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This page archives the stories related to a turn from Truth in the Holy Bible to cunningly devised fables and vain imaginings of men. I pray it helps show some of the deceptions that are out there we were warned about by Yeshua. More information is available here.

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The Silent Church Lighthouse Trails Research | Warren Smith - Many Christian believers smirked when Shirley MacLaine stood on the beach in her made-for-TV movie, Out on a Limb exclaiming, "I am God!" Today, Marianne Williamson exclaims that we are all "God" and is introduced by Tom Brokaw on a primetime NBC special report about September 11 as one of our "religious leaders."1 Gary Zukav, a man who personally endorsed the Barbara Marx Hubbard book that describes the "selection process," tells us in his post-September 11 television appearances how we can all spiritually grow and bring peace to the world. And Wayne Dyer, in a post-September 11 PBS fundraising event, stands in an historic New England church and tells his national audience that the world would be a much more peaceful place if everyone adopted the "brilliant" teachings of A Course in Miracles.

Traditional Christian believers frequently mention the analogy of the frog that is so slowly and gradually boiled in a kettle of water that it dies before ever realizing what is going on. Yet many believers fail to realize that the very same thing is happening to them as they tell that story. How else do you explain the rapid rise of the "new gospel" movement with hardly a word of concern within the Church about what's been happening? As "new gospel" advocates continue to publish bestselling books and flock to the airwaves in ever-increasing numbers to advance their cause, there is a strange silence in Christendom. Does the Church have any idea what is going on?

So often we have heard the impassioned refrain, "We can never let what happened in Germany ever happen again." And with all of the Holocaust memorials, survivor testimonies, and multitudinous books on the subject, we have done a pretty good job of convincing ourselves that we will never make the same mistakes the German people did in allowing someone like Hitler to rise in their midst. We think that Americans would never stand by and allow something like that to happen here in our country. Our democratic processes and old-fashioned common sense would never allow it.

In the introduction to a 1999 publication (Sixth Pressing) of Hitler's Mein Kampf, Konrad Heiden describes how everything that Hitler was about to do was telegraphed in his early writings:

For years Mein Kampf stood as proof of the blindness and complacency of the world. For in its pages Hitler announced - long before he came to power - a program of blood and terror in a self-revelation of such overwhelming frankness that few among its readers had the courage to believe it. Once again it was demonstrated that there was no more effective method of concealment than the broadest publicity.2

Somehow, Christians don't seem to grasp Jesus' warnings about the tremendous deception that characterizes the time of the end. Perhaps deceived into thinking that we can't be deceived, we don't take seriously enough His warnings that a Hitler-like antichrist figure will one day rise to rule the world - and that many people calling themselves "Christians" will support this spiritual counterfeit who will actually come in the name of Christ. Our adversary wants us to believe that these warnings are for another people at another time. Yet through Scripture, and in our heart of hearts, the Spirit of God tells us that they are not. As we study the Bible, and as we watch and pray and observe the events all around us, we come to understand that these future times described by Jesus are now suddenly and undeniably upon us.

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul warns of their vulnerability and susceptibility to false teaching in the name of Jesus. He suggests that if someone approached them with "another gospel," "another Jesus" and "another spirit" they might very well go along with it (2 Corinthians 11:3-4). Earlier in that same letter Paul had indirectly encouraged the Corinthians not to be ignorant of their adversary's schemes and devices, lest they be taken advantage of (2 Corinthians 2:11). Paul told the Ephesians that it is a shame that we even have to talk about the things of darkness, but when we expose them they are brought into the light (Ephesians 5:12-13). He also told them that he had not ceased to warn them night and day for three years that men who were "grievous wolves" would "arise" in the Church "speaking perverse things" as they attempted to lead men away from their faith and into the enemy's camp (Acts 20:29-31). Let us beware of these same warnings today. Read full story...
It is extremely disturbing to see the website of a Colorado-based Christian leader listed as a recommended resource in the back of a 1998 Barbara Marx Hubbard book entitled Conscious Evolution.3 It is equally alarming to find out that this individual is also a member of the same World Future Society that lists Barbara Marx Hubbard as one of its co-founding and current board members.4 And that this respected Christian leader serves as the secretary of a World Future Society subcommittee that once gave Hubbard a special award for her outstanding contributions to the field of religion.5 But perhaps what is most unbelievable is that the Colorado Springs Christian leadership lets him get away with it. Apparently, being "unequally yoked" with a woman who (at the direction of her "Christ") has "re-written" the Book of Revelation and authored the "selection process" is not a major concern for church leaders - leaders who are actually starting to sound a lot like Hubbard themselves.

And it is, indeed, very disturbing to see many Christian leaders today using many of the same words and expressions commonly used by their "new gospel" counterparts. "New revelation" describing how a great "move of God" is going to take believers "pregnant with destiny" to "a new spiritual level" and into a "new dimension" sounds a lot more like the "new gospel" than the traditional Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Are Christian leaders leading the church ever closer to the cross, or ever closer to the "Planetary Pentecost"? Why is there almost no call for spiritual discernment within the Church (except to warn believers not to be deceived into doubting their appointed Christian leaders)? Why is spiritual experience taking precedence over spiritual discernment? Why are there so few warnings about a counterfeit "new gospel" movement that maligns the person of Jesus Christ and threatens the lives of His followers? Why is "new revelation" in many ministries starting to supersede God's written Word? Why are Christians only being prepared for blessings and not for persecution? What in the world is going on?

Expecting only revival and the return of the true Christ, will the Church be deceived by the one who will come in the name of Christ and pretend to be Him? Caught unawares, will the Church mistake the counterfeit Christ's "Planetary Pentecost" for the great "move of God" they had been told to expect? Are we getting set up for the great delusion described in the Bible? Is there any good reason not at least to consider that possibility?

The prophet Daniel makes mention of the God of "forces" in conjunction with antichrist (Daniel 11:38). The "God" of the "new gospel" asks Neale Donald Walsch, "What if I am not a 'man' at all, but rather, a Force?"6 The "Christ" of A Course in Miracles states that there is an "irresistible Force" within each person.7 Marianne Williamson explains that this "universal force" can be "activated" within each person and has "the power to make all things right."8 The "new gospel Christ" tells Barbara Marx Hubbard that on the day of "Planetary Pentecost" a "planetary smile" will flash across the face of all mankind; that an "uncontrollable joy" that he describes as the "joy of the force" will "ripple" through the one body of humanity.9 Benjamin Creme describes the event "as a pentecostal experience for all."10 The "Christ" of A Course in Miracles tells how the world ends in "peace" and "laughter."11

Has anyone wondered whether this same "Force" may be counterfeiting the Holy Spirit in churches and may be producing "revivals" and "moves of God" that are not really "revivals" or "moves of God" at all? Is the "God of forces" in the process of preparing the Church for the "Planetary Pentecost"? Should we not be doing a more thorough job of testing the spirits? Have we put our faith and trust in Christian "leaders" rather than in God? Have we all talked ourselves out of the end times? Have we all agreed that persecution is not something we need to be concerned about? Have we prayed to God that we would not be deluded or deceived?

Ten years ago in my book, The Light That Was Dark, I wrote the following: "Clearly many who said they were of 'the faith' would soon become a part of the deception too, if they weren't already."

Were we already witnessing the great "falling away" predicted in the Bible? Was the "mystery of iniquity" talked about in the Scriptures already doing its deceptive work with "all power and signs and lying wonders"...? Would people calling themselves Christians abandon their faith in the Bible and the Bible's Christ? Would they join an ecumenical movement that in the name of love and God and unity would sacrifice the truth of the Bible and perhaps one day merge with the new age itself?

Jesus warned that such a faith would lead not to life but to ultimate destruction: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).12

Could it be that the reason the Church is so unaware of the "new gospel" movement is because it is being led by that same spirit and heading down that same broad way? Is it happening now, right in front of our very own eyes?

This is from Reinventing Jesus Christ by Warren Smith, chapter 10. Click here to read the entire online edition.

1. NBC News Special Report: America on Alert, Tom Brokaw hosting Marianne Williamson as guest, September 16, 2001 broadcast transcript (Livingston, New Jersey: Burrelle's Information Services).
2. Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf (Sixth Pressing), translated by Ralph Manheim (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.: Mariner Books, 1999), p.xv.
3. Jay Gary website, referenced by Barbara Marx Hubbard in Conscious Evolution, p. 263.
4. Barbara Marx Hubbard, Conscious Evolution, p. 279.
5. Barbara Marx Hubbard and Jay Gary ( and 6. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 3, p. 325.
7. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Text) p. 479.
8. Marianne Williamson, Healing the Soul of America, p. 13.
9. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, p. 243.
10. Benjamin Creme, Maitreya's Mission: Volume Two (Los Angeles: Share International Foundation, 1993), p. 239.
11. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Manual for Teachers) p. 37.
12. Warren Smith, The Light That Was Dark, p. 150.
13. Alice A. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 417.
14. Marianne Williamson, Healing the Soul of America, p. 205.
15. Benjamin Creme, Maitreya's Mission: Volume Two, p. 239.
16. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, p. 324

Joel’s Purpose Driven Army Derek Gilbert (August 25, 2008) - TWO EVENTS took place the weekend of August 16-17, 2008 that Christians should mark well. They herald nothing less than the march of American evangelicals down a road that culminates in the ascendancy of the Antichrist. The first event was the televised “Saddleback Civil Forum”, hosted by Rick Warren, arguably the most recognizable and popular evangelical pastor in America. Warren, author of the best-selling The Purpose-Driven Life, managed to bring presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain together for a nationally televised (on two cable news networks) forum. Many evangelicals watched the event to see how the candidates responded to Warren’s questions on faith and politics and a sea of virtual ink has been spilled debating the candidates’ answers. However, the most important question of the night was never asked: Doesn’t a minister of the gospel, especially one responsible for the 22,000 souls who attend his church, have anything better to do than inject himself into a political campaign? The answer should be clear: Yes, he does. That the question hasn’t crossed the minds of most evangelicals is the real story of the Saddleback Civil Forum. Jesus called His disciples to be in the world, not of it. In fact, He made it clear that being in, not of, the world was not the way to win friends and influence people:

John 15:18-20 (ESV)
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you…

Jesus was crucified for his preaching. Rick Warren is a New York Times best-selling author who gets a couple hours of live simultaneous prime-time coverage on two competing cable news networks. Think on that. The political realm is familiar territory for Pastor Warren, who hobnobbed with the rich and famous at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2006 and again this year. He’s addressed the United Nations, the African Union, the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, TED (the Technology Entertainment Design conference), and TIME’s Global Health Summit. Warren has recently signed on as a member of the Advisory Council to Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, an ecumenical organization that intends to unite the Abrahamic faiths — Muslim, Christian, and Jew — in advancing the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. Those eight goals are:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

Noble goals, to be sure, but we followers of Christ must remember that the Great Commission was to preach the gospel to the ends of the Earth. We were never commanded to partner with earthly governments to redistribute wealth. And let’s be honest: all eight of the MDGs ultimately involve taking money from taxpayers and giving them to government. To achieve these noble goals, Warren has launched his global PEACE plan, which aspires to:

Promote reconciliation
Equip servant leaders
Assist the poor
Care for the sick
Educate the next generation

It’s significant that Warren changed the “P”. In his original PEACE plan, P stood for “Plant churches”. Presumably, that didn’t go over too well with some of Warren’s prospective partners in global development. Now, it’s pretty easy to understand why Rick Warren softened the gospel message at his Civil forum last Saturday night. If he’d talked about Christ and Him crucified, he would never have been granted a two hour national simulcast. The programming gurus at Fox News and CNN knew he’d steer clear of the gospel and so they had no fear of featuring “America’s most influential pastor” in a prime time broadcast. But why would Warren water down the gospel message with his global outreach? Simply, Warren treats church as a business. One of his mentors was the late management consultant Peter Drucker. So for Warren, it’s all about results, measured by tangible, quantifiable actions. In his own words: “The first Reformation was about beliefs. This one needs to be about behavior.… We’ve had a Reformation; what we need now is a transformation.” In other words, rather than reaching out to the world with a message about beliefs essential to eternal salvation, Warren preaches a gospel of changing the world now. And that is what the old-timers called heresy. ... Ultimately, this dominionist heresy will lead many professing Christians to welcome the Antichrist as one of their own. Bear in mind that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light”. If American evangelicals are so lacking in discernment that thousands swallow Todd Bentley’s demon-inspired histrionics as the work of the Holy Spirit, and tens of millions buy into Warren’s purpose-driven social gospel without questioning his documented habit of proof texting, then how many more will welcome a charming, self-effacing leader who’s only stated desire is to bring, well, PEACE to Earth? Now, Rick Warren probably isn’t the Antichrist, and Lou Engle no doubt believes that changing the culture according to God’s standards is a holy and righteous thing to do. But their actions are not scriptural, and they’re laying the groundwork for a political leader who says he shares their goals to win the hearts, minds, and souls of millions of people who claim to be Christians. more...
| Apostasy |

