Monday, December 17, 2007

"Attention Deficit Disorder" - Disorder or Personality Type?


PY251- Education Psychology

December 17, 2007

“Attention Deficit Disorder”

Disorder or Personality Type?

As parents and educators we hold the power to help form a child’s outlook on life, his[1] way of looking at his own abilities, and his willingness to accept and work with those abilities.

If we look at a “disorder” and call it “normal”, then we fail to support a child’s true need for support and assistance, if truly needed. However, if we look at behavior which is actually normal for a child and call it a “disorder”, then we instill in the child (many times from a very early age) a belief that there is something “wrong” with her; there is something wrong that cannot be “fixed”, or that must be fixed with drugs.

Is there an alternative to labeling a young child with a mental disorder? Is it possible that “Attention Deficit Disorder”[2] is not a “disorder”, but rather something more natural, a remnant of necessary skills that brings not only challenges, but a skills set that may be seen as helpful in certain circumstances?

Consider the following list of characteristics[3]. What condition does this list describe?

Poor attention, boredom, daydreaming in specific situations.

Low tolerance for persistence on tasks that seem irrelevant.

Judgment lags behind development of intellect.

Intensity may lead to power struggles with authorities.

High activity level; may need less sleep.

Questions rules, customs and traditions.

Is this “Attention Deficit Disorder”? No; the above list describes (in part) a child that is “gifted and talented”.

Below is a list of the same characteristics on the left, and a corresponding list of ADD/ADHD “symptoms” on the right.

Poor attention, boredom, daydreaming in specific situations.

Poorly sustained attention is almost all situations.

Low tolerance for persistence on tasks that seem irrelevant.

Diminished persistence on tasks not having immediate consequences.

Judgment lags behind development of intellect.

Impulsivity, poor delay of gratification.

Intensity may lead to power struggles with authorities.

Impaired adherence to commands to regulate or inhibit behavior in social contexts.

High activity level; may need less sleep.

More active, restless than normal children.

Questions rules, customs and traditions.

Difficulty adhering to rules and regulations.

If the wording involved is examined, we see differences in the way the same type of behavior is described. “Low tolerance” becomes “Diminished persistence” for tasks that seem “irrelevant” (which becomes “not having immediate consequences”). ”Power struggles” become “Impaired adherence to commands” and “Questions rules” becomes “Difficulty adhering” to those same rules[4].

If a high activity level is acceptable in a gifted and talented girl, and restlessness is medicated in the boy sitting next to her, what message are we sending?

Is there a different (and more positive way) off looking at the set of characteristics known as “ADD/ADHD”?

The Hunter/Gatherer vs Farmer View

Thom Hartmann says that there is, asking “Could it be that ADD is something that was once useful for the human race, but is now – particularly in schools – a liability?[5]

”The creatures that want to live a life of their own, we call wild. If wild, then no matter how harmless, we treat them as outlaws, and those of us who are ‘specially well brought up shoot them for fun.” (Clarence Day, This Simian World, 1920)

Hartmann reminds us of a time when the human race consisted of nomadic hunter-gatherers; these nomadic peoples around the world were gradually replaced as agriculture developed and the qualities that benefited farmers were developed. Over the years most humans became more adapted to farming; the “hunter-gatherer” gene remained. Those people who our society considers “normal” are those who adapted to an agrarian world. Those who retain some of the older hunter-gatherer characteristics may be labeled “ADD/ADHD.[6]

Hartmann writes, “At its core, ADD is generally acknowledged to have three components: distractibility, impulsivity, and risk-taking/restlessness.[7]” Hartmann hypothesizes that these things that we now see as impediments may have actually functioned as survival skills in ages past.

On distractability:

“A better way to characterize the distractibility of ADD is to describe it as scanning. In a classroom, the child with ADD/ADND is the one who notices the janitor mowing the lawn outside the window, when he should be focusing on the teacher’s lecture on long division. Likewise, the bug crawling across the ceiling, or the class bully preparing to throw a spitball, are infinitely more fascinating than the teacher’s analysis of Columbus’ place in history.[8]

How would this sort of “scanning” have been useful in the past? Using Hartmanns’ “hunter/gatherer” scenario, we can imagine a primitive hunter constantly scanning his environment. The hunter that was unable to scan would have been at a huge disadvantage. That flash of motion that catches his attention might be dinner…or the animal that hoped to make dinner out of him. In today’s world we might think of a truck driver; would the ability to catch movement out of the corner of the eye help to prevent accidents?

The farmer, on the other hand, needs to be able to focus on the long term. Focusing on what is directly in front of him, his rows are straight and weeds are pulled.

On impulsivity:

“Thomas Edison eloquently described how his combined distractibility and impulsiveness helped him on his “hunt” for world-transforming inventions. He said, ‘Look, I start here with the intention of going there’ (drawing an imaginary line) ‘in an experiment, say, to increase the speed of the Atlantic cable; but when I have arrived part way in my straight line, I meet with a phenomenon and it leads me off in another direction, to something totally unexpected.”[9]

In times past this sort of impulsivity would have been an asset for our primitive hunter; if he were chasing a rabbit through the woods and a deer ran in front of him, he would have no time to stop and do a risk/benefits analysis. Impulsivity translates to the ability to make instant decisions and act on those decisions without a second thought. For a businessman such as a stock broker, this ability to see, make and act instantly on decisions could mean huge profits or losses.

