Posted in discernment, false teacher, jesus, prophecy, rick warren

SBC pastor Rick Warren to co-preach with archbishop at Catholic convention in advance of Pope visit

Rick Warren has been chosen to co-preach a keynote speech along with Cardinal Sean O’Malley at Pope Francis’ World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this September 2015. [HT Pulpit & Pen]. Every three years the Pope holds this conference in a different city and every three years it has a different theme. This year’s theme is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

Mary Beth Yount is director of content and programming for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. She wrote extensively in ‘Catholic Philly’ of the selection process, the organization of the program, and the background of the Meeting:

The first step is the preparatory catechesis, the foundation on which a World Meeting of Families rests. The host diocese for each World Meeting writes a preparatory catechism that guides the proceedings. It contains a collection of Catholic teachings about the purpose of human life, marriage and the family, and addresses all stages of life.

The criteria for Warren and the others being chosen to speak at this eagerly anticipated, august global Catholic event were:

“We wanted speakers who were engaging and who could offer practical takeaways on how to help change lives,” Yount said.

Because being winsome and teaching practical life skills is what the Gospel is all about.

In addition to the event being an opportunity to preach, promote and affirm Catholic teachings, the speakers and organizers seek intercessory prayer from the august duo of intermediaries in heaven-and if you said Jesus and the Holy Spirit, you would be wrong – it’s Mary and Joseph.

We look forward to gathering with people from around the world in Philadelphia. As we prepare for this event, we particularly ask the intercessory prayers of Mary and Joseph, parents of the Holy Family and patrons of all families. (Source)

This is the environment in which Warren is co-preaching.

Ten years ago a question arose as to whether Warren was distancing himself from the Southern Baptist Convention. At that time, Warren firmly maintained he is Southern Baptist Convention aligned. He said,

“I’m Southern Baptist, our church is Southern Baptist, and we cooperate in SBC missions support at every level both in the United States and with our IMB [International Mission Board] missionaries around the world,” Warren told Baptist Press. 

In the ensuing decade Warren has obviously become apostate. I will refrain from enumerating his many questionable statements, partnerships, and activities besides the ones listed in this essay, but suffice to say they are evidence of an unfruitful Christian life. Sadly as of this writing the Southern Baptist Convention remains in friendly cooperation with Warren and his church at Saddleback. Yet the bible says:

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1:9-11)

Last year Warren was keynote for the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference,
the largest Protestant denomination in the world.

This year, keynote for the Catholic denomination, the largest apostate denomination on the world.

Rick Warren is busy.

His bio according to the Catholic Organizers of World Meeting of Families, includes of course being

pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, the author of The Purpose Driven Life and 10 other books. He is also founder of the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan (Promote reconciliation, Equip leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation). He established the Purpose Driven Network of Churches, and has trained over 400,000 priests and pastors in 197 countries. [emphasis mine]

The title of the Keynote the duo will deliver is absolutely hypocritically ironic and devastating. Far from being the Gospel of Life, their Gospel is the Gospel of Death. What we should be saying to those captured by satan’s snare in false religion is:

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, [whore Babylon religion] my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:4-5).

Warren is not evangelizing the Catholics and calling for them to depart from their dark schema. Warren says the Pope is “our new pope”, is “doing everything right”. He said he enjoyed a recent headline in the Orange County newspaper, “If you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus”, so much that he “saved it to show to a group of priests I was speaking to a while back…”

John MacArthur said,

Reclassifying the Pope, reclassifying Roman Catholics as believers isn’t that simple. It has massive implications. It has implications that literally overturn centuries of missionary effort. It has massive implications that overturn centuries, if not millennia, of martyrdom. In the long war on the truth, the most formidable, relentless and deceptive enemy has been Roman Catholicism. It is an apostate, corrupt, heretical, false Christianity. It is a front for the kingdom of Satan. The true church of the Lord Jesus Christ has always understood this. And even through the Dark Ages, from 400 to 1500, prior to the Reformation, genuine Christian believers set themselves apart from that system and were brutally punished and executed for their rejection of that system. (source)

The Catholic Church is a false church and teaches false things. From Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry, here is A list of false teachings in the Roman Catholic Church

source

It must be stated and re-stated that the Catholic Church is false and those people believing in its teachings are lost and under God’s wrath. It must be stated that “pastors” and others joining with them are perpetuating a gospel-less partnership in which the need to evangelize Catholics is forsaken for the plaudits of men and social works that are as filthy rags to Jesus.

It is important to recognize this because depending on your view of Catholics it changes everything. John MacArthur said that ten years ago, a document called “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” came out and many pastors and professors were signing it. That document stated that Catholics and Protestants celebrated a common faith and a common mission, it said we need to embrace each other and carry out this gospel mission together.

MacArthur said that a great many of the pastors got together and had a discussion, sometimes heated, as to what impact this document would have and whether pastors should sign it. MacArthur was on the ‘No’ side, along with RC Sproul and Michael Horton. He said they discussed things like:

Are they saved because they “believe in Jesus?” It was a very heated discussion at many points. What was at stake? I’ll tell you what was at stake. What was at stake is whether or not we evangelize Roman Catholics. That’s what’s at stake. One billion of them in the world, are they a mission field or are they our co-laborers for Christ? That changes everything. Everything.

When I read things like Rick Warren, a supposed evangelical pastor in good standing with my denomination, partnering with Catholic Archbishops under the umbrella of Catholic dogma and Catholic Catechism to promote and affirm it, I alternately become sick, angry, and heartbroken. Because 1 billion lives are at stake. One billion-plus souls which are in bondage to a works-legalistic scheme of a false religion that is as dung to Christ and will arrive in hell the second they die. And Warren preaches “love” – yet his hate is the most obvious and virulent of all the false pastors out there, because it is more subtle than Osteen and more insidious than Hinn.

The lesson is several-fold, my friends.

1. Prophecy: It is prophesied that in the last of the last days falsity would rise and apostasy would grow.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

2. Discernment: Be warned, stay away from the teachings of the false teachers, lest you be dragged in also.  Shun evildoers.

…if he refuses even to listen to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:17).

3. Encouragement: If you detect and understand that the Catholic Church is false, that Rick Warren is apostate, and the SBC is a dangerous compromiser, then praise our Spirit for delivering this wisdom to you.

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)

Posted in james white, jesus, Judaizers, rick warren

James White on Rick Warren’s capitulation to Rome part 2

Here is a great follow up to James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries’ concern over Rick Warren’s capitulation to Rome part 1. He examines the Judaizers of Galatians and shows that even a minute change in the Gospel of Christ is a total abandonment of that Gospel. The strongest language in the New Testament is spoken against those who pervert the Gospel. Compared to much of today’s professing Christianity, the Judaizers look extremely conservative and even almost orthodox, and yet Rome makes the Judaizers look like amateurs in perverting Christ’s Gospel.

The video is 14 minutes and White also has good words for how to comment on the situation (hint: not angrily nor arrogantly) and he also expresses a biblical stance on why we should be concerned when we do speak up over these matters.

A commenter on the first video kindly posted this link to this follow up. Thank you.

Posted in catholicism, christ, Judaizers, pope, pragmatism, rick warren

James White: "Rick Warren’s Capitulation to Rome"

Alpha and Omega Ministries: November 30, 2014
Video Response to Rick Warren’s Capitulation to Rome
By James White

[Ed. Note: White has since put up a part 2 and it can be viewed here. It is excellent!)

