that the group he is apart of is not following God but men who appear godly, yet leavens the truth of the gospel with a little leaven, which leavens the whole gospel, or who change the nature or character of the true God (Galatians 1:6-10, Galatians 5:7-9, 1John 2:21-23, 1John 4:1-3, Romans 16:17-19).

There is only one God, and there is only one gospel, and no group, no matter how godly they may appear, has the right to pervert the gospel, nor change the true teaching of who God is. Nor is any website, television program, radio show, nor podcats, an authority on truth. God’s word alone is the authority (Matthew 4:4, John 17:17, 2Tiomthy 3:14-17. Nor does any preacher or philosopher have any authority to subject the clear teachings of Scripture to his own private interpretations, regardless of his high reverence among Christ’s church, because men, or any well respected group, has no authority to validate truth (2Peter 1:20-21). Scripture alone validates truth, and Scripture alone validates, or disqualifies, men. Therefore, if they speak not according to the true God, and the true gospel of salvation, and, instead, reject correction from Scripture by clinging to their private interpretations, it is because their is no light in them, and they are antichrist (Isaiah 8:20. They are not of God, but of the world. If they were of God, they could not bear bad fruit, but would only bear good fruit, and they would prove it by submitting to the church’s correction from Scripture (Matthew 7:15-20, Romans 16:17-19, John 3:7-9, John 4:5-6).

Good fruit is not only the teaching of the true God, and the true gospel, but it is also submission to the truth (John 15:14, John 14:6).

The world says that a little leaven, concerning the true God and the gospel, does not leaven the whole lump, but God says that it does (Galatians 5:7-9, John 4:1-3).

One must decide, “Who will I believe?” and “Who will I follow?”

Let it be the word of God, because this is the covenant that God has made with his people:

Hebrews 8
10    For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11    None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

And remember…

John 15
4    Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5    “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6    If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
7    If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8    By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
9    “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10    If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11    “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

1John 2
24    Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25    And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.
26    These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
27    But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
28    And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

James 1
5    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

2Timothy 3
14    But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15    and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17    that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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Test All Things Pt. 8 – Gnosticism

By Terrence Straughter

 temptation

I John 4:1-3 NKJV

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Gnosticism

Related articles are listed below:

  1. Have you come across a different Gospel and a different Christ?
  2. War on Consciousness Pt. 13 – The New Age Movement
  3. War on Consciousness Pt. 15 – Arts & Entertainment

The Catholic Calvinists Pt. 2 – John Piper

piperlarge

The Reformed Calvinist teacher, and internationally known author, and speaker, John Piper, has shown himself to have Roman Catholic tendencies. Piper is a former student of Fuller Theological Seminary, which has trained a number of emerging church leaders, such as Rick Warren, Tony Jones, and Rob Bell. The seminaries’ faculty has consisted of heretical teachers, such as it’s former president, C. Peter Wagner, of the New Apostolic Reformation John Wimber, of the Vineyard Movement, and the universalist, Thomas Talbott. John Piper has also attended the University of Munich, which was known for being under the control of the Jesuit order, during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, because it is one of their many tools during the Counter Reformation. The University of Munich is also the same college that the former pope, Benedict XVI, attended.

John Piper has shown his partiality toward Roman Catholic heretics, such as the mystic Bernard of Clairvaux, who was a major contributor to building the virgin Mary cult of Roman Catholicism, by listing Clairaux as a lover of God, and one of the most God-besotted people in the world. See Piper’s quote below:

Desiring God

Or take hymns! How unabashedly hedonistic they are! Hymns are the voices of the church’s lovers, and lovers are the least duty-oriented and most God-besotted people in the world.

Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts

Thou fount of life, Thou light of men

From the best bliss that earth imparts

We turn unfilled to Thee again.

Bernard of Clairvaux

The quote above is taken from Piper’s book on “Christian Hedonism”, which is a perversion of both God, and the gospel. One of the origins for Piper’s deceptive philosophy of hedonism is, according to John Piper, the Roman Catholic heretic, Blaise Pascal.

John Piper & Christian Hedonism

“During my first quarter in seminary, I was introduced to the argument for Christian Hedonism and one of its great exponents, Blaise Pascal. He wrote: ‘All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. … The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hand themselves.’ This statement so fit with my own deep longings, and all that I had ever seen in others, that I accepted it and have never found any reason to doubt it. … Jonathan Edwards tied it [Pascal’s statement] to the Word of Christ: ‘Jesus knew that all mankind were in the pursuit of happiness. He has directed them in the true way to it, and He tells them what they must become in order to be blessed and happy’” (Desiring God, location 198, 212, 3761).

