Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘pluralism’

Salvation By Works Is Cultural Legalism

Posted by Job on May 2, 2011

Though the theological reasons for why salvation by works is unattainable are numerous, there is one practical reason that is often overlooked both by religions that teach salvation by works (Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, liberal and “moderate” Christianity streams which promote pluralism and inclusivism) or various “faith plus works” salvation formulas (Roman Catholicism, some strands of Pentecostalism)  is that there is no single, universal standard for good works. Incidentally, this is also a problem for Christians who advocate works-based sanctification.

Consider as an example the conversion testimony of one John Bunyan. He records that he began the road to salvation when being convicted of guilt of a host of sins, including bell ringing. When I first read this, I was stunned and assumed that “bell ringing” must necessarily be some colloquialism for sinful or riotous behavior in the vernacular of his time. But upon further reading, it appears that Bunyan was in fact troubled with guilt over his love for ringing church bells for amusement!

Now granted, there may be some context here: perhaps Bunyan listed this as part of a pattern of behavior that he indulged in because of his tendency to live for his own amusement absent self-control or Godly purpose, and in that sense it went along with his love for drinking at bars, cursing and partying. Still, when one considers that a large portion of the contemporary Christian population is not averse to entertaining itself with R-rated movies (and similar music and books) filled with profanity, swearing and blasphemy, violence, nudity and sexuality, and subversive/rebellious themes, it makes the very idea that anything untoward would be associated with ringing church bells amazing!

And that is an oft-overlooked dilemma in “salvation by works.” The fact is that the definition of “good works” and also “evil works” is often defined by man (if only in part) and as a result changes according to place and time as man and his culture changes. But God does not change! Though God is full of patience, grace and mercy and may deal with different men in different ways according to His prerogative, the fact is that God’s attributes remains the same, and those attributes include His perfect holiness and righteousness. So, while being able to please some man-made religious system in one context or another will require different levels of righteousness, different acts of righteousness, and different amounts of tolerance for unrighteousness, man’s pleasing God will always have the same standard, which is faith in Him through His Son.

It simply can be no other way. Practices that are abhorrent, brutal and backwards according to some cultures and religions are embraced by others. Even in today’s world where intercontinental travel and mass communications has resulted in some form of “leveling” of cultural acceptance, such things as cannibalism, bestiality and incest still goes on in some cultures. Even in our own culture, some things that were considered very sinful or shameful a mere generation or two ago are now not only deemed as fine, but have been embraced by not a few churches! So, how is it possible to articulate a works-based salvation or sanctification in this reality?

The answer: one cannot and should not. Instead, salvation is of the Lord. Renounce salvation by works and instead put your faith in trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation today. Click on the link below to understand and begin this process.

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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VeggieTales Versus Rob Bell: Not That Much Difference!

Posted by Job on March 24, 2011

First, let me say that I haven’t read Rob Bell’s book and I do not plan to ever to. The reason is that my bookshelf is so stacked with great items from legitimate Christian writers that it will take me years to go through them all, and I am yet in the process of trying to acquire more (I want a good commentary on the book of Daniel and on the gospel of Luke; I am accepting recommendations towards that end). So I don’t have the time – or the inclination – to read prattle from a known false teacher. Further, the doctrines that Bell are spreading are not new, but instead are the same abominable heresies that the church has been contending against since nearly the beginning, and then just as now are  the result of reading humanistic and pagan ideas into the Bible text. So, if you want a review of Bell’s “Love Wins”, I suggest Albert Mohler, Ken Silva (from whom I first learned of Bell and the movement that he represents), Phil Johnson, Tim Challies, The Gospel Coalition, and a host of Christian thinkers far more capable of that sort of thing than I. Meanwhile, I will continue to spend my free time reading books that actually contain truth from the likes of Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, George Whitefield and John Eadie.

Still, it is curious to note a curiosity or two. First, the postmodern hermeneutics employed by Bell, Brian McLaren, and similar are by no means new. Quite the contrary, it is reminiscent of allegorical and other techniques that have used to either ignore or alter the meaning of “inconvenient” Bible texts for hundreds of years. I won’t go into the various doctrines that these methods have been used to support or reject, but it goes without saying that using his interpretative method when it suits your own purposes makes it a lot harder to stand in the face of a blasphemer that is using it for his.

Second, it is even more difficult to hold figures like C.S. Lewis in high esteem (and for that matter Billy Graham) when Lewis, Graham, and many other giants of evangelical Christianity hold the same basic views as does Bell! Any number of evangelical Christian leaders encourage us to run out and take our children to see the “Narnia” movies because “it is oh so important to support Christian efforts in Hollywood and the mainstream culture.” As for Billy Graham, well, their “Gideon: The Tuba Warrior” episode saw fit to depict Graham (of all the preachers in history) as one raised up by God despite Graham’s publicly stating beliefs similar to those of Bell.

Speaking of VeggieTales, I recall reading the line “The evangelical “Veggie Tales” cartoons—animated Bible stories featuring talking cucumbers and tomatoes—probably shape more children in their view of scripture than any … catechism does” in the Wall Street Journal. (Note: here is a good catechism for children.) They are not alone. Quite the contrary, you are more likely to encounter an actual Biblical theme in VeggieTales than you will in any “Christian” children’s programming in your local Christian video store, or on Christian broadcasting. But evangelical and many fundamentalist parents buy things like Veggie Tales, The Horned Avenger, On The Farm, Hermie The Caterpillar, Adventures In Odyssey etc. despite the clear fact that A) most of them offer a “Christless” Christianity focused more on ethics, morals, virtues, so-called family values, than the gospel. Phil Vischer specifically stated that this is done to increase sales and make more money from Christians, and has the motto “the more you preach, the fewer you reach.” So, all of that Jesus Christ talk will mean not selling videos because Christians won’t buy it! And they know of what they speak … consider that Good Times Entertainment, whose products were often about Jesus Christ (consider the Bible series featuring Charlton Heston), went bankrupt in 2005. An example of what leaving Jesus Christ out results in? Their “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” movie allegorically depicting Satan as the brother of Jesus Christ. Another example? Teaching works-righteousness in “Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah’s Umbrella“, when the lead female character tells the lead male character (who in true feminist fashion – yes feminism has made real inroads in evangelical Christianity – in an incompetent idiot) that “Do you know what those who do the right thing are called? Righteous.” Actually, the New Testament says that righteousness comes by being imputed through Jesus Christ, and that it is impossible to be considered righteous apart from Jesus Christ. So the need to omit Jesus Christ in order to sell more DVDs results in teaching the exact opposite of what Jesus Christ taught and denying the reason for Jesus Christ’s ministry and work! As no one raised a peep about VeggieTales’ essentially endorsing Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, modern Judaism, and every other false works-based religion, how can we be surprised when Rob Bell has such a huge audience? Bell is only reaping the fruit that that was planted and watered by others in fields that were plowed by others.

Now granted, VeggieTales does get around to mentioning Jesus Christ and even His atonement occasionally (see their Easter episodes, though typical of modern Christianity, they give Christmas much more attention than Easter, including promoting the very destructive Santa Claus works religion in two of them … telling kids that there’s no Santa Claus means not selling any DVDs though!), they and the other “Christian” entertainment rarely – if ever – mentions the other side. They will tell you “accept Jesus Christ and go to heaven.” They will not say “if you do not, you will go to hell.” Indeed, even mentions of hell are rare, and this is the case in Christian children’s entertainment, contemporary Christian and gospel music, Christian movies, Christian books, and most Christian evangelism and preaching. So, since we are in a Christian culture that leaves out this important detail, what is the basis, the justification, for getting angry when Rob Bell comes in and fills in the blanks for us?

A lot of Christians are angry at Bell for not believing orthodoxy, but the real problem is that those who believe orthodoxy will not preach orthodoxy.  Challies mentions a new book that discusses “issues pertinent to the church today” which a lot of popular contemporary writers contributed to. According to Challies, there is no chapter on hell, and there are only two references to it in the index! That is no surprise. Clark Pinnock, the Rob Bell of his day, related that when a major Christian publishing company solicited prominent evangelicals to represent the traditional, Protestant view in Four Views On Hell (which is a theological debate in published form) they found no one wanting to take the job! (Ultimately, dispensational pastor and theologian John Walvoord took the challenge.) Pinnock – and again this is nearly 20 years ago – defended his position at the time, annihilationism (this was before Pinnock discarded any remaining pretense of adhering to inerrancy and adopted views similar to Bell’s) by stating that due to the increasing unwillingness of evangelicals to preach about and defend the doctrine of hell, the result would be a widespread embrace of universalism. (Pinnock was not well versed on pluralism at the time, but after learning more about purgatory from the Roman Catholic contributor to the project, Zachary Hayes, he ultimately adopted it as his own position.)

