"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . . Our Website is UNDER CONSTRUCTION, please be patient!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

BUTTERFLY ILLUSIONS - By Gregory R Reid, DD


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~ By Greg Reid, 

The last few weeks have been very crucial, and I so appreciate your prayers. I was able to take a small prayer break and come back ready to jump into some important matters. I also returned from the Sons of God conference in Lubbock, and was so blessed by the turnout and the receptive hearts, and being able to meet with some outstanding men and women of God who are on the cutting edge of important biblical studies. Specially blessed to finally meet my old friend Dr. Judd Burton whose book “Interview With the Giant” is second to none in this field.

It is hard to define in some ways what God has called me to: it has always been as a watchman, and has always centered around youth and preparing the generations to forward the Kingdom of God no matter what era it is, always with the reality in mind that the return of Jesus was imminent. And I still believe that, more now than ever. As I see barrier after barrier falling I realize we are far beyond Sodom now. Preparing this generation is even more important than ever.


It has honestly been difficult since my departure from formal youth ministry a few years ago. It was not my intention to do so, but circumstances did not allow me to stay my post any longer, despite my heart’s desire to do so. Quickly, the face of youth ministry changed all over the country. In fact, it had been changing for some time and I was just starting to notice. The call for younger, cooler, more fun, less serious became the desired template for youth pastor. Gone were the days of seasoned youth pastors, conferences, revivals and fiery youth retreats.

But the need remains…to raise up the next generation of warriors…perhaps the last one. I know God and believe that He will not permit us to leave this earth without a strong, devastating witness against the enemy. No, it may not be the “massive revival” or “new reformation” some have been led to believe - in fact, even a casual reading of MATTHEW 24 speaks to a FALSE REVIVAL and a great falling away at the last of things - but still - THERE WILL BE A REMNANT. And I am committed to my last breath to raising that remnant up, as much as He permits me to do.

That remnant needs to be committed to the truth of God’s Word, and in an age of prevailing lies, even in the church, the need has never been greater for a generation who stand on the unchangeable truth of God’s Word and say, with Luther, “God help me, here I stand. I can do no other.” 

Without that Word, that solid rock of truth God gave us in His holy scriptures, we will surely fall for every false thing that comes, and ultimately follow a false Jesus the Bible speaks of as the Antichrist. Let us return to the imperative of teaching our young the power and necessity of the Word of God. We don’t need more games and fun for our youth. Youth groups who are given tidbits of truth sandwiched in the middle of tons of fun will only get a headache from the spiritual junk food and vomit out the truth in the middle. It cannot sustain them in the very real battle for their faith they will face when they enter the real world.

It has become clear to me that things are about to change for believers. The world, so far, at least in the USA has been fairly apathetic toward believers until the last few decades. Then they began to get annoyed. It is about to turn into aggression against us. What forms that will take we don’t yet know but we need to be prepared for it. We need to be prepared to speak truth without rage, without kneejerk reaction and without fear in crowds that will increasingly become violent toward believers. We need to be Word-filled and Spirit-filled and keep a broken heart for the lost. “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.”

In the meantime, the world and the devil are getting increasingly bold in their salacious and perverted attempts to ruin a whole generation of children. Recently Spencer’s – a horrible store for kids – started selling these t-shirts:


This, the world thinks is funny. This reality that so many of us have faced is reduced to a fun cartoon for kids. This is the reality of what kids are faced with every day now – the antichrist spirit is taking off the mask. May God raise up an Elijah generation in this hour!

As I had warned, and even I have been surprised by, the pedophile community is gaining momentum and acceptance, taking their cues from the wildly successful LGBTQ movement. As I said before, do not be shocked when you find it is youth that are going to be the vanguard for lowering the age of consent. As one girl told one of our youth, ‘Who are YOU to tell me I can’t have sex with an adult if I want?” Here is a sampling of some of the “memes” we are seeing crop up everywhere:


The battle lines are being clearly drawn, but take heart. God will give us ALL we need to fight these battles, and to take slaves out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of our dear Jesus!

