I have been having a interesting discussion with a Nazarene pastor here on another post. The pastor is a Emergent Nazarene pastor whether he know it or not. The pastor who is probably a great guy attempted to defend Jesse and Jon Middendorf. Jon has been instrumental in bringing the Emergent Church into the Nazarene denomination. Jon is a pastor who should be watching over his flock. Instead he has chosen to expose them to danger and heresy. His dad Jesse Middendorf is currently a GS of the Nazarene denomination has ran to his sons defense. Both men are deceived and misguided in their efforts in my opinion.
Here is a fine U Tube video from my friend and brother in the Lord Eric Barger exposing just a small part of whats going on not only in the Nazarene denomination but in the Body of Christ.

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As of late I had a person comment how they were puzzled about my passionate fear of the emergent church.

In want to state that I have no fear of a false movement or false teachings. We have the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth through the scriptures. I fear for people who do not believe in a absolute truth. I fear for people who are being deceived by the false emergent church movement as well as the other false movements in the Body of Christ such as the health and wealth gospel and false leaders such as Len Sweet, Rick Warren or Todd Bentley.

There are thousands being lead astray by not searching the scriptures daily to see if what is being said is true.

As well as we have many leaders in the Body of Christ who seem to have zero discernement and concern for the flocks they are supposed to be guarding.

My concern is not just for the Nazarene Church which is the church I attend.

I am not even a official Nazarene just a concerned Christian concerned what is happening to the Body of Christ.

I also know from Eph 5:11 that we do not need to dialog with a false movement and its false teachers rather we need to expose them.

The Nazarene church is not the only one welcoming this false movement with open arms.

Leaders such as Rick Warren have made sure this false movement is getting plenty of exposure.

We will continue to contend for the faith.

Here is a article by Gary Gilley who will be speaking on our DVD about Emergent theology and ancient faith.

Peace

Tim

The Kingdom of Emergent Theology – Part 1

(September 2007 – Volume 13, Issue 9)

It has been claimed that Sigmund Freud enjoyed telling his followers a story of a pastor who visited an atheist insurance agent who was on his death bed.  The family had asked the pastor to share the gospel with their dying loved one as they waited in another room.  As the conversation continued longer than expected there was hope that the pastor was being successful in his mission.  When the pastor finally emerged from the bedroom it was discovered that the agent had not converted to Christ but he had been able to sell the pastor an insurance policy.

While Freud used the illustration to warn his fellow psychoanalysts to stay true to their beliefs, Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Seminary, from whom I obtained this account, has another application to offer.  While a most unlikely source (in my opinion) to offer the following warning, Mouw writes,

In rejecting the very real defects of fundamentalism during the past few decades, evangelicals have begun to take very seriously their responsibilities to the larger culture – and with some obvious signs of success.  The questions we must face honestly are these: Have we sold a new policy to the culture – or has the culture sold us a policy (emphasis mine).[1]

This is a most thought-worthy question in light of the emergent church movement’s recent inroads into evangelicalism, and in some cases even fundamentalism. The emergent church is a movement deeply concerned with impacting the culture.  But evidence is mounting to the effect that culture is having more impact on the emergent movement than the other way around.  As a matter of fact emergent seems to be chasing culture, even imitating culture, rather than changing it.  The reason this is true has to do with its understanding of the kingdom of God. 

Mark Driscoll defines the emerging church as “a growing, loosely-connected movement of primarily young pastors who are glad to see the end of modernity and are seeking to function as missionaries who bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to emerging and postmodern cultures.”[2] 

Thus defined, the emergent church sounds like a welcome addition to the Christian community.  However, all is not as it seems.  Whatever the intentions of the original founders of the movement (or conversation, as they call it), it has rapidly morphed into a serious threat to the faith.  Today, while the emergent community is barely a decade old it has permeated churches, Bible colleges, seminaries, and parachurch organizations throughout the world.  It is a movement that is difficult to define because it is not monolithic or static.  However, at least two basic wings have become discernable.  One wing calls itself “emerging,” claiming to have solid theological credentials, having only adopted methods more in tune with postmodern mindsets.  The other wing is termed “emergent” and is composed of those who not only are adopting new methodologies but who also challenge the most sacred of doctrines.  This wing is obviously the most concerning to us and is even under fire from the emerging wing.  For example, Driscoll, who was one of the originators of the conversation, but has since distanced himself from emergent leaders such as Brian McLaren, writes,

The emergent church is part of the Emerging Church Movement but does not embrace the dominant ideology of the movement.  Rather the emergent church is the latest version of liberalism.  The only difference is that the old liberalism accommodated modernity and the new liberalism accommodates postmodernity.[3]

I have written extensively on the emergent church movement in other venues and will not rehash that information here.[4]  I would mention that, while the “emergent” movement is far more disturbing, the “emerging” element is not without its doctrinal and philosophical problems.  Both, for instance, embrace errant views of the kingdom of God which in turn lead to a misunderstanding of the role of the church (a role emerging leaders call missional), which in turn has a distorting affect on the gospel message.  Since both emerging and emergent camps have the same view of the kingdom, I will be using the term “emergent” throughout this discussion to refer to both wings.

Emergent Eschatology

Emergent and emerging leaders may differ over any number of issues but they present a united front when it comes to the kingdom of God—and the kingdom of God plays the pivotal role in their theology and purpose. At a recent conference in Baltimore – The Big Event 2007, Imagine a World…a New Vision for God’s Kingdom on Earth – the PowerPoint presentation assures us “the kingdom of God is here now.” [5]

The idea that the kingdom is here now is the one doctrinally unifying factor in emergent theology, yet some in the “conversation” have been honest enough to admit that even they are not always sure what is meant by the term.  Mark Scandrette confesses,

A central and reoccurring theme of conversation has been a renewed fascination with the present availability of the kingdom of God… [Yet] the term kingdom of God has become so popular, and its usage so varied, that it is difficult to know if we are even talking about the same thing… There is a tendency to see the kingdom of God as whatever is progressive, exotic, foreign, and obscure (emphasis in the original). [6]

Nevertheless a consensus by both emerging and emergent leaders is expressed by Sherry and Geoff Maddock: “Our principle (sic) desire is to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  We believe this happens when God’s people are renewed around God’s mission of love and justice in the world.”[7]  The conversation apparently views the kingdom as being on earth now but progressively becoming like the kingdom in heaven as Christians live missionally on earth.

Such an understanding of the kingdom of God is obviously at odds with premillennialism, yet the Maddocks’ view is reflected by many in or on the fringes of the movement.  Tony Campolo represents many emergent thinkers as he contrasts dispensationalism with emergent theology,

This is a theology that – with its implicit threat of being left behind, of time running out – is used by Dispensational preachers to great evangelistic effect.  It has been a very effective goad to conversion… To the contrary, the history of the world is infused with the presence of God, who is guiding the world toward becoming the kind of world God willed for it to be when it was created.  Human history is going somewhere wonderful.[8]

N. T. Wright, the primary link between the “New Perspective on Paul” (which claims we have misunderstood Paul and, in turn, the gospel,  since the foundation of the church) and evangelicalism, has the same eschatological underpinnings, “[Paul] was to declare to the pagan world that YHWH, the God of Israel, was the one true God of the whole world, and that in Jesus of Nazareth he had overcome evil and was creating a new world in which justice and peace would reign supreme (emphasis mine).”[9]

Jim Henderson, co-author of Jim and Casper Go to Church, is also interested in bringing the kingdom of God to earth.  “I want to make this world a better place.  I want to see Jesus’ prayer answered that his Kingdom would come on Earth as it is in heaven.  I want to see kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ.”[10]

To Brian McLaren, the most prolific emergent writer, the ultimate goal of Jesus (and God) is the kingdom of God, brought to earth.[11]  Just how is the kingdom brought to earth?  Through our good works.  McLaren states,  “I hope that they [his neighbors] and I will become better people, transformed by God’s Spirit, more pleasing to God, more of a blessing to the world so that God’s kingdom (which I seek, but cannot manipulate) comes on earth as in heaven (emphasis mine).”[12]

What does this kingdom that we are to bring through our good works look like?  Rob Bell has some thoughts:

Salvation is the entire universe being brought back into harmony with its maker.  This has huge implications for how people present the message of Jesus.  Yes, Jesus can come into our hearts.  But we can join a movement that is as wide and as big as the universe itself.  Rocks and trees and birds and swamps and ecosystems.  God’s desire is to restore all of it.[13]

And

For Jesus, the question wasn’t how do I get into Heaven? but how do I bring heaven here?… The goal isn’t escaping this world but making this world the kind of place God can come to.  And God is remaking us into the kind of people who can do this kind of work.[14]

Emergent theology sees the kingdom of God as present now with future culmination as we (the subjects of the kingdom) restore justice, eliminate poverty, clean up the ecosystem, tame global warming and the like.  Of course the issue is not whether Christians ought to be involved in finding solutions to these earth-related concerns (we should be and have been and are), but whether this is the mission of the church and whether doing so will more quickly bring in the kingdom. 

