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In this video clip Bob Dewaay talks about the Emergent Church, Postmodern Theology, Mysticism and the church Re-imagined.
These quotes are from Ray Yungen who wrote two of my favorite books, “A Time of Departing” and “For Many Shall Come In My Name” Theses books identify new-age movement in the church and the increase of seducing mysticism.
“Interspirituality is the cross-pollination of religious traditions. It is the blending of esoteric practices from different religions while still identifying with one’s own religion.”
“For instance, it is the belief that one can be a “better Christian” when one practices Buddist Meditation.”
Watch this video for elaboration.
Next this an important video from Warren Smith who wrote “Reinventingjesuschrist.”
The church needs to renew its commitment to the Bible and start using words like sin, repentance, and obedience. The emergent church dismisses sin, with a wave of the hand. But this is self-deception. Jesus died on the cross because we are sinners. Anything that eliminates the need for the cross is an enemy of God.
I have often wondered how one gets to a mindset that entertains God as a female. Anyone who knows scripture and reads the Bible on a consistant basis knows that God is called the “Father”. No other possibility exists.
So where do the heresies come from?
The explosion of mysticism in our society is key and it is not confined to the general public. It is rampant in the church.
Take for instance Neal Donald Walsch. He claims to converse with God. The truth…he is deceived and deceiving others. His “god”, speaks of a new age gospel which is truly distorted from God’s word. There is no truth in him and his enlightened revelations. His experiences trump the truths found in the Bible, so he says.
As Walsch meditates, here is a product of what he has “received” taken from “Conversations with God.”
“If you think God looks only one way or sounds only one way or is only one way, you’re going to look right past Me night and day. You’ll spend your whole life looking for God and not finding Her.”
The problem with the statement is vast. To know God you have to study His word. He is the only way.
No one can find reconciliation with God and salvation from sin except through union with Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
There is no place in scripture that refers to God in the female sense. Heresies are often traced back through man’s secret revelations obtained by occult mystical spirit guides that are quickly emerging.
So on to the article for today from David Cloud.
THE EMERGING CHURCH’S FEMALE GOD (Friday Church News Notes, June 12, 2009, http://www.wayoflife.org
– Phyllis Tickle, an Episcopalian lay “Eucharistic minister and lector” and a Senior Fellow at Cathedral College at the liberal Washington National Cathedral, is an influential voice in the emerging church and the contemplative prayer movement. Tickle promotes non-verbal contemplative praying. She says, “The whole business of entering prayer WITHOUT THE VEHICLE OF WORDS is very important, for it allows the spirit to flow freely with the spirit of God, and does not have to articulate what is happening until one comes out from prayer” (“Praying in Color: A Conversation with friends and authors Sybil MacBeth and Phyllis Tickle,”
Wordless meditation is not biblical prayer; it is a pagan practice that is a recipe for demonic deception. Those who practice it are invariably led into heresies. It should not be surprising, then, that Tickle believes in a female God and calls the Holy Spirit “he or she or it.” She teaches that by partaking of the Lord’s Supper the believer is feeding God and reinvigorating the Holy Spirit, whatever that means.
Speaking at Rob Bell’s Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she said: “God is both male and female. God is both father and mother. … There is more than one thing under the name of God, and it is both male and female. … As we are about to do that [take the Lord’s supper], let us remember what we are doing. We not only celebrate that death and that promise of return, but we are feeding by eating God–which is what we are doing here–by eating the body and blood of our God, we are feeding the God within us. For as we take those elements the Spirit also feeds within us and is reinvigorated as he or she or it is by our faith” (Tickle, “A Treasure We Don’t Understand,” May 3, 2009).
Phyllis Tickle, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and that crowd are worshipping idols. The Shack, a popular book in emerging circles, also depicts God as a woman.
How to Know When the Emerging Church
Shows Signs of Emerging in Your Church
Commentary by Roger Oakland
The world is changing. So is the Christian evangelical church. There was a time— not that long ago—when the Bible was considered to be the Word of God by the majority of evangelical Christians. Now that we are well into the third millennium and the post-modern, post-Christian era, the term evangelical can mean almost anything. What has happened? Why is this happening and what is the future for mainstream Christianity?
For the past several years, I have been speaking around the world on current trends that are impacting Christianity. After these presentations, I am approached by Christians who come from many different church backgrounds. Many are expressing their concerns about what is happening in their churches, troubled by the new direction they see their church going. While they may not always be able to discern what is wrong, they know something is wrong and that it needs to be addressed.
Further, many have told me they have attempted to express their concerns with their pastors or church elders. In almost every case, they were told they had a choice to make—get with the new program or get out of the church.
This move towards a reinvented Christianity (one designed to “reach people”) seems to be here for the long haul. It is not just a passing fad. I am often asked by concerned brothers and sisters in Christ to provide an explanation in order to help them understand what they have encountered. They want to know why these changes are underway and what to expect in the future. As well, they want to know what, if anything can be done, to stem this tide. It is for this reason I am writing this commentary—to provide biblical insight regarding the Emerging Church and where it is heading in the future.
The Gospel According to the Scriptures
Throughout church history, various trends have come and gone. While culture changes from place to place, biblical Christianity has always been based upon the central message of the Bible which is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message never changes.
This gospel message is about who Jesus Christ is, and what He has done. A child can understand the gospel message. This message proclaims that life here on planet earth is finite and that life after death is eternal. The good news is that we can be saved from our sins if we will repent and simply ask for forgiveness and follow Him.
How we respond to the gospel message during the time we have on earth determines where we spend eternity—heaven or hell. Jesus, the Creator of the universe, provided a way and the only way we can spend eternity with Him. It is a matter of making a personal decision whether or not we will accept the plan He has provided.
God’s adversary does not want mankind to understand the simple message. His plan is to deceive the world. If he can blind people from the gospel or convince them that they believe the gospel when indeed they do not, his plan has been successful. Throughout the ages, countless billions have been duped, either rejecting the truth, or believing that they had believed the truth when instead they had been deceived.
