Date Added: Aug. 18, 2003
Many conservative activist groups fast adopted the speed and reach of the Internet to educate and inform the faithful. Unfortunately, truth is often undiscernable from fiction online, and any message can take on an authoritative air, regardless of its origins.
From James Dobson:
Educators, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, please pay special attention not only to what your kids watch on TV and in movie theaters and the music they listen to ... but we must also be alert regarding the books they read.
Two particular books, Conversations with God and Conversations with God for Teens, written by Neale Donald Walsch sound harmless enough by their titles alone. These books have been on the New York Times best seller list for a number of weeks. These publications make truth of the statement "Don't judge a book by its cover/title". The author purports to answer various questions from kids using the "voice of God." However, the "answers" that he gives are not biblically based and in fact go against the very infallible Word of God.
For instance (and I paraphrase), when a girl asks the question "why am I a lesbian?" his answer is that she was born that way because of genetics just as you were born right-handed, with blue eyes, etc. Then he tells her to go out and "celebrate" her differences. Another girl poses the question "I am living with my boyfriend. My parents say that I should marry him because I am living in sin. Should I marry him?" His reply is "Who are you sinning against? Not me, because you have done nothing wrong."
Another question asks about God's forgiveness of sin. His reply - "I do not forgive anyone because there is nothing to forgive. There is no such thing as right or wrong and that is what I have been trying to tell everyone. I do not judge people. People have chosen to judge one another and this is wrong because the rule is 'Judge not lest ye be judged'." And the list goes on. Not only are these books the false doctrine of devils but in some instances even quote (in error) the Word of God. These books (and others like it) are being sold to school children (The Scholastic Book Club) and we need to be aware of what is being fed to our children. Our children are under attack so I pray that you be sober and vigilant about teaching your kids the true Word of God and guarding their exposure to worldly media because our adversary, the devil, "roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). And how many of us know that lions usually hunt for the slowest, weakest and YOUNGEST of its prey.
Pass this on to every believer you know.
The books and their writer are real. However, this letter - as it is presented - is not. The arguments made in the e-mail above reflect only a small portion of the books' content and are, by the author's own admission, paraphrased citations and, thus, may not be entirely accurate.
Dr. James Dobson is the founder of Focus on the Family, a grassroots conservative group, and host of an internationally syndicated radio show. Dobson uses his show and web site to let his followers know about the latest issues and, occasionally to call them to action. While Dr. Dobson has "expressed strong feelings regarding the book," neither he nor Focus on the Family originated the e-mail message above. From a statement on his web site:
"Dr. Dobson has expressed strong feelings regarding the book Conversations with God for Teens, which Scholastic, Inc. marketed to unsuspecting students at Christian schools and their parents in 2002. [...] To ensure that his audience knew what to expect from this marketing ploy, Dr. Dobson taped a broadcast which included information about Scholastic, Inc. and Conversations with God for Teens. The broadcast cassette, titled "Pulling Kids from Public Schools" (CT464) is available for a suggested donation of $7.00 in our online Resource Center. The e-mail message you may have seen did not originate from Focus on the Family, but represents someone else's synopsis of Dr. Dobson's comments."
In response to Dobson's request, Scholastic, Inc., agreed to stop distributing the books to Christian schools, but still sells them through other avenues. The book remains acclaimed for its frank discussions of some very tough subjects. As for the letter above, it's nothing more than an anonymous author's interpretation of Dobson's arguments, passed off as the work of the doctor himself. In short, it is a fraud and its origins call into question all of its claims. Break this chain.
References: Focus on the Family