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from Faith Actually:

I’ve often been taken off guard when Christian friends or acquaintances have spoken highly of New Age books such as Eckard Tolle’s widely acclaimed The Power of Now or Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling The Secret. Oprah Winfrey-dubbed “spiritual gurus” such as these promote an insidious form of false teaching under the guise of a benign self-help ethos. Although these teachings mask a treacherous departure from the gospel of Jesus Christ and claim to hold the key to a new spiritual awakening, they are appealing to some Christians who are evidently sucked in by the self-esteemism, widespread popularity, and aggressive marketing of such books. Indeed, Tolle has sold more books than almost any other spiritual author. His #1 New York Times bestseller, The Power of Now, (translated into 33 languages) and his vastly popular follow-up, A New Earth, are frequently touted as two of the most influential spiritual books of our time.

The widespread influence of New Age teaching poses a very real, albeit inconspicuous, threat that the church should take seriously. Despite popular belief to the contrary, the multifaceted movement is still going strong, but less overtly now that many of its concepts have become more subtly ingrained into our collective consciousness. The movement is not relegated to a trippy-hippy, tie-dye clad fringe group, but has been embraced by mainstream culture thanks in large part to the army of celebrities that promote its teachings.

For example, there’s been growing respect for, and adoption of, the practices and philosophies of Eastern religions among Christians. One example is Hatha Yoga, which involves poses and hand positions many of which are depictions of Hindu deities. The hand positions are traditionally called mudras and are thought to help manipulate and channel prana, a supposed divine force or breath of the universe.[1] The purpose of Hatha yoga is traditionally a spiritual practice designed to foster the realization that the true self, the Atman, is divine.[2] Many Christians who practice yoga, however, do not buy into the spiritual side of it, using it for the physical benefits of exercise, flexibility, and muscle-strengthening alone. But some argue that by dabbling in such practices, Christians are opening the door to ungodly spiritual influences. The meditation and relaxation practices in yoga that encourage the emptying of one’s mind, for example, is unbiblical in that contradicts our God-given ability to exercise reason and sound judgement. It also conflicts with Jesus’ command to love God with all of our minds—which necessities a conscious mental state (Matt. 22:37; Luke 10:27). Furthermore, some hold that mindfulness and mind-emptying meditation hold the potential to open us up to demonic persuasion. Due to the popularity of yoga among a significant number of Christians, however, this is a touchy subject. The question becomes, can (or perhaps should) Christians safely practice yoga without compromising themselves spiritually? I will default to former New Ager turned Bible-believing Christian, Marcia Montenegro, in her article on this one.

While the strains of New Age thought that have seeped into our churches may not be immediately evident to us all, those who have been saved out of the New Age movement into Christianity are all too aware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing that lurk around us. Two former New Agers who were miraculously saved into the Christian faith, sister bloggers Christine Pack and Cathy Mathews, have expressed their “concern over false teachings that we realized were coming into today’s Church. Having both been saved OUT of the New Age and occultism, we were alarmed when we began to see some of the same things we did in the New Age creeping into the church…only now, these practices have been cleverly repackaged with Christian terminology, rendering them all the more deceptive.”[3]

In his book, O God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality, Josh McDowell demonstrates how Oprah uses words that might sound like they are based in Christianity, but her real message is radically different from the Christian faith. Likewise, many of Tolle’s ideas are derived from pre-existing, often ancient beliefs with Christian influences. As Montenegro further explains, “The New Age is always a blend of beliefs; intermingling strands from Eastern accepted wisdom, New Thought, Gnosticism, the occult, and even Christianity.”[4] Yet New Agers believe they are rescuing the enlightened parts of Christianity from centuries of male-imposed dogma and have rediscovered its truth through mystical interpretations of the Bible. And for the undiscerning Christian, their use of Christian terminology can be dangerously misleading.

And where is Jesus in all this? Unfortunately, right up front; the name of Jesus is misused frequently within New Age teaching. Many psychics, astrologers, etc. display crosses or pictures of Jesus on their walls. But the New Age Jesus is aCounterfeit Christ who represents an unapologetic departure from the “constraints” of biblical teaching. New Agers unabashedly claim to have freed Jesus from the shackles of religious dogma (i.e. biblical truth) and consequently, on closer inspection, he bears very little relation to the Son of God we know as Christians.

