Jesus Christ Is Lord

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

Posts Tagged ‘emergent church’

John MacArthur To The Young, Restless And Reformed: Grow Up!

Posted by Job on July 25, 2011

Granted, that is not all that he said. Quite the contrary, he gave a (surprisingly!) gentle rebuke mixed with a lot of praise and encouragement. The best part was MacArthur’s contrasting the Young, Restless and Reformed with the emergent church. MacArthur promises more to come. I hope that he talks more about – and takes a harder stand on – the fact that a great deal of the “young, restless and Reformed” posture is simply liberal counterculture imported to an evangelical Christian context. It is just the same “stick it to the man” and “down with the establishment” and “fight the power!” and “don’t trust anyone over 30!” and “the older generation is out of touch and their institutions are ineffective” stuff from the 1960s and ever since that we have encountered in government, education, media, entertainment and liberal apostate Christianity. This means that it is conforming to the ways of this world rather than renewing our minds and being transformed from it.

The difference is that where subversion and counterculture will have a lasting (negative, sinful) impact on the larger culture – even when the rebels become “the establishment” themselves – because it is merely evil taking its place in a fallen world ruled by Satan and sin, in a church context things erected on false doctrines, practices and attitudes are built on sand and will ultimately fall. MacArthur was very restrained in his comments – which are very much worth their reading below – but the way for the Young, Restless and Reformed to endure the race until the end (or at the very least to become spiritually mature while in the race) is to drop the “Young” and “Restless” parts as soon as possible.

As a matter of fact, allow me to say this: where with the “Reformed” part you can keep it or leave it, the “Young” and “Restless” parts are non-negotiable: both absolutely, unconditionally have to go. Though I am a 5 Point Calvinist to the core, I would choose fellowship with a stable, mature non-Calvinist over a young, restless and Reformed without a hint of a second thought. I am citing this Bible text very much out of context, but being “young and restless” embraces being “unstable as water” in Genesis 49:4. And what does Genesis 49:4 say regarding those who are unstable as water, young restless and reformed? “Thou shalt not excel …”

Again, John MacArthur was much more positive in his comments than I am being. And considering that MacArthur most certainly is not one to mince words or pull punches, that is most significant! Please read and enjoy:

Grow Up. Settle Down. Keep Reforming. Advice for the Young, Restless, Reformed

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Destroying The Modern Lie About It Being Wrong To Directly Confront Sinners

Posted by Job on March 23, 2009

Brother Mike Ratliff wrote this in response to the tactics of the emergent church – which truthfully is no church at all because LIKE THE POST VATICAN II ROMAN CATHOLICS they are a pluralist “many paths to heaven” separate religion entirely – but it applies to attitudes and practices common to modern Christianity. If you will not vigorously promote and defend the faith, then you have no faith at all. You are a barren vine, a fig tree that is not bearing fruit and will be cursed and withered by Jesus Christ. See Mike Ratliff’s post below.  

Is it Wrong to Confront Unbelievers Head on with the Word of God?

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Is The Emergent Church Defined By The Transcendental Meditation Of Maharishi Yogi?

Posted by Job on February 20, 2009

This site says yes, and makes a compelling case for it! Please read:

Emerging Mysticism

The Emergent Contemplative Prayer Model

More articles:

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Rick Warren And The New Evangelical Social Gospel

Posted by Job on December 21, 2008

I am trying to come up with something on Rick Warren’s speaking at the Obama inauguration that goes beyond the new world order Council on Foreign Relations one world religion implications that I have discussed in the past. In the meantime, please consider this piece on the matter from Beliefnet.com. Now I have staked out the most extreme position on Warren, which is that he is not a legitimate Christian pastor, and that the Southern Baptist Convention should have long ago severed ties with the fellow. Perusing the reaction to this story, I am becoming aware of how rare, indeed marginal, my estimation of Warren is.