As synopsized on the Youtube channel, it states of the 12-minute video,

Rick Warren has been used in a Roman Catholic promotional video to white-wash the fundamental differences between Christianity and Romanism. Here is a brief response, shot in Irpin, Ukraine, challenging Warren’s capitulation to Rome’s claims

Warren

In the video James White explains that Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, had gone to Rome to meet with the pope and other men from different faiths, to discuss their ‘commonalities’. I believe it was the conference on marriage to which the Southern Baptist Convention’s Dr Russell Moore (among others) was also invited.

White goes on to explain how the things Warren said are not biblical, though they sound as though they could be. Other things Warren said are simply Catholic Dogma, as Warren briefly becomes an apologist for Catholic doctrine.

White is generous in his hope that it was only a temporary ignorance of the dogmas of Rome that allowed Warren to say the things he did, which White unpacks against the pure light of the Gospel. I thought that the last statement White made in the video was powerful- and necessary.

I found myself asking the obvious unasked question, if Warren was ignorant, then he should not be mature pastor of a church expounding the word, nor should he represent the Gospel on behalf of millions of evangelicals. In my opinion Warren is a pragmatist who sets aside the Gospel because he is going the Way of Balaam.

Our precious Christ’s Gospel must remain unadulterated, and on center stage, not marginalized in a pointless search for commonalities. If we do not share a belief in and knowledge of this same Jesus and His saving Gospel, we share nothing in common. All else is dung. He is too beautiful, too wonderful and too powerful to treat His words with anything less than reverence and earnest exactitude as it has been delivered.

Here is the video.

Posted in bible, direct revelation, hearing God, listening to the Lord, rick warren

"Learn How To Recognize God’s Voice with Rick Warren"

The video below is one hour nine minutes long, but you only need to listen to the first 30 seconds to see that it is a farce.

HT No Compromise Radio

Here is a transcript of the first 30 seconds. Below the video I’ll show how and why this just isn’t biblical, and worse, instills fear. The wrong kind of fear.

Last week we began an new mini-series in understanding how to hear the voice of God. Very few things are more important than this, because you can’t have a relationship with God if you can’t hear God. If all you do is ever talk to Him in prayer, and you never hear God speak to you, that’s a one-way relationship. That isn’t much of a relationship. God wants to speak to you.

We go to the most obvious bible verse, Hebrews 1:1-2, which says,

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

W.P. Zubar w/eartrumpet Library of Congress

God spoke to us through His Son, who is the Word. He Spirit-energized writers to put to paper the things His Son said. That word was finalized with the completion of Revelation, and to seal the final word, the final speaking of God at this point in time, Revelation 22:18-19 states,

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

God spoke through His Son.

Now, the Spirit does illuminate the Word to us, making it clear and understandable. But the Spirit is not saying new things. He is simply testifying of Christ, when He points us to His word and illuminates it for us. Here is an essay on illumination. For example, the essay states,

Psalm 119, which is the longest chapter in the Bible, is a song about God’s Word. In verse 130, it says “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” This verse establishes the basic method of God’s illumination. When God’s Word enters the heart of a person, it gives light and understanding to them. For this reason, we are repeatedly told to study the Word of God.

God spoke final words, they are through His Son, and those speakings are contained in the closed canon of the bible.

What Warren is saying is that the canon is not closed and we can hear special and personal things in addition to the bible. This violates Revelation 22:18.

Secondly, in the Hebrews verse it states, ‘in these last days’. The last days are the days of grace, between which Jesus incarnated and when He will come back. We are in the last days. We have been since He first came and we will be until He returns again.

However what was most troubling is that Warren made an absolute statement and it is completely unbiblical. He said,

“you can’t have a relationship with God if you can’t hear God”

Woe to the false shepherds who strike the sheep!

When Rick Warren makes an absolute statement like “you CAN’T have a relationship with God UNLESS you hear His voice, he is adding qualifiers to the standards for a relationship that God has already set. Nowhere in the bible is there a condition for faith that includes hearing from God. We know we are saved by grace alone through faith alone.

How to have a closer relationship with God

How to have a relationship with Jesus

We can do a quick keyword search in the NT for the word unless in the context of salvation conditions. One cannot have a relationship with God unless one is saved. So let’s see what it takes to be saved and have this relationship Warren is talking about. Remember, we’re looking in the Bible for a condition placed on our faith as Warren said, ‘unless you hear God speaking to you, you cannot have a relationship with Him.’

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven“. (Matthew 18:3).

OK, so that is a biblical condition attached to our faith. Pulpit Commentary explains:

Christ points to little children as the model to which the members of his kingdom must assimilate themselves. The special attributes of children which he would recommend are humility, unworldliness, simplicity, teachableness, – the direct contraries of self-seeking, worldliness, distrust, conceit.

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

Another faith condition. Still not finding “unless you hear God you can’t have a relationship with Him.” Let’s keep looking.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44).

OK, so unless God draws a person, they will not be in a relationship with Him.

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. (John 6:53).

Gill’s Exposition explains the John 6 verse:

But the words design a spiritual eating of Christ by faith. To eat the flesh, and drink the blood of Christ, is to believe that Christ is come in the flesh, and is truly and really man; that his flesh is given for the life of his people, and his blood is shed for their sins

I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24).

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4)

We need to repent in order to have a relationship with God. We must abide in Him. Still not finding having to hear Him to have a relationship with Him.

We could go on, but Christians know what it takes to enter into a relationship with God.

As for maintaining a relationship with Him, nothing in the bible says either that if one doesn’t hear Him one CANNOT have a relationship. We already discussed what it takes to have a relationship, and once the Lord delivers grace unto a repentant person, they are now and forever a believer in a relationship with the Father. There is nothing that says hearing Him is a requirement for a relationship, neither entering into one nor maintaining one.

Warren’s attitude toward prayer was sadly dismissive. He said “If all you’re doing is praying to God…” What a scornful attitude toward communication with the Creator of the Universe! The Ancient of Days! The Holy One of Israel! That He entertains prayer, encourages prayer, listens to prayer, answers prayer, is an astounding feature of our relationship with Him!

If “all” we’re doing is praying to God?!?! It’s everything! I am so sorry that it isn’t enough for Warren. He wants more. He wants to HEAR back. It’s not enough to have faith that God listens and answers, He has promised to do so. (Mark 11:24).

It is not a one-way relationship. Here are just a few f the things God does for us: God created the world for us to inhabit. (Isaiah 45:18). Jesus died for us. (Romans 5:8). We have the gift of the Spirit is in us. (2 Corinthians 1:22). He illuminates the scriptures for us. (John 16:13-16). Jesus intercedes for us in heaven. (Hebrews 7:25). He provides for us. (2 Corinthians 9:8 ). He gives us grace and help. (Hebrews 4:16). He sends angels to minister to us. (Hebrews 1:14). And so much more. One-way? Hardly. It is a lopsided relationship, one where He gives so much more to us than we give to Him

The fallacy that in order for our faith to be real, that we must hear God, is very detrimental to the believer. We’re not supposed to hear God, but when people listen to Warren making an absolute statement like he did, they worry they’re not in the faith because they are not hearing from Him. They begin to contrive all sorts of things as Godly utterances, some of which may be satan, others will hear their own inner voice but attribute it to God. Others will simply fear they’re not saved, and begin a fruitless search for ways to ‘hear’ Him. Discouraged, some will lose heart, or be burdened with needless doubt.

Seeking to hear a voice sets aside the sufficiency of the bible as guide for all things. This is the most important point of all. Warren adds to the conditions for faith, dismisses prayer as insufficiently communicative, encourages congregants to pursue a fruitless path of voices and promptings, and worst of all, sets aside the bible for our guide for all things. Whisperings, promptings, voices,all bunk. Read the bible, pray, and watch as God works out Providential things in your life.

