Chris Lawson Ministry Update - JANUARY 2013
MINISTRY TRANSITION: After serving in pastoral work for more than twenty years, I am beginning a new season of ministry in order to concentrate my focus on researching, writing, videos and teaching
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." - Matthew 7:13-14
I want to sincerely thank you for your kind support of our research and evangelism ministry these past few years when you have been able to support us. Your support has enabled us to have a far reaching impact in the lives of many people, both those who visit our website regularly as well as numerous people that live locally here in San Luis Obispo County.
Your gift(s) have made it possible for us to witness and speak directly and warn people who are oriented towards dangerous New Age and occult practices and people that have been abused in cults and spiritually abusive churches. We have also been able to reach out to many other people who are deeply concerned about the rising cultural meltdown in the USA that has resulted from the decline of Western Christianity.
MISSIONARY / SRN STAFF SUPPORT
I also want to let you know that your donations have made it possible for my family and I to receive a little more staff support this past year for all the work that I am doing. SRN's growth has been slow and I believe it is mainly because we are a very unique ministry - and no doubt not too politically correct these days.
RESEARCH, WRITING, VIDEOS AND TEACHING
For the past five years, since we returned from Scotland, my wife and I have desired to again partner with a "missions facilitator" to facilitate our financial support. Having an official missions organization take care of all of our donation processing will be a tremendous help and will also alleviate me from numerous other weekly in-house tasks.
My desire is to research and write a lot more and work on video teachings and expose's that will reach many more people - in numerous countries. We'd love to do a massive upgrade to our SRN website too, but if so, we would use a professional company whom we have received a great proposal from. The cost is too much for SRN at this time as the first thing in order is full-time staff support.
TRANSITIONING DONOR SUPPORT AND ALLEVIATING IN-HOUSE ADMINISTRATION WORK
To lessen our in-house SRN administrative work, my family and I have recently decided to utilize a nonprofit missions organization. This missions organization will process our personal missionary/staff donations for my family and I so that we can be more effective and focus on our primary goals. They will be assisting us with missionary newsletter mailings and donor receipting as needed.
WHAT ABOUT SRN?
SRN will remain the same. However, as of January 2013 we are now using WIN as our missions facilitator to process all donations and help with administrative work.
WHY A NEW WEBSITE?
Our new website is mainly for our own missions/teaching resources, apart from the SRN apologetics site.
REDIRECTING DONATIONS TO OUR NEW MISSIONS FACILITATOR
Please redirect your contributions to our new missions facilitator (details at left). You will still receive a tax deduction receipt for your contributions as our facilitator is a nonprofit organization. Online donations can be made through our new website www.LawsonChristoper.Org.
NEW ONLINE DONOR TERMINAL
We have a new Secure Credit Card Transaction Processing page that WIN has up for us and it seems to be much easier and faster than PayPal and Authorize.Net. We also now have an Electronic Check Transfer option that can transfer funds directly from your bank account if desired. For mail in donations please see info at left of page.
Again, the whole purpose for us to partner with WIN is to alleviate the large amount of the in-house ministry workload, to provide a donor support platform that is broader than just our SRN apologetics ministry and to help enable us to do more of what we are called to do - research, writing and communicating God's Gospel. We are deeply grateful for your kind support and we appreciate your likemindedness in the ministry vision we share.
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - FEBRUARY 2013
SERVING BEHIND THE SCENES: A Brief look at practical ministry that oftentimes goes unnoticed
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." - Matthew 6:6
For the past 20 plus years we have been involved in a lot of work that we have not announced on the internet. Like tiny seedlings hidden away in pine branches at the edge of the Grand Canyon (which few people ever observe), much of our behind the scenes ministry has gone unnoticed. Nonetheless, we rejoice in the Lord as many people have been helped.
BEHIND THE SCENES
For years now a large portion of the work I have done with Spiritual Research Network has consisted of working through countless e-mails and phone calls - encouraging people, answering questions, helping leaders and bringing biblical counsel in severe situations. Numerous times I have been able to counsel people out of near suicide attempts. Helping people find their way out of spiritual deception and into balanced biblical teaching (whether online or in person) is specialized and personally rewarding work. I am blessed to have been able to help many people come out of abusive situations. I have also had the privilege of helping people escape spiritual deception. The need for such ministries as ours is immense. Unfortunately, financial strain continues and confronting apostasy and spiritual abuse is simply not "politically correct" these days. We press on, trusting the Lord to provide.
EXTENDING OUR REACH
As noted last month, I will now be concentrating more on research, writing, videos and teaching. I believe that written content and videos will have a far greater impact in the long run. It has become clear lately that I simply cannot keep up with the constant flow of enquiries that we are receiving. Therefore we are making a much needed change. I believe in doing so my schedule will be less demanding on all of us as a family - physically, spiritually and emotionally. I will also be able to focus on less, thereby accomplishing more throughout the day. That being said, we need help - financially and through prayer - in order to carry on effectively.
Aside from online/counseling work, we as a family have always kept busy with local ministry - no matter where we have lived. In doing so, we rarely put personal names and faces from our local community on the internet. The following mentions are just a few of the things we've been involved with the past couple months. There's more of course, this is just a snapshot of recent local ministry.
HELPING THE HURTING
We recently helped an elderly woman (pictured here) who was one night away from being homeless. Living out of a hotel and desperately seeking help, she received the sharp end of the stick from the Watchtower Organization (Jehovah's Witnesses). They refused to help her as they consider her an "apostate." She left the Jehovah's Witness "organization" years ago when her husband was clearly the "favored" of the two, because he would work for them (J.W.'s) to no end. Using her resignation letter from years ago, which the J.W.'s kept on-file, they used it as an excuse to reject her. Knowing the extremely controlling and oftentimes abusive nature of the Jehovah's Witness belief system, we were quick to jump in and do what they clearly wouldn't do - provide some simple storage for her belongings, contact social services for needed living arrangements and reach out to a distant family member.
The Lord opened the door through this opportunity and one of her family members was able to clearly hear the Gospel as well as receive some literature and much needed encouragement.
AUTHORS & BOOK RELEASES
Recently we have been able to encourage and help two authors with their new book releases.
Tamara Hartzell's new book exposes the "new way of thinking" that is invading/deceiving many in the Church. "Reimagining" God: Turning the Light off to Look for "Truth" in the Corner of a Dark Round Room (765 pages).
Warren Smith just released his amazing story about his job as a Travelers Aid social worker at the San Francisco Greyhound Bus Terminal. Watering the Greyhound Garden: Stories from the Streets of San Francisco (181 pages). We were also able to meet a third author who joined us and some dear friends from our study group for dinner. At present I am continuing to work on our new missions website and I hope to complete our "Missions summary" very soon.
I have also been adding to our SRN website and just recently added some New/Updated articles from a few colleagues. The material below is from January and there are more articles on the website from February. See the "What's New!" page on the SRN website.
JANUARY SRN ADDITIONS
"God's Dream": A Deceptive Scheme? by Warren Smith (updated); Discernment Detractors: Calling Good Evil by Warren B. Smith (updated); Can The Bible Ever Mean What It Never Meant? by Orrel Steinkamp. We have also updated the SRN page titled "Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline Newsletter Archive." We highly recommend you view the resources at theses pages as they may prove to be very helpful to you and your friends.
Much of our work is done either in public or "behind the scenes." Either way, the Lord is the one that gets the glory for it all. He provides wonderful opportunities like no one else can, and He alone is to be exalted and praised.
Thank you for your time, support and prayers on behalf of our ministry.
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - MARCH 2013
CONTINUING STEADFASTLY: Finding fellowship that is untainted by twenty-first century ecumenical apostasy
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." - Acts 2:42
As time marches on we continue to see, hear about, and personally talk to many people who struggle to find Christian fellowship; that is, Christian fellowship that remains true to the biblical Gospel and the biblical mandate of separating from false teachers and false doctrine. It can truly be said that for many, finding fellowship untainted by twenty-first century ecumenical apostasy is harder than ever to come by these days.
PEOPLE LEAVING CHURCHES
People all over the place are leaving churches. Why? They are sick and tired of numerous trends within popular Christianity that are polluting the Church, i.e. Carnal Rock-and-roll worship services, pastoral ecumenical relations, sensory driven mystical practices, interfaith apostasy, Christian yoga, visualization, bridal mysticism, lectio divina, etc. These are just some of the things that are characteristic of many Christian churches these days. The root of the problem however stems from compromised church leaders, who instead of being the first and last line of defense against satanic opposition to the Gospel, have neglected the biblical mandate of opposing evil teachings, publicly refuting heretics and separating from false teachers.
Many church leaders are completely ignorant that Scripture, from beginning to end, systematically teaches and illustrates biblical separation from evil teachings and practices. Others, either for fear of ostracism or outright rejecting God's commands, neglect biblical responsibilities that are meant to serve as safeguards for protecting the purity of doctrine and fellowship in God's Church. Romans chapter 16:17-20 provides us with a very clear example of what Christian leaders are to do in the face of evil. Amidst Paul's final greetings to numerous Christians at Rome, writing by way of the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, Paul exhorts: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark [keep a close watch on them] those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid [turn away] them. For such as they serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple" (Rom. 16:17-18).
Pastors and church leaders should never neglect the God given principle of biblical separation. To do so only results in compromised theology and practice. It is false doctrine that divides believers and destroys fellowship. Church leaders today who fawn after what is "popular" so they can draw large crowds are dangerous pastors. At the cost of truth they allow the latest fads and the latest false teachings into the Church. The resultant effect is a deluding influence over the flock of God. Deceptive teachings and antichrist philosophies wrapped in Christian terminology end up being peddled as "good teaching." God never honors this, but Satan does! What is being promoted in vast array through many churches and ministries today is pure spiritual garbage. Oftentimes, when leaders are confronted with the facts about the false teaching and ecumenism they are involved in they just quip, "We need to chew the meat and spit out the bones."
CHEW THE MEAT AND SPIT OUT THE BONES?
Have you ever heard this from a pastor? "Just chew the meat and spit out the bones!" If so, consider this, what kind of parent (or pastor) would ever feed their young children fish that is heavily laden with tiny hidden fish bones, and then leave it up to the ignorant child to filter out the bones by themselves, not knowing how to properly eat fish? Also, where in the Bible does God ever provide His people with "spiritual meat" filled with dangerous "bones?" If you are a newcomer to reading the Bible, you should know that God hates an admixture of the false with the true! God wants His people to discern between that which is good versus that which is evil. "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). God gives spiritual meat to His Church, not meat and bones."
REFUSING TO EXPOSE ERROR?
Satan's goal is to add to, subtract from, and twist God's Word. His goal is the destruction of the Gospel message. His craftiest method is using counterfeit leaders in the Church, many of whom profess to be bring new revelation, angelic messages and the like. God warns against such things! (2 Cor. 11:1-4, 13-15; Gal. 1:9-11). As long as pastors refuse to publicly warn about false teachers and current deceptions in the church, false converts will be produced and apostasy will continue to grow. Furthermore, as long as pastors refuse to publicly separate from church leaders who willingly work together with those who are ecumenical compromisers, the Church will wallow in confusion. Ecumenism is one of Satan's greatest deluding influences. Marching arm-in-arm in the name of "Jesus" with people who profess to be Christians, yet who refuse to expose and rebuke ecumenical error is not only unbiblical, it is delusional.
