Monday, December 21, 2009
We now pick up where we left off in the previous article in this series, and will wrap it up. To recap what was covered in The MOTHER of HARLOTS EMERGES - Part 4a, let's address an issue discussed by Emergent Church leader, Brian McLaren on the subject of the kingdom of heaven, and what Jesus meant by this term.
Mr. McLaren claims that Jesus’ mission was NOT to show us the way to heaven after we die, but to show us how we can live the kingdom of heaven right now on this Earth: us, our children, our grandchildren, etc
View this assertion he made here:
Brian McLaren's Take on the Kingdom of God
Jesus emphatically stated that the way to heaven and our Father who dwells there, is through Him and Him alone (John 14:6); everywhere in the New Testament, which Mr. McLaren claims he’s based his assertions on, we see that the Kingdom of heaven is inaugurated, NOT by His church, or through the actions and plans of Christians, or by a global religious movement, but by the LORD Christ Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:30-31; Mark 8:38; Luke 18:8; 2 Thess. 1:7-10.
The apostle Paul likewise declared where our affections must reside:
Col 3:1-4If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
And also –
(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
In both portions of scripture posted above the words “affection” and “mind” respectively comes from the Greek word phroneo and it means, “to exercise the mind, i.e. entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensely to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience).
Phroneo “to be minded in a certain way”; “to think . . . to set the mind on, implying moral interest and reflection, to regard, to think to be minded in a certain way, rendered as a verb it means ‘to mind’ as in Romans 8:5: “they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh”. Romans 15:5: “to be like minded” 1 Cor. 13:11: “be of one mind” and those who mind earthly things as in the above passage in Philippians, and who set their affections as in Colossians cited above.
Christians are contrasted with the world as having their minds on heaven, and the kingdom which Christ Himself shall inaugurate, rather than the world who mind earthly things; yet the Emergent Church admonishes Christians contrary to scripture, and one must therefore ask oneself:
”Whom will I serve? If the LORD is GOD, then I will serve Him . . .” Otherwise we are serving ourselves, possibly others (but certainly not God!), which is a worldly philosophy that we as followers of Christ Jesus must shun:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Back to Greg’s criteria for Emergent traits:
- Scriptures are being watered down and presented as “our shared stories”. Scripture study is being replaced with power-point references on Sunday, and sensual, flesh-pleasing experiences, music and activities are being promoted as the key to experiencing God.
- A growing trend towards ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace, eradicating hunger, curing AIDS, etc. The Emergent Church is a social and political movement rather than a genuine spiritual move of God. [ECM wants to portray itself as a new ‘Jesus Movement’ like that of the late 60s and early 70s, but while the Jesus Movement was born of the Spirit of God, the ECM is born of the spirit of humanism].
- The church will begin to find that unity around the Lausanne Covenant which just recently presented the Holistic Gospel of Christ” which emphasizes the “redemption of cultures” not people.
I retrieved from Greg Reid’s footnotes this web site article from Crossroad Ministries regarding Lausanne Covenant and involvement from an organization known as Evangelical Christian Ministries to New Religionists or EMNR:
In 1982, EMNR was formed to become "a consortium of Christians in North America, seeking to help people distinguish authentic from in-authentic Christianity and strengthen evangelical Christian ministries to new religionists and cultists."
Dr. Walter Martin was a founding member of Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR). The organization was formed as a think tank for apologists, with a focus on reaching people involved in cults. The EMNR web site claims to adhere to the same purpose today, as they are recruiting new ministries and apologists for membership.
However E.M.N.R. has allied itself with the Lausanne Covenant, which had adulterated E.M.N.R.’s original purpose, as you can read below:EMNR has a page on its web site for the Lausanne Covenant.
What is the Lausanne Covenant?
Lausanne was drafted as a plan for globalization.