Indeed, the New Age Jesus is devoid of any salvific purpose, being presented an imparter of wisdom, rather than a savior from sins, despite the fact that Scripture clearly claim His purpose on Earth was to do just that (Matt 1:21; Luke 2:11; Luke 19:10; John 4:42; Acts 13:23; 1 Tim 1:15; 1 Tim 4:10; Titus 2:13; 1 John 4:14).

In fact, the New Age Jesus is generally believed to be a mere man who achieved a high level of spiritual enlightenment, which afforded him godlike attributes. He is esteemed as one of the “Masters,” along with Buddha, Krishna, and others, all of whom illuminate the path for humanity to spiritual enlightenment.

The New Age Jesus is disturbingly more Jedi than he is biblical. A widespread New Age belief is that Jesus is actually a separate being from a divine entity, which is often referred to as “the Christ.” Many prominent New Agers, like Tolle and Byrne, perceive “the Christ” as being impersonal, cosmic, and abstract in nature—in essence, a “Christ-force” or “Christ-consciousness.” New Agers claim that this Christ-force took possession of the body of the man, Jesus, in order to guide humanity towards a process of spiritual evolution. “The Christ” is said to lie dormant within each person, waiting to be fully realized so that humanity as a whole may experience spiritual awakening.[5] As Andrew Harvey puts it in his virtual seminar, The Christ Path, “By seeing Jesus’s life with fresh eyes, we take him off the pedestal as an untouchable Savior and begin to see him as a way-shower for all of us to embody more of our innate divinity as we co-create a more just and compassionate world.”[7] 

The Christ-force theory finds its origins in the Gnostic movement that begun in the second century AD, as a heretical sect of early Christianity. Basic Gnostic beliefs hold that humans are emanated from a Supreme Being and are divine spirits trapped inside physical bodies. In Gnosticism, salvation of the soul from the material world is achieved through the realization of gnōsis[8]—esoteric or intuitive knowledge of the truth—rather than the atoning death of a Christ figure. Some Gnostics identify Jesus as an embodiment of the Supreme Being who became incarnate in order to bring gnōsis to the earth. Others, like contemporary Gnostic Reverend Todd Ferrier, founder of The Order of the Cross, suggest that the word “Jesus” was merely a codeword assumed by a historical being. Most Gnostics believe that there has been more than one authentic Messiah, and that “the modern Christian claim that Jesus was the only Christ (or Messiah) is simply not tenable.”[9]

While the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus are central to the Christian faith, in Gnostic tradition the crucifixion is deemphasized (along with the Trinity and other inconvenient truths about Jesus). The Institute for Gnostic Studies states: 
For the Gnostic, pain and suffering are part of the fallen world’s condition…certainly Jesus suffered perhaps inasmuch that he had to take a fallen physical vessel as in the indignities of his crucifixion. However, there is no grace in suffering. The aim is to transcend matter, not wallow in its more painful aspects. The suffering and death of Jesus illustrated the reaction of the ignorant to the Gnosis, while his resurrection illustrated how death and matter could be overcome. It is irrelevant whether Jesus physically came back from the dead or not, since the Gnostics and Jesus have such contempt for matter, it seems highly unlikely that the resurrection had much to do with a re-enlivened corpse. It was an awakening to light, a Transfiguration rather than some ghastly re-animation.[10 emphasis added]In Gnosticism, Jesus’ role is not to die on the cross as ransom for our sins. Instead, “Jesus comes as a revealer, a bringer of Gnosis, an opener of doors, he works to shatter the prison that locks the true Self into the body and awaken the light which is hidden within the heart of man.”[11] The New Age Jesus paves the pathway for humanity to spiritual enlightenment. 

Another manifestation of the New Age Jesus is the astrological Jesus, aka the Piscean Avatar. Former astrologer, Montenegro, explains how in astrology, Christ has become the living symbol of the Piscean Age that spans from His birth to 2,000 years later. Montenegro states: “Since Jesus is considered a higher spiritual being, an Avatar, by many astrologers, he embodies the highest aspects of Pisces: universal love, compassion, sacrifice, intuition, servanthood, martyrdom, and spirituality.” Like the biblical Jesus, the astrological Jesus possesses character traits that set him apart from most men—yet thisCounterfeit Christ is not unique in his deity. In keeping with New Ageism, “The astrological Jesus is still a New Age Jesus, or, in more contemporary terms, the Jesus of the new spirituality. Jesus is the man who realized Christ-consciousness, the innate divinity in all men.”[12]

And therein lies the rub. It’s that old Satanic lie that we can attain personal godhood—the same lie that’s been repeated over and over throughout history in Gnosticism, the Religion of Reason, Marxism, Mormonism, secular humanism, selfism, and the New Age movement—to name just a few—which all hinge on the belief in human perfectibility/deification though human effort. These false religions, spiritual awakenings, and philosophies each distract from—or attempt to completely negate—the human need for a supernatural Savior. (For more on this refer to our previous post on “A Brief History of Bad Ideas“).

