AWANA Now Teaching Children to Hear the Voice of God?

“It is important to remember that a conversation involves two people talking.  We need to make sure that we are taking time to listen to God speak to us too.”

Apparently that is how AWANA Club students are being instructed to hear extra-biblical voices. But the Bible never tells us to pray this way. When we pray, we SAY, according to Jesus’ instructions to His disciples. We make our petitions known to Him (He already knows, of course), and we study what He has already spoken in his Word to us which He has breathed out for His children.

Unfortunately, this type of Contemplative Prayer is seeping into ministries that are now infecting little lambs.

Kudos to Lighthouse Trails for alerting parents to this, and for asking the great questions:

“We thought AWANA clubs purpose was to teach children the Word of God through memorization. Since when did they take it upon themselves to teach children to listen to God’s voice in two-way conversations during prayer? Is this not a gateway into Christian mysticism?

Regardless of what one believes about hearing God’s voice outside of Scripture, how is it AWANA’s place to teach children to engage in possibly dangerous “conversations”? Will they also be teaching children about discerning of spirits (that is, testing the spirits – 1 John 4:1-6) and that there are demonic spirits that are “speaking” to people? We hope so. AWANA is supposed to be teaching children the Word of God, helping children to store up God’s Word in their hearts. They now want to teach them how to take part in subjective mystical experiences. Remember, this is coming from an organization that has been promoting Spiritual Formation for several years. How can we trust them to teach children this? Will it not surely be slanted by proponents of contemplative spirituality?”

Read the rest of this report over at Lighthouse Trails.

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10 Responses to AWANA Now Teaching Children to Hear the Voice of God?

  1. Joel May 3, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    It is heartbreaking that many of what used to be dependable ministries, are now incrementally allowing deception to creep in. Probably in most cases this is happening unknowingly, naively and/or ignorantly. I used to be overly trusting of some. I now listen and read much more carefully, being on the lookout for falsehoods and red-flags. My skepticism has ratcheted up immensely; especially after watching many friends, relatives, churches, and etc embrace with enthusiasm the disguised garbage.

    I thank the Lord for your great ministry. I have learned so very much. Keep it up.

    • Manny1962 May 3, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

      Hello Joel,

      We live in the days spoken of by the apostles, apostasy, false teachers, false brethren running amok. Everything you hear concerning God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and the bride has to be filtered through scripture. You cannot rely on teachers or even many so called Christians, dark days indeed. But, be cheerful, for we know what is to come! I recommend you read the book of Revelation, it may sound horrific at first, and quite frankly it is, but that is not for us! We eagerly await our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!! Maranatha!

  2. Maggie May 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    It caused me great alarm to learn spiritual formation curriculum was being used for the children’s Sunday school classes at my former church. My concern was validated when I learned one of the young children said she had difficulty telling if it was God’s voice or her own thoughts that she was hearing. I don’t know what her Sunday school teacher told her, but I think it unlikely that she was taught any biblical discernment. Another thought was I wonder how many of the children who attend church are actually saved–and not just Christianized–and yet they are being taught to listen for “God’s voice!”

    • Manny1962 May 3, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

      Same exact thing happened in our last congregation, before they went full-tilt Warren Seeker, AWANA was being taught to young children, my son being a bit older was taught in Sunday school, which was still doctrinally correct, for the woman who taught it was conservative and godly. Now I hear it’s a free for all social justice, politically correct, washed down false gospel. Part and parcel of the great apostasy raging.

      Parents! Please be aware what’s being taught in church to the children. It’s not just school we have to worry about.

  3. Steph May 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are the primary ways God communicates with us. Because we can read, memorize, and study the Bible, we know how the first one looks. However, what does it look like for the Holy Spirit to communicate with us? Scripture says he will teach us (John 14:26), convict the world of sin (John 16:8), and he will guide us into truth with God’s authority. Exactly how that looks is a mystery, however we know it will always match God’s word:

    “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 14:26

    Contemplative prayer is where people are seeking extra-bibical revelations from God. Telling someone to listen to God speak to us isn’t the same thing as contemplative prayer.

    • Steph May 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

      Sorry – my scripture reference on the quoted scripture should be John 16:13, not John 14:26

  4. Sheila Beers May 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

    I always had grave reservations about AWANA due to the competitive nature of the programs and the inclusion of equally competitive games. I often wondered how many children came to the meetings because of the competitive atmosphere in memorizing Bible verses (without understanding the meaning), the secular games, and the material prizes. As believers, we are not to be in competition with other believers because our walk with God and growth in the knowledge of Him is a private, personal, and precious experience that happens between God and the individual. Nowhere in the Bible does it say one believer is to be considered more successful or more knowledgeable than another, and this raised a red flag with me concerning the AWANA program decades ago when my younger brother was a participant. As for hearing God’s voice, yes, the Holy Spirit does speak to the individual, but the message must be in agreement with the scripture. Since children often cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy and may not have a clear concept of right and wrong, this teaching of extra-Biblical revelations and actually “hearing” God’s voice is extremely dangerous and misleading. I do appreciate being told about this unsound trend in the AWANA program.

  5. Sharon Peterson May 6, 2017 at 2:57 am #

    I too appreciate knowing what AWANA is doing. But have parents also looked into what translation of the Bible is being used? Different versions change the wording and omit complete sentences from the KJV. For instance the other day walking through the book section a Color Book Bible caught my attention and I picked it up to look. I was curious not interested in buying it. In Genesis chapter 1 where G-d created the plants and said for them to reproduce” after their kind” and the animals to also reproduce “after their kind”, the “after their kind” was removed and instead it was worded to be many varieties and that many varieties were good. It bothers me because with science wanting to combine animals and man giving man abilities that some animals have they are completely leaving that door for chimeras wide open. And what about versions that take out the male and female? G-d created us as male and female. It leaves open the door for all sorts of UnBiblical behavior. G-d loves the sinner but HE hates the sin.

    Hopefully with AWANA and what they are doing coming to light, I pray that parents are also looking at what versions of the Bible their children and themselves are being taught from. Satan is out to deceive even the elect and to distort the word of G-d.

    Bible scholars who are well versed in different versions of the Bible and other books NOT included anymore in the KJV all agree that the KJV is the most accurate of all translations.

    Be aware that newer future versions of the Bible have already been written and will be said to be “new” and each and every newer version has eliminated a truth and will be slanted to everyone being one religion, as in a one world religion, and it will NOT be the Christianity we have known in the past. We need to be very aware of what is happening for both our children and for ourselves.

  6. Greg May 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    RE: “Bible scholars who are well versed in different versions of the Bible and other books NOT included anymore in the KJV all agree that the KJV is the most accurate of all translations.”

    There are very few Bible scholars who are well-versed in the translation process who believe the KJV is the most accurate.

  7. Robert Barnett May 24, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    The Bible scholars who question the accuracy of the KJV do so using a naturalistic, critical text approach which denies the supernatural nature of Bible revelation, inspiration, and providential preservation of the traditional or received text from generation to generation in the hands of Bible believers.

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