Rick Warren on Loving Muslims and Melissa Etheridge (Report by Juan Cole)

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Why Does Rick Warren’s Fuller Theological Seminary Have A Psychology Department? So It Can Offer Symposiums On Carl Jung And Christianity!

Posted by Job on September 30, 2008

When perusing a book, I noted the oddity that the famed evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary had three departments: theology (good), world missions (good) and PSYCHOLOGY (what?!?!). Not education, not engineering, not even BUSINESS but PSYCHOLOGY! So, I did a few web searches and found out what a psychology school at a leading evangelical CHRISTIAN seminary had to offer. Well, things like THIS: 

The Living God and our Living Psyche: C. G. Jung’s Psychology and Christian Faith

Now plenty of Christians have problems with the field of psychology as it is. See the video below. But Jungian psychology is REALLY objectionable from a Biblical standpoint. It is no accident that Frank Peretti associated it with demons and the occult in “This Present Darkness.” When you read an interview from the “Christian” Jungian psychologist who ran this symposium on PBS, you will see why Peretti felt this way. Or better yet, why not read this summary of her work and views:

Ann Belford Ulanov, M.Div., Ph.D., L.H.D., is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary, a psychoanalyst in private practice, and a supervising analyst and faculty member of the C. G. Jung Institute, New York City.  With her late husband, Barry Ulanov, she is the author of Religion and the UnconsciousPrimary Speech: A Psychology of PrayerCinderella and Her Sisters: The Envied and the Envying; The Witch and The Clown: Two Archetypes of Human Sexuality; The Healing Imagination; Transforming Sexuality: The Archetypal World of Anima and Animus; by herself she is the author of The Feminine in Christian Theology and in Jungian Psychology; Receiving Woman: Studies in the Psychology and Theology of the Feminine; Picturing God; The Wisdom of the Psyche; The Female Ancestors of Christ; The Wizards’ GateThe Functioning Transcendent; Korean edition of our Religion and the Unconscious, Fall 1996; Korean edition of Primary Speech, 2000-2001; Religion and the Spiritual in Carl Jung; Finding Space: Winnicott, God, and Psychic Reality, Attacked by Poison Ivy, A Psychological Study, 2002.

Ann Belford Ulanov is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Virginia Theological School; an honorary doctorate from Loyola Graduate Department in Pastoral Counseling; the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Blanton/Peale Institute; the Vision Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis; the Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association for Distinguished Work in Depth Psychology and Religion; the Distinguished Contribution Award from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors for Distinguished Work in Depth Psychology and Religion; the Gradiva Award for best book in Psychiatry and Religion 2002 from The National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, for Finding Space: Winnicott, God, and Psychic Reality.

Now I will grant you that the very respected John Piper attended Fuller. But so did leading emergent/New Age figures like Rob Bell and Rick Warren. For that matter, so did Bill Bright, one of the leading figures of the ecumenism movement between evangelicals and Roman Catholics. By the way, the current president of Fuller, Richard Mouw, is the same fellow responsible for A) the evangelical manifesto  and B) the increasing ties between evangelicals and Mormons, including the notorious speech that he and Ravi Zacharias gave at the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City. In this link, it details how Richard Mouw actually apologized for Christian opposition to Mormonism.

Now this is not an instance of a comprehensive Christian college or university that offers psychology as part of its many offerings. Psychology is now a standard liberal arts degree, and further it is pretty much impossible to offer an accredited degree in fields like education, nursing, or counseling without having a variety of psychology courses. Instead, this is a seminary whose sole purpose is to train pastors, missionaries, and equip other people for Christian ministry. I repeat, Fuller has THREE SCHOOLS … theology, foreign missions, and psychology. So, it isn’t even a program of study or department in part of its other colleges, but one of the three pillars of the school. 

