Must Listen

Must Read

What Art Thinks

Pre-Millennialism

Today's Headlines

Man blowing a shofar

Administrative Area





Printed News Letter

February 2008 Issue

edit record
Feb 1st, 2008

Uncategorized

WHAT'S HAPPENING TO FAITH
By David Hunt

Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find [the] faith on the earth? (Lk18:8)

Christ raised a solemn question. If we believe Christ's coming could be soon, then we are living in the very time of which He spoke-a time when the faith would be in more danger of disappearing than ever before! Have we grasped the significance of our day and our individual responsibility to proclaim without compromise God's truth and to defend the faith?

Jude exhorts us to "earnestly contend for the faith once [for all time] delivered to the saints" (Jude3). Jude's epistle makes it clear that the faith (i.e., God's revealed truth, the gospel, which every Christian is to believe, obey and teach) never changes, that any revision or compromise thereof must be vigorously opposed and that contending for the faith is the responsibility of every Christian.

Perhaps most shocking is Jude's implication that the enemies of the faith ("certain men") will be influential church leaders. The phrase "have crept in" can only mean within the church; and "unawares" indicates that their betrayal of the faith is, astonishingly, no deterrent to their wide acceptance as Christian leaders!

Christ's warning is reaching its awful climax in our day. Examples are legion. "His Grace, Archbishop Tutu" of South Africa (of great influence worldwide) has declared, "The Holy Spirit is not limited to the Christian Church...." and of Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, "the Holy Spirit shines through him." R. Kirby Godsey, president of prominent Southern Baptist Mercer University, heavily supported by the Georgia Baptist Convention, denies the infallibility of the Bible, the unique power and authority of God, the validity of the Gospels' account of the life and teachings of Jesus, the efficacy of Christ's atonement and the uniqueness of Christ as the only Savior.

Bill Phipps, recently elected head of the United Church of Canada (a union of Canadian Congregationalists, Methodists and the majority of Canadian Presbyterians) rejects Christ's deity, His resurrection, His uniqueness as only Savior and a literal heaven or hell. Rodney R. Romney, pastor of Seattle's First Baptist Church, has taught for years that we are gods, and receives New Age messages from a "higher source," such as "this sacred place of your inner knowing...is the stepping-stone to the stars." Yet Phipps's and Romney's heresies seem quite acceptable to their denominations.

Zondervan recently published a book titled More Than One Way? Four Views On Salvation in a Pluralistic World-as though this were a question worth discussing! Echoing Billy Graham, who has said, "I respect other paths to God," Leighton Ford declared, "Preach the gospel, but don't be so negative as to refuse to endorse or work with those who belong to a group that proclaims a different gospel." Of course, there are no "other paths to God" and no "different gospels" to be "endorsed."

For there are certain men crept in unawares... Jude 4

And here is Jerry Falwell posing in a warm hug with Sun Myung Moon after speaking at a plenary session of Moon's "Christian Ecumenism in the Americas" conference in Montevideo, Uruguay. Falwell has called Moon an "unsung hero [to] the cause of freedom" who was "to be commended" for his determination, courage, and endurance in support of his beliefs. In fact, Moon is a cult leader who opposes freedom and whose mind control tactics have enslaved his followers.

And what are Moon's beliefs which Falwell commends him for supporting faithfully? That Jesus failed in His mission, that Moon is the true Messiah, and that Jesus Christ has said, "The King of Glory...our precious Lord Sun Myung Moon and his beloved bride Hak Ja Han...reign as king and queen of the entire universe...[and] I, Jesus of Nazareth, known as the Christ, bow in humility before them...." Should Moon really be hugged and commended?

That for years Norman Vincent Peale could publicly promote numerous blatant denials of the faith (as we document thoroughly in Occult Invasion), yet continue to be praised by Billy Graham and other evangelical leaders, is staggering! His chief disciple, Robert Schuller (who calls Peale his mentor and the man who had the greatest influence upon his theology and ministry) not only promotes Peale's heresies and occultism but continues to have the largest TV audience each Sunday of any "televangelist." That he enjoys the continuing praise of evangelical leaders such as Graham is again a fulfillment of Jude's prophecy. Where are those evangelical leaders who are earnestly contending for the faith?

Schuller boasted to a pleased Graham that "thousands of pastors and hundreds of rabbis and...over a million Muslims a week" watch his Hour of Power. Imagine the ingenious tightrope-walking it takes to please this divergent audience! And what condition must the church be in if thousands of pastors are happy with a message that pleases rabbis and Muslims!

Schuller, whose Crystal Cathedral houses offices for "Christians and Muslims for Peace," told Imam Alfred Mohammed of the Muslim American Society that "if he [Schuller] came back in 100 years and found his descendants Muslims, it wouldn't bother him...." Apparently Schuller is unconcerned that Islam denies that Jesus is God and that He died for our sins (someone else died on the Cross in His place), offers a gospel of good works for salvation, and death in jihad as the only sure way to the Muslim's "heaven," where the faithful are rewarded with rivers of wine (which they are not permitted on earth) and harems of beautiful virgins.

Yet Schuller's approval of Islam meets with no public rebuke from the numerous evangelical leaders who, instead, encourage and praise him. Schuller has even commended all forms of Eastern meditation such as TM, Zen Buddhism and yoga as valid methods for "the harnessing, by human means, of God's divine laws...." How can church leaders of national and international recognition, to whom "the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28) looks for spiritual direction, stand by in silence (or worse yet, give their approval) while such poison is fed to blood-bought millions?!

We have thoroughly documented the fact that Sir John Marks Templeton promotes Antichrist's coming world religion and offers a prize for contributing toward its development. That Christianity Today would promote Templeton and his occultism, that Billy Graham, Charles Colson and Bill Bright would praise Templeton, endorse his Antichrist religion and accept that infamous prize for contributing to its development -and that other Christian leaders such as Dobson, Swindoll, Falwell, et al. would not rebuke such betrayal of the gospel- is an incredibly flagrant rejection of the mandate to contend for the faith!

Charles Colson and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (an apostate Lutheran before his conversion to Catholicism) engineered the ecumenical documents (ECT and ECT-2) signed by some Roman Catholic and evangelical leaders, documents which promote Roman Catholicism's false gospel of works and ritual. Colson and Neuhaus were guided each step of the way by Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, whose approval of the wording of the documents was required. Bill Bright's opening words of his speech in a Catholic church in Rome accepting the Templeton prize were "Your eminence, Cardinal Cassidy..."!

Cardinal Cassidy reports directly to the Pope, who enjoys the fullsome praise not only of Graham and Schuller but of Hanford, Dobson, Van Impe, Hinn, Crouch, Christianity Today and others. John Wimber said, "The Pope's a...real born-again, evangelical charismatic...." Pat Robertson enthused, "Pope John Paul II stands like a rock...in his clear enunciation of the foundational principles of the Christian faith." Colson and Neuhaus, the visible architects of this betrayal of the Reformation and the millions martyred by the Roman Catholic Church, become subversives on behalf of the Vatican, while Packer, Bright, Robertson and the other evangelical signatories are willing cohorts.

Colson and Neuhaus convened a meeting in October 1997 between those who signed the infamous ECT-2 and Catholic bishops from Latin America led by Archbishop Oscar Rodriguez, president of the Council of Latin American Bishops Conferences. Present also was Cardinal O'Connor, Archbishop of New York. Addressing this group, Cardinal Cassidy declared that the "Catholic Church has evangelized Latin America over a period of five hundred years. It has established the Christian Church in that continent... [and] the church that has evangelized a country or people should be held in respect by others who come later on the scene. This sense of respect would seem to require that newcomers [i.e., evangelicals] not target for their evangelizing work the active, baptized members of the Church that has been responsible for the original evangelization...." And evangelical leaders present acquiesced to this disingenuous statement as though Rome's soul-damning gospel saves souls!

This agreement (approved by Colson, Packer, Bright, et al.) forbids evangelicals to evangelize the 90 percent or more of those living in Latin America who were baptized as infants into the Roman Catholic Church, a Church which teaches that baptism is essential to salvation, delivers from original sin and makes them Christians. They are looking to this Church, through its rituals and the repetition of many "sacrifices of Christ" in the Mass, to eventually get them out of purgatory and into heaven. The ECT documents place these deluded and lost souls out of bounds to the gospel. Most of the members of evangelical churches in Central and South America are converts from Roman Catholicism. What an eternal tragedy for their souls had this evil agreement been in effect and adhered to by evangelicals in these Catholic countries from the very beginning!

