Wednesday, April 25, 2007

THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE!! GET OUT!!

What is really amazing in all of the comments in the post below is how the emphasis has been turned from the content of the warning to the method of the warning.

I guess this is to be expected in today's touchy-feely culture.

THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE!!
SCREAM TO THE KIDS TO GET OUT!


Parents.... your kids may be in that building.

Sorry if the way I screamed at you hurt your feelings but you had better get out now and after you are on the curb I will give you a hug and tell you that I love you.

The problem is some people DO NOT believe the building is on fire. I believe it is!

True love will warn!!!!

-Kenny

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Warning to the Parents of the Youth at UBC

*** NOTE --- The youth pastor referred to in this post has resigned his position as of June 2007 to pursue seminary studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.

If you love someone you will warn them if you see them headed toward danger or if they are already in danger. Out of concern for their well being and the well being of those effected by them you warn them even though it may be an uncomfortable task.

Therefore, the purpose of this post is to warn the parents of kids in high school and middle school age who are involved in the youth at UBC (you know who you are). This warning is done out of love for God, and his Truth- the Word of God (Jude 3-4) and out of a love for the kids and their families, and out of obedience to God (1 Thess. 5:21, 1 John 4:1). In this post I will point out some of the errors and dangerous teaching occurring in the youth department which are spiritually unhealthy and destructive (Matthew 18:6). Colossians 2:8 states: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." This verse explains exactly what I believe to be happening to the youth department at UBC through the deceptive influence of the Emergent church and its close association with Roman Catholicism.

Some reading this post may be familiar with the Emergent church movement and others may not. (At the end of this post you will find links which go into a lot more detail about Emergent and some of the authors I will mention). On the surface the Emergent movement may just seem like a "new way of doing church" with the intention of reaching the postmodern generation but in reality it is a dangerous movement within evangelicalism which questions and challenges some of the foundational pillars of our faith. Things like the inerrancy of scripture and the exclusivity of Christ for salvation. This movement embraces mysticism and the mystics of the past, promotes methods of Contemplative prayer like breath prayers, silence and solitude and celebrates uncertainty. Uncertainty and mystery are considered virtues to those in Emergent. They are also enamored and fascinated with traditions, customs, rituals and liturgy from early church history ESPECIALLY traditions of Roman Catholicism. This may explain why so many of the things pointed out in this post continue to look like a return to Catholicism. Many in this movement see themselves as radicals and revolutionaries who want to change the world through social justice causes not unlike a rehash of the Social Gospel movement. They claim neither the left nor the right politically (although they do lean heavily to the left). They see their form of radicalism as establishing the "kingdom of God" on earth but it really looks more like a version of Liberation Theology. They seem to be big on the concept of "community" almost in a way that resembles the 60's with it's communes and it's beatnik type coffee house settings. In some ways the Emergent movement is almost like a rebellious hippie movement within the church.

Here's why I am concerned, every Wednesday night, week after week parents are dropping off their kids at Roots thinking they are going to a bible study when in reality are also being indoctrinated with the teachings of Emergent authors like Rob Bell, and Brian McLaren, and the social activist Left-leaning Tony Campolo and Richard Foster all with a Roman Catholic twist.

No one really knows from one week to the next just exactly where the teaching will be coming from. Will it be from the bible this week or will it be some strange new concept from an Emergent author or perhaps an ancient doctrine from a Catholic mystic?

Here is how I came to these conclusions. One night, in October 2005 I decided to attend Roots just to check it out and to see what my daughter was being taught. I could not believe what I heard! The youth pastor began to speak to the kids of the "rhythm of life" and of "balance", and the "harmony of creation", phrases I had never heard before in the context of a bible study. He began to explain how the cross was about more than just saving human souls, it was about saving the trees, birds, stars, etc. I left the meeting very upset and concerned. It wasn't until months later did I discover he was teaching the kids concepts from Emergent pastor Rob Bell from his book Velvet Elvis. [Roots, Applying our Ingredients (4 of 6) - Kingdom of God, 10-5-05] (CLICK HERE to read about it)

The things I heard that evening compelled me to begin to research some of these phrases. I did not know who Rob Bell was at that time and neither did I know anything about the Emergent church movement. Until one day my brother and I were talking and he told me to take a look at one of the recommended books on UBC's website, the book "Emerging Church" (by Dan Kimball, Rick Warren, Brian D. McLaren). He said maybe it's this "Emergent" thing they're drifting toward. So we started to do research on this movement and wouldn't you know it? but whose name should come up? None other than Rob Bell followed only as a close second to Brian McLaren. This all started to make sense. The words-reimagine, rethink, the terminology-radical, mystery, the themes-the kingdom of God, social justice all started to sound the same and the same authors would pop up again and again. Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, Shane Claiborne, Leonard Sweet. I started to then realize, this certainly is a movement which is gaining influence and sway over evangelicalism. So I began to follow more closely what was being taught at Roots. And unfortunately I had become more and more convinced that this Emergent movement was having a very strong effect on this entire youth group. What you actually have going on here is another church within this Baptist church.

I believe the UBC's Roots weekly gatherings are an Emergent church.

Let me give some examples.

This youth pastor seems to be intrigued with Catholicism and the monastic life. He speaks highly of and admires the Desert Fathers and mystics like St. Francis of Assisi and Madam Guyon. This would make sense, since he considers the catholic mystic St. Francis one of his heroes and frequently uses his teachings and illustrations when speaking to the youth. This is the same St. Francis of Assisi who used to preach to the birds and was afraid to walk upon the ground so as not to harm the creatures beneath his feet. He considered all creatures sacred and used to refer to the moon as "Sister Moon" and the sun as "Brother Sun".

