Monday, August 7, 2017

A Review of Lysa TerKeurst's Book: Uninvited

A Review of Lysa TerKeurst's Book: Uninvited

Recently, I picked up our church bulletin to find a Lysa TerKeurst leaflet announcing a Ladies Bible Study-- Uninvited.  Upon looking at the leaflet my questions were:  "Is this a study one should attend?  Why, or why not?"  Then, it was on to read, and to research each part of Uninvited: its author, its release celebration, its quote promotion, its Bible content, its Bible versions, its words and whispers, its references, its study guide, its publisher, and its declaration which led me to write this review.

The Book:  Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

Its Author:  Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
Its Elevation Celebration:

On August 9, 2016 hundreds of ladies were jammed into Elevation Church" for a "Release Day Celebration" of Lysa's latest book: Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.  Lights flashed as a young Elevation Worship singer cavorted about singing: "Grace Like a Wave."  After an introduction by an assistant, a spotlight was turned on the podium where in--rock-star fashion--TerKeurst was introduced.

Lysa then read from her book, gave a scripture study, and spoke "A Declaration" over the adoring crowd.  In the end, while Lysa was gracious, and charismatic, the hoopla and hype made her seem guru-like, and her book seem sacred.

Roger Oakland, in The Good Shepherd Calls, talks about such books, and their authors when he writes,  "The Bible has been set aside, and people are reading and studying books by human beings who have ideas and motives that often contradict the Scripture.  Large Christian publishing companies in order to be financially successful, are looking for sure sellers from authors who are able to tickle the ears of their readers."  (p.206)

Its Quote Promotion:

Uninvited has sixteen chapters, the declaration, a bonus chapter, appendices, and notes.  In it are seventy-seven personal quotes: eighteen full page, and fifty-nine smaller ones.  All are repeated   three times each: within the text, in larger script, and in an appendix: "Things I Don't Want You to Forget!" 

Now, verses, from The Message,  The Voice, and other Bible versions are written in tinier script.  At the end they are grouped under "Scriptures," but never are they especially highlighted as are her personal slogans.

Of these tweetable quotables Lysa says, "Sometimes a phrase lands in your soul with such a dead weight it leaves the deepest impression.  I collect these phrases like other people collect stamps and Beanie Babies.  I fill unlined pages of notebooks with ... these phrases.  These words that move me are treasures. (p.6)  But, Psalm 119:162, says this: "I rejoice at thy word, as one that fineth great spoil (treasure)."

A reviewer of The Best Yes (another Lysa book) noted her absorption with her own slogans.  She wrote, "These slogans are ... repeated in large ... lettering, interrupting the text through out the book.  ... there is a section at the end of the book contains all of these ....  No, she does not ... suggest you tweet these lines, but they are lying there ... practically begging like a puppy in the window."

Good Reads also catalogs TerKeurst's many quotes--all 780+ of them.  There one may sign on as "her follower," and find quotes listed in categories to use.

In summary, Lysa's adulation of her "treasured phrases" is troublesome, for it often seems to make them comparable to scripture.  But however clever, and however quotable these slogans are Psalm 139:17 reminds us: "How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"

Its Bible Stories:

Certainly, the book has scripture in it, but a Bible study it is not for it skips about from book to book, and verse to verse in random order that invariably centers on Lysa's issues. And while expounding on specific Bible passages, she often embellishes these stories adding to the text. 

In II Samuel 16, e.g., where Jessie tells Samuel David was out in the sheepfold, Lysa says, " ... I think* this one of the lamest excuses ....  If David's father had any regard for his ... son at all, he could have found someone else to ... tend the sheep.  I suspect* that behind that statement were ... thoughts like: Well, yes.  I have one more son--the youngest ... But he doesn't look like a king,  ... doesn't smell like a king.  So I didn't invite him.  Uninvited by his own father.  Can you imagine* how David felt ... red-hot rejection.  David's father inflicted a mark on his heart that read, 'You don't belong.'"  Lysa adds, "I can't find any where Jesse ever tended to his son's heart."  (p.97)  How Lysa has twisted this story to fit her rejection agenda.

* My emphasis.

Its "Bible" Versions:

Lysa prominently features The Message in chapter four while endorsing its author Eugene Peterson.   Lysa says, "I really appreciate Eugene's Peterson's take* on Galatians 5:22-25 ...."  (pp.50-51)  And again, in chapter nine Lysa quotes from The Voice, as well as The Message once more naming Peterson. (p.110)

*  My emphasis.
Information on The Message "Bible": A Breach of Truth from:
Information on The Voice   

Its Words and Whispers:

Lysa has words and whispers pop into her head, or drop into her heart. Lysa writes, "God drops a word in my heart.  Like a swig of orange juice just after brushing my teeth, I recoil at the unexpected taste.  Of grace."  (p.80)

And in "Friendship Breakups," Lysa mentions a notion that popped into her mind.  Lysa says, "But one day this terrible, wonderful notion popped into my head: Fight for her. ... I asked the notion, 'Are you Jesus?'  And did you in fact just say 'fight for her?'" (p.70) 

Now, Lysa also confesses she hears whispers from God.  She relates, "I've got to spend time getting quiet so I can be prepared to hear new things from the Lord.  Isn't it a lovely thought that God might be waiting for silence ... in order to share some of His best secrets with you? ... in the silence, He whispered to my soul, You are not set aside, you are set apart ...." (p.112)  Much like Sarah Young's messages in Jesus Calling, Lysa, too, is saying she gets new revelations from the Lord.

Its References:

Of Lysa's few footnoted references two in chapter ten stand out: one attributed to Stephen R. Covey, and another to Dr. Walter Brueggemann.  Lysa asserts she liked Covey's terms: "Scarcity Mentality,"  and "Abundance Mentality" taken from: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  And Lysa maintains the Bible teaches these ideas too. (pp.121-122) However, Timothy Oliver from Watchman Fellowship, Inc. shares ideas in Covey's book are filled with "the false gospel and paradigm of Mormonism."  And in "Religion in American History: Stephen R. Covey: Business Savant, Self-Help Guru, Mormon Theologian" Matthew Bowman informs us that The 7 Habits borrows extensively from a prior Covey Mormon theology book: The Spiritual Roots of Human Relations published by the LDS Church-owned Deseret Book.

From Covey, Lysa jumps over to positively quoting "The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity" from progressive, Emergent, anti-Israel, Renovare Bible contributor, and social justice advocate Dr. Walter Brueggemann now retired from the Presbyterian Church USA's Columbia Theological Seminary. (pp.122-123)  Exactly who Brueggemann is can be heard in a 2015 video "Keynote Lecture with Walter Brueggemann" done at a "Faith and Social Justice" conference at the radical Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.

What a travesty TerKeurst references Brueggemann whose viewpoints are something we must run from, rather than embrace!

Its Study Guide:

Uninvited, like most studies, comes with a six-session workbook-like guide: the Uninvited Study Guide and video.  As I paged through it I noted that the guide was written by Lysa, and a former Nav Press editor Karen Lee-Thorp.  Researching Lee-Thorp led me to discover that she had also co-authored five other study guides (Jesus Calling Bible Study Series) with Sarah Young.

I also found that Lee-Thorp was married to Greg Herr* who is a Roman Catholic Benedictine Oblate in California.  Herr tells of their conversions to Catholicism, he from being a Baptist and she (Lee-Thorp) from being an Anglican.  Such a sad scenario Lee-Thorp, now a Catholic, has co-authored a study guide for Evangelicals.
* Gregory Martha Herr, Obl.S.B.
Its Publisher:

Uninvited, and its study guide are both published by Thomas Nelson;  Lee-Thorp's and Sarah Young's Jesus Calling series is also from Thomas Nelson.  Coming in December 2017, Thomas Nelson promises a new TerKeurst devotional Embraced.

When naming Thomas Nelson it must be noted that the publishers, when called out by Warren Smith on specific issues in Jesus Calling as e.g. God Calling, channeling, visualization etc., removed them from later editions.  Read more about Thomas Nelson's deceptive tactics in: Changing Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith (2014).

Its Declaration:

TerKeurst ends the book with "The Declaration" where she writes, "As you finish this book this is what I want to declare over you: ...."  One slogan-like-line with its rhyming words says, "I declare that the Lord will give you relief from your unbelief. ... It will happen."  Lysa goes on to state if an attack comes from the enemy she prays God will lift you up with truth, and draw you close with His loving tenderness.  Then Lysa adds this: "And shame Satan back to hell with His resurrecting power."

Lastly, she scripted a Lysa slogan, and more alliterative lines with rhyme declaring you are destined for love, for you have a story that you must tell to His glory.  One thing Lysa did not declare was a single word of Scripture!  (pp.211-212)

Which Is it?  Lysa's Words, or Thy Words?

Lysa loves words.  She even keeps a "Words I Love" notebook. (p.30)  Certainly, Lysa is talented, and so very likeable, but so very liable to sweep the reader along with her so as to become focused on, and fascinated with her stories and words.  Maybe you are one of Lysa's ladies.  Maybe you've posted her treasured phrases.  Maybe you've placed Lysa on a pedestal.  But after all, Lysa is just a fallible lady like you and I.  We must not worship at her feet!  We must not put her books above the Book of Books!  We must not follow Lysa, but follow the Lord alone!     

And ladies, rather than being in love with Lysa's words, may we say with the Psalmist, "Oh how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day."  May we also say, " ... I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold."  And may we pray, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law!"  For then we can surely testify, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  Psalm 119:11

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Yet Another One --An Undiscerning Believer-- Is Being Deceived!

Yet Another One-An Undiscerning Believer- Is Being Deceived!

Not long ago a dear friend wrote me an e-mail that she titled: "Yet Another One."  In her note she wrote that a former pastor's wife had just messaged many on Facebook touting "Jesus Calling."    Now this seasoned pastor's wife seemed to have absolutely no clue, or discernment, that there were any problems with Sarah Young's devotional Jesus Calling.  Sadly, she had never read Warren Smith's classic critique: Another Jesus Calling.

Some Are Unaware

This made me think of many other ladies, often seniors, I had already encountered that thought Jesus Calling the very best devotional ever.  There was the friend of my friend, a Bible study leader loved by many, who promoted Jesus Calling.  There was the senior lady to whom we mentioned Jesus Calling as problematic who immediately asserted it was wonderful.  There was the lady at an apologetics meeting who confessed to the attendees she'd been in a group who used it as a Bible Study. And there was the lady at a luncheon who couldn't get over the fact it could be dangerous.  Now, mind you, all these women were sincere, and assumed to be mature Christians.  Yet, all were hooked on Jesus Calling having no idea it was birthed out of the channeled book: God Calling.

Some Are Not Discerning

Why are these ladies so easily led astray?  I believe one of the biggest reasons is their intense fascination with something more, and something new rather than as Peter admonished, "As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."  (I Peter 2:2)

And is often the case, few, if any, have warned these believers that they themselves should research, and ask questions about these daily devotionals, and so-called "Bible Studies."  In most instances, not even their pastors have looked into the studies either, much less warned about them.  Pastors too, like many others, have bought into the notion we should not be critical of any one especially those who declare themselves Christians.  Maybe, it is like one church where it's assumed that they are all so solidly biblical, that few false teachings will ever seep into their pews.  Oh, how they are mistaken!

When one realizes there is deception within these studies and says something, those offended turn away angrily, or give huffy reasons why these books just have to be good.  And if one goes to her pastor to question a particular study often the answer is: "I trust Mrs. ..... she is such an astounding prayer warrior, and just an amazing Bible teacher."  Meantime, the studies go on and on and there is always "Yet Another One" to fall victim to their teachings.

