25 August 2009

Exposing Christianity 21

Pastor John Chisham has done what time has not allowed me to do--he has written a thorough article examining the upcoming Christianity 21 conference (one look at the conference website is guaranteed to make you shudder!):


Exposing Christianity 21

Phillis Tickle says there needs to be a rummage sale every 500 years.

Debbie Blue thinks that jesus’ body is hot again.

Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones want you to know about Christianity Psuedo-Christianity 21 being held October 9-11th in Edina, MN:

innovative.
Living as we are in the Creative Age, we want to take advantage of the new ways to learn, exchange ideas, explore and grow. We are committed that Christianity21 utilizes the most effective adult learning practices available. To that end, Christianity21 will use an innovative format, ensuring unprecedented access to the rich resources of presenters by utilizing 21 presenters, with 21 ideas, in 21 minutes each.

Christianity21 is more than just a set of presentations. The entire experience is designed to create value for the participants.

holistic.
Christianity21 is designed as an entire experience. Toward this end we are providing on-site, free-of-charge personal coaches in the areas of Spiritual Direction, Natural Health, Sexual Health, Professional Development and Job Pursuit. Also available are group sessions of yoga and a publishing seminar. In addition, the facility will serve as a living Art Gallery.

communal.
Christianity21 is intended to be more than a conference; it will be a communal gathering — that means connecting with old friends and meeting new friends on a common journey.

We have removed the limitations and distinctions between “presenters” and “participants.” We have incorporated the hotel and meal times into the event. And we invite all participants to create this event–we are not looking for mere attendees, but full participants.

This is a conference that is as misnamed as Planned Parenthood.

As for the holistic part listed above, Do you realize that at this conference, held in a church (which is GLBTQ accepting) will have two YOGA sessions per day? Yoga is worship of pagan deities, no matter what you choose to call it or hyphenate it with (there is no such thing as christian-yoga) The goal of yoga, as is stated in Wikipedia:

The goal of yoga may range from improving health to achieving Moksha. Within Jainism and the monist schools of Advaita Vedanta and Shaivism the goal of yoga takes the form of Moksha, which is liberation from all worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), at which point there is a realisation of identity with the Supreme Brahman. In the Mahabharata, the goal of yoga is variously described as entering the world of Brahma, as Brahman, or as perceiving the Brahman or Atman that pervades all things.[91] For the bhakti schools of Vaishnavism, bhakti or service to Svayam bhagavan itself may be the ultimate goal of the yoga process, where the goal is to enjoy an eternal relationship with Vishnu.[92] Yoga also helps your body maintain a stable relationship with itself while going into a calm, neutral state of peace.

In an interview, a former new age and yoga practicioner named Laurette Willis warns about yoga:

Why You Should Stay Away from Yoga

We are bombarded by messages of yoga’s peaceful and healthful benefits, but what we don’t hear, specifically in the United States, is the true origins of this type of lifestyle. Laurette made it very clear to me in a recent phone interview.

These are postures that are offered to the 330 million Hindu gods. Yoga postures really are; they are offerings to the gods. If you do these postures and you do this breathing technique and this meditation, then you will be accepted by a god, little “G.” That’s the real danger,” she said.

Laurette told me that one of her PraiseMoves certified personal trainers visited India for three months on a mission trip, and she would often see people in the streets doing yoga poses in front of the statues of the gods.

“Romans 12:1-2 says we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God,” added Laurette. “Here they are doing something very similar with these postures to their 330 million gods, and it is scary. So we abstain from things offered to idols—Acts 15:29.”

In yoga they do what they call pranayama breathing. Prana is the Hindu word for life force, the same concept as the word chi in some martial arts. Yoga breathing attempts to manipulate that life energy, which Laurette believes is perilous. “That is a dangerous thing,” she said, “because I think that we are coming out from under the blood of Jesus when we do stuff like that, and we are no match for the enemy in those areas. I think of what Paul said in Ephesians 2:2, that Satan is the prince of the power of the air. We are not talking about oxygen.”

A third area of concern in yoga is the concept of emptying the mind, which is contradictory to what Christianity teaches. As Laurette explained, “We are transformed by the renewing of our minds, not the emptying.”