At Roots one evening the youth pastor began to tell the kids of a story of St. Francis of Assisi and the encounter he had with a leper. He then began to explain how St. Francis saw the poor as being a "sacrament". He then went on to explain what he meant by a sacrament. After this he began to talk about how the monks viewed the eucharist when he stayed at a monastery and how much he loved the sacraments. He told the kids how he believes the poor are a sacrament as well and "if you look deep enough into their eyes...you'll see Christ". These comments are strange, disturbing, and are taught no where in the bible. Here is what he told the kids:

"You know what the sacraments are? You know in the Catholic church, I know a lot of you come from Catholic backgrounds, they have the seven sacraments. Things like confession and baptism and holy matrimony these different things that they say that the sacraments are ways in which Jesus comes to us. Ways that God has given to us by grace to experience him. I have to confess here that I got a little Catholic blood in me that I really love the sacraments actually. I loved that, when I stayed with these monks in New Mexico that communion, the eucharist was such a serious thing. And when they take that bread and that wine they believe that they are experience.... [sic]. I mean it's a beautiful thing the sacraments are." [Roots, Thoughts on Africa, 6-8-06].

Of course they believe they "experience" Christ because according to Catholic doctrine, Christ's literal physical body mystically enters into the wafer and his blood in the wine. They believe that Jesus is really, truly and substantially present in the elements and the presiding priest has the power over Christ's "unbloody sacrifice" each time this most sacred of all Catholic sacraments known as the eucharist takes place. This is known as Transubstantiation and it is a blasphemous doctrine. The Reformers considered this to be an abomination. Bishops Ridley and Latimer, John Bland, William Hunter, John Wycliff, Sir William Sautre, William Flower, Thomas Watts and many other Reformers all understood the blasphemy of this doctrine and willingly gave their lives to be burned at the stake in opposition to it and yet this youth pastor says it is something which is "beautiful"? Now either he doesn't quite understand this Catholic doctrine of the eucharist and is just unaware of how appalling this should be to Protestants or he does understand and does not have a problem with it which would be far worse. Also the majority of times he refers to what we would normally call Communion, he continually calls it the eucharist which is the Catholic term for the sacrament. Why would he do this? I believe this is another indication of a fascination with Roman Catholic traditions. I don't know if he really believes this way or not. I don't think he does but just the fact that he made those comments demonstrates his lack of discernment, especially since so many families come from a Catholic background. This causes confusion.

It doesn't stop there. He goes on to say:

"You know why I like the sacraments so much though? Because when you have sacraments, everything begins to be sacramental, like the poor. I believe the poor are a sacrament" --[Roots, Thought on Africa, 6-8-06].

It just so happens that Tony Campolo said almost the exact same thing at the National Council of Churches Poverty March 2002. Here is Campolo's quote:

"When it comes to a theology of the poor, there are few who can match that developed by Francis of Assisi. This 10th-century saint let us know in no uncertain terms that the poor were, as he called them, sacramental, and not just objects of pity. What Francis meant by the term sacramental is that the eternal Christ somehow infuses the poor so that, as we meet them face to face, we are meeting not only the poor, but encountering something of the presence of Christ. To Francis, the poor were not Christ, but he believed that Christ came through the poor to those who would look into their eyes with spiritual discernment. Even as Lutherans believe that there is a real presence of Christ in the bread and the wine in Holy Communion (though the elements still remain bread and wine), so Francis believed that, though the poor remain what they are, Christ flows through them to those who have eyes to see him and ears to hear him."

Citing authors is not always a problem depending on who it is (although anyone who frequently references Campolo I believe has a problem) but when your theology is determined by them rather than from scripture you have a huge problem. No where does the Bible teach that the poor are a "sacrament" so why is he teaching this to the kids? These concepts derive from St. Francis and echoed by Tony Campolo and G.K. Chesterton not the bible. This view is mystical. The passage in Matthew 25 does not teach this. Interestingly, Mother Theresa stated the same when she said “I see Jesus in the eyes of the poor. It is in serving the poor that I serve Jesus...We cannot know Jesus in the sacraments unless we are willing to see him in the eyes of the poor...” Comments like these sound a lot like Pantheism. What's wrong with Mother Theresa some might ask? Let me know if these comments from her book "Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers" are problematic?:

“We never try to convert those who receive [aid from Missionaries of Charity] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God’s presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men — simply better — we will be satisfied. It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the way God comes into their life — his life. If he does not know any other way and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his way to salvation.” [Pages 81-82]

“All is God — Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, etc., all have access to the same God.” [Page 31]


This youth pastor takes trip to a Catholic monastery each year. [Roots, Identity - Abba's Love, 10-4-06] He comes back with his head shaved. This is another example of his affinity for Roman Catholicism as well as an indication of a lack of discernment. Doesn't this cause any confusion with the kids?

Also if you listen to the sermons from Roots you will hear comments and statements which just make you stop and say "what did he mean by that?" Like: "so there's no separation of sacred and secular, everything for us becomes sacred" or "the good news of Jesus is not just good news for christians, it's good news for everyone because if it's not good news for everyone, it's not good news for anyone" or how about this one: "it's not reform, it's reforming" Comments which sound odd, unusual and you may hear things you've never heard before. You may find yourself saying "no don't say that...is that what you meant or are we just misunderstanding you? or "maybe that's not what he meant, he just didn't say it right". Here's another example: "we don't go to heaven, heaven comes to us". Or the comment "I'm watchin' my boy Jack Bauer who just happens to be the fourth person of the Trinity". I cannot comment on all of these but I will comment on this one example: He told the kids about an incident when he confronted a guy in Little Haiti who was soliciting a prostitute. He did a very good job encouraging the kids not to engage in immoral sexual activities but he lost me when quoting G.K. Chesterton saying "every man that knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God". He took this peculiar viewpoint from this devout Catholic writer and based an entire theological viewpoint on it.

