Wednesday, October 31, 2007
"...Perhaps the most egregious and destructive example of "tampering" with the text doesn't involve any one doctrinal issue but reflects a diminishing loss of confidence in the functional authority of Scripture and a failure to believe and act upon the life-changing power of God's word.
I'm persuaded that this is why we see so little expository preaching in our pulpits today. Although they would be extremely reticent to admit it publicly, countless pastors simply no longer believe that the biblical text, accurately explained and passionately applied, has the power to build the church.
Operating with a secular standard of what constitutes "success" and under pressure to facilitate church growth (in every sense of the term), they have resorted to gimmicks, props, marketing techniques, and entertainment to the obvious detriment, and all too frequent abandonment, of exposition."
Editor's note: Send this article to your pastor and find out if he agrees or disagrees with Dr Storms' perspective. If he disagrees, find a new pastor or find a new church.
See related post, This Is What The World Thinks of Commercial Christianity .
Read more from Steve Camp at Worldview Weekend
United Nations and World Council of Churches reaffirm cooperation
The United Nations and the World Council of Churches (WCC) have reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate at a meeting between the general secretaries of both organizations held on 29 October 207 at the UN headquarters in New York.
WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia stated the WCC is committed "to the principles and purposes of the UN". The two general secretaries discussed climate change, and affirmed the interrelatedness of the concerns about the integrity of creation, justice and peace. Kobia said "religion has a big, positive role to play in the search for global peace and harmony."
The WCC general secretary announced the Council's intention to propose that the UN declare a "Decade of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace".
Vatican pushes message of sustainable development
Archbishop Celestino Maggiore, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations, has said that global sustainability should be a priority for the nations of the world. Addressing the Assembly in English, Archbishop Migliore highlighted the "underlying moral imperative that all, without exception, have a grave responsibility to protect the environment."
Read more on sustainable development and how the educational, ecumenical and the environmental all fit in the global "unity" picture. See more articles on the UN's sustainable development.
See related post Signs In The Heavens
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Crystal Cathedral conference accused of twisting biblical Christianity
It's an all-star conference set for the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., Jan. 17-19.
Former President George H.W. Bush will speak. Chuck Colson will make a presentation.
Larry King will be there. Rupert Murdoch will address attendees. Ben Stein will appear.
And Kay Warren, wife of Saddleback Church mega-pastor Rick Warren, will join Robert Schuller, the white-haired, bespectacled purveyor of "possibility thinking."
What could such a diverse group have in common? What's the topic?
Well, it's a little vague.
It's called the "Rethink Conference," and Schuller promises 30 "Aha!" moments from the 30 different speakers confirmed for the event.
Not everyone is thrilled about this meeting of the minds. Some, including Christian author and former New Age devotee Warren Smith, suspect an agenda to subvert the church – to take the focus off biblical truth and absolutes.
"From my perspective as a former New Age follower, I believe that Robert Schuller's mission has always been to 'rethink' and 'change' biblical Christianity into something 'new' – as in New Age/New Spirituality," he says. Smith's "Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church" documents Schuller's contacts and endorsements of New Age stars such as Gerald Jampolsky, Neale Donald Walsch and Bernie Siegel.
"As a former New Age follower I could hardly believe it," says Smith. "On October 17, 2004, more than 20 years after his first appearance on the 'Hour of Power,' New Age leader Gerald Jampolsky was once again Robert Schuller's featured guest. I was not surprised on one level, because I had always been aware of Schuller's affection for New Age teachings. What did surprise me was Schuller's willingness to still be so openly aligned with a veteran New Age leader like Jampolsky."
Read the rest here. See also Rethink: New perspectives from global influencers , The New Age of Purpose Driven and Mysticism & Global Mind Change
"...he (Campolo) believes, "mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam." He asks and then later answers the question, "Could they (Islamic Sufis) have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?" His answer - of course! Sound like Thomas Merton? It should. Campolo emulates Merton, Schuller and a host of other New Age, mystical leaders all rolled into one."
"The most alarming thing about this book is that Brian McLaren's name is on the back cover, telling us the book is a "great bargain" and that Campolo's voice is one that "needs to be heard." Brian McLaren, named recently by Time magazine as one of 25 most influential evangelicals, is also considered the statesman and leader for the fast growing emerging church movement, which is just a disguised Trojan horse for contemplative prayer with a close connection to Richard Foster, Rick Warren and other contemplatives.
Remove the contemplative, mystical element from the emerging church and you have nothing more than couches and candles. While many of the young people in this movement may be searching for a more genuine faith and cannot be criticized for that, we believe the leaders, such as McLaren, are leading thousands astray, whether they realize it or not. If McLaren agrees with Tony Campolo, and he must or he wouldn't have said so, then great deception is lurking around the corner and many are heading right into trouble and into a belief system that shouts All Paths Lead to the Same God. And as for believers who refuse to recast their opinions or redefine their views that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation and access to the living God, hold on to your hats - it's going to be a rocky ride."
Read the rest at Lighthouse Research Trails Project . see more articles on Campolo's ecumenical and mystical beliefs.
Biblical Discernment Ministries reports the following on Campolo:
- From his book, Partly Right, Campolo espouses his New Age philosophy of pantheism:
"We affirm our divinity by doing what is worthy of gods, and we affirm our humanity by taking risks only available to mortals. God had to become one of us before He could become heroic. Robert Schuller affirms our divinity, yet does not deny our humanity ... isn't that what the gospel is? Isn't God's message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized? ... The hymn writer who taught us to sing 'Amazing Grace' was all too ready to call himself a 'wretch' ... Forgetting our divinity and over-identifying with our [Freudian] anal humanity [Freud is responsible for a host of maladies that plague our contemporary society] ... Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychoanalysts of our time, recognized the diabolical social consequences that can come about when a person loses sight of his/her own divinity ..." [Fromm was a godless anti-Christian, who took the serpent's lie, Ye Shall Be As Gods, for the title of one of his books, and was largely responsible for the introduction of the self-love movement into the professing Church.]"
The Apostle Paul was apparently too quick to deny his own deity when he wrote, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the chief" (I Timothy 1:15).] (Quoted in part from CIB Bulletin, December 1989.) (Emphases added.)
Comet 17P/Holmes shocked astronomers on Oct. 24, 2007, with a spectacular eruption. In less than 24 hours, the 17th magnitude comet brightened by a factor of nearly a million, becoming a naked-eye object in the evening sky. Look for a golden 2.5th magnitude fuzzball in the constellation Perseus after sunset. (click on image for video)
Science Daily asks: Indeed, the outburst has left experts scratching their heads. How could a tiny comet, whose nucleus is no more than two miles across, grow so bright so fast? Comet 17P Holmes, now visible to northern hemisphere residents, increased its brightness by a factor of one million this week, going from magnitude 17 to 2.