So, Veggie Tales and its effects on children is merely symbolic for the larger Christian scene itself, whether an unwillingness to oft preach and share the whole gospel because it is not acceptable in modern humanist culture – we Christians have to keep our place in the mainstream! – or an unwillingness to confront, condemn and separate from those who preach false doctrines. Quite the contrary, Christianity Today, long the evangelical standard, published a missive aimed at Christians appropriately denouncing Bell, claiming among other things that they lacked the necessary qualifications and standing to do so, and that their actions reflected a lack of various Christian virtues. The writer calls (indirectly but very intentionally) those attacking Bell “meain-spirited”, directly accuses them of “lacking self-restraint”, and pines for the days when such debates were the exclusive domains of people like Plato and “Saint” Thomas Aquinas – in addition to Moses and Augustine – “who gained respect through a lifetime of scholarship.”

Well the respect of the world earned by “Saint” Aquinas for advancing popery and of the pagan Plato is not what we should be after in the first place. Instead, we should seek the grace given through Jesus Christ. That so many of us want the respect of those in whom the truth is not present is precisely why this great vacuum on teachings about hell exists. The problem is not that Rob Bell stepped up to fill it, for there have always been and will always be until Jesus Christ returns false teachers. No, the problem is the carnality caused by the love of this present world in the church that allows this void to exist to begin with.

The result of this void caused by the worldliness is that as many as 59% of evangelical Christians believe that salvation can be obtained outside of Jesus Christ. Not surprisingly, 59% of evangelicals also have “dealing with moral breakdown” as a forefront issue; apparently the great commission can wait for another day. Again, and this should surprise who? Did you think that it was secular humanists being raised on VeggieTales, Hermie The Caterpillar, Focus On The Family etc. and buying them for their kids? Or that atheists are the ones buying Christian and gospel music that does a great job of emulating secular music (or maybe not) but oft neglects the gospel? That theological liberals are the ones heading to Christian bookstores and loading up on “devotionals” that are increasingly just Christianized pop psychology and motivational writings?

The issue is not Rob Bell. The issue is the church and its dereliction of its duty while chasing after worldly pleasures. And let Revelation 2 and 3 remind you: the church is where judgment begins. To more that is given, more is required, and the parables of Jesus Christ tell us that to those to whom more is given, more is required, and further if we are not faithful with what we have been given, then what we have will be taken from us and given to those who have been faithful. We Christians have been given the gospel, and we must avoid allowing the love of this world to prevent us from proclaiming it in its entirety.

In closing, it must be said that if you are a not a Christian, do not take comfort in the lies of the pluralists and others who claim that there is salvation outside of Jesus Christ. Yes, the Bible does declare that love wins, but it will be love of holiness, justice, righteousness, and the only way to have those attributes is by imputation through identification with One who has those attributes, which is Jesus Christ. Unless you live in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ lives in you, there is no life and victory, but only eternal torment. So, I urge you to repent of your sins and join with Jesus Christ immediately.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in Bible, child evangelism, Christian hypocrisy, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church worldliness, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ, religion, religious left, religious right, universalism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Meet Barack HUSSEIN Obamas’ Pentecostal Enablers: Joshua DuBois, Eugene Rivers And Leah Daughtry

Posted by Job on August 2, 2009

(To be fair, Eugene Rivers works both sides of the aise)

WASHINGTON – From a sparsely adorned office building a stone’s throw from the White House, Joshua DuBois carefully navigates the delicate line between church and state.

Each morning, he sends a devotional message to President Obama’s BlackBerry. He appears before religious and community groups to explain his role as director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and, in turn, relays their concerns to administration officials. In the course of any given day, he’ll receive as many as 750 emails from religious leaders, reporters, and government officials.

But in all the political juggling, the 26-year-old preacher’s kid remains a person of faith who quotes from favorite hymns – “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is one. The Bible, too, serves as inspiration.

“I’m often inspired by the grass-roots nature of Acts and the early church,” he said recently in an interview, “and what they were able to build from virtually nothing.”

A distinct contrast

To some extent, DuBois is doing just that with the faith-based office, which Obama inherited from former President George W. Bush, but revamped in a bid to expand its focus, depoliticize the grant-making process, and tamp down church-state concerns.

DuBois, a veteran of Obama’s Senate office who oversaw religious outreach for his presidential campaign, is a distinct contrast from the Republican appointees who preceded him, including the policy wonk John DiIulio, who opened the office in 2001, or Jim Towey, a former lawyer for Mother Teresa, or the cerebral Jay Hein.

Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church by his mother and stepfather, a minister in Nashville, Tenn., DuBois became an associate pastor of Calvary Praise and Worship Center, a small, African-American Pentecostal church in Cambridge, Mass., while an undergraduate at Boston University.

“I am very clear about the fact that I am a committed Christian and my faith is important to me; it’s a central part of my life,” he said. “At the same time, I am now in a role in this office … to reach out to Americans of all different religious backgrounds and folks who don’t adhere to a particular religion.”

In Washington, DuBois attends a nondenominational church that worships in a rented movie theater. He still maintains ties to the Cambridge church and to Boston, where he worked with the National TenPoint Leadership Foundation, which encouraged black churches to aid at-risk, inner-city youth.

“Josh was very serious and very smart and was very concerned … as an undergraduate in trying to connect faith to issues of public policy,” said Eugene Rivers, a co-founder of the foundation and a prominent black Pentecostal leader.

In a May interview with radio host Krista Tippett in St. Paul, Minn., DuBois talked about his awakening in 1999 when New York police officers were acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo.

“It shook in me a sense that I needed to connect to something larger, to understand all the nuances in the world, both in terms of politics and also in terms of religion,” he told Tippett’s “Speaking of Faith” program.

“So that’s when I found my church and my faith and also started my political path as well.”

That political path is taking shape as his office helps craft Obama’s key speeches on religion – Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, Islam at Cairo University, for example. His office also works with various federal agencies on issues ranging from disaster preparation to the upcoming 2010 census.

Though he doesn’t dwell on his relative youth, he said he realizes the weighty responsibilities given to someone who hasn’t even reached 30 yet. “I think one of the most important things is to know what you don’t know,” he said.

In his talks to various religious groups, DuBois outlines the office’s four-point focus on economic recovery, abortion reduction, responsible fatherhood, and interfaith relations. He’s met with evangelicals, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs, as well as secularists who think his office shouldn’t exist.

Religious leaders, including members of the office’s advisory council, say DuBois, like the president, is a good listener who seeks to find common ground among disparate viewpoints.

Leah Daughtry, a Pentecostal minister who until recently was the chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee, sees DuBois’ Pentecostal background informing his work.

“The kind of work that he’s doing in reaching out to people across political spectrums, across ideological perspectives, across theological perspectives, really can only be done if you’re Spirit-led,” she said. “Because it’s the same spirit of Christ that sought to reach beyond the confines of his own people.”

While DuBois’ day job is heading up the faith-based office, he also carries another title: special assistant to the president, which includes the daily presidential meditations as well as helping the first family find a church home in Washington.

Some people who have known DuBois say his workload can cause him to be disorganized and unresponsive, although they declined to have their names attached publicly to their criticisms. For his part, DuBois says he’s doing the best he can.

“We’re a federal entity that’s coordinating 11 offices with pretty key priorities. … I try to be as responsive as I can, along with my staff and others here at the White House. But there are always going to be some challenges in that regard.”

Daughtry joked that DuBois – who finds time to be a Big Brother to a Boston teenager and keep up a five-year relationship with his girlfriend – has made a bargain of sorts with God to manage his busy schedule.

“He’s attached to that cell phone like it’s another appendage,” she said. “I’m convinced he’s got some deal with God to give him a couple of extra hours a day.”

