You are likely aware that nearly a year ago now I ended up being hospitalized so that doctors could begin treating the osteomyelitis then affecting my spine. In that regard, I’m progressing as well as can be expected. However, you’ll notice my writing is still rather sporadic here at Apprising Ministries.
This time of physical testing continues, though we remain convinced that God is carrying me through this because there’s no way I have the strength. Yet, I feel Him giving me the desire to continue; so, my best guess is, God is attempting to teach me some things through this suffering.
We’re asking for His wisdom because I’m still battling a lingering fatigue and have been experiencing a lot of problems with my eyesight as well. I’ve been to the eye doctor now a few times and, so far, he’s not found any eye disease. Since childhood I’ve been nearly blind in my left eye.
So, when I have problems with my right eye, it’s a frightening thing. In that eye the doctor has found a partial vitreous detachment (PVD) common to people my age. With this comes an increase in what is known as floaters. Briefly, virtually everyone has some of these spots in their vision.
Usually they’re like dark specks. However, in my case they have become more serious than usual appearing as cloudy gel-like gobs that float through my line of sight and then serve to blur my vision. It’s kind of like looking through a windshield as it becomes foggy.
The doctor suggests that what I’m seeing is some of the vitreous humor itself that’s pulled away within the eye. This sometimes happens with a PVD. So, it may be a kind of good news. Unfortunately, in addition to those issues, over-all my eyes just aren’t consistently focusing well either.
As you might imagine, with this stress, and that of facing the six figure hospital debt, I’m not sleeping restfully. Here the old saying, “I’m so tired I can’t see straight” comes to mind. I think there’s truth to that; at least for me. Even so, it’s still an uneasy and even scary time for us.
The question is, will these gob-like floaters grow more frequent and/or be there permanently? We are leaning heavily upon the truth of God’s Word and His promises as we seek the Lord for His comfort and guidance in leading us through this difficult time right now. Thank you for believing in AM.
If you would like to help us out in this time of need, your prayer and financial support would be deeply appreciated. If you feel so led, you may donate via PayPal by clicking here.
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Connecticut River Baptist Church
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Claremont, NH 03743
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)
Between that heart in heaven and this poor throbbing heart, aching heart on earth there is love established; love of the dearest, truest, sweetest and most faithful kind.
In fact, the love of woman, the mother’s love, the love of the spouse, these are but the water; but the love of God is the wine.
These are but the things of the earth, but the love of God is the celestial. The mother’s love mirrors the love of God, as the dewdrop mirrors the sun, but as the dewdrop compasses not that mighty orb, so no love that beats in human bosom can ever compass as no words can express the height, length, and breadth of the love of God. which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. “Yes, I have loved you.”
Oh! come near then, Christian. Your Father, he who chastened you yesterday, loves you; he whom you forget so often, and whom you have offended so constantly, yet loves you. You know what it is to love. Translate the love you bear to your dearest friend, and look at it and say, “God loves me better than this.”
Do you think there are some you could die for cheerfully, whose pain you would freely take if you could ease them of it for a while, upon whose weary bed you would cheerfully lie down if a night of suffering could be spared him; but your Father loves you better than that, and Jesus proves it to you.
He took your sins, your sorrows, your death, your grave, that you might be pardoned, accepted, and received into divine favor, and so might live and be blessed for evermore.1
In addition to monitoring trends going on within the greater Christian community, a part of my labor in the Lord here at Apprising Ministries, while our shrinking funds will allow, is to make you aware of personalities, conferences, etc. which you need to be aware of.
My writing here in this case really becomes a kind of all of the above. Let me begin by bringing to your attention the SBC Pastor’s Conference 2014—Show Us Your Glory (PC14), which is coming up June 8-9 2014 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore. MD.
The official website tells us:
The 2014 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference, June 8-9, immediately followed by the Southern Baptist Convention, June 10-11, will be held in Baltimore, at the Baltimore Conference Center right on Inner Harbor. The theme of the conference represents a deep soul-cry of “Show us Your glory”.
The Conference President, Dr. Bruce Frank of Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden, NC and his team have been working, praying and planning to create a meeting where the presence of God is experienced in a life changing powerful way. (source, click About)
So all of this contemplative sounding language concerning the upcoming PC14, in order to experience “the presence of God” they hope “in a life changing powerful way,” tells us it’s actually the precursor to set the table for this year’s annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
There are a number of speakers scheduled for PC14 such as:
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church, in Raleigh-Durham, NC, Johnny Hunt, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, in Woodstock, Georgia.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, served as Senior Pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas for 27+ years, Clayton King, founder & president of Crossroads Ministries, teaching pastor at Perry Noble’s Newspring Church, Campus Pastor at Liberty University,1
Dr. Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship for over 36 years and Pricilla Shirer’s dad, and David Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, author of the book Radical, and appeared in Elephant Room 1.
As you can see below, the three I pointed out in my title are listed first, likely because they are very well known and influential names within mainstream evangelicalism as a whole:
You should know that, so set in their goal to use ER2 to mainstream Word Faith mogul T.D. Jakes, both MacDonald and co-host Mark Driscoll would each choose to resign from The Gospel Coalition.2 Yet the SBC has apparently derived the its very theme for their PC14 “Show Us Your Glory” from MacDonald.
A source who was directly involved with Harvest Bible Fellowship, the denomination extending from James MacDonald,3 informs me that “Show Us Your Glory” is the primary theme of MacDonald’s book Vertical Church (VC). You need to know that there’s much misinterpretation of Scripture throughout VC.4
It turns out that “Show Us Your Glory” may derive from MacDonald using these words of Moses in VC in order to create the centered on the self emotional corporate worship experience. This type of sentimental “worship” is so typical today of multisite megachurches headed by vision-casting prophet-pastors like James MacDonald.