The Roman Catholic Blaise Pascal was a brilliant mathematician but he was also a theological heretic and a deeply confused man, spiritually. Though he attacked some aspects of Romanism, he accepted the papacy, the mass, the saints, Mariolatry, and veneration of relics. He was deeply influenced by the blind mysticism of Jansenism and he spent a lot of time in the convent where his sister was a nun and where Catholic mysticism was practiced.

In late 2011, Piper has also taught a form of Roman Catholic Mysticism, known as Lectico Devina Lite on his website, and removed it after a backlash of controversy.

DesiringGod.Org

Update: Formerly I listed Lectio Divina as a third system for prayer. I’ve since removed it for the confusion it has caused. We do not endorse contemplative spirituality. The main point I’d like to recommend is using the text of Scripture as an organizer for our prayers — prayers that are exegetically faithful and gospel rich. I’m sorry for introducing the category.

The former pope Benedict is also in favor of practicing Lectico Devina as stated below:

Zenit.Org

“If this practice is promoted with efficacy, I am convinced that it will produce a new spiritual springtime in the Church,” stated the Holy Father.Pope-620x395

To promote “lectio divina,” Benedict XVI suggested “new methods, attentively pondered, adapted to the times.”

“One must never forget that the Word of God is a lamp for our steps and a light on our path,” he said.

Piper has also practiced Lectico Devina with Beth Moore, at the Passion 2012 conference.

John Piper also talks as though he believes that Roman Catholicism is part of Christ’s church, while also teaching that the pope undermines the faith of his followers. He does this by calling the pope one of the teachers of the church.

DesiringGod.Org

Nevertheless, God’s mercy is not a warrant to neglect or deny precious truths, especially those that are at the heart of how we get right with God. And the teachers of the church (notably the Pope) will be held more responsible than others for teaching what is fully biblical.

Thus, any church whose teaching rejects the imputation of the righteousness of Christ as an essential ground for our justification would be a church whose error is so close to the heart of the gospel as to be involved in undermining the faith of its members.

Piper has also made a public prayer on Twitter for the next pope, as though God might use the office of this age old enemy of Christ, the gospel, and the church.

Twitter.Com/JohnPiper

O Lord of truth and mercy, put in place a Pope most willing to reform the Catholic Church in accord with your most holy word.

What should believers do about people like John Piper, who causes divisions, and offenses concerning the doctrine of Christ, and the gospel?

They must remember that a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

Matthew 7

15    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
16    You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17    Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18    A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19    Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20    Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

They must mark, and avoid them.

Romans 16

17    Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
18    For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
19    For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.

They must let these kind of people be accursed.

Galatians 1

6    I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7    which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8    But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9    As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

And they must not take delight in them, nor promote them.

2John 1

8    Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward
.9    Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10    If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
11    for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

Matthew 7

21    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22    Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23    And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Related articles are listed below:

  1. The Catholic Calvinists Pt. 1 – RC Sproul
  2. Authors of Confusion Pt. 14 – John Piper
  3. The New Christianity Pt. 7 – All Roads Lead to Rome
  4. Little Horn Pt. 3

Catholicism Crisis of Faith

 

baalworship

The following link entitled “Catholicism Crisis of Faith” is a documentary of Catholics, and ex-Catholics, who speak about their beliefs, their concerns over the doctrines of Roman Catholicism, why they are no longer Catholics, and Catholicism’s contradiction to the clear teachings of Scripture about salvation.

Related are articles are listed below:

  1. Little Horn Pt. 3
  2. Papal Immunity for the Lawless One
  3. Radical Takerover Pt. 4 – Rome’s Crusade of Genocide in Rwanda

Radical Takeover Pt. 7 – Cult of Green: UNEP’s Sabbath & Global Ethic

Earth-Worship1-1024x819

Worldview Weekend

Cult of Green:

The United Nations Environmental Sabbath and

the New Global Ethic

By Carl Teichrib (www.forcingchange.org)

 NOTE: This essay was first published in Forcing Change back in 2007. It is being reprinted here as an informational/educational service. If you appreciate the depth of research and scope of this essay, please consider an annual subscription/membership to Forcing Change – for your subscription support is what enables this research to continue. Go to Apply For Membership and check out the many options available. As a member you will receive each monthly edition of Forcing Change and have access to six years of back issues and reports.