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29

In his speech, Cardinal Cassidy called for "a new spirit of cooperation between Catholics and Evangelicals in Latin America...." What unconscionable hypocrisy! The truth is that the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America has for centuries persecuted and killed evangelicals, viciously opposed the gospel, and done everything in its power to prevent the salvation of souls. Such tactics having proved futile (the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church) and are frowned upon in this age of emphasis upon civil rights. So Rome seduces leading evangelicals into agreeing that baptized, active Catholics (how active?) are Christians and not to be evangelized!

Those who signed ECT and ECT-2, both Catholics and evangelicals, would rightly condemn Southern Baptist Bible teacher Jimmy Carter for his recent statement that Mormons are Christians and not to be evangelized. But how is his statement that "the people in my own local church have no interest in trying to condemn...[or] to convert Mormons..." any different from declaring that Catholics are not to be converted? Catholicism's gospel is just as false as Mormonism's.

The faith is under attack by any denial of either the inerrancy, sufficiency or sole authority of God's Word. We have documented that Christian psychology denies the latter two, while Roman Catholicism denies all three. The latter two are also denied by the alleged new revelations being so avidly pursued within the charismatic movement. And all three are rendered irrelevant when experience is elevated above doctrine as proof of "revival" at Toronto, Pensacola and increasingly elsewhere. The very "salvation" testimony of Steve Hill, revival evangelist a Pensacola's Brownsville Assembly of God, as given on TV's "20/20," is an example of this error: "I didn't believe in God, but...out of desperation...I said, 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.' I just began to say that name, and a power came through my body...."

Repeating the name of Jesus in desperation is not the faith for which we must earnestly contend. The gospel which one must understand and believe to be saved includes:
That Jesus is God ("If ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins... and whither I go, ye cannot come" Jn 8:24,21);
that He died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (lCor15:1-4);
that salvation must be received as a gift (a gift cannot be earned, paid for or merited - Rom 6:23);
that salvation comes by God's grace, utterly undeserved and not by works (Eph 2:8-10);
that Jesus, who is God from all eternity, became a real flesh-and-blood man to die in our place ("Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" - Jn6:53 and by eat He means to believe: "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" - v47).

The gospel alone is "the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes" Rom1:16). A sentimentality about the Cross won't save. The torture of scourging, nails in hands and feet and thorns on brow, which men inflicted, could only condemn, not save. To be saved, one must understand and believe that on the cross Christ became the sacrifice for our sins, bearing at the hands of God ("Yet it pleased the LORD [Jehovah] to bruise him...mak[ing] his soul an offering for sin" - Is53:10) the infinite penalty His own justice demanded. It is only because Christ paid that full penalty that we could be forgiven and receive eternal life.

It is not enough to mourn and weep over the compromise of the faith by others. Let each of us examine his or her own heart-and then do something to help. If tens of thousands of true Bereans would write and/or phone to exhort and encourage leaders to earnestly contend for the faith, leaders whose voices need to be heard, perhaps it would have an impact that could help to rescue multitudes before it is too late.

May it be said of each of us, as of the woman of Mark 14:8, that we have done what we could!

... more

A Recent Dramatic Change
Feb 1st, 2008
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

In recent weeks and months we have seen a dramatic change of attitude in the political climate of the world.

Russia is growing increasingly more belligerent with a number of threats mounted. A Russian general has recently warned that they will use nuclear weapons if necessary, including preemptive action (first strike). Russian bombers recently test-fired missiles into the Bay of Biscay off the French and Spanish coasts. The Russian navy is now based in the Mediterranean Sea, with a Port in Syria.

Iran has threatened, with Syria’s help, to blow up half of Israel, if attacked by Israel.

The Islamic world continues to ratchet up its threats against the West. Their hatred is so intense, these threats cannot be ignored.

NATO’s senior officials and strategists have stated recently, “The West must be ready to resort to a preemptive nuclear attack to try to halt the imminent spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction”. They further stated that, “we are living in an increasingly brutal world and a first strike nuclear option remains an indispensable instrument, since there is no realistic prospect of a nuclear free world.

The Oil Factor:

The Middle East has become the centre of a desperate struggle for oil; demand exceeds supply as industrialized nations fight for economic survival.

In the looming Mid-East crisis, Western civilization could be brought to its knees by a serious disruption of oil supplies. Whether by terror attacks, nuclear exchange or an oil bidding war, it could happen suddenly and without warning.

The point is that the whole world situation could rapidly be altered to facilitate the Biblical end-time events.

Shifting Alignment of Nations:

Two significant alignments of nations are now taking place.

Alliance #1 – Russian, Turkey, Iran and their Muslim neighbors are forming an alliance to oppose the West and to destroy Israel! We have seen Russia, in recent months, bringing these nations together to advance her own aspirations for influence in the Mid-East.

This alliance is right out of Ezekiel 38 and 39. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what is happening.

Alliance #2 – Suddenly and unexpectedly the US, the EU and Israel are coming together in a Western Alliance. In a move, which could only be described as prophetic, Israel’s foreign ministry is working hard with her EU counterparts to cement ties to the EU.

The current move by Israel to forge ties with the EU is something no secularist could have foreseen. It is momentous in the light of Bible prophecy. Suddenly the possibility of a peace treaty is a viable prospect.

The stage continues to be set for the final drama in man’s day.

America’s Decline:

It is no secret that Bible scholars have insisted that America plays no role in the end time prophetic scenario. Today we see America on the verge of withdrawal from the Mid-East, if not prior to the election, then certainly after it.

It is with great unease that we have watched the US, in recent months, turn against Israel. To watch the attempt to force her to give up the land God promised to her and miraculously returned to her in 1948 and 1967. America has placed herself in danger of the judgment of God.

It is also with a sense of unease we watch as the US economy heads into deep recession. Will the world abandon the US dollar? Will the US economy collapse? Will terrorists feed on such a collapse and devastate America with nuclear or biological terror? Will Russia launch a nuclear attack so feared in the cold war era?

We do not know the answer to those questions, only the Lord knows. There is an ominous feeling by many that God is about to judge America. To judge this nation that has, in the past, known more of the blessing of God than any nation in history.

... more

A Shocking Confession from Willow Creek Community Church
Feb 1st, 2008
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

Willow Creek has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. The study's findings are in a new book titled REVEAL: WHERE ARE YOU? Co-authored by Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Hybels himself called the findings "earth shaking," "Ground breaking" and "mind blowing. And no wonder: it seems that the experts were wrong.

The report reveals that most of what they have been doing for these many years and what they have taught millions of others to do is not producing solid disciples of Jesus Christ. Numbers yes, but not disciples. It gets worse, Hybels laments:

Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into, thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn\'t helping people that much. Other things that we didn't put that much money into and didn't put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.

If you simply want a crowd, the "seeker sensitive" model produces results. If you want solid, sincere, mature followers of Christ, it's a bust. In a shocking confession, Hybels states:

"We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and became Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become 'self feeders.' We should have gotten people to, and taught people, how to read their bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.”

What Hawkins and Hybels have discovered are things which many churches have always known, although they have often been intimidated by the mega-churches into believing they were wrong.

L That nickels and noses do not tell us if we have a church that pleases God. The Lord never tells us the church membership or attendance of the local churches in the New Testament. The two churches out of seven, given great marks in Revelation 2 & 3, apparently were small and poor (2:8-11; 3:7-13), while the churches that seemed to have it all together were rebuked severely by the Lord (3:1-6; 14-22).

L That participation in programs does not produce authentic Disciples of Christ. While every church has programs the Scriptures teach it is the Word of God through the power of the Spirit that changes lives.

L That unbelievers and baby Christians will attend a good show and even give high marks for the production, but those who hunger for true spiritual life will be disappointed.

L That whatever is used to draw people must be continued to keep them. If you attract people through entertainment and superficial teaching, most will not hang around if you shift to solid exposition of the Word-of-God-honoring ministries.

L That attempting to reach people for Christ through meeting their felt needs is a bottomless pit. Christ-centered people are not likely to be developed by creating programs that cater to their self-centeredness.

L That churches based on the foundation of secular research, group opinion or surveys may produce a congregation which pleases people for a time, but it will not produce a church that pleases God. God has already given His design for the church in the New Testament; it is neither necessary nor right for us to ignore that design and create our own.