“…The holistic gospel of Christ shall bring about renewal of individual life, church, society, as well as a throughout cultural renewal. Ultimately, the gospel will be spread unto the ends of the earth, leading to the restoration of all nations…”
To read more about this 'holistic gospel' read the following:
Holistic Gospel in the Lausanne Covenant
For more on globalization (Please note that while the following link brings you to an article extensive in length, its important that we as Christians understand what's being done to manipulate our thinking and belief system contrary to what the scriptures instruct us.):
The Plan That Is Globalization
"Considering Jesus' words that few would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and that we are destined for tribulation from the world system because it hates Him, where in His Word do we find the "whole task" of solving the world's problems? On the contrary, Jesus said that the poor would always be with us (Matthew 26:11).
"Does this mean that we should turn away from those in true need? Of course not. But while we may help individuals in need, we have not received a mandate to eradicate poverty from the earth, any more than we have received a mandate to solve the problem of overpopulation or the proliferation of nuclear weapons. These are personal agendas being foisted upon the Church as a whole by social activists. They are not part of the Great Commission.
"There are enough causes to go around many times over. To require socio-political action as a mandate is to steer the Church in a direction not intended by Christ. So pervasive has the Lausanne Covenant become among the vast majority of Evangelical churches that a Christianity Today article has stated, 'The unifying question has quickly become: 'Do you subscribe to the Lausanne Covenant?"
Our question is, "Are we to be united in Christ, or united in the Lausanne Covenant that forms the basis for the World Christian Movement?"
Directly quoted from: Al Dager's Article on Lausanne and Emergent Philosophy
“Evangelical Ministries to New Religions adheres to the doctrinal standards and practices as set forth in the Lausanne Covenant”
What the Lausanne Covenant Says
To read this article in its entirety, please follow this link (the three links above were derived from this article):
EMNR-Keeping the Cults Comfortable
Back to Trojan Church by Greg Reid:
Many of the terms used by New Age proponents are likewise being used by those at the forefront of Emergent Church teachings – such terms and phrases like:
“Actualize, actualization, aligning, alignment, at-one-ment, be still, center, centering, change agent, (the) Christ spirit, Christ consciousness, [also Christ-follower], coach, common ground, consciousness shift, contemplative, convergence, consensus (building), deconstruction, destiny, dialogue, diversity, (the) divine within, doomsday preaching, doomsday theology, enlightenment, evolutionary shift, getting centered, global shift, God is in all (pantheism), guided visualization, new reformation, paradigm, Planetary Pentecost, quantum leap/shift, re-imagining, self realization/actualization, unity in diversity, universal reality, vision casting/quest.” P. 34
Note: Because speakers and leaders may use one or more of these phrases doesn’t mean of course they are endorsing Emergent/New Age theology and philosophy, but if used in conjunction with other phrases on a consistent basis, it could implicate the harboring of such views on the part of such leaders and speakers, and they should be questioned about such word usage and, or beliefs in a spirit of humility and a love for the truth.
The following quotes are all made by various leaders and writers that I’m not identifying immediately: read each of the four quotes carefully; I will explain why I want you to examine them with such care afterwards:
“In your wholeness all of you will heal the world and make it ready to participate in the building of the New Jerusalem.” 1
“We can reorient our great social and scientific capacities in alignment with Christ consciousness to transform this Earth from a place of pain and sorrow to a Kingdom of Heaven.” 2
“It is time that the church woke up to its true mission, which is to materialize the Kingdom of God on earth, today, here and now . . . People are no longer interested in a possibly heavenly state or probable hell. They need to learn that the kingdom is here, and must express itself on earth . . . The way into that Kingdom is the way that Christ trod. It involves the sacrifice of the personal self for the good of the world, and the service of humanity.” 3
“. . . a new world order was possible and coming. The prophets used many images to convey this new world order. They spoke of new heavens, a new earth and a new heart. A new day is coming – a new earth, a new world order, [and] a new realm – in short, a new kingdom.” 4 P. 111,112
Which of the above were written by Christian authors? New Age authors? Any Emergent Church Movement authors?
To answer, none were written by Christians. Quotes 1, 2 and 3 were written by the New Age/Theosophical writers Barbara Marx Hubbard (1,2) and Alice Bailey* (3); quote 4 was written by a man who claims to be a Christian or as he prefers it, ‘a Christ follower’ but is in fact an Emergent Church leader, Brian McLaren. Can you detect any fundamental difference between his sentiment and the others?