————————-

 “Christianity rescued the world from this lunacy. Today, Christian Churches may be in need of rescue.” – Robert A. Sirico.[1]

   Environmentalism and religion are indelibly linked. At times this connection is subtle, such as when it’s clothed in the often-bureaucratic language of sustainable development. Other times this marriage is openly acknowledged. The late actor James Coburn, in an Earth Day interview with Caryl Matrisciana at Malibu Beach, enthusiastically proclaimed,

james coburn

    “Mother Earth is the Mother. She’s the Mother Goddess. She’s the one we should be praising rather then raping.

   I mean, all of these people here today are here for one reason, because they are concerned about what’s happening to the Earth, what Mankind is doing to the Earth. I mean the negative emotion we carry around a lot of us is another contributor to it. It all feeds the Moon. What we have to do is be true to ourselves, if we are true to ourselves we’ll be true to Mother Earth.

Mother Earth is going to be bountiful. She’ll give us everything we need. She has for a long time.

We’ve lost our way. The pagans used to know how to do it. And the Indians, some of them still remember how to do it.

The Earth is a living organism. We’re killing the one we love the most, and she loves us. We’ve got to praise our Mother Goddess!”[2]

 

At the world’s political gathering place, the United Nations, eco-spirituality has been embraced in a variety of forms. One example is the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a short document hardly amounting to twenty letter-sized pages. Taken at face value, the CBD appears benign in almost every respect, with little in the text that could be construed as religious-in-nature.

   Yet when the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) interpreted the CBD, resulting in an oversized United_Nations_Environment_Programme1100+page work titled the Global Biodiversity Assessment, eco-spirituality was included as a global asset. In fact, eco-spirituality was deemed so important that a second massive volume was published, aptly titled Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity: A Complementary Contribution to the Global Biodiversity Assessment (700+pages on oversized paper).

   So why would the CBD, a minuscule document with no real reference to religion foster such a huge interpretive response, including one text specifically on the spiritual aspects of biodiversity? UNEP published the answer,

“…the UN has turned increasing amounts of time and energy to articulating practical measures for meeting the global environmental crisis and to forming an international consensus around a global environmental ethic. Much of this effort came to fruition at the 1992 Earth Summit through the passage of Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration, and the Convention on Biological Diversity [CBD].”[3]

   In case you missed it the answer is found in the middle of the above quote; the formation of “a global environmental ethic.”

   Elaborating on this point, J. Baird Callicott, a UNEP contributor and Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Religion Studies at the University of North Texas, writes in Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity,

“With the current and more ominous global dimension of the twentieth century’s environmental crisis now at the forefront of attention, environmental philosophy must strive to facilitate the emergence of a global environmental consciousness that spans national and cultural boundaries…In part, this requires a more sophisticated cross-cultural comparison of traditional and contemporary concepts of the nature of nature, human nature, and the relationship between people and nature…a new paradigm is emerging that will sooner or later replace the obsolete mechanical world-view and its associated values and technological esprit.

   What I envision for the twenty-first century is the emergence of an international environmental ethic based on the theory of evolution, ecology and the new physics…Thus we may have one world-view and one associated environmental ethic corresponding to the contemporary reality that we inhabit one planet…”[4]

According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary, the term “ethic” means “a set of moral principles.” Ethics, and its twin sister, Morality, historically turn on the hinges of religion and philosophical thought. Hence, if a new set of global ethics is to arise, religion as a whole – and spiritual leadership in particular – must be included in this transformative process. But which religions and spiritual practices are deemed valid in creating a new global, Earth-centric morality?

   By seeing which religions are vilified in the United Nation’s system, and by examining which worldview the UN deems important, the answer avails itself. A glimpse of this exists in the two aforementioned CBD interpretive texts. In these volumes Christianity is castigated, while pagan practices and Eastern religions are upheld as positive models.

