Friday, September 29, 2006


Alas! how many young converts have made shipwreck against such churches. Instead of being a harbor of delight to them, they have proved false lights, alluring them to destruction. Isn’t it time for us to get down on our faces before God and cry mightily to Him to forgive us our sins. The quicker we own it the better. You may be invited to a party, and it may be made up of church members, and what will be the conversation? Oh, I got so sick of such parties that I left years ago; I would not think of spending a night that way; it is a waste of time; there is hardly a chance to say a word for the Master. If you talk of a personal Christ, your company becomes offensive; they don’t like it; they want you to talk about the world, about a popular minister, a popular church, a good organ, a good choir, and they say, "Oh, we have a grand organ, and a superb choir," and all that, and it suits them; but that don’t warm the Christian heart. When you speak of a risen Christ and a personal Savior, they don’t like it; the fact is, the world has come into the church and taken possession of it, and what we want to do is to wake up and ask God to forgive us for ‘Grieving the Spirit."

Dear reader. search your heart and inquire, Have I done anything to grieve the Spirit of God? If you have, may God show it to you today; if you have done any thing to grieve the Spirit of God, you want to know it today, and get down on your face before God and ask Him to forgive you and help you to put it away. I have lived long enough to know that if I can not have the power of the Spirit of God on me to help me to work for Him, I would rather die, than live just for the sake of living. How many are there in the church today, who have been members for fifteen or twenty years, but have never done a solitary thing for Jesus Christ? They can not lay their hands upon one solitary soul who has been blessed through their influence; they can not point today to one single person who has ever been lifted up by them.

--D.L. Moody

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Honest Preacher Calls a Sin a Sin...

"The man whom God means to be a laborer in His harvest must not come with delicate words and flattering doctrines concerning the dignity of human nature and the excellence of self-help and of earnest endeavors to rectify our lapsed condition and the like."

"Such mealymouthedness may God curse, for it is the curse of this age. The honest preacher calls a sin a sin and a spade a spade and says to men, 'You are ruining yourselves; while you reject Christ you are living on the borders of Hell, and ere long you will be lost to all eternity. There shall be no mincing of the matter; you must escape from the wrath to come by faith in Jesus or be driven forever from God's presence and from all hope of joy.' "

"The preacher must make his sermons cut. Our sickle is made on purpose to cut. The Gospel is intended to wound the conscience and go right through to the heart, with the design of separating the soul from sin and self, as the corn is divided from the soil."

--Charles Spurgeon, At The Master's Feet

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No Change in Jehovah

This is from a post on


The following is an excerpt from "The Bond of the Covenant," preached Sunday morning, May 10, 1885 at the Met Tab in London. Once again we see that Spurgeon's poignant criticisms of 19th-century modernism are also perfectly suited for 21st-century post-modernism:

This generation has made a god of its own. The effeminate deity of the modern school is no more the true God than Dagon or Baal. I know him not, neither do I reverence him. But Jehovah is the true God: he is the God of love, but he is also robed in justice; he is the God of forgiveness, but he is also the God of atonement; he is the God of heaven, but he is also the God who sends the wicked down to hell.

We, of course, are thought to be harsh, and narrow-minded, and bigoted: nevertheless, this God is our God for ever and ever. There has been no change in Jehovah. He has revealed himself more clearly in Christ Jesus; but he is the same God as in the Old Testament, and as such we worship him.

--Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Do You Know Him on His Terms?

This is something to think about...

The Lord says, “If you don't know Me on My terms, I don't know you at all. If you haven't come in repentance, conviction of your own sin, and abandonment of self with such desperation that you cry out for salvation and righteousness and heaven, whatever the cost, then you didn't pass through the narrow gate. You haven't come humbly seeking forgiveness, knowing you don't deserve it.”

--John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, 2003

Undoubted Truth

"It is an undoubted truth that every doctrine that comes from God, leads to God; and that which doth not tend to promote holiness is not of God."

--George Whitefield

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Forked-Lightning Christians"

"When we are in hand-to-hand conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil himself, neat little Biblical confectionery is like shooting lions with a pea-shooter; God needs a man who will let go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, in the power of the Holy Ghost. Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count."

--C.T. Studd (1860-1931)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Get Into Your Closets"

"Oh, study your hearts, watch your hearts, keep your hearts! Away with empty names and vain shows; away with unprofitable discourse and bold censures of others. Turn in upon yourselves, get into your closets, and now resolve to dwell there. You have been strangers to this work too long; you have kept other vineyards too long; you have trifled about the borders of religion too long. Will you now resolve to look better to your hearts? Will you hate and come out of the crowds of business and clamors of the world and retire yourselves more than you have done? Oh, that this day you would resolve upon it!"

--John Flavel

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Today's Worship Lacks Reverence

from on worship:

Quoting Hart & Muether . . .

Reverence is not obviously attractive or appealing. It is hard and uncomfortable. It doesn't create a relaxed or welcoming atmosphere. Above all it is not celebrative as that word has come to be used. Reverent worship is not an effective way of persuading the world that that Christians are capable of having a good time. That is because the modern culture can not see God as frightening. So seeker-sensitive worship has replaced a consuming fire with an affirming and empowering God, one who accepts whatever we do. It has substituted the meeting of felt needs for the demands of His law. From this it follows that we no longer need a mediator. ______
Of course, many say we still need Christ, but their attitude and posture in worship suggests otherwise. When we fail to gather on the Lord's Day to offer unconditional honor to the Savior, we are exchanging true for sham worship. Unfortunately, many contemporary innovations seem to do just that by reflecting an unwarranted confidence in those assembled. As a result, the work of Christ is silenced and pushed to the margins of our life. No longer is His sacrifice our only hope for access to the Father.

By practicing reverence, Christian worship can subvert our therapeutic culture with the truth that God comes to us only on His terms, and never on ours. His terms are the sacrifice. Only in the death and resurrection of Christ do we meet God and escape His wrath and curse. In Christ we find both "the kindness and the severity of God" (Rom. 11:22). God accepts our worship because as a consuming fire He has consumed the sacrifice on our behalf.

In the end, reverent worship cultivates the sense that the worshipers may offend God and will if they fail to come to Him in the ways he has prescribed. Worship should be characterized by godly fear and humility. It is done not lightly but with care and diligence. It is the natural response of creatures in the presence of the holy and sovereign God. And it is a worship that conforms to God's Word: "Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire". (Hebrews 12:28-29)

Friday, September 22, 2006

CAUTION: S.H.A.P.E. Book May Actually Spell T.R.O.U.B.L.E.

This is an interesting article from the Lighthouse Trails Research blog. It seems like every time you turn around more christians are getting involved in Comtemplative Spirituality and promoting mystical-leaning authors. What is going on? Why does this continue to happen?


S.H.A.P.E., the new book written by Erik Rees (with a foreword by Rick Warren) and published by Zondervan as a "Purpose Driven Resource," is now released. In Rick Warren's e-newsletter this week, he highlights the book in an article titled Why Must I Understand My S.H.A.P.E.? The book is sold on Rick Warren's website with the following description: "Rick Warren's bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life, described God's five purposes for every Christian. Now Erik Rees helps you discover God's unique purpose for your life based on the way God has shaped you. He made you marvelously unique for a reason."