Yet Many More Will Be Deceived

Now, it was just a week ago in our Sunday bulletin, that I noticed an announcement of another tantalizing Ladies Bible Study "Uninvited" by New York Times best-selling author Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Having recently been asked about Lysa by two of my discerning friends I knew I must do more research.  Who is Lysa?  Is Lysa's ministry a good one to buy into?  What church is Lysa associated with?  What conferences does Lysa speak at?  Is Lysa's color book quote in Waterbrook's popular color book Whatever Is Lovely a good thing?  What is concerning about all Lysa's personal quotes?  These are just a few of the questions I set about to uncover.*

*  For answers please read my upcoming blog.

Roger Oakland, in The Good Shepherd Calls: An Urgent Message for the Last Days Church, so graphically describes what I have encountered when he writes, "One of the most effective ways for contemplative mysticism, ... to creep in is through recommended books for the women of the church in the 'Ladies Ministry.'  Millions of women are reading books like Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and books by Beth Moore are read and studied more than the Bible."

Roger adds, "In fact, in many churches their books replace the Bible altogether.  Rather than teach verse-by-verse ... the leader of the women's study teaches page-by-page through a book that is very appealing to the flesh and provides additional revelation to the Bible.  When a discerning woman in the study goes to the pastor and expresses her concerns, she is often chided for being divisive, or her concerns are totally overlooked." 

Roger is spot on when he observes, "One of the problems is this: often the pastor's wife is the leader of the women's study.  He may or not recognize that his wife is off track." (p.212)  And I would write, "How very true!" 

A Few Are Discerning

Awhile ago I heard a former New Ager discussing a book she'd written with a well-known apologist.  Later, I realized that this lady had used The Message in her book. I wrote to her suggesting she read some of Warren Smith's findings on The Message and its author Eugene Peterson.  This lady did, and recently let me know her book had been republished minus words from The Message.

Another special friend is not too proud to seek advice when she comes across the latest devotional or Bible study phenomena, and will often ask questions regarding a particular study.  Then, this lady, with documented info in hand, shares with others as to why, or why not a popular devotional or book is worthy of our attention.

Rather than running after the latest rock star study, or placing a popular personality on a pedestal Psalm 119:105 ought to be the verse we ruminate on.  It reads: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Your Duty:  Decide to Become a Dedicated Discerner

Make it your mission to learn to discern.  Ask questions; realize you do not, nor does your denomination, nor does your pastor, have all the answers.  Go to the Word; read it, search it.  Prayerfully, carefully check over the publisher, the author, the contents, the endorsers, the quotes, the notes, and the reviews already written about a particular book, or study.  Do not glorify and elevate the author's teachings and quotes above Scripture.  Seek out sound apologetic sites.  Then, pray the Lord leads you to those who need to be warned.  Share lovingly, and faithfully.  Recall Luke 12:48 that reads: "... For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: ..."

Learn to Discern Granny Verses:  Philippians 1:9, 10

"And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and all judgment; That you may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ."

For More Information:

"Another Jesus" Calling by Warren B. Smith (Lighthouse Trails):  Especially note Part I: God Calling--Chapter 1 "Channeled Book From Jesus?"  Pay special attention to quote (p.25)  "In the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, God Calling is cited as an example of a channeled New Book 'replete with denials of biblical teaching.'"

The Good Shepherd Calls: An Urgent Message to the Last-Days Church by Roger Oakland (Lighthouse Trails)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Warning: Why One Should Not Glean From Jennifer Kennedy Dean!

A Warning:  Why One Should Not Glean from Jennifer Kennedy Dean!

On a recent Sunday morning a vivacious older lady stood in front of a congregation, of what can only be termed a solid gospel preaching, mission minded church, and announced to the women that all should sign up for its newest Bible study program that would begin shortly.  Touting both Set Apart, and Living a Praying Life she stated that the author --Jennifer Kennedy Dean--was also part of the National Day of Prayer. 

At my seat --I was writing down the information--for I knew my immediate assignment as a discerning Christian was, as Acts 17:11 instructs, to look into Dean to see if all she's taught and written stands up to scripture.  In short, "Should one glean or be learning from this writer Jennifer Kennedy Dean?"

So that very afternoon I began my investigation.  And it wasn't long into my research that I found "red flags flying!"   So what was it that made me know that Dean, and her numerous books were  something that I should not be buying into, nor following?  Let me explain!

Dean's "The Praying Life Foundation" Web Page 

I.  Dean's All About "Listening Prayer" Article

Checking out Dean's web page: "The Praying Life Foundation"--her bio, blog, articles, store, and more-- soon gave me pause.  For under Dean's store was a section titled "Free."  Clicking onto that I found many Dean articles.  Immediately, my eye caught the title: "Listening Prayer."  Knowing that this was a meditative practice that uses a mantra or repetitive phrase to clear one's mind so one can "hear God's voice" as one sits in silence I read the five pages carefully.  Scroll down to find article.

Did Dean support this unscriptural prayer method?  Indeed, Dean did! For Dean began her article by saying, "Spoken prayer will not reach its potential unless it is grounded in listening prayer.  In listening prayer spoken prayer is born."  And Dean champions going into "the silence"* when she says of the Lord, "He wants us to know his secrets, but his secrets come wrapped in silence." (p.1)
*  The Silence:  "Absence of normal thought."  (A Time of Departing: Glossary-p.205) 

Under "Wordless Prayer" Dean writes, "All noise all the time. ... Yet, it is in silence and solitude that we learn to synchronize our hearts with His."  Dean continues, "Richard Foster says, 'Contemplative
Prayer* immerses us into the silence of God.   How desperately we in the modern world need this
wordless baptism.'"  (Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home)    Red flag again!  For Dean admires Foster, and quoted from his book--a book filled with contemplative mysticism! (p.2)
* Contemplative Prayer is: "Going beyond thought by the use of repeated words or phrases."
(A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen: Glossary-p. 203)

II. Dean's "How to Do Listening Prayer Practices"

Jennifer Dean lists five "suggestions" as a "How To" primer to "wordless prayer."  These practices include: "Picturing Prayer," "Conversation," "The Word," "A Focused Heart," and "Worship with Abandon."

In the section "Picturing Prayer" (This is not New Age "visualizing" insists Dean.) she introduces the reader to mystic panentheist* Quaker Thomas E. Kelley** and the phrase: "In the inner sanctuary of your own soul." (p.4)
* Panentheism is: "God is in all things. ... The assumption all is one, therefore all is deity."
(A Time of Departing: Glossary-p. 205)

**  Notice Dean names "Thomas E. Kelley"; however, this middle initial and last name are spelled incorrectly as easily seen on where one can view the book: A Testament of Devotion by Thomas R. (Raymond) Kelly with cover endorsement by Richard J. Foster.  It is interesting to note also that the phrase she attributes to Kelly can be traced to "Meister Eckhart."  For  "The Light Within" (Chapter 1) of A Testament of Devotion reads, "Meister Eckhart"* wrote, "Deep within us all is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center,** a speaking voice, to which we may return."  Click on "Look Inside."

* "A Christian Mystic of the Past" (1260-1327) (A Time of Departing: Mystics List-p.207)
**  Higher Self, True Self, Divine Self ...:  "Supposed God-self within each human being."
(D Is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity by Kevin Reeves): ABC Word List p.10

In  "A Focused Heart" Dean tells one how to achieve a meditative state--no different than any other Eastern meditative practice it must be noted!  "... settle on a phrase* that calls your heart and mind back when other thoughts intrude," instructs Dean.  Dean adds, "When you find your mind wandering, as you will in the beginning especially, don't waste time condemning yourself.  Just speak the phrase that says a heart full and you'll soon see that it immediately centers your thoughts on Him."  Then Dean goes even further!  Jennifer Dean reveals her own phrase.  She says, "My phrase is 'Only You.'"  And some days, adds Dean, she repeats if over and over many times, while other days she may not use it at all.  (p.5)  However, Matthew 6:7 states, "When you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do."

* A mantra is: "Word or words repeated either silently or out loud in order to induce an altered state of consciousness.  A way to turn off thoughts and enter the 'silence'"
(D is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity): Word List p.10   

James Bean--Just Like Dean-- Writes Article Quoting Thomas Kelly

It is troubling when one finds a secular article "Contemplative Silence--The Art of Tapping Into Our Source of Inner Wisdom and Guidance" by a James Bean that begins with the very same Thomas Kelly Quaker mystic quote used by Jennifer Dean. (Site: Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality/Surat Shabd Yoga: Meditation on Inner Light and Sound of God.)  James Bean says, "... there is also an inner voice of the Silence we can tap into.  Then who should Bean quote next -- why Meister Eckhart, the German Mystic quoted by Kelly!  In addition to Kelly, Eckhart, Bean also cited The Sakhi Granth, Paramahansa Yogananda, Mother Teresa, and many more.       

Bean relates, "The art of listening in the silence of meditation provides us with ... opportunities to see clearly without the usual day-to-day distractions, perceiving the events of our life from a higher vantage-point."  Bean attests, "It also makes it possible for the authentic self to rise to the surface, introducing a new divine power or grace into this dimension of reality."

Dean's Conversations with the Most High: 365 Days in God's Presence

In 2014 Dean updated her 1996 Secret Place of the Most High renaming it Conversations with the Most High: 365 Days in God's Presence.  In it Dean quotes from Eugene Peterson's compromised The Message "Bible"--with its occult phrase in the Lord's Prayer "as above so below!" and other New Age insertions.  In its "Introduction" Dean inscribes, "It (book) grows out of a lifelong pursuit to hear the Eternal Word speak His eternal words in my present moment."  (The term "present moment" reminds one of mindfulness meditation!)

In the intro Dean once again alludes to Thomas Kelly when she pens this statement: "Over the years I ran across certain authors and thinkers who seemed to have that same wonder for the invitation to the secret place.  Thomas Kelley (Should be Kelly. See prior note.) first introduced me to the idea I could live in a state of prayer and from that idea came the phrase that has defined my ministry for over 40 years: 'Live a Praying Life.'"  (Copyrighted by Dean.)    

January 1 begins: "Child, Walk in newness, I have called...." Here, Dean contends she was not taking dictation.  However, the way these devotionals are written are certainly reminiscent of Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling."  Some also begin, "Father, ...."  Usually, the devotionals have two parts:  Child, Father, etc. plus a Bible verse, a Jennifer K. Dean quote, or a quote from some other famous pray-er.

Dean's He Restores My Soul: A Forty-Day Journey Toward Personal Renewal

In her 1999 book in "Section I-Beginnings"  Dean also speaks of listening prayer using the same quote listed in her 2012 "Listening Prayer" article:  " ... In listening prayer, spoken prayer is born."   Dean also issues an invitation to "join me on a journey of the soul." (p.3)  Dean follows this asking, "What is a retreat?"  She answers that a retreat is: "to intentionally withdraw for a time ... with the aim of listening to God's now speaking voice."  She continues that this is a time of "intentional planned solitude and silence." in which "...we focus on listening prayer.  Learning how to be open to God's present voice ...."  (pp. 4-5)  The next page talks of "centering" and "centering prayer." 

Once more Foster, Kelly, and others are quoted!  On her back cover "listening prayer" is mentioned.  And the problem with "listening prayer" is that the listener receives a subjective message. Forgotten is the scriptural warning from Proverbs 30:6 that reads:  "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."  Click on sample pages.

Dean's Praying Life Facebook Page Prominently Promotes JKD Quotes

Dean's Facebook Page gives one a window into Dean's world with its endless posts of various Jennifer Kennedy Dean quotes.   Her latest book-- Live a Praying Life Without Fear-- also is heavily promoted with free signed book giveaways thrown in.