The Gospel According to Postmoderism
Times change! However, the gospel must remain the same no matter what else changes. We are now living in the postmodern era. In a sincere attempt to reach the postmodern generation with the gospel, it seems many Christians have become postmodern in their thinking.
Perhaps the term postmodern is new to you. Let’s examine what it means.
First, the modern era was characterized by a time of rational thinking based on factual observation. Many claim the modern era ended in the mid 1900s.
The postmodern mindset moves beyond the rational and the factual to the experiential and the mystical. In other words, in the past it was possible to know right from wrong and black from white. In the postmodern era all things are relative to the beholder. What may be right for you may be wrong for someone else. There is no such thing as absolute truth. The only thing that is absolute is that there is no absolute.
We now live in a time in history that is characterized as postmodern. Professors at universities teach students there is no right or wrong. All things are relative. The gospel message to the postmodern mindset is far too dogmatic and arrogant. They say it is necessary to find a more moderate gospel that can be accepted by the masses.
Many church leaders are now looking for ways to reach the postmodern generation. They believe they can find the appropriate methods to do so without changing the message. However, in their attempt to reach this postmodern generation, they have become postmodern themselves and have changed the message. As the gospel is fixed upon the Scriptures, the gospel cannot change, unless of course it becomes another gospel. I believe this is what is happening in the Emerging Church.
He Didn’t Come
Many have noticed that since the turn of the millennium, their churches have changed positions on Bible prophecy and the Second Coming of Jesus. Many have given up on the return of Jesus. From the ‘60s on there was an excitement about the imminent return of Jesus. The Jesus People were excited about Bible prophecy and could see signs that Jesus would descend from the heavens for His Bride at any moment.
The year 2000 was of particular importance. When Jesus didn’t show up, it seems many were apparently disappointed. “Perhaps Jesus has delayed His coming,” some have said. Others are even taking the position that He may not be coming at all, at least not in the manner we have been taught. They are now convinced that we need to be busy about “building His Kingdom” here on earth by “whatever human effort is required.”
The Gospel of the Kingdom
One of the main indicators that something has changed can be seen in the way the future is perceived. Rather than urgently proclaiming the gospel according to the Scriptures and believing the time to do so is short, the emphasis has now shifted. No longer are “signs of the times” significant. The battle cry is very different. A major emphasis among evangelicals is the idea that the world can be radically improved through social programs.
This concept, while on the surface may sound very good, has some serious biblical implications. According to the Scriptures, there will be no kingdom of God until the King arrives. All the human effort man can muster up will fall short of bringing utopia. In fact, according to the Scriptures, fallen man will lead us further down the road to a society of despair and lawlessness just like it was in the days of Noah.
Thus, this purpose-driven view of establishing global utopia may be a plan, but it is “driven” by humanistic reasoning and not led by the Holy Spirit. While it is of course good to do good unto others, all the goodness that we can do will not be good enough. Pastors and church leaders who get involved in such man-driven programs can usually be identified by certain characteristics:
Sound biblical doctrine is dangerous and divisive, and the experiential (i.e.,mystical) is given a greater role than doctrine.
Bible prophecy is no longer taught and is considered a waste of time
Israel becomes less and less important and has no biblical significance
Eventually the promises for Israel are applied to the church and not Israel (Replacement Theology).
Bible study is replaced by studying someone’s book and his methods
Church health is evaluated on the quantity of people who attend.
The truth of God’s Word becomes less and less important
God’s Word, especially concepts like hell, sin and repentance, is eventually downplayed so the unbeliever is not offended.
Spiritual Formation and Transformation
Much of what I have described provides the formula for a dumbing-down of Christianity that paves the way for an apostasy that will only intensify in the future. This trend away from the authority of God’s Word to the reinvented form of Christianity has overcome all evangelical denominations like an avalanche. Few Bible teachers saw this avalanche coming. Now that it is underway, few realize it has even happened.
However, there is another big piece to the puzzle that must be identified in order to understand what is emerging in the Emerging Church. While biblical Christianity has been dumbed-down and the light of God’s Word diminished, another avalanche of deception is underway that is equally devastating.
This is best described by the Word of God giving way to experiences that God’s Word forbids. The best way to understand this process is to recall what happened during the Dark Ages when the Bible became the “forbidden book.” Until the Reformers translated the Bible into the language of the common person, the people were in darkness. When the light of God’s Word became available, the gospel according to the Scriptures was once again understood.
This trend, which is underway today, shows us that history is in the process of repeating itself. As the Word of God becomes less and less important, the rise of mystical experiences is alarming and these experiences are being presented to convince the unsuspecting that Christianity is about feeling, touching, smelling and seeing God. The postmodern mindset is the perfect environment for the fostering of what is called “spiritual formation.” This teaching suggests there are various ways and means to get closer to God. Proponents of spiritual formation erroneously teach that anyone can practice these mystical rituals and find God within. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not a prerequisite.
These teachings, while actually rooted in ancient wisdom (the occult), were presented to Christendom post-New Testament and not found in the Word of God. The spiritual formation movement is based upon experiences promoted by desert monks and Roman Catholic mystics – these mystics encouraged the use of rituals and practices, that if performed would bring the practitioner closer to God (or come into God’s presence). The premise was that if one went into the silence or sacred space, then the mind was emptied of distractions and the voice of God could be heard. In truth, these hypnotic, mantric style practices were leading these monks into altered states of consciousness. The methods they used are the same that Buddhists and the Hindus use as a means of encountering the spiritual realm
Such methods are dangerous, and are not sanctioned in the Bible – God gives no instruction for this. On the contrary, he warns severely against divination, which is practicing a ritual or method in order to obtain information from a spiritual source. While proponents of spiritual formation (like Richard Foster) say these methods show that the Holy Spirit is doing something new to refresh Christianity, I would suggest that what is happening is not new and is not the Holy Spirit.
