Rough Spiritual Waters Dead Ahead
In many of our local fellowships on a given Sunday we could hear a congregation singing songs like “Stand Up Stand Up For Jesus” and/or “Onward Christian Soldiers.”
But now, let’s stop and think for a moment; isn’t part of the job of a soldier defending against attack? If so, then doesn’t this bring them into conflict; and wouldn’t this mean that they would have no choice but to fight? Well, ask yourself: Have I actually seen much of that going on for the cause of Christ in my lifetime? Which is why I find myself wondering: “Where are the Elijahs of God?” Lord, about now I’d say Your Church would be willing to settle for just one.
You know I can’t help but wonder, among our professing Christian brothers and sisters today, just where are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6)? Among our so-called Christian “leaders” we see striving for phony unity with their compromised man-centered message—while courting their favor—speaking from the viewpoint of the world, which is why the world listens to them (1 John 4:5); just where are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Matthew 5:10)? Do they seriously not know that Christ Jesus said of those who do hunger, and of those that are persecuted, theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (ibid.).
As an example, we move over to the egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church de-formation of the Christian faith aka Emergent Church—now morphing into Emergence Christianity (EC), and I bring to your attention how Dr. Gary Gilley did a fine job a while back of reviewing The Secret Message of Jesus (STJ) by leadng EC guru Brian McLaren. In doing so, Gilley brings out McLaren’s own growing cultish quasi-universalism:
[McLaren] now says that he has some things he wants to say “clearly” about “what Jesus’ message really was” (p. 7). But herein lies the problem. McLaren believes that the church has never understood the real message of Jesus (see Appendix 1). Very early, the church “twisted” what Jesus (and Paul) taught into a gospel of “justification by grace through faith, the free gift of salvation, Christ being a substitutionary sacrifice for…sin” (p. 91).
That is not the gospel at all according to McLaren,… McLaren is sure the kingdom is populated by people from all religions, not just Christianity. It is open to all but those who actively oppose it (pp. 163, 167). As a matter of fact it is possible that some Muslims, Buddhist and Hindus might begin to “take their places at the feast,” discovering the secret message of Jesus in ways that many Christians have not. (Online source)
The Quickly Creeping Postmodern Fog Of Postliberal Christian Universalism
Now I readily acknowledge there are those who take serious exception to my calling this EC, of which McLaren is unquestionably one of the noted of its “theologians,” a cult of postliberalism. But, doesn’t it strike one as behavior quite typical of cult leaders when this “spiritual director” tells us in STJ that the “true” message of Jesus has been lost on the Church of Christ until he and his enlightened brood in Emergence Christianity re-discovered it? And how did these neo-Gnostics do this; through their subjective experience in their practice of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism—which first flowered in the monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism.
I pointed this out before, the truth is we now see widespread acceptance of this EC cult within mainstream evangelicalism, which had CSM as a core doctrine ala that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster and his spiritual twin Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard—whom McLaren himself told us were “key mentors” of this EC. As I just told you in Evangelicalism Becoming Another Religion Entirely the EC would serve a Trojan Horse from which Satan would unload his spurious CSM, now spreading under the guise of Spiritual Formation. If you want a good current illustration, then actually make the time to listen to Crosstalk: Ingrid Schlueter And Bob DeWaay On Buddhists At Bethel University.
Or how about this defense of that recent “Bethel Interreligious Symposium” discussed by my friends on that Crosstalk program above. This was released by Bethel News:
Myth: The program emphasized various sorts of meditative practices that are Eastern and unbiblical.
Fact: What was said is that the Christian faith has a long tradition of meditative practices. Paul Reasoner commented that Christians can gain insight into themselves by practicing Buddhist approaches to meditation. But at the same time, Reasoner critiqued the “self-authentication of experience” inherent in Buddhist practice. He commented that Christian meditation may involve being overwhelmed by the presence of God, leading to worship and awe–not the way a Buddhist might describe the “expanded consciousness” of enlightenment. The experiences are fundamentally different. (Online source)
No, the myth is that “the Christian faith has a long tradition of meditative practices.” The fact is that you will not find “meditative practices” in the Judaism of Christ’s time; Jesus doesn’t include them anywhere in His teaching on prayer contained for us in the Gospels, and you’ll not find this skubalon in the doctrine of His Apostles. As you can see in Keeping You Apprised Of: Contemplative/Centering Prayer, from those who teach this type of meditation in an altered state of consciousness, it actually orginates with heretical hermits in the desert of the East. That aside for now, practioners of this CSM eventually come to a form of enlightenment—precisely as do non-Christian mystics—of some supposed “spark of the divine” within all men.