However, the book has serious flaws. Rees admits that he looks to Peter Drucker for guidance in leadership (p. 156) and tells readers they must find their "Kingdom Purpose" and their "Kingdom Dream" (p. 167) (Bruce Wilkinson's God's Dream - see Deceived on Purpose), both of which fall within the parameters of heretical theologies such as Kingdom Now or Dominionist theologies. Rees says we must activate our "Sweet Spot," a term borrowed from Max Lucado (often quoted in Rees' book) in his book Cure for the Common Life. This sweet spot Lucado refers to is a divine spark that his book says resides in everyone.

On the back cover of Rees' book, New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard has planted a hearty endorsement saying this book is a "true gift" to those who "long to uncover God's specific purpose for their lives." We know from our past research that Blanchard had signed on to help implement Rick Warren's peace plan. It looks like he will be helping with the S.H.A.P.E. program too - his endorsement will be read by many. Also on the back cover is meditation proponent John Ortberg, whom Rees quotes in a section of his book called "Silence Your Heart." In this section, Rees says: "The practice of being silent is not easily learned ... We need to ... be still before God." Rees then quotes Ortberg and later explains how he gets "to a state of inner silence" (p. 213). He adds: "Whatever it takes for you to learn to slow down and silence yourself before God, do it."

In spite of the red flags that go up on a "Christian" book that Ken Blanchard endorses (because of his Buddhist and New Age sympathies), it is more important to look at those who the author is favorably quoting in the book. Aside from quoting Rick Warren, Rees also quotes Max Lucado, who was featured recently on Fox Home Entertainment's Be Still DVD with Richard Foster, Erwin McManus, John Eldredge, John Ortberg, Bruce Wilkinson, and David Benner. Benner, the author of Sacred Companions clearly promotes contemplative spirituality in that book. S.H.A.P.E. also quotes Mark Batterson of the National Community Church. A recommended reading list on his website includes some of the most prominent New Agers and New Age sympathizers out there: Laurie Beth Jones, Eckhart Tolle, Paulo Coelho, James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy), Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup author), Anthony Robbins, and Leonard Sweet as well as numerous contemplatives and emergents: Brian McLaren, Henri Nouwen, Dallas Willard, Brother Lawrence and many others. Tolle, Coelho and Redfield are like world-class Alice Bailey level New Agers. Rees also quotes from Dallas Willard and meditation proponent Jim Collins.

With a line up like that, we hope discerning believers will stay far away from S.H.A.P.E. by Erik Rees. This type of book with it's heavy promotion of contemplative authors will only lead to T.R.O.U.B.L.E.
[Purpose Driven]

This article or excerpt is from Lighthouse Trails on September 22, 2006

The New Social Gospel

I saw this post on Rick Frueh's blog. This seems to be one of the latest trends in churches. Should our gospel be a "social gospel"? If so what is the difference between what we as christians do and what the United Nations does? Our agendas may start to look identical. Correct me if I am wrong but isn't God looking to move through people in a way where it will be unmistakable that it can be explained as ONLY an act of God? Or does God choose to share some of the glory with man?

here is an excerpt...

"One of the dangers we were warned about when we became believers, if you were saved decades ago, was the social gospel. This was defined as meeting the needs of the poor and allowing the gospel to be inherent in the act of kindness itself. This approach reasoned that sinners would see Christ in the good works of Christians as they were fed and clothed and that the sharing of the gospel was not necessary...."


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Emerging Church Is Leading Us Back to Rome

This is an article by Mike Gendron from

We have been receiving an increasing number of reports about Protestants who are converting to Roman Catholicism. There is now a series of three books which herald the testimonies of former Protestant pastors who have found the broad way to Rome more enticing and fulfilling. What is causing this growing apostasy? Who is behind this reversal of the Reformation? Why are so many Protestants being seduced by the piety of this false religion? Many evangelicals are puzzled and are searching for answers. Although it is disheartening and discouraging, we should not be surprised because: "the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1).

Does Christianity Need to Be Reinvented? One of the major influences that is paving the road back to Roman Catholicism is The Emerging Church movement. Proponents say its time for Christianity to be reinvented for a new generation. It must become more relevant to a postmodern generation. They say the best way to reinvent Christianity for the present generation is to reintroduce ideas and experiences from the past. Emergent leaders say God's Word no longer holds the answers to life's questions. Experience must become the key factor to encounter spiritual reality. The experiential attractions which are being promoted by the Emerging Church include: statues, prayer stations, incense, liturgy, candles, icons, the sacraments and calling communion the Eucharist. It is easy to see how this movement complements and encourages the Vatican's "new evangelization program" to win the "separated brethren" back to the "true church."

A New Kind of Christian
The most influential leader in the emergent church movement is Brian McLaren, a pastor and author from Maryland who wrote the controversial book, A New Kind of Christian. Time Magazine recently named McLaren one of the 25 most influential evangelical leaders in the world (2/7/05). In another one of his books, A Generous Orthodoxy, McLaren describes himself as the new kind of Christian, with labels such as: catholic, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican and methodist. How can he hold to all these labels at the same time? It is because he rejects the Word of God as the objective authority for truth. McLaren writes: "How do you know something is true? First you engage in spiritual practices like prayer, Bible reading, forgiveness and service. Then you see what happens; you remain open to experience. Finally, you report your experience to others in the field of spirituality for their discernment to see if they confirm your findings or not."

Mystical Feelings Replace Doctrine
It is appalling to see what McLaren and other leaders of the Emergent Church are really promoting. In A Generous Orthodoxy, McLaren writes that he "is consistently over sympathetic to Roman Catholics." Other leaders tell us we need to emulate Roman Catholicism to become more mystical in our reverence of God. Chuck Smith Jr., in his book, There is a Season (foreword by Brian McLaren), provides insight into this mystical experience. He writes: "What would happen if we allowed people to "feel" what we cannot explain, to know with the heart and not with the brain? We would open the door of faith to a wider audience than if we continued to insist on a rational belief in the facts as the only legitimate starting point of the Christian faith." Unfortunately, the wider audience Smith will reach are people without discernment, who uphold "truth" that is subjective and believe a gospel that is compromised. These are people who have no biblical roots and will constantly be blown away by every wind of doctrine. Some will be fatally duped into believing there are no eternal consequences if or when they convert to Roman Catholicism.

