Friday, March 30, 2007

The Gospel According to Satan

By Steve Camp

The Gospel According to Satan
...the urgent need for discernment in the body of Christ
Satan doesn't want to fight the church; he wants to join it!

He will always scheme in the amphitheater of the crucial, never in the arena of the trivial. His number one priority is to attack truth, promote error, subterfuge the gospel, and try to discredit the divine work of God among His creatures. His first deception in the garden was not only to add to God's word, but also to wrest God's word through subtle and clever trickery. "Hath not God said…" was his ploy with our first parents—Eve was deceived and Adam sinned (Gen. 3:1-16; Roms. 5:12-18). He first plants doubt, then deceives, he distorts truth, advances disobedience and fosters distrust against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. He loiters as the "accuser of the brethren night and day before the throne of God (Rev. 12:1-12) and revels in the disobedience of God’s people.

Satan's gospel wants to mix our works with Jesus' grace (Gal. 5:1-4); our righteousness with the perfect righteousness of Christ (Is. 64:6). It demands no repentance from sin; misrepresents the character and nature of God; elevates man and self-esteem as its core value; denies the efficacy of the cross, the sinless life of Christ, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His eternal Sonship, His virgin birth, and His claim to being the only way, the truth and the life for salvation.

His strategery is simple:
to find his way into the church through error masquerading as truth and then to subtlety and seductively corrupt the gospel of Jesus Christ and His followers with the leaven of "the doctrine of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1-4). All the while blinding the unregenerate to their lost condition through the goodness and moral rightness of philanthropic giving, humanitarian selflessness, political efficacy, family values, ascetic religious flagellation, personal self-worth, and altruistic acts of kindness to ones fellowman. He’ll even use biblical language or quote Scritpure (cp, Luke 4:1-12) if it furthers his sardonic deception. He usually does not come in the full horror of his hellish nature; but approaches with the greatest of alacrity and in subtle ways. He is the father of lies from the beginning and there is no truth in him; all that he represents is a perverted imitation—a counterfeit of the genuine. He is, as the Apostle Paul says, "an angel of light" (2 Cor. 12:1-5). He will gradually replace the call for true repentance (to turn from sin and turn to God, forsaking all our idols for His glory) with self-love; his addition to the canon of the Word with a “third great commandment.”

He will not demand a cross, but will only speak of a better way to successful living. His “gospel” focuses on man and his needs (your best life now); not with God and His glory (to glorify Him and worship Him forever). Obey your thirst; satisfy your lust; drink the cup of unbridled passion to the dregs; greed is good; do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt someone else; surrender to unguarded pleasure and strengthen unbroken pride. That is his devilish creed.

The Pope of Relgious Postmodernism
He is the Pope of the postmodern church. He is the author of the Pomo-Study bible. He’ll convince you there is no absolute truth—for truth is whatever I want it to be. Truth must remain fluid; liquid; changing with every new generation and adapting its claims in every culture. Every man today writes his own scripture, creates his own creed, and determines his own orthodoxy. He wants to reduce Jesus Christ to the status of being only one of many lords and saviors in the multi-cultural, moral pluralistic arena of Marcus Aurelius's Pantheon of gods.

In the gospel according to Satan the audience, not the truth, is always sovereign - appealing to people's sense of belonging and becoming. "Don't bore them with theology or confuse them doctrine—for doctrine only divides" he'll say; "but a compassionate faith unites and places as its primary goal, a culture of civility."

Don't measure what others are claiming by the standard of God's Word; for if you are too biblically dogmatic in your conclusions they will think you are unloving to judge a good faith attempt by someone else. It calls Islam a peaceful religion, abortion alternative family planning, gay marriage the new family, and planetary environmental concerns the new redemption. This compassionate faith empathizes with felt needs and never calls anything sin—but unhealthy choices. His gospel demands no cross, requires no faith, affirms no absolutes, believes in no judgment or wrath, and carries no sword. His god has only one attribute—love yourself first, if you're going to love others well. This god is watching us from a distance, promises inner peace, self-fulfillment, and planetary oneness.

He reassures us we're all human; we all make mistakes. God simply tolerates and understands all our unhealthy choices. Holiness is too offensive; but happiness is satisfying. Commitment, vows, covenants are so pedestrian; live for what completes you and makes you happy--for unless you're happy, how can you help others? And that is why in his gospel sin is called sickness, disobedience is called disease, and adultery is nothing more than addiction. If you trapped by sensuality, you don’t need repentance, but sexaholic therapy to understand your inner child longing for appreciation and intimacy. Any issue is not your fault: you're only an unfortunate byproduct of your parents. Your mother didn't hug you enough or your father was too soft. You're a victim and need claim no responsibility for your actions.

Deception... His Main Tactic
This Satanic gospel focuses not on the depravity of man, but is consumed with strengthening my own inherent goodness. The focus is on my pain; my woundedness; my hurts; my longings; my dreams. It convinces us we're promise keepers, when in reality we're nothing but promise breakers. It promotes a cultural of tolerance, and denies the exclusivity of sola fide. My good works can win me enough brownie points with the Almighty to earn me eternal life, and worship is simply a state of mind. The measure of your character is not Christ-likeness, but the depth of your socail-alliances on key cultural issues, the shape of your body, or the size of your bank account.

Can you see that deception is among the chief characteristics of Satan's gospel
Paul warns that in the end times the antichrist will come "in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved" (2 Thess. 2:9-10).

Even when confronting the false teachers of his time, Paul does not invite them to a seminar, a retreat, or an afterglow meeting to pamper their false presumptions. "But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze upon him, and said, 'You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?'" (Acts 13:7-10).

