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.
TBN, whose main vehicle for fleecing the Christian flock is its Praise the Lord (PtL) program, is as spiritually corrupt and sinfully ecumenical as they come. Against this backdrop, let me point out tonight’s PtL schedule:
As we see above, this is the second of three programs featuring Franklin Graham being interviewed by Jan Crouch, the wife of the late Paul Crouch, and co-founder of what I refer to as the Trinity Blasphemy Network.
As you probably know, being an online apologetic and discernment labor in the Lord, a large part of the mission of ￼Apprising Ministries has to do with turning over lots of rocks and then shining the light of Scripture upon the various types of snakes that come slithering out when thus exposed.
It’s not a popular mission; not just anyone should be doing it, and it often comes with a heavy cost. For example, the enemy certainly didn’t like it when AM alerted you to Emergence Christianity, the postmodern liberalism of his egregiously ecumenical Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church (EC).
With its core doctrine of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, Satan’s EC had much to do with why e.g. we see things like Beth Moore and Rick Warren openly touting the devil’s best counterfeit of Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church—the mother of deceptions—as a legit Christian organization.
Rick Warren’s Seeker Driven/Purpose Driven approach, and the Emerging Church going after postmoderns with their self-centered spirituality, are but two arms of the same man-centered CGM methodology. What it’s done is to confuse Law and Gospel to the point that the Gospel’s come up missing in much of Christendom.
Here’s a key point: We simply can’t just undue the entire Protestant Reformation because some adherent’s of charismania and contemplative spirituality (they often go hand-in-hand) have now decided in their supposed private chats with the LORD God Almighty that they think He’s suddenly become Rodney King.
Think about it; isn’t the main message that such as these man-lovers espouse to their fellow Christians essentially: Can’t we all just get along? And isn’t the typical “gospel” presentation we hear today: God loves you so much right where you are that He has a wonderful plan for your life if you just become a “Christ-follower”?
Don’t fall for the people-pleasers’ major straw man that genuine Christians don’t care to present the Gospel in a loving manner. That just isn’t true; the following from William S. Plumer clearly represents the heart of the child of God toward their fellow man as we share the Gospel with them:
When we attempt to convince men of sin, we should be very careful not to do it in tones or terms indicative of want of tenderness. Some of the warm and worthy preachers of the last, as well as of the present century, indulged in such language as can in no case be justified.
When we speak of the terrors of the Lord, and warn men of the dreadful doom awaiting them, we should do it in such a meek and tender manner as to convince them that we compassionate their miserable condition as they stand exposed to a fierce and fiery condemnation, the more terrible because it is just— wholly just. On this subject there ought to be no difference. (source)
As far as the Gospel itself, we cannot forget that at the very heart of the Protestant Reformation was the all-important doctrine of justification; i.e. how is a sinful man made right in the eyes of a holy God. Get that wrong, and you are wrong for eternity. This is absolutely no light matter at all.
Here’s what been forgotten:
The classical Reformed and Lutheran traditions have maintained that the doctrine of justification is the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae, the article upon which the Church stands and falls.
What we’re really saying is that the gospel, that is the good news that God justifies sinners by grace, through faith on account of Christ, is the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae. So, in the minds of the reformers, the doctrine of justification is synonymous with the gospel. (source)
Martin Luther was right when he said that those “who know how to tell the difference between the law and the gospel should thank God.” And further:
You should distinguish the righteousness of the gospel from the righteousness of the law as carefully as God has separated heaven from earth, light from darkness, and the day from night.1
This the apostate Church of Rome has never done, which brought about the Protestant Reformation in the first place. Unfortunately, neither has way too much of the visible Christian community so tainted by the CGM, Rome’s stepchild That’s why I’m very happy when I come across conferences like the one I’m going to point you to.
I’m also thankful that Apprising Ministries is still blessed of the Lord to be in the position to bring warnings, teachings, and conferences like this to your attention. For you see, another critical function here at AM is to stand with brother pastors and lay people who don’t have the time or resources to search out these kinds of things.
From where I stand, as I strive to keep the brethren apprised of such matters, I believe this is also another reason why Apprising Ministries is well worthy of your prayer and financial support. In this way, you share in our important work. Now, may the Lord raise up more conferences of the nature of the one to follow below.
