As Easter approaches, Southern Baptists are preparing to give sacrificially to the Annie Armstrong Offering. The website explains that "missions personnel are enabled to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Because every dollar given to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® goes to direct support of missionaries and their ministries, Southern Baptists are confident offering gifts are an investment in eternity."
Are Southern Baptist members aware of the North American Mission Board's alignment and support of the Emergent Church movement? Are Southern Baptists giving to an organization in honor of a godly woman, such as Annie Armstrong, in the name of evangelism while the NAMB supports the Emergent theology?
SBC Pastor Ken Silva stands as one of the few voices in the wilderness calling out to the SBC to return to Biblical orthodoxy and ecclesiology.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
As Easter approaches, Southern Baptists are preparing to give sacrificially to the Annie Armstrong Offering. The website explains that "missions personnel are enabled to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Because every dollar given to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® goes to direct support of missionaries and their ministries, Southern Baptists are confident offering gifts are an investment in eternity."
It seems the proponents of the mystical & the emerging are getting a boost from the pillars of the popular Church Growth movement. Erwin McManus is now set for Saddleback Worship Conference. McManus (SBC) will share the stage with the new godfather of the the ecumenical, mystical, psychological and commercial church growth movement, Rick Warren. McManus has also appeared at Ed Young Jr's C3 Conference , with Bill Hybels,and T.D. Jakes.
McManus has emerged as one of the most visible leaders of the emerging church. Back in 2005, this movement was identified as a threat to Gospel. Mr. Warrren apparently does not share this opinion. Now, with Warren's support, the movement will go to new heights. Interesting to note how quickly the Emergents have aligned themselves with the ecumenical political action group The Red Letter Christians. With the ecumenical goal to serve the greater good, we now see a strong similarity with Warren's P.E.A.C.E. plan. Pastor Ken Silva (SBC) chronicles McManus' theology at Apprising Ministries.
Lighthouse Trails Research reports that Bill Hybel's "Willow Creek has also been a catalyst for the emerging church movement...While the speaker line up for the Leadership Summit this year includes contemplative proponent John Ortberg, it also includes former president Jimmy Carter. " Willowcreek has distinguished it's model for the seeker sensitive church.
With these two heavy hitters from the church growth industry under girding the Emergents, no doubt they, too, will experience "exponential" growth.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Zaadz.com is a Social Network With a Purpose. Zaadz ( Dutch for "seeds" )stated purpose is:
"Our Mission. We're gonna change the world. Our math goes like this: you be the change + you follow your bliss + you give your greatest strengths to the world moment to moment to moment + we do everything in our power to help you succeed + you inspire and empower everyone you know to do the same + we team up with millions like us = we just affected billions = we (together) changed the world."
"We’re in the process of building THE most inspired community of people in the world…social networking with a purpose, a community of seekers and conscious entrepreneurs circulating wisdom and inspiration and wealth and all that good stuff. We're passionate about inspiring and empowering people to bring their dreams to life, learning and growing and getting paid to do what they love, using their greatest gifts in the greatest service to the world." Zaad.com identifies The Best Loved Heroes & Teachers as Bhudda, Ghandi, Jesus, Mother Theresa and more. Zaad.com just announced a significant investment from Whole Foods' CEO John Mackey.
Examining Zaad's mission & objectives, one sees a striking resemblance to Rick Warren's ecumenical presentation of The P.E.A.C.E. plan. The only difference between Zaad.com and Rick Warren's network is Zaad.com does not pretend to be a church, or hide the fact that Zaad is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating revenue through Conscious Capitalism, run by a self-described philosopher / CEO.
Perhaps what is more startling is the resemblance of what the folks at Herescope have been discussing. For the last two months, Herescope has been putting the pieces together regarding the Church Networking Mission.
"The World Christian Movement is not a single organization, but rather a network of organizations working toward the same goal. They use many of the same resources and incorporate the same buzzwords to define and implement their mission."
--Al Dager, "U.S. Center for World Mission," The World Christian Movement (Sword, 2001) [emphasis added]
Herescope describes the following:
"The "new world order" of mission activity is vastly different. The mission movement was intentionally set up based on the systems model (also known as General Systems Theory -- see previous posts). "Networking" is more sophisticated than simple ecumenism. It is a way to burrow down deeply through organizational structures through stealth to infiltrate and diffuse new ideas that will begin to change things. Networking has the effect of leaven, when it comes to doctrine and practice, permeating an existing organization with new thoughts, new ideas, and new doctrines via missionary training, cross-pollination with other groups, partnerships, and the more sophisticated "collaboration."