THE BIBLICAL STANDARD
The biblical standard for pastoral leadership begins and ends with sound doctrine. The Apostle Paul reminded his young protégé Timothy, "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do" (1 Tim. 1:3-4). No other doctrine than biblical revelation as is found in Scripture, that is God's standard!
Paul also commanded, "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme" (1 Tim. 1:18-20). Shipwrecking the faith of believers? Yes! In fact, in our age the 'Hymenaeus and Alexander effect' runs rampant.
We continue to receive e-mails, phone calls and hand written letters from people asking us about where they can find a good church home. These requests have happened regularly for years now. In writing this I am reminded of my visit to Romania several years ago. When I was there I learned that many cults have destroyed Christian churches throughout Romania, leaving true Bible believers in shambles because their pastors had never effectively taught them how to discern and avoid spiritual deception and false teachers. Sadly, the same thing is happening all over the world today.
Just this week I received two more requests from people desperately seeking to find sound Bible teaching in balanced Christian churches. I spoke to one person on the telephone for an hour. This person lives in a village in Northern Scotland. I had met some of this individual's friends when I had visited there ten years ago. Ten years after I visit the outskirts of Aberdeen, someone 6,000 miles away contacts me and asks if I know of a good church fellowship near them? Amazing!
As an encouragement to believers in Christ who are in desperate need of fellowship, I want to encourage you to find like-minded believers in your sphere of life and circumstances. Proactively get to know them and do what Acts 2:42 says. This is what committed Christians have done throughout the ages, whether they had a "church" to go to or not! "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).
With thanks for your prayers and support.
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - APRIL 2013
SUFFERING FOR CHRIST: A gift and privilege often overlooked
"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake" - Philippians 1:29
I live, eat and breathe that I may glorify Jesus Christ and help others come to know Him. Day-by-day Jesus gives me strength and joy, even in the hard seasons of life. Waking up as the sun shines through my skylight, I look forward to how I can do my part in helping others become rooted and grounded in God's love, in God's truth and in God's ways. I don't care if people get upset about my firm beliefs in the Word of God, for I stand upon the Rock of the Living Word of Jesus Christ - the resurrected King of the Jews! He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and I glory in that fact - He said He would rise from the dead and He did! He has saved me from the penalty for my sins - His just wrath that I deserve to suffer forever in everlasting hellfire. Christ has had mercy on me! I am a Christian not because of what I do for God, but because of what Christ did for me, for you - for all of us! Yes, there has been opposition against my faith since I surrendered to Christ in 1989, when I was "made alive in Christ." But so what, this is part of the normal Christian life. The Bible teaches, "[I]t is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake" (Philippians 1:29, KJV). As you read the following, know that my words are not a pity party. Rather, I am writing to express my triumphing in life through Jesus Christ.
For the cause of Christ I've endured being spit on, screamed at, blasphemously assaulted, physically attacked and savagely bitten. Regarding being bitten, I waited for medical test results for six months to find out if I had been infected with HIV and Hepatitis. Thankfully I wasn't. Since 2003 a scar from that once gaping, oozing, contusion on my left forearm has served as a constant reminder that I will be hated and mocked as a Christian. It's also a reminder that there is a demonic realm that wants to destroy humanity! The man that bit me was a demon-possessed, cross-dressing, homosexual drug-addict. A month after I was attacked I shared the love of Christ and the Gospel with him and explained how he could be free from Satan's power and the demons within him. He resisted, tears streaming down his cheeks, locked in indecision. I've prayed for Mark's salvation off and on for ten years. May God free him from the demons.
Looking back over the years, I've lost several jobs for simply speaking the truth - because I would not lie when pressured to do so by two corrupt employers. I've been forsaken by comrades, lied to by church leaders, once left in the lurch in the mission field, and wrongly stripped of missions support. By God's grace I have learned how to endure financial hardship, overseas as well as in the USA. It's no big deal though, because as a Christian I serve a far greater and far more glorious cause than anything that could ever set me back. Like a fighter that gets knocked down and stands back up again, I am learning to be resilient, regardless of what happens. Nothing really surprises me anymore. I just keep getting back up on my feet. In numerous ways my family and I have experienced hostile forces of evil that have stood against us and our work in exposing evil. Buffeting, bruising, hardship, yes; but giving up, no, by God's grace a thousand times no! The Eternal God of Hope and Truth has enabled me to press on, and He alone deserves the credit and the glory for allowing me to triumph in life through Christ Tears, pain and weakness have all had their seasons in my life, but through them I have learned to rely on the Lord - not the arm of the flesh. The arm of the flesh does not work in the line of work I am involved in, nor will it ever.
Emotional grief, physical suffering, financial struggle, being betrayed and misunderstood, experiencing all of these things and more have helped me see understand more clearly what Paul the Apostle and Christians through the centuries have endured for the cause of Christ. My sufferings as a Christian are nothing compared to countless millions of others who have suffered for Christ's cause in this world. God somehow works it all out for His glory. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his" (Romans 8:28) Regardless of difficulties that we all face, all of us should seek to proclaim the Gospel, edify the Church, and contend earnestly for the Faith! This is the Christians clarion call!
Being harassed, punched and having my shoulder kicked half way out of its socket by evil spirits - because the familiar spirits from the Psychic medium next door didn't like us evangelizing - was indeed an eye-opener for my wife and I. Standing up against evil doctrines, satanic belief systems and false teachers destroying the Church of God does come at a price, and I am not talking about money. We are in a war! Unfortunately, many Christians nowadays, because of ease and laxness and listening to watered down teachings, don't even realize that Satan's minions are ferociously engaged against all Christians, and all humanity. (Ephesians 6:10-20) Demons hate the advance of the Gospel and Christians who assume that the forces of darkness are not going to give up their territory without a fight are clueless.
VICTORY THROUGH PERSECUTION
"Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." (Psalm 50:14-15)
"Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. (Luke 6:21)
"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:" (2 Timothy 2:12)
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" (2 Corinthians 4:17)
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)
"For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." (Romans 14:8)
"But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; (Hebrews 10:32)
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come...But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:1,10-13)
Through the many trials, little by little, I am becoming more like my Lord. So too, I am learning more about what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Corinthians12:10). In my zeal for God's truth, and in consideration of the hostile aggression that has been meted out against myself and many of my colleagues - for standing against deception in the Church and in the world - I realize that the source of all of my endurance comes from the wonderful power of God the Holy Spirit. It is the Lord of Life who is enabling me to believe and say,
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:11-13).
Perhaps you are struggling in your faith. If so, do not forget that this glorious fight for the truth of the Gospel and the purity of God's Church is worth every ounce of misfortune, trial and struggle that we and every other Christian through the ages has faced for standing true to God and His Word. We must not forget that our suffering as believers in Jesus Christ is not only a gift from God - it is a privilege! Yes, a gift and a privilege! Getting it right on this one is imperative! If we as Christians are not willing to learn the basic lessons of endurance for the cause of Christ, we will never be able to stand firm in the face of brutal persecution. Here is what the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, has revealed about the gift of suffering for Christ.
"Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons...Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me." (Philippians 1:1,27-30).
It is time for "comfortable" Christians to seriously understand that the contemporary Prosperity, Health and Wealth Gospel is a destructive Word Faith teaching that turns biblical Christianity upside down. Suffering for the righteous cause of Christ is part of biblical Christian living. As time rolls on things in our world will continue to get worse for Christians. Remember, this world is not our home, heaven is. God says,
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12).
Altogether, it is no big deal if people hurl insults, rocks or even bullets and bombs at us for standing up for the truth of Jesus Christ. False religions, cults, the forces of darkness and a Christ rejecting world will continuing doing what they do. Our job as Christians is to love as Christ loved, proclaim His Gospel and give glory to God.
In the final estimation of things, we are to love our enemies and pray for them, that they too may be saved from the day of wrath that Jesus said would come (Revelation 4-18).
Praying that you stand firm in Christ,
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - MAY 2013
THE NARROW AND WIDE GATES: The decisions humans make
"He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." - Deuteronomy 32:4
Each day we make an endless round of decisions, second-by-second, minute-by-minute. Hours, days, weeks, months and years all seem to just fly by. Growing older, we consider life, and death. We attend more funerals and memorials and we think about being young again, or at least feeling young again. Through the aging process, we watch family and friends meet eternity head on. We will all have our own turn.
Somehow, the older we get, the faster time seems to go by. Our entire lives revolve around personal decisions, and sometimes, the unfortunate decisions of others. When bad decisions are made, whether they be ours or someone else's, no one can slow time down or turn the clock back. Tragic accidents happen, folly is perpetuated, and spiritual deception versus biblical truth is reality. Choices!
So how do we fare? What are we doing with our "time" each day? How does our "Worldview" affect our daily life and decisions? What is most important to us? Do we really believe in heaven and hell? Simple questions these are, and for each individual, the answers are different and often very profound.
Consider these personalities (Time Magazine covers) - Satan (Lucifer), Carroll, Jim, David, Ron, Shoko and Herff? They made some serious decisions, some seriously wrong decisions! Each of their spiritual beliefs determined their eternity. Like them, those captivated by renegade cults, abusive churches, flowery New Age ideas of ones own "personal divinity," and a million other deceptions, have embraced false teachings and irrational thinking. Wholeheartedly deceived, their minds stop short of believing the truth; they cannot do so, for they are stuck in neutral, spiritually blinded by the god of this age (John 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 6:10-20). Proclaiming lies and believing lies, they reject historical data, factual evidence, rational thinking, and even basic common sense. People of this sort are doing this today, virtually throwing their minds out of the window. In the occupation I am in, I see this process and the bad fruit of it all the time. It is grievous to see people, like blind sheep, following one another over the edge of a steep spiritual cliff. Like sheep, humans are capable of incredible delusion too!
QUICKSAND AND KOOL AID
Many people like to collect rocks, and as far as I know, most people like to drink uncontaminated water. But what happens if the rock one is standing on is crumbling sandstone, or a top layer of congealed quicksand? And what if the water one is drinking while standing on the congealed landscape contains four parts per billion Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB's)? Standing on quicksand drinking poisonous water is not an ideal situation. Quicksand sinks and PCB's are synthetic chemicals that are useful, but highly toxic. PCB's kill worms, fish, birds, and humans too. This sounds sort of like the scenario "Brother" Jim Jones (Peoples Temple, Guyana) provided as he offered his allegiant followers the choice of arsenic spiked Kool Aid or the cold muzzle of a gun. Himself included, Jim Jones led 918 people, including 276 children, to their deaths (1974, Jonestown). Big Jim was into big recruitment, big "faith healing" and of course, big money. Like Jim Jones' heresies, false teachers are a dime a dozen.