We join these men in praying that God will help them to awaken others to the truth of the Gospel. And how sad that, just as with the original Protestant Reformation, today the Christian community once again needs to recover the Gospel from those who have buried it with the trash of human works righteousness:
Recovering the Gospel: Evangelism in Sardis (cf. Revelation 3:3)
Western Slope Seminar on Biblical Evangelism April 24-26, 2014
A Call to Return to God-Exalting, Historic Faith and Practice ￼
[Jesus] answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. “Let them alone; they are blind guides.And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:13-14)
As Spiritual Blindness Grows Evangelicalism Converging With More And More Apostates
As far back as 2009 I warned you, e.g. in ELCA and Homosexuality, that mainstream evangelicalism itself is getting another peek at its own impending future as we watch how the highly divisive issue of homosexuality is right now ripping apart the mainline denominations such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
That report brings us the story of pastrix Jenny McLellan aka “Pastor Jenny.” We’re not surprised to find CLC is a member of the ELCA,1 which is as apostate as denominations come, or that they chose pastrix McLellan:
Only 26, McLellan became the spiritual leader of Calvary Lutheran Church in Allendale last year. On Sunday, she stood before a tall window framing a brilliant spring sky, in a church brightened by lilies and the pastel clothing worn by some of the 120 people in the pews.
“This place is filled with vibrant life,” she said. Many in the congregation say that McLellan herself is one reason for that sense of renewal. (source)
No. there’s no revival from God at this apostate church; and pastrix McLellan shouldn’t be leading a local church as senior teaching elder (pastor) because, for one thing, you’ll search the Bible in vain for the qualifications for a female elder. Yet McLellan, a la ELCA pastrix Nadia Bolz-Weber, would even claim to follow Martin Luther.
However, if these rebels against God’s Word really were followers of Luther then they’d know that Martin Luther says no…to Women Pastors. It’s well past time to state plainly that absolutely nothing lasting for the actual Kingdom of God is ever going to come from such compromise in order to curry favor with the world.
The book’s author, Matthew Vines, is a homosexual activist and Bible revisionist known for manipulating Christian terminology to advance the counter-Christian homosexualist agenda. (source)
The About section for WaterMark Multnomah (WM) informs us they are to be considered an evangelical Christian publisher. The following brief overview from its website leaves us no doubt as to MW’s claims along those lines; therefore, they should be judged as such:
The WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, the evangelical division of Penguin Random House, is committed to creating products that both intensify and satisfy the elemental thirst for a deeper relationship with God. By communicating encouraging and life-enriching truths, WaterBrook Multnomah provides resources that can be trusted to be spiritually sound and readers will find to be captivating and enlightening.
In providing these products as a Christian publisher, we hope that readers of all ages will gain a deeper understanding of God and live a life pleasing to Him…WaterBrook Multnomah was launched in September 1996 as an autonomous evangelical Christian publishing division of Random House as WaterBrook Press. Since the release of our first books in February 1998, our publishing program has grown dramatically.
With the purchase of Harold Shaw Publishers in 2000 and acquisition of Multnomah Publishers in August 2006, our list of authors includes such best-selling and well-respected writers as David Platt, Liz Curtis Higgs, Randy Alcorn, Kay Arthur, David Gregory, Joanna Weaver, Shannon Ethridge, Steven Furtick, Shaunti Feldhahn, Andy Stanley, Francine Rivers, Cindy Woodsmall, Joshua Harris, and Bruce Wilkinson.
As a Christian publisher, our product list is abundant with compelling books filled with life-changing messages and talented authors. We offer books for Christian living and spiritual growth, Bible studies, tips on parenting, inspiring works of fiction for adults and youth, engaging books for children, series just for men, titles on marriage, love, finances, and prophecy. As you take the time to browse our Web site we are confident that you will find an engaging read…
As a division of Penguin Random House–the largest publisher in the world–WaterBrook Multnomah’s task is to build a major presence in the Christian Booksellers Association, competing with the top Christian publishers in our market today. (source)
You can be gay and Christian: That’s the message of a book due out next week from a publishing group known until now for its evangelical worldview. But the book will emerge from a new imprint designed to allow the publishing house to avoid alienating its evangelical market. (source)
Too late; from where I stand, Bible-believing Christians already should see this as being double-minded of the part of WM. Langdon continues:
Convergent Books, a publishing imprint under the same corporate umbrella and leadership as the evangelical WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, is scheduled to release God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines next Tuesday. Vines, a 24-year-old former Harvard student, attempts to refute biblical passages that declare homosexuality a sin.
WaterBrook Multnomah, known for its best-selling Christian titles such as John Piper’s Desiring God and books by evangelical authors David Jeremiah and Kay Arthur, began as the printing arm of Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Ore. But mainstream secular publisher Penguin Random House now owns the imprint and groups it under the same corporate umbrella, Crown Publishing Group, as Convergent. (source)
Langdon then shows us the most obvious connection in all of this; one:
Stephen W. Cobb, who heads up both WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent out of the publishing group’s Colorado Springs, Colo., offices, told me Tuesday that Convergent’s audience is “actively exploring and practicing faith and framing that faith in Christian terms, but they’re very open in their approach to issues that face the church today, and they really defy conventional labels.”
