THE LANGUAGE OF DECEPTION
By Marsha West
March 28, 2010
“Have It Your Way” Christianity
In the Church, theological liberals are making every effort to deconstruct historic, orthodox Christianity. Liberals dilute the gospel to make it acceptable to one and all. So instead of getting “the real thing,” it’s “have it your way” Christianity.
To distinguish themselves from fundamentalist Christians, liberals coined the term “Progressive Christian.” As I pointed out in part 1, political progressives are intent on seeing more government intrusion into our lives. The pending legislation on health care is a good example. With this recommended program you have socialism creeping into government masked by a myriad of doublespeak. In similar fashion Progressive Christians attempt to hide their agenda by using similar tactics. For example, two of their most often used terms, “social reform” and “social justice” are doublespeak for socialism in the Church.
Progressive Christians brought us the emergence/emergent/emerging Church movement (EC). “The words Emergence and Emergent are often used synonymously,” says Carl Teichrib. “There is a difference: Emergence refers to the larger context of global change. Emergent is the new Christian reaction to this world shift. There are various degrees attached to this church movement, making it difficult (and dangerous) to use a single brush stroke when dealing with this issue. This does not negate ‘contending for the faith,’ it does mean, however, that we must be careful when attaching labels.”
I have no problem labeling the EC apostate. I’m not alone. Listen to how Pastor Ken Silva describes EC:
“The term Emergence Christianity, which adherents such as Phyllis Tickle see as the new reformation, itself incorporates more than just a nod to emergence theory of evolutionary science; and many in the EC believe that, right now, mankind is evolving upward into a higher state of consciousness.
“For such as these, their practice of neo-Gnostic Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism is where they think that they’ll actually be receiving this “transformation” from God; that’s why, in their minds, meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer is so important. “ (More on Christian mysticism later.)
To some EC leaders, words mean pretty much whatever they want them to mean. They are in fact master wordsmiths. Here’s what they do:
Humpty Dumpty said,
"There's glory for you!"
"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't?till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-doown argument for you!'”
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'” Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean...neeither more nor less."
"The question is, "said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master...that's all."
(Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass”)
EC leaders are also masterful at dodging controversial subjects. Two such examples are homosexuality and abortion.
In his article, “Emerging Church = the old hippies with religion,” Grant Swank made this comment:
“The Emerging Church won't say anything absolute about homosexuality or abortion. That means it's a cowardly conclave that wants more of self than God's truth.
”God's truth is set forth in Scripture. Regarding homosexual practice, God abhors it. Regarding killing womb babies, God abhors it.
”Therefore, when the Emerging Church plays chicken on such ethical concerns, it sides with the dark powers. God is light. The Emerging Church cohabitates with compromise and that lifts it outside the genuine company of believers.”
Christian apologists and those in the discernment ministries who defend Christian orthodoxy may seem harsh to some Christians. But these men and women strive to live by Jude’s advice to the brethren:
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
Jude had some pretty harsh words for false teachers who showed disregard for God’s will and led His people astray:
“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 11-13).
All Spiritual Paths Lead to God?
Many theological liberals are “Universalists.” You ask, “What does that mean?” A Universalist believes that all religions have equal validity and that all spiritual paths lead to God. Popular EC pastor and founder of Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, Doug Pagitt, is one example. I’ll let John MacArthur explain what Pagitt believes about judgment. He said the following during an interview:
“Let me just cut to the chase on this one: [Doug] Pagitt is a Universalist. What he was saying is real simple. He was saying when you die your spirit goes to God and judgment means that whatever was not right about you, whatever was bad about you, whatever was substantially lacking about you, gets all resolved. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Buddhist, a Hindu or a Muslim...doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christiann really; we’re all going to end up in this wonderful, warm and fuzzy relationship with God. That’s just classic universalism. What you have here is a form of false religion. A form of paganism that basically wants to be thought of as Christian because it gains a certain ground. But the underlying bottom line of this whole emerging movement is they don’t believe in any doctrine, they don’t believe in any theology. They don’t want to be forced to interpret anything in Scripture a certain way and the out is, ‘Well the Bible isn’t clear anyway.’ In other words, we don’t know what it means; we can’t know what it means.”
Progressives/liberals like Pagitt are pushing for the Church to become more inclusive. Ray Waddle informs us, “'Emergent' folks are Christians who are impatient with rigid megachurch formulas and noisy doctrinal in-fighting. They're hammering out a theology that's friendly to ancient faith practices (contemplative prayer, labyrinths, hospitality) in a postmodern world of quantum physics, 24/7 media and coffee-house culture."
Sound familiar? To achieve their aim they must first lead the Church down a new path, away from sola Scriptura. "We hope this is a beginning for you to be on this new path,” encouraged ED guru Brian McLaren, “believing in Jesus in a new way, ready to act for change in your own life, in your community, the public and the world.” [emphasis added.]
