C.S. Lewis: A Biblical Evaluation

A few months ago, I began to feel compelled to write something about C.S. Lewis. For years now, I have noticed just how many believers are filled with admiration for this author. I had done a bit of research throughout the years and knew enough to avoid him but I decided it was time to do enough research in order to show you, my readers, who this author really is.

And so, recently, I have been diving headfirst into the world of C.S. Lewis. I watched a few videos, I read a few articles, and I checked out a compilation of some of his best known works from the library so that I could compare what I was reading in excerpt form with the actual book.

As I researched, I became more and more overwhelmed with the immensity of what I was finding. The evidence showing C.S. Lewis to be a pagan author was showing itself forth in undeniable and clear documentation, which was mostly found in his own works.

So the question that had to be asked: How did C.S. Lewis gain in such popularity if his works deny key Christian doctrines and are full of occultism? How did this happen? I think the key to this is found in the “intellectual” circles of Christendom, which have tended to set the trends for the rest of us. They embraced him warmly, despite these flashing red flags and the rest of us followed suit. When someone did mention a problem, they were shushed and ridiculed and ignored. It’s so interesting. (This is the same dynamic we are seeing in our current day with eschatology. The upper echelon is setting the trends and the trends are not biblical. This would probably be worth a post all on its own.)

At any rate, this afternoon I sat down to read a long and well-documented article that I came across on C.S. Lewis. As I read, I kept thinking over and over again how comprehensive and thorough it was. Some of the quotes matched some of the troublesome ones I had found on my own accord in Lewis’s Reflections of the Psalms. I found myself wishing I could write something similar to what this author had written, but also realized that I just didn’t have the knowledge and background information to do such a great job. Suffice it to say, I was delighted to see at the end of the article that the author welcomed sharing this information as long as proper credit was given.

I mulled it over in my mind for a few moments. Would this be the best way to bring my readers the truth about this well-loved wolf in sheep’s clothing? I came to the conclusion that it was.

The article, quite lengthy and full of helpful historical background, is a long read. I believe you will find this author knowledgeable and trustworthy. I do think it is important to note here that the essay below does not contain the entirety of what I found as I researched, again mostly from his own works. The evidence against C.S. Lewis actually being a genuine follower of Christ is truly astounding.

Interestingly enough, this post, if you will take the time to read it, will also give you one, and perhaps the main, reason that Star Wars should be avoided. Just in case you are interested.

I want to say right up front: I am not looking to change the mind of the diehard Lewis fan who refuses to compare his beliefs to scripture. I am not interested in debates or arguments. This is presented for those of you who truly want to know the truth. It is for those of you who have been troubled by the occultic themes in the Chronicles of Narnia or have come across outright heretical statements in his books.

I truly hope that you will take time to consider what is written here. I hope that this encourages many to discard Lewis (and yes, Tolkein) works from their libraries. But, most of all, I hope that it reminds us all that the Bible is our only authority in determining what is true and right.

Please note: This is written in ‘English’ English (as opposed to American English) so you will note some spelling differences as you read. Also, you will find a link for the complete article in its entirety at the end of this post. At that link you will find a complete bibliography, along with some helpful photos.


LUPUS OCCULTUS: THE PAGANISED CHRISTIANITY OF C.S. LEWIS

by Jeremy James

(www.zephaniah.eu)

C S Lewis is well known among born-again Christians as a ‘Christian’ writer, someone whose inclusive religious viewpoint is of particular relevance to the world we live in today. I would hope to show that this perception of Lewis is not only gravely mistaken but that it arose through deliberate misdirection on the part of Lewis himself.

In 2008, after 33 years as an active participant in the New Age movement, I finally came to Christ. As I found my feet and met with other born-again Christians, I discovered that many Evangelicals, as well as Christians the world over, were keen readers of C S Lewis. They revered him as a great Christian author and apologist for true, Bible-believing Christianity. Frankly, this was a great surprise to me because, as a longtime practitioner of the New Age, I knew what C S Lewis was ‘really’ teaching.

Anyone with a deep familiarity with New Age philosophy, or with a grounding in Theosophy or the occult generally, knows that C S Lewis was about as Christian as the Dalai Lama. Religious, yes. Philosophical, yes. But Christian? Never.

Occult England
Lewis was moulded in the long tradition of high-Anglican British atheism, spiritism, and oriental thought. Long before John Dee and Edward Kelly, two high level occultists who advised Queen Elizabeth I, a large segment of the English upper classes was involved in magic and a study of the occult books which started to flow into Europe after the Crusades. The English Reformation was mainly a political movement which, in the long run, had little impact on the religious beliefs of the ruling classes. Their fascination with the occult and the paranormal spread through the Anglican Church and led to a state-sponsored brand of Christianity which was purely ceremonial in nature. The Methodist, Presbyterian, Plymouth Brethren and other Bible-based churches emerged to fill the colossal void left by the established church, most of whose clergy and prelates were either non-believers, theists or spiritualists.

Lewis was a high Anglican with strong leanings toward the Roman Catholic Church. Raised in the Church of Ireland, he worked through an atheistic phase in his youth to become a theist – a believer in a deity, but not yet a Christian. His alleged conversion came in 1931, when he was aged 33 or thereabouts and a tenured academic at Oxford. He then joined the Church of England, even though his close friend, JRR Tolkien, wanted him to enter the Roman Catholic Church.

Many scholars who have studied this phase of Lewis’s life have been unable to identify anything in his conversion which comes remotely close to what a Bible-believing Christian understands by ‘born again’. His own account in Surprised by Joy reads more like the philosophical acceptance of a difficult scientific theory than a life-changing religious experience.

Most Americans are unaware of the extent to which the English academia in the 18th and 19th centuries was steeped in the literature, history and mythology of Greece and Rome. Furthermore, with countless members of the ruling elite and the upper middle class serving in India and the Middle East, they were exposed to, and greatly influenced by, the religious traditions and mythologies of the Orient. This led to the widely-held belief that all religions were fundamentally mythological in character and that, while they served a useful social function, they were either (a) devoid of any absolute truth or (b) expressions of a universal moral truth common to all religions. It was the latter stream from which English Freemasonry drew and from which the
spiritual ethos of Oxford and Cambridge was formed.

Theosophy and other eastern occult ideas, as well as mesmerism and spiritualism, took hold within the establishment and had a marked effect on many senior figures, even among the Anglican Church:

…among the clergy of the Church of England proper, there was in the early years of this century [20th] a measurable interest in Theosophy and occult matters. – Webb, p.131

Within the establishment of the Church of England, the classical scholar Dean Inge redirected attention to the Tradition of Plotinus and those Christians who had followed him. The interest aroused by Inge’s lectures at Oxford in 1899…was extensive…[he] admitted that Christian mysticism owed a debt to the Greek Mysteries. – Webb, p.276

The Druidical theories gave birth in the 19th century to a cult known as “Bardism,” whose members professed the articles of faith of the Church of
England, while apparently holding to some almost Gnostic tenets and celebrating rites of “a Masonic character.”
– Webb, p.231

This was the ethos in which Lewis himself was formed. Unorthodox Christian theology, the mythologies of Greece and Rome, the Scandinavian sagas, the medieval romances, and the ancient lore of Egypt and Babylon provided the bricks from which his religious edifice was constructed. He simply put ‘Christ’ on top, where others put Zeus or Saturn or Apollo.

The C S Lewis version of Christ
What most Christians don’t seem to realize is that this ‘Christ’ – the C S Lewis version of Christ – is not the Messiah Redeemer, but an archetypal figure revered by pagans since ancient times, the perfected man or god-man, the pinnacle of human evolution.

In light of the evidence that I present in this paper, I submit that Lewis chose Christ, rather than Apollo, say, as his god-man archetype because he wished to draw a great many others into his system of belief. While the small circle of committed pagans whom he knew and with whom he met regularly – known as the Inklings – were already in step with his philosophy, there was enormous potential for spreading his ideas by linking them directly to just one ‘mythology,’ that of Judeo-Christianity.

This is why I was surprised to learn that millions of Bible-believing Christians in the US were looking to Lewis for guidance and edification. Most members of the New Age, especially those who have read widely and met with representatives of its various branches, know that C S Lewis is simply a vehicle for drawing new converts into paganism and the New Age movement. He does this by the time-honoured method – pretend to be a friend, use the right terminology, and slowly draw your audience in another direction.

I will shortly show how he did this, in his own words. But first I’d like to quote two high-profile, former practitioners of witchcraft – John Todd and David Meyer.

Testimony from Two Former Witches
Todd is a very interesting character. He was born into an Illuminati family (one which practices traditional witchcraft and conducts clandestine, usually illegal, activities with similar families) and was initiated into an advanced level of the occult while still in his teens. He made a series of taped talks in the 1970s after his surprise conversion to Christianity. Fortunately these recordings are still available on the Internet, though Todd himself was silenced shortly thereafter by his ‘family’ for revealing far too much information. On tape 2(b) he warns his audience of born-again Christians as follows:

“How many of you read [books by] C S Lewis? How many of you read [books by] JRR Tolkien? Burn them. I’m going to repeat this – Burn them, burn them! Lewis was supposed to have been once allured [charmed into witchcraft] by Tolkien. Tolkien was supposed to be a Christian. And witches call all those books [i.e. the books of Tolkien and Lewis] their bible. They have to read them before they can be initiated, and it is well known in England and published in occult books that they both belonged to Rothschild’s private coven…They are not Christian books. We have found books that are outside of The Screwtape Letters where Lewis talks of the gods Diana, Kurnous and others as beings, as real gods. C. S. Lewis, who was supposed to be a Christian and his books are sold in Christian stores. Burn ‘em. They’re witchcraft books.”

David Meyer was also born into a family which practiced traditional witchcraft. According to his own testimony, while still in his teens he opened himself successfully to the demonic entities which operated through his deceased grandmother, who was also a witch. This gave him unusual occult powers which, no doubt, would have led him to a senior position in the American occult hierarchy. However, before this could happen, he was saved by the blood of Christ, became a born-again Christian and, later, a pastor.

Here is how he described the dangers posed by the disguised occult writings of C S Lewis:

“As a former witch, astrologer, and occultist who has been saved by the grace of God, I know that the works of C.S. Lewis are required reading by neophyte witches, especially in the United States and England. This includes The Chronicles of Narnia, because [they] teach neophyte[s], or new witches, the basic mindset of the craft…

“The story of the Narnian Chronicle known as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is one of clandestine occult mysticism and is not Sunday School material unless your Sunday School is a de facto witch coven…The main character of the book is a lion named Aslan, which is [derived from Arslan] the Turkish word for lion. Aslan the lion is the character that “Christian” teachers say is the Christ figure, but witches know him to be Lucifer. The lion, Aslan, appears in all seven of the books of The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Of course, one could ignore these warnings, possibly by doubting the occult bona fides of their authors. After all, how could someone as “nice” as C S Lewis be involved in anything of this nature. But believe me, some of the “nicest” people you could ever meet are practitioners of the occult. According to their philosophy, they are morally entitled to spread their beliefs in a disguised form, for the greater good of mankind.