   According to the Global Biodiversity Assessment,

“…the Judaeo-Christian tradition, set humans not as part of a wider community of beings, but apart. It came to view nature as totally dedicated to the fulfilment of human wants, at the pleasure of people. Eastern cultures with religious traditions such as Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism did not depart as dramatically from the perspective of humans as members of a Hinduismcommunity of beings including other living and non-living elements. So Hindus continue to protect primates…Buddhist shrines in southeast Asia have temple groves attached to them, as do Shinto shrines in Japan. This does not at all mean, however, that these Asian societies have not permitted large-scale erosion of their biological diversity, whether in India or Thailand.

Societies dominated by Islam, and especially by Christianity, have gone farthest in setting humans apart from nature and in embracing a value system that has converted the world into a warehouse of commodities for human enjoyment. In the process, not only has nature lost its sacred qualities, but most animal species that that have a positive symbolic value in other human cultures have acquired very negative connotations in the European culture. Conversion to Christianity has meant an abandonment of an affinity with the natural world for many forest dwellers, peasants, fishers all over the world.”[5]

   After laying basic blame for environmental problems at the feet of Christianity, the Assessment continued its chastisement by giving the negative example of sacred grove destruction.

   “The northeastern hill states of India bordering China and Myanmar supported small scale, largely autonomous shifting cultivator societies until the 1950s. These people followed their own religious traditions which included setting apart between 10 and 30% of the landscape as sacred groves and ponds. Most of these people were drawn into the larger market economy and converted to Christianity by the late 1950s. On so converting to a religious belief system that rejects assignment of sacred qualities to elements of nature, they began to cut down the sacred groves…”[6]

   The second UNEP interpretive volume, Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity, takes an even more challenging approach to Christianity and Western positions. It proposes that world religions, “especially those in the West,” redefine their ultimate purpose to align with a more radical Earth view; suggesting that Western religions compare their cosmology with the Assisi Declarations,[7] which propagates world unity and universal harmony as the answer to Mankind’s globally destructive tendencies.[8]

   Moreover, the “Christian philosophy of the white man” is referred to as “the ego-driven hegemony of Christian doctrine.”[9] Instead of these negative “white man” philosophies, other more harmonious world-views are to be encouraged, such as the sacredness of the soil: “The soil is our Goddess; it is our religion.”[10]

   Eco-feminism, antagonistic to Christianity and the image of “God as single, male and transcendent,”[11] is also brought to the forefront. The UNEP contributor on eco-feminism suggests a number of “interconnected transformations of our world-view.”

  1. “A shift from a conception of God as holding all sovereign power outside of and ruling over nature; to a conception MotherEarthof God who is under and around all things, sustaining and renewing nature and humanity together as one creational biotic community.”
  2. “A shift…to a view of the world as an organic living whole, manifesting energy, spirit, agency and creativity.”
  3. “A shift from an ethic that non-human entities on the earth, such as animals, plants, minerals, water, air and soil have only utilitarian use value…to a view of all things having intrinsic value to be respected and celebrated for their own being.”
  4. “A shift…to a holistic psychology that recognizes ourselves as psychospiritual-physical wholes in interrelation with the rest of nature as also psychospiritual-physical wholes who are to mutually interdepend in one community of life.”
  5. “A shift from a view that patriarchal dominance is the order of ‘nature’…to a recognition that patriarchal dominance is the root of distorted relations…”
  6. “A shift from the concept of one superior culture (white Western Christian) to be imposed on all other peoples to Eco-feminism‘save’ and civilize’ them; to a respect for the diversity of human cultures in dialogue and mutual learning, overcoming racist hierarchy and defending particularly the bioregional indigenous cultures which are on the verge of extinction.”
  7. “A shift from a politics of survival of the fittest that allocate resources and power to the most powerful; to a political community based on participatory democracy, community-based decision-making and representation of the welfare of the whole bio-region in making decisions.”[12]

Fitting with these alternative views, Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity presents the Gaia idea as a cornerstone paradigm. This “scientifically” favored hypothesis entwines various co-evolutionary and Mother Goddess concepts around a self-organizing Earth principle,[13] forming a united foundation to serve the call of planetary interdependence. Conversely, in reference to the Judeo-Christian order of nature as found in the first chapter of Genesis, the UNEP volume contends that “a culture built on ‘domination of the earth, and the animals therein’ is doomed to disappear.”