We’re also informed that there’s a popular Vertical Church Band song which repeats the following phrase over and over a la a mantra: “Show us, show us Your glory; show us. show us Your power.” Listen for yourself:
Those familiar with the Jesus Culture (JC) band of Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church, whom Louis Giglio brought to his Passion 2013, will notice the song’s much like the music of JC. And this Vertical Church Band, “as part of Harvest Bible Chapel”,5 will be at PC14 along with Harvest Bible Chapel senior pastor James MacDonald:
I’ve also told you that these ER conferences have been the source of an emerging self-appointed Evangelical Ecumenical Magisterium (EEM) comprised of most of the multi-site megachurch prophet-pastors who participated in ER as well as some of those who pioneered this Seeker Driven phenomenon such as Rick Warren.
Four years ago in Rick Warren Brings Love On Record I showed you that Warren tweeted his love for some of these prophet-pastors who’d go on to become an integral part of this EEM:
Most likely you’re aware of the huge Biblical problems with Warren’s teaching concerning the mythology of his Purpose Driven Life; if not I’ll suggest you peruse the many source materials I collected for you within: Refuting Rick Warren. Here I’m only going to remind you of Warren’s sinful ecumenicism.
Three years ago in Rick Warren And Teachings Of Demons I documented for you Warren’s personal position on the Roman Catholic Church. For a quick example, Warren is on record as opining:
“Now I don’t agree with everything in everybody’s denomination, including my own. I don’t agree with everything that [Roman] Catholics do or Pentecostals do, but what binds us together is so much stronger than what divides us,” he said. “I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God’s family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church,….” (source, emphasis mine)
“The Church, in all its expressions—[Roman] Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant and many others—has 2.3 billion followers.” (source, emphasis mine)
The sad fact is, spiritual wingnuts just don’t come any easier to spot than the warped and toxic Mike Bickle.7 So, here’s my question: Why would I want to try and learn about God’s glory from men like Rick Warren, Francis Chan, and James MacDonald, when it’s pretty clear that their teachings and discernment are so far off target?
Apprising Ministries continues covering a growing syncretism within apostatizing evangelicalism as it wanders further away from belief in the all-sufficiency of God’s Word and succumbs to silly superstitions derived from tis embrace of charismania and Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism.
At ER2 MacDonald and Driscoll allowed Jakes to affirm both trinitarianism and modalism simultaneously and never did address Jakes’ Word Faith heresies. One of the basic principles of both ER1 and 2 was supposedly the adherents would demonstrate to us how to properly dialogue about differences.
However, the fruit of these conferences has been an emerging self-appointed Evangelical Ecumenical Magisterium (EEM) comprised of most of the multi-site megachurch pastors who participated in ER. EEM’s James MacDonald would later imply that he’s continued private dialogues with T.D. Jakes.
MacDonald gave the impression that Jakes was now supposedly moving away from the Word Faith prosperity gospel at the core of his corrupt ministry. I recently discussed this further in T.D. Jakes Repents Of Word Faith Heresy And Mythology? You’re about to see further evidence that he has not.
The following is a clip from “Throw It Back,” which was Jakes’ New Year’s Eve 2013 message to his Potter’s House. Same ‘ol T.D. Jakes heading into 2014:
Then, as you can see from the graphic above, Jakes’ Branching Out (BO) conference, which begins tomorrow, proudly features Word Faith preacher Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, BO will also be giving us the notorious WF “Apostle” Frederick K.C. Price; and they don’t come anymore committed to WF heresies than Price.
received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1970 and soon began to develop a “faith” ministry. In 1973 Price founded an independent church in Los Angeles called Crenshaw Christian Center. Price was ordained by Kenneth Hagin Ministries in 1975.
In 1981 the congregation moved to 32 acres that formerly housed Pepperdine University. In 1989 he completed a new worship center called the Faithdome at a cost of over $10 million. The multiracial congregation now exceeds 15,000…
Price began a nationally broadcast television ministry in 1978 called Ever Increasing Faith, which is featured on more than 125 million stations in the U.S. and abroad. In 1982 he began teaching his faith message in crusades and conferences all across the U.S.
Price is the author of more than 30 books relating to the Holy Spirit and faith,…1
Christian apologist Mike Oppenheimer now shares a few of the Word Faith heresies propounded by Frederick K.C. Price. He begins with the critical information that Price is a disciple of Kenneth “Dad” Hagin, widely considered in WF circles as the very father of their movement:
Price claims that it was Hagin who had the greatest influence on his life. Frederick K.C. Price says: “Kenneth Hagin has had the greatest influence upon my life of any living man … his books … revolutionized and changed my life.”( Taped interviews on file at the Holy Spirit Research Center, Oral Roberts University cited in D. R. McConnell, The Kenyon Connection: A Theological and Historical Analysis of the Cultic Origins of the Faith Movement, a thesis submitted to the Theological Faculty, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK, May 1982, p. 11).
This developed him into being the chief exponent of naming it and claiming it. Say it and frame it, speak it and keep it. Price who has become famous for his anti biblical stance of If you have to say, “if it be thy will or thy will be done- if you have to say that, then your calling God a fool.” He explains “What they told me to do was that whenever I prayed I should always say, ‘The will of the Lord be done.,’ Now, doesn’t that sound humble? It does. Sounds like humility, it’s really stupidity. I mean, you know, really, we insult God. I mean, we really do insult our Heavenly Father. We do; we really insult Him without even realizing it. If you have to say, ‘If it be thy will or’ Thy will be done’-if you have to say that, then you’re calling God a fool because he’s the One that told us to ask…. (“Ever Increasing Faith” program on TBN Nov.16,1990).
Despite all his rhetoric it’s not God who is the fool but those who say there is no prayer to say God’s will be done. If it isn’t his will its yours, and you might as well say God move over I’m your replacement. Hardly a comforting thought (see Jms.4:15, Mt.6:19, 1Jn. 514)
“If them animals belonged to, if those animals belonged ‘ to God, how come God didn’t give them their names?
Why did he leave it up to a puny man to give them the names to the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom, and the vegetable kingdom? Because they belonged under the control of Adam and not of God Why? He had dominion. Not God, Adam.” (Ever Increasing Faith program may 3, 1992) if this were true then how did God curse creation after the fall? How did man fall if we were in control of these kingdoms?