Ask yourself the Obvious Question
Ask yourself, why do New Age and occult book stores stock the works of C S Lewis? After all, if they were remotely Christian, they would be banned!

No practitioner of the occult would associate himself (or herself) with anything that genuinely proclaimed, in any sense, the cleansing blood of Christ. It pleases them greatly to see how completely Christians have been taken in by the paganised version of Christianity which Lewis portrays in his occult fantasies. Where Christians see Aslan as a Christ figure, they know that he really represents Lucifer, the glorious sun god of witchcraft. For example, the famous Luciferian, Albert Pike, one of the most respected figures in modern Freemasonry, described Horus, the powerful Egyptian deity – whose ‘eye’ is a well-known symbol in Illuminated Freemasonry – in the following terms: “He is the son of Osiris and Isis; and is represented sitting on a throne supported by lions; the same word, in Egyptian, meaning Lion and Sun.” (Morals and Dogma). He also says that “The Lion was the symbol of Atom-Re, the Great God of Upper Egypt.” This is why the lion figures to prominently in the iconography of British imperialism, representing as it does the sun god and perfected man of Masonry.

The Narnia Chronicles are plain celebrations of white magic and its power to defeat black magic. They are occult throughout. And the number of magical ideas and pagan deities which they portray is quite extraordinary. These are dressed up and presented in such a jolly British fashion, and carefully geared towards the mind of a child, that our critical faculty fails to register the obvious – that the power of white magic and the power of Christ are NOT the same thing. Readers fall into an appalling trap when they confuse the two. However, it is precisely this confusion that Lewis is exploiting.

Perhaps you are thinking that, while the fiction works of C S Lewis can be construed in this way, for whatever reason, his non-fiction writings must surely provide irrefutable evidence that he was Christian to the core? Well, you are in for a big surprise.

Two Key Works by C S Lewis
Let’s focus on two works which have long been regarded as exemplary expressions of his enlightened Christian theology – Mere Christianity (1952) and Reflections on the Psalms (1958). The former, I believe, has sold several million copies and is used by many born-again Christians as an evangelical tool. The latter, though less philosophical, will allow us to see how much understanding and respect Lewis had for the Word of God.

Mere Christianity
There are a number of things about the book, Mere Christianity, which should immediately strike any Christian as exceedingly odd. To begin with, Lewis virtually ignores the Word of God throughout. One looks in vain for a scriptural verse to support even one of his countless philosophical observations. What may seem like an eccentricity of his part in the early part of the book becomes more akin to an antipathy later on, especially when he makes one assertion after another which simply cry out for scriptural support.

Secondly, he makes no attempt whatever to relate his ideas to the work of any other scriptural authority or Bible commentator. Everything he says is suspended in a theological vacuum, supported entirely by the authority of just one individual – Mr Lewis himself. To deflect attention from this, he uses the age-old trick of soft persuasion and common sense as the basis for his many theological conclusions.

Thirdly, he pretends to ‘teach’ the basics of Christianity while all the time assuming that his audience already knows them. This is another literary device, whereby the writer avoids exposing any defects in his argument by inducing his readers to fill in the gaps for themselves.

This quicksilver approach is perfectly suited for his purpose. After all, we would be surprised if the author of The Screwtape Letters – which teach the art of deception –did not himself possess a similar skill. The difference here, however, is that instead of instructing his student (Wormwood), he is leading him into accepting ideas which have no Biblical foundation.

Preparing the Ground
The first twenty-five chapters sketch out a congenial picture of Christianity, one which is so vague and magnanimous, so soft and woolly, that virtually no-one could seriously object to it. These prepare the reader to imbibe just as willingly the toxic brew which he pours into the last eight chapters. Again, we see the consummate salesman at work, neutralising our critical faculty with endless platitudes and then passing off his glazed earthenware as Meissen china.

By the time he has reached the ‘toxic brew’ section of the book, the reader has been lured into accepting, or at least being open to, a host of compromising assumptions: that Christ was mainly a supremely wise and kindly man (“It is quite true that if we took Christ’s advice, we should soon be living in a happier world” – p.155); the possibility of panentheism (“God is not like that. He is inside you as well as outside” – p.149); that human will is central to salvation (“Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will.” – p.132); that modern psychology and psychoanalysis, notably the works of Carl Jung (“great psychologist”), are fully compatible with Christianity (“But psychoanalysis itself…is not in the least contradictory to Christianity.” – p.89); that the main goal of Christianity is moral perfectibility and that hell is the failure to achieve this (“Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are gradually getting worse – so gradually that the increase in seventy years will not be very noticeable. But it might be absolute hell in a million years: in fact, if Christianity is true, Hell is the precisely correct technical term for what it would be.” – p.74); that Christian ordinances have sacramental power (“…this new life is spread not only by purely mental acts like belief, but by bodily acts like baptism and Holy Communion.” – p.64); that Christ is substantially present in the communion bread (“…that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names – Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord’s Supper.” – p.61); that Christ was primarily a step in the evolution of mankind (“People often ask when the next step in evolution – the step to something beyond man – will happen. But on the Christian view, it has happened already. In Christ a new kind of man appeared: and the new kind of life which began in Him is to be put into us.” – p.60). And these are just a sample.

All of these propositions are in conflict with Christianity, but they are perfectly compatible with New Age philosophy. Alas, many Christians today are unable to tell the difference.

The Toxic Brew
We can now examine the toxic brew which Lewis serves up in the last eight chapters of the book.

One of the main ideas in these chapters is that the universe is suffused by an invisible spiritual energy. In an earlier part of the book he has already made a distinction between two life energies – Bios, the animating force in living creatures, and Zoe, the eternal spiritual force. “The Spiritual life which is in God from all eternity, and which made the whole natural universe, is Zoe.” (p.159) This is developed later into the notion that both Christ and the Holy Spirit are expressions of this Zoe: “…we must think of the Son always, so to speak, streaming forth from the Father, like light from a lamp, or heat from a fire, or thoughts from a mind. He is the self-expression of the Father – what the Father has to say.” (p.173-174). This is not Christianity, but Gnosticism and Neo-Platonism.

Practitioners of witchcraft call Zoe by another name – The Force. This is the same concept that is eulogised in the Star Wars series of movies (Hollywood is passionately dedicated to the spread of witchcraft and the destruction of Bible-based Christianity).

This energy, he says, pulsates and evolves into more profound expressions of itself: “…in Christianity God is not a static thing – not even a person – but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.” (p.175) This dance is akin to the dance of Shiva, a key concept in Hinduism.

Note carefully – Lewis is saying that the God of Christianity is not even a person, but a pulsating drama.

He contends that the Father and the Son dance together and that this dance is such a tangible entity in itself that it produces a third person: “The union between the Father and the Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person.” (p.175) Anyone familiar with oriental philosophy and eastern mysticism will immediately recognise the pagan origin of Lewis’s completely non-Biblical definition of the Holy Trinity.

All of these ideas – Zoe, spiritual light and heat, the divine cosmic dance, pulsating union, evolution and projection – are fundamental to occult philosophy and pervade both New Age thinking and Gnosticism, as well as such paths as Theosophy, Anthroposophy and the higher degrees of Freemasonry.

Lewis develops the cosmic dance idea even further when he says: “The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or (putting it the other way round) each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance.” (p.176) There is hardly a Hindu, a Buddhist or a Wiccan anywhere who would not be in complete agreement with this.

He goes on: “There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made…If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire…If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them…They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality.” (p.176) This is precisely the kind of statement one would expect from Deepak Chopra or Shirley MacLaine. It is New Age to the core.

The ‘good infection’
How does Lewis get away with this? Simple – he turns Christ into the match that sets you on fire: “He [Christ] came into this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has – by what I call ‘good infection’. Every Christian is to become a little Christ.” (p.177)

This is such a gross distortion of Christianity that it makes one wonder how any Baptist preacher or Presbyterian minister could ever recommend such heresy to his flock. Lewis has turned Christ into a pagan deity like Apollo or the Hindu god, Krishna – both of whom are associated with music and dance. In fact, practitioners of high level witchcraft boast that the figure which Lewis is really depicting here is Lucifer, the Light Bringer (just like Aslan in the Narnia series).

If you find this incredible, please persevere and we’ll examine even more evidence.

Another key concept in paganism is that of the goddess. Even though he should have had no scope whatever to smuggle in this idea, he still managed to do so. Describing the Incarnation of Christ, he says: “The result of this was that you now had one man who really was what all men were intended to be: one man in whom the created life, derived from His Mother, allowed itself to be completely and perfectly turned into the begotten life.” (p.179) Notice the subtlety with which he does this. Christ’s earthly mother becomes “His Mother,” divine vessel of the perfect man.

The next New Age concept follows hot on the heels of these ‘cosmic’ images. A central idea in occult philosophy is that all is one, a grand unified ball of consciousness. Here is how Lewis defines it in his Christianized mythology: “If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would not look like a lot of separate things dotted about. It would look like one single growing thing – rather like a very complicated tree. Every individual would appear connected with every other. And not only that. Individuals are not really separate from God any more than from one another.” (p.180) [See photo on pdf of article; find link at end]

Here we have the famous New Age ‘everything is connected’ philosophy. What is more, Lewis portrays this cosmic entity as a huge living organism in the process of evolving. Thus, in a few sentences, rather like a stage magician, he manages to pull a whole series of New Age ideas from his mythological hat – evolution, pantheism (or panentheism), the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man.

According to Lewis, Christ came along at a critical stage in this evolutionary process and set a new phase in motion: “…when Christ becomes man it is…as if something which is always affecting the human race begins, at one point, to affect the whole human mass in a new way. From that point [Christ] the effect spreads through all mankind.” (p.180-181) In other words, Christ was a perfect individual who, by the process of “good infection” mentioned earlier (p.177), transmitted his Zoe to the rest of the human race. And this is possible because everything is connected.

Just in case we missed the “good infection” idea, he adds: “One of our own race has this new life: if we get close to Him we shall catch it from Him.” (p.181)

This is all so bizarre, so far removed from Biblical Christianity, that it beggars belief.

Some more Occult Principles
The remainder of the book is a consolidation of these ideas. But even while doing this he can’t resist dropping in a few more occult principles. One of these is the principle universally accepted in both witchcraft and Masonry that everything exists in terms of its opposite. According to Lewis “He [the devil] always sends errors into the world in pairs – pairs of opposites.” (p.186)

They believe the universe comprises both good and evil in equal measure and that it is the task of the initiate to learn how to balance these two aspects of The Force and thereby create one’s own reality. This concept, that everything exists in pairs of opposites, is not found or even suggested anywhere in the Bible, but it permeates occult philosophy. For example, it is why witchcraft comprises both ‘good’ witches and ‘bad’ witches. Each accepts the need for the other, since The Force must stay in balance.

