Monday, March 31, 2008

Christian Leader Pays For Speaking Out Against Rick Warren


San Diego Christian Leader Pays Steep Price For Speaking Out Against Rick Warren, from James Hartline Report.

“Taking on Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren is the religious equivalent of taking on a mob boss in the Mafia,” says Hartline.

Christian Activist James Hartline Loses Well-Known Media SupportAfter Signing Published Letter That Calls On Rick Warren To StopAllowing Pro-Abortion & Pro-Homosexual Speakers In His Pulpit

(JHReport) A nationally recognized Christian activist has learned firsthand that there is a steep price to pay for speaking out against the moral corruption of one of America’s most powerful Protestant ministers. Despite the high cost to himself personally, James Hartline has been willing to expose, what he says, is a disturbing trend of theological and moral compromise coming from the pulpit of Rick Warren, pastor of the 20,000-member Saddleback Church.

Read the rest of the gritty details of Warren's syndicate here at SOLA DEI GLORIA.

Editor's note: Taking on one of Warren's church franchise owners can be a very similar experience.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

‘Seeker-Sensitive’ Conservatism

From Allan Roebuck at American Thinker

Rick Warren’s book The Purpose-Driven Life is more than a major bestseller. It’s also the most prominent manifestation of a "seeker-sensitive" movement that’s attempting, for all intents and purposes, to redefine evangelical Christianity…

The seeker-sensitive movement is a close analogy to the contemporary conservative movement. In both cases, people who ought to be offering timeless truths that can save individuals and societies are instead using market research to craft a product that appeals to consumers, telling them what they want to hear rather than a truth that is initially painful but ultimately liberating. Even if you are not a Christian, you should be concerned about a mass movement that thrives by suppressing many important ideas that it once believed in, especially because the same error tempts other idea-based movements, such as conservatism.

Bob DeWaay, pastor of a non-denominational church in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area, recently spent two years studying the seeker-sensitive movement…DeWaay’s analysis is presented in his book Redefining Christianity, and it is summarized in a 15-part radio series that is archived and can be listened to (for free).

DeWaay’s basic conclusion is this: The purpose-driven movement begins with the premise that the only way to attract non-Christians to church is by offering to meet their felt needs, rather than their real need for salvation through Christ. If a non-Christian "seeker" visits a church where he hears the traditional Gospel message that he is a lost sinner in need of a salvation that can only come from personal repentance and trust in the atoning death of Christ, he will be repelled by the challenging message, and will not return. To prevent this failure, so the theory goes, a church must conduct market research into what people in its area want, and then find a way to give these seekers what they want.

Read the rest here.

SPY CELLS: Phones Will Soon Tell Where You Are

From The Wall Street Journal
SPY CELLS: Phones Will Soon Tell Where You Are
By AMOL SHARMA and JESSICA E. VASCELLARO March 28, 2008; Page A1

Would you want other people to know, all day long, exactly where you are, right down to the street corner or restaurant? Unsettling as that may sound to some, wireless carriers are betting that many of their customers do, and they're rolling out services to make it possible.

Read the rest here.

Another Emergent Face at Rick Warren's Place

Rick Warren continues to host emergent voices at his Ministry Tool Box. The latest voice is that of Scot McKnight who writes…

About five years ago I started practicing the ancient Israelite custom of reciting the Shema when I got up and when I went to bed, when I left the house and when I entered, and whenever I was on the way. I learned that I was saying it about 50 times a day. It began to work its way into my own DNA.

Read the rest of McNight’s assertion that "those who let the Jesus Creed work into their DNA discover that the Great Commandment is far more natural and far less inconvenient…Those who live the Great Commandments discover themselves setting up Jesus Creed feeders for their neighbors."

Editor’s note: Don’t miss Rick Warren and The Emergents at the 2008 Exponential Conference.

HT: Christian Research Network

See related article: The Two Witnesses Emerging: Saddleback & Willowcreek. See all posts regarding the intersection of the Purpose Driven and the Emergent.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Resisters Fight the Seeker Sensitive-Purpose Driven

Resisters in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod fight the Seeker Sensitive-Purpose Driven takeover of their denomination...

Lutheran Resistance Movement to Purpose-Driven Take Over of the LCMS

The cancellation of the Issues Etc. radio program last week has literally been the talk of the LCMS for the past week and there are no signs that the controversy is going to subside any time soon. It appears that the move to cancel Issues Etc. was part of a larger plan that LCMS President Jerry Kieschnick has for transitioning the LCMS into a seeker-sensitive / purpose-driven denomination.

One site in particular seems well connected within the synod and is now passing their insider information on to the public. The name of the site is Save the LCMS and any Lutherans concerned and alarmed by the creeping seeker-sensitive evangelicalism in the LCMS needs to read this site.

Click Here to visit “Save the LCMS

HT: Christian Research Network

See also:
Calvary Chapel and Purpose Driven,
Southern Baptist Founders Conference Says "No" to Seeker Sensitive,
Calvary Chapel Churches Rejects Purpose Driven and Emerging Spirituality
69th General Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church Says "No" To Purpose Driven

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Islamic Ecumenism

This story comes to us from Christian Post:

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called for a dialogue among monotheistic religions Monday, marking a first for the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom.

"I ask representatives of all the monotheistic religions to meet with their brothers in faith," Abdullah told delegates to a seminar on "Dialogue Among Civilizations between Japan and the Islamic World," according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“If God wills it, we will then meet with our brothers from other religions, including those of the Torah and the Gospel… to come up with ways to safeguard humanity," he added.

Here’s the Christians proper role in "interfaith dialogue"–Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20).

HT: Christian Research Network

See also: ANTICHRIST'S TRAIN SWINGS UP A GEAR , Pope baptizes prominent Italian Muslim , First Catholic church opens in Qatar, Papal Pandering To Protestants & Muslims, Preview of The Coming Global Religion, Co-Starring Rick Warren , Common Ground: Conciliation with a Lie , Rick Warren, Evangelicals, Invite Muslims to Love God Together , Begging forgiveness of Islam? , Rick Warren Asks For Allah’s Forgiveness , Common Ground & Peace For The Sake of the World ,

Purpose Driven Out of Church

"My biggest challenge in all of this right now is a deep, all pervading sense of sadness. I feel like I am watching Our Church implode and degenerate into just one more spiritually empty church and there is nothing I can do about it (I tried but right now I think even the other members of the council have been just humoring me as being one more ‘out of touch conservative’ that has to be tolerated for the sake of peace but quietly marginalized)."

Read another sad account of a family's purpose driven dismemberment experience at Purpose Drivel.

Resisting The Purpose Driven Life

Highlights from Dealing with Resisters by Berit Kjos

"I have been forced out of two churches for being such a 'resister.' I am a normal wife and mom and teacher who would not conform and, as you stated above, have been shunned and vilified. This has caused me considerable heartbreak and torment. For years I have struggled to cope with the shock of losing my church family and being branded as divisive."