   So it’s no surprise to read,

  “…primitive religions and cultures, often conceived of as constituting one single and earliest form of religion, have constantly functioned as the positive or negative counterpart to Western civilization and life. In the period of environmentalism they have predominately functioned as positive, sometimes even paradisiacal, models for an ecologically sound world-view and society. The period of environmentalism coincides with a period of New Age thinking…”[14]

          Obviously the religious foundation for the coming global ethic, which is designed to save the planet from calamity, must be built on pagan/Eastern cosmologies. Christianity maligned – with its Western consumption and development patterns, it’s dominance over gender and nature, and its racially “superior” cultural mindset – must “disappear.”

   But “Christianity,” or a form of it, can have its place at the international table. In a metaphorical way a spot for it has been set, along with place mats for the other monotheistic faiths. However two unspoken, simple requirements first need to be met.

   First, abandon the fundamentalist aspects of the Biblical faith, rife with its talk of sin and salvation, and reject the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ – which separates and divides. And secondly, join the world in re-forging society so that the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God prevails. In other words, turn your back on the narrow, foundational tenants of the Bible and partner to create a unified world, recognizing that all religions are valid expressions of the Living Cosmos. And it doesn’t really matter what order this is done in, as long as the end result of a new global ethics is attained.

   And to make sure that the place at the table is filled, assistance from the international community is available.

   For almost forty years UNEP has sponsored the World Environment Day (WED). Each June 5th, a host city sponsors the WED with a specific environmental theme. This year (2007) the host city was Tromsø, Norway, with the theme: “Melting Ice – A Hot Topic?”

World Environment Day (WED)

   Other themes have included, “Give Earth a Chance” (2002), “We the Peoples: United for the Global Environment” (1995), and “Only One Earth, Care and Share” (1992). Cities that have hosted the event include San Francisco (2005), Moscow (1998), and Nairobi (1987), among others (see the sidebar “World Environment Day: Hosts and Themes” at the end of this article).

   It’s in this context of the World Environment Day that the UN Environmental Sabbath was launched, specifically designed to fall on the weekend closest to the WED. As one writer for the Earth Island Institute noted, “The approach of World Environment Day also signals the return of another unique UN-conceived event – the Earth Sabbath – a day of worship that transcends denominations and welcomes all faiths to participate in a day of global reverence for the Earth.”[15]

      Leigh Eric Schmidt, writing for The Harvard Theological Review in 1991, provides some of the historical details of this unique, annual Earth worship event.

 “The first Earth Day in 1970 provided an occasion within the churches for expressing concerns over the environmental crisis. Religious involvement in this ecological awakening was substantial. Both the president and the general secretary of the National Council of Churches endorsed Earth Day in mailings to church leaders in March 1970; they also encouraged the observance of an Environmental Sabbath the weekend before…

   …Despite the call in 1970 for an Environmental Sabbath, the idea did not develop until the United Nations Environment Programme appropriated it in 1986, linking it with World Environment Day…Interreligious in its construction, the Environmental Sabbath is intended to be a time ‘to contemplate our bond with nature’ and to cultivate ‘a more caring, knowing and responsible attitude toward our use of Earth’s gifts.’ With an estimated ‘25,000 groups of celebrants’ in 1990 – in churches, synagogues, colleges, and youth organizations – the Environmental Sabbath is explicitly liturgical and religious in its inspiration (in contrast to the more politically oriented activities of Earth Day)…”[16]

   Although UNEP adopted the Sabbath in 1986, it wasn’t until the following year that the program went public. According to John J. Kirk, co-founder of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment, an organization established by UNEP in to work on the Sabbath, the target audience was initially North American churches.

   “It began in the fall of 1986 when a few of us met at UN headquarters in New York with leaders of several faith communities. With guidance and support from the United Nations Environment Programme, we began developing a project that would inform North American congregations about the serious environmental problems facing life on Earth, so we could work to protect this magnificent work of the Creator.

   In June of 1987, our first Environmental Sabbath kit went to congregations across the United States and Canada. The goal was to create a sabbatical for our beleaguered planet – an Earth Rest Day to be celebrated annually by faith communities…”[17]

   Noel J. Brown, the UNEP Director during the 1990 Earth Sabbath, presents us with deeper reasons then just informing North American congregations. In a letter dated March 28, 1990, Brown wrote,

   “Once again, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) is pleased to invite you to join us in celebrating the ‘Environmental Sabbath/Earth Rest Day’ in your ceremonies, rituals and prayers…

   …The need for establishing a new spiritual and ethical basis for human activities on Earth has never been greater – as the deterioration of our Planetary Home makes the protection of the human environment a new global imperative.”[18]