Live a Praying Life Without Fear, as in a number of other Dean works, uses Eugene Peterson's The Message "Bible."  Its list of endorsees includes emergent type contemplatives such as Lucinda Secrest McDowell (author of Dwelling Places) who quotes St. Ignatius, Henri Nouwen, Ruth Haley Barton, and others; and Jane Rubietta (author of Resting Place) who touts Lectio Divina, Brennan Manning, St. John of the Cross and more.  Click on
"Look Inside."

The bottom line on this Facebook page is --instead of scripture being lifted up endless Jennifer Kennedy Dean quotes are everywhere.  In this "Selfie Age" with "Repeating Tweeters," authors, by no means just Dean, lift self up and soon it is their names, their quotes, and their teachings that are put on a pedestal for all to read while scripture takes a back seat!  The Psalmist, however, was awed by--not his own words--, but with "thy word!"  Psalm 119:161-162 says, "...but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.  I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil."

The Lesson for Us All Is: "Study to Show Yourself Approved Unto God!" 

In summary, each and every time a Bible study is announced do not surmise that just because the word Bible is in it, a church stalwart endorses it, a pastor allows it, a friend loves it, or a prominent writer teaches it that you --just like an ant rushing madly to obtain sweet bait-- should sign on.  Before you do, prayerfully and carefully research the book, the course, and the author.  See what sound research apologists have to say, and learn to discern whether what a particular author or book is touting sticks to scripture, or whether there's hidden "poison" therein.

Learn to spot "red flag" words, phrases, practices, and teachers who add or subtract from the Word.  And if you see a contemplative thread in their teachings--spiritual formation, contemplative prayer, listening prayer, centering prayer, mantras, meditative phrases, mystics, experiences, men like Richard Foster, and so on-- run the other way!

It is up to each of us to become, as II Timothy 2:15 states, "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  We must forgo the work books containing contemplative teachings, such as those taught by Dean and a host of others, and return to the Word book!

Learn to Discern Granny Verses:  II Peter 3:17,18

"Ye therefore beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ..."

For More Information:

*****5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer (2013) by Ray Yungen (Lighthouse
Trails Research)  If you can not purchase any other booklet this one is a winner!

"National Day of Prayer Featured Author Promotes Contemplative" (May 15, 2007) by  Lighthouse Trails Editors (Lighthouse Trails Research)*

"General Baptist Ministries Going Toward Contemplative?" (July 11, 2008) by Lighthouse Trails Editors (Lighthouse Trails Research)*

*Articles on Jennifer Kennedy Dean

A Time of Departing (2006) by Ray Yungen (Lighthouse Trails Research)  Especially read chapter two: "Yoga of the West" (explains contemplative prayer)  and chapter four: "Evangelical Hybrids" ( all about Richard Foster and Brennan Manning).  Also check out the "Glossary of Terms," and the "Christian Mystic List."

A Serious Look at Richard Foster's "School" of Contemplative Prayer (2015) by Ray Yungen
(Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet)

D Is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity (2016) by Kevin Reeves and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails (Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet)

The Message "Bible": A Breach of Truth (2014) by John Lanagan (Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet)


Monday, February 27, 2017

Another Shack Attack Coming March 2017 via 'The Shack' Movie

Another Shack Attack Coming in March via 'The Shack' Movie

It's back --"The Shack" is coming to a theater near you.  Are you prepared?  Have you armed yourself with both the Word, and knowledge of what The Shack is actually about?  If not, this update is for you.

Some Shack Back Stories You Should Know

Young's Boyhood Background

Canadian William Paul Young was born in 1955 to Christian and Missionary Alliance parents William Henry and Bernice Young in Grande Prairie, Alberta Canada.  Taken to Papua, New Guinea at ten months, Paul testifies he was raised by the Dani Stone Age Tribe whose language he learned from babyhood.  His parents, Henry and Bernice, were so busy with their mission work that they allowed the tribe to practically raise their little "ghost" boy.  Paul often reiterates that he felt estranged from his parents, and especially from his stern and legalistic father.

Beginning at age four the tribe began to sexually abuse Paul often within feet of his parents who were unaware of what was happening.  At six, following the common missionary practice at that time, he was sent to a CMA Sentani Boarding School where more sexual abuse ensued.  Profoundly impacted by these horrendous experiences Paul shares that he became adept at hiding his hurts from others.

Young's College Background

In 1965 Paul, then ten, suddenly found himself back in Canada where his dad pastored various churches.  Moving often, Paul attended a number of schools before arriving at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Canadian Bible College (CBC) in Regina.  Later CBC became Ambrose University.

And it was at Ambrose Paul, in 2008, was welcomed as an honored Ambrose alumnus.  There he spoke to the students and faculty about two unforgettable dreams he had during his third year at CBC.  In them, Paul with friends ascend a steep mountain into a large cathedral full of winding stairs, and themed rooms,

In the second cathedral dream, Paul and a classmate Terry miraculously escape the cathedral.  Once free they meet a hooded figure who advised them never to return inside for if they did they would die in that world.  Terry, says Paul, went back but he ran on.  After, Paul recalled he felt he was pulled out of his old world, and into new freedom.

As a MK Paul recalled he had been a model student as well as the Junior Class President.  However, he tells of his great disappointment when he missed an opportunity to obtain a coveted scholarship because the denomination felt he was not a "good investment."  After CBC, Paul went on to complete his undergraduate degree in Religion graduating from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon. (Church of God, Anderson Indiana)

Click on "William P. Young-Testimony at Ambrose University" to hear lecture.
Young's Early Ministry and Marriage

After college, Paul led a large youth group, and met his wife to be at East Hill Foursquare Church, in Gresham, Oregon.  It was during this time that he had a horrific accident in front of his pastor's home landing him unconscious in the hospital.  Paul relates how he adapted to his role as a husband, never revealing to his wife his hidden past.

Paul doesn't share much more about his married life until he had six kids, and Kim confronted him with an adulterous affair.  It was at this low point he told her of his experiences.  After eleven years of dealing with his pain and receiving counseling, Kim is able to ask him to write the Christmas story gift: The Shack for his kids.  This story is his life story in the form of a parable with theology woven into a fictional account.

Wm. Paul Young and James B. DeYoung

James DeYoung lived close to Paul outside Portland, Ore. and was involved both with his family, and with Paul himself.  In fact DeYoung and Young were part of M3Forum, a Christian think tank, for seven years driving to and from meetings. (p. XIII)

And in his book Burning Down 'The Shack': How the 'Christian Bestseller' is Deceiving Millions
DeYoung explains how in April 2004* Young presented a paper to the M3Forum embracing Christian Universalism.  Distinct from pagan universalism, DeYoung points out, Christian universalism claims all come to God through Jesus Christ before or after death.  If after death in hell, all will be purged from their sins--even the devil and fallen angels--so hell will be emptied and all will go to heaven. (pp. XIII-XIV)  DeYoung notes, " ... hell ceases to exist.  There is no eternal judgment.  This is the form of universalism embedded in the The Shack."  (p. XIV)

*  April 2004 was before The Shack was written which shows that Young already accepted a different gospel.  As DeYoung says, "He deliberately stated that he was putting aside his earlier 'evangelical paradigm.'  He was not just considering a new belief; he had committed to it." (p. XV)

DeYoung addresses specifically fifteen views of Paul Young in the book listed on pages XVI-XVIII.  DeYoung explains, "I'm writing this book for a twofold reason: " ... to uncover the embedded errors in The Shack ... and to show from Scripture why they are serious--how they strike a dagger into the heart of the gospel." (p. XXI)

Wm. Paul Young and Anglican Rector Harold Munn

In  "Shack Author Has Personal Ties to Victoria" (Canadian Christianity)  Lloyd Mackey tells the story of Paul's mother Bernice, who as a nurse in training in 1947, courageously saved the life of a premature one pound baby--Harold Munn.  Munn then grew up to become head rector of Victoria's St. John the Divine Church.  Bernice, on the other hand, married Henry Young, had Paul, and went off to New Guinea as a Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary.
Read article at:

Fast forward many years, Bernice reconnects with Munn telling him how she saved his life.  Later on, Bernice learns Munn is encouraging his congregants to read her son's book The Shack which she has declared "heretical."  Bernice then asks Munn his opinion of Paul's book, and Munn helps allay her fears about it.  Later, Young himself conducts "Divine Intervention" sessions at St. John the Divine.

The Shepherd's Garden Blog fills in the rest of the story when its author writes, "At face value, it is a wonderful story: A Christian pastor with ties to the family reassures the elderly concerned mother about her son's theology.  But there is a reason Harold Munn has no trouble with The Shack because Munn's church holds to a wide-open interpretation of who Jesus is, and what Christianity means."  For more click here:

Wm. Paul Young with Rick Lawrence

In a December 2014 piece "William Paul Young on the Goodness of God", Group Magazine's Rick Lawrence interviews Young.  In it Paul reflects, "... what's the truth of your being?  This is where Jesus at the center of the cosmos becomes absolutely critical.  ... Unfortunately, when we grew up the truth of our being was depravity.  That's the fundamentally massive deception in the goodness of God which is the question I'm after in The Shack."

Lawrence also quizzes Young on the "re-imagination" of the Trinity asking if he would change anything.  Paul answers as it was just a Christmas gift for his kids he would never change a thing.  Paul adds, "I didn't want my kids growing up with the God I did--white, distant, unreachable, unknowable, the darkness behind Jesus that needs to be appeased."

Wm. Paul Young on "Ready to Roar" Podcast

In an August 2016 podcast: "The Reality and Humanity of The Shack with Paul Young" Paul tells interviewer Jon Fuller about his January 4, 1994 encounter with his wife over his affair where he says he got caught.  As he shares about this crisis time he makes a statement that unlike his conservative brothers and sisters he does not know when he was saved, and maybe that time was it.  Young also makes this startling comment, "Thank God, New Agers are ahead of us in being human."

Paul tells Jon that a person can have a "low view" of being human, or a "high view" --the high view being that we ourselves are incredible.  Paul puts down the idea that we are wretched, or in need of a Savior as taught in old hymns.  And using bad language Young declares this theology is totally untrue!

Young states, "The way of your being matches the truth of your being."  Don't believe people who are telling you that you're not good.  Young rails against believing in a mean, arrogant, malevolent God.  Young uses John 14:20 to prove all are in Jesus-- not Christ. 

At the end a very conciliatory, admiring Fuller tells Young he's gotten a word for him: "Healing--healing for the younger generation."  But rather than healing--heresy and deception-- should be the words one would take from this recent podcast!

Wm. Paul Young at the Global Grace Seminary Conference

In September 2016 Young, listed as a professor at Global Grace Seminary, spoke at the first Global Grace Seminary Conference along with Dr. C. Baxter Kruger and Dr. Steve McVey.  Young spoke on the "The Rising Tide of Reformation" in which he says we are at the cusp of a new beginning coming out of past division, separation, and categorization.  or

Young, former evangelical, fundamentalist, protestant MK, acknowledged while missionaries had had magnificent intentions that caused incredible spillovers into education, health, and the
availability of truth to the world.  However, asserts Young, we caused a lot of trouble with our "destructive theology" which began with separation which was "an absolute lie."

He then pauses, and comments he's going to do something he's never done before, that is ask
forgiveness of his Asian, African, and Aboriginal sisters and brothers.  Why forgiveness?  Young states in the name of the God we spread a gospel that was not the gospel.  And adds Young, brothers and sisters all over the globe are finding this out, and experiencing a cataclysmic transition as they work their way out of bondage that we put them in with the best of intentions.  "And we were wrong!"