In order to transform churches from the old ways (where pastors preach and everyone learns the Scriptures) to the Total Quality Management model, "transformational leaders" must find ways to curb resistance to change. The popular church management manual, Leading Congregational Change (LCC), promoted by Bob Buford's Leadership Network, offers a well-used plan.

"This is a book you ought to read before you change anything," said Rick Warren in his hearty endorsement. Ponder its definition for resistance and the tone it sets:

"Address Specific Pockets of Resistance. Resistance is the 'opposite reaction' to change.... [It] can come in many different forms—confrontational or passive-aggressive, from known troublemakers or loyal supporters, as a result of a specific change or of an incorrect perception." [3, pages 90-91]

Since change agents must be totally committed to their strategic mission or purpose, they must also view dissenters as wrong. While some issues can be negotiated, this is not one of them. Successful transformation depends on persuading the vast majority to share their single-minded focus. Those who disagree with their manipulative strategies are viewed as intolerable barriers to the ultimate goal: a new way of collective thinking, being and serving.

LCC warns change leaders about this problem:
"Change leaders should expect resistance to team learning. ... Recognizing and making this resistance explicit to other team members tends to lessen its grip. It takes time for a group to emerge as a team, and all the concerns and resistance related to teams will resurface during this period." [3, page133]

Rick Warren is more subtle, and his references to health versus disease cloak his hostility toward "unhealthy" members who resist his agenda. In The Purpose Driven Church, he writes:

"When a human body is out of balance we call that disease.... Likewise, when the body of Christ becomes unbalanced, disease occurs.... Health will occur only when everything is brought back into balance. The task of church leadership is to discover and remove growth-restricting diseases and barriers so that natural, normal growth can occur."[1, page 16]...

...In the end, the specific vision or stated purposes matter little. What counts are the unity and conformity derived from the common focus, the feel-good group experiences, the peer pressure, and the facilitated process. The only real obstacles to mass compliance are those (usually faithful members) who oppose the essential steps to top-down control and infect others with their doubts. You may recognize some of the steps:

1. Identify resisters. In the Church Growth Movement, the resisters are those who question the need for systemic change (total restructuring of all facets), distrust the dialectic process, and criticize the transformational methods. What's worse, they refuse to shift their primary focus from the actual Scriptures to the positively phrased "purpose" or "vision" or "mission statement."

2. Assess resisters and determine the degree of resistance. Negative or uncompromising attitudes will be tracked using the sophisticated data systems that monitor each member. "Continual feedback" from these high-tech systems (made available to many large churches through Bob Buford's Leadership Network) provides the data needed to make necessary adjustments. It's all part of Total Quality Management. As we read in The Change Agent’s Guide, "Resisters should be judged for relative sophistication and influence." [2, page 122]

3. Befriend, involve and persuade borderline resisters. Participation in small group dialogues may encourage borderline resisters to trade their traditional convictions for a more permissive fellowship. Some will reconsider their objections and conform to group demands. Others will quietly leave on their own.

"Coercive power only strengthens resistance," wrote Robert Vanourek in Reflections on Leadership. "...Instead the leader's skills at 'facilitating' the group should be used. The ideas should evolve from the group. Then the leaders can simplify them in a persuasive fashion. Then commitment to the vision can be gained."[5, page 301]

4. Marginalize more persistent resisters. They obstruct progress and undermine the needed unity, momentum and passion for change. That's why pastors often suggest to "divisive" members that they might be happier elsewhere. When the unhappy members leave, they usually, out of obedience to their Lord, follow the pastor's request that they not speak to anyone about their reasons for leaving. The congregation will be told not to ask any questions. Thus the change leaders avoid potential conflict.

Pastor Warren is more subtle, yet he models an attitude that breeds intolerance and judgment toward individuals who violate his politically correct guidelines concerning unity and relational synergy. As you saw earlier, he equates sincere Christians who question the adoption of the world's methodology with germs and disease within the body. And he calls on the church leadership to "remove growth-restricting diseases and barriers so that natural, normal growth can occur."[1, page 16]

5. Vilify those who "stay and fight." At this stage, negative labels, accusations and slander are permitted, if not encouraged, to circulate. Resisters — now labeled as divisive troublemakers — are blamed for disunity, for slowing the change process, and for distracting the church body from wholehearted focus on its all-important vision, mission or purpose. Ponder the subtle suggestions and negative labels Pastor Warren attaches to individuals who question his purpose-driven management system.

6. Establish rules, regulations, laws and principles that silence, punish or drive out resisters. At Saddleback, every new member must sign a "Membership Covenant." It includes this innocuous promise: "I will protect the unity of my church... by following the leaders." This covenant is backed by Scriptures such as Ephesians 4: 29 ("Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths....") and Hebrews 13:17 ("Obey your leaders and submit to their authority....") But taking a stand on God's Word is hardly what the Bible refers to as "unwholesome talk." And, if church leaders followed the world's management system rather than God's way, the command to "obey your leader and submit...." would be overruled by other relevant Scriptures.

For encouragement, read The Loneliness of the Christian

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Resisting the Purpose Driven

Resisting the Purpose Driven on The Mike Corley Program:

Not all of what is involved with the Purpose Driven Life movement is warm and fuzzy. On this program, Mike shares yet another tragic story of someone who dared to question the purpose driven lie.

Today, the testimony of two men in Virginia who resisted the 40 Days of Purpose in their church and the shocking, but sadly, not surprising results of their unwillingness to compromise and follow the PDL.

Click here to listen now.

Editor's note: God preserves a remnant with Watchmen on the Wall...Mike Corley is such a man.

See related articles: DISCERNMENT OR CRITICISM, Signs of A Purpose Driven Transition In Your Church, Part V, Purpose Driven Deceit, How To Defend Your Personal Church Growth Vision , Warren: Protect The Unity, Throw Out The Resisters, Rick Warren’s Inquisition, SBC President Not Interested In the Victims of Purpose Driven, An Address To a SBC Deacon Body Regarding The Purpose Driven Shift, Blessed believer to blessed subtraction, Another 40 Days of Destruction and Division, Rick Warren & Vision Casting, A Popular Strategy For Church Growth Splits Congregants, The Unreported Plight of Purpose Driven Refugees, Satan's Greatest Weapon: Disunity?

Monday, March 24, 2008

UVA Newspaper Casts The Next Stone

From WorldNet Daily:

The student newspaper at the University of Virginia published a cartoon mocking Christians and Christianity after determining it met its own "criteria" but later removed it and has been backpedaling ever since.

The illustration – and another previous cartoon – were the subject of an alert from the American Family Association, which urged readers to use its website to send an e-mail to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, with a copy to Daniel LaVista, the executive director of the state Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Read the rest of this deplorable and disappointing story here.