Our farmer cannot make such snap decisions; to leave the field in the middle of harvest, to be distracted from the weed pulling would be a disaster for the field.

On restlessness:

“Risk-taking, or, as described in their book, “Driven to Distraction”, by Drs. Hallowell and Ratey, “a restive search for high stimulation,” is perhaps the most destructive of the behaviors associated with ADD in contemporary society…”[10]

Hartmann notes that this search for high stimulation may account for the high percentage of the prison population with ADD/ADHD and may play a role in a many social problems, from reckless driving to job-hopping.

Yet, looking again at the primitive hunter, we see that restlessness and risk-taking is an essential part of life for a hunter; if these hunters shied away from risks, they would go hungry. The adrenalin rush would be their “normal”. We see restlessness and risk taking in many situations today. We can look at young people who start a band in the garage and begin to seek out venues to play. We see the owner of an independent coffee shop who takes the risk of competing against the “big guys”. We see the ordained minister who seeks to become president.

Most farmers cannot take such risks. Over many, many years rotation crops have been developed. To vary from the rotation depletes the soil. To plant an entire farm of a new crop (rather than the low risk planting of one field) could risk an entire year of failure and starvation.

Hartmann’s view of ADD/ADHD (which is growing more popular) implies that it may not be a disorder at all; it may be a simple variation of human behavior. These characteristics may even be useful in some careers, rather than the characteristics of our primitive hunter’s
The Medical Community’s View

The counter-balance of the “hunter/gatherer” view of ADD/ADHD is that of the medical community. The education and medical communities shape our view of this “disorder”.

The American Academy of Pediatrics writes:

“Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral disorder of childhood. ADHD is also among the most prevalent chronic health conditions affecting school-age children. The core symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.”[11]

In these 35 words the AAP tells us that ADHD is not a natural variation of human behavior, let alone behavior that could be helpful at times. The AAP verifies that (according to their definition) ADD/ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder and a chronic condition. Note that the three core “symptoms” are the same three hunter characteristics that Hartmann noted.

Global use of medications that treat ADD/ADHD nearly tripled from 1993 to 2003, and spending on the drugs rose nine-fold, according to a study co-funded by NIMH and published in the March/April 2007 issue of Health Affairs[12].

“Given ADHD’s prevalence and the increasing use of these medications, the disorder is poised to become the world’s leading childhood disorder treated with medication,” said Dr. Scheffler. “With this in mind, we should clearly identify the benefits and risks of these pharmacologic treatments, and promote careful prescribing and monitoring practices.”[13]

Is this condition that we know as ADD/ADHD truly this widespread and do we really have so many children in need of medication for a mental disorder?

Some doctors say no.

Dr. William B Carey of the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote in 2003:

As stated in my presentation at the NIH conference and as published in the summary book edited by Jensen and Cooper, the problem resides primarily in the ADHD diagnosis itself and secondarily how it is applied:

1) The current ADHD symptoms are not clearly distinguishable from normal behavior. The DSM system fails to acknowledge the existence of temperament and how it differs.

2) The absence of clear evidence that the ADHD symptoms are related to brain malfunction. They may come from other causes, as mentioned above. Genetic studies do not prove that ADHD is a disorder any more than they do with normal temperamental variations…

3) The neglect of the environment and interactions with it as factors in etiology. The environment always matters for behavior. The problem is not all in the brain if the child.

4) Diagnostic questionnaires now in use are highly subjective and impressionistic. Items like "Often talks excessively" assess caregiver perceptions and discomforts, not the child.

5) The most important factors predisposing to dysfunction in school may be low adaptability and cognitive problems rather than high activity or inattention.

6) Lack of evolutionary perspective. The traits not fitting well in the artificial modern school setting may have had survival value and been highly adaptive in earlier times.

7) Small practical usefulness and possible harm from the label. The ADHD diagnosis does not define the specific problems. It may be a barrier to some occupations later.

8) Whether one agrees with the current diagnostic criteria or not, there can be no doubt about its widespread misapplication. Studies show criteria are usually not applied.

9) Nonspecific effects of methylphenidate. Many professional persons and members of the public do not realize that stimulants help most normal children too. [14]

Reading Dr. Carey, it appears that, despite the widespread and growing use of medication to manage ADD/ADHD symptoms in children, there is not a consensus that such widespread use is needed, especially given the fact that more children are being given more drugs at younger ages.

What is very clear is that ADD/ADHD does exist and that the United States has a growing number of people (children and adults) diagnosed with the condition. What is not so clear is whether ADD/ADHD is a normal variation of human behavior (as Hartmann believes) or whether it is a valid mental health disorder that affects nearly 15% of our population.

The truth is likely…both. Dr. Carey writes:

There is general agreement that 1-2% of children are readily identifiable by the ICD-10 criteria as "hyperkinetic" with pervasive high activity or inattention, which are the clinical problem itself, not just a predisposition or coincidence. However, that does not account for most of the up to 15% of children given the ADHD diagnosis in the USA.

This means that, while ADD/ADHD dies exist as a valid disorder in 1-2% of the population, the remaining (up to) 13% of the population with the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD are most likely “victims” of a personality type that simply does not fit into today’s classroom.

