Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Hey all, no post this week. Anyway, there were two last week...

I've got a ton of stuff lined up, but I'm really slow. I suppose it would help to make things shorter. Well, regardless, i want to thank all of you readers for coming here so far. So far, there have been more than 11,000 hits here since we started writing! But this is not because of me, it's because I believe God led you here. I also pray that He has edified you in some way, and that I've been a stepping stone to Jesus, not a stumbling block.

Hopefully, if you're unsaved, you have become saved (or seeds were planted and God will grow them in your heart). If you've been a wandering believer, I hope you've been restored. If not, go listen to Russ Dizdar's podcasts. If you're right with God, praise God, I hope I've informed you with a Biblical Christian response to some of the weird stuff out there and not led you astray.

Lastly, special thanks to you all for getting me started:

Dr. Future, Tom Bionic, Michael Heiser, Chris White, The Gilberts, Russ Dizdar, LA Marzulli, Frank Lordi, and Gaz Parker.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prophet for Profit Part II: Is Eckankar (Harold Klemp) really God's Messenger?

This one was mentioned recently on Lynn Dickie's "Set the Captives Free." They also seem to have some presence in all 50 states, including in my general vicinity. I see their fliers occasionally, and am not sure what to do about it.

Anyways, they sell themselves as the only way to God and/or enlightenment. They were founded by Paul Twitchell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Twitchell), sometime pulp writer (like L. Ron Hubbard). It seems he studied under some Hindu Guru, and Scientology, where he rose quite high in the ranks.

Scientology, founded by Hubbard, of course, has an undeniable link to dark occultism. Jack Parsons had a sort of love-hate with Hubbard, and they both practiced dark rituals. That's outlined in "Dark Mission" by Richard Hoaglund (pray up before reading that one). Hoaglund also ties both of them to Aleister Crowley, as sort of apprentices of his. So in essence, Eckankar is really the "grandson" religion of one of the most wicked men of the 20th century-Crowley.

Here's an article talking about someone discussing inaccuracies in the religion.


So, sketchy origins rooted deeply in Hinduism, New Age and Scientology.

Looking through their site (which i won't link to) it's hard to find out what exactly they teach.

What i've discerned is they teach reincarnation, astral (soul, body) travel, and a few other odd things. They teach that the "Holy Spirit" is like an energy field.

They also teach that the eck teachings have been around basically through all human history with roots in the far east, yet no country claims to have originated it. I suppose if you count Hinduism, you could say that.

Well thats enough on the history.

Even though it's hard to find any really specific doctrine on their website, the Bible can shed some light on why Harold Klemp, or any "Eck Master" is really not a messenger of God. The Bible is very clear on what a true messenger of God will be like and also what a false teacher will be like. What God tells us through His word shows us that Eckankar (and its subsidiaries) are not His messengers, but rather false teachers.

Satan has no new tricks, which is how we can know the truth about Harold Klemp and Eckankar.

2 Corinthians 11:4

"For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receiveth another spirit, which ye have not received, or another Gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."

1 Galatians 8-9

"But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."

"As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye received, let him be accursed."

Well, that about sums it up. We know the gospel is salvation through Jesus Christ alone. His death, atoning for our sins when we repent and accept Him. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God. (John 14:6)

Eckankar teaches they are the best road to God. He also teaches that Jesus is merely a good teacher and the one who leads us Christians to God/spiritual enlightenment. (1 John 4:1-3). Except that they must not know what Jesus taught. Jesus taught alot of things, and one of them was that He was the ONLY way to God. (http://dontaskthatinchurch.blogspot.com/2011/10/was-jesus-really-just-good-teacher-then.html)

So, strike one and two for Eckanisms and Mr. Klemp. Wrong on how to get to God, and COMPLETELY wrong about Jesus.

Another pop-out thing Eckankar/Klemp teaches, is to chant a certain word (which i won't repeat). This is also accompanied by internal visualizations. Visualization is a key element in New Age pracitces, i used to do it occasionally myself.

On their website, i noticed that they also teach chanting different words/letters for varying effects. Again, i'm not linking to it. In any event, as i understand it anyways, they think this brings them closer to God. It's not really praying i guess, but it would be an equivalent to prayer.

When we pray to God, it should be a conversation with God, and a time of praise, thanks and petition. Not repeated words, phrases or sounds. (Not to pick on Catholics, but this applies to you too when praying the Rosary.)

Here's what God says about how to pray. That's in addition to the prayer Jesus taught ("Our Father...")

Matthew 6:7

"When ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking."

Chanting, and repeating are often gateways into the occult, because it brings about an altered state of conciousness, which in turn brings contact with demonic beings. Of course Eckankar and Klemp call these spirit guides, a classic New Age feature. Strike three for Eckankar? Or perhaps a foul?

Spirit guides are another topic perhaps, but the short of it is this. They ALWAYS lead you further into yourself, or other strange methods that are supposed to help you attain a higher level. They also will teach you false things about Jesus.

1 John 4:1-3

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

Of course no look at New Age/Hinduistic religions would be complete without reincarnation. Of course. Eckankar is no different. It's a lie Satan loves. After all, why worry about your actions and choices in this life when you can just set them right next time around? Except it doesn't work that way.

Hebrews 9:27-28

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

One time's all you get. God is fair. He gives each person one chance to get it right. Would be fair for one person to get saved on their first life and another person 30 lives? Unless you're playing Super Mario, one life is all anyone gets.

This is all just a brief overview, but even from this it is plain to see that Harold Klemp is not God's messenger, nor will Eckankar lead you to anything eternal. At least not an eternity with God.

Paul T. didn't die for you. Harold Klemp will not die for you. Eckankar will not lead you closer to God, nor is the "Holy Spirit" they offer even close to God the Holy Spirit. Instead, they will string you along through countless initiations, probably taking your money and teaching you the lie that you are already divine.

I don't know about you, but i know i can't be divine i make far too many mistakes and treat people less lovingly than i should. I regret decisions i've made and the fact that i don't do more to help those suffering in need. If you or i are divine, why aren't we better?

Instead, why not turn to the real divinity. God, the true divinity, sent His Son Jesus to come. He came and died for our sins, though He shouldn't have. He also rose from the dead and has been glorified by God the Father. The REAL Holy Spirit will attest to what Jesus has done. He is the way, if you repent and turn your life to Him, He will set you free with out initiation. He will walk with you on your spiritual journey. He's already done the work, all you have to do is believe. Accept Him as Savior. Accept that He's dealt with your sin, and wants to draw you close.

Eckankar is a spiritual yoke of bondage to past lives, karma, initiations and mindless chanting (Which will bring new bondage: "spirit guides" aka, demonic oppression). The yoke of following Jesus Christ is His arm around you as He walks with you to God the Father. But you have to accept Him first.


For more on Eckankar:


They explained things much better than I.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it (again): Ezekiel 38 any day now?

***Disclaimer: Though i do my best to be accurate, and ask for God's leading, please don't accept everything i say as truth. I'm just some dummy with a little Bible knowledge and a blog. Rather, go and search the scriptures (Acts 17:10 and 11) to see for yourself what the truth is. My knowledge of Bible prophecy is far from expert level

Please let this bring you closer to Jesus. Be a stepping stone, and not a stumbling block. I don't care if I'm right or wrong, so long as it leads you to search the Bible, and get closer to Jesus Christ, our Messiah.

