Thursday, December 27, 2012

Postmodern Infiltration

The Neoevangelical Heretical Idea

A number of years ago there was a joke circulating that went like this:

Q: How can a man avoid falling hair? 
A: Jump out of the way! 

This is also a formula for avoiding heresy. One must “jump out of the way” whenever it comes near. The biblical doctrine of separation is founded upon a verse that appears in both the Old and New Testaments: Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. (2 Cor. 6:14; Is. 52:11)

For the past several hundred years, as the world has become increasingly evil and corrupt, believers from various fundamentalist groups clung to the principles of biblical separation. By the mid-20th century, this focus was sometimes reduced to a list of “don’ts & do’s” – forbidden activities that a good Christian shouldn’t participate in such as gambling, dancing, drinking, going to movies, etc. An emphasis on separation in terms of external appearance and worldly conduct is a worthy one and biblically solid. But there is much more to biblical separation. The Bible also warns about separation from IDEAS – the philosophies, beliefs, teachings and writings of worldly or pagan men.

How the Evangelicals Repudiated Separation
& Adopted Infiltration

Few Christians know the history of the modern evangelical movement. Nor do they realize that the “repudiation” of the biblical doctrine of separation became a central tenet of evangelicalism. The abandonment of separation was a planned exercise by leaders. The historical evidence below shows that this doctrine’s untimely demise created a new era of lax standards and engagement with the world. Dr. Harold John Ockenga (1905-1985) has been called “The Father of New Evangelicalism.”

Dr. Ockenga was a highly esteemed and credentialed Presbyterian minister who served as the first president of the National Association of Evangelicals. He coined the term “neo-evangelical,” which means “new evangelical.” He explained, in the Foreword to Dr. Harold Lindsell’s book The Battle for the Bible (1976), how neoevangelicalism was created

Neo-evangelicalism was born in 1948 in connection with a convocation address which I gave in the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena. While reaffirming the theological view of fundamentalism, this address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory. The ringing call for a repudiation of separatism and the summons to social involvement received a hearty response from many evangelicals…. It differed from fundamentalism in its determination to engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day. It had a new emphasis upon the application of the gospel to the sociological, political, and economic areas of life…. 

Neo-evangelicals emphasized the restatement of Christian theology in accordance with the need of the time, the reengagement in the theological debate, the recapture of denominational leadership, and the reexamination of theological problems such as the antiquity of man, the universality of the flood, God's method of creation, and others. [emphases added] 

In an earlier press release dated December 8, 1957, Dr. Ockenga made the following statement:

The New Evangelicalism has changed its strategy from one of separation to one of infiltration. Instead of static front battles, the new theological war is one of movement. Instead of attack upon error, the New Evangelicals proclaim the great historic doctrines of Christianity…. The strategy of the New Evangelicalism is the positive proclamation of truth in distinction from all errors without delving in personalities which embrace error. [emphasis added] 

Pastor John E. Ashbrook authored a book critical of neoevangelicalism’s “repudiation of separation.” Entitled New Neutralism II: Exposing the Gray of Compromise (Here I Stand Books, 1992), it is a well-documented history of this “repudiation of separation.” His book is also a biblically-based analysis of the ensuing neoevangelical compromises that took place over the next 40-50 years. Pastor Ashbrook based his critique on the following biblical premise:

Separation is God’s prescription for treating the disease of apostasy. It is not ours to repudiate, for it is a divine command, not a human idea. (p. 5) [emphasis added]

In his 1957 press release, Dr. Ockenga described six organizational foundations upon which New Evangelicalism was built. These six foundations form the core pillars upon which almost every other subsequent evangelical organization has been built:

Since I first coined the phrase “The New Evangelicalism” at a convocation address at Fuller Theological Seminary ten years ago, the evangelical forces have been welded into an organizational front. First, there is the National Association of Evangelicals which provides articulation for the movement on the denominational level; second, there is World Evangelical Fellowship which binds together these individual national associations of some twenty-six countries into a world organization; third, there is the new apologetic literature stating this point of view which is now flowing from the presses of the great publishers, including Macmillans and Harpers; fourth, there is the existence of Fuller Theological Seminary and other evangelical seminaries which are fully committed to orthodox Christianity and a resultant social philosophy; fifth, there is the establishment of Christianity Today, a bi-weekly publication, to articulate the convictions of this movement; sixth, there is the appearance of an evangelist, Billy Graham, who on the mass level is the spokesman of the convictions and ideal of the New Evangelicalism. 

Modern evangelicals don’t know about this history, nor do they understand how comprehensively organized this movement was from its very inception. The neoevangelical movement has now impacted Christian groups far outside the parameters of the evangelical subculture. This is because neoevangelical leaders focused their attentions on changing Christian attitudes and beliefs through literature, media, colleges, and superstar personalities – in other words, they disseminated new ideas. Pastor Ashbrook took note of Ockenga’s worldly goals for neoevangelicalism:

From its inception new evangelicalism has been determined to impress the world with its intellect. It has craved the respect of academia. It has determined to earn the plaudits at the fountainheads of secular learning. Why should this be a goal for the Christian?… 

The goal was to be published by publishers that the world respected…. [T]his craving for acceptance shows itself…in the desire to make the gospel more palatable to the natural man…. New evangelicalism made it acceptable to water down the gospel. (p. 8-10) 

Today, over fifty years later, we can see the devastating consequences of neo-evangelicalism’s accommodation to the culture. Neo-evangelicalism has thoroughly embraced many worldly philosophies and practices. The recent phenomenon of “post-modern” evangelicalism, which merges neo-paganism with neo-evangelicalism (e.g., the Emergent Church) is an indication of how far this “repudiation of separation” has come. The rapid rise of the Neo-Calvinist movement illustrates the extent to which this "infiltration" will go, as they seek to bridge the divide between church and society, even to the point of Dominionism. The infiltration strategy is also evident in the popular mystical postmodern philosophies of Leonard Sweet, Dallas Willard, Jay Gary, Larry Crabb, Richard Foster and many others. Infiltration as the accepted new status quo in evangelicaldom has rapidly reached into the most remote corners of the Christian world, especially via the neoevangelical mass media.

For a more in-depth history of the rise of the postmodern neoevangelical movement, read Paul Smith's fascinating and sometimes firsthand historical account in his book New Evangelicalism: The New World Order. See HERE

The Agenda of Infiltration
It seems quite obvious that a “repudiation of separation” is a clever technique to dislodge the church from its first love. Adopting a strategy of infiltration serves as the first necessary step to break down the church’s ability to function as “salt” and “light” in a dark and lost world. A church that has become integrated with the culture becomes a corrupted mixture. It loses its prophetic ability to stand apart and observe, warn and reprove. Rather, the postmodern church ingratiates itself to the world, desiring respectability and prestige, power and influence. It borrows the manipulative techniques, methods, and strategies of humanistic psychology and sociology in order to further its ability to infiltrate culture. In so doing it loses its unique shining light, the power embedded in the Gospel of Salvation to transform hearts and lives. Rather, it substitutes fools gold, i.e., any shiny substitutes that will make it look like conversion numbers are increasing.

All of this infiltration has now become the modus operendi for the neoevangelical world. It is accepted as normal. However, this is a cultural norm, not a biblical norm. It is the new normative state of the neoevangelical world, but is far removed from what God's Word actually requires. No matter how fancy the semantic tap-dancing and verbal gymnastics, it does not measure up to the pure unadulterated Scripture.

Biblical separation is much more than the physical act of avoiding or removing oneself from a sinful activity. Believers are also warned in Scripture to separate from ideas. The main entry point for any new heresy is in the realm of ideas and philosophies, concepts and speculations. It is here where people take the bait and begin to embrace something new. (For more information, see article HERE.)
When Dr. Ockenga called for evangelicalism to “engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day” he placed an emphasis on the word “dialogue.” “Dialogue” is the mingling of ideas – a mixing of truth with error – i.e., integration. Pastor Ashbrook commented,  

"Notice that it is described as 'dialogue,' not debate.
A debate is a conflict which clarifies a position.
A dialogue is a conversation which compromises a position."
(p. 7) 

What does the Bible actually teach? What follows is a brief study on the biblical view of separation from heresy, and why it was a core tenet of the faith until our postmodern era. 