*We haven't yet, however, examined the occult teachings of Bailey as they were related by her Master Djwhal Khul (a spiritual ‘ascended master’ which the Bible calls ‘fallen angel’ or perhaps ‘demon’). Her 24 books, combined with the Beacon magazine, Triangles, and the Arcane School indoctrinate students into what Bailey describes as the "Ageless Wisdom" teachings. The Arcane School, founded in 1922, boasted 20,000 graduates by 1954. This occult university is more active than ever and continues to be the main training ground for New Age disciples.
The bulk of these occult teachings, in Bailey's books, are from her channeled Tibetan master Djwhal Khul (DK); the "Plan" according to the Hierarchy of Ascended Masters. Through a series of group-initiations and group-meditative techniques the Hierarchy directs the "New Group of World Servers" to implement a "New World Religion" of which humanity as a whole can aid the "will of the planetary logos".
"Emphasis should be laid on the evolution of humanity," so says Master DK through Bailey, "with particular attention to its goal, perfection. (THE EXTERNALIZATION OF THE HIERARCHY, p. 588)" The objective is "the helping of the Great Ones and the rendering to Them of that intelligent assistance which will make Their plans for humanity materialize." (Ibid., p. 516)
Here is a youtube presentation about another Emergent leader, Rob Bell and his views regarding heaven, hell and the world now in which we live (the first 3 minutes of this clip). Note that he also endorses the idea that as Christians we are to bring “heaven to Earth” and that heaven is not a reality in its own right, a place believers in Jesus will one day go to:
Rob Rings the Bell of Emergenct Dogma
Here are some other quotes by New Agers and Emergent Leaders:
“Christ-consciousness and Christ-abilities are the natural inheritance of every human being on Earth. When the word of this hope has reached the nations, the end of this phase of evolution shall come. All will know their choice. All will be required to choose . . . All who choose not to evolve will die off.” Barbara Marx Hubbard, from Happy Birth Day, Planet Earth.
“. . . I’m saying some people [from your church] are going to have to die or leave. Moses had to wander around the desert for 40 years while God killed off a million people before he let them go into the Promised Land. That may be brutally blunt, but it’s true. There may be people in your church who love God sincerely, but who will never, ever change.” Rick Warren, from Pastors.com
“Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die. Some would rather die than change.” Leonard Sweet, Emergent Church leader from Soul Tsunami, Pp. 17, 75
“Evolve or die.” Eckhart Tolle, New Age writer, from A New Earth, Pp. 21-22
What Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren are all proposing is a kind of Christian Socialism, that is, the church’s primary function is to feed the poor, clean up the environment, work to comfort or cure those with diseases and a host of other earthly projects to make ‘heaven on earth’.
NOT SO! The church’s primary function is to preach the Gospel to every one in this world, to seek out the lost and invite them into God’s kingdom by means of salvation through Jesus Christ. All other concerns, while they are important and perhaps worthy of some of our time are entirely secondary because they only have temporary benefits, and provide no eternal salvation from sin, death and hell.
Yet Rick Warren and his cohorts and colleagues are determined to re-shape the nature of the church into this Socialist mind set. For proof, review this article found here:
Trading Truth For A "Social Gospel"
Here are some excerpts you might find interesting from the above site:
“Infiltration and deception have been tools of conspirators through the ages, and the Church has been a primary target! After all, God warns us that "the whole world is under the sway of the evil one." (1 John 5:19) One of his most effective schemes is to redefine God's Word and divert Christians from His unchanging Truth to man's shifting ideals.
“For example, God calls us to serve the poor and fills our hearts with love for the needy. That's why His true followers around the world have willingly given their lives to share His truth and love in perilous places. But today's world-centered church illustrates a different kind of service. Designed to please man rather than God, it trains its servers to hide the "offensive" truths of the gospel.”