“Adam, as I said, gave it [the earth] away to the serpent, to the Devil. As a result of it he got his behind kicked out of the garden. He went out of Eden, out of the garden. He began to wander around, and he has troubles from day one. Now God was out of the business. God was out of the earth realm. God had no more stock in this earth realm. No more. None at all. Nothing He could do. Not a thing in the world He could do. The only way God could get back into this earth realm, He had to have an invitation. Ha-hah! He had to have an invitation.” (“Ever Increasing Faith” program on TBN [1 May 1992], audiotape #PR11.)
I think the words Price uses are dead giveaways to his understanding “God was out of the business” he had to be invited. But there is a heresy that is deeper than the obvious slip ups. The bible says nothing is impossible with God, but Price says it was not possible for God to control what he once did without man. Price has it backwards. Do we see this happening in the Scripture, absolutely not.
“God the father cannot do anything in this earth realm without permission. Now again I realize that that statement is very as I say from an evangelical point of view (meaning the evangelical doctrines)… that this statement that I’m making that God can’t do is like going out and committing adultery to them, it sin, simple to say that.” Price thinks God needs mans permission to do things on earth.
“Now this is a shocker! But God has to be given permission to work in this earth realm on behalf of man….Yes! You are in control! So if man has control, who no longer has it? God…..When God gave Adam dominion, that meant God no longer had dominion. So God cannot do anything in this earth unless we let Him. And the way we let Him or give Him permission is through prayer.” (Frederick Price Quoted from – “Christianity in Crisis” by H. Hanegraaff, 1993)
Price does know his explanation is more than unusual yet he is satisfied with his own exposition for this.What kind of Bible teaching is this, God is not in control, man is. Who then is God to Fred Price?
“Yes! You are in control! So, if man has control, who no longer has it? God” (Fred Price, “Prayer: Do You Know What Prayer Is…and How to Pray?” (The Word Study Bible, 1990 p. 1178).
We are in control and God is not! So why pray to him, we might as well pray to ourselves. That’s exactly how it is put when he states don’t pray for God’s will. He explains “The way God has designed the system, we control. It’s up to us. “You see, I gave it to you before..” Matthew 18:18, “Whatever you bind on earth…bound in heaven; whatever you loose…it loosed in heaven.”
For every scripture Price seems to find to support his by faith its mine doctrine there are numerous more that clearly bring light to his erroneous conclusion. Isa.29:l6: “Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me’? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding?”
Fred Price affirms, “Jesus said, All authority… All of it.” How much is left out of the term all? Nothing. It’s an inclusive term. It leaves nothing out. He said, All authority in the heaven and in the earth is in My hands. It has been given to Me and what do you think the purpose of Almighty God giving Him the authority in the earth was for and He’s not here to use it? It’s because He gave that authority to the Church. In essence, He was saying, I’m going back to Heaven. I’ll take care of the authority in the heavenly realm but I’m leaving you here My body …and I’m giving you, by delegation, My authority in the earth realm. Go forth and conquer. The way God has designed the system, we control. It’s up to us.” (Fred Price, Ever Increasing Faith Lesea [on audio]).
Where does the Bible say Jesus gave us the control that he has? Scripture proof- none.
The only thing Price controls is his congregation with his twisted teaching of the word. It is bondage to believe these untruths.
Price believes the control is found in all that we say, “If you keep talking death, that is what you are going to have. If you keep talking sickness and disease, that is what you are going to have, because you are going to create the reality of them with your own mouth. That is a divine law.” (Fred Price, Realm, 29)
God and Man
Price does seem to uphold the trinity however he does have an aberrant view on our birth “All he did when he came here was get a body through Mary. And that’s all you did when you got here you were already alive before you came into your mommas womb, you were a livin spirit, you just came into your mommas womb so that you can get a physical body so that you can live here” (Dec., 2003 Lesea Broadcasting)
Price says we all existed before birth. Where? Where did Adams spirit exist before birth? This is nonsense and not a Christian teaching. Jesus did indeed exist before birth as spirit because he was God. We as humans did not exist in heaven nor a spiritual realm before our conception. (source)
Finally, here is WF prosperity preacher Frederick K.C. Price below from his Ever Increasing Faith podcast teaching the classic WF fable that Jesus was wealthy financially:
This is the kind of “leader” the EEM-approved T.D. Jakes is attempting to drag into mainstream evangelicalism.
I’ve shown you these clips of Beth Moore before here at Apprising Ministries. However, they are necessary to give you proper context concerning Moore’s sinful ecumenicism arrived at through her hyper-charismatic excesses where she’s confused her own thoughts with God’s. She believes her voice is His.
This is one of the inherent spiritual dangers for those who practice charismania and/or the parallel track of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism. Inevitably such as these fall victim to delusions and a false sense of love becoming lovers of mankind, i.e. lovers of self, a la 2 Timothy 3:2.
Here is what the Lord is saying to them — you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you (Psalm 50:21). The sad fact is, the heart of the visible professing Christian church is following their fickle feelings rather than the Rock of God’s Word in Holy Scripture.
Now you know the roots of this sinful ecumenicism slithering throughout mainstream evangelicalism. The following clips from Beth Moore are vivid examples. First of all, they come from Moore’s 2002 series Believing God (BG); which is still promoted today by Lifeway as you’ll see here:
Let me remind you here that Lifeway is the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, reputed to be the largest Protestant denomination in the United States and this LifeWay-sponsored BG Online Bible Study is from over a decade ago. So. ask yourself: Is what I’m about to see in line with the Reformation?
Yet because the SBC makes a profit from it, we’re safe to assume that what you’re going to hear from Beth Moore is somehow also in line with the SBC’s nebulous principles. You see, the rather vague document known as The Baptist Faith and Message about as close as you get to actual SBC doctrine.
Its Idol of Autonomy is a convenient escape hatch from confronting false doctrine. With this in mind then, watch as Beth Moore tells us God gave her a literal vision where she claims He allowed her to see “the Church, as Jesus sees it” Himself:
If one is unbiased, the following should now be crystal clear: 1) Beth Moore is talking about the universal Church, i.e. the Body of Christ; 2) she’s also claiming extra-biblical revelation via a literal vision that she testifies God showed her, and 3) it supposedly enabled her to see the Church as Jesus views it.