The most visible link between WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent is Cobb himself, who said he makes the final decision to publish each imprint’s books, including God and the Gay Christian. (source)
As Langdon points out, Stephen Cobb appears to have “attempted to put an imaginary cushion between evangelical Christians,” which would include “some of WaterBrook Multnomah’s authors” as well as “others who would give credence to Vines’ justification of homosexuality.” It also seems that:
Though Cobb insisted he has no agenda to change the way the church views homosexuality, his attitude recasts a showdown between truth and heresy as a mere debate between equally plausible positions.
World Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns made a similar argument when he announced a change in his company’s hiring policy to include employees in same-sex marriages. (source)
And yes, WV did change right back to it’s original policy; at least for now. However, the fact remains that currently there is an agenda growing within mainstream evangelicalism to change the way the heart of professing Christendom views the sexual immorality of homosexuality. Finally, Langdon now asks the key question:
Will Vines’ book be the first of many from Convergent to challenge orthodox biblical beliefs? I asked Cobb where he would draw the line in publishing books that oppose evangelical beliefs.
“Matthew believes in the inerrancy and the divinity and the correctness of Scripture,” he responded. “He believes it is God’s inspired Word. I have seen things, proposals have crossed my desk that the author does not have that core belief. … I want to believe that every book that publishes on my watch, whichever imprint it publishes in, is biblically based and developed credibly.” (source)
The problem for Cobb is, for Vines to argue Holy Scripture does not condemn homosexual relations as sin shows us already that his book isn’t biblically based in any kind of credible way. God only allows for sexual relations within the marriage covenant He ordained of a (male) husband and a (female) wife (cf. Matthew 19:4-6).
In closing this out, I say again that none of this should surprise us. You see, as spiritual blindness spreads, we will watch more ostensibly evangelical organizations cave in on this issue because that’s the way the wind of society is blowing. Sadly, too many Christians are more concerned about what man says than what God says.
You watch, “soon” a major mainstream evangelical figure will come out and announce that they are homosexual; and this will detonate this debate within the walls of what is thought to be conservative Christianity. Then evangelical leaders will see just how far the Emerging Church has moved its younger sectors from sola Scriptura.
Here then is what the Lord says to all those like the gay affirming CLC with its pastrix Jenny McLellan, and apparently even Stephen W. Cobb of WM, who would dare compromise His Word in order to be people-pleasers:
And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever. For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord;who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path,let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, “Because you despise this word and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on them, therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant; and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found with which to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern.” (Isaiah 30:8-14)
You’ve likely noticed here lately at Apprising Ministries that I’ve been spending quite a bit of time covering the pitiful position of far too many mainstream evangelical leaders when it comes to promoting, and even partnering with, Word Faith prosperity preachers like “trinitarian-modalist” T.D. Jakes.
You should know that this page I captured for you and placed above has since vanished into the meta. It’s important to note also that the Word Faith “healer” Hinn also provided a video promoting this supposed partnership with Liberty University, which also seems to be missing from Hinn’s website.
In a moment, you’re going to find out why. First, appearing with Benny Hinn in these exclusive video clips from that video are Dan Reber, Director of Liberty University Institute of Biblical Studies and Dr. Ronald Godwin, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost for Liberty University.1
Like I said before, by holding up one of Liberty’s diplomas, it would seem pretty clear below that Hinn was attempting to try and telling us that those who complete the course would indeed receive a diploma from Liberty University itself:
Also notice the following screen capture from the then downloadable brochure from Hinn’s website did say in no uncertain terms that the diploma would indeed be from Liberty University:
Liberty University has scaled back the responsibilities overseen by Provost Ron Godwin following a video in which he appeared to endorse a partnership between the university and Texas-based faith healer Benny Hinn.
Godwin, 76, no longer will serve as the university’s vice president for academic affairs, according to a statement on LU’s website, though he will continue as provost.
In the statement, Liberty University President and Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said Godwin’s refined role would ensure the error does not repeat itself.
“The University will continue to rely on Dr. Godwin’s breadth of academic and administrative experience,” Falwell said in the release, which appeared on www.liberty.edu on Friday but was not sent to media outlets. “He will spend the next few years grooming his successors and guiding the team responsible for Liberty University’s pending ten year accreditation reaffirmation report.”
The update on Godwin’s role was written as an addendum to a statement issued by LU on April 3, which notified the public that Liberty University did not have a partnership with Benny Hinn Ministries, as Benny Hinn had advertised.
According to Hinn, his partnership with Liberty University would allow students of the World Healing Fellowship & Liberty University Institute of Biblical Studies to receive a diploma from the university, and be eligible for college credits.
On April 4, the university issued a cease-and-desist order, requiring Benny Hinn to remove from its website all unauthorized uses of the university’s trademark and intellectual property.