As John MacArthur so poignantly says, "…Paul unmasks four characteristics of false teachers. They are: 1. deceitful, 2. children of the devil, 3. enemies of righteousness, and 4. perverters of the gospel." Nothing was more of a great concern for Paul than churches being plagued with error. (Acts 20:28-30.)

How do we recognize this gospel according to Satan and the emissaries that promote its message? There are always three marks of the false teacher in the Word of God:

The first one is greed.
They propagate a gospel only for what financial rewards they can bleed from the unsuspecting masses. "We are not like many who peddle the Word of God for profit" Paul says. (2 Cor. 2:17, emphasis added). Peddle, GK kapaleuo, means to make retail of something, to sell as inexpensive merchandise, to pawn. In Isaiah 1:22 in the LXX it is used for those who mix water with wine in order to cheat the buyer. Those who peddle the Word of God for profit are selling a cheap substitute gospel in order to huckster an inferior product while claiming it is the genuine article for financial gain. Seeking profit at the expense of people's souls is true spiritual treason.

The second is sensuality.
In addition to being motivated by bulging pockets the false prophet is marked by a life of immorality. This is what marked the lifestyle of those at Philippi and Corinth. Temple prostitution, religious belief speckled with adulterous behavior and what Jeremiah Burroughs calls, "the sinfulness of sin." This is the seared conscience given over to the full extent of one's depravity. Peter describes these teachers as "following their sensuality"; "and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority." (2 Peter 2:2,10)

The third is heresy.
Corrupting messengers propagating false doctrine which does not agree with the sound doctrine of Scripture, yet is represented as truth. It is truth mixed with error—a different gospel—which is no gospel at all.

William Hendrickson in his excellent commentary on Galatians poignantly says,
"Even if we or a holy angel must be the object of God's righteous curse, were any of us to preach a gospel contrary to the one we humans previously preached to you, then all the more divine wrath must be poured out on those self-appointed nobodies who are now making themselves guilty of this crime."

When Jesus Christ redeemed us from our sins and the wrath to come (Titus 3:1-8, Colossians 1:12-14) here is how thoroughly He has made us new creations in Him.

Jesus Christ has brought us from:
Error to truth
Darkness to light
Death to life
Sin to righteousness
Wrath to peace
Alienation to reconciliation
Enemies to brethren
Judgment to mercy
Disobedience to discipleship
Uncleanness to repentance
Lust of the flesh to walking in the Spirit
Futility of the mind to the mind of Christ
The old man to the new man
From fools to wise
From works to grace

Further Study:
Read Galatians 1:6-9

General Outline
1. The Desertion from the God of the true Gospel (v.6)
2. The Distortion of the true Gospel (v.7)
3. The Defection from Christ Himself (v.6)
4. The Devotion to Destruction (v.8-9)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Christians Have Same Behavior Patterns as the World


Quoting James Boice . . .

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world." This sentence in Romans 12:2 has two key words: "world," which is actually "age" (aion, meaning, "this present age" in contrast to "the age to come"); and "do not conform," which is a compound having at its root the word "scheme." So the verse means, "Do not let the age in which you live force you into its scheme of thinking and behaving." The idea is that the world has its ways of thinking and doing things and is exerting pressure on Christians to conform to it. But instead of being conformed to the world, Christians are to be changed from within to be increasingly like Jesus Christ. The chief problem with the evangelical church is that we have been increasingly conformed to this world's patterns and that, if we are to see a new reformation, we will have to break away from these patterns and seek to recover the authentic biblical gospel, learning again to think and act in God's way.

The first phrase of Romans 12:2 is a warning against worldliness, of course. But as soon as we use the word 'worldly' we have to make clear what real worldliness is. When I was growing up in a fundamentalist church I was taught that worldliness was such pursuits as smoking, drinking, dancing, and playing cards. A Christian girl might say, "I don't smoke, and I don't chew, and I don't go with boys who do." But that is not what Romans 12:2 is about. To think of worldliness only in those terms is to trivialize what is a far more serious and far more subtle problem.

The clue to what is in view here is that in the next phrase Paul urges, as an alternative to being "conformed" to this world, being "transformed by the renewing of your mind." This means that he is concerned about a way of thinking rather than merely a way of behaving, though right behavior will follow naturally if our thinking is set straight. The worldliness we are to break away from and repudiate is the world's "worldview," what the Germans call Weltanschauung, a comprehensive, systematic way of looking at all things. We are to break out of the world's categories of thinking and allow our minds to be molded by the Word of God instead.

In our day Christians have not done this very well, and that is the reason why they are so often "worldly" in the other senses too. In fact, it is a sad commentary on our churches, verified by numerous polls, that Christians in general have nearly the same thoughts, values, and behavior patterns as the world around them.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Ken Silva at found this and I couldn't help but also post it.

It's that important!

If You Love Christ Then You'll Love Doctrine

Monday, March 26, 2007

"It's Time To Have a Bigger Gospel"

"It's time to have a bigger gospel, it's time to have a bigger agenda"

These are the comments of Peter Illyn of

That's a powerful statement when you think about it. I guess the same old gospel is not "big" enough? It's time for a bigger gospel and a bigger agenda.

Just exactly what gospel is he talking about? What can be bigger than the message of saving souls doomed to an eternal hell?

Here is the video:

OK! I'll say it...I know I'm supposed to:

NO, I DO NOT WANT TO DESTROY THE EARTH! and yes I DO care about the environment, blah blah blah...