The Alluring Power of the Eucharist
Another leader of the Emergent Church is Dr. Robert Webber who is recognized by many as the authority on worship renewal. He taught at Wheaton College for 32 years as Professor of Theology and has authored over 40 books. Dr. Webber had a "life changing experience" at a Catholic conference center when he decided to receive the Eucharist . His testimony is recorded in a book entitled Signs of Wonder. Following is part of his experience in his own words:

"Closing my eyes, I allowed my life in the church to pass before me. My prejudices rose up within me: What are you doing here? You never worshiped in a Catholic setting, let alone received the bread and the wine from a Catholic priest! Then I heard my Catholic friends speak of their love for Christ, pray with fervency, and express a real desire to know the Scriptures and live by its authority. Those memories said, 'Go ahead. After all, there is only one Lord, one church, one faith, one baptism, one Holy Communion.' In that moment, God broke through the walls I had allowed to separate me from my brothers and sisters of different denominations. I am convinced the prejudices we hold and the walls we build between ourselves and other communities of Christians actually block our experience of God's presence in our lives. Our biases cut us off from the spiritual communion of the fullness of the body of Christ. God dwells in his church, and to reject a part of God's church is to reject him. Furthermore, rejecting apart of God's church keeps us from experiencing what the creed calls "the communion of the Saints." When God broke down my walls, he brought me into richer fellowship with the body of Christ throughout the world. You might say I was surprised by joy! I had never had an experience like that in my life. In that Catholic chapel, a new worship experience had bumped up against that old prejudice of mine, and a new attitude was born. I had taken into myself the experience of another tradition, I had been in dialogue with another worship tradition, and I was surely the richer for it."

Subjective Experiences vs. Objective Truth
Webber's words are echoed by other Protestants who have experimented with the Eucharist and then converted to Catholicism because of their "joyful experience." It comes as no surprise that these apostates, who have converted to a false religion, have been influenced by subjective experiences. Probably the best known Protestant convert to Catholicism is Scott Hahn. His subjective experience was participating in the ungodly pagan practice of praying the rosary (Mat. 6:7). Hahn was convinced "Mary" performed a miracle after he prayed the rosary. By contrast, those who have been gloriously converted to the Lord Jesus Christ have believed the objective truth of His Word (Eph. 1:1314; Rom. 10:17). Now sealed with the Holy Spirit, they can never again be ensnared by the deceitful schemes of the devil's religion: (2 Tim. 2:23-25).

A common characteristic of Protestants who have converted to Romanism has been a dissatisfaction with their former Christian experience. One convert cited several things that drove him away from his evangelical church live bands playing loud music consisting of praise choruses repeated over and over again, no place for quiet reverence an( prayer, theological shallowness, movie clips drama and plays. He said, "After a few yearn of the kids raving about how much fun the} had and not learning anything, we tried the Catholic Church across the street and immediately enjoyed the formal liturgy, the religious rituals and a reverence for God." What a tragedy for this family. They left a shallow worship experience and replaced it with an idolatrous worship experience. There is an instructive lesson here for evangelical pas torn - churches which emphasize entertainment over the preaching of God's Word will always have people looking for a more satisfying experience. Whatever you win then "with" is what you win them "to."

What Can We Do?
Let our voices be heard! Expose the evil deeds of darkness with the glorious light of God's Word. Lovingly confront those who are promoting the Emergent Church and embracing Roman Catholicism as a valid expression of Christianity. Call Roman Catholicism what it is - a false religious system that is holding over 1 billion people in bondage to deception.

To those who have committed themselves to Satan's lies and his evil religious system, we must have a sense of urgency. There is no time for beating around the bush. God doesn't promise anyone tomorrow. Jude wrote: "save others [with the Gospel], snatching them out of the fire" (Jude 23). We need to be prepared to offend them with the truth, knowing that the Gospel will offend those who are offensive to God.

Finally, don't be deceived. Hold onto our supreme and objective authority for truth - the Word of God! It, along with the Holy Spirit, is the only security we have in these days of great deception and compromise.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New Theology is False Theology (hint hint Emergents)

This is a great Spurgeon excerpt I found at Phil Johnson's blog Pyromaniac.

"I have heard it said that the way Luther preached would not suit this age. We are too polite! The style of preaching, they say, that did in John Bunyan's day, is not the style now. True, they honor these men; they are like the Pharisees; they build the sepulchers of the prophets that their fathers slew, and so they do confess that they are their father's own sons, and like their parents. And men that stand up to preach as those men did, with honest tongues, and know not how to use polished courtly phrases, are as much condemned now as those men were in their time; because, say they, the world is marching on, and the gospel must march on too.

No, sirs, the old gospel is the same; not one of her stakes must be removed, not one of her cords must be loosened. "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." Theology hath nothing new in it except that which is false. The preaching of Paul must be the preaching of the minister to-day. There is no advancement here. We may advance in our knowledge of it; but it stands the same, for this good reason, that it is perfect, and perfection can not be any better.

The old truth that Calvin preached, that Chrysostom preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be a liar to my conscience and my God. I can not shape the truth. I know of no such thing as the paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again. The great mass of our ministers are sound enough in the faith, but not sound enough in the way they preach it.

Election is not mentioned once in the year in many a pulpit; final perseverance is kept back; the great things of God's law are forgotten, and a kind of mongrel mixture of Arminianism and Calvinism is the delight of the present age. And hence the Lord hath forsaken many of his tabernacles and left the house of his covenant; and he will leave it till again the trumpet gives a certain sound. For wherever there is not the old gospel we shall find "Ichabod" written upon the church walls ere long.

The old truth of the Covenanters, the old truth of the Puritans, the old truth of the Apostles, is the only truth that will stand the test of time, and never need to be altered to suit a wicked and ungodly generation. Christ Jesus preaches to-day the same as when he preached upon the mount; he hath not changed his doctrines; men may ridicule and laugh, but still they stand the same—semper idem written upon every one of them. They shall not be removed or altered."

--Charles Spurgeon, excerpt from his sermon "The Immutability of Christ," Jan. 1858

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Path to Apostasy

Here are some interesting comments from a post on Murray: Churches Converting To The World).

According to church historian and author Iain Murray, apostasy generally arises in the church because the danger of worldliness ceases to be observed. The consequence is that spiritual warfare gives way to spiritual pacifism, and, in the same spirit, the church devises ways to present the gospel which will neutralize any offense.

Here are some excerpts from Iain Murray's book "Evangelicalism Divided:

"The antithesis between regenerate and unregenerate is passed over and it is supposed that the interests and ambitions of the unconverted can somehow be harnessed to win their approval for Christ. Then when this approach achieves 'results' - as it will - no more justification is thought to be needed. The rule of Scripture has given place to pragmatism.

The apostolic statement, 'For if I still pleased men, I would not be the servant of Christ' (Galatians 1:10), has lost its meaning. No Christian deliberately gives way to the spirit of the world but we all may do so unwittingly and unconsciously.

That this has happened on a large scale in the later-twentieth century is to be seen in the way in which the interests and priorities of contemporary culture have come to be mirrored in the churches.

.... the cry for entertainment by the visual image rather than by the words of Scripture; the appeal of the spectacular; the rise of feminism; the readiness to identify power with numbers; the unwillingness to make 'beliefs' a matter of controversy - all these features, so evident in the world's agenda, are now also to be found in the Christian scene.

