Christian Research Service

POINTS to PONDER

April 26, 2008

 

Rick Warren, Richard Abanes, Ken Blanchard, Psychics, Yoga

 

 

> Friends to the end?

 

Richard Abanes’ book, Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him, was published July 2005. On page 15, Abanes tells of an interview between he and Warren, which took place on May 4, 2005.

 

During the interview on pages 28-29, Abanes records Rick Warren stating that, “Well, I do know Ken Blanchard. But we’re not close friends–no closer friends than half-a-dozen other celebrities” (emp. added, book on file).

 

However, in his February 19-20, 2005 article, “The Skills of Leadership: Leading Like Jesus Part 3,” Rick Warren stated that,

 

My good friend Ken Blanchard who wrote The One Minute Manager and a bunch of other books he always says, Catch people doing something right. We always do the opposite. We catch them doing something wrong. But catch people doing something right and affirm it” (Pastors.com, click HERE for PDF file, page 12, bold emp. added).

 

> Ken Blanchard’s network of psychic friends

 

By now, most of CRS’s readers should know that New Ager Ken Blanchard is a member of the New Age Hoffman Institute ( http://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/ ), and sits on the Hoffman Institute’s Advisory Council–along with Sonia Choquette (“A third generation psychic”) and Margot Anand (“Founder of Sky Dancing Tantra International,” http://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/about/directors-advisors/advisors.html ).

 

In the following two paragraphs, Bob Hoffman established the Hoffman Institute, and Ken Blanchard is a graduate of the Hoffman Quadrinity Process:

 

“It is now 33 years since an American psychic named Bob Hoffman blended his own channelled and intuited insights with the psychological teachings of the noted neurologist and psychiatrist Dr Siegfried Fischer to create the Hoffman Quadrinity Process” [“A Psychological De-Tox…from Odyssey in Quest of Soul October 2000,” http://www.quadrinity.com/articles/article3a.htm ]

 

“The list of Hoffman Process graduates is impressive and sometimes surprising. It includes the likes of international management guru Ken Blanchard and Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell” [Ibid.]

 

Ellen Tadd is a “Clairvoyant Counselor” whose specialties include: contact with spirit guides, karma exploration, reincarnation, meditation, and chakra reinterpretation ( http://ellentadd.com ). Of Tadd’s book, Death and Letting Go, Ken Blanchard stated:

 

“‘What Ellen says about death and dying is very helpful, no matter what your faith or religion. Her book not only encourages us to deal with death now, but helps us consider how we live day in and day out too'” (Montague Press, “Acclaim for Death and Letting Go,” http://www.montaguepress.com/reviews.shtml ).

 

Bob Garner is billed as the “premier magic motivational speaker, magician motivational speaker and mentalist motivational speaker” ( http://www.bobgarner.com ).

 

Furthermore, “In addition to helping your audience achieve business and personal success, Garner-who is also recognized as an expert on ESP and psychic phenomenon-will discuss the unknown powers of the mind such as clairvoyance, psychometry, telekinesis, and more” ( http://www.bobgarner.com/radio_tv.html ).

 

Garner is the author of the 2005 book, ESP: Untap Your “Psychic” Potential

http://www.bobgarner.com/esp_book.html, and the co-author of Blueprint for Success: Proven Strategies for Success and Survival–slated for release in summer 2008. The book is advertised on Garner’s website, along with the following:

 

“Bob Garner has joined forces with Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and Ken Blanchard (The One Minute Manager) to create a new book called, ‘Blueprint for Success-Proven Strategies for Success and Survival’” ( http://www.bobgarneraudio.com/ ). 

 

> Yoga and a smile

 

AIM Beyond “provides health and wellness services offering: life enriching workshops and trainings, healing retreats, health coaching and intuitive readings, yoga instruction, and bodywork: massage therapy and energy healing sessions”  ( http://www.aimbeyond.com/index.html ).

 

Alison I. Miller, founder of AIM Beyond and Maui Yoga Experiences, has been educated in Kinesiology, and received certifications in massage therapy and energy medicine. She “received her certified yoga instructor designation from Ashtanga master, Tim Miller” (“Biography,” http://www.aimbeyond.com/about/bio.html ).

 

In addition to Yoga, AIM Beyond specializes in “Health Coaching,” which helps the particpant(s) to “achieve balance, fulfillment, and life purpose,” and includes, but not limited to “Meditation, Visualization, Biofeedback, Yoga etc.” ( http://www.aimbeyond.com/services/coaching.html ).

 

AIM Beyond offers a comprehensive Yoga package to its individual clients and corporations, and “…skillfully blends a variety of traditional styles (e.g. Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara) to create a powerful, healing, and energizing experience” ( http://www.aimbeyond.com/services/yoga.html#who ).

 

Among other businesses and corporations, AIM Beyond’s Past Client list includes: The Sierra Club, Maui Lotus Yoga, Yoga Del Mar, Maui Senior Home and, The Ken Blanchard Companies 

( http://www.aimbeyond.com/about/client.html ).

 

AIM Beyond’s “TESTIMONIALS” page contains a photo of Ken Blanchard and Alison I. Miller, along with Blanchard’s vibrant testimony:

 

“‘Alison is a fabulous person! Every time I see her, I find a woman who is living her life through peace, love, and understanding. She’s a gem!'”  ( http://www.aimbeyond.com/about/testimonials.html ). 

 

> Meanwhile, back at the Rancho

 

Dr. Bruce Humphrey is the pastor of Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church in San Diego, California, where a steady diet of Purpose Driven, Centering Prayer, and Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus Group Studies are served up like cotton candy at a county fair ( http://www.rbcpc.org/ ).

 

Dr. Humphrey is no stranger to cults and the New Age Movement. Some of his sermons reflect his knowledge on Buddhism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, psychics, paganism, occultism, Hinduism, Gnosticism, and evolution (click HERE ).

 

And, Dr. Humphrey is no stranger to Mormonism. In fact, in his February 8, 2004 online sermon, “Discerning Real Faith,” he stated that,

 

I don’t know what you know about Mormonism. While I believe some Mormons are true Christians, there are some very unusual doctrines in the Mormon religion. While we believe that Jesus is the only Son of God, our Lord and Savior, the teaching of the Latter Day Saints is that Jesus is one among many who worked his way into becoming a god. While we, as Christians, believe that our salvation is based entirely on God’s grace given us through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they hold that people must supplement Christ’s work with their own righteousness” (click HERE ).

 

But in the same article, Dr. Humphrey stated,

 

Years ago I was asked by a nephew to do his wedding. There was an interesting catch. He was marrying a Mormon. He needed to convert to her faith in order for them to have a temple wedding, but he still wanted a Christian wedding as well. They talked to me about how to include his Christian family and her Mormon family and decided to have me do a separate ceremony at their local Mormon church. I agreed.”

 

And why did Dr. Humphrey perform a wedding at the Mormon church? He explains: 

 

I chose not to focus on our doctrinal differences that day. In my desire to bring both families together, I talked about what is common to all kinds of churches. I spoke about how easy it is for people to simply go through the motions of religion without genuine transformation” (Ibid.).

 

Finally, in his February 10, 2008 sermon, “Leadership Is Influence,” Dr. Humphrey had much to say about Ken Blanchard and his book, Lead Like Jesus

 

“This spring we are taking two months to reflect on a book titled Lead Like Jesus. It is co-authored by Ken Blanchard, one of our church members. In fact, Ken will be preaching a message in the middle of this series of sermons” ( click HERE ).

 

 

Ken Blanchard is a member of Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church, a church which offers a one-hour class titled, “Mat-Pilates,” which combines “the exercise forms of pilates and yoga with praise music, this one-hour class will engage your mind, body and spirit” (click HERE ).

 

 

###

 

Researched & Compiled by:

Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

www.christianresearchservice.com

 

Please report broken links to Steve Muse, Director of Eastern Regional Watch Ministries at http://www.erwm.com/contact.htm .

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The Growth of a Purpose Driven Church

Rick and his wife Kay Warren began the church in their home January 1980, with one family. The Warrens made a commitment to give 40 years of their lives to this community. They labored for over 20 years and now have a mega church. It has grown from a Bible study in his condo in 1980 to 15,000 baptized members today. Another 70,000 people who’ve attended at least one service are in the church’s database.

Saddleback Church is located on 120-acre campus in the hills of southern Orange County, California.