I do not believe Scripture teaches either, but Robert Webber, in his very influential book Ancient-Future Faith,differs, “[The] result of the cosmic work of Christ is that the kingdom of God, God’s rule over all things, is now manifest.”[15] By Christ’s “cosmic work” Webber means, among other things, that “Christ has bound Satan and all demonic powers.”[16]  While Webber admits to a future in which a more complete binding of demonic forces will prevail, demons are limited enough at this time to allow for a “secular salvation” (that is the salvation of the planet and culture) within society.  Webber is confident that due to the present binding of demonic forces, and God’s kingdom rule now, believers can and should expedite massive social and cultural changes.  As a matter of fact it is the mandate of the followers of Christ to be focused on this “secular salvation.”  He writes, 

Faith in Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate ruler over all of life, can break the twisting of political, economic, social, and moral structures into secular salvation.  Because those structures that promise secular salvation are disarmed, they can no longer exercise ultimate power in our lives.  The powers have been dethroned by the power of the cross.[17]

The church, given this paradigm, becomes the change agent in society. “The church,” writes Webber, “as a transforming presence in the world stands in the tradition of those Scripture passages that emphasize the power of the gospel to change not only the life of an individual but also the life of culture.”[18]

It is thought within emergent circles that when the church operates as this type of change agent the world can’t help but get better.  Carla Barnhill, former editor of Christian Parenting Today magazine, assures us that emergent style parenting, a style in which it is more important to teach creativity than obedience, “is about celebrating the goodness of life with God, a life that looks more like the kingdom with every generation.”[19] Prominent emergent leader Tony Jones, in the process of poking fun at the dispensational understanding of this age and the one to come, states, “But those of us represented in this book take the contrary view.  God’s promised future is good, and it awaits us, beckoning us forward.”[20]  To both Barnhill and Jones the world is becoming a better place to live as time goes by, and it is our job to hasten its rejuvenation.

If there is one thing the emergent conversation has closed ranks around it is that the kingdom of God is on earth now, but it will progressively resemble God’s kingdom in heaven as Christians understand their true mission,which is to make this world a better place for all.  The emerging movement sees itself as a wakeup call to those who would follow Jesus.  It is our task to bring the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven by aggressively challenging injustice, fighting poverty, aiding the sick, working on ecological concerns and, in general, saving this planet and everything on it.  Emergent leaders believe that people are catching on to this new vision of the kingdom, and as a result, are optimistic about the future.  No doomsday tribulation period is on their radar screen nor is Jesus coming in judgment upon the wicked.  The kingdom, while already here, will progressively become like heaven as we attend to the social ills and needs around us.  Tomorrow looks bright and the day after that looks brighter still.

We Have Heard This Before

All of this stirs hope within our hearts.  Maybe the emergent leaders are right, maybe the world is getting better and better and, if we Christians would just get more involved, eventually earth will be like heaven.  Sounds great, but is it biblical? 

It is helpful to know that the Christian community has been down this trail before.  Emergent eschatology is by-and-large identical to liberal postmillennialism which flourished prior to the mid-twentieth century. In general postmillennialism is the view that Christ will return after the millennium, or the kingdom age, which is presently on earth. Conservative postmillennialists believe that “through the proclamation of the gospel in the present age, an unprecedented number of people in the world – in fact, the vast majority – will turn to Christ and be saved.”[21]  The focus of God’s people in this kingdom age then is to expand the kingdom through the preaching of the gospel.  As the world is increasingly evangelized it will become a place of “spiritual prosperity, universal peace and righteousness, and economic well-being.”[22]  In conjunction with the spread of the gospel is the progressive binding of Satan.  As the world is Christianized Satan will gradually lose his hold over its inhabitants.  Loraine Boettner, a postmillennial theologian, summarizes,

Postmillennialism is that view of the last things which holds that the kingdom of God is now being extended in the world through the preaching of the gospel and the saving work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of individuals, that the world eventually is to be Christianized and that the return of Christ is to occur at the close of a long period of righteousness and peace commonly called the millennium.[23]

Theological liberal postmillennialism shares some of the same optimism as its conservative counterparts but directs its attention to social enhancement of the planet.

Liberal postmillennialism focuses on societal transformation rather than personal conversion.  Their “social gospel” sees the saving of society from social evil as the great purpose of the church.  The mission of the church is not to preach the gospel to sinners in need of God’s great salvation, but rather, to liberate mankind from poverty, racism, disease, war and all kinds of injustice.[24]

The similarity between liberal postmillennialism and emergent philosophy is striking.  It is worth noting that the postmillennial system, which was nonexistent in the early days of church history, was originally systematized by liberal Unitarian minister Daniel Whitby (1638-1726).  His system grew legs due partly to the optimism of the age, but lost steam when the two world wars of the twentieth century shattered dreams of the world progressively improving.  Since that time a more realistic understanding of human development has set in and most recognize that the earth is not only not moving toward utopia but is more likely closer to annihilation. 

Emergent kingdom theology, like its liberal postmillennial predecessor, is based not so much on the observation of an improving world but on feelings of desperation. McLaren admits that many might see his kingdom views as a mere pipe dream, but if that is so, “what do [we] have to look forward to if they are right?  Simply more of the same in human history…”[25]

But truth does not emerge from groundless optimism or “what if” desperation; it emerges from the Scriptures.  What God says about life now, the future and the kingdom is what matters.  In answer to McLaren’s question, we have much to look forward to, for Christ will one day bring His kingdom to earth, at which time the very social and earthly issues that concern emergent people will be corrected and made right.  But this kingdom will come through the power of Christ, not the good deeds of men. It will come when He returns, not as a prelude to it.  It will not only remedy societal wrongs it will usher in the world-wide righteousness and justice of Christ.  We have much to look forward to when the kingdom comes, but it will come about because of God’s actions, not ours.  It is right that we seek to correct social ills, but our actions do not usher in Christ’s kingdom.

Next issue we will discuss the effect of emergent theology on the gospel.


[1] Richard J. Mouw, The Smell of Sawdust ( Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), p. 64.

[2] Mark Driscoll, Confessions of a Reformission Rev. ( Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), p. 22.

[3] Ibid., p. 21.

[4] See Gary E. Gilley, This Little Church Stayed Home ( Darlington, England : Evangelical Press, 2006).

[5] http://www.baltimorepresbytery.org/TheBigEvent2007ImagineaWorld….htm.

[6] Mark Scandrette, “Growing Pains” in An Emergent Manifesto of Hope,  ed. Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones ( Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2007) pp. 26, 29.

[7] Sherry Maddock and Geoff Maddock, “An Ever-Renewed Adventure of Faith, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 80.

[8] Tony Campolo, in Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo, Adventures in Missing the Point ( El Cajon, Calif,: Youth Specialties, 2003), p. 59.

[9] N. T. Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said, (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1997), p. 37.

[10] Jim Henderson and Matt Casper, Jim and Casper Go to Church (2007), p. 168.

[11] Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy,( Cajon, CA: Youth Specialties Books, 2004), p. 267.

[12] Ibid., p. 263.

[13] Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis ( Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), pp.109-110.

[14] Ibid., pp. 147,150.

[15] Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Faith, ( Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004) p. 53.

[16] Ibid., p. 49.

[17] Ibid., p. 51.

[18] Ibid., p. 169.

