31 August 2009

Why Must Everything Change?

Why Must Everything Change? ~ Bible Prophecy Today

Because Brian McLaren Makes Me Laugh

The heresies taught by the Emergent Church (and Brian McLaren) are not funny in the least. But this song by Brian McLaren is:




Does anyone want to send McLaren a Bible so that he can finally know the God he claims to worship? As Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough has said, it seems that McLaren is singing to the unknown god in Acts 17!

The Power of Repentence

The Power Of Repentance

He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:36-47, NASB)

Repentance For Forgiveness Is MIA Today

Despite our small differences, Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse was beyond question a very well-respected teacher of the Bible. And below he speaks of:

a Sunday School teacher [who] once asked a class what was meant by the word “repentance.” A little boy put up his hand and said, “It is being sorry for your sins.”

A little girl also raised her hand and said, “Please, it is being sorry enough to quit [sinning].” There is, indeed, a vast difference between the two. That is why the Lord said through [His prophet] Joel — Rend your heart and not your garments (Joel 2:13). (Illustrating Great Themes of Scripture, 128).

You see, what’s being lost right now through the man-centered doctrine of the various forms of seeker-sensitive—and virtually pelagian—Church Growth Movement is that someone who is truly sorry for something will admit that he was wrong; thereby taking responsibility for the wrong, and he will then stop doing that thing.

As Barnhouse also said:

The [true] born-again Christian, looking upon his heart, is forced to say: If I were but the justice of God, I would send myself to eternal separation from God. If I were but the holiness of God, I would separate myself eternally from that holiness. Then we can understand that only by that redeeming love which came to the cross and bore the stroke of that justice and the separation of the holiness, is it possible for love to redeem us and draw us to Him. (ibid.)

Therein lies another very key aspect of the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus on the Cross, which is so vital for us to finally come to understand. And it also just happens to be the very area that Satan and his minions really work so hard to keep Christians from grasping.

The enemy knows that if he can keep you from understanding this, then he can also keep you from being effective in your witness for Jesus in this hour of growing spiritual darkness. A time when even people within the visible church of Jesus Christ themselves are so desperately in need of the power unleashed by God at the Cross.

And here’s what Satan doesn’t want you to discover: When you are regenerated i.e. “born again” his control over you is completely broken; and you are no longer a slave to the prince of the power of the air. Can you see it now; Satan is only the prince of the power of air—the ruler of…well, nothing!

30 August 2009

Sunday Morning Praise

To the worship team at my church: this is how this song should be sung! No "cool," contemporary drumbeats and certainly no additional "new verse" that you feel is necessary to make it more attractive or relevant.



26 August 2009

God Ain't in The Shack

"What?" you're thinking, "but my pastor preached on it and my Christian friend raved about it and it's on the front table at Family Christian Store so it must be Godly! Besides, it put me in touch with my emotions, so it must be from God."

Right...

If any of those are your arguments in defense of The Shack, or if you have any argument in defense of The Shack, let me ever-so-kindly say to you...WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

As Christians, if we are reading anything except the Word of God, we have to filter that reading through the Word of God and it's obvious that The Shack hopelessly fails that test (quick example: it teaches idolatry as the main character creates his own god that he likes and can identify with in order to "connect" with [his version of] God). Remember, pastors aren't immune to being deceived. In fact, if you've read this blog at all you've hopefully realized that there are many false teachers standing in pulpits week after week leading their flock astray. As for the book's position at the front of the "Christian bookstore" well, do you really think that Satan wants to hide his tools on the back shelf? That is precisely what makes me so sad about this book (and the upcoming movie)--so many Christians and pastors and churches have been deceived. How disheartening to know that so many believers can so easily be led by emotion and a few twisted theological terms. It reveals even more how our churches are failing to emphasize the importance of being in God's Word, because that is the greatest tool and teacher for discernment. The more we are in the Word, the more easily we will see the lies, however subtle they may be. And if we pray for discernment, God will freely give it, so why are we not asking? It may be one of the more important requests we'll be making in these final days.