The confusion as to whether or not such a partnership existed — which led to short-lived but national attention — occurred in part because of Godwin’s appearance with Dan Reber on Benny Hinn’s television show, “This is Your Day.” (source)
So, with LU issuing the cease and desist order to remove the materials, now we know why they have since vanished. While I don’t find much good to say about LU in general, they should be commended for this anyway.
You can read the Liberty University statement in its entirety, along with further commentary from Ron Godwin, by clicking here.
If you are a regular reader of Apprising Ministries, then you probably know about my battle with the osteomyelitis, which affected my spine. It was just over a year ago now that I would go into the hospital for nearly four full months. Unfortunately, we were without health insurance.
So, we have since ended up with a six figure debt. In regard to the spinal infection, I’m actually progressing a little better than some of the doctors expected. Still, I’m not even a year into my recovery; and no doubt you’ll notice my that my posting is still no where near the volume as before.
To update you on the health problems I outlined for you a month ago in Request for Prayer and Support, there has been some over-all improvement. My eyes are starting to have a few more more good days than bad. As you might guess, back pain makes sleeping difficult as does all of the stress.
God knows that I really hate talking about the subject of money; however, a work like this is entirely dependent upon the generosity of the Lord’s people. As such, following the holiday and tax seasons, I do need to let you know that AM is currently in a really bad slump as far as donations go.
As always, we greatly appreciate those of you who have been faithfully giving all along. Without you we would never have lasted these nine years since AM went online in 2005. Still, we need help; and we do pray you’ll join us in asking the Lord to raise up some new supporters to stand with the others.
Perhaps you’ve been blessed through the work here and maybe you’ll consider helping to support this labor in the Lord. Please know that, at this time, a gift of any amount—whether one time or on a regular basis—goes a long way toward helping to keep AM available to serve the Christian church.
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.
Or, if you prefer, you can make your checks/money orders payable to Connecticut River Baptist Church with Apprising Ministries in the memo and send them to:
Connecticut River Baptist Church
P.O. Box 340
Claremont, NH 03743
Here at Apprising Ministries I’m doing what I can to continue covering The Falling Away Of The Evangelical Church, which is the article that essentially launched this work. Not long after I found fmyself among those who are also pioneering this still developing work of online apologetics and discernment ministry.
Like it or not, as Jesus sends spiritual darkness and 1 Peter 4:17 judgments across a professing Christendom in lust for acceptance of the world, mainstream evangelicalism is well into what I call the New Downgrade No-Controversy. I’m afraid that even the reformed sectors aren’t immune to the resulting apostasy.
For example, we have the so-called New Calvinism (NC); which, as I told you the other day in Mark Driscoll Controversy Cover-Up, is emerging as a postmodern form of Calvinism that tries to marry some parts of reformed theology with corrupt counter Reformation spirituality a la apostate Roman Catholic mystics.
In my opinion, the charismania within NC has caused more than its share of confusion. As I see it, this is what would lead John Piper into making the ill-fated decision to bring Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren into the Desiring God Conference 2010 as the keynote speaker. Unfortunately, it got even a little worse.
Dr. Piper decided to defend his decision and would go on to state:
At root I think [Rick Warren] is theological and doctrinal and sound. (source)
Remember as well that Rick Warren received much training from Leadership Network, as did the aforementioned Mark Driscoll. Since the first Elephant Room (ER), I’ve told you about a developing Evangelical Ecumenical Magisterium (EEM) growing up around Driscoll and his ER co-host James MacDonald.
My point in bringing this up is to warn you that this EEM of cult of celebrity megachurch pastors already has a foothold within young, restless and reformed circles. And it’s no surprise that later in 2010 PDL pope Warren placed his blessing upon key members; they are in part his disciples:
From where I stand, it looks pretty easy for “big time” pastors, who are always rubbing shoulders together at the same conferences, to have their judgment clouded by their friendships. Has this happened in the case of C.J. Mahaney? Obviously, I can’t say because I don’t frequent the circles he does nor do I know the men he does.
C.J. Mahaney founded Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), which was once known as People of Destiny International (PDI). PDI was aligned with elements of the the Shepherding Movement.1 In fact, we’re told that theologian Alister McGrath:
associated PDI with the shepherding movement and described it as having “informal links with Bryn Jones,” the UK house church leader.2
Citing a desire to keep his peers from any “unfair and unwarranted criticism” stemming from a lawsuit filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries, C.J. Mahaney has announced his departure from the biennial Together for the Gospel (T4G) pastors conference he co-founded in 2006 with fellow evangelical Christian leaders Mark Dever, Albert Mohler and Ligon Duncan. (source)
Nine months ago, C.J. issued a statement about withdrawing from the conference. Here are his remarks.
“After much prayer, reflection and counsel I have decided to withdraw from participation in the 2014 Together for the Gospel conference. My reason for doing so is simple: I love these men and this conference and I desire to do all I possibly can to serve the ongoing fruitfulness of T4G.
