Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Workplace


In our Facebook and Twitter feeds we recently linked to a news story looking at the Chicken Soup for the Soul empire of books, discs and other items for sale. The author of the story concludes, “The problem with Chicken Soup for the Soul (is that it) gets to you, even when you know better.”

In an article in The Watchman Expositor, Jason Barker wrote about one installment in the series, Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, “As is the case with many books dealing with infusing spirituality into the workplace, the books of Jack Canfield contain a great deal of common-sense. Nonetheless, Christians should be aware that the books also are steeped in a spirituality that is opposed to biblical Christianity.” In this article Barker points out that, not only does the book present a wide array of world and alternative religions as being true and useful, but it even twists the Bible itself in its effort to present inspirational literature.

Another article by Brad Scott looks at how the New Age movement is being repackaged to bolster “a syncretistic, spiritually diverse society.” “New Age hucksters, savvy as always,” Scott warns, “are exploiting this postmodern waffling and semantic dream-weaving.”

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The LDS Church Acknowledges Facts About Joseph Smith and Polygamy


As we’ve noted in our Facebook and Twitter feeds, on October 22, 2014 the LDS Church added an essay to its website that—when combined with an earlier essay—gives a more complete picture of polygamy in early Mormonism (particularly as practiced by Joseph Smith) than the Church would previously publicly acknowledge.

Mormon blogger Jana Riess lists five things the LDS Church has acknowledged in its essays:

  1. Joseph Smith was sealed to women who were already married.
  2. While some of these relationships were for “eternity only,” others may have been sexual.
  3. Joseph Smith’s first plural marriage took place as early as the mid-1830s.
  4. Many of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages occurred without the consent—or even the knowledge—of his first wife, Emma.
  5. Most of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages were to women between the ages of 20-40, but others were to teenagers—including a fourteen year-old.

These acknowledgements are significant because, as Riess says in the summary for her article, “Some used to consider it ‘apostate’ to say that Joseph Smith married women who were already married to other men. Now the LDS Church has acknowledged it openly.”

Over the years Watchman Fellowship has published many articles about Mormon polygamy, one of the most notable of which is on our website. In “The Pain of Polygamy,” Jill Martin Rische looks at the practice of polygamy in the early LDS Church, the continuing practice among Mormon splinter groups, and a biblical response to the practice.

We also have two books in our resource center on the subject (each is available for a donation of $20 dollars):

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The Long Island Medium Profile


We’ve just added to our website a Profile of Theresa Caputo, host of the popular The Long Island Medium television program. In this free Profile, Brady Blevins looks at the history and distinctive beliefs and practices of this TV personality, and presents a Christian response.

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Surprising Survey Results Are In – Should Christians Practice Yoga?


This surprised me! We just tabulated the results of our One Question Reader Survey “Should Christians Practice Yoga?” We contacted over 5,000 Profile readers like you by email and 451 of you participated in the survey. I really thought our readers would be divided about evenly on this and I would probably get a lot of “hate mail.”

I was wrong. We were amazed to see that over 90% of you (401 total) answered “No” to the survey question while 20 did not vote but left comments. I was surprised and encouraged to see that only 32 responded “Yes” to the question “Should Christians practice Yoga.” Even some of those voting “Yes” included qualifying stipulations or other words of caution. There were also some very good comments posted on both sides of the discussion.

Want to learn more? We are still offering our 4-page Profile on Yoga and leaving the survey open a little longer so you can still add your voice.

Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. I also greatly appreciate your continued prayer and support for our ministry. If you would like to help, you may partner with us today. Just click here:

Satanism in the News


A recent spurt of public Satanic activity has attracted the attention of the mainstream media. Whether it involves a Black Mass held in Oklahoma City (which failed in attracting attendees, but succeeded in attracting the media), or attempting to distribute an activity book in Orlando-area public schools, Satanists have been highly effective in using the media to garner attention for their groups.

How should Christians respond to all this activity from Satanists? Should we simply follow the practice (as some commentators assert) of “ignore them, and they’ll go away?”

It is, of course, important to avoid falling into what folklore and occult expert Bill Ellis calls “”Satanic panic,” ascribing greater power and levels of activity to Satanists than they currently employ (you can read more in our interview with Ellis). As we say in our Index of Cults and Religions,

Contemporary expressions of traditional Satanism are rare, and popular elements of it, including the testimonies of alleged former Satanists and Satanic Ritual Abuse have been discredited.