... more

Day of Prayer to save Israel
Feb 1st, 2008
IsraelINN - Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

Haredi Rabbis Call For Day of Prayer to Save Israel 28 Shevat 5768, 04 February 08 06:46by Ezra HaLevi

(IsraelNN.com) The hareidi-religious Council of Torah Sages in Israel and the United States has issued a call for a day of prayer and fasting this Tuesday in response to the threats facing the Jewish people.

Addressed to “Our fellow Jews living in Eretz Yisroel (the Land of Israel) and to Jewish communities everywhere,” the proclamation continues:

“The difficult situation of the Jewish community in Eretz Yisroel fills us with trepidation. Nobody knows what the new day will bring. In our sins, we see the fulfillment of the posuk [Biblical verse] "Behold Your enemies are in uproar and those who hate You have raised their heads. Against Your nation they deviously plot, and take counsel against those whom You protect." Our eyes are lifted in prayer to the Creator, that all of the goings-on in the world turn out for the good.

“From both within and without the crisis mounts. The danger threatens both body and soul. During these days, items are on agendas that could place entire populations of Jews into grave danger, G-d forbid - including those in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Further, there are constant attempts to undermine the foundations of pure education [Hareidi-religious education without secular studies –ed.] in Eretz Yisroel and to cause harm to the holiness of the Nation of Israel. Therefore it is incumbent on us to fortify ourselves with Torah, prayer and good deeds, to awaken the mercy of Heaven.

“Dear brethren, awaken and inspire yourselves to pour out prayer before the Creator of the world, that He have pity and protect His nation from all who stand up against us, that He abolish the intentions of those who hate us and nullify the plots of our enemies, and that the eyes of the misguided be opened to the realization that their path is foolishness and they should leave Hashem\'s nation to guard its path and faith, without hindrance or interference.

We therefore call on members of Hashem\'s holy nation in all the places they reside, men, women and children, to gather in tefilla [prayer] on Tuesday, Erev Rosh Chodesh Adar Rishon, 5768, to recite chapters of Psalms and the liturgy of Yom Kippur Koton [the traditional minor day of repentance on the eve of every new Jewish month –ed.].

May Hashem hear our pleas, and turn His face to us so that we may be saved with a permanent salvation soon. And let us merit to see, quickly, the redemption of Yisroel, and gaze upon the building of the Beis HaMikdosh, quickly in our days, amen.

The proclomation is signed by the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (the hareidi-religious Council of Torah Sages), and the hareidi political parties Agudas Yisroel (Chassidic) and Degel HaTorah ("Flag of Torah”) – together the United Torah Judaism party. It was joined by the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America.

THE ABOVE SENDS OUR THOUGHTS AHEAD TO A FUTURE DAY, WHEN ISRAEL WILL REPENT AND TURN TO CHRIST IN FAITH, SEE ZECHARIAH 12: 10-14, THE FIRES OF AFFLICTION WILL DRIVE ISRAEL TO REPENTANCE AND HER EYES WILL BE OPENED. IT SEEMS THAT THAT LONG AND BITTER PROCESS IS NOW UNDER WAY. READ ABOUT THE FEARFULL PROCESS AND THE GLORIOUS CONSUMATION IN ZECHARIAH 13:8,9

... more

Mind Control
Feb 1st, 2008
Berit Kjos
Uncategorized

How to resist three UNESCO strategies for training students to reject truth and conform to a pre-planned group consensus.

The classroom discussion came to a close, and Ashley began to pack up her books. Her English class had studied Oedipus, the mythical king haunted by an oracle s tragic prediction that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Moments before the bell rang, the California tenth-grader heard her teacher announce a writing assignment:

You are going to consult an oracle. It will tell you that you are going to kill your best friend. This is destined to happen, and there is absolutely no way out. You will commit this murder. What will you do before this event occurs? Describe how you felt leading up to it. How did you actually kill your best friend?

Ashley felt eerie. What a strange assignment! Why would her English teacher tell her to imagine something so horrible. I do not want to do this, she told herself. Long after she told her parents, the awful feelings continued to churn inside.

The next day, Ashley s mother called the teacher and asked that her daughter be given an alternate assignment. "I can t encourage my daughter to write a story about murdering her best friend," she explained.

"Certainly Ashley knows the difference between fantasy and reality," said Ms Sawyer with a touch of sarcasm.

"Of course, she does. But when you ask someone to imagine how they would go about murdering a friend, you could stir up nightmarish feelings...."

"I have been giving the same assignment for years," answered Ms Sawyer. Then she added the standard argument parents across the country have learned to expect: "No one has ever complained about this before."

"Thats shame," responded the mother. "It seems to me that parents should be appalled!"

"If I give Ashley a different assignment she will be made to feel foolish."

"Are you saying that she will either get an F or be made to feel foolish? Is this a no win situation for her?"

The teacher did not answer, and Ashleys mother felt troubled. What kind of education was this?

Moral confusion. Emotional shock therapy has become standard fare in public schools from coast to coast. It produces cognitive dissonance -- mental and moral confusion -- especially in students trained to follow God s guidelines. While classroom topics may range from homosexual or occult practices to euthanasia and suicide, they all challenge and stretch His moral boundaries. But why?

"[Our objective] will require a change in the prevailing culture--the attitudes, values, norms and accepted ways of doing things," says Marc Tucker, the master-mind behind the school-to-work and workforce development program now being implemented in every state. Working with Hillary Clinton and other globalist leaders, he called for a paradigm shift--a total transformation in the way people think, believe, and perceive reality.

This new paradigm rules out traditional values and biblical truth, which are now considered hateful and intolerant. (See "Clinton s War on Hate Bans Christian Values") All religions must be pressed into the mold of the new global spirituality. Since globalist leaders tout this world religion as a means of building public awareness of our supposed planetary oneness, Biblical Christianity does not fit. It is simply too "exclusive" and "judgmental." President Bush summarized the goal in his 1991 announcement of America 2000, the Republican version of UNESCO s worldwide education reform program:

Nations that stick to stale old notions and ideologies will falter and fail. So I,m here today to say, America will move forward.... New schools for a new world.... Our challenge amounts to nothing less than a revolution in American education.

Immersing students in imaginary situations that clash with home-taught values confuses and distorts a students conscience. Each shocking story and group dialogue tends to weaken resistance to change. Biblical absolutes simply do not fit the hypothetical stories that prompt children to question and replace home-taught values. Before long, God s standard for right and wrong is turned upside-down, and unthinkable behavior begins to seem more normal than obedience to God.

But it takes more than a twisted conscience to produce compliant world citizens. New values must replace God s timeless truths, and no strategy works better than the old dialectic (consensus) process explained by Georg Hegel, embraced by Marx and Lenin, and incorporated into American education during the eighties.

2. The consensus process. Matt Piecora, a fifth grader from the Seattle area, was told to complete the sentence, "If I could wish for three things, I would wish for..." Matt wrote "infinitely more wishes, to meet God, and for all my friends to be Christians."

Since each students wishes would be posted on a wall for "open house", they had to be just right. Matts did not pass. The teacher told him that his last wish could hurt people who did not share his beliefs. Matt did not want to hurt anyone, so he agreed to add "if they want to be."

Another sentence to be completed began, "If I could meet anyone, I would like to meet..." Matt wrote: "God because he is the one who made us!" The teacher told him to add "in my opinion."

When Matt s parents came to the school, they noticed the phrases that had been added to Matt s sentences. "Why did you add this?" his mother asked.

"The teacher didn t want me to hurt other people s feelings," he answered.

"But these are just your wishes..."

"I thought so, Mom." Matt looked confused. Later, the teacher explained to Matt s parents that she wanted "diversity" in her class and was looking out for her other students. But the excuse did not make sense. If the papers were supposed to "express the students diverse views," why couldn t Matt share his views? Didn t his wishes fit? Or was Christianity the real problem?

"I try to instill God s truths in my son," said Matt s father, "but it seems like the school wants to remove them."

He is right. The old Judeo-Christian beliefs don t fit the new beliefs and values designed for global unity. The planned oneness demands "new thinking, new strategies, new behavior, and new beliefs", that turn God s Word and values upside-down. Directed group discussion is key to the transformation. Professor Benjamin Bloom, called "Father of Outcome-based Education," summarized it well:

The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students.

....a large part of what we call "good teaching" is the teacher s ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the students fixed beliefs and getting them to discuss issues.