And so there is, in fact, nothing “new” about the New Age Jesus at all…He’s been slithering around since the original fall of man in Genesis 3 when Satan tempted Adam and Eve with the lie that if they accessed secret knowledge or wisdom (Gnosticism), their eyes would be opened (enlightenment), and they wouldn’t need to submit to the sovereign God anymore, for they themselves would be as God is. (Gen. 3:1-5). Satan knows exactly how to appeal to our innate desire for self-deification now—just as he did then.

Rather than flatly rejecting Jesus altogether based on the biblical claims about Him, then, New Agers have incorporated the figure of Christ into their occultist beliefs. And by using Christian vocabulary and loosely reappropriating Christian concepts, they have pulled the wool over the eyes of an alarming number of Christians. This strategy of deception is an age-old ploy of Satan: high-jacking God’s truth by using partial truths to lure people in and ultimately to dupe them altogether. Remember that Satan “disguises himself as an angel of light” and “his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:3, 14-15). In the same way, the New Age Jesus masquerades as one who will lead us to our own inner light. 

For this reason, it is important for us as Christians to be aware of the erroneous ideas about Jesus that are propagated by the New Age movement—along with its books, its proponents, its self-esteem gurus, its practices and teachings—so we may escape its ungodly influence, and cling instead to God’s Word on the authentic Son of God, who is the only way, the truth, and the life.

from Got Questions:

Periods of sadness and depression can enter the life of even the most devout Christian. We see many examples of this in the Bible. Job wished he had never been born (Job 3:11). David prayed to be taken away to a place where he would not have to deal with reality (Psalm 55:6-8). Elijah, even after defeating 450 prophets of Baal with fire called down from heaven (1 Kings 18:16-46), fled into the desert and asked God to take his life (1 Kings 19:3-5).

So how can we overcome these periods of joylessness? We can see how these same people overcame their bouts of depression. Job said that, if we pray and remember our blessings, God will restore us to joy and righteousness (Job 33:26). David wrote that the study of God’s Word can bring us joy (Psalm 19:8). David also realized that he needed to praise God even in the midst of despair (Psalm 42:5). In Elijah’s case, God let him rest for a time and then sent a man, Elisha, to help him (1 Kings 19:19-21). We also need friends that we can share our hurts and pains with (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). It may be helpful to share our feelings with a fellow Christian. We may be surprised to find that he or she has struggled with some of the same things that we are going through.

Most importantly, it is certain that dwelling on ourselves, our problems, our hurts, and especially our pasts will never produce true spiritual joy. Joy is not found in materialism, it is not found in psychotherapy, and it most certainly is not found in obsession with ourselves. It is found in Christ. We who belong to the Lord “glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). To know Christ is to come to have a true sense of ourselves, and true spiritual insight, making it impossible to glory in ourselves, in our wisdom, strength, riches, or goodness, but in Christ—in His wisdom and strength, in His riches and goodness, and in His person only. If we remain in Him, immerse ourselves in His Word, and seek to know Him more intimately, our “joy will be full” (John 15:1-11).

Finally, remember that it is only through God’s Holy Spirit that we can find true joy (Psalm 51:11-12; Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6). We can do nothing apart from the power of God (2 Corinthians 12:10, 13:4). Indeed, the harder we try to be joyful through our own efforts, the more miserable we can become. Rest in the Lord’s arms (Matthew 11:28-30) and seek His face through prayer and Scripture. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

from KOMONEWS.COM:

A group of former pastors from Mars Hill Church have filed formal charges against the church’s Senior Pastor Mark Driscoll.

All 21 pastors have left or been let go from the church. The 11-page complaint filed with the executive elders at Mars Hill alleges Driscoll’s abusive and intimidating behavior toward church leaders, staff and members.