“Believing in Jesus in a new way” is doublespeak for Out with the New Testament Jesus, in with Postmodern Jesus (see part 4). For progressives what Jesus taught in Scripture does not conform to their worldview. So He’s been updated. But look before you leap! Their renovated Jesus may have a new roof and a dazzling paint job, but His foundation is cracked! This is off the subject, but have you noticed how McJesus followers count on their Provider to supply whatever they order from the Great Golden Arches in the Sky? And why not? The have a strongly held belief that says:
“Doggone it, I’m worth it!”
Getting back to the subject at hand, because the EC leadership’s rejection of Church doctrines many of them have been characterized as “anti-doctrinal,” and for good reason. It’s apparent that they aim is to dismantle long held Christian beliefs and traditions and replace the true gospel with a more palatable “social gospel.” (More doublespeak for socialism.)
The “social gospel” is a shift toward universalism...ecumenicism...subjectivism...even mysticisticism. Not surprisingly EC adherents often find themselves up to their eyeballs in New Age mystical practices. According to Wikipedia:
“Christian mysticism [Eastern mysticism] is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Christian mysticism usually centers on a practice or practices intended to nurture those experiences or awareness, such as deep prayer (i.e. meditation, contemplation) involving the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. This approach and lifestyle is distinguished from other forms of Christian practice by its aim of achieving unity with the divine. Within the broad spectrum of religious grroups, it is believed that the spirit of man lost its original connection with God. The spirit of man longs to find this connection again and to intimately experience God. Although orthodox Christianity teaches that this connection can only be restored via the blood of Jesus Christ through His sacrificial death, mysticism teaches alternative or supplementary spiritual practices as a way to restore the relationship between God and man. These practices include meditation, purification and works of love. Christian mysticism teaches these practices finding biblical support, sometimes disregarding the blood of Jesus as the only means to access God directly (Heb 10:19,20).”
Returning to the “social gospel,” T.A. McMahon explains what it is and why it’s dangerous:
“It had its modern beginning in the late 1800s, when it developed as a way to address the various conditions in society that caused suffering among the populace. The belief was, and is, that Christianity will attract followers when it demonstrates its love for mankind. This could be best accomplished by helping to alleviate the suffering of humanity caused by poverty, disease, oppressive work conditions, society's injustices, civil rights abuses, etc. Those who fostered this movement also believed that relief from their conditions of misery would improve the moral nature of those so deprived.”
Sounds magnanimous, doesn’t it?
“It became the primary gospel of liberal theologians and mainline denominations throughout the 20th century. Although its popularity alternately rose and fell as it ran its course, it was often energized by the combination of religion and liberal politics, e.g., Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. Midway through the last century and later, the social gospel influenced developments such as the liberation theology of Roman Catholicism and the socialism of left-leaning evangelical Christians. It is in this present century, however, that the social gospel has gotten its most extensive promotion.”
What exactly is Liberation Theology? According to GotQuestions.org:
“It is an attempt to “interpret Scripture through the plight of the poor. It is largely a humanistic doctrine. It started in South America in the turbulent 1950s when Marxism was making great gains among the poor because of its emphasis on the redistribution of wealth, allowing poor peasants to share in the wealth of the colonial elite and thus upgrade their economic status in life.
As a theology, it has very strong Roman Catholic roots. The idea was to study the Bible andd to fight for social justice in Christian (Catholic) communities. Since the only governmental model for the redistribution of the wealth in a South American country was a Marxist model, the redistribution of wealth to raise the economic standards of the poor in South America took on a definite Marxist flavor. Since those who had money were very reluctant to part with it in any wealth redistribution model, the use of a populist (read poor) revolt was encouraged by those who worked most closely with the poor. As a result, the Liberation Theology model was mired in Marxist dogma and revolutionary causes. We now have Black Liberaation Theology being preached in the black community. It is the same Marxist, revolutionary, humanistic philosophy found in South American Liberation Theology and has no more claim for a scriptural basis than the South American model has. False doctrine is still false, no matter how it is dressed up or what fancy name is attached to it.”
Fight for social justice...redistribution of wealth...revolution.; Just so you’ll know, for over twenty years Barack and Michelle Obama regularly attended a church where Black Liberation Theology was the foundational belief of their pastor, Jeremiah Wright. “Trinity United Church of Christ is now the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ, a megachurch with anywhere from 8-10,000 members. The United Church of Christ denomination was the first in America to ordain gays, and women as ministers. It is at the forefront of liberal churches that do not hold to the Scripture in a Christian manner.”
In one of his blogs Albert Mohler commented on the leftward march of the Lutheran Church in America:
“[T]he Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stood the Lutheran tradition on its head by legitimating ‘bound conscience’ as a means of subverting biblical authority. That denomination officially sanctioned the service of partnered homosexual clergy during its church wide meeting in August. The Episcopal Church continued its headlong rush to flaunt its refusal to abide by biblical standards of sexuality by declaring an end to the moratorium on electing openly-homosexual bishops and blessing same-sex unions. As the year drew to a close, the church's Los Angeles diocese elected an openly-lesbian priest as auxiliary bishop, setting the stage for in inevitable head-on collision with the worldwide Anglican Communion.”
