CREATED THE CULTURE OF EVIL AND DEATH
By Marsha West
September 7, 2012
By far the biggest obstacle the Church faces is the infiltration of ubiquitous, aggressive liberals, many of whom are renowned pastors, authors, conference speakers, missionaries, televangelists, radio hosts, and CEOs of Christian organizations. As of late, even some of our most beloved evangelical leaders appear to be morphing into theological liberals. The extent of movement to liberal ideology varies with each individual, but in certain cases they have gone completely off the rails. False doctrine abounds in books, Bible studies and Bibles authored by notable Christians and promoted by so-called Christian publishers and book sellers. We have been duly warned about this sort of thing happening:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1).
That, brothers and sisters, is a pretty severe warning!
To give readers a sense of what kind of person to be on the lookout for let me introduce one of the most dangerous wolves in Christendom, the Rev. Jim Wallis. This man wears many hats. He is the founder of Sojourner’s Magazine, speaker, author and activist. He’s also President Obama’s “spiritual advisor.” This alone speaks volumes. Rev. Wallis insists that he’s an evangelical Christian even though he has abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel.” He believes he’s on a mission from God to assist the poor and oppressed to bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth.
David Noebel sheds light on some of the good reverend’s activities:
Wallis’ Sojourners enterprise has been a radical, socialistic undertaking from the start. Frontpage Magazine (March 17, 2009) says, “As one of its first acts, Sojourners formed a commune in the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Southern Columbia Heights, where members shared their finances and participated in various activist campaigns that centered on attacking the U.S. foreign policy, denouncing American ‘imperialism,’ and extolling Marxist revolutionary movements in the Third World.” (Source)
Jim Wallis is also a champion of unbiblical movements such as the Emergent Church, Spiritual Formation (contemplative prayer/mysticism) and what he refers to as “spirituality.” Here is his view of prayer:
I pray, but there are many understandings about prayer. For many, prayer is talking to God, sometimes a great list of requests and needs—sort of like a child’s Christmas list mailed to Santa Claus. But at least for me, prayer is becoming a time of listening rather than talking. There is so much noise in our world and our lives (much of our own making); prayer becomes a quiet space that enables us to stop talking long enough to see what God might be trying to say to us.
The disciplines of prayer, silence, and contemplation as practiced by the monastics and mystics are precisely that—stopping the noise, slowing down, and becoming still so that God can break through all our activity and noise to speak to us. Prayer serves to put all parts of our lives in God’s presence, reminding us how holy our humanity really is. (The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World, 290) (Source)
Wallis is promoting unbiblical contemplative/centering prayer.
On homosexuality he believes:
[T]he major differences of theology and biblical interpretation in the church with regard to issues such as the nature of homosexuality, gay marriage, and ordination are not issues that should be allowed to divide the churches – that local churches should lead the way here, and that an honest, open, respectful, and, hopefully, loving dialogue should characterize the church on these very controversial questions. (Source)
Issues which are clearly unbiblical, such as the sin of homosexuality, should not be allowed to divide us? Really?
Are professing followers of Jesus Christ supposed to ignore the Bible’s explicit teaching on marriage, one man and one woman for life, so that men can marry men? Should we really go against what God says in His Word regarding His plan for sexuality and marriage and adopt a “pro-gay” theology to accommodate a small group of gays and lesbians? The answer is “May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, ‘That Thou mightiest be justified in Thy words, And mightiest prevail when Thou art judged.’” (Romans 3:4)
Going against God is folly! (For the biblical view of homosexuality read Answering the Gay Christian Position)
Even though Wallis is a Red-Letter Christian and a Wild Goose chaser, he poses as an evangelical. Sadly, he and his ilk have many starry-eyed, misguided followers who, like most liberals, wish to farm out their obligations to the tax payers.
Liberals such as Jim Wallis dub themselves “progressive Christians” and more recently “social justice Christians” (SJC). Social justice has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? But hold your horses! SJC has its roots in communism and has the same aim: The common good.
Sounds magnanimous, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled! What these people are striving for is government transfer of wealth from one group of citizens to another to level the playing field. Some liberals use Genesis 4:9 “I am my brother’s keeper” to make their case. Leftist hypocrites have no problem quoting Scripture to defend wealth redistribution, but when conservative Christians quote Scripture to defend their opposition to abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and so forth they cry foul!
In an essay entitled “A Biblical View of Social Justice,” John Wheaton writes:
[I]t is essential that Christians clearly define what social justice entails. On its face, the term has a positive connotation that conveys a seemingly strong sense of virtue and morality. Basing a claim on an appeal to “social justice” provides the claim holder with a degree of persuasive advantage – a kind of moral blessing on his or her political, theological, or social ideas. However, social justice involves much more than a superficial label or feelings of compassion. It must involve a clear understanding and delineation of each social problem, the root cause of the problem, and the best solution for the problem. In short, “Good justice requires good judgment.” (Source)
For SJCs, Christianity is a lifestyle. Their morality comes, not from Scripture, but from popular opinion. Although they believe that some things in the scriptures are true, the Bible doesn’t hold a place of authority in their lives. As one blogger put it, “the emphasis is more on growth thru the process of work and serving others.” In other words, a person must have faith plus he/she must do good “works” in order to be saved. This teaching is demonstrably unbiblical. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8, 9) (Bold added)
Many SJCs are Darwinian evolutionists, environmental extremists (save the planet, not souls), and they think nothing of co-mingling Christianity with paganism gleaned largely from Eastern mysticism. They are supposedly Christians, yet many of them support abortion, the normalization of homosexuality, and same-sex “marriage.” What is most telling is their denial of basic biblical doctrines such as the inerrancy of Scripture; the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ as God’s judgment for sin; Hell; and Jesus Christ as the only way to God and instead hold to collective salvation – all roads lead to God (religious pluralism).
