Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth

Ever hear about Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth as heavily promoted earlier this year by Oprah? Do you want a short and concise summary of the heresies taught within this New Age work? HERE is a review by Dr.Donald Whitney on the subject. Some excerpts:
  • "Tolle's teaching is the oldest blasphemy in the world. It is the same lie to which Satan wanted Eve to "awaken" in the Garden of Eden: "You will be like God" (Gen. 3:5). Sadly, just like Eve, many still fall for it."
  • "Tolle's chief heresy about man is his teaching that each of us is god."
  • "the "salvation" (p. 13) we need is not the forgiveness of sin, but enlightenment."
  • " Tolle clearly admires Jesus, and quotes Him several times in A New Earth, but only as a great spiritual teacher. The events which are not only the most important in the life of Jesus, but also the most important in the entire Bible and indeed in the history of the world—namely the crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and second coming of Jesus Christ—Tolle completely ignores."
  • "Like Rhonda Byrne in The Secret, Tolle is shrewd enough to scour the Scriptures and wrench a few verses from their contexts to give the false impression that the Bible supports his views. And yet, in the end he points his readers to themselves as the ultimate authority: "Yes, you are the Truth. If you look for it elsewhere, you will be deceived every time" (p. 71). "

Dr. Whitney also has a helpful review of another book heavily promoted by Oprah: Rhonda Byrne's The Secret

  • "In the final analysis, The Secret is nothing more than Name It-Claim It, Positive-Confession, Prosperity Theology (without God and the Bible), built on a foundation of New Age self-deification. In other words, the book is just another version of what some TV preachers have taught for decades, namely, if you will sustain the right thoughts, words, and feelings, you will receive whatever you want. But The Secret adds this important twist: your thoughts can bring anything into your life because you are god."

Christian and Student Legal Resources -

Here are some great Christian legal resources for a variety of circumstances:

Alliance Defense Fund - "directly litigates some carefully chosen, strategic cases for a unique purpose: to train newly licensed attorneys in the fine art of litigating—and winning—legal matters protecting religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and traditional family values"

Christian Law Association: "to provide free legal assistance to Bible-believing churches and Christians who are experiencing legal difficulty in practicing their religious faith because of governmental regulation, intrusion, or prohibition of one form or another"

The Rutherford Institute:" a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated"

Christian Legal Society: "to inspire, encourage, and equip Christian lawyers and law students, both individually and in community, to proclaim, love and serve Jesus Christ through the study and practice of law, the provision of legal assistance to the poor and needy, and the defense of religious freedom and the sanctity of human life"

American Center for Law & Justice: "committed to ensuring the ongoing viability of freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world"

Quote - Thomas Watson

"Sin has the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death for its wages." Thomas Watson From: www.christianquotes.org

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

"If you truly feel the sweetness of the Cross of Christ, you will be constrained to confess Christ before men." - Charles Spurgeon 

Quote - Hudson Taylor

"You wonder why people choose fields away from the States when young people at home are drifting because no one wants to take time to listen to their problems. I'll tell you why I left. Because those stateside young people have every opportunity to study, hear, and understand the Word of God in their own language, and these Indians have no opportunity whatsoever. I have had to make a cross of two logs, and lie down on it, to show the Indians what it means to crucify a man. When there is that much ignorance over here and so much knowledge and opportunity over there, I have no question in my mind why God sent me here. Those whimpering stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it---while these never heard of such a thing as writing." - Hudson Taylor 

Meditation - Eastern vs. Biblical

Have you ever wondered about the place of yoga or meditation in the life of a Christian?  In a Church?  How is Eastern meditation different from that which is referred to in the Bible?

Dr. Al Mohler provides an insightful and biblical response to the continuing and growing trend of such Eastern practices HERE.

Some helpful comments:
  • "The biblical concept of meditation is not without reference to thought and content.  To the contrary, it is about thinking that is directed by the Word of God -- scripturally saturated thought."
  • "The Eastern concept of emptying the mind is just not anything close to the biblical vision of filling the mind with the Word of God."
  • Referring to an article that quotes Donald Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "Referring to meditation's long association with Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern religions, Whitney says, 'Some of the yoga stuff, where you're given a mantra, that is rooted in false religions.' He sees no problem with stretching, but once you start chanting, you're treading on treacherous ground, he says."
  • "We live in a world so shaped by therapeutic concerns that most people never stop to wonder if God is dealing with them in their stress, their distress, their haunting thoughts, their cluttered minds.  An attempt to empty the mind might well be an effort to listen to the self when we should seek to hear from God."
Psalm 1:1-2 "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night."

Psalm 77:6 "I said, 'Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.' Then my spirit made a diligent search:"

Psalm 119:15-16 "I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.  I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word."