This what he went on to tell the kids:

"That man that was in Little Haiti that day with me and [name excluded] …was looking for God. And some of you...when you get on the internet tonight, you are looking for God...and guys as you brag about this girl and doing this with her...and having that little...what you're really doing is searching for God. This is the strongest desire of the human heart. Whether or not you know it you long for a deep intimate relationship with God."

OK, this may sound nice but this is NOT TRUE! Before a person is regenerated by the Holy Spirit making them alive to Christ they are in total darkness, in rebellion and defiance toward God. The strongest desire in their heart is for themselves as Lord, not a desire or pursuit for God. If they were looking for God they would be lead to the cross in sorrow and repentance and hatred for their sin against this holy God who cannot look upon sin. The opposite is what's true here. They love their sin and hate God, they hate the light. John 3: 19-20 says "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." That guy soliciting a prostitute was not looking for God he was listening to the father of lies, Satan. When a kid is looking for porn on the internet he is NOT LOOKING FOR GOD he is delving into lust with a deceitful and desperately wicked heart (Jer. 17:9). This idea is not found in scripture. These comments are more examples of ideas and doctrines which are branching outside of orthodox christianity. These are not doctrines clearly taught in the bible therefore they should not be taught to the youth. They cause confusion.

On one occasion he taught the youth "Application of the Senses" exercises from the Catholic (Counter-Reformer) and Jesuit priest Ignatius of Loyola. James Sandquist in this article states this about Ignatius of Loyola: "Ignatius was the first general of the Jesuit army. The Jesuit army infiltrated churches to destroy all that were not related to the mother church. One of the bloodiest times in the history of mankind, the Jesuits were probably the most cruel and fierce as they justified torture and murder for the church....The Jesuits were responsible for the Inquisition. Loyola's JESUIT ORDER under his personal direction was responsible for the MARTYRDOM OF COUNTLESS NUMBERS OF GOD'S SAINTS who would not bow the knee to the papal demand for unconditional obedience." This exercise encourages one to place themselves in the gospel stories using their 5 senses and imagination to embellish the Biblical narrative. The youth pastor claims he did this when the use of scripture was an insufficient tool to combat against temptation. [Roots, The Pleasures of God (3 of 4) - Fight Pleasure with Pleasure, 12-15-05]. This idea is not found in scripture. Isn't it a dangerous thing to add your imagination to scripture? Our imaginations should be subject to scripture not used to embellish or add to what is written in the Word. 2 Cor. 10:5 states "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

The youth pastor also encourages kids to read the author Richard Foster (who also promotes Ignatius of Loyola's Application of the Senses exercises in Celebration of Discipline--p.26 1978 edition). Richard Foster is a Quaker. Quakers believe all humans contain the "Inner Light", whether you are a christian or not. Foster also teaches astral projection in Celebration of Discipline. (p.27 1978 edition). This is important to know since Celebration of Discipline by Foster and Brian McLaren's, A Generous Orthodoxy are among two of UBC's youth pastor's favorite books, based on the his bio in the "crew" section on the Roots wesite.

And, just in case anyone has any doubt about the influence of Catholic rituals in the UBC youth, on Wednesday March 28, the kids conducted a corporate fast followed by having ash marked on their foreheads during Roots in recognition of Ash Wednesday. [Roots, Progression to Easter - Ash, The Little Way, and Resurrection, 3-28-07] Yes, in case you didn't know, they had the opportunity to go forward and have their foreheads marked with ash as they heard the phrase "from ash you came, to ash you will return" uttered by the leader. (this was not conducted by the youth pastor this time but a guest speaker). What is the purpose for doing this? WE ARE NOT CATHOLIC!

That night two more Catholics were used as sources (St. Therese of Lisieux and Dorothy Day).

This is what the kids were taught that night:

"As christians we're called to be a eucharist for the starving and thirsty world just as Christ is the eucharist for this starving and thirsty congregation here tonight. So, we're called to be the eucharist and what this means is we're called to serve and to break ourselves open for those who are around us".

These concepts of the church being the eucharist for world are not taught in the bible but rather were taught by Rob Bell from his "Isn't She Beautiful" conference in January '07 which was attended by UBC's youth pastor, and repeated by Rob Bell from his sermon "The X,Y,Z's", 2-18-07. The talk this night at Roots was so similar to the things Rob Bell said it almost seems like some of it was repeated verbatim. So once again we have doctrines being taught to the kids from the word of Rob rather than the Word of God.

The youth pastor refers to the psychiatrist Carl Jung to the kids [Roots, Mysteries - The Cross, 3-21-07]. Jung was into the occult, Gnosticism, Zen Buddhism, Taoism, yoga, astrology, and alchemy to mention a few. In his autobiography Jung claimed: "The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave substance to my psychology." [Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1961/1989, p. 205]. The youth pastor told the kids about Carl Jung's view of our dark side known as our "shadow". Carl Jung believed that our dark side needed to be integrated with our good side to make us whole. Jung also believed in what he referred to as "psychological bisexuality" meaning that every man has a female soul (anima) and every female has a male soul (animus). From THIS ARTICLE we read the following about Carl Jung:

"John Kerr claims that Jung’s so-called anima "the woman within" which he spoke to, was none other than his idealized image of his former mistress, patient, and fellow therapist, Sabina Spielrein. After breaking with both Spielrein and Freud, Jung felt his own soul vanish as if it had flown away to the land of the dead. Shortly after, while his children were plagued by nightmares and the house was seemingly haunted, Jung heard a chorus of spirits cry out demanding: ‘We have come back from Jerusalem where we have not found what we sought.’