[19] Carla Barnhill, “The Postmodern Parent,” An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 58.

[20] Tony Jones, “A Hopeful Faith,”  An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 130.

[21] Matthew Waymeyer, Revelation 20 and the Millennial Debate ( TheWoodlands, TX: Kress Christian Publications,  2004), p. 3.

[22] Ibid., p. 4.

[23] Loraine Boettner, “Postmillennialism,” in The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views, ed. R. Clouse (Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity, 1977), p. 117.

[24] Paul N. Benware, Understanding End Times Prophecy ( Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2006), p. 144.

[25] Brian McLaren,  The Secret Message of Jesus p. 128.

by Gary E. Gilley
 
©2008 SVC

The Mindset of Mockers in the Last Days

 

The Bible speaks a lot about  scoffers and mockers in the last days, those who question the word because they have departed from the faith.

You can call it a transition- transformation- paradigm shift- or the dialectic process at work: it does not matter what term used is, what matters is that it brings one to new viewpoint that changes their whole perspective. This is what the emergent church’s influence (the “new spirituality”) has on its hearers – changing ones perspective. Certainly there are those who have good intentions that are misconstrued and then there are those who do not have good intentions at all.

Brian McLaren invites and encourages people to rethink the way we tell the Biblical story, and invites us to imagine a new kind of story for our future. McClaren postulates that anyone cannot have hope based on knowing the truth of the gospel; or the hope of knowing anything. What does the Bible say about doubt, its obvious that this state of mind is the opposite of faith.

McLaren In his interview with Christianity Today “I don’t think the liberals have it right. But I don’t think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy” (The Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today Nov. 2004)

None of us? This means after nearly 2,000 years of church history, scholars and students that have studied and preached is are dismissed on his own opinion. Is his opinion is more important or authoritative than God’s book? Incidentally, his point also includes him, which does put a damper on his contrary statement.

McLaren states, “This God-given thirst for emergence…is causing new forms of Christian spirituality, community, and mission to emerge from modern Western Christianity…a generous orthodoxy is an emerging orthodoxy

Are new forms of Christianity being developed? Indeed they are – but their source is not from God but from men, those who do not believe in the Word of God. They do not believe the Holy Spirit moved men, the prophets to write, so the Bible does not find its inspiration or origin with God but with man.

Bible believing Christians hold the Bible alone to be the Word of God revealed to men and written by men. Jesus did, and the Apostle Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…. Not just the red ink portions and not what one feels comfortable with. ALL of it.

Inventing new ways to interpret Scripture discovering new definitions to change words from what they used to mean to be more relative to our modern times is reshaping doctrines by emergent church practices and it is confusing people and ruining their faith.

Leanard Sweet writes: “With the crooked lines of our lives God is wanting to write “a new account of everything old,” a Third Testament. This book has been breathed forth with the prayer that the crooked lines and cracks of New Light ministries, whatever they maybe, will become openings through which God’s light can shine. (p.259 Quantum spirituality.)

This new light certainly is not the light the Bible refers to as the word, for he tell us that his new light is directly influenced by new agers that he quotes profusely throughout his book.

Erwin McManus tells us “The Christian faith grew through story – not text. Only later did the stories become Scripture. While the Scripture must be held in the highest regard, we must not neglect the power of story” (Erwin McManus, “An Unstoppable Force,” p. 118)

God spoke to the prophets and gave them the future – prophecy, are we now going to call these stories? By doing this it diminishes the source and their importance, inferring that they are like any other story, religious or secular. Does McManus think they sat around the campfire telling stories and then voted for it to be written down in a book called the Bible? Or maybe by consensus they thought a story would be good for others to hear. Well some may just as well take this position considering how they put the word of God down.

2 Pet 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Many times the “prophets” did not fully understand what God spoke, but they certainly did not make up the words or guess, they had a fear of God to do and write exactly what He communicated.

McManus states “The church must acclimate to a changing world, or she will destine herself to irrelevance or even extinction. …One of those dramatic changes in our environment is the shift from words to images. To do church in a way that is entirely text driven is the kiss of death’ (Erwin McManus, “An Unstoppable Force”, p. 18)

That’s an interesting opinion- the apostles taught the very opposite Titus 1:9 “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught” Rom.16:17-18  “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”

Paul writes in Titus 3:10 “Reject a divisive (heretic) man after the first and second admonition.” Who is divisive? Those who do not hold to the doctrine in the bible and teach something else as true.

One of the arts that leaders must craft is the selection of great stories.” (Erwin McManus, “An Unstoppable Force, p. 118)

McManus’ makes this plain by his symbol for water, shaped in the symbol of the Yin and Yang, a Chinese symbol associated with Tai Chi, symbolizing opposites and oneness. His mosaic is synthesizing other religious symbols with Christianity. On the website http://theoriginsproject.org five elements are illustrated:

WIND: Commission: Mission is why the church exists: People matter most.
WATER: Community: Love is the context for all mission: Love permeates everything.
WOOD: Connection: Structure must always submit to spirit: Passion fuels action.
FIRE: Communion: Relevance to culture is not optional: Relevance communicates truth.
EARTH: Character: Creativity is a natural result of spirituality. Character creates change.

These five categories (elements) are attached by Christian interpretations which mean nothing. They have no resemblance to the Bible but instead to other religions, Taoism- Yin and Yang, This is neo-Christianity- bringing a synthesis of other religious ideas into the Church which corrupts the doctrine of Christ.

McManus states: “Two thousand years ago, God started a revolt against the religion He started. So don’t ever put it past God to cause a groundswell movement against churches and Christian institutions that bear His name.”

Here is a prefect example of teachers that have no basis of history or the Jewish culture Jesus lived in God did not revolted against the Judaism of Moses (whom he inspired and gave directly) , he came against the leaders that added their human traditions and made the word of God of no effect, Exactly what McManus and McLaren and so many others are doing.

This is why McManus can state without equivocation: “My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ,” (said in a telephone interview) “Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right

Can these men lead others to trust God by his word when they speak in this manner?

But there are many others that are following in these men’s footsteps.

Jon Middendorf is a pastor at Oklahoma City First City of the Nazarene,  who oversees the Kaleo Community congregation there. he seems to have absorbed the emergent viewpoint  to its full.

Dialogue between Greg Horton Jon Middendorf http://www.wiredparish.com/hosts.php?hid=51

Leadership buzz.com digital coaching for ministry impact

This conversation, they call dialog begins with him referring to A.J. Jacobs has written a book called ‘the year of living biblically,” Horton: “what he decided to do was to go through those 660 odd laws in the Pentateuch and to start living by them. Greg Horton: “It is study in absurdity…He finally decided if this is biblical and these people actually believe this is biblical, then lets see what happens if you actually live that way.”So it becomes a study of absurd the Mosaic law can be when actually applied.”

Maybe he had a problem because he added 47 laws of his own to the 613 laws of God that he does not believe in. This shows he is arguing against something that is not based on the Bible but his own biased version of the Bible, what he thinks it says. Ask the orthodox Jews that keep the law today, they do not think it is impossible.

Middendorf asks- why did he do this?” Horton: ”I’m guessing to make money” Middendorf: “Did he do it to mock it?” Greg Horton: “Oh yeah, absolutely, he absolutely did it to mock it. … its maybe one of those things that need to be mocked” Horton “The errant literal interpretation of the law and these things? Middendorf Comments “Christians are guilty of the notion that there was a time when people were required to live by the mosaic law, I just don’t know that ever was the case.”

So then God lied, and according to their view you can throw out nearly all the Old Testament, it never happened the way it was written, why trust any of it. Instead we should trust these men who are scoffing and mocking it. This is equivalent to saying in an absolute manner man never used the horse and buggy because I don’t see anyone do this today and I tried to and was unable.

Middendorf comments “Well, I think we try to, I think we do damage to Scripture, I think we force it to read to say what we want it to say, as opposed to, as opposed to the people of God being this historically embodied culturally extended; right; historically –yea, that’s what I mean to say”

Horton: This does address a large percentage of the evangelical church who believe that – y’know Jesus came to die and fulfill the law so we would not have to live by the law…and prior to Jesus you had to live by the law no, (Middendorf-no ) that’s because many of them have this notion and when you get into the whole inerrancy discussion have this notion that Moses took down the words of God” Dictation theory Horton: there’s no redaction there’s not many changes to it and y’know y if you read -I want to real scholars, but that’s not fair because some people who believe this stuff are real scholars

Not only would it not be fair but it would be inaccurate. What they have just done is question Jesus (whom they may claim to believe and follow in) who does say the law came through Moses.