The idea that The Force can be moulded, using will and imagination, to create one’s own reality is central to the occult. A falsehood can become a truth, or a mask a face, if one uses the right techniques. Lewis even provides a platform for this idea when he says: “The other story is about someone who had to wear a mask; a mask which made him look much nicer than he really was. He had to wear it for years. And when he took it off he found his own face had grown to fit it. He was now really beautiful. What had begun as disguise had become a reality.” (p.187)

He then urges the reader to use another, related occult principle, known as the ‘As if’ principle. This states that if an idea is held long enough, and with sufficient feeling and identification, it will eventually become a reality. One is living ‘as if’ the goal had already been achieved. Here is how Lewis employs it in his fake Christianity to distort the Lord’s Prayer: “Its very first words are Our Father. Do you now see what those words mean? They mean quite frankly, that you are putting yourself in the place of a son of God. To put it bluntly, you are dressing up as Christ. If you like, you are pretending.” (p.187-188)

He then tries to present this gradual transformation, this evolutionary process, in Biblical terms: “And now we begin to see what it is that the New Testament is always talking about. It talks about Christians ‘being born again’; it talks about them ‘putting on Christ’; about Christ ‘being formed in us’; about coming to ‘have the mind of Christ’.” (p.191)

The man is utterly shameless. The verses he is alluding to have no connection whatever with the occult process he is proposing. There is a vast chasm between the born-again experience of Christianity, as outlined for example in St Paul’s epistles, and the alchemical transmutation which Lewis is describing. But of course, he wants to convince the reader that there is since it would mark a major step in the paganisation of Christianity.

The New Age Ascended Master
How many millions of Christians, having read this toxic brew, have been lured into the embrace of the New Age Christ, the fallen angel who masquerades as Jesus, the Ascended Master, on the ‘inner planes’ and works with the followers of all religions to bring enlightenment, wisdom and love? As St Paul said, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Lewis sees this process of transmutation leading all the way to what the New Agers call god-realization, where Christ turns man himself into a god by “killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity.” (p.191-192)

Lest there be any doubt that he does actually mean we are turning into little gods and goddesses, he says:

“He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.” (p.206)

In the occult such a perfected person is known as a god-man, an adept, a magus, or Illuminatus. He is deemed to be a law unto himself and can travel consciously in the “higher worlds” while still living on earth. Many senior Masons and Rosicrucians, among others, believe they have reached this state. They don’t understand that Satan is able to project his false light into the minds of his victims and deceive them into thinking that something truly spiritual has occurred.

This promise of Mastership or God-Realization is exactly the enticement that Satan used to deceive Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is an ancient philosophy, but it’s not Christianity. It is profoundly Luciferian and has been designed by him to lure men to their destruction. Christ warned of this terrible danger when he said: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

As an out-and-out universalist, Lewis does not agree with Jesus. Rather, he believes that everyone will be saved eventually, regardless of whether or not they have found Christ. This idea – that no-one can be lost and that everyone will evolve into a higher state eventually – is common in the occult. They generally believe that can be achieved only through reincarnation, though Lewis stops short of espousing this particular concept.

As a universalist, he believes that ‘Christ’ is gradually drawing people into alignment with himself, thereby enabling them to qualify for salvation: “There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it.” (p.209)

Lewis is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a false prophet who has done untold damage to true Christianity. As a hidden or disguised wolf – lupus occultus – he works his way into the minds and hearts of his readers, many of whom are children, and sows a handful of occult seeds from a bag labelled ‘Christianity.’ And his fleece is so soft and cuddly that no-one would ever suspect he’s a double-agent

The Process of Evolution
The process of evolution itself will undergo change, according to Lewis. In place of the mechanical evolution which operated in the past, both man and animals will advance into a higher stage as more Zoe comes into the world via the growing number of god-realized individuals that live here and then spreads out to infect others: “…I should expect the next stage in Evolution not to be a stage in Evolution at all: should expect that Evolution itself as a method of producing change will be superseded…Already the new men are dotted here and there all over the earth. Some, as I have admitted, are still hardly recognisable: but others can be recognised.” (p.220 and 223)

This is actually a core tenet of Masonry, Theosophy and many occult paths. These Adepts, Masters or Supermen are said to be operating incognito, moving quietly among the masses of mankind, dispensing their spiritual blessings and lifting natural man into a higher level of consciousness.

What can one say about all of this? How on earth did Lewis manage pass off all this occult nonsense as Christianity? He clearly knew what he was doing. It is reasonable to surmise that in his regular meetings with his Inkling friends at Oxford, he was testing out his ideas and seeking their opinions. This would enable him to determine just how far he could go without arousing suspicions. These lifelong confidants were all avid students of the occult, especially JRR Tolkien, Charles Williams and Owen Barfield.

Williams had actually been a member of the Golden Dawn, a group dedicated to the study of advanced witchcraft. Its membership included Aleister Crowley, one of the most Satanic black adepts of the 20th century. Lewis was also greatly influenced by Owen Barfield whom he described as “the best and wisest of my unofficial teachers.” Barfield was an internationally recognised authority on Anthroposophy, an occult offshoot of Theosophy founded by the Austrian magus, Rudolph Steiner, in 1912. He even co-authored several books with Steiner. Like Madame Blavatsky, Steiner taught that Lucifer, the Light Bearer, was the true instructor in the divine mysteries.

Given that he was inviting high level occult practitioners into his personal circle, and that they in turn were closely associated with some of the most Lucifer-imbued people of the 20th century, there can be no doubt that Lewis himself was heavily exposed to demonic influences.

He would have found it hard to resist these dark influences even if he had wanted to. A fascination with the occult had taken hold of him in his childhood and, by his own admission, had stayed with him throughout his life:

“And that started in me something with which, on and off, I have had plenty of trouble since – the desire for the preternatural, simply as such, the passion for the Occult. Not everyone has this disease; those who have will know what I mean…I once tried to describe it in a novel. It is a spiritual lust; and like the lust of the body it has the fatal power of making everything else in the world seem uninteresting while it lasts.” (Surprised by Joy, C S Lewis, Harcourt Brace, 1955, pages 58-60.)

Reflections on the Psalms
The second non-fiction work that I propose to examine is Reflections on the Psalms. Lewis published this in 1958, just five years before his death. He really let his fleece slip when writing this work. Again and again he makes statements which, had they been made earlier in his career, would have revealed his true antipathy to Christianity. Perhaps he felt so secure in his reputation that he saw no need for the clever misdirection which he had used to such good effect in Mere Christianity.

One of the first things that strikes the reader is the extraordinary arrogance of his tone when discussing the Psalms. When one thinks of the great Bible commentators like Matthew Henry, C H Spurgeon, Arthur Pink, Matthew Poole, and others, who speak with undiminished reverence for these wonderful works, it is extraordinary to see how disrespectful Lewis proves to be. Even though I already knew his ‘game,’ I found his flippancy quite breathtaking.

He starts with the ‘imprecatory’ Psalms, namely those in which the Psalmist asks the LORD to deal firmly with his enemies. Lewis regards these Psalms as clear evidence that the authors were not nearly as enlightened or as spiritual as we are today:

“The reaction of the Psalmists to injury, though profoundly natural, is profoundly wrong. One may try to excuse it on the ground that they were not Christians and knew no better.” (p.22)

Lest we imagine that this was just an isolated instance of his spleen, he also says:

“Still more in the Psalmists’ tendency to chew over and over the cud of some injury, to dwell in a kind of self-torture on every circumstance that
aggravates it, most of us can recognise something we have met in ourselves. We are, after all, blood-brothers of these ferocious, self-pitying,
barbaric men.” (p.20)

Regarding verse 5 of Psalm 23 (“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of
mine enemies”), he says:

“This may not be so diabolical as the passages I have quoted above; but the pettiness and vulgarity of it, especially in such surroundings, are hard
to endure. One way of dealing with these terrible (dare we say?) contemptible Psalms is simply to leave them alone.” (p.18)

Remember, he is speaking here about Psalm 23, one of the best-loved of all the Psalms.

Note the number of derogatory terms he employs to express his utter disregard for the Word of God – diabolical, pettiness, vulgarity, terrible, contemptible. What is more, he says that, in his opinion, some of the Psalms are even more “diabolical”.

But he doesn’t stop there:

“At the outset I felt sure, and I feel sure still, that we must not either try to explain them away or to yield for one moment to the idea that, because it
comes in the Bible, all this vindictive hatred must somehow be good and pious. We must face both facts squarely. The hatred is there – festering,
gloating, undisguised – and also we should be wicked if we in any way condoned or approved it…” (p.19)

This is quite incredible. As my daughters might say, This guy has really lost it. He is dismissing the authors of the ‘imprecatory’ Psalms – who must have included David – as men consumed by “vindictive hatred” – “festering, gloating, undisguised.”

Speaking of pagan writers from the same era, he says:

“I can find in them lasciviousness, much brutal insensibility, cold cruelties taken for granted, but not this fury or luxury of hatred…One’s first
impression is that the Jews were much more vindictive and vitriolic than the Pagans.” (p.23)

Is this is the kind of pseudo-Christian material which Baptist, Presbyterian and Evangelical pastors, among others, are recommending to their churches? Sadly, yes.

The Pharisaic Psalmists
Even when he leaves the ‘imprecatory’ Psalms, he is relentless in his mission to highlight what he perceives as the self-righteousness, even wickedness, of the Psalmists:

“…an extremely dangerous, almost a fatal, game. It leads straight to ‘Pharisaism’ in the sense which Our Lord’s own teaching has given to that word. It leads not only to the wickedness but to the absurdity of those who in later times came to be called the ‘unco guid’ [i.e. the rigidly righteous]. This I assume from the outset, and I think that even in the Psalms this evil is already at work.” (p.56-57)

Lewis does not accept that the Psalms, or even the Bible itself, is the directly inspired Word of God. It can only be said to be the Word of God to the extent that it happens to culminate, after a long process of evolution through earlier pagan cultures, in the myth known as Christianity.

“Every good teacher, within Judaism as without, has anticipated Him [Jesus]. The whole religious history of the pre-Christian world, on its better side, anticipates Him. It could not be otherwise. The Light which has lightened every man from the beginning may shine more clearly but cannot change.” (p.23)

Lewis believes that the light which shone through Jesus was already in the world in pagan times, operating through pagan cultures and belief systems, but in an attenuated form. Gradually, over time it evolved to the point where it could find full expression in one particular culture, the Jewish culture, but it could just as easily have reached that stage in another culture had circumstances been a little different.