“Unfortunately, the civil lawsuit filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries, two former SGM churches and pastors (including myself), continues to generate the type of attention that could subject my friends to unfair and unwarranted criticism. Though dismissed in May (and now on appeal), the lawsuit could prove a distraction from the purpose of this important conference. My withdrawal is not intended to communicate anything about the merits of the suit. My decision simply reflects the reality that my participation could create a hindrance to this conference and its distinct purpose of serving so many pastors. My strong desire is to make sure this doesn’t happen. I believe the most effective way I can serve my friends who have supported me, and continue to support me, is by not participating in the 2014 conference.” (C.J. Mahaney, July 1, 2013)
C.J. was forced to withdraw from speaking even though one of the four original founders (Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever being the others). (source)
Speaking of being one of the founders of an organization, if you don’t know, Detwiler was:
one of four founders of Sovereign Grace Ministries who left the church-planting network over differences with President C.J. Mahaney in 2009,… (source)
In the interest of fairness, let me also bring to your attention that last year in Ministry leaders blast whistleblower we find out that SGM “released a statement” concerning Detwiler, which was:
adopted in May by the organization’s leaders commending founder C.J. Mahaney and denouncing [the] former associate turned vocal critic of the well-known evangelical leader. (source)
However, the decision by C.J. Mahaney not to speak at T4G does make the following photo a bit curious:
Detwiler also informed us yesterday that:
The Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference is currently going on in Louisville, KY. This photo [above] shows Al Mohler, John MacArthur, Thabiti Anyabwile, John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, and Kevin DeYoung sitting together in the front row (left to right). The other men are all speakers. C.J. is not. (source)
The picture was originally tweeted out by Melton Duncan:
Now, in light of all of this, I’m going to leave you with the following from Brent Detwiler, who asks what I find to be an interesting question:
C.J. was forced to withdraw from speaking even though one of the four original founders (Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever being the others). He may not be an official participant but he is a participant. That aside, this photo is a clear endorsement of C.J. It was taken by Melton Duncan and put on the internet. Melton is Ligon Duncan’s brother.
C.J. claims he didn’t want to subject his friends to “unfair and unwarranted criticism” or be “a hindrance to this conference.” Really? Then why in the world did he agree to sit in the front row in front of thousands of people? (source)
Here at Apprising Ministries you’ve heard me warn you on a regular basis about the despicable Church Growth Movement (CGM),1 which slithered out of the spiritual black hole known as Fuller Theological Seminary (FTS). Briefly, we trace the origins of the CGM back to Donald McGavran who in 1965:
was asked by Fuller Theological Seminary to establish the School of World Mission…. His major book Understanding Church Growth does not primarily focus on Theology (but rather on the social sciences. McGavran’s theology is primary apologetic.
Although the name of his book is Understanding Church Growth, he focuses mostly on growth and little on the church. (source, bold in original)
At this point it’s important to note that C. Peter Wagner, McGavran’s partner in spiritual crime at FTS is listed as the co-author of Understanding Church Growth.2 You might also notice that the mythology of McGavran and Wagner sounds an awful lot like the seeker driven Purpose Driven Church methodology of Rick Warren.
Since this isn’t the main point of this piece, let me just point that these men essentially espoused the same man-centered theology as the late Robert Schuller4 who once wrote the following foolishness:
Classical theology has erred in its insistence that theology be “God-centered,” not “man-centered”…[and teaching about] a holy God who hates sin…we [need to] redefine our doctrine of sin.”
Historical theology has too often failed to interpret repentance as a positive creative force… Essentially, if Christianity is to succeed in the next millennium, it must cease to be a negative religion and must become positive.5
So, if you didn’t know where these man-centered myths came from, now you do. Here’s why this is important before you read the devotional teaching to follow. Another entity of the CGM, which would also slither into the visible church to marry man-pleasing mythology to business methodology is Leadership Network (LN).
It’s no secret that Rick Warren has been deeply involved with LN for decades.6 You need to know that LN teaches a fable known as “pre-conversion discipleship.” For example, we consider the following from Emergent Church “missiologist” Alan Hirsch, who was very involved in the early Emerging Church.7
we need to reframe evangelism within the context of discipleship…even “the Twelve” (and “the Seventy”) were all what we would call “pre-conversion disciples.”8
No, sorry about that Rick Warren; they are clearly teaching a mythology that someone who is still in the flesh can actually be discipled. However, the critical fact is that the Twelve and the Seventy were very specifically chosen by Jesus Christ Himself and interacted directly with Him; and thus they were converted before they were sent out.
This brings me to the most important part of this short article. The CGM has really crippled the Christian witness outside the Body of Christ and produced the neutering of the Gospel of repentance and the Cross. As such, you need to know that there are scores and scores of false converts kidding themselves that they are Christians.