Herescope has been running a series on this topic. Arm yourself with this information and share with others before the flood of deception breaches the levee.
Start here: NETWORKING FOR TRANSFORMATION;
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason Ministries describes the chronic condition of the church today.
"Too many are unaccountable for what they are teaching. They are hurting people’s lives both spiritually and physically. Because of this, so many are depressed, disillusioned, and are losing hope. We love people enough not to sit idly by but to be active in helping them understand what has taken place and help them get freedom that is in Christ Jesus. Love is an action, a commitment and in this case to the word of God which is the truth and to God’s people."
"They don’t defend Christ when he is mocked or ridiculed by the world but they do defend their teachers WHEN THEY ARE QUESTIONED OR EXPOSED. It is a form of idolatry to follow man over Jesus and the word of God that is truth."
"There are too many Christians that look with disdain on those who publicly defend the Christian faith. For numerous reasons, they have been convinced that we should not have a say about anything. What if the early Church lived by their example against the heresies that arose? We certainly would not have any Christianity today."
Read more here...
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries shares two video clips produced by Emergents who throw the second stone : mocking Christians, creating a new identity for themselves as "Christ followers". Interesting to note how the new "Christ followers" out of their own imaginations create their version of God's Word, and an experiential religious service. Of course, they have a book soon to be released to validate their path to God.
Rick Warren threw the first stone on ABC's NIGHTLINE blaming "indulgent Christians" for church splits over his ecumenical, man-centered church marketing program. Rick Warren forecasted the stone throwing when he stated that fundamentalism will be one of the big enemies of the 21st century. Rick set the new example as to "loving your neighbor", and the Emergents seem to be following suit.
Now, it seems there are two segments of Christianity forming, the "popular" Christians and the "problem" Christians. The "problem" Christians are those who have been told "You have a problem" because they stand up and challenge the departure from Biblical doctrine. They stand up and call out the pursuit of worldly worship services. They stand up and call out for their church to look how far it has fallen and return to it's first love.
Which group will be willing to suffer for the glory of God? Time will soon tell, as more stones will be cast at the Bible believing, God fearing, problem creating Christians.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Ruminations and Ramifications gives a no nonsense, cut-to-the-chase review of Bill Hybels' Just Walk Across The Room...
"The theology is terrible. There is no consistent thread of soteriology. We are merely unfulfilled people, not with a sin problem, but with a fulfillment problem. Apparently, according to the author, we are not in rebellion against God (he does, in his defense, mention we are in rebellion once, but does not tie it in with why or how or what that means for us -- like eternal damnation, for starters -- or how that separates us from Him), we are merely broken people (despite the Bible's insistence we are proud and in opposition to Him, and need to be broken by Him). And our sin? Well, let's just say we are all entangled by destructive habits (no, seriously, I'm not making this up) that Jesus can save us from..."
"...In short, it was a tiring read of a different story of salvation than what I know to be true. Sin is kept locked in the basement, and Jesus is a motivational speaker with "dreams" who "sees the potential in people." If you overdo your evangelism, you could be responsible for preventing them from ever "coming to Jesus". Shame on those who talk about hell."
This book is offered with an accompanying study guide to be used in a four week campaign in churches , a la Forty Days of Purpose. Find out which churches in your state belong to the Bill Hybel's Willow Creek Association.
Don't look now, but guess who is promoting this campaign... The Leadership Network. Watcher's Lamp and numerous other sites have well documented that The LN, as an organization of business professionals birthed the Emerging Church movement.
Please note that the SBC's Lifeway Christian Resources is an Alliance Partner of the money changers at The Leadership Network.
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;7which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
Mike Ratliff of Possessing The Treasure writes...
There is fruit that real Christians produce that false Christians cannot... Genuine believers will be growing spiritually. They will be maturing. They will not simply be religious...
...However, the false believer, since he or she has not the Holy Spirit nor are they regenerate, cannot bear this fruit. It grows only in the hearts of those God has touched with His grace unto the New Birth.
Read more here...