Resurrection, Remembrance and Renewal

From Pastor John Piper at Desiring

"...let’s stir up our thankfulness and joy and admiration and amazement at what the resurrection of Jesus means for us. The curse of our fallen nature is that what once thrilled us becomes ordinary. The reality hasn’t changed. We have changed.

This is why the Bible exists. Peter says of his two letters that they are written to “stir up” or “arouse” by means of “reminder.”

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder. (2 Peter 3:1)

So let’s stir up our sincere minds by way of reminder. What has God done in raising Jesus from the dead? Here are a few biblical answers...

Thanks to Grace Fellowship for sharing this link from Desiring

Friday, March 21, 2008

It Is Finished

He is nailed to the tree; the world abhors him, fools gaze, and sinners laugh. Do you lay down your weapons and say, it is idle to defend such a man as this? It is all over now, he bows his head upon the cross. “It is finished,” saith he; and do your unbelieving hearts say, “Ay, indeed, it is finished; his career is over, his hopes are blighted, his prospects withered?”

Ah! Little do you know that his shame was the mother of his future glory; that the stooping was the rising, that the crown of thorns was in fact the fruitful root out of which sprang the eternal crown of glory.-From the "Prince of Preachers," Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

The Believer's Call In Light of the Eschaton

The Seventh Trumpet sets forth a rapid fire series of destructive judgements that precedes the Coming of Christ. In the midst of the vision of global chaos, John receives a scroll from the mighty angel in Rev. 10:1-11 . The mighty angel of God delivers the Word of God to John. What is John's commission from the mighty angel?


In this message, The Believer's Call in Light of the Eschaton Pastor Jamey Day of Grace Fellowship details John's commission in Revelation Chapter 10. Pastor Day highlights the same commission for today's true believer and today's true church:

We have been called to preach the true Scripture... the end of time is coming, the unredeemed will be judged. We must get this right...Preach the Gospel! We don't get to pick and choose what we preach and teach. John was specifically commissioned to preach what was contained in the scroll, THE WORD OF GOD. The scroll was delivered by a mighty angel representing the Holiness, The Glory, the Mercy, the Power of the Almighty, Sovereign God.

Pastor Day presents a thought-provoking scenario. What if John decided that the contents of the scroll:
  • wasn't applicable to the culture
  • not relevant these days
  • couldn't be known or understood

Imagine if John told the mighty angel of God, " I'll just preach what preach the parts that I like, tell people just live the words in red and just love God and we'll all go to heaven". That's what is happening in today's church. It's called Topical Preaching. Just go through the Bible and preach the texts that that make people feel good about themselves, while judgement and eternity hang in the balance.

Pastor Day continues:

God says " I have given you the Bible for a reason. Preach it, everything that is in it, verse by verse. John, by humble, immediate obedience took and ate the scroll...What a privilege to be able to preach God's Word, to have this text, to read it, understand it, consume it, and then to preach it... God's Word is perfect, it is for our ultimate good for God's ultimate glory.

...We are to preach repentance, judgement, the Law and the Gospel to a generation who have turn their backs on the Sovereign God, that is our calling.

Listen to this powerful message from Revelation Chapter 10 in it's entirety here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Seeds of Compassion or Idolatry?

From Apprising Ministries:

In Seeds of Compassion Event: Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt with Dalai Lama we brought your attention at Apprising Ministries to this upcoming event alleged to be, “Anchored by the deep wisdom of His Holiness the Dalai Lama” (Online source). We also showed you it was founded as a vehicle for him and others to indoctrinate teach children how to take their place in the Global Family as seeds of compassion...

...Now you know some of the so-called “deep wisdom” of this pagan religious teacher referred to with titles worthy of God alone. And you should also know that this Buddhist idol, who is leading millions away from true Wisdom in Jesus Christ and into an eternal Hell forever shut out from the presence of God, will be imparting these doctrines of demons to your youth with an able assist from emerging church pastors Rob Bell and Doug Pagitt.

Don't miss the video at Apprising Ministries.

More on the National New Church Conference 2008

Ingrid Schlueter of Slice of Laodicea and CrossTalk America sheds more light on the National New Church Conference:

It was a brilliant strategy: Get an arterial system to thousands of evangelical churches in America established through the Purpose Driven campaigns. Develop thousands of pastor-followers of Rick Warren. Then move from the circus church/seeker church model to the ultimate goal, the emerging church with Rick Warren as Pied Piper.

When you look at the contents of the plenary sessions, it’s plain where all of this is going. Note especially the “spiritual disciplines” that are a key component addressed in the sessions. That’s the contemplative spirituality we’ve been warning about for years.

Read the rest here at Slice of Laodicea.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Saved Or Self Deceived?

Mike Corley shares audio clips from John MacArthur's Saved or Self Deceived speaking on Matthew 7:21-27...not everyone who says "Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven..."

Mike challenges the status quo of the broad way:

" deception or or intent, they think they are going to heaven but God says " No, you're going to hell. How can we approach this now? We have to get the Gospel right, proclaim the accurate Gospel...

It makes no difference if you have been a member of a church for 50 years...If you have a false assurance of what you think is salvation for 50 some odd years-Get it right, now.

We have a generation out there who have no clue what the Gospel is...We have got to get it right. The eternity of souls hang in the balance.

Are you saved or just deceiving yourself...Will you humble yourself, put aside your pride, your own accomplishments or your wonderful denomination...will you put that aside and see what the Bible says?

Are you willing to say, " I was wrong? "

Listen to the rest of The Mike Corley program here. Read part I of John MacArthur's Saved or Deceived here. See part II here.

Put Off And Put On

The Power of His Presence Daily Devotions From the Writings of Ray Stedman

READ: Ephesians 4:22-32

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self...(Ephesians 4:22-24a).

Putting off the old and putting on the new is the principle by which the possibilities that are in Christ can become evident in our experience. Notice there is a recognition of the pull of the old life on the Christian. The admonition of the apostle is to be constantly recognizing and rejecting these false, underlying assumptions that come from the old self, the old way of living. It is not merely deeds, you will notice, but outlooks and attitudes. This is what causes the problem, and this is what we must reject...

...Christians alone have the possibility of doing something entirely different, living by an entirely different principle, because they have been renewed in the attitude of their minds. And that happens in the regenerated life as the Spirit of God comes into the heart that believes in Jesus Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ and receive Him as our Lord and Savior, we are renewed in the attitudes of our minds. The new self is in the likeness of God: it is the life of God; it is the image of Jesus Christ; it is His life lived in you. So put on that kind of life, because it is available to you.

Read the rest here

Editor's note: Dr. Stedman highlights the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life. Where in all the seeker sensitive, purpose driven and emergent writings can you find this essential power for living the exchanged life? They model a form of godliness and deny the power there of.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

National New Church Conference: Intersection of the Purpose Driven & Emergent

The 2008 National New Church Conference

"DNA for reproducing churches: Apostolic Vision, Radical Disciple Making, Genuine Community, Missional Impulse and the Gospel."

