Motivated at least in part by the current controvery over oneness heretic T.D. Jakes, (also here and here) please read two very good pieces on the importance of the Holy Trinity. Hopefully, this will help Christians understand that we are to separate with heretics, not dialogue with them.
Archive for the ‘christian worldliness’ Category
Posted by Job on October 26, 2011
Posted in anti - Christ, Apologetics, apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, blasphemy Holy Ghost, blasphemy Holy Spirit, christian broadcasting, Christian hypocrisy, Christian salvation, christian television, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church worldliness, corrupt televangelism, discernment, evangelical, evangelical christian, evangelism, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, grace, interfaith dialogue, irresistible grace, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, orthodoxy, orthopraxy, Ruach Hakadosh, syncretism, TBN, TD Jakes, televangelism, trinity broadcasting network, unitarian, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: Baptist, elephant room, fundamentalism, God the Father, hermeneutics, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, holy trinity, monarchian modalism, Monarchianism, patripassianism, R. K. McGregor Wright, sabellianism, separation, trinity, Vern Sheridan Poythress | 4 Comments »
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.
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: Adventures In Odyssey, Annihilationism, Billy Graham, C. S. Lewis, Clark Pinnock, evangelical, evangelical Christianity, evangelicalism, Hermie The Caterpillar, John Dyer, love wins, pluralism, Rob Bell, veggietales | 3 Comments »
Posted by Job on March 9, 2011
Revelation 6:1-2 reads “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”
The predominant view in modern western fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity is that the rider of the white horse is the anti-Christ. This was my view until very recently, when I read the John Bunyan allegory “Holy War“, which altered, or should I say enhanced, my view of Jesus Christ (more on that later), just as did reading “Pilgrim’s Progress Part 1” changed my view of Christian living and Part II changed my view of the pastorate and of the church.
Allow me to say that this article provides a good reason why the rider on the white horse cannot be the anti-Christ, which is that the four horsemen are released this eschatological figure is not released until the fifth trumpet. The trumpets do not occur until the seventh seal, and the white horse is released by the first seal. So, the white horse comes at or near the beginning of the events of Revelation (presuming a linear timeline with a literal interpretation) while the anti-Christ comes well into those events. Some interpretations deal with this by claiming that the reference in Revelation 6:2 is the anti-Christ’s laying the groundwork, placing everything in order, for his full unveiling to the earth that is described later.
Well, further arguments against the rider being the anti-Christ are given in this article. It deals with how those who propose that the rider is the anti-Christ deal with the fact that white is always used to represent Godly virtue by making the statement that the anti-Christ comes in this manner to deceive people into thinking that he is Jesus Christ. However, this interpretation requires starting with the idea that the rider on the white horse is the anti-Christ, and then making everything else fit, something often called thesis-driven analysis and also called eisegesis. If your starting point was neutral concerning the identity of this character, then his being on a white horse would immediately disqualify your associating him with the anti-Christ. But if your starting point was his being the anti-Christ, that is when you have to contrive an explanation for the horse being white, one that seems to violate all rules and standards for hermeneutics used for other passages. The question is: “Why is this done?”
It goes back to one’s view of Jesus Christ. The rider of the white horse is given a bow and he went forth to conquer, and conquer he did! Modern, humanistic, enlightenment thinking does not permit viewing Jesus Christ as the Conqueror. That is, at least not until the last day when Jesus Christ comes to judge the nations for their wickedness. That is the one time that the modern church with its man-centered mindset allows Jesus Christ, who as God is the Creator, Owner and Sustainer of the Universe, to be viewed as a conquering ruler. (And for those who believe in the rapture, this happens when the church is already off the scene, and is spared having to deal with Jesus Christ in this role.) In the modern mindset, Jesus Christ can be viewed as the sacrificial lamb, advisor, “co-pilot”, best friend, psychiatrist/psychologist, enabler, helper, moneychanger (prosperity doctrine), mystic/shaman, errand boy, and even romantic lover, but NOT as a conquerer. This stark, authoritarian, militaristic view runs counter to the modernistic Jeffersonian view that exalts such ideas as civil rights, human rights, democracy etc. above all, and needs a Jesus Christ that will bow and be conformed to it. Thus, Jesus Christ as conquerer cannot exist in the mind of the modernist/postmodernist Christian except for a single day when He is forced to execute that role with respect to the wicked. With the exception of that day, Jesus Christ remains in a construct that the modern mind finds acceptable. And according to that construct, where conquest to set up authoritarian rule is undemocratic is evil, this HAS to be the anti-Christ!
It cannot be Jesus Christ according to this mindset, because this mindset makes Jesus Christ a democrat. This Jesus Christ does not conquer. No, this Jesus Christ is standing outside the human heart like a lovesick teenage loverboy knocking on the door waiting, longing, begging for His sweetheart to come in. And it is only when the person that Jesus Christ’s target makes the free will decision to open the door to his or her heart and invite Jesus Christ in that salvation occurs.
For this to happen any other way, uninvited, unasked, and without consent, is tyranny. For Jesus Christ is not a sovereign king who rules by way of His undisputed dominion over the creation that is the work of His own hands for Him to do as He pleases. No, that is tyranny. Such rule is illegitimate, based on the threat of force rather than the consent of the governed! A true, enlightened philosopher king governs not by power or divine right, but by mutual consent! So, the one who stands at the door and knocks and will not come in without the consent of the “pilot” (for Jesus Christ is merely the co-pilot, not the actual pilot who is running the show and is the true master of eternal destiny, which is man’s free will) is Jesus Christ, the genuine article. The conquerer who does not ask permission, who does not gladly (though under submission) come when asked and does not meekly leave when rejected? Now that has to be the anti-Christ! So says the modern Christian mindset.
Thankfully, John Bunyan did not live in modern Enlightenment times! Therefore, Bunyan presents a different Jesus Christ, one that is actually present on the pages of the Bible before all the modern humanist filters and constructs are placed on it. Bunyan’s rather rough allegory presents a kingdom ruled by Shaddai (God the Father), whose most prominent and prized possession is the city Mansoul, which was built by the King Himself. While the modern mindset reared on democracy would revile the idea that a city is the possession of any king, A) this was in fact the custom of monarchs in times past – the kingdom and all in it were their possessions, and in the east the subjects of the “lord-kings” were considered slaves to the lord-king, and remember the Bible is an oriental book, not a western book and B) the Bible was fully written in the mindset of this custom. Mansoul rebelled against King Shaddai due to the provocation and trickery of Diabolus (Satan) and made Satan its king instead, under the false pretense that they could exchange status as slaves under King Shaddai’s rule to free men under his rule. Of course, Diabolus immediately made the residents of Mansoul his slaves, but so thoroughly corrupted and tricked them that they mistook the slavery of Diabolus and sin for liberation. Their delusion was so strong that when King Shaddai sent His captains (difficult to tell in the allegory, my guess is that they are angels) to liberate Mansoul from Diabolus, they resisted with all their might. The story was explicit: when Mansoul was given a multitude of opportunities to make a free will choice for King Shaddai, they rejected King Shaddai each time due to the depths of their depravity.
So, King Shaddai sent His Son, Prince Emmanuel, to recapture Mansoul. In this allegory, Emmanuel did not conquer Mansoul by standing at the door knocking and being invited in. Quite the contrary, He came with an army of soldiers and overcame the recalcitrant Mansoul, who resisted Him with all the force that it could muster – as it was still dedicated and devoted to Diabolus and its own sinful passions – with mighty force. Make no mistake, in this allegory, “and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” Mansoul! After the conquering of Mansoul was done, Prince Emmanuel had the entire town confess that He took the town for Himself as His prize by force; that when the town had the chance – indeed several chances – to yield itself up to the government of the Prince and His Father by choice, they refused each time. So, Mansoul chose the rule of Diabolus, and Prince Emmanuel gained the rule of Mansoul only by overtaking Diabolus, binding him, driving him out, and “spoiling the goods of the strongman” by declaring and setting up His own rule and domain – and through it re-establishing the same of King Shaddai – by force. Mansoul had no say in the matter, because Mansoul, by decree, election and will of God the Father its Owner and Creator – had declared it to be so. Mansoul did not choose Prince Emmanuel, but Emmanuel chose Mansoul (John 15:16).