Lastly, find enclosed my 8-page article on Roma Downey’s new book, A Box of Butterflies. I wrestled a fierce battle to get this done, and I pray you will take time to read it, so you can understand the seriousness of the issue. I have sent out letters to the most major people who endorsed her book, including Max Lucado, John Hagee and Jonathan Falwell, along with my first article, asking them to withdraw their endorsements. By the end of August, I will be releasing the article on my website along with any possible results from the letters. Prayers are appreciated! God bless you for all your prayers and support!
Gregory Reid

YouthFire
Box 370006 El Paso TX 79937
YouthFire is an affiliate of American Evangelistic Association
(Donations can also be made through PayPal)
__________________________________________________

Butterfly Illusions
By Gregory R Reid, DD

 “The illusion of separation is just that, an illusion.” Roma Downey, Box of Butterflies p.221 pp.8

“The illusion is that we are separate, distanced from our Earth, Moon and Stars, yet in reality we are one… - A New Cycle by New Age writer Grace Gabriella Puskas, from Body, Mind Spirit magazine, Summer, 2018

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” ISAIAH 1:1-2

I had just given my life to Jesus and I was excited to share Him with others. I went out one night with others from our Bible study to pass out literature and try to lead people to the Lord.

“Jesus loves you!” I said to one man as I handed him a paper.
“I’m a Buddhist,” he replied. 
“That’s cool,” I replied. “All paths lead to God.”
“Jesus loves you,” I told a lady.
“What, am I going to go to hell if I don’t believe?” she answered.
“No,” I replied, “There is no hell. Heaven and hell are here on earth!”

I was not sharing the God of the scriptures, but rather the lies I had learned from studying the occult.

One of our team told our house leader, Dave, about my unbiblical ideas. Dave was prepared to talk with me. When I got there, he said, “Greg, come here. I hear you don’t believe in hell. Can you read this verse for me?” He had his Bible opened and was pointing to a verse.

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; He that believeth not shall be damned.’ MARK 16:16
So?”
“I also hear you believe all paths lead to God.” 
So what?” I replied testily. 
“Read this,” Dave said, pointing to another verse.
I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes unto the Father but by meJOHN 14:6.
On it went until I finally snapped at him, “What’s your point, Dave?”
“My point is, you either believe all of this Word or none of it. You either believe everything Jesus said is true, or you’re saying He’s a liar. He said He was the only way to God. Understand?”

I did. And I was furious. I had spent 4 years studying spiritual teachers – Edgar Cayce, Ruth Montgomery, Jeanne Dixon, Paramahansa Yogananda and others. Everything I learned and accepted as true I learned from them –reincarnation, communicating with departed loved ones, that all paths lead to God, that there is no hell, that Jesus was just a great teacher, a Christ among many Christs of whom we all were Christs – and now this man was telling me it was all a lie.

The battle for my soul had begun. It had only been a month since I had given my life to Jesus. Now I was told that I could either believe the Bible, or believe my long-held New Age teachings, but not both. I would either believe all paths led to God, or Jesus was the only way.

I could believe in reincarnation, or that “it was appointed for man once to die, and after this the judgmentHEBREWS 9:27. I took it all to God and studied the scriptures. It became clear that what Jesus and the Bible said were nearly 100% in opposition to everything I believed.

I was devastated. All I had believed was threatened. The Word of God overwhelmingly contradicted my New Age worldview. I was sick with the conflict. I can’t remember the specific turning point, but in one moment I realized I had been utterly lied to by Satan and that everything I learned was a lie.
I knew I couldn’t walk with Jesus and hold on to the lies. Jesus had saved me out of the utter darkness I had grown up in – including the confusion all these “beliefs” really led to. I chose to follow Him. “Jesus, I believe Your Word,” I prayed.