(The seeds of this “many paths to heaven” religious inclusivism/pluralism are being sown into Pentecostalism through politics in this generation just as Billy Graham did the same among Baptists and evangelicals in the prior one, and as it was done in other movements i.e. the mainline denominations earlier in the last century. We Christians must watch and pray. By the way, we Reformed Christians shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers, as the Reformed/Calvinist state churches practically invented inclusivism, unitarianism, universalism and other forms of theological liberalism, and liberal Episcopals, Presbyterians etc. have long been religious pluralists. The Pentecostals are just following the older and more established Christian movements down the path which may lead to one world religion and one world government.)

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The Error That Led To COGIC Leader Charles Blake’s Joining Hands With Sodomites

Posted by Job on April 6, 2009

Major thanks and blessings to Pastor D. L. Foster for covering the issue of Church of God in Christ leader and head pastor of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ Charles Blake for signing the universal declaration of human rights. Many supporters of Charles Blake have gone to his website and also to my Youtube site where I posted a video of Blake speaking on the topic. Many have responded to the effect that Blake only intended to support human rights, not homosexuality, and as a matter of fact he is a leader in opposing the sin of homosexuality; that his views concerning this area are doctrinally sound. Now I know little concerning Charles Blake’s views and ministry, so I will defer to the statements of his congregants and supporters, who quite naturally are far more qualified to speak to such issues.

Realize that the issue here is not so much Blake’s actual teachings and views on homosexuality, but the fact that Blake compromised himself by dealing with the human rights crowd in the first place. If you join with people who have anti – Biblical agendas, then you inevitably wind up being servants of that agenda. That is why the Bible makes it clear that Christians, especially pastors, are to be very careful about whom we walk with and join ourselves to. This is true of both the “Christian right” and the “Christian left.”

You see, no Christian should ever endorse the concept of “human rights” because according to the Bible, no such thing exists. Read the Bible, and you will never see anything stating or implying that people have human, civil, or individual rights. The Bible has nothing to do with rights, which constitutes treatment and benefits that individuals and groups deserve and that others – including ultimately God – are obligated to provide them. Rather than being a text that grants humans rights, it gives us responsibilities, all of which center around believing in, obeying, and serving God. Again, the Bible speak of rights given to man, but of man’s responsibility to God.

It is true, of course, that the Bible contains many instructions outlining ethical and moral treatment of human beings. But be not deceived: these things are in no way general, and are certainly not because humans deserve this, or have some “right” to this treatment. The idea that this is the case is the common fallacy of political and ideological liberals and conservatives. Liberals de – spiritualize the Bible, in the process removing everything about God and man’s obligation to him, and instead read it as a philosophical tract. So, for liberals the requirements for ethical behavior contained in the Bible is truthfully all the Bible is, and as a result they remove it from its intended context. Conservatives, for their part, use the Bible as a social contract for imposing laws and morality on society at large. While this does emphasize human obligation over rights, this obligation is to the state and society (the world) instead of to God, and as a result often rejects true justice and mercy (the weightier matters of the law).

Though they are opposite ends of the political and even theological scale, in truth liberals and conservatives both create this error for the same reason: that the Bible message is not meant to govern everyone, but rather only members of the faith community in a covenant relationship with God. In the Old Testament this was Israel, in the New Testament it is the church. The exhortations to ethical behavior and treatment of humanity was only revealed to God’s elect; how they were to treat believers and everyone else. Outside of instructing believers how they were to behave towards their fellow man, the instructions that we should love one another, treat one another well, and defend the powerless have no context and application. In short, it is not because of the inherent worth or value of human existence that gives people the right to be loved, well treated, and defended. It is solely because God commands us to do so.

And why does God tell us to do so? It is not because of the people, their value to God, and His love for them, though God certainly does value and love us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to take on sin and be slain on a cross. It is because God is a holy and righteous God, and He expects His covenant people, His elect, to reflect His holiness and righteousness in our behavior. If we are being cruel towards our fellow man, we are not reflecting God’s holy and righteous character. So again, our responsibility to treat other members of the human race with love, decency, and respect is our obligation to God and is an act of loving and serving God.

Evidence of this is the famous statement of 1 John 4:20 “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” Now the humanist perspective on this verse only focuses on how we are to love our brother. Of course, that is wrong. The verse is not about loving your brother at all. It is about loving God. The verse is contained within a passage of 1 John concerning our loving God, and speaks of how this is accomplished. It is not a passage on how we are to love humanity, it is a passage that tells us to love, honor, and obey GOD by loving humanity.

The same is true of Jesus Christ’s teachings about how Christians should treat widows, the poor, strangers, those in prison, orphans, etc. He did not teach that Christians should do this for the sake of people in need because they inherently deserved this behavior, had some human or civil right to this treatment. Instead, Jesus Christ stated “as you do to them, you do to me!” Again, Jesus Christ made ethical treatment of humanity an act of service to HIM, not to humanity. Again, please read Matthew 25:34-46 and you see the emphasis is on Jesus Christ, not on people. Goodness to people is presented as a way of loving Christ, not as an obligation to humanity for humanity’s sake. And again, we are to love humanity because God loves humanity, because as God’s people we are obligated to reflect God’s loving, holy, and righteous character in all that we do, including but not limited to how we treat other people.

Of course, the liberal Christian reads that passage, despiritualizes it, and humanizes it. That results in the emphasis being removed from God and placed on man, and a reading where man inherently deserves and is obligated to receive good treatment, and other humans are obligated to give it. This, of course, comes from liberal theology’s rejection of original sin. The idea that human, civil, or individual rights exist can only be countenanced if we reject the idea that we are nothing but sinners who deserve only wrath and can only be saved by God’s grace, and that any value that we have is not inherent, but rather because God graciously gives that value to us. 

So the question has to be asked: why is Charles Blake, the leader of a very theologically conservative denomination (it’s true, if the issue of women in ministry is removed, Pentecostal denominations are actually the most conservative) following after liberal theology to begin with? The answer: the civil rights movement. Charles Blake is black, and has bought into the belief that human rights is the logical extension, the next phase if you will, of the movement that Martin Luther King, Jr. led. To be honest, he is 100% correct. Martin Luther King, Jr. said so himself!

The problem is that the civil rights movement was not a Christian movement at all. It was not a movement designed to bring people to the Jesus Christ of the Bible and cause them to obey and serve that Jesus Christ. Instead, the civil rights movement was about securing better treatment for humanity, and the movement merely appropriated Bible texts that were convenient to their agenda while completely ignoring others. This should come as no surprise, for most of the civil rights movement’s leaders were explicitly not Christian, and even those who professed to be Christian – like King – rejected the doctrines that actually make a person Christian. Virtually every preacher, pastor, etc. in the upper ranks of the civil rights leadership rejected the inspiration and authority of scripture, and King himself rejected the deity of Jesus Christ, seeing Him as merely a human political leader.

Yet, because the civil rights movements gained black people in America so many temporal benefits, it is practically impossible for any black man to stand up and say that the civil rights movement was never Christian in any sense and retain the respect and support of the black community. So, black people desiring this respect and support must continue to carry water for the band of atheists, communists, homosexuals, theological liberals, Jews and other decidedly non – Christians that were the civil rights movements’ spokesmen and leaders and for their movement. This, of course, means black Christian pastors that choose to lead overwhelmingly black congregations. It is sad to say, but any pastor of a black congregation who shares with his congregation the hard truth concerning the civil rights movement will find himself no longer leading – or truth be known employed by – a black congregation in short order. So, as a pastor of a large, prominent, respected church containing many black members of some influence and reputation AND having a leadership post in a black denomination Bishop Charles Blake has to not only go along with it concerning the civil rights like everyone else, but embrace it. 

Not only that, but because of the status that he has attained in being a clergy in, of, and for the black community, Blake finds himself under a great deal of pressure. It is not enough to merely be a black preacher, but he is under pressure to be a black leader, to take up the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other civil rights leaders and carry it forward. The narrative has long been established that black ministers cannot simply ply their trade as white, Hispanic and Asian ministers do, but have to add a social justice/social activism/civil rights component. If you are the leader of a small humble storefront congregation that has 75 members, it is easy to resist the pressure, the temptation, to be “more than just a minister” but a civil rights leader. But the more influential, the more prominent that you become as a pastor in the black community, the greater the pressure and temptation to take up Martin Luther King Jr.’s work becomes. The problem is that the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. was not the work of Jesus Christ, not least because Martin Luther King, Jr. did not even believe in Jesus Christ, let alone serve Him. 

