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 ‘emerging 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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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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On What Authority Rests Your Faith? And Whose Business Is It?

Posted by Job on December 23, 2008

This is another attempt to get a handle on the controversy surrounding Rick Warren’s speaking at Barack Obama’s inauguration. First, let me get something out of the way. As to my opinion of Rick Warren’s speaking at Obama’s inauguration, let me say that truthfully I have no opinion. Why should I? Rick Warren is a self – admitted member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and openly advocates the idea that the work that he does for this body makes him a better pastor, a better Christian, and the world a better place. Barack Obama? His wife is a former leader of the Chicago chapter of the Council on Foreign Relations, whose members and/or people knowingly and willingly working to advance their agenda include such people representing the right as Newt Gingrich and George H. W. Bush, such people representing the right as Clinton and the aforementioned Michelle Obama, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, and pastors such as Rick Warren and T. D. Jakes. 

Also, consider that one of Barack Obama’s early advocates: Rupert Murdoch, whose entire career as a pro – business race – baiting conservative would seem to have made him an Obama opponent. Well, Murdoch, actually 100% literally the world’s biggest pornographer in that no one, not Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt or the mafia, more widely distributes or makes more money off pornography than does Murdoch, has lucrative and mutually beneficial business ties with Rick Warren. So now, right on the heels of the release of Rick Warren’s new book, already a bestseller, which Warren calls “the most clear definition of Christianity – of what it means to follow Jesus, what it means to be saved – of anything I’ve ever written“, comes the announcement that Obama is making Warren his inauguration speaker. So I ask of you … what is there to think of this other than to say that for Warren and Obama this is just business as usual?

Now this could have been an opportunity for a great many Christians to take a longer, deeper look at Rick Warren, his theology, and his associations. In other words, apply the same to Rick Warren as so many conservative Christians did to Barack Obama’s liberal and black liberation theology, and with Jeremiah Wright, Saul Alinsky, William Ayers, Michael Pfleger, ACORN etc. Really, the Council on Foreign Relations and Rupert Murdoch are just part of a much larger picture with Warren, which tends to indicate that he – and Obama – are merely players in a much larger game. So, then, who are the game masters and ultimately the puppet masters? And who is ultimately the head behind the puppet masters? These are questions that Obama’s tapping Rick Warren – and Rick Warren’s accepting – should raise.

But instead, we had this convenient explosion of protests from angry homosexuals and their advocates. The result has been a great many conservative Christians to take the position that if the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, ACT UP, People for the American Way, and other such groups are attacking Rick Warren, then he can’t be all bad. “The enemy of the enemy is my friend”, right? Well, I should remind you that this slogan originated in the Middle East, and radical Islam opposes homosexuality (and abortion and rock music and pornography and separation between church and state) too.  

So, we have Obama able to use Rick Warren to advance his agenda, and Warren to use Obama to advance his. And, of course, whoever is using both Obama and Warren to advance their own agenda is getting what they want too. The reason for this is that similar to Billy Graham before him, a complete and total lack of prominent people, people of position, esteem, influence, and reputation, willing to criticize Rick Warren. Whether they are conservative, evangelical, traditionalist, or fundamentalist, you cannot find a single Christian leader willing to incontrovertibly and without qualification oppose the fellow. Oh they will criticize him from time to time when they are forced to confront something disturbing that Warren does or says. But they will not ever deal with the fact that Warren as a matter of routine procedure does and says disturbing things.

They also will not apply what scripture says about Christians, especially pastors, who routinely say and do things that are unscriptural, Christians who glorify and revel in their things unscriptural, and take pleasure in others who do unscriptural things just as they do. Scripture calls those people in need of severe rebuke at the very best, and on balance false Christians and heretics and those allied with them synagogues of Satan.

Now I admit, I had a glimmer of hope that Republican – leaning Christians would start to closely examine any pastor who aligns himself with a president that has stated that his first act in office would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. But the very convenient Proposition 8 homosexual marriage controversy rendered that moot. And as I mentioned earlier, the lack of well known Christian pastors and theologians willing to publicly and directly take on the Rick Warren problem is exactly what allows a sort of “jury nullification” to be applied to Warren and his theology. Which, of course, leaves us right back where we started. Which is that I have no opinion on Warren giving the inauguration blessing other than “business as usual.” 