Matt s last comment was especially threatening to the teacher. His statement, "God made us", is an absolute truth. It can not be modified to please the group. Therefore it does not fit the consensus process -- the main psycho-social strategy of the new national-international education system designed to mold world citizens. It demands that all children participate in group discussions and agree to:

  • be open to new ideas
  • share personal feelings
  • set aside home-taught values that might offend the group
  • compromise in order to seek common ground and please the group.
  • respect all opinions, no matter how contrary to God s guidelines
  • never argue or violate someones comfort zone

First tested in Soviet schools, this mind-changing process required students in the USSR, China and other Communist nations to "confess" their thoughts and feelings in their respective groups. Day after day, trained facilitator-teachers would guide these groups toward a pre-planned consensus. Opposite opinions or ideas -- "thesis" and "antithesis" -- were blended into ever-evolving higher "truths".

Each new truth or "synthesis" would ideally reflect a blend of each participants feelings and opinions. In reality, the students were manipulated into compromising their values and accepting the politically correct Soviet understanding of the issue discussed. Worse yet, the children learned to trade individual thinking for a collective mindset. Since the concluding consensus would probably change with the next dialogue, the process immunized them against faith in any unchanging truth or fact.

This revolutionary training program was officially brought into our education system in 1985, when President Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev signed the U.S.- U.S.S.R. Educational Exchange Agreement. It put American technology into the hands of Communist strategists and, in return, gave us all the psycho-social strategies used in Communist nations to indoctrinate Soviet children with Communist ideology and to monitor compliance for the rest of their lives.

Today, American children from coast to coast learn reading, health, and science through group work and dialogue. Most subjects are "integrated" or blended together and discussed in a multicultural context. Thus, fourth graders in Iowa "learn" ecology, economy, and science by "real-life" immersion into Native American cultures. They role-play tribal life and idealize the religion modeled by imaginary shamans. Seeking common ground with the guidance of a trained facilitator-teacher, they share their beliefs, feelings, and "experiences" with each other.

They might agree that "there are many gods" or "many names for the same god" and compare the exaggerated spiritual thrills of shamanism with their own church experiences. Which religion would sound most exciting to the group?

The consensus would merely be a temporary answer in a world of "continual change" -- one of many steps in the ongoing evolution toward better understanding of truth -- as defined by leaders who envision a uniform global workforce and management system operating through compliant groups everywhere.

3. Zero tolerance for fact and logic. "The revolution... in curriculum is that we no longer are teaching facts to children" announced Dr. Shirley McCune in her keynote speech at the 1989 Governor s Conference on Education.

Facts and absolute truth encourage people to think for themselves. But in tomorrow s managed communities, individual thinking must yield to collective thinking. Factual knowledge must be purged, along with biblical truths that enable people to debate, argue, and resist manipulation.

Even math and science facts conflict with the new thinking. So, in the quest for "constant change", students must learn "new new math" -- math without math facts and computation -- and fuzzy science based on feelings rather than the facts that would anchor a child s mind to certain unchanging realities.

Students who disagree with the planned consensus may face ridicule and intimidation and be marked "uncooperative" or "at risk". Many are assigned to more intense sensitivity training described by nice-sounding labels such as "conflict resolution" and "anger management". Like "critical thinking" and other educational euphemisms, these labels all point to the dialectic process that molds compliance and shows little tolerance for biblical truth.

Christian children may feel anything but free to "express" their beliefs and feelings in such a setting. Thats part of the planned intimidation.

Following God. To stand firm in a world that demands consensus, children need to:

1. Know and memorize Gods Word. "be not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," wrote Paul (Romans 12:2). If children don t renew their minds with truth, they will be transformed by the world, not God.

Even Jesus was tempted to compromise truth and follow Satan s seductive reasoning. In the wilderness, He demonstrated the way to victory: base every response on God s unchanging truth. He answered, "It is written", not "I think" or "I feel." Wielding the sword of God s Word, he cut through the deception and won the battle. (Luke 4 and Hebrews 4:12)

Memorization is key. Memorized truth and facts provide a mental anchor to the biblical world view needed to recognize and resist compromise.

2. Recognize the nature of the spiritual battle. In the Soviet Union, the dialectic process was used to create compliant Communist workers, ready to serve the state. Today, the goal of the consensus process remains almost the same: to create compliant global citizens for the envisioned "sustainable communities." (See Agenda 21 at website )

Now as then, opposites (right and wrong, truth and lies, fact and fiction) must be challenged, merged, and redefined in order to crush resistance and establish the new unity, compliance, and readiness to flow with "continual change".

The inspiration comes from Satan (1 John 5:19), who adapts his strategies to our changing times. At the dawn of history, he used twisted truths and seductive dialogue to challenge Eves understanding of God and His ways. Now he uses the same process in groups.

A crowd can easily be manipulated -- especially when trained to despise absolute truth and contrary facts. (Proverbs 13:20, 2 Tim, Hebrews 13:9; 1 Timothy 6:20)

3. Wear God s armor. The strategic truths outlined in Ephesians 6:10-18 will expose and counter every deception. Study the Armor of God chart (found on the "Armor" page at the website.to or in chapter 4 of Brave New Schools). It lists key Scriptures and shows why the six parts of the armor will expose and counter all the main lies of New Age or earth-based religions.

Then teach your children to pray through the pieces of the armor. Simplify each part to fit their ages. Make sure they know the Scriptures behind their prayer so that their faith will be grounded in God s Word, not their imagination.

4. Count the cost. " because you are not of the world the world hateth you," said Jesus. "If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." (John 15:19-21)

If children refuse to conform to the world, it will reject them. Are your children willing to count Gods favor more precious than peer approval?

Whatever their level of understanding, they need to face the choice. "Choose this day whom you will serve." (Joshua 24:15)

5. Make a committment to follow the Shepherd. Paul did, therefore he rejoiced: "I count all things but loss that I may win Christ and be found in Him. (Philippians 3:7-9) He had dedicated himself to God, and nothing could shake his resolve.

Children who choose to follow Jesus may lose friends, but they will gain the best prize of all: the boundless love, life, and protection of our sovereign King. He will provide all the wisdom and strength they need to walk with Him. Remember, "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:24) In Him they are safe forever and ever!

 

... more

New Testament Roots
Feb 1st, 2008
A. W. Tozer
Uncategorized

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body … and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13

It is really a blessed thing in our Christian Fellowship and in our congregations that God never asks whether it is a big church or a little church!

A young pastor, when introduced to a well-known church leader, said, “You do not know me. I am the pastor of a little rural church.”

I think it was a wise reply that came from the churchman: “Young man, there are no little churches: all churches are the same size in God’s sight!”

But, whether large or small, it must be an assembly of believers brought together through the Name of Jesus, to worship in God’s Presence; and with the right to receive all that God bestows.

With these roots, we should ask ourselves if we are truly interested in spiritual attainment as were the New Testament Believers. We must confess that the spiritual temperature among us may often be lower than in the early church. But we hold to the message that those who truly honor the Presence of the Savior are included in this relationship that goes back to the New Testament and to the apostles!

... more

Pakistan; Freed Christian Describes Kidnapping Ordeal
Feb 1st, 2008

Uncategorized


ISTANBUL (Compass Direct News) -- A Christian doctor described receiving various death threats while kidnapped recently by Islamic extremists in an area of Pakistan reeling from extremist violence.

Militants in parts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) have forced Christians and moderate Muslims to don Islamist garb, have bombed CD shops for perceived decadence and, in the case of Dr. Reginald Zahiruddin, have attempted forced conversion to Islam.

The extremists released Dr. Zahiruddin on January 2, after kidnapping the Christian 25 days prior and demanding he renounce his faith at gunpoint. Five armed men cut off Dr. Zahiruddin and his driver as they were traveling south from the city of Bannu on December 8, the doctor said in a written account of his kidnapping.

The medical superintendent of Pennell Memorial Christian Hospital in Bannu was on a weekly visit to the city of Dera Ismail Khan, 100 kilometers south (62 miles), to treat 50 poor patients.

“I have worked in this area for about 25 years, and I used to think that because they all know me nothing will happen to me,” the doctor told Compass by telephone from Bannu. His work had often taken him into Waziristan, an area along the Afghan border controlled by pro-Taliban groups.

The Christian’s captors blindfolded him and forced him and his driver into the back of his van, driving three hours before transferring them to the trunk of a station wagon for another hour’s drive. The kidnappers threatened to blow up the van with a suicide jacket and hand grenades if he made any noise.

Upon reaching their destination, Dr. Zahiruddin and his driver were chained and taken to a dark, stuffy room.

“We were provided with very thin bedding which hardly kept [out] the cold, and the metallic chains tied to our ankles never let [our] feet get warm,” the doctor wrote. There the Christians were held for 25 days, freed only twice a day for five minutes to relieve themselves and wash.