NARROW AND WIDE GATES
Simply put, one must be aware of what one is consuming, physically and spiritually. One must also be aware of what he/she is believing, as far as personal beliefs about God and eternity. Is the belief true? Is there credible evidence for it? Jesus Christ Himself was very clear that the gate to eternal life is narrow, and that we are to watch out for spiritual deceivers. We would do well to heed Jesus' words:
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:13-14).
TRUE AND FALSE PROPHETS
Equal to the task of identifying false teachers outside the church, is identifying and exposing false teachers inside the Church (Rom. 16:17-19; Gal. 1:6-9; I & II Tim.; Titus, etc). This is what is needed more than ever, and this is part of the daily decision making process of truly serving the LORD - discerning between good and evil!
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (Matt. 7:15-16)
The past few months have been extremely busy with an endless string of tasks. Although we reestablished our ministry in California a few years ago, our lifestyle is much like it was when we lived in Scotland. Meeting with people, Bible studies, family sporting events, my wife working at a local store, periodic counseling, writing and editing, website maintenance, correspondence, and some surf sessions in the freezing cold ocean every now and then.
My wife keeps busy working part time and taking care of us all. Our kids are healthy, active and achieving outstanding grades. I am working through bad sleep issues, foot pain, and the usual issues with my injured back. Altogether, we are joyful in the LORD and trusting Him. We do need more monthly donor support as we are now in full swing as a ministry family with growing teenagers. Our funds are very limited, my wife and I both need dental work, and I need to have surgery in a few months. We pray for God's provision and wait on Him.
SPIRITUAL RESEARCH NETWORK
We continue to make headway with SRN and over the last few weeks I have received some very important phone calls; calls from people who were literally on the edge of their sanity because of corrupt ministers literally destroying more than just a few lives (rape, pedophilia, authority abuses, etc.) At times the phone counseling leaves me very exhausted, but we help where we can. I primarily try to point people back to the LORD and His Word, and put this into a very practical context. Helping people simply get on track with a normal and balanced lifestyle, apart from "church abuse mayhem" is greatly needed today. Many people who have called in the past have been reeling in agony from horrible church experiences. We do have plenty of material on our website to help people with numerous issues. I am now beginning to work more on material to help people who are being ruined by Yoga, Reiki, "Centering prayer," seances, Ouija Boards and a whole host of other dangerous practices that are wrongfully being "Christianized." It is amazing to see the delusion people are into these days.
One of the saddest things I've seen in years is a whole host of local Christian pastors embracing Contemplative Spirituality (New Age / New Spirituality) in varying levels, and being "ecumenical" (unbiblical ecumenism) with Word Faith prosperity gospel pastors. Some of them are even into the lunacy oriented hyper-faith churches (lying signs and wonders). Others have joined with the liberal, ecumenical Roman Catholic campus ministries. Churches I never dreamed would embrace this stuff, have and are! Several of the pastors positively quote from aberrant and known false teachers, striking up "dialogue" to gain hits on their blog and Facebook pages. Strange! Apparently confusing sincere Christians in the churches these men pastor doesn't seem to bother them.
POINTING PEOPLE TO GOD'S WORD
People contact us in disgust over these things and we simply try to point them back to God's Word, and what to do about the lack of discernment in the church(es) they attend. Generally speaking, the pastors do nothing about publicly repenting when they are confronted by people in their churches. It is unfortunate that so many people just get bulldozed by leaders. Repeatedly seeing no change, the people leave. Amazingly, another local pastor has allowed a hardcore ecumenical/contemplative college student to launch a two-year contemplative "School of Jesus" Apprentice Series program - for the college students. The dangers of courses like this are that they have the capacity to literally undo a biblical Christian's personal faith and replace it with New Age, mystical, yogic meditation techniques, mantras (phrases/words), lectio divina practices, Ignatian spirituality (Jesuit), etc. The outcome is a false Christianity based on "experience," more than the clear teachings of the Word of God. This is one example among many that we see on a regular basis.
Please pray for us as we continue to help many who are in need of even the most basic Christian teachings.
Please pray and consider becoming a monthly donor if our ministry has been a help to you.
With sincere thanks in the LORD!
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - JUNE 2013
YOUR LAST BREATH ON EARTH: The final moments before and after
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." - Daniel 12:2-3
Something to consider!
Every individuals belief about God will one day be personally revealed, completely. Scripture says, "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27). Countless millions have already come face-to-face with God. The Bible declares that God is the Eternal Living Creator and the Righteous Judge of the universe. We have each been given the gift of life by God, and each of us is personally accountable to God Himself, for our thoughts, deeds, words and actions. God alone knows when each of us will take our final breath, this side of eternity.
WAKING UP ON THE OTHER SIDE
When a person dies, they wake up, so-to-speak, on the other side of eternity. Have you ever wondered what it will be like when you "wake up" on the other side. What will your initial thoughts be the moment after your last breath? For the true biblical Christian, one will immediately be in the presence of the LORD (2 Corinthians 5:6). For those who die without Christ, their immediate thoughts are perhaps, "Oh no, I was wrong, I rejected Jesus Christ!" According to the Bible, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Psalm 14:1-7). Who is God? Jesus Himself declared unto hardhearted humanity, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was [sprang into existence], I am [Eternal God]." (John 8:58). Jesus also declared unto them, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he [Eternal God], ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24). Those that reject Messiah Jesus and His way of salvation will simply find out too late that they have subscribed themselves to the ultimate horror - eternal damnation.
FOR MANY IT IS ALREADY TO LATE
Sadly, countless millions of people have already chosen to be separated from the loving Creator, forever. They have only to face an eternity of shame and everlasting contempt. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:2-3).
The Bible teaches that the ones that love God will immediately rejoice in the presence of their Savior, Whom they trusted in, relied upon, and rejoiced over in this life; for salvation from sin, salvation from Satan's power, salvation from "the second death," and salvation from eternal banishment from the All-Holy, All-loving and All-righteous God. Those that truly love and serve God know Him personally, and recognize His proven character. "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." (Deuteronomy 32:4).
TO MOCK GOD OR TO PRAISE HIM
Ultimately, a human's thought life conforms to his or her spiritual beliefs, about God, about the universe and about where one will go when they die. In consideration of such things one would do well to remember what happened when the rain drops began to fall upon the mockers that used their last breaths to mock Noah, who was God's mouthpiece for that generation.
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days." (Genesis 7:11-24).
A DIFFERENT AGE, THE SAME PROBLEM
Today humanity faces the same problem that has plagued the ages. The sins of unbelief in God's promises and the rejection of Jesus Christ hinder the injunction, "[l]et every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." (Psalm 150:6). The nations rage against Jesus, God's Anointed (Psalm 2) mockers mock Him (2 Peter 3), apostate ecumenical Christianity misrepresents Him (Revelation 3:14-22), and the world looks on in disbelief as compromised Christianity embraces theistic evolution, false prophets, Eastern mysticism and New Age/occult practices. The real question today is, "Where will we each be spiritually, when we breathe our last breath on earth?"
THE DAY IS COMING!!!
"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:8-12)
Much good has transpired recently! We continue to do what we can to help those around us, and on the internet too. As always, we thank you for your continued support so that we can do what we do best.
Apart from ministry, the past few months have been especially difficult for me as I have been facing challenges pertaining to my physical health. Ever since I injured my back a couple years ago my body just has not been the same. On some of my early morning Bible study days in San Luis Obispo, it takes me a full two days to recover from simply getting up extra early on Wednesdays. I generally sleep horrible, and on top of this I have had a number of very difficult days where I have experienced extended exhaustion - for days! I am somewhat mystified as I have not added extra work to our schedule. Also, over the past two months I have been experiencing much pain in my feet and added pain in my lower lumbar area. My overall physical stamina has reduced dramatically the past couple months and recently I was even relegated to using a walking stick because my feet hurt so much. I am currently scheduled to see two doctors in July, and I sure have a blood test to.
Coupled with financial struggles and the ever present resistance from many Christians to simply hear what ministries like ours have to say about the growing apostasy in the Church, the emotional side of things has been hard. Too many people just don't even seem to care what is going on in the church. Listening to "popular Christianity" is far more appealing to the masses these days.
My family and I press on day-to-day and the Lord continues to carry us through the good days and hard days of ministry life. We are very blessed as a family and we rejoice that we are able to raise our kids and spend the time with them that we do. They are healthy and strong, full of life and enjoying the ocean more now too (Jr. Lifeguards, surfing, etc).
Currently my wife and I have been looking into other means of making a living in order to provide more for our family and ministry. My wife has been considering a new occupation and I have asked a few employers in town for work, yet nothing has transpired. We wait on the Lord and trust that He will guide us as we seek to help His people, share His gospel with those around us, and expose deception in the Church. Please do pass on our newsletters to others whom you think may be interested in our work. We will continue on with Spiritual Research Network as well as serving as missionaries with WIN International.
Lastly, in early July we will have a NEW PRINT BOOKLET TRACT published, entitled YOGA and Christianity – Are They Compatible? This new booklet will be available through Lighthouse Trails Publishers. (Click here)
Thank you for your prayers and support!
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - JULY 2013
JULY 2013 SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Yoga And Christianity - Are They Compatible?
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [demons]" - 1 Timothy 4:1
As previously mentioned in last months update, our newly published booklet is now available through Lighthouse Trails Publishers. The following is an excerpt from the booklet (Read entire article/purchase).
YOGA AND CHRISTIANITY –
Are They Compatible?
By Chris Lawson
Western Culture Embraces Yoga
It is no secret that Yoga is taking Western civilization by storm. In just a little over a hundred years, a mystical revolution has occurred that millions of Westerners have wholeheartedly embraced.
Amazingly, the Western Judeo-Christian view is in the process of a paradigm shift toward the same perspective as yogic India.
To illustrate the magnitude of the Yoga explosion, consider Yoga Journal's "Yoga in America Study 2012." This study reveals some incredible statistics:
• 20.4 million Americans practice Yoga, compared to 15.8 million from the previous 2008 study.
• Practitioners spend $10.3 billion a year on Yoga classes and products. The previous estimate from the 2008 study was $5.7 billion.
• Of current non-practitioners, 44.4 percent of Americans call themselves "aspirational yogis"—people who are interested in trying Yoga.1
Yoga (or Yogic spirituality) is influencing Christians and non-Christians alike. It only takes 0.27 seconds to come up with over 411,000,000 results for Yoga on Google's search engine. When searching Amazon.com's "All" category for Yoga, one quickly comes up with a staggering 143,081 results. That's just within Amazon.Com. If one searches for book titles only on Amazon.com, the search yields 26,316. Certainly, the influence of Yoga can be found almost everywhere. In Time Magazine's book, Alternative Medicine: Your Guide to Stress Relief, Healing, Nutrition, and More, it states:
Hard to believe now, but yoga was once considered heretical, and even dangerous. As recently as a century ago, yogis in America were viewed with suspicion; some were actually thrown in jail. Today, though, most gyms offer it, many public schools teach it, and a growing number of doctors prescribe it . . . It may have taken 5,000 years, but yoga has arrived.2
Just What is Yoga?