I already mentioned in Albert Mohler’s Assessment Of The Economic Situation: An Example Of What Evangelicalism Does To The Reformed Mind how concerned I was over the seamless integration of psychology, a recent, discredited, and virtually useless invention of rebellious men who rejected God, and evangelical Christianity. But even as I was writing it, I had no idea that it was so deeply embedded that one of our leading seminaries had one of its three divisions given over to it, or that they would be promoting Jungianism. This is further evidence that we must continue to pray and intercede for God’s people, and not be fearful or slack in warning Christians against the creeping influence of humanism and syncretism. 

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John MacArthur on Brian McLaren and the Emergent Church

Posted by Job on September 19, 2008

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The Roads Of The Emerging Emergent Church All Lead Back To Roman Catholicism!

Posted by Job on September 9, 2008

We have already discussed how the emergent church focuses on Roman Catholic mysticism not so thinly disguised as contemplative prayer, see this link for more. (By the way, a lot of Pentecostals and charismatics are into this fad.) Well, here leading charismatics are claiming that Martin Luther got Paul all wrong, and that works based salvation is correct after all. See the post below from Apprising Ministries:

“RECLAIMING PAUL?” SORRY; MORE LIKE REIMAGINING PAUL

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Rick Warren gives thumbs-up to gay “church”

Posted by Job on June 10, 2008

From DefendingContending.com

Rick Warren gives thumbs-up to gay “church”

I have become all things to all men that I might by all means save some–1st Corinthians 9:22

A verse from the apotle Paul that has been turned on its ear, upside-down, inside-out, and every which way from Sunday by the Willow Creek/Saddleback/Lakewood/
Lakeland/Lukewarm/Postmodern/Emergent crowd. Long story short, the apostle is not endorsing or condoning “Christians” who take part in the works of Satan in order to get people to “meet Jesus.” He is not, in any way, shape, or form, advocating making friends with the world in order to please God (See James 4:4, 1st John 2:15, Romans 8:6-8).

However, in his never-ending quest to be “all things to all men,” the “Protestant Pope” Rick Warren has finally gone around that bend he’s been heading for, and is openly embracing a “church” that “ministers” to those who embrace open rebellion against God by embracing the sin of homosexuality. Ingrid Schleuter has more:

Following Bill Hybel’s example, Rick Warren will be dining with Christians who say they are gay and proud of it. They are bringing their families with them to Saddleback for a Father’s Day celebration. This is the same gay road trip that has traveled the country to various megachurches to win converts to their views on sexuality. Even Joel Osteen said no to such a gathering. Repeat: these are professing “Christians” who are in moral revolt against the Word of God, not atheists at a gay pride parade who need someone to bear witness to the truth. These people know the truth and have rejected it. Not only that, they want everyone else in the church to reject it, too.

Now, before you start down the “Jesus dined with sinners and tax collectors” road, you need to understand something: We are never called to bring sinners in flat-out rebellion into the church building (see 2nd John 1:9-11). Whenever Jesus dined with such people, He went to them (Zaccheus, Matthew, woman at the well). Also, Paul commands us not to eat with anyone “named a brother who is sexually immoral, or covetous or…” So by allowing this organization into a building that some people call a “church,” and by seating them in this quote-unquote “church” to dine, Pope Warren is going against so many commands of Scripture (I assure you, many more than I have listed here). All in the name of “unity.”

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The Evil of Christianity Today: Catholics Can Be Protestants Too!

Posted by Job on May 23, 2008

The link below claims that, well, you know, the need for the Reformation is like so over because the Reformation took place a long time ago and in Europe, so, like, let’s undo it! Typical Christianity Today! And typical modern evangelicalism.

“So many seem to think that the essence of being Protestant is to conscientiously object to what is or was Roman Catholic. A little history and a little linguistic research shows Protestant to be a much more positive word, referring to what the original Protestants stood for rather than what they stood against.” (My note: Protestant was a very positive word that meant for God and against apostate heresy. Not that Billy Graham freemason ecumenical evangelicalism will ever admit it.)