The spiritual formation movement is being widely promoted at colleges and seminaries as the latest and the greatest way to become a spiritual leader in these days. These ideas are then being exported from seminaries to churches by graduates who have been primed to take Christianity to a new level of enlightenment.
As well, these contemplative practices are being promoted by emergent leaders such as Brian McLaren, Robert Webber, Dallas Willard and others. Publishers like NavPress, InterVarsity and Zondervan are flooding the market with books promoting contemplative practices based on Eastern mysticism. Pastors and church leaders read these books and then promote the ideas as if they were the scriptural answer to drawing close to God.
Signs the Emerging Church is Emerging
There are specific warning signs that are symptomatic that a church may be headed down the emergent/contemplative road. In some cases a pastor may not be aware that he is on this road nor understand where the road ends up.
Here are some of the warning signs:
Scripture is no longer the ultimate authority as the basis for the Christian faith.
The centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ is being replaced by humanistic methods promoting church growth and a social gospel.
More and more emphasis is being placed on building the kingdom of God now and less and less on the warnings of Scripture about the imminent return of Jesus Christ and a coming judgment in the future.
The teaching that Jesus Christ will rule and reign in a literal millennial period is considered unbiblical and heretical.
The teaching that the church has taken the place of Israel and Israel has no prophetic significance is often embraced.
The teaching that the Book of Revelation does not refer to the future, but instead has been already fulfilled in the past
An experiential mystical form of Christianity begins to be promoted as a method to reach the postmodern generation.
Ideas are promoted teaching that Christianity needs to be reinvented in order to provide meaning for this generation.
The pastor may implement an idea called “ancient-future” or “vintage Christianity” claiming that in order to take the church forward, we need to go back in church history and find out what experiences were effective to get people to embrace Christianity.
While the authority of the Word of God is undermined, images and sensual experiences are promoted as the key to experiencing and knowing God.
These experiences include icons, candles, incense, liturgy, labyrinths, prayer stations, contemplative prayer, experiencing the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of the Eucharist.
There seems to be a strong emphasis on ecumenism indicating that a bridge is being established that leads in the direction of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.
Some evangelical Protestant leaders are saying that the Reformation went too far. They are reexamining the claims of the “church fathers” saying that communion is more than a symbol and that Jesus actually becomes present in the wafer at communion.
There will be a growing trend towards an ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace claiming the validity of other religions and that there are many ways to God.
Members of churches who question or resist the new changes that the pastor is implementing are reprimanded and usually asked to leave.
What does the Future Hold?
If the Emerging Church continues unfolding at the present pace, mainstream evangelical Christianity will be reinvented and the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures will be considered too narrow and too restrictive. In other words, the narrow way to heaven that Jesus proclaimed will eventually be abandoned for a wider way that embraces pagan experiential practices. I call this reinvented, re-imagined form of Christianity that is unfolding—“Christian Babylonianism”.
This new form of Christianity will replace biblical faith with a faith that says man can establish the kingdom of God here on earth. The Word will continue to become secondary to a system of works driven by experiences.
An ecumenical pattern towards unity with Rome will become more apparent. Those who refuse to embrace this direction will be considered spiritual oddballs that need to be reprimanded. Those who stand up for biblical faith will be considered the obstructions to the one world spirituality that is promoted as the answer for peace.
The best way to be prepared for what is coming is to gain an understanding of what is happening now. While there are not many who seem to discern the trend underway, there are some. Without the Bible and the Holy Spirit as our guide, the darkness that is coming would be overwhelming. However, the light of God’s Word penetrates the darkness and there are those who are being delivered from deception and see what is taking place.
I am convinced we are seeing apostasy underway, exactly as the Scriptures have forewarned. This means that this current trend is not likely to disappear. We must continue to proclaim the truth in the midst of deception with love. As Paul instructed Timothy:
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 (2 Timothy 2: 24-26).
There are still pastors and churches who are dedicated to proclaiming the truth. Find out where they are and support them. If you are in a location where this does not seem to be possible, seek out materials that are available from solid Bible-based Christian ministries and hold Bible studies in your own home.
And keep looking up! Jesus is coming soon.
|A Review Of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”
By David Cloud
The book “The Purpose Drive Life” by Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in southern California has sold more than 18 million copies and has wielded a vast influence.
Bruce Ryskamp, president of Zondervan, said, “The Purpose Driven Life is more than a bestseller; it’s become a movement.”
Over 12,000 churches from all 50 states in America and 19 countries have participated in Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose, which is drawn from the book. Over 60,000 pastors subscribe to Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox. He has provided materials and teaching to Christians in more than 117 countries on all seven continents.
Richard Bennett observes, “The movement is becoming a global empire.”
Rick Warren has been called “America’s pastor,” and it is for good reason. He is so shallow in his teaching, so positive in his approach, so slighting of repentance, so neglecting of unpopular doctrines such as hell and judgment, so tolerant of heresies, so enthusiastic of rock music, so soft-spoken on that nasty subject of worldliness, that apostate America can’t help but love him.
All of these characteristics are reflected in his best-selling book.
A FOUNDATIONAL ERROR IN WARREN’S BOOK IS THE EXTREME SHALLOWNESS AND INSUFFICIENCY OF HIS GOSPEL.
In chapter 7, “The Reason for Everything,” Warren explains to his readers how they can become a Christian.
“If you are not sure you have done this, all you need to do is receive and believe. … First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purposes. Believe you’re not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever. Believe God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you. Believe that no matter what you’ve done, God wants to forgive you. Second, receive. Receive his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give you the power to fulfill your life purpose. … Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity. ‘Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.’ Go ahead. If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!” (The Purpose Driven Life, pp. 58, 59).
This is one of the most superficial “gospels” I have ever seen. There is nothing here that would offend or convict the Pope or a Mormon. It’s not the gospel that was preached in the book of Acts or Romans.