In response to these spirits, Jung wrote his Seven Sermons to the Dead. In these seven messages Jung ‘reveals’, in agreement with the 2nd century Gnostic writer Basilides, the True and Ultimate God as Abraxas, who combines Jesus and Satan, good and evil all in one. This is why Jung held that "Light is followed by shadow, the other side of the Creator." Dr. Noll, a clinical psychologist and post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, holds that "Jung was waging war against Christianity and its distant, absolute, unreachable God and was training his disciples to listen to the voice of the dead and to become gods themselves."


According to Dr. Jeffrey Satinover "For Jung, good and evil evolved into two equal, balanced, cosmic principles that belong together in one overarching synthesis. This relativization of good and evil by their reconciliation is the heart of the ancient doctrines of gnosticism..." [Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p. 240] Carl Jung has no business being referenced to a youth group. This condones Carl Jung to the kids. This is yet another example of a major lack of discernment and another example of doctrine being taught to the youth based on sources other than the bible. (by the way, Tony Campolo also favorably references Carl Jung)

On another occasion he has shown an irreverent, crude and disrespectful attitude toward God. He made a reference to God from Isaiah 40:22 as "sitting on the throne", if you know what I mean. Yes that's exactly what I mean, and that is exactly what he meant. This is the idea the youth pastor put in the minds of the kids. Every time they read that passage they can chuckle when they picture the image of the Omnipotent, Holy, Almighty God "sitting on the throne" [Roots, Love, Sex, & the New Society - The Voice of our Culture, 2-7-07].

The more I think about that the more dumbfounded I am that he actually dragged God down into the gutter picturing the Almighty Creator of the universe sitting on a toilet defecating.

Here is another interesting concept taught to the youth about the command by Jesus to "love thy neighbor". We know the Bible says to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength. It also says to love our neighbor. I don't know about you but when I think of my neighbor I think of the average person walking down the street or the guy right next door to me. When this youth pastor thinks of his neighbor he thinks of "the environment". He said the environment was his neighbor. [Roots, Our Ingredients (4 of 5) - Kingdom of God, 8-3-05]. According to him if you really love your neighbor, the environment, you will keep the rivers clean and fight against pollution. Not your common run-of-the-mill Sunday School lesson is it? I still have not been able to figure out where he got this crazy notion from.

As mentioned earlier, ideas from authors Rob Bell and Brian McLaren have been taught at Roots. To give you a better idea of what these men believe here are some quotes, starting with Rob Bell:

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


"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


“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


As far as the Universalist Brian McLaren goes, I am surprised he is still even considered a "christian" author. Nonetheless this youth pastor teaches concepts from McLaren like when he told the kids that God doesn't just want to save the passengers of the Titanic, He wants to save the whole ship. [Roots, Our Ingredients (4 of 5) - Kingdom of God, 8-3-05]. This implies that God is not just saving humans but saving the whole world. This sounds like "Planetary Salvation" or a form of Universalism.

Here are some quotes from McLaren:

"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


"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


"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

"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 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



All of these authors and teachers mentioned here are loaded with false teachings and heresies. There is absolutely no excuse to allow these false doctrines to infiltrate the church and allow influences of Roman Catholcism to distort our true means of grace. The kids are already malnourished on the basic doctrines of the christian faith without having to be introduced and seduced by heretical Emergent and Catholic doctrines.

Is this what UBC's youth pastor believes? I think that is a valid question.

The kids are being introduced and taught things which ARE NOT in scripture. I have heard many occasions where some scripture is being taught at Roots. This is a great thing, but far too often the study of scripture at Roots is mixed with large doses of Roman Catholicism or Emergent heresies and thus the messages become spiritually lethal.

I am sure the youth pastor and the UBC leadership are sincerely trying to reach the youth for God's glory but they have allowed pragmatism at the expense of sound doctrine to dictate their methods instead of allowing the direction of the Holy Spirit through Sola Scriptura.

All of these things mentioned show a great lack of discernment on the part of this youth pastor and even more so on the church leadership which is allowing error to be taught at Roots on a consistent basis.

I would like to know where are the older spiritual men, like Paul who would step in with authority and correct these erroneous teachings. (Titus 2:6-8) Where are the spiritual leaders who are checking scripture to see if what is being taught is correct or not? (Acts 17:11) It is true I am pointing out problems with the things taught by the youth pastor in this church. He should be responsible for the things he teaches. However, the ultimate responsibility does not lie with the youth pastor, it lies with those responsible for hiring him and with the senior pastor.

If you are a parent who has a child attending UBC, I hope you will prayerfully consider the validity of the warnings listed in this post. As any loving parent would want to protect their child from physical harm, I hope and pray that you would also take the same approach to protecting your child from spiritual harm. Dirty water is still water and you can drink it if you like but why settle for the contamination? Why not seek out pure clean water for our kids?