Instead of the churches revolutionizing the culture, the reverse has happened. Churches have been converted to the world. David Wells has written: 'The stream of historic orthodoxy that once watered the evangelical soul is now dammed by a worldliness that many fail to recognize as worldliness because of the cultural innocence with which it presents itself. ... It may be that Christian faith, which has made many easy alliances with modern culture in the past few decades, is also living in a fool's paradise, comforting itself about all the things God is doing ... while it is losing its character, if not its soul' (No place for truth, pp. 11, 68)."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wrong Doctrine = Wrong Behavior

"If you go wrong in your doctrine, you will go wrong in all aspects of your life. You will probably go wrong in your practice and behaviour; and you will certainly go wrong in your experience. Why is it that people are defeated by the things that happen to them? Why is it that some people are completely cast down if they are taken ill, or if someone who is dear to them is taken ill? They were wonderful Christians when all was going well; the sun was shining, the family was well, everything was perfect, and you would have thought that they were the best Christians in the country. But suddenly there is an illness and they seem to be shattered, they do not know what to do or where to turn, and they begin to doubt God. They say, "We were living the Christian life, and we were praying to God, and our lives had been committed to God; but look at what is happening. Why should this happen to us?" They begin to doubt God and all His gracious dealings with them. Do such people need 'a bit of comfort'? Do they need the church simply as a kind of soporific or tranquillizer? Do they only need something which will make them feel a little happier, and lift the burden a little while they are in the church?

Their real trouble is that they lack an understanding of the Christian faith. They have an utterly inadequate notion of what Christianity means. Their idea of Christianity was: "Believe in Christ and you will never have another trouble or problem; God will bless you, nothing will ever go wrong with you"; whereas the Scripture itself teaches that 'through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God' (Acts 14:22), or as the Apostle expresses it elsewhere, 'In nothing be terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake' (Philippians 1:28-29). Our Lord says, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world' (John 16:33). There is nothing which is so wrong, and so utterly false, as to fail to see the primary importance of true doctrine."

--Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Heresies

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Little by Little

“Little by little evangelical Christians these days are being brainwashed. One evidence is that increasing numbers of them are becoming ashamed to be found unequivocally on the side of truth. They say they believe but …”

—A.W. Tozer, “The Importance of Sound Doctrine”

Saturday, September 16, 2006

"Something Sweet and Sugary and Nice"

I have been listening to just about every sermon lately from Leonard Ravenhill available on He's harsh and blunt, occasionally sarcastic and abrasive....I think he's great. Not for those reasons but because he speaks with an incredible burden for genuine revival unlike anyone I hear today. I think he is right, that this is the only way there is any hope at all for our culture, and our churches today.

Here is a quote from his sermon Abraham and Lot:

"....Noah preaching righteousness, Enoch preaching Jesus Christ coming in judgement....who wants to hear it anymore in our churches? No, give us something sweet and sugary and nice. Something that won't hurt us, something that won't send us home weeping and broken. There's enough trouble in the world without going to church to get it."

I wish preachers like Ravenhill were around today. Men who are not afraid to deliver God's message without altering it to appease the crowd.

Ravenhill believes that revival will come only when preachers today are broken before the Lord weeping before the porch and the altar as in Joel chapter 2. It is worth listening to and stuggling with. Ravenhill's sermons are difficult and challenging to hear but I kep finding myself listening to him again and again.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Today's Distorted Gospel

Quoting Walter Chantry . . .

"Can it be true that Christians are misleading the souls of men in regard to salvation? Is it really all that bad? Look at the evangelistic missions with all their gimmicks (I even heard a pastor say to a bunch of young people that if they could bring a certain number of kids out to Church, that he would swallow a goldfish in front of them . . . wacky but true). Examine all that you teach in the light of Jesus' thorough going Gospel and you will have to agree - the Church is far from the New Testament message.
Oh, and don't forget to look at your own preaching and teaching. All are not in error, but a great number are. All have not perverted the Gospel to the same degree, but many are terribly far from the truth. All those who, make "decisions" are not deceived, but a great number are. Above all, few CARE to recover the Gospel message. Most assume that evangelical tradition embodies all of it. Great numbers never carefully weigh their habits in the light of Scriptures. Many are never asked to count the cost of becoming one of Jesus disciples. ... Surely our first issue of duty to our Lord is to make sure that we have the right Gospel message. The same one not altered or improved - but in its original full strength formula.

Like a foul tasting cough medicine that is not pleasant to the taste of a sick child, the original Gospel of Jesus Christ is not pleasant to the ears of most sinners today. But it is the power of God to those that will believe unto salvation - it gets the job done.

Most of all we need to contend for the gospel. It is not just a few facts that Jesus and the Apostles preached it was life itself. True evangelism preaches the whole counsel of God with explanation and application to sinners.

Remember our Lord's dealing with the rich young ruler the next time you witness to someone. Don't sell this truth for unity at any cost. The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is a pearl worthy to be purchased at the cost of all else. Rise above deadening evangelical tradition and "Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3)."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"He That is not Zealous Against Error, is Not Likely to be Zealous for Truth"

These excerpts below from JC Ryle need to be heard by the members of my former church and are a good warning for every christian to live by.

So many people I know ask me (when discussing some of the spiritual problems occurring at my former church) "why don't you get the information together and let me see it? I will take it to the pastor and ask him "what is going on?" " On many occasions I have responded to their requests sending emails, links, articles, documentations, and recommending readings. In most of these cases I never hear back from any of these people. They seem to be getting more entrenched in the church rather than reading, understanding and confronting the problem. Did they read the material I gave them? Did they understand any of it? Did I overload them and give them too much info to read? Are they trying to find out things for themselves or are they waiting for somebody else to just come along and give them the easy-to-see answer to a spiritual problem?

It seems like people are too busy to read and study. Too busy to take the time to throughly examine from scripture what teachings are coming from their church. (remember Acts 17:11?) It seems like they rely on trusting their leaders over and above understanding, testing and relying on what is written in the Word of God.

I ran into a family tonight who fits this description perfectly. The teenager and mother at one point, almost a year ago, were very interested in some of the strange things happening at this church so I spent hours gathering information for them, sent numerous emails containing articles and links several times and I heard nothing from them. As a matter of fact, they have become more involved.

On the other hand, I have been corresponding with one man who has had the veil pulled from his eyes and he too is warning others still there of the subtle changes. Fortunately a couple of people are listening to him and responding affirmatively, although most still are not. Also there are other people who have confronted the church leadership and challenger them on certain issues, still others have just left the church. Most seem to be at ease with the way things are.

A church purposefully weak on doctrine but full of very, very friendly people.


excerpts from Prove All Things by J.C. Ryle (1816-1900):

"The principle laid down is this, "Prove all things by the Word of God.—All ministers, all teaching, all preaching, all doctrines, all sermons, all writings, all opinions, all practices,— prove all by the Word of God. Measure all by the measure of the Bible.—Compare all with the standard of the Bible. Weigh all in the balances of the Bible.—Examine all by the light of the Bible.—Test all in the crucible of the Bible. That which can abide the fire of the Bible, receive, hold, believe and obey. That which cannot abide the fire of the Bible, reject, refuse, repudiate, and cast away.

Reader, as long as you live resolve that you will read for yourself; think for yourself, judge of the Bible for yourself; in the great matters of your soul. Have an opinion of your own. Never be ashamed of saying, "I think that this is right, because I find it in the Bible," and "I think that this is wrong, because I do not find it in the Bible." "Prove all things," and prove them by the Word of God.