Now, Jesus Christ as He is commonly depicted in most modern gospel music is not the rider on the white horse. But Jesus Christ as depicted in Holy War and in the Bible may well be. If nothing else, it is something to consider. Another thing to consider: why would the anti-Christ have to go about conquering the world to begin with? According to the words of Jesus Christ, Satan is already the prince of this world (John 14:30)! 2 Corinthians 4:4 declares Satan to be the god of this world, Ephesians 2:2 declares him to be the prince of the powers of the air. So, the anti-Christ does not need to conquer the world. All he needs is to have Satan’s authority transferred to him. Revelation 13:2 says exactly that: “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Further, Revelation 17 says that the rulers of the earth GIVE their power to the beast, NOT that he conquers them and takes it from them by force.
This may seem like idle speculation, or an excessive emphasis on “last things” when other issues concerning orthodoxy and orthopraxy are more pressing: “minoring in the majors.” However, one’s view of last things often casts a shadow on one’s belief. Many theological liberals and “moderates” de-emphasize predictive prophecy because of an anti-supernatural bias. Others use apocalyptic texts to promote the political and social causes that are near and dear to them. And many Christians are attracted to the rapture doctrines because of their desire not to suffer persecution and rejection by the world as Christ suffered the same.
In a similar fashion, the idea that the anti-Christ is the conquerer on the white horse reveals the mindset of a great many Christian theologians, preachers, and laymen concerning the doctrine of original sin. So many Christians SAY that they believe in original sin, or even total depravity, but by adhering to such interpretations as this, it really does imply otherwise. If original sin is true, if total depravity is true, then why is it that Jesus Christ comes only by willing invitation, and the anti-Christ only by force? Is that not backwards? If the anti-Christ, the beast is “the man of sin”, then the fallen, wicked world, if it is not his already, will freely, gladly accept him as one of their own, a kindred spirit! Again, why would a sinful world oppose and resist a man of sin? Why would they not accept him and instead need to be conquered by him? Only if there is some inherent virtue, inherent goodness in him that would cause him to resist the evil rather than accept it.
The idea that the anti-Christ would have to conquer is based on the notion that man is basically good; that the nations are basically good. And is that not what so many seem to adhere to because of their political, cultural and social beliefs? That the nations – especially the pro-western capitalist democracies – are good, and only the exceptions – the anti-democratic, anti-western, authoritarian regimes – are bad.
Isn’t it curious how most of the theories about where the anti-Christ will come is from the “bad” nations? First it was from the “bad” communist regimes. Then it was from the “bad” secular humanist socialist United Nations or European Union. Now speculation centers on the “bad” Islamic regimes. The idea that the anti-Christ could come from – gasp! – America, the shining city on a hill, the nation founded on Christianity and is a beacon of freedom and goodness? Well, MAYBE, but only if he is not really one of us like Obama!
Again, it is based on the idea that there is some inherent virtue in man, and some inherent virtue in what man builds. It is based on a rejection of original sin, a rejection of total depravity. Even the very idea that Satan takes over the earth and installs the anti-Christ only when the church departs after the rapture is based on the notion that Satan is not the god of this world at present! Ironically, people who adhere to this belief are de facto amillennalists believing that rather than being the god of this world in this present age, Satan is currently bound by the church’s presence.
So many Christians who profess to be evangelical or fundamentalist and profess a belief in original sin based on the actions of Adam only apply that doctrine to soteriology. They only apply mankind’s fallen nature to the individual human soul! But when it comes time to apply it to a larger scale, they shrink back! Why? Because of their love of this present world and the things in it! To those people, James 4:4’s “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” applies to liking MTV and the New York Times editorial page and not the entire fallen worldly system! The parts of the world they like, they consider it good, moral, even Christian. It is only the part that they are alienated from, usually because of political or cultural considerations, that they consider to be “worldly.”
But go back to the text and view it in context. Yes, Revelation concerns the last days. But the letter to the Hebrews – and elsewhere in the New Testament – declares that the last days began after the work of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of God’s plan and the high point of the history of creation. So, the last days – the time period that Revelation concerns itself with – is not merely the last seven years, the “great tribulation.” Instead, it concerns itself with the entire endtimes, which is now, and has been since Pentecost. That is why the letters to the churches are the first part of the Revelation. They are not introductory material to set the stage for the eschatology. Instead, they are part and parcel of the eschatology!
In that context, note that the white horse and its rider come first. It is the first seal! So, after the heavenly visions in Revelation 4-5, the white horse and its rider are the first thing that we encounter when the events shift back earthward in Revelation 6. So, why not strongly associate the white horse and rider with Jesus Christ speaking to and walking amongst the churches in Revelation 2-3? Were the material in Revelation to be arranged topically (i.e. with the things happening in heaven all together and the things happening on earth all together), that is exactly how it would appear … Revelation 6:1-2 would immediately follow the challenge to the Laodicean church!
So then, why not consider the possibility that the rider on the white horse given the bow and the crown and goes about conquering (and as this article states he does not obtain or use these things illegitimately in a manner that is against God’s will … such ideas are missing from the text) is going about to foreign lands conquering souls of sinners for God the Father? Did not Jesus Christ say in the Olivet discourse (i.e. Matthew 24:14) that the end will not come until His gospel is preached in all the world for a witness to all nations? Well, in Revelation 6, though it is certainly the last days, the end is not yet come! So, me must consider that the rider on the white horse is none other than Prince Emmanuel enlarging the domain of King Shaddai through the conquest of souls in every tribe and nation that are hardened with the total depravity of original sin.
Granted, this article does state that the rider is the Holy Spirit, not Jesus Christ. I disagree, but for my purposes the distinction is not a great one, as Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit in His Name to complete His Work through the church which is Jesus Christ’s Body, and the Holy Spirit is the One who performs regeneration. Instead, the main point is to consider the strong possibility that man-centered, humanistic thinking is the reason why the rider on the white horse was ever called the anti-Christ to begin with, especially when one has to be very inconsistent in one’s interpretation of Revelation and the Bible in general to arrive at that viewpoint.
Of course, the main point is that Jesus Christ is returning to judge the world and all its people for their wickedness. The only way to escape this judgment that is certainly to come at a time in the future that has been predetermined by God the Father is to be saved through Jesus Christ. If you have not been, I urge and entreat you that you would be so; that you too would be a conquest of Jesus Christ as was I.
Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, anti - Semitism, antichrist, apostasy, beast, Bible, christian right, Christian salvation, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church state, church worldliness, conservatism, conservative, endtimes, eschatology, globalism, government, great tribulation, harpagesometha, Holy Spirit, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Jesus Christ, Left Behind, liberal, liberal christian, liberalism, liberation theology, man of sin, mark of the beast, mid - tribulation rapture, Middle East peace process, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim media conspiracy, New York Times, orthodoxy, orthopraxy, political correctness, politics, post - tribulation rapture, postmillennialism, pretribulation, rapio, rapture, religious left, religious right, the anti-christ, the beast, the false prophet, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3 | Tagged: abomination of desolation, allegory, apocalypse, great apostasy, great falling away, holy war, john bunyan, last things, new world order, one world government, one world religion, original sin, Revelation 6:2, rider on the white horse, total depravity | 10 Comments »
Posted by Job on October 14, 2009
Let us remember the verdict of the Jerusalem council of Acts 15 where the Jewish Christians decided the guidelines for sanctification and holy living for Gentile Christians. Consider this verse:
“That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”
Now consider this nugget from an article on the movie “Good Hair“:
” … the movie, “Good Hair” … details the lengths to which some black women and men will go for straight hair … from a hair salon where a 6-year-old maintains a stiff upper lip as a chemical relaxer sits on her scalp, to the temples of India where the hair women sacrifice in a religious ceremony is swept up, sent to factories and exported as weave”
Of course, I know the difference between eating something and putting it in your hair. I also know that Paul liberated this principle from being made into legalism in 1 Corinthians 8. However, allow me to propose this: humans generally need to eat meat in order to be healthy. So, if there was a choice between damaging your health by doing all that one possibly can to obey Acts 15:29 and thus becoming malnourished or eating meat and being healthy, Paul said to eat meat. Also the context of 1 Corinthians 8 is that the meat that had been offered to idols was then mixed and sold with all the other meat, and it was impossible to tell which meat was which.
