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Archive for the ‘Children’s Spiritual Formation’ Category

In writing blogs, I often spend too much time researching the latest heresy, or false teacher, or whatever. At times I need to step back a bit and see the forest rather than the trees. Like Berit Kjos, I think a critical issue we need to dwell on in these End Times is the education of our children.

Under our noses, public schools (“government schools”) are indoctrinating our children into gay rights, New Age teachings, evolution, etc. I think it is way past time Christians pull their kids out of public schools en masse.

Regarding homeschooling I think it would be neat to write – or make Christian homeschoolers aware of – curricula that strengthen children in the Lord from the youngest ages. Curricula that prepare them for “the world out there” – that teach them at the youngest ages how to battle the various ungodly/antichristian teachings they will eventually face when they go off to college. Or sooner, if playing with kids who attend public schools, watching TV without program restrictions, using the Internet unfiltered, etc. Even seeing magazines on the grocery store newstand, or using a smartphone, or going to the library unattended. Bottom line – it’s pretty hard to keep our kids away from the world’s influences, so it’s crucial to prepare our kids spiritually to stand up against these things. One key I think is memorizing Bible verses (I recommend the KJV).

Most evangelicals are failing miserably in training up their children biblically. The fact is, the world is invading the church in many ways, particularly via Spiritual Formation and Emerging/Emergent teachings. Bottom line, we need to be on guard – even our churches can draw our kids away from the Lord.

Anyone know where to find curricula that prepare children to fight what’s out there? I know there are many creation science textbooks, and many textbooks presenting history from a Christian viewpoint. But I haven’t found any textbooks (yet) that explain how to fight false teachings (New Age teachings, Spiritual Formation, Emerging/Emergent teachings, etc.). Of course kids can be led to discernment articles and discernment books on these things – even at young ages – using the Internet filtered and while monitored.

Why prepare kids at a young age? Because they’re being attacked by the world at a young age. Example: in the public schools, kindergarteners are being read Harry Potter books, told about “my two dads”, indoctrinated in mindfulness, etc. God help us!

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[blog under construction]

Awhile back, I received a blog comment [located below my blog] from a high official in the EFCI denomination (Evangelical Friends Church International). Defending the EFCI’s practicing Spiritual Formation, this official wrote:

Spiritual formation is simply the study of and the pursuit of how people grow spiritually. I think that is the heart of the holiness movement, of which we are still a part. We work with the Nazarenes and Free Methodists to publish common curriculum that is widely used for Sunday Schools, VBS’s, and the like.

[In the above quote, I emphasized certain points by bolding.]

My response is, first of all, Spiritual Formation is much more than this EFCI official claims – it includes the occultish spiritual discipline of Contemplative Prayer/Contemplative Spirituality. Second, it is shocking to hear this person imply that Spiritual Formation (which EFCI pastor Richard Foster popularized in 1978) is now considered “the heart” of the Holiness Movement.  Third, the EFCI may still be a part of what is now  considered the Holiness Movement, but the Holiness Movement today is far different from what the Holiness Movement was 100 years ago (1).

Several days ago, I discovered the publisher of the “common curriculum” that Dr. Evans referred to above.  The EFCI and other Holiness denominations get curriculum from WordAction.

Following is the title of the WordAction website:

WordAction: Innovative Biblical Solutions in Christian Education for the Changing Church

Note the website title above says “Innovative” Biblical Solutions … for the Changing Church.” By “innovative” they obviously mean “new ways of doing church.” And by “the Changing Church” they mean “the  Emerging/Emergent Church movement.”

Note the  list of Holiness denominations, under their About Us link:

WordAction Publishing Company is a not-for-profit organization that provides relevant Sunday School curriculum and small group materials to enable people of all ages to discover God’s Word. Our resources are designed through the cooperative efforts of The Salvation Army, Church of the Nazarene, Wesleyans, Evangelical Friends, Free Methodists, and Evangelical United Methodists. WordAction is a part of the Nazarene Publishing House and has become the largest publisher of Wesleyan-Holiness Sunday School curriculum in the world.

I guess the term “Wesleyan-Holiness” doesn’t mean anything anymore. Unless it means a denomination that USED to be Wesleyan-Holiness at some time in its past. The denominations listed above have all strayed from their biblically sound roots, as Googling them can quickly determine.

Another point about WordAction: the youth materials they list come from the heretical Barefoot Ministries, with materials sold through the WordAction website (click on Youth and scroll to the bottom left). There have been a number of critiques written exposing the Emerging/Emergent agenda of Barefoot Ministries for the youth of Holiness denominations.