As long as you live, beware of the blindfold system, which many commend in the present day,—the system of following a leader, and having no opinion of their own—the system which practically says, "Only keep your Church, only receive the sacraments, only believe what the ordained ministers who are set over you tell you, and then all shall be well" I warn you that this will not do. I warn you that if you are content with this kind of religion, you are periling your immortal soul. Let the Bible, and not any Church upon earth, or any minister upon earth, be your rule of faith. "Prove all things" by the Word of God."

"He that is not zealous against error, is not likely to be zealous for truth"

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


"In the past, the question of Church standards was answered with, “What sayeth the Scriptures?” Today that question has been replaced with “What works?” Are people being reached? Are people being helped? Are people getting saved? These have become the standards, rather than the Scriptures. How big your church is determines whether you are a good authority on what ought to be done. The current practice, rather than the truth, becomes the standard.

A man who pastors one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States is a man of mixed-bag theology. As far as I can tell he is a believer. This man is conducting a pastor’s conference at Dallas Seminary and Fuller Seminary and he is conducting a pastor’s conference for Robert Schuller. Now, tell me, What gives theological integrity to that mixed-bag? Dallas Seminary, Fuller Seminary and Robert Schuller can all use the same man to do a conference for pastors to tell them how they ought to conduct the ministry before God? Something is radically wrong! But hey-he has built one of the largest churches in the country. What more do you want?

What about theological integrity, for starters? Are we talking about drawing a crowd, or are we talking about building the Church of Jesus Christ? If you want a crowd, put on a rock concert! But crowd-pleasing is not the foundation for the true Church. People point out, “Well, isn’t he a believer?” Yes, that’s the first step. But is he a believer with theological integrity? Is he a believer with moral integrity? Those issues have to be resolved.

Pragmatism presses in upon us. It affects us. We look around and see other churches and say, “They are growing. Maybe we ought to do this.” We can make adjustments. We can change the lectern. Fine. We can change the time of service. Fine. But we cannot change the fact that we are called to minister the Word of God."

--Gil Rugh, Division and Diversion, 1990

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Awesome Names of Jesus

This post was originally published in April but worth reading again (and again, and again):


“Who do you say I am?” (Matt 16: 15)

Son of Abraham: (Matthew 1:1)
Son of David: (Matthew 1:1)
Immanuel: “God with us” (Matthew 1:23, see Isaiah 7:14)
Beloved Son: (Matthew 3:17)
The Beloved: (Matthew 12:18)
Rabbi: Teacher, literally "my great one" (Matthew 23:8)
Son of God: (Matthew 26:63)
Son of Man: (Matthew 26:64, see Daniel 7:13)
Yeshua of Nazareth: (Matthew 26:71)
King of the Jews: (Matthew 27:37)
King of Israel: (Mark 15:32)
Stone: (Mark 12:10)
Chief Cornerstone: (Mark 12:10)
Son of the Most High: (Luke 1:32)
Horn of Salvation: (Luke 1:69)
Sunrise From on High: (Luke 1:78)
The Expected One: (Luke 7:19)
Master: “Chief, Commander”“ (Luke 8:24)
The Chosen One: (Luke 9:35)
Living One: (Luke 24:5)
God: (John 1:1)
Only Begotten God: (John 1:18)
The Prophet: (John 1:25, see Deuteronomy 18:15)
Lamb of God: (John 1:36)
Messiah: (John 1:41)
Son of Joseph: (John 1:45)
The Bridegroom: (John 3:29)
Savior of the World: (John 4:42)
The Bread of God: (John 6:33)
The Bread out of Heaven: (John 6:32)
The Bread of Life: (John 6:35)
Light of the World: (John 8:12)
The Son: (John 8:36)
Good Shepherd: (John 10:11)
The Door: (John 10:7)
The Resurrection (John 11:25)
The Life: (John 11:25)
The Way, the Truth, and the Life: (John 14:6)
The True Vine: (John 15:1) ...

See THIS SITE for more of the Names of Jesus.

-Richard J. Krejcir Copyright 1990, revised 2001

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I saw THIS ARTICLE on Slice of Laodicea the other day and liked it so much I thought I would post it here---

Christ in every book was presented by Pastor James Hayes from the South Peoria Baptist Church, Peoria, AZ, during a message given in December of 1994.

Christ is the theme of the entire revelation of God. He is promised in Genesis, revealed in the law, prefigured in its history, praised in its poetry, proclaimed in its prophecy provided in its Gospels, proved in its Acts, preeminient in its Epistles and prevailing in Revelation.

He is seen in every book of the Bible. Take a journey through the halls of the Bible and in every one of them you will see Christ.

IN Genesis He is the Seed of the woman
IN Exodus the Lamb for sinners slain
IN Leviticus our High Priest
IN Numbers The Star of Jacob
IN Deuteronomy The Prophet like unto Moses and the Great Rock
IN Joshua the Captain of the Lord of Hosts
IN Judges the Messenger of Jehovah
IN Ruth our Kinsman Redeemer and Faithful Bridegroom
IN 1 Samuel He is seen as the Great Judge
IN 2 Samuel He is the Princely King
IN 1 Kings as David's choice
IN 2 Kings as the Holiest of all
IN 1 Chronicles as the King by birth
IN 2 Chronicles as King by judgement
IN Ezra He is seen as Lord of Heaven and Earth
IN Nehemiah as the Builder
IN Esther our Mordecai
IN Job our Daysman and our Risen Returning Redeemer
IN Psalms the Son of God and the Good Shepherd
IN Proverbs our Wisdom
IN Ecclesiastes as the One Above the Sun
IN Song of Solomon the Great Church Lover, the One Altogether
Lovely and the Chiefest among Ten Thousand
IN Isaiah He is the Suffering and Glorified Servant
IN Jeremiah the Lord Our Righteousness
IN Lamentations the Man of Sorrows
IN Ezekiel the Glorious God
IN Daniel the Smithing Stone and the Messiah
IN Hosea He is the Risen Son of God
IN Joel the Out Pourer of the Spirit
IN Amos the Eternal Christ
IN Obadiah the Forgiving Christ
IN Jonah the Risen Prophet
IN Micah the Bethlehemite
IN Nahum He is the Bringer of Good Tidings
IN Habakkuk the Lord in His Holy Temple
IN Zephaniah the Merciful Christ
IN Haggai the Desire of All Nations
IN Zechariah the Branch
IN Malachi the Son of Righteousness with Healing in His Wings

IN Matthew He is the King of the Jews
IN Mark the Servant
IN Luke the Perfect Son of Man
IN John the Son of God
IN Acts He is the Ascended Lord
IN Romans the Lord Our Righteousness
IN 1 Corinthians Our Resurrection
IN 2 Corinthians Our Comforter
IN Galatians the End of the Law
IN Ephesians the Head of the Church
IN Philippians the Supplier of Every Need
IN Colossians the Fullness of the Godhead
IN 1 Thessalonians He comes for His Church
IN 2 Thessalonians He comes with His Church
IN 1 Timothy He is the Mediator
IN 2 Timothy the Bestower of Crowns
IN Titus our Great God and Saviour
IN Philemon the Prayer of Crowns
IN Hebrews the Rest of the Faith and Fulfiller of Types
IN James the Lord Drawing Nigh
IN 1 Peter the Vicarious Sufferer
IN 2 Peter the Lord of Glory
IN 1 John the Way
IN 2 John the Truth
IN 3 John the Life
IN Jude He is Our Security
IN Revelation the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Lamb of God,
the Bright and Morning Star, the King of Kings and Lord of

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A.W. Tozer Nails It Again

“Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit. Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. Try the spirits is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching.”