During the first week of captivity, a Muslim cleric would come to the room four times a day to talk about Islam and invite the Christian doctor to convert. He would play religious cassettes that taught Islam and called for violent jihad, holy war.

“He would threaten me, saying, ‘We have a jail here and we can do anything to you if you don’t accept Islam,’” Dr. Zahiruddin said. “It was all verbal, not physical.”

On December 15, the doctor and his driver were each blindfolded and taken separately to another room.

“I could hear the whispers of several men and the sound of a video camera,” the doctor said. His captors wanted him to remove his shirt and pants and don shalwar-kameez, traditional Pakistani garb, but he said that he refused.

Upon removing the blindfold, Dr. Zahiruddin said he found himself facing a group of men pointing Kalashnikov guns at him, while another man with a long dagger sat behind him. The men demanded to know why he would not convert to Islam and threatened to slit his throat if he did not.

Later, the men told Dr. Zahiruddin that the main reason for his kidnapping was to force him to convert to Islam.

“I was bold enough to refuse, and I even told them that God has the authority of taking my life as he has given it to me,” the doctor said.

The group’s religious leader eventually ordered his men to stop questioning Dr. Zahiruddin after the Christian asked them if the Quran encouraged non-Muslims to accept the faith through force and threats.

The captors eventually revealed that their second reason for kidnapping the Christian was to get a ransom of 20 million rupees (US$319,000) to buy weapons.

The doctor assured his kidnappers that because he worked for a charitable organization and was not rich, no one would pay that much for him. Dr. Zahiruddin’s captors eventually changed their ransom demands to 1 million rupees US$15,950) and threatened to kill him if their demand were refused.

Surprise Release

But on December 29, the captors entered his room unarmed, apologized for holding him against his will, and requested that Dr. Zahiruddin sign a statement saying that he had not been tortured. The militants explained that the Majlis-e-Shoura, a 10- member leadership council for Islamic militants in Waziristan, had demanded his release.

Four days later, the captors blindfolded Dr. Zahiruddin and his driver and drove them back to Bannu.

After his release, he learned that friends had appealed to militants in the tribal areas for his rescue, citing the doctor’s longstanding humanitarian work as reason for his release. Dr. Zahiruddin said that members of Waziristan’s Majlis-e-Shoura had been notified of his kidnapping on December 10 and had discovered his location by December 25.

Not wanting to create a tense hostage situation that could result in the death of the two Christians, the Islamic leadership council had attempted some form of negotiations for the two men’s release.

“They were afraid that the people who kidnapped us might harm us, or maybe kill us and bury us there,” Dr. Zahiruddin said. “They used some type of tactic, their own traditional connections, to get us. We don’t know who did it.”

Dr. Zahiruddin said that his time in captivity gave him a chance to pray and see God’s provision in a new way. He said that he was surprised that he and his driver did not become sick or get any form of rash despite having worn the same clothes for 25 days.

New Attacks

Dr. Zahiruddin said that his kidnapping was especially hard on his wife and three sons.

Ages 23, 22 and 15, the doctor’s sons posted Internet appeals on their father’s behalf while he was missing. His wife, a dentist, took over running the Bannu hospital in her husband’s absence while working to raise awareness and prayer for him.

The doctor said that once, while chained in the dark room, he had seen what he described as a “vision” of a circle of light containing unfamiliar faces. He said that he felt that God was showing him all of the people around the world who were praying for his safety during his captivity.

Dr. Zahiruddin said that his youngest son had suffered the most from his capture and now refused to let his father out of his sight, quitting his studies in southern Pakistan to be with his parents in Bannu.

Christians in the NWFP and tribal areas have faced new attacks in 2008. On January 17 Sajid Williams, an aid worker with development organization Shelter Now International, was shot to death while leaving work in Peshawar.
... more

Post Modernity
Feb 1st, 2008
Dr.Tim D. Friesen
Uncategorized

POSTMODERNITY

THE MODERN ERA FROM THE 16th TO THE 20th CENTURY MOVED STEADILY FROM A GOD CENTERED TO A MAN CENTERED WORLD.

THE MODERN AGE

BELIEFS PRACTICES

Science will give us the answers to the cause of Rejection of creation for the evolutionary hypothesis.
all existence.

Human reason replaces God, life owes its existence Secular humanisn and the remaking of society with rationalism. and meaning to science and education.

Belief in no supernatural. Denial of the miraculous in scripture.

We should be human centered instead of God centered. Rise of social activism and theological liberalism.

Belief in linear progress and logical reasoning. Standardization of knowledge and production.

The value of knowledge. Rise of university degrees.

THE POSTMODERN ERA (The present era)

MODERNIST POSTMODERNIST

Fought disorder and meaninglessness. Accepts chaos and rejects imposed order.

Operated by reason, study, and research. Governed by ideological agendas, political correctness, opinion polls, and power struggles.

Sought human control over nature. Exhalts nature at the expense of humans.

Individual identy. Social conformity and group solidarity.

Activistic, optimistic, and self confident. Passive, cynical, and insecure.

Defined status by achievement(property, money, stardom) Defines status in terms of style(right clothes)

Emphasis on manufacturing and technology. Emphasis on consumerism and entertainment.

Technology used to promote unity. Technology used to promote diversity.

War was a means to an end. War is an emblem of identy, an expression of community, and an end to itself.

Stressed unity in society(melting pot) Stresses disunity in society(mosaic)

Welfare was for the needy. Welfare is an entitlement.

DEFINITION OF POSTMODERNITY

THE PRESENT REVOLT AGAINST THE MODERN WORLD METHODS OF INQUIRY, MODERN SCIENTIFIC SEARCH FOR TRUTH, MODERN BELIEF SYSTEMS, MODERN ACHIEVEMENTS, AND MODERN ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ORDER, MORALITY,AND GOVERNMENT.

ROOT CAUSES FOR POSTMODERNITY

1- The breakdown of marriage and the home.

2- The educational shift from "traditional" education to "progessive" education.

3- The technology age of radio, television and computers.

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF POSTMODERNITY

1- Intellect is replaced by the will; reason is replaced by intense emotion; personal experience replaces truth; morality is replaced by relativism. Political correctness is more important than honesty and integrity.

2- The assumption that there is no objective, absolute truth.

3- Tolerance no longer means civil behavior and patience toward those with whom you disagree. It now means that every view is equally valid.

4- Everything is evaluated on the basis of its entertainment value.

5- Modernism established a hierarchy; postmodernism creates anarchy. Modernism is concerned about construction and boundaries. Postmodernism is interested in deconstruction and absence of boundaries.

6- The establishment of "group think" instead of "individual responsibility".

7- The deconstration of a common language and the construction of your own.

8- The replacement of words in favour of stimulating images. In turning from rationality to embracing the spectacle

9- Where renaissance art was beautiful and appealing, modern art became abstract and sensual, but postmodern art is shocking and purposefully infuriating.

10- People are finding their identities, not so much in themselves, or in their families, nor in their communities, but in the new tribalism to which they belong.

11- The mindset is of holding contradictory views and opinions.

12- Modernists sought to kill God. Postmodernists are fascinated with death itself.

ESTIMATION OF PROPORTION OF EACH GENERATION PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY

BUILDERS GENERATION 1910 - 1945 65 % BOOMERS GENERATION 1946 - 1964 35%

BUSTERS GENERATION 1965 - 1976 15% BRIDGERS GENERATION 1977 - 1994 4%



... more

Repentance of Willow Creek ?
Feb 1st, 2008
Blog excerpted from the internet
Uncategorized

I have been sent numerous links to the various stories regarding the supposed “repentance” of Willow Creek over its seeker methods. I will make this short and to the point. No pastor, truly repentant for his spiritual malpractice over the course of the last 30 years, would be bringing emerging heretic Brian McLaren to speak to his youth and youth leaders from around the country. Hybels claims that he wants to go forward, “rooted in Scripture” is fascinating, in that he’s bringing someone to address the young people of his church who accepts homosexuality, denies the doctrine of the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ, denies a literal hell, and calls hell and the cross “false advertising for God.” Willow Creek is bringing this fountainhead of theological and spiritual poison to teach the most vulnerable in the flock, the young people, at the April, 2008, “Everything Must Change” Conference. That’s some repentance, Mr. Hybels.