I encourage you to keep all of this in mind now as you watch the next video clip. It’s actually taken from a section of BG after God allegedly gave Beth Moore that literal vision affording her the ability, in a “particular dimension,” to see the Body of Christ exactly as Christ Jesus does.
Watch as Moore illustrates the vision concerning “something different” she sees “God doing” in the Church; i.e.“the body of Christ.” You’ll clearly see that she does include the apostate Roman Catholic Church, which long ago anathematized the Gospel of Jesus Christ, among her Christian denominations:
This is an example of the charismania I’ve been speaking to you about because in no uncertain terms we’re told what you’re about to hear from Moore is divine revelation; in other words, “what the Holy Spirit is saying.” And further, that those of us who oppose false teachers of this phony unity are scoffers:
One of the things Beth Moore would go on to tell us is: “Unity will be called defection.”2 That’s why I made the time to show you once again that—contra the Reformers—the “spirit” speaking to those like Beth Moore and James Robison preaches unity with the apostate Roman Catholic Church.
Which brings us to the following clip at the beginning of Moore’s Wednesday February 26th program:
No one in this room is in as severe a drought than the one who cannot remember the last time you cried a tear for a broken world. That’s drought.
What if we got courage enough to go, “Bring back my tears for the lost. Bring back my tears for the captives, those imprisoned, those dying on planet earth.
Bring back my passion for what you, Jesus, are passionate about.” (source)
Beth Moore sounds very pious with the impassioned plea concerning tears for the lost. Don’t be fooled by people like this who’re seemingly more concerned with pleasing people than telling them the truth. Well, I wonder: Where are your tears for lost Roman Catholics held captive and imprisoned by Rome’s false gospel Beth Moore?
As I said one of the results of these heretical hyper-charismatic practices, along with its parallel track of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), is a delusion concerning Christian unity. The adherents truly believe that God wants to unite all the various factions of the visible Christian church; including Rome.
We are galloping toward a one-world melding of religions, and the ramifications are staggering. Pope Francis has now sent a video message to Word of Faith father Kenneth Copeland, urging a reconciliation between Catholics and Charismatics.
“The Catholic and Charismatic Renewal is the hope of the Church,” exclaims Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer, before a group of cheering followers at the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Palmer said those words are from the Vatican. Before playing the video message from Pope Francis to Kenneth Copeland, Palmer told the crowd, “When my wife saw that she could be Catholic, and Charismatic, and Evangelical, and Pentecostal, and it was absolutely accepted in the Catholic Church, she said that she would like to reconnect her roots with the Catholic culture. So she did.”
The crowd cheered, as he continued, “Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?”
Even Kenneth Copeland finds this development incredible: Said Copeland, “Heaven is thrilled over this…You know what is so thrilling to me? When we went into the ministry 47 years ago, this was impossible.” (source, emphasis in original)
Allow me a couple of quick points; 1) I am a former Roman Catholic, and 2) after the Lord in His mercy saved me from that false religion, I was once in the Word Faith movement as a very young Christian. Therefore, I can tell you that the pope reached out to Copeland because he’s Kenneth Hagin’s successor as WF head.
Below Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith presents us the prayer that Kenneth Copeland offered for the pope, including a fresh translation of the part of Copeland’s prayer offered in the inane babbling that’s purported to be tongues:
Consider Beth Moore from the SBC’s Lifeway publishing horn1 telling us below that God gave her a literal vision where she claims He allowed her to see “the Church, as Jesus sees it”:
Now watch as Moore illustrates the vision concerning “something different” she sees “God doing” in the Church; i.e.“the body of Christ.” She clearly includes the apostate Roman Catholic Church, which long ago anathematized the Gospel of Jesus Christ, among her Christian denominations:
This is the context you need to more fully understand what Beth Moore includes as part of the unity she’ll mention below. What you’re about to see was spoken at the Awaken Now (AN) conference last year and the program from which this clip comes aired on James Robison’s Life Today Wednesday February 26.2
As you can see, AN was the featured resource that day:
This is an example of the charismania I’ve been speaking to you about because without a doubt we’re told what you’re about to hear from Moore is divine revelation; in other words, “what the Holy Spirit is saying” to all of us. And that would be those of us who oppose false teachers of this phony unity are scoffers:
Lord willing, I’ll have more on all of this later. But for now, it’s against this necessary backdrop that I now leave you with Ed Stetzer hosting the Praise the Lord (PtL) program of TBN last Friday night. You really need to realize here that PtL is the heart and soul ministry vehicle for this brood of vipers.
Yet here is Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research—a critical component of the SBC’s publishing arm Lifeway—hosting PtL and thereby lending his considerable mainstream evangelical credibility to the Trinity Blasphemy Network:
Not only that but the following press release informs us that Stetzer is actually “a regular host” of PtL:
Ed Stetzer, best-selling author and president of LifeWay Research, will be hosting Praise the Lord on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Friday, Jan. 10. A regular host of Praise the Lord, Stetzer will be joined by megachurch pastor Matt Chandler, who will tell the story of his brain tumor and God’s providence.
At The Village Church in Texas, Chandler has been preaching on the message of recovery through the gospel, a message that also will be shared in a major release calledRecovering Redemption (B&H Publishing Group), releasing in Ma. New York Times best-sellingauthor Priscilla Shirer also will be featured… (source)
Here’s how TBN themselves used last Friday’s appearance by Ed Stetzer in order to promote themselves:
Popular author, columnist, professor, and faith trends expert Ed Stetzer, a vice president at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Nashville-based Lifeway Christian Resources, will host a special live taping of the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s signature music and talk show “Praise the Lord” at Nashville’s famed Trinity Music City, Tuesday February 25th. The taping is open to the public.
Stetzer is a scheduled keynote speaker at this year’s National Religious Broadcasters convention February 22nd through 25th in Nashville. NRB convention participants are being invited to attend the live TBN taping later in the day February 25th.