He claims that the Egyptian Hymn to the Sun, written by the Pharaoh Amenhetep IV (also known as Akhenaten) in the 14th century BC “provides a fairly close parallel to Psalm 104”:

“Whatever was true in Akhenaten’s creed came to him, in some mode or other, as all truth comes to all men, from God. There is no reason why
traditions descending from Akhenaten should not have been among the instruments which God used in making Himself known to Moses.” (p.73-74)

He hints at the possibility, but says it would be rash to assume, that “if only the priests and people of Egypt had accepted it [Akhenaten’s monotheism], God could have dispensed with Israel altogether and revealed Himself to us henceforward through a long line of Egyptian prophets.” (p.75)

These remarks display such a flagrant misunderstanding of the Bible and God’s plan of Redemption, such a fundamental ignorance of all that the LORD sought to achieve through the children of Israel, that they take one’s breath away.

Pagan Light
Jesus said he was the Light of the world – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12). There is no other supernatural light – none whatever – except the false light of Lucifer, the so-called Light Bearer. Jesus warned of the dangers posed by this false light when he said:

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)

Lewis wants us to believe that the Light of Christ was evident in the ‘true’ elements of pagan religions. But this is not what the Bible teaches. Rather it states clearly and repeatedly that all pagan religions are false and that the children of Israel were to have no association with them whatever. They weren’t even to acquire a theoretical knowledge of their precepts and practices.

He claims that this ‘light’ informed the minds and hearts of pagan cultures and enabled them to identify disparate elements of Biblical truth. These truth-bearing stories were told and re-told over and over again, changing along the way in response to “pressure from God,” and then appropriated and recorded by the Hebrew prophets:

“I have therefore no difficulty in accepting, say, the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were Pagan and mythical.” (p.95)

“What the teller, or last re-teller, of Genesis would have said if we had asked him why he brought…[a particular] episode in or where he had got it from, I do not know. I think, as I have explained, that a pressure from God lay upon these tellings and re-tellings.” (p.106-107)

“Generalising thus, I take it that the whole Old Testament consists of the same sort of material as any other literature…[chronicles, poems, diatribes, romances] … but all taken into the service of God’s word.” (p.96)

We should pause here for a moment and reflect on the precise implications of what he is saying. The inspiration of the Hebrew prophets and the light which filled their understanding was exactly the same inspiration and the same light which shaped the myths and stories of pagan cultures. The only distinctive contribution made by the Hebrew prophets was the providential role they played in fitting all of these truths into a coherent religious framework. Thus the Bible is not the unique Word of God but merely a work of literature that happens to function in “the service of God’s word.”

Lewis rejects Biblical Prophecy
Lewis is clearly rejecting both the inerrancy and the unconditional authority of the Bible. He has already attacked some of the Psalms as “diabolical” and “contemptible.” A more damning dismissal of divine inspiration would hardly seem possible, but he doesn’t stop there. Since the prophetic power of the Bible has been cited from time immemorial as clear proof of its uniquely divine origin, he proceeds to attack this aspect as well.

For example, Isaiah 53 is universally regarded among Christians as a truly wonderful prophecy about the Messiah, yet in a patronising parenthetical comment he compares it to the work of J W Dunne, a modern psychic:

“(Our ancestors would have thought that Isaiah consciously foresaw the sufferings of Christ as people see the future in the sort of dreams recorded by Mr Dunne. Modern scholars would say, that on the conscious level, he was referring to Israel itself, the whole nation personified. I do not see that it matters which view we take.)” (p.102)

He then goes on to suggest that whenever Jesus identified himself with the Messiah foretold in the supposedly prophetic passages in the Old Testament, he is merely exploiting an incidental similarity for educational purposes. The passages themselves were not actually prophetic, merely useful. He even suggests that this holds for “the sufferer in Psalm 22” (p.102).

He berates modern Christians who use the Psalms to find allegorical meanings, like the Incarnation, the Passion, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Redemption of man:

“All the Old Testament has been treated in the same way. The full significance of what the writers are saying is, on this view, apparent only in the light of events which happened after they were dead. Such a doctrine, not without reason, arouses deep distrust in a modern mind. Because, as we know, almost anything can be read into any book if you are determined enough. This will be especially impressed on anyone who has read fantastic fiction.” (p.85)

His sweeping dismissal of Biblical prophecy is almost triumphant in tone.

Lewis rejects the Praise of the LORD
Lewis also has great difficulty with the strong scriptural emphasis on praising the LORD. He found it both “especially troublesome” and “extremely distressing”:

“The Psalms were especially troublesome in this way…Worse still was the statement put into God’s own mouth, ‘whoso offereth me thanks and praise, he honoureth me’ (50:23). It was hideously like saying, ‘What I most want is to be told that I am good and great.’…More than once the Psalmists seemed to be saying, ‘You like praise. Do this for me, and you shall have some.’… It was extremely distressing. It made one think what one least wanted to think. Gratitude to God, reverence to Him, obedience to Him, I thought I could understand; not this perpetual eulogy.” (p.77-78)

This is an extraordinary claim by Lewis. He is virtually accusing the Psalmists of idol worship. In fact he calls it “…the very silliest Pagan bargaining, that of the savage who makes offerings to his idol…” (p.78)

The idea that man should be obliged in any sense to praise God is extremely offensive to Lewis. He proceeds to come up with a solution to this “problem” by saying that it can only be legitimate when it is conducted on a par with the admiration one has for a work of art or an object found in nature:

“…many objects both in Nature and in Art may be said to deserve, or merit, or demand, admiration. It was from this end, which will seem to some irreverent, that I found it best to approach the idea that God ‘demands’ praise.” (p.79)

He then goes on to define God as “the supremely beautiful and all-satisfying Object.”(p.79). In other words, God is to be “admired” in the same way that a person admires one of His creations. Incredibly, Lewis himself is advocating idolatry – the giving of praise to any created thing which ought to be given only to God.

And when the Psalmists tell everyone to praise God, according to Lewis, they are really doing what any atheist does when he speaks highly of something he admires or cares about. This is true even when they claim to delight in the Law, for which he accuses them of spiritual pride – in addition to the pedantry and conceit that were already evident:

“The Psalmists in telling everyone to praise God are doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about.” (p.81)

“…what an ancient Jew meant when he said he ‘delighted in the Law’ was very like what one of us would mean if he said that somebody ‘loved’ history, or physics, or archaeology…the danger of spiritual pride is added to that of mere ordinary pedantry and conceit.” (p.48)

Some Closing Heresies
His extraordinary attack upon the sovereignty of God is consistent with the pagan view that God is in some sense still evolving, just like His creation. Even the things that God has created are somehow deficient and must “evolve” in order to reach their intended perfection. Man is still an animal, a primate striving to transcend his earthly limitations:

“On the ordinary biological view (what difficulties I have about evolution are not religious) one of the primates is changed so that he becomes a man; but he remains still a primate and an animal.” (p.99-100)

How should one reconcile this with the atoning blood of Christ which removed all condemnation from the believer in the eyes of the Father? It turns out that Lewis does not believe in the atoning blood of Christ. For him, the death and resurrection constituted a Jungian archetype, the fulfilment of an ancient pre-Christian myth in which all mankind participates and draws benefit:

“If Christ ‘tasted death for all men’, became the archetypal sufferer, then the expressions of all who ever suffered in the world are, from the very nature of things, related to His.” (p.110)

This use of Christianity as merely a means of bringing ancient pagan truths into fulfilment, a kind of capstone on a pagan pyramid as it were, is further exemplified in the way he turns the marriage of the Bridegroom (Christ) with His bride (the Church) into the archetypal pagan union of the god and the goddess:

“…the god as bridegroom, his ‘holy marriage’ with the goddess, is a recurrent theme and a recurrent ritual in many forms of Paganism…Christ, in transcending, and thus abrogating, also fulfils, both Paganism and Judaism…” (p.112)

Conclusion
It should be fairly obvious that C S Lewis was never a Christian, that, like most pagans, he harboured a deep animosity towards true Christianity, and furthermore, that he sought to undermine it by stealthily presenting it in a paganised form.

The table above shows how wide a chasm exists between the occult views of C S Lewis and the beliefs held to be essential by a born-again Christian. The table may not even be complete since there are many other areas where Lewis departs from true Biblical theology. For example, in his essay, The Abolition of Man, he argues at length that all morality is founded in the Tao, an ancient Chinese concept denoting the dualistic harmony of the universe. Also, there are numerous Christian concepts and beliefs which Lewis does not address in any meaningful way, perhaps because, if he had, his real agenda would have become apparent.

Even if one managed to amass enough evidence from the total corpus of his writings to contest two or three of the 25 beliefs set out in the table, one is still left with ample proof that Lewis was not a Christian and never had been.

The next step should also be obvious – none of the books by C S Lewis should be sold in Christian bookstores, no born-again pastor or preacher should ever again endorse this apostate writer, and all churches which have hitherto endorsed his writings should hasten to warn their flocks.

Finally, I have one word for all those Christian pastors and preachers who have strongly endorsed this apostate, pseudo-Christian writer – Shame.


Basic Biblical Beliefs / Theology of all genuine Christians

that, by his own admission,

CS LEWIS DOES NOT BELIEVE

1 The Bible is inerrant
2 The Bible is the inspired word of God
3 The Bible is the only source of God’s truth
4 The Bible is a literal document
5 The Bible is prophetic
6 Evolution is false
7 The Holy Spirit is exclusively a Person
8 Christ atoned for our sins
9 Christ alone is the Light of the world
10 God is to be praised above any created thing
11 Natural man is in complete condemnation before God
12 Pagan religions are false
13 Sacraments are not required for salvation
14 Works are not required for salvation
15 Being born-again is an event, not a process
16 Hell is an actual place
17 The salvation of a born-again Christian is secure
18 Purgatory is a false concept
19 Praying for the dead is necromancy
20 White magic is evil
21 God is outside man
22 God is outside the world
23 God created man in the garden of Eden
24 God’s Creation was originally perfect
25 The Psalmists were righteous men

Written by Jeremy James. Complete Article with photos and bibliography can be found here.

Significant Lessons for Life from an Insignificant Visit to the Dentist

It was early December and I had a tooth that was giving me problems. I had been struggling to find a dentist I really trusted and so I had been putting off going for a rather long time. But I knew, with going into the holidays, that I probably should, at the very least, get this tooth checked out. With dread, I pulled out my phone and called a highly recommended dentist office.

“Oh, we can get you in today! Can you come at…?” The friendly woman said on the phone. I have to admit: I did think that was a bit…strange.

But I just wanted to get it over with and so I took the appointment. When I got to the office, I found a clean and well-run office full of friendly faces. Everyone was incredibly nice. I got as comfortable as one can be in a dentist chair as I waited for the dentist to come in.

Imagine my surprise when a girl came in who looked to be a teenager and introduced herself as my dentist. I am sure she wasn’t a teenager (obviously) but she looked incredibly young. She took a million extremely uncomfortable x-rays and then proceeded to tell me that I had eight cavities (eight!!!)