So, with Palestine seeking statehood, and the mideast seemingly about to erupt in chaos, Iran allegedly making nukes and Israel about to do something about it. Many folks, "prophecy experts", are warning that we're about to see not only the rapture, but the unfolding of the great tribulation and the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38, etc.

But are we?

The world seems pretty much against Israel, true, and there are signs protesting Israel in the most unlikely of places-like New York and London. Someone wrote "avenue Jew" on a wall in New York. Folks are believing the protocols of zion again. A libelous work promoted by Henry Ford (anti-semite, freemason) and disproved LONG, LONG ago.

So, there's a general climate check.

I'm going to get into wild speculation here, probably much of it based on the works of others, but i will do the best to share my own understanding.

First, i do believe there is still much Biblical prophecy to be fulfilled. I believe Lord Jesus Messiah will be returning soon (in the sense that He can come in ten minutes, or ten more years). I have studied Bible prophecy, loosely, for about 15 years and have believed that I will see the end times. I also believe that Revelation and the Bible have somethings yet to fulfill.

That said, the more i see current events, the more i see that Biblical prophecy IS unfolding. Of course i also become more confused on what i think i know, especially given the output of so-called "prophecy experts." Nothing against them mind you. They too see through the same glass darkly, and i believe their contributions are valuable. The belief in prophecy and Christ's imminent return is what helped bring me back from a major backslide. So here's my very crude, and ill researched attempt to unravel what i think is a hot and convoluted topic. Ezekiel 37, 38 and 39, and is it on the horizon.

Regardless, we must always be ready to stand before Jesus Christ, whether it be at His return, or our death.

The reason i bring this up is that Ezekiel 38 comes up alot in prophecy circles, and it sometimes seems that some think this is the very next thing on God's clock. Some speculate that chapter 37 is fulfilled already with the Jews arriving in the homeland.

This is actually a really old story, about Prime Minister Netanyahu declaring 37 fulfilled. I've heard it elsewhere, but this blog summarizes it nicely.


It's interesting to note that if Netanyahu really believed that, then he shouldn't be worried by threats of attack on Israel, because as I understand these 3 chapters, God keeps Israel safe anyways. Note also, that he points out that the key is a strong, militarized Israel, and not reliance on God's power. Reliance upon God (in my mind) might be a more secure option. And when did a prime minister become an expert on Bible prophecy?

At any rate let's see if Ezekiel 37 is actually fulfilled and if so, is Ezekiel 38 and 39 on the way?

Enough of my prattle. Here's the passages...thanks to Blue Letter Bible. You guys rock!

Ezekiel 36 - 38


Ezekiel 36 (for context)

Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD:

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:

Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they have made [you] desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and [are] an infamy of the people:

Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that [are] round about;

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all [their] heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.

Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that [are] about you, they shall bear their shame.

But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.

For, behold, I [am] for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown:

And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, [even] all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded:

And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better [unto you] than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, [even] my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them [of men].

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou [land] devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations;

Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord GOD.

Neither will I cause [men] to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord GOD.

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.

Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols [wherewith] they had polluted it:

And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.

And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These [are] the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.

But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].

And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.

Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that [were] not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.

Not for your sakes do I [this], saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause [you] to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.

And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities [are become] fenced, [and] are inhabited.

Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined [places, and] plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken [it], and I will do [it].

Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.

As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

End Ezekiel 36

Ezekiel 37
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which [was] full of bones,

And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, [there were] very many in the open valley; and, lo, [they were] very dry.

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but [there was] no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken [it], and performed [it], saith the LORD.

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions:

And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou [meanest] by these?

Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

And David my servant [shall be] king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, [even] they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David [shall be] their prince for ever.

Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

***End Ezekiel 37***

So, i don't have huge problems with 36 or 37 EXCEPT the part where it says God's will have a new spirit. The Jewish people, at this time, and by my understanding, do not yet have this new Spirit, which i believe to be a reference to God, the Holy Spirit.

We Christians do, and we are God's people by adoption (Romans 11) but as I understand Romans 11, tells us that we gentiles have access to salvation (to become God's people) through Jesus Christ. And that ALL OF ISRAEL will one day be saved (v 25 and 26) after the fulness of the gentiles.

So, Jews, at the moment, do not have this Spirit yet, and won't until all of us alloted gentiles are saved. Then, when they become saved, i believe that God will give them His Spirit, and also write His laws upon their hearts.

Netanyu says 37 is fulfilled because the Jews are back in the homeland. He's on the right track. The Jews are there, but not all of the Jews certainly. And as i understand it, the government of Israel is secular, so not even close to having a new Spirit.

Also note the last verse. The heathen (that's you and i and others) will acknowledge that God, has set Israel apart. I don't know abou you, but I don't see this right now, in fact the opposite is the more prevalent viewpoint. Some want to wipe Israel off the map.

Despite this lack of complete fulfillment of 37, i do recognize Israel's right to exist as a country, and believe that God may be moving them towards this fulfillment.

Now to the meat.


Ezekiel 38

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts [of armour, even] a great company [with] bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: [and] many people with thee.

Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land [that is] brought back from the sword, [and is] gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, [that] at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places [that are now] inhabited, and upon the people [that are] gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know [it]?

And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; [Art] thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days [many] years that I would bring thee against them?

And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, [that] my fury shall come up in my face.

For in my jealousy [and] in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that [are] upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.

And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that [are] with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

***End Ezekiel 38***

Revelation 20

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

***End Revelation 20***

I'm speculating here. Some folks say that Ezekiel 38 isn't fulfilled until AFTER the Millenial reign of Christ. I think this makes sense, especially since (unless i'm taking things out of context) Revelation 20 seems to parallel Ezekiel 38.

This would make sense if Revelation outlines the Great Tribulation, which most of us Christians think we'll escape through the Rapture and that the Tribulation will lead the Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah.

Again, this is all my understanding, based on the work of others, and what i understand from God's Word.

Of course, some good evidence is out there that Psalm 83 is a prophesy, and that it precedes the whole Ezekiel situation. I could buy that, but haven't done much homework there.

For those who are interested, Chuck Missler recently had a series that outlines all this. We're more or less on the same page, though i really think i need to go back into it all again and double check.


So, based on my understanding of the famous Ezekiel prophecies, i don't believe they are on the horizon. Ezekiel 38, in my understanding of scripture is after the Millenial Rule of Christ. Even 37 isn't fulfilled as there are a number of things missing.

One theory i have, is that "They" or Satan want people to think Ezekiel 38 is coming up, and then after the dust settles, "They" will present their false messiah, the Mahdi and or the Antichrist. This is a scenario, IMO.

Whatever the case, events are heating up, and I think there is going to be some acceleration of events, and we may see some prophetic events unfold.

Whatever the case, we need to have urgency in sharing the Gospel, and we need to do our best to get right with God and submit ourselves to Him. We need to be ready to meet Him in the Rapture (soon? Or later on?) or if we meet an unfortunate event and see Him much sooner.

No matter what happens prophetically or not in current events, we will still need to give an account of ourselves before Christ. He saved us, if we accept it, but did we do everything we could to share the Good news with others?