What can we do? Deb Gilbertson (of New Zealand) has an idea:

Let’s change the name! ADHD is about deficit and disorder. My reading of ADHD related articles had a ratio of over 500 articles on research into negative aspects of ADHD for every one article that had a positive focus. I suggest ADHD should instead be called Latent Entrepreneur Personality Type (LEPT) and for the rest of this article I will refer toADHD people as LEPTs. This name focuses on the qualities inherent in LEPTs, such as:

· Insatiable curiosity, bored by mundane tasks but enthusiastic to explore new ideas.

· Moderate risk taking, disregarding the obstacles that prevent others from starting.

· Adaptability, learning as they go to overcome difficulties.

· Strong intrinsic motivation

· Intense bursts of energy

· Impatient for early results, acutely aware of whether the goal is getting closer, now.

· Independent - needing autonomy and often preferring to be a leader or a loner than a cog in a large wheel.

· Action orientation

· Characterful

The name LEPT also conveys the idea that this is a normal personality type at one end of aspectrum rather than a brain disorder. The LEPT label will make it easier to celebrate the exceptional qualities of LEPTs, bring joy to those who are currently negatively labeled, and find constructive ways of helping them to express their best qualities.[15]

What would our classrooms look like if we accepted the differences in learning behavior that are exhibited by children who are now labeled “ADD”?

What would happen in our children (primarily boys) were actually celebrated for being adventurous, rather than medicated for being too active?

What would happen if the huge number of children who are told that they have a mental disorder were affirmed to themselves and to their peers as “normal”?

As parents and educators we hold the power to help form a child’s outlook on life, his[16] way of looking at his own abilities, and his willingness to accept and work with those abilities.

If we look at a “disorder” and call it “normal”, then we fail to support a child’s true need for support and assistance, if truly needed. However, if we look at behavior which is actually normal for a child and call it a “disorder”, then we instill in the child (many times from a very early age) a belief that there is something “wrong” with her; there is something wrong that cannot be “fixed”, or that must be fixed with drugs.

In closing I ask: “how many “normal” children are being needlessly medicated and labeled with a mental disorder – a label that may follow them for life”?


1. When my son was in kindergarten we were living in an inner city school district. Due to the attitude of the principal (long since moved on) we decided to homeschool until there was an opening in a different neighborhood school. Extremely bright, he also questioned the usefulness of such things as flash cards for reading sight words. He was enrolled in a public school at the beginning of first grade and (to my surprise) was put in a remedial reading room. I asked him what happened and he replied, “Flash cards. Duh!”

I followed up with the school and that was how they did things. He couldn’t (wouldn’t) read the flash cards so they chose not to test him another way. This earned him not only a placement in the remedial reading room, it also earned him a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. It also turned him from an avid reader into a young man who has only recently started to truly enjoy reading again (at age 20).

[1] Personal pronouns (male and female) will be used alternately throughout this paper.

[2] “Attention Deficit Disorder” will be referred to as ADD/ADHD.


[4] See endnote #1

[5] “Beyond ADD; Hunting for Reasons in the Past and Present”, Thom Hartmann; Underwood Books, Grass Valley, CA 1996, p. 51.

[6] Hunter vs. Farmer Theory, Wikipedia:

[7] “Beyond ADD; Hunting for Reasons in the Past and Present”, Thom Hartmann; Underwood Books, Grass Valley, CA 1996, p. 53.

[8] Ibid. p. 54

[9] “Beyond ADD; Hunting for Reasons in the Past and Present”, Thom Hartmann; Underwood Books, Grass Valley, CA 1996, p. 55

[10] Ibid, p. 56

[11] AAP, Committee on Quality Improvement, Subcommittee on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,;105/5/1158.pdf

[12] National Institute of Mental Health, March 2007

[13] Ibid.

[14] Carey, William B. MD, American Academy of Pediatrics, “What To Do About the ADHD Epidemic”

[15] Gilbertson, Deb,

[16] Personal pronouns (male and female) will be used alternately throughout this paper.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Too Much Too Soon?

Are we asking too much of our students, too soon? At what cost? I believe that we are; or at least asking too much of the wrong thing. At earlier ages, a child’s world fuels curiosity; curiosity fuels experimentation, experimentation fuels learning.

Rote learning (including the rote learning of sight words) leaves little room for natural curiosity within that teaching method. Yes – a child can learn that “b” + “at” reads “bat” – but this is like teaching them to play Beethoven without letting them first listen to the music. With the emphasis on “reading at grade level”, there is also an emphasis on “seat work”, and seat work does not fuel curiosity. Life fuels curiosity.

I recently read an article about a school called “waldkindergarten” – or “forest school”. Originating in Scandinavia, the schools I have read the most about are in Germany, and most of the websites are in German. The basic concept is a “school without walls.

This type of school uses a child’s inner curiosity and need for movement to teach them about nature, science, natural consequences, physical education, and more. It does this while improving gross motor skills, logic skills, and awareness of the world around them. Waldkindergartens believe that a child who is able to build on the foundation of motor development is better able to manage his or her own body.

Being able to manage his own body enables a child to recognise and use shapes, signs, deal with quantities and abstract numbers. Only a child that has learned to orient himself in play and experience can bring this orientation to paper or on a blackboard.

Just like in any other kindergarten, we offer paper, pencils, paint, brushes and scissors, and teach the children how to use them. Children who were able to run around and let off steam in kindergarten are able to sit still and concentrate later in school, as they have learned to occupy themselves with simple things and with few distractions in nature.