I reeled in shock. No, I hadn’t been to the dentist for awhile. But I also hadn’t had any new cavities in years and years. Not since I was in my twenties. This seemed very odd and just a little suspicious.

When I went to check out and they asked me to schedule the dental work, I told them I’d call them later. I knew I had to get a second opinion.

So I went on a search for another dentist. God kindly brought a name my way through a series of circumstances that I couldn’t have orchestrated myself. I called them. They couldn’t get me in until January 30, but they would see me earlier if the pain got desperate.

I pulled out by black walnut oil, started using it, and prepared to wait. (A squirt of black walnut oil mixed with a bit of water and swished around in the mouth is an amazing relief for tooth pain and is even said to rebuild enamel? I don’t know if that last part is true, but I do know the first part is!) My tooth actually started to improve a bit and so the waiting wasn’t too terrible.

Finally, yesterday, the “big” day arrived. At 7:30am on a Monday morning I got in my car and headed to a new dentists’ office. (Could there be a worse time to go to the dentist??) On the way there, I considered my expectations. I surely expected to have a few cavities. But I was really hoping it wasn’t eight. But the girl could have been right. After all, what do I know? She certainly knew more than me. Oh, well. It was what it was. And then I’d think about something else for awhile but find myself right back to that circle of thinking a few minutes later.

With relief, I pulled into the parking lot and was just glad to finally get this over with. At least I would know.

Again, I walked into a clean and well-run office full of friendly staff. I had barely sat down when a man walked in and introduced himself. He proceeded to take a few minutes to get to know me and to talk about my teeth. He examined my teeth, took a bunch of “teeth” photos and a few x-rays. And then came in to talk to me.

“You don’t have eight cavities. But we do have some old fillings that will need to be repaired or replaced,” he said and then proceeded to share with me his thoughts on how best to go about this.

Again, I found myself reeling with shock in a dentist’s chair. Only this time it was a happy kind of shock. I had gone from EIGHT cavities to ZERO. Just by visiting a different dentist.

What the second dentist said made sense. It made sense, given my dental history. It made sense, given the state of my mouth. It just made a whole lot more sense.

And, oh my goodness, the life (and spiritual) lessons we can learn from this incident!

First, we cannot underestimate the value of experience. In a situation like mine, there should have been a consultation between the young dentist and an older, wiser dentist. We live in a world where experience is thrown out like an old rag. Where education is all-important. In fact, a friend recently told me of a situation in her own workplace, where an employment education prerequisite was put in place a few years back and how, in pushing out the older, wiser folks, it destroyed the care of their patients. Education is good. But experience is better.

That’s a good lesson but the next four are better and way more important when we consider our lives as believers. I hope you will keep reading!


Second, we must not be so gullible. If someone declares something that doesn’t sit well or seems off, we need to persevere in finding out the truth. Dishonest people promoting a false narrative or doctrine prey on people who just believe what they are told. If it seems off, we must figure out why. We can do this by, as I did, going to another doctor or dentist with a good reputation. Recently, in our family we had a similar situation where something was going on with their health and they were told it’s nothing and to just go home and get used to this. Thankfully, this advice was not heeded and a second opinion was sought. What was found out was that it was indeed a big deal and who knows what would have happened had this person not sought that second opinion. Our lives may depend on not being gullible.

So, too, our spiritual lives may depend on not being gullible. We can’t just assume that everything labeled “Christian” is actually Christian. As believers, we get our “second opinions” by reading and studying our Bibles and by counseling with older, wiser believers who know their Bibles really well. The Bible is our authority in biblical Christianity. If it doesn’t match scripture in context, it is not true. Beware those who would pull verses out of context and twist them to their own desires.


Third, it’s so important we don’t get “nice” confused with “truth”. Nice is good. I appreciated the niceness of both of those dentist offices. But one spoke truth and one did not. Niceness had nothing to do with it. I hope, as believers, we are nice people to be around. That we are kind and thoughtful and loving. But we can’t judge what is true and what is false based on whether someone is nice or not. That is irrelevant in this battle for truth.

This seems so basic and yet, just the other day, someone told me a conversation they were having with someone regarding “a person that was so nice, they just had to be a Christian”. And, yet, this same person appeared to have little spiritual fruit. There are an awful lot of “nice” false teachers. There are even more “nice” lost people. Niceness is nice but it is irrelevant in determining what is TRUE.


Fourth, “closer to the truth” will deceive far more people than “farther from the truth”. I honestly believe that the young dentist–if she was deviously trying to deceive me (which I actually do not think she was)– would have deceived me if she would have told me I only have three or four cavities. This is why false teaches are often so tricky to spot. They don’t leave orthodoxy completely behind. They just throw in something completely false that is believable to the undiscerning Christian.

Satan is not stupid. He understands that Christians won’t gobble up a sermon with “eight cavities” or untruths. But he does know that they may believe one or two.


Fifth, and finally, knowing history is a wonderful help in discerning the true from the false. I suspected the report of the first dentist because of my history. I understood that what I was told at that appointment just didn’t go with what my dental history was.

Oh, what a great reminder this is to us that we must also understand that much that is pouring into the church today goes completely against church history (keep in mind that I am referring to genuine church history not the history that includes the false Catholic church). If we know even basic church history and the traditional beliefs of the true church since its inception, it will aid us in spotting the deception that is taking place today in tsunami proportions all around us.


I can think of no other time in history where heresy is infiltrating churches like it is right now. And I have been noticing a hardening of hearts. People who profess to know and love Christ just don’t care. It is sad and disconcerting and so very disturbing.

I pray that as serious followers of Christ who seek to love and obey Him, we will not follow the crowd or simply believe every message we hear. I pray that we will be a thoughtful, studious people who know the Word and desire to know God above all else. And I pray that God will protect us in this time of massive deceit and outpouring of spiritual lies.

Only God can guide and protect us. His is the only opinion we need. And He will never fail us or forsake us.

The Hebrew Roots Movement: A Biblical Evaluation

Recently Jess (my oldest daughter) wrote a post over at Anchor for the Soul* regarding the Hebrew Roots Movement. I know that this movement will be unfamiliar to many of my readers. However, it does seem to be growing and many of its followers seem to be so solid. At least they do until you start looking into the heart of what they actually believe and compare it to scripture. Then, as is always the case, the unbiblical nature of their beliefs comes to light.

I wanted to share her post here so that it can be referenced and shared. I encourage you to read this, as it is very possible that you will run into someone who believes this at some point, and this will give you some basis for having a discussion and helping to point them to scripture. I also encourage you to read this because it is a reminder of scriptural truths that we do not often contemplate. (On another interesting note, those of you that studied Galatians with me last year in the Bible Reading Challenge will notice that this a modern take on the Judaizers that Paul was rebuking in that book.)

Here’s what she discovered as she researched this movement–

The Hebrew Roots movement has recently been gaining popularity and influence, especially in the world of social media. These accounts gain a lot of followers because they share pretty pictures of their homes and lives and often share some truth about our world and the Bible. But then they sneak in their Hebrew Roots beliefs, confusing and leading their many followers astray.

So what exactly does this movement believe? You may not even know the movement by the name (they rarely mention it) but you might recognize it as I define it.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐭?
There is no official group, leader, or statement of faith. And because of that, there are many variations of beliefs within the movement itself. Generally, however, the premise of the Hebrew Roots movement is that the Church today has veered far from the truth of the Bible. (which is true but not for the reasons they claim!) They maintain that Christianity has been corrupted and indoctrinated with the culture and beliefs of Greek and Roman philosophies. Christianity, as taught for hundreds of years, is simply a corrupt pagan imitation of what is really taught in the New Testament and intended by God.

They claim that they’re recovering the first century Hebrew roots of Christianity. They hold that Christ’s death on the cross did not end the Mosaic Covenant but instead renewed it and expanded its message to all followers of Christ. And so they argue that we need to walk Torah-obedient lives as believers today. This includes keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (Saturday), celebrating Jewish feasts and festivals, keeping the dietary laws, avoiding pagan traditions (Christmas and Easter for example), and learning the Scriptures from a Hebrew mindset.

They often call Jesus by his Hebrew name, Yeshua or YHWH, claiming those are the names He desires to be called. Some place an emphasis on extra-biblical writings such as the Book of Enoch, suggesting it’s inspired but has been removed from the Bible by enemies of the truth (as if God is powerless to keep His Word intact).

They often make themselves appear as if they are more obedient and have a deeper spirituality than the rest of us, creating a two-tier system of believers. Those who have been “enlightened by the truth” and now observe the Mosaic law and those who are less spiritual and do not. Many of them say that if you’re presented with this “truth” and refuse to obey it then you might not be a true follower of Christ. They tend to be very arrogant in their presentation and arguments. They claim that they are the only ones who are believing the whole Bible. You can’t question them because “God revealed it to them” when they asked Him for the truth. They have dreams and visions and prophecies directly from the Lord. They claim that they alone are reading the Scripture through the Holy Spirit while people like us simply rely on man’s interpretations. Who are you to tell them that they’re wrong?

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐟𝐬?
Many begin with a verse from the Old Testament such as Psalm 119:160: “The sum of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous rules endures forever.” They’ll tell you that David was referring to the Mosaic law here. And if God declared that to be truth for His people, how can it become “not truth” later? And if He says that it endures forever, how can we say that it has ended? God is unchanging, His Word is unchanging, and therefore His law remains.

They also love to quote Matthew 5:17-18: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

So because Jesus said He did not come to abolish but to fulfill the law, then it means the Old Testament law is not abolished. Nothing will pass away from the law until heaven and earth pass away.

Finally, because Jesus and His disciples followed the law, and we are told to “teach them all I have commanded” and “walk as Jesus walked,” then that includes teaching and observing the Mosaic law.

Most will tell you that they don’t observe it out of legalistic bondage but out of a heart of love and obedience. In order to live a life that pleases God, a Torah-observant walk is necessary. But is it?

𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐮𝐧𝐛𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥?

𝟏. 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲
There are 613 Mosaic laws. They couldn’t follow all of those even if they wanted to. There is no Levitical priesthood or temple. One article I read said that “trying to observe the Mosaic law without the temple is like trying to eat mustard without a sandwich” and it’s true. Read through the law yourself and see how many of those laws would be impossible to keep today. But if you follow their logic all the way to the end, then they must obey ALL of them. If they are required to follow one law out of obedience (feasts, for example) then they are equally required to follow another (sending men to appear before Jerusalem or offering sacrifices). They can’t pick and choose but that’s exactly what they do.

𝟐. 𝐋𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐔𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠
What was the point of the Mosaic law? It was given very specifically to the nation of Israel. (Exodus 19, Leviticus 26:46, Romans 9:4) It was to show their sinful nature (Galatians 3:19), to keep Israel separate from the other nations, (Exodus 19:5) and a temporary system until the Messiah arrived. (Galatians 3:19-25) It was a sacrificial system pointing toward the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It was the Old Covenant.