The Biblical Astronomy Newsletter describes the Hebrew perspective of the constellation Perseus:
The Hebrew name for Perseus is Peretz, which means the Breaker. This represents Messiah when he comes with His saints to defeat the beast in Revelation 19:11- 21. His white horse is Pegasus. Pegasus in Hebrew, Peka-Sus, means chief horse.
The comet's magnitude went from 17 to 2...interesting to note also that Genesis 17:2 and verses following speak of God's everlasting covenent with Abraham as the father of many nations and the God promises the land of Canaan to Abraham and his offspring.
Revelation 17:2 speaks of the woman (false global religious system) & the beast ( global government system)
Rev 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk."
Rev 17:14 They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful." Sounds like the Hebrew perspective of the constellation Perseus!Is comet Holmes a prophetic sign? That remains to be seen. However, given the upcoming "Peace" summit in November when Jerusalem probably will be "divided", the comet's behavior, timing and location is noteworthy.
Are you ready?
Monday, October 29, 2007
Read this article By Bill Wilson KIN Senior Analyst WASH—Oct 23—KIN--
The Western third and the Southeastern United States is under severe to extreme drought conditions, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Southern California is experiencing raging fires which have caused the evacuation of nearly 500,000 people. New Orleans is experiencing flooding. Atlanta’s water supply is running out. National gasoline prices are averaging over $2.80. China and Japan have been dumping the dollar on foreign markets, devaluing the dollar against other currencies. Oil prices are hovering at record levels.
Recently, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law bills designed to teach homosexuality as normal in California’s public schools. A school board in Maine voted to give birth control pills to sixth graders without parental notification. The U.S. Congress is considering legislation to require employers to hire homosexuals by not allowing businesses to discriminate based on “sexual orientation.” The Bush Administration’s relationships with China, Russia, Iran and Turkey have been strained in recent weeks, calling some attention to those nations that are prophetically involved in end time prophecies.
From Lighthouse Trails:
Rick Warren has announced both in an interview on Fox News and in an email (see below) to his congregants that New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard is returning to Saddleback to speak to the congregation this weekend. Below is a copy of the email Warren sent out on Friday October 26th.
Subject: This Weekend At Saddleback!Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2007 18:18:22 -0700
From: Pastor Rick Warren
Dear Saddleback Family,Below is information about this weekend that I encourage you to forward on to the people you work with. I urge you to attend either the Saturday evening or Sunday evening services. See you!
For those who may not understand the significance of this bold move by Rick Warren to invite Ken Blanchard back to Saddleback (and to announce it on Fox News), the following information will be vital to read. This is a chronological list of events that have taken place with regard to Rick Warren, Ken Blanchard, and Lighthouse Trails reporting. In Summary: Rick Warren announced in 2003 that Ken Blanchard would be working together with him on implementing the peace plan and training leaders around the world.
However, when it came out that Blanchard had been promoting eastern meditation, Buddhism, and the New Age for over 20 years, Warren denied that Blanchard would be working on the peace plan. Warren contacted Lighthouse Trails regarding this. Because thousands of Christian churches are still following the Purpose Driven program, thinking that they are following a biblical plan, when in fact they are walking toward a dangerous, ecumenical cliff and a false belief that there will be global peace and the kingdom of God here on earth before Christ returns (read Faith Undone), we are reposting this information.
Blanchard, who has been a professing Christian since the 80s, has consistently promoted the New Age, and to this day is still endorsing New Age type books and is still on the advisory board of the Hoffman Institute, where New Age practices and beliefs permeate. While Warren denied that Blanchard would be working with him on the peace plan, documentation below shows otherwise including a video of Rick Warren stating such and also a transcript of a conversation at a Lead Like Jesus conference in Alabama between Warren and Blanchard.
Read the entire report from Lighthouse Trails Research.
See related articles The New Age of Purpose Driven , New Age posts.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
“We have just pounded the drum again and again that, for churches to reach their full redemptive potential, they have to do more than hold services — they have to try to transform their communities,” he said. “If there is racial injustice in your community, you have to speak to that. If there is educational injustice, you have to do something there. If the poor are being neglected by the government or being oppressed in some way, then you have to stand up for the poor.”
When Christ walked the earth, the oppressive Roman government and slavery existed. What was Christ's response? Pay your taxes and obey your master.
Did Christ come to correct social injustice? No, He came so His kingdom, like a hidden mustard seed, would grow invisibly in the heart of each true believer until His return. It is a blessing to live in the land of the free and exercise the right to vote. Pastors should stay in the pulpit and feed the flock by preaching and teaching the manifold mysteries of God, watering and growing the saints for the kingdom to come.
"With the rising ecumenical spirit that is found in much of today's church growth methods, there is a concern that the Protestant reforms of Evangelicalism are being subtly undermined in order to find stronger fellowship with the Roman Catholic Church. But is this drift towards the Church of Rome the solution to true biblical unity or is it a dangerous compromise?"
"...let’s look at verse 20 one more time for a different focus. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” The footnote in the famous Geneva Bible used by the Pilgrims who founded this nation is helpful at this point.
Secondly, [Jesus] offers to God the Father all of his, that is, all those who will believe in him by the doctrine of the apostles: That as he cleaves unto the Father, receiving from him all fulness (sic), so they being joined with him may receive life from him,… (emphasis added).
What applies to our discussion of unity in the Body of Christ is the phrase – “all those who will believe in him by the doctrine of the apostles.” This would be someone who believes in Christ according to what His Apostles taught. And this “doctrine of the apostles” is what we Protestants now refer to as biblical doctrine. Someone who believes in Jesus Christ according to what Holy Scripture teaches is then brought into that unity the Master is talking about in John 17:23. “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me.”
Are you hearing calls from the pulpit to be relevant, real and relational?
Read WAS JESUS SEEKER SENSITIVE?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Wow! Can you get any more world loving than a statement like the one for this conference?
“new perspectives from global influencers”
In other words how to bring more fallen wordly ideas into your “Christian Faith”
Here is a quote from their web site:
“Rethink is a convergence of thinkers, innovators and leaders from the Christian and global arenas.We’re purposely gathering a group of speakers you wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear at a Christian conference. Our aim is to be immersed in the latest thoughts and perspectives of these respected cultural icons to tap into what’s happening in our world today and to grapple with how we respond.
Editor's note: What in God's green earth is Rupert Murdoch doing speaking at any church? But then again, it's the Crystal Cathedral, the church of the Hollywood Stars!