Then the fellow goes through a brief, selective, distorted historical exercise to make it seem as if “Protestant” was a positive political term. At no point does he mention what the Reformers actually said about the idolatrous and heretical doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, and how the Roman Catholic Church responded. I wonder if Neff regards the Roman Catholic Church’s excommunication of Martin Luther “positive.” Oh, I am sorry, it is the people who actually worship Jesus Christ rather than praying to Mary and actually believe in Jesus Christ who have to paint the shame over their beliefs under the veneer of “positive”, not the Roman Catholics. 

“Poor, misunderstood protest has had a history something like that of another word—apology. That word has gone from its positive, head-held-high sense of “a formal justification or defense” (as in “the essay was an apology for capitalism”) to something tinged with shame and remorse (“a statement of regret or request for pardon”).”  Looks like Neff is APOLOGIZING IN THE NEW SENSE OF THE WORD RATHER THAN THE OLD for the Reformation happening in the first place. The Roman Catholic Church to this day claims that Luther’s legitimate grievances were minor, could have and should have been addressed by petitioning the church which would have listened to him by and by, and that Luther’s primary problem was that he lacked faith in the church’s ability to reform itself. It honestly appears as if Neff agrees.

We need to recover the positive sense of protestant. It denotes things that we stand for: the authority of Scripture, salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone.” Excuse me, Neff, but Roman Catholics claim to believe in those two things as well, just as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses do by the way. So you are giving just an incomplete, corrupted, distorted depiction of two of the five solas of the reformation that Roman Catholics can also claim to agree to, just as in his lying claim that he was a Trinitarian T.D. Jakes tried to pass off a modalist statement that all but the hardcore oneness pentecostals would agree to for Trinity, as if he is hoping that at some point Christians of both camps will give up their distinct language that divides the doctrines and mutually agree on heresy. And oh yes, Neff, in addition to the two solas that you purposely stated in a fashion that virtually any Roman Catholic can accept, what about the other three solas that they cannot that you left out? Well, here is the answer.

“It’s a matter of principle. And because it is about standing for truth, Catholics can be protestants too.” See, the problem is that in these little ecumenical meetings between Roman Catholics and Protestants, Catholics are ever so subtly but increasingly objecting to the terminology, just as in similar interfaith meetings between Jews and Christians, Jews over time increasingly object to references to the deity of Jesus Christ and the gospels. Just as the Christians who have been involved in these interfaith meetings with Jews have over time submitted themselves to the anti – Christ spirit and ultimately wound up denying the truth of the gospels, the prophecies, and Jesus Christ, Protestants have decided to take the line that Roman Catholicism is simply just another denomination. 

In effect, they are saying that the Reformation never should have happened, but since it did, well, we have all these Christian denominations that exist and are doing a mighty good job and people are culturally and historically attached to them, so why not just let things be? In exchange for being left alone, doctrines and practices that effectively remove all distinctions between the two groups are promoted to the point where such “Protestants” are basically Roman Catholics operating without the pope. Which means that it is then no big deal to go from being a Roman Catholic without a pope to being a Roman Catholic with a pope. That really, honestly is where the trails from the emergent churches and the works – centered purpose driven churches lead: to Rome. 

Positively Protestant

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The Error Of The Evangelical Manifesto

Posted by Job on May 15, 2008

The “Evangelical Manifesto.”   Last Wednesday, a group of prominent
Evangelicals released the “Evangelical Manifesto: A Declaration of
Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment.”  The Steering Committee
includes: Os Guinness; Timothy George, Dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford
University; Rich Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary; and Dallas
Willard, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California.  It has
been signed by apx. 80 “evangelical leaders,” though when a trained eye
looks through the list of signers, it becomes apparent what this document is
really all about.