So while Acts 15:29 made it unlawful to KNOWINGLY eat meat offered to idols – which is practicing idolatry – UNKNOWINGLY eating meat offered to idols was not idolatry and thereby harmless. The reason is that the prohibition is not on the meat itself, which was fine, but rather the idolatry, which is sin. So this was not a choice between being an idolater and not being an idolater. Instead, it was a choice between not APPEARING to be an idolater and being malnourished, or APPEARING to be an idolater and being healthy. Paul’s reasoning was that appearances don’t matter, only the heart does, so go ahead, buy your meat at the market with no worries as to whether it was offered to idols or not – because it was impossible to tell – and eat it.
However, where meat serves a vital human need, I would argue that hair weave does not. It is entirely cosmetic. So even though it may be lawful, is it nonetheless expedient (1 Corinthians 6:12) for a Christian woman to adorn herself with hair offered to idols? Is such a thing edifying (1 Corinthians 10:23)? Is hair offered to idols and then sold for a price an appropriate covering (1 Corinthians 11:15) for the body of a Christian woman, seeing that such a body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) as opposed to a pagan temple filled with idols? And is acquiring and wearing costly weave that has been offered to idols a way of keeping 1 Timothy 2:9-10?
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Now of course I am not going to claim that it is a sin for Christian women to use weave because it MIGHT contain hair offered to idols. Not only would I be guilty of violating 1 Corinthians in saying such a thing, but I would not even be able to rely on the literal interpretation of Acts 15 or Exodus 20:3-4 (the passages concerning idolatry specifically and practicing false religions – which includes participating in their rites and ceremonies – in general). Instead, I am just providing more information for Christian women (and men) to consider in our efforts to make better, more Christ-honoring decisions. After all, where does the idea to go out and put weave in your hair come from? Or the idea that we have to look a certain way come from? Generally the media, Hollywood, mass entertainment, Madison Avenue (commercials), and what have you. They sell you an image of beauty that is not real. I am not merely referring to this image because so much of it is literally fake, whether the product of airbrushing, lighting, cosmetic surgery, photo editing etc. but because it takes our minds and hearts away from the true beauty that is Jesus Christ that is revealed through us through the wonderful works of His creation (Romans 1) and causes us to exchange it for a lie, an image conceived not in God’s mind or made by God’s hands but rather created by man’s hands and conceived in his sinful, corrupt rebellious minds. And what are images conceived and made by man? Merely idols.
So the real issue is not that the hair MAY HAVE BEEN offered to some idol in some Hindu temple. The issue is that your DESIRE to use weave – wherever its origin – probably comes from looking at magazines, watching television, coming up with some false image of beauty that you desire. So, the false idol that is the problem is not in some temple in India, but rather is inside the temple of your own heart! And these false images and idols promoting a perverted, corrupted sense of beauty and attractiveness in the media have only two real purposes. The first is mammon, money. I fear continuing to sound like a leftist or socialist, but the fact is that these images are disseminated to cause you to buy the magazines that contain them, which contain still more images that cause you to want to buy the makeup, hair products, clothes etc. that make the magazine publishers a lot of money.
The second reason, make no mistake, is to challenge and attack Biblical notions of modesty, decency and sexuality. Most of the publications, TV shows, movies etc. that endlessly present these images also ceaselessly mock anything resembling notions of Biblical purity, including but not limited to marital fidelity. Even if they don’t directly attack it, they undermine it with the lie that a man and wife can sit and look at that junk 24/7 without either A) being tempted to stray (adultery) or B) fantasizing (which is also adultery Matthew 5:28), or similarly that our children can watch it without either being tempted to commit fornication or fantasizing about it. So similar to my challenge regarding tattoos, the issue is not whether weave is permissible according to scripture, but whether the motivation to get a weave is Christ-honoring in the first place.
That said, there may be many motivations for getting hair weaves that are completely legitimate, i.e. totally unrelated to wanting to look like the female vampires in these soft-core pornographic magazines and music videos. Some women may state that their husbands like the way that it looks. Others may profess that it is a look that they prefer for themselves. Others still assert that in their work environments (office or professional jobs, etc.) they must maintain a professional appearance. Again, I am in no sense asserting this to be some sort of law that has any bearing on anyone’s salvation, justification, sanctification or consecration. There are also many who may perceive me to be just totally off base, tilting at windmills and causing unnecessary division and confusion (stumblingblocks as it were) when I should focus only on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, risen, and will one day return. To such people, I apologize in advance, and please know that it is not my intent. Instead, my reason for dealing with this topic is this Biblical one: Christians, beware of and be separate from the world and things in it, whether it be its mindsets, its desires … or its idols. After all, we only have to look at the world of televangelism. Paula White, Medina Pullings, and many others are counted among those who market their own appearance, and tie it into their false health/wealth/family prosperity gospel doctrine. Jan Crouch, Juanita Bynum and Cathy DuPlantis are just among the many who proudly declare that they have had cosmetic surgery (or surgeries)! Extend it a little further and we have professed evangelical Christians Carrie Prejean’s lingerie modeling (and plastic surgery), Heidi Montag’s Playboy modeling, and Miley Cyrus pole dancing, all done for a little bit of fame and fortune that even were it to last 1000 years would be a mere flicker of an instant in the eternity that we will either spend with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem or in the outer darkness where the worm never dies, the fire is never quenched, and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Again, the issue is not the weave, but the heart and where it lies.
However, for people who are considering the issues raised in this post, allow me to refer you to an expert on the topic by following the link below:
Also, for those who may be wondering what all of this is about to begin with, please play the video below.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Posted in Bible, christian worldliness, Christianity, church worldliness, Jesus Christ, media conspiracy | Tagged: 1 Corinthians 10:23, 1 Corinthians 11:15, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Corinthians 6:12, 1 Corinthians 6:19, 1 Corinthians 8, 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Acts 15, Acts 15:29, afro, bad hair, beauty, black, braid, braiding, carnal, carnal christianity, carnal christians, carnality, carrie prejean, Cathy DuPlantis, chemicals, christian living, Christian walk, creation, curly, entertainment, Exodus 20:3-4, good hair, good hair movie, grace, hair, hair weave, Hinduism, holiness, hollywood, Holy Spirit, idol, idolatry, Jan Crouch, Juanita Bynum, legalism, materialism, media, Medina Pullings, Miley Cyrus, natural, natural hair, naturalsystah, pagan, Paula White, perm, practical theology, prosperity doctrine, Prosperity Gospel, relaxer, Romans 1, tattoos, Temple, vanity, weave, worldliness | 39 Comments »
Posted by Job on May 12, 2008
Driving to work this morning viewing the effects of the terrible thunderstorms that spared my neighborhood but hard hit the one right next to mine, I was listening to Christian radio. Out of the blue comes TD Jakes’ booming voice. In it, he first speaks of how much he loves America and so forth. I immediately thought of Jakes doing this to exploit anger over Barack Hussein Obama, Michelle Obama, and Jeremiah Wright’s considerably less than jingoistic statements and actions. Then he went into his exhortation spiel for people to register and get out to vote.
First, I see Lifeway Bookstores, owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, selling TD Jakes’ doctrinal error (oneness pentecostalism and the Word of Faith/prosperity doctrine are but a few of his MANY problems) and now the National Religious Broadcasters are using this guy. I had been using the NRB as a sort of a refuge from the blatant charismania that you will find on The Word Network, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Daystar, etc. So I just ignored the heavy Pat Robertson presence on the channel, as well as their “white Europeans are the descendants of the children of Israel … the Danube River is so named because of the tribe of Dan” show that comes on early in the morning. I also ignored their embrace of the Ellen White Seventh Day Adventist cult. So I suppose that I cannot cast NRB aside on Jakes’ account, since the ones that I just named are hardly better – if anything some might be worse – or else I would be reacting out of a personal dislike for Jakes rather than on principle. (On the other hand, Slice of Laodicea has criticized NRB, albeit for different reasons, such as this post stating that not one red cent of NRB’s $5 BILLION IN ASSETS is being used to defend the faith from Oprah Winfrey.)
