NEW BATCH OF TEA NOW AVAILABLE

A new batch of Shepherd’s Organic Bible Verse Tea is now available with the 6 different blends we  have been manufacturing as well as the very popular Sampler box that has all 6 blends (20 tea bags in every box). The six blends are Cranberry Orange Rooibos, Vanilla Almond, Chai Green, Spicy Red Chai, Peppermint, and Peach White. And as always, there is a Bible verse on a tag attached with a string to each bag of tea.

sampleteabags-lgWe are also carrying every blend in bulk now too for the regular Shepherd’s Bible Verse Tea drinker. We offer two different bulk choices:

  1. 100 tea bags of the same flavor for $18.95
  2. 60 tea bags (10 bags of each flavor) for $14.95

Is Your Church Doing Spiritual Formation? (Important Reasons Why They Shouldn’t)

[The following is the beginning of the latest booklet/tract from Lighthouse Trails. You can link to the booklet’s entire content.]

Is your church involved in a Spiritual Formation program? If so, you might want to ask the question, what exactly is Spiritual Formation? It’s a fair question, and one that, if not asked, could end up surprising you when your church changes in ways you never imagined.

A Christianity Today article states: “Spiritual Formation is in.” The article defines Spiritual Formation in this way:

Formation, like the forming of a pot from clay, brings to mind shaping and molding, helping something potential become something actual. Spiritual formation speaks of a shaping process with reference to the spiritual dimension of a person’s life. Christian spiritual formation thus refers to the process by which believers become more fully conformed and united to Christ.1

Such a definition would hardly send up red flags. But what this definition excludes is how this “process” of conforming and uniting to Christ takes place and who is eligible to participate in such a process.

The “how” is done through spiritual disciplines, primarily through the discipline of the silence. The silence is an altered state that is reached through a mantra-like meditation, breath prayers, or some other meditative practice. The idea behind it is that if you go into this silent state, you will eliminate distractions (thoughts) and be able to hear God’s voice. He in turn will transform you to be like Christ. The “who” (who can practice these disciplines and become like Christ) is anyone (according to Spiritual Formation pioneer Richard Foster and other proponents of Spiritual Formation). A Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim, even an atheist—anyone at all can benefit from the spiritual disciplines and become like Christ (the question is which Christ?). continue reading

…He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed… (Acts 17:31)

“Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another. (Isaiah 42:8)

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16)

Bill Johnson, False Teacher

At 1:02 in the video, Bill Johnson says, “You can only give away what you have. Can God give away sickness? No, he’s not sick. You can’t give cancer if you don’t have it.”

According to the Bible:

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.

But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.

For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:27-30)

HT: Marsha West

Bonus: click to read How To Kill An Alcoholic?

How to kill an alcoholic

It has served as a trap for many. Portrayed as powerful and effective, those who fail via Alcoholics Anonymous are always blamed. The program, on the other hand, is portrayed as infallible. Thus have many been doomed to try again and again in a system that simply cannot help them.

This has been happening for a long time now.

Despite the elasticity of A.A.’s higher power concept (where anything and everything can be defined as “god”), A.A. is very much a fundamentalist religion in terms of the following Big Book “scriptures”:

1.) “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.” (Chapter 5, How It Works)

2.) “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.” (Chapter 5, How It Works)

These fundamentalist passages thus serve to lock alcoholics into the A.A. system, while also teaching contempt or distrust for alternative ways of gaining sobriety. Particularly opposed is the idea of getting help in “church.”

Researcher Rober Tournier observes that A.A.’s “continued domination of the field and its members’ claims to be spokesman for the victim have fettered innovation … and tied us to a treatment strategy which … is limited in its applicability to the universe of alcoholics.” [1]

It is the strangest contrast: While the higher power concept is elastic, the above mentioned A.A. “scriptures” may as well be cast in iron and set in cement.

And so it goes on and on. We continue to rely on this “invent-a-god” religious system that simply does not help most overcome addiction. Please understand this is not saying that A.A. does not work at all–for some it works very well indeed. Unfortunately, it is a death sentence for many others.

What do we know about A.A.’s success rate? According to an article in the Washington Post:

Although AA’s emphasis on anonymity makes it difficult for outside researchers to determine its success rates, some have tried. What they have found doesn’t inspire much confidence in AA’s approach. A recent review by the Cochrane Library, a health-care research group, of studies on alcohol treatment conducted between 1966 and 2005 states its results plainly: “No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or TSF [12-step facilitation] approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems.”

AA itself has released success rates at times, but these numbers are based only on voluntary self-reports by alcoholics who maintain their ties to AA — not exactly a representative sample.