See also: Unholy Quest for Unity
"Unless you have been living on another planet you have no doubt heard of or have seen America’s smiling pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, which also happens to be one of the largest professing evangelical Christian congregations in the world. What needs to be understood here is that the only way someone like this could even be considered an evangelical is because of the disturbingly low ebb of discernment today in the Body of Christ. For here we have a man who at best has a very simplistic message concerning the Christian faith. And at worst, as I show you in Apprising Joel Osteen’s Word Faith Teachings, Osteen is yet another of the many Word Faith teachers currently infesting our Lord’s Church–an alarmingly arrogant breed who are now fearlessly spouting their doctrines of devils..."
"...one can already see Joel Osteen's derailment from the function of the pastoral office. While it is certainly noble that he “has committed his life to serving and helping every person achieve their fullest potential,” this is not exactly what Christ has sent His pastors to do. Our role for the Lord is to proclaim His Gospel and to feed and nurture His sheep as God the Holy Spirit brings them to the Great Shepherd when the Father draws them. It is our Lord Who must decide whatever their “fullest potential” may be, and this will not always lead to success as measured by the corrupt standards of this evil world system."
Read the rest here at Apprising Ministries.
From Steve Camp's blog...
Becoming a "better ewe" is not about realizing your potentiality, fulfilling your dreams, developing a postitive attitude, or trying to live stress-free while facing life's issues. It is not even about financial prosperity, sculpting a better body, or connecting with your inner "ewe." For the genuine Christian it is really about one thing: becoming more like the Lord Jesus Christ everyday (Roms. 8:28-31).
Here are seven keys that brother Joel Osteen unwittingly left out of his most recent book, "Become A Better You". I humbly submit they should have been included and are foundational for living the Christian life.
Seven Truths to Living Faithfully (for the 'flock of God'):
1. Apply the gospel to yourself daily by denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Him; counting the loss of things rubbish in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus the Lord (Matt. 16:24-26; Phil. 3:7-11).
2. Have a continual life of confession of and repentance from sin (Psalm 66:18; Psalm 32:1-5; Psalm 51; 1 John 2:28-3:9).
3. Read and study your Bible every day (Psalm 119; John 17:17; Jude 3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Psalm 19:7-11; Eph. 4:11-16).
4. Developing an effective, fervent daily prayer life in the Holy Spirit (Eph. 6:18-21; James 5:16f; Luke 18:1; Col. 1:9-14).
5. Proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and make disciples of all the nations (1 Peter 3:15f; Roms. 1:16f; 1 Cor. 9:1-18; Matt. 28:19f; Luke 24:44-49).
6. Live sacrifically by serving others as a committed member under the accountability of the local church (Eph. 5:21; Phil. 2:1-4; 1 Tim. 6:1-6; John 13; Phil. 4:10ff; Acts 2:40ff).
7. Do all things to the glory of God - living "out loud" the two great commandments (1 Cor. 10:31; Matt. 5-7; Luke 10:27).
"If you do not seek God because you believe Him to be supremely valuable,then you are a hypocrite. To seek God for any reason otherthan His own glory as Creator, Lord and Savior is to be a hypocrite.It is the reason that the health and wealth gospelis not simply a deficient view of the gospel,but actually "another gospel" and will lead people to hell." -Pastor John Swanson, River Hills Community Church
Consider This:I believe what Joel Osteen is offering people is not a Christless Christianity, but a crossless Christianity. His message is not about a biblical view of salvation, but rather a faulty, skewed view of sanctification. In its most simplistic form, once you come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, then you can have full and complete victory in your outward physical life evidenced by things that are based upon the temporal rather than the eternal (cp, Eph. 5:22-26; Heb. 12:5-12; 1 Peter 1:1-2; Roms. 8:28-31) .
Lighthouse Trails Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Another Jesus by Roger Oakland.
A new evangelization program is underway to win the lost brethren back to the Mother Church. How will this be done? Through the Eucharistic Christ.
Many Christians think that the Christian tradition of communion is the same as the Catholic tradition of the Eucharist. But this is not so. The Eucharist (i.e.Transubstantiation), is a Catholic term for communion when the bread and the wine actually become the very body and blood of Jesus Christ, thus when taken the partaker supposedly experiences the presence of God. These transformed elements are placed in what is called a monstrance and can then be worshipped as if worshipping Jesus Himself. The implications are tied in with salvation.
With the Eucharist, salvation becomes sacramental (participation in a ritual) as opposed to justification by faith in Christ alone. While this mystical experience called the Eucharist cannot be upheld through Scripture, there appears to be an increase of interest by evangelical Christians toward this practice. In Another Jesus?: the eucharistic christ and the new evangelization, Oakland warns about this growing deception within Christianity that presents a different gospel and another Jesus.
Table of Contents, Sample Chapter, Place order here
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Religion is now celebrated and shown off like a fashion accessory. We can wear our religious affiliation like a designer logo. But, says James Twitchell, this isn't because Americans are undergoing another Great Awakening; rather, it's a sign that religion providers-that is, churches-have learned how to market themselves. There is more competition among churches than ever in our history. Filling the pew is an exercise in salesmanship, and as with any marketing campaign, it requires establishing a brand identity. Successful pastors ("pastorpreneurs," Twitchell calls them) know how to speak the language of Madison Avenue as well as the language of the Bible.
Editor's note: Hats' off to all the pastors and sleeping congregations who tossed the Bible out ( and members who opposed the change ) and imported the seeker-senstive, purpose-driven and the prosperity self-improvement gospels all in the name of paying the bills and building bigger facilities. The world certainly has the right impression of you.
Highlights from Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal’s blog: Why the most influential church in America now says "We made a mistake."
Few would disagree that Willow Creek Community Church has been one of the most influential churches in America over the last thirty years. Willow, through its association, has promoted a vision of church that is big, programmatic, and comprehensive. This vision has been heavily influenced by the methods of secular business. James Twitchell, in his new book Shopping for God, reports that outside Bill Hybels’ office hangs a poster that says: “What is our business? Who is our customer? What does the customer consider value?” Directly or indirectly, this philosophy of ministry—church should be a big box with programs for people at every level of spiritual maturity to consume and engage—has impacted every evangelical church in the country…
…Having put all of their eggs into the program-driven church basket you can understand their shock when the research revealed that “Increasing levels of participation in these sets of activities does NOT predict whether someone’s becoming more of a disciple of Christ. It does NOT predict whether they love God more or they love people more.”
…spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships. And, ironically, these basic disciplines do not require multi-million dollar facilities and hundreds of staff to manage.
Editor’s note: Bill Hybels called this research “the wake up call” of his adult life. So it seems everything must change and it’s obvious that Brian McLaren will help lead the way for Willow Creek.
