THIS IS THE “EMERGING CHURCH”
Bible Colleges Infiltrated – It is already too late!
- It’s probably not much of a stretch to conclude every bible college and seminary has gone down this road!
History of AWANA’s Contemplative Track Record
For over a decade now, Lighthouse Trails editors have been concerned about the direction that the AWANA children’s club is heading. Today, in this report, we want to first give an overview of our past decade of reporting on AWANA, and then we want to share some new information that should concern every parent and grandparent who has a child or grandchild in AWANA. Click here to read the full report from Lighthouse Trails Research.
One reader of this blog alerted me to problems with Awana’s teaching booklets. She ended up scanning the 3rd Grade, T&T Ultimate Adventure comic book, “Mission: Grace in Action.” Click here to read the full article from The Watchman’s Bagpipes.
AWANA Teaching Children to Hear the Voice of God
Today, the church is “reaping the fruit” of nearly 40 years of Spiritual Formation influence (since Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline was released in 1978). Lighthouse Trails has warned its readers on a number of occasions about the direction AWANA children’s club is going with regard to contemplative spirituality (i.e., Spiritual Formation) (see links below). In the letter to the editor (below our note), you can see that AWANA is now teaching children to “listen to God” (the goal in contemplative prayer). Click here to read the full report from Lighthouse Trails Research.
AWANA Clubs Leading Children into the Emerging Church
Awana Clubs – Awana International and Jack Eggar – Emerging Church Movement . The winds of change are sending the organization away from its foundation A major change that has upset much of the traditional base that built the Awana organization is the pushing of the Christian hard rock music. For the past 5 years, they have had a hard rock Christian band at their national convention of Bible quizzing and athletic Olympics. Many of their own leaders and local missionaries have been upset by this change. Despite dozens of letters and many complaints, Jack Edgar, the President, ignores the critics as the younger staff heavily promotes the new contemporary hard rock music.
Awana International in recent years has been accused of going the away of the new liberal church theology, associated with Rick Warren and the completive emergent church. The Awana leadership has denied those charges and that association. But the strong push of the new Christian rock music indicates that they are leaning that way. The center piece of worship of the completive emergent church is the hard Christian rock music. At recent Awana national conventions (Summit), Awana has made a very strong push of their center of worship being the Christian rock band, complete with the frills of smoke and vapor, as well as the dark lights. Click here to read the full post from CALL TO DISCERNMENT.
VALERIE BELL – AWANA C.E.O.
Excerpted verbatim from https://www.awana.org/leadership/valerie-bell/
Raised in a Christian home, Valerie came to faith as a child. However, after a cancer diagnosis as a young mother, she struggled with physical and spiritual fragility. Desperate to restore a sense of well-being, Valerie pursued God through a new-to-her set of spiritual practices. These healing practices focused special attention to the care of the soul. She came to realize that even a person suffering from cancer is still someone who is incredibly blessed by God. During that extended period of fear and anxiety, Valerie learned the “big lesson”—i.e. well-being flows from relationship with God instead of all-is-well circumstances. Those “fragile” years formed her spiritually, both deepening and authenticating her ministry voice.
Valerie is a member of Willow Creek Community Church and is married to Steve Bell, an executive vice president of Willow Creek Association. The Bells live in Kildeer, Illinois and are the parents of two grown sons—Brendan and Justin—and the adoring grandparents of Rowan, Rhys, and Merrick Bell. *Emphasis mine.
- No mention of sin, repentance, faith, grace, or how JESUS is the only way to have salvation and eternal life.
- What is “new-to-her set of spiritual practices”? This is the language of the new age/emerging church, and NOT FOUND IN THE HOLY BIBLE!
- Her close family association with Willow Creek Community Church is very disconcerting; they no not preach the true Gospel, and are a major part of the apostate emerging church.
Willow Creek and the Seeker-Friendly – Emerging Church
Valerie Bell:”A Well-Tended Soul”– http://valeriebell.org/free-downloads
- This book is freely available from her website – http://valeriebell.org
- She makes numerous references to a “SOUL MIRROR”, which is absolutely not Christian. Ref. https://www.gaia.com/article/sacred-relationships-find-your-soul-mirror
- So here we have the C.E.O. of AWANA, i.e. the person “in charge”, promoting soul mirrors, which come straight from new age/Mother Earth worship. IS ANYBODY ELSE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS?!
- Ref. http://thespiritscience.net/2016/05/26/soul-mirrors/
- Ref. https://www.amazon.com/Well-Tended-Soul-Valerie-Bell/dp/0310219175
- Ref. http://valeriebell.org/speaking-soul
Valerie Bell: Endorses “Hungry Souls” – http://valeriebell.org/links
- Ref. http://www.hungrysouls.org
- “Does Christianity let me enjoy beauty, the aesthetic, the literary, or is it just serious and severe?” – Note: I thought being a Christian meant we have our sins covered by the blood of JESUS, who died on the cross in order for us to have eternal life. Their quote here is utter nonsense. Apart from Jesus we are destitute and worthless in the eyes of God, who will surely send us to hell for eternity. Are you bound for heaven?
- “How do I connect with God in a way that satisfies my soul?” – Note: “Satisfies my soul?” How about repenting to have your sins forgiven? Jesus wants to save you from damnation in hell!
- “David and Karen Mains direct Hungry Souls, a division of Mainstay Ministries. Through decades of ministry, David and Karen have been known for their creative approach to developing spiritual-growth tools.” – Note: Right. So you foolishly believe your “spiritual-growth tools” are superior to the blood of Jesus? May I suggest you repent now?
- Ref. http://www.hungrysouls.org/retreats.php – Note: I am utterly flabbergasted! Again, repent now!
Sadly, I have fully satisfied myself AWANA is no longer a “Christian” ministry, and cannot be trusted to provide solid, bible-based instructional resources. If you are a parent either involved with AWANA, or have children in the program, I beg you to use appropriate biblical discernment, submitting everything in prayer to God. If you are an AWANA “Commander”, leader, teacher, or helper, you are personally accountable to God Almighty for your shepherding of the children in your care. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6, ESV). You have been duly warned!
“…in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11, KJV).