God promised a NEW covenant, not a renewed one. (Jeremiah 31:31-32, Hebrews 8:13, 9:9-10, John 4) It was clearly prophesied and was to be ushered in by the Messiah. Jesus didn’t abolish it but rather fulfilled every part so that He could establish the promised New Covenant between God and His people. (Hebrews 7:22, Luke 22:20) He brought an end to the sacrificial system by living a sinless life (Romans 6:14, 7:4) and sacrificing His own life on the cross.

The law of the Old Covenant was written in stone but the law of the New Covenant is written on our hearts. The Mosaic law was not intended to sanctify or to save. We are now under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) which is to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39). We are now led by the Spirit instead of being under the law (Galatians 5:16-18). The Holy Spirit causes us to change from the inside out and seek to honor Him with every area in our life. How we do that is then fleshed out in the remainder of the New Testament. Does this include some of the Old Testament laws? Of course! 9 out of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. Feasts, festivals, dietary restrictions, and the Sabbath are not among them.

𝟑. 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐚𝐰 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬𝐧’𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐢𝐭
Just because the application of the law has changed does not mean we are saying that law isn’t TRUE. There are many commands in the Old Testament (Noah was told to build an ark, Abraham was told to sacrifice his son, Lot was told to flee the city). Should we follow those commands? They would probably answer “No! Those were meant for a specific person at a specific place and time!” But can that not also hold true for the Mosaic law? It was FOR the people of Israel at that specific time. (Exodus 19:3-6, Deuteronomy 5:2-3, Deuteronomy 29:1) By saying we are no longer under the Mosaic law, we are not disputing the truthfulness of it but rather the application of it. There were no food regulations given to Noah in Genesis 9:3. That law changed with Moses. Why could it not change again? It was part of God’s Plan.

𝟒. 𝐈𝐭 𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐚𝐮𝐥
Requiring Gentiles to obey the old covenant law after they became Christians was soundly refuted at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. They were arguing about whether or not the Gentile believers needed to follow the Mosaic laws. They came to the conclusion that they should “abstain from pagan sacrifices, things strangled, sexual immorality and blood” (Acts 15:29) so as not to cause their Jewish brothers and sisters to stumble. There is no mention of festivals, feasts, or dietary restrictions. It all boiled down to a matter of conscience if you wanted to keep them or not.


Essentially, the Hebrew Roots Movement are the Judaizers that the Apostle Paul thoroughly refuted in the Epistle to the Galatians. Nowhere in the Bible do we find Gentile believers being instructed to follow Levitical laws or Jewish customs; in fact, the opposite is clearly taught all throughout the epistles.

𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝟐:𝟏𝟔-𝟏𝟕: “𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐧𝐨 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐢𝐧 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐤, 𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐥 𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐒𝐚𝐛𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐡. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐝𝐨𝐰 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭.”

𝐑𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝟏𝟒:𝟏-𝟓: “𝐀𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐡, 𝐰𝐞𝐥𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐦, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐥 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬. 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐲 𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐤 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐯𝐞𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬. 𝐋𝐞𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐛𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐬, 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐥𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐢𝐦. 𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫?”

God has made Jews and Gentiles into “one new man” in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:15). This “new man” is referring to the Church, the body of Christ, which is made up of neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:27-29). If Gentiles are grafted into Israel, becoming Jews, the purpose and picture of both Jew and Gentile, coming together as one new man, is lost. God never intended Gentiles to become one in Israel, but one in Christ.

They will tell you that these writings of Paul don’t mean what you think they mean or what you’ve been told they mean. They’ll suggest books or sermons that will help you “understand” what Paul is really saying here. Which, coincidentally, twists Scripture to line up with their beliefs.

“It can’t mean what it says!” But it does. And it’s simple and clear, just how God intended it to be. Ironically they claim to be the only ones who “take the Bible for what it actually says” and yet they have to explain away large passages of New Testament Scripture to fit their belief system.

The Scriptures stand clearly and firmly against this group as they attempt to dismantle the covenant of grace and run back to the burden of the Law. I hope this gives you a little better understanding so you can run away from this movement and defend against it.

*You can find Anchor for the Soul on Facebook and on Instagram.

Even the Wind and the Sea Obey Him

This morning I needed to go over to our landscaping office early to talk to one of our employees. As I walked back to the house, a noticed a bright pink to my left. I turned and there it was: The dawning of a new day and the reminder that God is still at work in this world in an amazing way.

One of those ways is by giving peace to His children in the storms of life (John 14:27). And this peace isn’t the promise of a nice man who walked the earth 2000 years ago. Can we really believe the promises Jesus makes to those who are redeemed by His blood if we don’t understand Who He really is?

We are reading Mark 4 for the Bible Reading Challenge right now (it’s not too late to join! Click here if you are interested) and at the end of the chapter is this account:

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

As I read that…I mean really read it… I was filled with amazement. Jesus stopped the wind! He brought calm to the raging sea! As the disciples put it: Even the wind and the sea obey Him.

When we stop to reflect on what this really means, we must realize the implications of this. Jesus’s power is far beyond what we could possibly comprehend. He is ALL-POWERFUL.

This means that He not only has power over physical storms, but He also has complete power over our personal storms. We know that nothing can reach us without His permission and we also know that He will uphold us through it all.

The timing isn’t always what we would desire as we weather the storms that come our way. In fact, if we had our way, we’d prefer sunshine and clear skies. I am sure the disciples would have chosen the same. They would have preferred not to endure that time of fear and trembling as the boat heaved on the waves and water spilled over its sides and started to cover the bottom.

But Jesus used that storm to show them just how powerful He really was. Think of it: He had already healed many hopelessly diseased and maimed people in their midst. He had cast out many demons, giving those possessed their lives back again. The disciples had seen all of this. But this was different. Here, He was commanding the weather.

Colossians 1:16-17 helps us understand how Jesus can do this–

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

In these verses we find that Christ is what actually holds the world together. Without Him, it ceases to exist!

I wonder if we haven’t been affected by our culture when it comes to our weak view of Jesus? He is portrayed as a kind, gentle man who is compassionate and sets a good example for us to follow. But do we really stop and realize that He is so much more?

And so when we face those storms that inevitably come, may we remember that we aren’t saved by some nice man who lived 2000 years ago. No, we are saved by our omniscient, omnipotent Savior. And while He will allow storms to buffet us, they are for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28-29), so that we may become more like Christ. And, through those storms (and the sunshine, too), He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We are His own and no one can snatch us out of His hand (John 10:27-28). And, through it all, we are promised peace “which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7). 3

Let us cling to Jesus alone. May we stop looking to man’s philosophies, human therapists, and man-made solutions. While these may serve to temporarily help us, it is only Jesus that has the power to bring us through any storm stronger in the faith and looking more like His image!

May we be encouraged today, as we remember just Who it is Who has saved us and may we seek to honor Him through any storms He allows in our lives.

Come On In!

The other night my husband and I, along with our married daughter and her husband, were invited to the home of new friends for dinner. I plugged their address into my GPS on my phone and we started on our way. Their home was located in an area with which we were completely unfamiliar, so we were thankful for the GPS. We pulled on to their street and slowly made our way, looking at each house number. We were finally able to spot the correct house number, which was made extra challenging due to the darkness. We parked in front of the tiny white house and started toward the door. We noticed a giant TV tuned to the football game in the living room. Seemed a little odd. We had not realized our new friends were such avid football fans but that didn’t bother us. Our son-in-law rang the doorbell and when no one responded to that, he knocked. We heard a bit of grumbling as someone shuffled toward the door… “hold on, I’m coming…”

The door opened, revealing a complete stranger. The older gentleman was probably as startled as we were! At first, we thought perhaps our friends’ parents must be joining us (??), but just a few sentences later, it was revealed that somehow we had ended up at the wrong house. My heart sank and I quickly handed the dessert I was holding to my daughter so I could pull out my phone and try to figure out what was going on.

Ohhhh, I hadn’t realized that there was both an east and a west to this street. When I had plugged in the address, the wrong one had automatically popped up. I didn’t even think to look further.

So the four of us, embarrassed and a bit confused, traipsed back to the car. I plugged in the correct address and, within a few moments, we were in front of the right house and enjoyed a wonderful evening of fellowship.

But I couldn’t let this gem of a moment go to waste, as embarrassing as it was. It reminded me of a really important truth for believers.

Many believers are often given wrong directions by well-meaning family, friends, and acquaintances–

Oh, you should read this book! ….Oh, this preacher is great! ….This music group really helps me worship…This therapist really helped me.

Sometimes these referrals are good ones. But, more often than not, they are sending us to the “wrong house”. The thing is: These houses will look super inviting to our old self (see Colossians 3:1-10) and these false teachers don’t look at us like we don’t belong there. When we knock on the door, they say “Come on in! Where have you been? We’ve been waiting for you!” They invite us in, they make us feel really comfortable, and we absolutely love being there. At least for awhile.

It is there that we imagine we find meaning and purpose and self-esteem and fulfilled dreams. We are lured in by messages of self-importance and attractive, appealing twisted truths. And many stay there, taking up residence and never question if they are actually at the right house.

At the end of last year, I studied the book of 2 Peter. I keep thinking of it, as we navigate this strange world that is so full of false teachers. In this short epistle we find a really helpful description of false teachers (particularly in chapter two). A few things of note–they bring in their destructive heresies secretly. They appeal to our senses (in other words, they make us feel good). They are bold and willful. If you have a moment, read this chapter to get a good description of these evil men and women in our midst.

But there is one phrase in that chapter that I want to focus on: They entice unsteady souls (verse 14).

False teachers entice unsteady souls.

Unsteady: Not firm, solid, or securely in place; unstable. Fluctuating; changeable. Not even or regular; wavering.

Unsteady souls are much more vulnerable to these false teachers. So this begs the question: How do we keep ourselves from being unsteady? How do we recognize when the door we knocked on is opened by a false teacher? There is really only one way and Paul explains in the final verses of 2 Peter–

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:14-18)

Peter tells us in these final verses how we can be protected from false teaching. First, we must be aware. “take care that you are not carried away”. This is an intentional action. Pay attention. Don’t be gullible. Take care.

And then he says this: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” How do we do this?

There is one way, and only one way. To grow in grace and knowledge, we must pray and study the Word. God will guide and protect us through His Holy Spirit.

He has given us all we need in His Word and through the Holy Spirit. We have absolutely no acceptable excuse for going in the “home” of a false teacher, sitting down, and making ourselves comfortable. If we are reading and studying the Word of God and praying for discernment, God will show us when someone or some teaching is false. He is so faithful! He loves us and He will protect us.

So before we go knocking at the door of the latest and greatest trends, books, music, etc of Christianity, we must be sure that we are on the look out for error and that we are growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. For this is how God said He will protect us.