My main problem with Rick Warren’s theology? It is simple. Who is Jesus Christ? Our Lord and Savior. Not only is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Lord comes first. Jesus Christ was our Lord before He ever was our Savior. And even if Jesus Christ had never been our Savior, indeed had God decided never to redeem mankind (or perhaps had mankind never needed redeeming) He would still be our Lord. The Lordship of Jesus Christ, indeed the Sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ, is spiritually and logically prior. The authority of Jesus Christ comes not from being Savior. It comes from His being Lord. It is because Jesus Christ is Lord that we can call upon His Name and be saved.

The problem with Warren and those like him is that they offer a Jesus Christ that is Savior without truly being Lord. They offer an incomplete picture of Jesus Christ which results in being a false Christ. Jesus Christ is only the helper, provider, and friend, sort of like a best buddy. Jesus Christ the Ruler, Leader, and Judge is left out. (So if Jesus Christ is only the lamb, who is the lion? America’s economic and military machine perhaps?) It is so easy to look at Revelation and see how chapters 4 – 20 apply to the overt non – Christians, the world that is, who rejects Jesus Christ as Savior and say “none of that is going to happen to me” if you are a Christian. But in doing so, are you forgetting that Revelation chapters 1 – 3 applies to the church? Those three chapters lead Revelation because judgment starts in the church. It does not start in the world. And that fits the gospels and the epistles that precede Revelation, and also the Old Testament before the New Testament. Those things were not given as warnings to the world. The Old Testament was given to God’s people Israel. The gospels and the epistles were given to God’s people the church. The warnings, judgments, etc. in the Old Testament, gospels, and epistles were to the Old and New Testament saints, not to the heathen.

So the only purpose of Revelation 4-20 is to show what will happen to the heathen. The rest of the Bible is for believers – or should I say partial believers – who fail to obey. It is for Ephesians who have left their first love. It is for those in Pergamos who follow Balaam and the Nicolataines. It is for Thyatirans who follow the Jezebel doctrines. It is far those in Sardis who do not repent and strengthen the things which remain before they die. And it is for the lukewarm Laodiceans. These are all people who profess Jesus Christ as Savior but who by word or action reject Him as Lord. As a result, the professed Christians that reject the Lordship of Christ in Revelation 1-3 will receive Revelation 4-20 and miss out on Revelation 21-22. For them, it will be as if they never professed Jesus Christ as Savior at all. And in truth, they never will have, because Jesus Christ is not your Savior if He is not your Lord.

And the result of doctrines, theologies, movements etc. that profess Jesus Christ as Savior without making Him Lord? For such people the Bible is no longer the authority. For these people, the Bible is only AN authority. It is a reference. A source. Something from which to draw footnotes. But it is not THE authority. Such people may reject the notion of the Bible being the singular authority in all things out of hand. Others may profess it while not living it. And there are the many shades in between. But the root is the same: Jesus Christ is their Savior without being their Lord. For those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord have seared in their minds and hearts John 14:15, and diligently study, meditate, and strive to heed the Bible to live up to John 14:15, and when they discover that doing so is impossible, they have no choice but to take refuge in the cross to relieve, cover, and fix up their brokenness in light of their failure. Those are the Romans 7:7-25 people.

Otherwise, where does the authority come from? In trying to categorize the Protestant Christian landscape (and for the most part exempting the largely liberal mainline denominations) there seems to be three basic groups. Fundamentalists are basically known by their rejection of modernism (the intellectual and ideological movement that began with the Englightenment and ended with World War II, or as others say began with the French Revolution and ended with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the age of reason, science, and rationality). For them, the authority appears to be received tradition. That old time religion is good enough for them! What if the old timers were wrong on things like, say, consuming wine in moderation as Jesus Christ incontrovertibly did? Or even ideas that really aren’t that old like dispensational premillennialism, or didn’t even originate with fundamental Christianity such as trying to use religiosity or religious – tinged secular activism to transform an unregenerate society into a society that they perceive to be more like the one which gave them their tradition? Well it is still good enough! 