George Whitefield was a leading figure in the Great Awakening, a major revival “that swept through the American colonies between the 1730s and the 1770s.”9 Well, I offer Whitefield saw more conversions to Christ than Rick Warren et al could ever dream of seeing. He was once asked, “Why do you always say, ‘You must be born again!’?”
Whitefield simply replied, “Because you must be born again!” Don;t deceive yourself, no one can follow Christ in the flesh or ever hope to please God (c.f. John 3:3-7; Romans 8:7-11). If you don’t find what you’re about to read happening to you personally, then you have every reason to wonder whether you are a regenerated Christian:
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)
If you fail that test you just might cry out —Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24). If this be so, good; the Lord is calling you. Now you’re ready for the Good News; there’s repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name. Come to HIm now; He died on the Cross for your sins.
And if you’ll but reach out for Him, then your next cry wil be — Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:25)
“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you cannot do the things that you would.” Galatians 5:17
In this one verse the apostle Paul describes the thing that continually plagues every Christian.
We, as the people of God, desire more than anything to love God perfectly, but can’t.
We long to cease from sin and ungodliness, but can’t.
We strive to worship our God with our entire being, but can’t.
We try to do good and honor God in all things, but can’t.
Why do we continually do, say, feel, and think things that are evil?
Why are we so hard-hearted, unforgiving, and ignorant?
Why can’t we do what we desire most?
It’s because we have two natures called . . .
flesh and spirit,
sin and righteousness,
Adam and Christ.
We do indeed believe our God, but not as we would.
We do love our Savior, but not as we would.
We do live for His honor and glory, but not as we would.
Our flesh won’t allow us. It always interferes. It keeps us from doing the things that we would. When we would do good–then evil is present with us.
Our most fervent faith, is mixed with unbelief.
Our most selfless sacrifices, are mixed with selfishness.
Our most ardent prayers and supplications, are marred by our infirmities.
Our most spiritual moments, are contaminated by our sickening carnality.
Our meekest hours of submission and dependence on God, are corrupted by our self-will and pride.
Every mountain top experience of spiritual pleasure, is tinged with shameful wanderings within.
Our clearest views of Christ are darkened by error, misconceptions, and preconceived notions.
Even when our hearts seem to be most fixed on God’s glory, they are torn between this world and the next.
The reality is, that as long as we live in this world–we will be at war within ourselves! The flesh will not submit to the Spirit–and the Spirit will not submit to the flesh. We will be . . .
pulled this way one moment–and that way the next;
believing one moment–and doubting the next;
praising God in the morning–then murmuring at night;
seeking God’s will today–and our will tomorrow.
As long as we live in this body of flesh there will be a constant struggle within us–a struggle between flesh and Spirit.
Lost unregenerate men know nothing of this struggle! This internal warfare is peculiar to believers. Unbelieving, unregenerate, impenitent, rebellious, lost sinners know nothing of this fight with SELF. They don’t loathe themselves as all believers do; they lovethemselves. They have but one nature–and that is sin, which rules in their hearts supremely. Lost men do not have grace within, to oppose the works and motions of the flesh. All they have is a nature that is dead in trespasses and sin, that walks according to the course of this world.
The struggle doesn’t begin within a man, until that man is born of God’s Spirit and given the gift of life and faith in Christ.
This war between our flesh and Spirit is best for us. If it were not so, then God would not allow it. God is control of this fight, and has ordained it for us in His infinite wisdom and grace. This constant battle within our hearts is good for us, because it keeps us looking to Christ–ever seeking Him, His grace, His help, His power. This lifelong fight will make the prize that much sweeter–when Jesus will present us “to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless!” Ephesians 5:27
“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” Amos 3:3)
Rob Bell Is Now Walking With Oprah Winfrey Through The New Spirituality
Apprising Ministries was blessed by the Lord to be among the online apologetics and discernment ministries (OADM) who were the first to cover apostate Rob Bell, the former rock star icon of the Emerging Church aka the Emergent Church. In fact, this OADM actually became a leading critic as evidenced by the following.
Though funding is down right now, I want to encourage you who have been faithfully supporting this labor in the Lord that He is using it to reach people and putting it right in front of the various people I write about. For example, in the 2008 ABP News piece Rob Bell: Christians shouldn’t fear controversy over doctrine we found out:
Actually, it was back in 2008 that I would feel led to write Rob Bell And Christian Universalism. Therein I began to show you that, even then, Rob Bell was already leaning toward, as well as beginning to teach, a form of universalism where—after a time in some type of a purgatory—eventually everyone will end up being saved.1
Then in 2011 Bell released his most controversial book Love Wins where he came out of the closet advancing the argument for a form of Christian Universalism.2 Keep in mind here that the Emerging Church, which Bell was aligned with, morphed into the Emerging Church 2.0 with its own postmodern Progressive Christian theology.