For those who have been part of the Liveprayer family for a while, you might
remember me mentioning the gutless Dr.Mouw back in December of 2004, who
along with Ravi Zacharias, became pawns used by the Mormons to give them
mainstream credibility.  Here is an excerpt from that 12/07/04 Devotional:
“Mouw preceded Zacharias and amazingly apologized, yes, apologized to the
Mormon crowd of roughly 7,000 stating, ‘We evangelicals have sinned against
you. We have demonized you.’ Since when was exposing the false gospel of the
Mormon cult a sin? That is exactly what we are supposed to do! Also, the
last I checked, those who lead people’s souls into everlasting damnation are
demonic!”

First of all, let me state the obvious.  We already have an “Evangelical
Manifesto,” it is called THE BIBLE and it has the greatest author of all
time…GOD!  The real purpose of this document is to create a shift in power
regarding those who are seen as the Christian leaders of our day and those
who speak for the Christian community.  Many years ago, I had to make some
hard choices.  Do I build a giant ministry organization and preach to the
choir like the rest, putting my voice into the same mix as Falwell,
Robertson, Kennedy, Dobson, Graham, and the others, or follow God’s calling
as a true evangelist and reach out to the lost and hurting souls outside the
four walls of the church, and take on more of a prophetic ministry to reach
this lost world with God’s Truth.  I made the decision to pass on the
comfort, prominence, prestige, and financial security of building another
Christian organization, and chose instead  to give my life reaching the lost
and hurting with the hope of Jesus Christ.

That choice has given me the unique position of being free from the politics
of the “church,” and allowed me to not have to compromise the Truth of the
Bible to keep a “Christian business” going.  Like the prophets in the Old
Testament, I have been in the unique position few are in, to deal with the
issues of the day and in people’s lives without worrying about pleasing men,
only God.  My focus has never had to be about raising money for
infrastructure and operations, only for saving souls.  I have no other
agenda but God’s.  My goals aren’t earthly but heavenly.  My legacy won’t be
in buildings or the temporal things of this world that will one day soon be
gone, but the lives God has used me to impact and the eternal souls of men.

Many of those who put together and signed this document are for the most
part those who I have warned you about in recent years, this emerging group
known as the “Christian left.”  Prominent signers of this murky document are
people like Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, and Rick Warren, Pastor of
Saddleback and author of the Purpose Driven Life.  A major portion of this
document is spent repudiating Christians involved in politics, and seeks to
replace the fight for life, marriage, and family issues, with a focus on
world hunger, AIDs in Africa, and environmental issues.   It also lashes out
at those who have the audacity to go into the public arena and take a stand
for Christ based on the Truth of God’s Word.  The document says evangelicals
have often expressed “truth without love,” helping create a backlash against
religion during a “generation of culture warring.”  The fact is, we have
been intimidated into silence by those who represent satan!

This is the mindset fostered by the “seeker,” “emerging church,” and “church
growth” crowd that for the past 15 years have watered down the Gospel and
set aside the absolutes of the Bible to attract warm bodies.  What they have
done is created a new subculture of “Christians” who might be saved, but
live no different than the world and easily embrace the lies of the false
religions, cults, and New Age teachings that are leading the souls of men to
hell.  This is why you have people like Oprah who claim to be a Christian,
yet promote the lies of every New Age guru that comes down the path.  This
is why you have people like Sen. Barak Hussein Obama who claims to be a
Christian, yet votes continually to slaughter babies and redefine God’s Holy
Institution of Marriage.  This is why you have Christians who think people
in a satanic cult like the Mormons will go to Heaven.  This is why you have
people who call themselves “Christians,” but deny that the Bible is the only
Truth there is!

Add to this the prominence of pastors who are little more than motivational
speakers like Robert Schuller and Joel Osteen who go into the secular media
when they want to sell their latest book, and brag bout never talking about
sin or the social issues of our day and refuse to answer the most simple
question of the faith, whether Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved or not.  So
people read their books, watch their TV programs to “feel good” and become
part of this new subculture of “Christians” who have no concept of basic
theology and embrace lies like “there are many roads that lead to God.