Even taken at face value, the numbers are not impressive. In a 1990 summary of five membership surveys from 1977 through 1989, AA reported that 81 percent of alcoholics who began attending meetings stopped within one month. At any one time, only 5 percent of those still attending had been doing so for a year. [2]

There are people in A.A. I greatly respect. I respect how they are willing to help anyone at any time. Unfortunately, this system has been trapping and killing many. Let it be clearly understood what is being said here: While nothing can help an alcoholic who does not want to quit drinking, AA does not work for most motivated alcoholics.

Until we understand that A.A. is part of the problem, we will always be pointed away from solutions.

Endnotes:
1. Robert Tournier, quoted in Journal of Drug Issues, Volume 10, pg.150
2. “We’re addicted to rehab. It doesn’t even work.” Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080602660.html

Sinner Man

Court cases ruling A.A. and N.A. as religious

On November 14, 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn, thus allowed to stand, a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordering that forced attendance at Narcotics Anonymous meetings end immediately, because it was a violation of Freedom of Religion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the high courts of the states of Tennessee and New York have also made the same ruling.

Legally, Alcoholics Anonymous is established as a religious organization. And so is Narcotics Anonymous. Lawyers and judges now consider the issue “a moot point”, one that is so thoroughly established that they will not argue the point again. They just accept it as a given.

As far as the courts of the USA are concerned, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are, beyond a doubt, organizations that engage in religious activities. And their meetings qualify as religious services. It’s a done deal. Nobody denies it but Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and the other 12-Step groups.

*The above is taken from http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-spirrel.html. (Scroll way down.) Thank you, Orange!

Contextualization Fail (Satire)

Truthinator strikes again…

Rolling back AA’s fake Christian origin

AA’s murky history can seem very confusing. Prolific pro-AA author Dick B. continues to present AA’s origin as biblically rooted. But Alcoholics Anonymous is like a pie. One can claim it is made with lemon meringue ingredients, but if tar, rat poison, and glass shards are also in the mix, was it ever really a lemon meringue pie? A little leaven… (1 Corinthians 5:6)

AA’s origin must include AA co-founders Bill Wilson’s and Dr. Bob Smith’s biblically forbidden spiritualism, Dr. Bob’s freemasonry, the meditative Silence/spirit communication learned from the Oxford Group,[1] and the anti-biblical teachings of William James.

It doesn’t stop there. Many other influences helped give birth to AA, including Carl Jung, Emanuel Swedenborg, and the New Thought heresy of Emmet Fox.

Those who have heard early AA’s “roots” were biblically pure might want to investigate Emmet Fox and AA’s use of his heretical book, The Sermon on the Mount. This text was actually used as a teaching manual in AA until AA’s own instructional Big Book was completed.

As pro-AA author Dick B. himself acknowledges, Fox’s “writings were favored by [AA co-founders] Bill W. and Dr. Bob.”[2]

That is correct. And the AA co-founders could not have been Christians if they “favored” and used these writings in AA.

Why? In The Sermon on the Mount, Emmet Fox teaches: “The ‘Plan of Salvation’ which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as the Koran. There never was any such an arrangement in the universe, and the Bible does not teach it at all.”[3]

“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33)

Fox’s book bristles with “teachings” that sincere Christians would not share with alcoholics.

Like the Gnostics, Fox was a purveyor of “secret knowledge.” He writes, “Wonderful as the ‘outer’ Bible is, it is far less than one percent of the ‘inner’ Bible—the Bible that is hidden behind the symbols. If you have been reading the Bible without the spiritual interpretation, you have not found the real message of the Bible, for that lies below the surface.”[4]

Fox’s influence should always be considered when one hears of references to the Bible in early AA. People assume, logically enough, that if the co-founders were mentioning the Word of God, this must mean they were Christians. But the unsaved Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith viewed the Bible along the lines of Fox’s esoteric spiritual wisdom, rather than believing it to be the literal Word of God. One cannot, after all, promote anti-Biblical heresy and simultaneously believe and obey the Word of God.

And, like many in AA, they looked to the Bible for generic spiritual principles—love your neighbor, help your fellow man, and so on.

Interestingly, Bill Wilson had already been exposed to those who greatly admired the Bible, yet still didn’t believe it to be the Word of God. He married into a Swedenborgian family, and became very familiar with this religion’s Christ-rejecting interpretation of God’s Word.

Fox’s new thought teachings likely strengthened… click here to continue

[Endnotes can be found at end of original article]

Psalm of Thanksgiving

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, call
upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
Remember His wonderful deeds
which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments from His mouth, (1 Chronicles 16:8-12)

*Thank you Paul for sending this verse, and thanks as well to Charlotte and the faithful Discernment Sisters.