Oh, and watch out for wolves like Rick Warren.

Posted in false teachers, jentezen franklin, joseph prince, mark driscoll, rick warren, vultures

Rick Warren on the lineup for Hillsong Conference 2015.

A friend on Facebook posted this today:

“Mark Driscoll is appearing at Hillsong along with Rick Warren, Jentezen Franklin, and Joseph Prince. Are you still wondering if there is a problem?”

I wasn’t sure what he was referring to but a 1 minute search on Google brought up the Hillsong Sydney 2015 conference:

Source

Why yes, there is definitely a problem. Each of these men pictured above who lead churches have demonstrated non-orthodoxy either with their conduct and/or their theology.

But first let’s start with the venue, Hillsong Church.

Erin Benziger sums up the issue with Hillsong in this way:

Hillsong Church has been the subject of criticism not just for its seeker-sensitive, pragmatic methods of ministry, but also for its promotion of a form of the false Word Faith gospel. It is not unusual, in fact, for Hillsong’s massive conferences to feature prominent Word Faith leaders such as T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen. Below can be heard a critique of Brian Houston teaching earlier this year on the text of Matthew 7:13–14. This clearly demonstrates Houston’s ability to twist God’s Word beyond recognition:

And after the colon above there is a video demonstrating non-orthodox interpretations of the Matthew text.

Hillsong has also been the focus of financial scrutiny and official investigation.

Hillsong teaches word faith doctrines, prosperity gospels, and more. The church itself is not a solid church in that it can be said they consistently handle scripture incorrectly and teach unorthodox, non-evangelical teachings.

Todd Friel of Wretched Radio said, Be Careful of Hillsong. But he also said that if he was extended an invitation to go, would he go? He said if he was assured he could preach anything he wanted, and after telling the Hillsong organizers what he planned to preach if they still wanted him to come, he would. Why? Because Hillsong people need the Gospel. So are the preachers listed for the 2015 lineup solid preachers going with an intent to share the Gospel to a lost and wandering herd of sheep? No. Given the track record and long-term pattern of Franklin, Prince, Warren, and Driscoll, we cannot give that benefit of the doubt. Let’s take a look.

Joseph Prince is just purely, out and out, a false teacher. (source)

Rick Warren is a pragmatist, indeed, the description under his photo above lists him first and foremost as “a global strategist.” Warren is driven by fads and leads his church that way, prays to false gods, and fails to give the Gospel either totally, or at least clearly.

The issues with Mark Driscoll are so numerous they’d be impossible to list here on a short form, or even to list them all in one blog post. What I find most egregious about Driscoll’s unregenerate life are his demon trials, spiritual abuse, pornographic visions, plagiarism, and fiscal secrecy. To name just a very, very few.

There are problems with what Jentezen Franklin teaches and also with his approach to pastoring. In addition there are issues with who he associates with.

I posted the above about the men Hillsong has invited to their conference to show that is not about a wayward word-faith church trying to correct its course by inviting good men to preach, it is about an unregenerate church inviting unregenerate men to unite their rebellious hearts and minds in darkness.

To this end, a series of scriptures came to mind that to me seem linked.

False Christians are proactive in their self-delusion. The seek out and purposely find false teachers who preach a message that appeals to their craven hearts.

The false Christians with itching ears heap up teachers to themselves so their itching ears can be scratched. (2 Timothy 4:3)

And the false teachers are not innocent bystanders either. They do what they do because they are greedy. (2 Pet. 2:14, 1 Tim. 6:5).

And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:3)

Therefore, seeing an opportunity for dishonest gain, the false teachers and false prophets seek out and gather the false Christians with itching ears who are rushing toward them.

They meet.

And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (Luke 17:37)

Now, the Luke verse and its parallel in Matthew 24:28 is a difficult one to exactly interpret. The context is the Tribulation. Jesus is preaching the signs of the times and the coming of the Kingdom. It cannot be specifically applied to a situation of false Christians heaping up false teachers who in turn exploit the false Christians who are happy to buy their false products and listen to their false message. The Expositor’s Greek Testament says of the vultures verse, “If we connect it with Matthew 24:27 the idea will be that Messiah’s judicial function will be as universal as His appearance (Meyer and Weiss).” That seems to be the general meaning.

But what I picture in my mind when envisioning such a conference as Hillsong 2015, is a lot of dead people being picked over by vultures.

Sermon Bible Commentary explains the parallel Matthew 24:28 verse:

The Law of Divine Judgment.

I. When a wild beast falls in the desert, or a beast of burden on the highway, there is no stir in the heavens [skies] for a time. But, far above human ken, the vulture is floating poised on his wings; and looking downwards his eye soon distinguishes the motionless thing—for he hunts by an eyesight unequalled in power among all living things, and like a stone he drops through miles of air. Others floating in the same upper region, see their brother’s descent and know its meaning. One dark speck after another grows swiftly from the horizon, and in a few minutes fifty vultures are round the carrion. That illustrates—and with astonishing power and sharpness—for the disciples had often witnessed such a scene—the suddenness, the usefulness and the necessity of judgment. Inevitable, swift, unerring, as the vulture’s descent on the carcase is the judgment-coming of the Son of Man to corrupt communities and corrupted men.

II. From all this we now infer the law of judgment. It is this: Wherever there is entire moral corruption then there is final punishment; wherever there is partial corruption, there is remedial punishment. God in His capacity as Governor of the world, as Educator of mankind, is bound to destroy corruption. It is necessary that the vultures should devour the carcase, lest it pollute the air and breed a pestilence. It is necessary that corrupted nations should be blotted out, lest they infect the world with evil which may delay the whole progress of mankind. And our own sense of justice goes with the destruction. Nor, when we are wise, do we think that such justice shows want of love. We know that the weak man who shrinks from exacting deserved punishment is often the most cruel when his own interests are touched; and we can trust ourselves in the hour of our trouble best to One whose justice we are so sure of, that we know that if our trouble was caused by wrong-doing He would make us feel that wrongness before He would relieve the trouble. S. A. Brooke, The Spirit of the Christian Life, p. 57.

It is hard to say who is more alive and who is more dead, this ever descending cycle of false Christians who are dead being the provision for the false teachers to feed on them, or the false teachers selling what the dead Christians want. It is hard to say where the vulture begins and their food ends or where the food begins and the vulture ends.

In Hosea 13:1 Hosea prophesies that Ephraim (Israel) used to be alive and exalted, “but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.

In the New Testament we read of a similarly tragic situation.

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (Revelation 3:1)

They look alive. But they are dead. They live, move, and breathe, but they are DEAD. The word dead in the Revelation verse is nekros, “unresponsive to life-giving influences (opportunities); inoperative to the things of God.”

So we see that an entire bunch of people can gather, sing praises to God, move, worship, wave hands, applaud approvingly, and be dead tot he things of God.

labeled for reuse, source

And what do vultures do, but feed on the dead.

A warning to us all:

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Posted in discernment, experiencing God, henry blackaby, kim walker smith, rick warren

Roots: False doctrines have a genealogy. Where did the ‘fresh encounter’ approach to worship come from?

All false doctrines have a genealogy. They share a family history, as it were. That’s why Catholicism, not being a Christian religion, shares a common genealogy with Buddhism and Islam and is outside the Christianity of Jesus Christ. Mormonism shares more with Hinduism and Wicca than with worshiping Christ.