Evangelicals are known for their embrace of modernism. After all, God is a God of order, God made creation to reflect His orderly nature, which makes the faith by which we come to know and experience God entirely rational. Right? I am not going to attempt to belittle evangelicalism by making flailing attempts to point out where this thinking leads.  (I will, however, say to open practically any major work of evangelical systematic theology written after 1970 and see for yourself!) I have to ask this question, however:  is it an issue of whether a member of a church shows no interest in theological things, or if they have no interest in spiritual things? Or are theological things, especially if this theology is propositional and deductive in nature, and spiritual things one and the same? It would appear that for evangelicalism, then, the ultimate authority is reason and rationality, even if for no reason other than mainstream evangelicalism is hesitant to deal with Biblical matters that do not lend themselves to reasonable or rational discourse. For messy things like that, concepts like “Christian values” step up and fill the void. Failing that, you have “the proper meaning of this Bible text must necessarily be limited to the single meaning that the speaker intended the hearers to understand in that day and time, and the single meaning that the hearers understood the speaker to be communicating in their cultural context.” Or for that matter “those things were only for the apostolic era forthe church’s  foundational purposes and were not meant for Christians coming thereafter.” (Never mind that there is not a single Bible verse that anyone can point to that actually says this!) For what are we supposed to be contending? For the jargon now delivered to the saints, or for the faith once delivered to us?

As for emergents or the emerging church? It is known for its embrace of postmodernity. Among postmodernity’s claims is the idea that definite truth either does not exist or is unknowable. All that exists is perception, and perception is basically the product of one’s cultural background, preconceived notions, and other biases, and as a result one person’s opinion is as good as another. (Of course, no postmodernist actually believes this insofar as they actually go about pretending as if 1+1 may or may not be 2, and they certainly believe their own opinions and values to be true, so in truth postmodernism is actually more of a place of first and permanent resort when challenged.) So what is the authority? Me. What I believe. What I believe to be true, or more accurately what I believe to be right. And even when I am proven wrong, it is no big deal because hey, no one’s perfect anyway. It isn’t as if it makes me a bad person or anything!

Now consider that one of postmodernism’s criticisms of modernity is that it is individualistic. Postmodernity claims to be about building, indeed restoring, the sense of human community. So it is not merely individuals running around with their own individual human opinions. Rather, postmodernism gives groups of people the ability to more or less coalesce around the same truth, meaning, or interpretation. (You believe the same thing that I do? Sweet! Let’s hang out!) Now the truths of various communities will inevitably diverge, but that is not what is important. What is important is the shared consensus of these communities, which is that there exists no single truth that can be imposed upon them, and more importantly no authority with the right to impose it. This authority may have the power, mind you. But they don’t have the right. Any authority that exercises its power to impose a definite truth on any person or group is by nature totalitarian, oppressive, and illegitimate. 

So, then, can the postmodern Christian still be conservative, evangelical, or orthodox? I am going to leave aside the games that postmodernists play with language, their tactic of co – opting vocabulary by giving words different meanings to make people believe that they agree with them (sort of like how when Christians and Mormons refer to Jesus Christ as the Son of God both groups mean totally different things!) for a minute.

Instead, to strictly deal with the question, the answer is yes, the postmodern Christian can have almost entire points of agreement on evangelical and fundamentalist Christians on theology and doctrine. However, this is only because the postmodern Christian personally chooses to. The postmodern Christian is totally free to pick and choose based on his own ideas of interpretation, his own ideas of true and untrue, his own ideas of right and wrong, which Bible interpretations to accept and reject, which doctrines are true and false, what things to emphasize or ignore. The rule of faith? Nay, the rule of what I think is right. Which ultimately becomes the rule of what I and my community of like – minded believers think is right. (The community of like minded believers is extremely important, because there is indeed strength in numbers.) And anyone who comes around and says different, anyone who tries to impose their personal notions of truth on me, is a small minded hypocritical judgmental Pharisee. 

So this brings us back to the many evangelicals, fundamentalists, and other theologically conservative Christians who are willing to allow Rick Warren to reside within the sphere of what they consider to be acceptable merely because Warren professes the historic creeds, confessions, and doctrinal statements, and moreover his social and cultural beliefs are well within the conservative Christian consensus. They are looking at the fact that Rick Warren professes the right beliefs alone while overlooking – willfully I might add – that Warren’s authority for his beliefs are none other than Warren himself. (And yes, that does explain why despite his profession of orthodox beliefs his actions are so disturbing.) They do this because in their evaluating Warren – and more importantly their deciding what to do (or what not to do) about him – their authority is the fundamentalist or evangelical consensus. They are already tolerating things that are abiblical or questionably Biblical within their own spheres. So long as it remains in their sphere, it is fine. So Warren is just something else. Admit it: Warren falls right within the fundamental or evangelical spectrum. And as long as he does, there is no need for anyone whose authority is the fundamental or evangelical consensus instead of or in addition to the Bible to oppose him in any meaningful way.