Finding True North

The other day, my son mentioned needing more parking spaces for trucks and trailers in our landscaping company area before the new season starts up. This conversation led to a brainstorming of sorts between my husband, son, and sons-in-law. How do we make more parking when the area is already full? This went on for a couple of days and then last night my husband came in and told me that one of the boys had a great idea. He explained it to me (complete with paper and pencil to draw it out) and it does seem like it may be the answer to our problem.

This is generally how we solve problems, is it not? We talk to others, we have meetings, we process, we brainstorm, and we hold “think tanks”. And, just as putting heads together for that parking area yielded a helpful solution, so, too, does this happen in other areas of life. When we start fleshing out a problem, answers often do come when we work together.

But is this how we Christians should be solving spiritual problems? Is this how we should go about helping Christians with their problems? Or changing churches? Or fixing ministries? Or living our lives?

While there can and must be some of that, I have been amazed with how much this has been done without scripture in modern day Christianity. Someone I know has received a degree in counseling and is at a local (and what many would consider “solid”) church practicing their profession. But, in conversations, this person makes it clear that scripture is non-essential in therapy sessions. Unnecessary and not even wholly believed. Instead, this idea of processing and hashing over problems, offering man-made solutions is chosen as the means to spiritual and emotional health. This is just one example of millions. The Bible has been mostly removed from the lives of Christians in favor of following after the philosophies of men.

Before I go on, let me say that this is not my normal post. You may think it is just like any other post but this is far more important than most and I’ve spent days praying and thinking about what I should write to you. The message of this post won’t be new but it will be surrounded by more proof of its importance.

Just as you cannot find true north without a compass, you cannot find truth without the Bible. Imagine you are walking through the woods with a compass and a map in your hand. While the map might be helpful, it is the compass that you can rely on. The compass (unless it is broken) will always point to true north. The map, on the other hand, could be outdated or misprinted or blurred. In other words, the compass is reliable and the map is not.

The same is true in the spiritual world. The Bible is our only source for truth that is reliable. Other things might be helpful but these things often become marred by sin and pride; they become outdated or changed along the way. But God never changes (James 1:17) and His Word is true and everlasting (Psalm 18:30; Isaiah 40:8).

And, so, when it comes to anything we do in life, we believers must use God’s Word as our compass. Whether it is walking through a trial with someone, dealing with our own abuse or emotional pain or someone else’s; whether it is working through church challenges personally or at the board level; and even when it is coming to problems we face at work as a believer; all things we face should be through the grid of the Bible. It is truly the only thing that will help us to find “true north” and if we ignore or sideline it and choose instead to follow man’s philosophies or chase after the latest religious trends, we will become hopelessly lost in the quagmire of false religion that is cultural Christianity.

Later on in this post, I will share an example of how this doesn’t look but, first, I’d like to share an example of how holding scripture as our standard and guide does look from a book I read recently.

A few weeks ago, God, in His Providence, led me to a book that impacted me profoundly. Sitting on a table in the outer lobby of a small Christian bookstore I just “happened upon”, a stack of books sat next to a sign that said $1. The publisher was looking to get rid of its copies so I grew a bit doubtful about purchasing the uninteresting-looking book. But I have always had a heart for Russia and Eastern Europe and so the dollar seemed like it might be worth the risk. I picked the book up and purchased it. And I am so glad I did!! Written in 1931 and called In the Flame of Russia’s Revolution with God and the Bible* (by N.I. Saloff-Astakhoff), this book contains the inspiring and encouraging testimony of a traveling evangelist and his team during the years of Russia’s Revolution (1917-1926).

Filled with amazing and astounding accounts of God’s awesome power, amazing grace, and abounding mercy, the book is a great reminder that God is the same today as He was in the Bible and that He cares for His own in such a marvelous and loving way. None of us will leave this earth unless God has ordained it. Trials and troubles must first go through Him before they can assail us. And, through them, He will give us the strength, grace, and peace we need and that He has promised.

The trials that the team faced in this book are beyond anything we could imagine or comprehend in our modern, western world. And, yet, God so faithfully gave His strength and joy and mercy and peace and much fruit as they lived out the calling that God had given them. The book abounds with examples of this.

But one of the things that most stood out to me was the team’s reliance upon the Word. They worked hard to get the Bible into the hands of the people with whom they shared the Gospel and relied on it for their own decisions and choices. At one point they began to question the role of women in their ministry. What is God’s will regarding the role of women? Instead of going to their favorite pastor or following after modern day philosophies, they spent several days going through God’s Word, from cover to cover, to see what He had to say about this important topic. And God, in His faithfulness, guided them into the truth, just as He promised He would.

I don’t think it is an accident that I read this book before I listened to a podcast called The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. Telling the story of Mark Driscoll and his church, it was a mind-boggling, disturbing account of its rise and fall. Many of the details surrounding it that were unfamiliar to me (and, I’d imagine, to most people not directly involved.)

But the thing that most struck me was the disinterest in and the sidelining of scripture in the entire podcast series. The producers, the interviewers, the interviewees, and the objects of the interviews… none were all that interested in what God had to say about any of this. In fact, I am pretty sure they quoted movies more than they quoted scripture. The Bible, if used, was sapped of its authority by listing it alongside man-made philosophies such as mysticism and psychology. False teachers were held up as icons of the faith. The world and its ungodly influence on the life of a believer were not only minimized, they were glorified.

In the final episode, a therapist made a remark that really summed up the whole disturbing series. As she counseled those who had been abused at Mars Hill through the years, she said she wanted to “not pressure them to have a relationship with God but to focus on a healthy relationship with their body.”

Honestly, the entire thing was a morass of human philosophy couched in Christian language. It was such a fascinating and disturbing account on so many levels.

The thing is: During the “best years” of Driscoll and Mars Hill, cultural Christianity was affirming and promoting them. Driscoll, known as the swearing pastor, claimed to hold “biblical doctrine” but he did so in such an incredibly harsh, unloving way, he ended up souring many, many people to the truth of God’s Word. And, while all that was going on, he was inviting the world to come like a flood into his church, until it had overflowed their doors and spilled out on to a good portion of American Christianity.

I’d venture to say that few of us have been unaffected in some way by this church you may have never even heard of.

And, as I reflected on this series which cared so very little about God’s opinion on things, my mind goes to two books that echoed the same message, albeit through a different storyline. Books by those who would call themselves “missionaries”, who went to foreign countries and put their focus wholly on meeting only the temporal needs of the poor, while ignoring the eternal need of the people. Claiming to follow Jesus in taking care of the poor, somehow they missed the whole point of why Jesus came.

As we think of these examples (and countless others), we have to remember that Satan is fully aware that either discarding the truth (removing the Bible) or warping the truth (twisting the scriptures) will lead many to hell and render the true believer ineffective.

God has given us His Word as a guide and a help and, as believers, we need this desperately. We cannot find “true north” without it.

And, yet, still today, many who call themselves Christians rarely pick it up between Sundays. Or they are satisfied with one verse and a paragraph about that verse written by a sinful human (while devotionals can be of great encouragement to us, we must view them as dessert and never as our main food.)

Oh, dear reader, if you say you love God, then it’s important to study His Word. It is truly our only reliable guide and sure protection in this crazy, mixed-up, chaotic world we find ourselves in. It’s a true gift and treasure and if you will take the time and do the work to actually really study it, you will be greatly rewarded.

Don’t wander around lost in the dark forest of today’s cultural (and false) Christianity but move towards the Light by picking up your Bible today!

*This book is hard to find online. If you would like a copy but can’t find one, I will be happy to send one to you for simply the cost of shipping. Feel free to reply to this email or message me on Facebook with your address if you’d like a copy.

How Does the Holy Spirit Work Today?

Throughout the month of December, my brother, Pastor Dean Good*, preached a short sermon series on the sign gifts. Are they still in operation today? And, according to scripture, why or why not?

That little phrase “according to scripture” is our key, right? What does scripture teach us about how the Holy Spirit works today?

This is a powerful sermon series that walks step by step through scripture to help us understand this rather confusing topic. Is God really telling people to follow their hearts, even if it leads to sin? Is He telling people to follow their dreams? Is He giving impressions and dreams and goose bumps and fuzzy, warm feelings that signify His approval or His will?

Another important part of this topic is the speaking of tongues and other sign gifts. What does the Bible teach us about these specifically? Are these gifts still for today? And are they manifested in the same way today as they were in the Bible?

I can honestly think of no more important topic than this one. Most of us don’t even realize that we’ve slid into the mystical morass that is cultural Christianity. We’ve absorbed these unbiblical ideas and don’t even realize it. This phenomenon was not the norm for Christianity for thousands of years and is therefore fairly recent, as Pastor Dean will show in his sermon that explains the history of how we ended up here.

I hope that this series blesses someone out there who has been struggling to figure out this confusing topic. I know it helped my husband and me so much! It was so very clarifying. We knew what we believed but we didn’t really have a good grasp on why we believed it. And this series gave that grasp to both of us. We can’t recommend it highly enough!

And one final encouragement: I know that history may be unappealing to many of you. But I encourage you not to skip the history sermon as it gives vital insight to the conclusions reached by Pastor Dean and it also gives much confirmation to what we learn in scripture regarding this topic.


You can find all of the sermons at this link (scroll to the bottom to find the first sermon). This link is for audio only–

How Does the Holy Spirit Work Today?


If you prefer video, you will find them at these links (they are listed in order)–

Does the Spirit Continue to Give the Gifts of Tongues? (message begins at 32 min. mark)

The History of the Modern Pentecostal and Charismatic Movement (message begins at 9 min. mark)

Are the Sign and Revelatory Gifts for Today? (message begins at 28 min. mark)

The Leading of God (message begins at 36 min. mark)


BONUS: Pastor Dean shared his notes with his congregation for his sermon regarding the history of the Pentecostal movement and gave me permission to share them with you. You can find those here: History of the Pentecostal Movement

*Pastor Dean Good is pastor of Grace Church of North Olmsted, outside of Cleveland, Ohio, where he has been preaching since 2004. Being my brother and also one of my best friends for my whole life, I wholly trust Dean. He is wholly committed to preaching the Word of God without compromise and to living out his faith both privately and publicly. Of course, not perfectly, but very consistently. My family and I have been much blessed by “Uncle Dean’s” preaching of the Word.

Goodbye, 2022…Hello, 2023!

Dear Readers,

Good morning! It’s New Year’s Eve of 2022. If you are like me, you can hardly believe how fast the year has passed.

My Christmas week was nothing like I expected or planned. Life has a way of doing that. Our family has had illness change our holiday plans for the last three out of four years. We are actually getting a bit used to it…! But, through it all, I am reminded that God is working out all things for His glory and our good. And there is always an abundance of things to be thankful for. We are all so blessed in Christ.