And in one moment, my New Age worldview crumbled into an ash heap. Instead of feeling sad or lost – I felt free. A tremendous weight left me. From that moment on, the Bible began to make sense for the first time.
I’ve never regretted that decision or failed to be thankful for the person that dared to tell me the truth.

It’s been years since I stepped out of the world of New Age and Occult thought. It took time to be healed from the knots of lies I had believed. The clarity of the simple truth of God’s Word was a miracle to me.

I could not have imagined that, not too many years later, the very doctrines of death I was delivered from had begun to seep into the very highest levels of the church.

Before then, I underwent solid spiritual education and preparation through the Word of God and godly teachers such as Dr. WalterMartin that sharpened my discernment and helped me teach and train believers concerning spiritual warfare, the last days and spiritual deception. I also had three encounters that showed me how deception could easily slip into Christian circles.

The first involved a “Christian” counselor a friend had recommended. Warning lights immediately went off as she began speaking of “The Christ Spirit,” the “divine within” and using other New Age words I had once used myself. I broke off the meeting when she and her associate tried to lead us into a guided visualization meditation! I was shocked that my friend had recommended her as a Christian counselor.

The second incident was at a conference I had been invited to by a well-known Christian author. That weekend, her “spiritual father” taught, and from the moment he began to speak I knew he was a New Age teacher, speaking about “God, whoever you conceive him or her to be,” and “The Bible, which contains the words of God,” and saying that Jesus swore, and was married. Unfortunately, the attempt to reason with the writer who had invited me, cost me their friendship.

The third incident involved a woman who asked me to explain why I thought Edgar Cayce was wrong. I explained that he practiced the occult. “But he healed people!” she protested.
“He was an occultist,” I answered.
“But he quoted out of the Bible and loved Jesus!”
I then explained Biblically and specifically why he was teaching the occult. She realized she had been deceived. It was revealed that the wife of one of her church’s elders was having an “invitation only” ladies’ Bible study where she taught Edgar Cayce and promoted other New Age concepts like reincarnation.
She had also laid hands on and prayed for nearly every pastor in our city.

I thought these encounters I had witnessed were rare and that most Christians wouldn’t fall for these things. But somewhere in the late 1990’s, discernment began to leave the church, and New Age teachings – sometimes in very subtle forms – began gaining a foothold in the church, from Christian Yoga, to Buddhist/Hindu modeled meditation in the guise of “contemplative prayer.”  

It was the beginning of what soon became a flood of New Age-tinged, infused or themed books and teachings right in the center of the church, from The Shack to Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis and more. I challenged these things scripturally, and I was often opposed for trying to expose the New Age and occult roots of these teachings.
In 2013, Roma Downey, star of the acclaimed TV series Touched by an Angel and her husband Mark Burnett, burst onto the Christian scene with their well-produced television series, “The Bible,” followed shortly thereafter with the movie, “Son of God.”

When I first heard, I assumed that Roma had departed from the New Age message that was so strongly evident in the series she co-starred in with her spiritual mother Della Reese. (Della was pastor of a large New Age/New Spirituality church in California. She also did the introduction to Roma’s new book. She was totally committed to New Age principles.)

Immediately Mark and Roma were almost universally embraced by the Christian world and media. Even though I knew how deeply committed Roma had been to New Age precepts, I was cautiously hopeful she had turned away from them. I began to research, hoping to find a testimony that would confirm that she had found Jesus and broken with New Age teaching.

Instead, I found that Roma was still attending John Roger University in California – one of the most well-known New Age schools in the world - while they were finishing filming The Bible series. Roma was using all the right words about Jesus, but I feared that she might be talking about another Jesus, one in complete affinity with New Age thought. 

Roma, a committed Catholic since childhood, said she had always loved Jesus, yet had no conflict a short few years before doing The Bible Series participating in a televised seance with well-known psychic John Edward who “channeled” her deceased mother.