Update 11-23-2011

So, along these lines, Chris White of Revelations Radio just addressed this as well. And there was no collusion between us. He does take a similar stance to me, but I would have linked it even if he disagreed with me. So here it is, a better summary of what I said above. It's about halfway through the show.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Open Season: On Questions that is.

Hi all, this here post is the one to post/comment on for any random discussion or question. If you'd like to ask a question, just comment here.

Any other random thing should be here too please.


Monday, November 14, 2011

...Let God Sort'em Out Part II: More People Have Died in the Name of Religion Than Any Other Reason

I have heard from atheists, and others that "more people have been killed in the name of God (or religion, implying Christianity) than for any other reason." Let's be perfectly fair here, I’ve never challenged that, because I didn’t know.

I do know there have been atrocities (crusades, etc) committed in the name of God, though I would be of the opinion that God was not in favor of these. Even though I never argued, knowing there was some support for this data, I now realize one thing - there's rarely, if ever any proof offered of this. Where are the numbers?

It seems that this is often used as an excuse to reject Christianity and the Bible, and was often quoted to me by a hedonist who liked quoting Karl Marx's "religion is the opiate of the masses." Ironically, he was addicted to the true opiate of the masses - television. He also smoked marijuana. Who's the real addict here?

Before we even start, I have already addressed the previous "genocides" perpetrated by the Israelites in the Bible. So we won't go into that here. If you're losing sleep over that, go read them after this. (http://dontaskthatinchurch.blogspot.com/2011/09/wipe-outall-of-them-why-would-good-and.html) and (http://dontaskthatinchurch.blogspot.com/2011/09/wrath-of-god-is-god-really-genocidal.html)

Alright everyone who uses the "religion has killed..." excuse, let's put your money where your mouth is. Figuratively. Let's take a look at the causes of death to humanity (by people killing each other for various causes), and see what adds up to more. If you're right, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. If you're wrong, then maybe you should give God and the Bible another chance.


Abortion. First, it's murder. If unkilled, a fetus will become a baby human. Period. The only difference between a baby, and a human outside the womb is:

Level of development and dependency

Fetuses have hiccups, heart beats, body parts, etc. What else does? A human being.
Killing a human being outside the womb for being small is absurd. Killing someone because of their level of development/dependency is also frowned upon and rightly so. No sane, rational person goes around killing people smaller than themselves or the mentally disabled. Anyone who does, goes to jail and becomes a pariah.

That's why if someone hurts a pregnant woman, and she miscarries, they can go to jail (assuming she wanted to keep the baby).
Anyways, we're not discussing IF abortion is murder or not. Leviticus 18:21, God spells out clearly that killing a baby is murder. And for the purposes of this discussion, it is considered murder.

If you disagree, skip ahead or provide factual data that proves a fetus is not a human being.
In America, since 1973 there have been about 50 million babies murdered in the womb. That's almost 10 times the number of Jews killed by Hitler in the Shoah.
Worldwide, the number is 42 Million PER YEAR.


If that number has stayed constant (which it probably hasn't) since 1973, that's 1,596,000,000. That one and a half BILLION. Certainly, these people weren't murdered in the name of God, but rather the sake of convenience.

Hitler, whether it be to furnish his ideal "Aryan" race, and eliminate those who didn't measure up, or if you consider that he was sacrificing Jews, etc. for a luciferian agenda, here's the round numbers.

6 Million Jews
500,000–1.2 million Serbs (killed by Croat Nazis)
200,000–800,000 Roma & Sinti (Gypsies)
200,000–300,000 people with disabilities (or you could say those not as "developed" or people who were dependent)
80,000–200,000 Freemasons
100,000 communists
10,000–25,000 homosexual men
2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses

All said and done, probably more than 8 million people died at the hands of Hitler's regime. Another source you'll see in a minute, puts the total at 12 million.

Well, Hitler was crazy, right? So how about other dictators. Surely they can't approach the insatiable bloodthirst of those killed "in the name of God". Before we see what a menace to the world Christians are, let's take a look at what happens just when people are killed by governments. We won't hit every dictator on the list though.

Chairman Mao - 50 to 70 million
Stalin - 23 million, i've heard up to 30.
Leopold II of Belgium (Congo) 8 Million
Japan (Civilians in WWII. I don't know if this counts the Nanking massacre) 5 million
Turkey (Armenians, and others) - about 2.5 million
North Korea's communist regime - more than 1.2 milliohn


The high end of this number is around 130 Million (including Hitler's 12) and that's not all the ones on the list. But i don't think we could count any of these as killed by "Christians" or in God's name. Rather, these were all killed for political or ethnic reasons.

Communism Alone
"The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression" gives a good set of numbers for just those killed when all belief in God is not only expelled, but punished by death or torture. Let's take a look at what a God-free, atheist utopia can do. After all, if God's followers have killed more than any other cause, the good ol' commie deathtolls should be quite low. After all, they're not trying to please God, so they shouldn't want to kill anyone.


Well, we already saw Mao and Stalin at about 70 to 100 Million between the two of them. The book gives about 94 million.

From the wiki:
(65 million in the People's Republic of China
20 million in the Soviet Union
2 million in Cambodia
2 million in North Korea
1.7 million in Africa
1.5 million in Afghanistan
1 million in the Communist states of Eastern Europe
1 million in Vietnam
150,000 in Latin America
10,000 deaths "resulting from actions of the international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power." )

Communist Utopias, with their absence of God have killed a lot of people, so this must mean that those killed in the name of God must be at LEAST 200 Million, or 2 BILLION if you count abortions, which I'm counting them, because i believe God is.

Well, let’s see how many have died “in God’s name.” We don’t include those humans who were and are sacrificed to pagan gods. Sorry Aztecs, Mayans, Canaanites, etc. We’re also not including how many people have been killed by Muslims or Hindus. Mainly because people who argue this have a beef with Christians. In any event, My personal thought is that Muslims and Hindus combined haven’t killed even as many people as Hitler, let alone Communism. I’m also going to exclude Christians who are killed by various folks martyred, but will put some of those stats in the appendix.

Killed "in the name of God" that is, by "The Church" or alleged Christians

A disclaimer here. While a portion of individual Catholics i will concede may be saved and true Christians, i don't think we can include all of the elements in leadership, especially through the centuries. Those who ordered the Crusades, the inquisition were not following the Bible, and thus not God's will. Pope John Paul even formally apologized for some of that. Afterall, Jesus didn't say to spread His name at the sword's point.

Constantine was allegedly told by a vision (by a spirit he didn't test) to go and conquer. Nowhere did this vision prove itself to actually be of God. He either made it up, or was fooled by Satan to kill people under the guise of Christianity. I highly doubt God would have told him to conquer. So, was he a Christian? I can't judge his heart. But his actions cause me to question.

But, for the sake of argument, let's give you the numbers of those killed "in the name of God".

It's hard getting good numbers on this, so i'll go through a few different ones.

Total for the crusades, inquistion (over 200 years!) and other "witchcraft" kinds of things. This author says about 264,000. He's also got a really good point, (like i mention above) not everyone who says they are a Christian, or says that they are following God actually are. The pews are also filled with "Christians" but how many of us actually are? How many are there for social or other reasons?