Monday, March 26, 2007
On the heels of last week's vote in the U.K. for the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations)2007 comes Elton John's birthday bash in the U.S.
The bash started Saturday night at St John The Divine Cathedral in New York City. It is not uncommon for the Cathedral to be used for secular musical events, even though it is the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and the seat of its' Bishop. The Cathedral's mission is "to be a house of prayer for all people". Now, it's seems to be a house of music for all people.
In light of the rift of the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church over the ordination of gay priests, this event seemed steeped in symbolic defiance toward the Anglican Church, not to mention God himself. It is no secret that the rock and roll star disdains organized religion and currently is partnered with another man in a civil union.
However, Elton John's advocacy for the homosexual lifestyle isn't what bothered some folks in attendance at St. John The Divine, but rather the fact that "that everyone will be drunk and flamboyant in the cathedral," according to Elizabeth Wolff of the Washington Post.
On Sunday, the party continued at Madison Square Garden . Elton John was introduced by none other than Bill Clinton. Elton John wore a black-on-black with a large prominent silver cross, as if to intimate a priest-like presence.
The two day event itself was a symbol of defiance, deviance and sheer mockery, all with the help of the Episcopal church.
No doubt this will add to the undoing of the Episcopal Church.
23but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored...
25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. 26This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; 27TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; 28PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
Ekklesia, a UK "think-tank that promotes transformative theological ideas in public life" reports the following regarding Nigeria's criminalization of homosexuality:
The new measures "would impose brutal penalties on all relationships, activism, advocacy, and shows of affection among lesbian and gay people. It would introduce criminal penalties for any public advocacy or associations supporting the rights of lesbian and gay people, as well as for same-sex relationships and marriage ceremonies. "
That law has prompted a letter of protest, signed by 250 church leaders from the United States. Excerpts of the letter include:
"The Christian leaders call upon the government of Nigeria to "respect basic human dignity and reject the persecution of lesbians and gays by withdrawing the proposed law."
"Christianity teaches us to respect all our sisters and brothers, and that includes lesbians and gays," said Reverend Susan Russell, Senior Associate for Pastoral Life at All Saints Episcopal Church in the US. "Whether in Nigeria or in the United States, the Christian value of human dignity for all is paramount.
"As faith leaders we are committed to building bridges of understanding across divides of difference. We believe all people of faith are called to work together for a world of justice, peace and equality."
Ironically, in London, the Government's Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations) 2007 was passed. The result of the vote will mean that rather than balancing rights, the right to live a homosexual lifestyle will trump the right to live a Christian lifestyle." No letter of protest was sent from U.S. church leaders in defense of Christians in the U.K.
Berit Kjos of Kjos Ministries summed it up succintly :
"...those who trust the fundamental truths in God's Word for guidance will look like enemies to church leaders who demand conformity to man's social guidelines. Those who refuse to compromise their faith cannot share the global vision for pluralistic solidarity. Unwilling to set aside God's "divisive" old truths, they cannot march to the drum beat of facilitators trained to manipulate minds and mold collective thinkers."
Will your church be able to stand the shaking that the ecumenical call to validate homosexuality will soon cause here in the U.S.? Will it stand for the Truth of God's Word and bear the scourge of the world?
Saturday, March 24, 2007
The month of March was named after the Roman god of war, Mars. Even now in the 21st century, the month still reflects it's namesake. Here's a snapshot of what has occurred over the last few days:
DEBKAfile Intelligence reports Turkish troops have crossed into Northern Iraq. Read this penetrating analysis Flames of War Rising In Middle East at Cutting Edge Ministries.
Iranian military seizes 15 British sailors, claiming suspicious movements of British warship resulting in High alert at US and UK bases, Middle East armies on the ready
Europe claims Israel preparing for war
Israel-Jordan tensions flare over discovery of king’s covert support of Syrian terrorism
On the environmental front, Al Gore addressed Congress, stating "Our world faces a true planetary emergency."
While the global warming debate has yet to be settled, one environmental issue that is measurable and documented is the intensely dangerous and mysterious event that has been reported in the U.S. and Germany:
"Bees are dying in such dramatic numbers that the economic consequences could soon be dire. Albert Einstein quote: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."