Every weekend nearly 19,000 worshipers choose from among nine “venues” as varied as the 3,000-seat main sanctuary, the coffee bar or the “beach hut” for high-schoolers. Built into the landscape – designed by theme park experts – are settings for 40 Bible re-enactments, including a stream that can part like the Red Sea. This evangelist has a ‘Purpose’ By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY http://www.usatoday.com/life/2003-07-21-rick-warren_x.htm A lot of people genuinely want to see more people saved. Because of his success, Rick Warren’s books and methods have become the newest way to do church for many searching to expand their borders. Some pursue his methods to try something new to grow their church, others desire growth for significance, still others envy the growth and adopt his methods, all have come on board to use his strategies to build a mega-church.

Rick Warren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist College, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. So he has an educational background that many pastors often lack.

The Purpose Driven Life has now sold more than any other book this year, 7 million so far, and was named “Book of The Year” July, 2003. 40 Days of Purpose is now being done in corporations (Coke Headquarters, Sparrow Records, etc) schools, prisons, NASCAR, LPGA, the Oakland Raiders, and all kinds of places besides churches.

“It will hit 10 million copies sold by the end of December and has been on the New York Times hardback bestsellers longer than any other book this year (40 weeks)” It has now sold over 20 million.

Newsletter- reference www.saddleback.com/peaceplan 

Zondervan press release, Sam’s Club sold 1 million copies of the book, making it “the first book ever in Sam’s Club history to do so” http://www.crisisinthelcms.org/world.12.06.03.warren.htm

 

 

“Right now about 5,000 more churches are doing the 40 Day of Purpose campaign, and now the program has been adopted by corporations (like Coke and Walmart) sports teams (like the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers, NASCAR drivers, and the LPGA) schools, civic clubs, and even prisons…. In 2004 we expect over 15,000 more churches to participate.” www.saddleback.com/peaceplan)

Warrens predictions came true as he now has 20,000 churches participating. 

The book has been translated in over 20 different languages. Like it or not this church model is hear to stay. And the debate will certainly become intense with those on different sides as more information comes forward.

I speak as one who loves the brethren and cares for the Church. I have to tell you, there is more to the book[s] than meets the eyes. This article is written at the risk of seeming to appear to be against anything that is called good, which is not the case. But as Scripture tells us “test all things,” we must apply this mandate and look more carefully into any new emerging trends or doctrines concerning the church. This is certainly one of them.

The book’s title Purpose Driven is a registered trademark and there are many other Purpose Driven products. For those engaged in this trend they will soon be able to look on their wall to see what date it is on their Purpose Driven calendar with inspirational quotes. They can sit at their computer using their Purpose Driven mouse pad on there Purpose Driven desktop, and drink coffee from their Purpose Driven coffee mug…Can we look forward to a Purpose Driven car?

In the back ad of his book the Purpose Driven Life it mentions that Rick Warren has taught over 100,000 pastors in 100 countries. More than 250,000 pastors and church leaders from over 125 countries have attended Purpose-Driven Church seminars. Rick Warren is the also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community that serves and mentors those in ministry worldwide. Over 60,000 pastors subscribe to Rick Warren’s free weekly email newsletter, Ministry Toolbox. Many will download his sermons or outlines to use in their own churches for messages.

If this is so, I have a problem with this. A pastor is to get their sermons from the Holy Spirit through prayer and study, not by borrowing whole sermons, or outlines of other men’s messages, be it Warren or anyone else. When this takes place he is no longer a shepherd of his flock. This does not mean he cannot borrow certain statements or portions to enhance his message, but when one is relying on another mans work like this, then his influence is not the Holy Spirit but man. Let’s avoid falling into this method of sermonizing.

Warren’s new book the Purpose Driven Life is greater in success than his first smaller bestseller. The Purpose-Driven Church (a 399-page book) that was released in 1995 and secured its place as a long-term bestseller, winning the Gold Medallion Award.

Who is the founder of seeker sensitive religion?

Robert Schuller stated “An undisputed historical fact is that I am the founder, really, of the church-growth movement in this country …I advocated and launched what has become known as the marketing approach in Christianity” (Pritchard, Willow Creek seeker services 1998 p.51).

He may well be right, however I would disagree that it is something to be proud of. His success and ideas have inspired many of the most successful “seeker” churches in America; including Warren.

Warren says, “During his last year in seminary, he and his wife drove west to visit Robert Schuller’s Institute for Church Growth. “We had a very stony ride out to the conference,” she says, because such nontraditional ministry scared her to death. Schuller, though, won them over. “He had a profound influence on Rick,” Kay says. “We were captivated by his positive appeal to nonbelievers. I never looked back.”

Schullers appeal to non-believers (and believers) is his positive message to salvation being man-centered rather than God-centered. This in our post modern Christian church is spiritual humanism. Warren like Schuller also calls for a new reformation to move from a God-centered focus first to a “human needs” approach. Not only does Schuller not mention sin but neglects it by changing its meaning (go to article on Schuller).

This is how Schuller changes the message of truth “I believe that the responsibility in this Age is to ‘positivize’ religion. Now this probably doesn’t have much bearing to you people, being Unity people, you’re positive. But I talk a great deal to groups that are not positive… even to what we would call Fundamentalists who deal constantly with words like sin, salvation, repentance, guilt, that sort of thing.” (Self-Esteem)

I don’t think anything has been done in the name of Christ that and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition” (Time, March 18, 1985)

Imagine saying this in front of Jesus Christ who said “for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt 9:13). In fact Jesus put it this way Mark 2:17, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Concerning the critic’s claims on his message Schuller responding to a question from Paul Crouch on the TBN television show, “I preach repentance so positively, most people don’t recognize it”.

That’s a stealth Biblical message. How can you preach something people must do and yet not know what they are hearing to respond to it? “Shh don’t tell them they are a sinner they may not like it.” Like Schuller, the seeker friendly churches avoid the appearance of preaching repentance in a Biblical manner and water down a major facet of the gospel.

Imitating Schuller’s concepts of growing a church–Warren walked the (then unincorporated but fast-growing) town of Lake Forest, asking what kept people from going to church. He recruited a Bible study group that met at the Warrens’ condominium; its members helped stamp and address letters to 15,000 households. “At last!” the letter began. “A new church for those who’ve given up on traditional church services!” More than 200 people showed up for an Easter service at Laguna Hills High School. Watching them stream in, Warren marveled, “This is really going to work!” (Christianity Today, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/012/1.42.html

Like Schuller, Warren spent twelve weeks going door to door and surveying the “needs” of the people (Purpose Driven Life p. 139). This is the main focus of his church and also the key to his success in growth; marketing. 

All this is fine in and of itself, advertising does work, and offering something new and different will attract a crowd. But the question we need to ask is “what are they attracted to?” Many are interested in just getting the people to the church for them to hear a spiritual message about God. Conducting surveys to determine a Church’s direction and mission is not God’s way.  Shouldn’t the Holy Spirit be leading us in how to reach the people in our cities? Instead he has advertised his methodology and everyone is adopting it because they want to have the same success. 

Did the apostles market their message to the people they wanted to reach? Of course not. We should not forget the examples given to us from the ones who went before us found in the Bible. They did no gimmicry to attract a crowd.

Just as exuberant as Warren is about Schuller, Schuller is about Warren. Robert Schuller’s praise of the book is found on the inside front cover.

I’m praying that every pastor will read this book, believe it, be prepared to stand corrected by it, and change to match its sound, scriptural wisdom. Rick Warren is the one all of us should listen to and learn from” (Robert H. Schuller, Pastor, The Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California).

Considering that Schuller is void on Biblical teaching, his endorsement does not help validate Warren. To stand corrected from what? Not doing the Schuller type church! Many unbelievers are happy that traditional church services are not employed and they can now be comfortable going to church. They will not hear a message on sin or guilt or separation from God. We need to read the book of Acts again to see if this was the goal of the apostles or even part of their activity to attract gentiles and convert their brethren.

Warren’s message is focused on how every church can have tremendous growth like he has if it use his principles. With over 16,000 in attendance each weekend, the church averages 20,000 at its Sunday morning services, having over 50,000 names on the church roll, Saddleback is one of America’s largest and best-known churches. Over 5,000 people have been baptized at Saddleback! http://www.saddleback.com/membership/fullstory.asp?id=392

Peter had the same results with a different presentation in Acts 2. His was by the power of God through a scorching presentation of the gospel to the people that rejected Jesus. He did not cater to their sensitivity.

Gary Gilley points out – The natural outcome of church leaders, who pour over such literature, is that they begin to use, “computerized demographic studies and other sophisticated marketing techniques to fill their pews” (ibid., p. 62). And the good news is that it does not matter what a given church believes, for “anyone can learn these marketing and outreach techniques. You don’t have to change your theology or your political stance” (ibid.). Springing from this fountain of demographic “truth” is a whole industry of experts to teach church marketing techniques. (American Demographics, April 1999, “Choosing My Religion,” pp. 60-65, by Richard Cimino and Don Lattin Quoted by Gary Gilley, Think on These Things, Volume 6 Issue 6 June 2000 The Market-Driven Church Part 1)

 

 

Should the mega church model be the standard for the 21st century church?