A leading voice in today’s evangelical church, Stetzer is the author of a dozen books and countless articles in such publications asChristianity Today, Outreach Magazine, and theChristian Post. He is also executive editor of both The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 400,000 individuals each week, and Facts & Trends Magazine, a Christian leadership journal with a circulation of more than 70,000 readers.
Considered an expert on faith trends and cultural issues, Stetzer is frequently quoted by leading religious publications, as well as by such secular outlets as CNN and USA Today. He holds two masters degrees and two earned doctorates, has taught at numerous universities and seminaries, and has planted churches and trained pastors around the world. (source)
Whatever Ed Stetzer’s motivation, make no mistake, TBN is attempting to piggyback upon his credentials in order to try and paint themselves as an orthodox institution. Finally, considering Francis Chan Declares “I Love Mike Bickle”, I tell you that you have real reason to wonder just how far this phony unity is already stretching.
Here at Apprising Ministries you’ve heard me talk about the devastating effects of the ill-fated Church Growth Movement1 vomited out of the theological cesspool we know as Fuller Theological Seminary. Sadly, rather than reject major proponents of it like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, mainstream evangelicalism would embrace them.
This is precisely how the Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven CGM bait and switch ideas of using Madison Avenue advertising to lure people into supposed churches were born. Remember now, no one credible is arguing that these techniques of man-centered pragmatism fail to bring people into so-called Christian functions.
Sadly though, it’s also a recipe for creating stillborn “Christians.” By this I mean people who claim to be Christian because they’ve walked down some aisle thinking that now they’ve “decided” to follow Jesus and have been saved. But the tragic thing is, this SD/PD model of CSM deludes people into believing they’re in the faith.
However, people like this have never been regenerated. Now multiply the phenomenon over decades and you have such as these behind pulpits. Think of it; people learning from “pastors” who are not even born again themselves. People who are almost saved, but not quite. But is such a thing actually possible? The answer is, yes.
For it is written — Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test (2 Corinthians 13:5). The road is a lot more narrow than you’ve been previously led to believe.
The truth is, the Gospel message has been perverted into a postmodern idea of changing the world through establishing community and developing relationships; but this does not a Christian make. Yet you’ll even get this idea of changing the world below from the trailer to the new movie Son of God:
Almost saved, but not quite. Doing good deeds in the flesh and so deceiving yourself into thinking that you are in the faith. This is what Charles Spurgeon is addressing in the following sermon excerpt. Today I encourage you to examine and test yourself. Please repent; won’t you come to Jesus, before it’s too late:
“Remember Lot’s wife” and remember that she went some way towards being saved. Mistress Lot so far believed the message that came to her about the destruction of the city that she was awakened. She rose early as her husband did and she prepared to leave the house. She ran down the streets; she passed the city gate; she reached the open plain along with her husband. She was willing, for a while, to run with him, following his example. She did so for a considerable distance till she began to think over what she was doing and to consider what she was leaving. And then she slackened her pace and lingered behind.
Remember, then, that she did go part of the way towards safety and yet she perished! And so many may go part of the way towards Christ and they may go a little way out of the world—but if their hearts still linger with the ungodly, they will perish, notwithstanding all. There is one very solemn thought and that is that the angels’ hand had pressed her wrist. When they said, “Up, get you gone” and Lot lingered—the men laid hold upon his hand and the hand of his wife. So it is expressly said. An angel’s hand had pressed her wrist to draw her forth to safety and she had gone a little way under that sacred constraint—and yet she perished.
Some of you may have had spiritual touches upon the conscience and heart which you will never be able to quite forget and the responsibility of this will cling to you, though you have drawn back from godliness and your heart cries after vanity and lusts after its idols. This woman was actually out of Sodom and she was almost in Zoar, the refuge city, and yet she perished! How near she was to the little city of escape, I cannot tell, but she was certainly almost there and yet she perished. Almost saved, but not quite.
Let me repeat those words, for they describe some of you who are present at this hour—and they may be your epitaph if you do not mind what you are about—“Almost saved, but not quite.” Escaped from the vilest form of sin, but not truly in Christ! The mind not weaned from its idols, iniquity not given up in the soul, though perhaps given up in outward deed! O you who are Almost saved, but not quite, “Remember Lot’s wife.”
This brings me to a third point of remembrance, which is this—remember that though she went some way towards escape, she did actually perish through sin. The first sin that she committed was that she lingered behind. Moses tells us, “Lot’s wife looked back from behind him.” That is, the good old man was making such haste as he could, but she, though she had run side by side with him, lingered in the rear—I should not wonder but what the same angel had one of them by the right hand and the other by the left while the other angel brought the two daughters on behind. But Lot’s wife slackened her pace and fell behind.
That is the first sin with most people who profess religion, but are not true to God—they begin to backslide by creeping along very slowly—they are not half so earnest as they used to be, so they lag behind. One service a day is sufficient. A very little reading of the Bible contents them. They do not quite give up the appearance of prayer, but still there is very little of it. They do not see the good of being in such a fury over religion. They do not see why they should exercise any sacred violence to take the kingdom by force.
They linger. It is because, after all, the world is master of their hearts! They would, if they dared, be as worldly and as ungodly as others—and they finally prove their true character by slackening their pace. Having slackened her pace, the next thing she did was she disbelieved what had been told her. You must remember that their flight out of Sodom was to be an act of faith, for the angel said, “Look not behind you.” That Sodom was to be destroyed did not appear at all likely, for it was a bright morning.
They were to fly with as much haste as if they could see the fire-shower falling, but they were not to see it. Their flight was to be urged forward by faith in the angels’ words. Faith may be as well exhibited by not looking as by looking. Faith is a look at Christ, but faith is a not looking at the things which are behind. Lot’s wife saw the sun rising, so we are told—“the sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.” She saw the bright dawning and everything lit up with it and it came across her mind—“It cannot be true! The city is not being destroyed. What a lovely morning!