No doubt, many, probably most, of the millions of Westerners who practice postural Yoga have never read a simple definition of what Yoga really is. Below, I have presented a small selection of definitions of Yoga. While there are countless descriptions on the Internet and in libraries, the definitions I have chosen are an accurate overall representation of the meaning of Yoga.
According to Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, yoga is essentially: "a practice involving intense and complete concentration upon something, especially deity, in order to establish identity of consciousness with the object of concentration; it is a mystic and ascetic practice, usually involving the discipline of prescribed postures, controlled breathing, etc."3
The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary adds: "a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation."4
Cyndi Lee, expert yogi and writer for Yoga Journal, defines Yoga as such:
The word yoga, from the Sanskrit* word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as "union" . . . The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago.
The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).5
Goutam Paul, author of Bhagavad Gita: The Ultimate Science of Yoga states:
When we talk about linking or connection, an obvious question arises: to connect what with what? The very word "connection" implies that there must be two different entities separated from one another, and they need to be connected. The ancient Vedic* text Bhagavad Gita explains that these entities are the individual consciousness and the universal Supreme consciousness. Some may call this universal consciousness an all-pervading energy, whereas most theists consider this Supreme consciousness to be God. . . . The purpose of Yoga is to connect the individual energy with the universal energy, or put another way, to connect the individual being to its source—the Supreme Being.6
One large online archive of New Age, occult, and mysticism-oriented literature states:
The ancient Yogis recognised long ago that in order to accomplish the highest stage of yoga, which is the realisation of the self, or God consciousness, a healthy physical body is essential. For when we are sick, our attention is seldom free enough to contemplate the larger reality, or to muster the energy for practice...
The roots of Yoga can be traced back roughly 5,000 years to the Indus Valley civilization. . . . According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the ultimate aim of Yoga is to reach "Kaivalya" (freedom). This is the experience of one's innermost being or "soul" (the Purusa). When this level of awareness is achieved, one becomes free of the chains of cause and effect (Karma) which bound us to continual reincarnation.7
The Index of Cults and New Religions lists the different types of yoga:
Karma Yoga (spiritual union through correct conduct)
Bhakti Yoga (spiritual union through devotion to a Guru)
Juana Yoga (spiritual union through hidden knowledge)
Raja Yoga (spiritual union through mental control)
Hatha Yoga (spiritual union through body control/meditation)
Kundalini Yoga (spiritual union through focusing inner energy)
Tantra Yoga (spiritual union through sexual practices)8
Swami Nirmalananda Giri of the Atma Jvoti Ashram, answering the question to "What is Yoga?" states:
What do we join through yoga? Two eternal beings: God, the Infinite Being, and the individual spirit that is finite being. In essence they are one, and according to yogic philosophy all spirits originally dwelt in consciousness of that oneness.9
The Concise Dictionary of the Occult and New Age describes how Yoga is done:
Typical exercises, such as those found in hatha yoga, are practiced under the tutelage of a guru or yogi, a personal religious guide and spiritual teacher. Gurus teach students to combine a variety of breathing techniques with asanas, or relaxation postures. In each of the postures, students must first enter the position, then maintain it for a certain length of time, and finally leave it.10
This dictionary further states that people in the West have mistaken yoga to be "mere breathing and relaxation exercises," when in reality "[t]he practice of yoga serves as a gateway to Eastern mysticism and occult thinking."11 It adds:
Certain postures, such as the lotus position, are taken to activate the psychic energy centers [the chakras]. And specific breathing exercises are practiced to infuse the soul with cosmic energy floating in the air. A guru might have students gaze at a single object, such as a candle, to develop and focus concentration. The guru might have them chant a mantra to clear their minds and become one with the object in front of them. The goal is to achieve increasingly higher meditative states until reaching oneness with the cosmic consciousness.12
Understanding the Meaning of "Occult"
The word "occult" comes from the Latin occultus or "hidden," and those who employ the term generally do so in an attempt to describe secret and mysterious supernatural powers or magical (magick) religious rituals.
Throughout history, there have been those who attempted to gain supernatural power or knowledge through occult means. Occultism also can generally refer to witchcraft, Satanism, neo-paganism, or any of the various forms of psychic discernment such as astrology, séances, palm reading, and a myriad of other spiritual methodologies for contact with the spirit world. The term occult is often interchangeable with the term metaphysics—these terms share the belief that there is a universal energy (e.g., Chi, Prana, Ki, etc.) that exists in all things. By engaging in the occult (i.e., metaphysical arts), this energy is awakened. Yoga in all its forms is simply one spiritual genre among many designed to induce practitioners into altered states, thereby gaining access into the world of occult spirituality.
1. "Yoga in America Study 2012" (Yoga Journal, http://www.yogajournal.com/press/yoga_in_america.
2. Lesley Alderman, "Bend and Be Well," Alternative Medicine: Your Guide to Stress Relief, Healing, Nutrition, and More (New York, NY: TIME Books, 2012), p.62.
3. Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, Unabridged, 2nd ed., Deluxe Color 1955, 1983), p. 2120.
6. Goutam Paul, Bhagavad Gita: The Ultimate Science of Yoga (http://www.cs.albany.edu/~goutam/ScYogaCamera.pdf).
10. Debra Lardie, contributing editors Dan Lioy and Paul Ingram, Concise Dictionary of the Occult and New Age (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2000), pp. 288-289.
To order copies please visit Lighthouse Trails Publishing.
Yoga and Christianity Booklet
$1.95 (LT Price)
Quantity discounts are available
18 pages | 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Printed, bound on high quality paper
Thank you for your prayers and considering our personal and ministry support needs.
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - AUGUST 2013
TEACH NO OTHER DOCTRINE: Something every Christian should understand
"As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine..." - 1 Timothy 1: 3
The principle of biblical separation can be found throughout the entirety of Scripture. What is biblical separation? Simply stated, the faithful believer in Messiah Jesus is to separate from that which God considers to be evil, i.e., false teaching, false teachers, immorality, etc. The following is just one of many Scriptures that gives clear instruction on this for Christians:
"As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do." (1 Timothy 1:3-4, KJV).
Found in the very beginning of Paul's first pastoral epistle to Timothy, Paul reminds Timothy of a previous command that he gave him, that Timothy should command some that "they teach no other doctrine." Paul also reminded Timothy that Christians should not "give heed to" any type of teaching that could lead to questioning and confusion, rather than godly edification.
It is believed by many that First Timothy was written after Paul's first imprisonment, and that second Timothy was penned while Paul was again in prison, just before he was killed by Rome's Christian persecuting Emperor, Nero. Regarding the "fables and endless genealogies" that Paul was referring to, these are generally thought to be rabbinical traditions that ran contrary to Scripture. The church at Ephesus that Timothy was pastoring was not only centered in a Gentile (Greek) city rife with paganism (Acts 19:11-40), it was also a place where non-Christian Jews opposed Paul (Acts 19:8-10). Many of the Gentile converts to Christ in Ephesus had come out of backgrounds steeped in evolutionary philosophy, occult magic arts, and the worship of the pagan nature goddess Diana, otherwise known as "Artemis of the Ephesians" (Acts 19:23-41). Much like the Mormon church today that is steeped in a never ending quest for "genealogies" (so they can baptize the dead by "proxy"), Greek pagan culture was infused with its own brand of "endless genealogies." Whether it was Jewish legalism or the pagan genealogical evolutionism that was corrupting the young Christians in Ephesus, Paul's command was to stay away from spiritual error - to not give heed to it and to reject it. Paul, like God, expected the believing Church in Ephesus to "teach no other doctrine" other than what Paul as God's representative had already instructed them.
The biblical standard is to teach God's truth and reject error and false teaching, the two go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, Neo-Evangelicalism and apostate Western Christendom has for decades now been giving heed to spiritual error in every form. In doing so "a new kind of Christianity" has been manufactured. It appears that the very starting point of biblical pastoral leadership - separation from spiritual error - has been cast to the wayside. Apostate 21st century Christianity, with its technology, endless supplies of print and digital media, its distribution outlets, television programs, ecumenical mass evangelism campaigns and so much more, is entirely ignorant of the principle of separating from false teachers within the Church. Paul also instructed the Church in Galatia, Rome, etc., on this:
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Romans 16:17-18, KJV).
One simply has to wonder, "Why do so many church leaders not understand or implement Bible verses like this?" I personally believe the main reason is due to biblical ignorance, passive indifference and the carnal desire to remain "popular," instead of obedient to Jesus. Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23). Paul warned the Church at Ephesus for three years, "day and night," and "with tears."
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." (Acts 20:28-31).
One of the direct consequences today of not separating from pagan New Age error is the insidious leavening of the Church by dangerous teachings, including but not limited to New Age/occult evolutionary pantheism, panentheism and "theistic evolution." Yes many Christian leaders separate from various world religions and well-known New Age, apocalyptic and pseudo-Christian cults, but a vast number of them have un-discerningly embraced Hindu, Buddhist, Yoga, and other Eastern mysticism based methods of contemplative "centering" prayer. New Age practices cloaked in biblical terminology have flooded the Church by way of the mystical "New Age Christian" teachings syncretized by Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, William Menninger, Thomas Keating and others. These men gleaned from the Hindu and Buddhist occult prayer techniques from the East that are identical to the methodology used by many "Christian Mystics." (See also, Raja Yoga, Transcendental Meditation (TM), breath prayers, Theosophical/occult concentration, meditation, and contemplation, creative visualization, etc.) Now hailed as great "spiritual directors," these men are looked to as spiritual "guides" for the Church. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Incredibly, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, Philip St. Romain, Tony Campolo, Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, Eugene Peterson, Robert Schuller, Leonard Sweet, Ruth Haley Barton, Sue Monk Kidd, Beth Moore and a whole host of others have helped spread the dangerous method of contemplative "centering" prayer across the world.
In similar manner to how the early church was being polluted and deceived by false teachers through their cunning craftiness, most Christian colleges, bookstores and even churches are no longer safe places to visit if one is seeking sound biblical instruction. Christian maturity does not begin with "chewing the (spiritual) meat and spitting out the bones" like so many pastors quip. It begins with sound doctrine taught straight from the Bible, with consistent refutations of false teachings, and with public reproof of false teachers.
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:14-16, KJV).
Talking about "love," "prayer" and "intimacy with God" means nothing unless these things are defined biblically and in context of how God defines them. If not, one may very well end up like the Christians in Paul's day who were confused and deceived, and like so many in our own day that are influenced by false teachers, off-base pastors and fad-driven, pop-culture Christian literature. Those that truly love the Lord will "speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1, NASB), and remember to "teach no other doctrine." (1 Timothy 1:3, KJV).
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (1 Timothy 4:16, KJV).
"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;" (1 Timothy 6:3, KJV).
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (2 John 1:9, KJV).