At the same time, however, we have also frequently warned against the danger of Satanists who truly believe in diabolical, occult power. For example, in the same Index definition quoted above we also say:

(Satanism is) represented by two separate groups, secular and traditional Satanists. The secularists do not believe in in a literal, personal, spiritual being called Satan, but rather consider Satan to be an archetype or symbol that represents the ideas of Satanic philosophy. Various satanic ideals include self-interest, indulgence, an anti-herd mentality, and an emphasis upon rational self-interest. Examples of modern Satanism include The Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey and now led by Peter Gilmore as High Priest, Michael Aquino’s Temple of Set, and Lord Egan’s First Church of Satan. Traditional Satanism, which involves the worship of the Satan of the Bible through a perversion and parody of Roman Catholicism, appeared in the fifteenth century coming out of the Inquisition.

You can learn about the best-known Satanic group, the Church of Satan, in our free Profile, which gives this Christian response to Satanism:

It is best to keep in mind when talking to Satanists that they generally are both atheists and hedonists. That being said, it is best to deal with them on both levels…Satanists need to see clearly that any pleasure they derive from sin is ultimately shallow and short-lived. It is sweet at first, but bitter soon afterward, and the philosophy of a Satanist eventually leads to a vacuous and wrecked life.

You can see the full response in our free Profile, and you can equip yourself for the vital ministry of reaching out to people in cults and false religious groups by subscribing to our free newsletter.

If you are a pastor and want the staff of Watchman Fellowship to speak in your church about Satanism or other topics, see our list of programs and feel free to contact us.

Patterns in the Cults Profile Updated


We’ve updated our popular Patterns in Cults Profile. In this free Profile, James K. Walker looks at the differences between biblical Christianity and false religious systems, focusing on the ways in which pseudo-Christian groups add to the Gospel, subtract from the deity of Christ, divide members’ loyalties, and multiply the requirements for salvation.

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Quick Witnessing Tip: A Four-Minute Video on Reaching Mormons


Here is a fast, 4-minute video witnessing tip for sharing the gospel with Mormons.

This is great illustration we were using earlier this year on our mission trip to Manti, Utah. One of hardest concepts for Mormons to grasp is the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone — apart from our good works.

I think this little illustration does a great job of helping Mormons understand what we mean, even if they don’t agree with us. Click here to watch:

Please help us continue to reach out to people of other faiths with the true Gospel of Grace. Your donation helps make it possible:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) — Ephesians 2:4-5

I welcome your feedback. Thank you for your prayer and financial support of our ministry!

Michael Gungor and the Importance of Biblical Authority


Popular musician Michael Gungor has recently been the focus of a flurry of stories in the Christian media regarding his position on the literal truth of a variety of biblical doctrines. Gungor has stated that he is no more able to believe in the existence of Adam and Eve, or the great flood, than he is able to “believe in Santa Clause or to not believe in gravity.”

Why is this significant—so much so that even one of Gungor’s close friends says “he wouldn’t consider (Gungor) a Christian anymore”? It is important because, as Craig Branch writes in article on our website, “Those who lose faith in the Bible ultimately and naturally lose their other Christian beliefs as well. Having lost the rudder of a trustworthy Bible, they usually drift toward cultic doctrine. This is most tragic in the case of individuals and churches who were once committed to an orthodox course.”

To help Christians to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21), Watchman Fellowship is committed to sharing true biblical Christianity, as well as responding to false and cultic teaching. Below are a list of resources—both free articles from our website, as well as books available for purchase from our store—that will help you better understand and defend Christian doctrine.

Free Articles


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Brian McLaren Profile


We have just added to our website a Profile of Brian McLaren. McLaren is one of the most popular leaders of “emerging Christianity;” what makes some Christian commentators say his “generous orthodoxy” is neither generous nor orthodox? Jason Barker’s free Profile of McLaren looks at the history and teachings of the teacher, and presents a biblical perspective.

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Racism in Mormonism


A recently published book looks at the forgotten stories of fifty African-American Mormons who were members of the early LDS Church. A review of the book concludes that, while hopeful, these stories are also “wrenching” and “tragic.” What is wrenching and tragic about these stories, and why have they been forgotten—deliberately so, says the authors of the book?

Over the years in The Watchman Expositor we published a number of articles on racism in the LDS Church. You can find three of these on our website:

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