Children who have mastered day-to-day life in the forest, together with other difficult situations, and have learned to make arrangements and stick to them have gained social skills for living and working together. Skills that are not only valuable at school.

In this type of school, children are learning. They are learning about the world around them, they are learning about "how stuff works", they are learning about the limits of their own abilities.

Incidentally, this pressure for “too much too soon” is demanded by standardized, high-stakes testing. What do the Germans call this testing? Amerikanische Prffung (American tests). Whether or not high-pressure performance in first grade leads to better learning in high school and beyond really remains to be seen. But for those children who “make the cut” in kindergarten, childhood is lost forever.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Letter to my (old) church board...

(I've taken out my pastor's names and the church name - just because, I guess)

June 15, 2006

Dear Sirs:

This letter reflects the growing concerns I have about [ ] Community Church, particularly the ongoing relationship with Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries or New Orleans, Louisiana.

In January, [ ] hosted two teachers (Apostle Sherman and Prophet Corrine Shelton) who both preached and prophesied. The Sheltons are both licensed “network ministers” with Christian International Apostolic Network[1](CIAN), more commonly called “Christian International.” Both the CIAN registration and the Verizon phone book list their church as “Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries.”

In February Pastor [ ] assured me that [ ] Community Churchdoes not have an ongoing relationship” with Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries. He acknowledged that “there some problems” with their doctrine. In response to my concerns (and similar concerns expressed by others) Pastor [ ] also assures me that [ ] is not “going all Pentecostal … word faith … or five fold ministry.”

Yet church does have an ongoing relationship with Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries. [ ] church dedicated the Spring Break mission trip to rebuilding the Shelton’s church. The “June Prayer Letter” advertises that Pastor [ ] is “scheduled to be at Firehouse Ministries in New Orleans” on June 25, 2006.

Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries’ affiliation with Christian International Ministries Network is very real.

· CIMN’s goal is to “provide a place for both ministers and churches to be established in present-day truth and accountability” (emphasis mine)[2]

· Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries reflects this.[3]

· Christian International rejects the doctrine of the Trinity in favor of traditional “oneness” Pentecostal doctrine: “We believe in one God, eternal and self existent, self-revealed and manifested to man as Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” The use of the word “manifestation” is the standard reference to the nature of God in anti-Trinitarian “oneness” doctrinal statements.[4] Firehouse reflects this doctrinal position: “The triune Godhead is comprised of three (3) separate and distinct personalities… Jesus Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh…” (note the terms “manifested,” and “personalities” instead of “persons”)

· CIMN is a 5-fold ministry, apostolic organization, as is Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries.

· Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries is a Word of Faith church (promoting “Total Prosperity” in the spiritual, mental, physical, financial, and social aspects of life.)

The “prophesies” that Apostle and Prophet Shelton gave to [ ] Church are extremely troubling. That the leadership of [ ] Community Church allowed an “apostle” and “prophet” into the pulpit is more troubling and allowed them to “prophesy” is nearly unthinkable[5].

That [ ] Community Church witnessed – in its own pulpit – an Apostolic-Pentecostal “activation and impartation” ceremony, during which a “Prophet” laid hands on a woman and “imparted the empowerment of the Holy Spirit” and “called forth the prophetic anointing” is mind-boggling and appalling[6]. All of these prophesies play to the flesh. No mention was made self-denial, repentance, Scripture study, or even reaching the lost to find salvation in Christ. In fact, the entire prophetic message was devoid of any reference to: salvation, evangelism, scripture, or Jesus (save invoking His name to authenticate prophesy and apostolic impartation: “So in the name of Jesus, amen, I impart to you…”).

This is not [ ] Church’s only brush with “second work of grace” Pentecostalism.

October 4, 2005, Pastor Dave [ ] posted “River Dream” (posted to “Prayer Thoughts” – no longer on [ ] website, but it is cached at Google.)

In Pastor [ ] prophetic dream, it is clear that there are two groups of believers – those who are in the “river” of the Holy Spirit and those who are not. His companion in his dream could not enter the flow of the river (that is, in to the Holy Spirit) because of his “deformity.” It is only after a second work (the anointing of the Holy Spirit) that his deformities disappear and he is able to enter into the flow of the Holy Spirit. The implication is very clear and very Pentecostal: a believer who does not have the second work of the Holy Spirit is deformed and it is only after the second work of the Holy Spirit that a believer becomes “beautiful.”

In December 2005, Pastor [ ] added “Prayer Thoughts” from the book of Daniel, in which the implication was that to question leadership, is to be in rebellion of God.

His teaching was followed in January 2006 by “Apostle” Sherman who said in his sermon, “I have summed it up into something else. This is what God is saying to us. The love God is looking for is a love that chooses to keep its eye on the authority in your life.

Prophet Corrine’s prophecy to the church threatened, “God says, ‘Whoever does not cooperate with the unity that is between the two of you (Pastors [ ] and [ ]) God says if they do not obey by the Spirit He will have to deal with their flesh.”

[ ] Community Church is a member of the Christian Reformed Church. I need to be able to trust that the [ ] leadership has its eye on the authority of the denomination. My highest authority is God, after that, the denomination and after that, the church leadership. I chose [ ]Community Church because [ ] is part of the Christian Reformed Church denomination. I did not become a member of the Christian Reformed Church denomination because I wanted to attend [ ]. The distinction is vital. My cooperation lies with God first, then the CRC, and only after that, with these two men.