There, I said it.

That is not my point!

My point is why do these people attach this to the gospel? Somebody is going to have to explain it to me because I thought the gospel was about proclaiming the good news of hope of the redemption from sin through Jesus Christ paying the penalty for God's wrath on the cross of Calvary and his resurrection on the 3rd day guaranteeing eternal life and fellowship with the Father in eternal worship of Him who deserves all glory.

I guess with Barack Obama on their side maybe these christians can really get something accomplished to further their version of the gospel.

Why don't people just leave the gospel alone and let the Holy Spirit do his work? Why must everyone think they have to add to the Great Commission, thus coming up with a new "appealing" twist to the message of the cross?

Isn't this a distraction to the actual gospel message? Is this what we should be spending our time and effort on as the world is under God's judgement until they repent and turn to him for mercy?

We have the message of hope. Where is our eternal perspective?

Friday, March 23, 2007



Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20, KJV)

Tony Jones:

"Emergent surely has people in it who strongly believe that there is absolute truth. I’m on the record as laying out a pretty complex understanding of why I think putting the qualifier absolute in front of truth is a modernistic fallacy. Truth is not qualified by adjectives like absolute. So for me personally, talking about absolute truth is a nonsensical way to talk, and surely Christian theologians shouldn’t talk in that way. It isn’t helpful, because it doesn’t make sense. But that’s a book, not a paragraph in a magazine article. The short answer is, “No, Emergent has no statement on absolute truth, and there are people in Emergent who strongly hold to absolute truth.” But, personally, I think it’s a mistake...
I’m even more concerned that people have statements of faith. Statements of faith are about drawing boards, which means you have to load your weapons and place soldiers at those borders. You have to check people’s passports when they pass those borders. It becomes an obsession—guarding the borders. That is simply not the ministry of Jesus. It wasn’t the ministry of Paul or Peter. It started to become the ministry of the early Church, and it abated somewhat in the Middle Ages and blew back to life in the time of modernity. For the short duration of time that I have on this planet to do my best to partner with God and build His kingdom, I don’t want to spend it guarding borders. I’d like to spend it inviting people into the kingdom. Statements of faith don’t do they. They’re a modernistic endeavor that I’m not the least bit interested in."

(Relevant Magazine, transcript on file at Apprising Ministries)

Dr. John MacArthur:

"The bottom line in the [Emerging Church] movement is they believe that we aren’t even supposed to understand precisely what the Bible means…it is an attack on the clarity of Scripture…it is a denial that we can know what the Bible really says… They have embraced this “mystery” as if it’s true spirituality…it is at the foundation an unwillingness to accept the clear teaching of Scripture…
All human society, thinking [and] culture is ungodly and anti-biblical. What is so interesting about this [Emerging Church] movement is [it] sanctifies the culture. The Emerging Church sanctifies the postmodern culture as if it is legitimate and says if we’re going to reach these people then we’ve got to become like these people. That’s never been the Biblical way. Never.
The Bible does not change, it’s not a chameleon, it doesn’t shift and change and adapt to culture. It confronts culture…it confronts every trend with fixed unchanging Truth, in every situation. And the Emerging Church, not only is unwilling to believe the clear statement of Scripture, but it’s unwilling to take the clear statement of Scripture and confront the culture. It wants to let the culture define what Christianity should be."

(What’s So Dangerous About the Emerging Church?, CD Rom, Message: GTY107)

For those who have been mercifully given eyes that see by our absolutely sovereign Creator, the LORD God Almighty of Israel, the verdict now appears with crystalline clarity. The American Christian Church listens to pompous Emergent fools like Tony Jones at her own demise.

Don’t say you haven’t been forewarned...

Full-Out Assault

"Since God mentions this ministry [that of a watchman] several times throughout the Bible with great clarity, we do well to read, heed, and learn to be men and women with this attitude for the church today.

While we may not be under the threat of physical invasion today, or living in literal walled fortresses, Satan and his workers seek to destroy and lay siege to the church today through false teachers and ungodly philosophies. He seeks to lead us into false forms of worship and unbiblical teachings that masquerade as truth. He has engineered and orchestrated a full-out assault on the people of God today, complete with deceptive false ministers and non-prophets who no longer view His Word as the primary basis for true doctrine. The church is definitely under attack and , therefore, definitely and desperately in need of watchmen in this age."

--Steven Mitchell from his article Watchman Arise

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Plague of Our Age

“One plague of our age is the widespread dislike of what men are pleased to call dogmatic theology. In the place of it, the idol of the day is a kind of jellyfish Christianity without bone, or muscle, or sinew, without any distinct teaching about the atonement or the work of the Spirit, or justification, or the way of peace with God, a vague, foggy, misty Christianity, of which the only watchwords seem to be, ‘You must be earnest, and real, and true, and brave, and zealous, and liberal, and kind. You must condemn no man’s doctrinal views. You must consider everybody is right, and nobody is wrong.’ And this creedless kind of religion, we are actually told, is to give us peace of conscience! And not to be satisfied with it in a sorrowful, dying world, is a proof that you are very narrow-minded!

Satisfied, indeed! Such a religion might possibly do for unfallen angels. But to tell sinful, dying men and women, with the blood of our father Adam in their veins, to be satisfied with it, is an insult to common sense, and a mockery of our distress. We need something far better than this. We need the blood of Christ.”

