"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

The MOTHER of HARLOTS EMERGES – Part Three


The MOTHER of HARLOTS EMERGES – Part Three

~~ By James Fire

We now pick up where we left off from Part Two of the article, The MOTHER of HARLOTS EMERGES . . .

Where we left off previously Roger Oakland was dealing with the subject of the mystical fathers of the Catholic church and the credence given to such authorities, versus the authority of scripture alone.

Roger Oakland documents many cases in which those who were formerly Protestant, had since become Roman Catholic after reading and studying from the church fathers and mystics – Catholics all.

As he himself stated in regards to the so-called wisdom of these men:

“We know that God’s Word is light. When we replace the Word of God with the words of man, which are considered to bring enlightenment, we have a perfect formula for returning to darkness. The early mystics added ideas to Christianity that cannot be found in the Bible—a recipe for spiritual detriment. Pg. 79

See Jude :4

-The PERGAMOS PARADOX

In February of 2008 Christianity Today released a story titled The Future Lies in the Past by Chris Armstrong, and declared the Ancient Future Church is now a reality, and that “evangelicals are looking back in order to move forward”. This event occurred at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, and had people filling the Barrows Auditorium, singing of the “mystic communion with those whose rest is won”. One of the participants “gleefully passed on the news that Liberty University had observed the liturgical season of Lent”


D. H. Williams of Baylor University said, “Who would have thought, a decade ago, that one of the most vibrant and serious fields of Christian study at the beginning of the 21st century would be the ancient church fathers?” Pg. 97

The birth of this “ancient-future movement” is accredited to Richard Foster who introduced such practices as ‘contemplative prayer’ and ‘spiritual formation’ to the church and since young evangelicals are looking for a renewed encounter with God, their course of action is as follows:

“Stop endlessly debating and advertising Christianity and just embody it . . . embrace symbols and sacraments. Dialogue with the “other two” historic confessions: Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Recognize that the church’s future is through its past. Break out the candles and incense. Pray using the lectio divina (a form of contemplative prayer). Tap into all the riches of Christian tradition you can find.” Pg. 98

-from Christianity Today, Feb. 2008; online edition-

The Future Lies in the Past

Such practices as ‘contemplative prayer’ and ‘spiritual formation’ are alien to most of us who are biblical Christians, and it would be useful to understand what precisely these practices entail. The following is provided for the consideration of any who wants to know, in detail, these concepts.

What Is Contemplative Prayer?

Due to the exhaustive length of the above article, let me say that, bottom line, contemplative and centering prayer, and spiritual formation are disciplines that are basically Hindu and Buddhist in concept and practice. These same practices were engaged by so-called early church fathers and mystics under different terms, but by the same techniques and with the same effects.

-MYSTICAL vs. METHODICAL MEDITATION

The idea of meditation is found both in Christian and Easter religions, but there is a fundamental difference between the two.

In Eastern meditation, the participant empties their minds, typically by focusing on something to ‘blank out’ the mind of distractive thoughts such as a mantra (a Sanskrit word of a Hindu deity, chanted over and over again) or gazing into a symbol, candle flame, etc. Once the mind is effectively ‘blanked out’ one is then receptive to whatever influence may impress itself upon the participant, such as various gods, spirits, angels, etc.

According to Dave Hunt, an expert on occult teachings, religions, and cultic practices, this is the fastest and easiest way for a person to become demon possessed! Certainly this is not a practice for Christians to participate in (this writer does not endorse the idea of demon possession of born again Christians sealed with the Holy Spirit, however if a Christian is involved in occultic practices of any kind, whether meditation, horoscopes, ouija boards, etc. its entirely possible, and likely that they will suffer demonic oppression, that is, evil influences of Satan’s agencies acting on them externally)!

The idea of biblical meditation is not at all to empty one’s mind, but rather the opposite: to fill it with the Word of God. Rather than creating a passive state of mind, the mind of the saint is in an active state of thinking on, pondering, studying and prayerfully seeking God’s revelation of truth. The Hebrew word for “meditate” means “to chew the cud” which any rancher will tell you, involves a process that cattle engage in, the means to repeatedly chew, swallow, regurgitate, and re-chew and re-swallow into a four chambered stomach. This process continues until each chamber digests and breaks down the food thoroughly.

This is the method of biblical meditation, which, as you can see is practically antithetical to the Eastern brand.

Such men that endorse ‘ascetic practices’ as contemplative spirituality are Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Brennan Manning, Tony Campollo, Father Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, Ruth Haley Barton and others.

In all the comments re: eastern style meditation I have found none more honest and alarming, even appalling than the following by this man:

Thomas Keating, Roman Catholic priest has stated in his book, Finding Grace at the Center, pages 5-6:

“We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age old wisdom of the East and capture it for Christ. Indeed those of us in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible . . . many Christians who take their prayer lives seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM, and similar practices.”

This is a blatant acknowledgement of the whoredoms committed by those supposedly Christian, but who endorse pagan practices and occult techniques that should rightly be vehemently shunned by every disciple of Christ Jesus and a lover of His Word!!!