Frustrated by the lack of growth people want to get in on what God is now doing. We need to ask ourselves the question: are mega churches the answer, or are smaller churches placed everywhere a better and more accurate model.

Interpretation is by perception and our perception is being transformed by the new paradigm. Big churches are now considered good and blessed, small churches are not. Consider the first century church that met in households with certainly less than 100 people gathered, (more like 50). A century ago most churches contained 100 members and everyone in the community knew each other and were personally involved in their lives. Isn’t this what Warren is means by being involved in the community we live in.

 

I remember reading Jesus mentioning the words remnant, little flock, not mega-church. Although he did give the example of the mustard seed (the church) growing tremendously and all the birds of the air found shelter in it “but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matt 13:32) we later find the bird’s are not a good thing. something to consider if we are trying to make mature believers to be in ministry.

A church needs to ask why they are not growing before they jump on the newest (successful trend?) method to increase membership. Is it a time of preparation? Does the lord want them to examine them-selves? The church can grow numbers wise but it does not always mean it is the Lord adding to it. Look at the tremendous growth in the cults. Spiritual growth is what counts in the end; maturity should be the goal rather than today’s popular emphasis on numbers. The “Church Growth” teaching could work just as well in a cult group when it is not adhering to Biblical doctrines and precepts.Jesus said, “I will build my church.” As long as we are following him this will happen. It may not be as quick as we would like but the Church will grow. The way God’s work was accomplished before is the same way today “Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Warren writes in his book “In the past seven years, the church has baptized over 9,100 new believers. When God has a bunch of baby believers he wants to deliver, he looks for the warmest incubator church he can find” (p.167 The Purpose Driven Life). The inference is his church and others that are large are the warmest for new believers. Typically this is not so, small churches are more often warm and friendly. But all Churches whether large or small should be warm and friendly for anyone who comes through the door. But what does this have to do with changing the format of the church? Unfortunately new lambs find their way into people who will not care for them, it is a fact that unfortunately happens.

Because of his books success Warren has recently done TV interviews including Fox News Live, ABC, NBC, and CBN, and claims, “this spiritual awakening is starting to get the attention of the media.” http://www.saddleback.com/peaceplan 

Is it a spiritual awakening? It has been noticed that the same secular management principles and marketing techniques that are used for large corporations and being applied in communities and governments around the world are also being employed to God’s church. (http://www.saddlebackfamily.com/peace/Services/110203_high.asx

go to Warren’s peace plan to see what he wants to solve).

In Warren’s Peace Plan he states this: “You’ve heard me say many times that the greatest thing you can do with your life is tell somebody about Jesus and invite them to come to know Him … And I’ve always said that was the greatest thing you could do with your life.  I was wrong.  There is one thing you can do greater than share Jesus Christ with somebody, and it is help start a church.” (emphasis added)

What happened to Mt.28 being our mandate? Is starting a church what more important than engaging in personal witnessing? Then anyone who witnesses is doing a lesser thing than when they helping someone plant a church. The fact is, Scripture tells us to be witnesses over, and over as a priority of our being in this world. Warren’s focuses on the church because he confuses the church as being the answer-not Jesus Christ. The church by her works will influence the world to become a better place, i.e. through his peace plan.

If it Works it is of God

Some might ask: “what’s wrong with this if it works?” It has always been held that we are to do God’s work God’s way. To adopt the worlds way of broadening our numbers is bringing the world into the church. But this is subtle and the outcome of this error is not so easily seen.

Many make the point of Peter Druckers model being used in the seeker friendly church. Drucker who is 94 years old Episcopalian. Fortune introduced him as “the most prescient business-trend spotter of our time.” He is well known for his genius in management theories, and marketing techniques and just having insight on where things are headed.

“…there is a substantial critical mass of people and churches that are already moving.’ …While acknowledging that there are still many unhealthy churches, there is a justified ‘change in basic premises, basic attitudes, basic mind set… on the whole, we are on the march…”(Peter Drucker Leadership Network. Leadnet.orgarchives/netfax/1.pdf )

And where does he see us marching to? “What the dawning 21st century needs above all is equally explosive growth of the nonprofit social sector in building communities in the newly dominant social environment, the city” “…only nonprofit organizations can provide the enormous diversity of communities we need –churches to professional associations, from organizations taking care of the homeless to health clubs — if there are to be freely chosen communities for everyone. The nonprofit organizations also are the only ones that can satisfy the second need of the city, the need for effective citizenship for its people” (Drucker, Peter F. “Civilizing the City” Leader to Leader. 7 (Winter 1998): 8-10.) .

Are Churches to participate in these community developments? Is this the purpose of the church to serve for the advancement and health of the community? If we change our focus to doing things like this we change everything. What Drucker is proposing is that the church should participate in meeting the enormous needs of each community they are in (read Warren’s peace plan). We will become one of the many aids for community development and purpose that are people driven.  God can move individuals to do these things in ministry but to conform a whole church to this activity changes the very purpose of the church. Our priority is to preach the salvation message and help people grow up in their spiritual life.

These are some interesting ideas presented and of course he is talking about the change now taking place. “All institutions, including governments, churches, universities, and so on, will become more interdependent, more market- and customer-driven” (Peter F. Drucker Leader to Leader, No. 1 Summer 1996).

Isn’t this what we see already happening. Warren says, “I read everything Peter Drucker writes. His book “The Effective Executive” is a favourite I re-read every year. Long before words like “empowerment” became popular, Peter was telling us that the secret of achieving results is to focus on your strengths, and the strengths of those you work with, rather than focusing on weaknesses.” http://www.jobsnorthwest.com/Stories/Story_970901.htm  http://www.wpbc.org.nz/Monthly/June/page3.html 

Consider that by Warrens admission he is getting his influence, inspiration from the world should be a red light for those who want to uphold and practice biblical truth. Warren has been greatly influenced by these secular marketing techniques. He states that church, in order to be successful, we must target and appeal to our audience. This is the same concept used in advertising to market a product. Entertainment is how the world sells their products; should we advertise the church as a better product than the rest?

In his church management he offers the premise that God uses people in their areas of natural strengths, rather than in areas where they are weak. This is taken from Peter Drucker’s marketing model. After giving a set of goals for the Church, (The mission, the value, management, teamwork etc.) Drucker says, The three most important questions are “What is our business?” “Who is our customer?” and “What does the customer consider value?” (IMPORTANT Lessons from Peter Drucker http://www.changingchurch.org/perspec/vol24/druck.htm)

Is it right to use the same way one grows their business and employ it to grow the church? This is the trend we see emerging.

“Thus says the Lord, ‘Do not learn the way of the nations…” (Jer. 10:1). God had Israel dress shave and eat different than the nations so they would follow his ways. Now we are being told the reverse.

Deut 18:9 ‘“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.” This is not only their idolatry and occult practices that were to be avoided. Although the church is not Israel we still have the same principle to abide with (2 Cor. 6:17; Rev.18:4)

“Ephraim mixes himself with the nations; Ephriam has become a cake not turned. Strangers devour his strength, yet he does not know it” (Hosea 7:8, 9). It is essential to understand what God warns of so we have His power to live out HIS PURPOSE. Isaiah 30 :2 Woe to those who walk to go down to Egypt and have not asked my advice.” 

Remember the words of Jesus – John 17:16-18 “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” Jesus did not use the philosophical ways of man and he does not expect us to borrow from the culture its ways of doing things.

Paul’s emphasis was a contrast the way the world works and the way God’s people should believe. Notice these passages Rom. 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” So the word of God is to be our model for everything and we are not be conformed to this worlds way of thinking so we can do God’s purposes. We are to have the church different from the world; our pattern is not to be imitating the world.

1 Cor. 2:12-16 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

These passages leave little justification for adopting the world’s growth strategies into the church, especially in such an abundant manner. We should not forget Eph 2:2 “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience”

Was Jesus interested in increase or in sincere followers of the truth? Want to know how to lose disciples really quick? Jesus shows us how – He told them hard statements and parables they could not understand unless they were spiritually minded and pursuing the truth. (Jn.6; Mt.12)

Want to know how to gain members really quick? Jesus didn’t. He in fact lost more than he gained. If you preach the truth uncompromisingly you will not gain as many as you will lose. That’s the way it’s been that’s the way it is. But God is interested in making quality Christians not quantity church members. If we don’t know the difference we will buy (yes it will cost money) into these new methodologies.