-–J.C. Ryle

“Association of Christian Bartenders”

"In this day in which we live, all you have to do is to add “For God,” or “For Jesus,” onto a thing and lo and behold that which the church has repudiated and all earnest Christians have [can’t understand] is suddenly sanctified. “I’m doing it for God.” “I’m doing it for Jesus.” And if you can just get “…for God,” or “…for Jesus,” those little prepositional phrases dangling on the end and lo and behold that which wasn’t any ever accounted right by the church down the generations is now suddenly counted right ’cause we’ve added, “I’m doing it for Jesus.”

That takes in almost everything the world has ever done, and I’m expecting one of these days to hear about the “Association of Christian Bartenders” who are “Doing it for Jesus.” They say, “Oh, we’re not like the world; we’re not serving up this poison just in our own name - we used to before we accepted Christ, we used to deal this out for our sakes for the money we made out of it - now we’re doing it for Jesus.” Now we haven’t got that far yet, but give us time brother, we’re on our way. And all we have to do is wait a little and we will sanctify almost anything by saying you can do it for Jesus."

A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Roman Emergent Matrix

Folks who experienced the 40 Days of Purpose in their churches or who have read the book, may not have noticed the embedded references to Catholicism…

The ecumenical aspect of The Purpose Driven Life is subtle. Combined with a man-centered philosophy and religious language, the book has demonstrated an omni-denominational appeal, including Catholicism.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Listen to what Reverend David Wilkerson has to say about the Purpose Driven & Seeker Friendly Movement.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Do Your Feelings Have Veto-Power Over Scripture?

From Old

There is no shortage of people today who refuse to believe something in the bible because it goes against their feelings or against some tradition that they were brought up with. We could nickname the error of Subjective Interpretation "if it feels good - interpret it".


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Allowances For Sin

"Whatever religion or doctrine condones or makes allowances for sin is not of Christ. The Doctrine of Christ everywhere teaches self-denial and mortification of worldliness and sin. The whole stream of the gospel runs against those things. Scripture emphasizes the 'holy' and the 'heavenly' (not the sinful and the worldly). The true gospel has not even the slightest tendency to extol corrupt nature, or feed it's pride by magnifying it's freedom and power. And it rejects everything that undermines or obscures the merit of Christ, or tries to give any credit to man, in any way. And it certainly never makes the death of Christ a cloak to cover sin, but rather it always speaks of it as an instrument that destroys it!"

--John Flavel, (1627-1691)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Emergent Leaders--Paving the Way to Apostasy?

As a follow up to the last post, this one from Lighthouse Trails blog is interesting. I am inclined to agree with them. I believe this whole emergent thing is just filled with problems. Are we incapable of relying on the Holy Spirit to grow His church or must we embrace, kiss, hug and slobber all over the world so they except Jesus?

Here is their post:

Some say that some emerging church leaders like Dan Kimball and Mark Driscoll are not part of the Emergent movement, that the two are very different. According to one of the strongest catalysts for the emerging church movement, Zondervan Publishing, Kimball and Driscoll are indeed part of the "Emergent movement." Zondervan describes its 2007 book, Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches as: "Five of the emergent movement's most prominent leaders debate their views on Scripture, Christ, atonement, and more." Those five are Dan Kimball, Mark Driscoll, John Burke, Karen Ward and Doug Pagitt. Be that as it may, emergent and emerging are just words, but those who adhere to them are going in the same direction, and as we stated in our article, Emerging Church Confusion: What Does it Really Mean?, emergent leaders are feeding the emerging church movement and making it what it is and will become.

Incidentally, in Zondervan's book, Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, Robert Webber, the editor of the book, says that "traditionalists have been out of touch with cultural changes, and the contemporaries who have become so thoroughly enmeshed with and catechized by culture are out of touch with the traditions. This reality has created what seems to be an unalterable division between devoted Christians" (p. 213). This is a scary statement and here is why: In Dan Kimball's book, They Like Jesus But Not the Church, he makes it clear that "traditionalists" are those who take the Bible literally. Webber says those kind of Christians are out of touch with today's culture (in other words they don't dress like Rob Bell with hip glasses or wear their hair like Dan Kimball or drink beer at the bars with gays, or cuss in public like Mark Driscoll). That makes them abnormal and oblivious to the world around them according to Kimball. What is scary here is that Webber would like to see the two types of Christians (those literalists who believe everything the Bible says and those emergents) come together: "What are we to do? Should we encourage the split? Or is there a new direction for us all? ... What will it take to create an Ancient-Future faith (Webber's name for the emerging church)?" (p. 213) He goes on and tells the solution: "First, an Ancient-Future faith calls us to return to our ancient roots in the first centuries of the church." He explains that these "ancient roots" include "spiritual formation" (contemplative mysticism) and he says that while there have been reforms throughout history (such as the Reformation), we do not need to be divided over them (he includes Catholicism) and says we are "connected to the same family. This ecumenical conviction is central to an Ancient-Future Vision" (p. 214).

Dan Kimball and Robert Webber have laid out what will be a persuasive argument to many who have not really taken a close look at what these emergent leaders are proposing, but take heed, if this "ecumenical conviction" comes to pass then evangelical Christians will all be practicing mantra meditation, walking through labyrinths, practicing lectio divina and doing the sign of the Cross ... and it will have far greater implications and results than just thick glasses, slicked back hair and sitting in pubs sipping beer. It will be disastrous for those who have yet to hear the true gospel message of Jesus Christ, which is the only thing that can save their souls.

In emerging church leader, Scot McKnight's book, The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus, McKnight says that Protestant Christians are the only Christians who do not honor Mary. He recommends that Protestant churches all practice a "Honor Mary Day" (p. 144), saying she "leads us to a Jesus who brings redemption ... To listen to Mary is to hear the message of Jesus' death and resurrection as a mega-event whereby God established a new kind of power, a new kind of family, and a new kind of kingdom" (p. 145). McKnight describes this great event as a time when the world will come together and worship Mary.