Also, look at the Norway shooter. The media called him a Christian, yet there's no real evidence that he actually is a true Christian, especially in light of what Jesus taught and lived about violence. Anyways, the link.

This author gives about 100,000 people-all time-killed by alleged Christians.

Here's a new agey/neo pagan website that looked promising for stats at first, but fell apart quite quickly for me.


They make a lot of complaints about Christian murderers, and pagans being unjustly killed. They mention a number of examples, with “thousands killed” or “tens of thousands massacred” and these are indeed horrific, yet give very few actual numbers and no total.

Not to mention that some of these groups doing the massacres don’t seem all that Christian to me. I can't speak to the faith of those who committed these atrocities, but contrasted with the true Christians in the book of Acts, I'd suggest that those who killed these pagans and other poor folks had their hearts far away from God. That is, they were killed by people falsely representing the God of the Bible. But that should be no surprise.

Additionally, the stats on this site are way off, one example that author gives is a total of “80000 Turks massacred” during the battle of Belgrad. Oddly, they neglected to mention is that the Turks were INVADING Hungary. They were the aggressors. Secondly, the Turks had a (presumably) seasoned army of 30,000 – 100,000 troops. Wiki lists them as receiving casualties of only 13,000. Meanwhile, the “menacing” Hungarians had around 4,000 actual soldiers that were armed and trained and a “motley” army of 60,000. That’s 60,000 nobodies fighting for their lives for probably the first time ever.

Here’s a relevant scripture.

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. "

2 Timothy 3:2 - 5

"[Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.

But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men."

Matthew 15:7 - 9

Suffice it to say, these people may have thought they were acting “for God”, but in actuality were doing the bidding of the political movers and shakers who happened to have been a part of the Catholic or Holy Roman Church. Just because the "Church" a Pope or a "Christian" king ordered the killing of a group "in the name of God", doesn't actually mean that God Himself endorsed or approved it, or that those people actually have given their lives to Christ.

Look at George Bush, he lied about his conversion (supposedly converted by talking to Billy Graham, though Graham doesn't remember this). He also went on to start 2 wars. Somehow I don’t think you’d see Jesus, the Apostle Paul, Corrie Ten Boom, or Richard Wurmbrand. In fact, Paul condoned killing of people BEFORE he was a Christian, then afterward let people beat him!

This is why when Jesus warned us “let no one deceive you” He wasn’t kidding. He likely knew that folks would come around and use God as an excuse to kill. A true follower of Christ would not have went along with any violence that a Church or government ordered.

Saying that more people have died “in the name of God” or were killed by Christians because the Church/Theocratic government ordered it makes about as much sense as saying that actors are criminals because of shenanigans like Winona Rider’s shoplifting or what Pee-Wee Herman did.

Here’s a good article that summarizes the above point. That sinful humans are using religion to fulfill their own evil agendas. I strongly recommend that you read the whole article, and forward that to anyone who says religion has killed more than…


Here’s the numbers he used for those killed by “Christians” (actually land/power grabs).

Crusades – 1,000,000
Aztecs – (unclear if he means sacrificed by the Aztecs or killed by conquistadors. I assume the latter) 1,000,000
The Inquisition – 350,000
Albigensian Crusade – 200,000
Witch Hunts – 100,000
So wrapping up here’s the “score”.

Killed “in the name of God” – 250,000 – 1,650,000 people. (This is based on the earlier number I had and the recent article. Of these, I would say none have been killed by true Christians, but rather the visible “Church” and political entities, of which, the Church was a part.

Killed for any other reason – 1.6 Billion people have been killed because they were unwanted. This is either by a political party or a parent. That’s well above small amount killed by “God’s followers.” Even taking away abortion we’re left with 130 million killed by dictatorships of various sorts. Or if you prefer, Communism alone has killed probably 100 Million, ten times more than those who claim to follow God

I won't concede that many true, Spirit filled, Bible believing Christians have killed anyone, or even COULD kill anyone. The more we grow in faith, the less attractive violence becomes, even "justified" violence. Listen to Corrie Ten Boom's testimony, or read Richard Wurmbrand's "tortured for Christ" or Wilkerson's "the Cross and the Switchblade". Those are how true Christians react to violence.

If you can give more numbers of those killed "in God's name," (Crusades, Inquisition, etc.) please give me an event, a number and a source, and i'll add it.

Fred Hartley said in his book "Prayer on Fire" that in the "1980's, 270,000 Christians were martyred every year." He also quotes a number of 500,000 dying for believing in Jesus the Messiah every year. So in one year, twice as many are killed for believing in Christ than those killed by alleged Christians during the crusades, witchhunts and inquisition combined over a several hundred year period.
Voice of the martyrs gives a much lower, though still alarming number at their site. It's a good look at the extent of persecution faced by Christians right now.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

UFO Battle: Nuremberg 1561 (Nuernberg 1561)

update: 12-13-12

looks like I've been upstaged. this explanation details the sundog theory quite well, and I think I'm more cinvincef than what I originally posted. so take a look.


old post:

Having studied UFOs for a good long while, there is one case that's been bothering me since i started viewing UFO's from a Christian perspective. That is, the 1561 (drawing made in 1566) Nuremberg UFO battle. In fact, this case was one that sort of got me thinking ET is real, here's proof. Here's the best resources on the internet I could find, for a generic overview. That's actually about all their is on the topic, most actually just repeat this.

On the surface, it seems to be a reasonably good proof of an ancient aliens scenario. Regardless of how credible this is, a lot of folks on the Internet think it's legit.

Here's some links, proceed with caution.




Pretty compelling, huh? Especially if you lack discernment like I did. Especially when you factor in the crash, and the large black arrow that looks like it came from Star Wars. Spaceships.

A modern view of the Nuremberg skyline, from a similar vantage point. Just for the heck of it.


There are of course people who think this whole case is BS, and so try to rationalize it. One rational explanation is that it's a "sun dog". That is, a weird effect of the sun producing a light effect.


Maybe that explains part of it, the boomerang shapes by the sun could be sun dogs, this event did happen at dawn. But I can't be convinced it can be explained totally as a sun dog. The orbs, and the crosses fighting each other and the "star destroyer" are hard to explain as natural phenomena. Not to mention, the Nuremberg woodcut is remarkably different from current photos of sun dogs (see the wiki), and also a Swedish painting of one.

Note how the painting is relatively obvious it's a sun dog. ("Sun Dog Painting" (Vädersolstavlan) Stockholm 1535) despite it being a little weird looking. It looks natural, and different from the Nuremberg event. The description is a little similar, in that the Swedish account is described as multiple suns and arcs across the sky for 2 hours.

But notice, this is 30 years earlier, and while they did interpret the Swedish event as an omen, they don't seem to be attribute any battle going on, and no crash. The Swedish painting looks more natural than the Nuremberg woodcut. Not to mention, the images don't seem to fight.

So, in light of another event, i will concede the Nuremberg event could have been a sun dog. Or at least happening at the same time as one. What keeps me from being totally convinced is the alleged crash object(s), the fact that the objects appeared to chase and battle each other. There is also the fact that the rods, circles and crosses all were separate.

In all the sun dog pics online, and a few youtube videos (first sun dog in mongolia is a really good one.) there are circles, and crosses, maybe even what could be perceived as cylinders (of light, not gray). But the crosses are inside the circles and the none of them appear to be interacting, and they all seem quite stationary in the videos. So until someone shows me a sun dog that does the things the Nuremberg one did, i won't buy it.