So it may yet be true that Charles Blake has the Biblical view towards homosexuality. What is equally true, however, is that Charles Blake has an unBiblical behavior towards the world, and exhibited it by going along with these unbelievers with the human rights declaration despite knowing full well that these unbelievers will – as unbelievers tend to do – use the human rights declaration to support and promote sin while opposing righteousness. There are two verses that apply here. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Well, Blake is walking with these people despite knowing full well what they are all about. Now while Pastor Foster is focusing on the homosexuality angle (which is a bit regrettable because it somewhat clouds the issue) the main problem with the universal declaration of human rights where I am concerned is that it is very much a religious universalistic – or at the very minimum religious pluralistic – effort, working to make the “many paths to heaven” lie the only acceptable language of religious discourse and bringing us closer to the day where saying that Jesus Christ is the only path to heaven is bigotry – a human rights violation! – because it offends Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, wiccans, etc.

Second, there is James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Look, Pastor Charles Blake is a very educated, intelligent and accomplished man. He knows what these human rights people are about. He knows what the civil rights crowd is and was about. He knows that “human rights” has no place in a Biblical worldview. Yet he does this because of his position in the world and his desire to keep it. 

So ultimately, this has nothing to do with homosexuality at all. It is all about worldiness, and what Bishop Charles Blake has allowed himself to get mixed up with is still more evidence why Christians, most of all pastors, should heed the Bible’s instructions to flee it. 

P.S. I don’t want any of you folks coming on here quoting what some famous preacher or theologian says about human, civil, or individual rights, and I ESPECIALLY do not want to read any nonsense about “natural law” or any other perversion of what scripture teaches about common grace. Those things are not the process of a literal, exegetical reading of scripture, but notions that came to us from systematic theology. Systematic theology is the convergence of Bible doctrines (which truthfully, is not exactly the Bible itself, but is honestly one step removed) and western philosophy, and western philosophy originated and is largely rooted in pagan Hellenism. Now while systematic theology has its uses (especially for westerners and we do live in a western culture … I should point out that for non – western people systematic theology is must less useful and more problematic, and non – western Christians have been trying to communicate this fact for centuries), it has to be directly wedded to the Bible to make sense. But once you depart from the Bible, well let us just say that I am convinced that a skilled enough systematic theologian could make a compelling case that 1+1=3. If you don’t believe me, go read about how some of the great systematic theologians justified such things as torturing and killing heretics. Yep, the same folks who went around prattling about human or individual rights derived from natural law thought nothing of tying someone to a stake and burning him to death, using green wood so that the death would be as slow and painful as possible. The truth is that if you read the Bible exegetically and refrain from eisegesis (infusing the text with ideas and meanings that aren’t present), you will not find the concept of human, individual, or civil rights and liberties in the Bible, only of man’s responsibility to respond to God in faith with service, obedience, and trembling. 

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The Goodness Of God: Is It Relative Or Absolute?

Posted by Job on January 4, 2009

I am going to reuse one of my favorite cliches from philosophy: “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear or see it, has it really fallen?”

Now I do not know much about philosophy but I will attempt to answer it from a philosophical angle. The modernist would reply “yes, because the tree’s falling is fact, a historical event that took place in the natural realm of space and time, a propositional, rational truth. The fact that it was not observed does not negate the fact that it was a real, observable, measurable event that left evidence behind of its occurrence.”

The postmodernist for his part would reply “no, because truth is relative, and is solely determined by the person who interprets and determines truth based on his experiences and biases. So, if there was no one there to hear or see the tree fall, then there was no one there to determine that this event happened or interpret its meaning. Even if you were to claim that the tree did fall, I have the right to declare that it did not, and my opinion would be every bit as valid as yours.”

The premodernist for his part would state “whether the tree fell or not or if there ever was a tree in the first place is up to my religious leader and my political leader to decide – especially if my religious leader and my political leader are the same person -and anyone who disagrees with them will be burned as a heretic so either way the truth really doesn’t matter does it!”

So for some issues, modernism, postmodernism, and premodernism are inadequate. Modernism can only deal with truths that can be observed or measured according to some rational system so that mind makes right. Postmodernism makes truth a moving target so that it can be the instrument of whoever is best able to use – or misuse – it so that feelings make right. And premodernism allows truth to be defined by human institutions and authority so that might makes right. So when it comes to the Bible, all of them come short.

Faith, that which is unseen, hoped for, and will ultimately be realized only in the world to come, cannot be observed or measured. No one has ever seen God at any time. Yet faith is based on direct and core truths that cannot be cast off with feelings, interpretations, or cultural constructs. God does definitely exist. However, true faith cannot be dictated or imposed by human might or effort. God alone provides humans with the ability to truly believe in and obey Him. 

So it is with the attributes of God, including His goodness. Is God’s goodness relative or absolute? The reason why I ask is related to my earlier post on the direction of modern Christian and popular music, and also of much contemporary Christian preaching. Many Christian songs and sermons declare the goodness of God based not only on what God has done, but specifically based on the good things that God has done for them. Now I do acknowledge and commend some among these people that exist in this environment and yet manage to deal with the many bad, cruel, horrible things that are the facts of life: sickness, death, family breakups, persecution etc. But even there, the response is usually “God is still good because He allowed these bad things to happen to me in order to teach me a lesson … to make me stronger.”

So what, then, is the message? The conclusion? The point? That God is good because He is good to us? That would mean that God’s goodness is not absolute but rather relational. It means that God’s goodness is defined according to how He behaves towards His creation, or even a subset thereof. So, God is allowed to be good towards sinful man because sinful man has been redeemed by Jesus Christ. God is allowed to punish those not redeemed by Jesus Christ because a truly good God cannot allow evil to go unpunished. Why the latter? Because a good God HAS to punish the bad people for the things that they have done to other people, especially the good people! (And who are the good people? Why me and people like me, including those that I know and care about!)

This line of thinking creates a problem. If God’s goodness is only relational with respect to His creation, then what about before creation? What about before Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1? As prior to creation God had no creation to be good in relationship to, then was God good before He created? Well, to get around that problem, many claim that God performed creation because of His goodness! That it was because of His goodness God created something to express His goodness with, or to create some expression or outlet for His goodness!

That is fine until you deal with the fact that creation was ultimately tainted by sin, which necessitates destroying practically all of it. So if God’s goodness is a function of how He behaves toward creation, how could He have given creation the possibility of being corrupted by sin? Would it not have been a better working of God’s goodness not to have allowed sin to corrupt creation, or never to have created at all? 

This actually gets to be a real problem when it comes to the eternal fates of human spirits. If God’s goodness is based on how He treats His creation, then how can a good God allow human spirits to burn in the lake of fire for eternity? It is precisely that question that leads people to embrace universalism (everyone will be saved), pluralism (all good people will be saved regardless of their accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior), and annihilationism (those who are not saved will be consumed by Gehenna flames and cease to exist rather than burn eternally). And it does not stop there. Why should a truly good God require holy living, actual faith, and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ from Christians? A profession of faith, and certainly recitation of a prayer, participation in baptism, and regular church attendance and giving should be enough. 

It leads to “God is good because of how He treats mankind.” And that leads to “God is good because of how He treats ME.” As humans are by nature self – centered (and our postmodern culture makes us even more so!) this is inevitable. And that leads to a distorted view of God from which comes distorted doctrines, practice, and Christian living. If God is good because of how He treats me, then that allows me to judge God by determining what is good and what isn’t. If God does not treat me how I believe that I deserve to be treated, then God is not good. So, I will go follow a doctrine, a movement, a religion whose “god” treats me, accommodates me, in the manner that I feel is appropriate and that I deserve. If I love myself, I will choose a “god” who indulges me, if I hate myself, I will choose a “god” that punishes me. Also, if God is good because of how He treats me, why should I fear such a God? Why should I approach Him with trembling? (I know that Hebrews says to go boldly before the throne of grace in prayer, but the point is not the boldness but the grace. It is only God’s grace that makes such a bold approach possible.)

So Christians have to accept, teach, preach, and live the fact that God’s attributes – His goodness, greatness, love, righteousness, holiness, power, omnipotence etc. – are not relational, or defined in any sense by God’s position with man or man’s position with God. Instead, they are absolute. As God pre – exists, His attributes pre – exists. They define God, and God defines them. They are facts and are the same with or without creation. They are what creation has the responsibility of responding to. And they are what God’s ultimate creation, the church, has the responsibility of interpreting God’s Word, the Bible, in light of. 