Like it or not, the Gospel will ALWAYS be “offensive” to more people than it will attract (1 Cor. 1:18, 23,24).  

Too many are convinced they have no significance unless their numbers are mega church size. Nowhere do we find in the New Testament a church being commended for its numbers, but for its maturity. This was often measured by its endurance and sustainability through trials and persecution, not how large they were. Jesus is more concerned about quality, not quantity. We want the numbers in the Church and numbers are good when God adds them, but they should not be pursued. Acts 2:41-43 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” “The Lord added to the church daily.” The reason is because they were learning about Christ, they were learning what we now have as the Scripture. 

On p. 163 of the Purpose Driven life Warren states, “every church has its own set of weakness and problems” I would think that his would apply to his as well. If we were supposed to borrow the world’s ideas for doing church we certainly would not have need of the apostles laying the foundation for the church throughout the ages and giving us the instructions. If one ignores their foundation can they genuinely call themselves a church?

Essentially we need to make a choice on whose writings are we going to follow

Unfortunately this needs to be said; Instead of “Let us build a tower” it is now “let us build a church” that the world may take notice and come to us. But we want to lift up Jesus and have them come to Him. The only way that can be dome is to preach the truth, on sin, judgment, repentance, faith and who Jesus is as the ONLY way to LIFE.

Warren may have some good practical points but in the end does it really matter how you got to the goal? I think it does. His message is mixed and it makes it confusing and of course harder to notice the flaws. The church needs to stop being trendy and get back to the ancient Gospel which is the power of God. 

 

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The ‘ism’ behind Warren-e-lism

 

I carefully read through each of these articles just last week and I did find them refreshing but I do have a disagreement with their views on Rick Warren’s concern for evangelism. I have watched many videos and heard many audios of Rick Warren and without fail he never gets to the issues of evangelism; quite the opposite, he willingly avoids the issue. Rick may be telling others at conventions and conferences something different but I am most deeply disturbed by his public presentation.

Rick Warren and many other postmodern types of ministries have approached evangelism from a new paradigm. The model has changed from using the Word of God, to building relationships and becoming friends and then eventually Christianizing them, not to a real conversion in Christ, but to the tune of a different gospel, even a different (view of ) Christ altogether. I have seen this happening as the major emphasis on evangelism has changed through the efforts of the International Congress on World Evangelization and the Lusanne Covenant. YWAM has been using this same model for years through the input of C. Peter Wagner and Fuller Theological Seminary where Rick Warren was involved. A course is being taught internationally called “The Perspectives Course” and this is being embraced by all denominations across the board as the new view to evangelization, throwing out the biblical models as not being relevant any longer.

When asked directly, Rick Warren avoided the opportunity on the Larry King show to bring the real message of salvation to those watching, and when Larry King pushed him on this issue, Rick changed the subject and rushed into telling a story having nothing to do with Larry’s attempt to get Rick to speak of Jesus Christ. I think Larry King even realized something was not quite right here.

Some of my emails have come from people who have left Saddleback. They tell me hardly anyone carries a Bible anymore and the gospel is not being preached, and the writers of these emails have said they were encouraged not to carry their Bibles or to use personal evangelism with anyone on the Saddleback campus and even in their approach to evangelism in their communities. This caused them to look elsewhere for a Bible believing church.

How long will we continue to pander and flatter each other and not face or speak the truth concerning one another. We support each others ministries so as to be spiritually and politically correct at the expense of the many souls perishing because of the need to enhance our image and build our own kingdoms to impress each other. We have written many times to ask the question with no answers.

Anyway, these are just a few of my concerns with this behemoth ministry of PD programs that lead us only to an increase in ourselves and a decrease in the real Jesus Christ.

Steve Muse
Eastern Regional Watch
http://www.erwm.com

 
The New Wave of Apologetics
by Tim Wirth
 
There is a New Wave of Apologetics sweeping through the Body Of Christ for some years now.

But before we see what apologetics is not, let’s study and see what it is.
The term apologetics comes from the Greek word, apologia (apologeisthai), which in the New Testament usually refers to an individual’s defense of his conduct (1 Cor. 9:3–sometimes against legal charges, and in Acts 19:33, 22:1, 24:10). In the Acts passages, however, Paul defends himself by defending his message. So in Phil. 1:7, 16, apologia refers explicitly to a defense of the Gospel, and in 1 Pet. 3:15, to a defense of the Christian hope.
Defending the faith, therefore, is a biblical practice. The discipline of apologetics seeks to instruct Christians in such defense. As an analysis of a biblical practice, apologetics is a properly theological discipline. If theology is “the application of Scripture to all areas of life,” then apologetics is “the application of Scripture to unbelief” (Frame, Knowledge of God, 81, 87), including the unbelief that remains in Christian hearts.
 
From a John Frame article:
My own reading suggests that a “biblical apologetic” would take this general shape: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7) and wisdom (9:10); indeed, wisdom and knowledge are summed up in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:30, Co. 2:3). Though God is known through his creation, people repress this knowledge (Rom. 1:18-32) until God’s grace renews their minds (Rom. 12:2). The apologist should press upon the non-Christian the evidence that God is clearly revealed in nature. But he should present it in the context of a biblical worldview, with an epistemology reflecting what the Bible says about knowledge. And he should present the Gospel in God’s own authoritative voice, using Scripture’s own arguments (as 1 Cor. 15:1-11) and other arguments that follow scriptural leads. As an example of the latter, when Scripture says that God is revealed in creation, it authorizes us to find evidence in creation to use in apologetic witness (as Acts 14:15-18, 17:22-31). When it says that the events of redemption occurred at specific times and places, it authorizes us to find apologetic resources in the historical study of those times and places (Acts 26:26).
Consider first that I believe that this is the time we are in:
2 Thess 2:3 “3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[a] is revealed, the son of perdition,
1 Tim 4:1-2 “1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”
2 Tim 4:3-4 “3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Consider now the new wave of apologetics where you don’t defend the Christian faith, but defend the faith of others by spinning the Christian faith.
Here is just one example of many, many instances of the new wave of apologetics:
Here is one in defence of Rick Warren.
” Take note of Apologetic Lesson One: Never look at one of anything to build an opinion. Not one word. Not one statement. Not one deed. To ignore this primary lesson in apologetics is to basically commit an error similar to the type of error you would commit by taking one Bible verse out of context. This is especially true, when seeing something that appears to be an anomaly. In srcipture we can see this in all the verses wherein God is spoken of as one. But then suddenly, WHAMO!, the New Tstament, and we see Jesus being called God. Say Waaaaahh??? Both JW and LDS jump to a conclusion — i.e., Jesus is another God. How wrong is that? Basically, they ignore many other verses and do not think it through to try and see compatibility.
Now, let us take this issue of Warren. We have a very interesting incident that on the surface MIGHT suggest pluralism (if that’s what you’re looking for). Either that, or it is Warren’s endorsement of Judaism (if that’s what you’rel ooking for). Only problem is: these views would be inconsistent, indeed it would contradict, what he has stated both before and afterward. Hmm.
For instance, at pastors.com, we hear him talking about how he forms his Easter message, saying, “As I go through these things, first I sit down, and I start praying. I start thinking about people I know who are going to be there. People I have invited, like my doctor, an atheist Jew who came for Easter. I start thinking: “Now what is going to help this guy know about Christ?” and I will go through that little formula and think about the points for my sermon” (Ministry Toolbox, Issue #221)
But perhaps Warren is talking only about “atheist” Jews. Possible.
But then we these words at pastors.com in an article by Chad Meister: “Having seen the incredible evidence for God’s existence, we’ve narrowed the field considerably. But we still haven’t reached the Christian faith, for there are different kinds of theism, including the three central theistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. So how do we go about demonstrating that Christianity is the true theistic religion? Here the Bible plays a central role, and there are several kinds of evidence for both its reliability and its divine inspiration. . . .
 
Regarding its inspiration, one of the most powerful evidences is Old Testament prophetic claims that are fulfilled in the New Testament. There are dozens of such passages, and what is so amazing is the breadth and specificity of many of them. Not only do they demonstrate that a divine Mind must have been involved, but they also prove that Jesus was the Messiah that the Old Testament predicted, thus nullifying a Judaism, which denies Jesus” (Ministry Toolbox, Issue #279)
Woah! Pretty clear!!!
End of statement-
The one error (among many errors) here is that scripture is not even used in defence of Rick Warren but Warrens own website Ministry Toolbox.
This is the way of the new wave of apologetics.
This is all being used I believe to blur the lines of any and all religions to try to form the false religion of the end times scripture speaks about.
The false religion will need defenders of the new faith which is a hodge podge of religion.
From Tamara Hartzell ‘In The Name Of Purpose”
The universal religion with its spiritual transformation is not coming; it is here. The Angel of light’s kingdom is gathering together “all men of peace” from “every world religion” “as the embodiment of the emerging Kingdom of God on earth.”* In this emerging interfaith kingdom there is:
“One Truth,” yet many theologies;
“One God,” yet many paths;
“One Church,” yet many expressions; and
“One Divine Life,” yet many ‘little Christs.’
 