So, this moves us to the possibility of a hoax. This article postulates the entire event is fake. This is entirely possible...


Except for the fact that it appears Hans Glaser,was a real person and did other woodcuts. It was also referenced in older materials by Jacques Vallee.



But here's a few things in favor of a hoax. The history of the city of Nuremberg addresses a few historical things in the 1500's, and the UFO battle is not one of them. Look at Roswell, there's like 3 books a year about "new Roswell evidence" and festivals, etc, and that's only 60 years ago. Wouldn't people have made a bigger deal then? Wouldn't the city, with a link for tourism, market this even now? I would.


And no mention of Glaser, or this woodcut here. One would think, as a source exploring the art of the period, such an interesting piece would be addressed, but it's possible it was avoided because of controversy.


So, if it's a hoax it's probably a 500 year old hoax. Evidence in favor of a hoax 500 years ago, no current attempt to exploit it for tourism and no crash wreckage ever seems to have been recovered.

This one, may be possible, and it ties into where we're going next. Ergotism was the cause, and it was all a "mass hallucination". This would certainly explain why people saw a crash, yet make no mention of any wreckage.
Basically, people ate bread that wasn't good, and as a result hallucinated. Apparently, the mold acted similarly to LSD and therefore caused people to see this light show.



Given that ergotism has some relation to LSD, I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate. LSD and certain other drugs, especially DMT have the ability to open a person's mind to the spirit world. This is not a good thing. The Bible warns us repeatedly not to engage in witchcraft and sorcery.

As Dr. Future says frequently, in Revelation 18:32 the word "sorceries" means pharmakeia (G5331), that is drugs. But in addition to drugs, my understanding is there's also a spiritual component as well, that is drugs and spirit contact go hand in hand. What's more, as i understand it, the Septuagint uses pharmakeia for witchcraft throughout the Old Testament.

Here's some podcasts that address drugs, spirit contact and UFOs, and you should be able to see some sort of connection.

LA Marzulli on Drugs, and spirit contact

Adam "Ayawasca" Ellenbas (Caution, non-Christian guest)

Dr. Will Alnor, UFOs and the End of Days

Gary Stearman

So, my working theory is that the people in Nuremberg, sick with ergotism had their spiritual "eyes" opened through this LSD-like mold. Then, they saw into the spirit world, that is "hallucinated" a big "UFO battle". The battle in the sky, was perhaps the Ephesians 6:12 spiritual battle always going on around us, except they saw it. Perhaps also, Satan and his forces manifested in this manner during the battle, knowing that one day he'd be able to use it as proof for UFO visitation.

So the sun dog theory has something to be desired, especially in light of contemporary artwork. Not to mention, that i don't think people would be so stupid as to think that sun dogs are fighting each other.

The possibility of a modern hoax doesn't seem feasible, it would be easily disproven. The fact of an ancient hoax leaves a question of motive. Why would they manufacture such a story, and record it as a factual event in their news? Hans Glaser, to the best of my knowledge was a real person, and an artist in the period. He seemed to record other real events, why would he record a fake one as news?

Ergotism is a good answer, especially in light of a possible spiritual connection. But if this was a battle of "principalities and powers" what were they fighting over? Did they manifest because of the ergotism, or were they able to manifest without it? What's with the "star destroyer"?

We may never know this side of eternity for sure, but my money, for now, is on an "LSD" door opening which the locals witnessed.

Update 11-14-11

I did a little more digging. The city of Nuernberg has pointed me to a couple websites, one of which has been extremely useful. Of course, it's just the German wikipedia, but it's pretty good.

It turns out Hans Glaser was real, and he did actually produce the famous woodcut. You can read about it here:


There's also talk of the 1561 UFO in here


Pop over to google translate to get the gist of what they say.

Next, with the ergotism. In their history of ergotism (ergotismus, Mutterkornalkaloide) there doesn't appear to be any connection between the Nuremberg event and ergotism. That doesn't mean there wasn't a connection, but it's not clearly stated.

These links give some good info about ergotism and it's symptoms



But here is one article that connects the 1561 event, and other "ancient aliens" with ergotism.


So, i'm still sticking with my theory, but this is new info that makes old evidence a bit stronger.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Outhouse of Abhorrent Theology: aka, The Shack

This is a long one. I probably should break it up, but i guess it's good to just get it all together. I also want to preface this with why i did what I did, that is: read this book.

When "The Shack" came out, i really had little interest in reading it. I barely knew it existed. With the exception of CS Lewis, and Robin Parrish, I have not really ever read ANY Christian fiction. I tend to read sci fi or general fiction so something like "The Shack" was not on my list.

Then I heard a few interviews with James B. Deyoung related to his book "Burning Down the Shack" and he pointed out a few of the theological problems with "The Shack" chief among them is that Young (authoer of the Shack) is a Universalist. That is, everyone from Adolf Hitler to the Apostle Paul eventually gets to go to Heaven no matter how bad (or good) they were.

Stalin, Mother Theresa, Pol Pot, Ghandi, Hitler, Mr. Rogers, Nero, and on and on.

How that works in light of God being a just judge, i have no idea, but it sounds like a sweet deal for bad people, and a bum one for the rest of us.

So, at that point i resolved to not read The Shack. Mainly because it seemed like it's not just a waste of time, in that it suffered from an extreme lack of ray guns and spaceships, but it was also full of false teaching. After all, if someone else wrote a book about all those pitfalls, why would i need to know anything else?

Well, that changed, and I think God wanted me to read it so i can tell you (whoever you are) about it. Let me tell you, it has been a struggle. Not just in exercising discernment, but also in just reading it. Not only is The Shack not my genre, and FULL of bad theology, it has also committed another crime. It is full of bad writing. Of course what do iknow, my novel remains unpublished...and also unfinished.

So, let's go through The Shack!

First, the good points. There were a few minor good or interesting points. There were also things i sort of agreed with (they were half truths after all). Also, this book got me to look thru God's word to see if what was said was actually so. Reading God's word is always a good thing.

(When referring to the "god" of the story, and "his" emanations, i will try to use lower case and quotes to separate them from the real God. Although they are supposed to be God, i will not give them that honor, as my God revealed Himself specifically in the Bible, and His Son, Jesus.)

To start with, the writing is "special". Special, in that afterschool or very special episode kind of way. It's very "cozy", and not in an enjoyable way. The characters are not very believable from the outset. It's as though the characters already know they're in an allegory (and not even a good allegory), and so act accordingly, trudging along their little model railroad track of plot.

The book is also plagued by "Postcard" descriptions of places like the park they went camping, rather than description of anything that mattered. Sort of a cheap way to set a scene rather than actually describing the actual place the characters were. Why do we care how tall mount Howard is, or when the tramway was built? Why do we care how cold Lake Wallowa is if no one is swimming in it at that exact moment? How about, "the campsite was filled with smoke and clouds of mosquitoes?" Nope. Maybe, "the leaves mack had used as emergency toilet paper turned out to be poison ivy, and while it burned like crazy, nan had a gut busting time. Until it happened to her too." Nada.