Why are we thus running away from house, goods, friends and everything else on such a bright, clear morning as this?” She did not truly believe—there was no real faith in her heart—and therefore she disobeyed the law of her safety and turned her face towards Sodom. Yet, mark you, she had received the angels in her house; she had seen them blind the wicked mob around her door; she had heard their majestic words of persuasion and felt their kind compulsion—she had plenty of evidence that God was speaking—but she doubted the truth of His Word and here was the very essence of her sin!
What if some of you that have mingled with the godly—and have been numbered with them and have participated in their worship, should—nevertheless come short because of unbelief? It is by no means improbable, for out of all that came out of Egypt there were only TWO that entered into Canaan! They could not enter in because of unbelief—their carcasses fell in the wilderness. May it never come to pass with any of us that we shall leave our carcasses outside of the eternal hope because we, too, do not believe in Him who is invisible, but must walk according to the sight of the eyes!
Having gotten so far as lingering and doubting, her next movement was a direct act of rebellion—she turned her head— she was told not to look, but she dared to look. Rebellion is as much seen in the breach of what appears to be a little command as in the violation of a great precept. Our fall at the first came from the plucking of forbidden fruit—and this woman’s death came by a look! Take care of little things. There is life in a look and here is a case in which there was death in a look. She looked, but why did she look? I suppose it was this—her heart was that way.
She loved Sodom and she abhorred the separated life. She had led her husband and her children away from the peculiar people of God, for she felt that she would rather mix with the reprobate multitude than with the chosen few! She was not of the spirit that could walk with God, alone—she clung to society and to sin. Though she was running for her life, she thought of her household stuff and of the ease of Sodom—and she looked back with lingering eyes because she wanted to be there.
And it came to this, that as her eyes went back, her whole body would have gone back if time had been allowed. She already lingered. She would have soon turned. That one glance betrayed which way her soul was going! A little thing in professors may show what they are and we may readily betray the inward turning of the soul by an act as simple as that of turning the neck to look towards Sodom. This was her sin. Now, dear Friends, let us remember Lot’s wife, each one of us, by learning a personal lesson. Here is a hard thing—we must go outside the camp or utterly fail.
Can you maintain the life of God and walk with Christ and be separate from the world? Many of you cannot. You may pretend to do so, but you cannot, it is beyond you. I fear that the number of true Christians in the world is very much less than we suppose. We are encumbered with a host of people who call themselves Christians, but are as much of the world as other people—whose inheritance is in the world, whose pleasure is in the world, whose speech is worldly—and who are altogether of the world. And because they are of the world the world loves its own and, therefore, there is little or no strife between them and the world!
Alas, I fear the Church is not true to itself and, therefore, the world begins to love it. It says, “You have come to live with us and do as we do. You do not bear your awkward protests as you used to do and so we need not to burn you as we did your fathers. You are hail fellows well with us and, therefore, we will treat you kindly.” Only let as live as Christ lived and we shall find the dogs of this world howling at us as they used to do at our forefathers! My Hearers, can you live the separated life? If you can, God help you and bless you in it!
But if you cannot, remember though you do not so go into Sodom as to indulge in its most gross sins, yet the very looking at it, the wishing for it, the desiring to be there shows where your heart is and your heart’s tendency is your true character. You will be judged according to the going of your heart. If your heart goes toward the mountain to escape and if you have desired to be with Christ to be His separated follower, you shall be saved. But if your heart still goes after evil and sin, his servants you are whom you obey and from your evil master you shall get your black reward!
Here comes our remembrance of Lot’s wife in the fourth and most solemn place and that is—remember that her doom was terrible. “Remember Lots wife.” Remember that she perished with the same doom as that which happened to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah but that doom befell her at the gates of Zoar. Oh, if I must be damned, let it be with the mass of the ungodly having always been one of them! To get up to the very gates of Heaven and to perish there will be a most awful thing! To have lived with God’s people.
To have been numbered with them and to be joined to them by ties of blood—and then, after all, to perish—will be horrible, indeed! To have heard the Gospel. To have felt the Gospel, too, in a measure, and even to have amended one’s life because of it. To have escaped from the filthiest corruption of the world and to have become moral, amiable, excellent and yet to still not have been weaned from the world, not to have been divorced from sin and so to perish—the thought is intolerable!
That same brine and brimstone which fell upon the inhabitants of the four cities overtook Lot’s wife! She was on the margin of the shower and as it fell she was salted with tar—she was turned into a pillar of salt where she stood! Dreadful doom! On the verge of mercy to be slain by justice! On the brink of salvation to be the victim of eternal wrath! This came upon her all of a sudden, too. What a picture! She stops as she is fleeing—she turns her head! She scarcely looks! The gaze is not long enough to single out her own house—and, lo, she is turned into a pillar!
The fire-salt has fallen on her! She will never move again! She had not time to start or turn and, with her neck just as it was, she stands as a statue of salt—a warning to all who should pass that way. (source)
More on Rodriguez in a moment. First the TC website tells us:
Refresh + Refresh + + Renew
The Thrive Leadership Conference, hosted by Pastor Ray Johnston at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California, is North America’s go-to conference for pastors and leaders, offering the best keynote speakers, the most workshops, the most inspirational worship, and the most fun—all in the greatest location. (source)
TC as “North America’s go-to conference,” which they say offers “the best keynote speakers,” just may be a bit of an overstatement in my estimation. But, be that as it may, in addition to Rick Warren and Sam Rodrugiez, this year’s TC does offer us:
You may know that Strobel is a well known Christian apologist who was once “a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church”1 and now serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University while Daly is president of Focus on the Family.
Senior Pastor Ray Johnston founded Bayside Church in 1996, after he and his wife Carol obeyed God’s call on their hearts to respond to the need of a place in Northern California… Under Pastor Ray’s leadership, Bayside has become one of the fastest growing churches on the West Coast, with over 11,000 people coming together for worship,… (source)
Here with BC it appears that we’re getting yet another megachurch a la Rick Warren’s own Saddleback Church. However, it’s important to remember at this point that while “fastest growing churches” do please the eyes of man, this simply does not insure that God is actually behind that growth.