In my research I've come across numerous articles and interviews that offer sound Biblical critiques of The Shack. I will work on compiling them and listing them in the Are You Being Deceived? section of this site. For now however, below is a link to a sermon Michael Youssef delivered to his church a year ago because he was so burdened by the popularity of this book among professing Christians. The page offers a list of 13 heresies that can be found in The Shack, however the list is actually much longer. If you have the time and interest, I also highly suggest clicking on the additional links below the video.

Click here for "The Shack Uncovered."

25 August 2009

Proof of a Creator

I don't know if I should admit this or not, but the past few days I have been obsessed with Panda Cam! A new baby panda bear was born at the San Diego Zoo earlier this month, and they have cameras all over the panda habitat. The best pictures are those of the baby panda with its mother. The website allows you to take a still shot and "send a postcard" of these adorable creatures, which is how I obtained these photos. You cannot look at this giant animal with her tiny baby and not believe in a Creator. God is real and He is amazing!

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!

24 August 2009

Shopping for Heresy

Oh boy, the latest CBD (Christian Book Distributors) catalog came in the mail today! I've already flipped through it and, as usual, it's a catalog of heresy:

Page 3: Beth Moore
Yes, the whole page is dedicated to Beth Moore and her gushy, contemplative "resources." Hm, let me see...I think I'll put her "Praying God's Word Prayer Cards" on my Christmas list.


Page 4 & 5: Marriage and Family Favorites
Ah, yes, who can forget that old-time family favorite "Crazy Good Sex"? Why, it's almost as practical as "Intended for Pleasure" (I couldn't copy a picture for this one but even better; CBD links to an excerpt!) Nothing says great dinner conversation with the family more than these "Christian" reads.


Page 11: Favorite Authors
The saddest thing about the "Favorite Authors" section is that it is littered with Emergents and Contemplatives. What made me sick about Page 11 was that two of Joel Rosenberg's works were sitting side-by-side with two of the fire-starters of the contemplative spirituality movement.
Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline" can sadly be found in many church bookstores and, sadder still, on the bookshelf of many a talented pastor. What people fail to realize is that this book teaches not just the necessary "disciplines" of prayer, worship, time in the Word, etc. But it also teaches and encourages meditation (of eastern mystical beginnings) as a way to connect with God. Sorry, but my Bible doesn't tell a story about Jesus "meditating" and emptying his mind in order to be filled with a higher knowledge and awareness. Steer clear of this book! For more information on the deception of Foster's "Disciplines" read this commentary by Pastor Bob DeWaay.


Right below Foster's heresy is "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby. More "step by step" tips for a "deeper fellowship" with God. Whew! I'm so glad I found this book--silly me, I've been reading the Bible all this time!


Page 15: The one redeeming, fully Christian page in the catalog! A full page dedicated to John MacArthur resources! It was like a breath of fresh air. Or, to be more appropriate, it was like finding a "gospel nugget" in the middle of a blubbering "purpose-driven" sermon!

(I highly recommend this book! And it's currently selling for a great price.)

But wait, turn the page...

Page 17: Rick Warren and Saddleback Church
ARGH!! Have you ever noticed the "___ Easy Steps" or "___ Days to a better ___" tactic of purpose-driven preachers?


Page 27: Amplified, The Message, and NLT Bibles.
Oh goody! An entire 2/3 of a page dedicated to heretical translations of the Bible! In case you weren't aware, you may want to stay away from the NLT translation and you DEFINITELY need to step FAR away from The Message!


Page 51: Favorite Authors (yes, there's more)
This is probably my favorite page because it's where I find my favorite relevant hip heretic: Rob Bell. Hooray, the Nooma videos are all on sale! Now I can really saturate myself with false teaching in my very own home!


Page 53: Favorite Authors (CBD has lots of favorites, apparently)
Here we find Joyce Meyer. I'd love to offer my opinion on her but I go back to "If you don't have anything nice to say..." I can't figure out which book is my favorite, but I'm partial to "The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word." Um...secret? When did we become gnostic? Let's just look at some more of Meyer's deep, theological titles:


Page 54: Men, Women, & Youth
On this page, author and counselor Stephen Arterburn is going to tell us how to become Jesus in his book "Regret-Free Living." I don't know about you, but when I sin, I experience not just regret and remorse, but a deep grieving sadness knowing that I have sinned against my God and Savior. But maybe if I read this book I'll get over that...


