Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Radio Interviews

 Christine Pack and Cathy Mathews Interviews 

Faith in Culture Radio

Stand Up For The Truth

Crosstalk-VCY America
Topic: Wellness: The New Age Trojan Horse in Healthcare

 Marcia Montenegro Interviews 

Midwest Christian Outreach
Topic: Contemplating Contemplative Prayer (9-5-17)

The Missions Mantle
Topic: Signs In The Stars (10-16-17)

The Jamaal Williams Show
Topic: Exposing The New Age (Dangers of Yoga, Opening the "3rd Eye") (7-22-17)

Truth Frequency Radio
Topic: Astrology, the Occult and Deliverance (10-2-17)

A Minute to Midnite Radio 
Topic: Former Professional Astrologer Now Warns About Astrology (10-9-17)

People of the Free Gift
Topic: Mindfulness in the Buddhist/New Age Context (5-25-17)

Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR)
Topics: Plenary talk 2016 EMNR Conference, "Is There A Mind In Mindfulness?" (5-14-16)
Topics: Astrology and the Age of Aquarius (5-14-16)

Messed Up Church (Steve Kozar)
Topic: An Astrologer Overtaken By The Love of God (1-28-17)
Topic: Discussion of the Movie "The Shack" Based on the Best-Selling Book (3-1-17)
Topic: Biblical Concerns About Popular Bestseller “Jesus Calling” (12-2-17)

Zoom Conference
Topic: Mindfulness in the Buddhist New Age Context (5-20-17)

TG4G Radio
Topic: Testimony, and Christians and Horoscopes (4-13-17)

Wretched Radio
Topic: Mindfulness (6-18-15)

Youth Apologetics Training (Michael Boehm)
Topics: New Age Practices and the Church (6-22-16)
Topics: Astrology, Yoga, Reiki, Chakras, and Acupuncture (7-6-16)
Topics: New Age Practices Coming Into the Church (7-18-16)
Topic: Zen Buddhism: Core Beliefs, as Explained By a Former Zen Buddhist Practitioner (Pt 1) (12-26-16)
Topic: What Is Zen Buddhism? (Pt 2) (1-3-17)

Dark Sun Rising Radio Show
Topics:  Astrology, Spirit Guides, Demons, Good vs. Evil (5-2-16)

Deeper Waters Radio Show
Topics: Marcia's Story and the Occult (10-25-14)

Peter Jones Conference - Truth XChange
Plenary Talk: "Astrology and Spirituality" (1-22-08)

Deeper Waters Podcast

Topic: In-Depth Interview About the Occult (10-25-14)

Christian Meets World
Topic: What the New Age Is and Why It's Not Just a Fad From the 1980s (10-21-14)

Crosstalk-VCY America
Topic: Wellness: The New Age Trojan Horse in Healthcare (4-26-11)

The Mind Renewed
Topic: What the New Age Movement Is, Personal Testimony (12-14-13)

Issues, Etc.
Topic: The Occult and Witnessing to Those in the Occult (11-5-08)

The Janet Mefferd Show
Topic: The Occult (10-31-11)
Topic: A Discussion on Panentheism (9-24-12)
Topic: A Discussion About "Mindfulness" (10-23-12)
Topic: A Discussion About Panentheism (11-19-12)
Topic: A Discussion About Mindfulness in Schools (3-4-13)
Topic: Friday the 13th (and other superstitions)? Chain letters? Salt to disperse demons? Horoscopes? Luck? Marcia addresses these topics from a biblical worldview (6-13-14)

Apologetics 315
Topic: Testimony,  General Differences Between the New Age and the Occult, How to Witness to Those in the Occult (6-13-11)

Blog Talk Radio
Topic: A Discussion "The Shack," a Movie Based On The Best-Selling Book (3-8-17)
Topic: Interview With Dr June Knight, New Age In The Church (11-16-17)
Topic: Testimony, General Discussion About the Occult (9-16-10)
Topic: Halloween, the Occult, Witchcraft, Wicca, Neopaganism and more (11-1-10)
Topic: Is Yoga For Christians? (11-8-12)
Topic: Testimony, Caller Questions (5-12-12)
Topic: What Is Wicca? Can Wicca and Christianity Co-Exist? (5-19-12)
Topic: Biblical Answers to Counter Occultic Activity Such as Hypnosis, Transcendental Meditation and more (7-26-12)
Topic: Why You Don't Want A New Age Healer (7-17-14)