Young goes on to say we've been presented a God who is masochistic, who treated his Son abusively* just to be right with other people--like my dad who never knew how to be a real dad.  And relates Paul, my own experience matched my theology.  Why, explodes Young, it is all craziness this idea God would pour out wrath on his Son.  It is absolutely diabolical.

*  Language used at conference very troubling.

Then Young puts on his "angry glasses" for he is going to read verses from Isaiah 53 which he will need to "rework" for those past translators with their "angry God" were wearing their "angry glasses" writing "angry words."  Hear the video: "Wm. Paul Young-GGS Conference 2016" at

How heartbreaking are the above statements and language, and how absolutely sad is it that millions
have bought into the man, and his Shack gospel.  A similar 2010 Concordia College speech heard by Ray Yungen as recorded in "The Shack Author Says: "The God of Evangelicalism Is a Monster" can be read here:

Wm. Paul Young's Connection to Bradley Jersak

At the GGS conference above, Young details how during a visit to Vancouver, BC he had gotten to meet author Brad Jersak and others during "The Shack" movie shoot.  Jersak, once Evangelical, now an Eastern Greek Orthodox ordained 'Reader,' is someone whom Young greatly admires.

In fact, Young is an endorser of Jersak's 2016 book: A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful  Gospel.  Along with Eugene Peterson, Fr. Richard Rohr, Brian D. McLarin, Frank Schaeffer, C. Baxter Kruger, PhD, and others, Young raves over this work as challenging our views of God.  Young also adds it is "a breath of clean and clarifying air."

Jersak, it may be noted, indicates many, whether a believer or atheist, carry "a toxic view of God."  He says, "Even the Christian gospel has repeatedly lapsed into a vision of God where the wrathful King must be appeased by his victim Son."  To interviewer Dr. Andrew P. Klager, Jersak explains his reason in writing the book was this:  "The book emerged from a growing need to ... offer alternatives to a prevailing view of God as retributive (or 'monster--god' to cite Brian Zahnd, who wrote the foreword)--a God unlike Jesus to whom many in the Evangelical tradition still cling, or from whom they are attempting to flee."  Jersak, incidentally, is known for his adaptation of a presentation called "A Gospel in Chairs."

Read articles here:

It can be noted also that in October 2016, Young and Jersak took part in "The Grand Embrace Retreat Workshop" with spiritual director Lorie Martin, and contemplative singer-song writer Cathy AJ Hardy.

Wm. Paul Young with Fr. Richard Rohr 

Fr. Richard Rohr with mystic emergent Mike Morrell recently wrote The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation with Young writing its foreword.  Inside, its dedication says:  "From Richard Rohr: To all unsuspecting folks who do not know they are already within the 'Divine Flow.'"  In the foreword Young says, "May we feel within us the eternal life of Jesus reaching through our hands--to heal, to hold, to hug--and celebrate the bread of our Humanity, the sanctity of the Ordinary, and Participation in the Trinity."

Other endorsers include Rob Bell, Brian D. McLaren, and a host of others.  As Lighthouse Trails Research points out in "In Case You Still Aren't Sure About the Shack and Its Author" perhaps Young's "Twenty Books Everyone Should Read" will convince you otherwise.  Click onto the article here:

And Young, continuing his close association with Rohr, will join him and Cynthia Bourgeault
in April 6-8, 2017 to take part in a program titled: "Trinity: The Soul of Creation" in Albuquerque.
Its online descriptive ad reads, "Rohr, Bourgeault, and Young believe the Trinity ... has the capacity to change everything.  We already participate within this dance whether we realize it or not.  But when we consciously engage in loving communion, we open ourselves to being transformed at the deepest levels.  Bring your heart, mind, and body to this ... conversation.  Join an ecumenical and inter-faith gathering, moving together through reflective experiences, including contemplative prayer, music, movement (Yoga, Tai Chi Chin, and walking meditation), group and individual processing. ..."

Wm. Paul Young Promotes Another Gospel

In conclusion, the above stories are but a few of many that demonstrate clearly that Young has departed the faith for another gospel, and sadly he has deceived, and confused millions with his aberrant theology.  And as "The Shack" movie debuts, even more will travel down this destructive and deceptive pathway.  For as James B. DeYoung told  "If the film is a faithful portrayal of the events and the theology of the book, then every Christian should be gravely alarmed at the further events that smear the Evangelical understanding of the truth of the Bible."

Therefore, more than ever, one should heed Paul's admonition to the Colossians in verses 1:4, 6-8: "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words... as ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught ...  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."       

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:   Colossians : 4:6

"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

For More Information:

THE SHACK and Its New Age Leaven by Warren B. Smith (Lighthouse Trails)

"Exploring the Deception of New Age Pagan Teachings in THE SHACK" by Chris Lawson (Update December 2016-Spiritual Research Network)

"When Sexual Abuse Comes to Light" by Sarah Eekhoff Zyistra  (
names the CMA boarding school that Young attended in Sentani, Indonesia.  Zyistra also named
other denominations, and noted that the CMA denomination has now made changes.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Lynch Foundation Lures Schools into TM Quiet Times

The Lynch Foundation Lures Schools Into TM Quiet Times

Perhaps you've read of the Transcendental Meditation guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and his famed Beatle aficionados.  And maybe you've surmised the TM mania had mostly gone away.  But, you're dead wrong, for there's been a recent resurgence of TM training aimed at vulnerable young tweens and teens in our public schools under a benign sounding program called "Quiet Time."

Yes, "Quiet Time!"  Now what could be wrong with that?  Plenty!  Most certainly it's not a "quiet time" such as a nap time, nor is it a time of daily devotions; rather it is a "quiet time" where kids, twice a day in their classrooms, are going to use a TM mantra to practice fifteen minute periods of meditation.

The Lynch Foundation Leaders

Now, the foundation sponsoring this time of silence is headed by the eccentric TM devotee, famed film producer David Lynch, who can be labeled as an apostle, guru, evangelist, proselyte, teacher, and passionate promoter of the practice of TM.  Lynch, along with his loyal longtime TM co-meditator, and executive director Bob Roth of the foundation, declare that TM is not religious, nor is it philosophy but just a simple way to tamp down stress and promote calm especially among youth with special needs or the inner city poor.

However, one thing Lynch and Roth neglect to say up front is that in order for teachers to teach TM or for students to practice TM is they all must attend an "Initiation" time with a personal TM teacher that includes attending a Hindu puja ceremony, learning a personal Hindu mantra, and kneeling down to Guru Dev the revered mentor of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Oh, all initiates must bring along an offering of a piece of fruit, some flowers, and a handkerchief.  And one other thing TM is not free-- it costs money!

The Lynch Foundation Chicago Forum

So, exactly how do Lynch, and Roth sell such a program to public schools?  Well, for starters they've assembled quite an entourage of famed meditators such as Dr. Oz, Oprah Winfrey, Katie Perry, Jerry Seinfeld, and so many more to champion TM, and to raise funds for it.  In addition the Lynch Foundation has a well planned program that it uses to sell "Quiet Time" to public schools.

A March 23, 2016 video "Chicago Education Forum" exposes exactly how this TM infiltration is carried out.  The forum, led by moderator CNN news lady Candy Crowley, allows one to peek inside the presentations presented to, and foisted on school administrators, teachers, parents, and youth.

To put forth their agenda the DLF assembles charismatic administrative staff, and teachers already trained in TM to talk up the technique.  In addition, they invite well-known professional TM meditators of varying stripes who tout TM as the best answer to every ill in our schools.  Always, they include Bob Roth, past devotee of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, meditator extraordinaire to sell the program.

At the Chicago forum besides the above attendees, John Wolf, a speaker for the University of Chicago's Crime Lab and Urban Education Lab announced its studies being conducted on meditating students in both Chicago, and NYC public schools.

Included in this forum was a principal who meditates along with her students making it a practice to pop in on various classrooms as they engage in "Quiet Time."  Another gregarious educator testifies, after learning TM, she taught it to her own children (including a four-year-old), and soon her husband too had become part of their now TM family.  Imagine if a Christian teacher in a public school arena told how he or she had become a Christian, and how their whole family now followed Christ.
Certainly, this bubbling TM testimony could be likened to a religious conversion.  Ah, this process, despite DLF statements to the contrary, is religious through and through; but oh how devoid of God it is, instead it is centered on the diving into the divine self within!

Following up on the educator recitations of their successes with TM moderator Crowley quizzes Bob Roth, who was on the panel, as to just how one might get a four-year-old to meditate explaining she'd love to have her own young grandchildren meditate too.  Roth replies that young children between four or five and up to ten are able to do "walking meditation."  Roth then stresses older children ten and up can do "sitting meditation."  While he mentions a personal TM trainer, nary a word is said about the mantras! and

Some Lynch Foundation Information 

A hot-off-the-press article relating to the above forum featured in the December 2016 Smithsonian Magazine by Jennie Rothenberg Gritz titled:  "Director David Lynch Wants Schools to Teach Trans-cendental Meditation to Reduce Stress" mentions more about the Crime Lab's multiyear study of "Quiet Time", the DLF's school meditation program.  With 6,800 subjects in Chicago and New York City, it's one of the largest randomized controlled studies ever conducted on meditation for children.

Gritz tells how Lynch himself has meditated since 1973, and how his foundation raises money from events by stars such as Perry, Sting, and so on.  Gritz emphasizes that TM is different than mindfulness.  Gritz reveals she herself has been a meditator since when?  Ten!  Gritz says, " People who learn TM are given a mantra, or sound, and a specific technique for using it.  You repeat the mantra, and, if all goes well, your mind settles down into a deep, expansive silence."

Of course, this validates the well-known fact that all TMers, kids or otherwise, must have their own personal TM teacher to introduce via Hindu puja and Sanskrit chanting their own mantra.  Interestingly, one can read Gritz grew up in Fairfield, Iowa attending the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment now part of Maharishi Vedic City.

Transcendental Meditation in the Public Schools

Gritz, fascinated by the fact TM had become mainstream again in of all places, public schools, also wrote a November 10, 2015 piece in The Atlantic: "Mantras Before Math." In it she shares her childhood connections to TM.  She also notes because TM is trademarked, all who use it must receive the same personal instructions.  With one's mantra, Gritz explains, TM is so automatic that the meditator just begins their mantra and transcends.

Because Gritz questioned exactly how TM would work in a school setting she visited several Cali-
fornia schools to see what the kids were doing.  A Redwood City High School principal gave her some answers--one being that meditation wasn't just for students, but for the staff as well.  Aha, just as one would suspect--they are going after all the teachers too.  And sooner or later shame on the educator who doesn't buy into the system!

Gritz found some "Quiet Time" programs have full-time site meditator managers whose salaries come from the DLF or the Hass Fund.  One school even rewards kids who meditate for certain periods of times with parties.  Some schools use upperclassmen to form an "Advanced Meditators Crew" to teach their peers to meditate.  Gritz' lengthy article, and its findings can be read here:

Transcendental Meditation Guru Lynch

Claire Hoffman, with a childhood background in TM like Gritz, wrote another revealing article "David Lynch Is Back ... as a Guru of Transcendental Meditation" in the New York Times Magazine in 2013.  In it Claire details her attendance at a David Lynch meeting in LA of newly initiated TMers, youthful Hollywood actor types, who had gathered round Lynch in his studio for a morning of meditation and instruction in the nature of consciousness.

After the meditation, which was led by Lynch, there was a Question and Answer Session.  Asked about his first meditative experience Lynch told the group precisely the time and place there in LA where he'd begun his lifelong meditation habit.  In contrast, a Christian can tell the time and place where they repented of their sins, and asked the Lord to come into their life.