So God is not good because of what He does for you. God is good regardless of what happens to you in this life or the next. God bestows goodness on His creation because of grace. But without that factor, or even without creation, God would still be good. So we should praise, worship, and glorify God because He is good, and not because His goodness means any particular positive outcome for His creation or any portion of it. 

Christians need to urgently recognize this fact, and to change their songs and sermons accordingly.

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Attention Religious Right Evangelicals: George W. Bush’s View Of The Bible Is No Different From Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s!

Posted by Job on December 11, 2008

George Bush does not believe that the Bible should be interpreted literally, but that “you can learn a lot from it.” Add this to his claim that Christians also pray to the ancient near moon god of the Muslims, whose name is LITERALLY sin (i.e. wilderness of sin and Mount Sinai in Exodus!) and his statement that belief in Jesus Christ is not required to go to heaven. Now how many religious right pastors and other people of influence (including, by the way, Billy Graham!) have personally attested to George Bush being a man of strong faith who believes in and lives by the Bible, is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and consults God in everything that he does?

I have to tell you … I heard about this on the a conservative talk show this morning while driving around. Of course, the host defended Bush, and a bunch of other professed Christians called up doing the same. See, for these people, Christianity is not about God or the Bible. It is about A) your own feelings, desires, goals, etc. and B) country and culture, you know, “values.” How many evangelicals knew this when they trudged to the polls? When they got into running debates and arguments over the godless liberals in defense of this man? When they supported the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, the bailout, his free trade policies, and basically everything else questionable that he has done? So, what do you say now?

 George W. Bush does not believe that the Bible should be interpreted literally. He does not believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. He believes that all religions worship the same God. So what difference is there then, theologically, than Barack Hussein Obama’s Jeremiah Wright black liberation theology Christianity?

Now evangelical or fundamental Christian, you are welcome to believe that George W. Bush was a great president for this country by agreeing with his leadership and policies. It is not my purpose to take my position on that. However, if you believe that George W. Bush is an evangelical, fundamental, orthodox, traditional, or otherwise Bible – believing Christian, then your problem is with the truth. See the video below. The question is whether you would have given the same level of support to Bush and his policies had you known in advance that Bush was no different from Barack HUSSEIN Obama theologically.

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George W. Bush To Attend Religious Universalism Summit. Evangelicals Who Would Trash Bill Clinton or Barack Obama For Doing The Same Where Are You?

Posted by Job on November 1, 2008

Note: this is more evidence still that the “Christian values” movement is simply a universalist works religion. You have the Orthodox Jews, Roman Catholics, and evangelicals basically making up the religious right and you have the liberal pluralists and universalists (as well as those who basically deny a literal afterlife) making up the religious left, and all are united by a common ethical and cultural worldview, not a religious one. In other words, it is the social gospel left against the social gospel right, but it is still the social gospel. And at its root it is – you guessed it – freemasonry which has always A) denied the divinity and work of Jesus Christ and B) while not denying a supreme being or creator always nonetheless promoted an ethical system that will unite humanity (of course with certain humans, mainly freemason leaders, ultimately being in benevolent control). Of course, freemasonry is not nearly the only group that believes this, and they are also not the first. But again, it is mighty revealing that the same religious right leaders that sounded the alarm when Bill Clinton used to attend and promote religious pluralism at events like these won’t raise a peep about the first president to pray in a Muslim mosque George W. Bush. But let Barack HUSSEIN Obama win the White House and these same people will insist that Obama “is trying to destroy our Biblical Christian heritage” by attending meetings like these. And again, that is why a great part of me is convinced that John McCain will ultimately win. It will be far easier for the former Episcopalian who actually asked a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention if being rebaptized as a Southern Baptist would help him win the GOP primary (he was told no by the fellow who incidentally was also advising Mormon Mitt Romney!) to bring evangelical Christians closer to this than Barack Obama. Seriously, hearing religious right talk radio give unqualified endorsement to John and Sidney McCain’s background and character … well again it will be much easier for McCain to continue to lead the religious right further into the darkness of hypocrisy and willing blindness. If anything, an Obama win would probably mean that the job is finished already, and there is nothing left for McCain to do in that area. 

Bush to Attend U.N. Conference on Religions, Cultures

UNITED NATIONS — President Bush will join several other world leaders at a General Assembly meeting to promote a global dialogue about religions, cultures and common values, U.N. and U.S. officials said Friday.

The meeting is a follow-up to an interfaith conference in Madrid organized by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Juan Carlos of Spain in July which brought together Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and representatives of other religions and sparked hopes of a new relationship among religions.

General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann has sent invitations to all 192 U.N. member states to the high-level meeting on Nov. 12-13 and expects at least 20 or 30 world leaders to attend, his spokesman Enrique Yeves said. Bush will attend on Nov. 13, U.N. and U.S. officials said.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush “remains committed to fostering interfaith harmony among all religions, both at home and abroad.” She said Bush also plans to meet separately with Abdullah.

D’Escoto believes the initiative “should be broadened to talking not only about religions but about cultures, about all the common values we have,” Yeves said. “He would like that we talk not only about dialogue, but about joining forces in order to work together with all these common values to address the major issues that we are facing right now in the world,” Yeves said.

Abdullah, whose country bans non-Muslims from openly practicing their religion, has called for religious tolerance and said such dialogue is the duty of every human being.

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Rick Warren Writes Foreward For Book That Promotes JUDAISM

Posted by Job on September 23, 2008

Of course, if it was a book promoting Islam or Hinduism, his defenders (who use a double standard to tolerate things from the Southern Baptist that they never would from a Pentecostal) would finally start to stand up to what this fellow’s real agenda is. But since he sticks to the culturally safe falsehoods for western chauvinists like Judaism, Mormonism, and Roman Catholicism, no one says a peep. The biggest trouble that Warren ever got into wasn’t even related to theology, but for trying to rehabilitate the image of North Korea and Syria. It just shows the mindset of so many political and cultural Christians.

www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-09-22-rabbi-wolpe-why-faith-matters_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

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Leading Charismatic J. Lee Grady Claiming That Sarah Palin Is A Prophet Chosen By God To Lead Christians Into Holy War!

Posted by Job on September 10, 2008

I know, I know, yet another political article. I promise to do better, but how can I ignore things like this? Brother PJ Miller tipped me off to this fromJ. Lee Gray, editor of the influential Charisma Magazine. Now similar to Christianity Today and Roman Catholics with evangelical Christians, Charisma Magazine should have been rejected by Pentecostals and charismatics once they started accepting oneness pentecostal anti – Trinitarian heretics among their midst. Here it is in black and white from J. Lee Grady’s pen:

2. Trinitarians must embrace our Oneness brothers. I know people in the Assemblies of God who were taught all their lives that the Jesus worshiped by Oneness Pentecostals is “another Jesus.” The Lord told us to love one another, but we have avoided this by declaring that our brothers aren’t really in the family.

So what excuse is there for calling Charisma Magazine anything but what it is, which is apostate? Even better:

It all sounds like pointless doctrinal hair-splitting to us younger types. After all, who can explain the mystery of God’s triune nature? Instead of fussing about terms or reducing the gospel to a baptismal formula, why can’t we rally around our common belief that the Father sent His Son to save the world?

Excuse me, but what vital Christian doctrine CANNOT that be said about? Creationism? It is too hard to understand. Baptism? It is too hard to obey. The incarnation? Can’t believe it. The resurrection? Can’t accept it. Salvation only through the cross? Can’t put up with it. Eternal damnation in the lake of fire for sinners? Can’t conceive it. Adulterers, liars, thieves, necromancers, occultists, homosexuals, and apostates in the pulpit? Judge not, touch not mine anointed and do my prophet no harm! Look, A FALSE GOSPEL CANNOT SAVE!

But enough of that digression. J. Lee Grady claims that Sarah Palin has the Deborah anointing. Now my position is that all of these various spirits that Pentecostals and charismatics speak of do not exist, as there is one Lord who has one spirit, the Holy Spirit. Also, the word “anointing” means “choosing”, when one is “anointed by God”, it means that a person was given a calling by God to a specific calling or ministry in service to the Lord and His people. So I would discourage Christians from going around saying that someone has “a David anointing” or “a Hezekiah anointing” or “Paul’s spirit”, but I will go ahead and say that it is a crude and possibly incorrect but still understandable way of saying that someone has the same office, calling, or task as another Christian.