The reason all false doctrines and false religions have a common family identity and share similar genealogical traits is because they all come from the same father: the father of lies, Satan. (John 8:44)

I read an article this morning which struck me. It also reminded me of a similar article published in 2011. The article from today is published in World Magazine, by Anthony Bradley in the Religion section. It is called “The ‘new legalism‘: How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God“. I thought it had good things to say, pertinent and needed things. For example,

I continue to be amazed by the number of youth and young adults who are stressed and burnt out from the regular shaming and feelings of inadequacy if they happen to not be doing something unique and special. Today’s millennial generation is being fed the message that if they don’t do something extraordinary in this life they are wasting their gifts and potential. The sad result is that many young adults feel ashamed if they “settle” into ordinary jobs, get married early and start families, live in small towns, or as 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, “aspire to live quietly, and to mind [their] affairs, and to work with [their] hands.” For too many millennials their greatest fear in this life is being an ordinary person with a non-glamorous job, living in the suburbs, and having nothing spectacular to boast about. Here are a few thoughts on how we got here.

My thoughts on how we got here differ some from the excellent Mr Bradley. Mr Bradley isn’t the first person to wonder about the ordinary Christianity we are all called to exhibit. Here is the essay published in 2011 that his essay made me think of. It is by Tommy Clayton at Grace To You.

An Unremarkable Faith
Meet Larry … Larry devotes himself to his wife and family, lovingly shepherding them through every season of life with the Scriptures. He’s faithful to his job and fellow colleagues. He’s managed to share Christ with nearly every junior-high teacher at Oakwood Academy. And although they mock Larry behind his back, all the teachers respect him. It won’t shock you to know Larry pays his taxes and never misses an opportunity to serve his community. Larry’s life commends the gospel. He’s faithful, but he’s unremarkable. Or, is he? If you’re bored with Larry’s Christianity, it’s probably because you’ve been influenced by a very different idea of the Christian life. Larry’s not radical, or wild at heart—not in the sense of taking careless risks, jeopardizing the stability of his family, or pursuing a life of adventure. You could say Larry is quite content with his station in life, a station given him by God. He aspires to live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. Sound familiar? There’s a stubborn and influential voice within evangelicalism that seems to despise simple yet unremarkable faithfulness.”

Where did this false notion of a breathless and adrenaline-rushed Christianity come from? Why are we like this now? I have some ideas I’d like to share for your consideration. Let’s take a backward walk through time, from now back to 1990. We will trace the roots of a false doctrine, the experiential approach to learning who God is, rather than the scripture approach to learning who God is. How did we get from the quiet, plodding, ordinary Christian of the latter part of the last century and the early part of this, learning week by week about Jesus and His attributes in a male-led Sunday School setting or a preacher expositing the word from the pulpit, to the adrenaline-rushed, heart-thumping, wild, life-altering Christianity of conferences and mega-churches complete with strobes and ‘awesome’ ear-splitting praise bands encountering God? This is a blurb from a conference held this past March in South Africa.

2014 Fire Starter Gathering
“It is that time of year again to bring everyone together to celebrate the amazing things God is doing around the country and into Africa! This year’s conference is going to be nothing short of incredible and we want to see all of you there! It is our prayer and desire that each person who comes to J-bay for conference this year would not only have 3 action-packed days of surf, fun, and fellowship but would also have a real, meaningful, perhaps life-altering encounter with the living God who loves them more than they could ever imagine! In 1992 God gave us a vision and we saw him move like a fire along the coastline. It started and spread like a WILD FIRE catching and growing as it moved along. JESUS WAS A FIRE STARTER. It may have been small and intimate in the hearts of a few disciples but it caught and raged all over the world. Our Conference is a gathering of people from across the nation and our goal is to encounter Jesus the “Fire Starter” and to leave the conference ignited and empowered to be a fire starters of his wild fire.”

I guess it’s sexier to be a “fire starter” than a “perseverer”. (1 Timothy 4:16, Hebrews 10:36). It sounds like a funner Christianity to have action packed days by the sea than it is to live quietly minding our own business (1 Thessalonians 4:11). And yes, I meant to say ‘funner’, a kindergarten word for kindergarten Christianity.

The Louis Giglio “Passion: 268 Generation” conferences for college aged students-only are another example of an adrenaline rush, movement-based (as opposed to Gospel based), encounter oriented radical-in-its-approach type of conferences and emotions pumping all the while. This blogger summed it up, “Passion worship is very different from the biblical understanding of worship described above, for it is based in a culture of rock music and psychedelic lighting that produces a spirit of revelry.”

A spirit of revelry is quite different from worshiping in Spirit and in truth. Yet annually, and since 2008, internationally, tens of thousands of students at a time gather to pump their bodies to acoustically injurious rock ‘Christian’ music, and listen to contemplative, Gospel watered down speeches at Passion conferences. Cutting youths from the herd of the local church AND the family was a stroke of genius. (NO adults are allowed, except their one accompanying youth pastor. Not even parents.)

Whipping impressionable young people up into emotional frenzies over cultural and societal ills (not Gospel-ills) and stationing ATMs so they can donate to these causes makes them feel like they are doing something for the cause of Christ. As a matter of fact, the motto of Passion last year was “Do something.” Then they are told they “encountered God.”

The blogger is right: Passion Conference is a club atmosphere paving the way for drugs, ecstatic experience, and godlessness. When the Conference began in 1997, and I have not researched this, I am almost sure it wasn’t as blasphemous and godless as it is now. But the slide, it’s inexorable.

Kim Walker Smith of Jesus Culture, the “Christian” rock band who played at the Awakening conference in 2011, said she has encounters frequently with Jesus. In this one from which the quote was extracted, she was in the presence of Jesus for an extended time, “he” cuddled her on his lap, and they spoke face to face. Note that she says it isn’t normal, but she lives from one until the next one. If it happens frequently enough so that the next one always comes, then they are normal for her, no matter how much she denies.

This is not a normal thing for me to just have these encounters, but I have one and I just live off of that until the next one (laughs). ~Kim Smith

Speaking of 1997, or more specifically 1998, going back in time, we read Pastor Rick Warren’s thoughts on how he approaches worship at his church. It is eerily similar to Mrs Smith’s encounter to encounter with Jesus. The Baptist Press interviewed Warren in 1998, when Warren was riding high on his recently published Purpose Driven Church (1995). His quote typifies the encounter to encounter, surfing the waves of adrenaline approach to Christian life rather than persevering quietly, sacrificially, and secretly. The article is (tellingly) titled, “Rick Warren: Surfing skills critical to ‘catching waves’ of God’s activity

We’re just a church that tries to look for waves, and we ride them. And then we try to do it with balance. ~Rick Warren

Yoda would say “Do. Or do not. There is no try”. See, the problem with balancing on invisible surfboards and looking for waves is that it is easy to be fooled. It is easy to misinterpret what you are seeing. Ask any mariner on 2 AM watch looking for a 3 second light on a bobbing buoy, or any desert traveler looking for an oasis. Warren’s answer to church leading and worshiping should have been, “we stand on God’s word and live by it.”

Let’s get to the crux of the matter. In 1990, Henry Blackaby published his seminal “Experiencing God” book. There is much to commend the book and much that is biblical. There are some things that are not biblical. Given today’s standards of visions and encounters and Gumby Jesus’s and Hearing Voices and Prophetic Words and Charismatic outpourings, Blackaby’s Experiencing God seems tame. It is tame. But sin is crouching at the door, it desires to have us. (Genesis 4:7). Give satan an inch and he thinks he’s a ruler.