..(T)he emerging church (which incorporates the teachings of the Emergent leaders: McLaren, Pagitt, Kimball, etc.) is a conduit for mysticism and is heading right into the arms of Catholicism and eventually a universal interfaith church.
...The emerging church is fundamentally mystical as can easily be seen by the leaders who feed the emerging movement a steady diet of contemplative spirituality.
Leonard Sweet, one of the emerging church movement's most prolific leaders explains the role of mysticism in the emerging church:
"Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is now situated in postmodernist culture near the center.... In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, "The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing." [Mysticism] is metaphysics arrived at through mindbody experiences. Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology." (p. 160, ATOD)
Another influential emerging church leader is Spencer Burke, director of The Ooze. He explains his views on mysticism as well:
"I was struck by the incredible wisdom that could be found apart from the "approved" evangelical reading list. A Trappist monk, [Thomas] Merton gave me a new appreciation for the meaning of community. His New Man and New Seeds of Contemplation touched my heart in ways other religious books had not. Not long afterward my thinking was stretched again, this time by Thich Nhat Hanh--a Buddhist monk ... Hanh's Living Buddha, Living Christ gave me insight into Jesus from an Eastern perspective." (p. 157. ATOD)
...Some may say, "But there are positive attributes to the emerging church movement." Yet would you drink a glass of mountain spring water if it had only a drop or two of cyanide? Not if you didn't want to get very, very sick.
From Christian Research Network:
Mike Corley reporting from the Emergence ‘07 Conference on his blog, The Expositor:
…I will say now that there has been little to change my mind about the beliefs and practices of the Emerging Church. The statements made by the panel last evening, all of which would probably admit they are leaders of the ECM, were sad, shocking and even outrageous. Many basic tenets of the faith were called into question or even outright rejected, usually under the caveat that no one has a hold on the truth and that truth was not absolute and was subjective to each individual’s personal perspective, the culture they live in and their personal experiences.
…I came away from the last night’s session with extreme sadness, as so many people are basing their eternities on a subjective faith that may or may not be consistent with the absolute truth of God’s Word.I will be listening and learning today for the second day of discussions.
Let us pray for the speakers and those listening, even me. Listen for more on the Emergence ‘07 conference on the Mike Corley Radio Program.
Willow Creek's "Shift" Youth Conference 2008 features the emergent & mystical...
Keynote speaker Brian McLaren delivers his message "Everything Must Change". Mark Yaconelli , Scot McKnight, Dan Kimball and others will also present.
The Shift blog features two videos from Brian McLaren, and a video on Contemplative Youth Ministry from Mark Yaconelli of Youth Ministry & Spirituality Project/Youth Specialties.
Read more of Brian McLaren at Apprising Ministries, learn more about McLaren's book "Everything Must Change" at Extreme Theology and delve into contemplative youth ministry here.
Everything you’ve ever been told about Global Warming is probably untrue. From Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth to news reports from the popular media outlets and even public classrooms which, in chicken little fashion, are screaming - the sky is falling.
But is it really? This documentary, which contradicts these claims and has been described by some as the most explosive film of the year and the definitive answer to Al Gore features interviews from some of the World's leading scientists, climatologists and former environmentalist.
The Great Global Warming Swindle blows the whistle on what may be the biggest swindle in modern history. Proponets of man made global warming warn that climate change is the greatest threat ever to mankind, and, if we do not change our ways and reduce CO2 emissions - polar ice caps will melt, coastal areas will flood and hurricane like Katrina will become common.
See also Global Warming Delusions , Global Warming or Global Governance , Green Lies and Amazing Truths
Friday, October 19, 2007
by Joel Rosenberg:
Sobering, apocalyptic talk from President Bush yesterday....during a press briefing at the White House, the President was asked about Vladimir Putin's visit with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran and the threat posed by this emerging Russian-Iranian nuclear alliance....the President warned that World War III could break out if Iran gets nuclear weapons....here is an excerpt from the official transcript: "I believe that if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace. We've got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
The Palestinians and Israelis are scheduled to meet at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., this November. This major "peace summit" is the brainchild of the Bush administration and is under the supervision of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice...
...For the first time, the division of Jerusalem is on the table. Since 1967, Israel had steadfastly claimed a united Jerusalem as "its eternal capital, never to be divided again."
...You know, I fear for both President Bush and Secretary Rice. I also fear for my beloved country. They must be ignorant of a prophecy God made 2,500 years ago through the Hebrew prophet Zechariah. It applies to this precise time and situation in history. God said, "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples. …" The people surrounding Jerusalem are all the current Muslim nations.
See related articles here.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The True Church Conference:
We desire to focus on the passionate preaching of the great doctrines of Scripture that are being neglected in today¹s church. I'm convinced no doctrine is more neglected or misunderstood than the doctrine of conversion. Easy believism, decisionism, and manipulative altar calls have replaced the sound preaching of the Gospel calling sinners to repentance and faith. The result is an unregenerate church membership and bloated membership rolls.
As Dr. Al Mohler writes, "We are reaping the harvest of doctrinal neglect. The urgency of this task cannot be ignored. Baptists will either recover our denominational heritage and rebuild our doctrinal foundations, or in the next generation there will be no authentic Baptist witness."
Anchored in Truth Ministries is the expository preaching ministry of Jeff Noblit, Senior Pastor-Teacher of First Baptist Church of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He has served as Senior Pastor-Teacher since 1989 and God has enabled him to preach expostionally through some of the great doctrinal books of the Bible. Anchored in Truth Ministries is the distribution mechanism for those teachings.
This site gives you daily radio broadcasts, message archives, resources, and other information about Anchored in Truth Ministries. It is our desire that this site will serve as a resource for you and your personal growth and ministry.
See also IX Marks Gospel Growth Conference, Together for the Gospel, Sovereign Grace Ministries, The Shepherds' Conference
Excerpt From The Wall Street Journal Global Warming Delusions by DANIEL B. BOTKIN October 17, 2007; Page A19
Mr. Botkin, president of the Center for the Study of the Environment and professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of "Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-First Century"
Global warming doesn't matter except to the extent that it will affect life -- ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary...
...I'm not a naysayer. I'm a scientist who believes in the scientific method and in what facts tell us. I have worked for 40 years to try to improve our environment and improve human life as well. I believe we can do this only from a basis in reality, and that is not what I see happening now. Instead, like fashions that took hold in the past and are eloquently analyzed in the classic 19th century book "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds," the popular imagination today appears to have been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis.
See related articles Global Warming or Global Governance, Green Lies and Amazing Truths, The Environmental Agenda
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
"My challenge to churchgoers around the world is to be absolutely sure that God has called you to the church you attend. Good preaching and singing is not enough. Let the true spirit of God draw you there. Do not believe the hype, and later find out that TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Eddie Long or your church leader has mastered the art of preaching to you while needing someone to preach to them."