Today, Christendom has become filled with leaders who have lost their way. If Christian leaders like David Jeremiah and Josh McDowell, who are now promoting emerging leaders, continue in their present direction, they will be responsible for countless lives losing their chances for hearing the true gospel, and these leaders will be helping pave the way for an interspiritual, mystical, apostate religion.

Emerging Church Confusion-What Does it Really Mean?

When it comes to the emerging church, Christian leaders seem to lack understanding and discernment. Some books and several articles have now been written about the emerging church, and interestingly, nearly all of them lack the most important element -the emerging church (which incorporates the teachings of the Emergent leaders: McLaren, Pagitt, Kimball, etc.) is a conduit for mysticism and is heading right into the arms of Catholicism and eventually a universal interfaith church.

Many feel that the real problems with the emerging church are centered around methodology (e.g., how much lighting to have, where to hold church services, and what to wear while attending them, etc.) Such distraction from the true concerns is like telling a neighbor that his dog is tearing up the garden when his house is burning down and his children are inside.

The emerging church is fundamentally mystical as can easily be seen by the leaders who feed the emerging movement a steady diet of contemplative spirituality. Leonard Sweet, one of the emerging church movement's most prolific leaders explains the role of mysticism in the emerging church:

Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is now situated in postmodernist culture near the center.... In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, "The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing." [Mysticism] is metaphysics arrived at through mindbody experiences. Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology. (p. 160, ATOD)

Another influential emerging church leader is Spencer Burke, director of The Ooze. He explains his views on mysticism as well:

I was struck by the incredible wisdom that could be found apart from the "approved" evangelical reading list. A Trappist monk, [Thomas] Merton gave me a new appreciation for the meaning of community. His New Man and New Seeds of Contemplation touched my heart in ways other religious books had not. Not long afterward my thinking was stretched again, this time by Thich Nhat Hanh--a Buddhist monk ... Hanh's Living Buddha, Living Christ gave me insight into Jesus from an Eastern perspective. (p. 157. ATOD)

While many try to minimize the seriousness of the emerging church movement, we hope you can see where this is all going. Some say that Emergent has some problems, but emerging church is ok for the most part. But here is how it works. Emerging spirituality (which ultimately proclaims the divinity of man) has been around since the Garden of Eden when the serpent said to Eve, ye shall be as gods, and later when Lucifer said, I will be like the most High God. Emergent came on the scene when some business men (i.e., Leadership Network) launched Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Mark Driscoll and some others and capsulated emerging spirituality within the confines of these young leaders. Leadership Network teamed up with business guru Peter Drucker and a successful publishing house, and wham, a formula for success - the Emergent movement was birthed. These new young leaders (then called the Young Leaders Network) in turn produced books, seminars, websites, blogs, and "conversations" that bore the fruit of the current emerging church movement. And because the true premise of this movement is grounded in mysticism and Ancient Wisdom, many are grasping hold of something that has been here all along.

Emergent or emerging, whatever term you want to use ... it's heading in the same direction, and that is away from the Cross.

Some may say, "But there are positive attributes to the emerging church movement." Yet would you drink a glass of mountain spring water if it had only a drop or two of cyanide? Not if you didn't want to get very, very sick.

Jesus Christ made it clear in Scripture that we are to cling to truth. HE is truth, and He is the only way to salvation. Divination (doing a ritual or performing some method in order to gain some information or "hear God"), which is the same premise as contemplative mysticism, is forbidden by God in the Bible. Salvation, and a relationship with Jesus Christ, is free. He already paid the price for us with His blood. When we accept His gift, we will have eternal life. If we reject it, we will not. And that is something to think about.

Source: Lighthouse Trails

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rob Bell's Unbiblical Views

Here is an article, PART ONE and PART TWO pointing out many of the unorthodox doctrinal views held by postmodern "preacher" Rob Bell.

THIS ARTICLE will also give you a heavy dose of the screwy teachings of Rob Bell.

Here are some quotes from Bell:

On scripture:

"The Bible is a collection of stories that teach us about what it looks like when God is at work through actual people. The Bible has the authority it does only because it contains stories about people interacting with the God who has all authority"
-Velvet Elvis, p.65

" wasn't until the 300s that what we know as the sixty-six books of the Bible were actually agreed upon as the ‘Bible'. This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that "Scripture alone" is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true. In reaction to abuses by the church, a group of believers during a time called the Reformation claimed that we only need the authority of the Bible. But the problem is that we got the Bible from the church voting on what the Bible even is. So when I affirm the Bible as God's word, in the same breath I have to affirm that when those people voted, God was somehow present, guiding them to do what they did. When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true. In affirming the Bible as inspired, I also have to affirm the Spirit who I believe was inspiring those people to choose those books."
-Velvet Elvis, p.68

[The Bible is a] “human product...rather than the product of divine fiat"
- Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today

On heaven and hell:

""When people use the word hell, what do they mean? They mean a place, an event, a situation absent of how God desires things to be. Famine, debt, oppression, loneliness, despair, death, slaughter--they are all hell on earth. Jesus' desire for his followers is that they live in such a way that they bring heaven to earth. What's disturbing is when people talk more about hell after this life than they do about Hell here and now. As a Christian, I want to do what I can to resist hell coming to earth."
- Velvet Elvis, p.148