The sin in Blackaby’s approach was shifting from the all-sufficient word to a mix of the word and the personal encounter, then called “experience.” He advised worshipers to listen for God’s voice. This advice might not seem remarkable now, but back then, coming from a credible and respected conservative Southern Baptist, it opened the floodgates.

Blackaby said in his 1990 book, “You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.” Blackaby said “watch where God is at work and join Him (Chapter 6). “Once you know where He is working, you can adjust your life to join Him” (72).

Are there places God isn’t working? Psalm 139:7-8 says no. As far as the advice goes that we come to know God by experience, nothing could be further than the truth. We come to know God by His revelation to us. As least I don’t come to know God that way. I certainly don’t. And neither did Peter who had an encounter with Jesus as incarnated God, and said, don’t rely on experience but rely on the word. (2 Peter 1:19)

Oh, the polluted doctrinal water didn’t flood in to churches right away, weakening our resolve of sola scriptura, and leading us away from the solidity of the stance that scripture is sufficient. But one can see over time, how his crack in the dam weakened it. The dam being the strong tower of God’s word and His word alone. As the dam has let go in this new millennium and rushing waters roil over churches, we have Christian surfers, living off one vision to another, pumping fists and bodies at hormonal Passion revelries conferences, looking for the next missional thing to get ignited about and so we can be ready for a life-altering experience.

In addition to the floodgates of “experience” (encounters) reigning supreme over the word thanks to Blackaby’s study, we also have this, published by Stand To Reason. When one unhitches one’s self from the solidity of persuasion by Gospel and the confirmation of Who Christ is by His words, where does one go to seek confirmation? We look for something else to persuade us.

Our Culture Persuades and Is Persuaded Not by Reason, but by Advertising
I came across a post written last year by Alastair Roberts, and though it’s specifically about how Rob Bell (and other postmodern Christians) seek to persuade others, the insight he has into Rob Bell’s style applies to a great number of people in our culture, and not just in the area of religion:

The ad man doesn’t persuade his customer by making a carefully reasoned and developed argument, but by subtly deflecting objections, evoking feelings and impressions, and directing those feelings and harnessing those impressions in a way that serves his interests. Where the lawyer argues, the ad man massages….

If you listen for it, you’ll hear it—people using words as ideological tools to paint emotional images rather than to communicate objective truth, choosing those words according to their emotional connotations rather than their accurate representation of reality

Emotions drive encounters and encounters drive emotions and within that tight little circle, truth is squeezed out. There is no room for it.

So the question I opened with, ‘How did we get from the quiet, plodding, ordinary Christian of the latter part of the last century and the early part of this, learning week by week about Jesus and His attributes in a male-led Sunday School setting or from a preacher expositing the word from the pulpit, to the adrenaline-rushed, heart-thumping, wild, radical life-altering Christianity of conferences and mega-churches complete with strobes and ‘awesome’ ear-splitting praise bands all so they can encounter God? In my opinion … Henry Blackaby.

It doesn’t begin with him, certainly. False doctrines and lying approaches to the word of God go all the way back to the Garden. But the latest iteration of sin crouching at the door of ‘experience’ being more sure than the word began in my opinion in 1990 with a credible Baptist urging people to look for God and listen to Him and wander off into encounters and believe you’re getting closer to Him. Bible not needed. Just look for where God is working and surf on over there and join the adrenaline-rushing fun.

To all those seeking a “fresh encounter” with God, I ask you, WHEN DID HE GO STALE?!?! Your encounters, like Beth Moore’s Sabbath play date with Jesus where she and Him had a blast, are just that, fleshly experiences which may or may not be fruit bearing activities pleasing to God. It’s why we will have our experiences and activities placed on the reward scales and some of it will be burned as hay, wood, and stubble. If we could tell ahead of time if all our encounters and experiences are worthy of God and acceptable to Him, I guess we wouldn’t need a Bema seat judgment ceremony, would we?

That’s why the Word is more sure.

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

Further reading:

Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God—A Critique, (1999)

False Prophets and Lying Wonders

Coming Up: Following God’s Will (in which the Blackaby approach to Godly decision making is called the mystical approach)

Non Sola Scriptura: the Blackaby view of God’s will
In which Phil Johnson commented that “Blackaby has found a way to let Southern Baptists have Charismatic mysticism without glossolalia.”

Posted in immutable, purpose, rick warren, spurgeon

Finding God’s will for your life

True Christians are consumed with obeying God and serving Him, because we love Him so much. That’s why so many people say they want to “find God’s will for their life.” Finding God’s will is at the top of their list of ways we want to serve Him. Christians ache when they feel that they are missing out on doing service for God, and they fear. ‘What if I’m not finding it?’ they wonder. ‘What if He wants me to be a missionary in Burma and I haven’t read the signs correctly and I’m just here in Dayton, not doing much?’

Rugendas, c. 1820, “Village of Christianized Tapuyos indians”

The book Radical by David Platt touched on this invisible fear among many Christians. The book Radical is, according to Kevin DeYoung, “an all-out assault on cheap grace, easy-believism, consumer Christianity.”

And is against the Christian laziness that comes with it. I agree that those things should be avoided and denounced. But despite the softening language, Platt’s overall tone is that we should throw it all over, sell all our stuff, and run off to Burma as a missionary.

DeYoung admires Platt but has five concerns of the book, and mentions this fourth: “I worry that radical and crazy Christianity cannot be sustained. If the message of Jesus translates into “Give more away” or “Sacrifice for the gospel” or “Get more radical” we will end up with burned out evangelicals. Even when Jesus said his hard saying (and he said a lot of them) it was not his basic stump speech. His message was repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15). When Jesus challenged the crowds to count the cost or let the dead bury their dead it was to make clear that following him was not all about miracles and wonders, it was about giving him the preeminence. The emphasis was doxological first and foremost. Worship Christ. Believe in Christ. Walk with Christ. And therefore, before you follow Christ be prepared for opposition.”

I don’t worry for David’s theology, but I worry that some young Christians reading his book might walk away wondering if a life spent working as a loan officer, tithing to their church, praying for their kids, learning to love Christ more, and serving in the Sunday school could possibly be pleasing to God. We need to find a way to attack the American dream while still allowing for differing vocations and that sort of ordinary Christian life that can plod along for fifty years. I imagine David wants this same thing. I’m just not sure this came through consistently in the book.

Rick Warren, Source

The book was a catalyst for the lurking doubt that rests in many Christians that they aren’t doing enough. That they are missing their purpose. (thanks a bunch, Rick Warren). So what is the answer?

The bible. God wrote down about Himself, what He wanted us to know about Him. He also put in there by the inspired Holy Spirit what He wants us to do and not do, and to take comfort in His promises. His purpose for us is in there.

He has several purposes for us all. ALL.

God wants us to believe. That is our primary purpose in life. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15. Also 2 Peter 3:9 & Acts 22:16).

After belief, we are to be a witness, teaching and making disciples. That is the Christian’s purpose in life. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Our chief purpose in Christian life is to glorify God. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This next part is from MacArthur’s outline from his essay “How to live for God’s glory”

  • Confess Your Sins. (1 John 1:9)
  • Bear Fruit. (John 15:8; Colossians 1:10)
  • Give Praise to God. (Psalm 50:23)
  • Be Content. (Philippians 4:11)
  • Pray According to God’s Will. (John 14:13)
  • Proclaim God’s Word. (2 Thessalonians 3:1)

In the past, God made it clear to those whom He chose as to what their purpose was. Moses was to be His prophet. Jeremiah was to preach repentance. David was to be King. He spoke through a burning bush, a cloud, a still small voice, and even a donkey. He said what He said clearly and definitively- and directly.