Incidentally, speaking of TD Jakes and PR spots, he has another one out (I did not catch the sponsor!) promoting single sex education, saying that “boys need their own schools so that they will be able to, you know, romp and stuff (his choice of words not mine!) and that boys learn differently from girls and needed their own classrooms in order to be accommodated. So … it looks like Jakes is not that far removed from Jeremiah Wright’s separatist doctrines after all?
I have to be honest, back when I was part of the religious right and allowing my worldview to be shaped by the Washington Times and the National Review, I was in full agreement. But now … I just recall reading about this inner city public school that went all male. Sure, the discipline problems decreased and the test scores went up. But when they interviewed the boys that attended the school, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WANTED THEM TO BRING THE GIRLS BACK! Why? Because, er … BOYS LIKE GIRLS! Or at least they are supposed to anyway. Perhaps now that T.D. Jakes is on board with the new world order’s gay rights agenda (and yes this is relevant … perhaps due to his son) he thinks it is OK. To me, the whole single sex education thing … who wants it? Certainly not the kids. Not the administrators or teachers. Parents go for it only because they are desperate for any hook or angle to improve the failing school systems that the government is ruining on purpose. Not even the old fashioned religious sorts – of which I am one – think that it is a good idea anymore, where you were supposed to keep boys and girls separate in their little boarding or finishing schools (where they were supposed to look OH SO CUTE in their little uniforms I guess) UNTIL GRADUATION DAY WHEN YOU MARRY THEM OFF.
Sorry people, but society has changed. Not all of the changes have been for the good, but methinks that one of the most important things for a boy to learn from school is how to treat a lady and how to behave yourself in their presence. For some of us guys, those things do not come naturally, and you only learn them through trial and error. Especially error. (If you don’t learn to handle competition and rejection in junior high and high school, how on earth are you supposed to handle being turned down for jobs, promotions, college choices, etc. later in life?) So … HOW ON EARTH ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO LEARN THOSE THINGS IF THERE ARE NO GIRLS AROUND TO LEARN THEM FROM?
Like I said, TD Jakes may have his own reasons for wanting to turn your local public school into Morehouse College or similar, and whatever they are I oppose them 100%. All the more reason why the Southern Baptist Convention should not be selling this guy’s books and NRB shouldn’t be using him for their get out the vote campaign. But I suppose that this oneness anti – Trinitarian heretic is just too good at making money and moving public opinion for these people to pass up. That is, unless they are actually along with Jakes, on his side. After all, the Southern Baptists refuse to do anything about the likes of New Age heretic Erwin McManus and Council on Foreign Relations worker Rick Warren (and Richard Land too?), and as stated earlier, Al Sharpton Al Gore global warming propagandist partner Pat Robertson is a major partner with the NRB.
Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, antichrist, apostasy, Barack Hussein Obama, Barack Obama, beast, blasphemy, charismatic, christian broadcasting, christian conservative, Christian hypocrisy, christian right, christian television, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church state, church worldliness, conservatism, conservative, conservative Christian, corrupt televangelism, Council on Foreign Relations, election, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical, evangelical christian, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, gay rights, global warming, global warming evangelical christian, GOP, government, heresy, homosexuality, idolatry, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, Pat Robertson, politics, prosperity doctrine, religion, religious right, reprobate, Republican, Rick Warren, Seventh Day Adventist, TBN, TD Jakes, televangelism, the anti-christ, the beast, the false prophet, trinity broadcasting network, unitarian, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3, Word of Faith | Tagged: Al Gore, Al Sharpton, Erwin McManus, falling away, Jeremiah Wright, michelle obama, national religious broadcasters, NRB, single gender schools, single sex schools, Southern Baptist Convention | 16 Comments »
Posted by Job on April 29, 2008
When I first started this website, I enthusiastically endorsed Jesus camps, thinking that they were an excellent way to turn children into spiritual warriors – as it WAS initially a charismatic spiritual warfare site – from an early age. Well … WOW WAS I WRONG! Jesus camps use the evil combination of spiritually seductive charismatic slain in the spirit frenzy and dominion theology politics. Instead of teaching children to pray for their enemies, to show kindness to the poor and elderly people, to interpret the Bible and discern doctrines, to worship and praise the Lord in a dignified manner becoming His glory, and to exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit, these folks are feeding these children false Christian doctrines and fascist notions of merging church, state, culture, etc. that will makes any of them that internalize this spiritual evil easy pickings for the anti – Christ and moreover very willing workers in the plot to create the climate where the man of sin will take power. The more things like this come out, as well as things with the Jesus Seminar, Mike Huckabee, Jeremiah Wright … Bible believing Christians have to start speaking out. There is something seriously wrong with both the religious right and the religious left, and we have to start boldly opposing it with the Word of God.
Watch this video below and pray for these children … and for their parents. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7157148037183248346
Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, antichrist, apostasy, beast, Bible, big business, blasphemy, catholic, charismatic, child abuse, christian conservative, christian right, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church state, church worldliness, conservative, conservative Christian, Council on Foreign Relations, discernment, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical, evangelical christian, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, fascism, GOP, government, idolatry, man of sin, mark of the beast, politics | Tagged: Dominion theology, Jesus camp, official theology, slain in the spirit | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Job on April 22, 2008
I mentioned this earlier in On Needing That Anointing Christianity but I decided to give it its own post for the benefit of the Tonex fans that feel the need to come to this site and defend the fellow from time to time in the hopes that they will realize that their loyalty to this fellow is misplaced. Incidentally, please know that Tonex, after retiring from gospel music because he wasn’t making enough money in it (like the pope’s admitting that he entered the priesthood because he wanted a nice car Tonex freely admitted this on one of his many websites that he keeps creating and deleting), found employment with Michael Jackson as a music producer. That, er, MIGHT EXPLAIN Tonex’s endorsement of the Jehovah’s Witness homosexual child molester Jackson as possessing the gifts of the Holy Spirit and using them to edify and minister to people (as opposed to corrupting small boys).
You know, when I owned Tonex’s Out Tha Box concert DVD (which I finally located a few days ago after MONTHS of not being able to find it, and then immediately threw it out with the trash), one of my favorite tracks on it was “Pole Position”, where he gave a brilliantly crafted and delivered piece of oratory (seriously, the fellow is extremely talented!) exhorting the prosperity/Word of Faith doctrine on how if one continued to tithe and give offerings year after year even through times of great financial distress, eventually God would remember and bless you. He used an analogy with the popular Monopoly board game (I am not making this up!) stating that if you just kept rolling the dice, rolling the dice by being faithful in the prosperity/Word of Faith apostolic doctrines, and eventually you would hit Boardwalk, your big payday.
But alas, it appears from Tonex’s own life that said doctrines have a price, the least of which is having to go on a Christian television show and promote not only Benny Hinn (and please recall that Tonex was also an associate of Eddie Long, calling him a “spiritual father” … funny how these Roman Catholic references keep slipping into this Pentecostal madness) but a known homosexual pedophile. That is the truly sad thing: EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT MICHAEL JACKSON IS A HOMOSEXUAL PEDOPHILE, AND YET IT IS PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE FOR A PASTOR AND GOSPEL ARTIST TO WORK WITH HIM! Of course, to be fair, Tonex is not the only one. Lots of gospel artists, including Andrae Crouch, used to work with Michael Jackson back in the day. The allegations concerning this fellow were not public then, but what did the “industry insiders” know? Then again, did Andrae Crouch work with Michael Jackson (among others including “impregnate a white woman and leave for the next one Quincy Jones”) before, after, or during the time that Donnie McClurkin was sleeping with the men in his choir? Donnie McClurkin says that he is delivered from homosexuality, but that does not prevent him from pastoring and founding churches after fathering a child out of wedlock and never marrying the mother.
My goodness. At some point someone is going to come out and reveal what a cesspool some quarters of the gospel industry is. Then again, Kirk Franklin already did over ten years ago, and it had absolutely no effect whatsoever. The people are deceived because, quite simply, they choose to be. Which means that they are not being deceived at all. And that is why we MUST continue to pray for them, that they would be delivered not so much from the enemy, but from their own rebellious wicked hearts. I should know, for many sincere Christians, from family members to co – workers, tried to warn me about a lot of these people – including Tonex – for quite awhile before I was willing to let them go. So if God did it for me, He can do it for someone else! That is why we should never cease to pray for the people trapped in their own prisons of selfish rebellion.
