David & Karen Mains

Summary of 50-Day Spiritual Adventures

1991 Adventure -- Reversing Self-Destructive Patterns

Reversing Self-Destructive Patterns is the name of the book version of the 1991 Adventure by the same name. The book argues for such things as "Satan-caused" self-destructive patterns (sin?) in a Christian's life (p. 6); the validity of personality typing (p. 8); the false gospel of self-love/self-esteem/self-image (p. 9); "workaholism" (p. 13); "unconditional love" (p. 28); the insufficiency of Scripture (pp. 28, 33); psychological counselors and support groups (p. 33); and visualization for Scripture memorization (p. 58).

1992 Adventure -- The Family God Wants Us to Be

Healing the Dysfunctional Church Family is the name of the David Mains' book recommended to be used with this Adventure Journal. The Adventure Journal argues for such things as the validity of "dysfunctional" families, both in the home and the church (Intro); "dysfunctional patterns" (not sin?) resulting from not listening to the Lord (p. 4); self-worth/self-acceptance (pp. 6, 23); Jesus' "unconditional love"/acceptance (pp. 6, 15-17, 27); that the "Blame-Shame Syndrome" attacks a family member's self-esteem (pp. 8, 19); Freudian "denial" preventing "wholeness" (pp. 12, 29-30); unconditional acceptance (good) versus "unhealthy" competition (bad) (pp. 23, 25); "dysfunctional, compulsive/addictive patterns related to the church" (p. 33); intergenerational compulsive/addictive (sin) transmission (pp. 34-35); the codependency concept of "adult children of ..." (p. 35); the dysfunctional family trait of "perfectionism" (pp. 37-38); and the Freudian "repression" of emotions (unhealthy) versus the Freudian ventilation of emotions (healthy) (pp. 41, 43).

1993 Adventure -- Survival Skills for Changing Times

An advertising flier listed eight books as "Helpful Resources for Learning! ... selected to provide ... additional insights and professional guidance on spiritual survival themes related to the 50-Day Spiritual Adventure." Five of the books were by: (a) self-love psychologizer Josh McDowell -- Building Your Self-Image ("will help you overcome anxieties by liberating you from the negative feelings that hold you back"); (b) Nancy LeSourd -- No Longer the Hero: The Personal Pilgrimage of an Adult Child ("you'll learn how to overcome lifetime patterns of perfectionism and build healthy family legacies"); (c) psychiatrists Frank Minirth and Paul Meier -- The Stress Factor: Thriving Emotionally and Spiritually in the Turbulent '90s; (d) financial psychobabbler Larry Burkett -- Your Finances in Changing Times; and (e) David Mains' own book -- 8 Survival Skills for Changing Times.

The Adventure Guide "guarantee[s] you're in for substantive spiritual growth along the way! ... It will teach you specific skills from the Scriptures that will help you become an impact player for Christ, living purposefully during these turbulent, changing times." The Adventure Guide argues for such things as the daily "off-loading of stress" on God, thereby realizing "the power of prayer" (pp. 8-9, 21, 23, 33); the name-it-and-claim-it prosperity gospel, renamed "multiply you're resources through give-and-take" (p. 37); self-worth/self-respect (pp. 4, 36-39); and the financial astuteness of Larry Burkett and Ron Blue (p. 18).

1994 Spiritual Adventure -- Daring to Dream Again

The Adventure Journal argues for such things as giving "pain over to Christ each day" in order to heal the pain of the past -- "These people ... cannot dream big dreams because they hurt big hurts. Memories of bad experiences can paralyze people" (pp. 3, 6); even the apostle Paul had to move "beyond his painful past to participate in God's dream for him" (pp. 21-22); going on "a daily God hunt so as not to miss 'sightings' of God's activity" (p. 8); "empower our activities with prayer" (p. 50); and ecumenical unity/becoming a "global Christian"/"world-class" Christian/breaking down "denominational backgrounds," all in order to realize "God's dream" of a "worldwide fellowship of Christians ... show love for all" (pp. 10-12, 40-43, 47). [The Mainses would have us fellowship with liberal, apostate, environmentalist wackos, all for the purpose of helping "God dream." Of course, the Bible never speaks of God dreaming.]

