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"Now in our 23rd year of standing for truth!"

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Eric & Melanie Barger

Ministry Update - September 8, 2006

Greetings!

Many of our subscribers know that before my conversion to Christianity I was a secular rock musician, engineer and record producer. Melanie and I came right from the heart of the rock and roll lifestyle. She was a dabbler in witchcraft. I was a "New Ager" before it was fashionable to call it "New Age" and we were both drug addicts. (The picture here is from 1973. I was performing at Seattle's Paramount Theater.)

When the Lord saved and delivered me I almost immediately dedicated myself to His service. For the first several years of ministry we focused entirely on the secular music industry traveling, preaching, writing and researching. We ate, slept and lived out the ministry of warning parents and teens as to the trail of destruction secular music was leaving on millions. To be in that ministry was a 24/7/365 proposition.

Over time, we sensed the Lord beginning to move us into ministry concerning the end-times, the cults, occult and spiritual warfare. But we have never ceased testifying about the ill effects of the music industry on individuals, families and the culture.guitar.GIF (89460 bytes)

The new RAND survey (see below) confirms what we've known all along - kids are effected by their music and those who produce and write it. To the parents and grandparents, I cannot encourage you enough to take positive steps to head your teens and children away from the secular music genre. Perhaps hearing it from me might serve as a warning for anyone who thinks they can play with fire or allow our precious kids and teens to do so unabated.

With the publication of the RAND study and with the beginning of the new school year I though it would be appropriate to revisit my testimony here. I encourage you to read, print and distribute my story "How I Came From Rock to ROCK." Christian kids need to be warned and they need answers to help them deny what is so readily accepted by their peers in the culture. Our testimony (its Melanie's too!) stands as a warning and speaks from our first hand experiences.

One note, be encourage. If your kids are trying to live around the edges of Christianity or perhaps they are far from faith there is hope. If God can save me, then He indeed is a miracle God who can save anyone! Don't give up...keep waging the spiritual battle in prayer for you children and teens.

You can also listen to our testimony here online by clicking here. The video/DVD is available in our bookstore as well and would be suitable to use for youth groups, Sunday School or home evangelistic outreach.

Before I close here I want to take a moment to thank several of you who have recently made financial contributions to the ministry. Your prayers and gifts are making a difference as we reach out in seminars, the Internet and in our ministry materials with the uncompromising word of Jesus Christ. Also, below you will find several emails we've received as of late. I think you'll find them interesting.

Thanks again so much and God bless you!

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Study links adolescent sex with rock/rap music

A RAND Corporation study issued today presents the strongest evidence yet that sexually degrading lyrics in music encourage adolescents to more quickly initiate sexual intercourse and other sexual activities.

The study found that the more time adolescents spend listening to music with sexually degrading lyrics, the more likely they are to initiate intercourse and other sexual activities. This holds true for boys and girls as well as for whites and nonwhites, even after accounting for a wide range of other personal and social factors associated with adolescent sexual behavior.

Researchers found that only sexually degrading lyrics – many quite graphic and containing numerous obscenities – are related to changes in adolescents' sexual behavior. These lyrics depict men as sexually insatiable, women as sexual objects, and sexual intercourse as inconsequential. Other songs about sex do not appear to influence youth the same way.

“These portrayals objectify and degrade women in ways that are clear, but they do the same to men by depicting them as sex-driven studs,” said Steven Martino, a RAND psychologist who led the study. “Musicians who use this type of sexual imagery are communicating something very specific about what sexual roles are appropriate, and teen listeners may act on these messages.”

The study, titled “Exposure to Degrading Versus Non-Degrading Music Lyrics and Sexual Behavior among Youth,” is published in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.


The Price of Being a Witness

Eric, just read your article "The Price of Being a Witness" It's GREAT!!!!

It's the very thing I have been preaching all year. I have been telling the people that the kingdom of God is not about us, like it's being preached on most TV shows and presented in most popular book, It's about HIM!!!! About Jesus...

It's not about everything being GREAT (for us). It's about being GREAT (that is experience His peace and rest) even when things are difficult.

I am now going through the beatitudes and will use some of what you wrote (if that's ok?) when I get to "11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt 5:11-12 NIV)

Hope to see you soon...
Working and Waiting for HIM
Pastor Ted Rivers

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Eric,
Just wanted to thank you for your very timely newsletter on being a witness. Well done! I was especially blessed by the reminder that salvation comes by repenting and believing, not by just believing. I home school my two teenage kids and we have been having some great discussions on what "Christianity" is today. The gospel being preached seems to be very watered down and seeker friendly. What happened to, "be holy for I am holy? Take up your cross and follow me. Count the cost. Flee from even a hint of sexual immorality." We need to get back to the basics and teach the Truth of the gospel.