Jesus refers to the book of Moses in various places. Mark 12:26 referring to the resurrection

Matt 19:7 refers to Moses on divorce.

Mark 1:44 show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Mark 7:10 “For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’;

Jesus said “Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? John 7:19

So Jesus equates not believing Moses as not believing him, so the questions these men bring up shows that they are in unbelief.

In fact Paul specifically writes a whole book on the law of Moses :

Galatians 3:24 “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

But these men say this is not true!

This is the whole point of the law and why Jesus came Gal 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

And what do they think James 2:10 is about? “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Of course I have quoted the Bible of which they question as being accurate. If one cannot refer to the Bible of which they question then why even say anything about Jesus at all, for it is through the Bible he is revealed accurately to us.

The first 5 books of Old Testament claim to have been written by Moses (Ex. 17:14, 24:4,7; 34:27-28; Lev.1-2; Num. 33:2; Deut.1:1-5; 4:4-5; 31:9,24-26). If Moses did not write the Pentateuch, who did? It shows Moses is the author of the books over and over again. God told Moses what to write- Exod. 24:4: “And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD…”  God gave revelation to him up on the Mountain. The book of the law written by Moses was handed to the priests, it ends at Deut. 31:23; (except the song and blessing which is Moses’ own composition)The rest of the book of Deuteronomy is an appendix obviously added after Moses’ death by another’s hand.

Exod. 24:12 the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”

Exod. 31:18 He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

Horton: “ I still don’t know how this entire group of Scholars got together for the Chicago statement on inerrancy a lot of really really smart people saying something really really stupid.”

So what You are saying God gave us these absurd laws to follow so that we wouldn’t be able to follow them so that we would need Jesus, how insane is that system”(Middendorf is entertained by his cleverness laughing along with his mockery). Middendorf: Well that’s the particular view of the atonement” Horton:“Oh I know it is” Its also a particular view of humanity, in terms of, moral depravity and original sin and all that” Middendorf: “no, I agree I just, I’m just amazed…”

Maybe it is he that does not understand how ignorant he sounds? The law is given to show us the holiness of God and what is required to not sin.

This echoes other Emergent’s. In Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, he tells us that the Bible is a “human product… rather than the product of divine fiat.” (Quote inChristianity Today, November, 2004, p. 38.)

Again you cannot believe Jesus if you do not believe Moses- he refers to Moses numerous times

John 7:19 “Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law?

And no truer words were spoken ” there is one who accuses you– Moses, in whom you trust. “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:45-6:1)

If the Bible is not your spiritual and moral authority then you do not have God as master over your life or in your life. Then you are your own authority- self is master and you will live by your own opinions.

Jesus said in Luke 11:28: “blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!

If we are not conducting our spirituality from “The Word” but from other ways we are not living the Christian life. We cannot mix opinions with Christ’s teachings. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

Middendorf says this is a particular view of atonement and depravity- original sin

I think what these men are saying proves their state of sinfulness, these men are truculent and Jude addresses people like this.

Mittnedorf- “and so we rob the story of its transformational power by Idolizing the words instead of the testimony”

They do not care what the Bible instructs, showing their unbelief and disrespect in the word which is God’s testimony to man. And whose testimony would they would like us to idolize? We are to respect Gods word, He did communicate truth to us and it is preserved to all generations. If you do not believe this – don’t call yourself a believer or a Christian because YOU ARE NOT!

The Bible is called “the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15), Daniel called it “the Scripture of Truth” (Dan.10:21), Psalm 119:160 “The entirety of Your word is truth.” Prov.30:5 “Every word of God is pure.” Psalm 138:2 states that His Word is exalted above His name. God honors His Word in greater ways than He honors His own name.

Horton mentions his own senior pastor jumped up and down on the Bible, “look this is not, this is not, an I. were not going to worship this, in fact this is what he said were not going to worship this to make this some sort of an idol it would be just as wrong to making a golden calf an idol.” This is the testimony, this is actually mans testimony about God and we believe the Holy Spirit has been involved in it… but don’t make the mistake of etching this out of gold.”

 

God said his word is more precious than what is in the world and it produces faith in Him.

1Peter 1:7: “that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes”

Where is faith found? In his WORD. Rom. 10:17 “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Proverbs 3:13-16: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.”

Jesus said in John 17:17: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

2 Pet 1:4 We have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises- Where is this foundIn the word.

1 Pet 2:7 “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious”

These men are prophesied in the Bible that they do want not to believe is accurate?

Middendorf commenting on the presidential forum and being asked a question on the Bible “I’m not sure that you are supposed to believe every word of the Bible.”

Of course not, you can pick and choose what you want to believe as longs it’s not all of it.

These men do not understand how God used men to write his word to communicate to man. Jesus said unless one understands the word they cannot bear fruit for his kingdom (Mt.13).

Horton- “The problem is that there are people who really believe the Bible is both, is somehow holds authority over them, based on the words that are written down on the page and its like; I don’t even know how you function – there is no way you can make a synthesis of everything Scripture says as this kind of living document that would have authority over your life.”

Spoken like a man who has no relationship with the God of Scripture, a man who does not believe what Jesus said.

2 Pet 3:3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts”

Jude 1:17-19 “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”

Here are just a few statements about scoffers and how they react when they are shown their waywardness.

Prov 9:8: “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

Prov. 13:1: “a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

Prov. 14:6 ‘A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it.”

Prov. 15:12 “A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, nor will he go to the wise”

Middendorf then speaks of “Christ is the lens by which we read all the Scripture.” If this is true then why do you deny what Jesus said- he quoted from the Old Testament to prove what He was saying is true.’ Its hard to believe Middendorf  is a senior pastor in this church when their own articles of faith states: “ We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith. (Luke 24:44-47; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

Like Brian McLaren that describes the new kind of Christian as a critic of God and his word. These are those who are willing to ignore history, the manuscript evidence, the prophecies contained in the Old Testament that were fulfilled and still will be fulfilled.

Jesus taught that every part of the Old Testament is inspired and authoritative: the law, the writings, and the Psalms (Lk. 24:44). He taught the men spoken of in the books wrote them, that the Old Testament writers were inspired by God to write the Scriptures. According to the Son of God, Moses wrote the books of the law (Lk. 24:44; Jn. 5:45-47); David wrote the Psalms bearing his name (Lk. 20:42); Daniel wrote the book bearing his name (Mt. 24:15).

Jesus taught that the Old Testament is perfect to the letter (Mt. 5:17-18). It cannot be broken (Jn. 10:35). It is authoritative to every detail. No statement in the Bible can be broken, all will be proven true. This is the doctrine of inerrancy and infallibility.

Jesus taught that the Old Testament is a book written in advance on the coming of Christ (Lk. 24:44). That the Old Testament characters, events, and miracles are true and historical. Some of the Old Testament people and events Christ referred to are: the creation (Mk. 13:19), Adam and Eve (Mt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-7), Cain and Abel (Mt. 23:35; Lk. 11:50-51), Noah and the flood (Mt. 24:37-39), Abraham (Jn. 8:39-40), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lk. 17:28-29), Lot’s wife turning to salt (Lk. 17:32), Jonah and the whale (Mt. 12:39-41; Lk. 11:29-32), Nineveh repenting at Jonah’s preaching (Lk. 11:32), The queen of Sheba visiting Solomon (Lk. 11:31). And Yes -Moses and the burning bush (Mk. 12:26) and his giving the law, Jesus said “Did not Moses give you the law (John 7:19)

These men speak of a testimony- Here’s a testimony –from Moses.

Exodus 34:29: “Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.” (The very laws these men say God did not give Man.)