Richard Foster has stated that “we are entering into a spiritual realm” where there are spiritual beings and that a prayer of protection should be said beforehand—something to the effect of ‘All dark and evil spirits must now leave.’

I wonder why our LORD Jesus Himself didn’t address this subject when His disciples came to Him and asked Him to teach them to pray. In addition to showing them the manner in which they were to pray to the Father, He should have told them that they are entering a spiritual realm and before one ventures therein, a prayer of protection should be uttered.

Some might claim that the LORD did that very thing, when He said “and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” But in context, our LORD was encouraging us to pray to the Father for protection against temptations to sin, and for the snare of the devil in trapping us in such, not in protecting us from spiritual attacks.

-ECM LEADERS WHO ARE KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES’

Tony Jones, another big name in the Emergent Church Movement chronicles his journeys, both physical and spiritual in his book, The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life.

He grew up in a traditional Midwestern church-going family, but became disillusioned and so took a three month sabbatical, going to Europe where he visited a prayer center for young people known as The Reader Boiler Room; an always-open prayer vigil that referred to itself as a “Generation X monastery”. Jones traveled to Dublin, Ireland where he met with Catholic priest Alan McGuckian, and the staff at the Jesuit Communication Center.

I find this particularly provocative, as the Jesuit order has traditionally been known as an Order developed by the Popes to corral rebellious Catholics, Protestants, and infidels into the Roman Church. Could Alan McGuckian and his brethren been instrumental in leading and persuading Tony Jones into their ‘more perfect way’ of spirituality? Could they have in fact recruited him to promote such practices as would mirror those as found in the Roman Catholic Church? Whether that is the case or not, Mr. Jones is in fact an Emergent Church leader that promotes and demotes the same sort of beliefs, dogmas and doctrines that the RCC does.

He spent time in a contemplative ecumenical community in southern France and read “voraciously” books by such church fathers/mystics as already mentioned in this article. He also spent time in the Red Mountains, Utah, hiking with a shaman (a Native American Indian in this case, who practiced occult techniques and altered states of consciousness). Pgs.104-105

-from Relevant Magazine- “24-7 Prayer” by Anne McCarthy for background on The Reader Boiler Room.

See also-

What Is The Reader Boiler Room All About?

“In Doug Pagitt’s 2003 book Church Re-imagined, he describes his initial attraction to rituals associated with the Eucharist:

The first day of Lent this year brought the first Ash Wednesday gathering in our church’s history and in mine . . . Until this point, Ash Wednesday had not been part of my Christian faith experience. Not only had I never applied ashes to anyone’s forehead, but I had also never had them applied to mine. After this experience I wondered how I could have celebrated 19 Easters as a Christian without this tremendous experience.” Pg. 134
-from Doug Pagitt’s book Church Re-imagined, p. 103

Scot McKnight is an emergent church leader; Professor of Religious Studies at North Park University and on the Coordinating Group for Emergent Village and states that he “happily considers [him]self part of this movement . . . what emerging Christians bring to the table is vital to the overall health of the church.”


McKnight endorses the Eucharist as he comments on its function at an Anglican service and says, “The Eucharist profoundly enables the grace of God to be received with all its glories and blessings”.
-from Turning to Jesus, by Scot McKnight (Louisville, KY; Westminister John Knox Press, 2002 ed.) p. 7

“He is a popular speaker at many events including Willow Creek’s Small Group Conference and the National Pastors Convention.

Comments made by other Emergent Church leaders –

Rick Warren’s address before the 2005 UN Interfaith Prayer Breakfast:

“I’m not talking about religion this morning. You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist, or Muslim or Mormon, or Jewish, or you may have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion.”

Donald Miller, in his book Blue Like Jazz:

“For me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained.”

Erwin McManus, in his book The Barbarian Way:

“They [Barbarians] see Christianity as a world religion, in many ways no different than any other religious system. Whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam or Christianity, they’re not about religion; they’re about advancing the revolution Jesus started two thousand years ago.”

“The Charisma article, in which Watchmen’s Trumpet reports elaborates: ‘Messianic Muslims’ who continue to read the Koran, visit the Mosque and say their daily prayers but accept Christ as their Savior, are the products of the strategy, which is being tried in several countries, according to Youth With a Mission (YWAM), one of the organizations involved.” Andy Butcher, “Radical Missionary Approach Produces ‘Messianic Muslims’ Retaining Islamic Identity (Charisma News Service, March 24, 2000

While the missionaries intention in this strategy may very well be commendable in his endeavor to reach Muslims for Christ Jesus, it should certainly send up ‘red flags’ as to a breach in the Gospel message to leave behind the ‘old man’ and its unregenerate life, and embrace the ‘new man’ created in Christ Jesus unto righteousness; it’s indicative of the same sort of mentality promoted by ECM leaders to amalgamate religions into a globally unified whole.

Messianic Muslims?

This concludes this treatment of Faith Undone and how its author reveals, among other things, how the Roman Catholic Church and Evangelical Christians are finding common ground (on heresies) as promoted by the Emergent Church Movement.