Another environmental disaster concern as reported by the United Nations this week: Two-thirds of world could face water shortage in 2025: FAO
Pope Benedict strongly criticized the European Union on Saturday for excluding a mention of God and Europe's Christian roots in declarations marking the 50th anniversary of its founding.
As noteworthy as that is, there's seems to be little attention paid to the news that The British House of Lords passed the Sexual Orientation Regulations , "marking the imposition of a new morality...the right to live a homosexual lifestyle will trump the right to live a Christian lifestyle" according to Christian Concern for Our Nation, a UK based Fellowship of Christian Lawyers. It will only be a matter of time before the U.S. sees similar legislation.
Certainly the month of March has lived up to it's name this week.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains...
...44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Friday, March 23, 2007
David Dansker at The Newsbeats.com shares insight and concern regarding the The Godmen Conference. The organization was recently featured on ABC's Nightline. After reviewing Dansker's piece and visiting The Godmen website, the following observation is made:
It is difficult to criticize motivated, morally-minded men who assemble under the "church " banner. However, when we are assemble out of a response to a participant demographic report (60% women making up the church), we dive into the waves of pragmatism, and are driven by numbers. We then join the ranks of the metrics, under the "church" banner, appealing to the psychological needs of the audience.
Embracing testosterone and manhood may be appropriate in a fraternal organization. But our church family, the Bride of Christ, is not a fraternal organization. God demands the broken, contrite heart of men, not the puffing up and aggressiveness The Godmen seem to promte. There is nothing more masculine, nothing more feminine for that matter, than a broken vessel of a man or woman indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Ecclesiastes 9: 14 describes a little city with a few men in it... 14 There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. 15But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16But I say
that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man's wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.
If we want to see more men in our church families, we must start with the men that are there. If the pastor and elders are faithful to The Word of God, then the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit will be their strength and strong tower. If the church family is really a New Testament Church family, the encouragement, fellowship and accountability will exist. All combine to nurture, grow and mature the Christian man and woman, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. You won't have to go to a coliseum or join an organization to validate your manhood or the Christian walk.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
It's official...the Emergent Village has announced their embrace of omni-denominational partners in their collective spiritual journeys as they seek to serve mankind. Dwight Friesen, in his presentation to The National Council of Churches , reveals The Emergent Village & Full Communion perspective.
Some of Friesen's quotes shed light on the elusive emergent environment...
"Emergent Village serves as their first step into ecumenical dialogue;... participants in our emerging conversation come from an array of traditions. "
"Emergent Village began as a group of friends gathering under the auspices and generosity of The Leadership Network ."
"...we gathered in conversation,the more we discovered others who held similar dreams for their lives, their communities of faith and for the world."
"...we in Emergent Village are endeavoring to resource the theological imaginations and holistic-spiritual lives of all those who consider themselves a part of this broader movement."
"Emergent Village is a type of ecumenical movement of Christian churches from various ecclesial traditions, parachurch organizations, and Christian social-advocates..."
"...(participants)in Emergent Village life...anyone who self-identifies with the
parameters of the village conversations. "
"We are committed to a “generous orthodoxy” . "
(Editor's note: guess who else shares this commitment. Here's another chance to guess.)
"We have worked very close with a growing group of “Emerging Rabbis” who have formed an organization called Synagogue 3000."
From the editor: Like the new godfather of "liberalism", we find Rick Warren hand-in-hand with with the emergent personalities. Is your church holding Rick Warren's hand too ?
Hosea Chapter 2
2"Plead with your mother, plead-- for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband--that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts; 3lest I strip her naked and make her as in the day she was born,and make her like a wilderness, and make her like a parched land, and kill her with thirst. 4Upon her children also I will have no mercy, because they are children of whoredom. 5For their mother has played the whore; she who conceived them has acted shamefully.For she said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.'
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Does your church service look like this ?... Buy sermons "in a can"... fill-in-the-blank bulletins...
Watch this video and see what pastors are buying into with the franchise, success driven seeker sensitive church model:
Click here to See & Hear It For Yourself.
See Rick Warren describe the parameters of faith and how he coaches the Jewish leaders in numerical congregational growth.
From the Reformed Gadfly ...
"Rick, When do you plan to do your regular bait-and-switch and tell them (the Jewish audience) that Jesus is the Messiah?"