   Less then six months before his letter went public, Brown was candidly seeking the complicity of religious leaders in his quest to create a new global ethic. Consider these statements made while the UNEP Director was visiting the Los Angeles Interfaith Council,

   “Now we need to work more closely with the religious and spiritual community. We need to create an ecumenical movement – I call it an ‘eco-menical’ movement – in the service of the Earth. It’s time for us to think again, and to think anew…

…We would also like to suggest other challenges that you in the religion and faith community might help us with. The first is a new vision, and supporting institutions, to help us move through this transition. We in the United Nations cannot hope to solve the problems of the future with only the institutions and the mentality of the past. We need a vision that encompasses all human rights to freedom, equality and conditions of life; and an environment that promises life, dignity and well-being. We need also a new legitimacy, a new ethic, and new metaphors.

…we must create a new vision and an institution that can help us to deal with these new realities.

   One of the new metaphors that I am eager to produce and promote is that of a covenant ­– a new covenant with the Earth. You in the religious communities can help us do that…

… That is the challenge facing all of us, and that is the challenge to which I ask you to work with us as allies. We can create a new order, and if we are to survive, indeed we must.”[19] [Italics in original]

 

At the time of the 1990 event, Christian denominations sitting on the Environmental Sabbath interfaith board included the American Baptist Church, the Protestant Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ.[20] Moreover, a special Earth worship resource book was prepared by UNEP for the Sabbath, suitably titled Only One Earth.

   Focusing on changing the current religious paradigm towards a new ecological way of thinking, Only One Earth was a source book filled with meditative readings, prayers, and songs for congregational use. Even worship service suggestions were included, such as the excerpted recommendations listed below.

             The Sermon:

  • “Describe the crisis. Use scientific data. Highlight the urgency of the situation.”
  • “Speak of the essential earth-human relationship. What is it? What is our responsibility to it?”
  • “Point to various sources of inspiration: to scripture, to wisdom and spirituality; and to the Earth itself. Show how they are all important, and tied together.”

The Service:

smokeythebear

  • “Decorate your sanctuary with photographs of the Earth as seen from outer space, and with other Earth images.”
  • “Invite guest speakers or ‘representatives’ from other species, i.e. plants and animals.”

Go Further:

  • “In regular services, insert a portion that focuses on reverence and care for the Earth.”
  • “Organize an interfaith ceremony.”
  • “Organize an Environmental Sabbath concert or festival…”
  • “Write letters to the national and regional leaders of your faith, encouraging them to take action.”[21]

For religious leaders who were so inclined, churches could participate through a variety of listed meditations and reflections. Hindu, Buddhist, Judaic, North American Indian, Islamic, and Christian prayers were suggested; all with an Earth-centric and/or mystical tone. Topping it off, at the back of the UNEP Sabbath worship book was the Earth Covenant, a type of “citizens’ treaty” that could be copied and distributed to the worshipers (see “Earth Covenant” sidebar).

   The response to the Environmental Sabbath of 1990, the kick-off year of Only One Earth, was noteworthy. Not only did many churches and groups embark on this Earth-first journey, estimated at 25,000 by Leigh Eric Schmidt, it added real momentum towards acceptance of an environmental theology. And over the years, the program, according to John Kirk, has spawned “more than 130,000 religion and ecology projects…worldwide.”[22]

   Granted, the Environmental Sabbath never reached the tremendous general popularity held by the April 22nd Earth Day. But it wasn’t designed for the general public. Rather, the Environmental Sabbath program was target specific: religions and spiritual leaders, churches, and entire denominations.

   In the year 2000, Only One Earth was revamped and re-released as Only One Earth: A Book of Reflection for Action. On page 3 of this new and enlarged edition, UN Under-Secretary-General Klaus Töpfer offered some words of eco-wisdom,

“We have entered a new age. An age where all of us will have to sign a new compact with our environment…and enter into the larger community of all living beings. A new sense of our communion with planet Earth must enter our minds.”[23]

   Today, New Age eco-spirituality is sweeping through the Christian community, influencing para-church organizations, local congregations, and up into the leadership of entire denominations. If one where to catalogue the situation only in North America, it would take an entire book to list all the ministries and churches that have adopted this ideology either by naivety or by consent.

   Seeing the handwriting on the wall, Robert A. Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, penned these words regarding the Earth Sabbath, paganism, and the embracement of these ideas by religious leaders.