Here is the irony. Suppose Warren were to come out and say that abortion and homosexuality are the state’s business or the culture’s business that have nothing to do with the church. That the church should mind its own affairs, which is to win converts and disciple new members, and let the state and culture manage theirs. Now such a position would be far closer to the New Testament writings and what the New Testament figures actually seems to have practiced than the many peculiarities of fundamental or evangelical Christianity. Yet, were Warren to start promoting such an idea, that would be when some prominent Christians would have occasion to oppose the fellow. Why? Because the idea that Christians should find some active means of opposing the drift and tide of our government and culture away from the traditions and norms of the past is well within the fundamental or evangelical mainstream, so stating that the Body of Christ should concentrate its energies on Jesus Christ’s sheep, both lost and found, would place Warren out of this mainstream despite the very real possibility that such a position may be Biblical. (At the very least, the position would be worthy of serious reflection, study of scriptures, and doctrinal debate.) So, by remaining nominally anti – abortion and anti – homosexuality (nominal in that he makes public statements to that effect, but don’t expect to see him at a pro – life rally or handing out gospel tracts at a gay pride event very often) Warren basically remains in the evangelical or fundamental good graces no matter what else he does. How can fundamentalists and evangelicals oppose Warren’s deviations when they have or suffer other ones? It is only if your final authority is the Bible that you have the position to consistently oppose deviations, no matter who exhibits them and or what area the deviations exist. This is not to say that you will go around using that position on a constant basis because there is such a thing as Christian charity, humility, and a desire for unity that will cover a multitude of faults. But these things do not apply to people who because of a multitude of consistent errors in their statements and practices cannot truly be called Christians, and this is certainly the case with one Rick Warren.

That is why the little criticism of Warren that exists concerns his embrace of such things as environmentalism and global warming. Pardon me, but can you show me the Bible verses that command Christians to be anti – abortion anti – homosexuality activists and not anti – poverty pro – environmental activists? I have been through the Bible several times and seem to have overlooked them. Maybe the reason is that I mostly adhere to the King James Version, perhaps? Because what I have seen in my readings of the New Testament is Jesus Christ and the epistle writers speaking to the issues among believers. Their dealing with unbelievers was limited to sharing the gospel with them so that they might become believers. For homosexuality, disposing of unwanted children, and other forms of sin and immorality were pervasive throughout the heathen Roman Empire, yet the only thing that the New Testament manages to say about the world outside the church is Romans 13’s commandment to generally respect the government. Not transform the government (or the culture), mind you, just to respect it, as the Bible calls lawlessness and sedition sin.

Again, in this Warren is no different from the last generation’s Billy Graham. Around the time of the Vatican Council II, Billy Graham just up and decided that Roman Catholicism was perfectly fine. After that came a flood of other pronouncements from Graham, culminating in his statement to a major newsmagazine that he was no longer certain that Jesus Christ was the only way to heaven. (Please realize that such has been the position of the Roman Catholic Church since the Vatican Council II; Roman Catholicism is officially pluralist, even if conservative Catholics don’t like talking about it much.) So many fundamentalists and evangelicals declared themselves shocked at Graham’s statements. Why were they? Like Warren today, Graham had long been saying and doing worrisome things. And like Warren today, no one of any prominence was willing to rise up and take Graham on. So, Graham’s attack on the exclusivity of the gospel of Jesus Christ was just swept under the rug, just as everything else Graham said and did in rejection of the fact that the Bible declares Jesus Christ to be Lord. After all, can it be denied that the position of the Roman Catholic Church is that the church is lord on earth, and the pope is the head of the church? 