For one thing, there is no clear dealing with the sin issue. Warren’s book is intended for wide distribution in society at large, and it is not enough in such a context merely to mention the word sin. The average person in North America will admit that he is not perfect and that he is a “sinner” in some sense, but he also thinks of himself as
a pretty good person. When he thinks of himself as a sinner, he does not mean what the Bible means, that he was shaped in iniquity and conceived in sin (Psa. 51:5), that his heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9) and full of evil (Ecc. 9:3), that he is unrighteous and unprofitable (Rom. 3:10-11), that in his flesh dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18), and that his very righteousness is as filthy rags before a holy God (Isa. 64:6). Warren’s incredibly shallow approach allows any person who will admit that he is a sinner in any sense to pray a prayer and then think of himself as a genuine Christian, even though he might continue to deny what the Bible says about sin.
There are many other things we could expose in Warren’s gospel. There is nothing about God’s holiness and justice. There is no clear teaching on what Jesus did on the cross. There is nothing about the blood. He invites the reader to “believe on Jesus.” What Jesus? People today believe in all sorts of false christs, but Warren does not warn them of this nor does he take the time to identify the true Jesus of the Bible in any clear fashion and to distinguish Him from false ones. Just a vague “believe on Jesus” and presto you are ready to heaven.
And Warren completely ignores repentance. There is not a hint here that the sinner must repent of his sin and idolatry. This is not the gospel that Paul preached. Paul summarized his message as follows: “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Warren says that he believes in the Great Commission and he mentions it in passing in The Purpose Driven Life, but he ignores repentance which is a part of the Great Commission. Christ gave the Great Commission in Luke 24:44-48 and He commanded that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.” Paul boldly preached repentance to the philosophers and idolaters in Athens, and if he were alive today he would certainly preach repentance to the idolaters in America! Paul said that God “now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30), and we can be sure that God hasn’t changed His mind.
WARREN TEACHES A SELF-ESTEEM THEOLOGY UNDER THE GUISE OF WORSHIP AND SERVICE
Though Warren professes that his teaching does not exalt man but rather exalts God and he claims that he does not teach a self help program, in reality he teaches nothing less than a Robert Schuller-style Self-Esteem theology.
Notice the following statements:
“The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth. … It proves your worth. If you are that important to God, and he considers you valuable enough to keep you for eternity, what great significance could you have? … Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship …You may be gifted at mechanics or mathematics or music or a thousand other skills. All these abilities can bring a smile to God’s face. …. You only bring him enjoyment by being you. Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you. … God also gains pleasure in watching you enjoy his creation. … When you are sleeping, God gazes at you with love, because you were his idea. He loves you as if you were the only person on earth” (pp. 61, 64, 74, 75).
Here worship is turned on its head by making it as much about me as about God. I am so loveable and so important and so desirable to God that whatever I do brings God pleasure and therefore is worship. Wonderful me! The self-esteem theology is more about celebrating self than dying to self, even when it talks of dying to self! Warren says that if I reject any part of myself I am denying God’s sovereignty.
What about sin and what it has done to “myself”?
Consider another statement from Warren’s popular book:
“If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at Christ with his arms outstretched on the cross, saying, ‘I love you this much! I’d rather die than live without you'” (p. 79).
Thus the cross is sanctified by the self-esteem theology so that it is about me and how the Lord couldn’t live without me. Wonderful me!
Consider another statement:
“God is a lover and a liberator, and surrendering to him brings freedom, not bondage. When we completely surrender ourselves to Jesus, we discover that he is … not a boss, but a brother…” (p. 79).
The self-esteem God is dedicated to liberating me. He is not a boss! There’s nothing to fear. He’s just a Big Buddy, a Powerful Pal.
Warren quotes from Olympic runner Eric Liddell. “To give up running would be to hold him in contempt.”
Thus to deny what I am gifted at and what I like to do is to deny God. Isn’t it clever how that Warren has identified self will with God’s will so that they have become one and the same?
In fact, things I am gifted for and enjoy oftentimes come into conflict with God’s perfect will. God oftentimes calls upon an individual to give up even legitimate things for which he or she is highly gifted and qualified. Many men have given up such things when God called them to be a preacher or a missionary. Peter, James, and John gave up fishing. In the 1980s I met a Chinese man in Singapore who was a brilliant chess champion. God had saved him and called him to preach and he was preparing himself in a Bible College. He told me how that for awhile he had written a column on chess for a newspaper for extra income toward his Bible training, but he discovered that it was not possible to keep the chess moves out of his mind when he was trying to study Scripture so he gave it up entirely, though he was highly gifted at it and enjoyed it. That is true dying to self.
Note the following quotes from chapters 30 and 31 of The Purpose Driven Life which deal with finding my place in God’s will:
“Listening to your heart. The Bible uses the term heart to describe the bundle of desires, hopes, interests, ambitions, dreams, and affections you have. Your heart represents the source of all your motivations–what you love to do and what you are about most. … Don’t ignore your interests. Consider how they might be used for God’s glory. There is a reason that you love to do these things. … How do you know when you are serving God from your heart? The first telltale sign is enthusiasm. When you are doing what you love to do, no one has to motivate you or challenge you or check up on you. … The second characteristic of serving God from your heart is effectiveness. Whenever you do what God wired you to love to do, you get good at it. … Figure out what you love to do–what God gave you a heart to do–and then do it for his glory. … What I’m able to do, God wants me to do” (pp. 237, 238, 239, 243).
Note that Warren does not warn his readers that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). What a gross, inexcusable omission! While it is true that you can trust your desires to some small extent when you are a mature Christian who is delighting in God and immersed in His Word and obeying Him (Psa. 37:4), how many of the readers of The Purpose Drive Life are in that condition? A great many of the millions of readers are doubtless complete unbelievers or nominal Christians or novices or carnal, and to teach them that what they love to do is God’s will is frightful heresy. Many are professional sports fanatics, for example. Others are rock & roll fanatics. Others are fanatics about modern fashion trends. Are they fanatic about such things because that is the way that God made them? No, they are fanatic about such things because they are conformed to the world and walk in the way of sinners (Psa. 1:1; Rom. 12:2).