It was almost a certainty that Roma was still a committed New Age believer. Around the time of the release of Son of God, I was miraculously given an opportunity to personally hand Roma a copy of “The Light that was Dark” by Warren Smith, the testimony of he and his wife’s deliverance out of the New Age and A Course in Miracles
I prayed that Roma would read it and turn away from the New Age and somehow communicate that in an upcoming interview, or a book, or an article.
Image result for box of butterfliesRoma Downey came out with a new book this year, Box of Butterflies   

As I read it, it was clear that she had not rejected her New Age views at all.
Box of Butterflies is filled with New Age precepts. Page after page had quotes from a mix of Christian, mystic, Buddhist, Muslim and New Age leaders interspersed with her own Christian-sounding New Age beliefs.  

Box of Butterflies would fit in any New Age/New Spirituality/Self-help bookstore section with no objection, nor contradiction as to its contents, simply because there is nothing in Box of Butterflies that contradicts or in fact is not accepted and taught in the New Age/New Spirituality circles. 
Nothing. 
In many ways, the book is little different than the many Christian self-help, possibility-thinking books that fill the modern Christian bookstore. The poison is always in the mixture.

Here is the problem.

Roma Downey is not known in Christian circles as a “New Age” author, but as one of us. Mark and Roma are accepted as believers – loving Hollywood luminaries who brought new life to religious films through The Bible series and Son of God. They have been given carte blanche into church, leadership and pastoral circles, Christian media and places of influence without question because their presentation, products and faith appear to be the real thing. Their sincerity is so real that one is reticent to ask the most crucial question: Who is the Jesus they speak of? Jesus Himself said clearly there would be false Christs in the last days. (MATT 24:24) Is the Jesus they love the Jesus of the Word of God?

It is not unusual that New Age devotees accept all religions, believe in reincarnation, accept all religious books as equally valuable, do not believe in hell and can say with all sincerity, “I love Jesus with all my heart.”
But the Jesus that New Agers love is a Christ that is one of many “ascended masters,” lets everyone into heaven and accepts everyone without change, without repentance, and without the blood sacrifice of Jesus, without which we cannot be saved. This is the New Age world Roma has come from, and from all indications, never left.

Box of Butterflies has received endorsements from some of the most well-known leaders in of the evangelical world and many well-known pastors. This requires that we look carefully at what they have endorsed. 

Previously, my concern was not so much what they said to Christian leaders and pastors, but who Roma associated with, followed and promoted. I was concerned that people would look beyond the Bible Series and Son of God movie and investigate what else Roma has written, reads, what authors and leaders does she follow? 

So many Christian leaders had endorsed Roma unreservedly that unsuspecting Christians were given complete liberty to pursue Roma’s world and would suspect nothing until they took the first step into the world of New Age/New Spirituality that Roma lives by and promotes. With Box of Butterflies, the doors to the New Age have been thrown wide open.

There is a clear and real agenda from the New Age/New Spirituality movement, which is, in fact, a very old movement that began with the Tower of Babel where all people united in a multi-religious occult community. It continued through the teachings of Madame Blavatsky, Alice Baily, and most recently, Neale Donald Walsch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, MarianneWilliamson (author of A Return to Love) Rhonda Byrne (Author of The Secret), Eckhart Tolle and others. 

This movement has always had vanguards that wrote and spoke and furthered the vision for a New Age in which all religions are one.

Their belief is that we must unite the world under one banner that includes all people, all religions, all governments. It includes the need to absorb the church by slowly removing “old and outdated teachings” such as the Cross, sin and hell, replacing them with the idea that we must be one family under whatever God you worship, to save the world and bring peace. Their teachers and influences are many and vast, from Oprah Winfrey to the late John Roger and his New Age university that Roma graduated from.

Roma’s Associations
There’s an old expression: Tell me who you’re with, and I’ll tell you who you are. The people we affiliate with, the writers and teachers we recommend tell us a great deal about who we are.
You can tell a great deal about me by the writers I quote, the teachers I listen to and recommend, the pastors I follow: FB Meyer, AW Tozer, Amy Carmichael. Their works helped mold me, influenced my theology and affected my preaching and writing greatly.