Yet we are far from done in concluding this article! In on going segments we are going to glean from Dr. Greg Reid’s book Trojan Church, and see how the Emergent Church and New Age movements are virtually identical in much of their beliefs, practices, statements and goals.

-LAMENTATIONS OVER LAODICEAN LETTERS

For now I would like to direct you to some letters and responses sent to Eric Barger from Eric Barger's TAKE A STAND Ministries

Here are personal accounts of Christians who are coming face to face with Emergent doctrines that are infesting their own churches (emails used by permission by Eric Barger):


Emergent Nazarenes

Eric,

(I am) Desperately fighting the Emergent issue in xxxxxxxx, Ohio, Nazarene Church. Seemingly I am the only one who thinks anything is going on. I have confronted my pastor, talked to the gal who is his "right hand" and no one thinks anything is wrong. I haven't talked to anyone else really in the church except a couple of girlfriends when I decided I was going to leave, but then God said "no" so I didn't. It’s really hard and not getting fed. What do I do? I feel like I'm to FIGHT, like Nehemiah, also like Deborah, but I don't have any resources or knowledge here AT ALL!!! The Lord is enough, but if you have any insight, it'd help greatly. I serve our women, though not officially -stepped down due to statement by our pastor. Told him I felt "unprotected" and he said his job is "to provide fertile ground". I feel like there is "another spirit" at work and I've done tons of research but really feel alone. Any thoughts?
I so appreciate your work in this area, I do understand the persecution and the "alienation". My husband isn't saved yet, so that requires me even more to rely on God!
I'm in full time ministry, unpaid, so I can't support you that way, but I will certainly pray for you. Thanks and keep fighting the good fight. Heb. 12:1-2 Run well, finish well! Thanks!!
~Wendy (Ohio)


Eric's Note: We sent Wendy a set of two DVDs, two CDs and a package of "How to Spot the Emergent Church" brochures to help her warn and minister to those in her church and community.

--------------------------------------

Rob Bell "Nooma" DVDs and other heresies...

Eric -

We have just found out that one of our youth pastor's favorite authors is Rob Bell. Ahhhh! We are going to confront this issue and have researched your site and others. Do you have any suggestions for hard-hitting information that we can share with our youth pastor? We also found out that Rob Bell endorses Kabbalist, Lawrence Kushner. However, we have been unable to find any hard evidence that we could pass on.

Thanks for any info. Keep up the good fight.

(Name withheld by request)

Eric's Note: I sent several resources and quotes from Bell detailing how far outside orthodox Christianity his views, teaching and recommendations are.
--------------------------------------

More "Nooma" Deception

I am just learning about the emerging church movement. My church has started to show the Nooma videos and use some of the names you have mentioned. I have 3 sons in a Christian college close to home and found out just a few days ago that the Nooma videos are huge on campus and in fact some of the names mentioned in your article have been speakers there.

I am very overwhelmed by everything. I watch people in church and EVERYONE seems to be accepting everything.... giving testimonies how everything being taught is making them grow so strong and there are so many very strong Christians in our church. The pastor makes comments that if anyone is not on board with all--- then we are the ones that are in denial and so-forth. I am confused...not about what is truth but how can I be the only one in a church that can see the untruths in it all, and how do I tell my 19, 20. year old sons that the university is teaching a false gospel. It is like "mom is crazy" or something. I will be searching more and studying more on this.

Sincerely,
Name withheld

Eric's Answers:

Kelly,
I can't tell you just how many letters like yours I am receiving each month. It is stunning.

We are watching a complete redefinition of biblical, historic Christianity take place. People are acting like lambs on the way to slaughter - which is
just about the best way to describe it.

I am attaching to this email a simple 2 sided 8.5x11 tri-fold pamphlet called "How to spot the Emergent Church"

Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Tony Jones and other Emergents fit perfectly the biblical description of a false prophet. It is our obligation to warn people. This is EXACTLY as Paul warned Timothy it would be in the end days. We can expect people to laugh, ridicule and reject us for standing by the Bible, but we MUST warn them.

God bless you...Psalm 37:23 to you.

Eric

Eric's note: I have documented Rob Bell and the "Nooma" series in writing and also in the DVD "The Errors of the Emergent Church." Rob Bell preaches against repentance, endorses books written by Mayan Buddhists (such New Age guru Ken Wilbur), and insists that one of the main problems with Christianity is that so many Christians hold to what he believes to be the antiquated idea that the Bible alone is enough to guide us! Run from Rob Bell and warn everyone you know to do the same.


-LAST WORDS FROM HUNT’s VIDEO’S

Here are a couple of youtube videos with Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon regarding the question: Why is the Emergent Church Movement so attractive, especially to young evangelicals?

What's the Attraction About Emergent Churches?

And here is a related video that asks the question: Why are biblical Christians so intolerant? This is a crucial issue, as many see those who warn about the ECM as being unloving, divisive, negative and harmful to the church and her unity. Dave and Tom address this question quite capably.

Why Are Christians So Intolerant?

May the LORD Jesus bless all of us who love the Truth, and remain faithful to His Word both in doctrine and in deed by expressing His Love and Grace to one and all.

Nikaeo Aionios A.V.R.A.S.!

Brother James Fire

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