There are many things that professing Christians are gifted for and effective at that are NOT God’s will!
Again we see that when Rick Warren’s theology is examined carefully it is about self fulfillment, but it is presented under the guise of worshipping and serving God.
Warren builds his self-esteem theology upon strange versions of the Bible. Consider an example:
“The Bible says, ‘Noah was a pleasure to the Lord.’ God said, ‘This guy brings me pleasure. He makes me smile” (The Purpose Driven Life, p. 69).
Warren is quoting Genesis 6:8 in the Living Bible. In fact, this verse should say, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” It has nothing to do with God getting pleasure from Noah. It has everything to do with Noah getting favor from the Lord! The Living Bible perverts this verse, turning it upon its very head. Nonetheless, since it fits Rick Warren’s theology he grabs hold of it and pretends that it is Scripture.
Consider another example of how Warren builds his self-esteem theology upon inaccurate versions of Scripture.
“The Bible says, ‘Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self'” (p. 19).
Here Warren quotes Matthew 16:25 in The Message. Actually, the verse should say, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
There is not a hint here about self help or finding your true self. The verse is not teaching about finding your self but about finding your life. What Warren quotes as Scripture is actually a prefabrication by Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message.
The Message also takes away the Lord’s solemn warning that whosoever will find his life shall lose it. This fits in perfectly with Warren’s unscriptural positivism.
WARREN SLIGHTS OVER HELL AND JUDGMENT AND THE FEAR OF GOD
The Lord Jesus Christ preached on hell frequently. There are nearly 100 references in Scripture to fearing the Lord, and God’s judgment is a never-ending theme of Scripture.
But when it comes to Rick Warren, he does not mention God’s judgment, never urges his listeners to fear the Lord, and he makes only one passing reference to hell. This is on page 37, and in the same section he quotes C.S. Lewis twice. Lewis believed that hell is a mere metaphor and a state of mind: “And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind–is, in the end, Hell” (Lewis, The Great Divorce, p. 65).
Not only did the Lord Jesus Christ preach much on hell, but he preached it hot and furious.
“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43-48).
There is no a hint of this kind of preaching in Rick Warren’s woefully inadequate ministry.
If ever there were an hour in which the people of this world need to hear hell and judgment and the fear of God preached fiery hot and powerfully plain it is this present unbelieving, mocking, blasphemous, pleasure mad, self-loving, self-content, self-righteous age, but the popular preachers won’t touch it. Too negative. Too damaging to self-esteem. Too dogmatic and intolerant. Too likely to offend and cut into the size of my audience.
WARREN PROMOTES EVERY STRANGE BIBLE VERSION
In The Purpose Driven Life, Warren uses 15 different Bible versions, including two Roman Catholic ones (The New American Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible). His favorites are the “dynamic equivalency” versions such as the Living Bible, the New Living Bible, Today’s English Version, the Contemporary English Version, and The Message. The latter seems to be his most favorite.
As a result, it is often impossible to know exactly what Scripture he is quoting because it is so strangely paraphrased and wildly inaccurate.
On page 70 Warren quotes Hebrews 11:7 from The Message.
“By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told … As a result, Noah became intimate with God.”
In the dependable King James Bible this verse says:
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
We can see that The Message adds to and takes away from the Word of God in an amazing manner. It adds the bit about Noah building a ship in the middle of dry land. It omits the fact that Noah was moved with fear. It changes “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” to “became intimate with God.”
On page 20 Warren quotes 1 Corinthians 2:7 from The Message:
“God’s wisdom … goes deep into the interior of his purposes … It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest–what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us.”
In the King James Bible this says:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”
It is obvious that The Message is not a translation in any sense of the word; it is a presumption. It is not God’s thoughts but man’s. It is almost childish, not because it is simple but because it is ridiculous.
Warren claims to have quoted more than 1,000 Scriptures in The Purpose Driven Life, but most of the quotations are similar to the previous examples and have no right to be called Scripture.
When I visited a service at Saddleback Church in 2003, I observed that only a few people were carrying Bibles into the auditorium. The reason became clear when I saw the multiplicity of versions that were used in the preaching. It would be impossible to follow along in one’s Bible. The result is that the people do not bring their own Bibles and do not therefore carefully test the preaching. How could they, when any biblical statement they would attempt to examine has dozens of contradictory variations?
WARREN SLIGHTS SCRIPTURAL BAPTISM
The Purpose Driven Life has a page and a half dealing with baptism, but there is not a word about the mode, which is one of the most important aspects. He leaves the reader with the impression that pouring, sprinkling, or immersion is equally acceptable. Obviously it would offend many readers if he were to present a truly Scriptural position on baptism as a burial in water, but what else would a true Bible believer and a true Baptist do?
WARREN CLAIMS THAT GOD LOVES ALL KINDS OF MUSIC
In chapter 8 of The Purpose Driven Life, Warren becomes a prophet, saying:
“God loves all kinds of music because he invented it all–fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like it all, but God does! … Christians often disagree over the style of music used in worship, passionately defending their preferred style as the most biblical or God-honoring. But there is no biblical style! … God likes variety and enjoys it all. There is no such thing as ‘Christian’ music; there are only Christian lyrics. It is the words that make a song sacred, not the tune. There are no spiritual tunes” (pp. 65, 66).
This idea that music itself is neutral and that any music can be used in the service of the Lord has opened the door for the world to come into the churches as few other things.
Though the Bible nowhere says nor even hints that God loves all kinds of music, we are to believe that he does because Rick Warren says so. His only evidence for this outrageous statement is his reasoning that since God “invented it all” he must like it all. But where is the evidence that God invented all music? Are you telling me that the devil and sinful men are not involved in the field of music? That is a ridiculous thought, seeing that the devil is called “the god of this world” and music is one of the most powerful influences among men. Sinful men have used music since Cain’s children built the first society apart from God and made musical instruments to satisfy their carnal pleasures (Genesis 4:16-21).