   “Consider the ‘confession’ of environmental sins offered by the National Council of Churches (NCC): ‘We are responsible for massive pollution of earth, water and sky…We are killing the skies: as the global atmosphere heats up from chemical gases, as the ozone layer is destroyed.’

Scientists say most of these concerns are overblown. But let’s just say these assertions are true. At most, they are technical matters to be addressed by specialists in the public or private sector. They shouldn’t have far-reaching spiritual relevance. No one is in Hell for using aerosol hairspray.

Only if we jettison traditional teachings can we agree with the words of NCC’s eco-celebrant, who says in one proposed prayer: ‘We must say, do, and be everything possible to realize the goal of the Environmental Sabbath…We cannot let our mother die. We must love and replenish her.’

Describing the earth as our living mother either constitutes a pagan form of earth worship or comes dangerously close. An ‘Environmental Sabbath’ isn’t a Christian goal, even though the United Nations has a program to promote it. Neither should we attempt to create an ‘Eco-Church’…

The Genesis account of creation provides enough theological evidence to counter the greening of theology. After God created man and woman in His image, He said: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish and the sea, the birds of the air and all the living things that move on this earth’ (Gn 1:28).

The earth hasn’t been given dominion over people. We have souls which are in need of salvation; rocks, rivers, squirrels and salmon do not. We have been given the gifts of reason and revelation; plants and animals have not. There are right and wrong ways to have dominion over nature, which the well-formed conscience can discern.”[24]

   In closing this article, it would be wise to consider the words of Samantha Smith from her 1994 book Goddess Earth. A critic of eco-spirituality, she exposed the core of this issue and its disquieting implications for Christianity,

“Much of the social and environmental activism in the churches today is based on Socialist beliefs promoted in the name of ‘stewardship,’ which encompasses everything from social justice to passionate earth protection. Green theology overlooks God’s commands to fill the earth and subdue it, while caring for its beauty and resources. Instead, it would have Christians believe their noblest calling is to serve their ‘interconnected’ earth. In so doing, they play into the hands of the pagan Greens, who desire to have dominion over man.”[25] FC

earthday

Carl Teichrib edits Forcing Change, a monthly journal detailing the worldview changes now sweeping our Western culture, and the challenges and opportunities this presents to Christendom.

 

Related links are listed below:

  1. David Suzuki Foundation
  2. The New Christianity Pt. 12 – Alice Bailey & The Christian World Servers
  3. Evangelical Environmentalism
  4. Authors of Confusion Pt. 24 – Rick Warren & the ‘Seeker Sensitive, Purpose Driven, Emergent, World-Church’

Abusive Lamas

Kagyu Ling

TheGuardian

‘The Dalai Lama has warned against being seduced into Tibetan Buddhism by its exotic tantric aura.

A senior monk at Kagyu Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist centre near Dijon in France, has become the first ordained lama in the developed world to be imprisoned. Lama Tempa Dargye is being held in provisional detention, following allegations of rape and sexual violence by four women. One woman alleged that she was aged nine when she was raped. French police have also launched an investigation into financial irregularities at the centre.

Kagyu Ling was founded in 1976 by the late Kalu Rinpoche, in response to a surge of interest in Tibetan Buddhism among western spiritual seekers. Kalu Rinpoche died in 1989. Within the last two years his reincarnation, the present Kalu Rinpoche, has assumed responsibility for the institutions set up by his predecessor. But during Kalu’s childhood the situation at Kagyu Ling allegedly deteriorated to the point where it no longer functioned as a Buddhist centre. The young Kalu sacked Lama Tempa and five other resident Bhutanese monks, replacing them with westerners and a “collegiate” system of control and responsibility.

Controversy over Kagyu Ling might then have died down – except for the fact that a woman known as Sandrine decided to tell her story of rape and sexual violence to the gendarmerie. At first she was a lone voice, but recently three more women decided to testify; Lama Tempa was arrested and the police investigation is ongoing.

The events at Kagyu Ling are currently making headlines in France, but Tibet-watchers worldwide are aware that many more scandals have surfaced since the lamas fled their homeland in the late 1950s, following the Chinese takeover of Tibet. Some examples: in America followers of the late Trungpa Rinpoche were horrified to learn that his appointed successor, the late Thomas Rich appeared to have infected several people with HIV.