Old Testament Separation from IDEAS 
In the Old Testament, God separated unto Himself Israel, which was to be a holy and righteous nation. There were moral and ceremonial laws pertaining to this separation. The sacrificial system was markedly different from the idolatry of pagan cultures, whose religious systems involved human sacrifice. Even food, clothing and agriculture were to be practiced differently and distinctively by the Hebrews. J.C. Wenger, in his classic book, Separated Unto God (Herald Press, 1951) observed:

All of these ceremonial regulations, whether of food, of clothing, of agriculture, or of sacrifices, were not ends in themselves, possessing intrinsic merit, but were vivid symbols of the fact that Israel was a holy nation, belonging to Jehovah, dedicated to holiness of life, to faith and obedience, and called to exhibit the character of God here on earth. To this truth the prophets of Israel again and again tried to recall the children of Israel. 

In the book of Deuteronomy, the Lord forewarned His people to separate from false prophets, idolatry and pagan practices. Chapter 13 and 18:9-14 describe the occult practices which are to be avoided. Deuteronomy 28:17-20 warns of those whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations. Notice that the seduction of idolatry begins in the heart.

There are many Old Testament verses that apply to biblical separation, particularly guarding one’s mind and heart, and refraining from taking a worldly path. Two antidotes to worldliness are
  1. Wisdom from instruction in God’s Word 
  2. Physically removing oneself from temptation. 
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee. (Psalm 119: 9-11) 

My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path; For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. (Prov. 1:15-16) 

When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things. (Prov. 2:10-12) 

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. (Prov. 3:7, 31) 

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. (Prov. 4:14-15) 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. . . . Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. . . . Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. (Prov. 4:23, 25, 27) 

Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house. (Prov. 5:8) 

During Israel’s national time of great apostasy the Lord pleaded with His people through His prophets to return unto Him with their whole heart. In Joel 2:12b-13a, the Lord tells apostate Israel: Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments. 

Psalm 106:34-37 summarizes what happened when God’s people did not obey Him: They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils. This progression into apostasy is a direct result of abandoning holy separation. Note the parallels to modern neo-evangelicalism’s slide into apostasy:
  1. They did not destroy the nations. In the New Testament this is no longer a literal mandate, but rather believers are called to share the Truth of the Gospel with heathen nations. Practicing biblical separation serves as a hedge of protection for missionaries going into such pagan cultures. Without this doctrine, there is no protection. But in its place neoevangelical leaders substituted the doctrine of “contextualization,” which is a dialectic integration of pagan practices with Christianity. Contextualization is the exact opposite of biblical separation. Christianity, according to this heresy, can be merged or comfortably cohabit with another belief system. The Gospel can be watered down, mixed with other thoughts, and it is still called "Christian." But it isn't. Which leads to the next point:
  2. But were mingled among the heathen. The Israelites disobeyed God’s commandments and began worshipping idols and intermarrying with heathen women. One need only look at evangelical Christians today to try to find any semblance of distinctive lifestyle that would separate them from the mainstream culture in America to see how far-gone is this "mingling" and co-mingling.
  3. They served their idols. Even King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, when he married heathen women was seduced into serving their idols. If Solomon couldn’t play with fire without getting burned, then how could a modern-day intellectual Christian fare any better? The history of neo-evangelicalism reveals that once the doors were opened to a “reengagement in the theological debate” and a “reexamination of theological problems,” a flood of new heretical doctrines entered in. Rather than being “salt” and “light” to the world, the neoevangelicals permitted the world to come in and corrupt the Church. A paradigm shift of an unholy mixture of doctrines was occurring, and some leaders have had the gall to call this a "new reformation" or "new awakening."
  4. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils. In the Old Testament, babies were burned as human sacrifices unto the pagan deities. Likewise, Ockenga’s strategy of “infiltration” rather than “separation” has resulted in a noticeable rise in the disparagement of human life. This natural progression into idolatry reaches its zenith in actual participation in pagan rituals -- evidence of which can be found in various streams of neoevangelicalism today. 

New Testament Separation from IDEAS  
Dr. Ockenga’s strategy of “infiltration” into the culture effectually operated like a public relations campaign. Setting up six “organizational fronts” guaranteed that the new ideas of neoevangelicalism would permeate throughout the world through one “front” or another, particularly changing evangelical culture. One would have had to separate oneself from evangelicalism entirely in order not to be affected by this! Subsequent evangelical movements have also employed this conspiratorial and unbiblical strategy of “infiltration.”

“Infiltration” works both ways. The bad leaven described in the Bible also infiltrates. It introduces a tiny bit of error into the Truth of the Gospel. Galatians 5:7-9a speaks of leaven in the context of false teaching. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded. Note the reference to “not obey the truth.” Exposure to heresy results in lack of obedience to God’s Word. Also note “otherwise minded.” Seduction to heretical ideas begins with dabbling in philosophies and teachings that entice and lure the mind.

New Testament Scriptures contain many warnings to believers to separate from false teachings and false prophets. In 2 John 10 believers are commanded to physically separate from those who carry the leaven of heresy: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Tolerance is a popular teaching in neoevangelical circles today, but this Scripture indicates that biblical separation is a grave matter, and that preserving one’s faith must be taken seriously.

Romans 1 vividly portrays the natural progression from worship of the Creator to the idolatry of worshipping the creature: God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient (vs. 28). The carnality of the mind leads directly to the carnality of the flesh. James 1:14-15 reiterates this point: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 

New Testament believers are to flee from idolatry and are warned about mixing paganism with the Gospel: Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils (I Cor. 10:14b, 21a). Paul asks in 2 Corinthians 6:15, And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? In our modern time there has been a revival of ancient paganism called the New Age movement. The occult practices that the Old Testament warned about are now widely popular in American mainstream culture. Believers should beware of the enticing nature of these beliefs and practices. Many pagan doctrines have been dressed up in new garb. They enter in through alternative medicine, meditative prayer practices, spiritual and physical “disciplines,” art and music, mysticism, imagination, science fiction, astrology, yoga, and many other unusual ways.

These pagan doctrines are also coming in via neoevangelicalism's mainstream, a far more subtle and dangerous method of “infiltration.” Why? Because this comes via respected leaders who count on their stellar reputation to gain entry into your trust. But believers must test everything, including the words of those who claim to be Christian brothers. In this day and age, it is no longer possible to personally know the teachers who influence your thinking. Many of them are exalted leaders, far removed from their media-driven congregations and any structures of accountability. 2 Corinthians 11:3 warns, But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 10:4, just a few verses earlier, Paul wrote, Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 

Believers are particularly vulnerable to the seduction of heresy when it comes from esteemed, respected or well-liked Christian leaders. The New Testament contains many warnings about leaders who teach heresy, including especially those who profess to be apostles: false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ (2 Cor. 10:13). Colossians 2:8 warns: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Today there are many false prophets who have gone out into the world that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (I John 4:1-3). Their Jesus is a mystical entity of nebulous character, someone to be passionate about, but never fully defined according to Scripture. This verse has particular current relevance because there are forms of revived Gnosticism within neoevangelicalism.

Paul also warns Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind (Col. 2:18). Perhaps 100 years ago this verse seemed strange. But it has new relevance in today’s neoevangelical culture. “Voluntary humility” perfectly describes the neoevangelicalism teaching for “voluntary simplicity” – a radical new lifestyle for global “sustainability” with performance-driven and mystical requirements. And recent false teachings on spiritual warfare excessively emphasize angels and demons.