I hope to write a separate blog about Barefoot Ministries. For now, here are links to a few critiques:

http://www.gcmin.org/veritas/v002:credo.pdf

http://exnazarene.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/immerse-another-tool-by-barefoot-ministries-to-promote-the-leftistliberalemergent-agenda/

ENDNOTES

(1) Holiness denominations of 1911 were Fundamentalist. That is, they adhered to The Fundamentals, a series of articles published between 1910-1915. Holiness denominations of 2011 are, for the most part, either New Evangelical or Emerging/Emergent. I would daresay, in terms of the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 20th century, the Holiness denominations of 2011 are closer to being Modernist than Fundamentalist. Why do I say this? Because there is little difference between New Evangelical and Emerging. And the line between Emerging and Emergent is becoming more and more blurred. And, “Emergent” is nearly synonymous with “Modernist.” Shocking! [I hope to explore this 1911/2011 dichotomy further in a future blog.]

The following article claims that Christianity today still adheres for the most part to The Fundamentals of 1910-1915. Hogwash!:

http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Evangelicalism-Standing-the-Test-of-Time-Thomas-Kidd.html

Note that the above website is far from being born again Christian – as the following list of  “featured experts” shows:

http://experts.patheos.com/

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Along with many other New Age-ish titles, Christianbook.com offers the first guide to centering prayer, for children ages 3 to 10. This book is from a Catholic publisher. Note that it has been declared Nihil Obstat (Wikipedia’s definition: “attestation by a [Catholic] church censor that a book contains nothing damaging to faith or morals”). Also, it has been declared Imprimatur (Wikipedia: “let it be printed”). I have quoted verbatim from the product description. Following is the link to the entire description:

http://www.christianbook.com/journey-heart-centering-prayer-for-children/frank-jelenek/9781557254825/pd/54829?item_code=WW&netp_id=485827&event=ESRCN&view=details

Journey to the Heart: Centering Prayer for Children
By: Frank Jelenek, Ann Boyajian
Paraclete Press / 2007 / Paperback

Publisher’s Description

This new resource has been declared Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur by William B. Smith, S.T.D., Censor Librorum and Dennis J. Sullivan, Vicar General, Archdiocese of New York Millions of books have been sold, teaching adults the practice of centering prayer.  Finally, a guide for children!

Centering prayer is a way of opening our whole being to God, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. It is simple and practical—a way of preparing heart and mind to receive the gift of intimate relationship with God. Jesus said, “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)

Frank Jelenek shows young children just how to do that. The first guide to a contemplative prayer practice for children [emphasis mine], Journey to the Heart both instructs and inspires. Many parents and teachers will learn from this colorful treasure of a book, as well! Until now, parents and teachers had no resource available to introduce children to the joys of communicating with God in this special, intimate way.

This loving book makes it easy for children to share in the spiritual nourishment of centering prayer through age-appropriate illustrations and text that provides clear directions and encouragement in simple, fun language. Ideal for ages 3 – 10.

Editorial Reviews

Contemplative prayer would seem to be a discipline more suited to adults than children, but this easily understandable book offers a framework that even primary-schoolers can work within. The book begins by introducing the concept of the soul explaining that a journey to the deepest part of the heart is time to commune with God and Jesus. First, the book suggests choosing a secret word or phrase such as faith, Father, Jesus, or Holy Spirit.Then, it recommends sitting silently, eyes closed, feet on the floor; if others are participating, it suggests placing chairs in a prayer circle. The next step involves saying the secret word silently while resting within. When other thoughts intrude, participants can let them float away during the six moments of silence they are to spend with God. The session ends with the Our Father. The gentle text encourages children, and the attractive, simple pictures, often depicting people at prayer, are done in warm, gentle colors. An unusual, peaceful offering. Booklist October 2007

And following is the Amazon link to this book. You will be able to read actual pages from the book, locate similar titles for children (what an abomination!), and read comments from readers:

http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Heart-Centering-Prayer-Children/dp/1557254826/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288285954&sr=8-1

Perhaps you think this book will not be used in an evangelical church’s Spiritual Formation program for children. Think again! If an evangelical church is into Spiritual Formation, the church already endorses ecumenical and interfaith authors – Catholic, mainline/liberal, Emergent, etc. The above Catholic book would be just one more on its list of “wonderful resources.” Scary!


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Many articles have been written exposing the brainwashing of youth groups by Spiritual Formation programs. But the indoctrination is starting much younger! Following are several articles exposing this:

A great article by Berit Kjos (who is at the forefront, exposing New Age indoctrination of children in public schools, churches, etc.):

http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/spirituality/lighthousetrails/children-perspectives.htm

An excellent 2007 article by Lighthouse Trails Research Project, exposing AWANA (see also the links at the bottom of the article). It would be interesting to find what has happened since then with AWANA.

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=220

And following are the search results from Kjos Ministries regarding the search string “children” AND “spiritual formation”. I am looking through these articles – some are more relevant than others:

http://www.crossroad.to/text/search_results.html?cx=015736079649539019301%3A-bdcqxfnx98&cof=FORID%3A11&q=%5B%22spiritual+formation%22+%22children%22%5D&sa=Search&siteurl=www.crossroad.to%2Ftext%2Fsearch.html

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