Styles of music are not neutral. Rock musicians have testified that they play their particular style of rhythm for the very reason that it is lascivious. Frank Zappa said: “Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body’s rhythms” (Life, June 28, 1968). Gene Simmons says, “That’s what rock is all about–sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!” (Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987). John Oates said, “Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% sex” (Circus, Jan. 31, 1976). Patty Labelle said, “Rock and roll was something that’s hardcore, rough and wild and sweaty and wet and just loose” (Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Ohio). And punk rock manager Malcolm McLaren agreed, saying, “Rock ‘n’ roll is pagan and primitive, and very jungle, and that’s how it should be!” (Rock, August 1983).
Note that they are not talking merely about rock music’s lyrics and associations but also its RHYTHM! These men and women of the world believe there is such a thing as a sexy rhythmic pattern. Rapper Missy Elliot’s album, “Miss E … So Addictive,” was described by as “a seductive cocktail of quirky rhythms and hypnotic beats.”
Why do these secular rockers describe their heavily syncopated rock rhythms as sexy, primitive, seductive, rough, hardcore, naughty, loose, wild, and hypnotic? They are testifying the very opposite of Rick Warren’s philosophy; they are saying that music is not neutral and that the heavy rock & roll backbeat that can be heard on any Sunday at Saddleback Church is sensual and licentious and that is exactly why they love it.
As for the idea that there is no biblical style of music, I could not disagree more fervently. The Bible tells us exactly what type of music to sing in our churches, as follows: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). Spiritual songs are not the same as unspiritual or sensual or worldly, hymns are not the same as rock music, melody is not the same as raucous repetition. Spiritual is something that is set apart from the world unto a holy God; different in character than the things of the world. The Bible gives Plain instruction about the Christian’s affiliation with worldly things, and any music that draws the child of God into fellowship with the world is to be rejected (James 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-16). The Bible forbids the Christian to be conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). Yet the Contemporary Christian Music that Rick Warren uses in his church is nothing if not conformed to the world’s musical styles.
WARREN PROMOTES AN UNSCRIPTURAL JUDGE NOT PHILOSOPHY
The Purpose Driven Life contains extensive documentation of Rick Warren’s dangerous and unscriptural “judge not” ecumenical philosophy.
On page 164, Warren says, “God warns us over and over not to criticize, compare, or judge each other. … Whenever I judge another believer, four things instantly happen: I lose fellowship with God, I expose my own pride, I set myself to be judged by God, and I harm the fellowship of the church.”
In typical New Evangelical fashion Warren makes no distinction between judging hypocritically (which is forbidden in Matthew 7) or judging on the basis of personal preference in matters not taught in Scripture (which is forbidden in Romans 14) and judging on the basis of the Bible (which is required by God).
The child of God has an obligation to judge everything by God’s Word. The believers at Corinth were rebuked because they were careless in this regard and were tolerant of false teachers (2 Cor. 11:1-4). The Bereans, on the other hand, were commended because they carefully tested everything by the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). The Bible says “he that is spiritual judgeth all things” (1 Cor. 2:15) and Jesus taught that we should “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). We are to judge preaching (1 Cor. 14:29) and sin in the churches (1 Cor. 5). We are to try the spirits (1 John 4:1).
To test preachers and their message carefully by God’s Word is not a matter of pride, but of wisdom and spirituality and obedience.
On page 34 of The Purpose Driven Life, Warren says: “God won’t ask about your religious background or doctrinal views. The only thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus did for you and did you learn to love and trust him?”
If this is true, why does the Bible say so very much about doctrine and why did the apostles call for doctrinal purity on every hand? Paul instructed Timothy to allow “no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3). That is the very strictest stance on doctrinal purity, and it is precisely the stance we find throughout the apostolic writings. Rick Warren has a lot to answer for, because millions of people are basing their lives upon his teaching rather than upon the pure Word of God.
If God is unconcerned about doctrine, why did the apostles spend so much time warning about false doctrines and doctrines of devils? See, for example, 2 Corinthians 11:1-4; Galatians 1:6-12; Philippians 3:18-21; Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2; Jude 3-23.
Rick Warren requires his church members to sign a covenant promising to protect the unity of the church (The Purpose Driven Life, p. 167). This is a dangerous and unscriptural covenant. The child of God is not instructed to submit to a church or to its leaders blindly and at any cost. We are commanded to “prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21), and all things means all things. The Bereans are exalted because they “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). No preacher or church is above being tested by God’s Word. The Bible says, “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge” (1 Cor. 14:29). Preaching is to be carefully judged by God’s Word. The pastor has God-given authority (Heb. 13:17), but it is not unquestionable authority and it is not his own authority; he is not a shepherd over his own flock; he is an undershepherd over God’s and he will give an account to the Great Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:1-4). The pastor’s authority is not in his own word; it is in God’s Word (Heb. 13:7); and if he strays from the Word of God he has no authority over God’s people and he should not be followed. Blind loyalty to a church is Popery and it is a gross heresy.
Warren even claims that “conflict is usually a sign that the focus has shifted to less important things” (p. 162).
If this were true, then the apostles and preachers in the early churches were side tracked much of the time, because they were frequently involved in doctrinal conflicts. Paul was involved in such conflicts almost continually. Many of his epistles contain lengthy sections in which he takes a stand against false teachers. In his epistles to his fellow preacher Timothy, Paul repeatedly warned about false teachers by name (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 1:15; 2:17-18; 4:12, 14).
WARREN PROMOTES HERETICS
In keeping with his unscriptural judge not philosophy, Warren uncritically quotes from a wide variety of theological heretics, especially Roman Catholics such as Mother Teresa, Henri Nouwen, Brother Lawrence (Carmelite monk), John Main (Benedictine monk who believes that Christ “is not limited to Jesus of Nazareth, but remains among us in the monastic leaders, the sick, the guest, the poor”), Madame Guyon (a Roman Catholic who taught that prayer is not from the mind and does not involve thinking), John of the Cross (a pantheist who believed the mountains and forests are God).