Ephesians 4 has much to say about biblical separation. Paul warns the Ephesians to henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness (vs. 17b-19). Again, note the natural progression downhill. What begins in the mind, ends up manifesting in the flesh. In our flesh-sated world of ungodly media, is it any wonder when the newest "acceptable" sin in the church is fornication? Everyone does it so it must be okay goes the faulty logic. And thus their hearts are blinded, and they have left their first love.

Paul advises the Ephesians to be renewed in the spirit of your mind (vs. 23). He lists positive examples of holy living that should accompany such a conversion. Paul also cautions about seduction by “vain words,” and warns believers to separate from those who would use them: Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them (Eph. 5:6-7). Vain words, such as what is taught in the Word-Faith movement and the false prosperity gospel, are alluring and enticing and seductive. But believers are to not be partakers with them. How compromising!

Many other New Testament Scriptures warn about beguiling with enticing words (Col. 2:4). It is important to recognize that these words are not just the spoken word of popular Christian media personalities (radio/TV) but also the written word in bestselling Christian books. These writings or teachings may appear “Christian” superficially because many Bible words are used. But if believers exercise godly discernment, as Scripture commands, they will be less vulnerable to this subtle type of seduction (I John 2:28). NOTE: postmodern evangelicals specialize in using biblical language. They just redefine the terms. They play the game, use the terms, and weave a web of false doctrine. Often they will not stand on the Bible alone, but skillfully adapt their language to compromise its position. These are indeed treacherous times!

In addition to beguiling words, the Scriptures also warn about a profit motive for false prophets. There are many verses on this topic, including Eph. 4:19; Titus 1:10-16; and Hebrews 13:5. The bluntest warning is from 2 Peter 2:1-3, who makes the dire warning that "their damnation slumbereth not":

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the Way of Truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not

The Truth: 
Separation is not a passive activity. In these perilous times, believers are called upon more than ever to be on guard against the seductions of heretical teachings and their teachers. It is a defensive posture that requires standing firm on the Word, and continually filtering every teaching through the lens of the whole counsel of Scripture. To avoid heresy requires active resistance on the part of the believer. Sometimes a believer must physically flee from temptation and its circumstances.

At other times the Lord would have believers speak out in defense of the Truth of the Gospel. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Eph. 5: 11) Here Paul says that believers should “reprove them,” because all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light (Eph. 5:13). Jude 3 tells believers to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. The new “tolerance” ethic blunts this directive, and many Christians remain silent.

Separation is an act of the mind and spirit, not just the flesh. In fact, one must first separate mentally, because to linger one’s thoughts upon a temptation is just as serious as committing the sin itself. Adultery is one such example: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after he hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) Covetousness is another example. Mystical pursuits into the imagination and occult realm are yet another. 

This neo-evangelical “repudiation of separation,” and its resultant seduction into heresy, is indicative of the condition of the Church in the last days. Jude 18 warns that there will be mockers in the last time who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. Paul prepared Timothy for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Tim. 3-4). If the reader finds that it is difficult to endure the sound doctrine of the Word, it is time to go back to the basics of the Gospel of Salvation which is about repentance and forgiveness.

The sinful nature of man wants to justify sin, even to the extent of finding false teachers to teach ear-tickling fables. But 1 Peter 1:13 advises believers to gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Peter further admonishes that the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer (vs. 4:7).

Adapted and updated from the Jan./Feb. 2006 Discernment Newsletter, where this was titled "The Necessity of Separation from Heresy" and republished. See also:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Depression Christmas

By Paul T. Huling, Sr.

Soon after Dad died, I went through his desk drawers and found a letter that he'd had filed away since 1934. The letter was about hope. Hope and Christmas.

Christmas day 1933 was cold and rainy. My family had exchanged our Christmas gifts, eaten our Christmas dinner, and gone to church, where... each of us children [were presented] with a lovely orange.

It was too miserable outside to play very long. Inside, the adults were quietly resting while we kids went to the play area of the basement. The centerpiece of the basement was the hand-fired coal furnace, which gave off enough heat to keep the basement quite warm. There was even a bed, which I remember sleeping on a few times, and hiding places, a Ping-Pong table, a workbench, and a game table.

There was a gentle knock on the back door just before the early winter darkness set in. I answered the knock to find a man standing in the cold. He asked if he could speak to the man of the house.

Dad came to the door, and the two men spoke for a few moments before Dad asked the man to step into the hallway. Dad left, spoke to Mom for a moment, then asked the man to follow him to the basement. My brothers and I listened in as we worked quietly on the model airplane on the other side of the furnace.

The man was hungry. Mom fixed him the same dinner we had enjoyed, while Dad talked to him and set up a table. The man told Dad he didn't want to impose on our Christmas; he just needed something to eat as he moved on his way. But Dad could see the man needed more.

He was a "bum"; that's what people generally called out-of-work men who were homeless. But there was something about this man that made the word "bum" seem out of place. It was obvious the man was well-educated but terribly down on his luck. He was far from home, lonely, desperate for work, and pretty dirty.

Dad provided soap and towels so the man could clean up before eating. He hung his outer clothes over a rack to dry by the warm furnace. The man's shoes were worn through and mushy with wetness. Dad threw them into the furnace, where they hissed and steamed for a long time before they finally burned.

Dad discovered that his good hunting boots were a perfect fit for the man. He gave the boots to him along with woolly socks he had stored in the basement armoire. You would have thought Dad had given the man $100.

The man talked about home and family, hundreds of miles away. He had left with the hope of finding work, but when he had reached his destination, there were no jobs, and he had no more money. Now he was walking and riding the rails, trying to go home. But he didn't know where each train he hopped would take him. He hunted for work in towns along the way. He had had a fine education, fine job, and a fine family -- now he had nothing but hope to keep him going.

He and Dad talked for a long time. Then he left -- clean, dry, well-fed, and very appreciative of the help he had been given. None of us slept well that night as we thought of the man out in the cold with nothing but hope. I thought of his kids at home, not knowing where their dad was.

About a year later Dad and Mom read us a letter from the man who had come for Christmas. He was home. He had work. His family was OK.

He also said in the letter that the reason he turned in at our house as he was walking the streets looking for food was because there was a mark on the sidewalk, placed there by someone else, indicating that at this house you would not be turned away. I looked for the mark but never found it. It made me proud, though.

As I read the letter, soon after Dad's death, I recalled the story. In the letter, the man said he never lost hope because of people like Dad and Mom. "My feet stayed warm and dry all the way from LaSalle, Illinois, to Iola, Kansas," he wrote."

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
(Luke 6:36)

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

(Hebrews 13:2)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled,
and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith
unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

(1 Peter 1: 3-5)

Reprinted from Lunch at the Igloo and Other Stories: A Tribute to the Great Depression by Paul Huling and Don Huling (Hither Page Press, Princeton, IL), pp. 40-42. Paul T. Huling, Sr. (deceased) is the father of Sarah Huling Leslie of the Discernment Research Group.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012: New Agers & Mayan Prophecies

Planetary Doomsday or Birth Day?

 Exhibit A: Ceremony by Mayan Sages, 12-6-12*

[Jose] Arguelles claims that Cortez was in reality the wicked ancient Mexican Tezcatlipoca in disguise. In The Mayan Factor, Arguelles writes that hell on Earth began when Christianity became the predominant religion, and when the ancients turned away from Sun worship. “In truth, this turning away is a surrender to the forces of darkness, called by the ancient Mexicans, Tezcatlipoca, the Dark Lord of Time. It is Tezcatlipoca, the trickster counterpart as Cortez, arrived in Mexico in A.D. 1519 announcing the entry into the present 468-year ‘hell-cycle.’” 

But say Arguelles and other supporters of the Harmonic Convergence, the hell period is over as of August 15, and with it the old paradigm. Harmonic Convergence marks the beginning of the new paradigm and with it the return of the ancient Sun worship and combined paganism. The Mayan calendar and prophecy notes that the birth time of the new paradigm (New World Order) will be December 2012. What’s all the hoopla about 12-21-12? It is the culmination of a 25-year plan of the New Agers. [1]

What's with all the hoopla and hysteria about the date December 21, 2012? It is the culmination of a 25-year plan of the New Agers!