Because I had a bit of extra time that I wasn’t planning on, I had the opportunity to read a book and listen to a podcast. They couldn’t be more unrelated or different in their goals, scope, and purpose. But they both led me to an important—even crucial— conclusion that I hope to write about more next week.

But I wrote a bit of a synopsis on Facebook a few days ago and thought I’d share what I wrote with those of you who aren’t on social media—

I have spent the past week reading a book about persevering and witnessing for Christ through circumstances none of us can possibly even imagine. The Bible was their only guide as they navigated impossible situations, war, and deadly illnesses.

And I’ve spent some time today listening to the failure of a mega church whose focus turned from the perfect Word of God to a fallible man. This particular story could be repeated over and over with just a change in names and details in this celebrity-driven culture we find ourselves in.

The two stories are as different as night and day and yet…they both make one thing clear: For a true believer, it’s all about the Bible. We stand or fall spiritually based on our view of and immersion in the Bible.

It is God’s only source of protection, guidance, comfort, and strength. If we read and study it with submission and obedience in our hearts to God, He will make our paths straight. And if we don’t read it at all or if we think we can choose what we want to obey, then we will inevitably end up misguided or deceived.

And so this is why I want to invite you for one last time in 2022 to join me in reading and studying the Bible in 2023.

And, honestly, it doesn’t matter what plan you use. The 𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑔4𝐿𝑖𝑓𝑒 plan was created for anyone who wants an easy, doable plan that fits into any lifestyle. But there are many good plans out there. What matters is that, if you call yourself a Christian, you dedicate yourself to consistent, organized study of the Word.

I am a living testimony of the difference this can make. I gave little time to Bible study for years and years and I lived a rather lackluster Christian life. It wasn’t until I finally made time to study the Word that things really started to make sense and I began to understand not only what I believe but WHY I believe it. And, let me tell you, that fills you with incredible awe for our amazing God and a heart that desires to share His love and grace with the world!

I can think of no more important thing for me to do with the platform God has given me than to encourage others to dig into the treasure of God’s Word and discover this same thing for themselves.

The temporal things of this life will end. But the Word of God endures forever.

(You can find more information about the 2023 Bible Reading Challenge at this here.)

As we head into 2023, I cannot think of anything more important than studying the Word of God in these confusing days. As the church removes its focus from the Bible more and more and, instead, turns its focus to the philosophies of man, may we be a people who are committed to and focused on the infallible, inspired, and inerrant Word of God, in its entirety.

And I also want to thank you for reading this blog. Sometimes I still find myself surprised that this is where God has led me. My only hope and desire for this blog is to encourage you to keep your eyes on Christ and His Word as we navigate the minefields of apostasy, heresy, worldliness, and wickedness that we find ourselves living among in these last days.

God loves us and He will keep us. The days may grow darker and our path more rocky, but, through it all, Jesus will never forsake us. His promises are true.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Love in Christ,

Leslie

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Isaiah 40:8



For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12



The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;

Psalm 19:7-8

Helen’s Christmas Dream (Part 5)

Well, as usual, December has flown by in a flurry of activity and it is the Friday before Christmas. Today I present the end of this year’s story. The story was a bit different than my normal. I truly hope you enjoyed it but, more than that, I hope it encouraged you to be content, wherever God has you. Merry Christmas!

     Christmas Eve dawned sunny and mild. Helen looked out her back window and was delighted to see two deer standing serenely by the pond in the garden. She turned from the window giving herself a little pep talk as she started to get dressed. She just had to get through the next two days.
     Her mind wandered to what she would be missing at home tonight. The family would gather around the big fireplace, enjoying hot chocolate and her mama’s special sugar cookies. Her father would read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and then they would play the special game Mama always created just for Christmas Eve. She thought of the evergreen tree that would be sitting in the corner, waiting for the strings of popcorn and cranberries and paper ornaments they would make. And of the warmth and joy that would infuse each moment.
     Oh, it was so hard to be here instead of there. She truly wanted to be content wherever she was and God was growing her in this area but it seemed extra challenging on this day.
     Not that it was so bad here. The servants had decorated the house with mounds and mounds of evergreens and holly. In Aunt Ida’s favorite room, which was the comfortable sitting room where Helen had first met her, was the tallest tree she had ever seen. Bedecked with gold and silver baubles and a great star at the top, it was beautiful to behold. Underneath the tree were many gifts wrapped in gold and silver paper.
     Yes, thought Helen, this would just be a different type of Christmas.
     She sat down on the chair by the fire and pulled her Bible from the sidetable. She had begun to get up a half hour earlier than usual and to spend this time in the Word. She was finding that this dedicated time of prayer and Bible study was changing her. She knew that she needed to be given biblical perspective this morning especially and wasn’t about to skip it.
     After thirty minutes had passed, Helen, while still a bit melancholy, was smiling and ready to go downstairs.
     “Helen! Good morning! Happy Christmas Eve!” Aunt Ida said these things a bit more effusively than usual. Helen knew she loved Christmas and assumed her extra enthusiasm was a result of this love.
     After a delectable and special Christmas Eve breakfast, Helen and Aunt Ida went into the sitting room. Helen had noticed an ever-so-slight change in Aunt Ida over the past week. They had even talked about the real meaning of Christmas a few days ago.
    On this Christmas Eve morning, Aunt Ida began her normal, incessant social gossip but about fifteen minutes in abruptly stopped. After a few moments, she looked at Helen.
     “Oh, my dear, it doesn’t matter, does it? It just doesn’t even matter,” she sighed and then, smiling, her enthusiasm returned, “Well, shall we play a game?”
     Aunt Ida’s favorite game was Twenty Questions. As they played, Helen noticed that her aunt seemed a bit on edge. She seemed to be waiting for something. About four or five turns into the game, they heard a carriage drive up.
     “Well, now who could that be?” Aunt Ida said with a merry twinkle in her eye.
     Helen ran to the window and was stunned and thrilled to see her family pouring out of the large carriage.
     “What? How?…” she stuttered.
     “Oh, my dear, you seemed so sad these recent weeks. You have been such a blessing to me and to all of us here, that I just wanted to do something special for you for Christmas. And this was my idea! Do you like it?” She beamed.
     “Like it? Oh, I love it!” Helen rushed over to give her a hug.
     “Oh, good! I am so glad. Now go greet them!”
     Helen didn’t have to be told twice. She rushed out of the room to her family who was just entering the house.


     Christmas morning found the family boisterously chatting together in the sitting room. Grandfather and Grandmother had joined them after breakfast and there was much catching up to do. Aunt Ida, who was used to a quiet Christmas each year, was enjoying the noise and chaos immensely.
     After a bit, Aunt Ida said it was time to open presents. She had thoughtfully chosen a special gift for each person there.
     Helen realized that she may have judged her aunt too harshly. There seemed to be more to her than she had at first thought. But perhaps Aunt Ida was changing a bit, too.
     This was confirmed when Jenkins announced Christmas Dinner. As Helen’s father escorted Aunt Ida to dinner, Helen overheard her say this to him, “Oh, John, you have raised a wonderful daughter. Helen has been a tremendous blessing to me. She’s been so patient with this old woman. And she’s showing me that maybe there is more to Christianity than just going to church on Sundays. I always thought you were a little overboard on the religious stuff, you know,” she laughed and patted his arm, “but now I see I may have been mistaken.”
     In that one moment, God showed Helen one of the reasons He had brought her to the mansion in the city. She was thankful for this time with her family and the overwhelming kindness of her Aunt Ida in bringing them here. But hearing her aunt say what she did was the best moment of her Christmas and gave her strength to continue on in her new life after the holidays.
     And when it was time to say goodbye to her family after a wonderful time together, she was okay. She knew that she was where she belonged for right now and that God had brought her here for a reason. She would serve Him here with her whole and contented heart.


     None of us are where we are by accident. The Lord has guided our steps and wherever we are right now is where we are supposed to be and a place where we can plant seeds of the Gospel and encourage fellow believers. May we serve God wholeheartedly, with contentment, and all for His glory.

You will find the rest of this story and all of the Growing4Life Christmas stories at this link.

It’s Just a Day

As a young family, we would open presents on Christmas morning and then scurry off to both sides of the family. After a few years, this became so burdensome and both my mom and my mother-in-law offered to move their gathering to a different day. “It’s just a day.” Our hearts were tremendously blessed by the flexibility of our parents and I determined to do the same when my time came.

Well, my time has come. Christmas will be a different affair for us this year. For the first time we won’t all be together during the holidays. And for the first time we won’t have our Christmas celebration on Christmas Day. And while I will especially miss our daughter and her family, I totally understand their decision to stay home every other year. And, in fact, I am glad they have made that choice for their own little family. Thankfully, the examples of our parents showed me that it can’t be about me but it must be about what is best for others.

But I’ve been thinking a bit about how big of a deal we make “family” this time of year. Christmas is no longer about Jesus to most people. It’s about love and good will. It’s about romance (thank you, Hallmark). And it’s about family. And while most of us have plenty of good will and have simply given up on the romance, we do still have this longing for the perfect family.

But what if you don’t have a family? Or yours is broken? Or super stressful? Or ill? Or part of yours is missing or gone on to heaven?

Most of us have something that messes up our ideal dream of family at Christmastime. We live in a fallen, sinful world and life just isn’t ideal. Perhaps we have expectations that we shouldn’t have. Perhaps we are focusing on the wrong thing.

I don’t know where you find yourself today. I am guessing many of you are living with unbearable hurt due to a tragic loss this Christmas. Some of you will probably do a lot of pretending, giving the impression that your marriage and your family are okay when they just aren’t. Some of you will face uncomfortable moments of conversation with angry or abrasive relatives that carry chips on their shoulders. And others of you will be alone, for many different reasons.

But it’s just a day. It’s one day out of the rest of year. Yes, it’s precious to get together with family. Family is a true gift from God. But it’s not the most important gift from God. Not even close.

God sent His Son into the world. He began humanity as a tiny baby laid in a manger. But that perfect baby grew up to be the perfect Man, a Savior who would die for you and for me so that we could be reconciled with God and have eternal life. An additional blessing included with God’s precious gift to us is also to provide us hope and joy and peace in this life.

But instead of finding our hope and joy and peace in Christ we often turn to other things. And one of those things that is most tempting to turn to for most of us is our families. But family will always disappoint. Because it’s made up of a bunch of sinners who won’t live forever.

So, whatever our circumstances may be regarding our families, may we remember to face our challenges with Christ as the center, instead of our feelings. May we take one step at a time and faithfully serve Christ in each and every moment. In the hard conversations; in the feelings of loneliness, grief, and loss; in the midst of those old familiar feelings that come boiling to the surface whenever a certain person draws near; and in the midst of the changes that inevitably come as the years pass.

Christ will not disappoint. He alone will not disappoint. If we abide in Him, He will abide in us. Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:1-5).

So may we keep our eyes focused on Christ this Christmas and all through the year. Because, after all, Christmas is just a day.

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