Let me be clear in that with conferences like Thrive your pastor is going to learn strategies for numerical growth that come straight out of American secular business practices; methods via apostates like Peter Drucker, which were repackaged with Christian terminology and brought into professing Christendom by Leadership Network.
While these practices used by people who do corporate takeovers do work, and they will produce numbers, they have no place in the church of Jesus Christ. What we have with Seeker Driven megachurches like this extends from the man-centered Church Growth Movement2 and not from God’s prescribed methods of Church growth:
And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:27)
Martin Luther is correct when he says:
From these and other words of God, we should begin to know the Lord Christ in the right way. We should develop a more loving confidence in him. And we should pay more attention to his words than to anything [else].3
Instead, today these PD/SD megachurch cult of celebrity pastors pay rapt attention to the words of each other in the same old conferences featuring the same old speakers and held by the same old names. They’d be wise to heed the words of Charles Spurgeon, an early megachurch pastor, on how his was built:
Prayer, mighty prayer, will yet prevail if it hath but time. And while you never cease from your trust in God, nor from your prayer, grow more earnest in both. Let your faith be still more resolved to give up all dependence anywhere but upon God, and let your cry grow more and more vehement.4
With this in mind, my point with this piece is to further introduce you to Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who has long operated within New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) dominionist and hyper-charismatic circles. You need to know that over the past year he’s another NAR adherent beginning to rise in popularity within the more mainstream.
president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization representing more than 40,000 churches,… He is an Assemblies of God Ordained Minister since the age of 23. Rodriguez also serves as Senior Pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, CA (source)
Rodriguez is pastor at New Season Christian Worship Center (NSCWC) along with his wife pastrix “Rev.” Eva, who’s said to be “Church Planter, Preacher and Motivator,” as apparently “Eva Rodriguez stands recognized as one of America’s Preeminent Christian leaders.”5
In obedience to a “prophecy” NSCWC’s Associate Pastrix ”Rev.” Phyllis Towles was installed by Samuel Rodriguez himself:
Pastor Phyllis Towles was licensed for ministry in 1995 and became an ordained evangelist in 2002. Pastor Phyllis has been with New Season CWC since 1999, and was installed to the office of Associate Pastor in 2012 by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez thus fulfilling a prophecy spoken over her in 1999.
Her pastoral oversight at New Season CWC includes leadership development and discipleship… (source)
Current membership of the ICAL now appears to be restricted to ICAL members. If you didn’t know, the ICAL “was conceived in Singapore in 1999 by a group of international apostles.” You may have been unaware there is such a thing. However, this new bunch of so-called Apostles then:
discussed how God could use the combined efforts of global apostolic leadership to advance the Kingdom of God more effectively… John P. Kelly was asked to assume leadership as Convening Apostle for the new coalition and to establish an office in Fort Worth, Texas.
He was directed to organize a council and to begin inviting apostles to join the ICAL fellowship network. The first Annual Meeting was held near Dallas, Texas in 2000. (source)
It’s important to realize that such as these are claiming direct revelation from God concerning e.g. “Apostle” C. Peter Wagner, which you can see below when we’re told that in that year 2000:
John Kelly was directed by the Lord to ask C. Peter Wagner to assume the roll of Presiding Apostle. In 2001, ICAL moved into the offices of Global Harvest in Colorado Springs, Colorado. John Kelly continued to serve ICAL as the Ambassadorial Apostle, representing ICAL globally and conducting ICAL Regional Summits throughout the United States.
In 2009, on the eve of his 80th birthday, C. Peter Wagner was directed by the Lord to ask John P. Kelly to again assume the roll of Presiding (now Convening) Apostle over ICAL. ICAL was transferred back to Fort Worth, Texas in the spring of 2010.
With an official handing of the baton ceremony at the 2010 Annual November Gathering, Dr. Wagner was installed as the Presiding Apostle Emeritus of ICAL and John P. Kelly became the new Convening Apostle. (source, emphasis mine)
We also know that the aforementioned C. Peter Wagner is aware of mounting criticisms of the NAR as he’s on record offering “the NAR is definitely not a cult.”10 However, are quite right to be very concerned about this NAR cult because Wagner warns us of its growth:
Those who affiliate with it believe the Apostles’ Creed and all the standard classic statements of Christian doctrine. It will surprise some to know that the NAR embraces the largest non-Catholic segment of world Christianity. It is also the fastest growing segment, the only segment of Christianity currently growing faster than the world population and faster than Islam. (source)
also been invited to the Freedom Federation Summit at Liberty University April 15. Speaking earlier at a Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative gathering at Fort Mill, with great emphasis, Rodriguez rallied the crowd asserting that the Oak Initiative, [NAR "Aosptle" Rick] Joyner’s political action group, is “the New Jerusalem and also Washington DC.
We will mobilize for cultural reformation, not just engagement. We will not be held hostage by a donkey or an elephant.” How better to express the Dominion Mandate. (source)
You need to be aware of the above because. as you’ll hear in this exclusive video clip from this talk, 1) Samuel Rodriguez has been a board member of this dominionist Oak Initative group 12 and 2) reveals that they are aggressively targeting your young:
But if Samuel Rodriguez truly has repented of his close ties to the dominionism of the NAR then he’ll need to publicly repudiate e.g. things like his strong endorsement of NAR false“Apostle/Prophet” Lou Engle’s TheCall Sacramento, which was held at the CA state capital on September 3-4, 2010:
The following is originally published by Herescope and is republished here with permission:
By Pastor Larry Debruyn
“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ… he is conceited and understands nothing… [and] has a morbid interest in controversial questions… out of which arise… constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.”
Paul to Timothy, 1 Timothy 6:3-5, NASB, Emphasis added.
Introduction—A Contrast Early the morning of February 10, 2014, 12:00 am, Fox News airedThe Fox Files which contained a segment reporting on Samaritan’s Purse’s relief work in various parts of the world, focusing especially on helping the tens of thousands of refugees who have fled war torn Syria to seek safety in northern Iraq. In interviewing Samaritan’s Purse’s President Franklin Graham and its chief operating officer in Boone, N.C., and in traveling to Iraq to observe and report first-hand on the relief organization’s efforts there, Greta Van Susteren brought the heart of the ministry up-close and personal to viewers.