Don’t believe me?  Here is a typical email we get daily:  “I’m a
Metaphysical Christian and a Human being a child of GOD. I was baptized at
Saddleback Church with Rick Warren.  There is a very powerful wonderful
movement of consciousness going on right now obviously the old way is not
working very well. Watch a few Videos on Esther Hicks etc GOD bless you
too!”  What a load of garbage.  Metaphysical Christian???  The “old way” is
not working very well?  The old way being the Bible?  Ester Hicks is one of
the more popular New Age teachers out there today.  I wish you could see the
feed back I get daily from the Daily Devotional, from the TV program, from
my appearances on FOX News, CNN, and from the videos we post on YouTube.
People who call themselves “Christians,” yet reject the Bible as the only
Truth there is, and embrace beliefs that are in complete contradiction to
what the Bible teaches.

How did this happen?  It started with the church.  Forty years ago the
mainline denominations brought in pastors who were from liberal seminaries
and denied the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible.  They quit preaching
the Gospel of Jesus Christ and opted for a social gospel instead.  At the
same time, you had this growing Christian subculture of Christian TV, radio,
and publishing, geared to and marketed to Christians.  Major ministries and
Christian organizations were birthed that generated tens of millions
annually, and for the most part did very little  but preach to the choir and
self perpetuate themselves from one year to the next.

Billions have been raised and squandered on the temporal things of this
world instead of on the work of God.  We have extracted ourselves from the
marketplace, and now not only have the better percentage of two full
generations who have never even been to church, but a new generation of
“Christians” who don’t believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of
God, representing Absolute Truth, and our final authority in all maters.  It
is no wonder our nation is in spiritual freefall and this world we live in
grows darker by the day.  Men of God in days gone by didn’t build great
organizations, they built up men and women to serve the Lord.  They only had
one book, the Bible, and one message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They
never compromised the Truth of God’s Word and their only goal was to save
souls!

I love you and care about you so much.  While I agree with 90% of what is in
the “Evangelical Manifesto,” the other 10% makes it a document designed to
give more power and prominence to those in the Christian left,  replace
abortion, marriage, and family issues with issues like world hunger, poverty
and disease, and calls for Christians to be more friendly to non-Christians
by not talking about things like sin and hell in the public.  Just in case
you were wondering, they never contacted me about signing this document.
LOL!!!

I have been warning you for years now about this new and growing group who
make up the Christian left who are now fighting with the old guard on the
Christian right for power and to be the voice of Christians.  The Christian
left waters down the Gospel and lays aside the absolutes of the Bible in
order to attract warm bodies and advance their social agenda, while the
Christian right has been turned into little more than a very lucrative
business that generates hundreds of millions annually around various causes
and is more concerned with power and self preservation than getting actual
results.  This leaves Christians alone to deal with the hurts and pains of
every day life with a very thin foundation to their faith, while the vast
majority of people are living without hope and heading to hell when they
die.

However, there is a remnant, a faithful group of Believers who have not sold
out and whose sole goal is to serve the Lord and see God’s Kingdom advanced.
Praise God for those faithful pastors and ministries that only want to see
the work of the Gospel accomplished as they share the Truth of God’s Word
without compromise and labor to bring the lost to faith in Jesus Christ.
These are the last days my friend.  Jesus is coming at any moment.  There is
no time for playing games.  People are dying and heading to hell every
second.  The focus of all Believers in Jesus Christ has to be on bringing
lost souls to faith in our Lord.  We don’t need an “Evangelical Manifesto,”
we already have one and it is called THE BIBLE!!!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller bkeller@liveprayer.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 or 1-845-510-2722.

(C) Copyright 2008, Bill Keller Ministries. All rights reserved.

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Saving Us From Ourselves By Evangelizing the Emergent Church Audio Series

Posted by Job on April 15, 2008

Lifted From Neiswonger.wordpress.com’s entry  Evangelizing the Emergent Church (Saving us from ourselves). An audio lecture series.