Along with emptying the mind, yoga guides people into astral travel, which is where people actually leave their bodies, a practice that Laurette was familiar with and has since questioned. “I wonder with those experiences when I left my body what got in there when I was gone?” Laurette posed. “As a Christian with the Holy Spirit in there, we are not going to be possessed, I don’t think. But one could easily be oppressed.”

What Spiritual Direction are the founders of JOPA taking us? Of course, God knew that even so-called christians would depart from the faith:

1 Timothy 4:1-5 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of a liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

The practice of Yoga is exactly that; submission to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. But not only that, Christianity 21 is encouraging Natural Health- in other words, how to eat healthy and stay healthy through natural foods and supplements. Now, is it wrong to eat healthy? certainly not. But this is another attempt to create a class of people who are better than the rest of us in terms of the fact that they concern themselves with being natural and organic in their diet. Some of them are very militaristic, and judge those who do not hold to their program. Some are vegetarians and vegans, and I have heard some say that the eating of meat is a sin. As Paul says to Timothy here some require abstinence from foods which GOD CREATED to be received with thanksgiving…So if I like meat ( I do) I am allowed to eat it, and it is made holy as I give thanks to God for it.

Lastly, they are getting into sexual health, taking a tip from Granger and other churches who remove the Gospel for more seats to be packed. But they depart where they get a psychologist to speak about it as opposed to a pastor in relationship with a married couple:

BECKY KNIGHT

After obtaining her Psychology degree, Becky spent 10 years in administration with non-profits and small businesses. Her interest in relationships and intimacy work, however, eventually led her to pursue her Masters and to work in the field of sexual health.

Becky has been working with Dr. Lisa Terrell since 2006 and she oversees many aspects of Sensovi including client intakes, program development and group facilitation. She also coordinates the internship program, the professional group (Charlotte Sexual Health), and speaks in the community about the need for sexually healthy individuals, couples and families.

Exactly what does Christianity 21 have to do with Christianity? Nothing. It looks like JOPA productions desires to sell of all orthodoxy, the Bible, and Jesus Christ himself in Phyllis Tickle’s rummage sale. They desire to buy the lie that all roads and practices lead somehow to God; That as Doug Pagiit has said, that we all will be reconciled and restored of the day of judgement.

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

So this is what I proposed, and invite you readers to on October 9-11 in Minneapolis/St. Paul

So, an idea hatched in my head, something I announced as I initially responded to this when I first heard of this. I announced this idea to Tony Jones when he was on the One One Radio Show. And I want all you listeners to participate.

I am going to be there. Outside the Church. At the hotel. I am going to engage these hyphen christians where they are face to face. I am going to try to engage these speakers as to what real Christianity is.

I propose this: Are there 21 Open-air preachers out there in Minneapolis/St. Paul who would be willing to hold a shadow conference outside of the Church? Are there 21 Open- Air Preachers that would be willing to stay at the hotel and engage these folks in conversationdialogue about their need of being born again? Are there 21 who would be willing to stand outside the 21 churches where the false gospel is being preached by these 21 women and preach the Biblical Gospel outside of these churches?

Are there those who would be willing to come and hear these preachers outside of the conference? 21 Preachers with 21 minutes each who will talk about the Biblical doctrines of salvation, sanctification, reconciliation, holiness, fear of God, sovereignty of God, Biblical marriage, church discipline, repentance? Who would be willing, in the likely cold, to hear the Biblical doctrines and then be moved to share with the participants in the conference as they leave and go to the hotel and at the hotel and in the places they eat?

We will not charge $195 for registration, and what you hear and do as a result will last for eternity.

Will you join me to contend for the faith that was delivered to us? Is there 21 Pastors, Evangelists, Christians who would be willing to join me? Are there a couple hundred who would be willing to join us outside the church where it is being held? at the hotel where they are staying?

I invite you to join me. Register here by commenting below. I will be there. I hope you will be there also for one or all three of the days. I know there are real believers in the Minneapolis St. Paul area. Join me and make a stand for the Gospel!

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