--A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Friday, September 08, 2006


Reading through some verses in John 6 today, I was struck with the relevance and clarity in an answer Christ gave to a question the hungry crowd asked him. Funny thing is, it is the same old question being asked in churches across America by millions of church members who are absolutely, utterly confused and baffled in trying to strike a balance between obeying the Great Commission and (out of guilt) fixing the world's problems.

The question is:
What must we do to do the works God requires?

Every time I turn around I hear a pastor or a writer telling me I should be doing my part to do this or do that, feed the poor, help God to bring His Kingdom here on earth, etc. All of the sudden I'm somehow feeling guilty for not caring enough or being sensitive enough to the homeless and the less fortunate. Eventually I'm driven to the point where if I only give the gospel and don't feed someone I start doubting what it is I'm doing. I almost feel like if I don't feed the guy, then he won't give a flying hoot about the Truth I'm giving him.

From Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. plan to Rob Bell's quest to save the environment to your church's new gospel of African village repair, it's the same basic goal: to bring the Kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven. It's as if this is the new Great Commission. But I think they're missing the point that Jesus made 2000 years ago.

Then I stumbled upon a similar situation in John 6. Jesus just got finished feeding the masses. And after being approached by the same crowd with the question of "What must we do to do the works God requires?" (vs 28) Jesus, with crystal clarity, zeroed in on what our focus must be, i.e., "To believe the One He has sent." (vs 29). A simple question followed by a simple answer. First and foremost, our number priority must be to give the world Jesus, the bread of life! Feeding the poor and ending world hunger should pale in comparison to an ever-consuming, passionate desire to our chief aim and responsibility given to us by the Lord himself, to feed the world...HIM, the Bread of Life, the message of the Gospel!

Jesus refused to feed the crowd the next day because he knew (vs 26) that the crowd was back to get more to eat. He explained to them that He is the bread of life and how that is what they should have been looking for and working for (vs 27). But they were still only interested in their physical needs. Once he told them that they must take Him as the bread and not earthly bread, many turned away from him (vs 60). They wanted earthly life, not eternal life. Jesus knew that if he fed the crowds when they returned, that they would never understand the whole reason why he came, to give them eternal life. He did NOT feed them a second time, Interesting, isn't it?

So if you're confused and baffled about what to do, then I suggest that you start here:

Offer bread to the poor; the Bread of Life, Jesus. Give the Gospel. Preach the Gospel. Preach repentance. Baptize. Make disciples. Shout the Gospel. Preach the cross. THIS is the Great Commission.

Yes, your love for the person will move you to feed them food if necessary. That's okay of course. But let your love for God move you to tell them the Old, Old Story of Jesus and His Love and don't you dare neglect to tell the poor and hungry the message of the cross. Make that your main objective. Read John chapter 6 and you'll see what I mean.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Brian McLaren's Unorthodox Quotes

It's important to get an idea of where leaders like Brian McLaren in the Emergent Church are coming from so you can identify the confusion, ambiguity, and unbiblical perspectives of such leaders. Especially when you think of the fact that so many evangelical pastors and leaders seem to view Brian McLaren as "one of their own".

Take some time to read through these quotes and comments of his and let me know if you agree with my assessment of Brian McLaren as a false teacher and/or prophet....


"What if there are thousands of John Calvins out there.... what if God decided to make a lot of them gay?"
––Brian McLaren, Lecture at Princeton Theological Seminary, Nov. 2005


Brian McLaren's response when asked about gay marriage:

"You know what, the thing that breaks my heart is that there's no way I can answer it without hurting someone on either side."
––Brian McLaren, Time magazine interview, February 2005


"I hesitate in answering "the homosexual question" not because I'm a cowardly flip-flopper who wants to tickle ears, but because I am a pastor, and pastors have learned from Jesus that there is more to answering a question than being right or even honest: we must also be . . . pastoral. That means understanding the question beneath the question, the need or fear or hope or assumption that motivates the question."
--Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question, Out of Ur, Jan. 2006


"Frankly, many of us don't know what we should think about homosexuality. We've heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say "it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us."
--Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question, Out of Ur, Jan. 2006


Brian McLaren's view on how we can “solve” the homosexuality issue within Christianity: No one is allowed to talk about it unless they have enough points:

"10 if you have considered and studied the relevant biblical passages
10 if you have actually read the six passages about homosexuality in the bible
20 if you have read other passages that might affect the way you read those six passages
5 if you have read one or more books that reinforce the position you already hold
25 if you have read one or more books arguing the opposite position
10 if you have spent three hours reading websites showing a variety of views
50 for every friend you have who’s been through an ex-gay ministry
50 for every friend who’s been through an ex-gay ministry that didn’t work
50 for every friend who’s gay and in a long-term committed relationship
50 for every friend who’s gay and not in a committed relationship
50 for every parent you’ve listened to whose child is gay
When you have 3,000 points, you can speak on the issue."
--Brian McLaren, Generous Orthodoxy Conference: The Gay Forum, 2005


"I don't think we've got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be 'saved'?.... I don't think the liberals have it right. But I don't think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy."
––Brian McLaren, The Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today, 2004


"Tony [Campolo] and I might disagree on the details, but I think we are both trying to find an alternative to both traditional Universalism and the narrow, exclusivist understanding of hell [that unless you explicitly accept and follow Jesus, you are excluded from eternal life with God and destined for hell]."
--Brian McLaren’s Inferno 2, Out of Ur, May 2006


"we should consider the possibility that many, and perhaps even all of Jesus’ hell-fire or end-of-the-universe statements refer not to postmortem judgment but to the very historic consequences of rejecting his kingdom message of reconciliation and peacemaking."
--Brian McLaren’s Inferno 3, Out of Ur, May 2006


"The language of hell, in my view, like the language of biblical prophecy in general, is not intended to provide literal or detailed fortune-telling or prognostication about the hereafter, nor is it intended to satisfy intellectual curiosity, but rather it is intended to motivate us in the here and now to realize our ultimate accountability to a God of mercy and justice and in that light to rethink everything and to seek first the kingdom and justice of God."
––Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, pgs.188-189


"Isn’t hell such a grave ‘bottom line’ that it devalues all other values? It so emphasizes the importance of life after death that it can unintentionally trivialize life before death. No wonder many people feel that ‘accepting Jesus as a personal Savior’ could make them a worse person — more self-centered and less concerned about justice on earth because of a preoccupation with forgiveness in heaven. Again, although I believe in Jesus as my personal savior, I am not a Christian for that reason. I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world."
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 100


"The church has been preoccupied with the question, "What happens to your soul after you die?" As if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in, "Jesus is trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die." I just think a fair reading of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I don't think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line."
—Brian McLaren, from the PBS special on the Emerging Church