By the way, how did it come to be that the black gospel industry became dominated by the charismatic/Pentecostal/COGIC/prosperity/Word of Faith types to begin with? Incidentally, a similar trend is happening with Christian rock and Christian contemporary music, as more and more of its artists are coming from the praise and worship teams of megachurches. But as for black gospel (yes I know that this includes acts like Martha Munizzi, Vicki Yohe, and JoAnn Rosario that are not black, I just refuse to say “urban” or similar) I am told that it is due to the “gospel music workshop” scene for which we have COGIC’s JAMES CLEVELAND to thank for – and please recall that this very scene was very important to launching the career of one Tonex – but I am hoping that someone in the know might be able to tell me.
In any event, yet another video showing the depths to which Tonex has sunk (he has rather savvily had his “The Naked Truth” – related videos that are basically profane megalomaniac rants – including what some allege are self referential allusions to homosexuality – removed from YouTube it appears).
Posted in abomination, apostasy, blasphemy, Christian hypocrisy, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church worldliness, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, prosperity doctrine, Word of Faith | Tagged: Benny Hinn, christian rap, Donnie McClurkin, gospel industry, gospel music, Kirk Franklin, michael jackson, Tonex | 46 Comments »
Posted by Job on April 2, 2008
*By Pastor Bill Keller
McDonalds, John Edward, Obama, and FITNA. Today is an interesting day since
there are several different news items that I want to share with you. Each
is important since they all represent critical issues I have been dealing
with for years in the Daily Devotional. They are the mainstream acceptance
of homosexuality, those who claim to talk to the dead and people who claim
to be psychics, the lie that many think there are many roads which lead to
God, and the false religion of Islam. These news items simply reinforce
that these issues are not going away and how important it is to have a voice
in the marketplace to tell the Truth about each one.
It was recently announced that McDonalds Vice President of Communications,
Richard Ellis, has been named to the Board of the National Gay and Lesbian
Chamber of Commerce. McDonalds is listed on the website of the National Gay
and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as a “corporate partner and organization
ally” for an undisclosed financial contribution. Ellis state, “I’m thrilled
to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get
to work. I share the NGLCC’s passion for business growth and development
within the LGBT community and I look forward to playing a role in moving
these important initiatives forward.”
Last week, I shared a Devotional with you that made the claim we have lost
the war to stop the sin of homosexuality from becoming accepted by the
mainstream. You don’t get any more mainstream than McDonalds, and it is
clear that the hamburger giant is more worried about having a relationship
with those who choose to engage in deviant forms of sex than with people of
faith. This stamp of approval by one of the world’s most visible
corporations, is another clear example of the fact that homosexuality is now
viewed by society as an acceptable choice. Like I have told you many times,
nobody fears the Christian community any longer since we are so fragmented
and have no unifying voice.
Our buddy John Edward is back. He is like Jason in those horror movies.
Edward has resurfaced in the strangest of places, the Home Shopping Network.
I have warned people for years about this charlatan who claims to be able to
talk to the dead. John Edward is at best a highly polished carnival act,
and at worst, operating in demonic powers. He is now on HSN, hawking 10
DVDs of his lies for $90. How sad it is to see people who are searching for
answers, looking for true hope, fall into the clutches of this con man who
leads them away from the real Truth, the Bible, and the real answer, Jesus.
My friend, the Bible condemns those who claim to be psychics, since only God
knows the future. The Bible tells us to not turn to mediums or seek out
spiritualists, or you will be defiled by them. We know that satan is an
“angel of light” and can do many deceptive things. However, the Word of God
tells us the dead no longer have any part of this life. John Edward and
those like him are NOT of God, they are enemies of God and tools of satan.
They are spiritual frauds who God speaks harshly against in the Bible. As a
matter of fact, in the OT people like Edward were commanded to be put to
death. This is how dangerous they are to others in the eyes of God.
Our friend, Senator B. Hussein Obama (for the record, it is his name, I
didn’t give it to him, his parents did), certainly didn’t even learn in 20
years of sitting in the pews at Trinity United Church of Christ what most
elementary school Sunday School students are taught. In a campaign stop
recently in Greensboro, North Carolina, Senator Obama told the audience that
he believes he “can have everlasting life” because Jesus Christ died for his
sins. But he then told a questioner that he believes Jews and Muslims who
live moral lives are just as much “children of God” as he is. He went on to
add that his late mother didn’t share his faith but was a kind and generous
person, so he’s “sure she’s in heaven.”
Sen. Obama has sadly bought into this universalistic lie from hell I warn
you about often, the dangerous lie the New Age gurus and the high priestess
of the New Age movement Oprah is telling millions, and that there are many
roads that lead to God, that faith in Jesus is NOT the only way to be saved.
I hate to break this to the Senator, but if his mother died without
accepting Jesus into her heart and life by faith, then like all who reject
Christ she is NOT in Heaven, but in the flames of hell for all eternity.
This is not a game! I try to tell people all the time that what we do each
day is literally battle satan for the souls of men. Satan wants people to
believe this lie that you can get to Heaven without Jesus, but he knows it
is a lie and that those who buy that lie will be with him in hell for all
This is so critical since now this lie is being preached from many pulpits.
You have Christian churches now who endorse this notion that God will
understand and as long as you are a “good person” and do your best, you will
make it to Heaven. The Bible proclaims that there is NONE that is good, no
not one. It says that we have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of
God. God has given us His plan, His ONLY PLAN for salvation, and that is by
putting our faith in Jesus Christ, since it was Jesus who died as the
payment for our sins. There are not many roads that lead to God, only one,
faith in Jesus Christ. There is no other name by which men are saved!
Lastly is FITNA, the movie about Islam produced by Dutch politician Geert
Wilders. I have done dozens of press interviews the past few days after the
UK video hosting company LiveLeak chose to pull the movie from their servers
due to the death threats their employees were getting. Liveprayer had a
copy and I had it on my website, on my servers, the only website in the
world that had the movie in its entirety. The press all wanted to know why
I would put such a movie on a Christian website, a movie that many claim is
What Wilders did was excellent, in that he took the very words Muslims
follow in their teachings, and showed them following those words as they
carried out their acts of hatred and killing. These are not a few isolated
acts of terror, but how Muslims worldwide operate. It is visual proof of
what this false religion of hate and death is really all about, and that is
why they are doing everything they can to hide it from the world. It has
only been in the past few years with the advent of 24/7 cable news, advanced
satellite technology, and the Internet, that people around the world,
especially here in the United States, are being exposed to how this false
religion has operated during its 1400 year history.
Let me give you a great contrast between the false religion of Islam and the
Christian faith. People are born into or intimidated into joining the false
religion of Islam. People CHOOSE to become a follower of Christ. Islam is
about hate and death. Christianity is about love and life. People need to
wake up and understand the nature of this very real threat to not just the
Untied States, but to the entire world.
I love you and care about you so much. Today is a great reminder of a
number of issues I have been talking to you about for many years now. As
you can see, they are still pressing issues since the church has chosen to
ignore them and continues to focus mainly on preaching to the choir in the
comfort, safety, and profitability of the “Christian trough,” while the
world around us is dying and going to hell. Homosexuality is now mainstream
because the church didn’t have the guts to speak out against this sin.
Sadly, you now have many churches who instead of speaking the Truth about
this sin, have simply accepted and condoned homosexuality to be like the
rest of our fallen world.
Hurting people continue to turn to scam artists and false hope merchants
like John Edward in their time of need, because he at least acts like he
cares about them and is part of their world. High profile Christians like
B. Hussein Obama propagate the lie from hell that you don’t really need to
accept Jesus as your Savior by faith to make it to Heaven. People are
asleep or totally apathetic about the real threat Islam is to this nation
and world, and have been bullied into believing that there are simply a
handful of Muslims who perpetrate all of these violent acts of terror around
the world. The fact is, all Muslims read from the same holy book and follow
the teachings of their murdering pedophile false prophet Muhammad.