On J. Lee Grady’s part, this is very problematic for two reasons. First, the Bible commands us to “lay hands quickly on no man.” That is 1 Timothy 5:22. Now the best context for this verse was the practice of the church laying hands on people when they choose officers for the church. Please recall that when Stephen the martyr and Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas were appointed as deacons in Acts 6:1-6. Verse 6 states that after the church selected them, the apostles laid hands on them after praying for them. Though laying hands on people was part of the ritual or process of actually choosing and placing people in the position of service, it became a shorthanded reference for the act of choosing and installing a person into Christian service itself. But please note Acts 6:1-6 and interpret it with 1 Timothy 5:16-25. In both cases, it is obvious that a person should not be laid hands upon, or chosen, or anointed, unless the person had demonstrated their worthiness for the position by their fruits: excellent reputations, spiritual maturity, strong knowledge of and adherence to the Word of God in the eyes of the local congregation.

Now unless Grady has some extensive past history with Sarah Palin that he for some reason chooses not to reveal in his column, he has NO BASIS for claiming under New Testament church standards that God has called this woman to leadership or anything else. If he has been in longtime Christian fellowship with Palin, he should have let us know this. Otherwise, we can presume that like 99.9% of America, he was so ignorant of this woman’s existence that he could not have picked her out of a lineup until now.

So claiming that Palin was appointed by God to anything is irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous because it causes Christians to presume that she is generally acting and leading according to God’s desires and even non – Christians that respect our faith to presume that she is basically honest and moral. Such claims also damage how Christians view church doctrines and practice. Talk like this hinders people from knowing that being called by God or even elected to service by the church MEANS SOMETHING. That there are STANDARDS that these people must adhere to in order to be eligible for their appointment (in the case of a deacon) and AFTER their appointment (in the case of church appointed deacons and God – called everything else). That people keep throwing around  “I have an anointing, he has an anointing, I feel a great anointing and move of the Holy Spirit in this place” with the same level of care and discernment as they would use to say “boy that was a mighty fine and tasty bowl of oatmeal” is a great reason why we allow anyone – especially if he is a Christian – do whatever they want with no accountability whatsoever. 

So what is Grady’s basis for alleging that Palin has a call on her life? Her politics. Her values. Her culture. Her family. Her actions as mayor and governor. And keep in mind: he knows NONE of these first hand! He only knows them by their reports from people who have a motive to portray Palin in the best possible light for worldly reasons, and of course Grady is ignoring all of  the people with opposing views of this woman’s performance and character. They’re just liberals who reject the Bible, right? Now if they were “Jesus Christ was born again in hell” Word of Faith teachers, “Jesus Christ was rich” prosperity doctrine teachers, or “God the Father suffered and died on the cross” United (oneness) Pentecostals, they’d be good credible people, right? 

This is replacing true Christianity, which is of the spirit, with a works – based religion of the flesh. Of the circumcision. And you know what? It is a very shallow one at that. Islam, Judaism, Hinduism … do you know what those religions require before a person is declared worthy, a lifetime process of rigorous spiritual, religious, and personal demands? Muslims according in particular to their belief system have no assurance of their salvation when they die (unless they perish in a holy war) no matter their dedication to Islam during their lives. But Grady – and those like him – are willing to say that just because we like what we KNOW of her church (its denomination is similar to mine), her culture (small town self – reliant Alaska outdoorsmen are more holy and sanctified than those inner city welfare mothers?), her lifestyle (a married mother of five is more holy than, you know, a married mother of two or a single mother of any amount?) and her political beliefs?

The last one is key. Because she shares my values, her daughter being pregnant out of wedlock is fine. It is covered by, you know, grace. But since Jamie Lynn Spears and her family does not share my values, it is horrible. No grace for you! And as for Obama, we can dismiss him by saying that if it was his daughter he would have forced her to have an abortion, convicting him in advance for something that he hasn’t even done yet and we have no idea whether he would! The opposite of grace for you! Never mind the fact that pro – abortion people who have unwanted pregnancies choose to have the baby all the time. Never mind the fact that pro – life people who have unwanted pregnancies have abortions all the time. (Studies assert that evangelicals have the same abortion rate as the national average, some claim that it is even higher.)

Now, THIS is where the 30 years of James Dobson Focus on the Family religious right mindset of conferring righteousness on people based on their lifestyles, cultures, affiliations, and political beliefs has gotten us. And we really are entering a sort of danger zone here. Where J. Lee Grady has generally not been one given to trying to influence politics, he goes and calls this woman God’s prophet. And Albert Mohler, usually a no – nonsense figure who also avoids religious right politics and is no supporter of Pentecostalism, has basically endorsed Palin, something that I can find no evidence whatsoever that he did for Mike Huckabee, a leader of his own denomination. If this is not Phariseeism as expressed in the political and cultural context, what is?

As I said of Grady, if Mohler has some pre – existing relationship with this woman that causes him to regard her as being worthy of his endorsement based largely on her being a Christian (or should I again say a Christian with the “right” cultural markers … where in the Bible does it say that shooting bears, eating mooseburgers, living in the frontier, and having 5 kids places you closer to the kingdom of heaven or is evidence of the inner workings of the fruits of the Holy Spirit?), then he should let us know. Otherwise, it is AT BEST reckless and irresponsible. At worst, it is showing much more respect than he ever would to even another professed Christian that came in different packaging. Would Grady and Mohler be as effusive over a Methodist from Chicago or Episcopal from Baltimore, especially if they were Democrats, even if they were right on the doctrinal issues and the political ones directly related to them (i.e. abortion and homosexuality)?You know the answer to that question and so do they. 

And that is just the first part. The second concern is not nearly as lengthy but even more important. Go back to the book of Judges, chapter 4 in particular for this “Deborah anointing” issue. What was the situation? The children of Israel were at war with an enemy that, oh well, could be compared to the Muslims of today without being too far off. What did God choose Deborah to be? His prophetess through whom He spoke His Word. Again, why did God raise up prophets and judges in those days? TO USE THEM TO LEAD ISRAEL IN BATTLE AGAINST THE ENEMY. And what happened? Though Barak was the judge and the leader of the army, THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, he would not go into battle against the ancestors of today’s MUSLIMS, in particular THE PALESTINIANS, without God’s prophetess Deborah on the battlefield leading him. Why? Because though Barak had been called by God to lead the army, because of his weak character and faith he was unwilling to do so without a woman of stronger character and faith at his side.

So here we are in America in a war against terror against a Muslim ideology. And – if their electoral hopes and dreams are fulfilled as I think they will be – the commander in chief will be another Barak, a man who professes Christian faith (raised Episcopal but now Southern Baptist evangelical) but does not wear it on his sleeve in the appropriate manner or keep company with the right and proper powerbrokers in the evangelical world (as a matter of fact Palin is his third try at short circuit people like Dobson and also the more Baptist – oriented evangelicals for lesser known Pentecostal figures like John Hagee and Rod Parsley) and is not sufficiently socially conservative in his beliefs.

So where Barak fell short in his true faith, McCain similarly falls short in this new universalist pluralist ecumenical dual covenant (or truthfully many covenant!) works based religion that serves the aims of the religious right. Again, never forget that the preferred candidate of most of this crowd was Mormon Mitt Romney, who fit their “culture and views” requirements precisely and the fellow’s actual religious doctrines (as well as his basic honesty and integrity or more accurately his complete lack thereof) was of no consequence. (Extending this a bit, this also explains J. Lee Grady’s embrace of oneness pentecostal heretics, whose beliefs are totally wrong, but who nonetheless have been a part of the Pentecostal religious scene since 1916, are growing in prominence and influence especially in music and with famous preachers/televangelists and their many theologians in Pentecostal seminaries and Bible colleges, so they must be accepted.)

So the morally flawed less than faithful Barak – McCain needs the pure and faithful prophetess Deborah – Palin at his side to fight the Lord’s battle and win against the Philistines – Muslims. (Please note: correlating Philistines and Muslims is not so coincidental when you consider that the term Palestine, or PALESTINIAN, is what the Roman Empire came up with to denote the Philistines, and they named Israel Palestine after their ancient enemies to spite and mock the Jews.)