... more

The Biggest Skeptic in the World
Feb 1st, 2008
Unknown
Uncategorized

To the best of my memory, before I came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, I did not believe the Bible was true. I doubted whether God, Satan, heaven, or hell even existed. I believed that we were born, lived so many years, and then died. I had my own business and thought that I had succeeded by my own wits.
One evening, my wife and I heard some documentation that these were the last days before Jesus Christ would actually return. Not wanting to hear it, I almost walked out. Something kept me there, and I listened but was not convinced; however, I decided to do some research to find out if the Bible was really true. Indeed, if I could find one contradiction or anything that was not true, then I could disregard it. I believed this would not take long. This led me into much research. I learned nearly one-third of the Bible is directly or indirectly related to prophecy which includes about 10,000 prophecies. One thing needed, was to determine when the Bible was actually written. Thus, a study of biblical history, various translations, and archaeology was necessary. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found in Israel, contained parts of the Old Testament including prophecies of the coming of Jesus. It has been proven that these were written before Christ came. Thousands of clay tablets and archaeological sites also confirm many accounts in the Bible.
I took time off and began studying the prophecies. My wife would spend much time at the library. She obtained documentation for me from reference books which I would check against the Scriptures to see if the prophecies took place. One week went by and then a month. Every prophecy that we were able to get information on proved to be accurate. I was astonished, but still not convinced. Later, there were people who would show me what appeared to be contradictions in the Bible. These were not contradictions, but only a lack of research on the part of those that said these things. Stubborn, that's me. Even after four months of intensive study, proving prophecy after prophecy was true, I was still skeptical. Four months turned into six. I became more determined. It wasn t possible that the sixty-six books of the Bible written by many people over hundreds of years would not have some errors, I thought. Thousands of prophecies, and every one perfect? No, impossible! If I would admit that, then I would also have to admit there was a God. I was not prepared to do that—yet, I wanted to know the truth. More months passed. Finally, I had to admit after spending almost countless hours of research—I was wrong. I may have been the biggest skeptic in the world, but now I know—the Bible is true and is the perfect Word of God. Anyone willing to take the time I did and do the same research could only come to the same conclusion, if they are honest with themselves. I became afraid that I would perish. I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God as a result of His love, compassion, mercy and grace.
I know that there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we MUST be saved (EXCEPT JESUS)-ref Acts 4:12. I REPENTED of my sins and received Jesus Christ as my only hope of salvation by FAITH-ref Eph 2:8-10. It is written, EXCEPT YE BE CONVERTED, AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, YE SHALL NOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN-Mt 18:3. You can also call on Jesus NOW to be YOUR Lord and Savior.


... more

The emerging Church (another road to Rome)
Feb 1st, 2008
Roger Oakland
Uncategorized

The Emerging Church controversy continues to explode. Perhaps the best way to describe the Emerging Church phenomenon is to compare it to an avalanche. Every day more and more information is being made available regarding what the Emerging Church is and where it may be headed.

The Emerging Church

It is not my purpose in writing this commentary to define every aspect of the Emerging Church. In fact it would require several volumes to do so. Even then, some would say that the Emerging Church was not defined properly.

The common denominator being promoted is the idea that the time has come for Christianity to be reinvented for our generation. In order to do so, the church must provide the environment and the experiences to attract people. Christianity, the Emerging Church promoters say, must become relevant to our postmodern generation. No longer does reason or God’s Word hold the answers to life’s questions. Experience must become the key factor to encounter spiritual reality.

 

A Prayer Station that was on display at Capo Beach Calvary
April, 2005 - with instructions on how to pray with an icon

The following statement taken from a book written by Chuck Smith Jr. titled There is a Season (foreword by Brian McLaren and endorsed by Leonard Sweet) provides insight into how Christianity may be “reinvented” in the future as the Emerging Church moves away from the Word of God towards the concept of experiencing God. Chuck Smith Jr.states:

What would happen if we allowed people to “feel” what we cannot explain, to know with the heart and not with the brain? We would open the door of faith to a wider audience than if we continued to insist on a rational belief in the facts as the only legitimate starting point of the Christian faith.

A prayer station created for use during the Emerging Church service at Capo Beach Calvary illustrates what Chuck Smith Jr. means by allowing his congregation to “feel” and “know with the heart and not with the brain.” This prayer station was on display during the month of April, 2005. Further, the prayer station complete with candles, incense and icons featured an instruction sheet to assist church attendees in how to pray with an icon. The instructions stated:

Praying With Icons

  • Draw in a slow deep breath. As you do pray, Holy Spirit surround me,
    fill me, breathe life into me.
  • Empty your mind of all anxiety.
  • Empty your heart full of desire except for God.
  • Focus on one icon and imagine what that person might say to you about God, yourself, and others
  • Read the icons as if the person who painted it wanted to send a
    message to you. Notice the details.
  • The icon is there to remind you of God: to make you conscious of His
    presence, all around you.
  • (option) Cross yourself as you say these words.
  • Pray in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Brian McLaren summarizes what the Emerging Church is in the title and subtitle of his book A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a missional + evangelical + post/protestant + liberal/conservative + mystical/poetic + biblical + fundamentalist/calvinist + anabaptist/anglican + methodist + catholic + green + incarnational + depressed-yet-hopeful + emergent + unfinished Christian.

 

According to McLaren, the goal of the Emerging Church is to formulate a Christianity for the twenty-first century that is based on a smorgasbord of ideas in the name of Christ. There are really no ideas barred. However, based on what we read in Scripture, many of these ideas lack support or are outright heretical.

The Experiential and the Mystical

While I do not plan to comment on the entirety of McLaren’s explanation of what the Emerging Church is, or is not, I will attempt to deal with one particular topic that few Emerging Church critics are exposing. This is the area dealing with what McLaren calls the “post-protestant-pro-catholic-contemplative-mystical” form of Christianity. It is this aspect of the Emerging Church that troubles me the most.

To set the record straight, my introduction to the Emerging Church, followed the research I did for the book “Another Jesus? The Eucharistic Christ and the New Evangelization.” In the process of doing the research for this book, I became aware of the Roman Catholic “new evangelization program” to win the “separated brethren” back to the “Mother of All Churches.” When I saw the numerous experiential attractions being promoted by the Emerging Church (candles, icons, statues, prayer stations, incense, liturgy, the sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of the Eucharist) it became evident to me what was happening. Another road to Rome was being prepared. Few seemed to be aware. Some, who were aware, simply did not care

 

Since becoming aware of the Emerging Church movement, I have learned a number of important things. While others, like me, see this trend playing a role leading to apostasy, those who are promoting the movement believe such a perception is ludicrous. They are firmly convinced that God is raising up a church in the name of Christ for God’s glory.

While they may be sincere in their efforts to be a part of this “move of God” that is sweeping the world, it is my conviction based on Scripture, that they are deceived and don’t know it. Isn’t this what apostasy is all about – believing that one has believed but instead is deceived?

Many have reprimanded me for speaking out against the Emerging Church. However, I am compelled to speak up about this movement based on what I read in God’s Word. Our approach to this situation is based on Paul’s instructions to Timothy with regard to pointing people back to the truth. He wrote:

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Roman Catholicism versus Christianity

While I have chosen to focus only on one particular aspect of the Emerging Church movement (another road to Rome), this endeavor alone demands far more space than this commentary will allow. In order to make my point, I will attempt to provide insights into one particular area. There are many avenues, streets and paths that lead the unsuspecting home to Rome.

Church history reveals that a major goal of the church reformers was to turn people who professed to be Christian back to the Word of God and away from extrabiblical experiences and a false gospel that was antichristian. We know the New Testament is full of warnings regarding the apostasy that would creep in after the departure of the apostles. As Paul warned:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Jude was also outspoken about the apostasy that was underway in his day. He wrote:

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Anyone who reads the Bible can see there is a world of difference between the New Testament Church and the Roman Catholic Church. While professing to be Christian, there are a myriad of beliefs and experiences added to Roman Catholicism that are not found in the Bible. For example, a Christianity that emphasizes Mary sharing a role in the redemption of sins, praying the rosary, praying to the dead for favors and a salvation that is dependent on the sacrifice of the mass, is foreign to the Scriptures. While Roman Catholicism justifies tradition and dogma to be equivalent to the Bible, when tradition and dogma contradict Scripture, both cannot be true.

Roman Catholicism declares that our salvation was not complete by Jesus’ death on the cross. Salvation the Roman Catholic way requires the Sacrament of the Eucharist to be administered by Roman Catholic priests. If this is the case, Jesus died on the cross in vain. Salvation is not Roman Catholicism plus Jesus. Biblical salvation is based on faith in Jesus alone!