It was only a matter of time before the Synagogue went Seeker Sensitive the Saddleback Way. Another proof of the omni-denominational appeal of consumer-driven man-centered marketing of anthropological religion.
If if fits in Evangelicalism Catholicism and Judaism, Can it be called the One True Faith?, the One True Gospel?, serving the One True Lord?
Why would pastors embrace PDL, and PDL for Youth Groups if PDL brings another gospel?
Religion News Service
JEWISH WORSHIP LEADER CRAIG TAUBMAN BRINGS MEGA-CHURCH STYLE PRAYER EXPERIENCES TO ATLANTA IN BID TO INVIGORATE SYNAGOGUE LIFE
Synagogue 3000’s Atlanta Initiative presents composer/recording artist Taubman and local clergy leading services in aim to pack the pews March 23rd and 24th 2007
Read the Press Release here.
16Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. 17They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, 'It shall be well with you'; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, 'No disaster shall come upon you.'"
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Folks who experienced the 40 Days of Purpose in their churches or who have read the book, may not have noticed the embedded references to Catholicism such as:
Catholic mystic Brother Lawrence p. 88;
Doctor of Catholic mystic theology, St. John of the Cross p. 188;
Catholic priest, Henri Nouwen who wrestled with his own homosexual tendencies and sympathized with homosexuality and advocated spiritual directors. p188; Perhaps folks received an email from their pastor during the campaign quoting Henri Nouwen.
Mother Theresa, p. 125, 231,who did an incredibly noble work. However in her book, Life In The Spirit: Reflections, Meditations, and Prayers, says on pages 81 and 82: "We never try to convert those who receive (aid) to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God's presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men—simply better—we will be satisfied. It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the way God comes into their life—his life. If he does not know any other way and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his way to salvation."
The ecumenical aspect of The Purpose Driven Life is subtle. Combined with a man-centered philosophy and religious language, the book has demonstrated an omni-denominational appeal, including Catholicism.
Reporting on another front of today's "liberal theology", Roger Oakland of Understand The Times International shares evidence of the Emerging Church Movement as another road to the Roman Catholic Church .
Oakland states,"Roman Catholic mystics who embraced eastern mysticism in the past are being reintroduced, and are taking precedence over the Word of God. The onslaught of ideas promoted by these Roman Catholic mystics, such as Roman Catholic mystic and priest, Henri Nouwen is staggering."
One does not have to go far to see another link to Catholicism in Leonard Sweet's quote"...the church’s liturgy and Eucharist are being rediscovered in creative and compelling ways. A lot of emerging churches are very “smells and bells” in their worship. Whatever the diversity of spiritual practices, the key words for emerging churches are incarnational, missional, and relational."
Sweet participated in the Voice Project a collaborative work to paraphrase books of the New Testament for use by the Emergent Church. Sweet has strong ties to Rick Warren, and to New Age thinking.
Now that this Roman, Emergent matrix has circled back to Rick Warren, who sponsors Purpose Driven Catholics, it should come as no surprise that Emergent Church Leader (SBC )Erwin McManus will join Rick Warren for a Saddleback Worship Conference.
Erwin McManus has operated with impunity in the Southern Baptist Convention. McManus has shared the stage at Ed Young,Jr's C3 conferences , along with Bill Hybels and T.D. Jakes.
The ecumenical vortex continues it's destructive path. Only he whose house is built on The Rock will be shielded and saved .
Sobering thoughts from Pastor Rick Frueh at Following Judah's Lion:
"You can memorize the entire Bible and not reach it.You can know all the Greek and Hebrew and not have it.You can write your own exhaustive systematic theology and be far from it.You can be Calvinistic or Arminian and still be on the sidelines.You can preach on every verse in the Bible and not arrive at it.You can witness and not progress toward it.You can be doctrinally pure and be far from it.You can speak out against the falling away and still not get it.You can teach a Sunday School class and not have it.You can post blogs and not arrive at it."
Read more here...
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The Christian Post recently ran an article, Churches Debate Popular Purpose-Driven Model. The topic of the article centered on the "age-old debate of Christian tradition versus cultural relevance" (a comment that trivializes the reality that this is a spiritual attack on The Word of God.)