Listen to Pastor Justin Peters and Mike Corley discuss the 60 Minutes television interview with mega pastor Joel Osteen .
Read the transcript of the Joel Osteen interview on Larry King Live.
See related article: The Recipe for Success at American Megachurches
Is this Pope John Paul II waving from beyond the grave? Vatican TV director says yes from the Daily Mail.
This fiery figure is being hailed as Pope John Paul II making an appearance beyond the grave. The image, said by believers to show the Holy Father with his right hand raised in blessing, was spotted during a ceremony in Poland to mark the second anniversary of his death. Details appeared on the Vatican News Service, a TV station in Rome which specialises in religious news broadcasts. Service director Jarek Cielecki, a Polish priest and close friend of John Paul II, travelled to Poland after hearing an onlooker had photographed the image.
Father Cielecki said he was convinced the picture showed the former pontiff.
"You can see the image of a person in the flames and I think it is the servant of God, Pope John Paul II," he said.
The pictures were being broadcast continuously on Italian TV and also posted on religious websites, some of which crashed as thousands logged on to see for themselves the eerie figure formed by the flames.
See related articles Mary & Messages From Heaven, Mary: The Refuge, The Peace, The Path To God
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The early Church knew the Truth because they were all living examples of truth in their daily life, not just a bunch of hypocrites, pretenders, treading water, calling cell groups "community," just hanging on till the rapture takes place...
...John concludes his book by reminding those real Christians to be careful and "keep yourselves from idols." Even they had to be reminded. Is anyone reminding us today of how deeply we have gotten into idol worship, inside the Church? Preachers today pander to apostates. The apostates say, "don't preach bad things to us; preach only good things, then we will come and listen ." And so, this new breed of preacher runs a survey of the people who would come to his church and finds out sure enough that they don't want to hear about the bad, they only want to hear the good, so that's what they give them. Because we can't see the simplicity of Truth.
...If we cannot discover truth while face-to-face with the Master what hope do we have listening to the most gifted teacher or preacher or attending any program on church growth? It is all mega-marketing to present Jesus in a better light, it is a designer Jesus for the new Emergent Church and Seeker Sensitive crowd. It is the selling of our birthright for a pot of stew .
We are being tricked and sweet-talked on a global scale by those who receive payment to proclaim truth, who instead give us the pabulum of mega-church leaders. Truth has become just another commodity, merchandise, to be peddled, packaged for the consumer, and made readily available through thousands of local truth outlets.
This marketing blitz is a massive cover-up by Satan to hide the severe failure of the Church . It is hard for us to imagine the complexity of this cover-up and all the organized church has been doing wrong for 1900 years. Satan is the master of intrigue and we have bought into his evil production and love it , but it is a lie none the less. We have been deceived but now at the end of the age there is a glimmer of light and some are beginning to see it. But, most will not believe it and continue to put their hope in a Hollywood production ignoring the obvious warnings.
Editor's note: Steve Blackwell describes himself this way...
I am not a preacher; Lord knows we have enough of those. I am just a Christian with some things I need to get off my chest; the preachers have had their shot, so now it's time for Christians to be Christians, and to say what's on his mind...
We have invested our leaders with wealth and prestige and only a handful have returned the investment. They have become whitewashed tombs of dead mens bones. We have a carbon copy of the religious circumstances of Jesus' day, and His message to them still stands.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Marking the 90th anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to three young children, Pope Benedict said the shrine continues to echo Mary's call to "her children to live their baptismal consecration in every moment of their existence."
"She is the refuge and the path that leads to God," he told thousands of pilgrims at the shrine for an anniversary Mass and the dedication of a new shrine church. During his midday Angelus prayer at the Vatican, the pope asked Mary to give "all Christians the gift of true conversion so that the perennial Gospel message, which shows humanity the path to authentic peace, would be proclaimed and witnessed to with coherence and fidelity."
Messages from Heaven
Reports of paranormal and supernatural activity are on the rise worldwide. For instance, tens of millions visit apparition sites hoping to encounter the Virgin Mary. Many believe that these increasing manifestations signal the advent of a new era on earth.
Thousands of messages from the apparition of Mary indicate that we are entering a critical moment in world history - cataclysmic changes may soon occur. Those who follow the apparitions believe Mary has come to turn us back to God, while others insist that these events are either fabrications or the working of Satan.
Does the Bible anticipate apparitions, signs and wonders in the last days? Does the Word of God reveal the origin of these phenomena? How might the apparition of Mary and other paranormal events transform the world in the third millennium?
Watch eight shorts clips from Eternal productions "Messages from Heaven" DVD to learn more of the Marian apparitions...
...Yet emerging church movements today are still trying to move the boundaries of His Kingdom. They have redefined God's Word and are fast embracing the latest versions of the old Gnostic quest for secret knowledge (gnosis) and self-actualization, whether through mystical experience or collective imagination.
Stamping out faith in Biblical absolutes is central to this transformation. A mind anchored in God's Word won't compromise, but when that anchor is removed, the current of change can carry that mind anywhere. As Jesuit scholastic, Mark Mossa, wrote in his endorsement of Brian McLaren's latest book: "The Secret Message of Jesus challenges us to put aside our sterile certainties about Christ and reconsider the imaginative world of Jesus stories, signs and wonders."
In this imaginative world, church leaders envision a spiritual oneness that must exclude God's "divisive" gospel and the "offensive" certainties that spawned its hope. Deeds, not creeds -- that's what counts! Popularized by Rick Warren, this slogan paves the way for all religions to agree on the new terms.
...Man's finite purpose or God's eternal purpose
In spite of his call to radical inclusiveness, McLaren's earthly kingdom does exclude certain groups. The criteria for inclusion is the "new way of thinking" -- a phrase emphasized in UNESCO's 1995 report, Our Creative Diversity. It tells us that -
"The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society, in short, new ways of living."
Compare that UN goal with McLaren's mission:
"A high fence that excludes everyone won’t do, nor will no fence at all. What we need is a requirement that those who wish to enter actually have a change of heart—that they don’t sneak in to accomplish their own agenda, but rather that they genuinely want to learn a new way of thinking, feeling, living, and being in 'the pastures of God.'” [1 - page 165]
"The kingdom of God, then, seeks a third way: not exclusiveness and rejection... but rather purposeful inclusion. In other words, the kingdom of God seeks to include all who want to participate in and contribute to its purpose, but it cannot include those who oppose its purpose."[1 - page 167]
Whose purpose? God's or man's? Since McLaren's worldly kingdom stands on man's imagination rather than God's unchanging Word, we can't trust his "purpose!" That's why this system must exclude us -- which it does! We see the sad results in Purpose-Driven and other transformational churches around the world. Church members who still treasure God's ways and question the new management strategies and amoral "environment" are either asked to leave or are cruelly excommunicated -- not for actual sin but for refusing to conform to the unbiblical changes! [See Dealing with Resisters"]
McLaren isn't alone. "America's pastor" Rick Warren predicted that "fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be 'one of the big enemies of the 21st century.'" He would probably agree with McLaren's criteria for citizenship:
"...to be truly inclusive, the kingdom must exclude exclusive people, to be truly reconciling, the kingdom must not reconcile with those who refuse reconciliation.... Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela learned what happens when you try to expand the borders of who is considered 'in'...