“For me it was hard. I had been silent for seven years,” said Lief Moi, who is one of the 21 pastors who lodged the complaint with the church.

Moi was also one of the co-founders of Mars Hill Church in 1996. He left the church in 2007 after what he calls controlling and manipulative behavior of his own.

Moi said he was not happy with the direction of the church and quietly resigned.  After seven year of healing and reflection, he felt like it was time to come forward about his concerns for the future of Mars Hill.

“Part of me felt relief. The biggest thing is a deep compassion and concern for Mark and his family,” said he said.

The charges allege 25 instances over the last four years where Driscoll is accused of inappropriate behavior, including bullying, threatening, domineering and shaming of church leaders and members.

The charges filed by the pastors includes:

•    “Pastor Mark exhibits lack of self-control by his speech and by verbally assaulting others.”
•    “Pastor Mark exhibits anger and ungraceful ways of dealing with those with whom he disagrees and who he disagrees with. He does this by (among other ways) putting people down, caricaturing and dismissing.
•    “We believe that the way Pastor Mark leads has created a culture of fear instead of a culture of candor and safety. People are often afraid to ask questions or challenge certain ideas.”
•    “Pastor Mark is verbally abusive to people who challenge him, disagree with him, or question him.”

An incident was also noted in the statement of charges where Driscoll used profanity in discussion with a church elder.

In recent days Driscoll was let go from the ACTS 29 Network, and removed from two other Christian conferences.

Mars Hill church released this statement to KOMO 4 News:

“We take these allegations seriously and we are thankful that we have a process in place where allegations will be reviewed by our Board and our elders. As it is relatively new that these former elders submitted this, at this time we don’t have any information on how long that process will take or what the outcome will be, but we look forward to having Pastor Mark back from vacation this Sunday.”

“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken – it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”

“’Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” said McHugh. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

from CNS News:

Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospitaland its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.

Dr. McHugh, the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, made his remarks in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, where he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically.

He also reported on a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people. Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings.”

While the Obama administration, Hollywood, and major media such as Timemagazine promote transgenderism as normal, said Dr. McHugh, these “policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.”

“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken – it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”

The transgendered person’s disorder, said Dr. McHugh, is in the person’s “assumption” that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature. It is a disorder similar to a “dangerously thin” person suffering anorexia who looks in the mirror and thinks they are “overweight,” said McHugh.

This assumption, that one’s gender is only in the mind regardless of anatomical reality, has led some transgendered people to push for social acceptance and affirmation of their own subjective “personal truth,” said Dr. McHugh. As a result, some states – California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – have passed laws barring psychiatrists, “even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor,” he said.

The pro-transgender advocates do not want to know, said McHugh, that studies show between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings “spontaneously lose those feelings” over time. Also, for those who had sexual reassignment surgery, most said they were “satisfied” with the operation “but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery.”

“And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs,” said Dr. McHugh.

The former Johns Hopkins chief of psychiatry also warned against enabling or encouraging certain subgroups of the transgendered, such as young people “susceptible to suggestion from ‘everything is normal’ sex education,” and the schools’ “diversity counselors” who, like “cult leaders,” may “encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.”

Dr. McHugh also reported that there are “misguided doctors” who, working with very young children who seem to imitate the opposite sex, will administer “puberty-delaying hormones to render later sex-change surgeries less onerous – even though the drugs stunt the children’s growth and risk causing sterility.”

Such action comes “close to child abuse,” said Dr. McHugh, given that close to 80% of those kids will “abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated ….”

“’Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” said McHugh. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

from Christian News:

Less than a year after announcing her support for same-sex ‘marriage,’ a UK-based worship artist whose songs are sung in American churches on any given Sunday has come out as a lesbian.

Vicky Beeching first was introduced in the Christian music industry in 2002, but became more prominent with the release of her worship album Yesterday, Today and Forever in 2005. The release featured songs such as Above All ElseGreat is Your Glory, Search Me, and a new take on the hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. She released two additional albums in 2007 and 2010, co-writing the song Glory to God Forever with fellow worship artist Steve Fee and touring with the band Delirious and singer/songwriter Rebecca St. James.

In 2012, Beeching outlined her feminist beliefs in an article entitled Jesus Was a Feminist and So Am I and appeared on BBC News to explain why she believed women should be permitted to serve as bishops in the Angelican church.