The Eucharistic Jesus offered as an unbloody sacrifice

Ancient Future Faith

A major tenet of the Emerging Church requires reintroducing ideas, experiences and beliefs of the past in order to reinvent Christianity for the present. It would seem that if promoters of the Emerging Church were spirit-led in their efforts to go back to the past for the truth, they would go back to the Bible.

However, this not the case! Instead Emerging Church proponents go back to the first, second and third centuries to find out what Christianity was like then. They say there is a lot to learn from the mystical church fathers with which we need to become familiar. Why not go back to the New Testament church and the Christian principles of the faith that we read about in the inspired Word of God. What if the early church fathers (Roman Catholic Church) were teaching ideas and beliefs that are not found in the Bible? Wouldn’t this be misleading?

Back to the Bible or Back to Rome

It is amazing to see what promoters of the Emergent Church are really promoting. Many are suggesting that we reconsider Roman Catholicism in order to be more spiritual and in tune with God. What God has revealed in His Word apparently falls short. Or worse yet, mystical experiences that are even similar or identical to the practices of the pagans are being upheld as the new revived hotline to God.

Dr. Robert Webber

Dr. Robert “Bob” Webber is recognized by pastors, denominational leaders, scholars and lay people as one of the foremost authorities on worship renewal. He regularly conducts workshops for almost every major denomination in North America through the Institute of Worship Studies which he founded in 1995.

Prior to his appointment to his present position at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Webber taught at Wheaton College for 32 years as Professor of Theology. He has authored over 40 books and is also a regular contributor to numerous magazines and newspapers including Worship Leader.

 

Dr. Robert E. Webber – Ancient-Future books

Dr. Webber is one of the influential promoters of the idea that we must go back in order to go ahead. His ideas form one of the chief pillars of the Emerging Church. He has written a number of books dealing with revisiting the past in order to seek direction for the future. One of these books is titled Ancient-Future Evangelism: Making Your Church a Faith-Forming Community.

In order to clarify what Dr. Webber meant by “ancient-future” I decided to do some research. I found an interview with Dr. Webber posted on a web site called TheOoze.com. Responding to the question “What do you think the North American evangelical church is going to look like 25 years from now?” Dr Webber responded:

Biblical symbols such as baptismal identity and Eucharistic thanksgiving will take on new meaning. The church will be less concerned about having an eschatology and more committed to being an eschatological community.

Over the past several years, I have observed that Dr. Webber’s prediction regarding the future of the church is quite accurate. Many who were once anticipating the soon and imminent return of Jesus are now asleep. Some are saying it appears “the Lord has delayed His coming.” Others are saying “we have been misled by pastors and teachers who have taught us the Second Coming is a literal return of Jesus to set up His Kingdom.” These same people are claiming the “Kingdom of God” will be established here on earth through Christians during the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus.

fter reading Dr. Webber’s answer to the question that “Biblical symbols such as baptismal identity and Eucharistic thanksgiving will take on new meaning,” I ordered his book Ancient-Future Evangelism. This is what I read on page on page 114:

A brief glance at the teaching of the Eucharist from the pre-Nicene period provides insight into the early church’s understanding. The Fathers taught that continual spiritual nourishment was provided to believers at this great feast. First it is clear from the writings of Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century that this is no empty symbol. Christ is really present in the bread and wine. He feeds us in the remembrance of His salvation. He feeds us through His presence which is accomplished through prayer.

A Eucharistic Experience?

One might ask the following legitimate question: How do evangelical Protestants like Robert Webber become supporters of Roman Catholic views? In order to find out more about Robert Webber’s background and his conversion experience, I discovered Webber’s testimony in a book titled Signs of Wonder: The Phenomenon of Convergence in Modern Liturgical and Charismatic Churches, published in 1992 by Star Song Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee.

Although the following quote is lengthy, it is important and necessary in order to reveal how Webber’s conversion experience occurred. In his own words:

My most memorable encounter with a style of worship different from my own occurred at a weekend retreat more than twenty years ago. I had joined a praise and prayer group while doing graduate work at Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis. The group consisted of Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians and evangelicals who met monthly to read and discuss Scripture to pray together, to talk, and to just have fun. When the time came for many of us to graduate and move on to new places, we decided to bring our two-year fellowship to an end with a weekend retreat at a local Catholic conference center. It was there we faced an issue we had never even discussed. Could we take Communion together? Could a Catholic priest give the bread and wine to an evangelical? Could an evangelical receive the bread and wine from a Catholic priest?

We were all sitting on the lawn of the monastery near the chapel. The monastery stood on a hill overlooking the rich Missouri farmland, and the smell of the fresh spring grass was in the air. I heard the priest say, “We are going to conclude our retreat with a liturgy in the chapel. You are all of course welcome to come, but I don’t know what to say to you about the bread and the wine. As a rule we Catholics only allow other Catholics to receive the body and blood of the Lord. But I have agonized over this separation of our churches, as I know you have.”

He paused and continued, “I have decided to break with Catholic tradition and offer you the bread and wine. Why? Because it is my experience that all of you are true Christians devoted to our Lord. But I cannot tell you what to do. You may not feel comfortable receiving the bread and the wine. You must make that decision for yourself. If you don’t come to receive, your decision will be respected, and if you do come, you will be welcomed.”

Then I lifted my face toward the sun and felt its warmth. Closing my eyes, I allowed my life in the church to pass before me. My prejudices rose up within me: What are you doing here? You never worshiped in a Catholic setting, let alone received the bread and the wine from a Catholic priest! Then I considered the spiritually rich times I’d shared with these people for two years. I heard again my Catholic friends speak of their love for Christ, pray with fervency, and express a real desire to know the Scriptures and live by its authority. Those memories said, “Go ahead. After all, there is only one Lord, one church, one faith, one baptism, one Holy Communion.”

In that moment, God broke through the walls I had allowed to separate me from my brothers and sisters of different denominations. I am convinced the prejudices we hold and the walls we build between ourselves and other communities of Christians actually block our experience of God’s presence in our lives. Our biases cut us off from the spiritual communion of the fullness of the body of Christ. God dwells in his church, and to reject a part of God’s church is to reject him. Furthermore, rejecting a part of God’s church keeps us from experiencing what the creed calls “the communion of the Saints.” When God broke down my walls, he brought me into richer fellowship with the body of Christ throughout the world.

Apparently, Robert Webber’s experience was life changing. He goes on to describe how he felt and how his beliefs changed. Once again in his own words:

You might say I was surprised by joy! I found myself ministering to God in praise, and God in turn was ministering to me. I had never had an experience like that in my life. In that Catholic chapel, a new worship experience had bumped up against that old prejudice of mine, and a new attitude was born. I had taken into myself the experience of another tradition, I had been in dialogue with another worship tradition, and I was surely the richer for it.

 

The Eucharisitic Jesus
Envoy Magazine – Jan/Feb 2000

Catholicism Claims that Jesus is present in the wafer

Webber and Eucharistic Evangelization

As has been documented, Dr. Webber’s encounter with the Eucharistic Jesus in a Roman Catholic chapel in the early 1970s was life changing. In his book Ancient Future Evangelism published eleven years following the publication of his Eucharistic experience, Webber further clarified that his faith in the Roman Catholic Eucharistic encounter was genuine. In this book he wrote:

The spirituality of the medieval mystics and the spirituality fostered by the sacramental system when it was at its best was now supplanted by intellectual knowledge. The rejection of everything Catholic then led by the Protestant notion that knowledge and spirituality were the same. For nearly five hundred years the spirituality of Protestantism has been expressed in the quest for knowledge. This quest found a happy partner with the emphasis on reason in the modern period. In the postmodern era, however where knowledge is not enough, there is a longing once again for the disciplines that produce a spirituality rooted in the mystical and sacramental traditions.

It can also be documented that Webber’s books are winning converts. But who is being converted and what are they being converted to? The answer to this question can be found at a Roman Catholic web site called “Ancient and Future Christian Reading List.” Several of Dr. Webber’s books are posted there such as Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism. Under the heading of the book there is the following statement:

Webber writes about how many Christians today, especially younger ones, are seeking a faith connected to the ancient Church. Thus, postmodern Christians are seeking an ancient and future faith, one that embraces the past for the future, rather than ignoring the past completely… Editor David Bennett admits that Webber,s writings helped lead him to the Catholic Church, although much of what Webber says is far too "cafeteria" in approach. Also, Church Tradition is treated more as an evangelical trend as opposed to what it is: the Truth. Nonetheless, Webber is a good transitional author.