Despite its deceived claims that its message hasn’t changed, today’s Christianity is embracing the teachings of the counterfeit kingdom. As a result, it is being steadily transitioned away from Jesus Christ, the Rock of Offence, to the universal “Christ” who broadly accepts people within all religions/faiths. Its purposeful pursuit of unity with the world truly is uniting today’s Christianity with the world.
“The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all … In the end, it is hoped that the Christian will become a better Christian and each Hindu a better Hindu.” —Jesuit theologian Father Jacques Dupuis, at the 2003 interfaith congress “The Future of God”*
“The Christ has no religious barriers in His consciousness. It matters not to Him of what faith a man may call himself.” —Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul*
 
“I happen to know people who are followers of Christ in other religions.” —Rick Warren*
 
“He [‘the Christ’] inaugurated the new era and … the new world religion began to take form. The word ‘religion’ concerns relationship …” —Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul*
“I have known many people who believe in the Messiah of Jesus, regardless of what religion they are, because they believe in him. It’s about a relationship, not a religion.” —Rick Warren*
“The day is dawning when all religions win [sic] be regarded as emanating from one great spiritual source; all will be seen as unitedly providing the one root out of which the universal world religion will inevitably emerge. Then there will be neither Christian nor heathen, neither Jew nor Gentile, but simply one great body of believers, gathered out of all the current religions.” —Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul*
“I thought, you know where people are moving in they probably need new houses of worships, temples, and synagogues, and churches, and stuff like that.” —Rick Warren*
 
“The church is bigger than any organization in the world. Then you add in Muslims, you add in Hindus, you add in all the different religions, and you use those houses of worship as distribution centers, not just for spiritual care but health care.” —Rick Warren*
“I could take you today to a million villages … they got a church. Or they got a synagogue. They got something. They got a house of worship. The church is the biggest organization in the world…. And I came up with a thing called the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. When Jesus sent the disciples out, he said, ‘When you go into a village, you find the man of peace.’ Now this person doesn’t have to be a Christian…. You find the person of peace, and then you begin to do the P.E.A.C.E. Plan … Now why am I telling this to you? Because we’re going public with it this next year in 2006…. And I believe it will change the world.” —Rick Warren*

Yes, change is the order of the day.
Truth becomes the sacrifice:
So remember to keep in Gods word daily.
Examine your faith and walk daily.
And beware of the new wave of apologetics

Let me know if anyone else’s neck hears stand up when you read this. I kinda shuddered as well. Tim

Quote

“Pastor Rick Warren, along with four police experts from Saddleback Church, spent some time earlier this month training 50 Rwandan police officers in Kigali on utilizing the ministry’s PEACE plan in their jobs.”

source- http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11054

The Dark Ages Part 2 -Rick Warren the Pied Piper of Purpose

 

Rick Warren-
” I don’t normally think like an unbeliever. Worse than that, I tend to think like a pastor and that’s even farther removed from an unbeliever’s mind-set! That means I must intentionally change mental gears when seeking to relate to non-Christians.
If you look at most church advertising, it’s obvious that it was written from a believer’s viewpoint – not from the mind-set of the unchurched. When you see a church ad that announces, “Preaching the inerrant Word of God,” who do you think that ad appeals to? Certainly not to unbelievers!
Personally, I consider the inerrancy of Scripture as a non-negotiable belief, but the unchurched don’t even understand the term. If you’re going to advertise your church, you must learn to think and speak like unbelievers. The spiritual terminology that Christians are familiar with is just gibberish to the unchurched”
Rick Warren states that “Personally, I consider the inerrancy of Scripture as a non-negotiable belief.”
But it’s my opinion that Rick Warren doesn’t really believe this, his teaching contradicts his statements all the time. I believe Rick states this so he can remain popular with Christians.
The Bible not Rick Warren however teaches-
Romans 8:5 ”
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
Unbelievers and people like Rick Warren as well as Ricks own fruit Richard Abanes are spiritually blind-
Psa 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
Prov 4:19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
Prov 16:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Prov 14:12)
Jn 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned
Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Tit 1:15-16 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Jam 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Here are some things Rick Warren things are important-
Lighting has a profound effect on people’s moods. Inadequate lighting dampens the spirit of a service. Shadows across a speaker’s face reduce the impact of any message.
My comments-Gee, golly the early services with Christians in the catacombs must really have sucked.
Where would you rather be?
Meeting with the early Christians or being entertained among unbelievers and people who think they are saved at Saddleback?
You decide.
Rick thinks sound systems are important-
Invest in the best sound system you can afford. If you’re trying to cut costs, do it in some other area. Don’t skimp here. Saddleback grew for 15 years without our own building, but we’ve always had a state-of-the-art sound system.
It doesn’t matter how persuasive the message is if people can’t hear it in a pleasing manner. A tinny, fuzzy sound system can undermine the most gifted musician and incapacitate the most profound preacher. And nothing can destroy a holy moment faster than a loud blast of feedback!
If you are a pastor, insist that your church purchase a lavaliere microphone so you are not handcuffed to the pulpit. Movement while speaking maintains attention.
My comments-Gee golly how do you think preachers like Jonathon Edwards ever got across their message? Microphones were not even invented yet. During the period known as The great Awakening as many as 300,00 were preached to at a time without a sound system just the Holy Spirit.
Who do you want to lead you into all truth?
A great sound system or the Holy Spirit?
And yes I know bad sound systems can be annoying but where are your priorities?
Rick thinks seating is important-
“Both the comfort and the arrangement of your seating dramatically affect the mood of any service. The mind can only absorb what the seat can endure! Uncomfortable seating is a distraction that the Devil loves to use. If you can get away replacing the pews, I’d advise it. In today’s culture the only places people are forced to sit on benches are in church and the cheap bleacher section at ball games. People expect to have their own, individual chairs.
Personal space is highly valued in our society. This is why box seats are prized at stadiums. If people are forced to sit too close to each other, they get very uncomfortable. There should be at least 18 inches between people if you’re using chairs and 21 inches between people if you’re using pews.”
My comments- Im literally speechless that so many follow this shallow man so I’ll pass on comments here.
Rick Warren thinks temperature is important-
“I say this with the utmost conviction: The temperature can destroy the best planned service in a matter of minutes! When people are too hot or too cold they simply stop participating in a service. They mentally check-out and start hoping for everything to end quickly.”
My comments-Gee golly I don’t see how people are even saved in places like the Dominican Republic with their high heat and humidity in their country. Can you imagine people in these countries just thanking God they have a roof over their heads.
I think Rick should write a new book titled “AC driven life comfortable in your Christianity.”
Rick Warren and clean restrooms-
“Visitors may forget your sermon but the memory of a foul smelling restroom lingers on … and on … and on! You can tell a lot about the morale of a church by checking out the quality of the restrooms.”
My comments-No Im not going to rail on about clean restrooms. If your church has a restroom yes it should be clean. Again refer to my comments about third world countries like the Dominican Republic and other places. Hopefully you have had missionaries in your church speak about the conditions in other countries. Actually I heard one of Ricks sermons once and I thought it smelled funny and the bathroom where I was at was clean. Hmmn?
In summation what does the Bible teach about unbelievers and the church which is The Body of Christ.
Acts 2:21 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them .”
Acts 2:47 “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 4:32 “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.”
Now it is obvious to me that Rick Warren believes the Bible selectively. Pick and choose what verse is good for you.
Does he do this for the money and the fame he has established?
Only God knows that for sure.
The one thing for sure is Rick Warren has polluted many churches with his man centered ideas (that are apart from scripture) on how to get the numbers in your door’s.
Rick builds on the straw that is his own genius.
Not the solid rock of scripture that is Jesus Christ.
Ricks methods and beliefs have created a new religion sprinkled with whatever will tickle a unbelievers ears.
Welcome to the New Dark Ages!
Resources-
The bible
and
Pastors.com (Rick Warrens site)

The New Dark Ages Part One-Setting The Stage

 

2 Thess 2:3 “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first,

Before I start this series I want to set this up properly.
What was the Dark Ages?
To keep it simple and for the sake of space I will try to simplify.
Constantine converted the Empire to Christianity(merging church and state) the Roman Empire had already passed its peak.
Then it became Christian and it entered a thousand years of ignorance, squalor and filth, dragging the civilization of the whole of Europe down with it. The world had entered The Dark Ages.
When Constantine I adopted Christianity in 313, he among other things hoped that the new religion would help unify the Empire. However, such expectations were threatened by the appearance of heresies inside of the Church. Constantine felt compelled to involve himself with these doctrinal or disciplinary struggles, as in the case of the Donatists or the Arians. He tried to enforce decisions reached by the Church by banishing obstinate opponents – clergy and laity – of these decisions. Non-Christians however were not concerned by these measures. Some of his successors, while leaning to the sides of the Arians, increased their use of force in Church matters, regularly banishing bishops from their sees. Theodosius, an unequivocal supporter of Orthodox Christianity, also made Christianity the official religion of the Empire.