Some of the headline speakers include:

Rick Warren, Alan Hirsch, Andy Stanley, Ron Sylvia , Ed Stetzer, Mark Batterson

A sample of the plenary sessions:

Missional Church Track: SESSION SOLD OUT
This track will focus on developing leadership for churches that seek to plant missional churches that are movements more than single entities. It will present a challenge as well as encouragement and practical examples that will give you the understanding and confidence you need as you undertake the task of leading in a missional church.

Attractional or and Incarnational Church planting: For many, this is a hotly debated topic that is a clear cut value-based, "either/or issue." For others, it is a "whatever works best" issue. Is it possible that it can be a "both/and" issue?

Visioning for an Apostolic Movement Locally & Globally
Understand how to read the changing culture in your community and across the globe and learn how to develop a vision that is compelling to create a movement of churches that are equipped and ready to go where the Spirit is leading.

Spiritual Disciplines of Reproducing Churches
Discover the spiritual disciplines that will help you and your church become a reproducing church.

Social Justice and New Churches
Over the last decade, a passion for Social Justice has grown exponentially in our culture and our churches. Following the lead of celebrities from Bono to Oprah to Bill & Melinda Gates, and of Christian organizations like Sojourners and the Willow Creek Association, issues of race, poverty, genocide, global trade, HIV/AIDS, the environment, and peace have become pervasive. To be relevant in 2008, your new church must wrestle with these social justice concerns.


From author / missionary Roger Oakland of Understand The Times International:

Discernment in the church today is generally an unbiblical concept. Pastors are saying you must be known for what you are and never tell others for what you are against. But what if what you are against teachings that are leading people to hell? Would you be for that?

Taking a position from a biblical perspective with regard to purpose-driven-emerging Christianity is not very popular. Those who are working towards establishing the kingdom and getting closer to Jesus through contemplative practices rooted in eastern mysticism are very outspoken. If you are not for what they are for, you are against everything.

...When a watchman warns about teachings that are popular, the watchman is unpopular. However, popularity is not what determines truth. The popular position on origins is evolution. Does that mean evolution is true? What about the facts?

...I know a fellowship of pastors who have responded the same way when facts about the purpose-driven-emerging church were presented. When they were told the truth, they didn’t want to hear the truth. They said that telling the truth was being critical or having a critical spirit...

However, we know according to 2 Timothy Chapter four that in the last days that so-called Christians will not want to stand for sound doctrine. They will say that discernment and warning about false teaching is “just being critical.”

Read the rest here.

Editor's note: They will also say you are devisive and dogmatic, describe you as a trouble maker, a pillar that holds things up, one who is selfish and has emotional baggage, attempt to intimidate you into backing down from your concern, remove you as a Sunday School teacher, tell you that you are not welcome to attend, and deny they said it. And they know we are Christians by our love, by our love...

A Radical Change

The Power of His Presence, Daily Devotions, from the Writings of Ray Stedman

READ: Ephesians 4:17-21
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking (Ephesians 4:17).

In the opening verses of the fourth chapter of Ephesians, the apostle has been dealing with the nature of the church and the part each Christian has to play in its operation and growth. But now, with verse 17, he turns to the Christian in relationship to an unbelieving world. Though this account was written almost two thousand years ago, it is impossible to read this thoughtfully without seeing that the world today is exactly the same, and the Christian's reaction to it must be exactly the same.

He says, "You [Christians] must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking." Paul is saying, 'The place to start in living as a Christian is to recognize you must think differently than the world does." He does not start with actions. He starts with the thought-life, with the mind, and he declares that the world's thinking is empty. This is the vital appeal that he makes to Christians, "You must not think like the worldling does, you must not adopt the world's philosophy of living or follow the world's systems of value." Why? "Because the worldling," he says, "lives in futility, emptiness of mind."

Read the rest here.

Editor's note: What is true for the individual Christian, is also true for the church...thinking like the world or following the world's systems to grow your church is no doubt enmity with God.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The NEXT Generation of Purpose Driven

“It’s a sin for church to be boring!” -NEXT Conference Coach Randy Smith

NEXT is a network of purpose-driven churches dedicated to launching 1000 churches in the next five years.

If you are leading a church . . . Breaking Through Growth Barriers is NEXT. Many pastors ask, "How do I grow my church?" The question should be, "What's keeping my church from growing?" The NEXT Conference will help you determine the things that are keeping your church from growing and how to correct them.

For $200 a month, you can join a Coaching Network. NEXT Coaching Networks consist of 10-12 Lead Pastors who meet with a coach one day each month for six months...

STAGE 1: Dream
Mapping and preparing for the church-starting experience is critical for the success of the church. You can always draw people to a church, but you can lose just as many out the back door. If you don’t have a plan in place, it will eventually cost you in leadership, people and momentum. Churches are also best started with a team. If God is working in your heart to start a church, he’s probably working in the lives of others. How do you find these people? In this session you will learn how to:
Develop your vision
Create a purpose statement
Craft a strategy
Formulate your core values
Build a launch team
Finance the dream

STAGE 2: Design
It is crucial to design the right form before people start pouring the concrete. The form a leader constructs will shape the future of the church. Do not take the beginning form of your church lightly! Based on the purpose-driven philosophy and without compromising your theological convictions, you’ll learn how to focus on a specific group of people in your community and how to:
Determine your worship style
Develop your teaching style
Decide your leadership structure

STAGE 3: Launch
On opening day the goal of a new church is to have a fully functioning team and hundreds of first time guests that show up for the service. If a church can’t break 200 in the first 1 to 2 years, it generally never does; a church that launches large, however, has a better opportunity to keep growing and growing. You’ll learn how to:
Develop credibility with the community
Create preview services
Market the church to the community

STAGE 4: Development
Healthy churches are continually looking to innovate and improve what they are doing. After a church is launched, several critical areas of the church must be developed. Gathering a crowd is important, but moving them to greater Christ-like maturity is just as critical. Too often churches are in a rush to become a “full service” congregation by trying to do everything for everyone. In this session, you’ll learn how to:
Create a welcoming atmosphere
Develop a worship experience
Install an intentional discipleship system
Start the right ministry at the right time

STAGE 5: Strategic Leadership
Church starters must continually develop as leaders or they will become the barriers for growth in their churches. Everything rises and falls on leadership. Purpose driven leaders learn how to lead larger by continuing to grow and develop their leadership skills. As the church grows, the pastor must give up more and more ownership to the members and staff. In this session, you’ll learn how to:
Determine what to stop doing as the church grows
Hire the right staff in the right priority
Add multiple services
Ride momentum without killing yourself

Galatians 3
1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"? 7Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." 9So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

See the five part series Signs of a Purpose Driven Transition in Your Church

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Interfaith Prayer Service For The DNC

From the New York Times political blog The Caucus…

For the first time, the Democratic convention will be kicked off by an interfaith prayer service, on Aug. 24 (although still to be decided is who will lead the prayers and where they will be held). And in another first, there will be a caucus during the convention explicitly for “people of faith,” to meet at the same time as the caucuses for African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and other groups…

…convention committees had been seeded with religious leaders like the Rev. Tony Campolo, an evangelical author; Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago; and Bishop Vashti McKenzie, the first woman to be a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

HT: Christian Research Network

Sojourners: Repent From Iraq War

Jim Wallis & Sojourners are leading a petition drive to be released next week calling for the lamenting and repenting of the war in Iraq.