“My Christian friends chide me for my overtly feminist views, while the atheist-feminist circles I move in despair at my commitment to what they see as a patriarchal religion,” she wrote. “It would be much easier to choose one or the other—Christianity or feminism, but I believe they should be—and are—utterly compatible.”

n December of last year, Beeching came out in support of same-sex “marriage” in appearing on UK’s Good Morning Sunday hosted by Clare Balding. She later posted her thoughts more in-depth in three separate entries on her blog.

“Not many evangelical Christians hold the theology hold that I do in affirming that same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage is acceptable to God and can be celebrated,” Beeching told Christianity Today in June. “Since speaking out and blogging about equal marriage, there’s been a boycott of my songs. My income comes from royalties, so unless they’re sung, I lose my income, which has been difficult. It’s been deeply painful to see people writing off 15 years of my work, saying that it’s now tarnished.”

Now, The Independent released an interview with Beeching on Wednesday, where the singer/songwriter/blogger came out as a lesbian herself.

“I felt like coming out was something I needed to do,” she said. “The [UK Angelican] Church has now voted to enable women to become bishops, literally almost a month ago today, on July 14th. The next big hurdle the church faces is the discussion around sexuality. So it felt important for me to add my voice to that debate as it will be the key topic for the decades to come. And my voice will make much more difference if I’m open about my sexuality, as I can share more honestly about what it’s like to be a gay Christian.”

She said that she had been struggling with same-sex attraction since she was twelve, and eventually decided to stop fighting it.

“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love,” Beeching stated. “I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”

And now, she says she wants to work to change the beliefs of those in the Church.

“I am not angry with the Church even though it’s been a painful journey. I still hold as tightly to my Christian faith as ever,” Beeching said. “I have a lot of hope for the future of the Church—that we can see a move towards inclusion, welcome and love for LGBT people.”

Reaction to Beeching’s announcement has been mixed.

“Wow, what an example of being covered by the blood of the Lamb!” one commenter wrote.

“So sad,” another stated. “God loves the way that we are, but not our sins. Please remember that. [Just] because we think that we’re right [doesn't] mean that God is okay with our decision.”

“It’s amazing how people can justify what Christ is against. We do sin and ask for forgiveness for making that mistake. Then we make the change to become stronger so we don’t do it again,” a third commenter wrote. “And you wonder why people think Christians are hypocrites. Start standing up for what Christ teaches. Black or white. Hot or cold. There’s no grey or warm in Gods eyes!”

from Good Fight Ministries:

By: Joe Schimmel

Robin Williams

Everybody is currently talking about Robin Williams and his tragic suicide. Many are puzzled as to how a man, who made so many people laugh, could be so depressed that he would violently end his life. What people are not learning is the deeper truth about the insidious forces that tormented Robin Williams and drove him to suicide.

Robin Williams acknowledged that he had opened himself up to transformative demonic powers that aided him on stage. Without the aid of such demonic powers, it is likely that you would have never have heard of Robin Williams and many other famous celebrities. Williams also recognized that these powers had manifested a very evil influence on stage and that there could be a hefty price to pay for their assistance. Williams told James Kaplan of US Weekly:

“Yeah! Literally, it’s like possession ‑ all of a sudden you’re in, and because it’s in front of a live audience, you just get this energy that just starts going…But there’s also that thing ‑ it is possession. In the old days you’d be burned for it…But there is something empowering about it. I mean, it is a place where you are totally ‑ it is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where you really can become this other force. Maybe that’s why I don’t need to play evil characters [in movies], ’cause sometimes onstage you can cross that line and come back. Clubs are a weird kind of petri dish environment. I mean, that’s where people can get as dark as they can in comedy ‑ in the name of comedy, be talking about outrageous stuff and somehow come out the other side. I mean, that’s one place where you really want to push it” (Robin Williams, “Robin Williams,” by James Kaplan, US Weekly, January, 1999, p. 53).

Williams’ last statement quoted above answers the question as to why the demonic powers use entertainers. Their goal is to promote evil and darkness and increase mankind’s rebellion against God.

Williams went on to say on the heels of that admission:

“The people I’ve ad­mired ‑ Jonathan [Winters], in his best days, was out. Gone. But the price he paid for it was deep” (Ibid).