To make this all simple learning outside of what the pope, priest or what the Magesterium taught was punishable by death. You were not even allowed to read the Bible for yourself. As well as most folks could not read so they relied on symbols portrayed in the church windows of stain glass or the Stations of the Cross to communicate scriptural truth to them.
They had to rely totally on whoever was teaching for truth and could not be a faithful berean.

Acts 17:11 “These were more fair–minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
In the Dark Ages if you questioned the authority of the church you could be killed.

Rather than criticizing these early believers for “checking out” the veracity of what had been taught to them by the apostle Paul, this verse actually praises them for doing so. And while it is clear from the Greek text that the Bereans are being applauded here primarily for their enthusiastic acceptance of the Gospel, this verse also – so far from condemning them for a lack of trust – actually commends them for their action. This verse plainly approves the practice of taking the time and interest to consult the scriptures in order to establish the veracity of what is being taught. We find this to be a most reasonable approach, for:

If what is taught is really true, then the scriptures will clearly confirm it.

It is true that taking advantage of accurate Bible teaching is an important part of the believer’s spiritual growth. Indeed, that is the whole point of this ministry. Furthermore, the provision of Bible teaching is an undisputed ministry of God the Holy Spirit (Eph.4:11-16). At the same time, however, it is the responsibility of the listener to compare what is being taught with the Bible. To be sure, this should be done in a spirit of humility (as the Bereans demonstrated), but it should be done. No one who teaches the Bible should have a problem with this, for such a procedure is really the only way to keep everyone honest. As believers in Jesus Christ, we must ultimately place our faith in God and in the Word of God – Jesus, the living Word, and in the Bible, the written Word – not in man’s words.

There is a lot of ugly history here but what bought Christianity OUT of the Dark Ages was Christian being allowed to read their Bibles for themselves to find out what was true.

Let me make one more point here because there is going to be another aspect to this series.

And that is Gnosticism.
What is Gnosticism?
(from Greek gnosis, knowledge) is a term created by modern scholars to describe a diverse, syncretistic religious movement, especially in the first centuries of the common era. Gnostics believed in gnosis, the knowledge of God enabled by secret teachings. Some Gnostics considered themselves Christian, identifying Jesus as the divine spirit incarnated to bring gnosis to humanity. Other Gnostics were not even nominally Christian, and several Gnostic texts appear to have no Christian element at all. Still others were certainly devout mystic ascetics who worshipped Jesus and lived in their own unique ways according to His teachings.
Gnostics taught that humans were divine souls trapped in a material world created by an evil spirit, the demiurge. In order to free oneself from the evil, material world, one needed gnosis, or spiritual knowledge. Initiates were instructed in secret teachings to help them achieve gnosis. God was depicted as a pleroma composed of multiple manifestations.
Because the textual evidence comes from the first few centuries AD, many scholars have assumed that Gnosticism did not predate this period, but earlier historians of religion saw it as an outgrowth of ancient mystical traditions in Asia, especially Iran.

Some Christians today such as author of Quantum Spirituality Leonard Sweet is textbook Gnostic.
We would call Len a New Ager.
You cant really read Quantum Spirituality and come to any logical conclusion that Leonard Sweet is a Christian.

As I write this series we need to be reminded (myself included) that the Lord commanded us to love our neighbor.
So we need to continue to love those discussed here even as we expose them and their false deception.
Tim

The Business of Rick Warren

 
This is how Rick Warren started out inventing his new religion that appeals to the flesh. Notice no mention of seeking God or searching the scriptures to see how to start a church.
Rather  Rick depended on the opinions of unsaved people.
(great business move though)

“And so I went out and for twelve weeks I went door to door, and I knocked on homes for about 12 weeks and just took an opinion poll. I had a survey with me. I just said, “My name is Rick Warren. I’m not here to sell you anything, I’m not here to convert you, I’m not here to witness to you. I just want to ask you three or four questions.(my emphasis)
Question number one: Are you an active member of a local church of any kind of religion synagogue, mosque, whatever?”
If they said yes, I said, “Great, God bless you, keep going,” and I politely excused myself and went to the next home.
When I’d find somebody who’d say, “No, I don’t go anywhere,” I’d say, “Perfect; you’re just the kind of guy I want to talk to. This is great, you don’t go anywhere. So let me ask you a question. Why do you think most people don’t attend church?” And I just wrote the answers down. I asked, “If you were looking for a church, what kind of things would you look for?” And I’d just list them. “What advice would you give to me as the pastor of a new church? How can I help you?” So they’d say, “I think churches exist for the community; not vice versa,” and I’d write that down.

Now who do you think gave Rick Warren those marching orders? It was not The Holy Spirit directing Rick to do this, and build his church this way.
Ricks method sounds more like this-

“The rank and file is usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious. The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly… it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” Joseph Goebbels

Quotes from The Pew Forum made by Rick Warren-
“You know, I got invited to speak at this Aspen Ideas Institute. And I’m going, what’s an evangelical pastor going to this for? Well, evidently somebody’s not afraid of us anymore.”

“When I went to Harvard a month ago, I honestly expected a pretty hostile audience  I’m an evangelical pastor and I’m going into Harvard. And I went in and I spoke four times and they gave me a standing ovation.”

“And I came here because I only speak to influencers, and God has given you a degree of influence.” (speaking to secular journalists)

“Just to be sitting up here with David Brooks, I feel like we ought to reverse this, let him talk and let me comment on him because I love reading his stuff. I read all of your stuff all of the time and I just wanted to start off by saying thank you. Thank you for helping me grow, helping me develop.

As a writer, you never know who is reading your stuff and so I just wanted you to know I am reading you. I read a book a day and I read tons of magazines, tons of articles, and I just devour enormous quantities of material, and thank God for the Internet. I get The New York Times and I get The Wall Street Journal, and I get the local papers in L.A., but the rest I have to read online or in the magazines that I subscribe to.”

“I’m just saying that personally I’ve got a different agenda. My agenda is really of, in, for and through these millions and millions of churches that I now have technology to network together called the Internet, which allows me to sit in my bedroom and talk to guys in Brussels, and it allows me to influence any influencer. ”

“You see, here’s the problem. My book happened to be published by Zondervan, which is owned by Harper-Collins, which is owned by Newscorp, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. So when the book hit 15 million, I called up Rupert Murdoch and I said, “What are you going to do to celebrate my book?” And he goes, “Well, what do you want to do?” I go, “I want you to throw a party and I want you to invite all your secular elite friends from Manhattan and let me talk to them.” And he goes, “Okay.” (Chuckles.) So he sends out a list, he invited 350 people, who’s who in Manhattan to the top of the Rainbow Room, and I went up there and you know, I just started talking to them again, standing ovation.”

 Lets see what Rick thinks about the church as a business.

From the Business Weeks article titled “Earthly Empires” and the links on its page.

Rick Warren-
“Our goal is not to turn the church into a business,” insists Warren, the founder of Saddleback megachurch in Lake Forest, Calif.”

To which I say WHAT??? Anybody thats involved in Purpose Driven or has had contact with it know this is all about the business of purpose driven.

Warren states in a article that was linked from this page.

“Q: Why do we see so much entrepreneurial activity among evangelicals?
A: We’ve always been entrepreneurial. But 50 years ago, most of the evangelical entrepreneurs went into organizations like the Campus Crusade for Christ, World Vision, etc. The spirit used to be that you had to leave the church [to accomplish something great]. But now all of the smart guys I know are going out to become pastors and starting churches. We’ve helped thousands of churches get started. I’ve trained more than 350,000 pastors.”

The definition of entrepreneurs is ” used to describe passionate business types that are prepared to go to the ends of the earth to make a business or project succeed.”

Again from Pew Forum Rick Warren states-
“Now Drucker has said that at least six times. I happen to know because he’s my mentor. I’ve spent 20 years under his tutelage learning about leadership from him, and he’s written it in two or three books, and he says he think it’s the only thing that really works in society.”