For detailed information on the dangers of this movement, you will find links on the right column of thinkerup and check out these links below:

Exposing the Emergent Church

Dangers of the Emergent Church

Apprising Ministries

Emerging Church Is Leading Protestants Back To Rome

The Emergent Church Markets Catholicism

John MacArthur on the Emerging Church

How to Know When the Emerging Church Shows Signs of Emerging in Your Church

Crossroads Articles on Emergent

“Throwing Our Future Church Leaders to the Wolves”

BEWARE THE “EMERGENT CHURCH MOVEMENT”

Eastern Religion Watch Archives on Emergent

‘Alarm Bells’ – Rob and Kristen Bell

A Critique of Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis

Tony Campolo Quotes

In Depth Look at the Teachings of Tony Campolo

The ‘Summer Madness’ of Brian McLaren and ‘The Mind’ of Tony Campolo

Brian McLaren - New Age/Mystic/Contemplative

Richard Foster Expose

A Response to a Letter Defending Richard Foster--This is an excellent and very thorough explaination of Richard Foster's many false teachings--"none of them, or their teachings [the authors and false doctrines Richard Foster promotes] should be brought into our houses or houses of worship. And by doing so, we do become partakers of their evil deeds....yes false doctrine is evil deeds. We must command them as Paul did Timothy to the Ephesians to “Not teach false doctrines any longer!”” Richard Foster's teachings whether or not he says otherwise, are a blend of Eastern mysticism and gnosticism...another Jesus and another gospel."


~~~ Just in case anyone is wondering, my two brothers and I did meet with the senior pastor and the pastor of church conflict in which we discussed our concerns with the church and a great deal of the meeting dealt with the youth pastor over some specific issues. We were told "things were taken care of" but were not told how. We felt our concerns were handled with a sort of nonchalance by the pastors. This meeting went on for about 2-3 hours. We did not really see any changes. As time went on we continued to see the things taught in the youth become more and more Emergentesque. Many of the things mentioned in this post occurred after this meeting took place. I also spoke with this youth pastor and questioned him on certain points. He replied by defending his positions. Matthew 18 is not applicable here since no one has personally sinned against me. My issues were never with one person in particular but rather with the church's leadership and how they have allowed these dangerous tendencies to take "root" and flourish in the church.

This post serves as a warning to others still involved
.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

While Your Children Are Young

This quote below is from OldTruth.com--what an important message this is today. I know how often I personally have failed in leading my children toward Christ. I thank God that all of my children are born again but I grieve over the many opportunities I have let slip in leading them to a closer walk with the Savior.

"You also fail yourselves by leaving your children in a state of ignorance, for you heap upon yourselves the consequences of their sins as well as your own. When a child breaks one of God's commandments, it is his sin; but it is also the father's if he never taught the child what the commandment of God was. Wicked children become heavy crosses to their parents. When a father or mother must trace the source of wickedness to his or her neglect in training the child, cross is laid upon cross and the load becomes unbearable. Can there be a greater heartache in this life than to see your own child running full speed towards hell, and know that you were the one who outfitted him for the race? Oh, do your best while they are young and in your constant care, to win them to God and set them on the road to heaven.

Most important, you fail God when you rear an ignorant child. Scripture tells of those who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Among others, this includes parents who lock up the knowledge of salvation from their children. Where is the parent who will rob his own son's house? Yet this is what you do if you neglect his spiritual education. For you keep in your own pocket the gold talent that God intended for you to give your child. If you leave no godly inheritance, what will happen when you die, and the truth of the gospel is buried along side rotting bones?

If you are God's child, then your children stand in closer relationship to the heavenly Father than the children of the unbelievers. God depends on you to nurture them as you have been nurtured, and to protect them at all costs from the devil's education. Training your children up in the ways of the Lord is no casual suggestion. Your refusal to obey, whether the product of deliberation or neglect, will pay you bitter wages when you stand before the King of kings in the judgment."


--William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour, 1665

Friday, April 13, 2007

Myth of the Modern Gospel

Kirk Cameron on the Myth of the Modern Gospel:









CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

God Loves You (don't forget to add "JUST AS YOU ARE")

Why do people say that, just as you are ?

Just saying "God loves you" is not enough? When we speak to people about God and we get to the point of telling them that God loves them why do we need to add the words "just as you are"?

Is this a reaction to some people thinking that God is mean and is mad at them for something and by adding just you are we're making God's message to them not so harsh? Have some people witnessed to others in the past and made them feel bad about their sins a little too much? Have they focused too much on the bad stuff ? Is this more sensitive method of telling people about God's love better than the other method of "too much fire and brimstone".

If God is mad at us should He be? Does He have to adjust His expression of love for us to accommodate our potential reaction to it ?

I can imagine a cop catching someone in a crime and walking up to him and apologetically saying..."hey I just wanted to let you know don't worry, the judge is not mad at you, the judge loves you just as you are. I just have to tell you that no matter what you've done, no matter how bad you think it is the judge is not mad at you. When you see him just really really tell him that you are sorry and didn't mean to make wrong choices and he will automatically pay all of your fines and completely forget that anything bad ever happened. Remember he loves you...he is longing for you to come to him and share his love with you..." blah blah blah.

QUIT SAYING THAT !!!!!

Just as you are! It confuses me. It skews my view of what I have always understood about my crime and offense to our Holy God. It takes the emphasis off of my crime and soothes me before I even have a chance to grasp or fathom the depth of my crime. Maybe I need to spend some time coming to terms with the crimes I have committed and the harm that it has done to His holy nature.

If I was caught in a crime and received the penalty which would be impossible for me to pay and if it was clearly communicated to me what the consequences would be and they were very severe I would be scared, fearful, guilty, ashamed, nervous, troubled, trembling and whatever other emotion associated with a person who has been caught in a crime with the knowledge they will have to face a judge whose job it is to execute a sentence to match the crime (I have experienced those emotions). No one has said anything yet about love or anything like that. I'm not much in the mood to hear about thoughts of love. I've just been caught in the act of a crime.