The ark they built is called the ark of the testimony- why? Because the two tablets that contained the 10 laws were put inside it. All the 613 laws were written down together and put on its side for the priests to have access to them and the sacrifice would be put on its mercy seat. The same glory that Moses reflected on his face showed up on the ark in between the angels on the mercy seat.

Testimony of two or three witnesses.

Ps 119:88-89: “Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.”

Obviously it is not settled in the heart of the scoffers on earth.

Jesus made it clear John 12:48 “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him– the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

John 15:7-8: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Matt 24:35: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

What these men said is shameful and ignorant of what the Bible is and who God is, and they are spreading it to others in the church.

Jn.14:23: “If anyone loves me he will keep my word.” This is his commandment to show our devotion. One cannot keep it if they doubt and question its validity. On the other hand in v.24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”

Since Jesus said His word is the Father’s this becomes an essential to know and have have a relationship to God. if you mock his word as truth you are mocking God. I hope either of this men will come to their senses and faith and stop spreading opinions that is contrary to God.

 

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Going Downhill Always Goes Faster Than Going Uphill

When I was a child, I, like many others used to go down a playground slide, and then turn around and try to climb right back up the same way I slid down. It always took a far greater effort to do this. Christianity is somewhat like this, it takes effort, willpower and strength (both spiritually and physically) to go forward then  it does to slide backward. To resist than to go with the direction of the majority. This means we must think for ourselves, test what we see and hear to discern truth from error, good from evil.

We welcome new leaders and recognize them for their service to Christ. Today there are many new leaders, but there is a shortage of biblically well trained leaders who are aware of the issues and have answers to them. There are just as many new leaders serving an agenda, themselves and money than Christ. Postmodernism, pluralism, relativism, interfaith and occult ideas and practices have reached so deep into the church that we can’t seem to see through the murky waters we are now swimming in. Transformation, transition and change are words that are becoming quite familiar to us in practice. Something is “emerging” and very quickly I might add that we need to identify what it actually is. Unity and tolerance would are part of the agenda that is now taking place.

Here are just a few examples:

The joint Vatican-World Council of Churches (WCC) consultation convened some 30 Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal and Evangelical theologians and church representatives in Toulouse, France, for a high-level meeting entitled “Towards An Ethical Approach to Conversion: Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World.” Their aim is to produce a code of conduct on religious conversion commonly agreed among Christians by 2010. The first meeting was attended by representatives of the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Yoruba faiths along with Christians (Ethan Cole Christian Post Reporter churchexecutive .com)

Numerous evangelical leaders who have said that Christians and Muslims need to come together because they worship a common God. A friend told me just this week (Feb.13-16 2008) TBN matt Crouch and Jan Crouch said that we Christain and Muslims worship the same God. Their ignorance on this matter exceeds others.

A while back this trend had gained momentum, Christian leaders across denominational lines responded to an open letter signed by 138 representative Muslim leaders with their own letter, calling on the two Abrahamic faiths to love God and neighbors together.

Over 100 theologians, ministry leaders, and prominent pastors have thus far signed the response letter issued by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.

Signers include Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners; Rick Warren, founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church; Bill Hybels (Willow Creek Association) Brian McLaren; Christianity Today; Fuller Seminary, David Yonggi Cho (Korea)YWAM; John Stott, rector emeritus of All Souls Church in London; and Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals….”

Feb. 9, 2008, Pastor emphasizes path of good works, not divisive politics Author says Christianity needs 2nd Reformation By MIichelle Boorstein

WASHINGTON — Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor and philanthropist who is courted by political leaders worldwide, says he thinks Christianity needs a “second Reformation” that would steer the church away from divisive politics and be “about deeds, not creeds.”

Speaking Tuesday to a group of Washington Post reporters and editors, the evangelical author said he had an “epiphany” in recent years because of his wife’s battle with cancer and the success of his book, The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold more than 25 million copies.

Humbled and scared, he said, he decided to focus on helping the needy and the sick, particularly those with AIDS.

That meant advocating for a broader agenda for evangelicals beyond same-sex marriage and bioethical issues like abortion and stem cell research. That’s a shift from the e-mail Warren sent before the 2004 election to his regular distribution list of 136,000 pastors, telling them to focus on those hot-button issues, which he called “non-negotiables.”

Warren said he now regrets that e-mail — not because he’s changed his views in opposing abortion and same-sex marriage, but because he places them on a longer list of priorities.

Now, he says, he wants to promote personal responsibility and restore civility in American culture.

“I just think we’re becoming too rude,” he said. “You have no right to demonize someone just because you disagree with them.”

Changing the culture, he said, is not done only through politics but also through things like art, music and sports.

“People are so worried churches are going to be about conversion,” he said, “but everyone has a motive. Everyone has a world view. Christianity is a world view. … I don’t care why you do good as long as you do good.” (Washington Post http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/religion/5527170.html)

This certainly agrees with his former concept he gave in his global peace plan,

“Who’s the man of peace in any village – or it might be a woman of peace – who has the most respect, they’re open and they’re influential? They don’t have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they’re open and they’re influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that’s going to bring the second Reformation (The Pew and Religion Forum May 23, 2005).

Should there be any doubt that Ecumenism and inter-spirituality are part of Warrens philosophy and peace plan? The believer still prays “Thy Kingdom Come” which will only be when Christ returns.

These concepts are not new but they are being embraced as never before. “If there is to be a new world it must come first of all through a new spirit in the nations. There must be created an international mind and conscience; we must learn to think of humanity as one family and to have a world patriotism; they must keep their minds free from jealousy and selfishness, and must base their policy and practice upon true and Christian principles, they must be as quick to resent injustice by a nation as by an individual. Humanity must become an ideal in order that it may become an actuality. World patriotism must be a faith, a chivalry, before it can be an organization. International peace must become an aspiration, a religion, before it will become a reality.”
(Samuel Z. Batten of the FCC, The New World Order (1919), cited by Martin Erdmann, Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, p. 122. )

Muslim Groups in the U.S. have joined with left-wing Protestants and Catholics in planning an “interfaith fast” on the upcoming “day officially known as ‘Columbus Day,’” according to fast organizers. Called “From Conquest to Community, From Violence to Reverence: An Interfaith Fast to End the War in Iraq,” the day of October 8, 2007 will conveniently synchronize with Islam’s “Night of Power” during Ramadan.

The fasters include officials from the Islamic Society of North America, the National Council of Churches, the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Catholic Maryknollers, Sojourners, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, and the Quaker Fellowship of Reconciliation” (By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com 7/31/2007)

Unity that we have decided on has made the church feel good despite it having no biblical precedent or substance. All these movements are an appeal; to the flesh and soul not the spirit. Spiritual unions will increase with such magnitude that our jaws will drop at those who unite, even within the church. Imagine Paul saying to the Corinthians, since the majority of you want to conduct the church in this way we will do it. Lets vote on it… That is exactly what we are seeing in the fastest growing cultic movement within the church at large, called the emerging church.

“Many emerging churches, including Bluer, have revived medieval liturgies or practices, including prayer labyrinths and lectio divina, or sacred reading, a process of intense meditation and prayer over a short biblical passage.” Churches Pray to a Different Drummer, The New York Times (USA), Feb. 18, 2004)

They visualize, do Yoga, chant mantras and borrow numerous other practices of other religions and call this a movement of rethinking of Christianity. Along with this movement is a new Jesus and different gospel message.

Brian McLaren who has surfaced as one of the main spokesman for the emergent church tells us on page 139 of The Secret Message of Jesus: “…If Jesus were here today, I am quite certain he wouldn’t use the language of kingdom at all” A better term than “the kingdom of God” is “the dream of God for creation” (referring to Martin Luther King, Jr.; p. 140-142). That evil and sin (i.e., such things as “prisons” and “conformity”) are God’s “nightmares” (p. 141). We should“Invite people of all nations, races, classes, and religions to participate in this network of dynamic, interactive relationships with God and all God’s creation!” (p.74)

In his book The Secret Message of Jesus, Brian McLaren is saying that God is calling everyone to be part of His “dream for our world coming true,” a dream that will be fulfilled when everyone and everything in the entire universe will become the kingdom of God (pp. 91, 104, 191, 193, 194, 210, 234).

McLaren wants us all to be open to change. That belief in God is enough, absurdo reducto – the goal is to have a generic belief that all can accept and unite with.