What it all boils down to is that many SJCs are cultural Christians. They are not regenerate (born again) believers. In fact, they are hostile to the true gospel. Moreover, their goal is the redefinition of traditional Christianity.
Liberal wolves are spreading a false gospel or what Peter called “damnable heresies.” (2 Peter 2:1–2) In a word, evil.
WOLVES IN THE HEN HOUSE
Besides the wolves I drew attention to in parts 1 & 2, others to be on the lookout for are as follows:
Purpose-Driven aka Seeker Sensitive/Seeker-driven/Radicalis (Pragmatism)
Some of the most prominent players are Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Perry Nobel, Steven Furtick, Ed Young, Jr., Ed Stetzer, Craig Groeschel, and Kerry Shook.
Individuals like Brian McLaren, Marcus Borg, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Leonard Sweet, Brennon Manning, Eugene Peterson, Donald Miller, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Ken Wilbur, Tony Campolo, Andy Stanley, John Ortberg, Frank Viola, Laurie Beth Jones, Ruth Haley Barton, Shane Claiborn, Shane Hipps, Spencer Burke, and Jay Bakker hang their hats here. The Leadership Network has played a pivotal role in the Emerging Church movement. So have Catholic mystics. Be aware of Meister Eckhart, Ignatius of Loyola, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, William Meninger and Basil Pennington.
New Apostolic Reformation aka Kingdom Now/Latter Rain/Elijah’s List/Joel’s Army/International House of Prayer (Gnosticism)
Some of the movers and shakers are Kenneth Hagin, William Branham, C. Peter Wagner, Doris Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, Dutch Sheets, John Arnott, Mike Bickle, Paul Cain, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Lew Engle, Che Ahn, John Benefiel, Bill Johnson, Jack Deere, Ed Silvoso, Lance Wallnau, Todd Bentley, Samuel Rodriguez, Harry Jackson, Steve Shultz, Patricia King, Alice Smith, Kim Clement and Reinhard Bonnke.
Word of Faith aka Prosperity/Health and Wealth/Name-it-and-claim-it (What you believe you can achieve)
Leaders in this heretical movement are Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, James Robison, Paula White, Jan and Paul Crouch, Ken and Gloria Copeland, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Rod Parsley, Robert Morris, Creflo Dollar, Fred Price, John Avanzini, Eddie Long, Jim Bakker, Robert Tilton, Jentezen Franklin, and Jesse Duplantis.
Off the reservation
In this group are luminaries such as “possibility thinker” Robert Schuller, so-called Christian historian David Barton, Southern Baptist Bible teacher Beth Moore, influential pastors like James MacDonald, Tim Keller, Max Lucado, Jim Garlow, David Jeremiah and formerly Emergent now Reformed Pastor Mark Driscoll.
A Better You by Joel Osteen
SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT…ON THE WANE
Spiritual discernment is almost becoming nonexistent in the visible Church. So - what exactly is spiritual discernment? Pastor and Bible expositor John MacArthur defines it thusly:
In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.
First Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil." The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, "Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer-it is required.
The key to living an uncompromising life lies in one's ability to exercise discernment in every area of his or her life. For example, failure to distinguish between truth and error leaves the Christian subject to all manner of false teaching. False teaching then leads to an unbiblical mindset, which results in unfruitful and disobedient living-a certain recipe for compromise. (Source)
In an article entitled Got Meat? I offered some advice on how to avoid the pitfalls of compromise:
[It is] important to learn what someone really believes about God. A discerning Christian will pick up on the deception. Always find out what a professing Christian believes about Jesus. Is He the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, as orthodox Christians believe? Is He the Son of God? The Savior of the world? If someone’s view of God is radically different from what the Bible teaches, that person is not a Christian!
Had followers of Jesus Christ exercised spiritual discernment, perhaps what my friend Ken Silva refers to as the apostasy-palooza would never have gotten a foothold in the Church -- and the wolves in sheep’s clothing would be considerably less threatening to the Body of Christ than they are today.
I’ll close with this reminder:
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20: 31)
Trojan Horse—By Brannon Howse
© 2012 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved
Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of Email Brigade News Report, an online news service for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer whose main focus is on religious and cultural issues. She is a regular contributor to NewsWithViews.com; TheConservativevoice; RenewAmerica; Christianworldviewnetwork; Webcommentary and other popular websites. Her writings have also appeared on WorldnetDaily; Canadafreepress; AmericanDaily and several Christian periodicals.
Marsha loves to write fiction for the younger generation. She is currently writing a series of books about an average Christian family and the cultural issues they face. Her books equip kids to defend their faith and live for Christ.
Marsha can be reached through her website, Email Brigade News Report
By far the biggest obstacle the Church faces is the infiltration of ubiquitous, aggressive liberals, many of whom are renowned pastors, authors, conference speakers, missionaries, televangelists, radio hosts, and CEOs of Christian organizations.