I am asking the elders of [ ] Community Church to:

  1. Evaluate, against Scripture, the things that I have written and the material provided.
  2. Provide a clear confirmation or refutation of the prophetic plans—declared in the name of the Lord during the Lord’s Day service—including the changes in name, missiology, and ministry directions coming to [ ].
  3. Explain, with Scriptural support, why a prophetess declared, these foundational changes to the membership, in the name of the Lord, apart from and prior to any consideration or approval of the Board of Elders.
  4. Explain why ministry resources were directed, apart from CRWRC, to rebuilding the church of a oneness Apostolic organization that heavily promotes unbiblical Word of Faith and five-fold ministry theology; serious theological errors tantamount to anything seen in Mormonism or Jehovah’s Witness doctrine.
  5. Continue in prayerful consideration the direction that this church is going, and reconsider any affiliation with Firehouse Full Gospel Ministries and/or Christian International.



This is a list of bullet points that highlight the "prophesies" made by the "apostle" and "prophet" at my church on January 30, 2006

Prophet Corrine’s “vision” on the way to Grand Rapids:

· Being on the platform at [ ] was a “fulfillment of prophesy” and they would be remiss if they didn’t “speak the word of the Lord.”

· The current building will not be the main campus. Rather, the soon-to-be-renamed church will be a mega-church on par with Saddleback or Willow Creek.

Prophet Corrine further prophesied that:

· “…by the word of the Lord I tell you that there’s a name change coming” to a name that is “indicative of your destiny, amen.” This new name will be given to Pastors[ ] and [ ], not to the Board of Elders. (Neither the elders nor denomination were acknowledged in any capacity.)

· The new mission of the re-named church will be to change other churches, to offer training and healing to ministers.[7]

· God will remake the church into “a place of healing”; implying that the current [ ] is not yet a place of healing (an assault on the sufficiency of the Word and its ability to work in lives).

· Those who do not cooperate will be dealt with by God “in the flesh”

· [Pastor's wives] would no longer be supports (i.e., helpmeets) for their husbands, but would “be beside them.”

· She also prophesied over [pastor's wife], that she would break the mold of what a pastor’s wife is supposed to be.

In what is commonly known as an Apostolic “impartation and activation” ceremony, prophetess Corrine laid hands on [pastor's wife] and “imparted the empowerment of the Holy Ghost and the gifting that is upon her life.” In doing so, the Sheltons acted out the Pentecostal doctrine of a second work of grace; a work that, in Apostolic circles, must be “imparted” and/or “activated” (in Apostolic parlance).

Apostle Sherman also prophesied:

· Other ministries (seemingly more prominent) will come

· The newly named mega-church will deliver unto them truth and light

· These people will go back in secrecy and “start something”

The Apostle and Prophet’s performance was no surprise. In fact, it was Pastor D- who extended this “prophetic ministry” beyond the service, “…but if the Lord is calling you to come down and enter into the prophetic ministry over your life and over your ministry during this song we invite you to come down come down to the front and we’ll continue ministry after church is over.”

Pastor B-, acknowledging that the service had run late, “I told you our drop dead time is 11:30. We’re [ ] and we’re always on time… (long pause)…but I guess we’re not [ ] anymore.”

[1] Christian International Ministries Network is a pseudo-denominational network that supports “Christian International” (

[2] This statement confirms that Christian International (through which the Sheltons are registered) promotes the doctrine of continuing revelation as practiced by the Apostolic/Five Fold Ministry movement. Christian International founder Bill Hamon writes, “the first century church…didn’t recognize evangelists, pastors and teachers. They understood apostles and prophets, but they didn’t really understand especially evangelists and pastors.” (“The 7-Fold Anointing of Christian International” at

[3] “We believe that in order for the Church to truly reach God’s expectations we must have the presence and influence of the Apostle, the Prophet, the Evangelist, the Pastor and the Teacher operating through us.”

[4] . For example, in “The Oneness of God,” the anti-trinitarian United Pentecostal Church states, “the Trinitarian concept of God…as inadequate and a departure from the consistent and emphatic biblical revelation of God being one…Thus God is manifested as Father in creation and as the Father of the Son, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our regeneration.

[5] Attached is a page that highlights the prophesies of the apostle and prophetess. The sermon is posted on [ ] website as an MP3.

[6] Prophet Corrine’s prophecy over [].

[7] Note that given the lack of mention of evangelism seen in the “prophesy” that announced these changes, one can only conclude that this vision is more about changing churches than changing lives; reaching other (presumably non-Apostilic pastors) rather than reaching souls; promoting CIAN-style fire fold ministry rather than anything seen at [ ] before.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006



In 1930, St. Petersburg was a cultural center in Russia. C. Cavos (Italian composer) lived in St. Petersburg when he wrote his operas, “Ilya the Hero” (1807) and “Ivan Susanin” (1815). The first every complete performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis had taken place there in April, 1824.

But in 1930, the only truly Russian “sounds” were religious and folk music – this was going to change. In a world dominated by Western Europe, nationalism was on the rise. In architecture, the “Church of the Savior on Blood” (right) utilized traditional Russian features to evoke feelings of national unity on the site where Tsar Alexander II had been assassinated. In art, Russian peasant life was being portrayed in increasing amounts.