Religious Americans: My faith isn't the only way One News Now (June 23, 2008) - America remains a deeply religious nation, but a new survey finds most Americans don't believe their tradition is the only way to eternal life -- even if the denomination's teachings say otherwise. The findings, revealed Monday in a survey of 35,000 adults, can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don't know fundamental teachings of their own faiths. Among the more startling numbers in the survey, conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, in conflict with traditional evangelical teaching. In all, 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion. "The survey shows religion in America is, indeed, 3,000 miles wide and only three inches deep," said D. Michael Lindsay, a Rice University sociologist of religion. "There's a growing pluralistic impulse toward tolerance and that is having theological consequences," he said. Earlier data from the Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, released in February, highlighted how often Americans switch religious affiliation. The newly released material looks at religious belief and practice as well as the impact of religion on society, including how faith shapes political views. The report argues that while relatively few people -- 14 percent -- cite religious beliefs as the main influence on their political thinking, religion still plays a powerful indirect role. The study confirmed some well-known political dynamics, including stark divisions over abortion and same-sex "marriage," with the more religiously committed taking conservative views on the issues. But it also showed support across religious lines for greater governmental aid for the poor, even if it means more debt and stricter environmental laws and regulations. more...
| America | Apostasy |

Does God Sanction Mystical Experiences? Lighthouse Trails Research (June 16, 2008) - For many years during my research, I would come across the term contemplative prayer. Immediately I would dismiss any thought that it had a New Age connotation because I thought it meant to ponder while praying--which would be the logical association with that term. But in the New Age disciplines, things are not always what they seem to be to untrained ears. What contemplative prayer actually entails is described very clearly by the following writer:

When one enters the deeper layers of contemplative prayer one sooner or later experiences the void, the emptiness, the nothingness ... the profound mystical silence ... an absence of thought.1

To my dismay, I discovered this "mystical silence" is accomplished by the same methods used by New Agers to achieve their silence--the mantra and the breath! Contemplative prayer is the repetition of what is referred to as a prayer word or sacred word until one reaches a state where the soul, rather than the mind, contemplates God. Contemplative prayer teacher and Zen master Willigis Jager brought this out when he postulated:

Do not reflect on the meaning of the word; thinking and reflecting must cease, as all mystical writers insist. Simply "sound" the word silently, letting go of all feelings and thoughts.2

...One of the most well-known writings on the subject is the classic 14th century treatise, The Cloud of Unknowing, written by an anonymous author. It is essentially a manual on contemplative prayer inviting a beginner to:

Take just a little word, of one syllable rather than of two. With this word you are to strike down every kind of thought under the cloud of forgetting.3

The premise here is that in order to really know God, mysticism must be practiced--the mind has to be shut down or turned off so that the cloud of unknowing where the presence of God awaits can be experienced.... So the question we as Christians must ask ourselves is, "Why not? Why shouldn't we incorporate this mystical prayer practice into our lives?" The answer to this is actually found in Scripture. While certain instances in the Bible describe mystical experiences, I see no evidence anywhere of God sanctioning man-initiated mysticism. Legitimate mystical experiences were always initiated by God to certain individuals for certain revelations and was never based on a method for the altering of consciousness. In Acts 11:5, Peter fell into a trance while in prayer. But it was God, not Peter, who initiated the trance and facilitated it.

By definition, a mystic, on the other hand, is someone who uses rote methods in an attempt to tap into their inner divinity. Those who use these methods put themselves into a trance state outside of God's sanction or protection and thus engage in an extremely dangerous approach. Besides, nowhere in the Bible are such mystical practices prescribed. For instance, the Lord, for the purpose of teaching people a respect for His holiness and His plans, instated certain ceremonies for His people (especially in the Old Testament). Nonetheless, Scripture contains no reference in which God promoted mystical practices. The gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the New Testament were supernatural in nature but did not fall within the confines of mysticism. God bestowed spiritual gifts without the Christian practicing a method beforehand to get God's response.

Proponents of contemplative prayer would respond with, What about Psalms 46:10? "Be still and know that I am God." This verse is often used by those promoting contemplative prayer. On the surface, this argument can seem valid, but once the meaning of "still" is examined, any contemplative connection is expelled. The Hebrew meaning of the word is to slacken, cease, or abate. In other words, the context is to slow down and trust God rather than get in a dither over things. Relax and watch God work.... This isn't talking about going into some altered state of consciousness!

It should also be pointed out that being born again, in and of itself, is mystical. But it is a direct act of God, initiated by Him--the Holy Spirit has regenerated the once-dead spirit of man into a living spirit through Christ. Yet, we notice that even in this most significant of experiences when one is "passed from death into life" (John 5:24), God accomplishes this without placing the individual in an altered state of consciousness.

We can take this a step further by looking at the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts, chapter 2 where those present were "all filled with the Holy Spirit" (vs. 4). Notice that they were "all with one accord in one place" (vs. 1) when the Holy Spirit descended on them. From the context of the chapter, it is safe to assume this was a lively gathering of believers engaged in intelligent conversation. Then, when those present began to speak in other tongues, it was not an episode of mindless babbling or vain repetition as in a mantra. Rather it was an event of coherent speech significant enough to draw a crowd who exclaimed, "we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God" (vs. 11). Other observers who suspected they were in an altered state of consciousness said, "They are full of new wine" (vs. 13). Notice that Peter was quick to correct this group in asserting that they were all fully conscious. Would it not then stand to reason that their minds were not in any kind of altered state? Next, Peter delivered one of the most carefully articulated speeches recorded in Scripture. This was certainly not a group of men in a trance.

So, through the lens of perhaps the two most meaningful mystical experiences recorded in the New Testament (i.e., being born again and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost), an altered state of consciousness was never sought after nor was it achieved. In fact, a complete search of both Old and New Testaments reveals there were only two types of experiences sanctioned by God where the recipient is not fully awake--namely dreams and visions--and in each case the experience is initiated by God. Conversely, every instance of a self-induced trance recorded in Scripture is adamantly condemned by God as we see summarized in the following verses:

When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. (Deuteronomy 18:9-11)

An examination of the Hebrew meanings of the terms used in the above verses shows that much of what is being spoken of is the invoking of spells. And a spell, used in this context, refers to a trance. In other words, when God induces a trance it is in the form of a dream or a vision. When man induces a trance, it is in the form of a spell or hypnosis. And remember, nowhere in the Bible is the silence equated with the "power of God," but the message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18) most certainly is!

1.William Johnston, Letters to Contemplatives, op. cit., p. 13.
2.Willigis Jager, Contemplation: A Christian Path (Triumph Books, 1994), p. 31.
3.Ken Kaisch, Finding God, cited from The Cloud of Unknowing, p. 223
| Apostasy |

This came from the Lighthouse Trails Newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. I would like to add some research of scripture I did myself as well regarding meditation. In today's world, the idea of meditation seems to correlate with this altered state of mindlessness. The Eastern practices of clearing the mind have taken over many of the ideas of what meditation really should be from a Biblical standpoint. So I did a search of scripture under the word "meditation" and "meditate." A common thread through these were the fact that the meditation wasn't a blanking of the mind, but rather the focusing on God's Word and meditating on that.

Psalm 1
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 119:15; 92-101
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways
. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

Psalm 143:5
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

1 Timothy 4
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

When understanding that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Romans 10:17, we can see that faith isn't blind as is also posited by many in the world, but faith grows with our understanding of God's Word, our meditation on it. We are not blind in our faith, but our understanding of God's Word offers the evidence of Truth and in the study of Bible prophecy it shows that God says what He means and means what He says, telling the end from the beginning and ensuring His bride is not in darkness. Only by the meditation on God's Word do we have a light and the guidance to understand the signs of the times and how our lives should be led, focused on Yeshua the author and finisher of our faith.

Psalm 119:104-106
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

Mark 13:32-37
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Pope tells young people to trust in Mary Catholic News Agency (May 18, 2008) - At a meeting with young people in the northern Italian city of Savona, Pope Benedict XVI recited the Angelus prayer with the young people and invited them to trust in Mary. He recalled the words the Virgin Mary spoke to shepherd Benedict Pareto in the year 1400 urging him to build a shrine on Mount Figogna, the place where she appeared. Benedict Pareto, according to tradition, was worried because he did not know how to respond to Mary’s invitation to build a church in a place so remote from the city. The Pope repeated the Virgin Mary’s words: “trust in me! With me in your midst you will not fail. With my help everything will be easy. Only keep your will firm. Trust in me!” “This, Mary repeats to us today,” Pope Benedict said. “An ancient prayer, very dear in popular tradition, makes us turn in confidence to You with these confident words, that today we make our own: ‘Remember, O Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, sought your help or implored your intercession was left abandoned.’ “It is with this certainty that we invoke the motherly care of Our Lady of the Guard on your diocesan community, its pastors, consecrated persons, the lay faithful: young people, families, the elderly. To Mary we entrust the entire city, with its diverse population, its cultural, social and economic problems and challenges of our times, and commitment of those who cooperate for the common good.” Turning to the unique heritage of the region the Pope said, "Together with you, I thank God for the strong and tenacious faith of past generations that, during the centuries have written memorable pages of holiness and human civilization. Liguria and Genoa in particular, has always been a land open to the Mediterranean and the whole world: how many missionaries departed from this port for the Americas and other distant lands!" After the Marian prayer, the Pope directed his attention to Monday’s Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, a meeting in Dublin convened in order to produce a convention against the deadly weapons. He said the conference was an “important event.” "I hope that, thanks to the responsibility of all participants, we can reach an international instrument that is strong and credible: it is indeed necessary to remedy past mistakes and prevent recurrence in the future," Pope Benedict said.
| RCC | Apostasy |

1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Are Emerging Church Critics Too Critical? Understanding The Times - Not every Christian is called to be a watchman. This is understandable. The body of Christ is made up of men, women and children with a variety of gifts and callings all important for the body of Christ to be healthy. The watchman or watchwoman is a person called by God to warn about the dangers of departing from the truth and being led astray. This calling is not without problems and difficulties. The watchman, even though his or her voice may be biblical, is almost always considered by the majority to be too critical. This is especially true today when so many Christian leaders are embracing a Christianity that is more seeker-friendly and purpose-driven rather than God-fearing and Spirit-led. A person who attempts to exhort stray sheep back to the fold is considered negative, judgmental, and unloving. Further, when someone has departed from the Word of God, they are not always grateful to someone who tells them they have departed. If a person knew they were being deceived, they wouldn’t have been seduced by the deception. It is also a fact there are many who profess to have faith in Christ but have very little faith in His Word. It is God’s Word that must be our plumb line in bringing us back to the truth. Following a man and his ideas may well lead us astray, especially if his ideas do not line up with God’s revelation as recorded in God’s Word. I have been attempting to sound a spiritual alarm by documenting facts associated with various ideas and trends that are sweeping the world in the name of Christ. We are living at a time in Church history when a new reformation is supposedly underway and Christianity is being reinvented so that it will be more relevant for the twenty-first century, but a Christianity that is not consistent with the Scriptures in not Christianity. Answering the Critics There are those who will read this and will not come to the conclusion that we are living in an age of apostasy before the return of our Lord. There will be those who accuse me of presenting an unbalanced view of the emerging church, in spite of the facts. There will be those who say that I concentrate only on the negative and that I have avoided all the good things about the Emerging Church. For example, I anticipate there will be statements similar to the following one made by Emerging Church supporter Darren King in an article he wrote titled “A Response to Reactionism Against the Emerging Church”:

It is clear that while those of us engaged in the Emerging Church conversation might find new perspectives a helpful thing, there are others, within the larger Christian community, who find these fresh perspectives not only unhelpful, but actually threatening. These people tend to operate under very circular, rigid belief systems. And for these people, any idea that infringes on any one corner of the “faith infrastructure” causes what amounts to a fight or flight response. [1]

This statement illustrates how someone with a rigid perspective (biblical perspective) is perceived by someone with an Emerging Church perspective (“fresh perspective”). From Darren King’s viewpoint, if someone is not willing to abandon their “faith infrastructure,” (the Bible) for the “fresh perspective,” (ideas that are unbiblical or anti-biblical) the person is considered a dangerous crackpot. Further, King, the editor of Precipice Magazine, states that he has a plan to deal with resistors who refuse to leave their “faith infrastructure” for the “fresh perspective”.