The Christian Post article featured a photo of Rick Warren speaking at Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea on July 14, 2006 for a Purpose Driven Church Conference. Sounds unremarkable, as these conferences run at high volume. But it isn't what's happening, it is where it's happening; at Yoido Full Gospel Church, home of Global-Mega Pastor Paul Yonggi Cho.
Why would an alleged SBC Pastor align himself with a man who says "that when Paul spoke of the "inner man," he was actually referring to his fourth-dimensional power to visualize things and incubate them into life."
Dr. Peter Masters states, "He does not explain why Paul fails to say one word about this himself, nor why Christendom has had to wait 2,000 years before this should be revealed through a personal revelation from God to Dr. Cho. Paul (David) Yonggi Cho's teaching is a system of mind over matter (or rather, imagination over matter).He frankly admits that it is a "Christianized" version of precisely the same methods practiced by Buddhists, exponents of yoga, and the followers of other pagan, mystical and occult systems."
David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, provides the following "Cho claims that he received the call to preach directly and personally from Jesus Christ, who supposedly appeared to him dressed like a fireman." ("Paul Yonggi Cho," Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements). Cho teaches that God promises healing and prosperity for every believer. In fact, he considers this part of the gospel. The church's web site presents a "five fold gospel" -- the gospel of regeneration, the gospel of the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the gospel of divine healing, the gospel of blessing, and the gospel of the advent.
The CP article also highlighted the omni-denominational impact of Warren's church growth model. On the local front, Baptists and the Evangelicals are not the only folks impacted by Purpose-driven, but so are Roman Catholics. Matt at catholicsphere.com writes:
"This is not simply blending church and everyday life, but rather transforming church into the ordinary and “everyday”. While relevance is good, this model goes further than that, to a level where society practically transforms the church instead of vice versa...Instead of seeking to be like society, we need to distinguish ourselves from it. That was the model that worked in the early Church and it transformed a society of decadence, violence and impurity in a way that the religious model of the day could not do..."
6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries shares a "See it for yourself moment"...
"Sometimes the most effective way to show someone error is to simply let its proponents speak for themselves. In the You Tube clip below you will hear the message of the new cult of liberalism that is the Emergent Church summed up quite succinctly. Recently Dr. John MacArthur stated the bottom line for the Emergent Church when he said, “They have embraced this [concept of] ‘mystery’ as if it’s true spirituality…it is at the foundation an unwillingness to accept the clear teaching of Scripture.”
Monday, March 12, 2007
Mike Ratliff of Possessing The Treasure shares a powerful look at confusion in today's church:
"...there are also very many teachings within the visible Church that are not based on proper Biblical exegesis. These teachings are not biblical and lead many professing Christians into darkness and away from the Light."
Read more of Do Not Love What Jesus Died to Deliver Us From.
Hopefully after reading that article, one will better understand the motivation and concern expressed in the WL's post Warren Casts The First Stone.
As previously noted on this blog, the mantra of the emergents ( and others ) is "the traditional methods to reach people must change, but not the message." Also noted here, "the old way of doing church doesn't work", as the condition of our world is used to prove this thesis, putting the blame on selfish, indulgent "traditionalists " in the churches today. (Ignoring the presence of fallen man and fallen spiritual forces as the root cause of our world's desperate condition.)
Here's another example of the commercial church growth marketing:
Church merchandising, marketing and endorsements reach a new level in Jacob Prasch's Product Placement in the Pews? Microtargeting Meets Megachurches .
The method of the early church was inseparable and subordinate to the Gospel message.
As previously stated ( and not too well received by some ) the method & message is making merchandise of people and developing user-communities in the "new way of doing church".
2 Peter 2
2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you...
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Click here for the internet version of ABC's interview with Rick Warren,
Losing His Flock and the exposure of the roots of the church growth movement
( marketing, psychology & self esteem ).
Gain another perspective from News with Views from Paul Proctor.
Please see The Watcher's Lamp response to Warren's comments and the WL article, Warren Blames Church Splits on Indulgent Christians .
"The Apostle says that his ministry had the effect of demonstrating a unique wisdom. This is to go on now, while the church is being formed. It is a revelation in which these "rulers and authorities" are learning something by observing the church. This is one of the instances in which Scripture clearly states that we are surrounded by an invisible spiritual kingdom made up both of demons and angels..."
"...we also learn from other passages that angels are watching us. It is as if we are on stage in a great theater, with the angels gathered around in many rows. Angels are watching and learning."