I pray today that you are stirred to take your stand in this lost world for
Christ. God has called each of His children to do their part where He has
you planted for this season. Staying silent is no longer an option, since
that is how this nation has turned from Biblical Truth to the lies of the
world and from honoring the God of the Bible to rejecting Him for the false
gods and idols of the world. May the Lord give you a spirit of boldness and
fearlessness as you declare His Truth to the lost and hurting, and tell
everyone you know that their only hope for this life and all eternity is
faith in Jesus Christ!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller firstname.lastname@example.org
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now
available via AUDIO each day. Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm
Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling 1-727-342-5673
(C) Copyright 2008, Bill Keller Ministries. All rights reserved.
Posted in abomination, abortion, abortion rights, apostasy, Barack Hussein Obama, Barack Obama, big business, blasphemy, capitalism, Christian hypocrisy, christian left, christian liberalism, Christian salvation, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church state, church worldliness, civil rights, Council on Foreign Relations, devotional, diversity, eastern religion, election, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, freemasonry, gay marriage, gay rights, global warming, global warming evangelical christian, globalism, government, government dependency, hate speech, heresy, Hillary Clinton, homophobia, homosexuality, Islam, liberal, liberal christian, liberalism, liberation theology, mammon, multiculturalism, Muslim, New Age, political correctness, politics, religion | Tagged: B. Hussein Obama, false hope, Fitna, john edward, mcdonalds, Muhammad, multiculturalism, pluralism, religious pluralism | 7 Comments »
Posted by Job on March 29, 2008
TWENTY-THREE GREAT SINS OF AMERICAN EVANGELICALISM–Why We Must Pray For A Reformation Again.
May it please God, not to revive an old donkey, but to make us a lion again.
1. The Lost Doctrine of Regeneration.
If we aren’t changed, we aren’t saved. Jesus said that if we are His sheep, we will obey His commands and if we don’t, we aren’t His. John 10, Matthew 7:18.
2. The Lost Doctrine of Sanctification.
If we aren’t being made progressively more holy, we aren’t saved. Romans 8:28-29.
3. The Lost Doctrine of Personal Holiness.
If we aren’t radically different than those around us, we aren’t saved. Matthew 10:17 & 16:6; Luke 6:26; Ezekiel 36.
4. The Lost Doctrine of Corporate Holiness.
If our churches and institutions aren’t pure from false teaching, false teachers, and any who hold to false teaching, they are no longer Christian institutions. We must change them immediately or stop supporting them in any way whatsoever and leave them. Deuteronomy 12-13; I Corinthians 5:9-13; Revelation 2:6; 14-16, & 19-24.
5. The Lost Doctrine of the Glory of God.
If we seek our own glory or success, we are sinning. Philippians 1:12-18; Psalm 145. Matthew 23.
6. The Lost Fellowship of Suffering.
If we avoid embarrassment for being Christians, don’t worry. We aren‘t. Matthew 10: 32-33; Romans 10:9-10.
7. The Lost Leadership of Men.
If men don’t act like men again with courage and self-sacrifice, all is lost. Our fathers gave their lives for correct doctrine. Many of today’s pastors and leaders won’t risk being called “insensitive.” Men, let the ladies be sensitive. You be godly. And lead. And die. I Timothy 2:9-3:13.
8. The Lost Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture.
If we read books other than the Scripture for Christian doctrine, we are blaspheming, calling God a fool or a liar. II Timothy 3:16-17. The only two proper uses of other religious works are 1) to illuminate Scripture by way of explanation or example by another more discerning or more familiar than we are, or 2) to research false teaching in order to expose the lie and expel the false teacher for the protection of those weak in the faith and for the preservation of the holiness of each of the saints and for the preservation the corporate holiness of the church, Christian school, or any other Christian institution. I Corinthians 5:9-13.
9. The Lost Doctrine of Truth over Relationship.
If we value anyone, even our families, over being right with God in practice and doctrine, we aren’t saved. This is a call back to holiness and sacrifice, not meanness. Read and take seriously what Moses and Jesus taught in the following references. You will see that following God under either the Old Covenant or the New Covenant meant that many would be separated from families, friends, and loved ones who will not accept the truth. Much false teaching and many other sins in the church are tolerated simply because one brother will not sever ties with another who has fallen. In other words, will you be willing to be divorced by your spouse because he or she will not tolerate God in the house? Pastors, will you jeopardize your career for the gospel? Many will not. This is a disgrace unfit for the kingdom of God. Choose you this day whom you will serve! Deuteronomy 13; Matthew 10:32-39.
10. The Idolatry of Love.
If we worship the god preached in most of Modern Evangelicalism, we are idolaters, because the god of most Evangelicals is only love. The God of Scripture is much more. I John 5:6; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9.
11. The Sin of Reproving the Reprover. (The New Phariseeism–Unbiblical Rules Against Telling The Truth.)
If we continue to adopt the unscriptural ethics of the idolaters of love, we will continue to be like the Pharisees of old, adding laws God has never given, and honoring human tradition over Scripture. In our zeal for the soft, the sentimental, and the mediocre, we hate the prophet and make artifical rules to silence him. Amos 5:10 & 14-15; Matthew 11:16-19; Amos 7:10-17.
12. The Idolatry of the Effeminate. (Worshipping the Uber-mommy.)
The American jesus isn’t the Jesus of Scripture. It’s a bizarre mix of god, goddess, man, and an uber-mommy unknown to Scripture. We have idolatrous pictures of this imaginary girlygod standing at a knobless door, unable to conquer the human heart that Yahweh, the true God, created. This contradicts both reason and Scripture. Exodus 20:4-6; Revelation 1-3; Nahum 3:13; Leviticus 19:17-18; II Timothy 2:1.
13. Self Idolatry.
If we continue to preach self-esteem, we deny Christ, Who taught us we are filth. Filth awaiting judgment. Roman 3:23, 6:23.
14. The Idol of the God Who Serves Me.
If we continue to seek earthly blessings from God, rather than self-denial, we continue to indulge our emotions and expect riches and health on Earth, while our souls die. Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 9:27.
15. The Lost Doctrine of the Value of Doctrine.
If we continue to deny the importance of strong biblical doctrine, we are self-contradictory fools, valuing the doctrine that says no doctrine is to be much valued. II Timothy 2:14-18.
16. The Lost Doctrine of the Powerlessness of the Church and Its People.
If we continue to speak as if God cannot act without our cooperation, we will remain idolaters, blaspheming the Sovereign Yahweh, and worshipping a domesticated god we control. Deuteronomy 11:25; John 6:44-65.
17. The Lost Doctrine of Redeeming the Time.
If we continue to spend time in secular entertainment, we will remain unfaithful servants, not evangelizing those for whom God has made each one of us responsible, all the while poisoning our souls with the humor of Satan, the mindset of this world, and the desires of the flesh. Ephesians 5:15-16.
18. The Lie of “Impacting the Culture.” (Whatever That Means.)
If we continue to engage in this and other nebulous doctrinal sophistries, we will go to our graves, not fulfilling the Great Commission, which calls us to the specific task of teaching individuals the Scripture. Culture is the world, and is to be shunned. Learn the customs of politeness and modesty. Avoid the contamination of the values of any human culture. Love not the world. Romans 12:1-2; I John 2:15-17.
19. The Lost Obedience to Witness. (Evangelicals Who Don‘t Evangelize Are Lying!)
If we continue to cower, and not witness, we disobey Christ’s last command on Earth and refuse to disciple anyone as Christ taught us to. All His students were required to witness almost from day one. How have we come to the point at which a man can be called a Christian who isn’t regularly witnessing? It is dishonest. It is disobedient. It is inexcusable. May God damn the preacher who says otherwise. The book of Jude; Ezekiel 33.
20. The Lie of Relevance.
If we continue to attempt to “make the gospel relevant”, we are apostates, leaving the original gospel, which God told us was plenty relevant since it, and only it, is the power to save from eternal wrath. Are we smarter than God? Romans 1:16.
21. The Lost Doctrine of God’s Hatred for the Wicked. (Lost to the people, hidden by the preachers.)
If we continue to speak and preach about the god who is only love and does not hate evil and the workers of evil, we are idolaters and lie to our hearers, damning even our own children to eternal hell unless they rebel against us and return to the God of Scripture Who is loving to the repentant and burning in His anger against the unrepentant. Psalm 5:5.