What if God IS mad at us? Does that make you feel uncomfortable? When I read the bible I see many many occasions where it appears that God is not too pleased with our behavior.

Check out Romans 3:10-18:

As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
"Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit."
"The poison of vipers is on their lips."
"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know."
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."


This is like the cop catching you red-handed in the act of the crime.

If these are the crimes you were caught committing (breaking the 10 Commandments) and you were arrested and standing before the Judge and had no way of hiding your offenses, were embarrassed, ashamed–stripped of all dignity, dirty little secrets that no one knew about–EXPOSED, confronted with guilt and felt completely helpless to rectify the damage done to the Holy Judge who can tolerate NO wrong (Habakkuk 1:18-Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong) then as He delivers the sentence for your crime all of the sudden things now go from bad to worse. Not only are you found completely guilty but it is impossible for you to even come close to paying the penalty which would satisfy the perfect law of the Judge.

You hang your head in shame...then you fall to the ground pleading for mercy.

How long do you stay down there? What if He decides to let you stay down there and suffer for a little while? Remember it does say in Lamentations 3:22 that "It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed". This story could end there and all would be well in the Judge's just world. But it also says "his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

This perfect Holy untouchable Judge steps down from His bench and picks you up off the floor and gently tells you that He has the penalty paid for. He decides to do this only at His good pleasure. Only because He decides to do this.

The Judge does not even need to say I love you. His love is evident in His action toward us.

This person would not have even been able to understand God's love AT ALL if he had not been in the position to be full aware of his offensive crimes and their evil consequences.

To attach anything behind the statement "God loves you" is very dangerous. God's love means nothing to a person except that He is some kind of needy, dependent God who just can't live without us...huh? –nothing could be further from the truth. God needs nothing. He certainly does not need us. He can cause the rocks to praise him if He so pleases.

We can begin to understand God's love only after we've received His mercy. Only after we have admitted we are totally deprived and unworthy. We can then receive His grace. We can then be allowed to receive His sanctification which will then allow us the privilege to worship Him.

"Just as you are"–I still don't know what they mean by that. The only thing I can think of is they are trying to make people not feel so bad. But I think people NEED to feel bad...very very bad. Then they can experience God's love.

If you choose to say "just as you are" after saying God loves you to someone, you better make sure they understand how they actually are.

Romans 5:6-8
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Monday, April 09, 2007

"WE WANT TO FILL DOLPHIN STADIUM"

Can you imagine a church sooooo big that you would need to have a professional football stadium to hold your church services ? I heard a preacher say that one Sunday morning.

WOW ! Imagine that. You almost get giddy thinking about that.

For so long people have just been coming to church totally bored out of their minds. No wonder why people just kind of fade away, never to return again. There are so many other things out there competing for their attention that we have GOT to figure out a way to get MORE people into the door of the church.

We've got to find ways to bring more people into the church... gotta get those numbers up. I mean we've got to do WHATEVER IT TAKES.

I guess the next question would be... How do we do this ? How do we fill Dolphin stadium ?

Let's see what technique the apostle Paul used in the New Testament to grow the church, because after all we can't imagine the church today using a method which is not found in the bible.

1 Cor. 2:1-5:

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

Oh, wait...the techniques Paul used were weakness, fear, trembling.

What about Jesus Christ and him crucified ? Yeah that's going to get a lot of people in the door. Somebody should have told Paul about seeker sensitive.

What about the techniques Paul did NOT use–He did not use eloquence or superior wisdom (except maybe the wisdom that comes from knowing about Christ crucified). What else did he not use–he did not use wise words or persuasive words. Gosh that is so not postmodern or intellectual. Oh boy lookie here, Paul says that his PREACHING was with a demonstration of the Spirit's power. Why would he use such a method ? Oh yes the answer's right there...so that the christian's faith might not rest on MEN'S wisdom but on God's power.

I guess after all Paul did not actually use ANY techniques, methods or experiments. He allowed the Holy Spirit to do the work. All that Paul did was to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified.

So go ahead pastors and keep coming up with new techniques, new methods and the latest trends to try to get those numbers up but when your congregations rely on your wisdom instead of God's power don't complain about spiritual immaturity, shallow superficiality and doctrinal ignorance rampant among your church members. They're getting what they're being fed.

If God decides to increase the church enough to fill up a professional football stadium or not makes no difference. That should not be our goal. That is His decision to make. Our responsibility is to be guided by his Word in obedience and rely upon His methods which are to trust his Holy Spirit for the increase if He desires to do so. Our goal should be to pursue holiness through the process of santification surrendering each day to His guidance and direction as found through his holy Word.

If your church has the philosophy of "do whatever it takes" I hope that does not include neglecting the Word of God.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Holiness of God

"I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.”
-Isaiah 43:15

“To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things...
By the greatness of His might and the strength of His power."
-Isaiah 40:25

"Who is like You, glorious in holiness...?"
-Exodus 15:11

"You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in You... and You delivered them."
-Psalm 22:3

"I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings.... And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!' And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
"So I said: 'Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
-Isaiah 6:1-5

Steven, "being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, 'Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'”
-Acts 7:55

“No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You,
Nor is there any Rock like our God."
-1 Samuel 2:2

Our response to His holiness

"...as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.”
-1 Peter 1:15-16