What I am interested in is a discussion of the knee-jerk reactions; the critical responses that arise out of a spirit of superiority, disdain, fear, etc. It is with that aim in mind that we at Precipice launch a new feature called: “A Critique of Criticism: A Response to Reactionism Against the Emerging Church”. Over the next few weeks we’ll be directly addressing these particularly ungracious, destructive and dismissive examples of criticism, one by one. [2]

Following this article some examples of Emerging Church criticism were posted along with a response by Precipice Magazine. For example, as an answer to the criticism—“I feel like you can never pin down the Emerging Church on what they actually believe. That kind of slippery theology seems dangerous, cowardly, and way too convenient in our politically correct culture”—the following statement is made:

There is a very good reason why it’s difficult to pin the Emerging Church down on certain issues. Simply put, the Emerging Church is an evolving movement, a fluid conversation. It is not a denomination with an official doctrinal statement to refer to. In these kinds of conversations it’s usually helpful to differentiate Emergent, a specific group, from the larger Emerging Church conversation. Emergent is one community within the larger context of the Emerging Church…

The EC crowd is not nervous when grey areas linger. Mystery is newly embraced in the EC. And this shift away from a blind emphasis on propositional truth seems, to me anyway, much more in line with early Christian faith and practice. Faith is a process. The Christian experience is a journey. We would do well to remember that for the early followers of Christ, faith was commonly referred to as “the Way”—not the destination. [3]

If Christianity is evolving, as this writer suggests, what is it evolving into? Whether or not one names this trend a “church” or a “conversation” is not the issue. What is important is whether or not the trend is based on sound Christian doctrine. As we have discussed in previous commentaries, faith in the Bible is not the basis for this “New Reformation”. Faith in the Bible is not being promoted; it is it under attack. Faith is being undone. Yes, it is true that the early church was called “The Way.” However, the church was called “The Way” because the members of the church were following Jesus, who said He was “The Way.” John 17:17 Jesus also said the “Way” is a “narrow way” Matthew 7:13 and the “only way” John 14:6 to get into heaven. The Emerging Church way or emergent conversation or whatever name is used to describe this so-called New Reformation, in my view is a wide way that many are traveling and heading in the wrong direction. more...
Apostasy |

More on the "emerging church" here.

Lessen focus on eternity, McLaren says at Willow Creek student ministries conference Baptist Press (April 18, 2008) - The emphasis Christians place on the traditional Christian doctrines of hell and the second coming of Jesus inhibits believers from living effective lives of service in this world, according to speaker and author Brian McLaren. McLaren explained his views April 9-10 at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., as a featured speaker during the Willow Creek Association's annual Shift student ministries conference. During the conference's opening session, Bo Boshers, executive director of student ministries for the Willow Creek Association, said he does not agree with all McLaren's views but that all youth ministers should consider his thoughts. In his most recent book, "Everything Must Change" (Thomas Nelson), McLaren commends Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels as one of only a handful of evangelical leaders properly addressing global poverty and equity for the world's population. "Some of us came from a religious tradition or a religious background where our main role was to recruit kids to go to heaven," said McLaren, a controversial leader within the emerging church movement. "And that's a good thing. Mortality rates are still pretty high, and we all have to face that decision. But I'm here to challenge you to think bigger and deeper and in more layers and dimensions about your role." In a later conference breakout session, McLaren elaborated, "There are some ideas that are not truly ideas of the Gospel but are ideas of the modern understanding of the Gospel. The problem isn't the Bible. The problem is modern rings that we put around the Bible. And what we need to do -- some of us in our thinking -- is to find the courage to snip the ring so that our faith ... can really have a future." Though he did not specify at Willow Creek which traditional doctrines need revision, McLaren wrote in his 2007 book "Everything Must Change" that the doctrine of hell needs radical rethinking. He argues that people who believe in hell may be inclined to dominate and take advantage of other people, rather than help them. "Many of us have been increasingly critical in recent years of popular American eschatology in general, and conventional views of hell in particular," he wrote. "Simply put, if we believe that God will ultimately enforce his will by forceful domination, and will eternally torture all who resist that domination, then torture and domination become not only permissible but in some way godly." The orthodox understanding that Jesus will return at a future date and forcefully conquer all His enemies also needs rethinking, according to McLaren. "This eschatological understanding of a violent second coming leads us to believe (as we've said before) that in the end, even God finds it impossible to fix the world apart from violence and coercion; no one should be surprised when those shaped by this theology behave accordingly," McLaren wrote. The book of Revelation does not actually teach that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, he wrote, but that a new way of living is possible within this universe if humans will follow Jesus' example... Citing the Lord's Prayer, he told conference attendees that youth ministers must shift their thinking and teach teens that involvement in earthly matters is more pressing than focus on eternal matters. "As youth workers, a shift is happening and a shift is needed," he said, "that you become agents of recruiting people, young people, to consider devoting their entire lives to living not just for themselves and their own selfish interests, not just for their nation and their own national interests, but to work as agents of the Kingdom of God, joining with Jesus Christ in His good news of the Kingdom of God." In the breakout session, McLaren said the world is moving from an era of modern thinking to an era of postmodern thinking and youth ministers must transition their teaching accordingly. While modern thinking emphasizes analysis, postmodern thinking moves beyond reason and analysis to a focus on larger realities, he said. "We're in a period of profound shift in our world today," he said. "And what has been familiar to us and our churches is in some ways shaking and crumbling and being reconfigured." more...
Apostasy |

I must say that hell and the second coming are central to truly understanding reality as events continue to unfold to the prophetic fulfillment written in the Word of God. The idea of "kingdom now" theology where we must bring the kingdom of God prior to the second coming misses what the Bible says about the future when the man of sin will be given power by Lucifer to rule the earth for 3 1/2 years. This is the "New Age" kingdom where a "New Age Christ" will rule with signs and lying wonders deceiving the whole world. Without the foundation of scripture regarding this, how easy would it be for someone without understanding to be deceived to believe the lies? The truth doesn't change to accommodate the people listening, God tells it like it is and will be as a warning to not be deceived. To be honest, I don't know McLaren's position in detail, but from this article, it sounds like he supports ignoring plain scripture to appease the audience, something the Bible warned would happen.

2 Timothy 4:1-5
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

The Gospel has never changed and we don't need to change the message to get God's point across. If people don't accept the message as given, that is their choice. It is not our place to shift the message for the hearer and the Bible is God's message, complete with the warning of hell (eternal separation from God, who is Love) and the second coming of Christ who will judge the quick and the dead at His appearing with sudden destruction like the days of Noah and Lot. Matthew 24:36-39 | Luke 17:24-33 I think this understanding is central for Christians to be aware of, especially since we are most likely living in the generation of His return! We were warned to watch, so I think its best to understand what we're watching and be aware of the signs of the times.

At the same time, realizing the times in which we live, it is important to share the hope that is in us through the salvation freely given so that we may live. Freely we have received, freely let us give! Do you know someone who could use the hope we have in Christ through His sacrifice for our sins? Let us watch and have an answer for the hope that is within us. 1 Peter 3:15

Mobilising People and Actions for War A Time, Times, And Half A Time (April 13, 2008) - This article is the second of a three part series which compares the legal and cultural changes being made by today’s global government to those made by the Nazis. Part I, Ghost of Nazi Past, Ghost of Nazi Present focused on cultural, media, parliamentary, and judicial manipulations while this part focuses on science, religion, religious education, and spiritual mobilization. The format of this post is as follows: texts in bold font are citations from Richard Evans’ book The Third Reich in Power. Italicized texts that follow Evens’ citations are quotations from global governance actors along with some of my commentary. Writing of the hostilities between the Nazis and the Catholic Church, Evans explains “…the German government repeatedly told the Vatican that its fight against Marxism and Communism demanded the unity of the German people through the ending of confessional divisions.” (pg. 241) Today, we see the identical argument being advanced by the Alliance of Civilizations, the World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality, et al. In the interest of combating extremism and terrorism we are told a global code of conduct which embraces only common spiritual and political ideologies must be adopted. Contributors to this code of conduct are groups such as the World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality which will “activate” the evolutionary process of global consciousness; the Alliance of Civilizations which is currently developing guidelines for how religions must interpret scripture; Religions for Peace which is advancing A Common Word, an initiative designed to undermine religious doctrines and hijack religion; etc. Orchestrated efforts to incite violence against those who refuse to set aside their doctrines—particularly against the monotheistic faiths – have intensified on multiple fronts. Evans writes “Nazism imbued the German language with the metaphors of battle: the battle for jobs, the struggle for existence, the fight for culture…The language itself began to be mobilized for war.” (pg. 214) We are in this same place today. Christians who dare voice an unpopular opinion are accused of having a violent ethos. The existence of the new civilization is threatened if the egocentric are permitted to continue with their “defective disconnection”. It is, as they say, a fight for civilization. Setting the stage for the new religious ethos is Karen Armstrong, Alliance of Civilizations High Level Group member. **Video at link** See use doctrine. The full version of the Karen Armstrong presentation can be found here.

One criticism consistently launched against the adherents of the Abrahamic faiths’ is that the doctrines cannot be scientifically proven and the faithful have abandoned rational scientific inquiry. Yet many of the same critics who claim superiority have no problem advancing unproven occult doctrines such as notions of a “planetary spiritual hierarchy”; the existence of the Aryans and Atlantis; evolutionary advancement through Luciferic initiations; etc., etc.

“The real core of Nazi beliefs lay in the faith Hitler proclaimed in his speech of September 1938 in science – a Nazi view of science – as the basis for action.” Pg 259

“But humanity has hitherto lacked an adequate global grammar and a global lens to fully activate this integral/holistic/dialogic technology of mind; and since our living realities are co-created by out patterns of minding, the supreme technological advance in the human condition is this advance to the integral technology of minding.” –
World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

Here the comparisons I draw are between the Third Reich’s attempts to control Christianity and the global government’s plans to control the three monotheistic faiths. The below World Commission citations that refer to the egocentric mind refer to individuals who believe their religious texts to be true and are not prepared to abandon their convictions for a new revelation. The egocentric mind also pertains to political dissenters of the globalization process.