Of Lynch's life Claire wrote, "... Lynch drank, made money, married a number of women, and directed violent and dark movies.  Still he loved meditating-- 'diving within.'"  Reflecting on this quote one would have to note that Lynch's own life surely had not demonstrated the "peace" and "calm" he advocates others buy into by practicing TM. 

Claire shares Lynch once had a rare opportunity to bond with the late Maharishi by taking an Enlightenment Course offered by the guru to the tune of about a million dollars per student.  After Lynch signed on, he went abroad only to find this conference would be telecast without any personal time with the guru.  In spite of this, Lynch returned home with a new sense of mission, and in 2005 founded his foundation.

Transcendental Meditation Memoir Overview

In addition to the above article Claire wrote a recent 2016 book Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood  that pulls back the curtain to reveal exactly what TM is all about.  In it Claire tells the poignant story of her own TM besot mother, and her TM saturated childhood in Fairfield, Iowa.  Her book is dedicated to her mom who believed in Utopia, and to her daughters who forced her to see it might be true.

The beginning chapter "Initiation" tells of Claire's first step in the pathway of Enlightenment-- the receiving of her own private "Word of Wisdom" at the age of three. (pp.3-7)  Chapter three "Stanger in a Strange Land" finds Claire in Fairfield where she and her sibling were unable to afford the Maharishi School, and instead were forced to attend the "Townie" public school.  Marked as a "'ru" or "guru"  or "meditator"  the children were often mocked. (pp.44-47)

The chapter "Levitation" tells how the Maharishi dictated one December would be called "A Taste of Utopia" where hundreds would come together to meditate.  Claire recalls how eager her mom was to take a course to become a Siddha--someone who had superpowers--so she might learn to "fly" or "levitate." (pp.49-57)  In "Taste of Utopia" she details the arrival of seven thousand who gathered to meet the Maharishi, and to meditate in The Shed.  The event began with a greeting "Jai Guru Dev!" (Praises to Guru Dev; god-like guru who was mentor to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) after which school children sang the Maharishi School anthem announcing that diving deep within The Self Life would be bliss.  Bells rang out.  The guru reported they'd all just reached "the first Taste of Utopia for all mankind." (p.65)

"Fortunate Are We!" tells of Claire's first days at the Maharishi School where she learned to recite the Maharishi's Sixteen Principles of SCI or Science of Creative Intelligence.  In that school it seemed that, wrote Claire, "everyone stated every sentence with 'Maharishi says ....'"  Besides SCI, a Vedic prayer before meals had the children saying they were radiating the light of life, and that they were never to entertain negativity. (p.78)  However, the most important thing emphasized was the phrase "Being on the Program."  This meant all who climbed the seven rungs or ladder of consciousness would become like Maharishi--"blissful or enlightened." (p.79)

Claire also reminisces "... friends in Fairfield always remarked how lucky we were to learn meditation so young.  ... Even our teachers treated us like chosen ones--Brahmin reincarnated ... selected because of an infinite lifetime of good karma to be leaders in the Age of Enlightenment."  (p.84)

In "On the Program" Claire recalls her ten-year-old sitting meditation initiation in an incense filled room kneeling before a picture of Guru Dev while her teacher rattled off a long list of Sanskrit words--names of the many gods who had helped them meditate.(pp.111-112)  In short, Hoffman's book enables one to understand what school systems are really buying into when they adopt TM programs!

In the book Claire updates the reader on changes in Fairfield, and her adult search into TM through her journalism.  She describes one interview she had with David Lynch in which she relates how Lynch nearly wept on the phone as they discussed 2008 death of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Claire wrote, "I felt pushed away. ... I didn't love the Maharishi."  She also spoke with Deepak Chopra, once heir apparent to the Maharishi, who had had a falling out with the late TM master.

As Claire discussed her growing doubts about the Maharishi's program (2013 meeting) Lynch challenged her.  She also wrote how TM is said to better one's health.  As an example she names Dr. Norman Rosenthal,* avowed TM practitioner and author of Transcendence, with his endorsements; and she cites Dr. Mehmet Oz, famed doctor, with his positive TM video testimonial.  But, still she had doubts.  In the end, she felt that Lynch when confronting the public made TM seem to be nothing more than a simple meditative practice; but in private "wanted to make sure I believed that Maharishi's way was the Truth, that he hadn't been a man who made mistakes or had his own selfish impulses." (p.246) However, the Lord Jesus, in John 14:6, speaks about these very issues where he says: "I am the way, the truth, and life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me."

*  Dr. Rosenthal was one of the speakers at the Chicago DLF Forum in March 2016.

Transcendental Meditation City Revisited

After the birth of her own children, Claire once again wanted to believe in TM and the Maharishi's mission so she returned to Fairfield, took the Flying/Levitation course to try to reconnect to her past.  After, Claire wrote, "But as far as the great guru (Maharishi)-- I had to let him go." (p.255)  Claire questioned why she or her family had wanted him to be more than human, and why he himself wanted to be more than human when he was not.

Of the TM she grew up in, Claire reflected, "The Movement I had grown up in--call it a cult, a religion, a community, it was all these, it rescued my family from a scary time."  Claire adds, "We were given a sense of magic and mystery and superpowers--we believed we could control our
destinies and the fate of the world." (p.255)

Transcendental Meditation Initiation Description

In chapter eighteen Claire paints a vivid portrayal of her young daughter's TM initiation at the David Lynch Foundation in Hancock Park, California.  Deciding to keep meditation for herself, and her children Claire made arrangements with Bob Roth, the effervescent DLF executive, to be the trainer to initiate her four-year-old Josie.  Hoffman tells how she took Josie to an LA DLF house where they brought their puja offering of Starbucks bananas and street-vendor flowers.  On the walls of the house hung photos of David Lynch along with other famous meditators, among them Jerry Seinfeld and Russel Brand. 

Upon meeting Roth they entered an initiation room with golden armchairs that faced a photo of Guru Dev hanging over an altar.  In front of the altar were puja containers of incense, camphor, and rice.  There Roth gave her four-year-old her first mantra: "A Word of Wisdom."  The little gal gave Roth a rose which he crushed.  Chanting softly he lit the incense, put the petals in water, and burned camphor while Claire cried. (pp.256-258)  Readers remember that all who participate in TM must go through this ritual, and that includes all of the public school staff, and children who participate.  While the parents may have given written permission for their students to participate in what they believe to be a nonreligious program, at its core it is Hinduism.
TM Belief:  You Control Your Own Destiny-So Dive Within!  

A back cover blurb on Hoffman's book by Melissa Coleman, author of This Life Is in Your Hands, best summarizes not only how Hoffman sees TM, but also how the whole DLF portrays it as nonreligious and as a simple meditative method to produce calm and peace.  Coleman writes,   "Claire Hoffman, ... tells of the struggle to find her own path to truth while growing up amid the distraction and contradictions of a guru's prescribed utopia.  Her triumph, and the reminder for us all, is in excusing the external guru and trusting the guide within."  Notice how Coleman speaks of life being in our own hands, and truth being something within ourselves.  But the Bible tells us otherwise when it says in Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the motives."  And in Proverbs 16:9 we read: "A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.  Lastly, Proverbs 16: 25 states: "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

The Lynch Foundation Links to the Maharishi University

It is a well documented fact that the David Lynch Foundation with its Hindu rituals, and TM mission is tightly connected to the Maharishi University School of Management (MUM). For Lynch has sponsored "David Lynch MUM Weekends," supported MUM on its web site, headed a graduate MUM film course, and participated on its trustee board.  In addition, Lynch was MUM's 2016 commencement speaker where he was awarded an honorary "Doctorate of Peace."  The notion there's nothing religious about TM is patently false.  Of the famed TM guru, Lynch at MUM's June graduation, called the Maharishi "the greatest master who ever walked the earth." and

But, the greatest master that ever walked the earth was not a mere mortal man as was the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, but was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God.  It's not by following a Yogi, or a Guru we attain salvation or bliss or enlightenment , but it is as Acts 4:12 states: "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

To conclude, Isaiah 26:3-4 tells us to focus our minds on the Lord, and to trust in him forever!

Learn to Discern Granny Verse: Isaiah 26:3 

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee."

More Information:

Herescope: "Mainstreaming Mystic Mindfulness: Eastern Meditation as the Universal Cure-All" by Gaylene Goodroad.  
Find at:

Home: Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa:  Tells what can be found in this model city: Vedic Architecture, Vedic Health Care, Vedic Agriculture, Vedic Education, and Vedic Administration.  Find at: 

Home: Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa:  Outlines "Best Bet-City Tour including: Raj Health Center (TM and TM-Sidhi Program with Yogic Flying); Pandit Campus (Hindu Holy Men); and Golden Domes on MUM campus (Group Spaces for Peace and Harmony Meditation).
Find at:

"Falling Down the TM Rabbit Hole"  Find at:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Remembering Ray Yungen

Remembering Ray Yungen

Ray Yungen, Lighthouse Trails special author and supporter, died October 16, 2016 much to the sadness of his many Lighthouse Trails friends, and readers.  And although I never met Ray, his writings and warnings impacted my life many times over! 

Here are a few of the things I remember from his book: A Time of Departing.

I remember reading that book, now well-marked, and well-worn, while trying to wrap my mind round all of its new ideas, and new names I was encountering. 

I remember beginning to understand the scope of the New Age, and the Emergent Church and how it had impacted so many churches and denominations.  I began to be able to use this new found information to "red flag" words, teachings, and persons that Ray had written about.

I remember Ray's use of key scripture at every turn (highlighted in small gray boxes) to substantiate his findings.

I remember Ray's writing style as never nasty nor mean, but sincere and truthful pleading with the reader to be aware of the movements that had crept into the churches.

I remember wanting to share the book with others touting its chapters, glossary of terms, list of
questions, list of past Christian mystics, endnotes, and index.

I remember being amazed at the degree of, and depth of Ray's documentation with his twenty-four   end note pages.  Truly Ray's work was never just hear say or conjecture, but based on solid
research.  (pp.208-231) 

I remember Ray's amazing ability to cite succinct quotations that he reiterated over and over that  stuck in a person's mind.  One Nouwen quote oft repeated by Ray was: "Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not.  Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God." (p.62)

I remember how often I have used Ray's index to find some particular person, or term.  Just a perusal
of this index highlights exactly what Ray covered in this book.

I remember Ray writing (and telling) many times that he loved to scout out bookstores, and would often count the shelves filled with New Age spirituality as opposed to those labeled Christian.  Yes, thanks to Ray we, his readers, were the grateful recipients of the results of his endless research. (p.13)

I remember Ray naming the Baptist Sunday School Teacher Sue Monk Kidd and her decent into paganism through a Thomas Merton book.  This made us want to read the Monk Kidd books too.  Not long after we met someone enamored by Kidd, and were able to share why this was a problem.  Now this was but one name, and work among dozens that Ray opened our eyes to.

I remember all the references devoted to Reiki in Ray's book.  Strange, I said to my husband, Ray was the one who wrote about Reiki (pronounced ray-key).  And so we were ready when in our home group we met someone who had studied Reiki, and others familiar with it.  (pp.94-98)

I remember discovering that on page 132 (pinched at the corner now) that Ray quoted the late Dr. Paul Bubna, President of the Christian and Missionary positively.  This made me curious if there
was a CMA church in Salem, Oregon.  Yes, there was.  Once found I noted,  much to my dismay, its pastor then was reading Thomas Merton.  Immediately I recognized this church leaned emergent.  Later on, I also found that Ray had heard well-known contemplative Richard Foster speak there. (pp.72-82)

Soon, while researching that Salem pastor, I came to CMA Nyack College site that noted a professor had just written a book on contemplative prayer.  From there much came to light about the CMA denomination, college, and seminary and its descent into contemplative spirituality.  Besides, it led to a personal meeting with the CMA President Dr. John Stumbo who took over for the Salem Oregon CMA pastor before becoming president of the denomination.  And all of this began with a sentence about the CMA in Ray's book, and the Lord's amazing direction!