“Like Rick Warren, it uses the Bible to validate its purposes but emphasizes organizational behavior rather than Biblical beliefs -- in short, deeds instead of creeds. Behind its noble appearance hides a postmodern version of the century-old "Christian Socialism."
“Called ‘Father of the Social Gospel,’ Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918), grew up in a German Lutheran immigrant family in New York. He studied theology at the University of Rochester, one of hundreds of educational and "Christian" institutions funded by John D. Rockefeller. After pastoring a Baptist Church among poor immigrants in New York City for a few years, he joined the faculty at Rochester Theological Seminary -- also funded by Rockefeller. In 1902 he became its Professor of Church History.”
“From this prominent platform, he wrote books such as ‘Christianizing the Social Order’ and ‘A Theology for the Social Gospel.’ Steeped in "higher criticism" and socialist ideology, he taught what many considered a more relevant and compassionate gospel. As a result, he "changed both the emphases and the direction of American Protestantism."
“Rauschenbusch introduced Jesus "not as one who would come to save sinners from their sins but as one who had a 'social passion' for society." He and his comrades established the "Brotherhood of the Kingdom," which unified like-minded church leaders under a common socialist quest for an earthly "Kingdom of God."
“Popular church leaders use the same strategy today! Pastor Brian McLaren's recent book, The Secret Message of Jesus, twists God's Word into an endorsement of an earthly, interfaith Kingdom. Likewise, Tony Campolo's hope of earthly perfection mocks the Biblical promise of eternal life:
"The gospel is not about... pie-in-the-sky when they die.... It is imperative that the up and coming generation recognize that the biblical Jesus was committed to the realization of a new social order in this world.... Becoming a Christian, therefore, is a call to social action."
“In 1907, Rauschenbusch met with the leaders of Fabian socialism in England, Sidney Webb and Beatrice Potter Webb. Unlike impatient Marxist revolutionaries, the methodical Fabians emphasized peaceful transformation through propaganda and infiltration of universities, seminaries and churches.”
Such ideals and objectives early in the 20th century would have been well met by Emergent Church proponents in these early years of the 21st century, and indeed, I believe the roots of this present day movement were in fact those days of Rauschenbusch and his associates!
The days of the apostasy of the church have arrived already; it’s not something yet future! It began as early as the days of Paul and John, two apostles who confronted heretics with the Word, and it’s grown exponentially into the monstrous Mother of Harlots that it is today. She’s only going to get stronger and more belligerent as time marches on, and things are going to get far worse, especially once the chaste bride of Christ is taken out of this world to join her LORD in heaven.
Once that Holy Hindrance is removed, it will certainly be a kind of ‘hell on earth’. How much of this tribulation (NOT in reference to Daniel’s 70th week, i.e. the Great Tribulation) we the saints of God will have to endure remains to be seen.
As Greg says regarding our current situation:
"We are entering into a time when Christianity is being completely redefined according to culture and personal preferences. The lines between the Way that Jesus truly gave us and the many other ‘ways to God’ are becoming so vague as to leave an entire generation swimming in a sea of doubt and spiritual insecurity, doing a lot of nice things and hoping somehow it is enough.
“It breaks my heart. This is the hour when we need to lift up the banner of truth that can give a kind of spiritual backbone and bravery to a generation that has suffered from two previous generations of spiritual recklessness, laziness, excess and ‘easy believe-ism’ that has led them to know there is more – but turning to leaders who are as lost as they are and coming out with a confused mix of philosophy and theology that has neither certainty or backbone. We need to lift up the certain WORD OF TRUTH (emphasis mine) that is plainly outlined in God’s Word.” P. 57
This concludes this article, but not the realization of this movement (which has yet to be seen in all of its potency in our every day life, both socially and spiritually), yet it is coming nonetheless. The questions we must ask ourselves are: Are we adequately forewarned of these dangers, and are we spiritually equipped and ready to take on these not-too-future challenges in a way that is honoring to our LORD Jesus Christ?
You can only answer those questions for yourself.
May the LORD bless and encourage you in His Love and Light in these days of growing darkness.
Posted by A.M. Kisly at 3:09 PM