"Heaven is full of forgiven people. Hell is full of forgiven people. Heaven is full of people God loves, whom Jesus died for. Hell is full of forgiven people God loves, whom Jesus died for. The difference is how we choose to live, which story we choose to live in, which version of reality we trust. Ours or God's."
- Velvet Elvis, p.146

On the Fall:

"I can't find one place in the teachings of Jesus, or the Bible for that matter, where we are to identify ourselves first and foremost as sinners. Now this doesn't mean we don't sin; that's obvious. In the book of James it's written like this: 'We all stumble in many ways.' Once again, the greatest truth of the story of Adam and Eve isn't that it happened, but that it happens."
- Velvet Elvis, p. 139

On "Ultimate Reality":

"I don't follow Jesus because I think Christianity is the best religion. I follow Jesus because he leads me into ultimate reality. He teaches me to live in tune with how reality is. When Jesus said, 'No one comes to the Father except through me', he was saying that his way, his words, his life is our connection to how things truly are at the deepest levels of existence. For Jesus then, the point of religion is to help us connect with ultimate reality, God."
- Velvet Elvis p. 83

On the Nature of the Atonement:

“So this reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross he was reconciling ‘all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. This reality then isn’t something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making."
- Velvet Elvis p. 146

On the Virgin Birth:

"What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births?

But what if, as you study the origin of the word “virgin” you discover that the word “virgin” in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word “virgin” could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being “born of a virgin” also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?"
-Velvet Elvis, p. 26

On Faith:

“Who does Peter lose faith in? Not Jesus; he is doing fine. Peter loses faith in himself. Peter loses faith that he can do what his rabbi is doing. If the rabbi calls you to be his disciple, then he believes that you can actually be like him. As we read the stories of Jesus’ life with his talmidim, his disciples, what do we find frustrates him to no end? When his disciples lose faith in themselves..... Notice how many places in the accounts of Jesus’ life he gets frustrated with his disciples. Because they are incapable? No, because of how capable they are. He sees what they could be and could do, and when they fall short it provokes him to no end. It isn’t their failure that’s the problem, it’s their greatness. They don’t realize what they are capable of....God has an amazingly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things. I’ve been told I need to believe in Jesus. Which is a good thing. But what I’m learning is that Jesus believes in me....God has faith in me.”
-Velvet Elvis, pp. 133-134

For further reading on Rob Bell and his unbiblical positions CLICK HERE…

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Entertaining Devils

“By entertaining of strange persons, men sometimes entertain angels unawares: but by entertaining of strange doctrines, many have entertained devils unaware.”

--John Flavel, (1627-1691)

The Quotable Dr. Vance Havner

"You can't tell it like it is, if you don't believe it like it was."

"Most church members live so far below the standard, you would have to backslide to be in fellowship with them."

"Sometimes you hear congregations say concerning a preacher's message, ' I didn't get it.' It's not our place that they get it, it's our place to see that they hear it."

"Some preachers ought to put more fire into their sermons or more sermons into the fire."

"If you want to be popular, preach happiness. If you want to be unpopular, preach holiness."

"When the Lord's sheep are a dirty gray, all black sheep are more comfortable...You've become a thermometer registering to prevailing temperature instead of a thermostat to change the temperature. And when the salt loses its savor, we become "neither nor" in a world that's "either or". Experts at the art of almost saying something. You could go along way in ministry today if you learn that. A lot of folks won't know the difference anyhow. Come right up to it, and then execute a neat detour when you get up to it. And they go on and say "it was a lovely sermon".

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hob-Nob with Sodom, Chummy with Gomorrah

"And they tell us now, even in some evangelical circles, that we ought to hob-nob with Sodom and get chummy with Gomorrah, in order to convert them. And the argument is that old one that "the end justifies the means", forgetting that the means determines the end. A few years of an unworthy means and you've already spoiled the objective before you get to it. And these dear people are not turning on the light in Sodom, they're just getting used to the dark."

--Vance Havner, from the sermon "Getting Used to the Dark"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Are We Offering Our Children To Molech?

If we neglect teaching our youth sound Biblical doctrine and allow them to be exposed to liberal theologies such as the Emergent movement I believe it is safe to say we are sacrificing our children to Molech.

The following is from Francis Schaeffer:

"…modern liberal theology is more heinous than following the Molech of old.

Do you know the facts concerning Molech? Molech, whose idol was in the valley of Hinnon, was a heathen god whom the Jews were constantly warned against following. What kind of a god was Molech? He was the god of the sacrifice of newborn babies. This was the central act of his worship: the firstborn of every woman’s body had to be sacrificed to Molech. According to one tradition, there was an opening at the back of the brazen idol, and after a fire was made within it, each parent had to come and with his own hands place his firstborn child in the white-hot, out-stretched hands of Molech. According to this tradition, the parent was not allowed to show emotion, and drums were beaten so that the baby’s cries could not be heard as the baby died in the hands of Molech. And there, I would say, stand many in our day.

Many of those who come to me, those with whom I work, are the children destroyed by a worse than Molech. Men--men who were supposedly the men of God--have stood by while their children were eaten up by modern theology. And then we are told that there is supposed to be no emotion shown.

Some of you who read this bear the marks of these things from the background from which you come. All of us are marked by this in some way, to some extent, because our Western, post-Christian world has been undercut by liberal theology. Every scar this present generation has, every tear cried, every baby aborted, every drug trip taken, cannot be separated from the fact that the church has turned away and become unfaithful. This generation are the babies in the hands of Molech. And are we supposed to stand by and hear their cries and cover them up by beating loudly the drums of a profitless discussion? No, we are to weep and to act."