Page 61: New & Hot Fiction



Need I say more?

Quote of the Day

“It is a truism that people agree to disagree only about matters they consider unimportant. No man is tolerant when it concerns his life or the life of his child, and no one will agree to negotiate over any religious matter he considers vital to his eternal welfare. Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences; or Athanasius trying to rise above his differences with Arius in order to achieve union on a higher level; or Luther crawling into the presence of the pope in the name of a broader Christian fellowship.

The desire to be liked even if not respected is a great weakness in any man’s character, and in that of a minister of Jesus Christ it is a weakness wholly inexcusable. The popular image of the man of God as a smiling, congenial, asexual religious mascot whose handshake is always soft and whose head is always bobbing in the perpetual Yes of universal acquiescence is not the image found in the Scriptures of truth.

The blessing of God is promised to the peacemaker, but the religious negotiator had better watch his step. The ability to settle quarrels between members of God’s household is a heavenly gift and one that should be assiduously cultivated. The discerning soul who can reconcile separated friends by prayer and appeal to the Scriptures is worth his weight in diamonds.

That is one thing, but the effort to achieve unity at the expense of truth and righteousness is another. To seek to be friends with those who will not be the friends of Christ is to be a traitor to our Lord. Darkness and light can never be brought together by talk. Some things are not negotiable.

-A.W. Tozer

23 August 2009

Warnings about the Emergent Church

This is long, but it's worth every minute, especially considering the rapid increase of Emergent influences in evangelical churches today.



Now listen to Doug Pagitt, a leader in the Emerging Church movement, speak with Todd Friel (of Way of the Master) regarding the Doctrine of Hell:





I really hope your "heresy radar" is screaming right now!

The Error of Spiritual Formation

The Error of Spiritual Formation ~ Bible Prophecy Today

Sunday Morning Praise

God has given us another beautiful day! Let us worship Him!




21 August 2009

A Timely Quote

"Well-fortified cities have broad walls, and so did Jerusalem in her glory days. The New Jerusalem must, similarly, be surrounded and preserved by a broad wall of nonconformity to the world and separation from its patterns and ideas. There is a tendency today to break down this holy barrier and make the distinction between the Church and the world merely nominal. Believers are no longer fixed on godliness, questionable literature is widely read, frivolous pastimes are eagerly indulged, and a general laxity threatens to deprive the Lord's special people of those sacred distinctives that separate them from sinners. It will be a bad day for the Church and the world when the proposed amalgamation is complete, and the sons of God and the daughters of men shall be united, and another deluge of wrath is ushered in. Beloved reader, make it your aim in heart, in word, in dress, in action to maintain the broad wall, remembering that the friendship of this world is enmity against God."

-Charles Spurgeon, "Evening by Evening"

What's With Minneapolis?

First the ELCA convention.

In September, Patricia King will be convening her "Glory School." (Don't even get me started on this lady!

And then, in October, the Emergent Church's "Christianity 21" is meeting there!

I feel as though we need to pray for the true Godly ministries that are in that area! Ministries such as Jan Markell's Olive Tree Ministries and Bob DeWaay's Twin City Fellowship Church/Critical Issues Commentary.

Funny, Minneapolis always seemed like such an innocent city on The Mary Tyler Moore Show...

20 August 2009

God in the Whirlwind

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

God is so real. I know that may seem like a silly statement to make, especially for a Christian. After all, the reality of God is our livelihood, right? But let's be honest and admit that there are moments in our lives when we question, maybe not the reality of God, but the involvement of God. Well, I think a brief look at yesterday's news can show us just how involved God is in our world. It can also show us how angry He is with our blatant sin. Finally, it can show us how God still offers us warning signs before we wade too deep into sin.

To listen to the mainstream media (namely, Fox News since that's the station I was listening to this morning) you would think that yesterday in Minneapolis a typical Midwest tornado appeared and wreaked it's typical tornado destruction. But yesterday's tornado was anything but typical. First, it wasn't predicted or expected at all by weather experts, taking everyone by surprise. Second, it seemed to wreak it's destruction on a very specific building at a very specific time. The place? Central Lutheran Church. The time? 2 pm.