Taking statements out of their correct context he makes up his own. Paul said it like this: ‘Old distinctions like Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female no longer exist, for you are all one in Christ.’ To McLaren this includes other religions that reject who Christ is and his message. “ …. Christians with Jews and Muslims and Hindus (pp.99-100).

It does not matter that he and others subvert the faith delivered once to all the saints when he teaches that there people of all religions included in the kingdom of God, The Christian faith should become a welcome friend to other religions of the world, and not a threat” as He stated in “A Generous Orthodoxy.” That not all people need to be Christians to follow Jesus.  Some may be able to be “Buddhist or Hindu followers of Jesus.” And Leonard Sweet agrees. In his book Quantum spirituality “ One can be a faithful disciple of

Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna.

A globalization of evangelism “in connection” with others, and a globally “in-formed” gospel, is

capable of talking across the fence with Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim–people from other so called “new”

religious traditions (“new” only to us)–without assumption of superiority and power. (p.130 underline mine)

McLaren “…many Hindus are willing to consider Jesus as a legitimate manifestation of the divine… many Buddhists see Jesus as one of humanity’s most enlightened people….  A shared reappraisal of Jesus’ message could provide a unique space or common ground for urgently needed religious dialogue—and it doesn’t seem an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet may depend on such dialogue. This reappraisal of Jesus’ message may be the only project capable of saving a number of religions.” (Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that could change everything, page 7.)

A mystic is someone who seeks personal contact or an experience with God by invoking certain methods or practices. The mystical worldview does not adhere to there being only one way to God –but sees many ways and that all are acceptable as each finds their own way. None is greater than another (as in Rosicrucianism)

The mystic quest does change ones thinking from truth revealed through the Holy Spirit to influences from other spirits that Paul warned would be the teachers in the end times from the pulpits (1 Tim.4:1)

According to these “rethinkers” everyone can have different opinions, we can all be right and can live happily together? So says the Oprah worldview. Many of these movers and shakers in the church are majoring in the Hegelian dialectic, intent on moving the sheep to religious syncretism, and accepting Universalism. It has become a very serious and expanding deception. They have their own opinions and think they are doing everyone a favor by their new way of thinking.

The prophet Isaiah wrote-5:18-21 “Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, And sin as if with a cart rope; That say, “Let Him make speed and hasten His work, That we may see it; And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, That we may know it.” Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!

Like a child that will not color within the lines of a picture, the emergent church movement is moving outside the lines. The emergent church questions nearly everything that was basically settled by the church long before, they are unhindered by doctrine of their predecessors and instead bring other spiritual practices inside for worship.

When you have a leader like McManus state: “My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ,” (said in a telephone interview) “Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right” (from The Barbarian Way) (referenced Lighthoustrailsresearch.com), we had better sit up straight and pay attention to what they are saying and where they are leading the church to.

While we slept the world changed and so did the church. Many church leaders are like politicians who have stuck their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, they make sure to catch the direction of the wind.

Joel Osteen has 30,000 in weekly attendance and its service broadcast to over 7 million people a week. His book A Better You has gathered the attention of some of the Media. He was interviewed on “60 Minutes,” in about 1 minute into this clip he speaks of 7 principles he believes will to improve you.

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/ver/251.7/popup/index.php?cl=6324320

The Interviewer mentions, be positive toward yourself- develop better relationships- Embrace the place where you are – but God and Jesus are missing in all this equation he came up with, “Osteen says that’s just my message-emphasis on “MY.”

What about the Bibles teaching of denying and dying to self which seems to go contrary to the “ME” he is preaching about. Without it one is not being discipled.

Osteen “How do we walk out the Christian life how do we live it- these are principles that can help you if, theres a lot better people qualified to say here’s a book to explain the scriptures to you- I don’t think that’s my gift.”

As Jesus said: Out of the mouth the heart speaks–then he is not called to be a pastor. And I say this regardless of his smile.

Sir John Marks Templeton is an evolutionist and a pantheist and not a friend to Christianity. He appeals to all faiths to have unity with common goals. His Foundation seeks to promote a deeper understanding of the influence spirituality has in our everyday lives and brings people together from various different religious persuasions. Rick Warren of the bestseller The Purpose Driven Life was one of five on the judging committee for the Power of Purpose Essays. Can one have a right purpose without Jesus Christ in their life? That certainly was not who won. Compromise to the left, compromise to the right- where does it lead to?

An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; And my people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31)

We are told that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. The word of God tells us in the parable of the woman and leaven that the whole church will be permeated by foreign teaching. Matthew 13:33-35: “Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”

There is a prophetic significance to the parables that Jesus revealed to the church, they tell us of what will transpire as we get closer to His coming. When so called leaders go into mysticism, the occult and the people follow, we are nearing the conclusion of things. There are those who seek God the wrong way- and those who seek God correctly. Who you listen to and are taught by matters. When the church wants to listen to leaders who give us other religious practices, yoga, mediation etc. they have chosen a Saul over David. And they will end up with the same judgment of Saul, who in the end consulted a witch to hear from God.

This has been a steady diet of occult practices into the church from the word faith / Latter Rain teachers .

Dominnionist Earl Paulk contacts the dead; Benny Hinn practices necromancy, hearing from the dead Kathryn Khulmann, the dead even appear in his room…Rick Joyner’s visions that are completely against the Scripture are accepted, others like Jesse Duplantis claim to visit heaven and as they describe it in their books and speaking tours they have a very different description and theology than the Bible. Many more examples can be cited.

Kenneth Copeland denies Jesus ever claimed to be God according to Jesus himself that spoke to Copeland and then Copeland turns around and teaches that he is a little god.

“The more you get to be like Me, the more they’re going to think that way of you. They crucified Me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah” (Believer’s Voice of Victory magazine, February 1987, pg. 9).

Yet when Copeland was challenged as to the validity of the “prophecy” he stated “Why didn’t Jesus openly proclaim Himself as God during His 33 years on earth? For one simple reason. He hadn’t come to earth as God, He’s come as man” (Believer’s Voice of Victory magazine, Aug. 1988, p. 8).

The more the church overlooks the more it increases. God has been testing his church as he did Israel in the wilderness (Deut.8 2-3). God does His testing during different periods of history. It was Israel then and it is our time of testing like never before (Deut. 13). Psalms 11:4-6 “The LORD is in His holy temple, The LORD’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.” What are YOU going to do with what is taking place?

As Jeremiah says, we love to have it so (Jer. 5:31). The church hates the true prophets that speak the word of God for correction and in so doing they have rejected the Lord’s counsel not once, not twice but repeatedly.

Satan does not pick no-bodies but uses those of influence. The original 12 apostles were ambassadors in chains, prisoners of Christ who gave their lives to bring the truth to those inside and outside Israel. Our modern day “super-apostles” and “prophets” would have a better fit with the miracle working magicians of Pharaohs court than Moses. Even Moses who misrepresented God once to the people was not allowed to enter the promised land. A lesson that is intentionally ignored.

Christians are not to be at ease, at home in this world and they certainly are not to use the worlds wisdom or spiritual ideas to improve themselves. It all continues in a downward slide but when it will end? In 2 Pt.2 we are told that there judgment does not slumber, it is waiting for them at the end of the slide.

Watching what and who the “New” leaders of the church say has become a interesting past time. You never know what will be their next Scripture slaughter.

Brian McClaren mocks the “fundamentalist expectations” of a literal second coming of Christ and coming judgments on the world (A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 305).

Friday Church News Notes, February 15, 2008 The emerging church considered the Rapture doctrine to be dangerous because it interferes with their “kingdom building” and environmental activities.

Tony Campolo- That whole sense of the rapture, which may occur at any moment, is used as a device to oppose engagement with the principalities, the powers, the political and economic structures of our age” (“Opposition to women preachers evidence of demonic influence,” Baptist Press, June 27, 2003).

While they propagate taking over the earth by their wrong spiritual warfare model, the believer knows the whole armor of God must be put on to stand against an incredibly intelligent schemer, the devil and his army who is out to make you doubt, be disengaged or disbelieve the truth, replacing it with men’s opinions. And there is a never ending stream of opinion-s a never ending stream of clichés and sappy sayings one can remember.