"This season of Lent, we are truly living “ in darkness and in the shadow of death” as we mark, on March 19, 2008, the fifth anniversary of the war with Iraq. It is a war that is being waged by our country, financed by our taxes, and fought by our sisters and brothers. As U.S. Christians, we issue a call to the American church to lament and repent of the sin of this war.

Signatories include Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren, and Fr. Richard Rohr.

HT: Christian Research Network

Signs of A Purpose Driven Transition In Your Church, Part V

In part V at Rick Warren's Ministry Tool Box, Chuck McAlister goes head-to-head with the "power group" that exists in most churches...the New Testament Elders & Deacons. McAlister describes his personal account of how he won the vote to continue with his corporate position as CEO-Pastor and his vision-driven purpose-driven crusade. The spiritual gifts test ( SHAPE-rooted in Jungian psychology) is introduced to reset the new power structure.

Identify the power group in your church
This will not be difficult. As soon as you start making these ministry changes, they will identify themselves. They will wonder how all these activities and ministries are beginning without their approval. This group could be a family, if you are in a smaller church, or it could be a group of families that have controlled the church through the years (usually by controlling how the money is spent).

Move the power group toward a servant role
As ministries are launched and as people are empowered to carry out ministry, you will head toward conflict with the power structure of the church, if that power structure is unhealthy as it was in our church. This part of the process is not for the faint-hearted. It will be the toughest part of the entire transition, but it can be done.

... the deacons asked for my resignation as the pastor. When I refused because of the call God had given me to transition the church, the deacons brought it to the church for a vote. When the vote failed, the door was opened to make the changes that needed to be made.
It does not always have to go to the point of a potential dismissal to effect change in the power structure of the church. The intensity of the conflict will be determined by how unhealthy the existing power structure happens to be. Our power structure was extremely unhealthy.

As part of this structural change, we dissolved the Nominating Committee, which placed church members into various ministry positions, and the Committee on Committees, which established the different committees to oversee the various ministries of the church. No longer was it necessary for committees or the church to "approve" someone's ministry. Using our spiritual gifts test, each member was encouraged to engage in the ministry that best reflected their passion in keeping with their spiritual gift.

Change the church bylaws to reflect the new structureIn a desire to do away with the bureaucracy our church had become, we voted overwhelmingly to do away with our 100-pages of by-laws in favor of a six-page Charter that established our church as a new church. These six pages solidified the structural change, but also allowed our church the flexibility to be the church God intended us to be.

Editor's note: It is obvious that one man, claiming a divinely inspired vision and mandate is hijacking the church family to pursue his personal goals and objectives in the name of God. That sounds like the definition of a cult leader more than a Biblical pastor.

See Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V

Signs of A Purpose Driven Transition In Your Church, Part IV

In part IV at Rick Warren's Ministry Tool Box, change master Chuck McAlister gets to the entertainment side of attracting the unchurched.

Worship styles presented as a biblically neutral, preference and personal taste issue by the :

  • People have strong preferences in regard to worship styles to which they assign spiritual significance. This part of the transition process must be handled delicately over an extended period of time or you could sabotage the whole process.

Give the people what they want from the pulpit to be relevent ( as if the depravity of man and God's plan of salvation isn't relevent enough )

  • Preach the Bible in such a way as to demonstrate how the Scriptures can meet people's needs. Stay at this step for one year before moving to the next step to allow for an influx of new people who are drawn by the relevant teaching.

Bring in Sight and Sound entertainment to compliment your man-centered preaching to be appealing to the unchurched, not to glorify God.

  • Introduce video projection of sermon notes and words of the songs at this point.
  • Form a worship planning team that will help you plan services to correspond with the message so that all songs match the theme of the message.
  • Introduce new arrangements of favorite hymns.
  • Start with a new chorus of the month.
  • Begin to Use a Praise Team

Use the youth ministry as an excuse to slowly introduce other musical instruments and misrepresent your intent to the church:

  • One strategy that works extremely well is to launch a monthly youth service, explaining to your church family that this service will be targeting the youth of your city
  • Introduce Other Instruments - Gradually de-emphasize the piano and organ while introducing other instruments like guitars and drums. This transition can be started with Sunday night services

For those churches that do not readily accept this change, the alternative solution is to continue the more traditional service while starting a contemporary service at an alternative time... The potential for dissension and disunity in the church as a result of these different services is significant...It will be painful and tough. Stay the course and keep a gracious spirit. You will survive.

Let the show begin...

  • Introduce Drama, Video Illustrations, and Testimonies into the Service - At this step, the pastor must prepare sermons far enough in advance to allow the worship planning team more time to prepare dramas, find video illustrations or enlist testimonies. At this point, additional ministries can be birthed that offer direct input into the worship service, for example, a drama ministry.
  • Begin Multiple Services with Different Styles - The next step for our church is to begin two alternative services with two dramatically different styles of worship: a classic hymn service and a Southern-gospel service.

Proper sequencing to minimize dissent and objection...

These services are started at this time because the motivation behind them is to reach the unchurched, not provide a collecting place for members who are upset over the worship transition. If these services are started sooner in the process, then those who are unhappy with the worship transition could take the services hostage, causing these services to become breeding grounds for disunity in the church rather than opportunities to reach the unchurched.

Editor's note: The resisters are blamed for casuing disunity and holding the services hostage? It is the purpose-driven pastor who has hijacked the congregation and his departure from Biblical teaching and worship causes mature bible-believing Christians to:

  • call out the false teaching and contend for the faith
  • confront the church leaders who are engaged in manipulation, false pretense and misrepresentation
  • alert the church family and demand a congregational review of the pastor's purpose-driven / seeker sensitive pursuit
  • Allow the congregation to review the roots of purpose-driven / seeker sensitive and allow the congregation to decide if it is to be pursued.

See Part I, Part II, Part III, Part V

Friday, March 14, 2008

Signs of A Purpose Driven Transition In Your Church, Part III

This is part III of our look at Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox where Chuck McAlister guides purpose driven pastors to corporate success...

McAlister tells the story of how he built the new facility for his remodeled congregation...