"So what do you do? If you’re Jesus, you take whatever space you are given and let God’s kingdom be made visible and real there. ... And if critics see you as a transgressor and criticize you for opening the doors and expanding the boundaries, you go pursuing your purpose, making it clear that the kingdom of God is open to all, except those who want to ruin it by dividing it against itself."[1 - page 169-170]
See related articles here.
And how will they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14
Is preaching still central to Christian worship? This question is asked again and again as contemporary evangelicalism is observed. How can this be up for question?
In some circles, preaching has fallen on hard times. An open debate is now being waged over the character and centrality of preaching in the church. At stake is nothing less than the integrity of Christian worship and proclamation.
How did this happen? Given the central place of preaching in the New Testament church, it would seem that the priority of biblical preaching should be uncontested. After all, as John A. Broadus--one of Southern Seminary's founding faculty--famously remarked, "Preaching is characteristic of Christianity. No other religion has made the regular and frequent assembling of groups of people, to hear religious instruction and exhortation, an integral part of Christian worship."
Yet, numerous influential voices within evangelicalism suggest that the age of the expository sermon is now past. In its place, some contemporary preachers now substitute messages intentionally designed to reach secular or superficial congregations--messages which avoid preaching a biblical text, and thus avoid a potentially embarrassing confrontation with biblical truth.
A subtle shift visible at the onset of the twentieth century has become a great divide as the century ends. The shift from expository preaching to more topical and human-centered approaches has grown into a debate over the place of Scripture in preaching, and the nature of preaching itself.
Two famous statements about preaching illustrate this growing divide. Reflecting poetically on the urgency and centrality of preaching, the Puritan pastor Richard Baxter once remarked, "I preach as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men." With vivid expression and a sense of gospel gravity, Baxter understood that preaching is literally a life or death affair. Eternity hangs in the balance as the preacher proclaims the Word.
Contrast that statement to the words of Harry Emerson Fosdick, perhaps the most famous (or infamous) preacher of this century's early decades. Fosdick, pastor of the Riverside Church in New York City, provides an instructive contrast to the venerable Baxter. "Preaching," he explained, "is personal counseling on a group basis."
These two statements about preaching reveal the contours of the contemporary debate. For Baxter, the promise of heaven and the horrors of hell frame the preacher's consuming burden. For Fosdick, the preacher is a kindly counselor offering helpful advice and encouragement.
The current debate over preaching is most commonly explained as an argument about the focus and shape of the sermon. Should the preacher seek to preach a biblical text through an expository sermon? Or, should the preacher direct the sermon to the "felt needs" and perceived concerns of the hearers?
Clearly, many evangelicals now favor the second approach. Urged on by devotees of "needs-based preaching," many evangelicals have abandoned the text without recognizing that they have done so. These preachers may eventually get to the text in the course of the sermon, but the text does not set the agenda or establish the shape of the message.
Focusing on so-called "perceived needs" and allowing these needs to set the preaching agenda inevitably leads to a loss of biblical authority and biblical content in the sermon. Yet, this pattern is increasingly the norm in many evangelical pulpits. Fosdick must be smiling from the grave.
Earlier evangelicals recognized Fosdick's approach as a rejection of biblical preaching. An out-of-the-closet theological liberal, Fosdick paraded his rejection of biblical inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility--and rejected other doctrines central to the Christian faith. Enamored with trends in psychological theory, Fosdick became liberal Protestantism's happy pulpit therapist. The goal of his preaching was well captured by the title of one of his many books, On Being a Real Person.
Shockingly, this is now the approach evident in many evangelical pulpits. The sacred desk has become an advice center and the pew has become the therapist's couch. Psychological and practical concerns have displaced theological exegesis and the preacher directs his sermon to the congregation's perceived needs.
The problem is, of course, that the sinner does not know what his most urgent need is. She is blind to her need for redemption and reconciliation with God, and focuses on potentially real but temporal needs such as personal fulfillment, financial security, family peace, and career advancement. Too many sermons settle for answering these expressed needs and concerns, and fail to proclaim the Word of Truth.
Without doubt, few preachers following this popular trend intend to depart from the Bible. But under the guise of an intention to reach modern secular men and women "where they are," the sermon has been transformed into a success seminar. Some verses of Scripture may be added to the mix, but for a sermon to be genuinely biblical, the text must set the agenda as the foundation of the message--not as an authority cited for spiritual footnoting.
Charles Spurgeon confronted the very same pattern of wavering pulpits in his own day. Some of the most fashionable and well-attended London churches featured pulpiteers who were the precursors to modern needs-based preachers. Spurgeon--who managed to draw a few hearers despite his insistence on biblical preaching--confessed that "The true ambassador for Christ feels that he himself stands before God and has to deal with souls in God's stead as God's servant, and stands in a solemn place--a place in which unfaithfulness is inhumanity to man as well as treason to God."
Spurgeon and Baxter understood the dangerous mandate of the preacher, and were therefore driven to the Bible as their only authority and message. They left their pulpits trembling with urgent concern for the souls of their hearers and fully aware of their accountability to God for preaching His Word, and His Word alone. Their sermons were measured by power; Fosdick's by popularity.
The current debate over preaching may well shake congregations, denominations, and the evangelical movement. But know this: The recovery and renewal of the church in this generation will come only when from pulpit to pulpit the herald preaches as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.
Editor's note: The Purpose Driven and the Seeker Sensitive movements have embolded many well intended, but biblically-erred pastors to shake their own congregrations loose from the moorings of the Scriptures for the sake of numerical church growth. In that process, they have created a sea of casualties, known as the pillars and resistors.
See related articles: Southern Baptist Head Expresses Concern Over Negative Image, Can The SBC Avoid the Samson Effect ?
"...for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized." 1 Corinthians 11:19
God does not care as much about nickels and noses as men do. Carnal men glory in such things as nickels and noses. We live in a time of big meetings, big churches, big church buildings, big preachers, and big church budgets. The failure or success of a church and its pastor is judged by the number of nickels and noses that they have. In all too many cases, there is seen in this more Satanic pride than spiritual piety...
