From Christian Research Network
In another example of how far men will go in their vain imaginations in the pursuit of church growth, we read in the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Church Event Has Carnival Flavor Two Methodist Clerics Ride In On An Elephant at a Henrico Service” By TAMMIE SMITH TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
“With outdoor seating, colorful balloons, a menagerie of animals and the smell of food grilling, it was more like a carnival than a church service at Discovery United Methodist Church yesterday. And when the Rev. Jim Lavender and associate pastor Raymond Rowley, dressed in their clergy robes, rode in on an elephant to start the morning service, it seemed like a ringmaster was about to start the show.”
“Why an elephant?” said Lavender, who greeted the crowd with his arms spread wide as he sat atop the 7,000-pound pachyderm named Minnie who was led to the front by elephant handlers. Elephants are “the biggest thing God has made that walks on two feet . . . And God is bigger than that,” Lavender said.”
Potomac News.com reported “an elephant is sure to attract a crowd.”It’s literally traffic-stopping worship,” said the Rev. Jim Lavender, pastor of Discovery United Methodist Church.”
“Lavender, whose church frequently features animals in its programs, said bringing the elephant is another way to attract people who don’t normally attend church. The idea is that where children want to go, parents will follow.”
“The church is investing $20,000 in the service, which includes the cost of leasing the elephant, rentals, supplies and advertising, Lavender said.”
“We’re hopeful that this will be a big success,” Harris said. “If we get one family that wants to be part of our church, that’s a win for the Lord.”
Monday, April 30, 2007
From Christian Research Network
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Pastor Ken Silva writes:
Concerning the new book An Emergent Manifesto of Hope Emergent Church Pastor Doug Pagitt, coeditor along with the Emergent anti-theologian Tony Jones, tells us that it, “provides a rare glimpse inside the emerging church.” In his review at Pomomusings Adam Walker Cleveland, a budding “progressive Presbymergent,” and contributor to this Emersion project says of his fellow contributor:
Samir Selmanovic has a great chapter entitled, “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness: Finding Our God in the Other.” In his chapter, Samir talks about the idolatry of Christianity and asks some wonderful questions about finding God in the Others we encounter. I don’t know that more conservative folk will be as interested in a chapter that calls for a very strong sense of humility in regard to our claims of truth, but I found it to be a very engaging chapter.
And as Ingrid Schlueter shared with me today when I was her guest on Crosstalk, here is an interesting quote from the Manifesto:
I am a Christian today because of a Hindu meditation master. She taught me some things that Christians had not. She taught me to meditate, to sit in silence and openness in the presence of God…. I believe that all people are children of God. (45)
Nice sentiment, “all people are children of God,” but it is a lie from the pit of Hell. So is this Emergent rebellion against the Word of God with its idiotic inclusive mystic Manifesto. It was written long ago that Emergent people such as these are – holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:5)
Friday, April 27, 2007
From Christian Research Network:
The Independent Conservative writes…”the May 7, 2007 issue of Forbes magazine and noticed an article by none other than Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren. This issue of Forbes was all about networking. So just what would a pastor have to tell business people in an issue of a business magazine devoted to networking? Accept Jesus, he’s the best network with eternal gains? NOPE! Jesus wants you to join his network which is better than man’s? NOPE!. Warren was not writing this article as a businessman, but in his role as pastor of a church. If Warren worked in corporate marketing outside of the church (even if he also was a pastor) and wrote an article in Forbes that was not on behalf of the church (as in Christians) and was about business networks, I would not be making this post. But Warren wrote an article in a business magazine on behalf of the church and did exactly the opposite of the Lord’s example.”
By John-Henry Westen NEW YORK, April 24, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com)
In a press release this morning, Stephen Bennett, a man who once lived the "gay" lifestyle and has since founded a ministry to assist people to leave the destructive lifestyle, alerted the media to a video clip demonstrating what he calls first-hand homosexual activist "brainwashing" of elementary school children. The video available on the Internet on Youtube.com follows a Massachusetts school's fourth annual gay and lesbian pride day activities.
"It's so heartbreaking to see little kids brainwashed", says former homosexual Stephen Bennett, of Steven Bennett Ministries.
Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries connects the dots, revealing an alarming issue concerning former two-time SBC president, Dr. Ed Young...
"Dr. Young’s exposition of the cardinal doctrine of the Christian Church known to many as the Holy Trinity. And you figure it out; based on paragraph one from his sermon Saturday, April 14, 2007, would Dr. Young’s understanding of the nature of God the same as the Mormon Missionaries who knock on your door, or is it the modalism of T.D. Jakes as in paragraph two?"
This would not be the first time the Young family caused controversy, as son Ed Young, Jr. shared his stage with T.D. Jakes and Emergent Mark Driscoll, and has called the Baptist way "wacked".
The Emergent church movement is following the Willow Creek Association, aka seeker sensitive movement, as the latest Hollywood marketing agency for the movie "Evan Almighty". The Emergent Village website announced "Get $1,000 to Impact Your Community...Our friends at Youth Specialties have teamed up with Grace Hill Media and Universal Studios on a project called Ark ALMIGHTY, which is a good deeds initiative inspired by the upcoming movie, Evan Almighty."
The Youth Specialties website describes "ARK ALMIGHTY, as a good deeds program that matches up the needs in your congregation and community with the talents and skills of the members of your church." It offers instruction on how to launch this campaign at your church. (Ray Yungen, in his book, A Time of Departing reveals the mystical roots of Youth Specialties.)
ARK ALMIGHTY.COM identifies Youth Specialties, Grace Hill Media and Willow Creek Association as sponsors. The Grace Hill Media website shares the article " Hollywood is Finding Christianity Sells."
Willow Creek's Hollywood collaboration, the Emergents' pyromarketing of the movie, and the "incentivized" church participation through cash and ARK ALMIGHTY.COM brings the commercialization of religion to a whole new level.
2 Peter 2
3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
From WorldNet Daily:
A fast-tracked congressional plan to add special protections for homosexuals to federal law would turn "thoughts, feelings, and beliefs" into criminal offenses and put Christians in the bull's-eye, according to opponents.
"H.R. 1592 is a discriminatory measure that criminalizes thoughts, feelings, and beliefs [and] has the potential of interfering with religious liberty and freedom of speech," according to a white paper submitted by Glen Lavy, of the Alliance Defense Fund.
Read the rest here...
From Lighthouse Trails Research:
Emergent Manifesto of Hope is the new release from Emersion, a publishing partnership between Baker Books and Emergent Village. The book, edited and compiled by emergent leaders Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt, is a collection of essays by various emerging church leaders. Pagitt says the book "provides a rare glimpse inside the emerging church." This "rare glimpse" actually lays out the agenda of the movement, and in essence Emergent Manifesto is the emerging church's coming out of the closet tribute.The back cover of Emergent Manifesto describes it as a "front-row" look at this "influential international movement" and promises readers that they will come away with "a deeper understanding of the hopeful imagination that drives the emerging church."
Read more of the revealed collective spirituality as described by the leaders of the Emergent church movement.
From Christian Research Network:
International Speaker Roger Oakland of Understanding the Times reviews the Watchman’s role in light of the Emerging Church movement. Oakland writes: “This calling is not without problems and difficulties. The watchman, even though his or her voice may be biblical, is almost always considered by the majority to be too critical. This is especially true today when so many Christian leaders are embracing a Christianity that is more seeker-friendly and purpose-driven rather than God-fearing and Spirit-led. A person who attempts to exhort stray sheep back to the fold is considered negative, judgmental, and unloving…”
Oakland continues “…We are living at a time in Church history when a new reformation is supposedly underway and Christianity is being reinvented so that it will be more relevant for the twenty-first century, but a Christianity that is not consistent with the Scriptures in not Christianity…” Read more of the responses and reactions to the critical analysis here.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Brian McLaren is hard at work helping Jason Clark with the Emergent Church movement in the UK. One of Clark's protege's Marc Alton Cooper runs the Emergent UK Creation Media Arts blog in support of the movement. In his recent post Liturgy - the repeat offender... Cooper unabashedly displays his affection for Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Celtic liturgical traditions.
"I believe repetition serves to free us the actual words of the liturgy and helps us connect to God with our souls; this is certainly one of my experiences in sung worship. We will become familiar with the words, what is said and where it is said, and are then able to focus on the meaning of those words thus enabling us to free ourselves and give us a sacred space in which to connect to God."
The Emergents' ecumenical embrace of experiential religion continues, as the roads are paved back to Rome. No doubt the emergent pursuit of "bells and smells" will eventually include the Gregorian chants that the Pope wants to revive.
What else has to happen before the SBC refutes this incursion of heresy?
7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
...he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations; 4 I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them,because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not listen;but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.
5 Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word:"Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name's sake have said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy'; but it is they who shall be put to shame.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Abraham: Purpose Driven or Promise Driven? How would the Purpose Driven church growth strategy work for Abraham? Pastor Jamey Day of Grace Fellowship applies this contemporary template to the Old Testament culture.
Click here to see how the fit matches up...
Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries dares to ask the question "WAS JESUS SEEKER SENSITIVE LIKE RICK WARREN OR THE EMERGENT CHURCH?" Pastor Silva writes:
"With all the confusion and self-centeredness amidst the modern church growth movement, with the emerging church searching for it seeker friendly purpose driven life, it becomes critical for each of us to return and take a closer look at what the Bible actually says about the Author and Finisher of the Christian faith–Christ Jesus Himself."
Read the rest here to begin your investigation.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
The cover of the April issue of the Presbyterian Record, Canada depicts a Renaissance style image of a long haired man with the title " He is Emerging."
Inside, the cover story "Recipe of Hope" announces "A postcolonial church rises again from the words and actions of Jesus Christ." The article describes the younger generation quest for faith, the " grassroots of a broad trend in North American church life that has come to be called the Emerging Church. Most view this development, for good or ill, as the result of young people choosing to bypass traditional religious institutions as they express their Christian faith in the language and forms of the new and emerging postmodern culture in which they have grown up."
A large portion of the article is dedicated to Brian McLaren as the "theologian of choice", for emergents in Canada and the U.S. McLaren speaks of "The kingdom of God is at hand", but instead of calling for repentance, McLaren paints the political picture of the social gospel.
McClaren continues, "There's no one correct way of shaping our life together. Whether it's café churches or mega-churches, Presbyterian cathedrals or spontaneous house churches, art gallery churches or communities that come out of the new monasticism — I'm excited to see so much variety and difference. The Spirit is generating fresh enthusiasm through it all."
Shaping our life together? Is that the call of the Bride of Christ? There is only One Faith, One Lord, One Way, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
We would do well to abandon our imaginations and return to the Word of God to seek His Face, and His Way.
Breaking Christian News reports:
Father of a Virginia Tech Victim Forgives Shooter
Capt. McCain was being interviewed on FOXNews, as he attended memorial services at the university this week. He told reporter Shepard Smith that Lauren had been the "perfect daughter" and left him and her mother with "no regrets."
"She was probably praying for the disturbed gentleman who came into that room when he did it—she was that kind of girl," McCain continued. "She thoroughly believed that Christ forgave the people that killed Him, and she believed in forgiving—no matter what."
Smith then asked Lauren's father if he forgave her killer. "Oh...I am so sorry for him, and I feel so sorry for his family that will never know the answers...I forgive him," said McCain.
Watch the FOX NEWS Interview here
Editor's Note: Mother of Lauren McCain, Sherry McCain addresses congregation at Restoration Church-Phoebus Baptist in Hampton, Virginia with these words..."LET'S PRAISE HIM"
Read more of the McCain family's powerful witness for Christ despite the tragic loss of their daughter here
"The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope." - Charles Spurgeon
By Dr. Tony Beam for The Christian Post:
"People were blaming the president of the university, God, the devil, our sin sick culture, campus security, the police, and the government, literally no one was free from the possibility of blame. All of this while parents, friends, and loved ones were realizing their worst nightmare had come to pass."
"What is wrong with us! Can’t we at least for a few days just shut up and mourn?"
Friday, April 20, 2007
Author of A Sniper in the Tower Gary Laverne shares his observations in the aftermath of the Virginia Tec tragedy...
"Before we identify and learn the lessons of Blacksburg, we must begin with the obvious: More than four dozen innocent people were gunned down by a murderer who is completely responsible for what happened. No one died for lack of text messages or an alarm system. They died of gunshot wounds. While we painfully learn our lessons, we must not treat each other as if we are responsible for the deaths that occurred. We must come together and be respectful and kind. This is not a time for us to torture ourselves or to seek comfort by finding someone to blame."
Read more here...
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Facing the Reality of Evil by DR. Albert Mohler Jr:
The unspeakable evil of the killings at Virginia Tech bring us once again face to face with the reality of human evil. Christianity faces this challenge honestly, and acknowledges the horror of moral evil and its consequences. The Bible never flinches from assigning responsibility for moral evil. Human beings are capable of committing horrible acts of violence, malevolence, cruelty, and killing.
The Bible locates the problem of moral evil in the human heart. As the prophet Jeremiah reflected: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"
In taking moral evil seriously, the Bible affirms that we are responsible creatures. Our Creator will hold us fully accountable for our actions. All are sinners. Some sinners embrace evil with virtual abandon -- leading to horrors such as these killings on a university campus. We dare not attempt to minimize this moral responsibility.
Read more here...
Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries writes:
"This short piece at Apprising Ministries was inspired by an excellent post at the fine website A Little Leaven: A Museum of Idolatry called Rick Warren’s Top 5 List on the Things Jesus Did on While He Was on The Earth and the question is asked: “How on earth could Rick Warren, a CHRISTIAN PASTOR miss Jesus' death and resurrection?”
Well, this is the key question because the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ–the very heart of the Gospel of God itself–did not even find its way into Rick Warren’s Top 5 list of what Jesus did while He was upon His earth in a piece that originated at BeliefNet.com."
Paul Proctor asks "...is LifeWay Christian Resources really the place to go to get an honest assessment of why people are leaving their churches today? - an organization that has aggressively promoted changing the church at every turn while one of their own research directors readily admits that too many changes have been made?
LifeWay's own Vice President was quoted in the first article as saying:
"Let me insert upfront that change is unavoidable and even necessary for continued church effectiveness. However, the manner in which change is approached is crucial."
Now THAT'S what I'd call "intentional." This doesn't sound like someone accepting change - it sounds more like someone insisting on it."
Read more about Lifeway's conflict of interest...
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Willow Creek Church Association is putting up $50,000 to encourage "random acts of kindness" within member churches as promotion for the upcoming "Bruce Almighty" sequel,"Evan Almighty". According to WCA website, "The churches will be charged with creatively distributing the funds and going out into the community doing acts of kindness. Maybe it's buying everyone's coffee at Starbucks for an hour. ( Ed.note: Starbucks has publicly expressed support for the homosexual lifestyle.) The campaign ties into the theme of the upcoming movie "Evan Almighty," which comes out in June and focuses on obedience to God and doing acts of random kindness to others."
Why would a church sponsor a campaign to help roll out a secular, PG-rated movie with "mild rude humor" and presents a mockery of God? One need look no farther than the marketing technique of "PYROMARKETING, The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life. PyroMarketing principles deliver powerful results over the long-term and for less money. Illustrated with case studies including The Purpose-Driven Life, one of the bestselling books of all time, and the breakaway phenomenon The Passion of Christ."
In 2005, Tim Challes chronicled and collaborated how the author, Greg Stielstra worked as Senior Marketing Director at Zondervan, and participated in the marketing development of The Purpose Driven Life & the associated 40 Day church programs. Challes presented disturbing information that indicated that Rick Warren exerted pressure on Zondervan, attempting to prevent Stielstra from using his Purpose Life marketing experience in his upcoming book. Warren apparently did not want the success of PDL to be publicly attributed to a marketing plan. Stielstra's book was eventually published by HarperCollins Publishing,the parent company of Zondervan.
Certainly, Willow Creek isn't giving away $50,000 as a random act of kindness toward Hollywood. One can only imagine what rewards any organization would receive from Hollywood by pyromarketing a new movie release to their thousands of members across the country. Is "Evan Almighty" coming to your church this June?
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Ingrid Schlueter of Crosstalk writes at Christian Research Network:
“…When it was all over, Cho was responsible not only for the worst-ever school shooting in the United States but the deadliest massacre of any kind on American soil in modern history.”
Uh, no, I think that perhaps the deaths of over 40 million babies in the womb would qualify as the deadliest massacre in American history. As horrific as the murders were at Virginia Tech, we delude ourselves. The blood of these millions of babies soaks American soil and so few seem to care. Over 4,400 have died in the last 24 hours, slaughtered innocents. Who will mourn them?
Monday April 16, 2007 saw the record-setting nor'easter that caused two states to declare emergencies, and a death toll of 11 from the storm system that started in the Midwest.
On the same day, a third state declared an emergency for a man-made event, the tragic school shooting at Virginia Tech.
Monday also marked the Holocaust Remembrance Observance, a formal Jewish day of remembrance. This year, by the Jewish Calendar, the Observance fell on April 16.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea 3Though the waters be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling there of
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Written by Jerry Golden, of The Golden Report:
Tonight we begin Holocaust Remembrance Day and tomorrow the whole nation of Israel will stand still at 10: A.M. as the sirens sound. Cars will stop on our highways and streets we will get out and stand still for a couple minutes thinking about the 6 million who were murdered by the Nazis. Our televisions will show nothing but Holocaust films. Many of us will think of our own families that died in gas chambers and death camps across Europe.
There is another Holocaust on the horizon and every Jew in Israel knows that, so you can be sure the thought of what could happen if Iran and Islamic terrorism are not stopped; this will be on all of our minds.
Read the rest here, direct from Israel.
From WorldNet Daily: Christian history returns as Jamestown gag lifted
New guidance lets visitors see settlers' religious focus
By Bob Unruh© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
The gag on guides at the historic Jamestown, Va., site preventing them from describing much of the Christian influence at the settlement is being lifted by officials who – after WND publicized the situation – confirmed that records show the "propagation" of Christianity was, in fact, a major goal of the newcomers to the continent.
Jamestown is where what later became the United States was introduced to the millennia-old, Christian common law tradition, the first Protestant house of worship, the first Christian conversions and a vision of a republican representative government, and for this year, ongoing events are planned to mark Jamestown's 400th anniversary.
But when California Pastor Todd Dubord led a group of 50 visitors through the area, he found that not only were Christian artifacts ignored, when he asked a question about replicas of the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer, "our guide responded … by saying that she was 'unable to speak about the plaques. We are only allowed to say they are religious plaques.'"
Friday, April 13, 2007
Dr. John MacArthur's new book, THE TRUTH WAR has surprisingly appeared on the shelves of the online Lifeway Christian Book Store. Dr. MacArthur has been writing about this movement for quite sometime. Excerpt's from THE TRUTH WAR can be found here. Additional information is available at The Grace To You Website, and Pulpit Magazine.
The irony of the situation is revealed when one realizes that THE TRUTH WAR is a call to arms against the heresy of the Emergent Church, and the Consumer Driven church growth movements. A quote from pg 146 of THE TRUTH WAR, Dr. MacArthur writes:
" The larger evangelical movement today is obsessed with opinion polls, brand identity, market research, merchandising schemes, innovative strategies and numerical growth." MacArthur continues..."...evangelicals bought the lie that the Great Commission is a marketing mandate...In the words of Rick Warren, " If you want to advertise your church to the unchurched, you must learn to think and speak like they do." Dr. MacArthur continues to speak of the "runaway pragmatism", and how "leaders have systematically embraced and fostered almost every worldly shallow, frivolous idea that comes into the church." On page 155, and throughout the book, MacArthur examines the error of Brian McLaren and others of the Emerging church.
So why would Lifeway present diametrically and biblically opposed teachers ? Why is Lifeway a business partner with the Leadership Network, the financial backers that kicked off the Emergent church? The SBC's North American Mission Board is a proud sponsor of the 2007 National New Church Conference, which is hosted by a list of emergent gurus.
In an article published in The Biblical Recorder last year, it was reported that LifeWay Christian Resources will continue to "focus on the Bible and the inerrant word of God" as it carries out its ministries.
It seems Lifeway is saying one thing and engaged in doing another. How many other aspects of the SBC & the church growth movements are conducted in the same manner?
Which side of the battlefield are you and your church?
Listen to Dr. John MacArthur talk about THE TRUTH WAR with Mike Corley.
Order THE TRUTH WAR direct here, without adding to the coffers of those who confuse.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Many folks have been blessed by the great work that the Christian Research Network and Apprising Ministries have done to battle the real giants that are attacking the Word of God: heresy, deception and false teachers.
What folks may not realize is that Ken Silva and his wife manage the daily operations of both sites, in addition to Ken's pastoring of a fellowship. In an interview on the Mike Corley show, Ken Silva shared that the spiritual battle is raging, and his ministries are under attack spiritually and financially. Despite the recent assaults from proponents of the emerging church movement, Ken Silva stands as a flint against the flood of deception. Ken also shared that his wife is traveling to be with her mother whose failing health is turning terminal. Ken clearly stated his conviction and unshaken confidence in standing on the Rock.
Now is the time for like minded Christians on the 'Net to stand and support Pastor Ken Silva, the work of Christian Research Network and Apprising Ministries.
Prayerfully consider the following:
1. Pray for the protection, strengthening and encouragement of Ken and his family.
2. Email a note of encouragement to Ken Silva at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Alert other blogs and websites and ask that this appeal be shared with their readers.
4. Give a gift of any amount to under gird the ministries at Christian Research Network and Apprising ministries. Visit Apprising Ministries donation page or mail your gift to:
P.O. BOX 340
Claremont, NH 03743
This blog is making this need known out of brotherly Christian love and concern for Pastor Ken Silva & his faithful work and pray that you will do the same.
Monday, April 9, 2007
Pastor Jamey Day of Grace Fellowship in Chester, Virginia paints a passionate picture of the power, the promise and the price...
Read this Resurrection message here...
The Cross: The Shame, The Glory and The Mystery
Or listen to it here...
The Cross: The Shame, The Glory and The Mystery
One more example proving that the only thing the church and the world needs today is a broken man, called of God to preach God's Word for the building up of God's Church to God's Glory
T.A. McMahon of The Berean Call reviews the church landscape in his piece, the Weaning Evangelicals Off the Word-Part 1...
"The chief error today in the evangelical church is that experiences (feelings, emotions, passions, intuitions, etc.) have become the guide for entering into and attempting to establish true spirituality. Rather than subjective feelings and emotions being present as a result of one’s adherence to sound doctrine, they have become the judge of whether or not something is truly Christian. Instead of testing a teaching or practice or situation by the Word of God, the arbiter becomes “how one feels about it.” This puts the human imagination in the seat of judgment. That thought alone should provoke an emotion in the heart of every Bible-believing Christian: sheer horror! Doctrinally however, it’s even more frightening."
Read Part 2 here...
Friday, April 6, 2007
Revelation Chapter 1
4John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
8"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Stone-throwing targeting of Christian "fundamentalism" seems to be picking up steam.
This year, Rick Warren (SBC) threw the first stone at Bible believing Christians, calling them "self indulgent" and the cause for church splits over his Purpose Driven church marketing program.
Next, proponents of the Emerging Church movement took shots at "traditional" Christians in video clips used to illustrate their appeal to the modern culture.
Now, a New Jersey township emergency response drill paints a violent and disparaging picture of Christian fundamentalists. LifeSite News reports:
"Burlington Township High School carried out a mock ‘hostage situation’, the alleged gunmen were “members of a right-wing fundamentalist group called the 'New Crusaders' who don't believe in separation of church and state.”...The drill organizers explained that the supposedly Christian gunmen “went to the school seeking justice because the daughter of one had been expelled for praying before class.”
The actions of the county drew the attention of the American Center for Law & Justice.
Attorney Jay Sekulow writes:
"Many Christian students were outraged by the school’s mockery of their religious beliefs. Parents and other members of the community are equally offended by the school’s anti-Christian animosity. Frankly, this kind of anti-Christian bigotry by school officials is despicable and is not related in any way to the legitimate purposes of a hostage drill."
Certainly the damaged is done, whether or not this was a drill. To the unbelieving world, anyone who carries a Bible would be seen as a potential extremist and threat to public safety.
Perhaps that's why Rick Warren stated that "fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be 'one of the big enemies of the 21st century."
Perhaps Mr. Warren, as a member of the Global Elitist organization, the Council on Foreign Relations shares the worldview perspective that all religions must be united for world peace and survival.
Interesting to note the similarities of Warren's comments, The New Jersey drill and the research of the Strategic Foresight Group, a well-connected global think tank organization.
Highlights of the Group's "Inclusive World" report includes:
PDF PG 21-22 Under the category of Terrorism and Extremism...
"In the United States, racism is not comparatively strong,but Evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity is on the rise..."
"...About 10 per cent subscribe to fundamental Christianity, which is more right wing than Evangelical Christianity."
"The rise of religious fundamentalism in the United States is currently limited to a non-violent social agenda, including a ban on same sex marriage..."
PDF PG 23
"As of now, Evangelical Christian movement as well as the latent White supremacist groups represent extremism, a force aiming to change the mindset of people and character of the society by using aggressive propaganda and persuasion strategies."
PDF PG 33 The Age of Competitive Fundamentalism
"Islamic and Christian Evangelicals can engage in a contest of competitive fundamentalism because there are a large number of young people in both societies who feel excluded from the world around them and who are looking to belong in some way..."
"The age of competitive fundamentalism is essentially a threat to the core human values of justice,liberty and trust..."
PDF PG 35
"The greatest challenge of the 21st century (Ed. note: similar statement as Warren's above) is for us to come together to discover our common identity, to reaffirm and restore core human values, to appreciate our common history and to create a shared future. In order to shape an inclusive world in which the West, Islam and the Rest have a stake, it is necessary to shift from the centuries old model based on the doctrine of force to a model based on the collaborative harnessing of the spirit of humanity."
Interesting to see how Warren's global PEACE Plan shares the concerns and goals reflected in this report, the United Nations Millennium Goals, and the efforts of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Read more of the grip of global governance at author / attorney Constance Cumbey's website.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
German magazine columnist Susanne Weingarten shares her observations on American faith...
The Recipe for Success at American Megachurches
"The megachurches mushrooming in the United States are mammoth feel-good temples providing entertainment for one and all... Megachurches use innovative packaging to sell religion. It's user-friendly, practical, authentic, and modern. The Christian is the customer. They have learned a thing or two from shopping malls and big business. They woo their target group with a heavy dose of entertainment, sophisticated technology, wall-to-wall ideas for success at home and at work, and a spring-inyour-stride message that everything's good..."
"Megachurches sell the Christian faith as the (only) path to a better, happier life. And American suburbia is lapping up this new brand of spiritual comfort food."
Read the political side of her story.
See the megachurch social agenda side of the story.
Glad you asked...
What should the church do in order to reach people in a postmodern culture?
by Phil Johnson
"The believing remnant that still exists here and there in the mixed multitude of the Thoroughly Modern Evangelical Movement face a serious, two-pronged problem: an untaught church and an increasingly hostile world.
There's no easy way out of the mess. My strategy would begin with five vital steps: We need to—..."
Read Phil's cry to return to the Gospel Truth.
Phil Johnson's follow up here...
Pastor Ken Siva of Apprising Ministries writes:
DR. JOHN MACARTHUR GETS TO THE HEART OF THE EMERGENT CHURCH AND ITS LEADERS AGREE WITH HIM...Dr. John MacArthur cuts to the core of the cult of the Emergent Church:
"The emerging church movement is an amorphous; sort of a loose-knit, association of churches that have decided that there is value–there is even virtue–in uncertainty about Scripture. The bottom line in the movement is: They believe that we aren’t even supposed to understand precisely what the Bible means.
And to me that’s the big issue, it is an attack on the clarity of Scripture. And they elevate themselves as if this is some noble reality; that they have finally risen to say, “We’re honest enough to say that we don’t know what the Bible means. We can’t be certain. We’re the truly spiritual ones.” It has overtones of a spiritual pride–a false kind of spiritual pride which they call humilty.
They say, “We’re too humble to say that we know what the Bible means. The bottom line, I think, in the movement is; it is the denial of the clarity of Scripture. It is a denial that we can know what the Bible really says."
In the previous post,SBC Pastor Ken Silva was identified as one of the few voices in the wilderness calling out to the SBC to return to Biblical orthodoxy and ecclesiology. Another voice joins the cry...
Roger Moran sounds the alarm regarding the influence of the emerging church movement. While other state conventions are embracing emergent theology, Moran has drawn a line in the sand. Moran recently stated that the Missouri Baptist Convention is "on the brink of a civil war" because of the creep of emergent theology.
Tim Townsend of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH reports:
"Moran is one of three Missouri representatives on the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, and last month, he took his pleas to Nashville, Tenn., where the denomination is based. "The emerging church is "one of the most dangerous and deceptive movements to infiltrate the ranks of Southern Baptist life," he told the executive committee.
Read more here...
...and here at Apprising Ministries.