Because that would have actually affected the characters. Instead, we get something off the tourist brochure, which i'm convinced the author paraphrased when writing this.

Other pet peeves, is stuff we might want to know more about, like an internal thought process, or smart dialogue, we don't get. Mack gets into a situation, says a couple things, sticks his foot in his mouth, and the resulting dialogue resolves mack's issues.

A big way this happens in the book is Young often has Mack marvelling at how the alleged "trinity" "relates" to each other and how great it is, but doesn't explain it much further.
He's copping out of explaining (showing...portraying...INSERT VERB) the conversation and "relating" going on and mentions it merely in passing. Here's my attempt to paraphsrase one of these instances:

"oh, MAN are those guys relating!" Mack thought. "I mean, i am in the shack my daughter was molested and axe-murdered in, probably as a Satanic sacrifice, but MAN this relating is SO COOL! It just takes my mind off of the bloodspot by the fireplace.

"I'll just sit and watch how cool it is, then I'll interupt this relating so we can to move along to the next contrived one-on-one with me so i can deal with my junk by interacting with questionable spirits claiming to be God, rather than praying, reading the Bible and getting counselling."

"Say, can one of you three...i mean one... i mean...heck, someone just pass the gravy. PRONTO!" Mack said.

For a Christian, Mackenzie, the main character has about the most shallow faith i have ever seen. He doesn't test these spirits, they tell him they're "god" and he just goes along with it. His interactions with "god" are just plain...American, and his dialogue is often short snips of phrases like "OK." Or, "i thought you would really be like..." etc.

Anyways, let's move on from terrible writing, to...

Stereotypical characters!

Young gets racist points for naming his Italian mailman...wait for it...wait for it...Tony! That's right. Had the mailman been named Mario or Luigi, he would have gotten some sort of award had Tony actually appeared saying something stereotypically Italian, like "mama ma".

The midwestern post lady, a reject from the movie "Fargo" who says "don't ya know" and also talks with annoying slang that turned me off. She's just a stereotype, no racism really.

There's also the matter of "the large black woman" which edges Young up much closer to "Michael Richards award" territory. More on LBW later, but suffice it to say, it reminded me of older times that are better forgotten. I'd make a joke, but i really take that matter more seriously.

Let's move on. The sterotypes persist into "Brawny-Jesus" and "Sarayu". I'll explain their issues in a bit.

Let's get to the theology problems. I never read "burning down the shack" so these are original observations. De Young focused more on universalism in the interviews i heard, and i take a slightly different road, "no extra charge" as Chuck Missler always says.

Problem number one. When "god" appears it's nowhere close to how God has revealed Himself in His Word. It's fiction, i get it. The author can't be constrained to authoritative scripture in portraying our loving God. But at least in Narnia, it's another world, and sort of consistently ties in a fairly close Biblical portrayal. Where it differs, the model AT LEAST serves as a solid parallel for deep theological truths. While we're on Lewis, his planet series uses just a different name for the same God, but all the people recognize it's the same God. I can buy that. At least Lewis makes an effort to keep God as a reverent figure, and if not, he uses it as a parable. Which is what the shack is supposed to be.

No, the "god" revealed in this book is a folksy, sassy, black woman. A Jewish Paul Bunyan/Brawny paper towel guy, and an Asian woman with a fondness for gardening. Riiiiight.

First, god as a black woman. I'm not racist, but even by the standards of The Shack, they call god "papa" (which is a little familiar for my tastes, at least the New Guineans call God, "Papa God") so a woman of ANY description is already a stretch. I have no issue with a black woman playing a major role, i like the Oracle in the Matrix and the creepy black lady in the Ikea in-store videos. But God calls Himself The Father, and He revealed Himself in the Bible as the Father and "He". The god in this book is not God in any Biblical sense. It's Blasphemous. (I blame kevin smith's "Dogma" for this kind of approach.)

The author also constantly refers to "god" by the name "large black woman" even after the name "elouisa" is revealed. "LBW" is also in charge of cooking, bringing to mind unpleasant memories of Al Jolson, and "mammy" stereotypes.

(Btw, elouisa means "warrior", and God is not usually portrayed as a warrior, the Lord of Hosts fits. Google names of God for a good look at names God has used in scripture. What was wrong with those? Why do we have to have elouisa? Why not El Shaddai, or one of the many others?)

Another review i read, after starting this one, brought up the black stereotypes, especially the "slang sounding" talk, and the phrase "sho 'nuff." When i saw that in the book, all i could think of was Julius Carry's character in "The Last Dragon". All we need now is Bruce Leroy to show Mack how to get "the glow" or for her to tell Mack "that's right, BOW SUCKA!"

God showed Himself many times in the Bible. When He showed Himself to Moses in the Old Testament (Exodus 33 and 34) Moses was allowed only to see a small part of God, because God is too Holy for us to handle seeing. Even seeing that was alot for Moses, and the GLORY of God reflecting from Moses was too much for all of Israel.

Or how about Isaiah? When he saw God, he realized he was unworthy, and asked God to clean his lips!

How is it Mack can just nonchalantly "hang out" with god? Yes, Christ bridged the gap, and God loves us, but we must remember how AWESOME the Lord truly is. I think we've lost sight of that in our age, especially in America. We want the God to be our rich best friend. Whatever God does look like, it is NOT a large black woman. The descriptions in my Bible sound like an awesome, and all powerful, Holy God! Lightning, and power, and Holiness! I look forward to that day, but i realize how unworthy i am to see Him.

The Brawny-jesus. Where do I start? His first lines come off like the neighbor from Office Space (aka the Rexkwondo guy in Napolean Dynamite). Young also gets another racist point for calling out that Brawny-jesus has a big nose, of course, because he's Jewish. Not only that, mack (or is it Young subconsiously?) finds a large nose unattractive. Smooth move.

Now i don't know alot of Jews, but NOT ONE single Jew that I've ever met had a large nose. in fact NOTHING about them stood out from anyone else!

Does the real Jesus have a big nose? Who knows. but a large, Jewish nose calls to my mind a stereotype out of a Nazi racial hygiene propaganda poster. I have seen those before in school, and let me tell you, it was not good. Let's hope Young runs out of stereotypes before he runs out of characters.

Too late. The "holy spirit" as an Asian woman is just weird, and of course, also a blasphemy. I suppose the author, who seems unable to waste a good stereotype, chose an Asian woman because of the "exoticness" "quietness" and "mysteriousness" that is so stereotypically attributed to Asian women. To his mind it must seem a perfect match.

She also likes to garden, i don't know if this is anything to note or not, but Chinese and Japanese culture do have some place for gardens. Not ALL Chinese and Japanese, but in proper places. Japanese gardens are real, but this character is just "Asian" and is of course fond of gardening. I suppose i should be thankful she didn't know and teach Mack kung fu, of course this book was already too "Matrix-y" for my taste anyways.

The Holy Spirit in the Bible is usually kind of non-corporeal in any sense, when a physical description was necessary, He was described as "LIKE a dove". Or He came as tongues of fire. Or one can be filled by Him. How an Asian woman portrays any of these attributes is beyond me.

So, this sums up the weirdest, and probably least respectful attempt at explaining the Trinity. They interact in a goofy way, and are always laughing frivolously. The only way it would have been more disrespectful would be if the Three Stooges had been there representing God.