Warren does not warn his readers that these are dangerous false teachers who held to a false gospel.
Mother Teresa and Henri Nouwen, who are quoted at least four times in The Purpose Driven Life, were universalists who believed that men can be saved apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ. When Mother Teresa died, her longtime friend and biographer Naveen Chawla said that he once asked her bluntly, “Do you convert?” She replied, “Of course I convert. I convert you to be a better Hindu or a better Muslim or a better Protestant. Once you’ve found God, it’s up to you to decide how to worship him” (“Mother Teresa Touched other Faiths,” Associated Press, Sept. 7, 1997). Henri Nouwen said, “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God” (Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey).
Why does Rick Warren continually and non-critically promote heretics? The Bible asks, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
WARREN‘S SHALLOW ENCAPSULATIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT FAITH
On every hand Rick Warren presents his own shallow encapsulations as the true essence of biblical Christianity. For example, in chapter 39 he lists “God’s five purposes for your life.” They are (1) Love God with all your heart, (2) Love your neighbor as yourself, (3) Go and make disciples, (4) Baptize them into [a church], and (5) Teach them to do all things.
There is nothing in these “five purposes” about holiness, contending for the faith, separation from the world, separation from false teaching, reproving sin and error, and many other things that are emphasized in the New Testament Scriptures. Obviously Warren’s five purposes for life are not the sum total of God’s.
My friends, we don’t need some misguided man’s abbreviated form of Christianity; we need the “whole counsel of God” as found in the Scriptures (Acts 20:27). The Bible as a whole, not a few select parts thereof, is the sole and sufficient authority for faith and practice. The Lord Jesus Christ instructed the churches to teach “all things” rather than a few things (Mat. 28:19-20).
Behold, I am writing anew, through scribes on Earth who are willing to listen to me again with new ears, in the light of the present crises on Planet Earth.
The second purpose of these writings is to call for the completion of the good news concerning the transformation of the world.
May the Divine Love and Light and Power of the One God be now manifest within your hearts and minds. May this Light and Love and Power lead you to seek That which dwells always in your heart’s centre. Find That, and make It manifest.
Man is on the threshold of a new understanding of his role on planet Earth.
He is near men now. He cannot be denied. His love now saturates the planet and brings change to the fore.
Many and varied have been these signals to men that something momentous and wonderful is afoot on Earth.
All religious groups await and expect their chosen divine revelation and read the signs as confirmation of their faith.
Revelation unites you directly with God.
When revelation of your oneness comes, it will be known and fully understood.
Therefore in the new world order, spirituality will supercede theology; living experience will take place of theological acceptances.
It is a work of loving synthesis and will emphasis the unity and fellowship of the spirit. This group is, in a pronounced sense, a channel for the activities of the Christ, the world teacher.
Do the above quotes sound like something from the churches who consider themselves on the “cutting edge”?
There are many who believe that they are hearing from God, and that there will be a “new thing” that is going to happen. We are to anticipate the “fresh moves” of God. A revival is going to occur that is going to be unprecedented in the history of the church. Churches are emerging, churches are doing spiritual warfare, they are relying on visions and inner voices to guide them through this new paradigm shift that is going to happen. The way the church is promoting change is through this “paradigm shift”, to change from one thought process to another.
If you hear an inner voice that begins to change how you feel about the Bible, or that leads you away from scripture, flee from it. Repent if you have opened yourself to deception. Test the spirits. Those who do not do this, do not love the truth. They prefer to believe that they have been given some special knowledge, available only to an “elite” and this only serves to feed one’s pride. This pride in special knowledge can be traced back to Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”.
One has to determine whether the voice one hears is from God or if it is a deceiving spirit. In Johanna Michaelson’s book “The Beautiful Side of Evil” she relates how she was deceived by a spirit calling itself “Jesus Christ”. When she tested this evil spirit it failed and the spirit disappeared from her life. How was this spirit initially contacted? By meditation and contemplation. Brian Flynn, a former new age medium, verifies the contact of evil spirits posing as positives entities in his book “Running Against the Wind”.
The Truth: The Bible contains many warnings about deception. The Church Growth Movement has been employing the methodologies of Second-order Change for at least three decades now, getting more sophisticated as time goes on. Much of this paradigm shifting towards Church “transformation” is done by methods of deception and coercion. Pastors and leaders are being trained in these methods. But people in the pew have little knowledge or expertise. All they know is that the music is changing, worship styles are different, or that new programs, curriculums, ideas and projects are being introduced in a manner which is compulsory. “If you don’t like it, you can leave,” parishioners are told. (1)
FROM Reinventing Jesus Christ – The New Gospel by Warren Smith
Sadly the Bible records that many in the church will fall away (2 Thessalonians 2:3). They will follow the “broad” way of the world rather than the “narrow way” of Jesus Christ. ( Matthew 24:3-5). But few will believe that most of the world could be so deceived about the “positive” alternative future they think they are creating with their spiritually compromised dreams, prayers, visualizations, contemplations and meditations. The Bible records, that when it comes to the end times, most of the world and much of what calls itself the church will be unprepared for what unfolds.
Below are the authors of the quotes. They are New Age “Ascended Masters” (fallen angels) using mankind as a channel for deception.