The Rethink Conference was co-hosted by Erwin Mc Manus and Robert Schuller where emergent church leaders and others congregated together. Yes, Bible liberals do have unity. The Rethink Conference had speakers: Gary Smalley, Chuck Colson, Henry Cloud, and Kay Warren, along with Larry King, Former President George Bush Sr., Rupert Murdoch of Fox.

Their message is the paradigm shift is now underway. I agree- it’s called the apostasy from the faith delivered to the saints once and for all – found in the word.

Robert Schuller who promotes religious syncretism wrote:

“Move into mighty moods of meditation. Draw energy from centers of sacred solitude, serenity, and silence…. Find yourself coming alive in the garden of prayer called meditation…. Yes, the “New Agers” have grabbed hold of meditation…. Hey, Christian! Hear me! Let’s not give up the glorious, God-given gift of meditation by turning it over to those outside our faith” (Prayer: My Soul’s Adventure with God, pp. 141, 151)

If others can practice this mediation then this type of meditation is cannot be Christian in fact it will change you, it will synthesize you into the New Age movement!

Schuller also stated “Standing before a crowd of devout Muslims with the Grand Mufti, I know that we’re all doing God’s work together” (2001 biography, My Journey p. 501).

Like his original influence, Robert Schuller openly embraces all types of spiritual paths where he actually said if he came back 100 years from now and found his descendants to be Muslim it would be fine. What nice thing to say. Why wait, why not do it now?

This is their “Rethink,” we are seeing a molding together of several different religio/spiritual systems with Christianity to purposely change it. The conclusion is that it will be more palatable for the masses, it will water down the churches influence. To think you can combine some Christian teaching, Buddhism, Islam and we will all get along. One should tread lightly following men who state such things, lest you be led away by their error to another Jesus, and a different gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

The doors seem to be swung wide open for anything to walk through our assembly. The church has kept up with the pace of the dumbing down in culture that she is no longer able to recognize what is good, right or true. People cannot recognize error nor the apostates because they are not in the faith (2 Cor.13) or trained by the word of truth (Heb.5:13).

When you do not have a basic understanding of the gospel as is present in the emergent church then you are not saved buy it. For the message is linked to Jesus. When you see people claim to be followers of Christ and question nearly everything written in the Bible they have religiosity, they are unconverted. They think like the world and lack faith. This movement has had had a deleterious effect on the church. These men are dismantling the church doctrine by doctrine until all that is left is everyone’s personal opinions.

Deuteronomy 8:2-3: “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.”

God has proven himself to those who are faithful in adhering to His word. They may wander but they will be fed.

Ever watch something roll from the top of a steep high hill, the longer it goes down the faster it goes and the more momentum it gains until it is unstoppable. An unstoppable force-

Judges 2:20-3:1: Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice, I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.” Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out immediately; nor did He deliver them into the hand of Joshua.”

God has been testing us, and is no longer driving out the false teachers but allows them to stay, and even increase. Why? “And my people love to have it so. But what will YOU do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31). Make your choice while you can, for you can have an assembly, a church God has put together and upholds-or YOU can put together a house with staples but eventually it will fall apart at the seams.

© 2008 No portion of this site is to be copied or used unless kept in its original format- the way it appears. Articles can be reproduced in portions for ones personal use. Any other use is to have the permission of  Let Us Reason Ministries first. Thank You.

 

From my brothers and sisters in the Lord at Lighthouse Trails

 

 

According to a September 19th Christianity Today blog article, the emerging church is dead. “An overused and corrupted term now sleeps with the fishes,” the article states. But is this even remotely true? Or rather could it be that the emerging church, or what we call the “merging” church, is morphing into its next “higher” level, and just as a butterfly would not want to be called a worm, neither do many in this evolving movement want to be called “the emerging church” any longer. However, unlike the beauty of a golden butterfly broken from its cocoon, the merging church does not share such grandeur. In reality, it is a dangerous pied piper leading millions over a deadly cliff of deception. And just as the “birth” of the emerging church was a well-thought out, highly-financed “dream” of millionaire corporations and futurists, so too will be its supposed “death” and rebirth. But don’t be fooled, the emerging church and the spirituality behind it is alive and kicking. 

The Christianity Today posting claims that an “informant” from a publishing house told him that two years ago plans were in the making to drop the term “the emerging church” because “the term has become so polluted.” The writer says that emerging church leaders, like Dan Kimball, don’t want to use that term anymore. Kimball says the current emerging church has too many “theological strands” that he “strongly disagrees with.” Kimball’s 2003 book The Emerging Church (endorsed by Rick Warren and Brian McLaren, both who wrote forewords for the book) has been considered a signature book for the movement. 

The writer of the CT article proclaims: “It seems my informant’s prophetic word has come to pass. The emerging church is dead–at least in nomenclature, if not in spirit.” But nothing could be further from the truth. And just as there has been a concerted effort by top New Age leaders over the last decade or so to drop the term “New Age” because of its negative exposure, so too emerging church leaders want to drop the name of their movement, and for the very same reason the New Agers are running from their term … not because, as Kimball suggests, it’s too hard to define the movement anymore theologically but rather because the movement has been exposed for what it really is by Bible believing Christians. 

Lighthouse Trails will assume that those reading this special commentary have already read Roger Oakland’s expose of the emerging church, Faith Undone, and understand how the movement began with big corporation dollars and the idea of an emerging church from men like Peter Drucker as well as Bob Buford’s Leadership Network (of which contained the influence of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels and mystics of the past). For those who have not read Faith Undone, you can read about this in our article, “Bob Buford, Peter Drucker, and the Emerging Church.” In essence, the major manipulation of success-driven leaders, publishing companies, and corporations created the emerging church movement, and now perhaps a new spiritual move (a better one at that) will arise, with many calling it a move of God, when in truth it will merely line more pockets and continue to bring confusion and disillusionment to millions. 

If the CT writer’s words are true and a publishing house informant told him the plan that the publishing industry has to drop the term emerging church, what will they replace it with? The New Age gurus have attempted to replace their term with “the New Spirituality.” To define this new spirituality, they use words and terms like awakening, emergence, oneness, God’s dream, transformation, new reformation, Kingdom of God on earth, global peace, expansive redemption, rethinking, co-creation, christ-consciousness, and imagination. But while these New Age leaders have moved away from the term “New Age,” replacing it with these other terms, it is important to note that the woman who coined the term “New Age,” Alice Bailey, used most of the terms above to define the New Age. These words do define the New Age. 

With that in mind, what words and terms are the emerging church leaders using today? Here’s the list: awakening, emergence, oneness, God’s dream, transformation, new reformation, Kingdom of God on earth, global peace, expansive redemption, rethinking, co-creation, christ-consciousness, and imagination. We could show you example after example. Phyllis Tickle’s new book, The Great Emergence, Erwin McManus’ book Wide Awake and his website Awaken (formerly Awaken Humanity), Leonard Sweet’s “christ-consciousness,” Rob Bell’s co-creation, Rick Warren’s global peace and new reformation, Brian McLaren’s God’s Dream, and the list could go on and on. 

Just as the New Age movement has had to rename itself in order to maintain societal acceptance, so too the emerging church must put on a coat of differentcolors to maintain its welcome within the walls of Christianity. Those, like Roger Oakland, who have meticulously revealed the true nature of the emerging church, have forced its leaders (including the publishing houses and financiers) to play their hand. 

What will be the next move and what will be the implications? The CT article says that “news has been leaking about a new network being formed by Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, and Scot McKnight among others.” Dan Kimball and Erwin McManus HAVE been sharing some of the same platforms lately. At Robert Schuller’s 2008 Rethink conference, the two were there as speakers. At McManus’ Awaken 2008 conference, Kimball accepted McManus’ invitation to be a speaker there. Incidentally, as we stated in a a news brief about that event, one of the speakers at Awaken 2008, has promoted New Age leader and Oprah favorite, Eckhart Tolle. But in light of the marked similarities between the New Age and the emerging church, that really shouldn’t come as a surprise. As for a new network, Dan Kimball talked about Awaken on his own website after the event was over. On that post, Kimball stated: [W]e have been dreaming and meeting about forging a relational and intentional network/alliance.” Kimball was also with McManus at LeadNow08, another of many emerging-type conferences taking place across North America today. It will be interesting to see this new “network/alliance” – very likely we can expect to see the emergence of this dream of the awakening of humanity for the purposes of global peace brought about through a new reformation to establish the kingdom of God here on earth. Mysticism will be the vehicle to bring it about.