The Parker J Cole Show
Topic: The Universe and Other Words Pt 1 (7-15-17)
Topic: The Universe and Other Words Pt 2 (9-16-17)
Topic: The Universe and Other Words Pt 3 (12-2-17)
Topic: Are Essential Oils Really Essential? (12-10-16)
Topic: Prayer vs. Meditation, Part 1 (7-23-16)
Topic: "Never Mind the Mind" Meditation, Stress Relief, Christian Meditation vs. Eastern Meditation (4-11-15)
Topic: Energy Flow and Healing (6-20-15)
Topic: The Christian and Energy Healing, Essential Oils, Yoga, Homeopathy, and the Need for Objective Scientific Data (6-27-15)
Topic: The Psychics: Can They Really Help You? (11-11-15)

Stand For Truth Ministries
Topic: What Is Reiki? (9-7-13)

Echo Zoe Radio
Topic: In Depth Discussion About the Occult - Part 1 (Testimony, Experiences in New Age and Occult, Spirit Contact, Divination, Astrology, TV Shows and Movies Featuring Occult Themes, Feng Shui, etc.)  (3-25-12)
Topic: In Depth Discussion About the Occult - Part 2 (New Thought, Therapeutic Touch, Wellness, etc.) (9-22-12)

Stand Up For The Truth
Topic: Testimony, the Paranormal, the Occult in Popular Culture (10-12-11)
Topic: "That's Entertainment?" A Discussion about Astrology in Popular Culture (11-4-11)
Topic: The Dangers of Mindfulness (2-24-12)

Olive Tree Views
Topic: Marcia Montenegro's book, Spellbound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today's Kids (to be released as an ebook November 1, 2013) (10-13-07)
Topic: Testimony, Christian Meditation vs. Eastern Meditation (12-12-09)

A Few Thoughts on Christian Music

Posted by Christine Pack

An excellent article over at Herescope discusses music in today's culturally relevant church:  "Like a bunch of conformist teenagers kowtowing to “peer pressure,” churches have adapted their musical style to whatever is hip in the culture." This has certainly been true even in my lifetime.  We sang traditional hymns in the church I grew up in, but after leaving the church for more than a decade, I was very surprised to find that the music in the churches I attended upon returning was radically different from what I was familiar with.  I was told that this was a way of "deconstructing" people's preconceived notions about what music "should" be in church.  In true postmodern fashion, I began to ponder this.  Well, what did I think music "should" be?  Sad to say, I did not come up with a very postmodern answer: to my mind, church music should clearly be traditional hymns played on a 19th century pipe organ. But in the little start-up church where my husband and I were saved, they had neither the budget for any such thing, nor, more importantly, any inclination toward having this kind of music.  Instead, we sang short songs with very few words, often repeating verses over and over.  Now, when we began attending this church, God had not yet saved me, and so my reaction to this music was simply personal: I didn't like it.  But after I was saved, I realized there was a deeper, more troubling reason why I didn't like the music: it was doctrinally vapid.

I had one friend who sardonically referred to this music as "7-Eleven songs," as in, 7 words sung 11 times.  The first time I heard this (and after I stopped laughing) I remember thinking what an apt description this was for this kind of music.  7-Eleven songs for a fast food culture.  Perfect.  And when I would ask about hymns at our church, I was told that this was what people wanted, they didn't like the tired old hymns of our "parents' church," we had to be culturally relevant, and that after all, worship wasn't about "me."  Well, I definitely got that worship wasn't about "me," but then that made me wonder: was God really glorified by these shallow songs devoid of doctrine?  Every now and then, our church would play a hymn.  My reaction to these lovely old songs would be so immediate, so visceral, and I simply couldn't understand why.  I would oftentimes be so overcome from hearing these old hymns that I would weep, and literally be unable to sing!  I initially chalked it up to nostalgia, to just remembering growing up and hearing these songs every week.  But as time went on, I began to realize how deep the theology was in these hymns.  I became obsessed with hymns.  Realizing this, one of my new Christian girlfriends gave me a book called Then Sings My Soul, which I absolutely loved and still love to this day.  This book catalogs many of the great classic old hymns, telling the story of how each hymn came into existence, what was happening in history at that time, and so on.  I began to realize why I loved these old hymns so much.  Not simply because the music was lovely - though it was, but chiefly because the lyrics were so rich.  Many of these great old hymns would "tell" the amazing story of redemption and God's mercy in just a few short verses.
"Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; He to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood." (Come Thou Fount, Robert Robinson, 1758)
Okay, in just those few words - which, incidentally, are only one half of one verse - you've got separation and alienation from God, the danger of hell, and God intervening into this dire situation with the life-giving blood of his Son. That's the gospel right there, folks.  How about this one: 
"Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow." (Jesus Paid It All, Elvina Hall, 1865)
In this one, you have an unpaid debt, sin leaving a stain that cannot be removed, and then - here comes the gospel - God intervening with his plan of salvation: the blood of Jesus, given to remove the stain, and leaving the white purity of righteousness in its place.  Glorious!