In 1994 the high-profile lama Sogyal Rinpoche was sued in California for sexual assault by a woman known as Janice Doe. The suit was settled out of court with substantial damages paid to the plaintiff. Rumours about Sogyal’s sexual exploits have circulated on the internet ever since. In Canberra, Australia, a respected Tibetan guru called Lama Choedak was forced to make a public apology after multiple affairs with his female students came to light.

In the UK Michael Lyons, aka Mohan Singh, is serving 10 years in prison after being convicted of rape. He posed as a Tibetan lama, but had no authentic qualifications. The followers of an American, Geshe Michael Roach, ordained as a Tibetan monk, attracted media attention when one of them died in bizarre circumstances after being ejected from a three-year retreat at a remote mountain centre in Arizona. “Michael Roach teaches an extremely exaggerated, and from a Buddhist perspective somewhat dubious, form of tantrism,” says Lama Jampa Thaye, an Englishman from Manchester who has been teaching Tibetan Buddhism for more than 30 years.

The Shangri La factor is undoubtedly significant in the explosion of interest in Tibetan Buddhism around the world. The Dalai Lama’s Nobel prize and his saintly reputation is another. His Holiness has an impressive track record in favour of nonviolence and as a champion of human rights – and he has warned against being seduced into Tibetan Buddhism by its exotic tantric aura, with hints of arcane sexual practices. Although he has never named and shamed any individual lama, he has recently publicly acknowledged that “some tulkus have behaved badly”. He also cautions against rushing into commitment to a lama. “In Tibet”, he says, “it could take 12 years before a lama-disciple relationship was established.” He points out that it is a big responsibility and should not be undertaken lightly by either party.

So if you are attracted to Tibetan Buddhism, have read some books and learned some meditation techniques and now want to delve in deeper – how do you guard against being fooled by a charismatic charlatan? What criteria do you apply to your search for an authentic teacher? Lama Jampa Thaye’s advice reflects a commonsense approach:

“Although one may come across examples of authentic Buddhist masters who dress or speak unconventionally, there is no licence in Buddhism for unethical behaviour. Thus oriental or occidental masters who claim their selfish and abusive behaviour is a display of ‘skilful means’ or ‘crazy wisdom’ are to be given a wide berth – unless we want to jump over a cliff hand in hand with them.”

Authors of Confusion Pt. 25 – Oprah’s “Life Class”

jakes oprah

Longtime talk show host, actress, and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey, is partnering with some of the biggest names in Christian media for her “life class“, wherein she teaches people how to live their best lives. Although Oprah has already made it clear that she doesn’t believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, she is now presenting herself as a Christian, and is partnering with well known pastors, who were never known for preaching the true gospel of salvation, to help her audience believe that living the Christian life is “one and the same” with living one’s best life. This means that sin, God’s righteousness, his judgment on sinners, repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ, is not mentioned in the classes. This deception is perpetrated by using Scripture out of context to affirm their messages of self-affirmation, self-exaltation, and self-reliance. Some of Oprah’s “life class” partners are T. D. Jakes, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen.

Oprah’s “life class” reduces Christian living down to being positive for the sake of being happy, and successful in life.

Nevertheless, Jesus did not come into the world to give people the joys of this world, but to take the penalty of the sins of mankind on himself, which is death, and to rise from the dead, so that everyone who believes in him would be freed from the bondage to sin, from God’s judgment on sinners, to reconcile them to himself, and to give them eternal life. This is the gospel, and Christian living is not attainable to those who do not believe this. Also, salvation will not be found by those who, knowingly, hold back the truth of the gospel for the sake of being popular, and loved by the world (1John 2:15-17, Galatians 1:7-10). Therefore, Oprah, and her partners, are deceiving millions with their man-made, and man-centered, philosophies, and they, themselves, are under God’s eternal punishment.

1John 2

15    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16    For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.
17    And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
18    Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
19    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1John 4

3 And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
4    You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5    They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
6    We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Colossians 2

4    Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.
5    For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6    As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
7    rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
8    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.
9    For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
10    and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

2Corinthians 10

3    For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
4    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5    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,

John 5

3    For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
4    For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.
5    Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6    This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7    For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
8    And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
9    If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.
10    He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
11    And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12    He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13    These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

2Corinthians 5

14    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
15    and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16    Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
17    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
18    Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19    that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20    Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
21    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.