When the emerging church came on the scene in the late 1990s, it was able to enjoy several years of movement with virtually no criticism. Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Mark Driscoll, and the other formative men wrote book after book, did event after event, and quickly gained momentum and by the way, lots of media coverage, so much so that in 2005 Brian McLaren was named as one of Timemagazine’s 25 Most Influential Evangelical Leaders, an entitlement that took some of the winners decades of ministry to obtain. But then books, like A Time of Departing which identifies the mystical elements of the emerging church, andFaith Undone, which shows the anti-biblical nature of the movement, came out, and many people began to understand that the emerging church was an interspiritual, universalist body that was against the atonement of Jesus Christ and perpetuated a growing hostility toward the bride of Christ (the body of born-again believers). It all became just too obvious; and thus a natural response is to say, that movement has become corrupted; we are moving on to something else

Clearly, Erwin McManus is going to be one of the leaders in this revised, evolved merging church. Where is he going to lead it? In a trailer for his summer 2008 book, Wide Awake, McManus says “It’s amazing how a dream can have the power to change an entire planet … What would happen if all of us began to discover our god-given dreams? What would happen if all of us began to live wide awake? … If all of us began to live wide awake … the world would never be the same again.” How can “all of us” (all humanity is what he means) live wide awake when the Bible says that in the days before Christ’s return there will be a great falling away, and where it says that nations will turn against God and where it says an anti-christ will cause multitudes to bow down and worship him? Why is McManus suggesting that all humans can be wide awake? And to what are they awakening? The Bible says that in the last days Satan will deceive the whole world (Revelation 12:9). But perhaps McManus would agree with New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard who says if enough people come together, then Revelation’s predictions can be avoided. This notion is what New Agers term Armageddon Alternative. In Warren Smith’s stunning expose’ of the New Spirituality, he describes this “alternative” to Armageddon and the implications it carries.1 

While it appears that emerging is going to do another split (remember when Mark Driscoll (and others) divided the movement into a few different groups: revisionist, reformed, and relevant), the point to keep in mind is that it is stillemerging spirituality. And such spirituality embraces mysticism, attempts to bring about a global kingdom on earth, and believes humanity can awaken to its own divinity and oneness. Those are the earmarks of the emerging church – calling it by any other name changes it no more than calling the New Age a new name makes it something else. As the saying goes, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” In this case, apostasy by any other name is still apostasy.

When Erwin McManus said a few years ago it was his “goal to destroy Christianity,”2 it didn’t seem to bother Christian leaders. In fact, after that, respected and popular teacher David Jeremiah touted McManus and said he wanted to use McManus to help his church go through a major paradigm shift.3Well, we are witnessing a paradigm shift – actually, we are already through the shift, and now the devil is scurrying about to maintain the momentum … and secrecy of his true plans. Darkness hates the light. Emerging, New Age spirituality is nothing new. 

Thankfully, while spiritual darkness and deception seem to be overtaking the world like never before, we know that Jesus is the ultimate Victor. As believers, let us pray that many who are still in darkness will be able to hear the true Gospel, believe on it, and be saved. As the emerging church presents “another Jesus” and “another gospel” (II Corinthians 11:4), may the Lord give discernment and courage to those who belong to the One who said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36) and “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46). The kingdom of this world is in darkness – it is not one we should hope to aspire to. But He has promised to bring us into His kingdom when we place our trust in Jesus Christ (by faith through grace), “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).

Related Information:

“God’s Dream: What Does it Really Mean?”

They Like Jesus But Not the Church

EMERGENT MANIFESTO: Emerging Church Comes Out of the Closet

 

I am very glad to announce that author of “Time of Departing” and “For Many Shall Come In My Name” Ray Yungen will be speaking at my church the Piqua Church of the Nazerene. Ray is a speaker and research analyst has studied religious movements for the last twenty years. There will be two-40 minute sessions (session 1-New Age & Contemplative Prayer & session 2- The Emergent Church/Interspirituality followed by a 1/2 hour Q&A session. There will be a love offering taken up for Ray at this service.

Here is the rest of Rays schedule-

RAY YUNGEN’S ITINERARY

If you would like to have Ray Yungen speak to your group, please call us at 503/873-9092 or email us at editors@lighthousetrails.com to arrange the details. Ray will speak to both large and small groups, college and high school students, at seminars and conferences and in people’s homes. He charges no fee, but we ask each group to pay for his lodging and food during his stay, and honorarium offerings can be given to his ministry to help cover travel expenses, research materials, etc.

2008 Schedule

APRIL 2008
Filming by Caryl Productions for the upcoming DVD on the emerging church
Menifee, California

July 2008
Available in British Columbia, Canada for month of July

July 27, 2008
Piqua Church of the Nazarene
400 South Sunset Drive
Piqua Ohio
937-778-0052
Two sessions at 6pm
No charge. Free will offering will be taken.

August 1-3, 2008
Franklin Road Baptist Church
51 North Franklin Road
Indianapolis, Indiana
Saturday August 2, 6:00 p.m
Sunday August 3, 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (all four talks will be different)
No charge. Free-will offering will be taken.

AUGUST 7, 2008 (WARREN SMITH AND RAY YUNGEN)
Pastors and Leaders Conference (OPEN TO ALL)
The Shepherd and the Watchmen conference
Johnson County Calvary Chapel
Johnson County, Kansas
Thursday, August 7th, 6:30-9:00pm
Friday, August 8th, 8am-8pm, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Saturday, August 9th, 7am-1pm, with breakfast and lunch
Sunday June 10th, 10am Service

No charge. Free will offering taken.

For more information contact 913-829-9306

August 10-11, 2008 (WARREN SMITH AND RAY YUNGEN)
Calvary Chapel of Clarinda
1500 S. 14th
Clarinda, Iowa

August 16, 2008
Cedarburg Cultural Center
W62 N546 Washington Avenue
Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Saturday 8am-12noon

August 17, 2008
Lake Country Bible Church
meeting at: Lake Country School
1800 Vettleson Road

Hartland, Wisconsin
Sunday 9:30am and 6:00pm
(two different talks)

August 23, 2008
AM- Interview with Jan Markell on KKMS

Afternoon: 1pm-5pm – Twin City Fellowship
“A Time of Departing Conference”
2734 Rhode Island Ave S
St. Louis Park, MN
Corner of W 28th St & Rhode Island Ave S
For further information, please call 952-935-3100.
No charge. Free willing offering will be taken.

August 28-31, 2008
Winkler/Winnipeg, Manitoba

September
Montana – Tentative

October/November
West Coast

October29, 2008
Calvary Chapel Redding

Nov. 1-2 (with Warren Smith)
Big Valley Bible Church
226 Poplar
Lodi, CA

209-329-5084

I found this new quote from Richard on another blog and could not help but respond with scripture.

There is something seriously wrong with Richard Abanes folks. Here is Richards quote and my comments.

 

Richard Abanes says “Some things are crystal clear in scripture and should be, indeed MUST be, held without compromise. Other things, meh, who cares. Certainly not God. And then there are those things that are neither technically commanded, nor technically forbidden — but they fall under what is wise, common sense, considerate, responsible, loving, and sacrificial.”

My comments

But the Bible states in 2 Tim 3:16-17 “16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Note the key word “All”
Yes folks God does care.
Richard Abanes certainly cannot and does not speak for God most of all when it conflicts with what God has written.
Tim Wirth

 

After I wrote this I also thought who decides what is crystal clear in scripture?

Richard Abanes?

You want Richard Abanes to be that guide?

Heck he needs 6-8 weeks to decide if Ken Blanchard is indeed still endorsing new age books.

If he cant figure out the obvious I would not look to the way Richard discerns scripture.

Because it is obvious Richard does not know Gods Word.

Tim