22. The Lost Doctrine of Repentance.
If we continue to preach belief without Christ’s call to repentance from all known sin, we have another gospel and will spend eternity in hell, with the blood of our followers on our hands. Jude 4; Matthew 4:17.
23. The Lost Doctrine of the Fear of God.
If we continue to tell people that God is to be respected and not feared and that He will not send anyone to hell, we are liars whom God will judge eternally in hell. Most of our preachers have lied to us on this issue. Because we insist upon a god who doesn’t scare anyone we either fail to speak of hell or tell the lie that our god doesn’t send anyone there. Scripture says otherwise. Revelation 14:9-11; Malachi 1:14; Hosea 3:5 , 11:10-11; Daniel 5:25-26; Jeremiah 2:19, 5:22-24, 10:7, 10:14; Isaiah 2:10-19, 33:6, 50:10, 57:11, 59:19, 64:1-2, 6:5; Jonah 1:8-16; Jude 4; Habakkuk 3:2-16; Matthew 10:28.
AFTER NOTE: Many have asked to reproduce this post and I will be away for a few days. Please do so. Encourage folks to copy it and take it to pastors, church boards, and denominational leaders. Use it as a petition to ask them if they will return to these biblical doctrines and practices. If not, then shake the dust off your feet.
Posted in abomination, apostasy, blasphemy, Calvinism, Christian hypocrisy, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church worldliness, emergent church, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical, evangelical christian, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, heresy, religion | Tagged: evangelicalism, reformation, revival | 1 Comment »
Posted by Job on March 27, 2008
By Pastor Bill Keller. To sign up for his devotional click on link below.
Who was God more disgusted with last September, Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejads, or well known minister TD Jakes? One of the things I have
tried to do these past 9 yrs is challenge those who know the Lord to become
more bold in sharing their faith with their family, with their neighbors, at
school or work, at the gym, as well as the people God allows to cross your
path on a daily basis. I remind you often that sharing our faith is not an
option, it is a commandment. It is not something we do when we feel like it,
it is something we are instructed in the Bible to do out of love for people
who are lost and will die and go to hell without a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ.
That is why nothing infuriates me more than what happened last September as
one of the most visible men of God in the nation goes on a popular
nationally syndicated TV program and if you didn’t know who he was, would
have never guessed in a million years he was a preacher! It was like Paula
White going on the Trya Banks program and calling herself a “life coach,”
never once mentioning she is a preacher, or talking about the Bible or
saying the name of Jesus!
This past September you had that evil little man from Iran, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad spewing his delusional philosophy of life at Columbia
University, and a few hours later you had “Bishop” TD Jakes appearing on the
Dr. Phil program to counsel people. At the end of the day there is no doubt
in my mind God was more disgusted with Jakes, a man who claims to serve God,
than He was with Ahmadinejad, a man who has clearly chosen to serve satan!
There is nothing to really to say about Ahmadinejad. He is a thoroughly evil
man who follows that false religion of hate and death, Islam. As the
President of Iran, he has openly called for the total annihilation of
Israel, has made numerous threats against the United States, is shipping
arms to Iraqi insurgents helping to kill US troops who are serving there, is
harboring Osama Bin Laden’s son and other al-Qaeda leaders, and is pursuing
the development of nuclear weapons.
He preyed upon the weakness of this nation to come to our shores and spit in
our faces by his very presence. He no doubt has accomplished his chief goal
which was to appear credible on the world stage, while filling his coffers
with propaganda to take back to Iran and continue his terrorist activities.
Please remember in a few years that this man was here, on our soil, and
instead of arresting him like the common criminal he is, we treated him like
a head of state.
As disgusted as I was with Ahmadinejad making a mockery of our nation, I was
even more disgusted with the “Bishop” TD Jakes making a mockery of our Lord!
I was excited to hear he was going to be on with Oprah’s “creation” Dr. Phil
to give people counsel. I was excited that finally a bold man of God would
go on this nationally syndicated secular program with a chief merchant of
worldly advice and give people real counsel from the Word of God while
telling them Jesus is their only hope for this life and all eternity.
Finally, a powerful spokesman for Christ to tell the nation God’s Word is
the only Truth and Jesus is the only way to be saved. By the end of the hour
it took all the will power I could muster to not take a baseball bat and
smash my television into a million pieces.
I will give you an exact quote from my email to the “Bishop” TD Jakes. “That
was the most gutless and spineless performance by a supposed Gospel minister
I have ever witnessed. You should be ashamed to call yourself a minister of
the Gospel and God will hold you accountable for the souls who will burn in
hell because you were more worried about selling books than saving souls!”
I have warned you for years about Oprah’s puppet Dr. Phil. He clams to be a
Christian, and only God can judge his heart regarding his salvation. But I
have every right and responsibility to judge his WORDS and ACTIONS in
accordance with the Bible. They are the words and actions of a man who is
lost in his few minutes of fame and the money he is making. His counsel is
not from the Bible but from the world. Instead of giving people real hope,
he simply exploits their troubled lives for ratings.
I have warned you often about this merchant of false hope. Here is one of my
Devotionals from last year on why this man is so dangerous,
That is why I was so excited to see TD Jakes going on his program. As it
turned out, he was not there to give Biblical counsel or to tell the lost
how they can be saved, he was there to sell his new book! Just like that
cotton-candy preacher Joel Osteen who was on Larry King a few years ago and
refused all 6 of King’s attempts to get him to simply say that Jesus was the
ONLY way to be saved because he was not there to save souls, but to sell
I learned later in the day Dr. Phil actually wrote the forward of Jakes’ new
book. So with the opportunity to tell millions of viewers who were no doubt
lost and hurting, looking for answers and hope, instead of the Gospel they
got a sales pitch to go to their local bookstore and buy his book!
In my disgust, I called a few people who are very connected to the Christian
TV world and I find out guess who TD Jakes’ guest will be on several of his
upcoming shows? You got it, Dr. Phil! Why? Dr. Phil also has a new book
coming out so he is trying to capitalize on his claim of being a Christian
to tap into the Christian market. So in essence what you had Monday and what
you will get when Dr. Phil appears on Jakes program, is a SCAM that has gone
on in the church for ages.
It is the pulpit exchange scam. Preacher Bob is invited to Preacher Joe’s
church to speak. He comes, preaches, and they take a big love offering for
him. A few months later, Preacher Bob invites Preacher Joe to come to his
church to speak. He comes, preaches, and they take a big love offering for
Since I have blown the cover off of that long standing scam, here is another
one for you. Ever sit back amazed as you watch Christian TV and hear how God
told some minister to give the TV network $100,000, and they pull out a big
check? Did you know in the future they will receive special airings or runs
of their TV program on that network worth about, you got it, $100,000!
Ever sit back amazed as you saw one minister give another minister a jet
plane! WOW! What generosity you think! If only I had faith like that you
think! Little do you know there was already some sort of business deal
between the two for the jet plane.
This is how these high visibility preachers con people into having the
“faith” to send them tons of money. It is all part of the manipulating
process that enables these ministries to own tens of millions of dollars of
real estate, fly around in private jets, and live like the rulers of small
nations! OF COURSE THEY STILL COME BACK AND BEG YOU TO GIVE THEM MORE!!!
I love you and care about you so much. This is why I left and vowed to never
return to the Christian TV world 10 yrs ago. This is why non-Christians
NEVER watch Christian TV and have zero trust or respect for preachers. They
smell these scams from a mile away. The Bible actually says the children of
the world are more street smart than the children of light.
I have to be honest. It almost makes me want to get out of the ministry all
together at times. I have to spend more time than you will ever know in
dealing with people in the marketplace, letting them know that “I am not one
of those guys” so they will at least listen to my message.
I have had numerous people over the years “counsel” me how Liveprayer could
be a $50 million a year ministry overnight, instead of struggling to raise
the $1 million we do each year to operate. All I have to do is what everyone
else does. Leave secular TV and go to Christian TV. Forget reaching the lost
in the world on the internet and focus on reaching people who already are
Christians while using the website to sell products.
Quit wasting all of our time and resources to reach the lost and refocus our
efforts on how to cash in on the Gospel. They tell me I have spent 9 years
of laboring to build up Liveprayer, now it is time to take it easy and reap
tens of millions of dollars a year from what we have built. I quietly tell
these people to please leave before I get in the flesh and literally throw
them out of my office!