So what is the significance of this? Hopefully all of you are aware of the ELCA convention that is meeting in Minneapolis this week to discuss the ordination of homosexual clergy. (Surely you are keeping up with this blog and have read What Does ELCA stand for?) They chose to use Central Lutheran as their church. And at precisely 2 pm yesterday, the agenda indicated that the session to take place was entitled: "Consideration: Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality.”

Coincidence? No. Was it coincidence that the tornado split the church's steeple in half and knocked down the cross on that same steeple? No. I would readily argue that this was a deliberate act of God demonstrating His disappointment, dissatisfaction, and even judgment on an apostate, sinful, even blasphemous gathering. Unfortunately, I fear that those participating in this ELCA convention did not see this as such a deliberate act. The ELCA still voted in favor of changing their Sexuality statement. Of course, there is still time for them to repent and walk away from this sin. The final vote is on Friday, and I believe that, no matter how hopeless some of us may think the ELCA is, we as Christians should still kneel in prayer and pray for them to repent.

I've been studying in Daniel and seeing how this great man of God who found favor in the eyes of our Lord still possessed the humility to pray for the forgiveness of the sin of the people of Israel. Intercessory prayer can be a mighty thing and is not limited to our prayers for our loved ones. I would urge you then to pray for the members of the ELCA to repent of this sin and to turn from it and to turn back to the holy statutes and Word of God.

For further reading on this topic and for a more educated opinion on the events of yesterday, please visit John Piper's blog and read the article, The Tornado, the Lutherans, and Homosexuality.

While yesterday's tornado is a drastic illustration of how visibly God can move in our lives, there is a personal lesson in those events for all of us. God is real. God does punish. But best of all, God will warn us. Look back at some of the mistakes in your life (yes, I know they're there!). In hindsight, can you see how God was warning you ahead of time to stay away from choosing that path? God knows that we will stumble and even fall, but He is not sitting back with His arms crossed waiting for us to go it alone. He is active, He is involved, He is alive. The closer we walk with Him, the more clearly we will see His warning signs before we wade too deep into our sin. He may not always send a tornado, but even a sprinkle or two of rain should cause you to raise your umbrella (or the shield of faith)!

God does not compromise on sin. If you are dabbling, or considering tip-toeing into something that you know is against God's will, look at the warning signs around you (I guarantee they are there) and repent and turn back to God!

A picture of the steeple of Central Lutheran Church after God had His say:

05 August 2009

Bill, Bono, and Blair: An Unholy Trinity?

Lately I am saddened and baffled by the attraction of Bono and U2 in so-called "evangelical" churches. (Actually, I hope to write a post soon that will further explore this fascination. I see now that there is a church in Charlotte, NC that spent the month of July preaching on "The Gospel of U2" and it makes me nauseous.) As I've said in previous posts, I feel that this began when Bill Hybels of Willow Creek fame began to cavort with and promote the singer (I was attending Willow Creek at the time, so I'm speaking from first-hand experience). The article below will examine the heart and intentions of Willow Creek's teachings at their latest Leadership Summit. Not only has Bono been invited, but the key speaker is Tony Blair! Can you say "One World Religion"? Blair is spearheading a massive campaign to globalize religion with his Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Now tell me again why I shouldn't call Willow Creek an apostate church and Hybels the lead dissenter? If I didn't know better, I'd say he's inviting the future False Prophet right onto the stage of his church. But wait...do I know better...?

The following article is by Jan Markell from today’s Understanding the Times, the e-update of Olive Tree Ministries.
When Evangelicals Dine with the Wicked