In the music world, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (known and the father of Russian classical music) was one of the first Russian composers in the Romantic Period, writing his first patriotic opera, “A Life for the Tsar” in 1836. His later works were not as successful, but Glinka heavily influenced the Russian Romantic composers that followed him. Alexander Dargomyhsky (whose only musical education came from a set of exercise books loaned from Glinka)wrote the opera “Rusalka” in 1856, showing a talent for re-creating Russian characters, scenes, and speech rhythms.

Both of these men would have an influence on the “Russian Five”, a group of composers who would seek to free Russian music from the confining control of Western Europe. Also known as the “Mighty Five”, the Moguchaya Kuchka (“The Mighty Little Heap”) was joined by was also joined by Vladimir Vasilievich Stasov – not a composer, but rather an art critic. He served the “Russian Five” as sort of an “artistic advisor” and also gave them their name. Stasov actively supported the Peredvizhniki (a group of Russian realist artist who protested academic restrictions in the art community), so it seems natural that he would support a group of musicians who were struggling to develop a truly Russian music.

These five composers drew on Russian folk music and the basis for much of their work, but more importantly they encouraged those who came behind them to draw on their own experience and background, rather than conform to the norm.

The first of “the Five”, Mily Balakirev (January 1, 1837 – May 29, 1910) met Glinka at age 18, who not only encouraged him to enter the music world, but also sparked a love of Russian nationalism. Balakirev believed strongly that Russian music should be truly “Russian”, free from influence from both Western and Southern Europe. Perhaps known for bringing “The Five” together more than for his own music, his best-known piece is “Islamey: an Oriental Fantasy,” which is still popular among pianists.

In 1856, Mily Balakirev and Cesar Cui (January 6, 1835 – March 13, 1918), second member of “the Five” met for the first time. Cesar Cui was not a musician by trade. He was an army officer and he taught fortifications. In his private life, he was a music critic and composer, and devoted to Russia. As a composer, his works were not well accepted by other musicians, quite possibly because of his own professional criticism would not have endeared him to them.
Modest (sometimes Modeste) Mussorgsky first met Balakirev and Cui in 1857. Like Cui, Mussorgsky was a military man, with a commission with the Preobrazhensky Regiment of Guards, the foremost regiment of the Russian Imperial Guard. By 1859, Mussorgsky had met the rest of “the Five”, given up his military commission and had gained valuable theatrical experience, assisting in the preparation of a production of Glinka’s “A Life for the Tsar”. After a trip to Moscow, Mussorgsky claimed a love of “everything Russian”. Mussorgsky’s name may not be widely known today, but his music is. His most popular piece (used in the modern era) is “A Night on the Bare Mountain”. This piece appears in Disney’s “Fantasia” and excerpts of it appear in such films as “Saturday Night Fever”, Woody Allen's “Stardust Memories”, and a German heavy metal band, Mekong Delta, recorded a “thrash” version of the piece. Excepts of other Mussorgsky works have been used in Michael Jackson music, “The Big Lowbowski”, “Asylum” and the “Smurfs” cartoon series.

The fourth member of the group, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, was a Navy man. Rimsky-Korsakov in met Balakirev in 1861 and as a result began to concentrate on music. While he was on a world cruise (still in the navy), he wrote his first symphony. Rimsky-Korsakov was not conservatory trained – he was largely either self-taught or group taught by the rest of “the Five” – in spite of this, he became a professor of composition and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservtoire. Some sources say that one of his most significant (although controversial) contributions to the music world was his editing of the works of the rest of “the Five”.

The final member of “the Five was Aleksander Borodin, who joined the group in 1862. Borodin’s career was not music – he was trained as a doctor with a career as a chemist – making significant contributions in the area of organic halogens. His avocation. Franz Liszt performed Borodin’s “First Symphony” in 1880, in Germany, making Borodin’s musical legacy possible in his lifetime.

Together, these five men formed “the Five”. These were the men that were determined to write and perform truly “Russian” music. Most Americans may not be familiar with the names, but they would probably recognize some of the music. Certainly we recognize the “Russian” sound, inherited from the Orient.

“The Five” did not stay intact for long; beginning to fall apart by 1870 – by that time, Balakirev had withdrawn from music for a time. He was the one who had brought them all together, and with his departure, they came apart. Interestingly, although the group fell apart, they are all buried in the same cemetery: The Tikhvin Cemetary in St. Petersburg.

The musical legacy of “the Russian Five” does not end with their music. The members of this group influences and/or directly taught many of the great Russian composers who would follow them, the most prominent of whom is Igor Stravinsky. These men, as a group, were an important part of musical history. If it had not been for “The Five” and their commitment to Russian “nationalism”, the music world would be a poorer place. The Russian culture is rich with history and folklore – “the Five” helped bring it to life through their music.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


A commenter came up with a new “thought”: “But interestingly, I did learn that Mormonism came about in 1800 so it's only a mere 200 some years old. And interestingly Smith was originally a Methodist. I find the entire thing amusing in that Mormonism is really the stepchild of Protestantism.”

I would tend to agree. The closer Arminian move to Rome, the more heretical they become. Each step away from the Reformers is a step closer to Rome. Each step closer to Rome brings more and more errors.