In other words, God already dwells within all of mankind, and not just the regenerated Christian. And in Shane Hipps, Co-Pastor With Rob Bell, Says All Religions Valid you’ll see where this kind of lunacy in the Lord’s Name leads as below Hipps muses myth right in line with classic mysticism:
And that’s why it says, “It was the life and light of all people.” It didn’t say the light and life of the people who believe in Jesus. This logos affects everybody including Osama bin Laden, as long as he’s got breath, in him, is a spark of the divine.
Despite such heresy Hipps, along with his friend and co-pastor at Mars Hills Bible Church, Rob Bell—the Elvis of Emergence—are published by Zondervan as evangelical authors; and they were teaching mainstream evangelical pastors at their 2009 National Pastors Convention; that despite such foolishness as Through Rob Bell “The Great Enlightened Ones” Tell Us Man Has Divine Greatness, where Bell reveals he’s in agreement with New Age Priestess Marianne Williamson concerning the nature of mankind. You may recall that I have previously refuted this whole mystic “divine spark” nonsense using God’s Word in Understanding The New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind.
Drifting Into Rough Spiritual Waters Without A Biblical Anchor
But because these false prophets, lovers of self (see—2 Timothy 3:2), have then run forth with a compromised message so focused on pleasing the people they are preaching to, men like this are hoping that their mush god of unconditional love has made another provision outside of the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why? Well, for one, if this mystic theology of a universal atonement—where Christ already indwells all of mankind is true—then we would have no real need for Gospel missions, or for that matter, true evangelism at all; you know, that alleged “heresy” of individual salvation. So, now can you figure out who is actually behind this kind of false teaching?
You need to know that if you are going to stand for the absolute Truth of the Gospel today, then you are going to have to be willing to come into conflict with this core teaching of the EC, which over the past 10+ years has deeply penetrated mainstream evangelical Young Adult and Youth groups. As a matter of fact, the battle will be very similar to that fought by men like J. Gresham Machen; who had to come into conflict with the Cult of Liberal Theology that would go on to spiritually poison the mainline denominations. And that’s why we now have such an influx of anti-Reformation teaching—particularly against the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible—which then leads to women in the pastorate, and finally, to openly practicing homosexual clergy.
The Lord be praised, but I began showing this was already in the EC—and receiving much criticism for saying it—as far back as the December 2006 Apprising Ministries article Tony Jones And The Emergent Church: “Christian” Gay Is A-Ok. But now this EC existential rebellion against the final authority of the Bible has come completely out of the closet in attempting to convince us that the deviant lifestyle of having sexual relations with another of the same sex, i.e homosexuality, is a viable one for the evangelical Christian; as you’ll see in Emerging Church And Adele Sakler Transform Gay Agenda In Evangelicalism. Pease do some research on your own; but you are only going to find that these issues really are just as theological dominoes.
All you need to do to see this plainly is to take a look at what liberal theology did, and is still doing, to mainline denominations; e.g. ELCA And Homosexuality and PCUSA Votes To Ordain Lesbian Lisa Larges. Well how about we put it this way; the Lord told me to begin covering this growing gay agenda within mainstream evangelicalism because His Word is crystal clear that The Sin Of Homosexuality Is Different. And using a battle metaphor, with the Light of the Bible we can light up the night sky so you can see the advance of enemy troops within the church visible against the proper approach to Christian spirituality ala Sola Scriptura. If the Lord tarries, we will witness this same domino effect happening within the heart of evangelicalism as well.
We are simply going to have to come to grips now with this new postmodern form of liberalism, which you need to understand, has already come slithering into the leadership of more and more of your major evangelical denominations; for example, the SBC (Slowly Becoming Catholic) and the AoG. The most important issue before us is, once you punch out our anchor of the absolute and final authority of what God has unambiguously said in the Bible, then cardinal doctrines of the historic orthodox Christian faith all will topple one by one. And if we aren’t willing to come into conflict soon, then all of these wonderful truths, which the great martyrs for the faith of our Lord so willingly died for, will continue to fall each after the other right before our eyes.
Inevitably each of these great doctrines will tumble; until all that will be left, is but a very hollow shell of the glorious Gospel that those gallant Christian soldiers once stood up for, and then marched onward unashamedly to proclaim to this lost world, with the Cross of Jesus going on before.