You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘The Reformation’ tag.

Pope Gets Corrected on Atheists who will stroll into Heaven.

THE WORLD-TILTING GOSPEL

“Wherever they went, the apostles and the early believers made the Lord Jesus Christ the issue. This carries through the entire book of Acts. They taught and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection (4:2), they gave powerful testimony to the resurrection of Jesus (4:33), they taught and preached Jesus as the Messiah (5:42), they preached the good news about Jesus’ name (8:12), told the good news about Jesus (v.35), proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God (9:20), proved that Jesus was the Messiah (v. 22), preached boldly in Jesus’ name (v. 27), preached the good news of peace through Jesus as Lord of all (10:36), preached Jesus as Lord (11:20), proclaimed Jesus as Messiah (17:3), testified that Jesus was the Messiah (18:5), showed by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah (18:28), testified to all about faith in Jesus (20:21), spoke about faith in Jesus (20:24), asserted that Jesus was alive (25:19), tried to convince Jews about Jesus from the Scriptures (28:23), and taught about Jesus with boldness (28:31–the last verse in the book.)”

“When we come to be gripped by the truth that Jesus is Lord, everything in our lives begins to shift. How we think, evaluate, cherish, make decisions, relate: Everything begins to change. There is a seismic shift, a sea change, and it echoes through every day of the rest of our lives. That shift both is, and is caused by repentance.”

“Genuine repentance–a genuinely changed  mind- would issue, without fail, in a changed life.”

“Jesus was the aim and heart of their message.”

Dan Phillips

The World-Tilting Gospel

Chapter 7

First Towering Truth: Declared Righteous: Justificaton

 

*UPDATE*

check out Paul’s new blog

http://iftruthbeknown.wordpress.com/

War on the Saints

Never since the days of the Reformation has there been such pressure upon the true body of Christ. No longer can a man even speak of being a Christian without making some form of doctrinal clarification to define what he means. Protestant Christianity is in an absolute upheaval as the majority of the prominent leaders claiming to represent the true Christian church tend to be liars, cheats or teachers of dubious doctrine.

The Bible itself as God’s infallible Word is bombarded daily by false accusations questioning its credibility, authenticity, accuracy and recently its clarity. ( The argument is that the scripture may be God’s word but who can truly understand what it is saying??)

The Deity of Christ is questioned and rejected in many sectors. The virgin birth of Christ is scoffed at. The doctrine of hell is no longer taught by those embarrassed at its reality. Many reject it altogether. Men claiming to be the restored apostles and prophets are now a dime a dozen and the heretical nonsense that they spew out is not worth a dime. Sin is rarely mentioned and error of judgement is the preferred condition of man before the Holy God. Man has become elevated to the lofty position of lord of the earth and the One enthroned in heaven can do little without the interaction and partnership of his church. The Lord God Almighty can now be addressed as Allah. Many call God Papa or Daddy and their familiarity with the Almighty has bred the inevitable contempt towards His terrifying holiness. Music that stirs the emotions has replaced the actual presence of God by his Holy Spirit. Man for all intents and purposes has been deified for almost every sermon is geared towards how man can become more blessed. Preachers have forsaken the scriptures and become personal coaches using the modern pop psychology of self improvement. The unity of heretical doctrines under the banner of a new age Jesus is the One untouchable golden Cow in today’s modern apostate church. The Pentecostal and charismatic’s have immersed themselves with the New Age movement. The Holy Spirit has been replaced by a deceiving spirit for the most part and very few cry foul!

Many traditional denominations have blessed same sex unions and so have blessed what God deems an abomination. Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Worse in my opinion are the traditional denominations that have remained silent and not delivered a clarion call concerning the righteousness of God and the sanctity of the church. These cowards do more damage in the long run as they string along many misguided saints who are not ready to break fellowship with their traditional church as long as they do not directly approve of what is evil. The fruit of this is an ineffective witness and a snail paced apostasy.

Cowardly pastors should not be in the pulpits today. May the God of scripture judge them for they have done more damage by their people pleasing, world loving silence than the legions of hell who have been unleashed upon the saints.

Papal Rome has all but conquered the reformation. Protestantism has been sold out by such traitors as the Billy Graham association and Chuck Colson’s Evangelicals and Catholics together organisation. Some of the evangelical signatories of that abomination included Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ, Os Guinness of the Trinity Forum, Richard Mouw of Fuller theological Seminary , Mark Noll of Wheaton College , Jim Packer of Regent College, Pat Robertson of Larry Lewis of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Richard Land of the Christian Life Commission, Jesse Miranda of the Assemblies of God, and John White of Geneva College.

Somewhere between Vatican Two ( 1962 ) and 1994 these so called Christian leaders must have concluded that Rome preaches a gospel of salvation for they agreed that they would cease to attempt to convert the Roman catholic faithful to the true religion of biblical Christianity. They in essence helped seal the fate of the hundreds of millions of Catholics by refusing to preach the truth to them.

In a nutshell the church is at rock bottom. All that can get worse will be the increasing measure of the evil mentioned above. I ought to be weeping but an ugly spin off that the scripture mentions is that the love in my heart has grown cold.

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. May the Lord soften my own angry heart so that I might pray for the saints rather than prey upon them.

What then can be done or what will the end of this be? Surely the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is one of hope. Where sin abounds grace also abounds, so says the apostle Paul.

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

There is an abundance of grace for the Saint who grieves at the church’s current state. The rejection, isolation, separation misunderstanding and accusations that become our daily bread are in essence our crown in glory. We are sharing in the sufferings of Christ. As the writer to the Hebrews has well put  it.

Hebrews 13:12 -14 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

The Lord Jesus suffered outside the camp and this needs to be our current estate while within the camp apostasy abounds. We in our rejection and isolation are in good company. Currently our pain is the payment for our eternal crown. One that some day by God’s grace we can lay at the feet of our saviour when we see him in his glory. We ought to be rejoicing for we have been found worthy of suffering for His names sake.

It is possible that once again the Lord may decree a final reformation of biblical orthodoxy but if he chooses not to then things will certainly get worse. When Elijah thought that he alone stood against the spiritual whorings of Israel, the Lord informed Him that seven thousand had not bowed the knee to, or kissed the hand of Baal. Biblical Christian you are not alone! Elisha’s servant thought so when the city of Dothan was surrounded. He was wrong!

2 Kings 6:15-17 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Whatever the future unfolds we must pray for grace to persevere and be a bold witness regardless of the cost. These are days in which the true saints of God will shine like the stars in the universe. The current evil around us is actually making the mediocre flicker of our candle shine like a lighthouse on a moonless night.

There is indeed war being waged against the saints but tell me friend when has there ever not been? As the Psalmist says:

Psalm 149: 5-9 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; 8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

Have no fear Christian, we win in the end.

by Paul Gowdy

Printed by permission.

                        candlecross

 

How to Know When the Emerging Church

Shows Signs of Emerging in Your Church

Commentary by Roger Oakland

http://understandthetimes.org/

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.

July 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

a

Blog Stats

  • 1,643,813 hits

Donations

I do not ask or want donations for this blog. God supplies all I need to share His Word and His Way of Salvation. Revelation 21:6 says, “..I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. “