You need to know that under the silly circus “big tent” they erected3 these rebels against the final authority of the Word of God would refer to their mythology as Emergence Christianity; and at the very corrupt heart of this foolhardy fable is the same type of universalism Bell was arguing for as the basis for his Love Wins mythology.
Here it’s very important to keep in mind that, at the time, the warped and toxic teachings of Rob Bell were being used across mainstream evangelicalism in Youth groups and Young Adult ministries. For example, in 2011—the very year that Love Wins dropped—we have Saddleback Church of Rick Warren using Rob Bell Teachings.
Former megachurch pastor Rob Bell, founder of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Mich., recently shared how his 2011 book, Love Wins, led to a fallout with the congregation and forced him on a “search for a more forgiving faith.”
Bell details this search in a recent interview with The New Yorker, and discusses his invitation to Christians interested in a different kind of church, “one that can keep pace with the rising ‘waterline of culture.’” (source)
Why is all of this important to rehash here? I’m glad you asked; because 1) Rob Bell has probably had more influence upon the young in your local evangelical church than you realize and 2) he is a leading practioner and proponent of the corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) I have so often warned you about.4
The fact is, the universalism Rob Bell arrived at is direct fruit of his longtime devotion to this spurious CSM promulgated by the Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster for years as so-called Spiritual Formation. Now consider, CSM likely forms the basis of what’s been taught to your young since circa 2004.5
Against this backdrop I tell you again that Rob Bell has long had far more in common the Buddha than the Christ. Which now brings me around to talk show host turned spiritual guru, Oprah Winfrey. Let’s be clear, Winfrey does claim to be a Christian and unfortunately there are many gullible Christians who buy that claim.6
Even so, as you’ll hear her tell us, “I am a Christian; that is my faith” at 0:26 of the clip below:
You can also see that Winfrey’s statement, “I respect for all faiths” was indeed a real crowd pleaser. Of course we respect people of other faiths; however, mystics like Winfrey and Rob Bell actually espouse the New Spirituality, which supposedly transcends these faiths. For them these other religions are really irrelevant.
Neo-gnostics like Oprah Winfrey, and possibly Bell himself now, are trying to get others to understand that it doesn’t so much matter what you believe about God as long as you believe the world is spiritual. I showed you before, also using her own words, that Oprah Winfrey is not a Christian—though “she was raised Baptist.”7
We do know that both Oprah Winfrey and Rob Bell have in common the practice of transcendental meditation in an altered state of consciousness, sometimes called Contemplative/Centering Prayer, which is at the occultic heart of the new spirituality. So, we shouldn’t find it surprising that Winfrey is so keen on Bell’s version of theology.
Rob Bell will join Oprah Winfrey this fall on an eight-city tour scheduled to include a stop at The Palace of Auburn Hills near Detroit.
Bell, the former Mars Hill church pastor in Grandville, is among the “handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons” slated to participate, according to a news release. The other guests already announced: Deepak Chopra, “Eat Pray Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert and Iyanla Vanzant, whose “Iyanla Fix My Life” show airs on Winfrey’s TV network. (source)
You can see that among the “thought leaders” in spirituality whom Bell will tour with is Living Spiritual Teacher Deepak Chopra, a leading teacher of new spirituality aka the New Age. Sounding a lot like her friend Joel Osteen, Oprah is calling this The Life You Want Weekend.8It begins September 5 and runs through November 15.
Relevant magazine adds:
Rob Bell will be out on the road as part of a new speaking tour. But unlike the intimate theater shows he used to host, his new platform will be in arenas around the country… On her website, the TV mogul has posted an epically-scored video describing the tour if you want to learn more about finding a, ummm, “gratitude space” … (source)
Along those lines Joseph Sunde brings out:
lo and behold, Oprah’s Big-Tent Self-Helpism is about to expand its posts once again. This fall, Oprah will rally a handful of preferred prophets and “tastemakers” to embark on an eight-city weekend tour, “The Life You Want,” a celebration aptly titled for the self-obsessed.
Though a tour of this variety is a first for Enterprise Oprah, and despite the booming promise of the promotional trailer — “Oprah like you’ve never seen, heard, or experienced!” — the aim and agenda are rather routine as far as upper-middle-class heart-tingling goes. All the way down to the $99–$999 price tag.
The tour will push themes of “empowerment, resilience, and authenticity,” we are told. Oprah will share her inspiring rise from poverty to media glory, followed by a series of talks by “hand-picked thought leaders” such as “spiritual teacher” Iyanla Vanzant, mind-body wizard Deepak Chopra, pastor-turned-surf-churcher Rob Bell, and all-around me-seeker Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. “The goal is to live the fullest, highest expression of yourself as a human being,” Oprah declares.