Create the marketing Buzz

  • Building a new facility, preferably at a new location, sends a huge message to the city in which you – the transitioning church - is located. It says, "We are a new church," and people will come to investigate. The new facility creates a buzz of curiosity in the city.

Build it and the unchurched will come, but they won't stay if the church is still the ol'same way...

  • It does no good to build a new facility if you're still doing church as usual. You will not be able to retain the people who come to check out the new building.

Here's the promise of eternal reward again

  • Remember, we do not take a church through this transition to be recognized or rewarded here: all that comes later, when we meet Jesus.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you...

See Part I, Part II, Part IV, Part V

Signs of A Purpose Driven Transition In Your Church, Part II

We continue our look at Rick Warren's Pastor's Tool Box where Chuck McAlister coaches on how to transition a traditional church to a purpose driven church, Part II .

Crack open those Build a Better Business books
  • Become an Expert on the Process of Change. Read everything you can get your hands on about leading an organization through change.

Manipulate the key senior members of the congregation to buy into your plan so they can earn eternal rewards in heaven ( known as indulgences in Roman Catholicism)
  • I asked the senior adults to lead the way in making these changes...they would be continuing to receive the rewards for their participation in these changes long after they had entered eternity.

Nickels and Noses evangelism

  • you are setting the stage for multiplication growth in the future, so stay on track.
  • bring those individuals into our church family who do not have "the baggage" of how church should be done. Since these people have no previous experience with church, they are willing to do church the way God wants it done. "(ed. note: The way God wants it done???" The people who have the "baggage" or have the Bible?...Remember, the pastor's expansion vision allegedly came from God, if we're not growing, we are dying )
  • As you emphasize your church's responsibility to reach the lost, it is imperative that you get your church involved in missions to extend the reach of your church to the entire world. (Otherwise known as the nefarious PEACE PLAN)

And the dismemberment policy extends to the disgruntled who contend for the faith and resist a false gospel for the pride and personal gain of the CEO pastor:

Do not abandon your vision to appease a person or even a group of persons who choose to leave. God will send other leaders to take their place... You must remember that pleasing God is what matters; besides, the church does not belong to you or a disgruntled church member. It belongs to Jesus Christ. We are simply called to do what God says is best for His church.

Divide and conquer and usurp the Elders, Deacons,congregational governance and by-laws:

Just before our church family voted to change the name of our church, I met with every small group with those that you know will wield the greatest influence in your church.

More promises for eternal rewards for modeling your church after corporate America:

The reward for transitioning a church will only be fully realized in heaven... It is important for a transitioning church to be seeker-sensitive

Editor's note: Another Rick Warren transition author/ leader Dan Southerland calls resisters " leaders from hell", and Warren himself says " people will have to leave or die."

3 John 1:9-11 9I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

See Part I, Part III, Part IV, Part V

Signs of A Purpose Driven Transition In Your Church, Part I

Rick Warren's Pastor Tool box share's the guidance of how to transition a traditional church to a market driven, increase-your-customer-base, build -it-and-they-will-come, religious machine...

Highlights from Part 1 by Chuck McAlister, who transitioned 100 year old congregation:
  • it involves relocation to a new site, a new name, new ministries, and a new structure.
  • dissolve its by-laws and embrace a new structure that we believe will allow it to become the church God called us to be.
  • Start a gradual worship style transition.
  • Focus on preaching for change to set the stage for determining your church purpose.
  • Implement a covenant process
  • Transition the education ministry to make it life-empowering.
Don't forget the property management side of the Gospel...
  • Transition the maintenance of the church to the staff
  • Lead the church to decide to relocate.
  • Locate new property for the relocation.
  • Pay for property.
  • Plan for a new facility.
  • Raise funds for the new facility.

McAlister warns the purpose driven pastor of those who will resist the transition...

You must stay committed to your plan of transition in spite of the challenges that arise, the people who leave your church, and those who will try to take your vision hostage by imposing their preconceived or traditional ideas on the church.

The Senior pastor becomes the CEO...

As you communicate your vision with your church in each stage of the transition, do so in small groups. The senior pastor must be the primary communicator of the vision.

Move from glorifying God & equipping the saints to being attractive to the world...

be flexible enough to impact these people (the unchurched), many of whom have given up on church because a traditional church did not meet their needs.


Possibly, you will face challenges from staff, particularly those who were present when you arrived...It will mean dismissing staff if they do not "buy in" to the transition.

Isaiah 66:5

5Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

See Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V

Thursday, March 13, 2008

UPDATE: Virignia Baptist Mission Board & The New Baptist Covenant

Guess who came to breakfast...

Virginia Baptists Committed
BGAV Breakfast Meeting

Date: November 14, 2007
Time: 7:00 AM
Guest Speaker: Dr. Jimmy Allen
Program Committee Chair for
The New Baptist Covenant

See it for yourself here. Visit the BGAV affiliated Virginia Baptist Committed and see the listing of liberal, ecumenical partners such as the Baptist World Alliance and the New Baptist Covenant.

Virginia Baptist Mission Board & The New Baptist Covenant

Christian Research Network shares this article from the New Baptist Covenant website...

Baptists wrestle with ways to find common ground with other faiths by Sue H. Poss CBF of South Carolina

ATLANTA-As Baptists seek common ground to work with people of other faiths, they face the challenge of finding ways to be relevant in an interfaith context while retaining their own distinctive identity.

"We often don’t reach out to other faiths because we are scared of losing what’s essential about our Baptist faith," said Noel Erskine, associate professor of theology and ethics at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Ga. "We are so afraid of losing our identity that we are not relevant in a multi-faith context."

One of the "Can we all get along?" panelists named in the article was Faysel Sharif of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. So now it is clear where the VBMB and the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia stands...with the liberals. (That maybe news to some)

So if you don't know if your church is part of the Baptist General Assembly of Viriginia, you can ask your pastor or check here at the BGAV.

To be fair to the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, they refused to participate in the New Baptist Covenant. Dr. Frank Page blasted what he called the group's "smoke screen left-wing liberal agenda."

See more on the ecumenical liberalism of the New Baptist Covenant.

The Spider-Man Bible Study of Christianity Today International brings you...

The Spider-man Trilogy

This study will look at all three Spider-Man movies, explore what it means to be a hero, note how choices shape our character, and examine the responsibilities that come with the gift of power.

Based OnSpider-Man (Sony Pictures, 2002), screenplay by David Koepp. Spider-Man 2 (Sony Pictures, 2004), screen story by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, and Michael Chabon; screenplay by Alvin Sargent. Spider-Man 3 (Columbia Pictures and Marvel Enterprises, 2007). All films were directed by Sam Raimi and are based on the Marvel comic book character, Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. All films are MPAA-rated PG-13 for stylized violence and action. (Note, all films use profane language, and though the violence may be “stylized,” some characters die mercilessly.) Photo © Copyright Sony Pictures

Editor's note: There's two versions of this study, one for adults, one for teens. Thanks for the warning. Hey, what's wrong with a Spiderman Bible study...that's nothing compared to global warming.