We’ve written about it previously. On June 8, 2011, Herescope re-published an article written back in 1987 about the New Age Harmonic Convergence. Jose Arguelles was the man behind these global synchronized events. According to this report,

Arguelles’ inspiration for this came as a result of a vision he received in 1983 and from intense study of the ancient Mayan spiritual/cultural calendars. Arguelles insists that the Mayan calendar is explicit in denoting the dates of August 16-17, 1987 as precise and crucial “calibration points” that, if acted upon, can speed the process of global civilization into a new morphogenic field or a new paradigm. [2]

In the New Age worldview, this global mystical paradigm shift would signal the beginning of a new world order.

Most significantly, “Harmonic Convergence will not only signal a return of Quetzalcoatl, but the elimination of Armageddon as well,” says Arguelles. Moreover, he equates Quetzalcoatl with the Christ and says the Harmonic Convergence could be viewed as a second Pentecost. However, like the return of the Mayans, Quetzalcoatl also will not appear in the physical sense; he will do so as a wave length of a consciousness available to those who are harmoniously attuned. 

Also returning August 16-17 will be the spirits of all the gods and goddesses. These spirits plus the consciousness of Quetzalcoatl will bring forth a tremendous outpouring of psychic energy and occultic power. [3]

The current New Age hoopla over the December 21, 2012 date seems to indicate the same bizarre occult predictions. No wonder people are scared!

What will visitors to Chichen Itza see on 12/21/12? According to Prophecy, a pattern of shadow and light will project the Plumed Serpent (Quetzalcoatl) descending on the stairs of the pyramid that has a large head of a serpent sculpted in rock at the base. As the Sun sets in the early afternoon, the shadow of the pyramid's northwest edge will project a moving pattern of light that joins and illuminates the sculpted serpent head at the base of the stairway. Within a thirty-four minute period, the serpent, formed by this play of light and shadow will appear to descend to the Earth, as the Sun leaves each stair, going from the top to the bottom. This combined effect creates the visual appearance of the body of the serpent descending the pyramid. In addition, on December 21, 2012, the tail of the serpent projected up from the top of the pyramid will be pointing precisely to the star cluster Pleiades. At 11:11 am UT the tip of the Pyramid will be precisely aligned with the Sun and the Galactic Center (Hunab Ku.)[5]

Debunking Mayan Dates & Other Myths 
Worldwide there is an ongoing panic about this supposed doomsday date. In an attempt to reassure the public, there have been many statements issued that attempt to counter the hype and hysteria. One such statement, refutes Arguelles’ calculations, and gives an fascinating perspective on what may have gone on behind the scenes prior to the Harmonic Convergence.

“December 21st will be just another Friday morning,” said Andrew Wilson, Assistant Head of Social Studies at the University of Derby. “A hippy guru called Jose Arguelles associated the date with the Mayan calendar in a book called The Mayan Factor in 1987. But it's an obsolete form of the calendar, which had not been used since the year 1100AD.” 

“He claimed to be channelling various spirits, including the spirit of a Mayan king from the seventh century. He predicted a ‘shift in human consciousness’ - mass enlightenment.” The actual date of December 21 first appeared in an earlier work - a 1975 book by Terence McKenna, a writer known for his descriptions of “machine elves” seen while under the influence of drugs. 

The date appeared in McKenna's ‘Timeline Zero’ prophecy, and was based on McKenna’s own mathematics, the Chinese I Ching and a magic mushroom trip. 

McKenna later met Arguelles and the two became, Wilson says, part of a circle of New Age authors who cited each other’s work, lending the ‘prophecy’ an air of believability.[6]

A Mayan expert, a professor at Cleveland State University who teaches a popular class called “Ancient Mysteries,” factually reports that the Mayan calendar does NOT abruptly end on Dec. 21, 2012.

“It just means it’s time to make a new calendar,” Dunham says. “A major cycle ends on Dec. 21, but again, it’s a cycle. When one cycle ends, a new one begins. The Maya only mentioned the year 2012 twice and in neither case do they mention the end of the world.” 

Dunham says the doomsayers got everything wrong, starting with the image of a calendar often seen with stories about 2012. 

“The round, stone calendar you always see when people talk about the prediction is not even a Maya calendar, it’s an Aztec calendar,” he said. “That’s the first sign that these people don’t know what they are talking about.”[7]

NASA has even set up a special webpage “Beyond 2012: Why the World Won’t End” in an attempt to refute the swirling conspiracy theories about the end of the world. Included on their list of 2012 topics is “End of the World,” “Mayan Calendar,” and even a discussion about the alleged planet “Nibiru” that is supposedly hurtling towards earth. The Nibiru cataclysm is “a prediction first made by contactee Nancy Lieder that a mythological planet Nibiru would collide with Earth. After adjusting her prediction many times, she now claims the year of the occurrence to be 2012.”[8]
Q: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012? 
A: The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 -- hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.[9]

The Russians, in particular, seem to have instilled fear and panic when Pravda published this bizarre story a few years ago:

Three giant spaceships are heading towards Earth. The largest one of them is 240 kilometers wide. Two others are smaller. At present, the objects are beyond the orbit of Pluto. 

The spaceships were detected by HAARP search system. The system, based in Alaska, was designed to study the phenomenon of northern lights. According to SETI researchers, the objects are nothing but extraterrestrial spaceships. They will be visible in optical telescopes as soon as they reach Mars's orbit. The US government has been reportedly informed about the event. The ships will reach Earth in December 2012. 

The date of the supposed space contact with extraterrestrial civilization brings up thoughts about the Mayan calendar, which ends on December 21, 2012.[10]

As a result, there was a lot of hysteria. Here is a more recent piece that gives a sad account of the frantic doomsday preparations of Russian citizens:

Inmates in a women’s prison near the Chinese border are said to have experienced a “collective mass psychosis” so intense that their wardens summoned a priest to calm them. In a factory town east of Moscow, panicked citizens stripped shelves of matches, kerosene, sugar and candles. A huge Mayan-style archway is being built — out of ice — on Karl Marx Street in Chelyabinsk in the south.

Last week, Russia’s government decided to put an end to the doomsday talk. Its minister of emergency situations said Friday that he had access to “methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth,” and that he could say with confidence that the world was not going to end in December. He acknowledged, however, that Russians were still vulnerable to “blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, trouble with transportation and food supply, breakdowns in heat, electricity and water supply.” 

As the first three weeks of December melt away, Russians will approach the deadline with their characteristic mordant humor. An entrepreneur in the Siberian city of Tomsk, for example, has sold several thousand gag emergency kits, a cleverly packaged $29 parcel including sprats, vodka, buckwheat, matches, candles, a string and a piece of soap. [11]

For true believers in prophecies like these, Doomsday is imminent and with great fear they begin to prepare for worst-case scenarios. Doomsday predictions are typically based on false prophecies and messages of impending doom. These date-setting movements are often led by charismatic leaders who head up cults, or who have developed a cult-like following of true believers. In these movements there is a huge psychological commitment to see the fulfillment of the predicted outcome. When this outcome fails to materialize, there will be alternative scenarios or explanations that are developed by the leaders – something that is already in evidence now with the backpeddling going on with the 2012 doomsday scenarios.