“National Socialism is not only a political doctrine, it is a total and all-encompassing general perspective on all public matters. So our entire life has to be based on it as a matter of natural assumption. We hope that the day will come when nobody needs to talk about National Socialism any more…One day, the spiritual awakening of our time will emerge from this will to culture.” - Joseph Goebbels Pg 211

“Our great spiritual traditions and teachers were all in diverse ways fostering and opening the way to the awakening of global consciousness.” –
World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“One striking result of the general global law – we are as we mind…But humanity has hitherto lacked an adequate global grammar and a global lens to fully activate this integral/holistic/ dialogic technology of mind; and since our living realities are co-created by our patterns of minding,, the supreme technological advance in the human condition is this advance to the integral technology of minding.” – World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“As an SS plan put it in 1937: ‘We live in the age of the final confrontation with Christianity. It is part of the mission of the SS to give to the German people over the next fifty years the non-Christian ideological foundations for a way of life appropriate to their own character.’…Christianity, Himmler was to declare on 9 June 1942, was ‘the greatest of plagues’; true morality consisted not in exalting the spirit of the individual but in abnegating oneself in the service of the race. Moral values could be derived only from consciousness of one’s place in, and duty to, the chain of ‘valuable’ heredity.” Pg 252

“Perhaps the single most powerful event facing humanity today is a great awakening on a planetary scale that has been millennia in the making. We humans are in the midst of a profound advance as a species to a higher form of global consciousness that has been emerging across cultures, religions and worldviews through the centuries. This awakening…is nothing less than a shift…from more egocentric patterns of life to a higher form of integral and dialogic patterns of life.” –
World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“…it should now be apparent that global spirituality is precisely this crossing from egocentric life into the deep–dialogic life of global consciousness: this is the highest telos and consensus of our great planetary spiritual endowment…True Spirituality is the highest expression of our rational essence and is not to be confused with egocentric religious life. Spirituality is the awakening of our highest being, bringing us into direct relation with Reality as the Logosphere; it is the process of self–transformation from ego life to the awakened life of mature Integral Natural Reason and flowing in harmony with the Lawlike Moral Energy of the Logosphere. And Global Spirituality is this awakening of the Global Mind, the highest mature form of spirituality in its global power. Global Spirituality then is Awakened Critical Reason and is thus free of all ego ideology and ego dogma. Now, hopefully, the direct link between global consciousness and global spirituality should be more manifest.” – World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“By 1937 the Protestant Church was either deeply divided between the German Christians and the Confession Church…biblical fundamentalism and Nazified Christianity were equally repellent.” Pg 228

“The egocentric… mind is a stage in our human development (evolution) which tends to separate and objectify the thinking subject from the objects of though, and to remain centered in and privileging its particular worldview (religion, ideology, cultural lens) as the exclusive measure of reality (meaning, truth, fact, value, experience, existence). The egocentric mind is broken off from the Integral Field of Reality and packages, constructs, separates, divides, polarizes, fragments all its touches….ego minding is the primary cause of the spectrum of human pathologies. And the consensus prescription is that to change this mentality is the single most important factor in transforming the human condition.” -
World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“Anti-Christian writings of the Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, who publicly rejected such central doctrines as the immortality of the soul and Christ’s redemption of humankind from original sin. In his book The Myth of the Twentieth Century, Rosenberg excoriated Catholicism as the creation of the Jewish clericalism” pg 238

“Robert Ley, leader of the Labour Front, went even further than Rosenberg in his disdain for Christianity and his rejection of the Divinity of Christ…” pg 251

“Jesus, whom the Muslims regard as a prophet, as in fact do many of the New Testament writers. Luke’s gospel calls Jesus a prophet from start to finish; the idea that Jesus was divine was a later development, often misunderstood by Christians.”
Karen Armstrong, Alliance of Civilizations

Karen Armstrong, a apostate and former Catholic nun, is certainly aware that this is considered heresy by the Catholic church and that her words were intended to attack an entire religion. At least the Alliance of Civilizations is no longer attempting to pretend to be something they are not.

Religious Education
“Remoulding the educational system would create a new generation of young Germans who had known no alternative source of values to Nazism. Yet there was of course one area in which such values did persist…That was religion. For reasons of political expediency and caution, the Third Reich had stopped short in 1933 of attacking the Churches and their dependent secular institutions. As it became more self-confident, however, it began to turn its attention to Christianity too, and to seek a means of either converting it to a form more suitable to the new Germany, or, if that did not work, of doing away with it altogether.” Pg 218

“Nazis now launched a sustained campaign to close denominational schools and replace them with non-religious ‘community schools’…Parents were forced to sign prepared statements declaring that they ‘did not want the education of my child at school to be misused by stirring up religious unrest’ Pg 246

“By the summer of 1939, all denominational schools in Germany had been turned into community schools, and all private schools run by the Churches had been closed down or nationalized…By 1939 religious instruction in vocational schools had been reduced to half an hour a week, and in many areas it had to follow guidelines…Parents who objected to these moves…were obliged by the local authorities to withdraw their objection, summoned to special meetings at the school to pressure them to sign their children up for ideological instruction instead of religious education…” pgs 246-247

“The German Christian’s attempt to create a synthesis between German Protestantism and Nazi racism had effectively collapsed…Hitler reluctantly abandoned his ambition of convereting it into the official state Church of the Third Reich. Instead, he ordered the creation of a new Ministry for Church Affairs, established in July 1935 under the 48-year-old Hanns Kerrl…The new Ministry was given wide-ranging powers, which Kerrl did not hesitate to deploy in order to bring refractory pastors to heel…Pastors were banned from preaching, or had their pay stopped. They were forbidden to teach in schools. All theological students were ordered to join Nazi organizations.” Pg 230

Such measures are most likely to succeed if supported by religious education that is based upon a sound interpretation of religious teachings. –
Alliance of Civilizations High Level Group

“Education as we understand it here makes it possible to view with equanimity the completion of the process of secularisation, first of structures, then of society itself, as just one of several possible reflections of a modern way of life. School should give children a clearer understanding of the psychosocial, cultural and sometimes political functions of religion. This sort of approach would undoubtedly help to sharpen and challenge their critical faculties and combat the wilder excesses of particularism. This has fundamental consequences for the educational system, particularly as regards the teaching of religious education. Who should teach religion? Who can make a valid comparison between the different doctrinal elements of religions? We must beware of confusion here. A clear distinction needs to be drawn between religious education in the sense understood by adherents of a faith, which consists of transmitting the values, teachings and liturgy of their religion with a view to the proper practice of that religion (e.g. the Catholic catechism), and the teaching of comparative religion which aims only to instil knowledge about religion and the history of religion. Only the latter forms one of the bases of learning for the intercultural dialogue through education. Religious education of the first kind is perfectly legitimate, but is not relevant to the objective under discussion. Comparative religion should therefore be taught by professional teachers capable of providing a comparative analysis of religions, regardless of their own religious choice, with the objectivity of an expert, not the passion of a devotee. This is an essential choice that will determine the success of the dialogue through education. The difficulty of the exercise lies in integrating religion, which is such a sensitive issue in the Euro-Mediterranean area, into the field of education, taking into account its irreducibility and its mission to provide absolute truth, but without altering the educational philosophy of mutual knowledge based on curiosity, self-respect and openness to the Other.” - Dialogue Between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area more...
| NewWorldOrder | Apostasy |

It's a little easier to see the repetition of the New Age ideology and how the use of governments to harmonize belief will lead to a persecution of those that refuse to conform to it. Keep watching!

Here A "Christ," There A "Christ," Everywhere A "Christ-Christ"! Pastor Larry DeBruyn (March 31, 2008) - Throughout this inter-advent age--the time between Jesus' Incarnation and Second Coming, or Parousia--Jesus and John warned that false prophets would arise preaching the doctrine of replacement christs (Matthew 24:5, 23-24; 1 John 2:18). As Jesus' coming draws nearer, and as pictured by the image of Messiah's birth pangs, we can expect that oracular announcements of anti-christs by the false prophets will multiply and proliferate. Some of these false messiahs will even work deceptive "signs and wonders" (Mark 13:8, 21-22). During this age Jesus warned: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not" (Matthew 24:23-26, KJV). There can be no greater proliferation of the anti-christ doctrine than belief systems which teach everybody's a christ. Among a host of others, Eckhart Tolle, bestselling author whose writings Oprah Winfrey highly recommends, teaches that all humanity is indwelt by an immanent christ-spirit. He has stated, "Jesus speaks of the innermost I am, the essence identity of every man and woman . . . Some Christian mystics have called it the Christ within . . ."[1] In an earlier writing, he also stated: "In you, as in each human being, there is a consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are. . . . it is the Christ within, or your Buddha nature."[2] Statements like Tolle's are all over the Internet. Everybody's a christ--they just haven't realized it. To experience "christness," New Age prophets tell us that a shift in consciousness is needed. So we ask, what would Jesus think (WWJT) about such teaching? Before attending to "WWJT," we should know something of the overall New Testament presentation of Christ. In contrast to the plethora of christs advocated by proponents of mystical spirituality, Peter designated, and John affirmed, that Jesus is " the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Emphasis mine, Matthew 16:16; Compare 1 John 2:22-23; 5:1.)[3] The one God has one Son, and the one Son is the one Christ. There can be no other "christs"! Jesus is as John says, "the only begotten from the Father" (John 1:14,18; 3:16, 18; See Hebrews 11:17; 1 John 4:9.), and "only begotten" (Greek, monogenes) means "unique, only one of His kind" (Compare Philippians 2:9-11.). Given the Gnosticism, Immanentism, and Messianism of the new spirituality of the New Age[4], Christ's prophetic warning becomes relevant. He stated, "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not" (Matthew 24:26). Jesus warned His disciples not to look for the Messiah in two places: either "in the desert" or "in the secret chambers." So in light of the popular rise of mystic religion in America during the last half-century, and when compared to the Bible's teaching there's but "one" Christ, the two places where Jesus predicted Christ could not be found become most interesting.

First, disciples are not to think that Christ is hidden somewhere in "the desert." He will not be found, or experienced, by engaging the disciplines, solitude, and silence of ascetic monks who choose, like the Essenes and Desert Fathers, to separate themselves from the corrupting and distracting influences of a worldly civilization and church. Christ will not be found in some personal-mystical experience in a barren desert. Jesus Christ told His disciples, "Don't look for Me there."

Second, He, that is Christ, will not be discovered in "the secret chambers." The two words in the English Bible, translated "secret chambers" (KJV and ASV) or "inner rooms" (NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NRSV), are one word in the Greek text (tameiois). In the New Testament the word is rare (See Matthew 6:6; Luke 12:3.) As a plural noun, the word literally reads, "the secrets." So we can understand Jesus to have warned the disciples: "Don't believe it when the false prophets tell you, 'Look, Christ is in the secrets!'" (Matthew 24:26). About "the secrets," one scholar wrote that Jesus was warning people that false prophets would attempt to lead them astray by, "claiming that they [i.e. the false prophets] have special knowledge; whereas ordinary people do not know where the Messiah is, they do. If people will only trust them, they will lead them to him."[5] Thus, we can see that Jesus' warning is relevant to the spiritual gnosticism (i.e., "knowing") which advocates that there resides a secret christ within, "far deeper than thought," as Tolle puts it, awaiting the awakening of the new consciousness. These days, many peddle a secret Jesus lost in history and shrouded in mystery. This christ, the popular notion goes, is waiting to be revealed, exposed, and unwrapped via some new historical evidence, innovative spiritual program, or radical shift of consciousness. Of such consciousness, Eckhart Tolle also wrote, "The 'second coming' of Christ is a transformation of human consciousness, a shift from time to presence, from thinking to pure consciousness, not the arrival of some man or woman. If 'Christ' were to return tomorrow in some externalized form, what could he or she say to you other than this: 'I am the Truth. I am divine presence. I am eternal life. I am within you. I am here. I am now.'"[6] Guess what? Jesus tells us that we won't find Christ "in the secrets." Messiah is not mentalist. By human imagining, He cannot be reproduced over and over and over again in billions of human minds and hearts. About the deception that Christ can be found in the secret recesses of human consciousness, Jesus says, "Don't you believe it!" As He first warned in His prophetic sermon, "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many " (Matthew 24-4b-5).

The Messiah's coming was not, is not, and will not be secreted. Rather, in contradiction to Tolle's dictum, His coming will be "externalized."[7] His coming will not be realized by internally developing a consensus of christ-consciousness on earth below. But as described by the apostle John, Christ will come externally from heaven above. "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him" (Revelation 1:7). The Christ will come openly and publicly for all to see, and this after true believers have already met "the Lord in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:17). So in the meantime, and as ordered by Jesus, believers are not to go about looking for Christ in "deserts" or "secrets."
| Apostasy |

More on the topic of the harpazo (catching away). Is there a single coming of Christ, or does He come once and then return after His wrath is poured out? I believe scripture answers this question in the mutually exclusive descriptions of His coming I go into here.