My most recent remembrance of Ray was shared with our small house group gathered round listening to Ray answer questions along with Warren Smith, and Gaylean Goodroad at the late August 2016 Berean Call Conference with Tom McMahon.  Little did we know how very sick he soon would become.  How much we will miss him!

Most assuredly we'll remember Ray's diligence to point out to the body of Christ how late is the hour, and how far many have departed from the faith. Most certainly we'll remember Ray as a masterful Berean, and a faithful teacher of the Word. Lastly, we'll remember how this humble man, now absent from the body but forever with the Lord, impacted so many lives with not only last day warnings but the gospel. 

As Ray wrote in his "Special Note from Ray" at the end of A Time of Departing, "If you have never found the peace of knowing Christ I urge you to read the first five chapters of the book of Romans and allow the Holy Spirit to draw you to what is being said and offered.  The only prerequisite is to recognize your inability as a sinner to save yourself.  Then, in simple faith, tell God you are now trusting Christ, and Him alone, to be your Lord and Savior."  (p. 201)

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  Ray's Key Verse  I Timothy 4:1

"Now, the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart, from the faith, giving heed to
deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."

A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen:
Reader, if you've never read any of Ray's books may I suggest you begin with A Time of Departing, and share it with all you can.  For it is truly a "classic" in apologetic writing!

The Story Behind Lighthouse Trails by Deborah Dombrowski and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails: 
May I recommend, too, this most interesting booklet of how Lighthouse Trails began, and how Ray played a pivotal role in its founding.

Order the book, or booklet or both from:

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Christian's Mission: 'Gotta Know, Gotta Learn, Gotta Discern, Gotta Go!' into the Pokemon World with Truth

A Christian's Mission:  'Gotta Know, Gotta Learn, Gotta Discern, Gotta Go!' into the Pokémon World with Truth

For Pokémon Go gamers their "Gotta Mantra" is "Gotta Catch 'Em All!"--Pokémon that is.  However a Christian's motto must be: "Gotta Know, Gotta Learn, Gotta Discern, Gotta Go!"  And just what it is that we as born again believers gotta know, gotta learn, gotta discern, and gotta go will be the theme of this post.

Our world is just one month into the Pokémon Go Mania that's taking the country, and a number of other countries by storm.  It was on July 6, 2016, via one's smartphone, that players could download a free app and get set up to head outdoors to begin to catch Pokémon Pocket Monsters.  Soon befuddled folks were bumping into gamers congregating at designated PokeStops be it at a church, a parking lot, a body of water, a library, a museum, a park, or the mall to name a few.   

TV hosts, You Tube video makers, newspaper reporters, and online authors alike were scrambling to describe exactly how these frenzied gamers were zipping Pokémon balls on their phones to catch Pokémon seemingly popping up all over the place.  Meantime, all kinds of safety issues were cropping up--kids in the middle of streets, folks walking into objects, a pair walking off a cliff, and even unsavory characters luring kids into unsafe places.  All of this madness was taking place over one hundred and fifty-one little characters of which some seemed to be cute and clever, while others really are violent, ugly, and frightening.  So with this in mind, what is it that we gotta know?

Gotta Know

At the outset we gotta know some basic Pokémon info-- such as the game of Pokémon, designed by Satoshi Tajiri in 1990s, is managed by the Pokémon Company which, according to Wikipedia, is a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures.  Tajiri designed these Pokémon characters so gamers known as "Pokémon Trainers could catch, and train to battle each other for sport."

Officially introduced in 1996 Pokémon now is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2016.  So the new phenomena Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game currently using the original Generation I Pokémon beginning with Bulbasaur to Mew.  However, it's also important to know that now there are 722 Pokémon which means in the last twenty years 571 more have been designed influencing youth and adults via video games, trading card games, comic books, TV shows, movies, and toys.  For more "gotta know" info read "Pokémon" from Wikipedia article here:

Pokémon site Poké is filled with info you gotta know in order to be able to interact with Pokémon Goers!  It includes a Pokedex, TV Programs, Trading Card Games, Video Games, A Shop, Attend Events, Pokémon GO and more!  It even has a Trading Card Game Tutorial where one can learn to play the card game. Two sections: "The Pokedex," and "Pokémon GO" are explained further below.

The Pokedex

Click "The Pokedex" to get to know individual Pokémon-- their pic, statistics, type, strengths/ weaknesses, evolution, T.V. episodes, and cards.   For example here's "Horrid Haunter's"*
description: "Haunter is a dangerous Pokémon.  If one beckons you while floating in darkness never approach it.  This Pokémon will try to lick you with its tongue and steal your life away."  Find out too this gas ghost can "levitate."  View its "evolution strip" to see it evolved from "Gastly" and can evolve into "Genger."  Check out Haunter's card moves such as tongue spring, hidden poison, psyshot, confuse ray, sleep poison, haunt, dream eater, Gothic fear, and hoodwink to name some.  How gruesome! No wonder this Pokémon has given kids horrific nightmares!
*My name for it.

Pokémon Go 

Click various circles such as "Pokémon Go Plus," "Explore Pokémon," "Teams and Gyms," and "In App Purchases" to find out more game details.  "Explore Pokémon" gives blow by blow info about how the game is played including safety, catching a Pokémon, completing one's Pokedex, the
traits of Pokémon, Pokémon evolution, and Pokémon eggs.  Out of all of this one has "gotta know" that the goal of this game is: "Gotta Catch 'Em All"-- yes, almost all of the original 151 from the Kanto Region.   

Gotta Learn

The Pokémon (Gotta Catch 'Em All) Deluxe Essential Handbook: The Need-to-Know Stats and Facts on Over 700 Pokémon is a useful tool to help grandparents, parents, family, and friends learn much more about Pokémon.  Published by Scholastic in 2015 this information-packed book with its glitzy golden title lettering, and its shiny Pokémon pics begs one to open its cover. 

But, before one opens the book carefully look at the deceptive Pokémon ball-like pics. When you do you'll note most of the pics which they chose are happy, and smiley making the Pokémon appear as if they are just a bunch of cuddly stuffed animals.  However, in a few moments, you'll realize how alluring the cover art is, for the Pokémon are anything but cuddly, rather they are often hideous and evil looking.     

Title Page:  The title page done in Pokémon logo colors of deep blue, golden yellow, and white has the Pokémon mantra "Gotta Catch 'Em All" below the Pokémon logo.  Then it once again restates the title, and lists the publisher Scholastic Inc.*

*Scholastic Books- the book club used by teachers all over the USA!

The Welcome Pages:  A two-page spread highlights the red page on the left with the rainbow-horned fairy Xerneas sprinting onto the page, while on the right the blue page there's: "Welcome to the World of Pokémon."  Below the welcome is listed the six Pokémon regions --Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos--each full of fascinating Pokémon.

This book also lists the Pokémon picture, type, species, height, and weight which "can make all the difference in Gym battles, in the wild, and anywhere else you might meet Pokemon." Besides, this deluxe handbook, it is said, will enable "Trainers" to master any Pokémon challenge.

How To Use This Book:  This two-page section goes into detail about each Pokémon's name, pronunciation, height and weight, description, evolution, mega evolution, type, and region.  It is
such info that one has "gotta know and learn" to equip one to do spiritual battle with anyone questioning whether this is "just an innocent game" without any concerns as to its background, and agenda!  Along with Scripture, it is knowledge that one can use when a "Deuteronomy Moment" comes.  For as Deuteronomy 6:6,7 reads: "And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Guide to Pokémon Types:  The next pages explain the eighteen Pokémon types: fire, grass, water, normal, electric, bug, ghost, flying, fighting, psychic, steel, rock, ground, ice, poison, dark, dragon, and fairy.  This ends the seven pages of explanatory notes, and begins the ABC pages which begin on page eight with "Abomasnow" to page four hundred and thirty-two which finishes with "Zygarde".  In between are seven hundred more to scrutinize.

The Back Cover:  The back cover displays the logo, the mantra, and the message:  "Your favorite Pokémon are all here inside this book!  We've got Fairy-type ... Legendary ... Mega-Evolved ... and every Pokémon in between.

To Conclude:  I would highly recommend purchasing this book as you can back up your stories, and words with the Pokémon pictures and info thus adding weight to your warnings.  View the book here and click "Look Inside" to see its cover, its opening pages, and the Aa Pokémon from Abomasnow on page 8-Avalugg on p.28.

Gotta Notice the Names 

Many Pokémon names* say "Watch out!":  Names such  Abra-Psi Pokémon, Absol-Disaster Pokémon, Alakazam-Psi Pokémon, Arbok-Cobra Pokémon, Arceus-Alpha Pokémon, Beheeyem-Cerebral Pokémon, Carvanha-Savage Pokémon, Chandelure- Luring Pokémon,
Cofagrigus-Coffin Pokémon, Darkrai-Pitch Black Pokémon, Darumaka-Zen-Charm Pokémon, Dialga-Temporal Pokémon, Dragonair-Dragon Pokémon, Drapion-Ogre Scorpion Pokémon,
Eevee-Evolution Pokémon, Delphox-Fox Pokémon, Flylon-Mystic Pokémon, Gengar-Shadow Pokémon, Giratina-Renegade Pokémon, Gothitelle-Astral Body Pokémon, Gothorita-Manipulate Pokémon, Gourgeist-Pumpkin Pokémon, Gyarados-Atrocious Pokémon, Houndoom-Dark Pokémon, Hypno-Hypnosis Pokémon, Jynx-Human Shape Pokémon, Kirlia-Emotion Pokémon, Krookidile-Intimidation Pokémon, Lampent-Lamp Pokémon, Latias-Eon Pokémon , Lucario-Aura Pokémon, Manectric-Discharge Pokémon, Mawile-Deceiver Pokémon, Medicham- Meditate
Pokémon,  Mew-New Species Pokémon, Mewtwo-Genetic Pokémon, Mismagius- Magical
Pokémon, Munna-Dream Eater Pokémon, Ninetales-Fox Pokémon, Riolu-Emanation Pokémon,  Sigilyph-Avianoid Pokemon, Spiritomb-Forbidden Pokémon, Thunderdurus-Bolt Strike Pokémon, Uxie-Knowledge Pokémon, Xatu-Mystic Pokémon ,Yamask-Spirit Pokémon, Yvetal-Destruction Pokémon.  These are but a few of many to watch out for!

Delphox, the Fire-Psychic Pokémon, is one name to notice!  It's name has two parts which is a combo of the "Oracle of Delphi" and "fox."  However, even before I found that info I used (a terrific source) to find synonyms for psychic, occult, witch etc.  Under occult I noticed "Delphian," and "Delphic."  I wondered if any Pokémon had a name similar to this, and sure enough there was the mystical Delphox.  Looking up "Delphox" on Poké I found that this was a fox with the elements of a witch or mage. My Pokémon handbook further said that it held a flaming branch in its hand upon which it focused its eyes giving it psychic visions helping it to see into the future.  After reading about the "Oracle of Delphi" Delphox's story became even clearer.  This then can be woven into the Acts 16 story that involves the Oracle at Delphi.  See Related topics include: occult, Delphic, witch, wizard, mage, focus, psychic, psychic visions, oracle, Oracle at Delphi, Apollo, spirit of divination, and Acts 16.