Why The Church Exists

The Power of His Presence Daily Devotions From the Writings of Ray Stedman for March 13, 2008 ( and it couldn't come at a more appropriate time )

READ: Ephesians 4:1-3
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1).

This whole page is a condensed summary of the reason the church exists and statement of what its function should be. What does Paul say the church should do in the face of the desperate demands of human need? His answer is, "Live a life worthy of the calling you have received." What does he mean? He means, "Obey your orders!" Take your direction from the Head of the church. Follow the divine strategy, not the obvious shallow counsel of people. The church is not expected to devise its own strategy or to set its own goal. The church is not an independent organization existing by means of its own strength. We can never understand this body that exists in human society unless we view it as more than an organization.

Think of the figures the apostle uses for the church in this letter: The church is an army under the command of a King, and an army that will not obey its leader is useless as a fighting force. The church is a body under the control of the Head, and what a tragedy it is when the human body refuses to respond to the direction of the head. The church is a temple for the exclusive habitation and use of a Person who dwells within, who has the right to do with that habitation as He wills. So this is the word of the apostle to us: "Live a life worthy of the calling you have received." Follow the goal that has been set before you by your Leader.

This is a revolutionary age. The hurricane winds of change are blowing everywhere in our world. The race seethes with unrest and lawless rebellion. What are Christians to do in this hour? Should we surrender the greatest revolutionary message the world has ever heard, which can come to it from no other source, and content ourselves with doing what any worldling can do?

Shall we become nothing more than another political action group or succumb to the fallacy that change, any kind of change, represents progress? God forbid!

What the apostle desires is that we heed our calling; that we renew our commitment to the Lord, who is behind all things, to become individually responsible to tell this radical, revolutionary, life--transforming good news throughout society; that we should invade commercial and industrial life, education and learning, the arts and family life, morals and government with this tremendous, unequaled message.

Father, help me to see that the only impact I can have in this world is by being faithful to You and to the message that has been given to me. May your church he made up of people who, above all, obey Your orders.

This daily devotion was inspired by one of Ray's sermons. Please read "Why The Church Exists" (or listen to the audio file ) for more on this portion of scripture.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Climate Change Project Is Not SBC’s

The story behind the story…

Climate change project is not SBC’s from the Baptist Press

WASHINGTON (BP)–Jonathan Merritt, a 25-year-old student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., captured widespread media attention March 10 in releasing a statement titled "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change."

The so-called "Southern Baptist" statement is not an initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention which voiced its views on global warming last summer in a resolution, "On Global Warming".

However, the student’s project carries the names of a number of high-profile Southern Baptist leaders including his father, James Merritt, pastor of Cross Pointe, the Church at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., and a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Frank Page…
…Merritt said the idea for the initiative came to him during a theology class.

"In the lecture," he said, "my professor made the statement that when we destroy creation, which is God’s revelation, it is no different than tearing a page out of the Bible. At that moment, God began to work in my heart and call me to do something. [This document] is the product of that nudge from God that day." Merritt has been identified as the project director of the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative, which is behind the document.

Being Green In The SBC

Mike Corley responds to the Southern Baptist Convention's declaration “A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change. At his blog, Mike Corley writes:

It was shocking to me to read of an initiative led by prominent Southern Baptists to take what is popularly know as the green route. Jonathan Merritt, national spokesperson for the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative, and son of former SBC president James Merritt, is leading the way to encourage more Southern Baptist to be more engaging on environmental issues.The group have released a declaration titled, “A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change”, and its signatories include SBC president Frank Page, Southeastern Baptist Seminary President Dr. Danny Akin, Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist and Merritt’s father Dr. James Merritt, pastor of Cross Pointe Church.

Mike Corley describes his SBC roots as a licensed and ordained Southern Baptist minister who served as a pastor and evangelist. Corley expressed his love and gratitude for the SBC, but
left the denomination because of theological concerns as he became more committed to reform theology.

Corley continues, "I have great concerns as to why this environmental move has taken place in the SBC, especially when there are far greater issues. I have noted in numerous articles and radio programs doctrinal issues that I feel are threatening what is described as the nation’s largest protestant denomination.

Over the past 10 years, we have witnessed an alarming trend in the SBC toward a greater emphasis on what Pastor Jeff Noblit calls “hoop jump evangelism”, or what I unapologetically would label as “hyper-Arminianism”, the implied or distinct teaching and mindset that God cannot save someone without that person’s agreement or allowance."

Then there is the tremendous influence of Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven Life. I have described Warren as the “golden boy of the SBC’ as he is seemingly untouchable within the denomination and whose doctrine and practices are seldom ever questioned by many leaders in the Convention.

Listen to Mike further discuss this issue on The Mike Corley Program.

More related Mike Corley articles and audio: SBC: Biblical Duty To Stop Climate Change? , Why I'm A Recovering Southern Baptist, Spiritual Growth Without God? , Mike Corley Sounds the Trumpet , The SBC-No You Can’t, Yes You Can, No Wait… , Evangelical Church More Sick Than It Has Ever Been , The Endemic of Evangelical Pragmatism , Lifeway's Double-mindedness , Has the SBC Lost the Gospel ?

More articles on climate change and global warming here. (image credit The Expositor)

Why I'm A Recovering Southern Baptist

Over at The Cosmic Battle "recovering Southern Baptist" Alex Yepiz says in response to the Christian Research Net post SBC: Biblical Duty To Stop Climate Change?:

Being part of the SBC used to mean that you were in a doctrinally sound Church. However, because of the acceptance of this stuff, I left. The SBC has become the Emerging/Missional/Purpose Driven Lies haven for leftist Christians…

HT: Christian Research Network

( image credit: The Cosmic Battle)

Arminians Come Out of the Seeker Sensitive Movement

Arminians Come Out of the Seeker Sensitive Movement

Apprising Ministries with a short post featuring a telling segment from a recent question and answer session with pastor Bob DeWaay. DeWaay gets to the Arminian root of the Church Growth Movement currently paralyzing the advance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the American Christian Church.

The Christian Church in this supposed postmodern nation is largely Arminian and teaches a gospel of synergism—on some level man co-operates with God is the process of salvation. The Reformers, in stark contrast to apostate Roman Catholicism teach a gospel of monergism—man has nothing to do with his salvation. And this is what they meant by soli Deo gloria.

The bottom line is: If one truly believes soli Deo gloria then they would have nothing to do with the semi-pelagian, pragmatic, man-centered synergistic non-gospels preached by men like Rick Warren and Rob Bell and Joel Osteen.

SBC: Biblical Duty To Stop Climate Change?

The Southern Baptist Convention has formally announced that the denomination has been "too timid" on environmental issues and has a biblical duty to stop global warming. The document "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change", signed by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention , shows a growing urgency about climate change.