"'Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.'.... And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God."
-Exodus 3:5-6

"Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, 'What does my Lord say to His servant?' Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, 'Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.' And Joshua did so."
- Joshua 5:14-15

"Then Job answered the Lord and said: 'I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
-Job 42:1-6

"Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth."
-Psalm 96:9

"...give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name."
-1 Chronicles 16:8-10

"Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth."
-1 Chronicles 16:29-30

"Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name."
-Psalm 33:20-21

"For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness."
-Romans 6:19

"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."
-Psalm 103:1-2

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

TONY CAMPOLO QUOTES

Some christian leaders look up to Tony Campolo. What's even more scary is that some christian youth pastors look up to him and consider Campolo to be a mentor of theirs. I get nervous when I realize this. I know of one youth pastor in particular who has made this statement, that Tony Campolo was his mentor. I have heard this youth pastor reference Campolo on more than one occasion while addressing the youth.

How is a parent to know how much of Campolo's teachings are trickling down through their youth pastors to the teenagers as these teens attempt to learn true biblical doctrine through a trusted youth pastor?

If you're a parent or a teenager whose youth pastor mentions his admiration for Tony Campolo please take a look at some of these quotes of his and you let me know if you're comfortable with anyone looking up to Tony Campolo as a mentor or as a christian leader:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Beyond these models of reconciliation, a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God, which seem at odds with their own spiritual traditions but have much in common with each other."

-Tony Campolo
(Page 149, Speaking My Mind)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I am saying that there is no salvation apart from Jesus; that's my evangelical mindset. However, I am not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians"

-Tony Campolo
(National Liberty Journal, 8/99)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"...what can I say to an Islamic brother who has fed the hungry, and clothed the naked? You say, "But he hasn't a personal relationship with Christ." I would argue with that. And I would say from a Christian perspective, in as much as you did it to the least of these you did it unto Christ. You did have a personal relationship with Christ, you just didn't know it."

-Tony Campolo
EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"We cannot allow our theologies to separate us" (speaking on the relations between Muslims and Christians)

-Tony Campolo
EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"What can we learn about that kind of spirituality that can help us find common ground? No theological statements were made, no compromising beliefs, no attempts to come to a common denominator. And yet, a kind of spiritual oneness.

That's the place where we come together, in common need and common suffering, as we reach out to one another in love, leaving judgment in the hands of God, sharing out of our own faith. I mean the last thing we are asking in those times is—is your theology the same as mine?—and vice-versa. All of the sudden in the hour of suffering there is a commonality. And that's where we meet. It's in mystical spirituality and in communal mutuality that's where we come together."

-Tony Campolo
EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"It seems to me that when we listen to the Muslim mystics as they talk about Jesus and their love for Jesus, I must say, it's a lot closer to New Testament Christianity than a lot of the Christians that I hear. In other words if we are looking for common ground, can we find it in mystical spirituality, even if we cannot theologically agree, Can we pray together in such a way that we connect with a God that transcends our theological differences?"

-Tony Campolo
EVANGELICALS AND INTERFAITH COOPERATION, An Interview by Shane Claiborne

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""Beyond these models of reconciliation, a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God ... I do not know what to make of the Muslim mystics, especially those who have come to be known as the Sufis. What do they experience in their mystical experiences? Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?"

-Tony Campolo
"Speaking My Mind", pages 149-150

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"Jesus is the only Savior, but not everybody who is being saved by Him is aware that He is the one who is doing the saving"

-Tony Campolo
EP News Service, Oct. 4, 1985

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"...during times of reflection I sensed that believing in Jesus and living out His teachings just wasn't enough. There was a yearning for something more, and I found that I was increasingly spiritually gratified as I adopted older ways of praying--ways that have largely been ignored by those of us in the Protestant tradition. Counter-Reformation saints like Ignatius of Loyola have become important sources of help as I have begun to learn from them modes of contemplative prayer. I practice what is known as "centering prayer," in which a sacred word is repeated as a way to be in God's presence."

-Tony Campolo
"Mystical Encounters for Christians"
www.beliefnet.com

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"I've got to push everything out of mind save the name of Jesus. I say His name over and over again, for as long as fifteen minutes, until I find my soul suspended in what the ancient Celtic Christians called a "thin place"--a state where the boundary between heaven and earth, divine and human, dissolves. You could say that I use the name of Jesus as my koan."

-Tony Campolo
"Mystical Encounters for Christians"
www.beliefnet.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Today, some of the most spiritual people I know claim to be without religion."

-Tony Campolo
"Mystical Encounters for Christians"
www.beliefnet.com

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"He saved us in order that He might begin to transform His world into the kind of world that He willed for it to be when He created it. … When Jesus saved us, He saved us to be agents of a great revolution, the end of which will come when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our God”

-Tony Campolo
"It's Friday but Sundays Coming", page 106

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"Our call is to be God’s agents, to rescue not only the human race but the whole of creation.”

-Tony Campolo
TEAR TIMES, “Why care for creation?” 1992

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"...Isn’t God’s message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized? ... The hymn writer who taught us to sing “Amazing Grace” was all too ready to call himself a “wretch” ... Forgetting our divinity and over-identifying with our [Freudian] anal humanity... Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychoanalysts of our time, recognized the diabolical social consequences that can come about when a person loses sight of his/her own divinity ...”

-Tony Campolo
"Partly Right" 1995