"What if Jesus' secret message reveals a secret plan?".... What if he didn't come to start a new religion--but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world?"
––Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 4


"Ask me if Christianity (my version of it, yours, the Pope's, whoever's) is orthodox, meaning true, and here's my honest answer: a little, but not yet. Assuming by Christianity you mean the Christian understanding of the world and God, Christian opinions on soul, text, and culture I'd have to say that we probably have a couple of things right, but a lot of things wrong, and even more spreads before us unseen and unimagined. But at least our eyes are open! To be a Christian in a generously orthodox way is not to claim to have the truth captured, stuffed, and mounted on the wall."
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 293


"...many Hindus are willing to consider Jesus as a legitimate manifestation of the divine... many Buddhists see Jesus as one of humanity’s most enlightened people.... A shared reappraisal of Jesus’ message could provide a unique space or common ground for urgently needed religious dialogue—and it doesn’t seem an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet may depend on such dialogue. This reappraisal of Jesus’ message may be the only project capable of saving a number of religions."
––Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, p. 7


Brian McLaren says of Alan Jones’ book Reimagining Christianity:

“.... Alan Jones is a pioneer in reimagining a Christian faith that emerges from authentic spirituality. His work stimulates and encourages me deeply.” (Brian McLaren's comments on the back flap of Alan Jones' book Reimagining Christianity where Alan Jones states the following about the Christ's crucifixion: "The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it." (p. 132)
"The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus' sacrifice was to appease an angry god. Penal substitution [the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine
." (p. 168)


Brian McLaren's endorsement of Steve Chalke and Alan Mann's book "The Lost Message of Jesus":

“Steve Chalke's new book [The Lost Message of Jesus] could help save Jesus from Christianity. That's a strange way of putting it, I know. Not that the real Jesus needs saving. But when one contrasts the vital portrait of Jesus painted by Steve with the tense caricature drawn so often by modern Christianity, one can't help but feeling the ‘Jesus’ of modern Christianity is in trouble. The Jesus introduced by Steve in these pages sounds like someone who can truly save us from our trouble
In this book the authors refer to Christ's crucifixion on the cross as "a form of cosmic child abuse." Brian McLaren endorses this book.


"At first glance, Dorothy is all wrong as a model of leadership. She is the wrong gender (female) and the wrong age (young). Rather than being a person with all the answers, who knows what's up and where to go and what's what, she is herself lost, a seeker, often bewildered, and vulnerable. These characteristics would disqualify her from modern leadership. But they serve as her best credentials for postmodern leadership."
--Brian McLaren, Dorothy on Leadership. Rev. Magazine, Nov/Dec 2000


“Scripture is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it.”
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 162


"Perhaps our ‘inward-turned, individual-salvation-oriented, un-adapted Christianity’ is a colossal and tragic misunderstanding, and perhaps we need to listen again for the true song of salvation, which is ‘good news to all creation.’ So perhaps it’s best to suspend what, if anything, you ‘know’ about what it means to call Jesus ‘Savior’ and to give the matter of salvation some fresh attention. Let’s start simply. In the Bible, save means ‘rescue’ or ‘heal’. It emphatically does not mean ‘save from hell’ or ‘give eternal life after death,’ as many preachers seem to imply in sermon after sermon. Rather its meaning varies from passage to passage, but in general, in any context, save means ‘get out of trouble.’ The trouble could be sickness, war, political intrigue, oppression, poverty, imprisonment, or any kind of danger or evil."
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 93


"How do you know if something is true?...First, you engage in spiritual practices like prayer, Bible reading, forgiveness, and service. Then you see what happens; you remain open to experience. Finally, you report your experience to others in the field of spirituality for their discernment, to see if they confirm your findings or not."
––Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 199


“The church latched on to that old doctrine of original sin like a dog to a stick, and before you knew it, the whole gospel got twisted around it. Instead of being God’s big message of saving love for the whole world, the gospel became a little bit of secret information on how to solve the pesky legal problem of original sin.”
--Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That, p.134


“The Christian faith, I am proposing, should become (in the name of Jesus Christ) a welcome friend to other religions of the world, not a threat”
--Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, p.254


“This is how I feel when I’m offered a choice between the roads of exclusivism (only confessing Christians go to heaven), universalism (everyone goes to heaven), and inclusivism (Christians go to heaven, plus at least some others). Each road takes you somewhere, to a place with some advantages and disadvantages, but none of them is the road of my missional calling: blessed in this life to be a blessing to everyone on earth.”
--Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy McLaren, p. 113


“Western Christianity has (for the last few centuries anyway) said relatively little about mindfulness and meditative practices, about which Zen Buddhism has said much. To talk about different things is not to contradict one another; it is, rather, to have much to offer one another, on occasion at least.”
---Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 225

"I must add, though, that I don't believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts."
---Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260


"I felt that every tree, every blade of grass, and every pool of water become especially eloquent with God’s grandeur. Somehow they seemed to become transparent—or perhaps translucent is the better word—because each thing in its particularity was still utterly visible and unspeakably important . . . These specific, concrete things became translucent in the sense that a powerful, indescribable, invisible light seemed to shine through. . . . It was the exuberant joy of simply seeing these masterpieces of God’s creation…and knowing myself to be among them. It was to be one of them, and to feel and know that “we”—all of these creatures, molecules, and phenomena—were together known and loved by God, who embraced us all into the ultimate “We.”"
---Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 178


"I am a Christian because I believe that, in all these ways, Jesus is saving the world. By “world” I mean planet Earth and all life on it, because left to ourselves, un-judged, un-forgiven, and un-taught, we will certainly destroy this planet and its residents. And by “the world” I specifically mean human history, because again, it was and is in danger, grave danger, ultimate danger, self-imposed danger, and I don’t believe anyone else can rescue it.”
---Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 97


I will probably need to do a part 2 since Brian McLaren has a lot on his mind and feels he needs to express it to so many.

One of the things I was wondering about when researching through these comments of McLaren's is--doesn't a true christian cherish and appreciate God even more because of such doctrines as the sovereignty of God, his holiness and his unfathomable richness of his truth (Romans 11: 33-34)? Don't those doctrines, and many others cause his children to humble themselves more and trust his Word to a greater degree like the writer of Psalm 119 did? Why does McLaren decide to change the meaning of scripture simply because it doesn't fit into his educated brilliant intellectual perspective? Why does Brian McLaren think he has to adjust his theology to fit his life experience? Shouldn't our life experience be perceived through the light of His holy Word rather than his Word being interpreted through an individual's personal viewpoint?


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Degenerate Seed

"Our most pressing obligation today is to do all in our power to obtain a revival that will result in a reformed, revitalized, purified church. It is of far greater importance that we have better Christians than that we have more of them. Each generation of Christians is the seed of the next, and degenerate seed is sure to produce a degenerate harvest not a little better than but a little worse than the seed from which it sprang. Thus the direction will be down until vigorous, effective means are taken to improve the seed..."

"To carry on these activities [evangelism, missions] scripturally the church should be walking in fullness of power, separated, purified and ready at any moment to give up everything, even life itself, for the greater glory of Christ. For a worldly, weak, decadent church to make converts is but to bring forth after her own kind and extend her weakness and decadence a bit further out..."

