As I monitor enemy intel along the Internet front of this Truth War here at Apprising Ministries much of my coverage is of syncretism slithering about, which is causing a form of Christianity in lust for approval from the world. So much so, its gospel is essentially: We are to make the world a better place.
Satan is clever; a pinch of sweet truth added to cover up the bitter taste of his poison. A secondary aspect of the Gospel is for the regenerated Christian to assist his fellow man. However, this can never be at the expense of the Gospel. Likely, you’ve heard this foolish phrase: Preach the gospel, if necessary, use words.
It’s attributed to apostate Roman Catholic monk Francis of Assisi.1 By the way, a quick aside; he never said it. From Mark Galli, “senior managing editor of Christianity Today,” who also wrote Francis of Assisi and His World. We don’t share his over-all view of Francis but he is correct when he says:
Francis of Assisi is said to have said, “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.”
This saying is carted out whenever someone wants to suggest that Christians talk about the gospel too much, and live the gospel too little. Fair enough—that can be a problem. Much of the rhetorical power of the quotation comes from the assumption that Francis not only said it but lived it.
The problem is that he did not say it. Nor did he live it. And those two contra-facts tell us something about the spirit of our age. (source)
Yes, it does. Years ago Christian apologist Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) was right when he said, “the spirit of this age is universalism.” We’ve heard it lately as the Love Wins mythology of former icon of the Emerging Church and now TV producer Rob Bell. It’s also fueled by the superstitions of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism.
Now more and more younger evangelicals infected with these viruses are deciding issues by their subjective feelings, rather than by the objective truth of God’s Word. There’s been a growing shift away from individual salvation (cf. John 3:3-7), which is considered heresy by many now, toward some kind of corporate at-one-ment.
Those swallowed up by this delusion will tell you that people they see exhibiting what appears to them as “the fruit of the Spirit,” e.g. Gandhi, show they have a relationship with, and belong to, God. Episcopal Jezebel Katharine Jefferts Schori provides a vivid illustration below:
A positive during this time of growing apostasy is that God is using ministries like Apprising on the Internet as a way for us to quite literally engage those whom we write about. One quick example, a while back gay-affirming “pastor” Jay Bakker had some dialogue back and forth with me; until, as I see it, he lost his courage to do so.
One day Bakker tweeted an old chestnut from Gandhi used, it seems, by every Emergent Church leader—and now by more and more quasi-emerging Seeker Driven pastors as well; as if somehow Gandhi’s lifestyle made him worthy to offer criticism of the historic orthodox Christian faith:
I later shared with Jay Bakker what the unregenerate Gandhi was actually saying:
I like the Christ whom I have made up in my own mind. I do not like Christians who remind me of the doctrine that He actually taught. Your Christians are so unlike the fictitious teachings of the imaginary Christ that I happen to like.
Unfortunately, many evangelical leaders appear oblivious to the fact that the vipers in the neo-liberal cult operating within the Emerging Church have already injected their venom into large portions of the younger sectors of Christendom. One of the first areas where paralysis sets in is the critical doctrine of sola Scriptura.
This leaves their immune system powerless to fend off false doctrines; and what little faith they may have had continues to atrophy. Finally, they die to Christ and live for mankind; lifting up the spiritually bankrupt so-called good lives of pagans like Gandhi as their new golden calves. But it written:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)
We don’t like to see this truth; it runs counter to our flesh, but this is what God Himself has said. And as far as people like Gandhi who rejected Christ and died in their sins (cf. John 8:24) the Bible teaches:
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life… Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (1 John 5:12; 2 John 1:9)
In closing this out, the absolute truth is, all those who claim to know God apart from the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name and being regenerated in Christ are making a boast with empty words. As John MacArthur has rightly pointed out:
“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:22-23)
On first reading, these are some of the most startling, convicting words Jesus ever uttered. The key issue for Him is obedience to His Word and will. He later declared, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31; cf. Romans 6:16; Colossians 1:22-23; Hebrews 5:9).
All the empty words and professions of respect for Christ and the shallow works of supposed dedication now come to condemn all disobedient claimers to the Lord. When Jesus tells them, “I never knew you,” it does not mean He didn’t know their identities, but in essence, “I didn’t know you as My disciples, and you didn’t really know Me as Lord and Savior. You chose your kingdom, but it wasn’t My kingdom.”
A life that professes to be Christian but in no way actually reflects His holiness does not possess true salvation. Such a profession comes from a dead faith that results in no good works (James 2:17). It’s not that faithful disciples will not stumble and sin sometimes; otherwise Jesus would not have taught about forgiveness of debts (Matthew 6:12) and confession of sins (cf. 1 John 1:9).
Believers cannot expect perfection in this life, but they should expect to be heading in that direction. Those who persist in lawlessness show that they are not Christians. No matter how orthodox and outwardly fervent, religious activity that doesn’t stem from repentance of sin and manifest a desire for obedience to Christ is still rebellion against God’s law.2
- JAY BAKKER CRITIQUES KEN SILVA AT RELIGION DISPATCHES
- ROB BELL TEACHING UNIVERSALISM
- EMERGING CHURCH HERETIC PETER ROLLINS SAYS “STOP TEACHING THE ETHICS OF JESUS!”