Oprah's new Easter WorldNet Daily (March 3, 2008) - Today, a live ten-week webinar hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle, author of "A New Earth," will begin on the Internet. Both the book and the online course purport to be able to awaken you and our world to life's grand purpose. Since Oprah's endorsement of Tolle's book a month ago, 3.5 million copies of his spiritual self-help guide have been sent out to enlighten the minds of people around the globe. And more than 500,000 people in 125 countries have already signed up for the worldwide web seminar. Other celebrities have also chimed their endorsements of the book, like Guy Ritchie, Russel Simmons, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, who said, "I think one of the most important questions that people ask in life is who am I and why am I here? This book gets as close to an answer as any book could ever get." "A New Earth" has even been labeled "a spiritual classic" by one of today's leading spiritual thinkers. But will this religious text and its subsequent Internet church-like gathering really lead you and our world to God's gates of splendor? I completely respect everyone's First Amendment rights to choose their religion of choice. But I also recognize the First Amendment rights to speak freely against what I and so many others deem as errant and spiritually unsafe. We can all agree to disagree agreeably, but that doesn't turn an aberrant spiritual opinion into almighty religious truth. With this live webcast running through the very heart of one of Christendom's most sacred seasons of the year (including Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter and Pentecost), the queen of daytime talk is preaching from a primetime pulpit, from which she is heralding to the world community, "Get ready to be awakened!" But is it merely a coincidence that Winfrey's and Tolle's spiritual quest aligns with this special religious time of year? It is yet one more evidence of the paradigm shift in our culture from its moral absolute and Judeo-Christian basis to a relativistic worldview in which anything goes and everything is tolerated. The fact is: Tolle's "A New Earth" is being adopted and transformed into Oprah's new Easter. Like most self-help spiritual texts of this type, it is a blend of half truths and half fabrications. One could easily save the purchase price of "A New Earth" and subsequently avoid misleading remarks by reading a Bible, which gives a much more thorough and accurate picture of life's purpose and methods for overcoming its obstacles. For example, Tolle advocates that the chief obstacle to awakening is our ego, and that fear is the basis of ego. (Is that a revelation to anyone?) The Bible declared more than two millennia ago, "With pride comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom" and "perfect love drives out all fear." Tolle newly advocates "being in the now," while the Bible admonished long ago, "Be still and know that I am God." Before Tolle even conceived "A New Earth," the Bible described "a new heaven and a new Earth" and shows us exactly how we can inherit them in the future. Tolle concludes, "This book is about you. It will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless." On the other hand, the Bible emphatically assures its contents are "able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation." Tolle himself doesn't align with any one religion, but blends tenets of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Sufism, Christianity and other faiths. One reviewer from the Vancouver Sun said of Tolle:

His spiritual outlook has become more complex since [his former book] "The Power of Now," when he dismissed external reality as an illusion and made it sound as if "living in the now" was a panacea for all the world's problems. … In addition, Tolle believes outer realities – including politics, war, poverty and even the climate – will magically be transformed when individuals change their inner consciousness. This may be true, but only to an extent.

The reason Tolle's psychology and spirituality is marketed so easy is that it is an eclectic mix of conventional and unconventional wisdom, and Western and Eastern beliefs, presented in a tolerant, non-threatening, and non-sectarian way. In other words, it's "Religion Light," in which one can be spiritual with "little down and no credit." Is anyone else growing weary of light, quick fix, pop-a-pill-and-you'll-feel-better schemes in society and self-help? Have you ever found that the most valuable lessons in life have come easy? If we're ever to discover the truth and purpose for life, we must be liberated from our fixations with easy roads – and then model and teach the same to our children and grandchildren. That is why I'm endorsing, and even written the foreword for, an upcoming (April 15 release) revolutionary book, "Do Hard Things," written by Alex and Brett Harris. It offers real insights and rewards for life by commendably calling us to rebel against the low expectations of culture and choose to "do hard things." Even Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to follow me, you must take up your cross and follow me." Tolle, however, only quotes relatively benign sayings of Jesus, while avoiding the more difficult ones. For example, he notes that Jesus taught that the "kingdom of heaven" was already present on Earth and can be experienced right now, but overlooks Jesus' teaching that one must be born again by believing in him as the Son of God and Savior to see that kingdom in the future. When will we learn? Our pursuit and obtainment of truth is hindered most by our subjective (or ŕ la carte) selections of religion and refusal to consider tougher commandments that call us to higher accountability and our true purpose. more...
Apostasy |

Survey: Americans freely change, or drop, their religions USA Today (February 28, 2008) - A new map of faith in the USA shows a nation constantly shifting amid religious choices, unaware or unconcerned with doctrinal distinctions. Unbelief is on the rise. And immigration is introducing new faces in the pews, new cultural concerns, new forces in the public square. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, documents new peaks, deepening valleys and fast-running rivers of change in American religiosity. Based on interviews with 35,556 adults in the continental United States, it shows so much diversity and dynamism that a co-author sums it up simply. "Churn. Churn. Churn. The biggest news here is change," says Pew Forum research fellow Gregory Smith. "It's not that religion won't matter in the future, but that it will matter in new and less predictable ways," says co-author John Green, a political scientist and Pew Forum senior fellow. Key findings from the survey:

  • Faith is fluid: 44% say they're no longer tied to the religious or secular upbringing of their childhood. They've changed religions or denominations, adopted a faith for the first time or abandoned any affiliation altogether.
  • "Nothing" matters: 12.1% say their religious identity is "nothing in particular," outranking every denomination and tradition except Catholics (23.9%) and all groups of Baptists (17.2%).
  • Protestants are fading: 51.3% call themselves Protestant, but roughly one-third of this group were "unable or unwilling" to describe their denomination.
  • Immigrants sustain Catholic numbers: 46% of foreign-born U.S. adults are Catholics, compared with only 21% of native-born adults. Latinos are now 45% of all U.S. Catholics ages 18-29.

Like the Catholic Church, other public institutions will have to accommodate the impact of immigration. Already, more than 34 million of the nation's 225 million adults are foreign-born, and half of these are Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census. "The Catholic Church may be a microcosm of what's going to happen to the country in the next 40 years," says Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum. The Pew survey was based on random telephone interviews conducted in English and Spanish, May 8 through Aug. 13. Another 1,050 interviews were added from an earlier 2007 Pew-sponsored survey of Muslims in the USA, which included interviews in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. The margin of error is plus or minus 0.6 percentage points for the full sample, higher for subgroups. The findings are being presented in two segments. One looks at religious affiliation (here used to mean identity) and demographic characteristics. The other, to be released in late spring, delves into beliefs, behavior and political views. Today's report (online at sorts people into major groupings: Christian (78.4%); other religions (4.7%) including Jewish (1.7%) and Muslim (0.7%); and "unaffiliated" (16.1%), which includes atheist (1.6%), agnostic (2.4%) and "nothing in particular." Protestants also are subdivided into three groups: evangelical (26.3%) with shared strict ideas on salvation and common historic origins; mainline (18.1%), which share "a less exclusionary view of salvation and a strong emphasis on social reform"; and historically black churches (6.9%) with traditions "shaped by experiences of slavery and segregation." These overall findings are parsed to a fine degree by being broken down into nearly 250 faiths and traditions and examined by demographic characteristics. more...
| Apostasy | America |

This covers more than Christianity of course, but the fluid nature of belief evident is the whole point. Absolute Truth is not a common bond and this fits into the mold of the Babylonian system of mixing beliefs that the Bible says will lead to acceptance of the antichrist as God because he will have lying signs and wonders. Society today needs to see to believe, which I believe stems from the history of the mystery of iniquity at work today and being indoctrinated taught in our public schools today. The destruction of faith is the goal and it is working amazingly well.

Romans 10:14-17
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

But how many in the world today trust the Bible? Faith isn't blind either. This website is my attempt to make the clarity of scripture obvious and to build the faith in what the Bible says through the testimony of fulfilled prophecy so that believing what the Bible says isn't based on blindness, but rather in seeing the Truth and being set free by it.

James 1:2-8
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Please take the time to listen to this message by Dr. Charles Stanley:
Surviving Our Present Culture - More In Touch Ministries audio

'Earth worship' on the rise among evangelical youth OneNewsNow (February 25, 2008) - Janice Crouse, a senior fellow with Concerned Women for America, says it's disturbing that many young people in evangelical churches are experimenting with the Wiccan religion. Church leaders and Christian parents, she warns, must be ready to counter that growing interest among their youth. Crouse cites an article in Religion Journal which said youth pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention were worried about large numbers of evangelicals taking part in Wicca, a religion that involves nature worship, stresses moral autonomy, and includes remedies and spells -- beliefs that Crouse points out are distinctly different from orthodox Christianity, not to mention incompatible with the Bible. "... Wiccans believe in moral autonomy -- [that] 'nobody can tell me what to do.' And I think particularly with young people ... that's a very desirable thing; they don't want the church telling them that there are boundaries, [that] there are things that they can't do," she explains. "Another one is that they don't believe in having authorities beyond human constructs; that we as individuals have the responsibility to shape our own beliefs and there's no evil beyond that." Crouse, who directs Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, says the interest in Wicca can be traced to recent books featuring witchcraft and similar topics. "Some people think this goes back to the books that were so popular up until recently, and so many of the games and television programs that feature witchcraft and magic and fairy tales that have a dimension to it that if you just pull out some kind of spell you can make anything happen," she says. "This has really become quite entrenched in many of the young people's groups and in evangelicals in particular." According to Crouse, "earth worship" -- as she describes Wicca -- appeals to people who do not want to be bound by any book of authority or have imposed on them any requirements to be "believers."
| Apostasy |

The Fuzzy-Wuzzy World of Charismatic Morality Charisma Magazine (February 22, 2008) - Christian leaders who flippantly divorce without adequate explanation are confusing young believers and mocking biblical standards. In an era when evangelical ministers are endorsing pro-abortion candidates and an Episcopal bishop is marrying his gay lover, I guess it is no surprise that our own charismatic church leaders are sending out confusing signals about morality these days. It seems that in 2008, up is down, right is wrong and biblical absolutes are up for grabs. This is especially true when it comes to marriage, an institution that once was considered sacred by all Christians. Nowadays, many preachers and even famous evangelical authors have created a new trend: Throwaway wedding vows. Christian divorce today is cheap, easy and not that much more expensive than a facelift. And some of our superstar preachers have figured out a way to use Bible verses to support their moral failures. Take Paula White, for example. The high-powered preacher announced last August that her marriage to Randy White was over, with no clear explanation why, and she continued on her whirlwind ministry circuit without skipping a beat. The Whites said adultery was not the reason for their breakup, although Randy said the whole mess was his fault. We were all left scratching our heads. Paula teaches people all over the nation how to live “a life by design,” which is also the official name of her trademark success seminars. But I am left questioning what kind of design she’s promoting—especially when she joined the staff of San Antonio pastor Rick Hawkins, who divorced his wife last year. By partnering with him in ministry, Paula is legitimizing his questionable choices. When a local news reporter in Tampa, Fla., asked Paula about how she reconciles her faith with her decision to divorce, she quoted a verse from Ecclesiastes and implied that, just as there is “a time for everything under heaven,” her divorce was just an unfortunate moment in her spiritual journey. She also glibly suggested that one day she and Randy might get back together since they are good friends. Huh? What kind of talk is this, and what garbled message does it send to immature believers who don’t know yet how to discern God’s will for themselves? Many of them will take Paula’s confusing words as license to do whatever they feel like doing. If there is a time for divorce, then there might as well be a time for binge drinking, a time for a porn movie or a time to steal from an employer. Morality gets morphed into an ooey-gooey concept that you shape for yourself. I wish that Paula had said this: “Divorce is not God’s will. It destroys families. If anyone out there is thinking about divorce, please don’t choose that path until you have tried every avenue for restoration.” But she didn’t sound a clear trumpet. She gave us mishmash. more...
| Apostasy |

Christianity Today Proclaims Ancient Future Church At Hand Lighthouse Trails (February 11, 2008) - In the February issue of Christianity Today, the cover article titled  "The Future Lies in the Past" proclaims that the "ancient future" church is now a reality. The cover photo shows a young man kneeling in a pile of sand (shovel sitting next to him), and he has just dug up a medieval looking Christian cross. The caption reads "Lost Secrets of the Ancient Church: How evangelicals started looking back to move forward." The article begins:

Last spring, something was stirring under the white steeple of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. A motley group of young and clean-cut, goateed and pierced, white-haired and bespectacled filled the center's Barrows Auditorium. They joined their voices to sing of "the saints who nobly fought of old" and "mystic communion with those whose rest is won." ... [One speaker] gleefully passed on the news that Liberty University had observed the liturgical season of Lent.... Just what was going on in this veritable shrine to pragmatic evangelistic methods and no-nonsense, back-to-to-Bible Protestant conservatism? Had Catholics taken over?