--Francis Schaeffer, Adultery and Apostasy: The Bride and Bridegroom
Taken from The Works of Francis Schaeffer

Friday, March 09, 2007

Worldly Youth Groups

They have their own unregulated world where adults have little or no access. From Myspace to instant messaging to youth group "worship gatherings". It's a movement cut off from the rest of the church. Worship times led by a youth leader who embodies a worldly image and style that many youth only wish they had the guts to flaunt in the face of their parents. Led by a youth leader with a confidence and an eloquence in speech that intimidates mild-mannered older folks from even daring to imply that there seems to be a love of the world in the outward appearance and affections of the leader.

This unfettered youth environment discourages the God ordained structures of church authority and adult oversight where critical discernment and good judgment could be utilized. These are the unfettered youth programs in many churches, unrestrained and free from the shackles of propriety and appropriateness. Anything goes styles of worship and expression is common place. Who's to say it is not right? Who's going to be the wet blanket and raise the red flag of discernment when song or worship mirrors the world's self-gratifying methods? Who will dare to say "your worship is worldly" or overly feelings based? Where is the elder adult who has the spiritual stability and maturity to understand the complicated web of proper
worship versus "anything goes" worship?

But what are we to expect when the church leadership props up a dynamic pied-piper as a leader? Leaders who seem to overlook doctrinal error so long as the kids show up. Their love of an eloquent tongue seems greater than a love for biblical accuracy. Leaders who are so desperate for numbers that they are willing to tolerate little falsehoods. You know, the ones that are sympathetic towards, and flirt with affections for ancient Roman Catholic mystical "disciplines" like contemplative prayer or the catholic eucharist. Or ideas that compete with the Great Commission like "the other half of the gospel" which is
to feed the poor and save the village or saving the environment. Ideas like these are given equal status or even considered actually spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But who is going to speak up? Who is going to be the boy who tells the emperor that he has no clothes on? Who will go against the king as Micaiah did in 1 Kings 22? Or as Elijah?

How long will the older folks remain silent?

The youth in our evangelical churches are being groomed to become the next generation of blind mice. Who will tell them that they should submit themselves under Biblical church leadership? Biblical that is. It surely won't be their youth leader. Not church leadership that is ambiguous on the tough issues. You know, like telling a young person that you should dress with decency when entering the doors of the church out of a sense of reverence to God. Or like telling the young person why they should never again wear the t-shirt that says "Jesus is my homeboy". Or another one like how you as a young man with earrings are feminine. Or how God did not create your body to be a piercing pin-cushion, following in lock step fashion with the God rejecting lost secular world.

Please, older folks, speak up. Your young are confused and misled! Has this happened because YOU have remained silent for too long? They are misguided by the world. They love the way the world looks, the way the world sounds, what the world values. Take a close look. They are NOT emulating you. They are copying the world. May God forgive our silence. How long will you remain silent? Before it's too late?


Thursday, March 08, 2007

She's a FLIRT

You're married. You're in love. You're totally committed to your wife. You found her alone and lost. You found her neglected, hungry, scared and contentious. You went to great lengths to gain her trust and devotion. You've sacrificed for her. You've spent hours, days, months, years understanding her, listening to her, talking to her. You've always made sure you were there by her side whenever she was was going through any difficult situation. You've always made sure to provide for her whenever she was in need. Your love for her has prompted you to give of yourself in ways which can only be explained as inexplicable love. Others around you ponder in amazement and cannot comprehend your devotion to her.

Your love is so great for her you've given her your all.

There's just one problem...she loves to FLIRT.

She just loves the attention from the other men in the neighborhood. It reminds her of how it used to be. She starts to wear provocative clothing–the ones that the guys like to see her in. You've noticed she is wearing perfume, putting on jewelry, adding make up whenever she goes out in public when you've told her many times that you prefer she not do those things.

You notice when she's around others at social events her body language is a bit different. She acts different when other men come near. Sometimes you've noticed her bat her eyes at certain men as they complimented her on how pretty she looks. She doesn't exactly try to avoid the attention either. It seems like she actually seeks it out and SHE LIKES IT. She loves to hear those compliments, especially from those more respected men in society. She thinks they're smart. She thinks they're funny. She giggles...they make her laugh. She loves hanging around them even to the point of neglecting her husband.

One day you found some letters of hers from some of the other men in town. The letters read of plans of how they may be able to do things together, help each other with some of the things going on in their neighborhoods, plans of organizing large get togethers and how much good it will do the whole community. Some of these letters even gave her advice, tips and instructions on how to improve her relationship with you, her husband. These were from the same men with whom she had been flirting. You can not understand why she would be corresponding with these men in this way. When confronted about the letters she claims that they are no big deal and that these men are just friends of hers and they are nice, they compliment her they make her feel good. You know these men very well. You know who they are and what they want. They do not have her best interest at heart. You try to WARN HER but she continues to pull away from you and gradually draws closer to them. Sometimes she trusts them more than she trusts you. They say nice things to her. She enjoys the fact that they make her feel good and flatter her.

You've written many letters to her and have done so for a very long time. Detailed, specific letters reassuring her of your commitment and sacrifice for her. Letters explaining to her of her security, safety, and future. You've reminded her again and again if she were only to spend her time STUDYING your letters to her and talk to you, the relationship would not be SUFFERING as it now is. She WOULD NOT have the desire to pursue other men's affections. The relationship would be based on trust.

How sad it is. How sad it is especially when one considers what great lengths you went through to RESCUE her out of her hopeless and lonely condition.