As previously mentioned in last months update, our newly published booklet is now available through Lighthouse Trails Publishing at www.lighthousetrails.com.Yoga and Christianity Booklet
NEW PRINT BOOKLET TRACT:
Yoga and Christianity - Are They Compatible? (Read)
By: Chris Lawson
$1.95 (LT Price)
Quantity discounts are available at Lighthouse Trails Publishing
18 pages | 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Printed, bound on high quality paper
We have also now reconvened our two study groups after a small summer break the past couple weeks. We are continuing through the book of Revelation and also through our in-depth look at the Letters to the Seven Churches, Revelation 2-3.
- Relief from back/foot pain issues
- Restful sleep
- Complete occupational training (wife)
- Audio/DVD production
- Concentration in writing/editing
- New fitness/rehab program
- More regular monthly donors
- Dental work (for family)
- More economical used truck or SUV
- Travel expenses (DVD project)
- Web hosting/graphic design
Thank you for your prayers and considering our personal and ministry support needs.
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - SEPTEMBER 2013
READER RESPONSES: Encouraging letters from our Readers and Sponsors
"For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." - Philippians 4:11b
Thank you for your responses!
I want to sincerely thank everyone who was able to respond to my e-mail a few weeks ago. I apologize for my lateness with this current update, as my physical infirmities have set me back again to some degree. I keep pressing onward regardless of my situation, and the Lord has blessed me in the midst of the "up's and down's." It's just all part of the work, and I am learning to accept it for what it is. Over the last two months I have received numerous treatments for my feet (plantar fasciitis, and heel spur), and I recently had surgery on my right arm. I am now back to writing and editing again and working through correspondence.
Regarding the kind responses that many of you recently sent back to me, all of them are a blessing to read and they are an encouragement to my family and I. I am grateful to have been able to help so many of you, to some degree or another, and I really do appreciate your encouraging words and Thank-you letters. Often times it is thank you letters and encouraging notes to "press on" and "keep going" that literally help me to do just this - press on and keep going. Amidst the ongoing physical struggles that have been a hindrance to me the past few years, your support and responses have been a source of refreshment and continued reminders that my day-to-day work is making a difference in the loves of others. Thank you to all who have written to me/us, and for praying for us if you have.
THE BLESSING OF HELPING OTHERS
Over the last few weeks I have slowly sifted through a couple thousand e-mails from the past few years, reading many of the responses that have been sent back to me as I have sought to answer many enquiries. Reading many of the responses and e-mail chains that I have worked through has been a reminder to me that much of my work/ministry has been behind the scenes, to individuals, out of public view. With hindsight, I see that perhaps I ought to have been posting my responses (with total anonymity for those who have written to me) so as to be able help many more people who have asked the same, and similar questions. Nonetheless, many people have been encouraged, and I have been blessed in the process of helping so many.
CONTENTMENT IN THE LORD
More recently, the two children that I said would be encouraged (through your recent responses to me) are our own two children. Our kids, along with my wife and I, continue to learn the value of being content, in any and every situation. Your kind letters have helped our kids (and us adults too) to rejoice in the Lord, and to remember daily that God is faithful in every way. God's Word reminds us so clearly of what Paul the Apostle learned, through his own "up's and down's," in life and ministry:
"But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction." (Philippians 4:10-13)
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTNERSHIP
Thank you to all of you who have been able to partner with us as we seek to do the Lord's work, truly you have helped us proclaim the Lord's Gospel and encourage biblical discernment. Your prayers, financial help and kind responses are always appreciated.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit." (Philippians 4:23)
Sincerely in Christ,
- Chris Lawson
The following letters are responses to my e-Letter entitled "Something Different."
You guys changed our lives in countless ways...gave us encouragement to stand firm in the truth when we were confused about what was truth and what was lies. You gave us fellowship when we were lonely...supported us over the birth of our twins...gave our kids fellowship and playmates through [Lawson kids]. You have generously given us literature to exhort us on subjects we didn't understand. When I think back...the zeal you guys have...such a blessing. [Your wife] also helped me through post-natal depression, singing and sharing. She recognized and exhorted me to use the spiritual gifting God gave me. During the Todd Bentley heresies your website [exposing them] was especially invaluable. Love as always in Him, IG (Scotland)
I have been so blessed
to have received current information about the apostasy that is taking place in many of the Evangelical churches for the past 10 years and longer! From the research that Chris has provided I am able to keep up with everything that has been going on. This information is not commonly shared and I am so thankful that I have access to the latest research. AB (CA)
Your tenacity in sharing the truth of the gospel with our dying world reminds me to do the same - to never throw in the towel no matter how much vitriol society hurls at me! Thank you. MS (e-mail)
You sent me a particular website to check on the various ministries and I use it all the time. I had a particular instance of someone coming to my home and using it [home visits] as a platform for her particular beliefs. At first I was taken in but then started to question within myself, praying for guidance. I was asked to buy from Amazon £50 [worth] of Anna Mendez Ferrell's books because, as I was told, Anna was particularly spiritual. I looked Anna Mendez Ferrell up in the website you sent me and knew that my concerns were valid. Once I started to question openly, the person, after 2½ years, wrote to say 'Goodbye' and I haven't seen or heard from her since...Every time someone brings up a name, I check it out on the website and then I know what is truth and what is [a] lie. I really am grateful to you. Every blessing, MD (Scotland) [For more info on the false teachings and dangerous spiritistic influences of Ana Mendez Ferrell, see the excellent expose's at Mike Oppenheimer's Let Us Reason.Org, (Click Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5)
I was born in 1948
and Born Again by the precious blood of Jesus Christ in Sept., 1978. Having been brought up on the whole Word of God (KJV), including prophecy, and having experienced Satan's attempts to involve me in the occult before I was saved, I began to educate myself from a Christian perspective about the "New Age/occult practices" by reading "The Beautiful Side of Evil," "The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow," etc. Your ministry, Chris, has helped me understand and pray for people with whom I work who have received "another gospel." Many of them know a "Christ" or a "Jesus" who is nothing more than a familiar spirit/demon trying to counterfeit Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God...these people I know all believe in reincarnation, the universe as somehow actually being "God," they are actually "God" themselves and have the "divine spark" in them - "one is all/all is one" even taking the word "atonement" and blasphemously calling it "at-one-ment"! Unbelievable, but they're doing it! You have helped me have a fuller understanding of Yoga and the above - how they are all joined together - how the enemy has deftly woven the "church," Hinduism (Yoga, meditation/contemplative practices, etc.), Buddhism, and every other lying spirit into an ecumenical mess fully fit to become the Apostasy. Staying in and studying the Bible (KJV) every day under the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who indwells me, and reading your articles has helped me think about what it is they have believed and truly pray for these lost ones. They have given themselves over to dark forces in ways that are quite different than someone who is lost, but hasn't delved into the occult. I long to minister to the lost no matter who they are or what they have gotten themselves into. The Lord pulled me out of a horrible pit and set my feet on the Rock - Jesus Christ my God and Lord and His arm is not shortened that He cannot save! So, thank you Chris for your dedication and your family's dedication to the Lord. It was Lighthouse Trails (I believe) where I came upon your ministry. You have been pouring your life into this very needed work for the Lord and been a great help and blessing to me as I live to minister to others what He has done/is doing for me. I was so sorry to read about your back injury and the pain it has radiated even into your feet. I am praying for the Lord to uphold you and strengthen you by His mighty right hand and to supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus...May God have His perfect and complete will in your life and the lives of your family. Psalm 147:11 "The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy." Love in Christ Jesus the LORD, KM (e-mail)
I have been greatly helped
by your articles. I have not felt that I am crazy for believing the things the Lord has shown me. You have had articles that validated my beliefs and teachings. Thank you. AW (MS)
the fact that you are aware of the apostasy today and that we have comrades in common who are defenders of the faith was an encouragement to me, and the same experiences you had with a certain Church organization mimicked similar circumstances that I experienced. It gives me hope to know that there are people who really care about the True Gospel and are willing to pay the price for sharing the same. In Christ, HM (NY)
I was helped by your
spiritual abuse questionnaire, and encouraged that [your article validated that] what I was seeing in my church was a very unhealthy, worldly, sinful pattern of behavior. It helped me to know I was on the right track in standing up to it [against it] and that I was not alone. Just that can give someone courage to do what needs to be done to separate themselves from that sinful environment. P.S. you might want to add something called "Field Control Therapy" and Homeopathy to your 'dangerous practices' list. PC (e-mail)
the faithfulness shown by Chris both in his time overseas and with the ministry. Though challenges have certainly come, I have seen his heart is to serve his Lord and Savior. EN (OR)
A few years ago we were heavily involved with a Bible camp and in particular...We were intimate friends who knew each others families, backgrounds and thought we shared the same Biblical concepts, doctrines, etc. Over time we began to hear strange ideas which had no basis in Scripture and see unbiblical practices. The wife was into yoga (which I knew was wrong but chose to overlook) and then she became a Spiritual Guide. A chat with the husband was to no avail. My husband and I know what Biblical discernment is and watched as the slow drift came more into focus. It was an impossible situation as they were/are extremely popular in the region. Somehow I came across this website and called the number and spoke with Chris. He listened, but furthermore explained how wide-spread this deception is and assured me that he'd be praying for us. I was very grateful and began to feel that we were no longer "Lone Rangers" out here and that there was a listening ear to help us through this trauma of standing against friends' beliefs and practices and removing ourselves from the Bible camp. GN (e-mail)
I want to tell you thank you
for your articles, I especially enjoyed the one on our last breath here on earth and the first one in heaven [click here] as I have been thinking about that a lot myself lately, even before your article came out. Very encouraging, considering the times we live in. I am so sorry to hear of your health problems. We are under attack these days, physically, financially, mentally, so, I thank my Lord for your perseverance in the ministry through your pain and am praying for you and your family that He will provide all things for you. Thank you also for your article about yoga. I've been trying for years to tell friends and loved ones that there is no "Christian Yoga," and the harmful effects of it, spiritually speaking. Thanks again for all you do and be encouraged because people are listening!....I am 55 years old and have had a wonderful life in the Lord! I grew up being raised by my mother, who worked 2 full time jobs for over eight years, to support my sister and I. We didn't have a lot of material possessions, but we had love from her and the assurance that she would never leave us, like our earthly father did, or forsake us. It was hard, especially in Jr. and Sr. high school, when all our friends had beautiful homes, clothes, horses, two parents together as a family. You see these things and wish you could be a "normal" family. She taught us to be thankful in all things and to enjoy the things God created for us. Like picking strawberries and green beans and making a little extra pocket money. She would always say, "Thank you, Jesus!!" with her arms raised up for everything and now I find myself doing the same thing. I always had a longing that our dad would come back to us (he never did) and we could be a family. I tell my grandchildren now to be especially thankful that they have both parents who love them, living altogether as a family, when they wish for things unaffordable. After all, Jesus is coming soon, and we won't be taking anything with us!! Thank you, Jesus!!! I am praying for your family, in His name, KM (OR)
Your discernment has
encouraged me to share truths with others here at our retirement community. Your truthfulness and openness have encouraged me to know there are truly real believers 'out there'. JK (PA)
I use your website to
confirm what I am reading on other websites, pertaining to [exposing] false teachings, etc. That way when people think that one website is biased, I can point out several that are "like minded." Thank you for your ministry in this area. JM (e-mail)
I hope you are well. More than anything, your company as a committed Christian was the best thing I ever received from you. The world needs more people like you. You taught me a lot about the Bible and enlightened me to [about] the false teaching[s] of the Catholic Church. Best Wishes, AH (Central Scotland)
I say I stumbled upon
your SRN (Spiritual Research Network) site, but we know there are no accidents or coincidences in the kingdom of God, during a season when I was truly desiring confirmation of what the Holy Spirit had shared with me about [the dangers of] Yoga and Martial Arts. I know many sisters in Christ who have not had the discernment about the dangers of practicing "Christian Yoga." The Lord blessed me by leading me to a few of your videos and FaceBook page where I sent you a message seeking truth about the roots of both Yoga and Martial Arts. I had believed I had discerned they were both rooted in evil and was confident in that until so many brothers and sisters expressed how ridiculous I was. I stood firm in what I knew about Yoga but was starting to waiver in regards to Martial Arts. The power of God's word, expressed and shared by you, equipped me with the strength to stand firm during a time when spiritual warfare was towering over my church. I felt like the outsider, when truly I was informed and protected by God's Word. Many times the battle [against deception] is within the body of Christ and the lies of the enemy try to claw at us and keep us from sharing the truth by making us "feel" like we are estranged and alone in what are truly biblical teachings. I greatly appreciate how you not only answered my first message but actually "dialogued" with me for a short while; shining the light brighter and brighter and showing the love of Christ in a very personable manner. The depth of my discernment continues to grow and some friends continue to think I'm making something out of nothing. But I know my discernment is a blessing from God and having come into contact with your ministry has helped authenticate the reality of spiritual warfare the surrounds us. Your desire to dig deep has continued to inspire me about the importance of warning all that we can. Thank you Mr. Lawson for being a faithful servant to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. DF (e-mail) [To read about the dangers of Yoga and Martial Arts, please see the search engine(s) on our SRN website(s).]