Furthermore, when scholars, experts, media outlets or public officials attempt to refute the cataclysmic event, it can actually add to the cult-like view that there is a conspiracy going on. Doomsday true believers will explain that the “experts” are trying to hide the facts. They are seen as part of the conspiracy and coverup! In other words, any attempts at rational discussion can actually fuel the irrational belief in an impending disaster![12]

Alternative Doomsday Scenarios 
Not all predictions about 12-21-12 concern a doomsday scenario. Many New Agers actually believe that there is going to be a radical paradigm shift to a new order. That's the whole reason they are flocking to various 2012 events. The New Agers freely incorporate all of the mystical pagan prophecies from ancient civilizations into their endtime scenario, and to them it means that 12-21-12 is the date of their much-vaunted paradigm shift for humanity. Wisdom University, for example, will be discussing Mayan “prophecies” in a teleseminar about a much-anticipated New Age era:

In this free teleseminar, Dr. Stanislav Grof, globally renowned consciousness researcher, pioneer of LSD psychotherapy, and co-founder of transpersonal psychology, will explore the Mayan prophecy concerning the "end of the world" and similar prophecies from other cultures using the insights from his 50 years of research into non-ordinary states of consciousness. He will share how his explorations of the human psyche suggests new ways to understand these ancient prophecies in a way that offers us hope for the future.[13]

Several other viewpoints express the same thing:

In a statement released by Mayan elder Oxlaljuj Ajpop, the end of the Mayan calendar simply means that “there will be big changes on the personal, family and community level, so that there is harmony and balance between mankind and nature.” [14]

A New Age author, who wrote about the ancient god Quetzalcoatl, explains in his book promo that he anticipates a silver lining in all of this 2012 hype: a new era of global ecumenical cooperation and "transformation":

In my book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, I proposed that what happens in "2012" depends on what humanity decides to make of it. We might see global famines and wars and increasing misery, or we might decide to institute a new planetary culture based on empathy, alternative economic systems, sustainable design, and an equitable sharing of wealth. According to the prophecies held by the Maya and other indigenous cultures, we may integrate modern scientific knowledge with Eastern spiritual wisdom and indigenous shamanism, leading to a new understanding of the physical and psychic cosmos. Rather than "doomsday," 2012 could be a time of positive transformation and the opening to a new way of life. [15]

New Age Pilgrimages to the Mayan Pyramids
Many New Agers have been making pilgrimages to the Mayan pyramids in time for this week’s anticipated events – whatever happens. There are huge crowds expected. Many New-Age-star-wannabes with music, art, jewelry or pendants to sell will be making an appearance. Wisdom University went on an preliminary excursion a few months ago, and here is how they described its purpose:

Teotihuacán 2012 
It is said that the Mayan calendar started in 3,114 B.C.E. It's ending is not precise but many scholars put it on the Winter Solstice, 2012. Wisdom University commemorates this extraordinary culmination and transitioning by organizing a pilgrimage to Teotihuacán, the pyramid complex outside Mexico City that serves as the heart and historic capitol of the Toltec civilization that designed the calendar. It was at Teotihuacán that the Toltec seers developed their extraordinary spiritual technology of the stars upon which their calendar was based. 

As the heart of Toltec wisdom, the land and energy of Teotihuacán is an enormous catalyst. This pyramid complex was built to show humans what is possible in their connection to the divine. Several thousand years later, it is still brimming with energy and power. The experience of Teotihuacán is difficult to describe. It is a place of cellular cleansing and rearranging, a mystical source of divine connection and wonder, and a super-charged spiritual battery rolled up into one potent package…. [T]apping into primordial wisdom is vital for our resiliency and our capacity to not only vision but embody a new way of being in the modern world…. 

The Teo journey is a sacred initiation ceremony designed to help each individual reclaim their deeper essence…. It is a true gift to go to places that are infused with intent and magic and let this energy seep into our bones…. 

Teotihuacán provides a master key. The end of the Mayan calendar could not offer a more propitious time. [16]

Another New Age junket to the Mayan Pyramids is billed as

MAYA 2012: Personal & Planetary Transformation: Join the Global Gathering! December 13-22, 2012, With Special Entrance Inside Chichen-Itza, the Great Mayan Ceremonial Center and One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, 
at the exact time of the Winter Solstice!

Your once-in-many-thousands-of-years chance to gather at the high center of Mayan Knowledge for the end of the Mayan Calendar… and the birth of the Great Cycle of transformation and renewal![17]

Here is just a sampling of the list of participants who will be making presentations, which reveals the extreme New Age occult spirituality in evidence at this event:
  • Gregg Braden on this once-in-a-5,125 year experience as he shares the ancient discoveries of fractal time and the key to life-affirming shifts…. 
  • Hunbatz Men… a shaman, a holy man,… a respected ceremonial leader… [in] a unique blend of sacred and experiential ceremony liberally sprinkled with Mayan chants, prophecies, cosmic and solar wisdom, and language lessons. 
  • Robert Bauval (best-selling author of The Orion Mystery),…"Chichen-Itza is just the ideal place for the Winter Solstice of 2012 to witness the dawn of a New Age for Mankind….
  • Jim Berenholtz… In 1987 he was International Coordinator for the Sacred Sites Festival associated with Harmonic Convergence. Since 1989, beginning at the Mayan temples of Palenque, he has been performing transformational snakeskin ceremonies at sacred sites worldwide,… work[ing] with the sacred serpent energy… with live pythons and boa constrictors. 
  • Zoe Allison-Rockingbear is an Artist, Teacher, Healer, Mystic, Visionary, and Light Warrior. Her work explores the mysteries and magic of the dynamic human relationship with Nature and the marriage of Celestial and Terrestrial energies.
  • Patricia Price is a healer and registered medium for the Lily Dale Assembly. She is a healer, breathwork practitioner, certified hypnotist and… she teaches Mediumship, Spiritual Healing and Ministerial Training.
  • Free Spirit… will focus on the importance of the full activation of the pineal gland gateways, the nature of multi-dimensional reality, and the possibility that humans can become immortalized by the awakening of dormant DNA and Light Codes within the body. 
  • John Ventre… appeared in the Discovery Channel's series, "UFOs Over Earth," and then in the History Channel's, "UFO Hunters," in 2009…. "John's presentation will include: "2012 Prophecy" and "The Case for UFOs". [18]

Another expedition to the Mayan Pyramids is Synthesis 2012, an pilgrimage described as:

Synthesis 2012 has been specially 
appointed a "Sacred Mission" 
by the International Mayan Council 
from 6 countries in Central America to share the new 
"Mayan Message of Synchronization" 
and spiritual insights for humanity.[19]

Of course, there is quite a bit of occult significance to the date 12-21-12 simply because it is the Winter Solstice. Many pagan cultures around the world celebrate the solstices which are connected to Astrology and the Zodiak in occult spirituality. On one New Age website can be found the following description of the 12-21-12 global gathering for “world peace.”

The Solstice :: Moment of Peace 
Hundreds of Thousands of people will be gathering at the major sacred sites of Jerusalem, the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Mexico, and at many more locations worldwide. Prayers and ceremonies from many spiritual traditions are being held at this exact time for the purpose of celebrating the solstice and also to unify for world peace. We invite the world to join. We call the people of the world to go to their heritage sites, or to join us wherever they are, in a synchronized moment of meditation. Everyone, Everywhere, Together at the same exact time. 3:11am PST // 11:11am GMT // 10:11pm JST [20]

December 22, 2012: A Planetary "Birth Day"
Predictably, Barbara Marx Hubbard, who was involved as a key leader in the Harmonic Convergence project with Jose Arguelles back in 1987, has a plan for a New Age New World Order starting on December 22, 2012, in an event she is calling “Birth Day.” This event, with a name that makes a mockery of the birth of the Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ, is a day to birth humanity as co-creators. This is Hubbard’s lifelong New Age passion and dream, a culmination of the past 25 years. She writes in glowing terms:

The Vision 
Envision 100 million people uniting around the world to celebrate the birth of a new era for humanity with great love and fanfare – an historic day of global unity. 

We’ll link across the world in moments of song, prayer, meditation, dance, and cultural expression over a 24-hour cycle. We’ll share laughter, perform acts of generosity and commit to global cooperation. 

It will be a potent collective rite of passage marking humanity’s entry into a new era in which we are consciously evolving together. Our goal is to reach a critical mass of people – 1% of the world – committing to a positive future together. 