The theme of this particular event held at Wheaton was called "The Ancient Faith for the Church's Future." Quoting CT senior editor Thomas Oden, the article says that this new generation is "rediscovering the neglected beauty of classical Christian teaching." Baylor University's D. H. Williams was also present at the ancient future conference and gave his support by saying: "Who would have thought, a decade ago, that one of the most vibrant and serious fields of Christian study at the beginning of the 21st century would be the ancient church fathers?" Calling the conference a kind of "coming of age" mile marker, the article acknowledges that this "worship renewal movement" began about 30 years ago and has caused evangelicals to enter "the new millennium by surging into the past ... All signs point to the maturing of the ancient-future church." Rightfully, the article credits Richard Foster (whose Celebration of Discipline came on the scene 30 years ago (1978)) with the "birth of the ancient-future movement." Others mentioned that helped fuel the new movement were the late Robert Webber (author of Ancient-Future Worship) and Thomas Oden (CT editor and professor at Drew University). It was the hope of Foster, the article states, to bring the church's "historical resources to bear on Christians' spiritual lives." The article points out that many "20- and 30-something evangelicals" are unhappy with both traditional Christianity (defined in the article as that which focuses on doctrine) as well as the seeker friendly, church-growth type churches.

Traditionals focus on doctrine--or as Webber grumps, on "being right." They pour their resources into Bible studies, Sunday school curricula, and apologetics materials ... For the younger evangelicals [emerging or emergent evangelicals, according to Webber] traditional churches are too centered on words and propositions [doctrine].

The article says these young emerging evangelicals are looking for a "renewed encounter with a God" that goes beyond "doctrinal definitions." The question is then asked,

So what to do? Easy says this young movement: Stop endlessly debating and advertising Christianity, and just embody it ... embrace symbols and sacraments. Dialogue with the "other two" historic confessions: Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Recognize that "the road to the church's future is through its past." And break out the candles and incense. Pray using the lectio divina. Tap all the riches of Christian tradition you can find.

The article points out that prior to now, evangelicals that wanted to "tap" all these ancient riches felt they needed to stop being Protestant and convert to Catholicism; "to read deeply in history is to cease being Protestant." But that has all changed, the article says. Scholars are now saying that "to read history is not to cease being Protestant ... and does not necessarily lead to conversion [to Catholicism]."

In short, the search for historic roots can and should lead not to conversion, but to a deepening ecumenical conversation, and a recognition by evangelicals that the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are fellow Christians with much to teach us.

The article states that the new evangelicalism must learn the "ascetic disciplines" from "Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and living, practicing monks and nuns." For those who understand the spirituality of Richard Foster and those who resonate with him like Dallas Willard and Brennan Manning, this article confirms all that Ray Yungen and Roger Oakland have been trying to warn fellow believers about. One, that the evangelical church is embracing contemplative spirituality, and two, it is an ecumenical drift toward Catholicism (and eventually a broader one world body of all religions). That is not a sweeping and exaggerated statement. It is happening before our very eyes, and Christianity Today has just acknowledged it. more...
Apostasy |

Cardinals Hoping for a 5th Marian Dogma Zenit (February 11, 2008) - Five cardinals have sent a letter inviting prelates worldwide to join them in petitioning Benedict XVI to declare a fifth Marian dogma they said would "proclaim the full Christian truth about Mary." The text, released last week, includes the petition that asks the Pope to proclaim Mary as "the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity, the co-redemptrix with Jesus the redeemer, mediatrix of all graces with Jesus the one mediator, and advocate with Jesus Christ on behalf of the human race." The signatories of the letter are five of the six cardinal co-sponsors of the 2005 International Symposium on Marian Coredemption, held in Fatima: Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India; Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez, retired archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, India; Cardinal Riccardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, Philippines; and Cardinal Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada, retired archbishop of Mexico City. Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, who died last August, was the sixth cardinal co-sponsor of the 2005 conference. He was the president of the Pontifical Council of the Family from 1974 until he resigned in 1990. The secretariat of the five cardinal co-patrons released the English translation of the letter, which includes a translation and the original Latin text of the "votum," or petition, that was formulated in 2005 and presented formally to the Pope by Cardinal Telesphore in 2006. The petition states: "We believe the time opportune for a solemn definition of clarification regarding the constant teaching of the Church concerning the Mother of the Redeemer and her unique cooperation in the work of Redemption, as well as her subsequent roles in the distribution of grace and intercession for the human family." Ecumenism: Pointing to ecumenical concerns, the petition continues: "It is of great importance [...] that people of other religious traditions receive the clarification on the highest level of authentic doctrinal certainty that we can provide, that the Catholic Church essentially distinguishes between the sole role of Jesus Christ, divine and human Redeemer of the world, and the unique though secondary and dependent human participation of the Mother of Christ in the great work of Redemption." The text adds that the move would be "the ultimate expression of doctrinal clarity at the service of our Christian and non-Christian brothers and sisters who are not in communion with Rome." In a press statement released along with the letter, the cardinal co-sponsors reiterated the same ecumenical concern and said the proclamation of a fifth Marian dogma would be a "service of clarification to other religious traditions and to proclaim the full Christian truth about Mary." The statement added, "This initiative also intends to start an in-depth worldwide dialogue on Mary's role in salvation for our time. [...] Should this effort prove successful, a proclamation would constitute a historical event for the Church as only the fifth Marian dogma defined in its 2,000-year history." Cardinal Aponte Martínez, one of the cardinal co-patrons said: "I believe the time is now for the papal definition of the relationship of the Mother of Jesus to the each one of us, her earthly children, in her roles as co-redemptrix, mediatrix of all graces and advocate. "To solemnly proclaim Mary as the spiritual mother of all peoples is to fully and officially recognize her titles, and consequently to activate, to bring to new life the spiritual, intercessory functions they offer the Church for the new evangelization, and for humanity in our serious present world situation."
| RCC | Apostasy |

Re-Thinking Revised Understand the Times International (February 2, 2008) - Over the 30 years I have traveled the road of life as a born-again, Bible-believing Christian, I have experienced a number of significant events that have provided inspiration and direction for the ministry God has given me. The Rethink Conference held at Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, January 17-19, 2008 can now be listed as one of those watershed events. While I was not able to attend the entire conference because of a missionary trip scheduled to the Philippines, the opening day of Rethink: new perspectives from global influences provided ample evidence to evaluate the significance of the event. For nearly two thousand years, most professing Christians have seen the Bible as the foundation for the Christian faith. The overall view at the Rethink Conference, however, is that Christianity, as we have known it, has run its course and must be replaced. Co-hosted by Erwin Mc Manus and Robert Schuller, the conference declared that a paradigm shift is now underway. Speakers insisted that Christianity must be re-thought and re-invented if the name of Jesus Christ is going to survive here on planet earth now that we are in the twenty-first century. The Observable Evidence With the risk of being labeled a negative divisive critic who is against everything, I am compelled to tell you what I witnessed at this conference. This commentary will paraphrase the actual statements made by the speakers as I took extensive notes. The conference opened with an on-stage dialogue between Schuller and McManus. Schuller gave a brief overview of his accomplishments through his many years of ministry. He explained how pleased he was to be able to look back at the tremendous leaders he had mentored over the years, which include Willow Creek’s seeker-friendly pioneer pastor Bill Hybels, the six million member Church of God in Christ’s Bishop Charles Blake, and Rick Warren who has pioneered the purpose driven church and the purpose driven life. While Schuller said he was very pleased with all the great accomplishments of the past, his vision to impact the world in the future is even bigger and better. He told the audience that even though he is now over 80 years old, he believes there is even a greater potential to succeed now at a time in his life when he is no longer subject to “temptation.” Erwin Mc Manus, a much younger version of Robert Schuller, offered a solution to anyone in the audience that might have that problem. He mentioned there were “pills” available on the market to curb “temptation.” Schuller quickly retorted that he knew there were other pills available for those who were supposedly over the hill. While some of the people sitting around me were noticeably bothered by such out-of-place comments, the majority of the people in the auditorium seemed to enjoy these opening remarks. Re-thinking Think Tank Following this brief introduction by the two hosts, Bishop Blake was scheduled to speak. For reasons not announced to the attendees, Bishop Blake did not appear on the platform when his name was announced. Schuller then reappeared, joking that he was Schuller and not Bishop Blake. It was difficult to know whether this was a pre-planned moment of silliness or not. A moment later, Mc Manus reappeared on the platform and told the audience there would be a slight change in the schedule. At this point a coat rack was brought out on the platform with three hats hanging on it. A skit was performed which involved an off- screen person asking questions of an onstage actor. I later found out the talent for this drama was provided by Mc Manus. The drama was obviously designed to set the tone of the conference and was of professional quality. The actor played three characters who represented different well-known men throughout history. The first was Copernicus. The second was Christopher Columbus, and the third was Martin Luther. These three men were revolutionary in their thinking at that particular time in history, and each was going up stream against the mainstream of society. The actor who played the three different characters finally appeared as himself. He announced to the audience that he was a new Christian. However, he said he had a problem with Christianity now that he was a Christian and was disgusted with how hypocritical traditional Christianity had become. He suggested that the church as we know it today needs to be re-thought. Of course, we know the Bible teaches that the traditions of man are a hindrance to faith when they are not based on the Word of God. Jesus made it clear that when tradition supersedes the truth of the Word, it is imperative to toss away tradition and get back to the Word. The actor in the drama left the impression that Jesus was referring to our present generation when he spoke these words. I am reminded of the ecumenical nature of the emerging church, which is driven by contemplative spirituality that traces back to ancient Roman Catholic mystical practices. Contemplative spirituality provides a mystical formula also known as “spiritual formation” in order to get closer to Jesus. The problem is that this state of silence achieved is similar to that which is reached through eastern meditation, and the realm reached is not the presence of God but the possible presence of demons. The Bible is very clear in its warning against practicing divination, which uses mystical methods to conjure up the spirit world. Yet, a growing number of evangelical churches are incorporating contemplative into their church body. During my day at Rethink, I interviewed a number of men and women. I was often amazed at their comments. Most of them had no idea what the term emerging church meant (even though they were right smack in the center of it), and they had no idea why the conference was called “Rethink.” When I asked them what they thought about the fact that President Bush senior (a member of a secret society), Rupert Murdoch (a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and who profits from pornographic tabloids) and Larry King (I was told Schuller has been witnessing to him and he is almost a Christian) had been enlisted to provide input to help Christians re-think, they were not able to answer why this would have been so. more...
| Apostasy |

Global government, mankind's gravest need - Ahmadinejad IRNA (January 22, 2008) - IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Monday evening at the inauguration ceremony of new head of National Center for Globalization Studies, "mankind's gravest need today is a global government." Appreciating the services rendered by the former head of that center (formerly called the International Center for Dialogue among Civilizations), Dr. Mohammad Nahavandian, the President said that choosing Esfandiar Rahim-Masha'ie was "based on precise calculations, and in accordance with a plan for the center." The president added, "The Center for Globalization Studies must be a very dynamic center, able to take long studies forward, thanks to the presence of thinkers and intellectuals from various academic fields, able to pursue globalization discussions throughout the world." Pointing out that God has definitely been pursuing objectives in creation of man, he stressed, "Almighty Allah has drawn the horizons of man's blessed life in this world and how to achieve that objective, based on man's innate desires and in the framework of his social relations with the others." The President emphasized, "Man is created to be a global creature, as all divine religions are global, and if he would be deprived of this aspect of his personality, neither anything would remain of his humanity, nor any of his potentials and talents would find a proper ground for manifestation." Proposing that the rule of single law in the entire world is a bare necessity for the mankind, he said, "The existence of a thousand laws in the world, and then expecting that the global society would reach a status of equilibrium, justice, and tranquility is wishing for the impossible." He added, "It is not possible to observe global justice under such conditions that each country is ruled based on a different set of laws." Ahmadinejad said, "The entire monotheist Arch-Prophets (PBUT) were leaders for the whole mankind, and accordingly, so long as a single law would not be put to effect globally, and a single perfect, and noble human being would not take the charge of a global government, the God given talents of the people would not be materialized, and there would be no sign of divine justice in the world." He considered mankind's progress throughout history "a constant move towards perfection", reiterating, "Today, globalization has become an issue for daily talk of even ordinary folks, under such conditions that signs for accelerating move of the mankind towards the peaks of perfection are countless, and ever increasing." The IRI President stressed that pure Mohamedan Islam has answers to modern man's entire questions, adding, "World nations would accept Islam in large groups if pure Islam would one day be presented to them free from all non-Islamic attachments." Ahmadinejad said, "The entire developments in the world are pieces of a puzzle, being fit in their place in order to complete God's general scheme for a perfect world for the mankind, but in the process of this completion some people achieve perfection, while others fall in the abbeys of annihilation, and nowhere is ever devoid of God's will and Divine Rule, nor of his Caliph on earth." He said that the era for drawing border lines between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism is now over, reiterating, "Unadulterated Christianity and Judaism are the same as they are entirely manifestations of the same Divine Truth." The President stressed, "The single and solid plan and order that we should present for the lives of the world people should be in a way to be acceptable by the pure innate nature of the entire mankind, and such laws need to be based on divine teachings."
| Iran | NewWorldOrder | Apostasy |

If the studies pointing to the 12th Mahdi as the false prophet are accurate, then it makes sense that someone like Ahmadinejad who views himself as preparing the way for the Mahdi's re-emergence to speak for global government because his Imam will be demanding the world worship the antichrist and enforcing his policies. One of Islam's goals is a world under Muslim rule. If they are directed to worship the antichrist and view him as their leader, then his global control will be viewed as that fulfillment. Remember also that the Magog invasion comes before the antichrist is revealed so there could be a shift in perspective once the radical attackers are wiped out in the mountains of Israel. In all religions though, we are going to see an alignment with the Alliance of Civilizations and the "we all worship the same God" lie. The proof is in the holy books of the various religions. Because many elements of Judaism and Christianity are combined into the Koran, there will be elements of similarity, but the messages are clearly polar opposite between Judaism/Christianity and Islam.