I was recently involved in a lecture series on Postmodernism and the Emergent Church. It was held at Cornerstone Church in Riverside CA. I would recommend a visit if you live in the area. Good churches are hard to find, ya’ know? Craig Hazen from BIOLA starts things out, then there is Jay Wetger of Frontline Ministries and Troy Lambert. Great stuff. Then there is my little addition at the end of things. I hope you find it useful. (Just click the link to the site and then click, “download” on the far right of the page beside the lectures.)

All the best,

Christopher Neiswonger

12/30/07 Evangelizing a Postmodern World, Christopher Neiswonger

12/16/07 The First Foundation Stone of Christian Worldview, Jay Wegter

12/9/07 Postmodernism and the Church Troy Lambert

12/9/07 The Power of Biblical Worldview in Evangelism, Jay Wegter

12/2/07 Finding Christ in the Postmodern Matrix, Craig Hazen

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A Way To Spot A False Prophet: By The Frequency And Nature Of Their Predictions

Posted by Job on September 27, 2007

Owing to my charismatic leanings, my stance on this issue is not as strong as some (see
Why I Run From All Who Claim the Title “Apostle” or “Prophet”.) However, this is something that we should keep in mind whenever we see the various prophets in our churches and on television.

First off, my position is that what the Bible calls “prophesying” or of “one who prophesieth” or “did prophesy.” I believe that those are references to people to whom the word of God came to at some time without holding the office of prophet (i.e. Daniel ) or speaking in known or unknown tongues. In either case, the requirements are not nearly as stringent because the person makes no claim to holding the office. But for someone that gives themselves that office, they must be tried by the Holy Spirit, which among other things gives us understanding of scripture.

1. Most of the prophetic utterances in the Bible was not speaking of the future or of things supernatural. (By the same token, a staggering amount of the future predictions in the Bible, such as those of Abraham and Joseph in Genesis; Daniel; Paul, Jude, and John in Revelation and the epistles, etc. DID NOT come from prophets.) Instead, most of the prophetic speech recorded in the Bible was speaking out against and challenging the wickedness of the day, demanding that the people repent and turn to God, and telling them what blessings they would receive if they obeyed and curses would befall them if they didn’t.

Their basis for this? Sometimes it would be revelation from God, true, BUT USUALLY IT WAS BASED ON THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT WAS ALREADY GIVEN IN SCRIPTURE. A prophet did not need a revelation from God to warn the kings and the people that God would punish them if they continued with the idolatry, violence, and oppressing the poor. All they had to do was read Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, judge the actions of the rulers and the people by them, and speak according to what the Word of God said. While prophets will naturally be better at it – just as someone with the Holy Spirit gift of evangelism will be better at being used by God to win converts – any Christian that regularly reads the Bible is capable of doing the same.

And by the way: as a general rule Israel’s prophets weren’t prophesying to the people of Babylon telling them what sinners they were and how God was going to get them. No, virtually all of the prophetic words came to God’s elect people, which was Israel then but now is the church (you can go tell John Hagee and the B’nai B’rith Anti – Defamation League that I said that). A lot of people feel that just because the speech isn’t on future events or doesn’t amaze you with talk of angels and visions that it isn’t divinely inspired. That is not the case. Very little of the Bible is dedicated to what most modern Christians consider modern and supernatural, most of it is telling us how to live, and telling us what will happen to those who obey and those who disobey. Yet every word of the Bible is supernaturally divinely inspired! So, a person who claims to be a prophet according the Word and Spirit of God that ignores what makes up the vast majority of the Bible’s content in favor of unverifiable revelations and utterances (the folks with their hands stretched out saying “God is telling me that someone somewhere is going to get a breakthrough of some sort at some time … RARELY the types of prophecies in the Bible that gave the who where when what and why”) ; nowhere in scripture does a prototype for such a person exist in scripture. And as virtually no one out there is contending against the falsehoods in Christianity (few are even doing so with regards to the world!) then one can deduce that the number of Christian prophets is declining with time. Whatever the effects of Azusa Street and the other charismatic revivals, it did not result in a sustained increase in the number of legitimate prophets or prophetic activity.