That is what a movement of tens of thousands is activating for Dec. 22, 2012 – an unprecedented Birth Day celebration of our creativity and common purpose to co-create a better human civilization. This will lay the tracks for many years of focused efforts on positive societal change…. [21]

Hubbard envisions this planetary New Age birth as a great evolutionary shift:

It’s like the birth of a baby. You might not be ready, but if the baby is ready, it’s coming out now for better or for worse. It can either be a disastrous birth, or a gentle one. 

We are being called to a great experiment, for no one alive on Earth knows how to make such a vast evolutionary shift in this short of a time. 

For the first time in our conscious history we are being given the opportunity to guide and ease our transition to the next stage of evolution. This situation is new for humanity, for we are the first Earth species to consciously face evolution or extinction…. 

Joining together, we can … guide our Earth community into its next evolutionary Stage.[22]

Hubbard has long looked forward to 2012. She has written previously about the significance of this date:

Humanity is facing unprecedented, evolutionary changes. It is amazing—out of the famous Mayan prophecy has come the indication that we are facing the end of this world as we know it and the beginning of the new world by 2012.This date corresponds to environmental and social predictions of breakdowns and breakthroughs now widely known. Let’s assume there is some validity in these prophecies. What vision of the future, of the new world, might we see so that we can place our attention upon this vision as a strange attractor to carry us through this critical transition?

The Evolution of Consciousness 
We notice that crisis precede transformation. Problems are evolutionary drivers. Intensifying pressure leads either to devolution and extinction or evolution and transformation. This is one reason that 2012 might be earthshaking and shocking to some…. Is it possible that from our species, a new human and a new humanity are now emerging?... Perhaps we will reach critical mass for this human by 2012.[23]

Hubbard’s associate, the well-known New Age leader Corinne McLaughlin, sees this date as a way to launch the planned New Age Dominion over the spheres of society in the world. She even has her own “template of the wheel” which has twelve divisions (as opposed to the New Apostolic Reformation’s 7 divisions called the 7 Mountains). Twelve is a significant number to the New Agers because of its association with the Zodiak in astrology (see graphic below):

“Inspiring Solutions on the Wheel of Cocreation,” Oct. 5, 2012, by Corinne McLaughlin, Executive Director of The Center for Visionary Leadership 

The Template of the Wheel
Some version of the twelve-sector solutions Wheel is now being used as a template by a number of groups around the world. The Wheel is not a two dimensional, flat pie, but rather a fourth dimensional sphere that keeps evolving through time. Each sector represents a vital social function, such as Education and Governance; together all the sectors offer us a portal into a whole new world. New solutions to our problems and new ways of thinking are constantly being created by pioneers around the world. Some become viral and change the whole field…. 

At the center of the Wheel, where the tip of each sector meets, is the heart, the Spirit of cocreation. Here are found the common values that all the best solutions share, such as dedication to the common good, compassion, fairness, a whole-systems perspective, long-term sustainability, and the spirit of community…..[24]

Barbara Marx Hubbard and her cohorts don't like the biblical scenario in the Bible's book of Revelation that speaks of God's judgment on humanity. Instead, Hubbard wrote her own theological treatise she brazenly called The Revelation in which she proposed an alternative to the Armageddon scenario she calls the "Planetary Pentecost." She believes:

In the twinkling of an eye, we are all changed by this experience. It is a mass metanoia, a shared spiritual experience for the human race, a peaceful second coming of the divine in us as us. ( p. 324) 

Armageddon is, dearly beloved, the dreadful script which you and I rewrite now. (p. 204) 

Here we are, now poised either on the brink of destruction greater than the world has ever seen -- a destruction which will cripple planet Earth forever and release only the few to go on -- or on the threshold of global co-creation wherein each person on Earth will be attracted to participate in his or her own evolution to godliness. (p. 174) [25]

The Truth:
All of this hoopla and hype about 12-21-12 amongst the New Agers illustrates that they have a global plan for a new spirituality. Shockingly, their plan merges with many of the agendas coming forth in evangelical circles.[26]

In this season where the church remembers the birth of Christ, it is more important than ever to remember why Jesus came to earth to redeem us from our sins, and to joyfully anticipate His second coming, a day which no man knows.

Christians have the blessed assurance from Scripture that no matter what happens on 12-21-12 that they are perfectly safe in God’s precious caring arms.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:35, 38-39) 

1. "New Age Date Setting," June 8, 2011, Herescope. This article was republished from an old 1987 edition of The Trumpet, which talked about the Harmonic Convergence and how it was predicting the 2012 doomsday scenario. 
2. Ibid. 
3. Ibid. 
6. Michael Sangiacomo, “The end of the world as we know it on Dec. 21? Nope, says Cleveland State professor,” 12/14/12, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 
8. “List of topics characterized as pseudoscience,” 
10. “Three giant spaceships to attack Earth in 2012?” 22.12.2010,, posted at:
11. Ellen Barry, "In Panicky Russia, It’s Official: End of World Is Not Near, New York Times, 12/1/12, 
12. See, for example, the report on “Doomsday cult” 
13. Promo piece from Wisdom University, “2012 and Human Destiny: End of the World or Consciousness Revolution?” April 19, 2012 e-mail advertising May 8 Teleseminar as “A Psychedelic & Holotropic Exploration of the Current Global Crisis.” 
15. “Amazon Exclusive: Daniel Pinchbeck on 2012: The Truth Behind the Doomsday Hype,” 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, by Daniel Pinchbeck, 
16. Wisdom University trip was scheduled Oct. 28-Nov 3, 2012. Jim Garrison, president. 
17. Maya 2012: Personal & Planetary Transformation: Join the Global Gathering! Conference promo. Bios as they were retrieved on May 30, 2012: 
18. Ibid. Note: L. A. Marzulli, the author of The Nephilim Trilogy and cohort of Tom Horn and Chuck Missler in their Nephilim Doomsday 2012 predictions, was scheduled to speak at this event on “ the possible connection between information that is found in the ancient book of Enoch and the legendary Quetzelcoatl.” His blog now reports the circumstances of his abrupt cancellation. 
19. and this page, which we warn has very disturbing occult New Age visual graphics: 
21. Barbara Marx Hubbard letter, 
22. and BMH “Letter of Invitation to the Birth 2012 Campaign,” Letter 
23. Cited previously on Herescope, “The ‘Selection Process’: New Age Eschatology,” 11/26/11, Barbara Marx Hubbard, "A Vision for Humanity," published along with a notification of "Barbara Marx Hubbard Joins Faculty of 2012, Tipping Point Prophets Conference, Vancouver," at and To catch the significance of this New Age reference to the year 2012, see the following series of posts on Herescope: and and
24. The bio states that Corinne McLaughlin is Executive Director of The Center for Visionary Leadership in California and coauthor of The Practical Visionary, Spiritual Politics, and Builders of the Dawn. She previously directed a national task force for President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development and identified best practices in a major project for the U.S. Department of Housing. http://www.thepracticalvisionary.org 
25. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, Calif.: Nataraj Publishing, 1995). Revised and adapted from previous Herescope post, “Barbara Marx Hubbard, Willis Harman and Metanoia,” 9/26/05, 
26. See the Dec. 6th Herescope post, "12-21-12: Evangelicals Believing Mayan Prophecies" and follow the links to previous articles,  

*EXHIBIT A at the top of this page is an AP photo attributed to Ramon Espinosa, published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer article by Michael Sangiacomo, “The end of the world as we know it on Dec. 21? Nope, says Cleveland State professor,” 12/14/12, Cleveland Plain Dealer, The text with this photo says: "In this Dec. 6, 2012 file photo, people raise their hands during a ceremony by Mayan sages in Bacuranao, Cuba. From Russia to California, thousands are preparing for the fateful day, when many believe a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count in the Mayan calendar supposedly comes to an end." Click on the link to view the professor speaking on this topic.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

2012 & Fantasy-Driven Faith


Where is your faith?

And what concord hath Christ with Belial?
or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

(2 Cor. 6:15)

Spiritual transformation...
is mediated through a person's religious imagination.”