Needless to say, I still love hymns, and have found so many wonderful contemporary renditions of some of my favorites. I've also discovered some I had never heard  - because they weren't sung in our denomination of church - but have grown to love equally as much.  Below are some of my favorites -

Red Mountain Church
Crown Him (Alternately Titled: Look Ye Saints)
Lead Me To The Rock (never knew it growing up, have crazy love for it now)
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
My Jesus, I Love Thee
Come Boldly To The Throne of Grace
Why Should I Fear?
Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior (beautiful harmonizing)
Christ or Else I Die (great song, love his voice)
There Is A Fountain
Dearly We're Bought
Friend of Sinners
Melt My Soul To Love (there's a crazy, Appalachee-flavor to this song - you'll either love it or hate it) 

Keith Urban
I'll Fly Away (and some nifty guitar playing too) 

Emmylou Harris (what a voice)
Wayfaring Stranger
I Love to Tell The Story 

Chris Rice
Rock of Ages 

Candi Pearson
He Leadeth Me
Be Thou My Vision 

Shelly Moore Band
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Hallelujah, What A Savior
Jesus I Am Resting 

Debra Fotheringham
More Holiness Give Me 

Indelible Grace
Beneath The Cross of Jesus
O The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus
Not What My Hands Have Done
O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing
What Wondrous Love Is This
Go To Dark Gethsamene
O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
The Church's One Foundation 

David Crowder
All Creatures Of Our God and King
Rock of Ages (great hymn, fantastic version) 

Scott Underwood
Fairest Lord Jesus 

Dierks Bentley
It Is No Secret 

Natalie Grant
Fairest Lord Jesus 

Katie Nelson
Wonderful Merciful Savior 

Kourtney Heying
Holy, Holy, Holy 

Paul Baloche
How Great Thou Art 

Jadon Lavik
This is My Father's World
Blessed Assurance
Take My Life
'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
Come Thou Fount
Turn Your Eyes
What Wondrous Love is This
I Need Thee Every Hour
I Surrender All 

Rebecca St. James
It Is Well With My Soul 

Sara Evans
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Sweet By And By 

Bart Millard
Hymned - the whole album 

Jars of Clay
Redemption Songs - the whole album 

Kyle Henderson
Nearer My God To Thee 

Tim Milner
This is My Father's World
O Worship The King
When Morning Gilds The Sky
All Hail The Power of Jesus' Name 

Shane & Shane
Before the Throne
O Worship the King 

Sherri Youngward
Amazing Grace
O Sacred Head Now Wounded 

Sarah McIntosh
Then Sings My Soul - whole album 

Nichole Nordeman
How Deep The Father's Love For Us 

Newsboys (lyrics by Stuart Townend)
In Christ Alone (just an awesome song, not technically a hymn, but so doctrinally rich it makes the cut) 

Jeremy Camp
It Is Well With My Soul 

Jessica Lofbomm
O Sacred Head Now Wounded
It Is Well With My Soul 

Bethany Dillon
How Deep The Father's Love For Us 

Shawn McDonald
Amazing Grace 

Carrie Underwood
How Great Thou Art 

Mark Roach
It Is Well With My Soul 

Aaron Keyes
Jesus Paid It All
It Is Well With My Soul 

Chris Rice 
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God 

Kristian Stanfill
Jesus Paid It All 

Sovereign Grace
How Sweet and Aweful Is The Place
I Will Glory In My Redeemer 

Todd Agnew 
Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us 

Alan Jackson
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Standing On The Promises
The Old Rugged Cross 