The Cruise Indoctrination Video Scientology Tried To Suppress - You have to watch this video. It shows Tom Cruise, with all the wide-eyed fervor that he brings to the promotion of a movie, making the argument for Scientology, the bizarre 20th-century religion. Making the argument is an understatement. The Hollywood actor, star of movies such as Mission Impossible, is a complete fanatic. "When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help... We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures." more...
| Apostasy |

Personally, I thought Tom came across as sparatic. He seemed to be talking a lot about nothing really and throwing out abbreviations that I guess you have to be initiated in order to understand. This certainly doesn't sell me on Scientology, especially when I have learned the Truth about reality, not wishfully thought my own beliefs into existence. All who do that will be crushed by the reality that figments of imagination, no matter how convincing, do not trump reality. God is and He is coming for those that love Him. He spelled out reality very clearly in the Bible, much more clearly than this, if one takes the time to read about it.

Rethink Conference Starts Today: Christian Leaders Help Bring About Robert Schuller's Dream of an All-Inclusive Spirituality Lighthouse Trails Research (January 17, 2008) - Robert Schuller once said: "Standing before a crowd of devout Muslims with the Grand Mufti, I know that we're all doing God's work together. Standing on the edge of a new millennium, we're laboring hand in hand to repair the breach." He made that statement in his 2001 biography, My Journey  (p. 501), and today he has taken a giant step forward in seeing his dream of an all all-inclusive spiritual body come true. What's more, Christian leaders and organizations are helping to bring it to pass. Today, the Rethink Conference at Schuller's Crystal Cathedral began. This three day event is hosted by Schuller and popular emerging futurist Erwin McManus. In addition to McManus, the Rethink Conference has several other Christian leaders speaking: Gary Smalley, Henry Cloud, Chuck Colson, and Kay Warren, to name a few. While the speaker list includes several names outside the Christian camp (Larry King, George Bush Sr., Rupert Murdoch, etc.), a majority of the speakers, both Christian and non-Christian, are proponents mystical spirituality. The reason this is important to know is because Schuller's vision of an all-inclusive global religious body cannot happen without mysticism. It is in fact the vehicle through which Schuller's dream will occur. He discloses a little more of this vision in his book:

I met once more with the Grand Mufti (a Muslim), truly one of the great Christ-honoring leaders of faith. ... I'm dreaming a bold impossible dream: that positive-thinking believers in God will rise above the illusions that our sectarian religions have imposed on the world, and that leaders of the major faiths will rise above doctrinal idiosyncrasies, choosing not to focus on disagreements, but rather to transcend divisive dogmas to work together to bring peace and prosperity and hope to the world. (p. 502).
In order for this "bold impossible dream" to occur, change agents such as Schuller and McManus realize that Christianity needs to be redefined. Thus, the term rethink. McManus has believed this for some time. In an interview, he stated:
My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ.... Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I'm anti-Christian. I think they might be right!(1)
It's easier to understand what McManus means by this by reading this next statement from him:
The Barbarian Way was, in some sense, trying to create a volatile fuel to get people to step out and act. It's pretty hard to get a whole group of people moving together as individuals who are stepping into a more mystical, faith-oriented, dynamic kind of experience with Christ. So, I think was my attempt to say, "Look, underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient." That's what was really the core of The Barbarian Way. (from Relevant magazine)
To put this in plain terms, there is a three step process in making this new vision become a reality. First, reeducation: convince Christians that the Christianity of today has to be thrown out and replaced by a whole new way of thinking. Second, get these new thinking Christians to incorporate mysticism into their lives and hear the voice of a new kind of God, not one that is described in the Bible but one that is found through altered states of consciousness. McManus put it this way: "I build my life not on the Word of God, but the voice of God. The Scriptures are to me the instrument that God has placed in history for me to learn the voice of God." (2) The voice of this mystical god will direct people to the final step of the process, and that will be to bring about a supposed kingdom of God where all will be one, and where man finally realizes his own divinity. Unfortunately, it will be a kingdom built, not on the truth of the Word of God, thus not on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. more...
| NewWorldOrder | America | Apostasy |

This article connected a lot of things. George Bush Sr., Larry King, Rupert Murdoch, Kay Warren and more all come together to "rethink" Christianity in the world and support globalism. Given Bible prophecy regarding the woman riding the beast and the false prophet, I think this is the New World Order working to influence evangelical Christians and prepare as many of them, if possible, for the coming deception and falling away from the Truth, God's Word. Bible prophecy lays out the timeline for Christ's second coming and the political scene is showing the fruits of fulfilled prophecy. There is a great delusion coming and a falling away and the revealing of the man of sin before the bride escapes God's wrath. The goal of the spiritual wickedness trying to deceive mankind is for as many as possible to reject the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as written in the Holy Bible. For some, experience and special prophecy will trump the written Word and not having a firm foundation in what God says about the end-times, will be deceived. My goal for this website is to not let that happen. If these newsletters resonate in your spirit, share with those you believe have ears to hear. Yeshua is coming, watch!

'Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens (January 13, 2008) - A director who shares the ideas of Iran's hardline president has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show the "common ground" between Muslims and Christians. Nader Talebzadeh sees his movie, "Jesus, the Spirit of God," as an Islamic answer to Western productions like Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," which he praised as admirable but quite simply "wrong". "Gibson's film is a very good film. I mean that it is a well-crafted movie but the story is wrong -- it was not like that," he said, referring to two key differences: Islam sees Jesus as a prophet, not the son of God, and does not believe he was crucified. Talebzadeh said he even went to Gibson's mansion in Malibu, California, to show him his film. "But it was Sunday and the security at the gate received the film and the brochure and promised to deliver it," though the Iranian never heard back. Even in Iran, "Jesus, The Spirit of God" had a low-key reception, playing to moderate audiences in five Tehran cinemas during the holy month of Ramadan, in October. The film, funded by state broadcasting, faded off the billboards but is far from dead, about to be recycled in a major 20 episode spin-off to be broadcast over state-run national television this year. Talebzadeh insists it aims to bridge differences between Christianity and Islam, despite the stark divergence from Christian doctrine about Christ's final hours on earth. "It is fascinating for Christians to know that Islam gives such devotion to and has so much knowledge about Jesus," Talebzadeh told AFP. "By making this film I wanted to make a bridge between Christianity and Islam, to open the door for dialogue since there is much common ground between Islam and Christianity," he said. The director is also keen to emphasise the links between Jesus and one of the most important figures in Shiite Islam, the Imam Mahdi, said to have disappeared 12 centuries ago but whose "return" to earth has been a key tenet of the Ahmadinejad presidency. The bulk of "Jesus, the Spirit of God", which won an award at the 2007 Religion Today Film Festival in Italy, faithfully follows the traditional tale of Jesus as recounted in the New Testament Gospels, a narrative reproduced in the Koran and accepted by Muslims. But in Talebzadeh's movie, God saves Jesus, depicted as a fair-complexioned man with long hair and a beard, from crucifixion and takes him straight to heaven. "It is frankly said in the Koran that the person who was crucified was not Jesus" but Judas, one of the 12 Apostles and the one the Bible holds betrayed Jesus to the Romans, he said. In his film, it is Judas who is crucified. Islam sees Jesus as one of five great prophets -- others being Noah, Moses and Abraham -- sent to earth to announce the coming of Mohammed, the final prophet who spread the religion of Islam. It respects Jesus' followers as "people of the book". Iran has tens of thousands of its own Christians who are guaranteed religious freedoms under the constitution -- mainly Armenians, though their numbers have fallen sharply since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Every Christmas, Ahmadinejad and other officials lose no time in sending greetings to Christian leaders including the pope on what they describe as the "auspicious birthday of Jesus Christ, Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH)." In this year's message, Ahmadinejad said that "peace, friendship and justice will be attained wherever the guidelines of Jesus Christ (PBUH) are realised in the world." Shiite Muslims, the majority in Iran, believe Jesus will accompany the Imam Mahdi when he reappears in a future apocalypse to save the world. And Talebzadeh said the TV version of his film will further explore the links between Jesus and the Mahdi -- whose return Ahmadinejad has said his government, which came to power in 2005, is working to hasten. more...
IranIslam | Apostasy |

It's All Happening at the ZOO Herescope (January 7, 2008)

"Concentrate on the positive. If you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and take him into your life, you'll never have to worry about the devil." | Robert Schuller Discover Your Possibilities (p. 61)

"It helps to know that Satan is entirely predictable." | Rick Warren The Purpose-Driven Life (p. 203)

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

On Christmas Day, a Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo scaled the retaining wall that was supposed to protect the public. The tiger attacked and killed one young man while seriously injuring two others. Zoo officials could not understand how Tatiana the tiger had gotten loose. It was soon discovered that the wall retaining the animal was 4 feet short of the height recommended for tigers. According to the experts, if it had been erected "by the book" the wall would have protected those three young men. They had relied on the wisdom of zoo management for their safety and they had been disastrously let down. Unfortunately, a sad parallel is occurring in many of today's churches. Pastors are neglecting the clear admonition of Scripture to be "sober" and "vigilant" regarding our Adversary the devil - thereby failing to provide an adequate hedge of protection or retaining wall for their flocks. In neglecting to go by the book - the Holy Bible - many of today's pastors are no different than those zoo officials whose neglect permitted a caged feline to get loose. As a result, our spiritual Adversary is permitted, just like that San Francisco Siberian tiger, to "walketh as a roaring lion" in many of our churches "seeking whom he may devour." One theory about the attacks blames the victims for taunting the tiger.
However uncertain the preceding circumstances, the facts of the assault are clearer: Just before the zoo's closing time, the 4-year-old tiger named Tatiana escaped her pen and attacked the older of the Dhaliwal brothers, then turned on and killed Sousa, who was apparently trying to save his friend by distracting the animal. She then made her way 300 yards to the zoo café, following a trail of blood left by the first injured man who had fled with his brother. It was there she attacked her third victim, the younger Dhaliwal, and was shot dead by police officers — 20 minutes after they had received the call that the tiger was loose. So, what exactly was Tatiana's motive? It may well be that she, despite being born into captivity and identified with a human name, was simply being a tiger — acting as any other predator would in nature. It's no surprise that tigers can be aggressive. But is it possible that Tatiana may have remembered the three men — who may have taunted her — and set out for them specifically? Was she, in other words, holding a grudge?
Is is possible that many evangelical leaders are actually taunting the "roaring lion" as they spread misinformation about his basic nature? What is particularly amazing is that Tatiana had a "history of violence" - an "assault just over a year ago on a zookeeper during a feeding." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that one must seek to avoid a close encounter with a large, cantankerous feline! So why is it that many evangelical leaders tell believers to ignore the prowling Adversary as if he were no more dangerous than a purring, cuddly house cat?! Just as people depend on zoo officials to keep them safe from animals, believers should be able to depend on their pastor/shepherds to protect them through accurate scriptural counsel. For spiritual leaders to minimize and ignore the warnings in Scripture plays right into our Adversary's hands. Just as the San Francisco Zoo officials did not appear to factor in Tatiana's previous violent history and basic cat nature, and thus take precautions to build up their retaining wall accurately, pastors are not taking Satan seriously anymore, nor can we trust their statements about our spiritual Adversary to be accurate. Make sure your hedge of protection is measured accurately. Measure everything by Scripture - not by the unreliable words of undiscerning spiritual leaders. The Truth:

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

2 Corinthians 2:11
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us, For we are not ignorant of his devices.

Apostasy |

America Has Lost Her Mind News With Views (January 3, 2008) - As the old United Negro College Fund commercial used to tell us, “the mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Losing one’s mind is even worse. America has lost her mind. What is the mind? It is "the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc." In most Americans this part of the brain no longer functions. For many the loss of our mind is a result of the “mind blowing” experience of the sixties, or from sitting at the feet of the radical Humanists who permeate our nation’s universities, or perhaps from a life filled with Oprah, Dr. Phil, Jerry Springer and the Cable News outlets. The average American no longer thinks. Years in the public-fool system has sucked all ability to use logic and reason out of our populace. Americans have been systematically dumbed-down. “No Tax Dollar Left Behind” had as its goal a slick transformation in educational method. Measure, measure, measure…test, test, test. This is the only way, we were told, to determine whether or not our children are learning. Testing measures rote memory. In other words, for those of you who never learned that word, it means a measurement of WHAT YOU HAVE MEMORIZED. “Jack Spratt could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean.” Today’s “testing” measures whether you can recite the poem, not your ability to analyze the dietary principles enunciated therein. (I used those fancy words so that you would know I still have my mind.) Logic is the ability to frame an argument based on knowledge. Knowledge is “acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation" and reason requires the application of logic in order to determine the validity of a particular theory. Ultimately, wisdom is the goal. Wisdom is “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” Proverbs 4:7 says “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” “What is true, right, or lasting……” sort of puts you in mind of the knowledge we are pumping into America’s young “skulls full of mush,” doesn’t it? Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. What is a fool? Why, a fool is “a person who lacks judgment or sense.” Americans and American schools are producing trained-fools. Not just fools, “a stupid person,” but trained fools, fools who have been “coached in or accustomed to a mode of behavior or performance.” All wrong thinking leads to wrong action. The thief thought he would get away with it. The rapist never thought he would get caught. The teenager never thought she would get pregnant. Just because you believe something, anything, does not make it true. We no longer teach our children HOW to think. Instead, we “coach” them on WHAT to think and then test to measure if the indoctrination has worked. Ooops, “indoctrination,” that is probably another word many are not familiar with. Indoctrination is “teaching someone to accept doctrines without proof.” Everywhere you look we are being indoctrinated. Our news is indoctrination. “They decide, we report.” “We have to stop Hillary.” “Who are you to judge?" “Global warming is destroying the planet.” “Top-tier candidates.” American-adults have lost their minds. Look at the garbage we are teaching our kids:

  • A child doesn’t need a mother and a father. Two moms or two dads are fine, because men and women are really no different.
  • Anal sex between men is normal, but those who speak out against it are not.
  • Killing a wanted unborn child is homicide; an unwanted unborn child is choice.
  • Global warming kills more people than abortion.
  • “Choice” is good for unborn children, but bad for born school children.
  • A young woman can have an abortion and yet never have regrets about it.

We have lost our minds!

  • A child must say no to cigarettes, but it is ok to say yes to sex.
  • Abortion is good and the death penalty is bad.
  • Divorce is best for the children if it makes the parents happier.
  • Spanking your children will cause them to be violent.
  • Famous people are better than “regular” people.
  • Love is sex and sex is love.
  • Condoms will prevent disease.

We have lost our minds!

  • Creating more laws will lower crime.
  • Gun control makes law-abiding citizens safer.
  • Being sick is an excuse for breaking the law.
  • Government needs to spy on us to keep us safe from terrorism.
  • “Experts” know what is best for the rest of us.
  • Our rights are granted by government.
  • We need more money for education.

We have lost our minds!

  • Paying people not to work will make them more productive.
  • We have no right to judge the actions of another person.
  • The government is the answer to everyone’s problems. .
  • There is a big difference between Democrats and Republicans.
  • President Bush is a Christian-conservative.
  • The National Education Association cares more about kids than teachers.

We have lost our minds!

  • Jesus has forgiven our sins so stop talking about sin.
  • An hour of Sunday school will undue 7 hours a day in public schools.
  • God is not to be included in public ceremonies, government, or education.
  • Remove the teachings of Christianity and people will naturally be good.
  • The US Supreme Court over-rides the law of God.
  • Jesus is most concerned with making us happy.
  • Those who believe the Bible are not very well educated.

We have lost our minds! I could go on. Let me leave you with a few Scriptures to chew on. Perhaps they can help explain the mess we are in. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.” Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Psalm 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” America has become a “ship of fools” captained by fools. The ship has lost her moral rudder. The blind are leading the blind. more...
| AmericaApostasy |

2 Timothy 3:1-7
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Isaiah 5:20-24
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Is Your Church Suffering From R & R? News With Views (January 2, 2008) - The Lord sent me on a difficult journey several years ago. It has been a long, painful and frustrating excursion. But it has also been quite rewarding in that I have learned so much along the way. He called me out of The People's Church in August of 2000 for reasons I have already chronicled in a published piece by the same name. It wasn't a mere critique of a church gone bad from a disgruntled ex-member with an axe to grind, but rather the beginning of a calling of sorts to expose what I discovered to be a growing movement and trend in church life that in reality robs people of their faith in Jesus Christ. In my ten or so years as an untrained writer and columnist with an undeserved high school diploma and a very basic knowledge of the scriptures that came largely through personal study and prayer, I started writing commentary for the internet barely knowing even how to punctuate a sentence, much less how to structure one properly. It was more or less on-the-job-training; so frankly, I learned as I wrote what I witnessed. And not having the luxury of editors most of that time, it meant that any embarrassing errors I made involving grammar, punctuation or spelling were promptly published for all the world to see - and in many cases, still are. In retrospect, I suppose that helped keep my ego in check, at least most of the time, especially when the praise and support of other Christians began coming in - not unlike the Apostle Paul's thorn in the flesh that tormented him throughout his ministry. By the same token, I guess those words of encouragement helped keep my discouragement, embarrassment and humiliation from overwhelming me when all the criticism and rejection followed. I had been a musician all of my adult life and until the mid-nineties, had no inkling or desire to write about anything that didn't involve music - much less controversial matters of church and faith. To this day I'm amazed that anyone is interested in anything I have to say - and moreover, that the Lord would compel a fool like me to write it down. But I do nonetheless, for whatever it's worth. After leaving The People's Church, I ended up at a smaller more traditional Southern Baptist fellowship where the pastor assured me numerous times over the four years I was there that he would not bring that church growth movement stuff I had agonized through at my previous church into his church, only to end up, much to my dismay, hearing him quote Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven Life principles time and again from the pulpit - eventually going so far as to offer a class on it to those who were interested in attending - that is, until I reminded him of his promise to me. It was as if every time I tried to settle in and serve the Lord in some capacity there, either as a teacher, a committee member or as a trustee, the CGM would reappear in one form or another and distract me into a confrontation and response in order to restrain its influence. As I would soon learn, many others who were reading my articles were also enduring the same kinds of struggles at their churches. Whenever I questioned my pastor about his PDL proclivities, the justification was that, even though he didn't actively promote The Purpose Driven Life and Church per se, there were some practical things in Warren's books he thought would help our congregation. I suspect he was also under at least some peer-pressure, intentional or not, from local promoters and sellers of PDL products and materials which may have included fellow pastors and representatives from LifeWay Christian Resources here in Nashville, where such things have been for sale for years - a company that once employed him as an editor - not to mention the fact that he was shepherding a handful of misguided church members who were absolutely taken by Warren's unbiblical notions and ideas. Is your church suffering from R & R? Both my previous churches obviously were; and amazingly, so have every one of the Southern Baptist churches my wife and I visited across three counties here in Middle Tennessee over the last three years. Blame whomever and whatever you will; but somewhere along the way, they all to varying degrees, quit believing God - they lost their faith - their conviction - their focus and their Divine call to hear, believe, proclaim and obey the Word of God at all costs, whatever may come - and made the call to repentance and faith in Christ at best, secondary to the pragmatic pursuit of Results and Relationships - refashioning their religion into something more marketable - more practical - more horizontal and humanistic, so as to please prospects and participants into jumping onboard, that they might artificially grow their congregations into something impressive instead of something faithful - boasting of "fruit" while yielding a great harvest of weeds. more...
Apostasy |

How Pietism Deceives Christians by Bob DeWaay - There are no extraordinary Christians; but being an ordinary Christian is an extraordinary thing. How I wish I would have understood that when I was a new Christian. But I didn’t. Soon after my conversion I began a quest to become the best possible Christian. In so doing I fell prey to teachings that promised me a Christian life superior to that of ordinary Christians. What I did not know was that I had embraced pietism. I didn’t become an extraordinary Christian and I did walk straight into error. My journey into the “deeper life” oftentimes involved embracing contradictory teachings. For example, two of my favorite teachers in the early 1970’s were Watchman Nee and Kenneth Hagin. One taught a deeper Christian life through suffering) and the other taught a higher order Christianity that could cause one to be free from bodily ailments and poverty. The hook was that both claimed to have the secret to becoming an extraordinary Christian. I found out that they didn’t. My dissatisfaction with the Christianity taught in Bible College led me to join a Christian commune some months after graduation. That group’s founder taught that all ordinary churches and Bible Colleges were caught up in “religious Babylon.” He taught that the kingdom of God was to be found by quitting one’s job, selling one’s possessions, giving the money to the commune, and moving in together to be devoted to the “kingdom” twenty four hours a day. So in my search to become an extraordinary Christian I did what he said and joined. By the time I had fully explored many versions of pietism seeking to escape the tainted Christianity found in ordinary churches, I had squandered the first ten years of my Christian life. I was converted in 1971 and by 1981 I had given up on becoming a superior Christian. I bought a house for my family and began a car repair business to pay the bills while I tried to figure out what to do with my calling to preach now that most everything I had been taught, practiced, and taught others had failed. By God’s grace I went back to the Bible and determined to merely teach verse by verse from that point on. It took another five or six years to rid myself of the various errors I had embraced and then I taught Romans in 1986. Through that study I came to appreciate the doctrines of grace. That understanding opened my thinking and was the turning point for my ministry. I also came to realize that the wrong-thinking that attracted me to pietism was that I held to a theology based on human ability rather than grace alone. Once I grasped that, I never looked back. If the “secret” to a higher order Christianity is based on something we discover and implement (the secret to the deeper life), then it makes sense that some Christians could achieve a higher status than others. But if salvation AND sanctification are God’s work through His grace, then we are all in the same boat, and there’s no higher order. Pietism is difficult to define because it can be taught and practiced in an unlimited number of ways. Some versions appear to be innocuous while others are so radical that most people would see that something is wrong. I now know that no version of pietism is actually innocuous. If a teaching is called pietism but teaches no more than what God has always used to sanctify Christians, then it is not really pietism. Real pietism always harms those who embrace it. The essence of pietism is this: It is a practice designed to lead to an experience that purports to give one an elite or special status compared to ordinary Christians. The Bible addresses this error in the book of Colossians. The false teachers in Colossae claimed to have the secret to a superior Christian experience that would cause people to rise above the bad “fate” they feared. Paul went on to explain that they already had everything they needed through Christ and His work on the cross. Another way of stating this is: If after having fully trusted Christ’s finished work on the cross, you are told that you are still lacking something, you are being taught pietism. Church history is littered with misguided pietistic movements. Many of them are linked with mysticism. I will give examples later in this article. Pietism can be practiced many ways including enforced solitude, asceticism of various forms, man made religious practices, legalism, submission to human authorities who claim special status, and many other practices and teachings. The fact that pietism has many forms can be seen by the litany Paul gives in Colossians:

Colossians 2:16-23
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day -- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use) in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Paul calls this approach “self-made religion” which is exactly what all forms of pietism are. They all suggest that having been converted by the Lord through the cross and practicing His ordained means of grace by faith are inadequate. They have discovered a better way that leads to a higher order experience. Paul says they have “the appearance of wisdom.” Pietism is an attack on the scriptural truth that Christ has already done it all and that this is true for all Christians. I believe in progressive sanctification, but God is sanctifying all Christians by the same means. more...
Apostasy |