"The invasion of monsters began decades ago, and it quickly transformed the world of entertainment. With little resistance, an army of cute-ugly creatures swept into toy stores, television and movies. They now adorn children's clothes, bedding, wallpaper, lunchboxes and books. And many have pushed their way into children's hearts on the backs of seductive myths that mold their thoughts and manipulate their imagination. 

Some of these monsters are crude and cool like Stitch, Shrek and the serpentine aliens of Men in Black. Others appear wise and honorable like Yoda in Star Wars. But the creatures that win the prize for thrills and chills are the dark and deadly ones like Darth Maul, Tolkien's Orcs and the ominous aliens in Signs. 

They all serve a set of strategic social and spiritual goals: They entertain. They shift a person's attention from the real world to a more titillating realm created by those who write the myths and steer the imagination. They tempt Christian fans to re-imagine both God and themselves in the new context – thus bending the old realities to fit the new myths. They desensitize their fans to mystical images and symbols of evil. And they stir a craving for more intense excitement of the same kind. 

Eventually the real world of nature, families, work and Biblical truth becomes too boring to be enjoyed. Who cares about truth and facts when myths and fantasies seem far more exiting? 

'For the time will come,' wrote the apostle Paul almost two millennia ago, 'when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things....' (2 Timothy 4:3-5)"[2] [bold in original]

The Emerging Fantasy-Driven Worldview
With the rise of interest in the Mayan calendar date of Dec. 21, 2012 among Evangelicals, there is a concurrent noticeable shift in perceptions of reality. What is reality? What is fantasy? Are church people mixing the two together in strange new ways? Here are classic definitions:

Fantasy: Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common…. Fantasy has also included wizards, sorcerers, witchcraft, etc.... In its broadest sense, however, fantasy comprises works by many writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians, from ancient myths and legends to many recent works….[3]

Reality: In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined…. Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary, delusional, (only) in the mind, dreams, what is abstract, what is false, or what is fictional. The truth refers to what is real, while falsity refers to what is not. Fictions are considered not real.[4]

We first noticed this perplexing mixture of fantasy and reality in the works of Tom Horn, one of the chief purveyors of the 12-21-12 scenario(s). To bolster his case about the return of the ancient Mayan god Quetzalcoatl, Horn actually relied upon a previous work of fiction that he authored, quoting it as though it were a reliable source of fact. We explained the circumstance:

In his book, Nephilim Stargates, Tom Horn seemed fascinated by this particular pagan god Quetzalcoatl. Excerpting an 8-page passage from his “fictional” book, The Ahriman Gate, Horn envisioned the entity’s return in 2012. Horn derived the name “Ahriman” from the Persian/Zoroastrian mythology that identifies him as the dark “prince over Iraq/Babylon.”[5] [emphasis added]

Horn, along with the many evangelical leaders who are associated with him, has put great stock in the 2012 date. But in order to bolster his case, he and his 2012 prophecy advocates have deviated far from Scripture alone (reality, truth), and have borrowed heavily from fantasy, legends, fables, myths, apocrypha and occult sources. Elsewhere we have documented this point extensively. Here is a current partial list, excerpted from Tom Horn's website, of what he calls "a short sample of the HUNDREDS of new revelations in [his book] Apollyon Rising 2012."

  • Nearly 500 years ago the Maya prophesied about the Colonial date 1776 as the beginning of the last 13 katuns leading to apocalypse in 2012.
  • Over 700 years ago Orthodox Jewish priests prophesied in the Zohar that their Messiah would arrive in the year 2012.
  • The first degree Masonic Tracing Board contains the same prophecy toward the year 2012.
  • This secret is also openly hidden in the most spectacular way in the US Capitol Dome, directly tying the US and Vatican to the Mesoamerican 2012 date.
  • A 200 Year Old cipher encoded on the Great Seal of the United States points to the same prophecy concerning the return of the gods in the year 2012.
  • A couple modern "Mayan elders" - who have been getting themselves in the news lately by claiming the year 2012 will not lead to the end of the world - are covering up how their prophecies diametrically contradict the prophecies of their forefathers including the Maya, Aztec, and numerous other ancient peoples who foresaw this time as portending destruction and "judgment from the gods."
  • 200 Years ago Cherokee Indians prophesied likewise and set their calendar, like the Maya and Aztec, to end in the year 2012.[emphases added]

It is NOT about the Nephilim! 
Arguments about Nephilim serve as a convenient straw man to deflect criticism away from the real issues at hand. The real issue is mixing Scripture with pagan sources.

Because the Scripture is vague on this point about Nephilim, there are plenty of interpretations. Believers have speculated for millennia about the meanings of these words, and many have written their diverse opinions on the subject.[6] A healthy debate about the meaning of this passage is fine. But when believers go beyond the plain truth of Scripture, and start to imagine "new revelations," they veer off into dangerous realms of fantasy. Traditionally, the church taught that where Scripture is silent or not clear believers should “leave well enough alone.” For example, the early Reformers cautioned believers to avoid too much speculating because it would distract from the Gospel message:

But it is no wonder that the Scripture saith so little concerning angels, because it was written for the use of men, not of angels; and God would hereby take us off from curious and impertinent speculations, and teach us to employ our thoughts about necessary and useful things.[7]

Meditating on God’s Word, thinking about what a passage might mean, comparing one verse to other Scripture, studying good old commentaries – all of this used to be the method of Christian Bible study. Note: The classic use of plain imagination in a literary sense is also a valid way of reading Scripture, especially when listening to its wonderful stories. Here is what traditional imagination means:

Imagination: …the ability of forming new images and sensations when they are not perceived through sight, hearing, or other senses. Imagination helps provide meaning to experience and understanding to knowledge; it is a fundamental faculty through which people make sense of the world, and it also plays a key role in the learning process….[8]

There is a caveat about imagination, though. Unrestrained imagination can have a fatal flaw when it goes too far astray from reality, truth and fact:

In various spheres, however, even imagination is in practice limited: thus a person whose imaginations do violence to the elementary laws of thought, or to the necessary principles of practical possibility, or to the reasonable probabilities of a given case is regarded as insane. 

The same limitations beset imagination in the field of scientific hypothesis. Progress in scientific research is due largely to provisional explanations which are developed by imagination, but such hypotheses must be framed in relation to previously ascertained facts and in accordance with the principles of the particular science.[9]

A "Sub-Created Cosmos"
To postmodernists, the Bible is viewed as a myth, a narrative. It is no longer seen as Absolute Truth, God's spoken Word, reality or fact. Instead it is viewed as one of many myths and narratives from cultures past and present. In the postmodernist wordview one can add to Scripture with other stories and myths that seem to complement it. Scripture as myth, plus other myths, equals more revelation, according to this worldview.

Tom Horn and his cohorts are postmodernists in the sense that they view the Scripture as just one of many stories that foretell endtime prophecy. In fact, they must view the Canon of Scripture as incomplete because they add to Scriptures with their fantastical ideas of secret hidden codes and mythological prophecies from ancient cultures. As such, they create a new reality. Their new reality is a dialectic synthesis of the Scripture plus fantasy. This then is no longer Biblical Truth, but a mixture. It creates an entirely new worldview, a fantasy world that becomes completely believable to those who are indoctrinated into its "new revelation" tenets. In sum, they create a new cosmic world with a new endtime scenario.

One literary writer has explained how authors create a fantasy world:

Fantasy stands upon a different theory of reality, but one demanding with equal rigor that the fantasist keep always in mind his aesthetic principles: that what happens in his world accord not with his daydreams nor with our own world's laws of common sense, but with the peculiar laws of the sub-created cosmos.[10][ emphasis added] 

This same writer has also observed that in classic fantasy stories there are two necessary ingredients: a hero and an evil reptilian monster.[11] In the fantasy world synthesized by Tom Horn and his associates, the evil reptilian monsters are Nephilim and other scary hybrid creatures gleaned from a huge variety of occult sources. In fact, their unique fantasy world, their own "sub-created cosmos," includes a great battle with the forces of evil unfolding imminently on Dec. 21, 2012. No wonder their narrative is so enticing to so many evangelicals! It has all the elements of a great fantasy adventure! But it is based on fiction and myth, not biblical Truth.