As a pastor for over thirty years I have many times been asked this question, and, no doubt, I will be asked it many more times if I live. Never has anyone ever asked me such questions as the following: "Are your services spiritual?" "Is Christ real to your people?" "Are your members hearing the whole counsel of God?" "Are your people growing in grace and in the knowledge of Christ?" "Is there a spirit of unity and love in your church?" Evidently. these things are not important to modern-day religionists, who judge religious success by worldly standards--nickels and noses. I just wish one single time that a person would ask about something other than nickels and noses!
THE EFFECT OF THIS ON OUR CHURCHES
The philosophy of nickels and noses has drastically changed our churches for the worse. In the craze for nickels and noses churches have replaced preachers and pastors with puppeteers and pranksters. The gospel of Christ has been superseded by gimmicks, gum, gadgets, and games. Psychology has taken the place of Holy Spirit conviction. The faith has been displaced for finance, fun, and foolishness.
This syndrome has filled our churches with unconverted persons. We have far more churchianity than Christianity. The only change some church members made since joining the church was from wet to dry clothes following their baptism. Many church members are white-washed, but they are not blood washed.
It has produced icy services and cold, callous, complacent church members. Look at the average church! They have their robed choir, their cut and dried program, and their intellectual preaching. They have a beautiful edifice. They have all the organization and rituals one could ask for, but in most cases it is Spiritless! We have never faced such in our generation. We have form without reality; we have organization without power; profession without possession. We have a form of godliness without the power of it. We have religion without life.
It has caused pastors to spend more time worrying with goats than feeding the sheep. The pastor nowadays must provide a spiritual diet for people who have no spiritual appetite. Like Ezekiel of old (Ezek. 37:1-10), he must preach to dead, dry bones, but without the blessings which Ezekiel experienced. These dry, dead bones can't hear, yet the pastor must keep preaching and pretend someone is listening. These dry, dead bones do not grow in grace, for the dead do not grow.
This idea has given us the gimmick gospel. Most church members want to be entertained instead of instructed in the Word of God. They have far more delight in the gospel of amusement than the gospel of the atonement.
It has made people look down on small churches. Preachers politic for the large churches which have a lot of nickels and noses. They will compromise their principles and preach almost any heresy to get a big church.
Church members like big churches so they can hide out in the crowd and have no responsibilities. They like the upper class in society. Such churches have skilled politicians as pastors who do not offend their many nickels and noses.
While there are some exceptions, most big churches are worldly churches. They have high carnality and low spirituality. Truth is very scarce in such fashionable churches because the Word of God has been compromised to keep nickels and noses. These churches are more like social clubs than spiritual centers. Christ has departed from these Laodicean churches (Rev. 3:14-22). All that keeps the people in such liberal organizations is their love for social prestige.
Friday, October 12, 2007
If you feel like something is missing from Rick Warren's best-selling books, The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, you are not alone. In More Than a Purpose, Dr. Marshall Davis documents what evangelical leaders are saying about the megachurch movement. The author explores the origins of Rick Warren's approach in the Church Growth Movement and Robert Schuller's gospel of self-esteem. He examines the theology of Warren's Saddleback Church and finds that it falls short of historic Christianity. The author also exposes the market-driven methodology and philosophical pragmatism of The Purpose Driven Church. Readers will learn how the entertainment model of worship has taken over evangelical churches and how New Age spirituality has influenced the beliefs and the practices promoted in The Purpose Driven Life.
This book will challenge Christians to recover the essentials of evangelical Christianity that will restore integrity to twenty-first century churches. Fully documented with 300 endnotes from over 75 different sources.
Dr. Marshall Davis is an ordained Baptist minister with thirty years of experience as a pastor. He holds advanced degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. He presently serves as a pastor in western Pennsylvania.
Driven Away By Purpose by Daniel Chew
With regards to Warren's 'gospel' presentation...
Perhaps the most visible problem with Warren's PDL [Purpose Driven Life] is seen in Warren's presentation of the Gospel in the PDL. On p.58, Warren presents the Gospel so that people who have yet to receive Christ could now accept Him as their Lord and Savior. ...
The immediate problem one has when one looks at this 'Gospel' presentation is that there is no sign or mention of repentance. Sure, we are told to receive God's forgiveness for sins. However, receiving God's forgiveness for sins is NOT by itself repentance. Repentance involves acknowledging with God that we are sinful mentally and with our heart, and feel broken because of our sinfulness, thereby choosing NOT to want to sin again. I can ‘receive’ God's forgiveness without repentance, with the wrong mindset that God ought to forgive me, that is. From this passage alone, we can see that repentance is totally missing in the Gospel presentation.(Chew, D.H., Driven Away by Purpose, 2nd Ed., published by Xulon Press, 2006, p. 23-24)
An open letter issued by a group of 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and academics issued an "invitation" to the Vatican, the archbishop of Canterbury and other Christian leaders to "make peace" with Islam.
At least, that is the way most mainstream news reports styled it – "an invitation to make peace." It was actually more of an ultimatum than it was an invitation. Boiled down to its essence, the letter warned Christians to "make peace with us or we'll kill you." The letter just phrases it more nicely.
"As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them – so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes."
It was hard to know what to make of that statement. If it refers to the war on terror, it was Osama bin Laden who declared this a war of religions, in which he identified his enemies as Christian Crusaders and Jews.
The so-called "invitation" to make peace with Islam suggests that the price of peace is Islamic freedom to make war on others without fear of retaliation. At no point in the conflict has anyone other than Islam defined it as a conflict between Christians and Jews against Islam.
Read the rest here...
See related article Common Ground & Peace For The Sake of the World
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The international community will bring the Israelis and Arabs together in Annapolis, Maryland next month to again try to solve the Middle East conflict according to its own wisdom and humanist agenda. It will fail, as it has every other time, and it looks like Jerusalem will once again be the stumbling block that prevents any real progress down the false path to peace. Israel’s deputy prime minister is openly admitting that the division of Jerusalem will be on the table at the upcoming summit. Even Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, once the mayor of what he insisted would always be the “eternal, undivided capital” of the Jewish people, seems to be backing that position.
2Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
Read related articles here.
YOGA UNCOILED: From East to West A look into the practice of Yoga in the Church by Caryl Matrisciana
Many believe they can practice yoga postures, breathing, and focusing techniques devoid of yoga's spirituality, not realizing that yoga is an inherent part of Hindu philosophy which teaches man and nature are one with divinity.