I suppose that in this imagination, their first Muslim conquest will be on election day against Barack HUSSEIN “McCain has not made in issue of my Muslim faith/I still remember the Muslim call to prayer at my madrassa, one of the most beautiful sounds in the world” Obama. That is fine. What then? Will the prophetess Deborah – Palin tell Barak – McCain to put every Muslim in Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Somalia, Chechnya, Turkey, Kosovo, Kenya, PALESTINE, etc. to death with the sword? Or more accurately WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS? I don’t know Mr. Grady, that sounds more like McCain anti – Christ Palin false prophet to me! (So you folks thinking that Obama is the anti – Christ may have the right time but the wrong candidate!) Maybe your interpretation of scripture is different. Then again, it would have to be for you to claim that we are brothers with people who blatantly deny scripture by rejecting Trinity, not to mention those who preach the false prosperity and Word of Faith doctrines.

You might say that Grady did not have a militaristic – eschatological intent in calling Palin “Deborah”, that he was only looking for a woman in a leadership position. First of all, even if that were the case, the guy is still wrong. Do you know why? Because words mean things. Especially words from the Bible. We can’t just go around throwing Bible terms and references around because they sound nice, make us feel good, and help us advance or win arguments (or elections). God raised up Deborah to a specific office to perform a specific task. Claiming that a woman that is being appointed to run a college or a bank or even a church ministry is bad enough because of the context. But saying the same of a woman who actually would be the advisor to a commander in chief to a nation that is at war is making a direct parallel between McCain and Palin and the actual Barak and Deborah of the Bible that cannot be ignored!

Also, this paragraph by J. Lee Grady proves that he is not merely applying a Biblical female leadership analogy, even in poor context:

When McCain announced that he had chosen Palin as his running mate, I was reminded of the biblical story of Deborah, the Old Testament prophet who rallied God’s people to victory at a time when ancient Israel was being terrorized by foreign invaders. Deborah’s gender didn’t stop her from amassing an army; she inspired the people in a way no man could. She and her defense minister, Barak, headed to the front lines and watched God do a miracle on the battlefield. In her song in Judges 5:7, Deborah declares: “The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel” (NASB). Sometimes it takes a true mother to rally the troops.

Seriously, what else am I supposed to think when I read something like that? So in less than 30 years Christians have gone from cheering when Ronald Reagan largely endorsed the claims of Mormon founder Joseph Smith in declaring America to be New Jerusalem in his “we are the shining city on a hill” speech (which basically gave salvation to all who earned it by agreeing with Reagan culturally and politically, and condemned all dissenters to the lake of fire … hey didn’t Palin’s pastor do largely the same in alluding that Bush critics and Kerry voters are going to the lake of fire?) to claiming that God will use Palin to raise up his army? 

This is where the religious right and the false doctrines surrounding it is taking Christanity, people. (The religious left is no better, so don’t even try it.) If you wish to make your calling and election in Jesus Christ sure, you had best repent yourself of it and love the next world and not this one.

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Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s Anti – Christ Universalism

Posted by Job on September 4, 2008

From True Discernment weblog.

from Berit kjos:

Believes Many Paths Lead to God

The Faith of Barack Obama written by New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield was released in August by Thomas Nelson publishers. The book carries the endorsement of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the front cover. Tutu, one of the global “Elders,” calls the book “perceptive and well-written.” The publisher’s description of the book reads: 

“…takes readers inside the mind, heart, and soul of presidential hopeful Barack Obama–as a person of faith, as a man, as an American, and possibly as our future commander in chief.”

 

Mansfield, says: “If a man’s faith is sincere, it is the most important thing about him, and it is impossible to understand who he is and how he will lead without first understanding the religious vision that informs his life.”

According to Mansfield, Obama is “raising the banner of what he hopes will be the faith-based politics of a new generation . . . and he will carry that banner to whatever heights of power his God and the American people allow.”

Recently, when Obama was interviewed by Rick Warren, Obama told Warren that Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior. Yet this “banner” Obama raises is one that has an inter-spiritual foundation, representing a new kind of “Christianity,” one that looks more like Brian McLaren’s spirituality than traditional, biblical Christianity.

What emerges from this book is a glimpse of a man who has New Age philosophy, believing that other religions are legitimate paths to God, and all humanity is connected together (spiritually speaking – i.e., God is in all):

“Obama does clearly believe that the form of Christianity that he committed to at Trinity Church in 1985 is not the only path to God. ‘I am rooted in the Christian tradition,’ he has said. Nevertheless he asserts, ‘I believe there are many paths to the same place and that is a belief there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.’

 

“He first saw his broad embrace of faith modeled by his mother. ‘In our household,” he has explained, ‘The Bible, [t]he Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf … on Easter or Christmas Day my mother might drag me to a church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.’” (p.55 of Mansfield’s book, quoting from Audacity of Hope, Obama, p. 203).

 

After his inter-spiritually-based upbringing, Obama later spent twenty years in a church, which promotes the panenthestic (God in all), inter-spiritual approach. In a 2006 article in United Church News, Obama stated that the teachings of the UCC (United Church of Christ), of which he was a member (Trinity United Church of Christ) until recently, are “foundation stones for his political work.” Just what are those “teachings” comprised of? On Trinity’s website, on the Yoga page, the following statement is highlighted:

 

“Within each [of] us is the seed of Divinity. Each Soul is divine. I bow to the divinity in us all!”

This is classic Hinduism that teaches that divinity resides in every human being. It is also the message of the New Age movement — man’s divinity!

In Obama’s own autobiography, Audacity of Hope, he calls himself a “progressive” (i.e., emerging or postmodern) and says: “We need to take faith seriously not simply to block the religious right but to engage all persons of faith in the larger project of American renewal” (p. 216). Echoing the sentiments of Rick Warren (a close friend of Obama, says Warren), he clarifies that partnerships between “religious and secular” will have to be built, and “each side will need to accept some ground rules for collaboration” (p. 216). He adds:

 

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” (p. 218)

Obama insists that to base national “policy” on biblical truths “would be a dangerous thing” to do (p. 220).

There is one sentence in Audacity of Hope that sums up Barack Obama’s spirituality. He states:

“When I read the Bible, I do so with the belief that it is not a static (stable) text but the Living Word and that I must be continually open to new revelations.” (p. 224) In other words, just as Tony Jones said in his book The New Christians, and just as other emergents consistently say, the truths in the written Word of God, the Bible, are not unchanging and cannot be looked upon as stable or immoveable. “New revelations” can bring about new “truths” . . . truth is fluid.

To be interspiritual (all paths lead to God), to be panentheistic (divinity is in all), to reject God’s Word, and to embrace mysticism is to be what Alice Bailey called a rejuvenated Christian, who is one who follows “another gospel” and “another Jesus” (II Corinthians 11:4).

 

“Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’” (John 14:6)

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Ecumenism Ultimately Points Toward A Common Eucharist, Pope Tells Christians

Posted by Job on July 22, 2008

Ecumenism Ultimately Points Toward A Common Eucharist, Pope Tells Christians

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Judeo – Christianity Does Not Include Jesus Christ Or Messianic Jews!

Posted by Job on April 25, 2008

Banning Jesus: What a “Judeo-Christian” Prayer Service Looks Like from Slice of Laodicea:

I had emailed you awhile back about an event similar to this one, co-sponsored by my previous church. It was to pray for Israel, and Jewish folks were invited as well. The problem began when I found out just a day before the event, from the church we were partnered with to do this, that in order not to be offensive they had to remove their crosses that were out in the open, banners with the name of Jesus on them, the speakers were only to read from the Old Testament, and no songs of Jesus were to be sung. They said that we had to agree to this ahead of time or the Jewish participants would not come. Also, Messianic Jews were not allowed to participate as speakers, and if they attended, they had to sit in a special place in the back as to not offend the Jewish folks who think they are traitors to Judaism…

I have stated in the past that these incidents are not by accident. It is part of an ongoing effort on a religion based on rejecting Jesus Christ – rabbinic Judaism – to cause Christians to do the same. Jews claim that it is done to remove the “threat” of proselytization. Nonsense. The biggest threat to Judaism is not proselytization, but of Jews becoming for all practical purpose atheists or marrying non – Jews (also almost always atheists in practice) and not raising their children in Judaism. The threat of persecution is also given as another reason, and I agree that there is a history of such behavior by Christians. Yet Muslims also have persecuted Jews, and Jews do not respond by trying to get nonviolent Muslims to alter and deny their faith. (Quite the contrary, Jews promote the notion that Jews and Muslims were living together in peace before the Christians came and taught the Muslims to hate.)