Let’s take a look at the sotierological acronym: TULIP, comparing and contrasting all three systems: Roman, Reformed and Arminian. (the “Roman” view is quoted from James Akin)

NOTE: In all but the “T”, Arminius (Father of Arminianism – Methodists, many Baptists, Pentecostals) stands with Rome.

The “T” (total depravity)

Roman: The accepted Catholic teaching is that, because of the fall of Adam, man cannot do anything out of supernatural love unless God gives him special grace to do so.

Reformed: Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel.

Arminian: Man's freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature.

“U” (unconditional election)

Roman: “If anyone shall say that the grace of justification is attained by those only who are predestined unto life, but that all others, who are called, are called indeed, but do not receive grace, as if they are by divine power predestined to evil, let him be anathema."

Reformed: The doctrine of unconditional election means God does not base his choice (election) of certain individuals on anything other than his own good will…The ones God chooses will desire to come to him, will accept his offer of salvation, and will do so precisely because he has chosen them.

Arminian: It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation. Thus the sinner's choice of Christ, not God's choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

“L” (limited atonement)

Roman: Christ intended to make salvation possible for all men, but he did not intend to make salvation actual for all men--otherwise we would have to say that Christ went to the cross intending that all men would end up in heaven.

Reformed: Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them.

Arminian: Christ's redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone.

“I” (irresistible grace)

Roman: Vatican II stated, "[S]ince Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate calling of man is in fact one and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery."

Reformed: By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

Arminian: He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation. But inasmuch as man is free, he can successfully resist the Spirit's call. The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes; faith (which is man's contribution)

“P” (perseverance of the saints)

Rome: A Catholic must affirm that there are people who experience initial salvation and who do not go on to final salvation, but he is free to hold to a form of perseverance of the saints.

Reformed: All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved.

Arminian: Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith, etc. All Arminians have not been agreed on this point; some have held that believers are eternally secure in Christ -- that once a sinner is regenerated, he can never be lost

The Allegory of the Cave

In the “Allegory of the Cave”, we see an example of people seeing “through the glass dimly.”  Plato describes a group of people in a cave since their childhood, chained so that they cannot move their heads.  I could not picture this until I saw the illustration, but imagine a fire behind the people, casting shadows on the wall in front of them.  There is also a walkway and animals, people and things are carried along between the fire and the wall in front of the prisoners.

All these people know of the world are the shadows on the wall in front of them.  In fact, they may not even know that there is a world outside of those shadows.  All they can see – all they can know – are the flickering shadows on the wall in front of them.

Imagine that one of these prisoners is set free.  He stands up and turns around, seeing the fire for the first time.  This is the first time he sees the direct flame and he is blinded.  At first, before his eyes grow accustomed to the light, the objects that cast the shadows seem unreal – less real than the shadows.  He rebels – this is not what he is used to!

This is the way I felt when I started looking at “reformed theology”.  All of my life I’d been an Arminian, my life, my faith, and my walk were all in my own hands.  I knew what I had to do.  Then, over the course of a year I started studying the passages of both “sides” – I started learning what the Greek meant.

For the first time, I belonged to a God that I knew was in control.  It was an adjustment; my human-centered ego just didn’t like that man is not in control.

To take the Allegory of the Cave a step further, what if this man – in the darkness of the cave since childhood – is taken out into the sunlight.  BLINDNESS!  Even the fire that he first saw is be nothing compared to this blazing ball of fire in the sky – the light that warms the earth.

This is where I am today.  It seems that after a couple of years being comfortable in “reformed theology”, a new curve has been thrown at me. Cessationism.  My entire life has been spent “understanding” - just as the people in the cave understand the shadows – that God “talks”.

Here is the question:  Was the problem the people had because of their wrong understanding of the shadows, or was the heart of the problem their unwillingness to embrace the new knowledge?  I am not ready to embrace “full cessationism”, but I am ready to look at the “real thing” and decide, according to Scripture, what is real and what is not.

The next step in the “Allegory of the Cave” is to bring other people out of the cave.  They don’t like (in fact, they detest) being dragged out of their comfort zone.

I went into the library at the church I attend and asked if they had anything on both sides of the cessationist issue.  There is a certain look that oozes arrogance and I got it.  “We don’t believe in that.  We are a “Spirit-filled” church.

I guess you can’t be Spirit filled unless you have a miraculous gift.

I’ve tried dragging the people at my church out of their cave.  Not to change their minds, but at least to take a look at the issue  - to look at the real basis for their beliefs, not just to go on believing because that’s what they’ve always believed.

It doesn’t work.'s_allegory_of_the_cave

Friday, February 17, 2006

As man is, god once was...

Once upon a time there was a man that lived on a planet called “Kolob”, not so very far away. It came to pass that this man lived a good life and became a god; he came to another little planet called “earth” with his wife that he had married on his home planet.. In their exalted states, this god and his wife gave birth to “spirit children”; the first-born was Jesus – later would come Lucifer, along with many other "spirit children".

The “father-god” was concerned about the future salvation of humans on this new planet and he had a planned. One of his sons (Jesus) agreed with the plan. The other son (Lucifer) did not agree and rebelled, convincing a large number of (pre-human) spirit-children in heaven to side with him. As punishment, the father-god cast Lucifer out of heaven and made Lucifer’s followers into demons, who could never, ever be born as humans(1). Another large number (although not the remaining) of spirit-children sided with Jesus and would be blest to be born as Caucasians. The remaining spirit-children (who had not taken sides) would be born in the line of Cain, as non-Caucasians (black people).