"So vitally important is spiritual quality that it is hardly too much to suggest that attempts to grow larger might well be suspended until we have become better."

––A.W. Tozer, The Set of the Sail

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Devil Seeds Now Sprouting...

This was originally posted on thinkerup several months a go but I wanted to post it again for some who may not have caught it.


For the last fifty years or so the devil has been cleverly sowing his seeds in the secular world for the sole purpose of reaping a harvest of widespread deception and open rebellion in the church.

The fifties in America and England introduced seeds of a harmless generational gap, manifested best in Rock-n-Roll music and James Dean. They called it rebellion. Rebels without a cause. Looking back, today's kids laugh at it as innocent and corny. Back then being a rebel was daring and risky. Today some form of rebellion and self expression is mandatory by the time you're 13 or you're a nerd. Today rebellion is noble.

The sixties pushed the boundaries even more. Distrust in institutionalized forms of authorities led to what we today call post-modernism. The Government and churches was the problem, not the rebellious ones' rejection of authority. Back then it was free sexual expression, drugs and distrust. Did church leaders who panicked over the "devil's rhythm" in the rock-n-roll music maybe see something bubbling under the surface? They couldn't put their finger on it but they recognized rebellion when flaunted right in front of them.

A modern day example of a seed once sown and recently sprouting occurred a decade ago when we applauded and re-elected a president who lied to us and polluted the White House with the stench of his sorted affairs. America then give him a high five and admired him for being honest enough to obey his sexual urges. He was a product of the sixties. But the good thing is that he didn't inhale. Shame on us. A seed once sown now sprouting.

In the seventies, churches became more open to new methods of outreach by bringing the world into the church. Everybody decided to become "born again". Movie stars, presidents and Terry Bradshaw. Wow! Even Larry Flynt and the anti-Anita Bryant crowd! Back then you could be in the world and "of the world" and yes, you could still be a "christian"! Separation from the world? What's that? You're a weirdo.

Now that the seventies ushered in the idea that anybody who made a profession of faith should now be trusted and taken at their word. The church got into the same boat as the world. The eighties told the church to be open to anything and gave us permission to be selfish without guilt. It was called the decade of greed, self and having it all. Pop-psychology and "I'm okay, you're okay" was the way. The worst people in society were the TV evangelists. Let's not forget, Michael Jackson was our model for the real man, to be a lover and not a fighter, remember? The evangelical church became more tolerant of everything from sissified preachers to women leaders.

Then came the nineties, the decade of political correctness and male sensitivity. The worst thing you could do is to offend someone with harshness of words. Preachers silenced themselves on topics of abortion and homosexuality.

The seventies, eighties and nineties found the devil more subtle in his sowing methods. The western secular world was already in the devil's camp. Don Henly described it well in "The End of the Innocence". The church, the devil's real prey, was even more in the cross hairs.

Finally in the new millennium, the church is so lost in the jungle of worldliness that we have disappeared into the secular landscape. So much so that we can't even see the devil's army rushing towards us with weapons of deception. The seeds once sown have now sprouted into weapons.

Weapons like rebellion against doctrine, rejection of male authority in the church, acceptance of anyone who makes a profession without evaluation, the substitution of psycho-babble for biblical doctrine, infatuation with preachers missing a backbone, church leaders who relinquish their position to eager women, confusion of roles in the christian family and let us not overlook, the evangelical church's love affair with Holy Spirit-avoiding, family-neglecting methods of church growth. And last but not least, at this present time all forms of ancient, Reformation-denying, eastern, mystical, contemplative-prayer, Catholic meditation techniques.

So here we are today. When we see a teacher or pastor, like Dan Kimball or Shane Claiborne who is outside the norm, appears extreme or non-conformist we must entertain his teachings and not expect him to be like us. Seeds of the fifties and sixties taught us that.

We must assume that any teacher or preacher is a legitimate teacher of God's Word, no matter what they teach just because they said they are. Tony Campolo comes to mind. We must embrace anything they teach because we must consider all sides of the story. Even the acceptance of sodomy if necessary. Seeds sown in the seventies.

When we see teachings that are all about the self, full of psychotherapy and pop-psychology it must be biblical and acceptable. Robert Schuller and the eighties taught us that. When jolted with anything goes styles of worship or women pastors, we dare not say a word for fear of offending someone. We must be politically correct. A real man would never offend anyone with his words, thanks to the seeds sown in the eighties and nineties.

We must be open minded and never take a rigid stand on doctrine. There can be more than one way of looking at scripture, so said the nineties and so said Brian McLaren, Rob Bell and the ever elusive Emergent Church. After all, there's more than one way of doing church too, if you don't believe me, go ask Rick Warren. He said it, I believe it and that settles it for me. And of course, there are many ways to pray. Richard Foster showed us that. The ancient monks were those we should learn from says Richard. Even if they were into panentheism and transcendental meditation. Thanks Richard.

Let's wake up!

We as the church must see today's deceptions for what they are, deep levels of worldly pollution that have been developing at a record pace over the last fifty years. The church needs to come clean, be clean and stay clean. We need to clean up our act and go back to corporate prayer and the teaching of the uncompromising hard Gospel and plain Truth of God's Word in this corrupt world. The church needs to sow seeds of the Gospel into the world and not allow the devil to sow seeds of the world into the church. Let's turn the table. We need to get the world out of the church and the Gospel into the world. The workers, you and I all who believe, need to get busy in our churches training each other, praying with each other. The corporate gathering of the church exists not for the world, but for the believer, as the Body of Christ, not the body of the world. Teach the Word, preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2) that is our duty. Test all things, hold on to what is good and avoid all forms of evil (1 Thess.5: 21, 22).


Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Try Nothing New..."

“In the great day, when the muster-roll shall be read, of all those who are converted through fine music, and church decoration, and religious exhibitions and entertainments, they will amount to the tenth part of nothing; but it will always please God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Keep to your preaching; and if you do anything beside, do not let it throw your preaching into the background. In the first place preach, and in the second place preach, and in the third place preach.

“Believe in preaching the love of Christ, believe in preaching the atoning sacrifice, believe in preaching the new birth, believe in preaching the whole counsel of God. The old hammer of the gospel will still break the rock in pieces; the ancient fire of Pentecost will still burn among the multitude. Try nothing new, but go on with preaching, and if we all preach with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, the results of preaching will astound us."

--C.H. Spurgeon, How to Win Souls for Christ

Saturday, September 02, 2006

"The Chief Danger of the Church Today

"The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost!"

––A.B. Simpson

Desire God's Will

"No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he should be."

--A.W. Tozer

Friday, September 01, 2006

Overview of the Emergent Church

This will help explain what the Emergent Church Movement is about and how it is heretical and dangerous.

This is one of the best overviews of the Emergent Church movement I have read yet, written by Gary Gilley.

"The emergent church is a rather slippery name for a rather slippery movement. By slippery, I mean that the movement is so new, so fragmented, so varied, that nailing it down is like nailing the proverbial Jell-O to the wall."