Syrian refugees were shown walking across a make-shift pontoon bridge over the river dividing Syria from Iraq, their only possession being the clothes they were wearing. The scene then shifted to Boone, N.C., where big semi-trucks and cargo planes were shown being loaded with food, water, medical and relief supplies (tents, heaters, water, shoes and clothing, etc.) to be flown to northern Iraq. Little children were shown as they were given their Christmas shoe boxes, the reception of which changed their countenances from the sadness of despair to smiles of delight. Fox Files reported that in most instances Samaritan’s Purse is the first to respond to disaster and refugee crises around the world. At times, it is the only responder. The news program authenticated the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, the importance of which is crucial in light of recent attempts on the part of the U.S.’s Internal Revenue Service to make life uncomfortable for 501C(3) tax-exempt charities and organizations.
Anyway, my heart was moved to tears as I observed the squalid living conditions of the refugees and the ways in which Samaritan’s Purse was trying to help them, giving something to those who possessed nothing. I point to this legitimate ministry to contrast it with reports that have surfaced over the last months about another ministry in North Carolina located about a hundred miles to the south.
True to the “prosperity-gospel” tenet that God wants his children rich—they are after all, the King’s Kids—a young mega-church pastor (he’s 33 years old) is building a 1.7 million dollar mansion, with reportedly five bedrooms and seven and one/half baths, in an exclusive neighborhood on multiple acres of land. Steven Furtick is the hip, flamboyant and youthful communicator who leads Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., a growing 14,000 member congregation with several campuses, even one in Toronto, Canada. Amongst his followers, who claim to be evangelical, he’s not just a rising star, but a risen one. And befitting his stardom, the stylish Furtick is no pauper. His self-indulgence has caused many, mostly outside the realm of his followers, to question his ministerial motives in building the extravagant house. Jesus may have promised us a “mansion” in His Father’s house (really the sense is more of an “apartment”), but for the prosperous young pastor that day can’t wait (John 14:2, KJV). He wants the mansion now. So he’s building it with the money received from other of the King’s Kids.
He claims the capital for building the house is coming from “gains” derived from royalties from book sales and honorariums from speaking engagements. In a classic case of conflict of interest, from his influential platform the young pastor promotes his books to thousands of followers. Yet there’s no way of knowing if these royalty/honorarium sources of money are covering the 1.7 million cost of the house because no outsiders are privy Furtick’s compensation package from the church. I doubt that they do, but that’s what he says.
Though Elevation Church has a governing body, it does not consist of elders, but rather of a “hand picked” Board of Overseers of other mega-church pastors (Wonder who does the “picking”?). Thus, as Furtick, the church’s CFO James “Chunks” Corbett, other of the church’s administration team and “the Board of Overseers” (“overseer” can mean “bishop”) remain secreted regarding the church’s finances, neither the financial integrity nor accountability of the organization can be verified. Furtick promised Elevation “would always be a ministry of integrity.” Yet the message being left amidst all the hazy financial reporting is, “Trust us!” So when the controversy initially surfaced regarding Furtick’s almost 2 million dollar building project, the young pastor apologized the next Sunday to his 14,000 plus followers that he was sorry for any “uncomfortable conversations” they had to have over “his mansion” under construction. Some evangelical leaders, and there’s more than just Furtick, seem to be mimicking the lifestyles of the rich, the famous and sometimes naughty.
Now this scandal can be added to the long list of other scandals that hangover the pale of the evangelical movement in America, both present (Doug Phillips of Vision Forum, and Bill Gothard of Institute in Basic Life Principles) and past. There will be scandals, I guess. Anyway, evangelical Christianity’s losing of credibility appears to be in a free fall. By in large money, sex, and power have corrupted the movement (See 1 John 2:15-17.).
My intention in drawing attention to the controversy over Furtick’s house-scandal is because what’s happening with him and Elevation Church are symptomatic of what is going wrong in evangelicalism. As a whole and for the most part, excepting, of course, Samaritan’s Purse and many other good and godly missions and ministries, the evangelical movement does not have a good reputation among outsiders. As far as the movement’s PR is concerned, rotten apples are spoiling the whole, and millions of followers are allowing it to happen. So it becomes incumbent that these wealth-gospel ministers and ministries be held up to the scrutiny of Holy Scripture to see how God’s word indicts their obvious and blatant spiritual shenanigans.
Yes, pan-evangelicalism has lost credibility amongst John Q Public. From what has happened, outsiders know something “stinks.” But those same unbeliever-outsiders might be surprised to know that Scripture also indicts the legitimacy of much of what passes for “ministry” today. Nevertheless, though many outside the church detect the odor emanating from evangelicalism, how is it, we are forced to ask, that so many in evangelicalism can’t smell the smell? Maybe they’ve just gotten too used to it.
So to determine why evangelicalism has become odious, even to some of us who might be categorized as part of it, we need to perform a simple test—”follow the money.” So let us look at the “money trail” and together survey some of the biblical warnings about money’s corrupting influence, especially as regards the “wealth gospel,” whether that false teaching is being peddled overtly or covertly, brazenly or subtly. To critics of discernment in general (Oh, discerners are unloving and way too judgmental.), I would say that silence is compliance. But about cases like Furtick’s, Scripture is neither silent nor compliant.
Please follow the Bible’s “money trail” with me. We begin with . . .
Pastor and author Rick Warren partnered with LifeWay Christian Resources to release a Bible study related to the Son of God movie from 20th Century Fox, which hits theaters Feb. 28.
The small-group curriculum resource by Warren, Son of God: The Life of Jesus in You, is a companion piece to the movie produced by husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
The six-session study features video clips from the movie and videos from Warren explaining Jesus’ teachings and their impact on people’s lives. Topics include baptism, temptation, suffering, death, resurrection and ministry. (source)