I HAVE TOO MUCH FEAR (AWE) OF GOD TO TURN LIVEPRAYER INTO MY PERSONAL
FIEFDOM. I DON’T LOOK FORWARD TO THE LAST WEEK OF EVERY MONTH WHEN I HAVE TO
PLEAD WITH PEOPLE TO HELP ME SIMPLY COVER OUR BASIC OPERATIONAL NEEDS, BUT
IT KEEPS ME HUMBLE AND NEVER LETS ME FORGET VERY LONG WHOSE MINISTRY THIS IS
AND THAT I WILL ONLY BE HERE AS LONG AS I REMAIN FAITHFUL TO MY CALLING. GOD
HAS ME ON A 30 DAY LEASH EACH MONTH SO I NEVER FORGET, EVEN FOR A DAY, WHY I
AM HERE AND WHAT HE HAS CALLED ME TO DO!!!
I had one person send me an email that said, “PASTOR KELLER, WITH ALL DUE
RESPECT, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE, TD JAKES BEING ON DR. PHIL
SHOW AND BILL KELLER BEING ON HOWARD STERN SHOW.” My answer, “The difference
is he was on there for one reason, to sell books. He never once mentioned
the name Jesus, quoted any scripture, or told people how to be saved. He was
on there to make money and for no other reason. I go on with Stern and got
nothing, except tons of grief. I have no agenda other than the opportunity
to share Christ and Biblical Truth with Stern’s listeners.
After my recent appearances on many of the top secular programs on the cable
news networks and many national radio programs, I can already tell you that
while they like my boldness to state my case about the issue I am on to
discuss, they have already figured out I am there to declare the Bible is
the only Truth and faith in Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved. I am already
being blackballed from some of these programs because they don’t want their
program being used as a pulpit by some evangelist.
My friend, I invest money each month into a professional PR firm and seize
those media opportunities for one reason and one reason only, TO HAVE A
SECULAR FORUM TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT JESUS! I HAVE NO OTHER MESSAGE BUT THE
GOSPEL! YOU HAVE NO OTHER MESSAGE FOR YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, THOSE YOU MEET
ALONG YOUR JOURNEY BUT THE GOSPEL!
My word of admonition to you today is to pray NOT to be like TD Jakes, Joel
Osteen, Paula White, or any of these other “Christian stars” who get the
opportunity to talk to a secular audience and use that opportunity to build
their kingdom and not God’s. Trust me, they WILL answer to God one day, just
like I will and you will!
Make the most of your opportunities to share the Truth of the Bible with
those you meet each day and what Jesus has done in your life. People are
dying and going to hell every second. People you know! If they choose to
reject the hope of Christ, that is their choice. Our job is not to force
anyone to believe, we can’t do that. Our job is to share with them the Good
News and pray for them!
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can
they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear
without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller email@example.com
***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY? The fact is you will die one day. At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to: http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm
***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now available via AUDIO each day. Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm. Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling, 1-727-342-5673
(C) Copyright 2008, Bill Keller Ministries. All rights reserved.
Posted in abomination, apostasy, blasphemy, christian worldliness, Christianity, church scandal, church worldliness, corrupt televangelism, devotional, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, gay rights, heresy, homosexuality, Iran, Islam, Israel, Jesus Christ, Muslim, religion, TD Jakes, televangelism | Tagged: dr. phil mcgraw, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Paula White, Romans 10:14 | 4 Comments »
Posted by Job on March 25, 2008
At least this woman has the courage and honesty to admit what liberal Christians actually believe.
Taking Christ out of Christianity
Avant garde pastor teaches a new Christianity where the way you live is more important than beliefs
March 22, 2008
That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah, this morning will rock the walls of Toronto’s West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian churches across the country.
But at West Hill on the faith’s holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”
Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity’s central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.
Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance in West Hill’s Sunday service liturgy.
There is no authoritative Big-Godism, as Rev. Gretta Vosper, West Hill’s minister for the past 10 years, puts it. No petitionary prayers (“Dear God, step into the world and do good things about global warming and the poor”). No miracles-performing magic Jesus given birth by a virgin and coming back to life. No references to salvation, Christianity’s teaching of the final victory over death through belief in Jesus’s death as an atonement for sin and the omnipotent love of God. For that matter, no omnipotent God, or god.
Ms. Vosper has written a book, published this week – With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe – in which she argues that the Christian church, in the form in which it exists today, has outlived its viability and either it sheds its no-longer credible myths, doctrines and dogmas, or it’s toast.
She is considered one of the bright, if unconventional, minds within the United Church, Canada’s largest Protestant Christian denomination. She holds a master of divinity degree from Queen’s University and was ordained in 1992. She founded and chairs the Toronto-based Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity.
Other Christian clergy and theologians have talked about the need to dramatically reform the doctrines of a faith that, with the exception of its vibrancy in the United States, has lost huge numbers of adherents throughout the Western world it once dominated as Christendom. In Canada, where 75 per cent of the population self-identifies as Christian, only about 16 per cent attend weekly services.
Addressing those statistics, what Ms. Vosper proposes is not so much reform as a scorched-earth approach.
A number of leading theologians in Britain – where the decline in adherents is more dramatic than in Canada – are on the same path, people like Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh and primate of the Scottish Episcopal (Anglican) Church, who has likened the Christian church to a self-service cafeteria stacked with messy trays of leftover food urgently in need of being thrown out.
Like Bishop Holloway, Ms. Vosper does not want to dress up the theological detritus – her words – of the past two millennia with new language in the hope of making it more palatable. She wants to get rid of it, and build on its ashes a new spiritual movement that will have relevance in a tight-knit global world under threat of human destruction.
She says there’s been virtually a consensus among scholars for the past 30 years that the Bible is not some divine emanation – or in Ms. Vosper acronym, TAWOGFAT, The Authoritative Word of God For All Time – but a human project filled with contradictions and the conflicting worldviews and political perspectives of its authors.
And yet, she says, the liberal Christian churches, including her own, won’t acknowledge that it is a human project, that it’s wrong in parts and that, in the 21st century, it’s no more useful as a spiritual and religious guide than a number of other books.
She says now that the work of biblical scholars has become publicly accessible, the churches and their clergy are caught living a lie that few people will buy much longer. “I just don’t think we can placate those in the pews long enough to transition into a kind of new community that doesn’t keep people away.”
She wants salvation redefined to mean new life through removing the causes of suffering in the world. She wants the church to define resurrection as “starting over,” “new chances.” She wants an end to the image of God as an intervening all-powerful authority who must be appeased to avoid divine wrath; rather she would have congregations work together as communities to define God – or god – according to their own worked-out definitions of what is holy and sacred. She wants the eucharist – the symbolic eating and drinking of Jesus’s body and blood to make the congregation part of Jesus’s body – to be instead a symbolic experience of community love.
Theologians asked to comment on her book said they wouldn’t until they’ve read it.
But one of her colleagues who knows her well, Rev. Rob Oliphant, the progressive pastor of Toronto’s Eglinton St. George’s United Church, said, “While I’m somewhat sympathetic to the aims of it all – getting rid of the nonsense and keeping the core faith – I think that there is something lacking in it all. Gone is metaphor, poetry, symbol, image, beauty, paradox.”
Ms. Vosper said she and her congregation have tried hard not to lose those elements in their search for the sacred and the transcendent in life.
She met with members of her congregation last Sunday to discuss what the impact might be of her book.
She said it would take only a single vote of a presbytery – a local governing body of the church – to bring her before the church courts if a complaint against her is made, and the courts could be interested in examining what it means to be in “essential agreement” with the church’s statement of faith.
“I can find myself in there [the statements of faith] but there’s whole parts of it where I go, ‘Oh my goodness, this is terrible.’ If someone says to me, ‘Do you believe in God?’ I can come up with an answer that would satisfy the courts of the United Church. But would it reflect what’s stated in their statement of faith? I don’t think so. But it wouldn’t be very far from what my colleague down the street, and what his colleague down the street from him, would say. That’s the problem.”
Posted in anti - Christ, antichrist, apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, Christian hypocrisy, christian left, christian liberalism, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church worldliness, emergent church, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, idolatry, liberal, liberal christian, liberalism, women preachers | 6 Comments »