Sufjan Stephens
Holy, Holy, Holy
Amazing Grace

Michael Tait
How Great Thou Art 

Ginny Owens
It Is Well With My Soul 

Sara Groves
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 

Patty Loveless
Two Coats 

Randy Travis
Are You Washed In The Blood?
O How I Love Jesus
Sweet By and By
Shall We Gather At the River
He's Got The Whole World In His Hand

Amy Grant
This Is My Father's World 

Allison Kraus
Down To The River To Pray
I'll Fly Away 

John Anderson
Peace In The Valley

Terry Butler
On Christ The Solid Rock (one of the best  hymns ever) 

Ben Kweller
Rock of Ages (you will either love or hate this version - I love it) 

Amy Nobles
O God, Our Help In Ages Past
Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee 

Aaron Neville
Morning Has Broken

Willie Nelson
Just As I Am (instrumental) 

Billy Ray Cyrus
Just As I Am (very sweet rendition) 

Debby Smith-Tebay
What A Friend We Have In Jesus 

Trace Adkins
Victory in Jesus

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Peace Like A River (not technically a hymn I don't think, but so precious) 

Lari White
Power In the Blood (sing it sister - it's the blood!) 

Chris Tomlin
Take My Life and Let It Be 

Mark Schultz
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 

Ricky Van Shelton
Take My Hand, Precious Lord 

Billy and Cindy Foote
Rescue the Perishing 

Casting Crowns
'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus 

Eric Clapton
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
photo credit: cealwyn via photopin cc
photo credit: @boetter via photo pin cc

 Additional Resources 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fighting For the Faith Interview

Posted by Christine Pack

Thank you to Chris Rosebrough at Pirate Christian Radio for recently having me on his program to discuss the dangers of Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism and how it is flowing unchecked into today's visible church via the delivery systems of these very popular practices:
- Spiritual Formation
- Spiritual Disciplines
- Ancient Future
- Contemplative Prayer
- Contemplative Spirituality
- Taize
- Centering Prayer
- Lectio Divina
- Jesus Prayer
- Labyrinth
- Walk To Emmaus
This is a very in-depth interview, and is both a wake-up call and an exhortation to today's Christians to be on guard about what their pastors and elders might unwittingly be promoting or even teaching.

The interview can be listened to here.

 Additional Resources 

Mysticism: A Counterfeit Holy Spirit

John MacArthur on Spiritual Formation and Biblical Sanctification

What Is Mysticism?

Mysticism: Who Needs Crack?

The Dangers of Contemplative Prayer

What Is Mysticism? (5-Part Series by Dr. Gary Gilley) - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 and Part 5

Mystical Youth Ministry

Biblical Silence vs. Mystical Silence

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"This Growth Will Grow Up and Will Become the Treetops"

Posted by Christine Pack

"The word "emergent" -- the part of it that I liked most was its use in forestry, where the emergent growth, or in agriculture it's pre-emergent growth, it's the growth that's just down right at the surface, and it's just broken through, and it's small. So we said, what we are is this small, little thing that's broken through, but down the road.....this growth will grow up and will become the treetops. So in the forestry world, you determine the health of a forest both by what you see at the treetops from a flyover but also by the level of emergent growth and pre-emergent growth. So we said, hey that's kind of our metaphor, we're not trying to eliminate anything else that exists - in fact, we're gonna grow up inside of the shadows of all the rest of this. So "emergent," it kind of captures us pretty well, that's what we think this is, it's not competition, it's not anything like that, it's just that which is now growing up inside of the context that the rest of this has already existed." Doug Pagitt, discussing the Emergent Church

The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-26)
"Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared."

photo credit: depone via photopin cc

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Karma Just Doesn't Cut It

Posted by Christine Pack

I had an abortion when I was 20 years old. I was not a Christian at the time. By this age, I had completely discarded any teachings I had learned having grown up in church, and to my mind, Christianity was for the weak, for those who needed a crutch, an opiate for the masses. Let the simple people have their silly little superstitions to keep them warm at night, I didn't need it. But after the abortion, my life took a curious turn: I spent the next 15 years looking for salvation. Oh, I would have never admitted to any such thing. Quite honestly, I didn't even have a framework for such a concept. But when I look back on my life, that's exactly what I was doing. Something inside of me (my conscience?) knew that I needed atonement, and I unconsciously set about looking for it.