Recommended reading materials to use with the 50-day Adventure include: (a) Tim Sledge -- Making Peace With Your Past: Help for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (coursebook) ("You can learn how to face the painful experiences of your childhood and find the inner healing only God can provide. In this 12-unit coursebook [units include alcoholic, drug addict, rage-aholic (short temper), work addict, sex addict, eating disorders, spending/gambling addict, religion addict, and others], you'll discover practical, biblically-based guidelines to help you identify, understand, and come to terms with problems of growing up in a dysfunctional family. You'll identify how your past affects your present, understand that others share your pain, unearth your buried feelings to experience healing, overcome barriers to making peace with yourself, and develop a sense of hope for your life." Sledge's coursebook is also interlaced with references from books by David Seamands [citing favorably his visualization techniques for healing a painful past], Max Lucado, and Gary Smalley & John Trent); (b) David Mains -- Never Too Late To Dream; (c) Karen Mains -- Lonely No More (tells of her New Age spirit guide); (d) Raleigh Washington & Glen Kehrein -- Breaking Down Walls: A Model for Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Strife; (e) Sandra Wilson -- Released from Shame; (f) Bill Hybels -- Too Busy Not To Pray; (g) Paul Borthwick -- How to Be a World Class Christian (a polemic for a social, globalism, politically correct gospel); and (h) Ruth Senter -- Beyond Safe Places: Trusting God Through Life's Risks ("... exchanged her individual grasping after personal security for obedience to God and His dreams for her life").

1995 Spiritual Adventure -- Facing Down Our Fears

The stated purpose of this Adventure (subtitled: Finding Courage When Anxiety Grips the Heart) is to "address your church's most common fears." The most psychologically-oriented/self-centered (so-called) fears of the eight listed are "rejection by others," failure ("the big 'F'"), "living insignificant lives," and "an oppressive/unhealthy fear of God Himself." The Adventure Journal argues for such unbiblical things as "reject[ing] the spirit of rejection" (pp. 9, 73); conquering rejection by practicing acceptance (p. 9); naming fears so you can analyze them (pp. 11, 41); God "not only loves us but likes us and wants to spend time with us," so "break free from the unhealthy fear of God" (pp. 12, 73) [Do modern-day professing Christians really have a problem with fearing God too much?]; and emotions-/feelings-oriented spirituality (p. 68).

Recommended reading materials to use with this 50-day Adventure include: (a) H. Norman Wright -- Afraid No More ("Your people will discover how to overcome unhealthy fears that keep them from living fully and confidently."); (b) Joseph Stowell -- Perilous Pursuits (supposedly gives us a Biblical rationale for self-centeredness: "explains why the pursuit of significance apart from God is 'perilous' at best"); (c) Carol Kent -- Tame Your Fears ("suggests ways to tame ten of the most common fears faced by women today ... of being rejected, of facing the past, and more"); (d) David New and Randy Petersen -- How to Fear God Without Being Afraid of Him ("This essential book is recommended reading for all adult and student Adventurers who want to complete Discipline 5: Break Free from the Unhealthy Fear of God."); and (e) Jack & Jerry Schruer -- Family Fears ("helps readers cultivate an environment of confident love and acceptance").

1996 Spiritual Adventure -- What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

The stated purpose of this Adventure (subtitled: Trusting Christ When Life Gets Confusing) is to "... help you find personal spiritual victories in times of confusion by tapping into the true source of hope and courage -- our Lord, Jesus Christ!" (Your Spiritual Adventure Basic Guide brochure). One of the chief ways of accomplishing this is to form support groups (Adventure Journal, pp. 3, 36-39), complete with a Prayer Partner Covenant that advocates non-judgmental unconditional acceptance (pp. 34-35). The Adventure's recommended Five Action Steps (pp. 7-11) refer to rote prayer babbling, to Christ as "plugging into a power source," to playing pranks on people as one of life's joys, and to idols in one's life as mere "spiritual clutter." The Mainses also view Satan as the direct influence of man's sin, rather than personal responsibility (pp. 18, 27); sin is referred as "shortcomings" (p. 59).

Of the 28 books recommended as additional reading materials to use with this 50-day Adventure, the most offensive are: (a) Carole Mayhall-- When God Whispers; (b) Max Lucado -- He Still Moves Stones; and (c) Bernard Bangley -- If I'm Forgiven, Why Do I Still Feel Guilty? ("Forgiving yourself is often harder than forgiving someone else. ... you'll explore roadblocks to guilt-free living that can include damaged self-esteem, resentment, and legalism."). The Adventure Journal also quotes favorably from the blasphemous Bible paraphrase, The Message (pp. 46, 67).

Note: For an excellent analysis of the "values level" teaching used in the Adventure Journals, see Brenda Fischer's article in the 5/9/94 Christian News (pp. 12-13), "How Do You 'Feel' About the Bible?: With a Look at the 50-Day Spiritual Adventures." Fischer insightfully shows how the Mainses have incorporated feelings-centered teaching techniques that are remarkably similar to those used by Outcomes Based Education (OBE) and Values Clarification proponents --"... [they] typically promote a sort of self-centered spirituality where environmentalism and globalism are mixed with New Age and other paganism. ... [subjects] are taught through a manipulation of their feelings and emotions, religions of self." Fischer then analyzes in some detail the 1994 Adventure Journal, showing how "... values level questions are slanted to manipulate opinion or promote theology outside the study Scripture's intent."

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 3/96