*Note:  Pokémon names were first written in Japanese, and later changed into more suitable names for English speaking gamers. is a site which can provide much additional insight by clicking onto the "Origin" section., by the way, is named after Generation One's first Pokémon Bulbasaur.  Find here:

Gotta Notice the Types, the Moves, and the Illustrations

In all there are eighteen types, and oh, the evil behind these types.  Words can not even describe the things these characters are teaching innocent young children and youth.  As I researched the game  handbook a good number of the 700+ Pokémon were "Psychic"* with psychic terminology and moves and stories.  This brought up the question of the 722 Pokémon how many of the each type were there?  A Pokémon Database soon gave me exact numbers: Water was first with 126, Normal followed with 102, Flying was next with 101, while Psychic took fourth place with 90.  Ice had the least with 38.   See other types here:

*Psychic:  Relating to or denoting faculties or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws, especially those involving telepathy or clairvoyance: "psychic powers"  Synonyms: super-natural, paranormal, other worldly, preternatural, metaphysical, extrasensory, magic, magical, mystical, mystic, occult, clairvoyant, telepathic, having second sight, having a sixth sense (Oxford Dictionaries)  Be sure to check out synonym list!

The adjectives describing the game moves would make up one eye-opening glossary with most having absolutely horrendous names.  Be sure to peruse "Possible Moves" in the handbook or on a Pokémon info site noting the viciousness of many,  and evilness of others.  This activity alone--the noting of the descriptive names for each move--will surely enable one to discern that this game is literally overflowing with words and concepts and teachings far removed from the Bible. 

Pause and consider the possible moves for Banette, a ghost puppet-like Pokémon, that like a voodoo doll, sticks itself with pins to curse others!  Its moves are: knock-off, screech, night shade, curse, spite, will-o-wisp, shadow sneak, feint attack, hex,* shadow ball, sucker punch, embargo, snatch, and grudge trick.  Stop and imagine youngsters seven and up familiarizing themselves with such a character.  Bulbapedia says, "Banette is a ... doll-like Pokémon that is possessed with pure hatred."

A hex is: to practice witchcraft; to put a hex on; and to affect as an evil spell: jinx.  Synonyms are:
charm, enchant, bewitch, overlook, spell, strike.  Related words are: curse, jinx, possess, voodoo, attract, beguile, captivate, mesmerize, spellbind, entice, lure, seduce, tempt.  (Merriam-Webster)  Deuteronomy 18:10-14 makes it very clear what God thinks of those who use witchcraft or other practices named in this piece.  It reads:  "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or observer of times, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all these things are an abomination unto the Lord:...."

Another need-to-notice activity would be to flip through the book, or scroll through a site with all of the Pokémon pics and simply notice the ferocious or scary looking parts of each character.  Just a few pages into this any one with a smidgen of discernment would have to concede that these atrocious characters have no place in the life of a precious young child, or teen.  For Philippians 4:8 declares, "...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Gotta Know Pokémon Back Stories

Highlighted here are back stories about various types of Pokémon-- stories one can easily recall to share with others who need to become aware of just how deceptive is the Pokémon agenda.

Some Third Eye Pokémon:
Dark:  Absol:  Disaster Pokémon:  George Hutcheon, Bulbapedia contributor, shares Absol is based on a "Bai Ze" a creature from both China and Japan who warned good rulers of impending disaster.  In Japan images of the Bai Ze were made into "good luck charms" to ward off monsters and disease.  Absol, says Hutcheon, resembles this monster with its dark horn, feline shape, and black oval third eye.
Ghost/Poison:  Mega Gengar: Shadow Pokémon:  Gengar is a "third eye" Pokémon with an oval yellow third eye on its forehead.  Its "malicious," says Bulbapedia, laughing at and
delighting in its victim's terror.  It hides in the shadows hoping to attack its prey, and enjoys casting curses. How horrible is this powerful mega Pokémon which has evolved from the evil Gengar with his sinister leer and giant teeth.  Its "moves" include hypnosis, curses, night shade, sucker punch, dream eater, dark pulse, hex, and nightmare.
Steel/Psychic:  JirachiWish Pokémon: Jirachi is another Pokémon which has a hidden third-eye or "true eye" concealed within a seam.  Its eye is said to absord energy to aid in its hibernation.  If awakened it might grant your wish if you write it on one of its tags, and sing to it with a pure voice.  View this Pokémon with its yellow and green third eye revealed in the "Doom Desire Move" description in Bulbapedia.
The Psychic Third Eye Trading Card:  The Trading Card Game has a supporter card labeled "The Psychic Third Eye."  See it here.
A third eye is: "A point on the forehead corresponding to one of the chakras in yoga, often depicted as an eye and associated with enlightenment and mystical insight." (Free Dictionary)
Aura Pokémon:
Fighting/Steel:  Lucario:  Aura Pokémon:  Canine-like Lucario (evolved from Aura Pokémon Riolu) raises its four aura appendages to read and manipulate its opponents' aura.  Aura Sphere or "wave bomb" is its very special battle move.  Mega Lucario becomes even more ferocious with additional spikes coming from its hands, feet, and shoulders.  As its aura heightens black patches appear on its body.  It's said too that it can activate crystallized Time Flowers by shooting out aura.
Ghost-Dragon:  Giratina Original/Altered Forme:  Renegade Pokémon:  Dragonic, demonic appearing Giratina in either form was banished, the Pokémon handbook states, to another dimension where all is distorted and reversed.  Like Lucario, Giratina battles with "Aura Sphere."
Aura Guardians:  In the Pokémon world Aura Guardians sense aura and control its power.
Aura Capabilities:  Bulbapedia lists aura capabilities as being able to read minds/actions of others, sense other auras, view thru objects, project aura barriers, transfer aura to others, and activate Time Flowers.
An Aura (in Japanese means "wave-guiding") is: an energy field that is held to emanate from a living being (Merriam-Webster) 

Meditation Pokémon Trio:
Fighting-Psychic:  Meditite:  Meditate Pokémon:  Meditite's Japanese name is "Asanan" which comes from "asana" a name for various yogic poses.  It does such intense meditation it nearly starves itself never missing daily yoga practice.  This routine, says, the handbook, intensifies its inner strength.  Meditite also levitates.  Pics of Meditite can be found sitting in a lotus position with each hand fixed in a mudra.
Fighting-Psychic:  Medicham and Mega Medicham:  Medicham meditates so much it has developed a sixth sense.  Its picture shows it doing a yogic asana with its hands held in a mudra position.  Some say Medicham resembles a good luck charm doll known as a "Daruma doll."
A sixth sense is: a power of perception but not one of the five senses: a keen intuitive power  (Meriam-Webster)
A Daruma doll is: a hollow and round Japanese wish doll with no arms or legs modeled after Bodhi-
dharma, the founder and first patriarch of Zen.

Hypnotic Dream-Eating Pokémon: 
Psychic:  Drowzee: Hypnosis Pokémon:  Drowzee lurks near by to draw out dreams.  Drowzee, a dream eater tapir-like Baku-based Pokémon, uses moves that include hypnosis, meditate, zen-headbutt, psychic, psybeam, poison gas, psyshock, and future sight plus more.
Psychic:  Hypno: Hypnosis Pokémon: Hypno uses a pendulum for putting one into a hypnotic trance. Hypno, too, is able to sense what its victim is dreaming.  A movie "Hyno's Naptime" tells how Hypno's sleep waves have caused children to disappear, and Pokémon to grow sleepy.
Self-Hypnosis with a Pendulum:  On line steps to use a pendulum to self-hypnotize can be
found at several web sites. 
Psychic: Munna: Dream Eater Pokémon: If Munna, a Baku inspired blimp-like Pokémon, eats a happy dream it gives off pink mist.  Some of Munna's moves include: lucky chant, hypnosis, nightmare, future sight, dream eater, and telekinesis. 
Psychic: Musharna: Drowsing Pokémon:  Musharna resembles a tapir-like pink pig with its dream stream coming out of its forehead.  Some say Musharna seems like a traditional Japanese incense burner called a "koro." that appears on Buddhist altars.
Baku:  M.R.Reese of Green Shinto writes that a Japanese child having a nightmare is told if they wake up to repeat "Baku-san, come eat my dream!" three times.  After, the legend says, the Baku will enter the room, and eat up the bad dreams. However, this mustn't be over done or it will devour their hopes and desires leaving them with an empty life.  Kids to this day keep "Baku Talisman" by their bedsides. An on line site offers a ring, said to have the Baku spirit in it, that one could wear or hang up for protection.
Lucky Chant:  This move's meaning was, on Bulbapedia, described as "a good luck charm in Japanese," and an incantation toward the sky to stop an opponent.
Telekinesis is: the production of motion in objects (as by a spiritualistic medium) without contact or other physical means.  (Merriam-Webster)

Psychic Pokémon:
The Psi Quartet: Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam, and Mega Alakazam:  These four "Psi" Pokémon, all of the Psychic type, possess many powers. Abra's signature  move is to "teleport" away.  Kadabra uses one spoon to greatly increases its powers.  Super intelligent Alakazam has two spoons. Lastly,  Mega Alakazam has five spoons over head while seated in a lotus position with each hand fixed in mudra.  Note his distinctive red third eye.  He, records Bulbapedia, is based on a wizard or sorcerer, or a Hindu sadhus--a holy man who is a yogi.  A Wikipedia article on "Sadhus" has quite a photo display of many holy men with their prominent third eye markings.  For more read "Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam" at:,_Kadabra,_and_Alakazam

Ghost/Spirit Pokémon:
Ghost Pokémon: Yamask: Spirit Pokémon:  Yamask, a very disturbing Pokémon, has a Japanese name Desumasu which comes from death and mask.  It also means "Yama" or Lord of the Dead in Buddhism/Hindusim, and "weeping mask" in Chinese.  Its based too on the Egyptian Ba holding a death mask.  Pokedex entries say its mask makes it cry as it wanders round ancient landmarks.  Should one accidently wear this mask it can be "possessed."  On a post entitled "Pokemanical" a gamer shares stories of really dark Pokémon especially ghosts as Yamask and Cofagrigus. A picture of some of the worst of the worst Pokémon has a comment that says, "Yet still allowable as kids' game. Huh!"
Ghost Pokémon: Cofagrigus: Coffin Pokémon:  This coffin Pokémon who lurks in tombs and ruins is an Egyptian sarcophagi that eats people, and mummifies them! Grave robbers who come too close to its shadowy ebony hands find themselves locked inside Cofagrigus.  Its name is a combo of sarcophagus and egregious which means coffin and grim.  And grim they are!

Light Pokémon: "A Ghost-Fire Trio:"
Ghost/Fire: Litwick: Candle Pokémon:  This small candle has a purple flame that's powered by "life energy".  To get this energy Litwick, a pretender, seems to light the way through darkness all the while sucking life energy from its victim.  A Bulbapedia description says, "Litwick leads people astray and sucks out their life force." What an apt description of Satan!  For II Corinthians says, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." And I Peter 5:8 adds, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour."
In Bulpadedia "Origin" section it says: Litwick's name is a combo of hitodama or a blue, black, and purple flame associated with ghosts, yokai, and candles.  It can also be associated with the leader of a Japanese funeral procession carrying a torch. Some of its "moves" are: ember, will-o-wisp, hex, curse, and shadow ball among others.
Ghost/Fire: Lampent: Lamp Pokémon:  Lampent, an ominous Pokémon, lurks round hospitals "waiting for someone to die" at which time it absorbs their departing spirit which in turn fuels its flame.  However, II Corinthians 5:8 says of those who die in the Lord that we are "absent from the body and present with the Lord!"  And Hebrews 9:27 reads, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
Ghost/Fire: Chandelure: Luring Pokémon: Third in this spirit sucking trio is Chandelure whose name is like a "sentient" chandelier and lure.  Chandelure based also on hitodama which Wikipedia defines as Japanese meaning "human souls" that are like balls of fire floating in the night -- departed souls that have been separated from their bodies.  The Deluxe Essential Handbook says, "Chande-
lure's spooky fames can burn the spirit right out of someone.  If that happens the spirit becomes trapped in this world endlessly wandering."  One of Chandelure's "moves" in the game is to put a "hex" on someone.
Will-o'-the-wisp-is: Wikipedia says a will-o'-the-wisp is an atmospheric ghost seen by travelers at night by bogs, swamps, or marshes which if approached can lure travelers from safe paths.