It's biblical duty to stop global warming? The SBC has neglected to fulfil it's primary biblical duty of protecting doctrinal purity by eliminating the pollution in the river of truth that is drying up within the banks of SBC today.

The SBC is silent on the contamination of Biblical Truth by:
  • man-centered, self-improvement preaching from SBC pulpits
  • promotion of Roman Catholicism, ecumenism, new age spirituality, pragmatism, and idolatry
  • Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive and Emergent methodologies
  • Modeling churches after corporate America

The SBC remains silent on:

The SBC finds more common ground with the world in it's global warming declaration while it ignores it's biblical duty to guard the Truth, protect the flock, equip the saints, provide biblical witness, honor and glorify the God of creation.

Here are just some of the issues that the SBC should be taking a stand.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pope’s U.S. InterFaith Meeting to Focus on Peace

From Christian Research Network:

200 Leaders Called to Live the "Heart of All Religions"

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 6, 2008 ( Benedict’s XVI’s scheduled meeting with interreligious leaders during the Pope’s visit to the United States next month will focus on what is at the heart of all religions, says Bishop Richard Sklba.

Auxilary Bishop Sklba of Milwaukee, the chair of the U.S. episcopal conference’s Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said this about the Holy Father’s April 17th meeting with 200 religious leaders during his April 15-20 visit to the United States.

Following the theme, "Religions Working for Peace," the Holy Father will meet and address members of Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain and Hindu communities at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.

See related articles: Peace Is Possible With The Golden Rule, The Golden Rule Twisted, Rome’s Mayor: UN and Pope For ‘United Religion’, Ecumenical Compromise on a Global Scale, Singing Out of The Global Hymnal

Is Your Church On The Wrong Track?

Click on image to enlarge

Redefine, Reinvent & Rethink For a New World

We are in the midst of a global transformation, and few of us saw it coming. Silent and unseen half a century ago, this social revolution grew like a stream of water below the surface of our culture for decades. But now, at the dawn of the new millennium, the benign current has become a malignant torrent flooding the land. Too powerful to be ignored, it challenges us to respond before the old pathways and guideposts have been swept aside in its wake.

Those who want to look back, can trace the silent triumphs of a diverse army of social "change agents" loosely linked by a common vision of a united world, social solidarity and a Global Spirituality. (Scan the Chronology in Brave New Schools) Few books show the heartbeat of this movement better than The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson's 1980 bestseller...
-Reinventing The World by Berit Kjos of Kjos Ministries.

See also Tamara Hartzell's New Age Ark of Oneness?

Monday, March 10, 2008


Youth Specialities CORE 2008 Generation Change Youth Conference is "calling students to change their world" and to Generate Hope, Peace, Love, Change, A new mind, A new heart, A new me, Justice. The plenary sessions include:

          How does Youth Specialties suggest we listen to God?

          1. Get comfortable, sitting, and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing for a few minutes to get your attention, and ask God to speak to you. You might have a specifi c subject you want God to speak to you about, or you might leave it open. Then be quiet and wait. You may have a thought or a sense or an idea that you can tell came from God.

          2. Then say (in your mind, not out loud) the first half of the prayer while taking a breath in, and the second half of the prayer while breathing out. It’s the idea of breathing in Jesus, and breathing out our sin. - 1&2 From My Faith by Marko a downloadable resource at the Core website.

          3. ...being flexible as only youth workers can by connecting with others in meaningful conversation and participating in a Lectio Divina experience that one of our staff (Jamie Roach) led from the gospel of Luke.

          Editor's note: Today's youth indoctrinated into the good works of the social gospel and the practice of mysticism. This is becoming a recurring theme in religious circles, all for the global good, but at the great risk of eternal destruction.

          How can you generate the changes itemized in the introductory paragraph? Only through the blood of Christ, repentance and by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit as the believer learns to mortify the flesh and live the exchanged life as a new creation in Christ. But you won't find that at the Core Conference. But you'll find it in the Bible and at a God-fearing congregation that teaches the whole counsel of God for the equipping of the saints to the glory of God.

          See the list of Core Trainers and speakers from Willow Creek and Saddleback that participated in the 2007 Youth Specialties Youth Workers' Conference.

          See all mysticism youth ministry related posts here.

          Oprah: Prophetess of Mystical Unity & Peace?

          The Herescope blog asks the question Who does Oprah think she is? GOD?!

          This teaching, that we are "God," is at the essence of the emerging global spirituality. And Oprah has just embarked upon an aggressive campaign to educate the world about it. According to a January 30th Oprah press release, she has chosen A New Earth, which is interestingly subtitled "Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle, launching what is called a "pioneering venture" and "ground-breaking project" as part of a "10-part interactive Web event" to market this book to the global masses:

          For the first time ever, readers around the world will be able to participate in a free, live interactive classroom discussion led by Winfrey and Tolle. Each weekly class will correspond to a chapter from A New Earth...he gently leads readers to a new level of consciousness, awakening them to their lives' purposes and inviting them to envision a new earth where peace and fellowship are the norm...

          Monday night's webcast was one of the largest single online events in the history of the Internet. More than 500,000 people simultaneously logged on to watch Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle live...

          Oprah is making a definite shift to focus more on the New Spirituality. On January 1 of this year her friend Marianne Williamson began teaching the 365 lessons from the New Age Bible, A Course in Miracles, on Oprah's XM Satellite Radio. Page 147 of the Course Text teaches that we are "God": "The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself... "

          Oprah has hyped the New Age book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Page 164 in The Secret states: "You are God in a physical body."

          Read the entire post here.

          2 Timothy 3 (ESV)
          1 But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of religion but denying its power. Avoid these people!

          6 For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, 7 always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

          Sunday, March 9, 2008

          No Sugar Coating Here!

          David Norris of Spiritual Pathways Ministries
          discusses Biblical discernment & judging...

          If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "Judge not, lest you be judged", I'd be thousands of dollars richer. Let's break down these verses in question shall we to get at the truth. Matthew 7:1-5 will be my focus but as usual I will be cross referencing these texts as well.

          “Judge not, lest you be judged”- Matthew 7:1. Guess what people? Everyone will be judged according to what they have done in their body. “We must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, ACCCORDING TO WHAT HE HAS DONE, whether good or bad”- 2 Corinthians 5:10. I don’t know about you but I choose to practice discernment in this body and to help others see error in doctrine whenever possible. “Some save with fear, pulling them out of the fire”- Jude 23.

          What have you done for the body of Christ? Have you ignored errors of doctrine? Have you watched potential brothers and sisters go down the spiritual drain without even lifting as much as a finger to help pull them out of whatever mire has them bound? Matthew 7:1 is as far as “Judge Not’ers” seem to go. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; And with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you”- Matthew 7:2.

          Read the rest of this Truth-driven commentary at Spiritual Pathways Ministries.