The bottom line: if this prophet or prophetess is not speaking against the evil that is being preached and done in the church on a regular basis as did Amos, Hosea, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc. then such a person is a false prophet.

2. Now let us deal with the forthtelling and discernment of the spirit realm, or what modern Christians associate with prophecy. Now this is almost certainly the case because many Christians confuse what more closely resembles shamans, mystics, and diviners from other religions with actual Biblical examples of what a prophet is supposed to be and do. Now that Yahweh yoga, contemplative prayer, and other syncretistic trends are moving from the more liberal emergent church movements into the charismatic movement (which by the way isn’t nearly as theologically or socially conservative as it once was) that is only going to increase. But if we go by recorded scripture – which is our only reliable guide – and a careful intuitive study thereof, you will see that such revelations obviously came RARELY.

How do we know this? Take, for instance, Ezekiel 26:1 – “And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me.” Now remember: scripture is our primary guide, and accounts of prophetic revelation, visions, dreams, etc. are almost always prefaced with “in this year in this month on that day in this hour, the Word of the Lord came to the prophet.” While there clearly is a great deal of evidence that much more prophesying went on than was included in the Bible, their being able to remember and seeing fit to record precisely when and where these prophecies came to them would tend to make you believe that they received prophetic messages RARELY. Now when you add that to the fact that very little of the Bible is what most Christians now consider prophecy, we are forced to conclude that prophets did not receive revelation from God at will or on a regular basis.

Consider an example. Suppose that a prophet were to receive 100 prophecies. That would amount to 2 – 3 prophecies a year for a person who began serving the office at the age of 40 and lived to the age of 80 (you do know that PROPHETS DO NOT RETIRE don’t you? any prophet that retires was almost certainly a false one while he was “working”). And realize this: even that 2 – 3 distinct prophetic revelations a year would dwarf that of virtually any prophet recorded in scripture, even if you are very liberal with what is meant by “prophecy.” Now if your prophet claims to have frequent insights or applications that came from intense study of scripture, then you should entertain his or her words, especially if it is something that you do not want to hear and convicts you. (Or have you forgotten that such was usually what prophets did; deliver an unpopular message that no one wanted to hear? If so, then why do YOU think that the prophets were killed, and not by the nonelect peoples but by God’s chosen Israel? And if there were unpopular messages to be delivered to God’s people that no one wanted to hear then, what makes now any different?)

But it honestly seems that most of the people that purport to be prophets behave more like fortune tellers, psychics, palm readers, astrologers, etc. than Bible – based holders of a five – fold ministry office, and it appears that such is the case because that is precisely what Christians want. Rather than allowing their daily lives to be governed by the hard challenging demanding truth of what God has already given them in the Bible and accepting that all other revelation will be A) consistent with prior revelation in the Bible and B) very precious and rarely given and C) not secret knowledge or special information given to a privileged few but rather given to the entire church, meaning that it will be confirmed with similar revelations by other prophets as was the case in the Bible, people just go looking for something that makes them feel good. And it is not ALWAYS people who are running to the prophets looking for excuses to be lascivious and disobedient (although that certainly is the case from time to time), but rather people who quite simply lack the faith to trust the Bible and instead wants rely on what a person says. Such a person does not have faith in God and because of that will never please God or receive anything from Him, but instead will be easily misled into perdition by falsehoods and those who traffic in them.

Bottom line: the people that have new supernatural (and again usually non – specific, unverifiable, and unaccountable) “revelations” from God every time they are invited to revivals at your church or every time you see them on TV are clearly false prophets.

In conclusion, I am certain that there are people holding the five – fold ministry office of a prophet operating in the Body of Christ today. I am just as certain, however, that those people are not regarded as such, but rather are scorned, rejected, and despised of by virtually all Christians.

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