I want to thank you for
your ministry and the research that you so faithfully do. I am from South Africa and yoga is also viewed as just an exercise by many Christians, where I live. Due to your articles, I could inform my daughter, who in turn informed others. Some of them were willing to listen and change their minds about this deceptive practice. Thank you very much. May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you and your family safe! A-M T (e-mail)
My wife and I just want to thank you, your wife and all those involved, for your ministry at SRN. The SRN website has been a wonderful place to find an abundance of trusted resources, many of which have helped us greatly in our walk with Christ. There are several books that you personally recommended to us which have dramatically improved our study of God's word and are helping to make us better Christians. We very much appreciate your prayers for us and are truly thankful for your videos and newsletters. Your ministry is helping us to better serve Christ and to accurately share the truths of God's word with others at perhaps the most critical time in church history. SRN continues to bless us abundantly in the ways that really count from an eternal perspective. Thank you again and may God richly bless you and yours! Love in Christ, J&D (IA)
Chris, greetings in Jesus,
I have been keeping up with you're ministry for the past few years. The Lord led me to do so as I was also involved with a Calvary Chapel that was practicing unbiblical leadership that eventually led to heavy shepherding. I was called by the Lord to point people to His leadership model in the scriptures and needless to say I was attacked by the unaccountable pastor as sowing discord and many other accusations that were just not true. During this time, I really had no one else but yourself, Roger Oakland and Jacob Prasch that I felt understood what was happening to me and my family as we were ostracized by the believers we had poured our hearts into. So we moved on and trusted the Lord and His word. That was three years ago and we are still walking with the Lord. He used this time to equip me and my family to be able to stand in these last days. The Lord used you and other faithful believers to teach us what was really going on and what His word has to say about it. I am forever thankful and I hope some day our paths cross on this side of eternity. Thank you dear brother for being faithful to you're calling. In His grace and truth. MT (e-mail)
for your encouragement brother! Keep on keeping on! "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25) The day is approaching fast! PC, (Scottish Highlands)
It is a privilege to be able to write to you and let you know how very much you and the ministry have meant to us. We are so grateful that your ministry has been there to validate all that we had been through. We have never met anyone in a ministry who was willing to correspond with us so patiently. You have really been a living witness of God's love. You are a true rarity. We wish we could clone you! We need you here! Additionally, we have sent links for your website to many of our friends who have had questions that were not addressed by their churches or other ministries. May God bless you many, many times over for your kindnesses to us. May He also bless your extraordinary wife and your beautiful children. You are all rare and precious in this day and age. B&J (TX)
Ministries such as your own
are needed more than ever as errors invade the church more and more. Thank you for making the tools available to help combat this - your articles and videos, etc. are most useful. ET (England)
I've always known you to be a kind, God loving person, who seeks to please God in everything that you do. In general, I've appreciated the study and writings you've done about Yoga [the dangers of] and Christianity, and other things. I wrote before, how I specifically benefited from the study you did on the highly negative aspects of the movie "The Golden Compass." I don't remember if I've specifically read in detail the information you've provided for Yoga and Christianity, but just knowing that it's there, and just reading the titles of the articles, or reading the emails you've sent, has made me more able to think about Yoga and Christianity, and the spiritual aspects of this issue, and the spiritual aspects of Christianity in general. To the point that, I had a relative who started a class for Yoga at a Community College, and I was able to say to her that I thought it wasn't right for a Christian to do it [Yoga], that there was a negative spiritual aspect going on. She dropped the class. Your ministry has helped me to think about things like that, and to pray, and to ask God for spiritual discernment and wisdom. You are a blessing, don't lose sight of that, both as a person, and everything that you do, and also in your ministry. Even though, overall, I don't know you that well, or I haven't seen you very recently, I remember you from the times we've had before at church, and on the mission field in London. You be blessed! God bless you, and protect you! May Jesus walk beside you, and bless you, and be with you! Also, I was thinking a couple of days ago of sending you an email to tell you I liked the pictures on the front of the monthly newsletters, and that I was wondering if they were from the central coast. Ok, I hope you're doing well, AP (CA)
[Thank you for your kind letter and your compliment on my 2013 newsletter cover photos. I took each photo as follows, at various times in my travels. January: Ardkinglas Woodland Garden (bridge crossing) Loch Fyne, Argyll, Western Scotland. February: Seeds in a tree at rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. March & April: Snowy trail in the village of Talmachiu, and local countryside in the Transylvannia foothills, Central Romania. May, June, July & August: Central Coast of California. September (this issue): One of my favorite places on earth, the countryside in East Lothian, Scotland.]
Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your efforts to obey the Lord and point out dangers within the Christian realm such as false teachings and occult practices that are creeping in from every side. I pray God would raise up more born again, spirit filled men like yourself who surrender all that they are to Christ alone and follow His word. We need such men if the 21st Century church isn't to become a hollow heap of apostasy. God bless you Chris. And I pray God will continue to lead you and keep you on the straight path with Him no matter what....Just want you to be encouraged brother. I know its hard when the family and, especially the kids don't have everything we would like to provide for them sometimes. I used to have similar questions from my daughters when they were younger about why we couldn't have nice vacations, or why they couldn't have all the things that some of their friends at school had. And it was hard at times feeling that you couldn't fulfill their dreams. I've worked hard since I was out of high school. I was saved when I was 16. I am in my fifties now and I think we only had four short vacations in all my years as a dad. I have only been outside of Canada three or four times for short trips through the north east U.S. when I lived in Ontario. And being a Christian who isn't afraid to show it, usually meant you get passed by on promotions and certain bonuses, and such, by your employers most times. Even if you are one of the most loyal, honest and steady workers. I know I heard a pastor say once that typically God's people don't have a lot of money or material possessions. And if they do, they usually share it with other Christians or those in need. So I know its hard. And the kid's find it difficult to understand (for now anyways). We live in a materialistic and twisted world that has no knowledge of the Lord and seldom wants to hear the truth. But we have to just keep doing what the Lord asks us to do. To speak and teach the truth, surrender our hearts and souls and all we are to Him, love Him with all our hearts, minds and strength, stay true to and love His word, and stay in close fellowship with Him and to reach the lost, and allow Him to work in our lives to change us more and more into His image. And if we follow His path, and what goes along with following His way, it is closely noted and watched and appreciated by our Father. And He is faithful in everything, and as He promised, we are building treasures for ourselves in heaven. I'm glad our treasure is not for the here and now (unlike [prosperity preacher] Benny Hinn...). Even though we do receive, His blessings, peace and joy while we are here. And these are treasures in themselves too. But there is going to be waiting for us amazing treasures that will be a blessing for all eternity. And the "treasures" he is storing up for us, will be far, far better then any temporal material treasures that we get in this dying world. The joy, the love and the thrill of being in heaven won't be a passing emotion either. As so many are here on earth. But, with Him, they will be from everlasting to everlasting, and grow more beautiful as the centuries roll by. Living in this world is very difficult. But all the signs are around us more and more, that we won't be here much longer. Hallelujah! God bless you Chris. Take courage. The Lord sees and watches you and knows your heart. And His heart longs to have you near and to bless you. I will be praying for you and your family... Psalms 28:7, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."....I can't help but speak about how faithful and patient God has been. We serve a truly awesome Savior! God has brought me through a lot. Usually because I have gotten into a spot because I have tried to operate in my own wisdom (or lack of it) and not sought God's direction enough. But He lets me learn my lessons and then in His mercy gets me back on track with Him. But other times I had no control over things. My dad was not a good father at all. I grew up in a very sinful and perverted neighborhood as a kid. It was God's mercy that kept me from getting dragged down into a life of alcoholism, or drug use or sexual sin. Which could have easily happened. But I still am awed at how He steered me away from all of that. And then later He saved me. I used to think I was a Christian before I was saved. But He showed me different. I wouldn't be here today without the love and faithfulness and overwhelming goodness of Jesus Christ. Like that old hymn says, "Hallelujah, what a Savior!" Take care Chris. PJ (Canada)
We miss you and your family...and I always LOVED and Enjoyed the Bible Studies at your home...It was much better / as good as going to any Church. We miss them and have not found one that can come close...We appreciate your ministry and what you do to further the gospel and expose the error in the churches today. Yours in Christ, R&L K (CA)
I figured that this was a parent/children situation. Over the course of 50 years of 'faith' living, some of it with no money, some of it with more than we need. As our kids were growing up, it was clear that my ministry was also with other people's kids. Namely, church kids...I had free reign so I taught the Word...I was also a classroom teacher so I sort of know how to get to them. One thing I did was give them memories. Some goofy, some fun, some not so. But I wanted them to remember if they should ever end up in a 'pig sty' some place—that home and the Lord was where to go. One of our [children], who lives in...has a husband with on/off again employment. It's been very tough financially. They live in an affluent area with kids doing everything under the sun including trips to China during vacation. They live in a big house with a pool and full basketball (purchased during his $$ days). They've done 'special' things, taking them to the Getty, to games, etc. and make a big deal out of it as a family. Their kids are 14 and 13. The boy plays baseball in a spring/summer city league and were dead last. His folks and aunts and uncles were praying for them and when it came to play offs, they swept the best team. Vengeance is in God's hands. They're both bright kids, and love playing cribbage with us when we go out there. It's what parents do in those moments that create the character. In the early days we used to have missionaries over for an occasional meal when they visited our church. Those missionaries were living in Ecuador and their kids had to come back to the US for educations in high school. We wanted to expose our kids to the realities of a life living for the Lord. We never let the kids feel sorry for their lack when my husband was gainfully unemployed and the severance had run out. A daughter had a wonderful and big wedding (I cleaned other people's houses, delivered flowers for Christmas $$), another went to college, and when I was diagnosed with TMJD mouth joint dysfunction and a daughter needing braces (husband was employed), we couldn't afford both. I wouldn't forgo her right to them and was very stubborn. After two years of this characteristic the company determined to pay for it as we had both dental and physical insurance and neither would cover my specialized care. God is good and supplies every need of ours according to His riches. We've lived a rich, harried, uncertain, Lord unfailing life. Our lives are filled with family miracles at the moment and retired life is good. It's just tough for kids at this age and what kids are surrounded with, but love conquers a whole bunch of wants and desires. I still sub in a local high school and there are kids of all kinds. It's the middle school stuff [day-to-day trials] that's awful. High schoolers tend to come together more and seem to shed their barriers. Take care and blessings to you and yours. GN (MN)
[The following letter has especially blessed our children, thank you JC for your kind words to our kids! - CNL ]
I just received a copy of an email you sent out from...about your poor kids and how they're feeling about your not so lucrative ministry!....I just wanted to say a few things to your kids, because first, I totally relate to how they're feeling and I think I know probably a bit about how you're feeling too!