Never would I quote as sources of truth people that contradicted the Word of God, its principles, teachings and worldview.
We must put that test to many of those quoted in Box of Butterflies. After we examine them, I ask every believer and Bible-believing pastor: Are you comfortable recommending this book knowing these things?

Let’s look at some of those quoted in Box of Butterflies, who they were, what they believe and what they say in this book.

1. Thomas Merton
Quote from Box of Butterflies:
“May we… not neglect the silence that is printed in the centre of our being. It will not fail us.” (P. 165)

Quotes from Merton’s writings and speeches:

“I came with the notion of perhaps saying something for monks and to monks of all religions… My dear brothers, WE ARE ALREADY ONE. BUT WE IMAGINE THAT WE ARE NOT. And what we have to recover is our original unity.” (“Thomas Merton’s View of Monasticism,” a talk delivered at Calcutta, October 1968, The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, 1975 edition, Appendix III, p. 308).

"If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are . . . I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. . .  At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth. . . This little point . . . is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody. - Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Publishers, 1989), pp. 157-158.

 “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity... I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.” (David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West,” Monastic Studies, 7:10,1969.

Merton did not believe Jesus was the only way to the Father as Jesus claimed. His views contradict the Word of God at nearly every corner.

2. Henri Nouwen
Roma quotes Henri Nouwen several times in her book. But what did Nouwen teach, and believe? Here is a small sampling of Nouwen’s theology:
“The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being” (Here and Now, p. 22).

“…our souls are those sacred centers WHERE ALL IS ONE ... It is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of THE UNITY OF ALL THAT IS” (Bread for the Journey, 1997, Jan. 15 and Nov. 16).

“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God” (Sabbatical Journey, New York: Crossroad, 1998, p. 51).

3. David Richo – Psychotherapist from Santa Barbara and San Francisco – combines Jungian, poetic and mythic perspectives. Includes attention to Buddhist and spiritual practices.

4. Rabindranath Tagore  - [he was] a Humanist, Universalist and Internationalist 
“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” (Not true: Death is followed by darkness for those who reject Jesus.)

One of the most concerning persons quoted is Robert Holden. His quote is given an entire page by itself:

 “The belief that happiness has to be deserved has led to centuries of pain, guilt, and deception. So firmly have we clung to this single, illusory belief that we’ve almost forgotten the real truth about happiness…happiness is natural, happiness is a birthright, happiness is free, happiness is a choice, happiness is within, and happiness is being.”- p. 202

Who is Robert Holden? He is a New Age motivational speaker and author. From his website:

“Robert Holden Ph.D.’s innovative work on psychology and spirituality has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, a PBS show called Shift Happens! and in two major BBC documentaries…
Robert is the author of Happiness NOW!, Shift Happens!, Authentic Success, Be Happy, Loveability,
Holy Shift! 365 Daily Meditations from A Course in Miracles and Life Loves You, co-written with Louise Hay.
(Hay House Publishers is the premier New Age publishing house.)

Robert Holden is neither a Christian nor has anything close to a Christian worldview: He is an outright New Age teacher. That he teaches A Course in Miracles is even a greater concern. Let’s read what former Course devotee and former New Ager Warren Smith says:

A Course in Miracles is a book that claims it is new revelation that was supposedly delivered by Jesus Himself to a female psychologist in New York City at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Helen Schucman claimed she heard an inner voice saying, "This is a course in miracles. Please take notes." So, for seven years she took down the notes. It was a whole new philosophy about life. It was a whole new religion, if you will…

The Jesus of A Course in Miracles, through Schucman in her writings, says the following things and they are not true. "The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself." And, "The journey to the cross should be the last useless journey."

Another thing the Jesus of A Course of Miracles said was, "Do not make the pathetic error of clinging to the Old Rugged Cross."
These things I know now are total blasphemy to believers in Christ, but somebody who doesn't know what happened on the cross wouldn't know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and to defeat the Devil.”