So really, this is not about Rick Warren or Barack Obama. It is about you. On what authority rests your faith? Is it based on received tradition? Is it based on reason, rationality, and proposition? Is it based on what you believe and decide to be right? Or is it based on the Bible? Now of course, I am fully aware that we worship God and not a book. (After all, the “New Testament church” – meaning the early, apostolic church – didn’t even have the complete New Testament in canonical form, but they most certainly had God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit!) But are not God’s Commandments to us contained within this book? And how can we say that God is Lord of our lives if we make His Commandments subservient to tradition, reason, or the imaginations and high things that exalts themselves against the knowledge of God of our own desperately wicked and deceitful above all things hearts? 

So worship a book? No. Worship and praise God by striving to obey the Bible? Yes. So what, then, are we to make of people who refuse to even try? Who make excuses for this refusal for themselves and for others? Well, to be honest, that is just business as usual, as most of the epistles were indeed letters describing how to view and deal just such people in local congregations, and before those the law, the prophets, and the writings of the Old Testament addressed those very same such people in Israel. 

So then, Christian, what business is yours? Is it the business of your God, your Savior, your Creator, your Lord? Or is it the business of the world, that is, business as usual? The answer to this question is determined by whether the Word of God is your ultimate authority.

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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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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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Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s Anti – Christ Universalism

Posted by Job on September 4, 2008

From True Discernment weblog.

from Berit kjos:

Believes Many Paths Lead to God

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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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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Roman Catholic Church Moving To Reclaim Martin Luther For Roman Catholicism!

Posted by Job on March 6, 2008

Original post from Christian Research Network. My guess is that it means that the ecumenical movement between Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians is moving along swiftly and excellently. If Pope Benedict reverses the excommunication order of Martin Luther, then there will be nothing preventing granting Protestants some sort of official status. Of course, they will do this for the Orthodox Churches (Russian, Greek, etc.) first before they start wading into the hornet’s nest of Protestantism. However, the Protestant denominations that are already members of the apostate World Council of Churches – and other groups that have strong ecumenical ties with Roman Catholicism and have been moving away from the authority of scripture doctrines – will have no problem whatsoever.

Times On Line with a breathtaking example of fence-straddling and double-speak from the Pope, which comes close to rivaling emerging church guru Brian McLaren himself, the master of talking much and saying nothing:

Pope Benedict XVI is to rehabilitate Martin Luther, arguing that he did not intend to split Christianity but only to purge the Church of corrupt practices.

Pope Benedict will issue his findings on Luther (1483-1546) in September after discussing him at his annual seminar of 40 fellow theologians — known as the Ratzinger Schülerkreis — at Castelgandolfo, the papal summer residence. According to Vatican insiders the Pope will argue that Luther, who was excommunicated and condemned for heresy, was not a heretic…

Perhaps the Pope–usurper of the place of the Holy Spirit–ought to think on the following. Here’s Martin Luther as cited in Has the Roman Catholic Church Really Changed:

The negotiation about doctrinal agreement displeases me altogether, for this is utterly impossible unless the pope has his papacy abolished. Therefore avoid and flee those who seek the middle of the road. Think of me after I am dead and such middle-of-the-road men arise, for nothing good will come of it. There can be no compromise.

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Now this is all part of the “unity” movement that virtually all of Christendom is speaking of these days, especially the neo – evangelicals like Rick Warren and the emergent church. Brother Silva at Apprising Ministries has several entries on that movement and Roman Catholicism, Southern Baptists, and MORMONS:

TRUE UNITY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTICISM AND THE EMERGING CHURCH

WALTER MARTIN SPEAKS ON THE EMERGING CHURCH AND THE CULT OF NEW LIBERAL THEOLOGY WITHIN THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

ROMAN CATHOLICISM: A DIFFERENT GOSPEL

MORMON CHURCH IS NOW CHRISTIAN

Between the Purpose Driven works – centered theologians, the emergents, the ecumenical movements, and the Oprah Winfrey New Age movement, the false prosperity doctrine that Pat Robertson and the Chinese government are working together to enslave that nation with, and the emergent Muslims (posts one and two about this at Slice Of Laodicea) we are veering towards one world religion at breakneck speed. All that is needed to push it along is a fantastic economic collapse of global proportions. Well, based on this post by Independent Conservative, looks like that is in the works too!

Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, apostasy, beast, China, Christianity, economic collapse, ecumenism, emergent church, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical christian, false prophet, heresy, Islam, man of sin, mark of the beast, Muslim, New Age, prophecy, prosperity doctrine, the beast, the false prophet, universalism, Word of Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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