To your children: I wanted to tell you both that I grew up in a Christian family that was relatively wealthy. My dad who was the son of a very poor pastor had gone into business and started his own company that was very successful. We had boats and airplanes and vacation homes, and it was truly a wonderful life!
When I got out of college I worked for a few years then I started my own company. And it did really well – up until a few years ago! It was about that time (2007) that I was starting to wake up and see that the pastor of the church I had gone to for nearly 20 years here in New York City was actually not teaching the solid Biblical Gospel that I thought he was but he was actually in very subtle ways teaching a false gospel. The more I came to see his twisted gospel, the more alarmed I became. I talked to the leadership of the church about it and I talked to the pastor himself. Once I became convinced that they were fully aware of what they were teaching and promoting and had no desire to stop – I knew I had to leave the church.
And you know what helped me to see that what my church was doing was wrong? It was ministries and websites just like your Dad's. No, I can't credit your Dad because I had never heard of him at the time – but it was other people who are doing the exact same thing your Dad is doing. And he of course reaches many people that they don't reach. All of these ministries are so vital to the church today – to wake up people like me!
After I left that church, I began to feel a gentle tug from God calling me to warn others of this deep and subtle apostasy – so they would not be led astray from the true Gospel given to us in the Bible. Each day I found myself spending more and more time on this – as I became less and less interested in the work of my business! That wasn't good for business to say the least. My business still survives, but it's just barely enough to pay all my bills each month. And nothing is left over for anything extra.
But each day I'm confronted with the reality – that the work I do for God has eternal consequences and will last forever. The work I do in my business doesn't have eternal consequences and won't last forever. Therefore, each day I'm confronted with a choice. Spend more and more time working for God and making less for myself, or spend more time working for myself and having a great life here and now? I usually choose the former.
Now, God has put you in the family you're in and you've had no choice in the matter at all. I would totally understand if you're thinking to yourself as you read this – 'nice for you – you had a nice life at one time, you got to experience it and at least know what it was like. It was your choice to give it up. But we don't even have that choice and we want to experience it too!'
I totally understand that, if that's what you're thinking. But here's the thing – just because you're not experiencing that life now doesn't mean you won't be able to later in your life. You study hard in school and work hard when you get out and you can do just about anything you want. You can have that life too someday – if you work and study hard – and if it's what God wants for you.
There is room for all kinds of people in the body of Christ. My Dad who made a lot of money used to support one of his brothers who was a missionary in Brazil for all of his working life. My Dad wasn't able to support him to the point that my uncle had much money left over to have fun with – but my Dad always used his money to meet all of his brother's financial needs. So, God uses all kinds of people to accomplish His work. And it may be that He calls you to be like my Dad.
But here's the other thing. Every believer is asked at some point in their lives to give up something of this world and follow God. The real question is, are we going to follow God wherever he leads us, cheerfully? Or are we going to complain and resent it? Or be disappointed by it? The true mark of a follower of Christ is when you say, 'God, I will follow you wherever you lead me and whatever situation you put me in, and I will love you and praise you for putting me wherever you please."
Your Dad is actually a hero of the faith for his willingness to sacrifice the riches of this world in order to minister truthfully to the body of Christ. When I left the apostate church I attended for nearly 20 years – the only church I could find in Manhattan that was Biblically solid was a very small church with about a hundred members. The big apostate church had over 7,000 members! It was very rich in comparison to my new little church. They built their own new building here in Manhattan that cost them $20 million! The pastor of my new church knows that he could water down the Gospel a bit here and there and get more members and be more successful in the eyes of the world. He knows he could be rich and have a nice life too if he would just water down and twist the Gospel a bit like my old pastor did. But he steadfastly refuses to do any such thing.
My old pastor is a very wealthy man now because of several best-selling books he's written. His books are best sellers though, not because they contain the truth of the Bible, but because they twist the truth of the Bible and turn it into something non-believers want to hear.
My new pastor just barely pays all his bills every month! It seems that in this fallen world if you speak the truth to people you will not be very popular. And unpopular people don't usually make a lot of money.
I hope you realize that your Dad's lack of material success is a testament to the fact that he has remained true to the Word of God and he refuses to compromise on it. And because he has decided to follow Christ, wherever Christ takes him.
Oh and one other quick thing! (Sorry this has been so long)! But don't ever forget to look at life from BOTH SIDES of eternity! There's everything we see here and now, but then there's eternity! Which is going to last forever! Jesus told us to lay up treasures in heaven – because that's going to last a lot, lot longer than our lives on this earth will!
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21).
God bless you both! And encourage your Dad to continue doing the right thing! He needs it! It's not easy for him either....[J]ust think about how great it is when we can suffer some in this life
for Christ....As a kid I felt like I was missing out on something in my Christian life because I knew I was in no way suffering in this life. And I know how much God loves and blesses people who do
suffer in this life for Him. And how much he will bless them in the next life....I thank God every day that He's allowing me the opportunity to actually give up some things in this life for Him. Over
and over again in the Bible you can see where he asks people to give things up – sometimes it seems He does it just to see if they will. And the ones who do, He greatly blesses....So few Christians
are willing to do anything that might actually come with any cost. It's hard to think of all that Jesus gave up and all the pain and torture he suffered – on our behalf – and not suddenly be filled
with joy that we too can participate in a very small way in His suffering.
God bless you Chris and keep up the good work! JC (NY)
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33).
"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)
"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;" (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - OCTOBER 2013
AS WE HAVE RECEIVED MERCY: We faint not
"Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not." - 2 Corinthians 4:1
Remembering God's mercy!
BY FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE
During the Fall season of 1989, on a stormy Winters eve, I surrendered my life to Jesus - the biblical Jesus. My friends and I read the Word of God together, and in doing so I became convinced of the infallible proofs of Scripture that testify of the life, death and resurrection of the prophesied Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of David (Romans 1:1-5). Personally reading the words of Jesus, I was overwhelmed with my own need of God's forgiveness based on Christ's Substitutionary atonement for my sins, and the supernatural grace that only the God of the Bible can bestow. On that amazing November evening, I accepted Christ's offer of forgiveness and all of my sins were forgiven. With deep contrition over my sinful nature, I asked the real and living resurrected Jesus of Nazareth to be my Lord, my Savior, and my God. Longing for His full pardon so that I would not go to hell, I embraced by faith the reality of His redeeming sacrifice, bodily death, and bodily resurrection accomplished on my behalf, and on behalf of every human in this sin cursed world. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). In those miraculous moments of simple childlike faith in the Person of Christ and in the promises of God, my Redeemer "saved" me! I rejoice today, just as I have all these years, that God is faithful to fulfill His promises!
Through the Lord's grace I experienced change within my heart and mind. My ungodly and misdirected lifestyle was transformed as the Lord Himself changed me; not a "church," not my friends, not anything except the Lord, His Word and His Holy Spirit.
GOD'S POWER versus FAKE REVIVALS
In the first week of yielding to Christ I realized that I was given true life, and that more abundantly. The most amazing thing to me was that I didn't need all the money-preacher junk that I had seen on TV. I did not need to do any of the crazy antics that false teachers engage in, such as getting amped up to "feel" God's presence, attend endless "revivals," "claim" miracle healing's, or fork out money to get a blessing (and approval) from God. Nor did I need to "sow seed-faith offerings," "name-it-and-claim-it," or follow after lying signs and wonders. As I read my Bible I recognized that Jesus said, "[a] wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign" (Matthew 16:4). I also realized that God heals people of His own accord, when He wants to, not according to the Scripture perverting dictates of counterfeit revivalists. The Lord opened my eyes and He changed my heart. It was He Who died and bled in my place, so that I, the guilty, could be set free from the bondage and power of sin, death, Satan and the judgment of eternal doom. Considering these things, and according to God's warnings in Scripture, I have recognized for many years now that money preachers, religious quacks and hyper-faith revivals are actually hindrances to true faith in Messiah Jesus. In fact, they destroy faith in God.
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you." (2 Corinthians 4:3-12)
DENY SELF, FOLLOW JESUS
Since 1989 I have also realized that having Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life does indeed include personal sacrifice and opposition from the world. I would eventually suffer great hardship many years later and even today for simply standing against evil within the church. Many in the West who profess faith in Christ seem to not even be aware that following Jesus can entail great persecution and personal loss, in numerous ways. Reading Scripture constantly reminds me that being faithful to the biblical Gospel is God's way of getting things done, not man's. God's ways are not "politically correct," nor are they pragmatic and "religiously correct" according to the wisdom of men. "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians 3:19). The hostile "world system" hates true Christians and oftentimes seeks to kill them, just as it killed Messiah Jesus. Jesus Himself said,
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12)
SEEING WE HAVE THIS MINISTRY
The Christian life often times can be full of suffering. For untold millions throughout history is has been part of daily life. The truly heavenly-minded believer will recognize that suffering for Christ is "a gift that has been granted" (Philippians 1:29-30).
To not lose heart amidst growing persecution and the contemporary evangelical decay that abounds all around us these days, one must remember that "we have received mercy, [and therefore] we faint not." The biblical call is to keep our eyes on the Lord, and press on, regardless of the pain, trial and hardship. We, like the Apostle Paul, should have this mindset:
"Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." (2 Corinthians 4:1-2)
THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is, we must look up, press on and move forward, regardless of the trials we are facing. Seasons of adversity will come, but it is through trials and in adverse circumstances that we learn to trust, obey and rely upon Jesus. Undiscerning spiritual activities, self-indulgence and the lack of forgiving others are oftentimes the greatest threat to a Christians faith. Paul the Apostle warned believers, reminding them of the necessity of enduring hardship (2 Timothy 2:3-5), forgiving others (Ephesians 4:32) and being spiritually discerning, "[l]est Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11). The Christian then is not to be ignorant!