Psalm 145:5 "On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate."

Quote - Polycarp

"Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned?" - Polycarp

Quote - John Donne

"We are the Bibles the world is reading; We are the creeds the world is needing; We are the sermons the world is heeding." - John Donne

Quote - Catherine Booth

"I'd rather have people hate me with the knowledge that I tried to save them." - Catherine Booth

Quote - John Wesley

"Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don't wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work - to wake people up." - John Wesley

Downfalls of the Self Esteem Movement

Ever notice how society tells us to heap endless praise (often insincere or undeserved) on children and youth, being afraid to offer constructive criticism?  Do you wonder how we got to the point where every child must get an award at school or in competitive events, instead of advocating that awards be earned or won?
I grew up under this era of the "self-esteem" movement, always earning a ribbon at swim meets whether I was first-place or sixth-place (don't see that at the Olympics!) and in getting a trophy for every season of baseball that I played.  Despite being raised in this generation, it also seems that this "self-esteem" movement has continued to progress to the point that it has gone overboard.  It is worrisome to see some of the statistics that show the effects of such a culture.
In an article titled "U.S. Teens Brimming with Self-Esteem," some interesting trends are noted concerning teenagers of today:
  • "more likely to claim they are "A" students with high IQs -- even though other research shows that today's students do less homework than their counterparts did in the 1970s."
  • "confidence has crossed over into overconfidence"
  • "decades of relentless, uncritical boosterism by parents and school systems may be producing a generation of kids with expectations that are out of sync with the challenges of the real world"
  • "compared to their counterparts from the '70s, today's youth also tended to rate themselves as more intelligent and were more likely to say they were "completely satisfied" with themselves"
  • "setting goals for yourself is a good thing. It's just when those goals are wildly unrealistic, then that can cause trouble for everyone"
  • "'These kids didn't raise themselves, they got these ideas from somewhere,' Twenge said. With Mom and Dadhanding out endless praise, kids today readily believe they are somehow superior, she said. And teachers aren't blameless, either: According to Twenge, research shows that high school teachers now give out an "A" grade more easily than their counterparts did in the 1970s, even though today's high school students report doing less homework than students from that era."
As parents, teachers, and mentors of the children and youth of today, are we quick to flatter those we influence and raise?  Or are we providing a balance of accurate and deserved encouragement and praise along with loving correction, rebuke, and exhortation?
Let us not forget the problem of sin that exists in all of our lives.
Romans 12:3b "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought"
Jeremiah 9:23-24 " 23Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD."
Proverbs 29:5 "A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps."

Quotes - Charles Spurgeon

“Do not expect to get, in the first year of your pastorate, that result which is the reward of twenty years of continuous toil in one place” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (96)

"the less you think of yourself, the more people will think of you” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (58)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teens - Christian Magazine

Are you looking for a Christmas gift for your teenage child or relative? Want to give them something that will challenge and grow them in their Christian walk?
Try looking into some of these magazines from Focus on the Family.
Don't forget, if you go to Severns Valley Baptist Church Student Ministry we provide Essential Connections magazine/devotional each month for your teenage child. Encourage them to pick up a copy!
Lifeway also provides the three below magazines for teenage girls (not a subscription though):
These 3 magazines are written by author Vicki Courtney who will be coming to Severns Valley Baptist Church on April 18th for a "You and Your Girl" mother/daughter conference.

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“Tell the sinner all the doctrines.  If you hold to Calvinistic doctrine, as I hope you do, do not stutter about it, nor stammer over it, but speak it out.  Depend on it, many revivals have been evanescent because a full-orbed gospel was not proclaimed.  Give the people every truth, every truth baptized in holy fire, and each truth will have its own useful effect on the mind.” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (211)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“A tract is a useful thing, but a living word is better.  Your eye, and face, and voice will all help.  Do not be so cowardly as to give a piece of paper where your own speech would be so much better.” Charlese Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (193)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“Young men and old men, and sisters of all ages, if you love the Lord, get a passion for souls. Do you not see them? They are going down to hell by thousands; as often as the hand upon the dial completes its circuit, hell devours multitudes, some of them ignorant of Christ and others willfully rejecting Him.” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (176)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“How can you serve the Lord with your lips if you do not serve Him with your lives?” Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (160)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

“We ought to regard the Christian Church, not as a luxurious hostelry where Christian gentlemen may each one dwell at his ease in his own inn, but as a barracks in which soldiers are gathered together to be drilled and trained for war.”  Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (158)

Quote - Charles Spurgeon

"Nothing but the Gospel can sweep away the social evil." Charles Spurgeon - The Soul Winner (206)

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