Bible prophecy plus mythology does not equal better Bible prophecy. It equals heresy.

Restrained Imagination
The Christian, more so than other individual, is called upon by Scripture to have a restrained imagination. The Bible calls this being “sober minded.” (Titus 2:6) In fact, being “sober” is directly connected to being on “watch” in the last days, the end times as described in the Bible alone without any fantasy or mythology added to it:

  • Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thess 5:6) 
  • But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7)
  • Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:13) 
  • Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8) 

Given these verses, it seems even more important for Christians who have an interest in the last days to be well-grounded in reality, in the truth of Scripture, and to be “sober minded,” and not to live in a fantasy world made up of a mixture of myths.  Yet we live in an era when mystical imageries, imaginations and fantasies are coming into the church like a flood.[12] Scripture warns believers:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Cor. 10:5) 

Restrained imagination does not stray from Scripture.  

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. (1 Peter 1:20)

But what about Nephilim? UFOs? Hybrid creatures and other space aliens? What if someone has an “experience” with these things? Well, the answer is quite factual. Stick to Scripture. If you don’t receive answers from plain Scripture, then stop. Stop in your tracks and don’t go off into speculations that lead to fantasy, mythology, fiction, or worse. The Scripture is sufficient. What Jesus told us about HIS return is sufficient. Anything else leads straight into the occult. If an experience happens to you that you can’t find a basis for in Scripture, set it aside. If it is REAL, and based on the Truth of the Gospel of Salvation message, you will read it in His Word. Sola Scriptura! 

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My Counsel, and had caused my people to hear My Words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:21-24) [bold added]

The FRAUD of Fantasy
A few months ago we observed the rise of a new evangelical eschatology that is heavily dependent upon powerful fantastical imagery:

In our modern age, with its Hollywoodized process of desensitization, man has become fascinated with the paranormal. What was once off limits, is now outer limits. The border between fact (biblical Truth) and fiction (pagan stories, myths, legends, etc.) has been breached. The result is spiritual fraud (heresy). Furthermore, pan-spiritual and pseudo-scientific teachings are now being concocted into an End-Time Alchemy—a dangerous doctrinal stew.[13]

Christian author Berit Kjos, writing about “Aliens, Monsters & Creepy Creatures” affecting children with excessive imagination, observed:

Today's postmodern world has little tolerance for Biblical watchfulness. Instead, it embraces its mythical heroes with a driving passion that often eclipses both family and reality. The more shocking, crude and ugly, the more cool and captivating the product. Hollywood and toy makers know that well.[14]

She also warned about the New Age “future scenarios” for these occult imaginations:

many UFO enthusiasts and New Age leaders… began to circulate a far-out notion decades ago: A group of benevolent aliens or ascended masters would suddenly appear on the earth and cleanse it from all who resist its spiritual evolution toward global oneness. At the same time, they would prepare humanity to receive the prophesied New Age "Christ."[15]

Why are evangelicals so susceptible to confusing fantasy and reality? Why would we go beyond mere speculation on God’s Word to the point where we feel we must add to Scripture by mixing it with Mayan lore, apocryphal writings, UFO science fiction, mythologies and astrology? Have we all become so desensitized by Hollywood that we can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality? Are we so seduced by fanciful images? When Christians add myths and fables to Scripture they create a potent esoteric concoction, a mixture of theology and the occult. Isn’t this mixture precisely the sin of ancient Israel?

This evil people, which refuse to hear My Words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. (Jer. 13:10)[emphasis added]

Mixing Scripture with pagan writings should be a BIG RED FLAG that immediately stops a believer in his tracks so that he doesn’t continue down that evil path. It is the first big clue that something is terribly amiss. Yes, the story might be fascinating, the adventure stimulating, and the pictures  conjured up in the mind might be pleasant. But beware of pagan-derived images (also called idols)! The Bible warns,

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; (Deut. 11:16)

Imagination is intoxicating. It is seductive. It can easily become addictive. It can easily be tied to idolatry. This is one reason why God’s Word warns that there is such a thing as “the imagination of his evil heart” that can lead one astray. (See Jer. 3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17; Luke 1:51.)[16]

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: (Deut. 13:6-8)
Author Berit Kjos has documented repeated examples of problems with “imagination” both in the church and the schools. Imagination is a way to gain access into the occult world. Once one leaves reality, fact and truth… then anything goes. Here is one such example she provided to us:

By age ten, Jacqui K. was fascinated with anything supernatural. Since her parents set no limits, she read every fiction and fantasy book she could find on the magical world she craved. In her imagination, she met wizards and witches, power and excitement. "

I continued reading Harry Potter-type books through grade school, high school and into college," she says. "Three to five a week! The older I got, the easier they were to find. The whole time I considered myself a Christian! If someone had pointed out to me what I was doing, I would have laughed. I was a normal teenager and a leader in my church group." 

The mystical characters in her fantasy world filled her thoughts during the day and her dreams at night. But when some of them began talking to her, she recognized the power she had pursued: 

"I cried out to God to help me, and He did. The voices stopped. I was no Bible scholar, but I recognized that they were from Satan. Some people said that I became delusional because I couldn't separate fantasy from reality. They were wrong. The problem was that I COULD, and had no idea that reading fiction could put me in contact with REAL evil."[16] [emphasis added]

The Truth:
In the Hollywoodized high-tech days in which we live how will people on earth know if something is real or a sophisticated technological invention? What if something terrible does show up in the skies to instill panic and fear? The Horn enthusiasts love conspiracy theories, but what if they become a victim of their own fantasies? The point for believers is still the same regardless of what happens in the days to come: Stay grounded on Scripture:  

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear,
though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.

(Psalm 46:1-2)

 For this commandment which I command thee this day,
it is not hidden from thee,
neither is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say,
Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us,
that we may hear it, and do it?...
But the Word is very nigh unto thee,
in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

(Deut. 30:11,12,14)
[emphasis added]

Behold, the heaven
and the heaven of heavens
is the LORD'S thy God.

 (Deut. 10:14a) 

1. Lancaster Theological Seminary, USA, UMI Order number: AAM9822985 Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities & Social Sciences. 1998 Jul. 59 (1-A): p.0201, cited by Berit Kjos, “Marketing the occult: Harry [Potter’s] impact on ‘Christian’ values,” 
2. Berit Kjos, “Aliens, Monsters & Creepy Creatures: What do they teach our children?” This 2002 article has much to say about the current UFO phenomena. 
5. citing Horn’s books Apollyon Rising 2012, pp. 66-67; Forbidden Gates, pp. 22-23, and Nephilim Stargates, pp. 108-115. 
6. One such biblical discussion about the various theological viewpoints on the Nephilim was published 6/22/11 by Pastor Larry DeBruyn on Herescope titlted “Demons, Daughters and DNA: The Sons of God, the Daughters of Men, and the Nephilim in Genesis 6.”  Also see
7. Matthew Poole, Commentary on the Bible, Vol. 1 (Hendrickson), p. 5. Circa 1600 A.D.
9. Ibid. 
10. Randel Helms, Tolkien's World (Houghton Mifflin, 1974), p. 77, describing "Tolkien's World: The Structure and Aesthetic of The Lord of the Rings."
11. Ibid, p. 81.
12. Some of us researching the rise of end-time speculations and fantasies about Nephilim were once engaged in mysticism before we were saved. We know firsthand the treacherous path of wandering off into mystical imageries, imaginations, and perusing occult literature for “truth.” But for the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ whose blood was shed for us on the cross, redeeming us from our sins, we would be lost in that vast morass of pagan spirituality. See: “Altered States: A Different Gate,”
14. Ibid., 
15. Ibid. This section of her article links to “Star Wars & Theosophy” here: 
16. See a list of verses: 
17. Berit Kjos, “The Power of Suggestion,” See also:,,,,,,