I am the first to confess that it has been difficult for me to witness to people. As a family we are digging into the word and trying to get back to "what is the good news, and how do we share it?" That might sound pretty sad after being a Christian for 15 years, but I would rather find out now that my relationship with my father is lacking than hearing in the future, "depart from me I never knew you." Perhaps part of the problem is the luke warmness that I see in the North American church. I am not too excited about sending new converts into a luke warm system.
Thanks again for the encouraging letter. We are seeking His face and wanting to live our lives in Him and for Him.
Blessing to you and Melanie!
~ K.W

Eric's Note:

You can access the article "The Price of Being a Witness" by clicking here.

Angry Muslims

We've received several emails recently asking the question "Doesn't the Bible call for the killing of pagans, witches...? Why are you picking on Islam?"

Answer:
I grant to any Muslin that the Bible does indeed call for the death of pagans, witches, etc. However, all of those references are Old Testament edicts which God instructed His people to carry out in times past. The grace, compassion and mercy found in the life and death of Jesus Christ has wiped out the instruction to do physical harm to those "outside the camp" with the Cross being the demarcation line between life and death. Nowhere in the New Testament will we find even the slightest reference to killing those who do not follow Christianity. As graphically illustrated in
"Islamo-Fascism starts with the Koran", (see August 10, 2006 email update) this is not the case with the Koran.

If Christians Knew Their Bibles...

I have been getting your newsletters for years. I really wish Christians would study and defend the Bible as fervently as they do Harry Potter books! Anything that takes that much importance in their lives is placed above God and becomes A god!

- J.K.

Gargoyles in the Yard?

Eric,
We had purchased your video 'Occult invasion of America' from Southwest Radio Church years ago and so found you on the (Internet). We thank God for ministers of the Gospel such as yourself who have a genuine love for the body of Christ Jesus who will 'TAKE A STAND' when others are falling the way of the world. May God keep you both. I need information for my mom on Gargoyles. She lives on a group owned property where her son-in-law also lives (with his Gargoyle porch statues).

- Sue

Eric's Responds:

Hi Sue,

Thanks for writing!

Here is a little of what I found for you.

Gargoyles are nearly always related to demons or demonic spirits. In fact, they are images that give glory to the demonic. Besides this fact, they are grotesque. (Why would a Christian want to have items like this around???) In my opinion they should be immediately removed, followed by a time of spiritual warfare and prayer to renounce and cleanse any use Satan may have had for the statues or any hold his kingdom may have been able to establish through their presence. Remember: Demons first want to find expression through possessing humans. Next, animals and thirdly, if demons can find use for objects to establish a stronghold in lives or in an area they will certainly do it. This is often seen through ouija boards, tarot cards, and of course idols, etc.

A fairly complete history of them can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gargoyle

Hope that helps some!

Bless you - Eph. 6:12

Eric

Are the Jews ALL Saved?

I am just curious about Romans ch 11. You say that not all Jews are saved. The bible says different. Help me with this please.

Marvin

Eric's Responds:

Hi Marvin,

You ask a great question and one that I wondered about many years ago too.

Your question comes from just one verse in Romans 11 but to understand what Paul is teaching concerning Israel you need to actually start reading, studying and correlating three chapters starting with Romans 9.

Paul is pointing out in Romans 11 that just because the gentiles have been offered salvation that the Jews are not excluded from being saved as well. Romans 11:26 by itself does appear to preach universal salvation for the Jews but lets be careful not to take one Scripture and try to build an entire doctrine on it. This is what the cults often do.

When you examine the entire counsel of the Word of God then we see that universal salvation (offered to the Jews or any other group/race) would negate important elements that are mandatory to be saved, namely faith and repentance.

Paul states this fact clearly in Romans 11:23 (just 3 verses before he makes the "all Israel will be saved statement) when he points out that the Jews can once again be grafted into the olive branch (i.e. Jesus) IF they do not persist in unbelief. Hebrews 8:10 and 12 quote Old Testament passages that speak to Israel being forgiven as well (Zec 8:8 for example). This is clarified though by passages like Isaiah 59:20 which speaks futuristically saying that the Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob (Jews) who repent of their sins.

Romans 10: 9-10, 13, John 3 and I John 5 clearly enunciate the means by which we can be saved. Just as in the Old Testament times, it is all about faith and righteousness.

Now, we take faith in Jesus finished work on the Cross and rely upon His righteousness and not our own by works. Biblical salvation is a personal choice and decision and it does not come by merely happening to be a part of a race - even of God's chosen people, the Jews.

The Full Life Study Bible study notes for Romans 9-11 points out many O.T. passages that deal with this issue that you may want to study in context to what Paul states in Romans 11. They also denote the fact that many Jews turn to their Messiah during the dark days of the Tribulation period at some point in the future.

The Jews are still and will always be God's chosen people but in His mercy isn't it wonderful that He has opened up His kingdom giving we gentiles the opportunity to be saved as Romans 10 states? What a blessing that we are "grafted in to Him."

Hope that helps brother. Your thoughts and further questions are welcome.

Eric


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