Today, yoga is experiencing a worldwide renaissance and in America has more than 70,000 yoga teachers working in 20,000 locations. Although viewed primarily as fitness instructors, these trainers are in reality the leading missionaries of eastern religion in the west. The twenty-seven billion dollar a year yoga industry is marketed to students, athletes, businessmen, pregnant women and senior citizens promising solutions for stress reduction, concentration problems, and issues of self confidence.
Once viewed by Christians as a pagan import from the East, yoga has now become mainstream in the church through "Christ-centered yoga classes" designed to help improve spirituality and experience "the presence of God". But is yoga's mysticism compatible with historic Christianity?
Video-journalist Caryl Matrisciana, who was born and raised in India, returns to her native land to search for truth among India's leading experts and examines what Christian Yoga practitioners in the West are saying about their Yoga participation.
With critical discernment, this hard-hitting and informative DVD explores the ramifications of dismissing yoga's core spirituality, and blending Biblical terminology and precepts with eastern meditative techniques and practices.
Watch the DVD trailer for YOGA UNCOILED here and learn how The Beatles' and the upheaval of the '60's planted the seeds of eastern mysticism in Western culture.
Click here for the October 6 interview at Olive Tree Ministries with Caryl Matrisciana and Jan Markell. Listen how Christians are "spiritually hoodwinked" today. Eastern practices have come to the West and been "sanitized" but many, including people in the church, are hearing a "different gospel" about "a different Jesus." And they do not know it.
See related articles Yoga OK For Christians? , Pagitt Isn't The Only One OK With Yoga ,Ron Luce Leading Your Youth Into Spiritual Bondage , Oozing with Mysticism , Rick Warren & Youth Specialties , Fight The Flood of Deception , The Mystical Convergence of the Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive & Emergent , Evangelical Christians & Catholic Mysticism. , Youth Specialties: Mystical Youth Ministry , Youth Ministry & The Doctrine of Demons , All WL mysticism posts
From A Time of Departing, by Ray Yungen:
The question you may be asking right now is, "Why is Rick Warren included in a book that is covering New Age interspirituality and exposing the dangers of contemplative prayer? Are you saying that Rick Warren is heading in that direction too? Not America's pastor! Surely not." If that were the case, we'd hear about it from Christian leaders. Right? ... If indeed Rick Warren is promoting contemplative prayer, as I believe he is, this guarantees that contemplative prayer will be promoted on an enormous scale.
Through Rick Warren, Richard Foster's vision could enter fully into mainstream evangelicalism both in North America and around the world; and with the unprecedented following and support Warren has gained, we could be heading towards a crisis in the church that might possibly lead to the falling away that the Apostle Paul warns about. (ed. note: Yungen's prediction comes true in this post Christianity Today's Lectio Divina Small Group Study )
Warren's associate pastor Lance Witt, writes in "Enjoying God's Presence in Solitude," that we are "designed to enjoy the presence of God, but that's easier said than done." In the article, Witt uses Thomas Merton as an example of someone who knew about solitude. But Merton's solitude was connected to his Buddhist sympathies. Merton likened contemplative prayer to an LSD trip. Witt finishes his article with, "The goal of solitude is not so much to unplug from my crazy world, as it is to change frequencies so that I can hear the Father.
See more evidence of Purpose Driven mysticism at Lighthouse Trails Research Project.
Will pastors, deacons and congregations wake from the intoxication of Seeker Sensitive & Purpose Driven?
Muslim statement on peace among the religions 'historic'
A statement by leading Muslim scholars setting out the mainstream Islamic view on peace among the religions "for the sake of the world" has been described as "a historic breakthrough" by a leading Cambridge academic working on inter-religious issues...
"The Unity of God, the necessity of love for [God], and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity," say 138 Muslim leaders, representing all branches of the faith, say in the letter entitled 'A Common Word Between Us and You.'
The BBC reports that the letter says that world peace could depend on improved relations between Muslims and Christians. It identifies the principles of accepting only one god and living in peace with one's neighbours as common ground between the two religions. It also insists that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.
See related article Bush: All religions pray to 'same God'
Read From Warren Smith's "Reinventing Jesus", Chapter Seven:
In the fall of 2001, a book entitled From the Ashes: A Spiritual Response to the Attack on America was published by the multi-faith e-community Beliefnet. The book contained articles by a variety of “spiritual leaders” and “extraordinary citizens” written in response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001....A number of Christian leaders were included in this book as well as many familiar New Age leaders. Articles by Billy Graham, Charles Colson, Bill Hybels, Max Lucado, Bruce Wilkinson, Rick Warren and others were interspersed with articles written by popular New Age figures like the Dalai Lama, Starhawk the witch and Neale Donald Walsch. Not only did Christian leaders find themselves in the company of top New Age leaders in this book, they were also now being challenged by some of these same New Age leaders. For example, Neale Donald Walsch’s article appeared near the beginning of the book and challenged Christian ministers and religious leaders everywhere, in the light of September 11th, to adopt the New Gospel teaching that “we are all one.” This was based on the unbiblical New Age belief that God is in everyone and everything. Walsch wrote:
"We must change ourselves. We must change the beliefs upon which our behaviors are based. We must create a different reality, build a new society…. We must do so with new spiritual truths. We must preach a new gospel, its healing message summarized in two sentences:
We are all one. Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way. This 15-word message, delivered from every lectern and pulpit, from every rostrum and platform, could change everything overnight. I challenge every priest, every minister, every rabbi, and religious cleric to preach this."
Walsch obviously knew how spiritually appealing the idea of peace and oneness would sound to a frightened humanity wondering when the next disaster might strike. What an opportune time to introduce the New Age doctrine of spiritual oneness to an anxious and vulnerable world. But the Bible clearly teaches that while all nations are of one blood (Acts 17:26), they are not all of one spirit (Romans 8:9-14; 1 Corinthians 2:12). The Bible states that we are only “one” with God and with each other in Jesus Christ.
See related article "Peace" Churches Pay Homage to Iran
Watch this video from Emergent church guru Brian McClaren who also says "everything must change".
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Listen to Warren Smith's interview on the Mike Corley program here as Smith untangles the New Age influence & Robert Schuller impact on Rick Warren. Learn what Rick Warren consents-to-by-silence & association, and Schuller promotes in A Course In Miracles.
Read excerpts from Deceived on Purpose, Chapter 1 and Chapter 5. See Tim Challes' book review on Deceived on Purpose.
See related articles:
Unholy Quest for Unity, Forget the Gospel, Rethink Church, Rethink Being Worldly, Reinventing Jesus, Redefining Christianity , Rick Warren & Youth Specialties , The Mystical Convergence of the Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive & Emergent , Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet Together Again, The Two Witnesses Emerging: Saddleback & Willowcreek , Roman Emergent Matrix , Purpose Driven Mystical Ecumenism, Ecumenical Unity, American Style