At least the story might have been entertaining, and Mack would have gotten the slap i think he deserved. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

As if screwing up "god" wasn't bad enough, let's get into how he screwed up what we know about God as revealed in His Word, the Bible. So here's a few theological mishaps, i'm sure i missed some, so please share your thoguhts.

* on page 101 it starts off with a reasonable description of the fall, and redemption. OK so far. But pg 101 starts going to dangerous territory and crashes headlong into it. Pg 102, "god" says that when Jesus was a man, He had no power on His own to do anything, even though He was fully God and fully man, He had power only by reliance on "god" of this novel.

I don't know how i feel about this, i'm open to your thoughts. We know Jesus in the Bible did the will of the Father, but Young seems to have stretched things here by saying that Jesus had no power on His own.

* chpt 7 starts out with "god," all 3 characters of "him" laughing, and cavorting frivolously. Apparently Brawny-jesus was clumsy and dropped something. It is here that we see the author basically insult Jesus by insinuating He lacks perfection, and thus dropped a bowl due to clumsiness. Even Brawny-jesus plays along. This sort of portayal of "god" persists, with each member of this "trinity" laughing and being giggly, especially when Mack sees them relating, or poking fun at his micro-brain observations.

They seem less like "god" and more like giggly school girls at a slumber party who just got caught in a pillow fight. But man, their relating rocks!

* sarayu - the name given to the character who portrays "the holy spirit". It's interesting to note that Brawny-jesus tells a lie. He tells mack that sarayu means wind...i'm not sure what language that is, but here's what i dug up on sarayu when i tried to figure that out. Apparently it does mean wind in sanskrit, so Brawny-jesus only half-lied.

The name sarayu does comes up though in "The Immortal Love of Rama." It's a river, not wind, i presume it's in India.


Sarayu river is also apparently where an incarnation of Vishnu, Rama (see my Buddha article for the link to Vishnu and a possible link to Antichrist. Vishnu is sort of one Hindu version of God incarnating.) has essentially a baptism. Upon this "baptism", Vishnu is able to return to his Brahman (fully god) state. An interesting parallel and mockery of Jesus's baptism by John which seems to fill Jesus with the Holy Spirit and sets Him on His ministry.

Sarayu river

The god-state rama returns to.

It's interesting to note, that the sarayu article has a "see also" section. In it, is the name Saranyu. Here's an interesting quote from that wiki.

"Saraṇyū is the female form of the adjective saraṇyú, meaning "quick, fleet, nimble", used for rivers and wind in the Rigveda (compare also Sarayu)." Sounds alot like the character to me.


So it seems that Young's Sarayu, is not the Holy Spirit as portrayed in the Bible, but rather a Hindu goddess! What does this tell us about Young's theology, or lack thereof? It certainly explains the "all different faiths get to God" viewpoint Young espouses.

Papa, aka "god" refers to herself (?) As Elouisa.
Elouisa \e-loui-sa\ as a girl's name is a variant of Eloise (Old German), and the meaning of Elouisa is "famous warrior". See my commentary earlier.

Gods names, why didn't Young use one of these?


Another review

Pg 112 Brawny-jesus tells Mack that He is the BEST way to relate to "god", whereas in the Bible, Jesus was crystal clear. He is the ONLY way.

The beginning of Chapter 8 has Mack dreaming. But not just dreaming. It seems to me, alot like lucid dreaming. I should know i used to try it. Lucid dreaming, as i understand it, is being in a dream, realizing it, and then taking control of the dream to do what you want.

I practiced this often in my youth, and i haven't done it since i renounced the New Age stuff i had unwittingly added to my walk with Christ.

Later, LBW says that he/she doesn't punish sin, that sin is it's own punishment. While it's true that sin is sometimes a punishment in itself, those who don't repent through Christ will be punished. 1 John 1:9, shows us how we get forgiveness from God.

The "relationship" of the "trinity" is described as a "circle of relationship." Maybe i'm reading too much into it, but perhaps this is a zen buddhist thing. Again, maybe i'm in discernment overdrive, but a circle is a Buddhist symbol.

At the close of chpt 8, "god" doesn't really explain pain and suffering that well. "he" just kind of gives a "i'm good, so suffering is OK" cop-out answer. At least in Job, it makes sense when God doesn't give an answer. But here, they sort of explain that it's because we are imperfect, and place our trust in authority figures. A good point perhaps. It also comes up that "god" is redeeming the creation (that's what i got anyways). But suffering itself doesn't bring redemption, and will save no one.

Wait a second. Papa seems to have forgotten its Bible, Hebrews 13:17 tells us basically to obey the athorities, within reason. What's going on? Did papa forget that it had that written down? Good thing that's only in one spot. What's that? Romans 13? "For there is no power, but of God?" Hmmm. I guess LBW must have just forgotten. Wait, the REAL God can't forget, apparently papa is not God. well...

Anyways, we know, from the Bible, that suffering refines us, and can perhaps sanctify us and tests our faith, (1 Peter 1) like in Job. In Job we can see that sometimes God allows suffering because Satan has been given permission to cause it. And at the end, God justly replaces what was lost with a double portion. But it wasn't the suffering that redeemed Job, it was his faith in God.

Speaking of Satan, he, and more importantly his role in all of this suffering is conspicuously absent from the whole discussion. I wonder why?

Mack later asks why the good creation went bad. Apparently (also evident EVERYWHERE) he isn't familiar with his Bible, because mine is pretty clear on the matter. It's right there in Genesis 3, the serpent, and man's sin. But, he's on even footing. Sarayu seems to have forgotten too. (Didn't the REAL Holy Spirit inspire scripture?) Sarayu says the good went bad because man chose independence. Partially true. Genesis 3 tells us it wasn't just man choosing independence, it was also Satan's rebellion and temptation of man that messed things up.

Wow, 2/3 of the "trinity" messed their scripture up, I'm not so sure this is my God. Oh, wait. 3/3 of this "trinity" messed their Bible up, because Brawny-jesus said that he was the "best" way, not the ONLY way. Case closed. I have to use google to find my chapter and verse markings sometimes, that's really sad that Young couldn't manage that.

On pages 136 - 138, Sarayu talks to Mackenzie and gives probably the only sound advice and theology in the book, and that is, humans are not qualified to judge good and evil, and so must rely on the standards that God has already established. Thats what i got anyways.

We are also told that evil is an absence of good, but i would say it's a REBELLION against good. So, there's that.

Pg 151, Brawny-jesus says that his life was never meant to be copied, that we're not supposed to try "to be like Jesus." I have a little problem with that, as we are being conformed to the image of Christ. Romans 8:29, clearly tells us that those that God brought to salvation, He will conform us to the image of His Son. Yes, that is done by accepting Jesus, and dying daily to ourselves and walking with Christ, but it is still something we are to strive for.

After all, who is a better example for human behavior than God in human flesh?

It's also interesting that here and later, when Mack walks across the water, it becomes mundane and something taken for granted. Much like many of the gifts the real God gives us.

You know, all of chapter 11 is just plain weird. And I have to tell you...I have read some weird stuff. There's some sort of judge setup, implying that "god" can't judge and send anyone to hell, because s/he loves them to much, which is why Brawny-jesus died. Apparently, it doesn't matter whether or not someone accepts Christ's death or not, "papa" loves them too much to send them to hell. This sounds perilously close to what Aleister Crowley, an apparent bedfellow of Young said: "Do what thou wilt" and also contradicts 1 John 1:9.