From a article By Debbie O’Hara
November 16, 2003
NewsWithViews.com

“The modern Church Growth Movement is using modern marketing techniques, not the gospel of Christ to bring in large numbers of people. The church converts and disciples people through the use of these modern organizational management techniques (Total Quality Management style just like business) so that they can effect “change” in the community and the world. Peter Drucker tells us that “pastors are the most under rated “change” agents. He calls Rick Warren the “inventor of perpetual revival”. Sounds like the dialectic doesn’t it? We need to continually change until we finally reach perfection, which is of course a humanist philosophy.
Who is this Peter Drucker? He is called the “guru of modern management”. It is his marketing techniques that are being used to grow the church. He has worked with large corporations, small entrepreneurs, U.S. government agencies and other free governments. According to Christianity Today, “Drucker is a Christian, a practicing Episcopalian, but from his writings it would be hard to say much more than that about his faith… Drucker’s writings seem determined to keep his faith a secondary characteristic for his readers.”

“I would trust a pastor or a rabbi of a synagogue or an imam of a Muslim mosque more then I would trust a government or NGO. (Can Rick Warren Change the World? Fox Video video time 2:15 Aug.19, 2006 Fox News).”

One more Rick Warren quote-
“If your church has been plateaued for six months, it might take six months to get it going again. If it’s been plateaued a year, it might take a year. If it’s been plateaued for 20 years, you’ve got to set in for the duration!

I’m saying some people are going to have to die or leave.
Second, you love everybody, but you move with the movers. Pastor everybody, hold everybody’s hand, don’t show partiality, and continue to care for everybody. But you move with the movers.”

From The Nation posted August 25, 2005 (September 12, 2005 issue)
“Warren’s success follows the trajectory enjoyed in recent years by other inspirational, religious or spiritual self-help authors, like Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williams, John Bradshaw and Robert Bly. What distinguishes these mega-successes from books in the same genre that enjoy respectable sales at best is often not content but timing, marketing and luck (if not God’s will).”

I think this person acuratly linked Warren with birds of a feather.

So now folks you will have to decide where you want to stand.
With Rick Warren and his new religion?
Or Jesus Christ and The Bible.

Its up to you.

James 1:8 st ” A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
sources-
http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=80
http://www.spingola.com/new_world_order11.htm
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_21/b3934001_mz001.htm
http://www.pastors.com/RWMT/default.asp?id=263&artid=4533&expand=1

If Music Is Neutral?

April 23, 2008

If music is neutral?

 




“We must be willing to adjust our worship practices when unbelievers are present. God tells us to be sensitive to the hang ups of unbelievers in our services.”
(Rick Warren, quoted in “Church Growth Gone Mad,” By Clay Miller, Associate Pastor, Outreach Ministries, Grace Community Church)

There’s no such thing as Christian music. There are just Christian lyrics. To insist that all good music came from Europe 200 years ago; there’s a name for that – racism.”
(Rick Warren, SuperConference 2003, at Liberty University)

“Saddleback is unapologetically a contemporary music church. We’ve often been referred to in the press as “The flock that likes to rock.” We use the style of music the majority of people in our church listen to on the radio. Years ago, after being frustrated trying to please everyone I decided to survey our church. I passed out 3 x 5 cards to everyone in the Crowd service and asked them to write down the Call Letters of the radio station they listened to…What we discovered was that 96% of our people said they listened to middle-of-the-road adult contemporary music.”
(Rick Warren, Selecting Worship Music, July 29, 2002)

“I will admit that we have lost hundreds of potential members because of the style of music Saddleback uses. On the other hand, we have attracted thousands more because of our music.”
(Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Church, p. 285)

“If you were to tell me the kind of music you are currently using in your services I could easily describe the kind of people you are reaching, without even visiting your church. I could also tell you the kind of people your church will never be able to reach.”
(Rick Warren, Selecting Worship Music, July 29, 2002)

Well we all know that Rick Warren is a master at appealing to peoples flesh.
Thats why Rick asked unsaved people how to build his church instead of seeking how to build a church according to the scriptures.
Is music neutral?
Is it just the lyrics that matter.
Anyone listening to some of the new heavy metal music/death metal (whatever they are calling it these days) inspires aggressive behavior.
Lyrics are what define a song?
Please.
Can you even tell whats being said in some of the songs played by some of the heavy metal bands?
And its the musicial intro that is sans of lyrical content that sets the pace or groove for how you act.
(Head for your honey or the mosh pit)
Remember Walk This Way by Aerosmith?

Rick Warren is wrong on all counts.
Again people speaking about what they dont have any working knowledge of.
Like music, The Bible etc..
Here is a article sent to me from a mate in New Zealand.
Enjoy!

IF MUSIC IS NEUTRAL…

The foundational philosophy for both Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and Contemporary Christian Worship (CCW) is the idea that music is neutral or amoral and that any style of music can be used in the service of a holy God. Consider the following examples:

A representative of Contemporary Christian Praise music: “…we need to stop advocating one music style over against another. Our tradition, our style, our renderings have to do with ourselves, not with God.” –Anthony Gentes, The Worship Thought, July 2003.

A representative of Contemporary Christian Music: “There is no such thing as ‘gospel music.’ Every style and form of music can become gospel, whether it’s jazz, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, or rap.” –Don Butler, Gospel Music Association

A representative of contemporary Southern Gospel:
“God speaks through all different kinds of musical styles” –Bill Gaither

I have some questions to ask about this philosophy:

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY IS IT THAT THE MOVIE “TEXT PAINTER” CAN USE DIFFERENT STYLES OF MUSIC TO CREATE DIFFERENT EMOTIONS? This can be illustrated by the old silent movies. There were no words to the movies except the text shown on the screen, but the musicians (sometimes alone pianist or organist; sometimes an orchestra) could create feelings of fear, haste, happiness, sorrow, romance, anger, indignation, tension, uncertainty, merely by changing the style of music. If there was a scene with the bad guy slowing sneaking up on the unsuspecting, sleeping heroine, the music would be tense and gloomy. If upbeat classical or peppy march music were put to that type of scene, the movie would be like a comedy, because the acting would be saying one thing and the music would be saying something different. The movie text painter can create different emotions with different styles of music, because music is not neutral.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY CAN AN ORCHESTRA CREATE DIFFERENT FEELINGS BY CHANGING THE STYLE OF THE MUSIC? Orchestral music ordinarily doesn’t have words; it is strictly music; but anyone who knows the power of music can testify that each style of music played by the orchestra creates different feelings and thoughts in the listeners. Put a different way, if all musical styles are neutral, why does a military march never sound like a romance ballad or a baby lullaby sound like a punk rock concert? The reason is that music is not neutral; music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DO TAVERNS AND NIGHT CLUBS ALWAYS PLAY A CERTAIN KIND OF MUSIC? This is the case, because music is not neutral, and taverns and bars play a kind of music that fits the lifestyle of that setting. Music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID THE OLD BLUESMEN BELIEVE THAT CERTAIN KINDS OF RHYTHMS CAUSED WOMEN TO BE MORALLY LOOSE? For example, Professor Longhair’s boogie-woogie piano music is said to have caused women to “jump and wriggle” in a lascivious manner. Robert Johnson, one of the pioneering bluesmen who died young because of his womanizing, said of his blues rhythms: “This sound affected most women in a way that I could never understand.” B.B. King, one of the biggest living names in the blues, said in his autobiography, “The women reacted with their bodies flowing to a rhythm coming out of my guitar” Those are powerful statements about the effect of a specific kind of music and rhythm. Were the bluesmen confused about their music? No, music is not neutral; music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DO ROCK MUSICIANS CLAIM THAT THEIR HEAVILY SYNCOPATED RHYTHM IS SEXY? Following are just a few of the many quotes we could give along these lines.

“Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body’s rhythms” (Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention, Life, June 28, 1968).

“That’s what rock is all about–sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!” (Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss, interview, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987).

“Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% sex” (John Oates of the rock duo Hall & Oates, Circus, Jan. 31, 1976).

“Rock ‘n’ roll is pagan and primitive, and very jungle, and that’s how it should be!” (Malcolm McLaren, punk rock manager, Rock, August 1983).

“The great strength of rock ‘n’ roll lies in its beat … it is a music which is basically sexual, un-Puritan … and a threat to established patterns and values” (Irwin Silber, Marxist, Sing Out, May 1965).

“Rock and roll aims for liberation and transcendence, EROTICIZING THE SPIRITUAL AND SPIRITUALIZING THE EROTIC, because that is its ecumenical birthright” (Robert Palmer, Rock & Roll an Unruly History).

“Rock and roll is fun, it’s full of energy …It’s naughty” (Tina Turner, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum).