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“What I am trying to say is that Jesus who incarnated God 2,000 years ago is mystically present and waiting to be discovered in EVERY person you and I encounter”

-Tony Campolo
"A Reasonable Faith" 1983 page 171

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“I do not mean that others represent Jesus for us. I mean that Jesus actually is present in each other person."

-Tony Campolo
"A Reasonable Faith" 1983 page 192

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“That a new humanity will be brought forth from this Christ consciousness in each person."

-Tony Campolo
"A Reasonable Faith" 1983 page 65

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“One of the most startling discoveries of my life was the realization that the Jesus that I love, the Jesus who died for me on Calvary, that Jesus, is waiting, mystically and wonderfully, in every person I meet. I find Jesus everywhere."

-Tony Campolo
an address at Prestatyn in the UK, 1988

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“There is a feminine side of God. I always knew this ... It is this feminine side of God I find in Jesus that makes me want to sing duets with Him ... Not only do I love the feminine is Jesus, but the more I know Jesus, the more I realize that Jesus loves the feminine in me. Until I accept the feminine in my humanness, there will be a part of me that cannot receive the Lord's love. ... There is that feminine side of me that must be recovered and strengthened if I am to be like Christ ... And until I feel the feminine in Jesus, there is a part of Him which I cannot identify.”

-Tony Campolo
"Carpe Diem: Seize the Day", 1994, pages 85-88

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"going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia....There are many ways....It doesn't make any difference how we go there. We all end up in the same place."

-Tony Campolo
"Carpe Diem: Seize the Day", 1994, pages 85-88

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"Anyone who resists the notion of women preachers is functioning as a tool of the devil."

-Tony Campolo
opening session of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's general assembly June 26, 2003

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"When in fact we live in a society that makes life hell for gays and lesbians, this community has got to stand up and say, 'We're on your side as you struggle for dignity,' and, 'Yes, we will defy anybody who says otherwise, even if we have to go to Disneyland to prove it.'"

-Tony Campolo
"Campolo: Opposition to women preachers evidence of demonic influence"
Jun 27, 2003, By Gregory Tomlin,Baptist Press

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"I have already made the point that we need to have to win people to Jesus Christ, but we must also preach the whole Gospel which not only calls people to love Jesus but to bring His justice into the political and economic arena in which we live."

-Tony Campolo
"Campolo: Opposition to women preachers evidence of demonic influence"
Jun 27, 2003, By Gregory Tomlin,Baptist Press

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"On the other hand, we are hard-pressed to find any biblical basis for condemning deep love commitments between homosexual Christians, as long as those commitments are not expressed in sexual intercourse."

-Tony Campolo
"20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid To Touch", page 117

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"One of the meanest arguments against public schools comes from alarmists who contend that public school students can be forced to study under homosexuals and might even be subjected to homosexual seduction. This contention makes me furious - not because I believe there are no homosexuals in the public school system, but because of the implication that homosexuals are some kind of special threat to children."

-Tony Campolo
"20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid To Touch", page 84

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"I'm not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians."

-Tony Campolo
Charlie Rose show on January 24, 1997



----WOW! If you need more, I'm sure I can find more but I believe this ought to be plenty to convince any true christian to avoid Tony Campolo at all costs. How can a christian hold up Tony Campolo as a mentor with comments like these, especially someone who is involved in teaching the youth?

Glad You Asked...

From Pyromaniacs:

What should the church do in order to reach people in a postmodern culture?

Glad you asked...

For the past hundred years or more, evangelicalism has been steadily growing more shallow and more worldly.

There's no easy way out of the mess. My strategy would begin with five vital steps:

KEEP READING…

Monday, April 02, 2007

All Truth is God's Truth ?

Sounds pretty good, right?

This statement is usually what you will hear from someone who is trying to find the good and nice things from other religions as an attempt to be tolerant and open minded, seeking common ground. After all, claiming to have "the Truth" wouldn't be very nice to those who disagree.

But whether the statement is true or not really depends on how you and I and we all define "truth".

To ponder this statement and apply it, the average person will activate his little mind and scan the millions and billions of claims of "truth" in the world we live in. Those he thinks (or feels) are "true" he will then claim as God's. Either way, whether really true or not, it is all called God's. But accepting the statement "All Truth is God's Truth" as true is very dangerous! Here's why:

First, today in our culture many deny any absolute truth. The popular thinking is that you have your truth and I have mine and what's true for you might not be true for me. So the idea of "All Truth" cannot even be agreed upon.

Secondly, the statement's first part, "All Truth" puts man first and God second, requiring us first to think of: what we say, what we teach, what we believe, what we think, what we've read, what we've heard, and so on. This is a man centered way of viewing truth. In God's eyes it doesn't matter what WE say, what WE teach, what WE believe, what WE think, what WE've read, what WE've heard. It very possibly could all be wrong, incorrect, and even foolish. Unless, what we say, what we teach, what we believe, etc. is from God's Word it has no value. This is where we should start, God's Word. How WE define Truth is irrelevant.

Thirdly, the question ought to be "How does God, and God alone, define Truth?" And how do we find that out? The answer is; from the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, God's Word by the acting of the Holy Spirit.

Lastly, What is "Truth"? Well, to put it simply, Jesus! He said that he is the way, the TRUTH and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). Everything he said, taught, fulfilled, accomplished, promised is all truth. That's where we must always start, with Jesus–the TRUTH manifested–as clearly taught through no other source than His holy scriptures–the Word. He is the "WORD" of God become flesh. That is "God's Truth". Anything outside of that is a lie.

Instead of trying to figure out "All Truth" and force it into "God's Truth" like the statement tells us, I think it would be better to say "All God's Truth is True". This puts God first and man out of the picture. That's the way it ought to be!

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

-KCO