Sadly, it seems that the price Robin Williams has now paid is just as deep as that of his idol, Jonathan Winters. In fact, in the same US Weekly Interview, James Kaplan says:

“With a gift for mimicry and improvisation that verged on demonic possession, Williams could even approach the artistry of his idol Jonathan Winters—a man whose genius took him, once or twice, over the edge into mental illness. Williams’ own version of hell has been extensively chronicled” (Ibid).

Jonathan Winters

Like Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters had to contend with the tormenting demonic powers he utilized for fame and fortune. “These voices are always screaming to get out,” Winters told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, further admitting “They follow me around pretty much all day and night.”

At the height of Winter’s success, he voluntarily committed himself to a psychiatric hospital for eight months. Winters would later claim that if he were not careful, the authorities would put him back in the  “zoo,” an obvious reference to the mental institution. Winters, like Williams, often fell into deep depression and struggled with heavy drinking.

Comedians, like many famous musicians, pay the price for their fame by becoming enslaved to the demonic forces that possess and torment them. Jim Morrison, the frontman of America’s most successful band in the 60’s, admitted that he had to drink “to silence the constant voices of the demons” (James Riordin, “Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison,” p. 23). The Door’s photographer, Frank Lisciandro, stated that,“Jim drank to quiet the ceaseless clamor of the demons, ghosts and spirits. He drank because there were demons and voices and spirits shouting inside of his head and he found that one of the ways to quell them was with alcohol” (Ibid., p. 28).

Brian Wilson, considered the musical genius of the Beach Boys, claimed that he has been harassed by several different demonic spirit entities that so tormented him that he was bed ridden for years. Rolling Stone describes Wilson’s possession-like experience in ways that are reminiscent of scenes of Linda Blair from The Exorcist:

Brian Wilson

“Brian Wilson hears voices. They talk to him. They frighten him, distract him, confuse him…the voices are calling. His eyes roll toward the ceiling; they’ve gone blank. His brow is furrowed with thick worry lines. He is silent. Gone. He looks up, jerks his head back and forth for a few seconds, as if physically shaking away the voices” Former Warner Brother Records President, Larry Waronker, claims to have met at least five different entities possessing Brian Wilson’s body (Rolling Stone, August, 1988, p. 51-52).

Ozzy Osborne admitted, “I’ve got many, many demons that affect me on many, many levels” (Harry Shaw, “Ozzy Talking,” p. 126). Ozzie further admitted, “I remember sitting through the Exorcist a dozen times, saying to myself, ‘Yeah, I can relate to that” (Hit Parader, Nov. 1984, p. 49).

Most people are blind to this diabolical pattern of celebrities giving themselves over to satanic power for fame and fortune, only to be exploited, used and abused, and then spit out after Satan is done with them.

Heath Ledger’s life ended prematurely not long after he accepted the evil role of The Joker in The Dark Knight. While Ledger’s depression began after starring in the gay promotional film, Brokeback Mountain, after his death, headlines from Australia’s Herald Sun like, “Tragic Death: Heath Ledger Battled His Demons” and The Star, stating “If it was personal demons that conspired to destroy Heath Ledger, they were already making their presence felt many years before,” underscored the fact that Ledger was dealing with some dark forces.

Ledger said of The Joker character he would portray in The Dark Knight,“He’s a psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” However, to properly play the role to his satisfaction, Ledger would open himself up to evil spirits with even less empathy. “Well,” said Jack Nicholson, who had also played The Joker, “I warned him” (Source).

Unfortunately, Nicholson’s warning went unheeded and Ledger overcame his fears and ended up even meditating on becoming the evil Joker he would portray:

“I definitely feared it…Although anything that makes me afraid I guess excites me at the same time. I don’t know if I was fearless, but I certainly had to put on a brave face and believe that I have something up my sleeve. Something different…just closing my eyes and meditating on it…it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts” (Source).

Heath Ledger

Ledger told the New York Times that he “had trouble sleeping while portraying the Joker,”and that, “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night.” Ledger seems to have been so tormented that he told the Times, “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” He went on to state that he took drugs, which would quell the unrest for only an hour (The Associated Press, January 23, 2008). Sadly, Ledger, died of a drug overdose shortly after the filming of The Dark Knight.

Robin Williams, like Morrison, Winters, Ledger and so many others who resort to drugs or alcohol in their attempt to quell the demonic voices that torment them, fail to realize – until it’s too late – that such drugs only draw one deeper into Satan’s insidious web. The truth is that only the Lord Jesus Christ has the power and authority to deliver humans from satanic powers. The scriptures reveal that the demonic powers tremble before God’s mighty power (James 2:19). It is in Jesus’ name that believers have victory over the demonic realm. God’s Word declares:

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death” (Revelation 12:11).