“Rock and roll was something that’s hardcore, rough and wild and sweaty and wet and just loose” (Patti Labelle, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum).

Rapper Missy Elliot’s 3rd album, “Miss E … So Addictive,” is described as “a seductive cocktail of quirky rhythms and hypnotic beats.”

The blues music (predecessor to rock and roll) that was played in Gayoso brothels in Memphis, Tennessee, in the early part of the 20th century is described as “sexually syncopated sounds” (Larry Nager, Memphis Beat: The lives and Times of America’s Musical Crossroads).

Why do these secular rock lovers describe the heavily syncopated rock rhythms as sexy, primitive, seductive, rough, hardcore, loose, wild, and hypnotic? What do they know, or what are they admitting, that the Contemporary Christian Music crowd denies? They are admitting that music is not neutral and that the heavy backbeat of rock & roll is sensual. Music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DOES ONE OF THE FOREMOST EXPERTS IN DRUMMING CLAIM THAT CERTAIN RHYTHMS CAN ALTER THE STATE OF ONE’S CONSCIOUSNESS? Mickey Hart, drummer for the Grateful Dead, has traveled the world researching the power of drums. In his book Drumming at the Edge of Magic he observes: “Everywhere you look on the planet people are USING DRUMS TO ALTER CONSCIOUSNESS. S I’ve discovered, along with many others, the extraordinary power of music, particularly percussion, to influence the human mind and body. . . . There have been many times when I’ve felt as if the drum has carried me to an open door into another world.” Why does he say this? Because he knows that music is not neutral, that certain music and certain rhythms produce certain results, that music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY WOULD A VOODOO PRIESTESS SAY THAT HER GODS RESPOND TO CERTAIN RHYTHMS? Consider this quote carefully: “The rhythm is more important than the meaning of the words. Our gods respond to rhythm above all else” (a Macumba priestess in Brazil, quoted in African Rhythm & Sensibility). The voodoo priestess says that because she knows that music is a language and that certain rhythms interact with the spirit world.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID THE 1960S LSD-NEW AGE GURU TIMOTHY LEARY SAY, “DON’T LISTEN TO THE WORDS, IT’S THE MUSIC THAT HAS ITS
OWN MESSAGE” (Leary, Politics of Ecstasy). Leary said that because he knew that music is a language.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID JIMI HENDRIX, ONE OF THE FOREMOST EXPERTS IN ROCK RHYTHM, CLAIM THAT CERTAIN MUSIC CREATES A CERTAIN ATMOSPHERE? “Atmospheres are going to come through music, because the music is a spiritual thing of its own” (Jimi Hendrix, rock star, Life, Oct. 3, 1969).

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID ROCK AND ROLL HISTORIAN ROBERT PALMER SAY THAT THE (IM)MORAL INFLUENCE OF ROCK AND ROLL INHERES IN THE RHYTHM? “I believe in the transformative power of rock and roll S this transformative power inheres not so much in the words of songs or the stances of the stars, but in the music itself–in the SOUND, and above all, in the BEAT” (Robert Palmer, Rock & Roll an Unruly History).

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID THE HOWARD HANSON, WHO DIRECTED THE PRESTIGIOUS EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC FOR 40 YEARS, SAY: “MUSIC CAN BE PHILOSOPHICAL OR ORGIASTIC. IT HAS POWERS FOR EVIL AS WELL AS FOR GOOD”? (cited from Frank Garlock’s The Language of Music; Dr. Garlock is a graduate of Eastman and sat under Hanson).

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID THE WORLD FAMOUS CONDUCTOR LEONARD BERNSTEIN SAY THAT MUSIC IS A LANGUAGE THAT REACHES THE HEART: “Music doesn’t have to pass through the censor of the brain before it can reach the heart. An f sharp doesn’t have to be considered in the mind; it is a direct hit, and therefore all the more powerful”?

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DOES THE BIBLE SPECIFY THAT BELIEVERS SHOULD SING A CERTAIN KIND OF MUSIC? “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). The word “spiritual” means set apart for God, different from the things of the world. A tavern or nightclub owner would never play psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs over the music system, even if the words were not included. It would create the wrong atmosphere. Why, then, should believers use the same music that tavern owners use to entertain and lull or stir the drinking crowd to their lascivious pleasures?

If all musical styles are neutral, THAT MEANS THAT THE DEVIL HASN’T CORRUPTED MUSIC, but such an idea is nonsensical. The devil hates God and has attempted to corrupt everything that God has created. He is called “the god of this world,” and he has corrupted religion, literature, art, fashion — you name it. Music is one of the most powerful influences in society. To think that the Devil has not corrupted music to his own wicked purposes and for the enticement of fallen man is contrary to everything the Bible teaches us.

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DID JOSHUA DISCERN THAT THE MUSIC COMING UP FROM THE CAMP OF ISRAEL WAS “A NOISE OF WAR”? (Exodus 32:17). If music is neutral, how could he make any judgment at all about what he was hearing?

If all musical styles are neutral, WHY DO CHILDREN REACT DIFFERENTLY TO VARIOUS KINDS OF MUSIC? One of my readers submitted the following, “Why did my children behave properly during the traditional morning service, but jump around like they had ‘ants in their pants’ for 45 minutes during the loud rockish night service at a church we were visiting?”

A QUESTION ANSWERED

Question: You mean that a b flat note has a moral quality, Answer: No, a b flat note is nothing in itself, and a b flat note is not music. But when that B flat is put together with other notes and components of music and is made into a musical piece, that musical piece becomes a language (music is rightly called the “language of the heart”) and has a moral quality. It is like the alphabet. The letter “d” has no moral quality in itself, but when it is placed with other letters to make words and sentences and paragraphs, that piece of writing assumes a moral quality. The letter “d” can become either “DIVINE” or “DEVILISH.” It is the same with art. Lines and circles in themselves have no moral quality, but when they are placed together into a piece of art, it ceases to be neutral and becomes a language that spells out a certain message in this world and has a certain influence upon men.

We conclude that music is not “neutral” or “amoral.” Music is a language, and in the Christian realm the message of the music must match the message of the lyrics. There are many styles of worldly music that preach a message that is contradictory to the Bible and therefore cannot be used in the service of a holy God.

I close with the testimony of a man who left the contemporary music scene after having led contemporary worship teams in two churches:

“I am now convinced that God will not accept our worship when it is offered with music styles that are also used by pagans for their immoral practices. If I am wrong, why was he so harsh in judging Israel when they sacrificed to him using the pagan high places and rituals? He is a jealous God. If you grasp this principle alone, it will change for ever the way you lead a worship service. S The true heart of worship is the heart that bows before God and submits to his Word, no more and no less” (Dan Lucarini, Confessions of a Former Worship Leader, p. 57).

Heresy Hunters?

April 23, 2008

Heresy Hunter?

 

People in discernment minitry are often tagged Heresy Hunters. I thought this phrase was made up by Paul Crouch at TBN.
I was wrong.
Here is a a great article written way back in 1902 which deals with this issue written by J. W. McGarvey-

[Apr. 5, 1902.]
HERESY-HUNTING.
Some people have very confused ideas about hunting for heresy, and about Christian liberty. If a man advances and seeks to propagate teaching which I regard as very injurious, if not ruinous, and I assail it with vigor, such vigor as he feels unable to resist on the merits of the question, it is common for him and his friends to cry out, “Heresy-hunter! Heresy-hunter!” If a lot of us should go prying into some man’s utterances to find something wrong, somewhat as W. T. Moore’s hounds kept up a yelping all night because, as the old darkey said, “dey smell something’, but can’t ‘zac’ly locate it,” we might be charged with hunting for heresy; but if those hounds had seen a fox coming out of some man’s hen-roost, nobody would have objected to their giving him chase. The fox might cry out for personal [383] liberty, and say, “I have just as good a right to take a chicken as you have to take a fox,” nevertheless, the common judgment of mankind would say that to chase the fox away would be a righteous act. Out West there are bear-hunters. They go creeping around among the hills and rocks trying to slip up on a bear and take the advantage of him. In this they are like real heresy-hunters. But if a man is walking along the public road, and meets a bear reared on his hind legs, and reaching for him with his fore paws, there is bound to be a fight or a foot-race; and if the man should fight the bear, nobody could on this account call him a bear-hunter. The bear might say, “I am free, and have as much right on this road as you have,” and the man could answer, “I am free, too, and have as much right on this road as you have.” And if the man should also say, “You are after hugging me, and you hug everybody you can get hold of, so I will put a bullet through you,” the average citizen would say that the man was in the right. So, if heresy does not want to be shot at, it should play sly and not walk out into the public road.