Robert Webber and the Chuck Smith Jr. Connection

My first introduction to Dr. Webber and his views occurred when I read an article he had written for Worship Leader magazine titled Wanted Ancient Future Talent.

Worship Leader is published by Chuck Fromm. and the magazine,s editorial board includes Robert Webber as well as Chuck Smith Jr., who happens to be Fromm’s cousin. In studying the writings and beliefs of Chuck Smith Jr. it is clear that Smith Jr. promotes ideas that are almost identical to Robert Webber’s. For example, consider the following quote taken from Smith’s book There Is a Season:

The postmodern church will very likely see a revival of rituals ceremonies and sacraments. In their zeal to cut out anything superfluous from Christian faith, the Reformers streamlined the seven holy sacraments of Roman Catholicism and reduced them to just two: baptism and the Lord’s Supper… Postmodern Christians already are revisiting the discarded sacraments, and we have much to gain by looking again for the sacred, worshipful aspects of marriage, repentance and confirmation as a rite of passage. The nonrational element of rituals and ceremonies appeal to the postmodern soul.

 

There Is a Season
by Chuck Smith Jr.

In his book, Chuck Smith Jr. explains that Protestants have much to learn from the Roman Catholic Church. He seems to be sympathetic with the Roman Catholic view that Jesus actually is present in the Communion wafer and that the Reformation hindered the Roman Catholic view that considers Communion to be more than a symbol. In his own words:

By and large, modern faith overrationalized the symbols of worship. For example, believers of various traditions have been frequently reminded that the bread and wine of communion are only symbols and not to be taken literally. Reformation reaction to Roman Catholicism has played a major role in deemphasizing the importance and power of the symbol. So we have been instructed that the power of the sacraments is emblematic and the ritual is powerless and ineffective as a means of grace.

Summary and Conclusion

So in taking this look at statements made by Brian McLaren, Dr. Robert Webber and Chuck Smith Jr., what can we conclude? Is it not reasonable to suggest there is an attempt to reinvent Christianity for our generation and that this reinvented Church is very similar to the church that emerged from the New Testament church in the past? Is it possible history is being repeated?

How can one deny there is a moving away from the authority of God’s Word by seductive experiences that have always been promoted by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches?

The eighth chapter of the book of Ezekiel sheds lights on God’s perspective of the experiential Emerging Church that is emerging in our day. God allowed Ezekiel to see how the religious leaders of Israel had strayed away from God’s Word and were embracing practices and experiences that were an abomination unto Him. We read:

Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery?

Time will reveal if this connection between the Emerging Church and Roman Catholicism is correct. Based on the current events that are unfolding, I believe it is safe to say that the Emerging Church road to Rome will become more obvious day by day for those who accept the warnings found in Scripture.

I believe we are seeing the apostasy that Paul warned would be a sign we are in the last days. Is it possible the grand delusion is underway and the world is being set up for a counterfeit bride for the counterfeit Christ?

Hopefully, Christian leaders of our day will reconsider the Scriptures and sound a warning based on the revelation we find in God’s Word.









... more

The Tribulation Period
Feb 1st, 2008
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

God’s Word tells us about a time of great judgment that will come upon the world. Jesus described that time, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21. From Scripture we discover God has five major purposes for this seven year period of tribulation.

1. To punish sinners and remove them from the face of the earth. Isaiah said, “Behold the Day of the Lord cometh, (tribulation period), cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners out of it”. Isaiah 13:9 this is a clear statement, God hates sin and God hates disobedience and unbelief (see also Is. 13:11-3 & Ps. 7:11).

Understand, one second after the rapture, there will not be a living believer on the earth. Seven years later, plus a few days, there will not be an unbeliever alive on the earth (Matthew 25:32, 41).

Early in the tribulation period, one quarter of the earth’s population will die (Rev. 6:8). By Revelation 9:15 another third will be killed, equaling over half of the people on the earth. After the vial judgments of chapter sixteen, probably over two thirds will be dead. Jesus said “… except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:” (Matthew 24:22).

What a prospect this world faces. Do you think they need to know about it? Who will tell them if we don’t?

2. To bring about a world wide revival. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. The context here is the tribulation. John tells us that 144,000 Jewish evangelists will preach the gospel, imagine 144,000 Apostle Pauls.

  1. A great multitude will be saved and martyred. We see them in heaven in Rev. 7:9, 10, 14. These are not a part of the Church and they are not a part of Israel.
  2. Another group of gentiles will be saved and survive to go into the millennial kingdom in their naturals bodies to populate the kingdom Matthew 25:31-34. Later we read about these and their saved children in Revelation 21:24-26 and Revelation 22:2. These are not a part of Israel and not a part of the church.

3. To Redeem Israel. We read about this event, beginning in Zechariah 12:10. We see every living Jew being saved at the end of the tribulation period, never to turn away from the Lord again. The Lord will bring Israel through the fire of persecution to bring her to Himself. That process is even now beginning. Read more about it in Zechariah 13:8, 9. Hear those beautiful words, “I will say, it is My people: and they shall say, the Lord is my God”.

What a grand and glorious purpose for the tribulation period!

4. To judge apostasy and destroy apostate religion. All down through the church age there has been apostate Christianity. Today it is on almost every street corner. Those who claim to represent Christ, but who oppose the gospel and attack the true church.

As the age comes to a close we have seen apostate Christianity growing exponentially. We see the vast ecumenical movement laying the foundation for the harlot church of the tribulation period.

During the tribulation period we see this counterfeit Christianity filling the whole earth (Revelation 17:5). This is the climax of Apostasy.

In Revelation 17:3 we see the union of apostate Christianity with the kingdom of antichrist. In Revelation 17:1 we see the purpose of God announced and in Revelation 17:15-17 we see that judgment carried out.

This is another great purpose of God for the tribulation period.

5. The judgment of God upon the Gentile nations (Armageddon). The Gentile nations began under Nimrod at the tower of Babel. From that day to this, man has sought to create his utopia on earth through human government, apart from God.

Human government has always been in rebellion against God and His Word. The climax of human government in rebellion against God is now about to occur.

God’s purpose for this world is that Israel is to be the head of the nations. Today all the nations of the world are seeking to remove Israel from the land God has promised to her and to which God has restored her in 1948 and 1967.

The judgment of the nations is soon to take place, we read about it in Joel 3:2 “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead (judge) with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.”

Today all of the nations of the world, in their pride and arrogance, are determined to set up a Palestinian state on the land God gave to Israel. If only they could see the ultimate consequences of this rebellion against God and His Word.

Let me give to you something that will help you to understand what God is doing in the tribulation period.

There are three great streams running through history and through God’s Word, these three streams all reach a climax in the tribulation period.

Stream 1 The Redemptive Stream: The redemptive stream began as God provided a covering for man’s sin in Eden. We see it on almost every page of Scripture. All down through history God has been revealing the unfolding of His plan to redeem men.

The plan was completed on the cross of Calvary, as God the Son was made a sacrifice for the sins of the world. The invitation to receive this redemption is open to all who will, in repentance and faith, receive the Saviour and His salvation.

This redemptive stream reaches a climax in the tribulation period when an innumerable host of men and women will be redeemed.

Stream 2 The Judgmental Stream: It also began in Eden as God put Adam and Eve out of His presence because of their sin. Like a great drum which never stops beating, the judgment of God has fallen on mankind all down through the ages. Man is cursed by sin, germs, disease, cancer, weeds, aging, hatred, personality disorders, war, pollution, etc., etc. All represent the judgment of God upon sin, though the man who has cancer may not be any more sinful than the one who does not, “all have sinned”.

A greater judgment is the blindness God gives to those who turn away from the truth, blindness to the truth. The greatest judgment is the eternal lake of fire. This judgment will fall upon the world in a temporal way in the tribulation period. What an awful prospect!

Stream 3 The stream of Apostasy: Apostasy means to stand off, to stand away from, to fall away. Down through the ages men have been falling away from, departing from, the truth God has given them. Apostasy also began in Eden and will climax in the tribulation period. Both Israel and much of the church have consistently and persistently departed from God’s truth. Today that apostasy is accelerating.

When the trumpet sounds all that is unregenerate in Christendom and all that is unregenerate in evangelicalism will be spewed into the tribulation period to become a part of the great harlot church which God will destroy. There is a great urgency to warn evangelicals of the deceitfulness of apostasy (Matthew 24:4, 5, 11, 24, 25).

... more
go back button