The second set of quotes are from Maitreya “the Christ” channeled by Benjamin Creme. This is what Maitreya says about Jesus: “Jesus of Nazareth and the Christ are not one and the same person. This is one of the most difficult claims for many Christians to accept in connection with Maitreya, the World Teacher, and it therefore needs some further explanation.”(3)
The third set of quotes are from Helen Schucman a non-christian Jewish woman who took dictation from an inner voice and wrote “A Course in Miracles” . This inner voice told Helen, “Is he (Jesus) the Christ? O yes, along with you. His little life on earth was not enough to teach the mighty lesson that he learned for all of you.” (2)
The fourth set of quotes is from Alice A. Bailey who channeled teachings from her “spirit guide”. Lucis Trust was established in 1922 as Lucifer Trust by Alice Bailey as the publishing company to disseminate the books of Bailey and Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. Bailey changed the name to Lucis Trust, because Lucifer Trust revealed the true nature of the New Age Movement too clearly. (4)
After being called divisive and judgmental I decided it would be a wise thing to read scripture and pray about these issues.
My study group is in Matthew right now and what passage did we talk about? Judging Others. Matthew 7: 1-6. How timely!
First though, let’s take a look at society today. It seems that “tolerance” is the word of the day, and that all are seeking love, peace and unity. Yes, these are fine things up to a point. My breaking point is when those yearning for love and tolerance begin to change the gospel. My breaking point is when a pastor stands on the pulpit and tells me Revelation is no longer relevant.
Judge Not. Does this mean that a Christian cannot express views or opinions? No, it does not. Does “judge not”, mean that Christians should allow all false doctine to go unchallenged. Absolutely not. But…we are not to judge another’s character, and we are not to condemn another. Jesus tell us that when we see a speck in our brother’s eye, to first remove the plank from our own eye. But notice He does not stop at the plank in our own eye. We have to admit our own sin and bias first, then through God’s vision, not our own, we can then proceed. Only God can judge a man’s heart. To say that one can, is indeed self-righteous. However, we are still to use discernment between what is true and false and Jesus warns of false doctine and prophets in Matthew 7, as we continue on in this chapter.
What is it that we are hearing today? There are many roads to God. Jesus warned that we are not to follow the crowd. The crowd is headed for the wide gate and the roads to this gate are many. Jesus tell us “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Only a few? Yes, it says only a few…This is so opposite of what we are hearing from the Latter Rain folks. They say that there is going to be harvest of a billion souls for Christ in the end times. What? A billion? The Bible doesn’t say this. Is a billion a few? Can you see that we have to discern the truth by what the Word of God says? Do you think what I just proposed is divisive? It is. It divides the truth from the lies.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you as in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace”
Jesus is warning us against deceptions and delusions here. Not all who profess to be Christians are truly so. Jesus states that many so-called prophets are false in God’s sight.
Does Satan appear to us with a pitchfork and with flames leaping from his mouth? No. He appears mild as a sheep, within the church, speaking calm words. False prophets minimize the sin of the people by applying a soothing balm and avoiding issues like the Wrath of God on Judgment Day.
“Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
Many in the church today profess knowledge of the scripture, say biblical phrases and do works, but the Lord says some are evildoers. This really is a frightening scenerio. How do we tell the difference from a false prophet and a true prophet? We cannot see men’s heart like God can. This is one reason why we cannot judge someone. So what do we do? We abstain from following the words of men. We must study God’s word on our own and pray that truth and discernment will be given us. Also we are told to discern their fruit. So be a fruit inspector. It is biblical.
False prophets, false teachers and their followers, do not want others to use discernment…they do not want their words scrutinized. Even my words should be scrutinized and compared to the Word of God. I don’t mind. I welcome it. I am also learning and praying for the Lord to teach and instruct me in His ways.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”
This is not the entire passage but it is known as the scripture that tells us to build on the rock of Jesus Christ. While this is very true what is overlooked is “what” Jesus is telling us to put into practice. Jesus is definitely our foundation but He is telling us that after hearing His words we must put them into practice. What good is the Word of God if we do not learn it, and hold it dear to our hearts? So what is our instruction?
Remove your sin or bias first before helping others.
Do not follow men for they may walk the broad path to the wide gate which leads to destruction.
Beware of false prophets wearing sheeps clothing.
Watch those who appear righteous, they may be evildoers.
Those who put these words into practice will protect themselves from destruction and deception.
Discernment is necessary in these times to recognize false teachings, apostasy, and spiritual conterfeits. We need the gifts of discernment and wisdom in these times of deception, so pray and ask the Lord for them. Committment is also needed to continuously study the Word of God and remain in prayer.
Those of us who create blogs and websites about apostasy, apologetics, heresies, discernment, or deception do so out of alarm of what we are seeing in our churches. We also do it because we love the Lord Jesus Christ. When I came back to the Lord and started going to church again, I was shocked to find out how much times had changed. Christian yoga, labryinths inside the churches, eastern meditation, no more need to bring your Bible, 10 minute sermons, quick services as to not interfere with the football game, Harry Potter books, and messages of inspiration but never conviction or sin. It was conviction of my sin that brought me back to the Lord. When the realization hit that time was short before the return of the Lord, I knew that I would fall short and was headed for destruction.
I have heard and read so much about counterfeit spirituality lately that my head spins. There is a false spirit being introduced into the church. It a spirit spouting love..peace..unity…light. Satan comes as a light. This same light comes from meditation. If you are experiencing joy and never any conviction of your sin, you should wonder why.
Do you possess the “attitudes of the Beatitudes”? Do you recognize how poor in spirit we truly are? Do you mourn over your sin? Do you literally hunger and thirst for righteouness, asking Jesus to expose your sin to yourself for correction? Are you merciful to others? Are you pure in heart, seeking only the Lord and not material things? Do you promote peace as it depends on you? Are you being persecuted for Christ’s sake? These are the attributes of Gods children.
If you truly are filled with the Holy Spirit then you will no longer tolerate sin in your life. When you read the Word of God then you will be convicted of your sin, which causes repentence. Then you will have the freedom that is in Christ.
So am I being divisive? I want to continue to divide deception and the truth. Am I judging others? I hope to be testing the fruit or the result of what one believes. If you feel that I am judging you personally, please forgive me. I only want to discern the truth and I wish this for others. God will be your judge not me. The Day of Wrath is coming. Are you ready?