Let’s turn your attention specifically to Deepak Chopra, who “is widely credited with melding modern theories of quantum physics with the timeless wisdom of ancient cultures.”9 You might recall about four years ago now a book called A New Kind of Christianity (ANKoC) from Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren,
Within ANKoC McLaren, one of the unholy Emergent trinity of apostates with universalist EC pastor Doug Pagitt, and his friend Tony Jones—the progressive “theologian in residence” at Pagitt’s Emergent Solomon’s Porch—began laying out more systematically the Emergence Christianity I mentioned earlier.
Not long afterward Rob Bell, a Brian McLaren disciple,10 would become emboldened to also detail the universalism at its heart. What you may not know is that McLaren’s theology in ANKoC is largely culled from the book The Future Of Faith (TFoF) by the uber-liberal theologian Harvey Cox.
I told you before, e.g. in Jim Wallis says your Salvation Isn’t Yours, that Cox has also been very instrumental in assisting progressive Christian theologian Philip Clayton, as well as his friend Brian McLaren, in cobbling together this EC big tent Christian universalism that’s now also advanced by Rob Bell.
The reason I went into all of that is in order to share with you a couple of the recommendations for Cox’ TFoF off its back cover. First, we have Brian McLaren:
This important book has not only helped me understand the past. present, futre of this amazing phenomenon called Christianity . . . it has also motivated me to keep working to help make actual the possible future Cox envisions.
—Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian
As you can see from McLaren himself, he’s working along with men like Cox and Clayton to “help make actual the possible future” they’re together envisioning. Then there’s also the following endorsement from new spirituality guru Deepak Chopra, who clarifies what kind of future for Christianity we’re talking about:
Harvey Cox has been a voice of both reason and faith in our cynical times. Now, he offers a fresh vision for the resurrection of a new global Christianity that will restore our faith both in ourselves and in the divine.
—Deepak Chopra, author ofJesus: A Story of Enlightenment
When you have a supposed resurrected “new global Christianity” that even a pantheist New Age mystic like Chopra can sign onto then you have ceased to have anything left that’s Christian theology. So you see, Rob Bell has more in common with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey than he does a Bible-believing Christian.
Now that we have this understood, we can then return to the aforementioned report by Matt Vande Bunte who goes on to tell us that:
Bell moved to southern California in 2012 to pursue TV opportunities after founding Mars Hill Bible Church, which grew into the area’s largest church. His books including “Love Wins” and “What We Talk About When We Talk About God” reportedly “wowed” Winfrey, who interviewed him last year for a “Super Soul Sunday” show on her TV network.
Bell tweeted last week that he’ll take part in an April 8 taping of the network’s “Help Desk” show. (source)
No shock there that Winfrey was wowed by Bell’s mythology; and yes, by the video clip below, Rob Bell sure does seem pretty excited about his upcoming appearance tomorrow:
Former Mars Hills Bible Church pastor Rob Bell sat down with Oprah Winfrey to talk religion and spirituality in a piece broadcast Sunday morning, Nov. 3 [of last year]. (source)
Here’s the bottom line: Rob Bell’s message was so far removed from orthodox Christianity that Oprah Winfrey wanted him back because she is hearing what she wants to hear.11 Forget the argument that Bell is befriending Winfrey in order to preach the Gospel to her. The truth is, he doesn’t preach the Gospel in the first place.
I’ll leave you with the following clip from Bell’s appearance with Oprah on that Super Soul Sunday broadcast from last year. Hear for yourself that with his vague and opaque “spiritual” answers to Winfrey’s rather straightforward questions, Rob Bell sounds much more like Deepak Chopra than he does a minister of Jesus Christ.
Bell’s words are so nebulous he could be describing the smell and taste of good barbecue rather than God. And before you’re tempted to give Rob Bell a pass on his nebulous presentation, I encourage you to listen to the truth of the words to follow from Charles Spurgeon, a real minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
Our very speech should be such that our citizenship should be detected. We should not be able to live long in a house without men finding out what we are.
A friend of mine once went across [from England] to America, and landing I think at Boston, he knew knew nobody.
But he heard a man say, when somebody had dropped a cask on the quay, “Look out there, or else you will make a Coggeshall job of it.”
My friend said, “You are an Essex man man I know, for that is a proverb never used anywhere but in Essex: give me your hand”; and they were friends at once.
So there should be a ring of true metal about our speech and conversation, so that when a brother meets us, he can say, “You are a Christian, I know, for none but Christians speak like that, or act like that.”12
However, with apostate Rob Bell we offer that none but contemplative neo-gnostics speak like he does below:
Formerly, when our hearts were blinded by errors in teachings from Rome, we imagined that God was a salesman who sold his grace in exchange for our our works and achievements.
Now, however, since the light of the gospel has dawned, we know that we are credited as righteous only by faith in Christ. Our hearts throw out all self-chosen works and perform only the work of our calling and the works of love, which God commands.