Somehow after this bizarre chapter, once Mack realizes through some vague dialogue with a suprisingly non-stereotypical Latina, the great sadness has left mack. How? We don't know. But it must have been the realization that his daughter was now in Heaven, and that he, Mack, wasn't fit to judge anyhow, based on a lifetime of superficial judgements and not trusting papa. Thank goodness he couldn't cut it, because I'd hate to find Mack instead of Jesus Christ judging me when I die. If only it were that easy to treat depression, though i suppose it would be that easy if us Christians were out preaching Jesus instead of reading the Shack and watching Dancing with the Stars or crazy-haired georgio.

Chapter 12, Brawny-jesus is back to his crazy antics skipping stones, and asks Mack how his time with sophia was...what? Sophia? I'm sure others have pointed out that this is A PAGAN GREEK gODDESS, and i don't think the description in proverbs of wisdom being a woman was talking about the greek goddess. Instead, i think Solomon was going for an PARABLE, rather than the non-parable this book is. but let's move on. Oh, and tying in my earlier Matrix comments, Jesus asks mack "what is real?" Don't tell me this book wasn't influenced by the Matrix movies.

Someone get me an exit.

Page 180, describes the church. This probably the only part of the book i liked. Brawny-jesus says that the church is the people who make up the church and love him, and that the church most of us are familiar with is an institution. Not to hate on Church, but i do think we as the church need to re-evaluate how close we are to Jesus and repent. I'd say we're fairly close to the Laodiceans in Revelation.

Pg 181, i saw this in an amazon.com review, so i won't say much. Brawny-jesus's view on marriage seems off, as does the comment that he "doesn't want to play God." Ummm. Well, i suppose the real Jesus isn't playing after all, since He's the real deal, but it's weird.
Pg 184, also saw in amazon...OK, OK, i'm getting bored of this book, and wanted to see what others said. Not just because the theology is bad, but so is this writing, dialogue and characterization. Yes, i realize that Young is a published novelist, and i'm not. Actually, i'm even surprised you made it this far. Anyways....

Pg 184 has Brawny-jesus saying that the people who love him basically are all kinds of faiths. Muslims, Buddhists, etc. Well, ok. There are people of all persuasions who love the real Jesus as a "good teacher" but believe the wrong things about Him. Perhaps of some of those, some really hunger for the real Jesus. But, what we all need is to ACCEPT the real Christ's sacrifice for our sins, BELIEVE in Him and His resurection and daily SUBMIT ourselves to Him, dying to ourselves. I doubt anyone who calls themselves a Buddhist or a Muslim would confess to that. If they did, they would be...Christians.

Though, to be fair the Crescent Project says a great way to witness to Muslims is to say that "I am a Muslim, THROUGH Jesus." The word Muslim, as I understand it means to submit. So, Young is on a slippery slope there, and pretty much wrong.

Chapter 13 opens up with Young entering questionable racist territory. I'd elaborate, but the less said the better. It continues with the Oracle, i mean Papa giving Mack questionable theological advice with more slang filled talk.

Pg 199, the Hindu goddess, Sarayu, gives Mack a good ol' classic New Age-ism! Sort of. Usually new agers say this about good and evil, sarayu just says this about emotions. That is, "they just are. They are neither bad or good. They just exist." Not exactly true. The Bible tells us the proper context for just about every emotion if we look. Such as "only a fool gives full vent to his anger" being but one.

This page also tells us that the Bible isn't for teaching us rules, but to point to Jesus. This is partially true, the Bible and Old Testament does indeed point to Christ, but we also need to follow the Bible and the rules God gave us. We are not saved by this, but we need to live by the rules outlined in God's words.

John 14:15

If ye love me, keep my commandments.


Pg 213, there is an army of (hopefully non-axe murdered) children that was glowing, and were the source of the light, yet none of us are the source of any light. We can only reflect the light and glory of Jesus Christ once we accept Him.

Then th story gets a little weird (ok, could it get weirder?) by saying that each person talks to each other and expresses things by using different colors of light. This and the dialogue explaining it all is pretty new agey to me, bringing to mind auras, and the colors of chakras. Maybe I'm stretching here, but that's what it's reminding me of, because in thos new age beliefs, certain colors affect emotions, and also have various properties and meanings. At any rate, none of it is Biblical, nor does it serve as an effective parable for anything i can think of outside of Trix cereal or Fruit Loops.

Pg 225, Papa said that guilt and humilation don't produce righteousness. I disagree, when i read God's word if i feel guilty, or humiliated i can pray to God, and ask forgiveness and be reconciled with God. Then, guess what. Those feelings are replaced by happiness!

Pg 227, Papa says that he has forgiven everyone because of Jesus, and that not everyone chooses the "relationship." Not true, Jesus' atoning sacrifice is for those who accept it. It is sufficient for all humans, but it will be only given to those who repent and accept it. So again, using Young's logic, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and Jim Jones are all Ok, because of Jesus, even though they didn't repent and accept Christ. Good to know. If they had, like Berkowitz, that would be a different story.

Pg 229, Papa says there's power in what his children declare. This sounds a little like "blab it and grab it" that is Law of Attraction. It's a footnote really.

Also, this whole interaction of Papa FORCING Mack to forgvie his child's killer, seems not only contrived but also out the true God's character. Yes, our God commands us to forgive those who wrong us, BUT He equips us to do that and as Corrie Ten Boom said once, that it's Jesus and the Holy Spirit working on us to forgive our enemies.

Pg 239, there's a curious phrase "God, my servant." I think this definitely reflects the western Laodicean mindset. We have turned God into a cosmic vending machine, pumping in prayers and good works hoping to get some nice stuff out.

So, that about does it. I need to read some Bible and do a massive prayer time to clean all this off...here's my final thoughts.

Mackenzie is lost, and sadly he seems about as theologically "with it" as an average American "Christian" with a "Jesusa" bumper sticker. He assumes that God would listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (when Mormons believe in a de-deified, space alien, half-brother to Satan Jesus). Mack also has few clues (like the god of this book) about the Bible, or even basic sunday school theology.

Here's what i think the reality of the story is. And this explains the heresy of the whole thing. Mack goes to the site his duaghter was killed at. This is the lair of a notorious serial killer/molester. The murders (probably done as satanic rituals) have caused demonic spirits to take up residence in the shack. Mack never tests them (1 John 4) and so is misled by them. He's a luke-warm believer to start with, so it's quite easy for Satan to deceive him, with a few parlor tricks, funny jokes and wise sounding half-truths. And thus as Mack is deceived, so too us readers.

The final evidence for this is after Mack is well, good and deceived, he is hit by a car and nearly killed. Satan deceived him, then tried to kill him. This explains satan's absence from the book, he was there all along.

So with the shack, wyhat little truth there is in this book, is accompanied by lies, and delusions. Basically, Satan's normal tactics. Hiding the poison of his lies in a little bit of truth.

This book is indeed a good parallel for Pilgrim's Progress for our generation. Except, Pilgrim's Progress spread God's kingdom, while the Shack spreads Satan's.