The Kami Trio: Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus:
Flying: Tornadus: Legendary Cyclone Pokémon:  Tornadus, a kami of wind, is based on the Shinto god Fujin.  Tornadus is a wizard-like Pokémon that is carrying a bag of wind.  Japan Talk's
"Raijin and Fujin: Fearsome Japanese Gods of Nature" by John Spacey tells how when Mongol Fleets attacked in 1274 and 1281 Fujin was thanked for protecting Japan.  From this came the word kamikaze (note "kami) which literally means "divine wind."
Electric/Flying: Legendary Bolt Strike Pokémon:  Thundurus, a kami of lightning and thunder, is inspired by one of the most feared of Japanese deities Raijin.  It's said of Raijin that if there's a storm Japanese children were told to cover their belly buttons for Raijin might eat them.  People prayed to Raijin for rain and lightning.  A rice field hit by a lightning bolt, it was believed, would be fertile and produce a good harvest.  Spacey says statues of both protector gods are seen at gates, shrines, and temples through out Japan.  Muza-chan in "Japanese Traditions"* says Raijin comes from "rai" for thunder and "shin" for god.  It was known as a "kamiari" or "kami" for spirit or deity and "nari" for thunder.  Muza-chan notes you'll find this beautiful "red demon" Raijin statue at the Kaminarimon Gate in Asakusa, Tokyo.
*  This blog is packed full of Shinto stories.
Ground/Flying: Landorus: Legendary Abundance Pokémon:  Bulbapedia states that Landorus was the master of this "Forces of Nature" kami trio. In the Pokémon universe region called "Unova" there's a shrine in honor of the "Great Landorus" named "The Abundant Shrine."  Landorus is based on a third kami--the Kami of Fertility--also named Inari.
A Kami is:  In the Shinto religion, kami are spirits/phenomena that are worshipped.  According to Wikipedia:  "They are elements in nature, animals, creationary forces in the universe, as well as spirits of the revered deceased."  Under "Etymology" Wikipedia notes: "Kami is the Japanese word for a god, deity, divinity, or spirit.  It has been used to describe 'mind,' 'God,' 'supreme being,' 'one of the Shinto deities,' 'an effigy,' 'a principle,' and 'anything that is worshipped.'"  For further info:  The Bible, however, in Exodus 20:3-5 says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them: for I the LORD they God am a jealous God, ..."   

A Creator 'God' Pokémon:
Normal: Arceus: Mythical Alpha Pokémon:  Areceus is the god Pokémon of the Pokémon Universe.  It's based on a creator deity with a stance like an Egyptian bull or calf idols particularly Apis.  It has an arc on its back, says Bulbapedia, that is used to represent reincarnation in Hinduism.

Arceus is connected to the Shinto gods Kunitokotachi and Amenominakanushi who summoned the first goddess and god Izanami and Izanagi to create Japan with a spear. The reference to its having 1000 arms comes from Buddhism.  Arceus, its said, created Sinnoh, a Pokémon area, and the three Pokémon Lake Guardians Uxie, Azelf, and Misprit and the Creation Trio Dialaga, Palkia, and Giratina.

Upon reading its English name "Alpha Pokémon" one can't help but think about the Biblical reference in Revelation 1:8 that declares, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

These stories are but the tip of the iceberg as to what terms, and concepts are being put into the receptive minds of our kids straight out of Shintoism, Buddhism, the New Age and other pagan religions. As Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."  And as the prayer the Lord taught us to pray which ends in Matthew 6:13 says: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever."

Gotta Learn About the Shinto Connection

Shintoism in Pokémon:  In his July 18, 2016 article "Pokémon Go and Its AR Universe", Ray Tsuchiyama shows how much Pokémon is connected to Shintoism. Ray says the Pokémon Go gamers out on their Pokémon hunts are "almost like a new religion of seekers."  "They," says Ray, "are seeing 'otherworldly' aural specter/image in the middle of the 'material world' of buildings, shower trees, and beaches."

Ray also recalls Satoshi Tajiri, the Pokémon founder, was into his bug collecting world as a child, and later the anime character Ash with his electrifying Pikachu was made to resemble Tajiri.  Ray says Tajiri's childhood hobby surely contributed to Pokémon with all its curious critters.  "But," writes Ray, "there is also the deeper cultural, mythological, and animist religious history of Japan that influenced this global game."

Ray goes on to show how closely tied Pokémon is to Shintoism when he writes, "In fact Ninetales is obviously the fox god of Shintoism.  Also the water Pokémon ... Whipcash ... is like a blue catfish ...(which)... in Japanese mythology a catfish ... triggers earthquakes....  Lombre ... has the greatest resemblance to the Kappa a Japanese water demon.  ... the Pokémon Shiftry evokes a Japanese goblin that lives in trees and cause windstorms. ... Kyogre and Groudon ... (are referred to in the Hoenn region) ... which is a retelling of the mythological creation of the Japanese island chain by the primordial male and female.  A Shinto 'world flood' myth has been worked in Mewtwo's character.

"In the original game," maintains Ray, "when a Pokémon lives long enough in the material world, this character 'ascends' to a higher plane, kind of like astral projection, and again, the spiritual motif returns.  Also in the game, Pokémon trainers gather to mourn and present offering for 'dead' Pokémon, since without the chanting of the Pokémon 'souls' will wander the material world and transform into vengeful spirits--again evoking Shinto beliefs."

Ray declares, "Pokémon characters clearly resemble Shinto gods that hang out in rivers, rocks, trees, and other places--and following Shinto, when offered food and incense, Pokémon and friends/allies and bring players all sorts of rewards, like points (blessings?)."

Even your smartphone muses Ray can "be warm and full of good thoughts" since we have become disenchanted (in a spiritual way) with our daily lives ..."  "So," says Ray, "Pokémon players can inhabit two worlds: one that is 'real' and one that is 'imaginary'...."  Ray ends by noting that Pokémon
GO isn't the original "character hunting" mobile app.  Ray writes, "For years in Japan game firms like Yokai Watch and Monster Hunter, have spawned thousands of small groups ...  All these games are heavily influenced by Shinto Mythology."

Gotta Learn About the Yokai Connection

Yokai are: (ghost, phantom, or strange apparitions) a class of supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore. (Wikipedia)  They can, says Wikipedia, be malevolent to mischievous, or even bring good fortune.  Yokai can appear in different ways: as animals, as humans, as inanimate objects, or as shapeless.  They have spiritual supernatural powers with obake shapeshifting being one of the most common ones.

An informative article entitled "Who's That Pokémon? Yokai Edition" by Kristen Dexter starts out "But some of my favorite Pokémon were inspired by yokai: supernatural monsters, ghosts, and phantoms of Japanese folklore.  Says Kristen, "Gotta catch 'em all, yokai!"

Kristen then lists the Japanese term for a particular yokai and its definition.  She then asks:  "Who's that yokai?"  After there's a large picture of each Pokémon that fits this definition, and a further reference to its/their traits.  Here's the yokai covered: Sazae Oni, turban shell ogres, like Slowbro and Slowking; Sogen Bi, a fireball floating head, like Gastly; Baku dream eaters, like Drowzee, Hypno, Munna, and Musharna; Jinmenju, human tree heads, like Exegguter; Yamauba, old woman turned witch, like Jnyx; Nekomata, Bake split tail cats, like Esperson; Nukekubi, cursed headless woman or girl, like Misdreavus;  Kamitachi, ambusher attacker weasels, like Sneasel and Weavile; Futakushi Onna, two mouthed cursed woman, like Mawile; Tsukimogami, spirit inhabited inanimate objects, like Banette; Hitodama, graveyard colored light, like Litwick; Kodama, ball of light tree spirits, like Celebi, Phantump, and Trevenant; Chochin Obake, paper lantern inhabiters, like Dusclops and Dusknoir; Yuki Onna, evil woman freezer of travelers, like Froslass; and Nurarihyon, old man yokai leader, like Jellicent.   Read it at:

Gotta Read Up on Church Reactions to Pokemon

One last thing to look into and become aware of is the number of churches that have been designated Pokémon Go Pokestops and Gyms.  Churches, in any number of articles, are crowing about how unbelievably wonderful it is that they have been named stopping places for Pokémon Go players to pick up items to help catch those hidden Pocket Monsters.  Now, is it because most churches see it as a reason to share the gospel with those that happen by, or is it because they think the game is clever and yes even fun and they get to share things like water, or a place to recharge smartphones?    Unfortunately, it is the latter in many instances.    

I even read where an Episcopal church attendee declared if you're going to do 'evangelism' you might as well have fun doing it.  Another "evangelical millennial" opined all that old "Pokémon is of the devil drivel" why that's a thing of the past; and just think there is not one of the 721 Pokémon now here, and more coming that have a name that in way is devilish or Satanic--not a one.  Read here:  How I'd challenge this uninformed
millennial, or any one else regardless of age to do the research using sources quoted in this piece that show how infiltrated Pokémon is with every sort of evil idea that could be thought up.  In fact, the verse that that best describes Pokémon could be Genesis 6:5 that reads: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of his heart was only evil continually."  And as it was in the days of Noah, so it is today!

Gotta Discern, Gotta Go

In summary, once one grasps that Pokémon is inundated with deceptive teachings, one must
determine to research Pokémon lore and backstories to more fully discern the agenda, the culture,
and the religion from which this game has arisen. The question then becomes: "What must one do with this information?  Just as Berit Kijos in her excellent 1999 article: "The Dangers of Role-Playing Games-How Pokémon and Magic Cards Affect the Minds" listed ideas on how to teach
one's children or grandchildren on ways to resist occult entertainment I too would urge parents, grandparents, and friends to be ready as Deuteronomy Moments arise, and during devotional times to talk to your children on a regular basis about key words and ideas presented in Pokémon and Pokémon Go and how they contrast with scripture.

Point out that Proverbs describes the simple--the naïve ones--those who are open to anything that comes down the pike as contrasted to the wise-- the knowledgeable ones-- those who cry out and search for wisdom as to which paths to take.  And as Solomon said in Proverbs 4:10-15: "Hear O
my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.  I have taught in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in the right paths.  When thou goest thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.  Take fast hold of instruction ; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life.  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the path of evil men.  Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away."           

What opportunities await informed Christians, who with both scripture, and pertinent Pokémon information, can clearly point out how deceptive, and evil these alluring Pokémon are.  Yes, we gotta be ready to go for not only must we warn about Pokémon Go, but as Mark 16:15, a Bible go verse, reads, "... Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

Learn to Discern Granny Verses:  Proverbs 4:26, 27

In this Pokémon Go world how apt are these verses:  "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."

For More Information:

"How Pokémon and Magic Cards Affect the Minds and Values of Children (and a Warning About Pokémon Go)  (1999) by Berit Kijos

"Gotta Catch 'Em All" (2009) by Mike Oppenheimer at: