|Dr. Terry Watkins, Th.D.||Dial-the-Truth Ministries|
In July, 2003, Thomas Nelson released the Revolve Bible, a fashion-magazine-turned-Bible for teen girls. Although released in mid-year, the Revolve still was crowned the number one best-selling Bible of 2003! The hugely successful Revolve even sent the lack-luster New Century Version, (the Bible text of the Revolve), revolving from a mediocre #11 to a respectable #5 in the Bible version ratings.
The promise for a guy’s Bible-mag was soon heard. (A Bible-mag for post-teen women, titled Becoming is scheduled for July.)
Well guys, your Bible-mag is here. . .
Titled the Refuel Bible, it contains the worldly splash and dash of the Revolve, but with a guy’s appeal. The hip-hop cover blazes with a rockin’ electric Les Paul guitar. The "rock and roll" cover was designed by Anderson Thomas Design, who also does rockin’ covers for Faith Hill’s CDs, the Newsboys, and many other rockers. One reviewer describes the Refuel cover as, "The splashy cover should attract any young guy interested in girls, hot-dogging on skis, girls, basketball, pop music ... and girls."
The cover of the Refuel Bible-mag bears the names of the various sections lurking throughout the Refuel, such as:
Like much of the girl’s Revolve Biblemag, some of the counsel in the Refuel is mind-boggling. The Revolve was bad, but the guy’s Refuel is much worse. And I mean MUCH worse. If you are a Christian, buckle up and get prepared, some of the Refuel’s "shock and awe" will blow you away!
Like his "big sis", the Refuel is not all bad. It contains some good, though soft-pedaled and watered-down, common-sense advice on various topics. But like the Revolve, it is clearly based on far-left, very-liberal, anti-conservative, anti-Bible-Believer, teachings. In fact, the Refuel includes the most blatant anti-Christian, Bible-Believer attacks I have ever read in a Christian publication. And I have read many. . .
Get comfortable, and sit down. . . You will not believe what you are about to read.
THE REFUEL AND GAMBLING
Gambling among teenagers and adolescents has exploded into raging proportions. The prevalence of the easy-anonymous-unchecked gambling landscape via the rise of lotteries, Internet gambling, video poker machines flooding convenience stores, pizza parlors and bowling alleys have fueled the current explosion of teenage gambling. David Robertson, former chairman of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, states, "Statistics prove that teen-age Internet gambling is the fastest growing addiction of the day, akin to drug and alcohol abuse in the 1930s. It's pernicious, it's evil, it's certainly one that feeds on those who are the weakest members of society and that's the young and the poor." <http://www.youngmoney.com/money_management/spending/020809_04>
According to Dr. Howard J. Shaffer, Director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Addiction Studies, "Today, there are more children experiencing adverse symptoms from gambling than from drugs...and the problem is growing." <http://www.ncalg.org/library/working%20on%20these/factsheet.htm>
The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, states, "Teenagers have a problem gambling rate of 10%-17%, a rate 2 to 3 times higher than the general population." <http://www.campusblues.com/gambling.asp>
A 2002 regional survey by the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP) found that more than 30% of all high school students gamble periodically. And the evidence indicates that gambling is a problem not only among older teens in high school, but among younger students as well. The study found that 43% of eighth-grade boys and 19% of eighth grade girls gamble.
Without question, it is our vulnerable young that the constricting coil of the hissing serpent of gambling is swallowing whole! A Louisiana study showed that adolescents are more than twice as likely as adults to be pathological gamblers, and more than four times as likely to be problem gamblers. <http://www.afa.net/gambling/articles.asp>
Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence of the destroyed lives from gambling, some people (believe it or not even Christians) have promoted the serpent’s deception that gambling is just a harmless form of entertainment or fun.
The Rotten Fruits of Gambling
The Bible says in Matthew 7:20, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them".
A survey of Massachusetts high school students found that one in 20 had already been arrested for a gambling-related offense; 10 percent experienced family problems due to gambling; and 8 percent had gotten in trouble at work or school because of gambling. (Howard J. Shaffer, "The Emergence of Youthful Addiction: The Prevalence of Underage Lottery Use and the Impact of Gambling," Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, January 13, 1994, p. 12)
A Louisiana State University study discovered that Louisiana youngsters in juvenile detention are roughly four times as likely to have a serious gambling problem as their peers. Two-thirds of the hard-core gamblers in detention admitted stealing specifically to finance their gambling. (James R. Westphal, "Adolescent Gambling Behavior," Louisiana State University Medical Center—Shreveport, presented to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 11, 1998).
According to research by Delaware’s Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP), "An eighth grader that gambles is 50 percent more likely to drink alcohol, three times more likely to use marijuana or other illegal drugs, and three times more likely to get into trouble with the police, get involved with gang violence, or steal or shoplift." <http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/7/222003e.asp>
In less than ten years after casinos were legalized in Atlantic City, the crime rate increased a shocking 258 percent! With the introduction of casinos, Gulfport and Biloxi Mississippi, also came a dramatic rise in crime in every category, with murder, rape, robbery and car theft at least doubling. In just three short years after casinos came to Deadwood, South Dakota felony crimes increased by 40 percent, child abuse was up 42 percent, domestic violence and assaults rose 80 percent! In just three years!
More than half of all problem gamblers will commit crimes to fuel their powerful addiction. Insurance-related crime among gamblers is estimated at over $1.3 billion a year! One of the most sickening cancers infesting gambling is domestic violence and child abuse. Since casinos came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, domestic violence has increased a whopping 69 percent. And the most disgusting – over 37 percent of problem gamblers are child abuser!
Revelation 6:8 says, "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. . ." One of the most frightening "fruits" of gambling is the high rate of suicide and destruction. According to researchers, "Compulsive gambling has the highest rate of suicide. There are usually three options if a compulsive gambler doesn't abstain one day at a time and that is prison, insanity or death." <http://www.youngmoney.com/money_management/spending/020809_04>
On May 6, 2002, over 220 prominent religion leaders issued an "open letter" to President Bush and Congress on the plague of gambling. The letter called gambling a "moral and cultural cancer" and urged President Bush to curb the devastation of gambling. They stated, "Perhaps no single statistic better reveals the depth of despair associated with gambling addiction than this: One in five of those who become addicted to gambling will attempt to take his or her own life."
Clearly, the fruits of gambling smell with the vile stench of decadence, destruction and death.
The Word of God, repeatedly condemns the "get-rich-quick" snare of gambling. Just as the tragedies and destroyed lives from gambling testify, the Lord warns that those who commit this covetous sin have "pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
In Proverbs 28:22, the Lord has gambling’s number. While promising wealth and riches, it produces the fruit of poverty. Gambling is one of poverty’s greatest allies. Nothing is a greater and quicker producer of poverty than the enticing lure of gambling.
He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
Surely no sensible Christian would innocently label gambling as a "form of entertainment" or simply an "evening of fun"? And clearly, no responsible Christian leader would instruct Christian young people with such deceptive and destructive definitions? Surely not, would they?
Unfortunately, they would. And sadly the Refuel does. . .
In one of the sections titled "Extras", the Refuel covers the topic: "How (Not )To Gamble Away Your Life’s Savings" (p. 150). Here is Refuel’s shameful and disgraceful advice to teenage boys regarding gambling.
"You’re turning 18 and you’re determined: Not even your parents can keep you out of the casino right down the road. Okay, some Christians see casual gambling as a form of entertainment. If that’s where you’re at, lower your odds of losing every penny in your piggy bank by setting a personal limit—the $10 or $20 or $50 you’re willing to toss on an evening of fun. And like Kenny Rogers sang, "You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em." Get help fast when you see any of these warning signs of gambling addiction in you or a friend: failing to keep that spending limit, money problems, debt, secrecy, family and friends expressing concern, pre-occupation with gambling, increasing amounts of time and money spent gambling, failed attempts to quit or cut back, gambling with borrowed money, or gambling to win back loses."(Refuel, p. 150, emphasis added)
How can anyone – especially a Christian, give such outrageous advice to impressionable young people on gambling? Do they really believe teenagers can gamble without serious consequences? The facts clearly and loudly show different. The statistics alarmingly report that, ". . .one in every seven teenagers who gamble will become addicted." <http://www.bible.com/answers/agamblin.html>
It is amazing the Refuel quotes country music "Gambler", Kenny Rogers for guidance and completely ignores the Word of God.
Churches, pastors, parents and Christian leaders have devoted hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars fervently fighting against legalized gambling from destroying their young and here is a mainstream youth Bible that encourages teen gambling by innocently calling it "entertainment" and "fun". And many of these same Christian leaders will promote the Refuel!
THE REFUEL AND ALCOHOL
Another cancer literally eating the life from young people is alcohol. The deadly fact is alcohol is the number one killer of teenagers! Approximately 10,000 young people between the ages of 16-24 are killed each year in alcohol related accidents. The life expectancy of every age group in America has increased – except one – our teenagers. And the reason is killer alcohol. Teenage drinking is one of America’s deadliest sins.
Killer alcohol kills 50 times more people than all the illegal drugs combined! Killer alcohol will kill between 240,000 to 360,000 of the current college student body. <http://www.gatordental.com/drugfree/alcohol.htm>
In 1997, one in three high school seniors reported having had at least five drinks in a row in the previous two weeks. One in four sophomores and one in 10 eighth-graders responded the same. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that more than 50 percent of eighth graders and 8 out of every10 high school seniors admit that they have tried alcohol.
The average age of the first forbidden taste of alcohol use is 12. And it is not uncommon to find 10 year old alcoholics.
The most surprising and shocking result of teenager drinking is the fast-path to serious alcoholism. According to studies, the average adult takes 10-30 years of drinking to develop alcoholism – but get this – teenagers can become hard-core alcoholics in a little as three to six months! <http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/pei/brochures/drug/html/teenagealcohol.cfm>
Young people who drink alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to be an alcoholic than those who begin drinking at age 21. More than 43% of teenagers who began drinking before age 14 later became alcoholics. <MediaScope, Teenagers and Alcohol, http://www.mediascope.org/pubs/ibriefs/ta.htm>
And there are over three million children ages 14 to 17 who are problem drinkers!
Alcohol quickly leads teens down the road to faster and farther sin.
According to Attorney General Mike Fisher of Pennsylvania, "The use of alcohol suppresses inhibitions and judgments, permitting young people to cross the line of sexual involvement at younger and younger ages. Forty-seven percent of teenagers surveyed in 1982 were intoxicated the first time they engaged in sexual intercourse".
Alcohol use is also implicated in two-thirds of sexual assault and acquaintance or "date" rape cases among teens and college students. A survey of high school students found that 18% of females and 39% of males say it is acceptable for a boy to force sex on a girl if she is stoned or drunk.
Even the Refuel Bible-mag states on page 91, "Half of all teens say they are concerned they might go further sexually than they had planned to because they were drinking or using drugs." (Kaiser Family Foundation and MTV). (Refuel, p. 91)
The Word of God provides a perfect description of alcohol in Proverbs 23:29-35: "Who hath WOE? Who hath SORROW? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it BITETH LIKE A SERPENT, AND STINGETH LIKE AN ADDER. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. "
Notice the Lord says, ". . . at last it biteth like A SERPENT." Do you know what a serpent’s bite is? It is a deadly poison! Did you know that alcohol is a deadly poison? Every major organ in your body is poisoned by alcohol. According to The Birmingham News (Nov. 19, 1990), "Scientific data show alcohol is the most physically deteriorating drug there is. It causes more organic damage than any other drug. . ."
Why is it when people get drunk, they have a tendency to vomit? Because your stomach knows a deadly poison when it comes down. No wonder the bartender says, "Name your poison". When a man is drunk, he is intoxicated. Do you know what toxic is? Webster’s Dictionary defines toxic as: poisonous. A person drinking alcohol is literally intoxicating or poisoning themselves!
The Bible makes a clear distinction between fermented liquor and new wine or grape juice. Speaking of fermented liquor, Proverbs 23 says, "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red (speaking of fermentation), when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (speaking of the bubbling and carbonation). At the last it BITETH like a serpent, and STINGETH like an adder." The Bible says do not even LOOK AT IT, much less drink it!
A description of new wine is found in Isaiah 65:8, "as the NEW WINE is found IN THE CLUSTER." Not in a bottle. You can not get fermented alcohol from a CLUSTER! Fermented alcohol is placed in a bottle, with yeast and allowed to decay and ferment. Genesis 40:11 gives a clear picture of new wine, "I took grapes and pressed them in Pharaoh's cup."
People say, "Jesus drank wine at the Last Supper with the apostles". The fact is, In Matthew, Mark and Luke where the account of the Last Supper is found, the word "wine" is never even mentioned. The Bible very carefully says they drank - "fruit of the vine".
What about when Jesus turned the water into wine at the marriage in Cana. If Jesus Christ turned water into fermented alcohol, he directly disobeyed Habakkuk 2:15, "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also . . ." And friend, if Jesus Christ disobeyed Habakkuk – He was a sinner! The Bible makes it very clear in 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, and other verses - that Jesus Christ was without sin!
Do you believe the Lord Jesus Christ was deceived? The Lord says in Proverbs 20:1, whosoever that drinks wine or strong drink is "deceived".
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1
God has placed a very strong warning on alcohol in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Be not deceived: NO DRUNKARDS, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God."
Without a doubt – the Word of God condemns killer alcohol – from the casual drink to the drunkard.
If there ever was a battle cry for Christians and the church today it is teenage drinking. Like the prophet Isaiah says, we should, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, . . ." (Isaiah 58:1).
With the terror of teenage drinking literally slaughtering our young people, I could not believe the "expert" counsel the Refuel gives Christian teenagers. With the clear and serious warning the Lord places on alcohol the counsel of the Refuel is literally beyond belief!
In one section of the Refuel, called "Experts Answer Your Questions" is the following:
Q: How much beer can I drink before it’s a sin.
Can you believe that? That is throwing fuel (or in this case Refuel) on the raging fire of teenage killer alcohol! Do you really want these "experts" teaching your children?
In another section of the Refuel called "Issues", the subject is "Partying". Notice again, they do not condemn drinking.
It’s Friday night and you’re glad to get an invite to a party. Problem is, you know that most people present will be sloshing beers. What do you do? Drinking might feel cool. It might calm your social jitters. It might make you forget about life’s most hideous problems. But for now, drinking is illegal. And drinking too much can undo your life. Ephesians 5:18 says, "Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you." (Refuel, p. 138 emphasis added)
What do you do? The correct answer is: if you know "people present will be sloshing beers" – you do not go! A Christian has NO business in such an environment. You can be sure, if they are "sloshing beers", they are not sitting around praying and singing "Amazing Grace"! Proverbs 23 describes the sinful fruits of alcohol, ". . . Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.. . ." Where alcohol is – sin does much more abound. Young person, do not believe the Refuel – stay away from such! Stay away! Take the Lord’s wise advice in Proverbs 1:10, "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." If you get around alcohol or fire-water you will get burned! The Bible says in Proverbs 6:27, "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?"
Notice also the Refuel’s condemnation of drinking "too much". Not drinking, but drinking "too much". Friend, one drink is way too much. Parents and youth workers, do you want the Refuel instructing your children?
May we pause and ask the great evangelist and alcohol-fighter, Billy Sunday his opinion of moderate, not too much, Christian drinkers, such as the Refuel "experts"? Brother Billy says, they are, "dirty, low-down, whiskey-soaked, beer-guzzling, bull-necked, foul-mouthed, hypocrites". <http://info.detnews.com/history/story/index.cfm?id=200&category=people>
Thank you, Brother Billy for those wonderful and kind words of truth.
THE REFUEL'S "DO’S & DON’TS"
Another section of the Refuel is "Do’s & Don’ts". They go from the silly to the crude.
Some of the silly:
It’s ironic the Refuel flippantly warns against such trivial nonsense as "don’t shake soda cans", or "don’t blow your nose without a Kleenex", but as we previously read, they down-play such serious sins as gambling and drinking. And may I remind you, the Refuel is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, one of the largest Christian publishers on the planet!. God help us.
Some of the crude from the "Do’s and Don’t":
The Refuel’s "Do’s and Don’ts" is slightly different from the Lord’s "Ten Commandments". Which one do you think is right?
THE REFUEL’S DOCTRINAL CHAOS AND CONFUSION
Littered throughout the Refuel is doctrinal confusion and chaos.
The Refuel’s ridiculous exposition of John 14:2-4 is certainly worth a laugh. The Refuel steals your mansion the Lord Jesus promised in John 14:2 and gives you a "room". The Refuel believes God the Father is running a "boarding house". Pitiful. . .
No thank you, I’ll stick with my mansion and the King James Bible:
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2
I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory,
Oh, by the way, don’t count on those "streets of gold" either. The "experts" in the Refuel says under the topic "Heaven" in Bible Basics, they are not real just "major symbols".
"Heaven is where God’s throne is. The Bible describes heaven with major symbols like streets of gold and gates of rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. . ." (Refuel, p. 97)
The Refuel is earnestly attempting to rob all the "glitter, glory, and gold" from God’s heaven. But on the other hand; gambling is "entertainment" and "fun" (Refuel, p. 150). And go ahead and drink a beer or two. (Refuel, p. 129)
In a section titled "Ways to Walk the Walk", the Refuel blatantly teaches the heresy of baptismal regeneration while removing the last half of the verse!
Ways to Walk the Walk
Notice in their "Ways to Walk the Walk", the Refuel conveniently leaves out the last half of Mark 16:16, "but he that believeth not shall be damned".
It is also worth mentioning the New Century Version (the Bible text of the Revolve and Refuel) is the translation work of the Church of Christ affiliated World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) in Ft. Worth, Texas. The cornerstone of the Church of Christ is baptismal regeneration (among other heresies) and the NCV is intertwined with Church of Christ false doctrines.
In the section "Experts Answer Your Questions", the Refuel irreverently refers to God as the "Big Guy upstairs". In the same "expert question", they give a very confusing and baffling answer to a simple and serious question. This is a typical trivial answer of the Refuel.
Experts Answer Your Questions.
The Word of God is very clear. A Christian is to be different from the world. He is to be separated (2 Cor. 6:17), peculiar (1 Peter 2:9) hated (Matt. 10:22) reviled (Matt. 5:11) and persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). Like their Lord, a Bible Believing, Christian will always be hated and persecuted by this world.
But the Refuel has another idea. . . Being a Christian does not make you "strange" but the "real life of the party". Under the section "Ways to Walk With God" under Acts 2:15, the Refuel reads:
"Remind yourself today that being a Christian doesn’t make you strange. It makes you a better person, a deeper friend, and the real life of the party." (Refuel, p. 179)
Yes, the apostles were the "real life of the party". Peter was crucified upside down, and the Apostle Paul was beheaded. Yes, the early Christians were the real "life of the party" as thousands were thrown to the lion’s den. You want a real party? Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Hebrews 11:36-38 gives some more "life of the party" Christians:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
The "real life of the party"? I wonder what party the Refuel staff goes to?
And for you guys desiring to be a "Godly Guy", the Refuel has the prescription. This is a sure thing. On page 278, the Refuel lists their spiritually dynamic and exciting "Random Things to Know About Being a Godly Guy". Are you guys ready? Got your pen out? You definitely will want to write these "nuggets" down!
Here they are:
Random Things to Know About Being a Godly Guy
Boy, now that came right out the Pauline epistles. Especially that "They don’t belch" godly spiritual revelation.
Again, this is the typical, silly "refuse" found littering the Refuel. What is really pitiful, these people are not kidding! That is honestly their description of a "Godly Guy"! No prayer, No Bible. No soulwinning. No holiness. No persecution. No separation. Nothing. . . "Nuttin Honey"!
Is it possible that a Christian publication could be more spiritually perverted? Is it possible?
Yes it is. The worse is yet to come. . .
THE REFUEL’S MUSIC REVIEWS
Another feature of the Refuel is "Music Reviews". Of course, the music they review is all Christian rock. And naturally (on par with the rest of the Refuel), they recommend some of the most rebellious. We could easily dedicate several pages on the complete disgust of their Christian music recommendations. Due to lack of time, we will just examine a few.
On page 55, The Refuel recommends Christian rocker Jaci Velasquez.
Jaci Velasquez’s starring role in the movie Chasing Papi is a sickening first for a mainstream Christian. Chasing Papi is a sensual, heavily sexually saturated movie about three sexy women (Jaci is one) involved with the same man named Papi. The movie has a heavy dose of cleavage, skimpy outfits, jiggle and bare flesh. Chicago Sun-Times, famed movie critic, Roger Ebert describes Chasing Papi, as a ". . .feature-length jiggle show with Charlie's Angels transformed into Latina bimbos. . ." Ebert compares Chasing Papi to the nearly-nude magazine Maxim (Walmart removed Maxim for it’s flesh and filth), Papi, ". . would make your average Maxim reader feel right at home." One scene in Chasing Papi has the three women (including Jaci) hiding in Papi’s bedroom wearing very (very, very) skimpy red lingerie. When Papi appears they all lusciously pop-out. Ebert says the scene looks like ". . . a fashion show by Victoria's Secret". Another movie reviewer says Chasing Papi is ". . . as lubricious as a centerfold." (Lubricious means sexual arousal or lustful)
As if the blatant sexual sins were not enough open rebellion against the Lord, Chasi Papi also contains the God forbidden occult. The real-life, world-renown, astrologer and occultist Walter Mercado appears in Chasing Papi to provide the ladies (including Jaci) with occultic, Satanic readings.
Jaci, who is also known for her sexually provocative and skimpy outfits, tells CCM, ". . .I always get letters saying, ‘You dress too sexy. I was offended; I’m never taking my kid to your show again.’"
Is Jaci Velasquez someone to recommend to Christian young men? Believe me, Christian teenage boys have enough battles curbing their hormones in today’s sex-crazed world without sexually dressed Jaci enticing them.
The Refuel recommends the group Jars of Clay (p. 340):
Probably the most spiritually dangerous group in Christian music is P.O.D. Under "Random Christian CDs Worth Owning" (p. 112), the Refuel has P.O.D.’s Satellite first on the list. In the Refuel’s "Random Psyche-Up Songs" (p. 105), P.O.D.’s song "Alive" is included. According to P.O.D., "Alive" is about a boy-girl relationship, which the "Alive" video clearly shows.
Another Refuel "Music Reviews" recommendations is the group Newsboys (p. 29):
The Refuel’s silence. . .
It is amazing in over 384 pages the Refuel never mentions the sin of homosexuality. With the deadly epidemic of AIDS, the battle for homosexual marriage and the explosion of teenage homosexuality – how could the Refuel staff deliberately ignore the destructive sin of homosexuality.
Books such as Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate, promoting homosexuality, are flooding our elementary schools. And according to The Washington Post, bisexuality and homosexuality, have become the "in" thing among our public schools. Teenage homosexuality has increased so much that New York City now has a high school exclusively for homosexuals! And more are coming. Its principal proudly predicts, "This school will be a model for the country, and possibly for the world." <http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVMassieSchool903.html>
The Lord gives some very serious judgements against homosexuality. In Genesis 13:13, the Bible says, "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." They were not just "wicked and sinners" but EXCEEDINLY. And in Romans 1 the sin of homosexuality is so repulsive to the Lord, the Bible says ". . .God gave them up unto vile affections:. . ." (1:26) and ". . . God gave them over to a reprobate mind,. . ." (1:28) And because of the vile sin of homosexuality, God completely destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with the judgement of fire and brimstone. With the media and politicians "love-affair" with homosexuality and the eruption of teenage homosexuals how can a Christian youth Bible publication completely close their eyes to homosexuality?
On page 361 of the Refuel, they provide the following statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Approximately half of all new HIV infections occur in people under age 24." Yet in the same CDC statistics they conveniently ignore the first and most important demographic of AIDS, "CDC estimates that approximately 60 percent of men were infected through homosexual sex." <http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/aidsstat.htm> Why did they skip that important statistic? Why did the Refuel side step the sin of homosexuality? They cover those awful sins like "littering" (p. 210) but the widespread sin of teenage homosexuality is completely ignored That is no accident. . .
Here is the Refuel’s strong rebuke of littering!
Q: I’m disgusted when I see Christians littering. Don’t they care about the environment?
Under the Refuel’s "Ask the Experts", they prohibit preaching against a specific sin (unless it is littering!).
Q: Are some sins worse than others?
Amazing. . . But the worse is yet to come.
THE REFUEL & SOCIAL ACTIVISM
To provide a crystal clear picture of the left-wing, socialist, agenda of the Refuel under their section titled "Issues", they have a full-page spread on the topic, "Social Activism". In the following excerpt notice the conviction and fiery zeal they preach the "socialist" gospel:
"How much does it matter you’re socially involved? How big should it be in your life? Well, there are over 2,300 verses in Scripture that command us to take care of the poor, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. So look for a way to live that out day to day. Get on www.volunteermatch.org today and see what opportunities are available in your neighborhood. . ."
Here is what is REALLY amazing! They have the same "Social Activism" sermon TWICE in the Refuel! Yes. The same identical sermon is found TWICE, once on page 192 and again on page 270!
Both are full-page spreads! That clearly shows the heart, mind and soul of the Refuel.
What was the "great commission" the Lord Jesus Christ gave His followers? Did He say, "Go ye therefore, and take care of the poor, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. . ."?
Of course, not. In Matthew 28:19-20, the Lord Jesus commissions His apostles:
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
The Refuel is preaching the perverted Marxist, social gospel. Much of the Refuel is dedicated to the left-wing, social gospel. That is not to say a Christian should not care for the poor, etc. But the most important "food" you could EVER give to anyone is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus clearly says in John 6:27, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, . . . "
Newsweek magazine had an article by liberal columnist Anna Quindlen which echoed the same liberal, left-wing, social-activism, agenda of the Refuel. The following is excerpts from Quindlen’s article. Notice the same social gospel as the Refuel.
"All that made perfect sense to me because I had long ago concluded that I had become a liberal largely through religion. Loving your neighbor as yourself, giving your cloak to the man who had none, blessed are the peacemakers: taken together, all of it seemed a clarion call to social justice and the obligation of individuals and institutions to help those who needed help. Jesus was the first radical rabble-rouser I'd ever read about in school, and the best." (Newsweek, March 8, 2004)
What is really eye-opening is the title of the article – "At the Left Hand of God". Did Quindlen and the social activists ever read what is at the "left hand of God" ?
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25:41
In fact, Satanist throughout history are known to follow the "left-hand path". The book, Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult defines the "left-hand path":
Left-hand Path: (occult). Term used in occult circles synonymous with evil. In the Bible, the goats (wicked) go to the left hand of God to be separated for judgment, while the sheep (righteous) go to the right to be saved. (Mather, George A. and Larry A. Nichols, Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult, p. 175)
In other words, avoid the left-wing, Marxist, social activists like a pig bull dog with AIDS!
In the Refuel’s "10 Random Causes Worth Fighting For", you can again see the social gospel come glaring through:
1. The Rights of the Unborn
Nowhere in their "10 Random Causes Worth Fighting For" do you find the Glorious Gospel, Souls, the Truth, the Lord Jesus or any real Bible battles. Except for numbers 1, 3, and 6 the list is the foundation of the liberal, left-wing, United Nations agenda.
THE REVOLVE'S "FEMINIST CORRECTION"
Another eye-opening testimony to the mindset of the Refuel and Revolve staff is a "correction" that occurred in the Revolve Bible-mag.
On page 13 of the Revolve, they answered a question with the following advice: "God made guys to be the leaders. That means that they lead in relationships" (Revolve, p. 13) Of course, the feminist threw a femmie frenzy. And guess what? Bowing to the feminist agenda, Thomas Nelson removed it in later editions!
Before the change:
Q: Hey, my question is how do you tell a friend that’s your crush that you’re into him without ruing your friendship.
After the feminist change:
Q: Hey, my question is how do you tell a friend that’s your crush that you’re into him without ruing your friendship.
I saved the worst for last.
If you think it has been bad thus far – read the next bomb from the Refuel!
THE REAL ONES WHO ARE "RUINING IT"
Let’s review a few of the Refuel’s "seal of approval": :
They approve skimpy dressing rockers like Jaci Velasquez.
What are they against?
Who is it that the Refuel staff says is ". . .. ruining it for the rest of us"?
Believe it or not. . . Bible Believing Christians and the Lord Jesus Christ!
In one of the sections titled "Radical Faith" under the scripture 1 Corinthians 4:10, contains the following:
"Like everybody else, Christians can sometimes act dumb. They come in all shapes and sizes—Bible thumpers, Scripture-screamers, unforgivers, grace-stealers-the kind of people you wouldn’t want to be in a group with because they’re ruining it for the rest of us."
Can you believe that?
According to the Refuel the ". . . people you wouldn’t want to be in a group. . ." is ". . . Bible thumpers, Scripture-screamers,. . ."!
But on the other hand – it is ok to "party" with people "sloshing beers" (p. 138) and casinos and gamblers (p. 150)!
Can you believe such spiritual hypocrisy?
According to the Refuel staff and Thomas Nelson Publishers the ones who are ". . . ruining it for the rest of us. . ." are the "Bible thumpers and Scripture-screamers"!
Here is the definition of a "Bible thumper":
Do you know who was the greatest "Bible thumper" and "scripture-screamer" in history?
The Lord Jesus Christ!
Have you ever read the New Testament?
Here’s just some of the "Bible thumping" and "scripture-screaming" the Lord Jesus Christ does in the New Testament:Matthew 4:4,7,10
4 But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is written,. . .
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again. . .
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written. . . Matthew 11:10
For this is he, of whom it is written. . .
Matthew 12:3, 5
Luke 4:4, 8, 12
I could easily do the same with the Apostle Paul, Peter, James, et al.
And according to the Refuel, the Lord Jesus and the "Bible thumpers" ". . . ruining it for the rest of us. . ."!
I have never read such a blatant anti-Christ statement in a mainstream Christian publication! Never! And I have read many.
What about the great "Bible-thumpers and scripture screamers" like John Wesley and George Whitefield? George Whitefield preached so hard and loud he would cough up blood. Wesley was beaten repeatedly by mobs for his open-air "Bible-thumping and scripture screaming". John Bunyan refused to stop open-air "Bible thumping and scripture-screaming" preferring to spend over 12 years in prison! And there is Dwight L. "Crazy" Moody, Spurgeon, Frank Norris, Peter Cartwright, Christmas Evans, Sam Jones, Billy Sunday, and thousands of other "Bible thumpers and scripture screamers".
You know, the "ones", the Refuel says is ". . . ruining it for the rest of us. . ."!
Remember where the Refuel "experts" replied that "we can’t shake our fingers at sins ‘worse’ than our own. We’re all guilty." (Refuel, 94)? But they can sure "shake their fingers" at the "Bible-Thumpers and scripture-screamers"! God help us.
If the pastors, youth workers and Christian parents really knew the spiritual poison in the Refuel most of them would avoid it like the plague!
This kind of hip-hop, non judgmental, anti-Bible, anti-Christ, carnal, left-wing, spiritual cancer marketing our Christian young people is literally destroying any and all real spiritual life! The warning of 2 Peter 2:1-3 concerning false prophets who with ". . . feigned words make merchandise of you" and "the way of truth shall be evil spoken of" describe the Refuel perfectly.
2 Peter 2:1-3
The Barna Research Group published a study titled Third Millennium Teens: Research on the Minds, Hearts and Souls of America’s Teenagers. The research consisted of extensive nation-wide surveys of teenagers. Using statistical analysis the margin of error is less than 5%. Every pastor and youth pastor needs to prayerfully read and digest this book. It clearly documents the complete failure of our youth ministries.
I do not find anything in the Bible that even hints at different methods, lingos, dumbing-down, messages, alternative definitions, etc. of reaching different age groups or different classes of people with the Word of God. The method I do read is — And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto me. [John 12:32]
After studying their extensive analysis of Christian teenagers, Barna Research writes of the consequence of these "water downed" youth programs (like the Refuel Bible-mag):
"The consequence is a watering down of Christian theology to such a low standard that it often conflicts with, rather than conforms to, Scripture."
Absolute truth (found in the Bible) is so far away from most Christian teenagers, they do not even know where to look. Incredibly, less than 8% would even look in the Bible for the truth!
"Discerning the existence of moral truth is so insignificant to most teenagers that half of them (46%) cannot even identify a source of information that has had the greatest influence on their thinking about the matter. The most common influence was their family (21%),. . . Other influences listed were religious teaching and beliefs (9%), the Bible (8%), friends (5%)….
"The role of the Bible is clearly confounding to most teens. Not only are they evenly divided as to whether or not it provides absolute moral truths that are the same for all people in all situations, but their views on what the Bible contains in relation to truth are consistently inconsistent."
What are our young people REALLY searching for?
While we try to "trick" teenagers into serving God with the trinkets and silly Refuel Bible-mags – they are begging for a "morsel of meat" from God’s Word! No wonder our young people can not wait to get away from the "church". No wonder they do not want to "run the race that is set before them" (Heb 12:1) While we are feeding them a "junk food" diet of fun and frolic – they are spiritually starving to death!
To show how we have completely failed our teens, read Barna’s shocking analysis:
"Myth: today's youth group attenders are tomorrow's church leaders.
Unbelievable. . . According to Barna’s shocking analysis – the more active a young person is in church – the LESS likely they will attend church as an adult! And I have seen this far too many times. When that Christian, church-bred, young person gets out of high school, away from mom and dad – any trace of God and the church disappear from their lives. They react as a man released from prison. They can not wait to get out.
Why? Where have we failed? Where did we go wrong?
Here’s Barna’s simple answer:
"The reason is so simple that we often overlook it: we are not delivering the goods. (Ibid, p.67)
And Barna concludes:
"If we continue to minister the ways in which we are doing so today, we are strategically facilitating the demise of the Church we exist to build." (Ibid, p.67)
What is the solution?
Back to the King James Bible.
Back to the Bible-thumpers and scripture screamers.