Just because he isn’t speaking like that any more does not mean He isn’t speaking. Or, rather, has not spoken. Hebrews 1:1-2 says that God’s final word is through His Son–

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”

His Son is the Word and His word can be found in the bible. That is where we find our purpose.

“But what if I am to be called as a missionary? Or a preacher? Or to do a certain work in a certain place as a layperson? How will I know if there is a specific purpose, then?”

Do we think that just because He doesn’t come down to us and speak directly through a burning bush, that we cannot understand that if He has a specific call for our lives that He can’t or won’t make it clear? He is powerful! As Spurgeon praises Him in His power so eloquently,

“He changes not in his attributes. Whatever the attributes of God were of old, that they are now; and of each of them we may sing “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.” Was he powerful? Was he the mighty God when he spake the world out of the womb of nonexistence? Was he the Omnipotent when he piled the mountains and scooped out the hollow places for the rolling deep? Yes, he was powerful then, and his arm is unpalsied now, he is the same giant in his might; the sap of his nourishment is undried, and the strength of his soul stands the same for ever.”

He has the power to instill in you the burning desire to be a preacher. As He did Paul, 1 Corinthians 9:16, or Jeremiah in Jeremiah 20:9.

Has He given you the gift of teaching? Do people remark on your teaching or preaching, whether you have done it impromptu or in formal settings? (Ephesians 4:11).

Even if we have submitted to His obvious working of circumstances in our lives so that we are now beginning to understand the specific purpose, He will also still sovereignly work to guide you within it! See Paul in Acts 16:6-8,

Mosaic, ‘Man of Macedonia appearing to Paul’

“And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.”

In the next verse Paul received a vision of where He was in fact to go. Though we do not receive direct visions anymore like this, do we not think the Spirit isn’t still working and guiding us within our lives to HIS purpose? Of course He is.

Because that is what it is all about, God’s purpose, not our purpose. We believe, submit, and serve. He guides and organizes the rest. Do we believe that God is so timid that our busy lives can block Him out, and that it is even remotely possible for us to miss a specific purpose He has outlined for us?

No.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)

Queen Esther – Andrea del Castagno, c.1450

God had a purpose and He wanted Queen Esther to be a part of its fulfillment. Esther’s uncle Mordecai was talking to her about doing it. It seems that Esther already had an inkling about what she was to do. Mordecai cemented it. We usually focus on the last part of Mordecai’s answer, “for such a time as this” but what about the first part?

“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14-15)

‘If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place’. So you see, God providentially works all things to the good, and we are not so powerful that we miss His call, and He is not so tenuous that it all falls apart if we refuse it.

God has a purpose. If you know what your purpose is- and you will, because God makes it clear, and you refuse the call to be a missionary or preacher or whatever, God will still fulfill what He wants to fulfill. His plans are immutable.

Our purpose is to believe, witness, make disciples, and glorify Him. We all have that purpose. In addition, He sent the Spirit to dispense Gifts as He wills, so that His purposes will be executed though us and by the fruits we bear by His Spirit’s power. If we are to have a specific call, He will make it known. Moses was 40 years old when we learned he killed a man, and he waited another 40 years until God used him for his last 40. Moses was used by God from age 80-120. So even one of the great patriarchs of the bible was not called to a specific purpose until late in life. However, Moses’s entire life was used of God’s purpose! Moses just didn’t know it. It is the same with us.

Not everyone has a call to run off to Burma or to preach to the masses. Most of us, I dare say, are simply operating in our mundane spheres, planting seeds and bearing fruit. If we have a call to perform a specific purpose, we will understand it when it comes. Until then, rest secure in His providence and His power. It’s not our purpose in life that is the point, but His purposes.

Posted in chrislam, one world religion, pope francis, rick warren, vatican

The coming one world religion

In the Tribulation, the final 7-year period when the church is removed and Jesus rains down His wrath upon an unbelieving world, there will be one final religion. Revelation 18 describes the demise of it. Prior to its prophesied destruction, it had been an ongoing one-world-religion system.

Kev Walker

The antichrist co-opted religion in Revelation 13:15-17 by announcing himself as the head of it and causing all to take a mark of worship in allegiance to him. But before that happens at the midpoint of the Tribulation, it seems that religion without antichrist as the head of it will flourish as well.

Paul wrote to Timothy that in the last days people will have an appearance of Godliness but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:5). It is going to be an apostate time but not one devoid of religions, the appearance of the final false religion in Revelation 18 shows us that.

As a matter of fact, in the verses preceding 2 Timothy 3:5 we read, “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,” and those people could be described as adherents to any religion today that doesn’t have Jesus as its head.

Matthew 24:23-24 also shows that there will be a thriving religion business during the first part of the Tribulation. Jesus told the disciples, “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”

Even though all of the above verses apply to the entire time of the last days- which are the ascension of Christ after Pentecost (Acts 1:9) and the descent of Christ at the battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 14:3-4, Revelation 19:15), they can be applied in force during the Tribulation because that is the culmination of all the foregoing years.

Think of the apostasy & false religions during the Tribulation as a tsunami wave. Out on the sea it is

Photo: NOAA

inches tall and hard to spot because the action is mostly under the surface. As it progresses along the ocean it nears the shore, and as it does, it becomes more ferocious, dangerous, and destructive. It deepens, rears up, and crashes down upon the land. That is the picture of apostasy in the last days, piling up as the Tribulation nears and reaches its destructive crescendo during the final 7 years.

After the rapture, the antichrist fools everyone at first by coming across as a man of peace-politically and spiritually. The prophecy in Daniel 9:27 says he confirms a covenant with many people, and the political and religious are bound in one sentence.

If true Christians are raptured, leaving Mormons, Catholics, Muslims, Hindi, etc, that still leaves a lot of people practicing some sort of faith (false faith.)

Though the table above lumps all Christians together, remember that “Christian” for statistical purposes is comprised of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics (false religion) the 300 million Eastern Orthodox Church, (false) and Protestant, (and many of Protestants will be left behind, having been shown to be false. Matthew 7:21-23 Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.) The actual size of the true church is really very small.

So all those billions will be left behind. A great many people practicing some sort of faith will be seeking answers to questions as to where the Born Again people went and why the world seems to be crumbling. Billions of people aren’t going to suddenly abandon their faith, but they will be seeking answers. After all, their gods will have been unable to cope with the devastating events happening. Initially, the antichrist will play on those fears and nerves by seeming to have the answers, and likely will use his verbal skills and intelligence to promote a faith that has elements of all religions in them, in order to salve the people’s fears and calm their seeking hearts. They’ll buy it.

This happened before. When Nero watched while Rome burned, people at first thought Nero had set the fire that destroyed their city, homes, and temples. They began to rise up. What Nero did was cleverly play on their fears by deliberately misdirecting them: he said the Christians did it.

Robert Hubert, Great Fire of Rome, 1795

After the fire, “The Romans were totally devastated. Their culture, in a sense, went down with the city. All the religious elements of their life were destroyed—their great temples, shrines, and even their household idols were burned up. This had great religious implications because it made them believe that their deities had been unable to deal with this conflagration and were also victims of it. The people were homeless and hopeless. Many had been killed. Their bitter resentment was severe, so Nero realized that he had to redirect the hostility.” (source)

The old adage goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. When events occur in the Tribulation similar to the ones that happened in Rome in 64AD (but on a global scale instead of a city-wide scale) religious divisions will be smoothed over. The antichrist will be blaming the Christians and/or Jews for the world’s faults, likely saying that is why they were taken away.