Then, there was a most interesting statement this New Age Jesus claimed, "There is no sin. There is no evil. There is no Devil."
Okay, with that you have pretty much turned the Bible upside down, and all in the name of what? Love. It's all done in the name of love.

The one spectacular heresy that this New Age Jesus said that is really significant, especially to today, is that when this Jesus was asked, "Are you Christ?" He responded, "Yes, and along with you."
Warren Smith Testimony: The New Age Jesus

(Significantly, Roma includes a quote by mystic writer Frederick Beuchner who says, “I have it in me to be Christ to other people. And so, of course, have we all – the life-giving, life-saving, and healing power to be saints, be Christs…” (p. 79))

With this one quote and affiliation with Robert Holden, I believe we have a clear picture of the true beliefs of Roma Downey. She clearly knows who Robert Holden is, and therefore very familiar with what he teaches. And he teaches straight out of the totally unbiblical and spiritually dangerous A Course in MiraclesShe knows that.

And she would not quote him if she did not believe what he says. Again, tell me who you’re with, and I will tell you who you are.
Would you as a biblical believer, would you as a pastor or a leader in the church, ever quote – thereby promoting and opening the door for others to pursue – anyone who teaches a completely occult and New Age religion?? Her inclusion of Holden – as well as the many, many others she quotes in her book – is done in full knowledge that they promote New Age one religion doctrine. Again, we should not be surprised – Roma graduated from the premier New Age college in the world.

Three Points of Focus of Box of Butterflies
When you take Box of Butterflies as a whole, you can see that there are three themes that run throughout it all.

Possibility Thinking
Throughout the whole book, it is implied that there is nothing really wrong with you, you just need to wake up to who you are, remember you are in God and God in you and accept that you are full of power and love and possibility just the way you are.
“His love for us is unconditional. No matter how much we may have messed up, He always welcomes us back. I know I forget this often, and that is why I always come back to stillness. In stillness and quiet, I can remember who I truly am.” (P. 221, pp 7)

“When we awaken fully to God, it’s as if we finally remember that we are not merely caterpillars but that we are in fact, beautiful butterflies with wings to fly.”  (P. 208)
Throughout the entire book, the message is given that you just need to remember who you are and who you always have been. 

“I pray this book is a moment of remembering for you. A remembering of who you really are…” (p.11 pp.1) This is a theme echoed by the Muslim poet Rumi that Roma quotes: “My soul is from elsewhere. I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”

The Gospel of possibility thinking presented throughout the book is a contradiction to Biblical truth: That we are born into sin, that we are born into a broken world and need a redeemer to save and deliver us from our sin. We are not just supposed to “remember who we are.” 

The Scriptures tell us we need to come to the Cross, lay down our old lives and be born again into new life.  This book expresses the overall New Age teaching of accepting the inherent goodness in all people and in yourself. As Nelson Mandela was quoted, “…love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

[This is] Simply not true either biblically or practically. Love, giving, kindness etc. is not a natural product of our “connectedness to the divine.” In fact, this is what the Word of God says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (JER 17:9). 
If you believe the Word of God, then you realize the idea that we are inherently good and just need to “remember who we are” is a deception meant to keep us from recognizing that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (ROM 3:23). This does not appear to be the faith that Roma believes or teaches. Box of Butterflies has no mention of sin and repentance.

Universalism and “Separation”
14. “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God…every other identity is an illusion.” John Eagan Author, A Traveler Towards Dawn (p 218)

“I am sorry God for forgetting the truth. That you are my Father and I am your child. That we all belong to one family.” (Pg. 225)

 “There are people in the world who really get it. Who embody the great possibility that dwells within each one of us. The potential we all have to love, to speak truth, to connect no matter our differences. To understand that we are all one, that we all belong to each other, that we are all one big, beautiful family of God.”  (Pg. 149: Pp. 2)

When you look below the surface of Butterflies, you will find the language – not of Biblical truth, but rather Universalism – that we are all part of God’s family, whether Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or any other religion. Reading the above quotes by anyone who is in the least familiar with Universalist thought will clearly recognize what Roma believes.

It goes much deeper, however. As in the first quotes in this article, Roma says something that clearly identifies her as a mainstream believer in New Age thought:

“The illusion of separation is just that, an illusion. If we are all God’s children, it means we are all one family. We are all the family of God. We forget. We get caught up in separation... We all belong to each other… Roma Downey (P. 222 Pp. 1)
The Illusion of Separation is the teaching that we are not, and never have been, separated from God, or each other.

“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” —Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist.

“But why do most of us have this mentality? …The illusion of separation is what causes this. On the surface…  we all appear separated. But this is the base level of who we are. When you start to peel away the surface of the ego, brain, and assorted vehicles (physical, astral, and mental), you will find that we exist within the network of the Universal Mind or All That Is... But we forget…”
The above quote is from The ILLUSION of SEPARATION.

This very principle that Roma placed her book – the illusion of separation - is a core principle of New Age thought. If you type that phrase into a search engine, you will come up with hundreds of New Age and occult websites. The Illusion of Separation is a principle they are trying very hard to inject into the church.

And the sad fact is, that if no one in church leadership understands what the Illusion of Separation means, Roma’s core belief goes unrecognized and pretty soon the bar is lowered even further in accepting New Age precepts into the church.
Roma’s use of that phrase and it has positively identified her as one who is familiar with the Universalist precept behind it.

How serious is this one issue? Let’s read the words of two more New Age teachers on the matter:

“A sense of separation is the only lack you really need to correct.” – A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume, p. 50
“You are to destroy the illusion of separation.” Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999, p. 21)

Truth: We ARE separated from God through sin (ISAIAH 59:2). ONLY Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross can bring us back to the Father through repentance and receiving new life in Jesus.

There is one final theme in the book that is from beginning to end we need to look at.  

The Butterfly Effect
The butterfly is the main theme in the book. It is for Roma a symbol of many things: Hopefulness, life, God speaking to her. But it is much more. It reveals Roma’s view of death, heaven and our departed loved ones. It begins with a story of Roma at her mother’s grave when she and her father witness a passing butterfly:

“Would you look at that! That wee butterfly could be your mother’s spirit right there!” her father says, a story she recently repeated on a CBN interview. (Is no one concerned that she is saying her deceased mother’s spirit could inhabit an insect?)  It’s not just a touching story or analogy. She believes that her mom uses butterflies to speak to her from beyond the grave.

“He is here and that your loved ones are still surrounding you. They show me that the veil between this world and the next is just that, a thin veil. Separation is just an illusion.” (There it is again.)

Toward the end, she ties up the death/butterfly theme with a story of how she won a prize in a contest, and it turned out a woman who made jewelry had a “unique” piece and felt Roma should have it. It was a butterfly. Roma said, “Tears sprung from my eyes. Immediately, I knew it was from my mom. That it was a message from her. ‘I’m still here, Roma. All these years later, I’m still right here…’ That ring was a gift from my dear mother. It was meant for me.” (P.214 Pp. 4; her grief is so palpable on these pages, it is painful to even address it.)

“Those moments were so validating to me. I understood that my mother is still reaching out to me. That I will see her again – that I will be reunited with the loving energy of my mom and dad…” (P. 215 Pp. 1)

At this point I realized that bleeding through nearly every page of the book is a grieving little girl who never got over the death of her parents. There is a recurring theme of grief and the afterlife and some rather dangerous misleading conclusions about it all.

Roma’s grief had led her not many years back to participate in an on-air séance with world-famous psychic John Edward while he “channeled” her mother, thus participating in the serious and forbidden practice of necromancy. (ISAIAH 8:19, DEUT 18:10:11)

I grieve with her, hurt with her and pray for her, but I am also very alarmed that unsuspecting believers will take cues from her and seek their own communication or “signs” from departed loved ones. That is a serious matter.

The Heart of the Matter
If you are a believer in Jesus, it is crucial that you hold to the basic truths of the scriptures:  that all paths do not lead to God, that salvation is only through Jesus, that hell and judgment are real, that there is a coming tribulation in which Satan will try to unite the whole world against God and against His Christ, ending with the visible return of the real Jesus to judge the living and the dead.

Box of Butterflies presents some real scriptural contradictions to those truths:

1. The Bible teaches that only one way leads to eternal life – Jesus Christ (JOHN 14:6; ACTS 4:12). Roma’s book implies that we all are in God, and God in us, no matter what our religion, that we are all going to heaven.

2. The Bible teaches that we are not all part of the family of God (though we may be all in the family of man) but in fact are all under the slavery of sin and Satan. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your Father you will do.” (JOHN 8:44).
[Only those who receive Christ are part of the family of God as His adopted children: JOHN 1:12-13; EPH 1:5]

3. The Bible does not teach that separation is an illusion. The Bible says that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (ROM 3:23). If separation is an illusion, as Roma states, then there was no reason for Jesus to die on the cross. [But] He died because sin had separated us from God, and the only way to save us was through Jesus spilling His blood for us.
If you deny this tenet, then you have denied the very heart of the Gospel, and this should alarm every single believer and leader reading this. This is not a small issue – it is central to the philosophy and person behind Box of Butterflies.

As a minister and someone who was once steeped in the occult and New Age, my heart is grieved for Mark and Roma. They may very well have never been told the clear truth as was once done for me. I am more grieved because there is little evidence that anyone in the vast circle of Christian leaders has discerned the New Age nature of Roma’s message and sat down to explain to them the necessity of breaking away from such an unbiblical philosophy. It has become clear that they have never been asked several crucial questions that we would want to ask of anyone being considered for a leadership position in the church:

1.  Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven?
2.  Do you believe Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, [and] that there are no other Christs?
3.  Do you believe there is a real hell and a real judgment?
4.  Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God and not one of many true religious books?
5.  Do you believe that everyone will be saved?

The answers to these questions – should they answer them truthfully – may be that they do not believe these things, because they contradict the New Age teachings that Roma has embraced her whole life.

Glowing endorsements were given for Box of Butterflies by, among others, Jonathan Falwell, Lisa Bevere, Samuel Rodriguez, Andy Stanley, Max Lucado, Rick Warren, Jim Daly, and John Hagee who encourages people to “get several copies of this stunning book…”
If you now understand the New Age underpinnings of this book, you should be very concerned by the names of those who have unreservedly endorsed Box of Butterflies – from New Age teachers like Tony Robbins to Roma’s John Roger College fellow alumni and friend, Ariana Huffington, to respected people like Jerry Johnson, president of the NRB [Also endorsing this book are Michael W. Smith, Christian musician, Cal Thomas syndicated columnist and others still].
See the full list of endorsements here.

But how could some of the most well-known names in the Christian evangelical world unconditionally recommend her book?
There are only three possibilities:
One, is that as one Christian media representative told me, they are “aware of the issues” but decided they would go ahead and sell their material “for the greater good.” And I reject putting profit before principle and truth. 
Or two, is that they were so overwhelmed with the sheer genuineness and charm of Mark and Roma that they did not even read the book before, which is a terribly irresponsible thing to do and still endorse it. 
Or three, that they did read it and they did not discern the dangerous New Age nature of the book. I chill at the possibility that the third may be true.

I urge those in a place of leadership in the church to take a stand, decide for truth, withdraw their endorsements, and if possible reach out to Roma and Mark and seek to lead them into truth. I write this with a broken heart of love for them, and to raise the alarm for the church that is about to take the next step into being absorbed into New Age religion.

May God grant Roma and Mark an opening of their eyes, that they may truly be God’s “light workers” for truth in this crucial hour!

Gregory R Reid
YouthFire Ministries/www.gregoryreid.com

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