May we continue to discern the times in which we live, and to resist the temptation to flinch when trials come and persecution arises. The "love of the world" will beckon us, but Jesus warned, "Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" ( Luke 17:32-33).
Periodic Bible studies
Editing (video and audio)
Develop newer site (LC.ORG)
Consistency with physical rehab
Occupational training (spouse)
Medical (2 more arm surgeries)
Dental work (spouse)
Family life with kids - surfing
CA State Games (San Diego) - Basketball tournament
Physical rehab - Chris
Plantar fasciitis (feet/rehab)
Trip: SoCal (Purchase VASA)
Recent surgery on arm
Thank you to all who helped us purchase the pre-owned Swim Ergometer/Trainer. It helps tremendously and I feel better and stronger than I have in a few years!
Visit - http://vasatrainer.com/
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - NOVEMBER 2013
FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL: The spiritual immune system
"Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf." - 2 Corinthians 1:11
For the benefit of all!
It has come to my attention, especially over the past months, that hardcopy publications will, in the long run, have a greater impact through our ministry than what we are currently providing. We want SRN to continue on and we are currently making major changes in order to make it happen.
A SPIRITUAL IMMUNE SYSTEM
Like other Christian discernment ministries, our own ministry serves the body of Christ as a small fragment of the much larger spiritual immune system. The basic definition of "immune system" is, "the organs and processes of the body that provide resistance to infection and toxins. Organs include the thymus, bone marrow, and lymph nodes." Through the centuries, and similarly today, Christian apologists and polemicists have been used by God as a sort of spiritual immune system to safeguard the body of Christ. The ultimate goal of Christian apologetics and polemics (and pastor-teachers) is to glorify God through the clear proclamation of the biblical gospel. Together, these ministries help equip believers and defend the Christian faith from hostile attacks, both outside and inside the church. Proclaiming the biblical gospel to a hostile world and exposing dangerous teachings within the church have never been popular. Neither has the un-politically correct task of exposing false teachers. However, these things must be done if the church is to be effective and advance the work of God.
GIFTED FOR SUCH A CALLING
It is the Holy Spirit Himself who gives personal discernment to individual believers in Christ. At the same time, occupational ministries such as ours serve the body of Christ by researching, informing and warning of various deceptions in the church, and providing the biblical alternative. Seeking to educate the body of Christ on numerous important topics, we are simply doing our part in allowing the Lord's gifting's to us, to be used effectively. Our goal in doing so is for the benefit of all. The Apostle Paul wrote: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
Considering these things, I want to share with you what I personally do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. In doing so, I hope to make you aware of what our ministry is accomplishing at present. I tell our kids from time to time, "We will accomplish our goals as the Lord provides." Regarding ministry work, it is only through the loving and gracious support of like-minded donors that we can accomplish our goal of providing the body of Christ with needed discernment resources.
POURING OUT FOR OTHERS
As many of you know, the work I have been engaged in requires many hours of administrative and computer work. My wife and I have spent many years in ministry, offering hospitality, hosting Bible studies, church planting, serving as missionaries, and helping many people however we can. I have personally had to slow down quite a bit the last three years as far as public ministry, simply because of the effects of my back injury. We also have growing teenagers and we invest much time with them in their activities, their sports, and as a family. Aside from family time, there is always ministry work to be done, and we are constantly pouring our lives out for others.
As I had mentioned in a previous newsletter, I would like to primarily focus on publishing written material and creating audio and video messages. The following is an overview of my current work related activities: Research/writing; creating and updating web pages on two websites; website search engine optimization (manual and laborious - almost 200 pages. We do not yet have a CSS website.); writing newsletters/updates and editing our Constant Contact e-update; photography, graphics and layout design; Facebook, e-mail and telephone correspondence; periodic consulting; paying bills (when SRN funds allow, out-of-pocket when they do not), purchasing office supplies; donation processing for SRN aside from missions organization donations; shipping, mailings, inventory, post office runs, data entry for mailings; filming/lighting, video editing, podcast/audio recording and editing; SRN library organization of original source documents; uploading material to the Internet, and more.
Along with all of the above, I teach periodic local Bible studies, have a family, am very involved in our kids' lives, and am doing what I can to either workout or surf a couple times a week to alleviate tension in my back from sitting in a chair. I am finally slowly getting over six months of foot problems associated with plantar fasciitis and bone spurs.
There is more of course, but this list should suffice to help you understand where my time is spent week-to-week. In it all there are no "paid" vacations, no insurance benefits, no holiday pay, no 401K and no furlough. Although our financial support is very limited, we will continue addressing some of the most spiritually devastating issues in the church today, including but by no means limited to, spiritual abuse issues, contemplative spirituality, yoga, ecumenism, and numerous mystical and occult New Age practices and movements being embraced within Western Christianity.
The purpose in all of our activities is to help people, and to serve as a resource for other researchers, pastors, authors, fellow ministries, and anyone else who takes an interest in our work. Although I have never been through the severe physical persecution extremes of Paul the Apostle, I can and do identify daily with his burning concern for the body of Christ. Every day, in my own waking moments and throughout the day, I feel a deep concern and care for the body of Christ - for its health, its purity, and for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be faithfully proclaimed from one generation to the next. You see, it is not ecumenists, liberals, progressives, emerging church compromisers and contemplative spirituality gurus that are faithfully carrying the gospel to the next generation, but biblical preachers and teachers and faithful discernment ministries that are willing to tell the truth like it is, regardless of the suffering that comes with it. This inner compelling concern for the strong defense and proclamation of the gospel is constant, it never goes away (Philippians 1:8-11; 2 Timothy 4:1-5).
I believe with all my heart that these yearnings are from the Lord, and not my own contriving. I base this on the biblical standard of what Paul himself, and Jesus, experienced. Jesus suffered and died and rose from the dead for us, and Paul's daily concern for the people of God and his suffering for others is obvious (see my emphasis in boldface type in the following Scripture).
"Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches." (2 Corinthians 11:24-28)
REQUEST FOR HELP
Often times there is far too much work to do. We do not have the local help that we need and my wife is now going back to work in a new occupation in order to assist with our personal and ministry support needs. She is my greatest help and encourager, and she knows the value and importance of the work before us. Although this will be adding more to my own schedule in our home environment, it is our only option at this point.
Donations have been very low the past few months. Now, after twenty years of ministry together (and marriage), we are unfortunately having to critically reassess our financial situation and work options. Our SRN board members also are involved day-to-day with their own full-time work and family obligations, and my wife and I are maxed out yet running on the bare minimum financially. We are currently praying and hoping for more sponsors.
HOW TO HELP & WHO BENEFITS
Increased prayer, and financial support, will help us to be more productive day-to-day so that we can be more effective in 'Proclaiming the Gospel and Encouraging Biblical Discernment!' The body of Christ will benefit, as will non-believers who use our resources and are touched by our lives and Christ's gospel message.
Thank you for your kind support and prayers, they are sincerely appreciated!
- Chris Lawson
Chris Lawson Ministry Update - DECEMBER 2013
LIVING WATER: Springing up into eternal life
""Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." - Jesus, John 4:13b-14
Springing up into eternal life!
Thank you to all of you who are part of our ministry support team! My family and I wish you a blessed Year End, and of course, a blessed New Year! May our Lord Jesus Christ be the focal point of both in every way. The following is just a brief end-of-the-year personal update, to share that, away from the Internet and my research and writing, my life here on the Central Coast is full of activity. I am engaged in numerous ways with personal outreach in our local community, outside of my day-to-day SRN office tasks. Each week presents itself with new opportunities and the past few months have been wonderful. The following is just a bit about my personal life and what I do - when I can and when my back allows me too. Surfing and personal outreach/evangelism is what I love to do and I thrive on it. It keeps me active, I experience great joy in it, and the Lord is opening more and more doors for me to share with people, both in and out of the water.
As many of you know, I had a severe back injury a few years ago when I was working my landscape/fire safety business. That business is long gone and it has taken a few years to get back on my feet physically. I still suffer at times, both physically and financially, but at least I can surf and workout and remain active with our kids and local friends. We are moving forward in life and ministry, ever looking upward unto the Lord for His guidance and day-to-day provision. I am deeply grateful that I can once again surf and workout consistently. In the midst of my slow recovery I have made many new friends, and like my right-shoulder (rebuilt) rehabilitation program in 1991, which included swimming and surfing, part of my current "doctor's prescription" is to swim and surf.
RECOVERING WITHOUT YOGA, REIKI, ETC.
Although many people have suggested that I do Yoga in order to recover faster, I refuse to. In fact, one of my primary recovery goals has been to avoid New Age practices such as Yoga, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch (massage), TaiChi, and a vast array of other "energy" related occult practices. I am fully committed to proving that I don't need these things, that we as a family don't need them, and that in fact, no one needs them! Why? Because I can categorically prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that these methods can be, and often times are, extremely dangerous. Westernized forms of Eastern occult philosophy and practice need to be exposed and biblically (and medically) refuted for what they are, not engaged in as health alternatives and "Christianized" worship practices. For those interested, I have provided an extensive listing on my SRN website called "Potentially Harmful and Dangerous Spiritual Practices." In this list I provide an explanation as to why these and many other occult related practices are dangerous.
BIBLE STUDY, SURFING AND LOCAL OUTREACH
At present I host small Bible studies for those interested locally here. If teenagers want to come they are more than welcome to. We are informal and we answer as many questions as possible, both from the Bible, as well as whatever other topics are discussed. In January we are reconvening our studies.
REQUEST FOR HELP
SRN Ministry: We are consistently in need of funding for SRN office rent, website costs, research materials, and other basic overhead costs.
Local Ministry: Please pray for our Bible studies, for our personal and ministry finances, and for wisdom in moving forward in 2014. My wife and I are both now having to work outside of "ministry."
Surfing / Studies: Please pray for safety for the kids, finances to purchase two foam boards (total $200.00) and two wetsuits (total $350.00), and that the kids would be sincerely interested in an offered Bible study that can meet their spiritual needs.
Special Prayer Request: Please pray for Matt. He is a visiting surfer who I reached out to and was able to encourage, pray with, and provide Warren Smith books to. Matt is looking for a new home to relocate to.
REMINDER: NEW BOOKLET TRACT
A Directory of Authors (Three NOT Recommended Lists) by Chris Lawson.
Published by Lighthouse Trails www.lighthousetrails.com
Our SRN ministry has existed for nine years now and it has been primarily one of helping hurting people "behind the scenes." Recently we have lost ministry support due to the publication of my two "religiously incorrect" booklets. If you have benefited from our ministry, please do consider making a tax-deductible donation through our missions facilitator (World In Need) or through our research website, Spiritual-Research-Network.com.
Thank you for your kind support and prayers, they are sincerely appreciated!
- Chris Lawson
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