I began to restlessly move through belief system after belief system, searching for redemption. As long as there was no sovereign holy God to whom I was accountable, any religion was fine for me to try: hinduism, buddhism, kabbalah, paganism, mysticism, occultism, shamanism, wicca, humanism - whatever. The problem was that within each system, guess what? There was no redemption. I would read all the books and do all the practices I learned to do -- meditation, fasting, yoga, reiki, hypnotherapy, crystals, astrology, numerology, visualization, tarot cards -- but when I would get to the end, I would always think: that's it? There was no "there" there.....

At the end of all my searching, I had ended up with a vague sort of belief system that all paths led to God, that there was no way to know him personally, that he/it was probably some kind of impersonal force out there. I leaned toward Buddhism and the law of cause and effect (karma), but what I really thought was that there was no way for anyone to know for sure.

By age 35, I was married to a wonderful man and was a new mother to a precious baby boy. But my life had taken another strange turn. For some reason, I had become consumed with fears that something horrible was going to happen to my loved ones. My fears would paralyze me, they would wake me up at night, they would leave me in a cold sweat, my heart pounding, thinking horrible thoughts that I couldn't stop thinking. I had no control over my thoughts, I only managed to sort of co-exist with them.....but I could bleakly see that these fears had only worsened as time passed. My outer life looked great (sweet husband, precious baby). But my inner life was a shambles.

When 9/11 happened, my husband, who was an agnostic, and I began to attend a local church. We were really rocked by this catastrophic event. We began to think more soberly about the weighty questions that everyone has: Is there a God? Can we know Him? If He does exist, what does He require of us? We had both grown up attending church, but had thrown it off as foolishness when we became adults. Now, we were taking a new look. Between the 2 of us, we had covered most of the other world religions! Time to examine again the claims of Christianity.

I was saved when our pastor preached through the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments? Isn't that sort of old-fashioned and kind of legalistic? Well, our pastor didn't teach the Ten Commandments as a way to live so we could get better and better, and hopefully someday be "right with God." What he did was pull back the veil of the Holy of Holies and show me a picture of who God was. He was a God so blindingly holy that one transgression of these Commandments was enough to doom me. This was no prescription for getting right with God: this was a one-way ticket to hell! One lie, a death sentence. One covetous thought, a death sentence. One single act of rebellion against my parents, a death sentence. I sat still as he spoke, desperately trying to think of all the "good things" I had done in my life that might get me a pass. Finally, our pastor came to the 6th commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," and I was undone.

In an instant, I realized how my inner need for atonement had driven me relentlessly to pursue redemption in some way through the many religions I had tried. And I realized the futility of any way other than the one God had prescribed. Jesus' words that I had learned in my childhood went through my head: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No-one comes to the Father but through Me." Suddenly, the realization washed over me that my fears were actually the by-product of the karmic belief system I had come to embrace! This impersonal system of cause-and-effect demanded payment for what I had done. And my fears were my own inner struggle with attempting to reconcile my unforgivable crime - the abortion - with the cool, impersonal laws of karma that I felt pressing down on me: I killed; therefore, there must be a corresponding death. Would it be mine? My husband's? My baby's? That's the law of karma. Those were the fears that enslaved me. I realized I didn't want justice; I wanted, I needed mercy.

I knew in an instant I would never be able to atone for my sin - never. I could never atone for myself, I could never save myself. I needed to be saved. I needed a Savior.

Suddenly, the gospel message, the very heart of Christianity, made glorious sense to me. God sent Jesus to make atonement for me because I couldn't make atonement for myself. Jesus suffered on the cross so that I would not have to pay the penalty for my sin. There truly was no other way! I was dumbfounded as the simplicity of God's plan broke over me in a fresh way. Scripture came flooding into my mind, suddenly making sense. God had used my sinful, murderous, selfish act to drive me to my knees and save me. And yet, He did save me, even me, a wretched, depraved sinner. What an amazing God.

In a sense, Buddhism got it right with the idea that there was a ledger being kept somewhere, recording rights and wrongs, and also the idea that wrongs had to be corrected. But only Christianity makes a way for sinners to be made right with God without being punished themselves. Someone did pay the price for my sin...only, it wasn't me. In the face of such infinite mercy, who would want something as small as karma?

photo credit: kleer001 via photo pin cc

 Additional Resources 

When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense (The National Review)

A Christian Woman and Her Frightening Experience With Yoga ( Drs John Ankerberg and John Weldon)

"Christian" Yoga? (Caryl Matrisciana)