Read more from The Writings of Ray Stedman, and his message Secret Riches.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Pastor Steve Mitchell, pastor of Garden City Grace Brethren Church, Roanoke, VA addressed the 2006 annual session of The Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches...
"This address has in view primarily the recent involvements with high profile leaders in what is called the Church Growth Movement (CGM). Men like Bill Hybels (Willow Creek), Rick Warren (Saddleback and Purpose-Driven fame), Dan Southerland (Church Transitions) , John Maxwell (INJOY), and others who represent this movement and some of its core teachings.
Far more dangerous and I believe, in some cases, downright sinister, are the teachings and practices associated with the Emerging Church Movement and emergent postmodern ministry circles. Teachings from men like Erwin McManus, Rob Bell, Brian Mclaren, Leonard Sweet, Dan Kimball to name a few…"
See Part II of Pastor Mitchell's message. Revisit other congregations struggling with the ways of the world in the church today.
Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries writes:
"...if we also wish to show love toward those who would claim to be Christian, and yet deny cardinal doctrines of the Faith, then we’ll need to look at how the Master handled the false religions and false beliefs of His day. But somehow it’s been lost that Christianity is a controversial faith. Its Founder, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the most controversial Figure in the entire history of mankind! Let me get this point across to you once and for all: They didn’t flog people nearly to death and then nail them to the cross to be left to die for being part of the “in-crowd”! "
Read more here.
Friday, March 9, 2007
From the Watcher's Lamp
Casting the First Stone
An Open Letter to Rick Warren
I watched your interview with Martin Bishar on NIGHTLINE. Your words were careful, confident and deliberate. The world was told how to know what a real church is by virtue of your question:
“Is it going to live for itself, or is it going to live for the world that Jesus died for.”
The world now has the impression that there are only two types of churches:
One that is selfish and self centered.
One that spends itself on the world.
Living for the world , Rick ? I am not as credentialed as you , but the following verses in the Bible immediately come to mind:
John 17:9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
Read the rest here
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Philippians 1:27 describes Christian unity as “striving together for the faith of the gospel.” In many churches today, Christians who strive for the faith of the gospel are labeled “divisive” by church leaders. This two part series will show how leaders who do not preach the gospel are the real enemies of Christian unity.
True and False Unity, Part I
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
From ABC's NIGHTLINE, Wed March 7, 2007
"Warren's "outside in" approach to church growth is now causing rumblings. This past fall, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled "Purpose driven methods divide." Some evangelicals object to 'Madison Avenue' marketing of churches that follow author's advice. " In North Wilkesboro, N.C., one church exemplifies this schism..."
"You know, I wouldn't intentionally want to cause pain to any person or to anyone," Warren said. "Am I willing to put up with pain so the people [that] Jesus Christ died for can come to know him? Absolutely."
Warren said that if some churches may suffer as a result of applying some of those principles, then "that's the price."
"Every church has to make the decision. … Is it going to live for itself, or is it going to live for the world that Jesus died for?" (emphasis mine. Is that the call of the Body of Christ , living for the world? )
When asked if he thinks that some of these splits are actually because Christians themselves are indulgent and refusing to change, Warren said, "Oh, without a doubt."
And when asked if he blames them, he replied, "I do blame them."
Read transcript of interview . Video clip Rick Warren on ABC Nightline
From the editor:
Here are two actual, real life "Calls From The Faithful". The folks that Rick Warren agrees are indulgent, and are the source of pain in PDL church splits.
An Appeal by a Believer to His Pastor .
An appeal that went unanswered.
An Address To a SBC Deacon Body .
An address that received the response, "There's nothing improper about the teaching or personal conduct of the staff."
Listen to another call to return to a firm commitment to the true Gospel. Dr. Michael Youssef delivered a stirring message during the recent 2007 NRB Convention.
The Mike Corley Program.
Steve Lawson calls to fellow pastors at the The Shepherd's Conference, March 7, 2007 .
"...biblical preaching is being displaced by other things. Exposition is being replaced by entertainment; Theology for theatrics; Unfolding drama of redemption is being replaced by just plain drama. Preaching is out, dialogue is in."
Saturday, March 3, 2007
For folks who may be concerned about the direction their church is going...
Open Letter to Pastors and Leaders
"Churches that once taught the Bible faithfully verse by verse, preparing the flock for the imminent return of Jesus Christ, now are looking for ways to make their services more seeker-friendly and are less concerned about the prophetic signs we are living in the last of the last days."
Pastor: Who Has Led You Astray?
"Pastor, I used to go to your church; or maybe I still attend it. You may remember that I came to you with a concern about some program, resources, invited speaker, teaching that was being brought into our church. I told you it looked like a false teaching. I even gave you some research that was done with scripture to support my concerns."
How to know if your church is going "commercial".
One can't help but be impressed with the gentle, compassionate, and intellectual effectiveness demonstrated by some leaders in the emergent church movement. This is an attractive mosaic, energized by service and a call for community. Scot McKnight, in particular, author, scholar, and webmaster of the most popular emergent site on the 'net. In perusing his site, it is clear that McKnight is well intentioned, well educated, and well published.
McKnight's intellectual prowess is demonstrated in his post, Emergence: How so Ecumenical? He weaves a tapestry of subtleties and distinctives, creating a new image of postmodern ecumenism. An image that McKnight entertains as reflective of the emergent church movement.
What is rooted in McKnight's intensely intellectual presentation is the tenet that ecumenism is inherently appropriate in the church today.
In McKnight's own words "what I like most about this is that it is not a power play to get everyone agreed on something but a living celebration of the entirety of Church history, the diversity of its faith, and the sheer glory of its manifoldness."
McKnight's suggests a celebration over this history and diversity. The obvious implication is the emergent church movement is doing the same.
For example, one of McKnight's many speaking engagements in 2007 includes
Inside the Missional Matrix . Also speaking is Todd Hunter, the national director of The Alpha Course USA. This certainly a strong indication of the ecumenical under girding of the emerging church movement. The host of the event, The Vineyard Community Church observes the Catholic-rooted Lenten season with Henri Nouwen’s Show Me the Way.
The "diversity of it's faith" can be traced to the divisions caused by false teachers and poorly grounded Christians. This diversity can also be found in Paul's warnings to Timothy regarding teaching of proper doctrine. The diversity of church history reveals the battle to separate the truth from the lie, the holy from the profane. It is a history that should serve as an epic warning, not an ecumenical wedding.
In their efforts to be more missional, incarnational, and transformational, the emergent church movement would be wise to be Biblical, first.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
A spin off from the folks who birthed the Emergent Church movement, comes Monday Morning Insight. It is a coaching website for pastors run by Todd Rhoades. Rhoades is also on staff The Leadership Network. Rhoades shares variety of strategies with pastors to maximize their market potential, all in the name of the kingdom.
For example, Rhoades ran this article from David Hudson, Pastor of Grace Point, Las Vegas:
"CHOOSE WHO YOU LOOSE" . Hudson describes a how a pastor can't please everyone. Certainly a valid statement. However, his premise is unbiblical from the standpoint of ministry. The pastor doesn't exist to please anyone, but rather to be pleasing to God first by feeding, caring and leading his flock Biblically. Christ wasn't willing to lose one of his sheep as the Good Shepherd.
This consumerism mindset is also shared by the purpose driven camp. As Rick Warren says,
"some people are going to have to die or leave." Warren also advocates "...when you define the vision, you're choosing who leaves." The pastor's private marketing vision causes schisms in church families because there are those who recognize the departure from the Biblical foundation. It is the pastor who seems to be seduced by the allure of big numbers and the appearance of a successful ministry. Rick Warren says "it's not about you." It seems it's all about the pastor.
Here's more examples of the 5th Avenue consumerism / marketing mentality at MMI:
Using Tryvertising to Get Visitors
Tryvertising is described as “a new breed of product placement in the real world, integrating your goods and services into daily life in a relevant way, so that consumers can make up their minds based on their experience, not your messages.”
Here's a real work of the spirit...the spirit of greed.
How to Get Boomers to Pay for Your Ideas
"No matter what anyone thinks of Boomers (and there are things not to like) a lot of future ministry is going to depend on convincing us to pay for it."
How about this one...
The New Tither Money Back Guarantee.
The mantra of the emergents is "the traditional methods to reach people must change, but not the message." The message is obviously making merchandise of people and developing user-communities.
Which kingdom do they really serve, God's or mammon's?