Few would disagree that Willow Creek Community Church has been one of the most influential churches in America over the last thirty years. The church and pastor have impacted every evangelical church in the country. A year ago Willow Creek’s Pastor Bill Hybels admitted that the “seeker-sensitive” approach he had helped spread across the country had not been very effective at Willow Creek. In one interview here, he states that the church will now target people at all levels of faith. Well, that was an admission many of us were pleased about. The obvious question was, what would the new approach be? One thing was obvious: His leadership summits have not changed one whit.
I have followed his annual leadership conferences. Guest speakers have always been problematic — such as Jimmy Carter, and this year is no exception. Would not a “leadership conference” be training people how to be Christian leaders in the ways of faith? Or to equip attendees to help other believers grow in their faith as a result of some the information presented at this event? Apparently not.
As this is written, the 2009 conference is assembling to hear from Tony Blair. What’s wrong with this picture? Blair is one of the chief players on the globalistic, one-world religion agenda. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation screams “unity” with every sentence, and not biblical unity. Blair states, “God’s Spirit moves through us and the world at a pace that can never be constricted by any one religious paradigm. Be very wary of people who think theirs is the only way.”
Members of his board include a Zen Buddhist, a Hindu from Minnesota, an Anglican (Let me interject a personal "Erin Note" here: the Anglican Markell is referring to is Nicky Gumbel of Alpha Course fame. More to come on the dangers of Alpha in a future post), Rick Warren, a Rabbi, and others. A goal is to “heal the divisiveness in the world.” This feeds into the end-time ecumenical effort predicted in the Bible.
Just as troubling is the appearance of rock star Bono. His U2 band was blatantly Satanic. Thanks to Good Fight Ministries, you can go to this link and type in the word Bono or U2. Bono is seen holding an upside down cross and singing praises to Charles Manson with the song Helter Skelter. Did Bono have a conversion experience? If he did, he has not changed the name of his music affiliation, which remains U2 from the days of blatant Satanism.
His efforts are directed at social change and he, too, is trying to build a bridge to all faiths. Bono says, “Look, on the God thing, I have to be really careful because I’m not a very good advertisement. I don’t want you to sit there and say I’m a man of faith. I just read in one of St. Paul’s letters, where it describes all the fruits of the spirit, I realized I had none of them.”
He also states, “I stopped going to churches and got into a different religion. That’s what being a rock- -and-roll band is: Showbiz, shamanism, and music is worship.”
U2′S 2005 Vertigo tour promoted Bono’s New Age, all-faith agenda. The word ‘coexist’ appeared on a giant screen — the ‘c’ represented by the Islamic crescent, the ‘x’ by the Star of David, and the ‘t’ by the Christian cross. Then the big screen displayed the favorite mantra/lie of the Emergent/New Age Church, “Everything you know is wrong.” Bono led the audience in a chant, “Jesus, Jew, Mohammed — all true!”
How will attendees grow spiritually or grow in leadership skills from Bono?
Some other speakers at this supposed evangelical leadership conference going on this week include a gal who was the number one business thinker in 2008 according to the Wall Street Journal; Fortune Magazine’s “most powerful woman in business”; and a businesswoman who is a regular guest on the Oprah Winfrey program. You can find most of the speakers here.
How does this further the Kingdom of God today? If this were being put on by the National Council of Churches, I would get it! But Hybels is an evangelical icon even if it is the “evangelical Left.” And it would be proper to ask, why does evangelicalism even have a Left? It did not until 20 years ago. Will these speakers spur the attendees on to share their faith with greater zeal? And why is Hybels subjecting his people to some potential sheep-steeling from some of these characters? Probably because the ecumenical effort is big on his agenda as well. Yet tens of thousands of churches are connected to his network.
Pastor Bill Hybels should know better. Other evangelical leaders need to speak up and stop the potential slaughter of some sheep. The hour is too late to spend several days each summer listening to fools.
–Jan Markell, Olive Tree Ministries
For more information visit her Spiritual Deception page at the website.
Jan has an excellent radio program out of AM980 KKMS, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Saturday, 9 to 11 AM CST. For podcasting, check this link. All weekend programming goes up at her Web site at “Radio Archives” late Monday.

04 August 2009

Blessed are the Persecuted

Once again, I'm so thankful and blessed by the words of Ron Graham (as well as the ministry of RaptureAlert.com, which is faithful to continue to post these encouragements). In this commentary, Ron Graham explores the promise to believers that we will be persecuted for Christ's sake, and that it is already beginning to happen right here in America. He also urges us to be even more bold for our Savior. Will this bring more persecution? Yes, of course. But why should we be afraid or ashamed to proclaim Jesus if we expect Him to one day acknowledge us before God?