These spirit children remained in heaven, to be born as humans – their race and location depend on the choices that they made in heaven in this great spiritual battle.

Some of these people moved to a place far across the ocean. A group of people from a place called Babel settled in what we now know as Central America(2). Another group, called “Jews” also came to this new place(3). A man named Nephi led these Jews. They divided into two groups, the Nephites and the Lamanites who fought each other. The Nephites were defeated in 428 A.D. The Lamanites continued and are now known as the American Indians.

The father-god’s plan of salvation included the spirit-child, Jesus. In order for the father-god’s plan to work, Jesus needed a body. So the father-god used a girl named Mary, in a process that is as natural as our own birth(4), to give birth to Jesus.

Jesus was born, got married (to three women: Mary, Martha and Mary Magdelene) and had children. At the end of his life, Jesus began to atone for the sin of man (but not personal sins) in a garden(5). After he began the work in the garden, he finished his work on a cross. After Jesus died on the cross, he arose from the dead after three days. During the time between his death and resurrection, Jesus’ spirit was in the spirit world, where the souls of the dead wait for their own resurrection, to be reunited with their bodies. There, he ministered to the “righteous spirits, training them to teach other (sinful or ignorant) spirits – extending his ministry on earth into the spirit world.

After Jesus was resurrected, he went to minister to the Nephites in America. He appeared before a congregation in their temple, and allowed them to feel the wounds in his hands and feet, staying with them for several days, teaching and healing.

For 1800 years, this father-god was quiet. Then(6) the father-god(7) appeared to a boy(8) and revealed to him that religion, as he knew it, was wrong – all of it. Teachers, churches, creeds and beliefs were all abominations. The angel told the boy that he had been chosen to translate a very special book that was written on tablets of gold. Four years9 later an angel(10) appeared and told the boy to begin the work of translation. As the boy translated, a prophet(11) appeared to him and ordained him to restore the “true church”

The story on these tablets was amazing. The story (as related by this boy) was the account of ancient people who came to the Americas, people from Babel and Jews who were fleeing persecution in Jerusalem. According to the boy (now a man), his translation of this book is more doctrinally correct than the Bible(12). He even boasted that he did more than Jesus to keep his church together(13)!

The boy (now a man) published this book(14) and started the one “true” religion – a religion that was so outside of orthodox Christianity that the church was driven from town to town. As the religion grew, so did its doctrine.

Just like the “father-god”, all humans have the potential for becoming god, with their own planets (like earth). One of the father-god’s prophets(15) said, “As god once was, man is. As God is, man may become." When this prophet said, “man…”, he meant exactly that. Women cannot be saved unless they are married to a “priest(16)” in this new religion.
Another teaching of this new religion was that the spirit-children in heaven could only be exalted (with the possibility of becoming a god themselves) if they were born into human bodies and that a man’s glory in heaven depended on the number of babies he had fathered. This meant that adherents of this religion must have as many babies as possible. In order to do this, polygamy was essential. This effectively reduced women to mere commodities. One follower of this religion said, "I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow17."

People, this is Mormonism. While the teaching may have “evolved”, this is what Mormon prophets teach and have taught.

For the Mormons that “don’t believe” all this – why are they still Mormons, if they don’t believe the foundational teaching?

And if Joseph Smith was not right, how is he a prophet of truth?

Bullet points:
  • Mormon doctrine denies the eternal nature of God (the father-god was a created man who became a god)

  • Mormon doctrine denies the Trinity )"That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man." (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35.)

  • Mormon doctrine denies the virgin birth (the father-god had sex with Mary to conceive Jesus)

  • Mormon doctrine teaches that Christ was in a plural marriage

  • Mormon doctrine teaches that Mormonism is the only true way to heaven (“If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation [the context is the full gospel including exaltation to Godhood] outside the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670.)

  • Mormon doctrine teaches that all men have the potential to become gods

  • And it follows that Mormon doctrine denies monotheism (as there are as many gods as there are men who have become gods)

  • Mormon doctrine states that there is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188.)

  1. In one version, there were three different choices that these spirit-children could take. They could follow Lucifer (these would become demons), they could follow Jesus (these would become Caucasians) or they could choose to make no choice (these would become non-Caucasian races).

  2. These were the Jaredites, who settled in central America but perished because of their own immorality

  3. The Book of Mormon is the account of the Nephite leader, Mormon, concerning their culture, civilization, and appearance of Jesus to the Americas.

  4. In short, the father-god had physical sex with Mary

  5. The Garden of Gethsemane

  6. September 21, 1823

  7. Or maybe an angel, or three angels, depending on what version you’re reading

  8. The boy was Joseph Smith

  9. September 22, 1827

  10. The angel Moroni

  11. The prophet that allegedly appeared to Joseph Smith as John the Baptist

  12. History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 461

  13. History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409

  14. The Book of Mormon

  15. President Lorenzo Snow

  16. All Mormon men are ordained as members of the "priesthood," with the absolute authority to preach the gospel, bestow blessings, prophecy, perform healings and baptisms, and generally speak for God.

  17. Heber C. Kimball