The Lutheran Forum’s, Sarah Wilson, said this regarding “bound conscience”:
“So, here we stand. A tiny portion of the ELCA's membership, somewhat more than 500 people, have decided at a single event to overturn the historic teaching of the church, without any real attempt to back it up scripturally or theologically or even persuade most members of the church. Alas. But they have thrown us a bone--we are allowed to exercise our bound consciences. So let's get to work. Here are three by-laws proposed by various persons in the ELCA and sent to us at LF--we are going to let them remain nameless, lest their bound consciences come under attack by other bound consciences--for congregations to consider adopting as part of their constitutions.”
Does this not make your blood boil?
In order for the Church to become “tolerant” and “inclusive” (doublespeak for ecumenical) Christianity must change, say progressives. To create an environment where these changes can occur, this new breed of “Christian” has set about undermining the core doctrines of the faith.
The Apostle Paul did not take kindly to false teachers who perverted the gospel of Christ. (Liberal theologians/pastors/teachers/leaders don’t realize this, inasmuch as most of them do not hold to the authority of Scripture.) As a lover of the truth, Paul said this to the church body in Galatia:
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” To make sure his words stuck, he inserted a double whammy. “As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal 1:6?9)>
Accursed means, “let him be eternally condemned.”
Pulling Parts 1-5 of This Article Together
Liberalism has infiltrated Christendom. Theological liberalism is unorthodox...unbiblical...non-Christian...divisive...heretical...flat out evil. You get the point.
Doublespeak has taken a toll on both issues oriented and Christian conservatives. In the political arena some conservatives sit their wondering, “Am I a racist for opposing President Obama’s ‘transformation of America’? Am I mean-spirited because I want people to come to America legally?” No. Most people oppose Obama's far-left agenda based on principle. It has nothing to do with his race. As well, most Americans would prefer that the rule of law be applied to immigration. Is it hateful to demand that visitors enter this country through the front door? Absolutely not! It is the prudent, if for no other reason than for national security.
People of different religious faiths question whether or not they’re homophobic because they’re against same-sex “marriage.” Many times I have asked myself this question: “Deep down inside do you hate 'gay' people?” No. I don’t hate anyone. What I hate is a sexual perversion that can cause irreparable harm to a person’s body. I do not believe same-sex sex is something to celebrate.
I hate that we live in a moral relativistic culture where there is no right or wrong. People use terms like: live and let live...whatever...who cares...that’s your truth...it is what it is...you do your thing and I’ll do my thing...as long as I’m not hurting anyone...if it feels good do it...as long as he/she is is happy...I deserve it...I’m worth it...you owe me!
I hate that many people think with their emotions instead of using good ol’ common sense. Government-run schools no longer teach children to think critically so is it any wonder that so many people are unable to apply simple logic to resolve lives many questions and to make decisions?
I hate that a large number of professing Christians fall prey to false teaching because they lack spiritual discernment. Here's just one example: Close to 45,000 people pack Lakewood Church each Sunday to hear false teacher Joel Osteen preach the prosperity gospel. His books and CDs are bestsellers. Prosperity preachers are apostate!
I hate that we live in a country where people don’t care what goes on in their town as long as it doesn’t have a direct affect on them. But when something rocks their world they shout, “Sue the bums!”
I hate that leftists have taken over public education and are brainwashing (diversity training) children into their warped Marxist...socialist...progressive...liberal belief syst system. Even worse, most parents sit idly by and allow it.
Putting things into the common man’s vernacular, social injustice sucks, but socialism sucks “way worse”
Conservatives must not remain complacent. We must keep reminding ourselves that progressives/liberals are masters at doublespeak. They use it to bully the opposition. Words such as bigot...racist...homophobe...hateful...hate-monger...hate-filled...intolerant...divisive...mean-spiran-spirited...close-minded...judgmental...Pharisee...unen…unenlightened are only a few of the epithets used as a club against conservatives – especially conservative people of faith.
Progressives have been masterful at misrepresenting the facts. For the progressive, the end justifies the means.
Progressives Lose. We the People Win!
Progressivism is a cancer that is spreading through this nation like a house on fire. Progressives are taking us down the road to European-style socialism.
Progressives in the Body of Christ are flexing their muscles and the result is that they’re squeezing the “way the truth and the life” out the Church.
So now is the time America! We the People (this includes God’s people) must take our country out of the hands of Marxists/socialists/progressives/liberals/statists now morphing into populists. It matters not how we label them. What matters is that we stop the progressive revolution. It’s not important which political party started all this; what’s important is that We the People join together to stop it. We must fight for our freedoms or there will be none left for our children and grandchildren. We must do it now or there will be hell to pay!
Come November, if We the Voters fail to stop the agenda-driven politicians who have no interest in representing the folks back home, We the People lose. Progressives win.
As for Christians, those who truly love the Lord Jesus with all their “heart, soul, mind and strength” must get out of their comfort zone and share the gospel with the lost. Here’s a quote from our Lord and Savior worth repeating:
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“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
Until people’s hearts and minds are changed, our corrupt culture will continue its downhill slide into total depravity. That’s where Jesus comes in. He is the hope of the world.