The antichrist will be a flatterer, will destroy by craft, will be a smooth talker, (Daniel 8:25, Daniel 11:32). It not too hard to see how he will be able to bamboozle the people into accepting that all their religions are really pretty close in doctrine, and they all need to pull together during this difficult time… he will be all things to all people and when the time comes at the mid-point of the Tribulation and the antichrist says, ‘worship me’, they will. On a smaller scale, think of how Obama appeared to be a messiah or a savior to large swathes of extremely different people who seemed to have nothing in common. In his second campaign, he turned from building large coalitions among disparate groups, to having a pointillist approach, micro-targeting individual demographics and playing them against each other. Either way, he won both times.

And that is because all the false religions ARE close in doctrine. Ice cream is ice cream, no matter if

you eat chocolate or strawberry. It’s still ice cream. Same with false religion. It is all headed up by satan, and all works-based, so it’s all the same, really. After all, don’t the three biggies even worship the same God? That is how they will see it, in my opinion.

Cut to today. I think the final religion already has begun. The seeming wide gaps between Islam and Judaism and Catholicism are shrinking. I see this shrinking enacted in the push for the “three main monotheistic religions” to get together, tolerate each other, find commonalities, and do works together. I think the second-to-final religion will be a combination of all of them. Other religions will suddenly find commonalities, and usefulness in doing works together. (Mormonism, Buddhism, etc).

At first this seems counterintuitive, as in, how can such two different religions such as RCC and Islam, combine to form one? But we keep hearing ‘we share one God’, Islam mentions Abraham and Jesus, Islam venerates Mary, the Pope has recently said that all people go to heaven and so the anathema thing for the last 1500 years of anyone but a Catholic going there (CCC 816) seems to be suddenly over … It’s happening now and it’s happening fast. Look at the following news-

Muslim envoy asks Pope Francis to take ‘step forward’
An envoy from Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning, Al-Azhar in Cairo, raised the prospect of restoring

ties with the Vatican on Friday but called on Pope Francis to take “a step forward” by declaring that Islam is a peaceful religion. “The problems that we had were not with the Vatican but with the former pope. Now the doors of Al-Azhar are open,” Mahmoud Abdel Gawad, diplomatic envoy to the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, told Italian daily Il Messaggero in Cairo. “Francis is a new pope. We are expecting a step forward from him. If in one of his addresses he were to declare that Islam is a peaceful religion, that Muslims are not looking for war or violence, that would be progress in itself,” he said. A ceremony in March in which Pope Francis washed the feet of young inmates in Rome, including a Muslim girl, was “a gesture that was very, very much appreciated” by Al-Azhar, Gawad said.”

Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb

The Vatican and Islam
“As the world focused on a pope’s election and the enthusiasm that immediately followed, another significant religious event escaped detection. Since Pope John Paul II’s tenure, the Catholic Church has refused to hold Muslim theologians and clergy accountable for the hatred and violence many of them preach. Instead, the Vatican promotes dialogue and mutual understanding at all costs – even at the cost of moral credibility.”

Pope Francis Plans On Visiting Israel
“Three months after succeeding Benedict XVI , Pope Francis has intimated he is planning a visit to Israel. … At the end of the meeting, the deputy foreign minister presented the Pope with a silver embossment of Jerusalem and invited him to visit Israel, to which he replied that he has every intention of doing so.

Large pushes such as the seminal 1994 document Evangelicals and Catholics Together, the 2009 Manhattan Declaration, 2012’s Rick Warren’s interfaith “King’s Way-Building Bridges to Muslims” project, and this month’s MEPI Interfaith Efforts Lauded by Religious, Civic Leaders in Jerusalem, are all examples of how hard satan is pushing to unite the religions.

Eventually he will be successful. And once that happens, it is but a small step for the satan-ruled antichrist to walk into the temple and declare himself God, (2 Thessalonians 2:4) something he has wanted since almost the beginning. (Isaiah 14:13-14).

Our lord Jesus Christ will not allow that to continue for one second longer than He has ordained. (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 12:6, Revelation 13:5). The following event is going to happen:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11-16).

My favorite part, “he is called is The Word of God“.

The first time Jesus came He shed His blood for us (Revelation 1:5). The second time He comes, He’ll shed your blood for Him. (Revelation 14:20). Make sure your name is in His Lamb’s Book of Life and you will be raptured with the rest of the saints to glory when these things happen. You will come down with Him from above instead of being below and watching Him come for you.

Patrick Lawrence

Here is the Gospel. You need to know it!

Amen!!!

Posted in pope. conclave, rick warren

Pope frenzy? No, antichrist frenzy

As the Vatican cardinals gather to vote on a second ballot today, seeking their
ope, I want to make a reminder to everyone. Theologians more eloquent than I have spoken out about the Roman Catholic Church’s stance against the Gospel.

In this age of ‘tolerance’ we usually do not see the kind of language that church fathers used even as recently as 50 years ago when describing someone who is opposed to the Gospel: an antichrist. The RCC pope was most often referred to as an antichrist, having the antichrist spirit which John described in his verse in 1 John 4:3). We hear of the coming one man who will be antichrist, but if we say “that man or this man is an antichrist” we are soundly pooh-poohed, being called intolerant or politically correct.

Last night I listened to a John MacArthur sermon about the church, and this morning I read two other essays which discuss the pope in terms of antichrist. I bring your attention to them.

First, how the Pope was spoken of in the past:

John Wycliffe
“When the western church was divided for about 40 years between two rival popes, one in Rome and the other in Avigon, France, each pope called the other pope antichrist – and John Wycliffe is reputed to have regarded them as both being right: “two halves of Antichrist, making up the perfect Man of Sin between them.” -Ibid

Martin Luther (Lutheran)
“We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist…personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist.” (Aug. 18, 1520) Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 2., pg. 121 by Froom. (In response to a papal bull [official decree]): “I despise and attack it, as impious, false… It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein… I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself.” –D’Aubigné, b.6, ch. 9.

Cotton Mather (Congregational Theologian,)
“The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.” Taken from The Fall of Babylon by Cotton Mather in Froom’s book, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 3, pg. 113.

John Wesley (Methodist)
Speaking of the Papacy he said, “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers… He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped…claiming the highest power, and highest honour…claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.” Taken from Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms by John Wesley, pg. 110.

John Knox (Scotch Presbyterian)
Knox wrote to abolish “that tyranny which the pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church” and that the pope should be recognized as “the very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.” Taken from The Zurich Letters, pg. 199 by John Knox.

In his sermon, MacArthur spoke of the history of the reformation and began speaking of John Hus, John Knox, and went forward to Martin Luther. He did so because he wanted us to understand that when we casually say, “Christ is the Head of the Church” that was a blood-bought concept purchased by martyrs who opposed Rome’s claim to the same and who died horrible deaths exalting the glorious name of Jesus and denouncing the pope.

The Pope’s claim to earthly supremacy and headship of the church is satan’s longest running attack on the church on earth. Not the only one, but the most successful, longest, and most heinous. The seeker driven pastor is of spirit of antichrist because they look to carnal means to expand the church. The purpose driven pastor is spirit of antichrist because they replace the bible with man-made, corporate methods to expand the church. The prosperity preacher is spirit of antichrist because they replace values and qualities of God with earthly possessions such as money and carnally-driven consumerism. The Charismatic is spirit of antichrist because they replace the word of God with personal experience as authoritative.

The sermon is excellent and heartfelt. You can listen or you can wait for the transcript.