I realize that this little story does not even come close to illustrating how the church, the bride of Christ is engaged in a flirtatious adulterous rendezvous LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE WORLD.

Having said that, below I will attempt to take the main points from the above story and point out how it parallels the modern church:

• "She starts to wear provocative clothing".–––Every time the church ADJUSTS HER METHODS to look more appealing in order to gain acceptance of the world she is hoping the world will look upon her desirously and pay her a compliment and keep coming back to her as she continues to GO BACK TO THE WORLD.

• "She thinks they're smart".–––Every time the church exalts intellegencia in order to gain the intellectual approval of her worldly neighbors she is falling for the LIE of earthly secular wisdom above the misunderstood superior wisdom of God.

• "She thinks they're funny. She giggles..."–––Every time christians run after worldly entertainment which cloaks immoral lifestyle behavior like homosexuality, in humor so as to make it more acceptable, they're turning their attention to another lover as the Holy Spirit GRIEVES. She is ignoring his warning to AVOID ALL APPEARANCES OF EVIL.

• "One day you found some letters of hers."–––Some of the books and authors many christians read, especially pastors have diluted the loyalty and perspective of the church to the point to where pastors and church leaders are allowing the introduction of mysticism, CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER and NEW SPIRITUALITY in the church. Many churches recommend books on their websites which are alarming when one discovers and understands what some of these authors stand for, endorse and believe. Many of these theologies and doctrines are contrary to the bible. It is possible that these church leaders are unaware of some the the teachings of these authors. Whether they are or not makes no difference since many people in their congregation may purchase and read these books simply out of trust in their leaders.

Why would a church recommend a book by someone involved in the New Age like KEN BLANCHARD who claims that "Buddha points to the path and invites us to begin our journey to enlightenment. I ... invite you to begin your journey to enlightened work." ? Or a pastor such as DAN KIMBALL who engages in the ancient mystical practice of labyrinth prayer walks ? Some churches promote books by BRIAN MCLAREN who has a non-biblical view on the doctrines of HELL, HOMOSEXUALITY, and the CROSS OF CHRIST. And then there are others like LEONARD SWEET with his deconstructionistic new age DOUBLE RING postmodern non-sense.
(time does not permit to point out some of the heretical authors some of these men just mentioned have endorsed. That may be dealt with in the future).

• "You've written many letters to her".––2 Tim. 3:16-17: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work".
Seeking instruction and direction from books which are contrary to biblical doctrine or which suggest spiritual insight not found rooted in scripture opens one up to becoming vulnerable to false teachings and "OTHER" GOSPELS .

We are the church, the bride of Christ. If we are to present ourselves SPOTLESS and undefiled before Christ, we must pursue holiness.

Holiness is not compatible with flirting. How close do we really think we are to God if we can so easily FLIRT WITH THE WORLD ?

I hope the church does not forget these verses–Ephesians 5:25-27:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

This line from the hymn "THE CHURCH'S ONE FOUNDATION" plays over again and again in my is such a good reminder of an eternal truth–It's all from Him, by Him, to Him, for Him.

"From heaven he came and SOUGHT HER
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he BOUGHT HER,
and FOR HER life HE DIED."

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A "Politically Incorrect" Gospel

You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most…It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.”

–- John Wesley

…kind of takes the steam out of the whole "Social Gospel" thing.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Church Boring? Entertainment Is Not The Answer


Quoting RC Sproul . . .

"If people find worship boring and irrelevant, it can only mean they have no sense of the presence of God in it. When we study the action of worship in Scripture and the testimony of church history, we discover a variety of human responses to the sense of the presence of God. Some people tremble in terror, falling with their face to the ground; others weep in mourning; some are exuberant in joy; still others are reduced to a pensive silence. However the reactions may differ among human beings to the holiness of God, one thing I never ever find in scripture is someone who is bored in the presence of God, or someone who walks away from an encounter with the living God and says "that was irrelevant".

There is no encounter a human being could ever have that is more relevant to daily life than meeting up with the living God. ... You were not created to be bored by the glory of God, you have to be spiritually dead to be bored by the glory of God."

Friday, March 02, 2007

"Is the Ancient Church the First Example of Emergent Christianity?"

This is the questioned asked at the 16th Annual Wheaton Theology Conference.

This is a perfect example of more Emergent infiltration:

"This year’s conference is intended as a time of reflection on how the modern church might learn from the life and practice of the early church. This concern is a central concern of the Emergent Church. So, while this is not a conference about the Emergent Church, we see Tony Jones and those involved in the movement as valuable conversation partners from whom we can learn a great deal as we reflect together on the resources offered by the ancient church."

"One of the most promising developments among evangelical Protestants is the recent “discovery” of the rich biblical, spiritual, and theological treasures to be found within the early church. We are witnessing a renewed enthusiasm to reach back behind the European Enlightenment for patterns and models of how to faithfully read Scripture, worship, and engage a religiously diverse culture. The Wheaton Theology Conference for 2007 seeks to enrich this conversation by focusing upon the life and thought of the ancient church with a view toward the future of contemporary Christian life and witness. We shall focus attention upon the questions that ask, for instance, is the ancient church the first example of emergent Christianity? How do we appropriate the riches of the ancient church in a way that is both faithful to its own world and relevant to ours? In what ways do the ancient practices of spiritual life and devotion inform and sustain a vital contemporary spirituality and practice of reading the Bible? What does the emergent Christianity hope to find in the ancient faith and how does it represent a vital catalyst to the development of faithful community and witness?" (emphasis mine)

Is there anyplace safe anymore?