No, this is all about their being offended at the claims of Jesus Christ being their God and Messiah through whose Name alone can salvation can be granted. So, Jews have been successful in getting liberal “Christians” to deny Jesus Christ because liberal Christianity was basically already there to begin with, so anti – Semitism and the memory of the Holocaust gave them yet another excuse to not only deny fundamentalism within themselves, but to attack Christians that insisted on adhering to it as bigoted and dangerous. It is not that such liberal Christians sincerely care about Jews suffering bigotry and harm as they are offended by fundamentalist Christians continuing to hold onto their doctrines and as such exposing them as the apostate frauds that they are.

But evangelical Christians were a tougher case, because in order to retain influence among those that have rejected theological liberalism and universalism, there remained the need to assert fidelity to scripture. So to them, the way was right wing politics, with dispensational pre – tribulation rapture doctrines added to it. The older Christians probably know within their heart that it is primarily a secular activity for cultural and political reasons, but younger Christians raised on this HONESTLY DO NOT KNOW BETTER.

You have two groups of concern here. First, there are the younger Christians, folks 30, 35, even 40 and younger who were raised in an evangelical church, and for whom the views and activities of Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, etc. have always been part of their religious mindset. The amazing thing that a lot of these people have grown up reading newspaper columns and listening to radio shows produced by people that they presume to be evangelical Christians (and by this I do not mean the likes of Dobson but actually secular figures like Rush Limbaugh) and have their religious views influenced by them, not to mention by politicians like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. And then there is the second group, which is people that have been converted into political evangelicalism during this time. Counting their children, it may actually be larger. Both groups would be absolutely shocked to find out that before the rise of the religious right, not only was the practice of joining hands with people that explicitly reject Jesus Christ as do rabbinic Jews in spiritual gatherings not done, but similar gatherings between even Roman Catholics and Christians were rare!

And of course, I am going to play the hypocrisy card. Let us say that it were MUSLIMS rather than Jews! THESE SAME PEOPLE WOULD INSIST ON PRAYING IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST IN THEIR PRESENCE AND DENOUNCE AS AN APOSTATE HERETIC ANYONE WHO REFUSED! Why? Well, Muslims are on the other side politically and represent a different political alignment and worldview, for one thing. That is one of the reasons why so many conservatives are so willing to accept the notion that Barack HUSSEIN Obama may secretly be Muslim. Never mind the fact that radical Islam is not only much more socially conservative than not only the left wing of the Democratic Party but also most evangelical Christian Republicans, since neither Obama or Usama are on their side politically and culturally one is as good as the other.

And that brings us to the really troubling part: the theological one. These folks went delusional with rage when Keith Ellison took the oath of office on a Koran, WHICH WAS HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. Let me repeat: WE HAVE SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION, SO IT WAS THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF KEITH ELLISON TO TAKE HIS OATH OF OFFICE ON A KORAN. Yet these same people are willing to allow Jews that reject the New Testament to come sit in their church, and to join them in making meaningless prayers. Now keep in mind: it is very possible for a Muslim to swear himself to a religious right agenda based on the Koran.

But the reason why it has to be Judeo – Christian values (and increasingly Judeo – Christian – Mormon values) is THEOLOGY. Religious right Christians have absolutely no problem proclaiming that Muslims are going to burn in the lake of fire unless they accept Jesus Christ. But Jews? Well, that is when we get into the equivocating. It really does appear that the political and cultural interests of the religious right has affected the theology, especially for those that were not Christians (or alive) before the formation of the religious right. While some – many – most are unwilling to explicitly commit to dual covenant theology, they nonetheless see Jews as having some special place with God – some special spiritual status – that every other person that rejects Jesus Christ does not have. Were that not the case, THERE IS NO WAY THAT THEY WOULD CONSENT TO A RELIGIOUS SERVICE THAT SPECIFICALLY OMITS JESUS CHRIST AND FORCES THEIR FELLOW BELIEVERS – MESSIANIC JEWS – TO GO TO BE SEGREGATED INTO THEIR OWN SECTIONS JUST AS BLACKS WERE DURING JIM CROW! That is right folks, segregation and discrimination against Jews in a matter that would never be tolerated in the politically correct evangelical church against blacks, Hispanics, or even increasingly homosexuals is being perpetrated against Jews that believe in Jesus Christ. AND IF THAT IS NOT ANTI – SEMITISM AND ANTI – JUDAISM, WHAT IS?

I have to tell you, the only way that Christians would allow not only our Messianic Jewish brethren but the Name of Jesus Christ to suffer such ill treatment would be doctrinal confusion that causes them to believe that conservative Jews are “kinda sorta born again, or will be accepted by God in some way even if they aren’t.” Otherwise, what is the reason? What is the justification? The irony is that some of these same people were criticizing Rick Warren for allowing Barack HUSSEIN Obama and Hillary Clinton to speak at his TOTALLY SECULAR conference on AIDS are participating in this day of prayer. So what more proof do we need that the anti – Christ spirit is acting through and using the religious right in America? And why aren’t more of us rending our clothes over it?

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Et Tu Ravi Zacharias? Why Participate In Universalist Pluralist National Day Of Prayer?

Posted by Job on April 24, 2008

The outstanding Christian apologist and scholar appears to be giving into the false god of political ecumenism universalism. Baal worship? Looks like. Face it people, after the evangelicals joined hands with the Roman Catholic cult of worshiping dead people and the hosts of heaven, joining hands with every other fruit, nut, and devil worshiper on the planet was soon to come, especially if you are coming together for something other than Christ, and that can either be right wing flag waving conservative politics, or liberal “social justice” politics. Please click on and study these five links, which includes Ingrid Schlueter’s analysis of the situation and responses from Ravi Zacharias’s ministry, to see how easy it is to defend the indefensible when Jesus Christ alone exits the scene. 

Ashamed of Jesus at the National Day of Prayer?

If You Gain the Culture and Lose Your Soul…

An Update

Dr. Zacharias Ministry Responds in Email to Reader

Finally what this is all about, and what Zacharias is withholding from people:

The Powerful Name of Jesus

It is not part of the six, but nonetheless a worthwhile read: Eternity-Driven Ministry

Outstanding quotes from Ingrid Schlueter: “Stealth Christians now? This is what happens when Rick Warren’s Three-legged stool model of societal transformation brings the state together with the church. The church must rid itself of “partisan” or “biased” language to gain acceptance. What would the United States government think of Jesus’ biased language,”Repent and believe the Gospel!”?”

Ravi Zacharias’ ministry now says, in writing, that they participate with all who seek to pray for our country. That would obviously include Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Wiccans and anyone else who prays to a false god. Which “god” does not appear to be a concern.”

I have to admit, I started to wonder about Zacharias when he all but endorsed Mormon Mitt Romney for president by saying that it was OK for Christians to vote for him because “he was right on the issues.” But I chose to let it pass, thinking that Zacharias was applying the “wise Turk (Muslim) versus foolish Christian” axiom of Martin Luther. In reality, Luther’s statement does not apply to Romney because A) Romney is a craven repulsive liar and manipulator (meaning that he is NOT a wise Turk) and B) Romney was using his campaign – and would have used his presidency – to force people to regard Mormonism as Christianity. As a matter of fact, a great many conservatives started doing just that in order to get him elected … declaring him “Christian for political purposes.” 

Now Zacharias knew these things, but I was supposing that the fellow simply hadn’t thought about their implications, again giving him a pass. Now, it really does look like my giving him a pass was unjustified. Please, let us all pray that Zacharias and those aligned with him would begin to care about who it is they hold hands with and assemble in the name of (if you cannot mention Jesus Christ then you are not gathering together in the Name of Jesus Christ, and if you will not mention Jesus Christ your motive is not to serve God). If Zacharias really cared about this nation, he would stand firm with the gospel. Instead, by doing this, he is leading more and more Christians into political universalist apostasy and taking this nation ever closer to perdition, because more Christians following after political apostasy means less people worshiping God in spirit and in truth!

People, you cannot serve two masters. This political ecumenism is not only sending Christians to the lake of fire, but it is paving the way for the anti – Christ, the beast. So folks who are following after this dominion theology created by the Roman Catholic Church that tells people that we can redeem this nation through politics and culture (and that the gospel has to be sacrificed for a time because of expediency’s sake) need to realize that instead of “saving” the country, you are giving it over to Satan in the most effective and wicked way possible.

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