Christians must guard their hearts from entertainers who are being used by dark forces to erode moral conviction and draw believers away from the light and love of Christ.

The terrible irony is that many of these comics, such as Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters, who are portrayed in their public persona to be happy and filled with laughs, are in fact the most tormented and joyless souls on earth. Jesus gave the solemn warning “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).

According to Robin Williams’ publicist, Williams had been struggling with “severe depression.” Famous comedian Chevy Chase said of Williams after his suicide “Robin and I were great friends, suffering from the same little-known disease: depression” (Source).

Jim Carry, who has his own battles with severe depression, said when asked about Robin Williams’ death, “Comedians are often plagued by thoughts and beliefs that no one understands them” (Source).

Several famous comedians have been diagnosed with mental illness and suffered from severe depression. Just to name a few: John Cleese, Paul Merton, Jim Carrey, Stephen Fry, Jonathan Winters, Ruby Wax, Dave Chappelle, Robin Williams, Chevy Chase, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Hugh Laurie, David Walliams, Maria Bamford, and Tony Hancock, who was considered the funniest comic actor of his time, ended up killing himself while filming a television series in Australia in 1968.

Jesus – not drugs or alcohol – is the Savior of the world and the only One who can deliver us from the penalty of sin, hell, death and enslavement from satanic powers. Jesus declared:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Jesus also declared:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:16-21)

Depression can have many sources, but has only one ultimate remedy. True joy can only come from a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the infilling of His Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is manifold and includes love and joy. Let us remember that there are a lot of hurting people out there like Robin Williams, who are filled with hopelessness and despair. May God make us sensitive to their needs and help us to show them His great love through our concern, willingness to help and sharing the gospel.

Please pray for the celebrities/mediums in Hollywood and so many in the music industry, that they would repent and find deliverance from the demonic forces that are exploiting them to wickedly influence the masses and come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords! Pray for those who clamor for their “entertainment,” and are adversely and incrementally affected. May the Lord guard each of our own hearts, as we seek discernment and seek to avoid the spiritual land mines that threaten our lives and those of our loved ones. May the Lord abundantly bless you as you seek His face and His glory!

The Peer-Driven Church

from Discernment Research Group:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light,and light for darkness;that put bitter for sweet,and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

Peer Pressure is the easiest way to manipulate people. This piece of comedy satire in the video vividly explains what is happening to to people in our churches and across our society.

As you watch the above video, note the self-doubt. The confusion. The pressure to conform. How the pressure is ramped up by calling upon an “authority.” The high stakes! The emotional appeals!

In 1972 when I was a student in an Educational Psychology class we were put through a similar group psychological experiment. We were positioned in a large circle. One person was designated as the first person and given a message to deliver. A group of approximately 8-10 people after them were given the same message.

But the rest of us didn’t know that they had been given this message. We only knew that we were given the assignment to find group consensus.

These first people had been secretly told to assert strongly that“Black Is White.” As the people began go around the circle, more and more pressure was brought to bear. Each secretly-informed person would more assertively and authoritatively state, “Black Is White.”

There were only a handful of the rest of us at the end who were not privy to the secret. So by the time it got to our last section of the circle we were puzzled and confused. We were supposed to say “Black Is White” in order to accomplish group agreement.

What happened to us? We did the same thing you see happen on the video!

This comedy routine, even though a satire, is the most perfect example I’ve ever seen of how this peer-driven process works.

Peer-driven is a sophisticated psycho-social marketing technique. It is used in the evangelical church world to pressure people into conforming to new norms, beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors. It is a very effective method employed by trained leaders to cause people in the pews to change, to follow new teachings and new teachers, to believe new doctrines, to read new books, to join new groups, to adopt new behaviors, etc.

Have you ever wondered why evangelical leaders shifted the focus to “relationships” and “community” over the past few decades? It was to institute a peer-driven culture. What is the final authority? It isn’t the Bible anymore. It is whatever the group says. “Black is White.”

For example, peer-driven can resemble a phenomena called “Groupthink”:

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. [Source, links removed]

There is a reason that the Bible compares people to sheep. We are prone to follow the leaders, and we like to follow our peers.  

Watch and weep!

“My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)

 
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