Turning back to the pope, there is so much focus on the process to select a new one, after Pope Benedict’s dramatic resignation, it behooves us to remember that the pope is an antichrist. Remember, this is a man who claims to be Christ on earth, infallible and the authority over all the church, replacing Jesus. There is no higher blasphemy. We should not become so inured to this blasphemy that we cave under pressure to NOT say pope is a slave to sin, a man of perdition, and an antichrist. Here is what the folks at The Cripplegate say:

A friendly reminder: the Pope is (probably) the antichrist
“…The identification of the Pope as the antichrist was so ingrained in the Reformation era (for obvious reasons) that Luther stated it repeatedly. For example: “This teaching [of the supremacy of the pope] shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Antichrist, who has exalted himself above, and opposed himself against Christ, because he will not permit Christians to be saved without his power, which, nevertheless, is nothing, and is neither ordained nor commanded by God” (Smalcald Articles, II).”

And again Luther said,

““We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist…personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist” (sermon on Aug 18, 1520).”

A little known fact about Jonathan Edwards is that he actually wrote a church history book. Titled A History of the Work of Redemption (it is in Vol. 4 of the complete set of his works), he actually identifies the rise of the Papacy, which he places from 479-800, as “the rise of the antichrist.” Edwards describes the time period between 800 and the reformation as “the reign of the antichrist” and structures most of his outline around the theme of the gospel’s advance in relationship to the antichrist.

This was not a doctrine held only by Calvinists and Lutherans. Wesley wrote a book titled Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms, and he too saw the antichrist of Revelation and of 2 Thessalonians as the Pope.

I give this long list simply to put forward a response to those that ask me if I care about who the next Pope will be. In short, I do not. And if calling the Pope the antichrist seems like a very unchristian thing to do, I assure you that it is not the theology of the thing that has changed in the last 50 years. Today’s reluctance to make that connection says a lot about how far our evangelical culture has drifted, and very little about the Pope.

The false doctrine spewing from the Vatican is so corrupt that it hardly bears thinking of how these men are allowed to go on taking another breath. God’s grace is surely evident in the fact that the ground does not open immediately and swallow them whole.

With that in mind, I bring you to another sad fact. Rick Warren, the man who is one of the pastors advising the makers of the History Channel mini-series, “The Bible,” has called for prayer and fasting for the cardinals as they “seek God’s will” in selecting a new antichrist pope.

As Erin Benziger wrote last night,

Such realities [of the pope’s antichrist spirit] make it difficult for the Christian to deny that the office of Pope is one that should be denounced and condemned by true believers, not one to be celebrated. How, then, ought the Christian respond to the following tweet posted early this morning by purpose-driven pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church?

Do you finally see? Do you see how so many of our “pastors” in our faith have gone off the path, if they were ever on it? How this end time of God’s work in the world is unveiling who is false and who is a wolf? God’s grace gives comfort but it also gives discomfort as we begin to see the masks come off and the wolves’ teeth bare in the gloaming, bloody with prey and looking for more.

The cardinals can no more find God’s will than rich old Lazarus begging for water in hell can find comfort. They would not know God’s will if they fell into a hole and came nose to nose with it. That Rick Warren, such a popular and influential pastor, should urge us to pray they select a new antichrist and that this process is within God’s will is so far out of bounds my heart is racing with amazement.

Do not be caught in a web of deceit that the pope is anything but an antichrist and for all likelihood, will become THE antichrist.

Benzigner finishes, “What a blessing it is to know that the true Body of Christ is never without its leader! Jesus Christ is the only Head that the true Church ever has had or ever will have. No mere man could surpass Him in power, greatness or glory and woe to the man who tries.”

Posted in ahmadinejad, interfaith, rick warren

What do Rick Warren and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have in common?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is currently the President of Iran. His tenure is coming to an end, but for these past seven and a half years, he has been the loudest voice of Shia Islam.

Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. Of Shi’ites, there are about 20 million or 10% of total Muslim population. About 80% of the Shia population lives in only 4 countries: India, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq. The largest denomination is Sunni, of which there are about 1.2 billion or 90% of Muslims.

The Shia (and Sunni) Muslims believe that Jesus, AKA Isa, was a prophet of Allah, born of a virgin, lived a wonderful life, was NOT killed on the cross but lifted bodily straight up to God. They believe that Jesus will return with the 12th Imam or Final Mahdi to perform one last task: to break the cross, to kill the people of the cross, and to renounce his own Christianity and causing all to worship the true God: Allah. Then Isa will get to marry, have children, and die a natural death under the ‘peaceful regime’ of Allah. If this sounds suspiciously like Christianity’s False Prophet, you are correct.

Hugo Chavez was a socialist and friend to Iran, who died this week. Of Chavez’s passing, Ahmadinejad was praising him in a eulogistic pronouncement. However, it seems that Ahmadinejad went too far in his praise of his dead friend Chavez, saying that Chávez would “return on resurrection day” with Jesus and the Final Imam, the Twelfth Mahdi, who is the most revered figure in Islam.

Ahmadinejad is receiving criticism for this statement because Imam and Jesus/Isa are revered figures and are prominent players in Muslim end time scenarios. They take it seriously, because that is the time period which is supposed to usher in the final peace, with Islam being dominant over all the world. Jesus/Isa has a major part to play in that ushering-in. To speak words that include Chavez in the scenario is a religious no-no, illegal, even.

I wrote on the blog in September 2012, that Ahmadinejad said at the UN in his annual speech, “that the return of Jesus Christ was soon to come, along with the Islamic end-time figure the 12th Imam. “God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam Al-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and the righteous,” Ahmadinejad said, according to a transcript by PolicyMic. According to Shi’a Muslim beliefs, which the Iranian president subscribes to, Jesus of Nazareth will return to Earth along with the above-mentioned Imam, and they together will solve many of the world’s problems.”

One of those world problems is the presence of Jews and Christians, which ‘Isa’ will kill at Imam’s command.

Now to Rick Warren.

At the 2008 Obama inauguration, Rick Warren was asked to give the invocation. He prayed the following to end his prayer–

“I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesús, Jesus…”

Warren prayed in the name of Isa.

He prayed in the name of a false god which a billion and a half Muslims believe will return to kill Christians, break the cross and renounce his Christianity. Warren may as well have said “I pray in the name of Baal”.

I don’t want to hear any excuse that Warren was just using a pronunciation. Warren’s next door neighbor is a Muslim, with whom he traveled to Syria to learn more about Islam and his neighbor’s world. He breaks bread with Muslims at their local Mosque on Friday, he has spent money and effort to ‘build bridges to Muslims’, and he has studied Islam for a long time. Warren knows Isa is not Jesus.

The bible says we are not to be yoked with unbelievers when doing the work of Jesus. We are to be separate.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

What good can come from darkness? Hitching with organizations or religions which deny Jesus of the Gospels goes against Revelation 2:14-15. Why unite with apostates? You see the damage it does? You wind up calling Jesus Isa and praying to the “All merciful One” of Islam.

In an interfaith paper to Muslims, seeking exactly the opposite of what the bible calls for, ‘reconciliation between two great faith communities’, Rick Warren was a signatory. The letter ended like this:

“Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.”

Again, Warren invoked a different God. By the way, Rick Warren is one of the paid consultants to oversee the scriptural integrity of the doctrines presented in the History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries.

When Ahmadinejad says ‘Jesus is coming’, THAT Jesus bears no relation to God in the flesh who died for the sins of the world. Ahmadinejad’s Jesus, or Isa, is satan. Rick Warren’s Jesus/Isa is satan.

So what do Rick Warren and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have in common? They both pray to a false god. To be even more clear, they both pray to satan.